By Edward Grinnan

Chance Encounter?

I was walking up Park Avenue South towards my gym in my usual preoccupied morning fog when a voice startled me: "Edward? You write for Guideposts!"

I turned to see a well-dressed middle-aged guy coming out of a bank lobby. People don’t usually recognize me for the job I have, especially in New York, where anonymity is the norm. It took me a second to react. Then I stuck out my hand. "Yes, I’m Edward Grinnan."

August issue of Guideposts"Right!" the man said. "I couldn’t remember your last name. But I know your picture from the magazine. I enjoy your column and love the stories every month."

I thanked him and asked him what he did for a living. He was the director of a medical center. "So you must see Guideposts in your waiting rooms," I said.

"I do, but my mother has given me a subscription for years. We had Guideposts in our house when I was growing up. I read it from time to time. I liked the sports stories.

"But now that Mom’s retired and living down in Florida, getting my Guideposts every month keeps me feeling connected to her. I read it cover to cover. I try to guess what story will be Mom’s favorite and then I ask her."

I’m always fascinated by how people came to know Guideposts, and so many of you have told me that it was a family member who introduced you to our true stories of hope and inspiration. Sometimes you discovered us in a waiting room or your church library. Maybe you Googled us.

Recently, thanks to our military outreach, readers come to us from the armed services. More often than not, you say you found us at just the right moment, when you needed a boost to your faith.

So I have a question. When did you first discover Guideposts either in print or online? I invite you to post below. If your response is the most interesting or unusual, I’ll send you an autographed copy of my book The Promise of Hope: How True Stories of Hope and Inspiration Saved My Life and How They Can Transform Yours.

Then you’ll know how I found Guideposts. It was at just the right time.

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of Guideposts Publications. Edward lives in New York City with two blondes—his wife, Julee, and Golden Retriever, Millie, who has been featured in his blog and popular videos. Edward loves cycling, hiking with Millie at his house in the Berkshire Hills and Wolverines that hail from Michigan.

If you need a little boost of inspiration, pick up a copy of Edward's book The Promise of Hope: How True Stories of Hope and Inspiration Saved My Life and How They Can Transform Yours.

Leave a Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Your Comments (14)

I first started my connection to Guideposts through the magazine--Positive Thinking. I still have many of the copies of that magazine that I reread often, as I do with my copies of Guideposts. I love the inspiration and hope contained in the magazines. I have sent subscriptions in for both my children too.
Now I have a question I simply must ask you, Mr. Grinnan. I don't know if this is where to ask it, but I don't know where else to turn. My question is this, "Is the publisher, 'Inspiring Voices' truly connected to Guideposts?"
After reading Guideposts for many years, I decided that a collection of family life columns which I wrote for the newspaper for many years would fit well with the philosophy of Guideposts. The designated publisher seemed to be "Inspiring Voices". I prayed about it and it seemed the right choice. Now after seven months I am not sure whether to continue having Inspiring Voices publish my "Family Fuzz" book or not. I won't go into anymore details here, but could you please let me know how closely Inspiring Voices is connected Guideposts. I hope you are the right person to ask. Please send the answer to my email and if you want more details as to why this is such an important question to have answered, I will be happy to explain.
Thank you for answering my question and for publishing such a positive magazine.
April Anderson

You know part of my response, Edward, but here is "the rest of the story." When I was a senior in high school and severely disfigured by the disorder neurofibromatosis, school officials determined that my presence might upset other students. Therefore, I only took the courses that were essential for graduation and sold Avon cosmetics in the afternoons. One of my customers' husbands, a disabled WWII veteran, sensed my profound disappointment that I couldn't pursue the prerequisites for a Nursing degree. "I think I have something that will change your life," he said as he handed me a Guideposts magazine. Guideposts encouraged me to become a registered nurse with a Ph.D against all human odds AND to devote my life to working with veterans. It also nudged me to study Guideposts stories with the goal of someday writing for the magazine. Over these 40 plus years, Guideposts has been there at all of the critical junctures of my life, offering encouragement and hope at precisely the right times. I simply cannot imagine my life without it.

I was visiting a friend's home while my son was taking trumpet lessons from her husband. We'd been friends since my son, then 13, was a toddler. I noticed a copy of Guideposts on a sidetable by her sofa, and started reading. That was more than 25 years ago. I subscribed for many years. In between times I would pick up copies I found at garage sales, rummage sales, thrift shops, wherever I could find them. I keep them and reread them.
One story influenced me going back to college. I read a story that referenced "bread upon the water". A story of a woman of limited means who wanted to move her daughters from a rental into a home of their own. She prayed about what she wanted, very specifically, and relayed how God directed her and provided for her exactly what she had prayed for. It was encouraging and reassuring to me as I wondered how I could manage to go to college while raising a family. Using her example, I prayed my way through finding funding and all the way to getting my teaching degree in Science! Something I would never have foreseen or expected, but just what God intended.

