“Evidence is only as good as one’s presuppositions. A man who believes there is a Watchmaker could be convinced with the simplest timepiece found by the sea. But one who refuses to believe in a Watchmaker could trip over a million Rolex’s lying scattered on the sand, yet deny the golden evidence being defaced beneath his feat.” – A. Baker
Category Archives: Faith
Not a Repeat
Just a week or so ago I published a post listing a few things “I Don’t Know.” That post was actually a re-hashed re-post of an older post. In other words, you read a slightly-modified re-run.
How many more times will I use hyphenated words? I don’t know.
How many more times will I re-post old posts? More than you will notice, I hope.
This post, however, is brand new for 2017. No funny taste, and no freezer burn.
I Don’t Understand
Tonight I was reading some posts from a new blog I just discovered, RebeccaLemke.com. When I scrolled down to where I could leave comment, there was a list of places where the blog post had been shared, among them the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. That led me to make a statement to my wife as she sat across from me, still doing taxes late at night, “I just don’t understand Pinterest.” She replied, “It can be addictive.”
Well, here are some other things I don’t understand…
- How people can look at the same evidence, yet come to different conclusions
- How anyone who loves unconditionally can “fall” out of love
- Why good things happen to bad people
- How anyone could hate Jesus
- How Jesus could love someone like me
- Why anyone would turn down God’s grace and opt for works
But even though I may not understand some things, I’m glad they are true…especially God’s love for this broken, wounded, scarred sinner.
“Like a broken vessel lying scattered on the sand,
Each piece a sad example of a life destroyed by sin.
That’s when Jesus found me, and after all that I’d been through
Paid it all to buy what was thrown away.
It’s amazing, but it’s true.
Don’t ask me why He loved me so. I’ll never understand.
He picked me up and held me close with a gentle nail-scarred hand.
He suffered what was meant for me, and after all I put Him through,
Told His Father I was worth the nails!
It’s amazing! But it’s true!”
– Anthony C. Baker
I may not understand, but I’ll trust the One who does.
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: … “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. – Job 38:1, 4 ESV
As you wind down from a weekend of celebrating St. Patrick Day, pause for a moment and read a portion of the real St. Patrick’s prayer, one he prayed every day.
May it be our prayer, also.
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:21
All Things Irish
Normally, I don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but I figured today would be a good day for green.
Somewhere in my ancient past, somewhere beyond the reach of genealogy software, I know there must be some Irish blood. It’s not something I can prove, but I do look good in green and turnip greens are one of my favorite foods. I also like green grass, the beauty of a rainbow, pots of gold, and Lucky Charms breakfast cereal.
But if there is anything Irish that makes a chill run up my spine, it’s the ancient hymn, “Be Thou My Vision.” I consider it one of the “battle hymns” of the faith: every time I hear or sing it, I am encouraged to draw my Sword and wage war with the Devil.
I had not been pastoring long when in 1996 I went to the Promise Keepers Clergy Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a rare three-day event featuring a once-in-a-lifetime lineup of speakers; everyone from Chuck Swindoll and E.V. Hill, to Jack Hayford and Tony Evans, just to name a few. 40,000+ ministers came from all over the world to this event, including 200 Native American pastors who took 2 months to walk from out West. Believe me, it was incredible.
Towards the end of the gathering of all these men who had dedicated their lives to the service of the Lord, all 40,000 men stood to sing what was to be the first time I had ever heard “Be Thou My Vision.” The power…the chills…the call to do battle with the Enemy was nearly overwhelming. 40,000 pastors singing “High King of Heaven…” could make the deadest doorstop of a Christian stand to his feet and shout!
So, after searching YouTube, I found this video with a stirring rendition of the Irish hymn I love so much. Along with the song, there are pictures of great preachers and missionaries of the church. The only thing is that it ends with a picture of John MacArthur, so if you are not a MacArthur fan, just close your eyes, OK?
On this St. Patrick’s Day, please keep in mind something else…theology! Here’s another little video you should watch 😉
If you’ve been around this blog for more than a few years, maybe you’ve noticed that I have been going to the archives and bringing back some older posts. It’s not that I have writer’s block; it’s just that I don’t have as much time as I’d like and there is a lot of good stuff packed away in over 1,000 posts.
Some stuff is worth repeating, don’t you think?
