Category: Devotionals

Do You Ski or Snowboard?

Written by Various Authors
on November 24, 2020 in Devotionals

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Galatians 3:28.

If you have ever said out loud that you love the mountains, then you would be familiar with the conversation that continues with  “ooh, so are you a snowboarder or a skier?” and depending on who you are and what you say next, the following response will most likely cause a covid-friendly high five, evoke a groan or elicit some sarcastic remark from your audience. Sure, it is mostly joking. But when we all love to play on the same mountain, why does this division exist? As believers, should it exist?

Sadly, division is not just on the mountain. The world we live in is divided – we see it in more trivial matters between sports fans, college alumni and fast-food enthusiasts. We also see division played out on a larger stage between politics, ethnicities, gender and socioeconomics.Turn on the news and you will see a world that is broken and divided, but the family of God does not escape division. We also see division in our churches, between denominations, generations and individuals on theological ideas, cultural conversations, preacher preferences and human failings. 

So, as people who are following Jesus, what does that mean for us? What does God’s word say to us about division?

When Paul writes to the Galatians, he is writing because there is division between the Jewish Christian and the non-Jewish Christians, namely over obeying the Torah and eating Kosher food. Paul is passionate as he writes, calling these Christians to find unity in the name of Jesus. The verses immediately preceding the one above (vs 26-27) tell us that Christians are one because of Jesus. We are all children of God because we together, we are in Christ. Your place of birth doesn’t matter, neither does your gender or your social standing. The things of this world that seek to divide us, including our choice of snow sport, are inconsequential when compared to the Heavenly family that we have been baptised into. 

Like the church of Galatia, we are in a church community of humans who are not perfect and we may not always agree. But together, as citizens of heaven (Phil 3: 20) we are all one while we await for the return of our King. Whether you choose to ski or snowboard, it doesn’t matter, because before anything else, we are followers of Jesus and we as followers of Christ, we are united in Him. And we can enjoy playing on the mountains together. 

CHALLENGE


1) What confidence do you gain from knowing that we are “all one in Christ Jesus”?
2) How can you celebrate the diversity and differences you see in your church community, instead of fueling division?
3) What impact do you think can a united community of believers have on our divided world?

By Anna Schrafft | New South Wales, Australia

Posted in Devotionals

Don’t be a Poser

Written by Various Authors
on November 17, 2020 in Devotionals

Matthew 23:25-28 (NIV):

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness”

The definition of a poser is; a person who pretends to be someone that they are not. In the snowboarding world this can look like someone wearing all the right gear, owning the best board, knowing the names of all the tricks, and watching all the newest videos but never stepping foot on a snowboard. We always get annoyed with posers because they pretend to be one of us but we know that they are not. The worst thing for the poser is that they never get to experience the joy that comes from being on their board, they never get to land a trick and feel the rush.

The Bible talks about posers, believe it or not. In Matthew, Jesus calls out the Pharisees for being posers. You see, they were known as these perfect religious people but they only appeared that way. Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites because although they looked good on the outside, giving tithe and keeping the Sabbath, they were evil on the inside, full of greed and selfishness. The Pharisees did not follow God in their hearts they only appeared to on the outside.

Jesus doesn’t expect us to be perfect but He does want us to be honest and humble. The difference was the Pharisees wanted people to think they were perfect and that they could do it on their own but the truth is we all need God and His grace. Let’s make sure that we are not being posers in our walk with God. We don’t want to miss out on the joy of knowing God and the amazing freedom that comes with knowing that He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. Jesus came because we are not perfect so let’s stop pretending that we are.

CHALLENGE


1) Do you try to put on a perfect front to others?
2) Are you willing to humble yourself and let Jesus come alongside you in your struggles instead of facing them on your own?
3) Are you willing to be humble and allow others in on the struggles you face or have faced? How do you think that might benefit you/them?

By Shauna Breglio | Scarborough, Maine

Posted in Devotionals

A Father Who Heals

Written by Various Authors
on November 10, 2020 in Devotionals

“For they have chosen crooked paths and have forgotten the Lord their God. “My wayward children” says the Lord, “come back to me and I will heal your wayward hearts” Jeremiah 3:21-22 (NLT).

