Bad news…good news…

Saturday night around 9:30pm, our oldest daughter began experiencing some extreme pain and I promptly took her in to the emergency room. That was the beginning of a long night full of needles, IV’s and tests.

The most surprising was a sonogram.

I commented to the tech that the last time she had a sonogram, Leigh-Ann and I were watching her in utero. I remembered that the first thought I had when I found out she was going to be a girl was, “now we have to pay for a wedding.” 🙂

In case you are wondering, the reason for the sonogram was that the initial diagnosis was pancreitis. They decided that a sonogram was the least invasive way to look at her organs.

It’s just weird seeing your thirteen year old getting a sonogram and realizing that in ten years she could be getting one for a totally different reason….like a grandkid.

Moment of silence to let that sink in…still need more time…wow…

During the two days that Alexa was in the hospital, the medical staff performed multiple different tests on her to diagnose the problem so that they could prescribe the best plan of action to aid in her healing. Although, she is still sick with a virus, her pancreas seems to be doing better.

For the past several Sundays, Pastor Dave and I have been teaching from Romans 1-3. These chapters are a sort of spiritual diagnosis. It seems that the Apostle Paul is documenting reason after reason to conclude that every person is infected  with sin to the point that we are spiritually terminal.

This Sunday, Pastor Dave will be sharing “God’s surprising answer to man’s dilemma” from Romans 3:21-26. There is plenty of evidence for our spiritual sickness, but the story doesnt end there. God has provided a guaranteed solution that will provide us a clean bill of health spiritually.

This is what those of us in the church world call “the Gospel” or good news.

So, if you are like me, you can probably stand to hear some good news. And you will get that on Sunday. I hope to see you there.

Troy

Flowers from New Life Alexa with bear Alexa at Childrens Mercy

Excuse me…who is this?

A few minutes ago, I heard someone talking under my seat.

Hello….Hello…Troy, are you there?

Then I realized I had pocket dialed a friend. Once the reality of the situation became apparent, I scrambled to pull my phone out and talk before he gave up trying to talk.

We shared a nice laugh over it and finished out our conversation.

But that is not all…

Earlier in the day, I sent a text message to another friend about getting in to a dinners for eight group at New Life CityChurch. And this is the text conversation that followed:

No Thanks

                Are you sure…

I’m positive

                Is everything ok

Yea it’s just that I don’t know you

                What

How’d you get my #

                This is Troy Campbell

How Exactly Do You Know My # Because I’m Pretty Sure I Don’t Know you

                I must have the wrong number…was looking for __________

Um well I’m jaelynn sorry I’m pretty sure you’ve got the wrong #

                Ok, it was worth a laugh

Ok um well I hope you end up finding the right number

Yep, I don’t know a jaelynn and I’m pretty sure that my invitation to a dinner for eight group was a bit awkward.

It has put a smile on my face though…

Within the last hour, I have had two pretty significant communication issues. One issue resulted from calling someone that I hadn’t intended to call and the second issue was that the person I thought I was texting was not who I was texting.

This Sunday, Pastor Dave Robinson will be attempting to communicate to us from Romans 3 that we are “Bad to the Bone.” This is a message that is for everyone, so there is not a chance he will have the wrong number. I know there will be much for us to learn and apply and I hope you can attend at 10:45am.

In the  meantime, I’ve learned a good lesson in communication. 🙂

New Life Sunday – Muddy shoes…

Have you ever had an experience that flashed you way back to your childhood?

Today, I was over at our new church location and noticed a fresh trench that was dug into the floor. I could see the soil and smell the damp odor of freshly moved dirt.

That dirt along with the earth moving machines below my office window were enough to bring me back to an experience as a kid.

The entire street outside our house in St. Cloud, MN had been dug up to replace sewer lines. The holes were several feet deep and ran for nearly the length of the block. The opportunity to explore proved to be magnetic for myself and two older siblings.

The problem was that our parents made a rule that we could not play in the construction zone. As a kid, I thought that rule was dumb…as a parent it makes a lot of sense.

Funny how things change…

One day, the Campbell kids decided to re-interpret the rule. We walked to the end of our block, out of sight and then decided to explore the construction zone.  

We weren’t playing in the hole, we were just walking down into it…at least that’s what we told ourselves.

I can still remember walking on the tracks of the earth-movers and smelling the freshly turned dirt while we “explored” the construction zone.

It was a lot of fun until we arrived home. We didn’t take into account the possibility of the mud getting on our shoes and clothes. Talk about dumb criminals…

I remember mom lining the three of us for a good spanking.

Each one of us was guilty of breaking the family rule and going into the construction zone. I would guess that my sister spent the least amount of time in the mud while my brother and I spent more time in it.

The point is that it didn’t matter if we had a little mud on us or a lot…if we had mud on us we were guilty.

The Apostle Paul is teaching a similar concept in Romans 3. This week we will study from verses 9-12 and the conclusion is that every person is guilty. The Jews argued that they were better than (had less mud on them) the Gentiles and Paul addresses this by saying, “both Jews and Greeks are under sin, as it is written: there is none righteous, no, not one.”

Each person who has ever lived is equally guilty before God…but the story doesn’t end there. I hope you can attend the service at New Life CityChurch on Sunday at 10:45am to find out more. 🙂

I hope to see you soon!
Troy

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Prayer…gutcheck

A few days ago, I went our for a run and fired up a podcast from Craig Groeschel (http://www.lifechurch.tv/watch/jesus-and-we/). I was running along and then I got hit between the eyes.

