11.21.09 – random thoughts from today

Natchez Trace – Sept 2008

Someone just commented on this picture of mine on my flickr. So I decided to share it with you all. And this brings me to my most recent predicament.

Someone else bought www.jimbakerphotography.com

I contacted him and asked him if I could buy it back since I’ve got thousands of business cards out… he said he just did a whole branding process with that domain name so no.

My flickr account and my gmail address for photography is all based around jimbakerphotography too.

I really think it just furthers the fact that I didn’t move up here to western NY/PA to do photography. I moved up here to do ministry, so that needs to be my focus, completly.

I don’t know why I get so touchy about not having that domain name anymore… for some reason it really really bothers me.

I do really love photography though.


In other news… I went out to lunch with Devone today a student from our youth group. We went to Bob Evans in Warren PA and as we were waiting in line to be seated three elderly white ladies kept looking back at us repeatedly. I guess it is a pretty uncommon to see an african american and an asian in the same place in Warren PA but do you really have to stare? Our hostess sat us without really saying anything to us, no “have a nice meal” or anything, maybe she was just having a bad day.

the flowers in b/w shot with the g11 and off camera flash

Devone and I went over to wal-mart to pick up my wife flowers and we noticed multiple people staring at us. Not just a look, but like a holding gaze. The cart boy on the way in and then on the way out an elderly gentleman kept staring at us, so I waved and smiled and said hello, he waved nervously and walked quickly out of sight.

Oh western PA.

I went to a high school that was 49% miniority so this is a bit of an adjustment for me.

Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m preaching. We’re headed to Maryland on tuesday for thanksgiving.

Jess and I going to Erie tonite for a dinner date and movie. She loves Thai food so we’re going to get thai and go see the movie “blindside”.

JIM baker

AmazedNovember 22, 2009 - 11:51 am

I enjoy your blog and photos. Please keep adding the photos to your blog. The thistle one reminded me of Matt 12:20. Also reminded me of Heather Armstrong’s work.
Thank you for your open sharing and strong preaching of the word today.
Again. Welcome to WNY, PA. You are indeed a light. Lois Bentley

LisaNovember 22, 2009 - 12:09 pm

mm.. i love thai food too.

it’s funny how people will stare at you until you wave and are friendly then they get all embarrassed and walk away.

jim bakerNovember 23, 2009 - 1:17 am

Lois! thanks so much for commenting and checking in with the blog. I just went and checked out Heather Armstrongs work, she’s REALLY good. How did you hear about her? You’re welcome for sharing/preaching today it was fun!

Lisa – we didn’t end up getting thai food, maybe in MD this upcoming week…

AnonymousNovember 23, 2009 - 2:03 am

Stumbled on your post while searching for something else, and felt terrible about your experience. On behalf of the “normal” (I know that’s a stretch) folks in Warren, PA, I apologize. Beautiful photos BTW.

jim bakerNovember 24, 2009 - 4:48 am

Anonymous, thanks! I know that the staring is not intentional or rude, its just a natural reaction to things that are different, I’m trying to not take offense to it. thanks for the compliments on the photos. feel free to check in whenever :)

11.19.09 – "value creates obligation" – Dean Sherman

a Darrell Hill workshop that I took photos for inHawaii Jan 2009

This past sunday was the best church service I seriously have ever been in. It was so evident that God was in the room with us and so sweetly revealing His love. Pastor Rick preached a simple message about our worth and value because we were made in the image of God. He made a bold statement that I agree with that if you take out Genesis chapters 1-16 out of the bible (the creation story) then humans are stripped of their worth.

Simply put, we have value because we were made in the image of God, no other created thing was.

Rick taught about the value of art, and said that these three things make a piece of art valuable.

1. The ARTIST is what makes the piece of art valuable
2. The UNIQUENESS of the piece of art

He related this to us as humans. ALL humans are valuable because we were ALL created in the image of God and the artist who created us is pretty amazing. We are all so unique. And we were BOUGHT at a price, a very expensive price, the blood of Jesus.

