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The NewLife Blog

July 30, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Less of me, more of God

In the last chapter Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, he writes vividly about the spiritual battle that we are in and our need to be clothed in the armor of God, supported by the prayers of God’s people. Every once in a while, there are weeks where being a pastor feels like running a marathon while simultaneously trying not to get taken out by the flaming arrows of the evil one, while you watch some of your running partners get knocked out of the race. This is one of those weeks....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, pride

July 24, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Be quick to listen and slow to judge

This morning, I was watching a video in which a couple of counselors were teaching a unique way of doing premarital counseling. Their approach was focused on helping a couple understand each other’s stories, so that they might love and support each other better. As I observed the couple who was being counseled, I immediately noticed that the woman was wearing a lot of makeup and seemed to have given a lot of attention to her looks. As I followed along with the session, the counselor asked each individual to share a scene from their story that stood out to them as particularly influential in their lives. The woman shared about a scene from health class in elementary school. ...Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Judgment, Love

July 16, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

My one desire

Every month, I try to spend one work day away from the day-to-day responsibilities of being a pastor. I travel to the Center for Retreat and Renewal in Simsbury and try to avoid email and phone calls for the day. Instead, I spend extended time with God, I try to bring order into the scattered pieces of my life, and I work on aspects of my job that require extended, uninterrupted time....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Music

July 2, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Unity in diversity

This past week, I spent five days in Hartford with 100 middle and high school students as part of The Hartford Project, learning about life in Hartford, serving the city, and worshiping God in community. It was an incredible time, and there is much that I could say about it, but the one aspect I found to be the most unique was the diversity represented in this mission. The 100 students came from eleven different churches, from Catholic to Pentecostal and everything in between. Some churches were urban, some suburban, and some rural. They came from every ethnic and racial background. And they were led and taught by men and women, young and old, all using their gifts to preach the gospel and serve the city in the name of Christ....Keep Reading

Tags: Unity, The Hartford Project

June 25, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Pray for me

This week, I am beginning an online book study with some people in the church on the book Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, a classic on spiritual growth. One story in the introduction really moved me. As Foster shares about the origin of the book, he talks about a time when he felt led to have Bill Cathers, a former missionary and a man of unusual discernment and wisdom, pray for him. He didn’t know what to have him pray for, only that he felt the need for him to pray. Foster writes:...Keep Reading

Tags: humility, Spiritual disciplines

June 18, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

You should talk to yourself more often

Most of the Psalms are directed towards the community of believers, encouraging them towards praise and communion with God. Other Psalms are directed towards God as expressions of worship or lament. But some Psalms, like Psalm 42, are directed inwardly. They are much needed reminders that often our biggest enemy in our life and faith is ourselves and the messages we are telling ourselves. Listen to how the great Welsh preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones put it in his commentary on Psalm 42:...Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Psalms

June 12, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Availability > Ability

This past Sunday, we sang a gospel song called “Use Me” for the first time at NewLife. The chorus is very simple: If you can use anything, Lord, you can use me. If you can use anything, Lord, you can use me. Take my hands, Lord, and my feet, Touch my heart, Lord, speak through me. If you can use anything, Lord, you can use me....Keep Reading

Tags: Worship, Discipleship

June 4, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The constancy of God's love

I grew up going to church; however, God did not truly become real until I was 18, right at the beginning of college, as the result of attending a youth group the summer after my high school graduation. As a new Christian, I was full of young enthusiasm for God, for the Bible, and for Christian fellowship, but also very unsure of who God was and what it meant to know and follow Him. Three months after becoming a believer, I went on a retreat with Musicon Ministries. ...Keep Reading

Tags: Evangelism, God's love

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

May 21, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Jesus and our trauma

I recently completed my Masters in Professional Counseling. One of my classes was called Crisis Counseling, and much of the reading for that class was on the subject of trauma. As a Christian who knows apologetics, I am well-versed in how to answer the question “How can a good God let bad things happen?” But having the intellectual answers doesn’t change the fact that those “bad things” that happen to people so often take my breath away and bring me to tears at the depth of the horror some people are forced to endure....Keep Reading

Tags: Gospel, Suffering