Author: Various Authors

HUMBLE SUBMISSION

Written by Various Authors
on August 15, 2018 in Devotionals

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” – Pro. 11:2 ESV

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” – John 3:30 ESV

I just broke my third bone in a year, all from snowboarding, all causing me to have to take a couple of months out. After the second injury I thought, “Okay. Maybe I’m getting a bit cocky and God is telling me to take it down a notch.” After the third, I felt my conscious strongly telling me that it’s time to stop riding for me and my glory.

Funnily enough, before the most recent episode a few weeks ago, I drove up the hill and prayed that God would help me be humble and selfless and use that day as a time to spend time with old and maybe new friends. He gave me exactly that opportunity.  I met a random guy on the lift who asked me how to do a certain trick and suggested we cut some laps together. We did one, then got separated in the lift line. Spying some mates up ahead that I had planned to meet and wanting to catch up with them through the run, I didn’t wait up for my new buddy. By the bottom of that lap, I felt pretty guilty about ditching him. A few runs later, and- bam- I was sledding out with ski patrol and had lost my opportunity to reconnect with this dude.

I think I’m finally starting to learn from these accidents. I get too caught up in the hype of snowboarding. A lot of the time I ride for me instead of hanging back and helping someone learn a new trick or taking time out to visit an injured friend. It’s time to use the passion for snowboarding I’ve been gifted with to channel something else – a love for helping others and shining Jesus’ love around in the lift line, the chair, the slopes, and beyond. Jesus is the perfect example of a humble life; he never let the weed of pride take over. He didn’t come to be served, but to serve.  I don’t want my identity to be found in snowboarding but in our humble king.

Challenge

  • Do you think you may have weeds of pride in your life? Do you compare yourself with others? Feel superior by putting others down? Do you ever do something humble and then feel proud about that?
  • Skiing and snowboarding is mostly an each-for-their-own culture. What are some ways this culture glorifies self-importance and exaltation?
  • What extra things can you do when you’re riding or out and about in the shred community to serve, put others first, and set an example so others are inspired to do the same?

 

By Naomi Macfarlane | Wanaka, New Zealand

Posted in Devotionals

Growing Them Up

Written by Various Authors
on August 8, 2018 in Devotionals

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.” Ephesians 4:15

As my journey as a Christian began, there was one question I seemed to ask more than any other: “So how exactly does Jesus dying on the cross for my sins apply to my life now?” Through coming to faith in Christ, I was given some clarity as to what the Gospel actually was and how it would save me at that moment and for my eternity in heaven. Beyond that, I was pretty clueless as to what that would do for me while living here on this earth. I knew I was saved and I would be saved, but was I being saved? I didn’t see how the Gospel applied to every aspect of my life and, now four years later, still does.

Jesus is the solution and the answer to every problem. Don’t give yourself or others a substitute for Him because only He can grow people up into Himself.

In this passage, it states that the way in which we grow into Christ (discipleship or being saved) is by “speaking the truth in love” to one another. Later in the passage, we find that the truth is found in Jesus. If the Gospel is the good news of Jesus, then this passage is saying that we speak the Gospel to one another to grow up into Christ.

We often think the Gospel is for non-believers, but it’s for us too! We don’t grow up in our faith unless we can speak the Gospel to ourselves and to others (both believers and non-believers) into all the areas of our and their lives. You can’t grow into Christ unless you totally give yourself to Christ! He’s the one who grows people up: not you, not spiritual practices, not laws, not obedience, not outreach events, not even Bible studies. It’s Jesus who does the work! Those are all good things, but unless you seek Jesus through those things,  you’re not actually growing. If Jesus isn’t the solution and the answer, then what substitute are we giving ourselves and others?

Challenge

    • How often are you able to show Jesus through your actions?
    • How often are you able to share Jesus with others to explain your actions?
    • What solutions do you give people that don’t involve Jesus?
    • Do you believe that Jesus solves everything?
    • If not, why not?
    • Do you believe He fully solved your problem of separation with God?

