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








Monday, June 12, 2017

DAD! HELP!



Note: This article and others that appeared recently here first were published in The Pentecostal Evangel, and will be part of a book soon to be released.


By Ada Nicholson Brownell



The orange rubber raft loaded with three men and a small boy churned with the foaming rapids. Suddenly the convulsing waves flipped the occupants into the turbulent water.

  Don choked as the currents sucked him under. He panicked as he thought of his little boy, Gerald, but reasoned the boy would be OK because he had a lifejacket on.

Desperately the young father tried to swim, but the current was too powerful. His nostrils cried for air as his lungs pressured him for oxygen.

The waves tossed Don high enough to gulp a little air, then sucked him below again.  His body slammed against the boulders. It seemed he couldn’t hold his breath a moment longer.

The young man was exhausted; his lungs ready to explode. He was about to give up his frantic fight with the river when his face rose able the surface again—this time long enough to see Gerald clinging desperately to a large rock, his life jacket barely hanging from one shoulder.

“Dad! Help!” Gerald screamed.

Don was sucked Don under again, but new strength flowed through his body. He had to get to Gerald.

Fighting the current with every muscle, he mentally cried for God’s help.

Suddenly he shot out of the swirling rapids and swam to his boy. He laid his son on the river bank, then collapsed at his side.

Fortunately a person on the shore had seen the raft overturn, and the other men were in the process of being rescued. Soon someone gave Don artificial respiration.

When an ambulance loaded up Don and Gerald, Don thanked God for life—and that he still had his son. He was glad he didn’t give up.

The salvation of many a boy can be credited to his father who didn’t give up. Not just his physical salvation, but spiritual also.

I remember a man whose son went through a period of rebellion that was about to destroy the boy’s relationship with God, as well as his relationship with his parents. But his father wouldn’t give up, even though it seemed the boy did everything to discourage him.

The father stood firm through it all—and at the same time showed his love. But most of all, he prayed.

Every evening after work, instead of relaxing while dinner was prepared, he went to the basement to pray. He wasn’t ashamed when he got so involved with talking to the Lord that everybody in the house heard him.

When he sat down to dinner, he didn’t care if his eyes were red from the tears he’s shed. All that mattered was his boy’s salvation.

In time the son’s rebellion changed to submission. Today he is a minister of the gospel.

Many boys are crying, “Dad! Help!” Maybe not in those words. To listen to their talk one might get the opposite impression. It may seem the last thing they want is help from their father. But the cry is there, though they won’t admit it.

Dad, your son needs you. Don’t give up. He’s fighting currents too strong for him. Perhaps his life vest is only hanging by a string. He could be in danger of “drowning” in the waves of sin.

You may feel you’ve struggled to the point of submission. You may think it’s hopeless, but hold on in faith. Keep praying. Keep loving. There’s strength and salvation to be found through Christ in every situation.

Believe with the Apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me” (Philippians 4:13).

--THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, August 24, 1975




Thursday, June 8, 2017

DON’T BE FOOLED BY YOUR FEELINGS




By Ada Brownell

There’s a line of an old popular song that says, “”How can it be wrong when it feels so right?”

It’s possible to be fooled by our feelings.

A middle-aged man left his wife and four children. While attorneys arranged the divorce settlement, the man began living with the woman he planned to marry. He changed churches, sat by his mistress, and took an active part in church functions.

Everyone in the church thought the couple was married, until someone who knew the man visited the church.

When his sin was exposed, the man told the pastor, “I never felt more at peace with God in my life.” He tried to justify his conduct by his feelings, regardless of the Biblical teaching on the subject.

WE tend to place too much importance on feelings. It is true that joy and peace—both important by-products of a close relationship with God. But how we feel does not necessarily indicate our spiritual condition in His sight.

One pastor remarked recently that in his counseling sessions he is finding it necessary to put greater emphasis on obedience to Scripture.

“If the Bible says it’s wrong, it’s wrong no matter how you may feel about it,” he said.

How can we guard against being fooled by our feelings?

First, we should get a proper understanding on conscience—which probably contributes to our feelings of peace or guilt.

Conscience is defined as “the moral sense” and was given prominence by God when He made a new covenant with man by writing His laws in human minds and hearts (Hebrews 8:10).

An Indian described conscience this way: “Conscience has three corners. It stands still when I when I am good, but when I am bad, it turns around and around in my heart, and the corners hurt. If I keep doing wrong, the corners wear off. Then it doesn’t hurt anymore.”

