Wednesday, January 29, 2014

More Than a Building

by Steve Laser

Our home is located eleven miles east of Broomfield. Sometimes I find myself complaining about the amount of time we spend driving to and from Broomfield: my office is there, my wife, Andrea works there, our five year old goes to kindergarten there, our toddler's daycare is there and of course, our church, BUMC is there. People often say to us, "Can't you find a church closer to home?"  Generally I respond with the same tired joke, "Well, they have great breakfast burritos and the music is awesome."

After the laughter resides, I start reflecting on the list of reasons I have built in my head: Ken is so gregarious, well spoken, and his sermons speak to me in a deep way.  Thomas is one of most intelligent and thoughtful people I know, and I love his gullible nature, and the way he always thinks the best of people. Vicki and Christine and the rest of the BUMC Children's Ministry staff are amazing and teach rich, valuable lessons to our kids. Joe and his team add so much depth to contemporary service that we attend.  And in general, the church as a community does so much to ease the suffering of others- not just within our walls but across the country and overseas.  In addition, we have amazing friends and fellowship with other BUMC members and I would be sad to lose them.

Sometimes, indeed most of the time, I fire this list back at the person who had the audacity to suggest that we find another church. However, I realize that I am wrong and having a list is flawed! The truth is we don't stay because of some silly list or the items on it, or some sense of loyalty, or even the time we have invested in it.  We stay because we were called to this church community: I believe by God, and we will stay here because God still wants us here. He shows us every Sunday and the first Friday of every month (shameless shout out). This place this church community that we call BUMC is not a kin to my dry cleaner, or a bank branch that can be discarded in the name of convenience: this place was chosen for us and we were absolutely called here.  

Think about the moment you felt God called you to BUMC.  Please share in the comments below.

Steve Laser has been a member of BUMC for almost five years.  He is actively involved in the First Friday Fellowship, Theology on Tap, and a monthly usher.  He is a native to Broomfield, Colorado.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Direction Without Doubt

by Melanie Brush

Seven years ago I decided I wanted to move from Florida to Colorado. I had gone on a ski trip with my family when I was 14 years old and fell in love with the snow, the sunshine, nature and purity I found in Colorado. Finally at 26 years old, it seemed an appropriate time to relocate.  I knew leaving my family and friends would ultimately be the most difficult thing I had ever done and there were no guarantees I was making the right decision.  Still, I felt there was a calling for me to live my adult life in Colorado and that I needed to do everything possible to ensure it happened.

I started saving money from my paychecks as I was able. After a year of saving while working as a branch manager at a fitness club, I decided to change career paths and work as an administrative assistant for a well-known accounting firm in the heart of Tampa, Florida. While employed at the firm, I met Nolan McInnis for the second time. I had met Nolan through a mutual friend of ours a year earlier but was not ready to date anyone at the time. Shortly after reconnecting, Nolan and I started dating and seeing each other every moment we were not working. Nolan is a singer/song writer and I immediately fell in love with his voice and guitar playing. We did everything together and shared the same circle of friends.

At the time, Nolan wanted to relocate to Tennessee and launch his music career. I felt like Colorado was still calling me and asked Nolan if a temporary stay in Tennessee before relocating to Colorado permanently would work just as well. He agreed, so we drove our cars and belongings to Tennessee to live with my Godparents while we checked out the music scene. I started attending my Godparent’s church and shortly after Nolan was called to go on tour to the Virgin Islands. While Nolan was gone I went on a retreat with some friends from my Godmother’s church to a Beth Moore conference in Tennessee.

This time away from Nolan, my friends and my family in Florida was a revelation period in my life and I gained much wisdom from having attended the conference and having fellowship with these ladies. I went on a fast for almost two months and became very in tune with God and the purposes He had for my life. My prayer time was rich and empowering. I was convicted now more than ever that my discipline would determine my destiny and there was no doubt I was to relocate with Nolan to Colorado. My prayer time was most rewarding and I felt closer than ever to God and Jesus. That being said, I believe divine discipline is God’s corrective measure to get back in line and back on His plan to accomplish what we are meant to be and do in this life. I decided to visit Nolan in the BVI’s. We had a wonderful week together and great talks about relocating to Colorado. What an incredible musical experience I was blessed with! Our direction was clear and our goals were aligned.

