Saturday, December 26, 2015

Distance Should Not Equal Forgetfulness

I find that as the week progresses further from Sunday, the more I forget of the message. Also, I think less and less about what God, Jesus Christ and my church have done for me and my family.

Come Sunday, I'm refreshed and (for you yogi's) re-centered in my faith and reminded of His power and gifts.

How do I remain closer to Sunday's message? Do I reflect more? Shereen's daily Scripture emails are a great tool to remind me, but I can't rely on someone else to engage me. That's my task.

Will Rogers was famously asked once, "Are you a part of an organized religion?" And he replied, "I'm not a part of an organized religion, I'm a Methodist."

I've always liked that quote for two reasons. It shows the somewhat relaxed nature of our church and it gives me some leeway in how I worship. Perhaps this less complex view is why Pastor Thomas starts his sermons with a joke.

It falls on me to make an effort to have a daily reminder of my faith. My focus in 2016 is to make a conscious effort to continue to appreciate God's gifts throughout the week.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. -Joshua 1:9



Eric is a Boulder County Sheriff's Deputy and Colorado native who loves to spend time with his family and (self admittedly) gets way too absorbed in the Broncos.  He and his wife, Cristen and two Children have been members of BUMC since 2011. 


Friday, December 18, 2015

Joy in the Morning

By Jackie Henke

From April to September of this year (2015), I lived with my parents for the first time since before I graduated college. My older brother and I were in the process of finding a home to transition to. In the meantime, I was happy to have two loving parents who are willing to help me out! I’d pay what I could in rent and I adapted to calling the living room couch home. This may not have been the ideal living situation for me; however, this situation certainly has its perks! For example, my father is quite the chef and I often woke up to a freshly prepared Eggs Benedict or a simple breakfast of sausage and eggs. My dad also grills a mean filet mignon!

Although it was not my ideal living situation, I have learned to adapt to what life has thrown at me and that God shares a lesson in everything. I love my parents and living with them again has given me the opportunity to stay positive and love even the simple things in life. More importantly; I have learned that True Love really does exist!

I have always admired my parent’s relationship. During my childhood, I remember hearing my parents disagree from time to time; however, they always found a way to compromise. Now that I lived with my parents again, I truly saw what their relationship is like after 51 years of marriage! 


My favorite time of the day now was mornings with my parents. Of course I love the fresh breakfast, but even more than that, I love listening to them banter back and forth. My mom and dad sit in the family room while I eat breakfast and prepare for the day. They talk about life decisions or something on the news and there is almost always some kind of little argument. It could be about my dad’s unwillingness to be fit with a hearing aid or my mom’s desire to talk constantly about everything (even when my father is concentrating on the news). In the end, however, I always hear them laughing. I love the way they work things out and I love the way they look at each other! It’s amazing to see two people who are still so completely in love!

On Sunday December 13, 2015, Pastor Ken challenged the congregation to seek joy in their lives. As I listened to his sermon, my thoughts immediately turned to my parents. When I think back to the time I recently spent living with them, I thought about the joy I experienced every morning. I started out each morning experiencing the joy they have for being alive as well as the unconditional love they have for each other.

As I was driving home from church Sunday morning, I began to think, “Where has my joy in the morning gone?” I love my new home in Arvada and having my brother as a roommate is a great situation. However, I haven’t been waking up with the feeling of joy. I wake up grumbling and mumbling and stressing out about my morning commute. Since Sunday, however, I have changed my mindset. I wake up thinking about my parents and the joy they share. I wake up thinking about the joy I can have each day because I have a wonderful savior who loves me and believes in me. I have the joy from a job that I feel the Lord had led me to, and the joy of friends and family who have been with me every step of the way. Most importantly, I have the joy of surviving a brain tumor. I need to celebrate life every day and I need to spread the joy that comes with it!

Thank you Pastor Ken Brown for the reminder and I accept the challenge!


These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. -John 15:11 


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, December 10, 2015

Mistaken Identity

This post previously appeared on the BUMC Blog in September of 2009. 

She was a first-time visitor and I had the preaching assignment that day. From a distance I suppose many 4-year-olds would arrive at the same conclusion. Nestled in her grandma's arms, she curiously asked her grandpa just who I was: "Grandpa, is that President Obama?"

For the first time in my life I'm mistaken for a President of the United States at least once a quarter, usually by a preschooler. Don't get me wrong, I understand the mistake and it has been insightful.

First, as grown-ups we should never assume little tykes aren't absorbing tons of messages about religion, race, creed, gender, and sexual orientation. Innocent inquiries by children are opportunities to shape their view of God and the embrace of all people. Most importantly, my frequent cases of mistaken identity lead me to wonder, Am I mistaken for Christ as I should be? Do my words and actions resemble those of a person transformed by grace? Can others verify who I am in Christ, not by my position as pastor, but by my witness in their life?

