Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

O Time, how few thy value weigh,
How few will estimate a day!
Days, months, and years are rolling on,
The soul neglected -- and undone.

In painful cares, or empty joys,
Our life its precious hours destroys;
While death stands watching at our side,
Eager to stop the living tide.

Was it for this, ye mortal race,
Your Maker gave you here a place?
Was it for this his thoughts design'd
The frame of your immortal mind?

For nobler cares, for joys sublime,
He fashioned allt he sons of time;
Then let us every day give heed,
To God, ourselves, and time to yield.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Dona Milliken 10/23/38 -- 12/10/06

A memorial service will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006, in New Life Church in West Linn for Dona Marie Milliken, who went to be with her Lord on Dec. 10 at age 68.

Dona was married to George Milliken. She was active in the church years ago before she suffered so extensively from Huntington's disease. Her memorial service will be a celebration of the gospel and of her life.

Christmas at New Life Church Riverfalls

Christmas Eve was a delightful Sunday. . . as long as you weren't Mary, Joseph or an Angel. Here are some of the highlights:

Andie's Harp
The Littlest Angel
Children's Choir Chaos
Bill & Del -- Their first time back in church for a while.
The Shepherd
The Gift

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Read Your Bible in 2007

Here is collection of Bible Reading Plans. Not only there are a number of plans, you can pace yourself so you can be successful. If you'd like you can read the Bible in many translations and/or languages! You can also have your selection emailed to you as a reminder or to read right on your computer.

Here is yet another plan that lets you read from a different part of the Bible each day and finish in a year.

New Year's Resolution -- Learn a Language!

Monday, December 25, 2006

There Were Shepherds In The Fields. . .

I hope you had a blessed Christmas. Here are a couple of my sources for my message Sunday.

The Truth About Shepherds
And there were in the same country … a bunch of dirty, thieving nomads.
by Wynne S. Gillis

Shepherds in Bethlehem (Luke 2:8-20)
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

Atlas Tours Photos

The Herodium

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Angel's Song

Shepherds, rejoice; lift up your eyes
And send your fears away;
News from the region of the skies,
Salvation's born today.

Jesus, the God, whom angels fear,
Comes down to dwell with you;
Today he makes his entrance here,
But not as monarchs do.

No gold, nor purple swaddling bands,
Nor royal shining things;
A manger for his cradle stands,
And holds the King of kings.

Go, shepherds, where the infant lies,
And see his humble throne;
With tears of joy in all your eyes,
Go, shepherds, kiss the Son.

Thus Gabriel sang -- and straight around
the heav'nly armies throng;
They tune their harps to lofty sound,
And thus conclude the song:

Glory to God, who reigns above,
Let peace surround the earth;
Mortals shall know their Marker's love
At their Redeemer's birth.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New Year's Eve Prayer Time

The Lord has done great things for us this year. Let's spend some time at the end of the year thanking him for his provision and protection. And, let's not neglect to ask Him for His blessing on 2007.

Join us at New Life Church Riverfalls, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., on New Year's Eve, December 31st, for a time of corporate prayer. If you have a party to go to, they'll wait for you. If you need a party to go to, come and find one at the prayer event.

Christmas Bird

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Does Census Rhyme with Miscellaneous?

The U.S. Census Bureau learns some pretty random things about us when they take a census. Here are some interesting factoids about Americans.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Fellowship

New Life Church Fellowship Dinner Last Weekend several families in our church hosted Home Fellowship Dinners. The picture to the left is at Rick and Margret Ohmies home. Rick said, "everyone enjoyed meeting new friends, good food, and fun conversations."

Fellowship Dinners happen about once a quarter at New Life Church. Be sure to keep a close eye on the bulletin for the next one this spring. You won't want to miss out on the fun!


"You can't bluff an old theologian." -- Linus Van Pelt

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Matt must be smart!Matt Z. got his MBA Saturday. Congratulations!

Our expectations are high now!

A Prayer for Today


O Lord,

I hang on thee;
I see, believe, live,
when thy will, not mine, is done;

I can plead nothing in myself
in regard of any worthiness and grace,
in regard of thy providence and promises,
but only thy good pleasure.

