Sunday, December 30, 2007

Stop Doing That!

James Emery White, former president of Gordon Conwell Seminary, suggests that whatever resolutions you make this year be accompanied by "non-resolutions", or commitments to stop doing things. I think you'll enjoy his article. You can read it here.

Prayer for Today

I was blessed by reading and praying this slowly. I hope you will have some extra time to do the same this week.


Help my infirmities;
When I am pressed down with a load of sorrow,
perplexed and knowing not what to do,
slandered and persecuted,
made to feel the weight of the cross,
help me, I pray thee.
If thou seest in me
any wrong thing encouraged,
any evil desire cherished,
any delight that is not thy delight,
any habit that grieves thee,
any nest of sin in my heart,
then grant me the kiss of thy forgiveness,
and teach my feet to walk the way of thy commandments.
Delver me from carking care,
and make me a happy, holy person;
Help me to walk the separated life with firm and brave step,
and to wrestle successfully against weakness;
Teach me to laud, adore, and magnify thee,
with the music of heaven,
And make me a perfume of praiseful gratitude to thee.
I do not crouch at thy feet as a slave before a tyrant,
but exult before thee as a son with a father.
Give me power to live as thy child in all my actions,
and to exercise sonship by conquering self.
Preserve me from the intoxication that comes of prosperity;
Sober me when I am glad with a joy that comes not from thee.
Lead me safely on to the eternal kingdom,
not asking whether the road be rough or smooth.
I request only to see the face of him I love,
to be content with bread to eat,
with raiment to put on,
if I can be brought to thy house in peace.

(From The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan prayers and devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Life Church Service on 12/30

Don't forget that tomorrow, December 30th, all of New Life Church will worship in one service at West Linn High School at 10:30 a.m. See you there!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lessons from my Chimney Pipe

This morning after I brewed some coffee in my new-for-Christmas coffee pot, I went downstairs by the stove to have my quiet time with the Lord. I was on my knees for not more than a minute before I heard, "Bonk". Then, again, "BONK". It is hard to pray when every 45 seconds or so you are hearing, "Bonk". It wasn't long before the sound had a more liquid sound, "Shplonk". I knew the cap on the chimney pipe was letting some of the "not quite snowflakes" inside like it had done 5-6 years ago.

Since I was talking to the Lord about it I turned the conversation to my newly discovered problem. Here are some things I learned as He and I talked about this:

  1. Are you thankful? It has been almost a year since I tore up a sidewalk behind my house to repair a severed sewer pipe that was leaking back into our washing machine drain, almost a year. I haven't had a single "water is running into your house" problem for almost a year. Isn't that something to be thankful about.
  2. Are you thankful? I know this sounds like the first lesson. On Christmas day my immediate and extended family journeyed into downtown Eugene, under a bridge, and gave hot chocolate to some folks that spend Christmas day under the bridge (In a couple days you can see some pictures on the H2O blog). The winter wind cut through our jackets and our ears and fingers throbbed. I thought at that time, I'm not thankful enough for the common grace of a warm home, not to mention a big meal I'm about to eat. That's a great thing to think on a holiday when you feel a strange mixture of kindness and self-righteousness. What about when the house you are thankful for is leaking?
  3. The same event can be bad and good. I was disappointed, to put it mildly, that I couldn't sip my coffee beside the fire and have a nice peaceful quiet time. That's, after all, why I got up early in the morning. And, I'm going to climb up on the roof in the snow (maybe?) and caulk the cap on the chimney. That's bad. On the other hand, I heard the leak while it was still "bonk" before the water had gathered in the tin chimney cover right above our stove, "shplonk". That means it must have just started and I caught it before the roof caved in and/or water was everywhere. That's good. Hmmm.
  4. It's hard to pray and read your Bible during a modified Chinese water torture. The constant "bonk" not only was distracting, but a constant reminder of what will happen if I continue to sit there. It occurred to me that that's why most people don't pray. They don't have time to. Something is more pressing. Something won't go away. Some noise pounds in the background, "Don't forget me. Don't forget me." And so, we can't/don't stop for time with a God who is much quieter about his demand for our attention.
I hope you don't need a leaking chimney to hear from God. But, I've got to go. . . Home Depot is calling.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from New Life Church

I hope your Christmas is blessed and that you enjoy Christ more than ever. And. . . yes, I hope you remember to smile!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

First Ever Treasure Chest Giveaway!

