Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Disaster Relief Homepage -

Here is a link to the North American Mission Board Disaster Relief Homepage where you can make a donation or find out how you might help with relief for those devastated by Katrina.

Pastor Brian Is At A Christian Song Writer's Conference

Pastor Brian leading contemporary worship! I expect that you, like me, have enjoyed and benefited from Pastor Brian's unique ability to put great doctrine and worship to music. He is at a conference this week to learn more and to be encouraged in his song writing pursuits.

I hope and pray God will continue to use Brian's gifts to bless not only our church, but the Church at large. Please pray God would bless his efforts, and would give him (and Kelly and the children) a good week.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

New Life Church's Clackamas River Baptism

New Believers Our church gathered on the Clackamas RiverOn Sunday, August 28, we had a great afternoon. About 200 friends and family members witnessed 13 people publicly confess faith in Christ. Each one rehearsed the need of sinful people to turn to Christ to find a ready savior. It was a tremendous testimony to the grace of God.

Those who were baptized were: Zach Polley, Ronnie Hagerman, Courtney Hagerman, Jesse McGahan, Olga Koran, Roman Koran, Eli Burch, Anna Alcutt, Alex Cummins, Austin Cummins, Christopher Beebe, Ashley Zook, and John VanOeveran. Please continue to pray that they would grow in their faith.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Jonathan Edwards On How Redemption Brings Glory To God

This is one example of how Jonathan Edwards has encouraged me to think about God's glory and has prompted me to Treasure Christ.

"By this contrivance (God's plan) for our redemption, God's greatest dishonor is made an occasion of His greatest glory. Sin is a thing by which God is greatly dishonored; the nature of its principle is enmity against God and contempt of Him. And man, by his rebellion, has greatly dishonored God. But this dishonor, by the contrivance of our redemption, is made an occasion of the greatest manifestation of God's glory that ever was.

"Sin, the greatest evil, is made an occasion of the greatest good. It is the nature of a principle of sin that it seeks to dethrone God; but this is hereby made the greatest manifestation of God's royal majesty and glory that ever was. By sin, man has slighted and despised God; but this is made an occasion of his appearing the more greatly honorable. Sin casts contempt upon the authority and law of God, but this, by the contrivance of our redemption, is made the occasion of the greatest honor done to that same authority, and to that very law. It was a greater honor to the law of God that Christ was subject to it and obeyed it. It was a greater honor to God's authority that Christ showed such great respect, and such entire subjection to it, than the perfect obedience of all the angels in heaven.

"By his sin man showed his enmity against the holiness of God; but this is made an occasion of the greatest manifestation of God's holiness. The wisdom of God has contrived that those attributes are glorified in man's salvation. "

-- from The Wisdom of God Displayed in Salvation. By Jonathan Edwards.

August 28th "Preview Service" @ NLC: Robinwood

New Life Robinwood Preview Service
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Hebrews 12:1-2 was the scripture we looked at during the August 28th "Preview Service" at New Life Church: Robinwood. It was a joy to worship the Lord and look to His word together. Pastor Nathan shared about running the race, keeping our eyes on Jesus by:

  • Getting Inspired by people of faith.
  • Stripping down the things that hinder us.
  • Running with Perseverance.
  • Staying focused on the Author and perfecter of our faith.
78 people were in attendance including several new people who heard about about the service from the postcard mailer, continue to pray for people to come to know Jesus Christ, and that we all may come to treasure Him!

The Voice -- New & Improved.

New Life Church Voice The new September edition of the Voice is out. You can read it online by clicking the picture or the link above.

Now that we are meeting in two locations we are working at communicating faster and more clearly with less effort. So, we are making the Voice electronic. Every month you will be able to read it online BEFORE you would have read it in the mail.

For those who do not have internet access we will print off copies and mail to them the old fashioned way. But, it will save time and money, and you'll get it in full-color, if you will read it online. Please encourage your friends to read it here. Enjoy. . .

(And, thank you, Ken & Joanne for making this happen. You have made it look great and you are a delight to work with.)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

My Favor From The Lord

Today's Marcia's birthday. I still rejoice with the wife of my youth who is, by the way, mucA Wife of Noble Characterh more youthful than I am.

