Tag Archives: Beth Moore

What Can We Learn From A 92-Year-Old Prayer Warrior?

Friends!  I mustn’t let one more minute fly by without revealing a discovery I predict will change every reader’s prayer life.  It’s a delightful discovery because it’s based on the woman who inspired the character, Miss Clara, in the movie War Room. 

The book?  The Audacious Molly Bruno:  Amazing Stories from the Life of a Powerful Woman of Prayer

Molly Bruno is the incredible prayer warrior we become acquainted with. We get lovely sneak peeks into Molly’s life, thanks to her daughter, Marie Armenia, who authored the book.

The Foreword is by Stephen Kendrick of the Kendrick brothers who co-wrote and produced the movie War Room.  Molly became friends with them and with the cast (including Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, etc.) She especially became close with Stephen.

She prayed for the movie fervently during production, sadly passing away just as it came out. However, the crew sent her the movie early so she could see how it turned out. She declared she was proud of every single detail.

This inspiring book includes, get ready for this:  EIGHTY, count ‘em 80, Life Lessons from Molly.  Each chapter includes recipes for:

 

PLUS, the end of the book has two appendices:  One of the list of Molly’s Life lessons AND the recipe for Molly’s Meatballs!  What a resource to treasure!

First I’d like to share a couple of endorsements and then I’ll share just a few highlights without giving away too much of the book.  There’s so much you’ll be blown away by, I don’t want to spoil the discoveries for you!

Tim Enloe said, “The secret of Molly’s life was that she was wonderfully, unusually dependent upon Jesus.”

Ralph Duncan said, “Molly Bruno models how an ordinary mother can partner with God in shaping the world!”

Ivey Harrington Beckmann said, “Molly Bruno did not walk on water, but she was the hands and feet of Jesus wherever she went…Marie Armenia has captured the effervescent soul of her mom and given women the lifeline of Molly’s exceptional wisdom so they can navigate the rough seas of life with faith, hope, and laughter.” (Don’t miss that word “lifeline!”)

One of the first things we learn about Molly is revealed to us by her daughter, Marie.  Marie declares her mother was “a nuclear -powered witnessing machine.” We readers get to see Molly in action, first-hand.  Molly and Marie take us by the hand and mentor us along the way.

Marie tells us that prayer for her mom “was like eating candy to her—a sweet JOY to her.”  It was Molly’s way of living.  Her two-word solution was always, “Let’s pray.”  It’s not a coincidence that 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray continually.

Chapter Two contains one of my many favorite Life Lessons, #14:

This lesson came on the heels of 9/11 hitting in New York City, the very week Marie and her husband were moving her parents to Nashville, Tennessee from the Big Apple.  Lo, and behold, with the terrorist attack and all that came with it, there were no moving vans in NYC.

Marie kept trying to relay the severity of the situation to her mother who was not to be dissuaded, praying like she always did.  It wasn’t three more minutes until the phone rang and a man from a moving company posed the most curious question, “Does anyone there need a moving truck?”

No, I’m not kidding, and this kind of scenario is in every single chapter.  You will flip, I promise. (And don’t miss the chapter on dreams.  Uncanny and total proof our Lord is in every detail of our lives.)

And, I love Molly’s Life Lesson #16:  “If prayer is your first response in every situation, it will become your children’s first response in every situation.”  That should make us all parent differently, huh?

Chapter Four is hands down another favorite:  “The Recipe for Reading and Understanding the Bible.” Marie tells us her parents, who were married for seventy-two years, recited Hebrews 4:12 in unison every night before they fell asleep:

Marie reveals her son recorded her parents reciting Scripture together because what could be more beautiful than seeing this sweet couple in their 90’s, reciting Scripture?  Marie said, “It’s like they were memorizing their marching orders from their heavenly Commander in Chief.”

This rolls right into Molly’s Life lesson #27:  “There is no age limit on memorizing Scripture. Do it with your children and your grandchildren. And keep doing it until you see the Lord.”

Here’s where we need to call upon Rob Morgan’s excellent book, 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart for a little help.  Just a thought…

Chapter Seven is killer funny and killer convicting.  The subject? “The Recipe for Being a Wife.”

Here’s THE question:  “Would You Want to Come Home to You?”

Marie tosses us these two verses:  “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife…Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.” Proverbs 21:9,19

Yes, well, we all know the saying, “If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy.”  I remember hearing one of our boys saying, “Steer clear of Mom, she’s in a mood.”  Super proud of that.  Sigh.

Molly taught Marie, “The wife sets the tone for the home.”  And she takes it a step further teaching us to, “overlook what someone else was doing to me in an attempt to see why God was allowing it to happen…Nothing touches me unless God allows it. What is God trying to teach me by allowing this in my life? Is there something He is trying to dig out of my heart?”

Let’s discuss just one more wee, tiny point  and then y’all can dive into the rest of the book…Chapter Eight is the “Recipe for Being a Mom.”

