Motivation to make the right choices

This is a big weekend for our girls to play soccer. They are each headed off to play against competition from other parts of the country. And since traveling these distances are not customary, this means a lot to each of them. They have worked hard and now they are able to enjoy some of that sacrifice paying off.

Soooo, we have spent a bit more time talking together about the upcoming trips and Leigh-Ann encouraged the boys to write notes to their sisters.

Which they did…

If you look closely, you will discover that the notes are covered with personal drawings and inspiration.

There are pictures of airplanes, soccer fields, and hotels along with other sketches and scribbles. Regarding the inspiration, there are statements such as, “play together”, “play hard”, “work hard” and “relax harder-lol.”

If you look closely at each of the pics you will see that one of the boys wrote, “don’t suck.”

Hmmmm….what stranger is teaching them to talk like that???


Although it reflects a bit of our parenting philosophy…it may not be the greatest choice of inspiration before they head off to a big weekend.

There have been many moments when we have done our best to encourage them to do their best and play for a cause bigger than themselves. In addition, before nearly every game, we pray with them that they would use their talents to point to God.

However, there have been times when we have felt the need to simply tell them to get their head on straight, play hard and yes, we probably have said, “don’t suck.” Maybe it’s a low bar…but no parent wants to watch their kid blow the game-lol.

We have learned that the girls respond best to positive encouragement about playing for their team, their family, and the Lord. However, there are still times when they need to hear the basic, “don’t suck” speech.

This Sunday, we continue our series, “Exiles-Between two worlds,” with a study of 1 Peter 4:7-11. Peter has been using a similar methodology to our parenting. In fact, in the first verses of 1 Peter 4, Peter is telling the scattered Christians that they shouldn’t live the rest of their time in the flesh, pursuing debauchery (i.e. “don’t suck”). Rather, they are called to a much higher calling, to bring glory to God.

So, I can’t guarantee how the girls will play this weekend (I’m pretty sure they will do great), but I can tell you that this Sunday, I will share a sermon that points us to our purpose for living and should guide us through each decision that we make along the journey of life. It’s a positive and encouraging message.

I hope to see you there,



Worth it…


“You step out there knowing the dangers. And it’s intimidating, but that’s what it’s all about.” –Shaun White

Imagine if, on October 17, 2017, Shaun White gave up after he received 62 stitches from an accident while practicing. Imagine if, he decided the risk of competition was not worth another gold medal.

If you watched the Olympics on Tuesday night and saw Shaun White’s courageous awe-inspiring gold medal run, there is no doubt he made the right decision to compete.

As a family, we watched on the edge of our couch cushions, waiting to see if he could pull off a gold medal run. When the final score was announced, we jumped to our feet while Shaun White fell to his knees, overcome by emotion.

The risk of another injury was totally worth it!

Now, this Sunday, Pastor Dave will share about another kind of risk. The risk of suffering for our faith. In 1 Peter 4:1-7, Peter states that suffering is an expected part of a Christian’s life.

And just like Shaun White, the reward is certainly worth the risk. We hope to see you on Sunday.

-Troy (@trcampbell), TimJ (@timothymjansen), Alexa (@alexamariecampbell), and Sophia (@sophiagcampbell)



Think back to a time in your life when your confidence has been shaken.

Perhaps it was a time you played a sport and went through a slump. Maybe as a baseball player who just struggled to hit the ball, or a basketball player who kept missing the three-pointer, or maybe a golfer who just couldn’t sink the putt.

Maybe it has been at work when the sales just were not happening. Or you were passed over multiple times for a promotion.

It could even be in a relationship where it seems like you just can’t say the right thing. Conversations are choppy at best and you feel distant.

Our confidence in Christianity can also be shaken. Simply reading the news and seeing how evil seems to win out more often than not…or experiencing suffering from a loss or criticism can shake our faith.

Several years ago, Leigh-Ann and I had this experience. God had placed foster care on Leigh-Ann’s heart and over a period of time finally worked on my own heart to accept the call.

