Be a Straight Shooter with Yourself and Others

Written by Various Authors
on December 15, 2020 in Devotionals

James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

Proverbs 28:13 “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

When I was growing up riding at a little hill in Minnesota, there was always this guy who would show up at every park contest and try the most ridiculous tricks. He is the guy who continually has to try something over the top, like a one footed boardslide over the rainbow rail. The problem was that he would rarely land the trick. Not so surprisingly, he was always recovering from some snowboarding injury. He desperately needed some basic advice: “Take it back to the basics, take an honest assessment of some smart tricks to learn, and then build on that.” However, he wasn’t willing to listen to advice from anyone else. He couldn’t see it for himself, and his snowboarding struggled as a result.

We are called to be the kind of people that are vulnerable with ourselves and with others about our shortcomings to work on them. Whether it is an addiction to pornography, a propensity to gossip, or a heart-attitude of pride, we need to be willing to examine ourselves, take it back to the basics, and let Christ work in our hearts and in our lives. Our character, relationships, and relationship with God will surely benefit.

CHALLENGE


1) Has there been anyone in your life that has been willing to able to gently point out some areas you need work?
2) What was that like?
3) What are some weak points in your life where you can direct attention?

By Randy Schroeder | Denver, Colorado

Posted in Devotionals

Weak = Strong

Written by Various Authors
on December 8, 2020 in Devotionals

2nd Corinthians 12: 9-10 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Since I started following Jesus I have often found myself with one of two attitudes towards Jesus and the things he has asked me to do. The first is unknowing pride. This is when I start cruising through life and ministry and unwittingly stop relying on the power of the Holy Spirit and look instead towards myself. This is not usually a blatant turn away from asking God to use me or asking God for help–but rather a turn towards comfortability and the things I feel like I can do in my own strength.

The second is an attitude of fear or helplessness. This is when God has asked me to do something I feel that I can not do or he has given me something I can not handle. Instead of accepting the challenge, it’s easy to tell God He’s got the wrong guy and to shrink away from the challenge.

In reality, if we aren’t being pushed to our limit then we probably aren’t growing or being used most effectively for the Kingdom Of God. In this verse, Paul was being pushed to his limits, but he recognized that it was in that kind of weakness he had to completely submit and depend on God to equip and strengthen him. The times where I have felt the most used by God have been during times of complete weakness where I have had to admit that I wasn’t able to do it on my own, but God could do it through me.

CHALLENGE


1) Remember back on a time that you had to rely on God. Did he come through?
2) Have you been stretched or challenged lately in your walk with God? Why or why not?

By Philip Schulz | Spokane, Washington

Posted in Devotionals

What should SFC Leaders do in this weird season?

Written by Various Authors
on December 4, 2020 in Uncategorized

For many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, our shred season is finally kicking off. We hope. It’s impossible to ignore the fact that in a lot of places there are more question marks than actual plans for what the season will look like. We all recognize that this winter will be different than any season in the past. And that’s okay! Change is inevitable in life. In the midst of these trying times, first and foremost, we are trying to make sure that we are being encouraging to each other! Please, know that we’re praying for each of you as you navigate this season of uncertainty.

We don’t have all of the answers. And as we all know, there are more polarizing opinions than any of us has time to deal with. It’s easy for us to find whichever ‘answers’ that we’d like for whichever issues we’d like to support or vilify. That means that all around us, there are people who disagree with each other. Even within our ministry, within our own households and workplaces, there are people that do not agree with us. That’s also okay. We repeat: we all have differences, AND THAT’S OKAY! What we want to do is to stay focused on our task at hand; on each of us being the Light of Jesus in our shred culture. As a community, we want to offer guidance to help you to LOVE and SERVE your communities in the best ways possible. Despite all of our differences, despite all of our varying stances on popular issues, here are some principles we can all consider as we head into this season:

  • – Now, more than ever, we need to take a prayer-first approach to our season plans. All of us are feeling a little testy and some of our immediate knee-jerk responses have been less-than-Godly, we all admit. Let’s commit to challenging each other to SEEK GOD FIRST with an open heart and open mind to see where He may be leading you.
  • – Whenever possible, follow the guidance of local authorities. Our local ministry contexts are unique and will vary on nation, state, etc. We know that many of us have strong opinions and stances on a lot of this, but let’s keep the model of Jesus and move forward with Love, Respect, Humility and Service whenever we can.
  • – Shred ministry will still be possible! However, it will take open minds, open hearts and a little outside-of-the-box thinking. We know that God is using His people (that includes YOU) to love people well in this season. If you need help coming up with something, reach out to your Regional Director or the SFC Support Office to talk through some new ideas.
  • – And lastly, this one may be more difficult but needs to be suggested: You and I are charged to LOVE OTHERS. Will it be difficult? Of course. But as Jesus People, we must Love and Respect the people who think differently from us. We must seek to be peacemakers. Jesus reminded us that Children of the Heavenly Father behave differently than the world when he said, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” So we want to challenge each other to be driven to Love even when we come to different conclusions and have different ideas about what active Love looks like.
  • God is not surprised by Coronavirus or our current situation. Rest assured. He’s got this. He’s inviting us to partner with Him in sharing His love and hope, especially now.

When Paul wrote to the Roman church, it was a very diverse place in a very toxic time. Sound familiar?! In chapter 12 he’s explaining what love looks like in action, and we’d like to leave you with a few of his words of encouragement:

“Love must be sincere…be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse…live in harmony with one another…Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone…Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.”

Your SFC Support Office Team

Posted in Uncategorized

Board Control

Written by Various Authors
on December 1, 2020 in Devotionals

Jeremiah 32:27 – “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”

Most people peg snowboarders and skiers as “extreme” and “adrenaline junkies.” I’ve never related to that. I’ve been a snowboard addict for most of my life, but I don’t like the nervous feeling of being out of control. I hate the feeling as I wait to drop into a big cliff, jump, or a heavy rail. I like the other end of it – stomping the trick. I’m a control freak. I enjoy learning how to have more control over my board so I can conquer a new trick or stomp an old trick with more confidence.

In our life, God is in control. Jeremiah 32:27 says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” God has the ultimate “board control” over this world. When life gets rough, we need to remember that. Maybe right now you are at a place in your life where there is a huge cliff out in front of you. You know you’re going to have to send it, but it’s terrifying and your stomach is in knots. Trust in the Lord. Is anything too hard for Him? No – the Lord Jesus even defeated death. He defeated death for you. You don’t have to fear, God is in control of your life and of your eternity!

CHALLENGE


1) What is your biggest fear in life? Do you have any real-life, practical, “cliffs” in your near future?
2) Do you believe God is in control of your life? What are a few practical, real-life steps you can take that show that you trust God’s plan for you?

By Marc Breglio | Scarborough, Maine

Posted in 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