Saturday, May 26, 2018

MEMORIAL DAY: MEMORIES AND REUNION EXPECTATIONS



I always wish I was in San Jose, Calif. on Memorial Day. That's where our beautiful daughter Carolyn Brownell Coney is buried. Yet I rejoice. Jesus said, "Who ever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:26). She's been with Jesus since she was 31, and when the trumpet sounds and Jesus returns, she will be united with her body-- changed--in a moment in a twinkling of an eye. And we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with her and others coming from the graves and meeting Jesus in the air! What a day that will be! (See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A RETIRED MEDICAL REPORTER ASKS: WHAT WILL YOU BRING INTO YOUR MARRIAGE?


WILL YOU BRING A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE?

An excerpt from the book, IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU

By Ada Brownell



 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8.



A high school human sexuality teacher who is a Christian did this experiment for me in a class I taught at our church’s Dunamis Academy.

She gave paper and pencils to everyone. Before class, she marked an X on the back of one of the papers, but none of the kids knew it. She instructed students to shake hands with other teens and have them sign each other’s papers. They shook hands and gathered signatures for five minutes, and then returned to their seats.

“Turn your papers over and see if there is an X on the back,” she told them. A girl found the X and raised her hand.

The teacher told her to stand up. “She has Virus X. Who signed her paper?”

Five hands went up, and those kids stood.

“Now these five have the virus. Who signed their papers?” Four more got out of their seats, also contaminated by the fictional “virus.”

Six more admitted their fate.

Eventually all remaining students were “infected.”

“This is how sexually transmitted diseases spread,” the teacher said. “When you have sex with someone, you are essentially going to bed with every person that individual had sex with, because once a sexually transmitted disease is shared, it is contagious until the disease is cured—if the disease has a cure. You might be intimate with only one person but be exposed to multiple diseases.”

Some STDs, such as herpes, cause severe misery and are incurable, but they don’t kill. But the HIV-AIDS virus isn’t the only one that kills. Both hepatitis B and C affect the liver and can take your life. Human papilloma virus (genital warts) sometimes causes cervical cancer. Chlamydia and gonorrhea, left untreated, can affect joints and heart valves and cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and even blindness.

 A story by Lawrence K. Altman published in the New York Times on March 12, 2008, said the first national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases among girls and young women found that one in four is infected with at least one of the diseases.

IMAGINE YOU—CLEAN!

 But the federal study could have pointed out three out of four do not have the disease. I imagine a large number of them were virgins.

When my husband and I were married, couples took blood tests to check for STDs. When a virgin discovered she was set to marry someone affected with a disease, there was time to call off the wedding. Of course, my husband and I had nothing to worry about, and the test came out negative.

I would guess in my day most of us were virgins, and I knew my beautiful white satin gown testified to that fact.

According to Kelsey McIntyre in From Times Past, white has been accepted as the preferred wedding dress color since Queen Victoria married her cousin Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840. Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1849 reported, “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood and the unsullied heart she now submits to the chosen one.”

A wedding gown probably is the most beautiful dress most women wear in their lives. Even the least expensive are exquisite.

Young men, too, probably will never be more handsome than the day they stand at the altar waiting in a tuxedo for the beautiful bride.

Children often like to play “bride and bridegroom,” and during their growing years, many girls dream of the day when they walk down the church aisle, dressed in white, as the wedding march fills the sanctuary.

In 1953, about half of all women were married by age twenty, and half of all men by age twenty-two. In 2002, the average age for the bride was twenty-five and bridegroom age twenty-seven.

Today, thousands of couples are living together without being married, and multitudes of young women give birth to babies without being married. In addition, approximately fifty million babies have been killed by abortion in the United States since abortion became legal in 1973.

Something happened. A large number of young men don’t bend a knee and extend a tiny box containing a diamond and ask their beloved to marry them. Instead, many just want to rush the girls off to bed somewhere and perhaps live together.

Some folks blame the lack of finances and needing to wait to earn a college education as the reason to delay marriage, but it doesn’t make sense. You can get a marriage license for a few bucks. A pastor will marry you for free, but it’s customary to pay him one hundred dollars or so. A couple can live cheaper than two single people, and you can get your education after marriage. I did. Thousands of people earn their degrees later, and most of the people did from generations before us.

But there is something else—and it’s huge. Young women and men are giving away their virginity as if they are dropping a penny on the sidewalk and leaving it there. Guys who already have a sexual relationship with a woman won’t hurry to get married. A woman who gives away her virginity before marriage risks never being married—especially to him!

