“Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. (Matthew 13:55-57)

Three of us had been in the back row of the class on writing fiction at the four-day Florida Christian Writers Conference at Lake Yale, Florida (photo). We were an educated row: a Ph.D. in biblical studies, a Ph.D. in psychology, and an M.D. further specializing in otolaryngology. The clinical psychologist was there to learn how to write better psychological suspense novels. The ENT physician wanted to perfect her craft to write biblical novels. I was there to learn fiction techniques to improve my sermons and perhaps write a novel someday. Who was our teacher? Mesu Andrews, a pastor’s wife from Indiana with no formal training. Why were we listening to her? She has won awards for her writing and has published many novels. We can all learn something from others. We are still learning from the carpenter’s son.

Dr. Sam