Preparing for Conference

Journey of the Mind—Thoughts of Faith from Haggai

Before your eyes glaze over with the question of what a minor prophet like Haggai could possibly have to say to Christian writers, stop, read this blog and think again.

Like many unpublished writers, I expect to be on a long journey of discovery of self, discovery of craft and sheer hard work before the dream of publication becomes a reality in my life.  And along the way, there is always the temptation to surrender this dream for an easier one—a dream with less rejection, a dream with less implicit vulnerability.

In a few weeks I will travel to the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference in Indianapolis and meet with hundreds of published and unpublished writers, rub elbows with agents and editors and worship with all these industry professionals who also happen to love Jesus.

And the fears come. What am I doing in the company of these “great ones”? Who am I trying to kid? I will never be good enough. There is nothing within me worth putting on paper.

This, as I’m learning, is the place—as a writer and as a believer—where I need to begin all journeys, all dreams.

“It is at the extremity of our resources that we experience the revelation of God’s power.”

Ponder that for a while.  Not original to me, this anonymous quote says it all about where my heart’s journey must start. I’ve got to get to the end of me before God will step with His marvelous power. Or otherwise, I don’t know about you, I would try and take the credit for His work.

When the fears overwhelm you at Conference or as you sit in front of a blank computer screen, remember God’s people, refugees from Babylon, who faced the enormous task of rebuilding the temple.

  • Haggai 2:4 “Take courage and work. . . . for I am with you”—The great I Am God/Yahweh and Emmanuel (God is with us) is with you.

Note to self—Read this every morning.

  • Haggai 2:8 “The silver and gold is mine”—God our Provider, Jehovah-Jireh is the source. He has all the resources I will ever need. He knows your needs—confidence, an agent, a publisher.  So if you are truly called to this writing life—and taking an aspirin as someone once said doesn’t get you over it—remember God never requires what He does not provide the necessary resources for—a mentor, a friend, a critique buddy, a conference and that workshop divinely designed it seems for you, that agent, that editor.

A reminder at this point—Our prayers are the link between God’s inexhaustible resources and your need. Neglect at your own risk. And come outside of yourself and your need to see the needs of other writers and other hurting people. Be willing to stand in the gap for your critique partner, your mentor, your writing buddy, and yes, I think even those highly exalted beings called agents and editors would love a few of your prayers. They, like you, have needs.

  • Haggai 2:9 “What you build I will fill with my glory”

What a promise from our incredible God. He promises His people that the glory of this present temple will be greater than the former temple. And for us as well—fellow writers and believers—He says “I will give my peace.” God is our Jehovah-shalom.

I don’t know about you but I could use some peace today as I write for His glory, as I journey to this upcoming conference and peace for whatever He decides to place in my path as I continue this great journey of seeking Him first.

God is bigger than my fears and yours, fellow writers. God is bigger than what I can do or write. God is bigger than what I can even imagine (and writers, we have some big imaginations).

So as I go to the ACFW conference next week, I will try to remember to look to God—for all my needs and for His presence most of all. Because Haggai 2:5 reminds me that “My Spirit is with you. . .Do not fear.”

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