Friday, May 19, 2017

Trust Your Gut

Post by: Elliot Holm 

Nowadays, people get their news, information, and even advice from so many different places. So many people treat the Internet, their favorite blogs, and magazines as their decision-makers, which can make for a confusing, and difficult way to go through life. Then you've got the "trust your gut" people. These are the people who use their first impulse as their primary decision-maker. They get themselves into a situation and immediately say to themselves, "What's the first thing I can think of to handle this? Go with that." I'm definitely one of those people very often, and I don't stop to analyze situations before I act. I'm sure we've all been there before, and for some of us, it's gotten us into trouble.

I, of course, always have to relate all of my stories to my teaching job, because I learn so many things from my work with my students. One of my latest lessons, I just had to do with my Seniors, who I'm about to say goodbye to on Friday, so they got me thinking. I was doing a lesson on getting a job and keeping one, and how to go about those things. The author who I'm using for my book study talked about starting a new job and using the powers of observation to learn how to fit in for different office environments; like how to dress, how to talk, how long of lunches you can take, etc. The author said one of the worst things you can do in this instance is to trust your gut before observing what's going on around you. This can get you into all kinds of trouble, when you're new to a job and treat every day like casual Friday while you take 3 hour lunches!

This lesson got me thinking, though, that there must be so many other places you can apply this kind of logic. I began thinking about the lessons I learn at BUMC, and how I don't use the lessons as much as I should. We often use church as a sort of "refueling" process to get set for our week, and go into Monday and beyond with the voice of the Holy Spirit in the forefront of our heads. But as the week goes on, sometimes the voice gets replaced by responsibilities, burdens, and fatigue. That's when our "thinking with my gut" tends to kick in. We forget about the patience, kindness, and compassion we should be showing others by slowing down and listening to our voice, and instead replace it with the quick thinking, fast wit, and decisiveness that the 21st century has come to demand of us.

Now, I'm not saying that trusting your gut doesn't have a place in the world; I've also made some decisions I'm very proud of, that I attribute to going with my first instinct. What I'm saying is this part of life is always about balance. As often as you can, step back, observe what's going on around you before you act on all your impulses, and think back to all the lessons you learn on Sundays, and use those lessons to guide you through your week. I'll be right there with you, doing my best to do the same. 

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.

Monday, May 15, 2017

How do you share your faith?

Post by: Reid Lester

Some Christians are comfortable directly sharing their faith with anyone they meet.  Some try to live their life as an example.  Some are nervous to talk about faith in any way or even bring friends or family to church.   I think each of us has a different comfort level when it comes to how we witness regarding our faith.  I’ve been thinking about how Jesus recruited his disciples and what might have been going through the minds of the disciples as they abandoned their livelihoods to follow Jesus.  Was it scary to leave their jobs and hometowns?  Was it exciting to support Jesus as He shared His message?

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.  Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Matthew 4:18-20

Every time I hear this verse I can’t help but laugh a little bit.  Pastor Ken joked about our new fly-fishing small group becoming “fishers of fish.”  This has become the mantra of our Living Water Fly-Fishing group.  As we spend time out on the water enjoying the beauty of God’s creation and fellowship with each other, it seems so easy to talk about our faith.  I don’t know why it comes so naturally.  Maybe it’s because we are away from our daily lives.  Maybe it’s because we have a great group of people.  Maybe fishing is a tangible reminder of when Jesus asked the disciples to leave their lives as fishermen and everything they knew to become His followers.

As the summer begins and we try to get out on the water more often, my hope is in addition to the exciting fishing and fun fellowship, this group will lead more people to openly share their faith with family and friends.  We may start out as fishers of fish, but our goal is to follow Jesus and become fishers of men.

If you would like to join the Living Water Fly-Fishing small group, email Reid at

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, May 5, 2017

Dialogue and Discovery

Post by: Kyle Rasmussen

First, an admission: I watch little to no live television. In fact if it’s not a sporting event (where spoiler alerts are hard to keep out) almost everything I watch is On Demand after the original air date. The beauty of this concept is that you can fast forward through the commercials…brilliant!! Perhaps in response to this, marketers have realized a need to “up their game” in the content of commercials, for no other reason than to make you WANT to watch.

