Ignore Everybody

My new neighbor Clayton just opened a barber shop, and he’s also quite the talented artist.  He and his wife came over for some taquitos and brownie sundaes and a round of catan.  On the way out I took this book of my bookshelf and let him borrow it.

I think my buddy Cory Pampalone recommended it to me.  And now I’m recommending it to you.

Quick, easy and inspiring read.  A little foul at times so reader beware.  But it’s good and practical which creativity doesn’t always seem to be.

Friends Friday :: Jennifer Lee Hester

YAY!  Another friends Friday.  From time to time I like to showcase one of my friends that’s doing amazing things.  I met Jenn in Honolulu and recently she’s been putting out some amazing design work on Instagram so I asked her to do an interview.  Here it is!

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Jenn thanks so much for doing this interview, I love love love your work.  I don’t think you remember this but when were in Honolulu together working one time I was cleaning out the sound area and you were doing landscaping and I stomped on this spider egg sack that manifested thousands of spiders and I screamed like a girl.  I remember looking around and only seeing you around and being like… gosh that girls gonna think I’m crazy.  hahahaha anyway…

What do you do?

I am a painter, crafter, and graphic designer.

How’d you get started in that?

I have always loved arts and crafts so that has always been in my life. Graphic Design was recently introduced to me about 2.5 years ago. My brother’s girlfriend graduated in graphic design and it sparked my interest so after coming home from a lot of traveling and figuring I wouldn’t be settling soon I decided to finish my degree in graphic design online.

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What is the most amazing thing you’ve seen?

The most amazing thing I have ever seen is just the natural beauty in the world. The landscapes beat anything.

What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve seen?

This is so hard and I can’t think of anything pertaining to art but the most heartwarming thing I’ve ever seen is when I went to the Philippines and worked at an abused girls home and there was a tiny girl there that was about 4 or 5. Every morning I would wake up she would run up to my legs and hug them and look up at me and say Hi Ate! (Older Sister in Filipino)

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen?

The craziest thing I have ever seen is sidewalk chalk art done by Julian Beever. He makes 3d Illusions using sidewalk chalk and I remember the first time I saw it I was obsessed and blown away. Check his stuff out at julianbeever.net!

What is the most encouraging thing anyone has ever said/done to you?

My husband reminds me of inner beauty here and there but when we went to Lake Tahoe for our honeymoon we were standing right in front of this beautiful and mighty waterfall. He looked over at me and said, “You know you are way more beautiful than any of this…It’s so true.” He reminds me how much God loves me and in my opinion just getting that reminder that you are loved like that is the most encouraging thing in the world.



What’s your biggest mistake?

I was a wild and rebellious kid in high school so I wasn’t very present but if I could start over I would get way more involved in art programs and events at school.

What’s your biggest struggle and how did you overcome it?

My biggest struggle was to be happy with my style and finding true enjoyment with what I do. Instead of trying to do what others are doing you need to find what you love to do and become really good at it. Endurance is key!

What keeps you inspired to keep going/creating/working?

It just brings me peace and joy to do it and it comes natural. I love seeing reactions from people when I post new art and when I give people gifts. Also, it’s a part of how I express myself and maybe in a way that I can’t exactly express with words and I think everyone has a special way of expressing themselves.

Who or what resource has been inspiring you lately?

I have been really into hand lettering and typography so there are hundreds of people that I follow to learn all kinds of stuff from. Instagram seems to be my number one resource for inspiration because its right at my fingertips. A few people I follow on Instagram are @handletteredtruth @designspiration @jacycorral @frenchpapercompany @1924us and many more. I also love going outside in nature, there’s so much out there to be inspired by.

What disciplines in life do you depend on to be consistent?

I think it’s important to do something every day whether it be a small doodle to a huge project. Another thing to do is to learn from others and be inspired by their work. We all learn from each other. It’s also very important to get the right tools and stay up to date on them because that can make the world of a difference.



What does your average day look like?

I wake up and drink some tasty iced coffee and spend time in God’s word. After that I’m ready for the day and I go on to check on what work I have for a company I do part time graphics work for. After that is done I utilize the free time I have to jump into doing any kind of art whether it be painting, drawing, hand lettering, graphic design, etc. I pretty much do that on and off and also fit the rest of the schooling that I have left into my day. Then, my husband comes home and we hang out. He may play some music while I work on my art…then the day is done!

