A Celebration of Words
This month we had two ‘births’ in our family. The most important one was the birth of my first grandchild which, even now, leaves me in awe and gratitude and wonder…. For that birth I was content to celebrate quietly by spending a week just holding little Saoirse in my arms. However, I’m also quite excited for the ‘birth’ of another heart dream – my new book “Live These Words” (which was celebrated far more publicly.)
For many years I have longed to put together a collection of stories that prompt readers to dig deeper into God’s Word for practical life advice, but then also elicit a response to what they’ve read. And, to end each day by sharing one of the many fabulous prayers I have discovered, written by fellow Christ-followers both ancient and modern. “Live These Words” is that book!
Recently many dear friends helped me launch “Live These Words” into the world with a grand event at the Mark Twain House and Museum here in Hartford, Connecticut. More than 100 folks gathered (from 4 different states) for “A Celebration of Words” which included fun word games (with word plaques as prizes), an interview about my book, incredible piano music, as well as treats and fellowship around tables filled with creative tablescapes depicting our theme. My writers group colleagues Lauren Yarger and Tessa Afshar helped make this happen in a timely and fabulous way!
Throughout the evening we were seeking to lift up words of hope, words of life, and words of encouragement. My new book explores 40 words that cause us to reflect as well as take action. So all our guests received favors of a specific ‘word’ from my book in the form of scrabble pieces in a box. But we also sent them away with their own pencil, with the hopes that each one will begin to write the stories of their own life.
“Live These Words” is full of stories because that is how we learn, how we grow and how we remember. I was deeply honored that so many other authors read the early manuscript and embraced this new devotional:
“Not only does the first sentence of “Live These Words” grab me, but Lucinda Secrest McDowell writes with three significant qualities: honesty, warmth, and practicality. Rarely do I find all three in the same book.” –Cecil Murphey, author of 135 books, including 90 Minutes in Heaven
“I found these stories becoming my stories, our stories, woven together with words of wisdom and prayers of well-known pilgrims who have preceded us. Through these words, we are invited to take the next step… Do we dare live these words?”–Dr. Marta D. Bennett, pastor/professor, Nairobi, Kenya
“While we are acclaimed for our hard work for God’s sake, we are rarely affirmed for our resting. We need both. Lucinda writes with insight and imagery and her intriguing use of original language adds depth to the readings…” –Jane Rubietta, author of Finding Life
“Lucinda’s are clear, practical words, delightfully added to the always needed contemplative conversation that advises us to ‘be’ with God so that we can better ‘do’ for God.” – Robert Benson, author of Dancing on the Head of a Pen
“Convicting, yet comforting… I highly recommend this book!”– Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends
“My friend Cindy’s book, Live These Words, has all the imprints of her personality – profound, really smart, funny and real. It will scoop you up into the wonder of His Word and give you forty days of encouragement and direction on living it.” –Jennifer Kennedy Dean, author of Live a Praying Life
“Take one of these “words” daily – for your spiritual health.” -Dr. Leighton Ford, author of The Attentive Life
“Live these words, pray these words, trust these words, but most importantly read these words of Cindy’s as part of your daily walk with our Lord. –Debbie Macomber, New York Times bestselling author
When I go to online reviews, I am delighted to find that readers are truly ‘getting it’ and moving forward in living their own words:
“I felt as if I had been invited to sit on Cindy’s front porch and share a cup of tea while she gave me the straight scoop on God’s Word. She is clear, painfully honest about her own failings, and yet totally secure. She just wants you to know what her Best Friend has taught her….” – Doretta
“I couldn’t stop at reading just one day at a time! For me, I will never look at these words the same way again. Cindy has brought such beauty and meaning to them all. Each one will draw you to lean in closer to Jesus. The stories that surround these words are so captivating. I felt like I had just traveled the world with Cindy. She is a Hoot as well as sensitive. Her love for God is so evident as she has Trusted Him in this walk of life.” – Gail
“Reading this book is like listening to the thump-thump of Cindy’s heart for God. She didn’t simply search the dictionary for forty words; she extracted them one by one from the depths of her soul. She wove together her gift for story-telling and her knowledge of God’s Word to create a beautiful tapestry that I shall wrap around my heart for years to come.” – Darlene
(If you have read “Live These Words” I hope you will take a moment and click here on AMAZON’S “Live These Words” to make a comment. Believe it or not, this greatly helps get new books into the hands of readers!)
What are YOU reading this summer? If you haven’t yet decided on a devotional to begin or finish your day, may I humbly recommend you try “Live These Words?” In fact, if you begin in early to mid July and only explore one word a day, you will be finished by the end of August. So, check out my author page at AMAZON – amazon.com/author/lucindasecrestmcdowell
Let me close this blog with one of the many great prayers in the book, this one is at the end of Day 30 “Look” – “O Lord my God, teach my heart this day where and how to see You, where and how to find You. You have made me and remade me, and You have bestowed on me all the good things I possess, and still I do not know You. I have not yet done that for which I was made. Teach me to seek You, for I cannot seek You unless You teach me, or find You unless You show Yourself to me. Let me seek You in my desire, let me desire You in my seeking. Let me find You by loving You, let me love You when I find You. Amen.” Anselm (1033-1109)
under the mercy, Cindy
©2014 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Congratulations again on both births. A great accomplishment to publish a book, and absolutely life-changing to become a grandmother. You have an amazing new little reader to write for now!
I couldn’t put this book down! Love it. I love the format of stories illustrating a faith-filled life. And I also found out something we have in common – my father was a forester!