This week your assignment is all about creative non-fiction. Slipover to our blog a www.ashevillechristianwritersconference.com and take advantage of this new lesson of the week. What is that, you ask? Well, read, study. . .find out. The link is live today so you should be able to read all about this topic. Let me take a second to thank my wonderful team. There are few times in life that you can trust a task to folks and then never think about it again. My team is amazing. I never worry about things being done and it takes such a load off. I learned years ago, micromanaging is not productive. It gives you an ulcer. But allowing ownership in a project breeds success. So a special thanks to Andrea for the blog posts. To Terri Kelly for the appointment schedules for the conference, critiques, and mentoring. To Eddie Jones and Scott McCausey for pulling together the virtual and to Bennie Jones, Kevin Spencer, and Wendy Leech for getting the bookstore ready.
We are down to the wire and an amazing team makes this possible. It's not MY hard work, but a team effort. When you see them at the conference, please let them know they are appreciated.
WHAT'S GOING ON WITH ME:
I hate to do personal updates but given the situation with Covid, I want you to come to the conference and know that all is well. Just over a month ago, I experienced a 2-day sinus infection. That snowballed into a 5-day asthma attack. Now 4 weeks later, as a result of that extended asthma attack, I have a collapsed right lung. Now, so you don't freak out...I have been covid tested and am negative. And last week, I underwent a series of chest X-rays which further ruled out any pneumonia, covid, or anything else. I do, however, carry a cough. I wanted you to know this so you 1) know that this cough is a healthy cough. It stems from asthma and a collapsed lung. 2) I am not sick. I have been cleared by three doctors as to my ability to safely attend the conference. This cough will linger for about 3 months while the lung heals. It comes from a lack of oxygen in the lower right lobe of my lung. So while you are at the conference, if you hear me cough, don't freak out. I AM NOT SICK. I SIMPLY HAVE A NEED FOR OXYGEN. I have been on bed rest for the last 3 weeks to allow this lung to heal as much as possible. I prefer to address this with you here, in this environment, rather than at the conference. Now that you know where I stand and how I am, you can rest assured, your health and safety are well cared for. This is a slow healing process for the lung, and though I tire easily, you can know that I am germ-free and you are safe.
News - News - News
There is new and then later on we will recap for the newcomers. ***REMEMBER, masks are required. So don't forget. You'll have to return to your room and get it. Masks must be worn throughout the venue.
Our contests are closed and the awards are prepared. Thank you for entering. It makes me proud that you stepped out and put yourself out there. Good for you. This is all part of the learning process of publishing.
If you have participated in a paid critique or mentoring, please be sure that you have made your payment to the faculty member who is doing the work. Terri will be monitoring to be sure all critiques and mentoring have been paid. You will learn so much with these tools. Again, I'm proud you put yourself out there. It takes a bit of courage. Good for you.
FOR OUR VIRTUAL FOLKS - Don't panic! You will receive the information you need to connect for the conference. I told you earlier we hoped to have that completed and to you by the first of Feb. but there was so much more involved that it was not ready. Hopefully later today we will send you an email with a link. It is important to remember this link is not yet live. Eddie and Michel at the Cove are doing testing on the landing page. You may or may not see a live feed at this time. IT'S NOT TIME YET. The neat thing is you can look to the box on the right and click it for the videos which are uploaded and ready to view. These are our second track. We are continuing to upload those remaining classes that are not live-streamed. Rest assured, we have you on an email list that will come to you via Mailchimp. Please make sure you have marked our emails from Mailchimp as safe in your browser so that you do not lose out on information. We will provide you with an email set up specifically for the virtual conference so you have access to Eddie and Scott during the conference. They will monitor this email. Now, having said that, if you need help at home with your computer, find a person close to you who can troubleshoot. We cannot repair your computer. We will provide you with the live link as soon as we have that, and with instructions. You will have access to the full conference videos during and after the conference so you can go back and watch them again. These links will remain live through May 31. After May 31, they go away. This is our first try on virtual and we're ironing out all the details so things run smoothly. It's not as easy as just clicking on a link for us. For you it is...but not on our end. WE WILL GET THIS TO YOU VERY SOON. Pray for this venture.