Here’s some  fun personal questions

If you had a million dollars what would you do with it?

If I had a million dollars, I’d pay my parents’ house off and let them retire and do whatever they want to do with the rest of their lives. Then I would travel for a year to wherever I wanted with my husband and whoever else wanted to come. I would use the rest to buy everything I would need to start an awesome business.

What’s your most recent go to favorite food/restaurant?

Chickfila or this place called Zeus (Greek and Lebanese) If they had a Korean restaurant where I lived it would be that…well, if they were good!

What music have you been listening to lately?

Bethel-Synthesia (It’s a No words album), Us the Duo, Random Jazz

What tv show have you been watching?

Arrested Development

What’s the latest movie that inspired you?

Zootopia was artistically a beautiful movie and it was actually really funny.

Share with us something most people don’t know about you?

If I could start life over, I’d be a professional dancer.

What have you been doing for fun? A current hobby?

Decorating my house! It’s so much fun.

What’s your process look like when you are creating?

I’m usually really excited to just start drawing in my sketchbook so I get my markers, pencils, and pens out and just start going at it. I like thinking of phrases or quotes to draw about or just certain things going on in my life. It either ends up with me drawing something, painting, or turning my drawings into graphics and making a design out of that. Music usually is a great addition to the creative process but sometimes it’s nice to just create in silence.

What question should I have asked you that I didn’t? And go ahead and answer it.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Fried Lizard. It tastes better than fried chicken.

My name is Jennifer Lee Hester and I was born in Petersburg, Virginia. I was raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I was recently married to my husband Luke and we’re loving the married life. I love being an artist and I am especially in love with arts, crafts, hand lettering and design. I am currently in the process of opening Jszolis Art & Design to pursue my dreams of being an artist. I hope that through my talents I can share the word of God and support missions around the world.

Follow Jenn on Instagram @jszolisartanddesign

Linky Wednesday 09.07.16

jimjessbaker.comIf you are having problems viewing this please click on this link to see it in your web browser.




So… I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the tile in the bathroom near the toilet seemed “squishy”  I wondered if maybe it’s always been like that.  I took note of where it seemed squishy and told Jess about it and said that if I felt like the squishyness was expanding that I’d take a deeper look into things.  I checked in the basement under the bathroom and found lots of orange and black mold.  I removed the insulation and wiped it down with bleach.  A couple weeks later Jess said she was noticing the squishyness too so I went back down to the basement and found that where the toilet pipe came down the wood had cracked.


I’ve not a handy man bone in my body.  We asked a friend to come over and look at it for us.  He thought we could just cut out a small area of mold in the subfloor and be done with it.  But as he got into the project he realized that joists needed to be replaced and this house has just layers of stuff built on top of one another, so under the moldy subfloor was another layer of plywood and underneath that was tile in concrete.  All of this had to be torn out.  The bathroom floor was so uneven, more than an inch off from corner to corner.

When we asked him how much he wanted to be paid for the work he insisted that he would not charge us, and “that’s what friends are for.”  It’s so humbling to be on the receiving end of a gift that you couldn’t pay back.  If we were to hire someone to do this work it would have cost thousands.

We needed a jig saw so I called a neighbor to see if he had one, he didn’t, but called another neighbor who I had never met, and he walked it over to our house.  It was amazing to see the outpouring of neighborly generosity.  Our neighbor with the jigsaw stayed for a while and shaved a ton of time off the project.  We had the electricity turned off because we had to replace some of the joists and running through those joists was electrical wire.  The neighbor brought over wire testers for us which allowed us to get the electricity back on.  And then although he could not physically help a lot, he gave direction to us on how to get the joists up using 2×4’s and leverage instead of just trying to hammer it into place.  I was so blessed to see the outpouring of neighborly love, and the generations working together.  The older neighbor sharing his wisdom, which my friend received with the typical southern honor of “yes sir.”  The neighbor came into check on us again and complimented my friend “You’re doing a good job, son.”  It was beautiful.

I’ve been sick twice in the past month… I think I know why.  We’re making good progress and are hoping to be having things back up and running soon.



We go through seasons where things are REALLY slow… and then seasons where things are slamming busy.  September is BUSY.  We just started 3 new RED SCHOOLS, tonight we are kicking off the local one in Clarksville TN, and last week we started one in Livingston TN and Russellville KY and are wrapping up a 4th in Elkton KY.

