Author Archives: Jonathan R. Baker

About Jonathan R. Baker

As hard as it is to believe, Jonathan is actually quite nerdy.

Remembering Your Journey

My post on the church blog this week.

Living The SpiritLife

“This is the route the Israelites followed as they marched out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. At the Lord’s direction, Moses kept a written record of their progress. These are the stages of their march, identified by the different places where they stopped along the way.” (Numbers 33:1-2)

I am a quote collector. Whether it’s some nugget of truth from some famous speaker/author or just something funny that I overheard, I like to write things down. If you flip through my journal or scroll through my Facebook or Twitter feed, you’ll find many different quotes that I’ve collected over the years.  When I am spending time with friends or family, I’ll often catch them saying something funny and inform them that they are going to be featured on my Twitter feed. (Youth Group trips and events are a comedy gold mine.) Some stuff is just…

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Hearts That Stir & Spirits That Move

My post from today on the SpiritLife blog…

Living The SpiritLife

Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. So they came, both men and women…All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the LORD had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the LORD. (Exodus 35:20, 29)

When I was younger, I spent many years playing horns in various symphonic, marching and jazz bands. I spent hours learning and practicing my part, teaching the members in my section, and rehearsing with the group to ensure we were all hitting our cues together. It required a lot of hard…

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A New Year

Greetings, once again. 
As 2012 begins, one of the things that I would like to improve is the use of my blog.  This post is a test of an app called Blogsy, which I am hoping will help make it easier for me to post more often.  
 
Anyway, I will have much more to say over the coming days/weeks/months, but for now I really must head to bed.  
 
Here’s to more productive blogging in 2012!

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My Soul is Silent Before God Who is My Help

The following is an excerpt from a sermon preached on 15 July 1928 by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Barcelona, Spain.  I enjoyed it, and thought I should share it.

Our relationship with God must be practised, otherwise we shall not find the right note, the right word, the right language when He comes upon us unawares.  We have to learn the language of God, learn it with effort, we must work at it, if we too would learn to converse with Him; prayer too must be practised as part of our work.  It is a grave and fatal mistake, if one confuses religion with a heightening of the feelings.  Religion means work, and perhaps the hardest and certainly the holiest work that a man can undertake.  It is pitiable to be content with the remark ‘I am not naturally religious’, when there is a God who desires to possess us.  It is an excuse.  Certainly, some find it harder than others to do, but no one, and of this we may be sure, has achieved it without effort.  And here is the reason why being silent in God’s presence requires work and practice:  it takes daily courage to expose oneself to God’s word and to allow oneself to be judged by it, it takes daily energy to delight in God’s love.  But this brings us to the question:  What shall we do, in order to penetrate into this silence before God?  Well, about that I can only tell you, in all humility, just a little from my own experience.  Not one of us lives such a hectic life that he cannot spare the time, even if it is only ten minutes in the morning or the evening, to be still and let the silence gather round him, to stand in the presence of eternity and to let it speak, to enquire from it about our condition, and to gaze deep into himself and far out, beyond and above.  It may be done by taking up a few words from the Bible; but the best is to abandon oneself completely and let the soul find its way to its Father’s house, to its home, where it finds rest.  And whoever attempts this, working at it seriously day by day, will be overwhelmed by the riches which will flow from these hours.  Of course, all beginnings are difficult, and whoever sets out upon this undertaking will find it at first an unaccustomed experience — indeed it may be quite an empty one.  But it will not be long before his soul begins to be replenished and revitalised and to receive strength, then he begins to know the eternal quiet which rests in God’s love; stress and anxiety, hurry and restlessness, noise and clamour are stilled within him, he has become silent before God who is his help.

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Miracles and Belief…

But here is a paradox:  that mysteries such as these provided no disquiet for us, but comfort.  Because they granted us permission, and in fact made it necessary, to believe in a God to Whom all mysteries had solutions.  With belief in God comes the certainty that the world that He masters has an order.  That every single thing in it at least makes sense to Someone. — The Dream of Perpetual Motion, Dexter Palmer

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