Monday, September 18, 2017

MIRACLES BEFORE I COULD REMEMBER BY ADA BROWNELL


    

BY ADA BROWNELL



The old cook stove hadn’t had a fire in it for a while because of the hot weather, but that day wood was laid inside and set ablaze.

My big sister, Joan, seven years older than I, decided to give me a bath. I probably was a toddler. Thinking the stove was cool, she set the dishpan, which was my bathtub, on the stove. Then she plopped my bare body beside it.

Where was Mama?

I don’t know for sure, but I can guess. She probably was in my family’s huge garden, planting, watering, harvesting, hoeing, or something. making sure the ten of us had food to eat.

I was born in 1937 on the tail of The Great Depression.  Daddy and my oldest brother, Virgil, worked 12 hours a day shoveling coal from railroad cars onto trucks. Their pay? Each of them earned one dollar for the entire day.

The family had hard times before. Refugees from Kansas droughts, dust storms, and locust devastations, after moving to Colorado the cupboards were bare but their land and irrigation water promised food for the future. They could fill canning jars and then the cellar.

 I don’t think they contacted a doctor when burns covered my bottom. Except for once when I had croup and the doctor came to the house, as far as I know I didn’t go to a doctor until after I was married.

 I learned at a young age my parents had no money. When I was in the third grade the teacher told every student there was a fee for books and things that our parents had to pay.  I didn’t give the note about it to my parents, and didn’t tell them about the fee.

The teacher reminded us frequently in class that if we hadn’t paid, we better get it in. I ignored it. I thought I had invaded our family which already had seven children and I didn’t want to cause trouble or cost my parents anything. One big joke in our house was how angry my oldest sister became when Mama had another baby. My sis, Marjorie, wouldn’t look me for a week because she was so mad. So I felt guilty. They had enough children when I barged in.

Marjorie became, however, one of the most loving people in our family, but I’ll tell about that later.

My teacher gave me a D-grade in citizenship because I didn’t bring the money. Mama, a redhead like me, believed in education and was astounded by my low grade. She trotted the half mile to the school and demanded to see the teacher.

Mama admitted there was no money, but Daddy now had a better job. Although he was blind in one eye, he drove a truck for Grand Oil Company delivering oil to farmers. Yet, to pay the fee they had to take a little bank, a tiny Pennzoil can with a slit in the top, and save pennies and few nickels until they could pay the school.

While they were still in Kansas the depression hit hard and Dad thought up many things to provide for his family. One year there was no firewood, but near their house was a huge tree stump. He decided to dynamite it and made the dynamite out of sugar and salt peter. When he was pounding the substance into a crevice in the stump, it exploded, driving a sliver about six inches long through his eyeball.

He waited until morning and that time he had to go to a doctor. When the doctor removed the sliver, Daddy was blind in that eye.

But Dad kept going. During the drought he dammed up the creek and figured out how to irrigate his garden. That year the cellar was full and by bartering food from the garden, Virgil was able to go to high school. The food paid for his board.

The high school was too far away to walk and Virgil no longer had a horse. When the locusts came, probably the previous year, my grandfather put poison around his corn trying to save it.  Virgil’s treasured Shetland pony got into the poison and died. The locusts were so bad they even ate all the onions in Dad’s garden out of the ground, and anything else available, including brooms, clothing and leaves off the trees.

The family didn’t know then how important it was for Virgil to receive his high school diploma. Years later Virgil earned his doctorate in education and sociology and not only became a college professor but became the force behind Evangel University’s great accreditation.

Although I was too young to remember, I’m sure I had third-degree burns from Joan setting me on the stove. I remember nothing about it. Mama, as most people did in that day, probably used home remedies. But I believe the biggest thing was prayer.

Before our family arrived in Fruita, Colo., from Kansas, a little church heard a big family was moving to town and began to pray for us.

Shortly, a new friend Marjorie met at the Fruita high school invited her to church. Determination to go filled Marge, but Mama pitched a fit. The church was Pentecostal. A Holy Roller church!

Mama, a Methodist, was raised by Christian parents, but from what older siblings told me the hardships and trials of life left her faith pretty beat up.

“Let her go,” Daddy said, “I hear they teach children to obey their parents there.”

