Thursday, March 31, 2016


  A CANDLE IS LIKE FRIENDSHIP.  Sometimes friendships don’t last forever.  School friends or friends in the neighborhood sometimes are lost.  People go to different schools or graduate.  They move away.  Like a candle that burns out, friendships end.
            Sometimes friendships end abruptly, however, like a blown-out candle. This usually happens when buddies have a disagreement and they say or do things they can’t take back.
             Family relationships sometimes are like a flashlight. They will stay lit all your life if the batteries are kept charged or renewed (and this includes a marriage).
            God’s love is like the sun, which keeps shining and warming the earth whether the skies are cloudy or blue. In the same way, God will never stop loving us.
            Solomon wrote, “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17); “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Proverbs 18:24).
Friends usually start with a friendly greeting and a conversation. Sometimes friendships begin with just a smile.
            Jesus was accused of being a friend of publicans and sinners, but in reality, his closest friends were his disciples.  Yes, he did go to Zacchaeus’s house, but Zacchaeus already had decided to follow Jesus.  He showed Mary Magdalene compassion and friendship, but she already had repented of her sins when she wet Jesus’ feet with her tears. He talked to the woman at the well, who received with joy the news that he was the Messiah. Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more.
             The Bible tells about the friendship of David and Jonathan.  Jonathan was full of faith, like David.  The Philistine Army challenged Jonathan just as the Philistine Giant later challenged Israel’s Army to a fight.
            David and Jonathan met right after David slew Goliath.
            The Bible says there was an immediate bond of love between them, and they became best friends.  Jonathan made a special vow to be David’s friend, and he sealed the pact by giving David his robe, tunic, sword, bow and belt” (1 Samuel 18:1-4).
            David married Jonathan’s sister, Michal, but King Saul, Jonathan’s father was jealous of David and hated him.  He tried several times to kill David.
            On one occasion, Jonathan saved David’s life.  Jonathan once said he loved David as much as he loved himself (1 Samuel 20:16).
            King Saul wanted Jonathan to be the next king, but David already had been anointed king. God rejected Saul because of his rebellion.  Jonathan, who was likely to follow his father, apparently had no desire to be king, although he was a mighty warrior.
            Jonathan was killed on the battlefield fighting the Amalekites, another nation like the Philistines, alongside his father.
            Afterward David wrote a funeral song (2 Samuel 1) where he mourns Jonathan.
            “How I weep for you, my brother, Jonathan!” he sang in sadness.
            David had a wonderful friend in Jonathan.  But sometimes friends can be a bad influence.
David’s son, Solomon, warned his son about unwholesome friends. In Proverbs 1:10-19 he wrote, “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.”
One time I asked a class of children to write down the names of people they would like for a friend. Then they wrote their own name and glued it facing the other names. When it drie and they tried to tear them apart, they discovered a little of their name was left on the others, and theirs were left with theirs.  Likewise, we leave a little of ourselves with every friend we make, and they leave a part of themselves with us. Good friends make us better.  Bad friends can influence us in a bad way.
But good friends are great! Is there someone you would like for a friend?  Pray this week God will help you to show yourself friendly.  Then decide to call this person on the phone, plan to meet for lunch or for an evening at your house.
 Friends are priceless..

