Tag Archives: Maria Goff

Find Relief and Inspiration from Maria Goff…

Friends!  Suffering from the disease to please? Anyone needing freedom from multi-tasking? Fret no more, thanks to author Maria Goff.  Grab her book for some HUGE kind of relief from this wild world in which we’re living.

The book?  Love Lives Here—Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want.

Yes, Maria’s the wife of Bob Goff. (Do not miss how they met and ultimately got married.  Killer funny.) Many of you have probably been blessed by hearing Bob speak.  John and I’ve seen him at Southeast, and some of our kids saw him at Northeast.

We all chime in with, “Could he possibly get any crazier?” Bob’s a man with an entertaining-but-sincere message (the Gospel) and a heart the size of Texas times two or ten.

Reading Maria’s book, which includes a Foreword by Bob as well as many tales on their family, is a complete blast. I say it brings relief because Maria is brutally honest about various life scenarios giving us freedom on many levels. She shows us her very genuine responses.  Priorities weigh in revealing valuable lessons, especially with their strong faith propelling them forward.

Any of you Moms out there, parenting ideas are also plentiful in the book. You will laugh out loud more than once!

Early into the book in her chapter entitled “Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper”, Maria tells of a classmate who she wanted to be just like.  Needless to say, that didn’t go so well. She gifts us with this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

Maria strongly suggests, “Spot comparison coming our way, call it a liar, and simply refuse to make eye contact with it…We weren’t created to fit in; we were made to stand apart.”

We readers also get to watch what good neighbors look like in the chapter called “A Neighbor’s Love”. It includes easy ideas to get to know our neighbors and to simply be the hands and feet of Jesus. She states the obvious, “We can’t love our neighbors if we don’t know them.”

Two years ago, some new neighbors moved in down the street from us.  I toyed with getting the other neighbors together so we could all meet the new ones.  I toyed a little too long apparently. Before I knew it, there was an invitation to come to dinner at our new neighbor’s home.  Huh?  They are hosting us?  How unusually lovely.

When we lived in Lake Forest a few years ago, my across-the-street neighbor, Kay, and I frequently met in the middle of the street with a cup of sugar to borrow, an egg or two, one time even a new puppy to meet. Maria says, “I think God wanted us to love our neighbor so we could learn how to bookend our lives from them.”

I knew Kay was special before we ever moved in.  One night John and I were at the house planning for the move.  As we were leaving, Kay and Dick walked across the street to introduce themselves.  The first thing out of her mouth was, “Are you our new neighbors?  We’ve been praying for you.”  I’ll never forget it.

The Goff Family also cherishes time at the table together, making it one of their priorities.

My two favorite ideas from the chapter called, “Let Love Set the Table” are:

1 – Have a “Good Manners” night around the table and conversely have a “Bad Manners” night around the table. Fun and more fun. I missed the boat on this with our boys, but you can bet we will give this a “go” with our grandchildren!

2 – When you have company, after dinner, have them crawl under your table and sign it.  How fun is that?  Then over the years you can see who all has put their feet under your table, dining with you and your family. (My friend Judy has had countless people pull up around her table over the years including missionaries, preachers, authors, athletes, coaches, celebrities, friends and family.  She says one of her regrets is she’s not kept a record of all of them.  Start now with those signatures!)

Maria says, “The table is not only a place to eat, it’s a place to learn about life and each other.”  She adds, “Don’t overcomplicate it. When gathering together is rooted in love, free of unnecessary stress or self-serving motivations, bonds are formed, hearts are mended, and lives are changed forever.

One time the Goff family was going to entertain a unique family in that the father was the ambassador to a small country. (Can you imagine?) They had no idea how the evening would go. Maria confessed she stewed and stewed over various meal ideas. They ultimately ordered pizza!  Everyone therefore relaxed, and the couples’ seven-year old son enjoyed being decorated with balloons by the Goff’s children.

Finally, don’t miss the chapter, “Board of Directors.”  It’s one more of many fabulous ideas from Maria. We’re not meant to be marooned on our own little island.  Seek advice,  forming your own version of a Board of Directors…Watch how Maria did this.

May you be inspired and experience some relief found in this book in your next endeavor.

‘Til next time!

 

 

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Great Summer Reading Suggestions! Announcing the 2017-2018 Book Club Season…

Friends!  Need ideas for your summer reading?  You’ve come to the right place.

It’s with great excitement I bring you the 2017-2018 Branches Book Club line-up.  Grab them now for a summer of fun reading. Then you’ll be ready to join in our delightful discussions at our meetings.

We meet on Monday evenings, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., on the below dates, at Middletown United Methodist Church.  As we get closer to these dates, I’ll be sending out more details as to our theme and food ideas for each meeting. Such details make our time together that much more fun!

