Saturday, May 27, 2017

I am ___________. I can _________.

You don't have to look very far to find suffering in the world. Tsunamis of information hit us every time we look at our phones. These days we all carry with us a lot of emotional weight. At times the weight is more than we can bear. 

As we do our best to relieve the suffering that is closest to us, caring for a sick family member, serving our neighbors, volunteering in our communities, we may feel like we don't have much left with which to relieve the suffering in the world. 

It's not important that we make a huge effort to change the world and its suffering. It is important and absolutely necessary that we make any effort at all. So often our idea of a worthy effort stops us before we even get started. If we can't do enough, then we choose to do nothing. This is a mistake.

Suffering in the world isn't relieved by big splash efforts alone. Suffering in the world is relieved with one small meaningful effort at a time, made by millions of ordinary people on a daily basis. People willing to admit that they don't have a lot, but what they have they will let go of. If they have a little bit of time, they don't hold onto it, they let go of it by giving that little bit of time to an organization that needs it. If they have a little bit of money, they don't hold onto it, they let go of it, by giving what they can when they can. And if all they have are good thoughts and prayers, they dedicate themselves to these things. 

Let's not wait until we have more time. Let's not wait until we have more money. Let's not wait until we have more energy. Let's join together as ordinary people, doing ordinary things, to end the suffering right in front of us today. Let us start in our homes, in our cities, and then go out into all the world, one small effort at a time. 

My next step is to be more attentive to the need and suffering of my next door neighbors. 
How can I relieve their suffering and add to their happiness? How can I express the love of Jesus. I don't need to take extraordinary measures so all the other neighbors will see how good I am. It's not about me. I just need to knock on the door. 

I am an ordinary person. I can knock on my neighbor's door. 

What's your next step? Start by finishing these statements:

I am ___________________. I can __________________.

Theresa is a youth advocate, writer and speaker, as well as the Outreach Director for El Porvenir, an organization partnering with rural Nicaraguans 
on clean water, sanitation, and reforestation projects. She sings with BUMC's worship team and is married to Worship Arts Director, Joe Mazza. Check out more from Theresa at

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