Thursday, June 25, 2015

My Blue Line of Faith

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 ESV

In 2008, while working what I thought was my dream job in sports journalism, I got a phone call no one wants to get. It was from a nameless suit who flew out here from Seattle, a vice president for the company that owned my TV station. He called me to say that my entire department was being shut down and that we are all being laid off. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty irate. I was the type of person who always showed up early, stayed late and volunteered to do things I knew I didn't have the time for, but that needed to get done. I always expected that if I did the right things as an employee, my employers would benefit and provide protection for me when these kinds of things happened. It was a big wake up call to know that I was not an employee but a salary and one that was dispensable.

After being laid off I found myself floating from job to job and from profession to profession. When my wife and I joined BUMC I was probably at the lowest in my working life. I really couldn't stand what I was doing and more importantly where I was working. I also felt like I was put here to do something better- to make a difference in peoples' lives and provide the ability to help those that can't help themselves.

I recently completed a very difficult six-month academy to become a member of the law enforcement community. During this time I relied heavily on my faith to be able to ensure that I was putting myself in the best position for both me and my family.

There's great relief in knowing that my prayers have been answered and I have the ability to start something that I should've done ten years ago. It's also an unbelievable feeling knowing that when you put your faith in something very important, and spend the time doing the right things, it works out. It works out all the time. It was awesome to see faith and prayer work on this scale with so many layers.

I spent a good time of the Academy talking to my mom through prayer, at her grave site and before every exam. I just wanted her give me the ability to use my knowledge. to keep me safe from injury and give me a chance to get hired by agency. And most importantly, pass the Academy and pass the POST exam. This may sound selfish, I know, but it really helped me to feel good about what I was doing. Plus, it was nice to have her along for the ride.

I relied on her and my faith a lot these last six months. I'm going to rely on them again to help me going forward - to keep me safe and to come home every night to my family. I'm also going to heavily rely on my connection with BUMC and with my friends in my community of the church.

I'm not sure I could've done this without a number of things, most importantly, my wife, Cristen. Without her I don't think I could've been able to do the things that were required to be successful in the Academy. Another, is my faith in my community and my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I called on Him and my mom before every hurdle I faced. And they delivered.

"The two most important days in your life are the day you're born...and the day you find out why"

- Mark Twain

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, June 18, 2015

Happily Ever After

grew up watching The Wonderful World of Disney. It was our reward for sitting through Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. And believe me, while Wild Kingdom later became the stuff of family legend, you deserved a reward for sitting through it. While I looked forward to episodes about "Disney on Parade" and "Change the Guardian of Mayan Treasure", and everyone's favorite: "Charlie the Lonesome Cougar" what I really wanted to see were the epic princess movies. In an era before shows on demand, being able to see Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty or Snow White was a big deal.

I loved those movies: the story line, the animation, the flights of fancy - all of it appealed to my imagination. It was understood that the heroines would go through trials and/or loss (can you even imagine the nightmare of feeding and cleaning up after seven old confirmed bachelors -- I don't think the horrors of that were properly explored. I would have let the huntsman complete his task...but I digress). It was always known from the outset how the movies would end, "happily ever after". No matter what happened, we all understood it would be okay at the end. And this was a source of comfort.

But real life isn't Disney. Some times bad things happen, and then other bad things happen. When slammed in the face by yet more bad things, we start to wonder if we're going to get our "happily ever after". I wouldn't ever seriously compare our lives to Job's life but at times I think we all feel like we are in a cave with no light and no clue how to get out.

I feel like this a lot. My personality doesn't allow for me to take on the "fake it until you make it" persona, though I hear this works for many people. It doesn't for me. But something that does work for me is remembering, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) This popular verse calls for us to rely on and trust God's plan for us, it's a source of comfort when our world crashes around us.

The thing is, our definition of "prosper" may not be God's definition so we need to be open to how we are being blessed under God's care. We need to trust in God's promises and appreciate it when we recognize it.

