Monday, August 20, 2012

Shhhhh! Can you hear Him?

Give me a minute . . .  Nearly middle-aged woman at forty-one, it often takes me a minute to remember the sequence of events, so I'm going to give it a try here.  In January or February of this year, a woman I am blessed to have in my life brought my family and me dinner since I was recovering from a double mastectomy.  Along with this meal, she left me a beautifully wrapped gift which was Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts.  On heavy-duty pain killers at the time, the book was lost in the shuffle of recovery and forgotten.
Fast forward to July of this year, and I was volunteering at my church's Vacation Bible School.  Partnered with another woman blessing, we talked books while supervising our group of kiddos.  She told me of an inspiring book written by a woman who found the answer to her questioning in the intentional act of thanking God for His abundance of gifts.  A familiarity was rising in the back of my mind the more my friend delved into the book's theme, but I couldn't put my metaphorical finger on this apparent deja vu.  Finally, my friend brought up a picture of the book cover on her smart phone, and I had seen that book jacket before, but I didn't place where.
A few days later, I decided to make what turned out a feeble attempt of clearing some of the clutter which had accumulated in my house during my downtime.  Selecting a bag, I emptied the contents in order to purge and organize.  Hidden within the paperwork was a book, the same book whose cover I saw on my friend's phone.  Opening the book, I discovered a note written from the woman who brought that nourishing meal early in the year.  Coincidence?  Absolutely!  The whisperings of God?  I'd like to think so. . .  "And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper."  1 Kings 19:12 (NLT)

Courtney Winkler

If interested in actively living Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts, please join Eat, Read, Pray at Troy United Methodist Church on the first and third Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Oak Room beginning September 5, 2012 or online at

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Connect with Ruth Aylsworth

RUBY: How long have you attended Troy United Methodist Church?

I have attended TUMC for more than eight years

RUBY: What drew you to this church?

I felt the love that people have for our Lord and that they genuinely care about sharing faith and reaching people

RUBY: Which service do you typically attend? 
When possible I enjoy the 9:00 service. Teaching preschool helps me with my walk with Christ as I prepare my weekly lessons.

RUBY: Share a favorite Bible verse and/or inspirational song, and why this is a favorite. 
My favorite verses are “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord” and “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” They are my favorite because I know that when Christ is first in my life, I can get through anything. Christ has never failed me, and though I have failed Him many times, I know He will always care for me and forgive me. I also feel that it is important to reach children when they are young so that they can grow in Christ’s love.

RUBY: I am so grateful that you were Corinna's Sunday school teacher, and I look forward to Colette having you this year. Tell us about your involvement at Troy UMC and/or the community. 
I have been teaching preschool on Sunday for probably 6 or 7 years, and I love seeing how much the kids enjoying learning “The Big God Story.” I also cleaned the kitchen on Wednesdays for probably about the same number of years, though I am taking a semester off while I take classes in Early Childhood Education, and I recently started cleaning up after the Munch N Ministries.

RUBY: Tell us about your family. 
I have been married to my wonderful husband for over 25 years, and we have two great kids, Jana and Joe. They both live in Colorado. My husband is a very strong Christian man and sometimes when the weight of the world seems too much, he always reminds me of all the times that Christ has brought us through our trials.

RUBY: What makes a house a home? 
Unconditional love and faith

RUBY: If you decided to go on a spiritual journey, where would you go and what would you do? 
I would go to Bethlehem and Jerusalem to see holy places. I think that would be amazing, and humbling.

RUBY: How may we contact you in order to make a further connection?  

My email addresses are and