Tuesday, March 21, 2017

WHY YOU NEED FAITH IN GOD


By Ada Brownell

Excerpt from Imagine the Future You


A GREAT GIFT FOR TEEN GIRLS OR FAMILY WORSHIP. This motivational Bible study will help youth discover evidence for faith; how to look and be their best; who can help; interesting information about dating, love and marriage; choosing a career; how to deposit good things into the 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 bring a smile.
 E-book,  paper and audible. Read or listen to first chapter free! Great narrator.

If you want to live forever with God in heaven, you need faith in God. Why? 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 them 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).

Monday, March 13, 2017

IMAGINE EARTH THE WAY GOD MADE IT



*Excerpt from Ada Brownell's book, Imagine the Future You.



Anyone who will look with an open mind will see that creation is “programmed” the way God designed it. Species reproduce only after their kind. The body returns to dust—from which the Bible says it came.
If we look at creation, there is too much perfection to be attributed to chance.
It is with awe toward the Creator that we see not one but two kinds of humans, animals, insects, reptiles, birds, and fish—which keep reproducing to populate Earth. Doesn’t it take too much faith to believe two kinds evolved so per­fectly so as to join together and have the capacity to create others just like them?
Any part of the human body or any other part of cre­ation defies explanation outside of the design of Almighty God.
 More evidence for faith surrounds us. The power of God at work in the lives of men and women today is a great testimony. First, a personal relationship with God is the only thing that really satisfies the soul of man. Even if we have access to everything the world has to offer, if we don’t know God, we have emptiness.

IMAGINE WHY FAITH IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR FUTURE
Dr. Andrew Newberg, neuroscientist and author of Why We Believe What We Believe, says our brains seem to have a special place for faith. He has tracked how the human brain processes religion and spirituality. It's all part of a new field called neurotheology.[1]

Newberg says the frontal lobe, the area right behind our foreheads, helps us focus our attention in prayer and meditation. The parietal lobe, located near the back of our skulls, is the seat of our sensory information. He says this place in the brain is involved in that feeling of becoming part of something greater than one’s self. The limbic system, nestled deep in the center, regulates our emotions and is responsible for feelings of awe and joy.

Newberg says similar areas of the brain are affected during prayer and meditation. He suggests brain scans may provide proof that our brains are built to believe in God. He says there may be universal features of the human mind that actually make it easier for us to believe in a higher power.

 I believe people search for God because of the “God-shaped void” within. If they haven’t heard the Gospel or reject it, they worship the earth, an idol they know is nothing but a figure humans created, or devise their own religion—even making unbelief into doctrine.

The answer to it all is faith. God allows us to choose whether to believe in Him, or man's ideas that reject our loving Heavenly Father. It's summed up in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life."

What a wonderful gift to those who believe!





[1] 2 Corinthians 517



[1] CNN report by A. Chris Gajilan on April 4, 2007.

IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU SUMMARY


IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU
By Ada Brownell

A GREAT GIFT!

This motivational Bible study will help youth or anyone discover evidence for faith; how to look and be their best; who can help; interesting information about dating, love and marriage; choosing a career; how to deposit good things into the 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 bring a smile.

E-book,  paper and audible. Read or listen to first chapter free! Great narrator.




Monday, February 20, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Decepiton and new discoveries about evolution



By Ada Brownell

Excerpt from Imagine the Future You

Chapter 8
Imagine the Creator of the Universe Loving you

Do you believe the Bible? The first says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" Genesis 1:1.

It's an argument that is only settled by faith. Neither atheists can prove what they believe, and neither can those who believe in a supernatural creator--God. The reason you can't prove God exists is because faith is necessary for salvation. The reason atheists can't prove everything created itself is because it's not true. The evidence is still missing after about a century and a half since Darwin. Any species that shows changes is still the same species. Evolution is taught as fact only because it's so widely accepted.

IMAGINE DECEPTION

In the camp of atheism, we even have deception. Among attempts to “prove” evolution, we have the Piltdown Man, which for forty years was acclaimed as the “missing evolutionary link.” In 1952 it was proved to be a hoax designed by Charles Dawson. The skull actually was the cranium of a man and the jaw of an ape. The specimen was believed to be a million years old before it was discovered to be a fraud. The teeth had been filed and stained to suggest age.

