What To Do?—Guest Blog Post by Kathy Staley

Today is Day 9 of Greg’s Corona Virus. Our doctor/friend said if he can make it to Day 10 FB_IMG_1585592477765without worsening, he is probably safe…Today is also roughly Day 15 of this crisis, from the day it began affecting our daily lives. President Trump has now announced that wehave at least another month of this incarceration, self-isolation–of this stay-at-home routine.

My spirits lag. I am not sick. I don’t have kids to educate or keep entertained. I can’t work. But, I get it. Who wants a home health provider married to a Corona-infected husband going to homes and spreading the fun? I miss the structure. I miss my family, friends, and church. I miss Rancho Allegre.

My dilemma is; how do I fill the hours of the day? How do I use this Day 15 productively? Let me tell you what I have already done. I’ve already made bread and cookies, sent games to neighbor kids, and written cards to elderly friends isolated in nursing facilities. Now what? I can’t very well keep baking the neighbors bread and, as much as I love to cook,  there are only two of us here and one of us is already eating too much. (Wonder how the neighbors would like ribs in a Crockpot?).
IMG_3160I walk.
I pray.
I text.
I call.
I encourage when I can.
And I cry out to the Lord to make my days fruitful for His kingdom.
What else can I do? I pray that I not waste these days. Am I doing enough?Every day is one day closer to the pandemic being over, but it is also one day closer to our lives being over.
Psalm 90:12 “God, teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Teach us how short our life is so we use each day well.”
I look at Jesus.
He made bread too, so I figure that is valuable.
He tended the sick.
He interacted with friends and hurting people.
He did it up close up whereas other than my husband I need to use phone and the postal service.
Surely, the point is loving connection, regardless of the mode used.
But even Jesus wasn’t busy all the time. He took off by Himself to pray and recharge. 
Could it be that there is just as much value in the quiet as there is in the busy?
This must be true. So my prayer is God’s leading in things I can do to be productive. Ways to show His love to others,  but also that He will show me how to use the quiet productively as well…ways to love on Him and be loved in return.  Quiet and boredom need not be the same thing. I think I will change my thinking to “what new adventures can I find, what joys can I see in the quiet moments of my days? What gentle whispers might I catch wind of?” Clearly, experiencing the Presence of Jesus and hearing His voice has to be on the very top of the Valuable list.
I want that.

Finding God in All of This–Guest Blog Post by Gena Duran

With all the chaos going on in the world, it can become overwhelming, especially if your heart and mind are filled with fear. It is hard to ignore all of the news, social media, and conversations about all of this. Every which way we look, there is fear lingering in all corners of every space. But it does not have to be that way. Considering all the talent that walks through the doors of our church, there are many that have reached out to try to find a way to bring comfort and to remind us all that God will be glorified through all of this. We, at Greeley Mosaic Church, want to offer you space of calm, humor and God’s word, as we all (as a family) navigate through the current situation. 

We understand that it is hectic, to say the least. It is easy to succumb to the spirit of fear concerning the pandemic we are facing. There is uncertainty in the air that is literally making it hard to breathe. We want to support you in any way we can and offer too, our prayers, our resources, and our ability to see the light of God in all of this.  

One of the ways we will offer a space of calm is to share our own journeys -utilizing words of encouragement and God’s goodness.  We offer messages that we hope are relatable and inspiring to change the view to which many of us are looking, and remove the spirit of fear.  

Hello! I am Gena Duran. I am excited to participate in the effort of bringing us all tempFileForShare_20200329-164352_75446125039342together through blogging and online conversation.  For those of you that know me, you know that I have a lot to say…basically about anything- so I thought that I would use this time of quarantine to focus on the things that God has been pushing me to do-like writing more and sharing with you the experiences, experiments, and entertainment that I will take on while in this stay-at-home time. 

We anticipate there will continue to be an uncertainty of so many things; however, it is my hope that while I share my own vulnerability through this, that we can connect and realize God’s grace more so than anything. 

The last couple of weeks, when the news of the COV-19 was unfolding on the news and basically all social media outlets, it was was very overwhelming and frightening. Everywhere we turn, there is more discouraging news and uncertainty than ever. I admit that at first, I too felt anxiety in the first couple of days. Then, I was reminded of a recent church service that Pastor Angel shared the spirit of fear and how the spirit of fear is not of God. We learned how the spirit of fear is meant to bring harm to us, to take us away from God’s blessings and the purpose that we all have given by God. Plain and simple- fear is a liar! If you have not watched or heard the message that Pastor Angel spoke about the spirit of fear, I highly recommend you do so soon! 

