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The NewLife Blog

March 8, 2022 by Amy Swanson 0 comments

Guest blogger: Amy Swanson

Going into this season of Lent, I admit to being unsure on how, or if, I would even participate. That changed one morning, as I opened my Bible to the reading plan I'm in. This day’s reading landed on Deuteronomy 9 and brought with it some unexpected conviction....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, Fasting

March 1, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Lord, you are more satisfying than chocolate

I still remember one of the lessons I taught to the NewLife Junior High kids way back when I was the youth pastor of the church. I played for them one of the simplest worship songs, and then encouraged them to change the words to make it more true to their heart and experience. The original song goes like this: Lord, you are more precious than silver...Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, God's love, Fasting

February 22, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The heart of fasting

Next Wednesday, March 2nd, is the beginning of Lent, the season of the church calendar that culminates in Easter. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the journey to the cross, willing to sacrifice everything in order to save us, we are called to follow His example in our own single-minded obedience to God. One powerful discipline that God gives us to seek Him in this fashion is fasting. As a church, we will be setting aside 21 days, from March 6th-27th, to fast and seek God for the revival of the church and the salvation of the lost....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Lent, Fasting

February 15, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Quick to listen, slow to speak

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 deeper 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

Posted in: Relatonships Tags: Relationships, communication

February 8, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Are you confused? Or just afraid to obey?

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?...Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, Fear

February 1, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Watch out for humble disobdience

In Exodus 4, God approaches Moses with what must have felt like a death sentence: go to Pharaoh, the most powerful man in the world, and tell him to let his Israelite slaves go free. Understandably, Moses is more than reluctant to take on the task; indeed, he seems to give every excuse in the book why he’s the wrong man for the job. But even after God assures Moses that he will give him the words to speak AND miraculous signs and wonders to display, Moses still asks God to pick someone else. And so, God angrily tells Moses that Aaron will be his mouthpiece. There’s a fine line between humility and disobedience...Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: humility, Insecurity, Moses

January 25, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

God intends it for good

It is undoubtedly an imprecise endeavor to try to understand things from God’s perspective, but the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis seems to invite us to try to do precisely that. In fact, when Joseph finally reveals his identity to the brothers who sold him into slavery, he tells them that while they may have been trying to harm him (as were others along his life’s journey), God was behind the scenes working all things together for good, in order to save the lives of Joseph’s family and preserve the lineage that would eventually culminate in the Messiah....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Suffering, Character, Joseph

January 18, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

We will see His face

There are few videos that bring the tears quite like reunion videos. A daughter is surprised at school by her military father, home from serving overseas. A son who was given up for adoption meets his birth mother. Even watching a pet who has been separated from his owner find him and jump all over him can bring the waterworks. In Revelation 21 and 22, we are given a glimpse of what eternity will be like....Keep Reading

Posted in: Heaven Tags: God, Heaven

January 11, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The true measure of success

I recently read a passage from J. I. Packer’s A Passion for Faithfulness: Wisdom from the Book of Nehemiah that I found to be a great warning and encouragement for us as we seek to follow God as a church. Packer writes: I have found that churches, pastors, seminaries, and parachurch agencies throughout North America are mostly playing the numbers game—that is, defining success in terms of numbers of heads counted or added to those that were there before....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: faithfulness, Success

January 4, 2022 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The faith that inspires, and the faith that endures

There are few things as beautifully inspiring as someone sharing a testimony of God’s miraculous work in their life: a disease healed, a marriage restored, a wayward child brought to faith. We love to hear the stories of God’s intimate activity in the lives of those He loves. But if we’re honest, those testimonies can often be painful to hear for those whose diseases have not been healed, whose marriage has fallen apart, or whose wayward child never returned to God. For those people, hearing testimonies of God’s saving activity can lead to two difficult questions: Has God forgotten me? Or: What am I doing wrong?...Keep Reading

Posted in: Faith Tags: Faith, Endurance