Ranch Life
I was in the middle of nowhere on a ranch in New Mexico at a Christian Writer’s Conference. There was no cell phone service and I have to say that I totally felt cut off from the world……..Yet it wasone of the most amazing experiences that I have ever had.  I had been so familiar with being put down, discouraged and used, that I readily expected it. I thought a Writer’s Conference was a “dog eat dog” event. People would be bull dozing over others to be known, noticed and heard. Everyone would be bragging about what they had written, accomplished or how much money they had made.

Boy was I wrong! That conference was the closest thing to heaven that I have ever seen or felt. I saw Jesus in everyone I met. Love, acceptance and encouragement abound there. In fact they overflow!

I was told from a teacher in front of the class that I have a “stellar” book idea. I met with my first editor from AMG Publishing, and the following afternoon I was to meet with  the editor of Tyndale Publishing. But before going to bed I had already planned to cancel my appointment with him because it was too intimidating. So what does God do? He makes a divine appointment for me.

As I got up early the next morning to go sit in the ranch dining room to have my coffee and quiet time, I found all the doors locked and nobody in sight. Standing in 18 degree coldness, I began to panic. What about my coffee? I see a couple of men walking from afar, and I think they are ranch workers and they will unlock the doors. Only to find to my horror, it is John and David Van Diest.

The door was unlocked a few minutes later and the three of us walked in and went straight to the coffee machine. John began talking to me and he saw I was from the Palm Springs area. Trying to be polite I asked him where he was from and he replies, “Portland, Oregon.” So to make conversation, I proceed to tell him that the Pastor that I had worked for was from Beaverton, Oregon and had worked under Ron Mehl. Asking if he had heard of him, John gets a smile on his face and lets me know that they published all of Ron’s books.

As we sit down a few minutes later at the breakfast table, he asked if I know Bob Thune. I laughed and told him yes, that is the church that I had been attending for the last year and a half. He tells me that he has been after Bob to write a book with his brother the Senator. I asked if he knew that Bob was no longer at the church and he was shocked. I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Maybe you should get a hold of him, because he may have a lot of time on his hands now.”

And the walls came tumbling down…..As we left the breakfast table, he turned and called me by name and said, “Dana, we need to get together again to continue our chat.” Isn’t God amazing? I have an appointment with the editor of Tyndale Publishing!!!!!!! How awesome is that?

In the Albuquerque airport I went through a revolving door. I feel that for the last few weeks of my life, prior to the conference, I had been in that revolving door going round and round and round and round. What is awesome is that I came out the other side directly into an encounter with God.