© Copyright Ada Brownell

Saturday, March 26, 2016


By Ada Brownell

 “Whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:26).
 Is the water that makes steam gone forever?
No, because the earth has only a certain amount of water, which is constantly in a precipitation and evaporation cycle. Clouds, which are nothing but water vapor like steam, hold water until they become so heavy it rains or snows.  Then the sun comes out, water evaporates into clouds, and the cycle continues.
Do you know the Bible says our lives are similar to vapor?  (James 4:14) But when we die, we are still somewhere, just as the water isn’t gone when it becomes steam.  We are made to live forever.
 Another amazing fact is we’re not walking around in the same bodies in which we were born, or the bodies we had last year. Our flesh developed from one cell and now each of us has about 75 trillion living cells, constantly dying, and being replaced.  Everything, except for the neurological system, has died numerous times in our lives, then replaced by new cells that knew exactly what to make, such as skin, blood, hair, bone and your inward parts. Our skin is estimated to be rebuilt every seven days.
 The birth and the death of cells is not the only way we know we are more than a body. For instance, we can lose weight and it doesn’t change who we are. We can have parts cut off, such as our tonsils, a wart or even a hand or leg, and still live. We can even live with someone else’s kidney, liver or heart!
            The person you are, that God made you, is more than flesh and blood. But you also have a unique personality, and a spiritual side. When God’s powerful breath went into Adam’s nose, the eternal soul was born and every person born since then has a soul and spirit, which lives forever.
            Watchman Nee, author of The Spiritual Man,[1] said humans are a combination of spirit, soul and body.[2] A person’s spirit is where spiritual things happen.  That’s the part us where Jesus lives if we accepted Him as Savior and the Holy Spirit dwells.
Your soul is your mind, will and emotions.  That’s where you learn things, make decisions (I will or will not do something), and feel things such as love, joy, hate and jealousy.
Your body is where your soul and spirit live, and all three parts of you work together to make you the person we see and God loves.
The person you are will never die—whether you choose to give your heart and life to Jesus or choose to reject Him. God in His love, made you so you could live forever with Him, but it’s your choice.  Hell was made for Satan and the false prophets, but people who reject God also will be sent to that place of torment. The Bible calls that “the Second Death,” which is separation from God.
Jesus said “Whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:26).
©Ada Brownell 2012

[1] Christian Fellowship Publishers Inc., New York, 1968
[2]Ibid, Volume 1, pages 22 and 23

Shorter swallowed summary
EASTER: Peter wrote, "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables...but were eyewitnesses of his majesty." (2 Peter 1:16).
Jesus is alive!

SWALLOWED BY LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal
By Ada Brownell
Do you believe you could live with someone else’s heart or kidneys, but not without your body? Evidence shows we’re more than flesh. The author, a prolific religion writer and retired medical journalist, talks about the evidence; the wonder of life with all its electrical systems; the awesome truth about cell death and regeneration; mysteries surrounding the change from mortal to immortal; where we go when our body dies; resurrection; and a glimpse at what we will do in heaven. Questions and answers make this non-fiction inspirational book a great text for group study. It’s written for support groups, religion classes, people with chronic or terminal illness, individuals who fear death or are curious about it, the grieving, and those who give them counsel.
Review: “It was wonderful how the author merged the medical with the spiritual.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


By Ada Brownell
I imagine you’ve read or heard the true stories about someone taken to the morgue, and then a hand moves, an eye opens, or a leg lifts, and the person is alive.

Perhaps you were one of the hundreds who purchased Heaven is For Real, the story of a young boy who emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories about  heaven. The book about little Colton by Todd Burpo, a Nebraska pastor, has 7,781 reviews and now is a movie.

I attended a writers’ conference where the keynote speaker was Cecil Muriphey, who wrote 90 Minutes in Heaven with Don Piper, who lived again after declared dead at the scene of an accident where his car was crushed under the wheels of a truck .A pastor waiting at the scene 90 minutes later said God told him to pray for the dead man. He did, and Piper immediately breathed and came to life. The book is another best seller.

I tell in my book, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, about Lynn Orr, a man I knew in Denver, who had a heart attack. He said one minute he lay in a hospital bed, and the next his bare feet stood on a smooth street paved with gold. In the distance, he saw a beautiful gate and a city. He smelled gorgeous flowers, and heard singing and rejoicing. He talked with Jesus. Then he was back in the bed, worrying his body wasn’t covered as medical personnel zapped his heart and brought him back.

I don’t remember how long Lynn was said  to be clinically dead, but he testified to the glories of heaven and a few weeks after I heard him speak, he went to be with Jesus. He said after seeing heaven, he no longer desired to live on earth.

To many people, these testimonies are proof of life after death. They are wonderful to hear. Yet, are they proof?

In Swallowed by Life, I present evidence from medical science that we are more a body.  I go into the miracles of cell death and rejuvenation, where our bodies die and are replaced one cell at a time until after seven years our whole body has died and been renewed except for the central nervous system, and some evidence shows even dead brain cells sometimes rejuvenate.

But the greatest evidence is before our eyes all the time. We begin life as a fertilized egg and we’re the person we became from the day God-designed life burst into that tiny egg. We grew in the womb and were born at seven pounds or so, and we’re still the same person, although we might weigh a couple hundred pounds now.

