Behind the Lens: 2016 in Review
By Scott Godinez
I spend many of my days behind a lens. Specifically, a Canon 5D Mark iii lens! And this year was no different. As the Communications Director for the Colorado Baptist Convention I get to report on God’s work across Colorado. I have seen the saffron leaves of the San Juan National Forest in the fall. I have seen the morning snow sparkle like diamonds atop Mt. Werner in Steamboat Springs. I have been far enough west to see the sun rising behind the Grand Mesa in Grand Junction, and as far east to see the golden meadows waltz with the wind on the way to Sterling. I have seen Colorado’s beauty in mighty mountain majesties and I have seen Colorado’s beauty in the hush before the harvest.
But mountains will erode, and even the flower withers—yet it is within the faces of the men and women carrying their cross into their communities that the beauty of Colorado shines brightest!
I can think of no lens capable of capturing the sight of people like Dorothy Caddell serving United States Veterans in La Veta. Abiding in faith and conviction, with silver hair, a golden smile and a heart overflowing with love and joy she moves from room to room carrying her Bible and offering a healing touch of love and hope to our country’s service men and women that reside in the care of the La Veta Nursing Home. Dorothy probably doesn’t realize that there are five million other people in Colorado who have no idea who she is, because she’s much too focused on making sure the twenty to thirty people she serves know who Jesus is.
“He must increase, I must decrease” John 3:30.
There are many of us that love like Dorothy, and serve in complete obscurity, but our work does not belong to the eyes of man, instead our work is done unto the name above all names, Jesus. So take heart friend, no work done for the glory of God is ever done in vain. For it is your work that has eternal significance and a heavenly reward everlasting.
Can you remember the last time you stayed up past 10 PM? What about the last time you stayed up past midnight? For you pastors, this might be a regular occurrence, but for many people, the days of staying up past nine ended when we started paying a mortgage, or had kids!
This past year I had the chance to meet a couple (with two kids!) in Durango who are leading a growing ministry serving students at Fort Lewis College. And on any given night you might find Josh and Jennifer Story awake well past midnight talking with college students about life, love, Jesus and truth. When many of us have long since said our evening prayers, the Story’s and their leadership team are often just getting started! And not just at night, but throughout the day as well! The breadth of their ministry to the students is eclipsed only by their passion for Jesus. From role-playing in medieval armor made of cardboard to soccer in the park, Josh Story is a man dedicating his life to the work of making the Gospel a tangible presence in his community.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering.” 2 Timothy 4:6
A few years ago I heard a country song called “Trailer Hitch”, the lyrics went a little like this:
“You can’t take it with you when you go
Never seen a hearse with a trailer hitch”
The idea is pretty straight-forward, no possession on this earth comes with us when we die. So let’s serve God as a drink offering, pouring ourselves out with everything we have. I always like to tell people, ‘I want to die tired, I want to give everything I have to offer while I’m still alive, because you can’t tell people about Jesus in Heaven!’
Did you know that more than 300 pastors, ministry leaders, men, women and even a few children attended this year’s Colorado Baptist Annual Meeting in Vail? I wish you could have been there to breathe in the posture of that room when Pastor Mike Routt called these humble servants of God into corporate prayer. The accord of petition and praise were like arrows aimed at the throne of God humbly beseeching His movement across Colorado. The souls of Coloradans are at stake and the conviction of the believers that night was unmistakable.
To you pastor, to you brother and sister, to you my friend, may you never feel alone in this Gospel ministry, for you are dearly prayed for. From the eastern plains to the western slopes and beyond, God has not forgotten you and neither have we.
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
This has been an incredible year for me to have been so challenged by the faith and love of numerous Colorado Baptists across this state. I am burdened with a deep longing for how many more ministries, and servants of the Gospel we still need. Far too many of us have fallen asleep in our padded pews while our brothers and sisters fade into oblivion before us!
While I may share many stories from behind the camera, I will never be satisfied to only sit behind the camera and do nothing else. My friend, if you can pray then pray! My friend, if you can teach then teach! My friend, if you can love, then above all else love deeply—for even one-tenth of Christ’s love might just move mountains.
2016 has not come to an end just yet. There is still time to yield to God’s calling on your life for this year. The time is now, do not spend this moment without taking a breath to speak the sound of supplication for God’s grace to come upon your community today. The stakes are too high for the servant of God to desire anything less.
Let’s step out from behind the lens, and step into the lives of our neighbors with the full power of God’s Holy Spirit and we will see transformation come to our families, churches, streets, cities and all of Colorado.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8