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The NewLife Blog

August 2, 2022 0 comments

Remembering: Craig Wolfram

One Sunday morning in the summer of 2017, as I was setting things up at NewLife, Craig Wolfram walked into the church for the first time. He smelled like smoke, spoke in a gruff manner, and bore a slight resemblance to Doc Brown from Back to the Future, with his white hair sticking out in all directions. He lived nearby, and wanted more information about our church. After we spoke, Craig drove home, cleaned himself up, and came back to join us for worship that morning. And he remained a valuable member of our church until he passed away this morning, August 2nd, 2022 at the age of 63....Keep Reading

July 26, 2022 by Joe Barone 0 comments

Guest blogger: Joe Barone

The basement apartment, equipped with a single gas space heater, frameless bed, fan and a TV was rudimentary at best. A life adjusting to a very recent divorce and separation from my precious 3-year-old daughter would be much harder than acclimating myself to these austere accommodations. Anger, failure, self-pity, loneliness, and throw in a measure of depression while you’re at it, were my every day friends. Visitation time and activities with my 3-year-old Lena Marie were all that I really cared about. Work was a diversion and always provided the opportunity to make new friends....Keep Reading

Posted in: Evangelism Tags: Salvation, Friendship, Joe Barone

July 12, 2022 by Becky Derby 0 comments

Guest blogger: Becky Derby

It was my senior year of high school - 1985. I was in the midst of what would today be diagnosed as clinical depression when my parents told me that we would be moving from my rural community of North Smithfield, RI, to Tolland, CT, the following year. I was beside myself. I was going to college in the fall, less than 20 miles from where I grew up. But, because of my parents’ move, when I came home from college, I would be in a strange place and a strange house. I wouldn’t know my way around, and I wouldn't know anyone. I was devastated and scared....Keep Reading

Posted in: Evangelism Tags: Evangelism, Salvation

July 5, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

How do you prepare your heart for worship?

Think about the last time you entered a church building to worship on a Sunday. What was the state of your heart and mind when you entered? Were you focused on God and ready to worship Him and hear from Him? Were you distracted by the concerns of the day, or annoyed by the kids in the back seat? Were you coming in late, rushed and just glad you made it?...Keep Reading

Posted in: Worship Tags: Church, Worship, Songs of Ascent

June 28, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The depth and maturity of long-term relationships

On September 20th, 1998, a new family arrived at NewLife. They were the Fearons, consisting of a father, Brian; a mother, Laurie; and four children in tow: Arlene, Sarah, Mary, and Brian. Arlene was in high school, and everyone else was in elementary school or younger. I was the youth pastor of NewLife at the time, and Arlene soon became a part of the youth group I was leading. Eventually Sarah joined as well. The first wedding I ever officiated was Arlene’s wedding to Gordon Hood, another youth group graduate. And this past Saturday, June 25th, I had the privilege of officiating Sarah’s wedding to Joel Yudt....Keep Reading

Posted in: Relatonships Tags: Church, Relationships, Commitment

June 21, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Happy heavenly birthday Gino

I met Gino Marozzi in the fall of 1998. I was the 22-year-old youth pastor of NewLife Christian Fellowship, and his twin daughters, Nikki & Tori, had just started attending my youth group. Soon, they began attending NewLife on Sundays, and Tori expressed an interest in singing on the worship team. Gino joined her, eager to support his daughter as the loving father he was. In the summer of 1999, the youth group I led, which included Nikki & Tori, led a Vacation Bible School for the church and area kids....Keep Reading

Posted in: Church life Tags: Death, Gino Marozzi

June 14, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Give us this day our daily (spiritual) bread

When the Israelites were traveling through the wilderness after their exodus from Egypt, God provided for them by causing a bread-like substance called manna to appear every morning on the ground. Moses instructed the people to gather as much as they needed for the day, with two caveats: they could not save any manna overnight, because it would rot, and on the day before the Sabbath, they had to gather enough for two days, so that they could rest on that holy day. And for 40 years, God’s provision of daily bread sustained them through the wilderness....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, Bible reading

June 7, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

A lament for Uvalde and our violent world

It is hard to know how to best respond to the ongoing tragedies in our country and world. On May 24th, an 18-year-old gunman tragically took the lives of 19 children and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX. Despite the horror of that day, it was sadly just another in a long line of mass shootings. And despite the tragedy of these mass shootings, they are only part of a larger spike recently in our country of “deaths of despair,” including suicides, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related deaths. And, if that is not depressing enough, a survey of the global scene shows the continued ravages of war, poverty, slavery, and other atrocities....Keep Reading

Posted in: Suffering Tags: Suffering, Lament, Uvalde, violence

May 31, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Drowning out the cries of the suffering

As I was reading Diane Langberg’s Suffering and the Heart of God last week, I came across this devastating story that is worth sober reflection: “While I was in Ghana a couple of years ago for a conference on violence against women and children, we visited Cape Coast Castle. Hundreds of thousands of Africans were forced through its dungeons and through the door of no return onto slave ships. There were five dungeon chambers for males, and descending into the darkness of one of those dungeons felt claustrophobic. 200 men shackled and chained together lived in that dungeon for about three months before being shipped across the Atlantic. We stood in one of the male dungeons listening in the darkness to the whole horrific story, when our guide said this: “Do you know what is above this dungeon?”...Keep Reading

Posted in: Suffering Tags: Worship, Suffering, Cape Coast Castle

May 24, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Living with humble confidence

One of my favorite books of prayer is The Valley of Vision: a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions. If you have never read this book, it is a unique and fascinating read, full of rarely used SAT words but also with a theological and devotional depth unmatched by modern-day prayer and devotional books. Below is a prayer entitled Continual Repentance. I encourage you to read it slowly and carefully. ...Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: humility, Confidence, Valley of Vision