Wednesday, July 19, 2017

THE DEATH PENALTY FOR SIN




CONDEMNED TO DIE!



By Ada Nicholson Brownell



The scene in condemned row is never pleasant.

On the night before an execution, the long empty corridors echo the regular footsteps of a guard as he walks past the prison cells.

None of the prisoners can sleep that night. From one particular cell comes the shuffle of a condemned man’s feet as he paces back and forth like a caged lion.

Perspiration drips from the prisoner’s face and neck. His shirt sags with dampness.

All night he paces, stopping only occasionally to clasp his hands or grab the bars with a groan, his glazed eyes wild with fear. The next morning his life is to be snuffed out in the gas chamber.

A condemned man has no rest—and yet, across America there are millions of men and women under condemnation of death who slumber in blissful ignorance of their spiritual situation. They are condemned to die as surely as the man in death row—not in a gas chamber, but a death far worse. For Bible says, “He that believeth on him (God’s Son) is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already” (John 3:18).

If you are a sinner, you are in death row. Every breath you breathe, every blink of your eyes, brings you nearer the moment when the divine sentence will be executed upon you. God does not want you to die; He has provided every opportunity for you to appeal for mercy and you can obtain forgiveness through His grace if you ask for it. But until now, you have not asked. If you neglect to be saved in time, you will have no one to blame but yourself.

Most condemned men fight for their lives. They exhaust every opportunity to be saved. Caryl Chessman, implicated with the Los Angeles underworld and condemned to die for red-light crimes, fought twelve long years. He studied law books in San Quentin, and used every legal device he could find to remain alive, but on May 2, 1960, he paid with his life. Life was dear to him. He forced the state to spend a fortune, and he himself spent all he had before his case was closed.

How dear is eternal life to you? Do you shrug your shoulders and say, “I will not think about it”? That will not change your fate. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

If you shut your eyes to the truth you are rejecting God’s light and deliberately choosing the darkness which will condemn you for all eternity.

Children play “let’s pretend” but grown men and women are expected to be mature enough to face reality. The Bible plainly says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). It is to your own interest to prepare to die and to be ready for the judgment that will follow death.

You are condemned to die—for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) and “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). But the same verse that says “the wages of sin is death” goes on to say “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.” God offers this gift of life forevermore to those who accept Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior. You must decide whether to do that.

You are condemned, but you may be pardoned. Christ made this possible and the way is written plainly in black and white for all who will read their Bibles. You must believe in Jesus as your Savior and you must accept Him as your Lord and Master.

You must confess your sin to Him and ask Him for pardon, as it is only in Him that “we have redemption through his blood for forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace”  (Ephesians 1:7).

If a condemned man were offered a pardon for committing his crime, and he refused, would you call him stupid? Surely any person who is neither stupid nor insane will agree with that. There is life after death, a person should prepare for it.

Down in your heart you know you need a Savior. One self-styled atheist rejected Christ all his life and denied the existence of God, heaven, or hell, but when his time came to die, he screamed that the flames of hell were already enveloping him. He realized then he ought to have asked for a pardon, but it was too late.

When the black hood is placed over the head of a condemned killer, it is too late for redemption. The gas is turned on and in a few seconds his life is snuffed out.

You are condemned to die, if you haven’t accepted Christ. You are going to take that one-way trip to the death house of eternity. Once that time comes, it will be too late for a change of mind. Now is the time to be saved. This day, if you are wise, you will admit your sin to God and throw yourself upon His mercy.

The Bible says, “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).

This is the only hope scriptures offer to condemned men and women. Accept Christ as your Savior today. Receive the pardon offered by God, who loves you so much He gave His only begotten Son, so that you should not perish, but have everlasting life through believing in Him (John 3:16).



THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, October 27, 1963


Monday, July 17, 2017

Hope. Encouragement. Be like a watered gardent in the desert




LIKE A WATERED GARDEN

By Ada Brownell

Scripture:The Lord will guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and strengthen your bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” (Isaiah 58:11 NKJ).

