Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord

putting minor inconveniences into perspective

Our power was recently out in our home for several hours. As my daughters and I ate our cold lunches that were meant to be served hot, I found myself wanting to grumble about the inconveniences of a life without electricity.

But then I remembered that, within an hour or two, our power would be restored and all would be well. Two glaring realizations hit me. The first, that we are extremely reliant on electricity and all of the wonderful benefits it provides. The second, that this was a minor and inconsequential matter in the scope of eternity. Likely by next week, I will have forgotten about it.

Some things are not so inconsequential, and I was convicted that, in the end, there are only two things that matter. That I have surrendered my life to Christ and will spend eternity with Him, and that I have shared the hope of Jesus Christ with others.

This put things into perspective. Losing our power was an inconvenience, just as many things in life are. But some things are dangerously labeled as “inconveniences”.

It is often that we allow minor inconveniences to stop us from sharing the hope we have in Him. Minor inconveniences, such as not wanting to tell people about Him because we are embarrassed, are afraid of what they might think, or are concerned about their reaction or worried about losing a friendship.

Minor inconveniences often stop us from sharing about Jesus Christ.

When Jesus gave His life for us, it was a horrible, gruesome death. To carry the sin of every single person in this entire world, those already born and those someday to be born, is a burden only a Savior could shoulder. 

We need to put aside these “minor inconveniences” and boldly proclaim the truth for the One who unwaveringly gave His life for us. Let us not let fear social repercussion or any other “minor” inconvenience that may hold us back from sharing the Good News.

*This post was originally published on Patti’s Porch.

Posted in Corona survival, devotionals, Growing in the Lord

a season of hope

Season of Hope

My nephew recently got married. Aside from the fact that there is absolutely no way that I can possibly be old enough to have a married nephew, the news of his engagement and subsequent marriage was super exciting. He and bride were able to have their ceremony just days before the Covid-19 hit. They, as newlyweds, are entering a season of hope.

The other day, I wandered outside to take in the fresh air of spring. Summer takes awhile to arrive in my neck of the woods, but the first glimmerings of spring are upon us. A tiny pansy poked its head through the grass, eager to begin its new life in a season of hope.

Things are bleak right now in many ways. Many are waiting for their unemployment while they tackle odd jobs in an effort to support their families. Many are struggling with the new reality of quarantine, social distancing, masks, gloves, and other safety measures. Others struggle with the fear that they, or someone they love, could contract the Coronavirus. Still others face anxiety and depression as the world around us changes in unprecedented ways.

Is there still a season of hope in these challenging times? I would answer that with an emphatic “yes”! Why? Because our hope is not found in this world. It isn’t found in temporary things. It’s found in the One who gave His life so we may live. Our hope lasts for more than just a season. For those of us who have surrendered our lives to Jesus, it lasts for an eternity.

Romans 15 13

When I was a teenager, I remember sitting with my mom on the couch. Her arm draped around me as she consoled me over a friend’s betrayal. “This too shall pass,” Mom said, kissing the top of my head.

I didn’t think the pain from that betrayal would ever pass. But Mom was right, it did pass and the heartbreak did become a memory.

My friends, this too shall pass. Things won’t always be framed through the lens of Covid-19. We won’t always have to wear masks, practice social distancing, and avoid hugs and handshakes. (As a hugger, I long for that day!) We won’t always have to attend church online or be trapped inside our homes and only emerge for “essentials”. We won’t always have to wait with trepidation for that unemployment check to finally arrive so we can pay our bills. We won’t always be mired in the negative news spewed daily by the media.

There is a season of hope coming with the end of the Covid-19 quarantines. It will pass. And there is an eternal season of hope coming when we spend all eternity with the One who loves us more than we can even fathom. So, like the fragile little pansy in my backyard who arches its colorful face toward the sun to sustain it, let us, in our frailty, uncertainty, and worry lift our faces toward the Son.

For He is our hope. And not just for a season.