If thy mercy make me poor and vile,
blessed be thou!
Prayers arising from my needs
are preparations for future mercies;

Help me to honour thee by believing before I feel,
for great is the sin if I make feeling a cause of faith.

Show me what sins hide thee from me
and eclipse thy love;

Help me to humble myself for past evils,
to be resolved to walk with more care,

For if I do not walk holily before thee,
how can I be assured of my salvation?

It is the meek and humble
who are shown thy covenant,
know thy will,
are pardoned and healed,
who by faith depend and rest upon grace,
who are sanctified and quickened,
who evidence thy love.

Help me to pray in faith and so find thy will,
by leaning hard on thy rich free mercy,
by believing thou wilt give what thou hast promised;

Strengthen me to pray with the conviction
that whatever I receive is thy gift,
so that I may pray until prayer be granted;

Teach me to believe that all degrees of mercy arise
from several degrees of prayer,
that when faith is begun it is imperfect and must grow,
as chapped ground opens wider and wider until rain comes.

So shall I wait thy will,
pray for it to be done,
and by thy grace become fully obedient.

The Divine Will, p.9, The Valley of Vision - A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, Arthur Bennett, editor. ©The Banner of Truth Trust 1975, 2002

Friday, December 15, 2006

Make A Difference!

We need help with the final touches in our Nursery Renovation. The work is mostly done. The room must be cleaned and the furniture moved back in. And. . . Christmas is coming. Would you please consider finding an hour or two to come help on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.? You can make a big difference with a little effort. Thank you.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thou Shalt Not Neglect The Bible!

Why do students need to study the Bible even though they don't believe? Here is my attempt to answer that question that was published today in the Oregonian.

Free Firewood!

A 100 foot hemlock toppled and landed smack dab in the middle of our beloved ex camper. It is no longer rectangular in shape, but has more of a airy squished trapezoidal look to it now. Frankly I am impress with the campers ability to hold up as well as it did given the tree fell from above off the hillside, and nailed it at its most powerful point of the fall, KA BAM! Dianne said she not only heard the tree come down, but felt it from across the street from our house. Me, I slept through it and woke up the next day with a new project. Oh well, you gotta love the great and beautiful Northwest. Never a dull moment, eh.

Would you post this pic and let people know if they want some hemlock firewood we have about two cords of it on top of our camper. I will be cutting it into 32 inch logs starting thrusday and should be done by Easter. :) Our number is 697-4876 and they can drive their rigs right up to the area to load.

Dave Froode

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Birth of Christ

Hark what mean those holy voices,
Sweetly sounding through the skies
Lo! th' angelic host rejoices,
Heav'nly hallelujahs rise.

Listen to the wondrous story,
Which they chant in hymns of joy;
"Glory, in the highest, glory!
Glory be to God most high!

"Peace on earth, good will from heav'n,
Reaching far as man is found;
Souls redeem'd, and sins forgiven,
Loud our golden harps shall sound.

"Christ is born, the great Anointed,
Heav'n and earth his praises sing!
O receive whom God appointed
For your Prophet, Priest and King!

"Hasten, mortals, to adore him,
Learn his name, and taste his joy
Till in heav'n ye sing before him,
Glory be to God most high!"

A Slow News Day

You know it's a slow day when. . .

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Do You Spam God?

In this technology article in Christian Computing Magazine, Steve Hewitt asks an interesting question.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Project Angel Tree

Help is still needed to deliver gifts for Project Angel Tree gifts! Gifts will be ready next Sunday, December 17th, and may be delivered anytime that week, December 17-24th. Please contact Darcey Philpot at 503.656.7830 if you can help.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Choir @ New Life Church Riverfalls

If you'd like to sing in a choir on Christmas Eve Sunday morning, please be at these practices: Saturday, 12/16, @ 10:30 a.m. and Thursday, 12/22, @ 7:00p.m. or contact Marcia Reavely.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Children's Choir @ New Life Church Riverfalls

Any children interested in singing in the morning services on Christmas Eve at New Life Church Riverfalls please come to practice at the church, 10:00 a.m. the next three Saturdays. Contact Marcia Reavely with questions.