 

By Nathan Jenkins | Lincoln, NH

Posted in Devotionals

New Partnerships for SFC in Canada

Written by Various Authors
on April 21, 2018 in News

Chapters all across the country have been busy throughout this winter season praying, sharing community with each other and with those they meet on the ski hills as well as praying into the future of SFC Canada as a whole. We are ever thankful for the prayers and support you give our chapters all across this nation!!!!

As Canada continues to have a few huge snowfalls here and there but many people are longing for spring, we’d like to share a missions story from our friend Chris Harder who is currently in Vancouver with YWAM (Youth with a Mission) who recently had great new opportunity!!! The YWAM school in Vancouver is aiming to start a new Snowboard Discipleship School (DTS) next winter (2019) where folk can go and learn the heart of God for themselves, and God’s heart towards others for a few months on the school; then go on a mission trip to share the skills and heart of God with others.

We at SFC Canada are so happy to have partner ministries such as YWAM that raise up Godly leaders and help us with Chapter recruits thereafter, we hope to do more of this in the future across Canada, go, learn, experience, then send people back to our Nation as missionaries to their local ski hills.

Here is a little of Chris’ story from the recent trip to Japan as a scouting mission to see where the school in Vancouver can send their students for outreach opportunities:

Exploring the Land of the Rising Sun

For most of my life I have heard stories about this faraway land. My mom was a short term missionary in Japan in 1977 and I have been trying to visit, snowboard and see what Jesus wants to do there since 2010.

In December last year I joined the team at YWAM Vancouver to help pioneer a brand new Snowboarders’ & Skiers DTS with the intent to take a team to Japan on outreach when the school starts next year. So after eight years of trying, I finally made it to Japan to scout out the land to see what God wants to do there when we bring a team there next year.

What did our team of two do while we were there? We made connections with YWAM Tokyo, taught snowboarding and served at Northstar and encouraged long-term missionaries in Myoko-kogen. More than that, we declared the goodness of the Lord and interceded for Japan from the highest ski resort in the country and worshipped with joy of the Lord at the oldest ski resort in Japan. Going into the trip I didn’t have too many concrete plans but was ready for any adventures that Jesus had for us. He did not disappoint!

At this point, less than 1% of Japan is Christian but we couldn’t help but feeling that the balloon that has been filling with prayers from around the world is getting ready to burst spilling the Presence of God over the nation.

It was an honor to serve alongside the missionaries that are currently in Japan, a pleasure to ride the fabled Japanese Alps and a joy to finally visit this amazing country I’ve heard so much about for so long!

Our new Snowboarders & Skiers DTS will be launching January 3, 2019 and if you’d like some more info head to www.ywamvancouver.org/sdts/

SFC Canada would like to ask you to join us in prayer towards this partnership that YWAM Vancouver is making with a long-term SFC partner Northstar in Japan as well as YWAM Japan. Please pray for continued connection, for students for the new school and for the leaders who are trying to get the school up and running.

Also please continue to pray for the current Chapter leaders across Canada who are wrapping up their winter seasons and living it for Jesus on the ski hills. We are so proud of all they have done and can’t wait to share more stories with you in the months to come of what they have been up to as well as where SFC Canada is headed.

We love you guys, thanks for reading.

(Mission Story by Chris Harder. Photos by Chris Harder and Phil Yarborough. All copyrights are theirs and theirs alone).

Posted in News

Feeding of the Five Thousand

Written by Various Authors
on February 21, 2018 in Devotionals

Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat? He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost. So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”

Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

John 6:5-15 (ESV)

Here’s a little fun fact: the most popular fish in the Sea of Galilee, which was where they caught most of their fish, was tilapia. What do you get when you put bread, or breading, and tilapia together? Fish sticks!

I think this is a rad example God’s power.  While Jesus was coming back from the wilderness, he wanted to spend some time with his disciples to catch up. He hadn’t seen them for 40 days and 40 nights. Before they could slip away, word got out that he was near, so people flocked to him to hear him preach. Being a nice guy, he accepted the opportunity and spoke about the kingdom of god.

After he finished preaching, the disciples were worried about all the people eating: food was not easily accessible, and all they had was five loaves and two fish. That for sure can’t feed 5000 people. Being the funny guy, Jesus told Philip to just go buy the food. Philip was like, “I’m broke dude! I ain’t got that much money!”

