Tag Archives: anniversary

Nine Years of Blogging

I Missed It

It is now September 5, and the only thing truly special about this day is that I’m writing this post while in a waiting room – a dreary one at that. My wife is having a scope done of her esophagus, and so I have nothing else to do but wait…I’ve already prayed, so I’ll write.

Anyway, I missed my WordPress anniversary on the 27th! 9 years ago last week I wrote my first blog post, and I still have those same Crocs! I have, however, retired them.

I Mused It

Looking back over the years, I’ve used this blog to share a lot of my thoughts about different things. Some of those things were current events which are no longer relevant, while others were topic of interest which will continue to be discussed – if not reposted.

But I’ve also used this blog to formulate my thoughts. I’ve used it as a test bed for my ideas, in the preparation of sermons, and as a way to hone my speech before it’s spoken.

Overall, blogging has probably helped me more than anyone else.

I Misused It

Right now I’m reading Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. If you haven’t read it, you should; the practical wisdom is invaluable.

In the first chapter Carnegie addresses the dangers of being critical of others and cites multiple examples. Towards the end of the chapter he says:

“If you and I want to stir up resentment tomorrow that may rankle across the decades and endure until death, just let us indulge in a little stinging criticism – no matter how certain we are that it is justified.”

Even though I’ve been convinced I was right, I may have been too critical of others at times, priding myself on the “stinging” part. Granted, much of that would have appeared while debating within the comment sections, but I’m sure I could have been more gracious at times. I apologize.

I’ll Make It

So, now that I’m into my tenth year of blogging, I look forward to writing even more about subjects that interest me and may interest others. In doing so, I hope that my transparency will not hurt my own reputation, but encourage others in their own walk of faith with grace.

Life is tough at times. Like I’ve mentioned before, I know full well the dangers of depression and an outlook that forgets Who is in control. Maybe more posts in the future will help others see and understand how good and faithful our God is. Maybe they’ll be less critical, less controversial, and more encouraging as the days get darker.

Sure, some things will have to be addressed or I’ll just explode – like how now that the mayor of Chicago and a black preacher at Aretha Franklin’s funeral said what needed to be said, but the culture is too far gone to accept it…and who’s fault is that? But, when all is said and done, the command of Philippians 4:8 must rule the day – we must think on those things.

In the end, Lord willing, I’ll make it safe and sound of mine to our 10th anniversary at The Recovering Legalist. If you’ll stick with me we’ll make it a celebration to remember!

Thank you for your friendships!

Anthony

PS, My wife is not yet out of surgery, and this waiting room is sadly depressing. No coffee!

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In My Father’s Honor

Remembering the Day

I woke up this morning and saw the sun, which is something my dad never got the chance to experience on June 11, 1991. Upon closing his eyes in death while working the night shift as a security guard, he woke to eternal day where the Son is the Light. What an awesome moment that must have must have been for him!

However, for me, it was a very difficult day 27 years ago. For that matter, it was a difficult day for many. He was only 46 at the time of his homegoing, but the impact he made on the lives of others will reverberate for many decades to come, and all of us were heartbroken when he left.

Tough, Yet Humble

My dad.

My dad.

Those who knew my dad before he became a Christian would testify to the fact that he was no wimp. He was a man’s man.

My dad could build an engine and race a car – including the kind in which he used to haul moonshine. He knew how to fight, fish, and fire a weapon; between him and my uncle Don (his brother), there weren’t too many men willing to be their enemies.

Yet, once he accepted Christ, he became the perfect example of gentleness, kindness, grace, and compassion. I know of no one any more humble than he was. (Oh, and when his brother finally became a believer in Jesus, the same transformation took place)

Preachers

My dad was also a preacher. He might not have been the most eloquent, but he loved the Word and he loved telling people about Jesus. Had he been alive today, he would have wept at the state of our nation, but he would have cared more about sharing the gospel with the homeless drunk under the bridge, the prisoner in the jail, or the disabled and orphaned teen in need of hope.

More than a man who’d kindly give you the shirt off his back, he’d find a way to tell you about a Saviour who bore a cross on His. If my dad was still alive, he’d still be preaching.

