Each morning as she spends quiet time with the Lord, Lucinda, or “Cindy” as her friends call her, invariably finds herself drawn to one particular word in the scripture she is reading. After years of “doing”—trying assiduously to do enough for Him, she discovered that He wanted her to “be,” He wanted her to sit and contemplate His word—she finally realized that her best “doing” came out of her “being.”
In Live These Words, Cindy takes us through forty words—forty days if you study one word each day—a meaningful number. After all, Moses and the Israelites spent forty years wandering—the Lord Himself spent forty days in the wilderness. Cindy suggests following her example and spending our quiet time for that period of time on one word a day. To assist us, Cindy has provided the word, a devotional about the word, actions we can take to implement that word in our lives, and prayers we can pray to draw us ever closer to God.
Many of the words in these inspirational devotionals spoke to me:
Trust—Cindy quotes from Scotty Smith, “Even when I try to look at some things through the eyes of faith, I’m still smitten with astigmatism of the soul …”
Wait—Cindy’s friend, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, points out, “When it appears from earth that God is delaying, He is really putting pieces together that you and I had not thought of. He is engineering circumstances so that His power and glory will be on display. When God builds a waiting period into the course of your affairs, it means what He is doing requires it. His apparent delays are loving, purposeful, and deliberate.”
Praise—Cindy says, “It is no accident that today I discovered 365 different admonitions in the Bible to praise—one for every single day of the year. What if each of those days was filled with our own words of gratitude, praise, and thanksgiving? Do you think our lives would be transformed …?”
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. Luke 6:38 I myself have always tried to live this way and know this verse to be true.
Look—we should look to the Lord and not be distracted. Cindy quotes Leighton Ford, “… a distraction can be an amusement or diversion that relaxes us. But more seriously, a distraction is a pull away from what deep down we know is our most fundamental goal, purpose, or direction.” Ouch! That one hit home—I’ve deleted from my computer all the solitaire games with which I’ve allowed myself to be distracted from my tasks for hours. I need to be “being” for Him, not for mindless activities.
Encourage—Cindy relates, “as C.S. Lewis once said, ‘Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’ Sharing words of encouragement shows others they are not alone.”
Live These Words: an active response to God is a five-star devotional well worth your time.
At the International Christian Retail Show recently, I had the opportunity to sit with Cindy and chat. We’ve been friends for years, but seldom have the opportunity to talk face to face. She told me that as she’s matured time with God has become richer—more contemplative—and that God often lifted up one word, which she would then study and learn how to live that word.
Live These Words contains forty verbs from the Bible, which are practical and easy to understand. Written as a forty day devotional, they draw us deeper and into more intimate knowledge of and fellowship with God.
Cindy loved English in school and got her college degree from Furnam University and a Masters of Theology from Gordon Conwell in 1979. Besides writing and speaking, Cindy has worked as a substitute teacher for six years in a public high school in Connecticut where she lives.
She lives the word encourage—thank you for being faithful to your calling, Cindy! To learn more about Lucinda, and to follow her blog, click the link: Visit Lucinda Secrest McDowell online at Encouraging Words – Lucinda Secrest McDowell
To obtain your copy of Live These Words, click the link: Live These Words: An Active Response to God
Bold Vision Books gave me a copy of Live These Words in exchange for my unbiased review.