Recently I saw a commercial for Heineken that is called “Worlds Apart”. In it, two complete strangers with opposing views (on very polarizing and emotional topics) are brought into a cluttered warehouse space for an experiment. They are asked to perform the task of constructing stools, then asked to describe themselves in 5 words, then discuss what they feel they have in common in the mere 10 minutes they’ve known each other. After building a pre-fab bar (where does Ikea keep those easy builds?) and placing the advertiser’s product upon it, it’s revealed to the paired participants through previously recorded video that their experiment-mate has a very different worldview from their own. The true experiment then is revealed: stay and talk things out over a beer, or simply leave. As I feel I’ve already given too much away, the best part of this concept plays out next, so I’ll leave it to you to watch.

Why does this commercial strike me as so brilliant? Firstly, I think one of the most toxic elements in our culture is define truth by its alignment to our worldview/tribe. This commercial shows that in just a matter of minutes, by some tedious tasks and a few general questions, new tribes can be established and emotionally-charged worldviews can be brought to the same table for a chance to understand and reconcile.

Secondly, I see biblical concepts at work between the participants of the experiment. There is Proverbs 12:18 which says, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Jesus’s words of Matthew 18:15 – “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” And most certainly Paul’s guidance from Colossians 3:12-14 – “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” When we put aside the ‘Us vs. Them’ agenda, are willing to talk things out, and restore humility, kindness and love back into the dialogue – all obstacles are surmountable.

Thirdly on a personal note, this highlights one of the greatest obstacles I deal with as a Disciple and Evangelist of Christ. Living in Utah (and therefore being in the minority as a Christian), I often find myself toting around some predetermined bucket of beliefs, into which I tend to spiritually toss every person of Mormon faith I meet. In the Heineken commercial the tone is not to make one side look “right” and one “wrong” – in other words it’s saying that your beliefs may be deep rooted and that’s okay. What’s not beneficial though is to erect a wall of villainy along the lines of difference, failing to notice that sometimes we have much more in common that we think. When I witness the Gospel, no matter where I am and who it is with, the only way the walls of enmity will be crumbled is if I approach the other person as a willing participant in dialogue and discovery.

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.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Lessons learned from Lynette

Post by: Vicki Cromarty

Heaven gained an amazing soul earlier this month. A dear friend of mine, Lynette, passed away on April 3rd. She was just 10 years older than me…..a beautiful person whose life was cut short too soon. I had the blessing of knowing Lynette for over 20 years. While I haven’t lived in the same state with her for almost 10 years now, we stayed close over that time. I think about her so often. Her death has left me so very sad, but her life has taught me so many things about faith, community, and how to live into every opportunity God gives us to love others. I’m so thankful to have witnessed and been impacted by her life!

Our friendship began when I started working at First United Methodist Church in Boca Raton, FL . While children’s and family ministry was my main role, I was also tasked with supporting a dedicated group of volunteer parents who were leading the middle and high school youth group. Lynette was one of these special parents.

Lynette and these parents and teens quickly became my Florida “family”. Over the next several years, I learned so much from her. In these recent few weeks since she died, many people that loved her have posted pictures and shared memories of Lynette on Facebook and group texts. I’ve been reminded and have been reflecting on what a very deep and wide legacy of love that she has left behind!

Some wonderful qualities of Lynette that have impacted me so much:

Her pure and childlike faith: Lynette trusted God. Period. She had her share of hardships in life, but always trusted in God to get her through. She battled cancer off and on for the last 11 years, sometimes seeing miracles and other times thinking it was the end - but never lost her faith. She knew God was with her no matter what the outcome.

The way she built and lived in community with others: I got to see and feel this first hand! This “Florida family” of mine that Lynette was such an integral part of, modeled community in a way I’d never experienced before. They were there to mourn my dad’s death with me, celebrate our marriage, be excited about our first house, share in the blessing of the birth of our daughter, walk with us in ups and downs, and everything in between. We shared in the journey of each other’s lives in a time that ended up becoming one of those extra sweet seasons of life that will be forever cherished.

Lynette never met a teen that she didn’t love, and built amazing trust and community with them. There wasn’t much she wouldn’t do to help them. Many of those teens, who are now adults, have maintained contact with her over all the years and continued to be blessed by her til her final days! She was in a small group with several women who shared her love for Jesus and who walked through the cancer journey with her right up to the very end. Do you see a common thread here? Whenever Lynette saw an opportunity to love others and be in community, she naturally and genuinely did just that.

