Saturday, September 27, 2014

Why I Come to Church...

by Barb Hightower

“Why did you come to church this morning?" That was an interesting question asked by Ken in the church service on September 14th. My hurried answer that morning, “Because I make the coffee and I wanted to hear Boyd Hamilton play the piano,” was flippant and petty. It took me a little while to really think about all the reasons I come to church.

When Scott and I were younger and had three small children, it was worth the effort of getting all three kids up, fed, dressed for Sunday school, and packed into the car just to be able to spend an hour or so sitting in the peace and quiet of the sanctuary and listening to the sermon. Now, with our kids well- grown with families of their own, I go to church for many other reasons. Here are some of them:

1. I like the peaceful, calm, loving feeling I get when I walk into the chapel.

2. I like knowing that everyone in church is there to worship God, our father, and Jesus, his son. It is a good reminder that most people are good, and there is still a lot of good going on in the world.

3. I like thinking of the many ordinary blessings that we have every day that we so often take for granted—but, when sitting in church, we take time to remember them and be grateful.

4. I like the many friendships that have developed from being involved in our friendly, caring church.

5. I like the many opportunities for learning and service that our church provides through small groups. There’s something for everyone!

6. But the most important reason I go to church is because it inspires me to start off each new week with a new perspective and new goals. I listen to Ken and Thomas’s sermons and take sermon notes. During the week, I think about Sunday’s sermon, read my notes, look up the scripture readings in my Bible, and, when Shereen sends me her wonderful prayers from the contemporary service, I read them, too. I also like to read the daily scriptures that are printed in the bulletin.

Going to church helps to keep my faith strong. It helps me to live a more meaningful, giving and fulfilling life. It helps me to become more aware and grateful for all the things that God has provided. Going to church helps to guide my life. It renews my spirit! And, sometimes, it just helps me get through the week!

Barb is a Colorado native who grew up in Wheat Ridge.She  moved to Broomfield in 1980 with her husband, Scott, a son and two daughters. Now she has 6 grandsons nearby who are the loves of her life! She joined BUMC in January of this year, and enjoys helping Coleen in the kitchen on Sunday mornings, and meeting so many wonderful people at BUMC. She likes music, crafting, baking and traveling. But most of all, She likes being home, spending time with her family, and hiking in our gorgeous mountains (it’s good for the soul!).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

God's Got This!

by Jackie Henke

The young man mentioned in this story goes by “B” in order to protect his identify and to honor his confidentiality.

B is a fourteen year old boy who has been through more in his short fourteen years than most of us have been through in thirty. He has a tough exterior and at first look, most would label him as a “thug” or criminal. My mind changed, however, after my first five minute meeting with B. He wasn’t afraid to open up and accept the help offered him and I found myself making headway with him. One day as I pulled up to the middle school, I started reflecting on how his problem behaviors at home and at school were improving, and how I was now facing the possibility of never being able to work with him again. 

The day before this particular visit, I had found out about my brain tumor and the need for urgent surgery.

I had checked in with my other clients prior to this meeting with B. The boys I spoke with took the news in stride but let me know they were concerned. That alone meant the world to me because they had grown to trust me and care about my well-being. I promised them all I would contact them as soon as I possibly could. It was strange leaving my school visits with the boys with the thought I may never see these boys again. It hurt to know I may never finish the work I feel God has called me to do with them.

I went into the school and asked the office attendant to please call B up to speak with me. He walked into the office about five minutes later. I always get the classic, “Hi Miss!” response when he sees me. I should explain that all the kids call me “Miss” as a sign of respect. They know my name but they always refer to me as “Miss.” When I first started working with B I didn’t get a smile or any other form of greeting. Now, just months later, I get the brightest smile and a “Hi Miss!” each and every time. After B’s classic and wonderful greeting, I took him into another office so that I could tell him the news in private. I told him the news and tried hard to hold back the tear, already welling up, and I just waited. He just stared at me for maybe five minutes. His eyes met mine and he said nothing until I heard him say “Miss…God's got this.” The dam broke. The tears began to flow and B said it again, “It’s okay Miss…God's got this, and my parents and I will pray for you.”