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. -1 Corinthians 13:12

I am curious: who do people mistake you for? And how are you doing resembling Christ?




Ken Brown is the senior pastor at BUMC. You can contact him at ken.brown@broomfieldumc.org

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Those Pesky Commandments

During the month of October my fellow teachers and I were tasked with helping our students learn and understand a set of rules. These rules, ten in all, were sent to mankind from God to help us stay on track, abiding, and safe. That’s right; I’m referring to the Ten Commandments.

We tell our students (3, 4, and 5 year olds) that God gave us rules to keep us safe. Rules give us a path to follow, help us understand where we’re going, how to get there, and they’re the same for everyone. During the course of teaching these commandments to the children I began to understand them more fully. I love teaching Bible stories to my students because I am afforded an opportunity to delve more deeply into the narrative and garner a fuller appreciation for each verse. I found, through teaching the Commandments to my kids, that the Ten Commandments are pretty easy to follow. All of them are pretty cut and dried, no nonsense, and straight forward, easy peasy. All of them except one, at least for me.

Before I tell you which one I have trouble with, I’d like to review the nine that I find simple. The first two refer to not worshipping idols and having no other Gods. I’ve never felt the urge to bow down to a statue and I’ve never wanted to join a religion that revers a god of thunder or water or lightening or any other weather element, so, 1 and 2? Check. No problem.

Commandment number three asks us not take the Lord’s name in vain. My favorite “curse” words are “God Bless America”, instead of saying something a little bit more risqué, so I think I’m fairly safe there. Number four asks us to keep the Sabbath holy. I like this one. I enjoy coming to church. I enjoy taking that day to relax, reflect, and enjoy. No problems there.

Now we come to numbers five, six and seven. In order they are: Honor you mother and father. Yup, I love them to bits. Don’t murder anyone. Pretty simple I think. I’m fairly certain that I’ll never violate that rule. Don’t commit adultery, or, as we tell our students, keep your promises. I found my Prince Charming, and while he makes me nutty sometimes, I plan on keeping him around for the duration.

Number eight, which seems to be really, really hard for some people doesn’t pose a problem for me either. Stealing is not something that appeals to me. If I didn’t earn it, I don’t want it. Number nine, bearing false witness, is a little sticky. Does this include little white lies that everyone tells from time to time? I’m not a pathological liar and I ask God’s forgiveness for the occasional white lie.

Now we come to number ten. The BIG ONE – OH. For me, this is the toughie. I don’t think I’m alone in this one either. In fact I know that I’m not alone. This one, especially in our modern society of decadence, largesse and means, makes this one hard. DO NOT COVET. I struggle with this one daily. She has a bigger house, he has a better job, she is skinnier, and he goes on a nicer vacation. The list goes on and on and varies from person to person. Everyone covets. How can we not? Even if we want for nothing, we find something out there that we want; whether we need it or not. The trick, I think, is to put our wants into perspective and to think of the bigger picture.

It’s fine to want something. It just can’t take over our lives and taint our day to day activities. I really want to go to England someday. I’m saving my money and hopefully, one day I’ll go. When I finally get there, I think I’ll really appreciate the experience, because I worked hard for it. The coveting part of it would be if I were to be mad at someone else who got to go before me. I have to be happy for others’ successes and journeys and not wish it was me instead.

I watched a video online the other day that showed a man walking around the streets of New York with dollar bills taped all over his body, carrying a sign that said “take what you need”. As you can guess, a lot of people walked up to him and took the money. When the man asked if they needed it, the responses were, “no, but it’s free”, “yes, I have a nail appointment tomorrow”, and so on. These people didn’t take just one or two bills either, but seven, eight, nine, ten bills. Towards the end of the video, a homeless man with a dog saw the sign and he took two bills. When asked if that was all he needed, his response was, “Yes. I just need enough to eat today”.

The quote at the end of the video is what I needed to see to help me not violate God’s tenth commandment. It says, “You have succeeded in life when all you really want is all you really need”. I put it on my phone so that I can carry it around with me everywhere I go. I am going to do everything I can to remember this and put it into practice. I will be grateful and thankful. I don’t have as much as some but I have more than others.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. -Matthew 6:33

Sara Godwin has been a member of BUMC since 2003. She is the Assistant Director and Teacher at Apple Tree Christian Preschool and Kindergarten where she has worked since 2007. She has two wonderful children, Rachel and Ian, a loving husband, Shawn, two awesome kitties, Lewis and Lucy, and a sweet dog, Minnie. She began at BUMC working in the Children’s Ministry, assisting with Sunday School before moving to the preschool. She also helps with Wacky Wednesday and is the self-described crazy lady who wears all sorts of costumes every year at VBS.


