Archive for the ‘Issues’ Category

“Give Us Barabbas—or Not”

Guest post Dr. Peter Lundell

Peter is a writer, pastor, and teacher who helps people connect with God and live by God’s Word and Spirit. With life experience all over the world, he brings new perspectives to what most people overlook. He has authored numerous nonfiction and fiction books on Christian spirituality. Peter is also a collaborative writer, and a developmental and substantive editor. www.PeterLundell.com

If we as believers desire to influence the world we live in, we must make a basic decision. Will we think and act primarily in terms of seeking political change? Or will we think and act primarily in terms of living the Kingdom of God with its political ramifications?

Jesus and the apostles of the New Testament call believers to think, speak, and act as people of the Kingdom of God—rather than get caught up in putting their hope, passion, and focus on politics. They both taught and exemplified this. This didn’t mean taking an easy way out. Quite the opposite. Their actions had huge political consequences and over time generated massive social and political change.

Americans who consider themselves Christian are increasingly reflecting the crowd that stood before Pilate, who to appease the Jews each Passover, would release a prisoner to them. He gave them a choice. They could have Jesus, the Messiah, whose kingdom was “not of this world.” Or they could have Barabbas, who was a freedom fighter and had killed someone, possibly a Roman soldier, during an insurrection against Rome. They did not choose the redeemer of their souls. They wanted more immediate change in a more human and political hope. Barabbas was their man.

When believers look to politics and politicians for their hope, they are little-to-no different from the crowd who rejected Jesus in favor of the guy who represented the political hope they desired. I understand that. It’s natural and normal to be that way. The crowd was influenced by the Pharisees—and we now have news and social media for that—and the crowd was also likely influenced by the devil. But the people in the crowd weren’t evil; they were normal. Like us. And they were swayed.

The North American church faces a crisis in the fact that, increasingly, congregations get more upset about a person’s politics than about heresy. If you doubt that, ask a pastor. Looking at 2000 years of history, as well as the church across the world, I see the lesson that a healthy, impactful church carefully and steadfastly lives above what goes on in the world. That is how they bring the best long-term change to the world.

What does that mean in practical terms? Everything we think and do is rooted in our assumptions, beliefs, and values—whether good or bad, wise or foolish, helpful or unhelpful, godly or ungodly. What are our core assumptions, beliefs, and values—not the “correct” answers but the real ones?

That foundation is singularly important. When we think and act primarily as people of God, whose kingdom, or spiritual reign, is on earth yet is above the things on this earth, we keep our identity and life intact.

But if we drift into prioritizing concerns of this world, we become like the crowd that said, “Give us Barabbas!” We are fooling ourselves, if like them, we think politics is the answer.

Yet following Christ will invariably get political. If our Christ-identity drives us—which does not equal conservatism; it equals the Bible; they’re two different things—our political involvement will be the trailer in proper order of “seek first the Kingdom of Heaven,” and everything else follows. If our politics drive us, then everything gets out of alignment, and Jesus rides in the trailer of our political priorities.

This is not theoretical. The choice is being made in massive numbers across our nation today. We don’t have to answer to politicians, but we will all have to answer to the Master. What will your choice be?

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Guest post by Chris Richards

I can go online, search for writers’ conferences, and get a huge list I could read in, ooohhh, let’s say, about 8 hours – if I wanted to spend my time that way. The things they have in common are classes teaching:

  • Writing
  • Marketing
  • Editing
  • Publishing

And they will provide:

  • Inspiration
  • Opportunities to meet fellow writers
  • Opportunities to make writing friends

And most will have opportunities to meet with agents and editors.

I can also find conferences lasting from one day to all summer. There are conferences online, in-person, and both. They are close to home and far away. They focus on all genres, or only one. They come from different points of view – secular, spiritual, Buddhist, communist, ecological, etc. And some are Christian.

So, why should I choose GPCWC over all the others?


The heart of the conference. The heart of the staff and faculty. The heart of the conferees. The heart of the world.