Here is a sampling of what the Bible says about her:

Proverbs 5:18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Proverbs 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband's crown.
Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
Proverbs 19:14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Proverbs 31:10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Baptism Tomorrow

Just a reminder we are having our annual outdoor baptism at the Haugens' home. We have thirteen people who are following Christ in baptism! The worship and testimonies will start at 4:00 p.m..

Please carpool if possible. We are expecting a good turnout.

We will have fun, but we won't be doing it like the picture!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Great Example of Perseverance and Change

You know them well and, if you're like me, they have been part of your life -- all your life. Blondie and Dagwood celebrate 75 years next week.

Their story is interesting because the world has changed a lot in 75 years. So has the comic strip. The strip has had to change its focus and its cartoonist without losing its central characteristics. On the website is an old strip of when they were married and Dagwood was subsequently disowned by his family.

Here are a few of my observations and lessons for church:

  1. Human nature hasn't changed in 75 years. People, and cartoon characters, still get into the same kinds of messes.
  2. The key to changing and surviving crises is strong central elements. Strong characters and situations have allowed Blondie and Dagwood to survive for a long, long time.
  3. It takes a community to make something successful. You don't survive 75 years without a little help from your friends. This is evident by all the cameo appearances of other cartoon characters in their strip this week.
Happy Anniversary Bumsteads!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Good Evangelism Site

This is Ray Comfort's Column for the month of August. This entire site is devoted to equipping for evangelism.

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Sense of Expectancy

August 21st was a bitter-sweet day. The launch team for our new church location met for worship at Robinwood. We will be meeting there every Sunday as we move toward our Grand Opening on September 25, 2005. Though it was felt a little odd and a bit sad not to be together at Riverfalls, there was a neat sense of expectancy about what God is going to do in the days to come.

Here is a little recap on what happened at Robinwood on Sunday (8/21):

There were about 45 people at this un-advertised meeting. Tim Watt, our worship/children's pastor, led us in worship through singing. We spent time in prayer. We prayed fervently for Christ to build His church. We prayed that we might see people come to know Christ soon. We each signed up to take a day to fervently pray over the next 35 days until our launch.
John Parker, student at Multnomah Biblical Seminary and launch team member, spoke from I Timothy 1:12-17. He used a wonderful illustration about how bicycle tires get out of alignment and start to wobble. He said both Christians and the church can get out of alignment in the faith. The thing that keeps us in line is our focus on Jesus and the gospel of our salvation. Go ahead and take a look at this passage yourself. You'll be glad you did! We ended by spending some time in small groups discussing how the scripture applies to our lives.

We are all very excited about our up coming preview services (8/28 and 9/11) and our launch (9/25). Thanks for praying with us and for us!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Opposite Game

For those of you that missed church this morning, this site is the opposite of what I was talking about this morning.

Church of the Churchless

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Gods Of The Copybook Headings by Rudyard Kipling:

Ran across this poem yesterday, The Gods Of The Copybook Headings by Rudyard Kipling:

A copybook is the old school primer that usually had a Bible verse or old proverb at the top reminding children of moral or eternal truths.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I Guess I Could Have Explained

I hope some of you received this blog via email yesterday. Perhaps you wondered, What is this all about? Others probably thought, Oh, great, church spam. Someone asked me if that link I sent yesterday was a super-important article or something, since it came without any explanation and was an "official" email from the church. Let me explain.

We as a church staff are working hard to communicate better. And, it is getting harder because we will be worshiping in more than one location beginning this Sunday. So we are trying to find alternate ways to communicate things to the church. This blog seemed like a useful tool. But, most people didn't know about it. And, wouldn't check it.

So, I said to myself, "Self, if only we could email the blog to people we'd have a perfect tool." I, naturally, agreed with myself and set about emailing the blog to the church email list -- without any explanation, of course. And, that explains the email you received yesterday.

I think we would like to continue to email the blog to the church occasionally. We are looking for feedback about what would be the most helpful. Would it be best to email every update? Once a day? Once a week? Every few updates? What would work the best? Please post a comment by clicking on the comment button below and let us know what you think. Thank you.

In the meantime, if you are reading this on the web and would like to receive it via email, please email with "subscribe" in the subject line. If you are reading this via email and don't want to, please send an email to the same address with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

New Life Church-logogle

Check this out.