Wow, in reflecting about my good friend, I’m challenged to be more like her! Will you join me in asking God for opportunities to love people with His love and to build community, and for a boldness to trust God no matter what?

Thank you God for dear Lynette- for her love for you and for others, for her childlike pure faith, and for all of the ways she touched so many lives in her time on this earth. Help me to be like her! Keep my eyes open for opportunities each and every day to love others with your love, and to model a childlike faith to those who need to see that. Remind me that we never know how our small gestures can impact people’s lives in big ways. AMEN

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 14-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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What Jesus' Death On The Cross Means To Me

Post by: Dave Lockley

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Romans‬ ‭5:6-8‬ ‭MSG ‬ 

How many people are you willing to die for? If worse comes to worst, and you were confronted with choice, and in that split-second you were forced to make a decision, how many people would you be willing to lay down your life for–with no hesitation or reservation? 

For most of us, the list would be small indeed. Your parents, your children, your husband or wife, and perhaps one or two very close friends, but that’s about it. As I thought about it, my list is very small. In the first place, you never know until the moment comes, and you pray never to be put in that agonizing position. But what if you were? We’ve all read those heroic stories where someone gives their life to save others. 

Recently I read the story of Private Ross McGinnis, of Knox, PA, who was killed in a Baghdad neighborhood on Dec. 4, 2006, when a grenade was thrown into the gunner’s hatch of the Humvee in which he was riding. Mr. Bush noted that Private McGinnis had enough time to jump out and save himself but instead dropped into the hatch and covered the grenade with his own body, absorbing the fragments. He was killed instantly. All four of his fellow soldiers were saved. This one man voluntarily died so the others might live. When we hear a story like that, we feel as if we’re standing on holy ground. And indeed we are, for such sacrifice is rare indeed. 

But Romans 5:7 is telling us that God’s love is not like that. Sometimes friends do indeed die for their friends. As great as that is, God’s love is much greater. We can at least understand what those people did when they sacrificed themselves for those they loved. But God went far beyond what we would do, we would never think of doing what he did. 

The wonder of the Gospel is not that Christ should die for us, though that would be wonderful enough. The wonder is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners, still ungodly, still powerless, and still enemies of God! He didn’t die for his friends, he died for his enemies. He died for those who crucified him. He died for those who hated him. He died for those who rejected him. He died for those who cheered as the nails were driven in his hands. We would never do anything like that! We might die for our friends but never for our enemies. But that’s what Jesus did for us. 

One day, when I felt lonely, I asked, “Lord, how much do you love me?” “This much,” he replied. Then he stretched out his arms, bowed his head, and died

Dave Lockley is a lifelong Methodist who has attended Broomfield UMC for the past 9 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  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The New Covenant

Post by: Steve Laser

The world has seen many great days, none as great as the day that Jesus gave us a new covenant. It's easy to forget what Easter really means, it means that humans can be close to God again. Before Easter, sin drove a wedge between God and ourselves.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. -Romans 8 1:39

This new covenant came with great pain and suffering for Jesus; the pain of betrayal by his closest friend, the verbal humiliation and mockery at the hands of thousands of people celebrating Passover, a public trial where people he was trying to save chose to let a murderer go free in order to crucify him. Then the physical pain and torture; he was beaten and maimed until he was unrecognizable drenched in blood and covered with dirt, made to carry his own crucifix up a mountain, nails driven through his hands and feet and his abdomen slashed with a spear. 

Why?.....To save us from ourselves, to free us from the shackles of our inevitable bad choices. 

Through the endurance of the ugliest parts of humanity, Jesus performs the most beautiful miracle and rises from the dead and finally ascending to heaven. By doing so, he gave us his amazing new covenant and sowed the seeds of the Christian faith built on love, selflessness, charity, forgiveness and hope.

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, March 31, 2017


Post by: Mike Orr

I like words. Finding out where words come from, how people use them, and how language develops over time is a fascinating subject to me. If you don’t get as excited about words, I totally understand. It’s one of my nerdy traits. Have you ever thought about the word “Christian”?

