Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight: Andrew Ritchie

Filed in Successful Author Spotlight by on May 19, 2013 1 Comment

Xulon Press author Andrew RitchieToday’s Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight highlights Andrew Ritchie, future missionary to Scotland. I was inspired by Andrew’s story of determination and resolve as he woke up one day, hungry for God, and he followed the path he was led to follow, leading to his calling to be a missionary to Scotland. Andrew’s book “Hardened Heart: The Greed of Manwww.scottishchristianministries.com, discusses how the heart of man has become hardened to the needs of others and self serving in its own desires and wants. Andrew questions what made our hearts so hardened and how we can turn our hearts back to God and seek His will for our lives. Andrew’s story is inspirational because it shows how one man was told a plan and staggered not at the promise, and it was imputed to him for righteousness!

Andrew’s story started three years ago, when he was diagnosed with glaucoma and had to quit his job as a cross country truck driver. Andrew hails from Buhl, Idaho– a small town with a big heart. He shares the path to his conversion from man with hardened heart to man after God’s own heart. “Three years ago, I was diagnosed with glaucoma. I was a long term driver. I gave up my driver’s license. I went home and cursed God, but then and I stopped and asked myself why was I cursing God? I felt in my heart that God kept saying “Don’t worry– I’ve got this, trust me!” At last year’s eye exam– My doctor started scratching his head. He said “I don’t understand this— it’s gone! The glaucoma is gone!”—doctor didn’t understand because… it’s incurable. When I got home, I dropped to my knees. I cried out to God with glory and thanksgiving. It turned my life around. That healing happened exactly one week after I gave my heart and soul to the Lord. I had been going to church with my wife, reading in the book of Matthew how “many are called but few are chosen!” It soared straight to my heart—struck me hard—in my heart. I accepted Christ and am so humbled that He is using me in such a way. It’s amazing. A year ago, I wasn’t in school, but now I am going to college for my Christian ministry so next year I can start a church in Scotland. In two weeks I am going to the London Book Fair.”

More about that London book conference in a moment.

I asked Andrew what method he used to write his book. He shared “I did an outline for every single chapter, sharing what God was leading me to reveal in each chapter, and I expounded on each chapter. I was in constant prayer-God revealed what I was to reveal in each part of the book. Being obedient to what God wants said in the book. I humbly feel that I understand what the authors of the Bible went through. They were being led by God. He was talking directly to me saying “I need you to release this from your heart.” He just flowed through me. You will have blocks where you don’t know where you are going and what you are going to write. Prayer and medication cleared up the writer’s block.”

When I asked Andrew “What is the most important life event you have had?” he responded, “Being called by God. Simply put– God reaching out to me and… me listening. This life I now live has done a complete 360 because I am a new Christian. I was seeking the Lord and found Him. For quite a few years, I didn’t go to church. I was the Crisis Christian-I prayed to the Lord when I needed Him. Whenever there was a train wreck, and I needed God’s help, that’s when I would seek Him and ask for His help. But then I got introduced to our Pastor Jackie, and I loved his sermons. He touched my heart with the way he presented the Word. Most ministers were always speaking above our heads. Pastor Jackie is completely different. He turns the finger on himself not just on the congregation. We are all sinners and all need to repent. To having a pastor who is on the same level—it helps Seize the Word. We all need someone you are not afraid to go up and talk to. Pastor Jackie is that someone for me!”

I was inspired by the passion in Andrew’s voice. I asked him “What message do you want shared by the story of your life?” He lit up on fire. “The power of God’s love to change us. If you had met me five years ago, I was pretty rough around the edges; now, the power of God’s love, the way He moves in our lives, when we listen to Him. There’s a line from the movie “Hunt for Red October”, the Captain says “they can’t hear them because they are driving so fast and making so much noise”; that why I never heard God. I wasn’t listening. In order to be saved you have to listen.”

I continued probing Andrew’s relationship with Christ when I asked “What would you tell others about your relationship with Christ that would inspire them?” Andrew reflected “Within this relationship with Christ, He is always in front of me and I am always following Jesus—“deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me!” is one of my favorite scriptures. Pastor Jackie explained that scripture this way. Follow Him to the cross, so those sins can die in you and you are a new creation. He is always there!”

When I asked my signature question “What will they write on your gravestone that will sum up your life?” I was stunned by the simplicity of his answer and the resolve with which he spoke when he said quietly, “Son of God.”

I was curious and interested when I asked Andrew “What inspires you?” He spoke from his heart when he said “Doing whatever God calls me to do. That’s my inspiration, just being obedient. After everything He has done for me?  Our Lord and Savior died for our sins. It’s the least I can do. Write a book and tell others about Him.”

