Categories
Devotional Encouragement

A Remote Chance

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.

Categories
Devotional Encouragement

Portable Edens

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
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 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.

 

Categories
New Releases

Saturday’s Scoop!

Check out these speaking opportunities and new releases from your CAN authors!


Lena Nelson Dooley will be the speaker for the June meeting of the ACFW DFW local chapter. She was asked to speak on “Agents and Editors.” The author will have books and DVDs for sale. Meetings are at 10:30 am, on the second Saturday of the month at the Arlington Community Church, 1715 W. Randol Mill Road, Arlington, Texas. Everyone is invited to go out to eat with the chapter members, Dutch Treat, after the meeting.

Lena Nelson Dooley
Lena Nelson Dooley

Kathy Ide will be teaching at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference July 22-27. Her sessions include Working with a Freelance Editor, Ten Myths of Becoming a Published Author, and How to Become a Freelance Editor. She will also be hosting a “PUGS Party” game where teams will compete for valuable prizes based on their knowledge of punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling.

Kathy Ide, Topics: Proofread Professionally * Working with Editors * Successful Freelance Editing *
Kathy Ide

The award winning series from Julie B. Cosgrove, Bunco Biddies Mysteries, book #4  Til Dice Do Us Part  releases June 15, 2018. Available now for preorder on Amazon!

As the Bunco Biddies decorate for a wedding shower, Ethel falls from a ladder, is rushed to the ER, and from beyond the curtained divider, overhears a hushed conversation about a crime. When the Bunco Biddies get the antsy groom involved in their sleuthing, his chances of making it to the church dwindle, and that’s when the way to the altar gets dicey. 

Julie Cosgrove

 

Falling Stars by Tanya Stowe released Friday  May 18, 2018

One of the youngest female producers in the industry, Sunny Bates has every intention of going to the top to create her own Christian-based films. She feels called to be a light in the darkness for people like her father who died of a drug overdose when Sunny was young. Her path is full of difficulties, but her greatest challenge is staying faithful in an environment saturated with temptation.

All Jackson Maise ever wanted was to play his music and raise horses on his family’s thoroughbred ranch. Sunny Bates is everything he never wanted in a life partner—a city girl and a serious career woman who wears the trappings of Hollywood as comfortably as she wears a glove. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t see Sunny on his Tennessee ranch. But tell that to his heart.

http://www.tanyastowe.com

 

Categories
Humor

Watch Your Language!

Often times when we are on the cell phone or having a conversation in a public place, we become oblivious to others within listening range.  At a restaurant, I was helping a fellow author friend plot her novel. She had reached a stagmire in the plot, basically dug a whole for her protagonist that she couldn’t climb out of.  It involved a murder.

As we brainstormed the crime, I  glanced over her shoulder to the next booth where an elderly woman appeared wide-eyed and nervous. She quickly glanced way when our gazes locked.  Sensing her angst, I slipped out of the booth, handed her my bookmark, and whispered, “It’s okay. We are authors.”

Her shoulders relaxed as a smile crept onto her lips. I winked and went back to my table confident our conversation no longer gave her indigestion.

Julie B Cosgrove

Author of the award winning Bunco Biddies Mysteries 

 

Categories
Encouragement

You’ll Be Hacked!

If hacking hasn’t happened to you, it will.

Hackers are on the rampage. Facebook posts, emails, tweets are compromised. “Share” posts contain hidden lewd images. Links illegally access your profile. Banks, hospitals, even government entities are not immune. It seems there is no firewall strong enough.

Our souls are not immune to being hacked. Call him what you will…the devil, the evil one, Satan, the father of lies. Trust me, as soon as you begin to do God’s will, this hacker will show up. Big time!

Satan knows the places where our “firewall” is the weakest. He wiggles in with a negative suggestion and clouds our positive viewpoint. God didn’t mean for you to take this on. Everyone does it. That verse doesn’t pertain to today. God will never forgive you.

Soon, like a virus, it begins to affect our thoughts and actions, even our prayers or desire to pray. Step by step, we become more and more vulnerable to his fiery wiles.

Where is your spiritual firewall the most vulnerable? How can you make sure your soul is unhack-able?

Paul shared the algorithm two millennia ago. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12). Prayer is the best defense against becoming compromised. Scripture is the best method to detect hacked messages.

A joy-filled attitude that knows without a doubt God is faithful and true and loves you is the best way to have uninterrupted power.

Julie Cosgrove

Julie Cosgrove is an editor and writer for Cru Canada’s internet ministry, Power to Change. Her income, like any missionary’s, is dependent upon prayer and financial partners. She is also a professional speaker and a multiple award-winning author of ten novels with four more under contract.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Inspiration for Writers

A Little Something for Everyone!

Hi there, Canners! Take a look at this retreat opportunity, writer’s conference, and a new series to anticipate!

