Jesus Spurs Change

Written by Various Authors
on July 5, 2017 in Devotionals

Luke 19:1-10

There was this kid in town who seriously just ripped. He was the super quiet kid who never cracked a smile; always focused and serious and kind of always looked like he was scowling. But he stomped everything. He rode super hard. He got shots. He intimidated me and everyone else on the hill or in the skatepark.

He rarely talked to anyone, but after being in town for a while, we started to build some cred with him. We weren’t chummy by any stretch of the imagination, but if we saw him on the hill, he’d give us the head nod. Dude was just straight up intimidating. There was no other word for it. Then one day he texts and says, “Let’s go to the backcountry tonight after midnight. I wanna drop this cornice for a night shot,” and I’m like, “This dude is crazy. That cornice is stupid big, even in the daytime.” We went. I didn’t hit it.

Later, he began attending SFC and he would sit and stare at everyone during the entire half hour of worship. People would be singing and have their hands raised and he sat there staring, kind of confused-looking but stoic as always. He was stone cold. It was actually difficult to lead worship because when you would open your eyes, he was sitting there staring and intimidating. We found out that he was coming because he liked one of the girls who volunteered, and when she stopped coming, so did he.

Probably a year after he moved out of town, I ran into him and he had this huge smile on his face and this relaxed peacefulness about him. He was like, “Hey man! How are you? Dude, can we please hang out? It’s so rad to see you!” I had no idea how to respond. I was in shock. Who was this dude?! He was so calm and relaxed that anyone who wasn’t familiar with Jesus would’ve thought maybe he was high or something, but he wasn’t. I knew that this was a Jesus thing immediately. He said, “Me and some of the SFC dudes have been going to this church that just teaches the Bible. I love it. It’s SOOO good.”

I still have no idea at what point he began to follow Jesus and surrendered his life to God, but I am 100% sure he has met Jesus. He is a TOTALLY different person. His entire disposition has changed to one of joy and peace as opposed to intimidation and anger.

SFC Brah-verb #19: Jesus’ job is change; ours is love. Love unconditionally. Love with no agenda other than, “This is how Jesus calls me to live.” True, selfless love speaks volumes about our integrity and the truth of Jesus’ life-changing power in our lives. But we aren’t responsible for changing people. We’re just the messengers.

It’s wild how powerfully Jesus changes people’s lives and how the evidence can be soooo easy to see.

Jesus called Zacheus, a despised and dishonest tax collector to Himself and Zacheus climbed out of the tree, went straight to his house and gave four times the amount back to those he had cheated. True encounters with Jesus change people. It’s just that simple.

Each of us who have encountered the life-changing power of Jesus have a story to tell. There are dudes I shred with maybe once a week who are continuously looking for the next big thing. I’ve developed solid relationships with them. I’ve been praying for them, and I’m praying for more opportunities to talk about what they’re “seeking” in life and share with them about how Jesus came to “seek and save that which was lost” and share what He’s done in me.

Challenge

Are you praying for the people you meet on the hill?

How often do you pray for an opportunity to share your story with these friends of yours?

Would you and your buddies commit to taking a couple minutes to pray for your friends before you get on the hill this week?

Posted in Devotionals

Rebuilding the Shred Scene after the War

Written by Nick Sackman
on June 29, 2017 in News

It is the intention of SFC to build a global culture of our six B.R.I.D.G.E. Values – Believing, Relationships, Identity, Doing, Gospel, Engaging. This story from our interim European Director, Hondo Wynn, epitomizes the Value of Engaging, by meeting all people right where they are.

Sarajevo 84 Olympic Village

Seven years after Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Olympics, Yugoslavia began to break up. Without going into the long and complicated situation, by 1992 Bosnia was at war. The war was ethnically and religiously tied, and there were many casualties of this war that lasted several years. Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, was under siege for a couple of years. The city that once hosted the Olympics was being bombed. The slopes that once held the ski races were now the scenes of intense mountain warfare. They continue to find landmines in those areas to this day.

I met some Bosnians when I was in Czech at a conference. After some chatting, I found that they run snowboard camps for Bosnian youth. I asked if there was anything SFC could do to help them with their camps. They said it would help tremendously if we could bring some people to teach snowboarding. I recruited a couple of Swiss SFCers, and we made it happen in January.

