Monday, January 16, 2012

Why I Wrote Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal

By Ada Brownell
Faith is a force that must be fed.
Every day, we either nourish our faith or unbelief. It’s like depositing funds in the bank. Every day we use a little of our cash, but most of us know we need some put away for emergencies.
Life, especially in these times of media saturation, challenges our faith from many sides. Sometimes getting up in the morning is like stepping out into a shooting range between the guns and the target. We duck and wonder why we’re not carrying a shield to get through this mess. Then we notice the enemy of our soul lurks on the edges of the hillside. He roars like a lion and we realize this is no game.
“Where is my sword?” we ask ourselves.
Ephesians 6 tells us a little about preparing for the battle and what our enemy is like. “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The ultimate attack comes against faith in life and death issues. God warned Adam and Eve if they disobeyed him, they would die. Most everyone is subject to the ultimate lie Satan, that slimy snake, told Eve in the beginning.
Satan opened his fangy face and guffawed. “You won’t die.” His bony fingers grabbed a peach from the forbidden tree and thrust it toward Eve. “Eat it. It’s delicious!”
Eve ran to Adam and offered him one. Soon the couple bit in to the sugary fruit, juice dripping from the edges of their mouths as they watched one another change from immortal to mortal beings that would become ill and die.
Satan’s venom fills every earthly body and grave since that time.
Read about it in Genesis 3, but God had compassion and promised a Redeemer who would bruise Satan’s head, although the Redeemer’s heel would be bruised by the serpent when the Savior came to redeem every man who wanted to be saved. We know the Messiah was crucified. The amazing thing is death could not hold him!
Yet, although we all know the story, when Satan whispers, “Don’t even think about it. You won’t die,” we avoid putting that faith deposit in the bank, because when someone we know has a troubling diagnosis or dies, we’re deceived into thinking he or she is the only one going.
We think like the leaders of our nation that plunged us into owing $15 trillion in debt and the bank account is empty!
Perhaps that’s why it took me 15 years to see Swallowed by LIFE published. When I showed a proposal to editors, I suspected they thought the market for this category of books was limited, and it should be left to ministers who have a long list of credentials and a huge following.
Yet, I knew my book is unique because it has exciting news about life and how we are made, urging you to take time to see the evidence we are more than a body; to view the powerful hope everyone has in Christ as we look at all the aspects of John 3:16; asking you to look at heaven; to contemplate the joys of knowing God walks with us every day here and whether we live until He comes and we’re caught away to meet Him in the air; if we will walk through the valley with Him holding our hand.
In short, the book reveals exciting things scripture and medicine and witnesses tell us about life and the eternal.
I started with four sections to the book. The first chapters were similar to what I have now with the exciting things about our bodies and life, challenges to know the truth about who we are, and some about what happens at death, where the spirit goes, what happens at the Resurrection and what we’ll do for eternity. The second part focused on difficult choices, such as living wills, hospice, different beliefs about burial and cremation, including the controversies of assisted suicide and euthanasia. As a reporter I covered a number of conferences that featured medical doctors who believed in or practiced assisted suicide and euthanasia. The next section had to do with dealing with losses and changes in lifestyle as we age or suffer from illness. The last focused on ways to leave a legacy.
The section I felt needed to be published most was first part where the theme is “God created us so that we are more than a physical body. No matter what happens to the body, whether we constantly die cell by cell as they regenerate, whether we lose a hundred pounds, a bomb takes off an arm or leg, they cut off parts and perhaps replace them with a mechanical device, give us an organ from another human, implant the valve of a pig, or whether the body turns to dust--we LIVE and are the same person who started as an egg in our mother’s body, and if we know Jesus as Savior we will LIVE forever in joy and peace with Him.”
If you’re out of breath reading the above paragraph, you’ll see my topic fires me up. Satan thought he won by deceiving humankind so that they would be forever impacted by God’s judgment, but he was wrong. The person we are will never die and God, although he allowed the penalty for sin, loves us so much he forgives and Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us…Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:1-3).
Put that in your faith bank along with the hundreds of wonderful scriptures that tell us about the abundant life God gives here and beyond. The deposit will come in handy sometime. Remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
Can you tell? You being filled with faith is the reason I wrote the book. When our Carolyn became ill, she fed her soul on the Word and songs such as It is Well with My Soul sung by Sandi Patti. She died with her confidence in God, which she dug for on her own. Some of our faith accounts didn’t have much to share. But the Lord keeps helping me make deposits and now I can share.
You can purchase Swallowed by LIFE from me, or www.Barnesandnoble.com and www.amazon.com
©Ada Brownell, Jan. 16, 2012