On point…

This past Monday, I was out running errands with the kids and we decided to stop by Wendy’s for a quick bite to eat. Since I had four of the five kids, we sat down and ate inside the restaurant.

Everyone finished their food, went to the bathroom and then headed out to the van.

“Stay Close…watch for cars…buckle up!”

Finally, everyone was in the van…it was time to start it up and get the AC going.

Whir….turn…whir…no start… Whir….turn…whir…no start…repeat…

A nice person offered a jump…no cables. Finally, a friend parked next to me…not planned…jumper cables hooked up… Whir….turn…whir…no start… Whir….turn…whir…no start…repeat…

Nothing…

Van hood

The saga continued…tow truck, self-proclaimed mechanic, fuel pump + 2 days = whir…turn…start.

There were a few moments when I wondered if the van would ever start again…but it did and it does every time.

A broken fuel pump in a vehicle will create problems…every time…but a fuel pump is not the only thing that needs to be on point (rigorously accurate) every time.

This Sunday, we are going to study from Romans 12:3-8 and consider the truth about belonging. Paul is giving direction for a church family to operate smoothly and seamlessly.

Smooth operation starts with rigorously accurate thinking…about God, ourselves and our fellow Christians.

I hope to see you on Sunday (provided the fuel pump is still working) at 10:45am…come early to get a good seat.

Troy

 

 

 

 

 

Transformation…

I love watching a transformation.

Over the past few years we have watched the Royals transform from a team known for losing into the World Champions.

As a parent I have watched my kids transform from babies who were virtually helpless to teenagers who are virtually helpless….just kidding. They are amazing kids :).

As a Missourian, we get to watch the weather transform…sometimes within a few days the temperature can vary more the fifty degrees…and now I’m ready for a cooler transformation.

Another part of life where I love to see transformation is when an old building is transformed into something beautiful. Less than two years ago, our church building was an empty, dilapidated building and now it has been transformed into a beautiful, useful building.

NL Building Transformation 1NL Building Transformation 2

As much as I love to see transformation in sports teams, the weather and buildings, there is nothing that compares to a transformed life.

This Sunday, I will share a sermon from Romans 12:1-2 entitled, “The truth about transformation.” The key ingredient to personal transformation is the mercies of God. And when we experience the mercies of God firsthand, transformation always follows.

Spiritual transformation is a miracle to experience and a miracle to watch in others. Whether or not you have experienced spiritual transformation, I know you will be encouraged by the verses that the Apostle Paul penned nearly two thousand years ago.

Although there isn’t much we can do about the weather or the Royals…we have incredible hope for our lives to be transformed by the mercies of God.

I hope to see you on Sunday,

Troy

Our story about God…

Boys on Chair

Raising kids is simply an underestimated responsibility.

Period.

Whether you are a parent, teacher, kid volunteer, coach or any person who invests into the life of kids…what you do is simply underestimated.

How so?

Let’s take on conflict resolution for starters.

When two kids get into an argument….fight…scuffle…whatever you want to call it….there is always a story.

That story has several components…such as characters, setting, motive and conflict…as a “kid raiser” you regularly are given the responsibility to resolve the conflict and finish out the story…so we all live happily ever after.

Problem…the facts you are given don’t always provide a clear perspective of what actually happened.

For instance, last night we were settled in as a family along with a few friends to watch Zootopia (which is such a great movie :)). After a while, one of our kids complained that our youngest made an attempt to push him off of the chair they were sharing.

Well, this is not my first rodeo as a parent…so I was pretty confident that there was more to the story. Sure enough…one kid had entered into the personal space of the other and so he got shoved.

Now they were both wrong…and my assessment of the situation was influenced by the fact that they are each selfish and tend to bother the other.

Don’t get me wrong, they are great kids….and a ton of fun…however they have a tendency to be a bit ornery at times. The point is that their character and prior actions influenced the story I told myself about them.

In a similar fashion…when it comes to God…His character and actions should influence the story we tell ourselves about Him. When our God-story is influenced by truth about His character and actions, we will be moved to worship. However if our God-story is filtered through our own feelings and emotions, we may go so far as to question or even reject Him.

This Sunday, I am super excited to share a message from Romans 11:33-36 on the truth about God. When I see God through His character and prior actions, I will be moved to worship Him. Which is different than when I see my kids through their character and prior actions and am moved to correct them.

There will be much more to discuss on Sunday at 10:45am at New Life CityChurch…I hope to see you there.
Troy

Grace flows down…

Royals game

Last night, a friend and I took five kids ages 7 and under to the Royals game. We ENJOYED complimentary tickets for the game and concessions. And…the #KCROYALS won when Salvy hit a walk off double.

The kids were pretty well behaved…but if you can imagine walking with five kids, two adults and probably thirty thousand other fans…there were a few moments when we had to pause to take a head count.

We were able to sit up high enough so could see everything really well…things on the field were small…but we could see for a long distance….and to be very optimistic, we actually had really good cell phone reception :).

We commented on more than one occasion, that since we spent the night hauling five kids around, climbing the stairs and dealing with the heat, we deserved the win….and we got it.

Yeah, baby!

Just before the bottom of the eighth inning we had a spill in row NN…valuable ice and Sierra Mist flowing freely on the concrete…getting soaked up by peanut shells, cracker pieces and hot dog buns…

One thing in particular that became obvious is that the Sierra Mist along with the help of gravity created a sort of river up in the bleachers..liquid always flows down.

Interestingly enough, liquid is not the only substance that always flows down.

Grace always flows down as well.

Think about that for a minute…grace flows down and pools at the bottom.

So…if you are in need of Sierra Mist…I suggest a new cup…but if you are in need of grace, you may start by looking where it pools.

This Sunday, we continue our study in Romans and will look specifically at Romans 11:11-32…I am sure you will be encouraged by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope to see you soon….

Troy

The truth about abandonment…

A few days ago, our family was able to watch a production of Moses at the Sight and Sound Theater in Branson. Our kids were spell bound watching this most incredible story from the Bible come to life.

Moses

During the production, I was struck by God’s faithfulness…

  • God preserved Moses and allowed him to be raised in Pharaoh’s household
  • God empowered Moses at just the right times
  • God spoke to Moses on multiple occasions
  • God used Moses to rescue His people out of Egypt

I could go on…however along with the incredible miracles and power that God displayed throughout the life of Moses, there were also many low points…

  • Moses walked away from the palace to his own people who were mere slaves
  • Moses killed a guy
  • Moses fled to the wilderness and became a shepherd….a far cry from Pharaoh’s payroll
  • Moses was doubted by the Egyptians and the Israelites
  • Moses never was able to enter the Promised Land

It is almost as if we can look at the life of Moses through two different windows…the window of success and the window of failure.

While looking through the window of success, we clearly see God at work. His power is on display so that it is easy to believe.

However, while looking through the window of failure, it seems that God is nowhere to be found and Moses is all alone. His life looks miserable and it appears that God has abandoned him.

This Sunday, we are studying the truth about abandonment from Romans 11:1-10. You know, those times in our lives when it feels like God is nowhere to be found and you and I are on our own. When the future looks hopeless and the present is very painful.

We wonder (sometimes to ourselves and sometimes to anyone listening) whether God has abandoned us…

…if you have been in a situation where you feel abandoned….or if you are in that situation now…I really hope you can attend the service on Sunday at 10:45am.

If you need directions or are just curious about New Life CityChurch,  you can find more info on our website. You can be sure that even though your present circumstances may feel like God has abandoned you…He hasn’t :).

Hope to see you Sunday,

Troy