If you’ve been following my blog, or if you know me at all, you’re no doubt aware that I coordinated the brand-new SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference, which happened last week. More than a year of planning went into this event, which involved a lot of people putting in a whole lot of time and effort and hard work.
Most people realize that any time you start something new, there will be hiccups. But we had far more than our share of “hiccups.” The website kept having technical glitches, especially with the registration process. Six of our key planning team members were hospitalized in a two-month period, just weeks before the conference, which put us behind on a lot of important tasks. We had last-minute changes in faculty, scheduling, and locations for workshops and appointments. I’m not the type to blame the enemy for every little thing that happens in life. But so many “little things” (and big things) were going wrong, I was seriously thinking the devil had to be working overtime to mess us up!
But you know what? That just told me that God must have some totally amazing things He wanted to do with our brand-new conference, or the enemy wouldn’t be trying so hard to derail it. And greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world, right?
Well, the Lord came through—BIG TIME! We had about 150 conferees, which is fantastic for a first-time conference. And in spite of continuing snafus with administrative and technical aspects, the Holy Spirit totally permeated the entire three days. Conferees and faculty members were excited, enthusiastic, joy-filled, and having a really fun time! People extended grace when appointments were missed due to changes and miscommunications. And many times, God turned even the missteps into blessings! Missed appointments became divine encounters. Getting lost resulted in connections that might not have been made otherwise.
God spoke to me, too, especially during all three keynote addresses. Karen Ball, Kim Bangs, and Allen Arnold delivered messages that really struck home for me, and for our conferees too.
I am deeply grateful to everyone who worked on our planning team for the 2017 SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference. I am ever so thankful to all of the faculty members who gave of their time and shared their talents and expertise. I am absolutely delighted that God drew each and every one of the conferees who came to this special event, because they all contributed to the sense of excitement and enthusiasm and unity of purpose that permeated the air throughout the whole three days (and beyond that for those who enjoyed the “Stay for the Fun” activities at Universal Studios, Huntington Library and Gardens, and Disneyland!).
Mostly, I am passionately grateful to God … who gave me the idea to put on this conference last spring, who brought me an incredible group of people to help plan it and put it on, who allowed us to have it at Biola University (where I attended my very first writers’ conference almost twenty years ago), who put together an insanely awesome top-notch faculty for this inaugural year, and who poured out blessing after blessing after blessing every minute of the conference!
I also get totally jazzed thinking about all the books and articles and even screenplays that are going to come out of this event—writing that will touch hearts, change lives, and advance the kingdom of God.
If you attended the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference last week, I hope you’ve been telling others about your experiences there. If you’ve blogged about it, please send an e-mail to Assistant@KathyIde.com with a link to your blog so we can read it and promote it.
If you’d like to read the responses of conferees, go to Facebook and check out #socalcwc17. You’ll get a good feel for the enthusiasm and excitement that filled the event.
And if you didn’t get to come to the SoCal conference this year, I hope you’ll think and pray about attending next year. If you’re interested in helping out on the planning team, be sure to e-mail me at KathyIde@SoCalCWC.com. The more the merrier—and the easier for everyone!