As a way of thanking you for being regular readers of the New Life Church blog, the Treasure Chest, we are giving away a book that will shape the way you live in 2008. Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels is a book that the staff and elders read last year and is a tremendous encouragement to, well, walk across the room and talk with someone about Christ.

The rules for the giveaway are simple:

  1. Leave a comment on any post between before 2008. (New Year's at 12:00 a.m. pst.) and you'll be entered.
  2. Be able to pick up the book at the church office.
We will randomly draw a winner from all the comments. Thanks again for reading.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

New Life Church Christmas Services

I have overheard some people doing a double-take about the times of our Christmas services. The morning services tomorrow are the normal worship service times at both locations.

The extra Christmas services seem to be more confusing. Both will be candlelight services in celebration of the birth of Christ. The times are:

You are welcome to both or either, depending on which fits your schedule and desires to worship.

Life Group Christmas (Part 2)

One of our Women's Life Groups celebrated Christmas together this last Tuesday. They have been studying a book on prayer together throughout the fall. The Lord has nit their hearts together as they have studied God's Word, prayed together, and helped care for each other's needs (see Dian Hutchin's thank you note from Tuesday's post).

On Tuesday the festivities got interesting when Claire Robley got all tied up in a wacky Christmas game. Though it was cold outside, it was warm inside as the women celebrated the birth of our Savior and the fellowship that He has given them with one another.

The white elephant gift exchange got interesting when Evelyn Hall tried to steal a gift from poor little Miles Nelson. After some negotiations all was settled, and everyone went home happy... except Evelyn that is. In a last minute move of deception Miles ran out the door leaving his white elephant gift behind. Miles, she is waiting for you to come back and get that gift!

Seriously though, New Life Church Life Groups are the place to be if you want to grow in your relationship with Christ and build friendships His people. Contact the church office at 503-656-8600 to get involved in a life group in the New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Caroling Fun!

Even in the rain, about 40 people showed up at the New Life Church 3rd Annual Caroling Party last night! We split into 4 groups and spread out through the neighborhood spreading Christmas cheer. We sang at 38 homes and delivered gifts of hot chocolate with mixing instructions and Christmas service times attached.

A group with a little less Christmas joy may have been discouraged by the soggy night, but not this motley crew. They returned to the church full of vigor and excitement. Some were so excited they started dancing. Others began putting on spontaneous Christmas Pageants. Still others decided to make Christmas crafts and gifts for their friends and family members.

It was a delightful evening for everyone involved. We spread the good news about the birth of Jesus Christ and had fun at the same time! In the midst of your holiday business, be sure to take time to celebrate the birth of Jesus with vim and vigor. Remember, the birth of Jesus is "good news of great joy for all people!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

High School Parent Newsletter

High school parents of New Life Church, this is for you. The December edition of the Ignite Newsletter is here. You can pick up a hard copy in the foyer of the Riverfalls campus on Sunday, December 23, or you can click here to view it right now! Enjoy!

Thoughts for the Day

The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war. -- Asian Proverb

All intellectual improvement arises from leisure. -- Samuel Johnson

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. -- Albert Einstein

It takes about ten years to get used to how old you are. -- Unknown

Caroling Party Tonight at 6:30

Rain, sleet, or snow won't stop us tonight. Come on we're Oregonians... more importantly we're Christians, and we've got a message to deliver... "Joy to the World, The Lord is Come!"

Join us tonight at 6:30 at New Life Robinwood (19915 Old River Drive, West Linn) for an exciting evening of caroling to our neighbors and inviting them to Christmas services at New Life Church.

