I had the most incredible day today. I’m attending the Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. It’s three full days of workshops, fellowship, worship and critique with writers, by writers.
I’ve been so busy in the weeks leading up to this conference I’ve had barely a moment to give it much thought. Although I planned to bring a newly penned magazine article to offer for critique, I just didn’t have time to write it. Last night at 10:00pm, I dusted off two previously written articles and stuffed them in my bag.
It’s funny how much time and energy I spent preparing for the She Speaks conference I attended in June. My expectations going into that conference were impossibly huge . However, for the Phila. conference, I was just too busy beforehand to fret or fuss. I went into it this morning, going with the flow, not knowing what to expect. What a wonderful surprise the day turned out to be.
Within 15 minutes of the keynote speaker’s talk this morning, I knew I was just where I should be—and where God wanted me to be. The Spirit’s presence was undeniable. In the workshops I attended, I hung on every word of every presenter, soaking in their wisdom.
I cannot express how cool it was to be with a group of people who share the same passion for the Lord and who want to use their gifts to convey that passion. Everyone I met was so friendly and enthusiastic, even the editors and publishers weren’t at all standoffish or intimidating. It was all so low key and welcoming.
I met with two published authors and had the opportunity to share some of my writing with them. I had heard such horror stories of brutal critique in these meetings. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous. Well, both authors were delightful. And both thought I have talent and should definitely pursue my goal of writing for publications. Yippee!
But, my four-star moment was meeting author Mary DeMuth. She’s an amazing, disciplined, Jesus-loving writer who’s published several books. I “met” her through her blog where she helps new writers on their path to publication. I follow her site faithfully and even though she doesn’t know me, I have learned so much from her. She's as close to a mentor as I have. During the conference I'm attending a class she's teaching and I was thrilled today to sit at her feet and soak in her godly teaching. After class I rushed up front to introduce myself to her. I'm sure in my excitement I babbled like a dork!
Tomorrow is a new day. I can’t wait to go to sleep so I can wakeup and go back. I don’t know where this journey will end up, but I do know God has given me a gift I MUST faithfully use. That’s what I admire most about Mary. She is passionate about Jesus and that passion fuels her writing. She’s really going places as an author, but there’s no doubt Jesus is driving the bus that’s taking her there. That’s how I want to get there too.
God gives each of us gifts to use to glorify His kingdom. Some are big; some are smaller; some reach many; others reach just a few. It's not what you have, but how you use it. What gift has God given you? How can you use it to help make His name famous?
“The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!’” Matthew 25:20-21
As a side note: I just finished reading Mary DeMuth’s book, "Watching the Tree Limbs" and loved it. It’s a fiction story of loss, longing, love and hope. She asked me to pass the good word on to all of you. Put it on the top of your summer reading list!