Monday, August 27, 2012

Where does faith come from?

“Faith is trusting what the eye can’t see. Eyes see the prowling lion. Faith sees Daniel’s angel. Eyes see storms. Faith sees Noah’s rainbow. Your eyes see your faults. Your faith sees your Savior. Your eyes see your guilt. Your faith sees His blood.”
The above is Max Lucado’s paraphrase of Hebrews 11:11(NIV): “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
But where does faith originate?
1. Our Creator wrapped faith in our DNA
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 new field called neurotheology.
Newberg says the frontal lobe, the area right behind our foreheads, helps us focus our attention in prayer and meditation. The pari-et-al lobe, located near the backs of our skulls, is the seat of our sensory information. He says it's involved in that feeling of becoming part of something greater than oneself. 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.
2. God has given each person the ability to believe and his own lump of faith: “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith (Romans 12:2-4).
Often people, who don’t think they believe, find themselves praying when they or a loved one is in danger. A cry for God’s help comes from us spontaneously sometimes in crisis.
3. Faith arises from the need to know our Heavenly Father. Since the Lord gave humankind a choice of whether to serve Him, God prevents us from “proving” He exists and leaves that and other vacancies for our faith to fill.
In my book, Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, I tell how medical science and common sense show we’re more than a body, discovering our whole body keeps daying and regenerating cell by cell, parts being removed and sometimes another transplanted from someone else. Yet there is room for doubt when it comes to proving we have a soul that lives forever. We have to believe the evidence.
4. Faith comes through hearing the Word—the gospel.
The Apostle Paul wrote “Faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17NIV).
Because faith is necessary to be redeemed from sin and to have our name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, God “breathed” truth into those who wrote His love message to humankind. It is through that love letter—the Bible—we gain knowledge of Him and why He allows us (anybody) to choose to accept it and love and obey Him.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2Timothy 3:16KJ).
5. Faith results from acting on what was heard. From Romans 10NIV: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved…. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
6. Faith comes through the will. We decide whether to believe God’s Word, a false religion, or atheism. Everything about who we are, why we are here and where we are going takes faith. Yet it takes a leap—a decision.
7. Faith is created by combining belief with common-sense actions. James calls it faith and works. (James 2:22).
8. Faith develops out of our hopes. We hope for something, but it takes faith to receive it.
9. Faith can come as a fruit (KJ) and Gift of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22, 1 Corinthians 12:9).
10. Faith comes from a combination of our will to believe, and the Holy Spirit’s revelation. The Word must be planted, watered, and then our lives bear fruit.
©Ada Brownell 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

The healing of Dr. Lillian Yeomans

The Healing of Dr. Lillian Yeomans, addicted to drugs
By Dr. Otto Kaiser of Global University

Dr. Lillian Yeomans became a famous medical surgeon. She graduated with a doctorate of medicine from the University of Michigan in 1882. Her father was a doctor. Her grandfather was a doctor. She became a leading specialist in her field or surgery. She was known in the medical field for her successful delicate operations.
To steady her nerves while doing delicate operations, she occasionally took morphine. Then one day she made the terrible discovery that the drug had become her master. She went through terrible agony when she found she did not have the power to break the drug habit.
When be tremendous exercise of will power she stopped taking the drug for 24 hours, her condition was pitiable/ she trembled with weakness. Her body bathed in cold sweat. Her heart fluttered. Her breathing became difficult. Her stomach could not hold water much less food. Her intestines racked with pain. She suffered persistent diarrhea. She could not stand erect. She could not think logically. She could not write her name.
She became a walking skeleton. Her doctor friends urged her to take the drug so that she would not lose what little reason remained. All of her doctor friends expected her wretched life to come to an early end.
Dr. Yeomans heard of the divine healing ministry of Evangelist John Alexander Dowie in Chicago. She went to Chicago and attended his services even though she was suffering intense pain. She listened to his sermons on faith. She saw miracles of healing take place. Faith in the healing power of Jesus began to rise in her heart.
The physician had described herself as a Christian, but followed afar off. She asked Jesus Christ to be her Savior. She promised God that if he healed here she would devote the rest of her life to Him. Evangelist Dowie prayed for her in the name of Jesus and she was totally healed. Her whole mind and body were restored and she kept her promise to God. She left practicing medicine and became a Christian author and editor of Leaves of Healing, a Christian magazine on divine healing.
What God did for D. Lillian Yeomans, He can do for you in whatever need you might have or whatever crisis you face. 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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grandparenting Through Obstacles

