Monday, December 31, 2012

Blessing The New Year!

May the Lord shine upon you as you go into this new year. May He give you grace and favor. May all you do prosper as you walk with Him!

About 9:00 p.m. our neighbor walked out on his deck which is above our house and set off firecrackers to welcome in the new year. I suspect he and his wife are now snug in their bed. They will not stay up late, but move into the new year refreshed. I'm planning something similar--without the fireworks!

I know it is a bit late, but still, I wanted to pass along a treat for any of you who are staying up late! This receipt is from a missionary friend of mine.
New Year Egg-Nog
Separate 5 eggs, beat the yokes and
Combine with 1/2 cup evaporated milk and approx. 5 cups regular milk (more or less to taste)
Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla and sweetner to taste
Add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg (more if needed)
Mix well
Whip the egg white and fold into the above mixture
Whip heavy cream, sweeten with confectioners sugar and put a dollop on top of each serving.
Those who wish to add spirits will need to experiment to determine the proper amount!
My husband and I like to add 7-Up rather than alcohol. 
I heartily recommend taste testing as you go along. Cook's privilege.! 
I'm spending tomorrow with the Lord, looking at goals for this next year. He has already begun to download some things that I will be turning into a series of blogs. Last year I didn't want to make a new year resolution; I won't be this year either! Instead I decided on a new focus and that was to explore whether I could in some small measure learn to think God thoughts. As I meditated on the idea, He suddenly spoke, "Read the Red Print!" I laughed right out loud and proceeded to find a bible with Jesus words in red print. If I want to know how God thinks all I need to do is read the red print. Jesus said,
      "Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father
       is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own
       authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing
       his work." And, "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing
       by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing,
       because whatever the Father does the Son also does."
If we want to know what God thinks and what He values we can read what Jesus said and what He did--that will give us a good idea of the mind and heart of God. So I spent this year memorizing The Sermon on the Mount--that was the source of the meditations I titled, "God Thoughts." I do believe God is serious about Christians renewing the mind. That will be the thrust of this new series of blogs that the Lord is not done downloading. I'm chuckling at the timing as this new material feels like a "next installment" or the next level of delving into God thoughts.  He tends to give me a little bit and I write that down and then I have to take sections and mull it over and then associate it with what I already is a long, slow process. BUT when I know what He is saying, this is the place I will share it first!
So goodnight all and may the Lord sing to your spirit through the night.
Blessings, Carol Brown...making it plain

Monday, December 24, 2012

After Christmas Book Promotion

Christmas is a time of giving. After all of the presents are opened, it’s time to get even more stuff – batteries, songs for that new iPod, and eBooks for your new Kindle. For avid readers, the last thing on that list is probably what’s on your mind – even if you didn’t get a new Kindle. But books can be so expensive – even eBook prices seem to be rising in today’s economy. Did you know that there are still several ways to get free books for your Kindle? Yes, I said free.

And you will find The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity also free as an ebook!

Maybe you got a new Kindle for Christmas, maybe you just like free books, either way, you don’t want to miss what’s going on over at Body and Soul Publishing right now. They’re hosting the “Shop ‘Til You Drop FREE Christian Books and More” after Christmas book sale extravaganza. With over 40 books to choose from, readers are getting savings of over $140 – but that’s not all! They are also giving away a $25 Amazon gift card.

With bestselling authors such as Heather Bixler, Janet Perez Eckles, and Shelley Hitz giving their books away for free, this isn’t a sale that any Christian reader will want to miss. Besides getting over 40 FREE books during the sale, one of the books is a how-to guide for getting even MORE free books online. If you love reading as much as I do, you won’t want to miss this sale, so hop on over to Body and Soul Publishing and check it out here:

I am enjoying the children during this season. At my husbands office party people were telling stories of cute things kids say. One man retold the one about a child who misunderstood where the word juncture fell, resulting in his hearing the song title, Gladly the Cross I'd Bare as Gladly, The Crosseyed Bear. One lady in the group didn't get it at first, but when the mental picture hit her she became the entertainment! I trust you are also enjoying the parties!