Not a virtuoso singer? Never fear, all caroling requires is a cheerful spirit and an ability to walk. Come have a great time caroling with your church family. Then linger around afterwards over a cup of yummy hot chocolate, cider, and homemade cookies!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thank You

Dear New Life Church,

Our deepest gratitude for the outpouring of love and prayers from all of you. Our Thanksgiving meal was not only delicious but also extra joyful without the stress of having to purchase the ingredients. In addition, the tasty dishes and the transportation provided by our Tuesday evening Bible study group were timed for just the right moments.

I am also gratefully overwhelmed by all the offers of help from those dear ladies and from the great group who attend Eleanora's senior luncheons. We're happy to report that Robert's cancer treatments are now completed and that the prognosis is good for a complete annihilation of those alien cells. God is good!!

Dian and Bob Hutchins

Life Group Christmas

Last weekend two of our life groups joined together for an exciting Progressive Dinner. Four carloads of people drove around West Linn and Oregon City finding fun food and festivities from four friendly families. : )

The food from around the world was quite tasty. Our friendships deepened as we enjoyed the festive evening together. At one home the group even enjoyed a rousing white elephant gift exchange.

Through all of the excitement we only had one small mishap in the evening. Art Foullon mowed down Jon Van Tuyl's mailbox in a senseless act of road rage! OK it was an accident, but be sure to give Art a hard time when you see him.

Has your life group done anything fun and exciting this holiday season? Do you have pictures? Send them to, and you might just find your group on the blog.

If you are not in a life group yet, why not make it a new year's resolution to get into a group where you can grow in your relationship with God and His people next year?

Monday, December 17, 2007

High School Students Help Bridges-To-Change

Group photo at B-2-C campusHigh school students from New Life Church delivered 17 Christmas trees to a transitional housing facility down the street called Bridges-To-Change on Saturday, December 8th. We also cut and erected the two Christmas trees at the Riverfalls campus, and afterwards had lunch together at Burgerville. Yum! Click here to see more pictures.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Today's Prayer

O that all my distresses and apprehensions
might prove but Christ's school
to make me fit for greater service
by teaching me the great lesson of humility.
-- Valley of Vision, Need of Grace

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Del Florea's Message

Here is a video we took of Del Florea in September 2006. He didn't plan to live long at that point and stayed around for another 15 months. If you talked to Del much in the past few years you heard these same themes almost every time he spoke. We showed this video at his "standing-room-only" memorial service earlier today.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Beauty Underfoot

Here is a poem I wrote at the Pastor's Prayer Summit in October. CBNorthwest put it on their website and combined it with a picture I took that weekend, too. You may find some other pictures I took on that site, too. Click the picture to enlarge it and make it easier to read.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

God is Involved

Our recent study in Ruth has reminded me in a fresh way about how God cares so deeply about our lives even though it doesn't always look like it. Here is a Christmas blog post I wrote in 2005 that surprised me with its relevance.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Last Names Tell A Story

The U.S. Census Bureau has released a study on surnames in the United States. The big news is that for the first time, two Hispanic names are among the top 10 surnames. You may want to read the article, The Garcias are Catching up to the Joneses.

IMPACT: high shool student leadership retreat

Group photoNew Life Church high school students went on a student leadership retreat at the Evangelical Center November 30-December 1, 2008. Click here to see more pictures.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Thank You From Bob Spidal

My dear church family,
You're so good to me, thank you for your well wishes and many prayers. The flowers brought to me after my hospital stay and the beautiful red poinsettia are so much appreciated, and help to bring cheer on these dark days.

It has been my joy to know and love each one of you. Being able to serve my Saviour through you has helped me to know and love the Bible and the God it tells about is too wonderful to even speak about. I pray God's blessing and spiritual prosperity on each one of you.

Staying in love with my Saviour,
Bob Spidal

Monday, December 10, 2007

Del Florea, 1944 -- 2007

Del Florea encouraged countless people with his confidence in the Lord and his assurance of his home in heaven as he fought cancer for seven years. He died in his home last Thursday night.

We will have a memorial service and celebration of his life Saturday, December 15, 2007 at New Life Church River Falls in West Linn at 10:00 a.m.. A potluck will follow.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Prayer for Today

You can find a great prayer for today here.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Gift Making Party

One of our life groups put together a very "creative" mission project this past weekend. They became convicted of the need to spend less $ on gifts this Christmas and give more away to people in need. They realized that several women in the group knew how to make crafts that they could teach to other women. So, they decided to host a gift making party.

