Wednesday, September 30, 2015
BY LAURA V. HILTON
For the past five years, our town has hosted a farmer’s market from May through October. The local Amish community comes out and they run a thriving business. There is an Amish lady who sells baked goods. I also heard she opened a bakery in
but I haven’t been there. And another Amish man who comes with a trailer load
of produce. Jams. Jelly. Honey. Apple butter. He owns a greenhouse and a large
farm outside of Salem, Arkansas ,
where you can buy just about any kind of fruit or vegetable one can imagine. He
doesn’t have a peach or apple orchard, but he does go to an Amish community in Salem Missouri for peaches and to an Amish community in for apples. Illinois
I’ve gone every summer for the past five years, buying fresh vegetables and fruits from him, whatever I didn’t grow in my garden, or if my garden produced poorly. Like this year, the only thing I planted that did well was tomatoes. So I supplemented our diet with his peppers, egg plant, summer and winter squash, cucumbers, corn, pumpkins, onions, lettuce, cabbage… Unfortunately, he doesn’t grow carrots, celery, or rhubarb.
While there, I got the idea of writing about an Amish couple that sold things at a farmer’s market. I built the story from there. What if the heroine, Greta, had to work to support her family because her dad is disabled? What if the hero, Josh, had loved her forever, but thought he’d lost her for good? What would he do to win her love? I went into the story with the idea that God is a relentless lover. He’s willing to pursue those He loves to bring them (back) to Him.
God took the story from there in directions I never imagined. I am a “seat of the pants” writer, in that I don’t plot. I start with a basic idea and with a lot of prayer, go from there. Still, I was surprised when The Birdhouse took a twist I didn’t even expect. I found Josh on his knees praying for Greta, doing everything he could to ensure her safety and more. The Birdhouse is not a suspense, but there is some suspense in it!
The Birdhouse is symbolic and real in the story. Josh does sell homemade birdhouses in addition to his family’s produce, but there is a special birdhouse that he made and would never sell. Why? What happens to it? And what does it symbolize? Read the story to find out.
The Birdhouse is the third book in the Amish of Jamesport series, but it does stand completely alone. The first two books are The Snow Globe and The Postcard, just in case you want to read the books in order. They do have some continuing characters (Josh was a secondary character in both The Snow Globe and The Postcard) but the stories stand alone.
Do you go to farmer’s markets? What do you usually buy there?
THE BIRD HOUSE (SUMMARY)
Twenty–year–old Greta Miller's daed has been injured in a farming accident during the summer. The supportive Amish community tries to help out, but Greta and her sister must work outside the home to make ends meet, and so Greta rents a booth at the farmers' market. Because Greta is still in her rumspringa and free to explore the world, her family selects her to sell her homemade jams, jellies, and preserves to Englischers. Josh Yoder wants to court Greta, but years ago, he made the mistake of rejecting her during a seemingly innocent game; which resulted in him leaving the Amish. Three years later, he's back, but Greta wants nothing to do with him. Josh struggles to fit in and rebuild relationships he destroyed. Knowing Greta's family needs help, he steps in, hoping to win her back. When Greta admires one of his birdhouses, he gives it to her, hoping that it will open the door to more. But as their friendship begins to grow, a series of unfortunate events pull Greta away from the Amish, leaving her rejected by those she loves. Will Greta get beyond her family's distrust and return home? Will she prove her innocence? Or will she remain outside her Amish community?
Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in
She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a
breast cancer survivor. Arkansas
Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of
series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the
2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised
to Another. The Amish of Seymour series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013
Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered
Love and Awakened Love followed
by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as the
Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard, and The Birdhouse. Other credits include Swept
Away from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series. Laura is contracted for
another three book Amish series set in the Jamesport area, with the first book,
The Amish Firefighter, planned for April 2016. Webster County
She has indie published a Christmas novella, Christmas Mittens.
Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.
Connect with Laura:
Purchase her books:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Ada Brownell's Interview with novelist Rick Barry. But first, the summary of his new book.
