New Life Sunday…reflections from a broken mirror

Today the tables were turned…maybe for the first time in my life. I had just met my parents for lunch with the kids and was back at my desk working on the sermon for Sunday, when my dad called and said, “You wouldn’t believe what I did…when I was backing out of the parking space at Crown Center, I hit the pole and broke the mirror on your van.”
Dad was calling to locate a phone book so he could find someone to call to fix the broken mirror.
I immediately took a trip down memory lane and was reminded of several of my own mishaps:

  • The time as a teenager when I was driving the car up on to the oil ramps a bit faster than I should have and drove over the edge
  • The time several years ago when I had a new truck and was backing out of the garage and hit the mirror on the way out breaking it (and a little bit of my heart)
  • Cutting a bit sharp with my car heading into the garage and scraping paint with my bumper

 So the fact that dad has finally given me an opportunity to show some grace is actually quite exciting.
While growing up, I had my share of mishaps with cars, go-carts and lawnmowers and every time I can remember, my dad took my accidents in stride. We just began working on ways to fix the damage.
I have learned many things from my dad and not the least is that it’s really never worth getting upset over broken things. It’s much better to spend my energy on the next step necessary to fix what has been broken.
The good news is that I called a friend in the auto parts business and he has already ordered the part.
Even more good news is that this relates to the topic for the sermon this Sunday. We will be studying from Luke 11:1-13 about prayer to our Father in Heaven. I love that Jesus has experienced every temptation that we have and so He understands our feelings when things are difficult. God knows what it’s like to lose something valuable, He gave up His own Son. And since the Holy Spirit indwells believers, we can be confident that He is not surprised when we become speechless in our prayers, He simply steps in on our behalf and prays with groanings to deep for words.
In addition, since I have experienced grace and forgiveness, it is my privilege to dish out grace and forgiveness when given the opportunity.
 ALSO, this Sunday we will be getting a report from the “My City Matters” team of all that has happened this past week on the missions trip to the city. If you would like to check it out beforehand, you can go to: or
Have a blessed day!

Announcement: There is a woman who has attended our church that has two sons and is in need of furnishings for an apartment. At this point she has nothing, so anything would help. Please reply if you have some furnishings that you would be willing to donate.


New Life Sunday — potty training…


Isaiah is getting potty trained.
This is good news and bad news, but mostly good news.
I’ll start with the good news:

  • We’ll save money on diapers
  • #2 (figure it out) 🙂
  • He gets to go on the camping trip
  • He’s growing up

Now the bad news:

  • He’s growing up
  • Road trips take longer because we have to stop to go potty
  • There is a stool in front of the toilet (not a big deal until its 3:00am and you trip over it-lol)

Last night, I was out of town, but Leigh-Ann said that he got up multiple times throughout the night and came into her room because he wanted to go on the camp out and we told him that if he wants to go with daddy on the camp out, he has to be potty trained.
For the past few weeks on his good days, he has been pretty concerned with making sure he makes it to the potty. This means he is pretty worried about it…and when it comes to potty training, that’s a good thing.
Other than potty training though, worry is not a good thing.
When we experience high levels of worry, we typically have low levels of faith. In addition, when our desire for control is very high, our anxiety is typically proportionate. The good news is that when our dependence on God is high, our anxiety is low.
To sum up:

  • Low faith = high anxiety
  • High control = high anxiety
  • High dependence on God = low anxiety

I know this seems so simple…but far too often it is very difficult to apply. This Sunday we are going to look at our 2nd in the series of the unapplied teachings of Jesus., “Don’t worry!”
I hope you can come!

Announcement: Men’s breakfast tomorrow at 8:00am at First Watch: 409 Armour RD
North Kansas City, MO. Feel free to just show up…you will not regret 


New Life Sunday – Keep away…

Last night I took the kids to the pool for a short while before it closed at 8:00pm. The sun had begun setting and so the temperature was cooling down. FYI…I am not a big fan of shivering. It took a little bit, but after the kids coaxed me into it, I took the plunge and went underwater.

Pretty soon we were all playing keep away…boys against girls. Which is actually pretty fair, because I am bigger than the two girls and they are bigger than Dallas…Isaiah likes to be around the action but has a hard enough time balancing on his floaties so he doesn’t get real involved and Ian is usually trying to find ways to drink the water and could care less about keep-away.

We went back and forth for a while…and just so you know, I am not beyond dunking the girls if it means that the boys will win the ball back.

There was one time that Alexa was just inches from the ball and I was behind her. I grabbed her just before she was able to get to the ball and moved her out of the way (nicely :)) to get it for the boys.

