Author: randy

T.I.M.E. Travelin’ the Mid Atlantic

Written by randy
on February 26, 2018 in News

SFC has been working on rolling out a concept that we’re hoping will bring encouragement to many in the shred community and empower every shredder for Jesus with a new tool to make disciples. This is the concept of the T.I.M.E. travel team. It’s an acronym that stands for Talk, Invest, Mentor, and Engage. These are practices that can bring intentionality to a ski/snowboard trip and leave a meaningful impact in its wake.

This January we (International Director, Josh Stock, and me, Randy Schroeder) decided to embark on a trip around the mid-atlantic region of the United States to put the idea into practice. We’ve been traveling together and encouraging local shred missionaries for years, but this was our first trip with the T.I.M.E. travel handbook (a resource that lets us follow up on the relationships we build along the way) in hand.

Day 1 – We flew into Washington, DC and headed to Benny’s pizza shop in Virginia. Benny would be a fellow T.I.M.E. traveler for this trip, and we’ve been hearing  about his family pizza shop since the day we met him. Needless to say, the food lived up to the hype. We also grabbed Isaac before heading to Josh’s parents in southwest Pennsylvania for the night.

Day 2 – Today we spent the day riding Blue Knob, Josh’s first home ski hill. Isaac is a photographer and snapped plenty of photos of our crew getting rad with some of the locals that heard we might be coming. Josh’s nostalgia was thick today. We met with the local SFC chapter for dinner and got to learn about the ministry happening in town and hear about some of their challenges.

Day 3 – We got up pretty early, gave hugs to Sue and Pops Stock, and plugged Mountain Creek, New Jersey into the GPS. We stopped for Benny and Isaac’s first perogies before rolling pretty late into the parking lot of Mountain Creek ski resort. It was fun to meet old friends and make new ones while we rode some really fast park laps in the dark as the park crew prepared for the impending rain the next day. The day ended with a chili feast at our hosts, the Rolandos.

Day 4 – Local legend, Sabine, invited us out for a Taylor ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast and later to her women’s bible study for prayer before we took off. Tears were shed as a group of ladies prayed over us for our trip and our ministry. We hit the road again towards Delaware but definitely made time for cheese-steaks near Philly with our good friend, Andrew. This day wrapped up at Meg’s house where we swapped stories, repaired some drywall, and enjoyed a beautiful home-cooked dinner.

Day 5 – Today consisted of nine hours of driving from Delaware to North Carolina with a pit stop for more pizza from Benny’s pizza shop in Virginia. I can’t tell you how much we liked Benny’s pizza. The day wrapped up with yet another amazing home cooked meal and some games with the Cameron family in Boone, NC.

Day 6 – We were able to spend the whole day today in Boone, hanging with the local crew going to church, eating the local grub (Come Back Shack has a solid burger), and –of course– riding with the gang at Appalachian Ski Mountain. There isn’t a warmer bunch of snowboarders/skiers around than those you’ll find in Boone.

Day 7 – We hit the YMCA for some batting cage action and a game of soccer before we said our goodbyes and headed to stay our final night of the trip with the Leeds family in Lynchburg, VA. Our friend, Kevin, came over. His baby girl had been sick, and we were able to spend some time in prayer for them.

Day 8 – Our final day of the trip, we made a last minute decision to snowboard Wintergreen ski resort. The park crew guys were able to get us a deal on tickets and we had a great time encouraging and getting to the know the park crew for a few hours before we had to drop Benny off and head to the airport.

We drove, rode, and ate a lot over the course of the trip, but some of the most valuable times for me was the time in the margins when I got to know the heart of fellow shredders and dig deeper in the heart of God together. These are times that we get to pray for one another, read scripture together, and play silly songs from our childhood for each other. These are what build friendships and lasting ministry relationships. It’s my prayer that every skier and snowboarder can take the time to invite a buddy, go visit someone near or far, and build relationships like these.

Josh gets wild at his hometown ski resort, Blue Knob.

