Goodbye 2015 and Welcome 2016

2015 has been a great year for Jess and I.  We spent over half the year in Hawaii finishing our commitment with YWAM Honolulu and moved to Tennessee to partner with a ministry we’re helping to grow.  We ran two discipleship schools in TN and have been able to spend quality time with family which was one of the major motivators for returning to the mainland from the beautiful islands of Hawaii.

We are excited for what 2016 has in store!

If you’re looking to make and end of the year tax deductible gift and would like to donate towards our ministry you can do so by clicking the link below.





What was the highlight of your 2015?  And what are you most looking forward to in 2016?  Let us know in the comments!

A Note From The Road

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  Life has been crazy we’ve been on the road non-stop.  I think I’ve slept in my own bed 3 times in the past 2 months.

Sorry also for the lack of new podcasts on Doing Ministry Well we are in talks right now with some amazing designers and are hoping to rebrand and rerelease sometime in 2016!

Hope you guys had an amazing Thanksgiving and have a Happy Holiday season.  I’ll try and write more in 2016.

If you love the blog comment, or respond and let me know so I don’t feel like I’m writing to no one.  :)

Blessings,

Jim

JuliaDecember 29, 2015 - 3:41 pm

Been slacking on reading the website! But I do read the blog posts from time to time. :) Glad you guys are able to visit your family and friends, hope you aren’t too exhausted though. Perks of being on the mainland? =]

Are You Inviting Feedback?

My last blog post was talking about the importance of confrontation.

Confrontation done correctly is a beautiful thing and it invites in light and truth.

We also recognized people fear confrontation because they assume the other person will react explosively.  Or they fear baring their soul nothing will be met with no action on the other end.

Since it always takes two to tango.  We have to ask ourselves if we are welcoming feedback in our own lives.

Am I approachable?  Am I asking for feedback?  Can I handle honest feedback?  Can I admit that I am not perfect?  Can I empathize, apologize and seriously work on the things in my life that cause others to not want be around me?

A few months ago, I sent a couple sample chapters from a book I’m working on to be endorsed.  I was met with hard feedback and it set me free.  Free to be open to critique, to not take things personally.

Danny Silk authored a book Culture of Honor.  Confrontation works best in that culture.

Inviting and giving feedback isn’t to destroy people.  It’s to lovingly point out weaknesses so that people don’t continue blindly in those things.

Danny’s teaching on boundaries was really beneficial to me as well.  And I think his new book Keep Your Love on also hits on a lot of these healthy relational topics.  I haven’t gotten a chance to check his new book out yet but I’d like to.  He posts quotes from his book often on facebook.

Lastly Steve Sprague talks about how he invites feedback from his faculty and how he processes that feedback publicly in his interview with Doing Ministry Well.

I encourage you to check out these resources and be a person that is okay with getting and giving honest loving feedback.  Healthy relationships depend on it.

How are you at confrontation?  Are you good at giving or receiving feedback?  Let us know in the comments.

Are You Communicating?

I have this magical gift.  It’s called being an INFJ.  People intuitively feel comfortable around me and without any solicitaion start sharing what’s going on in their lives.  Seriously, it happens in public with strangers all the time.  I need to write about one of my gas station visits in Nashville.  Scary.

It’s quite a dichotomy because I either hear people are initially intimidated by me or people start sharing their deepest darkest secrets with me.

Anyway, I’ve seen a trend in people sharing honestly how they feel about a situation.  They will go into detail on how someone else’s actions have made them feel.  But when I ask if they’ve shared how they feel with the other person, the answer is most usually, no.

I was reading Total Truth today and highlighted this quote on page 132.  “… certain virtues necessary for spiritual maturity-such as faithfulness and self sacrificing love – can be practiced ONLY within relationships.”

