Motivation to make the right choices

This is a big weekend for our girls to play soccer. They are each headed off to play against competition from other parts of the country. And since traveling these distances are not customary, this means a lot to each of them. They have worked hard and now they are able to enjoy some of that sacrifice paying off.

Soooo, we have spent a bit more time talking together about the upcoming trips and Leigh-Ann encouraged the boys to write notes to their sisters.

Which they did…

If you look closely, you will discover that the notes are covered with personal drawings and inspiration.

There are pictures of airplanes, soccer fields, and hotels along with other sketches and scribbles. Regarding the inspiration, there are statements such as, “play together”, “play hard”, “work hard” and “relax harder-lol.”

If you look closely at each of the pics you will see that one of the boys wrote, “don’t suck.”

Hmmmm….what stranger is teaching them to talk like that???


Although it reflects a bit of our parenting philosophy…it may not be the greatest choice of inspiration before they head off to a big weekend.

There have been many moments when we have done our best to encourage them to do their best and play for a cause bigger than themselves. In addition, before nearly every game, we pray with them that they would use their talents to point to God.

However, there have been times when we have felt the need to simply tell them to get their head on straight, play hard and yes, we probably have said, “don’t suck.” Maybe it’s a low bar…but no parent wants to watch their kid blow the game-lol.

We have learned that the girls respond best to positive encouragement about playing for their team, their family, and the Lord. However, there are still times when they need to hear the basic, “don’t suck” speech.

This Sunday, we continue our series, “Exiles-Between two worlds,” with a study of 1 Peter 4:7-11. Peter has been using a similar methodology to our parenting. In fact, in the first verses of 1 Peter 4, Peter is telling the scattered Christians that they shouldn’t live the rest of their time in the flesh, pursuing debauchery (i.e. “don’t suck”). Rather, they are called to a much higher calling, to bring glory to God.

So, I can’t guarantee how the girls will play this weekend (I’m pretty sure they will do great), but I can tell you that this Sunday, I will share a sermon that points us to our purpose for living and should guide us through each decision that we make along the journey of life. It’s a positive and encouraging message.

I hope to see you there,



Worth it…


“You step out there knowing the dangers. And it’s intimidating, but that’s what it’s all about.” –Shaun White

Imagine if, on October 17, 2017, Shaun White gave up after he received 62 stitches from an accident while practicing. Imagine if, he decided the risk of competition was not worth another gold medal.

If you watched the Olympics on Tuesday night and saw Shaun White’s courageous awe-inspiring gold medal run, there is no doubt he made the right decision to compete.

As a family, we watched on the edge of our couch cushions, waiting to see if he could pull off a gold medal run. When the final score was announced, we jumped to our feet while Shaun White fell to his knees, overcome by emotion.

The risk of another injury was totally worth it!

Now, this Sunday, Pastor Dave will share about another kind of risk. The risk of suffering for our faith. In 1 Peter 4:1-7, Peter states that suffering is an expected part of a Christian’s life.

And just like Shaun White, the reward is certainly worth the risk. We hope to see you on Sunday.

-Troy (@trcampbell), TimJ (@timothymjansen), Alexa (@alexamariecampbell), and Sophia (@sophiagcampbell)



Think back to a time in your life when your confidence has been shaken.

Perhaps it was a time you played a sport and went through a slump. Maybe as a baseball player who just struggled to hit the ball, or a basketball player who kept missing the three-pointer, or maybe a golfer who just couldn’t sink the putt.

Maybe it has been at work when the sales just were not happening. Or you were passed over multiple times for a promotion.

It could even be in a relationship where it seems like you just can’t say the right thing. Conversations are choppy at best and you feel distant.

Our confidence in Christianity can also be shaken. Simply reading the news and seeing how evil seems to win out more often than not…or experiencing suffering from a loss or criticism can shake our faith.

Several years ago, Leigh-Ann and I had this experience. God had placed foster care on Leigh-Ann’s heart and over a period of time finally worked on my own heart to accept the call.

Long story short, after nearly three years with a foster child we had from birth, we lost contact. During the twelve months leading up to this loss, we had our share of ups and downs. However, there was something deep within us that kept us thinking it would all work out in the end.

It didn’t.

And during our darkest days, we questioned God. Our faith had been shaken like a can of paint and we were worn out.

Ultimately, God revealed Himself to us so that today in spite of our loss, our faith is stronger.

This Sunday, I look forward to sharing a sermon out of 1 Peter 3:18-22. It is written for Christians who had been enduring criticism and persecution and whose faith had been shaken.

On the surface, this seems to be a difficult section to interpret, but beneath the surface are some valuable truths that provide confidence for those times when our faith is shaken.

I hope to see you on Sunday…maybe you could even invite a friend.

In defense of hope in a critical world…

This Sunday is my sister Tresa’s birthday. She is the only girl amongst three brothers. She also is the mother of four sons and no daughters.

In case you were wondering, she undoubtedly has already earned some special rewards in Heaven.

Growing up, she was the closest sibling in age to me and together, we enjoyed plenty of great times together.

She willingly played sports including tennis, football, and basketball. She has always been up for an adventure, however, she has also always been thoughtful, caring and kind.

I’m sure I had a few moments to be proud of as her younger brother, however, there is one memory that sticks out where I was a “you know what.”

I must have been in Jr. High when I had found an article about how to prank your sibling and decided to give it a try.

This particular prank suggested squirting shaving cream into a bowl, scooping it into a heaping spoonful and then kindly asking one’s victim if they would like to finish the last bit of it.

Surprisingly…and sadly…everything went exactly according to plan.

She took the spoonful of shaving cream and within an instant, knew she had been pranked. She had trusted that I was telling the truth about whip cream and quickly found out I was a bratty, mean, little brother.

Putting up with bratty people is not easy. Whether it’s a relative, old friend or someone at work, critical people can make life miserable.

This Sunday, I am looking forward to sharing a sermon from 1 Peter 3:13-17 entitled, “In defense of hope in a critical world.”

There were people in the first century who hated the followers of Jesus. As a result, they tried to harm, threaten and slander the Christians. As you can imagine, this hurt them deeply and caused much pain and suffering.

So, what did Peter tell the first century Christians to do?

Don’t fear and keep a good conscience by responding with gentleness and respect.

Pretty much what my sister has always done :).
There is much more to share on this topic on Sunday. In the meantime, have a great weekend and be nice…and…Happy Birthday to my incredible sister, Tresa.