On Being An Instrument

writers prayer

Don’t let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument for your story.   Flannery O’Connor

This summer I picked up a copy of Flannery O’Connor’s, A Prayer Journal to add to my ever-expanding personal library. I’d read a mix of reviews regarding the contents of her short journal and even now, after reading it myself, I am happy to have purchased it. It amazed me, how many of her prayers echoed my own mutterings and pleas to God. I can’t write apart from God and so my journals bulge with petitions and confessions on behalf of this gift He has given me.

Recently, I shared a few email exchanges with a couple of writer friends, in which both of them expounded on their feelings of frustration, doubt and sense of purpose and worth as it relates to writing. So many of their own thoughts reminded me of the words in O’Connor’s journal, and in my own. I’m grateful for their honesty and willingness to wrestle with the gift, and how it is to be used.

After sitting with their words for a while, I feel compelled to pray for us writers, because though our stories are different, when you know God has trusted you with this particular gift, the struggle to steward it well, is universal.

So, writer friends, join me in praying (or scroll down to hear the prayer, as I pray it over us both)–

Father God, you are the greatest storyteller the world will ever know. You speak and life is formed. You breathe and the wind and waves obey you. Your power is beyond understanding, beyond compare. God you believe in the power of words. You gave us language and voices with which to share your majesty among the nations. You invite us into your story, and grant us the grace to work alongside you, as word weavers, and storytellers. We would not know how, if you had not first shown us in your perfect and holy Word, the very Word who walked among us as a man, as God, as savior. Lord teach us to use our words for kingdom purposes. Part our lips to speak of your glory, of your redemption, of your unfathomable mercy. Jesus shape our craft to reflect all that is good and right and true, that we might draw people into the shelter of your wings. Give us the wisdom to speak honestly, and with love. Keep us from becoming clanging cymbals of self-promotion and idolatry. Lord, your story in us is the only one worth telling. Give us the heart to tell it well. Keep us humble Lord, in a world that determines worth by way of numbers and scales and dollar signs. Lord Jesus, teach us to build altars instead of platforms. Remind us of why it is we have a voice, and what it is you have asked us to do. Unite us in Christ, while defining the beauty of our individual creativity, generously given by your inspired, intentional design. Don’t let us ever think, dear God, that we are anything but the instrument for your story. In your holy and perfect name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Kris

As a sequin-wearing, homeschooling mom of four, Kris is passionate about Jesus, people and words. When she's not writing, she enjoys taking gratuitous pictures of her culinary creations on Instagram. Once upon a time, she ran 10 miles for Compassion International. She is the author of  Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement, and blogs at Kris Camealy.com

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Marketing Your Message Like Wildfire – Rob Eagar and Allume Partner Up For YOU!

You’re a writer,  and you have a story to tell.  And chances are that you’re reading here because you either resonate with the messages we share, or you are hoping to learn how to share your message more effectively.  Maybe it’s both. Whether your reach is large and wide, or small and deep, you have something to say. You’re passionate and you have a calling; to share your heart and story.

What if you had the opportunity to learn how to market that message, to spread it like wildfire?

Well, folks, you do!

This year at the Allume Conference we’ll be partnering with Rob Eagar to bring you a special offering workshop (You  absolutely must squeal because this is a B-I-G deal!).

 

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You see, Rob is a pretty cool guy with some solid knowledge that can help take you and your message to the next level.  He’s the founder of Wildfire Marketing, a consulting firm that helps authors and publishers sell books like wildfire. He’s worked with New York Times bestsellers like Dr. Gary Chapman, Lysa Tyrkurst and Wanda Brunstetter. Rob has trained over 400 authors in the ways of marketing, and he’s also the author of Sell Your Books Like Wildfire, which is considered the bible of marketing.  Basically, he’s a marketing guru…and we have managed to snag him for a few days to share with you!

And  guess what?…Allume attendees have the opportunity of a lifetime to learn from Rob! This year at Allume, Rob will be hosting a special seminar geared to help authors and bloggers market their message like wildfire.

