Wednesday, May 28, 2014
By Yvonne Lehman
Twenty-three authors lined up in front of the stage at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference last week to receive their copies of Divine Moments. My presentation of the books was on Tuesday evening and that was genre night. Several of the contributors were dressed like a character of their choice but most of our group wore dark pants or skirts, white tops, green ties or green flowers, representing the book cover. Being my usual self, I went to extreme and dressed like a tree.
But let me share with you how this all came about.
One evening, after a day of participating in the 2013 Blue Ridge Conference, several us sat in the beautiful lobby of Mountain Laurel hotel on the campus of Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina.
Cindy Sproles told a story that had us all gasping with amazement of how God showed up in an almost unbelievable way. Someone else, then others began to remember and share their stories. Some were sweet, some humorous, others serious, but all were about knowing his presence with us. I thought of the praise song, “Our God is an Awesome God,” in which the words are repeated over and over. I’ve often wanted to say, “Go further. Don’t just repeat the words. Tell me in what ways you are amazed by God.”
That’s what we were doing that evening. We were joyful, talking loudly, laughing, loving, sharing those special times which became a time of praise. Others joined us to hear these stories and share their own. The realization was that we all have awesome and amazing stories to share but we don’t always take time or don’t have the opportunity to share them.
Exhausted by joy, we finally needed to disburse so we wouldn’t be cranky and negative the next day from lack of sleep. A few of us lingered, feeling so blessed at knowing we are worthy because Jesus made us so when he died for our sins. We are loved because the Bible tells us nothing can separate us from the love of God.
We wanted to keep sharing…and that’s how this book came into being. It is a book of praise, of Divine Moments. These stories have come from all over the United States, England, and Canada, shared by people of all ages, backgrounds, occupations, and educational levels. What a joy to think of Divine Moments happening all over the world every day. Since there is so much negativity around us, we find it a privilege to share about God’s presence in the world and in our lives.
These stories have been generously donated. The writers knew they would receive no monetary compensation but they have experienced what we all do, a sense of peace and joy when we give without expecting anything in return. Well…we do expect something because we know God blesses, and in unexpected, wonderful ways. We’re thrilled that all royalties from the sale of this book will go to a worthy organization, Samaritan’s Purse.
We know there are many more Divine Moments out there. If you’d like to share something for our Divine Christmas Moments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yvonne Lehman is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than 3,000,000 books in print, who founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years, is now director of the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat. She mentors for the Christian Writers Guild. She earned a Master’s Degree in English from Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative Writing on the college level. Her latest releases include eight ebooks for Barbour’s Truly Yours line and a Harlequin/Heartsong series set in Savannah GA: The Caretaker’s Son, Lessons in Love, Seeking Mr. Perfect, (released in March, August, & November 2013). Her 50th novel is Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the TITANIC