Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The CALEB Concept

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CALEB is in its fourth year now and we have awards for Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction and also an Unpublished section, as well as the overall CALEB Prize.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 
Indooroopilly QLD

 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


  1. Good to read the story behind the Caleb prize. Thanks for sharing, Annie and Narelle. I'm looking forward to attending my first Caleb Conference this year. :)

  2. I love what CALEB stands for and having been a shortlisted author in the past, know the value of having your work recognised in this very special way.
    I will be praying for this year's CALEB conference and the awards night too!

  3. It was lovely to read how it all occurred Annie. Wonderful too to know what CALEB stands for. May this conference produce wonderful fruit and may God's name be lifted high through the 2013 conference. Looking forward to being there. :)

  4. Annie, thanks for visiting with us today :) It has been wonderful to learn more about the conception and history of the CALEB Award and upcoming conference. We're blessed to have a Christian writing organisation in Aust/NZ that is dedicated to lifting the profile of books and authors.

    Dotti, Penny and Anusha, thanks for stopping by :)

  5. Great to hear more about the origins and meaning of the CALEB award, Annie. I've learned something, and certainly have been blessed by being part of Omega group and entering the award. There is a real sense of being lifted up as an author, and having the opportunity to do the same for others.

  6. Annie, great to hear the story behind the story. I'm now in the process of reading GOD'S PANOPLY and I LOVE it! It's so refreshing to go into the Hebrew and Greek meanings which our English language can't quite cover.

    This is not a review because I'm not even half way through, but I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys doing a bit of delving into the 'whys & wherefores' of words and meanings. I, for one, am happy and fulfilled in my role as a 'lifter-up' of my darling husband of 53 years! He also has always been a 'lifter-up' of me for these many years.

  7. In all the time I've known about the Caleb prize that's the first time I knew what the letters stood for. Thanks Annie. What a blessing this is to Aussie authors.

  8. Im with Dale I didn't know what Caleb meant and now I do thanks for sharing I enjoyed the post. I also get to read some of the books and comment in the Booksellers section.

  9. Wonderful to hear the story behind CALEB, thanks Annie. I look forward to seeing you all at the conference.

  10. Great post.... Love reading the whole story. xx

  11. Nice to be reminded about the importance of words and the explanations of acronyms. Looking forward to the conference.
    P.s God's panoply is insightful and easy to read.

  12. What a brilliant idea! What a great organization! Anne, you are soo cool! And such a reminder that we should go out and encourage our fellow authors. It reminds me of an article I read on Christian movies. To make sure you go opening weekend, no matter what because that makes all the difference. I wonder if we should distribute our books to 7 fellow authors on the promise that they would review our books on all public sites?

  13. Great to know the background to the name, Annie. HAs a schedule for the Saturday come out yet as I couldn't see it on the website?

  14. Thanks, Annie and Narelle. I enjoy all that Omega Writers has to offer too. And I also look forward to reading 'God's Panoply' as soon as I can.

  15. I've said many times how much I wished I'd known about Omega Writers long before that first great conference in Brisbane called Alpha2Omega. Over the last twenty plus years I had enjoyed irregular fellowship with other Australian Christian writers but far too few face to face meetings of even a couple of hours were possible because of distance. There is simply nothing to compare with these wonderful conferences. Am so looking forward to again being at this 2013 CALEB one in October. I believe it should be a MUST for Australia and New Zealand Christians who are writing - whether it be for the Christian market or general one. Thanks to Omega and their programmes, especially now the CALEB awards. I believe the quality of our writing has, and will continue, to improve so that God will be glorified as His ways and Words are spread through our writing efforts for Him.
    From the depth of my heart, I thank you Annie and Omega for all you are doing for us.

  16. It was very interesting to read the background and history of the CALEB awards. I have to say we all appreciate the reviews we get, which are worth entering for, no matter how we place. Thanks, Annie and Narelle.