Monday, February 29, 2016


By Ada Brownell

A true story

The year was 1918. Rita Shepherd hurried down the dirt Iowa road carrying her heavy suitcase.
      Joe Nicholson dropped his shovel beside a post hole. “That must be the new schoolteacher! I’m going to offer to carry her load.”
      His friend let out a low whistle. “That redhead is a looker. I’ll do it.”
      The young men argued and then flipped a coin. Joe won.
      He enthusiastically courted the teacher for several weeks and then discovered there was a beau back home.
      “It’s either me or the other guy,” Joe demanded. “Will you marry me or are you going to choose that twerp back home?”
      They got married. Joe told Rita, “God planned for us to be man and wife way back when I was in Kansas and you were in Iowa.”
      Joe and Rita were my parents.
      Daddy usually was a man of few words, but when he did speak, wisdom filled his conversation. Because he had a “can do” attitude, he could repair or build almost anything, and even during the devastation of the Great Depression and the Kansas Dust Bowl, he figured out how to care for his family.
      He shot three geese with one bullet. He dammed up the creek in drought and irrigated his garden. One cold winter when they had nothing in the cellar, Daddy cut ice from the creek and stored it in the cellar. The next summer, grasshoppers swarmed in like clouds, devouring crops, even eating onions out of the ground. The family cow still had milk and they had chickens, so the chickens ate grasshoppers and the family ate chicken and ice cream.
      Mama was resourceful, too, and she was the perfect mate for Daddy. Yet, she had fire and spunk in her that made her ideal for the mother of the eight of us—six of us redheads.
      Mama had been to college—unusual in the early 1900s, and being educated added to her life and ours. Daddy might have had a hint of what it means to be married to a redhead before, but when as a newlywed he started partaking now and then from his boss’s illegal liquor still, I imagine that’s when he realized he married a spit-fire.
      Following Joe on his way to the field, she located the still in a shack by the lake. She’d heard of temperance leader Carry Nation’s style, and picked up an ax. Grabbing liquor bottles and dropping them in gunny sacks, she cleaned out the shack. She stuck a few bottles up the chimney and dragged one sack full of bottles into the lake as evidence for the revenuers. The bundles she hit with the backside of the ax until every bottle was broken.
      When the bootlegger discovered the devastation, he knocked on my parents’ door. Mama answered.
      “I’ve been expecting you,” she said. “Sit right over there. You ought to be ashamed for produces something that takes food out of children’s mouths, clothes off their backs, money out of a father’s pockets and sense out of their heads.”
      The man didn’t know what to say, but the next day Mom and Dad had to run or be killed.
They ran, sleeping here and there, and encountered body lice and had to burn all their clothes.
Years later, Mama met the former bootlegger unexpectedly in another town. It was too late to cross the street to avoid him.
“Young lady,” he said when his eyes caught hers, “you ruined me financially, but it was the best thing that happened to me.”
      Mom had a way of getting to the root of problems. She parented with gentleness and love, and she and Dad disciplined with firmness  and consistency. We knew what was expected.
      Although Mama always believed, when I was a baby (the eighth child), Mom had an experience with God that added power to her life beyond temper. The Holy Spirit so anointed her words although she has been in heaven for 50 years, my siblings and I can still hear her quoting scriptures: “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.” “Love your neighbors as yourself.”  “Those who won’t work, should not eat.” “Honor your father and mother…that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
      You might expect Solomon’s writing from Proverbs, “Wine is a mocker; strong drink is raging and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” and the motto on her wall, “Only one life; ‘Twill soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
      A mother’s words written on our hearts by the chisel of the Holy Spirit remain for recall. I wonder what words I’ve said my children will remember.
©Ada Brownell 2012