People often use it as an adjective, a word that describes a noun. We talk about Christian music, or a Christian movie. It’s perfectly appropriate to talk about Christian theology because it’s distinct. Calling a theology “Christian” describes it and differentiates it from other theologies, like Hindu theology.

“Christian” is a noun when it refers to a person. This is important. When you use “Christian” to refer to yourself, you are not describing yourself, you are defining yourself. You are “a Christian”, not simply “Christian”. It’s an issue of core identity, not simply one more characteristic that you happen to have.

The Bible only uses the noun version. It’s never used as an adjective. Not once. A song can’t be a Christian. A movie can’t either. Only people can be Christians. If you call yourself a Christian, you are making a statement about who you are, and who you follow. Jesus didn’t come to start a clothing brand or a record label. Jesus came to bring you back to his Father, to restore a broken relationship, and to bring you healing and wholeness.

You don’t have to be a word nerd to pay attention to how you use “Christian”. Do you use it as a noun or an adjective? Is it just one of your many traits, or is it your identity?

Act 11:25-26

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

Friday, March 24, 2017

Before I die, I want to _____: A Lenten reflection

This post was written by Joe Iovino and was shared with permission from the blog roll on the National United Methodist Church Web site which can be found here:

One day, not far from her home in New Orleans, artist Candy Chang noticed a large abandoned building.
“I thought about how I could make this a nicer space for my neighborhood,” she said during her TED Talk, “and I also thought about something that changed my life forever. In 2009, I lost someone I loved very much… Her death was sudden and unexpected. And I thought about death a lot, and this made me feel deep gratitude for the time I’ve had and brought clarity to the things that are meaningful to my life now. But I struggle to maintain this perspective in my daily life. I feel like it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what really matters to you.”

Candy Chang's "Before I die..." wall turned an eyesore into art. Photo by Tony Webster [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
With permission from the town and her neighbors, Chang turned the eyesore into a work of art. She covered one side of the house with chalkboard paint. Then, she stenciled a few words on the wall approximately 80 times. The stencil read, “Before I die I want to _____________________.”
She put a bucket of chalk near the wall.
Before the wall was finished people were stopping by, asking if they could write on it. She reported on the TED Radio Hour that one of the first people to finish the sentence was dressed as a pirate, as people in New Orleans are wont to do. He finished the sentence, “Before I die I want to be tried for piracy.”
In her TED Talk, she reads some other things people wrote on the wall.
  • Before I die, I want to straddle the International Date Line.
  • Before I die, I want to sing for millions.
  • Before I die, I want to plant a tree.
  • Before I die, I want to hold her one more time.
  • Before I die, I want to be completely myself.
After playing that clip from her TED Talk, host of the TED Radio Hour Guy Raz, explained, “The power of the ‘Before I die…’ wall is that it actually didn’t make people think about death so much as it made them think about life.”
When Chang posted a few photos of the wall online, she was surprised how quickly the idea spread. “My inbox blew up with messages from people around the world who wanted to make a wall with their community.” Today there are more than 1,000 “Before I die…” walls in cities all over the world.
Asked about their death, people talked about life, real life, exciting things they would like to do with their lives. People focused on things of life that really matter.
In the interview Raz asks Chang what she has learned about death. “I think that contemplating it can lead to a lot of great things,” she says.
What a great image for reflection during Lent. Contemplating death can lead to a lot of great things.
Jesus taught this to his disciples as he contemplated his own death. Preparing his disciples for his glorification, Jesus says, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24 CEB).
Life, real life, abundant life, comes when we are willing to die to self.
The power of the "Before I die" wall is that it makes people think about life. Photo by Tony Webster [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Later in her interview with Guy Raz, Candy Chang expounds on the thought. “Contemplating death really clarifies my life and regularly contemplating death,” she continues, “has been a really powerful tool for me to restore perspective and remember the things that make my life meaningful to me.”
In a lot of ways, that is exactly what this season of Lent is all about. A time to restore perspective and remember the things that make life meaningful.
And so we fast. We give up chocolate or Starbucks or soda, not just to do it. Not to prove anything to anyone or to impress God. We give it up to remind ourselves that those things don’t really matter. Our life in Christ does.
We worship on Ash Wednesday reflecting on our sin, asking forgiveness, and seeking to live a new life free from it. We don’t do this for a front row ticket to heaven, but because we know we have short-changed life by living our own way rather than God’s.
We receive ashes on the first day of Lent with the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We remember our mortality, not to be morbid, but to remember to live for God now, because our life is a precious gift that we should live to the full.
Like Candy Chang, we struggle in daily life to maintain a perspective on what gives our lives meaning. “It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what really matters to you.” Lent invites us to remember what gives our lives life.
During these 40 days, how will you restore perspective and remember the gifts you’ve received from the Lord Jesus Christ that make life full and meaningful?
Then maybe you’ll be ready to truly live.
Before I die, I want to _______.
Think about it.
*Joe Iovino works for at United Methodist Communications. Contact him by email or at 615-312-3733.
This story was first published on February 10, 2016.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Watching Them Grow