Long story short, after nearly three years with a foster child we had from birth, we lost contact. During the twelve months leading up to this loss, we had our share of ups and downs. However, there was something deep within us that kept us thinking it would all work out in the end.

It didn’t.

And during our darkest days, we questioned God. Our faith had been shaken like a can of paint and we were worn out.

Ultimately, God revealed Himself to us so that today in spite of our loss, our faith is stronger.

This Sunday, I look forward to sharing a sermon out of 1 Peter 3:18-22. It is written for Christians who had been enduring criticism and persecution and whose faith had been shaken.

On the surface, this seems to be a difficult section to interpret, but beneath the surface are some valuable truths that provide confidence for those times when our faith is shaken.

I hope to see you on Sunday…maybe you could even invite a friend.

In defense of hope in a critical world…

This Sunday is my sister Tresa’s birthday. She is the only girl amongst three brothers. She also is the mother of four sons and no daughters.

In case you were wondering, she undoubtedly has already earned some special rewards in Heaven.

Growing up, she was the closest sibling in age to me and together, we enjoyed plenty of great times together.

She willingly played sports including tennis, football, and basketball. She has always been up for an adventure, however, she has also always been thoughtful, caring and kind.

I’m sure I had a few moments to be proud of as her younger brother, however, there is one memory that sticks out where I was a “you know what.”

I must have been in Jr. High when I had found an article about how to prank your sibling and decided to give it a try.

This particular prank suggested squirting shaving cream into a bowl, scooping it into a heaping spoonful and then kindly asking one’s victim if they would like to finish the last bit of it.

Surprisingly…and sadly…everything went exactly according to plan.

She took the spoonful of shaving cream and within an instant, knew she had been pranked. She had trusted that I was telling the truth about whip cream and quickly found out I was a bratty, mean, little brother.

Putting up with bratty people is not easy. Whether it’s a relative, old friend or someone at work, critical people can make life miserable.

This Sunday, I am looking forward to sharing a sermon from 1 Peter 3:13-17 entitled, “In defense of hope in a critical world.”

There were people in the first century who hated the followers of Jesus. As a result, they tried to harm, threaten and slander the Christians. As you can imagine, this hurt them deeply and caused much pain and suffering.

So, what did Peter tell the first century Christians to do?

Don’t fear and keep a good conscience by responding with gentleness and respect.

Pretty much what my sister has always done :).
There is much more to share on this topic on Sunday. In the meantime, have a great weekend and be nice…and…Happy Birthday to my incredible sister, Tresa.



Chewing Loudly…

We have a disagreement in our household that apart from Divine intervention, will never go away.


Chewing loudly
I will let you try to guess which person in our marriage is guilty of it and which person is irritated by chewing loudly.

At least a few times a week, there is an interaction that goes like this:

(Noise caused by someone chewing)
“Do you have to chew so loudly?”
“It’s really not that loud.”
“Are you kidding me? It sounds like you are trying to eat a sponge by sucking it off the top of your mouth. Grrrrrrrr…”

This disagreement will be turning 19 years old this summer when we celebrate our wedding anniversary.

No, we are not in need of a marriage intervention and yes, we love each other immensely. In spite of our love, we still have an ongoing disagreement about chewing loudly.

Which is one reason I am excited about the sermon on Sunday. Pastor Dave will continue our sermon series, Exiles-Between Two Worlds from 1 Peter 3:8-12 entitled, “The way forward in relationships.”

Hopefully, Leigh-Ann will listen so I don’t have to keep worrying about how loudly I’m chewing :).

Now it’s time to head home for dinner…I need your prayers…lol.

But it feels so good to win…

In life, there are unforgettable moments. Most often they come without warning. This was the case for Minnesota Vikings fans on Sunday night.

The play was called, “Seven Heaven.”

The play clock only had 10 seconds left when the ball was snapped.

Although there were 22 men on the field, multiple coaches on the sidelines, thousands of fans in the stands and millions of viewers on TV, it all came down to two men, Case Keenum and Stephon Diggs.


This play for the ages would have been nearly impossible to dream up.

Keenum went back to pass while Diggs sprinted down the sideline…hoping to catch the ball and get out of bounds before time expired to somehow provide an opportunity for a field goal to win the game.

So, Keenum spotted Diggs and heaved it up. Stephon Diggs jumped up, made the catch and landed without a collision. I think anyone watching was surprised beyond belief when Diggs turned around and sprinted into the end zone to give the Minnesota Vikings the win as time expired.

Divisional Round - New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings

The stadium came unleashed…it was mayhem. In fact, it took several minutes to clear the field so the game could officially end with the point-after attempt.

As a lifelong Vikings fan and transfer Chiefs fan, I have experienced how it feels to lose in the last few seconds and this time it felt pretty amazing to be on the winning side for once.

I loved that Stephon Diggs tweeted, “All glory to God.” In a postgame interview, Case Keenum shared this was probably going to go down as the third best moment of his life. The greatest moment was when he gave his life to Christ and the second was when he married his wife.
Stefon-Digs-Tweet-GodAs I reflect on this most incredible game, I am reminded of how much I love to win.

And this brings me to an important question, Is there ever a reason to lose?

This Sunday, Pastor James will be sharing a sermon from 1 Peter 3:1-7 about a part of our lives where it is better to lose (In case you’re wondering, it’s not Philadelphia :)). I know it’s going to be a Sunday you won’t want to miss.

Have a great weekend…and…Go Vikings!

Our amazing guide…

Many of you know that we returned back to KC from a nearly two week trip to Brazil just a few days ago. It would be impossible to adequately communicate all that we experienced while in South America

One thing is certain, without the Braga family as our guides, we would have been confused, lost and miserable. However, with their support, we enjoyed an amazing trip allowing us to build lifelong memories.

Bragas and Campbells

When we arrived a few hours earlier than expected they were at the airport to welcome us into their city and home. Immediately we shuttled over to the rental car facility and began the process of securing our transportation.

Have I mentioned that we speak English and people from Brazil speak Portuguese?

The language barrier was one of several hurdles we would face…everything from driving, to eating, to negotiating for souvenirs, to safety and security provided unique challenges.

In spite of the challenges, everywhere we went, we had a guide who cared for us and genuinely wanted us to have the best possible experience.

While in Brazil, we logged more than 1,200 kilometers. Many of them on the highway and many of them on busy roads and streets winding through the city with cars on all sides and motorcycles flying by only inches away from our side view mirrors.

While driving, it was all I could do to keep my guide within my sights. Cars would cut in with only a few feet of opening. I blew more red lights than I care to admit, just making sure I didn’t lose sight of our guide. It was a minor miracle to have returned two cars (our family is too big for one over there) with not even a scratch.

There was one experience at the end of our trip that was of particular interest. We were on the way back to the airport to return the rental cars and I was operating on only a few hours of sleep. We had already filled up with gas, but the guide car pulled ahead into the gas station. I commented to Leigh-Ann something like, “what is Felipe doing?” But in spite of my question pulled in next to a gas pump…and then I realized that I was following a different car.

I was in a foreign country, I didn’t speak the language and now I had driven away from my guide and was following the wrong car.

Lucky for us, we had actually passed Felipe and he noticed and was only a few cars behind, so when we drove up to the gas pump, he came shortly afterward with his window rolled down and a smile on his face.

It felt so good to get back on track following our trustworthy guide to the rental car return.

This Sunday, I am really looking forward to sharing a sermon from Matthew 28:18-20 and portions of 1 Thessalonians on the topic of a spiritual guide. The title is, “A vision for discipleship.”

Too often we attempt to navigate our faith alone, without a guide and as a result, we become confused, lost and miserable.

I am super excited to see everyone on Sunday, share some more stories and most importantly worship Jesus. Have a great weekend,


Announcement: On Sunday, January 28th from 5-7pm. Our elder team is hosting a volunteer appreciation dinner. We will cater in some delicious food, provide childcare and spend time praising God for His faithfulness this past year while also casting a vision for all that is in store for this next year. If you are a part of the New Life family, you are invited to attend.