I Am Baker

Let Earth Receive Her King!

I absolutely love our new home.  I love that we have a space we can grow into and that we can truly make our own.

Trying to figure out how I want to design things hasn’t been an easy task because I am not a good interior designer!  But I really enjoy the process.

And one of the newest challenges of late has been designing a fireplace mantle!

Christmas Mantle

I have got SO much respect for people who can put together a beautiful mantle.  I am not one of them!  Its hard working with scale and color and, well, design stuff.

So I opted for homey.  Personal.

Christmas Mantle

 

Fresh flowers in a red mason jar nestled in an inexpensive fake garland with multi-colored lights.

Christmas Mantle

A red and green “love” garland.  The kids and I made it last year.  We named every single person we could think of and said a prayer for them.  Then we put simple quotes like, “Jesus loves you!” and “God is Love!”.

If you look close you can see ‘Grandpa Dennis’ in there.  We still miss him so much!  I try so hard to help him stay fresh in the kids’ memories.

Christmas Mantle

 

Now don’t you dare laugh at my awesome chalk board skills!  As you can see we have a pretty tall space above the mantle and I had NO IDEA how to fill it.  I just happen to have these 4 foot high chalkboards so I decided to write something on it… something significant to us.  And celebrating the birth of our King is as significant as its gets!

Its going to be fun figuring out how to use this space in the future.  I have a feeling there will be a “mantle” pinterest board in my future… :)

 

I Am Baker I Am Baker

Family Holiday Gatherings: A Biblical Perspective

I love Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Having hubby home, the spirit behind the seasons, the amazing food… its all enough to make me dream about these holidays for weeks before hand.

But there is another side to gatherings, one that can be sometimes stressful.

The truth is sometimes we just dont get along.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I deal with family.  Sometimes I look for the negative and not the positive in the people I love.  Sometimes I react to them in defensiveness based on my own issues, not on what they have actually said.  Sadly, its been easier for me to be in a pattern of critical thinking during those long holiday gatherings.

I forget how impactful the words I say are, and how lasting their impression is.  Even if what I am saying is not a true reflection of my heart, but simply an indication of a sour emotions or a bad attitude.

I came across these verses and I believe they have a direct correlation to how I can choose to think about extended time with family.

1 Peter 3:10-11 NLT

For the Scriptures say,  “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.  Turn away from evil and do good.  Search for peace, and work to maintain it…”

I love that part, “search for peace”.  What if I looked for good in others?  On purpose?

1 Corinthians 2:1-2 NLT

When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.  For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.

This is Paul talking to the Corinthians.  One interpretation I heard of this message was that he was saying to them, “I am not here to listen to the gossip or the quarrels.  I am not focusing on this things of this world, I only want to focus on Jesus.”

I can only imagine the changes that others would see in me if my focus was truly on Him!  If I did not get caught up in strife, yet set my focus to the Lord.

Proverbs 19:11 ESV

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

One observation that I have noticed is that the deeper you love someone, the more vulnerable we are to feeling hurt.  I dont know about you, but I have heard words from family or close friends that cut like a knife.  Coming from a stranger would not have nearly the impact.

I know that those people love me,  and want the best for me, but I cant help but be torn up at how painful their sharp words are.  The above verse speaks to that so acutely for me.  I know I would want my family to forgive me when I say things I shouldnt, and here God is telling us that it is wise to do this right away!  Dont let things fester and turn into bitterness.  Forgive and let go.

Here are a few more versus that can help a troubled heart:

1 John 4:19-21 ESV

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Romans 12:18 ESV

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

John 13:34 ESV

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

Hebrews 12:14 ESV

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

From the OpenBible.info.

 Heavenly Father,

I pray that your holy words will be permanently cemented into my heart.  That I will look for the good in others always.  That I will seek positive and loving words when speaking.  That I will honor you with my thoughts and actions.

