New Life CityChurch A community that inspires people to know and follow Jesus in Downtown Kansas City, MO Sun, 13 May 2018 17:43:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tornado Sirens Fri, 04 May 2018 22:15:22 +0000 On Wednesday evening shortly after we put the kids to bed, we heard the tornado sirens….and eventually, everyone ended up in the basement. When it comes to tornado warnings, our family is split down the middle. Half of us move directly to the safest area immediately while the other half is pretty laid back.

A few days ago there were no exceptions. Two of the kids and one of the adults (I’ll let you guess who) moved downstairs immediately complete with shoes just in case we had to make a run for it. The other half of the family, begrudgingly meandered downstairs, a bit frustrated that a natural disaster could disrupt our plans for the evening.

While a part of our family talked about scary possibilities, the others wanted to skip the exercise altogether.

In spite of our various personalities, I imagine that if in fact any one of us had ever experienced a tornado, we would be forever impacted. I spoke with a few people who have actually survived a serious tornado and they would most definitely be in the group that takes natural disasters seriously. They would move swiftly to the safest possible area.

The reason is they have watched the power of a tornado firsthand. They have experienced roofs being taken off of houses with unbelievable power.

They would be the first to tell you that no person in the world is a match for the power in a tornado.

This Sunday, Pastor James is going to share a sermon from 1 Peter 5:5 on the topic of humility. Similar to those who have experienced a tornado, those of us who have experienced God working in our lives and the lives of others are naturally humbled by His power.

We make the choice to respect God’s power as superior to our own strength and this is exactly where we are called to live. Our decisions are no longer filtered through our own greatest desires, but rather through the will of God. So, when it comes to tornadoes, it is always best to find shelter immediately and when it comes to the power of God, it is also best to drop to our knees and humbly find shelter under His authority.

I am thankful there were no serious injuries reported as a result of the tornado and pray for continued safety. I also look forward to hearing more about God’s work in our lives to keep us humble before Him. There is much more to discuss with regard to humility, and if you can attend New Life on Sunday at either 9:00 or 10:45 am I would love to see you then.

Leadership Sat, 28 Apr 2018 01:18:26 +0000 This past week we celebrated the life of my 95-year-old grandmother. Her passing provided an opportunity for me to reflect on many memories.

One of my favorites happened at least thirty years ago in Eagle Grove, IA. Mom, Dad, and four kids squeezed into the family car for the four-hour drive. This gave us plenty of time to plan out our grand entrance.

We would sneak in the back door, tiptoe up the stairs and then SURPRISE grandma in the kitchen. When we arrived, the back door was open. Without a peep, we made it into the basement and paused for a moment to relish the completion of stage one.

Our oldest sibling and fearless leader moved ahead with military-like skills peering around the corners and starting up the steps. In the distance, we could hear the sink running and the sound of cupboard doors closing.

Feeling like we were going to burst, we held it in and forged ahead. Upon arrival to the main floor, we flattened ourselves up against the wall and then….at an ideal moment…emerged in the kitchen to see Grandma, facing away from us with a pot in one hand and a towel in the other.


Grandma let out a howl and let go of the pot.

Mission accomplished!

Grandma loved seeing her grandkids. And not just our immediate family who had surprised her, grandma loved each of her grandkids. She was always kind and loving and generous to anyone who crossed her path.

As a result, over the course of her lifetime, she cared for and impacted hundreds of people. I don’t think she ever spoke harshly or attempted to manipulate. However, for the time I knew her, she not only loved people of all ages and backgrounds, she literally influenced them to be better followers of Jesus.

This Sunday, we return to our study of First Peter with a sermon from 1 Peter 5:1-4 on the topic of leadership. As leaders, we are told to guard, guide and provide like a good shepherd…and really, like my grandmother. I look forward to sharing much more on the topic of leadership. I hope to see you at either 9:00 or 10:45 am tomorrow.

Run Troy, Run Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:26:37 +0000 I am a runner.