New Life Church

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Packed, But Still Empty

This article in the current issue of World Magazine bears some thoughtful consideration. His point about all churches looking pretty much the same across denominational lines is very interesting.

He rightly points the finger at small churches as well as large ones. This article should make you think.

Gene Edward Veith - Packed, but still empty

Last Night's Read

Last night I read An Enquiry Into The Obligations of Christians To Use Means For The Conversion Of The Heathens by William Carey. It is a classic argument for every Christian to participate in the Great Commission. Along with the biography of David Brainerd, this piece has been instrumental in launching hundreds, if not thousands of of missionaries.

I read "The Enquiry. . ." in my copy of Perspectives on the World Christian Movement.

A New Cause For Concern!

• If global warming were outlawed, only outlaws would warm their globes. -- The Covert Comic

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What Will Hold Us Together?

This week our church beginning our transition toward regular meetings in multiple locations. I am sure I am not alone in feeling like everything is changing. What was theory only a few days ago is becoming reality right now.

It is fair to ask, "What will hold us together as we meet separately on Sundays?" The center will hold us. What we as a church have at the core will keep us one church even though we meet in many locations. When you compare the strength of these core ideas, it makes three miles down the road seem like a small separation.

Below is the core ideology of our church. You've seen this before without much explanation. The last core value has been rewritten. These central values and purpose will form the outline for the next few messages at the Riverfalls location.

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To treasure God, and as a result, spread the news of His excellence, trust His promises, and give our lives away for His purposes.


As a multi-site church we value these following things which shape our church:

We believe God is supremely glorious and the fountain of all true and lasting joy. God must, then, be center stage in our ministry. We believe the deepest human needs are met only as we find our satisfaction in the person of God. It follows that our gospel is good news not good advice -- good news about God, not good advice about what to do.

The Bible is important to us because in it we come to know God who is supremely valuable. It is the treasure map. The Bible makes the link for us between God and the events of everyday life. The Bible is the means by which we increase our faith and gain access into God’s grace.

We understand church to be a caring community that offers to each individual a sense of support and belonging. “Community” means we are drawn together because we have Christ in common. The church is like a family in the best sense, with God as our Father, in which we experience warmth and acceptance. In an impersonal world of rapid transitions, a community or family to belong to, where we can love and be loved, is a profoundly precious thing.

We expect the Holy Spirit to change people, no matter where they are on the spectrum of spiritual interest. We anticipate lives will be transformed when they encounter the living God together as a church. We are intensely interested in experiencing life fully lived for God’s glory. That can only be done as God radically transforms us as believers.

We will not do alone what we can do together. The New Testament saints did things together. They always served with a team. We do this between congregations and ministries. God is glorified not only by serving him, but by our relationships while we work together.

Monday, August 15, 2005

What does it mean to be a New Lifer?

As we become one church in many locations it will be important that we all think the same way about church. One of the most important questions someone could ask about church is, "what is expected of me at New Life Church"? We want to be as simple as we can about how we talk about church. So here are three simple phrases to help us remember what it means to be a New Lifer:

  • Make a Commitment- Jesus calls us to "take up our cross and follow Him." Making a commitment of your life to follow Christ is no small thing. However, there is no better way to live your life. Commit your life to Christ and His church!
  • Make a Friend- The Christian life is meant to be lived in community. The most practical application of that community at New Life Church is being a part of a Life Group (small group). It is here that we make friends and practice the "one another" commands given to us in God's word. We hope you'll jump into a Life Group real soon!
  • Make a Difference- Finally, a New Lifer is someone who makes a difference in their world. This can happen through acts of service at church or in the community. But the biggest difference you can make in this life is introducing someone else to new life in Jesus Christ. Tell someone about new life in Jesus Christ today!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

"Purge Sundays"

This seems similar to Jesus' approach in John 6:66-67 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.

Church uses "Purge Sundays" to send non-committed elsewhere

I suppose it should be said that we have not tried this at our church. :o)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Some New Heroes

One of the great things about preaching every week is certainly that I study and understand God's word more clearly. But beyond that, every now and then I become acquainted with new heroes. This week I had just such a privilege.

Let me introduce three people for whom I have gained greater respect:

ADONIRAM JUDSON -- He was the first missionary from North America. Here is how he asked his wife's father for permission to marry her: I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteousness, brightened with theacclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?

I think I was too tame when I had the same conversation with Leroy!

