September 2015 Newsletter

MINISTRY AT A GLANCE

Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $ 7,100.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $3,927.00 Remaining Need: $3,107.00 Plus last month’s deficit  $2,904.00 = $6,077.00 Balance needed

Current ministry/ ranch projects: Chris is ministering through her women’s groups this Fall and into the Winter and seeing lives touched. We are continuing to see couples up at the ranch and in our office in Canon City that are making changes in their marriages to bring healing. Kevin is working hard on preparing for the winter by harvesting logs and getting firewood ready to heat the place which is a big endeavor.

Currently we are not working on Mountain Haven due to limited time and finances, but will need to gravel our driveway and are in need of funds to do that to get it winter ready. We need at least 5k for gravel. Pray about supporting that major project. Living on a mountain takes upkeep to keep the road passable.

Something Interesting or unexpected that happened last month: 1.) We had a Father and Daughter stay for the weekend up at the ranch to enjoy some refueling and time to catch up. 2.) Kevin got a beautiful 6×6 bull archery hunting a few weeks ago.

Top Praise of the Month: We are grateful for the work that God is doing in the lives of couples and individuals that are reaching out for help.

Top Prayer Requests: It’s hard for many couples to get unstuck. Changing patterns of communication can feel impossible, pray for breakthroughs for those that may feel hopeless.

Looking Ahead: We have a new counselor on board, Jocelyn Chisholm, she is ready to take your referrals. She is seeing teens, and women and is doing a Codependent No More Group in a few weeks. Contact her immediately for an appointment at 719-429-1139.

Mountain Haven September 2015 Newsletter

Authentic Living

“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

I started my new women’s group a few weeks ago. We are talking about the gifts of imperfection. These gifts are not literal gifts, but a series of choices we can make to be more authentic and wholehearted people. People that embrace our vulnerabilities and flaws with deeper courage. I think one way in which we do that is by allowing our preconceived notions and firmly held beliefs be challenged. Peter Rollins states in his book The Fidelity of Betrayal, that “unless the seed of our Christianity falls to the ground and dies it will remain a single seed, but if it is allowed to die it will produce many seeds.” Authentic living embraces the unknown, unpredictable, broken, mysterious circumstances and life events that we face. It embraces it by not just applying the same old tried and true responses, but by opening our hearts to a new way of thinking. It was this crazy notion of letting the seed die to produce a more authentic christianity that birthed Mountain Haven. A Christianity that would hopefully affect more than just us and our little world.

Kevin and I had a life almost 8 years ago that looked very different; geographically, socially, financially, emotionally and even spiritually. We had a routine with God; a really beautiful predictable life replete with Bible Studies, playdates, regular health insurance, a fully furnished and working home and a consistent financial income. Entering into the battlefield for marriages and families was a war we were not adequately prepared for. We thought we were, just like a lot of you may think you are, ready for the challenge you are currently facing. We weren’t as ready as we thought to fight the sadness from the stories we hear, the battle for fundraising and the seemingly obvious contradictions in how different, and at times trying, our life, and the lives of many people we counsel, seem as we have pressed more into an authentic, abundant life. But there is an invisible, even paradoxical,transaction that is occurring at the intersection of our doubt and our faith as they collide. The challenges, trials, nagging thought patterns, lingering behaviors, or desperate cries for change, all serve to bring us to a more authentic, and dare I say, abundant life.

The word authentic ​means “of undisputed origin or authorship”​and the word abundant​ means “plentiful and well supplied, overflowing​.” When we claim Christ is the true ruler of our lives, our marriages, our families­ that is an authentic life proclamation. Our story has an undisputed origin and authorship found in our claim to Christ and our allegiance to a life set apart for Him. And when we live in our story, fully embracing it in the ugliness, the beauty, the pain, the trials, the doubts, the victories, and the unknown, ­we live an abundant overflowing life that pours out to others. It has no choice, because a life lived abundantly and authentically, is a life that will influence everyone around you.

Most importantly living this way pours over, first and foremost, into your relationship with your partner or spouse. You don’t have to pretend to be something you are not for your spouse, you don’t have to control or lie or manipulate to get them to see it your way. It is enough to live authentically and abundantly, which results in truth in every dark place. You don’t have to hold the flag of Christianity, or the mantra or cliche of religion, over your spouse if they are not performing as you see fit, you can be present for them in their pain knowing that wrestling with God is ok. In bringing down your own walls, judgments and defenses against your lover (and anyone else from your past you need to forgive) you will realize that we are to be used as Christ’s hands and feet in practical ways to serve and be present for others contending for the faith, including our spouse or partner. The same principle applies to your children. They will no longer have to be the children that perform up to your standards through grades, sports, or actions. They too will see your example of authentic, wholehearted living and that will create space for dialogue, conversation and transparency with you as their parents. Secrets beget secrets and lies only breed more lies.

God sees us in our struggles, wounds, darkness, unfulfilled dreams, and unpredictable paths. He does provide a way out. Confession is one key to authentic living, truth truly does set you free. Truth is a cry for the justice and love of God, we speak our sin, pain, temptation, disappointment, fears, and doubt and we speak our need for God to move on our behalf. If we are a spouse, parent, or friend that makes space for that cry, we can be prepared to see a revolution within our lives, and the life of our loved one. A revolution towards authentic, abundant, wholehearted living. The kind of Christian life that doesn’t hold tight to every religious or traditional belief but rather embraces the infinite mystery and supremacy of God in the unknowing. As Blaise Pascal states, “everything in the world either shows the unhappy condition of man, or the mercy of God; either the weakness of man without God, or the power of man assisted by God. the whole universe bears witness to the corruption or redemption of man​.” I hope we are bearing witness to his redemption.

What about you? What do you need to confess? Change? Let go of? Embrace? Dare to be authentic today.

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