Singing in Church

This video of John Daker, originally aired in 1991 on a local cable access channel. It has reminded some people of my singing in church. Taylor has begged me to post ever since we first saw it. Maybe you'll want to sing along.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Attention Parents

If you're a parent of a middle school or high school student here at New Life Church, you are invited to a combined parent meeting next Wednesday, December 13th from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at the Riverfalls campus (across the street from WLHS). Please take this opportunity to learn more about the youth ministry here at NLC and offer input that will allow us to partner more effectively in the development of your student.

Hope to see you there!

Eileen Ingham

A memorial service for Eileen (DiCenzo) Ingham (12/14/20 -- 12/2/06) will be held Thursday, December 7th, at 4:00 p.m. at New Life Church Riverfalls. Eileen had an interesting and full life. Many people still recall her active prayer list and I have been a grateful member of that list. She has not been an active part of the church for a while because she suffered with Alzheimers Disease for several years.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bible Phrases in English

Did you know that these common English Phrases are from the Bible?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Reasons New Life Church Doesn't Have A Readerboard!

At Crummy Church Signs Dot Com they list hundreds of, well, crummy church signs. A short look at the site makes me soooooooo glad we don't have a sign that we need to continually fill with messages -- many, many bad ideas here!

What REALLY Happened on the High School Fall Retreat

You may have wondered where many of the high school students went the weekend before Thanksgiving and heard they were on a fall retreat. But what REALLY happened that weekend? The retreat was held at Trout Creek Bible Camp in beautiful Corbett, OR, and the weather could not have been better. The group had reign of the entire camp and enjoyed many adventurous activities like a "go" on the giant swing, scaling rock walls, and a death-defying jaunt down the zip line. Great indoor activities included basketball, carpet ball, pool, ping pong, air hockey, etc.

The group also came together for some wacky, intense, and meaningful times. Among the wacky were a dress-up music video performance by each of the four small groups and also a talent show which included some serious talent, crazy costumes, and a lot of laughs. Among the intense were a camp-wide scavenger hunt and a late night version of capture the flag, guys versus girls (that game ended in a draw with both sexes very equally matched in speed, cunning, and covertness). Finally, there were several meaningful times in God's word and in praise that have changed the face of the group. The effects of spending the weekend together for spiritual transformation has created a bond that more consciously looks out for those in the group.

Thanks for your prayers and continue to pray that the NLC high school group (Ignite Youth Ministries) ignites in high school students a genuine love for God and others that reaches out to a lost world through a changed life.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Mover

O Supreme Moving Cause,

May I always be subordinate to thee,
be dependent upon thee,
be found in the path where thou dost walk,
and where thy Spirit moves,
take heed of estangement of thee,
of becoming insensible to thy love.

Thou dost not move men like stones,
but dost endue them with life,
not to enable them to move without thee,
but in submission to thee, the first mover.

O Lord, I am astonished at the difference between my receivings and my deservings,
between the state I am now in and my past gracelessness,
between the heaven I am bound for and the hell I merit.

Who made me to differ, but thee?
for I was no more ready to receive Christ then were others;

I could not have begun to love hee hadst thou not first loved me,
or been willing unless thou hadst first made me so.

O that such a crown whould fit the head of such a sinner!
such high advancement be for an unfruitful person!
such joys for so vile a rebel!

Infinite wisdom cast the design of salvation into the mould of purchase and freedom;

Let the wrath deserved be written on the door of hell,
But the free gift of grace on the gate of heaven.

I know that my sufferings are the result of my sinning,
but in heaven both shall cease;

Grant me to attain this haven and be done with sailing,
and may the gales of they mercy blow me safely into harbour,

Let thy love draw me nearer to thyself,
wean me from sin, mortify me to this world,
and make me ready for my departure hence.

Secure me by thy grace as I sail across this stormy sea.

-- The Valley of Vision

Friday, December 01, 2006

December Missionaries of the Month

Skip and Ruth Sorensen -- Uganda:

Primary Ministry Focus
Training pastors and church workers to establish and strengthen churches.

