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The NewLife Blog

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

March 19, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

My fear of public speaking

I have a fear of public speaking. But it’s not what you think. It has been well-established that public speaking is the number one fear of most Americans ...Keep Reading

Tags: Preaching, Fear

March 12, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Losing your life to find it

Last Wednesday was the beginning of Lent, the time of year when Christians around the world give up chocolate or Facebook for 40 days in order to “identify” with Jesus, who was betrayed, abandoned, beaten, scourged, nailed to a cross, suffocated to death, and forsaken by the Father as He endured the terrible wrath of God for all of our sins. Oh, the suffering we must endure as we eat our dessert of strawberries with whipped cream....Keep Reading

Tags: Lent, Discipleship

March 5, 2019 by Eric Stillman 2 comments

Would you go to church if you were struggling?

This past year, I finished my Master’s of Professional Counseling degree through Liberty University. One of the classes I took was on substance abuse counseling, and one of the assignments was to visit a couple of AA, NA, and Al-Anon meetings. I had always heard that these groups often succeed in creating the kind of atmosphere and community that the church is meant to display. My experience proved this to be correct, especially in one important way that I think is worthy of consideration....Keep Reading

Tags: Church, Grace

February 26, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The friends you need

There is a dangerous myth floating around our culture that the healthier you are, the more you do not need anyone. In counseling circles, therapists use words like “codependent” and “enmeshed” to negatively label people who are too reliant on others for their own functioning. While there are certainly ways we can negatively relate to and need others, the truth is that a stubborn independence is just as unhealthy. We were created for relationship, and we need others if we are going to live a healthy and fulfilled life....Keep Reading

Tags: Friendship, Discipleship

February 19, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Fear, anxiety, and love

I am a very fearful person. I often feel as if anxiety is my predominant emotion, as I walk through my life avoiding conflict and difficult situations that, for some unknown reason, I fear will be the death of me. Never mind, of course, that typically when I have to face one of those situations, I find myself surviving unscathed, and even grateful that I went through it instead of working so hard to avoid it. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that I struggle with fear and anxiety on a daily basis....Keep Reading

Tags: Fear, Anxiety, Love

February 12, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The messages we want to hear

In Paul’s second letter to his protégé Timothy, he warns him that the time will come when people will seek out teachers who “say what their itching ears want to hear.” I imagine there have always been teachers like this throughout the history of the church, but this warning is undoubtedly prophetic today. But rather than point the fingers at others, we would be prudent to consider where it is that we are most tempted as American Christians to have our itching ears scratched....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Culture