Saturday, February 25, 2012

What will you do with your talent?

John-Boy Walton wrote his novel, not quite confident in his skills. In yesterday's episode he told his professor he couldn't continue his work.
A fire he suspected he caused had gutted the upstairs of their home. With all the chaos, he couldn't write and he didn't expect to again.
The professor said something like "You can't stop now. There are millions of talented people in the world but they always are going to write the novel or do some great work tomorrow, but they never do. Only the few who decide to overcome rejection, disappointment, discouragement and lack of faith in their work and themselves succeed in using what God gave them."
The man advised John to quit struggling with the novel, relax and allow his heart to flow into the book. Instead of sitting on the side of a bed where he was a guest (because the family had nowhere to sleep), John-boy went out of a hillside and his character followed. John-boy began to write what he saw and felt and the story came to life again.
Every writer quits in his mind over and over, but those with grit and faith learn rejection need not be a mortal injury--it can teach us what to do better, or sometimes that one person may hate a manuscript while another will love it.
What am I doing with my talent? Writing and not being afraid to send it out into the world and see what "seed shall prosper, either this or that."
Solomon wrote, "In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that,
Or whether both alike will be good" (Ecclesiastes 11:6).

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kindle version of Swallowed by LIFE now available

The Kindle version of my book, Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, became available this week on Amazon.
The link to the Kindle version is
The link to the paperback version:
The book is especially valuable to those searching for faith, but also is important to mature Christians who have never thought much about the hope of eternal life since they accepted Jesus as their Savior. Yet, in many Christians there is a hidden insecurity about the end of earthly life. Some refuse to make plans for the future and although some are senior citizens, they will not view the body at a funeral.

None of us knows if our faith is secure if we don't examine it. The Apostle Paul wrote. "Examine yourselves whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves.

Swallowed by LIFE gives evidence for faith in the eternal because medical facts as well as the Bible show us we're more than a body. I talk some about being a reporter and how we gather facts, testimony and evidence, to relate to the public. Yet many people don't believe what is written and sometimes they believe things that are published or broadcast that aren't truth.

How do we know what is true?

The book talks about how societies have tried to determine truth historically and up to today. Yet, it takes a leap of faith to accept the evidence as true.

I think after reading Swallowed by LIFE your faith in God and the eternal will be strengthened and secure. But it does take a decision to believe. Each of us decides what we will believe, and we must do make the decision because everything about who we are, how we got here and where we are going is settled by faith.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The leading man weighs 300 pounds and the lady has a prosthetic

June Foster interview

Questions for June Foster

1.      In Give us this Day, you don’t follow the traditional formula for inspirational romance. Your leading man is morbidly obese and the lady is physically and perhaps emotionally handicapped. Did Desert Breeze nab the book the first time out?

