joy, Uncategorized

Deep Joy and a Friday Giveaway!


Do you have people in your life you feel connected to, but you haven’t had much time together? There’s simply something that draws you close. Kindred heartbeats.

I met a lovely lady a few years ago at a writers conference who intimidated me. It wasn’t her doing. It was all in my head. She was a multi published author, a faculty member of many conferences, and a seminary graduate. Poised and fixed, and beautiful.

Our paths and hearts have crossed a few more times since that first awkward meeting, and we’ve found that we are both lovers of words, word nerds, in fact. And the blood of Jesus and the love of words develops a deep connection, my friends. I say all that to introduce you to my friend, Lucinda Secrest McDowell and her latest book Dwelling Places: Words to Live By in Every Season. 

I purchased her book because I consider her a friend, but I love her book because it’s got so many treasures inside. And one of those treasures is the entry on the word “Joy.”

I read this to my Periscope friends yesterday, but I feel I must share this with you too. Because I know that we picture “joy” as happy and bubbling over, but preparing for this week’s Bite of Bread, God led me to definitions of joy that go beyond happy bubbles.

In Monday’s post I gave us Rick Warren’s definition of joy. It had to do with “settled assurance, quiet confidence, and determined choice.”

Lucinda writes,

Joy is God’s dwelling place, and He wants to share that with us. This joy is a pervasive sense of well-being that is deeper and broader than any pleasure. It is an element of inner transformation into Christ-likeness and the outer life that flows from it.”

Do we know that kind of joy? The grown-up joy that settles in our souls? It’s strong and confident.

“The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Nehemiah 8:10.

If we don’t know such confidence and strength-joy, it is a prayer away. This is a wonderful prayer written by an author who lost her husband at an early age. Lucinda includes this in her book.

Let’s pray this prayer. I’ve got your hand.

“Jesus, let my life house You. Make Yourself at home in me. Recreate me so completely that only You are evident. The evidence of Your indwelling presence is true joy. Not so much high emotion as calm and settled contentment. When nothing in my life seems reason for rejoicing, I still find myself rejoicing.” ~Jennifer Kennedy Dean


Enter the Giveaway: (Up to three entries possible)

  1. Leave a comment sharing your thoughts and experiences concerning this kind of deep joy. (One entry)
  2. Share this post with friends and let me know you shared. (One more entry)
  3. Invite friends to subscribe to Daily Grace. Subscribers receive a free 22 Day Devotional on Psalm 119. –Just let me know you’ve invited them. You get the entry even if they don’t subscribe. (One more entry)

I’ll draw the winner on Periscope Monday morning! If you want to join us, you need a Twitter account, the Periscope App, and to follow @wordsbyandylee to receive the notification when I’m live at 8:20.


Have a wonderful weekend. Spend time with Jesus and get much needed Sabbath rest.


By Grace,




  1. Mary Dougherty

    Andy your words are such a blessing. Thank you.

    1. So glad they bless you, Mary! Thanks for stopping by and blessing me. :)

  2. […] We have a winner for the giveaway on Friday. Dwelling Places by Lucinda Secrest McDowell. Lucinda is going to send an autographed copy to the winner. . . . […]

  3. Andy, I love Lucinda’s words, “Joy is God’s dwelling place”, and Jennifer’s “Jesus, let my life house You”. It is the only way to find true Joy and rejoice in all circumstances. I will share this with a missionary friend who lives this. Her husband, was murdered while serving in Jamaica earlier this year. She has returned to Jamaica to serve the people.

    1. Oh Valerie! That is tragic! I’m so sorry for your friend. I can’t imagine. I pray this blesses her. She’ll be in my prayers. Thanks for stopping by! You’re entered twice. :)

  4. Patricia Keough-Wilson

    Circumstances this week eclipse joy and then cause me to shout thanks in joy. Earthly joy. The joy of the Lord is not like that, yet in my fraility, I ask Jesus to lift my sadness, ease struggles. I think of Phil 4:8 and there it is in the Daily Bread for today. Then I read your devotion with a Cheri Cowell Devotional book on Peace nestled in my lap, waiting it’s turn. Tucked in that book is a reminder to order her upcoming book on Dwelling. There is your mention in your devotion. Smiles replace tears. God has spoken through writers. Quiet joy in the Lord sings softly.

    1. The Lord loves you my friend, Patricia! He indeed was talking to you today. I love when He does that! Thanks for stopping by. You’re entered. :)

  5. Debbie Johnson

    Shared post with 2 of my sisters….

    1. Awesome! You’re entered again!

  6. Jan Doke

    Being a fellow wordsmith with you and Lucinda, I know I would love her and her book. How lovely for you to introduce her this way! I have been thinking a lot lately about little serendipitous joy beams that suddenly shoot through my system and arouse deep streams of giggles that emerge right out loud from my mouth, even when I am all by myself! I always hear myself saying, ” I just love that, Lord! Don’t You?” And it doesn’t have to be anything deep or profound. Sometimes it’s something like those little bitty yield signs ( that look EXACTLY like their parents) that are erected on bike paths, or singing out loud in the car with the Bee Gees…. But I know the author of the possibility of such little thrills as these silly things is God Almighty!

    1. Amen and Amen! Oh how I love you my friend! I’m picturing the joy beams jumping out of you in the middle of nowhere. :) Makes me smile just thinking about it. Miss you! You are entered!

  7. Debbie Johnson

    Has me singing my old Sunday school song : I’ve got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart, where? down in my heart… where? down in my heart. I’ve got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart.. where? down in my heart to stay!!

    1. Oh that was a good one wasn’t it? Love love love! You are entered my friend!

  8. Janice Bordeaux

    I cannot experience Joy without Peace… Or, it seems if I have one.. I have the other! It’s like a package.. Reading “Words” this am made me realize this in my life… Thanks, Andy!

    1. Isn’t that cool how they go together!? I’m just realizing it too. God is so good. Blessings! I’ve entered you into the giveaway!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *