It’s always a blessing when I get to share my Christian writing friends with you. This week, I’m honored to share my blog with a precious sister-in-Christ and longtime writing friend and encourager, Ms. Sarah Geringer. Ms. Sarah’s latest book, Hidden Manna on a Country Road released yesterday, and is a book I was thrilled to preview and endorse. In this week’s blog, we’ll share some Q&A about this inspiring new book. Oh, and read to the end to see how you may win an author-signed copy of this book. Please welcome my friend, Ms. Sarah Geringer to the Cross-Dubya.
Hidden Manna on a Country Road
As I travel in my mind from my early youth to this morning, a common scene throughout my life has been the tree-lined dirt roads that always call me home. There’s something special about seeking God’s guidance in your life when you are immersed in the beautiful, natural world, He created for us. When I read an advance reader copy (ARC) of Hidden Manna on a Country Road from my Christian writing friend, Ms. Sarah Geringer, I was transported to southeast Missouri. There, I almost always found myself walking those roads with someone else. Sometimes, I strolled with the author, listening to her heart’s desires. Other times, there was “Memphis”, the author’s trusted Labrador retriever. Always, there was God. In the midst of our questions, trials, laments, and dreams, there is God.God always meets us right where we are. Even quiet country roads. #HiddenMannaOnACountryRoad #SarahGeringer Click To Tweet
When I asked Ms. Sarah if she would be willing to share some of her insights about her book, she readily agreed to a Question and Answer format. The following is what she shared.
Q) Who is your audience for Hidden Manna on a Country Road?
I wrote this book for a different audience than I had served with any of my other books. My reader base is typically women. But after doing research on my social media channels, I realized that I have many more male readers than I had ever expected to find.
I have written books for women and teens, but I have not yet written a book with men in mind. When I was crafting chapters for this book, I intentionally chose imagery and metaphors that would speak to both men and women.
Though women purchase the vast majority of books in every genre, I know there is a demand for quality Christian non-fiction books written for men. How do I know this? It’s due to the feedback I’ve gotten from men who have read my blog posts and books, saying the truths in them don’t only apply to women. It’s a joy to produce a book that I hope will be embraced by both men and women.
I also wrote the book for dog lovers and nature lovers. The entire book is based on prayer walks I took with my dog Memphis in my Missouri countryside. I expect those who love either nature or dogs will be encouraged by my stories.
Q) What does the idea of hidden manna mean for us today?
Manna was the food God provided to the Israelites when they were in the wilderness. Six days a week, they woke up to find manna resting on the ground. It was bread from heaven, given in just the right amounts for their daily provision. The perishable manna was also stored and supernaturally preserved in the ark of the Covenant, a visible symbol of God’s presence among his people.
In the book of Revelation, manna appears again. This time it is hidden manna, given to those who are victorious (Rev. 2:17). Of course, real manna didn’t survive thousands of years between Moses’ time and John’s writing of Revelation. Instead, it is a symbol of God’s everlasting provision for those who trust him.
We can look for symbols of God’s provision all around us in nature, which I call “hidden manna” in the book. On prayer walks, I discovered myriad visible prayer cues in all four seasons. I had never taken the time to ponder them until I was on walks with my dog. I hope by sharing the discoveries of my own hidden manna, readers will go on a quest to discover their own.
Q) How does Hidden Manna on a Country Road inspire people in their prayer lives?
Many Christians struggle in their prayer lives. I have found that most people will admit a sense of guilt that they don’t pray often enough or thoughtfully enough. They also sometimes find prayer to be boring or confusing, and they wonder if God is really speaking to them.
My goal with this book is to dispel all these problems Satan uses to tempt people to feel discouraged in their prayer lives. Readers can find many prayer prompts right outside their doors, which change with the weather and different seasons. Prompts in nature even spur us to pray for others, and intercessory prayer is an important part of our prayer repertoire.
If anyone feels like they are stuck in a rut in their prayer life, my book will give them fresh ideas on how to pray. It will free up confusion with practical theology, showing that day-to-day prayers are spontaneous and all-encompassing, from small to large issues.
Finally, readers will learn that God is speaking to them in many ways they never expected. They just need to slow down a bit, pay close attention to their surroundings, and use what they experience through their five senses to connect with God, who is constantly whispering to them through nature.
Q) How does Hidden Manna on a Country Road encourage mindfulness and Christian meditation?
I have written two books on Christian meditation, which is a topic close to my heart. Meditating on God’s Word every day completely changed my life almost 20 years ago. I’m passionate about helping people see that they can find peace for all their problems when they deeply and intentionally apply the truths of Scripture to their daily lives.
Prayer walks are an excellent time to meditate on Scripture, which is often the springboard for my prayers. I have carefully chosen the theme verse for each of the 40 chapters to encourage readers to think more deeply about what the scripture means for their lives.