One of my very first Bible studies I attended included the part in Genesis where Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his one and only son, Isaac, who he and Sarah had waited for for years and years, even decades.  (See Genesis 22) I could not grasp how in the world Abraham could have the faith and trust in the Lord to prepare his one and only son to be sacrificed.  (Still have trouble with it, truth be told. Still learning, Lord. Doubting Thomas is the first friend in Heaven I wish to talk to…)

I was struck by what Molly said to her daughter with faith as bold as Abraham:  “Marie , if you wind up in China because that’s God’s will for your life and I never see you again while we both live on this earth, that’s fine. I’d rather never see you again and know you are in the center of God’s will for your life than to have you live right next door to me and be out of the will of God.”

This, my friends, is HUGE.  Can you/could you say such?  I immediately thought of our friends, Nancy and Matthew Sleeth, whose two children and spouses and one granddaughter (and one grandson arriving this month, Lord willing) all live in Africa as missionaries.  I recounted Molly’s words recently to Nancy saying I’d thought of her with her kids clear across the world.  Nancy smiled and said, “Yes, but we will have eternity together.”  Gulp.  I realized at that very second my own petite faith had miles to go to reach that kind of trust.

Oh, now you know what I’m going to say, “Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and snag The Audacious Molly Bruno!”  There’s so much more to becoming acquainted with a quintessential, inspirational 92-year-old prayer warrior. Savor all eighty of her lessons and share them with your family and friends.

‘Til next time!

 

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You’re Invited to an Evening with Beth Moore and Beignets! Monday, 2/27, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Friends!  Wow, do we ever have a heap o’ good news for you!

First off, we’re taking a break from our fitness series…we’ll return to that next week. Ahhh, please sit back and relax…..

Woman Resting In Hammock

Secondly, you do not want to miss Branches Book Club Meeting  next week!  You and your friends are invited to join us for a wild discussion of an even wilder novel.  We’ll be meeting on Monday evening, February 27th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Middletown United Methodist Church.

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

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

We’ll be discussing Beth Moore’s debut novel, The Undoing of Saint Silvanus.  A  novel by Beth Moore?  I know,  it’s true!

Undoing of Saint

EVEN MORE EXCITING:

Beth is sending us a personal message for us to watch.  It’s the next best thing to having her right in the room with us.  You do NOT want to miss this opportunity!!!

Beth Moore

Most of you know Beth from having done one or more of her eighteen Bible studies.  My guess is many of you’ve grown your faith, thanks to Beth’s workbooks and videos and divine insight into God’s Word.  (A few of my favorites are Believing God, Stepping Up, Daniel,  and Mercy Triumphs.  What are some of yours?)

I also bet you were as stunned as I was to learn she’d written a novel.  It’s a tad on the tome side, too, weighing in at four hundred and sixty-eight pages.  But, it’s a page-turner, so  sadly you’ll be done before you want to be.

I’m still shaking my head at the intricacies and shocking suspense of the plot (it’s akin to riding a hair-raising roller coaster), the variety of personalities of her characters (oh, you’ll laugh out loud), and the lovely setting in New Orleans.  You can almost taste the food she serves up.

Speaking of food (!!!), you’ll be enticed to learn the Branches Book Club gals will be serving up beignets Monday night.

Beignets (french Style Donuts)

On the off chance you’ve not sampled a beignet before, let me further lure you to join us.  I learned of beignets from a friend I met my freshman year of college named Nonie.  She hails from New Orleans.

At the beginning of Mardi Gras week, Nonie’s parents sent her a huge package.  It had a King Cake in it, along with a couple of boxes of beignet mix, a bag of powdered sugar and brown paper lunch bags. Huh?

Nonie declared it was “Beignet Time” and we were going to have a firsthand lesson on how to make some.  We didn’t have a kitchen in our dorm, but we did have a huge hallway bathroom where we could plug in Nonie’s Fry Baby.  (Do not think on that for very long, or you’ll lose your appetite.)

We learned the brown paper lunch bags were perfect for dumping powdered sugar into, followed by piping hot beignets (a few at a time), fresh out of the fryer.

Oh my, makes my mouth water.  Way better than a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut, a hot beignet is fab for breakfast, lunch,  dinner or any time, truth be told.

Want to try some?  Come to Book Club!  And if you want to try making some at home, all you have to do is locate a mix by the famous folks from Café du Monde.  If your local grocer doesn’t carry some, hop over to Amazon

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What more could you ask for than hearing from Beth Moore, with beignets in front of you, and time with the fun gals at Branches Book Club?  Call up a buddy and mosey on over.

Those of you who have a recipe for anything creole, or New Orleans-inspired, please bring it if time allows. Please RSVP to Nancy Tinnell at (502) 245-8839.

