New Life Sunday – Hunger Pains…

Hunger is universal…it may vary in intensity and frequency, but ANYONE and EVERYONE who is alive experiences hunger.
 
If you are like me, you are probably hungry right now…
 
I would have to say there are several classifications of hunger:
·         Munchies – You just want to chew and taste, but nothing major
·         Jitters – You drank too much coffee without eating enough food
·         Dull pain – You are on the clock…the longer you wait the worse it gets
·         Starving  – You feel like you are ready to pass out, the dull pain has become consuming and you make an extreme statement like…“I’m gonna die” or …
“I could eat …(the first object that randomly comes to mind)!”
 
If you were a baby, you would cry…if you were a kid you would whine…if you were a teen you would begin talking and not stop until someone stuffs some food in your mouth…“I am like…so…like…hungry…like …I just need to eat something…like…”
 
As adults, we can be a bit more discreet. We may not say as much, but our mind becomes totally preoccupied with the fact that we are hungry.
 
Yesterday, I had one of those hunger attacks. It was well after 1:30pm and I went through each of the above stages and had been in the “Starving stage” for more than an hour.
 
Every thought started with food and ended in hunger…
 
I was on a mission to eat…it would be safe to say that I was passionate for food. I am guessing you can relate?
 
For a moment, focus in on that passion…now…consider what it would be like if you had a passion for Scripture that was comparable to your passion to eat.
 
This Sunday we will cover core value #3 for New Life: Passion for Scripture – Read it, memorize it, talk about it. Our Scriptures will be: Psalm 119:9-16, Luke 17:1-13 and 2 Peter 1:16-21.
 
The big idea for the day is that our passion for Scripture is in proportion to our faith.
 
I hope you can come!
Troy
Announcement: Please consider registering for “Financial Peace University” that will be held at New Life starting February 6, 2013. For more info and to register you can click here:http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/locations/org/36769/class/222782/atid/l_ln

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New Life Sunday — Football or a nap…

This afternoon I have been working from home for a few hours so Leigh-Ann can go to a meeting. Since the girls are at school, it is officially a house full of boys…4 to be exact.
 
We ate lunch together and then the boys were supposed to go down for a nap so I could send out this email :).
 
They did great eating and cleaning up their toy…so then it was time for their nap.
 
Out of nowhere, Dallas spoke up, “I know daddy, how ’bout we watch football together?”
 
That’s my boy!
 
Isaiah was totally supporting his brothers idea that it would be much better to spend the afternoon watching football than taking a nap.
 
Unfortunately for them, there is no football on TV this afternoon and I’m pretty sure a nap is better than Judge Judy or Dr. Phil.
 
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Dallas has inherited my creative mind when it comes to getting out of naps and the sort. He has also inherited my ability to redirect.
 
We spend a lot of time with and around our kids. As a result, our kids end up communicating a lot about us as parents and as people.
 
This can be good….and bad.
 
This Sunday, we will study from Matthew 5:1-20 about Core Value #2 for New Life: Discipled and Discipling.
 
God has called us to be spiritual parents. We must bear fruit…but we can’t stop there. We must invest in our fruit on their path to spiritual maturity.
 
Throughout the Bible, discipleship is compared to spiritual parenting. So, how is your family of disciples…if you don’t have one, maybe its time to start.
 
I hope you have a great day!
Troy

Discipleship 101

Hey everyone…today I came across a good article on discipleship by Robert Delnay and wanted to share an excerpt with you…

From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He began calling disciples to follow Him (Matthew 4:18-22), and He seems to have taken them along on His preaching tours right away. John 4:2 implies that from the beginning of those tours Jesus had His disciples do the baptizing. Not long afterward Jesus spent a night in prayer and then called the twelve (Luke 6:12-16). Then some weeks or months later He sent them out to do what He had been doing (Matthew 9:35-10:42).
Note the order in which He did it:

  1. He preached and healed, permitting them to watch His ministry (9:35).
  2. He let them perceive the compassion that He felt toward the crowds (9:36).
  3. He commanded them to pray earnestly for workers (9:38).
  4. He gave them authority to cast out demons and to heal (10:1).
  5. He gave them a whole chapter of specific instruction and encouragements.
  6. He sent them out to serve.