First, I am Christian, so I prefer Christian conferences. The list is still long.

Next, I review speakers and select conferences with those I want to learn from. Finally, I look at where they are and how much they cost.

What makes GPCWC different? What makes GPCWC stand out?

In addition to the above list they build me up as a Christian and help me as I evangelize through my writing. All Christians are called by Jesus to evangelize (Mark 16:15).

We all know this world and this country have turned away from our first love, Jesus (Rev. 2:4).

It requires only a few moments watching the television or reading the news or listening to our neighbors fight or walking along a downtown street in any major city and you know this world and country are sliding off a cliff into the depths of evil.

Our desire is to turn off the TV news reports, stop reading the news, hide in our homes behind the pretty white picket fence where everything is beautiful and there are no lions who wander the streets seeking to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). Or is that just what we desire to believe regardless of the truth?

At GPCWC (June 24-26) one of the keynotes and a seven-hour continuing session will focus on the issues facing our nation – on those things we desire to ignore, but ones that God wants us to see and where He wants us to shine His redemptive Love.

I will attend these presentations at GPCWC and listen to what the Lord wants me to do and where He wants me to be.

For more information go to the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference, https://Philadelphia.writehisanswer.com.

Trust…given or earned?

As Officer Logan Taul’s nightstick plummets toward the teen’s arm, he sees the monster he has become reflected in the warped storefront window.

Thus begins his journey, back to the officer, man, and father he wants to be. Logan must face his own nature and insecurities and defy those who do not want him to succeed. His quest for redemption leads him to search for the family he deserted. Despite physical attacks on both himself and those he loves, and attempts to frame him, can he bring his family back together? Will he once more wear the badge in a position of trust?

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Do you see the storm clouds gathering?

Will our nation survive?

Do you believe God can use the words you write to bring our nation back to Him?

At the June 24-26 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference you will learn tons about the craft of writing and marketing. In fact, your registration will give you access to over 90 hours of valuable information that you can view for two months after the conference – information that will help launch or expand your writing ministry whether it be through a nonfiction book, novel, personal experience story, article, or poetry.

But GPCWC will also encourage and equip you to address the issues facing our nation. After Leona Choy’s Thursday evening’s keynote, the six faculty teaching the “Impact Our Culture” continuing session will share in a panel discussion and lead us in a time of praying for our nation.

A keynote you won’t want to miss!

Leona Choy will turn ninety-six two days before the conference. She says, “As writers who are Christians, we can’t afford to stand down, to back off from writing honest words in appropriate ways. We can’t afford to live or write on the safe side by avoiding controversial topics. We must tackle edgy subject matter.

“We can’t be wimpy writers. Let’s stand our ground and stand up for our faith and truth and righteousness even if we stand out with a target on our back. When we see deception and fakery, God is counting on us to pray and write well with courage.”

Will you accept the challenge to “Write – and Live – His Answer”?

Now you have every grace and blessing;
every spiritual gift and power for doing his will
are yours during this time of waiting
for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

1 Corinthians 1:7 TLB

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Leona Choy is an author, speaker, publisher, and broadcaster still going strong in His strength at 95 years of age. The following is reprinted with her permission from her 9/17/2020 blog at https://leonachoy.com/therestofthewayposts. I encourage you to visit her website and subscribe to her posts.

A Fresh Slice of Daily Bread

What does the Almanac predict for this fall?

For the benefit of younger generations who might never have heard of such a book, it is a formerly much-relied-upon annual paperback publication listing events forthcoming in the next year: weather forecasts, farmers’ planting dates, tide tables, celestial data like eclipses, religious festivals and holidays. That was before the sophisticated technology of weather forecasting and today’s scanning the heavens for astronomical data. In spite of all the refined applied science, the weather person on TV is seldom right on the button.

