Monday, January 30, 2017

IMAGINE GOD CHANGING YOUR FUTURE



By Ada Brownell

The Creator of the universe loves you and will guide you into blessed tomorrows.

Excerpt from Ada Brownell's book, Imagine the Future You
Also available in Audio. Read or listen to first chapter free! #Teens #Family #Devotions



God— the One who is, who always has been, and who always will be, is the most important person you can meet. He is your Creator, and what your future is like depends on your relationship with Him.


I know more and more young people are atheists today. This is by design by the secularists who write curriculum, teach in our schools, the universities, and have taken over our government and media. As I’ve said before, there is active brain washing to assure you won’t believe in God.


I’ve said many times in the past “atheism is the opiate of the sinner.” If wicked people at least think they don’t believe in God, it helps quiet their conscience. But their conscience won’t quit, so they blame it on other people . Apparently they know what Christians believe is real, so they target Christians. They think stopping the influence of Christianity will help them feel better in their sinful state. That is why religious freedom is in danger in the United States.


So, your future is wrapped in whether you believe in the God of the universe. For that reason I will present the truths to you in this chapter you might not have heard.


Besides creating you, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”[1] That’s the opening verse of the Bible—Genesis 1:1.


That sentence is where the debate begins, but it’s nothing new. Atheists and agnostics argue extensively on this subject. Yet, they can’t prove God is not there. Neither, however, have Christians proved without a shadow of doubt God is the Creator and interested in humankind.


Because we can’t prove how we got here, atheism takes faith, as much or more faith than it takes to believe in a loving God. To be an atheist, man must be­lieve the eyes he sees with and everything he sees and even things he can’t see just happened, including the origin of matter, life and the exact mixture in the air we breathe: nitrogen, oxygen, water, argon, carbon dioxide and trace gases.


IMAGINE HOW YOU GOT HERE


Now, some Christians do believe in evolution—but with God starting the process. But those who believe in God don’t believe the universe or the magnificent human body happened by itself.

Most secular professors and teachers will not hesitate to tell you what to believe and not believe about your origins, but even scientists disagree.


One of the most interesting debates on evolution occurred in October 1980, when 150 scientists met in Chicago and began openly bickering among themselves, thundering forth conflicting theories.

Some scientists at this conference promulgated the “big bang theory.[2] This theory, obviously not the TV show, contends that instead of millions of leisurely evolution­ary years, the world began all at once, Bang!, in a great galactic explosion of atoms and enzymes.


Darwin’s theory also came under attack from scientists—because missing links are still missing after more than a century since Darwin.


“Fossil hunters have not found the fossils needed to explain the glar­ing differences between major species,” Associated Press newspaper columnist Hugh A. Mulligan reported. “In the whole cycle of environmental selection, with all the genes and embryos playing splitsville according to the evolutionary plan, no six-legged vertebrate has yet walked forth upon the earth.”


Science has pro­vided few or none of the examples of one major species shading gradually into another.


Fossil experts, not clergymen, are Darwin’s most formidable opponents, according to Phillip E. Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial.[3] Although Darwin’s theory revolved around survival of the fittest, paleontologists often disagree with Darwin because appearance of an improved form implies a disadvantage of its parent form. Many supposed parent forms still survive, and the missing links just aren’t there, even though they’ve been searched for since 1859, when Darwin wrote Origin of the Species.


“There always will be missing links if we think in terms of link between all change,” a university anthropologist argued when I interviewed him. He said changes in Darwin’s theory have occurred, the most recent the theory of “punctuated equilibrium,” which he explained relates to the time taken for one species to shade into another.


“A form which had been a small variant, might have great rapid growth,” he said.

He used the doubling of chromosomes in some species as an example of radical change in a short period.


On the other hand, he admitted such doubling could be caused by the environment and also that most mutations are undesirable rather than desirable.


He used a fruit fly as an example of a species with a short life span where such changes in chromosomes could be observed. But he admitted the insect still was a fruit fly.


“It is very difficult for an average scientist to test evolution,” he said. “Our lives are too short and the research too specialized. The theory is the result of collective effort.”

What did he have when he observed changes in the species? The same species.

-- More from Imagine the Future You will be posted in the days ahead. 



