by Beth K. Vogt
“The stars may fall, but God’s promises will stand and be fulfilled.” J. I. Packer, (1926-), theologian
People start talking about what they’re packing for the ACFW conference weeks before they print off their boarding pass. What are they wearing to their 15-minute appointments? The genre dinner? The gala? Are their pitch sheets and business cards tucked in their carry-on luggage?
With the conference starting on September 25 – only three days from now – some of you are done packing. As a matter of fact, some of you are already in St. Louis, unpacked and waiting for the rest of us to get there!
Today I’m suggesting you add six small items to your “Don’t Forget To Take These Things To The Conference” list. They’re light, so they won’t weigh you down. And these six must-haves may make all the difference in the success of your conference experience.
Yes, the conference is all about writing. Attending the early bird session and the workshops to learn more so we become better writers. For anyone pitching to agents or editors, it’s about those wide open doors we’ve been praying and prepping for all these months. And for those of us up for awards, it’s about maybe, maybe receiving a bit of special industry recognition.
But there’s a mental and spiritual aspect to the conference we shouldn’t overlook – the difference between being discouraged or encouraged. The key to our emotional state of mind? Where we set our hearts. Our emotions can spike and plummet during a writers conference: joy, discouragement, thankfulness, worry, exhaustion … and how we handle our time at ACFW is often determined by where we anchor our thoughts.
Here are six “anchor verses” to help you not drift into anxiety and doubt. Take them with you to the conference – or any conference you may attend in the future. Not going to St. Louis? You’re still a writer and these verses apply to you too!
• To pray each morning as you get ready for the day:
Psalm 118:24 NASB – This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.?
• To pray when you’re worried:
2 Thessalonians 3:16 – NASB Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!
• To pray when you’re discouraged:
Psalms 27:14 NASB – Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.
• To pray when you’re tired:
Isaiah 40:29 NIV – He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
• To pray when you’re thankful:
Psalm 106:1 NASB – Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
• To pray with a friend who needs the reminder:
Psalm 32:8 NASB – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” An author with Howard Books, her third novel, Somebody Like You, released this past May. Beth is also a 2014 Carol Award finalist for her novel, Catch a Falling Star. Find out more about Beth at her website.