Because of my husband’s railroad job as a telegraph operator, in the 1950s we had to move to Thompson, Utah, population 100, four bars, no church, a uranium mill, and an acid plant.

Thompson rose in the middle of the Utah desert with cactus, a ghost town not far away, run-down homes, and a two-room schoolhouse. We rented probably the only house in town available the first time we landed in Thompson. It didn’t have a working toilet (we poured water in it to get it to flush), and no running water in the kitchen. We used an outside faucet.

We moved and came back a short time later and the only house for rent was a tar-paper shack with an outhouse, and a cold-water faucet in the kitchen.

It was 80 miles to Fruita, Colorado, our home, and 38 miles to Moab--the nearest church. We drove the 38 miles on Sunday nights to attend services (Les worked on Sunday mornings). We went to Colorado to buy food.  At first we hauled coal for our winter heat in the trunk of our car, and the neighbors kept stealing it. The only place in Thompson to buy milk, bread, and few canned items was two bars.

“Lord, how did we miss your will and end up in Thompson?” I’d ask when I prayed. “Help us!”

Before we moved there I was youth president in our church in Fruita, and taught a Sunday school class.

I was particularly discouraged when my oldest brother, Dr. Virgil Nicholson, sent me the above scripture. I hung on to it, and kept asking God to work in our lives. Then one night in Moab during church God poured His fire and encouragement into my soul.  I told the Lord, “If you’ll send me a helper, I’ll start a Sunday school in Thompson.”

Within a week God sent a beautiful Baptist woman my age to town, and we got acquainted. Within days we had permission to meet in the schoolhouse. In no time, 16 kids were enrolled, and another young mother volunteered to help.

I’d already been doing a little writing, sold some, and became interested in newspaper work. I was accepted as a correspondent from Thompson for The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

We eventually purchased a beautiful mobile home.

Looking back I see the Lord guided my footsteps right through that desert. I probably would have never become a successful writer or a newspaper woman had I not gone through Thompson. He satisfied my soul in the desert, strengthened my bones, and guided my footsteps.

PRAYER: Lord help me to not to stagger at your promises, but believe your Word and be victorious through your mighty power.

Monday, July 10, 2017

SEASON OF HOPE BY SARA JANE JACOBS

Sara Jane Jacobs is my blog guest today. Sorry I couldn't get Blogger to upload the photos and other art to go with the post, but you can see the photos if you click on the link below that was supposed to upload the photos.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I began writing as a hobby while raising my two children. In 2015, I dusted off my stories and my dreams to see if I could turn my hobby into a career. My first story, Season of Hope, was inspired by summer vacations which always included a trip to Franklin, North Carolina, to visit family and explore The Smoky Mountains. When I'm not writing, I enjoy spending time with family. I love most any activity that involves being outdoors, especially camping, hiking and spontaneous excursions to splash in the ocean. I currently live along the Emerald Coast of Florida with my cat Selah and her delightful offspring, Colby, Jack and Tuesday.


THOR CONTACT LINKS:











ABOUT THE BOOK:

When Amanda Jarvis prays that a special friend will move into the vacant house near her isolated mountain home, she isn't upset when God sends a boy instead of a girl. But Amanda's not the only one receiving unexpected answers to her prayers. After fleeing with his mother from an abusive father, Tyler Armstrong finds much-needed love and acceptance with Amanda's family over the next ten years.

As high school graduation nears, Tyler is shocked when one carefree afternoon with Amanda churns up an inner turmoil he would have never imagined; he's crushing on his best friend. And for the first time in his life he's hiding a secret from Amanda. Convinced the timing is all wrong, Tyler pushes his feelings aside as he and Amanda prepare for the future. He will soon begin training to pursue his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL, while Amanda makes plans to spend the summer in Manhattan with her aunt and then return home to the community college.

