Do You Need a New Heart?

Do You Need a New Heart? Lucinda Secrest McDowell                        John and Charles desperately needed a change of heart. We may know the Wesleys today as ‘spiritual giants’ who wrote hundreds of hymns. But they weren’t always faith-filled followers of Christ. Just like you and me, sometimes they faltered… Yet these were the very two brothers who had formed the Holy Club while in school…

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For Those Days When You Feel Empty…

On Those Days When You Feel Empty… Lucinda Secrest McDowell I’m poured out like water.   All my bones have fallen apart.  My heart is like wax; it melts inside me.   My strength is dried up like a piece of broken pottery. Psalm 22.14-15 Have you ever experienced a “dark night of the soul?” This term, first mentioned by 16th century St. John of the Cross, has come to mean a season when one senses the…

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Who Holds You Tight?

Who Holds You Tight? Lucinda Secrest McDowell  If I could fly on the wings of dawn,  stopping to rest only on the far side of the ocean—even there Your hand would guide me; even there Your strong hand would hold me tight! Psalm 139:9-10  Henri once told his father that he always wanted to be a trapeze artist. Having become great friends with The Flying Rodleighs, Henri Nouwen enjoyed their performances around Europe. “As a flyer,…

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How to Live in Difficult Times

How to Live in Difficult Times Lucinda Secrest McDowell “In the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be…

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I Now Answer to the Name “Beloved”

I Now Answer to the Name “Beloved” Lucinda Secrest McDowell “I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.” (Romans 9.25 MSG)           I remember the moment I finally got up enough nerve to say aloud “I am God’s Beloved.”  Now this is my primary identity.           After half a lifetime of wrestling with unworthiness, I finally received the gift the above scripture speaks of —  God’s…

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A Baby Born at a Dismal Time?

A Baby Born at a Dismal Time? Lucinda Secrest McDowell Our greatest Christmas 2016 gift is the birth of a baby this week – my new grandson in London! As I witness the news of suffering, homeless war-torn and starving families struggling to survive the upcoming winter, I cannot help but think of so many through the years who have brought hope to a chaotic world. Through the birth of a baby. The year 1809 was…

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A Season of Waiting…

 A Season of Waiting… Lucinda Secrest McDowell Imagine waiting more than 400 years for an answer to prayer! That’s what God’s chosen people had to do – waiting in the dark, hoping for deliverance. Perhaps singing their own version of  “Come, Thou long expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free; From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee.” (hymn, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus,” Charles Wesley, 1745) In…

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Is It Time to Give Up Your Ordinary?

Is It Time to Give Up Your Ordinary? Lucinda Secrest McDowell She could not have been more ordinary. Gladys was also a poor student and had quit school by age fourteen. She grew up to be a London parlor maid with few prospects. But then God got hold of her heart and after hearing about the needs in China, she was determined to serve Him there.          Only no mission board would accept her. In…

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Not Forgotten

Not Forgotten Lucinda Secrest McDowell She was waiting by the sink in the Ladies Room as I began washing my hands. “Excuse me,” she interrupted, “But the Lord has given me a word for you.” What? I was in Colorado Springs for a meeting with my literary agent and publishers. Honestly, it wasn’t going very well and I had escaped our dinner table at the restaurant to have a moment alone. And now this. The…

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STILL at Lake Pleasant

STILL at Lake Pleasant Lucinda Secrest McDowell The name alone was enough to draw me in – Lake Pleasant. Add the surrounding Adirondack Mountains, clear sparkling water, and late summer sunshine and you have the perfect formula. For remembering. More precisely, remembering the stories of my life. Sitting in silence and digging deep into the recesses of memories unfiltered so that each chapter of my very first book would open with an appropriate story. A…

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How to Eat an Artichoke

How to Eat an Artichoke Lucinda Secrest McDowell She carefully laid the flowery vegetable on a plate in front of me. I simply stared. Where to begin? “Simply pull off each petal, dipping the end into melted butter and then scrape the soft tender flesh off into your mouth with your slightly clenched teeth. When you reach the heart, scoop out the fuzzy choke with a spoon. That’s where the sweetest taste is,” my eloquent…

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Need Some Summer Shade?

Need Some Summer Shade? Lucinda Secrest McDowell I love hydrangeas. In fact I think they look like bouquets of lace. So I was thrilled to receive a beautiful hydrangea plant for my birthday, which was immediately stuck in a hole in the ground outside. But I am not a gardener. Every time blossoms would come they turned brown almost immediately and no amount of water could resuscitate them. The problem was, of course, they had way…

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