New Life Sunday — Defining moments…

This past week I was able to attend a conference in NY called “Movement Day” ( I could talk a lot about the trip but will sum it up like this:
·         Great people
·         Priceless memories
·         Fabulous food
·         Defining moments
·         Breathtaking sights
I am going to spend the rest of this email on defining moments. This one is easy….
Ground Zero
Every time I saw a police officer or a fireman/woman I wondered if they were on sight. We saw a church that was covered in debris as a result of the fallout, we saw the only tree left over from the rubble, we experienced the waterfalls into the empty spaces that once held foundations for the Twin Towers…it was sobering and amazing at the same time.
On September 11, 2001, no one could have imagined the events that were about to unfold. And then it happened…
I will never forget where I was at the moment I heard the news…I will never forget the rest of that day, eyes glued to the TV, wondering what was next.
Defining moments as big as 9/11 seldom happen more than once in a lifetime…but defining moments happen all the time.
You probably had one today and you could certainly have one tomorrow. It is impossible to imagine the people that God will place in our lives and the memories they will carry from that placement.
On the trip home I was given the privilege of reading a tribute to a friend’s father. As I reflected on my own dad, I have so many “tribute worthy” memories, however interestingly enough, the first thought to pop into my mind was of the times when my dad would play catch with me on Sunday afternoons in the front yard.
Memories are a phenomena…its impossible to predict what will stick with us and what will define those we remember.
This Sunday we continue our series in Daniel entitled, “living in two worlds.” We will look closely at the first dream of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel’s defining moment as a result found in Daniel 2:1-23. This may have seemed like a tragedy, but it was planned by God.
You and I may never interpret a dream for a raging world emperor, but we will have moments that define us. It only makes sense for us to make the most of them. I hope you can join in the worship and study this Sunday, because, who knows, it may provide you with a defining moment.
Have a great day!


New Life Sunday – Sirens and Sovereignty…

On Wednesday, Leigh-Ann posted the following status on her facebook page (

I had someone ask me if I liked staying home with my kiddos or if I was “bored from the monotony?”

Well, this morning, I got the girls off to school, then was feeding the boys breakfast. Since the baby was quiet, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to shower- in peace- alone, with no one playing with my feet or pounding on the shower door. Just as I got all shampooed, the house alarm went off!

I jumped out, grabbed a towel and ran down to find Dallas and Isaiah with the hand-held alarm remote (I assumed that they’d pushed PANIC). I ran down to the alarm, turned it off and consoled my boys- who were now laughing/crying (our alarm is insanely loud lol).

Well, I grabbed their toast and sippy cups, and brought the 3 of them upstairs with me.

Finished my shower and hopped out to hear our dog growling her warning growl/bark. I opened my bedroom door, which I had closed to keep the natives in ;)… Then Zoe went running like a mad-woman down the stairs barking her stranger in the house bark.

Well, I had this brief “Oh my word- what if they didn’t hit any button but someone had actually tried to come in?!” thought. Shirked it aside to throw some clothes on, and looked out our upstairs balcony.

Ummmmm- the police were there- walking around our house, looking in the windows- they were checking to see if we were okay (hence Zoe’s stranger bark).

SOOOO embarrassing!!! But, good to know that the police respond very quickly to our house alarm code! They were so nice and said they were just glad we were all okay!

So me? Bored? Who needs caffeine when you have 3 boys ages 3 and under to start your morning off with a bang- or should I say sirens?

I loved the post, because its pretty stinkin funny and it is another reminder that life repeatedly presents us with uncertainty.

Daniel knew all about uncertainty…he also knew about temptations to compromise and choosing to live without regret.

This Sunday at New Life we will continue a study of the book of Daniel.  We will cover Daniel 1:8-21. This book takes place in Babylon (present day Iraq) which had a culture that was similar to our own today. Over a period of 75+ years Daniel leaves us a legacy of courage and faith.

The point is, no matter what happens on any given day…if the sirens are blaring or an invasion has happened…God is in control and He want us to pursue His glory and not just His favor.

So stay away from the panic button and read through Daniel 1 if you have a few minutes.

See you Sunday!

New Life Sunday – “stomach bottoming out effect”…

  I never like driving into the unknown at 35 MPH…
A few days ago,  some road workers dug a trench on the road that I take from home to church. At first, it was about a 3 inch lip, but a few days ago they covered the trench with a heavy steel plate.
Earlier today, I was driving from home to the church office and was travelling about 35MPH (which is the speed limit in case you were wondering/judging :)), and didn’t notice  that steel plate until I was probably 50 feet away.
At that distance/speed I would have to slam on my brakes and take it very slow or I could just continue on at 35MPH. In the past I have tried both methods of crossing a bump in the road and at times it is just as easy to keep going fast and sort of fly over….
This time, I decided to keep moving at 35MPH and something interesting happened just before my tires made contact with the steel plate….
My stomach bottomed out…
Within milliseconds, I had visions of blowing out a tire…and the fear of the unknown at 35MPH was somewhat overwhelming. If I am the only person that experiences the random “stomach bottoming out effect” I will feel a bit awkward by Sunday…so hopefully someone out there can relate…hello…anyone???
My less than professional opinion on the “sbo effect” is that for a moment, I realized that I was out of control in the situation. At the instant before my tires connected with the steel plate, there was nothing I could do to change what was going to happen.
50 Feet back, I had time to slow down….but at the point of contact…it was all out of my control.
Life can be like this…there are moments when we can feel like we are hurling down the road out of control…we will be tempted to worry about what could happen…even if we have no control. It may seem like God has left us in the middle of a chaotic world.
God’s sovereignty is the topic for this Sunday…which is BACK TO CHURCH SUNDAY by the way so make sure you at least make an attempt to invite someone to join you. We will begin a series in the book of Daniel.
There is so much HOPE in Daniel because weaved throughout the entire book we will find the sovereignty of God. The plan for this week is to study some of the historical context and then work through the first 7 verses. The title for this week is “Finding clarity in chaos.”
I really hope you can come…and watch out for road work!