 Young men working with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a public work relief program that was part of the New Deal, swarmed all over our valley, and some of them had their eyes on my older sisters. Daddy didn’t like it.

So Marjorie went to church, accepted Jesus as her Savior and suddenly changed. The family later told me she was filled with joy and love. Rebellion and selfishness disappeared.

Virgil, Everette, Clara and all those who were old enough to understand the gospel, including my parents, were born again by God’s power. They were discipled in the Word and knew how to pray. I’m sure when Mama discovered what happened to me, she asked the church to pray. Perhaps the pastor came and anointed me with oil.

 They might have given a doctor a couple of chickens to look at the burns. I should have asked Mama and the older children while they were still alive.

It’s strange how people often experience or know of a miracle and forget it. I’ve thought of the scars few times in my life. Two scars about the size of an egg have been on my back side as long as I remember. As I grew, the skin stretched and the scars went up to my lower back.

After I got married, my husband asked what caused the scars. Occasionally doctors asked, “What happened there?” Otherwise I never thought of the miraculous recovery that the scars represented.

I should have said, “A miracle.” Only in recent years have I thanked God for life that could have ended because of the burns.

In the same way, I now realize how close I came to being blind. When I was an infant, my 2-year-old brother emptied a salt shaker into my eyes. I thank God for eyesight.

Mama and my older brothers and sisters might not have been able to watch me all the time, but I’m thankful my Heavenly Father saw me and heard when my family prayed.

The Lord told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” (Jeremiah 1:5 NKJ ). David wrote, “You have covered me in my mother’s womb… My frame wasn’t hidden from you, when I was made in secret… your eyes saw my substance” (Psalm 139: 13-17 NKJ).

Psalm 33 tells us “The Lord looks from heaven; he sees all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looks on all the inhabitants of the earth” (Psalm 33:13-14 NKJ).

I learned “Jesus Loves Me” at a young age. I memorized John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

I’m so glad God not only exists, but He loves me and hears and answers prayer.

Copyright  2017 Ada Brownell
****

This book is fictional suspense based on things I heard about my maternal grandmother's life.







THE LADY FUGITIVE

By Ada Brownell



Jennifer Louise Parks escapes from an abusive uncle who is a judge. Will she avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in?

Reviewer: The adventures and mishaps that JL Parks gets into will have you laughing out loud, biting your nails and perhaps even wishing you had a gun with which to help.

The most common remarks among readers of The Lady Fugitive “I couldn’t put it down;” “I love the characters;” “Sorry when it was over.” “I was hooked from the opening page.”

Available in paper and for Kindle


The Lady Fugitive 2015 Laurel Award runner-up.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Amazing quiirky creatures God made


By Catherine Castle



Have you ever noticed that God has a sense of humor? If you haven’t then all you need to do to see it is look around at nature. Consider these quirky creatures:


Spiny Something
Colorful Crab
Lion Fish


All photos © by Catherine Castle



Only someone with a sense of humor could create such funny looking creatures.



But God’s humor doesn’t just show in his creations. You can find examples of his humor in the Bible, too. Consider the donkey who spoke to Balaam after being struck three times because he would not move toward the angel of God that Balaam could not see. (Numbers 22:28) God chose a pretty unusual vehicle to use to address Balaam. Why didn’t he just make that angel visible to Balaam? Perhaps because it would have been a whole lot less interesting, and funny, if you ask any third-grader.



Or how about where Jonah ended up when he didn’t do what God asked. (Jonah 1:17) I mean putting a grown man in the belly of a whale, then giving the giant mammal indigestion so he’d spit Jonah out. You have to admit that’s got some humor in it. And when a petulant Jonah went to sulk after the Nineveh-ites repented, God made a giant plant bloom tall enough to shade Jonah from the sun. Then He sent a worm to kill the plant so it withered and died. (Jonah 4: 6) I can just see that plant blooming in time-lapse cartoon animation as Jonah sighs with relief when the shade hits him, then groans in despair as the plant withers around him. Yes, there was a lesson in both of those acts, but they both make pretty humorous stories.