Thursday, February 25, 2016



By Ada Brownell
Betty[1] and I hugged and giggled. It was so good to see my young friend, now at the high end of her teenage years and fast becoming a woman.
“How long can you stay?” I asked.
“Three days,” she said, kneeling down and greeting my toddler son.
I can’t remember now if her Dad drove to Utah to drop her off or if she rode the bus, but she was alone and seemed so thrilled to see me. Yet, a dark cloud appeared to be hanging over her because she wasn’t the person I’d known when we were neighbors in Colorado and attended the same church.
When we met, though, Betty had problems. Her mother had died not more than two weeks before from a long illness that required amputation of a leg. Betty showed me the prosthesis her mother wore.
I was only about five years older than Betty, but in a way I became her mother/mentor. I was married, and shortly after moving to town became youth group leader at our church. Her goal in life was to be a waitress who would take breaks on bar stools and smoke. I guess she thought that made a woman look “cool.”
I was thrilled when Betty accepted the Lord as her Savior and gave her life to Him. Because her father sometimes worked evenings and my husband was on the 4 p.m. to midnight shift at the railroad, I took Betty to her school functions and attended the programs. We didn’t have a child then, and Betty and I had a great time sledding on the mountain and doing fun things together. My husband and I played tennis with her and her dad.
After Betty quit playing with our toddler that day, she sat down to visit. An angry scowl took over her formerly smiling face.
“Dad’s getting married,” she announced.
I wasn’t surprised. We had introduced him to the group of young Christian women from which he chose his second wife. The woman had never been married and I thought she was a great catch. Some might have classified her as an “Old Maid,” but although she was older than most brides, I knew she would make her dad an ideal wife.
The upcoming marriage was the source of the cloud hanging over my friend’s head.
Betty picked up a Christian magazine from the table beside her, glanced at it and then slammed it back on the table with a whack. “I hate her!” she said.
What could I say? She probably regarded me as a traitor for connecting her dad with the woman.  She might have been there when we said something like, “There is this really great group of single women in the big church up town.” We gave him a few names.
Now, newspaper reporter that I am, I didn’t give Betty a comment. I asked a question. “Why do you hate her?”
She stuttered a little and then answered. “Dad treats her so nice! He’s always giving her gifts and being such a gentleman. Things he never did for Mama.”
When I know someone needs a word of wisdom and I am sure I don’t have great answers myself, I utter a quick prayer. “God help me help her,” I prayed in my spirit and felt the Lord drop something in my mind.
“You know why he does that?” I asked.  “Because he wishes he did those things for your mother.”
Betty’s face slowly brightened. It was as if the shadow on her heart faded away.
I had no idea if what the Lord dropped into my heart helped her, but after the wedding I learned Betty and her stepmother developed a loving relationship. They became close friends and still are decades later, even after Betty’s father’s death.
I often think how what I say and do can affect my friends for better or worse. Solomon wrote, “The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray” (Proverbs 12:26).
            How wonderful the Lord helps us say the right words when we ask.

[1] Not her real name

Tuesday, February 23, 2016



Interview with Author Loree Peery
Does she have a story to tell!

  1. Q. Why did you choose that title when your book contains things that give us chills?
A. This title evolved from “Murder on a County Road”; “Unfinished Business”; “Ultimate Answer”; “Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow”; and “The Touch of Time.” I’ve never considered a reason for the title I stayed with, other that it seemed the right one.

Sarah is touched by her mother’s journals from time past. In the present, her heart is touched by Ford’s unselfishness and desire to protect her. She’s also touched by the life in her womb, which represents her future. Most of all, she’s touched by God’s timing.

  1. Q  Tell us about your character, Sarah, who tries to solve a cold-case murder.
A. At the beginning of the story, Sarah is grieving. She lost her best friend and the father of her baby a few months back. Now she’s getting over the numbness of her mother’s death, and starts to feel again. She also stands by a promise she made.

  1. Q.   How did your character, investigator Ford Melcher, become interested in the old unsolved case?
A. His job with the Nebraska State Patrol is investigating cold cases. Soon after meeting Sarah, he wonders if her grandfather’s case might be linked to the case he’s actively working on, due to location and decade.

  1. Q   ow does he treat this amateur trying to unravel crimes the pros couldn’t?
A. Since Ford is immediately drawn to Sarah on a personal level, he reminds her he’s the professional and she should leave the sleuthing up to him. He can’t help but be protective, it’s his nature as well as his job 

Q. I’m guessing there is romance in here somewhere. What characteristic makes your characters lovable?
A. Sarah is unselfish in her quest, motivated by her mother’s dying wish. She wants the unknown to be dealt with so her whole family can go on. She seeks to weather the storm and come out stronger.

