Tag Archives: MUMC

Come Meet Author Sarah Ladd and Learn About Her Novel, “The Heiress of Winterwood”, Monday, April 24th, 6:30-8:00 P.M.

Friends! I pray you and your family had a blessed Easter. We rejoice that He is risen, indeed.

It’s with great excitement I get to tell you a wee bit about Book Club and turn over the details to my dear friend, Nancy Tinnell. Nancy will reveal what all is happening next Monday, April 24th. Be thinking about who you’ll invite to bring with you to Book Club! You do NOT want to miss this!

The gals at Branches Book Club have really cooked up some fun. Here’s the book they’ll be discussing:

Even better, you’ll get to meet the author, Sarah Ladd!

Now, please allow me to pass my pen to Nancy Tinnell:

“The Heiress of Winterwood”
Sarah Ladd

Why do we love Regency fiction so much? Even as an adult, it’s easy to fantasize about a wardrobe of empire waist dresses with ribbons trailing down the back, and, of course, an upswept hairdo!  Shades of Mr. Darcy!

Sarah Ladd makes it easy to love period fiction in The Heiress of Winterwood. Though we may look back on those days with the idea that it was a quiet and genteel time, Sarah brings to the surface the reality of what it’s like to marry under pressure so you don’t lose your property; the struggle Amelia Barrett experiences when she finds her heart has been touched by another man; the disappointment felt when trusted family members are found to be not so trustworthy.

Amelia is a “good girl,” a rule follower, and she must learn that sometimes being obedient and faithful to God challenges our own rules and requires that we follow Him. Oh, how Amelia learns to trust in the Lord and lean not on her own understanding! (A vision of Proverbs 3:5-6!)

Author Sarah Ladd will be joining us at Branches Book Club on Monday, April 24th, at 6:30 p.m. for the final meeting this spring before we break for summer. What a great time this will be to ask her questions about her work.

As a bonus, Lifeway Christian Store will have a display of Sarah’s books, AND, last but not least, Lifeway will be selling copies of our next season’s book club selections at a discount. Can it get any better than that?

Well, as a matter of fact, it can! Our snack theme is an English tea party, a la Downton Abbey! Bring your finger sandwiches and cookies (or biscuits, as the British say), and enjoy an evening with Sarah Ladd and your book club friends. There will be door prizes, tea and dainties to consume, and the schedule for fall and spring’s book club selections, so you can get a head start this summer.

You may remember author Kristy Cambron’s visit last September when we read her book, The Ringmaster’s Wife. Kristy and Sarah are friends, and it was she who suggested we invite Sarah to be with us. All of us at Branches Book Club are excited Sarah’s coming, and, of course, we hope to see all of you! Make plans to join us!


Please call Middletown United Methodist to RSVP at: (502) 245-8839.

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

We look forward to seeing you!

‘Til next time!


Filed under Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Guest Post

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.


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:


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!


Filed under Book Reviews

Fantastic Opportunity to Meet and Hear Author Jan Watson, Monday, April 28th

Those of you anywhere near Louisville, please mark your calendars for next Monday, April 28th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m.!!! You will have the opportunity to meet and greet Author Jan Watson. Call all your friends and head to Middletown United Methodist Church for an evening of fun, encouragement, and blessings.


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

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

If you don’t know Jan, you’ll immediately fall in love with her, her humor, sincerity and writing. She is some kind of an amazing gal.

I first met Jan (totally believing to this day the Lord orchestrated our meeting) in Lexington at a huge Book Fair. She has an only-God-could-pull-this-off kind of story.

A retired nurse, she’d always had it in her heart to write.   Jan jumped at the chance to enter a writing contest. Not just any writing contest….Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writer’s Guild Writing Contest! Without further suspense, she WON.

Jan Watson

Her winning entitled her to a publishing contract with Tyndale. She was a mere sixty years of age when her first book released. I’m even happier to report, she’s still writing and after just celebrating her seventieth birthday, book number eight is complete, due out in the Fall. Be sure to ask her about it!

Branches Book Club will be hosting Jan Monday the 28th. We’ll be discussing her seventh novel, Tattler’s Branch. Jan grips you in the beginning and takes you on many twists and turns full of surprises, moments of fun, and some tear-filled ones requiring a nearby Kleenex.

You’ll fall in love with some of her characters, and then one or two others make you want to take justice in your own hands. A gripping and visual writer, you’ll agree you’re more than ready for Jan’s next book when you finish this one!

