Tuesday, July 30, 2019


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


Solomon, in his kingly robe, his once-handsome face now etched with the journey of his smiles and frowns, must have shut his tired eyes before he wrote Proverbs 31.

All around the palace, his wives chattered, screamed at children and giggled. A few primped before a mirror, hoping to catch their husband’s attention that night. Perhaps the first of the 700 wives started the trend of doing nothing but looking beautiful and criticizing other women in the house.  I imagine each woman wanted to be the loveliest, the sexiest, and the one he would choose most.

 But after being surrounded by all that outward splendor, Solomon ‘s mind caught a vision of a different kind of woman. He imagined a lady who “looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness.”

A traveling evangelist also wrote about the value of not being idle. The evangelist, the Apostle Paul, picked up a reed with his rough hands, work-worn from stitching tents,  and wrote to the Thessalonian church, his graying head filled with love and yet, frustration.

“Keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teachings you received from us,” he wrote in 2 Thessalonians 3:6. He pointed out his team was not idle all the while they worked  with the church in Thessalonica.

Paul became even more bold in his statements about lazy people. “If any will not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

Although many people work at avoiding things they don’t think they enjoy—like washing dishes, cleaning the house, doing laundry, bathing the children, doing odd jobs, working diligently at a career—they miss out on the satisfaction work gives and the joy of having chores done.

My Mom loved to quote the scripture about “No work, no food,” but I grew to enjoy what I could find to do constructively with my hands. I did it with all my might, as another scripture says. Even as a kid when I cleaned the kitchen and mopped the floor, I loved to look back at what I’d done as if I’d created a work of art out of chaos. To me, it was beautiful.

After I married and we eventually grew to seven people in the house, I used to set time goals for completing different tasks. Did you know you can make your bed in less than five minutes? Clean out the dishwasher in just a few seconds more than it takes to heat a cup of water in the microwave? Less than 15 minutes to clean to kitchen after a normal meal? Put everything on your bathroom vanity away and polish the sink in about 30 seconds? Fold and hang the laundry straight from the dryer in five to seven minutes?

Furthermore, have you tried planning meals in your head while doing some of the above tasks? Time? Zero.

An orderly home creates a different atmosphere. We can do a little deeper cleaning once a week, once a month or twice a year. I find if I notice dirt to go after it at that moment.  I can do that much of the bime.

We don’t need to be fanatics about neatness and put the bread away before the person who got it out can get peanut butter on it, but doing what we can when we can, gives us a chance for fun if we plan.

Planning is the key to hospitality, budgeting our finances, finding ways to stretch the family income—and getting adequate rest, too. The secret is being organized. You can always fit more into organized space.

                                             Sidebar: Polishing the Inner Woman

Giving hubby or the children at least five minutes of attention after work or school usually makes the rest of the day go better.  With effort and a sense of urgency, a woman can love every member of the family and train children in the way they ought to go while multi-tasking.

But there is more. Some mothers and fathers pray briefly with their children before they leave the house each day, but if we can’t manage that, we need to pray with them sometime. It’s even better if the family has devotions together. Reading scripture and praying for one another only takes a few minutes, but every once in a while we can devote more time so we can discuss problems, answer questions, or have intense Bible study together.

Other important tasks that actually aren’t that time-consuming: Reading the Word and connecting with God privately. We can pray and memorize scripture while doing other tasks, even while jogging or doing a few exercises and stretches. But it’s important to kneel for a few minutes daily to give the Lord undivided attention.

Most of all, being in God’s House also is time well spent.  When we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, everything else we need and sometimes even our desires will be added (Matthew 6:33). Pastors, Sunday school teachers, children’s workers, youth leaders, Christian friends, become positive mentors, tea ching our children to obey their parents and The Ten Commandments. The church can help couples make solid marriages, and help individuals to allow God to direct their steps—making the rest of their lives better.

As with budgeting  money, we can find ways we waste minutes and hours that would be better spent if we managed them correctly.

The results help us at the moment—and possibly change our family for eternity.

