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The NewLife Blog

May 17, 2011 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

When spiritual disciplines seem meaningless

The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:1-10)...Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship

May 10, 2011 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

A love letter to my church

Today’s post is reprinted from a post written on August 7, 2007. It’s one of my personal favorites, written back when we were a church of 40 or so, and a reminder to me of the amazing grace of our God. Despite our best efforts to screw things up, He continues to love us and to never give up on us, and continues to convince “O we of little faith” that the best is yet to come....Keep Reading

Tags: God, NewLife

April 26, 2011 0 comments

Guest Blogger: Anthony Varesio (April 26, 2011)

Today’s guest writer is Anthony Varesio, a member of NewLife. This is another entry out of his Imperfekt Chronicles....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship

April 19, 2011 by Steve Hoyt 0 comments

Guest blogger: Steve Hoyt (April 19, 2011)

Today’s post comes courtesy of an email update by Steve Hoyt, a missionary with Engineering Ministries International in Uganda, who preached at NewLife in October 2009. Steve is also the cousin of John & Tammy Choleva. With our focus this year on “Blessed to be a blessing,” I found Steve’s letter particularly meaningful and challenging....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Guest Blogger

April 12, 2011 by Jim Quigley 0 comments

Guest Blogger: Jim Quigley (April 12, 2011)

Today’s guest writer is Jim Quigley. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)...Keep Reading

Tags: God

April 5, 2011 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

What UConn basketball teaches me about Jesus

I am a huge UConn basketball fan. I attended UConn many years ago, and during my time as a student, I attended every home game, often waiting in line for hours in order to be as close as possible to the court. This past Monday night culminated a few months of great excitement as the UConn men won the national championship. Having followed the team for years, I was amazed that they pulled it off" after all, they weren’t even picked to make the NCAA tournament in most preseason publications, let alone compete for the title. But under the leadership of Jim Calhoun, and guided by the play of Kemba Walker and his supporting cast, they shocked even this diehard fan....Keep Reading

Tags: Evangelism, Discipleship

March 29, 2011 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Jesus and the problem of evil

Last week, I discussed possible philosophical answers to the problem of evil. The problem, however, with approaching the question of how a good and all-powerful God could allow suffering and evil from a philosophical perspective is that philosophical answers rarely touch the raw places in people’s lives, where deep pain and injustice has left indelible wounds. Most people who ask “Why, God?” out of rage and despair need more than to be told “God may have reasons that just don’t make sense to your limited mind at this time.” So what are the more personal responses to the problem of evil? Where is God when you are suffering?...Keep Reading

Tags: Suffering, Discipleship

March 22, 2011 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Tsunamis and the problem of evil

Last week, I was watching an interview by MSNBC’s Martin Bashir with Rob Bell on his new book, Love Wins, and Bashir began the interview by asking Bell point blank, “The tsunami in Japan" which of these is true" either God is all-powerful but he doesn’t care about the people of Japan, or he does care about the people of Japan, but he’s not all-powerful. Which one is it?” Bell danced around the question with his answer, but I am sure that I would have done far worse if I had been asked that question on national television and had only two minutes with which to answer. Not only is the “problem of evil” a question that has challenged philosophers for centuries, but for the majority of people, it is not a philosophical question but a profoundly personal question, a question often filled with despair or rage towards God. Why, God? Why would you allow this devastation in my life? Why did you allow me to be abused? Why did you allow my son to be killed? Why have you allowed this crippling illness in my life? Is it that you just don’t care? Or you’e not powerful enough to stop it? Why, God?...Keep Reading

Tags: Evangelism, Suffering

March 9, 2011 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The pursuit of happiness

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?’” (Mark 8:34-36)...Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship

March 1, 2011 by Eric Stillman 0 comments


“As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him” (Mark 9:15)....Keep Reading

Tags: Gospel, Discipleship