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How I Began Writing

When I felt the Lord calling me to write I was 23, married and a high school dropout with two children. I was also ill much of the time and as a stay at home mother with a military husband, life was stretched thin to say the least. When would I possibly find time to write?

But the obstacle of time was small compared to other problems. I had never been in a public library. I did not know there was such a thing as a Christian bookstore. I could not type. Outside of the Bible, I had not read three books cover to cover in my life and, thanks to mild dyslexia, I could hardly spell well enough to write a legible letter to my mother. It goes without saying that I had no idea how books got published. Me? A writer? Yet, the Lord had given me a passion that had nagged me since childhood and I could not get past the feeling that now was the time to begin.

The only thing I had going for me was that I knew the Bible and I what He had done in my life. I desperately wanted to share those things with others and I was foolish enough to believe that if He had actually called me, He would also take care of any obstacles that stood in the way.

So, with a pencil and paper borrowed from my children’s school supplies, I set about learn the craft of writing. I listened to the radio (preachers mostly) and thought about how they formed sentences and developed thoughts. I practiced writing the same sentence dozens of ways then studying which one was most effective and why. These efforts were helped tremendously when I received my first dictionary! Although my husband, Bill, never went so far as to say he approved of my efforts, when he brought the book home, I could tell by his eyes that he believed in me and somehow that helped me believe as well.

We left the Air force in 1970 to pursue Bill’s dream of being a rancher, but--like most small ranchers—he also held full time job to pay the bills as well as running a hundred head of mama cows. By 1975 I had been working at learning to write for eight years. My total output was one article sold to a church magazine, teaching myself to type and my first non-fiction book three-fourths finished.

I don’t know if I would ever have pulled up enough courage to actually submit to a publisher, but when a recession hit the nation our farm was suddenly in deep financial distress in spite of all the hard work Bill had invested. We were not going to be able to make the next mortgage payment. All resources were dry and the only hope of saving the farm was if the book I had worked on for so long might actually be worth some money. The problem was, I had no idea how to contact a publisher.

It was then, while visiting family my brother-in-law came up with a suggestion. He grabbed a paper from a stack by his chair and said, “I have no idea if these folks publish books, but I like their stuff and there is an address on the back. Why don’t you send them what you’ve got and see what happens?"

Looking back, I realize now what a miracle it was, but I followed his advice and within two weeks I had a response back from a major publisher telling me a contract was in the mail. My advance from Victor Press literally saved the family farm.

Giddy from this first flush of success, I thought surely I would soon be busy traveling, ministering to groups and writing more books. I could see me on a stage and prayed hard that God might keep me humble.

He did.

Instead of writing more books, financial pressures increased and I soon I went to work as an Avon Lady. Although I would publish again in 1978, Bill would be killed in 1979 and I spent the next five years running our cattle ranch single handed.

Of course that is not the end of the story. Along the way I earned a high school diploma, raised four kids, wrote a couple more books, entered college at age 43 earning Associate, Bachelor and Master Degrees in five years flat. Then, God dragged me kicking and screaming with protest into Dallas where I was Licensed as a Professional Counselor and worked on staff with a mega-church for 12 years. I published a couple more books and finished my Ph. D. in Religion and Society from Oxford Graduate School shortly before turning fifty-five.

Now, I’m retired, back again in East Texas and again pecking away at a keyboard. Life hasn’t always been easy, but it’s seldom been boring and I can’t help but wonder what my testimony will look like when I am 75?

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My Life Today

If you need a concise bio you’ll find it under the Bio and Pictures tab. But if you were hoping for a more personal glimpse of the author, this page is designed with you in mind.

My books list “Elizabeth Baker” as the author of roughly eight volumes. While that autograph is not a pseudonym, you’ll find me answering to several other names including “Mom” “Granny” “Grammy” and “Dr. Baker.” And, if you were visiting my home town, you might run into someone who knows “Miss Judy,” the lady who spent a few years working as the janitor for Bethel Baptist Church and Academy. That’s me, too!

I currently live in a small home in the country that I share with my mother, Beth. We are both widows and have formed a household together for twenty years. Since I’m officially “retired” I work four to six hours a day, six days a week as a writer. I’m also involved in church work, household chores, a little gardening and taking care of my mom as year by year she grows weaker.

Family? There are a lot of us. At the latest count I have two sons, two daughters, two sons-in-laws, two daughter-in-laws, eight granddaughters, seven grandsons, two grand-daughter-in-laws, three great-grandsons, and two great-granddaughter s! The only one missing is my husband, Bill, whom I married at age 16 and left me a widow in 1979 at the age of 35. I had published my first book shortly after turning 30 and the second just months before Bill was killed. After that, I turned my attention to our cattle ranch and spent five years running the spread single handed.