Ada: My guests today are Dianne E. Butts and Renee Gray-Wilburn, co-authors of the book, Grandparenting Through Obstacles. Grandpa and Grandma need wisdom for this phase of life, just as they needed it in parenting. This book helps us understand what to do with the challenges we face as grandparents.  

Grandparenting Through Obstacles is Available Now:

Or by request at your favorite bookstore.

About the Authors:

Dianne E. Butts is a freelance writer, author, and screenwriter. Her latest book, Deliver Me, for those in an unplanned pregnancy or with one in their past, is a Christian Small Publishers Association “Book of the Year” award winner and inspired her first short film: She has over 300 articles published in Christian magazines and web sites, and has contributed to nineteen books. She writes frequently for, and Her first book, Dear America, is now available on Kindle. She enjoys riding motorcycles with her husband, Hal, and gardening with her cat, PC. They live in Colorado.

Renee Gray-Wilburn is the author of nearly 200 published pieces, including dozens of magazine articles, two children’s books (Volcanoes and Earthquakes, Capstone Press), contributions to several compilation books, including the Cup of Comfort series and Life Savors for Women, and over a dozen children’s curriculum books. Renee has a passion for instilling biblical truths into the hearts of children and loves helping others through her writing to do the same. She makes her home in Colorado Springs with her husband, Derrick, and their three children, Conner, Cayla, and Chandler.

1.      How many grandchildren do you have among you and what is the range of their ages?
RENEE: Dianne and I are not grandparents, that’s why we called in the experts to help us write our book—real grandparents (20 in all) from around the country who have been through some real-life challenges in trying to impart their faith to their grandkids.

DIANNE: The way I see it, being a writer is being a servant. We not only serve the needs of our readers, but we help others share their stories. Many of the twenty true stories in our book were contributed by writers, but some people needed help getting their story written. And all of the contributors needed someone to conceive of, head up the project and pull it together. That’s what Renee and I did. We also added a lot at the end of each chapter, including Points to Ponder, Steps to Take, Scriptures to Study, and One Way to Pray. All the applications we added at the end of the chapters are related to topics inspired by the story. Renee and I each have a passion for seeing individuals know Jesus as Christ, so it’s a natural fit, even though we’re not grandparents ourselves. So that’s how we wrote a grandparenting book even though neither one of us is a grandparent.
2.      How do grandparents wisely show their love and the importance of living for Jesus?
Dianne: I think in every story in the book readers will see first and foremost the grandparent living their lives with Jesus being of prime importance to them. After that, it’s natural to want to share with others what is most important to you, so wanting to share Christ with the people we love is showing them love. The inspiring part comes in the how-to’s! Just how do we show the importance of living for Jesus? Well the answers to that in this book are very creative. We have grandparents who designed Christian “camp” experiences for their grandkids. The grandkids come to their house for a week or weekend in the summer and they have their own Christian camp with activities and crafts and games and Bible study, of course. We have grannies who got web cams and learned how to Skype so they could be part of their long-distance grandkids’ lives. We have families who do missions trips and others who take the grandkids on vacation to Christian destinations, such as a creation museum. There are as many ways to wisely show love and the importance of living for Jesus as there are grandparents!