NOW CONFERENCE DETAILS -
What to wear - It is winter and it is winter in the mountains here. SO, we want you both comfortable and warm. Normally, conference attire is casual professional. In the wintery mountains, it's cold. We encourage you to wear warm clothes. Ladies, stay away from leggings. They simply are not warm enough. We encourage you to go for nice jeans and sweaters. We expect your dress to be modest and comfortable. No HOLEY jeans. Be professional. Dress casual, but warm. Remember, our appearance speaks volumes. Avoid open-toed shoes. Stick with tennis shoes or boots that have good bottoms so you do not slip on wet concrete. For our virtual folks, I know we can't see you, but when you get dressed for work, you feel better. Be comfortable and dress for work.
We will be adding the conference update page this week which will have any last-minute details you might need. In the meantime, remember the following:
1) If you are feeling bad or running a fever, DO NOT COME. Contact me for a virtual ticket. Your temp will be checked at the main gate and if you have a temp, you will not be allowed on campus. Your temp will be taken again at Pilgrims Inn for the Covid liability sheets.
2) We are staying in Pilgrims Inn. Once inside the Cove campus, drive straight up the mountain. Pilgrims will be the first LEFT. It's a beautiful hotel. Park your car and leave your bags in the car. Go inside, sign the forms, get your conference mask, and then catch the bus up to the Training Center. There is no need to move your car once you are parked. Let it sleep through the weekend.
3) GO TO PILGRIMS INN, sign in with our staff, get your schedule and mask - oh, and your name tag. Sign the forms. THEN HEAD TO THE TRAINING CENTER for Edie Melson's amazing class. WEAR YOUR NAME TAG AT ALL TIMES. It is your security pass and your meal ticket. Without a name tag, you cannot enter the Training Center.
4) All classes are in the main auditorium. Go to the Training Center, pass the huge fireplace, and make a right. You'll see the doors for the auditorium.
5) Take a piece of tape, write your name on it and stick it on the seat of your choice. THIS IS YOUR SEAT FOR THE FULL CONFERENCE. Please note, we are doing this to maintain as much safety in a covid world as possible. So make your seat choice, put your name on the seat, and park it there all weekend.
6) WEAR YOUR MASK. Members of the Cove will be monitoring all attendees on campus. If you do not have a mask on, they will politely remind you to put it on. If you are one of those folks who cannot wear a mask, then you are asked to bring a face shield and wear that. Face shields are only permitted if you have made prior arrangements with us so we are able to mark your nametag. We appreciate your working with us to make this as safe as possible.
7) Off-Campus folks - You will need to report to Pilgrims Inn and get your name tag and sign forms, you can either leave your car parked there and take the bus up to the training center or you can drive up to the next left and park at the Training Center. You will be given a car pass at the main gate which will secure your entrance and exit at the Cove without issue.
8) Our Worship Will Be Different This Year - We have chosen to pull from an idea at another conference. There will be some uplifting songs playing for you when you enter the auditorium. Please enter quietly. Don't talk. Find your seat and spend some reflective time in prayer. We will have a short devotion before things begin. I know it's hard to be quiet, but honestly, this offers you an opportunity to set your heart right and give what is due to the Lord. You're going to hear some lovely touching songs from Rich Mullins and also Andrew Petersen. Though Rich has been gone for 25 years, his songs still reach the world by the millions. His depth of love for God soars in every word. Andrew, follows in Rich's footsteps giving us thought-provoking and worshipful songs to praise God with. Take this few minutes to immerse yourself in the Lord.
9) LOCATION, LOCATION - The main auditorium is on the 2nd level of the Training Center. Our appointments, mentoring, and bookstore will be one level down on the first floor. It's important to understand that our faculty understands you will have appointments. When you have an appointment, quietly step out of the room, go to your appointment, and then return. Remember, we are doing live streaming, so rather than traipsing down front in the auditorium, move across to the right of the auditorium and down the stairs rather than directly in front of the speaker.
10) We will add you to our prayer warrior list. Without prayer, this ministry would not move ahead. After the conference, we will add you to our prayer warrior list. We don't bombard you with emails, but we occasionally send out letters with praises, needs, and requests. It is our hope that you will pray for this work and ask God's protection and guidance.
