Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Ignite Website

Ignite WebsiteIgnite Youth Ministries, the high school ministry of New Life Church is pleased to announce the first phase of our new website. It is full of information and resources for both parents and students. Click here to see. We hope you take a moment to check out the site and tell somebody else about it. Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Week 1 - Individual Instructions

This Sunday marked the beginning of New Life's 40 Days of ExtraOrdinary Prayer. Each week there will be instructions (some for individuals, some for small groups) to help guide you through this process. This week the focus is on "Approaching God."

(1) Assessment
Take an honest look at your current prayer life by recording the answers to the following questions:

  1. How many days each week do you pray?
  2. On average, how long do you prayer (if you’re not sure, time it)?
  3. What do you regularly pray for (e.g., family, finical needs, health issues, etc.)?
  4. Who do you pray with on a regular basis?
  5. How do you keep track of “prayer requests”?
(2) Goals
The aim of the 40 Days of ExtraOrdinary prayer is simply to pray more. If you don’t have regular time of prayer already, then aiming to pray for 5-10 minutes every other day is a great improvement. If you already pray for 5-10 on a daily basis, then try to increase your prayer time by another 5-10 minutes. Whatever they are set realistic goals that reflect where you are now and where you want to be in the future.
  1. How many days a week will you pray?
  2. What days of the week work best?
  3. When will you pray? Remember, to be specific (e.g., “at 9:00 pm” or “immediately after dinner” not “sometime at night”). Be realistic and set times that work naturally. For example, “When the kids nap,” or “For the last 10 minutes of my lunch break.”
  4. Where will you pray (outside, in your office, in your bedroom)? Try to pick somewhere you won’t be disturbed and let the people around you know what you’re doing and why it’s important.
  5. How long will you pray?
  6. How will you keep track of your prayer life (calendar, personal planner, etc.)?
(3) Accountability
If you’re not part a small group where you can share your assessment and goals (or if you don’t feel comfortable sharing them) then pick a close friend or mentor to share with. Don’t go it alone and if it’s at all possible pick someone who’s not in your family. Remember, it’s easy to share when you succeed; it’s when you fail that being honest really counts. Be gracious but firm to yourself and to your accountability partner(s).

(4) Using the Prayer Resource Book
This week, begin each prayer by reading part or all of the “Approaching God” section in the Prayer Resource Book (pg. 6-11). If you haven’t picked-up a Prayer Resource Book, they’re available at either campus for free. As you begin to pray, don’t immediately bring out your grocery-list of needs. Instead, approach God slowly, reminding yourself who He is, who you are and what He’s done through the gospel to reconcile those two realities. Focus on relating to God as a Person. Aim at communion and interaction, not just asking. The best way to do this is to pray God’s words as your own words, letting Scripture shape and guide your time with God.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Please Welcome Children's Librarian, Lisa Reavely!

We are excited to have special help these days in our downstairs Children's Library at Riverfalls. Lisa Reavely is our new Children's Librarian, assisting our Church Librarian Joeleen Montgomery in a variety of important ways. Thank you Lisa for your valuable assistance! If you are a bibliophile too, pint-sized or full-sized, we'd love to have your assistance in our libraries! Please contact Joeleen Montgomery for further information.

New book suggestions, courtesy of our Children's Librarian:

On Video or DVD:
VeggieTales: Jonah (Sing Along Songs and More) video
Larryboy from VeggieTales: The Angry Eyebrows (video)
VeggieTales: Jonah, A VeggieTales Movie (video)
VeggieTales: King George and the Ducky (video )
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion,The Witch, & The Wardrobe (DVD)

VeggieTales: My Day (book and CD)
VeggieTales: Larry Lights The Way (book)

Bible: Noah's Ark Bible: NRSV Illustrated Children's Bible

New Books Available for Check Out Upstairs

Many of our library books are boxed up, awaiting our upcoming remodel project that will be taking place at our Riverfalls building this fall. But will that stop our indomitable Church Librarian Joeleen Montgomery from keeping us well-read?! Of course not! The following titles are available in the library for check out:

Main Library:
Max Lucado: Come Thirsty (248.4)
Carol Kent : Tame Your Fears (248.8) + study guide
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: A Place of Quiet Rest (248.8)
Max Lucado: GOD'S Promises for YOU (242)
Helen M. Young: Love Notes from God for Busy Moms

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An idea for our remodel!

