APRIL 2014 Newsletter

APRIL 2014 NEWSLETTER

 Climbing Mountains”

“MOUNTAINS ARE THE CATHEDRALS WHERE I PRACTICE MY RELIGION” Anatoli Boukreev

 Chris and I have spent considerable time practicing our religion climbing mountains in our 6 years out here in Colorado. Not only climbing the physical mountains and anticipating reaching the top, but also mental, emotional, and spiritual mountains. Some we have enjoyed, and some not so much. PRACTICING OUR RELIGION for us includes taking life’s experiences (mountains of trials, or possibly triumph) to grow closer to Christ and glorify God in the midst of them. This winter has been a real challenge in all of those ways as we have had to literally climb our mountain to get home a couple of times because of major snow keeping our vehicles from making it up the driveway.

I believe that the mountains we climb in marriage can bring so many different elements of our character to life that we don’t even know exist. Some are so exciting to see & some need refining. Perseverance is one that can be hard to learn yet so awesome to watch bloom and grow. I can’t say we always love it in the moment, but looking back on it’s unfolding we can see the how it will glorify the King of Kings. Some mountains may be all about tragedy and loss. Some may be overcoming financial troubles & being able to rebuild. Some seem too tall to summit and some seem conquerable.

As Jesus followers we often times try to Christianize the events we see others or ourselves going through. We want so bad to understand the mountains & have all the answers for why we have to climb them. Did God put them in our path? Is He trying to teach us something? Or do we live in a broken world full or temptations, mountains of challenges, and events that are out of our control that He desires to sustain us & be present in relationship in the midst of. I believe it’s God’s will that we would glorify Him in every experience by the way we walk through life. I do know that I’ve learned something through all of the events that I call mountains in our marriage. Some of those mountains we were able to summit and look over to the other side and really feel energized by the experience. Some we are stuck half way up, still struggling to hit the top. Each one has taught us something about God’s unconditional love for us as a couple and how powerful our faith in Him can be as a witness for the world to see through our marriage.

Seeking God in the middle of a tough climb can be so difficult when we are expending so much energy on getting over the hurdle. I can testify that when I press into gaining the strength on my own that I always burn out and it ends in frustration. When I rely on my relationship with Jesus, & Chris and I come together as a team in prayer we are not divided but stand stronger. Prayer in those times is the only thing that gets us as a couple through. When we lost everything in a fire in 2008 we could only lean on God and trust we would regain strength and life. It wasn’t an instant fix, and the pain of the event still haunts us from time to time. Though we sometimes doubt we can make it to the top of the mountain, God is present

and available for us.

What kind of mountains are you facing? Do you have the spiritual support from friends and family to help you climb? Do you get fed regularly by God’s word? Do you and your spouse pray every day to get the strength you need to overcome? These are so important for the health of your marriage and are the the necessities used when preparing to climb the mountains that we do face in marriage. I remember a time when elk hunting with a friend where we got lost in the dark coming down a mountain. I can tell you right now that what I remember the most is feeling the strength of being a team as we literally stumbled and fell in the on the snowy slope, and had to help each other back up for hours. A unified couple does the same by helping one another up when you fall. If you are’t already, start praying with your spouse and watch how God unifies you and girds your marriage for the glory of His kingdom. The people you come in contact with will see the difference in your marriage as you become more focused for Christ.

Here’s how you can continue to IMPART HOPE to marriages and families all over the world

Your gifts allow us to reach people through our group efforts. We are currently offering three support groups through Mountain Haven. One is for sexual abuse survivors, one is for people seeking to be free from co-dependency in their relationships, and one is for marriages. Without your monthly support and one-time donations we would not be able to serve the number of people we do through the group process at a nominal cost. Thank you for giving to this donation- based ministry. God has been good.

Pray about how to continue to support this effort. 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. Thank you and we love you.

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