Education? Well, I suppose I have enough. Like most things in my life education has been cobbled together over time—a bit like a my grandmother’s patchwork quilts. I dropped out of high school at 17. Bill was overseas in the military at that time and I missed him terribly. That was back in the days when married high school students were frowned on by the authorities (we were bad examples to the others). There was also a lot of stress at home where I lived with my mom, dad and younger siblings. In the end, it was just easier to drop out. I dropped back in after the arrival of both my 40th birthday and my first grandchild when I was provisionally admitted to the local Jr. College on the strength of a GED that I had earned shortly before the publication of my first book. It took a lot of effort and just over four years of time, but I completed Associate, Bachelor and Master Degrees. Since editors no longer seemed interested in my ability as a writer, I opted for state certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor. The, filled with fear and no small amount of reluctance, I pulled myself away from my rural roots and landed in Dallas where I practiced counseling for the next fifteen years. I was in my mid-fifties when I again returned to school completing a Doctor of Philosophy in religion and society from Oxford Graduate School and writing a dissertation (groan) on philosophical anthropology.

Career? That depends on which one you have in mind. I’ve been a janitor, teacher, cattle rancher, counselor and writer—plus a few odd jobs along the way. As for writing, it has spanned the last thirty years with books scattered out every three to seven years. In many ways, I suppose writing in the past has been more of an occasional passion than a career, but it has always been what I most enjoy and has certainly been the most challenging of all I have ever attempted. Recently I’ve returned to writing as a full time career and, if the Lord wills, I plan to finish out my journey on earth following this path.

Dreams? Like everyone I have a few. I’d like to build a house with plenty of room for visitors, offices, living space, state-of-the-art computer connections and a library big enough to hold at least a thousand volumes. And, eventually, I want to take what I believe about the worlds of spirit and flesh, putting the principles in a highly entertaining set of novels where angels and humans share lead roles equally.

Will all or any of those things come to pass? Perhaps. But, I know He can make me content with or without fulfilled dreams. I am old enough to remember when television first became popular and I one show began each commercial break with “stay tuned, boys and girls, you’ll never guess what adventures lie ahead!” I think God has designed life to be a lot like that and, for myself, I can’t wait to see what is around the next bend.

Grace and Peace,

Elizabeth Baker
January 2012

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What I Believe

Knowing the tendency of humans to complicate the simple, I approached this statement of faith with fear and trembling. Putting precise boundaries around spiritual realities within the clumsy medium of language is not a task for the fainthearted. Yet, with an advance apology for incompleteness, I would offer the following seven thoughts.

  • I believe in one God, holy, immutable, and undivided existing in the mystery of three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • I believe in the depravity of man and that left to our own moral judgment and efforts we are helpless and hopeless. We can neither create a just and peaceful world nor merit eternal life in the presence of God.
  • I believe Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, possessed a unique nature of being fully God and fully man, was crucified, buried and resurrected on the third day then after forty days was taken up into glory where He abides to this hour.
  • I believe in the Holy Spirit, third person of the Trinity, sent by Christ to be the Comforter. He is active in the process of new birth for humans who confess both their sinfulness and the reality of Jesus Christ as the only acceptable sacrifice for sin an indwells believers making them children of God.
  • I believe the Bible is the holy, inerrant word of God given to man as a reliable guide in all matters pertaining to faith.
  • I believe that Jesus is coming back to earth again and that there will be an eventual destruction of this current earth as well as the creation of a new and eternal habitation for individual humans He has redeemed.

If you have questions about your personal faith and/or relationship to God, feel free to write or email me. I will either discuss the matter with you, personally, or refer your query to others whom I trust as faithful guides.

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Published Works

My writings have been many and varied through the years. The ones listed below are works that have been published either through mainstream presses, by self publication or through academia. Most are still available through Amazon or other large distributors. Books to which I have contributed or anthologies are not included.

The Happy Housewife (Victor,1976)
Love Around the House (Victor, 1979)
Wanting to Follow, Forced to Lead (Tyndale,1991)
Who Am I? A Woman’s Guide To Self-acceptance (Nelson, 1994)
Toward a New Philosophical Anthropology (Oxford Graduate School Doctorial Dissertation, 1998)
How To Hang Loose in an Uptight World (Pelican, 2002)
Living With Eeyore (Standard, 2007)
‘Cause Angels Can’t Sing (Self published booklet, Christmas 2009)
Personality According to Pooh (Standard, Fall 2010)

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