Tag Archives: Ken Davis

New Gig in Town: CYCLE BAR, Will Transform You in 5+ Ways…(Part 2 of 4 on Fitness)

Friends! Happy Valentine’s Week!

Hope you’re parked by a chunk of chocolate…

Chocolate candies heart

Wait ‘til you hear about a new exercise option we Louisvillians have. Before you say, “Not interested”, please allow me to present my case…  Because trust me, if I can do this anybody can do this.

As if last December could be any busier with all the Christmas shoppers wreaking havoc on the road, our kids excitedly discovered a new cycling/spinning class that just opened.  It’s name? CycleBar. (It’s near Trader Joe’s in the Shelbyville Road Plaza.)

The plot thickened when these same kiddos told us for the first two weeks CycleBar was open, classes were free. They jumped at the opportunity.  One by one, they began telling us how much they liked the classes…

Didn’t take long for Hubster (my better half) to try a class. He’s an avid cyclist while I practically still need training wheels. Honestly, the more he told me about it, how you get  to have your name up on the board and see how you compare with the rest of the class (gulp), I quickly blurted out, “This is not for me.”

Half a second later, he said, “Well, you may want to retract that statement as I believe some certain Santa may have purchased a package of classes for you for Christmas.” Alrighty then.

Off we went. (By the way, you do not have to have your name up on the board if you don’t want to.  Hallelujah. You’ll receive an email immediately after class with your stats.)

Upon arrival, CycleBar’s gracious staff greeted us. One gal made sure I could find my shoes (They provide them for you if you don’t have any as everyone must clip in), helped us sign in, etc.  There are lockers for your belongings, huge water bottles you can fill, and lovely, clean, fluffy towels awaiting you on your bike.

Riders of all ages, shapes, and sizes attend. Check your pride and insecurity at the door: Judgment is non-existent. A huge plus!


If you need help adjusting your bike or clipping in, the staff and/or the class’ teacher is happy to help. Being pampered is just another benefit.

I’m generally not a fan of group exercise, but, our kids, and now John, reassured me the classroom, a/k/a CycleTheater containing fifty bikes, is nice and cool and dark. Only YOU can see your bike’s screen with your time, your speed, your gear, and “IT IS YOUR OWN RIDE” as the teachers reiterate.

What’s so awesome about this little fact is I can happily tool along next to John while his bike is practically smokin’. He usually doubles my miles, but who cares? We’re both getting a workout and it’s something we can do together. Had we been out on the street on bikes, he’d have long left me in the dust.

Before I share a few more benefits of this experience with you, I want to introduce you to my new friend, Katie Kanapell Ryser. Katie’s the Owner of CycleBar St. Matthews.


We grabbed a Starbucks last week as I was interested in learning how someone so young (she’s only 37 years old!) could pull off bringing such a huge endeavor to town. You’ll see it was no simple journey getting here either…

Clip in, ‘cuz we’re going for a ride….


Katie and her husband, Fred, lived in New York City for several years. They had their two children while living there who are now almost five (Freddie) and three (Carolina). Katie’s parents live here and are beyond thrilled they’ve moved to Louisville!

Before we got into how CycleBar came about, Katie candidly shared her past with me because she believes if it can help anyone else out there who’s struggling, all the better. She’s a beautiful vision of making her former misery her ministry.

Early into their marriage, Katie realized she was drinking too much. She needed help, and good news is, she got it.  Greater news is she’ll celebrate her seventh anniversary of sobriety in May. We praise you, Lord.

While in New York, Katie tried several spinning classes via Soul Cycle and Fly Wheel. Something led her to research spinning classes in Louisville should they move here. Nothing turned up like what she was looking for… She firmly believed we needed a high-end fitness class offering a strong cardio’ workout.

Further research helped her discover CycleBar, headquartered in Cincinnati. How Katie was able to get the rights to open one here, is nothing short of a miracle.  Katie is one determined young lady.

Happy to report she’ll be opening two more CycleBars in Louisville: Springhurst, opening after Labor Day this year, and one in the Highlands, opening next year. Here’s her St. Matthews’ boutique:


If you don’t live in Louisville and want to see if CycleBar is in your town or closeby, go to the main website, www.cyclebar.com and click on “studios”.  Last I checked there are over one hundred and eleven locations.

