Friday, August 30, 2013

Girlfriends in God Devotion

I'm not ________________ enough.

Submitted by Deb Ellis, "This is a really good devotion. And God's timing is perfect.  We were discussing this exact topic tonight.  I need to print this one and tape it to my bathroom mirror!"

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Run for God

What do you do when your summer is coming to a close, you still haven’t lost that extra weight, and your soul is yearning to just run away? DO IT! Run away, Run for God!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Recently, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and restless. After listening to several friends tell of their vacations, I decided to look for a weekend getaway in Tennessee, the place where I spent carefree summers as a child. Back where Southern hospitality is as sweet as the tea they serve. Where red dirt dusts your feet and fresh streams wash them clean.
While researching events for Faithful Fitness Fellowship, I happened to see a new race, The Pinky 5K. An all women, evening walk/run, sponsored by Run for God, in Chattanooga, TN. A quick check of the calendar, recruiting a friend to join me, and the trip was a go! (Thanks Masja!)
Packet pick up was scheduled for 6pm Friday August 23rd at Tennessee River Park, so as soon as the kids were off to school, we loaded up and headed for the hills, literally. If you have never been to the Great Smoky Mountains might I suggest pinning it to your “Places to See” board! This majestic area is, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful land God ever created. 
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
Singing to an 80s movie music montage, navigating through a downpour in Nashville, and narrowly missing what appeared to be a live Georgia bulldog standing in the middle of the interstate, we arrived at the hotel with just enough time to lace up our running shoes and check in for the race. 
The storm caught up with us, and we spent the rain delay crouched under the Dupont Parkway Bridge watching the lightning show and the majestic Southern Belle cruising slowly by on the Tennessee River.

My goal for the event was to finish with a 15 min/mile average time. After a high 5 from Pinky, we were off and running. Most of the course was on a concrete walkway, meandering through the park and beside the river. Solid footing was a blessing for the rolling hills and semi-darkened pathway. Masja kept me motivated and encouraged me to keep running. Exhausted and sweaty, a mere 40 minutes and 31 seconds later we crossed the finish line. 13 min/miles! That, my friends, is a PR! (“Personal Record” for you non-runners out there.)

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:1-3 (MSG)
So what do two 40-somethings do to celebrate a great race? Head to Wal-Mart to gear up for a morning white water rafting trip, of course! More on that adventure in my next post!
Beth Miramonti

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

RUBY Girls Night Out

Who:  YOU

What:  Momix:  Botanica

When:  Thursday, 9/19/13 beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Where:  The Hett at McKendree University

E-mail for tickets or purchase at The Hett box office, online, or by phone (see link above).  You know you want to!


Are You Living the Dash?

The Dash Poem
Submitted by Deb Ellis

Monday, August 19, 2013



--> Relational Connections
--> Spiritual Growth
--> Community

TGIW will begins August 21!  Fried Chicken, Worship, New Classes and groups! 

TGIW for the Fall of 2013!

What is TGIW?  It's for you...  Wednesday evenings are a key ingredient to community at Troy United Methodist Church!  The relaxed schedule allows for you to have dinner, worship, and grow in faith through classes and groups for all ages.  Everyone is welcome.  You can pick and choose what to take part in from the Food Court to Worship to Classes and Groups.

Whole Pizzas For Sale!

Whole pizzas can now be ordered at the TGIW dessert window
Pizza menu:
3 cheese, Sausage, or Pepperoni=$7.00
Meat lovers or Deluxe=$8.50

Food Court

One of the TGIW anchors is the food court. It provides a convenient way to pull the family together for great dinner before the evening ministries. Here are the cost for the meal:
Hot Buffet: $6.00 (includes small salad, drink and dessert)
Salad Bar: $5.00 (includes dessert and drink)
Ala Carte items are priced individually (hot dogs, pizza slices, chips, etc).
Children 4-12 are $3.00, children under 4 eat free.
Household maximum of $19.00 - a great deal!
The food court is located in the the Family Life Center and is serving from 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM.


