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Posts tagged with Faith

December 3, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Longing for the "good old days" of slavery

It must have been an annoying and arduous journey for the Israelites as they trudged through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. It was hot, there were way too many people around, and there was no comfortable place to lay down and sleep. And did I mention the food? Manna for breakfast, manna for lunch, and ...Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Faith

November 26, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Are you confused? Or just afraid to follow Jesus?

What price would you be willing to pay to experience more of the love, joy, peace, and fullness of God in your life? Honestly, that question frightens me. Even though I know in my head that God is good, that He is the pearl of great price that is worth selling everything for, I still have a great deal of fear when it comes to following Him. Specifically, I am afraid to give things up, afraid that it will not be worth the sacrifice. I think that many of us struggle with our faith, wondering where God is and what He wants of us. What if the answer is really simple, but our issue is not really a lack of understanding but rather a lack of willingness to do what He wants us to do? For example:...Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Faith

January 15, 2019 by Eric Stillman 1 comments

A prayer answered

One of my favorite stories of answered prayer from my own life came when I was 23 and the youth pastor of NewLife. Our growing youth group of about 20-25 senior high students had been meeting at my apartment in Manchester. Things were going great, but the bad part was that the walls were paper thin, and my neighbors could hear every screaming teen, every beat of the conga drum, and every song being sung, and I felt horrible about it. When the lease year was nearing the end, I began praying that God would provide a house where we could meet. I had two friends who lived in the same apartment complex as me, and we decided that together we would look for a house to rent. ...Keep Reading

Tags: Prayer, Faith

January 2, 2019 by Eric Stillman 1 comments

Pray boldly

If I could only listen to one sermon for the rest of my life it would be a message Jim Cymbala gave at a praise gathering called “My house shall be called a house of prayer” (you can watch it on YouTube here . Cymbala references the episode where Jesus clears the money changers out of the temple in order to drive home the point that God’s house is meant to be a house of prayer above all other things ...Keep Reading

Tags: Prayer, Faith

November 13, 2018 by Joe Barone 0 comments

Guest blogger: Joe Barone

Do you have a friend, relative, or co-worker who you’ve shared the good news of the gospel with? Have you witnessed Christ’s love to them? Did they appear curious and welcoming of additional information? Then, after all your efforts, did their interest wane and did all seem for naught? Are you frustrated? Confused? Ready to give up? There is help, and it’s closer than you think. First, let me tell you my story about a little, lime green train engine....Keep Reading

Tags: Evangelism, Faith

July 25, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Rest in peace, Brian Fearon

This past Thursday, Brian Fearon passed away. Brian and his family had been a part of NewLife since 1999, and he will truly be missed. At his memorial service, one of the songs we played was Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Like many older hymns, it is filled with words and phrases that are no longer part of our modern parlance. In particular, the second verse begins with this peculiar line: “Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by thine help I’ve come.” Naturally, most people think “Scrooge” when they hear Ebenezer. But the word is actually drawn from 1 Samuel 7:11-12, where Samuel sets up a stone of remembrance, naming it Ebenezer, in order to commemorate how the Lord has helped His people....Keep Reading

Tags: Death, Faith

May 3, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Don't give up

A wise once man once warned me against comparing myself to others, because we so often compare what we know about ourselves with what we don’t know about someone else. Facebook has become notorious for this: we compare our screaming children, struggling marriage, and monotonous routines against the pictures of smiling children, a man’s effusive praise for his wife, and the latest Caribbean vacation photos, and we can’t decide whether to curl up in the fetal position or stab someone. When it comes to the people of the Bible, we can fall into the same trap....Keep Reading

Posted in: Suffering Tags: Suffering, Faith

November 3, 2015 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

God is big enough to handle it

God is big. That may sound obvious, but I feel the need today to remind you of just how big God is: 1) God is big enough to handle your doubts You may be blown away by God’s grace that saved you from your sins, and yet still unsure how a loving God could let others go to Hell, especially someone who may have never heard the name of Jesus. You may have doubts about the inspiration or authenticity of parts of the Bible. You may not always believe that God’s ways are better for you than the plan you have for your own life. You may doubt and question so much that you wonder how you can even call yourself a Christian. Take heart. Remember the father in Mark 9:24 who cried out to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”, and keep bringing your doubts to God. God is big enough to handle your doubts....Keep Reading

Posted in: Faith Tags: God, Faith

June 2, 2015 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Overcoming addictions

This past Sunday, I preached about how the gospel helps us in our personal growth, as we seek to overcome addictions and struggles, move past fears and anxieties, and become the men and women God has created us to be. The central point I made was how underneath every sin and struggle is an idol, something besides God that we are finding our joy and self-worth in, and underneath every idol is something we are disbelieving about God and the gospel. While we can improve ourselves to a limited extent through hard work and external helps such as accountability or rewards and punishment, the true, heart-level change comes through an increased love for God and belief in the truth of the gospel. I believe that one of the most important Bible verses for overcoming addiction is John 10:10, which tells us that while Satan’s goal is our destruction, Jesus came that we might have life to the full....Keep Reading