Prior to opening in St. Matthews, thanks to friends and a boatload of networking, Katie interviewed over one hundred peopleShe was able to staff her store as well as hire eleven teachers.

She brought in a professional spin trainer for the teachers. These eleven brave souls were baptized by fire in a one-week boot camp for….nine hours a day. Gutsy!

John and I’ve met several of the teachers. They are all wonderful. One fun connection we have is with Jady Koch.  He not only teaches classes at CycleBar, he just so happens to be the lead pastor/rector at St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church, preaching powerful sermons.   (Sweet Sidebar:  Jady performed the marriage of our youngest son, Woody to his wife, LT.)

I’m convinced Jady must’ve loved the game King of the Hill growing up, because he takes us on forty-seven hills during our fifty-minute class. (Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration.)

Jady says he has a newfound appreciation for all the coaches and fitness teachers he’s had in the past, never realizing how much advance work goes into coordinating a class.  He said “Teaching has been a great way to meet a cross section of the community and a wonderful way to encourage people in their (our) daily quest for a healthy and fun lifestyle.”



Here’s a pic of my Valentine with Jady before class…as in no sweat yet!

Another teacher we’ve enjoyed getting to know is Paige. We’ve taken her early class a couple of times.  Last time her husband was in there with us, as her student.  He’s from Germany and they met at Southern Seminary where they’re students.  They’ve been married for a year.  Don’t you love a love story?  Hey, it’s Valentine’s Week!

One addition to the cycling part of class is each bike has a weighted bar across the top. A little over halfway thru’ the class, the teacher will show you how to lift it, working all the muscles in your arms as well as your core.  While the bars are only four or six pounds (I hear there are eight pounders coming soon), with enough reps, they feel more like four hundred pounds!

Finally, here are just a few more benefits to encourage you to give this a try:

5+ Benefits of Spinning/Cycling:

1 – The Bible tells us we’re to take care of our bodies. Exercise is an excellent way to do that.



2- Believe it or not, sweating is a benefit, because it’s so cleansing for your body to get rid of all those impurities, detoxifying you during your workout.

When you try a class (and I know you will!), you may wish to tote along an extra shirt because the one you ride in becomes a bit damp. We take the euphemism, “Horses Sweat, Men Perspire, But Women Merely Glow” to a whole new level. (Showers are also available if you’re going to work or to another function from there.)

3 –A cardio’ workout of this caliber will kick your metabolism into gear. (Translation:  potential weight loss!) It also strengthens your heart, your lungs, and increases your bone density, hugely beneficial for all ages.

Katie tells me there’s a guy who’s been coming to CycleBar who’s lost forty pounds and is determined to lose sixty more for a total of 100 pounds! He keeps her updated weekly. Amazing!

4 – Fellow cyclists report having more energy, and less stress, improving their mental disposition. 

Recently two co-workers whose department was undergoing an inordinate amount of stress randomly showed up in the same noon-time CycleBar class.   When they saw each other, they burst out laughing, knowing they were both there for the exact same reason…to de-stress.

Another gal who’s been attending CycleBar classes has a condition that leaves her exhausted and often depressed. After taking several classes, she’s lost fifteen pounds, feels amazingly better, and her depression is gone.  Wonderful!

5 – Spinning inside is SAFE.  It keeps you off the road.

John and I have several friends who’ve had terrible bicycle accidents. Some, more than once.  We live near River Road and my worry-meter rises significantly when John takes off from our house on his bike. Like I said earlier, the fact that we can ride together, inside at Cycle Bar is yet another benefit.

The music the teachers select is another fun facet to CycleBar, offering a wide variety of songs and styles.  Occasionally the teacher will ask you to bend down or press down on the handlebars to the beat of the music, while riding.  (Here’s where I could be Steve Martin’s understudy in The Jerk.)  Oh, but it’s FUN!

Beyond enduring technical issues, and an occasional maintenance issue with the bikes, Katie said they’re coming up for air on the learning curve. Her attention to detail and passion for the product is what makes it function so well.

CycleBar further spoils its’ customers by always having fresh bananas and oranges for you after class, gum to grab on the go before or after class, and lip balm…come on now!


CycleBar is always offering specials.  They now allow couples to share packages which John and I are doing as are our oldest son, John Jr. with his wife, Diana. (They were the two elves who gave us the packages for Christmas.)

