Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2 lessons I learned while driving around in the rain | Part 1

taken in Kona in 2009 

This morning two very important lessons were reaffirmed in my life through normal every day occurrences.  Today I will share one, and Friday I will share the other.  

It was sprinkling this morning when it was time for my Wednesday morning walk with my buddy Mike.  My initial thought was we should just brave it and walk, it wasn't raining all that hard.  And then I remembered, the path that we take is about 2 miles out and back.  A light sprinkle adds up over time.  We would probably be drenched when we finished our walk.  I didn't want to go to my next appointment soaked, so we just hung out instead.  It made me realize this: 

Little things have a LARGE impact over a long period of time.  

This works both positively and negatively.  Throwing a little bit of extra money into your savings account will add up greatly over time.  Whereas, drinking one more soda a day could surprise you with a few more pounds than you wanted.  

On a personal note:
Here's to vulnerable blog posting.  I went to the doctor yesterday... there's some things I need to work on.  I was aware of them, and its obvious what I need to work on if you know me.  I need to lose a lot of weight.  Losing weight will bring my blood pressure and my cholesterol down.  I realized as the doctor was talking to me that this aspect of my health really IS in my control.  If I get down to an average BMI I can reduce the risk of a lot of serious illnesses.  Pray for me :)  

I didn't get to this weight overnight but I can make little changes that over a long period of time that will lead to a large impact.  

Engage:  What are some of the little changes you have made in your life that have had a big impact over time?  What are some changes you need to make?  Let us know in the comments.  

jim baker 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 February General Update BIG NEWS

photo taken in kailua kona 2008 during my photography school

We're going back to HAWAII to staff YWAM's School of Biblical Studies! 

Getting out of debt 
In December of 2011, Jess and I paid off our last bit of debt.  A big reason we wanted to get out of debt was so that we could serve God more freely without the financial burden of large interest bearing payments.  We paid off over 30k (mostly school loans) in 2.5 years following the Dave Ramsey method and a lot of miraculous provision from God.

Asked to pray
The same week we made our last payment, we were approached by some leaders in YWAM, a volunteer missions organization that we have served with before.  We were asked to pray about the possibility of coming on staff with their school of biblical studies.

After a lot of thought and prayer, discussion with others and a retreat focused on making this decision we decided that God was indeed calling us to go.

We're going!
So we leave March 10th (Jess' birthday!) for Hawaii to staff the school of biblical studies and will return to the mainland in 2013!

More info
Here's more info on the school --> School of Biblical Studies  I will post again on Thursday giving a lot more detail on what this all entails, but I wanted to let you all in on the BIG NEWS!

YWAM is a volunteer missions organization and all staff members raise support to do what they do.  If you're interested in partnering with us financially, you can give using the paypal button below.  You will be giving to our ministry the BAKERS ministry which is a 501c3 to help us with our living expenses while in Hawaii.  (All donations ARE tax deductible)   If you are interested in partnering with us on a monthly basis please contact us jimjessbaker (at) gmail (dot) com and we can set you up using ACH.

If you have questions or comments let us know! Have you been to Hawaii?  Tell us about it in the comments!

jim baker

Monday, February 27, 2012

3 Reasons why YOU should start blogging!

You, whoever you are, should start a blog and start blogging.  
If you have a blog that is collecting dust, then its time to resurrect that puppy.
I'm calling you out Mark Krebs (blog last updated October 2010)  

This baby gecko agrees, you NEED to start a blogging.

Its kind of the pot calling the kettle black here, since this blog has had a couple of starts and stops. In 2011 I only posted twice.  But Aaron Reinard has taken the hint, and we're dusting off our blogs and giving it a go.

Im learning that if you set a goal, even if you start and stop, you will have accomplished more than if you would have if you never set out on that goal.  And who knows, maybe this time will be the time it sticks.

3 reasons you should start blogging.

1. It's an easy to read, fun way to remember life and share with others
I really got blessed the other night by simply reading through some of my previous posts.  I was able to look back through this past few years, and see what was going in in my life.  It caused me to be thankful for the things that have happened.

2.  It will help you communicate more clearly 
The very practice of writing regularly will help you to communicate more clearly.  I'm sure that if you get in the habit of writing more often, that you will naturally be able to say what you want to say more clearly and concisely.

3.  Your life and your experiences matter.  Share them!   
Michael Hyatt says not to blog about yourself unless you are a celebrity.  While I totally understand what he is saying, his audience is professional bloggers.  I'm encouraging hobby blogging.  The very reason I started this blog was so that people could get to know us digitally.

Check out Life In A Day to see a 90 minute documentary of how captivating everyones normal every day life is!

Have you ever thought about starting a blog?  What is your biggest hesitation?  Why has your blog started collecting dust?  Let us know in the comments!

jim baker

Friday, February 24, 2012

Easy changes to upgrade your blog! | NEW BLOG LAYOUT!

We were in Ohio last weekend and on the drive back I listened to Michael Hyatt's podcast entitled "10 Ways to Generate More Blog Traffic."  And it INSPIRED ME!

Following some of his tips from his podcast I've redone the layout of the blog.  

I've added a right column to the layout which I did not have before.  
In the right column I have added...
- a search bar
- two ways to subscribe
- I moved our twitter updates to the right column from the bottom 
- And added popular posts (does anyone know how i can make those thumbnails not distorted?) 

I've switched the comments to using DISQUS.  Which Michael Hyatt recommended.  
Commenting using bloggers native commenting was a pain in the butt.  I like DISQUS better already, and it easily imported all of my old comments from blogger.  

I added LINK WITHIN at the bottom of every post.  This along with the POPULAR POSTS widget on the right column should keep people exploring the blog more than usual.  

I added an ADD THIS widget which will allow people to share each post easier.  

I made the blog home page display 5 posts instead of just 1 like before.  And I added a new header image and made the background match the header image.  

I'm sure there will be some more changes coming as well.  But thats enough for today.  

Leave a COMMENT for me to test out DISQUS and let me know what you think of the changes!  Are you happy with your current blog layout?  What changes would you like to make to yours?  What blogs have you seen that have the best navigable layout?  

jim baker