The discussion will be eye-opening given the many subjects Beth touches on.  Without spoiling any details, all I’ll say is I’d love to meet and spend time with Miss Adella Atwater.  Clearly she’s not only a devoted follower of our Lord, she brilliantly orchestrates how to bring others into His fold as well.  Well done, Miss Beth.

Hope to see you Monday, February 27th!

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

‘Til next time!

 

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The Single Most Effective Exercise You Can Do… (With Help from New Author, Carol Bonura and her book, “Our God is a Big God—Personal Stories of Those Touched by the Bigness of God”) Part 1 of 4 on Fitness

Friends!  Let’s play Good News/Bad News….

Bad news first:  Yes, we’ll be doing a four-part series on fitness over the next few weeks which does involve exercise. But, here on the blog, you only have to read about it.  If you want to try it, well, that’s up to you!

Good news:  We’ll be starting out slowly (!!!), and some of the exercise is metaphorical vs. physical.  We’ll break halfway thru’ to talk about Book Club (Mark your calendars for February 27th when Branches Book Club will be discussing Beth Moore’s debut novel, The Undoing of Saint Sylvanus and will receive a personal video message from Beth.)

**Even BETTER news**:  There’s a brand new book out by my sweet friend, Carol Bonura.  It would be great for any age, male or female.  Checkout the title:  Our God is a Big God—Personal Stories of Those Touched by the Bigness of God.

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The format is fantastic as is each, unique story by over forty different individuals.  As the title indicates, these friends of Carol’s share a story where God has revealed Himself.  Many of the stories are an only-God-could-pull-this-off kind, leaving no other possible explanation.

Prior to the contributor’s story, Carol shares how she knows this person.  Their story rolls, followed by that person’s favorite Scripture verse.  Carol then blesses each contributor with a verse which is not only fitting to the story, I believe it inspires that person to carry on. To see the Word of God “work together” so beautifully is another one of my favorite parts of Carol’s book.

I can’t begin to choose a favorite story.  I’ve loved them all.  (I happen to have a story in Carol’s book and while it’s my story, it’s still a cool God-incident, also irrefutable.)

Bob Russell wrote the Foreword and he has written a story.  Liz Curtis Higgs, Pat Day, Elizabeth Jeffries, Amos Martin, Dave Stone, and Joe Donaldson are just a few of the many contributors.

Bob said, “When we allow the Spirit of God to work through us, we have a positive story to tell to the nations, a story that can change lives and inspire others to be more than they can be alone.”

Carol’s book came about from a recent vacation she and her husband, Joe,  took with friends.  Carol tells us while on vacation, they all participated in Bible study every morning.

She was so moved by Ecclesiastes 3:11, she decided to ask these six friends to share “how they’d been impacted by the immensity of God.” After hearing their amazing stories, it was Joe who suggested she enlist more friends and family to share their stories on the Bigness of God, putting them together in a book.

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Once you dive into the book, you’ll immediately say to yourself, “Oh my goodness, so-and-so would enjoy this!”  Take my advice and have a notepad nearby as one friend will lead to five.  What a beautiful gift this makes.

So, I’ve dodged exercise long enough…What’s fun about this week’s post is you can read Carol’s book and try this most effective exercise at the same time.

A fascinating book came out in 2010 entitled The Blue Zones—Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner (The 2nd edition is in paperback.)

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Dan used to write for National Geographic magazine.  His article on “The Secrets of Long Life” and its’ popularity, caused him to research the ends of the earth to find more concentrated areas of living centenarians. He studied the lifestyle of these people. They dubbed these parts of the world “Blue Zones”.

Dan also includes lessons enabling you to create your own personal Blue Zone. Happy to report one of the common denominators you’ll discover is these folks consume dark chocolate.

Every day. 

(Just on the off chance you need one more reason to consume chocolate.)

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Other common denominators include participating in a community.  Another one, across the board, is these folks walk everywhere.  Many times, logging miles and miles a day.  (One of our four exercise posts will discuss walking and jogging in detail…)

One of a handful of helpful take-home resources is where Dan reveals the single most effective exercise you can do for yourself :  Simply sit in a chair.  Followed by standing to get yourself up out of the chair. (These women in the picture are practicing!)

Senior Women Standing And Sitting For ExerciseWorking your three sets of thigh muscles faithfully will keep you out of a wheelchair. I know this to be true as this happened to my own Mother.  She quit trying, and kept sitting, causing her to be unable to get up out of that chair, sadly landing her in a wheelchair, immobile.

My proposition to you dear friends, today, is to suggest you grab a good book.  Preferably Carol’s new one, Our God is a Big God, and read one of the stories each day. 

Take it with you to your favorite chair.  Sit down, read one of the stories.  Then get up!  This simple act will help you stay mobile. Read another story, repeating this action the next day.  And the next…

Now see?  That wasn’t too painful!  This is a mere warm-up for next week’s post.  Much  more vigorous exercise lies ahead…

One more fun fact before we close:  I was blessed to meet Carol many years ago thru’ mutual friends plus we attended Book Club together.  One New Year’s Eve, John and I were with Carol and Joe and Liz and Bill Higgs over at Elizabeth Jeffries’ home.  Elizabeth and Stephen had asked us over for dinner to ring in the New Year.