On March 4, 2010 Nolan and I arrived at a friend’s house in Vista Ridge located in Erie, Colorado. We spent our first couple of months getting acclimated and then moved into a townhome in Lafayette. In prayer I asked the Lord’s direction and to please guide my career path into the church if it was His will. On our three year anniversary relocating to Colorado, March 4, 2013 I started working as the Ministry Assistant at Broomfield United Methodist Church.

I had felt my own inner will pulling me to Colorado for so long while living in Florida but ultimately we are all here to serve God and fulfill His will. Everything worked out to be in His timing and on His timetable. Just as Pastor Ken posed the question in his sermon last September regarding “Living a Regret-Free Life” I can honestly say that I do not regret any decision I have made as they have all led me to these truths in finding direction without doubt.






Melanie Brush is the Ministry Assistant at Broomfield United Methodist Church. Her main role is to schedule events at Broomfield United Methodist Church and assist Pastor Thomas Cross and the Children’s Ministry Director, Vicki Cromarty. Melanie teaches a small group on the Gospel of Matthew on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Do Not Be Afraid

by Christine Rector

I have the privilege of teaching preschool and kindergarten age children about God, His Son Jesus and His great love for us. I know many Bible stories backwards and forwards: Jonah and the Whale, David and Goliath, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Noah’s Ark, Creation just to name a few. These stories are the mainstay of Sunday school curriculum and very important in our faith journey. The Christmas Story is no different; I have heard, studied or taught this story for many years.

This past Advent and Christmas season I taught the children a different aspect of the Christmas story every week. The first week children heard the story of the angel’s visit to Mary, the next week the angel visiting Joseph in his dream and another week the angel’s midnight visit to the shepherds. The one thing that these stories have in common is what the angel told his audience, “Do not be afraid.”

On December 20, 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As I processed this information, many emotions flitted through me: shock, disbelief, anger, sadness, anxiousness, grief, humor, and fear. The morning after the diagnosis all I wanted to do was stay in bed, pull the covers over my head, and shut the world and cancer out. I was overcome with fear, and choked with fearful tears. God reminded me of what the angel had told Mary, Joseph and the shepherds, "Do not be afraid!” A sense of peace flooded through me- I was able to get out of bed and begin to face this challenge one moment, one day at a time.

Jesus tells us in the book of John that we are not to let our hearts be troubled or afraid, that He will give us the gift of peace through the Holy Spirit. He also promises that He will not leave us as orphans but will come to us through the Holy Spirit. Yes, we will have trouble and fearful moments but we are not to remain in those moments we are to allow the Holy Spirit to comfort us with His peace, to remind and encourage us through God's word.






Christine is the Children's Ministry Assistant at BUMC.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Constant Companion

by Dave Johnson

It’s been a year now since I’ve been without my furry friend, Clyde. He was a 150 lb gentle giant of an Alaskan Malamute/wolf dog; a spectacle of a dog and sweet companion. He died at the age of twelve, which I guess is a ripe old age for a big dog. It continues to feel like something significant is missing in my life... I guess that’s because there is. There is a conspicuous lack of happy tail wags and licks when I come home. Gone is my loyal hiking companion and travel partner. And gone is the greatest conversation starter ever when I sat at coffee shops next to this larger-than-life beast.

One of the most notable things missing from my world is the dog hair that I used to have on and in everything I owned. Every item of clothing; every square inch of my living space and vehicle showed the evidence of a giant, northern breed dog who produced an unimaginable amount of fur. I would go winter camping with this dog and he managed to stay comfortable sleeping in a snowdrift; he was endowed with a luxuriously thick and bountiful coat. A coat that would leave its mark everywhere he went.


                                

People knew I had a dog in my life everywhere I went, because I had evidence of him on me. I loved when people pointed out the dog hair and asked me about my furry friend. He brought my life so much joy and richness to my life and I loved talking about him. I loved telling stories of our adventures together. Dang, I miss that.

