Note: As promised, I have my updated handouts on Magazine and Nonfiction writing here. I hope you will find them useful. I had such an enthusiastic group of attendees and grateful that so many of them considered writing nonfiction. Thanks to my first grade friends who shared their handmade nonfiction books at the conference.
Write 2 Ignite is the only children's writing conference that is focused on bringing the Gospel of Christ to children. Many people might assume it's about writing devotionals or religious materials only, but it is so much more than that. It's about learning to write good stories that have the Christian worldview integrated into the stories. Children want good stories! They can go to church for the preaching. I had the opportunity to critique several manuscripts and was so impressed with the quality and content of the writing. It made my happy because I believe that as Christians, we ought to be held to a higher standard.
I was bowled over by the praise and worship led by Donna Earnhardt. If you look at her bio, she says she longs to bring people to the throne of God so that they may worship Him with abandon. And it is evident. Beautiful, heartfelt music to stir the soul. I went to sleep and woke up with the words of offering: All I am, is all I have ...I’m hoping to return next year with a couple of teenagers for their fabulous teen track. My prayer is for this conference to grow, so that we may learn to spread the Gospel with our stories, overtly or covertly.
I decided to spend an extra night to rest and recover from the long day, and made plans to attend Mass at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Greeneville. I was richly rewarded with a High Mass. It will always be a sacrifice, the priest leading us all to Calvary. When I saw the rich vestments, smelled the incense, listened to the beautiful Gregorian chant, I remembered the alabaster box song ... and it makes perfect sense to have all this richness and beauty poured out in worship. For the priest is in persona Christi ...
We used St. Campion missals and I had the good fortune to meet the owners of St. Benedict's Catholic Bookstore who were willing to sell me a copy. After Mass, we had a lovely visit and now I have my own beautiful copy. I love this missal -- it's got bigger print than the 1962 missal, and has several Masses along with hymns in the back.
It was a long drive, but I had my music, rosary and Gospel of John to keep me company. I love it because it's different *hearing* the Word of God than when I read It. And it makes me wonder whether I, too, would be unbelieving if Jesus said those words to me today in the flesh ... about being the Son of God, elevating Himself to the Father, about being the Living Bread from heaven. How blasphemous! C.S. Lewis writes eloquently in Mere Christianity, that either Jesus was a liar, a madman, or God.
I've rambled enough ... it's hard to believe how quickly this Lenten season is passing. It's been filled with joy and sorrow, peace and anxiety, but always my heart is full of thanks to God.