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. Currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry. Most importantly, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. All glory belongs to Him!

Only a Few

I was thinking of something new to write for tomorrow, specifically in memory of D-Day. The only thing that keeps coming to mind is “only a few.”

Now, the first thing that sounds like is “The Few, the Proud, the Marines.” Maybe that’s why I hearing those words in my head, you think?

On the other hand, it could come from the idea that all it takes is “only a few.” You know, like those Marines, or a few initial protestors, or even the miniscule 200 in the upper room that became the Christian Church.

Sometimes all it takes is a few people to make a difference, even to change the world.

By the Numbers

But when I look back at June 6th, 1944, there were far more than “only a few” who stormed those beaches. Far more.

  • 156,000 troops or paratroopers came ashore that day alone.
  • 195,700 naval personnel were used.
  • By the end of June 11th (D+5), 326,527 military personnel had come ashore.

From Yahoo News: “The First U.S. Army, accounting for the first twenty-four hours in Normandy, tabulated 1,465 killed, 1,928 missing, and 6,603 wounded. The after-action report of U.S. VII Corps (ending 1 July) showed 22,119 casualties including 2,811 killed, 5,665 missing, 79 prisoners, and 13,564 wounded, including paratroopers.”

Also from Yahoo News: “German sources vary between four thousand and nine thousand D-Day casualties on 6 June—a range of 125 percent. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s report for all of June cited killed, wounded, and missing of some 250,000 men, including twenty-eight generals.

What’s the point?

Sometimes all we need are “a few good men.”

On the other hand, there are times when “only a few” good men (and/or women) just isn’t enough.

Today, June 5th, we live in a world with battles raging. Yes, there are physical conflicts in play in various places, but there are other battlegrounds, too.

  • The fight for religious liberty and freedom of speech
  • The fight over personal liberty without constant government overreach
  • The fight over personal conscience with regard to changing social norms
  • The fight for the right to defend oneself
  • The fight for our nation’s moral conscience, dignity, and very sovereignty

There is even the battle for the survival of the local rural church congregation due to COVID-induced “couch worship.”

People, we need more than “only a few,” we need all hands on deck.

When you storm beaches, numbers matter.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Culture Wars

Make it a Thankful Thursday!

We have so many things to be thankful to God for, but so often all we can think about are the things we think we need, the situations we want to change, or the pains we want to go away.

You do realize, don’t you, that if all you think about are the “prayer requests” and not the praises, then you may come to think that the One you pray to is failing you.

Flip the script on this beautiful Thursday and praise God for even the most mundane things!

Think about it, where would you be today if you didn’t have running water? Are you thankful for it, or do you simply take it for granted?

Air conditioning?

Shoes?

More than one meal, and leftovers to boot?

Friends, we are FAR more blessed than we even comprehend, yet so often we act like God doesn’t know we exist, or at least rarely hears our prayers.

God is good all the time! And, say it with me….

“All the time God is good!”

Seriously, if only today, with your voice say out loud “Thank you” to God for everything that comes to mind. Praise Him for even the simple things, like, “Lord, that is a beautiful tree…you did such a wonderful job on that one.”

Do this just today and then let me know if your mood stays the same.

God bless (even more than He already has)!

Anthony

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Filed under Thanksgiving

Love Is Love?

What does it mean when you say “Love Is Love“?

Before you try to answer that, let’s change the words. Let’s see if the same way of defining love works with other stuff.

  • Rock is Rock.
  • Lamb is Lamb.
  • Bob is Bob.
  • Cola is Cola.
  • Dirt is Dirt.
  • Poison is Poison.
  • Hate is Hate.

As you can see, the words above are not as easy to define by stating that one is what it is. To say that a rock is a rock is to say a diamond is a piece of driveway gravel. To say that dirt is dirt is to equate what my flowers are growing in with stuff people dig up to smear politicians.

Is every Bob the same as every other Bob?

Is Coke really as nasty as the generic stuff?

Is a stuffed lamb in a toy store the same as the living, breathing, pooping animal capable of growing wool?

If “hate is hate,” then is it as equally immoral to hate the act of murder or cottage cheese that same as I hate my neighbor?

LOVE IS LOVE tells us nothing! all it does is confuse and belittle, elevate what is not the real thing, and degrade what is priceless.

LOVE IS LOVE tells us nothing! All it does is confuse and belittle, elevate what is not the real thing, and degrade what is priceless.

A.C. Baker

Then What IS Love?

Is there no standard for what love is supposed to be? Is self-love the same as sacrificial love? Stating that “love is love” doesn’t even clarify whether or not love is a verb or a noun?

That is why the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle John to write: “God is love” (1 John 4:8,16).

What love is supposed to be is directly related to the nature of God.

God is the standard. God is the Definer.

Love without God in the equation is a scary, vague, unstable, dangerous, self-serving, undefinable, always-changing emotional term that can be used to justify anything (which can be verified by doing a Google search of “Love Is Love” memes).

Poison isn’t just poison, but love without God is a poison that blinds the heart. – Ephesians 4:17-19

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Filed under Culture Wars, General Observations, God, Love of God

Have Brush, Will Paint

First things first, I’m cranking up the writing engine again! [Should there be an apostrophe before “again”?]

Anyway, yes, I’m knocking the rust off the old WordPress “publish” button. Time to get back in the fray with my fellow bloggers! I’ve missed you guys (and gals).

But this post is only going to be a quick commercial for my art. I would love for you to take a look. If you see anything that sparks your interest, let me know.

If you have something you’d like for me to paint, I’d be happy to consider it. I’ve already got a few houses and churches in the works, so jump now before the wait gets too long … now THAT would be a blessing!

Oh, and that white bucket truck is a painting, not a photo. 🙂

Last thing, try to go to church somewhere this Lord’s Day.

Have a blessed one!

Anthony

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Filed under art, writing

Good Morning!

green trees under blue and orange sky during sunset

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

Good Morning?

How often do you say that? How often do you hear it said to you? “Good morning!”

Funny thing is that those same two words can be spoken in so many ways. How many of the following do you think express the true meaning of the salutation?

  • “Good morning.” – as spoken by a husband to his wife after waking up sore, sleep-deprived, and just slightly damp after a night camping under the stars.
  • “Good morning!” – as expressed through the sinister grin of a drill seargent on the first morning after arriving at boot camp.
  • “Good morning.” – growled by a teenager the morning after being threatened with the loss of her cell phone if one more disrespectful word spewed from her lips.
  • “Good morning!!” – as exclaimed by a “Karen” the first morning on the job after being hired as a quality control manager with the business at which she had recently voiced her disapproval of employees’ customer service.

Correct, none of the above examples express the intended (or at least commonly understood) meaning of the greeting.

So, what is saying “Good morning!” supposed to mean?

Unless I’m sorely mistaken, when you say “Good morning” to someone, what you are doing is one of two things:

  • a) stating a fact; or
  • b) wishing for, or blessing another with a desire that their morning actually be a good one.

Based on the above definition, I want to wish you a “Good morning!” I also want to say that it IS a “Good morning!” This is the day that the Lord has made, remember? Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Sure, I know you might have aches and pains, but you woke up! You’ve been given another day to do something with those talents God has intrusted to you. Invest them!

Yes, you may have lost everything in a bankruptcy, a divorce, or a tragedy of some kind. But you survived! You’re alive! Now’s the moment when you can start seeing the miraculous hand of God work! You might have been so caught up in other things that you failed to see how good God is, but now you can better focus on the grace and mercy of the One who clothes the flowers and really does care about you!

The Bible says that “weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning”! This is a brand new day. You may have really, without a doubt, messed up yesterday. But, you know what? If you are a born-again, blood-washed, redeemed child of God, the Cross means that what Jesus did has already atoned for your mess up. You’re forgiven! Now, walk in forgiveness and grace while giving God the glory!

Instead of reading this, you COULD be in eternal torment, separated from the loving presence of God. begging for just a single drop of water to cool your tongue, but you’re not! It’s not a matter of luck; there’s a reason.

So, I’d say, without a doubt, no matter who you are, it is … and I bless you with these words …

Good morning!

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Filed under Christianity, Depression, Divorce, Life Lessons, salvation, Thanksgiving, worship

It Won’t Be Much Longer

Good Wednesday, everyone! I just wanted to give you a quick update and then get back to work.

In about a week or so I will be done with all the writing requirements needed to finish my DMin. Lord willing, I will graduate July 30th!

When I get all of this out of the way, my writing here and other places will start up again, even if slow at first.

In the meantime, as you know, my mother passed away in March, leaving my sister and I without both our parents. My sister flew in from Germany to be here when my our mom died, but COVID red tape kept her from getting here in time. That was very painful for all of us, but especially for her.

A Dynamic Duo!

Once Rebecca arrived, besides the funeral and all that went along with a week of services in two different states, there was the arduous task of going through our mother’s belongings and deciding what to do with it all! She has literally been away from her husband and home for 3 months!

So, today is bittersweet. My sister is flying out of Atlanta, today. The past 3 months have been the best time I have ever had with her. We are closer now than we were when we were children, teens, or even when we played music in a band together. I am going to truly hate to see her leave, but I am happy that she will be able to get back home to her Carlos – I know he has missed her!

Do you know what’s next? For the very first time – ever – my wife and I will be alone! For some people, that’s a dream come true, and it sorta is for us, too. However, make no mistake, it won’t take long before the silence left after 29 years of laughter, tears, and all things “family” will be deafening.

Well, it won’t be long before we head out to the airport, stopping by a Cracker Barrel on the way (a last stop for American food). It won’t be long before we part ways for at least another year. It won’t be long until Valerie and I are by ourselves in a big house.

That all being said, I’m glad that sad departures won’t always be a thing. It won’t be that long until time will be no more and parting will be a thing long forgotten.

I look forward to sharing some stories with you!

Until later,

Anthony

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Filed under Family, Life/Death, Relationships and Family

The Mother’s Day Song (In Honor of My Mother)

Learn It, Love It

Honestly, I’ve written some fairly decent songs over the years, but one of my favorites (at least in the month of May) is “The Mother’s Day Song.”

Therefore, I want you to listen to this song again.

Seriously. It’s a tradition. And I would love for you to share it in honor of my late mother who went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on March 16th.

Read Them, Love Them

Now, it’s not because I’m being lazy, it’s just that some previous Mother’s Day posts I wrote were pretty good ones, and I’m not really up to writing much more than this on this Mother’s Day. Below are a couple of links.

(As a bonus, scroll through the comments and you’ll get to see me play and sing it live.)

“If I Were a Mother”

“Honoring Mothers”

My grandmother died in 2019, then my mother died a couple of months ago. With all my grandparents, and now both my parents gone, I’m truly the “adult” in the family. When my mom was still living (and she lived with us), there were times I would take a piece of art to her, or ask her about a sermon, and say, “What do/did you think?” Even as a 53-year-old man I wanted my mother’s approval.

That’s one of the things I already miss that I truly took for granted.

But I know she liked my “Mother’s Day Song” and smiled when I sang it.

So, appreciate your mother on Mother’s Day, everyone! Sing the song!

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Filed under music, Parenting, Relationships and Family

Helping a Museum

In Sandersville, Georgia, just a few miles south of me, is an old jailhouse. What makes it special is that up until the 1980’s it was one of the very few jailhouses where the Sheriff actually lived!

Now the jail is a museum and also houses the historical archives for the area. However, because of tourism being down, like with most places, they could use some extra funds to keep things up and going.

If you would like to purchase a print of the painting I did of the jail, click on the link below and 75% of the profit will go to the museum.

Thanks a lot!
Anthony

Click here for the Old Jail website.