 

MEET ADA BROWNELL


Ada Brownell has been writing for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a daily newspaper reporter. She has a B.S. degree in Mass Communications and worked most of her career at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo., where she spent the last seven years as a medical writer. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to free lance for Christian publications and write non-fiction and fiction books.

She has been married to her husband, Lester, for 64 years.

Twitter: @adellerella
Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement
Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU
A motivational Bible study by Ada Brownell
Ready or not, you’re going into your future.
If you continue to do what you do now, what kind of future will you have? This Bible study will help you discover evidence for faith in God; how to look and be your best; who can help; interesting information about dating, love and marriage; choosing a career; how to deposit good things into your brain you can spend; and how to avoid hazards that jeopardize a successful life on earth and for eternity, all mingled with true stories that can make you smile.
Review:  How I would have loved to sit at Mrs. Brownell's knee when I was a teen. This wholesome book resounds with sage, Godly advice and could be picked up again and again as needs arise. Worthwhile for parents too. Much fodder for family discussion.
            Also available in Audio. Read or listen to first chapter free! #Teens #Family #Devotions

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

GIVEAWAY SUCCESS

By Ada Brownell

Last week during the free days arranged by Elk Lake Publishing Inc. on Amazon, readers picked up 1,445 copies of The Lady Fugitive, the first book in my Peaches and Dreams series.

Readers are interested in the sequel, Peach Blossom Rancher, which isn't free but it's worth every cent of the $3.95 cost.

Often other authors ask where I did my research on that book. The Lady Fugitive is based on my maternal grandparents on things I heard they did and experienced, but it's not  a true historical. I knew about some major points in their lives, but when information is handed down from
generation to generation not everybody agrees about what happened, and what is or isn't true. Plus author often take license and invent things they know aren't true.

In contrast, the sub-plot of Peach Blossom Rancher grew out of my experience covering the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, a former asylum, on my beat as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain.

Yet it's still fiction. The characters never lived. Yet some of the factual information about how people were diagnosed as being imbeciles in the early 1900s, where the story is set, comes from data supplied to me by that mental hospital.

The main plot occurs on a peach/horse ranch, with which I am familiar because I worked in that setting in my teens and I worked in a packing shed. Yet research came in on how to bring a neglected orchard back to its former glory. I needed more information on horses, too.

Mental illness comes in when the woman the rancher hopes to marry decides to help one of her father's law associates take an asylum to court because of misdiagnoses.

But then, as with all plots, complications happen. John Lincoln Parks, the rancher, stumbles over a body in his barn and he's jailed for murder, a neighbor rancher thinks she's in love with John, the woman John wants to marry decides to go back to practicing law. Throw in a big sow and a bunch of little pigs, overcrowded rabbit hutches, a kid who is a bundle of laughs, and two wonderful black servants who inspire, love, and encourage John and the whole family.

Will John be able to restore the ranch? Will those wrongfully diagnosed as insane be released? Will he find a wife?

Get Peach Blossom Rancher. 










Friday, April 27, 2018

THE LADY FUGITIVE FREE APRIL 30 TO MAY 4




The Lady Fugitive

By Ada Brownell

How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?

In 1908 Jenny Louise Parks, 17, escapes from the coal bin, and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her or he won’t inherit her parents’ ranch.

Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William O’Casey and there’s a hint of romance. But while traveling around the country peddling household goods and showing one of the first Passion of the Christ moving pictures, William discovers his father’s brutal murder.

Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in?

2015 Laurel Award runner-up. Published by Elk Lake Publishing, a new small Christian traditional publisher.

#Review The Lady Fugitive. You’ll laugh, bite your nails; wish you had a gun to help. Available from Amazon in paper or e-book.


53 Reviews

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

THREE REASONS I PUBLISHED MY JOURNAL


WIN A FREE PRINT!

win a f



Transformation: a chronological walk through the Bible in a year





By Donna Schlachter

Have you ever noticed that the voice of God often comes in the most unexpected moments asking the most unexpected things of us? This happened to me early in January of 2017 during my daily reading. Without a doubt, He stood beside me and said, “Write this book”.

Now, normally when God tells me to write a book, I don’t have any problem. I mean, I have so many stories floating around inside my head, I don’t think I’ll live long enough to get them all written down.

So, naturally, I asked, “Which book?”

“This book.”

