Monthly Archives: January 2018

Two Words That Will Change Your 2018…

Friends!  How are those New Year’s resolutions workin’ for ya?  Yeah, me too. February’s around the corner, we can always start over…

Oh, but do I ever have GOOD NEWS for you!  Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and snag a compelling, life-altering, heartwarming  book:  Wild and Free—A Hope Filled Anthem for the  Woman Who Feels She is Both Too Much and Never Enough by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan.

By now, you’ve probably figured out the two words:  WILD and FREE.

Neither of these words would I have attributed to yours truly.  However, Jess and Hayley will take you by the hand and walk you thru’ why and how exactly we are all wild and free in Christ.

Jennie Allen wrote the Foreword and tells us readers we will discover what it truly means when we read Galatians 5:1 –

Erin Loechner, who wrote Chasing Slow, says Jess and Hayley “are a dream team role model due for young women everywhere. Their minds, souls, and spirits are wildly different, but together, their hearts gracefully point to one common purpose: to find freedom and rest in God alone.” (Learn more about Chasing Slow here.)

What makes this book such a fun read is the two authors who really are “wildly different” as Erin says, take turns writing the chapters.  Each chapter will first include say Jess’ thoughts, followed by a beautiful prayer, followed by Hayley’s response to what Jess has said and then vice versa.

You can find out more about Jess via her website:  www.jessconnolly.com and also from her blog and wildly entertaining website loaded with goodies:  www.allgoodthingscollective.com She’s the co-founder of SheReadsTruth and of The Influence Network, two great resources.

In addition to her writing, Hayley and her husband started Wildly Co., a children’s clothing company and she’s also a co-founder of The Influence Network.  Hayley and Jess each have four children which will slay you as you read their writing, wondering where they found the time to put Wild and Free together. (Also, don’t miss their book’s website:  www.wearewildandfree.com ) Hayley blogs at www.thetinytwig.com .

Jess and Hayley are brutally honest (which is what helps the reader relate to both of them) and full of passion for our Lord.  They offer proof after proof for any argument you may concoct. I soooo wish I’d had this book when I was in my 20’s!

Jess begins by saying, “the wild and free life is waiting for you. It’s been purchased on the cross, and the kingdom of God is waiting, heaving, groaning—ready for you to take our place. And it’s never too late to say yes. The story isn’t over. It’s just getting started.”

Hayley responds by saying, “As I’ve studied Scripture, though, I believe if we are not walking wildly in who God created us to be, we’re missing out on a large portion of our charge as believers. We were made in the image of God; our original mom and dad inhabited the wildest, lushest, and safest garden.”

Jess reminds us, “You can walk away from comparison, throw shame in the trash, and stop skipping around worrying …Our Savior paid the ultimate price so we could live the way we were intended to—underneath the banner of the gospel, at ease.  See what I mean by empowering words? The entire book is crammed full of powerful visuals making you feel like a warrior by the end of it.

Without giving away too much more, I’ll show you just one of my favorite quotes from Hayley in an amazing chapter called Unchained and Unafraid. She shows us several examples of what a free woman looks like:  “She is not paralyzed by decisions, because she’s indwelled with the Spirit of peace.” After these statements, we’re gifted with a verse. This one offers Romans 15:13 –

Try Wild and Free out for yourself first, and then my guess is you’ll begin thinking of who else in your life would enjoy it while you’re reading.  To further challenge your wallet (!!!), I just discovered Jess wrote another book that released last fall.  I’ve just put it on my shopping list:  Dance, Stand, Run:  the God-Inspired Moves of a Woman on Holy Ground.

Since next month delivers Valentine’s Day, we’ll be talking about some amazing love stories. Oh, and maybe some chocolate… Stay tuned…

‘Til next time!

 

 

 

 

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You’re Invited to a Wildly Fun Book Club, a la Bob Goff, Monday 1/22! (**PLUS FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY Opportunity !**)

Friends!  Call up your friends NOW and invite them to what promises to be a boatload of fun next Monday, January 22nd, from 6:30-8:00 at Middletown United Methodist Church. It’s our first Book Club Meeting of the New Year!

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

We’ll be discussing Love Does—Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by the one and only Bob Goff.  Once you get to hear Bob speak, you can’t miss his inflections in his book. He depicts some kind of crazy in everything he does!

Louie Giglio says Bob is “a one-man tsunami of grace, a hurricane of love.”  Bill Hybels says, “If this book doesn’t make your heart beat faster, book the next flight to Mayo Clinic!” And in the Foreword, by Donald Miller, he says, “Where you and I may want love and feel love and say love, Bob reminds us that love does things….

“…It writes a letter and gets on a plane. It orders pizza and jumps in a lake. It hugs and prays and cries and sings. Much of what we’ve come to know and believe about love doesn’t ring true once you know this man whose love does.

Then for the next thirty-one short-n-sweet chapters, Bob will show you what Jesus with skin on looks like.  Some are hysterical, while others will cause you to fetch a Kleenex. Bob is so not about himself and all about others.  (“All the proceeds of this book are being donated to Love Does to promote human rights and education around the world. www.lovedoes.org and also the Mentoring Project, www.thementoringproject.org These two organizations are committed to loving kids in tangible ways…”)

Don’t miss Chapter Seven, “Sweet Maria”, about Bob’s bride.  And while you’re at it, you’d also love Maria’s book, Love Lives Here—Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want.  From the short glimpse of their relationship in Bob’s book, you’ll get the bigger picture with wildly fun details in her book. (I wrote about it last September.)

In each chapter you get to be Bob’s righthand man, hanging out with him, seeing him in action. You’ll get to meet  Bob’s Young Life Leader, named Randy, who did something so outrageous in the first chapter, you’ll be hooked and won’t be able to put the book down.