[1] Genesis 1:1
[2] Charles Percival, Pueblo Chieftain, Aug. 9, 1992, page 6B.
[3] Darwin on Trial (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 45.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Tame Your Anger






                                                By Ada Nicholson Brownell



A crying infant suddenly is grasped by the ankles and hurled against the wall.  A teen-ager kills his parents, then marches into a school and shoots several students and a teacher.  A mother walks out on the most important thing in her life—her family.

Angry people are said to be mad.  Perhaps that’s appropriate, because anger sometimes causes people to act insane.

Anger can consume your happiness, rob your joy, affect your health, end relationships, mangle your faith and may even lead to murder.

When I was a child, I’d get so angry with my older brother’s teasing I’d start swinging at him. I was a scrawny freckled-faced redhead and two years younger, so no wonder he laughed hysterically as he held me at arm’s length with his hand on my forehead while I swung into the air.

After I married and had five children, I grew weary of going to bed feeling guilty about my angry outbursts that day.  I asked forgiveness from God, my husband and my children.  About that time I read Henry Drummond’s book, “The Greatest Thing in the World.”[1] In his comment on” love is not easily provoked” (1 Corinthians 13:5), he says, “No form of vice, not worldliness, not greed of gold, not drunkenness itself, does more to unchristianize society than evil temper.  For embittering life, for breaking up communities, for destroying the most sacred relationships, for devastating homes, for withering up men and women, for taking the bloom of childhood, in short, for sheer gratuitous misery-producing power this influence stands alone.

Here are 10 ways to help control inappropriate responses to anger compiled from my experience, research and an interview with the late Derrald Vaughn, Ph.D., a psychologist, educator and former pastor:

1.     Realize anger is one of the emotions God gave you and is not a sin in itself.

“We all have anger,” said Vaughn, “but most of us don’t lose control.”

If you have something to be upset about, you can communicate it and probably should before the problem gets worse. Vaughn noted. For instance, this helps spouses with serious problems get into counseling and usually at least one of them will be helped.

2.     Acknowledge that being hot-blooded, a redhead or someone who needs to vent feelings are not plausible excuses for out-of-control outbursts.

3.     Realize actions are controlled by the will, so you can decide to control anger’s behavior. You can stop and pray for help. Sometimes anger should be vented to God alone. Or you can write a letter and destroy it.  You can take anger out by doing housework or washing the car.

4.     Decide what is important to be angry about.  Don’t bother with spilled milk, scratched furniture, dented cars or money. With children get upset when they rebel, disobey, lie or break any other of the Ten Commandments. Get riled when a child does things that will hurt him or someone else  To find appropriate places for anger, study the Bible and pray for wisdom.

5.     Use anger constructively, but accept what can’t be changed. We must not take matters into our own hands, however. “Bombing an abortion clinic is inappropriate use of anger because it breaks the same commandment abortionists are breaking, Vaughn said. “It is not righteous indignation.”

Anger at Satan’s work should take us to our knees to intercede for family, friends, neighbors and nations; cause us to volunteer to teach Christian education, visit the sick, love the broken, feed the hungry; vote and speak out on moral matters.

6.     Humble yourself and listen to other people.  Much anger is caused by pride—you are always right, you know better than anyone.

7.     Ask forgiveness from those offended by your angry outbursts.

“Sometimes we use anger inappropriately because we are rewarded for it temporarily,” Vaughn said. “However, it doesn’t solve problems in the long run.  When we ask forgiveness, that’s punishment and becomes a deterrent.

8.     Forgive those who cause anger.

9.     Avoid substances that unleash anger and investigate other causes.

Alcohol affects inhibitory pathways in the brain, sometimes causing angry outbursts, violence and even murder. Research has found drinking intoxicating beverages is the number one predictor of physical and sexual abuse.

Grief also could be involved because anger is a stage of the grieving process for any loss.

10. Cultivate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 6:22-23). When you’re filled with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, there’s little room for inappropriate anger.



SIDEBAR: What the Bible Says About Anger

·       “A soft answer turns away wrath; but grievous words sir up anger” (Proverbs 15:11).

·       “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;;  for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God (James 1:19,20).

·       “Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice, and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:26-31-32).

·       “He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

·       “Anger resteth in the  bosom of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7-9).

·       “Provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

·       “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

The Pentecostal Evangel April 11, 1999

Reprinted in the Book, 50 Tough Questions, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, MO 65802, 2002.











[1] Westwood, New Jersey, Fleming H. Revell Co.

Monday, January 23, 2017

WHY WHISPER?



