Monthly Archives: October 2017

Mind Your Mind….

Friends!  I just ran across this post from a couple of Octobers ago, remembering I’d forgotten (huh?) its’ message…May we all remember to guard what goes into our minds.  Enjoy!…

Filled to the brim with excitement, Hubster and I were crossing the pond for our first-ever trip to France. Flying thru’ the night from Detroit to Amsterdam, most everyone but me slept.

Watching a little virtual map of our plane flying over different countries, logging hundreds of miles in minutes, kept me wide-eyed. Just as we touched down in Amsterdam, a big, beautiful orange sun was rising over the airport! While it was midnight back in the States, it was six o’clock in the morning in Amsterdam. Wow.


Clueless as to how to find our next gate, some sweet soul showed us how to enter different checkpoints en route to our plane to Marseilles. Suddenly, we came upon a very familiar landmark: Starbucks! And what before my wondering eyes did appear, directly across from Starbucks, a very large chocolatier!!! What a welcoming sight!

eliz in front of chocolate store

We had plenty of time before our next flight departed, so we plunked ourselves and our carry-ons down for a big ole’ comforting cup of coffee. Like little children on Christmas morning, our adventure was already unfolding.

Amsterdam’s airport is a melting pot of passengers from all over the world. John and I sat back and took it all in. The clothes, the accents, everything was fascinating.

Even the moving sidewalk…this lovely female voice, in a sing-song manner, repeated over and over, “Mind your step…..Mind your step…..Mind your step.” We Americans would’ve just hollered, “Watch where you’re goin’, already!!!”

One of many favorite books by Max Lucado, Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now brings up another way of thinking from “Mind Your Step”, to “Mind Your Mind”….

Glory Days

One favorite chapter is called The God-Drenched Mind. Don’t you want your mind to be God-drenched??? This chapter centers around Joshua 14:6-15.

The good news? Max helps us readers with ways to equip our faith and our minds.

The bad news? He opens with, “You’ll never have a problem-free life.” That’s okay, tho’, because surely by now every single one of us has discovered this!

Max points out that “The Lord” is referenced nine times in this passage alone. We know that any time anything is repeated in the Bible, it’s significant.

Max asks, “Who was on Caleb’s mind? Who was in Caleb’s heart? What caused him to have a different spirit? He centered his mind on the Lord.”

Watch this…Max gets personal: “What about you? What emphasis would a transcript of your thoughts reveal? The Lord? Or the problem? The economy? The jerk?”

In another recent post we talked about the importance of putting on the helmet of salvation. We addressed running everything thru’ the Philippians 4:8 filter:

Philippians 4 8

Max offers a show-stopping visual:

“Imagine two cooking bowls. One contains fresh, clean water. The second contains battery acid. Take an apple and cut it in half.

Place one half of the apple in the bowl of clean water. Place the other half in the bowl of battery acid. Leave each in its respective bowl for five minutes, and then pull out the two halves.

Which one will you want to eat?”

Two different apples, fresh and withered. Rotten apple.

“Your mind is the apple.

God is good water.

Problems are battery acid.

If you marinate your mind in your problems, they will eventually corrode and corrupt your thoughts.

But thoughts of God will preserve and refresh your attitudes.

Caleb was different because he SOAKED HIS MIND IN GOD.”

This caused me to pause and ask myself, “What am I marinating my mind in right now?” I busted myself (there’s a thought!) because I was stewing over a petite problem which my forever optimistic husband has told me, and told me again (remember???) to simply, “Let it go…” Alrighty then.

Finally, we’re blessed with one more prescription from Max for remembering to soak our minds in our Big God: “Stare at the mountain less and at the Mountain Mover more.” Amen.


‘Til next time!


Filed under Book Reviews, Life Lessons, Scripture

Come Meet Author Laura Frantz Next Monday 10/23 at Book Club!

Friends!  Grab your friends and head over to Middletown United Methodist Church next Monday night, October 23rd, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., for what’s sure to be a blast of a book club meeting!