Friday, November 27, 2015

No Longer Slaves to Fear

In my office hangs a extremely cool relic of the 1980s – a commemorative poster from the 1985 supergroup USA for Africa’s hit “We Are The World.” It became the fastest-selling American pop single in history and raised $3 million for relief in Africa and the US. More than that, it was an anthem of the times – a song that everyone rallied around to show awareness and solidarity of a global family.

Fast forward 30 years, and one could hardly deny that we sit in a world in need of an anthem for our times. Today’s anthem isn’t one that just requires bridging oceans and national borders, but it requires bridging of theological boundaries and solidifying one family of God.

“No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music is without a doubt one of the most anthemic Christian rock songs ever written. Simple and powerful, its message of hope, triumph, and trust reach out to the ends of a planet that is shaken every day by news of destruction, hopelessness, greed, apathy, and fear.

You unravel me, with a melody…

Today’s market bombards us with products that make us feel like we’re in control. You can have your side of the bed as firm as you like it, you can watch your favorite TV shows whenever you want to watch them; in fact our entire society is becoming based around this “I push a button and what I want happens” concept. This works great for entertainment, but horrible for our relationships with God. One terrible thing that happens is that we start to feel like we are the architects of God’s plan for us. But Jesus said, “I can do nothing on my own…I seek to do not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” (John 5:30)

This falsity that I’m the sole executor of “the plan” has an evil twin that God’s blessings are earned by following some rigid script (the “If I do this then God will give me that” mentality). Both stand in direct contrast to God’s unmeasurable love and plan for my life. One thing that has helped me counter both notions is a constant reminder that there is nothing I can do that will “impress” God. This song reminds me that the best way to come to God in moments of fear and doubt is by “unraveling” any notions that He is not the author of my life, and leaving my soul open to hearing His will and reminder of His covenant.

You split the sea so I could walk right through it…

Whether you are a fan of the original 1956 “The Ten Commandments” or preferred the 2014 “Exodus: Gods and Kings”, the depiction of the Israelites’ escape from the pursuing Egyptian army as told in chapter 14 of Exodus was extraordinary cinematic depiction of God’s amazing power to uphold the covenant with His people. One of the most difficult things about reading the Old Testament is that it can seem like God is constantly intervening in miraculous ways to save His chosen people. We wonder, “If He can part seas, why won’t God just (fill in the blank) for me today?” I know that every day God is making all things work together for my good. Romans 8:31 – “If God is for us, who is against us?” and certainly Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God!” are great places to seek reassurance when I start to lose patience and faith. He’s going to nudge you down the road you need to be on. He’s going to bring people into your life that you need. He’s going to take those moments that were filled with pain and show you how they were the best thing that could have happened to you. None of these things involve literal parting of seas or manna from heaven, but “No Longer Slaves” serves as a great reminder that we’ve already received something better than an epic miracle to witness God’s immense love for us. He sent Jesus as the ultimate and perfect sacrifice so we could live with Him forever.

I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.

As Christians, we can’t help but struggle with biblical reference to slaves. I was reminded in church this week that slavery (especially in the New Testament) is best taken as a metaphor. Proof of this could be the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:23-35). Jesus compares God’s judgement onto those of us who can’t forgive as how the forgiving king’s servant treated his slaves. More directly, the audience of Jesus’s days understood that all slaves have a master. This is best reflected in Luke 16:13 – “No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.” Of course in Luke the reference is to wealth, but I think as Christians today we need to seriously consider our enslavement to fear as an obstacle to loving God. I learned early on as a member of TraffickStop at BUMC that the undeniable tool used to entrap victims of human trafficking is FEAR. When someone uses fear to manipulate your emotions and to control your actions and behavior, you are enslaved, period!

I want to distinguish the difference between fear and risk. Risk takes into consideration the possible consequences of an unwanted event, but also the likelihood (or lack thereof) of it actually happening. Evaluating risk (and more critically mitigating it) is crucial in my industry to weigh the costs of engaging in beneficial behavior. Fear only looks at what could happen (whether likely or not) and stymies us in a “worst case scenario” mentality. It tells us that nothing is worth doing because of what could go wrong. Good luck finding something in the New Testament to the extent of Jesus saying, “Following me is risk free” or “Yes you could be persecuted for following me, so it’s best you just stay home and lock your doors.” Instead it’s repeated over and over that your faith comes with great risk, but also great reward.

Letting fear dictate your opinions and actions means you are serving a master antithetical to our God. Being a child of God means that you are no longer a slave to your fears. Your master has sealed a covenant of love and grace upon you. I struggle with unfounded fears myself, but I am learning that there is strength in saying, “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.” I am thankful for this anthem He has given us to remind me when I am feeling weak or lost.

