Welcome each other…

More than twenty years ago I was in college. Wow…I don’t feel that old, but based on the age of my kids and my receding hairline, there is no escaping reality. During that time, I was blessed with some incredible friends. Yesterday, I was able to spend time with one of them.

phil-and-troy

Phil is really like a brother. We spent four years as college roommates and experienced everything from sports to social life to competition over almost anything to studying together…though we certainly could have improved on that :).

It had been several years since we have spent time together, so prior to our meeting up, we each experienced a growing anticipation.

As soon as I landed, I knew it was going to be a great time…it was 70 degrees and sunny….in Detroit.

The moment we saw each other, it was like nothing had even changed…I mean, I may have put on a few pounds and added a few wrinkles, but within seconds we were laughing and sharing memories.

There was the time we ran out of gas late at night and woke up a farmer to ask for help…and the Sunday morning we ended up in the ditch after a tight country corner…dorm room Christmas parties…highs and lows as youth leaders…meeting our future wives…a time capsule…Monday night football between the Packers and Vikings…I could go on…

Phil is a friend for life…there is no doubt that if either of us had a need, we would do whatever necessary to welcome the other.

This Sunday we will finish up our series from Romans 14-15:13 with a call for us to welcome our Christian brothers and sisters. We have been studying Paul’s admonition for strong and weak Christians, Jews and Gentiles to seek the good of the other. In spite of differences, we must prioritize our unity.

I look forward to sharing more from Romans 15:7-13 regarding our call to welcome each other even if we disagree. And before you conclude that our relationship has always been easy, I want you to know, I drank my coffee out of a Green Bay Packers mug this morning…and I’m pretty sure that was an example of seeking my friends good above my freedom…:).

Can’t wait to see you on Sunday,

Troy

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Zoe’s Boundaries…

zoe

We have a dog that struggles with boundaries. She loves to eat food that’s not hers and run away to trespass around the neighborhood.

When it comes to eating, she settles down underneath the table in a perfect location to inhale scraps that are inadvertently dropped from the forks (or fingers) of our boys.

When it comes to geographical boundaries, she waits for the first sign of a door opening to squeeze through and then runs off ignoring our shouts and whistles.

Zoe, our naughty poof-ball, has always made it back home. Sometimes a neighbor will have her in tow, sometimes-before we’ve even noticed she sneaked out- she just shows up scratching at the back door,  and sometimes we have to go get her on foot, bike, squealing van- you get the idea.

Our boundaries for our dog are more than fair and easy to oblige.

Zoe has an easy life! She gets treats for being good and typically gets away with being naughty- sometimes even getting a treat to entice her back into our yard that she has disobediently left! (Don’t judge-we spank our kids and spoil our dog.)  She has a nice house with several favorite spots for her to hang out. She has her own bed-2 actually, a basket full of toys, gets plenty of food and water and even gets her belly rubbed on demand!

Unfortunately, there is something inside her that still is not satisfied. At the first crack in the door, she will inevitably try to sneak out. When you have five kids that, this happens quite often.

To be honest, there are many similarities between Zoe and followers of Christ.

God has established His Kingdom (the domain of His reign) and within that Kingdom, we have been promised peace, joy, and happiness. However, it doesn’t take much for us to ignore God’s boundaries and attempt to find something better. At any time we live or act apart from faith, we have chosen to go beyond the domain of God’s reign.

This Sunday, we are studying from Romans 14:19-23. Paul is in the middle of teaching that the Kingdom of God is more important than our personal preferences. The bottom line is when we pursue anything beyond God’s reign, we are not living by faith. And unlike Zoe, those decisions leave us with some undesirable consequences.

I hope you have a great weekend, enjoying this beautiful weather! See you Sunday at New Life CityChurch!

Troy

Super Bowl Sunday…

In two days more than 100 million people will turn on the TV to watch the Super Bowl. This year the New England Patriots will play the Atlanta Falcons in Houston.

Tickets are starting at around $3,000 each. A thirty-second commercial will set you back about $5,000,000. Each member of the winning team will earn more than $100,000 bonus in addition to their $36,000 ring. The rest of us will watch commercials, eat food…( the National Chicken Council predicts that 1.23 billion chicken wings will be consumed)…and maybe even see some of the game.

Football is a sport that combines strategy, athleticism, and passion into a competition played out on a field where grown men lay it all out to move a properly inflated pigskin into the end zone of the opposing team.

The winning team gets the Vince Lombardi trophy and bragging rights for a full year when it comes to football.

I have no idea what that’s like…I must admit, my team from birth, the Minnesota Vikings may have a new stadium, but still no trophy.

Sad.
vikings-super-bowl
I don’t know what it’s like to be a part of a football kingdom…the Chiefs ruined that in the beginning :). However, I do know what it’s like to be a part of the Kingdom of God. Two thousand years ago, the battle took place on a cross. In the midst of the mundane, Jesus battled sin to the death and won.

Each Sunday, Christians around the globe, gather together to celebrate the victory that towers far above every other championship in the history of the world combined.

Before you settle in for the big game, I hope you take some time to celebrate the greatest victory ever…the death and resurrection of Jesus.

At New Life, we’ve been studying from Romans fourteen and this Sunday,  James Cottier will be sharing a sermon about the Kingdom of God. If you have ever had questions about the Kingdom of God…and the significance for you, I hope you will plan to attend.

I sure hope to see you there,
Troy