Memories of Snow

Whenever it snows, memories start to flow. The quiet air reminds me of skiing in Montana. Standing on the mountain, there’s a peace that you feel. All the normal sounds are dampened, leaving you a little more alone than before.Β It’s great for getting lost in your thoughts.

When my dad was in college, he would drive out to Bridger Bowl each year with his friend Jeff. They stopped when they both got married, started having kids and getting really busy raising them.

But when I was old enough, they decided to start up again. I invited Travis along and the four of us headed West. I’ve probably been skiing without Travis less than 5 times in my life. We’d stay in a hotel for 4 nights, skiing for 4 days, then driving back those 1000 miles.

Our first year, we encountered a run called “Good Clean Fun”, which was nothing of the sort. I hit maybe 3 trees, and Travis ended up needing stitches after a ski to the head. His parents bought him a helmet after that.

One year, there was a huge blizzard and the mountain was closed for the first day and a half we were there. Those next few days though were the best skiing I’ve ever had. Two feet of powder everywhere! Travis took a tumble and we spent 30 minutes looking for his other ski. That’s the year we did Flippers for the first time, a real double black diamond.

More of the family started coming as time went on. My sisters both snowboarded, but Jenna didn’t like it as much as Kate. Jack is a daredevil skier, just like in everything else. Our cousin Luke came last year. This year my aunt Amy and her family will be there right before us, so we’ll take them on the hard stuff on their last day (our first). I wish our cousin Andy could make it too, but he has to work.

It’s amazing what a little snow can bring to mind.

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A Fantastic Weekend

This weekend was just great. On Friday my cousin Trevor Nordick got married to his long time girlfriend Ashley. They had been living together for a while now, so it seems like less of a big deal, but it’s still exciting to have another one of my cousins all old and married (the first being Erin, married to Matt Castagna). I had never been to a Catholic wedding (I’ve seen quite a few Catholic funerals though), so it was a very interesting experience. The priest caught Trevor yawning during his talk, which was really funny and I’m sure Trevor was really embarrassed.

The priest actually gave a really good message, which was good for me to hear since I have some negative predispositions toward Catholicism. It definitely did strike me how Christ centered the Desiring God Conference was the previous weekend. Most of the message at the wedding focused on love, which was very appropriate, but I guess I was expecting much more of an emphasis on Christ. It was there, but not as explicit as at the DG Conference.

The reception was fun too, though the music wasn’t all that great. Older music is so much more fun to dance to than the modern hip hop stuff. I also realized how empty drinking can be and resolve not to drink too much at any other wedding; I think I’ll enjoy it more if I don’t. My cousin Andy (the grooms brother) however had no such qualms and got quite inebriated. He was hilarious though, he’s one of the more friendly drunks I’ve seen πŸ™‚

On Saturday I was at my parents house for a bit. I worked on my laptop for a bit, then ate breakfast, went on a quick run, at second breakfast (LoTR anyone?) and then headed back to my apartment in Uptown. Of course I had to get a few games of DotA in, sandwiching some quality reading time as I was trying to catch up with all the homework for my TBI (The Bethlehem Institute) class. Then I read Confessions of a Reformissional Rev. by Mark Driscoll for 2 hours before I fell asleep. What a great book! It is basically Mark’s account of how Mars Hill developed, from start to present. In it he outlines a lot of tough situations and decisions that had to be worked through for the church to continue to grow and be Christ centered with a missions focus. I was so very impressed with how he handled his mistakes and the convictions that he acted on. I highly recommend the book.

Then on Sunday I actually had my TBI class and got to have some good conversation about Genesis 12:1-3 and the surrounding/related texts. I really enjoy a few specific people from my class. Ed is an older man who has been through this class a number of times already. He is very passionate for the Lord and has tons of wisdom gained through tons of experience that I will probably never have. Another person is Seth. He and a friend moved up to Minneapolis specifically to go to Bethlehem and grow under the teaching of our preaching pastor John Piper. That someone would make such a dramatic change in their lives for the sake of pursuing the Lord speaks highly of their drive to seek God. Through our conversations, Seth continually speaks bluntly about his convictions and the Word, which is so refreshing to my soul. Jenna is another person in my class who demonstrates a hunger for the Word and intimacy with God. She is a more recent believer than the other two, but reminds me a lot of Liz Bandy in how much she desires to learn and grow. The way that God has made Himself part of her thinking process is a constant reminder to me that all praise is due to God and how our lives should be dedicated to seking and savoring Christ.

Speaking of Jenna, she actually set me up with a lunch date on Sunday too. Jenna’s old roommate Anna also goes to Bethlehem and so we went to church and then out to lunch at a really neat French cafe on Lyndale. I actually saw Joel Brygger there too, which was fun. Anna and I had never met (blind date, it was weird but fun) so we talked about our families, how we were brought up and where we’ve been. It was a great time, and I got to know someone who seems to be a pretty cool person. I don’t know if it will go anywhere, but regardless I think I just got a new friend πŸ™‚

After lunch my dad came by and while we were initially going to change the spark plugs in my car, it turns out my extender wasn’t long enough so we ended up just walking around Uptown for a while. It was really, really good. We checked out the Running Room, since I’m getting into running and my dad is biking now. All the cartelage was worn down in one of his toes so he has a lot of pain when he runs, and I thought that this place did gait analysis, which is basically you walking on a treadmill and them designing an insole that will help your feet. I really enjoyed the conversations and hope to have more of them soon.

After my dad left, I was priveleged to attend a birthday dinner for Colin Morley, one of the guys from the biblestudy I led. It was great to see him and the other guys who came along. I got to chat with Andy Hesemann (my old housemate and another guy in my study) a bit about how his year was going and how he was doing. It was great to catch up. Those are some solid guys who I am blessed to call my friends. I’m going to figure out a time when I can have them all over to my house sometime.

And in between the date and my dad, I got to chat with Jenna about the date and life (she was having a tough weekend). I’m glad that I’m connecting with her; it’s honestly a huge part of my motivation in taking the TBI class. I wanted to get more connected to others at Bethlehem. I’m glad I’m making new friends.