When Fear Strikes Your Heart

When Fear Strikes Your Heart

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

If you’re not afraid right now, then just check the news. Plenty of horrific happenings this summer while tempers are hot, triggers are happy, and trust is in short supply.

fearHow do we live in this world full of fear?

  • Refuse to keep up with the news, hoping it will go away?
  • Cringe every time one a loved one uses an international airport?  
  • Keep your kids inside for the rest of their lives?   OR
  • Seek the Lord?  “I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34.4

Friend, I refuse to live in fear! Because every time we give in to fear, Satan wins. “Fear is your enemy’s best weapon. He uses it skillfully and often to great effect. Fear and its offshoots—worry and anxiety—are like a wildfire, encroaching on every area of your life and leaving destruction in its wake. Fear eats its way into your emotions, robbing you of the peace and rest God intends for you. Fear burrows into your relationships and colors your interactions with those you love. Fear robs your body of its vigor, and occupies your thoughts, and monopolizes your attention. Fear  hijacks your life.” (Jennifer Kennedy Dean)

The antidote? Well, there are at least 365 verses in the Bible saying some version of “Do not fear.” That would be a great start – claiming God’s peace, presence and power through His Word. Sometimes it helps to do it whilst singing hymns loudly:

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.
(Kelso Carter 1886)

I have also discovered that taking time for solitude and stillness quiets my mind and heart as well as calming my body. As I pray and focus on who God is (and all those verses) I remember that He is in control. Poet Wendell Berry puts it this way:

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
– Wendell Berry

I was thinking recently of two of my friends, Carole and Jennifer, who actually lived through their worst fears happening. And you know what? They survived. Jennifer shares from that experience: “The key to living without fear is not in believing that nothing fearful will happen, but that nothing will happen apart from God’s intervening grace. Nothing will happen without the hand of God in control, filtering out what will destroy, softening the full force of the blow, and bringing a result that could not be accomplished any other way.” (Jennifer Kennedy Dean “Live a Praying Life Without Fear” October 2016)

When fear strikes (and it will) we must seek the Lord for deliverance. Here is a prayer I often use:

“Most loving Father, whose will it is for us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing but the loss of You, and to cast all our care on You who cares for us: Preserve me from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from me the light of that love which is immortal which You have manifested to us in Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”  (Divine Hours)

                                                                       under the mercy, Cindy preservefromfearprayer

©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Website/Blog www.EncouragingWords.net

NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!

Order “Dwelling Places” from Amazon HERE

Order “Dwelling Places” from ChristianBook HERE

Order “Dwelling Places” from AbingdonPress HERE

And, dear ones, if by any chance you have read this book, please kindly take a few moments to post a short REVIEW on Amazon or ChristianBook. I will love you forever!


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When Waves Wash It All Away…

When Waves Wash It All Away…

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Far out to sea the waves began to roll and crash, eventually making it to the sandy beach where I lingered alone. Truly, the ocean is never still. As the wind blows across the waters, energy surges and causes these waves.

I dug my barefoot heel into the wet sand and moved around until the words were written large on the shore. WORRY. WORDS. ME.

These were my concerns of the day. WORRY: I was churning inside over several strategic unresolved issues and relationships, refusing to trust that God could help me. WORDS: There were far too many of them I wished I had never said — hurled like grenades in an argumentative or defensive manner. ME: Ah, now that was my core problem — an unending focus on myself; my needs, my wants, my life. Too self concerned to help others.

wavesI sat on the beach and confessed all three to God, asking desperately to be free of such tendencies. Like King David, I plead,“Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51.2)

And as I opened my eyes, a wave gently poured over all my words and they disappeared. The beach became smooth. As though mercy and grace had simply washed it all away. 

A clean slate. A place to rewrite my life and move forward. Thankful for this sign from nature, I asked God to give me new words. Words of release and renewal. Words of hope and purpose.

Brushing off the sand, I stood up and walked down the beach into a new day.

under the mercy, Cindy

©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Website/Blog www.EncouragingWords.net
NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!
Order “Dwelling Places” from Amazon HERE
Order “Dwelling Places” from ChristianBook HERE
Order “Dwelling Places” from AbingdonPress HERE
And, dear ones, if by any chance you have read this book, please kindly take a few moments to post a short REVIEW on Amazon or ChristianBook. I will love you forever!
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How to Enjoy a Refreshing Summer!

