January 2016 Newsletter

Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $ 7,100.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $7,547.00   Remaining Need:( +carryover need from previous months of $9,084.00) $8,637 .00

CURRENT MINISTRY/RANCH PROJECTS   1.) We are growing again. We have a new counselor joining us. Tanya Maruschak is part of the team and is excited to take your referrals. Read more about her in our next newsletter. Call, text or email for details.

2.) Keep an eye out for the group fliers in the next few weeks. We have many exciting group opportunities coming up for you.

3.) CURRENT NEEDS: We are still in need of graveling the ministry driveway.

4.) SOMETHING INTERESTING OR UNEXPECTED THAT HAPPENED LAST MONTH:  Kevin was able to officiate a beautiful wedding for close family friends. We also participated in the pre­-marriage counseling and had a beautiful time.  We were also blessed to be a part of Chris’s brother’s wedding in Key West, Florida. It was a beautiful experience.

5.) TOP PRAYER REQUESTS: Please pray for the couples & individuals we are ministering to find freedom in Christ. Pray for our pastor’s nephew who is 25, a pilot in the Air Force and has a severe case of Pancreatitis. Pray for God to continually direct this ministry.

Mountain Haven January 2016 Newsletter

Jump Off The Boat Already

You know what scares me? Faith? Wondering if I am doing my faith right, or having faith for the right things in the right way. Let me tell you that having an assurance that things I hope for, or a conviction that something will be different than what I see, (see Hebrews 11:1) is not easy territory. But, it is necessary territory.

I can remember when we were living a very comfortable life with two full time jobs, a steady income, lots and lots of friends, our family nearby and a close church family­ our faith for the vision of Mountain Haven was strong. It was a palpable force that many around us could feel. We had faith to move our lives across country, start a ministry, quit our careers, live in a 430 square foot cabin, raise money, be missionaries and serve couples and families from a donate basis.

There have been many times that we have reflected back on those four years leading up to our move out here to Colorado, and the start of this non­profit ministry. I think our faith was real, I think it was passionate; but I also think it was weak and partially based on intellectual assent. We assented to the vision because we had well­laid plans, we had strategies, we had savings,and we had dreams. When faith starts to get tested, and starts to grow is when you are asked to jump off the boat of security into the raging water of fear and circumstances.

In Matthew 14 we read of the story of the disciples out on a boat­ now mind you they had been out there for four nights and I am sure they were grumpy, tired and uncomfortable. Maybe their faith was being tested a bit, and then they saw Jesus walking towards them in the middle of a raging storm. They were terrified, then they realized it was Him­ their savior walking towards them. They were so calm after seeing Jesus that Peter asked Jesus if it was really Him to ask Peter to come to him. Jesus spoke, and suddenly Peter went off the side of the boat, into the storm, and was walking on water too. I am thinking that moment of hopping out of a boat into a raging torrent of water was in Peter’s ten best memories.

He was at the top of his game spiritually, and I’m sure the other disciples were feeling a little bit jealous of his faith. I think when we picked up and moved out here, giving up a secure life in Minnesota, that we too were jumping out of a boat and we were walking on water. It was the top of our faith game, if you will. But hear this, Peter’s faith changed its form when he looked around him at the roaring water of the sea, he started sinking; but Jesus didn’t change form. The power and the presence of Jesus was still there. In fact, Jesus reached out his hand to Peter­ He was present for him­ He never let him go, or allowed him to drown in his circumstances. This passage encourages me to not feel condemned when I can’t seem to activate my faith the way I want to make it happen in the midst of swirling circumstances.

Jesus is asking for us to do one thing, and that is to jump off the boat. Whatever your boat is right now, the thing that gives you security and protects you from jumping into the difficult circumstances, it could be a barrier between the intellectual assent of faith and the active living, radical and sometimes unpredictable faith necessary for a transformation in your soul. The boat you are clinging to could be the beliefs in your marriage that you are right, that you are the one that deserves to be angry. You are the one trying harder, why should you give, love, or forgive more? Or perhaps your boat is bigger and cost more, and you are clinging to your money like a life saver,desperately afraid of never having enough, and afraid to give radically.

Maybe there is a person you want, or need, to reconcile with, someone you are holding a grudge towards and your boat is your self­ righteous anger that keeps you from pursuing reconciliation. Perhaps your security is your job and status, you have lost yourself in the throes of an identity that you have shaped through your knowledge or expertise. Maybe you are clinging to a smaller boat, one made up of your habits and choices that you think are right and cause you to judge others­ lifestyle choice, money spending choices, child rearing choices, bible study choices; whatever they are­ you are clinging to the security of who you are instead of being stretched to become more.

Let’s face it; we need faith­ it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. But we also need to recognize that faith is activated by climbing overboard­ by shattering our illusions and daydreamy aspects of God, and going to him directly in the storm. Even if you are afraid, even if it seems radical and uncomfortable for those around you, even if it takes you out of your comfort zone financially, mentally, psychologically, in friendship, in parenting techniques, in lifestyle. We need to confront the storm because Jesus is there; and when the storm feels too daunting, and too scary­ because it will short of heaven­ we need to cling to the hand of Jesus who will walk us through it. Until the next jump.And the one after that……

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