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Archive for the ‘Writer’s Life’ Category

drive-landscape-mountain-1685905I remember the first time I drove into Rocky Mountain National Park. Nothing I had experienced in the Philadelphia area where I lived prepared me for the altitude and hairpin curves. Yes, the views were magnificent – truly breathtaking. But the drop offs . . .

I had a decision to make that day. I could choose to give my fear to the Lord and trust Him, or I could miss the incredible gift He had given me of being in the Rocky Mountains.

As I look forward to my 23rd year directing the Colorado Christian Writers Conference at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center that borders Rocky Mountain National Park, I am so grateful I chose faith instead of fear. Yes, of course, I use common sense and drive carefully. And much as I’m tempted to take my eyes off the road when I spot elk, I wait until I can safely pull over to take dozens of pictures.

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Now, this year, if I finally see a moose, I can’t guarantee what I’ll do. I’ve been waiting a long time. After last year’s conference, I drove into the park just after daybreak and went to where I was told the moose were. Instead, I saw turkeys!

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Turkey3 CCWC

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry to ramble. There really is a point I want to make, and it has to do with the choices we make when confronted with the challenges of technology.

The learning curve is daunting and not something I enjoy. But today, as I’m struggling to learn Picmonkey and Instagram, I “came to realize” (don’t use this phrase in your writing) I have a choice. I can choose to trust the Lord and embrace the learning curve knowing He is the One who will equip me to do what I could never do in my own strength. Or, I can stress and believe the lie from the pit that I’m too old and too dumb to master another new computer skill.

Thank You, Father, for helping me to again choose to trust You and for showing me that this new challenge can actually be fun.

Friend, what challenge are you facing? And would you help make the challenge I’m facing with this new learning curve worthwhile by copying and pasting some of these images? I’d really appreciate it.

Scoti keynoteBios agents (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can do everything God asks me to
with the help of Christ
who gives me the strength and power.

Philippians 4:13 TLB

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Sheri SchofieldSheri Schofield is an amazing lady! Really, that’s not surprising since she serves our amazing God.

Last year Sheri received the Writer of the Year Award from the Colorado Christian Writers Conference for her persistence not just in getting her children’s picture book in print but for turning a mistake into a blessing.

The Prince and the Plan: Leading Children to Jesus in 24 Memory Making Lessons is an interactive  picture book written for children ages 4-8 that helps parents lead their children into a lasting, saving relationship with Jesus.

Sheri bookSheri is the author and illustrator of this 218-page full-color book. Can you imagine her dismay when it came off press and she opened the box to discover the books were mistakenly printed in black and white? She had a tough choice to make. She could allow the books to be destroyed or purchase them at the deeply discounted price of $4,180.

Sheri didn’t have $4,180, but God’s people did. As a result, 2,000 black & white copies of The Prince and the Plan were not trashed but instead are in the hands of children on Montana Native American reservations! And this is just the beginning.

“So many children in Helena and across America have never heard of Jesus at all,” Sheri wrote in a recent newsletter. “The Lord has spoken to my heart about a tidal wave of children who are growing up in America without any knowledge of Jesus or God’s ways whatsoever.

“Do you remember watching the tsunami hit Japan in 2011? It rose and rolled over the land, destroying everything and everyone in its path. That’s what is coming toward America spiritually: darkness pouring over a land without Jesus.

“It is for this reason that Tim and I have gone all out to provide The Prince and the Plan for the children. It is our attempt to stem the tide, to turn it to a flood of Jesus’ light instead. We are even doing billboards to let people know about this gospel presentation.”

Sheri billboard.jpg

But Sheri has a vision that extends beyond Montana and the United States.

From March 3-12 Sheri will be in Mexico. Part of her work there will be teaching a seminar on children’s ministries to church teachers in the mountain towns. She will be taking the Spanish translation of  The Prince and the Plan so they can use it to lead children to Jesus.

