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.

JIM baker

10.21.09 – just checking in

Brianne, Decklin, Daylan and Corey.
the Errett Family

Hey everyone, just checking in. 3 days without posting a blog seems like forever.

Earlier in the month (where has october gone?) I did family portraits for the Errett family. Corey is the youth pastor at Lakewood Baptist in Jamestown and is a good friend of mine. He actually is coming to speak to our youth this upcoming week.

Check out the rest of the photos I took of the Errett family here.

Anyway, later this afternoon Jess and I are headed over to their house so Brianne can cut my hair. She runs her own hair studio out of their home. And then we’re headed over to my grandparents house to spend some time with them. They are graciously letting us store our all season tires in their garage since we don’t have room (yup the snow tires are on both cars) and do a couple loads of laundry since we don’t have a laundry machine and they are feeding us dinner:)Then later tonight we might be getting together with some friends to pray.

Nothing super significant, just telling you whats up for our “day off.”

Enjoy your day,
JIM baker

DonnaOctober 21, 2009 - 6:51 am

It’s all “good stuff!!” :-)

jim bakerOctober 21, 2009 - 7:13 am

lol, thanks donna :)

10.18.09 – presentation

I walked out after church to see a bunch of the cupcakes my wife made left over on the bake sale table. Everything else sold:(

Not knowing we were selling things individually, I brought the cupcakes to church in a tin. We then ended up at the last minute putting each cupcake in the only thing available, plastic bags. The bags ended up hiding and smearing the original design, making them quite unattractive to the potential buyer. Packaging is important, because it forms our first impression.

Woody Woodson is here at our church sharing with us this week. He is talking a lot about “what we see.” We need to expand our vision and see what God is seeing.

When we look at people, do we see what God sees? Or do we judge the “book by its cover?” It’s our call as Christians to look past the plastic bag that is stifling peoples inner calling and beauty and call those things forth.

When Woody prayed for me today he said a few things, that there is a depth with me and God, that I would have creative bait, and that this week people would come to know who they were because of being around me.

While I’m not fond of the word “bait” and don’t consider myself uber creative, (like my friends Jon Barnes and Cory Pampalone) I’m more than okay with people coming to know who they really are .

My heart for ministry is rooted in people finding out their real identity. Stepping into what they were created for and falling in love with their creator. So stop and ask God right now, what was on your heart when you created me? What was my original design? And now ask God to help you walk in those things because it is where you will feel alive.

Some of my students came to me after church and said that the did not want to go to Woody’s meeting on monday night, which will replace our regular meeting time. When I asked them why, they said he was hard to listen to. I replied two things. First, that I’m under our pastors authority and he asked that we be there, so we would be there. And secondly, myself included, we need to learn how to look past a persons style of communication and get the truth out of what they have to say.

God help us to look past the packaging.
JIM baker

p.s That’s a lot of revelation from a cupcake.

Russ BakerOctober 19, 2009 - 12:10 pm

i listened to a couple 5 minute videos of Woody Woodson and didn’t see anything strange about his delivery style or voice or anything… kind of liked the messages too.

jim bakerOctober 19, 2009 - 11:59 pm

glad you enjoyed it, having woody at our church has been amazing.

Jeremiah and AmyOctober 20, 2009 - 5:37 pm

I really like this post! Those cupcakes were amazing! I wish I could have one right now!

jim bakerOctober 26, 2009 - 7:27 am


10.17.09 – bake sale!!!

Tomorrow our church is having a bake sale to support the
New York City School of Urban Ministry
trip that Jess and I will be going on in November. Two of our students will also be going on this trip.

Jess being the creative one that she is decided to make these cupcakes in hopes that the kids like them and persuade their parents to pay tons of money for them:)

chocolate cupcakes

frosting (thanks donna adelgren) the first batch didn’t really work out.

large gum drops
(does this answer your inquiring questions on facebook as to why I was going out to get large gum drops?)

Frosting the cupcakes.

Decorating one of the cupcakes with more frosting.
(yes thats a chop stick, sorry we didn’t have any paint brushes)

and the final product! My wife is amazing. She is quite the BAKER isn’t she?:)I had nothing to do with this whole project at all, just taking pictures and sharing it with you all.

