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

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. and also the Mentoring Project, 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!**








Filed under Book Reviews

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, 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!






Filed under Book Reviews, Life Lessons

Three Last Minute Gift Ideas and One Killer Question…(Part 4 of 4)

Friends! I pray this post finds you skipping and singing, altho’ by the looks of some shoppers at the mall yesterday, several Scrooges were spotted.  Sigh…

Good news is if you need a couple of last minute things, I’ve got three ideas for you.  One devotional for, say teens to centenarians, another for wee ones, plus a very cool way to help you and your friends get your face in the Word every day. (And in a perfect world, perhaps memorize a Scripture or two. Hey, no groaning now, it’s Christmas time!)

First up, allow me to give you a glimpse of a gorgeous coffee table book that’s also a lovely devotional.  Artist and author Ruth Chou Simons’ book, Gracelaced—Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart will bless the socks off you and anyone else you happen to give it to.

From its’ beautiful cover and on into the book, you’ll be met with splendid artwork and photographs divided into the four seasons of the year.  Each season has eight words/entries for you to pour over, including extra Scriptures to look up to help you “delve deeper” as well as a section at the end with questions to help you consider how you’ll respond once you’ve read it.

For example, in the Winter section, Ruth shows us what resting in God’s character looks like, “reminding us that true rest comes when we rest in Him.” The next eight entries help us:

“Rest in God our Refuge,
Rest in God’s Faithfulness,(two different times)
Rest in Christ’s Sufficient Grace,
Rest in God’s Nearness,
Rest in God’s Wisdom,
Rest in God’s Mercy, and
Rest in God’s Power.”

I was stunned to discover Ruth and her husband, Troy, have quite the full quiver:  SIX BOYS. After raising three, I can only imagine TWO three-ring circuses!!!

Ruth’s down to earth writing style is relatable and she tells on herself more than once.  She gifts readers with the courage to press on.

Don’t miss her website.  She includes opportunities to order her artwork in the form of printables, notecards, journals, along with some fun recipes. Go to her Shoppe and see what’s available!

Second idea is a devotional for wee ones entitled Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  My friend, Aletia, gifted me with this when our first granddaughter, Claire, was born. While it’s for children, I’m enjoying reading it before Claire’s old enough to understand it!

There are 101 thoughts on faith which include spiritual truths straight out of the Bible. One of many favorites is “Bless You!”. Sally teaches, “When God promises to bless you, He is saying,’I’m going to make you into everything I ever meant for you to be!’ It means God is taking every day and every single thing that happens in it—good or bad—to make you stronger, to mend  whatever is broken inside, to change you into the person you were always meant to be.”

Tim Keller wrote the Foreword saying this book “may be the best, first introduction for children to have their own time with Jesus which has long been a missing piece that has direct effect on whether a child grows up with a balanced spiritual life or one that is dangerously one sided.”

Many of you know Sally from her infamous Jesus Storybook Bible.  Jago did the illustrations for both of these books. I learned of this book from our middle son, Gordy, when he was in college. Campus Outreach leaders introduced the kids to it. When he asked for a copy I bought one for us too. Kathy Keller, Tim’s wife, says she gives college students and many visitors to their church copies as it’s so easy to understand.

Sally has also written other numerous children’s books, my favorite being Skip to the Loo, My Darling! Grand for potty training your kiddos and it’s illustrated by Anita Jeram who also illustrated Guess How Much I Love You.  The book is beyond clever. Whether you’re successful at potty training or not, you’ll find yourself howling.

I’ve caught Sally on the Eric Metaxas show several times.  They’re good friends and are hilarious in each of the interviews they’ve done.  Many times she’ll read one of her children’s books which is delightful getting to hear her British accent. (

Checkout Sally’s website to see all the books she’s written:

The third gift idea was discovered at a store here in Louisville called Lulubelle’s in Norton Commons, thanks to our daughter-in-love, LT.  It’s called “Small Squares with Mighty Words…” I bought all they had(!!!), but LT tells me they’re getting more in.  I gave these to my friends at our Favorite Things party, plus got more for stocking stuffers, and well, figured I could use one too.

I found two of a few color options in these little square boxes.  You get 50 multi-colored cards with Scripture verses on the front and back. (You math geniuses have already figured out you’ll get to read 100 verses.)

