Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
High atop the resort you can find Matt Hover dressed in a Hawaiian shirt. He's been so busy getting ready for the summer, he's sleeping at work.
"I have been spending every night up here. I have a sleeping bag," Hover said.
The reason he's been at it is because he's been given the herculean task of getting ready for summer by opening the tubing hill, snow and all.
"I had a big pile of snow, 60 feet deep in fact. My wife and I were flying to Las Vegas and you could see it from the plane," Hover said.
For two weeks, working 10 hours a day, Hover shaped that pile into what it is now: a slick, snowy hill made for fun.
Even with grass on the ground and people wearing short sleeve shirts, you can grab a tube, jump on, and enjoy some winter fun - summer style.
Keystone spokesperson Kate Coble went for a ride while talking about the rare nature of playing on the snow in early summer.
"How often can you do something like this on top a mountain in June?" Coble said.
Tubers will get the chance to mix seasons, taking the best of winter with the warm convenience of summer. At least as long as the snow lasts.
"Maybe only a few weeks," Hover said.
It's why even with Hover's new busy summer schedule, he's glad to test out and approve the hill he's been spending so much time at.
"The only way to see if it's working is to jump on and give it a try," Hover said.
The tubing hill will be open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The best advice is to get on the hill early. (Copyright KUSA*TV, All Rights Reserved)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The Obsessive Skier wishes all his blog-reading friends a very happy Father's Day.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
He traveled over mountain ranges and highways and across state lines. He sought territory and a female—and in the process, attained fame. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) researchers working with state and federal partners have tracked the lone wolverine since early April. The animal has now crossed into northern Colorado—marking the first known incidence of a wolverine in the state since 1919.
The wolverine, a young male labeled M56, was captured near Grand Teton National Park and traveled approximately 500 miles during April and May. The animal navigated significant manmade features including Interstate 80—the heavily trafficked route across Wyoming that links Chicago, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco.
WCS researchers affixed a radio-tracking collar to the wolverine as part of an ongoing study to understand these wide-ranging, little-known animals. A growing body of research shows that wolverines need large areas to survive and that the young often disperse long distances between mountain ranges to find a territory and mates.
Read the rest of the story here.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I paid $10 for more than 600 magazines. If I chose to stack them, they would make a pile of yellowing paper much taller than I am -- more than 10 feet of American life as it has played out over four centuries, all of it acquired for less than a buck a foot. History at less than a penny a pound, a great bargain.
Over the last year, I've been nibbling at all those back issues, grabbing a handful when I head off to a doctor's office or prepare to take a trip somewhere. A 10-foot-high stack of historical magazines is bound to contain lots of bad news. It's taught me something important: Even though times are tough today, our predecessors on this land knew much worse.
I stumbled upon a letter written in 1878 by one James Fitzwilliam, a man who experienced so much trouble that Job himself would sympathize. In that year, Fitzwilliam was writing from Fort Worth, Texas, responding to a letter from his sister back east, who was seeking help because of her own circumstances. Although it appears that Fitzwilliam wanted to help, he'd suffered setbacks that made it impossible for him to accommodate her request. This is why he couldn't help her, from the letter he wrote expressing his regrets:
"My wife and little girl was kill'd by the Indians. House and everything in it burn'd. They took 27 head of horses. When I came home everything was gone. I with nine others took their trail and followed for eight days. Came on the band numbering about 25. We kill'd seven and we lost one man kill'd. I was shot in the arm with an arrow and the first finger of my left hand was shot off. I came back to my ranch and sold out what cattle I had and what horses I had for $7,000 and went to New Mexico. Bought 1,500 head of sheep. Drove them to Texas and the first winter lost about 900 of them caused by snow, cold weather and wolfs. Sold the remainder out for less than cost as I did not have snow sheds. I then went to work running cattle and worked a year. Made $300. I then went hunting buffalo. Hunted them for three years. Quit that with about $900. Went to Henrietta Clay Co. and bought an interest in a hotel. Run it about 8 1/2 months and lost money at it. While hunting I contracted a catarrh in my nose. It has disfigured me considerable. In fact for the past five years I have had a terrible hard time."
