Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mysteries of Mental Illness and Demon Possession

  “You know these people are out to get us,” the young patient said, his eyes squinting and glaring with anger. “They let us swim in their pool, and give us games to play, but we need to be careful. Did you know they have a graveyard on the grounds?”

As a reporter who worked the medical beat for the local newspaper, I rode with a public relations guide, guards, and a group of mentally ill youth on the grounds of the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.

 “Is that so?” I said.

He nodded and continued sharing his delusional thoughts as the driver delivered the load of disturbed kids to the pool.

I met and interviewed a number of mentally ill folks in the seven years I spent on that beat. In addition, I picked the brains of the amazing people who work with these patients—some of them killers.

Not all murderers were on the forensics unit which housed criminals who had been ruled “not guilty by reason of insanity.” There was one kid rumored to have killed his parents. A woman on the general adult unit killed her children. Another woman beat a guard nearly to death with the metal turn handle from a window.
Yet, most patients were more a danger to themselves than to others. One teenager cut her arms trying to get rid the wickedness in her. In addition to the stitched new cuts, scars showed tracks of agony—from  her wrists to her shoulders. I saw a middle-aged woman with the same problem.

At the turn of the last century, these types of people were thought to be demon possessed.  When knowledge of the brain expanded, doctors at psychiatric institutions, often called insane asylums or lunatic asylums, began to diagnose the causes of mental disease. Often perfectly sane people were housed with the severely disturbed.

The 1899-1900  Board of Lunacy Commissioners reported among those admitted with obvious mental disorders were a number with epilepsy, Down’s Syndrome (labeled idiocy then), paralysis, kleptomania (a compulsion to steal,) sexual paranoia, alcoholic paranoia, religious excitement, ill health, intemperance.
I asked nurses who worked with the patients today if they thought some of their patients, admitted because they were a danger to themselves or others, were demon possessed.

“The patient who escaped recently who had murdered someone in Denver and stabbed him about 70 times, seems to qualify,” one said.

After escaping, the gal was free only about a week, then was caught and returned.

“She goes into a rage if she requests a movie and the store doesn’t have it,” the nurse said. “You never know what will set her off.”

I was told no matter what treatment used, nothing helped some of the patients.

A psychiatrist who had recently become a Christian said, “It’s difficult to tell whether a person is mentally ill or demon possessed. I do my best to counsel them, then I pray for them all. God knows what they need.”

I learned mental illness is a disease like diabetes—it’s often caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Even a brain tumor or injury can cause adverse changes in behavior. So mental illness is a physical problem.

In contrast, demon possession is a spiritual problem and I think Satan takes over the part of brain reserved for God. From what we read in the New Testament and hear from missionaries who encounter it, demons need to be cast out in the name of Jesus--who gives power greater than man's.

I don’t believe a born-again Christian lives in obedience to God can be demon possessed, because scripture says “greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

The goal is to stay close to Jesus, watch what we put into our minds, and shun even the appearance of evil. We’re told, “Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he’ll flee from you (James 4:7).

May that thought give you joy at Halloween, when people often dwell on evil.
©Copyright Ada Brownell Oct. 31, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Can We Overcome Our Passions? Guest Justina Prima and The Pawnbroker's Ring

A ring washes onto Salem’s shore in the year 1830, a bottle is its boat, a note its blanket and the address has long since faded. THE PAWNBROKER’S RING follows its journey in Salem.

Zachariah prays most earnestly for the people of Salem. He acts different, looks different, he is different, and he’s found the ring. Loving God above all, the money he receives from pawning it will support anonymous aid to others. He is also in the employment of Adela Seward and more than aware of upper class prejudice for this successful single mother. Mrs. Blackburn, who believes it’s her duty to purge those not deserving of high society has made Adela her cause and will oust her at all cost. Discouraged and angry, Adela falls into the dregs of those who scorn her. Further, she shuns the attentions of the pawnbroker Eldon Canfield, who could provide respectability with marriage.

As he watches the ring touch many lives, Zachariah has been keeping a secret: someone has stolen the ring…and he knows who it is.

I wanted to write about how God changes lives, helps us to overcome our failings when we reach out to Him. In order to accomplish that, the key is what takes us away from Him.