Me and my husband moved from South Africa to America end January last year. As I am on my own, without spiritual 'company'. so to speak, I regularly look for things in that direction to help me getting along in making a new way of life here.
A long time ago, God lay it on my heart to pray for other people. Then, when living here for a while, I desperately need something to boost my prayer life. Before going to the Store to look for a book on that topic, I first asked God to show me which book to purchase. When looking through the books on prayer, one specially stood out to me/spoke to me. That was the one called "10 Prayers you can't live without" - Author, Rick Hamlin. Might be you have noticed in the beginning of this writing, that my first name is HAMLIN. And that was not the only thing that stood out very clearly, the other thing that caught my eye was the number "10", for that is my day of birth! I knew immediately that this was the book to buy.
Since buying the book, I registered for newsletters, etc. at Guideposts, and I enjoy reading everything I receive by e-mail. I thank you ever so much for the previlliage of being part of it all.
P.S. Please rectify wrong spellings of my English words, as my mother tongue is Afrikaans. Regards

I was in my early 20's and a single parent. While my son was in pre-school, I volunteered at a local hospital. One day, while taking a break, I sat down in a waiting room at the end of the hall on the floor where I worked. There on the table beside me was this thin little magazine called "Guideposts". I'd never seen or heard of it before. My spiritual journey was still fairly new and I was curious what was inside this little magazine. I flipped pages until I saw a story title that interested me. There was just something about the story that drew me in. I loved how they took a real life event and tied God into it. Showed the hand of God in a difficult situation. I read more and couldn't get enough. Soon my break was over. I just had to read the rest of the stories so with a twinge of guilt, I put the magazine in my purse, intending to finish reading it that evening and return it to where it belonged the next day, which is what I did. I read the fine print in the front of the magazine to find out how to subscribe and sent off for it right away. That was in 1983. I can't say I've been a subscriber all this time, but even during the times I couldn't afford it, the Lord always led me to yard sales that had stacks and stacks of old ones to give away. So I've always had it to read in one way or another. During some difficult times I went through years later, a debilitating health issue which plunged me into a deep, dark depression and a spiritual desert, Guideposts was literally a lifeline to me that helped me get through it.

I used to read the Guideposts at my friend's aunt's house when I was a foreign student. Her aunt subscribed to quite a few magazines but Guideposts was the first thing I looked for when I visited her. One year she gave me a year subscription of Guideposts magazine as a Christmas gift. I felt so special :) I still read Guideposts magazine and read the internet everyday. Guideposts has tremendously helped me grow in my faith.

Recently, I made a new friend who is in her mid seventies and we exchange e-mail almost everyday and from time to time I send her stories from Guideposts.com and she told me she has been reading the magazine for many years and loves Edward Grinnan :)

I was at a new Dr.s office and I didn't have anything to read when I saw this magazine and picked it up to read, I really like it and reading the articles has helped me through difficult times
I had never seen this magazine until then, I asked the Drs office about where they got it they said I could have it and have since ordered it for myself and the Dr. It's a saving grace to have during trying times. It has been a blessing in disguise.

I was introduced to Guideposts by my mother. She was widowed in 1955 at age 35, and left with three children to raise alone. Her faith pulled her through the dark times. Dr. Peale was one of her heroes. Mom had a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking for as long as I can remember, as well as a subscription to Guideposts. I only wish mom had lived long enough to share in a special joy with me...I was chosen to attend the Guideposts Writers Workshop in 2008, and have had a few stories published. What a blessing! I owe it all to mom.

In 1975 I was a young elementary school teacher who had left Switzerland to teach missionary children in Bolivia. My students were Swiss, but all my colleagues were Americans. My knowledge of the english language was limited at the time, it was just what I had learned at school, and in addition it was the British kind. Quite apart from the language, the American culture seemed foreign to me. I met wonderful people there, but I still felt lonely a lot of times. It was then that I discoverd a stack of worn issues of Guideposts. I don't know where they came from, but I still remember what reading those tattered copies did to me. They helped me get a better grasp of the language. They gave me an understanding of how Christianity was lived in the US (quite different from Europe, where Evangelical Christians are a tiny minority within society). And of course, they provided the encouragement I needed at the time. Almost 40 years later, I am still thrilled every time I find Guideposts in my letter box. Thank you all for working hard to make this magazine so special!

My mother started giving me a subscription when I left home for college, and she's kept it up to this very day...in addition to giving subscriptions to my kids (starting with Guideposts for Kids, and then Teens when they were still around) and she gives Guideposts subscriptions to at least 10 people for Christmas gifts. Edward, you'll remember my mom--she's the lady who brought the lamb to church, the one I wrote about in my very first story that earned me a place in the Guideposts workshop. Whoever wins a copy of your book will be a very lucky winner indeed.

I don't remember ever NOT knowing about GUIDEPOSTS! Seems it was always in someone's house somewhere when I was growing up.

Lonny's grandmother read Guideposts for years. She was a fine woman of wisdom, grace, and beauty. I admired her and listened when she shared about the Guideposts stories she had read. This was when I was a teenager!
Later, when I read the printed words for myself, I was drawn in the same way Grandma Mary had been. The stories of hope and inspiration brought encouragement to me, too.
Edward, your book made a difference in my life. Just yesterday the Lord reminded me of something you had written - something that brought strength and hope. Precious - as I read the book a bit ago.
Thank you for having the strength to write with such transparency. It is to the benefit of others. Glory to God!

Thanks for another great blog. I actually started reading Guideposts in high school. I first discovered it in a waiting room at a local doctor's office, and I remember thinking, "This is the way I want to tell stories. The writing is so strong!" I was already leaning toward a journalism major in college and knew that writing was a part of my destiny...I just wasn't sure how God would use me. I didn't just read Guideposts as a reader; I read as a writer. And, I learned from every story. That's why when I joined the Guideposts family as a fellow blogger this past year, it meant more to me than I could ever put into words, ironically. :) I love Guideposts!

Guideposts was the very first magazine I ever had a subscription to. My grandmother got me a subscription when I was 13 and it was something we shared for as long as she lived. I didn't give it up after she passed and to me it has always represented the epitome of using the gift of writing for God. To now be a part of the Guideposts family as a blogger is so much more than a dream come true. It's a nod from God, confirming my call as a writer!