MP3s - Yes, we will sell the conference MP3s for $35. These can be download and you'll have them forever. So we encourage you to get these so you can listen on your phone or in your car. Those can be purchased in the conference bookstore.
ABOUT OUR BOOKSTORE - Yes, we will have a bookstore. Not to be confused with the Cove's bookstore (which you should visit). Please visit our bookstore. We have faculty books for your purchase. You can pre-register for 2022 for $25, and you can purchase MP3s. If you are a virtual attendee and you want MP3s, contact me at [email protected] and I will send you a link for payment. THESE YOU WILL HAVE FOREVER. Please pass through the bookstore and verify your email address so we can be sure you receive links to the conference videos as well. If we do not have a good email, we cannot get you the links.
I think that is enough for this newsletter. Though next one, there will be as much. Remember, you can always check the newsletter page on the website to re-read these updates and prepare for your trip to Asheville.
FINAL RESERVATION PAYMENTS ARE DUE NOW - If you have not paid your remaining reservation amounts you are in jeopardy of not being allowed to attend the conference. Please finish these payments so we can secure your housing and food on campus.
Just a note to remind you that we will have the BOB BOX set up at the conference. I am thrilled to see our BOB BOX already has donations in it. When we decided to share our Bob Box with three needs this year, I wondered if we would be able to manage a fair donation to each. But it's not for me to worry over. God provides. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is doing amazing things for families. Bob and Robin's immediate family deals with this daily as two sibling grands, share this diagnosis. The wonderful thing about the donation we send to Bob is that the company his son works for doubles or triples the gift. That in and of itself is amazing. Our sweet Dee Dee Parker, lost her love, Mr. Jim, on Christmas to covid. But more so, Dee Dee needs so much. Her furnace is out. It's old and in need of repair, and needless to say, it's been cold. This ministry and you can help with your gift to the Bob Box so that hopefully we can help get Dee Dee warm. If you have ever attended our conference you know that Dee Dee is our face that greets you. She knows everyone by name and she prays faithfully for each of you. She is unable to attend this year with her health and the Covid restrictions it places on her but we can help Dee Dee. Finally, Edie Melson's son, Jimmy...lost his wife in a terrible farming accident. Jimmy has an infant son that he is now caring for. Katie's life-saving efforts, though unsuccessful, bought enough time for Jimmy to love her and hold her, but the costs were devasting. We can help this young dad and his baby son. Your gift to the Bob Box will be shared between these three needs. I for one, believe God will fill the Bob Box to overflowing. We are called to care for our brothers and sisters. This conference gives to our conferees and then we step out in faith and trust that your benevolent heart will help us provide more. I'm not sure any other conference does this. The funds we receive are matched by the ministry of Christian Devotions and we'll divide the gifts evenly among these three needs. I pray that your generosity will run strong as God calls His church to care for those in need. For our on-line folks, if you would like to give to our BOB BOX we welcome your gifts. This money is matched and distributed to those above.
DONATE TO THE BOB BOX (you don't have to just be an on-line conferee. Anyone to donate to the Bob Box using this link.
You can donate by clicking here:
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son
as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. - 1 John 4:10 NIV
We put too much faith in man. That was my thought as I shook my head at the latest "Christian" who has fallen. It saddened me to think of the terrible things that came out this week about Ravi Zacharias. A renowned man of God, Christian apologetics scholar - fallen. Immediately social media lit up and once again God takes a hit. Does anyone ever think of who really takes the hit?
My inbox filled with notes from conferees, past and present, about what is our stand. My response was simple. Do not put your faith in man, but in God alone, for man is sinful. God is not.
Over the years, many great Christian men have caved to sin. It doesn't matter if their status is high in the eyes of believers, when they fall to temptation and crumble, God takes the hit. And rather than Christians standing firm in their faith and looking toward the Father, they join the ranks of judge and jury - flinging insults, brokenness, and heartache at a man. Why was their faith in a man, and not in God?
Satan loves to distract us and we are truly sheep. We follow right alongside, bawling and whining. It never occurs to us, that we are equally as sinful. We may not abuse, or mistreat. We may not participate, but we certainly do not waste time in wielding the sword of conviction at those who have fallen, forgetting, that we, like sheep, followed along blindly.
