Saturday, December 31, 2005

Read the Bible in 2006

I could say, "Read the Bible in 2006." Or, I could say, "Get God's wisdom for your life." Or, I could say, "Find comfort for your soul." Or, I could say, "Expand your view of who God is and what He can do in your life." No matter how I said it, I'd be saying the same thing. So, let me say it specifically:

Let's as a church read one chapter of Proverbs and one Psalm every day in 2006.

The Proverbs plan is a simple, no-guilt plan. On the first day of the month read the first chapter of Proverbs. On the second day, read the second chapter. On the third day, read the third chapter. . . etc.. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs. So you'll read it 12 times. There is more wisdom in that book than can be gained in 12 readings.

The Psalms reading plan is equally simple there are 150 chapters. Accounting for more than two months of missing (ouch!) you can read the book of Psalms twice in the year. You will find your heart enriched by God's inspired song book.

If you already have a personal Bible reading program, consider adding this as a family reading program. It should only take less than 10 minutes a day to read aloud.

Wouldn't it be great to be talking with people from church and be able to reference something you know they are reading?!

2005 Top Ten

As we look back on 2005 it is good to remember the Lord’s faithfulness to our church in the big and little things. To that end I’ve come up with a top-ten list. If you’ve got others add please them in the comments below.

Drum roll please. . .

10. The blog started. :o)
9. Tim Watt joined the New Life Church staff in the nick of time. Just weeks before launch he became the worship leader for New Life Robinwood.
8. Received two mission teams from Salado, Texas, demonstrating what we’ve known all along – we live in the mission field.
7. Paid off over $400,000 on the Robinwood building mortgage and built a parking lot there through many generous gifts and by selling two of our rental houses!
6. Anniversaries: We celebrated 10 years of service for Coffee Cart (on what was their 11th year) and 10 years for our Christmas Dessert Theater.
5. Baptisms: We baptized 22 people this year – the most in the past 20 years. On August 28th at the Haugens 13 people followed Christ in baptism, 11 of whom were middle schoolers. We had baptisms on both Easter and on Christmas this year.
4. Started two new things for kids! We added Sports Camp to Music Camp during the summer and started Treasure Island midweek ministry in the Fall.
3. Sent 16 New Life members on short term mission trips all around the world. Lori & Carol went to Ukraine. Nate & Aaron went to Malaysia. Five renewed our friendship with the church in Ostia, Italy. And a seven-member team went to Pass Christian, Mississippi. Among other things that happened on that trip, they had the biggest mission potluck ever for their report.
2. Changed the name of the church. On Easter Sunday morning West Linn Baptist church became known as New Life Church, with the anticipation of being in as many as four locations within West Linn before long.
1. Started a new church in West Linn! The Robinwood congregation began regular services on September 25, 2005!

Friday, December 30, 2005

New Life Church New Years Day

All of New Life Church, from both locations, will be gathering at Marylhurst University for our a combined serive at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday Morning, January 1, 2006. There will not be Sunday School or Childcare. The New Year's Message will be from Psalm 1:

Psalm 1:1-6 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
I hope to see you there.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Prayer for Year's End

O Love beyond compare,
Thou art good when thou givest,
when thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when the night gathers over me.

Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.

Thy goodness has been with me during another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.

Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless thee that thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not be drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for they use.

Valley of Vision, p. 111.

Well Said, Wilbur!

Christian! It is not the ship in the water,
but the water in the ship, which sinks it.
So it is not the Christian in the world,
but the world in the Christian,
which constitutes the danger.

Anything which dims my vision of Christ,
or takes away my taste for Bible study, or
cramps my prayer life, or makes Christian
work difficult, is wrong for me, and I must,
as a Christian, turn away from it!

--J. Wilbur Chapman

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Winter Youth Celebration Update

Pastor Jason wrote the following in an email from Winter Youth this afternoon:

So far we are having the time of our lives out here at Jantzen Beach. The theme this year is “We Shall Behold Him: Life as Worship.” The speakers have been incredible, inspiring, and unbelievably encouraging!

Yesterday we were split up between Freshman & Sophmores and Juniors & Seniors. However, the basic message to the two groups was basically the same: Life your life as a mission to show the rest of the world who God is. The following discussion in our group was very insightful! The observations and questions raised by teens amazed even me!

