Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Grace

by Lisa Forrey

Grace is a gift we hear a lot about. It is deceptively simple, this "unmerited favor," but sometimes difficult to pin down. Justin Holcomb describes grace this way, “A shorthand for grace is ‘mercy, not merit.’ Grace is the opposite of karma, which is all about getting what you deserve.”

Perhaps the most outstanding feature of grace is that it doesn't matter where we are in our ability to accept the gift, because God has us covered. God understands us better than we understand ourselves and knows what we need. God is bigger than our doubts, greater than our faithlessness, stronger than our fears. He loves us at our most unlovable, He's patient with our stubbornness. He still knocks when we draw the curtains and slam the door.

He calls us, each of us, by name -- individually, personally -- even knowing our darkness. He seeks relationship. His arms surround us, ready to embrace us, wherever we are, with whatever pebbles of faith we are able to gather. Whatever we can offer to God, that is enough.

Wherever you are in your path, whatever you can offer, God welcomes and holds you close.

God welcomes us. Always. He flings open the door for that time when you are ready to step across that threshold.

Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
THAT'S how much you mean to me!
THAT'S how much I love you!
I'd sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.

Psalm 43:4 (the Message)





Lisa is a single mom to two amazing daughters who try to make her a better person.  She's been involved in various small groups throughout the years and is currently a huge fan of The Fierce and The Humble group.  In her free time she enjoys trying to find balance in the chaos.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Support Crew

by Andrea Laser

Last weekend I finished my first ever half marathon. Yep. 13.1 miles. I wish I could say it was easy or that I felt well-prepared, but the truth is it was quite possibly the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Ever. I had three amazing friends who made this experience remotely possible- Theresa, Stephanie, and Julia.  They were the crew who helped me train, encouraged me, and even physically ran the race with me. While the race itself was physically and mentally challenging, the amazing legacy it left was irreplaceable friendships and lessons- both about running, but that also seeped into all of life in general.

The first person that I started to run with was my friend Theresa. During our first run together, we ran up a hill and were headed down the other side. I started to pick up some momentum on the downhill and she said to me, “Try taking it easy on the downhill, save some energy for the next uphill.” At the time I didn’t think much of it, but as I ran more and more, I thought about it every time I ran. It was true- the next uphill was way easier if you gave yourself a little break on the downhill. Often when there’s a “downhill” in life, I pile a lot on my plate and try to add things to do and accomplish, but then when there’s another uphill, I am out of energy. Thinking about enjoying the downhill has helped me have better balance in my life, and helped to better equip me for all the uphills.

Stephanie taught me so much about the mechanics of running, and the importance of supporting one another. She is what I would consider a “pro.” She uses terms like “PR” (personal record), and clocks an average pace during a marathon that would make me look like I was standing still. She volunteered to run the half marathon with me just to support me. During the really tough uphills, she had two awesome pieces of advice- one, shorten your stride; and two, look for a landmark to run to. Both are lessons about breaking a huge task into little achievable parts- even though I wanted to get it done quickly, if I took smaller steps I would actually be more efficient. Sometimes we tend to take on a giant task, try to do it all at once, and end up being less efficient than if we would just take one piece at time.

Julia taught me to always find the positive in the negative. On Saturday, as we finished mile 10, we dug deeper than I thought was physically possible, she looked over at me and said, “At least it’s not snowing and sleeting.” Yes, I am about to die, but at least I am not cold and dying too. But seriously, even in the toughest of situations, there are moments that we can say, “At least…” One of my new favorite authors, Glennon Doyle Melton, calls these “Kairos moments.” Little positive moments, glimpses of silver lining when life is difficult.

God doesn’t promise that life will be easy. He doesn’t promise that every task we set out to accomplish will be filled with joy and happiness. What He does promise is to be there- not just on race day, but for every challenge, every day of the journey. I might not have set a new record for my age group, or even finished within the time I thought I would, but I finished. I was given the people around me, I believe directly by God to help me finish the race, and leave behind more than a silly finisher medal (which I actually think is awesome, and if I could appropriately wear it every day I totally would)....I was left with life lessons, and even more importantly, friendships that mean the absolute world to me.

How has God equipped you with a support crew to help you during challenges in your life?  Please share in the comments below.




Andrea is an Early Childhood Special Educator, as well as mom to Paxton, 5, and Wyatt, almost 2. 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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My {Almost} Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

by Jackie Henke

Yesterday I started out with a day where nothing seemed to be going right. I found myself getting frustrated, angry, and just plain sad without it taking much to get there. 

First, I slept through my alarm, got sick to my stomach, and had to call in sick to work. Second, I had to go to Kaiser to pick up a prescription, which I hate! The line is always long, and lately, waiting is not a strong point of mine. On top of that, they lost my prescription and they had to call the doctor for refill approval. I finally got my medication and I just felt angry and frustrated to the point where I did not even want to deal with people anymore. Third, some guy in his souped up pick-up truck almost ran me and another lady down right in the crosswalk. “That does it!,” I thought, as I hobbled up the sidewalk to my car. 