Thinking about this, I started to focus on God’s design for us all-He designed our bodies to heal naturally by creating the very touch of another person, like a warm embrace to send messages to our brain to help us heal from pain and sadness, creating a joyous element of peace and calm-even if for that one minute that someone embraces us. We are designed to interact with and touch one another. There is more to the scientific wording, but I am not equipped to use the terminology, but you get my point. 

The pandemic is real, the guidelines set in place because of the virus are real-there is no doubt about that; however, this virus is a deterrent. It is causing fear all over the world, it is literally making us all remove ourselves from touch and interaction with one another-so what it is, is a spirit of fear. The good news is that God will be glorified through all of this. He will show us all the way to come closer to Him.

For example, I have made excuses for many years to not do the things that I know God has nudged me to do. My excuses include not having time, not have the energy, not enough money, and not enough of worldly expectations. Because of the current situation that we are all facing, my excuses have been removed. 

With that said, I have decided to take advantage of being self quarantined and not working at this time. Some of the ways that I am going to utilize the cards we have been dealt with include me starting to do and see through some of those things that God has asked me to do. For starters, I am going to write, workout, and spend time with my family-real quality time. You know what I am talking about- actually to be present, participating and praying. What God wants for all of us, is to go back to the basics: FAITH, FAMILY, and then, everything else. 

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In the next few weeks, I hope to share with you short videos of what we are doing here in la casa de Duran. I will post spirit-lifting thoughts and how I am growing in my relationship with the Lord.  Our intent is to make this time fun, a place to grow spiritually, and an opportunity to connect to you all during this time. 

I have set forth some goals to work on and I am sharing with you so that you can hold me accountable and to perhaps, inspire you to create some goals too. 

  • Workout every day-this This can be anything, like walking, 30 minutes of exercise using videos and other apps available.   
  • Spending more time reading the Bible-development and application of learning
  • Cook healthy meals for my family-try new recipes and share 
  • Find a location in the community to volunteer my time or talent- food banks or homeless shelter-if it is an option
  • Do lots of crafts from Pinterest – I have lots of fun pins to try out that have built up for about two years
  • Restore my marriage- actually engage in better communication and give him my full attention
  • WRITE- God has instilled in me the desire to write a book- I will write for at least an hour a day about what God has placed in my heart
  • FAMILY-engage in conversation and play with my grand babies as well as be more present in my children’s lives, and be a better daughter and sister too
  • FRIENDS-connect via social media with friends that I keep putting on the back burner

Now, my list of goals may change as something more meaningful may emerge through my quest to find the beauty of all of this; however, I will share what I am learning, what Iphoto-1490676174569-1fa40080e712 have accomplished, and whatever else comes from using the time at home. 

I know that I will be inspired by you all-if you choose to share your goals to help you navigate through all of this and how God is working in your life too.  I am excited to be a part of this journey with you and will definitely be a better person because of it. 

Make Sure to Watch Greeley Mosaic Live On Sundays! 

~Gena

The Parable of the Raspberry-Guest Blog by Patty Schulz

One of the things I most enjoy in life is gardening. Although I do enjoy my rose bushes, peonies, dahlias, lilies, hydrangeas and the plethora of house plants I have, including at least 8 – 10 African violets at any given time, the gardening the most feeds my soul is growing food. I grew up in a very small town in the middle of a rural area and growing a garden for food wasn’t just a hobby it was a way of life.

A couple of summers ago the daughter of a friend of mine was working on a bee conservation project. Part of the project was to find people who would grow certain plants in their yard that would attract bees. Of course, I was all over helping out. I received an oregano plant and one very lush raspberry bush. I do know from my history of gardening that raspberries spread over time and in order to keep them from taking over your yard you need to plant them in an enclosed bed. I just happened to have a 4 x 6 bed of dirt just waiting for the right plant.

Over the past 2 growing seasons I have watched the raspberries spread and produce delicious fruit. Every day when I get home from work I go out to my little berry patch and have my snack of fresh berries. A few weeks ago, I was actually struck with amazement at how every day when I get home there is a new fresh batch of yumminess waiting for me.