The keynote speaker has been encouraging us to (1) recognized our lives as designed for the specific purpose of worshipping God (“The most loving thing God will ever do is allowing us the opportunity to worship Him.”), and (2) realize that a proper understanding of the Gospel opens the door wide open to making our lives an act of worship (“If you get the Gospel, you can worship God in any and every setting and situation at any time.”).
Please continue to pray for our students.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Joanne Snyder -- 1921-2005

Last night we attended a blessed memorial service for Joanne Snyder. Her son, Tim, and her daughter-in-law Karen, still attend New Life. Joanne had a wonderful life of following Christ. One thing we all learned is that her husband, Earl, was Nancy Ross's Sunday school teacher many years ago in Lakewood, WA. Turns out he had a profound influence on her. No one made the connection until last night.

Here is her memorial folder if you'd like to read more about her life. The hope of the gospel is a wonderful thing at a memorial service. Her is the scripture text that formed the basis of the message at the service:

Titus 3:4-7 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

I'm not infected, but I'm getting sick.

I don't have the flu (like my wife). I don't have a cough and runny nose (like my daughter). I don't have a temperature (like my other daughter). But, I'm sick.

I haven't even caught a computer virus. But, I am receiving email generated by somebody's computer virus at the rate of over 500 per 8 days! I haven't caught the virus myself, but I'm worn down, nearly sick, of getting so much unwanted email. The subject lines read:

hi, ive a new mail address
Paris Hilton & Nicole Richie
Your Password
Your IP was logged
Registration Confirmation
. . . or some close variation on them. McAfee says it is the W32/Sober@MM!M681 virus. It's OK to click the link, it is McAfee's explanation about the virus.

One of my new year's resolutions is to not get infected with a virus. So, if I can ask this politely, would you please cover your computer's mouth when it coughs, and don't put it in the nursery with a runny nose, and make it wash its hands after its been in public (i.e., run a virus scanning software to see if you might have it). Here's to the good health of people and machines in the New Year!

NL Robinwood Christmas

Merry Christmas from NL Robinwood!

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Emmanuel! God came!

An Unforgettable Christmas

This Christmas morning Santa was upstaged by Derrick Elkins declaring himself a Christ-follower by being baptized. Christmas only falls on Sunday every six years but Derrick made the most of it. He shared how he had trusted Christ, but hadn't done much to pursue his relationship with Christ -- until he was part of our Katrina relief team. One Bible study in particular spoke to him. It was from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 --

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
He realized the prize of knowing Christ was worth a whole-hearted pursuit. Derrick, Merry Christmas! Follow hard after Christ!

Look at his smile!Derrick Elkins, raised to newness of life

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas from the Reavely Family

Have a blessed Christmas. May all the joy of heaven be yours because of Jesus!
The Reavelys

Friday, December 23, 2005

St. Augustine on Christmas

The Word of the Father, by whom all time was created, was made flesh and was born in time for us. He, without whose divine permission no day completes its course, wished to have one day for His human birth. In the bosom of His Father He existed before all the cycles of ages; born of an earthly mother, He entered upon the course of the years on this day.

The Maker of man became man . . .
that He, Ruler of the stars, might be nourished at the breast;
that He, the Bread, might be hungry;
that He, the Fountain, might thirst;
that He, the Light, might sleep;
that He, the Way, might be wearied by the journey;
that He, the Truth, might be accused by false witnesses;
that He, the Judge of the living and the dead, might be brought to trial by a mortal judge;
that He, Justice, might be condemned by the unjust;
that He, Discipline, might be scourged with whips;
that He, the Foundation, might be suspended upon a cross;
that Courage might be weakened;
that Security might be wounded;
that Life might die.

To endure these and similar indignities for us, to free us, unworthy creatures, He who existed as the Son of God before all ages, without a beginning, deigned to become the Son of Man in these recent years. He did this although He who submitted to such great evils for our sake had done no evil and although we, who were the recipients of so much good at His hands, had done nothing to merit these benefits.
St. Augustine, Sermons on the Liturgical Seasons

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Christmas Present?!?