History takes little note of people like James Fitzwilliam or the hundreds of thousands like him who lived through times before historians even had official names for those times. The Roaring Twenties, for example, were probably not called that by the people whose lives roared through those years; to them, that decade was simply "now" or "the present time."
We're living through our own historic time right now, a period of hardship and vast uncertainty for millions of people. How these times come to be known to our descendants will depend on how things play out. But as bad as things are, few contemporary Americans are likely to know the misfortunes James Fitzwilliam did 131 years ago. Misery, as they say, loves company, and the miseries of that long-dead Texan may give us perspective on our own miseries, and make us slightly less lonesome as we deal with our losses.
James Fitzwilliam makes a good role model here. The way he dealt with his "terrible hard time" sets us an example of courage and perseverance in the face of adversity, and reminds us of the kind of people we once were -- and perhaps still are.
Matt Chandler shows how our churches often minister everything but the gospel to people.
Lord, have mercy. And please remind us that we need the gospel today, just as much as we did the day we first came to Jesus in repentance and faith. Send out your true church with the gospel, so that the de-churched might hear the gospel, and so that you would get more glory. In Jesus' name, amen.
Monday, June 15, 2009
In 1975, Boulder’s County Clerk made headlines when, for a brief period of time, she issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples. At the time, Colorado law did not specify that marriage had to be between a man and a woman.
Then, as a joke, the late Roswell “Ros” Howard applied for a marriage license to wed Dolly, his horse.
First, the 63-year-old man obtained a parade permit from the city so that he could (in Boulder’s pre-pedestrian mall days) park Dolly and his horse trailer on Pearl Street directly in front of the courthouse. The Boulder Police Department promised to provide traffic control.
With Bob Palmer, television reporter for CBS news, standing by, Howard entered the courthouse on April 15, 1975. He was quoted as asking, “If a boy can marry a boy and a girl can marry a girl, why can’t a lonesome old cowboy get hitched to his favorite saddle mare?”
Even though Howard’s application was turned down, he was greeted as a celebrity by a crowd of people on the courthouse lawn. The next day’s Daily Camera commented that the clerk “said ‘neigh’ to galloping couple.” Howard’s efforts had made it into newspapers coast-to-coast and even overseas. His attempt also elicited a comment by Johnny Carson on his television program, the “Tonight Show.”
In Howard’s own account—an unpublished manuscript titled “Dolly and Me”—the license was refused because the “bride” was only eight years old and couldn’t provide consent in writing from her parents.
Being underage, however, wasn’t an issue after all. What was important to Howard was that he had bucked the system and had made people laugh. Howard didn’t have a leg to stand on, but he did inject some humor into an otherwise controversial situation.
(Daily Camera 4/25/02)
(More on this story can be found in Silvia Pettem’s book Positively Pearl Street. See www.silviapettem.com)
I have always loved teaching. It's fun working with Eric as he learns Biblical Greek so quickly. But, I must admit, there is a part of me that would rather be teaching him how to ski.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
You are so smart and so beautiful and so creative and so strong and so giving and so loving. You are my greatest treasure in this life.
I love you, Megan!
Happy Anniversary! I'm so happy that you were willing to say "I do" on June 13, 1992.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Two biblical themes give shape to this 154-page book. They are two great gifts from God to everyone who turns from living their own way and trusts in Jesus as Lord and Savior:
Gift #1 - The Righteousness of Jesus Christ
Gift #2 - The Empowering Work of the Holy Spirit
These two grace gifts from God are absolutely essential in the life every Christian. God's gift of Jesus' righteousness is right at the heart of the gospel of our salvation. God's gift of the Holy Spirit is the only way for Christians to live the life God has called us to live.
Reading this book is like re-telling the gospel to yourself in each short chapter. And that's good for the soul.