Sheri writes, “I’ll be doing multisensory teacher training, like I’ve used in the book. For instance, in the story of David & Goliath, Jesse sent David to take BREAD and CHEESE to his brothers – that’s how David managed to be in the army camp. When I tell this story, I give each child a small amount of bread and cheese. This stimulates multisensory learning, and they remember the stories a whole lot better. (I’ve had older children tell me in detail the stories they had heard from me years before!)

“The problem is this: Good wages in Mexico are about $8 per day – for a man. Poverty is rampant. The Christians cannot even afford to have potlucks, for they barely have enough food for themselves. As I have prayed about this, the Lord has put it on my heart to ask them to pray for the provisions they will need to teach multisensory Bible lessons. (I’ll be taking some non-food equipment for them, but they will need ongoing food and supplies for this type of teaching.) I believe the Lord will do so, but it will take great faith for them. After a lifetime of poverty and barely scraping by, this will be a HUGE challenge for them.

“To help them step out in faith, I feel that I should ask God for a sign they would recognize as an indication of His blessing on this. I know very little Spanish and there will be an interpreter for the classes I’ll teach. But I feel I should ask God to give me the language gift of Spanish while I teach. I am friends with these people. They know I barely speak Spanish at all. If the Lord were to give me the language for these classes, I think it would make them bold in asking the Lord to provide for multisensory Bible teaching.

“Right now, the youngest children attend church, but they stop coming as they grow older – much like in the USA. I have found that this way of teaching draws the older children, too. It could make a huge difference in leadership development in the churches of Mexico.

“So, though I’ve never asked this of God before, I’m asking for the gift of Spanish for the times when I am teaching and communicating with these women. Would you please pray this for me, too?

“Also, we are going into drug cartel country. The cartels run every town. Please pray for our safety, too!”
_________________________

Father, thank You for Sheri’s faith that challenges me to have more faith. Thank You that I know You can do exceedingly, abundantly beyond.

Friends, will you join me in praying for Sheri and believing God for miracles?

For more info about Sheri and her Faithwind 4 Kids ministry click here.

Sheri will teach the workshop, “Writing to a Child’s Heart,” at the May 15-18 Colorado Christian Writers Conference. You’ll learn the basics of writing for children and preteens, how to determine your audience’s age, and how to develop characters and plots, as time allows.

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Brian E. Kushner / stock.adobe.com

Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow yesterday morning. Good news! Spring is on the way. Well, it is, but more than likely not as quickly as we hope or Punxsutawney Phil predicts. Sadly, he doesn’t have a strong track record of being accurate.

Christians called to “Write His Answer” also are likely to have to wait far longer than we would like for the acceptance of our manuscripts and to see our book(s) in print. More often than not we will receive the dreaded rejection slip or no response at all.

But stop and consider what’s most important. Is it getting our name in print, especially on the cover of a book, or the journey of how we get there? Are our lives, not just our words, bearing fruit?

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Bearing Fruit

A Bible Study Based on John 15:1-5; Colossians 2:7; Galatians 5:22-23; Jeremiah 17:7-8

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . .
Hebrews 12:2 NIV

 

LOVE – He loved me and gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20 NIV).

  • Do I love my readers?
  • Is love my motivating force?
  • How much of myself do I give them?
  • What about loving my editors, especially the ones who reject my manuscript?
  • Loving people who make demands on my time, who take me from my work?

JOYFor the joy set before him [Jesus] endured the cross (Heb. 12:2 NIV).

  • Is my joy dependent on acceptances, praise, success?
  • Do I rejoice in taking up my cross (Mk. 8:34-35), or look for easier ways to serve the Lord?

PEACE –  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (Jn. 14:27 NIV).
We never see Jesus uptight even when demands on him were so great that “he couldn’t even find time to eat” (Mk. 3:20 TLB). See also Colossians 3:15.

  • Do I have his peace when I’m interrupted?
  • When I’m facing a deadline or blank computer screen?
  • When doors do not open for my work?

