New Life CityChurch A community that inspires people to know and follow Jesus in Downtown Kansas City, MO Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:36:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Oreo’s and Milk Fri, 14 Sep 2018 13:43:50 +0000 A favorite snack for most people in our household is Oreo cookies and milk. I say most because we have one child who doesn’t like to dip Oreo’s in milk.

I’ll leave it up to you to guess the identity of that child. The only hint I will give is that it could relate to this child’s personality.

Why do most normal, human beings love Oreo’s more with milk?

I googled it to find an answer: The result was that cookies (generally speaking) released more cookie flavor and aroma when dunked.

Makes sense…while eating an Oreo dry is not the worst (especially if you break it apart and eat the exterior first and save the middle frosting for last), it can be a bit dry.

When dipped in milk, the crusty exterior of the Oreo softens and is melded into a mouth-watering bite.

Similar to Oreo’s and milk, some things are better together…such as grace and truth.

This Sunday, Pastor Dave is preaching a sermon entitled, “The Glory of Grace and Truth” from John 1:14-18. We will discover that Jesus embodied grace and truth and apart from Him, we cannot have the life we want or were meant to have.

After reading this you may dig in the pantry for some Oreo’s and look in the refrigerator for some milk to enjoy a great snack, but I really hope you mark down Sunday at 9:00 or 10:45am in your calendar and plan to attend the service on Sunday to learn more about Jesus, grace and truth.

In case you’re wondering, Jesus, is even better than Oreo’s and milk.

I hope to see you Sunday,

Mistaken Identity Fri, 07 Sep 2018 22:35:40 +0000 A few years ago, our men’s ministry invited Bernie Carbo to speak for our fall men’s retreat. He has an amazing story about God transforming his life.

Bernie Carbo played Major League Baseball for more than ten years and a highlight of his career came when he hit a two-out home run in the eighth inning in game 6 of the 1975 World Series.

One story he told was about the time when he was traded to the Boston Red Sox. He arrived in the clubhouse and noticed a guy shining shoes. Carbo gave him $20 and told him to go get him a cheeseburger and fries.

It was later after he received his burger and fries he learned that the man he had sent to buy a burger and fries was none other than Mr. Yawkey, the owner of the Boston Red Sox.

I’ve thought about this story many times since hearing it and have been amazed at the graciousness of Mr. Yawkey to take the $20 and run an errand for a young player.

A mistaken identity like this one can make for a great story, however, it is nowhere near the severity of the mistaken identity we will talk about on Sunday.

We continue our series through the Gospel of John and will study from John 1:9-13. In these verses, we learn that Jesus came to earth and the world did not even recognize Him. To make matters worse, His own people rejected Him.

Ultimately, we have much to learn from Jesus, the Light of the world who took on flesh and came to earth and I am excited to share a few thoughts God has been teaching me.

Colorful Fri, 31 Aug 2018 20:01:09 +0000 Last week at school our son Isaiah was asked to make a map of his heart. Honestly, he produced a masterpiece.

In the middle of his heart, he wrote, “God.” Then at the top, he put “soccer” and “family.” On  the sides, he wrote “school” and “home.” And at the bottom, he drew a picture of our dog, Zoe.

He is very sweet and this picture made Leigh-Ann and I incredibly proud to be his parents.

Imagine what it would be like if we could take a picture of our hearts…and now imagine if they looked like Isaiah’s drawing.

That would be pretty amazing!

This Sunday, we continue our verse by verse study of the book of John. This book is one of four different gospel accounts written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Some have said that Matthew, Mark, and Luke map out a picture of Jesus while on this earth and the Gospel of John colors it in.

Similar to the way Isaiah’s picture communicates the people and things that mean the most to him, the Apostle John communicates the things about Jesus and His time on earth that are most important.

If John the Baptist were to map out his heart, I think it would be a big picture of Jesus. Not only did he introduce Jesus, he then took a step back and allowed Jesus to take His place as most important.

Ultimately, Jesus said that among children born to mothers, there was no one greater than John the Baptist.
I look forward to studying the colorful life of John the Baptist a bit more on Sunday morning as we study “A Witness to the Light” from John 1:6-8. I hope to see you at 9:00 or 10:45 am.

Discovering God Sat, 25 Aug 2018 00:15:58 +0000 As a family, we are in the thick of soccer season. This means multiple practices and games, which also means multiple drop-offs and pickups. Our club not only has uniforms for games, they also have uniforms for training.

This could provide a challenge. For instance, our girls practice with 15-20 others girls who are mostly the same size, have a ponytail, identical socks, shorts, and shirts. Many of their shoes even match.

For the average person, going to the field, this could prove to be difficult.

Not for me.

