CrossReads Book Blast for John Avery

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Avery-NameQuest CVR

The Name Quest – explore the names of God to grow in faith and get to know Him better
By John Avery

About the Book:

Take an insightful journey into deeper relationship with God through the biblical names of God. Beginning in Babel and ending with a burning Babylon, The Name Quest builds faith and encourages spiritual growth.

The names of God are like a rainbow—each name expresses part of the spectrum of the character and attributes of God. God is a personality with a multifaceted character too integrated and dynamic to compartmentalize. God’s names are best examined in clusters, around common themes. So that is how the chapters are organized.

Along the way, the author tenderly answers tough questions:
Which of the Hebrew names of God is His personal name—Yahweh or Jehovah?
What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name?
How can we relate to the Holy God and the Judge?
Why is a God of love called the “Jealous God”?
What does it mean to call Jesus the Messiah?

The Name Quest mentions all the names of God in the Bible while explaining their significance in ordinary language. The author weaves together fifteen years of Bible study research with plentiful illustrations and humorous anecdotes. These include lessons learned as a pastor on a Caribbean island. A visit to a Welsh hill farm introduces a chapter about the Good Shepherd. The story of a Hungarian political prisoner illustrates the meaning of Immanuel (or is it Emmanuel?) A rescue from the slopes of an active volcano helps explain salvation and the meaning of Jesus’ Hebrew name, Yeshua. Even the clever advertisement on a packet of potato chips offers a lesson about how to grow in faith in God.

Unlike chasing rainbows, the spiritual journey has an end. The Name Quest is a road map for every Christian’s spiritual journey and it points to the destination—being formed into the image of Jesus Christ.

Start exploring!


237A7617John Avery
is the author of “The Name Quest – explore the names of God to grow in faith and get to know Him better” (Morgan James Publishing, 2014). He is a trained teacher with over thirty years experience as a Bible teaching pastor, small group leader, and missionary. He has lived in England, Israel, Africa, and the Caribbean, ministering with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and local churches. He and his wife, Janet, now make their home in Oregon. John likes to hike, snowshoe, and cross country ski. John writes a regular Bible devotional on and maintains a comprehensive resource for all the names of God at

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The Candy Cane Lane Caper Copyright 1999 by Paula Rose Michelson

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Paula Rose Michelson


I’m calling this “The Candy Cane Lane Caper” not because it tastes good, but because the place where we always went after dark to check out the holiday lights…The place that could tare us away from our favorite TV show to bundle up, get into our car, and drive to…namely Candy Cane Lane was on the news. Vandals had torn down displays, broken decoration and written graffiti all over the holiday magic we loved. That’s right! The people who lived in this magical place that only existed for six weeks and vanished like Brigadoon did until it was that time of year again, were demoralized. Instead of spreading the holiday spirit as they always had, they were scrubbing of graffiti and picking up broken decoration many of which had been in their families for generations.

As we would be angels watched the news we discover that the place, which cheered people up and caused them to wave hello and run across the street to deliver homemade pies and cookies to people they hardly knew was in a bad way. In fact, the people who lived on that street had turned off the electricity that made their 20-foot Snoopy rotate.

We angels; Cheryl, Danae, Mom and Dad wondered what we could do when we realized that the street that had remained as it had while the decorations got better and bigger each year because each family that lived there followed in the Candy Cane Lane tradition seemed to have breathed its last holiday well wishes. We fondly remembered the residence telling us that when a home on that street was for sale a son, daughter, niece, or nephew bought it. But the sale was only finalized after they pledged to keep Candy Cane Lane and the spirit of Christmas alive.

Years before families that lived on that street had gotten permission to change its name for six weeks. Now, as we watched the news and saw the devastation and how upset everyone was we knew we had to do something and do it fast! Of course, if you’d gone looking for the street sign for Candy Cane Lane at any other time of year you would never have found it because this magical street was much a part of Christmas as Santa is and everyone knows you only see or hear Santa when it’s getting to look a lot like Christmas. And we were sure if we didn’t do something our magical Candy Cane Lane would disappear for good!

