I’m here all weekend for the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference–and what an event it is! The great arch hangs over the hotel conference center like a promise for so many new and published writers alike, as we who feel called to write for Jesus seek to find new and better ways to do so.
Two sessions last night both inspired and convicted me. Allen Arnold, with Thomas Nelson publishers, spoke in real and fervent ways about the Christian fiction marketplace. He touched on why we, as Christians write; how our words need to be salt and light in a world increasingly filled with the crass and unwholesome; how wholesome doesn’t mean sappy–or crappy; and how we need to be courageous as we tackle tough issues with our stories, just like Jesus wasn’t afraid to address issues full-throttle when He walked the earth.
Perhaps the thing that caught my ear most last evening was when Arnold said we, as Christians, have in our hearts the greatest story ever told.
What a responsibility.
What a great and remarkable gift.
What a reminder that writing stories for Jesus is not a vain endeavor, but something the world is crying out for.
I’ll be writing more about things I learn here at the conference. In the meantime, allow me to leave you with excerpts from The Message version of Psalm 19.
May you be blessed and inspired, and may your courage as writers be renewed to dive into the deepest parts of story . . . for your readers . . . for those yet to become your readers . . . and most importantly, for Christ!
A David Psalm
God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon . . .
. . . Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere . . .
. . . That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,