Baby Theo steals the show over dinner in Johnstown, PA.

A time for sharing and prayer with a women’s bible study in New Jersey.

Benny discusses the finer points of a cheese steak just outside of Philadelphia.

The team does some drywall patching for Meg while we stayed in Delaware.

Posted in News

North America Conference Recap

Written by randy
on December 3, 2016 in News

2016naconf-skiball

The raw energy, excitability, and passion for Jesus that comes out at an SFC conference is always off the charts. Each year, we plan an all-hands-on-deck gathering somewhere around the United States, put out the word, and see what God does. This year we had over 130 people join us from over 20 states, 2 Canadian provinces, Australia, and England. These are leaders of leaders that come together to pray, share stories, gain leadership insight, encourage one another, praise Jesus, and maybe shred together a little.

This year the skiing and snowboarding was a no-go because the weather didn’t cooperate. Spirits, however, were bright as we were able to pull together alternate activities including mountain biking, zip lining, hiking, and a ropes course.

This conference was also our first conference to officially offer child care. It was so fun to see a handful of little ones in the mix as the SFC community in the United States moves from a movement of primarily 20 somethings to a diverse group of leaders in all stages of life.

In the end, this conference ended a wild success. Surrounded with this group of passionate shred-missionaries, the vision and drive is contagious. People that attend these conferences are often the ones that join what God’s doing in shred ministry. I simply can’t wait to see how God uses each of these new and old friends to expand his Kingdom this snow season.

Here are a few comments those that attended shared about their experience:

  • I talked with a couple different people who broke out “advice we’d given in the past” and how it shaped their relationships/ministry in their own communities.
  • I love that wherever we have conference we get to meet the community and a local church, this goes a long way for me to see the big picture of shred ministry.
  • Being such a new Christian it was really inspiring to hear and see everyone’s stories of how they found God and it’s great that these conferences exist to show how awesome that is.
  • I was reminded of why I got involved with SFC and why I love doing it.

 
Want to find the recordings of the conference talks? Check out the Facebook Live recordings and podcast downloads(also available on iTunes).

Posted in News

2016 SFC North America Conference

Written by randy
on September 26, 2016 in News

north-america-conference

Don’t miss this chance to make new friends, and get pumped up for the upcoming season. The SFC North American conference lands this November 17-20 in Lincoln, New Hampshire at Loon Mountain. The weekend will feature two days on the hill at Loon, speakers to help build practical skills for reaching out in your local shred community, a ski ball tournament, worship time, friends from around North America, and way more.

The ski-in/ski-out accommodations, 2 lift tickets, conference content, most meals, and transportation to-from the airport are included at the wicked low price of $259. Prices go up in October so be sure get on it quickly.

Head over to the conference page for more information and to register: sfcusa.org/conference

Posted in News

Finding rest in a Sabbatical

Written by randy
on April 28, 2016 in News

Please join us in prayer for our fearless leader, Josh Stock, and his family as Josh heads into a three month sabbatical this summer to seek rest and refreshment. The Stocks moved to Summit County in 2004 to help pioneer Snowboarders and Skiers for Christ in the United States. After 12 years of laughter and tears, triumphs and failures, Josh has experienced no real break. In the last year our board of directors and team of staff have developed a plan to help Josh seek renewal in Christ and fresh vision for SFC during the months of May, June, and July.

Josh is firmly committed to this crazy calling TO BE A LIGHT ON THE HILL and it is easy to see why life on the front lines can wear a guy out after 12 long years. He’s planning to spend these months away from a constant connection to email, phone, and Facebook to allow space for concentration on his relationship with God and with his family.

I think I can speak for the whole SFC family when I say: We love you Josh. Thank you so much for your vision, direction, and tireless work the last 12 years. Go spend some time with your family and fall more in love with Jesus. We can’t wait to have you back.

If you have any questions on this or anything else relating to SFC feel free to reach out to Nick (nick@sfcusa.org) or myself (randy@sfcusa.org) and we’d be stoked to help you out.

