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We are the Wounded 

“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.…

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What He Did

 I still cannot believe what Christ 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…

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Why I Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

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)…

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Is It Time for You to Return?

My friend Ruth Graham went straight for the heart when she shared two years ago at Billy Graham’s funeral:  “Daddy wasn’t God, but he showed me what God was like.” She went on to tell of when she returned to her parents’ home after disobedience and sin, knowing she had made bad choices and hating…

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Lent ~ It’s Not Just Giving Up Chocolate

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,…

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Mercy Way Back in the Cove

Mercy Way Back in the Cove Lucinda Secrest McDowell My 1968 Ford rattled across the rickety bridge deep in the hollows of Kentucky, literally driving on a wing and a prayer. Rounding the bend, the scent hit me before I even caught sight of the Caudhills’s place. The old weathered house stood on a hill.…

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Are You Ready to Choose What Matters Most?

Are You Ready to Choose What Matters Most? Lucinda Secrest McDowell All the things. Good things. Worthy things. Extraordinary people, adventurous journeys, breathtaking beauty, life-changing words, fulfilling service, quiet moments, and soul-stretching creativity. But how do I choose? My own life is full of obligation, deadlines, hurry, complicated relation­ships, overdue bills, medical challenges, juggling jobs—all…

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Leighton Ford’s Deep Influence

Leighton Ford’s Deep Influence Lucinda Secrest McDowell Is your influence on others deep or wide? Today’s culture extols the wide reach. For people in my profession, worth is measured by how many followers we have on social media and how many people come to speaking events or purchase books. Mega­churches are often considered more significant…

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When the Worst Thing Happens

 When the Worst Thing Happens Lucinda Secrest McDowell What does a 34-year-old man do when he hears these two phrases only days apart: “Congratulations, you have a baby daughter!” and “I’m so sorry to tell you that your wife has liver cancer?” He makes a choice to move forward into each new day, trusting in…

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Are You Too Weary to Climb that Mountain?

 Are You Too Weary to Climb that Mountain?  Lucinda Secrest McDowell “How much farther to the top?” I panted to my hiking companions. My Furman friends and I loved to spend weekends climbing in the Great Smokey Mountains, but I inevitably seemed to drift into that unenviable position of ‘bringing up the rear.’ “Not too far,…

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