Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hello New Life Church,

The Lasting Relationships Couple Conference is coming up on February 8-9. You can still register for this conference that will serve as an important investment in the future of your marriage. However, if you are planning on coming, we need to know soon so that we can plan for childcare and food. So, here are the details:
What: Lasting Relationships Couple Conference
Who: Any dating, engaged, or married couples (this is a great opportunity to invite friends from outside of church)
When: Friday Feb. 8th 7:00- 9:00 PM
Saturday Feb. 9th 9:00 AM- 3:00 PM
Where: New Life Church Riverfalls (1984 McKillican St. in West Linn, across from West Linn High School)
Cost: $10 per couple, Free child care provided
Please send an email to if you are planning to attend and have not yet registered.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Must Reading

James Emery White gives a succinct analysis of a recent book by the National Academy of Sciences. Christians must be aware of the point of this article. You can read it here.

Faders in Sudan

Eli and Bethany Fader were married in our church a few years ago. She is the daughter of Skip and Ruth Sorenson, whom our church has supported for years. They serve with SIM and maintain a blog about their ministry in Sudan that may interest you.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Church Office Closed, January 28, 2008

The church office will be CLOSED ALL DAY Monday, January 28th, due to the snow and ice. We will monitor the weather, and follow the decision of the school district for the coming days.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

H2O Bags Tomorrow

A wonderful, generous, and enthusiastic crew filled H2O bags today. They prayed over the bags and for the people receiving them before they filled them.

Tomorrow, 1/27, you can pick up bags to have in your car.

Wouldn't it be nice not to feel guilty when you drive by someone holding a sign? Wouldn't it be nice if that person had some food, hand warmers, socks and some water?

Get your bags tomorrow at church for $3.00.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thank you!

Thank you for every word, every prayer, every expression of love you have poured out up on us this past year and a half.

Your faithfulness to us was amazing.

You never gave up but reminded us each day, in some way you would walk beside us to journey’s end…and you did.

Gib was humbled by it all and even more so if he could have experienced the honor you showed him at his memorial service.

Thank you.

I would say with tears there is an empty place in my life that only Gib could fill, but in time I will learn what he already knows.

There is only ONE who can fill my empty places.

“O thou beloved child of My desire,

Whether I lead thee through green valleys,

By still waters,

Or through fire,

Or lay thee down in silence under snow,

Through any weather, and whatever

Cloud may gather,

Wind may blow ~

Wilt thou love Me? Trust Me? Praise Me?”

The answer is still, “Yes, Lord.”

Nancy Carlson

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Takeaway from High School Parent Meeting

monitor internet useSex and Religion in the Lives of Teenagers was the topic discussed in our last parent meeting after church on Sunday, January 13, 2008 at NLC Riverfalls. We were livened to the rampant sexual activity of high school students--even those in the church!--by professor Ron Marrs from Western Seminary. A significant takeaway from this presentation is the imperative for parents to monitor their student's internet usage. Ron shared this quote from the book Forbidden Fruit ". . . for millions of young Americans, Internet pornography is their introduction to sexual information and expression" (p. 173).

Do you as a parent really want your student's view of sex shaped by porn stars? Parents and the church need to be a student's primary source for information about sex, and internet use must be monitored to protect them from pornography's gripping allure. A helpful tool that the NLC staff uses to hold each other accountable is X3 Watch. You can download the standard version for free and have reports of internet use on your student's computer sent bi-weekly or monthly to you by email. I pray that God protects our teens from doing irreparable damage to themselves and others, and may we take our role in helping protect them seriously!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Prayer for Today

Journeying On

I am a stranger, with a stranger’s indifference;
My hands hold a pilgrim’s staff,
My march is Zionward,
My eyes are toward the coming of the Lord,
My heart is in thy hands without reserve.
Thou hast created it,
redeemed it,
renewed it,
captured it,
conquered it.
Keep from it every opposing foe,
crush in it every rebel lust,
mortify every treacherous passion,
annihilate every earthborn desire.
All faculties of my being vibrate to thy touch;
I love thee with soul, mind, body, strength,
might, spirit, affection, will,
desire intellect, understanding.
Thou art the very perfection of all perfections;
All intellect is derived from thee;
My scanty rivulets flow from thy unfathomable
Compared with thee the sun is darkness,
all beauty deformity,
all wisdom folly,
the best goodness faulty.
Thou art worthy of an adoration greater than
my dull heart can yield;
Invigorate my love that is may rise worthily
to thee,
tightly entwine itself around thee,
be allured by thee.
Then shall my walk be endless praise.

