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Through the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives it is extremely easy to look “past” things. Some drive to work the same way everyday and forget to notice the beauty that surrounds them. Others wake up in the morning and go about their day without realizing that they actually woke up. Many have a meal to eat without acknowledging that they are in the small percentage of those who do.

Along with looking past things, we rarely look “into” things. Some don’t realize that “No Shave November” acts as a way to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other male cancer and associated charities. Others will hectically go Christmas shopping for one purpose and one purpose only, to put a gift under the tree. Many don’t realize that there is a distinct reason why we are where we are today, doing what we are doing, being who we are.

nice-xmas-presentsWhat comes to mind when you think of Christmas? Presents, food, fires, warm houses, winter and family to name a few. Did you realize that Christmas is the day of Jesus Christ’s birth?! Most would say, “Pshh, yes, of course I knew that!” Ok, I kind of believe that, but that was before you started saying “I want, I need, give me that for Christmas!”

I’m a Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and I am so blessed by His grace. I am aware of His birthday on December 25th, but even someone as locked in as myself can lose sight of the beauty in this day of celebration.

Jesus BirthThe subject of giving is an entirely different animal, but I hope and pray that you give for the glory of God and you receive in His name. Give thanks to the Lord for His way, His truth and His life is better than we could ever comprehend. Bless His name always, for He has never left and will never leave us.

God Bless!

“Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 9:10)

As I was running this morning, looking up at the stars that outlined the big dipper, a song came on my iPod that truly spoke to me. Relationships, relationships, relationships; this word has been on my mind for the last couple months and I’ve been calling out to God for an answer. I started feeling him calling out to me a couple months ago when a close friend of mine sent me a video about Love, Sex & Dating. One specific line stuck out to me, as if it was being spoken to me directly; the pastor repeatedly asked, “Are you who the person you are looking for, is looking for?” It took me a little while to get my head around this questions, but ultimately this question spoke truth to me. It allowed me to ask myself, “Do I want to become someone worth catching, someone worth pursuing in the eyes of the Lord,” I want to be READY to be the person that someone is looking for. God has been speaking to me so clearly lately in so many fashions. Whether in Breakaway, my Sunday night small group at Bridgepoint Church, at Generations Church (GC) on Thursdsay nights, FOCUS on Monday nights at Boise State or the loving and caring impact that my family has had since I gave my life to Christ, I have been surrounded by the influences I need to stay faithful. Are you living the life that you’re meant to lead? Are you a living example, through the body of Christ, of the person you’re meant to spend your life with? Start thinking twice before you jump into a relationship based short-term or monetary things and find someone that loves Christ more than anything, because if they love Christ that much, they will certainly love you with everything they have!

1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”

We are all created for relationships. We all want to be happy. We all want to find someone who we want to be with every second of every day. And what I pray is that we all want to live through Christ and find that significant other who will be there every step of the way. The next time you think about pursuing a relationship think to yourself, “Am I who the person I am looking for, is looking for?”

God Bless!

When you think of 15 people traveling over 900 miles anywhere, what comes to mind? Now picture 15 college students, traveling over 900 miles to southern California..for spring break! Young and ambitious, we were looking for the time of our lives and when the SoCal coast presented itself, Dana Point became our destination of choice!

As Thursday evening approached, three cars full of amped Boise State students left Boise, drove throughout the night and didn’t look back. After passing through parts of Idaho, Oregon and Nevada and experiencing every type of climate possible we had arrived in southern California, where life is, beautiful! Naturally, prior to arriving at the beach house, we made a stop at Ralph’s; purchasing abundances of pasta, eggs, chicken, taco ingredients and wide varieties of drinks, which would be enough to feed our massive group.

Through the gated entrance and between palm trees we arrived at our beach front vacation home. Like a flood, everyone flew out of the cars and into the house to admire the beautiful home, attempt to claim a bed and admire the coast as the sand came up to the porch, as if the beach was our backyard. By connecting the iPod to the stereo and cracking open the first aluminum can, the spring break week had officially begun.