Blessings, Carol Brown

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Free Christian Books for Christmas

Shop ‘Til You Drop FREE Christian Book Promotion & More!

I’ve not forgotten that we have been on a series of God thoughts. We are taking a little hiatus with the Christmas preparations and shopping. We will get back to it…but let me share about the Shop ‘Til You Drop Books and More sale going on over at Body and Soul Publishing. My book, The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity, is one of the books included in the sale., but all the savings being offered on other Christian eBooks! December 26th through the 28th, 2012 readers can score over 40 FREE Christian books – AND one lucky reader will walk away with a $25 Amazon gift card.
Besides my book, bestselling authors such as Staci Stallings, Heather Bixler, Krystal Kuehn, and Janet Perez Eckles are just a few of the names that readers will see on the books that are included in this sale. The books range from Christian romance novels, to Bible study, to book marketing, and even children’s books. Readers can rack up savings of over$140 on books during this sale, so I recommend checking it out here:
And while you’re there, don’t forget to enter to win the $25 gift card.
Here's hoping you enjoy the shopping and the baking and the decorating! And when it is all done I hope you take some quiet with one of those good books and bask in the Lord's presence. Enjoy the Babe and the grown up Savior and the coming Messiah!

Blessings, Carol Brown

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trusting God When Bad Things Happen

When God created humanity, He did not create us to experience loss. Originally, He created us to be eternal beings...there was no loss in the plan. So it is no wonder we are at a loss for words; our brains freeze and we cannot process the evil of last weekend--we do not have the capacity to do so. But God's capacity is unlimited and He can pick us up and carry us through the incomprehensible. 

I did not feel compelled to add any more words to what was being said about the tragedy last week but when contacted by my friend and co-member of John 316 Marketing Network, I felt that this guest post is very appropriate. We all need to be able to process such happenings and Shelley gives a sound perspective.

Guest post by Shelley Hitz
My heart continues to be heavy for all those grieving today across our country. I don't believe it was a coincidence that I published a book this past week called, "Trusting God When Bad Things Happen." And even before the tragedy in Connecticut, I felt led to offer it free on Smashwords this month.

Trusting God In The Midst of the "Storms" of Life

When bad things happen, what is your reaction? Do you trust God even when you don't understand?

There was a dark season in my life when it literally felt like an earthquake had occurred. Everything in my life seemed to be falling family, my finances, our church. And I asked God the simple question, "Why?" This book is the result of my own search for answers. In the end, God gave me illustrations that I will share with you and brought healing to my heart and my distorted view of Him. I was able to trust Him again, even though my circumstances had not changed.

I pray that God uses this short eBook to deeply impact you as well. I have included questions for reflection for you to go through individually or as a group.

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I (Jesus) have overcome the world!" - John 16:33

One Reader's Response:

"This book has Biblical answers to the 'Why?' we are hearing so much today after the shooting tragedy in Connecticut. Thank you, Shelley, for the timeliness and wisdom." ~Barbara

Download This Book for Free

For anyone interested, you can download the book "Trusting God When Bad Things Happen" FREE this month.

100% Off Coupon Code: HB95F
Expires: January 1, 2013

This book is also available for $0.99 on Kindle

I encourage you all to ask your "whys"... the Lord would rather you ask Him your questions than see you crumple in a ball of grief. Look for His answers to the "why"-- they often come from unexpected sources. He may not necessarily answer in the way or the timing that you would like, but He will answer.  I am praying for His peace that passes all understanding to flood your hearts and minds. It was a harsh time when God's first answer to the craziness of this world came. He truly does understand what we are going through.

Blessings, Carol Brown

p.s. Remember that the Christmas prices on my books are good through to the end of the month.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

God Thoughts on Lawlessness

Lawlessness hardly seems a Christmas meditation, yet that is the very reason Jesus came--to destroy the works of darkness. And lawlessness is certainly one of them.

In my memorization of The Sermon on the Mount I have come to Matthew 7:21-23.  (English Standard Version) "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?" And then will I declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."