When we rolled into Sarajevo late at night, it was -23 celsius and snow was piled everywhere. We jumped right into a camp full of Bosnian teenagers who were stoked to learn to snowboard. We were able to teach them at two of the Olympic resorts. On the last day, we built a mini terrain park with some tubes and shovels. Good times were had by all. We shared stories of how God found us, and we had lots of great conversations riding (scary, old) chairlifts and hiking the mini park. It was a unique experience that blended engaging students in a war-torn country and teaching them to ride and enjoy the big local mountains God put on the outskirts of their capital city.

Help SFC BRIDGE

ONLY ONE DAY LEFT! We’ve shared six amazing stories with you that express each of SFC’s values. This is how God is working in the ski and snowboard culture. We want to ensure that more stories like this keep happening, but we need your help. Right now we only have $30,000 left to raise and ONLY ONE DAY LEFT TO DO IT.

Would you pray about joining us to keep THE LIGHT ON THE HILL?

 

Posted in News

Love and Truth

Written by Various Authors
on June 28, 2017 in Devotionals

1 John 3:18Ephesians 4:151 Corinthians 13:6John 8:32

No doubt you have heard different opinions and arguments on same-sex marriage. Often folks say that as Christians we are to just love people and to be loving, we are to be a people of tolerant acceptance. However, there is a difference between showing a person Gods love and accepting someone’s behaviors and beliefs. In other words, loving others is not the same as tolerating sin.

At a conference a while back, well-known evangelist Louis Palau invited Portland, Oregon’s openly homosexual mayor Tom Potter onto the stage to speak about their partnership in addressing the cities issues of homelessness, trafficking, etc. The Louis Palau Association, a Christian organization, partnered with a progressively secular city government to serve the needs of the disadvantaged in their community.

The Mayor and Palau discussed that although they did not agree on the issue of homosexuality, they were able to work together. In this daring example the Palau Association demonstrated the ability to love others without backing down on their understanding of truth and the results have been astounding!

Being that SFC is a relationally based ministry we constantly talk about loving people in this way. But where does this love come from? Is it truly the love of Christ? If the love we are sharing with others is really from Christ, why are we afraid to stand on the truth that Christ proclaimed? Often I am afraid of rejection. This fear holds me back and excuses me from sharing truth. Far too often we rely on ‘relational evangelism’ to excuse ourselves from boldly sharing the truth of Jesus Christ because we fear rejection. We excel at building ‘relationships’ with people and disregard the ‘evangelism’ aspect. We forsake the gospel for the sake of the relationship. In essence we say that we love people, yet we withhold the very truth that will set them free because we fear our own rejection. My friends, that is a selfish endeavor not rooted in the love of Jesus Christ whatsoever!

Challenge

Christ made it known that we would be rejected because of him. Relational evangelism is not building a relationship with hopes to someday share the truth. Relational evangelism is simultaneously sharing the love and truth of Jesus Christ through a relationship from day one. Throughout Jesus life we see him proclaiming the truth boldly and demanding immediate repentance from sin. No less, no more and at the same time Jesus loved people, took care of their needs and made disciples through a relationship over a lifetime. Love and truth cannot be separated. John Piper says, “Love lives by truth and burns by truth and stands on truth.” The two must exist together.

Posted in Devotionals

Effectively Sharing the Gospel in Big Bear

Written by Nick Sackman
on June 23, 2017 in News

At SFC, we’re working to build a global culture of our six B.R.I.D.G.E. Values. This story from our SFC Big Bear leaders in Big Bear, CA, Adam and Julie Stromwall, demonstrates the Value of Gospel.

Effectively Sharing the Gospel in Big Bear

If you’ve ever been to Bear Mountain, you would notice the park is full of filmers, and even more so than other resorts.  A couple of our chapter leaders thought it would be a great idea to put together a video contest to attract park riders to come to our free dinner nights! We worked very hard to put together our contest called “60 Seconds to ShrEDIT.”  The inspiration came from HELP Boardshop in Minnesota. The contest rules were simple: create a [roughly] 60 second video edit filmed at one of our two local mountains, Bear Mountain or Snow Summit.  The video edit was then submitted online, and the contestant needed to be at the video premiere held on March 12th.

Everyone worked hard at handing out business card size flyers on the hill and telling anyone and everyone about the contest.  We received some amazing prizes from local sponsors.  Community Church blessed us with our 1st place cash prize of $500! Never having done this before, we were nervous how many submissions we would receive. We were pumped to receive 13!

The night of the video premiere was amazing. SO many new faces came to Community Church’s Historic Chapel to watch the edits!  We served free dinner and got to meet 75+ new “locals” who we were unable to attract earlier in the season.

