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

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Book Review - UNSHAKABLE by Nelson Searcy

This cover says the forward was by R. Paul Earl, but the forward in my copy was by Dave Rieck, pastor of the Willows First United Methodist Church, who happens to be a friend of mine. I started reading this at the forward (of course), and was really moved by what Dave had to say--especially that part about his calling to be a pastor coming from God, not from a denomination. As I went through the book, I underlined a lot that "spoke" to my heart--something I rarely do. I could think of a dozen people I thought this book would bless and/or help. That dozen could easily expand to a hundred or so. My pockets aren't that deep, so I guess I'll have to be content with loaning it out, one person at a time, hopefully with God's leading as to who gets it next.

This book would make a great Bible study or book club reading material. Available from Amazon.

I received a free copy of the book from Dave Rieck, who said it was unimportant to him if I reviewed it or not. My opinions, as always, are mine alone and not influenced by anyone else's opinion or coercing.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Book Review - UNPRESENTABLE GLORY by Eleanor K. Gustafson

Wow; just w.o.w. I wish I could give this unparalleled story ten stars. It may have been slow in getting reviews, but there's a reason why those who did review this  book gave it five stars. I do too. It's the story of two people who cannot fall in love but do, and it's absolutely nothing like the typical romance.

A man with a severe allergy to bananas collapses in Linda's garden in anaphylactic shock. Linda knows she must help, and he begs feebly that she not reveal that he is in her care. She helps him into her house and a bed. puts pajamas on him, and nurses him back to health. It takes him a week to get on his feet, and then she shoos him out the door, telling him to go back to his wife. No, he didn't tell her. All she knew about him was that he said to call him Jay. They deliberately avoiding discussing anything personal. But somehow she knew.

I cannot recommend this book too highly. I believe this will become a popular classic. Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, but my opinions are my own.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Monday Morning Devo - What's a Hero Look Like?

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:12-13 NKJV.

Heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The Bible tells of some: like Joshua, Moses, and the Good Samaritan. And, of course, Jesus.

A lot of years ago, I read of a teenage girl who was babysitting two toddlers who somehow got into a car, locked the doors, and put it in gear. The vehicle began to roll downhill. The teenager placed herself in front of the vehicle to stop it. She did, but at the cost of her own life.

Firefighters and police officers and EMTs are killed every year in the process of trying to save lives, some by accident, some by intention--but they still go into danger, hoping to save other people from harm.

Why? Is any amount of money worth the cost? Obviously, it cannot possibly be for the money. You can't spend money when you're dead. For the glory? Well, possibly, at least for some.

Very recently, some people in wildfires near us were killed. Two were heavy equipment operators. One was a great-grandmother. Some others were firefighters in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I think Jesus gave the perfect description: someone willing to lay down his or her life for someone else. I would like to think I would--but I'm untested. What would I do if faced with that risk? Would I try? Would I run? How deep is my love. I probably would in a heartbeat for my family or friends (I hope I would anyway), but how about for someone I didn't even know, or someone I didn't particularly like?

Lord--I know it would take love from You. So, Jesus, if there's ever a time when Your courage and love should overtake me, let me not be lacking. Out of love for You and Your creation, may I stand with Your own strength. For Jesus's sake, Amen.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Saturday Sermonette - Satisfaction

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:10-13, NKJV

I was reading along in one of Jennifer Chamberlain's meditations in Fresh Fruit, this time reflecting on aspects of peace, and it reminded me of the peace that was so constant during the time when my husband was so sick. I was tired, yes; I felt like I had been climbing a steep mountain. However, God's strength never flagged, even though my own was lackin. He reminded me daily that He was still there, being the strong backbone that I needed.

So many people seem to think satisfaction will only occur when you have everything you want. And when, exactly, would that be? Getting more begets wanting more. Because you're always seeking more than you can get, you're never really completely satisfied. Sorta like sugar highs and lows, craving what's not good for you.