And then there is the story of the Philistines capturing the Ark of the Covenant and placing it in their temple beside their god Dagon. (1 Samuel 5:1-5).) Not once, but twice, God laid Dagon on the floor, prostrate before the Ark of the Covenant.  The Philistines probably didn’t think it was too funny seeing their god on the floor in front of the Israelite’s Ark of the Covenant, but I bet the Israelites did when they heard the story. And the humor gets even better because the Philistines gave the Ark to other cities, that ended up with plagues being visited upon them. Once word got around about what had happened, the Philistines couldn’t pawn the Ark off on anyone. They ended up having to take it back to the Israelites with an offering of golden images of the plagues the Lord brought upon the various towns.  Another lesson, but one in which those watching from the outside see humor.



Proverbs 17:22 says,” A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”



I don’t know about you, but I’d always prefer a good laugh and a joyful spirit over dried bones. That’s the thing about humor, no matter what your circumstances in life, if you can find something to laugh about, you’re always better off.



Maybe that’s why humorous stories appeal to me. I hope romantic comedies appeal to you as well and that you’ll enjoy my sweet, romantic comedy, with a touch of drama, A Groom for Mama. In spite of the trying circumstances surrounding Mama, Allison, and Jack, they, too, find humor in the situations they find themselves in and discover the joyful heart that overcomes a crushed spirit. Here’s a peek at the story.



A Groom for Mama

By Catherine Castle



Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.



The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.



A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.



Excerpt:

When Allison returned, Mama had all the prospective husband papers spread out across the kitchen bar, poring over them as if her life depended on making a decision.

As she slid out the bar stool, Allison scooped the papers into a pile with her free hand. “Don’t bother, Mama. We don’t have time to make a date before your appointment at the clinic in Cleveland. I’ve got one of the best cancer doctors there lined up to examine your case. We’ll be there for a couple of weeks, at least.”

Mama sifted through the papers and scooted a profile toward Allison. “Then let’s make a date with this man. He’s got a restaurant in the Cleveland area. You’ve got to eat, so you might as well make the best of it.”

“Will Matteson. Restauranteer.”

Restauranteer?” Mama echoed. “Is that a word?”

Pointing to the word on the paper, Allison grimaced. “He must think it is.” Then she crumpled the paper and tossed it into the trash can. “The word is restaurateur. I can’t stand people who make up words. Besides, we won’t have time for dates. There are going to be a battery of tests on you, and I want to be there the whole time.”

“Then choose someone else,” Mama said as she grabbed another paper, “because I’m not going anywhere until you do.”

Allison eyed her mother, who straightened her back ramrod stiff and returned the glare. Allison knew the pose and there was no getting around it. Sighing, she retrieved the profile from the trash. “Okay, okay. I’ll call Jack and tell him to set up a date with this guy while we’re in Cleveland. But you’re coming with me when I meet him.”

Mama blinked. “What will he think of you dragging your mother with you on your first date? It’s inappropriate.”

“Meeting a stranger for dinner, in another state, all alone, is inappropriate. You come, or I don’t go.”

Grinning, Mama handed her the telephone. “Deal.”



Want to read more? Check out A Groom for Mama at Amazon.





About The Author:

Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life.
Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.



Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award. Her most recent release, A Groom for Mama, is a sweet romantic comedy from Soul Mate Publishing.  Both books are available on Amazon.



Social Media Links:



Catherine’s Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle


Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCCastle    @AuthorCCastle






SMP authors blog site:   http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/




Friday, September 8, 2017

MIRACLE SAVES A HOME


 MIRACLE SAVES A HOME

By Ada Nicholson Brownell

It was 4 a.m. Sunday. Gary Hilgers staggered into the house and got into bed. He knew a brief moment of loneliness when he remembered: Dona had taken the children and left last week.

This is it. I’ve had all I can take,” she had said. “Don’t come crawling with a lot of promises this time, because I’m not coming back. You’ll never change.”

Gary turned over and tried to make himself comfortable in the bed that hadn’t been straightened since Dona left. “Oh, well,” he muttered stubbornly. “I don’t care. Dona wanted to run my life—always nagging.”

He put Dona out of his thoughts and began thinking of how he could win back the money he had lost last night. Tomorrow would surely be his lucky day!

Latte Sunday morning Gary dragged himself out of bed, still exhausted but anxious to get going. He had kept the same schedule for three years: going to work’ getting off work; drinking and gambling until the morning hours; coming home to face Dona and his broken promises.

