New Life Sunday – Pants in the toilet…

Today, one of Leigh-Ann’s Facebook status updates said, “We do NOT take off our pants and put them in the toilet!” = words said to a certain 16 mo old =). At least he didn’t flush….
 
Sometimes we have a tendency to make a life that was meant to be very simple become very difficult. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that sweat pants and toilet bowls don’t get along.
 
But he is only 16 months old…and that is why it is excusable for him, BUT NOT FOR ME!
 
Not that I have ever threatened to throw my pants in the toilet. I am pretty sure the status would have been missing a smiley face if Leigh-Ann had to tell me not to put my sweat pants in the toilet.
 
=)
 
But I have made my share of dumb choices. The point is that as I mature, I should be making less uninformed and foolish choices.
 
This Sunday, I hope you can join in our study of Revelation 16. The entire chapter is a rendition of the seven bowl judgments.
 
These do not paint a pretty picture of our future; however, they do give us hope because after we accept the fact that God will bring perfect justice to this earth, life becomes much simpler.
 
In fact, life is easy when we give control to God. He has ordered our path and will direct our steps. So when the path becomes confusing, we might as well slow down and get closer to Him.
 
As a bonus tip for the day, I have also learned that life around the house becomes much easier when I take advice from someone who knows more as well. A little 16 month old may want to take some notes…
 
I hope you have a great weekend!
Troy

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New Life Sunday – “Beat the Parents”

This past week we celebrated Valentine’s Day on Monday since it was my day off and also the kids had a snow day (If you can call it that…I am from Minnesota…enough said…desperate for a snow day).
 
The girls picked out my gift…it is a game called, “Beat the Parents.”
 
It’s a pretty simple game of trivia with kid level questions for the kids and adult level questions for the adults.
 
Sample of Actual Kids Question: “What is the date for Valentine’s day?”
 
Sample of Actual Adult Question: “Who owns the record label “Sick wid it records?” (who cares?) =)
 
Ok, I may have chosen one of the easier questions for the kids and one of the more difficult questions for the adults, but it felt a bit out of proportion.
 
Now I may still be experiencing these feelings of injustice because we have played the game 2x and the kids have won both games. If I had a quarter for the many times that Leigh-Ann and I made our point to the girls that “this game is just not fair”, I could probably buy dinner at McDonalds tonight.
 
The truth is, we didn’t “let the kids win” and we were pretty good losers (we didn’t spit on our hands when we shook with them at the end), but we still complained that the game was unfair.
 
To complain of injustice is human to correct injustice is divine!
 
This Sunday, we continue from the end of Revelation 14 through Revelation 15. I believe that the Apostle John is calling for us to pause long enough to recognize the sovereignty of God and trust His plan enough to simply obey.
 
When we complain about the injustices in this life we are taking potshots at God’s character that promises justice. When we attempt to manufacture our own justice by getting even we are willingly rejecting His promises for perfect justice in the future.
 
I hope you can spend a few minutes reading from Revelation 12-15 in preparation for the sermon this Sunday…who knows maybe I’ll have some trivia questions from it.
 
Enjoy the spring weather!
Troy

New Life Sunday – Rejected Card….

Yesterday, I was meeting a few friends and made an attempt to use my credit card to pay for coffee. The first time my card was swiped it came back with an error message, so the barista swiped it again. Then she called for a manager who swiped it 2x and then asked if I had another card.
 
I pulled out a debit card, but totally didn’t believe the guy that my card was at fault. I just knew it was the machine…
 
The debit card worked…I hate being wrong!
 
We chatted a bit about it and then I forgot about the incident. Later in the day, I received a call from Leigh-Ann who was picking up a few things at Wal-Mart. She asked if I knew why the credit card was rejected.
 
“AHHHH…(forced smile and gritting teeth) it was rejected earlier and I meant to call, I just got too busy,” I replied.
 
So I called customer service and was immediately routed to the fraud department.
 
A friendly voice verified me and then asked, “Did you charge $1.25 at a type of vending machine yesterday…it looks like it was a portable reader on an air compressor?”
 
Then I remembered that the day before I had to put some air in my tires and could not find a Quick Trip (my favorite gas station in the world) so I stopped at a gas station and had to pay $1.25 for air and it even accepted credit cards which was great since I didn’t have enough change.
 
The friendly voice shared that my card was immediately flagged for fraud because often when a card is stolen it will be tested at a vending machine before attempting a bigger heist. In addition, the company was out of Pennsylvania and I typically do not make charges in Pennsylvania.
 
After satisfying her security confirmation questions, she re-activated my card and it worked.
 
There are a few things to learn from our credit card dilemma:
·         If I ever steal a credit card, I should use a vending machine to test it …just kidding =).
·         People I have never met are observing my spending habits and making decisions for me based on those habits
·         When I have a problem, I need to pause and deal with the problem and not forget about the problem
·         Always go to Quick Trip
 
This Sunday, we are going to continue into Revelation 14. This is a section of the book that provides helpful encouragement. The Big Idea is that as believers, we can push pause and accept encouragement from our future.
 
Simply stated, we need to take a timeout…push pause…step out of the rat race…you get the idea.
 
When we push pause, we will have time to consider our future (which, if we are Christians is pretty amazing) and we will be encouraged.
 
Encouragement seems to be in demand…so come on out Sunday.
 
Troy
 

New Life Sunday – Seriously???

A few nights ago, Leigh-Ann and I were heading up to bed and we made a stop in Dallas’s bedroom. He was asleep and like all sleeping children looked perfectly innocent.
 
He started to stir…and then he started to talk…
 
We looked at each other and couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say from his subconscious.
 
He was saying something, but we couldn’t figure out what…
 
He would say a word or two and then roll over…then another word…a facial expression…a word….a rollover….etc.
 
We couldn’t help but chuckle as we watched him…
 
As I reflect on Dallas’s dreaming, I must admit that we didn’t take him seriously. Anything that came out of his mouth wouldn’t really matter, because he was sleeping.
 
So, what would need to happen for us to take him seriously?
 
Well, it probably would depend on the day…however for starters I would say:
 
-he would need to be awake
-he would need to be speaking to us
-we would need to know he was not in his 2 year old imaginary world
 
This Sunday we are going to study Revelation 12 and 13…we are going to look at the powerful forces of Satan…and we are going to reflect on whether or not we really take him seriously.
 
Unfortunately, sometimes I think we view the powers of Satan like Leigh-Ann and I view Dallas while he is sleeping….we just don’t take him seriously.
 
The challenge this Sunday is for us to:
 
Seriously engage our Kingdom values with our earthly battle!
 
I hope you can be a part of this challenge!
 
God Bless!
Troy