Ford is compassionate, yet worthy of respect. An optimist, he wants the best for others, and empathizes more than he should with family members of victims. He’s a victor in Christ, no matter how his cases turn out.

   Q. Since the story reflects some similar events in your life, were you able to go through police        records about your father’s death?

A. Unfortunately, no. I requested to see the autopsy report, but the only thing I ever had in hand was the death certificate, after my mother passed.

Q. . Does the victim in your story die the same way your father did? How did it affect you to fictionalize such a tragedy?

A. Yes, to your first question. As per your second, the churning twist to my stomach and the sting of tears is enough of an answer. I had that same reaction every time I wrote about it, and now, each time I read it.

  1. Q. When and why did you become a writer?
A. The spark came to life a long time ago, in the mid-eighties. I tried my hand at romances and submitted extremely rough drafts to popular magazines. They were rejected, of course. I set out to learn all I could. The first published, as with Lena in Touches of Time, was a testimony to a Christian magazine. I had more nonfiction printed in academic journals and anthologies. I completed novels, and signed my first Christian romance contract in 2010.

  1. Q. What is your goal from here?
A.I believe I’m called to continue writing romance. Working writers always have stories in various stages, right now I have four.

  1. Q.  Anything else you’d like your readers to know?
A. I’ve read Psalm 37 many times over the years. Verse three proved true—I became a published author only after I quit trying on my own strength, and made God first in everything. Then He granted the desire of my heart. I often tell myself to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him, verse seven. Verse ten speaks to me as far as Dad’s killer is concerned. “Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more,” (NASB). The Lord loves justice, as stated in verse 28, and he doesn’t forsake me. So I will strive to be faithful.
As for you readers with a desire of your own heart, never give up. God has probably placed that dream within you, and He’ll equip you to finish the task. Pray your desire is His plan for you. Be determine and disciplined. Continue to learn.
Thank you, Ada, for inviting me here today.

Christian romance author LoRee Peery attempts to see God’s presence every day. Often that gift comes from nature, when the call of a cardinal draws her to look for the distinctive flash of crimson. A meadowlark’s melody always transports her to the farm where she grew up. A rainbow holds special significance, since one appeared over her father’s grave the day of his funeral, assuring her of the Lord’s presence. She clings to I John 5:4 and prays her blended family and dozen grandchildren see that faith. Find LoRee at or Pelican Book Group


A decades-old unsolved homicide.
A grieving single mother-to-be.
A cold-case investigator.
Sarah Bishop goes through her deceased mother’s belongings and becomes immersed in the details of her grandfather’s unsolved homicide. Determined to find who was responsible, for the sake of her unborn baby, Sarah vows to seek out the answers her mother had failed to find.
Cold Case Investigator Ford Melcher is intrigued by Sarah’s dogged drive to solve the old mystery. His current case has reached a frustrating dead end, but he comes to believe it is somehow linked to Sarah’s quest. His desire to protect her from further hurt is put to the test, especially when he has secrets he’d rather not disclose.
Answers could remain elusive as to who struck Sarah’s grandfather and left him in a ditch. Will the search for those answers open doors for her to discover the life God planned? Can she accept that plan if it includes a man who wasn’t forthright with information?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Beauty of a Busy Woman

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol (the place of the dead), where you are going.
Ecclesiastes 9:9-11 

