Monthly Archives: March 2015

You Are Invited To “Fountains of Friendship” on April 23rd!!!

YOU, yes YOU (!!!) are invited to join women of all ages and yours truly at a neat little event called Fountains of Friendship.  This is an annual Women’s Ministry event hosted by the gals at Hurstbourne Baptist Church. (8800 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40222)

Fountains of Friendship will be on Thursday, April 23rd, from 7:00 -8:30 p.m.  There will be yummy desserts to savor and I will be speaking on “Savor Your Season Daily”.  Yes, daily.  (Yes, I’ll be preaching to the choir!!!) Chocolate Heart Dessert Cups With Pudding And RaspberriesWe’ll have some fun with this challenging subject and will take home some “tools” to help us with it.  We’ll also address obstacles we must be aware of which can potentially prevent us from savoring the season we’re in.

Proverbs 27:17 reminds us:  “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  May we sharpen each other Thursday the 23rd!!! Proverbs 27-17 Tickets may be purchased for $5.00 by calling or going by the church office.   The office is  open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday thru’ Friday.  Tickets will also be available at the Welcome Center on Sundays. You may call (502) 426-2444 and ask for Carmen.  (Tell her some crazy woman sent you!)

And did I say we’ll have some fun???? Group of happy friends making funny facesBring a friend and come join us for a FUN night out! 

Please PRAY for this event as well!  In Mark Batterson’s book, (Oh, you know there had to be a book involved…) Praying Circles around Your Children, he recommends we envision drawing circles around whatever or whomever is a prayer concern and praying for them.  (How many circles can you draw???!!!) Praying Circles Please offer up a prayer as you drive by Hurstbourne Baptist Church for:

ALL of you sweet ladies attending,

For my message to be God-honoring and helpful for us all to savor our season daily,

For the weather,

For all the details to come together smoothly, and

For the precious ladies working on this to be blessed for their service.

Thank you! We’d LOVE to see you Thursday, April 23rd!!!

Later this week on this blog, we’ll be hearing from a dear friend of mine who also happens to be a super special-n-talented author: Nancy Sleeth!  Stay tuned!

Happy Holy Week!

‘Til next time!


Filed under Conferences, Speaking Engagements

Power Up Your Mornings With Worship: A New Discovery by Guest Author Elizabeth Jeffries (Plus FREE Book GIVEAWAY!!!) Part 3 of 3

It is with profound respect and admiration I present to you words written by my friend and mentor, Elizabeth Jeffries.  Elizabeth is the most determined person I know who will jump any hurdle with Godly vim and vigor.  Fear is not in her vocabulary.

One of many cases in point:  Not too long ago Elizabeth spent ninety days in Florence, Italy simply because it was on her bucket list. (For more fun twists on bucket lists, click here.)  John and I benefitted from her adventure as that particular year we took a trip to Italy which happened to end in Florence.  Elizabeth most graciously invited us to stay over with her three more nights.  Did she ever show us the town! EJ & me in Florence(We are pictured above in a charming little church in Florence, Italy.  Elizabeth had just delivered a lovely, challenging talk to students where missionaries she knows minister. Note below Elizabeth wrote a book about her Italian adventure!!!)

90 Days in Florence

In Elizabeth’s post, you’ll also see her dear Summit Sisters, many of whom I’m blessed to know.  These are some serious, Godly women who gather to glean from God’s Word.  They include:  Liz Curtis Higgs, Naomi Rhode, Gail Wenos, Glenna Salsbury and Elizabeth.

Please enjoy Elizabeth’s fun discovery along with its’ many benefits (and ***don’t forget to comment at the end to be in a drawing for Rob Morgan’s book,  Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories!!!***)

Here’s Elizabeth:

In the past sixteen annual retreats with my four Summit Sisters, we have sung old Gospel hymns as part of our study weekend.  Ok, THEY sang hymns while I tried to follow along and mouth some of the words that I knew not, even if some of the melodies were familiar.

