11.05.09 – serve the thing that shines

teapot 2007

I have the privilege of joining up with some of the other warren PA youth pastors for breakfast every first wednesday of the month at the plaza restaurant. The waitresses know the group well since they’ve been meeting for something like ten years, and the waitresses love spilling coffee all over the table when they pour it. But they keep your cup filled, I think I’m still awake now at almost 2am because of it.

Anyway I shared about what I wrote in my last post about my students being bored and Pastor J pointed out that the students we work with are so used to effortlessly being spoon fed new things every two seconds, if things aren’t new, or it takes effort it automatically become boring. Hmm…

Jon Barnes, a former Maryland youth pastor and personal mentor, talked about this negative effect of modern technology which inspired a blog that I posted somewhere else probably a couple years ago. I might repost it here if someone asks nicely.

I’m not really saying anything here, I guess I’m just asking how do we engage and teach in this culture?

I don’t think its an age thing, I think its an effect of microwaves and high speed internet which feeds our instant gratification and need for new. I find myself right now really bored with something trivial like my profile picture. I think I had more of a variety of pictures when I used to 365.

Anyway, not sure if this makes sense its 2am I need to go to sleep. Got thoughts on this? Leave em in the comment section.
JIM baker

Donna ANovember 5, 2009 - 4:39 am

Hmmm… I agree with Pastor J about the whole “new” thing. Our kids seem addicted to constant stimulation. Ask any teacher who works with children on a regular basis about the truth of this. I’ve always hated the words “I’m bored,” because I think it’s a reflection more of an internal attitude/state of mind/inability to use creative imagination, than it is an actual external reality. I remember when D & T & Z first came to live with us, they had been so used to sitting in front of the TV that they literally had no idea how to PLAY. Creative thinking and using their imagination were absolutely foreign to them. It was a real eye-opener. How much are we encouraging our children to take personal responsibility for how they THINK… and therefore for their own responses… have I worn out that soap box yet??!
On the other hand, here’s another thought. I wish I had my kids’ energy! Teens, in particular, need LOTS of physical activity. Most of our kids are required to sit for long periods of time in school and the last thing that they want/need is to sit for long periods of time at church. I know my boys actually think/respond better when they have some outlet physically. Thinking/talking/responding/praying needs to happen in an atmosphere where there’s plenty of opportunity for movement.
Lord, help us by Your Spirit to effectively “jump-start” the creative thought-juices in our kids so that they can begin to grasp Your awesomeness. Show us how to engage them mentally, emotionally, and physically. Holy Spirit… hound em till their defenses are completely defenseless!! Empower Jim & Jess, others who work with the youth, us as parents.. with supernatural insight and wisdom that reaches out to grab our kids where they live. Teach us how to fight on their behalf!!
OK, OK, I’ll shut up now. Love you guys!!

jim bakerNovember 5, 2009 - 5:43 am

yes and amen!!!

JustinNovember 5, 2009 - 10:34 am

I doubt that you’ll find a legitimate way around it. Young people use the word “bored” because they don’t know what it is to rest. I know that I didn’t learn the principles of rest until we were in SBS.

During DTS I came to Kona and couldn’t figure out why people enjoyed JUST laying on the beach. It was beyond my reach to understand. Though after I left DTS and went back to “normal life” I found that I became entrenched in normal life. I had a full time job, school, part-time job, I volunteered at church, and all of a sudden I found that I had no time to be bored, no time to rest, and it began to wear on me… then we took SBS in Hawaii again.

I learned, then, that I loved rest. Very rarely in my busy life do I find that I am bored. Being boed means that I don’t know how to take down time. Now this principle of rest might be too far out there for a teen who wants to keep going, going, going to the next thing… but I understand it now.

People are very rarely bored; they just don’t know how to rest.

Now that I went off on that tangent, Jim, I’ll go back to answer the question: how do we engage and teach in this culture?

Pander to your audience. Go to where they are. Draw them out. Be relevant to where they are. If you have to jump through hoops to get them to hear you … do that. Use tools to effectively engage them whilst they are in your charge. What’s the end goal? :)

jim bakerNovember 6, 2009 - 5:34 am

rest is something that we have no clue about. we equate busyness with productivity, and how often do we find ourselves doing a lot, but really doing very little.