It was at that moment that I saw the comparison … aka parable … of the raspberry to the Grace of God. Every day His grace, mercy and love is new. It is abundant and fresh and waiting for us to taste it.

But what about winter? When the berries stop coming and the leaves of the plant shrivel and fall off? That is just another reminder of God’s unfailing and unending goodness.

Even though we see the season as cold and harsh those canes are still full of life. Insects that help plants grow crawl inside the canes and hibernate. When Spring comes and warms the earth, new life emerges from the canes and from the ground. Every year that the plants live through these hard seasons they come back stronger and full of more flowers and even more, sweeter fruit. My little 4 x 6 bed is overflowing with plants and they are even sprouting outside the walls that were meant to hold them in.

We all know that in the Bible, Jesus used parables to teach His followers. In the past (probably 8 years or so) Jesus has been teaching me with parables. It’s always such an amazing revelation, and I only realized lately that this is what was happening.

Unlike the fruit of the earth, God’s abundance cannot be contained… if we just plant it in our hearts, water it with His Word, and let the sunshine of His Light flood our lives.

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Turning 45 with 50 Pounds Less of Me-Blog Post by Angel Flores

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About four years ago I weighed 257 pounds (although I carried it well :-).  I didn’t hate myself, but I knew I wanted to live a long life so I set a goal for myself: I want to dance at my grandkids weddings.  This meant I would have to live a long time and arrive there in good shape.

This started me on a path toward working out and changing how I look at food.  Like most people, I like to eat.  On second thought: I LOVE TO EAT.  It’s so central to who we are as people and since I love hanging out with people, enjoying company over a great meal makes the experience even better.  So in all of that hanging out, I packed on some pounds.

Sometimes the thing you want MOST will require you to give up something you like A LOT.  

Thankfully I didn’t have to give up social eating, I just had to change the way I did it.  I started doing Weight Watchers on my phone, got serious about working out and learned what it meant to stop eating when I was full.  That might sound funny to some, but I regularly ate until I was stuffed (hey I’m competitive). Now I haven’t been in full fitness mode for the whole last four years.  It’s been a journey and sometimes I get serious about it, other times I slack off and plateau.  In January I was 223 pounds.  I had plateaued there for a while between 218 and 222.

So in January at my church, we each chose “one word” for the year.  A single word to provide focus and direction for the year and mine was “press”. Part of that “press” for me was to choose a physical goal for myself so I chose to enter a jiu-jitsu tournament in May. I had never done jiu-jitsu before but that’s another story.  I decided to enter in the 200 pound weight class so I had about 4 ½ months to drop 22 pounds.

The reason I’m boring you with all of this is because yesterday was a milestone for me in a couple of ways:

1.     I turned 45 years old. Man, I have had a blessed life, I have a beautiful wife and some amazing kids.  I am surrounded by great friends and family, I pastor a great church and I have more than I’ve ever deserved.  I also have many friends who didn’t make it 45 times around the sun so I don’t take a single day for granted.  I’m happy to turn 45.

2.     I weighed in at 207 pounds.  That puts me at 50 pounds lost since I began this journey.  I know I still have a way to go, but I’m glad to be where I’m at today.

This whole fitness thing is a journey.  For what it’s worth, here are a couple of things I’ve learned:

1.     This is a marathon, not a sprint.  Make small changes that you can sustain over time.  Next time you go to the grocery store, buy a few healthy things you can munch on when you watch TV.  Start out with some kind of exercise you enjoy.  Don’t kill yourself, just focus on a small sustainable change.  If you change a little everyday, over time that equals a lot.

2.     Don’t beat yourself up.  You are where you are because of the choices you’ve made.  Just accept it and move on, don’t dwell on it.  Don’t revisit it.  From here on out, you will make better choices, not just for you but for your spouse, for your kids.  Decide you will dance at your grandkids weddings (maybe even on the bar!)

3.     You’re probably not exhausted, you’re just uncomfortable.  If you’re not used to exercising at all, one walk around the block will seem exhausting. But chances are: you’re not exhausted, you’re just uncomfortable.  When you’re uncomfortable, you have a choice to make: will I quit or will I push past this, even just a little?  Exhaustion is rare, but being uncomfortable is going to happen, EVERY WORKOUT.  So learn what that feels like and push a little past it every time.  Over time you will find that line moves as you get in better shape.