We each shared something fun we’d done in the previous year.  I about fell out of my chair when Carol reported she’d read sixty-five books that year.  How wonderful for her she now has her very own book for us to read!  Congratulations, Carol!

‘Til next time!

P.S.  FYI, here are other interesting books by the Blue Zone guy,  Dan Buettner:

The Blue Zone Solution:   Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People

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Thrive:  Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way

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Five Friends Buy One Wedding Dress. Will They Each Get to Wear It? Come Find Out at Book Club, Monday January 23rd!

Friends!  You and your friends are invited to Book Club next Monday night, January 23rd, when we’ll discuss a delightful novel, Five Brides—Five Brides…one dress…a lifetime of memories by Eva Marie Everson.

Five Brides

Whether you’ve read the book or not, please come join us as the discussion will be wonderful PLUS we’re having a WEDDING CAKE and we’re all encouraged to bring something you’d eat at a wedding reception.  Nuts, finger sandwiches, fruit, chocolate (!!!), you pick.  We also would love to see a picture from your wedding!

We meet at Middletown United Methodist Church from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  Please call Nancy Tinnell to rsvp:  (502) 245-8839.

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

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

Without revealing the entire story, I’ll share a brief snippet about the book.  I’ll also be telling you about two other upcoming events you won’t want to miss…

Five Brides involves five girls who meet thanks to many different Godly orchestrations, ultimately landing them in the same basement apartment in Chicago in the fifties.  You’ll get to know Joan, Betty, Magda, Inga, and Evelyn.

Very different, with varying jobs, these characters each win the reader’s heart.  Two of the five are sisters, and even they are like night and day.

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On a whim one day, when the five girls are all together, they pass a bridal shop, instantly falling in love with the dress in the window.  They not only fall in love with it, they buy it! (You don’t want to miss those chapters, the girls are hilarious infuriating the sales clerk.)

One other teensy weensy detail:  not one of them was engaged, much less attached to anyone, at the time, making the reader wonder how five grooms will materialize.  Relationships begin to blossom, however some look bad from the start.  You find yourself talking to these girls, saying, “Honey, he is not your man!”

Author Eva Everson is a visual writer, making you feel like you’re right there in the girls’ apartment. While it’s a long book (453 pages!), it’s such a page-turner,  all of a sudden you’re  finished and you don’t want to be! Plus, you’re cheering these potential brides on to be able to WEAR THAT DRESS!

I also enjoyed learning about the girls’ faith. Some struggle with theirs, learning invaluable lessons.  Those struggling finally realize they’d been out of God’s will all the while He was wooing them back. God is also gracious to place a few mentors along their paths. (This is the beauty of a Christian novel.)

The five friends had a Scripture that tied them all together:

Isaiah 45:2 says, “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight.” (KJV) Look how the NIV puts it:

isaiah-45-2

So will each of the five girls get the opportunity to wear the wedding gown?  Ah, my friend, you must read the book to find out.  Everyone loves a good love story and we readers are blessed by four plus a surprising arrangement.

Please join us next Monday night, January 23rd, from 6:30-8:00.  Enjoy a slice of wedding cake and bring a treat for our “reception”, plus a picture from your wedding if time allows.

Here are two other activities for your calendar:

This Friday, January 20th, Beth Moore is hosting a Book Club, Live from New Orleans where her debut novel, The Undoing of Saint Silvanus, is set.  This is a FREE live web stream event you can register for and watch. It begins at 7:00 p.m., EST. Go to www.BethMooreNovel.com

Undoing of Saint

Next month, on February 27th, our Book Club will be discussing Beth’s novel.  Beth has promised to send us a recorded Skype to share about her book and other fun topics.  It’ll be almost like having her with us!  We’ve already got a New Orleans theme running where we’ll have beignets and coffee, of course.

We hope to see you Monday night, January 23rd!  Bring a friend!

‘Til next time!

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Sophie Hudson’s Newest Book, “Giddy Up, Eunice—Because Women Need Each Other”, is Her Best Yet!

Friends! Run grab Sophie’s new book for you and for your friends! I bet I’ve bought twenty plus copies recently. This one is my favorite of all of Sophie’s books. (Soph—You are the BOMB!!!)

As if she’s my best friend, I’ve never met her, but she writes like we’re sitting across the table from one another… We could soooo carry on, and on, and on at Starbucks.

Giddy up eunice

In case you’re not familiar with Sophie, she’s best known for her blog, the Boo Mama blog: www.BooMama.net She also happens to be friends with another one of my favorite authors, Melanie Shankle, blogger of www.thebigmamablog.com

Further exciting, the two of them converse from time to time and record it on Sophie’s blog, calling it “The Big Boo Cast”. Check it out! Fab music, too. They kill me. (They’re currently on Episode 63.)