©Copyright Ada Brownell 2012

  1. Ada Brownell has been writing for Christian publications since age 15. She is a retired medical journalist for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado  and is the author of Swallowed by Life, Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal; and Confessions of a Pentecostal.

Friday, July 26, 2019


By Ada Brownell

      “The police came last night to our house to get Daddy,” the little boy announced. “He hid in the back on the shelf in the closet and they didn’t find him!”

      His eyes sparkled with triumph.

      The report came during our opening moments at the Dunamis Academy, an after-school and summers program where I heard similar stories. Dunamis means supernatural power.

       I started the program at our church daycare after retirement. A number of the elementary children in the class were Social Services children who didn’t attend our church.[1]           When I had the idea for the after-school program, I was concerned about latch-key children because I’d written about them in my work as a daily newspaper reporter. I prayed about it and thought God would raise up a  someone with the vision to use the church’s empty spaces to reach youngsters who needed the gospel, and also bring the congregation’s children into deeper knowledge of the Word, and help children not doing well in school with tutoring. I hoped spiritually mature teenagers and other volunteers would help.

      Then I spoke to the daycare director and she also caught the vision because the older children already enrolled in the daycare after-school-and- summers needed something constructive to do.

      The first summer the director taught the lower grades and I took upper elementary and a few junior high youth. We continued the program after school and summer for two years. We charged a nominal fee to children not enrolled in day care. There was no charge to students already enrolled.

      Summers for three hours Monday through Thursday we sang, prayed, played, studied Bible stories, memorized scripture, did skits, saw object lessons, participated in discussion, listened to guest speakers, did crafts and learned how to operate puppets in ministry (the children’s pastor taught puppetry).  Daycare children stayed for a leisurely afternoon.

       On Fridays we went on all-day field trips to ministries in Colorado Springs to show children some of the ministries for which they could prepare. We watched a Christian radio missionary who was broadcasting the gospel around the world. We visited Focus on the Family. At David C. Cook we saw how artists create illustrations for their publications. We visited the Navigator’s castle and others. The next year we visited soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other charities in our city, Pueblo, Colo.

      We had guest speakers for the older children, two I’d like to mention. The guest teenager emigrated from Africa, and told about the differences in freedoms there and America.  She also taught a song in Swahili: “Hold on to Jesus.”  The other was a public high school teacher who taught about preparing for your future, and that included through playing a game called “Virus X” that taught how quickly sexually transmitted diseases spread.

      According to the last statistics I gathered at that time, five million elementary-age U.S. children grow up with no supervision after school. Twenty-two million adolescents are unsupervised between 3 and 6 p.m. on a typical day, according to the U.S. Department of Health’s Child Care Bureau.

      That happens while thousands of large church buildings are unoccupied except for a few people working in the office.

      Large numbers of America’s youth have never heard the gospel. The church is losing young people to secularism.  Some churches have eliminated Christian education, thereby carelessly dropping their sterling silver youth down the garbage disposal. Churches that emphasize discipleship often have only a small percentage of children and youth receiving training.

      The first summer of the Dunamis Academy, the two daycare assistants in my classes put the date they accepted Jesus as Savior during that time. Most of the children and youth also invited Jesus into their hearts.

      I wrote my own curriculum, Dynamite Decisions for Youth, and that plus teaching was a great deal of work, But sharing the gospel to those young people was an amazing spiritual reward. If I were young again, I’d love to help establish more programs like it.

      One note I’d like to add. Quite a few churches have after-school programs, but the ones I’ve seen don’t emphasize the gospel. We informed parents we would teach undenominational Bible classes and had them sign their permission. We didn’t have one parent opt out. In fact, we had great feedback, with parents coming to awards ceremonies.

      I imagine they were like my dad when our family started going to church. He told Mama, “Let them go. I heard they teach children to obey their parents.”

[1] Social Services ended that program, which required children from at-risk families to have supervision when their parents weren’t home.

