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.

10.07.09 – my view and what I should be doing…

I’m sitting in my office right now, my window is being held open by a large conch shell because for some reason the window didn’t want to catch and stay open on its own.

Its a funny contrast because its 48 degrees here and the seashell reminds me of hawaii, and my weather widget tells me it’s 83 there right now. For those of you that don’t know I spent a total of nine months in Kona Hawaii with YWAM in 2008 and 2009.

I have the window cracked because Terry and Janie Rohlin did an awesome job of putting up a new wall for my office last month and the paint still stinks a bit. I’ve got a great view though…

The red building with the RAZOR WIRE fence is the local fireworks stand. Meh… it could be worse. At least I have a window.
(Sorry Brian Lindquist)

Anyway… I should be working on a vision plan for Higher Calling (the name of our youth program) so I’m going to get back to that.

You should leave comments with pictures of the view from your offices or wherever you are checking my blog from.

JIM baker

10.05.09 – First POST!

Hey everyone…

Some of you know me, some of you don’t, I’m Jim Baker.

I just moved to Jamestown NY and…

my wife Jess and I are youth pastoring at
Praise Fellowship
in Russell PA.

This will be a place for my wife and I to share our lives with people from all over the world, we will do our best to fill you in on the recent happenings which could include anything from ministry updates, rants and raves, random thoughts, pictures and well whatever else we think is worth posting to share with YOU.

I’m probably already over my word count for the person who is just skimming and have lost their interest so here’s some
pictures of my wife and I from our wedding which happened on August 23 2009
at camp mission meadows.
(Photos courtesy of Sheena Stropas and Seth and Jamie Rainwater)

Check back often. Jess and I will be posting weekly and we will try very hard to write WHO wrote the post at the bottom…

like this,
JIM baker

to see more of our wedding photos check out the albums on my facebook.

bonnieOctober 6, 2009 - 11:59 am

Aw, Jim, congratulations. She is beautiful!!!!

Rick RohlinOctober 6, 2009 - 3:06 pm

Nice Blog bro.

JiOctober 6, 2009 - 3:58 pm

Hi Jim, I am so happy for you. Let me know when you are coming to Tokyo and visit me, I will prepare a place for you to stay, you and your beautiful wife. Congrats. Ji, Tokyo. http://www.jikaoru.com

AmyOctober 7, 2009 - 3:34 am

Jim and Jess I LOVE the pics they are all great… You do have a lot on your plate.. with new marriage, new job, now house and over 300 people’s names at Praise! to try to remember…. So enjoy each other…. and know people of Praise! are T-H-R-I-L-L-E-D to know and have you apart of our gathering…

jim bakerOctober 11, 2009 - 7:30 pm

thanks everyone!

Bonnie – i miss our blogging days of yesteryear… are you still cutting glass?

Rick – thanks, you still should link my blog and send out an e-mail plugging mine haha…

Ji – dang man, an invite to tokyo.. I’ll take you up on that someday

Amy – (I’m assuming this is Amy Knopf?) thanks, we’re thrilled to be here.