Dona had left him several other times, but he had always talked her into coming back. This time she seemed to mean it. “There’s no hope for you, Gary,” she had said. “You’re an alcoholic, even if you’re only 22.”

It was true. He couldn’t shake his thirst for liquor. At times he had delirium tremens. He was afraid of being along. Yet he enjoyed the excitement of gambling and liquor helped her forget his family waited at home.

Later that Sunday morning he was playing poker when suddenly he turned his cards face down on the table and quickly laid his cigar on the ash tray. Sharp pains stabbed through his chest. A long drink from the bottle didn’t help. Something stirred inside him. What if you should die right now?

When his friends asked what was wrong, he tried to laugh, but the pain stayed. The thought kept pulsating through his brain: If you die right now, you will go to hell.

Gary had been reared in a Christian home but hadn’t thought of God or church for five years. Now he had an irresistible urge to go to church!

From childhood he had an unusual desire for excitement. By the time he was 10 he had figured way to avoid going to church, and he involved his eight-year-old brother John in his schemes.

When Gary was 11, his mother had a stroke and cerebral hemorrhage. The third day she seemed to rally. She talked to the children, then prayed aloud that each of them would meet her in heaven. Within an hour she went into a coma, and late that evening she died.

Gary’s grief gradually turned into bitterness. After all, the rest of the boys his age had mothers; but Gary had to do his own ironing and cook for John and himself. A married sister took the baby brother, Rex.

By the time he was 12, Gary will try anything that offered a thrill. He took his father’s car and drove it recklessly. He began smoking regularly at 14. Once he and three friends ran away to California where they got into trouble with the law and were placed on probation.

Although under the legal driving age, he got a job transporting cars for an automobile auction company. He stayed out of school a week at time to do this.

Gary met Dona in high school. The first year they were married he changed jobs 10 times. Finally at 19 he began selling cars and decided this was his vocation.

He worked hard and made as much as $300 a week. Then he began gambling. Sometimes he lost more than a week’s income in one night. He began drinking to drown his money problems and became an alcoholic.

God was forgotten. Gary was extremely bitter. It seemed everything he did only complicated his life more. His conscience became so scarred he didn’t care how much he hurt Dona. He didn’t have time to give his children love and affection, and most of the time he didn’t care.

But God remembered his mother’s petition, submitted more than 10 years before.

That Sunday at the poker table, Gary couldn’t escape the thought: If you die right now, you will go to hell.

Abruptly he left his friends. Although had had been drinking, suddenly he was cold sober. He started looking for his wife and found her. “I’ve got to go to church,” he said frantically.

Dona laughed. She figured it was a scheme to get her back, but she went with him anyway.

Gary didn’t know where a church was. He contacted his father who directed him to South Denver (Colorado) Assembly of God where H. J. Jackson is pastor.

It was 8:30 p.m. when Gary and Dona arrived. The service was half over, but that didn’t matter. Conviction stripped Gary of pride. Guilt was so heavy that he felt it was crush him. He cried unashamedly during the sermon.

Then the guest preacher. R. Fulford, gave an invitation to those who wished to be saved.

Gary raised his hand and urged Dona to raise hers. She refused. When the minister invited sinners to pray, Gary literally ran to the altar. The minute he knelt he raised his hands and asked God to forgive his sins. The pain disappeared. He fell prostrate as the power of God struck him. Immediately he was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to praise God in other tongues (Acts 2:4). When he rose from his knees two hours later, Dona was gone. She didn’t understand Pentecostal worship and was frightened.

Dona waited for Gary at home. “I’ll go to my church, and you go to yours,” she said. “I’m going to start back to church and I’ll even teach a Sunday school class.”

Gary threw away his cigarettes, and Dona noticed he didn’t use one curse word that whole evening. Formerly Dona had often cringed at his foul language. Now he treated her and the children with a new tenderness.

But Dona was not yet convinced. “It’s all part of a scheme to get me back,” she kept telling herself. “It won’t last.”

Three days later, she began to accept that something actually happened to her husband. When he said he would be home for dinner, he was there. No more broken promises! No more smoking and drinking. And no more gambling! He only looked up his old friends long enough to tell them what had happened in his life. He took time to play with the children. And he and Dona talked for several hours.