Jesus then instructed to sit the crowd down and start passing out the food they had. The disciples probably looked at each other thinking, “This dude’s crazy! No way do we have enough.” Yet after it all, they picked up 12 baskets full of food! These people had never seen Jesus perform something like this. Their minds were blown.

We don’t have as much faith and trust in God as we should.  We try to rely on ourselves to fix our problems. That’s the thing about humans, we can’t. God calls us to give it all to Him: different sins we’ve committed to stuff we struggle on a daily basis. Nothing is too much for God to handle. There’s this thing inside of us that thinks our crap is too ugly or bad for God. It’s almost like saying if God knew what we’ve been doing, he wouldn’t love us anymore. That’s nonsense! God takes us where we are and loves the poop out of us! Even more, God provides for us. Thinking there wasn’t going to be enough food, the disciples were freaking out. When we submit it all to Him, God takes our worries and makes them vanish.

Bangers and for good times’ sake, Ante ups:

There’s so much in my life that I could worry about like college, my career, and having a family.

When I was younger, I had way more problems doing basic stuff that y’all do without even thinking. I had to relearn everything. Doctors said I wouldn’t be able to walk nor talk. My mom and I were not down with his prognosis. Those times were hard, I tell you what. There were so many times I’d think, “I’m never going to do this, I’m never going to do that.”

But I’m always going to put my faith and trust in the hands of God so he can kick those “I will nevers” to kingdom come, man.

Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

If you have anything wearing you down, or you just can’t seem to shake it off, I want to challenge you to hand it to God and trust in Him to give you strength.

Challenge

• What’s a challenge that you have?
• Have you tried to fix it yourself?
• Have you invited Jesus to help overcome that challenge?

 

By Michael Anwar | Spokane, WA

Posted in Devotionals

The New New

Written by Various Authors
on February 14, 2018 in Devotionals

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 

Revelation 21:3-5 (NIV)

I once walked into a Thrift Store for a new lamp. As I walked to the back of the store to the lamp section, I looked on the ground and what did my eyes behold? A gently used 1991 Burton Craig Kelly Air complete with ORIGINAL bindings! I looked around This had to be some kind of joke. “Are my buddies here with this thing tied to a string? If I reach for it, will they pull it away and make me chase it all over the store?” I reached down and grabbed it to view the price, $9.99. DUH! I went directly to the register. I could buy a lamp any day, but this was a ’91 Craig Kelly Air!

God is working to make ALL THINGS NEW, not to make ALL NEW THINGS. His work has been started in you, and will be finished and renewed! You are worth the work.

Thinking back on that board, it would take some work to get that board back to its prime fighting shape. (Like Rocky training to beat Ivan Drago!) It had rusty edges, some serious gouges in the base, and a slightly cracked toe strap. It really would be easier to leave this board for some other sucker and just get a new board, one that is perfect, ready to ride, and waxed up.

When John, the author of the last book in the Bible, wrote these words, he knew that some things are worth the work. The renewing of all things is the work that God did to become human. He “moved into the neighborhood” (as the Message Bible puts it) and got to work, making all things new. That work would be to make ALL THINGS NEW, not to make ALL NEW THINGS. God’s work is being done in you, and you are worth it. It’s all part of the renewing of all things.

Challenge

• Do you feel like you are being made new?
• In what ways do you see yourself being renewed?
• How can you help show others that they are worth the work, and being renewed?

 

By Sean G| Denver, CO

Posted in Devotionals

Gifts to God

Written by Various Authors
on February 7, 2018 in Devotionals

“Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness.  For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lamp stand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties,  but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people.  By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.”                   

Hebrews 9:1-10 (ESV)

Reading verses 1-5, the items spoken of in this paragraph are from stories in the old testament. The manna is bread God provided for the Jews as Moses lead them out of Egypt through the desolate desert. The things in the ark of the covenant represented God’s glory, which man cannot near or touch unless they are perfect like God. Well nobody’s perfect. God gave rules so man could be righteous in his eyes, but no man could keep the rules. That is what makes this new covenant so beautiful; we can now come before God as righteous in His eyes. It’s not because of anything we did, but because of the work of Jesus.