How to Enjoy a Refreshing Summer!

(a Reminder, 2 Winners and a Gift for Everyone)

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Summer has barely begun and already we are seeing horrific changes in our world. In a turbulent culture full of crisis and upheaval, nothing seems permanent.  But friend, although we seem to be drifting politically, economically and personally, Jesus Christ remains our only secure anchor. He is ever the same – “For I, the Lord, do not change.” (Malachi 3.6)

EnjoyRefreshingSummerHere is the Reminder. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8)

This is good news for us – fickle people. We tend to change jobs, churches, spouses and even world views as often as we change clothes. How we long for something that lasts – that can be counted on! “How we long to point to something—anything—and say, ‘This works! This is sure!’ But if it is something other than God Himself we are destined for disappointment. There is only one ultimate guarantee. It is the love of Christ. The love of Christ.” (Elisabeth Elliot)

And if you know this love – have this love deep in your heart – you can face the changes that come, without looking back in regret or looking forward in anxiety.

dwelling places - collageOne of my favorite hymns confirms this: In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear. And safe in such confiding, for nothing changes here. The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid, But God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?” (hymn “In Heavenly Love Abiding,” Anna L. Waring, 1850)

I hope you will cling to this wonderful truth as summer unfolds. May God be your forever dwelling place for He will never leave you.

Here are the 2 Winners. And, speaking of “Dwelling Places,” a Huge THANKS to Each One of You who entered the “Refreshing Summer Giveaway”  and blog tour contest sponsored by my publisher Abingdon Press and orchestrated by LitFuse Publicity team (who drew the winning names).

Congratulations to the grand-prize winner, JEAN WILUND!

And also to the second-place winner REBECCA FIELD!

My publicists from Litfuse Publicity Group will be in touch via email with details on how to claim your prizes. You can also email your mailing address to info {at} litfusegroup {dot} com. Congrats!

RefreshingSummerprintabledownload

Here is the Gift for Everyone. But, of course, for me you are All Winners. And so I would love to give you something to help you dwell in God’s peace and calm throughout the Summer and beyond. No surprise, it’s a gift of Encouraging Words from The Word. Just click here for a Free Printable Download.

As you hide these words in your heart, my prayer is that you will enjoy a refreshing summer! 

“I’m in the very presence of God — oh, how REFRESHING it is! I’ve made the Lord God my home.” Psalm 73.28 MSG

under the mercy, Cindy

©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Website/Blog www.EncouragingWords.net
NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!
Order “Dwelling Places” from Amazon HERE
Order “Dwelling Places” from ChristianBook HERE
Order “Dwelling Places” from AbingdonPress HERE
And, dear ones, if by any chance you have read this book, please kindly take a few moments to post a short REVIEW on Amazon or ChristianBook. I will love you forever!
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Ouch! That Pruning Hurts…


Ouch! That Pruning Hurts…

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

            It is incredibly hard to “quit while you’re ahead.” To be sidelined in the middle of living out your dream. For whatever reason.

            But the Master Gardener, sometimes cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” (John 15.2)

            blogpruningDo you feel that this Summer is a time of pruning in your life – of cutting back?

If so, will you obediently submit to that process? I well remember seasons of pruning. Of cutting back professional activities (sometimes at the height of success) in order to focus on mothering my own four kids. Or of restructuring my commitments in order to keep the most important at the forefront.

There are a number of reasons why God may lead us through pruning for a season:

  1. Remove DiseaseOften there must be surgery to remove something in our lives that is detrimental and making us more vulnerable to sin. Pruning prevents it from spreading, though it is often painful to give up.
  2. Revive FruitThis process can actually help us produce a better quality of fruit. Pruning a plant in the right location can actually help propogate more new shoots. Our verse bears this out “so they will produce even more.” A temporary decrease can actually bring an increase.
  3. Redirect GrowthPlants that are cut at one point stop growing in that direction and increase in another. God often does this in our lives to force us into new or healthier situations.
  4. Restore StrengthGod’s primary concern is our root system and if it is deep enough to receive nourishment. Yes, the fruit is important, but only if there is health below the surface to sustain it. Sometimes He prunes the outer in order to strengthen the hidden work done in dark places.

