Sunday, March 29, 2009

I need to remodel my bathroom... look something like this!

Many thanks to my friend Preston who made the obsessive skier aware of this idea!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Book Review: Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor

Wikipedia reports that as of 1998, the Southern Baptist Convention consisted of more than 40,000 churches. Those same 40,000 churches had more than 75,000 pastors all combined.

Like me, most of these 75,000 pastors will not be well-known. Most will not publish a book. Most will not be asked to speak at a conference or denominational meeting. Most will not pastor churches larger than 250 people in attendance. Most pastors are simply ordinary pastors.

One ordinary pastor, Tom Carson (a Canadian Baptist, not a Southern Baptist), fathered a particularly extraordinary son. D. A. Carson is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He earned a doctorate in New Testament Studies from Cambridge University. He is an active guest lecturer, and he has written or edited more than fifty books. This is why Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor was published by Crossway Books last year. Why else would we want to read a book about any ordinary pastor?

As an ordinary pastor, Tom Carson served small congregations (and by "small", I mean less than 50 people, around the size the church I serve today). His field of ministry was considered fruitless by many. Conversions among French-speaking Quebeckers were few during the 1940's and 1950's. Family finances were tight. The few people he led to Christ often left to find work elsewhere, leaving him back at ground zero in growing the church. He fought dark battles with discouragement and despair repeatedly. He worked hard, and was extremely self-critical. His children grew up, he grew old with his wife, and others who followed him saw much greater fruitfulness as they ministered in the same place he did.

His wife died after a long and difficult case of Alzheimer's Disease (just as my own grandfather did).

Tom Carson died about 3 years later. "When he died, there were no crowds outside the hospital, no editorial comments in the papers, no announcements on television, no mention in parliament, no attention paid by the nation. In his hospital room there was no one by his bedside. There was only the quiet hiss of oxygen, vainly venting because he had stopped breathing and would never need it again."

"But on the other side all the trumpets sounded. [Tom Carson] won entrance to the only throne room that matters, not because he was a good man or a great man - he was, after all, a most ordinary pastor - but because he was a forgiven man. And he heard the voice of him whom he longed to hear saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter in to the joy of your Lord." [p.148]

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson,
Crossway Books, 2008, 160pp. Click here to buy your copy, my ordinary friends!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Playing at the Great Sand Dunes

Sophie and Anna enjoyed launching themselves down the leeward face of a 100-foot-high sand dune yesterday at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. I did too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Wind in Nederland

When we bought our 3-packs of lift tickets to Eldora, we knew that sometimes it gets pretty windy up here. Yesterday, the upper lifts at Eldora were closed due to wind. I'm thinking that might be the case again today. Here are some interesting charts from

We may be spending some more family time inside today. But if we do, it's fun just listening to the wind beat against the log-walled lodge where we're staying.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Van is Packed

As Ed the Car Salesman said to Clark Griswold in National Lampoon's Vacation: "Now, I owe it to myself to tell you that if you're taking the whole tribe cross-country, the Wagon Queen Family Truckster... You think you hate it now, wait 'til you drive it."

Our family truckster (which we affectionately call such names as "The Silver Bullet", "The Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV)", and "The Miniature Van") is now packed and ready for the road. An adventure with my family awaits...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Start-A-Church Sunday

Today was our first "Start-a-Church" Sunday at Christchurch. We were blessed to have Todd and Carissa Davis visit our worship service today and talk about the new church they will soon be starting in the Brighton area. It was a good day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Camp Scholarships Anyone?

The Obsessive Skier is in great need of a scholarship to go to Camp Woodward this Spring Break. Donations now being accepted!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Break is 4 Days away...

...and I'm hoping for short lift lines.

"With less than a month left in the 2008-’09 season, the end is in sight and marketing momentum is waning. While overall lift ticket sales appear to be holding up surprisingly well, demand for destination mountain travel is slowing, and resorts and lodging operators are beginning to turn their promotional attention to the greener pastures of the forthcoming summer, next winter, and the associated planning and budgeting cycle for the next year." Read the whole article at

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Poem for Philip

A Poetic Review of Esther 1-6, by Scott Kelly, for Philip in honor of his visit to Christchurch today.

