growing pains
Posted: May 28, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

Do you remember watching “Growing Pains” starring Kirk Cameron? That show was huge when I was growing up. It was a show about a family with 3 teenagers and the “growing pains” that they go through. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the show, I enjoy the premise and remember watching occasionlly. I thought about that a few days ago after listening to Addison cry for a few minutes. Addison is teething and those of you who have children know that isn’t a fun time to say the least. She is constantly chewing on things and seemingly trying to do anything to bring a touch of relief to her incoming teeth. On top of that, teething is often occompanied by cold like symtems which causes babies to have problems breething. Not a whole lot of fun. I think it is safe to say that Addison is experiencing some growing pains right now. You know what is so interesting???? Addison doesn’t realize at this point in her life how important teeth are. Can you imagine life with no teeth? All she knows is that teething is not a fun experience. Yet after the process of teething is over, she will be able to experience food that she hasn’t gotten to experience yet. However, because she doesn’t know the end result, it makes it much more difficult to experience.

I can relate to that. There have been so many times in my life when it seems like I am going through spiritual growing pains. Sometimes it seems like the closer you get to God, the more difficult things seem to become. Yet we know that the promise of God is that He will never leave us nor forsake us. So I guess the question is why does God allow spiritual growing pains? The answer is that He allows those things so that our faith in Him can strengthen. I don’t work out but I do know that the only way muscles can grow is if they are worked. It doesn’t just happen on it’s own. In the same way, we cannot expect to have our relationship with God grow unless the flesh dies and Christ grows in our life. As it says in John 3:30, “He must become greater and greater and I must become less and less.”

Are you going through growing pains in your walk with Christ? Has life been challenging? Have you recently asked God why He is allowing you to go through the things that you are? Be encouraged today knowing that though things may be challenging now, it will not always be this way. Just as the teething process is necessary for growing, so sometimes are trials in our lives. They help draw us closer to the heart of God.

With expectancy!

Corey
cbaker@famfm.com


Corn on the Cob
Posted: May 19, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

Ok…so I need to share a story with you that happened to me sometime ago at one of our local nursing homes here in Fort Myers. Our church has a tremendous ministry outreach to those in nursing homes and one particular Tuesday, the gentleman that lead the weekly church service at a facility near Health Park Hospital was out of town. I have always been a person who likes to challenge myself so when it was presented in the staff meeting which one of us would be willing to take on the assignment, I cheerfully accepted. Having not done anything like this before, I truthfully had no idea what to expect. This particular nursing home was an alzheimer’s facility. For those of you who aren’t aware, Alheimer’s is a terrible disease which affects the memory. These dear people were sufferning but it was such an honor to spend an hour with them talking about Jesus.

When I got there, they began to bring the patients in one at a time finally filling up the room with about 20 or so. During my 30 minute talk, I read them a story from Max Lucado entitled “You are Special.” They were really enjoying the story until out of nowhere, a sweet lady in a wheel chair in the back of the room shouted at me asking…

“Do you want any corn on the cob?”

Truthfully, I was a bit taken aback. I really had no idea what to do. Master’s Commission didn’t give me training on what to do if someone asks you for corn on the cob in the middle of a sermon. Pollitely, I said “Of course I would.” As my talk continued, this same lady kept asking me over and over if I wanted any corn on the cob until at one point, a different lady in the group stood up and told her to be quiet. At that moment, I literally thought a fight was going to break out. I swear to you when I say that the nurses had to brake them up. The irony of the story is that the book that I was reading was all about how we are supposed to be nice to each other and see the best in people.

I got in my car and drove away after shaking hands with each and every person and just sat in my car for a few minutes. I truthfully didn’t know what emotion to feel. On one hand, I felt so terrible for these people that were suffering from such a terrible disease. On the other hand, I could not stop laughing at the story finally driving away telling myself, “this could only happen to someone like me.” Have your emotions ever been torn before? Maybe part of you is sad and the other part happy. Maybe part of you feels compassion and the other part anger. One of the greatest gifts that God gives us is the ability to feel. God created emotion. Did you ever realize that? They are a gift from Him.

With Expectancy!

Corey
cbaker@famfm.com


Choose your own adventure
Posted: May 7, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

Growing up, do you remember reading the choose your own adventure books? These books allowed you to decide how you want the book to progress. After reading a chapter, the book will give you two options of what you think should happen. If you choose option A, you will go to a certain page and if you choose B, you would go to a different page. Either way you go, something different would happen to you. I found these to be very enjoyable growing up and that I had a bit of say on what was going to happen.

I was reminded of this while in Orlando for a conference this past week. While in Barnes and Noble, I purchased a new book that caught my eye in the store. I was very intrigued by the summary of the book which in a nutshell was about the incredible grace of God. It was a shorter book, (which is nice) and I didn’t think of opening it to check for any mistakes. When you buy a new book, correct me if I’m wrong but you buy it believing all of the pages that are supposed to be there are there. Not so with this book. When I got back to the hotel and began reading, I realized that the first page of the book was page 57. It then went to page 114 before starting back with page 57 again. I was extremely confused. I honestly thought that this was one of those choose your own adventure books at first. I thought perhaps the author said “you know, everybody starts their books at page 1, I’m going to do things a bit different and start at page 57.”

As it turns out, the book was an error. I fully expected to walk back in to the store and have them tell me that I had found the secret “mistake book” in the store and that I would win a billion dollars. Just in case you are wondering, that did not happen. They did exchange the book for me for one that had correct page numbers and told me they were sorry for the inconvenience. I guess that will have to do:)

I don’t know about you but I like things to be a certain way. I am a fairly organized and am a checklist type of person. I think sometimes we expect God to be the same way. One of my favorite movie lines ever comes from Rudy. Rudy is a kid from Chicago who has a dream to play football for the University of Notre Dame. The only problem is, he isn’t big enough to play football or smart enough to get into Notre Dame. After trying several times to get accepted, Rudy is sitting in a chapel talking to a prist. Rudy tells the priest, “maybe I haven’t prayed enough.” The priest says, “In 35 years of religious studies, I have come up with only two hard concrete facts….there is a God, and I’m not Him.”

Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” There is nothing against to do lists, organization and the like. However, we must never fail to forget that our lives are in the palm of a sovereign God who has a specific plan for our lives. And though sometimes our adventure doesn’t turn out the way we think it is going to, He is still on the throne and knows exactly what He is doing with you.

With Expectancy!

Corey
cbaker@famfm.com