God Works in Mysterious Ways

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Who would have thought God would use a public restroom in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to speak words of truth into me through a perfect stranger-turned-friend, while we both brushed our teeth during the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference last month? Certainly not me. That’s for sure. And probably not Joni, either. Once again, proving God works in mysterious ways.

Let me set the scene for you.

Because Pilot and I stay in our RV in the Ridgecrest campground while I attend the writers conference, Pilot drops me off each morning at the conference where I eat breakfast before spending the day and evening in workshops and sessions. He joins me for the evening key note and afterwards, we return to our campsite for the night. Repeat the next day.

After I ate breakfast each morning, I needed to brush my teeth. So did Joni who drove in for the conference each day, and didn’t have a place to brush her teeth either.

Each morning we both ended up in the same restroom at the same time to brush our teeth. We didn’t plan it. We didn’t prearrange it. And we didn’t show up at the exact time each morning, but God had plans, and was moving behind the scenes nonetheless.

Throughout the week Joni and I chatted, but on the next to last day when she asked how things were going, I mentioned the fact I’d been told the disappointing news, by several industry professionals at the conference, there was no market for the genre I write; middle grade and young adult historical fiction.

Joni put her toothbrush down and told me God will make the market. I just need to keep writing what God puts on my heart. Funny thing about this, one of the workshop presenters told me the exact same thing the day before. For my final third confirmation that God wants me to keep writing my historicals and he’ll make a way to market them, I won first place in all three contest entries I submitted at the conference. Thank you, Jesus.

DiAnn Mills, Me, and Edie Melson 2017 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Photo courtesy Mary Denman

You guessed it. All three entry wins are middle grade and young adult historicals.

Since God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to cross on dry land, what’s a little making a way through closed markets?

Who knows? God may use the person standing next to you at the restroom sink to speak words of truth to you, too. Then again, maybe not. 🙂 Regardless of how God chooses to deliver his message, he will speak to us if we’ll listen.

Yes. God works in mysterious ways. How have you seen him work?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do.
It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Of Moose and Men-Lost and Found in Alaska Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Of Moose and Men-Lost and Found in Alaska is the latest book by award-winning actor, comedian, writer and Hippie for the Holy One, Torry Martin, that tells of Torry’s time looking for and finding God in Alaska.

I met Torry three years ago at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and do not believe I have ever laughed so hard listening to someone speak of their life adventures the way I laughed when Torry told about his.

Gospel tract flinging mall walkers asking for prayer because their corns are killing them?

Explaining to one of the Point of Grace singers during an awards ceremony how the Incinolet toilet in his Alaska cabin worked?

The disastrous tale of dying his beard neon-orange Luscious Mango only to be pulled over while driving by the police because he wore a ski mask in the heat of summer to hide it?

Torry relates each of these misadventures in Of Moose and Men-Lost and Found in Alaska, yet hearing them with his comedic pauses and gestures is 100 times funnier. Guess you had to be there. 🙂

Torry is a master story teller but not just because he is soooo funny, but because he ties his life lessons to scriptural life lessons each of us can learn from. At the end of each chapter of his book Torry relates how his misadventures, and let me tell you, he definitely has had some doozies of misadventures, holds a life lesson for all of us.

Then there is the story of the day Torry fed a bull moose carrots through the window of his cabin. Yes. He. Did. The moose decided to stick his head, antlers and all, through the tiny window and got stuck. Understandably, the moose was not pleased with Torry’s attempts to push his head back outside.

You’ll need to read the book to find out what happened but at the end of that chapter, Torry compared that misadventure with the way we often underestimate Satan’s power and the havoc Satan causes in our lives.

Torry is an extremely funny guy but more importantly, he is a Child of the One True King who lives his life as a Hippie for the Holy One, spreading the Gospel wherever he goes.

And he does it without flinging tracts at you while walking around the mall.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Take That Leap of Faith

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Faith is a theme that runs through many of my blog posts. Maybe you’ve noticed. Abraham. Moses. Esther. To name a few.

During the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference last month, I spent time with other writers as we encouraged each other in our writer’s journey. For those who do not write, you may not understand how much faith it takes to believe God has called us to weave words together for him to use.

It’s a privilege that requires large quantities of faith.

The same amount of faith it takes any of us to accept the privilege God gives to use the abilities and skills he’s placed within us. It takes faith to make that incredible leap to step out and trust.

But you know what?

fearNo matter how fantastic the opportunity, facing the unknown can be frightening. Especially when doing so seems … crazy.

We might listen to Satan’s lies telling us we aren’t good enough.

Who are we kidding?

What have we got to offer?

Why do we think we’re capable?

It’ll be too difficult.

And on and on and on.

So this post is for all of us who need a little encouragement to step out in faith no matter courtesy pixabayhow crazy it may seem.

Encouragement to grab hold of all the marvelous things God has waiting for us and trust he knows what he’s doing when he calls us to be a part of his plan.

Am I the only one who struggles with a lack of confidence that can morph into a lack of faith that can become a lack of obedience when I face the unknown?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Hebrews 11:1 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Keep Your Eyes Open

Blue Ridge Mountains Photo PilotSeveral weeks ago, Pilot and I attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. In the late afternoon of the last day of the conference, we decided to hike to the lake. Most conferees had already headed home by then. The once busy campus of Ridgecrest felt rather deserted.

Because I made a last minute decision not to include my hiking boots for the trip, Pilot and SQ's feetI walked on the asphalt road, instead of through the wooded trail. Safer for my sandal-clad feet, I reasoned.

Away from civilization, we rounded a bend in the road. I marveled at the soothing sound of a small stream to my right. I leaned over the edge of the road, stared down to the water below, and kept walking.

brook along trail

That’s when Pilot shouted, “Stop! Snake!”

Got my attention. That’s for sure.

Not more than two steps in front of me, lay a healthy-sized Copperhead. Head up, he sat motionless like, well, a snake on the asphalt. Unperturbed by our presence, the Copperhead continued to gather warmth from the road for his cool evening ahead.Copperhead_2

Pilot suggested we walk around the snake, and continue up the mountain to the lake. NOOO…I was not about to expose my ill-shod feet to venomous predators. Thank you very much. Besides, I’m not so sure Pilot could haul me back down the mountain without injuring himself. And I’m pretty positive, despite knowing I would need to stay calm if bitten, that probably wasn’t going to happen.

path

So I’m thinking…do we ever find ourselves walking along in life, uphill at times, with a goal in mind, only to be distracted by something? We take our eyes off the road, and stumble onto some danger we could have avoided, if we’d kept our eyes open, and paid attention to where we were going.

Sometimes the road blocks send us back the way we came. We refuse to step over, or around the danger, because we are ill-equipped. We don’t have on the right gear.

The apostle Paul gave the Ephesians some good advice which is just as applicable to us today.

And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (The Message)

 

Do you ever take your eyes off the path in front of you? Physically, or spiritually?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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