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, October 22, 2016

Saturday Sermonette - Clanging Cymbals or Musical Wind Chimes?

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

I love the sound of musical wind chimes, but there are some that just clang. Nothing musical about them. Then too, wind chimes in a high wind don't sound all that musical either.

There are two ways to speak any truth. If you are trying to instruct someone in a better way to perform their work, you can yell at them and mention every least offense they've ever committed. Or you can recall the times they've done it right and encourage them to improve.

Your children are a lot like employees that way too. They need to know there is love (music) behind the scolding (clanging). They need to believe you believe in them. If they don't, you might just as well scream at them in an unknown language.

Love and respect and two-way streets, both of which--at least with your children--are given and received. One generates the other, resulting in harmony pleasing to the ears, eyes, and touch to both the child and parent.

That doesn't mean you never scold them. It's just that your words can be flavored with honey or acid, music or loud clanging noise. Your choice. You're going to form your children into adults with your words and actions. Choose wisely.

Father, it seems we're always asking, but if our pleas are for Your glory, I pray that they will sound like harmonious wind chimes pleasant to your ears. Therefore, we ask for wisdom to treat our children as You would. Guide us, command us, We long to please You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Book Review - MIND WRITER by Mike Lunch and Lisa Godfrees

Not my usual cup of tea (not usually a fan of fantasy), but I have to admit this is a good one. Mike Lunch and Lisa Godfrees have made a good team. The tension is tight and keeps you reading. The next turn could take you ... well, anywhere you might not want to go.

Rinee Newburgh is a mindwriter, and not even she knows what that is until it comes her turn to perform a duty that only a mindwriter can do. She's supposed to go to a special place if she completes her task acceptably, but she finds out that special place is not all it's cracked up to be. Plus her task is pretty awful all by itself, and if she loses her gloves--which she does, twice--well, everyone pays.

And then there's Mark Clixon, a man who performs an expensive service in order to purchase medicine for his son Toby. Never mind that it's a pretty deplorable job, and now no one trusts him.

The two of them are manipulated by a man who wants to be president, but first the present president has to be removed, along with much of the population of the country. Can the Three stop him? Will Rinee and Clixon get out of their mess?

You will never know unless you buy the book--available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I received this book free from one of the authors in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Book Review - A LADY UNRIVALED by Roseanna M. White

Every time I read one of Roseanna White's books, I have such mixed emotions at the end: (1) No! I don't want it to end. Keep writing (doubly wanting this when it's the last in a series)! and (2) Wow! Another great one!

Lady Ella Myerston has been the unaware keeper of the Fire Eyes: rare and beautiful red diamonds. She thought they were merely a lovely pair of ruby earrings, and she "borrowed" and wore them in front of the dangerous Lord Rushworth, a man who would do anything legal, illegal, or matrimonial to get them. Anything.

Rushworth's sister Lady Pratt doesn't want anything to do with the Fire Eyes or the curse that goes with them. She blames them for the deaths of her husband and her baby. She knows Rushworth's unholy desire to possess them, and nothing she can say will deter him.

Lord Cayton is a recent widower with a less-than-spotless past, but his recent conversion to Christianity has him trying to overcome that ladies' man past. Lady Ella isn't helping any. He's attracted to her despite his best intentions, and it's not making him popular with his associates.

A Russian ballerina is masquerading as a lady's maid at the demand of her benefactor, and if she doesn't come up with information on the jewels, he's threatening to take everything she cherishes away from her, including her life.

Oh, such a tangled web of deceit, danger, and dreams! You will be so engrossed with this book you might not sleep until it's finished, so take a good long nap before you start reading.

Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Hurry.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Morning Devo - Up

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels,And You have crowned him with glory and honor. Psalms 8:3-5, NKJV

There's just something about the wonders you can see in the sky that leave me in awe of our Creator, and I can say with the psalmist, "What am I that you even notice me?"

And yet He does. He visits me with beauty in the skies, peace in the lonely nights, and good friends and family to call and see. I am so very blessed.

