New Life Sunday – To grow or not to grow

We just finished a birthday party for Sophia who just turned 8 years old with her friends from school. I remember the day we drove into the hospital for her birth. Since she was going to be induced, we were able to plan. We woke up early in the morning, stopped by quick trip for a little coffee and breakfast and then it was on to the hospital. Leigh-Ann had made a plate of brownies for the nurses. We walked into the birthing center, Leigh-Ann handed the brownies to the charge nurse and asked for an epidural.
Within a few hours it was “game on.” She popped out, screamed and hasn’t looked back since. It is amazing to think about how fast the last 8 years have gone. Life seems to only move faster and faster.
It is a miracle to consider how Sophia can now ride a bike, kick a soccer ball and run like the wind. She has developed her own artsy, spunky personality and she has a tender heart for Jesus and people who are less fortunate.
She has certain traits that remind us of ourselves. This may tread into dangerous territory, but she has a tendency to speak her mind. I’ll let you guess what parent she gets that from :). When we hear good news about her behavior it makes us smile. As she continues to mature, we are able to have deeper conversations and share more in common.
Relating to our kids can provide a window through which we can see certain characteristics of what it must be like for God to relate to us. At the beginning of our relationship with God, we comprehend only the simplest concepts such as: we were made by God for a purpose, we have failed God and we need someone to save us from the holy wrath of God.
When we call out to Him for salvation by faith, our relationship begins. As we learn more about Him and grow in our faith that relationship develops.
This Sunday we wrap up our study of 1 Thessalonians with a practical challenge on growing in our relationship with God. It is a continuation from last week where we studied the relationship between church leadership and the congregation. This week we shift to study the relationship between Christians and God.
All this talk about relationships falls under the main theme for the book of discipleship. If you have time, you may enjoy reading through the whole book of 1 Thessalonians before Sunday. Its only 5 chapters and should take you less than 15 minutes.
I hope that each of us can learn more to help us as we grow in our relationship with God. Now I better help clean up or I’ll have another email topic for next week.


New Life Sunday – Come to Jesus

Last night, Leigh-Ann and I were discussing our plans for this evening. The strategy necessary to pull off an organized calendar has compounded in direct proportion to the size of our family.
For instance, tonight we have three events that overlap in time:
·         A soccer game from 5:30-6:30pm
·         Back to school night from 6:00-8:00pm
·         Worship with Covenant Chapel at New Life from 7:00-9:00pm
I tend to enjoy working through the conflicts and coming up with a plan. After analyzing the situation, I had what I considered to be a workable plan.
Go to the soccer game together and then Leigh-Ann go with the kids to back to school night while I go to the worship night. As soon as the words left my lips, I knew I should have thought a bit more…
One of Leigh-Ann’s many strengths is her lighting fast response time.
Without hesitation she said, “if you think you are going to go and worship and leave me with 5 kids to take to back to school night, you won’t have to worship Jesus because you’ll be meeting Him.”
Point taken!
This is a humorous example of how we have learned to work together throughout the past 13 years of marriage. Marriage is never easy, and neither is any deep relationship for that matter.
This Sunday we will study from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15. Paul is working through the relationship between the congregation and leadership within the church. There must be mutual effort and respect that is rooted in a life marked by spiritual growth.
I am confident that your spiritual growth will be challenged. In the meantime, I better send this out or I’ll miss the first thing on our schedule.
God Bless!

New Life Sunday – Adoption and the return of Jesus

Yesterday we officially adopted Isaiah John into the Campbell family. It was a pretty amazing experience  that we had anticipated for a year and a half.
As a family our emotions were a mix of relief, excitement and gratitude.
In a few weeks we will get a birth certificate in the mail. It will have his full name, “Isaiah John Campbell” and it will be dated back to his birth, October 9th, 2010. Similar to our salvation, it is almost like his life before officially becoming a Campbell is erased. 
From the beginning we anticipated that the adoption would happen. It still seemed a bit surreal to hear the Judge make a final decision that Leigh-Ann and I would be given full parental rights to Isaiah.
Knowing that this day was a real possibility we were careful to include Isaiah as a part of our family from the beginning. Here are a few things we have learned from the process:
·         Love the journey
·         Use the resources we have been given
·         Encourage unity as a family
This Sunday, we will be studying from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 about the return of Jesus. Like the adoption, we anticipate His coming. We could experience it today or it could be a long way off, however our anticipation of that day does provide a basis for our priorities in this life. We’ll talk more about that on Sunday. For now, I better go help with the kiddos…we have 5 now :).

Have a great day!
 P.S. I have attached a few pics…





New Life Sunday – Tape Delay

The Olympics have been a lot of fun so far. If I had to choose my favorite moment, it would be Michael Phelps winning the gold over Ryan Lochte last night.
I knew he was going to win…No, I really knew…
Not only has NBC been playing the big events on tape delay during prime time, we have been taping the taped events.
By the time Leigh-Ann and I sat down to speed through the Olympics, I knew from facebook (thanks Dave :)) that Phelps had won the gold.
You may argue with me here, but I think it was just as enjoyable to watch the competition even though I knew who was going to win.
Even as Lochte made a push at the end, I wasn’t worried…I knew Phelps had won.
The same thing happened with gymnastics. There was no sweating over the balance beam…I knew Gabby Douglas was going home with the gold.
I found that it was maybe even more fun to watch the event since I wasn’t worried about the potential failures of the athletes. I had the time to notice more details while sharing in the victories.
Imagine what it would be like if you could have a tape delay for life…
If you could be confident of your future, it would make it so much easier to survive the trials and relish the good times.
This Sunday we will study 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 where Paul is communicating a blessed hope to his close friends in Thessalonica. He establishes that as Christians our future is certain.
“We will always be with the Lord.”
This is a truth we are planning to celebrate on Sunday, I hope you can come.
In the meantime, GO USA!
Announcement: This Sunday we will be celebrating Baptism at 4:00pm at Lake Quivira. New Life will provide hot dogs and sausage and water. Please bring some chips, desert or soda to share. Directions will be available on Sunday.