Grits & Grace & God by Martin Wiles

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 | 22 comments

Grits & Grace & God by Martin Wiles

Meet my guest, author and pastor, Martin Wiles. His devotional Grits & Grace & God will be a fresh breath of Southern, down-home faith that will brighten your days! Martin has offered two print copies of his book for the giveaway, so there will be two lucky winners this week! Leave a comment and sign up with the Rafflecopter for more chances to win!



Fabulous Fridays

Welcome Martin! Tell us something about yourself and how you started writing.

Growing up, I hated school, reading and writing included. When I went to college, my English professor required us to keep a journal. This became somewhat of a diary for me, and though I hated doing it initially, the more I wrote the more I enjoyed it. Soon, I began writing poetry and had a few published in various journals. After graduating from college, I continued keeping a journal. When my father died in 2006, writing took a new turn for me. I knew many folks were just like me: they didn’t like to read…at least not long pieces. God moved me to begin writing devotionals. Since I had been pastoring churches for a number of years by this time, I had a wealth of biblical information to choose from. Through technology, God has opened many doors for some of my devotions to be published at various places and to be circulated worldwide.

How did you come up with the idea for Grits & Grace & God?

I can’t take credit for the title. Eddie Jones, editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, agreed to publish a book of my devotions. Knowing I was from the South, he wanted the title to reflect a Southern theme and appeal, especially to the audiences in the South. So the name was his idea, and we will continue this into my next book of devotions which is scheduled for publication in 2016.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?Grits Grace God

Time is always a factor. Like most people, I keep a busy schedule. An editor friend of mine once mentioned the “Five O’Clock Club.” I had been getting up at this time for a number of years. Since I think better in the early morning hours, I decided this would be the time I would write. Many of the illustrations come from my years of growing up as a “preacher’s kid.” Beyond those, I find it important to continue reading so I’ll be able to continue giving without repeating myself.

Often we desire to teach a lesson in and through our writing, but we as writers also learn something. What was one thing you learned while writing Grits & Grace & God?

The subtitle for this book was “Manna Served up Southern Style.” Most of the devotions that are included have a financial twist. Since finances are an issue many people struggle with—Christians included, I learned the importance of good stewardship through writing these devotions. I was reminded that everything I have came from God and belongs to God. It is my responsibility to honor him with everything I have and to trust him for everything I need.

What is one of your favorite Biblical passages (or books) to study through?

Romans is my favorite book. While some parts of it are difficult to understand, the doctrines taught therein are life changing. My favorite parts are where Paul reminds us about the grace of God and how special it is, and where he also reminds us that nothing can separate us from God’s love. We are his masterpieces, and he will continually work on us throughout our lifetime.

What events in your personal life have most impacted your writing, and how?

Growing up as a “preacher’s kid” and then being a pastor both had a great impact on my life. Many illustrations from this time in my life find their way into my devotions. Many of my devotions, however, touch on handling the difficult trials of life and how we can find strength and encouragement through those times. Through an unfortunate marital breakup and resulting financial meltdown, I have learned to trust God for all my needs. Many of my illustrations from this period of my life also find their way into devotions and are well received by those facing similar situations.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

One is that until I went to college, I despised school, which included hating to read and write. Second, I’m a Middle School Language Arts teacher. Third, I have a passion for those who are going through difficult challenges in life.     

What did you want to be when you grew up?

From the time I was twelve years of age, I knew God wanted me to do something in the area of teaching or preaching. Unfortunately, teenage rebellion stifled that goal, and it wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I finally got around to doing what God called me to do.

What do you see as the most important accomplishment of your life so far?

With the help of the Internet, I’ve been able to spread God’s love and encouragement to many countries. Since what is put on the Web stays on the Web, this allows me to leave a legacy that will far outlive my lifetime.

What comes next for you? Do you have another book in the works?

I do have another book in the works. It will be a thirty day devotional, touching various areas of life. It is scheduled for publication in 2016 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. The tentative name is Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church. I am currently writing and working with the editor on these devotions.

Would you share one of your favorite devotionals with us?

Obeying God’s Schedule

Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” Matthew 9:22 NLT

Schedules are made to be broken.

According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test, I’m a judger. I like structure and organization. While I can be spontaneous on occasion, it’s not my preferred way of life. I’m also time conscious. I’ve been wearing a watch since I was in first grade. Schedules are important, and I like to be ahead of time for whatever the agenda holds. Keeping and checking off a list gives me an adrenaline rush. In college, I completed all my projects ahead of time. Some of these traits were inborn, but being the firstborn child and living with parents who had similar traits made it certain I’d be a judger.

John’s gospel, especially, makes it evident that Jesus journeyed on a divine schedule. Many were told not to tell that he had healed them or cast out their demons simply because Jesus didn’t want his ministry to end prematurely. While the woman touching him may appear as an interruption from a human point of view, from God’s it wasn’t. Jesus was open to God’s interruptions.

God’s schedule is more important than any schedule I can build on my day planner, computer calendar, or IPhone calendar. Rigidity will cause me to miss opportunities God puts in my path. Like Jesus, change must be my friend—whether it makes me comfortable or not. Some of life’s greatest opportunities arise in the midst of change and uncomfortableness. What may appear as interruptions to me can very well be God ordained appointments. Only as I avail myself of these—and with an attitude of love and acceptance, can I live life to the fullest.

Jesus took many opportunities to get away for private time with his Father. Prayer was the lifeblood of his ministry and also the key to following his father’s divine timetable. By following his pattern, I too can achieve the same success.

Are you open to God’s schedule—even when it conflicts with yours?

Prayer: Father in heaven, give us eyes to see Your schedule and the faith to obey it.

Book Blurb:

Manna from Heaven Served Up Southern Style

About the author:

MartinWilesMartin Wiles is a minister, author, speaker, and freelance editor currently living in Greenwood, South Carolina. He and his wife Michelle are founders of Love Lines From God (, a devotional ministry helping those who want to enhance their spiritual journey with Christ. His latest book, Grits & Grace & God, is available at Amazon.

Connect with Martin:



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  1. Great interview! Enjoyed the devotional it is very encouraging. Thank you! God bless, Marcie

    • Thanks for stopping by Marcie!

    • Thanks so much Marcie for reading. Glad you enjoyed.

  2. I’m a Northern girl who loves the sweet spirit and southern hospitality of my southern friends. Visiting relatives in Raleigh and Nashville is a highlight of my year. I’d love to read Grits, Grace, and God and pass it on to my friends who see grits on their menus. God’s best to you as you write for Him!

    • Thanks for taking time to comment, Elaine!

    • Thanks so much Elaine. Your comments are very encouraging.

  3. Good interview and as a Southern girl, I love the book title.

    • So glad you stopped by, Mary! Thanks!

    • Can’t take credit for the Title, but I love it too. Thanks to Eddie Jones and LPC for that. Thanks so much for stopping by Mary.

  4. Wonderful interview! It’s very inspiring.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Matilda!

    • Thanks Matilda for stopping by and reading the interview. So glad you were inspired by it.

    • Thanks Matilda for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed.

  5. I hated school too. But I loved college. Never quite figured that out. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. Sounds like something I’ll enjoy reading.

    • Thanks for taking time to comment!

    • Thanks Pegg. Glad you could identify.

  6. I love the part about letting God be your scheduler. 🙂

    • Wise words for all of us! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Sound just like the book i need right now. Great title by the way.

    • Thanks for the comment! God bless!

  8. I love anything from the that has to do with the South! I’m born and bred in south Alabama!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! I know you’ll enjoy it!

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