She is also gifted at bringing in the importance of reading and applying (and memorizing!) God’s Word for future peace and comfort in trying situations. How she comes up with some of these “situations” in her books is beyond me.

Tattler's Branch

Bring your book with you and Jan will sign it for you. Be thinking of questions for her too. She loves to answer them, as well as hear comments from you, her readers.

Last fall I had the opportunity to connect Jan with Nancy Sleeth and Kelsey Ach. (For more information, click here. This post also includes the story of how Jan and I met. Crazy fun.)

Lexington authors need to know one another, don’t you think?!!! We had a ton of fun that day. I’ve spoken of Angela Correll from Stanford, KY before, too, and she and Jan met in a writer’s class years ago. Thumbs’ up to all these girls’ books:

Almost Amish Sleeth

grounded cover

Try your hardest to get to this meeting as this is the last Book Club meeting of the school year. Branches will resume in the Fall.

To RSVP for the meeting or if you have any questions, please call Kelly or Nancy at (502) 245-8839.

See you Monday, April 28th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m.!!!

Next month we’ll tackle a tough subject I keep returning to: Margin. Be ready for some R & R, fresh from God’s Word.

‘Til next time!

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Filed under Author Interviews, Book Clubs

Book Club Resumes with The Harbinger this Monday, September 23rd! Please join us!

Ahhh, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Branches’ Women’s Ministry’s Book Club is about to resume!  If you are anywhere near Louisville, by all means, please join us!  And bring a friend or two or four!!!  (For more information on the Book Club, click on Brand-New Branches Book Club)

We’ll discuss a breath-taking, show-stopping book by Jonathan Cahn, The Harbinger—The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future.  You’ll love hearing from Maggie Alcorn, Amy Davenport, and Nancy Tinnell who will enlighten us on the book and lead us in discussion.


For those of you who’ve read it and then ask, “Now what?”, there’s a new Companion book with a study guide that’ll answer lots of your questions.  It’s got a neat section in the beginning that shows pictures of the locations of the Harbingers.


The “story behind the story” chapter is also incredible.  Jonathan whipped out the first book in only four months.  Reviewers call it “mind blowing” and you will agree.

While we recommend you read the book BEFORE you come, some attendees enjoy hearing the discussion FIRST and then deciding if they’ll read the book afterwards! Either way, come see us and bring a friend!  We’ll meet at Middletown United Methodist Church from 6:30-8:00 p.m.  They are located at 11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY  40243. (www.middletownumc.org )

If you have questions, you may call Nancy Tinnell at (502) 245-8839 or email her at:  NTinnell@middletownumc.org

Hope to see you Monday night!

Future meetings for your calendars include:

October 28th, 2013The Chance by Karen Kingsbury



November 25, 2013The Christmas Quilt  by Vanetta Chapman

The Christmas Quilt


January 27, 2014 Gods at War by Kyle Idleman .  Meet the Author!!! KYLE WILL BE JOINING US!!!!  Men are welcome!

Gods at War


February 24, 2014Joni and Ken:  An Untold Love Story by Ken Tada and Joni Ereckson Tada

Joni and Ken


March 24, 2014I Am Potential by Patrick Henry Hughes.  Meet the Author!!!  PATRICK WILL BE JOINING  US!!!  Men are welcome!



April 28, 2014Tattler’s Branch by Jan Watson   (We’ve invited Jan and are hoping she’ll drive over from Lexington to be with us!)


‘Til next time!

(This post is dedicated to our fearlessly brave ladies who host Book Club:  Nancy Tinnell, Maggie Alcorn, and Amy Davenport.  We must all covet to pray for them over this new season and year.  Thanks for all your time and effort!  Can’t wait to get started again!!!)


Filed under Book Clubs, Friends

YOU Are INVITED!!! Please Join us to Meet TEN Bad Girls of the Bible! – Bible Study Begins September 10th…PLUS: Freebie Book Offer!!!

Sweet Friends, PLEASE mark your calendars and join us September 10th for a super fun, educational, and potentially life-changing-a-la-Liz–Curtis-Higgs Bible Study!!!  We’ll be meeting at Middletown United Methodist Church (MUMC) in Louisville, Kentucky.  If you are anywhere near Louisville, please come join us!


Middletown United Methodist Church
11902 Old Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40243

Best-selling author and speaker Liz Curtis Higgs has recently revised and released Bad Girls of the Bible and Lessons You Can Learn From Them.  Plus she has filmed a brand-new teaching DVD to go along with it!  My friends, Jane Chilton and Nancy Tinnell, and myself will be team-teaching tidbits as well.

