Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Woman, who are you?

I WAS BORN THE EIGHTH CHILD in a family that emerged from the Kansas Dust Bowl and the Great Depression so poor we barely had clothes and food. Yet, we were rich because one by one my teenage siblings gave their hearts to Christ and finally, Dad, and then Mom renewed her relationship with the Lord. Joy, love and singing filled the house and I was raised in a fabulous Christian family that has made its mark for Jesus on the world.
When school kids called me a freckled-faced redhead,” I’d just give them a smug grin. Jesus loved me and had a plan for my life and no teasing would change that.
Although the world is full of redheads with freckles, the world has never had a person like me—and there has never been a person like you.
Even when you were being formed in the womb, God loved the unique individual you are and had a plan for your future.
Now I ask, Woman, who are you? You can tell a lot about yourself by looking at God’s Word.
• You are made in God’s image, so no matter how society defines beauty, you are lovely. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:9-11).
• Even our family traits were designed by God. David writes, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139: 13). In the Psalmist’s day, DNA was unheard of, but here it tells us God made things the eye can’t even see. When I was nothing but a fertilized egg about the size of a mite God knew I’d be a curly-haired redhead and covered with freckles.
• If we know Jesus, we’re different on the inside, too.
No matter how old we are, we’re sparkling new inside. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (1 Corinthians 5:17).

• Lady, you also are cherished, precious and valuable. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. (Matthew 1-29-30).
• The woman God blesses always has hope, but there might be times for tears. Jeremiah would identify with people who spend time weeping. He wrote, “I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great is your faithfulness!” (Lamentations 3: 21-23 The Message).
• Because of Jesus, you can and should have, deep abiding joy. There is no experience on earth that equals to what happens when a person is born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter said, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 1 Peter 1:7-9 Jesus said he who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow springs and rivers of living water.
• Woman, who are YOU? A person who has dreams and missions to fulfill. About five years ago I began praying the Prayer of Jabez: “Oh, that you would bless me, indeed. Enlarge my territory. May your hand be with me. Keep me from evil that I may not cause pain” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10). Suddenly things began opening for me. I sold articles to Christian publications I hadn’t had articles in before. Newspapers published op-ed pieces with definitive Christian testimonies. I made an e-book out of my out-of-print book, Confessions of a Pentecostal. I published the book I’ve had on my heart for years—Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal. What has happened in enlarging my territory probably is or should be happening in you.
• Woman, there is yet another dimension of who you are. Women are part of the Last Day outpouring of God’s Spirit. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions and your old men dream dreams. And on my servants and my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit: and they shall prophesy: And I will show wonders in the heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
• Christian women, you also are God’s models and God’s representatives because we are a living organism that is part of a spiritual body in union with Christ. Ephesians 1:22-23 says it makes no difference in the kingdom whether we are male or female. When I worked as a journalist I carried a press card that would admit me to almost anywhere, at any time. I walked boldly into places and talked to people where I would have never gone on my own. I could ask questions that might offend, but I searched for truth. As a Christian I am Christ’s messenger and we’re told the gates of hell cannot hold out our witness.
When we are filled with the Spirit—we will BE His witnesses, modeling the fruits of the Spirit at work in us—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness, and self control—while sharing the gospel.
When you look in the mirror tonight to remove your makeup and notice another wrinkle, think. Woman who are you? Look at yourself and be amazed at the best part of us of all. You are eternal. Jesus said whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
The scripture my new book hinges on: “While we live in these earthly bodies we groan and sigh, and it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothes us. Rather we want to put on our new bodies, so these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:4).
Don’t be deceived into thinking the body describes who you are. You are more than a body. You can live with someone else’s heart or kidneys and you doubt you’ll live without your body?
Here’s the sum of it all.
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed ,in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).
And because we know Jesus, we will live forever and ever.
© Ada Brownell 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Faith, Murder and Mayhem in new book, Dark Alleys

Today's guest: Lillian Duncan, author of Dark Alleys, Deception and Pursued

LILLIAN DUNCAN writes stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem. She writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: She also has a devotional blog at:

Her latest book DARK ALLEYS (Lost and Found Books) was released in September. She will also be releasing a novella just in time for Christmas-THE CHRISTMAS STALKING (Harbourlight Books).


About DARK ALLEYS: Being innocent and proving it are two different things, especially when a powerful politician is involved

Tessa’s life spiraled out of control and she finds herself in a dark alley on a cold wintry night. After she witnesses a murder, she almost becomes his second victim, but manages to escape—just barely.

Homeless and alone, she knows the authorities won’t believe someone like her, leaving her only one option—to run.



DARK ALLEYS is a suspense-filled story about a woman who ends up homeless and alone in a dark alley on a cold winter night. She witnesses a murder while in a drunken stupor and almost becomes his second victim. She awakens in the hospital with no clear memory of how she was injured. She attempts to put her life back together but, of course, the murderer has other plans.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Being innocent and proving it are two different things, especially when a powerful politician is involved

Tessa’s life spiraled out of control after the death of her only child, and she finds herself in a dark alley on a cold wintry night. After she witnesses a murder, she almost becomes his second victim, but manages to escape—just barely.

