When my destination is settled, my journey makes sense…

This afternoon I was able to help a good friend get some immunizations for a missions trip he is taking to Haiti in just over a week. The preparation for this trip has been long and labor intensive.

The participants have had to raise about $3,200 per person. (you can learn more about supporting them Here.)

They have had to arrange their schedule to be out of the country for a week.

They have had to prepare spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally for all that they will encounter on this trip.

They have had to get immunizations, which is the reason for this email in the first place.

So this afternoon, we took off toward the Platte County Health Department…long story. When we arrived at the parking lot, it was EMPTY. I was almost certain it was closed.

It was open…and there was no one in line…long story.

We thought the shots would be expensive…they were free…long story.

Last night, we were certain we had missed the window for immunizations and today…it’s a blessing in the past.

Our drive out to the health department and the drive back were quite different.

On the way there, we had plenty of unknowns…would it be open, would they have the necessary immunizations, would it be expensive, would the door to the Haiti trip slam shut?

Lots of questions…

On the way back it was like we were reminiscing about a high school football game. “I can’t believe there was no one at the health department.” “We just walked right in.” “The shots were free.” “God is going to do something amazing in Haiti.”

The difference between the drive to the health department and the drive home was the difference between questions and answers…fear and confidence…hope and completion.

This Sunday we are tackling the final verses in Romans 6. We will discover that when our destination is settled, the journey makes sense. When the destination is uncertain, the journey is confusing, frustrating, painful…I could go on.

If you have been experiencing some confusion, frustration and pain along the journey of life, then this Sunday may be exactly what you need.

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Costco slave…

I like Costco.

They have awesome products. Such as the laptop I am using right now. Or the braided tree that was nearly triple the price at Home Depot. How about Costco rotisserie chicken? It’s pretty tough to beat a whole, tasty chicken for $4.99. There is something about getting a great deal that makes me feel very warm and fuzzy inside.

Costco chicken

Costco also has great samples. If you are a member you know this. In fact when you have five kids, a trip to Costco at lunch time can save you the $20 you would have spent at McDonalds. And its healthier…ahem…yep.

I would also have to say that I have never had a bad experience with Costco employees. Good people, good people.

In my opinion, compared to other businesses Costco has the fastest gas pumps (maybe a bit random, but still true), best quality merchandise and finest customer experience around. Even President Obama shops at Costco :).

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I just can’t stand the receipt line at the exit.

The demand of the store management to check my purchases with my receipt makes me feel guilty before being proven innocent. When I am running late and the exit receipt line is long, it makes matters even worse. The cheesy smiley face slowly drawn on my receipt for my kids provides absolutely no value to me. LOL.

As frustrating as the receipt line may be, I have never been forced into a Costco. I always go voluntarily. I even pay for my membership.

When I signed the dotted line to become a member, I agreed to show my membership card before I stepped foot in the store and agreed to show my receipt to compare my purchases before leaving.

I’m Troy, and I am a slave of Costco.

Costco Card

This Sunday, the sermon will come from Romans 6:15-19 and it will be about becoming a slave of righteousness.

Similar to my experience at Costco, when I placed my faith in Jesus, I volunteered to become a slave of righteousness. As a slave of righteousness, I have chosen to be freed from the bondage of sin and instead choose to be obedient to my master, Jesus.

Costco doesn’t provide a perfect metaphor for becoming a slave of righteousness and even Paul admits in Romans 6:19 that slavery is not a perfect metaphor to describe our new life in Christ.

However, each metaphor has something to teach us about the most incredible life possible. I hope you can attend on Sunday to learn more. In the meantime, all that talk about Rotisserie Chicken has made me hungry.

Have a great day, hope to see you Sunday.

Stop it!

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Bob Newhart has an incredible skit in which he plays a psychologist. If you haven’t seen it you can watch it Here. It will take you about six minutes…but in exchange for your time, I can almost guarantee you will laugh.

The gist of the skit is that a woman comes to him with multiple fears and Bob Newhart responds with two magic words:

STOP IT!