I can tell my kids by how they run, move and carry themselves. Even from a long distance, I can typically tell my kids within a few steps.


I have known and observed them from birth.

Similar to my search for the kids at a game or a practice, our world is in search of God. Some know this, while others simply know they are missing something in their lives.

In his Gospel account, the Apostle John helps us in the search for God. Through his writing, John reveals who God is and how to know Him. He writes from an intimate point of view…as one who has come to know God personally through Jesus.

This is the beginning of a sermon series that will take us verse by verse through the Gospel of John. In this incredible book, written by the beloved disciple, we are shown God in plain sight.

Similar to how I see my kids on the soccer field, we will see God active throughout every part of our lives. I am really looking forward to Pastor Dave’s sermon this Sunday from John 1:1-5, “Encountering the Face of God.”

Evicted Fri, 17 Aug 2018 20:24:19 +0000 Several weeks ago I noticed that the leaves on our apple trees had started to turn brown. I let it go a few days thinking that it was the hot, dry weather that was causing the problem.

One day I decided to walk over closer to see what exactly was going on and I noticed bugs all over the trees.

I immediately googled it and somehow discovered the culprit was a small country of Japanese Beatles.

I went to the store, purchased a powder that promised to cure the trees and it worked. As soon as I covered the trees, they couldn’t leave fast enough.

Some of them flew, others dropped, and one way or another, they were gone.

In total, over the five trees, there were probably hundreds of Japanese Beetles that I evicted that fateful afternoon.

To be honest, I kind of took it personally. Those are our trees and those pesky beetles had no right to perch there or eat.

Sometimes I think Christians can be accused of similar behavior. We see how the world around us is ruining our lives and so we spray out some truth to evict non-Christians from our lives. Although we may have the truth, we miss out on the love and as a result, we may destroy relationships.

This Sunday, we are going to study the final promise we make to our fellow New Lifers. We promise to reach out to our community and the world. I am looking forward to studying from the lives of Priscilla and Aquila and learning how they committed to loving out their faith.

I hope to see you either at 9:00 or 10:45 am. You may even want to invite a friend to join you.

Working Together Fri, 10 Aug 2018 22:06:41 +0000 One of our favorite games to play as a family is giant Jenga. In case you haven’t heard of Jenga, the game is played with a tower of wood blocks. The object is to take out one block from the tower and place it on top.

At first, it’s pretty simple, but as more and more blocks are removed from the structure and placed on top, the more unstable the tower becomes.

After a while, the tension builds as every block is removed. Then there is that moment when the balance is tipped and the tower crashes to the ground.

Instead of having one winner, there is actually just one loser. And in the game of Jenga, you are the loser if the tower falls during your turn.

Another game we like to play at our house is Lincoln Logs. This is much different than Jenga because the object is to build a solid structure that will not fall down.

When it comes to churches, some are like Lincoln Logs and others like a giant Jenga tower.

Some churches crash after time and others are solid for many years.

Of course, our prayer for New Life CityChurch is that we would be a Lincoln Log church. One that can withstand external and at times internal stresses and still stand strong.

This Sunday, we won’t be playing Jenga, but we will study the promise we have made to each other to strive for unity with our church family.

I look forward to sharing an example from the life of Barnabas as we follow his journey in the book of Acts. If you would like to do some advance reading, you might consider reading the end of Acts 4 and Acts 11.

I look forward to encouraging you to be like a Lincoln Log church and to continue to live out your faith with your fellow New Lifers, God wants to use us.

Spending Time Fri, 03 Aug 2018 22:13:39 +0000 A few weeks ago I had the privilege of performing the wedding ceremony for my niece and her new husband. I could tell almost immediately that he was a perfect match for our first niece to marry.

Several months before the wedding, we began meeting for pre-marital sessions. After grilling them for hours about everything from their spiritual journey, to communication and conflict resolution, to finances, and even future expectations, I only uncovered one major character flaw…

My niece’s husband is a Green Bay Packer fan. Could be worse…:).

By the time a couple ties the knot, they have most likely spent thousands of hours together, getting to know one another and growing deeper in their relationship. The more acquainted they become, the stronger their bond.

I think you can actually see this bond on the faces of the happy couple when they see each on their wedding day. Recently, I watched their faces as my niece came into view, and they were BEAMING!

Almost nineteen years later, I still remember that moment when Leigh-Ann entered through the back doors of the church auditorium. It seemed like it took her and her dad forever to get down that aisle. I would have done anything to be with her.

Like every other bride and groom on their wedding day, we were dying to be together. During the three years we dated, I remember driving for hours and even flying across the country to spend time with each other.

The same is true for our relationship with Jesus. When we get to know Him, we will do almost anything to spend time with Him.

