Category: <span>thoughts by Julie Cosgrove</span>

“And the Lord said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.’Exodus 33:19

My life is often seen in hindsight. When I am going through something, my focus is on the here and now. After the dust settles, then I have time to reflect. It is often then that I see God’s hand prints all over what happened.

Recently I have had medical issues that required me to move from my home. Long story short, after searching on my own and finding nothing that fit my budget and my needs, the friend driving me pulled over and we prayed. Two blocks later we saw a complex and both got “the urge” to check it out. They had one apartment that had just come available, and yes, it had a handicap ramp and parking space at the front door. God’s goodness had gone before me. He knew that other person would be moving out at the perfect time. What’s more, it is much cheaper than I expected to pay, another prayer answered as I have struggled financially through this time.

Like a blip to our eyes as we travel a highway, goodness passes in front, but often we have to crane our necks and look behind us to notice it. We can see it more clearly in the rearview mirror of our mind. Hindsight truly is 20-20.

When we know God goes before us with compassion and mercy, it gives us hope. No matter what you are going through, God knows about it and has a plan. You only need to pray to Him and trust. Then watch as He mercifully passes in front.

Dear Merciful Father, in my head I know you know what has, what is, and what will be happening my life. Forgive me when I do not see you passing in front, but only realize your mighty hand afterwards. Help me to trust and pray more. Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
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A local Christian radio personality relayed how she was driving down the road when a cop flashed his lights and motioned her to pull over.  She admitted her blood pressure rose and her teeth clenched because she wasn’t speeding. How dare he?!

Then he told her that around the blind curve was a huge obstacle in the road and the road was very poorly lit. At highway speeds, she’d have careened into it. Other policemen were removing it now. Would she mind waiting about ten  minutes.

After she sputtered and nodded, the officer jumped in his car, and with lights flashing, swirled around to block the road for the oncoming vehicles behind her. She publicly thanked the policeman on the radio and apologized for her initial reaction.

It made me wonder how often God blocks my path and I grouse out about it. How often does He detour me from danger and I complain because things are not happening “my way“? How often were those irritating moments that delayed me –like the cat hacking a fur ball in my shoe just before I went to slip it on, or a button snapping that I have to quickly repair, or the moving van blocking my exit from my apartment complex for a few minutes– actually work to my advantage without me knowing it?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Lord, forgive me. Let me publicly say thank you to You for putting obstacles in my path and delays in my day. Thank you for the story on the radio today that stepped on my spiritual toes a bit. Next time, I will try to be more patient and praise You in all circumstances. Through Your Son and by Your Spirit I pray, Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
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Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways”. Proverbs 4:26

I don’t recall why, but I when I was around four-years-old,  I decided to run away from home. Problem: I wasn’t allowed to cross the street.  So I trudged around the block with my little pink suitcase in one hand and my stuffed lion under my arm. Within twenty minutes I had circled the block and ended up back at home in tears.

What made me recall this incident I won’t  reveal how many decades later? While preparing to give a talk to some churchwomen, I found these children’s letters to God online. This one in particular spoke a deep truth.

You don’t have to worry about me. I always look both ways.” (DEAN)

As a small child, I had strict boundaries and knew the rules. It appears Dean does as well. As long as he looks both ways before crossing the street, nothing bad will happen to him, right?

If only life was so easy. As adults we get used to weighing the odds and making all the decisions. We set the rules. We decide our actions. We plot our course. Problem is, we can’t predict the future.

Sometimes we assume the way is clear. We quickly glance first then head out. WHAM – life hits us unexpectedly. Didn’t see that coming. Didn’t detect it, hear it, smell it, or even fathom it.  A tornado siren sounds one minute and your whole life ripped apart the next. The phone rings. A routine blood test comes back with bad news. A pink slip lands on your desk.

But after the shell shock, we may realize that someone was watching out for us. Something prepared us in ways we never knew. A hand held on and yanked us out of the way, or drew us closer.