If we turn off all the sounds around us, we can hear when God speaks. The entertainment that fills empty spaces within us for a brief moment would be filled for eternity with the love of God. We wouldn’t need anything else.

Back in 1830, there were no TVs, radios, smart phones—all the distractions that take us further from God. But just because they didn’t have all the present-day diversions doesn’t mean that God’s voice was any clearer. It may have been easier to remain close to God, but didn’t automatically take away their failings.

People throughout time have experienced age-old passions, those that block our ‘vision’ of Heaven. The Pawnbroker’s Ring deals with jealousy and envy, two self-destroying evils that plague many. Mrs. Blackburn embodies both, jealousy of Adela Seward’s love for her long lost husband and envy of the things she has attained by the Ships Chandler, a business she nurtured for the last eighteen years. But what the eyes see and the ears hear are not always truth. Is Adela to be envied? She had raised her son alone, waiting for her husband to return from the War of 1812. This story unfolds the difficulty of overcoming a passion, and success with God’s help.

Justina Prima lives with her husband in Colorado, a full-time hospice nurse and writes as much as possible the rest of the hours of the week. She has a son and daughter in Chicago and three young grandchildren. This is her first published novel, now working on the second.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

On A Summer Night Author: WHY BE A CHRISTIAN?

Diane Dean White started her writing at an early age, but it wasn’t until her husband’s work took them to a small southern town she wrote her first column, “Yankee Viewpoint’s” for a local newspaper. Returning to her home-state of Michigan, she did stringer work over the years, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations. Diane self-published two books in the early 2000’s, and she became a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories, and her book On a Summer Night was released in October. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-one years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals.
Visit Diane on her website at
To order her book, visit Amazon below:
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If you meet me and forget me, you've lost nothing. But if you have the opportunity to know Jesus Christ and choose to forget Him, you've lost everything.
When did you become a Christian? Why did you make that decision?
 I never knew I wasn’t one. I attended church all of my life, was very active in youth activities and the rhythmic choir; we prayed at home, and I prayed often. I was a summer counselor at church camp, taught Bible school, Sunday school and later rhythmic choir. I believed in Jesus, but it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties and my husband led me to the Lord, and I made a personal commitment; making Christ Lord of my life.
What happened after that?
I was so excited I called my mother-in-law to come over the next day and asked her so many questions. Steve had been raised in a Bible centered home and knew the plan of salvation. My church in a major university city was very liberal, and I wasn’t taught that. She sat for three or four hours while I just bombarded her with questions. It was like a light bulb went on.
Tell us a little about your spiritual journey.
I got a hold of all the books I could and started to read about others and how knowing the Lord changed their lives. Steve had been taking evening courses at an area Bible school, and I went with him, and started attending women’s courses. During this time I gave my testimony for the first time in my life. It was such a wonderful time in our lives….like being fed a bite of chocolate, for me, and wanting the whole chocolate bar! My church activities took on a new purpose and our life together became beautiful…..something I didn’t know could get better. I thought it was pretty great already!
How did other people react to you?
I spoke with my parent’s first, one at a time, and each told me about their conversion experience. That made me feel good, and yet I realized they thought I had been taught about salvation at church. I made the decision then, our children, who were babies and toddlers, would learn at an early age about the Lord, and Steve and I followed through on that promise. Our youngest son serves on the mission field in Sochi, Russia. Our daughter and hubby have three young girls who are being raised with Christian values and our oldest son is a believer and shares about God’s love.
I think talking with people is important, and knowing where they’re coming from is, too. My experience living in a major university city next to the state capitol of Michigan gave me a wonderful venue for writing, but also to understand where people are with their walk and why many don’t want to believe. It’s very sad but it’s not popular to be a Christian in some liberal areas. Having seen this during my life I’m able to combat their objections and ignore their excuses when they speak. And then ask them questions, knowing they’ll squirm. I can be truthful and kind when sharing my testimony, and blunt. J
Is writing an outgrowth of giving your life to the Lord?
