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Posts Tagged ‘Where Did You Fidn God Today’

Is flesh – selfish?   Both contain the same letters. Go ahead, check it out. I’ll wait….

I love word puzzles, and sometimes I find His Word in them. Like “selfish” and “is flesh”.

There seems to be a lot of posts on social media today about self-esteem building. You are special, you are beautiful, you a worth something. You are strong inside. You can do it. You go, girl!

It reminds me of the maid in the movie The Help who whispered positive reinforcements over and over to the small girl who was ignored and emotionally nay-sayed by her mother. Great intentions. The child needed to hear those things to offset the negativity that fogged her home.

imagescael7vryBut I worry if we are not swinging the pendulum too far the other way in this me-orientated society?  Just check out the number of selfies as you scroll down the posts on Facebook.

Esteem shouldn’t stem from the mantras I tell myself in the mirror to pump myself up.  Instead, it should come from the fact I am created and put on this earth for a reason by a God who loves me more than I can ever imagine. He gives my life purpose. He equips me for the tasks He call me to do. His death on the cross paid to make me worthy…not anything I have done or anything I tell myself over and over in the mirror.

Don’t misunderstand. As a victim of severe bullying from 4th-9th grade, I know what low self-esteem is like. I bear the scars on my psyche. They gouge deeply into my personality.  I battle it daily, even now. But healing doesn’t come from me puffing myself up.  It came from me bending to my knees.

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm  29:11

Do I look to myself or to the mountains from where my strength comes. (Psalm 121:1) When I am dipping into the pity-pool, the best way to lift myself out is to praise God, not my own attributes. Doing something to help someone else helps to get the focus off of me, and that is the best remedy for the down-in-the-dumps.  Christ is my strength, my rock and redeemer. Not the mirror.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6

Do I bolster myself,  or humble myself so He can lift me up? (James 4:10) The mirror emphasizes my flesh- not just skin and bones, but “me.” It is all about self.

Mirroring Christ who humbled himself to obedience,garden of geth even on a cross (Philippians 2:8) reveals an eternal spirit. It is all about Him who is greater in me than anything in the world.

Flesh is – selfish, and temporary.  But selflessness is the essence of spiritual wholeness.

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I awoke to a warning beep on my cell phone. Dense Fog Advisory.  So, naturally when I hopped in my car to head for work I sent up a prayer for me to arrive safely, and also for any of my friends out on the roads. Even still, my hands gripped the wheel a bit more firmly. I couldn’t see more than two cars ahead of me, and my breath began to quicken as the muscles in my shoulders tightened.

 

Then a small voice told me, “That’s all you need to see. Trust me for the rest.”

As I drove, cars slowly came into view as well as directional signs- speed, curve, stop.  All along the way, I still received guidance. Is this not an example of our life? Truth be told, I had plenty of visibility. In fact, when I played back the video on my cell phone I thought. “Wow, It’s not as foggy as I thought!”

Doesn’t that describe our lives? God sees all, yet we only see now, and a bit of the past fogged by our memories  in our rear view mirror. I think at times He envelops us in uncertainty so we can learn to slow down, trust and only see what He needs us to see at that given moment. Otherwise we may become distracted, or too overconfident of our own abilities.

Who will you trust to navigate you through the fog today?

 

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Here is a Christmas story I wrote. You are free to share it with your family and friends.
 

ID-100124657The Purpose Revealed

by Julie B Cosgrove

It took all the effort Little Grass had, but he finally did it. The dirt that had surrounded him since birth no longer held him. He pushed through to the sunlight. Now he could grow tall. He could wave in the breeze with the other grasses and be drenched by the spring rains. He could feel the warmth of the sun’s rays cover him. So, he reached towards the sky. He grew and grew and grew. Life was great.

Then one day men came swinging large sharp things. Ouch! They whacked him off at the roots and bundled him up with the other grasses next to him.

“What is to happen to us?”

A wiser stalk of grass under him said, “I have heard stories. This is the end, my friend. No more water will seep up into our veins because we have no roots. They will dry us out. We will become yellow and brittle.”

“No,” Little Grass said. “There has to be more. We must have purpose.”

Another grass laying next to them laughed, but it was not a happy laugh. It sounded harsh and sad. “Our purpose is to be consumed. Either animals will eat us so they can grow, or we will be thrown over coals and caught on fire so others can be warm.”

Yet another groaned. “We don’t matter. We’re worthless now. This is the end.”

“I don’t believe you. Any of you.” Little Grass stretched himself as long as he could. “We have more purpose than that. We have to. Why else would we’ve struggled so hard to push out of the darkness? Something deep inside of us yearned to find the sunlight.”

“Yes, and all for nothing. Now, because we have no roots to draw in the water from the soil, the sun will bear down on us and parch us until not a drop of moisture is left in us. We will become yellow and brittle. Dead. Why did we ever push out of the ground?”

Sure enough, the grasses were spread out onto the dirt. The sun’s heat gleamed down onto them day after day. Little Grass could feel all the water in his veins leaving him. His stalk became stiff. He no longer could bend and dance in the wind as he’d loved to do. “But, at least this is making me stronger.” Little Grass smiled.  “Maybe there is a reason. I have to believe that.”

The other grasses sighed. “He’ll learn. The worst is yet to come.”

Ropes were tied around the grasses and they were lifted high onto the back of a donkey. Little Grass lay on the very top of the bundle.  “I had no idea the world was so big. All I could see before was the tops of other grasses. Now I can see trees, and birds, and mountains. Oh, this is wonderful.”

The other grasses sighed. “He just doesn’t get it, does he?”

They traveled all day. At night, the stars shone down on the grasses as their animal carrier and the men rested. One star gleamed so much brighter than all the others.

“Oh, look at that, Little Grass gasped. “I have never seen such a beautiful sight.”

The next day the caravan journeyed over hills and down into a valley. Then, at dusk, the donkey carrying the grasses stopped.  Little Grass craned to see why. People shuffled by. There were so many of them, and other animals, too. Their footsteps kicked dirt into the faces of the other grasses. They coughed and complained.

Little Grass wondered where all these people were going? He saw a building up ahead with lanterns shining in its windows. “Are we going in there? Into that golden light?”

“No.” One of the other grasses sighed. “We will be laid in the stable. Soon the animals will eat us and we will die.”

The little piece of grass said, “I don’t believe that. Something else will happen to us— something wonderful. We were made for another reason. I just know it.”

Then, a man gathered the grasses and spread them in a manager. “There. In the morning, the animals will have a feast.”

The grasses all groaned and told each other goodbye. All except the little piece of grass.

In the middle of the night, strange noises woke the grasses. A donkey came in with a man and a woman. She groaned and huffed deep breaths. His voice was soothing and calm. Then, after a while,  a third voice sounded—a soft babbling. It came from a very small human.

The woman took off her shawl, wrapped the wiggly baby in it and laid it on top of Little Grass and the others. Immediately a warm glow spread through them. They became soft again, not stiff and scratchy.

“Oh, “Little Grass said. “He has made us alive again.”

They wrapped their stalks around the child to keep him warm.

The grasses heard beautiful voices singing from above. Day and night, people came to look at the baby hugged by the grasses. They bowed and worshiped him as his parents stood by smiling.

“Praise be to God he found us this dry stable and these warm, soft grasses in which to lay his son, Jesus, “ the man said.

The people all said, “Praise be to God for the stable and the grasses.”

The smallest amount of moisture left deep inside Little Grass formed into a drop, like a tear of joy. “See,” he said. “I knew we had a special purpose.”

“Yes, you were right after all,” the other grasses admitted. They glowed with happiness and cuddled themselves around this child of God. Together, the grasses worshipped him the only way they could—by being there for his use.

For Scripture says… I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display  my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Romans 9:17 NIV

May The Lord bless you this Christmas and reveal His purpose for you in the upcoming year.                    

   Julie B Cosgrove

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