A  quiet thought, steadfast rule, or profound statement embedded in our subconscious begins to acts as a lifeline. We cling to it. Such as  Romans 8:28 or Philippians 4:6-7 or Psalm 121:3-8.

Or my mother’s admonition to never cross the street alone.

Perhaps we adults need to be more childlike and go back to the basics.  Ask permission. Seek guidance. Wouldn’t it be more wise to look again–just in case–instead of being so sure of ourselves as little Dean is? Maybe we need to grab Daddy’s hand more often, no matter how big we feel we are.

By Julie Cosgrove
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“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants”. Deuteronomy 32:2

House plant lovers know that different ones require different care. There are low-light plants and then there are those that won’t thrive unless the sun is gleaming on them most of the day. Some prefer diffused light near a south or north window or their leaves will burn while others relish the afternoon western sunbeams.

Those exposed to the sun the most often need to be watered the most. You can tell when they are parched. Their leaves droop dramatically. Others you have to stick your finger into the soil to determine their need for water.

Some cacti and succulents will absorb and retain water.  They relish the water they get and store it up so they always have enough, even in drought times. But they need the bright sun all the same.

Low light plants thrive with a  slightly moist soil. They need steady applications of filtered sun and smaller amounts of water regularly to keep the roots dampened. In fact, too much of either will thwart their growth.

Many plants need more water when they are young or newly transplanted into a different soil or pot. Once their roots are well established and can retain what has been given they do just fine with less.

What sort of plant are you, spiritually speaking? Are you always in need of God’s light shining on you or you will not thrive well? Do you constantly need His Word, worship, praise music, quiet time, prayers of others and other spiritual stimuli to keep you going?

Or, are you a low-light plant? A little of God’s mercy and grace goes a long way, however you do need it regularly…in small doses. Too much is a bit overwhelming. Sitting in the corner or off to the side of the window is fine with you.

Perhaps you are a cacti. Not to say you are prickly… but you thrive best with the brightness of God shining constantly in your life and still have the ability to store up His Word for times of need. You can take a lot of heat, too.

The point is, God created you and He knows your needs. One plant is not better than the other. An ivy should never think it needs to be a cactus nor an orchid think it should be an air plant. All make the world (or the home) a better place. All absorb carbon monoxide and produce oxygen. All add green lushness, vitality, and  a peaceful beauty to a room.

We thrive best in different environments. My plants rely on my knowing their needs in order for them to thrive and grow. How much more so does our loving God, the Master Gardener, knows what it takes to keep each of us alive in Him?

I found a message from God today while tending to my plants. Where will you find Him?

By Julie Cosgrove
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Then Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron and said to them, ‘This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Plead with the Lord, for there has been enough of God’s thunder and hail. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.’” Exodus 9:27-28 (ESV)

But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
Exodus 9: 34(ESV)

Thus continued the roller coaster between Moses and the Pharaoh of Egypt who had enslaved the descendants of Joseph and his brothers. Through Moses, God would show His might with a new plague and Pharaoh would “repent”.  But when life returned to normal, he went back to his old ways. The Bible calls it the “hardening of the heart”. Pharaoh went to his grave never learning the lesson that you don’t mess with God.

It mirrors what God’s own children do once they leave Egypt for the Promised Land. They claim they will obey God’s commandments in the wilderness, then construct idols, worship other gods and become worldly. Time and again God tries to reconcile His relationship with them. Time and again they turn their backs. Finally, He sends His own Son, whom He knows they will reject, and uses that rejection as the catalyst to make the ultimate sacrifice of restoration. Jesus takes upon Himself all our sins in death while His father looks the other way so that those of us who take Christ unto ourselves may look to Him.

