Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Reason for All Seasons

Post by: Frank Oligmuller

I was recently looking out the window and taking in what was a very pleasant Spring day. And, from further pondering, I thought of how quickly the recent Winter had passed with Summer, I am sure, peeking around the corner. Subsequently, the next Fall will be following right behind.

As Christians, we also embed the Advent and Lent periods as additional seasons during the year. Christmas day and Easter as seen as the end of those seasons respectively. The phrase “He is the reason for the season” is commonly used during those time frames, especially Christmas. I so often try to convince myself to carry the spirit of those additional seasons into the days, weeks, and months following. But, for a variety of reasons, going back to the routine days of the standard seasons then take over and I soon find myself being overcome with the trappings of this world.

In curiosity, I perused the New Testament and saw a couple references to a time of the year. In John 10:22-23 it states, “Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.” I don’t know why it was mentioned here other than to give some context on time of the year for this event and the events that followed leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. And then in Luke 1:26-27 it states “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee. To a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” Here a month of the year is called out. Again, not sure why other than the thought of a time of the year for the event that then keyed in on events that led up to the birth of Jesus.

Maybe because of those two references, it leads us to establish the proximity for celebrating these two events. However, and though those celebrations are of great significance, I don’t believe God limits us to carry retain those celebrations during the one time of year – but throughout the year. It is those events for which we can take into the world the good news of great joy and eternal life as seen in Matthew 28:19-20.. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

So, as I turn to my work and/or play at hand for the day, I hope to keep whatever character of Christ at the forefront to keep my day in peace. It is so easy to go about the day owning our actions and feeling self-sufficient particularly when we think things are going well. But, by the end of most days, when exhausted by the meetings, calls, social interactions, and tasks involved with my day, I can find comfort - as long as I allow myself to face Him – knowing I have God who will take it all away and leave me with joy and peace. As John 16:22 says “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

In reflection, God made all things including All Seasons of the year. And, we are too use the Advent and Lent times as reminders of the reasons He sent His Son. Giving us gifts through Jesus birth and leaving us the Counselor/Spirit to enable us to be alive in Christ carry the message all year long. Thereby making Jesus Christ the reason for All Seasons.

May you find Hope, Love, Joy and Peace throughout the Year

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

Friday, April 13, 2018

Why Not ‘Commonplace’ Acts of Kindness?

Post by: Sara Godwin

I’ve been pondering, for a while now, the phrase, “random acts of kindness”. For a lot of reasons this phrase bugs the heck out of me. What does it even mean? That kindness isn’t normal? That it isn’t something that one sees every day? Is kindness something that must be sought out, ever the elusive act that only some practice? Or if everyone practices it, they only do it sometimes? It’s the word ‘random’ that I really have a problem with. Is kindness truly that uncommon? The very definition of random, according to is “a person or place that is odd or unpredictable; without uniformity; unknown, unidentified or suspiciously out of place”. Hmmmm.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you know that our society is troubled. We see, almost every day, in our news, headlines, and social media all of the acts of rage, anger, hate, sickness, and sadness that has pervaded humankind. Children are committing suicide, we are taunting and bullying each other, some enter places of learning, worship, or commerce and inflict pain, terror, or even death upon others. We sit back after hearing about these acts and scratch our heads. We wonder why these things are happening. We ask for prayers, we rant on social media, we hug our loved ones close, but nothing every really changes. I think that perhaps, collectively, we just hope that it won’t happen to us. But it is. I don’t think any of us hasn’t been affected directly by at least one of these types of acts. They’re too common.

I’m not gonna lie; I have absolutely no idea what to do about all of this. I have no answers. I only know what I can do, as an educator and a parent and a human being in my own tiny, little sphere of breathing space on this planet. I can model and perform commonplace acts of kindness. I can smile at the cashier as I pay for my groceries, I can tip my waiter or waitress and voice my appreciation for their efforts, I can use my blinker and wait my turn to merge on the highway, I can hold the door for someone, I can thank others, no matter how small their act was, or, in other words, I can “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Luke 6:31 It’s right there; all of it, that one tiny verse, so commonly known to everyone, Christians and non-Christians alike.

I recently taught my students the Easter story. We started with Palm Sunday and progressed all the way to the ascension. One of the best lessons in that story happens in the middle, during the Last Supper and how Jesus washes the feet of his disciples to show his love for them. After I told my students that part of the story we filled buckets with water and washed each other’s feet. As we washed each other’s feet, we said kind things to each other. The kids said things like, “I like your hair”. Or, “you’re fun to play with”. Or, “you’re good at coloring”. Things that 5 year olds think are important. Yet, aren’t these things important to all of us? We all just want to know that we’re doing a good job, or that our efforts are noticed and appreciated. My students talked about this activity for days and continued to say kind things to each other, long after we were done. I hope that as they grow, they’ll think back on this activity and remember how it felt to give and receive kindness.

I’m not going to pretend that I have any answers to the ills that are affecting our society, but I can hope that my acts, my smile, my words, might have a ripple effect. Maybe if I smile at my cashier, they’ll smile at their next customer, who will then hold the door on their way out for someone, who will then go on to say thank you or I’m sorry to someone else, who will then go on to perform another act of kindness with another soul. I can model the very foundation of Jesus’ teachings to us and do unto others. It doesn’t answer everything, but it’s definitely a start. If we get enough ripples going, constantly, commonly, always moving outwards, maybe some things will change. Join me, won’t you?

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, April 6, 2018

Remember Dreamers

Post by: Ken Brown

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Most of us have a response to hearing his name or seeing it in the media. The remembrances of his assassination (April 4, 1968) were global. When I hear or see his name, I’m left without adequate words to describe his impact on my life. 

Like Dr. King, I too am a career pastor. His ability to live with resolve and conviction in the face of violence is astonishing. Even more amazing is Dr. King’s organization of the Children’s Crusades that aroused the nation’s conscience in 1963. These events were monumental chapters during the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama. 

Armed with non-violent, peaceable tactics, thousands of young children were arrested in a march for their lives and the betterment of America. One of the youngest marchers in the Children’s Crusades was Audrey Faye Hendricks. She skipped school and went to a church that organized the peaceful march. “I wasn’t nervous or scared,” Audrey recounts. She chose to stand up to a system of racial violence. Audrey was nine. She spent seven days in jail and her parents were not allowed to contact her. 

Audrey’s story is the Easter story - walking out of tombs has a price. Every last one of us is a beneficiary of young Audrey’s courage. She made a choice to confront violence. The ripple for hope from her Birmingham jail cell continues a revolution to help us embrace one another on the content of character. 

After reading Audrey’s story, I felt embarrassed at my lack of knowledge of the Children’s Crusade of 1963. I thought, how many other people don’t know? It pierced my spirit and made me ache for those unheard. 

America’s children are standing up to our stagnation regarding gun violence. The church needs to follow their lead. 

As a church, we are grappling with the recurring questions about gun violence. Why? How? What’s to be done? 

What will you do to curb gun violence? What has Jesus whispered to your heart to speak when the stories of those like Audrey are told. Speak up. Find your words. Find your voice. Let’s be the type of church that remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination was not in vain. 

Ken Brown is the senior pastor at BUMC. You can contact him at