When Amanda's summer job catapults her into a modeling career, she readily accepts the much-needed distraction. Tyler's impending deployment is turning her world upside down. Along with the fact that she's falling for her best friend. And, for the first time in her relationship with Tyler, she's hiding a secret, too.

Phoebe Garrison, Amanda's controlling aunt, is thrilled when she is given the power to act on behalf of her underage niece. Bored with her Fortune 500 advertising agency, becoming Amanda's manager is just what she's been looking for to rekindle her aspirations. But as Tyler becomes aware of Phoebe's obsession to push Amanda into supermodel status, tensions rise. As the three of them become entangled in a mass of concealed ambition and desire, each will make decisions that will send ripples of turbulence across their futures.


BOOK LINKS:








GIVEAWAY:

                                           




Enter to win the SEASON OF HOPE giveaway! One person will win the following items…


·        An eBook of Season of Hope

Enter below!













People often ask what inspired me to write, Season of Hope, and it was such a combination of things that it’s never a simple answer. Oh, how I wish that I was journaling when I began writing. It would be fun to go back and find out exactly what I was thinking!

It started with a short story contest that I heard about on the radio back in the early 1990s. I don’t remember what the prize was but it must have been something that interested me since I started writing. I never did enter that contest but I held onto the beginning of that short story which would eventually turn into two books over the years.  I had spent most of my time learning script writing and working on a pilot for a television series. But, when a friend suggested that I turn my stories into books, I started focusing on that particular story again.  (The scenes that I had written take place much later in what is now book two in the Seasons Series.) I knew I needed a starting point somewhere that could get my characters to the scenes that I had written for the short story. I went back to when Amanda and Tyler were seven. I wanted them to be best friends. I’ve always loved a friends-to-more story.

As I began to spend more time on the manuscript, I was living in a small community outside of New Orleans called Belle Chasse, Louisiana. I had a dream to live in North Carolina and open a coffee shop. My dad was from Franklin, and our family would go there every summer to visit my grandparents. I loved those visits! I envisioned the pasture that ran along the side and back of the house for a lot of the scenes in book one and two. After I was married, we still took trips to Franklin. My grandparents were no longer alive but my aunt and uncle owned the house that I had spent so many summers in. We would have family reunions there, literally spending every waking moment outside. My family and I also took vacations around other parts of the Smoky Mountains. Those trips kept the inspiration going until bits and pieces made their way into the stories.

One of my favorite things about the story is that Amanda and Tyler live on the fictitious Nathan’s Mountain outside of Bryson City, North Carolina.  Here’s a link to a video of Bryson City - https://vimeo.com/121147905 - that I share on my website. It’s creator, Chuck Farris, was kind enough to let me borrow it. I have had it on my page for so long now it kind of has a “theme song” feel for me. I love how it captures so much in an around Bryson City.  I can imagine Tyler and Amanda walking the streets and exploring the countryside together.

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to share a little bit of the inspiration behind the story with you. If you get the chance to read Season of Hope, I hope that Nathan’s Mountain and the love and friendship shared between these two families comes alive to you.














BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:




June 26 – Truth to Shine

June 27 ASC Book Reviews

June 28 Meagan Davenport


June 30 Barbara Brutt


July 4 Faithfully Bookish



July 7 Bookworm Mama

July 10 Tell the World

July 11 2014 and Beyond

July 12 Tammy Karasek

July 13 Rebecca DeMarino

July 14 –  Julie Arduini

July 17 Laura Bennet

July 18 All Betts Are Off


July 20 Rebecca Van Daniker

July 21 Leslie L. Mckee





                                                      

This blog tour was coordinated by A Latte of Literature Blog Tour Services. Find out more:



A SEASON OF HOPE BY Sara Jane Jacobs


Readers, I should have illustrations to go with this but I couldn't get Blogger to copy the photos and other art. So here it is without all the beauty and color I couldn't get to work. You could look here, though and see what should copy here:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I began writing as a hobby while raising my two children. In 2015, I dusted off my stories and my dreams to see if I could turn my hobby into a career. My first story, Season of Hope, was inspired by summer vacations which always included a trip to Franklin, North Carolina, to visit family and explore The Smoky Mountains. When I'm not writing, I enjoy spending time with family. I love most any activity that involves being outdoors, especially camping, hiking and spontaneous excursions to splash in the ocean. I currently live along the Emerald Coast of Florida with my cat Selah and her delightful offspring, Colby, Jack and Tuesday.