The works of Matthew Hole found its way mysteriously into my office and was sitting on my desk this morning. It is a 1732 edition! Wow! I have been trying to find out who put the book there and who Matthew Hole is. I found a little about him. He is a non-conformist, Puritan, pastor in England in the early 1700's. He was a favorite of Charles Spurgeon. And, above all he was a God-Treasurer. Read the quote below and see for yourself:

This praising God rests not in the mere speculation or idle contemplation of the Divine excellence, floating only in the brain, or gliding upon the tongue, but in such quick and lively apprehensions of them as to sink down into the heart, and there beget affections suitable to them; for it will make us love him for his goodness, respect him for his greatness, fear him for his justice, dread him for his power, adore him for his wisdom, and for all his attributes make us live in constant awe and obedience to him. This is to praise God, without which all other courting and complimenting of him is but mere flattery and hypocrisy...God Almighty endowed us with higher and nobler faculties than other creatures, for this end, that we should set forth his praise; for though other things were made to administer the matter and occasion, yet man alone was designed and qualified to exercise the act of glorifying God...In short, God Almighty hath so closely twisted his own glory and our happiness together, that at the same time we advance the one we promote the other. —Matthew Hole, 1730.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Missions Fest Northwest

Last Sunday we had the highest participation we've ever had at one of our missions potlucks. The Katrina Relief Team showed slide of what Hurricane Katrina did to Pass Christian. They also showed slides of the work they did. The most moving part of the presentation was their testimony of what God did IN them through this experience.

You may be interested to learn more about what God is doing throughout the world. The best opportunity I can think of is on the horizon. Missions Fest Northwest, January 20-21, will feature dynamic speakers, presentations of mission organizations and hundreds of people to talk to about God's work throughout the world. If you missed the potluck last Sunday, don't despair. :o) This will another chance to hear of God's work around the world.

On a separate missions note, Nate and Aaron arrived home safely last night. They will probably be writing more about their experience on their blog Aaronate. So check it again soon.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Pastor Brian Janssen resigns.

The serious side of Pastor BrianThe not-so-serious side of Pastor BrianIt has been a hard week for many as they have learned of Pastor Brian's resignation. He will be moving to Bethel Baptist Church in McMinnville to serve as the Pastor of Music and Worship beginning the first of February.

Brian's ministry has been much loved and appreciated over the past eleven years. Here is a link to his letter of resignation to the church. Here is Pastor Scott's letter that was sent in the same envelope.

We will have a reception for the Janssens to celebrate with them and to say thank-you on January 8th at 5:00p.m. at New Life Church Riverfalls. If you would like to begin leaving messages of appreciation as comments below, please do.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

All Praise To Thee, Eternal Lord

2 Corinthians 8:9  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

All praise to thee, eternal Lord,
Clothed in a garb of flesh and blood;
Choosing a manger for thy throne,
While worlds on worlds are thine alone.

Once did the skies before thee bow;
A virgin’s arms contain thee now;
Angels who did in thee rejoice
Now listen for thine infant voice.

A little child, thou art our guest,
That weary ones in thee may rest;
Forlorn and lowly is thy birth,
That we may rise to heav’n from earth.

Thou comest in the darksome night
To make us children of the light,
To make us, in the realms divine,
Like thine own angels round thee shine.

All this for us thy love hath done;
By this to thee our love is won;
For this we tune our cheerful lays,
And shout our thanks in ceaseless praise.

-- Martin Luther, 1524.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The December Voice

The New Life Church Voice for December is here. Click on the graphic to read it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Katrina Team Potluck

This Sunday at 12:15 p.m. at New Life Church Riverfalls we willl have a potluck to hear an official report from our Katrina Team that recently returned from Pass Christian, MS. We'll have lunch and then see pictures of the devastation and the work.

For the potluck, if your last name begins with A-K bring a main dish and a salad, L-Z bring a main dish and a dessert. See you there.

Everything is a mess!With love to Bible Fellowship ChurchNew Life Servant, Merle Ross, at work in Mississippi

Christmas Dessert Theater 2005!

We completed our 10th Christmas Dessert Theater! What a great weekend. Thirty-nine people asked for prayer because God is working in their lives. Eight different people are interested in knowing more about the church. Here are some pictures to help you remember.