I get frustrated at how people drive.  Driving into Clarksville today, in the pouring down rain, I got frustrated that people were driving without their headlights on.  The more I drive the more I realize people are not intentionally driving ignorantly, they are just so wrapped up in their own world that they aren’t thinking about anything else.  That’s reality.  That’s people.  People are wrapped up inside their own heads that they have no clue how their actions are affecting others.

And that’s where we come in.  It’s our responsibility when people are doing hurtful things to lovingly share that reality with them.  Take your hurt to God first and see what He has to say about it.  Examine yourself next.  And then maybe it’s time to be a light in someones life.

“Hey, ya know the other day when you said this?  Or acted like that?  That really hurt.  Can you tell me what’s going on that would cause you to behave that way?”

Confrontation is not easy.  But healthy confrontation, in love and honor is a beautiful thing.

Never confronting leads to avoidance.  And avoidance leads to even further miscommunication and breakdown of relationship.  Not a healthy place for any relationship.

People are unaware of how their actions and behavior is destructive to those around them.  By coming to them with your legitimate hurt you might be the cause for a light bulb to go on in their head, and hopefully save them and others from further damage.

We don’t confront out of fear.  Fear of how the person will react when confronted.  Or fear that when we’ve done the hard emotional work of sharing our hurt, nothing will change.

I think I’ve posted this quote by Colin Powell before but it’s a good one:

“The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

Who do you need to lovingly confront?

The 4 Men At My House

Our water heater broke.  So our housemate had some plumbers come over and install a tankless heater.

Two plumbers showed up one morning to do the install.  One was a slender young man, he looked younger than me, and one was a man probably in his later 40’s early 50’s.

Since the tankless water heater is heated by gas, it required running new piping from the gas meter at the front left corner of the house to the tankless at the right rear of the house.  There is a very small crawl space under the house.  So small that the termite guy that just came to the home said he couldn’t even inspect and would just have to spray because he couldn’t get under there.

I could hear the older plumber trying to convince the younger plumber to take short cuts.  Just run the pipe over the back steps, don’t crawl under there.  “You don’t make enough money to be crawling under this persons house!” he exclaimed.  The young plumber quietly persisted that he would crawl under the house and pipe it correctly.

It was interesting to hear voiced a battle that rages daily in everyone’s mind.  Do I do what is right which takes more work and time, or do I take the easy route?

The older plumber actually got kicked off the job half way through the day.  At the end of the evening, after 8+ hours of work the tankless was installed.   The young man was covered in dirt from crawling under the house.  I thanked him for his hard work and shook his hand and he smiled.  There’s something that lets you sleep well at night, knowing you’ve done what is right and have worked hard.

I ordered a pizza because I didn’t realize they’d be working all day and I’d be at home with the gas and water cut off.  When I answered the door an older gentleman with grey hair, delivered my pizza.  It wasn’t your usual teen/twenty delivery guy.  He made eye contact and handed me my pizza which shook in his hands.  “Did you get all of your sauces?” he asked me making sure he was thorough.  “I did.” I responded.  I wanted to ask him why he was delivering pizzas at his age, but didn’t.  I gave him my money and said he could keep the change.  He stopped, looked me in the eye and thanked me for the tip and told me to have a nice day.  Noticeable nuances, I took note of.

I also sold my camera lens on craigslist that day as well.  I kept getting text messages from the buyer referring to me as “dude.”  He let me know that he was waiting on his girlfriend to get out of work so that he could get a ride.  He also let me know that he could meet me anywhere because no distance would stand between him and his dream of being a professional photographer.

He texted me to let me know he had arrived.  I opened our front door.  He was smoking a cigarette and didn’t want to put it out and fumbled with it.  He ended up putting it on the cement stairs and said “don’t worry, I’ll make sure I get it.”  He came inside to see the lens, the living room instantly filled with the smell of smoke.  “You’re selling this for real cheap, you know how much these things are going for right?” he asked.  I wasn’t sure why he would say that if he was about to buy it.  I was glad he thought he was getting such a great deal.  He thought they were being sold for double what I was asking.  I had already done my research and the going price for the lens used was about $50 more than I was asking.  I wanted it to sell and that’s why I listed for what I did.