This Sunday at New Life CityChurch, we begin a three-week sermon series on our church covenant entitled, “Committing Together.” I look forward to sharing from the story of Mary and Martha found in Luke 10:38-42 and being challenged to see Jesus in such a way that we long to spend time with him.

In the meantime, I hope you have a great weekend and I hope to see you this Sunday at 9:00 or 10:45 am.

Best in the World Fri, 27 Jul 2018 22:22:37 +0000 Yesterday, Leigh-Ann and I and the girls were invited to watch the US Women’s National Soccer Team play at Sporting Field.

It was an AWESOME experience.

To be honest, I think it was the first time I have been to a live international sporting event to root for my country. And the USWNT did not disappoint.

From the opening whistle, they showed why they are #1 in the world. The team has incredible talent, synergy, and confidence.

During the course of the game, there was never a time I doubted their superiority or wondered if they would win.

They are the #1 team in the world and they played like the #1 team in the world.

What would happen if the church lived and served as the greatest community in the world?

In Matthew 16, Jesus said, “I will build my church…”

This Sunday, Adam Jones, will be preaching from Matthew 16:13-20 and answer the question, “What if the church is the church in Kansas City?”

This will conclude our five-week series asking the question, “What if the church loves KC.” In addition to the sermon, I look forward to worshiping and fellowshipping with you on Sunday at 9:00 or 10:45 am.

$.49 Quik Trip Cones Fri, 20 Jul 2018 22:33:53 +0000 Earlier this summer our family discovered $.49 ice cream cones at Quik Trip. When you have five kids and the summertime heat index seems to push 100 almost every day, a simple ice cream cone can be the difference between whining and winning :).

For less than the price of a medium coffee, our entire family can experience love at first sight.

So, one thing I admire about our kids is that when they find something great, like $.49 cones at Quik Trip, they love to share it with others.

A few weeks ago, we were rained out at the pool and they had invited a friend, so they suggested that $.49 cones could make everything better. They were right!

When their cousins drove into town yesterday, one of the first suggestions for family entertainment was to find some $.49 Quik Trip cones.

So why do we like $.49 Quik Trip cones?

They cool us down, they taste great, they give everyone a sugar high and put a smile on our faces. Even when one of the crew spills…everyone seems happy to jump in to help clean it up.


Because $.49 Quik Trip cones put kids in good moods and as far as I know they cure cancer and increase life expectancy rates considerably…just kidding.

The point is that when we experience something great, we will naturally share it.

So as Christians, why do we struggle with sharing our faith at times?

Well, that is your own question to answer, but I look forward to providing some insight out of 2 Corinthians 4:1-7 on Sunday. I promise I’m not going to beat anyone over the head about how awful Christians can be at sharing our faith.

Honestly, I think you will be encouraged…and look forward to seeing opportunities to share Jesus…maybe even as much as we love to share about $.49 Quik Trip cones.

Well, after writing this, I think I need to go get a cone myself…have a great weekend and I hope to see you at 9:00 or 10:45 am on Sunday.

What if Sat, 14 Jul 2018 00:30:49 +0000 This past week, Leigh-Ann and I had an interview for our home study to adopt a little boy from Africa. The point of this home study is for an outside professional to either affirm or deny our competency to take in another child.

Are we equipped to parent SIX KIDS?

Well, I guess we’ll find out when our home study is completed.

What does it take to be equipped to parent SIX KIDS?


Yep, pretty much a Divinely apportioned amount of grace and a deeply rooted commitment to working together.

There are moments when I feel we are good to go, I mean, we already have five kids, what could be difficult about adding another? There are other moments when we are faced with the reality of immunizations, travel plans to a third world country, ongoing responsibilities, and schedules, kids fighting over TV channels or chores, parenting fatigue, etc.

As we have considered this opportunity, we are confident that God has led us to this place and we believe He is faithful to bring us through to the end.

To bring things into perspective, our desire to adopt another child is pretty insignificant in comparison to a vision to reach our city.

What would it take for the church to be equipped to reach Kansas City? I mean, this is much, much bigger than one child. This is a vision for the Gospel of Jesus to infiltrate homes where violence and perversion reigns, to bring release to those captivated by addictions, to bring hope and healing to every single person in our city.

In order to fulfill a vision for every man, woman, and child to experience and know the love of Jesus, Christians are going to have to work together. Like Leigh-Ann often says, “It takes teamwork to make the dream work.”

This Sunday, I look forward to sharing a sermon from Ephesians 4:1-16 that attempts to answer the question, “What if the church is equipped to reach Kansas City?”

I look forward to dreaming with you about all that God has planned for our city and beyond.