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Articles written by Kelly Baker


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  • The Gospel Dispute

    Kelly Baker|Feb 3, 2022

    “While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper…” (Matthew 26:6, NIV) Have you ever wondered about the differences that are sometimes presented in the Gospels? Matthew says this, Luke says that, Mark agrees with Matthew, and John says something completely different from everybody. Which one is right? “While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made...

  • With Thanksgiving

    Kelly Baker|Nov 24, 2021

    This week we are blessed to celebrate Thanksgiving. As you read this, it is likely that your house may be filling with the smells of roasting turkey and pumpkin pie. If not, go to the New Enterprise Church of the Brethren and pick up a To-Go meal between 11am-1pm on Thanksgiving. This is a day that no one should go without. There are other churches and places that are hosting meals as well and they would love nothing more than to share a Thanksgiving blessing of food. Go get’cha some! There is...

  • God's Creatures Great and Small

    Kelly Baker|Nov 10, 2021

    Ah, there’s nothing like a relaxing morning with a cup of coffee and a nice warm cat on my lap. My cat, Gladys has been spending mornings with me for years. She’s a creature of routine. So am I. My Bibles, devotional books, and laptop have enough Gladys hairs stuck in them to build a new cat. She’s my friend. She’s also on my lap right now, draped across my arms, making typing slightly more difficult, but I don’t mind. Just yesterday a memory popped up on my Facebook timeline. A few...

  • New Words

    Kelly Baker|Oct 28, 2021

    Reflecting on my recent and ongoing study of the book of Matthew, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve discovered while digging deeper into the Lord’s Prayer and verses that follow it. “This then is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil...

  • A New Creation

    Kelly Baker|Oct 14, 2021

    An old piano was given to us many years ago. It was a Cable Nelson Upright Grand. Although I am not musically gifted, nor had I been taught to play the piano, I thought it might be fun to learn. That never materialized the way I envisioned, but it is now possible for my right hand to stammer through a song if there are not many sharps or flats. My left hand continues to not know what it’s doing. It took three strong men to move the piano into our house. Pianos are quite heavy. This piano has been around since 1945, possibly a bit longer. Its...

  • Another Duck Story

    Kelly Baker|Jul 22, 2021

    The illustration shared during worship this week was a whimsical story about ducks (which can be watched by going to www.newenterprisecob.com) that reminded me of my own duck experiences. Last year we raised a group of white Peking ducks. They grew up healthy and happy and upon adulthood they transitioned themselves down to the creek to live. There they remained all fall, winter, and into spring doing whatever ducks do all day. But this spring the geese showed up. A pair of Canadian geese moved...

  • Receiving Blessings

    Kelly Baker|Jul 8, 2021

    “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3, NIV) Wouldn’t it be interesting to go back in time and observe Abram/Abraham? I would like to be able to watch him and observe his mannerisms. What was it about him that got the Lord’s attention to begin with? We know that he was...

  • Rocks for Brains

    Kelly Baker|Apr 29, 2021

    “And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:10, KJV) It was such a beautiful day. Not the day that we had snow. It was a day or two before that. It was the kind of day where you could smell spring if you walked outside. And not just spring, but memories. Why and how can smells trigger so many forgotten memories? Sometimes, it’s more of a feeling than a memory. And no, no one was spreading manure...

  • Blessings and Curses

    KELLY BAKER, For the Herald|Mar 18, 2021

    In my last column, I touched on the importance of reading the Bible. There was a reason for that. Even though the Bible was written by many people a long, long time ago, it is still relevant today. It is full of examples, practices, ideals, commandments, warnings and good advice. When the Bible is forgotten, all of the good things in it fall by the wayside. Morality and society crumbles as they collectively turn away from God to pursue holding themselves in higher esteem. It's a slippery slope....

  • Blessings and Curses

    Kelly Baker, For the Herald|Mar 18, 2021

    In my last column, I touched on the importance of reading the Bible. There was a reason for that. Even though the Bible was written by many people a long, long time ago, it is still relevant today. It is full of examples, practices, ideals, commandments, warnings and good advice. When the Bible is forgotten, all of the good things in it fall by the wayside. Morality and society crumbles as they collectively turn away from God to pursue holding themselves in higher esteem. It's a slippery slope....