Lord, please bless my family and our time together.  Help me to overlook things that may hurt, and to forgive as readily as You forgive me.  Help me to be an example of Your peace and love.  Help me to love others as You love them.

Thank you for this wonderful time we have together, where we can celebrate the birth and life of your Son.

In Your precious name I pray!

Amen.

 

I Am Baker

Rainbow Cupcakes and Gay Pride?

I dont often weigh in on political issues.  I try not to overwhelm folks with my opinions and views.

I try.

But every now and then an issue comes along that I feel like I want to speak out on.  I had thought it was Katy Perry on Sesame Street.  But no, I will spare you from that emotional tirade.

Its Rainbow Foods.

We all know I have made my fair share of rainbow foods.

Cakes

IMG_2952.stamp

And Pancakes

IMG_9179.fixed

And cookies of course

IMG_2903.rainbowcookie

I tend to embrace rainbow items because of what it represents to me.

As a Christian the rainbow is extremely significant.  

It appears essentially twice in the Bible, once in Genesis 9:13-14 and in Revelations 4:3, 10:1. In Genesis, the rainbow came after the great flood brought by God in order to remove sinful and evil minded men from the earth.

The rainbow symbolized the covenant God made with Noah (who represented mankind) that He would not destroy the world in such a way again.

I love that God allowed us a tangible representation of His promise, and every time I gaze upon the glorious beauty and awe of a rainbow I can feel security in Gods faithful covenant to us.

Now, I dont know if you have heard, but there is a bakery in Indianapolis called Just Cookies that was asked to make an order of rainbow cupcakes for National Coming Out Day.

They declined.  

They first stated they dont make cupcakes. (which is true) The husband and co-owner then came forward and stated that, "I explained we're a family-run business, we have two young, impressionable daughters, and we thought maybe it was best not to do that."

They are now being ripped apart in the media and being called horrible names.  People are boycotting their business and going on to business rating websites and claiming that in addition to being biggots, the baked items they sell taste horrible and are inedible.

The very people who say they are striving for peace and tolerance are now making it their mission to destroy people who have a different view.

I guess that doesnt sit right with me.

When I received an abundance of negative feedback for my rainbow pancakes I was also fortunate enough to receive some kind and supportive feedback.  Occasionally, it was from a homosexual individual applauding me for promoting gay pride in my home or for teaching my kids not to be homophobic.

I questioned myself how to best reply to those kind of comments. When I teach my kids about the rainbow, its is always accompanied by a message of hope and grace, and that they can serve a God who always keeps his promises.

What it all boils down to is that a rainbow can mean very different things to people.

Is it fair to criminalize and demonize a business because to them, a rainbow represents something that directly counteracts their belief system? 

And in all fairness, they never declined to serve gay customers, but instead chose to not promote a specific event. 

You know I am totally curious about your opinion.  Would you boycott them?  Should the city be allowed to force them into making those cupcakes?  Where do you stand?

*Please keep your comments respectful and do not attack other commentors.

*****

As of March 6th, 2011, the comments on this post are closed.  Some people who adamantly disagree with my views and the views of some of my readers have chosen so leave harassing, demeaning, derogatory, hurtful, negative and just plain mean comments. 

There is no room for disrespect here, no matter what your belief system is. 

You are free to debate this elsewhere.

I Am Baker

KDWB Claims “Praying is Ignorant”

This messenger is weak (me), but His word is strong!


I received an email from a friend who had an awful experience with KDWB Thursday morning (it was on between 6:50 and 7:30am, and is all transcribed below). 


I just want to ask that you take a moment to pray for this DJ (Dave Ryan).  Then, if you would be so willing, to pray for every impressionable child and adult that heard his "anti-God, pro-self" rant this morning.


Even if you are not Christian, chances are you have uttered a prayer in your life.  Chances are you are familiar with a Higher Power, and chances are you have turned to God in a desperate, lonely, joyful, or glorious time.


What do you think about Dave Ryan and his whole morning crew claiming that "praying for change is ignorance"?  


