by Anne Hamilton
Have you ever had the experience where a particular verse of Scripture suddenly seemed to leap off the page and come alive?
One day I was reading a book when a Hebrew word seemed to jump up, grab me around the throat and demand: ‘Where’ve you been? What has taken you so long?’ The word was nasa’ and it means ‘to lift up’.
It’s a name of God: Jehovah Nissi, ‘the lord my banner’ or ‘the lord who lifts me up’.
God was first revealed as Jehovah Nissi during the desert wanderings of the Israelites. In Exodus 17, the Amalekites attacked and Moses sent Joshua into battle. Moses then lifted up his hands to heaven and, as he prayed, the Israelites prevailed. But as his arms dropped, the tide of battle turned. Aaron and Hur had to lift up his arms until such time as the Amalekites were totally defeated.
The Lord my banner alludes to working together as one team: Joshua couldn’t do it alone. He needed Moses to keep calling on the name of the One who lifts up and carries His people in battle. However Moses couldn’t do it alone, either. He was dependent on Aaron. And even Aaron couldn’t do his bit alone: he needed help from Hur.
The more I delved into incidences of nasa’ in Scripture, the more I understood God commands a blessing when His people work together and, well… leaves us pretty much to our own devices otherwise.
When I became President of Omega Writers, the CALEB concept was born.
CALEB is an acronym: it stands for Christian Authors Lifting Each other’s Books.
That’s why Omega Writers sponsor the CALEB Prize. It’s about giving all entrants a higher profile for their books, regardless of whether they win or not. Ensuring they receive at least two and sometimes as many as seven reviews. Promoting excellence, for the glory of God, so that the highest quality books are given that little bit of extra ‘oomph’ to penetrate Australia’s complex marketplace.
CALEB is in its fourth year now and we have awards for Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction and also an Unpublished section, as well as the overall CALEB Prize.
Because of the spiritual impact we’re trying to make, and also because we’re trying to demonstrate the name and nature of Jehovah Nissi in what we do, it should be no surprise if I say it hasn’t been an easy road.
The CALEB Conference is a natural extension of this ideal of lifting each other up. It’s an intimate gathering of Aussie and Kiwi authors, passionate about working together to achieve the dreams God has given them. It’s about giving as many authors as possible a showcase, not just the keynote speakers.
For aspiring authors, there’s an amazing opportunity: three publisher’s representatives (on behalf of ten different imprints) will be taking pitches – this is just pure gold! In fact, in the Australian scene, it’s unheard of. We hope locals will appreciate the unprecedented nature of this opening and take advantage of it while it’s available. We certainly can’t guarantee it will ever happen again.
Another very special aspect of the CALEB conference is the possibility of personal prayer, specifically for writer’s spiritual dilemmas. CALEB recognises not only that we need to lift each other in practical ways but also in prayer. Nasa’ is a battle-related word but we’re not meant to go into single combat.
There are also some one-day mentorships available. These short courses can save you incalculable time and effort by putting you on the right track, especially when it comes to modern fiction. Of Omega Writers’ first three mentorships (in our now discontinued mentorship programme), every aspiring author who has continued on with their mentor has subsequently been published.
If you’d love to join us as we lift up the Name of God and lift up each other, here’s the details for 2013:
CALEB Conference 11-12 October
Riverglenn Conference Centre
70 Kate Street
Earlybird deadline is August 1
Details, prices, electives can be found at
ANNE HAMILTON is the current president of Omega Writers Inc. She is also the Australian editor of the devotional The Word for Today by Bob and Debby Gass. A former mathematics teacher, she is also the author of 11 books ranging from children’s fantasy to meditative theology.
Her latest book, God’s Panoply – The Armour of God and the Kiss of Heaven, is due for release on August 1. It’s all about nasa’: which is also a word for ‘submission’. When this particular word for ‘submission’ in Hebrew primarily means to uplift another person so they can in turn lift you up, it could just change the sense of certain notorious verses in the New Testament. Check out more at www.fire-of-roses.com/wp