Other churches are using their space like we are planning to after we remodel our Riverfalls campus. Here is an article about creating a Starbucks alternative ministry. Anyone interested?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Avast, Me Hearties! Talk Like a Pirate Day!

With all the serious things you'll find on this blog. . . it's probably time to relax. So, Talk Like A Pirate! At least for a day. September 19 is official Talk Like A Pirate Day. Here's the official site to get you started! Aye-Aye!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

40 Days of Prayer

Starting in less than two weeks (September 28th) New Life Church (in tandem with both Oregon City churches) will embark on a process we’re calling “40 Days of ExtraOrdinary Prayer.” This is the second time our church will give itself to a forty day period of intense private and corporate prayer (many of you probably recognize the same name from 2006). The highlights of this process will include:

  • Weekly Prayer Focuses for Individuals and Small Groups
  • 24-Hour Period of Corporate Prayer
  • A Culminating Event of Prayer and Worship to Close the 40 Days on November 6th
  • Prayer Resource Book to Help Aid You and Your Group in Its Prayers
Here is a preview of what the covers for the Prayer Resource Book will look like (a special thanks to Andie Haugen for her design work).

More to come soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Birth Announcement: Margaret Danielle Brophy

Says Mommy Danette,
"Margaret Danielle Brophy was born at 7:38 pm on September 12th. She weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 19 inches long. As you can see in the picture, she has dark hair (for now). She sleeps well and eats well, and loves to be swaddled."

Margaret joins proud parents Jeff and Danette, and big brother Nicholas.

Congratulations!! And welcome to your New Life Church family!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Young Adults Progressive Dinner

Last Thursday night, the Young Adults Group (one of the less well known Life Groups at New Life) hosted a progressive dinner that began at the Hanson’s, continued to the Elliott’s and ended at the Currey’s. Here are a few pictures of the event.

Just in case anyone was wondering, the mini-basketball Nate’s holding was used to play GOAT (a four-letter version of PIG) on a Fisher-Price basketball hoop…a game which Aaron won.

A special thanks to everyone who hosted and provided food (thanks Dawn for the pies).

The Young Adults Group meets regularly every Sunday morning during second service upstairs. Check back on our regular web-site for the Group’s own page…coming soon.

Monday, September 08, 2008

“The Expulsive Power of a New Affection”

Last week’s sermon—“Christ, Our Life – Part II”—focused on answering the question, “In light of the gospel, how do we pursue radical and lasting change?” Colossians 3:1-2 gives the following instructions, “. . . seek [NIV – ‘set your hearts on’] the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Gospel change occurs from the inside-out. We begin, not by changing our behavior, but by (1) despising our idols and (2) treasuring Christ. We take our eyes off of earthly things and set them on the “things that are above.” Often, we only pursue the first step. That is, we begin to despise our sin and go about the work of change with an attitude of “No! Bad Christian. Don’t sin. Bad Christian.” What we don’t do is cultivate a positive love for Christ as revealed in the gospel.

Thomas Chalmers, a Scottish minister from the 19th century, wrote about this need powerfully in his sermon, “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.” In the sermon, Chalmers writes about how most people’s desires change over time. Normally, a person moves from childish appetites to physical pleasure, from pleasure to the love of money, from the love of money to a lust for power.