The gals at Branches Book Club have invited author Laura Frantz to come and speak about her book, A Moonbow Night.

Whether you’ve read the book or not, do come as it’s always a treat to get to meet and hear from the author. Laura is currently living in Berea in a log cabin. Her passion for history influences her writing, including her book we’ll be discussing, A Moonbow Night. It has several twists and turns I’m excited to ask her about. Be thinking of questions you’d like to ask!

One of many fun snippets include Kentucky’s very own Daniel Boone and his family making an appearance in the book.  The connection to their family with Tempe is one of many surprises. Set in 1777, Laura’s characters truly live a pioneer life.  Our modern day comforts we experience didn’t exist back then. (Yes, they camp a lot!)

Some of Laura’s epigraphs are actual Scripture, while some frighteningly foreshadow what’s ahead:  “Our way is over mountains, steep hills, deep rivers, and muddy creeks; a thick growth of reeds for miles together; and no inhabitants but wild beasts and savage men.” (Francis Asbury) Yikes…

Laura exhibits her character’s faith and prayer lives throughout the book. She paints lovely portraits of God’s creation as well while her characters traipse across many miles, i.e. “The woods were an unending palette, its unearthly hues evidence of a Master’s hand.” (One of many reasons I love Christian fiction.)

Nancy Tinnell said, “I’m such a city girl that my enjoyment of the frontier-themed books we’ve read in book club has come as a surprise to me. Laura Frantz is the real deal! She grew up in Kentucky, having lived in both western and eastern regions of our state.”

Nancy added, “A Moonbow Night is about as authentic as it gets. Every page is so thick with descriptive language that you can almost hear the leaves blowing in the breeze and the twigs snapping under someone’s foot. She writes beautifully and makes the forest come alive. And of course, there’s a love story!”

Yes, well, let’s chat a minute about that little love story.  No spoiler alert, but I must say the relationship that blossoms throughout the book didn’t happen as quickly as I’d have liked.  That is what makes the book such a page-turner, the reader nearly YELLING for Tempe and Sion to become united, in the midst of running from Indians—as in the kind that’ll scalp you!

I got tickled at Laura in an interview saying she likes to give her main male character dark hair as well as making him tall and handsome.  My guess is Nancy may be envisioning a twin to Tom Selleck.  (We’ll have to ask her Monday night.)

Because of Laura’s Kentucky influence, we’ll be having Kentucky-themed food, so think about what you’d like to bring. Country ham biscuits, grits, derby pie anybody??? (I also discovered Laura likes peanut butter and chocolate anything, so a good ole’ Reese’s cup could do the trick!)

Finally, I’m happy to report Laura has a new book coming out in January, The Lacemaker. Let’s remember to ask her to give us a sneak peek.

We hope to see you next Monday night, October 23rd, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Middletown United Methodist Church. Please call Nancy to RSVP at (502) 245-8839.

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243

‘Til next time!

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Filed under Book Clubs, Book Reviews

Need a Gift Idea? Grab “Ordinary Graces—Word Gifts For Every Season” by Lucinda Secrest McDowell (Releasing 10/17!!!)

Friends!  In need of a gift idea?  Or any of you early birds already Christmas shopping?  (Do not tell me if you are.  A grocery bagger at Kroger this week reported there are only eleven Fridays ‘til Christmas arrives the following Monday…I will not fret. I will not fret. I will not fret. Savor the season. Savor the season. Savor the season. Tra-la-la-la-la) All good..

This new book we’re about to discuss would make a wonderful birthday gift or  Christmas gift. It’s also for guys and gals, of all ages.

I’ve been blessed to be on the Launch Team of this new devotional, getting a sneak peek. It releases next Tuesday, 10/17.  While you may already have other devotionals, I maintain “variety is the spice of life”, and like shoes, one can never have too many. Yes!

