July 2015 Newsletter

MOUNTAIN HAVEN MINISTRY AT A GLANCE

Financial info: Monthly budget $7100.00, June income $6,636.00 Amount needed $464.00 Thank you God for continually providing.

Something Interesting or Unique that happened last month:   1.)  Mountain Haven has a new psychotherapist in training. She is open for referrals and is a wonderful addition to Mountain Haven with her gifts of empathy and discernment. Her name is Jocelyn Chisholm and you will love her. If you are looking for individual coaching or therapy contact us for more details. 2.) We had both sets of our parents out in June, it was a wonderful time of getting caught up and interacting with our families.

Top Praise of the Month: We have seen miraculous changes in the lives of a couple that have been on the brink of giving up on their marriages.

Top Prayer Requests: 1.) We are still in need of more monthly support.  If only 20 people could give $50.00 a month we could support Mountain Haven and start to be more consistent on the income we give ourselves from service to Mountain Haven. Please pray about partnering with us. 2.) Please pray that the couples and individuals we are seeing would continue to see the power of God working in their lives. 3.) We would love to offer pastors and their families and other people serving in ministry a place to refuel, however we need your help spreading the word that this is available at MH. Please pray for connections with churches and other ministries. We would love to do more conferences as well on our book, “The Hope Filled Marriage”. 4.) Pray for our kids they are going to be homeschooled this year and we need guidance and direction regarding how to structure that.

Looking Ahead:  1.) We are excited to have a family coming out in a week to do a Family Mission Trip at MH. They will be helping us complete some tasks around the ranch. Please pray that they will also be refueled while they are staying here. If you would prayerfully consider giving a little extra financially to provide the funds for them to finish jobs out here, that would be amazing. 2.) MEN Kevin will be doing his Adventurous Leader out door adventure experience coming up August 20-23 on the world famous 80,000 acre Cielo Vista Ranch.  This is an incredible opportunity for fathers, sons and men to experience an outdoor adventure while learning about spiritual leadership. Please check out the MH Facebook page for more information 3.) WOMEN-There will be three women’s groups coming this fall, be on the lookout in a separate email for the right group for you.

Firepic

Mountain Haven July 2015 “What Remains”

Did you know that right now as you are sitting where you are, there are actively burning fires all over our planet? NASA apparently has a satellite system that tracks and monitors fires around the world. Fire apparently has a positive side. It is used in mitigation to stimulate growth and to maintain various ecological systems. And keep in mind; a controlled burn is completely different then a conflagration. I have found that often times we as humans tend to view the “fires” or trials in our life as conflagrations with no positive outcomes. Perhaps there may be a new way of looking at fire.

When we had the destructive propane fire in 2008 on our property here in Colorado, it looked like a conflagration. It was fast moving, very hot and destroyed property and caused environmental damage. It was propelled by an open propane tank that kept feeding more destructive gas to the already 30 plus foot flames. When I lay weeping at the outskirts of that fire I thought the words “destruction”, “devastation”, and “trauma”. It was difficult to see any positive effects of the fire. In nature, the controlled fires are monitored and buffered by forest workers. There is not that same jolt of fear as you have at the sight of an out of control forest fire, as when you drive by and see those sturdy orange road signs indicating a controlled burn is happening up ahead.

In marriage it is a whole different story. When a fire starts between a couple, it feels like a threat, it causes a fearful reaction and there aren’t bright orange road signs directing you that it will be ok up ahead. Fires in marriage can include; sickness, financial stress, loss of a child, betrayal and affairs, addictions, transition, unforgiveness, misunderstandings, personality differences, and the list goes on and on. These fires start with a spark­ a word, a look, a misunderstood intention, an unspoken hurt or a protected secret. Whatever the reason for the start of a fire, we know that fire needs to be fed three ingredients to sustain its burn level. It needs oxygen, heat and a fuel of some sort. Remove one of these ingredients and the fire can be put out, or at least controlled. Most often, like the fire we had out here, it feels impossible to control the ingredients in a fire and we are often doomed to stand by and “watch it burn.” Depending on the type of fire we are left with “what remains”. In a conflagration the destruction is so intense that things are unrecognizable and beyond repair. In a flash fire there is an item or two that is ruined but the rest around it is intact. In a slow burning fire, that was put out quickly, there is the water and smoke damage to deal with.

What remains in marriage after the fires we face can be up to us. We can choose to keep feeding the fuel of a fire in our marriage by choosing a path of bitterness or resentment. We can choose to make the heat hotter by using angry, destructive words that kill and destroy. Even in the marriage fires that seem to be burning in front of us, what remains can be more than ashes, soot, and smoldering piles of rubbish. Our perspective and our ability to search for the new growth can make all the difference. When I searched through the rubble and the carnage of our 2008 fire, it was smoking, sopping wet, black and unrecognizable-­ I remember internally weeping, metaphorically masticating my grief to make it easier to swallow. As I earnestly searched through the ashes­, hands turning black, I found a pile of fragile papers lighter than butterfly wings all clinging together ­almost magically morphed into a unit of one. What I found were the letters that Kevin wrote me almost 17 years ago. The 20 plus letters he lovingly put in my mailbox when we were divorced. Letters that spoke hope and truth to me, and letters that eventually wooed me back to him, and to our marriage. These letters were impossibly buried under melted kitchen tupperware, unrecognizably melted photo albums and indescribable mutilated piles of my old life- art, pictures, books, scrapbooks, and furniture. They were singed around the edges, more fragile than they had been when I received them years ago­, but they were intact. Impossible. But there they were- what remained.

Those letters remain sealed in a bag in my closet, they are proof of “what remains” after tragedy. They inspire, and direct me at times to see beyond the current fire I may be experiencing in my marriage, or my life. They sometimes remind me to stop a fire before it gets out of control. Fire can bring new life, fire can take away things we don’t need to hold onto or remind us of the authentic beauty we should hold onto in the present. There is no doubt about it, fire can be excruciatingly painful, fires in marriage can hurt and scar. Our perspective, our ability to recognize what we bring to the fire, or take away from the fire­ matter. What remains after the fire can be surprising, transformative, and can bring hope; we just have to search deeper.

What element do you bring to the fires in your marriage? Attitude, secrets, resentment, impatience, harshness, selfishness ­examine your heart and see how you can help put out unnecessary fires. What have you taken from previous fires in your marriage? Despair? Hopelessness? Could there be more buried under the rubble? Look again and see…..What remains?

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