AUTHOR CONTACT LINKS:











ABOUT THE BOOK:

When Amanda Jarvis prays that a special friend will move into the vacant house near her isolated mountain home, she isn't upset when God sends a boy instead of a girl. But Amanda's not the only one receiving unexpected answers to her prayers. After fleeing with his mother from an abusive father, Tyler Armstrong finds much-needed love and acceptance with Amanda's family over the next ten years.

As high school graduation nears, Tyler is shocked when one carefree afternoon with Amanda churns up an inner turmoil he would have never imagined; he's crushing on his best friend. And for the first time in his life he's hiding a secret from Amanda. Convinced the timing is all wrong, Tyler pushes his feelings aside as he and Amanda prepare for the future. He will soon begin training to pursue his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL, while Amanda makes plans to spend the summer in Manhattan with her aunt and then return home to the community college.

When Amanda's summer job catapults her into a modeling career, she readily accepts the much-needed distraction. Tyler's impending deployment is turning her world upside down. Along with the fact that she's falling for her best friend. And, for the first time in her relationship with Tyler, she's hiding a secret, too.

Phoebe Garrison, Amanda's controlling aunt, is thrilled when she is given the power to act on behalf of her underage niece. Bored with her Fortune 500 advertising agency, becoming Amanda's manager is just what she's been looking for to rekindle her aspirations. But as Tyler becomes aware of Phoebe's obsession to push Amanda into supermodel status, tensions rise. As the three of them become entangled in a mass of concealed ambition and desire, each will make decisions that will send ripples of turbulence across their futures.


BOOK LINKS:








GIVEAWAY:

                               
Enter to win the SEASON OF HOPE giveaway! One person will win the following items…


·        An eBook of Season of Hope

Enter below!

People often ask what inspired me to write, Season of Hope, and it was such a combination of things that it’s never a simple answer. Oh, how I wish that I was journaling when I began writing. It would be fun to go back and find out exactly what I was thinking!

It started with a short story contest that I heard about on the radio back in the early 1990s. I don’t remember what the prize was but it must have been something that interested me since I started writing. I never did enter that contest but I held onto the beginning of that short story which would eventually turn into two books over the years.  I had spent most of my time learning script writing and working on a pilot for a television series. But, when a friend suggested that I turn my stories into books, I started focusing on that particular story again.  (The scenes that I had written take place much later in what is now book two in the Seasons Series.) I knew I needed a starting point somewhere that could get my characters to the scenes that I had written for the short story. I went back to when Amanda and Tyler were seven. I wanted them to be best friends. I’ve always loved a friends-to-more story.

As I began to spend more time on the manuscript, I was living in a small community outside of New Orleans called Belle Chasse, Louisiana. I had a dream to live in North Carolina and open a coffee shop. My dad was from Franklin, and our family would go there every summer to visit my grandparents. I loved those visits! I envisioned the pasture that ran along the side and back of the house for a lot of the scenes in book one and two. After I was married, we still took trips to Franklin. My grandparents were no longer alive but my aunt and uncle owned the house that I had spent so many summers in. We would have family reunions there, literally spending every waking moment outside. My family and I also took vacations around other parts of the Smoky Mountains. Those trips kept the inspiration going until bits and pieces made their way into the stories.

One of my favorite things about the story is that Amanda and Tyler live on the fictitious Nathan’s Mountain outside of Bryson City, North Carolina.  Here’s a link to a video of Bryson City - https://vimeo.com/121147905 - that I share on my website. It’s creator, Chuck Farris, was kind enough to let me borrow it. I have had it on my page for so long now it kind of has a “theme song” feel for me. I love how it captures so much in an around Bryson City.  I can imagine Tyler and Amanda walking the streets and exploring the countryside together.

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to share a little bit of the inspiration behind the story with you. If you get the chance to read Season of Hope, I hope that Nathan’s Mountain and the love and friendship shared between these two families comes alive to you.




BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

June 26 – Truth to Shine

June 27 ASC Book Reviews

June 28 Meagan Davenport


June 30 Barbara Brutt


July 4 Faithfully Bookish



July 7 Bookworm Mama

July 10 Tell the World

July 11 2014 and Beyond

July 12 Tammy Karasek

July 13 Rebecca DeMarino

July 14 –  Julie Arduini

July 17 Laura Bennet

July 18 All Betts Are Off


July 20 Rebecca Van Daniker

July 21 Leslie L. Mckee

                                            

This blog tour was coordinated by A Latte of Literature Blog Tour Services. Find out more:



Monday, July 3, 2017

Faith: Use Your Own Dirt


 CHRISTIAN FAITH IN THE SECULAR COLLEGE CLASSROOM:



 USE YOUR OWN DIRT



By Ada Brownell



An excerpt from Ada Brownell's motivational Bible study for youth

Imagine the Future You






A psychology professor openly ridiculed Christians in one of my university classes. As the instructor made sarcastic remarks about Christians in the news and preached his atheistic ideas, I wondered why no one challenged him. One day I raised my hand.

 “You said this textbook will be outdated in ten years,” I began. “So what you're teaching might not be true in ten years?”

The questions flowed.

“Can you prove evolution? Isn’t it true you accept it by faith? Are you aware many scientists threw out missing links because in the more than 100 years since Darwin they can’t find them? Did you know scientists are even putting forth the idea that man might have fallen from outer space?

“How did creation turn out so perfectly without a Designer? Why aren’t monkeys turning into humans now?”

He admitted that, yes, the textbooks and the theories and knowledge in them would soon be outdated; that he didn’t have all the answers; and, “Yes, we do accept some things by faith. But when something is universally accepted, we treat it as fact.”

I should have asked, “Then because the God of creation and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ are universally accepted, that should be treated as fact?”

Although I accept that many Christians believe the theory with God starting the process, a few weeks later, I asked a science professor if the laws of thermodynamics violate evolution. The teacher had opened the class on the environment stating everything would be based on evolution.

No more than thirty-five pages into the text, Living in the Environment, by G. Tyler Miller Jr., the class was studying the law of energy degradation, also known as the second law of thermodynamics. The law states that matter, if left to itself and undergoing physical or chemical changes, will always change in the direction of decreased order and decreased energy content. The entire universe obeys this law, and this includes every chemical reaction.

In words plain and simple, the law means anything left to itself will slowly fall apart. Every old barn with the roof sagging and the walls falling in demonstrates this law. Despite galaxies thought to be expanding (are they expanding, or are we increasing our knowledge?), scientists will tell you the entire universe is slowing down, growing old, and, as the saying goes, is running out of steam.

The second energy law also tells us energy tends to flow or change spontaneously from a compact and ordered form to a dispersed and random, or disordered, form.

“No one has ever found a violation of this law,” Miller states.[1]

When the teacher read that, I put up my hand. “Isn’t evolution a violation of this law?”

In order for evolution to occur, many complex chemical changes must take place, and they must all be in the direction of increased order and energy to move from the simple to the com­plex.

The teacher paused a moment, cleared his throat, and said, “Well, evolution is the only violation.”

The theory of evolution also violates the first law of thermodynamics, which simply says energy (or matter) neither can be created nor destroyed.

A story goes that God and Satan were having a discussion.

“I can do anything you can,” Satan said, stretching his puny body so he looked taller.