The People
Primarily the Bakiga and Banyankole tribal groups of Western Uganda, which together comprise one of the largest language groups in Uganda. Hard-working farmers and cattle raisers, they are warm, hospitable people who are hungry for spiritual understanding and open to the gospel.

Major Challenges

The difficulty of working with diverse language groups in a wide geographical area.

Prayer Focus
• Pray that the pastors and church leaders will mature spiritually and acquire skills to disciple the church members.
• Pray for the hearts of the believers here to be strengthened and drawn closer to God.
• Continue to pray for Stan as he’s away from home at boarding school in Kenya.

Audrey Sorensen -- Rwanda:

Primary Ministry Focus
Audrey is in Rwanda serving with WorldVenture ministering to children (mostly between ages of 5 and 16).

The People
The people in Rwanda have no or little knowledge of the Bible and cannot afford to buy a Bible of their own. The cost of a Bible there can feed a family for 3 weeks!

Prayer Focus
She just arrived this fall for a four year term. She is very excited to begin ministry and would appreciate your prayers.
• Getting connected with the locals
• Learning the language
• Endurance

Thursday, November 30, 2006


"Truth is the consistency and agreement of our ideas with the ideas of God." - Jonathan Edwards

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


To put this next to a notice for a memorial service may seem tacky. But, I think Rick would have enjoyed this very much. . .and so will you.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rick Sollers

Rick Sollers (7/11/53 -- 11/27/06) was called home unexpectedly Monday morning. He was an important man in the lives of so many people at New Life Church and beyond. He will be dearly missed.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3:00 at New Life Church Riverfalls. Please be in prayer for Cindy, Matt, Holly and the rest of their family.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Young Adult Ministry

The Young Adult ministry that has been meeting every Sunday morning at 10:45 had dinner and a game night last Saturday with several students who were back from school for the holiday. "Playing 'Mafia' is a great way to get to know people," said Amanda Orendorff who had them to her house. (Great! Every pastor wants his church to pretend to be the mafia!). Obviously they need your continued prayer.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Budget & Election Meeting

Next Sunday night, 12/3, at 6:00pm (not 7:00 as initially announced) at our Riverfalls location we will have our annual budget and elections meeting. Dale Austen and Scott Haugen are nominated to be elders for the next term. The budget was presented on 11/19 and has been posted for a couple weeks.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Growing A Healthy Church

I have been cleaning out some of my old Growing a Healthy Church notes and ran across this quote that I still find provocative:

The typical church is an activity trap. Having lost sight of the higher purposes for which it was originated, it now attempts to make up for this loss by an increased range of activities. -- George Odiorne
Sonlife ministries has been very helpful to me and our church. My experience as a trainer has reaped rewards in personal and pastoral ways, one of the many things I have to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Baskets

Thanks to a great volunteer crew, we were able to provide Thanksgiving dinner to 22 families this year. Thanks to all those that donated food and money and to a wonderful group that volunteered their time to pack and deliver those baskets with the love of our Lord.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pictures of Animal Embryos!

Here are some amazing pictures of animals in the womb.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Turning Thanksgiving into Thanks-living

by Laura McCorkle

When I was younger, Thanksgiving was pretty much just a holiday -- a day when I got to eat a whole lot of good food and nibble on all the sugary stuff I wanted. In fact, one year it only took my sister and me two forks and about 30 minutes to finish off the rest of the pecan pie, while everyone else was either glued to the football game or snoring in a recliner. We had no regrets, and I'm still thinking it was one of our tastier Thanksgivings. ...

But besides being a holiday when I had permission to indulge, thanksgiving was also a word my grandfather always incorporated at the end of his prayers: "And with thanksgiving, in Jesus' name, Amen." I always wondered why he used a word that made me think of cornucopias and construction-paper turkeys; but he was the Bible scholar in our family, and I was not. So I knew he must have had a good reason.

Years later, I think I now understand. In that one word, he was saying "Thank You for giving." You, being God. From my grandfather's example, I see that thanksgiving was more than a one-day family gathering. It was and is a way of living, a daily act of expressing gratitude to our Maker who first gave to us.

