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Ronie Kendig’s Spiritual Hot Spots at Conference

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Six years ago, our family adopted a young, wiry Golden retriever. Daisy is a very happy dog and extremely loyal to “her girl,” (my daughter) and the rest of our family. But when Daisy is stressed, she starts gnawing on her backside. These Hot Spots get worse and worse, until she’s raw and bleeding. They itch her uncontrollably and drive her nuts. She becomes depressed, agitated, and a little frantic about what’s happening next. And I think, as writers we tend do to the same thing. For my dog, we have to apply some ointment and try to adjust things so there’s as little upheaval as possible. We writers can do the same thing, especially during conference where the uncertainty and unexpected things are at an all-time high.

Hot Spots exist at conference, too. Take a peek:

Editor appointments. Agent appointments. Continuing education classes. Your pitch line—what was it? Quick! It should be on the tip of your tongue. Oh, no! What’s that? You lost your purse? Where did you put that business card with the name and email of the editor who vowed you a multi-million dollar contract? Your friend thought you were meeting them for lunch, not your other friend? YIKES!


Are you itching? Feel that burning? Let’s take a deep breath and remember that there are several Spiritual Salves you can apply to these moments. First, your quiet time. It’s absolutely vital to your own sanity (and perhaps that of others) that you take a few solitary moments to share your heart with Father. Don’t worry about who you might “miss” if you don’t rush out the door. If it’s something God wants you to experience, He’ll honor the time you spend with Him and provide another opportunity.

Another warm balm on these itching areas is the prayer room. Wow! Has God ever used that beautiful location to minister to my wounded soul. Feeling like a wound-up pup agitated over things not happening the way I thought they should, I’ve sought the shelter there. And God met me there. As the Word says in 2 Chronicles 16:9 . . . the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. Can you imagine? He’s *searching* for us!! Let yourself be found, and feel the Balm of Gilead on your wounds.

Friends. I cannot express the depth of ministry I have received from my friends. Last year when I arrived at conference, a deep oppression had bound me into ambivalence and despair. My friends prayed, but all I could think was, “it’s useless. It won’t work. It never does.” God used a divine encounter with my very dear friend to show me His love, to release me. So, I strongly encourage you—if you see someone trembling, if you see their countenance shaken, stop them and show some of the unmerited love God has showered on you!

Worship has profound effect on my day. I am so delighted to see ACFW begin each session with centering our hearts, minds, and lives on Christ. It might be tough if you’re sitting right next to your dream agent, but let yourself get lost in God’s presence, and I promise that you’ll find peace in the midst of the storm trying to drown you.

How’re those wounds doing? I hope you’re scratching a bit less by now. But let’s explore a few more before you dart down the hall after that agent/editor the way my Golden chases squirrels.

We all have to eat at one point or another, and I think these faculty-hosted tables have the potential to be a salve—maybe you’re sitting next to someone who’s trembling over sharing their story. Squeeze their hand, mention your own frazzled nerves. Finding a common ground, realizing we’re not alone on this journey, whispering a quick prayer, off-loads a great deal of stress and may infuse courage once lost.

Laughter is one of the best medicines, the Bible says. We’re human, so we’re going to mess something up at conference (if you don’t, let me know—I might have to treat you!!)—use the opportunity to learn but then let it slide off your back. My dear friend and “big brother” told me not to take myself so seriously, and that was a beautiful piece of advice. Just remember, that if you’re there to honor God, to bring glory to Him, He will cover you with His grace and mercy. You are not going to screw up His will for you.

So, how’re we doing? Healing? Feeling a little less itchy? Just remember—keep your eyes on Him who is searching to strengthen you!! Enjoy conference, be a minister and get ministered to—that’s what it’s all about. Take a cue from my Golden and go roll in the lush green grass of writerdom, thrilling in the warmth of the gentle salve and ointments of God’s love during conference!


Ronie Kendig has a BS in Psychology and is a wife, mother of four, and avid writer. She has found her voice in writing fast-paced fiction. Ronie’s espionage thriller Dead Reckoning is contracted by Abingdon Press and slated for a March 2010 release. Also, Ronie co-authored a true story about her husband, Brian, which appears in Allison Bottke’s God Answers Prayers: Military Edition (Harvest House). An active member of ACFW, Ronie serves as the Book of the Year coordinator and as List Hostess for the main e-loop. She also volunteers on the ACFW conference committee for the national conference, as assistant to the conference appointment coordinator, and judges in the Genesis contest.

  1. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 8:21 am

    Great Article Ronie and so true. Thanks for the great insight. Can’t wait to see you at conference!


  2. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 8:22 am

    Very true, sweet friend.


  3. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 8:25 am

    Great words of encouragement!



  4. Jess permalink
    Tuesday, September 2, 2008 8:37 am

    There’s a prayer room at the conference?! Cool!


  5. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 8:37 am

    Great advice, Ronie. Thank you for sharing your spiritual salve. I’m feeling less itchy. 🙂


  6. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 9:03 am

    Good article, Ronie, with excellent advice!


  7. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 9:10 am

    I’ve learned the hard way just how important it is to be “prayed up” going into conference. Then, of course, to keep it going while there. I thank God for Christ-centered conferences.


  8. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 9:50 am

    Thanks for the reminders!!! And for sharing your heart … may we all seek to be more of a blessing to each other …


  9. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 10:29 am

    Good tips to soothe those hotspots. Thanks for sharing.


  10. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 11:10 am

    Great article! I am always wonderfully surprised at how much more spiritually recharged I am coming back from the ACFW conference than when I went. I love, love, love it when people go thinking God’s gonna do amazing things with their writing…then He does more than they ever asked or expected or imagined spiritually too.

    Thanks for the reminder!




  11. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 11:11 am

    Kaye…I LOVE your cover!
    Can’t wait to read it. When does it release?



  12. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 11:24 am

    It releases in JANUARY!!!!


  13. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 12:25 pm

    Wonderful article, Ronie. So many times we keep our hot spots hidden so we don’t appear vulnerable to others, but then we miss out on blessings. ACFW conferences are more than just writers conferences. They’re also spiritual retreats where we can glorify God and renew our spirits.


  14. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 1:15 pm

    This is an excellent reminder…sometimes we get so busy preparing for external things, we forget to prepare for the internal struggles.

    Thank you!


  15. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 2:39 pm

    Great post with the importance of our focus. Most Christians know the importance of quiet time with the Lord. It’s amazing how easy it is to let time get away from us when we’re at important events or tough places in life. Jesus is what life’s all about. I pray that each conference attendee starts with their focus on Jesus.


  16. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 2:43 pm

    Wow, y’all–thanks for the comments. God really ministered to *me* with this article. We can all encourage and help one another with those hot spots.

    Be blessings, y’all!


  17. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 3:55 pm

    Loved reading this, girl. I needed a reminder that I need to prepare spiritually for this conference as well. Love you!


  18. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 7:26 pm

    Hi –

    I feel sorry for your doggie, but what a great example he provided for this article. It captured my interest.

    Susan J. Reinhardt


  19. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 7:43 pm

    Nice, Ronie. Did you HAVE to tell people I can’t remember my pitch? 😀 Sigh.


  20. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 9:49 pm

    Wow! I finally got this to work. I’m on dial up and something must be going on with my landline tonight. Another excellent article with a great analogy. I loved the idea of the spiritaul salves we can apply! The worship is my favorite part of conference. See you all there!


  21. Thursday, September 4, 2008 6:35 am

    Wonderful and timely article, Ronie. Wow! Some powerful stuff there too.
    And congrats again on the first book.
    Love ya gal,


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