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Mar 4, 2021

    It's because of the cream cheese. I love cream cheese. I love it in cheese danish, in icing, in dips, on cheese steak sandwiches, on bagels with or without jelly and on crackers. I love it in, on, or around anything. Cream cheese is my Achilles heel. To be completely honest, all foods are a terrible temptation for me. If you put me in a room alone with a million dollars and a piece of cheese danish, I can guarantee you that when you return, every cent will still be there untouched and...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Feb 18, 2021

    If you've ever had your feet shoot out from underneath you, you know that falling down is no fun. It happens suddenly and unexpectedly. When I was young, if I fell down, I would immediately spring back up again. Now when I fall down, I lay there for a few moments, trying to assess the situation. I've had a few memorable spills. Usually with witnesses. The time I wiped out on the pogo stick at Toys-R-Us while Christmas shopping comes to mind. A few summers ago I tripped most spectacularly on our...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Feb 4, 2021

    "Then the Lord said to him, 'What is that in your hand?' 'A staff,' he replied. The Lord said, 'Throw it on the ground.' Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it." ~Exodus 4:2-3, NIV Once upon a time, in 2013, I had just returned home with a sleeping baby. As I carried her through the house and up to her crib, I noticed something odd out of the corner of my eye. However, the mission at hand was to get the baby into her bed for a nice long nap, so without looking, I...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Jan 7, 2021

    As Pastor Lee mentioned in his column last week, 2020 was a doozie. Every day of it brought a new mental or physical hurdle to climb over leaving all of us tired and exhausted. New Years Day of 2021 was the most mirthless day I've had in ages. Normally I wake up on January 1 excited and ready to face a new year, looking forward to new experiences, new hopes, new adventures. But 2020 was awful and it had erased all joy of looking forward to anything in the future. I was depressed to the point of...

  • Not Your Typical Church

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Dec 24, 2020

    Dec. 21, 2020. The longest night of the longest year. The Star of Bethlehem is to appear on that night, which is in the future as I write, and in the past till this prints. Will we have been able to see it? Will it have been visible? Will there have been clouds? I'd really like to see it. Will I know what it is when I look at it? I am not an expert astrologer. I'm not even a beginner. The night sky is just something big and beautiful to look at when the opportunity presents itself. It would be...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Dec 10, 2020

    "Here is a statement you can trust, one that fully deserves to be accepted (indeed, it is for this that we toil and strive): we have our hope set on a living God who is the deliverer of all humanity, especially of those who trust." ~1 Timothy 4:9-10, CJB Nov. 29 was the first Sunday of Advent, a time when we collectively turn our thoughts toward the celebration of Christmas-the celebration of the birth of Christ. Folks begin to put up their nativity sets, Christmas lights, trees and...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Nov 25, 2020

    "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." ~Psalms 100:4-5 (NIV) Do you know what made my heart sing with gratitude this week? Little kids. They are joy in its purest form. They know the world is upside down, but they just keep on playing and giggling. I thanked God for each one of them. Their innocence and laughter was a true blessin...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Nov 12, 2020

    Each morning at my house is met with a copious amount of reading. This week as always, it was very appropriately timed. Truly I tell you, I do not go looking for these things, they find me. The following all presented themselves on the same morning and began in the book of Romans. "For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God's powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile. For in it is revealed how God makes p...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Oct 29, 2020

    It has been a beautiful fall. The trees on the mountains have held their colors much longer than usual, giving us more time to visually soak it in. We needed that. Organic beauty is soothing and refreshing. The trace of fog that lingers at the very bottom of the mountain in the morning adds a mystique and dream-like quality. Pumpkins, gourds and mums decorate porches. We're working at picking our field of Indian corn. Every ear holds a surprise. Will it be red, variegated orange, purple, blue, o...