I or you could lose weight, a part of our flesh, and we’d still me or you—whoever we were before.

We could lose a leg, an arm, an eye, have diseased organs removed. A surgeon could even cut out our heart, kidneys, lungs and transplant someone else’s and we would still be who we are.

All the things I mention are evidence we are more than a body. A neurologist told me he believes the brain is the residence of the soul, so perhaps that’s why the neurological system doesn’t die and regenerate constantly as other parts do.

Yet, is that proof we aren’t as connected to our bodies as we thought? I think it’s great evidence, but still it’s not proof.

Why? Because resurrection and salvation are matters of faith. John tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever believes in me will never die” (John 10:25-26).

 St. Paul wrote to the Romans, “If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Jesus said, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).

Do you believe? That’s what you need to do, because no one will disprove it or prove it, and you have to believe in Jesus to live forever.

It’s your decision.

©Ada Brownell

SWALLOWED BY LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal
By Ada Brownell
Do you believe you could live with someone else’s heart or kidneys, but not without your body? Evidence shows we’re more than flesh. The author, a prolific religion writer and retired medical journalist, talks about the evidence; the wonder of life with all its electrical systems; the awesome truth about cell death and regeneration; mysteries surrounding the change from mortal to immortal; where we go when our body dies; resurrection; and a glimpse at what we will do in heaven. Questions and answers make this non-fiction inspirational book a great text for group study. It’s written for support groups, religion classes, people with chronic or terminal illness, individuals who fear death or are curious about it, the grieving, and those who give them counsel.
Review: “It was wonderful how the author merged the medical with the spiritual.”

Where you can find Swallowed by Life:
Barnes and Noble:

Friday, March 4, 2016


By Ada Brownell

Several years ago our pastor preached a sermon from an different angle that stuck in my head.

 I’ve heard many sermons on dousing a critical spirit and watching my tongue, but I can’t remember a pastor ever teaching how to accept criticism.

He was doing a series on Hebrews 11 and the verse of the day was, “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain. By faith he was commended as a righteous man when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”

Although it’s not written in this passage, our pastor indicated we should pay attention to what is behind the story that first appears in Genesis 4. The young men made a sacrifice, probably because God instructed the first family to do so. Sacrifice meant shedding of blood. We learn God said without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. If our just God rejected Cain’s vegetables, evidence shows the young man didn’t obey the Heavenly Father.

No matter how proud Cain was of his crop, it wasn’t according to the guidelines.

Cain’s reaction to God’s rejection was much worse than any writer who thought he had the perfect novel until it was rejected. The youth took his anger out on his brother and killed him.

 Many Bible characters experienced rejection and criticism. David had to run for his life from King Saul. Moses had to keep submitting his request to Pharaoh, although he was rejected on his first tries. Joseph was rejected by his brothers and severely criticized. The Apostle Paul was rejected at first by other Christians, and Jesus was not only badgered with skepticism by the Pharisees, the Jews turned their backs on Him and crucified Him.

How should we react to criticism and rejection? I hope not with the anger of Cain.

No one receives constant criticism like writers. People who must do critiques of someone else’s work should do it with gentleness.

Yet we can take criticism well—and learn from it. To do so, we have to be ferocious about keeping our pride in check when we receive a critical review of our work, and understand hard criticism often is the only kind of advice that helps.

In an interview on Faithwriters Blog by Joanne Sher, ( Philip Yancey said, “If you want to improve your writing 1) read voraciously from writers who can teach about style and content and 2) Hope for friends who will edit with a scowl. Most people want you to feel good so they give you compliments about your writing and that doesn’t help at all (except emotionally). Really, you need some grouches to edit your work.”

Yancey is a best-selling author of many books including, What Good is God? and Prayer: Does it Make a Difference?

I’ve learned much from critiquers and following guidelines. When I miss the mark, the first sharp words about my creations always hurts a little, but I won’t allow the wound to my ego to continue to bleed or fester. I let it heal, refuse to allow my desire to fulfill my calling to die, bind up the wounds by taking the therapy, pulling at those sore muscles,  and going on until I’ve found success.

