New Life Sunday – The irony of humility

Over the past two weeks the health of my grandmother has digressed…she has endured a heart attack, kidney failure and pneumonia…she is 91 years old and barring a miracle will be in Heaven with Grandpa very soon.
This past week, I have reflected on many incredible memories:

  • Eating grandma’s homemade Lefse and Kringla
  • Watching grandma dote on grandpa
  • Eating grandma’s warm dinner rolls with butter and homemade jelly
  • Listening to grandma lovingly scold grandpa for causing trouble
  • Each grand kid receiving Christmas presents that were equal in value and if not, grandma would include cash to cover the difference
  • Birthday cards every year
  • Scrabble
  • Driving 4 hours to Grandpa and Grandma’s house in Eagle Grove Iowa and then trying to sneak in the back door and scare Grandma.

Somehow scaring grandma became a rite of passage for the grand kids. I’m not sure how it began, but typically when we were still several miles away, my siblings and me would devise our plan.
Since I am third in the birth order, I will blame this on my older siblings…come to think of it, my dad was even in on this… :).
I recall one summer afternoon. We arrived at grandpa and grandma’s white ranch with a walkout basement and dad dropped us off a block away. Silently, we entered through the back door and climbed the steps from the basement. We could hear grandma in the kitchen and silently we tiptoed in behind her…
Grandma was so surprised that she dropped the pan she had been holding and let out a loud gasp.
After she recovered from the scare, Grandma reached out, hugged us and shared a good laugh. Then she was quick to tell us to never do that again…and of course, we did it again :).
I will always remember Grandma’s smile, her laugh, her hugs. She was proud of her children and grandchildren, but she has left an incredible legacy of humility. Grandma’s influence is far-reaching, but she always led from a posture of humility.
This Sunday, we continue our legacy series at New Life. The sermon will be about David from 2 Samuel 23 and it is entitled, “The irony of humility.”
After spending time reflecting on the life of Grandma Campbell and studying the life of King David, I have much to learn. I hope you can join in the journey.



New Life Sunday – Who calls the plays?

One of my goals for this past week was to purchase footballs for the boys. They have had their share of Nerf footballs, but for whatever reason, they seem to get eaten by little people and pets…but mostly Ian.

Not sure why he likes to chew on foam…we feed him well, I promise.

I am thinking that my motivation for buying footballs stems back to my childhood.

Growing up, we had a house with a back yard that was an ideal size for a football game. One end zone was the flowerbed in front of the house and the other end zone was an alley. We played nearly every day.

I always loved to play quarterback. Not because I had a great arm, but because the quarterback got to call the plays.

Three or four of us on a team would huddle with our backs facing our opponents and draw out X’s and O’s in the dirt.

Looking back, no matter how great the play looked in the huddle, it typically would break up and the tallest, fastest receiver with the best hands would end up going deep for the bomb.

As I consider my life today, not much has changed with my desire to call plays. There is something very invigorating to me about dreaming up a plan. This is not always a good thing.

There is a fine line though and that is what the sermon will cover on Sunday. We will be studying the life of Moses from Exodus 3 and there is something significant about his life…

I’m calling it the X-factor for leadership…and if you want a clue, here it is:

The X-factor is related to “who” calls the plays.

I hope you will be able to join us on Sunday for more on that…but in the meantime, I better go run some plays with the boys.

Talk to you soon!


