New Life Sunday – We all fall down…

Today, as  I was sitting outside eating lunch with a few friends, a gentlemen tripped on the sidewalk and fell flat on his face. He was about a block or so away and didn’t notice the obstruction, caught it with his foot, and fell face down with his arms and legs outstretched on the concrete.
 
I noticed that he was a professional that was probably in his fifties. He had a work badge attached to his belt. He was carrying a laptop bag and was wearing sunglasses.
 
In my mind’s eye, the scene looked so out of place. There were cars and bikes racing by on the street, people were out walking, others were sitting at this restaurant. In the middle of that busy scene from the city at 20th and Grand, for an instant…an employee, a husband and a father (maybe), a fellow human being was sprawled out on the sidewalk.
 
He looked so out of place…
 
In less than a second, he popped back up and started walking. It was impossible for me not to watch him out of the corner of my eye as he covered the distance between us.
 
This guy didn’t want help, he didn’t want to draw attention to himself, he just wanted to get away from anyone that may have seen him take the mother of all falls.
 
As he passed by, for just an instant, I noticed his face and even saw into his eyes from the side view. Even though he was locked in on the block ahead, there was something written all over his flushed face and body language…
 
VULNERABILITY
 
If he had stayed down and asked for help, I promise you that I would have ran over there to help him. But he didn’t need help…he just wanted to get out of there.
 
I can imagine that at some point, he will tell his story about his fall in the center of the city. But there is one key factor…he will decide on the audience. He will not share that moment with strangers.
 
This Sunday, we begin the third part of our legacy series. We will spend six weeks learning about how to build “legacy partners.” In other words, we can build relationships with people to whom we can share our deepest and sometimes darkest vulnerabilities.
 
Life brings bumps and sometimes we fall…flat on our face. The goal is for us to have a team of friends that can  help us through the moments of vulnerability.
 
Sunday, we will study from the book of Philemon about a slave named Onesimus who could have easily been overlooked as a worthless fugitive who had fallen one to many times, but instead he became one of the Apostle Paul’s closest friends. We have much to learn from Paul and Onesimus about how to rebuild trust in our relationships.

See you soon!
Troy

New Life Sunday – 3 celebrations…

This Sunday is a big deal…for at least three reasons!
 
1. It’s Easter
 
2. It’s my dad’s 70th birthday
 
3. It marks the 7 year anniversary of New Life
 
The importance of these milestones are really in order. Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.
 
This is no small claim!
 
Every Sunday, Christ followers gather all over the world to celebrate the fact that our Lord, Jesus of Nazareth died, was buried and then literally rose from the dead.
 
I can totally see why non-believers struggle with the claims of Jesus. It’s not normal for one third of the world’s population to come together and then celebrate the life after death of “God in the flesh.” This is such an outrageous claim that the Apostle Paul broke it down like this, “If Christ has not been raised from the dead, then our preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians15:14).
 
There is no way to accept this in a way that is even remotely compromising…either Jesus lived as a real human on earth (who ate, slept, laughed, cried, worked, relaxed, etc.), and then was crucified and then was put in a tomb for three days AND THEN CAME BACK TO LIFE…or an incredible amount of time, money and lives have been wasted over the past 2,000 years.
 
Easter is the Grand Annual Celebration of the RESURRECTION OF GOD IN THE FLESH…so yeah, it’s a pretty big deal :).
 
This Sunday is also my dad’s birthday. My dad is the one who introduced me to Jesus from the beginning of my life. My dad is also a man who has faithfully lived for the cause of Jesus and some day…dad will be able to meet Jesus face to face.
 
WOW!
 
And because of dads influence, I will also be able to meet Jesus. It would be impossible to communicate the incredible impact that my dad has had for the cause of Christ.
 
Finally, this Sunday marks the end of 7 years that New Life has been in existence. This is all because of Jesus…and also because of faithful people like my dad who have committed to live for Jesus.
 
So I think that it is only fitting for the sermon this Sunday to finish part two of a three part series on Legacy. Starting with Jesus, each of us has an opportunity to “live a life that lasts.” We will study the Resurrection account from Matthew 28:1-10.
 
I hope you will join in the celebration and accept the challenge.
 
He is Risen!
Troy

New Life Sunday – How about this weather?

Today, the weather is BEAUTIFUL!
 
As I type, it is sunny and 77degrees with a slight breeze.
 
I love this weather…I love spring time…I love sunshine…I am in a good mood and want you to know it.
 
For just a moment I thought back to winter when it was below freezing, windy and miserable. At the time, my mood seemed to reflect the misery.
 
Tonight, we are planning to spend some time outside as a family and enjoy the weather. I anticipate a lot of laughs and hearty conversation. Hey, I will probably spring for ice cream (no pun intended) for the whole family :).
 
Weather is a universal topic for conversation. In the elevator, it makes the trip up four floors go fast and end with a big smile. With friends, it allows us to jump right into a positive conversation that can then move quickly in many different directions.
 
Weather is something that elicits a response.
 
If it is cold, we bundle up. If it is hot we turn on the air conditioning. If it is nice like today, we try to get out and enjoy it…and then we talk about it.
 
But the weather is not the only catalyst that elicits a response…God’s plan and works also elicit a response. And when viewed appropriately the expression of that response is called worship.
 
Another way to say it is this,  Worship is an expression in response to God at work! Since God is always at work, worship is always appropriate.
 
This Sunday we will review the story of Palm Sunday from Matthew 21:1-17. The scene is bursting with activity as the Jews prepare for the Passover celebration. In the midst of all of this activity…God is weaving a strand of something new…God is at work. Worship is in the air!
 
I hope to see you Sunday…in the meantime, enjoy the weather :),
Troy

New Life Sunday…hat tricks and green lights

I love listening to our children pray. One of them prays religiously before every soccer game,“please help us to win and help me to score a hat trick.” One of them prays every day that we will“hit every light on green.” Another raises his hands in the air at the end of the prayer like he will after he scores a touchdown.
 
Prayer is different for everyone.
 
Prayer can be as simple as a thought recognizing the presence of God in our lives and as complex as a deep conversation.
 
Prayer can be light and prayer can be serious.
 
Some of my favorite prayers are spontaneous words of praise for God’s power and faithfulness.
 
I have observed that prayer is a topic that interests nearly everyone however, there are few people that I know, that feel adequate in their prayer lives.
 
Over the past several weeks we have been studying different habits that will not only prepare us for Easter, but will help us to leave a legacy that matters.
 
This Sunday, Dave Robinson will be sharing a sermon from Luke 18:1-8 on the topic of intercessory prayer. I am confident you will be challenged and educated on the topic of prayer.
 
I can’t promise that you will win more soccer games and hit more lights on green, but I am confident you will learn much to apply to your spiritual life.
 
In addition, Dave will be sharing his story about how God answered his prayers from behind the iron curtain this Tuesday at Real Life Downtown (www.reallifedowntown.org).
 
I hope to see you soon!
Troy