PATIENCEThink about his patience as sinful men did such terrible things to him (Heb. 12:3 TLB); his patience on the night he was betrayed when even his disciples  did not yet understand who he was (see Jn. 14:4-11).

  • Am I learning to wait patiently on the Lord?
  • How patient am I with editors, family members, myself?

KINDNESSBecause of his kindness you have been saved (Eph. 2:8 TLB).

  • Do people (editors, family, friends) see Christ in me?
  • Am I gracious?

GOODNESSHe went around doing good  (Acts 10:38 TLB).
Greek – agathos describes that which “being good in its character . . . is beneficial in its effect.”*

  • Is my writing benefiting my readers?
  • How can I “do good” with my writing?

FAITHFULNESS – He has enriched us, gifted us, strengthened us, called us, and is faithful (see 1 Cor. 1:5-9).

  • Am I being faithful to him?
  • Am I using the gifts he has given me?

GENTLENESSI am gentle and humble” (Mt. 11:29 TLB).
Greek – meekness, prautes: closely linked with humility, a fruit of power not weakness,not fighting against God, the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest.*

  • Have I argued with the Lord lately?
  • Am I on an ego trip?

SELF CONTROL – Jesus responded. He did not react. He was always in control of his feelings, words, actions (see Mk. 3).

  • How much self-control did I exercise the last time something or someone irritated me?
  • What about my self-discipline?
  • Do I daily relinquish control of my life to the Lord?

*From Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.

Examine and test and evaluate your own selves
to see whether you are holding to your faith
and showing the proper fruits of it.

2 Corinthians 13:5 AMP

TCC ad 2019

Online registration is open for the Colorado conference
http://colorado.writehisanswer.com

About half of the faculty is in place for the Philly conference
Registration will open April 1
http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com

 

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Question Mark Key Shows Doubt And Help

Years ago, I sold a packet of “Ministry and Marketing” resources for Christian writers. One side of the twin pocket folder had Bible studies as well as articles from my column in The Christian Writer that later were compiled into my book, Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers(It’s now in its third edition and has been in print for 28 years!) The other side had how-to articles on writing and, yes, on selling our writing. My “Market Analysis Charts” helped many get their work in print.

I’m certain my kids and husband were happy when I stopped selling the packet and they no longer had the job of collating the 50-plus pages and pasting on the front and back cover.

Much has changed since I started writing for publication in 1972 after our second child was born. Wannabe writers and those already published now are able to access a huge amount of how-to information on the Internet. Writers’ conferences, seminars, podcasts, webinars, and coaches provide exciting opportunities to become better wordsmiths and marketers. And, of course, there are more how-to books than any of us will ever have time to read.

But sadly, the tension between ministry and marketing still exists. In fact, I think it’s grown more intense. Yes, we want to get the message we believe God has entrusted to us into print and into the hands of readers, but all too easily we can get caught up in doing things the world’s way.  We can spend lots of dollars and hours on building our “platform” and push God into a corner of our busy lives. In the process, it can become all about us and not about Him.

For the past 35 years as the director of the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference and 22 years as the director of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference I have sought to find the balance God wants us to have between ministry and marketing. Of course, I offer workshops to help writers find a publisher for their manuscripts and readers for their books. But hopefully our “Write His Answer” theme keeps the focus clearly on the Lord and on writing as a ministry to point readers to Him and not to ourselves.

Father, please help me and Your people, Your scribes, to seek You and Your plans for our writing. Give us wisdom to know what learning and platform-building opportunities You want us to invest in. Help us to be realistic and not to focus on what we hope to gain but rather on what You would have us give.

How do you deal with the tension between ministry and marketing?

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I mean writers’ conference or retreat or . . .

Unlike the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, there were no mountains at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There certainly were scary mountains to climb for conferees who met for the first time with an agent or editor or received a critique of their work from a professional author.