Bathing suits and towels flew out of suitcases faster than you could say, “beach front tanning”. Throughout the week, the weather was 65-70 degrees, sunny and clear skies. Given that we had been cooped up inside for months in Boise, we were nothing short of pale skinned. Therefore, slight to major burning took place, but not without smiles from ear to ear and happiness that said “this is livin” to accompany the newly acquired tomato look.

When we weren’t soaking up the rays, running along the beach and swimming in the ocean, we made the most out of our trip by taking day trips around southern California. For those who hadn’t previously made it to the happiest place on earth, a trip to Disneyland was a prime bucket list item. With sincere excitement and the opportunity to live the life of a 6 year old, the rides, parade and fireworks made for Disney filled memories.

Another day trip took us to “Saunt Tiago” as the great Bryan Vlok would say. San Diego gave us a taste of the life we all wanted to live. After drooling over a cruise ship the size of a city (that we plan on taking next spring break) we stopped at a delicious mexican restaurant for dinner. As the sun set and the stars came out we noticed the jaw dropping Coronado bridge in the distance. Beautiful in its size and construction we crossed over the water and drove around the secluded island of Mission Beach. While we will return for the night scene once everyone turns 21, the evening festivities took the crew back to Dana Point.

While San Diego couldn’t provide us with a night scene, don’t think we didn’t find a simple solution! Popular in the area were 18 and over clubs and we took full advantage of two local hot spots. The first evening took us to a gay bar by the name of Club Velvet. While a fraction of the group was a bit skeptical at first, they would have regretted not having made the trip. After cramming 13 of us into a Mercedes R300 (three in the front, six in the middle, three in the back and one in the trunk) and raving for 30 miles we had arrived. The night was full of laughing, dancing and karaoke as we made the party our own. Whether certain individuals (Ross) were getting ferociously hit on, ladies were making out with random celebrities (Sydney) or brilliance was taking place on stage through karaoke, we have pictures, videos and memories of Club Velvet that we will always treasure.

On the second night out we made our way to Incahoots in Orange County for country night. To say the least, if you didn’t bring your “A” game and your dancing shoes, it would be tough to keep up. The massive dance floor was occupied shoulder to shoulder for the entire night for synchronized country dancing. Each song played had its own dance; if you knew it you looked like a champ and if you didn’t (like all of us) you attempted to keep up. With a little Idaho country swag we were dancing like it was our job. By the end of the night we were completely exhausted and soaked in sweat. Thank you Toby Keith, Red Solo Cup made country folk out of us!

After days of soaking up the southern California sun, endless late nights of raging, group dinners and day trips, we have all made long-lasting memories and life long friends. The next time you’re thinking twice about taking a 900 mile road trip with 15 people, it should without question be a YES! You never know the wonderful people you’ll meet and the time you’ll share together. Live everyday to its fullest, it’s just more fun that way!

On a final note, be aggressive, find your mystery noddle and love life!

Where do you go for your outdoor mountain adventures?

austinrogerson

When year-round recreation meets picturesque views, you’ve arrived in Stanley, Idaho. This is Sawtooth Mountain country, Stanley’s most deserved accolade.

As a last chance opportunity to vacation before the next semester of school began, Stanley was our trip of choice for fresh powder, outdoor recreation and evenings of pleasant relaxation. The roads were perfectly clear as we drove up Highway 21. When a front wheel drive Toyota can make it up to Stanley in mid January, I give my thanks to the local world-class experts in snow plowing (there has to be a 4-year degree for that)!

My girlfriend and I arrived at the Sawtooth Hotel around 3:00 pm. Constructed in 1931, this vintage log cabin with a priceless view of the Sawtooth Mountains, had the most harmonious feeling. On the first floor, hand-built tables and chairs set the stage for an authentic getaway. On the second floor, we found small rooms…

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The word pelada means “naked” in Portuguese, but in Brazil, it also refers to a pickup soccer game. In Trinidad, such games are known as “taking a sweat.” No matter what they’re called, they’re played all over the world—down alleyways, on rooftops, in backyards and prison yards and anywhere else that can serve as a field. For every impromptu match documentary filmmakers Luke Boughen and Gwendolyn Oxenham joined on their journey around the world, they remind us, millions more more were taking place.