After watching him for a week and a half, Dona was convinced. Evidently there was something to this idea of becoming a new creature in Christ, after all. So now it was her turn. She refused her husband’s invitations to accept the Lord, but one evening when he was working Dona went to church with her aunt and gave her heart to God. Two weeks later she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Soon others in Gary’s family were stirred. His sister and her husband were saved, and they are no engaged in Teen Challenge Ministry in Southern California. Then John’s wife came to Christ. A few months later, both John and the younger brother Rex knelt at the altar for salvation.

The Hilgers are active members of First Assembly of God in Lakewood, Colorado. Dona is youth president and Gary is Sunday school superintendent. He also is sales manager for an automobile agency in Denver. With five children, theirs is a happy home.

“I hadn’t really lived until I got saved,” Gary says. “Life began for me that day in 1959 when God gave me a new birth.



--THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL



Monday, September 4, 2017

THREE REASONS WHY YOU CAN’T PROVE GOD EXISTS




By Ada Brownell



After the recent solar eclipse many Christians were fired up.

“How can anyone deny God is there when he sees how exact God created the universe?

That the moon exactly fit over the sun even when they are different sizes and so many miles apart caught many people’s attention. They also were awed remembering how the whole universe revolves in sync under the guidance of somebody—who must be God.

But some people want proof God is there.

1.     The first reason you can’t prove God is there is because millions of people have decided to believe something else—even when it’s more preposterous that Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

 Despite looking into their own eyes every day in the mirror, they believe sight and everything else about the human body and the whole universe just happened. Faith is a decision, and they decided to believe in those who say God isn’t there.

They forget that the first law of thermodynamics says matter can’t be created or destroyed. Or that the second law says essentially that everything eventually falls apart—just the opposite of evolution. Every time you see an old house or barn falling in you have an example of this second law.

The story goes that God and the devil were having a discussion.

“I can make anything you can,” Satan said.

“All right,” God said. “Make a man.”

Satan bent over and started scraping up dirt. God tapped him on the shoulder.

“Use your own dirt.”

2.     Another reason you can’t prove God exists is because too many people refuse to believe in the supernatural. Even though humankind can’t explain the origins of life, which the Bible says came from the breath of God, they won’t believe.

 Even when they witness or hear of a miracle, such as the lame walking, the blind seeing, deaf ears hearing, and the sick healed, they deny the miracle because they’ve put their faith in something or someone else.

They believe in scientists because God gave some people ability to do amazing things. Their works might be called miracles, but they aren’t true miracles such as my friends saw after their pastor went to the State Home where their daughter with hydrocephalus (water on the brain) had been admitted shortly after birth. X-rays showed Becky had almost no brain. After prayer the home’s doctor called the couple.

“Come and get your baby. There is nothing wrong with her.”

The next X-rays showed a normal brain. Becky graduated from high school, has some college, and is marrie— still normal more than 40 years later.

3.     The biggest reason humans will never prove God exists is because faith is necessary for salvation. We read in Hebrews 11:3 “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

The chapter goes on the say in verse six, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”

Over and over we’re told in the Bible, even in the Old Testament, that people had to have faith to connect with God. John 3:16 tells us our only way to heaven is through believing: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Those were the words of Jesus when he talked to Nicodemus after the man asked about getting into the kingdom of God.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10:9-10, “If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart (the heart of who you are) you believe and are justified (just as if you’d never sinned), and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (from sin and death). (Words in parenthesis mine).

CONCLUSION: Of course when you believe and confess, and experience God’s power, joy and peace in your life, you KNOW God exists.

©Copyright Ada Brownell 2017

















Wednesday, August 30, 2017

DIVINE HEALING: Asthma, bronchitis, rosacea

Is this the end?
By Ada Brownell
I rushed to the doctor’s office almost in panic. Bronchitis had me by the chest and I’d had a lung-ripping cough for nearly three months. In the middle of that siege, I came down with an antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infection that flared with an invading army of bacteria. While I battled that, my face bloomed red and Rosacea pimples formed from my scalp to my neck, one of the worst cases my dermatologist had seen.
A urologist warned me years ago some day antibiotics wouldn’t clear up the resistant infections for me.
 For these simultaneous illnesses I’d tried two different antibiotics and they didn’t work.

