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The NewLife Blog

October 12, 2021 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The lonely, thankless, dangerous job of the prophet

It is a lonely, thankless, and sometimes dangerous business to be a prophet of God. While for many, the term prophet may conjure up images of anointed Christian celebrities with the gift of telling the future or “reading people’s mail,” the life of the Biblical prophet was much different. The prophet was typically seen by his contemporaries as the bearer of bad news, calling rebellious and self-assured people to repent, stop what they were doing, and turn back to God. They were often reviled, persecuted, and killed for their services....Keep Reading

Posted in: Culture Tags: Culture, Prophet

October 5, 2021 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

What kingdom is our technology serving?

Before the resurrected Jesus ascended to heaven, he told his disciples that they were to be his witnesses “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). But by Acts 7, we find a rapidly growing church that has yet to leave Jerusalem to fulfill Jesus’ mandate. One of the early church leaders, Stephen, is martyred in chapter 7, and following that, a great persecution breaks out against the church, scattering much of the church throughout Judea and Samaria. While the text does not explicitly say this, it seems as if God uses this persecution in order to push His people out of their comfort zone and out into the world to fulfill the Great Commission. I have thought of this passage often over the past year and a half. ...Keep Reading

Posted in: Church life Tags: Church, Technology

September 28, 2021 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The whole Old Testament points to Jesus

Many individuals in our church have been reading through the Bible in 2021 in conjunction with listening to a daily podcast called The Bible Recap, which offers a seven-ish minute summary of the day’s reading. I first discovered this podcast in August of last year, and began listening to it daily while reading the Bible. I still remember the moment I came to believe that it would be meaningful to get our whole church involved in this daily endeavor....Keep Reading

Posted in: Bible Tags: Bible, Old Testament, Zechariah

September 21, 2021 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

You do not have because you do not ask God

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 unfortunately 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 terrible 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

Posted in: Faith Tags: Prayer, Faith

September 14, 2021 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Don't bow the knee to the world's ideologies

This past Sunday, I began a new sermon series entitled “Justice,” looking at what the Bible has to say about justice, a subject that is a big focus in today’s culture. The deeper you dive into today’s literature on justice, the more you find that there are some glaring discrepancies between the Bible’s conception of justice and our culture’s conception of justice. And increasingly, schools and corporations are bending their knee to the culture’s conception of justice, while those who disagree are singled out for shame or punishment....Keep Reading

Posted in: Culture Tags: idols, Courage, Ideologies

September 7, 2021 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

We don't talk enough about heaven

In a couple of days, I will be driving to New Jersey for my uncle’s funeral. The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that “It is better to go to a house of mourning that to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). One of the reasons it is good to be in a house of mourning, according to this verse, is that it reminds us that our earthly life will one day come to an end, and that we would be wise to live with that reality in mind....Keep Reading

Posted in: Death Tags: Death, Heaven

August 31, 2021 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

I have a fear of public speaking - but it's not what you think

I have a fear of public speaking. But it’s not what you think. It has been well-established that public speaking is the number one fear of most Americans – surpassing even their fear of death. That incredible fact led to the great Jerry Seinfeld joke, “This means that to the average person, if you had to be at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.” I would imagine that most people are afraid to speak in public because they are afraid that their mind will go blank, or that they will say something foolish, and experience the disapproving judgment or ridicule of the crowd. But that is not why I have a fear of public speaking....Keep Reading

Posted in: Preaching Tags: Preaching, Fear, Public Speaking

August 24, 2021 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Why are we all fishing in the same pond?

You may have heard the expression, “once you see this, you can’t un-see it” in reference to some particularly disturbing picture. I find this quote from Francis Chan to be like that: once you hear it, you can’t un-hear it....Keep Reading

Posted in: Missions Tags: Evangelism, Missions

August 17, 2021 by Eric Stillman 1 comments

God has plans to prosper you... just not the way you think

In Jeremiah 28, the Israelites are in exile in Babylon, having been conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar’s army. The prophet Hananiah tells the exiles to take heart, that in two years God will overthrow the Babylonian king and restore Israel to their home. Great news, right? Only one problem. Hananiah’s prophecy is not from God. He is simply telling the people the “good news” that they want to hear....Keep Reading

Posted in: Bible Tags: Bible, Jeremiah 29:11

August 10, 2021 by Eric Stillman 1 comments

A faithful example to the family of God

On July 12th, 1992, NewLife Christian Fellowship held its first ever public worship service, at the Gallery Restaurant in Glastonbury. Since the second month of the church's existence, when they took over the responsibility from Ron and Eva Say, Jim and Dorothy Scrobko have faithfully prepared the communion elements and served the Lord and God’s people at NewLife by helping us to fulfill Jesus’ command to “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). In fact, in those early days, communion was actually served from the bar at the Gallery, which, according to Dorothy, is a sign of God’s sense of humor....Keep Reading

Posted in: Church life Tags: NewLife, Service, faithfulness