I am so blessed two have two young sons. The boys are the 
This last week was a bit of an odd one. First, my youngest son was sick for two days and couldn't attend daycare. This unexpected break gave us two full days together for me to build some fun memories. Despite the fact that we were home and he was in his PJ's all day, we still had hours of time snuggling on the couch watching movies and playing together. It showed me that I don't have to be far from home to have a good time with my children. I'll remember the couch time with him and I know that the next time he's home with me all day, he'll be a little older.

My pride in my 5-year-old son was at an all-time high this week as well. My family was at a housewarming party with a large group of my co-workers. My oldest son was having a fairly ornery and whiney day, and I was somewhat concerned that he'd be a pain in the neck about going to hang out with a bunch of adults. Before we exited the car, I asked (okay, told) him to be on his best behavior while at the party and he told me that he would. Lo and behold, he was so well behaved and polite. I watched him repeatedly approach adults at the party, put out his had for a handshake and say, "I'm Alex, it's nice to meet you."
I once watched Joe, our BUMC music director, turn around and nod at his son, JJ, on the drums after he played what sounded like a particularly tough drum rift during the contemporary service. It was pure paternal pride and I knew exactly how he felt. 
All of the hard work that we've poured into being parents was there on display! I was so proud of him. All week, I've had friends remarking on what a well behaved son I have. I was reminded of a time when I asked my mom about when I learned good manners and she replied, "Everyday." Raising kids is a constant task. My wife and I are constantly saying "please and thank you" and correcting minor mistakes. I guess it must be working! 
It took me having children of my own to fully understand what my mom meant and I look forward to seeing both of my boys grow into well-mannered Gentlemen. I can't wait to see what the future holds for them.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  -Proverbs 22:6

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 boys and  have been members of BUMC since 2011.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Quiet Voice Of Lent

Post by: Joe Mazza

As we begin the season of Lent, these 40 days before Easter can be a rich and meaningful time in the life of a believer in Christ. I read a quote recently that describes the season beautifully:

If you’ve ever climbed a mountain, you know that it’s a struggle. Things start out well, but soon exhaustion sets in and each step becomes a reconsideration. If you hold out long enough, there awaits the sweet joy and relief of being so close to the top that you can see the view. You may be worn out, but the glory of the sight gives you new life… Lent is a climb toward the breathtaking panorama of what Jesus has done for us.

One of the best gifts this season offers us is the opportunity to be quiet. We have so many loud voices around us - non-stop news, the demands of work, and the often overwhelming expectations of our personal lives and schedules. On top of that, if we only look at our Facebook feeds, it seems like everyone else is handling life a lot better than we are. Oh look, there’s a beautiful picture of my friend on vacation! I wish I was in Hawaii. Oh wow, what a great party that must have been!  How come I don’t get to go to great parties? Has that stupid giraffe been born yet? That's a beautiful quote about peace and serenity that my friend just posted. She must really have her life together… more than I do, I bet. With the exception of the giraffe thing, this relentless stream of only the best of other people’s lives can tempt us to follow suit - to post only our triumphs, only our most fun moments, and that one picture out of a hundred that got our best side.

I used to write in journals all the time. I’d write about my day, my frustrations, and things that made me happy. Then at some point I stopped. I think maybe posting things on social media started to take the place of keeping a journal, but I lost something valuable along the way. I lost the place where I could express the struggles, the failures, the darker corners of my life into which I needed to invite God. Lent is the quiet voice that calls me back.

