Friday, January 31, 2014

The Relentless Lover


When I was a little girl, I used to dream about the day when a handsome prince would ride up out of the wind on his sturdy white steed and sweep me away to everlasting bliss. Then I would be truly happy and life would be good. Years later, my prince did come and I thought now I will finally live happily ever after, just like the fairy tales I had always read about.

But as the years passed, I realized my noble prince had a few chinks in his armor and his helmet was abit tarnished. In fact, he downright creaked when he walked. He didn't quite listen to me the way I wished he would. He forgot things I would tell him. I expected him to know what I was thinking without telling him. Somehow it took all the romance away if I had to TELL him what I wanted. He couldn't fix things around the house like other husbands I observed. In fact, in our first dollhouse, he got so frustrated because there was no outlet in the bathroom for his electric razor that he knocked a hole in the wall with a hammer and fed a cord through to an outlet in the bedroom. I was livid!

Even more disconcerting was the realization that I, his lovely princess, had a few flaws of her own. Nagging for one. Easily angered, for another. And homemaking skills, well, they left something to be desired. One day, shortly after my prince and I set up housekeeping, I was ironing one of my favorite blouses that my sister had made me (luckily it was not one of my husband’s shirts). I didn't realize I had pushed the temperature setting to wool instead of cool (which was required for the sheer material with which I was working). As I dutifully pressed along, I lifted the iron to begin another section and to my horror, I caught sight of a huge scorch print on the sleeve. I was devastated. My doom was sealed. I was right all along. My homemaking skills were a disaster. Maybe I couldn't pull this thing called marriage off after all.

I slumped into a chair and thought about all the times my performance as God's child had been less than perfect. Then, in that quiet moment, the Holy Spirit reminded me of Philippians 3:12b:  "I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (NIV). When I see a scorch mark on my spiritual garment, my bridegroom, Jesus, looks at me, lifts up my face, gazes into my eyes and says, "I love you; I chose you; I died for you and rose again for you to clothe you with the perfect, spotless robe of My righteousness, with no stains, no wrinkles and definitely no scorch marks. Oh, your garment may seem disfigured from your earthly point of view, but from where I sit in the heavenlies, 'you look marvelous!' And someday when I take you to heaven to be with Me forever, you will see fully that I was right all along."

In the years since that time, Jesus has made it His mission to pursue me relentlessly. Time and time again, He has come to me with His perfect love, unlike any human love, and reminded me that He is my Prince who provides all the security I need now and forever. Zephaniah 3:17 reassures me that "the Lord my God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (NIV). The Lord sings over me! What an awesome thought. I am that precious and valuable to Him. He actually sings a special love song just for me because I am his bride, His unique work, unlike any other. He has promised me that nothing will ever separate me from His love--not life, nor death, nor angels, nor any other created thing, nor height, nor depth, nor things present, nor things to come. That about covers everything, doesn't it? It is this amazing love, this relentless pursuit by a determined lover that motivates me to be all I can be for my bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. His love washes away all indifference and apathy, compelling me to share His wonderful love with as many people in as many different ways as I can.

If you are discouraged today and feel dry and useless in your Christian life, a motivational book or speaker may do the trick for awhile, but allowing yourself to fall into the grip of the relentless lover will last a lifetime! Nothing can compare to it and nothing will move you to service quicker. Spend time reading His love letter and talking to Him. He delights in your presence as you do in His. You are His and He is Yours.



The other day I picked up a local woman’s magazine which featured a hometown personality. When asked what her wildest dream was, she replied, “That I’m really a princess and my true identity will soon be discovered.” If I knew where to find this gal, I’d love to tell her that she can be a princess and her true identity can be found in the Lord Jesus Christ, her perfect Prince!



One day I will see this Prince that I only visualize with eyes of faith now. Revelation 19:11 says that the curtain of heaven will open and my lovely perfect Prince will be sitting on a white horse. At that time, He, the one who is Faithful and True, will right all wrongs and bring evil to justice forever. Sound like a fairytale? Kinda does, doesn't it? But the wonderful thing about it is that it is true! Jesus will sweep me off my feet and together we will ride to everlasting joy. You see, there is a happily ever after. It isn't pretend, it's real! And those who trust in His relentless love will not be disappointed.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gift Basket full of books and other goodies!

Faith-filled Friends, a new blog of six Christian authors, is offering a gift basket of books and other goodies! Stop by and leave a comment for a chance to win some great stuff! But hurry, offer ends on January 31!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Healing in the Aftermath of Abortion

 It seems appropriate this time of year to once again post this real life encounter I had while working at a crisis pregnancy center. My latest novel, Laughing with Lily, deals with this critical issue of abortion. Please visit my author page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003O405FO to learn more.

