Welcoming the New Year Writing for WinShape Camps!

Happy New Year, friends!

It is pretty amazing to look back at 2011 and see all of the changes God had in store for me and my family. God revealed to me the exact date, well in advance, that I would not be working for the non profit organization I’d given 4 years of my life to — but I had no idea how God would orchestrate the change. I prayed – God what do you have for me in October? And while I had no idea, I trusted Him and He has provided for me and for my family in remarkable ways. I give God the glory for all He has done! And if that was the only reason for all the changes, that I would indeed give God the glory in it, then it was worth it to pass through this season.

But in His perfect plan, He has blessed me with some pretty amazing experiences these past few months. One of these experiences was being asked to write curriculum for Chick-fil-A’s WinShape Camps. I love everything about this project – the people I’ve met, the incredible writers I’m collaborating with, the Chick-fil-A culture and especially the free chicken during my meetings at their corporate offices in Atlanta… :) Most of all, I love allowing God to write curriculum through me. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I will work for the next 2 months to complete these projects and look back and not remember half of the activities created. That’s because they won’t be my words, but His – creating the perfect environment for children to come to know Christ better at camp this summer. Love it!

Over the next 2 months, I will specifically be creating Bible Study and Worship materials for WinShape Camps for Girls – Junior Camp at Berry College (where they filmed Remember the Titans!), WinShape Camps for Girls – 1 Week at Young Harris, and WinShape Camps for Communities – amazing day camps in 63 communities around the US this summer! So if you have kids in elementary school, check out these awesome camps for your kiddos! If you minister in a community with a Chick-fil-A restaurant, check out WinShape Camps for Communities – where the restaurants help promote the day camps held at local churches as an outreach to your community. Maybe you can even host one of these in 2013!

You can find out info about all these great programs at www.winshapecamps.org.

Thank you, friends, for praying for and with me over these past few months. I have more exciting news to announce in the coming days so stay tuned!

Blessings for 2012!

jon

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Helping Our Alma Mater

God is so good… and I have some fun news to share!

This Thursday I get to start work on a contract basis for our alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University. I never dreamed when I made the leap to freelance writing, speaking and communications/PR that I might get to spend some time helping this school Emily and I love so much.

Now the fun part of this news is that for the next 9 weeks, Emily and I will be working in the same department in the very building pictured here. Most people have said – “I could never work with my wife/husband! EEEK!” But as per Merryman usual, we don’t see any downsides or have a worry in the world. As I told Emily when I found out about the position – “Spending time with you and making a living? I couldn’t be happier.”

So for 9 weeks I’m going to soak it up. We’ll get some serious work done for Ouachita, eat in the caf (quietly mumbling about how we miss “Walt’s”) and we might even grab some lunch at “Chick” (or as we old people call it, Chick-fil-A). I’m pretty sure I’ll find a way to enjoy every benefit of being on staff at Ouachita… except for maybe working out in the gym.

9 weeks in the most beautiful place on earth. Can’t beat that.

And we’re so thankful for the countless ways we see God providing.

A Match Made In Nashville…

It was a couple years ago at Children’s Pastors’ Conference in Nashville that my friend Sam Wey came running to tell me about an awesome product he had just encountered — The Waterproof Bible. After I experienced it for myself, I fell in love with this Bible and told everyone who would listen about how great it was – not just because I could read it in the shower or while doing dishes – but because I knew it would become revolutionary for kids and kids ministries.

In 11 years of speaking at Centrikid Camps, and attending camps and retreats for over 20 years, I’ve seen Bibles left in the rain, abandoned on park benches and even dropped in fountains. I’d probably still have the Bible I had in jr. high if it had been a Waterproof Bible!

I’m excited to announce that in the coming months, I’ll be out and about representing my friends who created this amazing product – helping get the most durable copy of the Word in the hands of as many people as possible and sharing about it’s awesomeness.

I’m so happy to be able to support this product and share it with you. You can go ahead and pick yours out at http://www.waterproofbible.com or come see me at the National Bible Bee in Nashville in November!

Be on the lookout for more great product and ministry highlights here at http://www.jonmerryman.com –including some more orgs I’ll be partnering with in my new freelance endeavors.

Blessings!

jon

A New Chapter

Hello, friends!

After 4 years of serving full-time with Sweet Sleep, I’ve turned a new page in the story of my never dull life. During my time at Sweet Sleep, God worked through me in some pretty amazing ways – and I am so very happy to know the impact I’ve made not just on the organization but in the lives of thousands of orphaned children around the world.

For many reasons, Emily and I have known God had new works in store for me and have been praying for quite some time. We’re excited to share with you all that I will now be focusing more on my writing and speaking, as well as consulting and helping some wonderful ministries with communications, pr, social media and branding. You can learn more about my background and experience in ministry, writing and speaking on the About page – and if you are looking for a speaker for an event, curriculum writer, etc. – please be in touch.

Thank you for your friendship and your prayers as I launch into this newly focused ministry. I can’t wait to see how God continues to use me to share His message and encourage children and students to passionately follow and serve Christ.

Blessings —

jon