Wednesday, July 06, 2005

celebrating the 4th.

Happy 4th of July from Snow Mountain Ranch!  In celebrating our country’s 229th birthday, we planned an action packed evening at Elise’s cabin and Grand Lake for fireworks.  Almost everyone in our group was able to attend, and Elise’s family generously welcomed all us to their beautiful cabin for the ideal meal: burgers and hotdogs.  The scenery was amazing.  With an unobstructed view of the Colorado Rockies, we sat on the cabin porch, and enjoyed a time of relaxation, socializing, and eating.  my girls gettin some grub

It only got better from there.  We headed into Grand Lake, an otherwise quaint tourist town, which was full of Coloradoans and other tourists eager to watch fireworks.  Highway 40, the main road into town, was lined with cars, and we pulled into a parking spot before heading to Grand Lake Chocolates.  Every time we head into Grand Lake we have to indulge ourselves with this incredible ice cream.  Jill is right—the Toasted Coconut Macaroon wins every time.  There were a lot of other Snow Mountain Ranch staff in town to watch the fireworks, too.  Many of the students that we work with are from the Navigator Program, an intercampus ministry that is focused on discipleship and spiritual growth.  A lot of us have made friends with these students, and it is exciting to hear about what they are learning from their time out here.

We eventually found a spot to watch the fireworks from.  I must say, it is a bummer to watch fireworks be shot over a beautiful lake with mountains in the background. Yah right!  People drove their boats onto the lake before the fireworks began for an even better view.  It was weird not being at home for the 4th, but I can’t complain about spending the 4th of July with the people from LCI.  We sat on the edge of Grand Lake bundled up in fleeces and blankets realizing how awesome our time has been here so far.  I don’t like to think of the fact that we only have a little more than a month left here.  (I’ll just pretend that I didn’t type that).  With that said, we continue to be stretched and find valuable lessons from our time out here, though.

Last night we heard our lecture series from Jane Hendriksma, Dean of Judicial Affairs at Calvin.  Her talk was about learning from our mistakes, and she challenged us to focus on our response to mistakes, not on the mistake itself.  It’s great hearing from Calvin professors our here.  It’s very evident that they believe whole-heartedly in this program, and they love spending time with us.  From Mr. DeVries hiking Adam’s falls and Aaron Winkle playing basketball with the group to Professor Freeburg teaching us campfire songs and Rick Zomer taking us out for pizza at Hernandos, everyone is enjoying Snow Mountain Ranch.

Here’s some more pictures to let you know what we have been up to: A trip to Denver to pick up Torian, a friend of a lot of ours from Calvin.  We decided to make the most of our time in Denver by heading to the 16th street mall, a popular place for shopping and dining.  city slickers Some of us by the 16th street mall Getting some coffee before picking up Torian at the airport

Posted by Jeremy V. on 07/06 at 06:22 PM
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Monday, July 04, 2005

ballin with the best.

In our spare time here at Snow Mountain Ranch, we enjoy hiking, backpacking, falling out of river rafts, and generally enjoying God’s awesome creation. Sometimes, however, we are drawn to the great indoors. We spend a lot of time at the Kiva, SMR’s recreation building. A good pickup game of basketball or volleyball is great now and then. Last week our speaker was Aaron Winkle, Calvin’s Coordinator of Christian Formation for Athletes and Team Development. Aaron gave a great couple of talks, and we all had an awesome getting to know him and his family—but one of the most exciting parts of having Aaron (or ‘A-Wink,’ as he was affectionately known by the LCI gang) here, was the chance to play basketball with him. Now, Aaron wasn’t any ordinary student-athlete during his years at Calvin—he lead the Knights to the 2000 Men’s Basketball National Championship and earned the title of Player of the Year. So naturally, we viewed getting the chance to ball with this guy was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We took it to the floor and had an awesome night of friendly competition at the Kiva. Man, this guy was good.

During the rare times when we aren’t working, going to our LCI meetings, or hanging at the Kiva, we are outdoors a ton. From stargazing to hiking to walking to work, there are countless opportunities to experience God’s amazing creation out here. Photos barely do it justice, but here is a taste of what we are blessed to see on SMR property every day.

Columbine, Colorado’s famous state flower. These things just began blooming at SMR about a week and a half ago and they are stellar.

Now if you think the weather in Michigan changes a lot, try Colorado. 80 degrees and sunny is often found in the same day as raging rainstorms. This, however, has one beautiful benefit—rainbows.

It’s not often you find college kids willing to get up at 4:30am to do anything—but watching the sunrise here is so amazing that we’ve done it more than once.

Sunsets aren’t bad either…

The Continental Divide—what more needs to be said?

  O LORD, our Lord,     how majestic is your name in all the earth!     You have set your glory     above the heavens….     When I consider your heavens,     the work of your fingers,     the moon and the stars,     which you have set in place,     what is man that you are mindful of him,     the son of man that you care for him? O LORD, our Lord,     how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Posted by Jill D. on 07/04 at 03:51 PM
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