Josh Sabbatical 2

Josh Sabbatical 1

Posted in News

Upcoming conferences around the world

Written by randy
on November 3, 2015 in News

SFC’s North American Conference is quickly approaching in Minneapolis, MN. About the same time missionaries will be meeting from across Europe, and Canada, to take steps towards collaboration in resources to SHARE THE GOOD NEWS in ski towns across their countries. Folks, these meetings are not just fun time to goof off together and see some old friends (while some of that does happen) these gatherings are a vital life-line, and a time to get equipped to go home and Be the Light of Jesus in dozens of ski towns across America. This season we’ve got a HUGE VISION that God might use these events to continue to grow His family in the ski and snowboard community in a big way.

At the SFC International HQ we work hard to make every dollar God entrusts us with to spend like two and stretch each gift. It is going to take $60,000 see around a dozen of these critical gatherings come together. Would you join the movement and help us BE THE LIGHT OF JESUS to the ski/snowboard culture this season.

Posted in News

Campers take the NEXT STEP at the Next Level Camp

Written by randy
on July 30, 2015 in News

The SFC International office is just getting home from our annual trip to help staff the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre with two weeks of ski and snowboard camps in Lynchburg, Virginia. “Snowboarding and skiing in Virginia in July? Is that even possible?” you might ask. If you’re not familiar with it, their first-in-the-nation “dry” slope is pretty impressive. It gives riders a close to snow experience at any temperature. Check out this video of some of our friends riding the surface last year.

These weeks are always one of the highlights of our summer. The camps give us a great opportunity to share the Gospel in word and deed with around two hundred campers and spend some time getting to know SFC leaders from around the continent (who get to staff the camp with us), not to mention how much fun we have goofing around on our boards for two weeks.

Every night of camp our staff encouraged their campers to attend an optional bible study time in the Gospel of John lead by a different staff member each night. We would read a selection of the text and someone would share a story from their life that applies. Then the campers would break into groups and have a time to discuss and apply it to their own lives. Our story tellers included:

Nate Jenkins – who gave his life to Christ at this camp 2 years ago and is now pursuing the dream of becoming a pastor.

Michael Anwar – one of our counselors that has overcome the challenges of being born with Cerebral Palsy. Check out Michael’s talk.

Andy Finch – former professional snowboarder, olympic athlete, and all around amazing guy.

These brief times of opening up God’s word leads to Christ-centered conversations throughout the rest of the day and sets the tone for the whole week. This year there were a handful of campers that came to know Christ as the Lord of their lives for the first time. Similarly, a few staff members were sure to let us know about the profound impact the camps had on their lives as well. We LOVE to hear this kind of news.

This year of camps was a huge blessing and encouragement to the staff in our SFC office. When we work all season long sometimes the fruit of our efforts is difficult to see, but these two weeks of camps give us a condensed opportunity to rejoice in what God has been doing in and through the ski and snowboard culture the last few years.

Bible Study

Bible Study Group

Jump Shot

Campers Learning

 

Posted in News

Who is the best shredder?

Written by randy
on April 1, 2015 in Devotionals

April 1, 2015

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Bible Reference

Mark 9:35: “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

Value

Identity: We enjoy living in the laid-back, recreation-focused culture, but we recognize the culture’s identity crisis. While we relate with the culture, we remain obedient to God’s Word and find our eternal identity in Him.

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Who is the best shredder in the world?

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the shred culture. We all do it. Sometimes I think, “it would be so sick to learn these new tricks before we get too deep in the season, maybe then I can roll with that new crew,” or “I really need to get a new set of outerwear this year, the last thing I need is everyone thinking I’m a gaper here on vacation.” Maybe you just moved to a mountain town to pursue your career as a skier, trying to get noticed by some bigger sponsors. “That would be the life,” some of us think, “just to compete in the X-games… that would make me great.” A recent John Piper blog post talks about what Jesus said it takes to be great:

In Jesus, the disciples had found a king that promised them more than they’d ever known filling their boats with fish. He was their ticket to true greatness. This was their time to win, their time to reign. All of the sudden, with the Christ, they had their chance to be known, respected, and obeyed. “Kingdom” sounded like power and authority, freedom and fame.