Left alone, a vine will always favor new growth — growth for the sake of growth — over fruit production. You’ll see a full, leafy, beautiful plant, but few grapes. This is because all of the water and light and juice are going to the production of leaves instead of the fruit!

“To bear fruit is to hold a posture rather than to accomplish a task. It is a set of things to be rather than a set of things to do… To bear fruit is to be as the Holy has been to us – loving and joyful, peaceful and patient, kind and good and gentle, faithful and modest and generous.” (Robert Benson, “Punching Holes in the Dark”)

As we grow in our Christianity, Christ prunes to cut away immature commitments and lesser priorities to make room for even greater abundance for His glory. May we offer up this interruption to Jesus and respond with joy and gratitude — not complaint or resentment.

Let the pruning begin – we will be better for it.

under the mercy, Cindy

dwelling-places-400

 CLICK ON THIS PHOTO TO ENTER TO WIN REFRESHING AND FUN PRIZES !

June 21 – July 5

Order “Dwelling Places” from Amazon HERE

Order “Dwelling Places” from ChristianBook HERE

Order “Dwelling Places” from AbingdonPress HERE

And, dear ones, if by any chance you have read this book, please kindly take a few moments to post a short REVIEW on Amazon or ChristianBook. I will love you forever!

©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Website/Blog www.EncouragingWords.net
NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!

 

 

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Grab a Hoe and Start Breaking Up Your Unplowed Ground!

Grab a Hoe and Start Breaking Up Your Unplowed Ground!

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Are you coasting through life?

You know the symptoms – lacking energy or enthusiasm for pursuing new things; feeling jaded or lethargic when you hear others speaking of a new vision or passion in their lives. Sometimes you just want to say, “Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.”

If so, then God has a word for you, through the prophet Hosea.

            It’s time. “Break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.”  (Hosea 10:12)

BlogUnplowedGod will do whatever is necessary to stir things up in order to make that happen. Because a field unplowed is an opportunity squandered.

And opportunities are what God is all about.

The phrase “unplowed ground” is the Hebrew noun nîr, meaning “the tillable or fallow ground.” It is land that could be productive, but for whatever reason has not been broken up, tilled, plowed, and prepared for planting.

Are there whole parts of your life that are unused? Do you sometimes feel as though God has only part of you, but you’re saving the rest for….well, what?

The reason fallow ground is unusable is that it has not been prepared for planting. There are still obstacles. Sometimes we hold back from life because of similar obstacles. The stones in your field might be all those cutting remarks people made about you as a child – too dumb, too slow, too awkward. Or they might be burdens dropped on you every time you assumed guilt for other’s choices.

But those stones must go!

And the soil must be loosened and plowed. It may be hard-packed. You may have worked all your life building up those protective defenses against being hurt again. And so you’ve learned to stuff your feelings and remain stoic. But God wants to plant seeds of healing and hope in the hard soil and so you must allow the breaking of the ground.

Is there hardness of heart that needs loosening?

Finally, you need to do something that my Daddy did every spring at our south Georgia farm – controlled burning. Thorns and weeds choke any possibility of new growth. They will prevent the promise of passion to fully bloom in your life. So throw them in the fire – let go of all that entangles your heart and threatens your freedom. It might be a relationship, a habit, or an idol. But it’s time to let the flames devour those fast growing weeds.

Will you allow Him to redeem your past experiences and recycle them for future opportunities?

I think I’ll go grab a hoe and get started….

under the mercy, Cindy

dwelling-places-400

CLICK ON THIS PHOTO TO ENTER TO WIN REFRESHING AND FUN PRIZES !

June 21 – July 5

 

 

 

Order “Dwelling Places” from Amazon HERE

Order “Dwelling Places” from ChristianBook HERE

Order “Dwelling Places” from AbingdonPress HERE

And, dear ones, if by any chance you have read this book, please kindly take a few moments to post a short REVIEW on Amazon or ChristianBook. I will love you forever!

©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Website/Blog www.EncouragingWords.net
NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!
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What Do We Do with Random Acts of Violence?

What Do We Do with Random Acts of Violence?

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Will we ever get used to hearing that there has been a mass murder of innocent people? In a church? In a theatre? In a school? In an office? In a nightclub?