My earlier Catholic tradition had some beautiful songs, but most of the old Gospel hymns were foreign to me.  I envied the joyful expressions of my Sisters when they belted out the words, their beautiful faces almost other-worldly as they praised our Lord through these old hymns. Eliz Jeffries group photo I oftentimes felt a bit left out. So finally, this year at our January retreat, I decided I would learn some of these old hymns too. Our teacher, Glenna Salsbury, suggested I order Robert Morgan’s book, Then Sings My Soul and not only learn the hymns, but the story behind them. In my do-it-now style, I immediately went on line and ordered the book! Rob Morgan Then Sings My Soul By the time I arrived back in Louisville, the book was waiting for me. Its’ beautiful parchment pages called to me as I thumbed through and, oh my heavens, I actually recognized some of the hymns! Maybe I wasn’t so far out of the Christian music world as I thought!!??

Since that day in early January, I’ve created a morning routine I follow wherever I am in my travels. I gather up my Bible, my iPad, the Then Sings my Soul book, and a highlighter. I open the book, read the story of who wrote the song and the circumstances under which it was written, log onto You Tube, find the hymn and do my darndest to sing along with the likes of Carrie Underwood, Beverly Shea or the Gaithers. Bible Study Ok, Lord, you gave me this voice, so ignore that I’m off key and can’t read sheet music too well. Please just listen to me praise you and feel my love for you and the joy of worshipping this way!

I’m at page 64 now and I can’t wait to meet Jesus this way every day. Several mornings my hubby walked in while I was belting out a joyful praise and he joined me! Oh how sweet that was. Thank you Lord!

If you haven’t consciously worshipped this way, perhaps these ideas will enliven your spirit as they have mine. Here’s my take away from this book, this process, this amazing way to worship our Lord…

  • I’m worshipping from the depths of my soul in a way I’ve never experienced before. Worship music touches every fiber of my being and brings out feelings and visions of God in new and exciting ways. I hear His voice and see His face! He really, really is alive!
  • Since many of the hymns are actually from Psalms and other words of Scripture, I’m studying and learning too.
  • I’m learning about composers and when and why they wrote these words. I now know who some of the greats are: people like Isaac Watts, Fanny Crosby, and Charles Wesley are my new friends.
  • Since I listen to the music and sing the hymn several times in my morning worship, the words and music stay with me all day. I find I fall asleep singing in my head with a smile on my face.
  • If I have an early flight, I may do this on the plane with ear phones. I feel my seat mate glancing out of the corner of his eye. No one has asked anything yet and only the Lord knows how this has impacted them…or not. Hmmm! Maybe that person is humming a different tune that day!
  • I’m so much more conscious of Jesus throughout the day. I hope I’m more attentive to others as the words of the morning hymn twirl through my brain. I think I am living more intentionally. I sure smile and laugh a lot more.
  • Jesus is more alive to me than ever. His Amazing Grace really is amazing and I have His Blessed Assurance of salvation that I experience as I walk In the Garden with Him. Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus as I strive to live out, minute by minute, How Great Thou Art! Indeed, Lord! All is Well With My Soul!

Thank you for these great ideas, Elizabeth!!!  Blessings to you and your sweet hubby Stephen!!!  I look forward to seeing you soon!  Starbucks??? —–

Elizabeth Jeffries is oftentimes referred to as a marketplace minister!  She is committed to bringing Biblical principles to people in businesses, healthcare organizations and professional associations. With God’s Word as her foundation, she presents keynote speeches, conducts learning seminars and retreats, and coaches business leaders in the way of a servant-leader.

—– ***Please offer your comments and you will be entered to win a FREE COPY of Then Sings My Soul!***

(Next week look forward to one more idea to implement before Lent ends or perhaps post Easter!!!  Plus yet ANOTHER free book giveaway!!!)  

‘Til next time!