How do you feel about these DJ's spreading this type of information to kids, to impressionable youth who may not have thought twice about it before, but will now dismiss God as an option when in need?



IMG_0317.stamp
 


If you are one of the few… one of the few who feels compelled to take it a step further and stand up for Truth, there are a couple options.

  

If you text you can send a message to 53921.  (I dont, so I dont even know how that works)


You can call this number 

+1.952.417.3000


I called and spoke to the program director who claimed that everyone is entitled to their opinion and that as long as the DJ did not break any FCC rules they would stand behind the statement.


He then went on to say that I was the only person to call and protest at this point (as of last evening around 6:30pm) so my opinion didnt carry much weight.  However, if enough people disagreed with this statement then maybe they would address the issue.


Now… all I am really asking for is a prayer.  If you feel compelled to call or text them feel free.  But as we all know, its the prayer that will change things.




***

(email I received)



I wanted you to help me protest KDWB (a very popular younger radio station in MN) after what I heard on the radio this morning and the way they responded to me.


Conversation on the radio:

“And now a story in the press about Lady gaga.  Apparently, lady gaga took 45 minutes before she would come on stage because she was praying and waiting for God to tell her it was the right time.  What a crackhead…do you honestly think praying is going to help the situation?  And what is God going to do about it….I’m so sick of people saying that they prayed and it came true.  I was at a wedding last weekend that was outdoors and the bride got up on stage and said “I just want to thank god for this day, I woke up this morning and prayed that god would let the weather be great for this day – and here it is.  It’s just proof that God does answer prayers”.   He went on to say how ignorant people are who pray and to not doing anything because “God is going to answer prayers”. 

 

 

 

SOOO….at this point I’m livid.  They then advertised that you can text the show.  So I picked up my phone and sent a text message that went like this. 

 

Do you realize the age of your listeners generally?  Do you realize how susceptible their minds are, and you are filling their heads with this garbage.  Please don’t preach religion if you have no idea what religion is about.  If I want to hear religion that is truthful I will turn on a station with someone who knows something about Jesus and the powers that he does have and the significance of prayer in people’s lives. 

 

They RESPONDED to say: 

 

We’re not preaching at all.  Just stating facts.  Relying on prayer to make anything happen is ignorant.  Results require action, not prayer.

 

Me:

Not sure it’s the best way to keep an audience by calling them ignorant. 

 

They responded with

I don’t think you’re ignorant at all.  But people praying for things but no taking action themselves is ignorant.  I know this from experience.

 

Me:

It’s very clear to me that you don’t know this from experience.  Yes, results require action, but the word of God is what drives the right action.  If you’re not listening to him, then you’re going in the wrong direction.  Clearly you are showing this by today’s program. 

 

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No response.




Updated:  I revived an email from my friend about this mornings show:


This morning, I thought…I’m going to turn on the station to hear if they bring this up again.  The first thing I heard was….No Joke:  Steven Hawking announces today that he does not believe that God created the universe.  They went on to say how 

he now believes in the big bang theory.  It carried on a little bit talking about the laws of gravity and how it makes perfect sense that matter could be created through spontaneous combustion and that God had nothing to do with it. 

 

To Which Dave Ryan responds with:  You want to know why I believe in God?  Because he made dogs…and dogs are so nice.  They’re man’s best friend. 


***


Clearly this is all a joke to them… but is it to you? 


If this has touched you in any way, and you feel compelled to do something, please know that you do NOT need to link back here or mention me in any way.  My ultimate goal in this would be to glorify God, and if you felt spurred into action, I am sure that is your goal as well!  So check out the facts, blog about it, tweet about it, get the word out to as many prayer warriors as you know… do or say whatever you need to and please, feel comfortable doing it all from your perspective!

I Am Baker

Cupcakes and Salvation

I would like to share some news!  Thanks to a tweet from the amazing Bridget, my cookie mentor and 'boss' over at the University of Cookie, I was able to enter a recipe in a contest at Sweet Surrenders Cupcake and Cookie Cafe.

