If you’d like me to speak to your group, or lead a retreat, please contact me at www.juliebcosgrove.com
At thirteen, I dedicated my life to Christ when He saved me from being engulfed in a fire. Yes, I know it was God. At that time, I didn’t think my life as worth saving. He did. If you want to read that story, here’s a guest blog I did called Up in Smoke.
I decided that God wanted me to teach others about His mercy and grace. So, I set out to make that my career. As a religion major at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, I received the American Bible Society’s Religion Major of the Year Award. I then studied for three semesters in seminary – until life happened and God shut that door. I got married, had a son, and became a working mom. It would be thirty years before He opened a window – writing and speaking about Him. When my husband was alive, we moved a lot. No, we weren’t military. He just had a hard time finding a stable company in the construction steel industry. They have a tendency to come and go, so we did as well. It became harder and harder for me to find employment, since we moved every 18 months to 2 years.
Three people in three states told me I should write for a living. They always liked the articles I wrote for the church bulletin or newsletter, or my catching-up emails. They said I had “a knack”. I had taken creative writing in high school and college and loved it. Yeah, I was the nerd who actually liked to do research papers. I’d always loved the smell of libraries. (Funny how you forget these things.) So I took a quickie online course and began to bid freelance work. I got several jobs right off the bat. I figured this had to be a God-driven thing, so I told Him I would tithe my writing day first to Him. That was in 2008. Now, I am a member of Advanced Writers & Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, North Texas Christian Writers, My Book Therapy, DiAnn Mill’s Ripplers Group, The Christians Writers Group, and Christian Writers Fellowship International. I am also a Daughter of the Holy Cross (an inter-denominational and international women’s group dedicated to prayer, service and evangelism) and Toastmasters International.
In the past six years, I’ve published literally hundreds of web content and articles with secular and Christian themes, and I’ve led retreats, workshops, and Bible studies. I write devotionals on a regular basis for several Christian websites and publications. My two cats, who hang out on top of my desk, are helping in that effort. In the past three years, I’ve been published in Devozine and Alive Now Magazines published by the Upper Room, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Happiness released October 2011, Good News Daily, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Family Filled Faith and a month-long commentary on Philippians and Colossians for The Journey in the Jan-April 2013 edition. I’ve been chosen to be one of eleven authors to each do a commentary/summary on six books of the Bible for a new devotional series “Journey through the Bible in 66 Days” published in 2014. I was also commissioned to develop a mission-minded Lenten Bible Study for Adults for the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Feb 2013.
I’ve authored the following – available through Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle (*Nook): (click on them to preview) *P.R.A.Y.I.N.G.: Bringing Power and Purpose to Your Prayers (2009), *Song Notes: Devotionals from the Book of Psalms (2010), *What Can She Tell Us? (2011) Between the Window and the Door (2012), and Squeeze More God-Time Into Your Day (2013), The Present of His Presence (2015).
Focused, a contemporary Christian novel set in the Texas Hill Country, which follows a woman’s journey to find God in her empty nest, was released in 2012. Grounded, about the same family, is in process. My suspense novel entitled Hush in the Storm (click to preview)with Prism Book Group released in the summer of 2014. The sequel, Legitimate Lies, released in January, 2015 and the third in the Trilogy, Freed to Forgive, released in October, 2015. I had three novellas published in 2016 – Navy Blues, Greener Grasses, Hill Country Homecoming and the Bunco Biddies Mysteries series 2016-2017. the first is Dumpster Dicing. Baby Bunco and Threes&Sixes follow.
Great things are they that you have done, O Lord my God!
how great your wonders and your plans for us! *
there is none who can be compared with you.
Oh, that I could make them known and tell them! *
but they are more than I can count. Psalm 40:5-6
But I will keep trying because our Lord’s acts of merciful grace need to be shared. Since His mercies are new every morning, this is one topic that will never run out of ways to tell it, because we each have a story. We each have the opportunity to discover His loving tap upon our souls during our day.
Yeah, I guess you can say He has blessed that promise I made to Him back in 2008 – but then He always does that when His children are in obedience. Not that I have been the entire time, nor has it been a smooth path. In the process I lost my husband, lost the use of my right hand until I had surgery to release a pinched nerve and got 70% of it back, and have had other challenges. I’m not getting rich, but am eking by. He knows my needs – the greatest of which I discovered when I was thirteen. Jesus saves, so I must write and tell others of His mercy and grace. These are available to us each and every day. You just have to have the faith eyes to see it. Sometimes, it is like a game of Hide and Seek, but He can always be found.
Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil – pointless.
Where Did You Find God today?
above photos are mine Header picture of storm clouds purchased through membership in dreamstime.com – by Olga Vasilkova “Clouds Over Mountains”. Fire photo also through dreamstime.com.