Saturday, April 22, 2017

FAITH VS. FEAR




By Ada Brownell

The gondola swung over the chasm while I and our two older children peered down.

My husband stood on the edge of the canyon holding our younger daughter’s hand. He hadn’t been about to go.

I considered why I didn’t fear this ride that terrified others. We couldn’t see them as we rode, but I knew huge cables held the gondola. We could see automobiles slowing crossing the Royal Gorge Bridge below. It was a long ways down. To me it wasn’t much different from riding an elevator or sitting in a Sunday school classroom in the basement while a crowd of heavy people sat above me.

I trusted the cables to hold.

In life I’ve had many situations where I could not see God’s ear listening to my prayer or His hand holding the future. But He was there.

An abnormality showed on my lungs. I’d had horrible bronchitis for many weeks. The pulmonologist did all sorts of tests and prescribed two different inhalers. They were expensive and he said I’d have to take them the rest of my life because I had asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I took one of the inhalers, but the cough and wheezing became worse.

In church I went forward for prayer more than once and prayed at home. Usually I do what the doctor orders and practice faith and works as St. James teaches. In other words, believe, pray, and do what I can for myself. We’re blessed with health care in America, and I believe it originated from God, who said in the last days before Christ’s return knowledge would be increased. Yet I knew I needed to quit the inhaler because the problem worsened. Immediately the cough and wheezing disappeared. Two other doctors told me I don’t have asthma or COPD (emphysema).

We’ve had numerous miracles like that in our family, but we lost our oldest daughter to cancer. That’s when I discovered God’s hand still holds when your worst nightmare becomes reality. He gave peace beyond understanding as His Word says.

You can’t borrow that peace in advance by dreaming up things that could happen. It’s only when you need it you can look up and notice you might be hanging over a chasm, but above the cables of God’s love hold.

The Word says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

###




Thursday, April 20, 2017

AN ACT OF AGGRESSION: I'M ALL IN!


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


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A SECOND CHANCE BY ALEXIS A. GORING






REVIEW BY ADA BROWNELL


I rarely read contemporary novels, but I made an exception for this one.

This book is a well-written romance with quite a few speed bumps and pot holes in the path of Traci Hightower, the leading lady.

She's emotionally bruised and mentally sore after being left at the wedding altar because her last boyfriend, her bridegroom, ran off with her maid of honor.

Then Traci inherits the estate of her grandfather and he stipulates she has to wed before she can collect anything, and her mother must approve of the man she chooses.

Well, she's not wanting another man in her life right now. Then she loses her job, is broke and she sure could use some money.

She meets Marc Roberts, a man she might be able to fall for, but he's burned out on women he can't trust.

Will Traci fall in love with a wonderful believing Christian man, or will the inheritance complicate everything?

Note: I received a free copy of this, but that in no way influenced my review.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

Author contact links:






 “God is Love” blog: http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life.
Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death.

Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

Purchase link for A Second Chance on Amazon - http://amzn.to/2jUYc9G


GIVEAWAY:
                                       

Two winners will receive a free e-copy of “A Second Chance”.

Enter below!




BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

April 17: Saved by Grace [http://savedbygrace7.blogspot.com]

April 18: Ink From An Earthen Vessel [http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com]

April 19: Emily Rachelle Writes [http://emilyrachellewrites.blogspot.com/]

April 20: Tell the World [http://www.thegreaterpurpose.blogspot.com]




Sunday, April 16, 2017

Healing: God Instantly Restored My Father's Sight




By Lorraine Golightly as told to Ada Brownell



I became a believer in divine healing because I saw my father receive his sight when he was prayed for in a revival meeting.

The accident that caused Daddy’s blindness happened in 1950. I was 9 years old.

Daddy (John Feliciano) was doing construction work in Honolulu, Hawaii, where we lived, when dynamite exploded in his face. One eyeball was completely destroyed; the other was damaged considerably. The blat was so severe that doctors said Daddy should have been dead. Tiny pebbles embedded in his skin all over his body.

“Daddy probably will never see again,” Mom told us when she got home from the hospital.

I was panic-stricken.

“There’s still hope,” said Aunt Virginia, who had come home with Mom. “Jesus can heal your daddy.”

We didn’t know what to think of that. Daddy liked Aunt Virginia, but wouldn’t even let her talk about her religion in our house. When Daddy saw people from her church in street meetings, he’d always yell at them, “You crazy holy rollers!”

Daddy went to church, however, and believed in God. He just didn’t like Aunt Virginia’s kind of religion.

When he came home from the hospital, he had no hope of a miracle. His eyes were in bandages, and he was very depressed.

“’I’ve got seven children to support!” he’d say several times a day. “How can a blind man feed seven children? I might as well be dead!’

It was true that he couldn’t support us. Soon we had to live on welfare.

