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, July 23, 2016

Saturday Sermonette - How to be a Grownup, Lesson 8

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

Pretending to be someone or something you're not.

When I was a little girl, I was always pretending to be a famous and popular movie star, an Indian princess, a black panther (the cat kind), a wild horse, or some such thing. My friends and I would dress up in our mother's clothing and put on fancy airs as we sipped pretend tea from little cups. Our our dolls and stuffed toys would watch as we performed plays. Or we'd prance around like playful ponies. It was fun.

Sooo--is that a childish thing we should put away? Um, yeah. And yet--I've been guilty of pretending to be something I'm not even as an adult. Trying to convince others I know more than I do or have more money than I do. Being flirtatious as a single woman while I was married (don't worry, that's way in my young and stupid past....). Convincing others I'm far too busy to help with whatever. Have you done your share of pretending?

Honesty isn't always that easy to come by. You have to swallow a little pride, maybe even get your hands dirty doing something you don't enjoy. When that good-looking dude (or dudette) flashes "that look" at you, you could turn away. Leaving the scene would be even better. Dig deep inside yourself and remember that God will help--if you let Him. And remember that every pretend action can have a devastating, ugly, life-long reaction.

Grow up.

Be someone God can look at in pride and say, "That's my kid!"

Father--help us not to take the pretend way but the honest way. For Jesus precious Name! Amen.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Book Review - THE FINAL RIDE by Linda W. Yezak

Whew! After a few weeks of reviewing really serious books, it's kinda nice to have one with a bit of humor and romance and only a bit of nail-biting tension. Just enough, you understand.

I hope you read Linda Yezak's first book in this series, Give the Lady a Ride, because it beautifully sets the stage for this book. Patricia Talbert is a city girl, a politician's daughter, and totally unaccustomed to getting her nails broken and dirty, but when you inherit a ranch in Texas, what are you gonna do?

Well, fall in love, of course. With Texas, but also with the muscular and handsome foreman of her ranch, Talon Carlson. In this book, we find both of them back again. They're engaged, but she's really so not ready for marriage. Her first one really soured her, and if the cheater hadn't died she would have divorced him.

Patricia also has terrifying memories of Talon being badly hurt the last time he road a bull. He's promised he won't ride again, but that promise rankles. Guys are accusing him of being too cowardly to mount another bull. All his friends (except his beloved) are urging him to give it a go. He also doesn't want to buy an engagement ring for her from the paycheck he gets from her. A big purse from winning would cure that--but he'd have to break his promise.

Which she doesn't want to do. Despite her best friend, her favorite aunt (who arrived on the scene to chaperon her), and lots of other friends who advise her to change her stance or risk hurting him more than last year's bull did.

What's a girl going to do?

Go get a copy. Available from Amazon, and Barnes and Nobel plus a bunch of bookstore shelves.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book Review - TO NEVER FORGET by Gys van Beek and Howard Moebius

While I was on vacation, one of my best friends ever handed me this book--one that her granddaughter (Mariah Montoya)  put together for a high school project. I promised to read it, but didn't expect the depth and breadth I would find in it. And so I present it here and hope you will purchase it and share the same inspirational reading experience I did.

Gys van Beek was born and raised in Holland, and he lived there during the horrifying years of World War II. When the Germans occupied Holland, Gys was offered a chance to become an elite member of the SS--he made the perfect Aryan picture--tall, blond, and blue-eyed. He chose instead to become part of the underground. Danger and deprivation became his and his family's constant companions. His family went from well-fed and -housed farmers to dependent on the courage and generosity of neighbors.

One of the American pilots he helped save was Howard Moebius, whose story Gys relates from his perspective. And then we have Howard's point of view. Both inspiring!

I hope we never have to endure the things they did. Most of us wouldn't live through the week. But they did--and they ask us to always remember that horrible war and the reasons we fought. The tyranny, cruelty, oppression, slavery, genocide...these will be remembered, I promise, at least by me. You?

Available from Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.

I received this book free, but no one asked me to do anything but read it.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Monday Morning Devo - Lord, Lord?

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV

Not all of Jesus's sayings are easy to swallow. Sometimes we sugar-coat his words to make them more palatable to the general public. In these verses He was speaking to the public--this is part of the Sermon on the Mount (beginning at Chapter 5).

