Tag Archives: Fathers Day

Ten Ways to Fail As a Father

Happy Father’s Day!

There is a portrait of my family hanging in our living room with the following verse written below it.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. – Joshua 24:15 KJV

There is a lot to be said about a father who will say such things. There’s a lot to be said about a father who won’t.

Tuff Stuff

I want to share with you a list I found in a sermon by a Wesleyan pastor, Bruce Howell. I don’t know if he came up with it or if he found it somewhere else. All I know is that it is convicting.

There will be a lot of people talking about how to be a better dad, but if you want to know how to fail, here are 10 sure-fire ways to screw up.

Ten Ways to Fail As a Father

1. Have fights in front of your children. Then when guests come, turn around and act affectionate toward one another.
2. Stifle your children’squestions by saying, “Don’t bother me now; I’m busy.”
3. Take no interest in your children’s friends. Let them run around with whomever they choose.
4. Never discipline your children; try to use psychology instead.
5. Nag them about their schoolwork; never compliment them on their achievements.
6. Demonstrate your love for them with material things. Give them everything their little hearts desire.
7. Never discuss the facts of life with them. Instead, let them learn about sex from their friends, public school, or pornographic literature.
8. Set a bad example so the children will not want to grow up to be like you.
9. Absolutely refuse to believe it if you are told that your children have done something wrong.
10. Let your children make their own choices in the matter of religion. Be careful not to influence them in any way.

Help us, Father God, to be more like you.

2 Comments

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

I’m Still At It, Dad

“You Still Preaching?”

I am beginning to hear it more frequently, especially now that I am no longer pastor of Riverside. Family members, old friends, former acquaintances, including a person or two I never cared to see again, come up to me and ask, “Hey, you still preaching?”

I heard people ask my father the same question.

Maybe it’s the thing to do. Maybe it is customary to ask a person if they are still doing what they were doing the last time you saw them. It makes sense. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked other people stuff like:

  • “Are you still unemployed?”
  • “You still sick with that sickness thing?”
  • “You still married?”
  • “You still running off at the mouth about things you know nothing about?”
  • “You still planning to party with Hitler for eternity?”

I just don’t get why people ask if I am still preaching. It’s like they think I’ll change my mind, or something.

Some Statistics

In reality, it’s not that unreasonable to ask someone who once accepted the call to ministry if he is still preaching. I mean, it has been over 30 years since I made my calling public, but I’ve known more than one who walked away the first year.

If more people knew the statistics, few would would ever enter the ministry. Stop and think about it, would you enter a career with the highest rate of heart attacks? Consider these facts…

  • 70% felt God called them to pastoral ministry before their ministry began, but after three years of ministry, only fifty percent still felt called.
  • 80% of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
  • 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
  • 80% of adult children of pastors surveyed have had to seek professional help for depression.
  • 70% of pastors do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor.
  • 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.

Still Preaching

Yet, I’m still preaching! It may sound strange, but I can’t help it! And the older I get, the more committed I am to finishing the work to which I’ve been called – to finish well.

“But if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!” – Jeremiah 20:9 NLT

“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” – 1 Corinthians 9:16 KJV

photo (16)Today is my dad’s birthday (November 4th). I miss him very much.

Not long ago I went to his grave and placed my Bible on his tombstone. There, glistening in the sun, were the gilded words “Rev. Anthony C. Baker.” His legacy is still bearing fruit.

Now, in memory of a father who never stopped preaching, whether an actual pastor, or not, I want to be “standing in the gap” till God calls me home. I miss my dad, but if I could say anything to my him right now, it would be this:

Happy birthday, Dad. I’m still at it. I’m not giving up. You’d be proud.

6 Comments

Filed under Faith, ministry, Preaching, Struggles and Trials

Ten Ways to Fail As a Father

Happy Father’s Day!

Lord willing, my sermon for Father’s Day will be from the book of Joshua…

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. – Joshua 24:15 KJV

There is a portrait of my family hanging in our living room with the above verse written below it. There is a lot to be said about a father who will say those words. There’s a lot to be said about a father who won’t.