The white box includes a clear acrylic stand, with Scripture cards in muted, pastel colors, packaged as “Small Squares with Mighty Words of Love.” The brown box includes a brown, wooden stand with primary colored cards.

I’ve placed mine on my bathroom vanity where I’ll see it every morning.  Others have put theirs in their kitchen window or by the kitchen sink.

If you live in Louisville, head to Lulubelle’s ( If you live out of town, visit the manufacturer’s website:

Finally, while I’ve talked about gifts all month, the fact is we’re fast approaching Christmas and the birth of our Savior… Here’s your killer question to keep you focused in the midst of the mayhem (I heard this on the radio and it stopped me in my tracks.):

What are YOU giving YOUR KING this year for His birthday? (Share your answer with friends and family.)

May you and your family and friends have a most blessed Merry Christmas as you savor the season and have a lovely, healthy, Happy New Year as well!


‘Til next time!

FYI:  This computer and its’ operator (Moi) are shutting down for a couple of weeks…on purpose.  We’ll do a fun series come the second week of January on starting the New Year off slowly. No stress allowed!

Comments Off on Three Last Minute Gift Ideas and One Killer Question…(Part 4 of 4)

Filed under Book Reviews, Family, Holidays

Perfect Gift Idea for History Buffs: “Mrs. Oswald Chambers—The Woman Behind the World’s Bestselling Devotional” by Michelle Ule (Part 3 of 4)

Friends! I’m sad to report I’ve just finished a total page-turner, Mrs. Oswald Chambers, however I’m GLAD to report it’s a must-read for you and the history buffs in your life!  Hurry and grab some copies for Christmas gifts! You’ll be a hero to whomever you give it to.

Author Michelle Ule has gone to amazing lengths (I cannot even fathom the amount of research she’s done to write this book.) to give us glimpses of life with Mr. and Mrs. Oswald Chambers.

Don’t miss Michelle’s website as she’s included loads of extra tidbits from her research.

Reading Mrs. Oswald Chambers is akin to opening a treasure chest, each chapter more mind blowing than the previous one.  You’ll fall in love with each person you meet, some friends and some family of the Chambers’, plus you’ll feel as if you’re traveling with them, about to have tea at their table, or sitting in one of Oswald’s classrooms.

I confess I’d never considered learning more of Oswald or his family until I caught Michelle being interviewed by Eric Metaxas recently. ( Interview aired October 19th, 2017) After hearing Michelle’s discoveries, I promptly ordered her book.

I have the well-known devotional My Utmost for His Highest thanks to a copy my Mother gave to my Father.

I also learned there’s a modern-day version of the devotional which is on my Christmas list as some of the original entries are a tad tricky to comprehend for this feeble brain of mine.  (This scenario reminds me of the time we read Randy Alcorn’s book on Heaven for Book Club.  It was like attending a class at the seminary.  Shortly afterwards, the children’s version came out and we were all so happy. I digress…)

Michelle’s book reads like a novel.  Her skillful writing introduces you to Oswald and “Biddy” as she was called, allowing you to see how they met and watching how they lived their daily lives. Everyone loves a good love story, especially a true one!

Biddy’s name evolved from the nickname Oswald gave her, “Beloved Disciple” which she said was a mouthful.  A sweet one at that!

Their lives exemplify Romans 8:28 like I’ve never seen…

Biddy was a good student growing up, however repeated cases of bronchitis caused her to miss so much school she had to drop out. She ultimately landed in secretarial school and became highly proficient as a stenographer, able to take down 250 words/minute vs. an average 150 words/minute.

Don’t you know upon meeting Oswald, clearly orchestrated by our gracious God, Biddy was the one who took down all of his speeches, talks, sermons, word for word, accumulating trunks full of his wisdom.

It was Biddy who compiled My Utmost for His Highest, which wasn’t published until ten years after Oswald’s death. He died seven years after they married.

This devotional, now translated into many different languages, has NEVER been out of print and is still today the bestselling devotional of all times. (It is one of twenty-nine books Biddy put together.)

After Biddy and Oswald married, they were blessed with a one and only daughter they named Kathleen.  Sadly, Kathleen never married. She was only four years old when her Daddy died, thus her memories of him largely came from her Mother’s stories.

Biddy and Oswald’s love for the Lord and His Word is hugely inspirational to us readers.  We see them plan their days, bookending them with prayer and reading of Scripture. Their prayer times and study of God’s Word were non-negotiable.

