From the monthly archives: January 2016

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'January 2016'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

We Are All Adopted


 

Adoption is a picture of the gospel, and Christians should seriously consider it.



“The court grants your petition for adoption.”

Those were the glorious words we heard from the judge last Thursday at the Larimer County Justice Center. Typically, an adoption is not legally finalized until at least six months after the child is placed in a home. Our daughter, Abigail Violet, had come into our home about eight months ago, and last week was her big finalization day. Abby is now officially and irrevocably a Ritter.

The court hearing was the final step in what was about a three-year process for our family — a process that touched our hearts in a profound way. Of course, there’s something that always happens to people when they are touched deeply: They evangelize. They can’t help but speak and try to persuade others. And perhaps this is a good time to evangelize.

Two Sundays ago was Sanctity of Life Sunday. We ran a post last week on why it’s essential for Christians to continue to champion the pro-life cause. But I believe that our campaign for life is much more effective when we not only speak against the evils of abortion but speak for the wonders of adoption. For some of us, that may even mean adopting a child ourselves.

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Alan Rickman, 1946-2016 — and Always


 


Editor’s note: Warning! There is much spoiling ahead.


“Alan Rickman died today.”

I heard these words first in the school lunchroom and later in a text from my dad. The feeling of loss was overwhelming. Although there is a great distance between Alan Rickman’s story and mine, he became part of my story. Dad often says that we paint with permanent markers — that’s why our work matters — and I am grateful for Alan Rickman’s mark on my life.

I started this post months ago. It sat in a corner of my closet waiting to be finished. I wrote it to remind us of the power of story, but today I am finishing it as a tribute to a man who will forever be Severus Snape to me.

✤✤✤

“Always.”

It’s an ordinary word. But to me, it is rich with meaning. I believe it is what Jesus will say to me as I walk over the threshold of heaven. "Ryene Majeski, I loved you. Always." It describes God's love for me in ways I couldn't express in any other word, and a fictional story gave it meaning. Harry Potter helped me see the love of my Savior.

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Q&A: God's Will, Suffering, Evangelicalism, Politics and More




Seven questions — a Q&A record!

At the January 17 Q&A session, Pastor Mitch fielded questions about suffering, God’s will, Jesus’ prayer in John 17, stewardship of the earth, Christian culture, evangelicalism and politics. We were all over the map, but it’s really good stuff! Enjoy the videos below.

You can watch past Q&A videos here. And if you have questions about Christianity, the Bible, life, the universe or anything else, we’d love to have you join us for our next Q&A session this Sunday 15 minutes after the service. As always, questions can be texted in beforehand. To text us your questions, text “QNA42” to 91011!

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Dorm It: Inhibitions, Insecurities and Loving Like Jesus in the CSU Dorms


 


The scholarship offer from Summitview to live in the CSU dorms came about a week before move-in. I am okay with quick, large decisions for the sake of spreading the gospel, but this faced me with one of my darker inhibitions: Could I be loving in the dorms? Just three years ago, living in Parmelee Hall as an unsaved freshman, I hated the dorms and the mass moral irresponsibility around me (I was very self-righteous).

I dreaded the thought of wasting the scholarship but I told my peers I would surrender the opportunity to God. I was a bit late in the game, but God was already making preparations. I had to find someone to replace me on my current lease, but a friend I had just convinced to move from California filled my spot. I didn’t have many possessions. The only barrier was my heart. God reminded me that he is always with me and that he is more than enough to overcome my heart. Jeremiah 1:7-8 helped me when I thought I lacked the authority or credentials to share the gospel:

 

But the Lord said to [Jeremiah],
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”

 

This is the motif of human life: It isn’t about me or my worthiness; rather, it is about a God who is with and in me. Given that, I decided to accept the offer to live on campus.

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#SummerIsComing: Light and Hope in the January Darkness


 


I have a love/hate relationship with January and, truth be told, it falls more on the dislike end of that spectrum. Winter is my least-favorite season. I have friends who eagerly await the first snowfall as an excuse to turn on Christmas music and pull out their sweaters. I have others who love all things fall — turning leaves and crisp nights just right for all things pumpkin spice. But I am a spring and summer girl. I spend the days of March and April looking for the first crocuses to peek through the snow. I buy seeds and imagine what my garden might look like in a few months. I love the colors, the smells and, most of all, the long, light-filled days of summer.

So January really doesn’t do much for me. The holidays are over, a long season of school is ahead and the darkness looms. Despite being a morning person, I struggle to get out of bed each morning and stumble downstairs to turn on the hot water and face the day that has not yet shown itself. January mornings are incredibly dark.

And, yet...

And, yet, January has the most gorgeous sunrises imaginable. There is something magical that happens as the sun begins to spread its threads of color across the absolute darkness of a January morning. I sit, looking out my front window to the east, watching God’s handiwork fill the sky with glorious color and radiance. It is a beauty unlike any other.

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