Does God speak to you through everyday events as well as Bible verses?

I have a tray on my living-room ottoman. Since I curl up on the couch with my coffee each morning for my prayer and quiet time, the tray contains my devotional material and Bible within easy reach.

Last Saturday, I had absolutely nothing on my plate. A rare occurrence. I chose not to do any chores. I stayed in my pjs and vegged out on old TV sitcoms, game shows, and home-makeover episodes. That evening, I watched two clean mysteries, my favorite genre to read and write.

Afterwards, I clicked off the TV and set the remote on the tray. As I rose off the cushion, my heart rose into my throat. The remote sat on top of my Bible.

Message received. I could’ve spent more time in the Word. Communed more with my Lord and prayed for others…but I didn’t.

Down time is a good thing. In fact, setting aside a regular rest period is one of the Ten Commandments, stated in Exodus 20:8. God calls it the Sabbath and we are to remember it. But the rest of the verse states to keep it holy. To be holy means to set something apart from the ordinary.

Had my down time been holy? My day off was not an ordinary occurrence. I didn’t watch anything with bad language or sex in it, which is a challenge nowadays. But how much more rested would I have been if I had placed my Bible in my hands more than my remote control?

The next time I have a down day, no matter how remote, may I choose to spend more of that special time with the One who ultimately provided the chance in the first place.

Julie Cosgrove

Julie Cosgrove

Fallen Leaf by Julie B. Cosgrove

Fallen Leaf by Julie B. Cosgrove

Julie B. Cosgrove is a professional speaker, freelance writer, and award-winning author of twenty-one faith-based books. She is a digital missionary as on staff at Power to Change (Campus Crusades Canada) assisting twenty-seven-plus volunteer writers from all over the world to produce free, daily devotionals as well as meaningful testimonies and articles. The two websites, The Life.com and Issues I Face, have yearly readership in the hundreds of thousands in five languages. Her blog Where Did You Find God Today? reaches readership in over fifty countries.  Visit her website at www.juliebcosgrove.com. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, The Christian Authors Network, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, she’s an INSPY Award semi-finalist and a Grace Award Finalist. She was awarded Best Religious Fiction 2016 and Best Cozy Mystery 2017 by the Texas Association of Authors.

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In Bible study on the Book of Exodus, our lecturer said the Ark of the Covenant was a “portable Eden.” It was a gold box God told the Hebrews to create so He could once again dwell among His nomadic people on earth and be in covenant with them as they traveled.

Once the temple in Jerusalem was built, God then dwelled there, in the midst of the land He’d promised them. It became “Eden.”

That talk sent a flutter through my chest. Why? Paul told the Corinthians that their bodies were the temple since the one in Jerusalem had been destroyed. It has never been rebuilt, by the way. Not that it needs to be because God now dwells in the hearts of believers.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1Corinthains 3:16).

That makes you and me portable Edens!

So, Eden is not a lost world. It still exists. The peace that passes all understanding still resides. Faith, trust, and compassion flourish. This wondrous place now travels with us wherever we go in this un-Eden-like world. It is our “go to” spot whenever we need it. Better than comfy pants or chocolate.

If this portable Eden is always with us, and thus God is, why are we not more serene and content?  Something to ponder. Also, if our hearts contain that marvelous, fruitful place called paradise, why do we try to bring the seeds of worry, strife, anger, and bitterness through the garden gate? Those need to stay outside. We don’t need to haul them inside to dwell where only God should.

Where can we find God today? He still dwells in Eden, a heartbeat away.

Photo credit: simon-wilkes-691856-unsplash (royalty-free photos)

Julie B. Cosgrove is a professional speaker, freelance writer, and award-winning author of twenty-one faith-based books. She is a digital missionary on staff at Power to Change (Campus Crusades Canada) assisting twenty-seven-plus volunteer writers from all over the world to produce free, daily devotionals as well as meaningful testimonies and articles. The two websites, The Life.com and Issues I Face, have yearly readership in the hundreds of thousands in five languages. Her blog Where Did You Find God Today? reaches readership in over fifty countries. Visit her website www.juliebcosgrove.com. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Authors Network, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, she’s an INSPY Award semi-finalist and a Grace Award Finalist. She was awarded Best Religious Fiction 2016 and Best Cozy Mystery 2017 by the Texas Association of Authors. Another cozy mystery, One Leaf Too Many is the ACFW Book Club book of the month for August 2019.

 

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Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it (Ezra 10:4).

After surgery, I could only put “big toe” weight on my right leg for a month. That meant my left leg, supported by a walker, had to bear the load. In order to keep me from ending up with one weak, puny leg and one buffed one, I have non-load bearing PT exercises for the right one.