Anywho, let’s chat about Sophie’s book. This one’s my favorite because she includes mini-Bible studies about three beautiful friendships in the Bible: Mary and Elizabeth, Ruth and Naomi, and Lois and Eunice.

I’m only sharing tidbits from the first of the three friendships (Mary and Elizabeth) to entice you to read about all of them! Her humor is non-stop amidst the serious Scripture page-turner points. (I predict every one of us readers will have a sinking spell over the sink.  Someone, please, for Sophie’s sake, go get that sink…)

Plus, word of warning: the last chapters on Lois and Eunice include the decline of Sophie’s Mother’s health. You will need a box of Kleenex.  (I went thru’ this with my own Mother.)  Sophie really brings you in the room with her family. Precious, dear, and courageous.

My favorite chapter title is: We May Have to Walk Uphill Together, but at Least It’s Good for Our Calves. That’s the best thing us gals can do for one another is to simply be there for one another.

Woman Friends Enjoying A Day On The Beach

My friend Jane is the quintessential hold-your-hand-friend. (Surely she’s related to Radar from M*A*S*H.) She suddenly appears, with whatever you need, in hand.

When my Daddy was about to take his last breath on this earth, in walks Jane, Starbucks in hand for both of us, to hold my hand. Had she called, I would’ve said, “No, don’t come, I’m fine.” But she knew I wasn’t.

When our friend Gwen, recently widowed, was returning from a trip out of town, Jane drove over to her condo’, groceries in hand, stocked her frig, and turned some lights on so she wouldn’t come in to a dark house. Who does that?

Detached house at night view from outside the rear courtyard.

Back to Giddy Up, Eunice: One of many pearls Sophie offers is about the need for us older gals to come alongside the younger gals. She says, “These Millenial girls need us, y’all. They need us something awful.”

She adds, “We need to keep our spiritual eyes wide open as we walk our unique, God-ordained roads because:

  • We need each other, and
  • Sometimes the folks God sends to walk with us don’t look anything like what we expect.”

Lest you think you’re not qualified or have nothing to offer, Sophie pretty much tells us to just show up. Let the Lord take the reigns and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I declare our daughters-in-love bless me more than I bless them, so the tables can be turned age-wise as well.

Sophie also points out things you and I may not have considered before. Such as Mary must’ve been desperate for company if she walked seventy miles to see Elizabeth!

Plus, this is a major pearl—think about this with your own friends: When you know you can trust someone, and are in a safe place within your relationship…look at what Sophie teaches us that makes a relationship so special:

“When the Holy Spirit in one woman recognizes and responds to the Holy Spirit in another woman, safe places become sacred spaces.”

 Oh, that needs repeating: “Safe places become sacred spaces.”

 She adds, “…when we know we’re in a sacred space, there’s freedom to share our real lives and our real circumstances.

To sincerely pray for one another.

To bless each other.

To listen with our hearts as well as our ears.”

Isn’t that the best? I experienced this first hand weekend before last on a road trip to Nashville with my friend Nancy. Nancy’s the kind of friend who will drop whatever she’s doing to tune into you and your day.

While we were trekking south to attend a Beth Moore conference, that was exciting in and of itself, but for us to be together for three hours in the car, we both decided that was just as exciting as going to the conference! Why? Because we both possess crazy calendars and rarely get this kind of opportunity.

Further funny, both of us are writing books (more to come on that little topic down the pike…) and still cannot believe such truth. We are living proof the Lord has a sense of humor.

The other gift Sophie blesses us with is rich application. She teaches us about trust that Mary and Elizabeth had for each other regardless of their age difference. (They were approximately fifty years apart!)

Then she gives us a “let’s-take-this-upon-ourselves” question: “Are our spiritual eyes wide open as we look for our people?”

Look out. Literally. Some of my best friends came from the craziest of coincidences. And we know with God, there are no such things as coincidences, they’re God-incidences. May we all be in tune for whomever our Sweet Lord wants us to meet. 

This is where our ships, yes plural, shall come in:

Relationship.

Friendship.

Fellowship.

Discipleship.

Large yacht harbor in purple sunset light, luxury summer cruise,

This is my constant sermonette to our Bible study gals. When we study God’s Word, all, (Yes, ALL) of those “ships” will come in.  It’s an amazingly beautiful gift from God.

Sophie gives proof of this to us in one of my all-time favorite verses:

Hebrews

Let’s set sail and see where we land. While you’re packin’, be sure to pack Sophie’s book in your bag.

‘Til next time!

 

P.S. FYI, here are Sophie’s other books:

Home is Where My People Are: The Roads That Lead Us to Where We Belong

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A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, family and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon

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MEGA Announcement!!! Branches Book Club’s New Upcoming Season Promises Fun, Food and Fabulous Literature…Plus Meet Some of the Authors!

