Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The historical freedom heritage of the United States

By Ada Brownell

Excerpted from her book, God in American History

An express rider on a galloping horse brought the news of the American Revolutionary War’s Battle of Lexington in Philadelphia on April 24, 1775.

            The rope of the huge bell in the State House was yanked and the dongggggg,

donggggg, dongggg, dongggg, dongggg entered every shop, crossed the greening fields to farmers behind horses and a plow, inside to kitchens where women were baking bread and feeding children.

            Each person dropped his work and ran into town where the bell was still ringing when they arrived in the Yard below the State House.  Eight thousand of them came.[1]

            In those days, there were no television news programs. Although there were newspapers, it was hours before news in print could get to the people. The bell told them something important was happening at that moment.

            There in the State House Yard that day, all 8,000 people called by the bell pledged themselves to defend their lives, their property and their liberty against all attempts by the British to take them away.

            Although cracked the first time it was rung -- broken by a stroke of its own tongue, or clapper -- and recast, and still cracked and repaired, the Liberty Bell has a great history.

            The bell called people to talk about taxes imposed on them by the British.  It called out the good news when the Stamp Act, a form of taxes, was repealed.  But more taxes came, such as a tax on imported tea.  The people wanted freedom from England. They boycotted, which means they refused to buy imported products, and eventually they had the famous “Boston Tea Party” where they dumped imported tea with tax on in into Boston Harbor.

            The Liberty Bell called people together for such things as unfurling of the first national flag.

            The bell donggged and donggged at high noon on Monday July 8, 1776, when the first Independence Day celebration began.  People believed its glorious music was proclaiming liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants. Other bells joined in harmony, and some writers say the ground shook with the noise and there was no silent place at all in Philadelphia that day.  But suddenly the metal stopped ringing and people stood silent as the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

            Yet, the British wanted to capture Philadelphia and take away people’s freedom. People continued to worship God in the way they wished. “Quakers” populated much of Philadelphia, a religious denomination known today as the Religious Society of Friends. They were nicknamed Quakers because of a saying by George Fox, “Tremble at the Word of the Lord,” or from their habit of shaking with emotion during their worship to God.[2]

            The Quakers met with violent persecution by the Church of England before they immigrated to America.  Many were put in prison. In 1656, there were seldom less than 1,000 Quakers in prison. Children continued the meetings when all the adults were locked up.

            In the New England the Quakers still met with persecution.  Some were put in prison or flogged and driven out of town.  Four were hanged, including a woman, Mary Dyer.

            So people, even in America, needed people to hear the bell’s message, “Proclaim Liberty throughout the Land, to all the inhabitants thereof.”

            The new country was at war with the British, known as the “Redcoats.”

            One day the people realized if the British took control of the Liberty Bell, it would be melted and made into bullets. So the bell -- and all bells in public buildings and churches -- were taken down and hidden.

            The Liberty Bell --- then called the Independence Bell -- was moved to Allentown, where it was tucked away under the floor of Zion Reformed Church.

            But there was no battle in Philadelphia. By autumn, the bell was back. But it announced no celebrations until Oct. 24, 1881 when it was yanked and yanked to announce the surrender of Cornwallis and the end of the Revolutionary War.

            The records says, “The bell was rung at 12 o’clock this day to announce to the people the surrender of Cornwallis to the Confederate arms of the United States and France -- a day of the most intense interest, joy and rejoicing of the people.  The standard of the state was hoisted to the peak of the belfry over the State House.  Four pieces of artillery responded to the pealing of the Bell and all the city bells answered.[3]

            At last there was a formal proclamation of peace and the War of Independence ended in 1783. The bell at last could ring and announce freedom was accomplished.

            The bell was rung at the opening session of the federal convention in 1783, and the ratification of the Constitution of the United States.     

            It rang at George Washington’s birthday party, and cracked again, even after being repaired.

            Because of the role it played, the Liberty Bell became the symbol of freedom.

            But the words on it, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10) weren’t accepted by everyone.

            Even some of the early settlers of this country were not ready to hear that message. As one author said, “All right to quote the Bible, but to act accordingly would be a most disquieting idea.”[4]

            Today, men and women still try to limit our freedom, even freedom of worship.

            It is up to me and you to proclaim liberty throughout the land today, because the Liberty Bell is silent.  It is on display now at Independence Hall in Washington, D.C.

Tour guides will tell you the bell’s story, but its message now needs tongues of flesh.

            We now must ring the news of liberty across the land, and use that liberty to tell others they can live forever if they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the greatest news anyone can hear.

   Copyright Ada Brownell 2016        

[1]Old Liberty Bell, by Frances Rogers and Alice Beard, J.B. Lippincott Company, New York, 1942.
[2]Encyclopedia Americana
[3]Old Liberty Bell
[4]Old Liberty Bell, page 24.

Friday, June 24, 2016


Since I'm involved in things related to the release of my new book, Peach Blossom Rancher, I'm rerunning this article which appeared in The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado and a similar article in The Springfield News-Leader in Missouri. 