And there were holy mountains to climb for many who I trust were aware of God’s presence and His call to “write His answer” more keenly than they had ever experienced. Indeed, as we worshiped and were stirred by powerful keynotes we were on the mountaintop. Commitments were made in the closing session that, if kept, God will use to change lives today and for eternity.

But oh how hard it is to come down from the mountain. The encouragement we received at the conference may be sorely lacking from our family and circle of friends. Meanwhile, the evil one is likely to already be working hard to convince us that we’re not good enough writers. We’re not smart enough. We’re too old or too young. We don’t have strong computer skills, and we definitely do not have the needed “platform.”

This morning as I was sharing with my friends from Colorado, Chris and Roy Richards and Eric Sprinkle, I was reminded of an experience I had that could have ended my writing and speaking before it even got started.

I’d felt a call to Christian ministry since I was a teenager. My parents scoffed when I talked about going to college. “What makes you think that you’re better than us – that you’re college material?” They were not willing to offer any financial support, but in faith I applied to my first choice school, Wheaton College. I was not accepted.

I tried applying a few other places and was finally accepted at a Bible college down south. I had met a sailor at the USO and had fallen in love with him. But then he broke up with me. Of course, I was devastated.

The time to leave for college fast approached, but my thoughts (and prayers) were more focused on Paul than on a getting a college degree.

“God,” I prayed, “please show me what You want me to do. I’m willing to go to college although I don’t know how I can pay for it. But if you bring Paul back into my life, I’ll know that it’s Your will that I marry him instead.”

November 9 Paul and I will celebrate 56 years of marriage. Except for when I said yes to the Lord, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made and one I’ve never regretted.

But oh how I struggled for years with feeling inadequate and even ashamed that I was only a high school graduate. The call to ministry was still there, but I believed the lie that my lack of education disqualified me from serving the Lord.

God knew and He didn’t let go of me. A couple from a church we had visited reached out to us – actually pursued us. We finally joined the church but stayed on the fringes until a new pastor and his wife drew me into leadership roles I was convinced I could not handle.

I became president of the Koinonia Sunday School class of highly educated men and women including two lawyers, two seminary professors, and a doctor. Talk about being over my head!

One of the events I planned was an evening where we made montages to help us share what we believed God was calling us to do.

I can still hear the deafening silence as I held up my montage and told them I believed God was calling me to a nationwide speaking ministry. No one said anything. Not one word of encouragement or affirmation. Yes, I was mortified. I wanted to escape into a dark, deep hole.

For the rest of the story, you’ll need to read my next blog.

For now I want to reassure those who feel like I once did and sometimes still do. Friends, it’s not our ability or the letters behind our name that qualify us to do the Lord’s work. In fact, the more inadequate we feel, the more we’ll need to depend on Him. And that’s a good thing.

He is so much bigger than all our self-doubts, all our fears, all our failures. The more you struggle with the “deadly Ds” of disappointments, doubts, discouragement, the more I believe they are evidence that you are a threat to the evil one. Yes, God could make it easy, but then our faith muscles would not become strong.

God said to Paul, and He says to you and to me:

I am with you; that is all you need.
My power shows up best in weak people.”
Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am;
I am glad to be a living demonstration
of Christ’s power,
instead of showing off my own power and abilities.

2 Corinthians 12:9 TLB

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MP3s and CDs from the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference available –

For the first time we’re excited to be able to offer the entire conference as downloadable MP3s. (The MP3 files are also available on a DVD.) The cost is only $57 ($67 on a DVD) for those who came to the conference or $77 ($87 on a DVD) for those who were not able to come. The almost 70 sessions can also be purchased individually as CDs. You’ll find the order form at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com.

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Verna Bowman 3 from FB
Guest post
Verna Bowman

 

In the past few weeks I’ve spoken to a few writer-friends about the upcoming conference in our area. It wasn’t surprising to hear that some were feeling that they didn’t have anything valuable to offer and identified their work as just a keepsake for the family. I understand, I felt that way once.

