Monthly Archives: September 2014

Book Club Resumes next Monday, the 22nd! Come Join Us! (We’ll be discussing Kisses from Katie—A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption)

Grab a friend and head over to Middletown United Methodist Church (MUMC) next Monday night, September 22nd!!! Branches Book Club is resuming and you won’t want to miss the first gathering! The meeting will be from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  MUMC is located at 11902 Old Shelbyville Road.

September’s meeting will focus on an incredible book: Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie J. Davis and Beth Clark. Even if you’ve not read this book yet, please do come join us– because you will want to read it, especially after you hear the discussion!


I was blessed to read Katie’s book in conjunction with another fascinating book, The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation by Thom S. and Jess Rainer. Thom is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.


I about fell out of my chair when Rainer mentioned Katie Davis and what a perfect example of a millennial she is! The fact that she left a very safe, affluent lifestyle in Nashville, TN, not to mention her family, nice house, nice car, etc. to up and move to Uganda was astonishing. (Keep in mind she was fresh out of high school!)

Once in Uganda, she had a 10-month commitment to teach preschool. Immediately her eyes were opened to the conditions in which these children lived. She realized she could not go home. Not only did she ultimately make a lifetime commitment, but one by one, she adopted thirteen children!!! Thirteen daughters!!! Can you imagine???

Katie Davis

Equally stunned by Katie’s only-God-could-pull-this-off story, Author Ann Voskamp took her daughter, Hope, and flew to Uganda in July of 2013, thanks to an invitation from Compassion Canada.

Ann and Hope had the opportunity to spend three days with Katie, then 24 years old, and her 13 children. Ann says they made six pans of lasagna one night, serving 22 people. Random people drop in, some healthy, some sick.

After experiencing this, Ann remarked, “Our actual theology is best expressed in our actual hospitality….Hospitality isn’t for the good housekeepers—it’s the grid of life for anyone keeping company with Christ.” I hope all you perfectionists out there are hearing this….Trust me, I’m preachin’ to the choir…

“Hospitality means if there is room in the heart—there is always room in the house.” Bigger ouch.

The Old Oak Door

Read all of Hope’s and Ann’s experiences with Katie and look at Ann’s photographs. They’ll take your breath away. (Ann’s website is: and you can read about their experiences by clicking here.)

So, in addition to joining us next Monday night for some great conversation about Kisses from Katie, checkout the organization Katie founded which helps feed these children, many of whom are orphans. The organization’s funding helps keep the children in school, getting them three meals a day, which in effect, is their only lifeline to success.

Ann observed from Katie: “Katie takes Jesus at His Word: Real life is lived on your knees.”

Blue Waters Cross

Come and bring a friend!!! Monday, September 22nd, from 6:30 – 8:00 at Middletown United Methodist Church! Please RSVP to Nancy Tinnell at (502) 245-8839 or


Mark your calendars, save the date, and tell all your friends about Monday, October 27th, when author and pastor Robert J. Morgan will be joining us! We’ll be discussing one of his many amazing books, The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times.



Rob is driving in from Nashville where he pastors Donelson Fellowship Church. If you’re ever in Nashville, his church is only about five minutes from Opryland. John and I’ve been blessed to hear him preach several times. (

Men are also welcome at our October meeting. You do NOT want to miss this opportunity!!!

‘Til next time!!!

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Filed under Book Clubs, Book Reviews

When Your Husband Still Pops Wheelies…(Is Having FUN Really in the Bible?)

“What is he doing???”

“Did he just do what I think he did?”

“Don’t say anything, just keep going.” I told myself … John and I were on a bike ride while on vacation. (We’ll return to his antics in a moment…)

Trying to reconnect with cycling, staying on the bike, balancing, breaking, etc., began as somewhat challenging for this Miss-Not-So-Agile.

Our hotel was most gracious to loan us a couple of bikes with awesome fat tires and ultra cushy seats. Bikes like these are akin to a two-wheeled Cadillac.

John and eliz biking

The wide bike paths were beautifully landscaped all over Kiawah Island. Spanish moss hung over the palm and pine trees making green, heaven-like archways, complete with a backdrop of bright blue skies.

Leaving the island, our path dissected wide spanses of marshes filled with fascinating varieties of birds. A birdwatcher could’ve camped out on the bridge over these marshes for hours.

John kiawa

marsh with bird

Reaching our destination, a lovely shopping area called Fresh Fields Village, we hopped off our bikes to explore.

Freshfields village

John’s Strava app on his phone showed we’d ridden a whopping 4.6 miles. For you avid cyclists out there, I regret to report we completed said trek in a mere forty-five minutes.

John said we could’ve walked faster! Oh, but the fantastic photo ops we stopped for surely chewed up those minutes. Our return trip only took twenty-four minutes, less snail-like, thank you very much.

Always staying on the path, and navigating with great caution, I was enjoying our little excursion. I began to notice John was not staying on the path, but riding in the mulch and pine needles.

Crumbled pine needles and cones

“Gives you a better workout.” He informed me. Alrighty then.

Never mind this same Hubster of mine, who recently turned fifty-five years of age, indeed popped wheelies at every ramp from the street back onto our bike path. This occurred numerous times.


(While this photo is a slightly exaggerated version of my real hubster, just wanted you to have the visual.)

But who, do you think, was having more fun???

I was so focused on staying on the path, I was missin’ the fun in the dirt…

Feet In Mud

Let’s look at what God, in His Word, thru’ King Solomon, teaches us about FUN…

Ecclesiastes 8:15 says, “So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.” (NLT)

Eugene Peterson must be a distant relative of John’s…look at his rendition in The Message: “So, I’m all for just going ahead and having a good time—the best possible…Optimists unite!!!

The Living Bible says, “Then I decided to spend my time having fun…Other translations commend enjoyment of life, praising joy, even mirth—one of my favorite words, which translates into “amusement, especially expressed in laughter”. (My husband poppin’ wheelies was highly amusing.)

The synonyms for mirth get better: merriment, high spirits, hilarity, glee, laughter, buoyancy!!! So fun!!!

Butter babes laughing


In the above photo, and with magnanimous mirth, the Butter Babes enjoyed a crazy game called Origin.

Let’s not forget Proverbs 17:22 which says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”(ESV)

My Life Application Study Bible opens our eyes further to Ecclesiastes 8:15: “Solomon recalls the remedy for life’s unanswered questions:

He recommends we embrace joy and contentment to lighten our journey thru’ life.

We must accept each day with its daily measure of work, food, and pleasure.

Let us learn to enjoy what God has given to refresh and strengthen us and…

refuse to spend our energy looking for more than He intends for us.”

Eccl 8-15

My prayer for us all this week is we’ll pop some wheelies, jump in the pool, skip along the road, dance, sing, whatever slice of fun you can find, GO FOR IT!!!

Don’t forget: If God put “fun” in the Bible, He surely instructs us about any topic you can drum up. Last September, about the time of Dove Season (as in hunting), I wrote a post about “Laundry” being in the Bible. Click on “Is Laundry in the Bible” from 9/13/13 and have “fun” with “laundry”.

As I type, my wheely-poppin’ husband is pulling out of the driveway to go hunt some doves. It’s Opening Day and he couldn’t be more excited. Dear.

‘Til next time!

1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.” (NIV) Amen and amen.


Filed under Family, Life Lessons, Travel