I
will let you check out the details if you are so inclined, but if I
won, I would get 10% of all the earnings for the entire month of July!
(and to have it named after me, but that is way to embarrassing for me, so I opted to let them choose how to name it for their shop)

Well.  I did.  I won!  I was SHOCKED to put it mildly.

And unbelievably honored.  And shocked.  And scared to tell anyone for days because I didnt think it was real.

Well.

I have decided to donate 100% of the profits to The Christian Research Institute, and amazing educational organization that happens to be run by Hank Hanegraaff, my absolute favorite authority on apologetics.

Hankh

Have you heard of Hank?  He is awesome.  On his radio Show, The Bible Answer Man, he answers the questions that folks throw at Christians when they are trying to dispute their faith; as well as the questions that Christians themselves have about the Bible.

For example, have you ever wanted to know:

Can a Christian lose their salvation?

How should Christians respond to Halloween?

Is baptism necessary for salvation?

Are generational curses Biblical?

What is abortion? (link goes to a different post on my blog, not the specific answer)

Should Christians be tolerant?

Should Christians use birth control?

Who is the antichrist?

What is the meaning of 666?

Why pray if God already knows what we need?

These are just a few examples of the tough questions that Hank tackles, and legitimately answers in his books.  Every single answer is backed up with Scripture.  

(if you really seek an answer to these questions, please email me manda2177@aol.com, and I will try to share with you some of his insights)

Hanks greatest desire (in my opinion) is that people know the Bible for all its worth.

I love listening to Hank on his radio show, I love reading his books, and I love learning more and more about God, His character, and the Bible.

Hank is bold and righteous (the good kind) in his faith and I want to be too!

So!  That being said.  If you live in the Boynton Beach, FL area, and would also like to support the Christian Research Institute, then please, feel free stop and have a Chocolate Hazelnut Delight cupcake!

I Am Baker

You Asked, He Answered

Thanks for all the great questions ladies!  I love your creativity and thoughtfulness… and I have to admit, I learned a few things!  

Your questions are in black, his answers are in red.  I just want to say thank you to Chad for taking the time to answer them… and thank you to you guys for getting my hubby involved in blogging!!

  1. Hello Chad from
    Yorktown, VA! I am curious, has Amanda always possessed such amazing
    talents and is it hard to live in her shadow? Do folks call you Mr. I am
    Baker or Mr.I am Mommy? Do you get recognized at WalMart? I am just
    joking. I really don't have a question. I just wanted to thank you for
    supporting your wife who in turns keeps us folks entertained with her
    baked goods and antidotes. Beth Ayotte

 

- You are welcome…..

 

  1. Dear Chad, How many more offspring will you be creating with dear
    Amanda? What is your occupation? What is your favorite meal Amanda cooks?
    Do you have a blog? How do you feel about your wife blogging? You may
    answer one of all. The choice is yours. Taylor

 

Kids – When Amanda
and I first started having kids, I wanted 3, and Amanda wanted 15.  I think now that we have 3, I am open for
one or two more??  We will see.

Job – I work for a
Kraus Anderson Construction Company.  I
am a Senior Project Manager. 

Meal – I would
probably say Lasagna, although she does make a mean meatloaf.

Blog – I do not
blog.

Wife Blogging – I didn’t quite understand it at first, but
I understand now.  I see a whole new
view on her life through her blog as well.

 

  1. I want to know if she
    can cook as wonderful as she bakes? Alicia

When we first met, Amanda could not cook.  But now with kids, she has learned out of
necessity.  She is a very good cook, and
is always trying new recipes that she finds. 