Still Fighting the Good Fight

Still Fighting the Good Fight

I am proud to say that I am carrying on my father’s legacy. I am proud to say that should the Lord allow me to live another 50 years, I will continue to preach the Gospel, stand for Truth, and love people the best I can. As a matter of fact, here is something I recently posted on Facebook.

Backbone, preachers…now’s the time for some honest-to-goodness, strong-as-steel, George S. Patton and John Wayne-like BACKBONE!

I don’t care if you’re Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Nazarene, Methodist, or whatever…MAN UP!! Stand in the gap! Quit being a politically motivated, crowd-pleasing, purse string-tying wimp and PREACH THE WORD!

Check out what’s going on in the world and what’s coming to America. Do you think things are all going to turn out like a big Hillsong praise service if you keep preaching like Joel Osteen?! Folks, what we need now more than ever are some Elijahs, some John the Baptists, some old-school Billy Grahams, some D. L. Moodys, etc. We need more men of God who know the difference between the Word of God and a motivational speech!

Don’t try to be popular. Don’t try to be “cool” and “hip” with the younger generations. Quit fighting over the styles of worship if your congregation doesn’t even know HOW to worship! Forget trying to become more “seeker-friendly,” and just SEEK THE LOST! The world is going to Hell and we are greasing the skids.

Be real. Be humble. Be yourself. Love your enemies. But for the love of God, pastors and preachers, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). In other words, take off the liberal mom jeans and put on some prophet-worthy overalls and get to work. 

His Voice

I wish all of you could have met my dad, Terry L. Baker. Like my wife noted when she heard a recording, “He sounds about as country as they come.” Fortunately for all of us, I still have a few recordings of his preaching.

Below is an edited version of a message my dad preached back in 1981. At that time he was doing a radio program on WMOC for a local children’s ministry.

On a side note, I do a radio program just like my dad did, but he used to record his sermons on a Radio Shack cassette recorder while I use an iPhone 7 with a Rode smartLav+ mic. Funny, the sermon below sounds just as good as anything recorded today!

Fittingly, the sermon from my late father, based on Deuteronomy 6:4-7, concerns how to raise a godly family. Tell me if you think he sounds a little like me 😉

All honor and glory be to my Father in Heaven, the One who graciously gifted me with an earthly father who loved Jesus and taught me how to do the same.

 

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, Life Lessons, ministry, Parenting, Preaching, Relationships and Family

Happy A-Day to Us!

Happy 6th!!!!

anniversaryToday is my blog’s 6th anniversary!

Can you believe it? Time has flown by.

I don’t have a cake, but I do have half a box of strawberry-flavored Minion-themed Twinkies. You are all invited over to share what I have left.

In honor of this momentous occasion, why not share a thought or two? What first brought you to this blog? Has it made any impact on your life? Would you share it with 10 people if I offered you a $100 bill?

Maybe on my 10th anniversary we can have a real party. Whataya say?

Thanks, folks. Thanks for reading, for commenting, for sharing, for liking, and for just being friends.

Anthony

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Remembering a Whoop’n

A Whoop’n 

In case you are from a liberal society or background which prohibits whoop’ns, you might not know what I am talking about. Therefore, let me tell you what a “whoop’n” is.

A whoop’n (the abbreviated form of “whipping”) is a spanking, a tail thrashing, a belt to the rear, a switch’n, a “rod of instruction to the seat of discipline.”

Whoop’ns are not abuse. I survived many, and I’m thankful for every one my mom and dad gave me. They administered them in love.

Holy Wood Shed

The reason I am telling you all about “whoop’ns” is because God gave me one four years ago today. Yes, the Lord took me to His heavenly wood shed all because I acted like a hypocrite.

My daughter with Building 429

My daughter with Building 429

You see, four years ago a group called Building 429 came through town and I made of fool of myself in front of God and everybody, including my family and a bunch of guys who love Jesus. I judged them based on what they looked like – the very thing I preached and wrote against on this very website.

If you’d like to read the original story, just click on the link below. You’ll get a laugh out of it.

 “Recovering Legalist Meets Building 429”

But even though I learned a lesson, there are still times when I have to “check myself,” as my wife says. That’s why I call myself a “recovering” legalist.

BTW, they accepted my apology.

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5th Anniversary!

