“Encouraging Words Today”   September 29, 2010



by Lucinda Secrest McDowell

I think about words a lot. After all, because I’m an author and speaker, you might say words are my business (oh yeah, “Encouraging Words” is the name of my business!)

          But this week there are at least 4 good reasons I’m thinking especially about WORDS:

  1. Having just sent the manuscript for an upcoming book off to the publisher, my mind is on the way all those words were put together as well as the editing process going on right now.
  2. With a new book released from another publisher this week (what fun to finally hold it in my hands), my hopes are that many will read those printed words and be empowered to embrace life in a fresh and purposeful way.
  3. Signing a contract to write yet another study book (on Relationships) over the winter leads me to ask God for much wisdom and guidance in choosing my own words as I teach His Word.
  4. Finally, as I begin traveling and speaking during the fall conference season, I always pray for the Spirit to anoint every presentation and that audiences may find hope, grace, mercy and yes, encouragement in my words! (I’m in Maine this weekend but all over New England this fall — check out my schedule here https://lucindamcdowell.wordpress.com/schedule/  and join us if you can.)

 As I offer my words to God and others – as I pray those four above prayers – I must then leave the results in God’s Hands. Canadian pastor Mark Buchanan shares about this act of release that every author and speaker needs to master:

“I speak a lot, from many platforms. When I’m not speaking, often I’m writing, writing words that have reasonably wide distribution. I’d delight if none of my words fell to the ground — if none were useless, excessive, dispensable, easily dismissed… But that’s God’s business. He might use the means of cyber technology, savvy marketing, good publicity. But either God, God alone, keeps our words from falling and scatters them wide, or else there is nothing in them worth keeping and scattering in the first place. Our concern, our responsibility, is simply to hear and heed God. It is always and everywhere to say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” (from The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan)

So, my concern is to HEAR and HEED God. What a seemingly simple sentence… and yet how complex the unfolding of it!

To HEAR God I must be willing to shut my own mouth, open my ears and my heart, and put myself in a posture of receptivity and silence. Now, I ask you, how often do all those elements converge? Frankly, they won’t come together unless we make it happen. I’m learning to do just that — it’s essential.

To HEED, aaah, to heed is to respond to what we hear from God. Stop. Go. Wait. Dare. No. Yes. Wait. Risk. Reach out. Shut up (does God really say such things…you’d better believe it). Listen. “Write the vision and make it plain”  (Habakkuk 2.2). To heed is to respond in obedience.

Yes, I think about words a lot. So did my ‘friend’ George MacDonald way back in 1880’s Scotland:

“If Thou wouldst have me speak, Lord, give me speech.

So many cries are uttered now-a-days,

That scarce a song, however clear and true,

Will thread the jostling tumult safe, and reach

The ears of men buz-filled with poor denays:

Barb Thou my words with light, make my song new,

And men will hear, or when I sing or preach.”

                                   Diary of an Old Soul, September 11th entry


 under the mercy, CINDY

©2010 Lucinda Secrest McDowell


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  1. maggierowe says:

    Congratulations on your new book contract, Cindy!

    And great quotes from Buchanan and MacDonald – very applicable and helpful.

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