Monday, July 22, 2019


By Ada Brownell
“For a long time propagandists have recognized that lying must be avoided,” says Jacques Ellul, author of “Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes”. [1]“In propaganda, truth pays off.”
Where propaganda goes to work to change minds is in the “interpretation” of the truth, or the way they twist the truth. In today’s terms—a spin on the truth.
Ellul told how the Communist Party in France made progress between 1921 and 1936  because of election propaganda. The same was true in other countries in the 20th Century.
Mao Tse-tung said propaganda can “force” people to become Marxist. His first techniques failed, but then he went to public discussion, criticism, persuasion and Marxist education, especially for children, and he turned China to his way of thinking.
This in spite of Mao executing an estimated two to five million people and several million were sent to labor camps.
 To have the greatest effect, propaganda must base its self on existing tendencies, Ellul said,[2] and not go against ingrained attitudes. Instead of going against what you believe, it gives you something else to believe--using your own desires and needs as a basis--and without knowing it, your attitudes are replaced.
Ellul said pre-existing attitudes fade quickly in real propaganda campaigns where it surrounds a person from morning to night, childhood to old age, in all he reads, hears, without giving him rest, a moment to pause, think or catch his breath.[3]
I notice how schools, universities, and government are changing the way we think. I received my degree after I was age 40 from a state university and shuddered at how different the youth came in, but how similar they were when they went out. After studying texts that ridiculed belief in God and especially Christianity, attending classes that held up immorality as no big deal, being taught about the advantages of a one-world government and criticism of America, most students graduated talking alike, thinking alike, and believing similar things. They resembled a line of toy soldiers where it was difficult to distinguish one from another.
I think they were brain washed. Why didn’t my attitudes change? Because I consciously rejected everything I knew was in error. Sometimes I spoke up and continually prayed for God to guard my heart and mind.
But brain washing has entered our homes as well. Television and movies have a large part in that and we become so desensitized we don’t even notice.
Are we no longer horrified by abortion? Do we ask God for mercy on us when we see the proliferation of immorality? Do we resist the attempt to force acceptance?
What can we do?
Although some sin is now embraced by our government and people can be fined for not accepting it, such as businesses being required to buy insurance for employees that pays for abortion, we can resist. But that might mean a difficult road.
We also can consciously put profitable things into our heads instead of garbage or tainted messages. We can live in God’s Word, find squeaky clean entertainment, and acquire a knowledge of things that add to our talents and ministries.
We can resist opinion leaders who spin the conversation away from the truth.
Finally, and this is huge, we can go to our knees. Ask for miraculous wisdom and knowledge. Then pray that God will send revival to America. We need it.

[1] Vintage Books, 1973, Random House, New York, Copyright 1965 by Alfred A. Knopf Inc., page 53
[2] Propaganda, page 279
[3] Ibid, page 280

Thursday, July 18, 2019


Thankful Jesus cares

By Ada Brownell

     The day I arrived on earth I entered a family swarming with children. Escapees from the Kansas Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, some of my older brothers and sisters weren’t excited about an addition to the family.

The house where I was born was tucked against the red-rocked Colorado National Monument’s Mountains in peach country—and Mom and Dad owned ten beautiful acres of irrigated land.

Our home had a bedroom for our parents, and one for the children. The three boys slept on one side of the curtain; the five girls on the other. We had a small living room, a kitchen with a wood-burning range, a back porch and an outhouse.

I opened my eyes to people striving to have enough to eat by planting a massive garden while Daddy and my oldest brother worked for $1 a day shoveling coal from railroad cars into trucks.

I soon started filing away memories of laughter, joy and singing because my siblings and parents found Jesus in the little white church on the corner of Fruita—and they considered themselves rich in the things that count.

I experienced the hand of God early.  My 2-year-old brother emptied a salt shaker into my eyes when I was an infant.  Mama knew how to pray, rinsed by eyes  and I’ve never had a serious problem with my vision.

Then a couple of years later, my sister gave me a bath and not knowing someone built a fire in the cook stove at the end of the summer, she sat me down on the top. I still have the scars, but I survived. I’m sure the family stormed heaven for my healing then.