So adding up what we had until next payday, we knew we’d have to scrounge around after…eager to find some Christmas cheer we headed to the five and dime returning home with poster board ribbon and glue. So eager were we to bestow a blessing that dinner was skipped as we wrote in crayon ‘WE LOVE YOU CANDIE CANE LANE’ in red and green letters and stapled ribbon around the words. At midnight we hung the signs up hopeful that they would be seen.

And the next day we discovered they were, for the lead story on the 6 o’clock news was our posters and smiling homeowners thanking their unseen Santa’s Helpers, who only now are sharing this Candy Cane Lane Caper tail! If you’d enjoyed this read, pass the blessing along whether in hugs, coco, smiles, or song this holiday season as we did back then, and don’t forget to tell everyone that Jesus is the reason for this season because it’s his birthday we celebrating, so be of good cheer!

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Taking Risks by Suzanne D. Williams

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I have long said to write what makes you uncomfortable. If it affects you, the writer, then it will also affect the reader, and that’s the goal. Isn’t it? To make people think.

There is, however, always a line you shouldn’t cross. In Christian fiction, it seems this line gets pushed about by the whims of others. Some prefer it way back where there’s no doubt of their intentions when they were writing. Others move it forward to stir the thoughts of the reader. I believe both mindsets serve a purpose.

It all comes down to who you are writing for and, again, there are two camps. Some authors write for a completely Christian audience, often, in a particular faith. Others write as a witness, a draw, to the unsaved. Both sides are needed.

Frankly, when I was a teen, I went to church, made good grades, never broke any “rules” given to me. I showed up where I was told when I was told. I never missed school or youth group. But neither did I care two whits about Christian things, and my mother was a Bible teacher. I was deeply engrained in the world, reading and listening to secular things and happy, I thought, doing so. My grandmother, who I loved dearly, read Janette Oke, who (personal opinion) I can’t read to this day. No one out there tried to offer me anything that even remotely appealed to a girl like me.

Thinking of that, I have to ask myself two important questions. If I felt that way, then what of people living in much different situations from mine? Who exactly do I want to reach?

I was approached by a lady the other day on this very issue, and I told her what I’m writing here. God died for “whosoever”. (Jn 3:16) He didn’t discriminate because this one does drugs or that one has tattoos or she’s been living with someone for three years. He loves the unwed, the homeless, the person deep in their sins, just as much as He loves the church person, like me, who at age sixteen simply didn’t get the need to be so “clean” all the time.

Jesus mingled with lepers, Samaritans, a woman taken in adultery. Think of that and read the oft-repeated phrase, “What would Jesus do?” Yes, what would He do? He’d love those people right where they’re at with no condemnation. He’d say, “No matter what you look like or what you’ve done, I will help you.”

That is what motivates me to keep writing. I love that I can share my faith in a way that helps others. But it requires having stiff shoulders and a lot of gumption because there will always be those who draw their line of faith differently. I have to draw mine where I believe God has placed me, to the readers I believe He wants me to reach. As long as I obey that, the book will sell, even if it’s only one copy to one person who needed to read it.

About the Author:

Suzanne D. Williams

Best-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes a monthly column for on the subject of digital photography, as well as devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalogue of stories, visit or link with her on Facebook at

Only 99 cents!

What a Woman Needs

In association withThe Edge Books.

His gaze seemed made for her alone, the curve of his mouth fashioned solely to bring her enjoyment, and for a moment in time, she melted into it, lost to the war and the frayed edges of her life.


Caught up in an adulterous love affair, Charlotte Lake can only blame herself for how miserable it’s become. After all, she chose to become the “other woman” and with that choice, betrayed everything holy about marriage.