I hope this encourages somebody.  Thanks for reading, talk to you soon.

When It “Pains” It Pours-Dealing With Grief Overload–Guest Blog Post by Patty Schulz

In the time frame between December 2015 until just last week, (August 2018) the amount of loss in my world has been totally overwhelming.

It started with two of my elderly uncles who passed away within a week of each other between Christmas and New Year’s. They were both in nursing homes and it wasn’t a shock, but it was certainly stressful for my dad who lost his last two living brothers within a week of each other. Dad is the youngest of nine children and is now down to only one sister and himself living from his family.

A little over two months later, in the beginning of March 2016, my younger brother passed away after struggling with alcoholism for many years. He was only 47 years old at the time and left behind three children, all in their 20’s, to grieve the loss of their father. Not to mention my mom losing her son, my dad losing his son (while he was still grieving the loss of his brothers and my brother), and myself losing our baby brother and third musketeer.

In November of 2016 my husband’s cousin, who was only 21, passed away after a battle with cancer. It was a tragic loss for this young lady to be taken from us so soon. She was a kind, beautiful girl who had so much to live for.

Then, a few months later, I don’t remember the exact date…almost a blur at this point… my husband’s grandpa passed away after a short battle with cancer. Grandpa was in his 90’s but had been healthy as a horse until only a short time before he passed. I remember going to the grocery store and there was grandpa at the self-check-out trying to figure it out. So, his funeral was sometime in 2017 but, like I said, the barrage of death and grieving had become such a blur I don’t actually remember the month.

I’m sorry grandpa.

Last Christmas, my husband’s brother was in the hospital again, after four and a half years of fighting multiple myeloma. Cancer, again. He was in the hospital for a few days and while we were visiting him he let us know that the doctors told him there was nothing else they could do. He would be starting hospice when he got home. He went home a couple of days later and that day we met with a funeral director and made his final arrangements. He was feeling alright and was with us to make all of the decisions. He cried a lot and told us that he didn’t want to die.

We prayed, we cried, we tried to laugh. The next day he passed.

Through all of this I’ve had my girlfriends to talk to, to cry with, and I don’t know what I would have done without them. Unfortunately, I now have to find out what I will do without one of them. Last Friday, August 17, 2018, one of my dear friends and the girl I could talk to about anything, passed away. As I write this I am waiting for her memorial service in a few days.

I don’t know when, or if, this season of grief will end. I know there are some days that seem normal but most do not. But, I do know that through it all God is sovereign. When my brother-in-law passed, the family was there with him and I can’t describe the feeling of peace that was in the house. God was there. God was in control.

One of the people we lost was not saved, and this one hurts the most.

Genesis 18:25 “Will not the Judge of the earth do right?” is my comfort, but I also have a new conviction to share the good news of my Savior…I hope that you will too.

Didn’t Know I’d Find You Here-Guest Post by Caiti Mondragon

It’s not easy leaving my Dad. The visit part has gotten much easier, and although I hate to say it, pretty routine.  But, leaving? I don’t think that will ever get easier.

This weekend we went to see him and on the way home I had some time to think as everyone else was fast asleep.  I was thinking of the excitement that we all experience when we visit…and then it’s time to leave and so many of the original emotions flood my mind. I get angry wondering why this happened. I get sad and feel sorry for everyone involved. I want to shut down.

I never knew I’d find myself here. I never knew I’d be the daughter of an inmate. I never knew that my kids would know what it’s like to go through security to visit a prison. I never knew I would sit in a room full of families, just like mine, visiting their loved ones. I never knew the hurt that could fill a room. I never knew the pain I would feel to hear my youngest ask why Grandpa never comes to visit us. It hurts. And, although leaving will never get any easier, there is now a peace in my heart. There are many things that I never knew I would experience in my life, but…

What I do know, is God has met me here. Every single feeling, God has felt with me. Every tear I have cried, God has wiped away. Throughout every part of this chapter of my life, He has been there right alongside me as each page has turned. It was in the darkest and saddest point in my life that I felt God more than ever. The part of my life where I found it difficult to get out of bed because I was so sad. The part of my life where I didn’t want to answer the phone because I was embarrassed. The part of my life where I was so afraid of what was going to happen to my family. He was there, and I know that now.

