Plodding
Posted: Sep 29, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

I was thinking about an event that happened in my life that I thought you may find a bit humorous. Several years ago, I worked with an organization called Master’s Commission. We trained college aged students for future involvement in ministry. One of the parts of that experience that I remember the most was traveling. We traveled all over the place. I have seen some incredible things in my life and most of them were while I was in Master’s Commission. I have been to the Grand Canyon several times, flown over Mt. Everest, seen castles in Ireland and visited the largest church in the world in South Korea. I owe those experiences to Master’s Commission. I remember one specific trip that I lead to Oklahoma. I have lots of friends from Oklahoma and I always looked forward to that trip every year. In Master’s Commission, we always traveled in a 25 passenger “short bus.” Because I was usually the leader of the trips that we took, I frequently was the one responsible for most of the driving. I have a cdl liscence to this day to prove it!

Being a male, I very strongly dislike asking for directions. If I get lost, it’s either find my way on my own or get further lost. One night after a service, I was taking our students to their host homes that they were staying with while we were doing ministry there. Believe it or not, I made a wrong turn and ended up in the middle of a field. I swear that I thought there was a road there. The worst part was that it was rainy that day so the further I drove into the field, the more stuck in mud we got until eventually we couldn’t move at all. To make matters worse, I was pulling a double axle trailer that was now also stuck in the mud. I was less than pleased. We had to get out of the bus, detach the trailer and call a tow company. After it was all said and done, you should have seen the pile of mud that was left at the local car wash! Needless to say we are never allowed to visit the city of Lawton, Oklahoma again!

One of the things that I remember the most about that experience was how thick the mud was. In order to walk, you had to pick your knees up literally to your waist just to move a step. Sometimes our walk with God is that way. I remember watching the cars drive by on the road as we were stuck in the mud saying, “must be nice.” So often we find ourselves in ruts when it comes to our walk with God. We see others around us flying by with seemingly little trouble and here we are knee deep in a mess. All of us experience those times in our life. What separates many is the ability to plod through the mud. If you don’t plod through the mud, you are never going to get out of it. Getting the bus out of that mud took a lot of effort! And sometimes, getting out of a spiritual rut that we are in takes a lot of effort as well. Stop looking at the people that have it easier than you and start picking your knees up and plodding through your circumstance. The only way to make it out is to put one foot in front of the other and continue pursuing God. God doesn’t care if we are sprinting, crawling, walking or plodding. He just wants us to pursue him. Keep plodding and take it from me, if you are ever in Oklahoma and don’t know where you are going, stop and ask for directions. Otherwise you may be knee deep in some serious mud.

With Expectancy!

Corey
cbaker@famfm.com


The people from Tekoa
Posted: Sep 22, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

Nehemiah is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I always tell people that are struggling with the Word of God and not quite sure where to start reading to read Nehemiah. The book is so practical and I feel like I can identify with Nehemiah in a lot of ways. Nehemiah is the story of a remnant of Israelites that were exiled in Babylon coming back to Israel to rebuild the walls of the city that had been torn down nearly 100 years prior. Nehemiah led an expedition of Israelites who had a passion to go back to their homeland to restore the honor of the once great nation of Israel. Israel was conquered by the Babylonians nearly 100 years prior as a result of their disobedience to God. They were led away to be slaves in the great nation of Babylon. It is here that we find the stories of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as well as Daniel.

After being a slave in Babylon, Nehemiah decided it was time to go back to his homeland. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king which meant it was his job to taste the food and wine of the king to make sure it was poisoned. Great job huh? It’s no wonder the king trusted Nehemiah and let him go. So Nehemiah gets a group of people together and makes a 3 month long hike from Babylon (present day Iraq) to Israel. When he got there, he found the place in shambles! He began to work together with the remnant that was already there along with those that came with him. Brick by brick, they began to build the wall. His strategy was simple. Each person was responsible for building the portion of the wall that was in front of his own house. Nehemiah chapter 3 tells the story. In verse 5 of chapter 3, we hear about a specific family that was “helping” with the wall. Their family name was Tekoa and this is what the Bible has to say about them.

“Next were the people from Tekoa, though their leaders refused to work with the construction supervisors.”

Think about this. Here is an entire nation of people pitching in together to rebuild the wall. Their logic was simple. If every person simply does their part, we will rebuild the wall in no time. Why does it always seem like there are people who are totally willing to whine and complain and let others do their work for them. I think the reason that the family from Tekoa was so complacent was because of fear. They were afraid of getting attacked from those who opposed the rebuilding of the wall. When adversity comes your way, you have 2 options. You can complain or you can conquer. The people from Tekoa complained, what about you?

With Expectancy!

Corey
cbaker@famfm.com


Life Insurance
Posted: Sep 15, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

Today was a dreaded day. I have thought a lot about this day from time to time and have always cringed. When Addison was born, I knew that this was something that had to happen. Based on the title of this blog, you have probably already figured out what I am talking about. Today, we finalized our life insurance policy. Technically, we have had some level of coverage for the past year or so. I wanted to make sure that if for some reason something happened to Julie or I, that Addison would be taken care of. Today, however was different. Today, we discussed some things with our insurance agent that most people don’t like to talk about. Things like, if you die, who gets custody of Addison. Or probably my favorite, how much do you think your life is worth? $200,000? $500,00? $1,000,000?