Witnessing to others is something we do as Christians….God commands it. And it’s natural for me to take that into my writing. I won’t write for magazines or books that don’t honor that. Yes, I believe God gives us gifts and I can see where a simple fall in 2000 has limited me to activities I used to do, and God has used my love for writing, and given me the desires of my heart. I may not have wanted it to happen like it did, but he’s replaced other dreams, and some were very worthy, to give me what He wants me to do. I’m up each morning by six to check in with my computer. I also have a ministry, Seeds of Encouragement, which is reaching hurting people, often by phone, a snail card or emails.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing in 6th grade on an old black, Royal manual typewriter. I wrote stories and then poetry, and had a short book of poems published just out of high school. It’s something that seemed to come natural to me. I was a secretary at Michigan State University and didn’t get serious about writing until we moved to a southern town in Georgia and I applied for a position as a newspaper reporter. Little did I know I’d soon have a weekly column. I named it “Yankee Viewpoints”…probably not the best choice in the late 70’s in a small southern town, but I loved interviewing people for feature stories, attending school board meetings and city council wasn’t as much fun. And writing police blotters wasn’t at all!
Did you start out pursuing novels?
No, I started writing short stories, and in 2001 after my fall when I began having back problems, I had a number of my stories featured on mailings that went out over the World Wide Web. I got so much feedback from people I decided to make a compilation of short-stories and I self published a book called Beach Walks. Many of those stories were picked up by Christian magazines and other books, and next I wanted to write a novel. Carolina in the Morning was a reality two years later, and again I self published. I loved doing the research for that story. We’d moved to Hilton Head Island, SC and I made a number of trips to Charleston, where my book is centered. Little did I know in 2004 how much I had to learn about writing novels.
How long did it take to write On A Summer Night?
I wrote for a magazine and had a weekly column for several years. In 2010 I decided I wanted to write another book. I was on Facebook and got to know a number of authors. I wish I’d known about ACFW, but it wasn’t until another year in 2012 that I joined. I’d been working on and off on my book when I joined the Scribes. I paid my dues big time, trying to change old writing habits and learning how to show and not tell, got rid of weasel words and back-story, and finally POV. I learned so much after being on the critique loop for a year, and then having critique partners to work with. I still critique and I especially try to reach out to new writers.
Is it a Christian historical romance?
No, it’s contemporary romance/suspense. It starts out in 1966 with two eighteen year old girls on a senior trip to Florida, to stay at one of the girl’s uncle’s winter home. They come in contact with something that at that time period, and probably still is, more popular in the south. They went through an experience they had to turn over to the Lord, and pray hard about forgetting.
What is your character’s biggest problem?
My main character, Kate, could never really give the experience from the summer night completely to the Lord. Like many of us, she kept taking it back. The story jumps to present day after a few chapters. Her hubby and she leave for Florida and he takes an early retirement; Kate’s uncle leaves her the Florida home. Memories haunt Kate and through a hard lesson she has to learn to let go.
What do you like about the leading lady?
She’s active and has a loving relationship with her husband. Kate has the opportunity to share God’s love with younger women she comes into contact with during their first year in Florida. They’ve raised two great kids and have grandchildren in their home state of Michigan. She also has to face her past, and the Lord brings that about in a fabulous way when they take a trip to Montana.
What you don’t like about her.
That she finds it so hard to forget and forgive this particular past, and that she didn’t share it with her husband.
What do you like and dislike about the leading man?
Well, I have two leading men in a way….her husband is a man of God and is always there for Kate. I think he’s a strong personality in the story….also her Montana friendship becomes a strong personality, and I can’t think of anything that is bad about him, other than his past, which is forgiven.
What is the spiritual takeaway?
Definitely to give God our burdens, otherwise they can hang on too long when we don’t. But also, when we forgive, it can’t just be for us or one person, perhaps for the entire situation…and allow Him to guide us through it. His plan works out far better than ours.
Do you have a sequel in mind already?
Yes, my critique partners suggested I do a spin-off from one of the young women Kate witnesses to. She’s in a protection type program with two young children when she meets Kate. We follow her into rural Georgia, and that’s where my book This Side of Heaven starts out.
Anything else you’d like to add?
The name “Kate” came from my dad’s sister, Katheryne, my favorite aunt. She never said an unkind word, and with four children, she could have. J She was a blessing to me and confined to her bed the past few years. At age ninety-five, a few weeks ago, she went home to be with the Lord. I sent her my chapters to read, as her mind was very alert. I wanted to name my main character after her. Her laugh and walk with God was contagious~
Also, a big thank you for sharing your time and readers with me, Ada, and to allow me to be part of your active and interesting blog site. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss my story with you.