If we’d like to know the societal and political forecast for the rest of 2020 and into the next year, forget the Almanac. Don’t consult some crystal ball. Google can’t tell us either. Modern seers and prophets of the day are attempting to interpret their personal dreams. The Bible is being seriously studied to understand the signs of the times which many conclude are “the end times.” We listen and then must pray and discern. God, who created this blue planet and mankind to populate it, is still in full control. He hasn’t left us without a reliable Scriptural GPS for “things to come.” At least to provide us with as much as we need to know to navigate one step at a time.

SO WHAT’S THE FORECAST? We can expect unusually stormy weather! Perhaps a fall and winter such as we have never known before. Not necessarily in amount of snow accumulation and severe temperatures, but in our daily way of life. Let’s be realistic. Not to scare but to prepare ourselves and our families. It is a fantasy to expect our society to ever return to the lifestyles to which we had been accustomed.

What happened to the world we once knew? How is it possible that so many things could change so fast and so dramatically?

Look around: Society has lost its way. Possible, probable, incredible uncertainties and shakings are in the offing even as early as this fall: Facets of our society are moving at warp speed to cast off all restraints while insisting on ever-increasing entitlements. Evil powers both in heaven and on earth are reaching for the reset button to drastically change the trajectory of our beloved nation and the entire globe toward lawlessness. The spirit of the age is reflected in moral breakdown, free-floating ethics, the shakeup of our courts and justice systems changing the way our nation has been governed, redefining marriage, the family, even genetic identity. Natural catastrophes of unusual proportions are accelerating to shake the world and add to the threatening storm clouds.

Affecting Christians directly is the widespread mutiny against God, We face an anti-Christian future nation and world where intolerance has turned to outright hostility toward those who stand for moral absolutes. Our freedom to practice our Christian faith is in jeopardy. We are moving toward being controlled in many critical aspects of our lives where we have heretofore had liberty.

Let’s not be afraid of “things to come” or let “our hearts fail us for fear.” Nothing can separate those who belong to God from His love and care. (Romans 8:35-39) We are not to be anxious for daily protection and provision. Jesus promised that our Heavenly Father knows we have need of these things. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (8:31) As God’s children, part of God’s Kingdom and His Body, we are not living through 2020 by accident. He has chosen us to live in this climactic generation to stand steadfast and shine in these prophetically “perilous times.”

Although darkness encroaches on this entire planet, we can circumvent the pitfalls. Each of us must choose whether “me and my house will serve the Lord.” Will we retreat and accommodate to the coming upheaval of the world system or will we stay anchored in Christ? Will we be overcome by the chaos and shaking or will we be courageous overcomers?

The genuineness of our Christian faith is soon to be tried by fire and tested. (James 1:2-4). Don’t be surprised or think it strange or unusual. (1 Peter 4:12, 13) “Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” (MSG)

We don’t know about tomorrow, (James 4:13-15) but we know Who holds our hand. Let’s trust the Lord completely and rest confidently in His peace even if the world’s forecast is “probability of extreme weather conditions ahead.”

“With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 MSG)


A Note from Leona: May your readers become aware of the challenge of our uncertain times and at the same time our incredible opportunity as Christians which lies ahead of us. Without fear, in God we trust!

And from Marlene: Again I encourage you to visit Leona’s website at https://leonachoy.com and be sure to visit her bookstore with 36 titles in print including 3 books for writers that I highly recommend: Release the Poet Within, This Is Your Life – Write It!, and Writing for the Supreme Editor.

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I’ve so missed connecting with old and new friends this year on the mountain in Colorado at CCWC and here in my backyard at GPCWC. Postponing both conferences until next year was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do, but the coronavirus gave me no choice.

This year more than ever I believe we needed to hear our keynoters challenging us to “Write His Answer.”

I’m feeling a growing sense of urgency as I view what is happening in our nation. And I’m fearful of our fear to speak God’s truth into the events that are unfolding.

For years I’ve been talking about how we are like the frog in the kettle – how the temperature is being turned up but in our complacency we are not even aware of the danger.

