How It All Began? A Coincidence?

Dear Reader:

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Deep within you nothing is hopeless. You are a child of God and hope has been planted in you by God.” 

Squire Rushnell thought about these words one afternoon after receiving 30 rejections from publishers about a book that talked about a connection to what we mere mortals may call coincidences, but God sees as spiritual directions. Hope was all he had left.

He had never forgotten the night when he threw out his notes on a speech he was giving to a congregation in a little church on Quaker Hill in upstate New York…located well off the beaten path. He had written it weeks earlier and titled it: “Coincidence; Is it Evidence of a Grand Plan?”

Rushnell had just discovered that this little church was located across the road from the country home of his hero, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, the prominent author of “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

Then just days before his talk, Dr. Peale died-on Christmas Eve-and was buried behind that little church, causing him to alter his opening remarks.

“President Clinton said something this week that resonated with each of us. He said, “What a coincidence that Dr. Peale, who gave his life to the celebration of Christ, should be called to God’s side on the very eve that the world celebrates the birth of Christ. Coincidence? I wonder.”

At that point Rushnell felt like Someone else was talking to the crowd..  as he began telling folksy and homespun tales of his own personal encounters with  “coincidences” that seemed bigger than mere chance to him. He started looking into the faces of adults who appeared, like children, listening intently to a bedtime story. The audience was engaging him with smiles, nods, and wide-eyed wonder.

It was that extraordinary experience that made him determined to write a book on “God Winks.” The whole process of writing, publishing, and marketing would take almost a decade. God, however, had not steered him wrong…the readers were there, yearning to hear of others experiences and then bravely writing their own spiritual encounters to send in to him.

Rushnell knew he had made it when his publisher called and said that Oprah had given a tour of her home and upon entering her bedroom she mentioned that she liked to keep her favorite books by her bed and the one on the very top was called When God Winks by Squire Rushnell.

Oprah told the camera…”I have a book called When God Winks…I love that… little stories about how there are no coincidences in our life. I believe that…don’t you?”

All it took was that one comment and and Barnes & Noble were scrambling trying to meet consumer demands. Hope and perseverance had won.

Dr. Charles Vincent Peale, had once told a congregation this anecdotal allegory on hope.

Catching Hope

Hope is a powerful force in life. It’s like going into the kitchen, turning on the faucet, and being surprised by the water pressure. You almost jump back, giddy that there’s so much energy pouring out.

Your hope is stored up inside and wants to burst out of you the same way. You need to turn on the faucet of your faith and then feel the surge of hope that springs forth.

If you are fully hopeful, you’ll cause other people around you to almost jump, happily splashed with your enthusiasm.

Reinforced by the wonderful Godwinks that happen to you, hope is contagious. Go ahead. Spread it around!  


So until tomorrow let’s never forget that hope is just a twist away…turn on the faucet of hope and see what happens…dreams come true.

“Today is my favorite day.”  Winnie the Pooh

*Saturday night I pulled a grandmother “mistake.” I had almost finished the blog except for adding some of the new fairy garden update photos, along with some “girl time” fun with Eva Cate. By 9:05 she was down for the count. Unfortunately by 9:10, I was too!

As soon as I knew she was asleep…my original plan was to sneak in the computer room and add the photos. Obviously I was a lot more tired than I recognized….so if you thought that the blog post yesterday was rather visually inhibited, it was Boo Boo falling asleep on sentry duty.

Hopefully these photos will show you some of the fun of a “girl weekend” with a granddaughter.






Big Red has never had more blooms- perfect for a little girl and a keepsake!

I delivered Eva Cate home safe and sound last evening- she was happy to have gone and happy to be back with her family!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.