Can you believe that it was five years ago, today, that I first started this blog?!

anniversaryYes, today is the 5th anniversary of The Recovering Legalist. I wish there could be a little more fanfare. Oh well.

2012 was my best year. I did a lot more writing then, so I got a lot more views. That was also the year when Building 429 linked one of my posts to their blog – big boost in views. This year hasn’t been bad, but I’m currently running 22% less than last year. Guess I need to be a little more active…or write more intriguing posts.

Friends

In the five years that I have been doing this, a lot of friends have been made. Believe me when I say that some of you have really been more of a blessing and encouragement than you will ever know this side of heaven. There are several of you whom I will probably never meet on this earth, but I praise God that He has allowed me to come to know you through this medium.

Since it has been five years, I’d like to send a special shout out to the first blogger who encouraged me, Heather Joy (Vires). She was the first blogger to comment on my blog. And, if I remember correctly, hers was the first blog I followed, and a blog we certainly miss. Thank you, Heather.

Non-Friends

Blogging can also introduce you to folks who are not necessarily on your side. In fact, when one chooses to put one’s thoughts on the world wide web, one should expect conflict, if not to make enemies.

One such person whom I fondly refer to as my “token atheist” is actually a pretty decent guy. However, being that I am a solid believer in Jesus Christ as my Savior, promote a Christian worldview, and ardently oppose the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex unions, Andrew Marburger, at one point, elected himself to be the one person, if no one else, to protect all my groupies from my narrow-mindedness. But, you know what, I still pray for him.

Top Posts

I have written nearly 600 posts over the last 5 years. Some have gotten good response, while others simply bombed. However, the top posts over the last half-decade show how wide a range my writing covers.

The #1 most frequented post is “What to Wear to Church.” Evidently, I struck a nerve with this one; people are constantly being linked to it as a result of Google searches. Obviously, people don’t know how to dress for church.

The #2 most frequented post is “Dinosaur Bones Found On the Moon!” I don’t know for sure, but I really think that this post helped to create an urban legend. Why else would anyone type into a search engine, “Were bones really found on the moon?

Rounding out the top 10 of all time (the last 5 years) are the following:

Honorable Mention: The most hated post of all time had to be episode 28 of the Monday Monkey series, “What do you get when you cross a monkey with time?” OMG! The comments were absolutely hateful.

So, thank you for reading my posts and watching my stupid little monkey videos. It has been a joy meeting and encouraging so many people from all over the world. My prayer is that God will continue to use this medium to bring glory to His name and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of grace, to even more computer screens.

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20 Years! Take That, Devil!

We Were Young

It was a beautiful day in 1994 when my beautiful bride agreed to subject herself to a life with me. Had she known what she was getting into, she might have backed out. Of course, she would be the first to disagree with that assessment.

wedding picture oneWe were young, even though we were in our mid-twenties. It’s hard to say, however, if we had any idea how things would be once we reached our 40’s. I must say, though, that it’s funny to think back at how we thought we were starting marriage a little late. We were so young, full of energy, potential, and hope.

My wife just said, “I really thought we were old.”

The Odds Were Stacked

Most people are aware of the odds against people staying married for any real length of time. But what most people are not aware of are how dramatically the odds turn against long-term marriages when just a few factors are thrown in.

A marriage made up of two people from perfect backgrounds, with no emotional baggage, will inevitably have its struggles. But when you take two people who bring into a marriage enough emotional and spiritual baggage to fill a cattle car, well, the odds of staying married are not great. Thankfully, we serve a God who doesn’t care about the odds (Prov. 16:33).

We Started Right

I can’t tell you how many marriage proposals I have seen on YouTube! Some were so elaborate…I mean, how’s a guy to compete with a million-dollar musical?!!

Let me tell you how I did it – I took her to the altar. No, I’m not talking about going to the altar to get married; I asked her to marry me at the altar.

wedding picture fourYou see, the first time I quasi-proposed (I never really asked her to marry me) was when we both picked out her first ring – yes, her first ring. Then, later that evening, like an idiot, I took it back because “I wasn’t sure about things.”

The second time was a little different. After being told not to come back unless I brought a bigger ring, I bought a full-carat solitaire and went to church.