 
Kyle and his wife Jenn have been members of BUMC since 2006. He now works as a Quality Control Specialist with Holly Energy Partners, based out of Salt Lake City.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gratitude

On Consecration Sunday, Pastor Ken talked to us about how God opened his eyes recently to one of the most powerful forces in the universe: gratitude. He said that “gratitude has this power to restore our lives like no other force – it helps us to demolish these strongholds of bitterness and contempt that sometimes we carry with us based on how certain circumstances have unfolded in our lives.”

I’ve always thought of myself mostly as a “glass half full” kind of person. I’ve been known as a bit of a rah-rah at times with my positive outlooks and definitely can annoy people with that. While I do admit that I try to be grateful in all circumstances, it is definitely something that I have to focus on and be intentional about or I can easily focus on and see the hard or the bad or the ugly or the unfairness in many of life’s circumstances.

Since Pastor Ken’s message a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been much more in tune with those around me as they show gratitude. When we pay attention and are aware of it, gratitude can be seen in story after story, situation after situation. For example:

I have a friend who was born as one of the “later in life” babies. Her parents were older than most of ours in our grade, and she has siblings that are old enough to be her parents. I have been friends with her since we were 3 years old. A few years ago her mom passed away, and her being the youngest, she ended up taking care of most of the details for her family. She helped clear out some of the overflowing stuff in the house, and made sure her elderly dad was going to be taken care of. As it ended up, her older sister (who again is old enough to be her mother) decided to move in with their dad and be his caregiver. She is retired and has grown kids, so it was a great season in life for her to do so. Just a few days ago, I was included on a group message on Facebook that was sent by my friend to several of our close friends and classmates. My friend told us that her sister had been admitted to the hospital with very serious heart issues. She wasn’t sure at all if her sister would live or die. She hopped a plane from Pennsylvania to Illinois, rented a car, and then traveled another 4 hours to our hometown to care for her older sister and now 90+ year old father, who needs almost around the clock type care. In the meantime, she heard from her niece (her ill sister’s daughter) that her niece’s son had been hit by a car that day while walking down the street!! Luckily he only suffered from a concussion, but it was pretty serious! Needless to say, my friend had so much that she was dealing with emotionally. It would not be unusual for her to be questioning these circumstances and having a “why me?” attitude.

But here are things that she has told me when I’ve talked with her on the phone for hours at a time these last few days. Her heart is full and her soul is fed by the deep friendships that she’s had since preschool from our hometown. She can’t thank everyone enough for reaching out and coming to her aid. She is so GRATEFUL for the support, love, prayers, and offers of help that were and continue to be extended to her from that group message. One friend still living in town helped her clean the house for 8 hours. Another friend offered to pick her niece up at the airport to save my friend the hour there and hour back. We both talked about how grateful we are that we have this amazing class of friends from our small little hometown that we know will always have our backs when we need them. And not only that, but we can pick up right where we left off without having to explain past history or family info, since we grew up with these people and they know us well. She was grateful for the women of the church that we both grew up in who were covering meals or any other needs that arose.

I love it that she talked mostly about her gratitude and that even though she was extremely overwhelmed, she wasn’t bitter. I thought back to Pastor Ken’s words as mentioned above – Gratitude helps us to demolish these strongholds of bitterness that can develop based on how certain circumstances unfold. My friend could be really angry that here she was again – dealing with the family situations – and it wasn’t that long ago that she lost her mom. She could be angry and bitter that the house that she had worked hard to get organized and functional after her mom died was again in the same shape. She could even be mad at her sister for not getting medical help sooner. Is she a little bit mad about all this? Of course. But that was not where she chose to land. She continues to thank our friends on the group message for all of the support. And while she is in the midst of the hard, she is so grateful for all of the good.

It is so cool to me to be able to see in action exactly what Ken was talking about just a couple weeks ago. My friend, coupled with Ken’s message, have definitely inspired me to try harder and to be more grateful, not only in the midst of the good, but even in the hardest of hard.

Who are the people in your life that are inspiring you to have gratitude in all circumstances? Join me in the goal to watch for it daily and make a goal to model that gratitude to others.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:18


Vicki Cromarty is the Family Ministry Director at BUMC.  She loves getting to know families and kids and having the privilege to learn with them about God’s amazing love. Vicki and her husband, Dave, have a beautiful daughter, Lauren, who is 13-years-old.  Their family also includes Sadie, the Lhasa Apso. Vicki loves spending time with her family and friends, and enjoying all that beautiful Colorado has to offer! You can contact her at vicki.cromarty@broomfieldumc.org.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Be The Church

There seem to be lots of ways that we can understand what it means to be the church. Some friends of mine are part of house churches (small groups of Christians who meet in… you guessed it! Houses!). Other friends are part of Mega Churches with many thousands in weekly attendance. My dad is the pastor of a medium-sized rural church in Pennsylvania and most of his congregation are older adults. My cousin belongs to a church in Denver with mostly young adults. BUMC is a little different than all those examples. We are large, but perhaps not Mega. We have many age groups represented. We have a large multi-use facility that serves our community in countless ways.