These seem like such simple facts, but sit and dwell on them for a while and ask God to make them a reality.
JIM baker

LisaNovember 20, 2009 - 8:14 pm

So I was thinking tonight about how cool God is. I think when He’s doing things around the world, you see it start popping up all over the place. And I think it’s cool that within the last three weeks, Rick, and you, and I have all emphasized on the value of an individual. I don’t know which one of us had the idea first, or if we all had it all along (possibly the case considering we all care about people and people finding value in Jesus), but we’ve all emphasized on it in one way or another. And, to my knowledge, it had nothing to do with us talking to each other. I mean, I haven’t even been around PF too much lately. My blog came out of a deep conversation I had with a friend who was feeling unwanted and unloved. God is just sooo cool. I just thought it was cool that there was a theme going on. :-)

jim bakerNovember 21, 2009 - 9:19 am

God’s good at speaking the same thing to His people in seasons huh? Makes me realize we’re not all insane haha…

11.16.09 – testing out the canon 100-400 lens

Shot at the Jamestown Audubon with the Canon 100-400L f4.5-5.6

I met my great Aunt Anita and Uncle Dave today at the Audubon before I went into work. I knew that my Uncle had recently purchased the 100-400L lens and I wanted to try it out because I am thinking about renting it when I go to Africa in January.

So here comes a bunch of photography talk… if you’re not into gear talk just enjoy the pictures.

The first thing I noticed is that this lens is wicked heavy. Well three pounds isn’t heavy, but it sure felt heavy when my heaviest lens is the 70-200F4 weighing in at half that, a whopping 1.6lbs.

The push pull instead of turn to zoom took a bit of getting used to but wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be. I didn’t feel like I was getting very much contrast out of the lens but I just realized that it’s because it was a cloudy day.

The lens wasn’t super quick at focusing at all which was frustrating but I don’t know if thats because I was shooting in relatively low light, or it had a much longer distance to hunt, or because of the not so fast aperture or all of those things.

To get shutter speeds fast enough when using this lens zoomed out to 400mm I had to have my ISO set at 800. Instantly I wished I had a full frame camera like the 5d Mark II or even the regular 5d that can pull off high ISO shots. Anyway even at iso 800 I still sometimes was in danger of getting to slow a shutter speed for the focal length but didn’t dare kick it up to 1600. I just relied on the IS and fired in continuos. Luckily I doubt cloudy will be an issue while in Africa.

With just an hour of using it my review is this. It is a fun lens to play with and will it be useful in Africa. But it’s not a lens I would keep in my bag for daily use. It’s much more of a speciality lens for wildlife. So with a price-tag of $1610.00 I will not be buying this lens ever probably, but will be renting it if the need arises, like a safari in Africa:)

JIM baker

JStanfordNovember 16, 2009 - 1:01 pm

I love these pics, good test, haha!

LisaNovember 16, 2009 - 6:19 pm

not sure what the fuzzy things are, but they look really cool

GaryNovember 17, 2009 - 5:24 am

Love the flying Geese…think stock!

You and My FaceNovember 17, 2009 - 9:28 am

Wow, these are striking! Amazing eye, sir.

jim bakerDecember 27, 2009 - 9:58 pm

@ jeff – thanks man!

@ lisa – haha yay for fuzzy thing, I take pics all the times of things I have no clue what they are and people are always asking… psh… sorry i forgot to stop and ask the flower its name… and no i’m not getting out a flower book haha

@ gary – thanks! ::sigh:: i totally need to make the jump into stock don’t I…

@ chachi – thanks man!

11.15.09 – office pic and mini sandbox/sand garden

my office

We had an awesome church service today (i will blog about it later today) and two of the staff from camp mission meadows where I worked for part of this summer came to our church and visited and I went out to lunch with them after and had a great conversation.

