New Life Sunday – Different snacks…

Today is the day that the Campbell boys have been waiting for…the Men’s float trip. Dallas and Isaiah have talked about this every day for months.

“Is the men’s campout today?”

“Can we bring __________ (insert anything from a flashlight to a stick to a toy) on the men’s campout?”

It has even turned in to a sort of negotiation between the boys: “If you don’t help me, you won’t be able to go on the men’s campout.”

There is no doubt that we are going to have a blast…so with this in mind, I decided I should stop by the store to pick up some snacks for the boys :).

As I drove out of the parking lot of the grocery story, I called Leigh-Ann to let her know I stopped to get some snacks.

Believe it or not…..

Leigh-Ann had just purchased snacks as well and was driving out of the parking lot of a different grocery store at exactly the same time. In fact we met in the alley at home at the exact same time.

The good news is that we will have plenty of snacks.

The interesting part of this story is that we picked a few different snacks…

My purchase was two packages of cookies, sugar babies candy, lunchables and MOUNTAIN DEW…

Leigh-Ann’s purchase was a package of cookies, crackers, organic fruit snacks (whatever….) and WATER…

I guess there is a difference between a dad and a mom when it comes to buying snacks…and that is probably a good thing…though we are still bringing the Mountain Dew :).

This Sunday I am very excited to be back home at New Life. I will be preaching from 1 Corinthians 10-12 about some of the different people in the church. This is a topic that energizes me, because differences can be extremely valuable in a church. God has designed His church to be a community of people who have different backgrounds, different social status, different races, different education, even different preferences when it comes to beverages :), BUT ONLY ONE LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.

I can’t wait to be with you all on Sunday, but first I better get ready for our float trip. Now please pray we all make it back safely :).

Have a great day!
Troy

New Life Sunday – You never know what you will find under the back seat of your car…

Several weeks ago we spent a few days with my parents celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday. During that time, my mom told us about losing the diamond out of her wedding ring. Somehow, the stone had fallen out from the prongs.
 
I have lost my wallet, my keys, money, important information…I can only imagine how painful it would be to lose a diamond from my wedding ring.
 
Several weeks of looking and praying ensued…however, no diamond.
 
So, last week Mom had a birthday and dad decided to surprise her with a new diamond…even a bit bigger than the one that was lost.
 
Pretty impressive!!!!
 
Well last night they arrived at our house to celebrate my nieces graduation and they shared the incredibly romantic story of dad buying mom a new ring.
 
But then they shared something else…while they were driving yesterday, my sister was in the back seat and noticed a beam of light (similar to a laser pointer) coming from between the back seats.
 
She decided to reach down to figure out what was making the light beam…and believe it or not, she pulled out a diamond. 
 
Somehow moms diamond had fallen out in the back seat of the car and had landed on the floor under the seats.
 
One more thing….mom was planning to vacuum out the car before they left for the trip, but “ran out of time.” If she had vacuumed, she likely would have sucked up the diamond without even noticing it.
 
This is one of those stories that reminded me of a few truths:
 

  • Even if something seems lost, don’t lose hope
  • Good news often comes at times when we least expect it
  • If you do need to replace your wife’s ring, always upgrade

 This Sunday I am very excited for our New Lifers to meet Glen Massey who is the pastor of Covenant Chapel: www.covenantchapel.com. He will bring the sermon, while I am over at Mount Pisgah Baptist Church. I hope you can attend and give Pastor Glen a warm welcome.
 
Don’t forget to put our combined church serve day on your calendar…we will work at Mount Pisgah on Saturday, June 7th from 8-2:00pm. Lunch will be provided. Even if you can only come for a part of the time….no problem.
 
I hope you have a great weekend and be sure to check under your seats before you vacuum out your car :)!
 
Troy

New Life Sunday – Surprise of a lifetime…

Life is unpredictable. Sometimes we are surprised with bad news and sometimes it is good news. This week I have some good news.
 
Patrick has been attending New Life since last summer. He was baptized in August and he graduated from the Christian Life Program this past Tuesday evening. He is always looking for ways to help and bless others. He serves with J.U.M.P. recovery and invests hours into maintenance over at New Life.
 
Over the past few months several of us have been praying for him to be reunified with his son. The last time he saw or heard from his son was 20 years ago when his son was only 6 years old.
 
And then it happened…on the night of his graduation he received a phone call from his brother. It was too late to return it that night, so Wednesday just after noon, Patrick called him back.
 
His brother asked, “Are you sitting down?”
 
Fearing the worst about his sick mother, Patrick listened closely.
 