Writing matters.

One sage-lady simply jots down life but has the unique charm of telling a story to take you along to live with her right on the pages. As I listened to a few others, I was inspired by a handwritten poem, moved by a passionate article concerning our critical times, encouraged by a woman’s heartwarming experience of finding her biological family, and motivated by a manuscript on ministry leadership.  All needed – all good.

They should attend the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference – every one of them. And maybe you should too! It’s not too late to register at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com.

A writers conference provides the tools to turn valuable writings we’ve been hoarding or unsure of to be used to bring hope to a needy world. I’ve regularly attended GPCWC for over three decades.  And yes, there have been times I’ve left dazed and confused, wondering if I fit – tempted to quit.  However, the dedicated lady who directs the conference, Marlene Bagnull, believed in the calling and mentored me along the journey.  Gratefully, through many connections, I’ve had the opportunity to share faith stories in several publications, one the feature cover story in Guideposts, have my books published and encourage women through a personal ministry blog.

What compelled me to wipe the dust off of decades of random scribblings stored in the abyss of a drawer were the jewels I’ve extracted through keynotes and workshops led by gifted presenters and professionals in the industry.  It has been a blessed benefit to polish my craft and grow spiritually through these events.

Whether you’re a new or seasoned writer or maybe stuck in the dry in-between – you’ll find rich resources at the conference to awaken your writer’s heart.

Please join us July 26-28th (one or all days) at Dock Academy in Lansdale and also come out for the evening keynotes, free of charge to the community:

  • Declaring God’s Truth in a Digital Age of Half Truths
  • The Freedoms of a Christian Writer
  • Be Still and Know
  • The Arm of Flesh Will Fail
  • Finish Strong
Be blessed,
Verna

crumbs_coverNote from Marlene:

I had the privilege and joy of publishing Verna’s first book.

Crumbs Along the Broken Path walks us through Verna’s rebellion, redemption, and restoration by following scattered crumbs on her path that led to a deep relationship with the Lord. Verna’s stories can bring each one of us to a deeper understanding of how God uses tragic circumstances in our lives.

This one woman’s story will help you discover a faith that cannot be shattered by brokenness and how you, too, can walk through and not around adversity.

Crumbs are symbolic of the things the Father uses in our life, the good and the not-so-good, to get our attention and keep us on track. While walking over broken pieces of life, I have found keepsakes leading to wholeness. I share my story so you can, also.

For more information and to read Verna’s blog go to https://vernabowman.com.

 

 

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It was a solemn moment over 30 years ago when I made a commitment at the close of Lee Roddy’s continuing session at the St. David’s Christian Writers Conference to complete my book in a year.

There was no question in my mind that this is what God was calling me to do. There were, however, lots of questions of whether or not I could do it – questions (and doubts) that intensified as the year wore on.

I found myself (yes I was “lost”) avoiding work on the book and instead writing short devotionals and Christian education teaching articles that I’d always been able to sell. But not now! Rejection slips landed in my mailbox seemingly before the editors even had time to read my submissions.

God bless my writing papa, Lee Roddy. “Has it occurred to you that you’re getting rejected because you’re not doing what you promised to do,” he wrote back in response to one of my “poor me” letters. Ouch!

Lee is now home with the Lord. I miss him and his stern yet necessary admonishment that kept me on track when I wanted to give up. I’m grateful he didn’t allow me to use the excuse that “a year in the Lord’s sight . . .”

About two months before the one year was up I was still a long way from finishing and still battling self-doubts. One spring day I grabbed my Bible and headed to Ridley Creek State Park. I sat down by a stream and opened my Bible. A sudden breeze tickled the pages of my Bible and then just as suddenly stopped. I felt my eyes drawn to

I want to suggest that you finish what you started to do a year ago . . . Having started the ball rolling so enthusiastically, you should carry this project through to completion just as gladly . . . Let your enthusiastic idea at the start be equalled by your realistic action now.  (2 Corinthians 8:10-11 TLB)

A year to the day I placed my completed manuscript in an envelope and mailed it to an editor who had requested to see it when it was finished.