“This isn’t a book.” Like I need to tell God that, or anything for that matter. “It’s just my daily journal.”

“Yes. That book.”

Honestly, that was the last thing I wanted to hear. Like I said, I have plenty of other books to write without God adding a devotional to the list. But I couldn’t escape the instruction.


So, here are three things I learned while writing this book:

  1. Because it was also my daily reading and quiet time, I had to be honest with my own thoughts, feelings, and understandings, but also be willing to be completely transparent with my reader. In fact, when I transcribed this book into my computer, I only changed about three words, and that’s because I’d written the wrong word in my journal.
  2. I waited until almost the end of the year to transcribe the book. Stupid me. I could have started almost immediately. The lesson learned is never put off what God is telling you to do.
  3. The process of writing a book kept me on track so I couldn’t skip days or skim the reading. At the end of every reading, I asked God what He wanted me to learn, and what He wanted the reader to learn. As a result, I didn’t use any of the “usual” verses we see in devotionals, and God gave me fresh insight every single day.
So this book has been a true transformation for me. The way I read was different; I expected God to show up every day; and I was able to be more real in what I wrote. As I transcribed, I saw days where I was upbeat; days where I was discouraged; days where I was angry. And yet God used every one of those days.

If we let Him loose in our lives, He is faithful to change us—to transform us into His likeness and image.

Answer this question for the opportunity to win a free print (US only) or digital copy of Transformation: How would knowing you were writing a book change the way you journal your quiet time?





About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.



www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!



Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

  




Monday, April 16, 2018

ARE YOU FOLLOWING THE RIGHT PATH TO YOUR FUTURE?




Stepping Stones

Sara L. Foust



Five years ago, I had no clue what God had planned for the next phase in my life. I had just turned 30 with three beautiful little girls when I felt an overwhelming call to become a foster parent. It was terrifying. My husband and I completed the training and soon enough we had our first placement, then our second, and then our third. Little did we know at that time our third placement would result in our fourth when her biological half-brother was born. In September 2014, with four children in our home, God impressed upon us to pull our eldest two children from public school and begin homeschooling. I had a lot of support from friends and family, thankfully, because I had no idea what I was doing.

When we brought our newborn son home from the NICU on August 31, 2015, I quickly realized working full-time as a medical transcriptionist from home was no longer going to work. There simply weren’t enough hours in the day or enough coffee in the world to keep my exhausted eyes open. We began to earnestly pray for God to show us what career I should take. It was crystal clear this was the opportunity I’d been longing for my whole life. It was time to write. Not just tinker with the craft. Really write.

It was an amazing and scary time all at once. We went from two full-time incomes to one, cutting our income literally in half, with a new baby and a new mortgage. But God worked out all the details.

By August 2016, our adoption was final and we had a new son and daughter. What a blessed day that was! In the coming months I finished up my first manuscript and, with a lot of prayer, found a publisher who liked my work. In November 2017, Callum’s Compass released. Though we (almost desperately at times) needed the money, I again had an overwhelming sense that God was pressing me to something different. You see, in October I had prayed and cried and prayed about attending a mission trip to the Philippines. And no matter how I tried to talk myself and God out of it, the burden to go would not leave me. I called my friend and mission trip coordinator and told her I would be joining them in April 2018. So the money we had really been waiting for to help with bills, God impressed upon me to donate 100% of sales profits to the mission trip. I’m not going to lie. At first I don’t think I was exactly a “joyful giver.” I was scared. I was worried. But now five months after my debut’s release, I can honestly say it’s been a joy to place the profits toward God’s plan for me on this mission trip.

I can look back now and see how each of the steps from foster parenting to homeschooling to writing full-time to adoption have led to this mission trip. God was putting all the pieces in line so that I could go without worrying about my children missing school, without worrying about taking time off from work (for 2 weeks!), and providing extra money toward the finances needed to go. I am so thankful that I followed His leading, even though at times I didn’t know why He was pushing us toward one direction or another. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV. I am reminded every day that God’s plans are not without reason. That His gentle nudgings are not without purpose. He knows what He’s doing, and all we have to do is trust Him enough to follow blindly no matter where the stepping stones lead.