This past Saturday 20 women gathered at New Life Robinwood to make fun crafts to give away to their family and friends as Christmas gifts. They made mosaics, aprons, bead necklaces, and hostess gifts (brownies in a jar, hot chocolate ice cream cones, and special holiday tea).

At noon the ladies enjoyed a nice lunch together. Jeanette Kramer shared with the women about what Christmas really means and how they could give the gift of themselves this Christmas.

A few people used this event as an outreach and brought friends and family members from outside the church. In the end, the life group that organized the event was very encouraged.

If you would like to know more information about spending less and giving more this Christmas, check out this web-site that a Portland area church put together:

Backstage and On Stage with Switchfoot & Reliant K

New Life Church showed up in force at the recent Switchfoot and Reliant K concert at the Salem Armory. Arthur Foullon and Andrew Madsen enjoyed backstage passes and met Jon from Switchfoot. Sweet!

Taylor Reavely and Nathan Hanson were called on stage by the band to play on one of the songs. Even though some of us who stayed home didn't believe the story when we first heard it, these pictures are proof.

They were on stage in the morning leading us in worship and on stage with one of their favorite bands that night. How fun!

Updates on Meredith Curteman

Nick and Meredith Curteman have started a blog to keep friends and family updated on her cancer and her treatment. Turns out she is in the top 200 people in the history of the world. . . in a category called Pulmonary Blastoma. You can read more here. Please remember to pray for them.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain

This video of Joanne Weiss's sister, Jeanne Clem, was shown in the services of Mars Hill Church in Seattle a couple weeks ago. It is a powerful statement about the reality of the hope that Christians have in the face of death.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Children's Library: New Books and DVDs

NEW...NEW...NEW...NEW... NEW...NEW...NEW...NEW...


  • "The Legend of the Christmas Tree"
  • (The Inspirational Story of A Treasured Tradition)
  • "God Made You SPECIAL"
  • Veggie Tales...Holidy Double Feature: "The Star fo Christmas" and "The Toy That Saved Christmas"
  • "The Star of Christmas"

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Prayer for Today


God of the Publican,
Be merciful to me a sinner;
this I am by nature and practice,
this thy Word proclaims me to be,
this I hope I feel myself to be;
Yet thou hast not left me to despair,
for there is no ‘peradventure’ in thy grace;
I have all the assurance I need
that with thee is plenteous redemption.

In spite of the number and heinousness of my sins
thou hast given me a token for good;
The golden sceptre is held out,
and thou hast said ‘Touch it and live’.

May I encourage myself by a sense of thy
by faith in thy promises,
by views of the experience of others.
To that dear refuge in which so many have sheltered
from every storm
may I repair,
In that fountain always freely open for sin
may I be cleansed from every defilement.

Sin is that abominable thing which thy soul hates,
and this alone separates thee and me.
Thou canst not contradict the essential perfections
of thy nature;
Thou canst not make me happy with thyself,
till thou hast made me holy like thyself.

O holy God, make me such a creature as thou canst
take pleasure in,
and such a being that I can take pleasure in thee.

May I consent to and delight in thy law
after the inner man,
never complain over the strictness of thy demands,
but mourn over my want of conformity to them;
never question thy commandments,
but esteem them to be right.

By thy Spirit within me
may my practice spring from principle, and
my dispositions be conformable with duty.

(From The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan prayers and devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

News You Can Use

Underfunded Schools Forced To Cut Past Tense From Language Programs

WASHINGTON—Teaching students how to conjugate verbs so that they can describe events that have already occurred is a luxury many schools cannot afford.
If you remember struggling with your grammar, you'll appreciate this article. Click the above link to read the whole article. The last paragraph is the best.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Value of Trials

Jonathan Edwards writes of three benefits of trials in The Religious Affections:

  1. Such trials. . . above all other things, have a tendency to distinguish between true religion and false and to cause the difference between them evidently to appear.
  2. They not only manifest the truth of it, but they make its genuine beauty and amiableness remarkably to appear. True virtue never appears so lovely as when it is most oppressed.
  3. Another benefit that such trials are of to true religion is that they purify and increase it. They not only manifest it to be true, but also tend to refine it, and deliver it from those mixtures of that which is false which encumber and impede it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Friends on Fox News

We received an email this morning that was fun. A couple of our friends, Alex & Brett Harris, received kudos from Chuck Norris for their website and ministry, the Rebelution. Check out the links below. I think you'll also enjoy the endorsement that is the basis for the Fox News interview. Here is part of the email:

You can watch the 5-minute interview at this link. You can also watch an informal video of Chuck Norris speaking at a reporters luncheon with Huckabee in Washington, DC yesterday -- where he also mentions us and the Rebelution. We're humbled that God would bless us in this way -- and excited that we could play a part in the effort to elect an experienced, competent, authentic, and godly leader. God bless you all!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Lord's Supper

Mark 14:12-26, The Lord's Supper, October 7, 2007

Jesus is Anointed

Mark 14:1-11, Jesus is Anointed, September 30, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Support Our Soldier, Holly Thomas

As you may be aware, Holly Thomas, daughter of Carrie Thomas is again serving a short tour in Iraq with the US Air Force. She will be there until late January or early February, 2008. Please keep her in your prayers. If you would like to send her a note (or care package) from home, her address is:
Holly Thomas
Unit #2B
APO, AE 09315
No rank, or indication of service is required.
From Mom Carrie: "Thank you for all the prayers and words of encouragement to
both of us!"

Thank You From Brazil

Dear New Life Church,

Words cannot fully express my gratitude to New Life Church for allowing Pastor Scott and Marcia to come to Brazil. Their participation in my ministry helped me and helped other missionaries as well. The time of worship lead by Marcia and the teaching by Scott were a great encouragement to all. Their presence at the field conference became a highlight for many of us who were involved in a conference that was full of difficult moments and difficult decisions. The time spent in Teresina was also a very profitable time even though it was a very quick trip. Pastor Mendes of Igreja Batista Morada Nova could not stop expressing his gratitude for the presence and participation of Scott and Marcia in the anniversary of the church. Thank you for your willingness to invest in my life and my ministry.

In Christ,

Bruce Tissell

Bridges To Change Thanksgiving Banquet A Huge Success

Blessings at Thanksgiving! With many helping hands and donations from the church body, 65 people from Bridges To Change were served a Thanksgiving dinner at New Life Riverfalls on Wednesday evening, Nov. 21st. What a great turnout! Mike Polley prayed for their hearts and minds to be open to receive God's word along with the dinner. We plan to do this again in the future and look forward to any volunteers wishing to help out--thank you volunteers!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Brazil Picture Album

Here are some of my pictures from Brazil. I tried to put more of them up earlier in the week when I was there, but my internet connection prevented me. So here they are.

Trick Questions for Jesus

Mark 12:13-17, Trick Questions for Jesus, July 29, 2007

Parable of the Tenants

Mark 12:1-12, Parable of the Tenants, July 15, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Treasureland on Mission!

The kids of Treasureland at NLRF took on a mission to touch as many kids around the world as possible through Operation Christmas Child. They wound up putting together 17 shoe boxes full of gifts to give to needy children this Christmas!

When you see one of the kids (or dedicated teachers) from this picture, be sure to say thanks to them for all of their hard work.

Sunday in Brazil

We had a delightful and we trust useful Sunday at Igreja Batista Morada Nova. I spoke both morning and evening. The morning message went well. Bruce was my translator. The evening was the formal celebration of their 13th anniversary (I thought we were over-the-top last year for celebrating our 65th!).

I was the featured speaker. I had to sit in front of the congregation the whole night in an extremely straight-backed chair. I didn't know the songs. I couldn't read their PowerPoint. I tried to encourage them, nonetheless, to find Christ to be their treasure and pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44-46).

