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The NewLife Blog

August 21, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

What is my problem???

In my opinion, Romans 8 the greatest chapter in the whole Bible. Filled with promises about the love of God and His commitment to us, it builds from verse 1’s declaration that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” to the crescendo of verse 35-39, where we are exhorted that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love. Hallelujah! But perhaps just as important as Romans 8 is the end of the preceding chapter, Romans 7. After all, Romans 8:1 begins with “therefore,” which should prompt us to ask what it is “there for.” Romans 8, the passionate declaration of God’s great love for sinful, undeserving humans, follows Paul’s most candid confession of his complete inability to live up to not only God’s standards, but even his own. Listen to these words:...Keep Reading

Tags: Gospel, Discipleship

August 14, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Blaming God for our suffering

Soon after the Holocaust, an East German pastor by the name of Guenter Rutenborn wrote a play called The Sign of Jonah, in his attempt to make sense of all the horror had transpired in his country. In his play, a group of German people attempt to come to terms with the atrocities that had been committed on their soil, asking who was to blame for the Holocaust. Some blamed Hitler. Others blamed the munitions manufacturers. Still more blamed the German people in their apathy. Finally, the people realized that above all the others, that God was to blame. After all, God had created this world. God had placed all of this power in such unworthy hands. And God had for some unknown reason allowed all of these tragedies to happen....Keep Reading

Tags: Gospel, Suffering

August 7, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The legacy of a faithful life

I went to a funeral today. It was for the man who taught me the Lord’s prayer. Mr. Taylor graduated to heaven at the age of ninety-six. He spent more than thirty-five years...Keep Reading

Tags: Sunday School, faithfulness

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