Author Archives: Anthony Baker

About Anthony Baker

Husband, dad, pastor/preacher/teacher, musician, and Time Magazine's Person of The Year in 2006 (no joke!). Loves coffee (big time), good movies, and sarcastic humor. His tombstone will read, "I Can't Believe He Actually Said That!" Most importantly, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. All glory belongs to Him.

Just Be Thankful You’re Alive

It is a little after 1 PM in the afternoon, and I’m sitting in our van reading my Bible. Not long from now I will go back to work and drive the school bus, completing my afternoon routes. 

As I was reading I came across a verse in the book of Lamentations, and I thought I would share it with you. 

Lamentations 3:39 (CSB) Why should any living person complain, any man, because of the punishment for his sins?

Here the idea is that if you have been punished for your sins by a Holy God, and are still alive, you have nothing to complain about! Seriously, too often we gripe and moan about the circumstances which we must endure, and yet those circumstances are so often the result of our own sinful decisions. Is it not a wonderful thing that we are so loved by our heavenly Father? He does not pour out on us the punishment we deserve, because he is rich in mercy. We are alive! We should be grateful!

Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. – Lamentations 3:41-42

There are so many things in this world we could complain about. So often those who complain the most are the ones who have the most. But if there’s anything worth rejoicing about, it is the fact that we serve a God who is rich in mercy. We don’t deserve anything good, no matter how small or insignificant; we deserve judgement. 

However, if I just turn back one page in my Bible I can read verse 22, where it says, “Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” And, thankfully, they are new every morning! 

If you are reading this, then you are alive! Why not take a moment and praise Him?

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under Bible Study, God, grace, Uncategorized

But I’m Still 25, and Less

On Sunday I turned 50.

There wasn’t too much fanfare, especially since my wife was still in the hospital that morning. However, I did get a nice card from my church and a wonderful church-lady-prepared dinner afterwards. Later that night I also got a free meal at a local restaurant, along with a unique gift sure to set me apart from the locals this winter – a set of Nordic woolen underwear (literally from Norway, not the restaurant).

Today I turned 50+2, but that’s the end of looking at it that way. Today I’m letting the whole world know I am not 50 years old – I’m 25, and less. 

Seriously, I am a 25-year-old trapped in a 50-year-old’s body.

Forget what the numbers add up to when you look at my government-issued driver’s license (for which I’ve just gone through a roll-full of red tape to renew)- I’m 25, so just affirm it.

You see, even though this body of mine looks like a handsome, graying, bald man, I’m really a young man with healthy joints trapped inside. Unfortunately, no age-reversing creams or surgeries can help me look like what I really am, so you are going to have to accept me for who I choose to be – young and millennial.

But there’s more!

Even though I am only 25, there’s another me that’s trapped inside the 25-year-old me… it’s the fluid-aged me.

(Yes, I know it’s complicated, but there has to be boundaries, you understand. I can’t keep my job as a school bus driver in Tennessee if my true self fluctuates below the legal bus-driving age of 25.)

This other me (and what’s wrong with more than one?) can get down on the floor and play with blocks, color with crayons, play with Silly Putty, and throw food at people when they aren’t looking. It’s the same me inside of me that tends to make strange noises with my body and blame it on spiders; or make other kids laugh and get in trouble with their teachers, but never own up to causing it.

The me inside of the 25-year-old me varies from age to age, but that’s typically based on which toy aisle I’m visiting.

So, again, I’m no longer going to simply identify as a 50-year-old man, but a bi-personage with both fixed and fluid younger ages. Those of you who rate life and health insurance should take note and lower said rates accordingly. 

However, should the military draft ever be re-instated, and should the 25-year-old me receive a letter, just understand that you might be putting an AR-15 in the hands of an 8-year-old, also. 

Being 50 on the outside does have some advantages, I suppose. 

6 Comments

Filed under current events, General Observations, Humor

Happy B-Day to Me

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Birthday Sermon

Even though tomorrow (Sunday) will be my 50th birthday, I am going to resist the temptation to be self-serving; I have decided not to preach a sermon on celebrations and the giving of gifts. 

As a matter of fact, I even decided to avoid making the obvious connection between Pentecost and the 50th year of my life. Low-hanging fruit is too easy. 

No, this Sunday morning I will be continuing a series of expository sermons I’m preaching as we go through the book of Ephesians. This week we will be looking at the 4th chapter of Ephesians, concluding somewhere around verse 8. 

The church fellowship which will immediately follow the sermon should also be considered a run-of-the-mill time of mutual edification. After all, it’s not about me. 

God bless you all (or “y’all” as we say), and have a wonderful weekend and Lord’s Day! 

4 Comments

Filed under Bible Study, Church, Humor, Preaching

Oh, Rest Will Come…One Day

The following was taken from my other blog, ProverbialThought.com.


Proverbs 29:9

“If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.”