Is that what it means to be the church? Is the physical layout and organizational structure the main thing?

A few weeks ago at Breakfast Club (our Sunday morning program for 6-12th graders) we asked ourselves some questions about how the Bible talks about the church. The scripture for the day was from 1 Peter 2, where the church is compared to living stones being built into a temple for God, with Jesus as the cornerstone. In this image, we are the stones. The church is us. The church is people. We don’t go to church; we are church.

Peter uses the image of living stones building a temple, Paul uses the image of many body parts forming one body, and elsewhere the church is compared to a bride, a flock of sheep, or even a vineyard. My favorite image though, the one that’s been most helpful for me in developing my thoughts on doing ministry, is family.

Over and over the New Testament speaks of us being adopted into a new family. The size of our gatherings, the amenities of our buildings, and the structure of our organization aren’t very important in this image. We can be God’s family in a house, or a converted warehouse, or a rural chapel, or in a building right across from the local High School. Denomination is irrelevant in this family. Age isn’t a factor. You can belong not matter what.

This image has helped me to understand all sorts of things about being the church. When I see church as family, I don’t have to feel pressure to “evangelize”, all I have to do is lovingly invite my neighbor to our family dinner (or brisket competition, as the case may be). When I see church as family, I can understand what’s going on when we have disagreements about what to do next, or have worries about the future; that’s normal in family! But we love each other all the same.

In August BUMC hosted four other youth groups, a total of 175 students and leaders, for an all-night event. Have you ever stayed up all night with dozens and dozens and dozens of middle school and high school students? Let’s just say it’s exciting. A few of our BUMC students were displeased with how our guests were treating our facility and running wild (don’t worry, nothing was broken). It’s natural to feel protective, and to feel a little invaded in a situation like that. I pulled these students aside and used this family image to talk about the church. “Have you ever had a big family dinner, and that crazy uncle or those bratty cousins mess things up and ignore all the house rules? That’s what we’ve got here. The whole family came over, and we just have to love them even though they don’t know the house rules.” That seemed to help. It can really help to see the church as a welcoming family instead of an exclusive club.

You are the church. You’ve been adopted into a new family. BUMC is a welcoming family. You know people who haven’t been adopted yet. They aren’t part of the family. There’s plenty of room at the table, and the food is beyond good. Who’s getting invited to dinner this week?






Mike is the Director of Student Ministries at BUMC. He’s done ministry with students in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California, and now Colorado. Mike recently finished his MDiv degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, and his passion is to lead kids of all ages toward adoption into the family of God. If he’s not hanging out with Middle School or High School students, you’ll probably find him on a bicycle or on skis. He makes killer chocolate chip cookies. Reach him at mike.orr@broomfieldumc.org

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Biggest Little Church in Town

I remember standing in the middle of Midway Park amazed at how many people were in attendance at the first annual BUMC Backyard Bash. We filled the park that day. How could that be? We are after all the "little church" by the high school and the services are never crowded.

This to me is the beauty of BUMC, with several services and types of service we all feel like we go to a community church and in fact we do, it just so happens that there are enough of us that we served 150 pounds of bbq brisket at Trick or Trunk this past weekend. One ounce per person in forty five minutes! I love that BUMC is growing as many churches are shrinking and that we are growing with out losing our sense of community.

I am proud to be a member of the biggest little church in town!







Steve Laser has been a member of BUMC for more than five years. He serves on the finance committee, and has previously been involved in the First Friday Fellowship, Theology on Tap, and has served as an usher. He is a native to Broomfield, Colorado, and lives here now with his wife and two children. He also makes a mean smoked brisket

Friday, October 23, 2015

Faith Like A Child


One day, some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.

I cannot get away from the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 19: The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like children.

And here I am, trying so hard to be an adult. I mean, who has time to be like a child? There are bills to pay, meals to plan, and a million other responsibilities. It’s complicated. I get where the disciples were coming from shooing these kids away from Jesus. They were just showing Jesus that they were responsible adults.

Let’s be honest. Being a responsible adult is less awesome than being like a child. Jesus scolded his disciples for stopping these children from coming to him because kids are awesome! They live in the moment. They accept people. They find friends everywhere. They ask honest questions. They love deeply and trust wholeheartedly. They’re brave.
Just a few months ago I dropped my son off at the bus stop as he made the transition into middle school. I was so afraid for him. There were so many new things and new people. In the blink of an eye, he became best of friends with a fellow student at the bus stop. They are inseparable. They didn’t even know each other a few weeks ago and already they’re best friends! They made it look so simple. It’s like they looked at each other at the bus stop and said, “I am here. You are here. We can do this together.” It wasn’t just simple it was brave.

