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. * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday Sermonette - Cursing the Enemies

Do not keep silent, O God of my praise! For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful have opened against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. In return for my love they are my accusers,
But I give myself to prayer. Thus they have rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love.
Set a wicked man over him, And let an accuser[a] stand at his right hand. When he is judged, let him be found guilty, And let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few, And let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, And his wife a widow. Let his children continually be vagabonds, and beg; Let them seek their bread also from their desolate places. Let the creditor seize all that he has, And let strangers plunder his labor. Let there be none to extend mercy to him, Nor let there be any to favor his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off, And in the generation following let their name be blotted out. Psalm 109:1-13, NKJV

There are pieces of Biblical scripture that really make me cringe. This is definitely one of them. Wow, was King David mad when he wrote this or not? I don't think I have ever been that angry. Have you?

One thing I admire about David was his honesty with God. He definitely let it all out. Even when it was ugly and accusatory like this one. The Bible never tries to paint even their heroes as beatific and perfect--well, except for Jesus.

We should be just as honest. Tell Him when you're angry, lonely, hurt, disappointed, weak, messed up. Don't pull your punches. God already knows when you're mad. You might as well talk to Him about it rather than trying to hide it, right?

Even if it's God you're mad at. It's okay. Get them out so He can begin to heal the messed-up parts of you. If you hide your wounds, they'll just keep bleeding, festering, and hurting.

Let "Dr. God" work on you. He's the best, and He never sends you a bill. But a caution--tell only God, not all your friends.

Lord, I give you the places inside me that aren't so pretty. Please cauterize my hurts and stop the bleeding and infections as only You can. In Jesus's precious name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Book Review - NO TURNING BACK by Katie Vorreiter

This is a page-turner. As romantic suspense, inspirational-style, this one could raise your hair and keep you up all night.

Livvy Fischer thought she was traumatized by a stalker who ruined her singing career, but that was nothing compared to what she was about to go through: A prison riot, with herself as the special target of a serial rapist/killer.

She goes to the prison with serious misgivings, but the cute pastor (Lucas) wants to sit by her on the bus. How could she say no? If she'd known what was coming up, though, "no" would be definite. She's trying to sing with the worship bunch in the prison chapel when all h---, um, really bad stuff begins to happen. If it weren't for the few good guys, truly converted Christians, especially Tobin, she'd have died and worse at the hands of Gant, an instigator of the riot and said serial rapist/killer, before you could shake a lamb's tail. Even so, will those too few good guys be enough against the thousands of madmen?

Need I say it? You really, really have to grab this book quick. Click one of these links: Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

I was given a free copy of this book by the author in return for an honest review.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Morning Devo - Widowing

...I am full of heaviness; I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; And for comforters, but I found none. Psalm 69:20, NKJV.

For those of you who have not lost spouses, this blog isn't for you. I'm not saying you haven't experienced grief, just that each grief is different.

Sometimes I feel like Jack was ripped out of my life--like tearing a picture like the one above. There are heavy days, still, and moments when missing him is nearly unbearable. I love that God has comforted me, but a warm hug from a friend is so healing. You know what I mean if you're a widow.

One caution--guys and gals need to be very cautious about comforting each other. This is a vulnerable time, and you don't need to set yourself up for a guilt trip. There's enough of that in the grieving process.

I talked to some of the other widows in our church on Sunday about starting a group for widows and widowers.

Remember those special occasions when you and your spouse used to do something together? You know, like birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s day? Or those times when a trigger of some sort sends you spiraling down, and you need a hug and/or someone to talk to who knows exactly how you feel?

This group would provide that. Whoever is available can go along, and you can lift a glass to the departed one. (No, it doesn't have to be anything alcoholic.) The get-togethers can be in a home or restaurant. Or maybe a long trip together--a cruise, a road trip to the beach, or whatever.

Think about it. Talk to your widowed friends. You would not only be helping yourself but also helping someone else (or several someones) in the process.