When her secret threatens to emerge, however, she finds her only salvation in the kind, gentle hands of sailor, Nashville Jaeger. If she’ll trust him, he knows a way out.

But the biggest thing he brings into her life is perhaps the greatest gift of all – forgiveness – and with it, a piece of his heart.

A story of God’s willingness to heal any heart by best-selling author, SUZANNE D. WILLIAMS.

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My Gift!!! By Lorieen D. Henry

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Lorieen Henry
I received revelation through John 6:1-15 known as “Jesus Feeds the 5000”. When you read the story, Jesus was in the mountains with the disciples when a crowd gathered. Jesus asked Philip about buying food already knowing the miracle He was about to perform. Philip responded that it would take more than 8 months wages for each person to have a bite. Andrew, on the other hand, found a boy with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread but he knew it wasn’t enough. Verse 11 says, Jesus took the food and gave thanks. Then He proceeded to distribute as much as the people wanted. After everyone had eaten, Jesus told the disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost”.

#1 The boy gave what he had. It didn’t meet the need, but it was a start.

#2 Jesus gave thanks for that which wasn’t enough and it became enough. Actually, it was more than enough.

#3 Jesus distributed the food to the masses.

When it comes to my gift (using this parable as inspiration), I must:

#1 Surrender my ALL to God!

#2 Give thanks to God for my gift.

#3 Share my gift for the glory of God.

The boy’s gift was just 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. It was nowhere near what was needed, but God is a problem solver…a multiplier when we trust Him.

I extracted this from the story:

#1 Know the Word! Study it! This gives us confidence.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

#2 Have a childlike spirit! – A willing and humble heart.
Matthew 18:2-4 2And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

#3 Give Thanks/Praise!
Psalm 106:1 Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

There are many messages that can be taken from “Jesus Feeds the 5000”. I wanted to share what I saw. It doesn’t matter who you are nor what the situation looks like…GOD can use You. It is my prayer that God ministers to your heart that you might use your gift (big or small in your eyes) for His glory.

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes for 10/28/2014

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Jim Hughes

Ps. 25:10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all those who keep his covenant and obey his decrees.

Many of us today believe that once we are saved, the rest is up to God. We can rest and not worry about it if we sin because grace covers our sins. Yet, the Word declares over and over again that we have an active role to play in our salvation. We must keep His covenant and decrees. We must obey the Lord. We must not allow sin to take hold of us. We must work out our salvation. Transformation takes place at Calvary that is life changing. We get rid of our sinful ways of living and take on the righteous living of Christ. The fact that we are indeed saved is seen in how we live.

If we don’t allow this transformation to take hold of our souls, we have no right to expect God to continue to pour out His love on us and faithfully keep us safe from sin and its consequences. For a believer to continue to freely sin is a mockery of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. The Lord is our righteousness and holiness from God and He cannot dwell in a sinner’s heart.

Our works cannot save us nor can they keep us safe in the arms of Jesus, but they are an essential part of our Christian walk. Our obedience and submission to Christ is measured by what we do and don’t do. The meat and bones of holiness is our living.

The Lord never fails to lead His children faithfully in love. He will never take us in a direction that will lead us away from Him. He will never ask us to do anything that He knows we can’t do or is not best for us. He will never stop working in us and on us as we walk humbly before Him. The Lord always has His children on His mind and heart. He will never leave or forsake those walking with Him.

The Lord will lead us, but He won’t drag us against our will.
C Through Marriage
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Halloween is upon us and I wonder if… by Tina Webb

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Tina Webb
I am the only mother that doesn’t let their kids trick or treat?

Yes, I loved dressing up and trick-or-treating as a child, but as a college student my views changed. I discovered that the many things that I thought were fun and harmless weren’t necessarily fun and harmless to God. It was a rude awakening to my half Christian and half secular worldview.

I owe that awakening to a scripture, a bible study and loved one that did more than dabble in the occult.

