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.

Charlie Gard Will Die. Shame On You.

I know that I have a lot of readers and friends in both England and the rest of Europe, so I feel bad for having to say this about their country and the continent, but shame on your leaders and your medical system!

The news came out today that the parents of Charlie Gard are giving up. Essentially, they’ve run out of time to get help for their little boy. Without doubt, yes, he will now die.

Whatever happened to compassion and the value of life? Oh, I know, so many would like to point fingers in all kinds of directions, especially at my country, America. But what is so important about a hospital’s ability to determine when someone will live or die, despite the parents’ wishes? Is there no Hippocratic oath in Europe?

Really, whether or not Charlie Gard would have lived or died from his disease, was it not the merciful, compassionate, and holy right of the parents to try whatever they could? Doctors in America – Harvard trained – were going to offer their services, but you denied release from the hospital.

Honestly, who made your hospital lawyers and your E.U. panels god?

Americans, THIS is what you get when you have a European-style healthcare system. When you turn over your rights to those who think they know better than you, believe me, they will try to prove it whenever they can.

From Facebook

Charlie Gard is going to die, but since his parents were doing the best they could to keep him alive, the death, in my opinion, is nothing less than murder. Charlie Gard was unjustly sentenced to death because all hope was deemed unworthy, and he did nothing wrong. His death sentence was an injustice enforced by the government of England and the self-righteous judges of the European Union.

Shame on you. You will answer to God for what you’ve done.

1 Comment

Filed under General Observations, current events

Which Way Do We Go?

How often do you argue with your phone?

Maybe a better question would be, “How often do you disagree with Siri or Google over directions?”

Last week I was invited to be the guest speaker at a church I’d never been to before. I knew the general direction I was supposed to go, and I had a general idea where to make some turns, but even though I had the address I wasn’t sure how to get there.

As we were getting close to where I knew we were supposed to turn off of the main highway, I asked my wife to use her iPhone to look up the address and get directions. You’ve done that before, right? And most of the time things go just fine and I get to where I need to go.

On a side note, I do miss those days long ago when I’d sit down with an atlas and local maps in order to plan a trip out of town. Planning trips that way always made it seem like I was heading out on an adventure. GPS has taken all the fun out of road trips.

Well, my wife entered the address of the church, pressed the “go” button, and down the road we went until we found the first turn.

I don’t know about you, but despite the amazing technology, even though Siri and Google rarely lead me astray (I did say “rarely”), there’s always this uneasy tension which keeps me from totally trusting the little gadget in my hand.

Anyway, we drove for only a couple of miles until we came to a split in the road. Right there in the middle of the road was a big white sign with a big black arrow painted on it. Above the arrow was the name of the church I was trying to find.

As I slowed down, my wife repeated the words of the digitized direction-giver, “Keep right.” I said, “But the sign says that we should go left.” Then Valerie replied, “All I know is that the phone says we should go right.”

Risking my own embarrassment and a potential “I told you so,” I followed the instruction of the big, black arrow and went left.

In just a short while we came to an intersection where we would have to make another choice, either left or right. Once again Steve Job’s creation sweetly advised me to “Make a left, and proceed blah blah blah blah.” However, right in front of me, as plain as black paint on a white sign could be, there was a big hand-painted arrow pointing left, and right above the arrow was the name of the church we were trying to find.

“You know,” I said to my wife, “this is one of those times when a good, biblical lesson about the spiritual life could apply.” I continued, “Instead of trusting the phone, why not trust the sign that was obviously placed by someone who’s been down this road before?”

We made the left – despite Siri’s protests – and found the church no more than a quarter mile down the road.

Here’s the thing. The world is full of all kinds of information and advice, and much of it is spot on. However, when it comes to the road that leads to a peace that passes understanding, to a relationship with my Creator, to Heaven… I’d rather trust the One who has already gone this way before.

“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” – Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

4 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, God, Faith, Church

Crawl Into the Pulpit and Die

I found the following description of preaching very sobering. May we all take our preaching more seriously.