I decided to come back and unpack my office since there was still two large boxes that need to be unpacked that have been here in the church since August. I decided it was probably time to do that huh?

One of the boxes was stuff that I had in my last office which I haven’t touched for almost two years. In it was this “zen garden.” I worked at a high school in Maryland as the alternative education assistant and worked with all of the at risk kids, mostly supervising in school suspension. My supervisor had one in her office that I often made fun of it but found myself always playing in it, so she bought me one for Christmas. She said she had it in there so that kids could come in and just chill out. Playing in the sand with the little tiny rakes is actually quite relaxing.

So I’m redeeming it… we’ll now call it a prayer garden or something and rebuke the zen part. But I wanted to tell you why I had it in my office. No I’m not into zen… and no I don’t just have it cause I’m asian… haha. Here’s an open invitation to anyone to come hang out in my office with me when I’m here and try relaxing with the… eh, lets just call it a sandbox.

Also we’re gonna repaint it and get rid of this obscene border too… I’m thinking grey to match the blog what do you think?

JIM baker

markandjeanetteNovember 15, 2009 - 1:01 pm

That border is redonkulios bro! But the ‘sandbox’ is nice. I think your wife needs to get home before you go crazy or blow something else up…

LisaNovember 15, 2009 - 6:19 pm

i want to play in your sandbox!

Russ BakerNovember 16, 2009 - 3:33 pm

Nice office. Always good to see the mandatory milk crate… :-)

jim bakerDecember 27, 2009 - 9:58 pm

@ mark – the office is freshly painted… i gotta get some more stuff up on the walls and then i’ll do a post of the new version

@ lisa – feel free its in there, it even now has sand from waikiki

@ dad – thanks… milk crates are a must :)

11.14.09 – productive day!

tonight’s dinner

Even though when Jess is away I burn things in the microwave I can cook. Well if you count sauteing up some chicken and then pouring a jar of pre-made tiki masala sauce over it and simmering it and then throwing it on whole wheat pasta that was already in the fridge. Whatever…

Sent in Jess’ passport renewal application so it will be under her married name. Cost me like $150+ grrrr. I guess these are the times where I have to really TRUST in God’s provision. I feel like peoples natural generosity has already been stretched, which makes me realize that maybe I’ve just trusting in that and not God.

Picked up some toiletries for work. I find myself getting back to the office often and wanting/needing to brush my teeth after a meal or something. So I picked up some stuff to keep at the office.

Washed and waxed Jess’ car, rain-x’d the windows too. I feel like I’ve cleaned our drinking glasses like a million times cause they never seem to look clean. Does anyone else have that problem with Jamestown water?

anyway, thats it.
JIM baker

CherylNovember 14, 2009 - 2:53 pm

Dinner looks great! Mom

jeannieNovember 14, 2009 - 4:20 pm

Looks better than raw sausage!!!:) way to go Jimmy!!

jim bakerDecember 27, 2009 - 10:00 pm

@ mom – it was alright… it reminded me of a beef dish mom used to cook… thin strips of beef with like sour cream… what was that? beef paprika?

@ jeannie – haha, anythings better than raw sausage, thats why when i come back to town we go out to eat now and i don’t let you cook for me :)

11.13.09 – crazzzy day

R.I.P Moscow
(1997 – 2009)

Today has been crazy, setting things on fire in my microwave, being chased down by some guy who cornered me in a store just to tell me I couldn’t turn right on red in a school zone, and my cat had to be put down today. It was getting mean, and my parents are moving. (the comments section is not for an animal rights discussion so please keep those comments to yourself, they will be deleted)

I miss jess. Luckily cell phones keep us in pretty good contact. She got knocked over today by a kid when they were doing ministry in a children’s cerebral palsy home, everyone is fine though. They did evangelism on the ferry last night and have been receiving some training as well. Hoping that tomorrow will be a bit more productive and a little less crazy for me.