But then, the situation changed.

There is no fourth to my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Heck, what happened next changed it from even being a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Morning!

As I walked towards my car, I heard gospel music. I believe it was Bill Gaither but was not entirely sure. I looked over towards where the music was coming from and was surprised to see an elderly man sitting in the driver’s seat of an SUV. He was listening to the music with this huge smile on his face. He then started shouting, “Praise God!” and he looked like he was seriously rocking out! He noticed me and our eyes met. He said, “Hey there young lady. I hope you are praising God right now!" I walked over to him and said “Well, to tell you the truth…it’s been a rough day.” He looked at me and then said, “God will not allow you to have a bad day. He loves you and you always know that no matter how rough things get. I spent most of my life in a hospital and here I am alive and happy to praise God every day.” The man patted my arm, and started singing to the music again, “Praise God!” he shouted, and I found myself joining along. I thanked him for blessing me and he replied, “We all bless each other don’t we?”

I walked back to my car with a new attitude and perspective. That’s just it isn’t it? My lesson of the day was, “Life is what you make it.” God gave me life and I need to honor that. It dawned on me as I started to drive out of the parking lot- I just survived brain surgery. It could have been so much worse for me but God had my back from the beginning. So when did I stop celebrating that? At what point did I forget to praise God each and every day? Well, I will no longer let the opportunity pass me by. As I drove through the parking lot, I opened my window and shouted “Praise God!” and a woman walking by stopped, looked my way and shouted “That’s right!”

As a result of this most awesome experience, I have decided to once again start my mornings praising God and living my life with a more positive mindset because of it.

2: Corinthians 6:4, 10- “In all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”



I grew up in Colorado and spent most of my time growing up in Arvada, Colorado until I went to the University of Northern Colorado. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance in 1994. Now, I work at The Link A Community Assessment and Resource Center.  At The Link, I work with youth who are either gang involved or at risk of becoming gang involved. I love my work and I get to see transformation in these kids on a daily basis. I am actively involved in the music ministry at Broomfield United Methodist Church. I enjoy singing with the Sunrise Singers and Chancel Choir. I also love having the opportunity to play my flute and sing whenever given the opportunity.


My life is now in transition as I recover from brain surgery. I had a MRI in December of 2013. At that time, I was told I had a large brain tumor and that surgery was needed as soon as possible. I had a craniotomy on December 23, 2013. I am now almost in my fourth month of recovery. My healing and progress is moving along now and I wouldn’t be where I am now without the support of my friends and family and the community at Broomfield United Methodist Church. So many people and groups within BUMC reached out to me with cards and offers of support. Most importantly, of course, I Praise God for his hand in my healing. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Love Does

by Shereen Fink

Last Sunday, April 6th, people who seemed “typical” (living in normal houses, working at every-day jobs, driving ordinary cars) demonstrated how loving God with all our hearts, souls and minds; and loving our neighbor as ourselves; (Matthew 22:37-38) makes us live our ordinary lives with extraordinary purpose. 

What I’m referring to is the first Ministry Fair we hosted at BUMC last Sunday. Visibly, the fair was
incredible. Our very large Family Life Center was crowded with over 30 different ministry partners and
over 60 volunteers from ministries of BUMC, as well as community and global ministry partners. During
the course of the morning, hundreds of people strolled through discovering all of the incredible work being done around the world by “typical” people. As I observed the visual aspect of the fair, I began to realize it was more than people crowded into our multi-purpose room that is used for basketball games and the room designated for our children’s Sunday school. In the midst of the people gathered around tables, the conversations and stories of changed lives, I saw energy, hope and a sense of purpose. 



Recently the book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff was recommended to me. I’ve savored this book for many weeks. It has been an inspiration leading up to the Ministry Fair. As the title suggests, the contents of the book are about showing our love for God and others through our actions. Looking around the crowded Family Life Center last Sunday morning, I saw God’s love in action. So often I read scripture about God’s love being all encompassing, stronger than
any evil, ever present ... and while those scriptures are comforting, nothing compares to seeing God’s love in action through His people living the life Jesus demonstrated while here on Earth. For me, Jesus’s life was all about being present and being a physical representation of God’s generous love. 

During the Ministry Fair I felt God’s love in the room- but I didn’t see an enormous God on a throne or a heavenly figure looming over the crowd. I saw God’s children reflecting His love through their actions. I saw almost 100 people physically sign up for a new area of service – offering the gift of their time to someone in need. 