In Psalm 139, King David (who had some pretty serious triumphs and failures) starts out by resting in the fact that God knows him perfectly. Not just what he posts on social media, but everything.

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well."

For 18 verses, David goes on about the safety and love he feels being known so well by God. Then, after a quick little complaint (David was great at complaining in the Psalms), he ends by saying,

"Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."

I recently picked up a journal and I’ve been trying to get back into writing in it. I admit, it hasn’t been easy. There’s something less satisfying at first about writing in a book and then not being able to scroll to see if what I wrote was as good, cool, or interesting as what other people wrote. But I’m getting back into the hang of it and I’m committed to sharing with God more openly there than when I post things online. And as I climb this mountain towards Easter, I know that our faithful God will lead me in the way everlasting, as King David described in his psalm.

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

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Share God with Others…..Let one count the way(s)

Post by: Frank Oligmueller

While sitting in one of our recent Sunday services and listening to a brief announcement by a parishioner, our churches core mission was verbalized - Worship God, Grow with God and Share God with Others. I believe one of God’s primary purposes is for us to have a relationship with Him and each other, particularly through our salvation in Jesus Christ and the help of the Spirit living in us. Relationship is defined to be a connection by blood or marriage or a condition of being related. For all intent and purposes, it primarily involves having a physical interaction.

As our country has transitioned into, what you might say, a new experience of Presidential behavior including tweets, a growing examination of social media’s impact and moral responsibilities, and sometimes just puzzling whether news and information is being publicized for truth or merely sensationalizing opinions on events, the Share God with Others portion struck a thought of how this statement is being played out within the communication fabrics of this world. The fabrics of communication can involve anything from focused physical interaction to use of a social media platform for broad sharing with all in the chain of connections.

Sharing God with others can be applied to us within the walls as well as outside the walls and involve any method of communication. So, one question that could be asked is – does a method of sharing matter more than others?

If we look at the New Testament, there are two key communication methods used. One is by way of direct contact. This is exemplified by the territory covered by Jesus. Physically travelling primarily within the regions of Judea, Samaria and Galilee and engaging people in person. Another example is then by Paul, and the Disciples that took their testimony to Asia Minor, Greece, Rome and further. The second method displayed is via written letters by Paul, Peter, and others. And, the yet subsequent missionaries to other corners of the world. Given its timeframe, it would easily be surmised that those were used due to the known and available technology at the time. Advance 2000+ years, there is now the electronic age of emails, facebook, texting, and growing for communicating electronically. However, though faster, is this method more effective versus physical/direct engagement methods used many years ago?

We have seen evidence that the former methods of communication were effective by the mere fact that it established Christianity to build and take hold to this day. Infusing use of technological advances (not including voice since that is a form of direct contact) has helped become an enabler of the electronic communication methods to more quickly and more broadly emphasize Christian beliefs and personal stories to re-enforce what had already started hundreds of years ago with non-electronic means. In the definition sense, does a relationship exist or more importantly is it maintained via electronic methods?

I asked a member from my small group what their preferences are in sharing God with others. Her response was to primarily take action first, then, if needed, to share by a verbal interaction. These methods were inherent for how Jesus and his disciples shared God with others and thereby built relationships so fundamental to God’s desire. And, in the New Testament, there were several examples of when a physical encounter was given testimony (sharing God with others) to others causing a growth of believers. One of the many instances, is the case of the Samaritan women’s conversation with Jesus and later her testimony to others in the village.

Given the Bible provides us examples and guidelines for living our lives, we can’t ignore the impact of physical communication methods and its effectiveness. The electronic technology, though having its value to share and connect, lacks the ability to create and maintain relationships as God intended. I can repeat a verse I have submitted before - 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.” At times I find myself deflated a bit from the aspect of having and then not having what I felt was a relationship. After my finding/having a wonderful relationship with a brother and/or sister in Christ but had, overtime, faded into a myriad of electronic exchanges because one or both sides couldn’t find the time to maintain the relationship. God has called us to be out to be face to face or voice to voice and not constantly behind and interface.

In Sharing God with Others, be careful not to let the ability of technology over take the ability (and opportunity) to build and maintain relationships.

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.