Special Moments at Mount Hermon 2016
I’ve been home from Mount Hermon for a couple of weeks now, so I thought I’d share some of the wonderful memories that are still resonating in my heart.
- Seeing lots of old friends and making a bunch of fun new ones
- Getting to know people I previously communicated with only (or mainly) via e-mail
- Making divine connections … and being a divine connection for other people
- Directing the FANTASTIC critique team, and helping conferees make the right connections with faculty members, which were major highlights for them
- A conferee telling a fellow faculty member, “Kathy Ide is so wonderful, because she cares more about helping other people get what they want than getting whatever she wants for herself.” I don’t know what, in particular, gave her that impression, but I consider it to be the highest compliment I can imagine!
- Getting my author copies of 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom at 8:22 the night before I left for the conference so I could have all four books in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series on the book table.
- Walking into the auditorium for the Palm Sunday service and hearing Hillsong’s “Still” (Find Rest, My Soul) sung by a male quartet called Kaoma that was absolutely incredible! (You can hear it here.) This was a special gift from the Holy Spirit just for me because God has been putting that song on my heart for the past couple of months as I’ve stressed out a bit over the @OCCWC Orange County Christian Writers’ Conference. I started praying for a flood of people to register so we can make ends meet, and not really living the “Know His power in quietness and trust” part very well. But when I got to the part in the song that says, “Father, You are King over the FLOOD,” I sensed God assuring me that He is in charge of the good things as well as the bad, and He can send a “flood” if that’s His will … and if it’s not, He will bring something else really good out of it. So hearing that song on Palm Sunday morning was a precious balm to my soul.
- Doug Newton’s unique take, during the Palm Sunday service, on the Scripture passage in Matthew 13:44, where Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure a man discovered in a field.” Doug presented that Jesus is the man who, in his joy and excitement, “sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field—and get the treasure, too!” (TLB). And we are that treasure.
- Just happening to “coincidentally” be at exactly the right places at precisely the right moments to help some people at the conference who really needed someone with my specific background and past experiences to commiserate with them and help them take steps toward restoration and healing. And through that series of experiences, realizing afresh that God really does direct every single step I take, and I can trust that He is doing what He wants to do with my life.
After I got home, it took a full day just to go through the e-mails that came in while I was gone! (Internet connectivity was only available in a couple of places, and I couldn’t find the time to get to those places with my busy schedule.) But throughout that first day home, I got e-mail notifications from people who’d posted pictures from the conference on Facebook and tagged me on them. So I got to look at all those pictures and remember all the beautiful people I connected with and the fun things that happened there.
If you’ve never been to Mount Hermon (or another Christian writers’ conference), I hope you will consider doing so. (Maybe the @OCCWC Orange County Christian Writers’ Conference April 15-16?) It will be an experience you’ll never forget. And it will probably provide you with encouragement and connections that will transform your writing and boost your career!