 

  1. Did your life turn out
    the way you envisioned it would? 2. Does Amanda steal the covers? 3. Do
    you have a favorite Bible verse? 4. How many times a day do you and Amanda
    say I Love You to each other?  Kate

Life – I don’t
think my life is what I imagined it to be when I was younger.  It is even better than I thought it would
be.  I am truly blessed with by my wife
and my kids.  Right now, I don’t think
that there is really anything that I would change, except maybe a little bigger
house with some land for the kiddos to run and for a bigger garden.

Covers – I always like a “ton” of covers.  I have the sheets, several blankets, and the
comforter.  Amanda doesn’t like that
many, so if anything, I am the one that steals the sheets.

Verse – John
14:6  - “Jesus answered, I am the way
and the truth and the life.  No one
comes to the Father except through me.”

Love – I would say
that we do not say ‘I Love You’ near enough during the day.  That is a good reminder to never take your
partner for granted, and let them now how you feel. 

  1. Do you sneak things
    from the kitchen when she is slaving away? What is your favorite treat
    that she bakes. If you say you don't like to eat sweets I might have to
    steal your wife and let her live with someone who enjoys sugar, so answer
    carefully!  Lorie

Sneak – I do not “sneak” anything.  I never know what might be extra, and what
she was really planning on using for a picture.  I always ask first.

Favorite – I would
say probably just a cookie, although I am pretty partial to her “Ultimate
Dessert”.    I don’t mind a dessert now
and then, but I would rather just have another helping of potatoes and another
piece of steak…….

 

  1. What is YOUR FAVORITE thing/activity to do
    while spending family time with your kids and wife? Nicole

I would have to say, just going for a walk, or just
hanging out in the yard on a nice day while the kids are playing. (Oh, unless
you count going to Disney World, then maybe doing that.
)

 

  1. Hi Chad, So how DO you
    manage to have such a beautiful and talented wife? Sue

I guess I just got lucky, or maybe there was someone else
that had a plan.  I truly believe that I
would not be a true Christian without my wife. 
I am very blessed.

  1. Hmmmm. A question for
    Chad. OK. What are you going to do to surprise your wife on Mother's Day?
    Barbara

I do have something very special in the works, but I can’t
tell you now.  That would ruin the
surprise.  I am sure that Amanda will
blog about that, so stay tuned……

  1. Firstly I admire your
    ability to allow another to have control of YOUR Blog – how brave!
    Secondly – can I join the queue for the sarcasm font? Thirdly (?) – my
    questions for your husband 1. How did you meet? 2. Do you 'get' blogging?
    3. Your earliest memory? 4. What would be your perfect day? 5. What would
    be your perfect meal? 6. Where in the world would you mst liketo visit?
    That should keep you busy for a while! Janmary, N Ireland

Meet – My wife and I have differing opinions on this
one.  I believe that the true first time
we meet, was at a bar in downtown Fargo. 
We played a game of pool late one night, and that was about it.  She certainly did catch my eye, but I never
got her #.  Just my luck, we meet a
month or so later at another bar in Fargo, and played some more pool.  This time we played more than just one game
of pool, and the rest is history.

Blog – See Question #2 last part.

Memory – probably “swimming in a flooded street” after a
huge rain storm, when I was about 3 or 4.

Perfect Day – I would say probably up before the sun with
a good cup of black coffee, and watching the sunrise, listening to the
birds.  After about 3 or 4 cups of
coffee, a good county breakfast with the family.  Then maybe some a little fishing, or just hanging outside with
the family.  Maybe even just working in
the Garden or yard for a while too. 
Grilling steak and potatoes with fresh sweet corn for dinner,.  After the kids go to bed, sitting around the
fire with a good cigar.  I guess a lot
relates to “food”.  Oh well…..

Meal – See day above……

Visit – I would say maybe Norway or Ireland.

  1. this is fun.. my
    questions: Do you cook? What is one dish that you would like to learn to
    make for your lovely wife and kids? Have a nice day! :) Olive

Yes, I do cook, and enjoy cooking.  I can somewhat bake, but do not enjoy it,
and am not even in the same league as my wife.

