Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Shame Game

Post by: Elliott Holm

In the beginning of October, Ken gave an excellent sermon in church, where he opened up to the congregation about his own difficult and sometimes shameful moments in his life. The whole sermon centered on people feeling shame for the things that they do, but to allow yourself to be forgiven, no matter how difficult or grave the event is from which your shame comes.

That is what I want to address as well. As a teacher, I make constant mistakes throughout my day. I’ll say something wrong during my lessons, fumble over words, and even the worst, calling a student the wrong name. All of these things come back to me when I drive home from work, and have time to be alone with my thoughts. I’ll run through my whole day, and focus on all the wrong things I did, or people I wronged, and focus on shaming myself. However, this ritual is largely problematic, and can even be the reason why we frequently lose sleep at night.

I’ve been reading a book with my students that focuses on ways to become an effective adult. This particular author created a term for when we do this to ourselves, called The Shame Boomerang. It goes a little like this: Step 1: There is an inciting incident, Step 2: Getting bad feelings from the incident, Step 3: Forgetting or getting distracted temporarily, Step 4: Shame returns later, usually during alone time or when you put your head down to go to sleep, Step 5: Continued bad feelings. After I read this in the book, I realized this author had my number. These were the exact steps I went through in my life, and the same things that I blamed myself for as well. She says that the most important thing we need to do is create a mantra for ourselves; something that we can always say to ourselves, not to dismiss the problem and avoid it, but to remind ourselves that we’re human and that we make mistakes. The one I landed on that works for me is “It’s done, and if I’m faced with this situation again, I won’t make the same mistake.” Now, when I make one of the aforementioned “shameful” mistakes, I tell myself, “Well, that’s unfortunate, but what have I learned from this, so I can make sure I don’t do this again?” This mantra turned my shame into a learning experience, which is the most important step in dealing with shame.

Lastly, Ken’s sermon helped me tie this in to Jesus’ love for us. Every time we wrong other people, but have the best intentions in our hearts, Jesus will always forgive us; it’s one of the most incredible gifts we’ve been given. Remember all the incredibly heavy sins and shameful moments Jesus encountered in others, and please continue to remember that he forgave all of those people. You going through your daily life and trying your hardest is nothing to ever feel shame about. Take a breath, remind yourself that you’re human, and if you need, create a mantra for yourself to focus on turning your shameful situations into learning. The Lord will be there with you for every step of the way.






Elliott has been attending BUMC since 2012 with his wife, Kyla. Since attending, he has worked with technology for services, as well as camera work on Easter and Christmas, while Kyla sings. He is a high school Gifted and Talented teacher at Wheat Ridge High School, and is in his 6th year of teaching. He lives in Arvada with his wife and two dogs.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Songs

Post by: Reid Lester

What is your favorite Christmas song? 

I find that more than anything else, Christmas songs can instantly put me in the right frame of mind for the season.  I’m more peaceful, more relaxed, and more joyful whenever Christmas music is on.  

Those songs remind me of my favorite Christmas memories.  As kids we listened to Amy Grant’s original Christmas album, as teens we listed to Mannheim Steamroller, and as an adult I prefer Pentatonix and Straight No Chaser.  The songs are the same, but the arrangements are different by just enough that I can listen to them for three months straight without getting tired of them.

I invite you to think about your favorite Christmas song as you spend time with family and friends.  Which song reminds you to be thankful?  As you attend one of our Christmas Eve services, which song puts you in the perfect mood for worship?   If you are volunteering for one of our many community partners, which songs puts that extra little bit of joy in your heart? 

Please comment below and tell us your favorite childhood Christmas song as well as your current favorite.

Childhood favorite = Tennessee Christmas by Amy Grant



Current favorite = Mary, Did You Know? By Pentatonix






Reid Lester is the Director of Servant Ministries at Broomfield United Methodist Church.  Reid’s job is to help people find ways to serve our Church and the community through our Church Ministries and our Community Partnerships.  Reid and his wife RuthAnn have been attending BUMC for 2 years.  When Reid isn’t at BUMC he serves as a pilot for the Civil Air Patrol.  Reid also umpires Division 1 baseball for the NCAA.



Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Sound of Silence

Post by: Kyle Rasmussen

As another year draws to a close, music connoisseurs everywhere start to opine on their “best music of the year” lists. One of the most surprising tracks that dominated radio this 2016 was the band Disturbed and their cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s classic “The Sound of Silence”. I have to admit, David Draiman essentially shattered the preconception of what a heavy metal vocalist should sound like, and I found myself over and over again this past year turning the radio up to listen to him demonstrate his amazing range.

