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The NewLife Blog

April 24, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Who will be in heaven?

Have you ever listened to a convicting sermon and found yourself saying to yourself, “Boy I hope SHE is listening” or “How I wish HE was here to hear this.” Because, after all, THAT PERSON has sins that need to be confronted, not us. In our pride, we are so often blind to just how desperately we need the amazing grace and refining fire of God. In keeping with the theme of pride, I want to share an excerpt from a Charles Spurgeon sermon that I read recently and found especially encouraging and challenging: ...Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Heaven

April 17, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

We need your prayers!

It was 1872, and D. L. Moody decided to go to England for a time of learning from the great English preachers of that day. He had decided to merely sit and listen, and not do any ministry of his own. One pastor named John Lessey, upon hearing that Moody was in town, begged him to preach in his pulpit on both Sunday morning and Sunday night. Reluctantly, Moody accepted the request of this pastor of a medium-sized congregation in London. The morning sermon did not go well...Keep Reading

Tags: Evangelism, Prayer

April 10, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Your presence matters

There may be no more poignant reminder that Jesus was not only fully God but fully man than this passage from the last days of Jesus’ life. Facing an impending betrayal and certain death, Jesus walks into the Garden of Gethsemane to be with his Father, and says to Peter, James, and John, “stay with me.” In this moment of incredible agony, where he will be confronted by the temptation to give up his march to the cross, Jesus does not want to be alone, but asks his friends to remain with him....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Love

April 3, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

What is your adversity revealing about your character?

It has often been said that “adversity does not create character; it reveals it.” Going through difficult times is like a heavy truck going over a small bridge: it doesn’t cause cracks so much as it reveals where there are already weak spots....Keep Reading

Tags: Suffering, Discipleship

March 27, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Don't cry for Jesus

Fourteen years ago, Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ hit movie theaters. Many movies have been made about the life and death of Jesus, but Passion undoubtedly contained the most intense and visceral depiction of Jesus’ suffering and death. Many moviegoers ...Keep Reading

Tags: Easter, Gospel

March 20, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Your labor is not in vain

Today’s post is a favorite story of mine, taken out of Jim Cymbala’s Fresh Power. Cymbala is the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church, and has written many inspiring books about the power of God to transform lives. This story is a testimony to the verse listed above, and is especially encouraging for all who give their life in service of the gospel. Back in 1921, a missionary couple named David and Svea Flood went with their two year-old son from Sweden to the heart of Africa ...Keep Reading

Tags: Suffering, hope

March 13, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The fortune cookie Bible

A common approach to reading the Bible is what you might call the fortune cookie approach: search for inspirational sayings or insightful aphorisms that will help you face the challenges of your day. That isn’t always a bad thing; often we genuinely want to know what the Bible has to say to help us in our fears or anxieties, or to find hope for our future in a dark time. And the Bible has plenty to say to encourage us in those seasons. But that can’t be the only approach....Keep Reading

Tags: Bible, Discipleship

March 6, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Empty rituals

The past two Sundays, one of the main points of emphasis has been about the contrast between the Pharisees’ focus on external obedience to the rules of God (and sometimes their own manmade rules), and Jesus’ focus on internal faith and the need for God’s grace. While I admit that it’s easy to sit and point fingers from 2,000 years away at the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, the reality is that any of us can slide into a place where our faith becomes going through the motions, and the rhythms of our devotion become empty rituals. One of the best things we can do for our faith is to approach those rhythms of devotion from a new angle....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Lord's Prayer

February 27, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Rest in peace, Billy Graham

Last week, Billy Graham passed away at the age of 99. Plenty of articles have been written in memoriam about his life all over the internet, and I have read a number of them. I wanted to take this opportunity to focus on two words that showed up most regularly when these writers remember Billy Graham, and consider why these character traits are so worthy of honor and emulation....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Billy Graham

February 20, 2018 by Eric Stillman 1 comments

Is the world getting better... or worse?

The eighth – and final – chapter of “This is our time” is entitled As the World Wobbles. In this chapter, Wax contrasts what he calls the “decline narrative” and “progress narrative” with the Biblical narrative. The decline narrative is the belief held by some that the world is getting worse and worse, while the progress narrative declares that things are inevitably getting better. Those with the former outlook wish we could return to an earlier time, like the 1950’s, or the time of the Reformation, or even the early church. Those with the latter outlook believe that the world is moving forward towards greater human knowledge and moral behavior, and that the old days were less enlightened than where we are today....Keep Reading

Tags: Culture, Progress