At this time of year, I sit and think about when I last thanked God for giving me anything -- let alone His son, Jesus Christ. I'm ashamed to admit that I don't remember. But I know that I want to make such gratefulness as prominent as the giant turkey on the table and see thanksgiving become a way of life.

finish the article here Turning Thanksgiving into Thanks-living

Port of Call Hospitality House

We've done some work projects and some short term mission trips before, but we've never had someone on the receiving end make a webpage that features our trip. . . until now. Here is a set of photos from our trip to the Port of Call Hospitality House. Check out their page!

September 30th, we took 8 team members. We stopped at Ft Lewis hospitality house and dropped off 4 - Bob & Barbara Montgomery, Cris Austen, Louise Bennett - and Paul Metko went with the others to Bremerton. At Ft. Lewis we painted inside the new kitchen cupboards. When the cupboards are on floor level you sure to have to practice your stretching before you attempt to get into that space!!! There was also some sanding and finishing of benches. And we topped it off with yard work.

The Bremerton team - Larry Latimer, Mark Hannifan, Dale Austen, Lee Bennett and Paul Metko focused on re-doing a stone retaining wall. Larry Latimer got himself into a hornets nest and was stung on the hand several times. God stopped the bees from doing more damage by using Larry's inside out sweatshirt. The fuzzy fleece foiled the frenzy!

Tired sore muscles were the order of the day, but that is nothing in comparison to what Cadence workers do day in and day out! It is always a blessing to help out and do the things that we can to relieve the Cadence workers to minister to the soldiers.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Operation Christmas Child

Thank you for your generous contributions to Operation Christmas Child. Today 59 hope-filled shoeboxes were delivered to the area drop-off center located at Rolling Hills Community Church. Please pray for the children who will receive these gifts, and for their families, that the Lord will prepare their hearts for the Gospel message that will be included with each shoebox.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

God's Good Pleasure

Sovereign Lord,

Your will is supreme in heaven and earth,
and all beings are creatures of Your power.
You are the Father of our spirits;
Your inspiration gives us understanding,
Your providence governs our lives.

But, O God, we are sinners in Your sight;
You have judged us so,
and if we deny it we make You a liar.
Yet in Christ You are reconciled to Your rebellious subjects;
give us the ear of faith to hear Him,
the eye of faith to see Him,
the hand of faith to receive Him,
the appetite of faith to feed upon Him;
that we might find in Him light,
riches, honor, eternal life.

You are the inviting one, may we hearken to You;
the almighty instructor, teach us to live to You;
the light-dweller, inaccessible to man and angels,
hiding Yourself behind the elements of creation,
but known to us in Jesus,
Fill our minds with the grandeur of Your perfections.

Your love to us in Jesus is firm and changeless,
nothing can separate us from it,
and in the enjoyment of it nothing can make us miserable.

Preserve us from hypocrisy and formality in religion;
Enable us to remember what You are and what we are,
to recall Your holiness and our unworthiness;
Help us to approach You clothed with humility,
for vanity, forwardness, insensibility,
disorderly affection, backwardness to duty,
proneness to evil are in our hearts.

Let us never forget Your patience, wisdom, power, faithfulness, care,
and never cease to respond to Your invitations.

Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), p. 222.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Youth Ministry

The High School youth group, IGNITE, at New Life Church is off to Trout Creek Bible Camp for their fall retreat. Please pray for a Spirit-filled weekend for them. Also, there will be no middle school or high school youth meetings next Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.

New Life Trivia: Four people from New Life Church have served at Trout Creek Bible Camp. Do you know who they are?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Baby Clothes

Dear Family @ New Life Church:

You will be delighted to know that the women had a fabulous time picking out clothes. We sold 190.00 euro and have about half of the clothes sold. They decided to ask 5 euro for each piece. It is really a great help as the owner of the building gave us the bill of the increase in the taxes that are to be paid by the church for renting the building for the last five years.

Please tell the children that as part of the gift that was given, Danielo recieved 30.00 euro to go to the Scout program with Guilio. Their family would not have been able to send him.