“Your son called me and told me he has been trying to find you for a long time. He is in college out in California and would like to talk to you.”
 
20 years of pain, prayers, hope and struggle…all culminate in an unexpected phone call.
                                                                              
God still answers prayer…God still works out painful situations…God still restores broken relationships.
 
Life is full of surprises. Sometimes the surprises are storms, and sometimes they are miracles. Often our surprises are forgotten almost as quickly as they surface.
 
When our surprises are storms of life, we can be confident that our God Who offers miraculous surprises has not forgotten or forsaken us.
 
This Sunday, New Life is participating in “What if the Church” (whatifthechurch.org) with Covenant Chapel and Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor Tim Morgan, from Mount Pisgah will be preaching at New Life on the topic of “surviving the storms of life.”
 
I know you will be blessed. I sort of wish that I could be there for the service, but I will be preaching out at Covenant Chapel.
 
I am so excited for New Life to be a part of a unified movement in our city for a cause much bigger than our congregation. This pulpit swap will culminate in a church work day for all three churches on June 7th over at Mount Pisgah.
 
Never forget, God loves to surprise us and He always carries us through the storms of life.
 
Have a great weekend!
Troy

New Life Sunday…d​ouble vision

A few days ago, I dropped the girls off at school and then headed out to meet up with another pastor to talk about our summer mission trip to the city called, “My City Matters.”

I noticed that while driving, the road was a bit blurry but I didn’t think much of it. I had slept really hard the night before and I figured that it was taking longer than normal to wake up.

Plus I hadn’t had any coffee yet…

After leaving the school, I still noticed that my vision was a bit blurred, so I looked again at my face.

Maybe it was my glasses…

blurry-vision-230x173

I cruised into Panera and since I was running a few minutes late hustled from one end of the restaurant to the other.

No appointment present.

This was great news since I was running a few minutes late myself…but he was later. I poured my coffee and opened up my laptop to start working.

Now I could really tell that I had blurred vision…this was so strange.

And then it hit me…

I was wearing my contacts and my eyeglasses…

As soon as I took off my glasses I could see great again.

Don’t judge…at least I am admitting it :).

blurred-vision

I am nearsighted and need corrective lenses to help me to see my best. However, two forms of lenses made it worse than nothing corrective at all.

Towards the end of the 1st century, there were people who had recognized that they needed some corrective lenses for their spiritual life. And their new vision was found in the person of Jesus Christ. However after nearly 60 years of the Apostles teaching and leadership, some of them thought that they needed even more. Jesus was ok, but they really needed some philosophy to add to their spirituality.

The results offered a perspective that was arguably worse than before they had accepted a relationship with Jesus Christ.

This Sunday we are going to look at a short letter from John to a church that had accepted Jesus and then added a second set of lenses…religion.

The results were catastrophic…just like they are today.

I hope you can attend…and don’t forget that its mother’s day :)!
Troy

New Life Sunday – Unlikely masterpiece

Several days ago I was driving the girls home from soccer practice and Sophie asked if she could use a piece of paper out of my journal. I am not a fan of tearing paper out of my journal. Maybe it’s a flash of OCD, but I don’t like ragged, torn edges in a leather bound book.
 
If I had a notebook, I wouldn’t have had a problem at all….but my journal???
 
Well, I thought about it for a few seconds and then realized it was a very small sacrifice. So I tore the paper out of my journal and handed it to Sophia in the back seat.
 
The rest of our ride was pretty uneventful and when we pulled in the driveway, she handed me her project. Here is what it said (I have also attached a pic):
 
Dear Dad,
I love ya’! Thank-you for the peice (sic) of paper! You are AWESOME! U R gr8! U R a rock-star!
Love,
Sophia
 Image
Um, that is worth more than anything I could write in my journal. She took a torn and ragged piece of paper and turned it into a masterpiece that I want to frame.
 
As I reflect on this story, I am reminded that God does this on a regular basis.
 
God takes pleasure in transforming torn and ragged people into masterpieces. 
 
This Sunday we will study part 2 of the book of Philemon. This is the story of a ragged and torn relationship that is restored by the grace of God.
 
There is hope for each of us. We may have ragged and torn relationships and feel like we are without hope and stripped of value, but God loves to restore people and relationships between people.
 
I am sure there are a few relationships in my life that need God’s touch and you may be able to think of a few also. I suggest that you take a few minutes to imagine what God wants to do with your broken relationships. It’s not a bad idea to read through the book of Philemon either…
 
Have a great weekend!
Troy