By Ada Brownell

Perhaps this writing is banned because it speaks of love, adultery, theft, murder, tall tales and cursing. It has been the subject of many court cases.

Yet, the words are wrapped in shalts and thou shalt nots. They are The Ten Commandments.

I wonder why people hate them so much. They blame separation of church and state, which isn't in the Constitution. The First Amendment says Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and it doesn't mention state or church. "Church" would single out Christians.

Beyond the Constitution, there a deeper reason the document is hated. Our society is on a feeding frenzy of all things sinful. It's entertainment and some lives revolve around the prohibited attitudes and activities.

Lying and cheating is common.  Too many practice adultery, which is interpreted as any sexual activity outside of marriage. Thieves and murderers come out of unexpected places. Americans have killed approximately 55 million unborn children.

No wonder a percentage of our society doesn't want to hear or see "Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal.

Hearing the commandments triggers guilt. So ban the document.

The first four of The Ten Commandments have to do with loving and respecting God; the last six surround loving others. Breaking one hurts us or someone else.

All kinds of benefits are available for loving God, among them eternal life. We profit from not being stupid enough to worship an idol. The reason we shouldn’t use the Lord’s name frivolously, but show respect, is because it is a powerful name, especially in prayer. The Bible says demons tremble at the sound of it (James 2:19).

"Honor thy father and thy mother" is the only commandment with promise: That we might live long on the earth.

We're told when we break one commandment we are guilty of all” (James 2:10). If we don't “love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul and mind and our neighbor as ourselves,” as Jesus said (Matthew 22:37), we often end up crashing into them all.
The commandments are great guidelines to live by, and the reason laws were based on them.


  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 
  5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8.   Thou shalt not steal.
9.   Thou shalt not bear false witness.
10. Thou shalt not covet.
--- Found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5

Ada Brownell's Amazpm Author Page:

Ada Brownell is a free lance writer and retired newspaper reporter. Her latest book is Imagine the Future You, a teen motivational Bible study. Her blog:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


My great-grandson, Stone

Here are seven things I hope after I’m gone my children and grandchildren will remember learning at my feet or hearing about.

1. Accept Jesus as Savior and follow God's Word. Those two things are the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

2. Guard your mind. Put good things into your head, and refuse to open your brain to propaganda, lies, lustful movies, filthy conversations, etc.,. Resist exposing yourself to evil—and realize once planted into your brain you might never forget filth. Plant God’s Word into your mind, and scriptures will also stay with you—possibly all your life—encouraging, blessing you and increasing your faith..

3. Love God and others, especially those in your family and in the household of faith. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.

4. Choose your friends wisely.

5. Develop your talents, and do and look and be your best.

6. Establish goals and work willing with your hands. When you see a need or something that needs to be done, do it now. Don't wait until tomorrow.

7. Have fun, good friends, laugh often, enjoy your life seeking for the fruits of the spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness, self control—and always be ready for the return of Jesus Christ with your sins forgiven and under His blood.

LAST, a word from my mother for her grandchildren: "Only one life, 'twill soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last.

5. Develop your talents, and do and look and be your best.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Light and Momentary Troubles? Seriously?
By Kelly Irvin

“God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.”

It’s nice to think that, right? Feels good to know God’s got this. However, it’s a nice saying that is not exactly scripturally based. This was one of the points brought out in a blog I read this morning listing ten things Christians say that are not biblically based. The author makes the point, what about Christian martyrs, for instance? What about all the folks who die of disease every day even though they prayed to be spared? What about the parents who lose children they desperately want or the would-be parents who desperately want children and never conceive their own?

Scripture says God will walk through our travails with us. He’ll take our right hand and lead us. (Isaiah 41:13) (Psalm 73:23)

But Scripture also says we will have trouble in this world. I spend a lot of time thinking about this fact these days. I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer (notice how I capitalize it like it’s a formal noun. A formidable noun) in January after a diagnosis of primary lateral sclerosis (with symptoms like Lou Gehrig’s disease but generally not considered fatal) in November following spinal fusion surgery the previous year for severe scoliosis that caused nerve damage and affected the way I walk. I prayed and prayed to have the first thorn in my side removed. It didn’t happen. In fact, my physical woes grew in severity until they reached critical mass with a life threatening, Stage 4 disease.

God brings you to it, but does He bring you through it?

What he gives us is life eternal, bought and paid for by his only son. We live in a broken world, broken by our own sin and inability to see what is right in front of us. God’s love and his forgiveness and his grace. His willingness to forgive us over and over again, no matter how many times we stumble.