This ministry was born from a desire to listen to God. It's withstood many bumps in the road. But we make every effort to keep our eyes fixed on Him. Our job is to be the light. To offer the love of Christ and when we are distracted by the sin of man, and the desire to burn them for their sin, we lose sight of the love found in the atoning sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Ours is not the job of judgment. Ours is the job of love. Spreading the gospel. Teaching. Keeping our eyes fixed on Him. Are we perfect? SURPRISE. NOPE! I personally fail on a daily basis. My best guess is, so do you. I know I am a sinner and I know even more of the redemptive power found in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus.
Oh, that He loved us so very much. Oh that He gave His Son on our behalf. Oh. Oh. Oh.
You will not find this ministry waving our arms in protest. You will not see us chanting, shouting, complaining about our rights. But you will find us quietly ministering to those that God places in our path. You will not find political posts on our site, nor will you see us screaming that we are perfect Christians. Instead, you will find us on our knees. You will find us seeking after Him and placing our faith in God, and God alone. Not in the likes of man.
Our call was to provide a place to train up writers to 1) hear their call of God on their writing 2) to lift those writers high to the God who can use their gifts. Our call is to be benevolent. To encourage. To pray. Our call is to be obedient and to accept the love that was so willingly given to us through Christ Jesus.
Do not let Satan distract you from what you are called to do. Listen to the still small voice of God as He directs you to write His words. Obey. The sword of love is mighty. Where are you in your writing? Decide and move ahead.
Counting down the days,
One Final Note
February 24 - Final Newsletter
February 22 - FINAL INSTRUCTIONS
February 15, Assignment 6
February 6, 2021 - Assignment 5
January 31, Week 4 Assignment
January 21 - Assignment 3
January 11 UPDATES
January 10, Assignment 2 (1 or 2 assignments)
January 5, Assignment 1 - Let's Begin with a Bio
December 26 Newsletter
December 5 Newsletter
November 2020 Newsletter
September Newsletter - Regarding 2021
MP3's Available Sunday, March 29
DEBRIEF - AFTER THE 2020 CONFERENCE
February 19 - Final, Final, FINAL update
February 19 - Final, Final, FINAL update
February 16 Final Newsletter & Roster
February 7 Newsletter - Assignment 7
February 1 Newsletter - Assignments 5 & 6
January 26 Newsletter - Assignment 4
January 18, Assignments 2 & 3
January 11, Update and Assignment 1
January 8, UPDATE
I DIALED 911 and God Answered - VITALLY IMPORTANT NEWS
2020 Asheville Christian Writers Conference - Welcome - August 2019
WE'RE STAYING IN PILGRIMS INN
February 10 and Assignment 7
January 27 - Assignment 5
January 13, 2019 Newsletter - Assignment 3
January 6, 2019 Newsletter - Assignment 2
January 1 Newsletter - Assignment 1
DECEMBER UPDATE - WE ARE SOLD OUT
December 2018 Newsletter
November Special Note
October Newsletter 10/24/18
September 5, 2018 Asheville Christian Writers Conference - And the Fun Begins!
2018 Writers Charge
February 11, 2018 - Assignment 7 - Final Assignment and Roster
Newsletter, February 4, 2018 - Assignment 6
January 28, 2018 NEWSLETTER - Assignment 5
January 14, 2018 - Assignment 3
February 7, 2018 Newsletter & Assignment 2
Newsletter, January 1, 2018 ASSIGNMENT 1
Newsletter, December 21, 2017
Newsletter, December 4, 2017
Newsletter November 14, 2017
Newsletter - October 28, 2017
Newsletter September 26, 2017
Newsletter - Assignment 5
Newsletter - Assignment 4
Newsletter - Assignment 3
Newsletter - Assignment 2
Newsletter - Assignment 1
Newsletter December 18
Newsletter December 8
Newsletter November 23
Newsletter November 12
Newsletter October 29
Newsletter October 9
Newsletter October 1
Newsletter August 23
Newsletter Assignment 5
Newsletter Assignment 4
Newsletter Assignment 3
Newsletter Assignment 2
Newsletter Assigment 1