I hope not.

I hope we remain horrified. And utterly saddened. I hope we never get blasé or resigned to this kind of life.

Because then “they” would win. The ones who hate. The ones who crave power or fame or just some twisted sense of belonging to something big.

I will not live in fear! Not for myself, not for my children and grandchildren, most of whom reside in large prominent cities – high target zones.

randomactsBut I will cry. For the ones who are lost. And for the ones they left behind who must relive the violence and loss over and over again. And I will cry out. Against terror. For laws that might protect. I will cry out that there must be a better way.

God — the One who created us and loves us all —  knows lament. Have you read the Psalms lately?

 O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me. (Psalm 13)

How long, O Lord? How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat? How long will they speak with arrogance? How long will these evil people boast? They crush your people, Lord, hurting those you claim as your own. Who will protect me from the wicked? Who will stand up for me against evildoers? Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. …But the Lord is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide. (portions of Psalm 94)

Are you devastated by the random acts of violence in our world today? (And the targeted acts of violence?)

What do we do with our pain?

 I don’t have all the answers. But I know where to turn.

To God. In lament. In lament, a petitioner addresses God on some occasion of calamity. This is a process.

If you (like me) are feeling helpless and hopeless, may I suggest you join me by reading one of the Psalms of Lament in the Bible and then, using the same elements, experience your own Prayer of Lament:

  • Be still and enter God’s presence. Invite Him to sit with you in your sorrow and confusion. This is usually best done in silence.
  • Talk through the painful or evil situation that happened which is causing such grief and horror. Articulate your feelings as you think of the suffering and injustice.
  • Wait and allow God to speak into your heart and soul as you continue to intercede in prayer for the people, places and circumstances of this tragedy.
  • Identify with those involved and call out to God in honesty. Yes, lament. Articulate your complaint and confusion and even anger to God. He can take it.
  • prayerviolenceKnow that our God is a God of compassion. Take time to confess your trust in God’s power and provision – in His sovereignty. Use your own words.
  • Listen for God’s word of assurance to you. And then write those words to yourself and perhaps share them with your community so desperate for answers. Sometimes the greatest answer is God saying “I am here.”
  • Conclude with an offering to God that you will praise Him for who He is – and that you know the end of the story is His ultimate victory.

Sometimes this is all we can do in the face of violence, tragedy, fear, anger, pain and grief.

But it’s a beginning…

under the mercy, Cindy

I would love to share more words of Refuge and Hope with you from my just released book “Dwelling Places.”

dwellingplacescoverabingdon

Order from Amazon HERE

Order from ChristianBook HERE

Order from AbingdonPress HERE

And, dear ones, if by any chance you have read this book, please kindly take a few moments to post a short REVIEW on Amazon or ChristianBook. I will love you forever!

©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Website/Blog www.EncouragingWords.net
NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!
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When A New Book is Birthed…

When A New Book is Birthed…

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Yesterday was the official birth of my 12th book – “Dwelling Places – Words to Live in Every Season”

launchbooksIt’s a miracle. Seriously. I mean, who would have thought a publisher would actually ask me for my words even once? Much less, twelve different times. Yes, I know it’s a miracle. And I am so very grateful. 

But there is a long process involved in publishing a book. Towards the end – the birthing part – the author is often stretched to do things out of our comfort zone.

I love writing books. I love speaking the encouraging words contained in my books. But the marketing part of publishing? Ah, not so much. Most writers are like me – we are hesitant to “toot our own horn” in telling people how wonderfully their lives will change if they just read our little book…

dpreleasegroupYesterday early readers and colleagues were so great about helping to create a “buzz” and congratulating me on social media. Honestly, I felt like it was my own birthday and not just the birth of a new book. I pray that many will get this devotional in their hands and through reading the one-word-a-day will actually discover the joy of dwelling daily in God’s presence, peace and power.

You see, that’s why we promote our work – offering others an opportunity to experience and discover what we learned in the process of living the truths first, then writing about them. And yes, it is a necessary part of the publishing journey.