By Ada Brownell

We whisper for different reasons.
For instance, whispers can be romantic. Here a quote from my historical romance, Peach Blossom Rancher:

The next morning at the railroad station John disregarded Valerie’s black mourning dress, pulled her close and pressed his ready lips to her lightly painted ones. She blinked, and her eyes opened with surprise. Yet elegance radiated from her whole body.

“We didn’t have much time together,” he whispered near a small ear that held a diamond earring. A pleasing fragrance filled his nostrils. “I don’t want you to forget me when you get to Boston.
A whisper can also keep the wrong people from hearing what you say. This conversation occurs in an asylum for the insane in the same book.

Dillon, a physician committed because of one seizure, introduced them to Jimmy Cook, a former teacher paralyzed from the waist down, admitted only because of the paralysis.

A short distance from the other patients, Dillon told about Curly Hicks who had a thought disorder  and Bobby Ward, who tried to kill his stepfather.

Archibald grasped Dillon’s shoulder. “Is there any way you can contact me?”

Dillon bent toward his ear, but Valerie could hear. “There is one really nice guard. I think he might mail a letter for me.”

“We anticipated that.” Archibald slid paper, two envelopes, and stamps from underneath his shirt.

Valerie turned her back, reached into her bosom, and brought out two pencils and handed them to Dillon. “Be careful,” she whispered. “The wrong person could use these as a weapon.”

The Bible talks about whisperers, who cause harm. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 47:1 “All who hate me whisper together against me; Against me they devise my hurt.”
 Some of us whisper when we pray. Here’s another example from Peach Blossom Rancher.

Abe prayed a powerful prayer for each person around the table, and goose bumps raised over John as he whispered his own prayer before lifting his head. Tears pooled in Bellea’s eyes but didn’t spill onto her cheeks.

Another quote: The sheriff’s voice sounded like he’d been eating sauerkraut. He stared at John. “I’ll wait until after Doc examines him and talk to a few people, but if I don’t get some answers, I’ll have to put you in jail.”
“Jesus, help me,” John whispered. With all he had to do on the ranch, he didn’t have time to sit in jail and wait for an incompetent sheriff to decide how B.J. died.

Many times I’ve sent a heavenward prayer in a whisper.
“God carries a big stick, doesn’t he Ada?” a co-worker asked me in the midst of a debate I wasn’t even a part of. What could I say? I knew everyone in the newsroom could hear my answer.

“Help, Lord!” I whispered.
Immediately I said, “I don’t know how we can look at cross and say that.”

Another time a young friend came to see me and told me her widowed dad had remarried.

 “I hate her!” she said. “He does all sorts of nice things for her he never did for my mom.”

I didn’t want to encourage such feelings. “Help me, Lord,” I barely breathed.
Immediately I had the answer. “Your dad gives her those good things because he wishes he’d done them for you mother,”

The girl and the stepmother developed a loving relationship after that.

God even whispers.

Elijah ran for his life when Jezebel wanted to kill him. Thinking he was the only prophet left, he hid in a cave. When God first tried to get Elijah’s attention the Lord commanded, “Go out, and stand on the mountain.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind, an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

Elijah heard it, wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. God said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:11-13 KJ)

That experience set Elijah’s feet back on the right path doing things for God.

Solomon wrote, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

###

Thursday, January 19, 2017

10 Ways to Handle Anger


           
By Ada Brownell


A crying infant suddenly is grasped by the ankles and hurled against the wall. A teenager kills his parents, then marches into a school and shoots several students and a teacher. A mother walks out on the most important thing in her life—her family.

Angry people are said to be mad. Perhaps that’s appropriate, because anger sometimes causes people to act insane.

Anger can consume your happiness, rob your job, affect your health, end relationships, mangle your faith, and may even lead to murcer.

When I was a child, I’d get so angry at my older brother’s teasing I’d start swinging at him.  I was a scrawny freckle-faced redhead and two years younger, so no wonder he laughed hysterically as he held me at arm’s length with his hand on my forehead while I swung into the air.

After I married and had five children, I grew weary of going to bed feeling guilty about my angry outbursts the day.  I asked forgiveness from God, my husband and my children.
About that time I read Henry Drummond’s book, The greatest Thing in the World. In his comment on love “is not easily provoked” (2 Corinthians 13:5), he says, “No form of vice, not worldliness, not greed of gold, not drunkenness itself, does more to unchristianize society than evil temper. For embittering life, for breaking up communities, for destroying the most sacred relationships, for devastating homes, for withering up men and women, for taking the bloom of childhood, in short, for sheer gratuitous misery producing power this influence stands alone.”