I’d love to be able to tell you that the Lord “rewarded” me for keeping my commitment with a contact by return mail. Instead, I waited a year only to have the manuscript returned with a rejection slip. Many of you know it was 41 publishers and 6 years later when finally I met an editor at the St. David’s conference who offered me a contract two months later.

What if I had not finished the manuscript? What if I had not persevered for 6 long and discouraging years?

What if you, dear reader, are among the many writers who attend a conference where an editor requests a manuscript that you never finish or submit? (Sadly, those stats are amazingly high.)

And that brings me to the point of this blog – to what I’ve finally finished despite a ridiculous amount of obstacles. Drum roll, please.

The bios for all 40 editors, agents, authors, and other professionals at the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference are finally online! It’s always a huge job but especially so this conference because of the thousands of emails that somehow got deleted  when Outlook crashed a week before I left for the Colorado conference.

Needed emails that I had filed in folders no longer exist! In fact, emails from the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Philly and Colorado conference all disappeared while thousands of non-conference emails in other folders are still there.

It’s been exasperating, frustrating, overwhelming, discouraging . . .

But then I’m reminded that Jesus never promised it would be easy to follow Him. Instead, I believe He allows us to experience all the above in order to build our faith muscles.

What about you? Have your faith muscles grow weak and flabby? Are you willing to allow Him to strengthen them by your deliberate choice to “finish what you start”?

And will you prayerfully consider coming to the Philly conference? It’s a day shorter (now Thursday afternoon/evening, all day Friday, and ending at 5:30 Saturday) making it less costly in time and money. We’ve moved to a new location (Dock Mennonite Academy) just off the Lansdale exit of the North/South PA Turnpike (I-476). Lodging at the Holiday Inn five minutes away can cost as little as $40-60 a night if you request one or two roommates. And meals at the conference are going to be outstanding.

Our 16-page brochure is also finally finished and off press. I’ll be glad to mail you one if you’ll send me (mbagnull@aol.com) your USPS address.

Page 16 cover

page 1 markets

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I confess! I hate research. As a result, almost all of my 1,000 plus sales to Christian periodicals are based on personal experience. You’ll rarely find me including statistics or quoting a bunch of “experts.”

Well, I hate most kinds of research, but I love digging deep into God’s Word to “write His answer.”

Study GOD and his strength, seek his presence day and night.

1 Chronicles 16:11 MSG

Early on in the 45 years I’ve written for publication I discovered the importance of studying (researching) the markets. I took seriously what an editor said at one of the first writers’ conferences I attended. I don’t remember her name, but I’ve never forgotten what she said: “An incorrectly targeted article is nothing but a source of irritation to a busy editor.”

Each edition of the Christian Writers Market Guide that Sally Stuart compiled for 24  years was well worn and much appreciated. From it, and the guidelines for writers that I always requested from publishers, I developed Market Analysis Charts. As part of my Ministry/Marketing Packet that I sold for many years they were used by well over 1,000 writers.

Barb Haley apr 2016 croppedToday I’m so grateful for my dear friend, Barb Haley, who serves as the registrar and appointment coordinator for the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conferences. The charts of agent interests, editorial needs, and areas of expertise that she prepares for both conferences are an incredibly valuable research tool.

Here’s the chart of fiction genres the six agents at the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference are interested in representing. Two additional charts detail nonfiction, children and youth, and other interests. Click here.

Agent p2 WEBSITE CHARTS 6.7.18

In addition, with the bio for each of our faculty members you’ll find the chart they completed along with their photo and bio. So far, only the page for our six agents is finished. I hope to have the bios and charts for our 34 other faculty online in the next several days.