2013 Bad Girls of the Bible COVER 300x450

We will meet beginning  Tuesday, September 10th and run until November 12th.  We are offering a morning class and an evening class.  Classes will last only ninety minutes.  Mornings will be from 9:30-11:00 a.m. (You’ll beat the lunch crowd if you run out for a bite afterwards!), and 6:30-8:00 p.m. for the evening class.

Lizzie will be teaching us about ten bad girls (!), so we’ll meet for ten weeks.  One week per chapter.   We’ll learn all about Eve, Potiphar’s Wife, Lot’s Wife, The Woman at the Well, Delilah, Sapphira, Rahab, Jezebel, Michal, and the Sinful Woman.

Liz’ writing in the fictional and Biblical accounts will bless you, encourage you and leave you equipped in God’s Word and bathed in His grace each week.  Best way to register is to call Kelly McDonald or Nancy Tinnell at MUMC at (502) 245-8839.  You may also register by visiting their website:  www.middletownumc.org

I also suggest going on and getting your book as we’ll dive right in the first week and you’ll want to have read the intro’ and first chapter by  September 10th.  You will love Liz’ format on the DVD and our format for discussion.  Not to mention that Liz will pop in one of these Tuesdays to surprise us and teach us LIVE!!!


FB Liz in front of red door SQUARE


This is a great opportunity for you to invite your friends.  Last summer we were blessed to have women of all ages, friends, neighbors, etc.  The more the merrier!

Liz says, “The point of Bad Girls of the Bible is that categorically and absolutely, whatever your story is, you are not alone.  There are lessons here for all of us…”  Oh, I promise you, you are in for a treat!

Additionally, Liz has a new book due out in mid-September, The Women of Christmas—A Fresh Look at the Nativity Scene through the Lives of Elizabeth, Mary and Anna.  Waterbrook, her publisher, has a great deal going right now where if you pre-order the book, you get a BOGO offer (buy one get one free!!!)  Think “early Christmas shopping” if I dare broach that subject!!!

Go to:  www.WaterBrookMultnomah.com/WomenofChristmas

TWOC 2-4-1 300 x 250

And for those of you melancholies out there wondering where part 4 of 4 is in the “Do You Know Where God Is?” series, please rest assured it’s coming in a couple of weeks. For parts 1-3, you may click on…(part 1, part 2, part 3).

This week we needed to get details out on this Bible study since so many of you have asked and it’s fast approachingThe other upcoming activity involves so many of you who will be taking your children to college next week.  Gulp!  We’ll be talking about that too!  Thanks for your patience.

‘Til next time!!!

(This post is dedicated to all of you out there who have been asking about this Bible study and who will be coming and bringing friends! Keep ‘em coming!!!  We have been praying for you and ask that you keep the whole study, all the attendees, all the details, and our sweet author, who’s feverishly writing yet another Bible study, Liz Curtis Higgs, in your prayers!)


Filed under Bible Studies, Book Reviews

REVIEW of Liz Curtis Higgs’ “A Wreath of Snow”, and INTERVIEW with Liz!

Liz adores a cup of steaming hot tea now and then, so let’s all go brew a quick cup and sit down together to talk about her new Christmas novella, A Wreath of Snow.  Wherever you are, let’s just pretend we’re cozied up by a warm fire, primed for some fun discussion.

FB Teacup

I suppose a disclaimer is in order since many of you know I’m blessed to call Liz a dear friend, mentor, advisor, and occasional therapist!  The Lord crossed our paths many years ago and I’m forever grateful.  Therefore…I’ll try to be objective. (Mischievous  grin.)

Seriously, A Wreath of Snow is a rich, enjoyable read.  Because it’s a novella, it’s also a quick read.  However, I was determined to savor every word knowing what a wordsmith Liz is.

If you’ve read other books by Liz, you’ll be shocked to know this one is also set in Scotland!  Ever so slightly enamored with Scotland, Liz takes us back to Christmas Eve in 1894, in the lovely town of Stirling.  (As I type, Liz is taking two different groups, a week each, through a lovely tour of her favorite country, Scotland.  We ought to be snacking on a scone or Scottish shortbread in her honor.)

Stirling Scotland King's Knot and Victorian Neighborhood for EH

Perfectly picturesque, complete with snow falling, we meet several characters.  Two of which happen to be taking a train, in the same car, to Edinburgh.