Tag line:         Facing betrayal, wild animals, meth-addled drug makers, and their own fears, can Kat and Ryan discover the golden treasure and God’s love?
Publisher:      Mantle Rock Publishing
How to reach me:
·       Website: www.saralfoust.com
·       Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/cfqP5H
·       Email: sfoust25@hotmail.com
·       Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/SaraLFoust/
·       Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Sfoust25
·       Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sfoust25/
·       Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sfoust25
Author Bio:
Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Tennessee Mountain Writers. Her debut novel Callum's Compass won second place in Deep River Books' 2017 Writer's Contest. She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit www.saralfoust.com
Medium bio:
Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and is a member of ACFW and Tennessee Mountain Writers. Callum's Compass won second place in Deep River Books' 2017 Writer's Contest.  Sara also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Gain access to a FREE digital scrapbook detailing some real-life places from Callum’s Compass by signing up for her newsletter: www.saralfoust.com


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

EVER BEEN DECEIVED?

  




By Lillian Duncan

DECEPTION



Deception is the first in my Sisters By Choice series. I never planned Deception to be part of a three-book series but it just sort of happened. Each of the Sisters By Choice novels feature courageous women who make the choice to help “a sister”in need in spite of the danger involved.

 Deception features a set of estranged twins that couldn’t be more different from each other or so it seems. Patti is a go-by-the-rulebook type of person while Jamie is a “free spirit” or at least that’s the persona she portrays to the world.

But Deception is the title of the book so there are more than a few surprises waiting for Patti as the story unfolds.

For those of you who aren’t writers, editors love to chop out what they consider as unnecessary scenes. It’s their job so I harbor no ill will toward them. This was the first chapter in my book, but my editor chopped it. However, it makes a great prologue so without further ado…



DECEPTION PROLOGUE

Jamie glared at the white leather sofa, the plush pristine white carpet, the white walls. Splashes of color from accent pillows provided the only relief from the white. The room was perfect. It could have been featured in House Beautiful.

Jamie detested it. All she wanted was to go back home so her precious daughter could experience a normal childhood and to meet her aunt Patti.

Jamie stopped pacing like a caged tiger and put a hand over her heart. The pain of missing her twin so real she could barely breathe.

It would all end soon—very soon.

Then she could go back home. As much as she wanted to quit right that second, she wouldn’t until the job was finished. Innocent people would die if she quit and she couldn’t live with herself if that happened.

She moved to the sliding glass door leading to her patio and opened it. The steamy Florida air rushed into the coolness of the air-conditioned house. Darkness enveloped her as she stepped out. She inhaled the scent of the tropical flowers adorning her patio.

She welcomed the quiet of the night.

Guilt tugged at Jamie once again. Sabrina deserved a full-time mother, not one who spent a handful of days with her every month. This craziness would soon stop, and then she could make a real home for Sabrina.

It would all end soon—very soon.

She hit a button and the cover of the hot tub slid away. Steam bubbled up. The warm water caressed her skin as she lowered herself into the hot tub. Her muscles relaxed. She had a ton of things to do before she left once again, but she needed this.

A slight rustling in the bushes caught her attention. Jamie turned toward the noise and peered into the darkness. Nothing. Still, she felt a chill in spite of the warmth of the water. Her senses went on alert.

Time to go in.

She stood and turned toward the patio door. Strong arms encircled her from behind. She struggled to break the hold. Too strong. Her training kicked in and she allowed herself to go limp. Her attacker’s arms went slack for a moment.

 It was the moment she needed.

Slipping through his arms, she whirled to face her attacker and in one fluid movement slammed her foot into stomach. The man grunted and fell back. She jumped out of the hot tub, water sloshing over the patio. 

Her gun was in the house. But so was Sabrina.

She turned, running away from the house but then out of the darkness, someone grabbed her…


NOTE: If you right click on the photo you can save it just as if I’d sent it in a separate file. Thanks.



I loved writing the story of Patti and Jamie which is how it ended up being a three book series. Deception (e-book) is on sale for a limited time for only 99 cents or you can buy the complete anthology as well.

AMAZON LINK for DECEPTION







BIO:

Lillian Duncan: stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem!

Lillian is a multi-published writer with several Amazon bestsellers, including The Christmas Stalking and Game On. Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch or two of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us

Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word. To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net or at Tiaras & Tennis Shoes, her personal blog at www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.powerupwithGod.com.










AMAZON LINK for DECEPTION







AMAZON LINKS









Deception




Betrayed




Redemption

https://www.amazon.com/Redemption-Sisters-Choice-Book-3-ebook/dp/B00MRLMK30/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1520948677&sr=8-3&keywords=sisters+by+choice+lillian+duncan