When Jesus finally explained just what kind of king he was — just what it meant to be truly, deeply, lastingly great — they totally missed it. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise” (Mark 9:31). Sobering, confusing, even offensive. How do they respond? They walked away arguing over which one of them was the greatest — the chief among the otherwise forgettable fishermen (Mark 9:34).

Instead of hearing Jesus talk about his death and redefining greatness in terms of sacrifice — in terms of coming in last for the sake of love — they fought to be first. Jesus said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35). Ambition in this life for greatness in this life will end up stealing your life. According to Jesus, the greatest among you won’t look very great after all. In fact, true greatness will often look like weakness, surrender, defeat, and even death.

Read the whole article here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/what-will-make-you-great

Piper explains that Jesus gave us an example of what it means to be great. Like many of us the disciples didn’t get it. They were expecting a gnarly take-over, an earthly king, that was going to take them along for the ride. What Jesus did instead, was turn the tables upside town. He said things like, “And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.” (Mark 10:34) Essentially, the greatest among us will be the gnarliest servant. Jesus took this to the point of death on a cross!

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How great THOU art?

Where is your identity? If you had to say today, what things are you pursuing in a search for greatness?

Jesus said “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” (Mathew 5:40) What are some ways that you can serve and put others first in your shred community?

Posted in Devotionals

Three kinds of people

Written by randy
on December 24, 2014 in Devotionals

December 24, 2015

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Bible Reference

Matthew 2: 1-16 :   “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”

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Are you living for or against Jesus?

In a recent daily devotional John Piper looks at the account of the birth of Jesus and notices that there are three different groups of people when it comes to attitudes about the birth of the Messiah.

“The first kind is the people who simply do nothing about Jesus. He is a nonentity in their lives. This group is represented by the chief priests and scribes. Verse 4: “Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, [Herod] inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.” Well, they told him, and that was that: back to business as usual…

The second kind of people who do not want to worship Jesus is the kind who is deeply threatened by him. That is Herod in this story. He is really afraid. So much so that he schemes and lies and then commits mass murder just to get rid of Jesus.”

The third kind of people are exemplified by the wise men. Verses 10-11 “When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.”

Christ’s coming to this earth is utterly ground shaking, yet too often we find ourselves maybe not in the group with King Herod that outright oppose Jesus but with the group that simply can’t be bothered to let it influence our day. We’re talking about the coming of our King, the greatest event in the history of the world, and we go on with our lives like it’s a non-issue. We are stoked to land a new trick, but the can’t find time in the day to honor the creator of the universe.

Read the whole article here.

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What group are you in?

Honestly, which of these three groups do you find yourself in most often? (In other words, are you more stoked to slide plastic over snow than to worship the God who came to earth to save you forever?)

How did the wise men respond? Was that an appropriate response?

How can we be more like the wise men and less like the Herod or the Chief Priests?

Posted in Devotionals

Finding Joy in Christ

Written by randy
on November 26, 2014 in Devotionals

November 26, 2014

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Bible Reference

Psalm 71:23:  My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered.

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Finding Joy in Christ

Watch this video. Matt Chandler talks about his journey of sanctification.  Sanctification means to be set apart for a holy use. In other words, what does it look like to become closer to God, more bound together with Him?

 

The answer, according to Chandler, for him has been to pursue things that give him joy in Christ.  Conversely we should avoid things, even good things, that can be a distraction from the joy we have in our savior. If they’re not kept in their proper place there are lots of things that can slip in and take the place of Christ in our lives and become idols. He wants to be the thing we’re most stoked on.

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What are you most stoked on?

What are some things that you do that help you experience joy in Christ?

Are there any things in your life that might need to take back seat for a while as you pursue Jesus?

 

Posted in Devotionals