The first thing we should understand is that this proverb’s setting, according to most commentaries, is in something like a courtroom. The word “contendeth” implies such. However, as we watch the “wise” contending with “fools” in courtrooms around the world, it is becoming harder and harder to determine which is the defendant.

In most situations, if you were to walk into a courtroom, you would expect the “wise” to be on the side of the prosecution, while the “foolish man” would be the other guy: the one slobbering on himself, freaking out, and making outrageous, unreasonable arguments for his case. But sadly, especially in the cases where God is on trial; where morals, faith, and family are under assault; where Christ is deemed an unnecessary and offensive part of Christmas, the “wise” are on the defense.

Consider the following commentary on Proverbs 29:9. As you read it, think of those who want to remove any resemblance of faith and religion from the public square, such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation, American Atheists, Richard Dawkins, etc.

He makes his argument not by logic, reason, or clear evidence but in a range of wild responses in which he “rages [a verb for “earthquake” in 30:21; Amos 8:8] or laughs,” probably in a mocking, sneering fashion to try to sway the verdict. The “peace” that ought to come from reconciliation, or at least a sound decision, is impossible. The matter bubbles on interminably to the pain of the wise and the distress of the community.[1]

English: Professor . Español: Profesor Richard...

In a public speech to his fellow atheists gathering in Washington, D.C., Richard Dawkins gave some suggestions. When contending with those who believe in God, especially Christians, he advised: Mock them. Ridicule them. In public…with contempt. Chillingly, in predictive fashion, the Bible says “that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts…” (2 Pet. 3:3). We must be getting close.

One day the Righteous Judge will hold court, but don’t lose hope. Even though we may have acted like fools in one way or another, those of us who’s Advocate is Jesus Christ (1 Jn. 2:1) have nothing to fear. Wisdom personified will argue on our behalf.

The foolish man, however, will be able to argue his own case. And once again, with rage and contempt, spewing out all manner of hatred and vile, he will attempt to justify himself.

But on that day, God will not be mocked (Gal. 6:7). 


[1] David A. Hubbard and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Proverbs, vol. 15, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989), 462.

3 Comments

Filed under Future, God, Life/Death, the future, wisdom

Have I “Gone Pentecostal?”

I love you guys, and I thank you so much for reading my blog. No joke. That is why I am taking just a moment to give you a little update.

First, I have been publishing guests posts by David Fuller as part of an attempt to bring “speaking in tongues” to the floor for honest examination and debate. However, unlike what some have begun to assume, David Fuller and I don’t see eye-to-eye on this subject. No joke, a personal friend, Paul Norman Judd, sent a note to me on Messenger that read: “Good morning Anthony. Are you turning Pentecostal on us?”

No, Mr. Judd, I’m not (and I will likewise submit an “lol”). However, I would say I’m a bit more gracious on the subject than some. It’s not like I consider those who speak in tongues to be akin to unregenerate heathen, or something. Some people think that way, you know – I used to.

So, I have in the works a response to Mr. Fuller’s post, but it is something with which I am taking a little more time. You see, this is a very sensitive subject, and I cherish the friendships I have, and that is why I desire to choose my words and arguments so not to offend.

Secondly, it is possible that I might have had a response to the latest “Got Glossolalia” post from David Fuller, but my dear wife has been sick for the last 2+ weeks, and nothing that has been prescribed has made a difference. It has now gotten to the point that her potassium levels are dangerously low, and that has me very concerned. I would appreciate your prayers for her and the doctors as they search for a reason.

I must admit that I am a little selfish…my 50th birthday is this Sunday, and I want my wife with me in church and at the fellowship (church word for party) afterwards.

And if you think praying in tongues will make a difference, then you go right ahead 😉

All I ask is that you make your requests and petitions known to the One who never wastes a tear.

– Anthony

17 Comments

Filed under blogging, Struggles and Trials

When My Daughters Cry

I am a Christian.

I’m also a father.

Sometimes I’m called “dad,” while other times it’s “daddy.”

And, I don’t like it when my daughters cry.

If you want to find out how spiritual I truly am at any given moment, just make my little girls cry. On the one hand you may discover that I have complete control of my tongue; that I’m able to “be angry and sin not”(Eph. 4:26); or that I’ve mastered the discipline of taking all things to God in prayer before I act.

On the other hand, I may disappoint you.

Sanctification is a process.

I’m not always nice.

I’m not always quick to forgive.

Sometimes I forget to Whom vengeance belongs (Rom. 12:19).

Sometimes I fail to take all thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5), leaving a few violent ones to bounce around in my head.

I want to “walk worthy” of my calling (Eph. 4:1; Col. 1:10; 1 Th. 2:12), but sometimes I trip.

You see, I’m a Christian, and a father,

But sometimes I’m just a dad.

And I don’t like it when my daughters cry.

 

5 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, Life Lessons, Parenting