Mini Post Monday

Life and Happiness, Religion, Uncategorized, Writing

This week I’ll be traveling to Grove City, PA for the St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference. It’s a wonderful five day conference full of spiritual and enlightening moments. The campus is beautiful and one of the things I love most is spending some time wandering around the campus and enjoying the scenery.

Another thing I’m looking forward to is the laughter. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our lives that laughter gets sifted to the bottom of our busy piles. Occasionally, my husband makes me laugh (it’s one of the reasons I married him) and a funny show or movie might make me guffaw, but the kind of laughter at St. Davids is deep, raucous and soul-lightening. In fact, a smile is almost permanently plastered on my face during this conference. Every single person I meet has an inner light that shines during this special week every year. We’re all there for a purpose – God’s purpose – and it shows. The laughter just seems to come more naturally and without as much effort.

I also get to spend time with several wonderful friends during this week. How often do we get to spend a whole week with people we love without all of life’s interruptions? Not very often. I even get to spend three uninterrupted hours of travel time with one of my best friends – what a terrific time for bonding and growing our relationship! I can’t wait.

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So as I set out tomorrow for this awesome time away, I would ask for your prayers. Pray for the people traveling, pray for our hearts and minds to be focused on God, pray for the stress to dissipate, and pray for the glory of God to shine through our work and our lives. Your prayers will make this coming week at conference even more special! I can’t wait to feel your prayers washing over me.

God bless and have a great week! Can I pray for you this week?

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Why Writing Conferences Are Awesome (Again)

Life and Happiness, Writing

I regularly attend the St. Davids Christian Writing Conference in Grove City, PA and am now a member of their board as well. This week registration for the conference is open and we’re excited to see who will attend and what new writers we’ll meet this year. (To check it out and to register, visit here.)

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With that in mind, I pulled up an old post that I wrote about why writing conferences are so awesome. I thought I’d share bits of that post again to get all of you excited about this year’s conference!

One aspect I love about conferences is that no matter what your particular brand of writing is; romance, speculative fiction, personal experience, devotionals or just blogging; you get exposed to a lot of other genres. One year we had a lot of spec fic (or science fiction-esque) people and it spurred me, the blog-writing-personal-experience-chick, to break out of my box and try it. I experimented with a bit of a paranormal type story on my blog for awhile and it got some good feedback. I thank conferences for the push that it took to put that out there. I’ve also dipped my pen into poetry and children’s writing too thanks to conferences I’ve attended.

(One thing I’d advise: Don’t go to a conference and JUST stick with your genre. Dip your toe into something else – maybe just one workshop. You’ll never know unless you try and it can be fun and get your creative juices flowing!)

The aspect of conferences that I love the most is meeting all sorts of new people. Because our particular group is a Christian group it is a very loving and supportive one as well. We pray for one another, share in each other’s heartaches and successes, and give each other boosts when we need them. I’ve connected to many on Facebook too and, after knowing them in person just one week, I can touch base with them all the time and receive great feedback on my writing. They are almost like family. And my perspectives often change too. Last year I met a lovely black woman at conference and I’ve learned so much about black lives and their struggle through our friendship. I’ve grown as a person and a writer.

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Just one of the fun and creative people I’ve met at conference!

No matter what conference you attend, (but we hope you come to ours!) remember to do the following:

  1. Listen and learn
  2. Expand and reach
  3. Step out of your comfort zone
  4. Be open to new things
  5. Write, write, write

Hope to see you at a conference soon!

 

Wisdom from a Conference (and the Word)

Life and Happiness, Religion, Wisdom From The Word Wednesday

I attended St. Davids Christian Writers Conference last week in Grove City, PA. Every morning (bright and early at 7:30) we had chapel. It’s a simple set-up and anyone who is interested pitches in to help with music, prayer and a sermon. Our theme this year was “Press On” and I thought I’d share with my readers some of the great and inspirational messages I received this week through these chapel sessions.

