I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, September 3, 2010

ACFW is Coming

Gulp. Oh, my goodness. The ACFW conference is only two weeks away! So much to do. So little time. So much pressure. I can’t believe they only gave me one appointment with an editor. Grrr. Maybe I can ambush, er, intercept an editor in the bathroom.

“Wait a minute.”

Gulp again. “Is that you, God?”

“I’m glad to see you recognize My voice. Why are you in such a dither?”

“Well, there this conference, the ACFW, and it’s really expensive, but if I can arrange to talk to at least four agents and that many editors, it’ll pay off. You know, like an investment. The people in charge just aren’t cooperating. Two appointments? Sheesh.”

ACFW. What do those letters stand for?”

"Uh…American Christian Fiction Writers?"

“That’s what I thought. So, you’re a Christian writer?”

“God, you already know that. You told me that’s what You wanted me to do. Just like we’re talking now. Remember?”

“Then why are you worrying? Don’t you know I’ve already ordained who you’ll meet? Which editors, which agents. Didn’t you volunteer to work in the bookstore Friday? You might be surprised by the lady browsing through there who just happens to ask you what you write. Probably be a good idea to be ready with your pitch.”

I don’t know about you, but God’s already had this talk with me. He’s reminded me that the conference isn’t about me and what I can do, but about Him. Praising Him. Glorifying Him. Every meeting, every appointment, every meal and every session is in His control. If I don’t get to meet a particular agent or editor, He already knew I would be wasting my time.

So, relax. Put your agenda away. Go to Indianapolis and learn how to honor Him with your writing. Along the way, connect with others who want to honor him with their writing—you may make some life-long friends.

Cease striving and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 NASB

Pat Trainum
I asked God for patience and He gave me a book to write.


  1. I may just have to read this post every day for the next two weeks, Pat.
    Thanks for giving me the proper perspective on the ACFW conference: God's.

  2. I'm with Beth! In fact, please make me read it a couple of times during the conference!

  3. The most important appointment will be the one we all have with God.

  4. Next most important ones: Ponderers--praying with one another before those "other" appointments.
    And then--meeting all our new friends!

  5. Although I won't be going to the ACFW conference, I will pray for those of you who are. As I was reading your post, Pat, it challenged me to think about how we should always be looking for those "God moments," in our lives, keeping our eyes looking up and purposing to be a reflection of Him to those around us, whether they be editors and agents, or those we run into daily. It may be a bit off topic, but your post has challenged me to do this. :)

    Hope the conference goes well for all of you MBT Ponderers!

  6. So, Pat. Let's say you are starting a new job the week before the ACFW conference and you can't go and meet said agents and editors, or hang out with all your great Ponderers and new friends.

    (small voice here) That's God, too, right?

    Thanks for the reminder that God doesn't need you to be at ACFW to work in your writing.

    (small voice, again) But I'll really miss you guys. Sniff.

  7. Okay, that question was directed to Pat, but I'll chime in. (No surprise.)
    (Confident, loving voice of a friend) Yes, that's God, Amy. Because remember how we prayed and prayed and prayed for just the right job for you? And how we "Happy Danged" because you got it?
    (Voice gets softer) And know we'll miss you too. And we'll think about you and pray for you too!

  8. Pat thank you for the reminder of who we are really writing for and I am so looking forward to reuniting with my many Christian writer friends. Having belonged to another group - secular in nature - I have found ACFW very refreshing and encouraging.

  9. The Ponderer prayers and hugs come right after God appointments. And yes, Amy, that includes Ponderers at home even if it has to be e-hugs.

  10. Thanks for necessary calming reminder, Pat. And I love your quotable quote, "I asked God for patience and He gave me a book to write." Amen!
    Glad to say, see many of you soon!

  11. ACFW aside, this was a perfect verse for me personally this week with family stuff and a walk-a-thon at my job, Pat: Cease striving and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 NASB Perfect!! Wonderful post.

    You know, I think one of the good things about being a first-timer at ACFW is that you don't know what to expect...so stress is at a minimum. Of course, I say that now! There are still two weeks to go...:)

    My boss constantly talks about "divine appointments." Whether it's Amy's job or ACFW editor/agent appts, I think divine appointments will be happening right and left! (but Amy, we will miss you even though you are "divinely appointed" to be where you are!)

  12. Angela Bell9/3/10, 11:45 AM

    Thanks Mrs. Trainum for the encouraging post. I needed a reminder that God's in control of the conference, not me. His plans are better then anything I could think up. I just need to relax and put my trust in his perfect will.

  13. Good luck to all of you in making the most of any opportunities that present themselves!

  14. I think I'll print this one out and post it everywhere I go - at least the verse - "Cease striving and know that I am God." Wow. Thanks so much! I think I need at least one reminder per day leading up to and including the days at ACFW! Looking forward to finding some Ponderers there!

  15. My daughter, who has been studying muscles and bones for nursing school, labeled them on herself: muscles on the right half of her body, bones on her left. Maybe I should steal her marker and tattoo
    "Cease striving and know that I am God" on me.

    Thanks for the wonderful reminder, Pat!

  16. Sorry I haven't been able to respond to any of the posts...spent the day encouraging abstinence to about 125 seventh graders. Once again, I realize how much our youth need our prayers. They have so much pressure on them.

    Your comments always encourage me.

  17. Such a great reminder, Pat. Can't wait to see you there!

  18. Oops. I hope I didn't make anyone think I already knew which editor I'll get. I don't, just assuming I'll get one. lol