Maranatha Writers Conference happens next month, September 15-18, at the beautiful Maranatha Center on the lake!
For writers and those thinking about writing, this event is your resource for inspiration, instruction, and networking. Even more, I get to be faculty, and when you register this month, you can take advantage of the special August discount.
Author, editor, business owner, and today’s guest blogger, Cindy Lambert is part of the team producing the upcoming Maranatha Writers Conference. Here is her experience.
By Cindy Lambert
I wonder sometimes when I’ll stop being surprised at how God shows up at writers’ conferences.
I’ve taught at quite a few over the years, and each time, I’ve had that “goose bump” feeling more than once when I’ve witnessed God at work among his people. Serving on faculty at a writers’ conference means being given front-row seats to God’s story at work in the lives of writers and aspiring writers. I meet people who’ve encountered devastating loss and yet are willing to put their pain to God’s use in reaching out to others through their writing. I’ve seen new relationships formed when writers find kindred spirits from miles away and forge a bond of encouragement. I’ve seen people with great ideas meet people with the skills to capture their message effectively in writing. I’ve seen discouraged conferees come to grips with the reality that they have much to learn and are far from publishable—yet they seek God’s wisdom and discover that their writing is never wasted, never, because in the very act of writing they’ve grown to know God better and love him more. I’ve seen faces from years before and remembered when that person was an overwhelmed novice, so awkward on the page, so clueless about the process of publishing, and now they are successfully publishing and coaching others.
At the last conference where I served (Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference), I met a woman with a story that touched me so deeply that she and I have already forged a bond and are now working together. I was handed a copy of a published book that had been only a dream a few years before – and read in the acknowledgments that I’d helped shape that book! Who knew? I spoke to a dear elderly woman who had been a displaced, victimized orphan in Europe during WWII, and now all these decades later she is ready to write the account of God’s provision for her as her legacy to her family. She sought me out with a burning question: How do I write the truth of what was done to me without bringing pain or shame to the grandchildren of my abuser? My throat tightened with emotion as I looked into the gentle wise eyes peeking out of deep wrinkles. Her story could have produced an embittered hater, yet before me stood the evidence of a God of grace who’d worked his love into this woman’s heart. Now his work will spill out onto her pages and into the lives of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. I confess: I wanted to write her story myself, just so I could experience more of God’s grace personally!
God has whispered to me, shouted at me, nudged, guided, humbled, amazed and refreshed me at writers’ conferences. Why? Because his people have gathered together to seek him out, to follow his leading, to learn and stretch and grow and dream. God calls them there and meets them there. He is at work in his body! Is there a more beautiful sight?
That is why we’ve chosen this year’s theme verse at Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference: From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:16 (NIV)
That is why our 2014 theme is Every Writer Needs a Team. It’s true! None of us can go it alone. God has given us his body, filled with experience and skill and insight, and he’s fashioned us to work together to grow into all he calls us to be.
Today I was praying over the list of faculty and registrants (and yes, there is still time to register) and I was overcome, thinking of all the lives that will be intersecting September 15-18 along the lovely shoreline of Lake Michigan. God has already written the story of what will unfold there–lives to be touched, skills to be honed, discoveries to be made, relationships to be forged. I can’t wait to capture a glimpse of what he will be accomplishing.
I hope to meet some of you there and discover more of God’s story through you.
Program Director, Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference
Publishing Strategist, Somersault
Collaborate Author, Freelance Editor
To learn more about Maranatha Christian Writers Conference, visit www.maranathachristianwriters.com
SPECIAL OFFER: $25 off all full event registrations. This discount is good through August 31. Enter promotional code buildmyteam2014 when registering.
Cindy Lambert, publishing strategist for Somersault and collaborative writer, is a veteran of the publishing industry devoted to excellence in furthering the impact of Christian publishing on our global culture. Cindy began her career as owner of an award-winning independent Christian bookstore in Maryland, then expanded into leadership roles in distribution, editorial, consumer research, and publishing at Ingram, Simon & Schuster, and Zondervan, where she most recently served as vice president and associate publisher of trade books. Lambert, editor of the #1 New York Times bestseller Mistaken Identity (Howard Books, 2009, Van Ryn, Cerak, Tabb), has worked alongside such bestselling authors as Mark Batterson, Kyle Idleman, Kay Warren, Ruth Graham, Debbie Macomber, and Christine Caine. As a collaborative writer, Cindy co-authored the bestselling book UnPlanned (Abby Johnson, Tyndale and Focus on the Family, 2010), 40 Days for Life (Bereit and Carney, Cappella Books, 2013) , One Light Still Shines (Marie