I thanked him and left the school with new found peace in my heart.

I now had a peace that I had yet to feel after hearing the news of my tumor. As I drove away, I realized that here was a young man who struggled just to make it through each day without encountering some form of trouble, a young man who had a stronger faith than I did at the time. He spoke such simple words. He spoke words with such a powerful message.

I had never spoken to B of my faith and he never asked me about it. Our check-ins had to be quick and usually involved asking how the current things in life are going for him. It blew my mind that somehow; he knew I am a believer.

These three words have now become my mantra. I said these words over and over as I lay on the operating table; and then what seemed like moments later, I awoke with doctors, nurses, friends, and family surrounding me. I said out loud, “I made it through!” I remember then thinking, “Of course you made it through Jackie...God's got this!”

My recovery has not been easy. I never expected it to be; however, these three words continue to get me through every setback. They get me through every MRI, through every panic attack, and through every negative thought. These words turned my life around. The message is one that I now hear loud and clear at any and every moment of my life.

I want anyone and everyone who reads this to know that without a doubt that regardless of your station in life, God's got this! He will never leave you and he will continue to work miracles!

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

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. 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. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hearts Don't Forget

by Sheila Alishouse

My grandpa is a WWII veteran and just turned 89 years old. He’s completely in love with my grandma, who is 84 years old. It’s so obvious even after nearly 68 years of marriage, that these two were meant to be together forever. They have gone through a lot in those years – children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and now even great-great grandchildren! Five generations of love, endurance, fun, laughter, hardships and yes – gut wrenching pain. All of it experiences that now my grandfather doesn’t always remember. In fact, he remembers less and less every day.

My grandfather has Alzheimer’s disease, and he is quickly receding into his own world, his own reality. His four siblings and mother also had Alzheimer’s. It is a part of our family history, and most likely part of our family future as well. At lunch the other day, I silently watched as he carefully looked over the menu choices. My Aunt sat next to him making suggestions about what he should eat. He always said the same thing, “No that’s too much food.” And then, out of the blue, my grandma leaned over and said, “Dale, I’m having the blue cheese salad.” He immediately sat straighter and said, “Well that sounds perfect. I’ll have that.”

You might think this story isn’t all that amazing, but you’d be wrong. Because you see that happens at every meal. The only one that can tell my grandpa anything is my grandma. His eyes that seem lost most of the time suddenly brighten, and he responds to her. You can almost see the bright string of love tying them together when they talk to one another. I imagine sometimes that God’s love for us is similar. We feel lost. We feel confused and afraid, and yet, His voice calls out to us….leading us forward.

My grandma confided in me that her greatest fear is one day my grandpa might not know her. It’s a scary thought for many of us, and one that I absolutely do not want my precious grandma to endure. At the same time, I am comforted by the knowledge that even if grandpa forgets my grandma’s face – his heart won’t have forgotten her heart. When I told her that, she smiled and said, “Of course. His heart will always know my heart, and my heart will always know his.”

One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 139: 1-2:

Lord, you have examined me;
you have known me.
You know when I rest
and when I am active.
You understand what I am thinking
when I am distant from you.

What an amazing comfort to know that God knows us so deeply and so profoundly. God knows my heart. He understands me more than anyone in my life, and I can rely and trust in Him no matter what. I’ll admit that it’s not always easy for me to do. I have had some rough moments in life, and we all have. No one has the market on tough times. What I have learned as I’ve grown older is that when the tough times come; I just need to go back to my heart. Go back to my default position – where God is patiently waiting for me. He will comfort me. He will listen to me. He will provide what I need.

When that day finally comes and my Grandpa is completely inside his own world, I am going to introduce myself to him again. He’ll ask me who I am. And I’ll smile and say, “Dale – my name is Sheila. And I think my heart knows your heart. It’s nice to meet you.”