2 COrinthians 4_18



Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, the importance series

the importance of aligning our actions with our words

importance of aligning

Have you ever met someone and were astounded to discover that they were a Believer? Perhaps they live a life contrary to that of a Christian. Or perhaps they act flippant about Christianity in the presence of unbelievers.

To be clear at the outset: our actions are not what makes us Christians. Rather, the only way we can become a Christian is to put our full faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, believe that He died for our sins, and repent and turn from our sins. (Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 10:13; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 6:23; 1 John 1:9, etc.)

However, actions are important. After we become Christians, our desire is (or should be) to please the One who gave His life for us. A changed life and the continual desire to become more like Jesus everyday in our actions and in our thought lives are two ways we can show our gratitude.

What are some other ways we can align our actions with our claim of Christianity?

Model Christlike behavior with the help of the Holy Spirit. We are all sinners. Only by His help can we achieve such things as honesty, kindness, compassion, and gentleness. Only with His help can we be sure to guard our speech.

Colossians 4 6

Continue to grow in your walk. This can only be achieved by spending time in God’s Word, in fellowship with other believers, and spending time in praise and worship. Our goal should be that we strive to be more like Him this year than we were last year.

Give others the benefit of the doubt. This can be a tough one. In our culture, it is popular to think the worst of others without knowing anything about them. This shouldn’t be so for those of us who claim to be Christ followers.

Embrace humility. We all make mistakes. Everyone has things we struggle with no matter how long we’ve been a Christian. Be humble and own up to your mistakes and shortcomings. Seek the forgiveness of others when you have wronged them.

Practice discernment. Our society glorifies things that counteract what we read about in the Bible. We live in a culture that places a great emphasis on feelings and opinions. Those in and of themselves are not bad, but when we turn to the only Truth Meter – the Bible – we are told what we should put our focus on.

Philippians 4 8 (GOOD ONE).png

Show grace and mercy to others. It’s been said that those who have been shown grace are more willing to show grace to others. Haven’t we been shown much mercy and grace by our Lord? Shouldn’t we extend that to others especially when they don’t deserve it?

Love others. This can be a tough one. As I sit here typing this blog post, I can think of someone I know who is extremely difficult for me to love. However, we are commanded to love others as ourselves and to place their interests above our own. Such love for others is a testament of our love for Him.

1 Corinthians 13 1

We should be different. We should be set apart. We shouldn’t blend in with everyone else, but rather we should stand out. It should be plain to others who we strive to live for. Nothing temporary. Nothing that perishes. But the One who is eternal.

May our actions align with our words. May we give no reason for someone to doubt our authenticity as a Believer in Jesus Christ.

Posted in author interviews, book giveaways

Day 9 of the Days of Christmas Giveaway Celebration with Nike Chillemi & Ada Brownell

Tomorrow is the last day for my special Days of Christmas Giveaway Celebration! I hope you have enjoyed reading about the wonderful Christmas memories of some very talented authors!

I think one of my favorite things about these postings is that the books being given away are so diverse. We’ve had  historical romance, suspense, Bible studies, biographies, and more! Today is no exception, as the winner will take away a wonderful nonfiction book and an action-packed Christian suspense novel. While I haven’t read either book yet, they look fantastic!

So…be sure to leave a comment below. This time, let’s share about someone in our family – it could be a child, spouse, parent, grandparent, or other relative, who has made Christmas extra special. Or, if you prefer, feel free to instead leave an encouraging comment for one of my authors.

And don’t forget to go back and leave comments on the past seven days of giveaways. (The links can be found in the right-hand margin under “Recent posts you may have missed.” All winners will be chosen on December 18 and announced on December 19 and confirmed subscribers receive two entries.

And now…here are the two books up for grabs…

Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal

Both books are available at Amazon and the winner will receive an ebook copy of Burning Hearts.

Here is the blurb for Burning Hearts

Can a young seamstress with an independent streak escape an arsonist/murderer while deciding if she trusts the dashing war hero some claim is the killer?