The bookends metaphor is helpful, and it makes for a cool cover (I like books). But the appeal of this metaphor may be limited to bookish types like me. Maybe Crossway Books should consider republishing this great little book with some different metaphors that would appeal to different audiences like:
Street Car Racers: The Guardrails of the Christian Life
Rock Climbers: The Rope and Belay of the Christian Life
Downhill Skiers: The Inside and Outside Edges of the Christian Life
Then again, maybe the title they chose is good enough.
Happy summer reading, blog-readers!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Two tornadoes in two days? What in the world is going on around here? Can't those people at NCAR control those things? What are we paying them for anyway? Becky and the rest of our NCAR friends, what do you have to say for yourselves?!?!
Get more details at the Daily Camera.
Monday, June 8, 2009
A few minutes after leaving church today I told Lisa the clouds looked like the tornado clouds I have seen on videos. Then it began to hail, and after that stopped, I glanced to the east and saw a funnel cloud. We watched it touch down a minute later. It stayed on the ground for about 7 - 8 minutes before gradually breaking up. It was the first one I have ever seen. There was a beautiful rainbow later in the afternoon.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Go outside and enjoy the beauty!
More from the Daily Camera.
Friday, June 5, 2009
For some reason, once the opening day of baseball season comes along, everyone seems to forget that there is still snow on the mountains.
That's okay with the Obsessive Skier.
Thanks to my old buddy Patrick Ewan McFadden for coming along!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
But since David Axelrod (A Senior Advisor to the President) saw fit to send an email encouraging me to listen to the President's recent address to the Muslim world, the obsessive skier is happy to use this forum to let the President (and you, my faithful blog-reading friends) know what I think about what Mr. Obama said in Cairo today.
Mr. President, I agree...
"Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail."
But isn't the Islam of the Koran a world order that seeks the subjugation of all aspects of every society? Western Pluralistic Secularism and Islam are fundamentally contradictory in many places.
Mr. President, I disagree...
"Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism -- it is an important part of promoting peace."
It is part of the problem. The Koran teaches people to practice jihad. But liberal elements of Islam may be part of the solution.
Mr. President, I agree...
"...it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people -- Muslims and Christians -- have suffered in pursuit of a homeland."
One of the most offensive things that I find in American Evangelicalism is the smug and ignorant acceptance of almost every pro-Israeli American political position that blinds Christians to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters in the Palestinian-controlled territories.
Mr. President, I agree...
"To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, recognize Israel's right to exist."
But exactly how is it that an organization like Hamas (a word which literally means "violence") might be reformed? Prophetic visions can often be helpful, but that line sounded like a pious, pie-in-the-sky platitude.
Mr. President, I agree...
"The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. (Applause.) This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop."
Now, Mr. President, will you take any political risks at all to stop those settlements?
Oh yes, Mr. President, I agree...
"Too many tears have been shed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear;"
But of what God were you speaking when you said this?
"when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra -- (applause) -- as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer. (Applause.)"
The story of Isra makes Jesus out to be a mere prophet of God like Moses and (supposedly, but erroneously) Mohammed. Jesus is God. Jesus is the risen Lord of the universe. He has always existed as the 2nd person of the triune God. He is equal in essence, power and glory with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, who are each distinct persons and yet remain eternally the one true God.
As I mentioned in my review of The Audacity of Hope, Mr. President, I am still praying for your eyes to be opened so that you may see clearly who God is.
Mr. President, I agree...
"And that's why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. (Applause.) And any nation -- including Iran -- should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I'm hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal."
And Mr. President, I agree...
"People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind and the heart and the soul."
I'm sure it was out of a desire to be diplomatic that you did not mention that it was English and American Evangelical Christians in the 17th and 18th Centuries who suffered and died to birth religious liberty as an articulated human right.
Mr. President, I agree...
"Around the world, we can turn dialogue into interfaith service, so bridges between peoples lead to action -- whether it is combating malaria in Africa, or providing relief after a natural disaster."