In his letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul wrote of in sensitive people whose conscience has become “seared with a hot iron” (1Timothy 4:2). In his letter to another church Paul pointed out that some people are “past feeling,” meaning their consciences could not be pricked (Ephesians 4:19).

Next, we should examine ourselves to see whether peace has come over us because we have fed our egos. A good feeling may come from satisfying our desires and lusts or for building ourselves up.

Ego enhancement is the basis of most illicit affairs, according to some counselors. Some people are willing to sacrifice everything they hold dear to satisfy their egos.

Third, we should ask ourselves if the feeling of peace comes from doing what is easiest.

When we face an obstacle or a mountain of work, there is the temptation to look for an easy way out. It is much easier to give up and slide downhill than to conquer a mountain. It is obvious, however, that we probably will be injured by giving up and sliding down than by continuing the struggle and reaching for the top.

Nevertheless, a good feeling envelops one when he gives up responsibility. I remember well the peaceful feeling that came when I gave up certain church tasks over which I had lost sleep and shed many tears. Inactivity takes a load off one’s back, but the sense of relief may not indicate one is doing God’s will.

Fourth, we should consider whether our sense of peace comes from how society views our conduct.

Society today accepts the murder of millions of unborn babies. It condones all kinds of sexual sins –and even crime sometimes.

Recently at a state university someone informed the sponsor of the campus newspaper that one of the young men elected to student government had been arrested, was on probation, and was obligated to make restitution of several thousands of dollars. The newspaper sponsor simply shrugged his shoulders. He said, “So what?” and pointed out that other student government officers were of similar reputation.

Society may refuse to look at something as sin, but we can’t measure our conduct by society’s rules. God’s Word is the only accurate guide.

Finally, in analyzing our feelings of peace we should ask ourselves whether we have sincerely sought God’s will.

Someone has said God isn’t interested in revealing His will to satisfy our curiosity. God wants us first to be committed to doing His will—then He will lead us.

We know it is God’s will for us to obey His Word. He will never lead us to act contrary to the Scripture.

Because something feels good does not indicate it is God’s will. Sometimes doing God’s will won’t feel good. It might be painful and frustrating, as it must have been to Paul when he went out to preach and landed in prison.

Yet when it’s all done, we will have reached the desired goal, as Paul did. Even though we have to endure perilous times, we can have the joy that is unspeakable and full of glory because God is with us. He will keep us in perfect peace if we walk with Him.

--The Pentecostal Evangel, Feb. 6, 1983


Sunday, May 28, 2017

A MEMORIAL TO OUR DAUGHTER, CAROLYN BROWNELL CONEY



By Ada Brownell

An Excerpt from Swallowed by Life:

Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and The Eternal




The music was the part that worried me.

When our daughter, Carolyn, suddenly became ill, she kept telling her husband, Michael, about the music.

As a toddler, Carolyn created songs on one of those little toy grand pianos like Schroeder plays in the comic strip Peanuts. She picked out “Jesus Loves Me” when she was three or four years old.

By the time she was five, she was playing her older brother’s piano lessons by ear. When he slid off one end of the bench after practicing the thirty minutes I required, she slid on the other and played all the songs by ear.

Her older brother, Gary, became an excellent musician, too, but he gave up trying to compete with Carolyn on the piano.

She was eager to have piano lessons herself. By the time she was eight or nine she was accompanying Gary when he played his trumpet.

Carolyn played difficult Bach and other great composers’ music when she was in the early elementary school grades. Her only restriction was her tiny hands, which couldn’t reach the span for some of the more advanced music. She not only could read the music, if she heard it, she could copy it.

It was when she was nine years old we learned she had perfect pitch. Not only was she able to identify any note played on a musical instrument or sung, she could tell you the pitch of the vacuum sweeper’s hum or the note that rings from a fine glass.

One time before we knew she had perfect pitch, she embarrassed us considerably when she approached the organist after a church service and informed her she was playing an E-natural where an E-flat should be. It was true!

Sometimes Carolyn would fill bottles with varying amounts of water, then show her smaller brothers and sisters how to play a tune with them.

In her early teens, she accompanied the Damascus Singers, a gospel singing group of which I was a member. Much our music came from recorded albums instead of a book. Carolyn listened to the keyboard accompanist on gospel recordings and exactly copied what the keyboardist played.