Here’s what’s available right now:


Why don’t you and your Valentine or friend or co-worker try a class? CycleBar offers several classes per day with Intro’ classes for beginners.  Checkout their website: https://stmatthews.cyclebar.com

Y’all keep Katie, and her sweet family, and this new business-for-fitness in your prayers.

You’ll be thrilled to know next week we have a break from fitness to talk about Book Club, followed by part 3 of our 4 fitness landing us on the back of… a Harley. Huh?

‘Til next time!

FYI: Don’t miss Ken Davis’ must-read, Fully Alive. It’s for anyone considering a fitness/lifestyle change.  He takes you along his highly intense journey and amazing transformation.  You will laugh and cry ‘til you’ve bruised a rib. Here’s the link for more information.

Fully Alive


Filed under Friends, Holidays, Life Lessons

Bob Russell’s New Book, “After 50 Years of Ministry, 7 Things I’d Do Differently and 7 Things I’d Do the Same” Will Bless and Teach More Than Ministers…

God’s hand has been on Bob Russell for well over fifty years. It’s nothing short of astonishing. John and I’ve been two of thousands upon thousands of blessed recipients of his ministry.

Twenty-seven years ago, two of John’s siblings began talking non-stop about Bob and his church, Southeast Christian, where he was the Senior Pastor. We remained skeptical. The following Sunday, however, we decided to visit purely out of curiosity.

With our firstborn two-year old in tow, we were told the first floor was full. Climbing the steps, we discovered every seat was also taken in the balcony. People motioned to us to sit on the steps. Clearly this was commonplace.

The Lord was doing amazing things, drawing crowds like we’d never witnessed. Wanting to do further research, John and I stood in line one Sunday to meet Bob. Zeroing in on us, Bob asked questions, fully listening in spite of the line of people piling up behind us.

I said, “We’d love to have you and Judy over for dinner one night, if that would suit?” He quickly answered, “Sure. Give Judy a call. We’re in the phone book.” I was stunned, thinking surely they had an unlisted number. The next morning I called Judy and we set a dinner date. (Some of you are wondering, “What is a phone book?”)

Fast forward several Sunday services and a fun meal between the four of us later, John and I walked forward to join Southeast. Judy told me afterwards she about fell out of her chair when she saw us join as she’d thought we were already members. I’m beyond blessed to report we call Bob and Judy dear friends and mentors.

Last summer, I interviewed Bob about his book, The Acts of God: Why Does God Allow So Much Pain? Several of us enjoyed it as a Bible study along with the impactful teaching DVD’s. It is excellent if you’re on the hunt for a new fall study.

Acts of God Book

Now, let’s dive in to his newest book, After 50 Years of Ministry, 7 Things I’d Do Differently and 7 Things I’d Do the Same. Bob told me this book is his favorite because of the ripple effect it’s already had.

After forty years of pastoring Southeast, Bob retired.  Here’s what his retirement looks like:  For the past ten years, Bob’s been preaching all over the country and leading several mentoring retreats for pastors each year. He also writes an inspirational weekly blog plus he squeezes in a game of golf when he can (www.bobrussell.org). Sitting in a rocking chair is still not in his future!


While ministers of all ages can greatly benefit from Bob’s book, many of my friends are reading it even though we’re not officially in the ministry. (You’ll see later where I make the case we are all in ministry of some sort.) One of our preacher friends told us he’s already watching less TV per one of Bob’s suggestions!

I started by reading all the chapter titles. When I saw Bob wrote about Judy in Chapter Four, I flipped ahead to read it first. (Kinda cheating, but not really?)

Very vulnerable, Bob confesses he wishes he’d have been “kinder, more attentive, and more animated” with Judy. He gives us readers a peek into their lives revealing valuable lessons.

Bob and Judy recently celebrated their fifty-first wedding anniversary. Their two sons and their wives and seven grandchildren are a testimony to their faithfulness not only in their marriage, but to the Lord. Their oldest grandson, Charlie, recently got married and was ordained into the ministry. He and Faith are ministering at a church just outside of Chicago.



My favorite part of the chapter is near the end where Bob shares twelve, count-’em-twelve, reasons he loves Judy. He entitled it, “Fifty Years of Marriage—Enjoyment, Not Just Endurance.” (I told Judy that chapter alone is brownie points for life on Bob’s part. Way to go, Bob.)