Filed under Book Reviews

Links to Yesterday’s Songs (Postscript to Part 2 of 3)

Hello Dear Readers!!! If you received my blog post yesterday via email as a regular subscriber, you may have realized the YouTube songs were missing.

Big apologies as they were indeed the whole point to the post! It’s a technical issue that sometimes sadly occurs. We’ve figured out a way to fix that in the future.

Because I don’t want you to miss the music (!!!), here are the links to the two songs. Please enjoy:

YouTube link to O Church Arise (the one w/ the lyrics)

YouTube link to I am Not Alone (w/lyrics)

And here’s the link to yesterday’s post if you’d like to see the Scripture links:


Again (!!!), I pray you are blessed by the lyrics and savor the Scripture from which they come.


Til next time!


1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Transform Your Morning and Your Mood in Less Than TEN Minutes…(Part 2 of 3 on Music)

GOOD NEWS for you readers out there: You do NOT have to be a morning person to start your day off well!!!

Coming from a Confirmed Grouch in the morning, in dire need of a pot of coffee prior to producing any semblance of intelligent conversation, I’m happy to report that listening to music in the morning brings blessings a plenty:

music and technology concept - smiling young woman with closed e

Blessing #1: Your focus will shift away from you and your distractions, rising up to the Lord.

Blessing #2: Praising the Lord allows you to worship with truths straight out of God’s Word.

Blessing #3: Your spirit will be lifted no matter your circumstance.

I’ll be giving you two worship songs shortly to get you started. If you listen to both of them, you can do this in under ten minutes

Last week we talked briefly about Dee Brestin’s book The God of All Comfort: Finding Your Way into His Arms which she graciously penned after her husband’s death. Songs are what saved her sanity.

The God of All Comfort

The first song I’d like to share with you John and I discovered recently at our middle son’s church, Tates Creek Presbyterian Church (TCPC), in Lexington, Kentucky.( ) We’d gone to Lexington to meet Gordy and Lauren at their church and celebrate Gordy’s birthday.

Upon singing this song with its’ powerful lyrics (which caused me to weep), I made a mental note to investigate it.  I also wrongly assumed, because of TCPC’s more liturgical services and typically older hymns, that this song was also an old one. Au contraire…

Please allow me to show you one of my new favorites,

O Church Arise by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. (Never mind they also wrote a huge favorite of mine and I suspect yours, In Christ Alone. Checkout Travis Cottrell’s rendition if you have time.)

Keith is a British, Northern Irish composer, married to Kristyn, who many times co-writes these “modern hymns”. Stuart Townend is a British, English songwriter and worship leader.


Please sit back and enjoy Oh Church Arise. Soak in the lyrics:

To read these truths from the lyrics, here are just a few Scriptures that spell them out:

Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 4:6 and 8, 12:9; 1 John 1:5; Isaiah 14:2; Psalm 27:1; Philippians 4:13; Romans 5:2; Colossians 2:15; and Hebrews 4:12.

The second song I’d like to show you I suspect you already know, but perhaps hadn’t been able to savor the Scripture around which it’s centered.

I’d heard about Kari Jobe over the past few years and was blessed to be led in worship by her at a Women of Faith Conference in Houston in March of 2014. (Click on “Houston We Have an Answer” from 3/6/14) FYI: She’ll be in Louisville May 16th with Women of Joy!!! ( )

I love her song I Am Not Alone for several reasons…the most important of which is the reminder within the title. As believers in Jesus Christ, because of the gift of the Holy Spirit within us, we are never alone.

Matthew 28:20 is where Jesus tells us, “And lo, I am with you always…” Kari also says while writing the song, they began with Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. 

Please enjoy:

Savor these Scriptures which go along with Kari’s song:

Isaiah 43:1-2; Daniel 3; Psalm 23; Psalm 46; Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; 2 Corinthians 7:9-16; Romans 9:2; John 12:35; Exodus 14:14; and 2 Chronicles 20:17. (You can find more if you hunt!)