Everyone loved the videos. It was a loud, exciting event. Immediately after the video edits played, we had each person vote on paper their favorite edit.  After voting, we played short video with SFC International Director, Josh Stock, and Pro Snowboarder, Andy Finch, where they talked about what in the shred culture is important to them.  Those who were watching were given a brief, yet powerful, message on a relationship with Christ.  Next we had SFC Big Bear leader, Hannah Keller, give a short message on biblical truth.  Her words were well received! We know seeds were planted on that night, and we’re so thankful to be able to minister at such a fun event.

Help SFC BRIDGE

You’ll receive one story about how God is working in the ski and snowboard culture each week for the next three weeks. We’re also going to update you on our financial journey. We want to ensure that more stories like this keep happening, but we need your help. Right now we only have $32,000 left to raise to meet our needs for the year (ending June 30th). Would you pray about joining us to keep THE LIGHT ON THE HILL?

 

Posted in News

A blind leap to sure footing

Written by Various Authors
on June 21, 2017 in Devotionals

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. – Matthew 7:24

In the late fifties and early sixties, Christian thought in the universities was beaten, bruised and running scared. If there were Christian philosophers teaching and studying in the academy, they kept their heads in the sand. The reasons for this are many. Since then, thanks to a few brave (and wickedly smart) men and women, things have changed dramatically. Alvin Plantiga is one these who spent his entire professional career battling Christian thought back into mainstream academia.Thanks to him and many others like him, Christian philosophers now stand, once again, on very solid ground and can go toe to toe with the best thinkers on the planet. One of the things that Plantiga came to understand when the questions of God was brought to the table, was that the rules of the game were rigged. The skeptics were declaring that in order to prove that God exists, one has to start without God – as if God doesn’t exist – and work your way up to prove in fact that He does.

Plantiga refused to play by these rules however and decided to make his own. He could clearly see that where one starts with philosophical inquiry plays a large role in determining where one ends up. And so he started with God and began philosophizing from there. From this vantage point, he was able to argue that the world makes a lot more sense when looked at through the lenses of faith in a God than it does through those of the atheism. From the order of the universe, to the laws that govern nature, to the irreducible complexity found in organisms, to the moral code that seems to be burned on our consciences, things simply make more sense if there is a rational intelligent mind behind the universe orchestrating the many things that we observe and experience. Also, he noted that IF atheism is true and we are just the random bi-product of chance, then we have no reason to believe that our reasoning capabilities lead us to truth.

Today, some would say that faith in God is a blind leap in the dark. A good question to ask those who would make this statement is, “Where are you standing (i.e. what ground are you standing on) when you make this statement?” and “what position (there is a God v. there is not a God) makes more sense of our experience of life on earth? As I see it, to start with God is to go from blind footing to sure footing.

Challenge

As your out shredding, begin looking for the unwritten rules and definitions. What does it mean to be a rad shredder? What are the “important” things that we are supposed to invest in with our time and money? Is it ME or OTHERS oriented?

Posted in Devotionals

Love the Pass

Written by Nick Sackman
on June 19, 2017 in News

At SFC, we’re working to build a global culture of our six B.R.I.D.G.E. Values. This story from our SFC Summit leaders in Dillon, CO, Cory and Tina Holton, demonstrates the Value of Doing.

Love the Pass

On April 1, 2017, SFC Summit partnered with SFC Vail and SFC Denver to put on a “Love The Pass Day” at Loveland Pass in Summit County, Colorado. Loveland Pass is a popular backcountry area for snowboarding and skiing. At the pass, skiers and riders start near the top of the pass and then hitch a ride back up once they get to the bottom. We met at the bottom of the most popular run and set up a grill, fire pit, and seating. We had donuts and coffee in the morning and grilled hot dogs and passed out water bottles in the afternoon for anyone who was at the pass that day. We also used the SFC van to shuttle people and their gear back to the top of the pass. All of this was provided for free to those on the mountain. A lot of people asked how much the food or shuttle cost. When they found out it was free, they would ask why we were doing this. Their questions opened the door to talk to them about SFC, Jesus, and why we want to serve others. We ended the day handing out over 100 hot dogs, going through 2 cases of bottled water, and being able to talk to a lot of people about Jesus.

Our “Love The Pass Day” on Loveland Pass is an example of the SFC core value of “doing.” We define this value as,  “We selflessly demonstrate our love for Jesus by putting others ahead of ourselves through serving one another, the local communities we live in, and the entire snow riding culture.” Through giving away free food and drink and providing shuttle rides to those who ride the backcountry in our community, we were able to serve them and show them the love of Jesus through our actions. It is through events like this that we are able to serve others, tell them about Jesus, and be the light of Jesus in the snow riding culture.