Another favorite aspect of this book is how each chapter stands on its’ own. I found myself ping-ponging between the 7 Things I’d Do Differently and 7 Things I’d Do the Same. Fascinating discoveries.

Often I’d read snippets to John. One time we’d say, “Oh wow, I had no idea.” Another time we’d howl out loud. I love how Bob stresses the importance of humor. Bob says, “I think laughing out loud is one of the healthiest things a person can do.”

Chapter Nine’s title, “I would make the necessary adjustments to cope with the taxing pressures of ministry”, has all of our names on it. After all, we’re all ministers to others, aren’t we?

Remember the saying, “You may be the only Bible someone will ever read.” True we’re not all senior pastors of a mega church, but our spheres of influence are far reaching.

Bob offers eight suggestions, many of which we can take to heart. One suggestion Bob recommends is to start each day with prayer. He prays out loud to keep himself focused.

He says, “I take time to thank God for yesterday’s experiences and answered prayers and then lay before Him the needs of that day. I pray for my family and a list of missionaries and people in need.”

Afterward I read one chapter from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, underlining passages that are meaningful to me. Most of the time I conclude by reading a section of a Christian book.

Bob steps on all our toes, rightly so, by comparing our lives to our cell phones. We charge our phones every night, and yet we fail to recharge ourselves. Hello?

He reminds us of Jesus praying, “Give me this day my daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11) I love what The New Living Translation says, “Give us today the food we need.”

He tells of his Mother repeatedly talking about the importance of “staying prayed up.” God rest her sweet soul. I was blessed to meet Catherine Russell on occasion and can only imagine how proud of Bob she was. Bob adds, “A daily quiet time contributes to staying prayed up and lays the groundwork for ‘praying without ceasing.’”

Bob closes the book with two challenges. One is, “Be faithful.” He says, “Woody Allen was certainly no theologian, but he was right when he suggested that eighty percent of success is just showing up. ..

Sometimes the way we tell the Lord we love Him is to:

Get out of to bed,

Put our feet on the floor, and

Go about our daily assignments even though we don’t feel like it.

That’s called faithfulness.”

Two examples of this popped in my head from a couple of books I’ve been reading. One comes from Lysa TerKeurst. She talks about her daughter’s struggle with a certain sport. She said she finally had to keep telling her, “Just show up for practice. Just show up for practice.” (www.lysaterkeurst.com )

Another one comes from Ken Davis. He said while he was attempting to morph into a cyclist in Fully Alive, he’d try to make himself go one more telephone pole further on each ride. (www.kendavis.com )

May we press on for God’s glory and “May all who come behind us find us faithful.”

Now, please go grab Bob’s book and start reading! You’ll be blessed beyond measure, a beautiful picture of Bob’s favorite verse:

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV)

 ‘Til next time!




Filed under Book Reviews, Friends

The North American Christian Convention is HAPPENIN’ in Lousiville THIS WEEK!!!

Here’s just one more reminder to head downtown to the Commonwealth Convention Center if you are anywhere near Louisville, Kentucky this week!  The North American Christian Convention (NACC) begins this Tuesday night, July 9th and runs until noon on Friday, July 12th.

There are multiple sessions with phenomenal speakers/authors/preachers.  You can find the schedule by going to www.gotonacc.org


The theme of the NACC is “Victorious”.  No telling what the Lord has in store for all of us!  I plan on taking lots of notes and will be sharing some pearls with you in the near future!  Neat exhibit booths will be plentiful as well.

Don’t miss this opportunity! Here’s a sampling of the keynote speakers and workshop leaders:  Matt Proctor, Jon Weece, Kyle Idleman, Aaron Brockett, Eric Metaxas, Wayne Cordeiro, Ken Davis, Joni Erikson Tada, Kurt and Kristen Sauder, Nancy and Matthew Sleeth, Les and Leslie Parrott, and Ann Voskamp, just to name a few.

I am blessed to be helping with some of the Women’s Ministry portion of the program.  The offerings for women alone are outstanding.  We have our sweet friend, Judy Russell, to thank for this.  She has thought of every single detail (and then some) to make your experience more than worthwhile!  Come see us at the Women’s Ministry booth.  It will be right next to the Registration Desk.