Tuff Stuff

I don’t want to spend a lot of time writing a lengthy post, but I do want to leave you with a list I found in a sermon by a Wesleyan pastor, Bruce Howell. I don’t know if he came up with it or if he found it somewhere else. All I know is that it is convicting.

There will be a lot of people talking about how to be a better dad, but if you want to know how to fail, here are 10 sure-fire ways to screw up.

Ten Ways to Fail As a Father

1. Have fights in front of your children. Then when guests come, turn around and act affectionate toward one another.
2. Stifle your children’squestions by saying, “Don’t bother me now; I’m busy.”
3. Take no interest in your children’s friends. Let them run around with whomever they choose.
4. Never discipline your children; try to use psychology instead.
5. Nag them about their schoolwork; never compliment them on their achievements.
6. Demonstrate your love for them with material things. Give them everything their little hearts desire.
7. Never discuss the facts of life with them. Instead, let them learn about sex from their friends, public school, or pornographic literature.
8. Set a bad example so the children will not want to grow up to be like you.
9. Absolutely refuse to believe it if you are told that your children have done something wrong.
10. Let your children make their own choices in the matter of religion. Be careful not to influence them in any way.

Help us, Father God, to be more like you.

Leave a comment

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

Father of the Year?

The News

Bill ClintonIf you have not seen the news, on January 9th former president Bill Clinton was named “father of the year” by The National Father’s Day Committee. My first response was, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Well, at least that is what I think I said. It’s all a blur too me, now. Sadly, I may have even used the Lord’s name in vain.

Yes, the former president of the United States of America, the man who made the term “Lewinsky” famous, was named “father of the year” in expectation of the upcoming Father of the Year Awards banquet to be held June 11, 2013.

Me haveth some questions…

Question One

Who in the world is The National Father’s Day Committee?

Have you ever seen those cheap, plastic trophies that say, “World’s Greatest Dad“? They are handed out by loving children all over the civilized world (at least the parts that have Wal-Marts and Dollar Stores). I never knew there was an actual “Council” who determined who was the actual father of the year.

But believe it or not, The National Father’s Day Council was created in 1931 “to achieve universal observance of then little known holiday – Father’s Day.” Then, starting in 1942, the National Father’s Day Committee began conferring honors upon “contemporary life style leaders of our society,”the first being Douglas MacArthur.

Other top dads of the year have been Pat Boone (1960), Tom Brokaw (1978), Mario Andretti (1997), and Randy Jackson (2008).

Question Two

What in the name of all that’s holy caused these people to pick Bill Clinton?

This is the real question. What caused a group of presumably intelligent people to come to the conclusion that the best example of fatherhood this country had to offer was a compulsive womanizer? May I suggest two words? Blue dress! Two more words: Jennifer Flowers!

After doing a little reading, I finally found out what led the National Father’s Day Committee to select Bill Clinton as “father of the year.” Tell me if you think they are worthy of a plastic trophy.

Really? Are they serious? These are reasons to call someone the national “father of the year”? Whatever happened to stuff like faithfulness? Even the Huffington Post (liberal as the day is long) thought this was a joke!

A Better Choice

I don’t know about you, but I think they could have made a far better choice for “father of the year” than ol’ “Slick Willy.” As a matter of fact, any man who can check off the majority of the following list deserves a bigger plastic trophy than Clinton ever will.

  • father-of-the-year-trophyNever cheats on his wife, even in Vegas.
  • Plays with his children, even when he is tired.
  • Holds down a real job, even two, in order to keep a roof over his family’s head.
  • Gives to others without having a reporter take pictures.
  • Hugs his wife in public – because he actually wants to.
  • Treats all women with respect and would rather die than abuse one.
  • Knows his family is more important than his career.

Forget the U.N., foreign countries, foundations, and presidential libraries. A real father is defined by commitment, consistency, faithfulness, compassion, strength, leadership, and sacrifice.

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” – Ephesians 5:25

“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” – Colossians 3:19

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” – 1 Peter 3:7 NIV

And then there’s this guy. He had his daughter pose half-naked to sell a car on Ebay. At least Bill taught Chelsea to keep her clothes on in public. Good grief!