In verses 6-10, we see more examples of the old covenant and rituals that man had to do to enter the Holy back room of the temple. God had a beautiful reason for the rules. Two very apparent reasons were to point us to the future at what Jesus would do, such as spilt blood as a sacrifice for our sin and offerings which show the condition of our heart towards God. Faith and belief in Jesus takes care of the spilt blood, but we still have offerings unto God to show our heart. We can still tithe, take care of the needy, share with others our possessions God has blessed us with, and much more as offerings unto God. These expose the condition of our heart towards God.

Challenge

• What have you offered to God lately?
• Does the blood of Christ cover your sins?

 

By Andy Finch | Truckee, CA

Posted in Devotionals

The Driver Seat

Written by Various Authors
on January 31, 2018 in Devotionals

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Most of my life, I have been in the driver seat, doing my best to control my path and destination. I hold on tightly to control every aspect of my life from my self image to whatever I want to have and do. My life was all about me. Deep down, I didn’t care about anyone else. I didn’t see a need or want to have a relationship with God. I thought He just had a bunch of inapplicable and unrealistic rules. I thought I could do it better on my own and my way rather than God’s. My assurance wasn’t strong enough to believe that God had better and more purposeful plans for my life. However, my faith and reliance on my identity in snowboarding landed me flat on my face. I blamed God for taking away my dream of becoming a professional snowboarder. I searched in dark places to try to find my happiness from things of this world. These things only brought temporary happiness but led to more pain and hurt. It hardened my heart, and made my life feel even more dull. I was so stubborn that I had to hit rock bottom twice before I decided to let Jesus be in control of the driver seat. Jesus came to me in a dream the night after a heartbreaking end to a relationship and said, “Quit trying to do it on your own and come follow me.” So I did; I followed after Jesus and got to know Him more and more everyday. My impression was that I messed up too badly that Jesus would never accept me for my shortcomings. Yet despite my past and mistakes, He loves me so much that He sent His one and only son, Jesus, to pay the price for my sins and give me life to the fullest and heaven forever. Now that’s grace: nothing can separate us from from His love no matter what.

Even when I began a relationship with Jesus and put him in the driver seat, I honestly was a back seat driver. It was so hard for me to let go of control of every aspect of my life. The very first SFC event I put on, I tried to control how I wanted to run the event instead of how the hosting church preferred. I had to allow Jesus to take control to rebuild that relationship over the course of several years.

How amazing is Jesus that He is our example, and we don’t have to always be perfect? We serve a God that loves us for us and not the work we do. Putting my identity in Jesus instead of in snowboard culture has given me a life of passion and purpose. We are his precious children that He loves so dearly. We have a God that works on redemption for our good to bring Him glory and honor. My story is nothing short of God’s full redemption and love. Once I put Jesus into the driver seat, my Heavenly Father has given me so much passion and purpose to reach lost shredders like old lost self. His plans will always be greater than my own. He promises, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).

Challenge

If you don’t know Jesus, will you accept him in your heart and reach out to a fellow Christian to help you with this decision to know more about his love and grace? Are you willing to let Jesus be in control of your driver seat? Whenever a challenge you face comes up, will you put in God’s hands instead of your own? What areas in life are you trying to control (relationships, finances, circumstances, work, life in general, etc.)? How can you let go of these things and give them over to God?

 

By Taylor Brant | Jindabyne, Australia

Posted in Devotionals

That is Future [insert your name here]’s Problem

Written by Various Authors
on January 24, 2018 in Devotionals

“The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.” 1 Timothy 5:24-25 ESV

“The sins of some people are blatant and march them right into court. The sins of others don’t show up until much later. The same with good deeds. Some you see right off, but none are hidden forever. The sins of some people are blatant and march them right into court. The sins of others don’t show up until much later. The same with good deeds. Some you see right off, but none are hidden forever.
1 Timothy 5:24-25 MSG

I used to work in a pretty fast-paced environment at a detail shop at a used car dealership. My department inspected cars and corrected cosmetic defects in the body and paint. Individuals were required to work on one car at a time, and we had a daily quota for the whole team. You could often cut corners to get more cars inspected, but that was often at the expense of the quality of the car. We had a guy on the team–  let’s call him John– who would get a lot of cars inspected but would have to rework many of those cars. I would often say, “Hey, John, you missed something.” To this, he would reply, “That’s future John’s problem.” We always got a little laugh out of it.