Thanks so much for keeping us encouraged!!!
The family in Ostia sends you greetings.
Dan, Alice, Michele and Anna

Sunday, November 12, 2006

First Day Morning


O Lord,
We commune with thee every day,
but week days are worldly days,
and secular concerns reduce heavenly impressions.

We bless thee therefore for the day sacred to our souls
when we can wait upon thee and be refreshed;
We thank thee for the institutions of religion
by use of which we draw near to thee and thou to us;
We rejoice in another Lord's Day
when we call off our minds from the cares of the world
and attend upon thee without distraction;
Let our retirement be devout,
our conversation edifying,
oiur reading pious,
our hearing profitable,
that our souls may be quickened and elevated.

We are going to the house of prayer,
pour upon us the spirit of grace and supplication;
We are going to the house of praise,
awaken in us ever grateful and cheerful emotion;
We are going to the house of instruction,
give testimony to the Word preached,
and glorify it in the hearts of all who hear;
may it enlighten the ignorant,
awaken the careless,
reclaim the wandering,
establish the weak,
comfort the feeble-minded,
make ready a people for their Lord.

Be a sanctuary to all who cannot come,
Forget not those who never come,
And do thou bestow upon us
benevolence towards our dependents,
peaceableness toward our neighbors,
opennes towards our fellow-Christians.
-- Valley of Vision, p. 209.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Lord's Day

Come, dearest Lord, and bless this day,
Come bear our thoughts from earth away
Now, let our noblest passions rise
With ardor to their native skies.

Come, Holy Spirit, all divine,
With rays of light upon us shine;
And let our waiting souls be blest,
On this sweet day of sacred rest.

Then when our Sabbaths here are o'er,
And we arrive on Canaan's shore,
With all the ransom'd, we shall spend
A sabbath which shall never end.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Church Planting Bibliography

Here's a bibliography about church planting. Some of you might find it interesting.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Crazy For You

Four students from New Life church are performing or playing in West Linn High School's first production in their new auditorium. Natalie Douglass and Jon Binswanger are part of the cast. Mackenzie Pricer and Hannah Cochran are playing in the orchestra. The reviews from the first weekend are very positive. They have three more performances left. Check the West Linn High School website to find out more.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Go Deep

The Funny papers were theological today. Some of you have done this to me! Have fun. Fox Trot

The Scandal

Tim Challies at Challies Dot Com discusses an important lesson to learn from the tragedy that is unfolding in Colorado Springs.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Thanksgiving Dinner @ Cascade Summit

On November 15th, Pastor Tim and Bree are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for the residents of Cascade Summit apartments. Last year we served a Thanksgiving meal to close to 100 residents. Several people from New Life help last year to help make the event successful. We are looking for help in several areas again this year, would you consider helping us "Share our Treasure" with our neighbors?
Specific needs include:

  • Cooking a Turkey (we are cooking 4)
  • Transporting Tables and Chairs
  • Set-up prior to event
  • Carving Turkeys
  • Misc. Kitchen duties during event
  • Serving / busing tables
  • Clean-up
Contact us for more information or to volunteer and remember to pray for us,
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ....
(Colossians 4:2-3 ESV)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Communion Sunday

Eternal King, enthron'd above,
Look down in faithfulness and love;
Prepare our hearts to seek thy face,
And grant us thy reviving grace.

Long have we heard the joyful call,
But yet our faith and love are small;
Our hearts are torn with worldly cares,
And all our paths are fill'd with snares.

Unworthy to approach thy throne,
Our trust is fix'd on Christ alone;
In him thy cov'nant stands secure,
And will from age to age endure.

O let us hear thy pard'ning voice,
And bid our mourning hearts rejoice;
Revive our souls, our faith renew,
Prepare for duties now in view.

Make all our spices flow abroad,
A grateful incense to our God;
Let hope, and love, and joy appear,
And ev'ry grace be active here.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Family Devotions

Reavely FamilyOccasionally on a Sunday I will talk about family devotions. The Reavely family's "Bible Times" consist of reading a chapter of Proverbs, working on a memory verse and praying together.