Premise of The Methuselah Project:
In World War II, Nazi scientists started many experiments. One never ended.
Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed--until the day he’s shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy.
When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success—but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn’t aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn’t Captain America—just a lousy existence made passable only by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger’s sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there’s no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It’s 2015—and the world has become an unrecognizable place.
Katherine Mueller—crack shot, genius, and real Southern Belle—offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he’s trying to flee?
Thrown right into pulse-pounding action from the first page, readers will find themselves transported back in time to a believable, full-colored past, and then catapulted into the present once more. The historical back-and-forth adds a constantly moving element of suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats.
How do you create your characters?
It’s safe to say I generally create characters based on need. For instance, for The Methuselah Project I began with all the general details needed for my hero, Roger Greene. (The last name is symbolic. Green is the color of life, and Roger lives a very long time in the story.) The protagonist had to be a fighter pilot in Europe in WWII. From there, I had to pick an exact year (1943), and research told me which kinds of American fighter planes were involved in the air war at that time. I assigned him to an actual unit with a specific airplane. Lastly I fleshed out the actual man with character traits, hair color and eye color. (Incidentally, I had to change his eye color at the last minute. The model used for Roger on the cover has blue eyes, but the manuscript said brown. I adjusted to match the cover art!)
What part of a character’s personality is most important? Second? Third?
As a Christian, I’d say a character’s relationship (or lack of one) with God is most important. That will color the person’s whole perspective and guide actions. Next, I want to know whether this person is likeable. If so, the author can’t just say this is a likeable character. You have to show the person acting in an admirable way, or perhaps showing how well other characters respond to him. Past that, I would say that each person’s motivation is crucial. All characters want something and won’t be happy unless they get it. A couch potato with no goal or ambitions would make a boring character.
Tell us about your new book, The Methuselah Project, released today, and let us meet a character or two.
The story is a blend of suspense and romance, with a light touch of the speculative. When ace fighter pilot Roger Greene gets shot down, the Germans don’t take him to a POW camp. They turn Roger into an unwilling guinea pig in a secret experiment intended to outlast the war. Katherine Mueller is the attractive woman who befriends Roger and helps him. Both of them were raised as orphans, but for very different reasons.
Who is your favorite created character?
That is definitely Captain Roger Greene. Roger is handsome, but oblivious to that fact. He is skilled at flying aircraft, yet his self-confidence is undermined my underlying questions about why he grew up in an orphanage without parents. Was he unwanted? Illegitimate? His sense of humor is part of his resilience.
What is the most aggravating personality trait? Why do you allow your character to possess it?
In my story, occasionally Roger gets impatient with Katherine, the woman who helps him but doesn’t totally buy his story. At one point he practically growls at her in frustration. I allow that because (a) nobody floats through life without ever experiencing impatience or anger, so this is realistic, and (b) after being held prisoner for many years, a man is going to have some pent-up issues, not matter how swell a guy he is.
Is Gunners Run a best seller? How many books do you have?
Gunner’s Run was my second book, another WWII story. I’m sure it doesn’t qualify as a best seller. However, since 2007 it has remained in print and continues to sell each year. One school administrator told me that her school makes it required reading as part of their curriculum. Now if only all schools would do that!
In all, I have three published novels.
Are you a full-time writer? Tell us about it if you have a job.
No, I write only in my spare minutes—when I can find them. Since 2004 my full-time position has been as one of the directors of a Christian mission to Russian-speaking lands. I speak Russian, and every summer it is my privilege to travel to Russian or Ukraine or Belarus to participate in Christian camps for children or teens.
You have wide experiences in doing the challenging. Tell us a little about it.
I confess to enjoying new experiences. I have jumped out of perfectly good airplanes (by myself, none of that tandem jumping for me!), I have climbed a 14,000-foot mountain in Colorado, and traveled in Europe, South America, and Central Asia. (I long to visit Mongolia.) Earlier this year, I was offered a chance to be an extra in the upcoming Captain America 3 movie, which was extremely interesting to me as a writer.
