New Life Sunday – Fatherhood….

 

I am so grateful to have been blessed with a great father. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, a lesson he taught me or a trait of his life that is embedded into my memory.
 
It would be impossible to even begin to estimate the positive value of all that my dad invested into my life. Unfortunately, when we look at culture today, it is way too easy to see the negative value of an absent father.
 
Sad stories of selfish men are far too common:

  • A man that had a secret apartment for his girlfriends for 35 years of his marriage
  • A father who has racked up $1,000’s in unpaid child support
  • A dad who is forgotten by his grown children, because they were forgotten by him while growing up
  • Men who lead with a loud mouth and don’t have the life to back it up

 As men, we need to step up our game and then encourage others to do the same.
 
Fatherhood is a high calling and it should not be assumed that a man merely living with his children makes him a successful father any more than showing up for work makes one a successful employee.
 
This morning, I was watching the kids ride their bikes in the back alley and was struck by the incredible responsibility that I have to be a loving teacher and godly example. There are simple things they need to know such as:
 

  • Don’t eat rocks
  • Standing on the frame of a bike can be dangerous
  • Leaving six bikes and a scooter in the alley and going inside is not a good idea

 There are other lessons that are not so simple to teach:

  • Integrity – There is unparalleled freedom in living above reproach
  • Selflessness – This is necessary for true love and valuable service
  • Discipline – Even when it’s tough we need the guts to keep on going
  • Sincere walk with God – Our family sees us when no one else does and they can see through a fake

This Sunday we continue our sermon series in Ephesians called “Better Together.” Our passage, (interestingly enough) is chapter 6:1-9. This is the place where Paul tells children to obey and honor their parents and where he tells Fathers to lovingly instruct their children.
 
I am very excited for the opportunity to celebrate fatherhood while at the same time giving some of us dads a kick in the pants…because we all need it sometimes.
 
So moms, if you are sick of having to nag your husband about being a good father, let me do it :). If you are single or don’t have children yet, then you really need to come. This is your time to learn how to prepare for the future. If you are an empty nester, then you have experience and should be honestly pouring into the younger generation.
 
I hope to see you tomorrow!
Troy

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New Life Sunday – House Rules…

 
 
  Recently the girls and me…and sometimes Leigh-Ann and the boys have been playing basketball in the driveway. I must admit that I am no “King James” but I have played my share of basketball through the years.
 
Since the girls are trying to learn the game, I have been teaching them some technique as well as some of the rules.
 
As far as technique goes its simple things such as:
·         Learn to dribble without looking at the ball
·         Shoot with one hand and use the other as a guide hand
·         Use your body to box out
·         Dribble with your fingertips and not the palms of your hands
 
There are also some rules such as:
·         Once you pick up your dribble you can’t dribble again without passing or shooting
·         You have to dribble…you can’t just run with the ball (unless you’re in the NBA :))
·         You can’t grab the shooters arm…or hang on to their waist for that matter
·         You can’t kick the ball
 
Finally, there are some “house rules” such as:
·         When shooting around, if you make the basket, you get the ball again…this is called your “change”
·         If we’re not in a game, you don’t play tight defense, you play it cool
·         Daddy doesn’t block his 8 and 11 year old girls shots…usually 🙂
·         No crying…even if daddy blocks your shot…just kidding
 
This Sunday is not only Game 2 of the NBA finals, it is also the day that we celebrate our faith in Jesus. At New Life we’ll be studying from Ephesians 5:22-33, which, similar to basketball includes some “house rules.”
 
These rules provide instruction for:
·         The church
·         Husbands
·         Wives
·         All believers
 
Not only is it going to be a great day for church at New Life and the NBA Finals, game 2, it is also Leigh-Ann’s birthday.
 
So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY babe, you’re the greatest!
 
Have a great weekend!
Troy

New Life Sunday – Roundup


I have a strange attraction to roundup weed killer.

Last night in between rain storms, I mowed the lawn and then killed the weeds.

I’m not sure how this works, but someone has led us to believe that grass looks good, but crabgrass, dandelions and broadleaf plants do not look good…especially in a mulch bed. Which is where they were growing.

That’s why I love roundup.

I have a one gallon pump sprayer full of roundup that is always ready for service. Give them a few sprays then just wait a few days…and when you look at the mulch, you will be full of praise.

Yeah!

There is one problem with having roundup so convenient…boys. Yes, the problem is we have a 2 1/2 and a 4 year old who love to help.

Last year, without me noticing, they grabbed my sidearm spray bottle and followed me around spraying the grass. They just wanted to help so bad. I had to admire their initiative, but  I also had to help steer it, so I changed out the roundup spray bottle for something a bit less toxic to grass.

After multiple fall and spring plantings we are finally back to having grass in most of the bare spots.

There is something we can learn from this story. This Sunday, we are going to study from Ephesians 5:1-21 about how to protect our relationships. In other words, there are some “relational chemicals” that can kill everything within reach.

The Apostle Paul tells us that “immorality” and “greed” and “foolish talking” are like chemicals that will kill any relationship. These sins are masked by the promise of instant gratification, but they will always kill.

There is much more to discuss, so I hope you can join us on Sunday at 10:45am.

Have a great weekend!
Troy