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The NewLife Blog

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

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