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The NewLife Blog

October 25, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The church is not a building

Ask the average New Englander what a church is, and they will likely answer “a building where Christians go on Sundays.” This, Biblically speaking, is the wrong answer. The church, or ekklesia in Greek, is not a place, but a community of people. More specifically, the church is three things:...Keep Reading

Posted in: Church life Tags: Church, community

October 18, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Is your Bible more like a fortune cookie or a sword?

A common approach to reading the Bible is what you might call the fortune cookie approach: search for inspirational sayings or insightful aphorisms that will help you face the challenges of your day. That isn’t always a bad thing; often we genuinely want to know what the Bible has to say to help us in our fears or anxieties, or to find hope for our future in a dark time. And the Bible has plenty to say to encourage us in those seasons. But that can’t be the only approach....Keep Reading

Posted in: Bible Tags: Bible, Discipleship

October 11, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

What makes you happy?

It seems so obvious, doesn’t it? If I could only spend my time doing the things that I really enjoy, then I would be truly happy. If I could just eat doughnuts for breakfast and have a big bowl of ice cream (or two bowls) every night, I would be happy. If I could just spend my days watching the shows I like and playing the games I like and avoiding those things that I don’t like, then my life would be great. But Jesus dares to disagree....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, Happiness

October 4, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Playing Whac-a-Mole with your struggles

I became a follower of Jesus as a college freshman at age 18. After a couple of years of learning what it meant to follow Jesus, and developing some close friendships with my Christian friends, I started to understand the importance of accountability, of having someone that I trusted enough to confess my sins too, someone who would ask me the tough questions about my walk with the Lord. For the past 20 years, I have always had at least someone that I talk with regularly so that I stay sharp in my discipleship. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” But here’s the thing about accountability and the sincere desire to avoid sin....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: accountability, Discipleship

September 27, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Adjust your thinking...

When God met Moses at the burning bush and told him to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let the Israelites go free, Moses asked God the above question ...Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: God, Relativism

September 20, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Overcoming anxiety

Although I may hide it well, I am often an anxious person. At times, my anxiety overwhelms me so quickly that I respond out of my fear without even thinking. My anxiety has caused me to lie, to avoid stressful situations, and at times to act with a lack of integrity and courage, all out of a desire to stuff down my anxious feelings and regain the peace I so desperately desire. I hate the way my anxiety affects me. What is beneath my anxiety? If I stop and think about it, it is often one of two related reasons:...Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, Anxiety

September 13, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Not everybody grows in the same way

In John Ortberg’s book, The Me I Want To Be, the author talks about the unique ways God grows each of us spiritually into the people we were created to be. One of the parts that really spoke to me was where Ortberg said this: “The Bible does not say you are God’s appliance; it says you are his masterpiece (Eph 2:10, NLT). Appliances get mass-produced. Masterpieces get hand-crafted. God did not make you exactly like anyone else. Therefore, his plan for shaping you will not look like his plan for shaping anyone else. If you try to find a generic plan for spiritual growth, it will only frustrate you.” (Can anyone say journaling?)...Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: God, Discipleship

September 6, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The world doesn't revolve around you

I still remember where I was the day I realized that the world did not revolve around me. I was in Washington D.C., 21 years old, sitting in the top section of RFK Stadium at a Promise Keepers conference. All around me, thousands of men from all over the country stood, many with their arms raised to the sky, worshiping their God. As the swell of their voices echoed around the stadium, a sweet sound in our Lord’s ears, I suddenly realized that I was not the center of the universe. I was just one among many who had gathered that day to worship God and to commit our lives to His service....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: God, Discipleship

August 30, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Stop wasting your time and money

What are you pursuing? What do you instinctively look to in order to fill you up or give you life, or to escape from the pain? And is it working? Is it filling you up? Giving you life? Removing the pain? In Isaiah 55:1-3, God speaks through the prophet Isaiah to his people, and he asks them why they are spending their time, energy, and money on things which can not satisfy them. He goes on to invite them to come to him, to experience His covenantal love, to find true life for their souls....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, God

August 16, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Judge not...

This past Sunday, I preached on pride, humility, and wisdom. I joked about it from the pulpit, but for most of us (including me), I would bet that as we listened, we had someone else in mind that we were hoping was listening or that should have been there listening. Because, after all, THAT PERSON has an issue with pride, not us. Hopefully as the sermon went on, we all realized just how much of a problem we all have with pride. 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

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: pride, humility