Have You Opened the Gift?

Have You Opened the Gift?  Lucinda Secrest McDowell Every single day of my life I thank God for His gift of GRACE to me. Every day. What is that grace that literally “saved a wretch like me”? (thank you, John Newton for writing the hymn “Amazing Grace”) My own definition  is: “Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve and can never earn; mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve.”  …

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A Long Line of Powerful Women

A Long Line of Powerful Women Lucinda Secrest McDowell For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. —1 Corinthians 4:20 She had no idea she had any power. All she thought she had was beauty. And a big secret. Esther was a Jewish orphan living in Persia with her cousin Mordecai. The Bible tells us she was so beautiful that when King Xerxes was looking…

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How Much Do You Want Freedom?

How Much Do You Want Freedom?  Lucinda Secrest McDowell It doesn’t exactly look like a place of Total Revolution. Total Transformation. Freedom. Yet it is. It is completely and utterly white. Puritan. No stained glass windows. No ornate decorations. Just a simple Meetinghouse built in 1761. And I am standing in the same place that faithful patriots assembled one Sunday afternoon in order to pray before they marched off to Lexington Massachusetts to fight against…

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What Elisabeth Elliot Told Me

 What Elisabeth Elliot Told Me by Lucinda Secrest McDowell This week is the fourth anniversary of author Elisabeth Elliot’s entering “through gates of splendor” to her heavenly Home. How well I remember that June morning when her daughter Valerie shared her final moments with me in a phone conversation —  the funeral and burial in Massachusetts; and then when Mike, Val and I visited her grave together one year later (2016) near Boston, singing together “Thine is…

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For Those Who Served…

For Those Who Served… Lucinda Secrest McDowell Most of us cannot even imagine the horror of young Allied troops landing on Omaha and Utah Beaches in Normandy seventy-five years ago. But for any who experienced first-hand D-Day on June 6, 1944, their lives have never been  the same. And our country owes each of them a deep debt of gratitude for their sacrifice. I have been watching television reports this week where veterans (most in…

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A Dozen Things I Would Tell that Bride Who Was Me

A Dozen Things I Would Tell that Bride Who Was Me Lucinda Secrest McDowell Our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary this week was celebrated quietly. A lovely time for Mike and I to look back and remember – to look forward and hope. As I glanced at the photographs of my younger self, I thought of all the things I could tell that young woman now. She knew almost nothing about marriage and mothering, grit and grace,…

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Best. Thank You Note. Ever.

Best. Thank You Note. Ever.  Lucinda Secrest McDowell Mama taught me that when given a Gift, the only proper response is to say “Thank You”… then immediately write a Thank You note.  So, today as I write some thank you notes, my heart is full of gratitude  – to God, family,  friends,  readers… This week I am overflowing with THANKS for…. The milestone of My Birthday this week and God giving me Life and Health and…

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The Original ‘Old Faithful’

The Original ‘Old Faithful’ Lucinda Secrest McDowell The park ranger promised me it would happen at this exact moment. And as I stood with hundreds of people from all over the world, our long-awaited anticipation was rewarded with a true spectacle.             Old Faithful.             The famous geyser at Yellowstone National Park that erupts about every ninety minutes, shooting up as high as 184 feet, lasting as long as five minutes. Without fail. As I…

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Where are the Spiritual Mamas Out There?

Where are the Spiritual Mamas Out There? Lucinda Secrest McDowell While still in my thirties, I realized I was an ‘older woman.’ I had stumbled upon the mandate in Titus 2 about older women living in a way that honors God, “They should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women…” It was easy to dismiss this as something for my mother’s generation, until the Spirit spoke into my heart.…

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Resilience

Resilience by Lucinda Secrest McDowell We only have one small tree in our front yard.  By choice. When we downsized from a five bedroom colonial parsonage to a much smaller Cape Cod cottage, we deliberately chose a yard that requires little upkeep. But this pink dogwood sits right outside the bay window of our porch and is a beautiful focal point throughout each season. Back in October 2011, it was laden with gorgeous autumn leaves…

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Because Everyone is Wounded 

Because Everyone is Wounded  Lucinda Secrest McDowell “Just assume that everyone within the reach of your words is wounded.” These were my words to the writers and speakers attending my seminar entitled “What Your Audience Desperately Needs.” Because it’s true. We all carry soul wounds. Scars from childhood family skirmishes. Scratches from professional rejection. Scabs from physical trauma we never saw coming. Limps from having fallen one time too many. What are your souvenirs of…

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Holy Week ~ Experience the Wounds and the Wonder

Holy Week ~ Experience the Wounds and the Wonder  Lucinda Secrest McDowell  I still cannot believe what He did. For me. This is Holy Week. It began as Christians all around the world celebrated Palm Sunday – a commemoration of that day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to the cheers and adulation of crowds waving palm branches and singing “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.” In…

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