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The NewLife Blog

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

May 14, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Fake "good" news

Last week, I read a lengthy article on the Financial Times website about Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church, and the prosperity gospel (you have to Google “Financial Times Joel Osteen” in order to access it). In case you’re unaware, Lakewood Church is the largest church in America, and millions more watch Joel Osteen every week on TV or online. Early on in the article is a paragraph that sums up very well Lakewood’s approach to the Christian faith:...Keep Reading

Tags: Gospel, False teachers

May 7, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Who really knows you?

These past two Sundays, we have taken a sobering look at David’s slide from his status as a King after God’s heart to a man who could covet and sleep with another man’s wife and then have that man murdered. After David’s confession, we saw the incredible, undeserved grace of God shown to David, but also the terrible consequences that came about in David’s life, family, and nation as a result of his choices. One of the clear applications that comes from reading such a passage is the necessity of accountability. After all, even David would not have repented unless God had sent Nathan to confront him about what he had done....Keep Reading

Tags: accountability, Discipleship

April 30, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

A moving story of love

Very rarely do I use this space to link to someone else’s writings, but I wanted to share with you a story I read recently that left me in tears, challenged, and inspired. It was written by Skip Hollandsworth in the Texas Monthly (can’t say I ever read that before) about an unlikely friendship between a formerly homeschooled evangelical Christian girl named Jaelyn and a Muslim exchange student from Pakistan named Sabika, and the school shooting that changed their lives and families forever....Keep Reading

Tags: Love, Friendship

April 23, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Beware the spiritual "crash"

This past Sunday was truly a high point in our church year ...Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Spiritual Warfare

April 16, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Love is washing feet

During holy week, we rightly focus on Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the Last Supper that he shares with His disciples, and His arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection. But in case those stories have become routine for you, take a moment and reflect upon Jesus washing His disciples’ feet in John 13. As you may know, footwashing in those days was the job of Gentile servants. It was so menial that not even a Jewish slave could be required to do it. It is this act that Jesus chooses to do in order to show His disciples what it means to love someone:...Keep Reading

Tags: Service, Footwashing

April 9, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Something vs. nothing

One of the challenges of pastoral ministry is that there are very few aspects of the job that can be checked off as completed. There is a sermon to preach every Sunday, and a newsletter to put out every Tuesday, but most of the work is ongoing: discipling people, training leaders, caring for struggling people, and so on. When there are over 100 people who call NewLife their home, and only 7 days in a week, clearly decisions need to be made and priorities need to be set, because I can not give everyone all the time I would like to give. One of the statements I heard early in my ministry, which has helped me tremendously...Keep Reading

Tags: Relationships, Pastoral care

April 2, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Back from Peru, and thankful for the body of Christ

On Tuesday, I returned along with the rest of our team from our mission trip to Peru. It was an incredible week, and I will have much to reflect upon and sort out over the next few weeks. But for today, I just want to reflect upon Paul’s words on the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12, and thank God for how He uses every part of His body to accomplish His good work....Keep Reading

Tags: Church, Peru

March 26, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

We are headed to Peru!

As I type these words, I am sitting in the airport with the Peru mission team, preparing to spend a week of our lives ministering with Compassion International in Barranca, Peru. This trip was made possible by the generous financial contributions, prayer support, and tangible support of our church family, biological families, and friends, so from our whole team, thank you very much for your love and generosity. As we get ready to board, I wanted to share a reflection on one of my favorite verses, a passage that motivates me daily, 1 Corinthians 15:58....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Missions, Peru