In college, she majored in music. The hours of practicing and the hazards of roller-skating, however, set her back when she had a tendon injury to her hand.

Unless she was away at college and until she got married, our home was filled with her music—classical, jazz, and gospel.

Interestingly, she never realized what a special gift she had until she was in her mid-twenties. She didn’t want to be different or noticed because of her great talent. Often when she played a piano solo in church or another performance, she’d bow her head so her long hair would cover most of her face. She also had a deadpan expression on occasion. Once she was playing a whole orchestra of music on a synthesizer with a choir production and everyone kept craning their necks to see who was playing those instruments. They couldn’t even tell she was playing by the look on her face.

The flute was the instrument she played for band. She also had a wonderful soprano voice that could hit a high C with no effort, right on pitch because of her talent and wonderful ear.

After she married Michael Coney, a classmate at Bethany Bible College in Santa Cruz, California, she began playing the organ and was the organist at her church until her illness.

“She’s the only white person I’ve ever known who could really play soul on the organ,” said the church’s black music minister. He had just led the youth choir in a special production and she was the accompanist.

She thought maybe the workout using her feet (yes, both feet) on the pedals might have something to do with the pain in her side. Before the tests were completed that showed she had Burkitt’s lymphoma, her body began to swell from a huge tumor in her abdomen. She was taken to the hospital and when I arrived in California from where we live in Colorado, her normal weight of one hundred ten pounds had risen to about one hundred forty.

Michael told me she had been hearing beautiful music that no one else could hear.

“It’s not like any music I’ve heard,” Carolyn told Michael.

In the many nights I spent at her bedside in the hospital, sometimes she would ask me where the music was coming from.

I was expecting a miracle. I told myself I was just having hearing problems because I couldn’t hear it.

In the end, there was music I could hear. On Sunday, January 28, 1990, after two months of chemotherapy that was marvelously effective at first but also had horrendous side effects, cancer cells became immune to the drugs. The cancer cells made an immense attack on her body, this time causing leukemia and spreading cancer to the liver and spleen. Pneumonia developed in her lungs.

We were gathering blood samples from our other four children to find a match for a bone marrow transplant. But that afternoon, Carolyn told Michael she felt something was going to happen right away, and she was scared.

The family that was there gathered around her bed to pray. As I began to pray, I started to quote from Psalm 34, “I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in thee Lord: the humble shall hear thereof and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

“What’s that you’re saying?” Carolyn asked. “It’s a song. Sing it.”

We began to sing, and she sang with us. She was so ill, but her high harmony blended with ours with amazing strength.

Suddenly she stopped and began encouraging us in a loud voice. She’d never done anything like this in her life. She was always shy about public speaking. She expressed her faith and gave us words of encouragement and hope, stressing the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ. I almost expected her to get out of bed, completely healed.

Instead, in less than twenty-four hours, she was gone. The next few hours were filled with shock and disbelief.

That night we gathered in Carolyn and Michael’s living room and found what is meant when God’s Word talks about peace.

The first night, the teenagers ministered to us by reading from the Bible. Our youngest daughter, Jeanette, and Carolyn’s stepson, Robert, found appropriate scripture passages for our needs.

The next day as other relatives came in, my oldest brother, Dr. Virgil Nicholson, and his wife, Mildred, who both taught at Evangel University for years, shared a long list of Bible verses with us. We wrote them down and began reading them and other passages God revealed. We read several times a day those first few days.

After I went home, when I could feel my peace slipping away, I’d go read the Bible and pray awhile.

I went to sleep at night repeating the name of Jesus or quoting, “And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Although I lost my mother when I was twenty-one, and other heart-wrenching deaths snatched loved ones in my husband’s and my families, I knew in the pit of my stomach this would be the time when I discovered whether or not I believed what I thought I did all these years.

I don’t know if there is any pain that equals the loss of a child. I do know I met mothers who lost children decades before and their eyes still filled with tears when they talked about it. I still cry sometimes myself.

Wave after wave of grief hit me in the hours, days, weeks, months, and years after Carolyn left us. At first, the impact almost knocked me off my feet, like the waves I loved to ride at Santa Cruz beach when we visited Michael and Carolyn. When I’d walk toward shore, often I’d forget to watch the waves and a big one would catch me with my back turned, nearly causing me to lose my footing. Grief had the same impact.

