Celebration!!!

Last night the KC Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders 21-13. This is a rivalry that has been going on longer than I’ve been alive and certainly longer than the 17 years I’ve been living in Kansas City.

Due to the New Life women’s Christmas party at our house, the boys and I were assigned to the basement….to watch the game. I love it when that happens :).

With the recent demise of my Minnesota Vikings, I have been paying closer attention to our beloved KC Chiefs. That big win in Denver was pretty incredible and now with a win over the conference leading Raiders…the Chiefs are on pace for a first round bye and possible home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

There was one point in the game where I think I got goosebumps. The Chiefs were winning 14-3 and the Raiders had to punt. After a fourth down penalty they were forced to punt again…

Tyreek Hill fielded the punt and it didn’t take long to realize he.could.go.all.the.way. He ran 78 yards for a touchdown.

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Alex Smith had this to say, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen what happened tonight, I’ve never seen a stadium chanting a guy’s name like that and then he houses it (touchdown return). It gave me chills on the sideline. The whole stadium is chanting his name and then he answers. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen, for sure.”

Whether you are the starting quarterback or a dad “stuck” with his kids in the basement, that run-back was a reason for CELEBRATION!

The boys and I exchanged high fives along with the players and probably anyone near KC that had some red on last night.

As awesome as that moment was for the KC Chiefs and fans, this time of year, there is more than football to give us a reason to celebrate. Perhaps the greatest reason for celebration in the history of the world is the Baby that was born in a manger.

This Sunday, James Cottier a Teaching Elder here at New Life will bring a sermon from Luke 2:8-20 about the Shepherds and the Angels and their celebration at the birth of the Messiah. This is our third week in our Advent Series as we prepare to celebrate the Coming of our Savior.

I hope to see you on Sunday so we can celebrate a Chiefs win and more importantly the birth of Jesus together!

Have a great weekend,

Troy

The most wonderful time of the year…

This past week we began preparing for Christmas at the Campbell house. This means we have to transport  all the tubs full of decorations from the garage to the house. Then we unfold and unravel everything, and reinstall it.

We have some basic responsibilities:

Troy: Move boxes upstairs, set up Christmas tree, hang exterior lights.
Leigh-Ann: Everything else.
Kids: Decorate your own tree…and stay away from ours :).

I have tried to have a good attitude…really, I have. But in my defense, I’ve been sick (man cold) and it seems like we just took down the Christmas decorations from last year.

So why do we spend so much time preparing for Christmas?

Easy answer….it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

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But maybe not for the reasons that come to mind such as….traditions, baking, gifts (giving and receiving), holiday cheer, etc.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year because it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Yep, I’m a Pastor…and you expected me to say this…but you and I each know it’s true :).

This Sunday is the second week of Advent. At New Life this week we will study from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke about the preparation for the birth of Jesus. We will look closely at the Angel’s message to Zechariah, Mary and Joseph to prepare them for the coming Messiah.

When we consider the Old Testament prophesies, Angelic messages, the gathering of shepherds and wise men and so many other events surrounding this “most wonderful time of the year”, there is no doubt that God thought of everything.

So in the midst of our own Christmas plans…let’s not forget God’s plans.

I hope to see you Sunday,
Troy

Announcement: Justice Fair Tonight — We are hosting vendors from many different non-profits. Come for some Christmas shopping and cheer and support some incredible causes…its a WIN-WIN!!!

God is…

Fondue

On Christmas Eve, Leigh-Ann and I and the five kids celebrated the birth of Jesus with a few of our own traditions.

We fired up the fondue pot, along with some of our favorite sides and enjoyed a great meal. We were especially grateful that everyone stayed healthy which is no small achievement when you consider five kids ages 3-14 cooking meat on a fondue fork in boiling broth fueled by an open flame.

Afterwards, we opened some of our gifts.

So.Much.Fun.

The kids even surprised us with gifts…including a new wallet for me…I’m thinking they want me to have a nice holder for all the money they will need in the years to come :).

We ended the night by watching “The Nativity.”

Nativity Movie

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The reality of Jesus’ birth puts our holiday into perspective.

  • Rome was overbearing and King Herod was downright evil.
  • Mary was so young and Joseph was so average.
  • The unexpected pregnancy created
    quite the stir.
  • The one hundred mile journey to Bethlehem was difficult.
  • The birthplace for Jesus was humble…embarrassingly humble for the Creator of the world.
  • Life was incredibly hard…no running water, electricity, decent transportation or direct long distance communication.

The movie was a great reminder that when we strip away the things that can be bought and the entertainment that can be enjoyed, people who have lived from the first century to the twenty-first century are still wired the same way.

The only way for us to find fulfillment and purpose is to start at the humble manger and end with the empty tomb.

Jesus came to bring hope to the world.

This Sunday, I look forward to sharing the first sermon in a four part series entitled, “God is…” from Isaiah 44:1-5 about the fact that God is louder than you think; but you have to be listening.

As we prepare to take down the Christmas tree and pack up the fondue pot for another year, I am so grateful that the story of Jesus’ birth is meant to be an integral part of our lives forever.

#NewLifeNewYear

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My oldest daughter and I have started running together. It seems like only a few days ago that we were taking her home from the hospital, now we are running around the hospital.