Dish – If I could learn one new dish to make for the
family, I would have to say something Japanese.
 

  1. Ok….just one question
    for Chad… Is it true what she says? That she really can't actually cook?
    Oh and btw…yes, your kiddos do look just like you. Amanda…you've seen
    pictures of my kiddos on FB and I'm assuming pictures of my hubs…they're
    all mini-Joe's. *sigh* You and I must just have weak genes or
    something…lol. Crystal

Answer is same as
Question #3

  1. How much weight do you
    gain from Amanda's "practices?" 2. Would you ever consider a
    homebirth? (pick your jaw off the floor, Amanda…it's just something I
    wonder about husbands) 3. Do you consider yourself more a
    "steady," "command," or "visionary" man?
    Jana

Weight – I have ended up gaining a few pounds, but I try
to control myself as best I can.  It is
tough though.

Homebirth –
Nope.  Kinda tough with a C-Section
birth.  Even if it was normal, I don’t
think I could do it.  Just too concerned
about potential issues.

Man – I would
consider myself – Steady. 

  1. Okay, Chad, Being that
    you and I grew up in the same town but didn't know each other at all
    because you were a cool senior when I was a dorky 7th grader, I want to
    ask you a question about Morris. Did you have a job in high school and if
    so, where did you work? (remember you can be pretty specific as I will
    know, more than likely, what you are talking about!) And I am excited to
    hear your version of how you and Amanda met. can you add how you got to
    know Jesus too? (which by the way, I was telling your wife that there is ALWAYS
    hope for your families to know him, too! Just ask her! And if she doesn't
    remember, we talked about it in her truck on the way to Burnsville!)
    gianna

Job – Off and on, I helped Bill Krump on his Pheasant
Farm.  Help with feeding, and
watering.  I also helped catch and put
them in crates when he would sell them. 
I also worked at “Taco Johns” for about 6 months when it first
opened.  I really didn’t have a main
job, and I was in sports all through the school year.  My parents always said that as long as we got good grades, and
were in sports we didn’t have to get jobs.

Meet – See
Question #9 – 1st answer.

Jesus – If it was
not for my wife, I don’t believe that I ever would have.  I had always been church attender (for the
most part), and thought that I was a Christian.  I just didn’t get it though. 
My life did not reflect it at all. 
Getting to a good Bible based church was great as well.

  1. The first time I ever
    read your blog, it had the pictures of all the pickling going on at your
    house! SO, I would love to know how many of those jars have you used up,
    Chad? Do they still taste as good as they did that day? :) Plan on
    "pickling" again? (I know, lame questions! Seriously, though,
    those pictures have stuck with me and given me odd cravings for pickled
    foods!) Londa

My mother has always canned and pickled.  I grew up with a huge gardens.  It never really took though with me.  I always liked her pickles, and canned
items, but I really just liked a certain “hotness” about pickles.  It just kind of hit me a couple of years
ago.  I still plan on continuing with
the pickling, and will be spreading out to try a few other things.  We are already doing tomatoes, beets,
several kinds of pickles, the pickled peppers that you are referring to, and
some pickled green beans.

 

  1. What is the one show you watch
    that Amanda absolutely hates? What meal does Amanda cook that you hate (if
    there is one), but say you like just to be nice? What is your favorite
    activity or hobby that is the most relaxing for you? I look forward to the
    answers Traci

Show – I would
probably say any hunting show that I watch.

Meal – I don’t really think there is
one.  I am one of those weird people
that can eat anything.  There are things
that I like better than other, but I will eat pretty much anything.

Activity – I would probably day either Elk
hunting in Idaho, or Walleye fishing in Ontario.

  1. What is the first thing you
    noticed about your wife when you first met? Liz

I think that since this is a family show, I will just
say her smile……….

I Am Baker

What Happened to Christmas?

This holiday season started out odd for me… with the berserk weather we've had in the mid-west, we never really had a fall, much less decorated for one. 