My prayer for us all is as we begin our days, may we jump start them with worship and praise as only our King of Kings and Lord of Lords deserves. See if your mood doesn’t vastly improve as well.

Next week we can all look forward to hearing from my friend, Elizabeth Jeffries, who has discovered this type of beginning to her day. Wait ‘til you see what she’s learning!

‘Til next time!


Filed under Music, Scripture

Mr. Music, Please…Why We Mustn’t Argue over Musical Styles of Worship (Part 1 of 3)

My Daddy gifted me with a feverish love of music from as far back as I can remember. Every night when he’d come home from work, he’d head back to the den, crank up the stereo, and pop on an album of lovely jazz. (You youngsters may be wondering what exactly an “album” is.)

Black Vinyl Lp Album Disc, Isolated Long Play Disk With Blank La

Henry Mancini, Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, you-name-it, he had their music. I’d sit with my parents in the family room, allowing the music to soothe our souls, while Daddy would share the happenings of his day.

Once I began to take piano lessons, Daddy also took them to encourage me to keep at it. Initially we took from an uber talented guy who was in a jazz combo’. (Any of you hailing from Lexington may remember Dave Perry.) He taught us both classical and jazz/contemporary music.

Music Notes

Near the end of each lesson, provided I’d mastered his assignment, Dave would allow me to pick any current favorite song. He’d then write it up in a manuscript book, along with the chords. He was smart, knowing that if I’d learn the classical pieces first, my treat was learning the hippest tunes.

When I turned Sweet Sixteen, desirous of a cute sports car, or any car, I got a Steinway and Sons baby grand piano instead. Yeah, well, it had three wheels instead of four. Mother said, “You’re not going to major in driving in school, you’re going to major in music!!!” Alrighty then… 


(Cool backstory on this piano: One of my Grandmother’s friends in Palm Beach, Florida, owned a pair of these pianos. They sold one to my parents, thanks to prodding from my Grandmother who happened to be a proficient pianist. I was blessed to sit under her coaching for a few years until her unexpected death.)

Over the next three weeks, we’ll be talking about different types of music. When we arrive at the third part in this series, you’ll get to hear from a dear friend of mine, Elizabeth Jeffries. Elizabeth will share with us how hymns have greatly enhanced her morning quiet times with the Lord.

*** We’ll have another book giveaway in part 3 also!!!***

While I’m now a fan of both traditional hymns and contemporary ones, my prayer for this post is to encourage you to think out of the box. In other words, forget about one style of music being better than another and focus on the words to praise the Lord. 

Next week, I’ll share some favorite songs with you, showing you how many lyrics largely come straight out of Scripture. What better way to worship the Lord than with His Word? 

Old Bible With Sword

Let’s have some fun first: Two hilarious nicknames for contemporary worship have recently fallen under my radar:

“7/11” hymns: Where seven words are sung eleven times. Think about that for a minute…. HA

Another phrase for these songs I heard the first time from a friend in Lexington. He dubs them “Jesus-is-my-boyfriendsongs.” That deserves another alrighty then….(Checkout for an article on “Jesus is my boyfriend songs: New entries in the struggle between ‘orthodox’ and ‘pietist’ hymnody?”)

So we don’t argue over different styles, let’s hear from author Dee Brestin in her book The God of All Comfort: Finding Your Way into His Arms. She recounts when a friend called her to the carpet on her remarks dissing contemporary tunes.

The God of All Comfort

Dee begins with a frightening point I’d not considered: “Perhaps because music is such a powerful tool against the enemy, it is also a way he has sought to divide the body of Christ. “ Yikes.

She then gives us two verses, Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 which both talk about singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs

Composer Isaac Watts said,

Just as we do not ask that our preachers speak only the words of Scripture, neither should we insist that we sing only the words of Scripture, but instead, be open to hymns and spiritual songs based on scriptural themes.”

Isaac Watts

Dee’s friend Ann wrote her a letter paralleling Watts’ sentiments:

“I have thought a lot about the sheer volume and variety of music about Jesus Christ…

Think of:

Gregorian chants,

Bach’s organ music,

Great hymns,

The Gaithers,

Russian Orthodox music,

Christmas music,

Handel’s Messiah,

Mozart’s Requiem,

Choral music,

Praise and worship music,

Current rock music that honors Christ and reaches teenagers.

Thousands upon thousands of songs written to the praise and glory of God. All different styles. Beautiful….” What a list!!! (Dee also includes words to hymns at the back of her book that have helped her cope with the death of her husband. Her book is invaluable.)

Let’s close with an old hymn with a new twist, Great is Thy Faithfulness, thanks to gifted London vocalist Sam Robson. Some of the chords are so rich, they’ll make you melt. (Imagine the patience and time such an undertaking required for this arrangement!)

Loads of thanks go out to my buddy Liz Curtis Higgs who introduced many of us to Sam in a recent blog about God’s faithfulness.

Turn up the volume and tune in your ears:

Lyrics are below if you wish to sing along:

“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;

There is no shadow of turning with Thee,

Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,

As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.


Great is Thy faithfulness!

Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,

Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;

Join with all nature in manifold witness,

To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

Thine own great presence to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.”


‘Til next time!


Filed under Book Reviews, Family

More Marvelous Minutes with Author Jan Watson, And FREE Book GIVEWAY of Buttermilk Sky!!! (Part 2 of Interview)

Welcome back!  Please join me for the second half of my interview with Jan.  Go fetch a cup of coffee or tea and join us: (If you missed last week’s interview, here’s the link to catch up…….) a cup of coffee with a heart shape toned with a retro vintage in Question #6:  Tell us something you enjoyed while writing Buttermilk Sky

Answer:  I enjoyed Mazy and her story.  She is so fun and innocent. buttermilk-cover Question #7:  Who’s your favorite character in Buttermilk Sky?

Answer:  I dearly love Chanis Clay.  I borrowed his name from a boy from Robertson County.  When I had a signing in the library there, he came and brought his Dad, Chanis and his Grandpa, Chanis.

Question #8:  What’s your favorite story from when you were a nurse?

Answer:  Once I wheeled a bouncing baby boy to his parents’ room for their first bonding visit.  The new dad took one of the little towelettes from the end of the crib and asked what it was for.

“It’s for hand-washing,” I said.

The dad nodded seriously before he ever-so-gently began to wipe the baby’s hands.

I didn’t say a word.  I wouldn’t have dared to spoil that sweet moment.

Question #9:  Tell us about your family…

Answer:  I have three sons and two close-as-daughters.  They are all nearby.   Also, I have three grand-cats.

Question #10:  Do you have an all-time favorite character from all of your books?

Answer:  Copper Brown is my all-time favorite character. She allowed me to indulge my desire to bring the lost, long-ago baby to life.

Question #11:  Which was the easiest novel to write and which was the most difficult?

Answer:  Troublesome Creek was the easiest to write because I didn’t know how hard it is to write a book.  The second, Willow Springs, was probably the hardest because how do you top the first? Willow-Springs-200x300 Question #12:  When you get stuck, what inspires you or helps get you unstuck?  Please say chocolate….

Answer:  I just listen for the story and write as it unfolds.  (Chocolate gets me into trouble.)

Question #13:  Will you please share with us why you inscribe Isaiah 43:1-2 on each of your novels when you sign them?

Answer:  Sometimes when I am writing, a whisper of Scripture will come to mind.  When  it does, I stop and get out my concordance and look up the Scripture and ponder on it.  The first time this happened, I was twenty-four pages in on my first book, Troublesome Creek. Troublesome-Creek-cover2-199x300 This book is based on the wisp of a story my Granny told me when I was a girl.  It’s about a baby who drowned in a flash flood up a holler in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky.

