Gail's Book Nook

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Looking Out the Window: Lisa Lickel's Lenten Devotional



Lisa's giving away a copy of her Barbour mystery,

The Gold Standard

Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. --Joel 2:12-13

It's Lent, traditionally a time of mourning, of self-contemplation and self-deprivation. Most of the people in my circle don't pay it any more mind than Advent. My husband I moved about a year and a half ago to worship with a new congregation after spending our whole married lives with one body of believers. We are learning different ways of celebrating our Lord and Savior, and it is good. We are also able to share some of the meaningful traditions from our former congregation; one of which is to gather during this time as a smaller group.

Come, let us return to the Lord;

for it is he who has torn and he will heal us;

he has struck down and he will bind up. --Hosea 6:1

I hadn't realized how far from the Lord I'd drifted while attending the familiar congregation. Sure, I'd been doing the right things, playing in the praise band, teaching Sunday School and Bible study, prayer group, some community service, helping in the office. But who had I been doing those things for? My family? Surely setting a good example was a worthy endeavor. Myself, so that I could stand before the throne…Oh…And I realize I can't stand there; I can't even kneel there. It is during this time, the period of Lent, when I turn away from applauding my works, even those for the church, and remember His; to ponder all that He has done to bind me, to heal me from my self-inflicted wounds. Then, and only then can I kneel and give thanks. After I accept what He has done, I slowly rise and am known because of Thy will, not mine. Although I have changed congregations, there is much to love about my home church, not the least of which is the catechism I used to teach. How are you right with God?

Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.

Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned..,

nevertheless, without my deserving it at all,

out of sheer grace,

God grants and credits to me

the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ,

as if I had never sinned, nor been a sinner,

as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me.

All I need do is accept this gift of God with a believing heart.

--from the Heidelberg Catechism, Q. & A. 60

I can't say it better than that. Faith never goes out of style. And for the first time, I have given up something for Lent. How about you? What do you do about Lent?


Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives with her husband in a hundred and fifty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction. Her novels include mystery and romance, all with a twist of grace. She has penned dozens of feature newspaper stories, short stories, magazine articles and radio theater. She is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin Magazine and loves to encourage new authors. She is a hostess for Clash of the Titles and blogs with the community groups and Find her at

Lisa's books:

a cozy mystery from Barbour books. School teacher Judy Winters must find someone to trust, now that she's back on the farm to solve the murder of her aunt and find the treasure that neighbor Bryce Edwards once lost.

also available on Kindle. Grace Runyon has a gift. When she gets a second chance at redemption, it may cost her not just love, but her life.

also available on Kindle. Ann Ballard's missing husband kept her in a limbo of life for years. When she's ready to accept the love of a younger man, she learns the truth of her husband's disappearance, but telling the truth may destroy everyone.

To win a copy of The Gold Standard leave a comment and your email address.


Lisa Lickel said...

Thank you, Gail, for having me here. I appreciate you.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Lisa,
It's my pleasure. Thanks for sharing your wonderful devotional.

Miss Mae said...

Hi Lisa! Another mystery writer! It's good to see you at Gail's blog, she's such a terrific lady. :)

Best to you on your book sales!

Please kindly exclude me from the contest. Thanks! :)

June said...

Thank you, Lisa, for your insightful comments about Lent. June foster

Linda from Georgia said...

Thanks Lisa for the Lenten reminder. It is time to focus on that which is chief and refresh in His presence. Looking forward to reading your new book.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa and Gail,
How nice to meet another Barbour author. I admire anyone who can write mysteries and keep the plot straight while doing so. Romances are hard enough for me!

I appreciate your insight into the Lenten season and the depth of your comments.

God bless!

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Hi Gail! You have some interesting authors on your blog. I've never heard of Barbour mysteries before. Good luck, Lisa, with spreading the word about your books.

Lisa Lickel said...

Hi, everyone, thanks for coming. Linda, I remember you from a guest spot we did last year.

Yes, sorry to say, Barbour had a very short-lived romantic mystery line, like the heartsong line; it was cancelled nearly right away.

Thanks for your kind comments, Miss Mae, June, Linda and Mildred.

Laurean Brooks said...

Hi Lisa! "waving" Good to see you here. Gail always has interesting guests.

Sign me up for the drawing. Love mysteries.

Jo said...

I enjoy reading mysteries. Please add me to the drawing.


Ann Lee Miller said...

Count me in. :)

Lisa Lickel said...

Hi Laurean - I love catching up with you after our initial meeting at Shoutlife. Thanks for visiting, Jo and Ann.