Distance running has much to teach us about life:

  • No matter how far we intend to run, we can only take one step at a time
  • If we never start, we never get anywhere
  • It always seems to be better with a partner

Over the past four years, I have run the route around the hospital easily more than one hundred times. As a result, I have memorized every curb, hill and stop sign. I have felt the pain of a side stitch, being winded on hills and wanting to quit.

As a result, during our first run, I talked my daughter through the route. As we jogged away from the house, I told her about pacing and breathing. From time to time, I slipped in some motivation and made sure to stay very positive.

The farther we ran, the more it became apparent that my daughter was going to be able to keep right up with  me.

I was/am so proud of her…

Towards the end of our run, there are three pretty big hills.

“Lean into the hill.”

“As soon as we get to the top, you can catch your breath on the way down.”

“You will feel so good when we get home.”

Since I had run the route many times before, it was natural for me to draw on my experiences and share hope.

Hope is in demand far beyond a running route.

Our world is full of:

  • Sickness and sadness
  • Poverty and hunger
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Questions and doubts

Jesus came to earth and “dwelt among us” to provide hope and healing. Jesus knows every up and down of life…He has felt pain and exhilaration. Jesus is our ultimate running partner for life. This Sunday, we conclude our Advent series, “A weary world rejoices” with a sermon from John 1:1-18.

Jesus is the light that cannot be overcome by darkness and He brings bottomless grace and truth for a world that needs hope, healing and forgiveness.

I can’t wait to talk more about Jesus on Sunday, in the meantime, I think it’s about time for another run.

Troy

Fresh idea for Sunday worship: If you tweet, it would be totally awesome if you would use the hashtag #Newlifenewyear to share your wishes for 2015. We may share your tweets during worship. Here are some examples:

I wish for us to see beauty in redemption #Newlifenewyear
I wish we would know and experience God’s grace for ourselves and extend it to others #Newlifenewyear
I wish we would see God give victory over addictions and bad habits #Newlifenewyear
I wish we would love God’s word over our agenda and do-to list #Newlifenewyear
I wish for a thankful heart #Newlifenewyear
I wish for us to rest in God’s sovereign and loving care for us #Newlifenewyear

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New Life Sunday – Timeout…

This morning our 2 year old earned a time-out. The crime was that he and his 4 year old brother decided to wake up their oldest brother.

Christmas morning is the annual mulligan in our household for waking up siblings. Otherwise it is off limits.

When you have five kids, time in bed is invaluable. For kids, it seems there is a direct correlation between plenty of sleep and good behavior. The most important reason for this rule though is that dad and mom get to sleep when the kids are asleep.

SO, back to the timeout…

I put our 2 year old in a large chair for his five minute time-out. In hockey, five minutes is a major penalty, in our household, it’s a minor penalty.

After he sat down, he fully extended each of his hands to the chair arms, put a grumpy look on his face, looked me square in the eyes and said, “I’m bored.”

Uh huh…that’s kind of the point. I told him to think about his choice to wake up his brother.

As his father, it is predictable for me to analyze his behavior and call it selfish. Granted, it’s a good sign he wants to play with his brother, but he failed to realize that while attempting to improve his own life, he actually took advantage of the many others lives. Such as:

  • His brother, who needed more sleep
  • His sisters, who woke up after hearing the three of them up
  • His parents, who really needed the sleep 🙂
  • His grandparents…I could go on…

Unfortunately, self-centered behavior is not isolated to two year olds. More often than I want to admit, adults make self-centered decisions and live self-centered lives.

This Sunday, we are going to take another look at the selflessness of Jesus as well as His earthly mother. Mary, was chosen by God to deliver His Son Jesus and after receiving this news from the angel, she broke out in a song. Pastor Dave will share part two of his sermon on the Magnificat.

In the meantime, make sure you don’t wake up your family and do your best to live selflessly like your Savior.

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A weary world rejoices…

A few days ago I came home at the end of a busy day, drove in the garage, shut the garage door, kicked off my shoes and walked upstairs.

And then it happened…

I was on the landing with about six steps to go until I reached the kitchen when I paused in order to take in the full experience.

I could smell dinner in the oven.

I heard three boys trying as hard as they could to contain their happy excitement.

I could see one daughter sitting at the kitchen table.

I could feel the warmth of the house on a cold day.

The only one of my five senses still to be blessed was my sense of touch…and within seconds I had one boy on each leg and another jumping up for my shoulders. Leigh-Ann was on her way over to give me a kiss and the girls followed with a hug.

Incredible…grateful…happy…affirmed…these are just a few words that come to mind when I reflect back on that moment.

Can you imagine if instead of pausing on the landing to count my blessings, I barreled up the stairs and yelled at the kids asking which one had left their bike out as a tripping hazard next to where I park my car?

The mood in the household would most certainly have shifted…

…peace would quickly turn to conflict.

…giggles would change to gasps.

…the warmth of the house would be ignored.

It is scary to think about how my evening would have spiraled if I had chosen to focus on the bike left a few inches out of its designated parking area and ignored the many amazing blessings right under my nose.

This Sunday, Pastor Dave will be sharing from Luke 1:26-33, 39-55 in our Advent series entitled, “Can a weary world rejoice?”In addition, we will focus on the Angels and Shepherds as we light our third Advent Candle.

We have so many reasons to rejoice…even if it feels like life is wearing us out. I hope you can join in the joy on Sunday…and make sure you keep an eye out for tripping hazards in the meantime.

Have a great evening!

Troy

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