What did He consider lawlessness? Well, in this sermon He did seem to concentrate mainly on greed and thinking more highly of ourselves than others. Maybe the lack of love, forgiveness, and generosity? Consider the ten commandments:
1. God comes first, last, and always.
2. No other gods period. Not money, not fame, not earthly treasures of any sort.
3. No swearing, especially using His name for a cussword.
4. Keep the Sabbath day holy. Holy means set apart; in this case set apart to rest our bodies and renew our spirits.
5. Honor your parents. Even when you don't feel like it.
6. Don't murder.
7. Don't sleep with anyone you're not married to.
8. Don't steal anything.
9. Don't tell lies about people. (Includes gossiping!)
10. Don't go giving your thoughts free rein about getting someone else's spouse, servant, gorgeous house or car, animals, ner nuthin!

Do you ever feel like God is too picky? That He demands too much of you? That His laws are too strict to obey all the time?

Well, Jesus said those ten could be narrowed down to the two main ones: Love God first, last, and always; and love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. Not the kind of love where you stare awestruck at your image in the mirror, but the kind where you see a need in your neighbor and give till it helps.

Satisfy those two laws, and I know He'll be gazing in pride at you, not saying He never even knew you.

Lord, Lord--I do love You, although not nearly as much as You deserve. Help me love You more and in the process pass that love along to others. Thank You. Amen.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday Sermonette - How to be a Grownup, Lesson 7

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

Unconditional love. Easily said, easily received, uneasily given. That's the kind of love God has for us. He knows everything about us--all the dust bunnies under the bed, the skeletons in the closet, and all the baggage we've loaded on ourselves and carry around despite His offer to carry our load.

Not everyone deserves our compassion. Very few people are worthy of unconditional caring--in fact, no one I know of. Do you? Kids can be disobedient, insolent--but so needing our love. Grownups disappoint us with petty grievances and demands. Relatives let us down, cut us down, disappear when we need them most. Spouses know our hot buttons. Neighbors play loud music and throw wild parties when we're wanting to sleep.

Come to think of it, I'm not so perfect myself. I do try to give unconditional acceptance, but without always succeeding. I keep trying, failing, and trying again. Join me?

Lord, please take this imperfect vessel and keep filling it with Your love so overflowing that I can't help but give it out to others. Thank You--because I can't do it on my own. Amen.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Book Review - BODY BY BLOOD by Dr. Patrick Johnston

Some books are harder to read than others, even when they're good. This one is thought-provoking, even a little frightening, but good.

What if scientists had discovered how to get renewed great bodies when the old one had worn out? I have to admit, that could be tempting. I've threatened to go to a new body store many a time. But what if--what if they could take your DNA and create a new body for you. That new body would just be a number, a baby-child-adult who would be there for your taking when you wanted it. Exercised so it would be fit. A non-human, really. Even if it did have emotions, intelligence....being.

And what if the scientist who instigated this innovation got an attack of conscience after getting his own new body. What if he wanted to shut down his own multi-billion-dollar enterprise? Who would try to stop him? His partner? His wife? His daughter? The president of the US?

A life of luxury, health, and ease exposed to the light of God's judgment.... What would he have to do to be forgiven?

Available from Amazon.

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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday Morning Devo: Proud?

"...but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20b, NKJV

I hope you all are wearing steel toed boots this morning, because I'm probably going step on a few. I'm wearing all kinds of protective armor against the kicks some will level back at me, too.

This month, we constantly hear patriotic songs such as, "I'm Proud to be an American." Am I? No, not really. I'm glad that I live here, and I honor the ones who gave their utmost so that I can live here. I take seriously the privileges and responsibilities of my US citizenship--I vote, pay my taxes, and diligently try to make my world a better, more loving place to live.

Do I love this bit of dirt that I call my land? No, it's just dirt. But I do love the sustenance, shelter, and beauty it gives back for the care I give it.

I can't say I'm proud to be a Christian either, but that comes a little closer. Grateful would be a more apt description, because it certainly isn't deserved. All I did was invite Jesus in, and He's done the rest. Any good that I do doesn't come remotely close to what He has done for me. He's written my name in Heaven.

I'm proud of my kids and step-kids and their offspring. I will be forever grateful God brought them into my life. I'm proud of the parents who raised me. I'm proud of the God who reached down to me when I was hurting and raised me up. Or maybe it's just that I love them all so very much.

Lord, help me remember not to be proud of "things" that cannot save me or anyone. Help me remember to honor generosity, courage, and overwhelming love. Thank You for always being here when I need you. Amen.