For only $99 (which you should know is a ridiculous steal), you can attend a 3 part seminar by Rob.

The workshop fee includes the following 3 sessions (which will take place in addition to the Allume conference agenda):

 

Session 1 – Marketing for the Promotionally-Challenged Author/Blogger on Thursday, October 23rd from 2-4pm (pre-conference)

Session 2 – How to Use the Power of Email to Grow Your Product Sales on Friday, October 24th from 4-5pm

Session 3 – How to Create an Effective Author/Blogger Marketing Plan, Saturday, October 25th from 4:30-5:30pm

 

And y’all, we cannot emphasize how awesome of a deal you’re getting here! Like… a really, really big deal! SO…you don’t want to miss this!

AND to sweeten the pot even more, the first 2o people to sign up will receive the most amazing opportunity ever–to work with Rob in a one-on-one session for 2o minutes! In other words…you get help from him on YOUR message in a brainstorming session 1 on 1! AMAZING!

So how do you get access to this amazing seminar with Rob Eagar? First, you must have a conference pass. SO… get that here if you haven’t already.

And second, sign up for the seminar with Rob, here.

Any questions? Leave a comment below or e-mail us at info@allume.com.

Mandy Scarr

Mandy is a lover of deep relationships, theological discussions, and peanut butter. She seek to share with women of the freedom she walks in because of her relationship with Jesus. She and her husband live in the beautiful suburbs of Washington, D.C. Connect with Mandy further at www.mandyscarr.com, on Facebook, and Twitter (@mandyscarr).

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The Love Dare

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When did love become so hard?

For Jeff and Brittany, loving became hard as soon as they said, “I do” and continued that way for a solid six years of marriage. One day they picked up The Love Dare, and day by day, dare by dare, they began to understand what it meant to truly love each other the way God intended.

(Check out their story at the bottom of this post)

Showing Christ’s love to a spouse, a child, a friend, a neighbor, an acquaintance, a stranger, is not always easy. More often than not, it’s hard. Our flawed human nature defaults to selfishness and contentedness, often resulting in a lack of effort to love, or even a failure to acknowledge someone else’s need for love.

Yet, Jesus calls us to love. And the purpose in loving is not just to be nice, but so that others will know that we are His.

I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
                                                                                                                                                                -John 13:34-35

In preparation for an Allume focusing on hospitality (can you really have hospitality without love?), we’re daring you to love big. This doesn’t have to be about marriage or parenting—it can be, but it can also be about loving your neighbors, your enemies, your coworkers, your in-laws, etc.

We want you to dare to love big between now and Allume, and then we want you to share your experience with us and the Allume community at Open Mic Night!

To get your wheels turning, we’re giving away copies of The Love Dare OR The Love Dare for Parents to 10 lucky winners. Just comment below with which title you’d like a copy of, and if you’re a winner we’ll get yours in the mail.

And if you don’t win, you have the chance to pick up a book at the conference!

Come visit us at The Love Dare booth to nab a spot for Open Mic Night. We can’t wait to see you lovely ladies at Allume and to hear your stories of loving BIG!

Because He first loved us,

The Love Dare team

To watch this video on Youtube, click here: The Love Dare


 

The Love Dare, a #1 New York Times bestseller from B&H Publishing that has sold five million copies, is a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love. In 2013, the authors of The Love Dare penned The Love Dare for Parents, a 40-day journey of “dares” challenging one or both parents to understand, practice and communicate Christ-like love to their children. The Love Dare books challenge you to think differently—they’re about learning and daring to live a life filled with loving relationships.

Come join the Love Dare movement on Facebook and Twitter (@lovedarebook)!

Mandy Scarr

Mandy is a lover of deep relationships, theological discussions, and peanut butter. She seek to share with women of the freedom she walks in because of her relationship with Jesus. She and her husband live in the beautiful suburbs of Washington, D.C. Connect with Mandy further at www.mandyscarr.com, on Facebook, and Twitter (@mandyscarr).

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