J. CAMPBELL WHITE -- He was the first secretary of the Laymen's Missionary Movement in 1909. He wrote: Most men are not satisfied with the permanent output of their lives. Nothing can wholly satisfy the life of Christ within his followers except the adoption of Christ’s purpose toward the world he came to redeem. Fame, pleasure and riches are but husks and ashes in contrast with the boundless and abiding joy of working with God for the fulfillment of his eternal plans. The men who are putting everything into Christ’s undertaking are getting out of life its sweetest and most priceless rewards.

You can read more about The Laymen's Missionary Movement in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement.

C.T. STUDD -- He was a cricket player turned missionary to China, India, and Africa. Here is a small sample of his view on life:

Some wish to live within the sound Of Church or Chapel Bell.I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of Hell.

If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.

If God who sits in the heavens can laugh, His children on earth should be loyal enough to do exactly as their Father does.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Looking for Small Group Leaders

Fall is just around the corner, and our new Robinwood site is nearly ready to launch. This is the perfect time for all of our small group leaders to get together. We will be having a small group leader's meeting on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 7:00 pm. We will be getting together at Matt and Alicia Vorhees' home.

At the meeting, we will have the opportunity to share with one another what God has been doing in our various small groups. Also, we will look at what is ahead for our ministry. A small group is an extremely practical ministry and we will discuss some practical issues involved with running a small group.

This meeting is for current small group leaders and anyone interested in starting a small group in the near future. If you think that God might be calling you to this ministry, come join us. Feel free to contact me for more information,

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Scott Creps

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Outdoor Service and Picnic Sunday

This Sunday New Life Church will meet in Willamette Park for worship at 10:00 and a picnic to follow. If you can help set up please meet at the Riverfalls location at 7:15. Here is a map to the park.

If your surname begins with A-P bring a salad to the picnic, Q-Z bring a dessert. Chicken and other BBQ favorites will be provided.

Bring a hat and sunscreen. It is supposed to be 90 degrees.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Watts get to move!!!

Praise the Lord with us! I just heard yesterday that we have an apartment to move too. Now the "real" work begins! Thanks for praying with us and continue as we begin packing. It's great to be at New Life.

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
(Psalms 37:5-6 ESV)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Mailboxes, Etc.

One of the unique things about our church is that we've had mailboxes for every family in the church. No one I've ever known has ever seen that in any other church.

But, now that many families will be worshipping down the street at our Robinwood location and no longer here to check their boxes, it will not be near as good a tool. No longer will we be able to stick something in the boxes that goes to all the men, or women, or young people. I've thought of a few options for us.

  1. Build new boxes at the Robinwood location and continue to use them as before. The only problem is that we distance will make that difficult and it only prolongs the inevitable. If we start a new location in a rental facility we won't be able to hang a similar mailbox and then what?
  2. Use them only at Riverfalls. This still doesn't address how we'll communicate with everyone.
  3. Discontinue them altogether at all locations. Well. . . They have been very useful in communicating and building community. If we discontinue them, what will we replace that communication with?
  4. ??????? -- We really need some good input on this. If you have any ideas about what to do with the boxes, I would love to hear it. Please put it in a comment here and we'll look for a good solution. Thank you.

Let me introduce myself...

Hello! My name is Brian Janssen, and this is my first blog entry on the Treasure Chest! I'm the Pastor of Music & Worship for New Life Church. For a brief biography you can visit the staff page on our church's website, I am also a member of our church's elder team. Here is a picture of my two kids wrasslin' on the floor and having a good old time. Well, that's about it for now. Have a swell week!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Moving Ahead - Selling Two Houses and Paying off our Mortgage

Last night at the business meeting, the church decided to "sell our 5491 & 5494 Broadway houses. Proceeds will be used to pay off the Robinwood parking lot and pay off the mortgage at New Life Robinwood."

The sale of these two properties will accomplish several things that need to happen for us. First we will have money to pay for the Robinwood parking lot and the mortgage on the Robinwood building.

It will mean we have less building maintenance. Instead of maintaining four rental properties we will maintain only two. In addition, this will allow us to focus our time and effort on people instead of property. Since our recent expansion our property team has been spread unbearably thin.