How many of us are guilty of this in our lives, relationships with others, or our relationship with God? We should be people of integrity, even when we don’t feel like it’s worth the effort or don’t get recognized for our effort.

Have you cut corners somewhere in your life, job, or relationships? Don’t let that be your future self’s problem.

Jesus is really good at reminding us of our mission and checking our attitudes. It’s super easy to let things go when no one will see or we don’t get recognized. When we arrive in the future, sometimes those things from the past have a way of surfacing, and we get to deal with our less-caring self’s faults all over again.

When it comes to our riding, we can talk a big game. When it comes to delivery, we need to be able to back it up. Our faith is the same. We need to be people of integrity. Don’t what needs to be dealt with now become your future self’s issues. Ask Jesus to expose those and deal with them.

Challenge

• Where are some areas of your life you realize you’re cutting corners?
• Have you asked Jesus for wisdom on how to resolve those issues?
• Do you have a mentor (or someone similar) that you’ve shared these and discussed them?
• If not, who can guide you in your spiritual walk and confront where you’re not living with complete integrity?

 

By Sam Torres | Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

Posted in Devotionals

Grief to Joy

Written by Various Authors
on August 30, 2017 in Devotionals

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. – John 16:20

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I grew up in a Christian home but didn’t want anything to do with God.

One summer, I broke down. Depression had left me broken; I’d harmed myself too many times attempting to feel anything. I even tried committing suicide. However through SFC, I was able to reconnect with God at a snowboard camp in Lynchburg, VA. my snowboard coach constantly showed me the light of Jesus. Many people I shredded with were there in my grief.

With Jesus, our pain doesn’t last.

I realize that life is hard and, many nights, I don’t see relief. It can feel impossible to see the light when you only see darkness. But through snowboarding, God has sent amazing people to bring me back to Him. They help me find hope and even give me hope in my darkest days.

Without Jesus, we can’t get through those dark day. He is the only light in a world full of darkness; He never leaves us. Jesus wants to take our pain. He hurts when we hurt. However, we have to allow him to take it. Like many injuries in snowboarding and skiing, our deepest hurts don’t last forever. No matter how much pain there is, it doesn’t last when you trust in Jesus.

Challenge

Has there ever been a time when your grief felt like it was never going to end?

How did you deal with that grief?

How has Jesus ever helped you through your pain?

 

By Bethany Waller | Lynchburg, Virgina

Posted in Devotionals

God Speaks through His Creation

Written by Various Authors
on August 23, 2017 in Devotionals

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 ESV

When winter ends and the snow melts, my heart continues to long to play in the mountains, so I go hiking. My summer schedule is hectic, putting in anywhere from 50-70 hours a week to save up for tuition for school. Work hard, play hard: that’s my summer motto.

A few days ago, I was hiking a trail called, “Lonesome Lake,” before work with my dog. Due to the recent heavy rain, the usual trail I take was closed from erosion which resulted in me taking another trail to the lake. It continually amazes me how God’s creation always points me to Him. Romans 1:20 tells us that no one can deny the existence of God because His creation magnifies His glory. The trail I took was washed out and barely recognizable. In uncertainty but trusting of trail markers, I followed it. While on the trail, I realized I forgot my water bottle in the car. However, I remembered the AMC hut at the lake would have water. Often times, I’m unsure of the path God is leading me on, just as I was while following the trail this morning. However, by trusting in God, my uncertainty has always resulted in His provision. Similarly, this morning, the trust in trail markers led me to the hut where water was provided. God’s provision is so crazy awesome; check out Romans 8:32 on that subject.

We have a God who teaches and reminds us of His goodness through His creation and through the adventures we take! How cool is that? When we live life looking for God in everything around us, we see His truths covering over the entirety of it.

Challenge

Spend some time hanging out in God’s creation.

God’s creation magnifies His glory, do you magnify His glory? How can you better do that?

 

By Eunice Bartlett | Lincoln, NH

Posted in Devotionals