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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Book Review - THE ROSE OF SARATOGA COUNTY by Murray Pura

I think this could be classified as an inspirational almost-Amish, revolutionary-historical-romance, or a spine tingler--take your pick. Murray Pura has a talent to intermingle fierce love with war, and he does it so very well.

You will remember (I hope) The Rose of Lancaster County, the story of an Amish girl caught up in the frenzy to execute all supposed witches--well, this is sort of the continuing story of Rose Lantz and Ethan Daniels mixed in with their granddaughter named after her, Rosaline,

Rosaline hasn't joined the Amish faith--although there's always that possibility in the future. It could be a distant future, because the English and the Colonies are at war, and she's in the middle of it. She has no intention of being the meek and mild Amish yet. There is a war to fight.

Rose is distressed--so many (including her beloved Ethan) are fighting, shooting to kill. Surely God will be angry with all of them!

Thanks, Murray, you've done it again--ruined a perfectly potentially good night's rest. Or two.

Available from Amazon.

I was given a free copy of this book by the author, but there was no request for an honest review. But I am giving it anyway.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Morning Devo - Is Forgiving Important?

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." Matthew 18:21-22

How important is forgiveness? Well, a long time before psychologists and psychiatrists were invented, Jesus knew how important it was. Carrying grudges burns holes in your middle. It eats your brain and fills you with an anger that won't be cooled. Not even revenge makes it go away; no, that makes it even worse.

I could point you to a bunch of other passages with the examples of and commandments to forgive.
The epitome of examples might be when Jesus forgave those who had tortured and were killing Him even as they gambled for His clothing and laughed at the sign on His cross naming Him as King of the Jews.

When should you forgive? Well, best is immediately, of course. Can we do that? Not easily, I know.

I guess it's easier to forgive when the person comes to you and says he or she is sorry. Not quite so easy when they refuse to admit they're in the wrong.

But do it anyway.

How about if they hurt someone you care about--your spouse, your kids, your best friend--it doesn't matter. They wounded your loved one, and they don't deserve forgiveness.

Do it anyway.

How about forgiving yourself? You know God's forgiven you, maybe even the person you hurt has forgiven you--but what you did still bothers you. If you can do it without causing further damage, ask the person you offended for their forgiveness. Then ask God to pardon you. He will. Now the hardest part: forgive yourself. Now, that is all but impossible.

Do it anyway.

I'm too simplistic? Yes, I am. Just remember, God can (and will) help. Give it to Him And when your human nature tries to take it back, give it to Him again. And again, as often as it comes back. Before you reach seven times seventy, it will be a fact soaked all the way into the marrow of your bones.

Lord--thank You that You forgive me a whole lot more often than 490 times. Amen.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday Sermonette - Whatever

Bondservants [employees, students], obey in all things your masters [bosses, teachers] according to the flesh [in whatever your assignment is], not with eyeservice [when they are watching you], as men-pleasers [phonies], but in sincerity of heart, fearing God [in awe of God]. And whatever you do, do it heartily [with enthusiasm and dedication], as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:22-24 NKJV

Just in case you don't really understand the verses as they were interpreted by the writers of the New King James Version, I stuck what my interpretations were (in the brackets) of the religious terms. None of it will make sense at all, though, unless you are into making God proud of you.

When I was little, I remember Mom or Dad saying something to their friends or relatives about something I did that pleased them, and I would positively wriggle with joy. As I got older my reactions were a little more mature, but I was just as glad that I had accomplished something that made them proud of me. Now my parents are gone, but God still watches over me, and there are times I can feel His glow of pleasure.

Those times still make me smile. Sometimes the feat is easy, and it's nearly always easier than I think it will be, but sometimes it costs a sacrifice. A little of my time, money, or effort--something like that. You know, when you offer to help someone or go the extra mile for a friend--or even someone who's not a friend.

The reward is worth it. That warm, loving feeling is better than getting a million dollars from the lottery.

Dear Lord, help me remember to put what You want from me first. Then help me do it. Thanks, Lord!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Book Review - ASSAULT ON SAINT AGNES by Joseph Courtemanche

I met Joseph Courtemanche a few years ago at an American Christian Fiction Writers conference. I gotta tell you, for a guy who looks like a sweet Santa Clause, this guy can write some tough stuff. The tension is cold enough to freeze your gizzard, and the action will leave you staggering. Way to go, Joe!