Her urgent voice traveled over the phone line.
“Where are you, honey?” I sat at my station, scribbling notes on a form provided by the crisis pregnancy center.
“I’m in a phone booth. My mom’s in the grocery store, and she wants me to get an abortion, but I don’t want another one. And if Daddy finds out I’m pregnant, he’ll kick me out of the house.”
I’d received many such intake calls over my two years working at the center. Desperate unwed moms, most of them teenagers, crying out for hope and help. Some of them succumbing to abortions, others, thankfully ending up on our doorstep. My heart hurt for them and also for their unborn babies whose lives hung in the balance. I’d seen the prenatal pictures of a baby’s development, but never did the reality of preborn human life hit me harder than in 1981.
            In November of that year, my husband and I lost our second baby at four months gestation—a perfectly-formed baby boy spanning the length of the obstetrician’s hand. He called it a “spontaneous abortion.” We called him David Nathaniel.
I had no choice in the abortion. My body simply and horribly rejected my child. I not only grieved over my loss, but for all the babies who had been aborted by choice. And for all the mothers who had been duped into thinking that their babies were merely globs of tissue, easily discarded. To my horror, four years later, we lost another baby—Allison Marie.  
Viewing my premature babies, complete with miniature fingernails and tiny toes, gave me a greater appreciation for the sacredness of life at every stage. Sadly, to date, over 50 million babies have died due to abortion on demand. How God’s great heart must grieve over this senseless slaughter of innocent lives. Psalm 139 details how a loving God carefully and meticulously fashions each one of us in the womb, thinks about us day and night, covers us with His hand, and numbers all our days. We are made in His image. So, both preborn babies and their mothers are precious to God. To destroy a life He has created is to tamper with His image. In the case of abortion, a baby’s physical life is destroyed and the mother’s emotional, spiritual, and sometimes even physical well-being is damaged.
Through my latest release, Laughing with Lily, I want women who’ve undergone abortion to know that God loves them, just as deeply and completely as He loves their babies. No matter the guilt or grief they carry, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Wounded Healer, stands ready to cover them with His healing and forgiveness (see Isaiah, chapter 53). And I desire women who haven’t experienced an abortion to understand that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. We all need healing in some form, and when we experience God’s forgiveness through Christ, we can approach others with a balance of truth and grace.
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Eileen Rife, author of Laughing with Lily, speaks to women’s groups, encouraging them to discover who they are in Christ and what part they play in His amazing story. www.eileenrife.com, www.eileen-rife.blogspot.com.
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Learn How to Grow Your Talents with Ada Brownell!

YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL:
LEARN HOW TO GROW YOUR TALENTS
When we were kids, my brother told 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 fantastic stored data and instincts governing our neurological systems, and amazing things are happening while we’re still in the womb.
Experts now are saying we might be developing our talents and language before birth. In a famous experiment by Anthony DeCasper and colleagues at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, mothers read the Dr. Seuss story, The Cat in the Hat, at regular intervals while they were pregnant. Newborns selected the reading they liked by sucking on a non-nutritive nipple. After a few trials, babies cleverly sucked at whatever speed was necessary to obtain their mother's voice reading "The Cat in the Hat."
Nevertheless, we needed outside stimuli to use our potential. Children who are given no attention often don’t learn to sit, walk, or talk. We learn all our lives, often imitating other people. No matter how much natural talent and ability we have, we will never achieve much until we grow it into something greater. When you listen to a famous person use their talents, think about how the celebrity achieved fame. Success is always wrapped in what people do every day.
Consider the Jonas Brothers. Nicholas Jonas started memorizing lines and acting at age seven. His brothers joined him in music and performance. Before they toured and sold millions of albums they spent hours and hours developing their talents. Then they studied, practiced, and rehearsed some more.
They had goals in mind, believed God was with them, and developed their talents through trial and error, lessons, practice, study, work, practice, and more practice.
Talent is like a diamond; it isn't beautiful until it's polished.
 Music isn’t the only gift God can use greatly. Hundreds of careers are available, and sometimes God surprises us with how He uses talent.
Will Kellogg, the younger brother of Dr. John Kellogg, in the nineteenth century left a pot of boiled wheat to stand, and the wheat softened. The brothers worked at a charity and didn’t want to waste food, so they rolled the wheat and let it dry, hoping they could make it edible.
When the rolled wheat dried, each grain became a large, tasty flake. The brothers kept experimenting with other grains and discovered corn flakes.
 Ask God to help and direct your life. Then decide what talents to develop and get to work
Then, don't quit. Often it is the less talented and gifted who achieve great things because they won’t stop working toward their goals—no matter how many obstacles they face or how often they face rejection or disappointment. On the other hand, greatly talented people can go to their graves without doing anything of significance.
What makes the difference?
We decide to take what we were born with and grow it into something greater.
Imagine the future you. Let God lead you. Your work will be rewarded.
©Ada Brownell January 2014
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Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers, and write books with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Among her books: Imagine the Future You, a youth Bible study (November 2013). Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, (Jan. 15, 2013); Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, (Dec. 6, 2011); and Confessions of a Pentecostal, out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle; All the books are available in paper or for Kindle.
     Twitter: @adellerella
     Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement
     Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06
     BarnesandNoble.com   http://ow.ly/rFSW3

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IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU
By Ada Nicholson Brownell

FREE January 25 AND 26

Will you be the person you dream of being—or someone from your nightmares?

You don’t need a fortune teller to reveal your future. You are the person who determines who you will be, what your life will be like, and how your hopes and dreams will be fulfilled.

This book will show how to make the right connections, how to grow your talents, and how to begin believing in yourself and things greater than yourself—for a wonderful Future You!

A Bible study available in paper or for Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/1489558284
Ada Brownell’s author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06