Didn't put up any of our blanched corn husks, nor put out the pumpkins that we grew or were given… I didn't begin fall with the energized stride it normally inspires in me.

And now Christmas is almost upon us, and there is no home adorned with beautiful seasonal cheer… just a hasty meager tree that I felt forced to put up so the kids would have something.  A trivial little tree that I let the kids decorate from top to bottom.  That Audrey has pulled over on herself twice. (It weighs next to nothing)

IMG_3927.tree
 

IMG_3924.treedecorations

IMG_3925.tree
 
Yeah, that should be fun to untangle. ;)

It just doesn't feel like Christmas.

It seems like its just me.

I think one of the reasons I have grown to love this season is the excitement that is in the air.  You can just feel the energy.

Everywhere I look people are bustling around, preparing and anticipating.

Anticipating entertaining and giving gifts and receiving gifts and eating wonderful meals and sitting in front  of a tree sipping cocoa or egg nog or a nice Pinot Grigio.

I have yet to feel that.  We decided not to do any gifts this year… not even for our kids.  And although I know that is not what Christmas is about, I realized how caught up I am in that aspect of it.

I have been trying to teach my kids about the true meaning of Christmas since they were born, but I have to admit, part of me really looked forward to lavishing others with the perfect gift!  And of course,  its always fun to get presents!  

The truth is, I have forgotten Christ in Christmas. 

I came across this acronym from Hank Hanegraaff of the Christian Research Institute and wanted to share it, as it is really speaking to my heart. To read the full acronym, please click here.

The first line alone inspires hope in me.

                                                                                                                                                        

C, the first letter in Christmas,
stands for the person who alone gives any day eternal significance:
Christ our Lord. It is easy to shove Christ aside on this holiday, but
we should celebrate the birth of Jesus, whose very name means “the Lord
is salvation” and whose title, “Christ,” points to His role as the
Redeemer of humankind. If Jesus is not Christ in your life, celebrating
the birth of an obscure Jewish carpenter’s son is meaningless to you.

H stands for history. The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are not myths or fantasy, but are historical realities.

R stands for rejoice, an appropriate response in recognition of what Christ has done.

I stands for the Incarnation, describing that glorious event in which God became man.

S stands for St. Nicholas,
the fourth century bishop of Myra, a Christian whose story —
embellished by years of telling — nevertheless exemplifies Christian
faithfulness and charity. Christmas should remind us of the
faithfulness of God, without which we have no hope of redemption
through His greatest gift, His Son (John 3:16). 

T stands for tradition, the stories and customs associated with Christmas.

M stands for the magi,
or wise men, directed by God to find and worship Christ. We shouldn’t
forget that no one is wealthy enough, powerful enough, or far enough
away that he or she should not bow before Jesus Christ, the King of
kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15).

A stands for advent,
a word referring to Christ's coming. Christ came once in Bethlehem — as
an infant who grew to manhood, died for our sins, and rose again the
third day. Christians eagerly look forward to His Second Coming — “the
blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).

S stands for salvation,
made possible by the coming of Christ. The gospel story is so simple we
often forget it, but so profound it affects every individual. We are
all sinners, separated from God, with absolutely no way to reach God
except He reached down to us through His Son. With the coming of
Christmas comes recognition that because He came, He died, and because
He died and lives again, we also may live (Rom. 6:8; 8:11).

Christmas
is not primarily a celebration of human life, although each human life
is valuable; not primarily a celebration of peace and love, although
peace and love are noble. The center and circumference of Christmas
should be the celebration of the birth of our Lord: “I bring you good
news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of
David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).


This meant a lot to me… I hope it will resonate with you as well.


I Am Baker

Things Successful Bloggers Do That I Do Not Do

Are you ready for Installment #4?

Cause this one is going to blow your socks
off. (I totally just snorted out loud writing that, not sure why)

Here goes.