The Chipmunks visit West Linn
New Life Church West Linn Choir
Children of New Life Church
12 Days of Oregon Christmas
A Child like me!
Thank you to all of you who worked so hard and sacrificed so much to make it a wonderful weekend.

House #2 SOLD!

Praise the Lord! We have sold our second house, 5494 Broadway Street. The Lord provided buyers the same day He provided a place to move for the family that lived in the house. It could not have worked better for the church or for the family.

The church netted $230,000 from the sale of this house. We purchased it in 1999 for $145,000.

Thank the Lord. Because of the substantial overrun on the parking lot at Robinwood, however, we still have approximately a $7,000 balance on our mortgage. If anyone would like to give to completely retire the mortgage, this would be a great year end project.

A little late but worth mentioning!

Thanksgiving 2005 - New Life Servants!

15 people from New Life Robinwood prepared food and served a Thanksgiving meal to the residents of Cascade Summit Apartments on November 19th. Close to 100 people ate an awesome meal with 5 turkeys, mashed potatoes, stuffing and numerous deserts. The clubhouse was transformed into a dining room with round tables making a very relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for the dinner. One resident commented after Thanksgiving, "Our family dinner was ok, but the Cascade Summit dinner was amazing!"
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:17

Monday, December 12, 2005


A Christmas Caroling Outreach Party

When: Thursday December 15th
6:30 PM

Where: New Life Robinwood
19915 Old River Drive

What to Bring: Home Made Cookies to Give Away

What will we do: We will be caroling to our neighbors here in West
Linn and giving them invitations to our Christmas
worship services. Then, we will all return to New
Life Robinwood for finger foods and hot chocolate.

Questions: Contact Pastor Nathan or Sara (503)699-2027

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Joy of New Life!

When we made the decision to become a multi-site church, our primary motivation was to see more people come to know Christ. We had no idea who God would draw to himself, but we trusted that this was the direction He was leading us. It has been such a joy to see the faithfulness of God in bringing people into the new life! This has been one of our largest baptism years in recent history. It is so exciting to see people coming to Christ and being baptized at both New Life Church locations.

The most recent baptism was last weekend at New Life Robinwood. Mark Done (see picture below) came to Christ after coming to New Life Church by the invitation of his neighbors Andy and Aaron Doyle. They steadily loved him and shared the good news with him. He shared in his testimony that he was at the end of his rope when Christ came to save him. Praise God for a loving and faithful savior.

Please pray that God would continue to draw more and more people to himself through the ministry of New Life Church!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Is anyone going to the new Disney Narnia Movie?

I'd love to get a report from some advance spies. Please comment below with your thoughts on the new movie.

New Life Church Is Open For Christmas!

Here is an interesting article about churches not holding services on Christmas Sunday entitled The Empty Churches of Christmas. It was written in response to news articles like this one from Fox News.

A few churches in our area are between a rock and a hard place because they meet in schools and can't lease the school buildings on a contract holiday. But, several others in our area are cancelling church on Christmas Sunday.

Wise men, shepherds, old men and women, aunts and uncles, and angels all had one response to the birth of Jesus -- Worship. The cancellation of church services is every bit as interesting a phenomenon as the outcry against Target, Walmart, and others calling their trees, "Holiday Trees."

Here is a recent Oregonian opinion piece about that phenomenon. As you might expect some people reacted strongly to that piece. Maybe we should just put the "X" back in Xmas.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Church on Christmas Weekend

Our schedule for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at New Life Church will be as follows. We will have five services:

Christmas Eve:
4:30 & 6:00 at New Life Church Riverfalls.
6:00 at New Life Church Robinwood.

Christmas Sunday morning:
10:00 a.m. at New Life Church Riverfalls.
10:30 a.m. at New Life Church Robinwood.

The Christmas Eve services will be the same as the Christmas Day services. If you go to one location both times you will experience the same service.

This may be a good opportunity to visit the location you don't normally attend. Go to one location on Christmas Eve and the other on Christmas Day.

I trust your worship of the Savior will be sweet this Christmas.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What Guys Are Saying About Men's Ministry!