 You’ll become acquainted with Margaret Campbell and Gordon Shaw.  Liz will prove to you, there are no coincidences in life.  The sweet and most gracious Almighty orchestrates several God-incidences throughout A Wreath of Snow.  See how many you can find!  They are beautiful!

Pretty quickly, the plot derails.  (No pun intended ‘til you read it, then total pun intended!)  Not as in the plot falls apart, but you’ll be shocked early on.  And just when you think, “Oh, now we’re headed in a safe direction…”, be prepared to be stunned again!

Stirling Railway Station 1894 for EH

Some of Liz’ characters cause you to become quickly attached to them, and some, well, not so much.  Relatable  for certain.  Her excellent descriptions  make you say to yourself, “Oh, brother, does he ever sound like so-and-so…” (That’s the unlikeable sort).  Then on the flipside, you’ll be saying about some others, “Oh, now they are such a match!”

While set in the 19th century, Liz broaches topics which nearly topple us right here in the 21st century. See if any of these have every tempted you: guilt, running from God, weaving webs of lies, lack of forgiveness, lack of repentance, and dodging attempts for reconciliation?   Oh, please guide us Lord and guard us from temptation.

One of the many things I love about this novella is how Liz purposefully includes Biblical truth on these very topics.  Scripture speaks to these characters.  You find yourself telling them to sit up and pay attention!

A favorite paragraph will give you a taste of A Wreath of Snow:  “The tension inside her slowly began to unwind.  She heard the minister’s voice but deeper still, another voice, even more tender.  I have loved thee with an everlasting love.  Tears welled up, threatening to spill onto her lap.  Meg knew this voice, these words, their meaning.  …But on Christmas morning in a candlelit sanctuary she’d known since childhood, Meg could not refuse him.  And  did not wish to.  With loving kindness I have drawn thee.  Her breathing deepened, and a sense of warmth moved through her, despite the frigid temperature.”  Aren’t you right there in the next pew, right beside Meg?  See how Liz draws you in?

Park Church for EH

This novella is not just a great read for you during Christmas, it’s a great gift for you to give your friends and family.  Big brownie points for you the gift-giver too! Guess I’d better not tell you anymore without giving away the rest of the story.  Just trust me, you’ll love it.

Well, let’s chat with Liz for a minute.  I’ve thrown her some questions and let’s see how she answers:  (By the way, if you’d like  to hear Liz speak in person about this lovely novella, mark you calendar to come to our next Branches Book Club meeting, Monday, January 28th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., at Middletown United Methodist Church. More details on the book club can be found in a separate blog post, “Brand-new Branches Book Club“.)

FB Liz in front of red door SQUARE

Let’s talk about the book first, and then you….

While writing the novella, did you find yourself liking one character more than another?

All the characters quickly became very dear to me, even the hard-to-love ones, like Alan. That’s just the nature of writing fiction. It’s not unlike being a mother! Each character has their own back story, their own reasons for doing what they do, and so they win my sympathy early on.

Flawed characters are especially interesting because they have the most capacity for change. In A Wreath of Snow, Gordon was my favorite (shhh! don’t tell the others!). There’s just something about a reformed Bad Boy that really grabs my heart.

Where in the world do you find all your epigraphs, much less fitting ones for your novels?

I spend a crazy amount of time reading through books and searching online for just the right literary quote to capture the heart of my book, as well as the heart of each chapter. Whenever possible, I use quotes from the time period in which I’m writing or from an earlier era—so, nothing from the 20th Century—and if that pithy quote was spoken by a Scot, so much the better!

Will you write a sequel to A Wreath of Snow?

I would love to do that, if I can just figure out how to squeeze another project into my writing schedule. I had no intention of continuing the story when I wrote it, but after I turned in the manuscript, the characters kept talking in my head. When that happens, I know there is more story to be told.

I’ve already chosen a title and epigraph, and have begun plotting. We shall see how God leads!

Tell us WHY  & HOW you came to adore Scotland and a little about your new Scottish blog.

Oh, Scotland. It’s a beautiful country with the friendliest people I’ve ever met. The history, the literature, the culture, the language, and the music all fascinate me, and have for two decades or more. But the reason I write about Scotland is all about God! This interview on YouTube reveals just how that happened:


My new website, MyScottishHeart.com, is a gathering place for anyone who enjoys my novels or adores Scotland as much as I do. It’s filled with photos from my 15 trips there, and fun things I’ve learned over the years.

