Our Founder and Director

Mike and Doris Courtney founded Branches at the call of God to celebrate their own healing and restoration. Mike is a gifted writer, speaker and counselor with twenty-five years experience as a highly successful pastor. He is also a recovering addict who lives a 12-Step life, one day at a time. Now he tells his… Continue Reading

40 Days of Reconciliation: Day 20 SHAME

Reading for today Psalm 71 and John 7:53-8:11 Let’s get this out of the way right up front. I’m late writing this devo. It’s 5:45AM when I am starting it. I’m usually long finished and it’s on its way through the magical internet by now. I went to a Chonda concert in Bowling Green last… Continue Reading

Mike Courtney’s 40 Days of Reconciliation Day 7 “Shame”

Reading for today: Psalm 58 and John 4:1-20, 39-42 John throws in little, seemingly random, bits of information that later come back to change the whole tenor of the story. Five loaves and two fishes. Two more days. 5000 people. In this story, it’s time. He says, “It was about noon.” Jesus and his entourage… Continue Reading

I Don’t Trust Anybody Who Doesn’t Walk With a Limp

Genesis 32, Psalm 32, Acts 8 Ok. I got a little long today. Sorry about that. I love this story. This is the opening chapter of that next book I have threatened to write. When I was a freshman in high school I wrestled in the 98 pound weight class. You had to weigh between… Continue Reading

The Jag

The Jag

In May of 2005 Doris and I were still putting the pieces back together from the STUPID chapters of my life. I had been to the clinic about a year before. God had done a miracle in us and for us. We were back together, learning to do marriage and life a whole new way.… Continue Reading

Curse You Fiery Gizzard!

Curse You Fiery Gizzard!

This weekend my friend Wayne and I backpacked the Fiery Gizzard Trail on the Cumberland Plateau near Monteagle, Tennessee. It is both breathtakingly beautiful and gut-wrenching brutal. We hiked 17.5 miles over the 2 days, 13.5 the first day and 4 the second. We slept (and I use that word generously) in the middle of… Continue Reading

Day 1: Have a Holy, Healthy Holiday

A few weeks ago we took Jakson, our 3 year old grandson to the mall to see someone special. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the holly and twinkling lights decked the halls and every store in the place was alive with shoppers, clerks and a red and green sale signs. We got there… Continue Reading

The Paper

I loved breakfast at church camp in Batesburg, SC. We would stand in line outside the canteen, waiting for them to unhook the screen door and let 60 sleepy-eyed, bed-headed, teenagers stumble in to heaps of sausage links, scrambled eggs, and a huge pot of grits slathered with butter. We couldn’t even spell cholesterol in… Continue Reading

Precious Memories

I have a small cabin in the woods in Dickson County, TN. It is not much, a two room shack with battery powered lights and running water borrowed by hoses (1000 feet of them) from my neighbors well. But it is a wonderful place to escape, to get away, to be quiet and let God… Continue Reading

Making Ministry Complicated

(This is the message I gave to Call-2-Action today, a Christian business persons weekly group in our town.) There was a woman that came to the well in the middle of the day. That’s a strange time to go to the well. It’s hot. It’s not when we need water most. All of the other… Continue Reading