I had to laugh. The editor-in-chief of Desert Breeze confessed when she first read my blurb about a romance between a three hundred pound man and a woman with a prosthetic, she doubted it would make a good romance. But as she read the chapters, she was hooked. She contracted me for the entire series. That is one thing I love about Desert Breeze. They strive to offer "different" as long as the quality is there. 
2.      Do you have a scripture verse or a moment when you knew God called you to be a writer?
Yes, after I retired from teaching, I discovered a story lurking in my head. In November, 2009, I happen to tell my daughter the story.  She told me I should write it. That was the spark I needed. I knew then that God wanted me to write for His glory.
3.      How does your calling fit with fiction?
I'm praying readers might identify with some of the characters and find hope for the problems in their lives as well.
4.      Do you aim to bring encouragement and inspiration to your readers, or does it happen as your characters come to a crisis and then faith takes them through?
The latter. I hope that when a reader indentifies with one of my characters, he/she may find the same hope and faith which takes my character to a point of healing.
5.      Could you give us an example from one of your books of a character’s faith in action?
Yes. Jess Colton in Give Us This Day believes he is a hopeless food addict. Through the help of Tim Garrett who becomes Jess' support and accountability partner, Jess confesses gluttony as sin and finds healing through his faith in God and His Word.
            The scene from the book where Jess is in the hospital after going into a diabetic coma: The nurse’s assistant brought another pitcher of water and two cups. Tim poured a cup for Jess and one for himself. “Here you go.” He set Jess’s cup on his bed table.
             Tim cleared his voice. “Tell me how I can help you.”
            “As you can see by my size, I’m obese. Shall I lay it out for you without sparing words?”
            Tim nodded maintaining a steady gaze.
            “I’m a glutton.” There. Jess stated the facts. Just by doing so, another piece of Jess’s broken life fit into place. He gave a deep sigh..
            “By saying it, you’ve taken the first step.”
Later: “I’ve prayed so many times to be free.”
             “Have you first confessed this as sin and admitted to God that you’re powerless over your addiction?”
            Jess blinked. “No, not like that.”
           “This is a spiritual problem. Have you claimed God’s power and appropriated it in your life?”
          Jess found no words for Tim. The magnitude of his emotions didn’t allow them. For the first time, he had true hope. He could be free.
         Tim grinned. “I can see you understand what I’m saying. Let’s pray.”
          “You got it.” Jess blinked back a tear he hoped Tim didn’t see.
        6.      Do you start a book knowing your characters, or do they jump to life on the page—even amazing you?
Again, the latter. I create a profile of my characters writing out their personality traits, their strengths and weaknesses. But after I begin writing my chapters, sometimes the characters tell me things I didn't know about them before.
7.      It’s been said that truth is stranger than fiction, but I’ve found good Christian fiction often helps readers discover truth. Do you agree?
Give Us This Day is my debut novel and I haven’t had feedback yet from readers. I agree that a writer can lead a reader to discover God's truth through the situations and lives of the characters.  
8.      Electronic books seem to be the way society is going. How long have you been reading on electronic devices?
I received a Kindle for my birthday in November and now my husband has one as well. Since we have limited space in our RV, they work well for us.
9.      Give us this Day is part of a series. Will these same characters appear in your other books?
Yes, Holly and Jess will appear in As We Forgive. Tim Garrett, Jess' mentor, is the hero.. Tim will be the spiritual influence in the life of the hero, ex-drug addict, Jared Simms in Deliver Us. The heroine of Deliver Us, a GYN doctor, makes a brief appearance in As We Forgive.
10.  Will having sequels to write affect your marketing for this novel?
        Yes, but probably more than that, my inexperience in this area will as well. I have to admit, marketing is my least favorite part about being a writer.
11.  What other things have you had published in the past? Did they prepare you to write this series?
I wrote two others before this series. I believe the experience of learning how to write as I penned my first two books undoubtedly help me in writing the Bellewood Series.
12.  You write full time. How long does it take to create a novel?
It depends on the length of the novel, but generally four months.
13.  Is there anything else you would like to share?
I'd like to thank you, Ada, for your wonderful and insightful questions. I appreciate you having me on your blog.
14.  Where can we purchase your books?
The book is available at the publishers – Desert Breeze Publishing Company as well as the following ebook outlets: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony Readerstore, Apple's ibookstore, All Romance ebooks, and Books on Board ibookstore.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


           Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed drug in the United States, according the National Center for Health Statistics. Often depression has a physical or chemical cause but as a medical journalist who has done many interviews about mental conditions, I learned that even clinical depression often is accompanied by something else going on in a person’s life. For some reason, many of them no longer feel they have hope.

Hope is an emotional state—the opposite of despair. Hope is desire for something, a looking forward with expectation. Hope is different from faith because faith is confidence in something or someone and that what we hope for will occur.

Hope starts with faith in God.

 The Bible tells us “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see….By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (Hebrews 11:1-2NIV).

