$.49 Quick Trip Cones…

Earlier this summer our family discovered $.49 ice cream cones at Quick Trip. When you have five kids and the summertime heat index seems to push 100o almost every day, a simple ice cream cone can be the difference between whining and winning :).

For less than the price of a medium coffee, our entire family can experience love at first sight.
QuickTripConesSo, one thing I admire about our kids is that when they find something great, like $.49 cones at Quick Trip, they love to share it with others.

A few weeks ago, we were rained out at the pool and they had invited a friend, so they suggested that $.49 cones could make everything better. They were right!

When their cousins drove into town yesterday, one of the first suggestions for family entertainment was to find some $.49 Quick Trip cones.

So why do we like $.49 Quick Trip cones?

They cool us down, they taste great, they give everyone a sugar high and put a smile on our faces. Even when one of the crew spills…everyone seems happy to jump in to help clean it up.

Why?

Because $.49 Quick Trip cones put kids in good moods and as far as I know they cure cancer and increase life expectancy rates considerably…just kidding.

The point is that when we experience something great, we will naturally share it.

So as Christians, why do we struggle with sharing our faith at times?

Well, that is your own question to answer, but I look forward to providing some insight out of 2 Corinthians 4:1-7 on Sunday. I promise I’m not going to beat anyone over the head about how awful Christians can be at sharing our faith.

Honestly, I think you will be encouraged…and look forward to seeing opportunities to share Jesus…maybe even as much as we love to share about $.49 Quick Trip cones.

Well, after writing this, I think I need to go get a cone myself…have a great weekend and I hope to see you at 9:00 or 10:45 am on Sunday.

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What if…

This past week, Leigh-Ann and I had an interview for our home study to adopt a little boy from Africa. The point of this home study is for an outside professional to either affirm or deny our competency to take in another child.

Are we equipped to parent SIX KIDS?

FamilyTeddyBear

Well, I guess we’ll find out when our home study is completed.

What does it take to be equipped to parent SIX KIDS?

Grace…

Yep, pretty much a Divinely apportioned amount of grace and a deep-rooted commitment to working together.

There are moments when I feel we are good to go, I mean, we already have five kids, what could be difficult about adding another? There are other moments when we are faced with the reality of immunizations, travel plans to a third world country, ongoing responsibilities, and schedules, kids fighting over TV channels or chores, parenting fatigue, etc.

As we have considered this opportunity, we are confident that God has led us to this place and we believe He is faithful to bring us through to the end.

To bring things into perspective, our desire to adopt another child is pretty insignificant in comparison to a vision to reach our city.

What would it take for the church to be equipped to reach Kansas City? I mean, this is much, much bigger than one child. This is a vision for the Gospel of Jesus to infiltrate homes where violence and perversion reigns, to bring release to those captivated by addictions, to bring hope and healing to every single person in our city.

In order to fulfill a vision for every man, woman, and child to experience and know the love of Jesus, Christians are going to have to work together. Like Leigh-Ann often says, “It takes teamwork to make the dream work.”

This Sunday, I look forward to sharing a sermon from Ephesians 4:1-16 that attempts to answer the question, “What if the church is equipped to reach Kansas City?”

I look forward to dreaming with you about all that God has planned for our city and beyond.

Have a great weekend,

Troy

Fireworks…

The 4th of July is a favorite holiday in our home. We typically enjoy way too much really good food, a lot of laughs with friends and family and without a doubt, FIREWORKS.

From our neighborhood vantage point, we are fortunate enough to see several professional displays and of course, individual people all around us sending off their own displays.

fireworks
There is a something magical about watching fireworks. It could be the connection to my earliest childhood memories. As a family, we went down to the Mississippi River and watched our local fireworks display.

If you are like me, you may have noticed that while watching the fireworks, the world seems to stop. Concerns seem to vanish and childlike hopes and dreams take over our thoughts.

What would happen if we could infuse that hope into our lives 24/7? What if we could be relieved of our anxious thoughts? What if we could move our vision for life from the mundane to the spectacular?

Well, this Sunday we are not going to have any fireworks (at least that I know of :)), however, we are going to have a sermon on the topic of prayer. Prayer is a gift from God that enables us to cast our anxieties on to Jesus. Prayer to the God of the Universe certainly gives us hope. Prayer also raises our vision for our present and future.

So, what if we moved our prayers beyond our own needs and desires and what if the church prayed for our city?

This is week two in our “What if the Church” sermon series. This week I will be swapping pulpits with Pastor Chris Pinion from Lifequest Church. He will be sharing a sermon from Matthew 6:9-10 and Mark 9:14-29 entitled, “Cul-De-Sac Prayer.”

This is a part of a city-wide initiative in which 47 churches are coming together to care, pray for and serve our neighborhoods.

Pastor Chris has been a friend since before we launched as a church plant more than eleven years ago. He has been a constant friend, encourager, and coach and I look forward to each of you meeting him.

Meanwhile, I will be sharing a sermon with Lifequest church out in Belton.

I hope you are able to attend this Sunday at either 9:00 or 10:45 am.

Have a great weekend,
Troy

Who cares?

What does it mean to care for someone? And, why is it important for you and I to care?

These are questions that we’ll address on Sunday when we begin a new series entitled, “What if the Church Loves KC?” Specifically, we will study from John 13, where we read about Jesus washing the feet of His disciples.

While He was on earth, Jesus was constantly caring for people around Him.

So what does it look like for you and I to care for people? I can share from experience…

Yesterday, while I was away with Alexa, my daughter Sophia (and her brothers) gave me a lesson in caring.

