Learning to value trials…

This past week my daughter Sophia developed several blisters on her feet while playing soccer. I noticed it while she was playing in her second game in one day.

She was favoring one leg a little, but the giveaway was that when there was a loose ball, she was a step behind. Usually for Sophie, a loose ball on the soccer field is like a doughnut in a police car :).

It soon became obvious that something wasn’t quite right…she still played hard and to many on the sidelines her change in play was not even noticeable, but as her dad, I could tell.

After the game, which ended in a tie, I asked her if she was feeling ok. It was then that she told me she had several blisters.

After we got in the car, she took off her socks and sure enough, there were at least three big blisters on her feet. After seeing how much her feet must have been hurting, I was even more proud of her performance…must take after her mom :).

Blisters on the feet of a soccer player are similar to many trials that you and I face on a regular basis. They are painful and can easily capture our focus. Nonetheless, they are often hidden from the sight of the average onlooker.

It’s not like you can make up a sign that says, “Please have more patience with me today, I have trials.”

So we put our best foot forward, grin and bear it, while dealing with some really deep pain beneath the surface.

If you can relate, then you will love the service this Sunday. Pastor Dave (http://newlifecity.church/people/dave-robinson/) will deliver a sermon from 1 Peter 1:6-7 entitled, “Learning to value trials.”

So, whether you have blisters or bankruptcy or anything in between, I am sure you will be glad to be a part of the New Life CityChurch service this Sunday at 10:45am.

Sophia Blisters

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Starting right, ending well and everything in between

This past week my dad had a heart attack and then a few days later went under the knife for open heart surgery. I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to be there with my dad, mom and siblings for this crucial life event.

Dad is in great shape and as a result was resilient in surgery and has recovered remarkably well.

The entire process has been an education for me. Once dad was taken into the hospital and the tests revealed a heart attack, the doctors, staff and family began a process of planning and then executing a strategy to treat the problem.

The surgery was scheduled. The family was educated. And the tools, products and staff were prepped.

Throughout the process I have learned a lot about the heart:

  • The first heart cell beats as early as four weeks.
  • There are more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels/arteries in each human body. That is enough to go around the world two times.
  • The heart beats 100,000 times per day…and never takes a break.
  • Your heart pumps 1.5 gallons per minute which adds up to 2,160 gallons per day.
  • Blood always finds its way back to the heart…fascinating.

So far, the process has been a success, but Dad still has a long road to recover. During the surgery the staff cut through his sternum, opened up his chest cavity, harvested healthy veins, turned his heart and lungs off, sewed healthy veins to bypass the blocked veins, re-started the heart, put everything back and sewed him up.

All in a day’s work.

Though the surgery started right and ended well, there was much that happened in between.

Sounds a lot like life…

This Sunday we will continue our “Life Management” series at New Life CityChurch. I will bring a sermon from Philippians 1:6 about starting right, ending well…and everything in between.

When it comes to life, most of us are “in between.”

We are in the grind of life. Within any given week we likely worry about relationships, money, career, family, etc. We experience wins…some of them big and we endure losses…some of them big as well.

We need truth to help us navigate. We need hope to motivate. We need discipline to captivate our fears.

There is help for the journey and we will study it this Sunday at 10:45am @newlifekc (www.newlifecity.church).

In the meantime, thanks for your prayers for my dad and his recovery during this time between. I am confident he will finish well.
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#journeyofalifetime

Today, Leigh-Ann and I celebrate 16 years of marriage.

Ahhhh…marriage.

Marriage is a loaded word…so many experiences by so many people that colors so many perspectives. Just for fun, I Googled, “marriage is like” and came across a Huffington post article of 14 tweets that was pretty negative regarding marriage. Here are two of the tamer tweets:

“Put your GPS on full volume for your daily commute if you want to                         know what marriage is like.”

“Marriage is like the IKEA of relationships. Easy to walk into, confusing                 to piece together, and difficult to exit.”

Since that was a downer, I moved on to another page with quotes about marriage and read this:

“Marriage is like a song, where the Lord’s sweet melody of love comes                     from two hearts joined as one, husband and wife.”

That’s  nice…but seriously, who talks like that?

Then I came across another one that was in my opinion getting closer to reality:

“Marriage is like twirling a baton, turning hand springs or eating with                   chopsticks. It looks easy until you try it.”

So, I’ve decided to give it a try myself and describe marriage in one, honest tweet. But first a few meaningful disclaimers:
                Leigh-Ann is an incredible wife and mother-if you know her at all you                     will agree wholeheartedly
                Leigh-Ann is smart, charming, witty and hilarious
                Leigh-Ann is no pushover…ahem… 🙂
                Leigh-Ann is brave, strong, committed and loyal
                Leigh-Ann loves Jesus and has a heart of gold
                Leigh-Ann is worth celebrating

Disclaimers aside, here is my tweet on marriage: Marriage is whatever you let God make it #journeyofalifetime #Godwantsyoutobehappyandfulfilled

In all honesty, marriage is the best of times and the worst of times. Marriage is something I would do all over again with Leigh-Ann in a heartbeat. I am incredibly thankful for marriage and everything it  means and represents.

But marriage is not easy…and that is why 16 years calls for a celebration.

This Sunday, Dwight Lehman will be preaching a sermon entitled, “Are we there yet?” from 1 Peter 4:7-11. Our relationship with God is similar to our marriage relationship…in fact, God has much to say about every relationship and it’s really good.
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