It seems easy for me to believe God created the universe. It’s preposterous to think that matter just appeared by itself and formed the sun, moon, stars, the planets, and the earth all revolving around in exactly the right places every day and every season. It’s preposterous to  imagine the earth with gravity, the right amount of oxygen in the air, water, and all the sustenance we need without a designer. It’s preposterous to assume we appeared on earth with the seeing eyes, hearing ears, and all of the body’s miraculous systems without Someone who loves us behind it all.

Then toss in the beauty, love and joy that humans and even animals enjoy and you really have a mystery without belief in our Creator.

How could I doubt a loving God created it all and sent a Savior to erase sin’s stain on the earth? I can’t.

BUT, let a crisis arrive in my life and I sometimes need to search around the dark places inside me for the light that has been planted there by the Word of God.

For faith comes from the Word: “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17, amplified version). I have to grasp the Word and believe it.

We don’t necessarily need to be wanting or needing something to have faith or hope, however. Hope for those with faith is a state of being and contentment. Yet, even Christians sometimes feel hopeless and that should not be.

 “Even your Word agrees, ‘In this world we will have tribulation,’” I complained to the Lord one day, I suppose to justify the mullygrubs that had me by the heart.

Silent a moment, I felt the agony of depression. Then the remainder of Jesus’ words from that scripture came to mind. “But be of good cheer! I have overcome the world.”[1] Suddenly rapturous joy filled me. I was reminded my joyfulness doesn’t depend on circumstances or people.

What happened to your joy?”[2] Paul asked the Galatian church after they were led astray by false prophets who made them forget hope and faith.

Paul spoke of joy often, although much of his God-inspired writing was done from a prison cell. Over and over he tells the Philippians, “Rejoice!”.

In the same conversation Jesus had with his disciples about cheer, He told them and us to “Ask God for the impossible, and receive, that our joy might be full.”[3] He explained for a little while they wouldn’t see Him, because He was going to the Father. “You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”[4]

 Peter spoke of our faith in Jesus filling us with “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”[5] Joy sometimes came when the disciples and apostles faced seemingly impossible circumstances. Paul knew he probably would lay down his life for his faith, yet he wrote of joy.

Most amazing, Jesus for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.[6]

 In the letter Paul wrote to the Galatians asking about their joy, he listed joy among fruits that come from living for God in contrast to a life of sin. Most important, according to Jesus’ words in John 15, if we are to bear fruit such as unspeakable joy, we need to be rooted and grounded in Him and His Word. We also need to examine what we’ve been putting into our heads.

When my little branch is nourished by my Savior, joy pops out somewhere. Yet, faith doesn’t drop on you out of heaven and land at your feet like a peach from a tree.

Believing is a decision. Perhaps that’s why some call it taking “a leap of faith.” Are you ready to let go of your doubts, discouragement and jump?

[1] John 16:32-33
[2] Galatians 4:15
[3] John 16:24
[4] John 16:20
[5] 1 Peter 1:8
[6] Hebrews 12:1-3

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What does a head on a platter have to do with love?

My article, "Love is Dynamite," is a guest post today. See it at

Check it out!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my followers.
Ada Brownell

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The most romantic words ever spoken