Friends! Grab your calendars and jot these dates down! You have plenty of time to read and plan to make these nights of fun, learning, fellowship, and fabulous foodie themes! The possibilities are endless!

Further bonus: So far, two of these nights have the authors coming to speak, answer questions, etc. Other potential Skype visits from authors are in the works. Please put that on your prayer radar!!!

Branches Book Club has a phenomenal season planned for you and your friends. Checkout www.middletownumc.org , plus like them on Facebook, and send Nancy Tinnell your email address if you’d like to be on the mailing list to receive updates, etc. Nancy’s email is: ntinnell@middletownumc.org

Grab as many of these books as possible for your summer reading! (Some don’t release for a while—see dates below.) Be praying about who to invite to come with you. Spread the word!

Drum roll, if you please…..HERE WE GO!!!………………………

September 26, 2016 – The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron. Kristy hails from Indiana and is going to drive to Louisville to join us that night!

Checkout her website, www.kristycambron.com and watch the teaser video of The Ringmaster’s Wife. The book releases June 7th.

Ringmasters Wife

Since the book is about life in the Ringling Brothers’ circus in the 1920’s, we’ll have a circus theme with circus food, under the Big Top. Our boys would beg for cotton candy, while I’m hoping for caramel corn. (Deep, I know…)

Publishers Weekly says her novel includes, “heartbreak, loss, hope, and triumph, all set against the colorful backdrop of ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.”

Come meet and hear from Kristy!  Her book has already been named in Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion and Spirituality Top 10!

 

October 24, 2016 – Come meet and hear from TWO authors this night! Liz Curtis Higgs and Bill Higgs!!!

We’ll get to hear Liz interview Bill about his new novel, Eden Hill which releases July 1st. You can pre-order this now!

Set in our sweet State of Kentucky in the early 1960’s, we’ll watch the characters struggle with change and competition. Can one extend grace to a competitor right across the street?

Many are saying Bill’s writing is Garrison Keilloresque. Charm and more charm. Bill’s dry wit will bless your socks off.

One of Bill’s many interests and talents is showing us how things from the past can teach us lessons right now. Wait ‘til you see how this unfolds in his book. This is his first novel and we will celebrate with the Higgs! www.billhiggs.com

Eden Hill

We’ll also get to hear from Liz as we discuss a super fun contemporary novel, (this was also her first contemporary novel) called Mixed Signals. It’s about a female radio host (wonder how that topic came up???).  Belle’s radio program featuring golden oldies is a hit, while her own love life suffers. Who will she wind up with?

Only Liz can take us on such a fun, surprising journey. While we’re on the topic of radio and oldies, Nancy Tinnell promises to serve up root beer floats for starters!!! Stay tuned and make plans to join us! www.lizcurtishiggs.com

Mixed Signals

Liz’ newest book, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart releases October 18th, so she’ll have those on hand for us to snatch up. This is a beautiful gift-sized devotional that’ll also be good for small groups, Bible studies, etc. Liz is challenging us to memorize these verses! Anyone up for the challenge?

31 Verses to Write on your Heart

Plus, don’t forget her newly revised Really Bad Girls of the Bible: More Lessons from Less-Than-Perfect Women coming out July 19th with new Bible study and Discussion questions. She just finished recording the audio version as well.

Really Bad Girls

November 28, 2016 – Prayers of a Stranger: A Christmas Story by Davis Bunn. Davis has won three Christy Awards and has sold more than four million books. This book is about a couple’s special planned Christmas in their own home, anticipating their first baby’s arrival. www.davisbunn.com

Debbie Macomber says this is “a great story filled with emotion, depth, and spiritual beauty.”

Prayers of a Stranger

Main character Amanda Vance learns many pearls of wisdom on her unexpected tour of the Holy Land after a traumatic occurrence. This book will prepare us for newfound awe in the miracle of Christ’s birth as we head into the Christmas season. Christmas will be our theme!!!

 

January 23, 2017 – Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson

The plot of this book makes me want to read it yesterday. Get this: “Five, single, fiercely independent women live together in a Chicago apartment in the early 1950s, but rarely see one another. One Saturday afternoon, they spy a wedding dress in a storefront window….

Without a single boyfriend or date between the five of them (!!!) they decide to pool their money to purchase it. Can one dress forever connect five women…?” (from www.amazon.com )

Five Brides

Author Eva Marie is a southern girl, growing up near Savannah. Some of you may know her from reading her Potluck Club books. Here’s just one of the six:

Secrets in the Sauce

Checkout her other books: www.evamarieeversonauthor.com

While we’ll be on the ever growing topic (and industry!!!) of weddings, we’ll get to feast on, bet you can guess: wedding cake!!! YUM…

 

February 27, 2017 – The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore

Huh? A novel by Beth Moore? Yes, you heard it right….Beth’s first novel releases September 20th!

