My Art Story

Hey guys, I would like to share a new blog/website with you. It’s about my art.

It’s just in the beginning stages of developement, but here is a link to one page I just published. It tells the story of how I started painting and shows some early examples.

It’s amazing what can happen in a year, isn’t it?

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Sunday’s Sermons from the Back Porch

Good Monday morning! I pray you are doing well and are excited for what God has in store for us, today!

I know, it’s a Monday.

I know, there are a lot of sad things going on in the world.

But, you know what? We can still find encouragement in God’s Word! That is why I want to share with you the Facebook videos from yesterdays messages I preached from my back porch.

Why the back porch? Because we had cancelled in-person services last week because of COVID-19 cases. Hopefully we will be back together as a congregation this Sunday.

In the morning sermon I preached from Ephesians 1:3-7 and outlined 5 benefits that come with being “in Christ.”

In the evening video I continued our study into the the book of Romans. Good stuff. Really good stuff 😉

Please pray for those who are sick.

Please pray for the poor souls in Afghanistan.

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“I Don’t Like Joe!”

There were words that were sent to me just a few minutes ago from a weeping pastor in Pakistan. In Messenger he wrote, “I’m beyond mad at Biden and his administration.”

He then wrote, “I don’t like Joe!

“Me either!” was my reply.

Video was sent to me of people desperately trying to flee Afghanistan now that the Taliban has gained control of the capital. There is video of families pausing in the street amidst the rushing crowd to huddle and cry, pray, or whatever.

“Look what the Mr. JOE administration did to those poor people!” exclaimed my friend.

I don’t think anyone in that area is happy with Joe.

This is worse than our leaving Vietnam in 1973. This is betrayal in the highest order!

How many Americans, not to mention our allies, died or were permanently wounded since we went in to fight the Taliban 20 years ago? And now, after all this time, we leave and hand it right back to them??? After all we fought to accomplish, we walk away and allow these murderous thugs to brutalize a nation, especially women and children?

For WHAT??

And now the word is that the Taliban is threatening the borders of Pakistan. The Russians just conducted drills at the Afghan border with supersonic bombers and MIG 29’s.

Let the record show, this did not happen under Orange Man’s watch; it happened while “sleepy Joe” was having a delusional moment and avoiding all advice to stay.

I guess now what we will hear from the news media is that Joe Biden and his administration presided over a peaceful transition of government in Afghanistan……and there’s no crisis, I suppose, correct?

I don’t like you, Joe. Not one bit.

There’s hot, sticky, mingled-with-tears blood on your decrepit, senile hands!

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A Popular Painting: Doolittle Pond

You know, it was just a year ago that I started painting in earnest. Up until then I only drew stuff for fun, other than when I illustrated the stories in my school bus book.

However, a recent painting I completed for a client (a commissioned work) has stirred a lot of response. On one Facebook page it’s garnered over 2,100 likes and 631 comments! It is a painting of an actual pond in Sandersville, Georgia, called Doolittle Pond. If you Google it you will find it on just about any Georgia map.

The painting is of the south side of the pond where a couple of old structures dating back to the 1800’s still stand. The actual property is a little more wooded and shady, but he wanted me to “clean up” the view so that the buildings could be seen clearly.

Instead of the cold-pressed paper I usually use for watercolor or Gouache, I went with a 12’x24″ stretched canvas made for watercolor. I am glad I did because the pond – the water part – was a real challenge! I had to “erase” it and redo it 3 times before I was happy!!

Needless to say, I put FAR more hours into this than I planned. The agreed price doesn’t even come close to what it’s worth, really. The owner is getting a steal of a deal 😉

But if you like it, you can contact me via email (pastoracbaker@yahoo.com) and I can provide options and pricing for prints. You can also follow me on Facebook at @AnthonyCBakerArt and/or my website (under development) WallHoleCoverings.com.

AND, if you’d like for me to paint something for you, I’m always willing to negotiate – especially for a watch 🙂

“Doolittle Pond” 12×24″ Watercolor & Gouache on stretched canvas

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. – Matt. 5:16

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It’s a Sad, Sad Day for Afghanistan…and the Whole Region

Let’s get straight to the point without worrying about font size, layout, or pictures.