When I was an SFC intern in Slovenia, almost everybody in the country didn’t believe God existed, and if they did, they were angry at him. The shred community that we rode with totally fit the description of “wayward children”; following some crooked path in total denial that they had a (heavenly) dad who cared about them.

This verse gave me a new heart for the community, these guys needed healing! God was calling my park rat’s “wayward” friends his children; he wants them to come back to him and be fulfilled. Especially in the snow and skate world, “crooked paths” aren’t hard to find; you gain respect for thinking Satan is where the party is at. But with God, everybody is invited to be a part of the family.

Our father looks forward to us calling him dad, he wants a relationship with us all no matter what we’ve done. He wants the wayward son to come back. Seeing God as a father dedicated to bringing his children home radically changed the way I thought about reaching my shred community. We are all children who have followed some crooked path; God, being the good father he is, wants to bring us back home, heal us and redeem us to who we truly are.

CHALLENGE


What’s a “crooked path” that you can find in you’re own life? (since we’re all wayward anyway)
How has God, being a good father, been faithful to bring you back to himself?
What are wayward places in your heart you could let God into heal?

By Zach Creighton | Calgary, Canada

Posted in Devotionals

Don’t Try to Go it Alone

Written by Various Authors
on November 3, 2020 in Devotionals

Have you ever heard the stories about the guy that falls head first in a tree well and can’t get out and ends up dying there? What about the lady who hit tree by herself and nobody knew where she was for 2 days? It seems the easiest way to get yourself in serious trouble on the hill is by riding trees or back country alone. We’ve probably all done it a time or two and nothing went wrong but it’s not the best, or the safest way. It’s the same with a life of following Christ. Life is full of challenges to dodge left and right, and sometimes it’s faster, easier, or more fun to go charging on alone but sooner or later we all fall, make a wrong turn, or end up in a figurative chute with mandatory 50 ft. cliff drop and we’re going to need some help.

The best way to navigate life is with friends in Christ to support us, build us up, and lend a helping hand in a time of weakness. No one is too gnarly to need a buddy in the backcountry, or too had core to need accountability and support in life.

In the same way that we need a friend to lend a hand when you get stuck in a tree well; we need friends in Christ to lift us up when things in life aren’t going as planned. Often all it takes is an outside opinion to give you the spiritual lift or perspective you might need to make it through the day.

CHALLENGE


1) What was the scariest thing that has ever happened to you or a friend while you were riding?
2) Was there someone with you (or your friend)? How did someone being there (or not being there) change the situation?
3) Who are 3 people in your life that are important to keep close and lean on spiritually?

By Randy Schroeder | Denver, CO

Posted in Devotionals

Incredible Credibility

Written by Various Authors
on October 27, 2020 in Devotionals

“And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” Luke 2:52 (NASB).

As I chased after a career in professional snowboarding there was a continual growing process of becoming a more credible, legit rider in the industry. Of course new tricks had to be dialed in on a regular basis, but style had to change and adapt as well. I wanted to make sure I could play the part and look the part. I gave plenty of attention to tiny details like the way I wore my goggles, rocking the pants inside the high-backs, switching from gloves to mittens, the type of grab, the extra tweak, learning a proper method, landing locked into a back lip rather than sliding into it, committing to a frontboard through a kink. All things were important in order to grow my credibility in the eyes of the snowboarding world. I saw what the best riders where doing so I committed to learning from the best.

Model your life after Christ to grow your credibility and incredibly impact your world.

Growing from a little grom into a man, Jesus grew in credibility with the people around Him and in His relationship with God. As a man, Jesus had decisions to make that could either wreck or build up His reputation as the Son of God. In every situation, Jesus nailed it, and He “kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

How rad would it be if this could be said of us?! That we would be continually growing our reputation as genuine Christ-followers. That we would be known for living as Christ lived, full of love, grace, compassion, and forgiveness. Imagine the impact that could be made on the ride and ski industry! Let us learn from the best and model our lives after Him.

CHALLENGE


1) What are different ways that you try to build your credibility with the shred culture or the world around you?
2) Are these a positive or negative reflection on your reputation as a Christ follower?
3) How do we begin the process of allowing the Lord to build a positive reputation through our lives?