  • One Stitch At a Time

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Oct 15, 2020

    This past week I read an interesting footnote in my Bible. It said that followers of Jesus are not to separate themselves altogether from this world, but to act like yeast, causing the world's dough to rise, and that the whole purpose of God's laws and principles are to teach us how to repair the world. Wow. Repair the world. That sounds like a tall order. I considered going down the rabbit trail to see where it would take me, but a few inquiries revealed that it would be quite a process. My...

  • Fall Cleaning

    Kelly Baker|Oct 1, 2020

    Yesterday we had a thorough fall cleaning at the church office. Things got washed that hadn't been washed in years. (The windows.) Things were found that I didn't even know we had. (A potpourri burner.) Things got thrown away, washed, scrubbed, vacuumed, bleached, dusted and swept. We even located the source of that strange armpit smell. (The plastic around the shower in the bathroom. There's nothing we can do about it, but at least we know it isn't any of us.) It was the kind of work that most...

  • Honey and Gall

    Kelly Baker, Faith Columnist|Sep 17, 2020

    "Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: 'Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.'" – Exodus 1:22, NIV Have you ever paused to consider what it would have felt like to be a mother in the days when Moses was born? If you are a parent, imagine that moment when your child was born. Imagine the joy that is felt when that baby is placed in your arms for the first time. Imagine the emotions that wash over you as you look at their tiny hands and feet and...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Sep 3, 2020

    In the last article we talked about Daniel, but I had also mentioned reading the book of Esther. Well guess what was next on the recommended daily readings? Yep, it was Esther. Now I know that many folks prefer not to read their Bibles for some reason, but you really need to read the whole book of Esther yourself. It is so riveting and action packed that I can't even begin to go over the whole exciting thing in the detail it deserves. In it we meet Hadassah, a.k.a. Esther, an orphan who was...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Aug 20, 2020

    "There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." ~Daniel 3:12 (KJV) Every time the book of Daniel rolls around on my daily Bible reading schedule, it makes me happy. If you've not taken the time yet to read the book of Daniel, go ahead and try it. It's one of those books that I like to circle back to...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Aug 6, 2020

    What I am about to tell you is true and factual. It's also an amazing example of the greatness and deliberateness of God. Before we start, we need to know some history. I'll do my best to make the history brief so no one falls asleep. If one were to look up the terrible and hopeless things that have happened to the Jewish people throughout their existence, one would discover that there is a particular date on which all these disasters seem to occur. It is the 9th of Av. Av is the name of a...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Jul 23, 2020

    "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life." ~Proverbs 13:12 (CJB) This has been a year of hope deferred. All the plans and dreams we had at the beginning of the year were thrown into the trash like common garbage: proms, graduations, family vacations, community events. Even mourning was taken from us. There were no goodbyes and no funerals allowed. Every shred of light that was shining its way to us was shut off. All this deferral of hope, week after week,...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Jul 9, 2020

    If you had asked me a few years ago what I thought of reading the prophets in the Old Testament, I would have made a face. If you ask me that same question today, you will get a completely different answer. In my daily Bible readings, the book of Isaiah has been especially intriguing. New things and passages have been popping out at me. It might be the new translation I've been using this year. To be honest, I'd like to put it all here for you, but there is just too much. It's also difficult to...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Jun 25, 2020

    "Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength! Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary. For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm." ~Ephesians 6:10-12 (CJB) Hey there. How are you? Are you having a good week? Answers may vary...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Jun 11, 2020

    One thing is for certain, it has been an exhausting year. I think we could all do with a little rest and relaxation. I think we're all sick and tired of hearing words like social distancing, "in these uncertain times," sheltering in place, "the new normal," "stay home-stay safe," CDC, Pennsylvania Department of Health, mitigation, and anything that involves the word "mask." Yes. I'm done with those things. Now we've added the next layer of fun to our hot fudge sundae – rioting. Oh goodie....

