Parking Ticket Take 2

Wednesday morning, shortly after 7am, I was meeting a friend at Thou Mayest Coffee Shop (which by the way is an awesome place). We were sitting outside enjoying a beautiful morning, getting to know each other better and of course sipping on a little splash of “Heaven in a cup.”

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Life was good.

Ahhh…

Suddenly, a random guy walked over to us and asked if we had parked on the north side of 18th street. Unfortunately it was too early for me to figure out the directions in my head, but if it was a parking issue, there was a good chance it I was going to be involved.

“The parking police are writing tickets, you should move your car if you can.”

That is all it took…I jumped up and wogged (walk/jog) through the coffee shop, outside to my car and sure enough, there was the KC parking police car.

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I picked up the pace knowing that every second counted.

I went right up to his car and knocked on his window.

In slow motion, he rolled down his window and made eye contact…without waiting for him to say anything, I burst out, “if you are writing a ticket for that (pointing to my car), I am very sorry… I pulled ahead in order to make room for cars behind me…Scouts honor…and didn’t notice that the sign said ‘2 Hour Parking from 9am-4pm’.

He slowly moved his head and then broke the silence by asking, “Are you moving it now?”

All I could think of was, “Is the Pope Catholic?” But instead, I just said “Yes.”

He said, “Ok” rolled up his window and drove off . And I saved myself $47.50…not too bad. An amount I would much rather spend on coffee….or missions…of course :).

This story illustrates the power of the law and this Sunday,  I will share a sermon from Romans 7:7-13 on this subject. Too often, when we break the law, we become angered at the law…there is a better way to spend our emotional energy. The law is a tool to measure our righteousness…and unfortunately we all fall short. But there is incredible hope…we would be honored if you could join us for our service at 10:45am on Sunday at New Life CityChurch .

I hope you have a great weekend…and of course, GO ROYALS!

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Lessons from a parking ticket…

This past week I received a parking ticket in the mail.

I was pretty sure that it was on its way…but hoping it wouldn’t come. On September 11th, I walked out towards the front of the church and saw the parking police walking towards my car with her electronic “ruin your afternoon” machine in hand.

I didn’t break stride and didn’t make eye contact with her as she approached my car. I quickly hopped in, started my car and drove off.

Not as bad as Jim Carrey in “Liar, Liar” but still probably not the best response.

As I looked back at her in my rear view, I noticed a smile on her face. That was not a good sign.

And a few days later…yesterday to be exact, I received a citation in the mail stating that I owe $47.50 for parking violation: 70-532A.

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As I look at my fine, I do not appreciate the ordinance that limits parking to 2 hours. However, when I am driving up and down the street looking for a parking space, I wish the city would do something about people who park for hours and hours when it should be enforced for 2 hours.

It seems that my moral compass is affected by my current situation.

However when it comes to the law, my opinion doesn’t really matter. I either keep the law or I break the law.

This Sunday, we are going to return to our study in Romans and that study will provide insight into our relationship with the law. Pastor Dave will bring a sermon from Romans 7 entitled, “Released!”

A quick glance at the passage tells me that I have been released from the law because of the sacrifice of Jesus. This is a powerful truth. Especially since I have a pretty bad habit of breaking the law.

I hope you can join us at 10:45am on Sunday…it’s going to be a great service.

Now I just have to decide if the judge will accept me reading from Romans 7 in defense of my parking ticket…Pretty sure I should just pay the fine.

I hope you have a great day…and don’t forget to check your parking meter.

Making it count…

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Last night our oldest daughter Alexa was given a soccer opportunity that she has been working toward for a long time.

She was asked to play up with a team in a higher division.

For the past two seasons she has been on the bubble and never quite able to get the nod from her coach to play up.

She was excited and nervous all at the same time.

Now, getting the opportunity and rocking the opportunity are two different things.

Last night, Alexa rocked her opportunity.

She started the game and was not subbed once for the entire game. By halftime several parents started to come up to me and ask why she hasn’t been playing with the team all year. All I could do was smile and agree that she was having a great game.

Before the game we prayed that she would shine, stand out, contribute, make a difference and of course stay humble (like her parents :)) and give God the credit.

After the game, her coach held her back and told her that she had played great and as a result had earned more opportunities to play up in the future.

The entire ride home was so much fun…we replayed all the great plays and everything that the parents and coaches were saying about her performance.

Imagine if she had not made the most of her opportunity. What if she had allowed fear to get the most of her? Or if she simply didn’t try hard because she didn’t want to fail…

I wouldn’t be writing my email about her, the ride home would have been much different and today would be full of regret.

However, today is full of celebration because Alexa invested her resources and made the most of her opportunity.

This Sunday we are completing the series, “Life Management.” I will share a sermon from Matthew 25:14-30 about investing our resources…making the most of our opportunities. It is my prayer that each of us “leave it all out on the field.” A life without regret is the life that God intends…and you can experience the fulfillment that comes from investing your God-given gifts the way God intended.

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On Wednesday, Leigh-Ann took our oldest son, Dallas into the Children’s Mercy ER because he was having a hard time breathing. They took him back immediately and began treating his asthma attack.

After a while they concluded that it was serious enough to admit him to the hospital. After multiple treatments and medications, he progressed beyond the danger zone. When I went up to sit with him Wednesday evening, he told me he could stay there forever…:).

He was able to watch TV from his bed, he could order any food he wanted and he especially liked that he could press a button and get the assistance of the nurse at any time.

For a middle child in a family of five, that kind of attention must have felt pretty amazing.

He has since been able to come home. He has said that he is glad to be home and able to sleep in his own comfortable bed, even if he doesn’t have a nurse at his beckon call.

Asthma is a breathing disorder that requires attention. Once an asthmatic starts to experience difficulty breathing it cannot be ignored or there will be serious consequences.

This Sunday, I am excited to share a sermon about something else that cannot be ignored…

RELATIONSHIPS!!!

Relationships are the connections that we have with other people.

Relationships can bring incredible satisfaction and fulfillment to our lives or they can bring deadly pain.

So, how do we navigate the relationships in our lives?

Well, for starters, we can’t ignore them.

At any given time in our lives, we have relationships that need to be built, shared, maintained and repaired.

If it’s time for you to take a fresh look at the condition of your relationships, then I hope you can join us at New Life CityChurch this Sunday. We will study the life of Barnabas out of the book of Acts.

In addition, we will take some time to talk through some of the implications of the Syrian Refugee Crisis during our community in context time.Dallas 1  Dallas 4Dallas 3