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

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Book Review - ALL IN ONE PLACE by Carolyne Aarsen

This is a great story for women who don't like themselves and see no hope in their future. Been there. I know--not everyone in this world is drop-dead gorgeous, but I guess writers are afraid if the heroine isn't breath-taking and the hero equally attractive, no one will keep reading. This is the reason I'm giving this four stars rather than five. The story is fast-paced and well-written, and I would classify it as romantic suspense.

It's about a young woman desperate to get away from an abusive boyfriend who's threatened to kill her if she leaves him. She thinks this time she's made it. He can't possibly know where her sister lives. The little pile of money she's squirreled away should keep her in food and shoes until she can find a job. And then she gets to her sister's town, her money is stolen, a classless idiot makes a pass at her, and she's arrested. Of course she decked him. Who wouldn't?

Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday Devo - WE DON'T HAVE A CLUE

10 Then Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent; and the anger of the Lord was greatly aroused; Moses also was displeased. 11 So Moses said to the Lord, “Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the [d]burden of all these people on me? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries a nursing child,’ to the land which You swore[e] to their fathers? 13 Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ 14 I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!” Numbers 11:10-15, NKJV.

Sometimes I stand at my refrigerator door, scowling. "I don't have a thing to eat," I moan. But what I actually mean is, "There's nothing here that I want to eat." Complaining.

Moses and the Lord often lost patience with the people of Israel because they were unhappy with what they had to eat or drink or whatever. In one way, it's a little amusing. When Moses lost heart over their stubbornesss and complaints, God would comfort and encourage him. When God got angry, Moses had to plead for the Israelites' lives. "What if the Egyptians hear about You killing them? They'll say You just brought them to the wilderness to destroy them."

I have to admit I often find myself in sympathy with the folks  (about a half-million, if I remember right) running out of foods they loved to eat and all there was is manna, manna, and more manna. I feature the potlucks being manna bread, manna casserole, manna and cheese, manna salad, manna and gravy--you get the picture. They knew if they killed their sheep to eat they'd only wind up with more problems. They did eat lamb, mutton, and even beef on occasion, like when there was a sacrifice, but not daily. We don't have the first clue about sacrifice.

I watched a movie--well, actually a documentary--yesterday about the kindertransport at the beginning of World War II. Jewish children were sent on a train from German-occupied countries to England. Thousands of them. Their parents probably knew this could be the only way their children might survive what was coming. The children and parents made a humongous sacrifice. I can't imagine sending my kids away to never see them again. Impossible when they were little--but still way too heartrending even as adults.

Pioneers walked or road in wagons across "roads" that were close to impossible to navigate. The Bataan Death March in the Philippines, the Cherokee Trail of Tears. We find it too difficult to drive to the local food shelter and help with serving.

I tell you, ninety percent of us really don't ave the first clue about hardship.

So, since I'm part of the 90 percent, I think I'll just start thanking God for all the things I do have and can do. And I'll look for places that need what I can help with.

Lord, thank You for all Your provision. You have always made sure I have had "enough." Maybe not luxuries, but many people worldwide would think I live in luxury's lap. I don't really know hardship. But I know it's You who provides all that I really need, and I am so very grateful. Thank You, thank You, thank You. Amen.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday Sermonette - FEEDING THE SHEEP

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:37-40, NKJV.

These verses (Actually, the whole parable is Matthew 25:31-46), have always made me feel a bit guilty. I haven't fed the hungry down at the Salvation Army or stopped and given someone a drink on a hot day, or gone to visit prisoners. Well, except when a cousin I hadn't seen in years got thrown in the jailhouse next to the schoolyard when I was in high school. My cousin provided a drink to someone who was thirsty. Trouble is that thirsty person was under age, and it wasn't exactly water my cousin provided.

At any rate, I seem to be sorely lacking in giving compassionate care. I fear I deserve to be among those on the Lord's left--a goat, not fit to be in the same pen with the sheep on His right.

What about you? Do these verses have the same effect on you? I have an extra paper bag or two we could pull over our heads.