It’s this kind of simplicity and bravery that God recognizes and loves about children. This is why the kingdom belongs to people like them. As an adult I sometimes lose sight of the art of simplicity as the complications of life grip me with fear-the fear of not achieving enough, earning enough, or the fear of not being accepted. But the love and life God offers us is not this complicated (even though our circumstances might be). We must be brave enough to believe uncomplicated truth: God loves us and God is with us.

This past Sunday during worship service, all the business of life and adult like complications melted from me as the words of this worship song washed over me…

You’re a good good father, it’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are. I’m loved by you, it’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.

When we wake up in the morning we do not have to let the complications of life define us. The simple and uncomplicated truth of that song defines every believer who is brave enough to approach God with faith like a child: You are here. I am here. We can do this together.







Theresa is a youth advocate, writer and speaker. She’s also a professional singer who has performed with Travis Cottrell and Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live conferences, Nicole C. Mullen, Truth and many others. She’s married to BUMC’s Worship Arts Director, Joe Mazza. Check out more from Theresa at theresamazza.com.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Over the past few weeks we as a church have been looking at ways to worship God. This past Sunday, we revisited the story of Job, a story about a man that everyone thinks God has forgotten and is being punished for some unknown wrong that he has committed. Many of us have been Job or his friends. Either we have felt forgotten by God, lost to his Grace and Love, or we have seen people that have looked lost with no hope of being found. We are tempted to blame God for all the things that we see are wrong in the world or we wonder why He does not do something about it. The truth is that God is not responsible for all things wrong or the suffering we see in the world.

Have you ever wandered? When we wander, we are not going in a straight line. As we wander, we are not worried about timelines or schedules. We take the time to be in the moment and appreciate our company or surroundings, forgetting our troubles and everything that is going wrong in our lives. When I am in the mountains, one of my favorite things to do is wander around to see what I can see. In my wandering I have seen beautiful and stunning sights.

It was on the top of one of those mountains that I found God. At the time, I was going through a rough patch in my life, where I was struggling to find God in my life and feeling as if I was lost to His sight. When I was on the top of the mountain looking over His good creation someone started talking about God’s love and graces, and that is when I felt him moving inside of me for the first time. I was full of excitement and joy and wanted to find someone to share what I was feeling. I talked with such jubilation, feeling the Holy Spirit flowing through me. I was worshiping and praising God.

Like Job, we need to look past our troubles and look for God’s love in our lives; knowing that God is present with us no matter how far we feel like we have wandered off the path or been lead astray. As Christians, we need to be more like Job; knowing that God is there waiting for us to find Him, no matter how many twists and turns we take. God calls us to be his hiking buddy, and the hiking buddy of all those that seem to be lost, because they are not lost. They are just wandering, looking for God. They just don’t know it yet.

No matter how far we go, no matter what have done, we are not “lost.” We are just wandering. Looking for something, looking for God.

Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.
-Luke 15:1-7 MSG



Dave Lockley is a lifelong Methodist who has attended Broomfield UMC for the past 8 years, with his wife Jamey and children Eddie and Anabella. He has degrees in History and Education from CU Boulder and is a teacher, for the Adams 12 School District. At BUMC, he teaches classes and small groups studies on Christian History and the Bible. You can contact him at David.Lockley@colorado.edu.



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Riding Into the Moment

I think anyone who knows me well would probably agree that I am generally a very careful person. It’s in my nature to evaluate and re-evaluate multiple times before making decisions- big or small. Part of this carefulness is also thinking and re-thinking in retrospect about things I said or did and how they affected others. To put it simply, my attempt in being careful almost always turns to worrying about what is going to happen or what has already happened. Cerebrally, I have a clear understanding that this isn’t how God intends me to live. I have read and re-read bible verses that discourage this pattern and for some reason, in action, it just doesn’t always stick. If I let go of worry, does that mean I care less about what happens to me and the relationships in my life? If I let go of worry, am I letting go of part of who I am?

A couple weeks ago, God gave me a little shove reminding me how it felt to live in the moment- being present with only the thoughts around me. Steve and I were vacationing without the kids, and we had the value add of free use of beach cruisers on our trip. We had dinner plans for one evening at someone’s house that we mapped and figured out was only a short three miles from where we were staying. Our tough Colorado stock decided that three miles was no big deal, but as we approached the last mile, which had an almost vertical uphill grade, we realized that there is a good reason that we have light, multi-geared mountain bikes at home for hills, and heavy, single geared, beach cruisers for flat beaches.