By Ada Nicholson Brownell
Solomon, in his kingly robe, his once-handsome face now etched with the journey of his smiles and frowns, must have shut his tired eyes before he wrote Proverbs 31.
All around the palace, his wives chattered, screamed at children and giggled. A few primped before a mirror, hoping to catch their husband’s attention that night. Perhaps the first of the 700 wives started the trend of doing nothing but looking beautiful and criticizing other women in the house.  I imagine each woman wanted to be the loveliest, the sexiest, and the one he would choose most.
 But after being surrounded by all that outward splendor, Solomon ‘s mind caught a vision of a different kind of woman. He imagined a lady who “looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness.”
A traveling evangelist also wrote about the value of not being idle. The evangelist, the Apostle Paul, picked up a reed with his rough hands, work-worn from stitching tents,  and wrote to the Thessalonian church, his graying head filled with love and yet, frustration.
“Keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teachings you received from us,” he wrote in 2 Thessalonians 3:6. He pointed out his team was not idle all the while they were with the church in Thessalonica.
Paul became even more bold in his statements about lazy people. “If any will not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
Although many people work at avoiding things they don’t think they enjoy—like washing dishes, cleaning the house, doing laundry, bathing the children, doing odd jobs, working diligently at a career—they miss out on the satisfaction work gives and the joy of having chores done.
My Mom loved to quote the scripture about “No work, no food,” but I grew to enjoy what I could find to do constructively with my hands. I did it with all my might, as another scripture says. Even as a kid when I cleaned the kitchen and mopped the floor, I loved to look back at what I’d done as if I’d created a work of art out of chaos. To me, it was beautiful.
After I married and we eventually grew to seven people in the house, I used to set time goals for completing different tasks. Did you know you can make your bed in less than five minutes? Clean out the dishwasher in just a few seconds more than it takes to heat a cup of water in the microwave? Less than 15 minutes to clean to kitchen after a normal meal? Put everything on your bathroom vanity away and polish the sink in about 30 seconds? Fold and hang the laundry straight from the dryer in five to seven minutes?
Furthermore, have you tried planning meals in your head while doing some of the above tasks? Time? Zero.
An orderly home creates a different atmosphere. We can do a little deeper cleaning once a week, but I do different tasks on separate days.
We don’t need to be fanatics about neatness and put the bread away before the person who got it out can get peanut butter on it, but doing what we can when we can, gives us a chance for fun if we plan.
Planning is the key to hospitality, budgeting our finances, finding ways to stretch the family income—and getting adequate rest, too. The secret is being organized. You can always fit more into organized space.
                                                Sidebar: Polishing the Inner Woman
Giving hubby or the children about five minutes of attention after work or school usually makes the rest of the day go better.  With effort and a sense of urgency, a woman can love every member of the family and train children in the way they ought to go while multi-tasking.
But there is more. Some mothers and fathers pray briefly with their children before they leave the house each day, but if we can’t manage that, we need to pray with them sometime. It’s even better if the family has devotions together. Reading scripture and praying for one another only takes a few minutes, but every once in a while we can devote more time so we can discuss problems, answer questions, or have intense Bible study together.
Other important tasks that actually aren’t that time-consuming: Reading the Word and connecting with God privately. We can pray and memorize scripture while doing other tasks, even while jogging or doing a few exercises and stretches. But it’s important to kneel for a few minutes daily to give the Lord undivided attention.
Most of all, being in God’s House also is time well spent.  When we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, everything else we need and sometimes even our desires will be added (Matthew 6:33). Pastors, Sunday school teachers, children’s workers, youth leaders, Christian friends, become positive mentors, tea ching our children to obey their parents and The Ten Commandments. The church can help couples make solid marriages, and help individuals to allow God to direct their steps—making the rest of their lives better.
As with budgeting  money, we can find ways we waste minutes and hours that would be better spent if we managed them correctly.
The results help us at the moment—and possibly change our family for eternity.
©Copyright Ada Brownell 


Ada Brownell is a retired newspaper reporter who also has written for Christian publications since age 15. She is author of six books, two fiction and four non-fiction: The Lady Fugitive (fiction); Joe the Dreamer: the Castle and the Catapult (fiction); Imagine the Future You (a motivational Bible study for youth and family worship); Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal (Evidence you are more than a body; Facts, Faith &Propaganda, a book to sustain and strengthen faith in God; Confessions of a Pentecostal, Listed by The Library Thing for many years as one of the 10 best books on Pentecostalism. Out of print but now available for Kindle.