I met with a pastor in town yesterday that is the director of a large ministry and we are going to every month go and serve that ministry every month by sorting clothes and cleaning…

chrisNovember 7, 2009 - 5:04 am

Honestly, I think this is what you’re kids are after… to do these kinds of things that Jesus did…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpdoge4KSug

jim bakerNovember 8, 2009 - 2:52 pm

that link is AMAZING! Bill Johnson (the pastor of that church) shared that testimony at the conference we were just at.

11.03.09 – boring christianity

Model – Sophia Dorozio – Kona Hawaii 2008

Last night we were reviewing what Corey had talked about the week before at Higher Calling. Cages that hold us back from what the Holy Spirit wants to do.

One of our students said something to the effect of

“I think we’re just bored with the stagnant routine.”

I asked them to be honest and raise their hand if they were bored with their Christian walk. Almost every hand was raised.

I asked them if they thought the early church was bored.

They snickered and said no way, they were like healing people and stuff…

Maybe its good that our youth have gotten bored with stagnant Christianity.

One of the biggest things I took away from the conference we just went to is this…

Rivers FLOW and if water is just being poured in and its not flowing out then it becomes dead and stagnant.

What if when Jesus said “ALL authority has been given to me…therefore go…” He really meant it… and we were really suppose to live that way.

Bill Johnson said this at the conference…

“Its hard to have the fruit of the early church when we honor a book they did not have more than the holy spirit which they fully relied on “

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
JIM baker

J.November 3, 2009 - 6:31 pm

Hmmm… the quote made my brain hurt (that’s a good thing). Shouldn’t the book be the evidential accountability by which we confirm the work of the Spirit? I get it though… honoring the Spirit did precede the writing of the book! I’m up to my ears turned off by this quote, “I only preach the Bible”. I find that so interesting when Paul did a lot of Holy Spirit led topical, lifestyle, and worldview teaching that later became part of the Bible. I think Biblical consistency and accountability is necessary though, otherwise a lot of kooky bugs start cults! I’m getting bored with my comment!

JohnNovember 3, 2009 - 6:40 pm

One thing to note.. They didn’t have the “book” but they had the Apostles themelves, and the letters themselves. All the “book” is, is those letters bound in one place. And we don’t have the Apostles. Basically we are the church in Corinth, the church in Rome, the church in Ephesus… No difference other than the span of time and no chance of an apostle dropping by for a visit one day.

JStanfordNovember 4, 2009 - 1:49 am

Great post, the quote about a river flowing is really good.

A lot to think and pray about. May our faith not grow stagnant!

jim bakerNovember 4, 2009 - 2:05 am

@ J – absolutely, we do not negate the word of God, but I often totally agree with Bill Johnson that we become so proud of our biblical knowledge, we become proud of theological facts that we know, instead of realizing its about a relationship… I don’t pride myself in knowing facts about my wife, but because I’m in a good relationship with her, i know past just knowing on a head level what is on her heart

@John – I’m not really firm on my NT timeline I would have to go back and look at my notes, but in the book of acts an explosion of growth was happening with signs and wonders when the holy spirit came, the early church, this was before paul came on the scene and wrote most of the NT. The holy spirit was given as a teacher (John 14:26) that will teach us ALL things

@ Jeff – thanks man… think on it, pray on it, ACT on it, live it. Your life has always been an encouragement to me.

Hannah BNovember 4, 2009 - 5:48 am

Dude!!! I was so struck by those words Bill Johnson spoke, and could not for my life recall the exact words! Thanks so much! I’ve told at least 5 others about what he said, but couldn’t really say it properly, haha! I 100% agree with this post!

jim bakerNovember 4, 2009 - 6:12 pm

Hannah, its good to take notes πŸ˜‰

I posted on the last blog you commented on the notes I had for Heidi Baker

11.03.09 – wow november is here… and my car is dead, but jansport is amazing!

So… we got the official verdict on the car today… “Play taps” said Brian Adelgren when I asked him how the car was… the whole lower part of the engine is gone and its not worth replacing. Not sure what we’re going to do, just trusting God. I am very grateful to the Paterni family who gave me this car in April of this year. In 7 months Jess and I put 30,000 miles on it.

In other news… JANSPORT is AMAZING. I remember buying a jansport backpack because my sister had one when we were both in school. I remembered her saying it was an awesome deal because it had a lifetime warranty even though it was more expensive than other backpacks. Well this backpack has been EVERYWHERE with me but the zipper broke recently so I decided to take them up on their lifetime warranty. I mailed it in and it came back with a new BUFF zipper, you can see in comparison to the other zipper on the backpack. I just love companies that really take care of you.

JIM baker
Uncle DanNovember 5, 2009 - 7:06 am

What about swapping a used engine into your car. The body looks great in the pic.

Uncle DanNovember 5, 2009 - 7:07 am

WOW! It work finally!

jim bakerDecember 27, 2009 - 10:03 pm

nice… what’d you do to get it to comment? the cars still just sitting in my mechanics parking lot… deader than a doornail.

10.31.09 – last year at this time… and friends

oct 31 2008 – kailua kona, hawaii

Last year Sandi Walrod and Jess (then) Stiles (now BAKER) came dressed to the Hallelujah party at my apartment in Kona as me. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. πŸ˜‰

Crazy that a year later we’re all still hanging out only this time in Baltimore MD for the VOA conference, luckily neither of them are dressed as me. (At least I don’t think Sandi is πŸ˜‰ she’s at the conference today, Jess and I took the day off)

It has been GREAT to run into some friends at this conference. Friday night I ran into three friends Augustine and Sarah Park and Hannah Brogi. I met them in Comitan, Mexico on a missions trip. There I saw the greatest outpouring of the holy spirit that I have seen to this day during a worship service.

We also ran into Jared and Brianne Miller too. Jared is the brother of my good friend Mark’s wife Jeanette. He and his family are just pursuing revival in their home town by being intentional with the people in their neighborhood. They are partnering with other local churches in the area and they said that they have seen God do the most in the liquor store on the corner.

I think I realized that I’ve hit my traveling quota for right now. Jared asked me how far I lived from here at lunch yesterday and I just stared at him blankly and could not figure out where I was.

Tomorrow we are back to NY with the help of a lot of good people.
JIM baker

p.s the new Cory Asbury album is epic, i’ve been listening to it over and over again all night.

Hannah BNovember 1, 2009 - 11:49 am

Was great seeing you guys on Wednesday! Can you post about the different messages? Esp. Heidi Baker!!!

I’ve been listening to Cory Asbury lots too! He’s awesome.

jim bakerNovember 3, 2009 - 10:22 am

hey it was great to see you too, we’ll be back around thanksgiving… if you wanna connect lemme know.

Heidi Baker looked at the book of Ephesians and here are some of the highlights.

You can do nothing with out christ or the body
it makes God happy when we act like sons and daughters
We need an understanding of humility and authority
Never budget God, He is extravagantly lavish
The only way you will do what God wants you to do is to be filled with the Holy Spirit
We need radical trust
If you don’t believe who you are you will never fulfil your destiny

10.29.09 – adventures on the road and VOA

changing spark plugs

So about 4 hours into our trip to baltimore Jess turns down the radio and asks “whats that noise?” and I hear a loud clicking from the engine… we pull up to the toll booth pay the toll and the car stalls out. I start it back up and get off of the exit and pull into a parking lot in time for it to stall out again. Real long story short, got towed, guy wanted $187 for a tune up, called Brian Adelgren, he told me that was a rip off, the Walrod family came to our rescue (they were headed to baltimore from jamestown NY too and were about an hour behind us) we picked up the parts on our own and Tim Lease walked me through how to do it over the phone. Car still didn’t work correctly so I left it sitting at a gas station in Breezewood PA right off of the turnpike.

my spark plug changing friends
(Jess, Bob, Linda, and Sandi)