Anything you would like to add?
I invite your readers to visit my website, www.rickcbarry.com. There they can learn more about my books, which are geared not just to entertain, but to inspire! I’m also developing a page called Fun Freebies they’ll want to check out.
Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Ada! It’s been a pleasure to be here.
Rick Barry and his wife Pam have been involved in ministries to Russian-speaking lands since 1987. Rick speaks Russian, and every summer he works in Christian children’s camps in Eastern Europe.
Rick is the author of three novels: The Methuselah Project, Gunner’s Run, and Kiriath’s Quest, plus over 200 articles and short fiction pieces. Rick and Pam live near Indianapolis.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Taking a Chance
by Sandra Merville Hart
Jesus looked at him and loved him. Mark 10:21a
The barefoot teenager, Bill, caught the bus to the hospital where his brother-in-law lay recovering from an illness. His sister, Sophie, sent him over to check on her husband while she remained at home with her young children.
Bill paused at the door to
room and brushed back the hair from his eyes. He had acquired an unearned
reputation for being a tough character due to the company he kept. He often
felt the undeserved censure of others when he walked into a room, an attitude
that was actually pushing him to become what they already presumed him to be. Wayne
He didn't want to find that all-too-familiar condemnation in
’s eyes because he respected his brother-in-law's
Bill’s eyes opened wide. Twenty dollars was almost a fortune to him.
His head reeled as he left the hospital. He could buy a pair of shoes with some money left over. Then he thought of Wayne, who trusted him to take the bill to Sophie.
No one had believed in him for a long time.
Stuffing the cash into his pocket, he walked to his sister’s home. She accepted the money gratefully.
Someone took a chance on him.
Something happened to my dad that day. He changed. As he grew older, he helped others who lost their way. He listened to their troubles. He tossed them a lifeline if they were ready to grab hold of it.
God loves us like this. He sees in us what others so easily miss. He trusts us to do His will and picks us up when we falter. He sees our potential and invites us to grow.
He took a chance on us. He sent His Son to the cross.
Sandra Merville Hart loves to discover unusual facts in her historical research to use in her stories. She and her husband travel to many of the sites in her books to explore the history. She serves as Assistant Editor for DevoKids.com where she contributes articles about history and holidays. She has written for several publications and websites. She is inspired by the everyday heroes living all around us. Her inspirational Civil War novella, A Stranger on My Land, released in 2014.
A Stranger on My Land by Sandra Merville Hart
Carrie and her little brother, Jay, find Adam, a wounded Union soldier, on their land after a battle near their
takes Adam to the cave where her family has been hiding from the soldiers.
Before long, she falls in love with him, but she can't save his life. He
requires a surgeon. Carrie weighs the danger of revealing her family's hideaway
with saving Adam's life. Lookout
Lighthouse Publishing of the
Monday, September 21, 2015
by Nike N. Chillemi
It takes courage for a Christian to commit to not loving equally, especially within categories. We're supposed to love all of our siblings equally, aren't we? Certain, all of our children. If someone were to propose not loving equally, we think, 'that's not fair'. We're supposed to be non-discriminatory in our love of others.
I think we're supposed to love like God and I don't think God loves equally. I think He loves us individually. He has a plan and a purpose, a calling for each of us. Jeremiah 29:11 [NASB]~ For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
If God loved equally, we could measure His love and God's love is not measurable. He loves individually, uniquely, and radically and that's how we are to love.
In the Veronica "Ronnie" Ingels/Dawson Hughes series, Ronnie, a gal private investigator from Brooklyn, has trust issues and is afraid to love. Her father abandoned the family as a child, and she believed her mother tried to keep up appearances instead of being supportive to her daughter. It takes time but Ronnie comes to realize it's not easy to be the only parent in the house acting like an adult.
Nike Chillemi ~ Crime Fictionista http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Blurb: Harmful Intent
Betrayal runs in private investigator Veronica "Ronnie" Ingels' family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.
Ronnie Ingels is a Brooklyn bred private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted.
Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he's not so sure at first, he's on the meddling New York PI's side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
By June Foster
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28.
The church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, a horrendous, hateful crime, personified evil in action. And yet those godly people spoke to the alleged killer during a bond hearing, saying, "I forgive you."
The incident spoke volumes. Tucked into the happening were multiple messages demonstrating the Christian worldview and God's good news to the world.
How could grieving people stand up and say they'd forgiven the person who committed the crime?
Not in their own emotions or ability, but solely through the power of God. Their brothers, mothers, grandfathers, sisters, friends had been stripped away from them in one wicked moment. They will never see their loved ones on this earth again, but each lived out their Christian faith and obeyed what the Bible says. "Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13. Not only did they forgive, but they put into action the rest of the passage. "And over all these virtues put on love." Love prevailed that day in the courtroom and in Charleston.
I also grasped another message. Only four days after the shooting, Rev. Norvel Goff stood in the pulpit of Emanuel African American Episcopal Church and said the shooter had failed miserably in attempting to break their spirit of love and unity. He said they hadn't responded with riots but with love.
I can't help but wonder. Did the angry protestors in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland hear the message from Charleston? Were some ashamed of the riots that took place in their city and the massive destruction? I can't help but believe God used the terrible crime in South Carolina for good, perhaps changing hearts. Not only that, but He profoundly demonstrated His message to people everywhere.
FOR ALL ETERNITY SUMMARY
When Joella Crawford meets handsome accountant, JD Neilson, he's the man of her dreams—polite and clean cut with strong moral values. He's the perfect Christian man. Or is he?
JD Neilson falls in love with interior designer, Joella Crawford despite his father's command to marry a woman of his faith, the one true church, the Exalted Brethren. Yet despite his efforts to
gain status in the afterlife, he can't attain the quiet peace he sees in Joella's life. Can he find the strength to forsake the teachings of his childhood to embrace The Truth? If he does, will Joella accept him or has he lost her forever?
She thought he'd make the perfect Christian husband. She couldn't have been more wrong. Or How much more wrong could she be?
MEET JUNE FOSTER
June Foster's shortest bio
An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan's Father is available from WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and Books One and Two in the Almond Tree Series, For All Eternity and Echoes From the Past, are available from Amazon.com. June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Why Is Loneliness So Hard to Talk About?
By Cherie Burbach
In writing about relationships for over a decade now I’ve noticed a few things that continually stand out: people wanting more friends in their life, people wanting to understand what makes that friend of theirs tick, and people trying not to look too desperate for friends.
I think all of these things are related and pretty universal. People want friends but they are afraid to be too vocal about it. They have a hard time admitting that sometimes (or more than sometimes) they’re lonely. That’s a shame, because I think people who understand what’s missing in their life and have a desire to change it are brave and should be applauded. But we don’t usually do that as a society.
I have a lot of great friends in my life but at one point I went through a period of time when I was very lonely. My husband traveled for work, some of my closest friends moved, and suddenly I just found myself without the particular types of friendships I most desired. And that’s the key with loneliness. It isn’t necessarily about having lots of friends, it’s about having the close connection you crave.
I write about relationships and I’m pretty comfortable admitting things, so I told a family member that I was struggling with loneliness. And you know what she did? Snorted some snotty response about how she wished she had time for loneliness! She was too busy to be lonely!
I was busy, too. Being lonely doesn’t mean you don’t have enough to do. And that’s when it hit me, that there are people who experience loneliness and aren’t as comfortable talking about it as I am, and this is the type of response we (their closest friends and family) give them. Some snarky response that is meant to make them feel worse than they already do.
So when I wrote this book, I wanted it to be for people who might just want a few new friends (maybe the ones you have just aren’t giving you the types of connection you want right now) or those that need to meet a few people. Maybe they are feeling lonely right now. Maybe they just aren’t totally happy with the state of their relationships right now.