Surgeons hoped surgery would give Daddy sight in his remaining eye, but the operations were unsuccessful. After the lost operation, the eye doctor told him there was nothing more they could do for him. There was no hope he ever would see again.

Because of his youth (Daddy was 31 when he was injured) he immediately was trained in a school for the blind. He learned braille and how to use a seeing-eye dog. He even learned how to feel money so he could tell denominations apart.

Yet he remained depressed and saw no reason for living.

“I’ll never be able to see my family again,” Daddy groaned one day. “I can’t take being blind. Killing myself is the only way out.”

Mom tried to talk him out of his despondency, but without success. He actually intended to commit suicide.

Finally, Mom called Aunt Virginia and asked her to come over and talk to my father.

As soon as Aunt Virginia got inside she began talking to Daddy about the Lord and told him what Jesus could do.

“We’re going to have a revival, and the evangelist will pray for the sick,” Aunt Virginia continued. “Will you come?”

“I guess I can try,” Daddy answered, “but I don’t believe it will do any good.”

When the revival started, my aunt and uncle, Dad and Mom, and all of us seven children went to the Pentecostal church. After the lady evangelist preached, it was time for prayer for the sick. Mom took Daddy by the arm and led him to the healing line.

The meeting was in a large church and people were getting healed and praising the Lord. Daddy couldn’t see what was happening around him, but he could hear, and he was scared. He began shaking.

One woman who was healed of deafness gave a big shout when her ears opened. Daddy was more frightened than ever.

Then it was his turn.

“Do you believe in Jesus?” the evangelist asked Daddy.

“Yes.”

She began praying that Daddy would receive his sight. Nothing happened.

“Do you really believe?” she asked my father again.

“Yes.”

She put her hand on Daddy’s eye and prayed again. Suddenly he began to shout, “I can see! I can see!”

“What do you see?” the evangelist asked.

“I can see shadows,” he cried. “Thank God.”

“The Lord isn’t through yet,” the lady minister told him. “Now believe! Believe!” She began praying for Daddy again.

“Come here,” the evangelist told us children, and we went to the front. I was scared and crying as she lined us all in front of my father.

We discovered the shadows had disappeared, and Daddy could see clearly. One by one we went to him and let him look at us. As he called each child—Margaret, Priscilla, Lorraine (me), Elenore, Johnny, Gordon, and the baby Diane, who was 3 years old, he hugged and kissed us and we cried together.

My sister Margaret and I accepted the Lord Jesus as our Savior that night. Mom and Dad did too. One by one the rest of the children gave their lives to the Lord, and all of us are still serving God.

After he was healed, Daddy was supposed to go back to the doctor, so he kept his appointment. The physicians didn’t believe it when he told them he could see. They were amazed when they took tests and discovered he recovered his sight.

“God did it,” Daddy said.

Daddy had served God faithfully for 19 years when he went to be with the Lord.

I’m glad God’s healing power is available to us today. Doctors thought my sister had a brain tumor, but after she was prayed for, they could find nothing.

I had an annoying, persistent ear problem accompanied by dizziness and ringing in my ears, which doctors couldn’t see to help and over which I couldn’t get victory. Then I remembered how God instantly healed Daddy of blindness, and knew the Lord is the same “yesterday, today, and forever.” Immediately the ear problem disappeared.

Now I can say with the Psalmist, ‘Come and hear, all of you who reverence the Lord, and I will tell you what He did for me: for I cried to Him for help, with praises ready on my tongue. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But He listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it! Blessed be God who didn’t turn away when I was praying and didn’t refuse me His kindness and love” (Psalm 66:16-20 Living Bible paraphrase).

The Pentecostal Evangel, October 16, 1977


 Note: Read more testimonies like this in the upcoming book tentatively titled The Crutches on the Wall and Other Articles Written by Ada Nicholson Brownell and published in The Pentecostal Evangel.
Also, see the book Confessions of a Pentecostal available on Amazon.


CONFESSIONS OF A PENTECOSTAL

By Ada Brownell

The author tells what it was like to grow up in a Pentecostal home, miracles she witnessed, and then of her own journey following the Lord. Her inspiring confessions of faith will encourage and bless believers everywhere.
Originally published by the Assemblies of God in 1978, the book was listed in 2011 and many other years among 10 top recommendations on Pentecostalism by The Library Thing. Confessions of a Pentecostal was converted to an e-book in 2011.
Review: Confessions Of a Pentecostal is more than just a book or a story; it is an ultimate look inside another person's faith. Truly remarkable, a book that I will reread time and time again, I recommend this to anyone who ever wonders about who we are: who are the Pentecostals.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

GOOD FRIDAY: The Blood of Jesus




By Otto Kaiser


Introduction

A missionary from Campus Crusade for Christ was showing a gospel film in Burma, Asia. He went to the front of the audience at the end of the film to give an invitation to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As he stood before all the people, a poisonous cobra slipped out of the underbrush and coiled around the feet of the missionary.