You have probably heard me quote my friend, Hannah Crabtree, who grew up in Switzerland before the start of World War II. She said, “The church in Germany saw what was happening, but the church in Germany was silent.”

My friend, Eric Ludy (I was blessed to edit and typeset Eric and Leslie’s first two books many years ago) has just echoed Hannah’s words.

In Nazi Germany, out of 65 million people, there were 45 million Protestant Christians. And out of those 45 million, only 150,000 of them stood up against Hitler. That’s something like three out of every thousand. The church in America today is on the verge of being just as passive as the church in Nazi Germany was. In my new blog video, I present a challenge to all of us as modern Christians to rise up and take a stand for truth — not in the future when things get worse, but right now. Let’s not become silent at the very moment we need to speak up.  

Friends, I can’t urge you strongly enough to listen to Eric’s blog video. It’s only 2.36 minutes.

Father, please help us to wake up and to write and live Your answer for such a time as this.

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Storm over city

It’s been almost 30 years since Against the Night, Living in the New Dark Ages by Chuck Colson was published. He writes,

‘Dark Age’ is a strong term. I recognize that. Yet  in recent  years I’ve had a growing sense of storm clouds gathering on the horizon . . . The forecast is foreboding . . . We scan the horizon with unease.

We sense that things are winding down, that somehow freedom, justice, and order are slipping away. Our great civilization may not yet lie in smoldering ruins, but the enemy is within the gates.

The times seem to smell of sunset. Encroaching darkness casts long shadows across every institution in our land. . . . We do face a crisis in Western culture, and it presents the greatest threat to civilization since the barbarians invaded Rome.”

Chuck Colson – Against the Night, Living in the New Dark Ages

If you are not aware of  H.R. 5, known as the Equality Act, that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives March 13, you need to Google it – NOW! This bill, if passed, would end our freedom as Christians to live out our faith not just in our workplaces but in our homes.

Liberty Counsel says,

HR 5, wrongly named the Equality Act, is the most extreme threat to religious freedom, free speech, privacy, and to women’s rights that has ever been proposed by Congress. The impact of HR 5 will be widespread – affecting churches; religious colleges and universities; public, private, and Christian schools; curriculum; religious and private organizations; employers; employees; individuals; foster care and adoption; shelters; local, state, and federal entities; privacy; women’s rights; and more. Click here to read more.

Yes, we must “love without stopping” (1 Cor. 16:14 MSG). But that does not mean we can ignore what God clearly says in His Word.

If we have eyes to see, the moral fabric of our nation is not just unraveling – it’s being torn apart. How much longer can a righteous God withhold His judgment of a nation that has turned away from His Truth?

The 23 years the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and 36 years the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference has focused on the need for God’s scribes to “Write His Answer.”

Michael Gantt, who is again keynoting at both conferences, says:

MK gantt watchman

I urge you to subscribe to Michael’s blog at https://mkgantt.com and to read his post about the conference and why I’ve given him a standing invite to keynote. In part he says,

Writers have always been among the most feared by despots and dictators. Truth tellers have been imprisoned and executed, their writings banned and burned, their character brought into question by allegation and accusation. The written word is among the most powerful weapons of history. . . .

I realized this weekend that my part in standing before these conferences of writers and publishers is to represent the Word of God that it might not be bound; to communicate with a deep sense of urgency that we are not writers who are coincidentally Christians, but we are Christ followers who have been given a gift to write and that we bear a grave and dangerous responsibility to guard the deposit of truth that has been entrusted to us and to ensure above everything that the Word of God is not bound.

I also urge you to check out my blog post, “Write His Answer to Issues at this Year’s CCWC,” I posted on March 3. If you are unable to come to the conference, you can order a CD of one or more of the workshops in our Issues track:

America at the Crossroads
The Rocks Cry Out
Speaking Life to a Culture of Death
Answering Christianity’s Critics
The Burden of the Watchman
Make Some Noise!

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, for children or adults, God can use you to write words that, as Michael says, “can shape lives and maybe, just maybe, change the world.”