We will have the freedom of being out of debt. We have asked the church for a lot of additional giving through this past year and will need to ask for more in the future. But for now we will eliminate our debt and we will begin to save some money in our rental accounts.

In effect we are shifting our equity in those two homes into equity in the Robinwood church building. Our original goal of expanding our church through those houses is still being accomplished by selling them and putting the money elsewhere.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

How Do You Know If You Are Complacent?

I read this last night in my quiet time and it took my breath away.

Zephaniah 1:12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those
who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, 'The LORD
will do nothing, either good or bad.'

God's people are complacent when they assume God won't do anything. That's not the normal definition of complacency I had been using for myself and others. But God says that expecting him to do nothing is deserving of judgment. What are you expecting God to do?

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Three Trust Christ During Beach Bash

The high school students and leaders are excited about the partial week they spent at the beach. They took 18 young people to the beach and three of them trusted Christed as their savior for the first time. Praise the Lord!

The weather was good. No one was swept out to sea. Everyone got along. But they were most excited to present the gospel to responsive, God-prepared hearts.

Friday, August 05, 2005

No Signs Beyond This Point

When I think about starting our second location, I feel like there are no signs beyond this point. I don't know what it will be like. There were no road signs for Lewis and Clark either. But I'm glad they took their trip.

I am very excited about seeing us trust God instead of trusting well-worn traffic signs about how to do church. A church full of faith is so much more energetic and exciting and terrifying!

* * * * * * * * *

This is a picture of an actual sign I took on my father-in-law's ranch. You don't get pictures like this going to Disneyland!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

How Good is Good Enough?

We were given almost a hundred of these books. On August 21 we will have them available after the service if you would like to take a 3-pack and give them away. I'd love to give them all away and do it again.
I read it. I liked it's directness. He had a nice touch. And, he asks and answers some very important questions.
This question, "How Good Is Good Enough?" is the very question people in West Linn should be asking. They think they know the answer -- "almost as good as me."
The other nice thing is that this book can be read in about 90 minutes to two hours. I look for it to be a great tool.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Primer on Discipleship

On Monday, our elders listened to a recording of a class taught by Howard Hendricks. He has been greatly used by God in cultivating not only seminary students to lead, but laymen who grow daily as disciples of Christ.

He shared what he called a primer on discipleship. Or, how to go about following Christ. I thought it was great. He suggests five things:

  1. Develop an eternal perspective. "Focus on the permanent not the perishing."
  2. Model the Savior. "Spend your life mastering the Master's life."
  3. Become a servant. "When people start treating you like a servant, you'll know you are one." "Lead by serving and serve by leading."
  4. Cultivate your faith. "You don't learn faith in church, you learn it in life."
  5. Commit people to obedience. "The opposite of ignorance is not knowledge, but obedience."

His point is that it's not really that complicated at all to follow Christ. You only have to do a few things. I hope this encourages you as you follow Christ.

News article about an international multi-site church

One of the things that attracts me about multi-site ministry is that it is inventive, adaptable, and expandable. Here is a news article about a multi-site church adding their first international site.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Warren Bird interviews Pastor Scott

Warren Bird from Leadership Network, co-author of The Coming Multi-Site Revolution, spent the evening with me on Monday and interviewed me about what we are doing at New Life Church.

I had also previewed his book and gave him feedback on it. They are planning on it being printed next April. That will be the first book ever on multi-site churches and we may be in it!

He has offered me access to any information they have on multi-site churches. And, they know more about it than anyone. So if you'd like to know more about multi-site church I have some new friends who may have it figured out!

Monday, August 01, 2005

New Sunday Morning Schedule at NLC Riverfalls

With the upcoming launch of our Robinwood location, New Life Church is in an exciting and significant time of transition! One of the minor changes we are making is with our Worship Service times at Riverfalls. Beginning August 21st, we will be moving our services 15 minutes later to 9:00 and 10:45 a.m.

Part of the reason for this change is that our current 8:45 service is already slightly smaller than the 10:30 meeting, but the majority of the Robinwood launch team attends the earlier service and will be leaving a pretty big hole when they move up the road. So our hope is that the new times will encourage some 2nd service attenders to move to the 1st service in order to even things out a bit.

No matter how things settle out with the attendance in the two services, one thing is certain–we’ll have some room to grow! So if you attend NLC Riverfalls, invite someone to come and be a part of New Life Church!