For now, I suffer with all my anxiety and my fear and my weakness. Because I want to be cured, I want to walk freely. I want to see my grandkids grow up. I want what I want. I’ve been blessed with effective chemotherapy and surgery provided by a fabulous medical team. My doctor says the disease can be managed and treated, but not cured. I want it cured so I can get on with my hopefully long, long life. Statistics say it’s not likely. And if I do live for years, I’ll like be in a wheelchair with limited use of my arms, difficulty speaking, and eventually difficulty eating without choking. A bleak future I try hard not to dwell on and one my husband still denies is within the realm of possibility. But here’s what God tell us:

“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

If, like me, you’re facing a debilitating degenerative disease or a disease that threatens your very life, take heart. These are light and momentary troubles that achieve for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all.  “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Seek peace and joy now. Don’t borrow tomorrow’s troubles and spoil today. Live in God’s world today and leave tomorrow to Him. Easier said than done, I know, but it beats being miserable. I know!

Peace and Joy

Write to me at I love hearing from readers.

Kelly Irvin – Biography

Kelly Irvin is the author of The Saddle Maker’s Son, the third novel in the Amish of Bee County series from Zondervan/HarperCollins. It follows The Beekeeper’s Son, which received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, calling it “a delicately woven masterpiece.” She is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest Housing. She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.

A former newspaper reporter and public relations professional, Kelly is married to photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to read books by her favorite authors.

Rebekah Lantz feels betrayed and abandoned. Tobias Byler is bound by regret. Can two young runaways from a world away teach them the healing power of a true family?
Rebekah isn’t like her sister Leila, but no one seems to believe that. Ever since Leila made a decision that has haunted her family and their small Amish community, Rebekah has been held to a higher standard under her mother’s watchful eye. Boys avoid her. She simply longs for the chance to be a wife and mother like the other girls.
 Tobias Byler only wants to escape feelings for a woman he knows he should never have allowed to get close to him. Moving with his family to isolated Bee County, Texas, seemed the best way to leave his mistakes behind. But even a move across the country can’t stop the past from accompanying his every thought.
A surprise encounter with two half-starved runaway children forces both Rebekah and Tobias to turn their focus on others far more desperate.
In doing so, they discover the key to forgetting the past may open the door to the love  and the future they both seek.

Kelly Irvin


Instagram: Kelly_Irvin

ACFW Carol Award finalist and ECPA best-selling author

The Saddle Maker’s Son

Available for pre-order now

Friday, June 3, 2016


By Ada Brownell

The release of a new book is emotional for authors, no matter how many they’ve written.
So, last week when the paperback copies of my motivational Bible study for youth, Imagine the Future You, arrived and a few days later the Kindle version was ready, I thought: Just in time for the women’s fall lunch and expo.
My Springfield vendor license purchased, a table reservation, a gift card to Christian Publishers Outlet for a door prize, and everything else was ready to present the new book and my three others.
I sold one book, but I learned a few things.
Book signings might become a thing of the past, like some brick-and-mortar bookstores. A few yards from the expo sat the former site of Radiant Books, a division of Gospel Publishing House, which published my first book. The building sits empty. Now to get anything from GPH, you order it from a catalog.

Most ladies read e-books. Some took information on Saturday so they could purchase my books online.
I needed to emphasize the Christmas gift angle, since two of my books are for youth.
Even if an author doesn’t sell books, it’s important to meet people and to build up your name. so all wasn’t wasted. Most older women in our denomination recognize my name because of a number of years I had a byline as often as once a month in The Pentecostal Evangel. The majority of young women never heard of me.
Perhaps the one gal who purchased the book desperately needed the message. Furthermore, she might pass it on. You never know how many other people can be reached by one book purchase or one person talking about your book.
The truth is, although I want the spiritual payload of my books to build faith in this generation, I made the last three books a priority because I wanted my children and grandchildren to have them.
Satan is working in America to use propaganda (spinning the truth into error) or brainwashing them with false teachings so our children and grandchildren will not believe in God. In addition, freedom of religion is being attacked, and immorality is supported. Whether my books sell or not, if what I teach and share strengthens their faith in Jesus, that’s all that counts.
Will they read the books? I know one author who has published more than 40 books and he told my writers group his children have never read any of them.
I know At least one grandchild read two of my books. I don’t know about the others, but any hard copy will probably be around a long time, so who knows when they might read them?
The Lord is still faithful even though disappointment dogged my steps when I packed up my books and things from the book signing and went home. As I prepared dinner, the sun slipped into bed and one star winked at me through the kitchen window. God still keeps the universe moving on schedule and His power is still available to me and you.

UPDATE: The above post was written to my critique group in November 2013. Since then, I’ve had two more books released, Facts, Faith and Propaganda; and The Lady Fugitive. The sequel to The Lady Fugitive, The Peach Blossom Rancher, should be out sometime in June 2016.
Also, my books still sell in a bookstore, and I’ve had five book signings since the disappointing one, and they were quite successful.

I’m not getting rich or living off my writing, but I steadily sell articles and receive small royalty checks from Amazon and The Lady Fugitive publisher.

Why do I write, investing time and money into what I do? Ministry. I believe all my books will help and encourage readers, often while giving them a good laugh and enjoyable entertainment.

 A marketing coach teaches to never be ashamed to tell others about your books if you know readers need what you’ve written.

Readers are why I write.

If you would like to view my books on my Amazon page