King of Persia
throws a Party,
banished Vashti
(she was a smarty).

King needs new queen,
holds queen contest.
King picks Esther
‘cause she looked best.

Esther’s cousin
(dude’s named Mordecai)
foils assasins’ plot
‘cause he’s a good guy.

Haman’s second to the king
so Mordecai must bow.
But Mord-y won’t and so that means
that Haman’s real mad now.

Haman talks King into
killing every single Jew
in 127 provinces
(that means Esther and Mord’y too!)

Will Esther tell her secret
that she is Jewish too?
Or will she just stay quiet
and hang with the pagan crew?

Then Mordecai calls Esther out,
so she says “Fast for me,
and then I’ll go into the King
on morning number three.”

She risks all when she bugs the king
but he holds out his scepter
When King sees Esther in the hall
he’s awfully glad he kept her.

“What is it Queen?” “Come to my feast
made just for you and Haman.”
(She’s waiting for the perfect time
to spill the beans and name him.)

Haman’s glad for his position
but Mordecai won’t rise
So Haman builds a gallows
to kill him before all eyes.

But just so happens King can’t sleep
so book of deeds is read
And just so happens King’s reminded
Mord-y helped him not be dead.

And just so happens Haman
is there walking just outside
King asks Haman, “What should I do
for a man in whom I pride?”

Haman thinks it must be him,
“Get robe and horse and crown
and get another of your men
to praise him all through town.”

‘Twas Mordecai honored instead,
it all seems so ironic
one thing that we have learned so far
is God is quite a comic!

Pick up the story in the next section of the book of Esther, the partial deliverance recounted for us in Esther 6:12-7:10.

One week to Spring Break

The obsessive skier is more than ready to head to Summit County for Spring Break. In anticipation, he is bringing you this video:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ski Joring in Leadville

Skijoring ('skē-jȯr-iŋ) is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning ski driving.

As you can see, in Leadville, they've taken this Norwegian idea and given it a Colorado spin. Notice also the rings on the ski jorers right arm. There's a bit of a jousting element added in as well.

For more pictures from the event in Leadville this past weekend, visit Summit Daily News.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vail's Vonn Wins Back-to-Back

Girls Rip.

Congratulations to Lindsey Vonn, back-to-back World Cup Downhill winner for 2008 and 2009.

Read more here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Poem: Monday Mornings

This poem is for Megan.

Monday Mornings, by Scott Kelly

The school day starts, as always, at 7:55.
The house quiets as I sit with you
and re-learn to be alive.

A plate of eggs, a cup of tea
enjoyed with unhurried pace,
oft' aren't enough to slow my soul
with it's tendencies to race.

A Sunday-preacher's sabbath
with the world at work outside,
some Mondays don't feel much like rest
in this struggle to abide.

"So much time spent for others,"
we're sometimes heard to fuss.
Still, let's thank God for Mondays,
these days He's made for us.

Pineapple Powder

My aunt and uncle are moving to Hawaii this week (he's in the military). Meg and I have begun brainstorming ways that we can visit them. And the obsessive skier is wondering if he can get in a few turns on that famous "pineapple powder".

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Praying for More March Snow

It's snowing hard in the Springs right now.

Remember the great blizzard of March 2003?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ski Pike's Peak!

I'm now in my second of three days of meetings at North Springs Alliance Church in Colorado Springs. It's a beautiful new building with a great view of Pike's Peak. Have you ever wondered about skiing Pike's Peak? Pray for snow.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Snowy Range Ski Area Saved by First National Bank

LARAMIE, Wyo. - It was a tough choice. There was a lot of debate. But, in the end, board members with First National Bank of Wyoming turned to their conscience, not cold calculation, to make the decision. That decision proved fateful for Snowy Range Ski Area in Laramie.

Even before the economy went downhill, Snowy Range had run into problems.

