Kickball proficiency…

kickball1

Our boys love to play kickball and once they get started, it seems like they can play forever.

Last night after a soccer practice, they talked several of their teammates into sticking around for a pickup game.

I helped them set up the field and then they divided and started to play. All but one of the boys knew how to kick the ball and then go to first base and then to second and then to third and finally to home plate.

One little guy, however, seemed to think you could go from first to third…and he paid for it until he learned. He was thrown out every time with no mercy.

Our boys, on the other hand, are aggressive in a different sort of way. They like to take extra bases whenever possible. Whether they stretch a single into a double or triple; or simply steal a base, they are always looking to outwit and outrun the defense.

Their skill as base runners has improved in proportion to their experience. I remember times when they ran to third base after kicking the ball. When they were younger, they simply did not understand the game.

Through a mix of coaching and learning by experience, they have become quite proficient…which makes me smile.

Much of life requires coaching and experience…and parenting is no exception.

Looking back on our early years of parenting, we made plenty of mistakes…and we still do. However, with good coaching and life experience our proficiency has improved.

This Sunday, I am really looking forward to hearing Pastor Dave bring a sermon from Proverbs 22:6 entitled, “A parents aim and hope.” This is part of our sermon series from Proverbs entitled, Wisdom for everyday life. No matter what stage of life you are in, this sermon will provide practical and challenging teaching that will apply to you as a child, parent, future parent, grandparent, etc. There may even be some humor along the way :).

I hope you have a great weekend,

Troy

True friends…

Ian Campbell

Our four soon to be five year old has a birthday coming up towards the end of the month. Since we have a large family, we alternate years for large birthday celebrations and small celebrations. This year, Ian gets a small one…two friends.

So at the dinner table last night we discussed the upcoming birthday and the friends that he was hoping to invite. He rattled off a few names and one of them was younger. I asked why he wanted to invite this little guy over and Ian replied, “he’s my friend.” Leigh-Ann filled in that they are such good friends that the younger guy started crying when Ian got hurt recently.

I’m not so sure that reflects on Ian as much as his friend…but either way, it sounds like he is already experiencing the value of a good friend.

I have thought of that story several times today while preparing Sunday’s sermon entitled, “Building Rock Solid Friendships” in our series from Proverbs, Wisdom for everyday life.

I am often amazed that young kids have much to offer when it comes to building and maintaining friendships. They also have much to learn…put three boys together in the back seat of a car and friendship goes away pretty fast.

Whether we are four, forty or eighty…friendships are unavoidable. They determine our success in life.

I look forward to sharing some personal experiences, practical Proverbs and most importantly Gospel truth about developing successful friendships. I hope to see you on Sunday.

Troy

Broken Glass 1, Dallas 0

A few days ago Dallas was riding his scooter and while clipping along, he pushed off on what happened to be a piece of glass. In an instant the glass met the foot and pierced through the bottom of his shoe and stuck.

Since he was a few blocks away, his younger brother Isaiah ran back to the house telling mom there was an emergency and “Dallas is bleeding everywhere!”

Leigh-Ann is the best when it comes to emergencies. She thinks clearly at Mach speed and moves with the perfect mix of experience and practicality.

After bringing him home and cleaning him up, she sent me a pic of his sock and shoe  with the text: “So this just happened.”

Dallas Glass

They went in to the ER to make sure there were no pieces of glass still lodged in the foot and to get it deep-cleaned and bandaged up to avoid an infection.

Another day with kids…honestly not that big of a deal…unless you’re Dallas :). He is supposed to stay off his foot for a week and be cautious for another while it heals.

As tough as he is…there was still a moment when Dallas needed a parent to be with him and guide him through a tough time.

I would say, we never outgrow our need for a parent to be with us and guide us…although as we mature and grow in our Christian faith, the parent we need most is a Heavenly Father.

This Sunday, Pastor Dave will continue our teaching series from Proverbs, “Wisdom for Everyday Life” with a sermon from Proverbs 3:5-6 entitled, “The way to wisdom and well-being.” It is a sermon about our faith in our loving Father.

So even if you are not at risk for an injury while riding a scooter, there is a constant threat of tough times, and we need a loving Father who is always there for us.

I hope to see you Sunday,

Troy

Announcement: This Sunday at 9:30am, you are invited to a class entitled, “Navigating the Dangers of the Digital Age.” Join us, as we take a deeper dive into the dangers that our children face while using technology on a daily basis.  In the digital age, parents must be observant, engaged, and informed.  We will use stats, stories, science, and solutions to enlighten, equip, and encourage parents who want to teach their children how to use technology responsibly.

Simple Driving…

Last night, I voluntarily put my life on the line and took our oldest daughter out driving for the second time.

Lexi Driving

Let’s just say, she is steadily improving, but letting her out on the open road could be hazardous to one’s health :).

Last night, she backed out of the garage…ever so s l o w l y and proceeded down the alley to the street. After one lesson, her turns were much improved. She is learning to stop without the threat of whiplash and can now stay in her lane for the most part.

A few blocks away from our house, as she approached an intersection there was a woman in the middle of the street holding up her hand for us to stop.