Check this out:

“What I learned from Randy changed my view permanently about what it meant to have a friendship with Jesus. I learned that faith isn’t about knowing all of the right stuff or obeying a list of rules. It’s something more, something more costly because it involves being present and making a sacrifice. Perhaps that’s why Jesus is sometimes called Immanual—‘God with us.’”

And with that, you’re jump started into the next chapter and the next and the next!  If you’ve not read the book yet, still come to hear the discussion at Book Club Monday night. Then maybe try reading a chapter a day for a month—31 days straight.  See if your conception of Jesus isn’t expanded, all for the better! It’s a beautiful experience! (FYI:  My three favorite chapters, if I had to pick, are:  “Friends, Welcome Home!”, “Memorizing Jesus”, and “Palms Up.”)

Meanwhile, come join us for what is sure to be a lively discussion at Book Club next Monday, January 22nd!  Please bring a healthy snack if time allows.  Since we’re into the New Year and by now have probably ditched our diets, let’s resume our healthy eating.  (I confess instead of granola or carrot sticks, I may bring carrot cake, but don’t tell anybody.)

We look forward to seeing you next Monday, January 22nd, from 6:30-8:00!  Happy to report the Connection Center is still available for January while the remodeling project looms closer and closer…

Please RSVP to Nancy Tinnell at (502) 245-8839.  And bring lots of friends! Everyone is welcome!

‘Til next time!

**Leave a comment in the next week if you’ve read the book or heard Bob speak before and tell us WHY you like his method to his madness so much.  You’ll be entered into a free giveaway of Love Does AND Love Lives Here you can either keep for yourself or give to a friend!**

 

 

 

 

 

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Let’s Start the Year Off Right with Help from “Chasing Slow—Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path” by Erin Loechner

Friends!  Happy New Year!  Let’s rejoice we have a fresh start…a new year, a new calendar, a do-over (anyone?), a mulligan for you golfers.

Recently I discovered a multi-talented young lady by the name of Erin Loechner. Some of you know her from her wildly popular blog, www.designformankind.com Others of you may have caught her when she was on HGTV.  I found her from her latest book which caught my eye:  Chasing Slow—Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path.  The book cover plus its’ title grabbed me right away.

The layout of the book is clean, easy to navigate, and includes some amazing, healthy recipes.  SOLD.  Divided into three parts (“Chasing More”, “Chasing Less”, and “Surrender”), you’ll get thirty-four small chapters to absorb.

Because I’m forever using phrases like, “I’m chasin’ my tail today.” Or “I’m playing beat the clock and losing again…”, Chasing Slow sounded wildly appealing.

Erin takes you on her journey while showing us what it looks like to look for, but avoid, the lion. You know, the roaring one lying to you through his teeth.

Newly married and living in LA, Erin and her husband, Ken, learn he’s got a brain tumor. Couple that with depression and anxiety on Erin’s part, and they’ve got more than a full plate.

She says, “In my mind’s ocean are jaws of depression, tentacles of anxiety. I live daily in the hope that if I work hard enough, if I paddle fast enough, I might outswim the sadness. I might outsmart the tension. I might overcome life’s ambiguity with sheer will, force of mind….” (Notice how many times she uses “I”.)

Then she remembers this verse:

She concludes, “I do know that with God comes wisdom and time, and with wisdom and time comes perspective, and that sometimes, overcoming depression requires an oversized cocktail shaker of all of those things, on the rocks, please.”

Bottom line?  She carries on her sense of humor:  “But sometimes, often, the most reverent spiritual practice is to pick up the pug dung and get back to work.”  In other words, just do the next thing.

You’ll get to see how her blog was born, which she says is her escape, a way to “silence our lions.” She honestly reveals many of their highs and lows. In an article in Relevant magazine from last fall, Erin says, “It’s all about creating margin, ‘Sabbath’ is there for a reason.’”

Another fun fact from the layout of this book, is every so often Erin gifts us with a math lesson. My favorite is #004:  “No = a Complete Sentence.”

Savor this from G.K. Chesterton:

You’ll also get to see how Erin and Ken get themselves into a financial mess, which leads to a move back home in the Midwest with Erin’s family. An opportunity with HGTV suddenly arrives and Erin remarks, “The thing about apples is that we’re always biting off more than we can chew. It is hard to see which bites might nourish and which might cause us to choke.” That’s another case of beware of that prowling lion!

Erin teaches, “Here is the secret to subtraction: It doesn’t matter what you remove. What matters is that you stop adding it back.” POW.

Erin and Ken become blessed with a new baby daughter, they name “Bee”. Their navigation into parenthood is a blast to read. If you’ve had a newborn in your life before, you’ll laugh along with them. Another one of Erin’s math lessons for us is #010:  “Sticker sheet + Toddlers = 5 minutes of peace and quiet for Mama.”

While Erin was writing Chasing Slow, her circle of friends began passing a book around called, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. You might imagine Erin adores it given her book topic. Don’t miss her hysterical remarks about the book.  It was passed around my circle of friends as well.  As I survey my surroundings, I spot signs of mega clutter. It’s occurring to me I may need to dig that meddling book back out with the new year. Sigh…

Finally, when you hit chapter 34, you find yourself wanting more from Erin, and yet her encouragement, use of Scripture verses, and prayers throughout make you want to roll your sleeves up and start chasing slow. Erin suggests, “Chase what God wants for your life, and ask Him how to get there.”

The grande finale of the book holds TWO surprises before you read the last page: (1) The Resource section.  “From A to Z, a Few Easy Changes to Slow Your Life” will bless you further. And (2) “Five Methods of Decluttering Your Home”.  These are priceless.

Thank you, Erin, for a delightful way to start 2018!

‘Til next time!

 

 

 

 

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