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.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Transforming My Mind One Telephone Pole at a Time

Post by: Nicole Stegink

I believe in the concept of synchronicity. Psychoanalyst Carl Jung explained synchronicity as “events [that] are meaningful coincidence if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.” There could be long discussions on whether synchronicity really is just random chance or if it’s some phenomenon of science or nature, but for me when it happens, it’s a God moment. It’s God reaching out to me or instructing me through a set of seemingly unrelated messages that merge in some way to alter my thought patterns, re-direct me toward Him and help me recognize His will for me. I recently experienced a moment of synchronicity when a text conversation I had with a friend, an old photograph I had taken and a quote I like converged and caused an epiphany of sorts.

In one of my previous blogs, I wrote about how I navigated my way through my own painful divorce by connecting to God through photography. Since then I have discovered God delivers many of his messages to me through pictures I have taken. And sometimes it takes one of His acts of synchronicity, such as this story, for the veil to lift and my mind to be transformed.

My friend went through a divorce a few months ago. He expressed some of the challenges of achieving balance between work, being a single dad to four children and finding time to heal and practice self-care. In this particular conversation he was without his children for the weekend, and struggling with a few things: fatigue, motivation and whether he deserved to take time for himself. His brain desired to get up early and go do an outdoor activity; his body wanted to sleep in the next morning; he heart questioned whether indulging in a “me day in the mountains” was selfish. The only thing I could think of to help him was to send him two things: a passage from Brendon Burchard’s book “Life’s Golden Ticket” which speaks to being present in your own life and a photograph I had taken a couple of years ago.

I had taken a photograph of a sunrise from my backyard, and I thought maybe if I sent my friend this photo it would inspire him to get up early. A kind of “see what you miss when you don’t get up early.” Part of me didn’t want to send the photo, because while the colors of the sunrise in the photo are stunning, there is a huge, unsightly utility pole featured prominently in the frame. It has always really annoyed me because my backyard is bookended on the east and west sides by large utility poles. Every sunrise and sunset picture taken from my backyard -- and believe me, there are hundreds -- is not without wooden poles, wires and cables interfering with view.

So I sent a text of the book passage. Then I sent the photo. Finally, I sent a text with my own message that taking time to recharge is not selfish, that practicing self-care is one of the healthiest things we can do and that maybe the words and my photo would inspire him to wake up early and head to a place that would restore his soul. He responded, “When I first looked at the photo, I saw a cross and a beautiful sky – which is always an inspiration. Then when I read your text, I was shocked that you took this picture and realized I was looking at a telephone pole! How cool is that?”

And in that moment of reading his response synchronicity happened for me. My mind instantly recalled one of my favorite Thoreau quotes, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” That quote, the photograph, and my friend’s reply all wove together and suddenly took on meaning. How had I not seen it? I had put so much focus on being irritated with what I was LOOKING at that I didn’t SEE. Clothed in my own earthly concerns and biases, my brain misdirected my heart and soul. I made the telephone pole be the thing that mattered to the point it inhibited my ability to see the cross. I had been looking with just my eyes so therefore, I was closed off to seeing with faith. That thought led my mind down a path of transformation, recognizing our human tendency to look rather than to see. I wondered if the Bible could offer any insight on this important matter of observation and perspective.

Researching passages in the Bible brought me to two verses: Romans 12:2 and Colossians 3:2. In the New International Version Romans 12:2 states, “Do not conform 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.” I also like the New Living Translation version which states, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

No doubt this passage means different things to different people, but for me it essentially explains the dichotomy between looking and seeing. I equate “Looking” as the part in Romans about being conformed to the patterns of the world. It is being rooted in our own minds, in our own perspectives, in our own problems, in our own worldviews, without the ability to open ourselves up to receive God’s will and God’s grace. There is potential to place more importance on our own take on things than God’s. “Seeing” is the part in Romans about being transformed by the renewing of your mind. It is changing our thinking, replacing human truth with God’s truth. And once we transform our minds in this way, we no longer look with human perspective, we see with God’s perspective.

Is there an area in your life where you are stuck? Where you have been “looking” and not “seeing”? Is there a way you can let go of this world and allow yourself to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” so that you can “see” God’s good and pleasing and perfect will for you?

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. – Colossians 3:2

Nicole Stegink is a Colorado native and currently lives in Arvada.  She is active in the music ministry of BUMC, singing for both the traditional & 505 services and has been a member of the church since 2010.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing but currently works in the legal field and doesn’t get to exercise her writing skills as often as she would like which is why she is excited to be contributing to the church’s blog. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Life is Too Short for Matching Socks

Post by: Sara Godwin

As I have grown older, I’ve come to several conclusions; epiphanies if you will. These include, but are not limited to, the following: fighting with male members of the household over the position of the toilet seat is trite and not really worth it. Over is always better than under when one is talking about toilet paper positioning. Oreos can only be eaten after having been dunked in cold milk. The front row is absolutely fantastic; unless you’re in a movie theater, and, lo and behold, curds and whey is really just a fancy name for cottage cheese. Thanks Miss Muffet, that one confused me for years. What’s my latest and, truly, greatest realization? Life is too short for matching socks.