Now, how can that be? How could people prophesy, cast out demons and do mighty works in Jesus name without Jesus ever knowing them? So I went to the source and asked! The thought that finally took form in my mind was to look at the Law. The first commandment is to have no other Gods before Him. When asked  what was the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." That is the Law.

Lawlessness then, would be NOT loving God with your whole being and seeking after relationship with Him with everything there is in us. AND it would be to not love our neighbor as ourselves. It is possible to do works that are godly in nature without having a loving relationship with Him. That is what I call "cultural Christianity;" it is a form of Christianity that is learned from one's family and society but does not necessarily include having a saving, loving relationship with Jesus. It is saying all the right words and making all the right moves but still being disconnected from Him. How sad. We can concentrate on the second command and miss the first--to love God with everything within us!

What might such a scenario look like? Perhaps one could run a soup kitchen for street people--a ministry that would tug on the Lord's heart. He came to lift up the down-trodden, bind up the broken, proclaim release to the captives. It might be running a mission or an orphanage. It could even be a prayer ministry where you use the name of Jesus to accomplish much good in lives and yet neglect the most important of all--the relationship with the One you claim to follow!

If we neglect our relationship to God to the point that we are not loving Him above all else He considers us workers of lawlessness. If the praise of man is our primary motivator, or money, or fame rather than our love of Jesus and His kingdom, in His eyes we work lawlessness!

This is a shocking verse and opens a murkey grey area, what about people who are simply inmature? Or the carnal Christian? Is there a qualitative difference in the relationship? I think, yes, it is a qualitative difference in the works themselves and in the relationship with God. And for this reason the mature need to mix with the inmature and help them grow up and mature into the likeness of Christ. We need to be caring for our brothers and sisters, even carrying them at times when they cannot stand because of the difficulty of their situations. We need to model for them maturity does, what it looks like and how to attain it. When we bear one another's burdens we do fulfill the law of Christ according to Galatians 6:2. I'm glad He is the One making the call. I'll leave the judging to Him rather than questioning God's motives.

I think God wants the good works to flow out of our love of Him, be a result of our relationship with Him rather than doing good works to buy us a ticket into heaven. Buying a ticket does not involve a relationship with the agent! And He wants our hearts and our focus to be toward Him. He wants to be the reason for joy in our lives, the source of love and belonging. He is the inexhaustable source of these deep needs and only He is able to faithfully supply. People can have good intentions, but ultimately they are a limited resource. God knew that and so He said that we are to love Him with everything we have! The good works can be the overflow of what He gives us.

As Christmas approaches it is our custom to volunteer at missions or soup kitchens, to give to food banks, give coats, mittens and toys for poor children, etc. These activities are loving our neighbors as ourselves--if we were in that position, we would want someone to help us!

I think it would be good to examine our acts of charity. Do we do what we do because of the overflow of God's love? Because we love Him and want to see His kingdom advanced? Or is this activity a custom, a part of our culture, something we do this time of year because we have always done so?

This season I will be asking the Lord, "Is this a cultural tradition or is this somethingYou want me to do?"

I'd be interested in some discussion, hearing your thoughts on lawlessness.

May the Peace of heaven be with you during this season and beyond.

Blessings, Carol...making it plain

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Recently Sue Russell, an author friend from the UK and fellow John 4:16 member, asked me to join her in a blog event called "The Next Big Thing" where we share with our readers about our works in progress. Sue has a wonderful trilogy out--Leviaton on a Fishhook and Land of Nimrod are two of them. Her next work is A Shed in a Cucumber Field! Now that piques my interest!

