June 17, 2016

Writing, Publishing, and Praying: Resources from My TGCW16 Sessions


I had the privilege of leading (or co-leading) several sessions at TGCW16 this week. I'm thankful for each of my sisters who attended those sessions, and--as promised--I'm posting links here to the resources I mentioned in my presentations. If you have follow-up questions or comments, you can always email me: megan@sundaywomen.com 

When Women Pray Together (Megan Hill)
Friday, June 17, 2016, 4:30 PM

My book, Praying Together, was the basis for the material in my session. You can find it here:
Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer in Our Homes, Communities, and Churches

Donald S. Whitney made the observation I quoted (about praying for other people v. praying with them) in his book:
Spiritual Disciplines within the Church

Praying systematically through the nations of the world (and the church in those nations) has been one of the greatest privileges of my corporate prayer life. This book helpfully assigns the countries to each day of the year:
Operation World

Getting Published without Selling Your Soul (Megan Hill)
Friday, June 17, 2016, 9:15 PM

One more story about the winding road to getting published from Gaye Clark:
Dreams Deferred and No Regrets


Bret Lott's "On Precision" is my favorite short piece about the craft of writing and its importance before the face of God. You can read that chapter in his book:
Letters and Life

The National Writing Project offers a way to structure group feedback on writing, including the "Bless, Address, Press" formula I mentioned:
Guidelines for Response Groups

Tim Challies knows a thing or two about platform, and his post about the dangers of idolizing the numbers is worth reading:
No Platform High Enough

Charity Singleton Craig's site is full of valuable nuggets about the writing life. This is her post about being "famous to the family":
Almost Famous: Who Am I Trying to Become?

Melissa B. Kruger's The Envy of Eve is both gracious and challenging as we seek to root out covetousness in our hearts. I review it here:
I Have Learned to Be Content

Jared C. Wilson had a useful article recently giving answers to some FAQs:
Everything You (Might Have) Wanted to Know about Writing and Publishing

Margot Starbuck is a writing coach whose conference seminar on non-fiction book proposals was extremely helpful to me as I prepared my first book proposal. You can download her (free!) annotated book proposal template at the bottom of this page:
Top Ten Tips for Creating Book Proposals

Word-Filled Writing (Gloria Furman, et. al.)
Friday, June 17, 2016, 1:30 PM

Marilynne Robinson said, "I hope I never condescend to the audience. I think you should write as if people who are smarter than you are will read it." That quote comes from this article:
Marilynne Robinson: the Pulitzer Prize winning author on her new book


Any of the resources I mention above ("Getting Published") would also be helpful to those who were part of my workshop group.

June 13, 2016

Whatever Your Hand Finds to Do

Even when converts are few or the church is small, the work of ministry must be taken up. In such situations, my specialized skills are not as valuable as my willingness to do whatever needs to be done. I have to roll up my sleeves, and answer God's call with the strength He gives.

My experience in a small church taught me that a journalism degree has little use when I am tasked with scrubbing toilets. Ditto housing and feeding the conference speaker. If a nursery scheduler was needed, it was up to me. When a VBS refreshment organizer was lacking, I did it.

I am not a super woman. In fact, I admit to my share of grumbling about the sacrifice required in my role as a pastor's wife. I do many things in my own strength and get overwhelmed. These attitudes do not automatically go away when the church gets bigger, either. But, I do pray that God will give me the desire to serve Him without thinking mundane tasks are beneath me.

Isn't it amazing that God uses us, as flawed humans, to build His kingdom? He knows our every weakness and yet loves us.

As I read Nehemiah recently, I saw a man who was motivated to serve God in an area outside of his skill set. When Nehemiah heard that the Jews were in trouble and that the walls and gates of Jerusalem were in ruin and in need of repair, he cried, prayed and repented. Then, this cupbearer-turned-wall builder set about to do God's will. (Nehemiah 1)

Nehemiah was not the only one who was willing to minister where his hand found something to do. When he told the Jews, the priests, the nobles and the officials about his desire to serve, they said, "Let us rise up and build." They strengthened their hands for the good work. (Neh. 2:18) 

Chapter 3 gives examples of the types of people who did the hard work of rebuilding, some of it with a weapon in one hand and a tool in the other because of the fierce opposition to God's plan.
...the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate...goldsmiths repaired...one of the perfumers repaired...the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem repaired, he and his daughters...the Levites repaired...the merchants repaired. In the midst of all this obedience are some sobering words, "...the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord."

Lord, please give me the willingness to obey you, even when you ask me to serve in new ways that I haven't been trained for. Forgive me when I think that a job you give me is beneath me.



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