After trying out the lens, he whipped out some cash and left.  The next morning I found his barely smoked cigarette on the front steps.

All four of those men left an impression on me that day.  Enough of an impression for me to share it with you.  It was interesting to observe the 4 very different men who came to my house that day.

Total Truth

Currently, I’m reading Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy.  I have a weekly phone call with a friend in Ohio and we discuss our take aways from the book.

Nancy was a student of Francis Schaffer which is fun because Jess is reading the complete works of Francis Schaffer.

I feel as though I need a primer in philosophy as I read this book, the first 3 chapters she goes through and discusses how various thoughts throughout history have gotten to us where we are today.

It makes me wish I would have had a classical education where I was taught more, who knows if I would have actually paid attention back then.  But as far as history goes we never studied ancient history.  We had modern world history, US history and American government.

This book was recommended by Steve Sprauge the headmaster of the Classical Christian school in Kailua.  Please check out the interview I did with him for Doing Ministry Well it’s one of my favorite interviews.

A lot of the book feels over my head, but it’s making me want to learn more and is helping expose some of the lies I’m believing in my own life simply by being raised in a post modern culture.

I highly recommend it.

Have you ever thought about worldview?  Or read any books on it?  Let us know in the comments.

One Touch

Lately I was writing all of my blogs in a pages document, mac’s version of word.

I had around 20 blogs ready to go.

The problem was that’s where they stayed, in a pages document in my documents folder.  And they never saw the light of day.

I’d open it up, and convince myself that none of it was worth publishing.

So now I’m going to only write in my wordpress editor.  And I won’t leave unfinished drafts.

I remember calling a successful businessman to ask him questions about productivity, and he talked about the one touch rule.  I’m trying to implement that in multiple areas of my life.

Why put a dish in the sink to wash it later?  If you’re there just wash it.  It’s more work to come back to it and do it later.

Why write things and expect to come back and edit them up later and then post them.  Do it with one touch.

What in your life would benefit from the one touch rule?  Let us know in the lonely comment section.

Linky Wednesday 10.28.15

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

http://jimjessbaker.com/links-wednesday-10-28-15

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I’m feeling a lot better thanks for the prayers.  Got some blog posts in the queue ready to go.  Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing!  Those things help keep me motivated!

Started vermicomposting again.  Started up a worm bin.  Composting is brilliant.  Literally trash to treasure.

I also searched through a whole box of half dollars and found 1 90% half and 2 40% halves.  So much fun!

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I watched this video and it really inspired me!  The video is about a year old but The Urban Farming Guys are doing amazing work.

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Bought a solar camping shower after so many days without hot water when the hot water tank was being replaced.  Figured if there was ever a bad storm that cut out the utilities at least we could shower.  Ten bucks I hope I never have to use, but if I do, I’ll be glad I have it.

 

 

If you’re looking for a super easy way to help us out, click on this link and bookmark it as your amazon homepage.  Shop as normal and at no extra cost to you we will get a small percentage of your sale.

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dmwfinal copy

If you haven’t already check out this weeks episode of Doing Ministry Well!  We interview our youngest guest yet.  Joshua Parsons was raised as a MK in Asia and has gone into Burma multiple times on medical mission.  Check it out.   If you haven’t yet PLEASE rate, comment and subscribe on Itunes to keep up with the most recent episodes!

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Articles I shared this week

::GULP::

How Much Money You Need To Save Each Day To Become A Millionaire By Age 65

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Are you liking Wednesday links?  Did you find any of these links useful?  Share with us some of the links you’ve been finding interesting this week!  Let us know in the comments!

30 Year Old Wisdom

I’m almost to the end of my 30th year.

I can’t remember if I’ve written this anywhere and shared it yet.  But here it is again if I did.