Homeless and alone, she knows the authorities won’t believe someone like her, leaving her only one option—to run.


No, I’ve published several others. Last year I published DECEPTION and PURSUED. I love to write books that have an element of mystery or suspense along with some romance.


I always root for the underdog—sometimes I have to do it in secret so my husband won’t know just how uncompetitive I am. Anyway, I wanted to write a story where the main character was the queen of underdogs and I think I did that.


At one time or another most of us end up in dark alleys, but God never deserts us. And that’s what I want readers to take away from this story. No matter what we’ve done, God never stops loving us.


I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face.

For example, in DARK ALLEYS I knew I wanted the main character to be homeless-the very epitome of powerless-and her opponent to be very powerful. When I started the story I didn’t know why she was homeless but as the story evolved, I learned more about Tessa and what brought her to that dark alley.

In another book, PURSUED, I knew I wanted the female lead to be a powerful type A personality and the male lead to be a laid-back, down-home kind of a guy. It was fun to watch the two of them interact with each other.


Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I am surprised right along with my readers.

In the case of DARK ALLEYS, I knew as will the readers who the bad guy is from the start. The mystery and suspense comes in from not knowing if Tessa will discover the murderer before he succeeds in his second attempt on her life.


I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s ok, I understand that. I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.

I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions.


My stories always have an element of faith in them. How that plays out depends on the individual plots of each specific story. My main characters are always on a spiritual journey, though some may be further along than others.

One more word about Christian Fiction, it has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Other than erotica, readers can find their favorite genre as Christian Fiction as well as mainstream fiction. There are Christian Fiction books out there for every book lover—historical; romance; regency; science fiction; even horror novels.


Wouldn’t that be awesome? Usually, I have a hard time with this question but not this time. Tessa would be played by Demi Moore and Mark Lawrence (the detective) would have to be Richard Gere. And the politician would be Bruce Willis—if he would agree to act with Demi!


I have a Christmas novella that I’m finishing final edits on. It’s being published by Harbourlight Books and will be out in November or Decemeber. It’s called THE CHRISTMAS STALKING. It’s my first novella I’ve written and I loved that format so it won’t be my last.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

The Christmas Stalking: During the Christmas holidays, a country music star hides out from a stalker at a remote cabin in upstate New York. Destiny knows fame always comes with a price, but she’s tired of being a prisoner of the very fame she sacrificed so much for.

Terrorized by an unknown stalker and fearing for her life, she escapes to the summertime home of her youth. She yearns for a simpler life, but her fame follows—and so does her stalker.

The cover for THE CHRISTMAS STALKING is so awesome, you should take a look at


My website is and I have a devotional blog at I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Just in time for Grandparents' Day: Leave a comment about grandparenting to be entered into a drawing for a free copy of Lydia's book, Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting. The winner will be announced on Sept. 20.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Meet Grandma Tea, author of Preparing my Heart for Grandparenting

Lydia Harris, known as Grandma Tea, is passionate about prayer, grandparenting, and hospitali-TEA. She inspires groups with her practical ideas, engaging stories, and sincere faith. Lydia has contributed to 17 books and has published hundreds of articles, devotionals, and tea columns. Focus on the Family regularly publishes her children's recipes, which she tests with her grandkids. Her Bible study, Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting, is based on years of teaching and intentional, godly grandparenting.

Short book summary:

Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting is a practical hands-on guidebook for new and experienced grandparents. You'll laugh, love, and learn as you grow in your important grandparenting role. Six weeks of Bible study include dozens of ideas to combine fun and faith. Those who completed the study said, "It made me a better grandparent," and "I gained confidence as a grandparent." You can order it through bookstores or online at,, and

Preparing For Grandparenting: My Review:

“Ready or not, here I come,” is the way Lydia E. Harris introduces her wonderful book, Preparing my Heart for Grandparenting.
It’s actually a Bible study, but what a study! Whether you have difficulty preparing for the new role as a grandparent, or you are at another stage of the journey, this book is spiritual dynamite. There’s enough encouraging scripture in here to propel us beyond our misgivings, worries, our sins such as jealousy of the other grandparents, and take us and our grandchildren to heaven.
For instance, the author uses three Bible translations for James 5:16:

1. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (New International Version)
2. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. (New Living Translation)
3. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.((New American Standard Bible).

The subject matter of this book goes way beyond spoiling grandchildren.
The first lesson, complete with space for the reader to take notes, focuses on God’s view of children; How we should relate to our adult children; Our roles with grandchildren; the need to share grandparenting; and the need sometimes for forgiveness in grandparenting
Lydia Harris and her husband wholeheartedly enjoy being grandparents, and this book expands beyond their opinions. The book is full of little tidbits from other grandpas and grandmas. Even grandchildren of varying ages offer their wisdom about their Nannas and Papas.
I view each section of the book as valuable, but among the top subjects are “Relating to Adult Children and praying for and with your grandchildren. The biblical promises that go with every chapter are a good source for having faith for our grandchildren and many other areas of life.
The chapter on the fruits of the Spirit, necessary for success in every area of life but also valuable in this sometimes challenging role, is wonderfully put together.
I heartily recommend this book.

©Ada Brownell 2012