JIM baker
Cheryl BakerOctober 17, 2009 - 12:15 pm

Yes Jess, you are truly a “BAKER” and I’m proud to share the name with you. The cupcakes turned out real cute. I hope you sell a lot of them.
Love, Mom

LisaOctober 17, 2009 - 7:40 pm

those are amazing!!!!!

10.16.09 – a tribute to my great late canon sd870

canon sd870 (Dec 2007- Oct 2009) R.I.P

Notice all the wear and tear, owned the camera for about 2 years and it got a ton of use.
The lcd took its last breath earlier this summer (I’m actually surprised it lasted as long as it did, in 2008 i got hit by a pretty big wave with camera in hand, and the lens has mechanical problems from time to time, probably caused by sand)

I was looking into getting it fixed but recently decided it’s time to put it to rest.

I’ve had some great memories with this camera.

Click here to see all the pics I posted on flickr with this camera

My 365 days project
(a self portrait every day 2008 and some of 2009)

and here’s a pic from Oahu that I took with this camera. Hopefully this will help keep us warm and joyful since the last post I posted had a pic of snow.

If you had some good memories with the sd870 leave us some love.
JIM baker

p.s had an awesome day today with my beautiful wife, just relaxing and getting some things done in erie that we needed to get done. I might blog about those things tomorrow.

10.16.09 – really?!

(view from my back window)

ya know… i spent the last two winters in hawaii…

this is a little different.

Jess and I were suppose to go to a ministry training seminar all day today and tomorrow but we are taking the day to just rest and recuperate instead.

JIM baker

colleenOctober 16, 2009 - 4:13 am

GROSS. this makes me want to die.

JStanfordOctober 16, 2009 - 4:25 am

haha, wow, already? It’s about 55 or 60 here. Not much snow in Ireland!

jim bakerOctober 16, 2009 - 4:48 am

Colleen – Jess laughed out loud for quite a while when I told her what you wrote, thanks for making her day :)

Jeff, yeah… i remember bragging about being in hawaii all the time i guess now i’m on the other end of things. where can i see some of your pics of the lush green of ireland?

10.15.09 – abide

(click on the picture above to see the story behind it)

I spoke in church this past sunday about John 15:9.
“As the Father has loved me, so I love you, now abide in my love.”

This has become a life verse for me, that has changed how I do things.

It’s Jesus speaking, and He’s saying that with the SAME amount of love that God the father loves Him, that He loves us with that same amount of love. Stop and think about that, let it impact you a bit because its a huge statement. Maybe even stop and repeat those words… Jesus loves me the same way that God the father loves Him… and thats A LOT!!!

But it’s the last part that gets me. It says abide (or remain) in my love.

Jesus is telling us to just stay in that place of being loved by Him.

I’ve tried to stay consistent in loving God and my level of love never stays consistent, but when I just focus in on the radical loving pursuit of Jesus… my natural response is to love Him back. I don’t have to try or strive anymore, it’s simply natural.

Dan Baumann a good friend of mine who was imprisoned in Iran for preaching the gospel says this…

“Everything we ever want to do for God should be the natural overflow of intimacy with God.”

I think a key element for the Church to move forward in power is this. It’s time to put away simply doing things out of obligation and duty, and it’s time to be radically loved by Jesus and live in response to that. Not indebted as a servant, but freely giving because we’ve been freely given.

JIM baker

check out Pastor Rick’s recent blog post on
“Everyone is a worshipper”

Donna AdelgrenOctober 15, 2009 - 7:57 am

Ahhh… this is so right on, not only for us as individuals, but for PF and the church at large. I remember after we got our three “new” children, I felt the Lord wanted me to really focus, study, & pray through I Cor 13. I spent weeks at it, but the more I prayed, the worse I felt… almost to the point of despair because of a deep realization that I would NEVER be able to approach that kind of love. Then one day He said, “Now I want you to go to Song of Solomon and do the same thing.” I got a couple of good commentaries and dug in. The time that I spent experiencing SofS is beyond words. When I finished, He said, “Now do you understand that the only way you can ever approach 1 Cor 13 love is to LIVE in Song of Solomon?” Thanks for reminding me… the past few months have been a real assault against intimacy. Time to refocus and reconnect… The teens need to experience Jesus for themselves so badly. Chrisianity becomes bloodless and powerless otherwise. Our kids demand nothing less than the real thing and I’m glad they do!!

jim bakerOctober 15, 2009 - 9:39 am

amen, intimacy with jesus is where its at, i’m glad the teens are demanding what is real, Jess and I realize that our ministry has to be the overflow of intimacy too. :) You’re amazing Donna we love you a ton, see you tonite.

