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Posts Tagged ‘www.juliebcosgrove.com’

Years ago I bought an LED nightlight that automatically shines when it is dark and dims when it is not needed. I keep it plugged in all the time, and to be honest, most times I don’t even think about it. It’s on when I need it, and more dimmed when I don’t.

AH- good theme for a devo! The Light of Christ is constant. No one can dim it. And, as long as we stay “plugged into” Him, His light will continually shine through us.

I decided to take a picture of it with my cell phone so I could show it to you. Funny thing happened.

Even though to my naked IMAG0228eye it gleamed, the little nightlight wasn’t bright enough to satisfy my sophisticated app’s sensor. My camera app on my phone detected a flash was needed. Each time I took a picture, the camera would instantly flash, which meant the “light” in this nightlight didn’t show up. It’s little glow was minuscule in comparison to the blast of light the camera emitted.

Frustrated, I took photo after photo, and then sent all to the delete box. I was at the point of giving up when the celestial 2 X 4 whacked me on the head – oh, so this is the theme for the devo!

I took one more picture. Here it is. You can barely tell the nightlight is shining. But if you look more closely, you can detect how it reflects around the edges of the back splash and the counter.

There are times when I feel as if I am barely glowing. Do you ever feel that way? Christ’s perfect brilliance so outshines the glow in my human heart. I know He is the Light and I am to reflect Him in all I do and say…but.  Well, I’m human. Sometimes, I don’t feel I measure up.

Even so, His light never leaves me. My human tendency towards sin may appear to dim in comparison, but it is always there–glowing around the edges, softly reflecting on the surfaces of my life. His Spirit shines without ceasing because I claim Him as Lord and Savior.

When His light momentarily blasts through me, I am okay with dimming into the background. As long as others see the illumination He emits into me and turn to Him as a result, I’m happy to be a small reflection of His mighty love and power.

May I stay always stay plugged into His source of strength and energy and keep glowing –just like that little light of mine–in case another needs it to direct them to my Savior. But may I never wish to “outshine” my Lord, or take credit for His merciful Light blasting into my life as an example to others.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

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Something different registered in the corner of my eye. I looked up from my Lenten Bible reading to peer out the sliding glass door which leads to my second floor screened-in patio. Just at sunset, this spectacular scene appeared. I took the photo through the screen, but you can still see the beauty.

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The live oak trees across the lane in my apartment complex were ablaze with color. It lasted about ten minutes, then the spectacular array began to fade into muted reds, then grays. When I posted it on Facebook, several other friends in my area reported the same phenomena, and a few also took photos.

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It reminded me of Moses and the burning bush. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” (Exodus 3:3)  His encounter with the Holy I AM  changed his life’s direction. God became real. Later in Deuteronomy 33:13-16 it states,

May the Lord bless his land
    with the precious dew from heaven above
    and with the deep waters that lie below;
14 with the best the sun brings forth
    and the finest the moon can yield;
15 with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains
    and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills;
16 with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness
    and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush.

I can’t say seeing the trees burst into brilliant sunset colors has changed my life, but it warmed my soul because I know the artist who created it. But, maybe somewhere in southwest Fort Worth it did becoming the pivotal point for someone on the verge of faith. Perhaps the thought, “There is a God.” caught in their breath. As the man whose son needed healing said perhaps they too whispered, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24.)

The next time you see evidence of God in your world, will you praise Him for blessing the land and also ask it touch someone who needs to come to Him to be saved from the brokenness of this life?

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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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IMAG0006A while back, my great-niece made me this rose. Rather ingenious, it is a silk flower and greenery glued around a tea light. She painstakingly hollowed out the rose, inserted the tea light, and then glued it all back together. You have to flip the switch underneath before it can softly glow from the inside out.

You see where my train of thought is going with this, right? You and I are that rose. When we ask Christ, the Light of the World, into our hearts He glows from within us and it oozes out of our countenance for the world to see. It enhances the beauty we were created to display because it comes from deep down within the center of our core. He has painstakingly glued us back together after we were broken and the world tore us apart. Now, we are a thing of beauty because we reflect Him as the center of our lives.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

But, here is the thing. Christ allows us the free will to turn His glowing presence in our lives on for others to see, or to turn it off. We are not so attractive when we are not glowing with His love and mercy. Each day, each situation, each encounter, we have the option to turn our attitude over and flip the switch– to be His Light shining into the darkened hearts of a hurting and bewildered world or not.

Who will you glow for today? Will it be a child in tears over a bully’s remark, a store clerk who is having an unappreciated, frazzled day, the homeless man with the cardboard sign, or your family member who just walked in the door and barked at you after a tough day?

 

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Perhaps you recall my blog post in February about the footprints leading up to the church doors where I work. https://wheredidyoufindgodtoday.com/2014/02/01/funny-footsteps/

IMG_20140128_090244_264They are still there. Weather has not erased them. We have had snow, ice,  a few drops of rain, and 80 degree heat pound the concrete. Yet they remain. Five footsteps with a super-human stride that lead up to the main doors. And if you look closely, it appears the man was barefoot and there is a hole in the ball of his foot.  If you are ever in Fort Worth, TX, why not come by 3900 Longvue Avenue and see for yourself?

