Preparing for an Encounter

Like many pastors, whether they’d admit it or not, I’m still in my little study/office with an open Bible, a note pad, some colored pencils, coffee that’s no longer hot, and a deep, yearning desire to hear from God. 

It’s after midnight, and while many folk are already in bed, still partying, or watching another increasingly perverted installment of Saturday Night Live, I’m wiping away tears as I beg for the souls of lost young men and women, boys and girls, and adults who think there’s nothing left to hear that will change their minds about Jesus. 

I know that I’m only human, but the task before me is inhuman; it is more than I can accomplish in my own strength with my own words. But I must try. I must depend on God’s endless grace and mercy. He called me, but He will empower me, speak through me, for I am but a vessel. 

Nevertheless, I struggle, for the words I choose to say must adhere to a universal Truth, the gospel that transcends cultures and circumstance. It can’t – it MUST NOT! – be a message relevant only to those here in America, but a message of Truth that could fit right in to whatever culture in which it’s shared. Otherwise, instead of a universal Gospel, all I have is my opinion on an Americanized gospel which will be irelevant to some who may attend and hear nothing more than me pontificate. 

The eleven o’clock hour at church, for many, is just another box on a list that must be checked off in order to earn a few religious brownie points. Rarely does one come, so it seems, expecting an encounter with the Living, Holy, Creator God. If I stand and preach in my own strength, with my own words, there’s no reason for any expectation. 

But if I’m broken, humble, obedient, and yielding, not to mention passionate for the heart of my Saviour,  and faithfully expound the Word of God, the universally applicable gospel of Jesus Christ, the Hope that is the same no matter where in the world a person is from, will be preached and, should the Spirit move, lives will be changed. That is my prayer. 

There’s never enough study and preparation time, so for many like me, the dark and quiet loneliness of Sunday morning is the time to wrap things up, settle my heart with God, and pray, if nothing else, that I’m not a hindrance to the glorious work set before me. 

Dear Father, may we experience an encounter with you. Where we will gather, please be in our midst. May we as Saul, as Ananias, as little Samuel, hear You call our names. May we also, with obedient and submissive hearts, say, “Here I am, Lord…what would you have me to do?” 

May it happen around the world! 

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Filed under Countries, Culture Wars, God, ministry, Prayer, Theology, Witnessing, World View


Can my opinion change the way people think or how they react to a given situation? Only if they are willing to listen. 

Listen to me, people. Even though many will jump at the opportunity to use today’s tragedy in Oregon as a tool to remove weapons from the hands of law-abiding citizens, don’t jump on the wagon; think differently. 

Sadly, the most insidious determiner behind today’s loss of life is not the fact that someone was able to get a gun; it was the depravity of sinful man. And, sadly, that simple, yet profound element will be overlooked, denied, and even mocked. 

Today was not the result of a gun problem, but a heart problem. It always is. But no one wants to face that, do they? It might bring up a subject much worse – 



Filed under America, current events, Uncategorized

Water on Mars – a Response

OH NO! What Will We Do?

Recent word from NASA is that there is water on Mars, and that life on Earth probably came from there a long, long time ago – at least that’s the idea. I mean, it’s just too crazy to believe in a Creator, but life coming from non-life and then traveling through space in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, and secure domestic tranquility is perfectly plausible.

Just watch as Shepherd Smith on FOX News gets giggly as he and Corey Powell (Discover Magazine) mull over the thought that we all might be Martians.


Unfortunately, what is worrying some Christians (and getting atheists excited) is the idea that if life is found on Mars, then the veracity of the Bible will be called into question. In other words, why put your faith in Jesus Christ if the scientific community can find communities of little green men (or bacteria) alive on places other than Earth?

Don’t worry, dear believers, everything will be OK; nothing has changed.

Keeping the Rumor Mill Going

My response to the whole “water on Mars” thing is a post I published five years ago. The title – Dinosaur Bones Found On the Moon – was provocative enough that it’s still one of the most popular Google searches that leads people to my blog!

So, without any further ado, let’s go back to 2010 for a little perspective.

“Dinosaur Bones Found On the Moon”

What would be the impact on our philosophical, religious, and even evolutionary theories if bones from large reptiles were found on the moon?

bones on moonWho would be most shaken up?  Would you lose your faith in God? Would you have to rethink your science?  What would it do to you? The fact is that if it would change your core beliefs, then maybe you should re-examine them right now.  You don’t know what may happen just around the corner that could turn your world upside down.

Well, to be honest, this was originally just a test to see what kind of headline really catches people’s attention.  Did it yours?  If so, then why?

Even if dinosaur bones were found on the moon, or even if alien people landed on the White House lawn (really, could they even do that without getting pegged by surface-to-air missiles?), Christianity could stand the test.  As a friend of mine (Steve Castlen) put it:

No it wouldn’t shake my faith because:
1. The creation itself still needs a “Creator”.
2. The fine-tuning of the physical laws still needs a “Tuner”.
3. Moral laws still need a “Law Giver”.
4. The historical evidence for Jesus’ resurrection still stands.
5. And all life, even alien life, can’t come from non-life.

So, what do you think?  There is coming a day when the Bible predicts that the lies from the Enemy would be so strong that “even the elect” would have a hard time not believing them:

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect. – Matthew 24:24

Give it some thought.


Filed under Apologetics, World View

Coffee…Better Than Beer

National Coffee Day!