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2019 CO banner & website

In just ten weeks several hundred writers will gather on the mountain at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center, for the 23rd annual Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

With the ongoing theme of “Write His Answer” from Habakkuk 2:2, CCWC always seeks to address issues. This year, our opening general session on Wednesday night will feature the instructors of the six workshops in our “Issues” track. They will give a brief introduction of their topic and challenge us to use the gift of words the Lord has entrusted to us to make a difference.

charles_patricoff lg
Charles Patricoff
America at the Crosswords

Charles is an author with a personal passion for American history and our nation’s unique Christian heritage. As a Jewish follower of Yeshua, Charles speaks at Pro-Life and Tea Party rallies about our godly American heritage. “I write to preserve life and liberty, because by fighting to provide freedom for others, we preserve freedom for ourselves.” For over 35 years he supported the Department of Defense where his work gained recognition throughout the military and weapons development corporations. He says, “Christian writers can prepare believers to advance the kingdom of God as America takes another step toward complete rejection of its Judeo-Christian roots.”

David Rupert
David Rupert
The Rocks Cry Out

David is a corporate communicator, journalist, ghost-writer, and featured writer at Patheos Evangelical. He just published Living a Life of Yes. Visit his Living a Life of Yes Podcast. “Are you afraid to engage?” David asks. “In today’s world, traditional principles provoke reactions that can be unfair and personal. But the shrinking Christian writer does the world no good. Let’s learn to write truth!”


Rick Marschall MMM2
Rick Marschall
Speaking Life to a Culture of Death

Rick is the author of 74 books, editor for three newspaper syndicates, writer for Disney, Editor of Marvel Comics, and has written hundreds of articles. He currently edits Innovative Health Magazine and is looking for writers! And for 10 years he has written the weekly blog  MondayMinistry.com. Rick says, “The foundation of every contemporary crisis is Death: abortion, homosexuality, divorce, abuse, drugs . . . all wage war on procreation, the family. How can we redeem Truth and Life to this generation?”

Bill Watkins2
Bill Watkins
Answering Christianity’s Critics

Bill is the president of Literary Solutions and the senior editor at BroadStreet Publishing Group. A long-time writer, editor, mentor, consultant, teacher, and speaker, Bill is the award-winning author of seven books (including The New Absolutes, The Transforming Habits of a Growing Christian, and A House United? Evangelicals and Catholics Together), twenty-five study guides, and about 180 other pieces of writing. He is married and has seven adult children and seven grandchildren. He enjoys reading, movies, deep conversations, dating his wife, and playing with his grandkids. Bill will address antagonism toward the Christian faith and believers. “It is at a new high in American culture. Find out how you can answer the critics and win their respect while building the confidence of believers.”

Michael Gantt Apr 2016
Michael Gantt
The Burden of the Watchman

Michael served in pulpit ministry for 45 years and as Senior Minister at Agape Christian Fellowship in Brattleboro, Vermont. Most recently, he is the director of the Kenya Development Fund, a strategic development ministry among the deaf of Kenya. He travels widely, preaching in churches and conferences across America and around the world. He maintains his blog site where he writes on a variety of issues. His heartbeat is driven by the twin themes of guarding the integrity and authority of the Bible and the restoration of the home as the Center of the Kingdom.  He is the author of three books: Eddie: Adventures with a 41-Year-Old RV and the Lessons We Learned From Him, MAKUTANO: Lives Intersecting to Write God’s Story, and Cry Mercy: America’s one hope may be in her destruction. Michael says, “There are some who see what others do not see, hear sounds others do not hear, and discern danger before danger reveals itself. Should he sleep, the loss of the city will stain his hands forever.”

Bruce porter 2019
Bruce Porter
Make Some Noise!