Oh--and if your grief is for a departed child or sibling or parent? Think about starting a group for that. Think about reaching out instead of shrinking in.

Lord, please teach us true religion--about loving and caring for and comforting the widows, the parentless, and the childless. For it is in reaching out to give comfort that we are comforted. For Jesus's sake, Amen.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Review - THE STONEKEEPERS by Sally Chambers

Good mysteries and suspense novels keep me turning the pages and forgetting to stop reading. Which definitely happened to me in this one. I'd tell myself "I'll stop at the end of this chapter," but somehow I'd find myself deep into the next one....

Two young women (Lexi and Jenni) and one young man (Ridge) find their way into a huge deserted mansion and all the mystery and mayhem associated with it. Lexi is drawn to the mansion, but she doesn't know why, and her parents know something but won't tell her. Then she finds an intriguing letter hidden in her cedar chest that spurs her on.

Unfortunately, someone else is also spurred, and the trio faces international troubles (and discoveries) far beyond anything their wildest imaginations couldn't have dreamed up. The bad guys will stop at nothing to get what Lexi has.

Terrific read available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I received a copy of this book free from the author in return for an honest review.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday Sermonette - Mine was Best

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12, NKJV.

I know you think your mom was the best, but I can't agree. They just didn't come any better than Evelyn Baxter, my mother.

Experts may tell you that young children don't respond to reasoning before they are past five years old, but Mom was different. I guess she'd never heard that. Or maybe she just didn't believe it, because when my brother or I did something not so nice, she would take us to our rooms and sit us down to explain why what we did was wrong. Never sat us in a corner or on a "time out" chair.

She didn't yell or hit, just talk. I can't really speak for my brother, but I know she really reached my right-or-wrong center. She resorted to a willow switch only twice that I can remember. I wasn't much more than a toddler when I took a nickle from my piggy bank and went to the drug store for an ice cream cone. The second time was when I was some older and went off to play with a friend without permission. I suspect both times she was scared to death because she didn't know where I was. But she found me anyway. Hm. How did she do that?

She listened, too. When my boyfriend (at least in my mind) asked another girl to the prom, she was right there with both ears. When I didn't understand the hormones that threatened me, she listened and counseled, drawing on her own experience as a teenager.

Lord, I will forever be grateful for the wise, funny, and loving mom You gave me. Grant that we (men and women alike) may emulate the good moms you've given us as examples. For Jesus's sake, Amen.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Book Review - MEDICAL JUDGMENT by Richard L. Mabry, MD

I love a good mystery, don't you? And this one is definitely good. However, don't trust my opinion. You should get this and make your own decision.

Sarah Gordon is an emergency room doctor struggling with grief after losing her husband and two-year-old daughter in a head-on collision. As if that weren't enough, a stalker has begun terrorizing her. First a fire, then a doll left on her doorstep (identical to her baby's favorite, one still sitting on her daughter's bed). She takes steps to protect herself, but it seems every step she takes, her persistent stalker is one step ahead. The stalking escalates until the detective, her lawyer friend, and her pastor are sure the final goal is to kill her.

Worse, there seem to be no clues--no fingerprints, nothing in her history that would seem to be worthy of this menacing prowler's ire. He seems to have planned everything out to perfection.

You should get this one so you can help them out. Maybe you can uncover the secret in time. Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday Morning Devo - Amazing

They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!" Revelation 15:3, NKJV.

I looked up from reading at about sundown last evening and saw the most gorgeous sky I've seen in a long time. This shot doesn't even begin to do it justice. The clouds in the foreground were lit up in a beautiful pinkish red. The background clouds were the perfect darkened backdrop.

I love seeing these gifts of nature. They always fill me with awe. So varied, so spectacular, so exuberant! It's like creation is singing Hallelujah.

It doesn't matter how down I get, sights like these always give my heart a lift. I wonder if it is God saying, "See, things aren't all so sad. Look up in wonder at the beauty and remember how much I love you."

Father, You are the best parent ever. You know how to give good and perfect gifts to surprise our eyes. Thank You, Lord. Amen.