One person trusted Christ at the evening service Saturday night and then another on Sunday night. We left Teresina at 3:45 that night and now are in San Paulo.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Brazilian Worship Extract

Here is a brief scene from last night's service in the park. I'm going to preach twice today.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mindset List for Class of 2011

Every year Beloit College puts together a list that helps explain the mindset and worldview of the freshman class. Here is this year's list. If you are young this will not seem like a big deal. If you are older than 40 it will make you think twice and wonder why there isn't a bigger generation gap.

Happy Birthday, Bruce

We enjoyed celebrating Bruce's Birthday with him and his close friends. It was a delight to see the love and respect the other missionaries on the field have for him.

Ken Flurry is the WorldVenture Regional Director for the Americas. He was a missionary our church supported years ago. He and his wife were married in the church Marcia grew up in in Billings, MT. He'll be retiring in May and then they are planning to go work in the slums of Sao Paulo.

This is the WorldVenture Team in N. Brazil.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Life Group Leader's Meeting

This Sunday after 2nd service, there will be a Riverfalls Life Group Leader's Meeting in the high school room at 12:15 p.m. If you are a Life Group Leader or if you are interested in learning more about the Life Group Ministry Leadership, you are invited to attend. Our aim will be to begin answering some of the basic small group ministry questions every church has to address in order to be intentional about developing and maturing authentic and transformative Christian community. The following quote illustrates well the kind of passion and power small groups inherently hold.

"Small groups are microcosms of God's creation community. Wherever two or more persons come together, they become an actual reflection of the image and likeness of God. Small groups are the basic arena for either imaging the redeeming presence of God or projecting destructive human systems. Every small or large gathering of humanity exists in this tension of manifesting an inhuman structure or embodying divinely redemptive relationships." - Gareth Icenogle
(Biblical Foundations for Small Group Ministry)

Day One -- North Brazil Field Conference

Our hotel is only two blocks from the beach, yet it took two excursions before we found the path to get there. It is warm and windy here. Yesterday I counted 14 tankers anchored off the coast. It isn't a beach that anyone was swimming in.

We have enjoyed delectable food. This is a picture of a Romeo and Juliet pancake, that is neither in a pan nor is it a cake. It is guava and cream cheese inside a crepe. And, it was yummy. Off to the side you may notice my Jesus pop. I figure, if it is good enough for him, it is good enough for me.

Our ministry has consisted of leading worship and sharing the Word with the missionaries in N. Brazil. We were unsure whether it was important for us to come down or not. Marcia played a little 20-year-old Radio Shack keyboard. It wasn't the prettiest sound, but a couple of the missionaries were in tears within the first few songs. This field conference is where they do business, but also their one designated time to be encouraged and nourished in the Word.

We learned yesterday that they will be losing another couple from this field, their second in as many years. The harvest is truly plentiful here. Just this morning before our worship time, a man stopped one of the missionaries in the hall. He asked who we were. Then his second question was, "How can I have faith?" Obviously he asked the right people. Until he was called away be a phone call they shared the gospel with him. The missionary, a veteran of over 25 years, said, "I've never seen a man more ready for the gospel!" Please pray the Lord of the Harvest to send forth workers in the harvest.

Hotel in Brazil

We arrived in San Luiz after traveling 30 hours. We had slept some on the plane, but were exhausted. We were so tired near the end that we got off the airplane at the wrong city! Only when our bags didn't come did we find out that they were still on the plane because we weren't to San Luiz yet. It was a touch embarrassing.
If we hadn't been so tired we'd have been fairly discouraged by the austerity of our hotel room. It had a bed, no blankets -- lights, no lampshades -- bugs, no suitcase racks -- running water, but not to drink. But, the bed worked and we enjoyed a great night's sleep. After all, it had an air conditioner which may have been our only true necessity.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sense of Sin -- Value of Salvation

Why is it that we see so little of this strong love to Jesus among Christians of the present day? How is it that we so seldom meet with saints who will face any danger, and go through fire and water for Christ's sake? There is only one answer. It is the weak faith, and the low sense of obligation to Christ, which so widely prevail. A low and feeble sense of sin will always produce a low and feeble sense of the value of salvation. A slight sense of our debt to God will always be attended by a slight sense of what we owe for our redemption. It is the man who feels much forgiven who loves much. "To whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." (Luke 7:47.)
--J.C. Ryle, Commentary on Mark 16

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Memorial Service for Lawrence Richardson

Memorial Service for Lawrence James Richardson, Larry Richardson's father, will be Monday, November 12 at 4 pm. You are welcomed to support the family by attending the service.