I am seriously surrounded by the most GENEROUS and AMAZING friends ever. The Walrods rerouted to come pick us up and Bob paid for the parts that I needed. Tim Lease took the time to walk me through how to change my spark plugs over the phone. My parents are driving us to Heidi Fraisers house and then she is going to drive Jess and I back to Breezewood on Sunday and Nate Adelgren is going to drive 4 hours from Jamestown to Breezewood and drive us back to Jamestown with our car.

worship last night at Voice of the Apostles

We are here in Baltimore for the Voice of The Apostles Conference. We have seen hundreds of people receive physical healings, hearing testimonies of creative miracles and metal in peoples bodies dissolving. Major things, minor things all being healed in the presence of the Holy Spirit. We have sat under some of the most amazing teaching from modern day apostles like Bill Johnson, Che Ahn and John Arnott. It’s been a blessing to be at this conference. Heidi Baker is speaking tomorrow.

God’s GOOD.
JIM baker

LisaOctober 29, 2009 - 4:57 pm

God is so cool sometimes. And maybe you shouldn’t have turned the radio down. We took Dad’s truck down to get my wallet, drove it home, and then once we got in the driveway, and turned the music down, and we heard this scraping noise. so i figured it was just a tree branch from driving in the woods, but there’s nothing there, so we took it to get checked out tonight. Anyway, glad to hear things are working out. I was praying for you guys this afternoon, just praying that all would be worked out for God’s glory, no matter what that may be. Maybe they’ll be some crazy cool connection. God’s amazing, nonetheless.

Lisa StantonOctober 29, 2009 - 4:59 pm

Haha….that’s my fam…having a good time as always! can’t wait to hear about the conference!

Jamie RainwaterOctober 30, 2009 - 2:46 pm

Jim…that’s awesome…I’m so proud of you for working on your car…you look great with a little grease on your hands…

10.27.09 – AFRICA!!!


“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” – Romans 10:14-15

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27

My heart is pounding with excitement and I have a huge smile on my face as I write this post. Jess and I are headed back overseas for a 10 day trip to KENYA!

We will be in Kenya late January early February. It seems like forever ago that I’ve done any international missions work. And this will be our first international trip as a married couple!

I have been asked to go and do portraits for some of the orphans at an orphanage in hopes of getting them furthered sponsorship. I’m excited to do something so significant with my photography.

Jess and I along with two other adults from our church, and two of our students from the youth group will be teaching english and the bible to students in the Msomi Academy.

Please click here to find out more about where we will be working!

JIM baker

If you are interested in supporting this trip financially or through prayer please contact us! jim@worshipplace.org

10.26.09 – wild goose chase

Taken in Oahu March of 2009
(yes I realize that’s not a goose)

Our students were awesome tonite, they had a pastor appreciation ice cream party for me and Jess,
unfortunately Jess was home sick this evening.

Corey Errett came and spoke tonite. He taught out of Luke 18 and 19 and asked us who we were more like… are we the rich young ruler who simply wants a ticket to heaven? Or are we Zacchaeus who wants Jesus and is willing to climb a tree to see Him.

Corey also taught from a book that has been instrumental in his life called “Wild Goose Chase.” by Mark Batterson. The premise of the book is that in the gaelic language the word for Holy Spirit is also the same word for wild goose. Corey explained that following the leading of the Holy Spirit is meant to be an adventure.

Corey outlined 6 things that hold us back from really following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Responsibility
Routine
Assumptions
Guilt
Failure
Fear

He asked the group to share which one they felt like they struggled with and how we can help one another along through these things.

This is what I took away from the evening.

While we cannot negate responsibility, we also cannot fall into the trap of trying to control everything, we still have to TRUST in God’s goodness and provision.

Mudane routine is only as mundane as we allow it to be, we have to seek the adventure of where God has us. Sometime it simply takes a perspective change. Seeing things as God sees them. And a willingness to step out and take risk.

Our assumptions need to meet TRUTH.

Our guilt needs to meet FORGIVENESS.

Our failures need PERSPECTIVE on what we are seeking to win and what our reward really is.

Our fear needs an encounter with BOLD PERSISTENT LOVE.

JIM baker

Cheryl BakerOctober 27, 2009 - 12:42 am

Wow! It must have been a good night. Sorry Jess couldn’t be there with you.

