Everyone loves to receive a gift.
And God has given us many, such as his grace-the gift we don’t deserve and can never earn. Promises from the One who declares we are already loved, already accepted, already created in his image. The question becomes, will we truly receive that gift? Will the reality of it actually change the way we think and notice and reach out?
God’s Word will stand forever, in any season of life. These truths prompt us to respond with compassion and courage.
Through inspiring devotions, Lucinda Secrest McDowell reveals biblical blessings that remind us that: God’s promises give us strength, God’s grace can be most evident at our weakest points, a proper response to our abundance of blessings is simply gratitude, and the “more” we are all looking for is the same abundant life that Jesus came to give us.
Would you like to receive these gifts of ordinary grace? Join Lucinda in focusing on one word a day through devotional readings and short benedictions for any and every season to explore the many facets of Grace, Strength, Gratitude, and Life.
GENRE: Christian Devotional/NonFiction
PUBLISHER: Abingdon Press
RELEASE DATE: October 17, 2017
“From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)
To Lucinda Secrest McDowell, ordinary graces are “everywhere, just waiting to be opened”. She finds them in everyday places, in people who touch her soul and in the “challenges that simultaneously turn my world upside down and change me from the inside out.”
Mostly she discovers these grace gifts through God’s Word; as she says, “Each word is a gift.” But if we hurry through our lives, or even if we’re distracted (and who isn’t these days?), they are easily overlooked. In this collection of 120 short but meaningful devotionals, the author examines these grace gifts one word at a time.
The devotionals are divided into sections of thirty readings for each category: GRACE, STRENGTH, GRATITUDE, and LIFE. Some of the words we examine together within these sections are “worthy”, “sleep”, “story”, and “memorial”. They are light readings, but also profound in their gentle simplicity. Encouraging and inspiring, convicting and renewing.
I personally camped out in the section on Strength since that’s the season I find myself in right now – weary and in need of His sustaining grace. A couple of the devotionals that really spoke to me were the explorations of the words “weary”, “hope”, and “renew”. These particular meditations on God’s Word refreshed my spirit and confirmed some God-whispers in my heart.
In an especially broken moment the week my mother-in-law passed away, I was also dealing with some snarky tweets & messages from a couple of people (with a hateful sense of timing) that nearly had me walking away from this whole blogging thing. Then I picked up Ordinary Graces and turned to the page where I’d left off the night before and read this first sentence: “What can you do when your life is in pieces?” Granted, my life was not in pieces but in that moment, in my at-the-end-of-my-emotional-reserve state, it surely felt like it was. I kept reading:
“Don’t despair if you also feel broken – into bits. Pieces, when offered back to the Creator, can reveal an amazing [quilt] pattern for new life.”
Ironic, isn’t it, that I was also preparing to speak with Cynthia Ruchti on discouragement in just a few short days from that broken moment when discouragement and grief overwhelmed me? God has such a tender side, my friends.
Bottom Line: Ordinary Graces by Lucinda Secrest McDowell is perfect to start your day, refresh your day, or even to end the day. The diverse collection of word studies and reflections mean that every reader can find a word they need to ‘hear’. Short, sweet, and full of grace – this devotional book would also make a wonderful Christmas gift for family and friends.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!
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Lucinda Secrest McDowell is passionate about embracing life – both through deep soul care from drawing closer to God, as well as living courageously in order to touch a needy world. A storyteller who engages both heart and mind, she offers “Encouraging Words” to all on the journey. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, Cindy is the author of 13 books, including “Ordinary Graces,” “Dwelling Places,” “Live These Words,” “Refresh!,” “Quilts from Heaven” and “Role of a Lifetime.” Whether co-directing the “reNEW – retreat for New England Writing,” mentoring young moms, or leading a restorative day of prayer, she is energized by investing in people of all ages.
Find out more about Lucinda at http://EncouragingWords.net
Other Books by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Are you ready to receive gifts of ordinary grace and abundant life from God and His Word? Join Lucinda in focusing on one word a day through devotional readings and short benedictions in her new book, Ordinary Graces. God has given us many gifts, such as his grace-the gift we don’t deserve and can never earn. Promises from the One who declares we are already loved, already accepted, already created in his image. The question becomes, will we truly receive that gift? Will the reality of it actually change the way we think and notice and reach out?
Celebrate the release of Lucinda’s new book and grace your holiday season with a $75 Etsy gift card giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of Ordinary Graces
- A $75 Etsy gift card
- A grace bracelet
- A set of Ordinary Graces greeting cards
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 17. The winner will be announced November 20 on the Litfuse blog.