And actually a pretty sorry one at that…

In a good week, I will get out 1-2x per week. Here is what this looks like…I will receive a text from a friend and running partner the night before. I will wait for a few hours to make sure there isn’t a good reason to decline. I will set my alarm for zero dark thirty and go to bed mentally preparing myself for what lies ahead.

My alarm will shake me out of my sleep and I will roll out of bed, put on some running clothes, fill my water bottle and walk out the door to meet for the run.

I will stretch and complain about the fact that I don’t run enough. Then we will take off…

During mile number one my body is angry with me…similar to how you feel when a mosquito is buzzing in your ear. My joints will be testy and my lungs will tighten up.

By mile number two, my body starts to warm up and get used to the idea that I am pushing it to move far outside of its comfort zone.

Heading into mile number three, my mind begins to provide reasons to stop…just for a little while…maybe even walk a few blocks.

I resist.

The battle rages on…this past Wednesday I was faced with plenty of options. My knees hurt, my lungs were about to burst, my muscles were sore and my legs felt like lead weights.

The only way to continue on was to envision the end of the run. I kept telling myself to put one foot in front of the other and shortly, I would reach the end.

I did finally push my out of shape body to the end and for the rest of the day, felt great about finishing.

My lungs felt better, my muscles were sore in a good way and mentally I would say I was more alert. If you are a runner you might relate…

This Sunday, we are going to talk about a race from Hebrews 12:1-2. Simply stated, the writer of Hebrews compares our Christian life to a race that we must run.

Within our Scripture, we are given three motivations to keep running. So, if you have been feeling pain or have questioned your faith recently, I think this will be a great Sunday to come to church. You are welcome at either 9:00 am or 10:45 am.

Hope Fri, 13 Apr 2018 12:32:24 +0000 Yesterday, I had the opportunity to join a few friends and attend a luncheon for pastors introducing Faith and Family Day at the K for 2018. There were a few hundred pastors who met at Kauffman Stadium for some good food and instructions about the event.

However, the reason I have faithfully attended this luncheon for the past several years is Dayton Moore, the GM for the KC Royals makes an appearance to talk about Faith and Family Day.

This is significant for several reasons. Dayton Moore has an incredibly strong and courageous faith in God. Listening to him share about some of the ways he has had to practice his faith was inspiring to say the least.
Dayton Moore is also an incredible leader. He has a clear vision for the Baseball team and is confident in the path he has chosen to fulfill the vision.

But I think the best part of the luncheon is hearing people ask him questions about anything ranging from specific ways he shares his faith to questions about the team. Someone even asked if we were planning to keep Moose or trade him.

He told us not to tell….J/K.

There is something exciting about the beginning of the baseball season. Every Major League Baseball team will have 168 regular season games and then the top ten will make the playoffs.

Each team begins with the hope that they will be the next World Series Champion. Imagine what it would be like if you could look ahead and know that your team was going to win. Imagine how it would affect those days when you lose a close game in the final innings. It would be painful, but you would still have confidence that in spite of the loss you would still win the season.

The death and resurrection provide us hope and confidence that in the end, those who are followers of Jesus will emerge victoriously. Jesus has conquered death and shares the victory with each of His followers.

This Sunday, Pastor James will continue our sermon series, “The Cross :: God’s Best with a message from Ephesians 2:11-22 about the fact that beyond the cross, we have been given hope.

The hope we have been given can make the worst days manageable and the greatest tragedies acceptable.

We have so much to celebrate, I hope to see you on Sunday at 9:00 or 10:45 am.

And, Go Royals!

Forgiveness Sat, 07 Apr 2018 01:15:40 +0000 A few days ago I had a “come to Jesus” talk with my boys. I was not happy with the trash they were leaving in the back seat of my car.

Now, this was not the first conversation. Unfortunately, it seems that nearly every time we take a trip, I have to remind them to clean up their mess.

So, a few days ago, as I was gathering my things, and I noticed the growing amount of trash, I began to formulate a plan.