JStanfordOctober 27, 2009 - 12:53 am

Jim, that photo is INCREDIBLE

Batterson’s book is a good one, very thought-provoking and insightful. I hope your students got a lot out of that talk!

I like your last thought the best – our fear needs an encounter with bold persisitent love. Seeing the love of God totally change someone is a mighty force in lessening our fear – whatever that fear might specifically be.

jim bakerOctober 27, 2009 - 4:00 am

Mom – it was a good night :) I wish I got to spend more time with our students, once a week just isn’t enough…

Jeff – I didn’t read the book but I think the students did get a lot out of it. I bought his first book from you actually but never read it. yeah… perfect love casts out all fear :)

10.26.09 – Hidey Wedding

This weekend was Chris Hidey’s wedding. I snuck a quick pic of Hidey brothers and me in the bathroom right before the service.

Jess and I had the honor to attend one of the most fun and beautiful weddings we have ever been to. It was held at the botanical gardens in NYC.

I read scripture during the service in English and then Sharon’s cousin read it in Chinese. We read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


Right after the wedding service we were taken downstairs for cocktails and finger foods which included a sushi bar. Then back up stairs for dinner, which was AMAZING. I had the filet mignon. You can tell by the number of forks how many courses there were.

Chris and Sharon were a stunning bride and groom. Congrats!!

And here’s an iphone pic of Jess and I from the hotel right before we went to the wedding. Third time wearing a suit in 3 months, and I’ve got to wear one next month too…

JIM baker

Jamie RainwaterOctober 26, 2009 - 12:39 pm

beautiful wedding!! wow…did you get your new camera?

jim bakerOctober 26, 2009 - 4:30 pm

yeah i did get it, its not a 5d mark II but its nice to travel with an iphone and a point and shoot that gets the job done pretty decently instead of a computer and a dlsr.

LisaOctober 26, 2009 - 5:32 pm

Love the tie, Jim! It rocks! And Jess, you always look beautiful. Miss you. Hope you feel better.

jim bakerOctober 27, 2009 - 4:00 am

thanks lisa!

10.22.09 – Grandpa Stiles 90th Birthday

Grandpa Stiles (Jess’ dad’s father) on his 90th Birthday
(iso 1600 shot with the g11 for you photo geeks)

We’re hanging out tonite in Youngstown Ohio. We just spent the evening with Grandpa Stiles who is ninety today. When I asked him how it feels to be ninety he replied, “I don’t know how’s it suppose to feel?” He said that when we turn ninety he’d be there to sing to us:)

Jess sitting with Grandpa as he opens his cards.

Just a quick update, back to Jamestown tomorrow and NYC on saturday. Baltimore on Wednesday for the Voice of the Apostles conference. Yup… on the road again.

JIM baker

Jeremiah and AmyOctober 25, 2009 - 8:25 pm

I love the portrait picture! Wonderful. I spent the day at my grama’s 80th today and enjoyed the wisdom of many elders!

jim bakerOctober 26, 2009 - 7:00 am

awesome :)

10.22.09 – vision and on the run again

jess’ eye

When Woody Woodson was here speaking he spoke so much on vision.
“You can’t receive it until you can see it.”

We are having a ministry fair at our church this weekend (Jess and I will be in NYC for a friends wedding) but as I was preparing a dream list of needs for volunteers, I began to see these things taking place. I saw our sanctuary filled with teens. I saw small groups forming in peoples homes providing a place for teens to be transparent and real and form real healthy relationships and encounter Jesus.

Mike Montes has been working with our staff and has been trying to prepare us for when we add another zero to our number. Making sure that we have a framework in place that will be able to support that change. I feel like we have this season until 2010 to get ready and get prepared, to get a foothold and then watch out we’re running forward.


We’re headed out to Ohio in a little bit here to go to Jess’ grandfathers 90th birthday party. We had a great time with my grandparents last night. We spent some time doing some photography together. My Grandma is a digital photographer you can see some of her work here.

I’m actually off to go get that hair cut that I was talking about yesterday but never got because I canceled it.

blessings,
JIM baker