Judy and Eliz

There are only a few tickets left for the Women’s Luncheon with Ann Voskamp (www.aholyexperience.com) as our featured speaker on Thursday, July 11th.  Ann will also be leading a workshop on blogging following the luncheon!

One Thousand Gifts

Another spectacular offering is for breakfast on Friday, July 12th  at  7:30 a.m.  BOTH Matthew and Nancy Sleeth will be speaking. (www.blessedearth.org )

Almost Amish Sleeth

24-6 Sleeth

Last I heard over eight thousand people had registered, and that was over a month ago.  You do not want to miss this convention!

Please keep this week’s event in your prayers, down to the last detail.  Please pray for attendees, for health, for the speakers, for the volunteers, for all details to flow smoothly, and most of all, for God to be glorified in every event and every conversation.

‘Til next time!

(This week’s post is dedicated to my very devoted friend who has a huge heart for Women’s Ministry, Judy Russell.  She said a few years ago she would not chair this part of the convention again, and here she is!!!  I believe it’s because the Lord gifted her for this and she knows what it takes.  She makes our heads spin…and she makes things happen.  Blessings and thanks go to you, Sweet Judy!  God Bless You!)

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Filed under Conferences

Come On, Let’s Take Just One More Step….





Such was the pitiful-poor progression a few years ago from running a race that, for me, was easily two miles too long.  How we get ourselves into these things is beyond me.  In this scenario, I s’pose peer pressure prevailed.

Marathon runners

My husband and our oldest son, John Jr., had committed to training and running the Mini-Marathon here in Louisville.  Just like the Kentucky Derby we talked about last week (see “What-Oh-What Do We Wear?”…)  is the first leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing, followed by the Preakness and the Belmont, the Mini-Marathon now follows the Triple Crown of Races.  It’s preceded by the Anthem 5K Fitness Classic, The Rodes City Run and the Papa John’s 10 Miler. (For you runners out there, visit www.louisvilletriplecrown.com )

No way would I commit to the Mini, however I did say “yes” to the first two races.  This was before the Anthem race was offered.  Comfy with a 5K distance (about three miles), friends assured me a 10K (The City Run) would be a cake walk.  Training would be recommended, however, to complete the then nine mile race.

Procrastinator extraordinaire, I stuck with low mileage.  The City Run was not a cake walk, but we finished.  Only three weeks apart, we had to hustle to increase our mileage for the next race.  Others said, “Oh, the adrenaline you’ll get during the race will compensate for your lack of training.”  Hmph.

Well into the race and totally exhausted, with John Jr. way ahead of us, John and I kept on trekking. Passing the six mile mark, the seventh mile came very slowly.  I was cooked.  I was more than ready to walk and/or quit.

dont give up

Suddenly….out of the corner of my eye, a tall guy wearing a Rambo-like bandana around his head was rapidly approaching.  Amazingly, he knew John and they began to talk.  (Who in the world has that much oxygen?)

All I remember was this guy said he was having so much fun.  And with that, he sped on as if he were a gazelle, parting the red sea of runners, with ease and confidence.

THAT was THE turning point.  I thought to myself, “If Jolly-Ole’-Rambo can do it, WE can do it.”  By now we were at the eighth mile marker and Churchill Downs was within sight.  John, who was having no problems, patiently stuck with me.  We finished, running thru’ a tunnel with music blaring and people cheering.   I admit, it was a total rush.  The finish line never looked so good.


The next day our family left for vacation.  I could hardly lift my legs to get into the car I was so sore. “Just take one more step…” our boys cheered.  Therein lies our theme for this week.

I’m told, “you need a goal.”  Champion runners begin with the end in mind. Champions take just one more step.

Please look with me at Hebrews 12:1-2.  I’ve highlighted phrases to help us be Champions.  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” (NIV)

In The Message, Eugene Peterson calls this same passage “Discipline in a Long-Distance Race”  Here are my favorite “take home lessons” for us from verses 1-2:  “…Never quit! Keep your eyes on Jesus. Study how he did itHe never lost sight of where he was headedWhen you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”  Now THERE’S the adrenaline we all need!