But I don't believe that interfaith dialogue is necessary for interfaith service to happen. Look at the response of the world to the South Asian tsunami a few years back.
Mr. President, I am glad you said...
"I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality."
But I wish you had said so much more, for the sake of our wives and daughters and all women around the world.
Mr. President, I agree...
"The Internet and television can bring knowledge and information, but also offensive sexuality and mindless violence into the home."
So will you take any political risks to establish common-sense standards of decency on the internet and on television?
Mr. President, I pray that the world agrees...
"The issues that I have described will not be easy to address. But we have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world that we seek -- a world where extremists no longer threaten our people, and American troops have come home; a world where Israelis and Palestinians are each secure in a state of their own, and nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes; a world where governments serve their citizens, and the rights of all God's children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the world we seek. But we can only achieve it together."
But Mr. President, I don't agree with everything you said at the end of your speach with such grand rhetorical flourishes...
"It's easier to start wars than to end them. It's easier to blame others than to look inward. It's easier to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There's one rule that lies at the heart of every religion -- that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. (Applause.) This truth transcends nations and peoples -- a belief that isn't new; that isn't black or white or brown; that isn't Christian or Muslim or Jew. It's a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the hearts of billions around the world. It's a faith in other people, and it's what brought me here today. We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written."
The answer does not lie within us. We do not have the power to make the world we seek. The history of humanity has proven that to be true so many times before. We cannot make a new beginning by merely "keeping in mind" what has been written.
The answer lies with Jesus, the prince of peace. He has the power to make the world new and he is now making the world new as his kingdom has come and continues to expand on earth as it is in heaven. This is not a political kingdom and the only speeches that matter in His kingdom are the ones that He gives. He was with God in the beginning and he is the Word, the incarnation of all that God has written in the Bible. Oh, Mr. President, the Koran is not the Word of God. You call yourself a Christian. Stop misrepresenting God's Word.
Mr. President, you are attempting to make your own pluralistic geopolitical religion when you say things like this:
"The Holy Koran tells us: "O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another."
The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace."
The Holy Bible tells us: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Applause.)
The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth."Mr. President, I will work with you for peaceful purposes on earth. But as we do so, we must not confuse our work here on Earth. The mission that Jesus has given his people is this:
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” - Acts 1:8
I continue to pray for you, my President.
The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will. - Proverbs 21:1, The Bible
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Ten years ago today I was blessed with the birth of my amazing little girl, Brianna. I can’t believe that it has really been a decade! I can’t help but be reminiscent on days like today, wondering at the grace of God, that I, a mere sinner, could be so greatly blessed with such an amazing little one…well, not so little anymore.
I remember the moment I found out she would be coming. On October 30, 1998, I had gone for a free pregnancy test from the Caring Pregnancy Center in Boulder (now Real Choices Pregnancy Care Center). I felt so alone, so scared. I hadn’t told anyone other than my boyfriend at the time about my fear that I was pregnant. I was seventeen and a freshman at CU-Boulder. I couldn’t believe that one night, one lapse of judgment, one moment of a lack of self control could change the rest of my life. I sat trembling in the chair in the pregnancy center across from two gentle, compassionate women. They asked me what my pregnancy symptoms were and as they ran down the list and I confirmed nearly every one, my stomach sank. I watched as one lady glanced over at the test. Before she could utter a word my eyes welled up with tears. I knew my life would never be the same. I felt alone, scared, confused and yet somewhere deep inside, joyful. There was no denying that this was life that was within me.