I think it’s a sad, sad day for the people of Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it seems the sorrow is only going to deepen and spread thanks to the IDIOTIC and FOOLHARDY announcement that our soldiers are going to leave, and when.

What are we doing? Are we wanting a THIRD conflict? Do we need to bring this one to an end so that the current administration can get their street cred for declaring their own moral outrage?

I can’t help but think of all the blood that has been pour out and splattered across the sands. What a waste! A WASTE! What will have been gained? What will have been accomplished, especially if the Taliban goes right back to their old ways of hardline Sharia law and befriending those who want to bring Western Civilization to its knees?

As I watch the whole country succumb to the Taliban, I can’t help but wonder why and how? Not only why would we let this happen, but how on earth are they still capable of regaining so much so quickly?

Whatever the case, the re-implementation of radical Islamic rule will bring uncertainty and instability to the whole region – again. And what I fear is that neighboring places like Pakistan will find themselves having to deal with increased threats, more emboldened radicalism, and the inevitable loss of innocent life.

Because who’s gonna stop them?

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Wednesday Watch Day! Vintage Vostok

Vostok or Bostock?

Spellcheck is having a difficult time with this one. For some reason it thinks I want to talk about a fancy kind of French toast, not a Russian-made watch.

Then there’s all that Russian alphabet craziness that makes things even more confusing – the English transliteration is “Boctok.” It’s pronounced “Vostok,” even if you spell it as Vostoc or Vostock.

Anyhoo…

Welcome to the first weekly instalment I’m calling “Wednesday Watch Day!” where I will dedicate each post to a watch that is currently in my personal collection.

The Komandirskie

What was that? Oh, that’s another Russian word. It means “Commander.” And it’s my vintage Vostok Komandirskie that will be the focus of today’s post.

Why this watch? Well, this is not the oldest watch I own, but it is the watch which I’ve owned the longest (30 years!). It’s also the watch that I bought in the most unusual place.

Back in August of 1991, while on a mission trip to the newly-opened Romania, I spent a few days in Budapest, Hungary. Budapest is divided by the Danube River, and the beautiful Széchenyi Chain Bridge, which spans from Buda to Pest, is where I picked up this piece.

See the source image
If you look to the far end on the right, there is a lion, right above the bow of the riverboat. That’s where I bought my watch.

I had already spent half the day walking all over town, but then I came to the bridge. No more than 100 feet across I was stopped by a guy that reminded me of the men in movies with long trench coats. He asked, “Buy a watch?” Well, I think that’s what he asked. I mean, he offered me this cool-looking watch with a Russian star on it and seemed to want my money in exchange.

Honestly, by the time this moment had rolled around, I was looking for anything at all that I could take back as a souvenir. I had no idea if what I was buying was legit, overpriced, or a great deal. All I know was that I paid around 25 dollars for this watch, which was more than likely what they were going for new at the time, at least over there. But you can pick a new one up these days for literally less than $50.

Memories

I have a very eclectic collection of watches. None were purchased as investments, and only a few have any real resale value. The fact is that most all the watches in my collection hold sentimental value or are attached to some story in my life. That’s why this watch is one of the most important ones.

When I bought this watch back in 1991, I had just about concluded a month-long trip to eastern Europe during which I rode an overnight train through Transylvania, saw Roman ruins, gave out hundreds of Bibles to people who hadn’t seen one in 70 years, and led nearly 80 people to Christ! Every time I wear this watch I remember those days.

Specs

So, let’s finish up with a few important details. First off, Vostok is a Russian watchmaker that in 1965 was contracted by the Soviet government to create and supply watches to the military. The Kamandirskie was the first model developed and is still be manufactured with very little changes. It is a simple, manually wound tank of a watch that mirrors the non-complexity of the typical Russian weapon. It ain’t fancy, but it works – and will keep working.

  • Case diameter: 39.8mm
  • Thickness: 11.5mm
  • Lug width: 18mm
  • Lug-to-lug: 40.8mm
  • Screw down crown
  • Screw down case back
  • Stainless steel case
  • Omni-directional, friction based bezel
  • Plexiglass crystal
  • 17-jewel manually wound movement

So, that’s it for this week. Next week we will look at my next-oldest watch, one my wife bought for me 🙂

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What Do I Do When I Doubt?