Yvonne Ortega

From Author Ynonne Ortega: Registration has begun for the Moving from Broken to Beautiful® Women’s Retreat October 19–21 at the Springhill Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront. All rooms are oceanfront, and so is the conference room. Great prices for the room and registration. Go to www.yvonneortega.com/store/

Also, Yvonne has a TV interview on NiteLine on February 28 and one on Time for Hope on March 1, 2018. She hopes to see a lot of SC friends at that time.

Sounds like some fun opportunities if you live in the Virginia or South Carolina areas!

 

 

Julie B. Cosgrove is under contract with Write Integrity Press for a new cozy mystery series, the Relatively Seeking

Julie Costrove
Julie Cosgrove

Mysteries.

Three thirty-something women, inspired by the begats in the first chapter of Matthew, begin to research geneaology branches…and uncover skeletons in a few ancestoral closets.

Book #1 One Leaf Too Many

Book #2 Fallen Leaf

Book #3 Leaf It Alone.

Congrats, Julie! This sounds like a fun series!

The second annual SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference is coming up June 21-23 at Biola University in La Mirada, CA. Writers of every genre and stage will find community and a place to grow. Learn about the publishing industry from veteran authors, editors, and agents. Hone your craft and develop a deeper understanding of what makes a best-selling novel or nonfiction book. And find a haven of spiritual refreshment that will reignite the passion in your soul that tells you this is the story our Storyteller has put on your heart. Be reminded that with Him, your words can touch lives. https://socalcwc.com

Put this conference on your calendar!

Categories
Encouragement

An Epiphany!

Tomorrow, January 6th, the western Church celebrates the season of Epiphany which begins with the Magi bringing gifts to the Baby Jesus. The Eastern or Orthodox churches celebrate the day after sunset as the beginning of their Christmas because of the Gregorian calendar. Their gift giving coincides with the Magi’s.

 

When a friend’s child was two years old, she stood in front of the present-crowded tree and sang “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. How surprised she was to find out the presents weren’t for Him!

 


Julie B Cosgrove is an award-winning author and also a faith-based freelance writer who writes devotionals for several publications and websites. She is an editor and  writer for the digital ministry Power to Change, sponsored by Cru Canada and is supported by prayer and financial partners.  Visit her website www.juliebcosgrove.com to learn about her ministry and preview her books.

Categories
New Releases

New in An Award-Winning Cozy Series

Threes, Sixes & Thieves

Julie B Cosgrove

Prism/Pelican Book Group

ISBN-13: 978-1522397540

 

Today, the third book in the Bunco Biddies Mystery Series releases.

When thieves target homes in Sunset Acres, the Bunco Biddies help the police nab the thief!
But in the mayhem, no one knows who the arresting officer was…
or where he is.
A new mystery to solve!

Threes, Sixes & Thieves once again finds Janie Manson, the widow of a renowned police detective who lives in the retirement community of Sunset Acres, rallies her Bunco playing friends to help stop crime.

Sunset Acres is located on the outskirts of Alamoville, a small town which is growing by leaps and bounds as people escape the stress of big city life. Unfortunately crime comes with the urban flight. Janie’s son-in-law is now the Chief Detective of an over-taxed and understaffed police force and she wants him to be able to go on vacation with her daughter and grandkids. Besides, she and her Bunco playing fellow residents know more about their community that the cops do.

The first book, Dumpster Dicing, recently won Best Cozy Mystery 2017 by the Texas Association of Authors.  Baby Bunco followed it, and a fourth book, Until Dice Do Us Part, launches in 2018.

Explaining how the title came about, author Julie B Cosgrove says that in the game of Bunco, whoever roles three sixes ends the game. However, naming a faith-based book The Three Sixes didn’t exactly sit well with her publisher. So they came up with the current title.

All of the book titles have a Bunco dice theme. Afterall, sleuthing can get dicey!

 


Julie Costrove
Julie Cosgrove

Freelance writer, award-winning author and professional speaker Julie B. Cosgrove leads retreats, workshops, and Bible studies. She writes regularly for Light from the Word, Faith-filled Family Magazine, Thoughts About God, Life.com, Good News Daily,  and The Journey and is on staff with Campus Crusades of Canada’s Power to Change digital ministry as editor and writer. Their websites help to lead people to know Christ, one mouse click at a time.

Julie has published three Bible studies, a devotional, two inspirational guides, and has twelve faith-based fiction novels published with four more contracted. All can be previewed on her website.

Awarded one of the 50 Writers You Should Be Reading by the Author’s Show in 2015 and 2016, and Best Religious Fiction 2016, Best Cozy Mystery 2017 by Texas Ass’n of Authors, Julie is a member the American Christian Fiction Writers, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and the Christian Authors’ Network.

Julie is widowed and lives in Fort Worth, Texas where she is involved in mission funding, women’s ministries, and servant to two house cats. She is mystery aficionado—especially  British ones—and loves word games.                       

Visit her blog: Where Did You Find God Today?  http://wheredidyoufindgodtoday.com

Website:  www.juliebcosgrove.com

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/juliebcosgrove/

Amazon: Julie B Cosgrove

Twitter @JulieBCosgrove

 

Categories
Writing Business

When the Cops Take Over Your Church….

