Saturday, January 31, 2009

Elder's Update

The New Life Church elders are recognizing the need to communicate better. The elder's are aiming at a weekly update in the bulletins. The first one is a quick recap of our Budget and Elections meeting which most people missed on account of the weather:

On Sunday night December 28th we met to rejoice over the highlights of 2008 and review and approve the budget for 2009. The meeting was rescheduled because of weather and not many people made it. Here are a few of the high points:

Your generous and faithful giving met every penny of our needs in 2008...with 1% extra...not too much...not too little!
We approved a budget for 2009 that is roughly the same size as it was last year ($556,559). The Elders believe it wise to be conservative this year.
We established Special Projects funds, for designated giving over and above our tithe to the General Fund, to focus our attention on these specific needs and priorities.
  • Missionary support increases,
  • Robinwood Facility Improvements
  • Riverfalls Piano
We also licensed Matt Vorhees and Aaron Orendorff as ministers of the gospel.
If you have questions you'd like the elders to address, please leave a comment here or write a note on a Keeping In Touch card in church.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Thank You Letter to the Church

Pastor Scott received this letter from his neighbor:

To Scott and the congregation of New Life Church:
On the morning of January 2nd, 2009 my ladder slipped as I was attempting to access the roof of my home. As a consequence, I burst the L3 vertebrae and fractured the L5 vertebrae of my spine.
My good neighbor Scott Reavely found me lying on the ground. Scott and Matt Cummins then drove me to the ER at Willamette Falls Hospital. From there I was transferred to Legacy Emanuel Hospital Trauma Unit, where I received the best trauma care available in the state of Oregon.
After a five day stay in the TRACU at Emanuel I was released to go home. I consider myself very lucky, I could have died or have been permanently paralyzed from the fall.
I understand that my name was added to your Prayer list during my hospital stay. I believe your prayers aided in my recovery. I want to thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.
I have a long, slow recovery, 8+ weeks in a back brace and after that I don't know. I have to wait and see what the future brings. I would like to believe that things can only get better.
Thank you again for your kind thoughts and prayers.

Monday, January 19, 2009

How to make a convert. . .

James Emery White describes how his family converted him to the ABC program "Lost". I thought it was a thought-provoking look at how people make decisions to follow something. You can read it here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why I'm Pro-Life.

One resource both Pastor Nathan and I used in our sermon's today is a little book by Randy Alcorn, Why I'm Pro-Life. It is available online as a PDF for free. You can find it by clicking this link. It will be a great resource if you are interesting in exploring the topic more.

Another option for further involvement with this topic is the movie coming to Portland this Thursday, "Come What May." You can read more about it here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mission Connexion Northwest Jan. 16-17

Hello New Life Church,

If there is any way you can open up your schedule to attend part or all of Mission Connexion Northwest this weekend, it will be well worth your effort. Hundreds Mission Agencies and Missionaries from around the world will be at Sunset Presbyterian Church in Beaverton for this 1 1/2 day conference that will help you learn how to make a difference in your world. This conference is all about helping us fulfill the great commission here at home and around the world. There are great speakers and over 100 informative break out sessions to choose from. You can see the complete schedule, break out topics, and driving directions at

Also, I met a neat couple this week, Kerry and Josie Sinclair, who work with an organization called ISI. Their ministry reaches out to international students around the Portland area. They help to pair Christians with International Students as English Language Partners and Friendship Partners. They will have a booth at Mission Connexion, along with the hundreds of other booths for mission agencies. Stop by and see them, and tell them I sent you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Wednesday Night Life Series

All high school students are invited to check out a new six week series Ignite will be starting this Wednesday, January 14, 2009. The series is entitled Q & A with God and is be a look at the book of Malachi. In it, God makes a statement, is questioned, and defends what He said. This happens six times, and the questions that surface are very relevant for today. The questions we will be considering are:

1. How do I know God loves me?
2. What does God expect from me?
3. Why don't I feel close to God?
4. What breaks God's heart?
5. How can I be close to God?
6. Is it worth it to serve God?

The answers that God gives are most enlightening and will teach us about love, respect, faithfulness, justice, repentance and reward. Don't miss it!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Life Church Receives Award!

CEDG Topic for January: Creation Meets Evolution

This group will meet on January 22nd at 7:00pm at the Riverfalls Campus.

This subject tends to brew controversy and contention. Our hope is that the articles listed below and the discussion to follow will be received with open minds and hearts providing an opportunity to learn more about God’s amazing world.

Mission Statement:
The Current Events Discussion Group (CEDG) exists to explore and evaluate contemporary social, political and cultural issues so that each member may discern and apply their personal faith convictions within their daily lives.The opinions and views expressed at the CEDG reflect those of the person who gave them and not New Life Church.

