#Jengafail

On Sunday, after Praising Jesus for His Resurrection,  packing in the ham and potatoes and having to unbutton my pants, we went outside to play some giant Jenga.

Jenga is a classic game made up of a tower built with blocks of wood. The object is to take one block of wood from within the tower and place it on the top. Game play continues around to each player until the tower becomes so unstable that it crashes to the ground.

Jenga Pic

Our game was a classic. For starters, we were playing with giant sized wood blocks. Next, the players could have been a who’s who of Jenga. Yours truly was the least of all….and I proved it by ultimately knocking over the tower. But not before we went through at least four rounds each time thinking for sure it was over.

After beating myself up for my loss :), I concluded that the Jenga tower is destined for failure.

And here’s why…

The resources are finite. So they will always run out.

Unfortunately, I think many people run their lives like a Jenga game. They continue to return to themselves for love, comfort, and inspiration. And every person is finite…and on their own, destined for failure. A self-resourced life will always fail.

Christianity, however, is quite different. God has provided Jesus as an eternal resource for love, comfort, and inspiration. When we accept His grace by faith we are given an infinite resource from which to draw our strength for this life.

On Sunday, we will climb back into Romans for one last series. We will start this week in Romans 15:14-21 where Paul begins his conclusion for the book. We will review some characteristics of Jesus (our eternal resource) and we will also look closely at a life dependent on Jesus as our eternal resource contrasted with the Jenga-like life of someone who only draws from themselves as a resource.

I think you will agree with me, Jenga is a great Sunday afternoon game…it’s a horrible strategy for life.

I hope to see you on Sunday,

Troy

Good Friday…even better Sunday!!!

Today is a day of reflection for millions of people around the world. It is our privilege to remember the most incredible death of Jesus, the Son of God.

Jesus endured agony beyond our wildest imaginations during the crucifixion process. While on the cross, He made seven short statements that reveal His heart:

            Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. (Luke 23:34)

            Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43)

            Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother. (John 19:26-27)

            My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)

            I thirst. (John 19:28)

            It is finished. (John 19:30)

            Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. (Luke 23:46)

And then there was silence!

And darkness!

Hope seemed to be gone…it was the darkest of days.

The Sabbath came and went.

And then very early on Sunday morning, His close friends began to journey to the grave.

And it was empty…

Jesus was alive, just as He said.

Easter 2017.png

This Sunday, I hope you can join us for a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. I will bring a sermon from John 20:1-18 in response to the question, “How does the Resurrection provide hope in the midst of the pain and tragedy of this life?”

I hope to see you there!

Troy

Big Pancake…

Earlier today,  I took our youngest with me to the Apple store. My phone was having problems. The Apple Store Genius told me that when a phone starts to run out of memory it starts acting crazy. He told me it’s like coming home from work on a nice day and opening your front door to see a house packed with boxes. And then squeezing by some of them to open the door to another room and that is also full of boxes. He said when that happens, the phone doesn’t know what to do so it starts throwing boxes around.

Makes sense…

So, while we were waiting for the Apply Store Genius to help give the phone a therapy session, Ian and I had to kill some time.

We stared at the big screen, found an Apple TV and then moved on to some other gadgets like a part of the table that moved up and down by motion sensors.

He could move his hand like a magician and a bar of outlets and plug-ins would appear. And then he would move it again and they would be hidden in the table.

After he performed his trick a few times, I leaned over and whispered, “how did you get so strong?”

He looked at me, and thought for a second and then said, “because I ate a big pancake this morning.”

Ian Pancake

There is no way I could have predicted his response…it was completely random and hilarious.

This Sunday, Pastor Dave, James and I are planning to tag team on the sermon about how to respond to the needs in our world with love and in turn point people to Jesus.

Similar to my story about Ian, it is nearly impossible for us to predict what someone is thinking. Which means we have to become great listeners…it also means we have to build relationships with people who are different from us.

I am really looking forward to Sunday…but first, we are gearing up for a great time this evening during First Fridays. If you have some time, come on down to New Life CityChurch.

Have a great weekend,

Troy

#lavarballsays

Sports teach us a lot about life. Sports provide a platform for athletes to learn that life is bigger than winning and losing. Sports teach us the value of discipline and hard work and grit. Sports make us jump up and shout they can also make us want to cuss (notice I said, “want to” :)).

Last night after 111 straight wins, the UCONN women’s team lost. Cheers to Mississippi State and their hard work. Today, the men’s tournament will be whittled down to the final two teams standing. And no, I didn’t pick either of them…maybe next year.

Several weeks ago, in the spirit of March Madness, I started following the #lavarballsays saga…and it has been quite entertaining.

lavarballsays

In case you have had more important things to worry about…Lavar Ball is the father of UCLA star basketball player Lonzo Ball and two High School Basketball stars, LiAngelo and LaMelo.

There is no question, he has some incredibly talented boys, however, he could be a bit biased about his own career and the future of his sons.

He has made the claim that he could have beat Michael Jordan 1v1. Pause for a moment and let that sink in……ok…..he has also made the claim that his son Lonzo is a better player than Steph Curry.

But it doesn’t stop there…he decided to go after LeBron James son and of course found some way to involve Charles Barkley.

Now, he could end up being right about a lot of those claims…I doubt it….but we shall see. No matter what, he has successfully found a way to get the attention of the media and many other people including myself.

It takes guts to make a big claim….it takes much more to fulfill a big claim.

This Sunday, we are going to talk about the biggest claim ever made. We will study from Luke 4:16-31 about a time when Jesus of Nazareth walked into the Synagogue, read from the prophet Isaiah about the coming Messiah and then told the crowd, “today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

A difference (and there are many) between LaVar and Jesus is that Jesus made the biggest claim in the history of ever…and then He fulfilled it ENTIRELY.

BOOM!

So what does this mean for a devoted follower of Jesus?

I hope to answer that question tomorrow :)!

Have a great day,
Troy

Announcement: Tomorrow morning at 9:30 am, the elders will begin our discovery course. If you have been wanting to explore the Scriptures at a deeper level, then you will not want to miss. Class notes will be provided tomorrow.

Leadership….

This past Monday, I decided that it would be a great idea to leverage the efforts of our three boys to work on a yard project that has been on my mental to-do list for more than a year. We needed to treat our railroad tie retaining walls with a protective urethane.

I figured it would be a good project for them since we were outside, the chemicals would put some hair on their chest, and they really couldn’t hurt anything.

Problem was that I had a hard time finding enough tools for each boy to have his own. Finally, after taking it upon themselves to find more tools, they found a few brushes and rollers. It was the process of looking that became quite entertaining.

They began by going into the garage and looking for anything that resembled a tool. One of their first discoveries was a putty knife. My initial thought (to myself of course) was, “what in the world made them think that would work as a paintbrush?” Another discovery was a paint roller without the cover. Again, I love my boys, but at that moment, I wondered how they could even consider hard plastic and metal as an option to transfer liquid from a bucket to the retaining wall.

The final two discoveries were noteworthy. One was a high-quality roller that I had hidden, hoping they wouldn’t find it because I didn’t want to ruin it. And of course they found it…and of course, I didn’t have the heart to tell them not to use it. The final discovery was a vacuum brush. Of course, I knew it would be ruined if they used it, however for whatever reason, I let them give it a try….and to my surprise and amazement…it worked.

It worked so well, that by the end of the day, I was offering my paint roller to them so I could use the vacuum brush. Ultimately, the boys worked really hard and we ended up having a great day. They weren’t perfect…but then again, neither was I. We each made a few messes but we did much more good than harm.

My role as a leader in the project was to give them direction, support them in their pursuit of resources and to keep them encouraged, fed and in the end even paid :).3 boysa

There are similarities in what I did as a project manager on Monday and what I do as a pastor, Tuesday through Sunday. This Sunday, Pastor Dave is going to bring a sermon from 1 Timothy 3:1-7 on the topic of spiritual leadership. This is a part of our vision casting series entitled, “Going Deep, Going Wide.”

Leadership is vital in every facet of life…and it is especially vital in the church. I hope you can plan to join us for our service on Sunday at 10:45 am.

Have a great weekend,

Troy

Signed Jersey…

A few weeks ago I went with a friend to a breakfast for pastors. The featured speaker was Jamal Charles, Running Back for the KC Chiefs.

Or should I say, former running back for the Chiefs?

The starting time was 6:45 am. Since it was so early, I decided to wait until breakfast for coffee. Imagine trying to make enough coffee for more than 300 pastors? You would have thought that it was liquid gold. Pastors bunched in line, politely waiting for one thing…COFFEE! Don’t worry, there were no fights…everything stayed positive…but there is no doubt in my mind, there was plenty of people strategizing internally about how to get some coffee into their waiting cups.

Soon enough, breakfast was over and we were privileged to hear from some incredible people. And the testimony that Jamal Charles shared was simply amazing and inspiring. I am super bummed the Chiefs have released him.

Throughout the morning, there were several door prizes given away. In addition, there were awards for faithful pastors and ministry leaders.

Finally, the last speech had been given, the final question answered and there was one last door prize…a Jersey Signed by Jamal Charles. The name was pulled out of the hat and with my heart pumping, I heard the name, “Troy Campbell, New Life CityChurch” announced.

Boom!

Jamal Charles Autograph

Not only was I fortunate enough to get a swig of coffee and hear some incredible speakers, I just won the Grand Prize for the day…a personalized signed Jersey from one of the greatest Running backs in KC Chiefs history.

Someone famous, once said, “Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re going to get.” And for the most part, he was right. Some days can be great (liking winning a signed Jersey) while other days are not so great and possibly even tragic.

So how do we navigate through days that are great and days that are not so great? Where can we find direction when life becomes unexpected and unpredictable?

This Sunday, James Cottier will shed some light on those questions with a sermon from 2 Timothy 4:2 about why we are people of the Bible. There are many reasons to accept the Bible as our authority for life, but one thing for sure is that the Bible is a firm foundation for an insecure world. Whether we win the grand prize or experience tragedy, we have the confidence that God’s Word never changes. And that’s even better than winning the grand prize…and I should know :). Have a great weekend,

Troy

Reminder: Tomorrow morning, we will have a men’s breakfast at 8 am. We will continue our “Stepping Up” video curriculum along with some good food (plenty of coffee) and friends. All are welcome.

Friends forever…

friends1

A relationship is a connection between persons.

Some relationships are limited to social media interactions while others are packed with investment of all sorts.

Last night at the dinner table, one of our kids was getting the bulk of attention (which is perfectly ok). However, after a while, one of the other kids made the observation that they felt ignored. So, we ignored the point that our child felt ignored. 🙂

After everyone pushed away from the table and began to disburse throughout the house, Leigh-Ann made the effort to connect with our child who felt ignored. She discovered that there were a few other events earlier in the day that contributed to our dinner table discussion.

Relationships are simply a connection between persons, but there is nothing simple about relationships.

This Sunday, Pastor Dave, James and I are really looking forward to sharing some concluding thoughts from Romans 14:1-15:13 regarding relationships within the church. Specifically, among fellow Christians, we will have different opinions on matters of preference and we must accept others without forcing them to see it our own way.

In addition to some shared sermon time, we are planning to spend time answering tough questions on the topic of relationships within a church.

I hope to see you on Sunday!

Troy