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.
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 :),
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…
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.
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.
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,
As a family, we work well together as a team…and typically we are able to help each other.
However….there are times when our attempts to help actually hurt the cause…such as:
- The time our youngest attempted to help mom by handing her the eggs…
- Or when he decided to get his own breakfast….on the floor…
- Or when the kids try to help with the other kids…(no that is not an alien…its Dallas :)).
- There was also the time when we were newlyweds that Leigh-Ann agreed to help me trim up the edges of my hair…um, yeah…that was the last time she has tried to help me with my hair :)…
- Earlier this week, the boys were trying to help me put some tables away…in reality they were hanging on the end of the table making it much more difficult to maneuver.
On a serious note, there have been times when we have attempted to help our kids by giving them a shortcut out of a situation or problem…and we have bypassed a learning opportunity.
On a much larger scale, there are world sized problems such as poverty or violence or poor education…and for centuries people have been trying to help.
But what happens when helping hurts?
What does it look like for followers of Christ to do more harm than good?
This Sunday at New Life CityChurch we will explore concepts from a book by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, entitled, “When Helping Hurts” and we will also look at a real world example of Christians who learned how to truly help without hurting from 1 Peter 3:8-12.
Broken eggs, botched haircuts and banged up tables are simply the cost of doing business as a family…but damaged lives can have eternal consequences. I am confident we each have more to learn when it comes to helping without hurting.
I hope to see you Sunday,
This past Monday, Leigh-Ann and I decided that it was time to plant some flowers in the window wells of our house. Nearly six years ago, we built the window wells larger than necessary so that we could get more light into the basement and plant flowers.
We envisioned beautiful flowers cascading down the railroad tie bordered window wells. And for nearly six years we have only had the vision…there has been nothing growing in those tiered gardens except for a random weed here and there.
Until Monday….when six years of vision became a reality.
Leigh-Ann and I are the type of people that when we have a little space and a good idea…we go for it.
Monday was our day.
We picked up some free pallets…tore them apart…screwed them into planters…painted them…installed the pallet-planters…dumped in some dirt…poured on some topsoil…planted some flowers…watered them…put everything away…and collapsed on the couch.
Flowers planted…Vision fulfilled…Mission accomplished!
Something very amazing happens when a seed is planted. Under the right soil conditions, the seed which contains a seed leaf, stem and a root can begin to grow.
So far our flowers (which by the way were already growing) are surviving quite nicely.
This Sunday, Pastor Dave will be preaching about seeds and planting from Mark 4:1-20. This is the first in our new sermon series, “Love well. Share well.” For the next seven weeks, we will study what it looks like to plant “spiritual” seeds and see them grow.
I know it’s going to be a great start and a timely reminder that Spring is the time to plant.
I hope to see you on Sunday, Troy
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.
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,
I tend to walk fast.
I’m not totally certain why it is that I walk fast…maybe it’s because:
…when I walk fast I feel like I’m getting more done
…I tend to be impatient and would rather get there
…I learned it from my dad
Even though my dad is much shorter than I am, he walks super fast. I remember as a kid from time to time that in an attempt to walk next to my dad, I would end up walking in front of him. He would then have to put on the brakes to keep from walking over me.
As a dad, I am now reaping what I sowed.
I have three boys who like to walk with me, but often end up in front of me. I think there is an invisible magnetic field that pulls little feet right in front of big ones.
So when we’re walking together, if I don’t look down regularly I can almost guarantee that I will run into the little ones…
This Sunday we are going to look at what happens when people only look down in front of them and fail to look ahead.
You see, the Jews were obsessed with the law….and as a result, they missed Jesus. It was like all they could see was the law and in their obsession with it, they missed Jesus, the fulfillment of the law. In Romans 10:1-4 we read that Christ is the end of the law.
I hope you can join us this Sunday for some Good News…and until then, keep an eye out for little feet.