At first, the only person I could get to admit fault was, “not me.” However, after using some interrogation skills, each boy admitted fault. I explained that my expectation from here on was that NOTHING is to be left in the back seat. No wrappers, no jackets, no water bottles…NOTHING.

After going into detail ad nauseum, I finally told them that if they leave anything in my car it will cost them $10 per piece.

How’s that for parenting skill?

Well, I know my boys, and there is a zero percent chance that they will leave the backseat spotless.

Which means I will either make a lot of money charging them $10 per piece or I will need to teach them about forgiveness.

Speaking of forgiveness, this Sunday we continue our sermon series, “Beyond the Cross.” We are studying the lasting effects of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. This week, the sermon will be from 1 John 1:1-2:2 about forgiveness.

Like my boys, there is no way we can live up to God’s standard of perfection. In fact, we fail regularly and the only way for us to experience fellowship with God is through forgiveness offered to us by Jesus.

Interestingly enough, the more I learn about God’s forgiveness for me, the easier it is for me to forgive my boys. I may have to see about that $10 fine after all…

Have a great weekend, stay warm and I hope to see you on Sunday, rain, snow or shine :).

Love Fri, 30 Mar 2018 13:20:11 +0000 Today is a day of reflection for millions of people around the world. It is our privilege to remember the most significant 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.

This Sunday, I hope you can join us for a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. In many ways, our services will be just like every other week when we celebrate our resurrected Savior.

We will worship our Lord while confessing our own shortcomings and need for a Savior. We will celebrate His triumph over death. We will come together from various life experiences and backgrounds to worship Jesus. We will also take time remember the events of resurrection morning and look specifically at one word that describes the resurrection and affects us every day of our life.

Our word for the day is…Love.

I hope to see you this Sunday at New Life CityChurch at either 9:00 am or 10:45 am.

Spring is Here Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:16:55 +0000 Some people say that Christmas is the “most wonderful time of the year.” I think I could make an argument for Spring.

For the past few weeks, I have been looking forward to seeing buds, flowers, and leaves on the trees. I am excited to watch the brown grass turn green. And yes, I actually enjoy mowing the lawn.

After a cold Winter, Spring brings light and life.

Spring for me is the time of year when the sun is shining with a warm breeze, smiles are abundant and hope is brimming.

Spring is also the time of year when we celebrate Easter. After Jesus died on the cross and was put into a borrowed tomb, everything seemed to go silent.

The closest family members and friends of Jesus were sad, tired and bewildered.

And then….it happened.

Those same friends and family members went to the tomb…and it was empty. The stone that had been sealing the tomb had been rolled away and an Angel let them know, “He is not here, He is risen!”

Life had defeated death. Hope had consumed doubt. Jesus had risen in victory.

Last week at New Life, we began a six week series entitled, “The Cross :: God’s Best” by studying God’s plan that was in place long before the cross.

This Sunday, Pastor Dave will share a sermon about the deep, rich love shown by Jesus on the cross from Psalm 22 entitled, “Jesus’ Dying Thoughts.”

Spring is an amazing time of year for anyone to enjoy blooming flowers and singing birds, but for Christians, Spring holds an even deeper meaning. Spring is the time our Savior took our sins on Himself on the cross, spent three days in the grave and then arose in victory over sin and death.

Let’s celebrate this Sunday. And now you can attend at 9:00 am or 10:45 am.

March Madness Sat, 17 Mar 2018 00:15:04 +0000 March Madness has begun!

As long as I can remember, I have filled out a bracket. Typically, I google a few articles that discuss the possible upsets and then I go to work guessing games.

Last night was especially exciting since my second cousin and college football teammate, Nate Oats is the head coach of the Buffalo Bulls. They were the 13th seed and they upset the 4th seed Arizona.


I loved hearing Nate’s half-time interview. He was asked how it felt to be winning at the half as an underdog team and he replied with all the confidence in the world that he thought they matched up great and he didn’t see them as an underdog.