Yes, I have my moments

Look, the last thing I want to do is lie to you – I have my moments of doubt from time to time. You may wonder how that’s even possible, especially considering that I’m Dr. Baker, the pastor, the author, the spiritual giant, the pillar of the community, da da da, etc.

But it’s true…. and I bet I’m not the only one, either.

. . . . and I’m not a spiritual giant.

Discord Recorded

Image result for Epic Discord Logo
Here’s a link to join our forum that’s only good for 7 days. https://discord.gg/kZpke65k

Well, tonight I spoke about the subject of doubt

and what I do when I’m tempted with it. I did this on Discord, a platform which I’m only beginning to learn how to navigate.

If you are a gamer, you are probably familiar with Discord (If not, I’ll simply have to ask you to google it for a definition). If you want to join our server, look for FaithChatt forum and friend me. You will know me as DrWatch8262.

Anyway, tonight I elected to do an impromptu “lecture” on the subject of doubt and how I deal with it in my own life. The whole thing was recorded and I downloaded it for your benefit.

I would love for you to listen when it’s convenient. I hope it will be a help and a blessing to those who hear it.

Lecture on dealing with doubt by Dr. Anthony Baker with guest speaker Dr. D. R. Fraley

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Go If You Can – You Don’t Want to Miss the Bread!

If you read my last post you are now aware that my wife has COVID-19. I may or may not have it, but I’m not showing any symptoms so far.

But what I want to ask of you is something simple, something anybody can do, just as long as they don’t have COVID.

Would you go to church tomorrow?

This is where I pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church in Warthen, GA. 2 years and counting!

I know, it’s a lot to ask for some of you. It’s almost an impossibility for others. And, like a few who leave friendly comments on this blog, it’s a request that falls on deaf ears and hard hearts.

However, from my perspective, I’m wishing I could leave the house. I would LOVE to go fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ in person, not over Facebook Live. There is such a difference.

You may be thinking, “Why go to church when you can get all the teaching you need online?”

Well, let me illustrate it with a story…

Do you remember the stories in the Bible where Jesus fed thousands and thousands of people with just a few fish and a few loaves of bread? Oh, what an awesome story of God’s provision! What a miracle! Every time I hear it I get goosebumps, particularly when I consider the expressions on the disciples’ faces as Jesus kept breaking the bread and giving it out!

And when you read it or hear the story told from the Bible, the inspired Word of God, is it not sufficient to speak to your soul and minister to your spirit? Of course it is!

The same truths that Jesus taught the disciples and all those he fed (although the crowd didn’t understand), are the same exact truths anyone of us can learn through a studious reading of the biblical text. The same Holy Spirit who was there on the hillside is the same Spirit of God who will illuminate the passages we read and strengthen our faith.

But there’s at least one thing – one HUGE thing – that we will NEVER understand from the Scripture and the preaching of the truths found therein.

Do you know what it is?

We will never know what the bread and the fish tasted like! On top of that, we will never know what it feels like to go from being hungry to being stuffed with bread and fish that miraculously fell from the hands of Jesus Christ!

For THOSE experiences one had TO BE THERE.

And that’s the difference between online church services and actually being in the same room where the Word of God is blessed, broken, and distributed to the hungry of heart.

That’s why I say to go if you can.

You don’t want to miss the bread!

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If Finally Caught Up with Us

Greetings from Georgia!

It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out the meaning behind the title of this post. Essentially, COVID-19 finally caught up with the household of the Recovering Legalist.

It’s quarantine time.

Actually, I had a test at University Hospital in Augusta, GA, just today. This evening I received the word that the test came back negative for COVID, for what it’s worth. Personally, unless the first Pfizer shot helped, I think it’s inevitable that I come down with it pretty soon.

Valerie was diagnosed this morning. I had her at the ER yesterday for an injured thumb, of all things. It was only while she was there and complained of chest pain that a CT scan showed evidence of COVID in her lungs. She is already having difficulty keeping her oxygen levels above 90 and this is only the second day with any symptoms.

No Surgery, Yet

Interestingly, as I type this I am scheduled for surgery Friday morning. However, as soon as I can make the call, I am going to tell the surgeon that I want to postpone the surgery. I feel it would be too risky and logistically insane.