I feel a lot wiser in my 30’s.  But it’s not some sage wisdom, it’s simply learning from the hardheadedness of my twenties.  In so many areas I’ve tried and tried the same thing, over and over again, always expecting different results.  Tired of bruising my forehead, I’ve realized if it didn’t work after a decade of trying it the same way then it’s probably not going to work at all.

I’ve heard it said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So maybe my thirties is not about wisdom but giving up insanity.

Do you know how sometimes you will “know” a truth, but it doesn’t really click?

Something clicked for me the other day.

The utopia I’m chasing does not exist.

There will always be resistance, to borrow from Pressfields War of Art.

I so long to wake up every day with ease, inspired and energized and have productive days 100% of the time.  But that’s a dream world.  It’s a fantasy.

I can picture the ideal environment where work would be easy.  But it wouldn’t’ be called work if it were easy.

When we recognize the fantasy aspects of our dreams we can get back to reality.

Do I think there are disciplines that I could implement that would aide in a higher percentage of productive, energized and inspired days?  Yes.

Do those implications require HARD WORK right now to battle the status quo?  Yes.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to write this past couple of weeks and can’t get anything out. This time I sat down to write and things started flowing.

Start.

Bruce F JordanOctober 26, 2015 - 3:18 pm

The adage goes “Older and wiser,” is true, however usually for the ‘Ways of the World.’ Look forward to your 40s and 50s, and, if like me, you’ll really feel things “Come together.” Trust me. You’ve got a great and promising future Jim. Can’t wait to chow down on fried turkey. Blssings, Bruce

Bruce F JordanOctober 28, 2015 - 3:42 am

The adage goes “Older and wiser,” is true, however usually for the ‘Ways of the World.’ Look forward to your 40s and 50s, and, if like me, you’ll really feel things “Come together.” Trust me. You’ve got a great and promising future Jim. Can’t wait to chow down on fried turkey. Blssings, Bruce

Life On All 8 Cylinders

Today a thought came to my mind.

Life requires you to run on all 8 cylinders.

My first car was a v6.  It had some get up and go, it was a dodge intrepid.  Since then I’ve owned all 4 cylinder cars.  My best friend growing up had a v8 in high school.  A champagne colored Cadillac.  We once got the gas pedal stuck to the floor on a road that was only 30 miles an hour.

The rest of my thought was that I feel like I’m running on maybe 1 and on a good day 2 cylinders lately.  It’s strange, when life requires the most discipline you don’t feel as though you have the energy to give it.

If you want the key to discouraging me, tell me what I’m doing has no purpose.  But I don’t need you to tell me that, when these fall blues come my mind breathes that lie to me every few seconds.  The blog the podcast, they aren’t what you’d thought they would be, they aren’t matching up to the ideal you had in your mind.  I’m guessing every dreamer can relate to this stage of the game.

I’ve shared this with you before.  My biggest struggle and hurdle to overcome is not believing the lie that screams what I’m putting my hand to is not worth it.

I feel best when I believe the work I’m doing has an impact, that it’s valuable and benefiting the world.  That’s when I do my best work.

When I accept the lie that what I’m doing is meaningless, then every task becomes an overwhelming burden.  The easier route is to disengage, withdrawal, and try to slap bandaids on your hurts in the form of whatever will make you “feel” better.  Sugary caffeinated beverages in hope that you’ll find or feel inspiration in that.

Maybe you can relate.  Or maybe this will just give you insight in how to pray for me in this season.  Luckily I know this is just a season.  And soon I’ll be back at it, inspired, dreaming even bigger dreams, producing work, and feeling on cloud 9.

JoannaOctober 23, 2015 - 10:38 am

Praying for you my friend.

Jim BakerOctober 23, 2015 - 11:29 am

thanks Joanna! Articulating what was going on and getting it published help propel me forward a lot. Getting unstuck requires movement.