But, are we all not a bit like Pharaoh? God breaks through the mundane in our lives and takes our breath away. We witness His power and grace, His strength and mercy. It may be an answer to a prayer, or an unexpected blessing. It may be a convicting feeling when the part of us that needs changing is revealed as if we were staring at it in a spiritual mirror. Whatever it is, it makes us crumble to our knees and renew our faith. Then, life gets back to normal and our old ways slip back in.

Peter asked Jesus how often we should forgive someone who wronged us. Jesus replied with seventy times seventy – which in Hebrew is like saying no matter how many times it takes. That is how often God will forgive you if you ask it in the name of Jesus. He loves you that completely.

But, that doesn’t mean you should harden your heart in response and say, “What does it matter. He’ll forgive me.” Learn a lesson from the Bible. Don’t be like Pharaoh – or the Hebrews. Yes, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, but to return to a sin again and again claiming you have a “get out of Jail Free card” in your back pocket is not the response Your Heavenly Father desires.

Father, Thank you for Your mercy and grace in my life.  I pray that I would not be like Pharaoh with his hard heart, but instead give me a soft heart that is quick to turn back to You.  Amen.

Question: What sin are you returning to instead of turning it over to Christ?

By Julie Cosgrove
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I waited patiently for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out…he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.Psalm 40:1-2

In the English language, “rock” is a dichotomous word – a word that has opposing meanings. It can mean shaky and unstable—the shocking news rocked my world. It can also mean, solid, strong, and immovable. That is the Rock of our salvation—Jesus. As the old hymn states, “On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.”

Think of the movies with scenes in the deserts in Arabia. There are miles and miles of sand hills that shift and move in the wind. No foothold. No relief. You can sink up to your knees in the sand and pulling your legs through it is an arduous struggle. It drains you of your strength. Then, at last there it is. A boulder peeking up. A place where you can rest. Refuge.

I waited patiently for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out…he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.Psalm 40:1-2

If you are in the shifting sands of life right now, seek out Jesus. He will be your rock, your stronghold, your refuge. You can rest in Him. Let Him give you a respite from your troubles and struggles. Renew your strength by tapping into His.

Dearest Lord, let us always turn to You for strength and safe refuge when we’re struggling in the shifting sands of this world. Be the solid thing on which we can stand, and the firm foundation on which we can rest. Amen.

Thought: If you are in an uncertain place right now, pick up a small stone and carry it in your pocket. Each time you feel overwhelmed, grab hold of it and let it remind you of Christ, Your Rock.

By Julie Cosgrove
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Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.Psalm 25:4

I have a horrible sense of direction. No internal compass. As a child I was told my eyes faced north, the back of my head faced south, my left hand pointed west, and my right hand east. But no one explained they had purposely positioned me so this would be true. Later I learned to look for the sun. That gave me an idea where westward sort of was, so I had some sense of direction.

Today, we seem to no longer have a moral compass in our society. We have laws, but the goal now seems to be who has the smartest lawyer who can find a way for the law not to apply to their situation. Children are taught over-tolerance in school, to the point that all behavior is okay and acceptable.

When the Hebrew nation left Egypt, they had a physical guide–God’s compass-ion. Because He cared for them, He guided them safely in the way they needed to journey.

Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. Nehemiah 9:19

In our life journey, the Bible is our best compass. When we look to the Son, Jesus, as our example, we get our moral and spiritual bearings. He shows us which way we should go. He is the Way (John 14:6). Because of His compass-ion, once we accept him as our Savior, He embeds an internal compass in our souls called The Holy Spirit to be our guide.

I may not know north from south at times, but I know Who to look for to point the way, be it a decision I need to make, a direction my life needs to go, or whether I should just stand, be still and wait. I look for the Son.

If you are feeling a bit lost today, seek the Compass-ion of God. Let Him direct your path. He won’t steer you wrong.

By Julie Cosgrove
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I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.”
Psalm 119:25

I battle it. You probably do as well. Dust. That fine film of gunk that covers your furniture and nick-knacks. Daily it accumulates. At first you may not notice it but as it builds, eventually you see it — especially when the sun shines on it. I found a God-message in this household chore.