Yes, you heard me right, I’m talking about socks. This realization has rocked my world. Please, let me explain. I have spent a really large portion of my life trying to conform, to fit in, if you will. When I was a child, it was really important to have a cool lunch box. If it wasn’t just the right cartoon character or action hero, the entire school year could really be wrecked. One year my mom bought me a Fozzy Bear lunchbox and I thought I was going to die. As a tween and young teen, it was the need to be invited to the right birthday party, the quintessential sleep over (and to not be the first one to fall asleep), that really, really mattered. I worried about this one all the ding dang time. As a teenager, just finding my niche, being in the clique that really fit my personality, was all I could think about. Problem was, I didn’t really know who I was, what I wanted, where I wanted to go, or what really yanked my chain, so I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. It led me to do some pretty stupid things, all in the name of “fitting in”. 

When I was in my very early 20’s, I wanted so badly to please a person, that I married him. He wasn’t a person who wanted me to have a voice or my own opinion and because I desperately wanted to be liked, I allowed him to tailor my thinking to his ideology. I knew deep down that I was making a huge mistake, but I just didn’t know how to find my spine or how to stand up for myself, so I jumped in with both feet to a situation that I knew I couldn’t make last. At least I learned a few lessons from that one. As a young mother I wanted to do everything “the right way”. I read all the books, all the articles, all the blogs, on how to birth my babies, how to feed my babies, what sort of doctor I should look for, etcetera, etcetera. I was terrified of being criticized.

It wasn’t until I began to teach 4 and 5 year olds that I started noticing something. This need to fit in and conform can begin at a very early age. My students love to say things like, “If you don’t play this with me, I won’t be your friend.” “You’re not sharing with me, I don’t like you”. And the coup de grace, the one that really cuts deep, “You’re not invited to my birthday party”. I spend my days helping the children navigate these touchy waters, encouraging them to be kind, to stand up for themselves, and to resolve their conflicts without hurting each other. If I can help them, then I decided that I better be able to help myself!

I have finally decided that I no longer (for the most part) care what people think of me and my decisions. I mean, I want people to think of me as a good teacher, a caring individual, and a generally all around good person, but at the end of the day I’m not going to get all wrapped up in the drama of trying to please everyone. It’s just not worth it. That is why I have decided that I will no longer wear matching socks. It pleases me to wear goofy socks. It pleases me to wear as many goofy socks as possible. If I wear socks that don’t match, then I get more bang for my buck. And guess what? I don’t care if anyone else cares. I’ve decided to apply this philosophy to everything I do.

The Bible says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2. Yup. That pretty much sums it up. God’s opinion is the one that really matters and it’s the only one that I’m going to worry about.

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.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Serving and Protecting

Post by: Cristen Underwood

Three years ago, the dynamic of our family life changed drastically when my husband made a major career switch from being a banker to being a Sherriff’s Deputy. There is a lot that comes with the police life. Much of it we knew about going in; crazy hours, missed Holidays and Birthdays, insane amounts of training.

But there’s so much more that we weren’t expecting. This is a tough time to be a cop. There are more people than ever that are vocal on their dislike of law enforcement. There are crooked cops but there are also crooked doctors and lawyers and teachers and store owners and taxi cab drivers. However, unlike most other career fields, police officers are judged by the actions of a few. I see often see quick judgement when I tell people that I am the wife of a Law Enforcement Officer.

But here’s the thing, I am beyond proud of my husband. He is giving up so much purely in service and the desire to help others. What angers me most about these people that are preaching hate for our law enforcement is that those very same officers they rage against have made a conscious decision to protect them. The brave men and women that sign up to be cops run towards the problem instead of running away. These officer are the ones that come when there is trouble and fear and chaos and work to provide safety and peace.

I’m sure that my husband sees way more than he’ll ever tell me. I know he’s dealt with fatal car accidents and been there after suicides. I’ve seen him come home in tears after dealing with a child abuse case. He left a family outing to go help during a wildfire and came home covered in black soot, so tired he could barely move after working for 16 straight hours. Yet, after all the negativity and the difficult days, he comes home and plays with his sons and smiles and tries so hard to rejoin our regular family life.

