AN ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE
June 2, 2011
Today's column is being written mostly by my only daughter and oldest child, Sarah Beth Baker. Sarah is married to a structural engineer who owns his own engineering and consulting firm. She is the homeschooling mother of three children. She is an accomplished pianist, poet, and songwriter. She is also a dynamic ladies speaker and has conducted several ladies' conferences. Sarah is also the publisher of Northwest Montana's Seniors' Scoop Magazine. She and her family live in the Flathead Valley of Montana. What follows are Sarah's words.
I count it a joy and privilege to write this column for you, dear readers. Many of you know of my dad, Chuck Baldwin, and most of you may think you know him very well. You have read his words and heard him speak, and several of you have probably met him in person during his travels. However, I would like to take this opportunity to show you a side of him that most never see and never hear about.
On June 2, 1973, Chuck Baldwin married a beautiful young woman named, Connie Kay Cole. Both were very young and starting out as a lot of married couples do: with very little money, but very much in love. My dad was completing his degree from Bible College when they received a blessing from Heaven: they were going to have a baby! Nine months later I was born and placed in the arms of Chuck and Connie Baldwin.
We do not get the choice of the parents we are given, but I thank the Lord for the honor of being raised in a home where I was taught right from wrong, the importance of truth, and the importance of accountability, hard work, honor, and integrity. I have seen my parents, not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk. I grew up a "preacher's kid" all my life. I've seen my parents mistreated, lied about, and verbally assaulted. But I, and my two brothers, saw genuine faith and love every day at home.
My dad is the person who led me to the Lord when I was only four years of age. I will always be thankful for my earthly father who led me to my Heavenly Father. I recall how my dad would call us to the living room and teach us principles that still ring in our ears today. He taught my brothers how to shake hands like a man and the importance of looking people in the eye. He took me on dates and opened the car door for me and showed me how a gentleman treats a lady. On very special nights, my dad would get out his clarinet and play songs for us. We would get so excited as we listened and tried to envision dad playing first chair in the high school band (which he did).
My dad is the one who taught us that you stand up for what's right. It doesn't matter if people laugh at you or don't stand with you; you stand! He has passed down a passion for the Lord, our country, and our family that burns deeply in each of his children's (and now grandchildren's) souls! I have seen him stand with amazing courage and boldness; and, yet, I have seen him kneel with such compassion and tenderness. My dad radiates a very tender heart! I have never met a man who seeks the truth like my dad.
Given his passion for truth, he is a man who conveys great wisdom and understanding. Dad has also never forgotten the character building blocks that my grandfather taught him. He will never betray a man's friendship or trust. He has told us kids several times this Scripture: "Thine own friend and thy father's friend, forsake not." (Proverbs 27:10) Dad repeats to us the same lesson his father taught him, "It is better that you are betrayed, than it is that you are the betrayer." Yes, my dad has been betrayed many times, but he has never returned "the favor." Plus, he has never sought revenge against those who have done him great harm.
One of the reasons my dad is such an outstanding man is because of a woman whose name most of you won't recognize. Connie was the heart of our home. She was as close to June Cleaver as you could possibly imagine. Our house was always immaculate. We learned the importance of cleanliness and order. Mom's passion has always been to be the best wife and mother possible to the family God has given her. My dad always came home to a warm and inviting aroma. My mom cooked a hot meal every night of the week; and many nights there were cookies, brownies, or one of Dad's favorites: chocolate cake or banana pudding for dessert. We saw Mom bring Dad a hot cup of coffee with a smile almost every night of the week. She always wanted her family to have a soft spot on which to land at the end of the day. We always knew we could go to Mom if we had a scraped knee or a broken heart. She was always there to listen and give us a hug and words of encouragement (no doubt this precious heartbeat was passed down from my God-fearing and wise grandmother, Connie's mother).