The first day back at work after I arrived home following the funeral, I interviewed some ladies I knew. They asked how the family was and didn’t know Carolyn was gone. I regained my composure while I told them about her death and how the other children were doing. Yet, as I walked to my car, my breath came in short gasps, the pain of loss almost consuming me.

On the other hand, I found that the Lord’s grace overwhelmed me periodically in a similar way. I’d be going about my business when suddenly the Lord would remind me of a scripture, or someone would minister to me, giving renewed strength and peace.

I began reading the book of Hebrews and it strengthened my faith so much I kept reading.

Oh, how sweet the Word is! To this day I’m still awed by Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”

Jesus tasted death for my Carolyn! Jesus tasted death for me! Because of Jesus, death is no longer bitter because He took the sting (the bitterness, the unpleasantness) from death (1 Corinthians 15:55). When He walked out of the tomb alive, death’s sting was left behind like the grave clothes cast aside.

I read Hebrews and continued my intense search. I was amazed to see how much of the Bible is devoted to death and eternal life.

Right in the middle of the “faith chapter” in Hebrews 11, the writer stops telling about the miraculous exploits of men and women of faith and says:

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them from afar off, and were persuaded of them and embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country [of their own]. And truly, if they had been mindful of what country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city (Hebrews 11:13–16).



Even the book of Acts, written as a history of the church, has eternal life as its theme because the apostles’ message was Jesus Christ risen from the dead. Peter’s first sermon talked about what Jesus did to the process of death as he said, “Jesus of Nazareth…whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death” (Acts 2:22–24).

I followed the paper trail left in the Bible, the writings of godly men and even the songs from generations before us, and saw God did something about death and gives peace to those who face it.

Sure, death means sorrow. Oh, such sorrow! Yes, we miss our loved ones, and at times we feel our heart is cut out.

Those who’ve never stared death in the face are terrorized by it. I’m sure nearly everyone who knows he is dying feels fear. But one thing I’ve discovered in interviewing many people who have come close to death, especially if they know God, is the paralyzing fear disappears when they get close to crossing over.

I remember Janelle Hannifious, who received a liver transplant. Before the liver donor was found, she came close to dying more than once.

I met Janelle right after the transplant. The new liver worked marvelously, providing strength and life for her formerly dying body. She’d just been discharged from the hospital. She looked so energized and talked about how much she loved hearing snow squeak under her feet and feeling the wind blow in her face.

But she found time to add how the fear of death vanished in those times of sweet communion with God as she lay on the verge of dying.

If we believe what Jesus said to Martha, “Whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die,” (John 11:26) everything about death changes.

Suddenly, some of the old songs have new meaning. I have new zest for singing: “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!”[1]

          My faith was returning. I now believed the exit from earth is only the entrance of our souls into our grand abode for eternity. But I wanted to know what happens between death and resurrection. I wanted to know what happens to the body. And I still wanted to look for scientific evidence that we are more than flesh. There were more things to investigate.
 TO READ THE REST OF SWALLOWED BY LIFE, GO TO:   http://ow.ly/U11R




    




[1]Eliza E. Hewitt, 1851-1920., Mrs. John G. Wilson, 1865-1942, Worship and Service Hymnal, Hope Publishing Co., 5707 W. Lake St., Chicago,, 1966

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A CRY FOR CHILDREN




By Ada Nicholson Brownell



 During World War II enemy soldiers entered a small Dutch village, intending to take the young girls for sexual slaves.

The fathers and almost every other man from the village were in battle or in prison. Women and children—some of them teenage girls—were left.

As soldiers came to their homes and seized the younger women, the village mothers and grandmothers gathered in the town square where enemy buses were parked

The women stood and watched as the girls, some barely into their teens, were herded like animals toward the buses. The women had no weapons.

When the first girl was seized and forced into the bus, in unison terrible cries of anguish erupted from the women standing by.

Suddenly they took off their wooden shoes and began to attack the soldiers.

Their daughters were saved because the village women came to defend them.

I met one of the young girls who escaped and immigrated to the United States. She told me this story in Arvada, Colorado. How thankful she was for the cries of anguish from the women as they went into action with the only thing available—their shoes.

I thought of teens—both boys and girls—who are being seized by Satan for his use. One parent, whose son was involved in drugs and was in trouble with the law, told me, “There’s nothing I can do.”

But we don’t have to stand by and see our youths corrupted by Satan, who will steal their talents and love for life, and even kill the body and destroy the soul (John 10:10).