Do you see it as well?

We live in a dusty world. Nothing remains clean for long. It flutters down on everything, coating it in filth. You can use every product in the world– dusters, polishes, sprays, rags. They wipe away the dust, but they do not eliminate it. It keeps coming back.

The only way to keep something from getting dusty is to cover it. If you lift your nick-knack off a bookshelf, you will see what I mean. There will be very little dust where it sat. The wood underneath remained fairly clean. Did the dust only settle on the area where the wood shelf was exposed? No, it settled on the nick-knack, too.

Where the Holy Spirit covers and protects us, we are kept clean. But in those areas of our lives we have not let Him cover us, then the dust of the world filters over us. We can try to keep wiping it off but it will come back, coating our souls in worldliness. The only way to eliminate it is to regularly cloak it with grace and mercy, found in prayer time and in reading the Word.

I must daily confess the areas of my life I have yet to ask God to cover. I can keep trying to handle it on my own, and appear clean on the outside, but I know I am fighting a losing battle. It is only when I give those areas over and ask for protection that I can keep the dust of this world from finely coating me. And, God being the loving Father, will shine His light on those areas, revealing the filth so I can see it better. It may be a negative attitude, a judgmental heart, an unresolved anger, a misconceived thought, a worldly view.

As long as I am in this world, there will be dust. I am surrounded by it. But I can also be covered by the Lord, shielded from its effects. Christ died to cover my sins. But I know that is not a one-time thing because I continually exist on this planet. Each day, when I turn to Him, He keeps me clean. He takes on the dustiness for me. He wipes it away and keeps it from settling on me.

When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Luke 11:24-25

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission


Whatever is going on in your world, there is no greater gift you could give yourself than to receive the One who came to earth for us. He offers you complete forgiveness, a relationship with Him, a more abundant life and eternal life. As long as we trust in ourselves, our own good life, God will remain distant, and we remain separated from him by our sin. He asks us to empty our hands of our efforts and receive him and his gift.

I’d like to give you the opportunity right now to ask him to come into your life. There is no greater offer, nor more important decision you could make in your life. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him….”

I’ll help you put this into words. You could say to him,

“Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. Right now I open the door and ask you to come into my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me an eternal relationship with you.”

Unlike other possible relationships, if you asked Jesus into your life right now, he promises never to leave you. Jesus said, (speaking of us as his sheep), “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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Hacked. Our souls are not immune to being hacked

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

Hackers are on the rampage. Face Book posts, emails, tweets are compromised. Safe “share” posts have lewd images hidden in them, or links that 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, either. Call him what you will…the devil, the evil one, satan, the father of lies. He leans in and whispers into our brains –interrupting our thoughts and warping around blessings.

You aren’t strong enough to resist.

You’ll never achieve that goal.

You don’t serve God’s favor.

God has walked away because He’s mad at you.

You’ll never get back in His good graces after this.

Everyone does it, it’s not so bad.

The Bible is outdated. That verse doesn’t matter anymore in today’s world.

And the worst of all….I’m a good Christian. Nothing big can tempt me.

C.S. Lewis said in his book, Mere Christianity,

A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is… A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.”

“….When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44b

This hacker know the places where our “firewall” is the weakest. He knows what words to say that will crack our will and get to us emotionally. Then He wiggles in with a negative suggestion and clouds our positive viewpoint. Soon, like a virus, it begins to affect all of our thoughts and actions, even our prayers or desire to pray. Step by step, we become more and more vulnerable to his wiles. Trust me, as soon as you begin to do God’s will, this hacker will show up. Big time! You got it wrong. God didn’t mean for you to take this on. That’s why this is so hard. You misunderstood.