Did you hear? Did you know? Today is Nation Coffee Day!! It might be Tea Day in other places, (I don’t know) but it’s the day of the roasted, ground, and steeped coffee bean here, and praise God for it!

When did National Coffee Day begin? I have no idea, nor do I care. All I know is that I woke up this morning to the news of today’s significance and rejoiced, offered to exchange gifts of sweetener and cream, and wore a #2 filter on top of my head.

espressoSo, celebrate along with me! Go enjoy a hot cup of coffee somewhere, especially at one of the wonderful establishments where free cups of coffee are being served – yes, places are doing that!

Responding to the Legalists

“Oh, but Anthony! You shouldn’t drink coffee, my liberal, over-gracious, backslidden friend (my friend in private, at least; not in public…Doctrine of Separation, you know). Coffee is no different than any other drug; it’s just as bad as drinking beer. You may even lose your testimony if you continue to promote the drinking of such an addictive, dark, seductive liquid!”

Well, in response to those who are so legalistic that you won’t even give us a break when trying to enjoy a cup of … let me take a sip … store-brand instant meant to taste like instant Folgers, let me just suggest a few reasons why coffee is at least a better drink to consume than beer.

  1. Coffee costs less than beer, which means I’m being a better steward with my money.
  2. Coffee never gives you a “coffee gut.”
  3. Drink too much beer before driving a car and you’ll get somebody killed, or at least you may end up in prison. Drink a few coffees before driving and everyone benefits: you get where you’re going quicker, happier, more aware of your surroundings, no one dies (unless hit by a drunk driver), and no one goes to prison – unless you’ve had TOO much coffee, and then road rage might be an issue, depending on the caffeine level of the brew.
  4. Drinking beer can lead to spousal abuse. Drinking a seriously good cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain might make you slap your mamma.
  5. Coffee will wake you up and help you conquer the day; beer will turn you into a stereotypically worthless brother-in-law who won’t get off your couch and get a job.
  6. Smart people who sit in a cafe drinking coffee tend to have calm, stimulating conversations which further increase what intellect they already have. On the other hand, smart people who sit around drinking beer kill brain cells and laugh about it, especially when somebody falls off a stool, beats up somebody for rooting for the wrong football team, or thinks the Irish Setter is an Irish redhead.

Coffee always helps.

So, thank God for grace and coffee grinders, then celebrate this wonderful man-made holiday!

Keep your brain cells! Have some coffee! 


Filed under Alcohol, America, current events, Food, legalism

I Step Out

Guided by the Wind…

Listening to His voice…

Foundation never failing…

I step out, carried, led…

And if I fall, 

I’m already in His hand. 

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Broken: Hope for the Hopeless, Depressed and Discouraged – #Sermon of the Week

Anthony Baker:

This topic is near and dear to my heart, for I, too, have struggled with depression. God bless the pastor who is willing to follow the leading of God and relate Biblical truth to this issue.

Let my friend, Chris Jordan, know what you think of his post and sermon. I know it will be an encouragement to him.

Originally posted on New Life:


(Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)


  • To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

HUMOUR INTRO: When our lawn mower broke and wouldn’t run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed. But, somehow I always had something else to take care of first, the car, playing golf – always something more important to me. Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point. When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. I was gone only a minute, and when I came out again I handed her a toothbrush. I said, “When you finish cutting the grass, you might as well sweep the driveway.”…

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Perception and Reality

The Way We See It

If I have heard it said once, I have heard it said a thousand times, “perception is reality.” And each time I hear it, besides vomiting a little in my mouth, I ask, “Oh, really?”

“All the ways of a man [are] clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits” (Proverbs 16:2).

Eye equipmentWhat is it with man’s twisted view of reality and truth? Where do we get the idea that reality is what we perceive it to be? Is truth really relative to our own perception of the way things are? Just because a person believes something to be true doesn’t make it true, only believed.

Have you ever argued with someone who is color-blind over the color of a tie? Have you ever tried to convince someone dying of thirst that it’s not really water, but a mirage? Have you ever tried to convince a 3-year-old that germs are real and that hands need to be washed before eating? Some people think they know what they see, but they don’t.

Clean Drunks

Several years ago I was unfortunate enough to transport a bunch of college kids to a sorority party. It was unfortunate because long before some of them ever got on the school bus they had already been drinking.

The place they were going to was up a mountain. About 5 minutes into the trip, about the third or fourth curve, one girl decided to vomit on the window, down the inside wall, and between the seats. It was all liquid, all alcohol, and all nasty.

A few minutes later she felt she was ready to go party some more! I mean, hey, in her eyes she was perfectly clean! The only problem was that we (everyone on the bus) could tell she was soaked…in other words, we weighed the “spirits.”

(FYI, when attempting to be a gentleman, please remember to wear rubber gloves when holding the arm of a drunk college student as she stumbles out of your bus. Just saying.)

God Sees Everything

When it comes to self-perception, reality is what God sees. He not only sees the outside, but the heart is bare before Him. As the proverb says, a man may consider himself clean, which is his own perception of reality, but the Lord knows what’s really going on.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

It is foolish for men to try to justify their sinful, dirty actions before a holy God. It is foolish to depend on our own perception of what is right and wrong. Our eyes only want to see what makes us look good, not evil.

That is why we need God’s wisdom.


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