God smiled. “OK. Make a man.”

Satan bent over and began scraping up dirt.

God grabbed his shoulder. “Use your own dirt.”





[1] G. Tyler Miller Jr., Living in the Environment (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.), 34–43.

Monday, June 19, 2017

DEAD HORSE POINT


DEAD HORSE POINT

By Ada Nicholson Brownell



A few miles down the river from Moab, Utah, is a miniature Grand Canyon, Dead Horse Point. Vast scenic deserts, snow-capped mountains, aspen and pine forests, are all encompassed in a single view.

Red rock canyons with spires and pinnacles reach as high as fourteen hundred feet off the canyon floor in almost unbelievable color variety. The rock formations are fantastic giant monoliths of colored stones, wind-sculpted scenes that are breath taking, leaving little to the most fertile imagination and much to challenge the most exacting color photographer.

Two thousand feet below this point, one can trace the rugged Colorado River as it winds its way through the canyon.

Dead Horse Point got its name from what now is a legend. A wild horse herd in search of water in the hot, dry desert came to the point. They could see the river below, but the steep precipice made it impossible for them to reach it. The sight of the water was probably what kept the horses at this point, but looking at the life-giving waters was not enough—and the horses died from thirst. Their bones testified to that.

How many people today are standing on ‘Dead Horse Point? In Christian America they know where they can get life-getting water. Some talk, plan, and have good intentions—putting off their day of Salvation until they die—still thirsty.

Many have said, “Someday I am going to take seriously this matter of preparing for eternity, but their resolutions always are for the future. Suddenly death strikes and it’s too late.

Jesus said to the woman at the well, If thou knewest the gift of God … thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water” (John 4:10).

This woman carried within her a heart that longed for spiritual satisfaction. She may have felt she was miles from the answer when she came that day to the well where Jesus rested, but Jesus had the answer to her need. She might too have looked and longed, for there were many barriers and precipices between her and the life-giving waters.

She was a social outcast, a hated Samaritan. By her own sins she had place herself in this dry desert place where even social fellowship with other women was denied her. It must have seemed that his sinful woman would surely die as she had lived—longing for spiritual reality. But however inaccessible that River of living water had seemed to her as she approached the natural well, Jesus made her see the answer to her longing heart was hers for the taking and she eagerly grasped her opportunity.

A famous film actor who died not long ago left behind him a strange testimony. He had stood on the peak of fame and had lived in luxury, his wealth enabling him to enjoy anything this world has to offer.

But there is thirst that can’t be satisfied with fame or frolic. And while this man tasted one pleasure after another, there must have been a strange consciousness he was missing something—something this world wasn’t giving him. So forcefully was this feeling of emptiness stamped upon his life that, instead of having his initials monogrammed on his personal belongs as so many famous personalities do, all of his belongings were marked with a question mark! And he seems to have gone in God’s eternity without the question answered and the emptiness filled.

Yes, this man must have driven past many churches—and he must have had access to a Bible in which the answer to his biggest question could be found.

How like this was King Solomon’s testimony up to the point where he summed up all his disappointment in all the world offered him, and having tried everything he said, “All is vanity and vexation of spirit, and there is no profit under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11).

But thank God, he did not stop here, but turned to correct supply for his lack and said, “But I will seek him whom my soul loveth.”

A teenage hoodlum did just that. Though he had been raised in Christian home, this boy found himself as it were on a high barren rock—a user of illegal drugs, and in trouble with the law. Nothing had satisfied his spiritual thirst, but he surrendered his heart to God—and just in time. Soon after his conversion his former companions—the pals with whom he doubtless would have been had he not given his heart to God—were in an auto accident. One was paralyzed and the other killed. Today this young is an evangelist preaching the gospel.

The horses at Dead Horse Point could not reach the river. The sinner has but to take what God offers. No matter on what point in life’s arid desert you may find yourself, His blessed call comes to you now, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).



--THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL.
--Copyright Ada Brownell