Where is your 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). Jesus used Scripture to keep Satan from seeping into his thoughts while he was in the wilderness being tested. (Matthew 4:1-11) “Remaining joyful and counting your blessings no matter your feelings at the moment keeps your attitude up and running.” (Philippians 4:6)

Prayer is the best defense against becoming compromised. Scripture is the best method to detect hacked messages, and a joy-filled attitude that knows without a doubt that God is faithful, true and loves you is the best way to have uninterrupted power.

By Julie Cosgrove
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James 1:2 Consider it Pure Joy whenever you face trials of many kinds...

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.James 1:2-3 NIV

Christian writer Jon Davis states in his commentary on the Book of James 1:2-3, “We don’t give up or give in. We persevere in faith...”

It is a matter of direction. Where  do I place this trial I am experiencing right now? What do I do with it?

God whispered to me, “I know you are frustrated. After months and months you are not healing. The pain keeps hanging on. Don’t give up or give in. Instead give it over.” I’m to take my trials and give them over to Christ to use as He wills, be it to train me up, to make me more empathetic to others, to strengthen my faith, and above all to give it purpose.

When we know something has purpose, we have hope. And when we have hope, we open our hearts, minds and souls to give…

G – God-focused
I – Intellectually – with my mind
V – Vocationally – with my body and ability
E – Emotionally – with my heart

Then pure joy will be possible despite what is going on in our lives.

No matter who we are, how old we are, or how physically capable we are, we can all give. God has blessed us with experiences, talents, and Spirit- guided incites that we can offer to others. When we give it all over to Him — the good, the bad and the ugly — then He can mold it into something of use. As we begin to see the purpose taking shape in the potter’s hand, we have the ability to persevere. But when we can’t see it taking shape yet, we must ask God to give us the faith to trust HE will eventually use it.

One day, we will look back, smile, and say, “OK. Now I get it.”

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

What is He calling you to give over, today? Give it in joy. It’s better than holding on to it as you pout, or tossing it away angrily. The only way to not boomerang our trials is to place them in nail-scarred hands that never let go.

By Julie Cosgrove
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God Upholds Us

“...though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:24

God upholds us in many ways – sometimes through other people.

Due to an acute attack of sciatica, I’ve been relying on a cane for the past month as I await referrals, test results and treatment. I have also become reliant on others, something that is not easy for me to do.

Last night at Bible study we were told to all stand, hold hands and pray. Then sing. Holding hands meant not leaning on a cane, but I wanted to be part of the experience.

After a minute or so I began to wobble. My leg gave way and immediately the two women on either side, whose hands I held, gripped tighter and kept me from toppling as they eased me into the chair. I didn’t have to ask, they automatically reacted.

It made me realize how much we believers need each other in times of weakness. It also showed me how ready people are to help, even without us asking. That’s the love of God flowing through, spreading from one hand to another, muscle to muscle and bone to bone in the Body of Christ.
What made my eyes pool was the fact that, though I was securely seated, the ladies continued to hold my hands through the prayer and song. A warmth surged through me. Even though I sat securely in my chair, I became aware of how much I needed these sweet women, and not just physically.

Convicted, I became aware of how many times I may have missed opportunities to uphold someone else because my day filled with other obligations or I felt too tired to run one more errand. Or the times I have held on in the crisis, but let go too soon, assuming I’d done my part.

Buddy systems are not just for kids. We all need to hold tight to each other for safety in this hostile world. The adage there is safety in numbers is very true. None of us are meant to “go it alone.”

Plain and simple – we need to be in need and we need to be needed. It’s a two way street. Part of the commandment from our Lord is to love one another. That means getting into each other’s messy lives by helping and being of help. The love of Christ flows from one human to another. To not receive help from others is to block that flow.

Lord, help me to realize I need help, even when I feel strong, and that I need to be open to the times you spur me to help others. May Your Spirit flow through me, and not be blocked by my pride or independent streak. I pray this through my Savior and ultimate Helper, who stretched out His hands on the cross for me. Amen.

