Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Zuma Lift is Almost Ready!

Arapahoe Basin's new Zuma lift is almost ready! This new lift will add 80% more terrain for high alpine ski freaks like me. I can't wait to ski it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pastoral Care for Sweep Victims

A wise pastor once told me that God has a pastoral purpose for all the pain you go through in life. "Before God can use a man greatly, He must wound him deeply," he would say. Last night I realized the truth of those words.

As the Colorado Rockies' hopes for a 5th game were dashed by a deep pop fly followed by a strikeout last night, I recalled the pain that God brought me through just 3 short years ago. Yes, God wounded me deeply when my beloved St. Louis Cardinals were swept in the 2004 World Series by the Boston Red Sox. And so today, the day after the bandwagon fans of Colorado watched in horror as the Rockies were swept in four quick and painful games, I find myself able to empathize with my people as they grieve the loss of their World Series Championship hopes (and the loss of a good bit of their pride as well).

Humility is a virtue. So is loyalty. Hang in there Rockies fans, God has a good purpose in your suffering, though you cannot see it today. As the anonymous pastor once said, "When we cannot trace His hand, we must simply trust His heart."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Building Bridges

Last night I enjoyed lively dinner table conversation with Dr. Frank Page, the current president of the Southern Baptist Convention. In his unpaid role as SBC President, Dr. Page travels the country 4 to 6 days a week to visit with groups of Christians like me and encourage us to keep cooperating in worldwide gospel ministry. Amazingly, he has only missed 2 Sundays at Taylors First Baptist Church, the church outside of Greenville, SC where Dr. Page has served as Senior Pastor for 20+ years. Dr. Page had never been to Colorado before yesterday. It was fun to watch the look on his face as he gazed at the mountain peaks above the hotel in Breckenridge where our group was meeting.

Dr. Page and I are very different. We look different. We talk different. We do ministry differently. Our ministry contexts are radically different. Dr. Page is getting audiences with all the current presidential candidates and he is using the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people like Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He is also being hounded every week by all the Republican and Democratic political campaigns to give their candidate an endorsement. (He refuses to do so. Let's continue to pray for him.) My scope of influence is radically smaller. But we both share a love for Jesus and His Churches and for lost people around the world. I'm grateful to God for allowing me and my church to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves - His kingdom work through the SBC (and other ministry/missions organizations).

The group of younger, emerging SBC leaders meeting this week talked a lot about our role in shaping the future of the SBC through our cooperation in ministry and missions. We prayed a lot too. I'm still praying that God will unite more of his people in a common commitment to biblical theology and worldwide cooperative missions through the SBC.

A number of Christians today wonder about the future of institutions like the Southern Baptist Convention. What direction is it headed? Where is the SBC on the theological map? As a generation of traditional baby-boomer Southern Baptists dies, what will the SBC look like in 10 years?

I'm not sure anyone knows the answers to these questions. But I like the direction described in this booklet written by Timothy George and David Dockery. Please read it and tell me what you think by posting a comment.

PS: I also got two runs in yesterday at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Little Highway Town Gets Cooler Every Year

My favorite little highway town in Summit County, Colorado keeps getting cooler every year. Silverthorne wasn't much more than a few gas stations and an old "BA" when I was in high school, skipping way too much school to ski. Then along came the Outlet Mall, and over the years, all that sales tax revenue has allowed the little town by I-70 to develop some great trails and bridges, an indoor water park, landscaped medians on Highway 9 and redevelopment of some high visibility properties. The Three Peaks Golf Course is looking great too, in spite of all the beetle kill. Just today, the town got conditional water rights that will allow it to build a new kayak park. How cool is that?!? We can now do all my favorite mountain sports in Summit County. I'm going to have to get a kayaking wetsuit next season, though. The water that comes out of Dillon Reservoir is ALWAYS cold. But on hot summer days in July and August, who cares?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Almost, but not quite...