Things Successful Bloggers Do That I Do NOT Do

#4 Have lots of Readers.

Ha!  Because it seems to me, in this
tiny little blogging world, that your value is based on the amount of
people that come to your blog.  Your traffic.  Your rating. 
Your stats.

I have a couple things to say about this.

1. Blogging is Relationships
2. Who Do You Blog For


So you may follow lots of blogs.  I follow lots of blogs.  But one
thing I try to limit myself in is following blogs that dont follow back. 

But what I mean by that is, like, lets take
Pioneer Woman for example.  She may do an emotional and sentimental post
about losing a pet and how her kids handled it.  And say I just lost a pet
so I leave a long comment pouring out my heart and telling her about this new
loss in my life and how its affected my family.

No one ever reads it.

To me… it doesn't make a lot of sense
pouring too much time into that relationship, because well, its not a
relationship.  I feel like its more along the lines of me just being a follower

And have you ever noticed how really big
blogs don't have a blogroll?  Do the big bloggers even read other
blogs?  They might. 

But they dont have to. 

I like visiting others blogs.  I
like that when I leave a comment for a friend that 99% of the time I either

  • get a comment back on
    my blog
  • get a reply
  • get the satisfaction of knowing I brighten my friends day

I like that we are getting to know each
other
.

 

When I went to the mckpicnic I met a couple
ladies who I thought we so neat!  So I started reading their blogs and
commenting in every post and before I knew it, I realized that they had not
visited my blog or replied to a single comment.  So for me to continue
following their blog just felt…

…awkward.  So I stopped. 

Now.

Who do you blog for.  Mostly I blog for
me and my family.  But mostly me.  I am a Christian Stay at Home mom
who likes to bake and take pictures and attempt homeschooling and crafts. 

Seriously…
in terms of 'what sells' these days… I could not be farther from
it.   If you look at the big blog contests and the
 Forbes List of Top 25 Blogs it is tech blogs or gossip blogs or giveaway
blogs.  Those bloggers offer their readers something I am not willing to
offer.

Quality content.

No, I'm just kidding.  Just wanted to
see if your still here.

My whole point is, I would love to turn on
my computer one day and have 500 comments on my little ole blog.  It would
be validating.  It would feel good to think that 500 people took the time
to talk to me.

But am I going to change what I write
about?  Probably not.  Am I going to stop going to other blogs and
creating friendships and investing time into them?  Heck no.

Does that mean I will remain (by my own
definition) unsuccessful?  Who knows.

Now I must go spend some time with my
kids.  I might even post a picture or two about it later. 

Who am I kidding.  You know I am going
to post a picture of my kids later.  Its what I do.

I Am Baker

Things Successful Bloggers Do…

This list seems to be never ending.  Maybe I will get the hint, that I apparently am giving myself, and stop doing the opposite of what successful bloggers do.

Most likely not.

 

Things Successful Bloggers Do That I Do Not Do

3. Go to Blogher.

I am going to lay into my mailman because I have been anxiously waiting for my invite and it is suspiciously missing.  If I see a short guy in blue mid thigh shorts in any of PW's blogher re-caps I am gonna be ticked off.

I gotta be really honest here, I don't 'get' blogher.  Seriously.  I went on there and got signed up about 2 years ago and was so lost and confused.  I tried to find other blogs 'like me'.  Mommy.  Christian.  Stay at home christian mommy.  Bites her nails when nervous.  Eats snickers bars in stages.  Can't pet a dog without washing hands immediately afterward.  Likes the smell of gasoline. 

You know, just an average gal.

So I tried out the 'religious' category and was attacked by a witch (her self description) and a atheist.  Apparently 'religion' has many, many different definitions.

In the 'mommy' category someone was arguing that if one more person asked her when her and her husband of 9 years were going to have kids she was going to punch them in the neck.

I just can't seem to relate.

So anyway, all you blogging diva's of the world, look for me next year.  I am sure my invitation won't get lost this time!