Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Finding God

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.

Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried, and were saved;
in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

-Psalm 22:1-5

This is a very ancient and mysterious psalm.  Over years, the name of the author and the circumstances he faced has all been forgotten, but his words survived… they were carefully handed down from one generation to another.  Over the years, humanity has found a deep meaning in this unsettling poetry. 

In the news this week, we have heard of earthquakes, hunger, riots, and fear.  Every year, Kira and I try to find ways to help those in need, but this can become overwhelming.  What good are my gifts in a world filled with so much suffering?  When I read Psalm 22, I read the honest confession of someone who was completely overwhelmed.  The poet was losing all faith in God.  However, even in the darkness, the poet still finds himself entangled with God’s love.  That honest and haunting image has brought meaning and hope to countless generations.

Logistically, I do not know the best way to help the people in Nepal, Syria, or Baltimore.  Sometimes, I wonder if it’s even worth it to read the newspaper in the morning… what good will it do?  However, I also find stories of love each week.  I find stories of hope.  Wherever we are, I believe we can find ways to love and support those who are feeling forsaken.  I also believe that love will have a ripple effect, and that is what the world needs. 
In the darkness, we need love...
Finding hope in Baltimore...



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Love overcomes all...

Earlier this week, my parents drove into town.  They have anxiously been waiting to see their new grandson, and it has been a blast to have them here.  They have already stocked up our refrigerator, fixed our garbage disposal, and they even helped change a very “intense” diaper while we were hiking above 10,000 feet. (Yes, we took the baby hiking once again… we had to let grandma and grandpa enjoy some of the fun! J) There are so many things to cherish and laugh at.  Looking back, Kira and I have been incredibly blessed to have so many wonderful guests.  Everyone has been so willing to help us out, and share their love.  It’s wonderful just to take it all in. 

Cherishing these wonderful
moments with the people around
I know some people are going through some really difficult stuff today, but it is my prayer we could all find ways to support one another when we need it.  As I look back, there are so many things in my life that could have completely overwhelmed me.  However, having incredible visitors and an amazing church community has made this journey wonderful!  Love makes all this difference in the world.  I hope we can all recognize the power we all have as a community.  We need one another, and we need love.  Let us share that with the world. 



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Witnesses of Love

It’s funny how much my life has changed over the past month.  It’s also funny to look back at some of the expectations I had for myself and for my family a month ago.  I thought we would be climbing mountains again in no time!  I mean the kid only weighs a few pounds, and Kira will be off of work... How much trouble could this guy really be?  Well, things turned out a little different… (Shocking, right?! J) Our never ending list of chores just got longer.  In addition to taking care of the kid, there are always things to clean up, work on, or fix.  We are forever running to the store, and simultaneously, we are also running out of supplies.  It’s crazy how much this tiny little person has changed our lives!

Hiking as a family!
However, earlier this week we did finally get a little bit of free time.  Kira was feeling good, and it was a beautiful day.  We decided it was time to get back to the mountains!  We wanted to explore a hike up Hummingbird Hollow Canyon to Fletcher Peak. (It’s in the Mt. Charleston area.) This is a pretty straightforward hike, and I didn't think we would run into any problems.  However, my expectations were once again a little off.  We ran into quite a bit of snow, ice, and scree… We also had to climb above 10,000 feet.  All of that is a whole lot harder when you’re carrying a baby!  In the end, we never faced any real danger, and all of us had a blast.  For me, the greatest part of this trip wasn't the expected adventure... it was growing together as a family in love.  It is wonderful to share all the good things God is doing in our lives.     

In our Biblical text this week, Jesus will be commissioning His disciples.  Each of the disciples expected something different when they were commissioned, and most of their expectations turned out to be totally incorrect.  However, the disciples slowly learned what it meant to share God’s love in the world.   Today, we can bear witness to God’s Love as we care for our families, friends, and all those we meet.  Life is a journey.  We will never figure things out perfectly, but we can always find small ways to share God’s Love.  It is my prayer we could all grow in this journey together.



Here are a few extra pics of our trip to Fletcher Peak! 

We love the snow!
Wondering how to get through all this
We found our adventure!

Beautiful views of Mt Charleston through the bristlecone pines
 on the peak

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Believing in the Resurrection!

If you are a part of a church, Easter is always a busy time.  At Community, we had nine services beginning on Thursday all the way until Sunday evening.  It’s always wonderful to work with new ideas, but it can become a little exhausting at times. 

When I was arriving to church early on Easter Morning, I was excited, but part of me was also feeling like I just had to get through the day.  I think that’s the way the world is sometimes… We say we believe in the resurrection, but we can doubt its power in our lives.  However, when I heard the trumpets, the choir, the praise, and all the voices from the congregation – I felt renewed.  We were sharing in an ancient story, and it was bringing hope all around me.  I think that’s why we need worship.  Sometimes we are too burnt out to find new life on our own… we need a community! That is where we find hope!  In the end, I wound up being so excited that I brought my newborn baby to 5 of the services last week.  (I think he slept through them all, but I’m okay with that.  We can all worship in our own way J)

One of the few moments when the kiddo was awake during Easter!
As we look ahead to worship this week at 9:30 and 11:00, we will be telling the Easter story once again through music.  I love these services, because music offers us all a way to participate in worship.  Each person is important. I hope you can find a way to join us!  See you then!



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Busy Week... A Holy Week.

Earlier this week, I found myself hungry for some pancakes… that happens to me from time to time.  Anyway, I decided to head to the grocery store so I would be ready for breakfast.  I wound up buying piles of bananas, eggs, milk, and a few other things.  It’s always a little dangerous for me to go grocery shopping when I’m hungry, because I always buy too much.  (That may not be a problem for some people, but I like to ride my bike... that makes it an adventure.)  On my way home, I was focused on the eggs I had under my arm, when I felt something cold running down my back. (Not good!)  Sure enough, the milk was leaking, I was a mess, and Kira probably needed me home a half hour ago.  Apparently, I was trying to do a little too much!

Sometimes, I feel like we spend our lives trying to do too much.  There are times I get so caught up in all my fatherly duties that I forget to enjoy just being a dad.  In the same way, I can get so caught up in leading worship services, but I will neglect to take time for myself to worship.  This year, I want to be better at staying focused on what really matters.  We are each busy in our own ways, and we all have so many different expectations for ourselves.  During this Holy Week, I hope you can let those expectations go.  Let’s keep our eyes on the Savior who gave His life for each of us.  That is what really matters!


Pastor Brian