It's beyond me how people can go through life--and death--without God's assistance. I depend on it every day, many times a day, and when I'm depending on Him instead of me, I feel satisfied. Maybe He's the only thing that, when you have lots of Him, you can have still more but still be satisfied. He is the ultimate high. And it doesn't cost anything. Well--except for your entire life, every day, all day!

Lord, please--may I have more of You? You are all that I need. Amen.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Book Review - FRESH FRUIT by Jennifer Chamberlain

I was offered a chance to read and review this book by a friend of my daughter. I accepted because of the connection, but I'm definitely not sorry I did! I would advise reading this like a devotional--one section in a day at a time--just because there is so much meat ... um, fruit? ... in the reading! Or as a Bible Study, with several people participating.

This is a bunch of meditations on the fruits of the Spirit as named in Galatians 5:22-25. I think sometimes how apt it is for the Bible to describe these outflowings of a Spirit-filled life as fruit. Sweet to the taste, yet healthy and filling.

Available from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, but my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Book Review - WHAT SHE SAW IN ROOM 223 by Sherri Stewart

When I looked this up on Amazon, I could not believe there was not one review. This novella is awesome! It has all the elements needed for a suspenseful mystery. Seriously, go get it!

Lorelei Mills had a very odd childhood. Her mother had been an actress. She couldn't remember much about her mother except that she had a lot of headaches and liked for their room to be dark. After all, Lorelei had only been three years old. After her mother died--and Lorelei never knew of what--the hotel staff had taken it upon themselves to raise her. That worked until it came time for school and the authorities came looking.

The staff told police the mother had gone back to California. You know how these Hollywood types are. And left her child behind at the hotel. Who knew who or where her father was. And so her foster years began.

Now, twenty-some years later, Lorelei is going back to the hotel at the expense--and demand--of the owner of the hotel where she now works in a nearby city. The old hotel is holding a mystery weekend. There, she meets a fascinating and handsome Max Keystone. They agree to be partners, since both of them are there reluctantly.

Many of the staff she knew before are still there, and they welcome her back with open arms, although maybe a little uneasily. And the mystery begins with a bang. The hotel walls are thin, and she overhears what sure sounds like a real murder. What is with this hotel???

You can find out. Buy from Amazon.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, but my opinions are my own.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday Morning Devo - What help?

Stretch out Your hand from above; Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters... Psalm 144:7

This has been a sad week for people who live around Redding, CA. Other places too, where there are fires and floods, but since I'm somewhat closer to Redding (60 miles), this one has become more personal.

I'm reminded of a joke--so bear with me if you've already heard it.

A man watched as the heavy rains came down. Pretty soon a nearby river began to flood, and a neighbor drove by his house and said, "Hey, George. Come with me--the river's flooding and it might take your house. "Don't worry about me, Henry. The Lord promised to deliver me out of great mondaywaters." The neighbor shrugged. "Suit yourself," he said, and drove on. Pretty soon, water began to creep up to his doorstep, and a guy in a canoe came up. "Hi, George. I came to get you. The flooding's getting bad and predicted to get worse." "No, thank you. The Lord will rescue me." The guy shook his head sadly and paddled away. Finally, a helicopter came, and the National Guardsman shouted down to George, who was now on the rooftop, "Grab the rope and we'll take you out of here." "The Lord has promised to help me in times of trouble--so go on, rescue others whose faith is less." Well, as you might guess, George drowned. When he stands before God, he tearfully asks why the Almighty didn't rescue him as promised. God shakes His head. "I tried.I sent you a neighbor, a canoe, and a helicopter."

In Redding, a few people are a little like George. They are sent warnings to leave, but they don't. They don't want to leave the house and property they love. Maybe they think they can keep the fire at bay with their garden hose. I don't know--but my heart hurts when I hear someone dies because they refuse to leave "things." It's no joke. There are no doubt people who are now grieving because of that poor choice.

Why do we allow things to become all-important? There are a lot of things I call precious--maybe especially pictures and mementos, but compared to my life or the life of a family member or friend, they're only pieces of paper, wood and plaster, or other flotsam and jetsam.

Father, forgive us when we place things ahead of what's most important. Help us make wiser choices. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus's name, Amen.