Legal Property

* * * * * * * * * * * * * This blog is the intellectual property of Anne Baxter Campbell, and any quotation of part or all of it without her approval is illegal. * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Monday, May 25, 2015

Monday Morning Devo - The Day After

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Wow, what an exciting time that must have been. I have been in prayer meetings/Bible studies where the Lord has been present in mighty ways, and the exhilaration is hard to describe. The euphoria carries forward into the next day and sometimes even longer. Everyone is all smiles. Phone calls go back and forth between one person and the next. It's amazing.

A lot of euphorias have a down time eventually. We can't live forever in that exciting moment in the past--we have to remember we have that great commission from Jesus to go out and make disciples.

As long as there are still unbelievers, there will be the necessity to go and do. Some of us are a little less able to go, but we can still do. He has work for all of us--all we need to do is ask what. The thing we absolutely cannot do is rest on our laurels. We might have done wonders (or seen wonders) yesterday, but what about today? Or tomorrow?

What if there aren't any miracles today? Will you leave Him? He was exciting yesterday, but is He boring today?

Are we Pentecost junkies? Or can we keep going when it's humdrum or even when people make fun of us or worse?

Lord, You gave us the power to be disciplers on Pentecost, but sometimes we forget. Forgive us, remind us, and push us out the door. Thank You, Lord!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday Sermonette - Without a Doubt: Pharisees

Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” John 9:16, NKJV

The Pharisees were probably the most influential bunch in the Jewish religion. They made it a point of pride to know and follow every law and rule dreamed up by the lawmakers. God gave the ten Commandments, Moses (with God's help) wrote a LOT more--really more clarifications than additional laws. Scribes down through the years between Moses and Jesus added hundreds of other rules, and the Pharisees proudly followed them all--at least when folks could see them.

They sincerely believed God liked them best because they did follow the rules. Never mind that they put the rules before other people's needs and before God Himself. Jesus called them whitewashed tombs--painted and clean on the outside but filled with rot inside.

Filled with self-importance and scornful of those who disagreed with them, they could make life pretty miserable for others. The longer Jesus was around, the more the Pharisees disliked Him. He rocked their religious boats, and this was one storm they intended to get rid of.

They were without a doubt--but they were wrong. Just like you and me on occasion. If they had truly known the scriptures, they could have seen the ones that pointed to Jesus. When we first get acquainted with Jesus, we tend to take the word of anyone who preaches--dangerous. No one is one hundred percent accurate. Test the scriptures. Don't jerk one out of a story and use it to prove your point. Like I did above, by the way. The difference is that there are a lot more to substantiate what that one scripture says.

What if I took one verse that said to kill all the non-Jews in the country?

See what I mean?

Lord, please open our eyes to see what You see. Give us Your heart to understand what You really want from us, not what someone else thinks is "righteous." For Your sake we ask it, and we give You all the thanks and praise!
Amen.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Book Review - SINS OF THE MOTHERS by Caryl McAdoo



I tell you what, folks, this girl can write! I do love this series, and maybe most especially this book.

Mary Rachel Buckmeyer is smart as a whip. She can out-negotiate the experts, out-guess marketing trends, and out-stubborn a mule. Trouble is, she tends to follow her heart into disaster. She falls in love with Caleb Wheeler, a man her father says is a boy. As she finds out, he's not only irresponsible, he has a meandering eye, lies like a braided rug, and has all the loyalty of a new-born pup.

Mary hops from one frying pan to another until one man shows up who could steady her and get her out of the fixes she gets herself into. But again, trouble is she might throw him away. When will this girl ever learn?

Such a great story! I know you'll love it. Available at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Morning Devo - With Thanks

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.... (Philippians 4:6, NKJV) (Italics and bolding are mine--Anne)

Did you ever think that maybe saying "Thank You" to God before you get a thing might be the ultimate expression of faith?

Usually we say say thanks after we receive whatever it is we asked for. We go into a store, buy milk or whatever, and say thanks after the clerk hands us what we purchase, right? That's what we do. Why in the world would we say thanks before we get the milk?

Yet Paul advises the Philippians to do exactly that. Make our request to God, and then say thank You before we see the results.

It's a step of faith. It's trusting God that the answer He provides is the right answer. It's knowing Him and knowing He knows what will do the most good in the long run--sometimes even as impossible as it seems.

The point of this bunch of rambling is: "Always give thanks." Always. Never ask for anything without saying thanks. Remember it again when you receive. Give thanks especially when God gives you little surprise gifts...my favorites are always beautiful scenes (rainbows, sunsets, seascapes), flowers, babies. That type of thing always makes my heart glow with gratitude.

