Last weekend I attended the Antelope Valley Christian Writers' Conference. This was my fourth or fifth time attending, and while the pointers and tips are helpful, the fruit in attending is really found in the fellowship and encouragement to keep plugging away. Do I have a manuscript that I'm shopping? No. Am I taking baby-steps by submitting work to magazines and anthologies? No. Am I actively building my platform through social media? No, not really. So it would be easy to look at my "progress" and be discouraged and maybe even quit. So I need the swift kick in the butt at a forum such as this to continue on.
Meanwhile, last night my small group study met to discuss the fourth chapter of David Platt's Radical, titled "The Great Why of God". David has many versions of this succinct summary of God's purpose for our lives: God's extravagant grace is poured out on us so that his extravagant glory may be known in every nation. Put another way, God blesses us so that we can use those blessings to bring him Glory here, there, and everywhere (Acts 1:8). Or, God saves us to make his salvation known to the whole world. (Psalm 67)
Coincidentally (there are no coincidences with the Holy Spirit!) one of the keynotes last weekend was titled, "Until the Whole World Hears" (which tempted me to re-post this entry from last year rather than taking the time to churn out a new post this morning). The main point of this lesson was that through writing, God has given me the opportunity to reach the entire world for his glory. That sounds lofty, absent a bestseller. But through the Internet and social media, this is really true. Last night I used the example of my Twitter account. I am followed, or I follow, at least one person from every continent on this globe sans Antarctica. In my stream last night I had updates from literally all over the world. That may not be that big of a deal, since how many Twitter followers actually "know" me, but the truth is that through Twitter I have had conversations with an Elder in London, a missionary in Thailand, and a campus ministry in Indonesia. I also shared about when one of my friends got married a couple of weeks ago to a woman he met on the mission field, his wedding ceremony was Skyped all over the world. Another of my good friends here Skypes every Sunday service to his mother in Argentina.
Now I don't know if this blog will be read by anyone outside of the town I live in or beyond my immediate family, but if I don't write then no one will read it. In this world-wide web, I may be a whisper in a din or one among a multitude of bloggers, but I still have worldwide impact through the power of my words. And God only knows where that will lead me. One of my good blogger-buddies, Duane Scott, simply by sponsoring a child, will be travelling to Zimbabwe to write about his experience and the needs of the children there. Another of my friends, Jason Stasyszen, used his blog platform to raise money to adopt a child from Japan. And coincidentally (what did I say about the Holy Spirit?) one of the contacts I made this weekend, a pastor in Chicago named Dan Darling, is working on a book with another blogger buddy, Dan King. And what was Dan's first book? The Unlikely Missionary.
Until the whole world hears. And it is a small world, after all.