Posted in: Faith Tags: Faith, addictions

July 29, 2014 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Simple faith

In L.B. Cowman‘s devotional ‘œStreams in the Desert,‘ the entry for August 17th tells a story that I have never forgotten about George Mueller, a great man of faith. The story goes like this: I went to America some years ago with the captain of a steamer, who was a very devoted Christian. When off the coast of Newfoundland he said to me, ‘œThe last time I crossed here, five weeks ago, something happened which revolutionized the whole of my Christian life. We had George Mueller of Bristol on board. I had been on the bridge twenty-four hours and never left it. George Mueller came to me, and said, ‘œCaptain I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec Saturday afternoon.‘ ‘œIt is impossible,‘ I said. ‘œVery well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement for fifty-seven years. Let us go down into the chart-room and pray.‘...Keep Reading

Posted in: Faith Tags: Faith, Prayer

February 25, 2014 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Great faith? Or great deception?

hen was the last time you ran into someone with measles? Measles, a disease which used to kill up to 500 Americans a year, has been officially eradicated in the Western Hemisphere, thanks in large part to the vaccinations we receive as children. As a result, most of you will go your entire life without meeting someone with measles. But what if you believed in the teaching of Christian prosperity, health and wealth preachers? What if you believed that ‘œby His stripes we are healed,‘ that physical healing is guaranteed for all believers, and so vaccinations are a sign of unbelief?...Keep Reading

Posted in: Faith Tags: Faith, healing

February 11, 2014 by Eric Stillman 1 comments

Faith in times of trial

This past week I was at a funeral, and after the service I went downstairs for a reception in the fellowship hall of the church. The church had decorated their walls with a collection of sayings on faith, and the Oswald Chambers post above spoke to me deeper than all of the rest. Oswald Chambers was an earliest twentieth century minister and teacher who is best known today for his daily devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest. ‘œFaith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.‘ ...Keep Reading

Posted in: Faith Tags: Suffering, Faith

February 4, 2014 by Lynne Pleau 0 comments

Guest blogger: Lynne Pleau

We all face defining moments, some with impact so powerful they come up again and again, creating a pattern across our lives. A sermon during college on Romans 8:28 by Pastor John MacArthur has been the most defining for me. I learned from it, and took to heart, that it is possible to praise God for everything. Everything. Because, we can trust Him not to allow more into our lives than we can handle and to work out everything for our best, whether here on earth or in Heaven. I was still in college when I found this concept tested in what seemed then a major fire: ...Keep Reading

Posted in: Faith Tags: Faith, Suffering

September 24, 2013 by Eric Stillman 1 comments

God takes the scenic route

This past Sunday we experienced an incredible and unique time of worship as we joined together with three other Wethersfield churches for a time or prayer, worship, and the Word in Wethersfield Cove Park. It almost never happened, of course ‘" all week long, the weather forecast was predicting torrential downpours overnight on Saturday night and a miserable Sunday morning. But as we prayed and talked about it on Saturday, the other pastors and I felt that this was such a unique and special opportunity that we wanted to go ahead with the time of worship and pray that God would clear up the skies, relying on a 10:30 indoors service at First Church of Wethersfield as the backup plan. But God didn‘t need a backup plan....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, Faith

July 23, 2013 by Tammy Choleva 0 comments

Guest blogger: Tammy Choleva

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" (Isaiah 55:8-9) Having spent the past 21+ years homeschooling our six children, I have spent a lot of time in God's Word, studying it with and teaching it to our children. Despite having made my way through Scripture multiple times, I always learn something new no matter how many times I have read a particular passage. Such was the case when I revisited the story of Judah and Tamar (in response to Pastor Eric's mention that he would be preaching on this story)....Keep Reading

Posted in: Faith Tags: Faith, Judah, Tamar

June 4, 2013 by Eric Stillman 3 comments

Goodbye, Glastonbury

Well, we finally received our Certificate of Occupancy for our new building, and so, ten long months after we first visited the building at 1155 Silas Deane Highway, we will be worshiping in Wethersfield this Sunday. And four and a half years after moving to 131 Griswold St, we will be leaving both the building and Glastonbury. In some ways, everything is changing. We are changing buildings, changing towns, and *gasp* changing from an east of the river church to a west of the river church. How these changes will affect us, God only knows. But in other, more important ways, nothing is changing....Keep Reading

Posted in: Faith Tags: NewLife, Faith

April 9, 2013 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Don't give up

‘œElijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. ‘˜Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.‘™ Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.‘ (1 Kings 19:3-5)...Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, Faith, hope