January 8, UPDATE
1/8/2020 10:42:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles

SOOOOO, it's been a crazy week. Let me first say I am soooo, soooo sorry we can't have our conference as planned at the Cove. It's not like they said, "Oh let's have a fire and botch up the Asheville Christian Writers Conference. Naw, not at all. BUT! God was ahead of us on this little hiccup and He'd already made arrangements and perfect space for us at Ridgecrest. 

I don't know if you realize that since Lifeway closed their western US conference center (Glorietta), all that traffic came east. So Ridgecrest is generally packed to the brim with conferences. They had just the right number of rooms for us. So God was ahead of us on this.

I can't give you all the details right now, simply because my brain is shot. I've had very little sleep this past week just rerouting and redoing so much. I ask for your grace this week. 

PLEASE NOTE! If you paid for a room on campus at the COVE, you have a room in Mountain Laurel west at Ridgecrest. If I have emailed you about changing to a room at Ridgecrest or just registering to stay with us on campus, I HAVE A ROOM FOR YOU IN MOUNTAIN LAUREL WEST. I realize I told a few of you that I would sent links for payment today. I'm sorry. That is just not happening. But I will get them to you over the weekend. 

Tim and I travel to Vanderbilt tomorrow. He has 3 early morning appointments on Friday. The ostomy doctor, the anesthesiologist, and a cancer doctor all in preparation for his surgery on Feb 5. We will be traveling back on Friday evening. I do ask for your grace. I have things under control but there are fine details that I have to complete...things like, badges, room set up, ordering books, preparing for check-in. Making plane reservations for faculty, and well, a bunch of stuff. These things were already ready had our plans not changed. Change of venue is easy for just show up, but for me, the work doubles as I rearrange, and redo things so that it all works at Ridgecrest for you.

Please be patient. I will send payment links to those I promised links to this weekend after we get back from Vanderbilt. 

I am working with a planner at Ridgecrest to make everything flow perfectly for you. And hopefully I will have some information on how the ball will bounce in a new venue next week, along with your first additional blog training. I will be sending Eddie the new schedule. Times will vary due to meal time differences at Ridgecrest. So Eddie will update the schedule on the website very soon. I plan to send that to him tonight. So you can watch for the schedule times to change. Meals are an hour earlier at Ridgecrest. That affects the entire timing on the schedule for our classes.

I SAY AGAIN, GRACE PLEASE, my mind is on the hubs right now. And I will refocus on you Saturday. That's when I'll make you a list of changes and get links out, etc.  All you have to remember, is to show up at RIDGECREST. The rest is on me and my staff. I'm contacting them one by one with new instructions and changes. THIS WILL BE PERFECT! God has already shown up once. He wants this conference to happen. SO YOU BETTER HAVE YOUR RUNNIN SHOES ON!

Remember, we still have slots for mentoring. Our mentors are Linda Gilden, Larry Leech, Les Stobbe, Eddie Jones, Yvonne Lehman, and Edie Melson. You can check the website for what they teach and mentor in. Let me just say...this is one hour of individual mentoring. Well worth the additional funds, but the slots fill up quickly. Also critiques. We have paid critiques where our staff will do a fast once over and give you some quick instruction in a 15 appointment. Mentoring is 1 full hour per person.  Check the website for these services and consider taking advantage.  Terri Kelly is managing these services and her email is on the site under critiques and mentoring.

Also, our bookstore will be open for you to peruse your way through. Plan on making a few purchases. Our faculty are top of the line writers. The best way to learn, is to read. So I encourage you to purchase their books and read. You will be surprised how it will help you develop your own voice.

Please do me a favor. If you have entered our devotion contest, please RESEND me your entries. Send them to [email protected]. I am requesting these again to be sure I have not missed any. Please resend your submission for the DEVOTION CONTEST ONLY, to me. Click the email address above and you will open up to an email ready to send. This will help me immensely. I am trying to be due diligent since the venue change to be sure I don't miss anything. Your help is appreciated.  BE SURE YOU PUT YOUR NAME ON YOUR SUBMISSION!

OUR CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD IN MOUNTAIN LAUREL HOTEL at Ridgecrest. All of our classes and general sessions will be held in the conference level of Mountain Laurel. THIS IS SOOOOOOOOOOOO convenient. You don't have to walk all over the conference campus. I CALL THIS an answered prayer.