Or--we could start becoming more aware of who needs care and feeding, with the Lord's help, and then provide.

Lord--please point out to me those You want me to help. And then please show me how. In Jesus's name, Amen.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Book Review - PRODIGAL AVENGER by Tim Moynihan

This war story is well written, fast paced, and definitely from a man's perspective. Personally, I think this will be an excellent read for guys. It's full of action, action, and more action. Four stars.

Take one special forces anonymous one-man strike force, dress him in a burqa, and send him after the worst of the violent Taliban and Al-Qaeda, etc, leaders. Scratch the terrorists. Repeat.

Until an American-Jewish Christian Missionary gets kidnapped, and then the scene changes.

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, May 6, 2019

Monday Morning Devo - Fishing or Following?

Simon Peter said to them [some disciples], “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We are going with you also.” John 21:3, NKJV.

You probably know about this story already. I knew it before, too, but our pastor (Latu Tuetu'u) brought out something I hadn't thought of before.

In this story, Jesus had appeared to the disciples before. The most recent one, as mentioned in John 22, was when Jesus told Thomas to put a finger in the nail holes and a hand in His side. It wasn't long before outspoken Simon Peter got tired of waiting, and he announced he was going back to fishing, the profession that supported him before he became a disciple. Several of the others went with him.

So they went out on Lake Tiberius and fished all night with no luck. In the morning they headed back to shore. There stood the Lord, fixing breakfast for them.

While the others were eating, Jesus had a private talk with Simon. Three times, He asked Simon if the disciple loved Him. Three times, Simon Peter said yes, and the Lord said to feed and care for His sheep. I'm betting that, by the third time, Simon was remembering the three times he denied even knowing Jesus.

Then Jesus told him he was doing as he (Peter) wanted now, but there would come a time when others would take him where he didn't want to go. And this is what Pastor Latu said, that Jesus was telling Peter to stop going where he pleased and to finally really follow where Jesus wanted him to go. Playtime was over.

Lord, Thank You for the wakeup. I want to follow You 100% and leaving the fishing trips to those You haven't called. Help me heard Your call every time and to follow You wherever You want me to go. In Jesus's Name, Amen.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Saturday Sermonette - Do Overs

“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” Matthew 21:28-31a, NKJV.

Writers may be the exceptions to the professional world where there is no time or encouragement to do a thing over. Writers, on the other hand, write, rewrite, and rewrite again and again until the finished product is declared good to go.

In life, I wish so much there were do-overs. Times when I said or did the wrong thing and hurt someone's feelings. Times when I said I would do a thing and slept through it instead. Times when I made a huge life error--lots of those. I can't go back and do it over. Life doesn't work that way. Sometimes events can be mended, but some memories seem to stick around far too long, no mending in sight.

So what's the cure? You can't fix the past, but you can learn from it. Think before speaking, show up when you say you will. Pray for wisdom. Be willing to skip something you love for another person's sake. Remember success is not making more money or having more toys.

For me, success means learning to love God and the people he puts in my life more. It's a neverending process, but worth the effort.

Lord, please remind me when greed shows its beautiful head that I must remember, You first. I need to sacrifice myself sometimes for others. Help me remember before I begin that big messes sometimes can't be cleaned up. In Jesus's loving name, Amen.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Book Review - WAGON TRAIN BABY by Linda Ford

This series could be outstanding, if this Book 1 of the Love on the Santa Fe Trail series is any example. It's a historical Christian romance, and I think I need to give it five stars.

It's hard to come up with an untried variation on the romance genres. They mostly start out with girl hates guy (and vice versa) and wind up with them falling in love with each other. This one adds a baby to the picture that the guy didn't father. That can be a little ticklish. Add to the fact that both the guy and the gal begin with intentions to split when they reach Santa Fe. All she needs is to have a man holding the reins on her covered wagon. All he needs is to know is that he saved one woman from hardship and/or death.

I believe you'll like this one. Available from Amazon.