And the blurb for Swallowed by Life
Do you know physical evidence shows you are more than a physical body? An award-winning medical and religion writer, Ada Brownell, after the death of her daughter, sought to verify if she believed in eternal life. This book shows why she has this hope, not only from a Christian point of view, but because of physical evidence. This book will help you discover if you believe and how to prepare.

And now, let’s hear from our authors!

Grandmothers Make Christmas Magical by Nike Chillemi

I remember Christmases when we went to my maternal grandmother’s house in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. Sometimes my dad would have to drive through a snowstorm to get there or to get home. The chains on the car would clank as the wheels turned when we went up and down those steep and winding mountain roads. We’d gone through so many storms that we were old hands at it. It had to be a “big one” for us not to go.

My maternal grandmother was born in the Ukraine and we’d have Pierogies on Christmas Eve (cheese or potato filled dumplings swimming in butter) and rice stuffed cabbage because that meal is traditionally meatless in Eastern European countries. Then of course, on Christmas Day we’d have a feast with the table over flowing with Ukrainian and American delicacies. My maternal grandmother was a short plump lady, and I loved to hug her because she was so soft. She was gentle and kind but she wasn’t spineless, she was as strong as they come.

On Christmas, I missed my paternal grandmother who lived in Ohio with my aunt. This grandmother was born in Czechoslovakia and closely resembles the heroine’s mother in my debut novel BURNING HEARTS. One Christmas when I was about nine years old and opening presents at my Ukrainian grandmother’s house in the Catskills, one of my aunt’s called out with a devilish grin, “Who is that big box for?” Well it was for me and it was from my grandmother in Ohio. She’d made me two velvet dresses with lace sewn around the collars. One was in Christmas red and one in Christmas green. I’ll never forget that day. I tried them on and my mother took photographs of me in front of the tree. I have a scene in GOODBYE NOEL where the heroine’s mother sews lace around the collar of the hero’s young daughter’s Christmas red “Sunday-best” dress to make it even extra special. I guess I took that one from my own life too.

Nike loves to hear from her readers at

12 Days of Christmas: Epiphany by Ada Brownell

The twelfth night of Christmas for some ends in the Feast of Epiphany. In the United States it is known as Three Kings Day and falls on Jan. 6, 2012.

EPIPHANY IS A BEAUTIFUL WORD that even sounds like its meaning: Revelation, Shining Forth, Manifestation.

I WROTE ABOUT EPIPHANY OBSERVANCES in other churches as a newspaper reporter, but I’ve never celebrated epiphany with my congregation. Yet, as with every Christian, I experience epiphany often. I’ll be reading the Bible and suddenly a scripture will pop out, as with when we lost our daughter to cancer: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory ad honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9)

THERE WAS THE DAY WHEN I WAS HAVING A PITY PARTY and telling God He even said in this world we would have tribulation. Then I recalled the rest of what Jesus said in John 15:33, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

THEN AS I WORRIED ABOUT MY NEW BOOK, Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, coming on Amazon in December, I worried about how well it would do. We had other mountains in our lives that needed conquering and I was studying the faith chapter in Hebrews 11. One day I backed up into the last words of the previous chapter: “Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.

MATTHEW 4:16 IS A FLASH OF INSIGHT SHINING FORTH all year, but especially this season. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Matthew 4:16).

GOD WARNED THE FIRST COUPLE if they ate the forbidden fruit, they would die. There in God’s garden, they became mortals. Their flesh would be subject to illness and dying, and it would affect every person born thereafter.

YET, GOD IN HIS LOVE told them a Redeemer would come. Jesus is the Redeemer promised in Genesis 3:15 right after Adam and Eve sinned, and people walking in darkness have seen a great light.

Knowledge that the Redeemer has come is EPIPHANY.

Ada Brownell has written for Christian publications since age 15. She is a retired newspaper reporter (The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado), and author of the book, Swallowed by LIFE , which is now available. Confessions of a Pentecostal will soon be available as an e-book.

©Ada Brownell 2011