Read the first chapter of The Lady Fugitive, a finalist in the Clash of the Titles Laurel Award,  here:

Ada’s  Amazon Author Page:
Ada's Author Page

Monday, February 15, 2016


            About the middle of the 20th Century, some in leadership began a crusade for taking the Bible out of our educational system, taking prayer out of schools -- even though most of our original schools were founded by churches.
 These people fight anything that might cause America’s children to serve Almighty God. Substituted for the Ten Commandments are situational ethics (a belief that whether action or inaction is right or wrong depends on the situation).
  Instead of man created in God’s image, they began teachings that we got here by accident, and became the way we are by ourselves—and youth are taught they’re no different from animals...
The early laws of this nation can be traced to The Ten Commandments and scripture, and they still are the foundation for the thousands of laws we have today.
The first Massachusetts settlers who came from England on the Mayflower signed a compact on Nov. 11, 1620, and it remained Plymouth Colony’s basic governmental chapter for 70 years. The charter begins with: “In the name of God Amen!” It includes words about the “grace of God”, defender of the faith, the glory of God, the presence of God, and advancement of the Christian faith. This in a document that was less than 200 words.
Our patriotic songs include “God Bless America”, “My Country ‘T'is of Thee”, “America! America! God shed His grace on thee” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic. And they mention God.”
Look at a penny and read the words around the edge of Abraham Lincoln’s head.  It says, “In God we trust.”
In our pledge of allegiance we say, One nation, Under God.”
A visit to Washington, D.C., is probably more enlightening than the history books.God is mentioned everywhere, and our forefathers believed in God and prayed to him often.
From the beginning U.S. Presidents liberally quoted from the Bible and called for prayer when there was a national disaster or an emergency.
The Scripture “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” is written above George Washington’s grave. Bible verses also are the wall surrounding John F. Kennedy’s tomb.
Lincoln often spoke of his having to give an account to God for his deeds. Lincoln quoted Jesus in his second inaugural address and those words are written on the Lincoln Memorial: “The Almighty has His own purposes.  `Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh’ (Matthew 18:7).”
Lincoln was concerned with righteousness, although historians tell us he wasn’t a member of any church. Yet, Lincoln lifted up scripture as the highest authority man can follow.
The reason many of the early settlers came to America because they sought freedom -- particularly religious freedom. Some of those who came from England didn’t want to attend the Church of England, as demanded by the king. If they not, they were in danger of  being arrested for treason. Their ruler, King James 1, was head of the church and the nation.
 For years, those in other countries were not allowed to worship God the way they believed they should. Thousands of people immigrated and some died for their faith.
During World War II, six million Jews were murdered in Europe by Hitler because of who they were and the God they served. Many non-Jews also were killed.
 Killing people for believing in God still happens every day. There were more martyrs in the 20th Century than in all the rest of history combined, and the 21st Century already has many martyrs..
 Even mass murderers pick out Christians and kill them first. At least one girl who was  killed at Columbine High School in 1999 died because she admitted she believed in God. She was among thousands who die for the faith every year around the world.
The Bible has been taken away from the people in many nations -- and burned. World leaders have attempted many times to destroy it. The atheist Voltaire boasted that Christianity and the Bible would be extinct in 100 years.  Fifty years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society used Voltaire’s press to print Bibles and they stored them in his house!
Yet the Bible remains the best seller of all time and is translated into more languages than any other book.
People who believe in God will continue to carry the gospel until Jesus comes, no matter how much wicked people try to stop it.
Bibles aren’t allowed in Muslim nations. Atheistic nations have taken away their people’s Bibles and turned churches into museums or social centers. In Russia before the fall of the Iron Curtain, the police sometimes came to a home or a building where people were secretly worshiping and turn a fire hose on them to get them out.  Then they’d throw the leaders into prison and prevent the people from meeting again.
Everyone in the world needs the privilege to worship God or not worship God, as he chooses. Those dedicated to Secularism, the new religion of the United States of America, would like to replace all religions, especially Christianity, although false religions stand at the door.  Secularists zapped The Ten Commandments out of many government  building in America.
 They’re going after “In God We Trust” on our coins, “Under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance, tax exemption for churches, and soon they’ll probably want to scrape the scriptures off the Liberty Bell and the Lincoln Memorial.
It will be tragic to erase the mention of God in our history, but we need to be more concerned about the future.  America needs God.
Yet, the Word of God is planted in hearts throughout the earth where it can never be erased.