During a communion service, one in which it was our custom to go to the altar and pray before we partook of the elements, I asked Valerie to go with me. Once we knelt, with both of us holding hands, I officially proposed in front of God and everybody. I wanted our marriage to be something built on a holy foundation, so after she said “yes,” our first meal together was the Lord’s Supper.

Still At It

When I say we are “still at it,” you can take that any way you like. The fact is that we still struggle, still have arguments, and still act like people who never learn. But on the other hand, we still pray, still play, still love, and still worship together, and we’re still married.

20 years, and counting!

20 years, and counting!

There’s nothing wrong with people who never struggle, somehow always on perpetual honeymoon. However, any marriage worth working for, worth fighting for, will leave a few scratches on your wedding band.

My advise to others? Just keep at it.

“This is my beloved, and this is my friend” (Song of Solomon 5:16).

 

Happy anniversary, Valerie! I love you!

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Filed under Defending Traditional Marriage, Life Lessons, Relationships and Family, wisdom

In My Father’s Honor

A Strange Day

Today is a strange day. I am alive.

Now, being alive shouldn’t be that big of a deal for most people, but it is to me, especially on THIS day. Today is the anniversary of my father’s death.

Anniversaries of deaths are not uncommon, either. But what makes today unique is that I am the same age that my dad was when he died. He was 46 – I am 46!

I woke up this morning and saw the sun, which is something my daddy never experienced on June 11, 1991 (well, I’m writing this ahead of time, so I hope I will). He woke up and saw the Son, which is something I still long to do.

Tough, Yet Humble

My dad.

My dad.

Those who knew my dad before he became a Christian would testify to the fact that he was no wimp. He knew how to fight, fish, and fire a weapon. Between him and my uncle Don (his brother), there weren’t too many men willing to go toe-to-toe with them.

Yet, once he accepted Christ, he became the perfect example of gentleness, kindness, grace, and compassion. I know of no one any more humble than he was. (Oh, and when his brother finally became a believer in Jesus, the same transformation took place)

Preachers

My dad was a preacher. He might not have been the most eloquent, but he loved the Word and loved telling people about Jesus. Had he been alive today, he would have wept at the state of our nation and where we are going. Above all, he would still be preaching, even harder.

Still Fighting the Good Fight

Still Fighting the Good Fight

I am proud to say that I am carrying on my father’s legacy. I am proud to say that should the Lord allow me to live much longer than my dad, I will continue to preach the Gospel and stand for Truth. As a matter of fact, here is something I recently posted on Facebook.

Backbone, preachers…now’s the time for some honest-to-goodness, strong-as-steel, George S. Patton and John Wayne-like BACKBONE!

I don’t care if you’re Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Nazarene, Methodist, or whatever…MAN UP!! Stand in the gap! Quit being a politically motivated, crowd-pleasing, purse string-tying wimp and PREACH THE WORD!

Check out what’s going on in the world and what’s coming to America. Do you think things are all going to turn out like a big Hillsong praise service if you keep preaching like Joel Osteen?! Folks, what we need now more than ever are some Elijahs, some John the Baptists, some old-school Billy Grahams, some D. L. Moodys, etc. We need more men of God who know the difference between the Word of God and a motivational speech!

Don’t try to be popular. Don’t try to be “cool” and “hip” with the younger generations. Quit fighting over the styles of worship if your congregation doesn’t even know HOW to worship! Forget trying to become more “seeker-friendly,” and just SEEK THE LOST! The world is going to Hell and we are greasing the skids.

Be real. Be humble. Be yourself. Love your enemies. But for the love of God, pastors and preachers, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). In other words, take off the liberal mom jeans and put on some prophet-worthy overalls and get to work. 

His Voice

I wish all of you could have met my dad, Terry L. Baker. Like my wife noted when she heard a recording, he was about “as country as they come.” Fortunately for all of us, I still have a few recordings of his preaching.

Below is an edited version of a message my dad preached back in 1981. At that time he was doing a radio program on WMOC for a local children’s ministry.

Fittingly, the sermon from my dad, based on Deuteronomy 6:4-7, concerns how to raise a godly family. Tell me if you think he sounds a little like me 😉

All honor and glory be to my Father in Heaven, the One who graciously gifted me with an earthly father who loved Jesus and taught me how to do the same.

 

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, Life Lessons, ministry, Parenting, Preaching, Relationships and Family