Friday, June 27, 2008

Write! Canada

Every June Canadian authors and editors who are Christian gather together at Guelph Conference grounds in Ontario for three days of companionship and learning. This was my second year, and it was fantastic. The organizers always make sure there are classes and workshops, which will interest everyone from aspiring writers to those who are career-oriented. Since I have written a book, I signed up for all of the marketing courses.

Teresa Evenson taught five sessions on preparing a pitch for the media. I learned how important it is to be prepared. Most of all I learned to be vulnerable and share my feelings, what I am passionate about and why. It’s about presenting who I am, not trying to sell the book.

The workshop on Speed Networking and Professional Pitch Practice with Wendy Nelles and Sandra Reimer complemented Teresa’s class. In it I learned to ask questions and find out what kind of book people are interested in first. If they like my kind of writing, then pitch away. I recommend this conference to anyone who wants to connect with other writers and editors who are Christian, especially if you are eager to improve your writing skills.

The Cardinal Family

My new neighbours are gone now. I miss seeing the flash of red flit by the window. I first spotted the male cardinal in the early spring. Then I spied the female perched on a nearby tree. When a baby bird lunged toward the ground, I realized that a cardinal family had taken up residence close to the house. The last time I saw them, mom and dad cardinal watched protectively as their baby searched for food. The little one hopped across the top of our arbor with vegetation hanging from its beak. Once during a windy rainstorm, the three of them squabbled like a human family.

I have no idea if my husband and I scared them away by our presence. We tried to be very quiet and non-threatening. More likely they left because they had no need for the nest. While I could observe them, God took care of that little bird family. He fed them and clothed them with beautiful feathers. He protected them from storms. In the same way God promises to take care of us.

These days many are concerned about rising oil prices. Perhaps this will affect the price of food. Drought or floods have devastated others. These threats are real, but God is sovereign over all. As long as he grants us the gift of life, he promises to sustain us with the necessities of life, clothes and food.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26, NIV).

“God sees the little sparrow fall. It meets his tender view. If God so loves the little bird, I know he loves me too.”

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Community of Believers

I live near farmer’s fields. In the early spring the ground is either bare or has a layer of stubby green growth. Recently I noticed a stump in the middle of a field. “What a strange place for a stump,” I thought.

While I was staring at the stump, it moved. Then the long graceful neck of a Canada goose raised its head. Immediately I wondered why the goose was alone. Geese normally stick together. Was it hurt, or was it merely independent? How did it get separated from the others?

Seeing that goose reminded me of some Christians, who think church is optional. It does not matter if they are regular or not. They think they can live the Christian life alone and separate from others. This attitude contradicts Scripture. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…” (Hebrews 10:25, NIV). Every believer needs to be part of a community of other Christians for mutual encouragement and edification. I am so glad I belong to the family of God in my local church.