© Ada Brownell


The Lady Fugitive
By Ada Brownell

How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?
Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin, and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her or he won’t inherit her parents’ ranch.
Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father’s brutal murder.
            Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in?
2015 Laurel Award runner-up.
#Review The Lady Fugitive. You’ll laugh, bite your nails, wish you had a gun to help

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


By Ada Brownell

      Jesus stood, his robe swaying with the breeze, shouting to the apostles and about 500 men, plus women and children[i] gathered on Mount Olivet. The crowd had followed him for 40 days, listening to the Messiah teach, amazed at the infallible proofs verifying His Resurrection from the dead.
“Don’t depart from Jerusalem,” Jesus said, his voice echoing among the rocky hills. “but wait for the Promise of the Father. For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
About 500 people gathered on the mountain, some leaning on boulders as they listened to the Resurrected Savior. Some brows wrinkled as they remembered the words of John the Baptist, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentence, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Jesus continued.  “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Forty days later, 120 of them gathered in an upper room where they’d been seeking God and the infilling, when suddenly there came a sound like a strong wind. “And there appeared to them cloven tongues, as a fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
Controversy about speaking “in tongues” began that day, and continues until now.
Where the 120 people came out of the upper room and down into the street, joyful, praising God in loud voices and still speaking in tongues. The questions started.
“What meaneth this?”
“Aren’t those who speak Galileans? How is it that we hear them speak in our language?” “Are they drunk?”
Peter suddenly found his voice, despite denying he knew Jesus after the Lord’s arrest. He’d mentally dropped out of the ministry. But now Peter stood and shouted, “This is what was prophesied by the prophet Joel. God said in the last days He would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28).

     Here are questions we hear today about the Baptism in the Holy Ghost:
·         Is the Holy Spirit poured out in the same way today?
·         How does it happen?
·         Why is speaking in tongues the initial evidence?
·         Is there other evidence?
·         Should we seek the Holy Spirit instead of speaking to Jesus or God?
·         How do people know something supernatural happens?
·         What advantages are there to being baptized in the Holy Spirit?
·          Does it make me a better person than those who aren’t filled?

Yes, the Holy Spirit is poured out in the same way today, but often those who speak “in tongues” are given a heavenly instead of earthly language, although my oldest sister spoke in Swedish when she was filled. A Swedish couple was in the congregation and heard her glorify God in their language.
It happens when we ask God for it, and tarry in his presence. Some advise seekers to just speak it out, but those I’ve seen who were filled with joy, overflowing love and power to witness, not only asked to be filled, but worshiped and praised the Lord until they ran out of their own vocabulary and the Spirit gave them words to worship him they couldn’t utter, even with groaning.
God uses the tongue because the tongue is difficult to tame and it’s a spiritual milestone to completely yield ourselves to God, including the tongue.
Other evidence surfaces such as joy, love for God and one another, and becoming a witness. God opens doors and often miraculously gives the words to speak.
Jesus is the baptizer, but the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and He is the one who empowers. The Heavenly Father is involved because He promised things in Old Testament days, such as Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit.
We know we’ve been touched by the supernatural power of God by our fruits. Acts 1:8  I’ve discovered sometimes we can be witnesses by our lives and don’t have to say a word. But God also uses our mouths. When I was a dried up 21-year-old discouraged Christian living in a little town in the Utah desert, God refilled and anointed me one night with His power all over me like warm oil. The next day I prayed for a helper so I could start a Sunday school in that little place with four bars and no church. Within a week a wonderful Baptist woman my age moved to town and we established a Sunday school in the school house.
Being filled with the Holy Ghost doesn’t make me better than someone who hasn’t been baptized in the Spirit. But it makes me much better than I’d be without it.

By Ada Brownell
Ada tells what it was like to grow up in a Pentecostal home, miracles she witnessed, and then of her own journey following the Lord. Her inspiring confessions of faith will encourage and bless believers everywhere.
Originally published by the Assemblies of God in 1978, the book was listed in 2011 and many other years among 10 top recommendations on Pentecostalism by The Library Thing. It was converted to an e-book in 2011.
Review: Confessions Of a Pentecostal is more than just a book or a story; it is an ultimate look inside another person's faith. Truly remarkable, a book that I will reread time and time again, I recommend this to anyone who ever wonders about who we are: who are the Pentecostals.

[i] 1 Corinthians 15:5-7