About JB

Jerome has served in youth and young adult ministry 19 years under the leadership of his pastor, Bishop Barry Walker in Carrollton, GA. Jerome is the author of two books: Success Killers and Watch Who You Hang With.

Posts by JB:

Christmas Family Traditions

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By Jerome Baker

Christmas is almost here! You can feel it in the atmosphere!

I believe celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ is one of the best times of the year. It’s a time to reflect on how God so loved the world and gave us His only begotten Son (John 3:16). It’s a great time to spread the gospel to others and it is a time to spend time with loved ones. So my wife and I were talking about things we started doing years ago as a family during the Christmas season. For instance, praying as a family on Christmas morning, riding around late nights to look a lights, and going shopping as a family to purchase gifts and occasionally catch a movie together. One of my favorite, me and one of my boys go get some Mayfield’s Eggnog and drink it around a fire at home every year!

This got me to thinking of ways I could enhance my relationship with my wife and boys, start some new traditions in the family! So I thought, I’m going to take it to the streets, I going to ask my readers about some of the Christmas traditions they practice every year with their families.

As a parent, what are some traditions you practice with your kids during the Christmas season? As a young person, what traditions do you look forward to doing every year with your family? Do you take family pictures? Do you go on a vacation? Do you go feed the hungry together? If you use Facebook, leave your comment below and let’s hear about your Christmas family traditions.

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© Copyright 2014 Jerome Baker Jerome Baker is the author of “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”, and the youth pastor of A Place of Refuge Church in Carrollton, Georgia.

Old School Thanksgiving For Young People

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By Jerome Baker

I graduated in from high school in the 90’s, and every time I see a young man sport a high top fade like its something brand new, I think to myself, “They really don’t know, but that’s old school!”  When you think about it, there are a number of things that we use to do that have come back in style now.  A the same time, there are somethings we use to do you just don’t see it practiced anymore.  Not that we had it all together, but some things that grandma n `em taught us seem to be old fashion now-a-days.

But that’s why God really wanted the older generation to teach the younger generation a few things that should never go out of style (Titus 1-2).  One old school trait that should be passed on to today’s youth is being thankful.  “Count ya blessings!”, granny use to say.  With that in mind, here are some old school ways young people can demonstrate thankfulness in our techno savvy world.

1. Don’t burn your bridges.
This simply means don’t forget about the people that helped you advance in life.  Always be thankful for those that helped get you where you are today. In Genesis 40, Joseph helped a butler get out of jail.  All Joseph asked was that when he gets out that he mention him to Pharaoh so he could get him out of jail also.  What do you think happened?  The Bible says, in Genesis 40:23, Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.  The butler was not that thankful for what Joseph did for him, he burned his bridge and left him there for two more years (Gen. 41:1…that’s real shabby!).  Be thankful for your parents, friends, church leaders, and teachers that help get you to where you want to be in life.

2. Send a letter by mail.

This is really old school! My mother always taught me to say thank you and send a thank you letter to people that really bless you.  To this day I still practice this.  It’s nothing like taking a few moments to write a letter to someone to show your appreciation for what they have done for you.  Sending a text and email is cool, but writing a letter, getting some postage, and mailing it shows your sincerity and gratefulness.  Try it, it is very effective.

3. Bless those that bless you.
Most people are happy to receive, but Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).  Show your thankfulness by blessing someone that blessed you.  Buy someone lunch.  Pay for their movie ticket. Give them an envelope with some money in it.  There was a whorish woman in Scripture that was so thankful to Jesus for forgiving her of her sins, she demonstrated her thanks in a way that Jesus own disciples didn’t do.  She anointed Jesus’s feet with very expense perfumed oil, then washed His feet with her hair and her tears (Luke 7:36-48).  Be thankful and try to bless those that bless you in some way or another.

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What are some more old school ways today’s youth can show thanksgiving? Start the discussion below…

© Copyright 2014 Jerome Baker Jerome Baker is the author of “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”, and the youth pastor of A Place of Refuge Church in Carrollton, Georgia.

5 Signs That You Might Be A Selfish Young Person

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By Jerome Baker

Selfishness is one trait that is the antithesis of being thankful.  I believe being selfish is not a trait young people should exemplify.  Though being selfish is self gratifying, choosing to be selfish is of the world and not the of God (1 John 2:16), and being selfish will hinder God from getting the glory in a person’s life. Furthermore, the Bible teaches that being selfish is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:20) and those that are in the flesh can not please God (Romans 8:8).

A young man or woman that is selfish may not readily admit they are selfish, but it is very noticeable when you observe their actions and choices.  The good news is you can change from being selfish to more thankful.  To help you change for the better, here are five signs that you might be a selfish young person.

1. Refusal to give God thanks in public.
Many young people say that are thankful to God for what He has done but when you look in many congregations, numerous young people refuse to worship the Lord before their peers and others.  A selfish person will focus more on themselves instead of God.  I believe God is worthy of praise and should be thanked in private and in public.  Psalm 35:18 I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.