Help SFC BRIDGE

You’ll receive one story about how God is working in the ski and snowboard culture each week for the next three weeks. We’re also going to update you on our financial journey. We want to ensure that more stories like this keep happening, but we need your help. Right now we only have $35,000 left to raise to meet our needs for the year (ending June 30th). Would you pray about joining us to keep THE LIGHT ON THE HILL?

 

Posted in News

Back it up!

Written by Various Authors
on June 14, 2017 in Devotionals

1 John 2:15-17, Matthew 5:33-37, Luke 18:14

Many, many moons ago, some friends of mine and I were sitting around at SFC (in our house) after a long day of shredding. Like typical shedders (or old men after a round of golf) we were sharing our “war stories” from the day.

One guy had crashed really hard on the biggest jump in the park. He was okay, so everyone was laughing about it. Another guy had learned a new trick on a rail and was fishing for compliments in the typical male fashion, “Yeah, did it look wack or was it okay?”

Then, another guy chimed in who had been at a different resort that day. He said, “Oh yeah? Well, I landed a backside 9 off of the second one at the other resort.”

The room immediately went silent, and everyone knew what was happening. This dude didn’t land a 9, but he was claiming it so that he could get some attention. From the silence, someone spoke, “Back it up.”

Out of the conversation that followed, the crew of us decided that at any given moment, when one of us claimed he or she had done something rad, we were opening ourselves up to a “back it up” challenge. So if Joe says, “Oh yeah, I could drop that cliff”, or “Yeah, I’d front-board through that kink,” someone would yell, “Back it uuup,” and Joe would be forced to go do it.

“Back it up” was our friendly way of holding each other to our words and for years, it served as a reminder that our words are powerful and that bragging or lying to build ourselves up is an unhealthy and ridiculous way to live. “Back it up” revealed the true motives of our hearts and helped us to humble ourselves.

We talk a lot about how our “ACTIONS speak louder than WORDS.” It is imperative that we as followers of Jesus do what we say in our hypercritical culture, especially as Christians are being labeled as hypocritical.

Challenge

After “Back it up” showed us the shallow nature of “talking ourselves up,” we began to take it to the next level with “Back ’em up” where instead of telling everyone how rad “I” was that day, I would encourage my buddy by telling everybody, “you guys should’ve seen HIM. HE was killing it.”

How do these scriptures challenge us to live within the shred culture? How can we hold each other accountable to staying humble in our arrogance-enriched shred culture?

Posted in Devotionals

We Are The Church

Written by Nick Sackman
on June 9, 2017 in News

At SFC, we’re working to build a global culture of our six B.R.I.D.G.E. Values. This story from our SFC UK Director in Leeds, United Kingdom, Andy Brumby, demonstrates the Value of Identity.

We Are The Church

So, there’s this pretty reserved guy named Danny. We had been riding with Danny at our weekly SFC shred events for about six months. He was a regular. He was quiet at first, but began to open up to us about his faith after a few months. Danny told us that he was struggling in his walk with Jesus and had stopped attending church. Eventually, Danny joined us on one of our winter trips where we take a crew of guys and girls (of all different levels of faith and/or non-faith). Even though Danny did NOT want to attend church, he was happy to come along on a shred trip with some snowboarders and skiers who may or may not be Christians. SFC was Danny’s last connection to Christ after leaving the local church, and after spending quality time with Danny for that week away, our SFC leaders were able to come alongside him and help nurture his faith. They also managed to reconnect him with a local church.

Over the next 12 months, we saw a very real outward display of God’s transforming power in Danny as he became more confident and outgoing in living out his faith. The part of the story that rings true with our SFC leaders all over the world is that Danny was not interested in “church attendance.” He was interested in “shred attendance,” and specifically in shred attendance alongside people who were genuine and who cared for him. What he didn’t realize was that WE ARE THE CHURCH. He was coming to snowboard with us, but he was hanging with US – THE CHURCH ITSELF! Our shared IDENTITY is in the family of God, NOT in skiing and snowboarding. And by investing into people like Danny, we use our passion for the snow as a tool to keep making disciples and building the Kingdom of God.

Help SFC BRIDGE

You’ll receive one story about how God is working in the ski and snowboard culture each week for the next four weeks. We’re also going to update you on our financial journey. We want to ensure that more stories like this keep happening, but we need your help. Right now we only have $37,000 left to raise to meet our needs for the year (ending June 30th). Would you pray about joining us to keep THE LIGHT ON THE HILL?