Kate and Vanessa hadn’t planned on the summer night that changed their lives. Could they have imagined the darkness that descended and how awful fear could be? The area with beauty and sweeping moss, gentle palm trees and Florida breezes was wrapped with the memory of the awful evening. They played at being cheerful and returned home to yet another sorrow. Times steals away from the 60’s, and the memory of what happened was hidden in the recesses of Kate’s mind. She and her husband, newly retired returned to the winter home where so many memories were stored. Can she trust God to help her find forgiveness? Will her husband understand? She knew he needed to hear her story.

Visit Diane on her website at

To order her book, visit Amazon below:

Please friend request Diane on Facebook at:

Youtube video, click below:

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Meet James R. Callan

After a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans, James R. Callan turned to his first love—writing.  He wrote a monthly column for a national magazine for two years, and published several non-fiction books.  He now concentrates on his favorite genre, mystery/suspense, with his fifth book released in 2013.

James R. Callan includes book trailer
Book trailer for Murder a Cappella at:
Character: The Heartbeat of the Novel   at:

 Maybe the Debate Started with Shakespeare
By James R. Callan

Shakespeare had Hamlet ponder, “To be, or not to be. That is the question.”  I believe it was a line William often said – in slightly different form. I think before Hamlet William had said, perhaps many times, “To outline or not to outline. That is the question.”

Recently I was at a gathering of writers of various levels of experience, and one of the questions going around was: Do you outline?  Writers like to debate the “Outline or Don’t Outline” question.  And generally, the two sides of this debate never get any closer together.  Why should they?  What works for them, works.  Perhaps they have tried the other method and it didn’t go all that well.

There are many famous writers on each side of the fence.  Naturally, some of those who say they outline may do a lot, and some may do very little.  Likewise, those who say they do not outline, may actually do some.  They may not even know that they do.  It’s not on paper or on the computer, but in their mind.  They lay out the story, select their main characters, and just possibly know how the story might end.

You see my bias right there.  I think the great majority of writers outline. It may be detailed and it may be a collections of thoughts.  I’ve met some writers who make up an index card for most of the scenes in the book.  They may shuffle those around, change the sequence many times before actually beginning the book.  And they might do a reshuffle of remaining scenes when the book is half finished.  It’s similar to the story boards often used by screen writers.

Many writers make detailed bios for all major characters, and shorter bios for minor characters.  There is an advantage in some sort of a written bio for your characters.  If you take many months to write a book, there is always a chance you might forget what color your protagonist’s eyes are.  Or perhaps what food he likes or hates.  A bio gives you a quick reference.  If that bit of information is not there, you can easily and quickly add it.  This is particularly helpful if you are going to have a continuing character over several books.

While bios are not specifically “outlining,” knowing how your character reacts in various situations can be considered a type of outlining.  If your bio is extensive, it can help keep your characters true, real, honest.  You know how they will react to a situation, what response they will make, maybe even what words will come out of their mouths first. This very knowledge might direct the course of the novel.

On the other side, I know writers who select a protagonist, an antagonist, and a setting.  That’s all they need.  They begin to write and the characters help dictate the direction of the story.

Personally, I can’t do that.  I need to know the problem and a possible solution before I start.  That does not mean it will turn out that way.  In the course of the book, as the characters grow and takes on a lives of their own, that solution may change.  But, I like to have something to encourage me to begin a months-long project.  I would say that in most of my books, the outcome has changed, either completely, or in its nature.  The solution might be the same, but it is arrived at from a completely different direction than I had first imagined.