I actually have two works in various stages! The first is a book of the lessons and experiences the Lord took me through and the lessons He taught me through the medium of living with multiple sclerosis, with applications to The Church today. I had several different titles over the course of pulling the pieces of this book together but have settled on the one that the Lord seems to want for it.
The second one? It is also non-ficton. I have been invited to join Dr. Jim Wilder, a psychologist, and Rev. Chris Corsey in writing a book on how joy or the lack of it affects our lives. This will be part of a series of books presenting what we consider to be a premier leadership training course called Thrive. People in each of the "seven mountains" of society will be writing a book demonstrating how joy and the lack of joy affects the lives, occupations and ministries of the people who "occupy" that mountain. The book I will help write will be written uniquely for pastors and church leadership and demonstrate the ripple effect of the benefits of joy (happy to be with you) for these key leaders. 
The Thrive training trains leaders in the 19 brain skills necessary for relationship--and those in ministry are all about relationship. I will be sharing more about this work as time goes on. We will be writing seriously this more on that later. Now, to the work that is sitting on a publisher's desk!
What is the working title of your book?

Through the Wilderness…the pathway to holiness

Where did the idea for the book come from?
This book was all God's idea! It was 15 years in the making; it began as a result of some prophetic type people uring me to write down tha various experience I would have living with MS. All four individuals felt that my having this disease would somehow bring a message for the Church! I thought, rather cynically, "Yeah, right. I have no message and the Church does not want to hear me say 'MS sucks!'" But faithfully I recorded the experiences and lessons and filed them away. As the 15th hear came to a lose I heard from the Lord to "Put it together." And so I have.

What genre does your book fall under?

It's  rather unique--it's not really a memoir nor a devotional but it is, sort of. It is inspirational and has a prophetic element—how could it not have! One reader characterized it as a spiritual guide and adventure book. So I am not sure what genre it will fall under.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Each chapter is a different experience and has its own message so it really would not be suitable for a movie…at least I don’t think so, but I probably don't think like a filmmaker either!.

What is the one-sentence synopsis for your book?

It is a call to look at the difficult places in life from the perspective that life is preparing us, sculpting us into the likeness of Jesus and each time we make a godly choice in a hard place, God credits that to us as holiness!

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I have considered making this an ebook, but I think I will try a traditional publisher first.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Individual pieces were written in spurts over 15 years so the first compiling didn’t take more than a week.

What other books would you compare your story to within the genre?

Since it doesn’t really fit in any genre do I get to make a new one? Readers tell me that it is unique.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?


Holy Spirit.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

It's different! It's overtly and unapologetically Christian and invites the reader to go deeper into relationship with God; each chapter has questions to help a reader focus on various aspects of that relationship. You can go as deep with it as you want. Or, not... and it is still an interesting read. It does invite the reader to explore…

It was difficult to go 15 years without understanding what God is up to, but I am so glad that I persevered and that God shared His purpose.

I hope to hear back from the publisher within the next month about a contract. If the subject piques your interest I would appreciate your prayers that the Lord's favor would rest on the manuscript and that it would soon be on its way to print!

Holiday blessings to all!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Specials

Here is another posting of the Christmas specials I am offering this year. You will need to click to enlarge the picture to read the pricing--or go to my website and view it there! These prices are good for the entire month of December. And remember, all my books are now available as ebooks on Amazon.

I also want to support a fellow author, Chris Hibbard, who has written a trilogy of YA fantasy novels. You can see her page here. Or it can be purchased here. Here's a little blurb about this one that she will be launching Dec. 19:
Adventures in Terreldor is a series of YA novels (allegorical fantasy adventure) that follow the adventures of two brothers who find themselves in a strange world filled with impossibility and adventure. Faced with tragedy and trial, Mark is forced to draw upon strengths and develop skills he never expected himself capable of. The brothers are taken in by mentors who claim to hold the secrets of true wisdom and maturity. In their endeavors, they learn the most difficult lessons in life are often found on the path home.

Begin the adventure in Journey to Terreldor, then follow these brothers as they are cast into peril in Terreldor at War. Discover the culmination of their odyssey in The Long Path Home.

There is nothing quite like relaxing by the fire with hot chocolate and a good book...unless it is a crackling fire, hot chocolate, a good book and a kitty! 

May the Lord's joy fill your home, your loved ones and your conversations as we come ever closer to the celebration of the birth of our Lord.

Blessings, Carol