Here’s a photo of Jess teaching Inductive Bible Study in Elkton Kentucky.



Bought this guy on amazon recently.  The mosquitos are CRAZY this summer.

Please remember we’re AMAZON AFFILIATES.  :)


OH MY GOODNESS!  After 7 months we just posted a NEW episode of Doing Ministry Well.  Click below to hear the episode and check out the new webpage:)

%22maybe there is a gift laying dormant in another person that you need to be pulling out.%22

Did you find something in this week’s Linky Wednesday useful?  Please click the LIKE and SHARE button below!  

A Healthy Tension

So last week I talked about how God is a generous giver, and I ended that blog post by saying that we are to be LIKE Him in that way.

I wrote in a ministry update a few months ago explaining my internal struggle being a homeowner.  It’s hard for me to spend money decorating my home when other people don’t have homes.  Obviously the issue of homelessness is much bigger than that.

I also feel a healthy tension when it comes to entertainment.  How do we spend lots of money on being entertained, when other people around the world are dying from lack of basic needs.

Is having a well decorated home a sin?  No.  Is spending some money on entertainment a sin?  No.

But it is a problem if not proportioned correctly.  And there’s no magic formula.  I believe it requires going to the Lord and asking Him directly, is there an area of my life that you want me to sacrifice for a season so that others could benefit?

Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.  There was inherit risk in His ultimate sacrifice.  He gave a gift and we’ve dragged it through the mud and spit on it.  Yet He still gave.

Let’s use wisdom in giving.  But let’s also be led by His spirit when giving too.  Sometimes faith and foolishness look very similar, and the only thing separating it is God’s voice telling us to do it.

Here’s a good article I saw recently along these lines:  Missionaries Are Supposed To Suffer So Am I Allowed To Buy An Air Conditioner

How do you balance your giving and entertainment?  Let us know in the comments

Garden Report 2016 #FAIL


So… 2016’s garden was a fail.

I’m glad I don’t have to rely on these crops for food or income.

Where we lived in Hawaii didn’t want me putting anything in the ground.  So everything I planted was either in aquaponics (which I SO miss!) or in containers.

I was excited to have my own place where I could put a garden in the ground.

I loved the documentary Back To Eden, and really enjoy the concept of bio intensive gardening as well.  However after just buying a house there was zero extra money to get anything to do raised beds.  So I thought I’d just give it a try directly in the ground.

I attempted the 3 sisters in the backyard.  The corn came up, but we’ve had record breaking rain fall for the month of July.  Which I learned today is bad for corn since the pollination happens from the tassels at the top of the plant, to the tassels on each ear of corn.  I had no clue that each tassel of corn went to a specific kernel of corn.   You can see in the photo that some of the kernels obviously didn’t get fertilized.   One bean plant came up, maybe two but never really did anything and I had a zuchinni plant that flowered, but I don’t think anything ever came of it either.

The soil here is heavy in clay.  I broke a shovel when I was digging the three sisters bed.  I double dug the beds like the bio intensive method tells you to do.  I should have taken the grass layer and disposed of it, I just turned it over into the dirt which caused my beds to be overrun with weeds.

I’m a mosquito magnet and I hate being hot.  So being outside and getting eaten by mosquitos in the 90 degree heat didn’t sound like much fun.  So my beds were not well weeded.

I planted some mums in my front garden bed with the tomatoes.  I learned about companion planting from some friends here.  The mum plants got ginormous.  In the future I’ll keep all of my flowers in pots so I can move them around.

My tomatoes got taken over by stink bugs, which I read was partly because I didn’t weed well.  Whoops.

One of our neighbors has a BEAUTIFUL garden, he uses the square foot method.  Planting everything in 4×4′ squares.  I think I’ll try that next year.

I harvested some vermicompost the other day, got a little less than a 3 gallon bucket full.  Put it around my raspberry and blackberry bushes, on top of some newspaper which will hopefully keep some of the weeds down.

I got a tree saw so that will help my berry bushes get some more sun when I get outside and start hacking away.

I also built my own compost tumbler.  Compost tumblers are expensive, like $100+.  There are DIY’s for it, but I’m completely not handy at all so that’s out, plus building materials add up too.  I found a youtube video that took a locking lid trash can and drilled holes in it.  That I can do, so once a week I kick/roll it around my back patio to stir it up.  Much easier than trying to turn a pile with a pitchfork.

Compost really fascinates me.