There are two options for worship on Wednesday evening, both at 6:30 pm. 
The worship service in the Sanctuay typically uses hymns from the hymnal and is accompanied by piano.  Rev. Price (Sr. Pastor)  and Rev. Kurt Stone (Teaching Pastor) preach during this service.
The worship service in the Family Life Center is primarily led by the student worship band and youth ministry leadership team.  Other pastoral staff rotate the preaching. 
Also, as an act of worship on Wednesday evenings, many people give their talents and abilities to help in leadership in a variety of areas.  If you have a desire to help in leading in children or youth ministry or in music ministry, there are opportunities for you! 
Children's Ministry -
Student Ministry -
Music Ministry - or

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Temporarily confined to bed after some minor surgery, I had no choice but to flip through the channels.  I finished reading my novel, skimmed through all of my magazines, and harassed everyone I knew through texts.  My hub and the squirts were at the local water park, so I was hoping I'd score and find Lidia's Italy on PBS, one of my favorites.

Instead, what I found was an older gentleman wearing a Touring Cap speaking in front of an audience.  The sign behind him had the word "Wishes" on it, but I couldn't make out the rest.

By the time I tuned in, he was talking about the fifth and most important "wish" on his list, and he used Job 33:15-18 KJV to reinforce his point:

In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon [wo]men, in slumberings upon the bed;  Then he openeth the ears of [wo]men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw [wo]man, from his purpose, and hide pride from [wo]man.  He keepeth back . . . [her] soul from the pit, and . . . [her] life from perishing by the sword.

The man explained how to use that transition time between wakefulness and sleep in our favor.  Instead of focusing on the hurts of the day, the troubles of the world, or negative body imagery, for example, we should, instead, focus on where we want to be as long as it feels natural . . .  "I am content.  I am healthy.  I am blessed," so that God may "sealeth . . . [our] instruction."

This concept is not a novel idea.  Years ago after having read, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, at the author's encouragement, I logged a journal each night of five blessings of the day for which I was thankful.  Ann VosKamp's 1000 Gifts, in the same manner, urges readers to log throughout the day until a minimal goal of 1000 is eventually reached with the end result being a habit formed so that the reader will continue recording without limits.

What was interesting to me was that I had never read this verse from Job in the King James Version;  the versions I keep handy are the Good News and the New International Version.  A self-described logophile, I was taken by "sealeth."  Instead of encapsulating negativity into my subconscious, why not go for the gold in terms of positive thinking?  So, tonight while I'm adjusting my CPAP mask and allowing my melatonin VitaMelts to dissolve in my mouth, I will attempt to do just that . . . 

Courtney Winkler

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Case of the Carbuncle

I can remember my younger self longingly looking forward to the end of all school so, in my case, I could finally have a classroom of my own, a place of my own, and this grown-up life of my own.  Then reality sets in . . .

As I age,  I am now introduced to death, disease, and hardship- items I hadn't anticipated in my youth.  My grandparents . . . gone.  My father . . . gone.  My best friend's father hospitalized for blood clots, a dear friend's father-in-law . . .  cancer.  Then, I hear from more . . . Alzheimer's, ALS, alcoholism . . .  It's like being a child and learning an entirely new alphabet minus the eagerness and innocence.  For me, a language I could do without. 

A middle-aged woman, I am now familiar with once unfamiliar terms such as carbuncles, Bartholin gland cysts, Somogyi Effect, ER+, and the like.  In my mind, I have earned nearly enough credits through personal experience to graduate medical school while keeping my dear friend, woman blessing and nurse practitioner extraordinaire Christin on her toes.

Case in point, my left eyelid was tender one morning.  The next morning it was swollen.  On the third morning, the day I was scheduled to meet women blessings Galusha and her niece at a baseball game, I was unable to open my left eye entirely -a hard, round, growth approximately the size of a marble was front and center on the lid.  Sexy!  

Fearful of this mass on my eye, I called my friend and told her I wouldn't be able to make the game.  Assuring me I'd be fine, she insisted I meet them.  Wearing my prescription glasses since contacts were out of the question, I sat in the bleacher seats with the sun beating down upon my carbuncle.   

As the bleachers cleared towards the end of the game, we noticed a disposable camera sitting solo to our right.  Together we thought, "What a great idea to take pictures of the carbuncle!"  So, a photo shoot of this growth ensued- tilting my head from side to side- and we laughed until we cried.  Then, we returned the camera to its original location.  Are we immature, or what?

When I think of that day or look at that scar on my eyelid, I can't help but smile a huge goofy grin.  If it weren't for that carbuncle, we may not have shed tears of joy that day, laughed great belly laughs, or revisited our youthful, immature selves (okay, we probably would have, but bear with me here).  In fact, just saying the term carbuncle aloud (my own perceived onomatopoeia) makes me giggle.

So, this, in turn, makes me think of Proverbs 17:22, "A joyful heart is good medicine . . . ."

Courtney Winkler

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Daily Wisdom

Once I was sitting upon the shore of a lake. As I sat there I noticed
Some fish who came up to the surface and opened their mouths. At first I
Thought they were hungry and that they were looking for insects, but a
Fisherman told me afterwards that although they can breathe quite well
Under water they have to come up to the surface every now and again to
Inhale deep draughts of fresh air, or they would die. It is the same
With us. The world is like an ocean; we can live in it, carry on our
Work and all our varied occupations, but from time to time we need to
Receive fresh life through prayer. Those Christians who do not set apart
Quiet times for prayer have not yet found their true life in Christ.

~Sadhu Sundar Singh~

Submitted by Carol Pigg

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beth Moore Living Proof Live Tour

When:  October 25, 26  
Where:  Springfield, IL
How:  To register contact Julie Ford by September 1. ALL ladies are invited.  Don't miss out on this bonding and learning experience. Cost is $119.00 per person. This includes conference and double occupancy.  Transportation and meals additional. 

E-mail Julie

Learn More about Living Proof Here

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hurt Feelings

Romans 12:19 ESV 

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 

Ephesians 4:32 ESV 

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. 

Matthew 5:44 ESV   

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 

Exodus 14:14 ESV 

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Colossians 3:13 ESV 

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ESV 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; ... 

Romans 5:3-5 ESV 

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

Micah 7:8 ESV 

Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.

Hebrews 12:15 ESV 

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 

Matthew 5:22 ESV 

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 

Matthew 18:21-22  ESV 
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

We Need to Learn to Embrace Our Wrinkles!

The Sign of a Life Well-Lived

"I wanted to pass along this little article that was sent to me from one of my bff’s from college.  We are getting up there in age (closer to 50 and farther from 40)!  Anyway, we are always discussing our “laugh lines” and how we cherish the memories that they represent on our faces."

Submitted by Deb Ellis

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I'll See You Again Book Club

I'll See You Again, a memoir written by Jackie Hance with Janice Kaplan leaves me speechless.  Hance retells the tragic death of her young daughters- Emma, Alyson, and Katie-  at the hands of her sister-in-law, which changed her and her husband Warren's life forever. 
Written with such raw emotion, the reader feels Hance's desperate search for an escape from the present and for sense of the immediate past in regards to this incongruent loss.  Seeking solace in material possessions, hours in bed, time with friends, Hance reaffirms her belief there is no relief from the ever present hole in her heart.  Finally, through the generous gift of a specialist, her heart expands to include love for another while the pain, which Hance inevitably has to walk through, remains, but is channeled for the greater good through the Hance Family Foundation.

For the purposes of book club, a breakfast spread including homemade Egg McMuffins would be an ideal place to commence discussion, mirroring the Christmas tradition Hance begins in an effort to move forward again. 

Courtney Winkler 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Looking for a Preschool?

Afternoon Openings Available

Classes begin AUGUST 20 for 3s and 4s!  Don't miss out on this extraordinary learning experience.
For more information, contact or call 618-667-6241

Saturday, August 3, 2013


What happens when you just say, "Yes, LORD"?
Yes, LORD, walking in the ways of your laws, we wait for you;  your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.  Isaiah 26:8

1500 gather for FREE yoga at Busch Stadium on August 1st . . .
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;  I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.  Isaiah 43:5

Awesome view from my mat . . .

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.  Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  2 Corinthians 5:13

Me & Faithful Friend, Jackie Snider . . .

Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you.
                                                          3 John 1:5
Holy Yoga Sister, Jill Fisk . . .
Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.  Galatians 6:6

Would you like to join me next time?

