Faith In The OC

Friday, December 31, 2004

And here we are. The last day of 2004! Again what an amazing year! I'm sure we have our own great stories of this past year. We do... as you know and as I've already told. I really have to wonder what is next. The one constant that I do know is that I don't know. I've brought this up before but here is what God told me about knowing: "If you knew what was next you would either not go at all or skip all the middle for the end." So very true. He knows and that is what really matters. One day at a time right!? Hard to do. Seems impossible at times. All I have to do though, is look at my history and know that He is there and working. If nothing else this has been a year of God proving his Sovereignty to me. I am thankful to be where we are. The experiences of this past year have defined who I am right now. While I really wouldn't want to go through them again, I like what I have learned and who I am right now. So thank you God for 2004 and I pray you continue to show us who you are and who we are in you in 2005!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

2 more days left in 2004! How crazy. As I get older, each year seems to fly by even faster than the one before. No exception for 2004! It's been a full one though. A year ago I was just about to find out the job I had been at for 5 years was coming to an end. I was moving out of my position at Sylvan Hill Church and into a huge unknown. Shortly after 2004 started we realized that God was leading us to SoCal. Then we found The Portico. After that the whirlwind that ensued could quite possibly be the closest thing to a tornado I've ever experinced! But here we are in Southern California. It turned out different than we could have expected, but that's ok. God is sovereign, and I am daily trying to realize that this is absolute truth! It's hard, but life makes a lot more sense if God is in it. All my plans are for naught anyways. So who knows what 2005 has to offer, but I know that it will be exciting. The Baker house seems to always be full of that! Happy last days of 2004 to you all!!

Monday, December 27, 2004

Hello! I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. We sure did. It was a lot of fun to see the kids really get more of the meaning of Christmas this year. They of course also had a great time opening gifts and were sad when there weren't anymore to open!! We really missed everyone that we could not be with this year.

Here is some food for thought:
Something we talked about yesterday in church really hit home to me. It's so easy to get caught up in life that we leave God out. What does our time spent with Him look like and what does He want it to look like? I think that one of the major things that God wants from us is for us to open our hearts up to Him. That sounds a bit cliche but maybe we should explore that a little more. What does it mean to open our hearts up to Him? One thing I know that I have been lacking is honesty. Of course He knows everything about me so it is easy to just let that be it. But what He really wants is for us to tell him. I am finding that as I tell Him what is going on in my head, I can be more honest with myself. It feels good to open that door and really explore all of the closed closets. It's not easy to admit some things but once they are admitted it is a lot easier to clean out the closet and leave it clean. When you stop and think about it, it makes no sense to keep all that stuff to yourself because like I said before God knows it anyway. So not being honest with Him means that we're just lying to ourselves. That just seems silly. Why? Why would I lie to myself? Well sometimes I just don't like to embrace the truth. Sometimes I like the status quo. Or at least I think I do. It just ends up festering and becoming a bigger issue than it was originally. There is something freeing about opening those doors and allowing God to see and hear what's in there. I think that when we are honest with God and ourselves real healing can begin. Even if our lives seem pretty together and there isn't some "big" sin in our lives there is always room for healing. We are human. Our "fate" if you will is to be dragged down and to die from the inside out. But God sent Jesus to change that for us. He opened communication and desires us to come and be with Him every day. Another clique line but so true: "God sent us His son so we could live and not die. So we could really experience life inside. What an amazing opportunity that we seem to choose not to take way too often. I say this for myself but I know that there are so many of us who do the same thing. So what does it mean to open our hearts to God and be with Him everyday? Well just that. It doesn't mean we have to have to light candles and say a certain prayer. It doesn't mean that we have to come to Him in a state of "godliness". He just wants us to give up what we're holding on to. He wants us to just be with Him. I want to start this new year really embracing that and want God with with me not just watching me. My challenge to myself and anyone else who wants to join me is to include Him in all of my life instead of leaving Him behind. That means all the good, the bad and the inbetween.