I’ve devoured nearly all of the one hundred and twenty entries. I’ll be sharing a couple of my favorites with you in just a minute.  Honestly, they’re all my favorite, but I’ll just show you a few.

The book?  Ordinary Graces—Word Gifts for Every Season by Lucinda Secrest McDowell. (I call her Cindy.)

A true wordsmith, Cindy flat amazes me for many reasons.  First of which is how she comes up with so many wonderful words, and secondly, how she ties each word in with a Scripture, a pertinent story and a closing prayer. She also quotes other excellent authors. You will highlight until you need another highlighter!

She tells us, “‘Ordinary graces’ are surprising gifts that come to me while simply living my story. They are gifts I discover in ordinary places, like the people who touch my soul because of their courage, kindness or self-sacrifice. I even find them in the challenges that simultaneously turn my world upside down and change me from the inside out. If I’m in a hurry, I will miss them. If I am distracted, I will ignore them. But for anyone who is attentive and seeking, these ordinary graces abound.” This book will help us readers do exactly that.

The book’s theme centers on John 1:16, “From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.”

Cindy’s devotional that came out last year, Dwelling Places, uses words to draw us closer into the presence of God—words that focus on peace, serenity, refuge, and hope. I couldn’t begin to pick a favorite, so I’ll just say you “need” both of them!

This new devotional, Ordinary Graces, introduces us to grace gifts from God to strengthen our soul and offer courage to live adventurously. Each entry is only two pages long, making for a quick, daily read.

The book is divided into four sections:  Grace, Strength, Gratitude and Life. Each section has thirty entries.  Pick a word and dive in. Or, follow the numbers.

Cindy’s easy-to-read writing style is open, honest, relatable, funny, and sometimes causes you to pause and say, “Wow, the Lord is so gracious.”  The entries are reminders to us to focus on Him and recognize snippets of grace throughout our day.

Cindy dedicates her words to us readers.  Savor this a minute:

In the Grace section, my favorite words and devotions are:

Also in this section, Cindy gives us a quote by Charles Spurgeon, “The clock is to go all day, but there is a time for winding it up. Regular communion with God winds us up for the rest of the day.” 

 A timely Scripture from the “Say No” entry is Titus 2:11-12 which says, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” (NIV)

Cindy then poses a thought provoking question: “What do you need to give up in order to receive a gift?” She shares about a season where she had to say “no” repeatedly because of being under a book deadline. While difficult initially, it ultimately helped her remain settled in her soul.

In the Strength section, my favorite words and devotions are:

In the “Pilgrimage” entry, Cindy gives us a quote from Macrina Wiederkehr in Behold Your Life that blew me away:

“A pilgrimage is a ritual journey with a hallowed purpose.
Every step along the way has meaning.
The pilgrim knows that life-giving challenges will emerge.
 A pilgrimage is not a vacation;
 …It is a transformational journey during which significant change takes place.
New insights are given.
Deeper understanding is attained.
New and old places in the heart are visited.
 Blessings are received
 …and healing takes place.
On return from the pilgrimage, life is seen with different eyes.
Nothing will ever be quite the same again.”

In the Gratitude section, my favorite words and devotions are:

Additionally, in the “Burden” entry, Cindy shows us Psalm 68:19, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior who DAILY bears our burdens.”  These frequent reminders from the Word of God are also a gift and a grace.

In the Life section, my favorite words and devotions are:

The word “Descendants” piqued my curiosity now with our new granddaughter in our life.  Cindy says, “I prayed a dedication over each of my children—that they would know God and that He would always guide and protect them throughout life.” Early each morning she prays for her four children and now two sons-in-love and grandchildren.  I love this and am endeavoring to do this for all of our family.

Let’s close now with Cindy’s beautiful closing prayer in “Descendants”:

Friends, run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab Ordinary Graces—Word Gifts for Every Season. You and your friends will be beyond blessed!

‘Til next time!





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Filed under Book Reviews