New Life Sunday – An accident and a lesson in faith…

Just a few minutes ago I heard a loud BOOM and then a scraping noise that sounded like a snow plow. I looked out of the window and the sun is shining and the sky is clear so I was pretty sure that it wasn’t a snowplow. I deducted that it must have been an accident.

I stood up and looked out both windows…nothing.

I sat down and continued working on my sermon.

Within a few minutes, I started to hear sirens.

A lot of sirens…fire trucks, police cars, ambulances…

I got up again (yes, I count that as exercise) and watched two police cars coming down the street. They stopped right below the building so I knew it had to be close.

I walked into the auditorium and there it was… (see pic attached at the bottom).

I said a quick prayer for the safety of the passengers and then watched the emergency workers in action for a few minutes.

As I returned to my office, I realized that this accident has similarities to the birth of Jesus.

There were signs all around that an accident had occurred, yet until I followed the signs, I had not actually witnessed the  accident with my own eyes. However, as the signs for an accident began to pile up, I became more and more convinced.

Just like the story of the birth of Jesus when I considered the probability of an accident, my faith grew in proportion to the evidence around me.

This Sunday is Christmas and I am excited to worship Jesus on His birthday (at least the day we designate as the day of His birth). We intend to provide a very comfortable setting to sing Christmas Carols, listen to a children’s Christmas story, hear some special music and think about the birth of Jesus communicated through readings and a sermon.

We will look specifically at the life of Joseph and his example of selfless ministry to Mary and those around him. I believe we will leave with a stronger faith as a result of examining the signs that point to the birth of our Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.

If you are traveling, I pray that you experience safety and are able to bless those with whom you spend time.

Merry Christmas!

Troy

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We have a dog….

We have a dog…   This is a new addition to our happy little family. Her name is Zoe which means life and she has lived up to her name. She has been a challenge to my masculinity (she is a mix between a Pomeranian and a Poodle) and at times my sanity.   However, I must say that she is a good little dog. She wags her tail, loves to be patted and seems tosmile a lot. She is patient with the kids…She has been stepped on (accidently of course J), yelled at (usually after she marks a new room) and laughed at (she ran into the post in the kitchen yesterday).   She eats food off the floor with joy, she forgives quickly and absolutely loves the presence of her new family. The only people who don’t appreciate her are those who have never experienced a dog (in the house). So after consulting the internet and doing a bit of brainstorming myself, I would like to say that dogs can teach us much about relationships and here is why:   Dogs “love” unconditionally. They’re always happy to see you. They sense that you like them and like you back right away, so making “friends” with a dog is almost never a long ordeal. They don’t carry grudges. They are always “there” for you when you’re having a bad day. They don’tover-analyze anything. They don’t nag you or whine incessantly about a bad day. They make you smile when you normally wouldn’t. They are consistent. They watch your house, and your back.   So, this Sunday we are going to continue our five week series about “Living at the Core.” Our topic this week is “Gauging our COMMUNITY.” We will use the shepherds who arrived at the birth of Jesus as guides to help us build community using Biblical principles.   So, interestingly enough, Zoe in her simplicity and stupidity (no argument there) can teach us to build community. Her attributes of humility, forgiveness, service and loyalty should be a part of all community…especially the Christian community.   With that said, maybe dogs do go to heaven (not sure yet about cats—see the movie “Cats and Dogs” for more on that J).   I have had agreat time writing this and if you have made it this far, I hope you have enjoyed reading it.   Sunday will be great (without your dogs of course J)! Troy

 

Announcement: I hope you can make it to the Christmas Celebration that we have planned for this Sunday night, December 18th from 6:00-7:00pm at New Life.

Our objective for this gathering is to provide a warm, comfortable environment for everyone to pause and reflect on Jesus as the reason for the season. The children from Fam Jam and River city will be singing two songs, the worship team will lead us in several Christmas Carols and we will have a one-act play as well.

New Life Sunday – Written for your generation…

Today, I attended a luncheon in support of the KC Downtown Council. The theme was, “A Millennial Makeover.” The keynote speaker was Jason Dorsey (The Gen Y Guy). He was funny, informative and practical.
 
He clearly communicated differences in generations. In the spirit of his premise, I am going to write my weekly email for each generation. Simply skip down to the year of your birth to experience communication tailored to you.
 