10.12.09 – higher calling

What do you see below? Just simply a picture of 5 cell phones? Hardly. Recently we’ve been asking what serves as a distraction at Higher Calling which is the name of the churches youth ministry.

During worship tonite, a student came and dropped their cell phone in the middle of the floor where we were gathered. Putting it down was a tangible display that said, “Jesus you are the most important thing right now.” When I looked up from leading worship, more and more cell phones got laid down. I was really blessed to see our students take the initiative to do that without an adult nagging them to do that.

During the worship time I had them pair off and just spend time encouraging one another and praying for one another. I watched as smiles lit up across students faces, its sad that we don’t take time to encourage one another more often.

As we moved into the teaching time, I had them write down any questions they have about Christianity, I am trying to get a better feel of where they are and what they want to learn. Then I taught about the importance of CONTEXT when interpreting the bible. (My School of Biblical Studies friends should be proud) and reviewed a basic bible study tool called a “FLQA” which is an awesome simple resource that I got from Nate Bailey.

The students took a piece of paper and divided it up into four parts. We looked at Psalm 91 and wrote down some Facts, the Lesson that we were learning from that portion of scripture, then we wrote down Questions we had and spent time answering them, and then we pulled out Applications.

My application from Psalm 91 is shelter is a stationary thing, and if I do not move and place myself under that shelter, I can stand and still get soaking wet by the storm even though the shelter is right next to me.

We wrapped up the night by breaking up into small groups and processing our day, asking one another how we are really doing on more than just a surface level and praying for one another.

JIM baker

(sorry for the bad photo quality they were taken with my phone, my point and shoot is dead. I’ll dedicate a whole post to my late point and shoot soon.)
Cheryl BakerOctober 13, 2009 - 12:38 am

All I can say is AWESOME!!!!

CBOctober 15, 2009 - 5:37 am

it may be crappy picture quality but it’s a pretty cool effect. If I didn’t know better, I’d have guessed photoshop effect instead of cell phone.

jim bakerOctober 15, 2009 - 6:18 am

thanks ma :) see you in about a week?

CB… whats good man? i actually edited them quite a bit afterward because they looked like crap regular, so i overdid it a bit in editing to make it look intentional haha

10.11.09 – pumpkin carving

And a bit of a disclaimer… the last post was not meant to scare anyone. I’ve gotten some concerned responses to my asking for prayer. Nothing is wrong, the transition is just hard, three HUGE life changes all at once. We were just simply asking for prayer, thank you all for your concern though.

hmmm… which one doesn’t belong?

Jess and I went over to Chad and Linnea’s last night for a pumpkin carving extravaganza. This was Jess and my first time carving a pumpkin as a couple. I did the top cut and the eyes and scraped most of the guts out, Jess did the rest. We bought a stencil kit at wal mart along with our albino pumpkin (it was cheaper) and were told that if we used a stencil they would smash our pumpkin, so Jess just looked at the stencil and drew on the pumpkin one of the designs.

We also celebrated Jackie’s first birthday party. She’s not one, but it was her first actual birthday party because she grew up not being able to celebrate. Sorry I don’t have any pictures of that. My point and shoot is officially dead, I took these pictures with my phone.

My beautiful wife and our fun pumpkin.

uh, you should comment if you’re reading this because we like comments.
JIM baker

The ConnellysOctober 11, 2009 - 7:11 pm

Does that one pumpkin have a middle finger on it? I’d say that one doesn’t belong.

What’s up Jim Baker? Long time no speaky. Remember when we used to make Red Bull runs out to the convenience store so that we could power through our days at HoHigh? That was the sweet life, eh?

