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The NewLife Blog

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

May 15, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The end of an era

This past week marked the end of an era for me. For the past ten years, I have spent part of the second Wednesday of every month leading a worship service at Glastonbury Health Care Center. Due to my changing schedule, I won’t be able to continue there for the foreseeable future, and with the recent move of one of two of our church members to an assisted living facility in Glastonbury, I am looking at beginning a new ministry in that facility. As I move on from GHCC, I wanted to share a few lessons I’ve learned in my ten years there....Keep Reading

Tags: Service, lessons learned

May 8, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Three reasons to have hope

In 1721, 18 year-old Jonathan Edwards, one of the most brilliant American minds as well as one of the most influential preachers, preached a sermon that addressed the question, “What is our hope in Christ?” His answer, in good preacher form, was in three points: our bad things will turn out for our good, our good things will never be taken away, and the best is yet to come. I want to briefly address these three reasons for our hope....Keep Reading

Tags: Suffering, hope

May 1, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

A truly American religion

In Christian Smith’s 2006 book “Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Eyes of American Teenagers,” the author coined the phrase Moralistic Therapeutic Deism to summarize the religious beliefs of the majority of teenagers in America. As Smith puts it, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of five core beliefs: ...Keep Reading

Posted in: Culture

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