100 Simple Ways to Have More Friends is a handbook of sorts, with “meeting people” tips interspersed with “nurturing your friendship” type tips. It’s a book you can go back to occasionally or one you can read right through and try out the various suggestions as you absorb them. Friendships are fluid and even when you have long time friends that have been in your life forever, you might still need a few more who get you. It’s as simple as that.
In 1 Peter 5:7 we read “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I want people to know they are never alone, even in the dark, lonely times. Even when the rest of the people in your life don’t get where you’re coming from. He is always there keeping us company and encouraging us. He puts the right people and situations in front of us to help us through.
The more friends you have, the more you’ll have the right people in your life to give you the support and connection you desire. Having more friends means you’ll consistently connect with new people and also keep the good friends you already have. If your friendships don’t seem to stick, you’ll be making friends and losing them quickly. The key to having more friends is increasing the number of people you meet on a regular basis and holding on to the great pals you already have.
This book contains one hundred suggestions on how to make new friends and also strengthen the friendships you already have. The tips are varied, with suggestions on how to meet new people interspersed with ideas for nurturing your new and existing friendships.
Cherie Burbach is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer. She’s penned 17 books and has written for About.com, NBC/Universal, Match.com, Christianity Today, and more. Whether it’s writing articles or creating art, all of Cherie’s work centers on relationships and faith. She includes book pages, music sheets, and other fabulous random things in her art to create something that celebrates a hopeful message. Visit her website for more info, cherieburbach.com.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Gail Pallotta's new book
Things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina. Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns inside her to make the criminals pay.
Looking for justice, she takes Jimmy and her best friend, Emily, through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture. A clue sends them deep into the woods behind the school where they overhear drug dealers discuss Sean.
Time and time again they walk a treacherous path and come face to face with danger. Even the cop on the case can’t stop them from investigating. All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KK5C0NK
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/441547
Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stopped-cold-gail-pallotta/1117352035?ean=9780985621582
Be the Best, or Do Your Best
By Gail Pallotta
Sometimes those who believe being number one defines them fail. Then what? There’s a huge difference in doing our best and being our best. These facts led to the theme for my teen novel, Stopped Cold.
Too many times I watched someone drop to the depths of despair over not excelling. Everything from grades, athletics, simply not looking as good as one wanted to, or not accomplishing a particular goal triggered the agony.
Each time I witnessed the pain a person experienced because he or she wasn’t number one, a lesson I heard often as a youngster in Sunday school floated around in my head. I recalled my teacher reading The Parable of the Talents in Chapter twenty-five in Matthew, and telling us God wanted us to use the gifts he’d given us.
As an adult I saw the win-at-any-cost phenomenon lead to destructive behavior. I wasn’t sure why my path had crossed that of people so desperate to be the best they were willing to hurt themselves when they weren’t. Nonetheless, it motivated me to write about it.
When I thought of competition, sports came to mind. As a young person I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, and I’m still a fan of mysteries, so I wanted to write one. I pondered how to connect a sports story and a mystery. Steroids came to mind. When I researched steroid use, I found one of the main reasons given for taking them was a desire to excel in athletics. This met the requirements for my theme, you don’t have to be number one for God to love you, and rounded out the book.
MEET GAIL PALLOTTA
Award-winning author Gail Pallotta is a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. She’s been a Sunday school teacher, a swim-team coordinator and an after-school literary instructor. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. Her teen novel, Stopped Cold is a 2013 Grace Awards finalist. Gail's novella, Mountain of Love and Danger , has been a best-seller in amazon's paid kindle store. She's published two hundred articles, several poems and two short stories. Her flash fiction story, “Lifeline,” will appear in the upcoming Splickety Anthology. Some of her articles are in anthologies while two are in museums. Coming soon, Barely above Water with Prism Book Group. Visit Gail’s web site at http://www.gailpallotta.com
Monday, September 7, 2015
By Tanya Eavenson
Seven years ago God called me to a journey. To something I had never done, nor would I have thought to do. Write.