While I'm pretty sure I'd be a good steward of Powerball winnings, God has not seen fit to have me prosper in that way so I can only assume that He'd prefer I learn to prosper in more frugal and diverse ways. Whatever. At least I can console myself with the knowledge that I'm not cleaning up after seven dwarves who work in a mine.

The signs of God's plans for us are all around us; let us all breathe in our prosperity.





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

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Giving an A

It's been ten long years since I have had student status at a university. This past week, as a began a program at CU Denver, I had the opportunity to relive the past a bit when I stepped back onto a college campus. I was excited and nervous all at once. One of the anxiety driving factors for me in school is wondering if I am “good enough.” No one likes to fail, or struggle, and it’s easier for me to remember the times when school was really challenging than the times that it came easy to me.

One of my first pre-reading books for my program was The Art of Possibility, by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. The book is written about twelve principles that the authors use as catchphrases to re-frame or help to shift paradigms in situations. One of the principles really stood out as being perfectly appropriate and exactly what I needed to read. It’s called “Giving an A.” The basic idea is that when we meet people or in our interactions within relationships, an A grade is automatically given to that person in our head. Re-framing the relationship from that perspective takes away judgment, comparisons with others, and leads into positive thinking about how the person with whom we interact is achieving this grade. Essentially, no matter what someone does, they earn an A just by means of their humanity. Different, right?

Zander and Zander describe it like this, “The practice of giving an A transports your relationships from the world of measurement into the universe of possibility.”

Beyond giving As, if we perceive that others are giving us As, it changes our behavior as well. No longer are we living cautiously in order to please people, rather we are living freely by being who God created us to be, truly at our greatest potential. Living freely means we are no longer trapped by the cycle of trying to please and get approval from those around us. When we make the shift from trying to earn love and attention through approval and achievement, to accepting the gift of God’s unconditional love, we live in the capacity of how we were created to live, and that’s always “good enough” in God’s eyes.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2: 8-10 (NIV)




Andrea is an Early Childhood Special Educator, as well as mom to Paxton, 6, and Wyatt, 2. She and her husband Steve have been members at BUMC since 2009, 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

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Communion of the Saints

Do you ever think about your part in the communion of the saints, the worldwide church of the living and all who have gone before? Reading Hebrews 11 lately got me thinking of the great saints mentioned and the millions of believers who have followed I remember the saints' biographies I read as a child, all those faithful people I saw every Sunday growing up, plus the many I have come to know in Broomfield.

In her book, Keep a Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliot offers encouragement lest any of us feel that we are lost in the crowd or less worthy than those with more dramatic faith testimonies.

When I pray I am often preoccupied and distracted, aware that my efforts are feeble and seemingly quite useless, but the thought that those distinguished heroes are to be perfected along with me (and with the writer of Hebrews, and with you and all the rest of the followers of the Lamb) changes the picture altogether and puts new heart into me. My prayers are perhaps a single note in a symphony, but a necessary note, for I believe in the communion of the saints. We need each other. The prayers of one affect all. The obedience of one matters infinitely and forever.....Think of the great Unseen Company that watches and prays as we “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV). Think of that and be of good cheer—it's much too soon to quit!

Days that I am discouraged or about to lose hope, this idea keeps me moving forward, striving to trust more in Christ.

Elisabeth's husband, Jim Elliot, along with four other missionaries, was killed by the Auca people to whom they witnessed in Ecuador in 1956. Through Gates of Splendor is Elisabeth's account of the tragedy. She eventually went back, with her young daughter, to work with the Auca people. After her return to the United States, she authored over 20 books on Christian living. “Gateway to Joy”, her daily radio program (which kept me sane when I had two toddlers), is now available on the Internet.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV

-Sue

Sue Morin was a part of the BUMC community for almost seventeen years. Even though she now resides in Phoenix, she still feels very connected to BUMC- (One of BUMC's families is hosting her older daughter for the spring semester.) She is looking forward to exploring the desert trails near her new house and DRIVING to spring training games.