Reminders from Gethsemene

Reminders from Gethsemane  Lucinda Secrest McDowell A decade ago I had the great privilege of spending time during Lent in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. In the Easter story, Jesus’ time in the Garden is one that pierces my soul every time I think of all He encountered. So it was especially poignant to be there amongst the olive trees and in the shadow of the Church of the Agony.  Gethsemane means ‘pressed down’ and…

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Is It Time to Return?

Is It Time to Return? Lucinda Secrest McDowell Christina couldn’t wait to leave home and see the world. Though she had a loving mother, life in her poor Brazilian village provided only a pallet on the floor, a washbasin and a wood-burning stove. Christina dreamed of more. And she expected to find it in the Big City – Rio de Janeiro. It broke her mother’s heart. Maria knew that her beautiful daughter had no way of…

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When It’s Hard to Put Others First

When It’s Hard to Put Others First Lucinda Secrest McDowell People came from many nations and backgrounds to the Lausanne Committee 1980 Consultation on World Evangelization, held in Pattaya, Thailand. I was the communications editor for the event and my exposure to these servants of God from so many different countries changed my world view immensely. But it was a simple story of two Americans that fleshed out humility in a very real way. Our…

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Is God Big Enough to be in Your Church and Mine?

Is God Big Enough to Be in Your Church and Mine? Lucinda Secrest McDowell The smells were different. The sights were different. The music was different. And even some of the words were different. But it was the Same God. I recently attended worship  in a Christian church culturally not my own. In such a situation, often the differences are what initially bombard the senses. Incense and icons. Chanting of unfamiliar music. Robes of gold…

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Why I Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Why I Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by Lucinda Secrest McDowell What if evil hijacked your youth and held you captive for years and years? When escape to a new life was finally achieved, you would vow to stay as far away from your former captors as possible, right? Well, maybe not. Maybe you would choose to return and “conquer evil by doing good.” (Romans 12.21) Patrick was a sixteen-year-old teenager when he was abducted. There…

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Lent ~ It’s Not Just Giving Up Chocolate

Lent ~ It’s Not Just Giving Up Chocolate  Lucinda Secrest McDowell When I was growing up in south Georgia, my Episcopalian friends Mercer and Lisa always proudly announced this time of year that they were “giving up chocolate for Lent!” I never really knew what that meant. All I knew is that they didn’t seem any holier after doing this, so I kept eating chocolate… Now, I not only know what “Lent” means, I embrace…

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How to Thrive in Your Professional Connections

How to Thrive in Your Professional Connections Lucinda Secrest McDowell C. S. Lewis knew how important it was to have like-minded friends with similar interests and concerns. Those who shared the same passion for writing and creating –like J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. So, the Inklings gathered together twice a week in community, out of which came such classic works as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. “It is important not…

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The Fine Art of Asking Excellent Questions

The Fine Art of Asking Excellent Questions Lucinda Secrest McDowell  “Who is your favorite literary character and why?” was the question that opened our online study – a weekly gathering of ten women from all over the country. What ensued was a lively discussion of our childhood heroines, including insight into how those characters may have helped shape the course of our lives. Though we had known each other for many years, our answers were surprising…

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So, How Hard is it to Really Love?

So, How Hard is it to Really Love? Lucinda Secrest McDowell  Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection,          and take delight in honoring each other.   Romans 12.9-10  Love is and love does. My home church’s motto is “Love God and Love Others.” The Beatles sang “All you need is Love.” “Love is a Battlefield” was a…

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7 Benefits from Time Apart

7 Benefits from Time Apart Lucinda Secrest McDowell I’ve often encouraged others to “come apart before you fall apart.” As 2019 dawned, I realized it was my turn to do just that. When I chose to “hibernate” for the month of January, my intention was to deliberately live quietly, offline, and mostly out of touch. I continued much of my work and daily life responsibilities, but did relocate part of the month – primarily for…

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Why I’m Hibernating this January

Why I’m Hibernating this January Lucinda Secrest McDowell  Merriam Webster defines hibernation as “to pass the winter in a resting state.” Sounds good to me.  I’ve decided to hibernate for the month of January 2019. As this new year slowly unfolds, I am going to wait in wonder for instructions and guidance. I won’t be interacting on social media or posting blogs or sharing memes. I am going to be still and listen to God’s Whisper…

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How Can Your “Mess” Become a “Messiah” in 2019?

How Can Your “Mess” Become a “Messiah” in 2019? Lucinda Secrest McDowell Christmas is over and your house is a mess. Maybe even your whole life feels like a mess right about now. Honey, you are so not alone! George was a mess. One night in 1741, this bent old man shuffled listlessly down a dark London street. he was starting out on one of the aimless, despondent wanderings that had become a nightly ritual…

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