When I worked as a church secretary, the church sat on the edge of the city, surrounded mostly by ranches. You had to be looking for it to find it.  At the end of my work day, the pastor and I were the only ones on the property when we heard sirens. Then more sirens…then even more sirens. We stood at front portico and watched as cop cruisers zipped by, one after another, toward the highway. Pastor crossed his arms over his chest. “You better take the back road home. Sounds like a huge wreck.”

We prayed for whoever needed the police and I headed out, only to be flagged down a quarter of a mile away by a road block of seven cop cars. Two officers armed with rifles yelled as I lowered my window. “Go back, go back. Dangerous shooter on the loose.”

The man had shot a policeman who stopped him for outstanding warrants and decided to run instead of being arrested by the backup partners. Over 200 officers from the city, county, and surrounding towns descended on the area. We offered the church building as their command center for the manhunt.

Five hours later they caught him cowering behind a barn. Then, I could go home! Boy, were my cats glad to see me. I have the thumb to open their can of food.

So what does a writer do when the adrenaline ebbs? Include it in her WIP – a cozy mystery of course…  All experiences have a positive angle if you look for it.

And the novel releases today. The award-winning Bunco Biddies Mysteries series #3  Threes, Sixes &  Thieves.

 


Julie B Cosgrove is an award-winning, traditionally published author of fifteen books and a digital editor and writer with Cru Canada’s Power to Change internet ministry with a readership of over 6000,000 a month. Check out her books and ministry at www.juliebcosgrove.com

Categories
In The News

Advent and Mysteries and Websites–Oh My!

Exciting things are happening with our CAN authors during this advent season! Here’s the latest news from authors you love.

Diane Stortz
Diane Stortz

Diane Stortz speaks Saturday, December 2, at Celebrate the Light, a Christmas dinner with the women of First Christian Church in Washington, Missouri. On December 9, she’ll be reading and signing I AM and the I AM Devotional at a children’s story hour at Belong Christian Store in Mason, Ohio.

 

The Bunco Biddies are back in Book #3- Threes, Sixes & Thieves by Julie B. Crosgrove. In Bunco, when someone rolls three sixes, the game is over.

When burglars target homes in Sunset Acres with three and six in the house number, one finds the game is over for him when he is caught, thanks to Janie and her Bunco playing buddies. But when he is found hanged in his cell, the game is afoot once again. 

Launches December 8th, but you can preorder it for your Kindle now. Doesn’t it deserve a present this season?

http://amzn.to/2eN4K9W

Award-winning cozy mystery series, yet each novel stands alone. Follow these quirky and active seniors as they help the police solve the crimes, whether the police want their help or not.

 

Advent starts December 3rd~  Prepare by watching an interview of Karen Whiting and her book Christmas is Coming! Waiting is Hard

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0XPnHqPcqY

And here’s an enthusiastic review of the book from The Garden Window.  

Christmas is coming book cover
Christmas Is Coming!

Christmas Is Coming! But Waiting Is Hard! Family Activities and Devotions for Advent

By Karen Whiting from Abingdon Press, 2016

Unfortunately I was too late to review this last year, but liked it so much that I was determined I would review it for this coming Advent!

From the highly appealing cover to the very last page, this book is crammed full of wonderful activities, ideas, hymns, songs, prayers, points to ponder, bible verses to study, Christmas facts and ideas on how to implement the Christmas message into everyday life in Advent.

The very first activity is to make your own Advent wreath from scratch. This does involve some finicky work on the part of a helpful adult/parent/godparent, but very complete instructions are given, and this wreath then sets the scene for the rest of Advent.

This is an ideal book for families with young children, but there is no reason at all why the ideas and activities could not be slightly adapted for older children too, and if I am absolutely honest, this is the sort of book I would be perfectly happy to buy and use just for myself. 

There are lots of craft activities to make and do, with reproducible templates to be photocopied and then cut up, coloured in etc. Make garlands, snowflakes, Christmas gift tags, Jesse tree ornaments, cards, quick Christmas breads and so much more, all with Christian symbolism and messages to enjoy.

This is a most welcome addition to my Christmas collection.

Meet Yvonne Ortega
Meet Yvonne Ortega

Friday, December 1, 2017, Yvonne Ortega’s new, updated website went live! You can view her early Christmas present at www.YvonneOrtega.com

 

 

 

 

Dr. Craig von Buseck
Dr. Craig von Buseck

Craig von Buseck has been named Senior Editor for digital content at Inspiration Ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina — the parent company of Inspiration TV, a Worldwide Christian Network, and the INSP Cable Network. Craig will oversee the content for Inspiration.org, the official website of Inspiration Ministries. He will also work with team to merge Inspiration’s video and print content into a newly designed website to launch in 2018. More exciting developments will be announced in the coming months. Please watch for opportunities to submit family-friendly content from a biblical worldview.

Craig has also launched a recently redesigned personal website where he posts his latest news, articles, interviews, podcasts, and other material. Check it out at www.vonbuseck.com