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Welcome to Last Chance
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God directs us in man ways. While at the ACFW conference I met Cathy. She was so warm and sweet. When I heard she'd have a new release I immediately asked her to join us here on Let's Talk. Boy, was I happy when she said yes. I asked Cathleen to tell us how God led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:
Roadmap Not Included
I have always loved roadmaps. Our car used to have a glove compartment full of them, and I would pull the appropriate one out to follow along whenever we took a trip, offering helpful—if not always entirely welcomed—suggestions and advice as we drove.
Of course, now the paper road map has gone the way of the paper phone book, and the road map, ever changing with our location, is imbedded in our dashboard. We can reduce it to find the narrowest street, or we can broaden it to see the highway system of the whole state. Very effective, even if my helpful advice isn’t as essential as if once was.
Have you ever thought about how efficiently Moses could have ushered those Israelites through the wilderness if God had handed him a roadmap with the staff? If he had said, “Here you go. Take this and head due east out of Egypt. Should take two, maybe three weeks tops.” But he didn’t. He said, “Follow.” He said, “Look for the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, and follow.” He said, “Put one foot in front of the other, and follow.”
And it didn’t take three weeks. It took forty years. But the people who finally crossed the Jordan were not a band of whining and grumbling slaves. They were a nation, ready to fight for and settle the land God had promised them.
I think I would have made a great Israelite. Without my roadmap, I may not actually be whining, “Are we there yet?”, but I’m thinking it. And God still says, “Follow, just keep your eyes on me and follow.”
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. When other kids talked about growing up to be doctors, or movie stars, I knew I wanted to be a writer. And I wrote, too.
I wrote stories with very happy endings, poems with very tragic endings, and page after journal page plumbing the angst filled depths of my artist’s soul. But I still couldn’t find my way out of that wilderness to Writer Land. God said, “Just follow me.”
While my children were growing up, I still wrote. Only now I was writing articles for the church newsletter, skits for the missions conference, and commemorative verses when the pastor retired that brought a tear to more than one eye. But I still had no idea where to even begin looking for Writer Land. And truthfully? I began fear that, without that roadmap, I had missed the turn-off years ago. God said, “Just keep your eyes on me.”
Those Israelites must have been fast learners, relatively speaking. It only took them forty years to learn what they needed to know and get where they needed to go. It took me longer than that. But finally God said, “Get ready. Here we go!” And my first book was published. I had made it to Writer Land.
Of course, like the Israelites, I discovered that crossing that river didn’t mean going straight to heaven. It meant new, and different, and sometimes even frightening challenges.
And, oh, how I would love a roadmap! I want to know what lies ahead. I want to know how all this is going to play out in my life. I want to know what, and when, and how. And God lovingly continues to say, “ Keep your eyes on the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night. Put one foot in front of the other, and follow me.”
Cathleen Armstrong has lived in California for many years now, but her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives.. She and her husband Ed raised three children, and when they were grown, she returned to college and earned a BA in English. Today she and Ed live in the San Francisco Bay Area with their corgi. Their children and eight grandchildren continue to delight.
Welcome to Last Chance
The red warning light on her car dashboard may have driven Lainie Davis to seek help in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico, but as she meets the people who make this one-horse town their home, it's her heart that is flashing bright red warning lights. These people are entirely too nice, too accommodating, and too interested in her personal life--especially since she's on the run and hoping to slip away unnoticed.
Yet in spite of herself, Lainie is increasingly drawn into the small-town dramas and to a handsome local guy with a secret of his own. Could Lainie actually make a life in this little town? Or will the past catch up to her even here in the middle of nowhere?
One More Last Chance
(Available for Pre-order now. Releasing May 8)
Sarah Cooley has come home to Last Chance, New Mexico, for one reason--because it doesn't change. After an engagement gone bad with a man who wanted to change everything about her, Sarah is more than ready for the town whose motto may as well be, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Chris Reed, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to spark some change in the little town. As the new owner of the Dip 'n' Dine, he's shaking things up to draw folks from all over the Southwest into his restaurant.
As it turns out, the winds of change are blowing into Last Chance--just not in the ways that Sarah or Chris might expect.
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Cathleen's book: "Welcome to Last Chance":
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Thank you, Cathleen, for Joining us This Weekend!
Reader: Have you ever been lost with a paper map? How about GPS? Tell us what you did.