One of the first scriptures that I learned was Hosea 4:2, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.

After reading this scripture, I went on a marathon of learning for several years. During one bible study on fear, the leader pointed out the number of times that the phrase “Fear not” is written. It made sense to me that if God so opposed fear, then He must oppose anything that causes fear. So I stopped watching horror movies. Was I going overboard? Maybe, but I was just trying to let my revived conscience lead the way.

Years later, my husband and I decided that our kids could go to church Harvest parties on October 31. These parties were a way to let the church kids avoid the door bell ringing of trick or treaters. The kids played non-themed games led by area college volunteers. It was a nice time to socialize with other parents too.

The decision to abandon Halloween really wasn’t that big a deal for me. When I was around eight years old, someone put needles in candy bars and as a result my mother chopped up all of our candy to make sure there were neither needles nor fragments of glass. Trick or treating became eating crushed fragments of Three Musketeers or Reeses cups. Not fun.

When I found out that a loved one had been involved in the occult as a teenager, I was shocked. I’d never heard of such things. However, the reality of spiritual warfare and the demonic realm became more real for me than the average Western Christian will ever know. This person learned to levitate things. How? He was told by his “psychic occult teacher” to invite his spirit guides to help him. They certainly did! It took months of special ministry to help him overcome this oppression. The demonic realm is a reality that Jesus contended with regularly and he admonished us to do the same.

My husband and I learned the origin of Halloween from a local pastor and decided that while we didn’t have to let our kids wear ‘scary” costumes or be entertained by scary themes; merely participating was getting too close to entertainment that glorified darkness rather than God. Each Halloween, we prayed for the safety of runaways, delinquents and other probably victims… after all we had learned that the Black Sabbath was real. Satanists do participate in human sacrifice even today.

Sometimes I continue to wrestle with our decision. It’s so much easier to let my kids join their friends in group fun. Peer pressure for parents is a reality. But I have to remind myself that according to Ephesians 6:12, there is a very real and evil world that I cannot see. Tradition and contemporary culture cannot define our decisions. The reality of Jesus’ teachings must supply that definition.

“Parenting, while daunting, is easier when we ask ourselves: how does the Father parent us?” (Selah, Daily Quotes for Daily Meditation)

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Author Interview with Parker J. Cole

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Parker J. Cole
Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a writer and radio show host, diehard Star Trek fan, avid sci-fi lover, choir girl, dog lover and recovering Mountain Dew addict.

Can you give us insight into your publishing journey?

My journey began the day I was laid off from work in 2010. I worked in a high pressure environment that always had deadlines to meet, competition among the reps and demands from management. Approximately two months before I was laid off, I developed a twitch over my left eye. The day I departed that job my twitching eye stopped and never twitched again. While I was at home, I worked on my virtual assistant business; but I knew I didn’t want to do that forever. So one day, I was looking over a manuscript I had been writing on for about ten years and I told myself, “I’m going to get this published by my birthday.” I had worked on this book for so long and I was tired of it being on my computer. So with a little help from some friends, I did it. The first time I actually published the book was in 2011 on my birthday. Then a vanity press called me and I was sucked into the sales spiel and published my book under their name in 2012 on my birthday, again.

What’s really significant about this book is that it would not have been written without the help of my critique partner. I met her online in a Facebook group and she became my biggest supporter. I had planned on publishing via self-publishing methods again but I ended up, through her, finding an agent. The rest, as they say, is history.

What are some things you wish you’d known before pursuing your writing career?

There are about three major things I’d wish I’d known previously before beginning my dream.

Wishing to be a writer does absolutely nothing but keep you from accomplishing your goal. Until we find Aladdin’s magic lamp, we have to make something happen with the help of the Lord. Secondly, I’d wish I’d know how to build my platform earlier than now. Platform building is so important so whether it’s blogging, radio show, YouTube channel, or some other venue, an author should begin to build before they even finish their books. Third, marketing is essential to getting the word out about your book.

