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

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.