HART Agent

Father, thank You for Barb and for Steve Laube who is continuing the work Sally Stuart began with the Christian Writers Market Guide. Thank You for the Internet that puts information at our fingertips. Help us not to be lazy when it comes to obtaining info we need. And especially, Father, remind us daily to be students of Your Word.

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And let us not get tired of doing what is right,
for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing
if we don’t get discouraged and give up.

Galatians 6:9 TLB

It would be interesting to take a poll of the thousands of writers who have attended the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Actually after 22 years directing the Colorado conference and 35 years directing Philly, the number would be in the tens of thousands.

“Why did you only come once or twice?” I’d ask them.

Overshadowing the typical answers of time and money, the response I’m certain I would most frequently hear is

I got discouraged and gave up!

Back in the early days of my struggle to find a publisher for my first book, I recall someone saying, “It takes ten years to build a career.”

That was definitely NOT what I wanted to hear. I mean, seriously, since I knew God had called me to write this book, wouldn’t He open the door for its publication? (This was before indie publishing was an affordable and respectable alternative.)

But the fact is, as many of you know, it took six years and 42 rejection slips before finally I was offered a contract from a publisher I met at the St. Davids Christian Writers Conference.

Had I given up, Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers would never have been written, much less published and in print for 28 years!

The publication of eight other books and over 1,000 sales to Christian periodicals, serving on the faculty of over 70 Christian writers conferences, giving my one and two-day writing seminars around the nation over 50 times, and the Greater Philly and Colorado Christian Writers Conferences would be just a pipe dream had I given in to discouragement and quit.

But I get it! Discouragement is a very real adversary. I continue to battle it almost daily. In this season, it’s taken the form of over-the-top problems with my new laptop computer. Turns out I didn’t just lose the past two months of emails when Outlook crashed a little over a week before leaving to direct the Colorado conference. I’ve since discovered the folders from the 2016 and 2017 conferences are empty while hundreds of other non-conference folders are intact. Strange, really strange!

And that is just the beginning of my computer woes that have put me almost a month behind getting the brochure for the July 26-28 Greater Philly conference to the printer.

Discouraged? Absolutely! Ready to give up? No way because I know I am doing what God has called me to do.

I’m reminded of Jesus’ words:

I’ve told you all this so that trusting me,
you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace.
In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties.
But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.
John 16:33 MSG

And so, despite much frustration and many tears because of a laptop computer that refused to cooperate, the Philly brochure is finally at the printer. If you’re on our mailing list, you should receive it by June 8. Meanwhile, you can access it online by clicking here.

If you’re discouraged and ready to give up, know that  I am praying for you.

Page 16 cover

 

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“Do you believe, do you really believe God can use you?”

When Michael Gantt spoke those words about ten years ago in a keynote at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, the presence of the Lord was so powerful. I know lives were changed in that moment. Mine certainly was.

Even though I’d been directing the Colorado conference for about 12 years and the Philly conference (that I founded) for about 25 years (it’s now 35 years), the “deadly Ds” were a frequent companion.

If God has called you to “write His answer,” then if you’ve not yet encountered the deadly Ds of Disappointments, Doubts, Discouragement, and even Despair, the good news is that you will.

This is good news? Yes! First, it’s evidence that you are a threat to the evil one. And second, it will cause you to draw more and more close to the Lord and to depend on Him.

The journey to publication is not easy. Sadly, many give up.

For 22 years the Colorado Christian Writers Conferences has “encouraged and equipped Christians to write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives.”

Every year He meets us on the mountain. He gives hope, courage, direction . . . He draws us into CCWC’s family of writers where deep, forever friendships are formed.

He may open the door to publication if you and your writing are ready. If not, you can be certain you’ll receive the instruction you need to keep growing your writing skills. In addition, you’ll receive valuable feedback in one-on-one appointments (more than at any other conference) with our faculty of 59 agents, editors, and authors.

Do you believe God can use you?

It’s not too late to register for the May 16-19 CCWC. Time payments can be arranged if needed. God will make a way. Trust Him!

 

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