The payoff for this crazy uphill climb to dinner was an amazing descent home. As we cruised down, I felt like Elliot in ET, like my bike might just start flying in the moonlight as I cruised down the hills- just me, my bike, the moon, and the lights of the city. I wasn’t worried about a thing. It felt amazing, rejuvenating, peaceful. It made me remember why time in the moment is what really matters.


How often are we so consumed with what has already happened or what could possibly happen that we miss out on experiencing what’s right in front of us? Here’s my goal- intentionally find something every day that forces me to live in the joy that’s right around me. Recently, I read this quote from Anne Lamott, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” I’m trying to unplug, find a different power source, live deeply in what surrounds me.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own. -Matthew 6:24




Andrea is an Early Childhood Special Educator, as well as mom to Paxton, 7, and Wyatt, 3. She and her husband Steve, have been members of BUMC since 2009.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Best Harvest of All

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” -- John 15:4

One of my most interesting experiences in ministry was serving in an agricultural community on the eastern plains of Colorado, in the town of Haxtun. This time of year was particularly exciting in that community, as the corn harvest was getting underway.

Harvest is the time of year when months of planning and work come to fruition. Farmers do their best to plant good seed in an efficient pattern, but they can’t control the outcome. Jesus speaks to this mystery in one of his parables. “And He was saying, ‘The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts up and grows—how, he himself does not know. The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.’” – Mark 4:26-29

Growth and fruitfulness are gifts from God; they happen under God’s nurture and care. Yes, we have a role to play, but it is God who provides the sunshine, rain, and growth. We celebrate these good gifts, and reap the harvest when the time is right. Farming is an interesting process. It rewards careful planning and deployment, but it is dependent upon God’s provision.

The Greek word that Jesus and the apostles use for “harvest” is karpos, which means “produce.” Jesus points out that we bear fruit as we are connected to Him, the Vine. As we draw close to the Living Christ, we receive the spiritual sap of God’s goodness, what James describes as the “wisdom from above.” “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” -- James 3:17-18

Quite simply, the closer we draw to Christ, the more we become like Him. The harvest God desires to bring about it in us is a harvest of character, what Paul describes as the “fruit of the Spirit,” as you can see in Galatians 5:22-23. Our God is a God of love, joy, and peace, and our purpose is to reflect these qualities in our lives. Think about the best crops our state produces: sweet corn, peaches, cantaloupe. Each fruit is different, yet the best of each have similar traits: tenderness, sweetness, nutrition. They simply are. The saints have a marvelous diversity of personalities and creative interests, but they share a common character, the character of Christ.

The harvest moon appeared on September 27, and harvest is in full swing on the eastern plains. As you enjoy the delicious produce, consider the gracious invitation of our Lord, to draw close to Him and draw strength and wisdom from his loving presence. “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in my love.” – John 15:8-9

Here’s wishing you a fruitful fall, as you experience Christ’s creative love in new ways, and reap a bountiful harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.



Thomas Cross is one of the pastors at BUMC, starting his seventh year here.  He loves to help people grow in Christ and start new small groups.  He says his passion is ‘to introduce people to the God I know through Jesus Christ, the God who is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.’  He enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, going to movies, working out, collecting art, listening to jazz music, and watching the Broncos for fun.  And he has a blast meeting with the diverse small groups he facilitates! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Scheduling Change

Change is never an easy transition. Especially for those that are used to routine. Or those used to our convenient schedules. I have a new job that I love but my old routine schedule is out the window.

Recently, my wife and I have been like two ships passing in the night. When I'm coming home from work, she's heading out to work. I sleep all day and wake up to go work in the evening while my wife and sons sleep. It's been incredibly difficult and trying but at the same time something that hopefully will strengthen our relationship.

It's taken an unbelievably large amount of patience and dedication as a couple, and as parents.

I miss my family, but the same time I know that I have to do this as part of my transition to my new career. It's only for a few short weeks and only a few more shifts remain, but it still is a difficult time for our family.

It's hard to not help with the evening duties and I feel that I'm putting a heavy burden on my wife. I miss reading books and late night snuggles and bath time with my boys. My wife's patience with what I have to do to move forward, deserves more credit than I give her.

She's been more patient and understanding with me and my work than I could ever be. Her positive attitude and strength have shown me that I need to work harder to be better. I miss my family but I have learned that together, we'll get through this time just like we've handled all the other "bumps in the road". I am focused on being thankful for the time I do get with my kids, thankful for my new career, and thankful for my patient wife.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2

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.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Becoming a Pearl of Great Cost

I like shiny things, sparkly things: glitter, snowflakes twinkling in the new light of a winter morning, jewels, the subtle sparkle on an African violet’s bloom. I like the way the sun shines through a prism and breaks apart the secret of light into separate colors, in rainbow order (I like order too).  One of the only things that got me through a few university history classes was wearing a ring with a diamond (real or fake, it didn’t matter) and watching the way I could twist it and create my own personal rainbow. I still do this when I’m bored. I think sparkles are one of the earth’s proof that life can be magic.