It was all in fun and I will admit….overall the girls beat us, but not without a battle :).

As I consider the fun we had last night at the pool, there is a part of it that relates exactly to the sermon series that I begin on Sunday, “The Unapplied Teachings of Jesus–Love your enemies.”

The Jews actually had begun to popularize the idea that it was righteous to hate your enemies. The nuance of the word usually translated ‘hate’ is ignore, reject, treat as though they do not exist, and did not typically include vindictiveness.  For the Jews, an enemy was anyone who intercepted or was hostile toward their purpose.

So in essence to hate your enemies was to ignore or reject anyone who posed a threat to your agenda.

There are many examples of people who “get in the way” of our agenda’s and in the first century it was ok to ignore and reject those people because the agenda was the priority.

Jesus changed all of that when he said to “love our enemies.” Among many other applications this means that we are called to prioritize people over our agenda’s even when those people threaten our nice tidy plans.

I still can’t get myself to apply this principle during a friendly game of “keep away” but I am ready to make this teaching a part of my Christian life.

I hope you can come on Sunday to hear more about “loving our enemies.” And afterwards we are having a church picnic, so maybe we can enjoy a fun game of keep away there…

Have a great evening!

New Life Sunday – Culture check…

I hope you have had a blessed week celebrating Independence day with family and friends. In spite of many disappointments with the current state of our country, I am still very blessed to call myself an “American.”
 In light of this, a Gallup poll came out yesterday that stated that “71% of Americans think the signers of the Declaration of Independence would not be happy with America today–down from a high of 54 percent who said they would be pleased in 2001.”
The poll also revealed that 237 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, 85% of Americans say they are “extremely” or “very proud” to be an American.
This past week I was blessed and cursed to be able to fly out to New York. The blessing was pretty much the entire trip…which included a tour of the 9/11 Memorial and a beautiful view of Ellis Island and Lady Liberty from the Brooklyn Bridge.
The curse was the airline. Specifically the flight home…or lack thereof.
Long story short, the flight was cancelled because there wasn’t a pilot. However, the height of my frustration was the next morning at an extremely busy airport. I was working through a transfer to a different airport with a customer service agent who chased down her manager for help.
I could tell from the conversation that he was less than helpful. The airline agent then asked a co-worker who was busy with another customer while her manager continued to walk circles around the growing crowd.
As the agents chatted, one asked the other what the deal was with “Dan” (the manager). She replied, “Dan is being Dan.”
It was there, that I knew there was a problem with the culture of the airline.
The culture of an organization greatly influences its future.
The culture of America has shifted away from what a majority of Americans think the founding fathers intended.
The culture of the airline I flew seems to have shifted away from what shareholders have intended.
This brings me to a question, “is the culture of our church what God has intended?”
This Sunday, we close up our study of the book of Ephesians. We will look at an overview of the entire book and then focus in on the final words of Paul at the end of chapter six.
If we are learning from and living out the Gospel, then our culture will be right on track…if not…we better evaluate.

New Life Sunday – New York

Thursday morning, Tim McMahon and I flew out to New York for a Cru Inner City conference.
You couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere to learn and better mentors to teach us more about serving in an urban setting.
It has been AWESOME!
It would be impossible to adequately communicate all that we have been learning, however this morning I started taking notes and even tweeting some of them (@trcampbell), so here they are:
God doesn’t care how high you jump on Sunday, He cares how straight you walk all week-behave like you believe! #James1:26
It is normative for Christ-followers to care for the poor. #Luke19:8
Who are you? Where are you going? Why are you doing what you’re doing?
God puts people in every church who encourage people to give ‘just a little bit more.’
 How do you respond to people who frown upon feeding the poor? WDJD-What did Jesus do?
Revelation comes out of obedience.
When we challenge people for involvement, deliver a vision and not simply a task.
A definition of the gospel is, “I am more sinful than I readily admit…BUT…I am more loved than I can imagine.”
The gospel is not just what Jesus did, it’s who He is.
This time away has given me opportunity to reflect on the past few years and begin to formulate a vision for the next few. I am convinced that God is moving in cities all over the country. I am also convinced that God has big plans for us at New Life. I am excited to dig in, pray faithfully and work hard for the sake of the Gospel.
This Sunday, we will be blessed again to have Dave Robinson preaching from Ephesians 6:10-20 about putting on the armor of God. I can’t wait to see all of my New Life family, to worship together and then to be challenged from the sermon.
Hope to see you soon!