For the past two weeks we’ve talked about Warrior Chicks from Holly Wagner’s book,  God Chicks—Living Life as a 21st Century Woman.  This week we’ll learn about being a Champion Chick.  Again, Holly is not using “chick” to be disrespectful, she’s just trying to get us to lighten up a bit.  If you’ve missed our other fun chicks, here are the links:  Just-B-U, Princess, Warrior

God Chicks

Champion Chicks have three distinctive strengths: 

1 – Spiritual

2 – Mental

3 – Physical

Let’s get #3,  the physical strength, over with first…By now you’ve probably realized I’m not a mega fan of exercise.  Au contraire.  While I do walk Gracie, our pup, it’s purely because this phrase haunts me:  “A bored puppy is a bad puppy.”  With the best of intentions, I believe we all know we are supposed to take care of ourselves.

Another excellent motivator comes from Ken Davis’ new book, Fully Alive.  (To see a review of it, click here) Like many of us who will become grandparents (Lord willing!) or who already are, we realize we need to physically be able to pick up the babies, walk with ‘em, play with ‘em, get down on the floor with ‘em.  We won’t do that with ease if we don’t take care of ourselves.  Sigh…

Ken Davis

1 Corinthians 6: 18-20 reminds us, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.(NIV)

The Message adds to that thought:“… your body is a sacred place, … God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.”  I need to read that over and over and over and over….

Let’s talk about #2, Mental Strength.  Holly Wagner says a Champion chick must also be “mentally strongShe manages her reactions to stressful situations.  Instead of reacting, she responds appropriately.”


Holly suggests, “We must manage our emotions rather than let them manage us.”  Oh boy, this isn’t getting any easier, is it?!!! Champion chicks go the distance…they just take one more step.

Learning, growing and being mentored are all ways to becoming a Champion Chick.  I loved it when one of my mentors told me she was looking for FAT friends.  (Hang with me a minute!).  NOT “fat” as in overweight, but “FAT” as in being Faithful, Available and Teachable types.


Finally, let’s tackle #1 – Being Spiritually STRONG…This makes me think of our verses above from Hebrews 12…Finishing the race. Finishing strong.

Please allow me to introduce you to my friend Frieda McGee. Frieda just celebrated her 90th birthday!  She and her husband, Cecil, have been married for sixty-four years. They are blessed with three children and a quiver full of  grandchildren. They are two of the most spiritually strong people I’ve ever met.


Photo above is from the Southeast Outlook online edition.

They’re also multi-talented.  They sing beautifully.  Frieda plays the piano.  She and Cecil go to nursing homes, toting a keyboard, and they sing for residents.  They always sing songs with the theme of salvation. They talk about our Heavenly Home and try to reassure the residents of their salvation.  They evangelize effortlessly wherever they go!

Our mutual friend Sherry Leavell shared with me she was able to get Frieda to come and speak to her Bible study ladies recently.  Sherry said, “I’ve never met anyone so ‘others-focused’.”  Frieda said she wishes she’d memorized more Scripture.  Her current favorite is Psalm 103.  Do you get what she’s saying?  She is still memorizing Scripture at age 90!

Another friend, Christina Davis, who moved to Colorado, asked Frieda if she’d take over her group of young Moms she’d been mentoring in Louisville.  Frieda agreed to do so and immediately began having these gals in her home.  Like a Homemakers Club, Frieda would serve the girls demonstrating her gift of hospitality.  She often would have speakers come and share how they’re doing life.  Sherry, Gina Russell, and I were blessed to be part of Frieda’s gatherings.

At our Book Club a while ago, we were able to have Frieda come and share, along with a panel of women of all ages, what it looks like to “grow old in the Lord.”  The book we discussed, Come Walk With Me–A Woman’s Personal Guide to Knowing God and Mentoring Others, by Carole Mayhall paralleled these girls’ advice.

Carole Mayhall

Frieda is always studying God’s Word.  She is always sharing God’s Word.  She has the most positive attitude of anyone on the planet.  She doles out grace. She serves the Lord with gladness in a myriad of ways. She and Cecil are finishing well.

Years ago John and I took a Wednesday night class at church based on a book by Bob Buford called Half Time.  At the time we were in our forties and we were wondering what the next half of our lives would look like.  There, on the front row, sat Cecil and Frieda McGee!  Talk about Faithful, Available and Teachable!  What a perfect example of taking just one more step.

Bob Buford

The three strengths of Champion Chicks, Physical, Mental, and Spiritual add up to one thing:  “Champion Chicks MUST persevere.”  Here’s the kicker for you and me:  “There is a generation coming up behind us that needs us to finish our part of this race.”  Holly recommends we envision ourselves in a relay race. (Oh dear, more running!)