Now, how do you follow that same pattern?
First, get some disciples and take them along to watch your ministry.

Second, find ways to convey to them your honest concern for people.

Third, remind them of the believer’s authority over the powers of darkness (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9).

Fourth, after giving your disciples a chance to watch you at work, you should instruct them as to what their service involves.

Finally, send them out to do the sort of ministry they watched you do.

How much should you monitor their work? Jesus seems not to have critiqued their preaching or healing, nor did He ever have them do any practice preaching; from the beginning their service was in real life situations. From the beginning He expected actual service.

We do well to follow the same pattern of reality service. In training our disciples, at no point are we to have them play parts, fill roles, or put on performances.

Some months later Jesus’ disciples were ready for more. After watching Him pray, one of them asked Him to teach them to pray (Luke 11: 1). Not how to pray; it is unlikely he had forgotten Matthew 6. He was now asking Him how to go on praying, how to spend time in prayer.

So how do we handle phase two? We follow Jesus’ example by first reviewing what He had already taught them, the pattern of the so-called Lord’s Prayer. Next we explain the principle of importunity, that if by returning again and again we can get answers from another person, how much more God the Father is going to respond to our continued coming.

Jesus’ last instructions turned out to be the disciples’ final exam on prayer. After the Last Supper He led them to the Garden of Gethsemane. There, with events impending that they could not imagine, He commanded that while He prayed they should stay awake and pray. Jesus then agonized in prayer, and the eleven went off to sleep. Jesus woke Peter and asked if he did not have the strength to pray for an hour. What could he answer? Then Jesus gave them a startling command—that if necessary, they should pray standing up, lest they enter into temptation (Luke 22:46).

Sadly, they all failed the final examination.

If we can teach the urgency and the sweetness of vital prayer, we will bring blessing on our disciples’ lives and ministries. If we fail to teach that urgency, we will convey the alternate message, that contact with God is not particularly important, and service in the flesh is a live option.

But Jesus demanded that His disciples pray.

Praying for you and your disicples!!!

New Life Sunday – Court…

A few days ago we had court for our foster child who is the brother of our adopted son Isaiah.
 
Court is not fun!
 
It seems to dredge up painful memories and provide for painfully awkward situations.
 
Like…being  crammed in a waiting room in very close proximity to the birth parents. The parents who have lost custody of their kids for failing to provide a safe environment for children. They…are holding our foster child, tending to his needs (if that’s what you call it) and usually speaking loudly enough to the baby so that we can hear them…AWKWARD!!!
 
The waiting room is packed with a sea of humanity…somewhat reminiscent of the last time you stood in line at Worlds of Fun in 100+ degree heat, with people you have never met spending way too much time in your personal space, dripping sweat and talking about things that would make you blush if it wasn’t so hot already.
 
Back to the waiting room at court…there is a moment when someone steps out of the courtroom and calls the next case…everyone stops to listen for their name…and if it is a typical day, this happens many times before our hearing is called into session.
 
Once inside the courtroom, the environment changes dramatically…especially once the judge enters. Out of respect, everyone is asked to “rise.” The case is read, attorneys talk, witnesses answer questions and a verdict is given.
 
Court provides a clear parallel to our topic for this Sunday in our series about the core values for New Life. We will study from 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 and our core value this week is: “Gospel Transformation–Recognition of my separation from God, acceptance of God’s grace and willingness to share.”
 
Our personal experience with the Gospel begins with a verdict from God’s courtroom. Even though we have failed God miserably, and deserve His justice for our sin…God has acted independent of us by providing His only Son Jesus as a sacrifice to fulfill the just requirements of His perfect law.
 
In a nutshell, we are guilty, Jesus has provided a covering for our sin, God as our Perfectly Just Judge willingly accepts the sacrifice made by Jesus on our behalf when we ask for it by faith with a humble, repentant heart.
 
In the language of the courtroom, God takes the evidence into account along with the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins and then pronounces us JUSTIFIED.
 
Not because of anything we have accomplished, but because of the sacrifice of Jesus.
 
The beauty is that the greater our awareness of our status before Christ, the greater our appreciation for His sacrifice.
 
God’s court still may not be fun, but it is a lifesaver…and this Sunday we are going to talk in detail about this New Life core value of “Gospel Transformation.”
 