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

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gib Carlson, 1936-2008

We will have a memorial service for Gib Carlson on Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at New Life Church Riverfalls. We will miss Gib a lot and there is a lot to say about him. This blog post from 2005 reflects him and his attitude toward serving the Lord and the church. It is one of my favorites.
Why is this man smiling?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Baptism at New Life Church

Laura Martin was baptized Sunday. It was a special delight for me to be part of this day because Laura lives across the street from my family. We had prayed for her and her children and are full of joy with her. Enjoy! (But turn up your volume a little. We used a new camera that didn't capture volume very well. Thanks)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bob Spidal, 1931-2007

We said good-bye to Bob Spidal last weekend at a memorial service that was a great encouragement to remain faithful. Here are a couple pictures from this blog that show Bob serving in two of his favorite capacities: Senior Adult Ministries leader and Coffee Cart.

The Oregonian didn't carry his obituary until the day of his memorial service. You may read it here. We will dearly miss him.

Monday, January 14, 2008

High School Parent Newsletter for January

Parents of high school students at New Life Church: if you missed the parent meeting yesterday, you can still pick up the January edition of the Ignite newsletter by clicking here or grabbing your copy in foyer of the Riverfalls campus.

Thank You From The Florea Family

Dear Church Family,

Our deepest gratitude for all the love, support, and prayers during our family's difficult time. We want to thank Del's Bible study group for the wonderful luncheon they provided. We are so grateful for all the kindness from the church family and the exceptional help in putting together the memorial service. Our amazing Lord and Savior has blessed us with such a wonderful church family, we can so easily see why Del loved you all so much. Our hearts have been touched by such an outpouring of kindness and love and we just want you all to know how special you are.

With love in Christ,
Sandy, Denise, and Lance Florea

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Dozen Lessons I'm learning from Cancer

Recently New Life Church has been afflicted with the loss of several significant men of God to the same disease. What does this mean to a church? What can we learn from their lives? What can we learn in a cancer ward? Here are some things I have been learning:

  1. The exit rate on this life is and always will be 100%. It is so easy to ignore this until you lose people you love. You may look at the loss of our friends and say, "Well, 1% of us are gone," like that's is a high percentage. But the truth of the matter is all of us will go one day.
  2. Make today count for all eternity. You can't make tomorrow count and it's too late for yesterday. The only day with which you can make a difference is today. I've heard it before, but it is true -- people are the only things you can take with you to heaven when you go. Take the long view and like any investment program, begin today.
  3. Enjoy today. Maybe it is just the giggle of a little girl, the taste of brownies and ice-cream, a hot shower on a cold moring or sensation of a stiff cold breeze on your face -- soak it in. You are not guaranteed the opportunity to enjoy it later.
  4. The gospel glows golden when faced with terminal cancer. The promise of forgiveness, heaven, and eternity with Christ is precious always, but it changes everything in the face of death.
  5. A life devoted to serving Christ is the surest way to live it well. Del was with "his kids" the last Sunday he was here. Bob served the Seniors at New Life Church until their final potluck. Gib was on the rolls as property committee chairman until after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It is entirely possible to waste your life -- and these men didn't. And it is possible to make your life count for all eternity by serving Christ.
  6. There is no hope like Gospel hope. Grace, not works or mere religion, makes all the difference when you wonder what God will think of you on judgment day! To stand before God in the merit of another and know that it will always be good enough is amazing.
  7. The best hope when you are dying is the hope you have when you are living. The prospect that you can change at the last minute and have reasonable hope for eternity doesn't make much sense. You must live with hope in such a way that it motivates you to action so that the same hope is robust when it comes time to die.
  8. A small group makes a big difference. Or, a life group is wonderful when you are dying. Sandy called Del's life group leader when he was hospitalized and when he passed away. Gib is now surrounded by people in whose lives he invested. At the end, Bob was visited by people who he served alongside and who he ministered to in small groups. Yes, your life might be too full for a life group, but it isn't full enough without one.
  9. A loving marriage is worthwhile in life and death. Between the three men who have passed away, they enjoyed 140 years of marriage with their wives. Wow! That is the surest way to make an impact for generations.
  10. Losing people is a source of great sadness because loving them is a source of great joy. Why do people get sad when someone dies? Because that person has been a source of joy. God has woven joy and sorrow together inseparably in life and death.
  11. Your occupation doesn't matter -- it matters what occupies you. A welder, a furnace operator and a truck driver have made big impacts in the lives of others through their witness at work and their service through the church. When, for God's sake, people matter you will make an impact for all eternity.
  12. You don't get to pick your exit. Sometimes the doctor says you have a few days, or weeks, or months. Sometimes they're wrong. Other times doctors don't get to say anything at all. Don't wait until it's too late to do the things you need to do or to say the things you need to say.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Life Church Sends High School Students to Winter Youth

Artwork by Scott the painterNLC group in downtown PortlandRachel, Sara, Claire and HayleyWinter Youth was great this year! New Life Church sent 8 high school students and 2 adults to this event held at the Red Lion Hotel at Jantzen Beach.