I’m certainly not lost on the irony of cranking the volume up to listen to a song called “The Sound of Silence.” Listening to any music was a nice escape the past 12 months. We all spent most of 2016 mired in a brutal presidential campaign of endless sound bites, vicious attacks, and a true testing of our faith in the sovereignty of the God that we serve. Unfortunately any hope that a reduction in noise would follow Election Day is most seemingly lost.

Noise is a concept I deal with in the scientific community quite frequently. Not audible noise, but variability which disrupts the ability to detect a signal from analyzers. Having too much noise relative to the signal (what we could call a poor signal-to-noise ratio) can result in a false negative – where a certain condition exists but you are unable to detect it. One of the best analogies I’ve heard to explain this is that the noise is the grass of the Serengeti, and the signal is a lion. If you’re on safari and wanted to know if there’s a lion prowling around waiting for someone to devour (like 1 Peter 5:8), it would be much easier if the grass (the noise) was low to detect the lion (the signal).

One of my favorite verses from the book of Psalms is 46:10- Be still, and know that I am God. We’re told to silence the outside noise, eschew the distractions, and in that peace God will reveal himself. Yet even when God brings calm, we may find ourselves unprepared to His presence. And (Jesus) awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be Still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and waves obey him?” (Mark 4:39-41)

So if we can’t always reduce the noise, maybe the best way to find God in our lives is crank up the signal? Maybe that lion is not prowling and waiting to devour us but is of Proverbs 28:1? - The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions. I think there are several ways this can be accomplished.

First, step outside of your comfort zone! It doesn’t have to be immensely bold, but when given the opportunity to act in the image of God, don’t hesitate. Seize the moment to live the Gospel! From experience, I can tell you that when you open yourself up and commit to doing this, God will present you with opportunities – He knows what’s on your heart and is more than willing to give you the chance to live it out!

Second, crank up the signal of God’s word! I know there’ s only 168 hours in every week and sleep is super important – but find a way to make the time for Bible study. My best advice on this is crowd source the commitment by joining (or starting up) a study with friends or family. Make it “homework free”, just pick a reading plan and regular time to read together and amazing things will transpire from the group.

Lastly just crank up the volume of your worship and praise! David says in 2 Samuel 6, I was dancing before the LORD…He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the LORD, so I celebrate before the LORD. Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! In this competitive, keep-up-with-the-Jones’ society that we live in, how great is it that we serve a God to whom we don’t need to impress? If we worship and thank God in a worry-free style, I can guarantee that the signal back will be louder and clearer than if we try to wrap our praise in some sterile, clean-up-my-life-first-before-I-can-show-God sort of way.

As we enter into the Christmas season, many who spend 11+ months of the year distant from God draw a little closer to experience the greatest gift ever given. Don’t get caught up in the noise, and don’t merely abstain by practicing the sound of silence. Be the loud, bold, clear signal of God’s love: the Gospel of Jesus that is there 24/7/365, for all of 2017 and forevermore.





Kyle Rasmussen and his family currently live in Centerville, UT and attend The Bridge Community Church. He is a Quality Control Specialist with Holly Energy Partners in the greater Salt Lake City area.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Explaining the Gospel To Those Who Don’t Believe In Christ

Post by: Dave Lockley

More and more I find myself needing to explain what I believe and why. This is my attempt.

I hope that everyone who reads this is passionate about the Gospel: The good news of our Lord and our faith in Christ’s redeeming power. Can you explain it to others? It is so practical; you can see the need for it immediately when you talk to people in any detail.

The Bible teaches that people are in rebellion against God. In our “natural” state, we want to seek our own happiness from rational constraints, moral constraints, judgments and feelings of shame. We want to ignore what other people think of us (unless they agree), and this goes double for the God of the universe. I believe this is disappointing to God, since He is the one who gives us so many blessings.

It is proper to recognize and respect God in our decision-making, even if our pride may be offended by God’s greatness. Instead of respecting God, some people attribute their blessings to blind luck. We are tempted to refuse to acknowledge God in our decision-making, and not just in moral issues, but in everything we do. This is astonishing ingratitude, and for this we deserve to be punished.

However, God has given us a way to be reconciled with Him, by allowing his own Son to be punished in our place. This punishment of Jesus pays the debt that we owe to God for our rebellion against him. If we acknowledge this sacrifice by Jesus, and put him in place as our leader and mentor, then God will forgive us and we will be reconciled with Him. And so, a relationship with God begins and will last forever. That is the Gospel.