Over time, when we are living our day to day lives in close proximity with the Lord, we end up with the evidence of Jesus in the nooks and crannies of our lives. Those fruits of the spirit can stick to us like dog hair for others to see. And people will ask. When they do, enjoy telling about the joy and richness that your friend Jesus Christ has brought to your life. Enjoy telling of the adventures that you’ve had because of the presence of Jesus in your life.

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. (Galatians 5:22 & 23 NRSV)






Dave Johnson is the Director of Servant Ministries for BUMC.  He has his M.Div from Duke.  He may be contacted here
















Monday, January 6, 2014

Daily Audio Bible

A common resolution at the beginning of the year is to be more faithful reading God’s Word. It can be hard to figure out where to start, so I wanted to share a cool free resource I’ve found called Daily Audio Bible.

At its heart, Daily Audio Bible is, as the name implies, a daily audio reading of the Bible. Each “episode” consists of an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, something from the Psalms, and something from Proverbs. At the end of a year of reading the entire Bible is covered. The narrator, Brian Hardin, gives an overview of each new book as well as some wrap up thoughts after the day’s reading. Additionally, the readings are taken from a variety of translations, which keeps the perspective fresh.

There also is a community aspect to Daily Audio Bible where listeners can submit prayer requests, or follow along with Brian’s speaking schedule.

I’ve just starting listening this year and it’s been a great thing. I download the episodes automatically to my phone via a podcast app so they are ready each morning but you can listen via the website as well. Each episode is about 30 minutes so it’s perfect for breakfast time, working out, commuting, or lunch.

I was introduced to Daily Audio Bible by my good friend Rob Still. Rob has a more lengthy review at his website if you want more information. And if you decided to use this reading plan, let me know so we can follow along together!

Daily Audio Bible - www.dailyaudiobible.com
Rob Still - www.robstill.com







Joe Mazza is the Director of Worship Arts at BUMC. You can contact Joe here.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Life as it Could Be


by Andrea Laser


We just got back from a family vacation in which we traveled to California by plane.  Flying provides for me all sorts of interesting interactions and people watching (one of my favorite pastimes). Throughout the airline experience people are forced in very close quarters with total strangers. Parts of it reminded me of the video that was shown on Christmas eve at BUMC (if you missed it, check it out here).  

What was so interesting to me about the video was the idea of total strangers having to act like they loved another total stranger-- a situation that seems quite forced at first, but many participants reported by the end that they actually felt that they genuinely cared about the person with whom they were paired.

The scenario in the video is seemingly an experiment that would not otherwise occur; however, this week while traveling I noticed it occurring all over the place. Within my immediate family, my husband struck up a conversation with a couple behind us in line at the skycap.  By the end of the conversation, the couple was wishing us a safe trip and a Happy New Year.

On another occasion, a man weighed his bag, and it was five pounds over the 50 pound weight limit.  Several people starting giving him advice on what to take out to make sure that he didn’t have to pay the overage fee. When he finally got his bag under 50 pounds the whole crowd erupted in cheer.

On the plane, I overheard (okay, eavesdropped on) two men who randomly sat next to each other- first just creating small talk, but by the end of the conversation one of the men was explaining his life dreams to the other who was encouraging him to pursue them.

Still yet I witnessed a man manipulate the open seating policy with Southwest Airlines to ensure he sat next to young, single ladies, and sure enough, by the end of the flight it looked like his player approach had landed him some new connections and newly found friends.

While the close proximity to strangers is involuntary in airline travel, no one said to any of these people, “You must talk to and act like you care about this person.” These scenarios just played out spontaneously and very genuinely: people that had started out as total strangers were now wishing well to each other and sincerely caring about one another.

At the end of the video, the narrator and writer, Steve Hartman says about the photographer, “He shows us humanity as it could be, as most of us we wish it would be.”  

Or maybe, life and humanity as it is, if we take the time to look for it.

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:1-2 NIV)








Andrea Laser is an Early Childhood Special Educator, as well as mom to Paxton, 5, and Wyatt, 18 months.  She and her husband Steve have been members at BUMC since 2009. They are active members of the First Friday group, and Andrea leads the Blog Team at BUMC.  To contact Andrea, or if you are interested in writing for the BUMC Blog, please email her at abp818@gmail.com