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The NewLife Blog

November 14, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

How to raise a hypocrite

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to a well-meaning pastor teaching on parenting. He was explaining how he and his wife teach their four pre-teen children to obey right away, all the way, and with enthusiasm. He then went on to declare, “Obedience is so important. After all, the gospel is all about obedience.” Objection, your honor! The gospel is NOT all about obedience....Keep Reading

Tags: Grace, Parenting

October 31, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Learning from the past

Today is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. One of the benefits of anniversaries such as these is the reminder that there is so much wisdom to be gained from people who have been dead and gone a long time. Christian booksellers are concerned with making money, and so they are always pushing the latest and greatest books on us. But a reasoned reflection ...Keep Reading

Tags: Prayer, History

October 24, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Don't waste your life

Taken out of context, the passage above is a stirring charge from Paul to the believer to spend your time living and working for the Lord. Paul’s words are an inspiring challenge, a reminder that while there are many ways we can waste our time in this world, when we serve the Lord, it all matters. But when you put the verse back in its context, the meaning becomes even more profound...Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, eternity

October 10, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Jesus and our trauma

In my spare time, I have been taking a class at a time towards a degree in counseling. My current class is called Crisis Counseling, and so much of my reading lately has been 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. In Luke 22, we read about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, turning to his heavenly Father in prayer before he is arrested and crucified...Keep Reading

Tags: Jesus, Suffering

October 3, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Las Vegas, sin, and grace

On Sunday night, yet another mass murder occurred in our country. The lives of innumerable people have been profoundly shaken by this terrible tragedy, and so let us lift them up in our prayers, asking that God would bring them His comfort and that He would turn all of our hearts to Him, so that we would walk accordingly to His will for our lives. Much has been said and written this week about what happened in Las Vegas. I just wanted to take this opportunity to reflect upon Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:21-22...Keep Reading

Tags: Sin, Las Vegas

September 26, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Is that really what the Bible teaches?

Five hundred years ago, reportedly on October 31st, 1517, a 33 year-old monk, priest, and professor named Martin Luther posted what came to be known as the 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The door was used as a sort of church bulletin board for church and academic announcements, and Luther used it to call into question the Roman Catholic practice of selling indulgences. Indulgences were essentially orders given by the pope that forgave sins in exchange for financial donations, which were used to build St. Peter’s in Rome. As Luther read the Bible, he rightly concluded that this practice was not only an egregious scam, but completely against the teaching of Scripture, that forgiveness of sins comes by repentance and faith in Jesus’ death on the cross. This past week, Christianity Today published an article written by Costi Hinn, the nephew of the modern-day prosperity preacher Benny Hinn, about his experience working with his uncle....Keep Reading

Tags: Bible, false teaching

September 19, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Who is walking alongside you in your life?

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: Discipleship, Friendship

September 12, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

God uses imperfect people

This past Sunday, I shared a quote from Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision and one of the men responsible for Samaritan’s Purse, two of the leading Christian relief organizations in the world. The quote, which was so true in his ministry, was “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” With a resume like that, you probably envision a passionate man of God, giving his all to share the love of Christ with all who came across his path. And you would be correct to a large extent. But there was much more to the story of Bob Pierce....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Bob Pierce

September 5, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Will the house ever be clean?

It is a continual struggle around our house to keep things clean and in order. As you can imagine, four children (along with the occasional foster child) and a few pets cause their fair share of chaos on a daily basis, and do precious little to help repair the damage. Every night, once the kids finally fall asleep, we find ourselves amazed again at the amount of work that goes into simply maintaining some semblance of order. Having dealt with this experience on a continuous loop for the past twelve years, I have come to realize that there exists, more so in my wife but still to some extent in me, a desire that everything would be in its right place....Keep Reading

Tags: Heaven, Order

August 29, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Praying for Houston

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3) We are experiencing unprecedented crisis and chaos in our beloved city. Right now, all over social media you will find people telling others that they are praying and asking the nation to pray for the people of Houston. How are we to pray? The Scripture is clear on ways to pray in times of distress. As I’m praying, below are my requests to the Father and I thought I’d pass them along to you....Keep Reading

Tags: Prayer, Suffering