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|May 28, 2020

    I've always enjoyed connect the dots activity pages. Sometimes you can tell quite obviously what the picture is going to be before you even begin. Other times, the picture is more complicated and it's a surprise. One thing that I've learned about walking with God and studying the Bible is that it is also a connect the dots learning experience. The Old Testament always gives clues to the New Testament, which always refers back to the Old Testament. It's up to us to connect the dots. Here's a dot...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|May 14, 2020

    Thursday, May 7, was National Day of Prayer. People of all denominations were invited to come together in prayer. Locally, the Southern Cove Ministerium organized a drive-in prayer event at the Woodbury Church of the Brethren that evening at 7 p.m. The theme was “Praying God’s Glory Across the Earth.” Area pastors led those who gathered in a time of prayer, covering seven different topics. At the end there was wind and rain, but it felt good to be with others, lifting our hearts in prayer. It reminded me just how important it is to be...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Apr 30, 2020

    Warning: You may not like what you read here; I am about to exercise my freedom of speech. It is time to come out of the closet and tell you: I'm pro-choice. Normally pro-choice is the term we use regarding abortion, but here I am referring to the ability to make every day, average choices. I am in favor of all of us being able to decide what we want or need to do, and where we want or need to go on a daily basis. I am pro-choice. Many, many people are in such a current state of fear, that they...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Apr 16, 2020

    How are we all doing today? Everyone hanging in there? Week three was my dark week. Week three was when we found out there would be no Easter morning worship. Sure, there would still be a recorded service, but no gathering together at church to do it. Nope. Easter would be celebrated over the internet at home. I would rather have been punched in the face than lose our Easter gathering. That affected me more than anything else. All week long I just wanted to cry. In fact, I did. I poured out my...

  • A Mouse In the House

    Kelly Baker, Faith Columnist|Apr 2, 2020

    There's something soothing about routine. Our cat, Gladys, is the routine queen. Every week day, we wake up at 4:30 a.m. to start the day. That means Monday through Friday, Gladys gets fed at approximately 4:35 a.m. On Saturdays, between 4:30 and 5 a.m., Gladys will jump up on the bed, walk on my pillow, gnaw at my hair and knock things off the night stand in an effort to rouse me from my slumbers so that I'll get up and feed her. Every Saturday when she begins this routine, I gently push her...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Mar 19, 2020

    One thing I find difficult every other week is nailing down a specific topic to write about. It's not because there is a shortage of things to discuss, its because there are so many! The Bible is full of great things and its difficult to decide. I'm a Bible nerd and I don't care who knows it. There's always something new to learn, or a tidbit that hadn't popped out before. Then there's God himself and the different ways he's moved and worked in my life. He's done so many things, big and small,...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Mar 5, 2020

    "Now ADONAI said to Avram, "Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father's house and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing." ~Genesis 12:1-2 (CJB) It's a strange feeling when God asks a person to go do something new. Sometimes that thing involves going far from home to live in a dangerous part of the world, leaving all possessions and family...

  • Near Sighted And Far Sighted

    Kelly Baker, Columnist|Feb 20, 2020

    "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." ~Colossians 3:1-2 (KJV) When I was young, I couldn't see far away. No one, including me, knew that I couldn't see until fifth grade when my teacher asked me to solve the math problem on the blackboard. From the back of the classroom where I was sitting, the blackboard just looked black. There was no math problem on...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Feb 6, 2020

    "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." ~2 Corinthians 4:17-18 There is currently a very excellent song out by Sanctus Real called "Unstoppable God." One of the lines in the chorus is "Nothing can stop an unstoppable God, He's not afraid of impossible odds." Each time I hear it I feel encouraged. If you...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Jan 23, 2020

    A long, long time ago, I asked a high school wrestler if he could hear people cheering for him while he wrestled. "No," he said, "the only person I can hear is Coach." Not being any sort of athlete myself, this was confounding. How, in a noisy, crowded gym full of cheering and screaming people, can a person only hear one voice? He was surely mistaken. Twenty years later, when I went into labor, I found out that he was speaking the pure truth. When it got down to the nitty gritty, the only voice...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Jan 9, 2020

    Exciting news: this year for Christmas, I got a new Bible! This probably doesn't sound quite as exciting to you, but it makes the Bible nerd in me giddy with joy. It was the only thing that I really, truly wanted. It's been on my radar for a year and a half. But before I tell you about it, we must go back in time together so that you may gain some context as to why this new Bible is so special. A few years ago in our adult Sunday School class, we were in a discussion on how things get lost or...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Dec 26, 2019