There is not one of these transformations in which the heart is left without an object. Its desire for one particular object may be conquered; but as to its desire for having some one object or other, this is unconquerable. . . . Such is the grasping tendency of the human heart, that it must have a something to lay hold of . . . [This means] the way to disengage the heart from the positive love of one great and ascendant object, is to fasten it in positive love to another . . . it is not by exposing the worthlessness of the former, but by addressing to the mental eye the worth and excellence of the latter, that all old things are to be done away and all things are to become new.

You can read the rest of Chalmers’ sermon here.

Men's Roundup.

The men from New Life Church had a great weekend at Roundup at Camp Tadmor. The weather was fabulous. Lincoln Brewster and Trace Bundy were really fun. The challenge from the Word by Gary Thomas was very apropos.

I was blessed because the guys from New Life camped next to the group from Light on the Hill Fellowship and Maranatha Baptist. That made it easy for me I was able to wander around and take my pick of everyone's food. It doesn't get any better than that.

The best thing, however, will require another blog post and pictures I don't have.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Praying for Muslims

For the past several years Christians around the world have been praying in a concerted way for Muslims to come to know Jesus Christ. One organization puts together a prayer guide that is used to pray for Muslims during the 30 days of Ramadan (the Muslim holy month in which many Muslims fast and pray for God to give them special revelations). You can receive a daily e-mail during this 30 days that gives you a few brief prayer requests for Muslim people in different parts of the world. You can get on this email list by going to http://www.30-days.net/. In the colomn on the right side of the page, click on "Get our e-news and e-prayers". We are just a few days into Ramadan so get on that list today and start praying for many people in the Muslim world to come to know
Speaking of ministry among Muslims, about 40 people from New Life Church attended an open house last week and heard about the ministry of
Calvin and Ruth Kim. Calvin and Ruth are missionaries from the Portland area who are being sent out by World Venture to teach at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beruit, Lebanon. They will be equipping Arab Christian leaders to do ministry in the Muslim world. You can find out more about their ministry by going to www.worldventure.com/Missionaries/Missionary-Directory/Missionary/Kim_Calvin_Ruth.html. By praying for and supporting this couple in ministry New Life Church can have a great impact for Christ on the Muslim world.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Determining Our Idols - X-Ray Questions

Last week’s sermon focused on answering two questions:

(1) What is our fundamental problem as human beings?
(2) How does the gospel, rightly understood and embraced, address that fundamental problem?
Our fundamental problem as human beings is not that we desire evil things. Rather, our fundamental problem is that we over desire—we inordinately desire (i.e., “epithÅ«mia”)—good things. The Bible’s predominate mode of describing this inordinate desire is idolatry, taking a good thing—often a legitimate, positive, God-approved thing—and turning it into an ultimate thing. Whatever we give our hearts to, whatever we turn into our lives (i.e., “My kids are my life. . . My job is my life. . . Sexual gratification is my life.”) becomes our functional god. This god, or more often, these gods, express themselves visibly in what we say and do, but behind our words and deed are our motivations. Determining our motivations is the first step towards dethroning the idols in our lives.

David Powlison, “Idols of the Heart and ‘Vanity Fair’”

The deep question of motivation is not “What is motivating me?” The final question is, “Who is the master of this pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior?” In the biblical view, we are religious, inevitably bound to one god or another. People do not have needs. We have masters, lords, gods, be they oneself, other people, valued objects, Satan. The metaphor of an idolatrous heart and society capture the fact that human motivation bears an automatic relationship to God: Who, other than the true God, is my god?

Powlison, in his book Seeing with New Eyes, offers thirty-five “x-ray questions” to “aid in discerning the patterns of a person’s motivation”:

The questions aim to help people identify the ungodly masters that occupy positions of authority in the hearts. These questions reveal “functional gods,” what or who actually controls their particular actions, thoughts, emotions, attitudes, memories, and anticipations.
I’ve attached a copy of those questions to this post in the hope that you will use them to examine yourself. Powlison’s introduction and commentary on the x-ray questions alone is worth the cost of the book.

X-Ray Questions (pdf)
Seeing with New Eyes