I think it’s very important to understand the Gospel, and nothing makes it clearer than when you get to know those who don’t believe in Christ and hear their reasons for not looking into whether God exists. Ask them what they think life is really about and what motivates them, and see where God is in their lives. I think we get confused by those who don’t believe in Christ because they can sometimes be very nice to other people. The real standard is whether people recognize Him in their own deeds and actions and acknowledge God as he really is.

The greatest way to explain the Gospel to others is to live it, and tell others how following Jesus has changed your life. Actions speak louder to than words.

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, November 17, 2016

Listen

Post by: Mike Orr

I thought I was being original with a recent Facebook post, but I’ve found that I was expressing a sentiment that others are feeling too. Some people are surprised by what happened in last week’s election. Others are surprised that people are surprised! I think this is an indication that we have failed to listen well to each other. Here’s what I wrote:

“Today I’m committing to listen. I mean really listen and understand to the best of my ability. Both sides need to be heard and understood. The best of my teachers and mentors have listened to me in ways that have helped me to understand myself and my positions better. That’s the kind of listening I’m talking about. One thing we learned last night, one thing I can act upon, is that there are many people who feel the pain of not being heard and of being ignored.

Whether you are elated today or on the edge of despair, I love you. I will listen to you. If we listen to each other well, we might even have a shot at giving a voice to the voiceless pains that have driven us apart as a nation. I’m well aware that this won’t fix everything, but it is something I can do. I’m listening…”

I don’t have all the answers. I simply hope to become the kind of person who can help bridge some gaps and help people to understand one another. I think that has to start with me getting better at understanding all sides. Furthermore, I currently have it much easier than many other people in this country. I’m a straight, white, middle class, well-educated male who lives in an affluent urban area. I have to leave my safe place to learn and experience more.

That reminds me of what Jesus did for us in becoming God in the flesh. The incarnation means that an infinite God became a vulnerable baby. Rather than avoiding the mess and pain and dirt of our world, God jumped in lived with us in our muck. I want to follow Jesus so closely that I end up really being with people, listening intently, and understanding hopes and fears to the best of my ability. When we disagree with other people's points of view, it’s easy to either marginalize them, or else ignore them entirely. Jesus shows us another way; he walks with us and feels our pain. That’s called compassion. I want to be that kind of Christian.


Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. -Matthew 9:36 Common English Bible (CEB)





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, November 10, 2016

Jesus wept

Post by: Steve Laser

Jesus wept.  -John 11:35

John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible. Just two words.

Jesus was summoned by his friend, Lazarus's sisters. When Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been dead for four days and his friends were weeping.  Jesus was moved to tears. 

This is important for Christians and especially for Methodists as it demonstrates the belief in fully God and fully human or Hypostatic union. This is our God, who was about to perform a miracle and raise Lazarus from the dead. He was on earth not as a spirit but flesh and bone and he could be moved to tears. 


To me this is a beautiful thing. It shows the sympathy Jesus had for mankind and the immense fear that death creates in all of us. When I first read the story of Lazarus, my initial thought was that Jesus wept to grieve the loss of his friend. After further thought, that can't be the case because he knew that he was about to resurrect Lazarus. 

Jesus wept after seeing the grief and pain of Lazarus's friends and family.  He wept for humanity and the burden and tyranny of death. Maybe the story of Lazarus shouldn't be about the miracle of resurrection; but instead, that Jesus loved us so much that our pain made him cry.




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 fabulous wife and two awesome children. He also makes a mean smoked brisket.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Is Election Season Over Yet?

Post by: Eric Underwood

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. -Isaiah 30:21 ESV

We are provided so many choices while living in this country that we take for granted every day. Soup or salad? White or wheat? Ford or Chevy?

This fall I have seen more division, attempt to influence and out right nastiness between friends and family about who will choose occupy 1600 Pennsylvania come the eighth of this month, then I have in a long time. 

With choices, options follow. And what I've read, heard and watched over these past few months is strong to the point of offensive. 

This fall, I'm reminding myself that we all have the ability, freedom and right to form those options and make a choice. And, most time we take it for granted, but if you have faith that you've informed yourself well enough to make that choice, the Lord's voice will be your guide no matter which side of the argument you're on in which direction you choose. 



I tend to fall center when it comes to my views politically. I'm a member of the NRA, but I care about education. I support small business, but I feel that our environment is critical to our future. I drives some of my friends crazy that I have kept my options to myself regarding this election, but that's my choice. Right?







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 have two Children have been members of BUMC since 2011.