Bruce is a “man with a mission” to call people into biblical truth and Christians back to their ancient roots and radical passion for Christ no matter the cost.  Church planter, pastor, international speaker, and responder to disasters worldwide, Bruce brings a unique perspective that challenges and motivates his readers. His most recent book is Destroying the Shadow Agenda – A Christian Manifesto. He writes, “Paul Revere’s night ride of 1775 rallied the Colonists. Christian writers are also night ‘writers’ upon their keyboards to awaken God’s army. A Shadow Agenda seeks to discourage us, but Bruce sees only inevitable victory in Christ. He encourages God’s heralds to ‘Write His Message’ of Christ’s final ultimate victory over the Shadow Agenda!”


And Wednesday evening is just the beginning of what will be a life-changing conference that features:

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I’m in the conference crunch zone! I MUST get the 16-page brochure for the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference to the printer by the end of this week. Yes, I know it’s Thursday.

I’m also behind on must-do tasks for the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

Although I’ve been directing the Colorado conference for 22 years and the Philly conference (that I founded) for 35 years, it does NOT get any easier. In fact, each year it gets harder.

I could blame the challenges of ongoing computer issues and the never-ending learning curve. At 73, I’m not getting any younger. Perhaps it’s true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, correction! I’m not a dog. (I certainly don’t have the energy of our eight-month-old Labradoodle!) But I am a child of God engaged in a mighty spiritual battle.

Why do I direct TWO Christian writers conferences when I’m old enough to retire?

Because it’s what Father has called and I trust equipped me to do in HIS strength.

ostrich 2


It’s all too easy to bury our head in the sand, to ignore the “signs of the time,” and believe the lie that one person cannot make a difference.


But God is calling and equipping us – me and you – to


Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear,
so that anyone can read it at a glance
and rush to tell the others.
Habakkuk 2:2 TLB

And friends, there is no time to waste. Souls are perishing as the tide is quickly turning against our freedom to proclaim the life-giving message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

April 24 CBN.com reported:

Google Rejects Christian Publisher Ads
that Mention Jesus

For years I have said that we cannot assume that the doors to print and distribute Christian literature will always be open. We also cannot assume that the incredible doors the Internet has opened will always remain open.

And so I direct TWO Christian writers conferences that will challenge you to “Write His Answer” to the critical issues facing our nation. At the May 16-19 Colorado conference keynoters will address

Redemptive Writing in a Hostile Culture
Embracing the Spirit of the Martyr
“Christians Are Hateful” – the Cultural Challenge

Our 58 workshops, 8 continuing sessions, 4 clinics (there’s still time to apply for the Nonfiction Book Proposal Clinic) and more will “encourage and equip you to write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives.”

I’ve added a new “Issues” track to the July 26-28 Philly conference. Keynotes will address:

Declaring God’s Truth in a Digital Age of Half Truths
The Arm of Flesh Will Fail


Of course, the Philly conference, the same as the Colorado conference, will give you the practical help you need to sharpen your writing and marketing skills in addition to the opportunity to meet one-on-one with agents, editors, and authors.

Please pray about coming. Partial scholarships are available if needed. Remember, Father is able to make a way when there seems to be no way.

I’ve been to many “Christian” Writers Conferences
around the country.
None have helped build my faith,
provided clear direction,
strengthened my convictions,
and encouraged me to write Jesus’ messages
more than the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.
For the record, I’ve attended CCWC 12 years in a row.
I would not miss it.
Charles Patricoff


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I’m risking being a pest because I so believe in the value of this new conference. Plus there is now a 9th reason for you to come!

Come to what? When? Where? The NEW

Write to Impact Lives Conference
February 9-10 in Lansdale, PA

And why?

Question & Exclam pt

9. Writers love books, and they need books! And if you register for both days, along with those who have already registered you will receive FREE the following three books that support the purpose of this conference.

New WHA cover

My Bible study for writers that addresses the struggles we face and must overcome.

Communicate Change Lives

Jim Watkins’ book that I believe every Christian writer needs to read.

CWMG 2018
The info you need to find markets for your work as well as literary agents, writers conferences and seminars, writers groups, editorial services, publicity and marketing services, and contests.

