April 2013 Newsletter

Peeling Back the Layers

Onion

You know the saying, “life is like an onion—there are so many layers to it?” Well, let me just say, I hate that saying. And it is not because I have an aversion to onions; it is because, sometimes, I have an aversion to peeling back layers. If you’ve ever read C.S. Lewis’s “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” you may remember that particularly compelling part of the story where Eustace, the nasty little tag along cousin to Lucy and Edmund, turned into a dragon. He thought he would be a dragon forever, but when he finally had an encounter with Aslan—the lion king of all of Narnia—he learned that his transformation from Dragon back to boy was going to be a painful one. He started to peel back his first layer of skin, and it hurt a little, but he was grateful to begin the process. However, when Aslan told Eustace that He would have to use his sharp lion claws to tear apart the dead skin surrounding Eustace’s body, it was a scary proposition to say the least. Aslan used those jagged, sharp claws to pull back dead, wrinkly, thick, scaly layers of dragon hide. Afterward, Edmund appeared fresh, clean, red, and a little bit raw. He was restored and felt lighter than ever. Beauty from pain, right?

This theme is all over God’s story. He takes ugliness and makes it beautiful; He takes prisoners and sets them free; He takes an adulterer and makes him a leader of His people; He takes a murderer and calls him to be a great apostle and life giver; climactically, he takes a lowly Jew born in a stable and makes Him king of all. Why does it seem like we can’t handle the layers being peeled back? I know I can’t at times. I cling to my old ways of coping, responding, living, believing, and being. This is true relationally. We say “This is the way I am,” and rather than trying to find another way to meet our spouse where he or she is at, or to minister to the one we love, we hope that the tried and true ways yield a different result. Rather than peel back a layer of our defenses, walls, or coping mechanisms, we stick with the known. All of the people in the stories of the Bible were human, like us, but they let God peel back the layers of who they really were underneath. They did this by taking a risk, choosing a different path than the one they were on, or standing firm in the face of insurmountable obstacles. By doing this, they allowed God to do something great and transform them—just like Eustace in “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” He started out his story as a crabby, demanding, selfish, and loutish boy, and he emerged as humble, gentle, and a team player.

 When we allow ourselves to encounter the God of this Universe, we walk away differently. What layers do you have that need to be peeled away? Is there pain in your life or circumstances that could be used to bring you face to face with your God? What do you want the next layer to reveal? What will others see? The process is painful, and sometimes messy, but God is faithful to finish the work He started in you. Maybe you could commit to loving on someone—your spouse, your child, or a friend who is in the middle of having a layer peeled away right now. Sit back and embrace the change!

 One More Layer for Mountain Haven

Mountain Haven is joining with Autumn Ridge Student Ministries on June 30th, 2013 for our first ever walk/run fundraiser. We are offering a 5k, 10k, 15-mile, or kids fun run event for people to participate in. Our goal is to raise $15,000 towards a matching grant of $15,000. This fundraiser will raise the funds for us to move to the next level of service in our ministry. By either walking or running or pledging someone who is, we will be able to finish the entire Mountain Haven facility. In addition to this, we will raise resources to continue to serve our community, and the world abroad, without charging set fees for our services. Please stay posted by following us on Facebook . We will have a promotional video out in the next few days and a page on our website with all the details on how you can support this amazing community event. We are excited for one more layer to be peeled back that will better equip us to serve others.

We are always looking for more monthly and one-time partners to help make our donation-based services available. Pray about how to give. Give at www.mountainhavenmarriageministry.com or mail a tax-deductible donation to 1160 Diamond Back Trail Canon City, CO 81212. Stay in touch with praise or prayer requests as well.

 

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