The Spirit or my spouse…

Leigh-Ann

More than sixteen years ago, Leigh-Ann came into my life for good. We had dated for more than three years, but nothing we did together as a dating couple could compare with the transformation that began on our wedding day.

We committed to love each other in sickness and health.

We committed to live together for the rest of our lives.

We committed before God to stay faithful to each other.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much better my life is because of the presence of Leigh-Ann.

Together we have five kids, one dog and no regrets. We have created memories and started traditions that will become a heritage we will leave to our grandkids.

I have to be honest…the addition of Leigh-Ann to my life has inspired me to grow in my Christian faith, pushed me to do risky things (foster, adopt, church plant, fix up a foreclosure, admit my faults, zip line in Mexico), helped me to be a better communicator (still have plenty of room for improvement though :)), and challenge me to look forward and not behind.

The addition of a wife to the life of a selfish man has not been without its difficulties. Imagine two very stubborn people who have learned life differently having to come together and figure it out peacefully. Our marriage has had plenty of “sharpening” moments. Times when the work of “becoming one” seemed insurmountable. Looking back though, I can say, “no pain, no gain.”

Don’t get me wrong, she still has plenty of work to do. I still have a habit of leaving my clothes by the bed, I need to compliment her more, get better at communicating my love and stop chewing so loudly :).

I could talk more about our marriage…but I want to use this to illustrate the sermon for Sunday from Romans 8:5-9. The bottom line is that instead of adding a spouse to our life, those who are followers of Christ have had God added to our lives. Specifically, we have been given the Holy Spirit.

Similar to adding a spouse, the addition of the Holy Spirit will certainly make us better people. He will guide, teach, shepherd, coax and convict us to desire Him more and more and as a result we will become more and more like Him.

There will be times when it seems like we are fighting with the Spirit as we are coaxed in our spiritual growth. There will be plenty of moments when it seems like we ignore the Spirit more than we welcome Him. There will be plenty of failure along the way…but there will be plenty of progress too.

A life that has been invaded by the Holy Spirit is the only way to live. I hope you can join us on Sunday at 10:45am as we talk more about the Spirit filled life.

Go Royals!!!

Troy

Backyards, hair cuts and life transformation…

Yesterday, the view out the back windows of our house was radically changed. Up until yesterday, our property backed up to trees, shrubs and plenty of miscellaneous things covered by the shrubs such as concrete, tires, fencing and poison ivy.

Back yard 1

Then the earth moving, tree destroying, shrub eating heavy machinery showed up…and the entire landscape was changed.

Back yard 2

I am still trying to get used to the new look…it’s kind of like when your wife decides to get her hair cut and she comes home and asks if you notice anything.

“Hey babe, notice anything?”

“Yes, of course.” (Learned this in Basic Training for Husbands)

“How do you like it.”

“It looks great.” (Also learned this in Basic Training for Husbands)

“Come on, I think you’re just saying that…”

“No really, It looks really good.”

That conversation will continue for several days…and then life takes on a new normal.

I think this is how the back yard will play out…for the time being, I am saying, “it looks great…no, no, it looks really good.” And by the end of the week, I will probably believe it.

Transformations don’t just happen in the back yard or in the salon…they also happen in our lives.

This Sunday, I will be sharing a sermon from Romans 8:1-4 about the transformational power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

There are times when we look at our old life (which may be characterized by poison ivy and old tires) with regret and kind of miss the comfort of what things used to look like. I look forward to encouraging each of us to recognize the incredible gift we have been given with our new life in Christ and celebrate the transformation.

Enjoy your weekend,

Troy

Man cold…

mancold

This past week I have come down with a cold…or a sinus infection…or allergies…

My “man cold” symptoms began with a sore throat on Monday…and then my head felt like it was blowing up on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, after taking Nyquil Wednesday night and having crazy dreams and feeling out of it all morning, I finally started to feel some improvement.

Today, I am definitely feeling better, but not sure how the men’s retreat is going to affect my healing process. I would like to think that I am pretty tough when it comes to the cold and flu season. I’m sure Leigh-Ann will have an opinion on my “man cold” but either way it is not at all pleasant…and I really don’t like getting sick.