Among other attempted deceptions was the Solid Muldoon, which ap­peared to be a petrified giant with a tail about three inches long at the base of the spine. The figure was dug up in 1877 near Pueblo, Colorado.

The Solid Muldoon was exhibited by W. A. Conant, the “discoverer,” and George Hull, who planned to show the figure with P. T. Barnum, the showman. But scientists were skeptical because Hull exhibited another “petrified man” known as the Cardiff Giant. Hull later confessed he and a stonecutter carved the “giant” out of stone and buried it for “discovery.”

Hull finally admitted that, in an attempt to make the Solid Muldoon appear authentic, he made it from pulverized stone and bones, clay, blood, plaster, and dried eggs. He pounded the “skin” with a needle-studded mallet to give it “pores.” Then it was fired in a kiln for two weeks.

Now, even a person who rejects evolution must admit there are few blatant decep­tions such as these in the scientific realm today. But that is not to say you can rest your future and eternal destiny on science.

IMAGINE NEW EVIDENCE

New evidence makes it necessary to continually revise the theory of evolution. In fact, according to US News and World Report, the theory is radically being revised.[1]

An article several years ago by William F. Allman says, “The branches of the human family tree are being given a thorough shaking.”

One of the recent shakings, Allman said, concerns Lucy, a primate thought by evolutionists to walk upright and represent the oldest known human ancestor. But he said a number of distinct creatures, and possibly ten different species of upright, large-brained ape-like creatures, have been discovered, changing thought about Lucy’s species being the evolutionary link. Some creationists discount Lucy entirely because pygmy chimps wander about upright much of the time in rain forests today.

One of the most hotly debated issues among experts on human origins concerns Neanderthals—stocky, primitive hominids thought to be a direct ancestor of modern humans.

Researchers recently recovered DNA from a Neanderthal fossil and decoded it to see how closely it resembles human DNA. The Neanderthal DNA differed from human DNA in twenty-seven places, while human DNA differs from person to person by an average of just eight variations in genetic sequence.[2]

The author of the article in US News and World Report concluded the DNA tests showed Neanderthal men died out and were not the ancestors of modern humans.

The “prehistoric” models used by evolutionists also are sometimes built on a very few bones and often rely on artists for fossil reconstruction. For instance, Science Magazine showed a half whale and a half land animal on its cover on April 22, 1983, and according to Dave Nutting of the Alpha Omega Institute in Grand Junction, Colorado, the picture was reconstructed from teeth, a small fragment of the jaw, and one bone at the back of the skull.[3]



[1] William F. Allman, “A Family Legacy for Lucy,” US News & World Report, April 11, 1994, 55.
[2] Laura Tangley, “Not So Close After All,” US News and World Report, July 21, 1997, 9.
[3] Pueblo Chieftain, Pueblo, CO, Jan. 12, 1991, page 1B; and The Alpha Omega Institute, bulletin, Grand Junction, CO.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

LOVE IS DYNAMITE





          By Ada Brownell                                   

***The author's historical romance, The Lady Fugitive, is on sale for .99 through Feb. 12.   The Lady Fugitive, 2015 Laurel Award runner-up. Buy: http://ow.ly/QzlIP   
              

          I grew up observing love demonstrated among family. One of the most amazing was a relative who was a new Christian, and she showed love to her husband beyond what I, even as a child, thought was necessary.

            Her husband, with training in the finer etiquettes of his heritage, expected men to be served before women.

            My aunt, who I know had some fire somewhere in her bones, acted as if she were made to serve her husband, and she did it with joy. We were guests at their home after church one Sunday and boys near my age were allowed to eat with the men, while I remember thinking I would starve before girls and women were served.

I don’t think my aunt was so subservient before she became a Christian, but she did what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7, 13:14: “And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband.”  As the years passed, my uncle accepted the Lord and treated his wife with kindness and respect. Not many years before he died, he sang his wife’s praises and wasn’t afraid to tell others about what a great woman she was. No longer did the men eat alone, but sat at the table enjoying the chatter of ladies.

            My idea when he was such a pompous husband would be to “throw the bum out.” But God has better ways.

            I’ve thought of Jesus when John the Baptist was beheaded. John was a relative and close friend. He baptized Jesus. Now the earthlings Jesus had come to save not only killed John, but brought his head on a platter.