After the game, Nate was asked if the team was pretty excited. He replied that the guys could read texts for an hour or so and then they would be collecting the phones so the players could get to bed. Meanwhile, the coaches would stay up all night drawing up plans for their next game.

If you noticed Coach Nate on the sidelines, you would agree that he works almost as hard as the players. It is obvious to me that the team trusts and respects their coach and his staff. So, I can imagine that when the plan for Kentucky is laid out, they will accept it and put it into action and hopefully get a win, moving them into the Sweet Sixteen.

Similarly, our Creator longs for us to trust Him with His plan. God’s plan for our life is perfect. He knows what is best for us to succeed in this life and eternity.

This Sunday, I look forward to beginning our Easter Series with a sermon from Ephesians 1:3-14 about God’s plan for our salvation. Together, we will discover that like a great basketball coach has a plan for his team, God has a plan for our life.

DON’T FORGET…we have added a second service…you can come at either 9:00 am or 10:45 am.

Spring Ahead Fri, 09 Mar 2018 23:51:31 +0000 Today is Dallas’s 9th birthday. As a part of the celebration, I offered to take him out for lunch anywhere he wanted.

He chose Chipotle and Yogurtini…I like his style.

Eating is very high on the list of things Dallas loves to do. And Ice Cream is at the top of the list of things he likes to eat.

While out for lunch, we talked about sports and school and future plans. I mean, he is halfway to 18 already…

I loved the opportunity to hang out with Dallas. I may be biased, but he is a great kid who has a heart for people. I truly enjoyed spending some quality time with him and also some money on him (and me of course, one of the perks of being a dad is that I enjoyed Chipotle too :)).

And since it is his birthday, it was easy for me to focus on doing good for Dallas.

Tomorrow, I look forward to sharing a sermon from 1 Peter 4:17-19 about simply trusting God and doing good.

What if we treated everyone in our lives like it was their birthday?

Besides the fact that we could go broke from buying lunch and gifts, I think we would come pretty close to the command given to us by Peter.

Of course, the first step is for us to entrust ourselves to God and then the second step is for us to do good. If we miss the first step, it won’t be long and we will get sick of the whole birthday thing. Doing good will become an obligation and burnout will not be far behind. So as a simple inventory for your own life, when is the last time you treated someone like it was their birthday?

While you think on that, I hope you are making plans to come to church tomorrow for more on this topic.

Response to Trials Fri, 02 Mar 2018 23:20:45 +0000 This past week I’ve had the opportunity to learn about ministry with people from all over the world. At my table, there were leaders from Columbia, India, Kenya, Jordan, Indonesia, Sudan, Manila and Kansas City (that was me :)).

One of our discussions was on the topic of sharing Jesus within our culture. There was one person who talked about the difficulty of building trust. Another leader shared that he oversees ministry in 24 countries and as an example, in just one of the countries twenty-four different languages are spoken. Another leader shared that it is risky to pass out any literature for fear of the secret police. Another leader is completely underground with his faith and if it was revealed that he is a Christian, his life would be in imminent danger.

Hearing stories this week was both shocking and challenging. In fact, it is tempting to think that these heroes are alone in their struggles. However, I know that even though our living conditions in America are pretty plush, we still face trials that result from our life of faith in Christ.

No matter where we live, we will face trials…so how will we respond?

In the first century, the Apostle Peter wrote to scattered Christians who were facing trials of every sort. And this Sunday we will study from 1 Peter 4:12-16 where Peter has provided us with advice on how to respond to our trials.

As I consider our present context in the middle of America, it is obvious to me that although you and I may enjoy a relatively mild life, we still struggle with trials stemming from broken relationships, regrets, and failure.

Furthermore, as Christians, we face trials of rejection and misunderstanding and as I can attest from my new friends, there are some whose lives are even at risk.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday and sharing my experiences in Manila this past week along with teaching from 1 Peter.