What is the title of your newest book and what is it about?

The name of the book is The Other Man. Leah loves her husband Jacob but she can’t even over the feelings that still exist for her ex-flame Vincent. Jacob loves his wife, but he can’t let go of Rachel. So even though Jacob and Leah love each other, their pasts continue to cause fractures in their marriage. We also get a chance to see Solomon and Celeste make brief appearances from Many Strange Women.

How have readers responded to Many Strange Women?

I can’t tell you how wonderful the response has been. I’ve received personal emails, and private FB chats about how the book has touched the reader’s lives. I had no idea God would use this story in such a way and I’m thankful to Him for giving me the gift to write.

How would you categorize your books?

I’d categorize it as edgy Christian romance. One of my pet peeves with some Christian fiction is that sometimes the characters are so holy you can’t relate to them. I’m not saying that’s the case with every Christian fictional work but I want to make my characters more realistic and hope that readers can relate.

Where can we buy your books and get more information about you?

You can by the book on, Barnes and Noble, and at my publisher’s site, For more information about me, feel free to check out my website at

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Words of Wisdom from Charles Haddon Spurgeon for October 22 Morning

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I am posting the Morning devotional for the current day from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals. If you would like to have your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals for your eBook reader click on the image:

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Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

Words of Wisdom from Charles Haddon Spurgeon for October 22 Morning

“I will love them freely.” – Hosea 14:4

This sentence is a body of divinity in miniature. He who understands its meaning is a theologian, and he who can dive into its fulness is a true master in Israel. It is a condensation of the glorious message of salvation which was delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer. The sense hinges upon the word “freely.” This is the glorious, the suitable, the divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth, a spontaneous love flowing forth to those who neither deserved it, purchased it, nor sought after it. It is, indeed, the only way in which God can love such as we are. The text is a death-blow to all sorts of fitness: “I will love them freely.” Now, if there were any fitness necessary in us, then he would not love us freely, at least, this would be a mitigation and a drawback to the freeness of it. But it stands, “I will love you freely.” We complain, “Lord, my heart is so hard.” “I will love you freely.” “But I do not feel my need of Christ as I could wish.” “I will not love you because you feel your need; I will love you freely.” “But I do not feel that softening of spirit which I could desire.” Remember, the softening of spirit is not a condition, for there are no conditions; the covenant of grace has no conditionality whatever; so that we without any fitness may venture upon the promise of God which was made to us in Christ Jesus, when he said, “He that believeth on him is not condemned.” It is blessed to know that the grace of God is free to us at all times, without preparation, without fitness, without money, and without price! “I will love them freely.” These words invite backsliders to return: indeed, the text was specially written for such-“I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely.” Backslider! surely the generosity of the promise will at once break your heart, and you will return, and seek your injured Father’s face.
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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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Jim Hughes

Ps. 25:4-5 Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD, point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.

This is a prayer that the Lord will answer every time. The Lord wants us to know the way to Him. He wants us to stay on the path to Him. He wants what is best for us and for us to be on the path that gets us there. He wants us to clearly know the truth. He wants us to learn the things we need to know in order to live holy lives.

The path that leads to the Lord is a rugged path because it is not worn down by many travelers. It is rugged because we are constantly battling Satan along the way to stay on it. It is rugged because it requires much determination, commitment, and work on our part. It is rugged because it’s the only way we will ever develop our spiritual muscles to sustain us in life. It is rugged because sometimes it’s a very lonely road since most do not travel on it.

We must be careful that we don’t get on the wrong road. Only one road leads us to Christ and it is the road of Mount Calvary. We have to ask the Lord to help us because it’s so easy to get off track and start traveling on the wrong path. One thing to look out for is if everything is easy with no struggles along the way, you are traveling on the wrong road. On Calvary’s road, we must pick up our cross and carry it along with us daily.

