DVR
Posted: Jan 27, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

I officially welcome myself to the 21st century. Yesterday was a bittersweet day in the Baker house. I have long been a fan of Direct tv simply because it offers the MLB package which enables me to watch the Cubs more. Yesterday we switched to Embark because we already have our internet and phone through them so we figured a bundle deal would be much more cost effective. First off let me say, I don’t watch nearly as much tv as I used to. I have made a committment to read much more in 2009 which has significantly cut down on the amount of tv that I watch. This past Saturday, I turned the tv on at around 6 oclock pm and realized that was the first time the tv had been on all day in our house and I have to say, I was pretty proud of myself. Having the tv on seems to be kind of a habit even if there is nothing on to watch. I am happy to say that is no longer the case. I do however, still have a few shows on tv that I watch whenever I get the chance. Obviously, when baseball season comes around I will watch the Cubs as often as I get the chance. I am also a huge fan of the shows lost and 24. Last night, 24 was on and I got to watch it utilizing DVR which we have with our new satellite system. WOW! I cannot believe we waited this long to get DVR. For those of you that don’t know, DVR is a device that allows you to recored tv programs without the use of a vcr/dvd player as well as pause live tv. If you are watching a program and get interrupted by the phone or your 6 month old daughter that is supposed to be sleeping, you can simply pause the program and catch up during the commercials. My life will never be the same again. Ok, maybe that is overstating the importance and need for DVR just a tad. Have you ever wished you could push the pause button on your life? I don’t know about you but life especially now that I am married and have a child seems to be flying by. This June, my wife and I will celebrate being married for 5 years. My daughter will be 1 year old in just 6 months. I know that down the line when my wife and I have more kids and more responsibilities and pressures, this will only accelerate. I remember as a kid being so impatient for the next stage of life. When I was in jr. high I couldn’t wait for high school. As a highschooler, college seemed like it couldn’t come fast enough. When in college, I longed to join the work force and so on. I encourage you to enjoy the season of life that you currently are in. Don’t be in to much of a hurry to get to that “next place” in your life. While you may be facing problems and difficulty at this stage in your life, I can assure you that life doesn’t get any easier with the advancement of time. As the old addage says, “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.” While that may seem a bit overwhelming, we are encouraged by the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:30 when He says “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Take a few minutes today to press the pause button in your life and thank God for the wonderful gift that He has given us called life.

With Expectancy!

Corey


Inauguration
Posted: Jan 20, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

Today was an important day in the history of our nation. Today, we witnessed as Barack Obama became the 44th president of the country that we love and cherish so much. I have been anticipating watching this event for quite some time. It seems as though more hype and attention has gone into this election than in any other that I can remember in recent memory. When I turned on the news at 7:00 this morning, NBC was showing pictures of scores of people lining up to witness the inaguragtion that was still 4 hours away from starting. I watched as these people huddled together, freezing and trying to protect themselves from the elements. I actually know personally several people who were in attendance and what a site that must have been. I knew that the actual inauguration was going to begin around 11:00 am or so so I got online to see if I could watch live coverage which I discovered that I was one of millions of others who had a similair idea. I’m sure the internet companies were jammed during this time as millions gathered around office internet work stations to witness history in the making. As a pastor, I try not to get involved in politics to much. I believe it is my job to tell people about Jesus and that is what I focus the majority of my energy on. While I can say that I certainly do not agree with Barack Obama on all of his policies and positions I respect his office higly and will pray for him often. As I watched the inauguartion today, I was greatly encouraged by the civility of the process of electing a new leader. In a world that is filled with turmoil and disagreement on just about everything there is to disagree about, it is great to see that for at least one day we can put our differences aside and focus on what is best for us as a country. There is no doubt that our country faces significant challenges in it’s future. We need a leader filled with the wisdom of God to help us navigate through the potential murky waters that lie ahead. I pray Barack Obama is that man. Let us continue to uplift our leaders of this great nation with the understanding that no person advances to any form of leadership except through the hands of a sovereign God. I pray God’s richest blessings on our newly elected president and for this great country that I get the chance to call home.

With Expectancy!