    Many years ago my husband gave me a 3,000-piece puzzle of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" for Christmas. Excited, undaunted, and armed with clueless naivety, I immediately began the task of assembling it, or rather, TRYING to assemble it. The way I usually put puzzles together is to find the edge pieces, put them together first, then fill in the middle. It soon became apparent that this puzzle had other ideas. You see, the edge pieces of this puzzle were so similar that I'd THINK I was...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Nov 27, 2019

    The season of Advent is on its way. During Advent, as traditionally taught, we focus on peace, hope, joy, and Love. It only makes sense that gratitude and thanksgiving should precede that time. Much like John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus, we need to have this time of counting our blessings so that we can truly prepare to enter the time of celebration that is about to come. A grateful heart is open to joy and blessings. You know the saying "The rich get richer?" Well, the blessed get...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Nov 14, 2019

    It's been a wild and wacky life. I've had the opportunity to work at many different places doing many different things. One thing that I've learned is that each job requires specific knowledge pertaining only to that job. The general public, unless they too have worked the same job, does not possess this particular knowledge and has no understanding of what you do or why you do it. Here are some examples: In the heavy highway construction industry, three layers of asphalt are generally used...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Oct 31, 2019

    You've heard the expression "opening a can of worms." It indicates that what you are about to do is going to be more complicated than it would appear. Sharing faith experiences can be a little like that because I've witnessed so many things that I'm not even sure where to begin unraveling them so that I can tell you about them. It all works together, you see: faith, fearlessness, love, forgiveness, compassion and more. So to find where one ends and one begins is very difficult because they are i...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Oct 17, 2019

    *A Word Of Warning: The following article was written with my evening brain, and my afternoon brain, which are vastly different than my morning brain. My morning brain has sharp concise, uninterrupted thoughts and ideas and is able to easily take what is in my head and put it on paper. My afternoon brain is at a disadvantage because our daughter is home then and can't let me develop a thought or sentence without interruption. My evening brain, sadly, does not resemble a brain at all. It is like...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Sep 19, 2019

    "But Ruth replied, 'Don't urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me be it ever so severely if anything but death separates you and me.'" ~(Ruth 1:16b-17. NIV.) In my daily devotional recently, it challenged the reader to make a list of ways that God has blessed them, taking notice of the things right under...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Sep 5, 2019

    It had been a week of ups and downs. A beloved family had lost their barn and all their cows in a tragic fire. Although grieved and wounded, they did not fail to trust God. Though shaken, they continued to have faith that God would see them through as they prayed for guidance. In another home, a dear son was released from the confines of his body in this world, and he went home to his eternal reward. Though wracked with sadness, his family knew that he was now able to rejoice and be free to expr...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Aug 22, 2019

    "You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." ~Psalm 23:5 (NIV) There were once two little buckets. They were left sitting outside on a stone wall. One bucket was turned upside down so that it could dry out. The other bucket was left upright. A bucket's fondest desire is to hold and carry things so when it began to rain later that day, the bucket that was turned upright began to catch the rain drops. The bucket that was upside down only repelled the rain. At first the upside down bucket...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Aug 8, 2019

    Last year I came into possession of a very nice chicken coop. With it came some chickens. The "old ladies," as they became known, were very nice and well-mannered chickens. They laid big fat brown eggs. They were as tame and gentle as a chicken could be. Then we got the new group. The young ladies did not have quite the same mannerisms that the old ladies had. The new group fought. They peck each other to death. They sometimes break the eggs. They are tame and cordial to humans, but they are a n...

  • Not Your Typical Church Lady

    Kelly Baker, Correspondent|Jul 25, 2019

    The other night I had occasion to walk outside after dark to take care of a few things. There have been many nights that I've gazed up at the moon, but this was the first time I saw colors around it. It was well after sunset and the initial moonrise, but there was still an aura of pinks and purples surrounding the moon. There was no choice but to stand there in my driveway and allow myself to be captivated by it. It was bright enough to cast a shadow, which is always fascinating in the dark. The...

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