To all who have helped me with rides, running errands, lifting me in prayer, texting me, and bringing me meals during this trial, thank you doesn’t even begin to cover it. You have been Christ to me. May I, in turn, uphold you.

By Julie Cosgrove
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online daily devotional

Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6

He heard the high-pitched whine echo through the house. “Daddyyyy!” He dropped the screwdriver he held as he repaired the door hinges and dashed through each room until he found the source of the plea. His four-year-old daughter, sniffling with puffy eyes, pointed to a black spot moving slowly across the pink polka-dotted area rug in the middle of her room. A spider.

Abba was an Aramaic term of endearment, similar to “daddy.”  It depicted a loving relationship, a trust and protective bond.  I recall a sign that read, “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy.” How true. Just because our biological father was involved in our creation in our mother’s womb does not make him a daddy. Unconditional love does.

Through adoption by faith in Jesus Christ we are more than just something which was created. We are God’s children. What does that mean? Daddy will come when we call. Our security, trust and comfort are His top priority.

The privilege to call the Creator of the universe “Daddy” also means we share a divine inheritance. Our kinship is eternal. We cannot be disowned. And just as we take on the characteristics of our earthly father, so we begin to take on those of our Heavenly Father when we allow His Spirit to dwell in our hearts.

Abba, thank You for loving us and being there for us whenever we call. Thank You for opening Your arms to us, for disciplining us through Your Spirit, and for teaching us to love as You do.  Most of all, thank You for sending Your Son who passes on our kinship in You when we give our hearts, minds and souls to Him. Amen.

Thought: Picture yourself, no matter your age, crawling on Abba’s lap to receive His comfort, love and guidance. It’s okay. None of us are ever too old or self-efficient to not need that!

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission


If you don’t know Jesus as your Father and Abba and would like to start that tender, wonderful relationship with him, you can start having it today.  It starts by saying a simple, heart-felt, prayer where you surrender your heart to Him and ask him in.  Here is a sample prayer:

Lord, thank You for dying so we can be set free from all of guilt and sin — no matter how big or small.  Your blood has erased all of our sin. Thank You so much! Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen

It is the first step.  Keep learning more….


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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Cilantro story, plucking sin from our lives

I learned a godly truth from a bunch of cilantro. Sitting in my fridge for a week or so, I noticed some of the leaves had rotted before I got to use them in my food. My first instinct was to chuck the whole thing.  But I love cilantro, and it isn’t cheap. So I decided in order to keep the lush green ones from being contaminated, I’d pluck them away and sealed them in a storage baggie. Much less icky that snapping away the  slimy, brown ones and getting the gunk on my fingers.  Blech.

As I pulled the fragrant, dark leaves, I realized there were a lot more “good ones” than I originally thought.  That made me sigh with relief because I hadn’t wasted all my money after all.  Yet immediately my eyes had detected the bad ones and thought the worse.

It took a while to pluck all the tasty leaves away,  and I had to be more methodical and careful about doing it, but I felt better about ditching the rotten remnant once I had finished the task. A bulging baggie proved to me how much good remained. And my kitchen smelled amazing!

Of course this became a God-lesson for me.

Thank goodness our Heavenly Father doesn’t see only the bad in us and decide we need to be trashed. Instead, He sees the good in us as His Son points out, “These abide in me and I have made them worthy to save for Your use, Father. Do not cast them out.”

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful  (John 15:2).

Our precious, loving Lord carefully and methodically plucks away the sin tendencies in our lives to keep them from contaminating us, and uses the good He has found in us to do His will.  Then He bags and seals us in His Spirit to protect us and keep us fresh until He can use us.

Instead of concentrating on the bad, rotten and yucky in me which needs to be thrown away, perhaps I need to see how much good God sees in me through His Son, Jesus. He is viewing each leaf in my life to determine if it is worth keeping and using. There may be more good for Him to use than I originally thought. It makes me more thankful of the process, no matter how long it takes.