Here are all the places online where you can find out more about my Scottish historical fiction and the misty isle that I love:

Website: http://www.MyScottishHeart.com

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/MyScottishHeart

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MyScottishHeart

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lizcurtishiggs/a-victorian-visit-to-stirling-scotland/

Tell us something most people wouldn’t ordinarily know about you.

Tee-hee. I think everything people might care to know about me is either in one of my books or online somewhere! Still, they may not know I won a Most Improved Bowler trophy in the 1970s!

What do you like to do for fun, when you’re not on a deadline (even tho’ you are always on a deadline!!!)?

I love watching movies, at home or at the cinema. I love getting lost in a nice, thick historical novel. I love having lunch with friends. I love going for walks with my sweet husband. And I love traveling to new places.

How do you juggle writing, traveling, speaking, family? 

Not very well, actually! The key for me is to immerse myself wholly in each moment. Rather than fretting about what I should be doing elsewhere, I embrace the now and look for ways to serve God where I am at any given hour.

How will you and your family celebrate Christmas this year?

Our traditions are simple, even silly, but we love them. Trimming the tree is a family affair, with a particular holiday CD to put us in the mood, chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, and our grown daughter running through the house with the tree skirt tied around her neck like a caped superhero—something she’s done since she was three.

Christmas morning begins with stockings, then breakfast, then gifts are opened one at a time, amid much laughing and hugging. Christmas dinner comes next, with a traditional Kentucky menu: honey ham, corn pudding, green beans, flaky biscuits, cooked apples, and an assortment of pies for dessert. By evening the house is quiet again and we’re curled up on the couch, grateful not for our gifts, but for one another, and for the One whose birth changed everything.

Do you have an all-time favorite book?  Author?

For nonfiction, that would be Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. For fiction, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

If you were to give a book to someone for a gift (besides one of your own), what would it be?

See above! ;>) Actually, I choose books for friends and family with great care, hoping to give them hours of reading pleasure. Books are the BEST gift, I think.

You know my favorite book of yours is Embrace Grace because I find articulating God’s grace very difficult.  You seem to have loads of grace beautifully woven into each of your books.  Can you talk about that a bit?

Bless you for your kind words about a real book of my heart. I’ll be leading a study of Embrace Grace on my Bible Study Blog in January and February 2013. So looking forward to walking through the pages with my readers! Pop on http://www.LizCurtisHiggs.com/blog/  to join us.

Grace is at the heart of everything I write. Because God has freely given us this precious gift, I’m compelled to share it with others—on the platform, in my books, online. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

If I may say in closing, Elizabeth, you are an abundant grace-giver. Bless you for sharing yourself and your heart for God on this blog!

Thanks again, Liz, for taking the time to do the interview!  I pray you’re having a BLAST in Scotland!

‘Til next time…

(This December blog post is obviously going to be dedicated to sweet Lizzie.  She’s had an unbelievable, milestone year:  2012 marks her 30th year as a Christian and the printing of her 30th book!!!!!  Please join me in offering a grand standing ovation to our dear Liz Curtis Higgs!  Bravo!  Please keep writing & may God continue to bless you abundantly.)


Filed under Author Interviews, Book Reviews

Brand-New Branches Book Club and Three New Books!

How   ‘bout some REALLY good news?  There’s a “new kid” in town….or rather a new Book Club in Louisville, KY!  Come meet some authors!  Come and discuss some great Christian books!  Bring your friends!  Enjoy treats to eat!

Branches Book Club is a brand-new community-wide Book Club which just kicked off their season October 22nd, 2012.  They will meet the fourth Monday of the month in the Connections Center at Middletown United Methodist Church (MUMC). For their first meeting in October, they read and discussed Karen Kingsbury’s Coming Home.

Their next meeting will be on the 26th of November, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Middletown United Methodist Church (MUMC) where they’ll discuss Almost Amish—One Woman’s Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life by Nancy Sleeth. Nancy will be coming to discuss her book, entertain questions, and sign books that evening!

MUMC’s Women’s Ministry has had the Branches Women’s Ministry for several years, and they are now excited to offer the Branches Book Club!  Two more-than-capable leaders are getting this ball rolling:  Maggie Alcorn and Amy Davenport.  Nancy Tinnell, Associate Pastor, from MUMC is also helping and mentoring these fine women.  She’ll be speaking occasionally as well, and after having sat under her teaching this summer, we are all in for a treat!


Middletown United Methodist Church
11902 Old Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40243

The name ‘branches” comes straight out of Scripture from John 15:5, where Jesus tells us:  “I am the vine, you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit;  apart from me you can do nothing.”

