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The NewLife Blog

July 31, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Should I read that Christian best-seller?

One of my favorite things about my time in seminary was the library. I love to read, so you can imagine my delight at finding a place that housed what seemed like every Christian book ever written. There was even a shelf made up entirely of Max Lucado books! As much as I loved my seminary library, and as passionate as I am about reading good books, I am more cautious than ever when it comes to the average Christian book store, or Christian book distributor....Keep Reading

Tags: Culture, Books

July 24, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Remembering: Pat Beaudreau

These past two months, as I have reflected on members or close friends of our church who have passed away during the time that I have been pastor, I have been reminded of how special each of those individuals were, and how, while the world may go on for most people, life is forever changed for those who lost their loved one. I have always loved this quote from the late Christian singer Rich Mullins, which I shared in the first reflection I wrote: “I think we cry at funerals ...Keep Reading

Tags: Suffering, Death

July 17, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Remembering: Brian Fearon

At this time last year, I received a call from the Fearon family while they were in Maine, letting me know that Brian’s breathing had gotten much worse, and they were not sure he would be able to make it back down to Connecticut. Over the previous few years, Brian’s lungs had been getting steadily worse, and a few days after they called me, on July 20th, Brian stopped breathing and entered into the presence of His Lord....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Death

July 10, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Remembering: Henry McCoy

It was a little over five years ago, on May 24th, 2013 that I received a call from one of our elders to let me know that Michael and Sarah McCoy had woken up that morning to discover that their four month old son Henry had stopped breathing in his crib. As quickly as I was able, I drove to Manchester Hospital to join the McCoys, but despite our cries and prayers, there was nothing that could be done. Tragically, and without warning, Henry had passed away....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Death

June 26, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Remembering: Phil Vaglica

Nine summers ago, I began meeting weekly on Friday afternoons with a couple of men who were struggling with addictions and looking for accountability. After a few weeks of meeting informally, we decided to invite a few more guys, put a little more structure to it, and give the group a name ...Keep Reading

Tags: Death, recovery

June 19, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Remembering: Mary Grove

In Matthew 12, Jesus is speaking to a crowd, and someone tells him that his mother and brothers are outside, wanting to speak with him. In reply, Jesus says, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Then, pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 21:46-50). One of the most beautiful things about the church, when it is done right, is that you gain a whole family of spiritual brothers and sisters, parents and children....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Death

June 12, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Remembering: Ray Labbe

My first exposure to Ray Labbe happened unknowingly as a student at UConn back in the mid-90’s. I had begun to attend a church in Hebron called The Worship Center, and I kept seeing cars with bumper stickers that said “Pray for Ray.” I assumed that “Ray” referred to Ray Allen, the All-American UConn basketball player, but I wasn’t sure why he needed prayer. It was only a few years later that I learned that the prayers were for Ray Labbe, a member of The Worship Center who was fighting cancer....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Death

June 5, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Remembering: Eve Christie

An important part of the Prayer Wall that I include with every Pulse of NewLife (our weekly e-newsletter) is the “prayer focus for the week,” which is typically based on a verse or passage of Scripture and is often in line with whatever I have written in my article. Every time I write that prayer focus, I am reminded of the woman who encouraged me to add that to the Pulse, Eve Christie. Eve was a woman of great faith and prayer who was a long-time member of NewLife before dying of cancer in June of 2010. Her trust in the Lord through many difficult circumstances was a testimony to the power of faith and prayer....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, In memoriam

May 29, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Jesus, are you crazy to love me?

Yesterday was Memorial Day, and we rightly paused in our lives to remember those who gave their lives for our country. The day before, however, was a different kind of Memorial Day, as I preached on Jesus’ death on the cross, remembering how the eternal Son of God gave His life for the world. In last week’s Pulse article, I referenced Brennan Manning’s autobiography, All is Grace. This week, I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes of his, from his book The Signature of Jesus:...Keep Reading

Tags: Brennan Manning, God's love

May 22, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

None of us are as we should be

I recently read Brennan Manning’s autobiography, All is Grace. Manning is a former Catholic priest and traveling speaker, best known for his book The Ragamuffin Gospel, which is still my favorite book outside of the Bible. I heard him speak in 1995, when I was a new believer and he “opened” for Rich Mullins at South United Methodist Church in Manchester, and have read most of his books. Manning has an ability to communicate the love and grace of God in a way that is profoundly beautiful and always reminds me that “Jesus loves me just as I am, not as I should be, since none of us are as we should be.”...Keep Reading

Tags: Grace, Love