Beth Moore
It’s got quite a plot, too. A young girl, Jillian Slater, gets word her father’s died. She returns to New Orleans to see her Grandmother, dubbed The Ice Queen, who she hasn’t seen in twenty years.

Never mind her Grandmother lives in an apartment house, also known as Saint Silvanus. Seems remnants from the tenants, coupled with new findings from her father’s death investigation, get them to wondering who or what has them under a spell!

I love this: “Only God himself can orchestrate the undoing of all that is going on at Saint Silvanus.” (www.amazon.com )

Undoing of Saint

The story’s set in New Orleans, so I’m hoping for some beignets in action a la Café du Monde. www.cafedumonde.com Not a real chicory fan, from their coffee, but perhaps we can whip up something fun and frothy!??!!

 

March 27, 2017 – The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

A few years ago, we read Chris’ first novel, Dogwood, in Book Club at Southeast and it was a huge hit. It also earned him a Christy Award right out of the gate. He Skyped with us and was a total blast and a perfect gentleman. www.chrisfabry.com

He recently wrote the novelization of War Room. He’s won three Christy Awards and one Christian Book Award, plus he received the 2014 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit for Every Waking Moment just to name a wee bit of his talent.

War-Room_300

Next March, we’ll be reading The Promise of Jesse Woods. This book releases July 1st. Set in the summer of 1972, you’ll be happy to learn the main character is moving back to Dogwood, West Virginia with twists and turns sure to bless us all.

Hubster has read several of Chris’ books, too, so these are not chick-lits!!! Great for guys and girls! His realistic writing will captivate you from the first page. Where he comes up with his plots is beyond me– they’re sooo good!

Promise of Jesse Woods

 

April 24, 2017 – The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers on the Moors) by Sarah Ladd

Sarah’s writing has been compared to Jane Austen and Jane Eyre. This book is set in Darbury England in 1814. www.sarahladd.com

This, too, has a wild plot: Amelia Barrett, “heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.”

The characters “must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them.” Relinquishing control is hard for all of us, plus the issue of pride laces the pages as well. Great lessons for us all!!!

Heiress of Winterwood

Now when you think of England, and the era in which this book is set…it’s sorta in keeping with Downton Abbey, don’t you think? We’re going with it, and will be serving up High Tea, of course!!!

Write all these dates in your calendars and get ready for one of our best seasons yet in Book Club! Now you have quite a Summer Reading pile, don’t you?

Branches Book Club is a beautiful visual of Hebrews 10:24-25, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”  Please join us!

Blessings to all and lest you worry, I promise we’ll return to our Spring Cleaning series next week. The dirt  can  wait…!

‘Til next time!

 

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Let’s Wrap Up Women of Faith’s UNWRAP THE BIBLE Conference with More Great Bible Teaching…

How do you unwrap a gift? Do you rip the paper to shreds, hurriedly, to find out what’s inside?

Or, like my sweet husband….

Do you shake it,

feel it,

barely, barely sever the tape,

slowly, ever-so-slowly, painstakingly remove the paper…

until we’re all about to pull our hair out??? (You’d think he’d never opened a gift before in his life, poor baby.)

Or, if you wrap like I do, that translates into stuffing the gift in a gift bag, fluffing up some terribly tired tissue, and zip! Out the door you go in sixty seconds or less…Thence unwrapping this kind of gift takes no time at all.

Gift Bag

What we’re about to discover, thanks to some fantastic Bible teachers, is:

To unwrap the Word of God, we must…

Savor

every single word,

every single phrase,

every single paragraph,

very slowly, akin to how my husband slowly unwraps gifts.

Women of Faith’s (WOF) Unwrap the Bible Conference, held in Houston, TX February 21-22, gifted each attendee with five gifts from the Bible to unwrap from five fabulous teachers. Beth Moore and Lisa Harper got us started. (See Part 1…). Then all five of them spoke together on a panel to help us with reading, studying, and quiet times, plus we got to hear a separate talk by Priscilla Shirer. (See Part 2…)

Unwrap the bible

This week, we’ll finish up with the last two gifts coming from Sheila Walsh and Christine Caine. All five of these gals equipped us with Scripture and lessons to keep us standing firm as we walked back out into the wild world in which we live.

Sheila Walsh is what I call the “Steady Eddy” of Women of Faith. Speaking with them from the beginning, more than seventeen years ago, you can count on Sheila to pick you up where you are, no matter the circumstances, and give you the Godly boost you need.

Sheila pointed us to John 15, showing us we must remain in Christ from the Vine and the Branches passages. She said, “Our source of strength comes from God’s Word.” She assured us, “You have not been forgotten. God is bigger than your circumstances.” 

She also warned us: “Beware of compromise…”

Her first lesson was: “We have an enemy hell bent on destroying us, but we have a Savior who became earth bound to deliver us.”  Significant to call upon our Savior.

