Lessons from a pocketknife…

Last week I received this text, “Heading to the hospital for Dallas. He severed his finger with that stupid pocketknife.”

And yes, there is a story behind that one…

The day before, while I was mowing the lawn, unbeknownst to me, our four year old took off on his scooter. After crossing the alley and the street, Dallas noticed him and caught my attention when I saw him sprinting down the sidewalk. I turned off the mower and headed that way myself.

I gave Ian an hour timeout and told Dallas I would like to buy him a gift to thank him for watching out for and defending his brother.

After several hours of mental deliberation, Dallas told me that he would like a pocket knife.

So after soccer practice, he and I went to two stores to find him a knife. I took some time to educate Dallas regarding the responsibility of owning a pocket knife. I made sure he knew he could never take it to school or church and that he must be very careful when using it.

The next day he went over to his cousins house and Leigh-Ann told him to be sure to only show the pocketknife to his cousins and not to open the blade or use it.

Well, like our four year old, Dallas decided to push the boundaries and started whittling a stick…and then it happened…he sliced through the back of his thumb barely missing the bone and tendons and all the way thru half of his thumbnail.

His initial response was to attempt to hide the wound. This never really worked because the damage from his disobedience far bigger than he could have imagined.

After a full afternoon in the ER of two hospitals, multiple stitches and way more attention than even Dallas wanted, the thumb was bandaged and on the mend. And hopefully the lesson in obedience is intact.

Dallas Finger.jpg

This Sunday we continue our series on “Little foxes that spoil the vine” and will study from James 4:13-17 about failing to take steps of obedience.

When you and I fail to obey God, we may not need stitches, but we definitely will experience consequences. Don’t forget, James 4:17 even applies to church attendance…”So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”

Have a great weekend,

Troy

 

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New Life Sunday – Pokemon…

A few weeks ago, Leigh-Ann and I celebrated 17 years of marriage. We decided to head down to the Plaza so that we could celebrate and reflect on our life together. We had such a great time, we decided me must do it more often :).

While we were there, we couldn’t help but notice people walking around glued to their mobile devices. It was almost as if they were in a trance…moving up and down the sidewalks, crossing streets and  passing people without even looking up.

pokemon pic

It didn’t take long to figure they were playing…Pokémon.

Now, I have nothing against Pokémon…honestly, I don’t really understand the hype (sorry if that is offensive :)). However, I cannot deny that this game has taken ‘Merica by storm. Simply gauging by the number of people walking around in a trance-like state…the game must have some attraction for sure.

The point I would like to make is that I have observed people playing the game who appear to be clueless when it comes to the world all around them. They are so intent on the game, they are oblivious to their surroundings.

This Sunday, we are not going to learn how to play Pokémon…or Pokémon for Jesus (which is likely going to hit the shelves soon :). Pastor Dave is going to share a sermon on “Frivolous, inattentive living” from 1 Peter 1:13-21. If we are not careful, we may stumble in to dangers that could rob us of the joy we are promised in Jesus. This sermon will be the first week in a new sermon series from Song of Solomon 2:15 on “Little Foxes that Spoil the Vine.”

I hope to see you on Sunday…and if you play Pokémon, make sure to watch out for cars :),

Troy

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

The Gospel and a pro wrestler…

Several years ago I met the late professional wrestler, Randy Savage. He is known as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.

When I met him, he showed up at a suit and tie dinner and was the only one out of more than 500 in a tank top.  His voice was totally raspy and he showed up late….so late that he missed the entire event.  He and his body guard (like he needs one) ended up eating his steak dinner in the hotel kitchen.  There were only a few people left so I joined Randy “Macho Man” Savage for dinner in the kitchen of a hotel.

Randy Savage

I learned several things about him including the fact that he played minor league baseball before his illustrious pro wrestling career.

After we had chatted a while, I walked away and he finished eating. It was at this time that I had an incredibly clear prompting from the Holy Spirit to share the good news about Jesus with Randy “Macho Man” Savage.

As I walked out to my car to retrieve a pamphlet explaining the good news of Jesus, I told the Lord that if he was still around when I returned, I would give it to him and encourage him to learn more about Jesus if he wasn’t  presently a Christian.

I ended up meeting Randy by his Hummer…gave him the pamphlet and asked if I could pray with him. He accepted it all and then drove off…

I have no idea if he ever gave that interaction a second thought…I do know that Randy Savage passed away from a heart condition in 2011 at the age of 58.

When I think of the Gospel (good news about Jesus), I am fully confident that it is powerful and applicable to everyone…normal, everyday people like you and I, Pro Wrestlers and everyone in between.

This Sunday, one of our New Life Elders, James Cottier will be sharing a sermon from Romans 10:5-13. This is an incredibly well known passage regarding the simple Gospel of Jesus that has the power to change lives.

I hope you can attend,

Troy