As I was driving and thinking, a song called “Find You Here” came on the radio and I couldn’t help but just cry and be thankful for everything He has done in my life. My Dad being sent to prison was never about me, and I’m not trying to make it be…but, going through this, God has shown me things about myself that I never even knew existed. The part of my life where I realized the importance of grace? Again, he met me there.

So, whatever storm you are going through, He is with you. It might be the last place that you’d ever think He’d be…but He’s there. You just have to look…and listen.

“It’s not the news that any of us hoped that we would hear
It’s not the road we would have chosen, no
The only thing that we can see is darkness up ahead
But You’re asking us to lay our worry down and sing a song instead

And I didn’t know I’d find You here
In the middle of my deepest fear, but
You are drawing near
You are overwhelming me, with peace
So I’ll lift my voice and sing
You’re gonna carry us through everything
You are drawing near
You’re overwhelming all my fears, with peace

You say that I should come to You with everything I need
You’re asking me to thank You even when the pain is deep
You promise that You’ll come and meet us on the road ahead
And no matter what the fear says, You give me a reason to be glad.”

Greetings to everyone.  My name is David Flores, Jr., and my wife Jana and I are members of Mosaic Church.  We have been attending Mosaic for the last 9 years.  When Jana and I met, we were both attending different churches in the Greeley area.  Then, we got married and decided to find a church together.  We thought had we found a church home that we attended for about a year, but then my brother Angel started Mosaic, and soon we found ourselves visiting on several occasions.

While still attending our home church, I knew in the bottom of my heart that one day we would be a part of my brother’s church.  While I was careful to never voice this feeling to Jana, as I was not wanting to tilt the scales in Mosaic’s favor, I decided to let Angel’s unique style be the deciding factor.  One Sunday afternoon while driving home after a service at our then home church, Jana mentioned something.  She said that while she rather enjoyed our then home church, she was beginning to prefer my brother’s services.  We spoke at length because I didn’t want the fact that he was my brother to muddy the waters because I know how important a church is to the structure of a home environment.  Soon after this discussion, we were attending Mosaic on a regular basis.  Not only is my brother a true man of God, he is a powerful and engaging speaker.

Have our lives been full of bliss since we made this decision? No. We are normal people who have normal problems just like anyone in our situation.  To make matters worse, we are a true example of the new American family.  We are a blended family of his, hers and ours together. Between the two of us, we have 7 children.  Our lives are full of trials and tribulations which at times can create an organized chaos that has become our new normal.

Growing up in a Christian home, I was more accustomed to this “Mosaic” style of church.  Jana on the other hand did not grow up in the church.  Her family attended church once a year on Easter Sunday.  When we met, she was Catholic, which was a fulfilment of her first marriage which obviously ended in divorce.  So, finding a church was somewhat challenging.  Switching after only a year together proved to be quite another animal.

While I do not consider myself a social butterfly, I do find it rather easy to engage in conversation at Mosaic. Whether that person is a friend or a stranger, walking up to someone and striking up a conversation is easy.  Jana always teases me when I get done making rounds at church by saying, “Are you done shaking hands and kissing babies?” Deep down inside, I don’t do it for me. I do it to find that one person who finds it difficult to do this on their own.  In my humble opinion, this (in a way) forces other people to come out of their shyness shell.

In 2016, I decided that we needed to get more involved in the Mosaic family.  I wanted Jana to feel at home in our new church.  Typically, when service was over, we mingled just a bit.  What I began to realize was that we were mingling with just the members of my family. Why? Because Jana found it difficult to make new friends.  She needed to come out of her own shell.  What better way to get involved than to sign up for a Connect Group?  Once again, I didn’t do this for my sake, I did it purposely to get Jana to meet other people.  We signed up for our first Connect group which met on Monday nights at a couple’s home.  They opened their home to couples as well as their children for a weekly potluck and a few hours of games and light conversation.

Jana began making new acquaintances and more importantly, friends within the Mosaic circle.  This proved to be so successful that we agreed to open our own home and offered the same thing for couples and their children the following semester.  Jana is not only finding her “friend” circle growing, she also decided to begin using her natural talents (she is a teacher) to begin helping in the children’s church area as a Sunday School Teacher.  You can call me the ultimate Puppet Master.

