Monday, January 30, 2012

His Mercies are New Every... Monday?

Yep. That's a phrase we use in our family when we think about getting a new start on Monday. It could be a new start to eating right after a weekend filled with junk food, a new start to exercising after a lazy weekend, a new start to family devotions after a busy weekend where they were inconsistent, etc. Just the like the New Year provides us an opportunity to make resolutions, the new week provides us an opportunity to start over.

Obviously there is nothing special about Monday. Our phrase is an embellishment of two verses in the book of Lamentations. In the midst of great affliction the prophet calls these words to mind and has hope:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lam 3:22-23 ESV)

Whatever you are going through today, remember that God's great love and mercy never cease. He loves you today. Each morning is a chance to remember that He is merciful. He has withheld His wrath and instead poured out amazing grace through the work of Christ in the gospel. What a faithful God!

It is with these "mercies" clearly in view that we offer all of ourselves to God in service and worship (Romans 12:1). So how about it, will you get a fresh start in walking with God today? It is after all... Monday!

Join Pastor Nathan here each Monday morning for word of encouragement.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Emperor's New Clothes

Last week I rediscovered this satirical children's fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. " The Emperor's New Clothes" is about a king who has an unhealthy fascination with new clothes, so much so that he has a different change of clothes for every hour of the day. One day a couple of charlatan weavers appear before the emperor claiming that they are able to manufacture clothes of exquisite beauty and uncommon character. These clothes that they create have a special quality that makes the clothes invisible to anyone who is either corrupt in his character or unfit for his office. The emperor commissions these men to make him a set of these clothes at once, paying them large sums of money to do the work.

As the clothes are being created several servants are sent to check on the clothes to see how the progress is coming. Though none of the officials could see anything on the loom, they feigned as if the clothes were very beautiful and told the king so. Finally the day comes for the emperor to try on his new clothes that are to be worn in a big procession around his capital city. Though the king sees nothing, he is quite embarrassed to think that he may be corrupt in character or unworthy of his office. Thus, he too claims that the clothes are simply marvelous, and all of his attendants agree. The king sets off on his procession around the city with much fanfare to display his new clothes to the citizens of his kingdom. No one can see the clothes, of course, but everyone is too scared to admit the fact.

Finally a small boy in the crowd cries out, "Why the King has nothing on!" And the boy's father said simply, "The voice of innocence has spoken." The emperor, knowing what the boy said was true, decided to continue on with the procession. It was too late to turn back now!

This simple fairy tale teaches us an important lesson about fear and pride. In our own Christian lives we are often blind to our own shortcomings. And... our so called "friends" are often afraid to point them out to us. Even if we do get a hint that not all is well in our lives, our pride often keeps us from taking action to change.

As many of us talked about on Sunday at New Life Church, the call of the gospel is to "put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature" and to "cloth ourselves" with the character of Christ (Colossians 3:5&12). Would you be willing to look at yourself with soberness (Romans 12:3) confess your sin to God (1 John 1:8-9) and put on some new clothes (Colossians 3:12)? Would you be willing to help a friend do the same (Proverbs 27:6)?

Monday, January 16, 2012

What Jesus Demands from the World

"What does God really want from me?" That is the question that born-again believers ask after they have trusted in Jesus. "What am I supposed to do with my life now?" Jesus doesn't leave that a mystery. In fact, Jesus is very clear about He expects from the whole world.

In the Great Commission Jesus said, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." A disciple of Jesus is someone who is seeking to obey everything that Jesus has commanded us.

Today I want to commend to you John Piper's book, What Jesus Demands from the World*. In the book, Piper takes 50 commands of Jesus and talks about what it looks like to obey those commands. The chapters are very short (usually 3-5 pages). In 5-10 minutes you can really think deeply about the words of Jesus and find answers to that question, "What does Jesus want from me now?"

Several of the Men at New Life Robinwood are meeting together in pairs to discuss and pray about what they are reading in this book. The women's Thursday Morning Bible Study has worked through this book and really enjoyed it. How about you? Would you be willing to meet with one other person or a small group to read through this book, discuss, and grow as a disciple of Jesus?

*I have several copies of this book in my office that can be purchased from the church for $10. Reply to this post or call the church office if you would like a copy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Prayer Focus for the Week of Jan. 15, 2012

New Life Church has a prayer focus each week. Our prayer focus is broken down into three categories of ministry: 1. We pray for another local church that is proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. 2. We pray for a Global Outreach Partner who is proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. 3. We pray for a ministry of New Life Church that is proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ locally.

Area Church: Logan Community Church – Oregon City, OR

Global Partner: Calvin & Ruth Kim – World Venture, Beirut, Lebanon

  • Pray for the Kim family's health during the winter.
  • Pray for their personal study, lectures, and Islam forum.
  • Pray for peace in Lebanon and Syria.
  • Pray for more financial supporters to partner with them this year.
NLC Ministry: Coffee Cart
  • Pray for the continuation and deepening of the relationships which are being built. 
  • Pray that opportunities would arise to talk more about Jesus!
  • Praise God that things are going so well. There is a group of "regulars" that come and stay all morning until school starts!

Worship Services Cancelled 1/15/2012

We are cancelling worship services today, January 15, 2012, at all locations of New Life Church. Please be safe. Enjoy the slower day. And, treasure God today!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Life Church Wilsonville Grand Opening

New Life Church Wilsonville held their grand opening last Sunday, January 8, 2012. It was a great morning. One member wrote, "Sunday was an exciting day! It seemed like a long time coming, but God had His hand in every step of our preparations leading up to the grand opening."

We celebrated the new life that Jesus gives and the importance of remaining connected to him. Any new start, for a church or for a person comes from our connection to Jesus.
Afterwards we celebrated with a meal from Buster's BBQ. Everyone enjoyed it and ReGeneration got a little extra that evening, too.

We will be meeting there every Sunday at 10:00am. Please continue to pray for us.

Anyone is welcome. Please bring or send your friends!

Nine different churches contacted me and told me they were praying for us. Thank you all!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Senior's Bible Study

"Pastor Scott. You need to come. The Bible Study downstairs is full to over-flowing. They're rehearsing a song. And, they want to be on the blog!"

Of course, the last phrase got to me. I rushed downstairs and snapped this picture. To my everlasting enjoyment they were singing "Jesus Loves Me" to perform at the next SAM Luncheon. As I was taking the picture I felt like a proud dad at a school program!

Regularly over twenty seniors gather every Tuesday morning at 10:30 for Bible Study in the "map room" at the Riverfalls Campus. There are people there from all three campuses. They have the best time as George Nelson leads them to study God's word. Hardly a week goes by when someone doesn't tell me what a good job George is doing.

Some of you may just want to admit your age and come to the next potluck to hear the special music...I'll be there!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Mission Connexion 2012

On Friday and Saturday January 20-21 you have an opportunity to attend a conference that will inspire you and equip you to be involved in fulfilling God's call on your life to take the good news about Jesus Christ to the nations.

Mission ConneXion Northwest 2012 will be
held right here in the Portland area at Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver. There will be powerful times of worship, compelling speakers, and lots of informative breakout workshops to equip you for your role in God's Great Commission.

The conference schedule and other conference details are available at
. If you would like to carpool to the event on Friday night or Saturday evening, please contact the church office at 503-656-8600.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

New Life Church Wilsonville is in the News!

New Life Church Wilsonville will celebrate their Grand Opening on Sunday, January 8, 2012. Check out this brief article in the Oregonian: