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The NewLife Blog

April 4, 2023 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Where is God when I am suffering?

One of the biggest reasons that people stop believing in God or calling themselves Christians is experiencing a tragedy and feeling like God was silent and did not answer prayers. The death of a child, the dissolution of a marriage, being the victim of a terrible crime – these and many other events can cause even the most fervent believer to ask “why, God?” So, what are we to believe when we find ourselves in that place, or what do we say when listening to someone who is going through this kind of crisis?...Keep Reading

Posted in: Suffering Tags: Jesus, Gospel, Suffering, Trust, Cross

March 28, 2023 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Immortal horrors or everlasting splendors

The Bible is full of hard sayings, and perhaps none is harder than John 3:36. The assertion made here, and echoed throughout the New Testament, is that a person’s eternal destiny depends upon whether or not they believe in Jesus. It is not hard to comprehend the logic of the argument; rather, what is hard is allowing the full weight of this statement to impact our hearts. If these words are true, then every day we are interacting with people who, unless they repent of their sin and trust in Jesus, are headed for an eternity separate from the God who created them, experiencing forever the just wrath of a holy God. It is not a pleasant thought, but it demands our attention, careful consideration, and compassionate action....Keep Reading

Posted in: Evangelism Tags: Evangelism, Heaven, Hell, C.S. Lewis

March 21, 2023 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

There are no easy answers in suffering

As a preacher, I often quote from C.S. Lewis, because, well, that’s what evangelical preachers do. I must confess, however, that as quotable as he is, I have only actually finished two of his books, because I find his style difficult to read. One of those books is Mere Christianity, a classic and one of the first books I ever read as a Christian. The second is called A Grief Observed, and contains his journals and reflections after losing his wife, Joy Davidman, to cancer. One of the amazing things about A Grief Observed is that it is the personal reflection on deep suffering written by the same man who wrote The Problem of Pain, one of the enduring Christian classics on suffering. ...Keep Reading

Posted in: Suffering Tags: God, Suffering, C.S. Lewis

March 14, 2023 by Eric Stillman 1 comments

Praying the gospel

I have mentioned before in this blog the incredible book of Puritan prayers known as The Valley of Vision. There is something about the combination of 17th-19th century language (complete with many SAT words) and the gospel declaration of the depth of our sin and the beauty of God’s love for sinners that speaks to me in a way that is very different than today’s average Christian book or devotional. Below are snippets from some of the prayers that are particularly meaningful to me. May these words humble you and lift you up as you meditate on the gospel of Jesus’ death for you:...Keep Reading

Posted in: Gospel Tags: Gospel, Prayer, Valley of Vision

March 7, 2023 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Offering our imperfect worship

It is probably impossible to truly understand the motivations and desires that operate within us at any given time as we go about our daily life. This past Sunday, for instance, I led the music at church. During communion, we sang a new song called “Glory, Honor, Power” that begins with the line “Most worthy, worthy of praise.” That line, of course, is meant to be a declaration to God that He is the one who deserves the highest glory and praise. And, in my head, I believe that to be true. But if I’m being honest, there is a part of me that is singing that line to myself....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Worship, Gospel, Discipleship

February 28, 2023 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The faith that is not naive

I was listening recently to a YouTube video of a talk by the psychologist and media personality Jordan Peterson on the story of Abraham and the importance of responsibility ( He was expounding upon a lesson he observed in the Genesis story, that if you give yourself fully to that which God has called you to, then all things are possible. Peterson followed up on that point to acknowledge that some people think that such an outlook on life is naïve, and consequently dispense with that idea. But then he argued that if you would stop being the sort of person who dispenses with ideas and, in a more mature way, once again give yourself fully to the responsibility to which God has called you, then you truly don’t know what God might do in and through your life. He then made this powerful statement, which resonated with me:...Keep Reading

Posted in: Faith Tags: Faith, Optimism, Jordan Peterson

February 21, 2023 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Look to the interests of others on Sunday morning

In Philippians 2, Paul exhorts the Philippian church to strive for loving unity by putting the interests of others above their own and following Jesus’ example of sacrificial service. While this mindset translates to every possible situation in which we might find ourselves, let me share eight practical ways that you can put your neighbor’s interests above your own on Sunday morning at NewLife, or at whatever church you attend:...Keep Reading

Posted in: Church life Tags: Discipleship, Love, Church life

February 14, 2023 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Who are you when no one is looking?

In chapter 6 of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells the listening crowd that the religiosity they see on display in many of their spiritual leaders is not genuine, but fraudulent. He uses the Greek word for an actor on a stage – hypocrite – a word that has come down through the ages to refer to anyone who is pretending to be something that they are not. Jesus tells the crowd not to be like the hypocrites, who give and pray and fast in a showy way in order to curate public perception of themselves as godly people. Jesus tells his audience instead to give in secret, to pray to God where no one else can see, and to not make it obvious when they are fasting. This kind of secret devotion, He says, reveals that you are truly living for an audience of One, not for the applause of the watching world. And God will honor and reward that kind of devotion....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, Hypocrisy

February 7, 2023 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Longing for a phone that never becomes outdated

In 2004, I bought my first cell phone. It was a Samsung flip phone, and it was amazing. For the first time, I could call people from my car or the store. I could even send text messages. That is, as long as I had enough patience to press the numbers multiple times in order to eventually get to the letters I wanted. And if the Wi-Fi was right, I could even slowly surf the internet. I had truly arrived....Keep Reading

Posted in: Heaven Tags: Heaven, Technology, Longing

January 31, 2023 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Do something small for God (2014)

One of the best Christian speakers I ever heard was a missionary named David Pierce, who travels around the world with his band, No Longer Music, bringing the message of Jesus to Satanist clubs, anarchy festivals, and anywhere you wouldn‘t normally expect to find Christians. Pierce wrote an incredibly unique book called Dancing with Skinheads and other Bible Study Topics, and one thing he wrote in there that I‘ve never forgotten is this: ‘œDo something small for God.‘ He said that so many people want to do something big for God, to do something that really changes the world. But often it‘s the small, overlooked, seemingly insignificant things that are the biggest steps of obedience to God....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, Service