Mark your calendar and email 

Beth Miramonti 
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  
Phil 4:13

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Today is my dear friend's 33rd 43rd birthday.  Her name is Dena, but I renamed her "Denta" years ago after I saw a Dinty Moore commercial and thought it would be hilarious.  I'm not sure why I made this connection, but it still cracks me up every time I call her this.  We met when we were Democratic pages for the Illinois State House of Representatives- the summer after high school for me and the summer after her first year of college for her.  We were inseparable accompanying each other on food runs for the representatives or hiding out in the Bill Room.  We both thought a fellow page, the nephew of a representative, was cute, but he only had eyes for her which came as no surprise since she has this glow about her and the most infectious smile.  I listened with wide eyes when she told me about their make out session in his uncle's office and cried hysterically when this summer with her came to an end.

A few years later, we lived together in Virginia Beach.  Together, we fell in love with the beach and the ocean and the sun (apologies to our skin) and tried to find our ways in life.  She, I might add, was speedier at finding her path.  I, in turn, took some wrong turns and ran into some dead ends.

Married to a man in the Air Force, she has lived on both coasts.  While on the East Coast, she and her husband made an intentional out-of-the-way detour to my apartment in small-town Illinois while I was nursing what I thought to be a broken heart.  Although we hadn't seen each other in years, we hooted it up as if no time had passed at all.  I cried when she left.

When my father passed away, I picked up the phone as soon as I left his house and called her.  Her response, "Do you need me to come?"  Just saying these words to me made me feel better, but I told her not to come.  I was relieved his body was finally at peace.

When I told her the doctor declared me infertile, she called me and invited my hub and me to Savannah in order to celebrate her 35th birthday, what she felt was a HUGE milestone.  Down in the dumps and fearful of flying, I said we wouldn't make it out, but she wouldn't take anything but "yes" for an answer.  So, we went (I've always done what she says)- celebrated her birthday, ate chicken and waffles, explored Tybee Island- and I had uncontrollable sobs at the airport when we left.

When I called to tell her I had breast cancer and was going to undergo a double mastectomy, she said, "I'll come."  Crying, I told her not to because I was okay with it. . . just wanted it over.  

When I shared I had signed up to walk 39.3 miles in support of breast cancer research, she said, "Where do I sign up?"  In a nasty storm, she flew from Maryland to Chicago for the sole purpose of walking these two days with me;  this was the first time we'd seen each other in 7 years.  She not only raised the exorbitant amount of money (I had misread the rules) in order to participate in the walk, but she managed to pull my rump from bed that first morning at 5 a.m. in order to catch the bus to our starting point.  26 miles later, we (okay me) gorged on the food offered at the first day's stopping point.  On the bus ride back to the hotel, I told her I wasn't feeling well and then proceeded to vomit all over her shoes.  She gathered me up and settled me into our room.  After popping all of the blisters on the bottom of my feet, I passed out.  The next morning, Denta was up and brushing her teeth.  I told her we could skip the last 13+ miles, but she wouldn't have it.  She said, "I flew here to walk 39.3, so I'm going to do it."  We ended up doing it together, me limping and her looking as if she'd barely broken a sweat.  The day after the walk, I left our hotel room first because I knew I would cry, and I did.

Grateful this magnificent spirit entered my life 25 years ago and has remained, I find it hard to believe she's 43, and I'm a year younger (heeheehee!).  When I'm with her, it still feels as if we're 18 and 17.  I love her, always have and always will.  So, happy birthday Denta as well as happy friendship day

A Birthday Video to Me from Denta

by Courtney Winkler

Daily Wisdom and Then Some

It is good for us to keep some account of our prayers, that we may not
Unsay them in our practice.

~Matthew Henry~

"I saw a lady at the Edwardsville YMCA practicing this.  I had to stop for a couple of minutes and work out a cramp in my leg during my walk. She lapped me once, and I saw she was carrying a well worn stack of index cards.  She would put a new one on top, read it while walking, and seemed to be putting the words into her life.  As she came upon me, I joined her and asked if by any chance she was studying Bible verses.  Yes, she was!  What a great way to occupy your mind and health in God at the same time."

Submitted by Carol Pigg

Daily Wisdom

"In your heart God has excavated an immense space where he has placed a precious treasure.  From now on you have the twofold duty of receiving and giving:  Sharing the treasure of the kingdom you bear within you and stretching the area of your tent for those around you."


Submitted by Carol Pigg