Throughout my pregnancy, the pregnancy center offered amazing support in ways that my college freshman friends never could have. I had a support group of other pregnant women with varying stories. We laughed, cried, vented, and experienced the growing lives within us. I had free Lamaze classes through the center and received free maternity clothes. The connected me with an adoption counselor to help me consider what the best path for my child would be and a mentor who had chosen adoption who met with me weekly. I had support every step of the way and I can’t imagine having gone through my pregnancy without the loving support that I received from this pregnancy center. I never felt judged, pressured, or condemned. I even got connected with a local church through a volunteer there, a church I called home for seven years! When I realized that God was calling me to parent my little one, the support continued, and they supplied me with a wide variety of baby items, including a crib, to make sure I was ready for her to enter the world. Throughout my years at CU, I had support from this organization, a group for single moms and lots of baby clothes. I then turned my own blessings around and volunteered with the organization and even worked as a summer intern before my senior year.
Why am I reminiscing about the very earliest moments of my daughter’s life, when there have been so many AMAZING moments in the past ten years, including watching her commit her life to Christ and being blessed with a wonderful man of God as her father this past year? Two days ago, a so-called “pro-life” vigilante violently took matters into his own hands and took the life of one of the nation’s most infamous abortionists. While I find it completely abominable what this doctor had chosen to do with his life, I completely disagree with what this vigilante did. I mourn the fact that so often the pro-life movement is tied to such violent, ugly displays as this and others. I found it important to declare on this day, the 10th anniversary of the birth of my wonderful unexpected blessing, that there are amazing organizations out there that not only passionately support a prolife stance, but are truly pro-woman, pro-child and pro-family.
This weekend, Alternatives Pregnancy Center in Denver is hosting a Walk for Alternatives. This organization is in the same network as the one I was blessed by 10 years ago. They offer free pregnancy tests, options counseling, resources, referrals, free ultrasounds, and pre and post natal support all in a truly nonjudgmental loving way. Sadly, on the basis of current abortion rates, 1 in 3 women will have had at least one abortion by the time she reaches the age of 45. Many of these women struggle with intense issues related to post-abortion syndrome. Alternatives Pregnancy Center offers incredible post-abortion support for women who have made that choice and now need the freedom of forgiveness. They truly are an organization that values women before during and after pregnancy. In 2005, I worked as a Client Services Director, establishing an office on the Auraria Campus, ministering to young college women like I was 10 years ago. While I moved on from that position, it continues to grow strong and I am still truly committed to supporting this organization. If you would like more information about the organization you may visit www.youhavealternatives.org. If you would like to boldly take a stance, standing up for women and families and supporting an organization that does so in a truly loving, non-judgmental and practical way, please consider sponsoring me in the walk this Saturday, June 6th. You may do so at www.firstgiving.com/amywheeler. Anything you can give, from $5-$500, makes a deep impact in the lives of women. A mere gift of $5 can provide several women with free pregnancy tests and possibly life-altering counseling from and Alternatives counselor. I hope to be able to make a difference in the lives of women the way the pregnancy center made an incredible impact in my life…and my ten year old daughters. Please join me in making a donation to Alternatives Pregnancy Center, in honor of the birth of my child, and the birth of many babies who are born to women cared for by Alternatives Pregnancy Center each year. Also, if you would like to join us on Saturday, we would love to have you Walk for Alternatives. Check out the website at www.walkforalternatives.org. Please pray that ministries like this one will continue to have a positive impact in the lives of women and families.
Thank You and I hope you have a wonderful, blessed day.
Amy Wheeler…and Brianna
Monday, June 1, 2009
And still the murder of George Tiller raises many questions.
How does someone who is pro-life become so radicalized as to justify murdering an abortionist?
How could a doctor become so radicalized as to justify the killing of babies who are the same gestational age as my neighbor’s premie?
What kind of church welcomes an abortionist like Tiller as a member?
Why is the US seeing such a dramatic rise in shootings in church buildings? This is the third shooting in a church service that I can think of in the last year and a half.
Dr. Mohler at Southern Seminary has posted a helpful article for sorting through this moral mess.
The Bottom Line: God will judge and punish all evildoers. The pro-life movement has been greatly harmed by the one who murdered George Tiller yesterday. God’s people must contend for life through non-violent, lawful means. Taking the law into our own hands is not an option for anyone who believes in God, the ultimate judge of every person.