 

Posted in News

Bringing Jesus into the Culture

Written by Various Authors
on June 7, 2017 in Devotionals

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” –Romans 10:14 ESV

Unfortunately there are a lot of “Christian” stereotypes in today’s culture. As a college student, I come across them frequently. This fall I had a student in my class follow me on Instagram. She noticed I had a picture of my bible on it and asked me, “Wait, you do that? Like you actually read your bible every day? I thought that was only weird homeschool kids.” A few weeks ago, I was riding the gondola at Loon and a few guys around my age told me I should party with them. When I declined and said I didn’t party, they replied, “Ohhhh, you’re underage. You know that’s just the law, you don’t have to follow it, right?” I shared that I was a Christian and I strive to follow what the bible says and how the bible says to submit to governing authority (Romans 13:1-2). The look on their face was utter bewilderment; they had thought I was some “cool snowboard chick” that fit their mold.

These kinds of stereotypes create huge misconceptions about Christianity. Two of the most common are that Christianity is strict and binding, and that the bible is this big intimidating rulebook. In reality, Jesus sets us free. Living in sin and the flesh keeps us in chains (Romans 6:22, Romans 7:6). The book of Romans vividly describes this freedom we have in Christ. The bible, while it does contain laws and commands, is really the love story of a God who desires to show us the best way to live, so we can experience the fullness of joy He desires for us. These two ideas seem clear-cut, but not to everyone.

Why isn’t this common knowledge? The answer is because we create divisions in culture. How will others know the truth if it is not shared? In Romans 10, it says, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Verse 14). We tend to avoid places where our beliefs aren’t readily accepted, or we prefer to keep our mouths closed about the subject of Jesus. We prefer comfortability over vulnerability. We need to immerse ourselves into this culture so that Jesus will be known and these misconceptions will be cleared up.

However, we can’t forget we are supposed to be holy and set apart from the flesh. We are called to be transformed and not to conform to how the flesh thinks and acts (Romans 12:2, 1 Peter 2:9). When we make Jesus the Lord of our lives, we declare that we live by faith in him and his dwelling in us, not in the flesh (Galatians 2:20). While we should be mingling and intertwining ourselves within our culture, we can’t let our relatability overshadow our convictions and Jesus’s teachings.

Challenge

Read the Book of Romans, study out the freedom in Christ we have.

Pray about and look for areas where you can be better at showing the freedom you have in Christ to others.

If Christ doesn’t represent freedom to you, talk to someone about it.

 

By Eunice Bartlett | Lincoln, NH

Posted in Devotionals

Sun Valley Pool Party

Written by Nick Sackman
on June 2, 2017 in News

At SFC, we’re working to build a global culture of our six B.R.I.D.G.E. Values. This story from our chapter leaders in Sun Valley, Idaho, Phil and Adrianna, demonstrates the Value of Relationships.

Pool Party!

One of our main prayers this season at SFC Sun Valley was to build relationships with young riders and, specifically, with the Sun Valley snowboard team. Phil already had the idea at our SFC North America conference to plan events that he would want to attend. So, we decided on a pool party. Yes, a pool party. My husband is a big child and LOVES waterslides. We decided to gear the pool party towards the SV snowboard team. We showed up at their practice, handed out flyers, and spread the word to the best of our ability. We had absolutely no idea if anyone would show up. Not to mention, the morning of the event, there was an accident in the YMCA pool that caused us to scramble for another pool to accommodate us at the last minute. Where did we end up? Only the swankiest pool in town!

The day of, we drove a bus over to Dollar Mountain. Low and behold, 15 riders were ready to splash around in the pool with us, eat pizza, and win some sweet SFC swag. The timing was obviously God’s timing. We found out about their only local snowboard competition the following weekend and connected with their parents, which led to us to volunteer our time that weekend.

It was so rad to see some of the kids already wearing their swag and representing Jesus at their competition. Some even asked if they could be sponsored by SFC Sun Valley.

All this to say, we planned a number of simple events this year. Some were successful, some not so much, but I’m certain all were beneficial in the Kingdom. Our mindset since the start has been that it really doesn’t matter what we do, as long as we’re doing it for the glory of God and to show HIS love!

Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. Colossians‬ ‭3:15-17‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Help SFC BRIDGE

You’ll receive one story about how God is working in the ski and snowboard culture each week for the next five weeks. We’re also going to update you on our financial journey. We want to ensure that more stories like this keep happening, but we need your help. Right now we only have $38,000 left to raise to meet our needs for the year (ending June 30th). Would you pray about joining us to keep THE LIGHT ON THE HILL?

 

Posted in News