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This week I’ve invited Marianne Evans. A lot of readers of Christian fiction are familiar with Marianne. She has over ten books to her belt and is featured in newsletters and blogs all over the web. Welcome Marianne. Look for my review of her lastest book Devotion on the Events page. Also, comment on either this page or the Events page for a chance to win an Ebook copy of Devotion.
From Genesis to Devotion
There I was, innocently wrapping up my first-ever inspirational romance series for White Rose Publishing (part of the amazing publisher, Pelican Book Group!) I shed some bittersweet tears as I finished creating the story of Tyler Brock and Amy Maxwell.
But then, something most unexpected happened. I met a guy. Actually, I met a guy and his wife. And they stole my heart. Into my imagination charged Kellen Rossiter. What a guy. He fascinated me immediately upon his entrée into Tyler and Amy’s story. He’s seemingly got it all. A high-powered and successful career as an agent in the Christian music industry. A wife he adores completely. A faith-life he’s never questioned. Juliet, his bride, is his perfect compliment. She’s smart and sweet, Christ-centered, lives to serve and loves her husband above all others.
But as the couple came to life, I discovered their perfect life had a few cracks and fissures. The world, and the relationship they shared, was about to come crashing down around them…because of a surrender to temptation.
You may ask, rightfully so, ‘Come on, Marianne. How can a couple so committed, so devoted if you will, fall prey to a spiritual failure? Sadly, it’s an easier trap to fall in to than you may realize. As I journeyed with Kellen and Juliet through a turbulent season in their marriage, I discovered something important. Temptation sneaks up on you. Seldom does it bang you over the head and cause you to fall. Rather, circumstances build. Circumstances left unchecked overwhelm. Goodness and light become tangled, swallowed into a shade of gray that leaves right and wrong, good and bad, in question.
Even for the most faithful person.
Another lesson I learned in writing Devotion is this: Christians fail. Christians aren’t perfect. Instead, we know enough to lean on God’s truth, his forgiveness and unfailing mercy to work past the sins we commit. When we approach Him with sincere regret and in authentic reform, God always welcomes us home.
I hope you enjoy the story of Devotion. I pray it blesses you the way writing it has blessed me!
Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create.
Evans’s novel, Hearts Communion, earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors in the Romance category and readers have lauded her work as: ‘Riveting.’ ‘Realistic and true to heart.’ ‘Compelling.’ Evans has also won acclaim in such RWA contests as The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence where she has been a finalist twice, and the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence.
A lifelong resident of Michigan, Evans is active in a number of a number of Romance Writers of Aneruca chapters, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. She’s also active in American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.
As promised, here is my guest Mary Manners. Her upcoming release Wisdom Tree is wonderful. Thanks to an advance copy, I’ve written a review on the Events Page. You can also go there for a chance to win a copy.
Laughter is a song for the soul and glue to a marriage.
My husband and I laugh often. We laugh at ourselves and at each other–over big things, small things, and everything in between. When the going gets tough…we laugh!
There was the time I attempted to get into the hammock my husband had slung a bit too high between two oak trees in our backyard. After several failed tries to hoist myself up and in beside him, I flipped us both into the dirt. So much for a relaxing nap beneath the cool shade of the tree’s leaf-laden branches. I quickly reminded him that’s why I stick to running–less danger of maiming a teammate. My husband countered by lowering the hammock and placing a step-stool beside it. That worked…until my foot went right through the mesh on the stool!
The hardest I’ve ever laughed was the time my husband and I went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. As we waited in line to pay our bill, he bent down to peruse a candy display. Suddenly…rriiippppp! There went his pants. I was OK until he turned his back to me and, glancing over his shoulder, asked, “Is it bad?” The baby-blue boxers peeking through a gaping hole in his khakis had me howling. Needless to say, he skipped the candy.
Of course, I’ve had more than my fair share of laughable moments. My husband says I’m the Three Stooges all rolled into one–constant supervision required. Most of the time, I have to agree!
What makes you laugh? What are some rip-roaring belly-laugh experiences you’ve had? I’d love for you to share!
Mary Manners is an award-winning author of inspirational romance who lives in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband and daughter. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Smoky Mountain Romance Writers.
In her free time, she likes to garden, take long walks with her husband, and read romance novels in a hammock beneath century-old shade trees.
Here is Mary Manners web site address: http://www.marymannersromance.com/
I go to a very contemporary church. It’s youth oriented, and I like that. I’m an original head banger so gospel music doesn’t really do it for me. However, I love praise and worship music. A lot of times I’ll be standing there with my arms raised up, and God’s presence will come over me. However, with the next song, it might not happen. I’ll get disappointed that I don’t feel that glory anymore. It’s hard to realize that other people need to be reached also. It can’t always be about me.
Bible verse James 5:16 states, Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. We are to pray for others. It can’t always be prayers for yourself.
As much as we would like to have all our prayers answered, there are times we need to pray for each other. And there might be people seated around you in church that need your prayers. They also need God’s touch. It might be because they are going through something in their life you’re not aware of, or it could be they are trying to find their way to Him.
If you don’t feel God’s presence all the time, it doesn’t mean He’s not there. He might be working on the person next to you. Say a prayer that whoever He is trying to reach at that moment feels Him. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could feel the glory of God inside? If our hearts could be filled with His joy? Imagine how much better the world would be.
Next time you feel like God isn’t there with you, look around. He’s there, just busy working on someone else’s heart. Pray that they open up to Him. You’ll be amazed how quickly that “God feeling” comes back.
NOTE: The next two weeks I will have a guest blogger. Mary Manners will be my guest on July 23 and Marianne Evans will be guest blogging on July 30. For those who don’t know them, they are two prolific writers in the Christian community. I know you’ll enjoy what each of them has to say.
Here is the video prepared by my publisher for Breathless and Catch Your Breath. http://youtu.be/0j-PKKmXAwQ.
July 4, we celebrate Independence Day. But are we really free? Sure we can pray to whatever God we choose, we can say just about anything we want without fear of retribution, and we can carry guns on the street. Yet, how many of us are still imprisoned by our sins?
Drug addicts need to get that next fix. People who want the latest gadgets must work constantly to afford such luxuries. Teen girls purge themselves to look like models in the magazines. Does that sound like freedom to you?
Keeping up with the world will only keep you captive. The only true liberty in this world is the freedom Jesus offers. He gives you life with no addiction, with loving yourself as you are, with wanting to give to others instead of ourselves.
1 Corinthians 6:12 states, “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
People who live in this country think they are entitled. They should have anything they desire without penalties. But there are consequences. Sex with too many partners gives you STD’s. Spending money on things when you can’t afford it makes you broke. Trying to fit in with certain people can lead to you disliking yourself and doing things you might not otherwise do.
Celebrate July 4, the day the United States became independent. But don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re free. If you have anything you focus on more than God, you are imprisoned and will be until you fix your eyes on Jesus.
Only then, can free people truly be free.