Thursday, March 2, 2017

Lent by Terri Weldon

Yesterday marked the beginning of Lent, but many people don’t really understand what Lent is. So I’m deviating a bit this week to delve a little into this season. 

Lent is a time of fasting, self-denial, prayer, and repentance. Many Christians use this time to prepare for Easter and to draw closer to Christ. 

Lent takes place the forty days before Easter – not counting Sundays. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. I’ve heard two reasons that Sundays are excluded: 

1. In the Christian church every Sunday is a little like Easter.
2. To allow for communion. 

The forty days represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted by Satan before starting His public ministry.  

Historically the palm fronds from the previous year’s Palm Sunday are saved, burned, and mixed with oil and then used for Ash Wednesday. Often when the priest or minister places the ashes in the form of a cross on your forehead he or she will say, “For dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return.”

Ashes are worn because throughout the Bible they are symbolic of repentance. I’m sure you are familiar with the story of King Ahab. As evil a man as he was when he repented God had mercy on him and delayed the calamity he had pronounced upon his household. (I Kings 21:20-29) 

The opportunity for sharing our faith is another excellent reason to wear ashes. This year I startled a young girl at a drive through window when she saw the ashes on my forehead. She even commented about me having a cross on my forehead. I wasn’t fast enough on my feet to witness to her. Sadly, I let a perfect opportunity slip through my fingers.  

Numerous Christians choose to give up something for Lent, but it isn’t a requirement. Many people give up chocolate, alcohol, soft drinks, shopping, ebay, and social media. Others choose to take on additional commitments. Maybe a Lenten Bible Study, additional time spent in prayer, visiting shut-ins from your church, or providing meals to those less fortunate. This year I’m not giving up anything. Instead I’ve chosen to commit to two things. 

Whatever you choose to give up or to take on, remember Lent isn’t a ritual. It’s about electing to improve the discipline of the whole body for conversion from sin and death to love and life in our Savior Jesus.  

The Christmas Bride Wore Boots
Berryhill Brides

Pastor Jacob Thompson is in need of a director for the living nativity program and veterinarian Molly Kincaid offers to take on the job. The task involves far more than Molly bargained for, nonetheless she’d do anything to help out the man she secretly loves – even sew costumes or cast eight-year-old Wesley Simpson as an angel.
Jacob’s daughter Emma longs to have a mommy of her own, but the widowed pastor has vowed to never remarry, and isn’t ready to open his heart to love again. Molly dreams of filling the void in both their lives, but fears she lacks the necessary qualities to be a pastor’s wife.
As Molly and Jacob work together on the living nativity, their feelings for one another grow. Will Molly realize she is just what Jacob and Emma need in their lives? Can Jacob be released from his grief stricken promise? Could this unlikely duo prove to be a match made in heaven?

Terri Weldon is a lead analyst by day and an author by night. She enjoys gardening, reading, and shopping for shoes. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction. She lives with her family in Oklahoma. Terri has two adorable Westies – Crosby and Nolly Grace. Terri is a member of ACFW and OCFW, a local chapter of ACFW. Her dream of becoming a published novelist came true in November 2013 when Mistletoe Magic, released from White Rose Publishing.
Readers can connect with Terri: Website: www.TerriWeldon.com or


 
 



3 comments:

  1. Wonderful post on such s special season. Thanks for answering some questions I've always had. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I didn't grow up in a liturgical church so I find the history and meaning of the various holy days fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This year, I'm adding something for Lent. I have a co-worker who is a challenge to stay positive around. No matter how many projects I work on that don't technically involve her, she keeps showing up. I finally figured out that maybe I should be grateful to be given this challenge. So each day, I practice gratitude for having her in my life. "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." Romans 15:7
    Hopefully, after 40 days of this I won't have to practice so hard, but gratitude is always a good practice in any case.

    ReplyDelete

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!