The audience held their breath as the missionary pleaded the blood of Jesus. As quickly as the serpent had come out of the jungle, it slipped away again. The missionary was not harmed and the onlookers were awed by the power of God. What God did in divine protection through the blood of Jesus for this missionary, God can do for you. The Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). What God has done for others, He can do for you. This message is on the blood of Jesus.

Title: THE BLOOD OF JESUS

Text: I Peter 1:18-19, “It was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious BLOOD of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”



Outline:

I.                You Receive Salvation Through the Blood of Jesus

II.             You Receive Divine Passage Through the Blood of Jesus

III.           Jesus Triumphed Over All the Powers of Darkness Through His Blood

IV.           Christians Have Power Over All the Powers of Darkness Through the Blood of Jesus



I.                You Receive Salvation Through the Blood of Jesus


Modern man tends to squirm when we mention the Blood of Jesus. He finds it very repulsive. He considers the words a hangover from primitive religions. He wants nothing to do with a so-called slaughterhouse religion. Some of our liberal denominations have removed all the songs that mention the blood from their hymnbooks. But the blood of Jesus is central in the Bible.

Early in the Bible, God revealed a very important principle. The Bible says in Ezekiel 18:20, “The soul who sins is the one who will die.” Either the sinner must die or a substitute must die in his place. This meant blood had to be shed to appease the guilt of sin.  The Bible says in Hebrews 9:22, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

Thus when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, blood had to be shed. Adam and Eve tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves, but these were not sufficient. Animals had to be slaughtered and their blood shed to provide skins to cover Adam and Eve. Later Abraham, Isaac and Jacob shed the blood of animals, as they offered sacrifices to God. The shedding of blood to atone for sins was the basis of the entire Old Testament sacrificial system.

Jesus provided all the benefits of salvation through His blood.  The blood of animals could not permanently atone for the sins of man.  The soul that sins, his blood or an equal substitute must be shed. All men have sinned including you and me. All men deserve to have their blood shed as the penalty for sin. But God has been pleased to accept as a substitute for our blood, the blood of the Lord Jesus. However, there is a condition. We must believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Lord and Savior.

Thus on the banks of the Jordan River, John the Baptist could point to Jesus and say, “Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Thus Paul could write to the Ephesians (2:13), “Now in Christ Jesus, you who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” Now through the blood of Jesus, our sins have been forgiven (Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14). We have freedom from all our sins (Rev. 1:5). Now through the blood of Jesus, we have been justified before God (Rom. 3:25; 5:9). Through the blood of Jesus, we have peace with God and peace with our fellow men (Eph. 2:14-18). The blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from all our sins (I John 1:7: Heb. 9:14). Through the blood of Jesus, we are being sanctified and set aside as holy unto God (Heb. 13:12; 9:14).

Our robes are being washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14). Through the blood of Jesus, we have been purchased “from every tribe and language and people and nation… to be a kingdom of priests to serve our God” (Rev. 5:9-10). Out text says, “It was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious BLOOD of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (I Peter 1:18-19). As Christians, Jesus has purchased you as an inheritance unto Himself through His shed blood (Acts 20:28; I Cor. 6:20; 7:23). As you trust in the blood of Jesus, you have all the benefits and provisions of salvation.

In early human history two brothers were in a field together. Both had offered sacrifices to God. Cain had offered from the fruit of the ground to God; Abel had offered the best of the lambs to God. God had accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but had refused Cain’s sacrifice. Then out of jealousy, Cain killed his brother Abel. Later the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” (Gen. 4:9). Cain replied, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9). Then the Lord answered back, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground”: JUSTICE, JUSTICE, JUSTICE (Gen 4:10). Today the blood of Jesus is crying: “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.”

The Bible says in Hebrews 12:24 that we have come, “To Jesus the mediator of a new covenant and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of a better word that the blood of Abel.” Whereas the blood of Abel cries vengeance, the blood of Jesus cries mercy. The blood of Jesus cries out, “Sin is covered. The penalty is paid.” The blood of Abel spoke vengeance, but the blood of Jesus speaks peace, pardon, and reconciliation to God for all that are bound by Satan.


-- Otto Kaiser is a missionary with Global University.

Friday, April 7, 2017

TWO WAYS YOU CAN BE ASTONISHED AT LIFE


By Ada Brownell

Excerpt from IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU



!. IMAGINE HOW YOU BURST FROM YOUR MOTHER’S WOMB!


When you last looked at a baby, were you amazed at how he was formed from a tiny egg inside your mother's belly? Are you awed at how you were created the same way? A wad of sperm from your father and the amazing egg with all your DNA in it connecting and springing to life! How amazing.