Corey


American Idol
Posted: Jan 13, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

Tonight launches the newest season of American Idol. I have to be honest about the fact that I have never really cared for that show. Probably the main reason being that music has never greatly interested me. I was never in choir and I tried to play the trombone in 5th grade but that only lasted for about 2 weeks. When I am driving in my car, I almost exculsively listen to talk radio. Most of the time, I listen to sports talk but I do enjoy listening to the news, political analysists as well as sermon cd’s. There is the rare exception when I plug in the ipod to listen to my small collection of music but that is mostly when I am driving long distances. American Idol is a very interesting show. I consider myself a fringe fan but to be extremely honest with you, my favorite part of the show is the first few episodes of each season. Each year, there are people that come on this show that have absolutely no business singing profesionally. While obviously done for rating purposes to pull people like me into the show, I can’t believe that amazing singers like Devoon Rahming don’t get picked to be on the show yet these people that do get chosen make me sound great (which is saying a lot.) This whole concept got me thinking….why do I and we as a society enjoy watching people fail so much? I get embarrased for some of these people singing sometimes. Don’t you just sometimes watch these people sing and think…my goodness I am glad I am not you right now. I love when the person just gets done singing and they have completely bombed the audition while the judges just sit there and stare at them blankly as if saying….”are you kidding me?” This isn’t only true with music, but with sports as well. There are those that would much rather see a certain team lose than their favorite team win. For example a yankees fan could get more excitement out of seeing the red sox lose than in seeing the yankees win. I want to be a person that sees the best in people. I respect a person who is willing to take a risk and try out for a show dispite the fact that they may not be the greatest singer. More importantly, I respect a person who is willing to work hard at developing and making themselves better. Every year during American Idol, there are always people that try out for the show that also tried out in past years without success. I always root for them. I love seeing someone who keeps trying. There have been people who have tried out for that show several times to no avail…yet this year, you will see them back again. That inspires me. Failure is a part of life. What seperates us is how we view it. Are we like the American Idol contestant who fails and quits or like the one that keeps on trying. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in Micah 7:8 which says: “Do not gloat over me my enemy. For though I have fallen, I will rise again and though I sit in darkness, the Lord Himself will be my light.” If you have fallen, keep trying. And if you do you never know….you could be the next American Idol.

With Expectancy!

Corey


New Years Resolutions
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 in goals, new years resolution, vision | 1 Comment |

A few days ago, I was sitting at the kitchen table talking to my wife while she was looking through the ad’s in the paper. I am not much of a newspaper guy. My internet home page is the Chicago Sun Times but I have to admit that I follow it mainly because of my interest in the Chicago Sports Teams (Bears and Cubs.) As Julie was going through the advertisements, we were both stunned at the amount of workout equipment that was being advertised. Not only that, there was also an abudance of health foods being advertised as well as running shoes. There seems to be a renewed enthusiasm amongst people to get in shape and eat right. I have never been one to diet much. I probably do need to watch what I eat more but that is another issue. New Years seems to be the time to start fresh. I imagine gym memberships are at an all time high in January. Health Food stores probably have long lines and crowded aisles filled with people trying to eat right. Sadly, the enthusiasm for most generally fades after the first month or so. Not because the intention is bad, simply because taking the path of least resistance is a challenge. Nobody wants to wake up when it is dark out and go to a gym when it is still dark out. Sometimes, going through the drivethrough at McDonald’s is just plain easier than fixing the salad and baked potato. Making commitments is never an easy thing to do. I know there are many “new years resolutions” that I have made in the past that have fizzled along the way. While I wish I and others would stick to the commitments made at the beginning of the year, I do respect a person who is willing to try. I have heard several people in the past few days slam others for attempting a new years resolution that they know they won’t keep. “Why attempt something you know you aren’t going to finish….” is a pretty common line. My response to that is summed up best by a sign i saw in a friends office yesterday. It read…”you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I respect a person who is willing to make an attempt towards making their lives better. Have you made any goals for yourself for this new year??? If not, why? Push Yourself. Buy the running shoes, read the book, turn off the t.v. get the gym membership. Make it your goal to push yourself this next year. I personally have made it my goal to read at least one book every week this next year. What are your goals? If you haven’t thought about that yet for this year, go for it!

With Expectancy!

Corey