A young married couple came to church without knowing their parents had become Christians and were praying for them.

“Both of us got this desire to read the Bible,” the young man explained. “We bought one and started reading. Instead of starting at the front, we started at the back. We were reading Revelation, and we got scared. We didn’t understand some of it, so we decided we’d better find a church. We came here and gave our lives to Christ.”

The couple learned their parents, who had become Christians, and many of their parents’ friends, were praying for them. The parents didn’t know how to explain to their children what happened in their lives, so they just prayed and their children found God.

Some parents’ prayers aren’t as quickly answered. But when the cry of anguish for souls is sent heavenward, we know God hears (1 John 5:14, 15).

All we can take with us into heaven are other people. We want our families with us for eternity.

Every day I thank God I have children who are dedicated to Him. Even then when one gets into a dangerous situation, I find a place on my knees to intercede for him.

But the cries of anguish and action for youths need not be limited to our families. The cry can go up for our community, our city, and our nation’s children.

We can pray for youths. We can be good examples. We can teach the Bible and its principles. We can encourage them. As parents we can be firm and loving with discipline. We can help them be faithful to the house of God. We can show our love for them.

Yes, there are things we can do to defend our youths. We don’t have to sit idly by. Like the village women, we can use what we have to do battle.

But we won’t fight this battle alone. When the cry of anguish goes up and we put faith to our works, we enlist the help of Almighty God.

The next cry will be the cry of victory!

n  THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, June 9, 1985


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

AN ACT OF AGGRESSION


I’M ALL IN!



By Ada Nicholson Brownell



Can you imagine a follower of God standing before a great world leader demanding the release of his slaves? Moses did.

Can you imagine a consecrated believer challenging the armies of the enemies of God’s people? David did.

Can you imagine a Christian going out to greet a mob who murdered your Best Friend, telling them they should be sorry for what they did? Peter did.

Often Christians get the idea believers in Christ should be quiet and timid. According to examples I find in the Bible, few committed believers were either.

I’ve wondered what Moses would have accomplished had he timidly and quietly asked God to soften Pharaoh’s heart—instead of obeying God and going to speak to Pharaoh himself.

Or what would have happened to Goliath if David, instead of challenging the giant himself, had only prayed God would send a mighty warrior to kill Goliath.

Or if 3,000 souls would have been saved on the Day of Pentecost if Peter had ignored the crowd assembled outside the Upper Room and slipped quietly to his home to enjoy his new experience with God.

Saints of Bible times showed by their obedience to God that there are times when God wants action as well as prayer.

James describes the successful pattern for God’s work in chapter 2 of his epistle when he spoke of faith and works. He said when we are capable of helping bring about the answer to our needs by obeying God, we better do it.

Many churches would build larger building and win their communities to Christ if faith were all that is necessary. If a congregation could purchase a plot of ground, have a season of prayer and fasting, then one morning wake up and discover a beautiful sanctuary had miraculously appeared on the spot, they’d vote to purchase the ground today. In only a few weeks, faith would fill the pews.

But even though God will provide miracles of finance, other provisions, and revival, He still wants our work—sometimes aggressive work!

I remember one pastor who build one of the largest Pentecostal churches in America. He was aggressive with everyone. When he’d order lumber, he’d ask the salesman if he was a Christian and invite him to church. When he had a men’s meeting, he invited the city dignitaries.

When he filled one building, he wasn’t satisfied. He started making plans to build a larger one. This pastor spent a considerable amount of time in prayer but he didn’t depend on prayer alone.

Jesus taught aggressive action when He said, “Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in” (Luke 14:23).

According to The Cross and the Switchblade, it wasn’t easy when Dave Wilkerson made his aggressive moves into Satan’s territory. At times his actions seemed absurd and turned out to be dangerous. But the effects of his response to God’s call are still being felt worldwide through the ministry of Teen Challenge.

Satan has put much of Christianity into a corner where Christians spend their time in defense. It is time we made plan for aggressive spiritual maneuvers into Satan’s territory.

Let’s win the children in our neighborhoods. Let’s win the teenagers of our town. Let’s get the middle-aged moving back to God. Let’s go after the elderly who are living on the edge of eternity.

We’ll use the armor of God described in Ephesians 6:11-19. But we can’t wait for the battle to come to us. We must move aggressively into Satan’s territory.

With a shout of victory we can march to battle, for we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).

THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, May 18, 1974


Thursday, May 11, 2017

America needs a great awakening




A reprint from The Pentecostal Evangel, originally titled: IT’S TIME FOR REVEILLE

By Ada Brownell



Last night I became freshly aware of how difficult it is to fight off sleep. My 10-year-old daughter was ill. After praying for her and giving her medicine, I needed to stay away until she was better.

But it was cold, so I crawled in bed. Beneath the covers it was warm, and I had tremendous struggle to keep from dozing off. Every muscle wanted to relax, but I kept thinking, I’ve got to stay awake!”

The struggle reminded me of how difficult it is for Christians to stay spiritually awake. The cares of this life make us weary. WE feel a need to relax, and before long our spiritual senses grow dull and drowsy.

But the Lord commanded us to watch! We are to keep alert. We are on duty! WE are to be watchful and ready at all times for the Lord’s return.

Last spring where I live the media asked if anyone had protested the teaching of evolution in the local school district. In our city of over 100,000, no one had. I made a mental of it, intending to them hear from me.

In the fall I was suddenly reminded of my procrastination when my son came home from school and told me wat his teacher said about the Bible. According to the teacher, the Bible says the earth is flat, covered with a dome with stars painted on it, and the devil in underneath in the flames of hell.

I told my son he should have asked for chapter and verse, because no such things are taught in the Bible. The next day I wrote the superintendent of schools and told him I had a complaint about a teacher. I added, ‘While I am writing, I want to be on record as opposing the teaching of evolution in our schools.’ Then I cited some reasons why I don’t believe in evolution (based on extensive research) and concluded by pointing out evolution is based on faith as much as belief in a Creator is based on faith.

I received a letter from the superintendent and later phone calls from both the superintendent and the school principal. They apologized for the teacher. After I had a lengthy discussion with the superintendent, he told me he agreed that taking courses in evolution or creationism should be a choice for each pupil—or evolution should not be taught.

 Fifteen years ago when sex education was introduced into the schools, the church stirred and grunted a little, but gave up when the educated spokesmen embarrassed us publicly for our narrow-minded morals. Sex education, they said, would eliminate venereal diseases, teen pregnancy, and sexual hang-ups.

The tragic decline in morals in this country since that time may be blamed on the media, as much as on public schools, but publishers and broadcasters never would have dared spread such filth had it not been for the silence of parents. The door to immorality by parents allowing teachers to discuss sex without discussing morality and the consequences of sinning our bodies as well as God.

But all hope is not lost. God is still on the throne, and the gates of hell will not prevail against His church. If we will open our ears to the sound of reveille, we can drive the enemy back. We can put on the whole armor of God, take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and be triumphant.

“Awake thou that sleepest!” Paul told the Ephesians. The Living Bible has an interesting paraphrase of this passage: “Take no part in the worthless pleasures of evil and darkness, but instead, rebuke and expose them… When you expose them, the light shines in upon their sin and shows it up and when they see how wrong they really are, some of them may even become children of the light! That is why God says in Scriptures, “Awake. O Sleeper, and rise up from the dead; and Christ shall give you light’” (Ephesians 5:11-14).

The alarm is sounding. It’s time to wake up.

When I was a child, there was fire at our house one morning. Daddy had left for work, and we were still in bed when my mother shouted, “Fire!”

My brother Joe slept upstairs. Even before I emerged from my downstairs bedroom, I heard him bound down the stairs and dart out the back door. By the time I got outside that frosty morning, Joe had carried the garden hose into the basement and was shooting water on the flames above the furnace. When the fire department arrived, the fire was out, and damage was minimal, due to Joe’s quick action.

The earth many not be on fire—not yet—but sin is raging out of control, destroying many lives. It’s time for action.

If the church will stir itself from slumber, it can shake the world. Again and again it has happened in the past. God uses people who will respond to His Spirit and give the sound of reveille.

Reveille is not the most welcome sound. The jangle of an alarm clock is on the worst noises in the world.

Evangelists who sound the alarm may not be popular, I once interviewed an elderly lady who heard D.L. Moody preach in Leadville, Colo., when she was young.

The old woman curses as she recalled the occasion: “The place was packed. I could hardly get into the building. Moody started yelling and carrying on about sin, and I didn’t like it. I got up and walked out.”

Even though we don’t like to be disturbed, there are times we must be. “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep,” Paul wrote, “for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Romans 13:11).

--PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, April 11, 1982.