I questioned Andrew as to his favorite scripture and why? He shared “Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.  We had a men’s retreat called The Awakening. 52 guys were gathered. It was a moving experience and that verse was on my heart that weekend and ever since. I used this scripture in my book!”

Xulon Press author Andrew Ritchie

Author Andrew Ritchie (R) and Xulon Press General Manager Chad Nykamp (L) at the London Book Fair

Back to that book conference in London. That would be the international London Book Fair that all Xulon Press authors are invited to.

Andrew shared that he felt led by the Lord that he was to go to that conference. He stood up in church one day, in Buhl, Idaho, in a congregation of less than fifty people… and announced that God had told him that he was to go to this conference. And oh, by the way…It was three weeks away.

After the service, a church member walks up and gives him the money to go. To London… England!

But it doesn’t stop there.

God had placed on Andrew’s heart that he was to be a missionary to Scotland. He shared this with Pastor Jackie, who said that they would pray for God to open doors.

Remember, Andrew lives in Buhl, Idaho.

The very next week, Pastor Jackie gets an email from Pastor David Simpson—from Motherwell, Scotland saying that he needs God to send missionaries to help him at his church.

Wait…it’s not over yet.

Andrew goes to the London Book Fair. He had looked up a church to visit while there. Andrew attends Calvary Chapel in Buhl so he googled a Calvary Chapel in London. He found Pastor Tony’s church and attended. Pastor Tony has been dedicated to church planting for 20+ years. Andrew and he have joined hearts. Pastor Tony helped Andrew take a day trip to Motherwell, Scotland to meet with Pastor David Simpson.

After that one day outing in Motherwell, Pastor David has invited Andrew, his lovely wife J’Amie and their 15 year old daughter Bethany to come live in Motherwell—as missionaries to Scotland.

Andrew is now raising funds to pay off their debt, subsidize their move and relocate his family to Scotland—all because he never staggered when God told him “I am calling you to be a missionary to Scotland!”

And it gets better—while Andrew was at the London Book Fair, he was approached by a representative from a European publisher called “Christian Focus Publications”. They offered to publish his book “Hardened Heart: The Greed of Man!” for FREE over in Europe. He is working with them to get the book published in the near future.

All because Andrew woke up one morning, thankful to be healed of glaucoma, followed his wife to church at Calvary Chapel in Buhl, Idaho, met her Pastor Jackie, felt compelled to study the Word, got quiet and heard the call of God to go to the mission field of Scotland—all in the past three years!

Update: I just spoke with Andrew before completing this article and asked what God was doing today. He was on fire with his passion as he spoke of car wash fundraisers, four presentations he has now made concerning the mission field of Scotland and how God has confirmed that he and his family will be in Scotland, living and ministering the Gospel of his Lord and Savior by October 2013!

That’s six months since the London Book Fair—and just in time for Pastor Tony’s European Conference on Church Planting—which Andrew has been invited to participate in.

And Andrew just started a blog of his adventures and journey to Scotland. You can find it on his website.

I had to admit—to God, to Andrew and to myself—I was inspired by his tenacity, his determination, his passion, his resolve…God said, “I am sending you to Scotland” and Andrew staggered not at the promise! And six months later—the Ritchie family will be relocated to Scotland, working for a Pastor who sent an email to a pastor in Buhl, Idaho requesting help in the mission field of Scotland.

You just have to love this story!

Stop! Ask yourself this question…

“What have I gotten quiet enough to hear God say that He wants me to do?”

And what of that request… “What am I willing to do?”

Even if it means…moving to Scotland!

Bon Voyage Missionary Ritchie—we can’t wait to read what God and you are doing next…in Scotland!

Find Andrew Ritchie’s book “Hardened Heart: The Greed of Man” in the Xulon Press Bookstore.

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About the Author ()

Alan P. Scaglione is a writer who reflects on the simple contradictions and complexities to living this ”gift from God” called life. He believes that Life is a journey that, with compassion, a little levity and perspective, we help each other get through. His greatest compliment was being told “you draw pictures with your words!” He has devoted his life to “drawing”…in his poetry, his songs, his weekly “Reflections of Life” blog entries, his monthly SAS articles, his short stories and now, his novels! Alan is an everyday guy who refuses to let circumstances dictate his view to life; he lives an attitude of gratitude and spreads his positive outlook everywhere he goes. His BEST day is a day shared making a memory that will last a lifetime! Please check out Alan’s books “One Unexpected Event – How Would Your Life Change?” and its sequel “One Unexpected Event – Aftermath!” in the Xulon Press bookstore.

Comments (1)

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  1. Wow….. can’t describe what I am feeling right now, thank you so much for the blessing.

    Your brother,
    Andrew

    May the Lord bless you and lift your heart unto Him.

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