Mindfulness is another important part of the book. When we got our Labrador retriever in the spring of 2019, I was forced to take daily walks near my country home. I had to slow my pace and pay greater attention to my surroundings, which I had only driven by before. On my many walks with Memphis, I engaged all five of my senses to take in the beauty of nature. My daily dog walking became an exercise in mindfulness, which brought me closer to God.
My goals are to inspire readers to meditate on Scripture while they are praying, and to be mindful of their surroundings so they can discover hidden prayer prompts all around them.
Q) Is Hidden Manna on a Country Road also for city dwellers?
Absolutely! I know many city dwellers dream of having a slower-paced life in the country. This book could serve as a mini escape for them. It’s a joy that my own photos will be included in the chapters and available on my website, so readers can lay their eyes on what views have inspired my prayer walks.
But even if city dwellers don’t have the flora and fauna available to them like I do in my Missouri woods, I believe this book will still inspire them to pray in different ways. They have their own kinds of hidden manna in the city. When they read about what I found in the country, they can start looking for signs of God’s daily provision all around them on their concrete-covered pathways.
I have gotten great feedback from several podcast listeners who say they aren’t necessarily nature lovers, but they enjoy the nature metaphors I use to explain spiritual truths. Jesus is my inspiration for this. He often used plants in his parables, which still connect with people thousands of years later. I love unpacking the spiritual truths in contemporary nature stories with my readers, whether they live in the city or the country.
Q) What do you hope readers will do after they’ve read the book?
So many of us slowed down and enjoyed more time in nature during the worldwide shutdown of 2020. Though this book is being released more than two years afterward, I pray it will remind people of the joy and peace they uncovered in nature at that time and inspire them to regularly reconnect with God again in nature.
Most of us know we need more exercise, and many of us want to spend more quality time with our pets. We also want to improve our prayer lives. So why not combine all three – walking with our dogs while praying? I hope more people will start prayer walking outdoors after reading this book, and I think they’ll enjoy it even more if they take their furry companions along.
I truly believe this is the best book I’ve written to date. I pray that if readers are inspired by it, they will spread the word about it to help more people gain inspiration for their prayer lives. I also hope that readers will take delight in the specialness of my beloved Missouri home through the wide array of plants and animals we have here.
Q) What lesson(s) were you most surprised to learn/discover as you wrote this book?
I was able to write this book in three short weeks. I’m amazed that God empowered me to write it in such a brief time. This inspires me to write more books since I know they won’t take so long to complete with God’s guidance and inspiration.
Q) How did writing this book impact you personally?
I finished writing the book in November 2021. The personal pain and suffering I’ve endured in 2022 has been unprecedented, and I could not have imagined it while I was writing the book. At a conference in March 2022, I learned that spiritual warfare is always tied to a physical location for specific reasons. Since I wrote this book about prayer walks in my corner of southeast Missouri, I realized that the enemy planted a physical stronghold adjacent to my property to try to thwart the message of this book. Since the enemy’s attacks have been so fierce and cruel this year, I have no doubt that this book is going to impact many for God’s glory.
I join with my friend Ms. Sarah in prayer that Hidden Manna on a Country Road will have a tremendous impact for God’s kingdom. As Christian writers, we are called to use the unique gifts He has blessed our lives with, in His service. If we do it right, we carry out His great commandment and great commission in both our writing and our lives. I’m honored to call Ms. Sarah both a personal and professional friend and am blessed to call her my sister-in-Christ.
Sarah Geringer is a writer, speaker, podcaster, artist, book launch manager, creative coach, and author of six books, including Hidden Manna on a Country Road: Seeing God’s Daily Provision All around Us.
She is on the devotional writing teams for Proverbs 31 Ministries, Hope-Full Living, Kingdom Edge Magazine, and Woman 2 Woman Ministries.
When she’s not reading over 100 books per year, Sarah enjoys painting, baking, gardening, and playing the flute.
Her daily must-haves are hot tea, dark chocolate, and fresh flowers.
She is a fifth-generation resident of southeast Missouri, where she lives with her three teens and beloved Labrador retrievers, “Memphis” and “Dallas”.
Sarah writes about finding peace in God’s Word at sarahgeringer.com.
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Give-Away Opportunity for Hidden Manna of a Country Road
While no purchase is necessary, you do have to enter. To enter, share this post on social media using the hashtag #HiddenMannaOnACountryRoad and leave a comment below for Ms. Sarah to both encourage her continued walk with Christ and her writing. I will randomly select the winner from the names of those who both share this post and leave a comment.
Good luck and God’s blessings.
If you don’t win, please consider ordering a copy of this tremendous book, here.