As we travel this journey of life we must always be led by God’s Word if we want to see Jesus. We must make it a priority in our lives to learn God’s truth and live it. We must never be satisfied with what we know, or think we know. We must always remain teachable. We must never get out from underneath its teachings.

Only the Lord our God can save us. He alone is the only hope we have for making it to heaven. Let us stay the course and always follow in the footprints of Jesus, the author and finisher of our salvation.
C Through Marriage
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Think by Ada Brownell

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Writing occurs first in the mind. Authors think.

You can think anywhere. I used to take notes beside the sink as I washed dishes and cooked. I often keep an idea pad in my lap when we’re traveling. Pen and paper are in my nightstand. Every great book or article begins in the author’s brain, and that’s where we also should work out the kinks in novels or come up with great illustrations and original story angles.

Meditate on the things of God and listen for His voice. Often my best ideas come while I’m on my knees.

Here’s my advice if you’d like to stretch your writing to include Christian publications or other genres.

1) Read and study the publication or the book genre for which you would like to write.

Make notes. Copy guidelines and other info you notice. Stick these and samples of the publication. If you’re writing a book, collect website addresses of potential publishers’ book lists. If you plan to go Indie, look up books for sale in the genre you hope to target. You can buy and download e-books you want to study into your computer. Then ask yourself whether you can write and market similar stories or articles.

Clive Cussler, who was formerly in advertising, spoke years ago at a writers’ meeting and told us he used another novel as a model for his first book. He didn’t plagiarize. Instead, using his characters, setting and plot, he mimicked the style of the other author, creating a hook for each chapter as the author did, weaving in description and back story like the other writer, dropping in complications when the other person did, writing the dialogue in a similar way. He sold his book. I still see his byline on displays in airports and stores. He learned by thoroughly studying a successful novel.

2) Flesh out your ideas. With fiction, create character sketches, do scene research for the background and history on the location for your story—or draw a map of your fictional city and create your own history. Then identify your main character’s problem or goal. Don’t have mercy on your characters–create complications, or in other words, disaster. My editor of The Lady Fugitive told me, “Ada, you’re mean.” But she said it was a great cliff hanger at the end of that chapter.

You use some of the same fiction techniques for short fiction for Sunday school papers. A character with a problem and something or someone causing conflict. Conflict can be described as

1) Man against nature 2) Man against himself 3) Man against someone else 4) Man against evil. The areas of literary conflict are listed differently in some places.

Keep your eyes open for ideas, and learn to observe life everywhere. Rebecca McClanahan devotes a whole chapter in her book Word Painting to opening our eyes. She titled it, “The Eye of the Beholder,” and she highlights the many ways we can observe things around us.

3) For non-fiction: What do you know or what have you experienced that qualifies you to write the article or book? I used things I learned as a newspaper reporter for my books, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal; and Imagine the Future You. But I also drew on years of study, amazing life experiences that partly came from raising five children, writing more than 50 years, and teaching youth.

But no matter what you’ve experienced, we need to think. What do you know that will help others? What have you experienced that affected you greatly—that caused you to grow in some way, or conquer a huge problem?

4) Research facts about your subject. On my blog recently I wrote a story about feet and later I submitted it to a Christian publication, informing the editor it appeared on my blog. The article came from thinking and remembering, but also through research. Notice how I used info about feet from the Bible and medical experts. Find applicable anecdotes and illustrations for your non-fiction. Interviews are great helps, too.

Use fiction techniques in your non-fiction, whether it’s a book or article, especially showing instead of telling. One of the best reviews I’ve received on my motivational Bible study, Imagine the Future You, said “It reads like fiction.”

5) Write. Edit. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, edit and send or publish. Forget that piece of writing and go on to your next project. If you’ve done your best, it’s in God’s hands. We sow and sometimes reap. God gives the increase.


Ada Brownell

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.

Blog: Stick to Your Soul Encouragement
Amazon Ada Brownell author page:

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