So on today’s blog, I’m going to just enjoy the miraculous experience of actually seeing a dream come to fruition. Of having someone (an acquisitions editor) catch my vision for a work and go to bat at a publishers meeting in order to offer me a contract. Of the countless hours of study and research and creativity and writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. girlyellowwall Of having others (many, many others) do the hard work of editing and creating a cover and lining up sales to bookstores and establishing outlets for marketing and publicizing the book. The good folks at Abingdon Press have been marvelous to me in this process and I couldn’t be more grateful.

But it is you, my readers, who touch me the most. If I only received ONE text/email/post/review that mentioned how a certain devotional touched your heart or encouraged your soul, then I would be forever grateful for this great privilege of putting words to paper — words that came to me the hard way, through learning their value first hand.

But you have given me so much more than just one word… All I can say is Thank You.

25dwellSo…. how in the world did I come to write a book called “Dwelling Places?”  Honestly, this one-word-a-day devotion (meant to both inspire and teach) came out of my own need to know. And to grow.

Every year I choose a “word from the Lord” and find myself marinating in what it means to my life on all levels — spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Last year the word was DWELL and as I explored the many facets of DWELL, I recognized my own desire to learn how to dwell in peace and serenity and joy and hope; rather than spend my time in exhaustion and hurry, chaos and confusion.

Turns out God’s Word is full of DWELLING places – those sanctuaries of refuge and abiding. In my new book “Dwelling Places” I offer many of those words (130 actually) and unwrap their meaning through storytelling, biblical teaching and hundreds of quotes from hymns and godly people who are my own teachers. Dwellonly

This book has four sections which can be read at any time, but they include 30 days for Advent and 40 days for Lent if you’re interested in trying out that special discipline during the church year. DWELL (Fall) SHINE (Advent) RENEW (Lent) GROW (Summer) OR just read any word, any page at any time. 

Will you join me in discovering your own Dwelling Places this summer? Let me know what you think – my email is cindy (at) encouragingwords (dot) net. I’d love to hear from you.

I am so utterly grateful for my early readers (now called a Launch Team) as well as these special friends and authors who all agreed to read my little book and offer words of encouragement. These are authors whose own work I greatly admire and embrace:

“Lucinda Secrest McDowell can unpack a word and find its inner core, its hidden center.  Her lyrical writing style, her spiritual insight, her storytelling prowess combine to make “Dwelling Places” a treasure. Don’t just read it. Experience it.” – Jennifer Kennedy Dean, Executive Director of The Praying Life Foundation, Author of the best selling “Live a Praying Life” ® and numerous books and Bible studies

“If you’re looking for encouragement based on God’s Word, read “Dwelling Places.”  Lucinda Secrest McDowell has taken 130 key words from the Bible and created powerful devotions that will comfort, exhort, and bless you daily in every season of the year.  Her powerful stories and poignant ending prayers will capture your heart and point you towards hope and truth.  Buy one copy for yourself and ten more to give away!”  Carol Kent, speaker and author of “Waiting Together” and “Unquenchable”

“In “Dwelling Places,” Lucinda Secrest McDowell elevates devotions to a new level. As always, McDowell uses some of the best quotes you will read this year, but she adds to them her special brand of storytelling as well as teachings that will minister to your soul. A masterful devotional, managing to be both short and deep at the same time.”  Tessa Afshar, Christy award winning author of “Land of Silence” and “Fields of Grace”

    dpshine  “Lucinda has used her gifts of gentle and straightforward storytelling to give us a treasure filled with practical and spiritual truth for all seasons. This lovely book – “Dwelling Places” –  will be on my bedside table for years to come.”  Amy Julia Becker, Publishers Weekly award winning author of “Small Talk”and “A Good and Perfect Gift”  

“As there are seasons of the year so there are seasons in our walk with Christ. In “Dwelling Places” Lucinda McDowell takes us on a gentle sojourn through words that inspire, encourage, educate and magnify the Lord.”  Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

“I never miss a new book from Lucinda Secrest McDowell. Her writing is so real and warm and down-to-earth — and at the same time thought-provoking, profound, and theologically grounded. A rare combination! “Dwelling Places” offers readers deep moments of reflection, inspiration, and encouragement that will stay with us throughout the day and throughout the seasons of our lives.”  Christin Ditchfield, syndicated radio host, speaker, and author of What Women Should Know About Facing Fear” 

