This transitional time of year always amazes me, filling me with hopeful promise. Days are lengthening, temperatures will soon be warming, flowers will push through the formerly snow-hardened earth and spring will bloom in a riot of bright colors, rich scents and sunlight.
Lent. Typically it’s a season of sacrifice, of doing without. This year, I’m embracing a different kind of challenge. Sure, I could give up chocolate. I could surrender my beloved bowl of stovetop popcorn, or abstain from eating out and give the money I save to charities around my hometown of metro Detroit. All those endeavors are noble and worthy forms of self-denial and penitence.
Or, I could do what Jesus did during His time in the desert, when he was faced with incredible temptations. He embraced a spiritual discipline. He prayed. He moved deep within Himself and surrendered in earnest to the only thing that mattered—relationship with God, His Father. Prayer. It’s the most powerful (and probably most underutilized) tool in my arsenal. I want to pray, to fortify. God’s presence, His Spirit fuels my writing ministry, imbues my family and friend relationships, leads me to stillness where I can make important and ordained decisions. Why do I hesitate to make use of that miraculous grace? That connection to Jesus? Lent, it seems to me, is a great means by which to reconnect and discover an answer.
I can’t send a message through stories without God holding my pen. I can’t commune with God in an intimate, personal way without prayer. Over the forty days to come, I’m committing myself to renewal, to peace and rest in the One who guides my path.
How about you? What’s your Lenten ideal? I’d love to hear about it, and I’ll be happy to pray for your mission as I pray for my own.
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His profile is plastered on MingleInFaith.com. Now this career focused, happy-to-be-a-bachelor is forced to endure an episode of speed dating.
Interior designer Natalie Gibbs is on the dating circuit, eager to find ‘the one,’ but she has strict rules about the manner in which she’ll embrace a romantic relationship. She wasn’t even supposed to meet Ethan Miller, but God had other plans.
Ethan spends a month each year in Honduras, offering eye care to the underprivileged. He senses a sweetness to Natalie that prompts him to invite her along on the next mission trip.
The voyage leads them far from their home base of New York City, but straight into the hearts of the Honduran people. Slowly, Ethan’s heart is swayed toward the idea of love. But Natalie’s mission work teaches her about a love that reaches far beyond romance.
What’s God’s plan? Should their hearts combine – or does He want them to serve, and learn, from one another and an extraordinary date night?
Date Night, is part of the new Pure Amore imprint at Pelican Book Group! Pure Amore is a ‘book of the month’ subscription service featuring Christian romances centered on the concept of premarital purity and abstinence that doesn’t surrender one moment of the thrill to be found when two people fall in love. Check out Date Night and the other wonderful Pure Amore titles at: http://pure.pelicanbookgroup.com/
Marianne Evans is a multi-award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction with over twenty titles to her credit. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God's love through the stories He prompts her to create.
Readers laud her work as 'Riveting.' 'Realistic and true to heart.' 'Compelling.' Devotion earned the prestigious Bookseller's Best Award from Greater Detroit RWA as well as the Heart of Excellence Award from Ancient City Romance Authors. She also earned wins for Best Romance of 2012 from Christian Small Publisher's Association and the Selah award for best Novella of 2013.
Happily married and the mother of two, Marianne is a life-long resident of Michigan who is active in a number of Romance Writers of America chapters, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President.
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