Here are 10 ways to help control inappropriate responses to anger, compiled from my experience, research, and interview with the late Derrald Vaughn, Ph.D, a former psychologist and professor at Bethany College of the Assemblies of God in Scotts Valley, California.

1.     Realize anger is one of the emotions God gave you and is not a sin in itself. We all have anger, but most of us don’t lose control.  If you have something to be upset about, you can communicate it and probably should before the problem gets worse. For instance, this helps spouses with serious problems get into counseling (and usually at least one of them will be helped).

2.     Acknowledge that being hot-blooded, a redhead, or someone who needs to vent feelings are not plausible excuses for out-of-control outbursts.

3.     Realize actions are controlled by the will, so you can decide to control anger’s behavior. You can stop and pray for help.  Sometimes anger should be vented to
God alone. Or you can write a letter and destroy it.  You can take anger out by doing housework or washing the car.

4.     Decide what is important to be angry about. Don’t bother with spilled milk, scratched furniture, dented cars or money. With children, get upset with rebellion, disobedience, lying, breaking other of The Ten Commandments, or things that will hurt the child or someone else. To find appropriate places for anger, study the Bible and pray for wisdom.

5.     Use anger constructively, but accept what can’t be changed. We must not take matters into our own hands, however, Bombing an abortion clinic is inappropriate use of anger because it breaks the same commandment abortionists are breaking.  It is not righteous indignation.

Anger at Satan’s work should take us to our knees to intercede for family, friends, neighbors and nations; cause us to volunteer to teach Sunday school, visit the sick, love the broken, feed the hungry: vote and speak out on moral matters.

6.     Humble yourself and listen to other people. Much anger is caused by pride—you are always right--you think you know better than anyone.

7.     Ask forgiveness from those offended by your angry outbursts. Sometimes we use anger inappropriately because we are rewarded for it temporarily.  However, it doesn’t solve problems in the long run.  When we ask forgiveness, that’s punishment and becomes a deterrent.

8.     Forgive those that cause anger.

9.    Avoid substances that unleash anger.  Also investigate other causes.  Alcohol affects inhibitory pathways in the brain, sometimes causing angry outbursts, violence and even murder. Research has found drinking is the No.1 predictor of physical and sexual abuse. Grief also could be involved because anger is a state in the grieving process for any loss.

10.  Cultivate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). When you’re filled with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, there’s little room for inappropriate use of anger.

I'm not perfect, but when I decided I would no longer be ruled by anger, our house became a home filled with peace and laughter.








Monday, January 16, 2017


THE POWER OF GRACE
By Jennifer Slattery

For years I fought God’s call, for one reason—I knew it’d lead to self-exposure. I feared someone from my less-than-glamorous past would see one of my books, happen upon my blog or an online interview, and tell the world I was a sham. I worried word would get out that this smiling, verse-spouting Christian was once a hopeless, homeless, bitter teenager.
But God was relentless, and over the years, He tugged and tugged and tugged on my heart, I realized He was calling me to something much scarier—transparency. And as I began to obey, I began to view my story, and my past, differently—as a testimony to God’s power and love. I began to see the beauty of His grace, displayed through my story.
Why did Jesus come to earth as a helpless babe, born to unknown peasants?
Why did the angels announce His birth to smelly, rough shepherds?
Why did God choose a homeless teen to write about His love and grace and the transforming power of His resurrection?
To show everyone—from the “best” to the “worst”—that His grace is meant for all.
I first learned of Christ through a lady named Dorothy, a woman who lived in a tiny, humble mobile home who opened her house to a bunch of hyper, poor, antsy kids. I don’t remember much—how often we came or what she said. But I remember she gave us popcorn and that she told me about a God who loved me so much, He died for me.
That truth penetrated so deeply, I grabbed hold of it with my entire, young being.
And then we moved. And moved again. Far from Dorothy, who never saw the fruit of her labor.
But God didn’t let that emerging flame die. Somehow, we always lived near very strong Christians. These believers invited me into their homes where they loved on me and demonstrated grace in action.
During my teen years, I began to self-destruct. eventually, I ended up on my own, crashing wherever I could with my belongings jammed in a plastic garbage bag. Soon, I lost hope for better and fell into survival mode. But although I gave up on myself, God never did. He never left me, never stopped pursuing me. And when I hit rock bottom, I fell smack into the palm of His hands.
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me” (Isaiah 49:16, NIV).
For the next decade, God gently, consistently, patiently showed me His love, and in doing so, showed me I was lovable. He showed me I had value. He gave me, in my hopeless state, hope and a purpose.
He hasn’t let me go since.
MEET JENNIFER

Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, (http://whollyloved.com) she and her team put on events at partnering churches designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. She writes devotions for Internet CafĂ© Devotions, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and edits for Firefy, a Southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte



Restoring Love:

Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. She's almost his worst nightmare, and she s also working on restoring something herself. As he struggles to keep his business afloat and she works to overcome mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends soon discover they have something unexpected in common, a young mom who is fighting to give her children a better life after her husband's incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other. Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption along with true love?



Buy it on:

Christian Book Distributors: http://www.christianbook.com/restoring-love-jennifer-slattery/9781625915139/pd/915132?event=ESRCN



Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/restoring-love-jennifer-slattery/1124423437?ean=9781625915139



Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Restoring-Love-Contemporary-Jennifer-Slattery/dp/1625915136



Connect with Jennifer

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte

Twitter: @Jenslattery

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jenslatte/

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

 WILLYOU BE THE POTTER’S MASTERPIECE OR A GARBAGE CAN?


By Ada Brownell

“O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand” (Jeremiah 18:6).

      If you don’t die young and Jesus doesn’t come back during your lifetime, you’ll probably spend about 75 percent of your life as an adult.

The decisions you make in youth help to form your adult character and mold your personality (and even your body) in ways that are difficult to change. The real “You” peels off the mask when you become an adult and who you are is revealed.
          People who do great things often look back in awe, because when they were young they had no idea how God would use them. On the other hand, I’ve met people who don’t like who they became. One old man told me he wished he could live his life over—as somebody else.

Many people assume they became the person they are because of their parents and other outside influences. Sure, what happens to us and around us affects our lives, but it is how we react to our environment that determines what kind of person we become.
          Your environment affects who you are as much as the genes that held the pattern for your nose and ears. Often environment determines whether or not you use foul language. If family, friends, and your entertainment speak filth, those words pop into your mind. But that doesn’t mean you have to say those words.

If you have been abused, that could affect the kind of person you are and might help determine what kind of parent you become. It’s a generational thing, where the sins of parents are visited into the third and fourth generation. 
 But children who have been abused are successful people, successful Christians, and good parents who don’t abuse their kids. If you know someone in your home has had sex outside of marriage, that knowledge could affect your behavior when you date. Yet, young people whose relatives committed sexual sins can go into marriage as virgins and remain faithful to their spouses for life.
It is not easy. It’s a matter of the will.
Your “will” is an integral part of who you are. Many theologians define the “soul” as the “mind, will, and emotions.” You also have a “spirit” and a “body.”
Understanding the will is simple. It’s the part of you that says, “I will do something” or “I won’t.”
But we can never be good enough to go to heaven in ourselves. That’s why Jesus came. The Bible says, “It’s not by works of righteousness we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5). Because of His mercy, Jesus bled out so sinners could be clean and live forever (John 3:16).
Yes, we were formed with some of the same gene clay that runs through our heredity, but we can become a masterpiece or a garbage receptacle. If we allow just anything in life to influence us, we’ll probably end up a trash can. But if we submit our lives to the master potter, the Heavenly Father, He will mold and shape us into something beautiful.

Adapted from Ada Brownell’s book, Imagine the Future You, copyright 2014. Links: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1489558284 Also available in audio ITunes  http://ow.ly/TY6uO


Friday, January 6, 2017

THE POWER IN YOUR MIND




BY ADA BROWNELL 

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Have you thought about the type of things you’ve downloaded into your brain in recent years? Whether you know it or not some of it can damage your life and your future. You need a guard over your heart and mind.

Ungodly things we assimilate into our brains (even alcohol or an illegal drug) can do things to our brains we can’t fathom.

Could be like what happened to Jones, my sister Clara’s Chihuahua, a little darling dog who did tricks for Clara’s husband, Blackie. They would put glassless eyeglasses on Jonesy, as we called him, and he’d sit up, take his front paws, and act as if he were reading a newspaper. He’d play dead when Blackie pointed his finger and yelled, “Bang!”

Jonesy did all kinds of tricks and received his hamburgers “made to order” and a human-style cookie for dessert, not doggie treats.