The three books sell for $44.97 on Amazon ($37.99 through the Write His Answer Bookstore), but if you register for the entire conference, you will receive them free of charge (or the equivalent value in other books we’ll have for sale).

8. To give your writing the jumpstart it needs in the midst of the winter doldrums and prepare to meet with editors and agents at the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Attendees will receive 10% off GPCWC’s registration fee .

7. To participate in our Friday evening author interviews and book signing. If you’re not yet published, you’ll be encouraged by their testimony and by fellowship with other conferees and our faculty. We need to

Encourage each other and build each other up,
just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

6. To be challenged, encouraged, and inspired through three powerful keynote addresses.

  • “Christians Are Hateful” – The Cultural Challenge for Today’s Christians – Bill Watkins
  • Write from the Deep – Karen Ball
  • Keeping Your Dreams Alive – Jim Watkins

5. To discover the advantages of Going Indie with Sarah Bolme, Director, Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). Self-publishing is no longer viewed as the last resort for writers unable to land a contract with a traditional publisher. Even best-selling authors often choose to go indie. This 4-hour learning lab will give you the knowledge and tools you need to publish and market your book.

4. To keep growing your writing skills in a 3-hour continuing session.

  • Taming Fiction Dragons with Karen Ball who has built fiction lines for Tyndale, Multnomah, Zondervan, and B&H Publishing Group. As an editor, author, and former literary agent with The Steve Laube Agency, Karen has over 30 years publishing experience.
  • The Five Rs of Nonfiction with Jim Watkins, an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles. Jim will give you practical, step-by-step methods to get into print and pixels.
  • Writing that Changes Lives with Bill Watkins – Writing that connects, challenges, provokes, inspires, casts vision, provides hope, and refuses to back away from telling the truth can change lives and eventually cultures. During his 35-plus years in publishing, Bill has worked with hundreds of authors including Chuck Swindoll, Josh McDowell, Leslie Vernick, and Mike Huckabee. He is also an award-winning author with 7 published books, the president of Literary Solutions, and senior editor at BroadStreet Publishing Group.
  • Develop a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Book with Karen Whiting, an award-winning author of 25 nonfiction books. Whether it’s still an idea or an already published book, learn how to use your strengths to develop a marketing strategy that fits you and reaches your potential readers.

3. To learn ways to build your “platform.”  Whether you land a contract with a traditional publisher or go indie, you need to learn how to effectively reach your audience. Our faculty panel will share what works (and doesn’t) and answer your questions.

2. You’re too late to take advantage of a paid critique, BUT as their schedule allows, faculty will be available for free 15-minute appointments. Sign-up when you arrive.

1. Last but first, to hear from the Lord and recommit yourself to write to impact lives!

God can do anything, you know—far more
than you could ever imagine or guess or request
in your wildest dreams!
Ephesians 3:20 MSG

For more information and to register, click here. Walk-ins are welcome, but please check the website for specific info on the location.

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This morning, an article on www.CharismaNews.com grabbed and held my attention. Below are excerpts of what Larry Tomczak wrote January 29 in “We are Now in a Second Civil War in America.”

Are you aware how seriously we’ve gone off track as a nation? . . .

The dark is getting darker and the light is getting lighter while the difference between the two is becoming increasingly evident. . . .

Like the frog boiled to death slowly in water without recognizing what happened, scores of Americans are imperceptive to today’s encroaching darkness. . . .

My greatest concern in this hour is that so many sincere Christians are not being prepared amidst the escalation of evil, apostasy and mounting persecution. . . .


I can’t help think that many of us are like this frog. We’re ignoring the signs of the times and are happily doing our thing, oblivious to the fact that the heat has been turned up and life in America as we have known it is in danger of collapsing.

It’s the complacency, the apathy, of so many Christians that causes me to keep on keeping on directing three writers’ conferences even though I’m well past retirement age.

