Where Do I Belong?

Where Do I Belong? Lucinda Secrest McDowell             I read the word several times before investigating it’s meaning — FoMO. When I discovered the definition, the widespread use made sense to me.             Fear of Missing Out.             Added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013, “FoMO” is defined as “Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.”             Basically it is the 21st…

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Have You Ever Been The Last One Chosen?

Have You Ever Been The Last One Chosen? Lucinda Secrest McDowell I was usually the last one chosen. For sports teams during elementary school recess. Back in the day, the captains of each team would take turns choosing players. Raised hands and shouts of “Me!” echoed until they grudgingly accepted the final leftover people. Kids like me. Chubby. Non-athletic. Slow runners. Is it any wonder I spent much of my life silently pleading, “Choose Me?” And…

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Sometimes Hidden Treasure Shines Through the Cracks

Sometimes Hidden Treasure Shines Through the Cracks Lucinda Secrest McDowell        I always wanted to be a Ming Vase for God.         Beautiful. Exotic. Perfect. Wouldn’t that be a powerful witness to my great God? Think of the people who would flock to faith once they experienced me in all my loveliness — always being, saying and doing the Right Thing!         Alas, it was not to…

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Confessions of a Recovering People-Pleaser

Confessions of a Recovering People-Pleaser Lucinda Secrest McDowell  “Remember, you are living for an audience of One.” My friend Steve Hayner’s great reminder of our goal — to glorify our most important ‘audience’ – God. Not that our friends be spellbound.  Not that our social media reach be expanded. Not that our personality be embraced.             We were not called to follow Christ, build the Kingdom and please people. Paul learned this the hard way. By accumulating…

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What I Promised All My Children

What I Promised All My Children Lucinda Secrest McDowell I prayed a dedication over each of my children – that they would know God and that He would always guide and protect them throughout life. From then on, my role as a mama was to hold on loosely, even when I wanted to squeeze tight. Long ago I promised all four of them (and eventually my two sons-in-law as well) that by the time they…

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Need Quiet?

Need Quiet? Lucinda Secrest McDowell In looking over the evaluation sheets from a recent retreat I was struck by every single answer to this question being almost exclusively the same: “What was the best part of the day?”   Quiet time alone with God. We all desire quiet. We all need calm. But sometimes we have to be given permission to spend extended times in silence, listening for the voice of God to speak into our hearts and…

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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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