Because HE lives!
Troy

New Life Sunday – The mission for football…and life

 

The other day Leigh-Ann and I had a little discussion…
 
L – “I don’t want the boys to play football.”
 
T – “Why not?
 
L – “It’s too dangerous.
 
T – “Nuh uh (this is what all men say when they don’t have any strong points to argue) technology is making it safer.”
 
L – “Um no…and I don’t want them getting concussions…or breaking their arms and legs…or dying :).
 
T – “Well, me neither, but I think by the time they are old enough to play, the pads will be much better.
 
At that point I knew it was best to change the subject. There is no way I can win that argument. I just hope that the boys can enjoy the sport of football without any of us getting hurt :).
 
Since football has been taking up a majority of headlines, I thought I would use it to introduce my sermon for Sunday. This week we will be studying from 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6 about our mission in life and our mission for New Life. It is the beginning of a series where we will look closely at the mission statement and core values for our church.
 
When it comes to football, the mission is very simple…win. That happens when you score more points than your opponent.
 
When a team struggles to win, eventually the blame falls on the coach and the GM. In the case of the Chiefs…they both lost their jobs….and…I hear Mr. Hunt has just hired Andy Ried as our new coach.
 
Countless hours will be spent evaluating this season by countless people who have absolutely no influence in the Chiefs organization. It seems like everyone knows what the Chiefs need to do to fulfill their mission…but I wonder how many of the “great evaluators” know what to do to fulfill their own mission in life?
 
Maybe it’s time for us to spend as much time evaluating those things in our own life that we can influence!
 
When it comes to our mission:

  • It must be clear
  • We must be committed

Finding clarity and making a commitment is a great way to begin 2013!
 
Go Chiefs (and Vikings-I’ll be wearing purple on Sunday if they can beat the Packers :)),
Troy
 
Announcement: New Life will be hosting Dave Ramsey’s, “Financial Peace University” starting in February. If you would like to register you can follow this link:  http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/locations/org/36769/class/222782/atid/m_mi.

2013, Bible reading and discipleship

 
 
  Happy New Years Eve!!!
 
This is your last day to prepare your New Year’s resolutions…..or….dissolutions if you heard Fred during Brag on God yesterday.
 
2013
 
 Even without a Mayan Calendar for guidance, I am expecting this to be an incredible year for the New Life family. God has been opening up opportunities for us to partner with other churches and ministries in the KC area. We have started planning for some missions trips, several individuals have stepped up their commitment to local ministry and from my perspective, the excitement is getting contagious.
Bible Reading
I suggest you take some time this evening or tomorrow to choose a Bible reading plan for this next year. If you need some suggestions try these:

New Plans Just Added:
  • NIV Once-A-Day With six new devotionals, make the Bible a daily habit as you read short devotionals that fit into the pace of life. From Zondervan. various lengths
  • Made to Crave: 21 Day Challenge Bridge the gap between your desire to live a healthy lifestyle and the spiritual strength you need for lasting change. >From Lysa TerKeurst. 21 days
  • God’s Glory and Your Purpose: Devotions with John Piper In this five-day video devotional, John Piper explains what the Bible teaches about the glory of God, and how it impacts our daily lives. From Desiring God. 5 days
Tried and True Plans:
  • The One Year® Bible The most popular plan on YouVersion, experience the joy of reading the entire Bible with as little as 15 minutes of reading each day. From Tyndale. 1 year
  • The Essential 100 A favorite around the world, the E100 guides you through 50 Old Testament and 50 New Testament passages, helping you see the big picture of God’s Word. From Scripture Union. 100 days
  • Soul Detox Use this plan to identify what’s been chipping away at your soul, and to cleanse your spirit, as you step into the person God created you to be. From LifeChurch.tv. 35 days
Browse all plans…

Discipleship
I believe God is calling us to become more serious about personal discipleship. I am praying for 64 New Lifers who will make the commitment to pray for God to give us one disciple in 2013. So far we have 54 who have committed which leaves us with 10 more opportunities to commit.
 
The leadership at New Life is committed to providing the necessary support and accountability to for you to see a goal for personal discipleship become a reality. If you are willing to add your name to the list, please reply and include your cell phone carrier and # as we will be using text messages a one of our methods for communication.
 
I am praying for each of us to experience God’s best this next year!
Troy