JIM baker

joan NewhallNovember 13, 2009 - 5:12 pm

Sorry to hear about Moscow. I know he’s been sick for quite awhile. Must have been hard for Mom and Dad…They become part of the family.

chrisNovember 14, 2009 - 3:38 am

Sorry about Moscow… I think you had a love/hate relationship with him. Still, it’s too bad.

jim bakerDecember 27, 2009 - 10:00 pm

@ grandma – thank you

@ chris – love/hate indeed thank you

11.13.09 – flaming buttery garlic epic fail

taken with my iphone

Sooo… jess is out of town and I was heating up some left over pizza for lunch and I love little caesars butter garlic dip so I threw that on the plate too since it had congealed in the fridge…

I poke 1 minute on the microwave and walk away and hear all this popping, I turn around and open the microwave to see the dipping sauce in flames…

I stood there for a second thinking this will make a great blog post, I somehow wanted to tie in something someone said earlier this week to my blog and this will be great, and I should really put a battery in my smoke alarm and then it dawned on me… I should blow this out. Four giant huffs and puffs later with ashes flying all over the microwave and no more flaming butter garlic dipping sauce.

I just put a battery in our smoke alarm, (Here’s a friendly reminder to GO TEST YOUR BATTERIES RIGHT NOW TOO) and wrote little caesars telling them what happened and told them that they might be able to save themselves a lawsuit if they put “do not microwave” on the dipping sauces. It really never dawned on me that the lid would have foil on it… its not readily evident.

I might write about what I thought this blog post inspired later but I try to keep these short since technology has ruined all of our attention spans. 😉

JIM baker

JStanfordNovember 13, 2009 - 7:08 am

haha, I am glad life is exciting :)

joan NewhallNovember 13, 2009 - 7:22 am

Ha, ha, Amazing what women know that men don’t have a clue. Happy to hear you did blow it out….and fix the smoke alarm… Love, Grandma

jeannieNovember 13, 2009 - 1:04 pm

haha that is too funny, I guess you got that from me…. I too have done that only with the papa johns garlic sauce!! luv ya :)

jim bakerNovember 13, 2009 - 2:33 pm

lol… it runs in the family.

11.12.09 – history, how is the story being told?

a gift from jon barnes, he thought it was cool to own something that was made in the 1800s. I took pictures of it to show texture by using off camera lighting.

The words in the pictures of the book have nothing to do with the topic of this blog. I’m sitting in the back of our Thursday night service listening to Mike Rohlin teach about the history of thanksgiving. History is cool, I wish I would have paid more attention to it in school. There is such a need for TRUTH in our history. For some reason I combined thanksgiving and the pilgrams with Columbus even though it was 2 centuries apart. I’m glad I came out tonite to hear Mike teach.

I went and taught at IMPACT today at Southwestern High School, a group of ninth and tenth graders get together during the lunch period with some local youth pastors. We did some worship and then I just brought a simple message of God’s love to them.

When I checked in at the school the secretary asked me if I was just in the paper.

The church submitted a press release that Jess actually wrote originally, to the two local papers, its interesting to me how they were edited.

Jamestown’s paper.
Warren’s paper.

The original can be seen on our church’s website.

I always thought if you wrote one number you wrote the other… I guess not…

Jess left for NYC today… its our first time apart for this long. She will return tuesday night.

JIM baker

CherylNovember 12, 2009 - 4:46 pm

It was interesting how the Post Journal left out what your desires and passion are for the youth.

jim bakerDecember 27, 2009 - 10:01 pm

its weird cause they are owned by the same company ::shrugg::

11.10.09 – not a whole lot to say

feb 2009 – kailua kona hawaii

so lets hear from you, what is God saying to you through this picture that I took on a morning walk one day, earlier this year in Hawaii? Spend some time and ask God what He wants to speak to you through this picture then share it with us!