Next year I’ll make sure all of my beds have a newspaper or cardboard layer to suppress weeds.  Which means I’ll have to add woodchips or potting soil and compost.  That stuff really adds up in cost.  I want a small truck so I can just haul this stuff around easily.  A decent wheel barrow (I always thought it was wheel barrel) is expensive too!  Dang expensive hobbies.

I’ve got one bag of potting soil left in my basement, I might throw down some cardboard on one of these beds and grow some green manure seeds that I bought and then chop and drop.

I’d also like a mulcher, but they are wicked expensive as well.  The electronic one which was like $200 doesn’t get great reviews.  Maybe I’ll keep with our amish lawn roots and just chop small limbs manually with some hand shears haha.

Oh yeah… the basil and mint are doing well in pots.

And the poison ivy is doing real well near the driveway.

Thanks for reading #famerjim

Make Moves!

Do you ever get overwhelmed by the vision God has given you?

I do.

It’s paralyzing at times.  Literally.

God has given me dreams I can only accomplish with His help.

I was reading in Joshua the other day and was amazed by God giving him a HUGE promise up front, but then they still have to do the hard and scary work.  It also stood out to me that the leaders had to step into rushing water before God  miraculously parted the Jordan.

Make moves.

“God will fulfill all of His promises to you but He won’t fulfill your destiny.” – Kris Vallaton

For me making small tangible steps really helps.

I just contacted the local food bank in my town, and contacted the chamber of commerce too to get the ball rolling on my vision.

What baby step you can take today?

Be strong and courageous friends.  God’s got a plan for your lives to do amazing things, that will bring the reality of His Kingdom to the earth.

On The Offensive Generosity Of God

This morning after breakfast I read this on facebook.

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And it got me thinking…

Why is a generous God offensive?

We’re offended because His generosity did not meet our expectations.  Maybe some jealous is creeping in, and we think we deserve that gift and didn’t get it.  Hmmm…

Remember my $4000 computer provision?  I’ve shared that story and been accused of preaching a prosperity gospel.  If I was a prosperity preacher I certainly wouldn’t be driving a rusty 2002 mazda protoge.

Ephesians 1:In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,

God’s not stingy.  His grace is scandalous.  His love towards us is UNMERITED.  He loves you more than you know, and not because of anything you’ve done.  He really is a good good Father.

I was at an Ed Silvoso conference in Hawaii a couple of years ago, and I’ve heard Ed get called a prosperity teacher too.

It’s not an exact quote, I lost my notes when my iPod died, but he said something like this:

God doesn’t make you prosperous for you, it’s so that you can be a blessing to your local community.  He challenged pastors who got a tax deduction because of their housing allowance to pour that money right back into the local community.


Ephesians 3: 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I love that language, exceedingly abundantly…

Michael Hyatt says “Never limit your vision based on your current resources.”

God is an EXTRAVAGANT giver, and demonstrates that to us from who His is.  Generosity is in His character and nature.

And we are to be like Him in that way.

How has God shown His generosity to you?

Who can you be generous to this week?

What is the vision that God has given you and how can it bring the Kingdom of God to your local community?

Friends Friday :: Daiga Kasa

I’m going to try and highlight a friend of mine on Fridays, sometimes with an interview and sometimes just sharing something of theirs.  I met Daiga in Latvia in 2006.  Here’s something she shared with me that she wrote while teaching English in Mexico in 2009.



There are many reasons people get astray. Astray from God, from others and from themselves. The time, the conditions, the things others expect from us. Suddenly we find ourselves empty in a dreadful silence. Our hearts are deafened. The only rumble we hear from time to time is the crooked sound of our minds. Sick phrases that shout to keep safe and sound, to stay in that safe cage. The outside world can be too challenging, painful or scary. What should we do? Dwell in that silence?  How do we get out of that cage?


‘Daiga Kaša, born in 1986, Latgale, Latvia, Eastern Europe. Graduated from the University of Latvia, English language faculty in 2009. Taught English in international environments in Mexico and Riga, Latvia. Studied performing arts at Discipleship Training School in Germany and Thailand in 2010-2011. A singer, songwriter, artist, dancer, publicist, radio worker. Loves handwritten postcards, journaling, soaking music, reading interviews with profound personalities, drawing on napkins, or any kind of surface.:) Favorite Bible verse: ‘I will not die, but live and proclaim the works of the Lord.’ (Ps.118:17)