What kind of surgery, you ask? Well, it’s called a thymectomy. To make a long description short, I have a tumor on the Thymus gland which is causing pressure on the aorta resulting in chest pain which mimics a heart attack. The tumor is 2 inches by 1 inch. No biopsy has been done, and the surgeon does not think it is malignant, but nothing’s for sure. All I know is that the pain is real and really uncomfortable.

But when it comes to my reasoning not to have the surgery, I simply think it would be insane to put myself through the following when you consider that I am living with a confirmed COVID patient!

“Depending on the type of surgery and on the condition of the patient, a ventilator may be required after surgery. Once the breathing tube has been removed, the patient will be asked to breathe deeply and cough repeatedly to clear the lungs of mucus. . . .The patient may have one or two chest tubes (small tubes in the chest attached to drainage bottles), which will be removed shortly after surgery.” – Northwest Medicine (nm.org)

Yeah, I think I’m going to do a little more blogging over the next couple of weeks, if you don’t mind!

In the meantime, prayers for my wife and son-in-law, Josh (he is suffering with COVID, too), would be much appreciated.

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A Mini Commentary, Pt. 16 (Ephesians 4:16)

Sorry for the delay, but here is the final instalment of the mini commentary on Ephesians 4:1-16. I pray the whole series has been informative and a blessing in some way.


4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

From whom the whole body fitly joined together

            Here is where the metaphor of the body can get a little tricky, at least compared to the way things naturally work. When a human is conceived, his DNA is already present, passed from both the mother and the father. The “blueprint of life” dictates how a child will look, how big he will be, his color of skin, etc. But Jesus, the Head of the Body, is the one who oversees the construction and placement of body parts. The mind, the Person of God, is eternal; the Body – both when He walked the earth and when He left and sent His Spirit – came into being by the will of God. There is no accidental deformity withing the Body of Christ! There are no mutations, missing parts, or inadequate ones! The WHOLE body is FITLY joined together! Hallelujah!

            Are you intimidated, discouraged, or feel out of place in the Body of Christ? Don’t feel that way! You were designed and created to fit exactly where the Head wants you. You have a purpose for which no other part in the body can fill. You are unique and designed by God.

and compacted by that which every joint supplieth,

             Here we see that not only is every person who is part of the Body a specially designed member created for a particular purpose in the overall growth of the Body, but each has a part in the unifying of the Body into a cohesive whole.[1] Paul implied this same thought in his letter to the Colossians: “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ” (Colossians 2:2).

according to the effectual working in the measure of every part,

            Now, despite the lofty example of Jesus, God “knows our frame,” that we are nothing but dust (Psalm 103:14). Therefore, notice that Paul says, “…the measure of every part.” The measure of one part of the Body, one Christian, is not going to be the same measure of another one. Too often we find ourselves comparing our spirituality to that of other more “godly” believers. In doing so we often find ourselves discouraged from not measuring up to their likeness. Look, we are all dust, and the most that we can ever be is only because of God’s grace.

            But the encouraging hope is this: what we have and all that we are, yielded to the will of the Head of the Body, is guaranteed to be effective toward the purpose for which we have been designed.

maketh increase of the body

            Simply put, a healthy member of the body, no matter the importance, will, if effectually being used, make increase to the Body. Does that mean that one must lead others to Christ in order to “make increase”? Possibly, but whatever the purpose, if doing what it’s designed to do, will contribute to the other members’ edification.

unto the edifying of itself in love.

            Herein lies the overall purpose of the gifts God gives in Christ through the Spirit: the edifying of the Church – the building up into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, there are many within the Body of Christ who think the edification of the individual member takes precedent over the body as a whole. This can be seen in the doctrine that promotes “prayer language,” or private times of prayer that consist of ecstatic speech, unknown tongues, or what is technically referred to as glossolalia. Yet, Paul addressed this very topic in 1 Corinthians 14:14-19.

            Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:14: “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” He did not argue that it could never happen; he just said that if he did pray in such a way, he would not understand what was being said. Furthermore, in verses 15 and 16 he states that he would rather speak and sing in an understandable language so that everyone could benefit, especially those who “understandeth not” (v. 16). But it is in verse 17 where the letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the Corinthians cross paths: speaking in a prayer language might encourage the one praying, but “the other is not edified.” He gave (v. 11) … for (v. 12) … till (v. 13) … that (v. 14) … may (v.15) … edify (v. 16).


[1] Henry George Liddell et al., A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 1675.

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