Both passionate college soccer stars, Boughen and Oxenham (who also played professionally in Brazil in 2005) set off to discover the meaning the game has for its enthusiasts around the globe. Whether in an open field, in the street or on the beach, from South America to Africa to the Middle and Far East, they found men, women and children alike living, breathing and playing soccer. The game proved a universal language through which the filmmakers (aided by their behind-the-scenes colleagues, Rebekah Fergusson and Ryan White) were able to communicate with their subjects even when no words were exchanged. While they played, they learned about their teammates’ lives and the importance of soccer to the structure of their communities.

Ultimately, Pelada reminds us that play, for adults as well as kids, is the common denominator of cultures that differ in every other respect. Just as they can set up a field and kick the soccer ball, so citizens of the world can learn to respect and understand the game and one another.

—Gigi Haycock

Boise State University, through the help of the Volunteer Service Board (VSB), Student Union Building (SUB) and Boise State Rec Center not only showed us the divine sport of soccer through the inspirational Pelada documentary, but also allowed soccer enthusiasts to come together and play in an indoor tournament to show what “Pelada” meant to them.

Luke Boughen, world traveler, futsal fanatic, and Notre Dame superstar, through the help of Joshua Haines and the VSB, brought the charity indoor soccer tournament to our beloved city of Boise. Not only was Luke able to tell us about the endless experience, knowledge and insight he’d gained from traveling around the world, but it also gave us the opportunity to share with him a little history in regards to the local Boise culture and community. Boise natives and students educated Luke about the Basque community, growing Bosnian and Serbian communities and refugees to name a few that have made Boise, Idaho the wonderful place it is today, even more so as it relates to soccer.

A unique touch to the charity soccer tournament was the entry fee to play. Each team of four either had to pay $10 or (preferably) bring a new soccer ball. The soccer balls were given to local Boise refugee families. The tournament brought 16 teams, 64 players, donating several hundred dollars to charity as well as over 20 soccer balls which were distributed accordingly.

The beautiful thing about the game of soccer is its international flare, respect and appeal. While sports like basketball and baseball at universities bring a majority of local players, or at least individuals born and raised in the United States, soccer brings people from around the world. The tournament represented players from Africa, Bosnia, Serbia, Spain, England, Saudi Arabia, Peru and Mexico, all playing for the love of the game and bringing their own special touch and finesse from where they grew up.

Luke and his wonderful documentary make each and every one of us feel that slight tingle in our feet, passion in our hearts and true love for the game! It has been an honor and privilege to have such an influential individual come to Boise State University and give us a new perspective through the game of soccer.

For the complete photo album click the link Pelada Indoor Tournament Photos

When year-round recreation meets picturesque views, you’ve arrived in Stanley, Idaho. This is Sawtooth Mountain country, Stanley’s most deserved accolade.

As a last chance opportunity to vacation before the next semester of school began, Stanley was our trip of choice for fresh powder, outdoor recreation and evenings of pleasant relaxation. The roads were perfectly clear as we drove up Highway 21. When a front wheel drive Toyota can make it up to Stanley in mid January, I give my thanks to the local world-class experts in snow plowing (there has to be a 4-year degree for that)!

My girlfriend and I arrived at the Sawtooth Hotel around 3:00 pm. Constructed in 1931, this vintage log cabin with a priceless view of the Sawtooth Mountains, had the most harmonious feeling. On the first floor, hand-built tables and chairs set the stage for an authentic getaway. On the second floor, we found small rooms with old fashioned amenities that make you feel like you are spending the night at grandma’s house. During the winter, the Sawtooth Hotel is open Friday through Sunday for meals. Expect to see mountain aficionados bundled up in ski pants, Salomon boots and Patagonia jackets stopping by for hot food and a cold drink after a long day of skiing.

As the sun set, we made our way up Wall Street in downtown Stanley and walked along the groomed cross country ski and snowmobile trails. The sun set behind the Sawtooth Mountains, lighting the white snow caps with a fiery glow,  like a volcano was about to erupt.