By Michael Dyck | Capernwray, New Zealand

Posted in Devotionals

Wisdom and Humility

Written by Various Authors
on October 20, 2020 in Devotionals

“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” Proverbs 26:12.

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdomJames 3:13.

When I was a kid, hearing the child’s version of the Bible, I always knew that King Solomon was the richest and baddest dude that lived! When God offered him a wish, Solomon asked for wisdom instead of the obvious choice of money, long life, or possessions. So guess what I started asking for in prayer when I was a kid? Yes, I asked for wisdom!

Here is the funny thing about wisdom, the more I learn, the more I know that I don’t know “Jack Squat”! This is why humility is key! True knowledge is knowing what God knows, which we can’t even fathom. He does give us the scriptures to help us gain an understanding of God, enough so that we can follow Him and believe. We are always growing in our walk with Jesus, in wisdom and understanding. We should continually ask for prayer in these things.

CHALLENGE


Read the story of God granting Solomon his wish: 1 Kings 3:4-15
Examine the heart of King Solomon in these verses.
A couple more verse to go deeper: Proverbs 30:2-4

By Andy Finch | Truckee, CA

Posted in Devotionals

Good for Nothin’ Snowboards

Written by Various Authors
on October 13, 2020 in Devotionals

1 Samuel 17 (David and Goliath)

“Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified…[David said to the Philistine] All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands. As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him” 1 Samuel 17: 10-11 and 47-50

As a snowboarder, sometimes I look around at other “grown ups” and I feel like a good for nothin’, lazy, bum. When you realize you can do something that’s so fun and lighthearted, it naturally makes you avoid seriousness, confrontation, responsibility. At least to some extent, right? Now, I could ramble on about how we all need to make sure we balance snowboarding’s fun with real-life and responsibilities–but let’s not do that today. Let’s just be who we are and relate that to the story of David and Goliath. Let’s think about the story from the perspective of David’s comrades. They were terrified of Goliath, and dismayed because none of them could take responsibility and defeat Goliath. They had no hope.

As a “lazy snowboarder”, being in their place would be my worst nightmare. There’s nothing fun or lighthearted about this and it’s wayyyy too serious for me. It’s terrifying. I definitely wouldn’t rise to the challenge and try to take Goliath on (just being honest). But guess what, because of God, there is good news. God worked through David to take responsibility for the people of Israel and accomplish the unimaginable by having the young David slay their worst nightmare and set them free from being enslaved. God designed this story to have David represent Jesus and his comrades represent us. We are free from death! We are saved! And we didn’t have to do a dang thing. Jesus did it all for us! Today, just accept the fact that as a human, you are good for nothin’ when it comes to defeating death, and revel in the good news that Jesus has taken responsibility for you.

CHALLENGE


1) In what ways do you feel you “good for nothing”?
2) In what ways do you actually com in below the standard?
3) Do you trust that God forgives you for your shortcomings? How can you have hope because of what Jesus has done for you?

By Marc Breglio | Scarborough, ME

Posted in Devotionals

Renewal of Your Mind

Written by Various Authors
on October 6, 2020 in Devotionals

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” ­Romans 12:2 (ESV).

Time for the elephant in the room. We all know that we as Christians shall have no other gods before the Lord and that He is to come first in our lives, but do we really live that out? I remember when I first knew Christ I noticed I was spending most of my time and where most of my thought life was on snowboarding. I would spend all day thinking and talking about the sickest new edit out there and I couldn’t help but ask, “where are my priorities really pointing me to?”

Our minds are precious gifts in the eyes of God and He has given us authority to what we feed them. When we feed our minds with the truths in God’s word, we renew our minds and are given a new life! When we continually feed our minds with things of this world, it can quickly separate us from the life that comes through Jesus. It’s like when we go out and eat junk food… It can be good for a meal and if it’s not something we do all the time, we can continue living a healthy lifestyle… But if we start eating junk food all the time, our health will suffer! The same is true with God! Feed your mind with the truth in His Word and your walk with the Lord will soar to new heights! Continually renew your mind in Christ and the Bible so that you condition your mind to think more like Jesus, rather than thinking like the world!