Congrats on the nuptials.

jim bakerOctober 11, 2009 - 7:27 pm


man… red bull runs to make it through working at good old howard high… some good times huh? do you miss it ever? do you keep up with anyone?

or better yet remember when i told you all that I was an undercover cop? HA!

thanks for the congrats, and yeah i guess the middle finger one doesn’t really belong either…

are you still in africa? i MIGHT be coming to your continent in jan…

lets catch up
jim baker

Cheryl BakerOctober 12, 2009 - 1:15 am

You guys did a nice job carving your albino pumpkin. I remember when you laughed at me when I brought home a green pumpkin. :) All pumpkins want to be brought home and carved. Jess, love your picture with The pumpkin.
Love you guys.
Mom and Dad

AnonymousOctober 12, 2009 - 5:47 am

Well, several don’t belong: the 6th from left largest, 7th from left smallest, 10th from left stem too long. BUT … the long one in the back row is the most obvious ):>)))
unc dan

jim bakerOctober 12, 2009 - 6:32 am

mom – i don’t remember your green pumpkin… i however remember our epic halloween decorations haha.

uncle dan – yeah, that long white pumpkin that looks very much like a BENCH sure doesn’t belong does it? :)

The Moldy CannoliOctober 12, 2009 - 10:42 am

Hi, I read your blog next time you and Jess come to MD we should get INDIAN FOOD!

jim bakerOctober 12, 2009 - 12:19 pm


we’ll be in town for t-giving. indian food it is… we became friends with the guy from the new indian place in md… we’ll have to go.

LisaOctober 13, 2009 - 10:38 am

so…i think Jess looks adorable with the pumpkin :-)

CB DaughtryOctober 15, 2009 - 5:25 am

Congrats on getting married. I know what you mean about the transitions being hard. Joy and I did that and it’s not that any one thing is bad or wrong, it’s just a big difference from being single and dating to being married, it’s a big difference from being in school or at a different job to having a new full time job, it’s a big difference from living in one place where you know people to moving to a new place where you don’t know many people or where things are or how to get where you want to go.
Joy and I’ll be praying for you guys! One thing I’ve learned so far is that whatever my expectations are for anything in our marriage they are probably different from Joy’s. So if I’m going to figure anything out about her and how to be the husband she needs, I’ve got to recognize my expectations, understand hers, and form new expectations based on our needs.
(Sorry for the long post.)

jim bakerOctober 15, 2009 - 6:19 am

Lisa – Jess is adorable with or without a pumpkin :)

CB, thats a good word thank you for sharing that and thanks for the prayers

10.10.09 – fall is here

I went for a short walk today, up one side of my street then back down the other. It was great to just be at a walking pace and be able to take the time to take things in.

Fall is very different here than where I grew up in Columbia, MD. The colors are amazing. God is pretty creative huh? I took some time to grab some leaves off of the trees and brought them home and spent some time taking pictures of them to share with you all.

Pray for Jess and I during this huge transition in our lives. New marriage, new job, new city, it gets overwhelming sometimes.

Get out and enjoy a fall day:)
JIM baker

LisaOctober 10, 2009 - 4:51 pm

So, I’m totally with you. I grabbed a few pretty leaves this morning while I was out taking pictures just to put on our dining room table. I love fall. And when the sun is out, I love how everything just shines. I’ve said it over and over: No painter can compare with God, who paints the leaves different colors during Autumn. I even painted a canvas with leaf prints that has the quote hanging on our dining room wall. :-)

And Jim, I love your leaf pictures. LOVE. Love. love. :-) You captured the colors really well.

But yeah, I’ll def. be praying for you guys!!!

Much love~Lisa

AnonymousOctober 12, 2009 - 1:33 am

Beautiful pictures of leaves. Love your albino pumpkin – never saw one before.

Take care, Kathy L.

joanbn125October 12, 2009 - 5:36 am

Hi Jim and Jess,

Great photos. I recall when you were a little boy and we use to pick up leaves and wax them. Still enjoying them….only in photos. Cute photo with your pumpkin, Jess. Love you both. G

jim bakerOctober 12, 2009 - 5:43 am

Lisa – i didn’t know you painted, i’d love to see your work sometime, thanks for enjoying the leaf pics and for the prayers

Kathy – thanks! albino pumpkins are fun, I texted dave last night cause I was hanging out with Nate, does he still have the same phone #?

Grandma – thanks, i vaguely remember waxing leaves, something to do with wax paper?

joan nOctober 12, 2009 - 10:18 am

Hot wax and then let them cool on waxpaper. Something fun to do….anytime.