3.      Do we need to pray circles around their every activity, or is it sufficient to just ask God to bless them?
RENEE: Personally, I believe in praying specifically, using God’s Word when we pray. Our faith is based on His Word, and He tells us in Isaiah that His Word will never return to Him void. The way it returns to Him is through our prayers. The more specific we can get, the more we can target our faith and have confidence in our prayers. There is a certain place for speaking blessings over your children and grandchildren, but that’s a different scenario than praying for them for specific activities, relationships, their walk with God, and so forth.
4.      Do you advise praying for their friends, their enemies, their teachers, those in the media who influence them? How and why? Do you worry about undermining what parents and teachers say that is at odds with faith?
DIANNE: Of course we should pray over all those things. I love Francine Duckworth’s story “G & G Retreat” because Francine brought her granddaughter into her home for a whole summer and they did a spiritual retreat for just the two of them. While the granddaughter was allowed to go out with friends for fun like shopping or movies, Francine demanded equal time. If the granddaughter went to the movies, Francine got the same amount of time with her for discipleship training. Francine was concerned with competing with the world and its alluring pleasures. Her granddaughter is grown now and Francine has seen the fruit of that retreat in her life.
            As for undermining parents, Part 4 in the book is all about “Partnering with Parents.” The stories in this section talk about learning how to work with the parents without stepping over that hazy boundary of going too far. It’s a difficult walk, and no one does it perfectly. But these grandparents have learned from their successes as well as their mistakes, and they share what they’ve learned.

5.      Do you pray for the person they are dating, or will marry? Have you seen results of your prayers? Be as specific as you can.
RENEE: I currently pray for the future spouses of my children. They are 15, 11, and 7 years old. None of them are dating yet! But if they were, I’d be praying even harder! This is an absolute. Eventually they will want to settle down with one person for all of eternity—I better get God involved in helping them make the choice of who that person will be and making sure that is His will for them.
6.      How does a grandparent approach spiritual matters with a grandchild, especially when they don’t see one another often? What do you do when parents object?
DIANNE: Part 2 of the book deals with long-distance relationships and shows how these grandparents are finding creative ways to bridge the gaps. From Skyping to traveling great distances to sending books with a Christian world view, these grandparents are finding ways to make it work.
            Part 1 of the book (there are four Parts with five stories in each Part), is all about “The Challenge of Parents Not Walking With God.” Our first story hits the nail on the head for your question. When the parents and grandkids came to visit Marilyn for a rare visit from a foreign country, the kids’ mother had an angry outburst and threatened never to visit again when Marilyn answered the children’s questions about God. Marilyn humbled herself and apologized. (Not the reaction I probably would have had!) That one act (and much prayer) opened doors for her gain permission to talk to the children about God. After the family returned to their home in the foreign country, God arranged for the nanny they hired to be a Christian and have an influence on the children.
            With prayer and God involved, those parents who object to the children knowing Him don’t stand a chance! <smiling>

7.      Do you worry about conditions in the world, our nation, and even families that could drastically affect your grandchildren? What is the best way to cover grandchildren in prayer when they are going in a landmine of spiritual battles every day?
RENEE: I don’t know if worry is a good word, because I have more faith in God’s ability to take care of them than I do in them getting pulled in the wrong direction. I also pray God’s armor of protection over them, as well as Psalm 91, and I have taught them how to do the same. Along with praying for them, I think it’s vital to be able to teach kids how to pray on their own. You won’t always be with them or even know what is going on in their lives. I was so blessed to hear a report of how my two youngest prayed for me, my husband, and their brother during the fire here in Colorado Springs. They were at a friend’s house across town, and the rest of my family was literally fleeing our neighborhood ahead of approaching flames. They were worried about us, but they started praying together, using Scripture, and having faith that God would take care of us.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Many of our followers are familiar with the writing of Staci Stallings, whose articles always get a high number of hits here. Now is your opportunity to receive her latest novel FREE. -- Ada Brownell

Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. Staci has a special surprise for you today and tomorrow only...
August 15 & 16
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To Protect & Serve
 "I'm taken away to another world, a world I want to be a part of and never leave. Staci's characters are real with real everyday problems. I love that.

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When control freak Lisa Matheson falls for handsome but shy firefighter, Jeff Taylor, it's possible that life might just be going her way for a change. The only problem is she can't control of Jeff or the death wish he seems to have...
Available as a free download from Amazon!