Sheila walked us thru’ the Book of Esther, pointing us to Esther’s bravery shown in Esther 4:15-16: “Esther sent back her answer to Mordecai: ‘Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids will fast with you. If you will do this, I’ll go to the king, even tho’ it’s forbidden. If I die, I die.’” (MSG) Gulp…would you do this??? Esther’s complete trust in God is inspiring.

Sheila followed up with this lesson: “When you’ve done everything you know to do, then stand and watch the deliverance of the Lord.” 

Storm Inside

Next up, and brace yourselves, was Christine Caine. This was my first time to experience Christine’s teaching. I think my hair is still standing straight up on the back of my neck. My toes are still bruised. My ears are still ringing. This girl packs a punch. Oh, and it’s a Heavenly one at that…

Christine chose Sarah, specifically from Genesis 18:10-14 where God hears her laughing at the thought of becoming pregnant at her very old age. Never mind she “laughed to herself”, but God heard her anyway!

The key Scripture we focused on came from verse 14, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”  She cited case, after case, after case, where God showed up in uncanny situations to care for impossible situations.

After showing a hilarious clip of a boy going thru’ his parents’ pantry and frig, discovering numerous items more than expired, Christine pointed out: “The Promises of God do not have an expiration date.“ 

Then Christine looked out at all eleven thousand of us and asked, “So how’s your posture? How’s your belief? We must strengthen our womb of faith. Because….if it’s not strong enough, you’ll abort and miscarry.” 

Baby

Let’s just stop and think about this for a second. What a beautiful picture of our faith. Our “womb of faith” constructs a growing process for us to faithfully feed from this day on into eternity.

Christine further encouraged us to “be intentional about being in God’s Word, knowing God’s Word.” She said, “We’ve become blind to God’s ability to do the impossible…Remember, “Is ANYTHING too hard for the Lord???” 

She frequently adds, “Keep it fresh and keep it real.”

Undaunted

My most amazing discovery happened after the conference when Liz Curtis Higgs and I were asked to join the speakers and some WOF staffers for lunch. How fun is that?

WOF2014 Group

Here we are right before we left for the airport, after lunch. From left to right: Beth Moore, Liz Curtis Higgs, Priscilla Shirer, Lisa Harper, Michelle Parrozo (she’s on staff with WOF), Lisa Bevere, Melissa Moore (Beth’s daughter who writes brilliant additions to Beth’s Bible studies), and Christine Caine. (Priscilla’s cousin and I were the photogs!)

It was fascinating…and while I would have thought the girls would totally kick back, be wiped out from being “on” for eleven thousand attendees…certain they’d talk about food or shopping or when they’d be getting home …Not so…

They all talked about books and resources that help them when writing, whether writing for a book, or Bible study, or for a talk to teach, as well as future writing projects! I just sat back in awe.

One gal, who also speaks for WOF, did like Liz did which was to attend the conference purely to soak in these girls’ teaching. She sat next to me at our luncheon and was the most precious thing. I had no idea who she was.  She was so interested in how Liz and I’d become friends, what I did, etc.

I was so stunned at her interest,  I didn’t think to ask about her ministry!!! This same girl, who knows no strangers, wound up on our flight from Houston to Atlanta, and in similar fashion, became acquainted with half the plane’s passengers. Not kidding.

Who was this? None other than Lisa Bevere. Bet some of y’all know of her husband, John, too. They have written several books and have an awesome ministry. Checkout their website:

Alas, Liz and I landed in Louisville, back into the Real World. Hey, but we were still STANDING….and equipped with anointed teaching from gifted teachers.

As God would orchestrate, my small group recently began Priscilla’s Gideon: Your weakness. God’s strength. Bible study. IT IS POWERFUL!!! Let’s close with her prayer from Week Two, Day One:

“Today, Gideon’s story encourages us to seek the Almighty in the midst of normalcy. Ask the Lord to make Himself visible to you just as He did to Gideon. Pray that He will open your spiritual eyes over the next twenty-four hours so you can see Him more clearly than ever before.” And may I add, all the while standing firm in Him.

Gideon

Finally, you must know the good news that WOF has already booked an Unwrap the Bible Conference for February 20-21, 2015, back in Houston, at Lakewood Church! Make plans to attend now!!! (Go to: www.womenoffaith.com )

‘Til next time!!!

(This post is dedicated to all five Bible teachers from Unwrap the Bible: Beth Moore, Lisa Harper, Priscilla Shirer, Sheila Walsh and Christine Caine.   You enlightened, taught, and empowered Liz and me and 10,998 others to stand firm in our faith and to take our stand daily. May God Bless you and your families and your ministries abundantly!!! Plus let’s not forget my dear friend, Liz Curtis Higgs, who extended this most gracious invitation to attend in the first place!!!  Hugs across town, Lizzie!!! ‘Twas a blessed BLAST!!!)

 

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