As a father of five children, I use those words frequently.

Earlier today, my two year old took the lid from his cup and randomly threw it and it banged of the desk and skidded to a halt on the wood floor.

Stop it!

A day ago, that same boy found a “recorder” and was blowing on it with all his lung power.

Stop it!

The boys were wrestling and one of them started crying.

Stop it!

I could go on…and even tell stories about my daughters, but they are getting to the age where I could embarrass them, then they would tell me, “Stop it.” 🙂

This Sunday, Paul is going to tell each of us to STOP IT.

We will study from Romans 6:12-14 and the Big Idea is, “My righteousness is settled, my choices still matter.”

I hope to see you Sunday,

Troy

United…

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This Sunday I am excited to continue a five week series from Romans chapter 6 entitled, “The effect of grace.” Grace seems to be a word that is used so often that maybe…just maybe we have lost a bit of its power. So last week we studied the first effect of grace and that is, “we are baptized with Christ.” This week it is the second effect of grace from Romans 6:5-11 and that is, “we are united with Christ.”

The idea of being united is pretty amazing. And to be united with Christ is even more amazing.

This past week I have experienced the concept of being united firsthand.

It was a privilege to be a part of @mycitymatters. In case you haven’t heard, three church youth groups met up downtown Kansas City for a missions trip to our city.

50 kids plus nearly 20 sponsors moved in to 1717 McGee, KCMO 64108 otherwise known as New Life CityChurch. The change in social behavior from Sunday night to Friday night has been remarkable. On Sunday, most of the kids were unsure of themselves and the unknowns of the week. By today, they have bonded by working together, playing together, eating together and pretty much living together all week.

Friendships have been forged.

Project have been completed.

Spiritual changes have been experienced.

They have met people off the street, in homeless camps, at baseball clinics and carnivals. They have sweat, cried, laughed, complained and been filled with gratitude.

The time they have spent together has increased their trust in each other and wiped out unnecessary barriers.

No matter how you slice it, they are united. And this means they have each other’s back…they also share in a passion to be a part of change in Kansas City…even more than that, they desire to see Jesus run this town.

This week has taught me a lot…one lesson in particular is that I have been able to witness what it means to be united. This Sunday, I look forward to digging deeper in to Romans 6:5-11 to find out more about what it means to be united with Christ.

For now, keep praying for the teens and leaders to finish strong and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday,

Troy

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Grace Effect

This afternoon, the HVAC guys cut a hole into the roof outside my office. It sounded like the building was going to collapse…fortunately it didn’t.

They had warned me ahead of time but as soon as they connected their cuts, the middle boards and roof began their fast eighteen foot descent.

There were two times they cut and the part of the roof they cut out came crashing down. And each time, I was thankful I was in my office and not a few feet away in the hallway.

An amazing thing happened at the moment the hole was cut…the hallway became much brighter. In fact it kind of made me want to get a skylight. Not as much as I want air conditioning though :).

Roof hole

Opening the roof between a dark hallway and the bright sunlight creates an incredible effect. Much brighter to say the least.

This Sunday, I am going to be talking about a different effect with noticeable features. I will be sharing a sermon from Romans 6:1-4 about the “Grace Effect.”

The grace effect is a way to describe the benefits that we receive when we begin a relationship with Jesus. These benefits include the truth that we are baptized into Jesus, we are united with Jesus, we are presented to God and we are enslaved to righteousness.

So much to talk about, so little time…this Sunday we will focus on what it means to be baptized into Christ.

In addition, this Sunday, our new worship leader, Jordan Marcotte will officially begin. If you would like to hear more of him you can listen to some pretty great music here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/jordan-marcotte/id459821958

Finally, I wish you a very safe and blessed 4th of July. God Bless America!

Troy

Announcement: My City Matters starts this Sunday. If you would like to donate to support a teen serving on our missions trip to Kansas City, you can give online here: http://newlifecity.church/my-city-matters/