Welcome a Joy-filled January!
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Welcome to 2017!
A fresh page. A clean slate. An opportunity for New, Change, and Growth. Lots of space for God to show up with His Love, Mercy and Grace! Mostly, 2017 can be filled with Hope and Joy because we know that God is all-powerful, wise and in control!
January 1930 – Frank Laubach resolved: “To be able to look backward and say, “This, this has been the finest year of any life”—that is glorious! But anticipation! To be able to look ahead and say, “The present year can and will be better!”—that is more glorious! I have done nothing but open windows—God has done the rest. There has been a succession of marvelous experiences of the friendship of God. I resolved that I would succeed better this year with my experiment of filling every minute full of the thought of God than I succeeded last year. And I added another resolve—to be as wide open toward people and their need as I am toward God. Windows open outward as well as upward. Windows open especially downward where people need the most!”
I am beginning this year on a writing deadline and appreciate your prayers as I finish writing my new book for Abingdon Press – “Ordinary Graces” is scheduled for a fall release. When I shared my concerns about this with my prayer partners yesterday, they replied that I had actually said the same thing (“How will I ever finish writing this book in a way that glorifies God?”) for each of the past 12 books they have prayed me through writing. And yet, God is always faithful to accomplish in us more than we can possibly do on on our own – which gives Him the glory! I’m looking forward this week to my annual time of beginning the year in Texas with dear writing/speaking sisters as we pray together, set healthy goals for body and soul, listen for God’s Word to us, and offer our new year, both personally and professionally, to Him. I desperately need that time of retreating and preparing.
During that Wellness Week, my friend Lisa Lewis will once again prepare healthy meals for us and I’m thrilled that her brand new cookbook – Healthy Happy Cooking – is here so all of you can benefit from these meals as well! Order by clicking on the photo of the book and going to the First Place 4 Health website. You will love it!
Want to be a SPEAKER? Then check out this helpful new book, here’s my endorsement: “I have been a public speaker my entire adult life and quite often someone in the audience will approach me with “I want to do what you do. Where do I begin?” I am delighted to say that now I will always answer with “Begin by reading my friends Linda Gilden and Edna Ellison‘s new book “Called to Speak!” How marvelous to have a primer that contains all the information and inspiration for both beginning and seasoned communicators. I especially appreciate the care these authors have taken to encourage speakers in confirming our commitment and calling in Christ. Numerous practical details help us in the craft, prayer and perseverance help us keep the Gospel message on track both in our words and our lives. Pursue your purpose and allow God to open the doors and bring the fruit.” (We will also have Carol Kent – who wrote the forward – teaching you how to be a great speaker this year at our “reNEW – retreat for New England Writing” in October)
And here’s my endorsement of another great tool for January planning: “Do you ever feel stuck in life? Desiring purpose and fulfillment, but not exactly sure how to get there? Look no further than my friend Poppy Smith’s new book “Go For It – Make Your Life Count for God!” This is a treasure trove of wise encouragement coupled with very practical steps you can begin today. Working through the lists and applications here is like partnering with your very own Life Coach. Smith brings all her experiences, knowledge, faith commitment and lifestories together so that we are able to better discern the unique life God has for each of us. Don’t just sit around, get a copy now and Go For It!”
Two opportunties to speak coming up and perhaps I shall see YOU there:
reTREAT – by design Ministry, Camp Connri, CT Feb. 3-5, 2017 – I am so excited to join with other New England women leaders at this annual gathering. My topic for the weekend is “Overflow – Living from the Inside Out” and I hope you will plan to join us. Click here for all details.
GO Conference – Vision New England, Worcester MA February 17-18, 2017 – Hear Bob Goss, Sarah Bessey and more! I am delighted to be offering a workshop in the “Walk Humbly” track – “Dwell Deep – Personal Soul Care” (not sure yet which day it will be). Also, I will have a booth in the Resource Center offering Encouraging Words. Rachel Britton, co-director of “reNEW – retreat for New England Writing” will join me and we will seek to encourage writers and speakers who stop by our booth.
“Let the creation now cast off all things old, beholding Thee, the Creator, made a child for through Thy birth Thou dost shape all things afresh, making them New once more and leading them back again to their first beauty.” (Archbishop Tikhon’s Christmas message 2016)
It’s a New Year friends. An empty book on which to write the Story of your life. Live it well. Glorify God. Keep the faith…
under the mercy, Cindy
©2017 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
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