But many writers have told me they have no idea how it will turn out when they start.  I applaud that approach.  Let the chips (or words) fall where they may.  I can do that as the project progresses.  Still, I like to have some way out when I start.  For me, it’s like having an evacuation plan in case of fire. When the fire happens, I might take a very different path.  But, I had an escape plan, knew my options. 
Okay. I admit it. I’m a wimp.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Divine Dining Author Janet Brown Lost 95 Pounds

Janet Brown lost ninety-five pounds and has maintained the loss for seventeen years. One tool in my recovery remains the daily reading of inspirational books. I found my library incomplete when I searched for one that combined a twelve-step program with God as the Higher Power. The biggest secret to my success was giving up my will and letting God do it through me. I wrote a book of daily devotions that came from my journals and memories. This is one woman’s road for success. I pray these thoughts help others reach the same healing God gave to me. It’s all about God.
Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness can be purchased at:

Sometimes We Just Need Help
By Janet Brown

     I’m a football fan, so fall is time for some football. Rivalry grows to a deafening roar on Friday night in Texas, but all in the stadium grow anxious and sad when a player is hurt. For a player with an injured leg to leave the field, two big players will anchor their teammate with one on one side and one on the other. The man can jump along holding up the bruised or crippled leg because others keep him upright.

But Moses’ hands were heavy, and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat theron; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
                                    Exodus 17:12

     I detest weakness in myself. I desire to help others, not the other way around. That same mentality caused me years of emotional problems and compulsive overeating. Being a people pleaser can be exhausting. A perfectionist’s work is never done. Helping others requires giving of ourselves. If we always give without allowing God to replenish, we soon drag our feet. Often, God uses other people, but they can’t help if we never confess to a problem.
     This morning, I sat in service, tired in body and spirit. I love it when God uses me to pray for someone else, when I feel God’s power coursing through my prayers. Today, I was that one in need of prayer. I sat on that pew like a balloon that had lost its air. A hand slipped to my hand. A voice called out to God on my behalf. Strength from another flowed through my body and mind like healing water.
     Sometimes, we all need a little help. Have you allowed the spotlight to fall on your weakness lately? As the old spiritual song goes, “It’s not my brother, nor my sister, but it’s me, Oh, Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”
     Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that You don’t expect me to be superwoman. You want me to walk in Your strength. Without You, I am nothing, but God may want to use another of His servants to assist me.

     Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. Though she has written most of her adult life, since her retirement as a bookkeeper and medical coder, she writes as a second career and as a ministry. 
     Divine Dining is the author’s second book. It encompasses her passion for diet, fitness, and God’s Word.  Janet released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012. She continues to write short stories for teens and adults. The sequel to her young adult is contracted to release in June, 2014.
     She and her husband love to travel with their RV, visit their three daughters, two sons-in-law and three grandchildren, and work in their church. Find her at http:/ / on Twitter, @janetkbrowntx , on Facebook @!/pages/Janet-K-Brown-Author/143915285641707

Sunday, October 20, 2013



Will He really be in your tomorrows?

God— the One who is, who always has been, and who always will be, is the most important person you can meet. He is your Creator, and what your future is like depends on your relationship with Him—because He’s the only Source of abundant life here and for eternity.
I know more and more young people are atheists today. This is by design by the secularists who write curriculum, teach in our schools, the universities, and have taken over our government and media. There is active brain washing to assure you won’t believe in God.
I’ve said many times in the past “atheism is the opiate of the sinner.” If wicked people at least think they don’t believe in God, it helps quiet their conscience. But their conscience won’t quit, so they blame it on other people. Apparently they know what Christians believe is real, so they target Christians. They think stopping the influence of Christianity will help them feel better in their sinful state. That is why religious freedom is in danger in the United States.
So, your future is wrapped in whether you believe in the God of the universe. For that reason I will present the truths to you in this chapter you might not have heard.
Besides creating you, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”[1] That’s the opening verse of the Bible—Genesis 1:1.
That sentence is where the debate begins, but it’s nothing new. Atheists and agnostics argue extensively on this subject. Yet, they can’t prove God is not there. Neither, however, have Christians proved without a shadow of doubt God is the Creator and interested in humankind.
Because we can’t prove how we got here, atheism takes faith, as much or more faith than it takes to believe in a loving God. To be an atheist, man must believe the eyes he sees with and everything he sees and even things he can’t see just happened, including the origin of matter, life and the exact mixture in the air we breathe: nitrogen, oxygen, water, argon, carbon dioxide and trace gases.
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.[2] 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.[3] 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.”
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.[4]
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.”
This s an excerpt from Ada Brownell’s book, Imagine the Future You. The chapter continues with deception in the camp of atheism, evidence that knocks out some “missing links;” the four ideas about creation—age-long days, revelatory days, 24-hour days of re-creation; and 24-hour days; the population J-curve; archeological evidence that supports the Bible; fulfilled prophecies; and the earth the way God made it; why faith in God is important to your future. In fact, faith is why Christians can't prove God exists: Faith is necessary for salvation. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Imagine the Future You should be released the week of Oct. 21-- at least by Nov. 1. It will be available in paperback and for Kindle. Christmas is coming. Get this book for your grandchildren and other youth. Adults also will enjoy this book.
Amazon Ada Brownell author page:

