Monthly Archives: April 2017

New Book by Author Nancy Aguiar is a MUST-READ! (“Five Drops—Stories of Faith, Family and Fun)

Friends!  I’ve got wonderful news for you about an equally wonderful new book.

Nancy Aguiar has recently released her debut book, Five Drops—Stories of Faith, Family and Fun. It’s available here in Louisville at the Living Word Bookstore in Southeast Christian Church (www.livingword.org ), or Carmichael’s (www.carmichaelsbookstore.com ) will order it for you, or you can get it from Amazon.

I’m blessed to call Nancy a dear friend and mentor.  Yes, I can be objective and honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed reading her book. I could hear her telling the many beautiful stories she shares. This book would work perfectly read as a devotional, but my prediction is you’ll keep reading as one story makes you curious about the next one!

So what’s the meaning of the title?  Five Drops…?  Nancy shares it was her maternal grandmother, “Mammy”, who was born in Sweden, yet chased Nancy’s Grandfather, “Papa”, to the United States, marrying him and learning English.

As often as she could, Mammy would invite her Swedish friends over and serve them coffee and pastries.  Nancy says, “They would chat for hours and find renewal and healing in friendship and laughter.”

Like many of us friends today meeting up at Starbucks, Nancy reveals, “Coffee was the key ingredient in each of those afternoons.” Mammy filled and refilled her friends’ cups until they would finally say, Fem droppar” which translates:  “five drops”…as in just a little more coffee in their cups while their afternoon was winding down.

Nancy said her family, now two and three generations from Mammy’s, still uses this phrase about whatever it is they’re having:  coffee, water, juice, second helpings of dessert, etc.  Can one say, “Fem droppar” when consuming chocolate??? (Maybe hot chocolate?)

Nancy reminds us Jesus is the Master storyteller.  Since Jesus told stories so often, surely such a skill is important.  Nancy’s Grandmother was not the only storyteller in her family.  Both of her parents were and for that, she’s forever grateful.

Nancy warns us, “The fast-paced society of today is missing that special gift of time and the art of story. We must reclaim it. What my parents didn’t share with me orally is now gone…Telling and retelling stories to the next generations must be of greater importance…That’s why I wrote this book.”

We lucky readers get to read fifty-five stories by Nancy covering every topic you can imagine.  She takes you right along with her, many times telling on herself while including an important lesson. She’s serious one minute and laugh-your-head-off-funny the next. She blissfully includes pertinent Scripture regarding many lessons for us all.

In “Ms. Polly”, she tells us, “Every day lived to the glory of God is a day well-lived.”  In “Appalachia”, she says, “My takeaway that day was to be thankful for all we do have—all that has been given to us in the course of one day—and to value each person God places in our lives, even if they’re there for a few hours.”

In “Time for Prayer”, she concludes, “Until freedom is taken from us, we should be willing to pray whenever and wherever we can. Such a privilege I will never take for granted.”  

A few chapters have Nancy taking us along on mission trips. On one of them, she “gets” to pull a person’s tooth and I am not pulling your leg! (Way to go, Nan. Had I accompanied you, you’d have been scraping me up off of the floor…)

In “Sumo and Sal”, we learn she was a witness in a real-live murder case.  Imagine being scared to death, literally, in the paradise of all paradises, Hawaii? Good news is she has more praiseworthy stories from there where we all can rejoice. (Don’t miss “Jade Bracelets”.) Here’s a recent picture of Nancy and Ron in Hawaii:

Nancy also tells about some of the elderly women she cared for.  That was one of her many careers where her giftedness shone like the light of Jesus.  She took care of my own Mother, and wait for it:  Preached Mother’s funeral!

It was the second book in The Redemption Series, Remember,   by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley that caused Nancy to consider caring for the elderly while they were in “Heaven’s Waiting Room”, as Karen called it.  When our Book Club got to Skype with Karen, we had Nancy approach the camera to tell Karen how her book caused this new career to happen.

Suddenly, tears began falling down Karen’s cheeks, as did the rest of the attendees’ faces that night. Confirmation Nancy was right in the middle of the Lord’s will.