New Life Sunday – Cracked phone

Several weeks ago, I was putting the boys into the van and needed both hands to buckle a seat belt, so I set my smart phone on the roof.
This is a rookie parenting mistake and I definitely learned my lesson.
About two blocks from home, I remembered where I had set my phone…and then I heard it slide off the back of the roof and watched in  my rear view mirror as it bounced off the street.
For a few seconds, I held out hope that it wasn’t damaged…but as soon as I picked it up I noticed a cracked screen.
And for the record, I think I went through the five stages of grief…lol.
Once recovered, I started looking online for a phone and this is where the story gets good. I found the exact model for sale on ebay for $75 and promptly ordered it. The seller then informed me that the phone was no longer working and wondered if I still wanted it. I asked for a discount and we agreed on $38 for a phone in perfect condition that wasn’t working  (um…yeah).
After it arrived, I tried multiple online solutions and none of them worked. Then I decided to check with Nokia to see if it was under warranty. So I entered the serial number and….it was still under warranty.
They emailed me a shipping label and on Wednesday, I received my phone.
It is in perfect condition and it works.
As I reflect on this experience, I admit my phone has a pretty significant influence on my life. And it shouldn’t…it’s lifespan is typically 2 years or less and as you can tell it is very fragile. I am still trying to figure out how I have become so dependent on that little devil.
Speaking of influence and dependence, this Sunday I am looking forward to delving into a new series at New Life entitled, “Building a legacy-living a life that lasts.” This week we will study from 1 John 5:13-21 where John writes about the base value of our Christianity. For example…we have been promised eternal life, we have access to God and we are given the Holy Spirit to help us be discerning. Not bad for the base package…an abundant life, restoration and reconciliation are also available.
These promises contribute to our legacy…that we have a lifetime to build.
Have a great weekend!

New Life Sunday – Outdated sweater…

This morning when I was getting ready for the day, I looked for my warmest sweater…for obvious reasons. I made it through a few meetings and then had to run down to pick up my computer from Leigh-Ann and the kids.

I said, hi to each of them, waved goodbye and then went back to the 4th floor.

Later I noticed a text message from Leigh-Ann that said, “Sophie says your sweater is a little outdated.


That made me laugh, so I called Leigh-Ann to get the whole story.

After I left, there was a noticeable gasp from the back seat of the mini-van and Leigh-Ann thought something was wrong. She turned around to ask Sophie (who is 9 by the way) what was wrong and she replied, “I think Dad’s sweater is a little outdated.”

So Leigh-Ann asked her if she should tell me and Sophie thought that would be a good idea.

I have officially reached middle age and that has been confirmed by the fact that my children are old enough to know more about fashion than I do. It’s about time for my sweater to become a memory of the past.

As we move into 2014, I am very excited to share a sermon series entitled, “Building our legacy-living a life that counts.” Although after today, I may change it to be, “How to outlive an old sweater.”

This topic was inspired by a close friend who passed away a few months ago. He was an incredible man and he has left an indelible print on the people he met and the projects he tackled. He leaves behind a trail of life, light and love that will continue for a long time.

I am excited to explore some of the characteristics that have contributed to the legacy of my friend. He lived a life that lasts…and you can too.

This Sunday, Dave Robinson will begin the series by sharing a sermon from Mark 1 & 2 about what Jesus said yes & no to.

I have attached the sermon series schedule and I hope you will be encouraged and built up by the Scriptures this coming year.

Now to find a different sweater….




A few months ago, a very close friend passed away. He was an incredible man and he has left an indelible print on the people he met and the projects he tackled. He leaves behind a trail of life, light and love that will continue for a long time.


This spring the sermon series at New Life will explore some of the characteristics that have contributed to the legacy of my friend. He lived a life that lasts…and you can too.


Leaving a legacy:

1/5      What Jesus said Yes & No to – Reflections from Mark 1-2 (Dave Robinson)

1/12    The base value of a Christian life  – 1 John 5:13-21

1/19    The X Factor for leadership  – Exodus 3

1/26    The irony of humility  – 2 Samuel 23

2/2      Consumer or contributor – Esther 5

2/9      Bridge builders – 1 Thessalonians 2

2/16    Risk takers – Hebrews 11

2/23    Warrior extraordinaire – 1 Chronicles 11

3/2      Life lock – Jude


Developing a legacy

(Lent Begins-Life Continues)

3/9      Devotional life – make space – 1 Peter 3:15

3/16    Prayer life – talk and listen – John 10:27

3/23    Missional life – life begins at the bottom – Mark 8:34

3/30    Generous life – pursue the Kingdom – Matthew 6:33

4/6      Restful life – sharpen the saw – Mark 2:27

4/13    Worshipful life – Palm Sunday – Matthew 21:1-11

4/20    Celebrate Easter – Matthew 28:1-10


Developing Legacy Partners:

4/27    The value of one – Philemon 1-16

5/4      The strength of restoration – Philemon 17-25

5/11    The power of authenticity – 2 John 1-13

5/18    The beauty of cooperation – 3 John 1-8

5/25    The significance of reputation – 3 John 9-14