New Life Sunday – Stray dogs…

We have a pack of dogs that live in the woods across the highway from our house. Typically they stay pretty close to the cover of the trees, but from time to time we see them venture out of their hiding place.
I am pretty apathetic to the whole situation, but Leigh-Ann and the girls seem to get all hyped up when we see them. This is how the conversation usually unfolds as we drive nearby…
“I wonder if the dogs will be out today?”
Silence as everyone stares out the van window…
If we see them, “Oh look, there they are…they must be thirsty…we should get them something to eat…poor things…I bet they are so hot…can we stop…we need to help them.”
By now they are in the rear view and I do my best to change the subject so we don’t spend the rest of the evening bringing food and water to stray dogs.
There is a marked difference in our reactions when we see the dogs. Leigh-Ann immediately helps and wants to adopt all of them. I am typically unmoved and then my thoughts quickly transition to visions of a house full of rescued animals (and children :)).
I did have one shining moment this past summer. I was on the phone with Leigh-Ann and she mentioned that she was going to go bring some water to those dogs. I knew that she had had a particularly tough day and figured that it would be much better for me to do it. So when I walked in the door a few minutes later, I offered to bring some water to the dogs.
After nearly having a heart attack she agreed to let me go. “Be careful…just set the bucket on the sidewalk…make sure you talk to them…if they come up to you pet them…”
To be completely honest, the reason I brought the dogs water was so that I could be a hero to Leigh-Ann. I do have some compassion for animals in my heart….somewhere :)…but I really wanted to help the dogs because I cared about Leigh-Ann.
This Sunday we will be focusing on the concept of mission that is empowered by the Gospel. We will look at the story of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10:25-37 (you should review it if you have a few minutes).
In the end, I believe we will discover that the reason we are called to help people is much bigger than the needs that they evidence. We help people because we care about God.
In the end, it didn’t matter that the dogs didn’t come bounding out of the woods to lick me with gratitude, because I was doing it for Leigh-Ann and she was happy. I think the same can be said for the times when we serve with no immediate return of gratitude from those we help.
It’s all about pleasing God!

I hope you can come Sunday for more on that….
Have a great weekend!

New Life Sunday – Strategy

1 + 12 + 3 = Billions
1 = Jesus
12 = Disciples
3 = Years
Jesus spent the bulk of his ministry with twelve men who were diverse in personality and passion, yet they were focused on the Gospel.  There were times when thousands showed up for the food and a sermon on the mount. Ultimately though, it was just a few that made the difference for Christianity.
New Life is committed to building into people who are serious about making a difference for Christianity.
Question: So, why develop people?
Answer: God uses people to fulfill His sovereign objectives.
·         When you excel in your career you have an increased platform to share Jesus
·         When you succeed in your marriage you most accurately reflect the love of Christ for His church
·         When you raise children that know, love and serve God you leave a legacy
·         When you are faithful with your talents and resources your impact is exponential
As a leadership team at New Life we are passionate about your personal success in this life as defined by God. We want you to know who God has made you to be and what He has made you to do.
Question: What does my personal growth need to include?
·         Autonomy – God made individuals. He has equipped us with talents and resources that each of us must personally realize and utilize.
·         Mastery – God made everything “very good.” He expects us to set the pace for those around us in the quality and efficiency of our work.
·         Purpose – God created and crafted you with a goal in mind. You have purpose and will be fulfilled when you live out your purpose.
This Sunday, I will be sharing a sermon from Galatians 6:1-10 on the topic of integration. When individuals know and live out their God-given passion for a God-sized purpose, momentum builds and things happen.
We understand that it will take more than a sermon, so we have prepared the following strategy for the months to come. If you are serious about joining together with a bunch of other AWESOME New Lifers….you are welcome!
The Strategy:
September 8th, 8:00-9:30am (Make Up: September 12, 7:30-8:30pm)
Understand your personality: DISC Personality profile assessment, coaching and application
October 13th, 8:00-9:30am (Make Up: October 17, 7:30-8:30pm)
Discover your passion: Individual passion assessment and workshop
November 10th, 8:00-9:30am (Make Up: October 14, 7:30-8:30pm)
Communicate your gifting: Learn how to express your God-given gifts within the body of Christ
December 8th, 8:00-9:30am (Make Up: December 12, 7:30-8:30pm)
Matching your passion to your ministry: Learn how you can join your fellow New Lifers on a God-given platform for service
It’s going to be a great time!