At about age 12, I froze my feet when I disobeyed Daddy and went ice skating on the edge of the Colorado River.  It was a long way from our newer two-story house on the other side of town. Without telling anyone, I shoved my numb feet into hot water. They turned black and swelled. Of course, my sins found me out as the scripture says, because I couldn't wear my shoes and had to wear an older sister's. I quickly repented and my feet healed without seeing a doctor other than the Great Physician.

I accepted Jesus as Savior at age 5 and often experienced His power and mercy at work in me. I became youth president at my church at age 15 and discovered God can use anybody.  I started writing service ideas for a youth leaders’ magazine, then the youth magazine, and soon sold articles to other Christian publications.

The Word talks about God directing our footsteps, and I saw God work in amazing ways—even when my husband and I ended up in a small town in Utah with no church. I thought we missed the Lord’s guidance until the Lord did a work in me and I started a Sunday school there.  Almost every child in town enrolled and on Easter a few parents came.

I kept writing, became a newspaper correspondent and then was hired as a staff reporter. I worked 2 ½ years, and then stayed home for nearly 20 years with our children (another gift from the Lord). Then needing to send the five of them to college, and accepting no less than a Christian college, I completed my degree, landed a reporting job at graduation and worked 17 years in the news business. All five of our children went to Christian colleges.

All during these years, I could see God leading, and most of the time I was aware He cares about us. Answers to prayer and miracles came frequently. But when our oldest daughter, Carolyn, became ill with Burkitt’s lymphoma and died two months after the diagnosis, I wondered if I believed what I thought I did about God and eternal life.

As a medical reporter, I began researching to see whether science shows we are more than a body, and I went through the Bible again underlining everything about living forever.

As a result, I’ve written a book, several years in the making, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, which was released in November 2011. As a medical journalist for The Pueblo Chieftain, I discovered medical science shows we are much more than a body—and scripture proclaims it loud and clear. I found Jesus was the same Lord when we lost our beautiful daughter as He was throughout my life and the Holy Spirit is the Comforter.

 The reason Jesus came to earth was to do something about death—and He did! He gave each person who will accept Him as Savior the gift of eternal life in Heaven.

When I look at the cross I see a symbol that Jesus cares. God the Father cared enough to send His only Son that we can live forever. 

SWALLOWED BY LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal

By Ada Brownell

Peter wrote, "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables...but were eyewitnesses of his majesty." (2 Peter 1:16).

13-week Bible study:

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 by a medical journalist 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.”

Saturday, July 13, 2019


  1. By Ada Brownell

Preachers, funeral directors, and a few other professions have learned “the 300 rule” through personal experience, says author and marketing expert Donald F. Pooley.

“The average person knows 300 people on a friendly level,” says Pooley. “Wedding planners tend to make reservations for 300 guests. Funeral directors plan for 300 mourners.”

I’ve learned my circle’s eye revolves around my family. Then it gets wider and wider.

Pooley, a business expert, says our circles intersect with our loved ones and friends’ circles, and then we often connect with our family’s and friends’ circles. Soon we’re multiplying 300 times 300 and we have influence of 90,000 people.

In today’s world with Twitter and retweets, Facebook, Pinterest, and other online media there is no telling how many people could be influenced by one person—either for good or evil. For instance three people who had nearly 5,000 Twitter followers each retweeted a tweet about one of my books today. My circle of influence immediately enlarged.

Why should influence interest a Christian writer? For me, the whole reason I write is to give “stick-to-your-soul-encouragement.” The purpose is to encourage Christians to grow in their faith.  If they don’t know Jesus, I’d like to influence or encourage them to believe and accept His gift of eternal life.

As a Christian marketing expert Shelley Hitz told me, you never need to be embarrassed to market your writing if you share information readers need, would like to know; or something they can enjoy, such as an inspirational novel. In my writing sometimes I try to remind people of things that are facts, such as God is still on the throne. That’s important to the suffering, discouraged and depressed. The idea is to bless people with what you share and the great stories you tell.

God gave us gifts and plans for us to use them. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).