Repeatedly I’m reminded of the words of my dear friend, Hannah Crabtree, who grew up in Switzerland before the start of the Second World War. She said,

The church in Germany saw what was happening,
but the church in Germany was silent.

It’s why I’ve asked my friend, Bill Watkins, to keynote and teach a continuing session on Writing to Change Lives at both the February 9-10 Write to Impact Lives Conference in Lansdale, PA, and the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference  (CCWC) at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center.

“Culture,” Bill says, “changes one life at a time. And those personal changes impact the lives of others, eventually bringing about changes in policies, laws, business, entertainment, education, the church, and a host of other spheres in society. Although there are multiple causes of change, one that’s proven effective long after its author is gone is writing. But not just any writing. It must be writing that connects, challenges, provokes, inspires, casts vision, provides hope, and refuses to back away from telling the truth. It does not waste time with the trivial and the comfortable. Instead it takes readers more deeply into the true, the good, and the beautiful in all their power and mystery.”

Because one of the most effective ways to present truth is through the power of story, we’re offering not one but three continuing sessions on writing fiction at the Colorado conference:

Award-winning novelist Deborah Raney will teach a 6-hour continuing session on Writing Women’s Fiction. Beyond covering many writing tools that apply to all genres: strong characterization, complex plots, and deft use of point-of-view, Deborah will discuss key elements unique to contemporary women’s fiction: addressing social issues in fiction, creating likeable-yet-flawed characters, using strong dialogue, creating page-turning action (despite a lack of explosions or car chases), and writing cinematically (making it that much more likely your book might become a movie).

Brian Bird, who has spent three decades in Hollywood, will provide soup-to-nuts advice for authors adapting their own stories into screenplays in his 6-hour  Screenwriting continuing session. Brian has written or produced two dozen films including The Case for Christ and Captive as well as nearly 300 episodes of such shows as Touched by an Angel. He is also the executive producer and co-creator of the Hallmark Channel original series When Calls the Heart, now in its fifth season.

A third option for fiction writers (it’s going to be difficult to choose) is Dave Lambert’s Advanced Fiction Writing. Dave has a M.F.A. in fiction writing and is the author of 11 books. He spent 18 years as an acquiring editor at Zondervan, and most recently, 3 years as senior fiction editor at Howard Books. He also wrote the fiction curriculum for the Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild. Dave will help take your fiction to the next level as he examines some of the more advanced techniques: character growth and change, creating believable character emotion, voice, exposition, a sense of place, style, conveying meaning through implication, and more. Time will be set aside to discuss the problems you’re encountering in your work-in-progress.

Did I say it’s going to be difficult to choose?

Plus click here to view four more continuing sessions at the May 16-19 CCWC:

  • Write from the Deep with Erin Taylor Young
  • Writing Narrative Nonfiction with Craig von Buseck
  • Your Book Launch Game Plan with Scoti Domeij
  • Indie Publishing with Ken Raney

    Online registration for CCWC opens February 1
    Click here

The February 9-10 Write to Impact Lives Conference in Lansdale, PA, includes:

  • Four-hour learning lab on Going Indie with Sarah Bolme, director of the Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) on Friday afternoon. (Opposite it are optional 30-minute paid critiques and free 15-minute appointments.)

Saturday, in addition to two keynotes, a marketing panel, optional 30-minute paid critiques, and 15-minute free appointments, participants will choose a 3-hour continuing session:

  • Taming Fiction Dragons with Karen Ball who has built fiction lines for 4 major publishers.
  • The Five Rs of Nonfiction with Jim Watkins, an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles.
  • Develop a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Book with Karen Whiting, an award-winning author of 25 books.
  • And Writing to Change Lives with Bill Watkins.

The price for the Writing to Impact Lives Conference increases February 1 so don’t delay! And be sure to check out the three free books you’ll receive as part of your registration to the entire conference. Click here to register.

And pray! Ask Father what He wants you to write. And believe! At this critical time in history, He can enable you to write words that will make a difference.

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