Their utter trust in God and His sovereignty is equally inspirational. They never worried about money from the very start of  their marriage and Biddy didn’t change that tune once she was widowed.

Biddy prayed this prayer every morning, “I give the day over into God’s hands, completely so that He will look after who comes.” Biddy’s friends said she was known to drop whatever she was doing when someone stopped in, brewing countless cups of tea.

It was fascinating to me to learn Biddy and Oswald faithfully read The Daily Light.  I first learned of this book from Anne Graham Lotz.  She’s republished it thanks to her learning of it from her Mother and Grandmother.

Anne’s Grandmother gave a copy to her Mother, Ruth, who in turn gave a copy to each of her children when they were ten years old.  Anne has now given copies of The Daily Light to her children and grandchildren.  This way, they’re all reading the same Scripture every day.  It was the Bagster family who originally published the book in the late 1800’s.

Early into the book we glean tidbits about Oswald:  “The six-foot tall man who addressed the congregation that December was in his early thirties. Angular and lanky with deep-set blue eyes and brown hair swept from a receding hairline, Oswald Chambers relished opportunities to talk about Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God himself.”

“Genial, with a playful sense of humor, and gifted with words, he talked quickly and with an intensity that captured his listeners’ attention. Oswald lectured extemporaneously, without notes. His only goal:  ‘To have honorable mention in somebody’s life in introducing them to God.’”

Devoted workers/teachers/missionaries, Biddy and Oswald did manage to escape for a holiday each year where they could recharge. Both lovers of nature and God’s creation, they referred to their al fresco picnics as “My Heavenly Father’s Dining Room.”

How they later wound up in Egypt during World War I is a grand story you won’t want to miss. Their ministry’s impact was far reaching, one soldier claiming he realized the reason he was enlisted must’ve been for the Lord to reach him thru’ Oswald’s preaching. That’s one of many, many heartwarming stories.

Oswald’s determination to reach as many people for the Lord as possible caused him to burn the midnight oil.  I worried about his health wondering how he could possibly keep up such a rigorous schedule.

You’ll not want to learn about his untimely death, however Biddy’s reaction and dedication to the Lord following Oswald’s death are what kept her going. What she accomplishes afterwards is simply miraculous.

Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab Mrs. Oswald Chambers—the Woman Behind the World’s Bestselling Devotional for yourself and for your friends this Christmas.  I promise you all will be beyond blessed.

‘Til next time!



Filed under Book Reviews

More Christmas Gift Ideas! New devo’ by Liz Curtis Higgs and Beautiful Custom-Made Mirrors! (Part 2 of 4)

Friends! Oh, each week leading up to Christmas gets better and this week I’ve got TWO gift ideas just for you!

Liz Curtis Higgs’ newest book, 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path would make a spectacular gift for your friends or family.  The book’s jacket gives us a teaser saying it’s “A daily devotional and small group Bible study gift book brimming with encouragement.” You can take that to the bank a la Lizzie…

Each of Liz’s thirty-seven books, upon launch, is my current favorite du jour, but this one, call me crazy, is really, really, special—in a bizarre-o way. Most of you know Liz was diagnosed with cancer this past summer. She had completed the manuscript for this book prior to her diagnosis.

When you read 31 Verses, it is uncanny how the Lord went before Liz, as if preparing her for what was ahead.  Each chapter gives me chills, especially “Tomorrow, Tomorrow.”

In true Lizzie fashion, Liz dissects these verses, word by word and phrase by phrase, showing us different translations of the Bible which are eye-opening. I’ve highlighted and dog-eared many a page.

The verse in this chapter?

Liz reminds us, “A thousand years after Solomon wrote this verse in Proverbs, Jesus offed the same wisdom:

While statistics can scare us silly, Liz, a lovely ambassador for hope, tells us point blank, “I am not a woman without hope.” In the wake of chemo’ and radiation, Liz will be boldly speaking about “Endless Hope” in her talks for Prison Fellowship events, pointing us to the One who promises hope:

Each chapter concludes with a fun little activity called, “One Minute, One Step.”  It’s a suggestion to help you grab onto the concept of the Scripture verse Liz has just written about.  These are easy and make you say, “Huh, why haven’t I thought of that before?”

At the end of the book are 2-3 Bible study questions per chapter which you can do on your own, or with your Bible study group or Small Group.  They’re thought provoking and rich with application.