One of our most beloved members, Harry Bohrs, started off our week with a study of Philippians 3:14 – I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Harry encouraged us to not rest on our laurels, but to keep pressing on towards our goals. Too often we can just keep the status quo and be bogged down in the everyday tasks. But how are we moving towards the prize for which God has called us? It is a “holy obligation” to study the Word and to train ourselves for His purposes. We can become depressed or forlorn at the lack of progress. In order to build self-confidence in ourselves and in our work, we must continue to trust God and press on – keeping our faith intact at all times.

On Friday, Fara Pienosky graced our pulpit with her words. Fara has been through a lot in the last several years including a very painful divorce. After this devastation she quit public speaking, quit writing and was mad at God for a long time. Her speaking at chapel this week was her first time back in front of people – a testimony in and of itself.

Fara focused on Isaiah 54:10 – Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. 

Her message was simple: Even when the mountains move – God remains. He remains loyal and He remains constant. His covenant never fails. Although she seemed broken by the events in her life, she was able to regain her footing with God by her side. She memorized and surrounded herself with this verse from the Psalms: Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. (36:5) 

You see… He is above the mountain that has fallen. He is above all things. He does not need to stand on these things – He stands alone.

Finally, in our last chapel (we did have a commissioning service on the last day by Jim Watkins as well), Don Hasselman encouraged us to look to the Psalms again. This time with Psalm 139. To summarize – we can’t hide from God. He is the God of eternity – do you know what “never” means? At the end it says, Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Or, in other words, help me to press on. Keep me moving. Bring light where there is darkness.

At the end of the week, our conference director Jim Watkins encouraged us further with his commissioning to keep moving forward in God’s strength. When even we feel weak, He is our power.

(By the way, I won’t even go into our key note speaker’s speech at the beginning of the week. I’ll just say this: If you ever have a chance to meet Bob Hostetler – DO IT. Read his books, hear him speak, and get to know him. You will not be disappointed.)

I know I am inspired by these speakers to find God’s strength and His purpose for my life. When life gets me down or pushes back I intend to press on.

Keep striving to thrive. Keep pushing and pressing forward. Your time is now and God is with you.

 

Why Writing Conferences Are Awesome

Life and Happiness

Last week our writer’s group got together to start planning our conference for this year. I’m relatively new to the group – about 3 years in – but apparently we’ve done these conferences in the past. It fell off for awhile and then last year we started it up again. There were some kinks to be sure, but we had about 60 people attend our “first” year and everyone expressed great thanks for the job well done. It spurred us to do it again this year.

Planning a conference – even a one day like we have – is no easy feat. It’s over 6 months away, but so much has to be planned, decided on and brainstormed that starting this early is key.

One thing I admire about our group is that we pull together and everyone helps out. Even our husbands & wives get in on the act. We have a couple of accountants and, this year, one engineering spouse. To be honest, they don’t know what to make of most of us writers, but they do a fine job helping out and being good helpmates for us all. What a blessing they are. Last year my husband and another husband worked the bookstore, sound and helped with lunch. Another members wife helped make our keynote speaker feel at home and became his “bodyguard” for the day. All so their spouses could try and actually enjoy the conference and help make the conference a success.

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Another aspect I love about conferences is that no matter what your particular brand of writing is; romance, speculative fiction, personal experience, devotionals or just blogging; you get exposed to a lot of other genres. Last year we had a lot of spec fic (or science fiction-esque) people and it spurred me, the blog-writing-personal-experience-chick, to break out of my box and try it. I’ve experimented on Fridays, as many of you know, with a bit of a paranormal type story. And it’s gotten some good feedback. I thank conferences for the push that it took to put that out there.

Finally, the aspect that I love the most is meeting all sorts of new people. Because our particular group is a Christian group it is a very loving and supportive group as well. We pray for one another, share in each other’s heartaches and successes, and give each other boosts when we need them. I’ve connected to many on Facebook too and, after knowing them in person just one day, I can touch base with them all the time and receive great feedback on my writing. They are like family almost.

It’s a network of people all helping each other. And it started at a one day conference.

>>>>>TWEET TO SHARE HOW WRITING CONFERENCES CAN EXPAND YOUR FAN BASE<<<<<<

If you’re interested in writing and want to check us out you can follow our group on Facebook here or check out our website here. Info on our October conference will be there soon. We hope you can join us!