2. We’re used to seeing babies, and we accept them without question. But someone who was dead coming to life again? God sending his Son to earth to promise everlasting life to those who believe in him? That’s beyond some people’s comprehension.


Or is it beyond some folks to allow themselves to believe such a love story?


If God created life in the beginning and made it possible for life to continue through the generations, it’s not that difficult to believe the rest of the Bible record.


When the choir sings anthems Easter morning (or any other Sunday dur­ing the year), it isn’t difficult to believe that when the disciples looked into the tomb and saw the grave clothes lying there, He had risen.


And it isn’t that difficult to believe He’s still at the right hand of the Father, answering prayer, giving new spiritual life and hope to people everywhere—because it’s true. People experience the power of God every moment around the world, and testify about it.


When the choirs break into Handel’s Messiah Hallelujah Chorus, our spirits can sing along, “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. The Lord God omnipotent reigneth!”


JESUS DIED TO GIVE YOU ABUNDANT LIFE—YOUR FUTURE


The Gospel of Jesus Christ didn’t stop when the Lord went into heaven, or when his disciples died. “He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do because I go to the Father,” Jesus said in what John recorded in Chapter 14, verse 12.


The works of the Lord Jesus Christ are magnified today by literally millions of believers who proclaim the Gospel in every place and every language. Will you be one of those who tells the good news of redemption so people can live forever?

Book Summary:


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; 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.
           Tweet: Imagine the Future You. Also available in Audio. Read or listen to first chapter free! #Teens #Family #Devotions

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

EVERYONE HAS FAITH. WHERE DID YOU PUT YOURS?


By Ada Brownell

The woman was from Sweden. She and her daughter had a long layover in the same airport where we waited for our next flight.

She discovered I am a Christian writer and we began discussing faith.

"Oh, I don't believe in God, and I allow my children to decide whether they want to. I just believe we're here, and if we're good people that's all that's important."

Interesting that she already said, "I believe..."

I told her why I believe in God. Nothing else makes sense. I can't believe we would just appear on earth with our perfect bodies, on a planet perfectly placed in space, with everything we need for survival at our fingertips. I gave her evidence I see that says God exists, but then I added, "But you can't prove God exists because faith is the requirement for salvation."

I went on to say, "No one can prove God doesn't exist either. It takes as much faith to believe He doesn't exist, as to believe in God."

I pointed out that evolution is taught as fact only because it is so widely accepted, and that it has been changed many times because the missing links aren't there. Punctuated equilibrium is one of the later theories. Furthermore, any species that has proven changes is still the same species.

"But I can't believe in God," she said.

She appeared to think He is too amazing. She and others think men and animals and the universe creating itself is plausible?

"You do have faith," I told her with a smile. "Believing He isn't there takes as much as believing in Him. Any answer to who we are, how we arrived here, and where we're going takes faith. What you have decided to believe about your beginning is where you put your faith."

"You're messing with my head," she said. "I'm going to have to think about what you're saying."

Now, every day I call her name before the Lord and ask that she and her family will place their faith in God who loved the world so much He gave His only Son on the cross to die for her sins. I pray she will put her faith in Jesus, believe that He walked out of the tomb alive, and because He lives she can live forever also. Her eternity will be much more glorious than it would be if she keeps her faith in the professors and others who told her God isn't there--because He is.

Evidence is everywhere--beginning with the eye you see with to read these words.

IMAGINE YOUR FAITH

Remember we can't prove God exists because faith is necessary for salvation. The Bible states, “Without faith it is impossible to please him. For he that cometh to him must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.”[1]


In another scripture the Bible says, “All who believe in God’s Son have everlasting life.”[2]

If God’s existence could be proved, there would be no reason for faith!


When the whole matter of man’s existence on Earth is questioned, there is nothing to settle it—but faith. So why not believe in God? It’s the only thing that makes sense.


Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, said he has never seen a single individual who has honestly considered the evidence who was unable to believe in God. But he has seen some who are unwilling to believe.[3]


Belief is a matter of the will. God created man with freedom of choice. We aren’t forced to serve or obey him. Adam and Eve had that choice from the beginning, and so do we. We can serve false gods, Satan, or ourselves if we choose.


It is only when we choose to believe in the Creator that we begin to build our life on the Rock where the hurricanes of life can’t destroy us.


God’s love was demonstrated when He sent His only Son to die, arise from the tomb, and be the Savior of sinful men. Belief in God the Father is not enough, however. Devils believe and tremble (James 2:19). We also must believe and confess Jesus Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9) and obediently follow Him and His Word.




[1] Hebrews 11:6KJ
[2] John 3:36
[3] Josh McDowell, Foreword, Evidence That Demands a Verdict (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers Inc., San Bernardino, CA, 1979).