I could never choose a favorite chapter, but I can give you one more peek into one more chapter because I have yet another special gift idea for you which relates directly to this verse!

This comes from the chapter called “Looking Glass” and the verse Liz helps us with is Proverbs 27:19,

Each chapter also concludes with a prayer and the one from this chapter is the perfect lead in to our next gift idea:


So, while we’re talking about our appearance, allow me to introduce you to a darling, young entrepreneur by the name of Nicole Tarpoff. She is creating custom designed mirrors in all sizes and colors.

For an early Christmas gift, Gordy, Lauren and Lauren’s Mom, Pam, presented John Jr., and Diana with a gift during Thanksgiving.  They’d given Nicole a picture of our granddaughter (Well, ok, their niece, too. LOL), Claire Elizabeth. Nicole prayed for Claire while she made this mirror and included a personal prayer especially for her on the back of the mirror.

Nicole started her ministry by saying, “An object that the enemy once used for destruction in my life is the very same object that the Lord is using to birth a ministry.”

She adds, “Every mirror is prayerfully designed to be a piece that shifts the atmosphere in the room. These pieces are to serve as a reminder we’re called to reflect Him. We were made for love, we were created to serve, and we were designed to bring Him glory. But it starts here. It starts by us boldly claiming who we are in Him, declaring over ourselves the very truths that He has spoken over us from the beginning. This is more than mirrors, it’s a movement.” AMEN

Here’s our little Claire when she received her mirror:

Here’s a snippet of the prayer Nicole wrote out for Claire (…and may I add there were several tears flowing down all of our cheeks during the reading.)


I recently heard Andy Stanley talking about when people do something nice for your children (or grandchildren in this case)…You discover it brings you honor and you never forget it.  It blesses your socks off and warms your heart. It’s the BEST. Who are you thinking about who could be blessed by one of these mirrors?

If you’d like to contact Nicole about making a mirror for your daughter or granddaughter or niece, her email is:  She’s also on Instagram under her name and you may direct message her @nicoletarpoff.

May you and your families savor the wonder of this Christmas season.

‘Til next time!


Filed under Book Reviews, Family, Friends, Grandchildren, Holidays

Christmas Gift Ideas: New Novel “Granted” by Angela Correll (Part 1 of 4)

Friends! Between now and the next three weeks leading up to Christmas, I’ll be giving you some Christmas gift ideas for your friends and family. Hey, if YOU are interested, drop some serious hints…These ideas are all lovely and are guaranteed to bless the recipient.

First up, I’m thrilled to report Angela Correll has a new novel out which just released November 22ndGranted is the third and final novel in the May Hollow trilogy.  Sad for us May Hollow fans, but hang with me for news on that little issue…hope’s around the corner…

I told Angela I’d have bought Granted  on the spot solely from the cover! (Yes, I’m guilty of judging a book by its’ cover.) Note the wedding dress….Yes, love is in the air.

Critics have compared Angela’s writing to Jan Karon’s.  I love her writing because her story is set in Kentucky with visits to my hometown of Lexington, including some of my favorite restaurants. Faith, food, fellowship, and farming play a large role in the story as well.

Additionally, you’ll adore Granted’s characters. Annie, Jake, and Beulah are my favorites, but you’ll have to decide who yours are as there are plenty more to choose from. They jump off the pages to meet you and you find yourself lured into their story.

Their simple lifestyle is terribly appealing, inspiring downtime and not activities to decorate your calendar. Angela says she hopes her readers’ takeaway is “inspiration to enrich intergenerational community whether it’s a neighborhood in Manhattan or a rural area in Alabama.”.

Christian fiction can sometimes be sappy, as in way unrealistic, but I give my hats’ off to Angela as she does not tie every situation up into a tidy little knot.  She keeps you guessing, throwing a few curve balls along with some characters who’ll make you want to teach them a lesson or two!

Angela shares the lesson from a messy relationship is for us to make peace with it.  (This is a painful part of the story.) Here’s a favorite quote regarding this particular mess:

“She recalled her favorite verse, the one she struggled with the most: ‘Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.’ She did cast her anxiety on him, but many times she picked it right back up again. That was what she had done all month. Lord help me in my unbelief, she prayed, because unbelief was the very root of it.” (This is from 1 Peter 5:7 NIV)

Not only is there a wedding in store for the reader, a trip to Italy in the Tuscany region is also included with scenery Angela so beautifully paints.  I’m ready to hop a plane there as I write.  Actually, I’m dreaming of hopping a plane there!

