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Posts tagged with Relationships

December 8, 2020 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

And they lived disappointedly ever after

In 2001, Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee wrote a New York Times bestselling book called The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study. Their study was groundbreaking in that it studied the children of divorce over a 25-year span, describing how a couple’s decision to divorce affects their children not just when they are young, but more conspicuously as they grow up and enter romantic relationships of their own. I read the book about five years ago and found it fascinating. One of the lines that has always stuck with me is this one: “If parenting has been good, children stand to lose enormously from divorce. Clearly they are better off if the unhappy parents stay married and learn to accept their mutual disappointment.”...Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships, Marriage, divorce

May 28, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Stop arguing, and start listening

There are many times in which I find myself in a conversation where the other person has said something to me that I find hurtful or unfair. My natural response is to get defensive and want to argue back, to prove that the other person is wrong and that I am right. However, my natural response does not usually result in understanding and a closer connection. Rather, it usually ends up in raised voices, hurt feelings, and emotional distance. Can anyone relate? Isn’t there a better way?...Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships, Arguments

April 9, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Something vs. nothing

One of the challenges of pastoral ministry is that there are very few aspects of the job that can be checked off as completed. There is a sermon to preach every Sunday, and a newsletter to put out every Tuesday, but most of the work is ongoing: discipling people, training leaders, caring for struggling people, and so on. When there are over 100 people who call NewLife their home, and only 7 days in a week, clearly decisions need to be made and priorities need to be set, because I can not give everyone all the time I would like to give. One of the statements I heard early in my ministry, which has helped me tremendously...Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships, Pastoral care

December 18, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Be quick to listen, slow to speak

This past Friday, nine years after I began, I completed my Masters of Professional Counseling. Three weeks ago, I shared one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from my internship: everyone has a story, so take the time to listen before you judge them. Two weeks, I shared another important lesson I have learned from my internship: Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind. Last week, the lesson I discussed was: Show up with a plan. Today, the lesson is straight out of the Bible: Be quick to listen, slow to speak (James 1:19)....Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships, Counseling

November 27, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Judgment and grace

In the spring of 2009, I enrolled in my first Masters of Professional Counseling course through Liberty University Online. At the time, I was three years into pastoring NewLife, and it had not been an easy road. I was only 30 years old when I was hired, immature and inexperienced in so many ways. By the spring of 2009, Michele and I were raising a 3 year-old, 2 year-old, and 8 month-old, and I was struggling to pastor the church in a way that was healthy for my family or was life-giving to those who were leading alongside of me. Michele and I decided that it would be wise for me to begin working towards another degree, one class at a time, something that would benefit my ministry if I continued as a pastor, or would serve as a backup plan in case things did not work out at NewLife....Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships, Grace

May 10, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

I am worse than you think I am

Lately I have found that when I am accused of wrongdoing, I have two potential responses competing in my mind. The first is to defend myself, to give all the reasons the accuser is wrong, and to point out all the way my accuser is just as guilty as I am. My second response is to not only agree with my accuser but to add to my accuser’s list all the other ways that I am guilty which they neglected to mention. The first response feels like the right way to go. After all, I am standing up for myself and declaring that I am not such a bad person after all, nor am I alone in being imperfect. The second response, however, is both humble and brutally honest about who I am. It is like the response given by the famous 18th century English evangelist George Whitefield upon receiving a vicious letter accusing him of wrongdoing: “I thank you heartily for your letter. As for what you and my other enemies are saying against me, I know worse things about myself than you will ever say about me....Keep Reading

Posted in: Relatonships Tags: Relationships, Confession

April 28, 2015 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Trust and intimacy

If you have been alive in this world long enough, you have been hurt by someone. Perhaps a parent abused you, or a loved one betrayed you, or someone in authority condemned and mistreated you. And maybe, as a result, you have internalized the belief that people can not be trusted. Give a person enough time, you say, and they will hurt you, so better keep your guard up and watch your back. I do not personally walk around with that outlook on the world, but I know many people who do. As I was reading Donald Miller’s latest book, Scary Close: Dropping the act and finding true intimacy, I came across a section that spoke to that internalized belief and really made me stop and think....Keep Reading

Posted in: Relatonships Tags: Relationships, intimacy

February 5, 2013 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Love keeps no record of wrongs

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)...Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships

January 29, 2013 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Be reconciled

“If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)...Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships, NewLife

October 26, 2010 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The slippery slope into conflict... or reconciliation

This past Sunday, I finished up the sermon series on Biblical communication and conflict resolution. One of the foundational verses on conflict is James 4:1-2: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it.” That passage reveals a simple yet profound truth - conflict usually happens when we do not get what we want. And more than that, conflict gets worse when our desires turn into demands....Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships, Discipleship

October 19, 2010 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The freedom of forgiveness

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13)...Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships, Discipleship

October 12, 2010 by Jim Quigley 0 comments

Guest Blogger: Jim Quigley (October 12, 2010)

This week’s guest blogger is Jim Quigley. Jim has been a part of NewLife since last August, after moving up from New Jersey, and is an engineer who also works with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Trinity College. The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. -Jonah 1:1-3...Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships, Discipleship, Guest Blogger

October 5, 2010 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Shrugging off a punch in the face

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11)...Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships, Discipleship