I started following the police blogs and the police spouse pages on Facebook and just about every day, somewhere in America, a Law Enforcement Officer is killed in the line of duty. A wildly troubling statistic for the spouse of an officer. Several times a week a picture of a stoic man or woman in full uniform shows up on my news feed with the story of how they were killed and the spouse and children that they leave behind. And yet, even with a job so dangerous, my husband and all of the other Law Enforcement Officers get up to go to work at weird hours, put on a bullet-proof vest and promise to run towards the danger.

So, next time that you see a Law Enforcement Officer, say thanks. Tell them you appreciate their dedication. Tell them that you appreciate that on Christmas morning, while you were home with your family eating breakfast, they were out on patrol keeping you safe. Tell them to stay safe so they can go home to their families that love them.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:13

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

We Are the Church

Post by: Theresa Mazza

If you could fly over America in a helicopter to get an aerial view of the church, what would she look like? I saw the most breathtaking view of the church I’ve ever witnessed while attending a weekend retreat with church leaders from around the country from every denomination and background. This diverse group of individuals gathered together to have honest conversations about the future of the church.

Here are just a few questions that drove our conversation...

  • Do Non-Christians see Christians and the Church as judgmental and exclusive?
  • Are we living in a post-Christian era? Why are so many of churches declining in membership?
  • What can we do about the reality many of our churches face: financial difficulties leading to closure, mergers, or bi-vocational church staff?
  • Are Non-Christians driven to or away from institutional and traditional forms of Church?
Does it sound like depressing conversation? The conversation was honest, messy, and inspiring. What I heard during these conversations gave me hope. I heard servant leaders simply searching for ways to love God, the Church, and their neighbors more faithfully.

Here’s the aerial view and truths I walked away with through this experience...

Transcending time and space

Church is not something we do at 9:45 each Sunday morning. Christians everywhere aren’t just going to church; they are being the Church. Being the Church transcends time and space. Wherever believers glorify God in their workplace, we are being the church. Wherever believers have safe conversations about life and faith without judging or condemning, we are being the church. Wherever believers serve their neighbors, and love them well, we are being the church. Church is not a tradition, a place, a time, a denomination, or gathering. Church is the body of believers inviting all of God’s children into a loving relationship with God.

Dialects of eternal love

The Chinese Language has 7 major dialects, and these 7 groups have sub dialects. Just as there are many expressions of any language, there are today many expressions of church. One dialect of the Chinese language is not more Chinese or less Chinese. There is not an expression of the Church that is more sacred or less sacred. The many expressions and forms of church is not cause for division amongst the church, rather it is cause to celebrate an expansive and diverse church that is more dynamic and more beautiful than ever.


Church is happening everywhere: schools, coffee shops, homes, parks, theatres, and even bars! Yes Bars!!! There are traditional, home, conversation based, and social venture based churches. This diversity is a home run if you ask me. It makes us more and more like God our creator who is, in fact, Omnipresent. If we are going to introduce people to Jesus and grow his church, it requires us to be everywhere at once. We cannot be bound to one place, or one way, only one God.

The Bride of Christ

The Church is the Bride of Christ. This Symbolism of being his bride means that we are closest to him. Therefore his children, especially children who do not yet trust in him, we are to love as our own children, caring for them, and meeting their needs. Within the church I see Christ’s bride very much loving God’s Children. We all love in different ways, and meet needs in different ways, and this is absolutely breathtaking. As a parent I’m in awe when I see how other people express love for their children. My friends parent differently than I do, their expression of love sounds different and looks different, but I do not question that they are loving and caring for their children as much as I care for my own.

The church is expressing God’s love in beautiful, different, extravagant, new ways.

This was my aerial view of the church. What do you see? And in what ways are you being the church?

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

Friday, January 13, 2017

By Faith

Post by: Mwangi Ndonga

One of the most transformative (and interesting) events in history was the Christian Reformation. It became a dogmatic course-correction and a theological gut-check of the Church. Recall, that one of the major insights during this movement was the interpretation of Romans 3:21-22: “But now a righteousness from God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

More than anyone, Martin Luther emphasized this verse and called it the “the chief point, and the very central place of the Epistle, and of the whole Bible”. I’m convinced.

My interpretation:

  • God’s grace is given not earned. Period. No matter how much money you give, how many rules you observe, how many people are angry at you, how many awards you win, or how worthy you think you are.
  • Everyone is messed up. But through faith, we can become righteous. You’re in good company. Some Biblical messer uppers: Adam, Cain, Moses, Noah, Abraham, Jacob and his sons, the Israelites in general… just check out the Old Testament. In each of their narratives you’ll find a course-correction or gut-check.
  • You and I, my friend, are guilty but the charges have been dropped. All you have to do is thank Him that gave you new life.

