Grant and Marie Renniger lack purpose for their retirement and have buyers' remorse over a condo purchase.

Elodie Ford, without extended family, fears dying alone.

Childless couple, Cal and June Sherman, face increasing health challenges.

Marcus and Ava Van Zant are pushed out of a 35-year pastorate before they’re financially prepared.

From Redeeming The Time, Faircourt Friends Series, Book One

He's Dead!

“He’s dead! He’s dead! He’s dead!”

Marcus bolted toward the kitchen where the shouts came from, Pastor Jonathan on his heels. There they saw Grant dancing around the island, oblivious to anyone else and shouting in a sing-song voice on repeat, “He’s dead! He’s dead! Oh, yes, he’s dead!” 

“Who’s dead? And why is Grant delighted about it?” Marcus, recovering his nerves and wind, directed his question to Marie, who was sitting at the kitchen table with Ava, cookbooks spread out before them.

“One of the golf starters at Grassy Fields Country Club passed away, and Grant just got the call to replace him. This is how we celebrate free golf,” Marie answered with a sigh and an exaggerated eye roll.

“Congratulations, Grant,” Jonathan said, stepping in from the kitchen entrance where he’d not been seen. The voice of his pastor snapped Grant out of his revelry, and when they made eye contact, Grant drew a deep breath.

“Oh, tell me I’m not going to hell for this!” Grant moaned, embarrassed.

“I believe an infraction such as this is a one-way, non-stop ticket to perdition, my friend,” Jonathan answered with seriousness. “Unless,” he continued, “you can secure your pastor a primo starting time on a Saturday morning. And, just something to keep in mind, free rounds of golf will get you first-class seating in heaven.”

“Who is this heretic in our kitchen selling indulgences for golf favors?” Ava chimed in with a smile for the young pastor.

“Baby, I love it when you talk Reformation,” Marcus gave her a wink. He’d been reading the Martin Luther biography to her in bed each night to loosen her mind’s grip on her own troubles and sorrows before she slept.

From Counting The Cost, Faircourt Friends Series, Book Two

Sitting on nests of fire ants.

"There's something we ladies would like you gentlemen to see."

She turned the computer screen to face the men and played a clip of a Regency dance scene from a Jane Austin movie she'd cued up. It was 18th-century dancing to 18th-century music by people in 18th-century costumes.

"How long does this go on?" Grant asked after ten seconds.

"Is there a car chase scene when they get done dancing?" Cal mocked.

"No, I've seen dis before. Da candles blow up and ignite da punchbowl and den dere's a car chase!" Marcus laughed.

"Glad you are amused because Christmas Eve, we're having a costumed Regency Ball right here, and every Saturday evening between now and then, we'll be learning dances. Cal, we know your knees won't take dancing, so you'll be our caller. As Miss Austin might say: 'We take our leave and bid you good night,'" Marie announced. Then she, and the other ladies, stood and retreated from the living room.

Grant, Cal, and Marcus remained seated in stunned silence for a minute that felt like ten.

At last, Grant spoke. "We may be old men, but we're still men, right?"

"Was last time I checked," Cal responded.

"We are certainly dat!" Marcus agreed. "Dis meeting was not adjourned." He rose from his seat, walked to the kitchen where the ladies were making decaf coffees, and asked them to return for the conclusion of Thursday Meeting.

The ladies exchanged puzzled glances and traipsed back to the living room to reclaim their seats.

"We've been tinking Saturday evenings from now until Christmas Eve should be spent sitting on nests of fire ants and stabbing toothpicks under our fingernails. Sound like fun?" Marcus asked with sarcasm, making his point while wearing an expression that communicated the opposite of fun.

Ava hadn't seen that expression on her husband's face in a very long time, and it set her back. She knew the answer to his rhetorical question should be silence. The other women knew it, too.

Grant continued for the men. "No one asked us if we would like to participate in this activity you've legislated. That's not how healthy marriages operate, nor does this combined household. And if you would have asked us, we would have politely declined. We are declining now. Does anyone have anything to say?" he asked, looking directly at his wife.

"We should know better," June spoke first, embarrassed.

"We got carried away," Ava offered.

"We're sorry," Marie apologized sincerely and began playing nervously with her chain bracelet.

"There aren't any fire ants in Faircourt. We'd have to make a road trip," Elodie sassed mischievously.

From Steadfast Under Trial, Faircourt Friends Series, Book Three

Catching Wile E Coyote.

"Don't mean to change the subject," Grant began, "but I'll forget what I want to say if I don't. The 'passing dog' verse reminded me there's been this skittish little dog - well, not that little, about 40 pounds - running around the golf course this week. Someone said it belonged to a couple who lived near Grassy Fields, but they moved and left the poor thing behind. No one can get near it cause it's wily. Our golf ranger, who has zero compassionate bones in his body, is threatening to shoot it."

"Wile E.? Like the coyote, Grant?" Cal asked, amused.

"Let's bag da Garage Cave and go catch it!" Marcus suggested impulsively.

"I thought you were pouting because you can't run away and join the circus," Grant jabbed the newly revived man sitting next to him.

"What?" Bobby twisted his head, puzzled.

"Don't listen to him. Are we going for adventure, guys, or sitting at home?" Marcus challenged his friends.

Grant, Cal, and Bobby exchanged shrugs.

"Adventure it is!" exclaimed Bobby.

"Go get DeShawn. We're going to need some young legs. Also, grab some of Rover's cat food." Marcus was taking charge. "Cal, let's take your truck. It'll fit all of us and a dog."

"Do we need a net?" Cal inquired.

The men, rising from their chairs and wondering if a net was appropriate, responded with blank stares.

"Maybe dynamite?"

The blank stares transformed into appalled grimaces.

"Or spring-loaded shoes from the Acme Company?" Cal added with volume, thinking louder might help his slow-witted friends catch the joke.

"We're trying to catch Wile E. here, aren't we?" Cal shouted with some frustration at last.

Finally, the guys got the reference to the old Looney Tunes cartoon character he'd mentioned less than two minutes ago and began to chuckle.

"That's a good one, Cal!" Grant remarked, grabbing the pan of lemon squares to take with them.

"Not if you have to explain it," Cal muttered in response, walking to retrieve his truck.