Practice giving thanks over the little things, and more big things will come into view.

Father--thank You. Thank You for being here whenever I need You (and even when I think I don't). Thank You for showing me beauty all around me. Thank You for small miracles. Thank You for breath in my lungs, eyes to see Your creation, ears to hear the birdsongs. I remember that You are the author of all things good. Amen

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Saturday Sermonette - Without a Doubt (Sadducees)

[The Sadducees said] ".... Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.”
Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:28-29)
The Sadducees were the upper class, typically more interested in getting than giving. They only accepted the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) as their authority, and they didn't believe in the resurrection of the dead. Like a lot of folks nowadays, they obeyed God so long as it didn't affect their money belts.
I'm sure a lot of them sincerely believed they were just as righteous as they needed to be. You know what I'm going to say next, don't you? Believing something doesn't make it so. 
Obviously, they weren't paying attention when God told Moses (Exodus 3:6), "I AM the God of your father and of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Present tense. In other words, those four men were still alive--at least in Heaven.
I love that Jesus told the Sadducees they didn't know either the scriptures or the power of God. His arm isn't weak--He's able to lift us all. His heart beats for the human being He created. He wants everyone to join Him in Heaven.
No, He won't force you to go--it's voluntary. You get to choose. So....what do you choose? To follow Him? Or to follow the way of the Sadducees? Your choice.
Father, today I want to follow You without reservation. Please help me in that step-by-step path. Amen. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Guest Post - Andrea Merrell: PARENTS AND PRODIGALS


Are you the parent of a prodigal? Maybe you’re the grandparent or guardian. Perhaps you have a close friend or family member with a rebellious child, and you don’t know what to do or where to go for help.

As the mother of two former prodigals, I suffered five long years of agony until my children returned. Now, the cry of my heart is to share my experience in order to give renewed hope to those who have lost it. Everyone needs stability in the midst of the storm—something to hang on to when things spin out of control.

When my children first went down this dark path, it was devastating. My husband and I had done everything we knew to instill Christian values and raise our son and daughter in a godly environment. We could not understand what could have possibly gone wrong and we got caught in the blame game. What we learned is that it’s not anyone’s fault. Even good kids rebel—and even good parents can end up with a prodigal.

The first few years of this journey were spent in anger, frustration, and a feeling of sheer hopelessness. There were many tears and sleepless nights. The enemy had somehow convinced me this situation was my fault, making it difficult to go boldly to the throne of grace, as the Word instructs us to do. I struggled with guilt and condemnation and felt like God had abandoned our family.

The good news is God never let go. He saw every tear and heard every prayer. No matter how hard I tried to give up, He never let me. He kept giving me the grace and strength I needed to keep pressing on, believing my children would return. When our breakthrough came, I knew without a doubt God had been right there with us all along, loving my children, protecting them, and working in their hearts—and in mine.

Satan intimidates us with his lies, and we tend to run for cover instead of facing him like Jesus did with, It is written. The most important thing I learned during this time was that God is faithful and His Word is true. When I turned to the Word and learned to pray the Scriptures over my children, things began to change—first in me, then in my children. The Bible says it is impossible to please God without faith. Sometimes we make faith a hard concept, but it is simply a matter of believing God will do what He says He will do.

If you’re ready to do spiritual warfare for the soul of your child, Praying for the Prodigal will help equip you for the battle ahead. You will find practical survival tips, advice from the former prodigals themselves, and thirty days of prayers and Scriptures.

No matter how bad your situation may seem, remember … there is always hope for the prodigal.

Andrea Merrell is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a freelance editor and has led workshops at various writers’ conferences. Andrea’s work has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, The Gift, and Praying for the Prodigal, all available on Amazon. For more information, visit: www.AndreaMerrell.com or www.TheWriteEditing.com.

(Note from Anne: If you'd like to read my review of Praying for the Prodigal, stay tuned next week!)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Morning Devo - Who Has the Best Mom?


I don't want to start a war here, but....

Lord, thank You for giving us mothers. Fathers, too, of course--and no less important or loved, but Mothers' Day was just yesterday, so the reason for this special thanks. Amen.

My mom was the best. I did a tribute to her on this blog a few years back, and I promise, I'm not launching into another one now.

I had a very special mom. She loved my brother and I immensely. It showed in the way she treated us, talked to us, supported us. I'm glad God gave her to us...Or us to her, I should say. I miss her more and more every year, and I look forward to the day when I can hug her again.

What I want to know is, do you think you had or have the best mom? Why? What made (or makes) her so special?

Your turn. Go.