Friday, September 30, 2016

Part of the Family

Post by: Reid Lester

I walk in the front door and I’m greeted by warm smiling faces. Everything smells just the way it should. Instantly, my mind is filled with some of my favorite stories. I’ve always enjoyed family gatherings. I feel like I belong. I know what to expect. Even though I have tons of aunts, uncles, and cousins, I feel like things wouldn’t be the same if even one person was missing. It’s also comforting to know that if I’m not there, I will be missed by my family.

At BUMC, we talk about building community. Whenever I think of community I always think of my family, but I also think about the other place I really felt like part of the family. Growing up, I was blessed to have a church family at Court Street United Methodist. Every week I would get that same family feeling when I walked into the church. The ushers would give me a hug or a handshake and the pastors would ask how my baseball or basketball game had gone. The sanctuary smelled just the way it should and when the choir sang the hymns it reminded me of sitting in that same pew years ago with my grandparents. Friends would gather in the Fellowship Hall and talk about the ups and downs of their week. I knew I was part of the family.

I wonder how many people who attend BUMC really feel like part of the family?

When RuthAnn and I first visited BUMC we parked in the south lot. We arrived really early for the 8am service. We had a little trouble finding our way to the Chapel, but when other people started to show up, we followed them. When we walked in, all four ushers shook our hands and welcomed us. During the greeting, everyone around us said hi (even people from 10 pews away), and Coleen came over and introduced herself. Our second week we walked in and got the same greeting from the same ushers. Coleen welcomed us back, and everyone around us said it was good to see us again. I started to get that family feeling. That feeling has grown every week.

My hope is that everyone gets a chance to experience that family feeling here at BUMC. Take time to talk to those around you (not during the sermon). Gather in the Fellowship Hall after the service and spend time really getting to know each other. For those who want to take building community one step further, consider ushering. Ushering gives you that first opportunity to welcome people to BUMC. You never know, that first welcoming experience might just lead to a new family member.

What makes you feel like part of the family here at BUMC? Please share in the comments below.


 


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.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Is God in view during Successes AND Failures?

Post by: Frank Oligmueller

A recent event in the 2016 Summer Olympics involving track athletes prompted me to see success and failure with a different perspective. The particular action occurred during a race when a collision of two runners made them fall and rather than forging back into the race, there was a moment taken to help each other. And, then encouraging each other to finish. One runner was quoted as saying “Although my actions were instinctual at the moment, the only way I can have rationalized it is that God prepared my heart to respond that way.”

Though God has made all things in this world, we are not to love it in place of God. As stated, 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” In our quests and journeys, we so quickly judge the outcomes of our actions, sometimes instinctively, for what others have defined as a won or loss situation. There are many standards set by this world on where exceeding, average and below average standard indicators align. These standards are set in nearly all life’s experiences and we begin encounter them very early in our lives. This early exposure then leads to an instinctive way results in how we behave during our successes and failures. But, as Christians, we need to remember to first seek the Kingdom of God and in all things He works for the good of all those that love Him.

Recently, upon reflecting at the end of a day, I found myself caught up in basing my overall day on achievements and non-achievements at work. This included helping a team complete 100% of its planned work and another team that got less than 50% completed for their planned work. Thereby, labeling one as a success and other as failure. I let these events consume me to a point of finding a way to have the emotions associated with my successful team override any stress and worry created by the unsuccessful team to feel good about myself. Inevitably, this created a block on viewing each event in what should be a more positive light and ultimately not feeling good about the day. On the other hand, light in all situations can be found when bringing God into view. When detaching from the world’s view on what measured success and failure in this situation, I discovered there was a more important foundation that had occurred. This foundation was the evidence of God’s character being played out, within each team – whether consciously or unconsciously – in the form of patience, kindness and lifting each other. Subsequently, by seeking first the Kingdom of God, we can find success in all our endeavors regardless of the outcome as judged by the world. As Paul wrote to the Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hallow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Additionally, to transform ourselves instinctively - Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

As Christians, we should reflect our worldly failures and successes through the eyes of Christ. This will allow us to be comforted and instinctively build us up in hope, faith and to experience His grace and mercy. This also seemed evident to the Olympic runner who went on to say “This time here (at the Olympics) he made it clear that my experience in Rio was going to be about more than my race performance as soon as Nikki got up, I knew that was it.”

It is not in how we finish in the world’s view, but how the journey is seen with God’s view.