Bobby Kurtz is a 50-something, overweight former cryptologic linguist with an impressive aim and a lot of guns. He's in the church he grew up in when terrorists decide to make a point. Instead, Bobby nails them. All six of them. Plus minimizes the impact of suicide pack by shoving it under some heavy pews, singlehandedly saving the entire congregation, all but one older man who sacrificed his own life to save others.

With his heavy dark beard, Bobby is at first assumed by the SWAT team to be one of the terrorists. When it begins to become obvious he's not one of them, he's instead recruited by an obscure division of the Homeland Security. Not much choice--to prison as a terrorist or work with folks who want to turn him into a 20-year-old terrorist-hunting seal.

No, I won't tell you how it turns out, other than there are a lot of nail-biting flash-banging pages. Go buy it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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

Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday Morning Devo - Sinking!

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Simon Peter was forever getting in over his head, stepping into puddles deeper than he thought they'd be, but I want you to notice a couple of things here.

First--Peter did step out in faith when the Lord said, "Come," even if he did lose sight of his goal when the things got a little rocky.

Second--Jesus didn't just say, "Sorry, you had your chance," and let the poor fisherman drown. The Lord did chastise him, but not until after He'd rescued His flailing disciple.

Hm. Let's make that three things: Peter still knew who could save him. He didn't yell at the guys in the boat to throw him a rope. He didn't turn and try to swim back to the boat--and yes, he knew how to swim. Check out John 21:7. No, Peter still cried out to the Lord to save him.

Who do you get to lift you up when you're sinking?

Lord, thanks for always being there when I need You. Forgive me for the times I take my eyes off You and focus on the storm instead. And thank You for lifting me back to safety and peace. Amen.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saturday Sermonette - One More Step, This Time Forward

And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:61-62 NKJV

Okay, show of hands: How many of you follow Jesus without question wherever He goes, doing everything He says to do, never looking back?

How many times just this week did I look back? I've lost track. This was a week of wishing time and again we'd done something different so that my husband would still be alive and well. I do miss the man. So, yes, I haven't been exactly been keeping my plow in a straight row going forward.

Fortunately, there's no way I could ever on this earth earn my way into the Kingdom of God, even if I never once looked back. It's grace that will get me there, the Father looking at me as though at His own dear Son. His own dear Son, who always stepped forward on God's chosen path, no matter where it led, never looking back.

I wish that I could always do everything perfectly, but all I can do is keep on trying, one foot in front of the other, until I get to the end of this earthly path. With a few backward glances, one step forward at a time. We'll get there, Jesus and I together.

Father God, Blessed Son, Holy Spirit--I'm still the clay, You're still the Potter. I'm still the plowgirl who can't keep a row straight for love nor money. I'm so glad you're still in the  grace business. By Your own grace, You can straighten my crooked rows and make a finished vase of me. Have Your own way, Lord. I give You all that I am, have been, and will be. Amen.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


I do my reading when I go to bed at night. There's not many times a book has done this to me, but I actually got out of my nice warm bed and went around checking all the doors to make sure they were locked.

What was Sheriff Josephine Oliver's husband doing? Slick nighttime roads and he's driving like a maniac! High speeds, fishtailing, running off the road, and still accelerating! Aiming for a big tree! He flashes her a triumphant look. Was Del doing this deliberately? Why was he trying to kill her?

Miraculously, neither of them are hurt badly, although Jo has a few deep bruises and a painful gash. She calls the FBI agent she's been working with to catch a serial killer and asks Nick to come get her.

Maybe a mistake because Del hates Nick, but there's no way she's riding in the same ambulance or police car or whatever as her crazed spouse.

The next day her husband leaves her, cleaning out their beautiful home and leaving it in literal disrepair--holes punched in the walls, curtains ripped down, deep gouges in the floors. He also left behind a note saying her was taking everything--this house, the beach house they'd just bought, furnishings--everything. He was divorcing her, and he had another woman.

Nick would love to take Del's place, but Jo considers herself still married. Besides, they have this inhuman serial killer to find and put behind bars.

Now, readers, can you stand it? If you go to Amazon and download the ebook now, you'll be able to read the rest of this exciting book right away!

I was given an advanced reader's copy of this book in return for an honest review.