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The NewLife Blog

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

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