Nancy Sleeth’s endorsement illustrates Angela’s creativity:


Several people have asked me if it’s necessary to have read the first two books prior to Granted. I say, “No, but they’re both so good, you won’t want to miss the characters’ transformations, story line, etc.”

Grounded  is the first one, with Guarded being the second. As a matter of fact, the entire trilogy would make an even greater gift!

Life as Angela and her husband, Jess, experience fills Granted’s pages…If you live in Kentucky, I’ve got the perfect road trip for you either for the day, or for an overnight.

Drive to Stanford and grab a bite at the Bluebird Café. ( The café only serves food from local vendors and farmers, farm-to-table style.

Following your meal, you can walk across the street to mill around Angela’s shop, Kentucky Soaps and Such ( ). Warning:  In addition to a wide variety of gifts including her goat’s milk cream (“Summer rain” is my favorite scent, but you may choose your own.), there’s a bookstore within the store loaded with excellent selections.  Last time I was there with friends, we needed multiple shopping bags.

But, if you want a true escape, try one of Angela’s Wilderness Road homes and spend the night.  ( )

One of many favorite parts of her novel includes  “porch time”—just sitting on the porch either reading or chatting with neighbors.  John and I stayed in one of the Wilderness Road homes for a little respite not too long ago. We have pictures of us drinking coffee, sitting on a porch swing, taking in the morning.

Go grab Granted, a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the Christmas season.  Grab one for a friend as a Christmas gift.  You’ll both be blessed!

‘Til next time!

P.S. I promised to share what’s ahead for Angela.  She’s got a couple of projects in the works and when asked if this is the last time we’ll hear from the families on May Hollow Road she said, “There was a story arc I wanted to see through from the beginning and Granted does complete that. There’s room in the future to pick up other story lines from some of the characters, so it may not be the last time we hear from some of the characters, but Granted does round out the story of Annie’s return home.” Stay tuned!


Filed under Book Reviews, Travel

Come Enjoy 5 Fun Treats at Book Club Monday, 11/27 (“Christmas Playlist” by Alistair Begg)

Friends! Be thinking of who to bring with you to our next Book Club gathering on Monday, November 27th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. You won’t believe what all is on our agenda!

First up, we have some special guests coming who will serenade us! Yes, the Cincinnati Christmas Carolers are joining us! ( )They will not only get us in the Christmas spirit, they will be the perfect segue way into our book we’ll be discussing, Christmas Playlist—Four Songs that Bring You to the Heart of Christmas by Alistair Begg.

Many of you know of Alistair and have been blessed by his preaching on the radio via Truth for Life. ( )  He’s been the Senior Pastor of Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio since 1983. ( )

I used to listen to Alistair every morning after dropping off the children in carpool.  His Scottish brogue, along with his inspiring message, calmed my frazzled self to enjoy the day.

The second treat we’ll experience is watching a short-but-sweet video message Alistair made just for us! How fun is that?

Thirdly, all the while this is going on, we can taste fun Christmas party appetizers everyone is bringing (how about that Christmas tree-shaped cheese mold?!!!) to share.  Get creative, but please do avoid fruit cake. (Nobody quote me on that, and please do forgive me, I know some of you actually like the stuff.) And relax, no judgment will surface if you blow into Kroger and buy something readymade.  Food is food is food.

Fourthly, we’ll have a lively discussion about the book, your favorite songs, Christmas traditions, you-name-it.  This will be a sure cure for any potential Scrooges to infiltrate your homes.

The four songs Alistair shares with us straight from Scripture will prepare our hearts and minds to embrace the Christmas season. Unlike the innkeeper who said, “Sorry, there’s no room in the inn…”, we will uncover ways to make room for Jesus and celebrate His birthday in the best possible way this Christmas.

Fifthly, and finally, in addition to your Christmas party appetizer, please bring a wrapped ornament for our Ornament Exchange! This was so fun last year and a huge bonus to have a new ornament to take home and hang on your tree. This will be our grande finale to a most outstanding and uplifting meeting.

Make arrangements now to join us, toting friends with you, at our Christmas Book Club gathering, Next Monday, November 27th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Middletown United Methodist Church.

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243

Please call Nancy Tinnell to RSVP:  (502) 245-8839.

‘Til next time!



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Filed under Book Clubs, Holidays