In relays, the baton exchange is key.  The two groups Holly wants us to fix our eyes on are: ”the people we are handing off to and the people we are receiving fromWhat I learn, I should be continually passing to a younger woman.  And my hand should be extended to an older one ready to receive the baton she puts in my hand. THE FOCUS IS ON TAKING THE TORCH FARTHER.”  Just take one more step.

olympic torch relay runner

I pray we all may strengthen ourselves, this very week, physically, mentally, and spiritually to become the Champion Chicks God created in us.  Let’s just take one more step.  To God be the Glory.

Go the distance!  May God bless you abundantly.

‘Til  next time!

(This  post is dedicated to two Champion Chicks:  My dear sister-in-law, Marte Hoagland, who trained and persevered to run/walk the Mini Marathon this year  AND FINISHED!!!  And, to Sweet Frieda McGee.  Thank you, Frieda, for your countless hours of faithful perseverance, trust and faith.  You have blessed thousands of us and continue to do so wherever you light. You ALL are finishing well!!!)


Filed under Book Reviews, Friends, Life Lessons, Scripture

Fully Alive by Ken Davis will THRILL you to tears!!!

RUN, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab Fully Alive–A Journey That Will Change Your Life by Ken Davis!  You’ll laugh so hard and cry so hard your endorphins will be off the chart! And THAT’S a good thing!

Fully Alive

I was excited to tote Ken in my Kindle to Florida recently.  I took it everywhere.  I prefer the beach, but we also sat by the pool.  What you must know about where we stay is there’s a rule board taller than my six- foot- four husband.

“No jumping” is one such rule I have trouble with.  No jumping in a pool?  Are you kidding me?  What are we s’posed to do, slither in???

One particular day, we were already lounging at the pool.  There happened to be nary a chair left there were so many people sunning.  Few talk.  Some read, some sleep.

Pool Reading

Before I reached a certain part of Fully Alive, I’d already read aloud (but softly) a couple of parts I knew John would like.  (He’s now reading the whole book and loving it!) More library-like than an outdoor swimming pool, we whisper.  “No talking” doesn’t appear on the rule board.  Guess it’s an unwritten rule.

Well, this part I want to tell you about is very, very, v-e-r-y sad.  Grateful I was sporting sunglasses, I could feel tears dripping down my face…Unbelievably, it got sadder!  Then, on a dime, Ken added another component to the story which is the single funniest thing I’ve ever read. Ever. It hit me so hard I exploded.  Howling followed–akin to a volcanic eruption. (Remember, we’re at the very quiet pool!)


John looked at me with a let’s-get-a-grip glance.  Of course the more you try not to laugh, you laugh harder.  By this point, I was kicking my legs up in the air I was so tickled.  Trying to tone it down just made me wheeze and gasp.  By this point I didn’t really care what all the “pool people” thought.

What I should have done was read out loud the subtitle of Ken’s book: A Journey That Will Change Your Life.  Of course I wanted to tell the “pool people” to GET a life, but we are Christians here, aren’t we now?!!!

Forgive my tirade, let’s dive into the book. (Pool pun intended.)  I’ll share a couple of highlights from this excellent resource, but I promise NOT to spoil it for your reading pleasure!

I commend Ken for being so brutally honest.  For me, and I suspect for you, his being vulnerable made me think, “Huh, well if HE can do this, I’d say ANY of us can do this.”

What does he do?  He takes us on his journey of losing sixty pounds!  He confesses his non-athleticism, toting us along while he learns to bike, jog, and swim.  Each exercise is its’ own escapade.  Some successful, and some, well, not so much.  More hysterical tears.


Check out Ken’s attitude:  “When it comes to living, it’s the never-ending adventure of being a follower of Christ that keeps the wow in my life.”  Wow.

Oh, but how he gets there, reaching his goals, is completely enthralling.  Ken’s writing is so visual, you are right there with him, cheering him on.

Look at one of his conclusions:  “…it’s never too late to open your eyes and look around to a broader view.  Making choices means making commitments, taking a position, risking failure.  Your approach to the process will either move you forward or hold you back.”