After a CT scan, a lung doctor diagnosed the bronchitis problem as pneumonia, emphysema and asthma and prescribed an inhaler that cost $200 a month, as well as a rescue inhaler to make breathing easier. Those two prescriptions alone would quickly devour my yearly insurance provision, and he insisted I take them the remainder of my life.
I’d nearly emptied similar inhalers my primary care doctor prescribed and the bronchitis was worse.
“Have you had your flu shot?” the pulmonologist (lung doc) asked. “If you get the flu, you’ll be in the hospital.”
 I got the shot.
I’d made two or three trips to Urgent Care, then to my primary care doctor, and then to the kidney physician (nephrologist) who has done wonders for my blood pressure and also is great for infections. Nothing helped.
At first I stayed home because of the Rosacea, but then I ventured out. People stared. “Does it hurt?” more than one person asked. Being stared at gave me empathy for the handicapped.
I know God heals because we’ve had miracles in our churches and family. Yet, I always think of James’ teaching in the Bible that tells us faith without works is dead (James 2:17), so I usually follow a physician’s instructions. But nothing worked.
 Because they weren’t helping, I quit the inhalers and coughed less, wheezed less, and breathed easier.
But it was the dangerous UTI infection that propelled me to the prayer line at church. An unchecked infection sometimes can go throughout the body and kill you. I went forward once. I went twice. I went three times.
My faith wound around James 5:14: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for elders of the church, and let him pray over him, anointing him with in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” Yet I know God is sovereign and the Word says, “This is the confidence we have in him that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears. And if we know he hears us, we know we have the petition we desire of him” (1 John 5:14).
 I believe God wants us to be in health. Jesus not only healed when He walked the earth, He took the beating before He was crucified for our healing: “By His stripes we are healed” (1 Peter 2:24 and Isaiah 53:5). He knows what it is to hurt.
Healing and miracles depend on my faith, too, and fear isn’t faith. Yet, God confirmed His word with signs following.
The day I went into a panic, I told the kidney doctor, “I’m willing to try one from the family of drugs I was allergic to thirty years ago and I’d had welts all over me.”
He prescribed the drug. I took it and no reaction occurred. The UTI pain disappeared. I was on the road to recovery!
He’d tested the bacteria to see what kind of medication would help, and discovered another drug also would kill the infection. Praise the Lord! Now I have at least two antibiotics that work. Perhaps when I need them, others will work also.
The bronchitis and Rosacea gradually disappeared, too.
It’s been three years and I have no symptoms of emphysema or asthma and two of my physicians told me not to return to the lung doctor.
God still cares when we’re sick, and he tells us how to believe for healing, what to do, including going to physicians that He has poured His wisdom into. Yet, we also know the Lord is there when we aren’t healed. He loves us just as much, comforting and sending other people to love on us.
***

Thursday, August 24, 2017

EVER DO ANYTHING STUPID?






By Ada Brownell

After I’d been on vacation I went to the lunch area and my mind must not have arrived yet. I stuck my tea water in the refrigerator and my Coke in the microwave. I caught myself just before I pressed the start button.

The day before Deputy Attorney General Byron (Whizzer) White was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, I walked into the press conference and shook hands with a local TV news anchor instead of White. Of course, this was early in my newspaper career. I like excuses for stupid.

Our trio, the Damascus Singers, was invited to participate in a singspiration service. I was appointed to introduce our song.

“We’ve heard a lot of great music tonight,” I said. “Now we’re going to sing, ‘If it Keeps Getting Better.’” Took me a minute to realize why the audience laughed.

Some cases of the stupids are more serious, and could be deadly.

Take Eve, for instance. What on earth was she doing talking to Satan, who took on the form of a snake that could communicate? Before God judged the critter he was beautiful, though. Yet his bite was full of poisonous venom.

I guess talking wasn’t Eve’s problem, it was the listening. God already told Adam, and I’m sure he shared it with his new wife, never to eat fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they did, the Lord warned, they would die.

I don’t think Eve paid much attention to that. Probably that’s why the stupids virus headed for her.