Every conferee will be asked to sign a liability release. This is a requirement of our event insurance. I will post this in the next couple of weeks so that you can read it in advance and you will not have any questions when our Conferee Care Coordinators ask you to put your John Henry on the line. Speaking of John Henry...we're meeting in the JIM HENRY auditorium - ar ar ar...a little humor there. A play on words...John...Jim... Oh well, it was supposed to be humor.

Unfortunately, the Christian world is full of sinners. None of us are perfect and there are those who call themselves Christian who fall to sin. In light of the last few years of sexual abuse, we want our conferees to know ACWC is a safe place. Our faculty has been briefed and you are being briefed. Should anyone step over the line and say or do anything that is not of the upmost integrity, we need to know about it immediately. NOT SIX MONTHS DOWN THE ROAD. LIKE RIGHT THAT MINUTE. We are a safe conference and your safety is vital to us. I expect anything suspicious or inappropriate to be reported to myself or Eddie Jones immediately so that we might handle the situation on the spot. Enough said. I have great faith that every conferee and faculty member will behave with high standards of integrity. I hate to even broach this subject but sexual abuse has even entered the Christian world. I hope to not have to mention this again.

Roll with the Punches
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. - Phil. 4:12 NIV

Sometimes life just gets crazy. Amen? 

It's been crazy here this past week. Having an unexpected venue change one month from the conference gave me . . .well. . .a heart attack. In fact, I told some of my staff I was just going to purchase one of those portable defibrillators and  pre-attach the sticky pads to my chest. Then when I felt another unexpected event causing me a heart attack, I'd just pre-zap myself. I was a girl scout after all. I remember the moto, be prepared.

For a few moments last Thursday, I felt my heart rate raise and my palms begin to sweat. The words, "CANCEL THE CONFERENCE" came across the phone. My immediate response was, absolutely not! If you all had to come to my house in Tennessee, we would have this conference. But God showed up. I think I told you, from the time I spoke to the Cove until the time I closed the deal at Ridgecrest was one hour and 30 minutes. One hour and thirty minutes. That is just unheard of. 

It seems the last few months our life verse has become Philippians 4:12. Be content in every situation.  I've grown a new respect for the Apostle Paul. The poor guy. Think about it. This was the man who willing killed Christians. He gets zapped by God, converted, and then his mission becomes marching into the face of those he spent time rounding up and killing. Awkward!

When he spoke the words, "Rejoice in the Lord and be content in every situation" one has to take time to look at the circumstances Paul faced. He was a man who made a full 180. His life changed from being a killer to being a gentle and humble man, so when he said, rejoice and be content - the man understood what he was talking about. Paul trusted that God had his back, even if the situation was difficult. Even when he knew his days were numbered, as he prepared the people for his death, Paul chose to be joyful. He chose to make the best of every sticky situation.

He really puts me to shame at times. When I think about a full conference venue change, or a husband with aggressive cancer, or what ever Satan can throw my way, I realize it's nothing against what Paul faced. Yet he was grateful, joyful, satisfied, content. 

When you face the difficult times and you can't see your way clear to type one word on the page. . . remember Paul. Remember the difficulties he faced and that he truly found his peace in Christ. 

There is nothing. . .absolutely nothing, you can cannot face with God in your corner. Remember that when things get tough. Remember that when you can't see your way clear to type even a few words on the page. There is nothing you can't overcome when Jesus Christ is in your corner. 

So as the conference draws nearer, remember that. Don't let crappy things stand in your way. Rejoice. Be content in every situation. BE A PAUL.

I can't wait to see what God has in store for you at this conference. In the meantime, through all the finer details, the reroutes and reworks, I am content. 

Get your runnin shoes on! We're gonna race for the finish line.

Cindy Sproles
Director, Asheville Christian Writers Conference


Brenda Patton From Knoxville tennessee At 1/11/2020 4:53:47 PM

Thank you for sharing your recent journey of difficulties, the enemy has had a heyday trying to sidetrack you but the Lord..... I would like to sign up for the conference. My first one...first everything dealing with writing.

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November Newsletter
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