“What we are asking is that our preachers, in great imitation of the Gospel, would crawl into the pulpit and die, and in that death other people may live…

Perhaps the greatest metaphor for preaching the Gospel is the Gospel…

We take a message of death to life and people watch that being preached by someone who is willing to die so that others may live. Therefore, may this never be a place to showcase rhetorical device, rather may this be a place that when we explain the Word of God He brings brokenness, He brings contrition, He brings repentance, and ultimately salvation. And when we see that, we will worship.  Because preaching is worship. May this be a house of worship.”

 – Dr. Steven Smith

(The above is from a transcript of a testimony by College at Southwestern Dean Steven Smith on the importance of preaching, given during the MacGorman Chapel dedication service at Southwestern Seminary, Dec. 1, 2011.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Preaching

Parsonage Update for July 21st

Greetings, everyone!

Below is a video I put together on Friday, July 21, at the parsonage where we will soon be moving – I hope.

As many of you already know, we are in a time of transition. The house we are in is being sold, and the house to which we are moving is being made livable (I could say “restored,” but that would be stretching it just a little).

A lot of work has been done, but a lot more needs to be done. The scary part is that I have no idea how it’s going to happen. As of right now there are not enough funds to do certain necessary repairs, the most expensive being roofing, windows, and something other than one wall-mounted window-unit air conditioner.

Yet, God is bigger than any of our problems. If He owns the cattle on a thousand hills; if He can raise up kingdoms; if He can speak to the storms and make the wind be still; if He can have a man catch a fish to pay his taxes; if He can part the sea one day, then walk on it another; if He can create time; if He can speak the world into existence; if He can save this old sinner and make me righteous in His sight; then He should be able to bring together what we need for some old block house in Soddy Daisy!

Can I get an “amen”?

Anyway, I’d appreciate your prayers for my family, our ministry, and this parsonage project.

(By the way, my special thanks goes out to all of you who’ve submitted guest posts to keep this blog active.)

2 Comments

Filed under Church, community, Prayer

The Affordable Care Act – What’s Good for the Goose Is Good for the Congress

My two cents on the healthcare debate…

Should the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) be repealed and replaced? Well, that’s the big question in the news, and it’s been the Republicans’ big promise for the last six or seven years.

Back before it was passed it was promised by the Democrats to be the best thing since sliced bread. President Obama promised, “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” He also promised that the average family’s insurance premiums would decrease by more than a thousand dollars a year.

Obviously, both promises were lies. He knew it…we knew it…everybody knew it. But it still passed.

Year after year the Republicans voted on bills to repeal Obamacare and sent the bills to the President’s desk. Needless to say, he never signed them. He probably never even looked at them. Meanwhile, health insurance premiums went through the roof.

Sure, there were more people covered under Obamacare, but many of them were people who didn’t even want insurance to begin with. On top of that, many that already had insurance had to drop their plans and became the uninsured because of premium and deductible costs.

I personally saw my health insurance cost increase from around $350 a month to nearly $1,300, and that’s with my wife on her own plan! My costs are the norm, not the exception.

Now, after the Republicans have full control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, none of them can come to an agreement. Oh, when they knew Obama would veto anything they sent to his desk it was easy. But now, when they have a President who will sign one, no bill is moving forward, not even for a vote.

Meanwhile, knowing the problems with the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are wanting it to continue with little change. At the same time, believe it or not, Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) is trying to have it both ways. He literally said that President Trump came to Washington with the promise to fix Obamacare, and if he doesn’t then he (Trump) will have to answer for it! What? Talk about not being able to win for losing!

So, regardless of who’s in power and who’s doing what, nothing is getting done. The Democrats loathe President Trump and will oppose him on everything he does, even if he wanted to make Hillary Clinton a saint. The Republican elite can’t stand President Trump either, and so they are also intent on gumming up the works on any legislation he tries to push through. Therefore, no matter what, Obamacare – a true disaster – will continue to be the law of the land.

