Love at First Thought with Myra Johnson

by | Feb 27, 2011 | Christian authors, God's grace | 6 comments

Well, it’s the last week of Love at First Thought blog series. I hope you guys have enjoyed it as much as I have.

Wednesday, Alley Cat and buddy, Casey Herringshaw gives us a glimpse into her Love at First Thought, and on Friday, I have debut author, Tina Radcliffe.

But today….

Myra Johnson joins us.

I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and chat with Myra and Mary Connealy for about half an hour at ACFW. (I chatted with them on other occasions throughout the weekend, but that 30 minutes was mostly just me and them. WONDERFUL – and totally selfish of me, but I’m not sorry 😉

Myra’s Love at First Thought is AMAZING! It’s one of those comments that becomes devotional.

Here it is:

One of my favorite books is Autumn Rains, and the main reason is because of how the idea came about. It was inspired by something that actually happened to my brother-in-law, who at the time was pastoring the church we attended in northwest Houston. Late one evening he and the church council president were at the church discussing some business when a man arrived looking for help. He said he’d just been released from prison (somewhere up north) and was trying to get to a Texas town farther south where he heard there were employment opportunities. 
When the bus stopped for a layover in Houston, he locked his belongings in a bus station locker (this was back when they still had lockers in bus stations), and then he lost the combination. Unable to get to his money or possessions, he asked around for suggestions on where he could get assistance, and someone pointed him in the direction of our community. This was in the heat of summer, and the man walked or hitchhiked some 25 or 30 miles to get to our church.
My brother-in-law was glad to offer the man some money from a church fund set up for such needs, and then he and the church council president drove him to where he could board a commuter bus back downtown so he could catch the next Greyhound bus south. On the way, they asked him what he’d been in prison for, and he answered, “Murder.” By now it was really late and really dark, so it got really quiet in the car at that point. My brother-in-law still chuckles over the experience, though, and several weeks later they heard that the man reached his destination, found a job, and started his new life. Or at least that’s the way I like to remember it.
So that’s the inspiration for my character Healy Ferguson in Autumn Rains, and to this day he remains one of my favorite heroes, a good man who made a mistake and paid for it, determined to become the man God created him to be.
Wow! What inspiration – and food for thought! Thanks, Myra.
What does grace look like in your life? Jesus was the Master at peddling out grace. Especially grace to the people the ‘world’ viewed as outcasts and undeserving. The very nature of grace is just that – showing love, forgiveness, & mercy when it isn’t deserved.
Christ is in the business of blessing beyond expectations or just desserts.
His entire rescue mission was built on this foundation: Save a bunch of undeserving sinners.
And that love, that kind of grace, should spill out of our hearts and into the lives of those around us.
May we become Christ’s hands and feet of grace wherever we are.


  1. Myra Johnson

    Um, Pepper, you might want to change the title of this blog. ;>D

    Thanks so much for including me in this series! You always have such fun ideas for blog posts!

    • Pepper

      All fixed. ARGH! It’s been a LOOONG weekend. Sorry, Myra.

  2. audra

    Myra, as you were relating the opening thoughts to the books, I could just imagine the silence in the car right after he said…murder. ooo, the cockles of my heart are still quivering.

    Healy and Valerie’s story touched my heart from all directions, just as all your books do! Very heartfelt, very gutsy. Don’t you think God sprinkles these “live moments” all around us to feed us ideas to write stories to help those who need an emotional boost? I think so otherwise, what’s the point of writing at all?

    Beautiful beginning, Myra. Here’s to many more to come!!

    • Myra Johnson

      Thanks, Audra! It’s true–there’s something really special about those “live moments” that inspire us. More than once a real-life event that touched my heart has found its way into my fiction. Usually fairly well disguised, of course!

      Glad we are on this journey together, Audra! You’re a wonderful friend!

  3. Julie Lessman

    Myra, I just LOVE that story, my friend, and what a story it turned out to be, too!!! Even though it whipped my butt in the Golden Heart!! 🙂 SO deserved, though, sweetie!! 🙂


    • Myra Johnson

      My ms. may have taken the GH that year, but look at you, girlfriend!!!! You landed “our” agent first, and you’ve been blazing a trail of success ever since! Your writing, your spirituality, and your faithful friendship are constant inspirations to me!


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