We have been reading a chapter of Proverbs every day for two years. We are talking about what we might do in 2007 to give us a break from Proverbs. After two years the kids are often finishing the proverbs after I start them. Often we'll talk about some event or attitude we've experienced that connects with what we are reading.

Our memory verse program we really like. It exposes us to verses that we frequently use and that help us with our attitudes and our faith. The program is called "Fighter Verses" from Desiring God ministries. I recommend it to everyone, whether they have family devotions with kids or not.

When we pray together we try to keep it from being too repetitive. It is very easy to get into a rut and merely mouth the same words time after time. So, to keep things on fresh we mix it up. We have "Missionary Monday" when we pray for missionaries, "Two-fer Tuesday" when we pray for two people, one in the family and one outside our family, "Whatever Wednesday" when we pray for whatever we want, "Thankful Thursday" when we go around the circle several times saying one thing we're thankful for, and "Family Friday" when we pray for people in our family.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Christmas Shopping

You have 54 Days until Christmas. How many presents do you need to buy? It's almost overwhelming to think about.

If you are going to shop online for some of your gifts and buy things from or then you can support New Life Church when you shop! Because we are part of affiliate programs with both companies, if you go to their sites through our website bookstore the church will get a small percentage of each purchase. It is a small way to help. But if you are going to buy from those sites anyway, you could make a difference with your gifts in more ways than one.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

From our zoo to yours,
Happy Halloween.

Elephants and zoos have ignited a bigger controversy than you may expect. Here's an article from today's USA Today.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Fun and Frightful Time at the Corn Maize

A week ago last Friday the NLC high school (a.k.a. Ignite Youth Ministries) and jr. high groups subjected themselves to being trapped, frustrated, and confused inside a maize of corn. Both groups departed about the same time in different vehicles to the same island but to separate corn maizes. Don't ask. Mud was a concern but not nearly as bad as expected, and apparently everyone successfully navigated the maize though some high schoolers got spooked in the process. Who knew that corn maizes were lurking with so many vile creatures (i.e. werewolves, red-eyed birds, etc.)? All in all it was a good time to nurture relationships, and there was nothing but positive feedback about the time of refreshment and sharing that the jr. highers had afterwards at the church. Thanks NLC for supporting youth.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Nursery Remodel

The past month has been "Nursery Remodel Month." The wallpaper is down and new colors are up. Some of the cabinets are in place. The new windows are going to be resized. The counter and water heater are gone. They even discovered a family of wasps had occupied nursery space in years gone by. The destruction is over. Everything from here forward will be progress.

The nursery will be relocated into the chapel for the next two weeks.

Thank you to all those who have helped.

Harvest Sunday

Tomorrow is Harvest Sunday at New Life Church. First, remember to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed. Second, enjoy your extra hour of sleep. Third, come to church and celebrate a Savior who accepts 'tax collectors and sinners.' Better yet . . . be like Levi (Mark 2:13-17) and bring someone with you to meet Jesus.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Is it possible....

...for the Christian community to gather for worship and fail to have God as the subject and object of our praise?

Naturally, when Christians come together, they meet not God but each other. They were raised in twelve years or so of the school-type atmosphere, so they’re used to assembling in a school-type manner: somewhat disciplined, somewhat orderly—but horizontal and casual.

Maybe because of this, many Christians never worship . They spend their lives in horizontal activities: Sunday school classes, women’s meetings, home Bible studies, even church services.
They extend the familiar atmosphere of the schoolroom to all their Christian activities for the rest of their lives. They learn to know about God. But they never learn to know God. Direct contact with Him may never have been provided for or encouraged by their churches.

What if your birthday were coming up and your friends announced they were giving you a party. You eagerly anticipated it—but finally when party time actually came, they never noticed you. You were off in a corner, and they talked about you as if you weren’t even there! Eventually you’d get the picture—that they were just using the occasion of your birthday as an excuse to get together and enjoy one another.

Do you suppose that’s the way God feels every week? Many Christians seem to use church services to talk some about Him, but mostly as an excuse to enjoy one another.
--- Anne Ortlund

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39).