I grew up in the states of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. After finishing my Computer Science degree at University California - Irvine, I eventually moved back to Colorado with my wife. Over the past 32 years, I have worked in both the aerospace and commercial industries with my degree getting many opportunities to grow in my professional life. However, there always seemed a gap in the growth of my spiritual life. That gap has began to fill measurably since my attendance and involvement at BUMC for which I praise God to have brought us at a key time of our lives. Outside major interests include playing hockey, but time and the physical ability has been an increasing challenging, planning a yearly 14er climb and trips to Disney - most favorably - Walt Disney World. However, I love spending anytime and anywhere with my wife, family and friends. All the while - inviting Christ with me.



Friday, September 9, 2016

Wait on the Lord

Post by: Theresa Mazza

I hate waiting! I am NOT good at it. I’m good at some things. I can tie my shoes like nobody’s business. I’ve had that down for a while. And after years of practice, I’ve finally nailed my husband’s family recipe for authentic Italian gravy and meatballs. But please don’t ask me to wait. I’m so bad at waiting.

The light turns green and the car in front of me is obviously texting and not interested in driving. I can’t even deal. Yes, I will honk my horn at you! Green light, Go! Why aren’t we driving? When I’m shopping I always use self-check-out. I quit waiting in line at the store years ago. Is waiting something I’m working on? Honestly, no. Not most of the time. Not even half of the time. But is it something I recognize I’m not good at and can’t improve on my own? That would be a yes.

A truth that keeps presenting itself to me is this: sometimes we have to wait. And most the time waiting brings strength, courage, humility, and a deeper and more mature love for others. When we struggle with real life issues, things that are more important than whether we make a light or not, we have to wait. And it’s hard.

In the world I live in I just haven’t had to wait for much. So when things don’t happen right away I struggle. I tend to quit before I’ll wait for something. Quit the line, quit the diet, or quit the new goal. There are, however, things I don’t want to quit. There are things that are totally worth waiting for even when it’s painful. Sometimes what we want takes time. Sometimes what we need takes time. And not sometimes, but always, healing takes time.

Here’s a promise: we don’t have to wait alone. Whatever it is we are waiting on may make us feel alone, depleted of strength, and stripped of any hope. When we feel that way maybe we think it would be easier to quit this line and hop into self-check-out mode. What we need is renewed strength and hope. So the word of God offers us this in Isaiah 40:31.

but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.


The New International Version says it this way:

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.


Whatever it is you are waiting for today, I pray that you will place your hope in the Lord, place your trust and your heart with Him. Do not wait for a miracle, do not wait for someone to change, do not wait for things to be perfect. Wait for the Lord.

And He will renew your strength.





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.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Time Flies.

I’ve heard that as you get older, time seems to move even faster and I feel that sentiment more acutely since having children. I blinked and my squishy, blue-eyed baby is a 5-year-old. He’s playing soccer, learning to read, talking back and starting to have real conversations.

Time never seems to be constant. My days at work drag, trips away from my family can last far too long. Three days in yet another hotel room for yet another presentation seem to last and last. On the flip side, my blissful time with my children passes in a flash. I often think that they must be literally growing in front of me and changing as I watch them play.

Maybe it is because we’re all so connected. We never turn-off and power down. We don’t stop to enjoy the moment, the hour, the day, the time that we have. Most people agree that family comes first; it is the most important facet of our lives. Why don’t we slow down and enjoy while we can?

I recently read in an Inc. Magazine article (http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/how-to-make-your-days-feel-longer.html) that the way to “slow down” time is to change a daily routine and to feed your brain more information. When we get into a rut, our brains stop processing the day-to-day. Learning a new skill or visiting a new place or meeting new people will disrupt the monotony and allow us to slow down some. The author also says to “Be Spontaneous” because, “Surprises are like new activities: they make us pay attention and heighten our senses.”

So, now, my new goal. Break the monotony and take my children on some new adventures, enjoy some time with friends, make some exciting travel plans. I am so blessed to have this beautiful family and I want to soak-up all of the experiences that I can. Emails and voicemails and work and bills can wait; my children, cannot.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.- Ecclesiastes 3:11(NIV)



Cristen Underwood has been a member of BUMC for five years.   She lives in Westminster with her husband, (almost) 5-year old son, 1.5-year-old son, a very old Siberian Husky and a really fat cat.