[1] Genesis 1:1
[2] Charles Percival, Pueblo Chieftain, Aug. 9, 1992, page 6B.
[3] Darwin on Trial (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 45.
[4] G. Tyler Miller Jr., Living in the Environment (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.), 34–43.

Ada Brownell bio

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 Colo., where she spent the last seven years as a medical writer. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to free lance for Christian publications and write non-fiction and fiction books. She is critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers.
She is author of Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, released Jan. 15, 2013; Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, released Dec. 6, 2011; and Confessions of a Pentecostal, published by the Assemblies of God’s Gospel Publishing House in 1978, out- of-print but released in 2012 for Kindle. Watch for her new book on Amazon, Imagine the Future You. All the books are available in paper or for Kindle.

     Twitter: @adellerella
     Blog: Stick to Your Soul Encouragement
     Amazon Ada Brownell author page:

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Take the 21 Day Challenge!
Get 5 FREE eBooks - 2 Days Only
10/17/13 and 10/18/13
PLUS enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!
Why 21 Days? 
It’s a commonly known fact that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. You may spend 21 days trying to form a good exercise routine or kick a bad habit, but what about taking 21 days to form a new spiritual habit? .
That’s the reason for the 21 days series - to provide you with 21 days worth of biblical devotions to help you form new habits that draw you closer to Christ. And for two days only (October 17th-18th, 2013) we're giving all 5 books away for free. After that, they will be available for only 99 cents each. So what do you say? Will you join us in strengthening your walk with God? If so, download one or all of the books below at no cost to you during our free promotion - and scroll down to enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card as our gift to you!  
Be Inspired...Join the 21 Day Challenge!
Download 5 Free eBooks for 2 Days Only
generosity challenge
Living a Life of Generosity: 21 Days of Generosity Challenge
  • Do you want to live a life of generosity?
  • Do you want your life to be a blessing to others?
  • Do you want to have a giving spirit that overflows from a heart that is fully trusting in God as provider?
If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Generosity through this short but powerful eBook.  
faith challenge
Living a Life of Faith: 21 Days of Faith Challenge
  • Do you want to live a life of faith?
  • Do you want your faith to be more than simply saying "I believe in God"?
  • Do you want to have a genuine faith that overflows from a heart that is fully trusting in God in every area of your life?
If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Faith Challenge through this short but powerful eBook.
gratitude challenge
During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. And I sensed Him leading me to do this 21 days of gratitude challenge.
Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I have been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day.
And now I want to share what I learned with you in the short, but powerful book.  
teen devotionals for girls
Our lives are ruled by habits. We are defined by them. How our days play out, how we act and react, and even how we eat, sleep and talk are all affected by our habits - for better or for worse.  It's said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or break an old one, so why not spend the next 21 days forming a habit of spending time with God? If you've got 21 days, we've got 21 devotions specifically written for today's teen girls.
Are you up for forming a habit of spending time with your Creator?  If so, download this book and get started on these devotionals!  
teen devotionals for guys
Teen Devotionals… for Guys!, brought to you by, are written for teen guys who want to find their true strength in Christ, these devotions designed to be read, pondered on and applied to daily life. We want you to know that the Bible isn't just a book that’s over 2000 years old. It’s completely applicable to our lives today – even as teenagers. We know that girls and guys don't face the same issues in high school – not even close. So these devotions were written with today's teen guys in mind. Go ahead. Dig in. Find your true strength in Christ.  
Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to win a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by Body and Soul Publishing
  This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!  

Monday, October 14, 2013


Does God Give Us More than We Can Handle?