I’m also dying to meet Diane, his wife.  She seems to possess the patience of Job coupled with a keen sense of humor.  She can be tough when necessary.  If there’s such a thing as a very frank cheerleader, she’s your go-to gal.

Those of you who know me know I’m really not a fan of exercise.  I’ll do it when push comes to shove, but a nice nap following a large chocolate bar would be my preference.


Ken was the same way.  So, what made him change?

You’ll love this:  He cites the “Oh nooooooo” photo!  He even includes it in the book!  Brave man.

The picture is a snapshot of him with his youngest grandchild, when he was sixty pounds heavier.  This was the turning point for him because he came to two realizations:   #1 – He wasn’t looking so svelte, and #2 – If this precious child got into trouble out in the water, he probably couldn’t swim fast enough to rescue her.  Makes you think, huh?

Ken says, “…taking the initiative to do something different is one path that leads to living fully alive.”  Here’s one of many arguments you simply cannot argue against:  “A healthy body gives you the ability and stamina to keep moving ahead.  It increases your mental sharpness and makes it possible for you to more effectively glorify God by living fully alive.”   Excellent motive!

He reminds us that “consistency is much more important than intensity.”  And, we all know Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Ken’s initial work-outs depict his attempt at building Rome, better known as a buff body, in a day.  More hilarity…Thru’ the pain, Ken realized we need to pace ourselves which requires rest.

“God offers moments of respite and peace for your soul.  Rest is an important part of pacing yourself.  Studies show that the people who live the longest on earth are those who take advantage of a day of rest.” (Remember our time spent on the Sabbath last week?  Click on Part 4 of 4 on Beating Busyness …for more information.)

In addition to addressing all that comes with diet and exercise, Ken broaches real friendships.  That little four-letter word “time” plays a big factor.  Time is directly proportionate to the intimacy of the friendship.  Hello…..(A dream, or more like a recurring nightmare literally awakened Ken to re-assess his friendships.  Don’t miss this part!)


My dear friend and mentor, Jane, always reminds me when the going gets tough to remember God and the blessings He has lavished on us. She’ll often say, “We need a lunch date so I can just see your face.”

Ken parallels this concept:  “God sent Jesus to meet people face-to-face.  The tablets and burning bushes were replaced with dinners, embraces, personal touch, and holy blood spilled on barren ground.

I’m so glad God didn’t text, e-mail or tweet His message of love to us.  Only the appearance of God in the flesh could consummate the relationship He desired with us.  It was this act of love that gave us the ability to lighten up and live fully alive.” Love that!

Another issue we all struggle with is balance.  Ken’s on the road a lot.  He candidly shares his challenging schedule.  He also coaches us on forgiveness and everyone’s nemesis: guilt.

My favorite aspect of the book is how Ken applies Scripture and teaches us some of Jesus’ pearls of wisdom without making us feel like we’ve blown it.  His lesson on God’s Sovereignty will take your breath away.  Total trust.

To be honest, while reading Fully Alive, I felt compelled to seek the Lord even more because I realized I do not have total, one hundred percent trust.  Please forgive me Lord.

One of many favorite highlights captures the theme of the book  “The glory of God is man fully alive.  When we are fully alive we function at the capacity we were created for in every area of life.  We operate on all cylinders—mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually—doing what most glorifies God and brings Him joy.”   See how his enthusiasm is contagious?  Lace ’em up and let’s get going!


Bottom line:  I pray two things:   (1) I pray you’ll read Fully Alive.  I pray we will all be challenged, and committed to what Ken calls our Apostle Paul’s “better focus”:  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever     is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.”  (Philippians 4:8-9) and (2) I pray we may all be able to answer a question Ken poses:  “How has your life changed in the past few years because of the power of Christ living in you?”

‘Til  next time!

(This week’s blog post is dedicated to this most honest, talented author and speaker:  Ken Davis.  Blessings to you Ken in your ministry, your marriage, and your family.  Thank you for sharing your joys and struggles with us: your readers, and your audiences.  Bravo!  We’ll be praying for big impacts for all of us! God is faithful.)

To learn more about Ken, please visit his website:  www.kendavis.com

Super news!!!  Ken is coming to Louisville in July!  He’s one of many excellent speakers coming to the North American Christian Convention July 9 – 12.  Tickets are already available!  Go to:  www.gotonacc.org


Filed under Book Reviews