There is one thing certain about a cold…there is no cure.

Can you imagine if you could go to the pharmacy and buy a pill that would cure your cold in 2 hours?

I know that even I would gladly drop $100 or more for that…

A cure for the common cold would be absolutely amazing!

Well, I can’t promise anything like a cure for your cold if you come to church on Sunday, but I can say that our topic for the morning has many similarities to the common cold.

We will study from Romans 7:21-25 about the conflict with sin. And just like the common cold, there is no cure for that conflict. We will battle it until the day we die.

There are some remedies that I think will be helpful…think of them as spiritual Ibuprofen.

I look forward to seeing you soon…and yes, I have been washing my hands.

Conflict at the tee…

Tee

If you take a moment to look at the above¬†picture, you will notice something very small…can you guess what it is?

A golf tee…

It is no ordinary tee, it is the tee that I used this morning. Be jealous!

A friend took me out to the links instead of the coffee shop for some great fellowship.

When we arrived we went to the range and shot some golf balls. Within the first few shots I was feeling my groove and for the rest of the time at the range felt pretty good.

We moved over to the first hole and something changed.

My club was the same.

The ball had the same dimensions…and so did the tee.

Only one thing changed…my drive.

It went about twenty five yards to the left and came to rest in some tall grass.

Every shot I took this morning was a battle. In my mind, I would envision a two hundred and fifty yard drive from the tee box. Or if I was on the fairway (which of course is where we were every time for our follow up shots :)) I would imagine my iron striking the ball in the sweet spot and flying off the club like a missile.

Unfortunately, what I was in my head and what I saw on the course were two totally different things…and I’m going to blame it on the tee.

Not really, I can place all the blame on my own ability to deliver as a golfer. The distance between my desire and my delivery was often hundreds of yards apart.

Our spiritual life is often like my golf game.

In Romans 7, the Apostle Paul writes that the things he wants to do and the things he ends up doing are also far apart. I hope you can attend our service this Sunday at 10:45 for part two of, “The Conflict Within.”

I can assure you that you will relate to the battle that Paul describes and you will be encourage by the hope that he offers.

I can’t promise you any help for your golf game :(,
Have a great weekend,
Troy

Conflict within…

3boys

Raising kids is fun…usually…there are however moments where I could use any number of other words to describe it, such as:

  • Challenging
  • Hard
  • Exciting
  • Rewarding

Rarely, does the word “easy” come to mind. And that’s ok…we didn’t become parents because we thought it would be easy.

One of the more difficult parts of parenting is dealing with conflict. The battle over the ball is just the beginning.

Last week, our rule abiding child got in his first fight at school. Leigh-Ann’s first question was, “What happened?” And this should come as no surprise, the first question that I had was, “did you win?” I have more secrets to great parenting…feel free to ask me some time :).

The story is that he was in line and the child in front of him turned around and kicked him. So Dallas kicked him back. And then it went back and forth.

When I asked if Dallas won, he said, “he got me real hard.” I said, “so then what?”Dallas said, “I chased him and chased him. Then our teacher asked what was happening so we told her and then we just got back to class.”

Now if this was a fight between girls it could last through high school…but for now the boys are good friends again.

At the risk of sounding like a violent family, last week two of the boys were wrestling while at their nephews football game. Don’t ask….

One of them came to me in the bleachers and said, “Z punched me in the neck.”

Why?

We were wrestling and he got mad. I could bore you with another great bit of parenting wisdom, but I won’t…this time.

Conflict is something we each experience on a regular basis. Cain, the first sibling in the history of the world murdered his brother Abel.

This Sunday, Pastor Dave is going to teach from Romans 7:14-20 about the conflict within. This is not about sibling rivalry or mean kids at school, this is about the battle that we have with our sinful nature. The battle to choose between right and wrong.

During our Community in Context time, I will be interviewing three women who are passionate about pouring in to the lives of younger women. I anticipate much to smile about this Sunday, I hope you can join us at New Life CityChurch.

 our3boys