Monday, November 17, 2014

Ada Brownell's Bible Study SWALLOWED BY LIFE

Back Cover Blurb:

Do you know evidence shows we’re more than a physical body? An award-winning medical and religion writer, Ada Brownell—through her research after the death of her daughter—shows why we have hope for eternal life, not only from a Christian point of view, but because of physical evidence. Of her 17 years as a journalist, the author spent seven on the medical beat at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado, reporting on discoveries about the human genome, neurology, mental illness, cancer, disease prevention, treatment, medications, and more. This book is written 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.

 Book Excerpt:

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

Copyright © 2011 Ada B. Brownell
All rights reserved

“While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:3–5 NLT).[1]

Note: Chapter 1 follows a Preface.

1. A Mystery

An old gentleman leaned on his cane and peered into the cherry-red 1923 Model T Roadster. It glistened like a new car, but just a few years earlier had rested in decay almost forgotten.
          “This is just like the first car I ever had,” he said, a twinkle in his eyes.
          He and his son were examining four antique cars brought to a senior care center as part of the National Nursing Home Week celebration.
          The man, like the Model T, was almost an antique himself.
          Before the old car found redemption, from the front bumper down to the brown leather on the rumble seat, the old Ford stood waiting for one last trip—to the junkyard. Many vehicles like it have been retrieved from gullies, from behind the barn, and from buildings and junkyards, metal-consuming rust eating away at running boards, fenders, hoods, engines, and other vital parts.
           Rust is the reddish-orange coating of ferric hydroxide, the substance that causes oxidation of metal in the car’s body. When metal rusts, it breaks down until its elements disappear into the air and into the earth, leaving holes.
          Doctors tell us oxidation occurs in the human body, too, as we age and develop diseases. We aren’t eaten by rust, but oxidation causes cell damage, and that is why nutritionists recommend we consume foods rich in antioxidants, such as blueberries and green tea. In the human body, life-essential oxygen combusts and produces by-products referred to as oxygen free radicals, which cause aging.
          Oxidation is part of the second law of thermodynamics, a scientific term we seldom talk about but see all the time when there is a loss of electrons in an atom. Every barn you see with the roof caved in is an example of this law, which says in simple terms that everything eventually falls apart because energy becomes less organized with time.
          Our bodies do the same thing. As we age our sight grows dim, the ears less discerning of sounds. Our memory slows. Our muscles and joints don’t work as well. Our skin wrinkles. Our cardiovascular system becomes clogged or diseased. Our lungs and vocal cords exhibit wear and tear. The body’s defense weakens and diseases take up residence in us. Then, like an old automobile, one functioning organ goes, and then another, until the loss of a vital part is enough to kill.
Death for the human body is connected to the degradation of matter. Our mortal flesh isn’t designed to last forever. Unless taken by death prematurely, like the unrestored Model T covered in rust and with an engine that won’t run, the human body wears out or just quits.
I started studying about death and life after we lost our beautiful eldest daughter, Carolyn, to cancer in 1990. A born-again Christian who could quickly tell someone else what to believe, I found my faith challenged.
When I knew Carolyn was dying, over and over I prayed, tears streaming down my face, my insides feeling ripped out, “Where are you, God?”
My guts twisted with anger and doubt. Fear choked me as I wondered if what Jesus said about eternal life was really true.
I’d heard and read what the Bible has to say. It says at death we will immediately be with the Lord (Luke 23:43, Ecclesiastes 12:6–8) and at the resurrection, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, our flesh will be changed into an immortal body with all-new parts that never age, get sick, or die—even if that flesh has already turned to dust.
Probably because of my experiences and what I learned on the medical beat at the newspaper, I decided to investigate if there is evidence we are more than a mere body.
I knew a journalist’s assignment sometimes goes beyond the obvious. Facts aren’t material objects that can be felt or seen. Through testimony and evidence, truth can be learned. Interviewing witnesses, experts, and victims and making visits to the scene help a reporter present facts to the public.
          Yet, when the story is all told, newspaper readers or television viewers react differently. Some believe what is reported; others do not. Some doubt the reliability of the reporter. Others assume the media conspires to deceive the public. A few believe the persons interviewed are liars.
          Those who believe take the plunge into faith.

 Biblical quotes in this book are King James Version unless noted

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, May 14, 2012
Review on Amazon By 
Christian author Ada Brownell penned "Swallowed by Life" after the death of her daughter Carolyn. It was then that Brownell embarked on a quest to discover what really happens to the physical body after the last breath.

Brownell includes many timely Scripture verses throughout the book, as well as, study questions at the end of each chapter. She gives a realistic glimpse into the life of one who has lost a loved one, and that is perhaps one of my favorite things about this book - the authenticity.

Brownell uses her past expertise as a journalist to skillfully write a book that is not only insightful, but also interesting. As one who has led many Bible studies and has also been a participant on numerous occasions, I am particular in choosing which studies I read and recommend. Brownell offers a book that will offer hope to those not only struggling with grief themselves, but also those who work with the grief stricken. It is not a sad and dismal book, however. It is a book of encouragement and hope - the hope we have in Christ Jesus. I highly recommend it.

Author Bio:
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. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers, and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is a member of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband have five children, one in heaven, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

You can find out more about Ada Brownell on her author page:
Ada Brownell Amazon Author Page
And you can see more reviews on GoodReads

Readers: You may purchase the book at:

or have your local library order it in for you!

ADA BROWNELL is giving away a copy of Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post)


Robin Bunting said...

wow. sounds like a wonderful devotional that anyone would be delighted to have. thank you for th opportunity to win a copy.

Robin Bunting

Ada Brownell said...

Thanks, Robin, for your wonderful comment. Thanks, also, Sharon and the Barn Door Loft crew for inviting me to be your guest. May God bless you.

Sharon A Lavy said...

Thank you, Ada for visiting the Barn Door Book Loft and for sharing your Bible Study book.

Anne Payne said...

From the excerpt, the book sounds like it's a great devotional/resource for grieving parents. I lost my oldest daughter two and a half years ago. I would love to read this book.


Deanna Stevens said...

I would like to read this book of encouragement and hope,
d_stevens310 AT live DOTCOM

Patricia Bradley said...

Loved the excerpt. This sounds like a very comforting devotional for someone who has lost a loved one. Blessings to you!

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