Sheila Alishouse is a Mom of two young women, and is a Nana too. She believes being a Nana is the best job ever, and has a new perspective on life now that she has the ability to step back and enjoy - probably one of the reasons she appreciates her grandparents so deeply. She lives in Denver and travels to Broomfield for church because BUMC is "my heart - my home. I belong here." Sheila is deeply committed to fighting for freedom with Traffick Stop and trying to live in an undaunted way!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Filled with Pride

by Mindy Davidson

Last weekend I had the immense honor of attending my nephew’s graduation from US Navy boot camp in Great Lakes, IL. I was filled to the brim with pride for him and the 611 sailors standing with him. I have always thought of myself as someone who is proud to be an American; I celebrate our countries freedom on 4th of July, those that have served our country on Veteran’s Day, and those we have lost on Memorial Day-but on this day I was struck by the immense commitment these sailors were making as Americans. Whether they realized it or not, they had responded to God’s calling to serve their country and their fellow man. They had done something only 1% of the US population does, they gave their lives (at least for the next four years) to their country. I have no idea why on this day this realization hit me. My sister is a Navy veteran, as was her husband, my uncle, a cousin and countless other people I know. Every week 600+ sailors graduate from the Great Lakes Recruit Training Command. That is more than 31,000 men and women who become US Navy Sailors each year by responding to God’s call to serve and protect the freedoms we enjoy in this country.

During the weekend with my nephew, I witness a boy become a man, a kid with lack luster confidence express pride in what he’d learned and what his future holds. I was awe struck to see the redhead, who now had a buzz cut, hold open doors for others and look them in the eye with respect and dignity. I was grateful for those that “thanked him of his service” as we walked around downtown Chicago. 

I was happy to see that the “kid” I know and love was still there beneath the uniform and the formality, when we appeased his wishes for Starbucks, his cell phone, Nebraska shorts, and a sweatshirt to relax in. I am thankful to God every day that I was given the opportunity to be his aunt and his champion. 

Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 4:9-11

Mindy Davidson is the Director of Business Administration at BUMC. She has been attending the 11:05 service since 2006 and a member since 2009. Mindy joined the church staff with twelve years of experience in fundraising and management. She is a very proud Nebraska Cornhusker fan, an aunt to three amazing nephews, and holds a degree in Culinary Arts.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why this community matters

by Eric Underwood

"Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble."
1 Peter 3:8

For those of you who may not know, I recently lost my Mother to a tragic accident. She was killed late morning on Tuesday, August 12th in Lakewood while heading up to Frisco to spend the day with her granddaughter. While it is still a shock to my system, what has not been is the amazing support and outright compassion that BUMC and my friends within this community has shown me and my family.
My wife and I are members of a few of the small groups and outreach teams with BUMC and for the last three years, we have been the ones to make meals and offer support to those who needed assistance for medical and family reasons.

And to be quite honest, it never dawned on me that I would ever need this same kind of support for an unfortunate situation within my own family. We often forget that one day we will need to be picked up right along with those we have under our own care.

And this is exactly why I am so very thankful to be a part of this community, the family of Broomfield United Methodist Church. I know that I will always have those who care about me and my family simply because we are together, a part of this community.

The Sunday following my mom’s passing, I was approached be each and every one of the members of our community who knows me and offered their condolences and even some by those who don’t directly know me, but knew of my grief. I was very overwhelmed by the love and concern for me. I felt so strong to confront losing my mother that day and I haven’t felt lost or hopeless of support since. I know that I have someone to support me with just one phone conversation and most will come from this community.

I strongly urge each and every one of you to become a member of a small group at BUMC. You never know when you will need someone to be there for you in good or bad moments coming your way.

And we will be ready and waiting.

We are all a part of this community.

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5

Eric is a Colorado native who loves to spend time with his family and (self admittedly) gets way too absorbed in the Broncos.  He says that BUMC has been a wonderful addition to their lives and he looks forward to the future with the community.