I find it completely mind boggling that we are only a couple of weeks away from Christmas. Where does the time go? So let me begin by sending our deepest and most heartfelt Christmas wishes to you and your family.
When Eddie and I began this conference almost 9 years ago, we couldn't have ever imagined it would end up being a national conference. It's not by our power . . . it's by the power of saying yes to God. He is in full control, even when we aren't. To this day, Eddie and I shake our heads in amazement. We pray that others would simply say yes to the call that God offers. That's our dream for this entire ordeal - For you to say yes to God and then step back and let Him do His God Thing.
So Merry Christmas. Our greatest gift is in knowing God is using us to help you.
Crunch Time. . .
We're coming into crunch time. Well at least for me - it's crunch time. I am currently finalizing housing with the Cove. Please, please, if you have not completed your final payments - do so now. When Eddie and I went into this ministry, we promised God to be good stewards of His money. We asked that He lead us into a debt free ministry. If we couldn't afford it, we'd pray. If God provided we DID, if He didn't - We DIDN'T. Every conference, we have ended up debt free and with just enough money to restart the next conference. This happens because our conferees pay. And I am grateful for that. Thank you. All that to say, that if you have not completed your final payments by Jan. 5, we will have to remove you from our conference list and assume you are unable to attend. So please, please . . . complete your payments. We work on a cash basis with the Cove and I must pay them in advance so they are able to provide the wonderful things they do.
The links will be at the end of this email. So snap to it.
Thank you in advance.
BADGE OF HONOR BOOK CONTEST
The deadline for our book contest is drawing near. January 20 is the deadline. The winner will have their manuscript placed before the publications board of Lighthouse Publishing for a possible book contract. What a wonderful opportunity - to be able to slide past editors, agents and paperwork to have an opportunity for your work to go directly to the publications board. Now, it's important for you to know that the publications board may or may not grant a contract. It depends on the book - just as it would with any publisher. But this is a step closer. We have had three authors receive contracts out of the last 4 years. So shine up those manuscripts, and click on the link for your additional information to enter.
WHEN YOU EMAIL ME - Please, PLEASE, DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. Email me individually at [email protected]. When you hit reply, it starts a long thread of emails that becomes increasingly difficult to sort through. Remember, there are 105 of you hitting reply to this. It's just too easy for things to get missed. If you need me, email me at [email protected]
IF YOU ARE NEW TO OUR NEWS LETTERS we need you to send a .jpg and a short bio (under 75 words to [email protected] . This is VERY IMPORTANT. We need your photo and bio along with your email address so that we can complete our roster. This roster will be sent to you just before the conference so you can use it as a networking tool and familiarize yourself with your peers. PLEASE send this to Cindy Saab (not me...but CINDY SAAB) asap. We want you all in our roster.
Agents attending our conference - This year we will have Diana Flegal returning representing Hartline Literary Agency and we will have Les Stobbe representing his agency. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to network, meet with them, and show them your work. Plan to make an appointment with our attending agents.
Appointments - We will be allowing our faculty to do 15-minute appointments with you at the conference. So go to the faculty page and look over the faculty. See who you'd like to meet with and chat about your work, your direction, or any questions you may have.
Critiques and Mentoring - Terri Kelly is preparing our critique schedule and mentoring schedule. Critiques cost you a little money but BOY ARE THEY WORTH IT. Consider taking this next step in your writing career and do a paid critique. You'll get amazing and professional feed back about your work, and who knows...maybe you'll get an invitation to send your work to one of them for possible publication. Check out the critiques page
Book store and Bob Jar - Our bookstore will again be open so you can purchase our faculty books, reserve your conference spot for 2018, purchase the conference MP3s, and donate to our BOB JAR. Last year, we extended our conference hand into active giving and we chose to support Bob Hostetler (who has two grandchildren with Cystic Fibrosis) and his CF campaign. We sent Bob just over $900. Not only was Bob blown away, but so was I. This is what we do for our fellow man - we serve. If you don't know who Bob Hostetler is, well, check out his website. He's an amazing writer, speaker, and (we have to be careful or his head will grow) but just a darn good guy. Our conference again will support Bob's efforts to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis research. His granddaughter is currently receiving a new medication to help her battle in CF because of the efforts to help raise money for the CF Foundation. Not only Bob's granddaughter, but my own cousin as well. So plan now, to donate a little something to our Bob Jar. What ever the conference donates, Christian Devotions will match for Bob's campaign fund raiser.
What is to come. . .
In January, my great effort is to begin to send you weekly additional learning. You'll get these lessons via this email and they will be available on our website. Take time to read through the weekly additional learning times. We try to cram pack your month prior to the conference with extra materials to help you hone your craft of writing.
On last thing. . .
I want to remind you AGAIN, that the scripture I have latched onto this year is the armor of God. Check out Ephesians and study the LIVING armor of God. It's important you understand that God's armor covers and protects His soldiers as they advance. There is no armor on the back of the soldiers. In other words, you gird yourself to move ahead - never to move backward.
When God calls us into battle, He doesn't call us to retreat. He calls us to advance. Move ahead. And then trust that He has gone ahead of us to fight the battle. You are called to this conference. Some people say we're a little weird because we tell our conferees this. But it's true. One year ago, we and our prayer warriors began to pray for God to send those He calls to this conference and that those who He calls - will hear, listen, and obey. We believe you are called here. We believe God has a plan and a direction for your writing and He needs His army of writers to realize how vital their role is in spreading His world view and His word. Advance, warriors. Step into shoes provided by God, gird up with the sword, the shield, the armor and the helmet. Prepare to write amazing things for the Lord has called you to do so. Read Ephesians 6. Study. Prepare. And when you feel as though you cannot move ahead to write because life is gnawing at you...FIGHT with the armor provided. You will prevail.
OH and a short P.S.
I am grateful for your kind notes and prayers over me. I especially appreciate your mercy and grace as I have struggled to just keep up. After multiple tests, ct scans, and MRIs, the doctors have concluded there are no tumors, masses, white matter, or brain bleeds. This is an answer to prayer, but I am far from being better. The week of January 23, I will travel to Duke University where I will see a neurologist for a surgical consult who can hopefully find me a candidate for a bone reconstruction in my ear. The balance organ is exposed which causes me to stumble and trip (I just tell people I'm cow-tippin') and the pressure from this is causing the massive headaches. I'll be honest. . .I'm not on my best game. It's been difficult and we still have a way to go. So I ask for your continued mercy and grace over me as I slowly work to catch up and I ask for your continued prayers, that God will have His hand of healing over me.
I am grateful for you all. Eddie is too. Each of you are proof that God hears our prayers and answers.
Enjoy your Christmas holiday. Worship, praise, and pray with your family.
Check the website as we add updates from time to time.
Below are the links to complete your payments:
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MP3's Available Sunday, March 29
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