The sessions were the core of the event. They were full of solid content focusing on God’s secure love for us that then enables and motivates us to love others in the same extraordinary way that He loved us in Christ. No one particularly liked the folk-style worship band, but each session kicked off with an exciting game on stage where people won as much as $1,000. Scott the painter was also present at each session, creating art behind the person teaching that coincided with the message.

Being in the hotel was fun and so were the activities put on by the conference. A particular favorite of our group was the midnight praise led by T-Vice and his talented band.

Our group really bonded during our time together. We had some good debrief sessions, but undoubtedly our favorite experience together was going downtown to feed the homeless. One of our parent volunteers gave us enough Subway sandwiches to feed us 4 times, so we put into practice what we were learning and practically loved others in need out of the abundance of love that we had received.

Thanks to Jan Titus, Lori Elliott and Carol Koran for sacrificing time and money to minister to our small group. We ate very well! Thank you also for your prayers. This conference was impactful for me and apparently everyone else. The time and money were well worth it, and we will be going again next year, God willing. Please consider giving your student the opportunity to be a part of Winter Youth next year. Click here to see more pictures.

Thank You Angel Tree Volunteers!

Thanks to everyone who participated in Project Angel Tree. Through your generosity, we were able to provide Christmas gifts to 32 children of incarcerated parents. It's not just the children that are touched by the kindness of strangers. The caregivers and the incarcerated parents are positively affected as well. They asked me to convey blessings to the kind people who care about their children. We are honored to be a part of a church that values this important ministry.

Thank you,

--Darcey and Byron Philpot

Friday, January 04, 2008

What's new in 2008?

The Treasure Chest has been in operation for two and a half years now. We use it for commentary on church life, posting church news, passing along devotional material, and as a connecting point for New Life Church online. What could we do with this blog beyond that? Are there any uses or any content that would enhance your personal life or improve New Life Church?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thank You

January 1, 2008

Dear Church Family,

I was so blessed when Bonnie Bruechert stopped by with a beautiful plant and card. Thank you for remembering me at the death of my brother Oscar. It means so much for your love and caring.

Hilda Berney

Free Rice

Here is a unique approach to saving the world. The site called Free Rice donates rice to hungry people in proportion to how well people do with vocabulary questions. It solves two problems at one time -- literacy and hunger. Brilliant!

Be careful you might learn something. BTW, I'll put a link on the "simulacrum". (Yes, that was my last word!)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2007 Milestones

Every turn of the year is a time to reflect on what God has done in the past year as well as a time to look ahead. Here are some milestones from 2007:

  1. Blog posts -- 345!
  2. Blog redesigns -- 1.
  3. Office Assistants after Freda's 29 years -- 2.
  4. New worship leaders -- 1.
  5. Car repairs -- $1500.
  6. Gas -- Way more than car repairs!
  7. Long Family Trips -- One. Miles per trip -- 10,609 miles.
  8. Church planting grant proposals accepted -- One. Amount of grant -- $75,000.
  9. New offices -- 1. :o)
  10. Trips across the platform to receive a Doctoral Degree -- 1.
  11. CD's by children -- 2.
  12. # of wins by the Tidal Waves (3rd grade girls BB team) -- 0.
What are some milestones that you look back on in 2007 with thankfulness? What has God been doing in your life that may encourage the rest of us?

We Have A Winner!!!

In the first ever Treasure Chest Giveaway, we have a winner. I wrote the names of each person who commented onto a slip of paper and put them into a hat. I shook it up really well and then had my lovely assistant, Lisa draw out a name blindly. She stirred a little and then chose LORI ELLIOTT!!!

Immediately she looked right at me and said, "My teacher! (brief pause). . . That's not why I drew that one!" I say that to put a stop to any controversy that might have swirled around the fact that she did not draw her own sisters. So, Lori, stop by the church and pick up your new book.