Tree Outline w words

After recently stepping down from facilitating a book club for seven years, I was thrilled to learn about the new Branches Book Club, and to be able to participate! Plus, learning of some of the upcoming selections AND authors coming is so exciting!  What a slice of heaven! (In Heaven, I can picture us sitting around discussing books parked next to a chocolate fountain!  Well, one can dream…)

Author Nancy Sleeth and her family live in Lexington, Kentucky.  She was just featured on the cover of October’s Christianity Today magazine as “50 Women to Watch”.  How  exciting will that be to have the opportunity of meeting her???!!!  Wow!


A favorite quote from Almost Amish  is about Nancy’s epiphany:  “Few of us can become Amish, but all of us can become almost Amish.”  Nancy takes you through some of the Amish principles and you’ll love taking the eye-opening journey with her.

I was grateful to discover Nancy’s honesty and relieved she didn’t serve up any guilt.  Chew on this quote with me for a minute:  “The Amish have a saying:  ‘A happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short.’ And, of course, happy marriages tend to make for happy families.  May all your gatherings with family be part of a long conversation, full of joy, harmony, and faith in an all-powerful Father who loves every one of his children.”  Love that!

Another favorite quote which really encouraged me to be more effortful than effortless towards the Amish way of life was in Nancy’s closing remarks:  “Yet each time we seek out an Almost Amish path, we move one step nearer to the kingdom of God.  Every time we choose the Almost Amish way we come one breath closer to a slower, simpler, more sustainable life.”  Ahhhhh.


Grab your calendars and ink in Monday, November 26th, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Middletown United Methodist Church. (Yes, I’m repeating myself in case you missed it the first time!) Please either call Kelly McDonald to let her know you’re coming at 245-8839 or you may email her at:  Kmcdonald@middletownumc.org  You may bring a treat to eat and share if time allows.  While Thanksgiving will have just happened, I believe Nancy Sleeth will better prepare our hearts and minds for a blessed Christmas season.
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Another  fun fact?  Nancy’s husband, Matthew Sleeth MD, also has a brand-new book out called 24/6—a Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life. (Quite  the “dynamic duo”, this couple, huh?)

Matthew grabs you from the beginning to  the end.  I found myself totally immersed, and convicted simultaneously.  I soooooooo long to be a 24/6  instead of a 24/7-and-then-some girl.  Great stuff, Matthew.

24/6 reads like a prescription for us crazy-busy-souls. (No wonder he was a doctor first!)  Three phrases from a poem by John David Walt, from Asbury Theological Seminary, found in the beginning of the book, immediately drew me in:  “holy Leisure, guiltless Feasting, Heaven Hugging”.  Sold!

NOT that Matthew’s trying to sell us on this keeping-the-Sabbath idea.  He’s just presenting the Biblical facts.  Oh, and he’s built a great case.  (You’ll love hearing some of his episodes in the Emergency Room while doctoring.  Thankfully none are too knee-buckling for any of you faint-at-the-sight-of-blood types. Uh, that would be me.)

Please pray for the Sleeth family while they’re “birthing” these two new books and juggling other things called “life”!  Checkout their very cool faith-based environmental nonprofit organization they started:  www.Blessedearth.org

Back to Branches Book Club:  If you’ve got your 2013 calendar handy, I’ve got a date in January to give you which has a two-fold fun purpose.  One is you can read and savor over the Christmas holidays, prior to the January date, Liz Curtis Higgs’ new novella, Wreath of Snow.  Enjoy the Christmas season and Branches Book Club will resume on Monday, January 28th, same time, same place, AND…. Liz will be joining us in person!  What a treat!  (More  on her book in another blog entry!)

While I really endeavored to merely tell you about a brand-new book club, I can’t simply “list” books without chatting about them just a tad.  I pray we’ll have fun on occasion doing exactly that in this blog!

Whether the selection is fiction or non-fiction, you’ll learn Biblical pearls of wisdom which you can wear home.  This is putting your feet to your faith at its’ finest.  Embrace Hebrews 10:25 which says, “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

‘Til next time!

(This blog entry is dedicated to FOUR lovely, smart, talented and courageous gals who stepped up to start this brand-new Branches Book Club.  Having been there, quakin’, shakin’ and then some, years ago, all I can say is:  “Lean on God and He’ll hold you up!” May God Bless and guide and hold Maggie Alcorn, Amy Davenport, Nancy Tinnell,  and their behind-the-scenes computer expert, Kelly McDonald.  You go, girls!!!)


Filed under Book Clubs, Book Reviews