DavidfloresChances are, your story is much different than ours, but that doesn’t matter. We want you to become a part of this as well.  I’d like to invite you to attend a service and look around.  We are a unique community of believers.  Are we perfect? The simple answer to that question is a resounding NO.  We are a body of people looking for that small fulfillment that is missing from each one of our lives.  In the coming weeks, we will begin our signups for our Fall Connect Groups.  Look around at what each table is offering.  Maybe you’d like to join a group that, like us, is offering a potluck dinner and an evening of conversation.  Someone may be offering a bible study group to have coffee and getting into God’s word.  Perhaps you might even enjoy joining a group of men AND or women who enjoy watching mixed martial arts-Wings, pizza, and combat fighting.  You never know what each table has to offer.  Take a chance and sign up.  You never know… you may end up enjoying it so much that like Jana and I, you may open your home for the next semester.

We are a people of doubters and we have struggles just like everyone else.  While it may appear that we have everything in order, we don’t.  We fall short each day.  The truth about the human condition is that nobody is perfect.  Nobody is flawless.  Nobody is faultless.  We are all sinners who continue to sin and fall victim to this insane world that we live in.  So, don’t let the smoke and mirrors of our lives fool you that we are perfect and untouchable.  We are nobody special. We just wear good makeup (well not really because I don’t, but you get my drift).  Once again, who are we?

We are people who try to make this community better each day.  We are retail workers, teachers, electricians, principals, administrators, plumbers, painters, bankers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, roofers, cementers, brick layers, housewives, househusbands, full-time students, cake makers, musicians, business owners, probation officers, leaders of the community, city employees, county employees, state employees, insurance agents, estimators, farmers, fence builders, welders, bull riders, car salesmen, oil workers, gas workers, retired persons and plenty other occupations that are too numerous to mention.  In other words, we are you. Your spouse. Your children. Your parents. Your family.  Come be a part of a growing community with the one goal of making each other a better person.

While I may not make a hole in one every time I play golf, if I can land on the green, I know I am close.  Once again, my name is David Flores, Jr.  Come visit us and make sure to come shake my hand and tell me your name.  Oh, and feel free to invite me to lunch!!

We Found a Church

 

When you hear the word Masterpiece it invokes a certain image to everyone, and that image can be vastly different from person to person. The experts say that when you study something for 6 years you will obtain a Master’s degree in any number of fields in education. According to Webster’s dictionary  a masterpiece/s is a work of outstanding artistry, skill or workmanship–An artist or craftsman’s best piece of work. Well this got me thinking about all the factors that go into a masterpiece; having a Godly gift, patience, perseverance, humility, diligence and discipline for a great period of time while continuing to ever so slightly tweak the process so that the next time it becomes easier.

Thinking of doing all of these principles and how you then begin to apply them to the many facets of life; I believe the bottom line is change. I’m sure that we have all heard that the one thing in life that is constant is change, and as oxy moronic as it sounds, it is absolutely true. If you are not doing at least one thing every day to better yourself from the day before than in essence you are going to fall behind. Which brings me to the beginning of this year of 2018. In lieu of setting another New Year’s Resolution that I will mostly not accomplish, I chose to focus on one word and using that word in all the aspects of my life for the betterment of myself and those around me. The word I chose was Change.

   Recently I feel there has been a lot of transition happening in my life, and I feel like I am not on solid ground as I have been taking on great challenges that have been earned and bestowed upon me. The way I see it, I can either rise to meet those challenges or I can succumb to my fear of doubt, fear of regret, and fear of not being good enough to handle these new and scary responsibilities while knowing all my failures and short comings from my past.

Here are a few things that I have gained from the Lord and His word:

  • The regret of doing or not doing, the failures you’re holding onto: God can take those experiences and teach you wisdom.
  • The pain that cuts you to your core when you feel that you have let yourself or others down and the disappointment that comes with that: God can and will use that you draw you closer and closer to Him.
  • Your life is never too messy for God, as He is our maker. The things in your life you feel ashamed of, how broken you may feel at the ugliest of moments are the exact things that God will use to mold you into precisely who you are meant to be and that is what make you, YOU! It is the parts of a tapestry of those experiences that makes each of us works of art.unnamed

When we bring our messes, mistakes and insecurities to Him and go all in, laying it all down before Him, He can then make us into His perfect masterpiece.