© Ada Brownell
Ada Brownell bio

 ADA BROWNELL is a free lance writer who has sold articles to 45 Christian publications. She is retired journalist who spent most of her career at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado.
Her books:

Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult
Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal:
Facts, Faith and Propaganda
Confessions of a Pentecostal:

Friday, February 12, 2016

“Bearing the Right Kind of Fruit” by Chad Young

By Chad Young

Kelli, a close friend of my wife’s, moved with her family from Atlanta to Tampa last summer, much to our family’s chagrin. Our daughter Evelyn and Kelli’s daughter Georgia were best friends, and we’ve missed them terribly ever since.

A new Floridian, Kelli found the tropical plants with their lush green foliage growing year round to be pretty exciting.   When one of the trees in her yard started growing limes, Kelli couldn’t wait to pick the fruit and try out new recipes.  She tasted the lime and thought, “Wow, that is sour!  I guess that’s what Florida limes are like.”

During the next several weeks, Kelli’s tree continued to produce limes, too many for her family to eat. She gave many of them away to her new neighbors, who looked a little puzzled but thanked her for the gift.  “There’s such an abundance of limes here.  These people probably think I’m crazy for giving them to neighbors,” Kelli thought to herself.

When one of the green limes began to turn yellow, Kelli quickly picked most of the rest of the green limes before they, too, began to turn bad like the yellow one.  They all tasted extremely sour like the ones she had picked earlier, but she used them in cooking just the same.

A few days later, Kelli’s daughter Georgia looked out the window and exclaimed, “Look, Mommy! It’s an orange!” Kelli then looked, and sure enough, there was one nice, big orange hanging by itself from a branch of her “lime” tree. Kelli picked the orange and tried it, realizing it was one of the tastiest, juiciest oranges she’d had in a while.  No wonder the neighbors had given puzzled looks to this Florida newbie.  She was sad to think she had picked so many of the “oranges” that she just had this one to enjoy.

When my wife told me this true story from our hilarious friend, it reminded me how sometimes we miss out on the best things in life when we’re impatient or fail to wait for God’s timing. Obviously, Kelli would have had patience if she had known the juicy orange fruit would come, but she didn’t know what was ahead.  For some of us, in friendships, dating relationships, and in our careers, it is easy to make quick decisions without really praying and seeking what God wants for us. 

Years ago, I memorized a verse that still to this day I pray aloud to God as I’m surrendering control of my day to him: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV).

Are you bearing good fruit? Are you waiting on the Lord to bear the right kind of fruit through you? Be patient, and wait on the Lord in your decision-making because only he knows what path he has in mind for you.


To read more of Chad’s adventures, see his new book, Wrestling with Faith, Love and Gators. He’s a 14-year Cru staff member residing in Atlanta, Ga., with his wife Elizabeth and their children, Wyatt, Clark, Evelyn, and Josilynn. He’s also the author of Authenticity: Real Faith in a Phony, Superficial World.

Cru is largest campus ministry in the world.

Here are the purchase links:

Wrestling with Faith, Love and Gators Paperback:
Wrestling with Faith, Love and Gators Kindle:


Here are the purchase links:

Wrestling with Faith, Love and Gators Paperback:
Wrestling with Faith, Love and Gators Kindle:

“Chad, jump on the gator’s back!”

In a split second, a decision had to be made. Did Chad love his future brother-in-law Frank enough to help him control a powerful seven and a half foot alligator? Ultimately there was a subconscious devotion toward Frank that affected his decision on what to do in that moment. We all face decisions every day in our lives. Some of them are small decisions, but others are potentially life altering. What we decide to do in those split seconds comes down to this, which is true for all of us: We all have beliefs about life and love, about what is most important, and we all act on those beliefs.