It was so powerful that I remember EXACTLY where I was when I heard and almost felt the podcast bomb. I was just getting across the street and starting to run up a hill towards Truman Hospital when Craig Groeschel asked, “If all of your prayers from last week were answered exactly as you requested, what would that say about your level of faith?”

Then he went on to talk about how many of us would have had a safe trip, slept well and had eaten food that was blessed.

But how risky was our prayer life?

If we’re not even praying for God to do amazing things…how can we expect to experience God doing amazing things?

Just some thoughts for a Wednesday…please come on out to New Life CityChurch tonight at 7:00pm for prayer in a group.

Troy

God is faithful…always and forever.

The kids and I have a ritual during  our ride to school in the morning. I choose a number one through ten and then they  pick to see who gets the closest to the number. The winner gets to pray first. Then that person picks a number and we guess at it and the winner prays. This happens until everyone has prayed.

It’s pretty fun….and of course praying is always a good thing.

After we finished our game this morning, I asked our kindergartner a few of his spelling words. Now he is brilliant (like his mother :)), however he struggles with focus at times.

So the spelling word was, “was.”

I knew from earlier that he kept spelling it, “wuz.” Which makes sense….I guess.

So, this morning he got out…W………………….A……long silence….a car driving by….maybe a bird….and then …….M….P….E.

I looked at him in the rearview and said, WAMPE….are you serious?

I envisioned myself in Kindergarten and knew that focus was not my strong suit either. I reminded myself that I needed to have patience and that his little heart is very impressionable so I shouldn’t crush him…but it was hard not to laugh (am I a terrible parent?).

I seriously could not figure out how he could spell the word “was” …W..A..M..P..E.

After giving him a few more chances, he finally got it right.

He is a great kid and excels at so much (yes, I am a biased parent) so I am confident that he will get this spelling thing down soon. I just hope he had a great day and I really hope he aced his spelling test.

As I reflect on the morning, I wonder what goes through the mind of a five year old when attempting to spell a word. I could see he was trying really hard, drawing from all that he had been taught and could remember.

Whether we are age five or eight-five, our minds have a way of putting thoughts and concepts together and this process usually ends in an attempt to communicate those thoughts and concepts. Some have called this rationale.

This Sunday we are going to look closely at a sort of conflicting rationale. The Jews were at odds with the teaching of the Apostle Paul and as a result attempted to communicate their own rationale about God and His plan. Paul relates this to us in Romans 3:1-8 in the form of four questions and four answers.

Ultimately, we will discover that no matter how we construct our thoughts and concepts in relation to God, He is always faithful. Whether I recognize God’s work in my life or not, He is always faithful. Even if the situations that God allows into my life don’t make sense according to my rationale, God is still faithful.

In other words, Gods faithfulness is not dependent on my behavior…and that is incredibly encouraging. I look forward to celebrating the faithfulness of God on Sunday at 10:45am. We only have a few weeks left at 1828 Walnut-4th Floor, KCMO and then we will be moving just three blocks over to 1717 McGee, KCMO.

Have a great weekend!
Troy
Breaking News: Just learned that Dallas spelled “was” correctly on his test. That’s my boy!!!

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#NewLifeNewYear

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My oldest daughter and I have started running together. It seems like only a few days ago that we were taking her home from the hospital, now we are running around the hospital.

Distance running has much to teach us about life:

  • No matter how far we intend to run, we can only take one step at a time
  • If we never start, we never get anywhere
  • It always seems to be better with a partner

Over the past four years, I have run the route around the hospital easily more than one hundred times. As a result, I have memorized every curb, hill and stop sign. I have felt the pain of a side stitch, being winded on hills and wanting to quit.

As a result, during our first run, I talked my daughter through the route. As we jogged away from the house, I told her about pacing and breathing. From time to time, I slipped in some motivation and made sure to stay very positive.

The farther we ran, the more it became apparent that my daughter was going to be able to keep right up with  me.

I was/am so proud of her…

Towards the end of our run, there are three pretty big hills.

“Lean into the hill.”

“As soon as we get to the top, you can catch your breath on the way down.”

“You will feel so good when we get home.”

Since I had run the route many times before, it was natural for me to draw on my experiences and share hope.

Hope is in demand far beyond a running route.

Our world is full of:

  • Sickness and sadness
  • Poverty and hunger
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Questions and doubts

Jesus came to earth and “dwelt among us” to provide hope and healing. Jesus knows every up and down of life…He has felt pain and exhilaration. Jesus is our ultimate running partner for life. This Sunday, we conclude our Advent series, “A weary world rejoices” with a sermon from John 1:1-18.

Jesus is the light that cannot be overcome by darkness and He brings bottomless grace and truth for a world that needs hope, healing and forgiveness.

I can’t wait to talk more about Jesus on Sunday, in the meantime, I think it’s about time for another run.

Troy

Fresh idea for Sunday worship: If you tweet, it would be totally awesome if you would use the hashtag #Newlifenewyear to share your wishes for 2015. We may share your tweets during worship. Here are some examples:

I wish for us to see beauty in redemption #Newlifenewyear
I wish we would know and experience God’s grace for ourselves and extend it to others #Newlifenewyear
I wish we would see God give victory over addictions and bad habits #Newlifenewyear
I wish we would love God’s word over our agenda and do-to list #Newlifenewyear
I wish for a thankful heart #Newlifenewyear
I wish for us to rest in God’s sovereign and loving care for us #Newlifenewyear

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