1 Comment

Filed under America, current events, Defending Traditional Marriage, Life Lessons, politics, Uncategorized

Just an Anniversary

I was in the process of commenting on another blog when I looked at my iPhone and saw today’s date…

June 11.

Still Fighting the Good Fight

June 11 might not be a special day to you, but it is to me. On June 11, 1991, my dad went home to be with the Lord. He fought his fight, and finished his race. I am still fighting and running mine. And boy, the fight just got harder.

Today I start a new week as pastor with enemies. Yes, we have those. My dad had them, and so do I. I guess that’s what comes with the territory, especially when one preaches faithfully, and without compromise or apology, the sincere Word of God. Amazingly, some people get offended.

But here is the real challenge: how to you love those who hate you? It’s not easy, nor simple. It’s not even natural – it’s supernatural.

Philippians 2:5-8 KJV – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

The mind of Christ? What does that have to do with anything? Are we supposed to let people crucify us, or something? Well, maybe, if that’s what it takes. Jesus said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Now that I know who hates me, I know who to bless. And ultimately, that’s the best kind of response, because “if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head” (Romans 12:20).

My dad doesn’t have to fight anymore, but I do. Thankfully, that battle’s not mine, it’s the Lord’s.

8 Comments

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

A Husband and a Father

Just this past week a couple of special days were celebrated: my anniversary and Father’s Day.

On June 18, 1994, I was married to Valerie Riddle. Valerie and I have now been married 17 years, and boy has there been a lot of water under that bridge! So, this June 18th was a celbration of that first day we became legally bound to put up with each other (said with a wink).

June 19, 2011 was Father’s Day. Since I am the proud father of 3 girls and a four-legged son, Nugget, it was only right that I be celebrated. I’ve been a pretty good dad, I must say, even if they lie and say they think differently. They love me.

My wife and I exchanged, sorta, some gifts for our anniversary. She received, from me, a pearl ring, set with diamonds in silver. I received, from me (with her permission), a new Schwinn bicycle with chrome fenders, seven speeds, a rear rack, a speedometer/odometer, and a mirror. We were both pleased.

But what really makes a good husband and father? I believe that a good husband and father is many things, but most of all he should mirror Jesus Christ. How can this be done?

A Man Should Love His Wife.

A Christlike dad should be a Christlike husband. How is that possible? Well, take a look at Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it...” Men, we should love our wives with a sacrificial love that transcends bad hair days, PMS, or maxed-out credit cards. Consider those things nothing more than nails with which to hold us to the cross of marriage.

Boys and girls that grow up seeing a loving, sacrificial relationship between a man and a woman – a relationship bound by a commitment before God and man – seek themselves to be the kinds of men and women that hold a society together. On the other hand, children that grow up in “families” where the man is abusive, self-centered, arrogant, manipulative, or spiteful, tend to act the same way when they find a mate. The men tend to be abusive users, while the women tend to be facilitators.

A Man Should Be a Light

The way we act as husbands and fathers can be crucial to the spreading of the Gospel. When others watch our actions, they walk away with an impression that reflects back on our Heavenly Father. Did He teach us to act that way? Is this the way HE treats His Bride?

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

A Man Should Bear His Cross

Marriage may sometimes feel like a cross we bear. It can get tough, for sure. The sacrifices are many, especially when it comes to our egos, our dreams, our garages, our sports cars, etc. But it WAS Jesus who said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).

Marriage is no place for the wimpy, the selfish, or self-centered. Neither is marriage the place for the one who seeks the pleasure of the here-and-now. Marriage is about the long-term benefits that come with commitment. Thankfully, for our sakes, Jesus remained committed to His calling and “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).

A REAL husband is committed for the long-haul. A REAL father is one who sets an example of sacrifice. Men, may we be the best that we can be as we become like Christ. And even if we can’t be perfect, at least we can try. We do have big shoes to fill.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48

3 Comments

Filed under Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, fitness, Relationships and Family