I shared what the Lord had impressed on my heart with only a few people; thankfully, they didn’t think I was crazy. They encouraged me, sending cards, notes, and praying for me. So I started pinning these items to my desk as a reminder of God’s call, because I had no idea what I was doing. However, I understood God knew what He was doing and this journey would take faith. So there I was, typing away with a burden to share a story I had no idea where it was heading.
As I began to follow God’s lead, a desire took hold to tell a story of a husband and wife lost in their marriage. Though Unconditional isn’t the story my husband and I faced, there are similarities. Nineteen years ago we were at the brink of divorce and no one could stop it from happening—except for God. Before entering Unconditional in the ACFW Genesis Contest, I prayed that if this story was really God’s will, He would give me a sign by letting me semi-final. Yes, I had a Gideon moment, telling God I really wasn’t a writer. Reminding Him I was the weakest writer of all. But once again a quiet voice drew me to enter.
To my surprise, Unconditional semi-finaled, and though I didn’t win, having God confirm His call was more important than any contest prize or any contract. I was reminded that stepping out in faith and following God isn’t always easy. We doubt ourselves at times, but when we trust God, He is faithful.
Unconditional is a love story of a woman, a man, and an amazing God. It’s a gift, a reminder of God’s love for me and my continual journey as an author. But most importantly, it’s a gift to my readers that they may know the unstoppable love of God, and the lengths He will go to offer grace and mercy.
Are you on a journey God has called you to? Do you doubt your own ability at times? Whether it’s writing related or not, know that your faith isn’t built on your abilities, but the character of God. He will help you accomplish any task and walk alongside you in the journey.
Summary of Unconditional
He will fight for her at any cost...
Elizabeth Roberts can't remember her past, and the present is too painful. She turns to nightclubs and drinking to forget her infant daughter's death, her husband's affair.
When his wife's coma wiped out the memory of their marriage, Chris Roberts found comfort elsewhere. He can't erase his betrayal, but with God's help he’s determined to fight for Elizabeth at any cost.
She wants to forget. He wants to save his marriage. Can they trust God with their future and find a love that’s unconditional?
Meet Tanya Eavenson:
~ Tanya Eavenson enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers International, and writes for Christ to the World Ministries. Her books are available on Amazon and other retailers. You can find her at http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/ Facebook or on Twitter.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
By Ada Brownell
Your two-pound brain can store more than today’s most advanced computers, according to Kenneth Higbee, author of Your Memory and How it Works and How to Improve it.
The most important thing about our brains is what we put in all that storage.
Paul Reber, professor of psychology at Northwestern University, says the human brain consists of about one billion neurons. Each neuron forms about 1,000 connections to other neurons, amounting to more than a trillion connections. If each neuron could only help store a single memory, running out of space would be a problem. You might have only a few gigabytes of storage space, similar to the space in an iPod or a USB flash drive. Yet neurons combine so that each one helps with many memories at a time, exponentially increasing the brain’s memory storage capacity to something closer to around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes). For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage.
Think. What do you want to know to help you with success? Finding a good mate and making a good marriage? What would you like to know that would help with your emotions such as fear, depression, anxiety, anger? Do you need help with parenting? What would you want to recall if you knew you’re probably drawing your last breaths?
My son-in-law and I had the privilege to lead a neighbor to the Lord who had a terminal diagnosis. In about two weeks, lung cancer advanced so much the man struggled to breathe. He was a little hard of hearing, but I don’t think he could have heard me try to encourage him anyhow because his wheezing was so loud people in the room couldn’t hear each other.
I prayed for him, but wished so much I could quote some of the scriptures that bring an extra baptism of peace for the dying. It would have been useless to sing him a wonderful old hymn about God’s love and heaven. Since he never served God until his life was nearly gone, his head was empty of scripture and singing.
Every time I’ve been around the dying they were comforted by God’s Word and songs with a wonderful message.
The Bible is the greatest book ever written and it has powerful words for every occasion, every age group, every nationality, rich or poor. Every member of your family should know the scriptures.