The family-favorite had been around for decades, but was faltering at the beginning of last year.

By spring, it was apparent the owners couldn't pay the bills.

To Frosty Kepler, who gave skiing lessons at Snowy Range 40 years ago, the news hit hard.

"I just couldn't accept it," he said.

He knew that if Snowy Range fell, skiing would be lost to many Wyoming families and, perhaps, every high school in the state.

"I just thought it was time that someone step up and say, 'Gee, let's keep it going,'" he said.

But there were no willing buyers. Not one.

That's why First National Bank of Wyoming, which is based in Laramie, had such a difficult choice to make.

First National is the loan holder. The bank could either shut Snowy Range down or try to run the facility.

The latter option was - to say the least - unconventional, but the bank's board members just didn't want to see Snowy Range go.

"You have to support your local community," First National CEO Dan Furphy said while explaining why the bank decided to enter the ski business. "That's our role and that's more important than profits in the banking industry right now."

The board turned to one of its own members to try and make this investment work.

Kepler eagerly accepted the job.

"There were some people who didn't think we could do this," Kepler said.

Without the unexpected outpouring of support from the community, those doubters might have been right.

In the lead up to ski season, people from around the area started to volunteer their time to mop, sweep and spruce up the ski area.

"You don't really know what you miss until it's gone," Kepler said.

Not only did Kepler and his crew get Snowy Range open by Christmas, they also managed to turn a profit.

Season ticket sales increased threefold over the year before.

"By gosh, it was really worth it!" he exclaimed.

First National is so grateful for the community's support, the bank plans to throw a ski-for-free day some time in April.

(Copyright KUSA*TV, All Rights Reserved)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Try the ESV Study Bible Online for Free

WHEATON, IL—Crossway, publisher of the #1 bestselling ESV Study Bible, announced today that it will make the highly acclaimed ESV Online Study Bible available free online to anyone, anywhere, for a limited time beginning March 2, 2009. First published October 15, 2008, the ESV Online Study Bible has been available, until now, exclusively to those who have purchased the print edition.

Created to help people understand the Bible in a deeper way, the ESV Study Bible, with 2,752 pages of notes and resources, is the most comprehensive study Bible ever published. In addition to the features found in the print edition, the ESV Online Study Bible provides numerous interactive features enabling readers to:

  • Record personal notes, reflections, and links
  • Click hyperlinked cross references
  • Search by verse, topic, or keyword
  • Digitally highlight Bible passages with various colors
  • Listen to audio of passages

For full access and free trial use of these features for one month, visit Simply create a login and password. Email information will not be shared, nor will there be any obligation to purchase. Free trial offer expires March 31, 2009.

Lane Dennis, President of Crossway Books & Bibles, states, “Our goal as a Christian publisher is to distribute the Bible and essential resources for understanding God’s Word as broadly as possible around the world. I am very excited about the ESV Online Study Bible, because it assists the study of God’s Word in a way that is particularly relevant to today’s tech-savvy generation.”

Crossway invites you to share this information with others—with the hope that many will benefit from this online resource as they seek to further understand the timeless truth of God’s Word as a powerful, compelling, life-changing reality.

Square Root Day

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) - Dust off the slide rules and recharge the calculators. Square Root Day is upon us. The math-buffs' holiday, which only occurs nine times each century, falls on Tuesday - 3/3/09 (for the mathematically challenged, three is the square root of nine).

"These days are like calendar comets, you wait and wait and wait for them, then they brighten up your day - and poof - they're gone," said Ron Gordon, a Redwood City teacher who started a contest meant to get people excited about the event.

The winner gets $339 for having the biggest Square Root Day event.

Gordon's daughter even set up a Facebook page - one of a half-dozen or so dedicated to the holiday - and hundreds of people had signed up with plans to celebrate in some way. Celebrations are as varied: Some cut root vegetables into squares, others make food in the shape of a square root symbol.

The last such day was five years ago, Feb. 2, 2004, which coincided with Groundhog Day. The next is seven years away, on April 4, 2016.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Monday, March 2, 2009