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

First up, on September 25th, we’ll be discussing Looking for Lovely by Annie Downs.

The following synopses of each of these books are thanks to our friends at Amazon:

“In Looking for Lovely, Annie F. Downs shares personal stories, biblical truth, and examples of how others have courageously walked the path God paved for their lives by remembering all God had done, loving what was right in front of them, and seeing God in the everyday—whether that be nature, friends, or the face they see in the mirror.

Intensely personal, yet incredibly powerful, Looking for Lovely will spark transformative conversations and life changing patterns. No matter who we are and what path God has us on, we all need to look for lovely, fight to finish, and find beautiful in our every day!”

This is her latest book, plus she has several other excellent books as well. Checkout her website:  www.anniefdowns.com

Our October 23rd selection is a page-turner of a novel by  Kentucky author, Laura Frantz who is coming to be with us that night!  The book is  A Moonbow NightYou won’t want to miss meeting Laura and getting to know her. Here’s her website:  www.laurafrantz.net   Don’t miss her fun recipes!

“On the vast, uncharted Kentucky frontier of the 1770s, Temperance Tucker has learned to be fleet of foot, accurate with her rifle, and silent about the past. But her family secrets complicate her growing attraction to a handsome Virginia land surveyor with a harsh history of his own. Will the hurts and hardships of the past prevent them from a fulfilling future?

With her signature sweeping style and ability to bring the distant past to vivid life, Laura Frantz beacons readers to join her in a land of Indian ambushes, conflicting loyalties, and a tentative love that meanders like a cool mountain stream.”

Our November 27th selection is a fun little petite book that packs a punch by none other than Scottish minister and author, Alistair Begg.  It’s called Christmas Playlist.  Catch one of his sermons via www.truthforlife.org  You’ll love his Scottish brogue. Alistair is the senior pastor of Cleveland’s Parkside Church. (www.parksidechurch.com)

“Music is everywhere at Christmas chart-toppers, carols, children’s tunes… Alistair Begg takes us to four songs that were sung by people at the very first Christmas (and his favorite carol).

In this short, winsome book a teenage girl, a respected priest, a group of angels and an old man bring readers to the heart of Christmas, showing them the joy and peace that comes from meeting a baby who lay in the food trough and changed eternity.”

For our January 22nd, 2018 meeting, what better way to kick off the new year than by reading a more-than-enthusiastic (understatement of the century if you’ve heard him speak) author named Bob Goff.  His book will be just what we need:  Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World. Don’t miss his website: bobgoff.com

“As a college student Bob spent 16 days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of canned meat. As a father he took his kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state. He made friends in Uganda, and they liked him so much he became the Ugandan consul. He pursued his wife for three years before she agreed to date him. His grades weren’t good enough to get into law school, so he sat on a bench outside the Dean’s office for seven days until they finally let him enroll.

Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world’s best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world’s most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it’s not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob’s love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don’t want to miss.

Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob’s life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.”

A little p.s. on this…I’m currently reading Bob’s wife, Maria’s book, Love Lives Here:  Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You WantIt’s an excellent read as well.  Big thumbs’ up.

February 26th finds us back in fiction:  Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon. Irene is amazing.  She’s written fifty plus books and has received many awards.  Read more about her on her website:  irenehannon.com

“Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her coastal Oregon hometown. As a result, she has zero time for extracurricular activities–including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn’t looking for love either–but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief? Yet wishing for things that can never be is foolish.

Nevertheless, when Lexie enlists Adam’s help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And as they work together, it soon becomes apparent that God may have a different–and better–future planned for them than either could imagine.”

On March 26th, we’ll discuss Choosing by Rachelle Dekker. Rachelle happens to be the oldest daughter of bestselling author Ted Dekker.  Read more about her via rachelledekker.com

“Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for―her Choosing ceremony―to end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.

But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. Though the whispers contradict everything she’s been told, they resonate deep within.

Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, yet she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.”

We’ll finish out our season on April 23rd, reading a novel by a favorite author of mine, Julie Klassen. Her book we’ll be reading is The Innkeeper of Ivy HillShe loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austin.  We will have fun with this novel!  Read more about Julia via her website:  julieklassen.com  (The book I read long ago and loved was The Apothecary’s Daughter.)

“The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora’s wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them–and her future–in a different light.

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?”

Get these dates on your calendar and be thinking of friends you can invite!  You’ll enjoy this variety of Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction and your summer all at once! We look forward to seeing you in the fall!

‘Til next time!

P.S.  Next week I’ll have details to share about an amazing event with even more amazing speakers on August 5th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Save the date!

 

 

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