Remember Larry, his two sisters, Gloria and Peggy, and his mother, Beula.

Family Life -- A Weekend to Remember

We have been given a couple coupons for Family Life's Weekend to Remember. It's coming to PDX in Mid-November. Normally it costs $119 per person, the coupon allow you to go for $35 per person. If this interests you or someone you know please call or email the church.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Spirituality - What's a Christian to Do?

Our Life Group has recently begun reading N.T. Wright's new classic Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense. In the first part of the book, Wright explores four of what he calls "echoes of a voice: the longing for justice, the quest for spirituality, the hunger for relationships, and the delight in beauty." Each of these universal signposts point beyond themselves towards the possibility of something more. That "something more" ultimately finds its fulfillment in the person and work of Christ.

This past week we finished chapter two, "The Hidden Spring," which deals with the resurgence of all things spiritual in Western culture, from New Age mysticism, "with Tarot cards, crystals, horoscopes, and so on" to self-help books, Kabbalah, labyrinths and Celtic Christianity. What is Christianity to make of all this spirituality? Like most cultural expressions, spirituality is something of a doubled-edged sword. On the one hand, "If anything like the Christian story is in fact true (in other words, if there is a God whom we can know most clearly in Jesus), this interest is exactly what we should expect; because in Jesus we glimpse a God who loves people and wants them to know and respond to that love." On the other hand, "part of the Christian that human beings have been so seriously damaged by evil that what they need isn't simply better self-knowledge, or better social conditions, but help, and indeed rescue, from outside themselves. Thus, by itself 'spirituality' may appear to be part of the problem as well as part of the solution."

No easy answers, I suppose. If you're interested in pursing this conversation, the Life Group in question meets on Thursday nights from 7-8:30 p.m. For more information, contact either Amanda or myself (we're in the directory).

Thank You From The Bruechert Family

Dear New Life Church Family,

Agnes Spidal brought me a very pretty planter basket in sympathy from the church family and I am enjoying it. It is comforting to know we are part of a loving and praying community of believers.

The homegoing of my sister afforded an opportunity for special family time that we enjoyed very much. Traveling to San Jose with our children and being together there for several days was a real blessing. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

Love in Christ,
Bonnie Bruechert

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Marcia and I are going to Brazil on Sunday afternoon to try to encourage the Lord's servants with WorldVenture in the North Brazil Field at their annual field conference. Marcia will be leading worship for them and I'll be sharing the word. Then we'll be going to Teresina to celebrate the anniversary of the church our team served this summer.

We'd appreciate your prayers for the following:

  1. That we'd be prepared when we get there.
  2. That we would be able to refresh the hearts of the saints.
  3. That God would take care of our family while we're gone.
  4. That God would expand our heart for the world.
  5. That we'd be useful for God's purposes.
  6. That the servants on the field might go away and make a difference in Northern Brazil.
Thank you.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Daylight Saving Time

I just learned the "s" should be left off Daylight Saving(s) Time. I also learned it unofficially began in 1444 in Basel in order to foil an attack at the city walls. You can read some interesting things about Daylight Saving Time here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Steven Curtis Chapman Concert

The Reavely family was privileged to go to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert Thursday night at Rolling Hills. All of us got to go because Taylor worked set-up and tear-down.

It was a real encouragement. I have enjoyed his music since I was a youth pastor when I received his first album in a subscription program.

It was fun for me to be there with my children when he had two of his boys on stage with him. As many of you know he has a passion for adoption and has adopted three children of his own.

He sang one song about his daughters called "Cinderella" that made our whole family cry. The point of the song was that he only had a little while with his girls until they were grown.
I was holding Layne on my lap and she had her Cinderella sweatshirt on. It was a little too much for me.

Bethany Dillon and Sanctus Real opened for him and we enjoyed them, too.