These past few nights, it's almost been cold enough at night to get out my Cornice snowmaker. But not quite. Please join me in praying that the temperatures drop below 30 for at least 12 hours so I can fill up my front yard with man-made snow. If you're looking for an idea of what to get me for Christmas, how about one of the T-shirts shown at the bottom of the Cornice Snowmaker page?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Climbing Mountains & Seeking Meaning in Life

Tonight at Superior Elementary School, Tonya Riggs told us the story of her trip to the summit of Mt. Everest with the Everest Peace Project. The photos and videos and stories were utterly incredible. Ms. Riggs, a passionate mountaineer, is planning a 2008 expedition on Annapurna. Having seen the ravages of poverty, political unrest and numerous dead bodies on her trip to the summit of Everest, Tonya Riggs has united her passion for climbing mountains to a good cause, fighting ovarian cancer. But after hearing her incredible presentation tonight, I think she's still searching for meaning in life. As big as the mountains she climbs are, they are not big enough to fill the God-shaped vacuum in our hearts. Augustine's words are still true: "Thou hast made us for thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee."

Letters from Auntie D

Auntie D lives in China. I met her on Tuesday. You should visit her blog.

Friday, October 12, 2007

First Run of the Year

Arapahoe Basin is open, but barely. Today, we took our first run of the 2007-2008 ski season. On Wednesday Arapahoe Basin was the first ski area in the nation to open, with one glorious run, which is sometimes only a 20 foot wide strip of man-made snow. Who could resist having fun on skis so early in October? Certainly not the obsessive skier and his family.
This is the view looking down from the chairlift. Not much snow, huh?

See that little white strip on the right? That's the one run that was open today. Pray for snow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A-Basin is Open!

Colorado's ski season has officially begun! Today was opening day at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. The girls don't have school on Friday, so I'm planning to head up to Summit County with them tomorrow night. There's nothing like a few mid-October turns on that man-made frozen granular stuff they call snow.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Book Review: God, Marriage, and Family

There are lots of popular Christian marriage books available today, but in my opinion, finding a good biblical theology of marriage and family can be pretty difficult. I now heartily recommend God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation to anyone who wants to go a bit deeper in their biblical study of marriage and family. You won't find many tear-jerker stories in this book, but you will find a lot of great Bible teaching, along with a lot of very direct applications that few writers today are courageous enough to suggest. Kostenberger is a real theologian who lives in the real world and he leads his readers through tough pastoral applications of clear Biblical teaching. Where the Bible isn't as clear, he leads you through the various positions held by pastors and scholars today, and suggests a way forward. Don't let the thickness of this text fool you, just under half of it is supplementary: an exhaustive bibliography, a study guide and some serious endnotes make it look longer than it is. Many of my living heroes endorse this book: Bruce Ware, Tom Schreiner, Mark Dever, John Piper, Daniel Block, Wayne Grudem and quite a few others have written hearty praise for Kostenberger's work. Men, regardless of your marital & family status, please read this comprehensive yet concise book for help creating your response to the marriage and family crisis in our culture.

God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation, Andreas J. Kostenberger with David W. Jones, Crossway: Wheaton, Illinois (2004), 448 pages.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Peacemaking in Practice

As we read the Bible, we find that even the best of churches like the "dream church" in Jerusalem (Acts 2:42-47) experience conflict and need peacemaking (see Acts chapter 15). I am greatly enjoying sitting under the teaching of Ken Sande today. Ken is the leader of Peacemaker Ministries. Ken is a great servant of the church of the Lord Jesus and has provided many helpful ministry resources at their website. Watch this video:

Friday, October 5, 2007

God is a God of Hard Cases

Pastor Alfred Poirier just finished teaching the biblical and theological foundations of the ministry of peacemaking tonight at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. I thank God for his teaching, but I thank God more for his mercy. God used Alfred tonight to give me hope that God can use a peace-breaker and a peace-faker like me to be one of his peace-makers. Thank you, Jesus.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Copper, I'm Still Not Buying

Copper Mountain has priced themselves out of the front range family ski market. Two years ago we got a Copper Four Pass for $69. Last year we bought them again for $84. This year Intrawest raised four pass prices to $139. Today they dropped them to $119. Yes, that's great Summit County skiing for less than $30 per day, but it's still too pricey, especially since we have to spend a half hour or more riding shuttles from the Copper parking lots and then walking to the lifts with our kids in tow.

I'm still not buying Copper Four Passes. The Colorado Pass is still a much better deal for people who plan to ski 12 or more days per season.