Novel Contest Results Are In!

I just received my score sheet from the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Contest for unpublished authors.

I submitted a few chapters of my first manuscript, Open Your Eyes, into the competition. While I didn’t make it into the next round, I was still encouraged by my score and received helpful criticism from the judges. 

They seemed to like the premise of the book and my writing ‘voice’, which I’m really excited about! Many of the comments were about writing craft issues, not the real guts of the book. 

Can’t wait for next year!



God Went Out of His Way for Me on Monday

Have you ever been surprised when God talked to you though the mouths of three other people in a half-hour time frame?


My friends didn't know God was speaking to me through them on Monday.
Photo from flikr by Vinoth Chandar, used under attrition licence.

That was me on Monday night.

I was at a friend’s house for a weekly prayer/worship meeting. As I bowed my head to pray, I had an overwhelming sense of God has forgotten you.

This was mostly because in the days prior to Monday I realized that I have to get another job. It’s something I’ve been putting off, as I love the way things are at the moment. The whole thought had me worried about the future. Would another job leave me without any time to write? Would I hate it? Am I about to make a giant mistake?

(What about last week’s post about faith? Yeah, yeah, I know. But I was a lot less worried than I usually would be. I’m making progress!)

I knew the feeling was just plain wrong. I knew the job thing had me unsettled, and I planned to find some encouraging verses to chase away my fears when I got home. But God didn’t make me wait that long.

An hour or so into the meeting our leader, Dan, pulled out his Bible and started reading from Haggai. His first words were:

“‘I am with you,” declares the Lord.

Haggai 1:13b NIV

He went on to talk about something else, but those first seven words really grabbed my attention. It was like they were just for me.

Later we raised prayer points and I had one on an unrelated topic. We took turns praying for one another, and when it was my turn a few friends prayed for me. Two in particular were really encouraging, especially one from my friend Cat.

Cat’s prayer barely even touched on the prayer point I’d raised. Instead she started by praying for my writing—one of the main things I’d been worried about. Pretty much every sentence she said spoke directly to a fear I’d had, and then she ended by asking God to let me know that He’s with me.

W O W.

There was no way Cat could’ve known how spot-on her prayer was. There was no way Dan could’ve known which verse I needed to hear. It just happened. It was just God.

Stuff like that blows me away. It wasn’t 100% necessary. God could have let me go home and find some verses (which I did do anyway). But on Monday, He decided to do something extra. He grabbed a megaphone and shouted, “I LOVE YOU! I’M WITH YOU!”



How about you? Has God ever surprised you by going the extra mile?

Share your thoughts below. 🙂


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Recommendation: Blimey Cow’s YouTube channel

These guys take sarcasm and make it an art form.


Josh, Kelli and Jordan Taylor started out making videos years ago to entertain their fellow homeschoolers. Bazillions of subscribers later, they’ve got a good thing going.

The trio stay true to their Bible belt roots, and they’re especially funny if you’re a church kid from the 90s. Whether it’s Adventures in Odyssey, youth group or church camp, they’ve been through it all too.

Tune into their channel to learn ‘How to Tell If a Guy Likes You‘, ‘How Not to Be a Terrible Person When You Go Out To Eat‘ or ‘Four Myths that Students Believe about College‘.

Check them out!