Why only big-toe weight? Our big toes are big for a reason. Our bodies use them to balance. Ever watch a ballerina “on toe”? It provides the rest of the foot leverage. Without thinking about it, you put your weight mostly on your big toe when you lift off a chair. Go ahead, try it using any other toe or your heel instead. I’ll wait…

Back now? To continue…

I need to consistently practice this unique way of walking even if it feels unnatural.

That made me think about how much I lean on God for support, especially when I am weak. But even if I feel strong, I should still use Him as support. Most of us don’t want to lean on a crutch. We were taught to stand on our own two feet. I’m not saying Christians should be wimpy. It takes strength of character to admit you need assistance.

This cultural environment wants to pull us out of balance. We need our Lord for support. We can only walk this life well if we press into God’s Word and prayer for support, and lean on His understanding, as it says in Proverbs 3:5, fully trusting in His strength to bolster us. He is my spiritual “walker” and I don’t want to let go, lest I fall.

Julie Cosgrove, besides being the author or fourteen traditionally published faith-based novels and novellas, is also a devotional writer and editor for CRU’s digital ministry as well as for three other publications. Her own blog, Where Did You Find God Today? has readers in over fifty countries. Check out her latest mystery series, The Relatively Seeking Mysteries, and the rest of her books at www.juliebcosgrove.com. (Photo courtesy twitter@bigtoe.[/caption])

 

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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).

I love words. So God uses them to get my attention, especially when I play word games with my friends as I sip my morning coffee.

Today the letters were T-L-A-I-R …hmmm. I could spell trail or trial. The only difference in the two letters is the position of the vowels, A and I.

That got my mind whirring.

When things are in a mess, I want the quickest way out. I don’t care for trials. Do you?

But we can turn our trial into God’s trail out by simply reversing the A and the I. How? We must ask if we think of us first (I) or God Almighty (A)?

If we put I before A, we will most likely wallow in the trial. Our focus will be inward, in the wrong place.  We lose perspective. Woe and pity can cloud our vision. Perhaps anger or unfairness cloaks our understanding. Doubt may creep in like a bug through a crack in the not-quite-level door jamb.

But when we turn to God for direction, eventually a trail will appear. A path to His lesson for us, which then leads to His mercy, His peace, and His grace. Recall the Hebrews wandering in the wilderness? They stayed in the trial until they learned to lean on God and His ways. Then He led them out into the place He promised.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life…” (John 14:6).

The next time we are lost in a fog of grief, a tangle of uncertainty, or a web of doubt, let us remember to reverse the letters. It might give us a different perspective on things.

One Leaf too Many

One Leaf too Many

Julie Cosgrove

Julie Cosgrove

Julie Cosgrove, besides being the author or fourteen traditionally published faith-based novels and novellas, is a devotional writer and editor for CRU’s digital ministry as well as for three other publications. Her own blog, Where Did You Find God Today? Has readers in over 50 countries. Check out her latest mystery series, The Relatively Seeking Mysteries, and the rest of her books at www.juliebcosgrove.com.

 

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Mary L. Hamilton, volunteers her time to help others through the Christian Authors Network as the Christian Contest Coordinator.

Mary L. Hamilton, volunteers her time to help others through the Christian Authors Network as the Christian Contest Coordinator.

We appreciate our volunteers who give of themselves to help others like Mary L. Hamilton. Volunteers like Mary touch lives with a few minutes of their time and have important contributions for the Christian Authors Network and our readers. If you haven’t read Mary’s work, let us tell you a little about this special and generous person and why she’s in our volunteer spotlight today.

Mary L. Hamilton’s writing credits include non-fiction articles, a play, as well as novels for middle readers and young adults. Her years growing up at a youth camp inspired her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series for middle grade and young adult readers. She’s moved into writing mystery/suspense novels aimed at the adult market, recently publishing Pendant. A graduate of Long Ridge Writer’s Group, Mary belongs to the Christian Authors Network (CAN), American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Texas Association of Authors (TAA), and two local writers groups.
As a CAN member, she coordinates the quarterly Christian Contest with the Munce group, and says it has given her an appreciation for the variety of Christian books and gives her a chance to look over the new releases to find some great books. Being a CAN member has also allowed her to get acquainted with other Christian writers and their books. We hope you, the reader, will check out her books, too. Mary is deserving of praise—and a good read!

Pendant by M.L. Hamilton

 

Rustic Knolls Series by Mary L. Hamilton includes Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, and See No Evil.

Thank you, Mary, for helping other CAN members’ books receive more exposure through the Munce Group.
(The Munce Group is a marketing group focused on serving the needs of independent retailers who serve readers.)
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