Sophia pic1
Recently, a good friend gave us some extra coaching gear for soccer. Sophie took it upon herself to inventory, wash, organize and compile the gear into a bag for each car.

The project took several hours from start to finish. Sophia spent time in the hot sun planning and organizing everything. When the project was completed I had 4 FaceTime calls in a row before I realized she was trying to reach me.

She was super excited to share all about the caring project.

I must say that it was an awesome surprise and I am very thankful to have the equipment cleaned and organized for this upcoming soccer season.

However, what warmed my heart the most was that my daughter thought about my needs and then sacrificed her day to work hard on her own to serve those needs.

She really does take after her mom :)…

What do you think would happen if New Life CityChurch cared about the people around us like Sophia cared for me…or Jesus cared for His disciples?

I believe it’s going to happen and I can’t wait to share more on Sunday. I hope to see you at either 9:00 or 10:45 am.

Maybe you can get a head start on caring for someone special tonight, Troy

Splash…ouch…

This past week, our family got away for some time of rest and relaxation, and also, to plan out the next few months ahead. One of those days, we were on a boat tubing for several hours. Towards the end of our time, I was driving the boat while 2 of my boys were tubing. One of them flew off around the corner, and as I slowed down to pick him, the other boy stood up on the tube, taunting me that I couldn’t throw him off the tube. Not realizing our oldest was standing on the back of the boat, getting ready to pull in the tube, I gunned the engine. Instead of throwing my son off, I threw my daughter off. That’s not the worst of it. Somehow, the rope had wrapped around her arm, and in a split second, she was dumped into the water and had a nasty rope burn and bruise to go with it.Alexa arm
I felt terrible…and so did everyone on the boat.

Lexi was definitely shaken up by the whole experience, as were the moms on the boat. I gave her a wet hug and helped her ice her injuries. I also promised her that she could pick out whatever she wanted at the gift shop, to which she replied: “I’ll take something from the outlet mall here instead, thanks.”

This experience, although scary, was a great reminder to me of how the family can hold together. And even in spite of the accident, Lexi was kind enough to show grace and forgiveness, while everyone else stepped up to help her.

This Sunday, I am looking forward to hearing from Jason Parr, as he will share from 1 Corinthians 3:1-7, 16,17. As a church family, we are privileged to not only serve each other but to serve with each other, through all the circumstances that life brings us. In addition to Jason delivering the sermon, we are excited to install Jason formally as the newest member of New Life CItyChurch’s elder team.

I hope to see you Sunday at 9 or 10:45 AM.  (And in case you’re wondering, I did get my taunting son off the tube! LOL). Have a great weekend,

Troy

The way life is meant to be…

This past week, Leigh-Ann and I took the train to Chicago to celebrate the big 4-0! We arrived on time, made it to our hotel, went to Navy Pier, took a walk on the lakeshore, shopped, ate dessert on the 96th floor, took pics at the bean, took in a free Symphony rehearsal, explored, ate and then after 24 hours in Chicago, hopped on the train and waited….and waited….and waited.

Train Pic

We finally left Union Station in Chicago four hours late and arrived in KC nearly six hours late.

Word on the street is that we didn’t have an Engineer to drive the train…how hard can it be?

I am joking of course, but as I consider our train ride to Chicago, I would say it was a success. And up until the final delay was convinced I would do it again. However, after the delay, which led to spending the night with what I would consider the average line at Wal-mart…I’m not convinced.

There were hundreds of details that came together to make this trip memorable and successful. There was one detail that made it questionable.

It seems the journey of life is like this. We may have hundreds of successes and only a handful of failures, however, those failures carry much greater influence on our legacy than the successes.

So how should this affect our lives?

Of course, we can’t live in fear of a failure. So how can we live so that at the end of our lives, we leave a legacy of success in the eyes of God as well as our family and friends?

This Sunday, I look forward to sharing some thoughts from Psalm 100 about living the way life is meant to be. Life is a journey and we each have a responsibility to live out our God-given purpose. In short, we will see from five short verses that if we are going have a successful life journey, we must know God, love God and serve God.

In addition to our time in Psalm 100 on Sunday, we are privileged to be able to celebrate 40 years of ministry for Dave and Karen Robinson. They have lived out what it means to know, love and serve God. I hope to see you at 9:00 or 10:45 am.

Troy

Story of the Soul

This Sunday, June 10th we are going to do things a bit different. We will not have the traditional worship, community in context, sermon, and communion. Instead, we are hosting a worship experience called, “Story of the Soul.”

Story of the Soul is an interactive outreach experience in a coffeehouse-setting connecting people to the story of Jesus. Through film, music, art, classic literature and poetry, we find common ground and dive into very meaningful conversations.  As we do, we discover how our wounds can be healed and how our longings can be satisfied through the Gospel.

When you arrive on Sunday a few minutes before 9:00 am or 10:45 am, you will notice that we have transformed our auditorium into a coffeehouse.

SOTS Crowd Shot

We will have some light pastries and great coffee at no cost. The chairs will be set grouped together to facilitate discussion. Don’t worry, you still control how much you would like to interact.

Our service time will be divided into sections where we view or listen to award-winning movie clips, TV show clips and music clips. Each of the sections has a facilitator to help explain the context and introduce the discussion.

Towards the end of the morning, after feelings, emotions, and questions have been raised, we will turn to the Bible as our source for truth and clarity in life.

I have participated in Story of the Soul multiple times in multiple venues and can affirm that each time God has used this format to minister to my heart.

I would like to challenge you to invite a friend who may be searching for truth. I am confident that God can use the format this Sunday to transform lives.

I hope to see you and some friends on Sunday,
Troy