As I get older, I have begun to appreciate the non-sparkly parts of my world as well. It’s a fortunate accident that I’ve been compelled to learn more about China, and one of their well known exports: the pearl. I’ve been to a street in Guangzhou where they sell nothing but pearls, all sizes and colors. Before the advent of pearl culturing, pearls were incredibly rare and prized above most all other gems.

I learned was that all pearls are the result of an irritation getting inside of an oyster. In an attempt to protect itself, the oyster secretes a smooth compound called nacre to surround the irritation. And it continues to coat the irritant, surrounding it with layers of microscopic crystals. These crystals reflect and refract the light and this is what gives the pearl its depth and luster. The process is slow and laborious and still a little mysterious.

And so it is with us in our lives. For many of us, there was some kind of revelation, disappointment from ourselves or others, whatever; but some kind of irritant that prompted us to make some changes in our lives. We began to do something differently, we began to push ourselves in new directions, trying to remove our own irritation. It’s a long process, for some of us, a lifetime’s worth. The initial irritation still serves as a reminder to us that we are different than we once were.

We have made changes that reflect and refract, allowing our own light to shine, giving us more depth and luster.

Maybe you are experiencing your own irritant right now. Just remember that it is within your power to learn and grow and change and transform this irritant into something beautiful.

Not all pearls are perfect. Neither are we. But as long as we continue to make the best choices we know how, our own nacre will continue to coat our own imperfect irritation. Strive to be the fine pearl that the merchant was willing to sell everything for. In this parable, Jesus used the pearl as a symbol of heaven but I think each of us has within us the capability to be a “pearl of great cost”, we can and have changed our lives with our habits, our thoughts and our actions.

Now all that is left is to share the depth of light that is uniquely ours.
-
Matthew 13: 45-46


Lisa Forrey is the mom to two daughters who try to make her a better person.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Checking Out to Check In

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Those words are from Romans chapter 12 and are two of the verses of Scripture that I go back to again and again. In the book of Romans, we read some of the most important writing about how to see our God and how to see ourselves. Paul shares about God's righteousness and plan for our salvation, which is what we call the gospel, for much of the book. Then Chapter 12 comes along about 2/3 of the way into his letter, and Paul shares these instructions about worship with the early Christians.

That last sentence of those two verses above sounds a lot like it could have been written today instead of two thousand years ago. Just spend a few minutes on Facebook if you want to find out how easy it is for the culture around us to drag us down to its level of immaturity. Paul says that instead of that, God wants to bring the best out of us if we fix our attention on him. He goes on to say that we can be changed from the inside out and become people who readily recognize what God wants from us and actually do something about it. I know that's what I want out of my life, and I'm sure you do too.

I think that a big part of how we offer our lives to God and fix our attention on God starts with what we do in worship as a community. Each Sunday, each of us has a choice. We can come to church to go through the motions. We can just hear another sermon and some music, close our eyes and listen to some prayers, say hi to some friends and leave. Or we can do as Paul says and fix our attention on God. That means paying attention - not just to the sermon or other parts of the worship service but, more importantly, to what God might be saying to us individually.

How does that happen? For me, I know when I'm engaged with a worship service, really engaged and listening for God, more often than not some part of the service will seem just for me. The rest may, and often will, seem totally useless, but that one part will just jump out. That kind of experience is how I hear God speaking. It's a feeling for me that often comes in an impression - the same kind of feeling as when I think I've left the stove on or when I've said something stupid at home and I know I'm going to have to reconcile it. It's like a little tap on the shoulder, and really nothing more. When that happens at a time when I'm trying to focus on God, I pay attention.

I had a pastor who used to say at the beginning of his sermons, "If God starts speaking to you during my talk, you stop taking notes on my sermon and take notes on what HE'S saying instead." I thought that was so cool. A preacher saying it's ok to not listen? That was gold for me. Each week I'd listen harder to what he said just to see if there was something God was saying to me. And when I heard something that connected, I'd start writing on the church bulletin or the margins of my Bible about it. And guess what? I've talked to Ken about this and he's totally cool with you and I doing this as well. And I know that I'm equally cool about you doing the same thing if a certain lyric or song during a service touches you in the same way. I don't care if you listen to anything else. Check out from the rest of the sermon and just focus on what you felt was God speaking.




If we all did this, how in-tune with God would BUMC be? How much would we cease to look just like the culture around us and instead look like people who have taken our ordinary lives - our sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around lives - and given them fully to God as an offering?





Joe Mazza is the Director of Worship Arts at BUMC and leads worship at our 8:30, 9:45, and 5:05 worship services.