When I have a need, He is there. I don't always get all that I want. If I could have all I want and not suffer for it, I could eat an entire carrot cake with thick cream cheese frosting. I could live on a cruise ship and be waited on hand and foot for the rest of my life. I might visit Israel, the Philippines, and go to Hawaii every month. My books would sell millions of copies every month. My husband would still be here at my side.

Life isn't always fair, but if you follow in God's path for you, it can always be good. Even the painful times serve to make me more aware of His presence, His caring. Oh, I could choose not to see it, to see how He holds me when I cry, but if I open my heart to Him the wonders unfold. I choose to look up, not down.

Father, thank You for the constant reminders of how much You love me. Thank You for the beautiful skies, the wonders of the fall colors and flowers, and the peace that passes understanding. Thank You for always being there when I need You. You're the best, and I love You. Amen.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saturday Sermonette - How to be a Grownup, Lesson 17

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:1, NKJV

Garbage in, garbage out.

We've all heard that saying, I'm sure. You put garbage into your mouth, your body will suffer. Ditto for what you watch on TV or at the movies. If you watch trashy stuff, your actions will reflect what you feed your brain.

For a long time, I've blamed the movies and TV for the garbage language we hear everywhere. Movies portrayed swearing as normal, and the next thing we know, there's profanity in the hallways at school. Trust me, that did NOT go on before then. Premarital sex was okay in the movies, and now everyone (nearly) is doing it--adultery is okay? And why is it you never see overweight people eating those delicious-looking candies, cakes, and donuts on the big screen, on FaceBook, or Pinterest?

We are being deceived that the garbage won't hurt us. We believe it because we want to.

Isn't being a grownup also resisting the things that are bad for us?

Father, forgive us for not resisting the temptations. Help us where we are weak. Lead us to Your righteousness. You alone are holy, but with Your guidance and strengthening, we can resist. Thank You, Lord! Amen.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Book Review: FALLEN by Melinda Viergever Inman

Impressive book by an awesome writer. She has captured the beauty and the danger in Eden, the glory of walking with God daily, and the horror of realizing you just killed your relationship with God. This is one you will grow from.

This is a short review, I know--but I don't know what else to say but "READ IT!" Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Saturday Sermonette - How to be a Grownup, Lesson 16

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:1, NKJV

Keeping Your Promises

Keeping promises can be as as easy as taking the kids to the beach or a movie or the zoo or as complex and difficult as keeping all your marriage vows.

One of the marriage vows we made was to keep each other warm on cold winter nights. Except for one time I kept that vow, and now it haunts me. Last November, I came home from a craft fair where I'd been selling and signing my books. Freezing cold, I put my foot warmer on the bed, brushed my teeth, and came to bed. I had just begun to feel my toes when I heard Jack murmur from the other side of our queen bed, "Warm me." More of an invitation or a plea than a command. He was cold. Did I immediately move over to his side and share the warmth I had? No, I did not. I reached my hand across the sheet and held his hand. A poor and inadequate substitute.

I broke my vow.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I yearned for that moment again, that I could give him the warmth he wanted. I was selfish. I would have been chilly for a minute or maybe two, but I didn't want to move from my warmed spot. The next month marked when he became sick and never recovered.

Promises are made at a time when we fully intend to carry them out. I've never made a promise I didn't intend to fulfill. Have you? No, I didn't think so. But--have you ever broken a promise? Yes, I suspected I wasn't the only one.

Sometimes keeping a promise becomes impossible--illness, hurricanes, or other circumstances prevent it. However, I have to admit most of my broken promises are more because of laziness or stubbornness or out-and-out failure.

I suggest we pray about and think about a promise before we speak the words, even minor ones. Can we agree on that? I think we can, with God's help.

Lord, we come to You again seeking Your help. You said in the Bible to let our yeses be yeses and our nos be nos, but we really need Your guidance and wisdom and the ability to carry out what we say we will do. Forgive me for my past failures to keep my word, and help me to do better. For Jesus's sake and for His glory, Amen.