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [what we shall eat, drink, or wear] will be given to you as well (Matt. 6:33).

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lessons From A Short-Term Mission Trip

  1. Reality is shaped by vocabulary and vocabulary shapes reality. [In Ukraine, they don’t have words for ‘vision’ or ‘strategy.’ After years of communist dictatorship, they didn’t need one. In Italy, they don’t have a word for ‘accountability.’]
  2. Relationships are more important than meetings.
  3. In an environment where you can’t plan very well, who you are will be more important than how prepared you are. Your ministry comes from your life.
  4. The people you go with and the people you come home to are the ones who need to benefit from the experience the most.
  5. Human beings are the same everywhere.
  6. God is the same everywhere.
  7. Culture sets limits on our behavior. We will assume that what is cultural is godly, but that is not necessarily so.
  8. Every culture has its own besetting sins.
  9. A long-term missionary has to make it work. A short term missionary will go home soon. This leads to different approaches to the same problem.
  10. It is easy to fall in love with an experience. This is different from the call to be a missionary.
  11. Language matters. Use well the one you know.
  12. Their lives go on after you leave. Make them easier.
  13. Hosting short-term teams is hard work for missionaries.
  14. Come home and follow the same rules: Do whatever you are asked. Leave everywhere cleaner than you found it. No complaining.
  15. Flexibility.
If you have been on a short-term trip and have lessons you'd like to add, I'd be honored to read them in the comments. Thanks.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lord's Day Evening

May the close of an earthly sabbath remind me that the last of them will one day end.
Animate me with joy that in heaven praise will never cease,
that adoration will continue forever,
that no flesh will grow weary,
no congregations disperse,
no affections flag,
no thoughts wander,
no will droop,
but all will be adoring love.
Guard my mind from making ordinances my stay or trust,
from hewing out broken cisterns,
from resting on outward helps.
Wing me though earthly forms to thy immediate presence;
May my feeble prayers show me the emptiness and vanity of my sins;
Deepen in me the conviction that my most fervent prayers,
and my lowly confessions, need to be repented of.
May my best services bring me nearer to the cross,
and prompt me to cry, 'None but Jesus!'
By thy Spirit give abiding life to the lessons of this day:
May the seed sown take deep root and yield a full harvest.
Let all who see me take knowledge that I have been with thee
that thou has taught me my need as a sinner
hast revealed a finished salvation to me,
hast enriched me with all spiritual blessings,
hast chosen me to show forth Jesus to others,
hast helped me to dispel the mists of unbelief.
O great Creator, mighty Protector, graciouis Preserver,
thou dost load me with loving kindnesses,
and hast made me thy purchased possession,
and redeemed me from all guilt;
I praise and bless thee for
my sabbath rest,
my calm conscience,
my peace of heart.
-- p. 199, The Valley of Vision

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Global Rich List

The Global Rich List will rank YOU among the world's richest. Give it a try and see where you are among the world's population. It will give you some perspective.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Praying is Living

Prayer leads you to see new paths and to hear new melodies in the air. Prayer is the breath of your life which gives you freedom to go and stay where you wish and to find the many signs which point out to the new land. Praying is not simply some necessary compartment in the daily schedule of a Christian or a source of support in time of need, nor is it restricted to Sunday morning or as a frame surrounding mealtimes. Praying is living.

---Henri J. M. Nouwen (1932-1996)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Help for Blogging Pastors

At, Cory Miller interviews pastors who blog and offers advice to make it easier. Email one of the pastors you'd like to see blog more and tell them about this site.

Mission Reports

Sunday, October 22nd, at 12:00 p.m. at New Life Church Riverfalls, we will have a missions report from our Fall 2006 teams. Carol & Judy wil report on their ministry and experience in Moldova and Ukraine. Aaron and Amanda Orendorff and Marcia and Scott Reavely will report on their ministry in Italy. The ministry of our church extends around the world. Come hear a first-hand account on Sunday afternoon.

Please bring a hot dish. If your last name begins with A-M please also bring a salad. If your last name begins with N-Z please also bring a dessert.