The purpose of life insurance is very simple. And just for the record, if you don’t have life insurance and especially if you have not yet made out a living will, I highly reccomend you doing so as soon as possible. Life insurance is in place to take care of loved ones in the case of an emergency. For example, God forbid something happens to me today and I slip into eternity, I want to make sure Julie and Addison are taken care of. So, because of that, we pay a relatively small premium every month to ensure coverage in the case of tradgedy. Now I understand that most of us understand the concept of life insurance but one thing is also true, nobody likes to talk about it. We don’t like to talk about it because if someone is receiving money from life insurance, it’s because somebody very important has died.

Do you think a lot about eternity? When I was growing up, I remember continually asking my dad how long we were going to be in heaven. I can’t wrap my head around eternity. The thought of being somehwere for an infinite amount of time is completely astounding. The older I get, the more I realize that this earthly body will not be here forever. When a person is younger, they tend to think that death will happen to everyone except them. The Bible says that it is appointed to all men that they die, and after death comes the judgement.

That sounds like a very depressing thing and truth be told it is depressing……without Jesus. Without Jesus, death and judgement are the two most feared words in our language. With Jesus, it’s the opposite. While we long to be alive for as long as we can in order to impact people for eternity, our inner souls cry out, “even so come quickly Lord Jesus!” For we know just as it says in Psalms, “Better is one day in our courts Lord than a thousand elsewhere.” With Jesus as our Lord and Savior, that is the best life insurance policy that you can have both for this life and the next.

With Expectancy!

Corey
cbaker@famfm.com


Don’t believe your own press
Posted: Sep 8, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

When I was in high school, I was a part of our school’s journalism department. I was the sports editor. Before being called into the ministry, I had some level of interest in being a sports writer. Aside from lunch, English was probably the subject that I enjoyed the most as a high school student. I loved going to the sporting events, taking pictures and writing the articles for the student yearbook that came out at the spring of every year. I still remember my teacher (Mrs. Jenkins) told us to keep a copy of all of the stories that we wrote for our very own string book. A string book is simply a compilition of work completed by an author. So, as an 18 year old kid, I had my very own string book. I actually still have it to this day. A few days ago, I pulled it out and began to read through some of the things that I wrote back in high school. Wow is the only word that comes to mind at this point. Let’s just say that my view on reality now as compared to when I was a senior in high school are a little bit different.

I was a senior in high school in 1998 and at that time, the internet was just coming onto the scene. Information, though easily accessible then was nowhere near as readily available as it is today. In today’s age, if you do something newsworthy, it can literally be spread around the globe in a matter of seconds. Have you ever realized how obsessed with celebrities we are in this country? Don’t believe me? Have you ever looked at the magazines that are in the check out line waiting for you at the grocery store? They are all about which celebrity is sleeping with who and who is having who’s baby and so on. To be honesty with you…..I don’t care who Jessica Simpson is dating. I am not interested in knowing how Brad Pitt’s and Angelina Jolie’s relationship is doing. I have a hard enough time keeping Corey Baker on track to worry about that kind of stuff.

Living in such a high profile position must be very challenging. To have every move and decision you make critiqued by a cast of millions is a sobering thought. I read an article recently about Tiger Woods who is by far the most popular golfer and is quite possibly the most popular athlete in the world. When asked about the key to his success he said, “I never read to much into what the press says about me.” To put it a different way, my youth pastor always used to say, “Don’t belive your own press.” Think about that for a second. Here is the best athlete in all of the world saying….”Don’t believe your own press.”

Believing your own press is a slippery slope. Believing all of the good things people say about you can lead to pride and belieing all of the bad things people say can lead to serious depression. There is one opinion that should matter to you more than any other and that is the opinion of God. God thinks you are pretty important. He sent His only son to die for you so that you could be free. The creator of the universe knows your name and is passionately in love with you. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather know what God thinks about me more than anyone else.

With Expectancy!

Corey
cbaker@famfm.com


8 years old
Posted: Sep 1, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

Do you remember being 8 years old? That was almost 22 years ago for me. Being 8 is a very interesting time for a young child especially for a little boy. At age 8, I went to my first Cubs game, had my first crush, started playing organized baseball, got rejected by my first crush, went into depression because my first crush cut her hair short and on and on the list goes. One thing is for sure, at age 8 I was still at a very moldable age. I still had a whole lot to learn. My version of reality wasn’t exactly accurate. I remember having a conversation with a kid in the school yard when I was 8 about where babies came from. My honest answer was, “through prayer.” True story. At age 18, I learned that wasn’t really where babies came from. Just kidding….I did learn a few years earlier than that:)

I thought about this earlier today when reading through the book of II Chronicles. II Chronicles 34 talks Josiah who was one of the kings of Judah. Josiah was 8 years old when he became king over all of Judah. You can read about him in II Chronicles chapters 34-36. Think about that for a second? The ruler of the nation of Judah at that time was 8 years old. Do you have an 8 year old or do you remember being 8? Can you imagine your 8 year old son being in charge of cooking dinner for the family let alone running the entire country?!?!

Yet the Bible says that God used Josiah to do great things and in the grand scheme of things, Josiah was probably one of the greatest kings in the history of Judah. God can use whoever He wants, however He wants, whenever He wants and that includes you. Don’t ever disqualify yourself or anybody else for that matter when it comes to being used by God. God is looking for people that are willing to be obedient. He doesn’t look at our age, looks, iq, social status, 401k, or color of our skin. God looks at our hearts. In Josiah, God found a young man who was willing to be molded into the image that He had for him. Imagine what it must have been like for Josiah to sit on the throne of Judah? His crown was probably too big. His feet didn’t touch the floor. He may have needed “help” to use the restroom. Yet God used him to be the leader of His people. I am so grateful that God is not a respecter of persons. There is hope for guys like me that way.

With Expectancy!

Corey
cbaker@famfm.com