Anyhoo, here’s something from 2014, and it’s still true…
There aren’t many of things that scare me now that I am an adult. However, as a child I lived in dread of a lot of things. I was afraid of vampires, clowns, Russians, and girls with cooties. Now I know that vampires can be killed with a good flashlight (the handle part, that is) and Russia is less of a threat than China, I think. However, clowns and girls are still a problem.
On the other hand, I used to love to fly in airplanes, drink from unwashed soda cans and public water fountains, and drive sports cars at ungodly rates of speed down curvy mountain roads. Now, as an adult, I know that it takes a long time to fall from 30,000 feet, germs are everywhere, and deer have a habit of walking in front of good drivers.
But the biggest thing is that most of the scary things in life are either in my mind, or avoidable. I have no fear of them eventually catching up with me. If killer bees get too close, I’ll just move. The wicked, however, have no such hope.
The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted. – Proverbs 10:24
I like the way the NIV translates the first part of this verse, “What the wicked dreads will overtake him…” This proverb is telling us that the wicked are running from something, while the righteous are running to something. And more than that, whatever the wicked are fleeing from will eventually catch up.
What do the wicked fear? What will eventually overtake them? A few things come to mind: being alone, pain, loss, falling, and death. Huh…coincidentally, all of those will be present in hell. Go figure.
Gonna Grant It
But for the righteous…the ones who know every good gift is from God, the ones who know grace can’t be earned…their desires will be granted.
Amazing, isn’t it? What does the righteous desire? To be loved. To be healed. To have treasure that won’t decay. To be caught up. To have eternal life. Wow! Everything that heaven will bring!
But there’s one more thing: the righteous will welcomed into the presence of their greatest Desire – Jesus.
Don’t run from Jesus. Run to Him. Make Jesus your desire.
A few minutes ago I was reading a post from a friend. He expressed several needs, yet praised the Lord for being in control (Romans 8:28). And just this week we in the Baker home realized we will be facing some additional struggles we had hoped to avoid. Nevertheless, aren’t you glad we serve a Mighty God?
All of us are living in tough and troubling times. For some of you, the road you’re on has far more bumps and potholes than the roads of others. Yet, all of us will agree, wherever we are, that the world is not getting any better. Times are tough, and are only going to get tougher (even with a new President).
But, I have a Mighty Friend who is not affected by the whims of men or the winds of time. As a matter of fact, my Friend is the One who created man and started time.
Ten years ago (2007) I wrote a song for my then-little girls to sing. Every time I listen to it these days I’m tempted to kick up my heels, pump my fists, and waved my hands while shouting, “Praise GOD!”
Maybe you need some encouragement? Just read the lyrics I have included below, and if God is your friend, don’t worry (Matthew 6:30-34), He’s got this!
Mighty FriendWell I may not be as tall as a building or strong as a big ol train I may not be as smart as a scientist doing things I can’t explain But I know the One who made the tallest mountain and can whip up a hurricane And the very One who invented gravity says He even knows my name. Well I may not know what’s comin’ in the mornin’, or what the day may bring Good or bad, I’m not gonna worry, ‘cause Jesus knows everything. So I’ll do the best with what God has given me as long as there is time ‘Cause the One that got the clocks a-tick’n told me it’ll all be fine. When the devil acts like a bully, putting on a scary show Before you run away and hide in a corner there’s something you need to know The One who spoke the world into existence is standing by your side And if you look close the devil’s knees are shakin’ cause he knows he’ll lose the fight Chorus: Cause I’ve got a Mighty, Mighty Friend who watches over me And He’s the Mighty, Mighty Savior who died to set me free Well I may not be the greatest at anything, but this one thing is so The God that is the greatest at everything loves me, this I know.
© 2007, Anthony C. Baker (BMI)
Katie the Music Major is going to hate me for doing this…
…but I am going to include the recording I was talking about. This was recorded back when she (Katie) was only 10 or 11 years-old. It’s not Nashville quality, but it’s precious. So, as so many people say before they sing in church, “Don’t listen to how we sing, just listen to the words.”
“The God who we trust with the spiritual needs of our eternal souls should also be trusted with the temporal needs of this body. If we can’t trust Him to supply our needs and keep us from begging bread, then we need another god! After all, which is harder, purchasing our redemption or providing a roof?” – A. Baker
“…Lord, I believe! Help thou mine unbelief.” – Mark 9:24