In this book, Wrestling with Faith, Love, and Gators: Overcoming Barriers to Fully Loving God, Chad Young addresses what many Christians are missing: being in love with God. The lack of genuine faith and love in the church as well as the seemingly fewer and fewer Christians who are “all in” are the main reasons why 59% of college students who grew up with a Christian background are leaving the Christian faith. You hear people say we should love God with all our heart, soul and mind, but what does that really look like? Chad uses his own faith journey and humorous stories to call readers to a deeper, legitimate love for God.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dawn V. Cahill, Author HOT TOPIC FICTION; Dawn interviews her characters

By Dawn V.  Cahill

Two amazing young women are visiting us today.  Please help me welcome identical twins Livy and DeeDee McCreary, singers and dancers extraordinaire, who star in my new novel, Sapphire Secrets.

Dawn V. Cahill: Livy, since this is your story, why don’t we start with you? Tell us why you want to share your story with the world.

Livy: Picture this--a spooky graveyard at midnight. Howling wind. And a strange old man who tells me to seek the truth about my mother’s death. Wouldn’t you be curious, too?

DVC: Indeed I would.

Livy: Sapphire Secrets is basically my testimony. And what an incredible journey. Not only did I find out the truth about my mother’s death, I also found God. Now, I just want the world to know that God loves them. So many people have never experienced His love. They don’t know what it’s like when God grabs ahold of you and pulls you into His arms - so unlike anything you’ll ever experience.

DVC: But you weren’t raised to believe in God. What made you change your mind?

Livy: I met someone who wasn’t afraid to share Christ with me. At first, I was resistant. Our parents and grandma raised us to be suspicious of organized religion. But then, one day everything changed. I had an accident and…

DVC: Spoiler alert!

Livy: Whoops. Anyway, as a result, I might never dance again. But without the accident, I might not have found God.

DVC: DeeDee, what do you think about Livy’s conversion?

DeeDee:She’s always spouting religious mumbo-jumbo. Not my thing. But ask me anything about dance. I can get into that.

DVC: Okay, dance it is. One of my readers wants to know, were all those dance lessons growing up a pleasure, or a chore?

DeeDee: I won’t lie and say they were a piece of cake. Dance lessons are grueling. If I hadn’t had Livy to learn and practice with, I’m sure I would have given up a long time ago. But now, I marvel at what my body can do. I’m pumped that we get to pay it forward by teaching other little girls the beauty of dance.

Livy: Our mom’s passion for dance rubbed off on us. I couldn’t have quit if you paid me. For me, the downside of dance was the memorization. Not only the choreography, but all the French terminology. Like pas de bourres and ronde jambes

DeeDee: The intense competitions…

Livy: Outgrowing our favorite leotards…

DeeDee: Hardly ever any boys in class to tease or flirt with.

DVC: How times change! A couple of single fathers brought their daughters into your studio for lessons.

Livy [giggling]: Don’t forget to mention how cute they were.

DVC: And now you’re dating one of them, aren’t you?

Livy: Spoiler alert!

DVC: My lips are sealed. Let’s let the readers find out for themselves, shall we?

DeeDee: Don’t forget to tell them about your prequel, When Lyric Met Limerick, a short story about a fateful meeting…the day our amazing and talented parents met.

DVC: Readers, just click on my Amazon author page to find both books:
Check my webpage,, for future giveaways and updates on Livy and DeeDee’s continuing saga. And thank you, ladies, for letting my readers get to know you  today.
Livy and DeeDee [in unison]: So long, lovely readers.

DeeDee: Peeps, you have to come back for Book 2, because this crazy author is going to put me through an even worse ordeal than Livy’s. I have no clue how I’m going to get out of this mess…

Sapphire Secrets blurb:

Filled with mystery, romance, and unforgettable characters, Sapphire Secrets is the story of a Seattle woman’s relentless pursuit of truth and God’s power to heal and transform broken lives. 
Twins Livy and DeeDee McCreary open a dance studio in honor of their late mother, whom they lost when they were six. Problem is, Livy remembers nothing of the day her mother died. The more she questions her family about that awful day, the more she suspects she’s been lied to all her life. While she’s seeking answers to what really happened, she keeps crossing paths with handsome engineer Scott Lorenzo, who compels her to question the New Age philosophy she was raised on. What if there is a personal God out there who cares about her? 
Before Livy can discover answers, a brutal accident interrupts her search. Her life flips upside down as she faces a future she is not prepared for. Yet the unanswered questions continue to haunt her. Can she find the strength to keep on with her quest, even if it means losing the two people most dear to her—her twin, and the man she loves? 
2015 Finalist, ACFW First Impressions Contest 