Discussion Questions:
1) Does acknowledging evolution necessitate giving up Christianity? Why or why not?
2) What did or would Jesus say about the conflict? Was Christ in conflict with the scientists of his time?
3) The last line of Henry Morris article quotes “Since the Bible cannot be reinterpreted to correlate with evolution, Christians must diligently proceed to correlate the facts of science with the Bible.” Do you agree?
4) Do science and religion attempt to answer the same questions (what are they)? And if so, how could Christians be the voice of peace between the warring factions?

Scripture Reading: Genesis 1 and 2. Isaiah 45:1-18 is a different and interesting look at how God feels about His creation. Also, Colossians 1:15-17 and
John 1:1-5.
Read these two articles from very different points of view.

The first is from the director of the Institute for Creation Research, Dr. Henry Morris. He lists the current theistic evolutionary theories that attempt to accommodate evolution within the framework of creation. He describes why he believes these theories are false and dangerous, suggesting that literal biblical creationism outweighs scientific theory. The second article is from the National Academy of Science and represents the current opinions of the majority of the scientific world on evolution. This article suggests that science and religion offer different ways of understanding our world, and that since creationism is not based on fact it cannot be labeled (or taught) as a scientific theory.
Pick and answer one of the Discussion Questions from the list above. Be prepared to give a 4-5 minute defense/presentation of your answer (i.e., less than one page written).
Consult at least two additional media sources dealing with the question you've chosen. These sources must reflect two varying/opposing answers to the question and they must be from reputable sources.
We look forward to PEACEFULLY and INTELLECTUALLY discussing this fiery subject.

Contact Information:
For more information on CEDG procedures and for an Information Packet addressing this month’s topic contact Tiffani Howard.

Upcoming Monthly Topics:
Is America a “Christian Nation”? • Evangelical Environmentalism • Christianity and the Israeli State • Old Testament Wars vs. Modern Wars

Monday, January 05, 2009

Change of plans -- Riverfalls front doors OPEN

Because of a threat of rain in the forecast (surprise, surprise), we have postponed pouring concrete in our front exterior entryway at the Riverfalls campus. This means that our front doors ARE accessible this week after all. Thank you for your flexibility as we work toward the completion of this project.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Small Group Leader’s Meeting

Next Saturday (January 10th) from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Riverfalls Campus, there will be a church-wide Small Group Leader’s Meeting for anyone leading or interested in leading a Life Group, Men’s Group or Women’s Group. The primary focus of the meeting will be on integrating intentional discipleship into the small group structure at New Life Church. If you have any questions please contact Aaron Orendorff either by phone, 503-957-4335, or by e-mail,

Also, you can now access the primary documents for the meeting through the New Life web-site:
Life Groups & Discipleship
Devotional Plan
Group Evaluation & Projection

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Read Through the New Testament

In keeping with Aaron's recent New Year's post, I want to invite you to read through the New Testament with me this year. Here is the blog that I am using for my reading with explanations on how to get started.

I'll be having a giveaway for those who will commit to the journey with me. I hope either this, or one of the tools Aaron mentioned below, will help you in your daily reading. Don't let this year go by without making progress in your life with the Lord.

New Year Stuff

It’s already January 3rd, which means this post is at least three days late . . . nonetheless, I figured I’d use this time to point out a few of the more useful “new year stuff” I’ve found online.

First, Justin Tayor (an associate publisher at Crossway, project director of the new ESV Study Bible and one time cohort of John Piper) has posted an incredibly helpful overview of a number of Bible Reading programs on his blog Between Two Worlds. I’m particularly excited about D.A. Carson's two-volume work For the Love of God which follows the M’Cheyne One-Year Reading Plan.

Second, another helpful reading plan has been developed by Eric Costa over at the Reformation Theology blog:
There are many existing plans for reading through the Bible in a year. Some have you reading from four places in the Bible every day. Some go through the Psalms and/or the New Testament twice. This one is meant to give you weekends off, be late with that New Year's Resolution, allow for temporary backsliding, and take you very simply through the Old and New Testaments simultaneously.
You can download Costa’s plan here.

Third, July 10th 2009 will mark the 500th birthday of the French reformer John Calvin. Both the Reformation21 blog and Princeton Theological Seminary have put together reading plans for Calvin’s magnum opus The Institutes of the Christian Religion. I read Institutes my last year as an undergraduate, but I’m going to commit to the Princeton plan this year since there was so much that I really didn’t grasp the first time through. The great thing about the Princeton site is they have both text and audio for each day's reading.

Lastly, Don Whitney has a great page on his site entitled “Ten Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year or On Your Birthday.”