CHALLENGE


What do you talk/think about the most throughout a normal day?
Do you think more like Jesus or the world?
What are tangible ways you can try to renew your mind?

By Nathan Jenkins | Lincoln, NH

Posted in Devotionals

The Radical of Love

Written by Various Authors
on September 28, 2020 in Devotionals

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one anotherJohn 13:34-35.

I was sitting at my church’s young adult study thinking about the intense love that Jesus has for us.

IN∙TENSE: adjective of extreme force, degree, or strength.

We talked a bit about what it means to love others and what Jesus did for us. I couldn’t help but imagine the scene in the Passion of the Christ where Jesus is chained to the whipping post, broken, bloodied, and bruised. Jesus did this for US… Super intense! Seriously gnarly stuff, dudes! If we are to love like Jesus loves, that means we think of others before ourselves. We sacrifice our comforts and desires and put others before us. Maybe this means we don’t get first chair because one of your homies can’t make it up that early, letting someone take that first run in the park even though your itching to go, or stopping to buy that homeless dude a pizza.

We know how much Jesus suffered through the crucifixion, but how much suffering are we willing to endure in order for Jesus to be seen through us? The second half of that passage is where the meat really is! I can sit in my comfortable church and say “Jesus!” all day long, but if we don’t go out and live out the love that Jesus has for us, how effective can we be as Jesus’ disciples? It’s not gonna be easy, but Jesus doesn’t guarantee us 5 star service, in fact, he warns us that we will probably be hated because of him. The raddest part is that he gave us the Holy Spirit. He is with us no matter where we find ourselves. That is some extreme love Jesus has for us!

CHALLENGE


I heard this phrase about love during the church study: Powerfully loved people, love people powerfully.
Do you feel powerfully loved?
How can you love someone powerfully?

By Sam Torres | Edmonton, Alberta

Posted in Devotionals

Unshakable Identity

Written by Various Authors
on September 22, 2020 in Devotionals

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him” John 13:3-5.

Read John 13:3-5. You might be weirded out by that. Why would Jesus wash their feet? Thats GROSS! But back then it was a common thing to do. It was usually done by a servant or the lowest ranking person at the dinner. So why is Jesus doing this? He’s definitely not the lowest person at dinner! He’s the highest!

Jesus washed the disciples’ feet for a few reasons. He did it to serve. He was teaching the disciples that no matter who you are you should serve those around you. He also did it because He knew exactly who He was and where He was going that there was nothing that He could do to change that. He had an unshakable identity.

Identity is one of SFCs values: “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.” Jesus related to the culture He lived in, He was human just like they were, but His identity wasn’t being a human, a Jew, or a King. His identity was in God and God called Him to serve everyone by dying on the cross for their sins. His identity was secure—and so is yours. Who are you?

You are loved. You are loved by God more than you could possibly imagine. His eyes are always upon you (Isaiah 49:16). He knows the exact number of days of your life (Psalm 139:16). He numbers the hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). He saves your tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). You are deeply, deeply loved by God.

You are accepted. Even if you feel like you never really fit in with your in-laws, you aren’t part of the inner circle at work, you have a hard time connecting at church—God accepts you. With all of your peculiarities and quirks, you’re in with the one who made the universe. You are His beloved child.

You are a conqueror. If you’re struggling with your identity or are hurting and really down on yourself, read Romans 8. You are a conqueror, and nothing—NOTHING—can separate you from God’s love (Romans 8:37–39).

How much differently would we approach life if we saw ourselves as God sees us? If we set aside our insecurities and embraced the reality of who we are in Christ: loved, accepted, victorious? Knowing who we are in Christ is an awesome thing. It’s what allows us to humble ourselves. Because of our unshakable identity, we too can serve as our Master did.

As you navigate your day, look for opportunities to serve. In your home or workplace, when someone needs to do the grunt work, why not you? After all, you have nothing to prove—you’re proven. You don’t have to fret over what others think or waste energy wondering about your worth—you are wholly, deeply, completely loved and accepted.

CHALLENGE


What is somewhere that you could serve just as Jesus did that would make an impact on someone’s life?
Is your identity truly in Jesus?
What are some other things in your life that might be getting in the way?

By Nick Sackman | Post Falls, ID

Posted in Devotionals