But one day he coughed, sneezed, and gagged all through the night. He wouldn’t eat, and he continued coughing, sneezing, and gagging for several days.

My sis thought Jones was dying, and she couldn’t bear putting him to sleep. Her son was fighting a war, and he was attached to the dog, too.

“We can’t let Jonesy die!” she said.

After about a week of the dog not eating, Jonesy gagged and Clara noticed something in the back of his throat. A long blade of grass hung through his nose and down into the back of his throat and tongue. She reached in and pulled the grass out. Jonesy immediately got a drink of water and started eating and lived for several years after that.

Sometimes a tiny amount of filth or ungodliness can give us great grief.

If we are forced to read ungodly material, we can pray as we read for God’s protection against our minds, but we can go even further. We can go to the teacher or person in charge and say the book offends us and ask for a substitute. Teachers usually provide something else, especially if you come with a respectful attitude and your grades show you’re not just trying to get out of something.

I obtained a substitute book in college when Hugh Hefner’s biography was required reading. I didn’t want that stuff in my head. When I overheard another student say of the biography of the Playboy empire owner and founder, “That’s really a raunchy book!” I knew it wasn’t for me.

Humankind’s wickedness often can be traced to the mind. Broken homes; murder; theft; assault; abuse; rebellion; disobedience to parents, the law and God; disrespect for the church; a lying tongue; adultery and other sexual sins.

On the other hand, great deeds also can be traced to the way think, and most great things come to us because of our love of God and others, which begins in the mind.

Think good thoughts in 2017 and one way to do that is to spend time on your knees, in God’s Word and house, and with Christian friends.

 PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me guard my heart and mind and fill me with wonderful ideas, new understanding of your Word, and knowledge of how to touch other people lives with positive things. Thank you, Lord. AMEN.




Monday, January 2, 2017

Invest in Mental Wealth in 2017


ada@adabrownell.com                                                                                                           586 Words

                          

By Ada Brownell

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
You came into this life “empty-headed.”

When we were kids, my brother used to tell me he could look into one of my ears and see out the other. Then I had an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of my brain so I could do a firsthand story on the latest technology.
I started the newspaper article with “My brother was wrong. There is something in there.”

New brains have no information downloaded by humankind, but fantastic stored data governs neurological systems, senses, and instincts even in the womb. What God “programmed” into our brains commanded arms, legs, fingers, toes, and so forth to move even before birth. Instincts God installed in our DNA prompted us to suck, swallow, cry, hunger, and caused other parts of the body to function. Even before birth a baby can hear and recognize Mama’s voice.
Babies cry for love, care, and being cuddled, and they won’t thrive without these things.
They learn to coordinate movements and reach for things. Nevertheless, they need outside stimuli to use the potential from the brain. Children who are given no attention often don’t learn to sit, walk, or talk.

We learned our language skills by imitating. If the parents speak Chinese, the child will learn Chinese. Children communicate in whatever language is spoken in the home.
They imitate what they see and hear. Adults copy other people in some degree, too. We imitate experts on everything from sports to the way we dress, to cooking, to playing or singing music, and sometimes even how we decide what to believe.

Your head is not empty now. You learned by experience and from other people. That’s the only way we assimilate knowledge.
After we learn something, we usually can recall it spontaneously. We ride a bike without thinking about how we balance. We type, text, cook, clean, repair cars, and program computers. We balance checkbooks, do income tax, use math to buy and sell, and make chemical formulas to create medicines that save people’s lives or to invent guns, bombs, and rockets to kill them. You can store billions of information blocks in your memory.

Everything you put into your mind changes you. I am choosy about what goes into my brain. I am careful about what I read, what I watch on television, and what I do with my time. I pray for God’s wisdom and knowledge and actively reject smut, vulgar language, gossip, backbiting, and try to steer away from wrong attitudes.
We can put great downloads in our heads: God’s Word, good music, good information, a willingness to learn, work, love, help, and to make heaven our home.

If we use knowledge of good things, our character and integrity grow. Our will becomes stronger. It’s like seeing a growing baby every day. He looks the same if we see him often, but if we wait six months or a year, we see a big difference! You and others will see a change in you when you put positive things you learn into action.
When we make good decisions, our potential for doing great things increases.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I give you my mind and my will. Pour your Spirit and your power into my life, and plant your Word into my heart. May it bear fruit in me.  Amen.

Copyright 2017 Ada Brownell