This morning, during devotions, I read something in the book, Moments With Jesus by Gwen Ford Faulkenberry that struck me. The excerpt I read describes situations others experience, situations where I see the community of BUMC physically walking alongside others, giving the gift of their time and talents, to be the tangible representation of God’s love here on Earth:

“God is in all the expressions of love that we experience in the greatest moments of our human existence…But he is also so much more. Imagine the deepest part of the ocean, where it’s too dark to see. His love is deeper than any ocean of loss or longing we might feel. Imagine the Grand Canyon, or a wide gulf. God’s love is wider than any vast open space of loneliness or grief. And even if we’re facing the Himalayas, God’s love is higher than the tallest mountains of tests and trials. Should we lose everything else, in Him we would still have all we need. For we can never lose His love – and it is enough.”

I am eternally grateful for those who sacrificed their time to make the Ministry Fair a success and I can’t express enough how thankful I am to the almost 100 people who signed up for new volunteer opportunities Sunday morning. As it says in Acts 20:35, you are all blessed already because “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Even though many of you heard me say it before, it’s worth saying again: “To the world you are one person, to one person you are the world.”

Please visit the Servant Ministries website if you’d like to learn more about opportunities to give the gift of your time and treasures, or contact Shereen Fink at shereen.fink@broomfieldumc.org to participate in a Potter’s Plan workshop to discover your God-given talents for serving His will for your life here on Earth.

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18



Shereen Fink is the Director of Servant Ministries at Broomfield United Methodist Church. In her role she has developed a comprehensive ministry, curriculum and community service network designed to guide individuals to live purposeful lives through recognition and application of their God-given strengths.  She combines her education in business management, certification in Positive Psychology coaching and extensive self-study in theology with life experiences from years in corporate environments to provide a holistic view of God's meaning and purpose for our lives.  She is the author of a daily devotional book: God's Transformation for Our Lives and a devotional meditation CD.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

He said, "I did..."

by Kyle Rasmussen

I'm a morning person. My favorite time of day to be on the road is right before the sun comes up. Especially on a Sunday morning. I found myself in automotive bliss this past Sunday, cruising on a traffic-less US36 toward Broomfield, soaking in the amazing colors of sky and mountain.

While my eyes enjoyed the scenery, my ears were suddenly entertained by one of my new favorite songs: Matthew West's "Do Something." I turned the stereo up, and up some more, and found my spirit merging with his opening verse:

"Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of people living in poverty,
Children sold into slavery. The thought disgusted me.
So, I shook my fist at Heaven; Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you.”

Even though my car was still cruising at 55, I was stopped motionless, punched in the gut, completely exposed by reality.

My immediate need was to find out what inspired Matthew West to write something that could stop me cold in my tracks. I found it little coincidence; it was the actions of a former Univeristy of Colorado student. She had chosen to spend a semester studying micro-finance abroad in Uganda and in the process ended up starting an orphanage to save children who were being badly neglected by a state-operated orphanage. She had crossed the line from asking, "Why doesn't somebody do something?" to just, well, doing something.

Stories like hers unfortunately cause a "Catch-22" of faith. We all feel like in order for us to "do something" that matters, it has to be radical, massive, headline-grabbing. But what does Jesus teach us about serving? In the climax of Jesus' life on Earth, did he grab the national stage, display the full awesome wonder if his divine power and majesty? No, he washes his disciples feet and in John 13:15 says, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."

In preparing to travel to India this past summer, I got caught in the middle of this Catch-22, wondering why am I spending these resources to travel halfway around the globe for 10 days...what difference am I really going to make? To the residents of the village who we planted mango trees alongside and prayed our thanks to God for the fruit they will bear, to the believers who received their own native-language Bible thanks to the donations our team raised, and to the bellhop at our hotel who came to our room at midnight asking to have us pray for him and his family...our stories of faith intersecting a world away clarified that the difference was there to be made.

I can't think of any intersections in the Bible where God ever says to his people, "I'm going to need you to do everything." Instead there is story after story of God choosing the unlikeliest of candidates to do something special, something they thought beyond their ability, something...

What I love about our BUMC community is that in any given week, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of people doing all the little things that exemplify Christ's love for us. I'm sure amongst them are people who don't even realize how the little things they do impact the faith journey of others. To you I say, thank you for realizing it's not enough to do nothing.

This upcoming Sunday morning, April 6th, BUMC is hosting a ministry fair to bring together BUMC-rooted ministries to connect with people who may be looking for their own way to "do something." I encourage you to welcome the experience with open arms and meet some of the most amazing people I know, pouring their spiritual all into making a difference (regardless of how big or small that difference). In the meantime, if you need any further inspiration, I invite you to check out the video to Matthew West's "Do Something:"




Kyle Rasmussen is one of six BUMC members who traveled to India in August 2013.  He and his wife, Jennifer are both active in the children's and music ministries at BUMC.  Their mission team (BUMC 2 India) is raising funds for Global Hope India and their mission partners overseas, and is excited for the future mission team representing BUMC that is headed for India in December.  Kyle and Jenn have two kids, Blake and Noellyn, and both own their own creative businesses.