Except for members of Congress!!

Yes, no matter what law is being forced upon us down here the valley, those on Capital Hill have their own “Cadillac plan” that no one else in the normal world can afford or even have access to. How convenient is that? We get stuck with high premiums, high deductibles, limited providers, dwindling insurers, and a promise that they will keep debating it – even though there’s not even been a vote on when to even do that.

So, here’s what I propose. If the congressional Democrats and Republicans think the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is either peaches and cream, or something that can be drug through endless debate while we must endure it, then why not drop your government plan and enroll in the marketplace?

Seriously, if Washington is going to continue to drag this out and milk it for every vote they can get…if it’s something not so bad…if it’s no big deal to let us keep paying for it and dealing with it…go online like we have to and pick out your own plan.

Dear President Trump, please sign an executive order cancelling all special congressional healthcare plans and make both the Senate and the Congress have to abide under the same laws they’ve written for us, We the People.

If Congress can take their sweet time working on it, why not make them live with it?

That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.

5 Comments

Filed under America, politics, current events

Parenting 301

I’ve heard it many times before, and I’ve even said it a time or ten myself, “Enjoy them while their young.” But as my children and I age, the truth of that statement becomes more profound with every day.

When they were young; when they were just wee little crumb-crunching Barney lovers; that was the time when we only thought we were pulling out our hair. Those were the days when babysitters were hard to find. Those were the days when milk got spilled and urine only leaked through diapers when you were wearing church clothes.

I’ve seen poor young moms, all frazzled and worn, look forward to the day when their terrible tikes could feed themselves, go to school, and go to the bathroom alone. Yet, if only those moms and dads could realize the physical stress of the moment is nothing compared to the emotional and spiritual stress of later years.

Those of you who still have small children, may I give you some sage advice? Those of you with children still at home, whether toddler or teen, will you listen to what I have to say?

Don’t waste a single minute, don’t even read to the end of this post, and get down on your knees and pray for your children.

I can’t tell you how much I wish I’d prayed more for my daughters. I can’t tell you how much my wife and I regret not praying for our girls every day, day after day, since before they were born. You might not be able to change the past, but would you change your future? Pray for your children!

We live in such an evil time, friends. Satan (I believe he is real) has never been more active in seeking the destruction of innocence. There is no way we can keep them from every danger, so we must intercede for them like their lives and souls depended on it…because they do.

We are in a war for the souls of our kids, and the only weapon proven effective in this conflict is the effectual, fervent prayers of righteous men and women. Are your prayers effective? Are they being fervently offered? Do you even care enough about your own life and character to be concerned if whether or not your prayers are being heard?

Again, we are in a war, a war of sedition, and the casualty rate is swallowing our sons and daughters!

Parenting 101 is easy stuff. Parenting 201 is the practical stuff. But Parenting 301, if there is such a thing, break your heart and bend your knees. If your not used to it, the fall to the floor is going to hurt – a lot.

2 Comments

Filed under Parenting, Relationships and Family

Just Something Funny…Until My Wife Finds Out


A friend posted the above picture to his Facebook wall, noting he got this as a Father’s Day present.

When I read what was on the cup I literally laughed out loud. My wife, a little annoyed by my disturbing behavior, continued playing a card game on her phone (which is her normal practice as she winds down to sleep). 

She briefly glanced in my direction as if to ask, “What’s so funny?” But she didn’t ask… She knows I can’t keep something funny to myself. 

She makes a quick play on her phone before my inevitable interruption. 

I rolled over and said, “You’ve got to see this,” and showed her the picture. Hardly able to keep from laughing once again, I read to her what was on the cup…

As if waiting for a punchline, she asked, “And?”

Once again I started laughing… 

Then I said…

“And evidently you must be the other kind.” 

(I’m sorry Valerie, but it was too funny not to share.)

Marriage takes two 🙂

2 Comments

Filed under Humor, Marriage