So we did….phew…it just so happened that a tree (possibly struck by lightning) had fallen in the middle of the street taking an electrical line with it. The woman was protecting us from something dangerous…so we backed up and eventually, I swapped places to help navigate around the impending danger.

We detoured through a few streets and after a bit more practice driving made it home and into the garage safely.

There is no doubt my blood pressure was higher when we returned than when we started, however, she did great driving.

Imagine what would have happened if we had approached the downed power line and Alexa had ignored the warning and kept driving. Or even worse, if she laughed at my instruction, stepped on the gas and blasted into the danger zone?

This Sunday, we begin a new sermon series from the book of Proverbs entitled, “Wisdom for everyday life” and we will look specifically at four personality profiles: simple, fool, scoffer and wise.

To relate this to my story, since Alexa is learning to drive she is automatically in the ‘simple’ category…she lacks experience. But if she had ignored the warning about the downed power line she would have moved into the ‘fool’ category…and furthermore, if she had laughed at my instruction as she sped into the power line she would have moved into the ‘scorner’ category.

Good thing she listened and is moving toward the ‘wise’ category. And since she is becoming wise, we are alive to tell about it. I look forward to much more from Proverbs on Sunday.

I hope to see you then,

Troy

Story of the Soul

Over the past several month’s much work has been invested into Story of the Soul. This Sunday, when you arrive at New Life, things will be a bit different.

We will have the chairs in the auditorium set up in groups of 5-6. There will be pastries and even more coffee than usual. It will feel a bit like an oversized coffee shop.
SOTS Crowd Wide Shot
During our actual service time there will be two movie clips and one poem presented. A presenter will introduce some context for each piece and then afterward introduce a short discussion.

At the end of our service, Pastor Dave (who began this outreach overseas more than twenty years ago) will close out our time by turning to the Bible for answers.

Many people have worked very hard to provide an environment where non-churched people will feel comfortable and safe to explore Christianity.

We really hope and pray that you will be able to attend tomorrow at 10:45 am.

See you at 10:45 am,

Troy

Game Changer…

Yesterday was a game changer…

I was meeting up with a friend at Chipotle for some lunch and conversation. While in line, we ordered almost an identical bowl.

Then he asked for it to go, even though we were staying to eat in…and he explained that he needed the cover over his bowl.

We paid for our Chipotle bowls and then sat down to eat…and this was the moment…(cue angelic voices singing)…he fastened the top to the bowl, turned it upside down and shook it like a can of paint.

I followed suit…said something about him being my food mentor and then carefully opened the bowl as if it contained a rare jewel.

The glorious mix of meat, vegetables, rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, and salsa was a work of art.

chipotle

However, imagine if that bowl was presented without any context. Imagine if I had never eaten at a Chipotle and I did not have the distinct privilege of watching them make the bowl and then mixing it all together myself…what would I have thought?

Context is super important for many things in life….including our study of the Scriptures. This Sunday, Pastor James will be sharing a sermon from Romans 16. As we finish our series on the book of Romans, he will provide some context to the entire book and specifically the first half of chapter sixteen.which should prove to be very helpful. I hope to see you soon.

Troy

 

Gooooaaaaal!

Last Friday night we loaded the family up into the van and attended a High School Soccer game for our oldest daughter. It was a championship game for a local high school tournament.

Now I must say, that over the past 7 years since our kids have played soccer, we have attended a lot of games. There are times when we leave feeling great and there are other times when we are mad at everyone starting with the ref.

I had watched a part of the semi-final game that took place before our semi-final game. And there was no doubt in my mind that the team we were going to play had the most obnoxious fans we had the pleasure of cheering against all year. I told my daughter and my wife to prepare themselves for the impending conflict.

So the game began…and those fans did not disappoint. Within a few minutes, they had started into the ref…and then my daughter’s team. I kept telling myself…cheer for blue and ignore the fans…

Well after about thirty minutes of hard-fought soccer, our opponents scored.

Worst.Feeling.Ever.

We kept cheering for blue and then just before halftime they scored again.

Moving into the second half, our team continued to play hard and they scored a goal.

The opposing fans quieted down a bit and we cheered a bit louder for blue. Then as the second half was starting to wind down, we scored again.

Tie game!

It was at this point that Leigh-Ann reached over and said, “we have to pray for Alexa to score a goal.”

She didn’t have to tell me twice.

We all paused on our own and prayed for Alexa to score…we kept cheering for blue…and then it happened.

In what seemed like slow motion, she took a few dribbles at the top of the box, saw an opening, took a shot and with what seemed like perfection graced over and past the goalie.

Gooooooaaaal!

It was a dream come true :).

Lexi soccer

So this Sunday the topic of my sermon from Romans 15:30-33 is prayer. I will tell you right now that if you come on Sunday, you too can pray like us and win championship games.

LOLOL!

Prayer to God is so much more than an attempt to win a game or get something great to happen. The point of the sermon is that prayer should be a priority for every Christian and the bulk of what I say will be an attempt to answer “WHY” prayer should be a priority.

I sure hope to see you then,

Troy

Announcement: Tonight, you can still come to New Life for a one-of-a-kind First Friday event, “The Cost of Compassion” held at 8:00 PM.  Watch a video on the event here.