            No wonder when the disciples brought the news, Jesus immediately jumped on a ship and went to a desert place. He knew humankind could be cruel, but I imagine it was different when he took on human flesh to be one of us.

            I’d have said, “Father, they’re too wicked. Let’s forget the whole redemption plan.”

            Instead, when Jesus saw a crowd followed him to the desert, He had compassion on them and healed the sick. That evening he fed the multitude with five loaves and two fish. When the disciples departed in a boat the night, a storm blew in. Jesus walked on water, calmed the seas, and even invited Peter to step out onto the liquid.

            What love is that? The type He asks us to strive for.

             How can I be a more loving person? Start with obeying Jesus who said, "Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. ON these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40 KJ).

 Love is  explained in 1 Corinthians 13-3-5NLT: “If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn’t love others, I would be of no value whatsoever. Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  Love does not demand its own way.”
             We're also told, “Let the faith and love of Christ Jesus be your model” from 2 Timothy 1:13 CEV.
            When we study the Word we learn love is as powerful as dynamite and will take us through life more easily, just as dynamite can open a highway tunnel through a mountain. Used in the wrong way because of jealousy or other sinful motives, love can be destructive.
            Love is important to our happiness, both the love we receive and the love we give.  God loves us no matter what, and some people love us because God put it in their hearts. But to be a complete, we must return that love and put love into action.
            The greatest love of all is God’s love for us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
           When Jesus gave His life for us so we could have forgiveness of sins and live forever in heaven, that was the greatest gift of love ever given. What a gift! Better than any Valentine's gift ever given.
            © Ada Brownell
ADA'S HISTORICAL ROMANCES ARE ABOUT LOVE, BUT ALSO SUSPENSE
Ada Brownell has been writing for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a daily newspaper reporter. She has a B.S. degree in Mass Communications and worked most of her career at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado where she spent the last seven years as a medical writer. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to freelance for Christian publications and write non-fiction and fiction books.
She is author of Peach Blossom Rancher, released By Elk Lake Publishing in 2016; The Lady Fugitive, Elk Lake 2014; Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, 2013; Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, 2011; Imagine the Future You, released 2013; and Confessions of a Pentecostal, Radiant Books, out-of-print but released in 2012 for Kindle;. All the books are available in paper or for Kindle. Imagine the Future You also is an Audio Book.
Buy Peach blossom rancher here: http://ow.ly/4ETL302QdhW
The Lady Fugitive, 2015 Laurel Award runner-up. Buy: http://ow.ly/QzlIP
     Twitter: @adabrownell
     Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement
    Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06
       

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

GOD AT CREATION: HOW DID YOU GET HERE?


By Ada Brownell

Excerpt from the book, Imagine the Future You

Paperback, e-book, or audible
http://ow.ly/y9zaF 
iTunes:  http://ow.ly/U8W8S


IMAGINE HOW YOU GOT HERE

Now, some Christians do believe in evolution—but with God starting the process. But those who believe in God don’t believe the universe or the magnificent human body happened by itself.

Most secular professors and teachers will not hesitate to tell you what to believe and not believe about your origins, but even scientists disagree.

One of the most interesting debates on evolution occurred in October 1980, when 150 scientists met in Chicago and began openly bickering among themselves, thundering forth conflicting theories.

Some scientists at this conference promulgated the “big bang theory.[1] This theory, obviously not the TV show, contends that instead of millions of leisurely evolution­ary years, the world began all at once, Bang!, in a great galactic explosion of atoms and enzymes.

Darwin’s theory also came under attack from scientists—because missing links are still missing after more than a century since Darwin.

“Fossil hunters have not found the fossils needed to explain the glar­ing differences between major species,” Associated Press newspaper columnist Hugh A. Mulligan reported. “In the whole cycle of environmental selection, with all the genes and embryos playing splitsville according to the evolutionary plan, no six-legged vertebrate has yet walked forth upon the earth.”

Science has pro­vided few or none of the examples of one major species shading gradually into another.