“You won’t die!” the serpent proclaimed. “God knows if you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Eve had a good eye for beauty and saw the tree was good for food and pleasant to the eyes. If she’d been in a mall, she’d grabbed her credit card. She reached up, picked it, and ate. Like any temptress, she shared it with the man in her life.

Who would notice a few bites of fruit? God did because of what the tree represented. Suddenly their innocence vanished. They tried to hide their nakedness because now it seemed wrong, yet God knew they disobeyed and elaborated on the consequences.

Perhaps they didn’t fully comprehend the horror of yielding to temptation until they had to bury a son, murdered by his brother. I imagine their tears partly were shed because death became a fact of life when they sinned against God.

Hiding had done them no good. God called for Adam. The Lord knew where the man was, but Adam needed to come out and confess.

Amazing that our loving God, who gave freedom to choose whether to serve Him, almost instantly revealed He would bring a way to restore immortality to humankind. He would send a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15) who would conquer Satan and death. That Redeemer is Jesus, God’s only Son (John 3:16).

All through the Bible we see God’s great love and His willingness to forgive sin. He doesn’t hold being stupid against us. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Ah! Stupids flee when we finally get smart. Some good ways to increase wisdom: READ THE WORD OF GOD, THE BIBLE and also these books by Ada Brownell will help. They’re written to encourage you to believe.

All of the books contain elements to increase faith such as nono-fiction Facts, Faith and Propaganda, Imagine the Future You, Swallowed by Life, and including fiction, The Lady Fugitive its sequel Peach Blossom Rancher, both historical suspenseful romances.

All are available on Ada Brownell’s author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Here LIe my Talents: REST FOREVER



By Ada Brownell

Nobody likes a cemetery—especially me. That’s why it was almost more than I could do to follow Conscience out there last night.

I stumbled along beside Conscience between humpy and sunken graves. The wind whistled through the pine trees. A coyote cried in the distance. Eerie shadows danced on the white marble headstones in the cloudy moonlight.

I knew where we were headed. It had been six months since I made the inscription on the tombstone: “Here Lie My Talents—Rest Forever.”

“You were discouraged too easily,” Conscience was saying.

“But that critique group cut my manuscript into confetti.  I don’t want to submit another thing.”

Conscience laughed. “But you forgot how many good sections they pointed out. Furthermore, they thought the story idea was marvelous.”

“The world apparently doesn’t need what I have to say,” I said stubbornly. “Book shelves are stuffed with paranormal stories, fantasy and wizards. People don’t want reality. I feel like I’m a voice crying into the wind. I’m tired of rejection.”

“Don’t you remember that article on controlling anger that’s been reprinted so many times? How about the piece on faith that blessed so many? Or the testimonies you’ve written for people who experienced miracles? You did enjoy the interviews and writing those, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” I admitted. “I love to do things for the Lord. I like to feel I contribute something to praise and worship Him.

The look Conscience wore was wise and kind. “That’s why I asked you to come out here. God wants workers who will serve Him willingly and be witnesses of truth. The Lord gets little joy from those who seek men’s praise. But you will have to accept some criticism and editing.”

“But I’m tired, and afraid to listen to one more critique!”

“The servant mentioned in the parable in Matthew was afraid, too. He buried his one talent because of fear. He was called a wicked and slothful servant and was cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Stiff penalty, eh?”

I almost stumbled over a grave marker. A low cry escaped my lips as a chill climbed my spine.

Conscience took my arm. His strong arm steadied me. “Maybe I shouldn’t have been so hasty in giving up,” I said half under my breath.

“It’s not too late,” Conscience said confidently. “You can dig up your talents.”

“But won’t they be decayed by now?”

Conscience handed me a shovel. I walked to the grave and slowly lifted out a scoop of dirt. The more dirt I removed, the more excited I became. Finally they were all uncovered. I lifted them out.

“See,” Conscience said wisely. “Talents don’t decay; they just rust. They’ll be in fine shape after you use them a little.”

I laughed. It was good to get the feel of my talents again. Suddenly I felt strong and reckless. I picked up a big rock with my free hand and heaved it with all my strength. It hit on target. Pieces of white stone scattered over the empty grave. The letters of the inscription looked like a scrambled puzzle.

I held my talents close to me and walked away, determined to use them for the glory of God, not the praise of men.

©Ada Brownell