The next morning we set our sights on the pristine cross country ski trails at Alturas Lake just 20 short miles south of Stanley. Beautiful blue skies, groomed trails and untouched snow (for the backcountry folk) made for an exemplary time. Multiple maps allow plenty of variety and direction throughout the trail system. Our four-hour, 13 kilometer cross country adventure afforded immaculate views and world class photo opportunities, and won’t soon be forgotten.

On our way back from Alturas Lake we stopped along Highway 75 at Red Fish Lake. The road was closed, but that didn’t stop us. With snowshoes on and a camera across my shoulder, we walked the short mile to Little Red Fish Lake. We cut through what looked like an abandoned campsite (campsites are closed in the winter) and just as we arrived at the lake, the clouds dispersed as the sun illuminated the sky, exposing the mountains as though hidden behind large castle walls for hundreds of years.

Rounding out our perfect day with the perfect evening, we returned to the Sawtooth Hotel for a refreshing brew and signature burger that really hit the spot. The next time you’re looking for a recreational paradise with beautiful sights, stop in Stanley to satisfy your outdoor cravings.

As noted in an earlier post, I had the opportunity to spend a few days recreating in and around Wallace in northern Idaho. After flying down the ski slopes, soaring along the snowmobiling paths and zooming around single-track mountain bike trails, be sure to cool your jets with a trip to the beautiful town of historic Wallace where the local history, quenching brews and delightful eats will give you a full-body experience of what makes this mining town a hidden treasure.
As a buy local type of guy, I look forward to the local digs that only small towns can offer. To my pleasant surprise, there are two outstanding breweries in Wallace. Walking down the well-known Bank Street, just down the road from the center of the universe, I noticed large brew kettles (coppers as they say in the “biz”) through the glass windows.
Wallace Brewery, a three year old brewery that prides itself on keeping the history of its beer relevant to Wallace. Rumor has it that there were a handful of extra special women who worked in the Bordellos during the early 1900s. Therefore, the coppers include scandalous names like Stella and Roxy to signify the different types of beer being brewed. Also in spirit of the bordellos and mining history they’ve named their beers as such; Dirty Blonde, Jackleg Stout, and Orehouse Amber to give each drink an extra special feel to historic Wallace.
I also visited the North Idaho Mountain Brew on the opposite side of town. Established in 2008, North Idaho Mountain Brew finally brought a dream to reality after years of home brewing in Alaska. They have five brewed delights on tap that relate to Northern Idaho including Mountain Top Amber, Summit Gold and Loft Honey, which have significance to the local ski resorts. Both breweries have their beer in pubs across Northern Idaho and are host to several home brew get-togethers; stop in for a sampler (bring in some of your own personal masterpiece to share) and please your taste buds with these flavorful beers!
My final hours in Wallace took me through the south side of town. When looking for the finest local breads, cakes, and espressos look no further than D&G Bakery for a fresh home cooked treasure (as if your mom was in the kitchen). After finishing a mouth watering chocolate chip cookie I made my way down 5th street where an invigorating scent filled the air. A large, old fashioned smoker sits outside the Smoke House BBQ and Saloon to bring in empty stomach’s looking to combine the sweet aroma with their barbecued entrees. If not to delight in the food, be sure to jump inside for a beer and admire the history within the building. In 1980, artist John Hart painted a 100 foot wildlife mural on the back wall and is said to have been compensated with beer for this work; sounds like a great deal to me!
With the sun going down, creating a beautiful sunset glowing over the hills it was time to grab dinner at the 1313 club, a local bar and restaurant. Uniquely enough, its name came in two fashions: first, its original bar was 13 feet high by 13 feet wide and secondly, being the 13th bar in Wallace it needed a snazzier name than “The 13th bar”. The 1313 club serves the local brews of Wallace and has a large menu to satisfy anyones appetite. Great food, fun atmosphere, and the historic nature of the restaurant will speak for itself.
Don’t miss the opportunity to venture around the small town (4 blocks long by 9 blocks wide) of historic Wallace. While I only had the opportunity to spend one full-day and visit a select few breweries, stores and restaurants, there are many other hidden treasures in town that I look forward to visiting on my next trip to historic Wallace.