An even better summation of this free grace is the hymn “Amazing Grace”.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Mwangi Ndonga currently lives in Broomfield with his wife, Talesha, and son, Kamundia. They have been members of BUMC since 2010. Mwangi primarily serves on the Worship and Arts Ministry by playing piano and bass guitar during the Contemporary & 505 Services. He works as an environmental, health and safety professional in the oil and gas industry. An avid reader, Mwangi loves discussion on almost any topic, especially music and theology.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Planning for Prayer

Post by: Heidi Schwandt

I’m a planner, and I am not a very patient person…. lately the combination has been challenging.

In the last few months I have started the task of researching schools to send my daughters to and I have become sort of obsessed…In 2 months’ time I think I toured 6/7 different schools and after many hours of thought decided on a winner—the perfect school for my girls. But this school was just too far of a drive from where we live now, SOO now we would have to move too. Thus, I began looking at neighborhoods that we may live in if we were to start in this new school for the 2017/2018 school year. If anyone asks me “how have you been?” or “what have you been up to lately?” This has been the vein of every answer, I have been trying to surgically execute my perfect plan for the next few years as we transition our family out of Preschool and Kindergarten into the world of elementary school and big kid stuff. See, planner & impatient (sigh).

What is it that is worrying you? What are you trying to plan for? What are you having a hard time waiting for?

Is it the birth of a baby and what will happen after he is born- will you return to work, who will help care for him if you do? OR A career change you have been looking to make but you’re not sure of the timing or if the next job will be all you hoped for? Maybe you’re looking to retire and are unsure about what is coming in this next chapter of life? OR you want to buy a new home and in this real estate market you feel pressured to move fast on one of the biggest purchases of your life instead of giving yourself time to think & pray.

Do you ever wonder if throughout all this God is just watching us while softly chuckling or shaking his head in disbelief/frustration as we try to plan our lives on our own despite what He’s told us? The bible tells us repeatedly that He will take care of it. God is in control and all we must do is give him the reins and trust, wait, & pray.

We all like to plan and map out our lives so we know what to expect (some of us more than others), what to save for, what to look forward to and this doesn’t just affect us, it affects our spouses, children, parents, friends… because that’s what we as people do- our “tribes” offer their support in these decisions.

Yesterday, I felt frustrated all morning as I yet again broached the topic of moving and schools with my husband who simply shrugged and said “We’ll figure it out, we have time” and then in the same breath asked “Where do you think we should plan a vacation to this year? I would like to do a road trip to some national parks?” WHAT?! I mean, I’m trying to plan for our children’s future and find a home that we will love as much as the one we are in now and he’s thinking road trips? Normally, that would be a fun conversation to have- planning a family trip, but today I could not see ANY fun in that proposal—something was wrong. I had to stop and ask myself: “What am I missing as I plan and worry my future away? Did I REALLY enjoy my children today or was I distracted? Was I being a good listener when my best friend came over earlier today or was I monopolizing the conversation? What about my spouse- am I being empathetic to the long hours he has been putting in lately and how badly he needs that vacation or am I too focused on my plan to nurture and care for my relationship the way I should be?”

A small voice inside my head told me not to allow the devil to get a foothold on my frustration and turn on my husband for not taking all of this seriously but to simply PRAY. SO, I went for a drive and I Prayed for patience, I prayed for peace, I prayed for perspective and mostly I prayed for God to take back control! I needed to STOP, PRAY, WAIT, and LISTEN. I needed to be present, listen, live each day for what it is- a gift. And give the rest to God. He WILL line it all up for us, He WILL prompt us when the time is right, He WILL be sure that everything works out for you and yours—IF you ask, IF you let HIM. Yes, God gave us free will, now we must use that to CHOOSE wisely… let Him take the wheel while we enjoy what we have right in front of us and find peace in that HE will provide for our future—even if it’s not the one we had planned/envisioned.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hears and your minds in Christ Jesus.  -Philippians 4:6-7

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil  
-Proverbs 3:5-7
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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:11 

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps  -Proverbs 16:9

I am a Chicago girl living in Colorado for 8 years now. I have been married to Ed for 12 years and have two beautiful children, Vivian & Natalie. After spending several years working for the American Red Cross while living overseas in Germany I moved to Colorado and worked in the financial industry for 7 years. Now I have the privilege of being a stay at home mom and wife. I am mostly a homebody but will get out of the house for time on a lake or river (basically any body of water), dinner with friends or fishing! Most of my personal time is spent with my husband and kids or working on yet another one of my home improvement projects, I am a DIY junkie and have done everything from drywall to electrical and carpentry, not to mention hours of painting. I have been a member of BUMC for about 2 years and a follower of Christ for as long as I can remember. It’s been a blessed life thus far and I’m excited to see what else God has in store for me.