BEEP BEEP BEEP…Warning: Only read your generation or you will likely be offended.
 

Generation Y: 1977-1995

God Rocks! IMO I=unworthy God=worthy so worship God not mslf
 

Generation X: Born 1965 – 1977

This Sunday we are going to continue our series “Living at the core.” I decided on this series to cover 5 weeks through the Holiday Season. The series began during a brainstorm session with the finance team about how God has used New Life to affect so many lives. We wanted to communicate that everything we do in life is an investment and as a result we should take some time to evaluate our investment strategy in light of what God values.
 
Since we decided on December 4th as our target date for this service, I looked at the next several weeks during my sermon planning time. With Christmas Day and New Years Day falling on Sundays this year I knew I would not continue through Revelation on those dates so that left just two dates in December for the Revelation series. I decided that it would be too difficult to go back and forth, besides who wants to hear about Trumpet Judgments during the most wonderful time of the year.
 
This Sunday the sermon is entitled, “Living at the Core-Gauging our Worship.” We will look closely at the story of the Magi from Matthew 2:1-12 as mentors for our own worship. In my opinion, they are great examples of individuals who worshipped God from their heart.
 

Baby Boomers: Born 1946 – 1964

This Sunday is for you. You will feel so good to know that God can and should be worshipped. Your mistakes in the past will shrink in comparison to the rich and eternal love of God that sent Jesus to cover your failures. 

Whether your world is at a point of confusion or clarity, you will be encouraged to know that God is ready and waiting for your worship. You mean so much to Him and your worship means so much to Him.

True worship requires:

Time
Truth
Testing
Thanksgiving
 

If you can implement these principles this week your life will be better-guaranteed!

Matures: Born pre-1946
For the past several weeks, God has been teaching me about my need to worship Him. In my quiet time, I have been experiencing Him in quietness as He has spoken with me through His Word. He has proven to be faithful which gives me hope. He has promised to be available which gives me confidence. 

 God is amazing. He is not bound by time. I feel like I can sit in His presence for hours and feel encouraged. God accepts and even demands my sacrifice. It is my privilege to sacrifice for God and I do this by spending time in prayer and communion with Him, serving the needs of our church and sending notes of encouragement to those individuals who God puts on my heart. 
 I love the story of the Wise Men and their individual worship of the baby Jesus. I hope that when I come to the end of my life that I will be in a constant state of worship of my God and Savior. 
 I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Blessing to every generation (Y, X, BB and Matures). Every generation is welcome and needed at New Life…please join in worship at 10:45am this Sunday.
 
Troy

New Life Sunday – Living at the core…

Earlier today I was planning for my sermon this Sunday entitled, “Living at the core – gauging our values” and I came across the picture below:

To me this picture clearly depicts what wemust value, unfortunately for me (and probably for you too) this is not always the case.

It seems that the voices of culture shout loudly and influence me greatly.

The marketers know that when it comes to my future planning, I want comfort and predictability. Everywhere my eyes glance there is a product promising to bring me pleasure, happiness and satisfaction and every time I fall for their promise, I am reminded that the aching in my heart cannot be satisfied by a product or service.

Here’s why…

God made me so that I will never be satisfied with anyone or anything besides Him. For example, my tank in my car will never be satisfied with water or juice or any substance besides unleaded gas and the tank in my soul will never be satisfied with any substance besides a meaningful relationship with God.

Sometimes our attempts to add more things to our life while hoping for satisfaction are just as foolish as addingmore water to a car hoping that eventually it will work.

We are going to take a break from the book of Revelation for the next 5 weeks. I realized it may be pretty tough to work through the trumpet judgments at the “most wonderful time of the year.”

In place of Revelation, we will begin a five week series called living at the core:

December 4 – “Living at the core—gauging our values”

December 11 – “Living at the core—gauging our worship”

December 18 – “Living at the core—gauging our community”

December 25 – “Living at the core—gauging our mission”

January 1 – “Living at the core—gauging our goals”

This Sundaywill be a special kick-off to this series that will include some additional time to hear some stories from a few who have discovered values that are much different and much better than those of our present culture.

I hope you can come along for the ride!

Troy