New Life Men making disciplesHere is what a few of the men are saying about the Men’s Leadership Teams:

I’ve been participating in the Men’s Leadership Ministry studies for almost a year and my life has been changed. These studies with the specific purpose of developing men into godly leaders have altered my relationships at home, community, and church. I am a better husband, father, and neighbor, and an outgoing Christian. Much more active in seeking His Word, in obedience and in being the Godly leader He expects me to be. I am grateful that the days of passively going to church and occasionally reading the Bible have been replaced with a yearning to understand His way and the faith to “get off the couch’ and be passionate for God.


It was past one o’clock in the morning. I had finished my study, in a few hours I would be getting up to head for our Men’s Group. My wife suggested, “Why don’t you just skip it this time? You never miss.” I thought about it for a few seconds and replied, “I don’t want to not go.” I realized that sometimes I don’t “feel like” praying, or reading my Bible, or even going to church. Sometimes I just don’t do it. But I never have to make myself go to the Men’s Leadership Group. It is hard to put my finger on why. There is acceptance and encouragement that I have not seen in other groups. The material is awesome. The men in our group make it so much more than a Bible study. Anonymous

Just as iron sharpens iron, the men of my group help keep me accountable and continue to assist me in becoming the man God intended me to be. Their prayers, encouragement and wisdom have been critical during my transformation.

M. P.

I’ve come to realize that the Christian walk for most is difficult to go alone without stumbling and without the help of others who desire to know God’s will. Men’s Leadership Ministries has developed true discipline in my life through weekly Bible Study, prayer, and

meeting with other men who are accountable to each other in knowing God’s will. This has caused a deepening of my relationship with my Heavenly Father and a strong desire to know Him better. T. S.

If you'd like this kind of thing to happen in your life you will want to contact Pastor Bill Kramer: 503-650-6899,

Sunday, December 04, 2005

ST missions

New Life Church co-missioningYesterday the team from Pass Christian was back in the service and we look forward to hearing about their trip. By all accounts it was a great trip. They got back at midnight on Saturday night.

This Sunday we comissioned Nathan Hanson and Aaron Anderson to work with young people in Malaysia for the next couple weeks.

Scott Haugen reminded us that a comissioning is just that a "co-mission". We are on mission together with the people we send out, with each other. Nate & Aaron left yesterday, but all of us are co-missionaries with them today.

If you want to follow their activities on their trip you can read their blog. There is a link to their blog on the New Life Church's website, too.

The Lord's Supper

In a warning to professing Christians, Jonathan Edwards encourages them to examine themselves. Particularly, he suggests, when it comes to the Lord's Supper. Here is how he describes it:

. . .the Lord's Supper, that holy ordinance, instituted for the special commemoration of the greatest and most wonderful of all divine acts towards mankind; for the special and visible representation of the most glorious and wonderful things of our religion; for the most solemn profession and renewal of your engagement to God, and for special communion with Jesus Christ (Devotions from the pen of Jonathan Edwards, p. 75).
He identifies four purposes of communion:
  1. Special commemoration of the most wonderful of all God's acts toward mankind.
  2. Visible representation of the most glorious things of our religion.
  3. Solemn profession and renewal of your engagement to God.
  4. Special communion with Jesus Christ.
May your heart always be warm toward God when you remember the Lord's death until he comes again.

Friday, December 02, 2005

You Might Be Emerging If...

Have you ever wondered what the Emerging Church is? It has been difficult to define. Here is a tongue-in-cheek pictorial description of what has become know as the Emergent church.
You Might Be Emerging If...

Thursday, December 01, 2005


There is a big difference between sanctification and sanctimonious!
-- John Ortberg

Study On Ephesians Is Ending Sunday!

Sunday Pastor Scott will complete his series on the book of Ephesians with a look at the blessing of God in the benediction:

Ephesians 6:21-24 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you. Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
My goal in this series was to shine a spotlight on the grace of God that creates a healthy church that in turn starts other churches. Ephesians is foundational to church life and mission. During the almost year and three months we've been studying the foundation for a healthy church, New Life Church has changed its name, sent out 20 short term missionaries, started another congregation and had over 50 people sign up to read the Bible everyday. By God's grace we are experiencing more of the church life that Ephesians describes.

The comment section might be a place for you to encourage others with something from Ephesians that has been especially encouraging to you.