I thank you Heavenly Father, which you have taken my messes and transformed them into such beauty. Doing Your work in our lives with intention, much as a craftsman does to perfect each work into a Masterpiece.

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure Heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit with in me.”

Building A Masterpiece-Guest Post by Houstan Aragon

Confession of a Spiritual Gangsta-Guest Post by Mario Aragon

Here is something I’ve learned about being a Christian; it’s not easy.

In fact, God promises it will be hard. The more you try to have a relationship with God, the more the enemy will attack you.

One of the greatest tools the enemy will use is isolation and lies. He will make you feel alone in your struggle and your problems. He will tell you that you are the only one with this problem and no one will care. However, this cannot be farther from the truth. Don’t let your isolation consume you. REACH out, trust in our Heavenly Father.
We at Mosaic are here for you. We are a family and we are going through this crazy life together. Don’t let the lies of the enemy take root in your life because you are loved. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Most of all, you are not alone. We all struggle with something.

Let me be vulnerable for a moment: I struggle with anxiety. In fact, as I write this I have read, erased, and retyped it many times. My mind is telling me that no one will care about what I have to say. Every time I step into church or teach kids in kids church I often wonder why God chose me for this.  I’m definitely not qualified for it. I struggle with this but I’m glad I have my Mosaic family there for me. I have a wonderful wife, family, friends, and above all I have a great and mighty God that constantly reminds me that I am worthy and I am not alone.

If you need a friend or someone to talk to know I’m here for you. Most importantly you have God. He is always with you even when you feel the loneliest. Remember you are not alone in your struggles, problems with depression, or whatever. Stay strong and always keep on fighting!

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Faith-Guest Post by Eric Gibson

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Hi, my name is Eric Gibson and I have been at Mosaic for about two years now.

I came from Los Angles, Ca., and once I got to Colorado the first thing we looked for was a church. My former sister in law told us about a church she was listening to online. She told us the pastor (which was pastor Angel and his wife Diane) was coming over to talk and have dinner, and she invited us to join them. It was great! He told us about his church and asked us to check it out.

We lived in Loveland at the time and the church was about a 20-minute drive from our home. It was in the winter, snowing at the time, and I was thinking that’s a long way to go to church! You know, for me to drive and deal with snow in my wheelchair. But, I did go and it was great. The best thing for me was the greeters at the door. The smiles on their faces were so helpful, the hugs, and handshakes were awesome. I felt the word of God was deep to me and I made my mind after the first visit that this is where God wanted me at.

I got involved in the Discovery class to find out more about Mosaic and to find out how I could be a part of the Dream Team. After a while Ray and Caiti, the youth pastors, asked me to be a part of the youth group and of course I said yes because my past is all about the youth.

As a former gang member from L. A. I have been working with the youth for about 25 years. In 1993 I was shot five times in a drive by shooting, leaving me paralyzed from the waist down and using a wheelchair for the rest of my life. So, I felt this was the best fit for me. Working with Ray and Caiti is great and of course the youth also are great. I have been able to share my testimony with them is several ways.

I truly love this group and watching them grow in the word of God has been amazing. Just a few weeks ago I had my good friend Anne Kleehammer donate books to all of our youth. The book is called, Ten Secrets of Overcomers, and it’s about ten great people and how they have overcome some traumatic events that happened in their lives. And yes, I am one of the overcomers who is able to share my true story of triumph. I believe the youth is our future and youth at church is the best way to help them understand the good and bad things of this world. My job, along with Ray and Caiti, is to give them the best understanding that we can from different perspectives, and that is what we do. We have a great time with them every Thursday night at Mosaic at 7:00 pm.

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One of the greatest things for me, is when Ray and Caiti went on vacation and asked me to take over the class a few times and trusted me with the group. We had a blast and it gave me time to get to know the youth in a better way. Thank you guys for trusting me with Gods youth!

To me this is what church is about- to help them understand the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

The people at Mosaic are the Church, it’s not the building and that’s why I love my church and I will continue work with the youth here. Thank you to Ray and Caiti, Pastor Angel and Diane, and the Dream team for welcoming me into Mosaic.