       “Dwelling Places” is balm for the soul, resonate and full of life, bringing the Word to dwell with me as I pondered each of the daily words long after I’d finished reading them.”   Christa Parrish, Christianity Today award and Christy award winning author of “Still Life” and “Stones for Bread”

“No matter what season you’re in, this beautiful devotional will meet you right where you are – and then lead you straight into the heart of Jesus. In “Dwelling Places” Lucinda is not only a terrific teacher, but a trusted friend. She offers fresh insights to God’s Word in an accessible way. Her words will be a great encouragement to you as you start each day!”  Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of“The Happiness Dare” and Love Idol”

dprenew“Once again, Lucinda Secrest McDowell has written high-impact thoughts that compel readers into a deeper, more informed, more intimate understanding of how much God’s words and presence matter. In “Dwelling Places” McDowell draws us into her stories and reflections, lovingly urging us to consider His truths. Every entry becomes an entrance into a deeper walk of faith.”  Cynthia Ruchti, Award winning author of “As Waters Gone By” and “Tattered and Mended”

         “If you live life at a rapid pace and struggle to carve out time for meaningful reflection, renewal, and rest, then this book is for you! Dwelling Places” is a devotional filled with relatable, inspirational stories and Scriptures that can be read quickly but will lead your soul to linger in the hope of Jesus all day long.  – Gwen Smith, speaker, worship leader, co-founder of Girlfriends in God and author ofBroken into Beautiful” and I Want It ALL”

“I love the rich heritage McDowell brings to these devotions in “Dwelling Places” —a lifetime spent studying the Word, directed by our Lord and underlined by His servants, spiritual giants whose writings we know too little today:  Bonhoeffer, Ten Boom, Marshall, Elliott, Carmichael, Buechner, Watts, Wesley, Nouwen, Manning and so many more.  Thank you, Lucinda McDowell, for digging deeper and for sharing these treasures!”  Cathy Gohlke, Christy award winning author of “Secrets She Kept” and “Saving Amelie”

“No matter what’s happening today in your life I suspect you, like I, need encouragement.  In “Dwelling Places” you will discover a rich meal, easy to digest, full of nutrition for great benefit. Grab two copies of this book – one for yourself and one for a friend and share this ‘meal’ together.”  Susan Alexander Yates, author of “Risky Faith”

    “Dwelling Places” is signature Cindy McDowell. Rich, encouraging, and relevant. Each day’s entry savors one word, deepening it with Scripture and story. 130 readings guide you through the year, with special and much needed attention given to Advent and Lent. Lucinda’s deep reading of Scripture and contemporary and classic authors, her wide range of life experiences and her vast interest in just about everything, render each day’s read different, interesting, and always compassionate. I was much encouraged to dwell deeply through Dwelling Places.”   Jane Rubietta, speaker and author of  Worry Less So You Can Live More” and Heartbeat of a  Mother” 

dpgrow“So many devotionals offer you a Bible verse, a story of application and a prayer. Not this one. I love the depth of emotional honesty wrapped in serious study and reflection. Yes, Cindy is a wonderful storyteller. But her depth as a seminary grad shines through each word study, often going back to the original language. She draws from a dozen different Bible versions to give you the richest nuances of each word she has chosen. And the notes! I love a devotional that quotes broadly and deeply from great thinkers and devoted followers of Jesus through the ages — theologians, pastors, hymn writers, missionaries, New York Times columnists, professional counselors–and combines it with nuggets of wisdom from children’s books, Christmas carols and Southern Living. Cindy is that rare breed that combines intellectual depth with emotional depth. She writes as a fellow traveler with a teachable spirit who has clearly learned A LOT from marrying a widower and becoming an instant mother to three children, one with intellectual disabilities. You will love the richness of this book because it comes from the overflow of a mind that is saturated with eternal truth and meaning and a heart that delights in God and lavishes his love and encouragement on others.”  Lael Arrington, speaker and author “Faith and Culture Devotional” 

Now you know why I am so grateful.

under the mercy, Cindy

WANT YOUR OWN COPY OF “DWELLING PLACES”?

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Order from Amazon HERE

Order from ChristianBook HERE

Order from AbingdonPress HERE

And, dear ones, if by any chance you have read this book, please kindly take a few moments to post a short REVIEW on Amazon or ChristianBook. I will love you forever!

©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Website/Blog www.EncouragingWords.net
NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Than
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