Mom would also help us late into the night with our homework and school projects--teaching us to do our best, even in the little things. Her motto for us kids was, "Do right 'till the stars fall." Mom has always loved the Bible and books that enhanced her character and wisdom. She has prayed for my dad and us kids fervently these many years. While you may see my dad on stage, my mom is on her knees praying for him to have the words and strength he needs. She may have heard a joke dad has told a hundred times, but she will always be the one who laughs the loudest. She shared that same laugh and joyful spirit as she tried to bring humor to weekly routines. She helped make daily chores a little more fun as she played music and pretended to lip-sync and dance around the kitchen. She taught me how to be a cheerful, orderly, loving wife and mother--and she showed her boys the characteristics to look for in their future wives. She truly is my dad's biggest fan.
I firmly believe one of the main reasons our country has so many cracks in its foundation is because of its anemic families that make up this once great land. Men no longer know what it means to be a leader in their homes and show their boys (and girls) what manhood looks like.
Where has masculine leadership gone in this country? I do not find it much in the churches, schools, political offices, or even in our homes. Manhood is not demonstrated in how big your muscles are, Sir, but in your character, honor, integrity, and faithfulness. Where are the men who once brought their children to them and sat them down and taught them the "landmarks of their forefathers"? Where are the men who kiss their wives on the cheek after enjoying a good home-cooked meal? Where are the men on their knees in prayer for their nation? Where are the men who are not afraid to say "No!" when their government threatens to take away their rights and the rights of others? Where are the men who will demonstrate bravery and chivalry and defend the rights of women and children? Where are the men who are training their children to work hard and be honest? Where are the men teaching their children how to show respect to the elderly? Where are the men in prayer for their families? I say again, where are the men?
And, we should also ask, where are the women who love being feminine? Where are the women who care for their husbands and children? Where are the women who speak kindly to their husbands? Where are the women who don't have to be the leader of their homes? Where are the women who are teaching their daughters the importance of home management? Where are the women who will read and study the truth so they may teach it to their children? Where are the women who understand the importance of being "the heart" of their homes? Where are the women who understand the importance of being balanced, educated, and wise? I may not see very many of these characteristics as I look around me, but if I look behind me, I see a legacy of honor, love, integrity, and truth.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for showing me what it means to be a man of character and a woman of grace. I pray you have a wonderful anniversary and enjoy many more years, smiles, and joys together. Thank you for your legacy!
And, if I may be so bold as to ask a favor of Dad's readers, you know that God recently led our family to move 2,600 miles to the Flathead Valley of Montana in order to plant one of the most unique ministries in the nation: Liberty Fellowship, located here in Kalispell. What makes Liberty so unique is that Dad is determined to re-ignite the fire of freedom by establishing an old-fashioned Christian fellowship that boldly preaches the Biblical principles of liberty and independence--without government interference or intimidation. This means that Liberty Fellowship is NOT a government 501c3 tax-exempt corporation!
As most of you know, Dad was the Constitution Party candidate for President of the United States in 2008 and is an ardent patriot! What you don't know is that Dad and Mom have had to pay a horrific price to make this move to Montana and plant this fellowship. In truth, they lost almost everything! People whom they thought were "friends" of a lifetime have betrayed them in the most hurtful ways possible. They have endured financial loss to a staggering degree! Only God and our family know the sacrifices that my parents have endured to make this move, and for Dad to be the outspoken patriot that you know today.
Subscribe to the NewsWithViews Daily News Alerts!
So, I am going to ask readers what Dad would never ask: in honor of Mom and Dad's 38th anniversary, would you make a generous donation to Dad's work? Here is the link for those of you who would like to make an online donation.
Or, if you prefer to send a check or money order, please send it to:
P.O. Box 10
Kila, MT 59920
I sincerely do not know of another man who is on the frontline for faith and freedom like my dad is. I ask readers to please pray for our family, and THANK YOU in advance for those of you who choose to stand with us!
*If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link.
© 2011 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved