Friday, August 29, 2008

Sin, Idolatry and Internalizing the Gospel

For the next two Sundays I’ll be preaching from Colossians 3:1-10. A large portion of this week's message will center upon understanding the concept of sin through the lens of idolatry. In conjunction with the biblical text, a great deal of my message (and certainly all of its underlying theology) is indebted to the writing and teaching of two men: Tim Keller (who many of you already know) and David Powlison (who is a bit less recognized). The two most helpful articles by these men are available online for free. Keller summarizes excellently his approach to communicating, understanding and engaging sin on page two of his essay:

Sin isn’t only doing bad things, it is more fundamentally making good things into ultimate things. Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God. Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us. Sin is primarily idolatry.

Here are the links to both articles:

Tim Keller, “Talking about Idolatry in a Postmodern Age”
David Powlison, “Idols of the Heart and ‘Vanity Fair’”

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Birth Announcement: Liesel Whitbeck

Is this a proud papa, or what??!

Josh and Marcy Whitbeck welcomed baby Liesel (Lily) Whitbeck on August 22nd, 2008 at 6:03 am. Liesel weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

All are happy and healthy and doing just fine.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

High School Beach Bash: Building Community

Thank you to our leaders: Youth Pastors Matt and Alicia Vorhees; Dave Nizic; Josh, Elaine, and Baby Iris Hochstettler--for what appears to have been an awesome day at the beach! The focus of the long day was "Building Community", which involved strengthening relationships through fun times on the beach, dinner in Seaside, and a look at the early church model of community. Pastor Matt challenged the students by asking: "What does Jesus-shaped community look like"? If you would like to know more about our student ministries at New Life Church, please visit their unique website at!

Luis Palau Season of Service at West Linn High School

Last Sunday afternoon, August 24th, fifteen volunteers from New Life Church joined dozens of other volunteers from Rolling Hills Community Church to beautify the grounds surrounding West Linn High School. The team from New Life Church focused on sprucing up the administrator's parking lot, located directly across from the high school on West "A" Street. Together they pulled weeks, swept, and blew debris from the parking lot, trimmed back ivy and blackberry bushes, painted speed bumps and swept the sidewalks. This project was part of a larger coordinated effort by Luis Palau Ministries, in conjunction with last weekend's Portland CityFest '08 event, to organize over 26,000 volunteers throughout the greater Portland area to put the love of Jesus Christ into action as the physical needs of a community are met.

Birth Announcement: Arya Faye Mathews

Please welcome this beautiful new member of New Life Church!

Arya Faye Mathews was born to Tyler and Sheree Mathews on August 9th, 2008. She weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and was 21 inches long. Mommy and baby are happy and healthy, and doing just fine!

The Mathews family will be moving to Southern Oregon in early September to be closer to family.

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Life Church @ Luis Palau Festival

Several folks from New Life Church attended the Luis Palau Festival at Waterfront Park in Portland last Friday and Saturday. They heard some great music, saw the VeggieTales, played Guitar Hero, and heard a powerful gospel presentation by Luis Palau. Some of our church members served as volunteers and helped people who were making decisions to follow Jesus Christ.

In all, it was a great experience to see the body of Christ from around the Portland area come together for this exciting campaign. To find out more about what happened at the event go to and click on the link to the Portland Festival Blog.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Outdoor Service This Sunday!

Hello New Life Church. Don't forget, this Sunday is the All Church Outdoor Service and Picnic at 10 AM at New Life Robinwood (19915 Old River Drive, West Linn, OR 97068). Bring a chair, a covered dish, and a friend! We'll have a great time worshipping God in the great outdoors.

Just a quick note about Sunday: When two congregations come together there are bound to be people you don't know. Make a special effort to make a new friend this Sunday!

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thank You from Hilda Berney

Dear New Life Church,

Thank you for the beautiful flower from the church family, and thank you for all the visits from loving and caring friends who saw Bob in the hospital.

--Hilda Berney

Thursday, August 07, 2008

3rd Annual National Night Out

New Life Church hosted the 3rd Annual National Night Out Party for the Robinwood neighborhood of West Linn this past Tuesday night.

About 100 people showed up to enjoy good food, good music, and lots of good conversation.
A crew came by from Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue.
They put on quite a show for the kids. The kids also enjoyed a bounce house and other fun games.
One of the highlights of the evening was the appearance of the Rick Sollers Memorial Chuck Wagon that was used to cook up all of the tasty burgers and hot dogs.

The night was mostly about New Life Church showing the love of Jesus to our neighbors. We had several good conversations with neighbors and invited many of them to come back for our Outdoor Service and Picnic on August 17th.

Special Thanks from Karen Kersey

I wanted to thank everyone for all the cards, visits, flowers, phone calls and especially all the prayers.

It was all appreciated and I felt very loved.

Thank you all!
Karen Kersey

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ladies High Tea August 3

We had such a wonderful time last Saturday afternoon in Canby. Many ladies from New Life Church met together for delicious treats and abundant sunshine. It was an opportunity for the young ladies to mingle with the not-as-young ladies. We had such fun learning more about each other with questions like "What has been the biggest innovation during your lifetime?". Or just "What are your hobbies?" It's amazing the things you can learn in an afternoon of conversation!!

Small tables on the lawn, beautifully decorated, encouraged conversation.

What a picturesque spot!

Here is the beautiful dessert table, and part of the team that created such a memorable day. THANK YOU SO MUCH--this was a day we will not soon forget, and friendships that will last a lifetime.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Yesterday's Baptism

Yesterday people from four congregations came together to honor Jesus Christ and celebrate the baptism of ten individuals. The weather was perfect and the river sparkled. Best of all though, person after person spoke of the change God had made in their lives as they trusted Jesus as their savior.

Please continue to pray for each person who was baptized. They will all face their unique challenges following Jesus. The group who was baptized is: Michael Ramage, Tim O'Connor, Jim Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Tyler Mathews, Claire Tolbert, Chelsea Kegans, Kylie Svendsen, Max Brandstetter and Dylan Brandstetter.

You can see more pictures here.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Baptism Tomorrow!

Just a reminder, this Sunday, August 3rd, we will be gathering at the Haugen’s house for an outdoor baptism. Nine people will be following Christ in baptism! This will be a great time of encouragement, celebration, and fellowship. The worship and testimonies will begin at 4:00 p.m.

Click here for a map and directions, please carpool and bring your own chairs if possible.