Besides being an author, Nancy’s also been a teacher at a local college, a Bible study teacher of numerous classes, a preacher (Seriously—she’s preached more than one funeral.), and is a linguist (She speaks several languages, having lived in Germany while in high school.) She’s currently working in the healthcare industry.

She and her husband, Ron, are about to celebrate their fortieth anniversary this year.  They are blessed with two children, a son-in-law, and one grandson who’s the light of their life.

After proofreading this post, my dear husband just informed me I made the grave error of omitting the most fun fact about Nancy:  She gives the best hugs any recipient could dream of.  Those of you who’ve been on the receiving end are nodding. (He also just brought me “fem droppar” of some of his infamous coffee as I’ve consumed way more than one should have at 6:00 in the morning.)

More good news:  Nancy’s the Speaker for a Ladies Breakfast, held at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church on May 20th, from 9:00-11:00 a.m.  Please see below for more information if you’d like to hear her:

Go grab a copy of Nancy’s book for yourself and one for a friend (this makes a fabulous gift), Five Drops—Stories of Faith, Family, and Fun.  Drinking a cup of coffee or tea while reading it will make it that much better.

God bless you, Nancy, for leaving such a beautiful legacy for your family and friends!

‘Til next time!

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Come Meet Author Sarah Ladd and Learn About Her Novel, “The Heiress of Winterwood”, Monday, April 24th, 6:30-8:00 P.M.

Friends! I pray you and your family had a blessed Easter. We rejoice that He is risen, indeed.

It’s with great excitement I get to tell you a wee bit about Book Club and turn over the details to my dear friend, Nancy Tinnell. Nancy will reveal what all is happening next Monday, April 24th. Be thinking about who you’ll invite to bring with you to Book Club! You do NOT want to miss this!

The gals at Branches Book Club have really cooked up some fun. Here’s the book they’ll be discussing:

Even better, you’ll get to meet the author, Sarah Ladd!

Now, please allow me to pass my pen to Nancy Tinnell:


“The Heiress of Winterwood”
Sarah Ladd

Why do we love Regency fiction so much? Even as an adult, it’s easy to fantasize about a wardrobe of empire waist dresses with ribbons trailing down the back, and, of course, an upswept hairdo!  Shades of Mr. Darcy!

Sarah Ladd makes it easy to love period fiction in The Heiress of Winterwood. Though we may look back on those days with the idea that it was a quiet and genteel time, Sarah brings to the surface the reality of what it’s like to marry under pressure so you don’t lose your property; the struggle Amelia Barrett experiences when she finds her heart has been touched by another man; the disappointment felt when trusted family members are found to be not so trustworthy.

Amelia is a “good girl,” a rule follower, and she must learn that sometimes being obedient and faithful to God challenges our own rules and requires that we follow Him. Oh, how Amelia learns to trust in the Lord and lean not on her own understanding! (A vision of Proverbs 3:5-6!)

Author Sarah Ladd will be joining us at Branches Book Club on Monday, April 24th, at 6:30 p.m. for the final meeting this spring before we break for summer. What a great time this will be to ask her questions about her work.

As a bonus, Lifeway Christian Store will have a display of Sarah’s books, AND, last but not least, Lifeway will be selling copies of our next season’s book club selections at a discount. Can it get any better than that?

Well, as a matter of fact, it can! Our snack theme is an English tea party, a la Downton Abbey! Bring your finger sandwiches and cookies (or biscuits, as the British say), and enjoy an evening with Sarah Ladd and your book club friends. There will be door prizes, tea and dainties to consume, and the schedule for fall and spring’s book club selections, so you can get a head start this summer.

You may remember author Kristy Cambron’s visit last September when we read her book, The Ringmaster’s Wife. Kristy and Sarah are friends, and it was she who suggested we invite Sarah to be with us. All of us at Branches Book Club are excited Sarah’s coming, and, of course, we hope to see all of you! Make plans to join us!


THANK YOU, NANCY!

Please call Middletown United Methodist to RSVP at: (502) 245-8839.

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 http://www.middletownumc.org

We look forward to seeing you!

‘Til next time!

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Let’s Get Inspired EVERY DAY, Thanks to Author Debora M. Coty

Friends!  No, you’re not seeing double, but due to my multi-tasking I had the wrong cover of this wonderful book I’m sharing about.  So the below is what you need.  My apologies!  Please enjoy:

Friends!  Have I ever got good news to share with you!  Spring has sprung, and with it, daily inspiration, thanks to author Debora Coty and her new book, Too Blessed to be Stressed…Inspiration for Every Day.

Short and sweet, each devotion includes a clever title, a Scripture verse, an anecdote to go along with the title, and a prayer to close it out.  One of many, many of my favorites is entitled, “Perfecting My Stinky Face.” (Makes you curious, doesn’t it?)

For those of you who don’t know Debora, you’ll love getting to know her because she has the funniest sense of humor I’ve read in a long, long time.  She’s also a great storyteller and you’ll think you’re sitting right next to her while she tells you what’s transpired.

I love how she calls her grandson “grandbuddy.”  His name is Blaine and in this particular story, he was watching her put her face on…Wondering what all that stuff was, Blaine asked his Mimi what it does.

Deb told him her blush gave her more color.  He then  asked why his Mimi wanted to be pink. (!!!)

Next up, a little spray of perfume.  Further curious, typical of a three year-old, the “why” question returned.  Deb told him she thought her perfume made her smell pretty.

Oh, Blaine’s response is worthy of an award for best comedy:  While making a stinky face…he said, “Uggghh.  You smell like my Pull-Ups.”  Wow. Outta the mouths of babes.

Her point to this devotion is we all make “stinky faces” over something.  Not so pretty to look at when passing a mirror.  Many times we don’t even realize the scour our faces are sportin’…

Deb teaches us, “The face is the window into the mind.  Reading expressions is our feedback mechanism to know what’s going on inside others.”  Reminds me of that saying, “If you’re so happy, you may want to notify your face.”  Makes me laugh every time.

Right before the ending of the devotional, Deb asks us to consider a couple of questions:

 “So does my countenance bless or intimidate people?”

“Does Jesus-joy shine through my eyes and encourage through my smile?”

While we readers are pondering those questions, Deb closes with a beautiful prayer:

See how neat this devotional is?  And it’s just one of three hundred and sixty-five!  One  for each day.  And you know my rule for devotionals:  “Like shoes, you can never have too many devotionals.  Change them up as your mood does.”

Last year, I was blessed to get to meet Debora in person in Clearwater Beach, Florida.  Hubster and I happened to be vacationing there for a few days .  She drove over from Tampa just so we could meet face to face (our faces were happy that day!!!) and sip on some tea. We had a ball and our time flew out to sea before we were close to being finished.

Deb and I’d been emailing for a few years after my happy discovery of her book Fear, Faith and  a Fistful of Chocolate—Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life’s WorriesIt’s another one not to miss.

I love what one of her endorsers, Rhonda Rhea,  says of this devotional, “Too Blessed to be Stressed…is just like the right touch of soul caffeine—perfect for my morning. I love that it’s compact and clever. Witty and heartwarming, yes, but best of all the wisdom tucked inside is biblical, and each devotion directs my focus to God who wants my day…”

A couple more fun facts and then we’ll close…So back in 2011, Too Blessed to be Stressed—Inspiration for Climbing Out of Life’s Stress-Pool was published.  Debora’s publisher got the bright notion to birth a few more offshoots from this and a cookbook was born as well as a three-minute devotional which then led to this three hundred and sixty-five day one.  (See the post from March 2016 for more on Deb)

Debora says this devotional is “ready to rescue readers from the joy-sucking dully-funks.”  The devotions cover about any topic you could come up with:

“Relationships,
Love,
Boundaries,
Hope,
Brokenness,
Revitalization of spirit, body, and faith,
and Refreshment”—just to name a few!

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore and grab this devotional!  You’ll be so happy you did!

‘Til next time!

 

 

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