The first verse I remember memorizing was as a young child, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
Parents and Sunday school teachers who don’t think little ones can understand and memorize are mistaken. I was pretty young when I learned The Ten Commandments, and “Children obey your parents for this is right. Honor thy father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-3 KJ). I memorized King James.
Children learn a big hunk of their language in their first three years, and by the time the tots are five, they not only remember and memorize numerous songs and poems, they have reasoning skills that often surprise others.
The Bible isn’t like textbooks that are outdated in 10 years or less. Scriptures we learn as a child are as powerful when we’re 2, 20, 40, 80, or even 108. The Word of God is most powerful information you can put in your brain.
Memorize the Word yourself and teach it to your children and grandchildren.
Here are three important scriptures to teach children:
“God is love” (1 John 4:8).
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
“Honor your father and your mother...so that you may live long and that it may go well with you” (Deuteronomy 5: 16 NIV).
If you would like to read more encouraging and educational material about how God’s Word works in us, try any of Ada Brownell’s books. You’ll probably especially enjoy The Lady Fugitive Here or Swallowed by Life. Here
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
BY ADA BROWNELL
Perhaps you would like to meet Joe Baker, age 14, from the book JOE THE DREAMER: THE CASTLE AND THE CATAPULT.
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us your problems.
My name is Joe Baker. I’m age 14, going on 15, tall for my age, but if things continue as they have the last few weeks I’ll pass for an old man any day now.
I’m the son of Darin and Rose Baker, and they disappeared. My little sis, Penny, and I waited and waited hours that night. They didn’t come home. Pop worked as a computer software designer. Mom was a buyer and fashion consultant at Vanby’s, a prestigious teen clothing store. They left work to visit a friend at the hospital and no one has seen them since.
2. What can you do? You’re still a kid.
My life is full of challenges. I want to believe God will bring my parents home. In the meantime, I should learn how to live with Uncle Faulkner and Aunt Anna. But Faulkner, a powerful newspaper editor, is so full of himself I don’t know who will explode first—him or me. Aunt Anna is tied to that little glass of alcohol and one little match could set her ablaze.
3. So you have a place to live, and you think God might help bring your parents home?
I thought my biggest fear was that my parents would be found dead. But now Pop has been accused of stealing priceless computer software believed to help control epilepsy. I think he designed it at home in his spare time. But I’ve had other problems. Then every time I read the Bible I dream I’m some great biblical hero and wake up shouting and screaming out, making Faulkner and his psychiatrist friend think I’m insane. They think I need medication and maybe hospitalized.
4. How about friends? A girl friend? Other friends?
I always wanted to be like Pop and someday marry someone with beauty and character like my mom, but they aren’t here now. So, I let Gertrude, a wonderful old crippled lady, love on me and pray for me. I also re-connected with my old neighborhood buddies and joined a gang. Not just any gang, dude. The East Side Gallant Guardians. Christian teens who solve and prevent crime without guns or blades, using things like a pet skunk, sand, rope, noise, marbles. Centipede—he’s the leader--and his group of homies aren’t afraid of anybody or anything because they believe God is with them. Patrick—that’s Faulkner’s son—says we’re going to get ourselves killed, but so far amazing things are happening and we have found evidence that prisoners are being held at Sir Henry’s Castle in the mountains. I think that might be where Mom and Pop are, and we are taking a catapult and invading the castle.
5. So you’re planning a rescue attempt?
Sure! Would you believe we’re even allowing Pete’s twin sister to go with us? I’ve known Petra for a long time and hadn’t noticed how pretty and talented she is until just a few weeks ago. I’m not spreading it around that I like her, you see, so don’t you go texting everyone you know. I hope when everything comes down she’ll hang tough with her karate moves and cut the timber out from under some of those guards. Almost would make me grab her and plant a kiss on her gorgeous face!
If you want to know how all of this turns out, check out this link and the review where a teen said the book is “A tale of intrigue and faith; captures the reader from the opening page” JOE THE DREAMER: THE CASTLE AND THE CATAPULT http://www.buff.ly/XeqTvH