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.

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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What item in your closet should probably be thrown out? If somebody rummaged through my clothes, they’d most likely choose the ratty ol’ black sweater. It’s faded, a bit threadbare, and stretched out of shape. But it still hangs in my closet…for a reason.

When my mother passed away, my sisters and I packed up her clothes. We each took a few as mementos. I chose the black sweater, already worn with age.

If I feel a bit down, I slip my arms through the sleeves. It is almost as if my mom is hugging me once again. My mother was a deep believer even though she suffered the death of two children and my father becoming a POW in WWII. Through it all, she used her experiences to God’s glory and comforted many during her eighty-plus years on earth. When I wrap myself in that sweater, I feel her God-endowed wisdom and comfort.

Paul spoke of the comfort God gives us to pass on to others. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 13:3-4).

One day, after I am gone, maybe a family member will go through my clothes and wonder why I kept that old thing. If she feels the urge to slip her arms through its sleeves, I hope she’ll realize why.

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.

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Being a Digital Missionary  by Julie Cosgrove

Digital Missions

Digital Missions

Before I began writing fiction, I became a freelance writer. My late husband’s job required us to move a lot (28 times in 35 years.) The best way I could bring in income was to click away at the keyboard. Wherever there was an internet connection, my customers could find me!

I immediately landed bids. In thanksgiving, I tithed my work day to God, writing for Him first. I came across a devotional blog site through Truth Media, Christian Women Today. I queried them in 2008, and from then on wrote two devos a months—pro bono. The leader of our writer’s critique group chided me, stating I should charge. But I felt God firmly saying, “No.”

After my husband died, I prayed for a steady income which would allow me to pursue my fiction writing. I landed a job as a church secretary. Most days, I was the only one there, available to answer the door and phones, and open rooms for various groups. It gave me plenty of time to write. The priest was fine with that. He told me, “I’d rather you write Christian fiction than play Angry Birds.” I still wrote devos for four sites, pro bono, as my ministry.

Truth Media became Power to Change. Two years later, the church laid me off. I knew God had plans for this widow who now had no income. Within two weeks, the editor in chief of The Life Project, one of the divisions of Power to Change, asked if I would consider coming on staff. As a branch of Campus Crusades, the position required me to raise my salary through partnerships. A huge leap of faith!

Now I am a writer and editor for their digital ministry. Our free articles and devos average half a million clicks a month, and encourage both Christian and secular readers to seek spiritual mentors in one of three, soon to be six, languages. Never did I imagine that what I write, and help others write, woul

Julie Costrove

Julie Cosgrove

d have such a global impact.

The world is on the internet. We help them know Jesus. Right now, donations will be matched by an anonymous donor through 2017. If God has stirred your heart to learn more about this amazing mission field, contact me at julie.cosgrove@p2c.com.

 

 

 

 

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By Julie B. Cosgrove

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6a).

An eighty year-old friend told me of a cruel joke her older siblings would play on her when she was a little girl.They told her they were going to give her to the “rag man.”

She explained a man came through the streets with a horse-drawn carriage collecting old rags and other broken items people no longer wanted. Her brothers and sisters were in essence telling her she was junk. Unwanted.

Originally homemade rag dolls were sewn from leftover clothes, odd buttons, and whatever stuffing was around the house. But the cool thing? Each was unique. Each took time and imagination to create. Each came from junk but transformed into a gift of beauty by the labor of love.

God can take whatever has become ragged and junky in our lives due to sin and make it into something good and of worth. We will never be thrown into the garbage pile once we agree to become the King of Heaven’s invaluable child.

I’m another rags-to-riches story in the making. How about you?

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.

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