Even tho’ the novel I penned was fiction, Isaiah 43:1-2 was a comfort to me as I wrote the character of Julie, a young mother who gave her life to save her baby. In my heart, I wrote the book to save the baby whom I unwittingly named Laura Grace.

Years later, I discovered the connection between my story and the real story when a reader sent me the biography of Nettie Alberta Myers.  Mrs. Nettie Myers, along with her husband, ministered at a Bible College in Van Cleve, Kentucky. On July 5, 1939, Frozen Creek flooded taking the lives of many residents of Van Cleve including Mrs. Myers’ husband, her two sons, and her baby girl. Little creek flooding When I opened the biography of that sainted woman, the Scripture from Isaiah fairly leaped from the page:

Isaiah 43:1b-2, says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

I’ve since been honored to visit the grave of Mrs. Myers and lay copper-colored roses by the stone commemorating Lela Grace, her swept away baby.

God truly works in mysterious ways.


Wow!  Did you catch that amazing story? Go back and look at the babies’ names!!!  God is good.

Last fall, Jan had a book signing in Louisville.  Yes, I crashed the party for three reasons.  One:  if Jan is anywhere nearby, I don’t want to miss her, Two:  I’d ordered several copies of Buttermilk Sky, deeming them perfect Christmas gifts which she most graciously signed for some friends, and Three:  if you ever get a chance to hear her read from her books, it’s a priceless experience you do not want to miss. (You’ll never read her books the same without hearing her voice speaking to you. )

Jan reminded us she hails from Robertson County, and was raised on a tobacco and dairy farm.  She frequently got to visit her Granny in Breathitt County.

Her Granny had thirteen children, two of which died.  Her Pawpaw was a coal miner.  You may remember Skip Rock Shallows is set around a coal mine  and the eye-opening mishaps that can make or break you. Skip-Rock-Shallows-200x300 One consistent thread in all of her books is the presence of Eastern Kentucky culture.  She always honors these “strong and stalwart faithful people” because she feels they’re so often maligned. She also tries to make things fair in her novels since “too much is unfair in this world.” Amen and amen…

Finally, a teensy teaser from Jan’s most recent novel, Buttermilk Sky:  You’ve already heard from Jan of her fondness for Sherriff Chanis Clay and Mazy Pelfrey. (Pelfrey is Jan’s Mother’s maiden name.)

A mind boggling romance is already in place between Mazy and Chanis, complicated by a rather rich young man in Lexington, where Mazy is attending secretarial school.  Irony’s not lost on this fellow’s name, “Loyal”.  Chanis seems a tad more smitten than Mazy which complicates the Lexington locale.

Chanis travels back and forth from Skip Rock.  We readers begin wishing he were living in Lexington. Which suitor will Mazy choose?

Map Of Lexington Kentucky Will she uncover Loyal’s disloyalty?  Will she survive the frightening river episode?   Oh, dear friends, so many challenges.  How will Jan wrap this up? You know the answer…You must read Buttermilk Sky to find out!!!

One of many favorite parts where Jan incorporates God’s Word is found on page 171: “When Mazy was a girl, she had dreaded bedtime.  The darkness seemed to rush at her, trying to pull her under its monstrous wings and carry her away.  Her mother had taught her to recite a comforting Scripture when she was scared…

The words of Jesus were more soothing than any medicine could ever be.”  Old Holy BibleWithout realizing it, Mazy began reciting John 14:2-4,In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

Mazy’s friend Ernestine, listening said, “That’s so pretty…I like the way they sound.  Can I borrow your Bible sometime so I can copy them?”  Don’t you LOVE that???

I mustn’t give any more pearls away.  Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab Buttermilk Sky.

Or, try your chances first to WIN A FREE COPY!  Post a comment and my sweet husband will draw one of your names next Thursday.  I’ll contact you by email to find out where to mail the book.

‘Til next time!

Don’t forget to post a comment!!! 


Filed under Author Interviews, Book Reviews