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT if your parents arranged your marriage for you? That still happens in many foreign countries. Would you guys marry a bride whose face is covered with a veil and you won't know who she is until the ceremony is over and you lift the veil to kiss her? Many Chinese men experienced just that.
            In 1960, The Encyclopedia Americana says more than one half of the total female population of India married before 15 years of age, and sometimes while they were still infants. In the western provinces of India, a bride remained at home with her parents until she went through puberty. But in Bengal, girls commenced their married life at age nine.
          In some countries, a hopeful suitor would give a girl’s father a certain amount of money or goods like cattle or sheep for his daughter, and sometimes the bride bought a “dowry” of property to her bridegroom. The amount depended on the status and economic circumstances of the families involved.
          Historically at the engagement, the suitor often gave an ornament of some value, which signifies his pledge. That was the predecessor of the modern engagement ring.
        In Old Testament times, most marriages were arranged.
 Jacob met Rachel leading sheep and was so smitten with her he kissed her. Perhaps it was on the cheek. Who knows?
        Jacob stayed with Rachel’s father, Laban, a month, working for him like a ranch hand. Finally, Laban asked what Jacob expected to be paid, and Jacob told Laban he was in love with Rachel and he agreed to work seven years for her.
        Finally there was a wedding feast, and after the ceremony, Jacob discovered he had been given Rachel’s older sister, Leah, instead.  He protested, and Laban said he couldn’t give the younger daughter before the older girl married.
         Jacob worked another seven years to get Rachel.
        Abraham arranged the marriage for his son, Isaac, and a servant actually picked her out in the story related in Genesis 24. But the servant asked God to show him the right girl out of the dozens of women who came to a well to draw water.
          “Oh Lord, God of my master,” the servant prayed. “Give me success and show kindness to my master, Abraham. Help me to accomplish the purpose of my journey. See, here I am, standing beside this spring, and the young women of the village are coming to draw water. I will ask one of them for a drink. If she says, `Yes, certainly, and I will water your camels, too!’ Let her be the one you appointed as Isaac’s wife. By this, I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
         As he prayed, a beautiful young woman, Rebekah, arrived with a water jug on her shoulder. She went to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. Running over to her, the servant asked, “Please give me a drink.”
          “Certainly, Sir,” she said, and she quickly lowered the jug for him to drink. When he had finished, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough!”
         She emptied the jug into the watering trough and ran down to the well again. She kept carrying water until the camels’ intense thirst was quenched.
         The servant watched Rachel in silence. When the camels finished drinking, he gave her a gold ring for her nose and two large gold bracelets for her wrists.
             They soon got acquainted; the servant stayed with her family and told them about how his prayer was answered. But Isaac wasn’t even there.
             The father gave Rebekah to the servant, but only after Rebekah agreed to go.
             Isaac saw the servant coming home with someone and he went to meet them.
            When Rebekah saw Isaac coming, she dismounted, covered her face with a veil, and ran to him.
             Rebekah became Isaac’s wife and he loved her, the Bible says. She was a special comfort to him because his mother had just died.
            There is a reason arranged marriages work: falling in love is an act of the will.
Cupid doesn’t shoot you with an arrow like an Indian trying to keep wagon trains from killing all the buffalo and stealing their land. Love happens to you because of several circumstances.
1.       You are around the person of the opposite sex a lot (that’s called propinquity— what happens when you are near in time and space).
2. You desire someone in your life.
3. Your God-given instincts are telling you to create a family.
4. The person you see will build your ego. You think, Won’t everyone be surprised I have a boyfriend? Won’t everyone be impressed with how pretty she is or how handsome he is? Won’t everyone be impressed because of how popular he or she is? He’s so tall, he makes me feel so feminine; or she has such a great figure it makes me feel great to walk beside her. She or he treats me so nice it makes me feel so special.
5. Because you have decided to fall in love.
6. Because no one better is available.
7. Because you are lonely.
8. Because someone else thinks it’s a good idea.
9. Because you have similar interests, take time to know each other and allow the magic of love to happen.
10. Most important: Because God orders your footsteps and has a plan for your life.

Just as falling in love is a decision, we choose to remain in love. We choose to follow the Bible when it says "Don't let the sun go down on your wrath"  (Ephesians 4:26). Forgive. Forget the arguments. Agree to disagree about some things, but love in spite of it.

 Commit yourself to God and to each other as you vow to do before God in the marriage ceremony. Love and cherish in sickness, in health, in better times and worse times, forsaking all others, until death.

When those words are spoken in the marriage vows and lived--they are the most romantic lyrics ever to pass the human tongue.

©Feb. 6, 2012 Ada Brownell