Fossil experts, not clergymen, are Darwin’s most formidable opponents, according to Phillip E. Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial.[2] Although Darwin’s theory revolved around survival of the fittest, paleontologists often disagree with Darwin because appearance of an improved form implies a disadvantage of its parent form. Many supposed parent forms still survive, and the missing links just aren’t there, even though they’ve been searched for since 1859, when Darwin wrote Origin of the Species.

“There always will be missing links if we think in terms of link between all change,” a university anthropologist argued when I interviewed him. He said changes in Darwin’s theory have occurred, the most recent the theory of “punctuated equilibrium,” which he explained relates to the time taken for one species to shade into another.

“A form which had been a small variant, might have great rapid growth,” he said.

He used the doubling of chromosomes in some species as an example of radical change in a short period.

On the other hand, he admitted such doubling could be caused by the environment and also that most mutations are undesirable rather than desirable.

He used a fruit fly as an example of a species with a short life span where such changes in chromosomes could be observed. But he admitted the insect still was a fruit fly.

“It is very difficult for an average scientist to test evolution,” he said. “Our lives are too short and the research too specialized. The theory is the result of collective effort.”

IMAGINE OUTDATED TEXTBOOKS

One psychology professor openly ridiculed Christians in one of my university classes with more than seventy students. 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 are saying today 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 that many scientists have thrown out missing links because they couldn’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?”

A few weeks later, I asked a science teacher if the first and second laws of thermodynamics violated evolution. The teacher had opened the class on the environment by 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 time you see an old barn with the roof sagging and the walls falling in, you see demonstration of 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.[3]

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] Charles Percival, Pueblo Chieftain, Aug. 9, 1992, page 6B.
[2] Darwin on Trial (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 45.
[3] G. Tyler Miller Jr., Living in the Environment (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.), 34–43.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Four ideas about God at Creation


By Ada Brownell

An excerpt from Ada Brownell's book, Imagine the Future You

Also available in Audio. Read or listen to first chapter free! #Teens #Family #Devotions

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What do you believe?
Did it take millions of years for our All Powerful God to create the earth and everything else in the universe?

Here are four different ideas about the days of creation from Bible scholars.


 Twenty-four Days of Re-creation: The belief there was a creation before Adam that was somehow destroyed. (This idea leaves a gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.)


Age-Long Days of Creation: The belief that creation occurred over six different ages that could have been thousands of years in length.


 Revelatory Days of Creation: The idea that the days had nothing to do with creation but with the amount of time God took giving Moses, the writer of the Book of Genesis, information about creation.


Twenty-four-hour days of creation: The belief that God literally created the Earth and all that is in it in six twenty-four-hour days, as we know days.


So when Genesis says, “So the evening and the morning were the first day,” “The evening and the morning were the second day,” and so forth until God rested on the seventh day, the length of time can be interpreted several ways.


One thing that makes me believe in a young Earth is population. Scientists use the “population J curve” to show exponential growth of the number of humans. The “J curve” is any system that grows by doubling—one, two, four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two, etc., or geometric growth.


Experts estimate the world’s population was two hundred million in 1 AD and population continued to double and double until 1850—the curve of the J— when eight hundred million people lived on the Earth. Estimates and censuses showed two billion by 1930, three billion in 1960, four billion in 1976, five billion in 1990, six billion in 2002, and an estimated seven billion in 2011.


It took nearly two thousand years to quadruple the number of people from the time Jesus walked the earth but only eighty years for the population to grow from one to two billion between 1850 and 1930 and twelve years to grow a billion between 1990 and 2002. The US Census Bureau estimated the world population to be 7.073 billion in 2012.


 This increase is despite diebacks because of disease and epidemics, natural catastrophes, and wars. In my mind, there is no way man could have been here millions of years. Again, science uses millions of years to make evolution seem plausible because we can’t see any evidence for it in a lifetime of one hundred years.


 But the length of time that it took to create the Earth is not exceedingly important. What is important is that we know and believe Genesis 1:1, that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”


The whole world’s scientific thought constantly changes and often contradicts what scientists thought was solid evidence. On the other hand, the Creator and his witness never change and will never be outdated.


Imagine the Future You goes into detail about evidence for belief in God, and also evidence and even fraud such as the Piltdown Man designed to prove evolution.

As a Bible student, youth Christian education teacher and newspaper reporter, I've interviewed experts on both sides of the argument. Imagine the Future You, has details about some of those interviews.