Thank you Lord, for taking the time to save what is good in me and not chunking me in the garbage because of the sin which has tainted my life.  Seal me through Your Holy Spirit. It is through and by Your Son, who has made me worthy to save, that I pray: use me to draw others to You. Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission


Do you know this love that is found in God alone, through Jesus?  Would you like to give your burdens to him and have a relationship with Him?  It doesn’t mean that life will be easy but it does mean you have Jesus walking by your side. It starts with a simple heart felt prayer:

Lord, thank You for dying so we can be set free from all of guilt and sin — no matter how big or small.  Your blood has erased all of our sin. Thank You so much! Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen

It is the first step.  Keep learning more….


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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Burned Out or Left Out

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, … So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together … Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”  Acts 6:1a; 2a; 3-4

Have you experienced burn-out when it comes to serving in your church?

One time on a retreat we were asked to think about what “body part” we were in the Body of Christ. One lady said she felt she was the big toe. Often hidden, but she felt all else weighed upon her. We laughed, but she made her point clear. It spurred us to have a deep conversation about burn-out and training up others to help out so they feel less left out.

I have seen it happen over and over. Drawn to minister in small, starter churches, I see people sacrificially giving of their time and efforts. As the congregation grows, these initial leaders take on too much and never ask the newer members to help out. Eventually griping filters in. “Why aren’t any of the new folks helping out?” Perhaps it is because no one asked them or they felt too intimidated to volunteer.

No matter what size of church we attend, we can take a lesson from the early church as it grew. They multiplied their efforts by divvying up the tasks, each according to their gifts and talents. And that is the key. Everyone’s service to the Body of Christ is of equal importance. When it comes to the ship called the church, it should be all hands on deck.

Dear Lord, you sent the disciples out two by two to do your work. You taught them to divvy up the tasks, so when your church began to grow, they knew what to do. Let us not get to the point where we put the burden solely on ourselves or fool ourselves into thinking it is your will that we do it all. Show us others who can come along side, and help us to recognize their talents even if they do not see them yet. Then give us the humility to ask for their help. In your name, we pray, Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission

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devotional

To you O Lord, I lift up my soul, in you I trust, O my God…Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love…according to your love remember me.”
Psalm 25:1,6-7

What a wonderful plea!  David knew God so well he could come before Him, trusting that God would keep His promise and provide mercy because He loved David so very much. Guess what? So can we.

The soul is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit when we commit our lives to Christ. David lifts his soul up to God, offering God his most inner thoughts, his hands and feet, and his devotion. Why? Because he entrusts himself to God. He knows that if he puts God in control, God will protect him, teach him and guide him. He says so later in the Psalm. “May integrity and uprightness protect me because my hope is in you” (25:21).

If we have confessed our wrongdoings and asked for forgiveness before we  retire each night, then each morning our souls start off as an empty glass. What will fill it? Will we let God’s loving mercy and grace overflow it or will we fill it with the things of this world? Will we pour in anger, mistrust, hurt? What if, like a thirsty child, we rose up on tiptoes and handed God our glass to fill throughout the day? He’d pour out the frustrations and pain and refill it with His love and peace. God never forgets us. We need to remember, like David, to lift our souls and trust in our Lord who loves us dearly. After all, didn’t He lift Himself up out onto the cross out of love for us?

Dearest Lord, I pray that I may surrender a little more each day to Your use, and trust more and more in Your mercy and love — that I can lift up my glass for You to fill with Your presence. And, I pray that I can lift myself up as well to You every morning: forgiven, cleansed, and ready to be used. Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove


Do you know the goodness of God? Have you surrendered your will and soul to his life altering power? Today you can start that relationship and journey with HIm. It starts with a simple prayer that expresses to HIm that you believe that Jesus is who He said he is – the Son of God.

This is a sample prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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