Yesterday, it rained off and on throughout  the morning – a blessed answer to prayer for this drought-stricken part of Texas where walking on water over the area lakes is no longer a IMG_20140129_132132_544miracle because you can see the rocks as the water barely laps at your ankles.

So when I walked up to the steps today, I held my breath. Would the footsteps still be there after being soaked for hours? Would they have washed away in the drenching rain we so desperately needed and prayed earnestly to receive? I stepped a little slower, my eyes peeled to the ground, yet not wanting to see.

Behold!  There they were, just as prominent as before. A broad smile stretched across my face. The reminder that Jesus is Emanuel – God with us –  was still present. Then, the words Jesus uttered in the last verses in the Gospel of Matthew flashed into my brain. “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.” (28:20)

I shouldn’t need a reminder that Jesus is with me. I believe that with all my heart, mind and soul.  I stand on His promise. Yet, it is comforting to see these bizarre prints each day as I climb the stairs to unlock the door, turn off the alarm, and start my day. And, when I leave to lock up, I know He walks with me back to my car and stays with me all the way home. Even as my eyelids close off the sight of my pillow at night as I drift into dreams, He is there.

I continue to see God in five footprints for as long as He deems them to last. But if and when they do fade, I know God will show me other ways to remind me He is here…always, even unto the end of the age.

Where will you see Him today?

 

 

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As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you, Abide in my love. John 15:9-11

????????????????????????????????????????February is the “love” month. The stores are filled with read and pink hearts, candies and flowers. I love going to the grocery on February 14th and  watching the last-minute-planning men standing in line, laden with flowers, cards, teddy bears and chocolates for their wives or girlfriends. They casually glance at each other to see if they have gotten enough, or maybe too much, as if there is some hidden rule of how much you should spend depending on the depth or longevity of your feelings.

How different is God’s unending love for us. It is not based on feelings or longevity. God doesn’t have a check list or ponders –  Hmmm. Let’s see…. I will love her more often because she has been a believer since she was six, or love him more deeply because he reads my Word twice a day, prays often, and volunteers at the homeless shelter.

All of us have the opportunity to abide in God’s infinite, abundant, and generous love. It is freely given, equally and fully, in spite of our emotions or actions.

But, what does it mean to abide? It is more than just accepting it. It is letting it absorb into the very fiber of us like permanent ink. It is a snuggle down, feel secure, dwell in total trust sort of attitude. Here are five steps to truly abiding:

A – Acknowledge He loves us more than we can imagine or love Him back.

B – Be thankful that He loved us enough to take on our sins and die, so we could once again be in relationship with Him.

I – In His likeness, try to love others as He loves us.

D – Dedicate ourselves to His ways being the best, not ours.

E – Establish a relationship with Him through prayer and reading the Scriptures.

Chocolates disappear within days, flowers wilt, cards get stuffed in drawers. Human love ebbs and fades. But there is one gift of love that abides – constant, pure, eternal and faithful – the of love the Father, given through His Son and expressed by His Holy Spirit who dwells in us. All we have to do is accept that gift at any time. No certain day on the calendar, red hearts  or check-out lines needed. So, if you don’t get roses or candy this year, know you have a gift that is worth so much more from the One who loves you so much more. It is available to you every single day.

Abide in the love of your Savior this day, this  month, and for the rest of your life. gods-love-2[1]

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ID-100179760Coming over a hill the ribbon of road stretched to a highway far in the distance. Sunlight shone on the automobiles that zipped along it. They all glimmered like tiny drops of silver mercury rushing through an invisible tube. From that distance, it was hard to decipher which one was a brand new luxury car just off the lot and which ones were clunkers with dents and scrapes. I couldn’t tell if some were blue, black, white or red. I could barely determine if any were a truck or an SUV.They all looked the same.

So many people identify themselves with the cars they drive. The brand, the age, the style all seem to identify who they are and what life they lead. Ranchers and construction workers want that manly, hefty truck. What teenage boy, or middle-aged man, doesn’t desire a sporty one with a humming engine?  Moms with kids and too many errands want an SUV or a wagon. Business people want the luxury cars that symbolize they are important and successful. Yet from a distance, they all look alike.

“The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.” Psalm 33.13-15 (NLT)

Unlike my human eyes, God sees the difference from a distance, and up close. But He doesn’t just look at the outside. He peers into the heart, where our true self-image lies. He isn’t fooled by the material objects we gather around us the way kids herd fluffy soap bubbles in a bathtub.

How do you want people to see you? Are you being defined by the material things you have accumulated–or not yet done so but covet? Or, are you being defined by the way God is refining you into something more precious than gold? Does your validity depend on the precious metals, jewels and stocks  in your portfolio, or by the fact that your wallet always seems  empty? Or is your wealth an inner one, knowing that you are like a pearl of inestimable price worth dying for to your Lord and Savior?

How do people look at you? Will you just be another glimmering drop in the sea of humanity, like those cars on the highway I saw from a distance? Or will you be a beacon that shines from within because of Christ’s light burning inside of you?

Today, as I looked in the distance onto a highway, God reminded me the important things in life are not the material ones. In what way has God spoken to you today?

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