By Tamera Lynn Kraft

I’ve heard the saying many times. God never gives us more than we can handle. But that’s only partially true. Here’s the verse it comes from.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
It says in the verse that God won’t give you a temptation you can’t handle. But trials and difficulties are another matter. He promises we will have difficulties and lots of them. Some of them will be harder than we can handle on our own.
Before I knew this, I used to get mad at God. I didn’t understand why He allowed things to come into my life that were beyond me. Then I learned this simple truth. There are reason God gives us more than we can handle.
If He didn’t give us more than we can handle, we wouldn’t know how much we need Him. We wouldn’t be on our knees crying out to the only One who can help us through our difficulties. Jesus Christ is the only One who can speak to the wind and waves in our lives and command them to be still. That’s good news because I get in trouble when I think I can manage without Him.
The other reason is to grow our faith and perserverance. The book of James tells us that trials are a good thing. They strenghthen us spiritually. When an athlete trains, he works at stretching his limits so he can get stronger. He puts a little more on himself than he can easily handle. It’s the same spiritually. God allows us to stretch ourselves spiritually by putting more on us than we can easily handle so that our faith can grow. When I look over my life, I find there are things I can manage easily now that would have thrown me years ago.
In my novella, Soldier’s Heart, my main character went through things during the Civil War that he couldn’t handle. He  came home to his young wife with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or what they used to identify as "Shell Shocked" (Soldier’s Heart). When he learned to turn to God, it helped him deal with the horrors of war.
So God will put more on us than we can handle. And that’s good news. I’m giving away a copy of Soldier’s Heart to someone who leaves a comment on something they went through with God’s help.

Here’s the description of Soldier’s Heart.
After returning home from the Civil War, will his soldier’s heart come between them?
Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.
But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?
Soldier’s Heart is available in e-book from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Reader, and Barnes & Noble Nook. It will also be available in paperback in a couple of months.

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction because there are so many stories in history. Soldier’s Heart is her first published fiction work, and she has a Christmas novella coming out December 1st called A Christmas Promise. Tamera has recently celebrated her thirty-fourth anniversary with her loving husband. She has two grown and married children and two grandchildren.
Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
You can contact Tamera online at these sites.
Word Sharpeners Blog:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

If it hadn't been for the Lord...

By Josette Downey

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side....
Psalms 124:2

I have to admit, I can usually come up with something quickly to write, but when I started putting this blog post together, my mind went blank. So I did what any practical christian writer would do, I picked up my Bible  and let the spirit fill it in.

This verse caught my eye and I couldn’t help but think about how it relates to my writing journey.

About two months ago, I put the first novel "A time to Say Goodbye" on amazon to be published. Since then my novel has been ranked in the top 100 of Christian fiction and number 13 for Victorian fiction.

It has been a fun emotional roller coaster ride especially since some days I would sell 30 books and then the next day I would sale 15.

What has amazed me the most, is people actually like my book. Once I hit published, I thought readers would hate my characters, find every grammar mistake and just shake their heads wondering why I ever thought I could write. But that has not been my case. Instead I have heard comments about how readers loved the emotional tough issues my characters face, got caught by the first hundred pages and just loved the story.
I have received many 4 and 5 star reviews from people I have never met.
But let me stop for second and give credit where it is due. See I did not make my novel successful the Lord did and all praise belongs to him. He was on my side.
I’m still wondering what his plans are for it and where he will take it. There is one path I would like to see it take. Many nights I pray that when I get to heaven, I will get to meet one person who got saved because they read one of my works.

J.M. Downey lives in the South with her husband and daughter. She has been writing since grade school and she earned a master's degree in English 2005. In her writing J.M. Downey focuses on women overcoming great adversity.

New Release. Bonds of Tradition.
What girl wouldn't want to marry a prince? Kat thought her life was over after her father dragged her to the backward Eastern European country of his birth. What would become of her dreams for her own business and a life of her own? But she has caught the country’s prince’s eye and Mikel is determined to marry her and and keep her by his side. Despite her growing attraction, Katerina does not want to let herself be caught.

Can love flower in a covered garden, can a dream bloom when faced with a harsh reality? Find out what happens when falling in love begins as an order and ends in passion.

Can be bought on amazon and coming to other ebook stores soon.

Connect with J.M. Downey


Do you have a short testimony of "If it hadn't been for the Lord...?" If so, leave a comment and briefly tell us what he did for you! -- Ada Brownell