Ada Brownell

Peach Blossom Rancher,
Sequel to The Lady Fugitive
2015 LAUREL AWARD RUNNER-UP http://ow.ly/QzlIP
Ada Brownell Author Page
Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement

Saturday, July 6, 2019


Drawing Near Blurb

Each day, God beckons us to Himself, calling us to rest in His love and grace. As we do, He heals our hurts, overpowers our fears with love, and restores us to the women He created us to be. This 90-day devotional, written by women who are learning themselves to live anchored in God's grace, will help you deepen your faith and grow your relationship with Christ.

Buy it on the Wholly Loved website HERE or on Amazon HERE.
By Jennifer Slattery
Guest Author 

There are no inconsequential roles or people. We all have the capacity to create a lasting, Christ-centered legacy. To be used by God to change lives and communities.

When our daughter was young, I often felt insignificant. I stayed home, spent most of my time changing diapers, wiping snotty noses, cleaning spilled and splattered food off the tile, and tossing the same toys back in the toy box.

Granted, there were countless precious moments I wouldn’t change for anything. But there were times, like when I overheard my husband telling one of his employees to do important things or watched one of the neighbor women pull into their garage dressed all professional and important, that I felt frumpy and … ordinary.

But then one day, I lifted my eyes off of all my insecurities and onto my Savior and diligently sought His will in the middle of the crazy. As I did, a few beautiful things occurred. First, He showed me, every dish washed, tantrum endured, and room tidied could be an act of worship. Second, He helped me see Him–His plans and heart–in my every day and the eternal value of building into a precious young life. Third, He invited me to step outside of my home and to look around and notice others who were feeling insignificant and discouraged. To speak life and joy into other people’s lives.

This perspective shift led to some of the most amazing, eternal conversations, often with strangers; interactions I believe, in faith, God built upon, maybe for generations to come.

I thought of this, and of the capacity for impact we all hold, as I was reading through Acts 16.

In this chapter, we learn about a woman named Lydia whom Paul, an early church planter, encountered and shared the gospel with. Soon after, she welcomed him into her home, and thus, the first Christian church in Europe began.

Here’s what struck me.

First, she was female, during a time when women weren’t often included in religious discussions. Yet Lydia was not only included, but invited to serve alongside one of the most influential men in Christendom.

Second, she lived in a pagan, primarily Roman and Greek city. Residents worshiped many gods, including the emperor who claimed to be “lord and savior.”

Philippi, where Lydia lived, had a nearly nonexistent Jewish population. It was also on a major trade route, and therefore would’ve received a lot of foot traffic in its market.

Of Lydia, Luke says she was a “worshiper of God.” The original word used here was sebomenÄ“, which referred to Gentile Jewish converts.

My question was, how did this Gentile living in a pagan land learn about Yahweh, the One true God?

Most likely not from one of the few Jews in her area. I suspect she learned about God while selling in the market.

Scripture says she sold purple cloth, which, in ancient times, was purchased by the wealthy. I highly doubt the wealthy did their own shopping.

I suspect Lydia learned about Yahweh from a slave who was simply doing his job. Serving his master, receiving no credit or respect. In fact, others likely looked down upon this slave and treated him rather poorly. He may even have assumed his life didn’t matter. I mean, he was just a servant, buying things for his master with his master’s money.

But this slave, whomever he or she was, became the catalyst to the first church in Europe, as did Lydia, a woman who spent most of her time selling cloth.

All that to say, your life matters, whatever you’re doing, wherever you’re at, God has a plan for you. He has someone for you to show love to. Someone for you to encourage. Someone who needs hope and the light of Christ to pierce through their darkness.

No one, and no role, is inconsequential because we belong to an intentional, miracle worker, grace-revealing, life-transforming God

Who might God be calling you to love on today?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She contributed numerous devotions Drawing Near: 90-Daily Devotions, is the author of Restoring Her Faith and numerous other titles, and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team love to help women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. Visit her online to find out more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event, and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE to learn of her future appearances, projects, and releases.