2. Constant complaining.
Many youth just don’t realize how blessed they are!  Instead of celebrating what God has done, selfish youth complain.  They complain about what they don’t have, instead of celebrating what they do have.  They complain about the bad things happening in life, instead of being thankful for the good things.  Youth that constantly complain are selfish.  Philippians 2:14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,

3. Self-centeredness.
Selfish young people are totally focused on themselves. Self-centered youth are jealous of other people’s success and wish it was them instead.  Sadly, many youth (and adults also) in our society would rather be famous and popular than in the will of God.  Often times self-centered youth rebel against parental guidance because they want to do what they desire.  This can be dangerous.  Striving to please God and help others can be more rewarding that constantly feeding one’s ego.  Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

4. Unappreciative.
Selfish youth rarely say thank you.  What parents, people, and God do for them, they act as is if the act of kindness was deserved. Don’t be selfish, express gratitude for whatever is given or done for you…because honestly, someone else would love to have what you don’t appreciate!  (Read Luke 17:11-17)

5. Neglectful.
Selfish youth do not value what they have.  Whether it be keeping a room, car, or apartment clean, selfish people usually want more but neglect what they already have.  Be grateful with the little you have and God will give you more (Matthew 25:23).  Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:

Have you ever been too selfish before? What would you add to this list? Start the discussion below…

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© Copyright 2014 Jerome Baker Jerome Baker is the author of “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”, and the youth pastor of A Place of Refuge Church in Carrollton, Georgia.

5 Reasons To Thank God For Your Problems

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By Jerome Baker

Problems are a part of life. Some problems we cause ourselves and some problems seemingly find us when we are minding our own business. Regardless, certain obstacles can be overwhelming and cause anger, stagnation, or even worry to the best parent, student, or young adult. Here are some reasons to thank God for the problems in your life that you just can’t seem to understand or solve just yet.

1. It could be worse.
When we are hit with certain issues of life sometimes we respond with bitterness, anger, and pity. The key is not to allow these feelings to overtake us. One remedy to combat this is to realize that things could always be worse. I have to constantly discipline myself to remember this. Yes, bad things happen to good people…but if it doesn’t kill you, it can make you better. If you are a cry baby when problems hit, start being thankful because it could be worse.

2. God can bring you through it.
Some problems make you feel like God doesn’t care or that He will not even help with. To the contrary God is the best problem solver. Though He doesn’t solve problems like man, because His ways are different; He does help. Even when we lie and say things like, “God, if you help me out this time I will never…..” If we never had problems would there be a need for God’s supernatural power? Be thankful and trust God to bring you through it.  Psalm 34:6 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.

3. Some problems reveal weaknesses.
Problems have a way of showing us that we are not who or where we thought we were mentally, financially, spiritually, or sexually. We reap some problems because of bad decisions. But, we can still be thankful because the problem showed use where we need to improve in life.
Psalm 30:10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!”

4. Some problems cause maturity.
Some young people…and adults as well, do not grow up until they have problems. Going to jail, having a baby before marriage, losing a job, a break up, getting kicked out of school, losing a scholarship, or being stabbed in the back by a close friend can be difficult to handle. But, those same problems can be a wake up call and an opportunity for change. Be thankful for your problems because that can cause up to stop being childish.
Psalm 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.

5. God uses your problems to help others.
Some problems we encounter are not even about us, they were appointed to us to help someone else. God brings people through tough dilemmas to be a testimony for others. Be thankful for what you are going through because not only will you be blessed, but so will some else when they hear about you.  Philippians 1:12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel,

What do you think of this list, what are some reasons you would add to this list?  Leave a comment below.

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© Copyright 2014 Jerome Baker Jerome Baker is the author of “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”, and the youth pastor of A Place of Refuge Church in Carrollton, Georgia.

4 Reasons To Thank God For Your Haters

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By Jerome Baker

One thing that can be difficult to do at times is to demonstrate thankfulness towards your enemies, especially those that hate on you when you do well in life. Even though 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you, sometimes it is very tempting to want to slap some people. The Bible says in Acts 10:38 that Jesus went around doing good to all and still the world hated on Him (John 15:18). Young people that are determined to fulfill the will of God will be hated on by the world, as well as jealous people. Here are five encouraging reasons to keep moving forward in life and to thank God for your haters.

1. Your blessed.
The way some people talk about others when they are strive to live right can be harsh and brutal. But be of good courage, Jesus said that we are blessed when people hate on us for living according to God’s will.  Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake.

2. It proves somebody is watching you.
Some people are searching for someone that lives with integrity. Often times when you have high standards it is easy to be ridiculed or attacked because you are different. When this happens it just proves that someone is watching your lifestyle and you are making a difference. Don’t allow someone else’s evil tactics or threats to dismay you. Since they are looking at you, make sure to continue to let your light shine before them.

3. Haters give you an opportunity to show love.
Christians are commanded to love everyone, even our enemies. When an enemy spreads hate, a Christian should spread love. That doesn’t mean to be a pushover, but showing love can mean praying for your haters, not cussing your haters out, or even being a blessing to your hater. Though challenging, demonstrating the love of God can draw even the meanest hater to repentance (Jeremiah 31:3, Romans 12:17-21). Matthew 5:43 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.

4. Sometimes God uses haters to help your testimony.
The very person that’s hating on you could be the one God uses to help you. Strive to treat people right, even when they act a trip. You never know how the Lord can turn their heart in the future and work things out in your favor. In Daniel 6, Daniel was hated on by the governors and satraps, but he waited on the Lord by praying. In the end the Lord gave him one of the most powerful testimonies in Scripture and started with a group of haters. Let God use your haters to build you a testimony.  Matthew 22:44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?

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© Copyright 2014 Jerome Baker Jerome Baker is the author of “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”, and the youth pastor of A Place of Refuge Church in Carrollton, Georgia.