Dawn V. Cahill’s bio:
Author Dawn V. Cahill pens "Stories of Victorious Faith for the 21st Century," nearly always with a crossword puzzle, sudoku, or dark chocolate nearby. "The characters in my stories face situations that would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago. We live in a vastly different world than our parents did, and that's the world I write about."
Seeing an unfilled niche in the Christian market for edgier fiction, Ms Cahill birthed Hot Topic Fiction (HTF) at an intensive four-day writers conference. HTF isn't afraid to explore the question, how does God want us Christians to live out our faith in this not-so-brave new world? Without insulting the reader by offering pat or easy answers--because there aren't any--HTF tells stories of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in a world of terror and violence, of upside-down morality, of hostility to Judeo-Christian values.
HTF's first book is due for launch in June 2016.

Monday, February 1, 2016


By Ada Brownell

      Christians are concerned. Nearly every family has a child or grandchild who isn’t serving God despite being raised in a Christian home and the church.
      When I worked as a newspaper reporter, I asked the late general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Thomas F. Zimmerman, whether he believed if Jesus doesn’t return in this generation the church will survive.
      “It will survive,” he said, “but the next generation won’t do church like we do.”
      The music changed, churches developed satellite congregations, we have podcasts, and numerous advances from modern technology. Thank God all my children and grandchildren are involved, and despite changes, God is still working.
      But still, statistics show a large percentage of youth leave the church before, during or after college.
      What can we do?
       I worked with youth the majority of my life, and despite being a senior citizen now, I am concerned. Ultimately it is each young person’s decision, but the church is supposed to be salt and light which causes people to seek the Lord. Jesus still stands at the door and knocks—but he’s not going to crash through and enter without being invited.
So, with that in mind, we can:
How we’re supposed to live was summarized for us by Jesus: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, love your neighbor as yourself " (Luke 10:26-28).
 If we do this, we model our faith. It’s not easy.
The first four of the Ten Commandments have to do with serving and respecting God. The last six have to do with how we treat our neighbor.
I can’t forget, however it is, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:4-6)
Nevertheless, if I love God as Jesus told me to, I’ll talk to Him, read His words, be in His presence, obey Him, and work in His kingdom.
Much hinges on the fruit we produce and walking in the Spirit.
 The Apostle Paul told the Galatians, “Walk in the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.”[i]
Why are you a Christian?
Your children and grandchildren should hear your testimony. Did God change your life? Give you something to live for? Fill the emptiness inside you? Given you joy unspeakable and full of glory? Has he healed you or given miracles for your family?
God reminded sometimes reminded people to be sure to tell their children about God’s miraculous works.
      Read about it in Joshua 4, which tells how God parted the Jordan River similar to how he parted the Red Sea and Israel crossed. The Lord told them to gather stones and build a memorial about the miracle.
“This may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’  Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
 “What do these stones mean?” I’m fortunate because I’m a writer and I’ve been sharing my testimony since my youth. My children have read some of it, and today if I write something in which they could be interested, I send it to them. Often they comment that they enjoy it. You might be surprised at your family’s reaction.
3. BELIEVE THE WORD We have specific promises for our children.
 “Raise up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6NASB).
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55: 9-11). (If you’ve taken your kids to church, or had devotions at home, this promise is for you.)
A prophecy by Peter on the day of Pentecost: “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38-40).
4. TAKE YOUR FAMILY TO CHURCH  “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
            If you make the Lord and meeting in His presence most important your lives, it makes a difference in families. Children learn the Word, doctrine, to obey their parents, and they make best friends who also want to follow the Lord. The church usually provides good clean fun, too. This gives children the opportunity to accept Jesus as Savior, discover that God loves them no matter what and has a plan for their lives. Children faithful in God’s house usually also choose Christian mates.
5.  PRAY AND BELIEVE The Bible is filled with promises and testimonies that state God answers prayer. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, told the jailer who wanted to become a Christian, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16).
            ©Ada Brownell June 2013

[i] See Galatians 5:16:23