To comment click on the upper left hand of this post where it says a number and comment. Then scroll down and type your comment in the comment box. Click on the drop down box that says “comment as” and pick name/url and type in your name and website if you have one (if not leave it blank) and then click continue. Then click post comment.

Looking forward to your responses.
JIM baker

AnonymousNovember 10, 2009 - 2:37 pm

The bulb has water on it, and seems to be drooping. I immediatly looked at this and thought that through the storm, rain, and wind this bulb is still living. God is showing me that even through trial and storms there is still life in Him. He will never let us go and be with us through everything we have to deal with. Praise Him.

AnonymousNovember 10, 2009 - 2:40 pm

When I first saw this picture surprisingly a lot had come to my mind immediately. I saw all my struggles with my with my Christian walk and all the how hard it has been over the past few months. And felt that as soon as I looked at the picture that God was somehow telling me he has been there for it all and I haven’t been alone. Awesome Picture.

AnonymousNovember 10, 2009 - 3:43 pm

Never done this before…but it was so strange what I saw. I felt God telling me to make sure and take time to rest my mind, body and spirit and always be prepared for battle. Always!

AnonymousNovember 10, 2009 - 5:14 pm

I may struggle and fight to break from the cocoon I feel that I am in and I can not bloom until God has fully prepared me to do so. But in this current state, there is still beauty, a since of softness yet a struggle within to be free. But, as God feeds us with his love and His tears when we want to give up, there will be that day when I will bloom to the full beauty He has intended for me. A beauty that will glorify His overwhelming love, a beauty he will use so others will since His presence and see His face.
Awesome picture, Aloha…

LisaNovember 11, 2009 - 9:54 am

My first thought was that God can make beauty from pain and tears.

AnonymousNovember 11, 2009 - 9:55 am

This is an exercise that I haven’t done in a while… sitting and just listening. Good job Jim.

Calm surrender. I am identifying a calm surrender to what it is that God wants.

AnonymousNovember 11, 2009 - 1:04 pm

even though we feel like life beats us down and wears us out.. God is there to softly wash away out hurts and bring life and color to the areas where we have struggled and turn them around to help someone else that may be in the same position we once were.

Donna A.November 11, 2009 - 3:33 pm

Here’s my profound response…. wish I was in Hawaii!!

markandjeanetteNovember 11, 2009 - 5:10 pm

the word soaking came to mind. a flower soaks up water as we should soak up the word and spirit of God. we should be so saturated with him that it pours our of us.

jim bakerDecember 27, 2009 - 10:01 pm

these are awesome responses, we’ll have to do this again soon

11.08.09 – more on boredom and a not so boring conversations with my wife

one of my 365’s while I was in Kona

I woke up today after my ritual sunday afternoon nap and just found myself bored. I found it ironic since I’ve been writing a bit about boredom lately. Justin posted a comment on one of the last posts saying boredom is an inability to rest. My boredom today was rooted in that very thing, I felt like I needed to be doing something, but had no desire to do what I needed to do. But there was an internal struggle because I felt like I needed to be doing something.

My wife and I had an awesome conversation tonight about literature. My wife is an english major and she’s reading a book right now and I asked her how it was. She dived into an answer that I didn’t expect, she started talking about the narrative voice and how its written differently. These are things I would never even consider.

I asked what she thought about some authors that we both know Francine Rivers and Donald Miller, she talked about them as writers and it moved us into a discussion about poetry. She showed me a paper she wrote in college which dissected a Emily Dickinson poem. She handed me the poem first and told me that I had to read it. I glanced over the poem and thought to myself well that’s nice. And then I read her paper, and a whole new world opened up because she pointed out things that I didn’t even know to look for.

It made me marvel a bit at the intention of a few words. That the author took the time to say so much with so little. Intentional. Being intentional takes time, it takes rest, it takes processing. Maybe it even takes being bored from time to time. I want to get back to a place where I live intentionally and take things in and processing them. I want to walk through life not run.

JIM baker