Sandersville Jail Museum

$15.00Buy now

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Filed under art, fundraising, History, places

A Different Perspective

The following is a response to a news story I saw on Facebook. I wanted to share it here, too.


Web capture from my computer. Source: Daunte Wright: Doting dad, basketball player, shot & killed by officer (news4jax.com)

First, it is tragic that a young man with a son was killed. It was also tragic that someone who put her life on the line in a very difficult position accidentally shot a young man and killed him. He is dead, but her life is forever changed, if not in danger.

What frustrates me, and why I am taking the time to write this, is that there are not only two sides to the story, two people whose lives are forever altered, and a child who is now an orphan, but the side where the media consistently perpetuates a narrative that the shooting victim was loved and model citizen, while the officer who pulled the trigger was a racist, trigger-happy, cold-blooded, murderer worth of the death penalty.

For example, the photo shows Daunte smiling, holding his cute little boy. The article is full of glowing recollections. Yet what happened? As he was standing there beside the car, he decided to take the route of a fool and violently resist arrest! He didn’t think wisely. He didn’t consider all the consequences. He didn’t fall back on the wisdom offered by one of his mentors. No, he wrestled himself away from officers and attempted attempted to flee the scene!

Had he accomplished his intentions and fled in his car, would that have ended any better? Other innocents could have been hurt or killed in the chase, not to mention other lives changed forever by his recklessness, and he would have even more likely been subject to deadly force.

On a side note, have you ever been inside a large jail or federal prison? I have! Many, many times. I have been in multiple jails, from Florida to Kentucky, and State and Federal prisons in Tennessee and Kentucky. And do you have any idea what I saw – besides a lot of self-described wrongfully-accused? I saw a great, great number of African-Americans. I saw every color of human skin, but I also saw a disproportionate number of black men (and women). Why is that important? How is that relevant?

They were not dead – they had not been killed by police, only arrested. Think very slowly about that. Think. Let’s use our logic, folks. If the narrative of the news media and BLM and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was true – i.e., police are out to kill black men – then why are our jails and prisons full of living, breathing black men? Doesn’t fit the narrative, does it?

If you watch enough television and movies, you will see police shoot more people in one episode than most departments shoot in a year, or ten. Believe it or not, I have never met a “Dirty Harry” type cop. Of all the ones I’ve met and worked with, including my late father and the entire Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee, even though one could have existed, I’ve never, NEVER met a man or woman who wanted to kill anybody.

As hard as it is for many to believe, many police officers and deputies go their entire careers without ever discharging their service weapon!

I know I run the risk of being criticized for writing this, but too few people are standing up against the lie that all police are evil, over-funded, racist hitmen/hitwomen. I feel it’s my obligation to bring the discussion back to the center. Yes, there are always two sides to every story, and then there’s the truth.

Simply put, Daunte Wright, regardless his past crimes or outstanding warrants against him, would be alive today if he had not wrestled away from the officer detaining him and attempted to flee in his vehicle. He could have had his day in court, but now all he gets is a funeral for his poor decisions.

My prayer is for the media, Hollywood, and the race-baiting ambulance chasers in politics to shut up, go away, or simply just REPORT the news, not create it!

Let the communities of real, caring people from all races come and work together, as they so often try, yet are divided by false narratives and manipulated information. And if we would stop making everything a race issue that’s not, black and white followers of Jesus Christ could come together as the family of God and show the world how loving one’s neighbor can heal our country.

You are welcome to share this, and I welcome any respectful comment or dialogue. God bless you all, God be with the Wright family in their time of loss, and may the officer involved be shown grace.

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Filed under community, current events

Auction #2 “Stained Glass Windows”

Good Monday morning, friends! It’s time to bid on my second painting!

Please, watch the YouTube video and learn about the painting that I’m offering for auction through midnight tomorrow (Tuesday).

Just go to my Facebook page and bid (or you could leave a comment here). Type in the $ amount you would like to bid, and if it’s matched or beat I will update you 🙂

Blessings to you all, and have a great week (and Monday)!

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Filed under art