October 3, 2011
By:  Staci Stallings
There are times in my walk with God that messages come through–several of them–on the same topic.  Sometimes I know what they mean and why He’s sending them.  Sometimes I don’t.  This is one of those messages, so I’m sharing them with you.  Maybe this was meant for one of you rather than for me.
The first time I heard the message was on the radio.  I happen to listen to KLOVE a lot, and every so often they will have preachers on there with short messages.  The first message was about a young man of deep faith who had gone to Afghanistan in defense of our country.  One night he and his brigade were to accomplish a mission by going on foot across a vast stretch of sand.  However, as they were preparing, the wind kicked up, and it got worse and worse.
Knowing the mission was important, the young man prayed long into the night that God would quiet the wind so they could get the mission done.  He prayed and he prayed, but the wind howled through the night and into the morning hours of darkness.  Just after sunlight, when they could no longer do the mission because of the light, the wind finally let up.  The young man was quite upset.  Why had the Lord not answered his plea?
Then they came out of their covering and looked out across the sands where they were to run to make the assault, only to find it strewn with thousands of landmines.  Had the wind not stopped them, they would have been shredded by the mines.  Because of the wind, because of God, they were not.
God knows best.
The second message was similar but two days later, again on KLOVE and by a different preacher.  Now you also have to know before I tell this one, that I don’t listen to KLOVE consistently.  I listen for a little while in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon.  So these two messages came through though they were “random” to me.
In the second story, a man was stranded on a deserted island in the South Pacific.  He scrounged for food and found a coconut tree.  The tree had enough food on it to last a week, so the man ate for a week, thanking God for the provision and praying for more.  On the sixth day, however, the coconut tree caught fire and burned to the ground.  The man was flummoxed.  How could God do this to him?  Now he had no food!
Then a short hour later a boat appeared, and the man was rescued.  But how?  How did the people on the boat even know where to look, the man asked.  “We saw the smoke and thought we should investigate.”
Sometimes God does not handle things the way we would or think He should.  It is in those times that we must remember that God really DOES know best, and He will take us safely through if we learn to trust Him completely–even in those times when we don’t understand.

Monday, August 13, 2012


NOTE FROM ADA BROWNELL: When I decided to read Dawn Singer I knew fantasy isn’t my genre. Although I’ve read fantasy before, I took on this book because I’m interested in what young adults are reading and am curious about how fantasy can link with Christianity
I was quite impressed with Nightmare Academy by Frank Peretti because with that speculative fiction book, at the end the theme hit like a shot of medication, sending the message through the reader that everything hinges on Truth. Here the title, Dawn Singer, made me expect a dramatic spiritual triumph and joyous song of Salvation. But the paradoxical messages of Dawn Singer were not so evident to me: Freedom through sacrifice, overcoming prejudice with unity, serving rather than ruling, and conquering fear.

I cringed a little when truths of the gospel were slipped into this story. For instance the Word of God being so powerful it can divide soul and spirit, but it’s not clear as it’s used where the phrase comes from, and how it applies in this story.  Most young people today don’t know the Bible and would have no idea of the connection.

Perhaps because I’m not of the age group that enjoys dozens of characters with weird names and battle after battle with exotic enemies, most of the book was often a mass of confusion. I also could have done without the near-rape scene.

Yet, I give the work four stars because of writing quality. I also respect the amount of work expended to create such a novel. Every once in a while I had to stop as I was reading to absorb the beauty of phrases like this: “Your words prick like thorns that guard a tender rose.”

It might have helped if the glossary had  been at the front instead of the back of the book. At any rate, reading Dawn Singer exposes the reader to some great descriptive writing.

About the Author:
Janalyn Voigt’s epic fantasy trilogy, Tales of Faeraven, starting with DawnSinger, is published by Harbourlight Books. Janalyn also writes in the western romance genre. She is represented by Barbara Scott of Wordserve Literary. Her nonfiction publication credits include Focus on the Family, Scripture Press (now David C. Cook) and Pentecostal Evangel. She serves as a literary judge for several national contests and is an active book reviewer. Her memberships include ACFW and NCWA. Janalyn lives in a quiet corner of the Pacific Northwest, where she discovers worlds of adventure in the great outdoors.

From the Back Cover:
The High Queen is dying... At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens. But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.


BarnesandNoble link:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Finding Hope Book Launch – Free Books and More!
Don’t miss out on this free Christian inspirational book!  FREE on Wednesday 8/8/12 and Thursday 8/9/12 "Finding Hope in the Midst of Tragedy" by Shelley Hitz. 

Not only will you be able to download Shelley’s book for free, but also three other Christian books during her special book launch. 

About the Book “Finding Hope in the Midst of Tragedy”

Have you been through difficult times in your life? If so, you are not alone. Jesus says in John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Notice that He doesn't say that we might have trouble or that if we have enough faith we will escape it. He clearly states that on this side of heaven we will walk through difficult times in our lives.

And yet we have reason to hope.

This book is Shelley’s own personal journey to finding hope after a tragedy hit her family. However, she did not want this book to be her story alone. Instead, she wants it to be a resource for you to find hope in the midst of your own difficulties. That is why she has added the sections that you will see through the book called, "From My Life to Yours," where she includes journaling prompts and reflection questions for you to apply what you are learning to your life. Her prayer is that God leads you to find His hope no matter what you are currently walking through.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

What Reviewers are Saying:

"must read for anyone who has had storms in their life.  I laughed, cried and got so excited. This book gave me the answers to many of my prayers and showed me the right way to forgive." - TALoveRocks

"This is a book of hope, trust, faith, forgiveness, and so much more!  Highly Recommended!"  - Sandra McLeod Humphrey

"Wow! My eyes are full of tears and my heart is full of God's promises to the author and to each of us.  Great book!"  - Kristie

Sunday, August 5, 2012

LIFE AND "The Morning After"

      When President Barack Obama’s and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ announced employers, including religious organizations, must provide women’s reproductive services through insurance, the national debate quickly shifted from the morning-after and abortion pills, to traditional contraception.
 In media terms, that’s “spin” and the truth about the morning-after pill vanished.
 Obama is trying to make us think businesses and religions can opt out of the requirement. Regulators now solicit public input on how to implement the mandate—an appearance of openness while doing nothing.
I visited Planned Parenthood as a reporter, probably in 1994 or 1995, when I first heard of the “morning-after” pill being used in the United States.
The way I understand it, when the Food and Drug Administration wouldn’t approve the abortion pill RU-486 for use in the United States, Dr. Carl Djerassi, who helped develop the first oral contraceptive pill and founder of Planned Parenthood, decided a large dose of birth control pills would keep a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb, and thus he invented the “morning after pill.” Planned Parenthood began offering the treatment for women within 72 hours of unprotected sex, although the medication hadn’t been approved for that use and women sometimes had significant side effects.
 The morning-after medication causes the uterus to shed its lining, preventing a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb. The dosage also might cause a woman not to ovulate.
Planned Parenthood claimed until the fertilized egg attaches to the womb, the woman is not pregnant, and that’s true. But invitro fertilization shows a fertilized egg is pregnant with life before implantation in the womb.
Certainly not everyone who takes morning-after pills has a fertilized egg bursting to life and searching for a safe place in the womb. But some do—and that’s the reason for the pill—to prevent another person from entering this world.
Evangelicals, Catholics and many Americans believe “Thou Shalt Not Kill” in the Sixth Commandment includes the unborn. People are speaking out against the requirement, even after Obama transferred responsibility to insurance companies.
 The U.S. Catholic bishops noted the full range of contraceptives approved by the FDA that would be available without any co-pay under Obama Care included “drugs which can attack a developing unborn child before and after implantation in the mother’s womb.
Yet, because of the world’s exploding population, population control is a goal of many in government. The number of people on earth who need food is worrisome, but it’s not a reason to kill—or to force people, especially those whose conscience or religion forbids it, to assist with the killing.
 If killing were the answer to earth’s problems why do we worry about genocide in Syria, Ruwanda, and other places? We know in our gut it is wrong and horrific.
I suggest our citizens learn self control where sexuality is concerned, not population control.
                              -- Ada Brownell is a retired reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado.