Racial Reconciliation in Our Denomination (PCA)

Especially in light of the recent tragic shootings, it seemed worthwhile to tell you all about the PCA’s recent statement on racial reconciliation. Each year the Presbyterian Church in America, the denomination to which New Life belongs, holds a General Assembly (GA).  This year’s gathering took place in June in Mobile, Alabama, and Steve Smallman and I made the journey there.  Mobile is an enjoyable destination, and an appropriate choice given our denomination’s roots in the south. This was my

Gathering for Prayer

I want just to share a few sentences of encouragement with you as we look forward to our church-wide prayer meeting on Sunday evening, July 10.  Mark Moser and I have agreed that it is very important for us as a church to refresh our commitment to dependent, corporate prayer, and toward that end have planned to schedule these prayer gatherings four times a year.  At this time that is a fairly unambitious goal–but the greater, more ambitious goal is

Thankful and Excited

I wanted to take this opportunity to express heartfelt thanks for the call to be pastor of this wonderful church!  Lise and I are very excited.  We have been a part of the New Life family since 2002, and so I hope you can imagine how great it is to be surrounded by people we already know and love.  Often pastors receive a call from a group of strangers!  We truly feel blessed. Thank you for being willing to embark

Good Friday Homily

Do you identify with Pilate at all? I wonder if some of you do. He didn’t show any malice towards Jesus. No ill will. In fact, he could say that he had some healthy respect for him, and even had a good idea that Jesus was innocent. But Pilate — and perhaps you’re like this — Pilate had goals for his career and his life. And he had fears. And because of these, he decides that Jesus had to go.

Quiet Times in God’s Word

Greetings from sunny Florida. Sandy and I are enjoying a time away from the nasty weather that is so typical of February. But as much as we enjoy getting out of winter weather, I think what we most appreciate is time to read and reflect in a way that we don’t do when we are home. Writing that is a rebuke to me, because there needs to be quiet times in my day wherever I happen to be living. So

The Upper Room: Strength From On High

Easter is coming!  This is the season in which churches all over the world spend time in the Gospels.  In the recent past New Life has spent a lot of sermon time in Matthew, Mark and Luke, so it feels like the proper moment to turn to the Gospel of John! So we hope you’ll join us for this new series on a very unique section of the Fourth Gospel, the so-called Upper Room Discourse (John 13-17).  This is a

The Ten Words

This week I have been working on a book of meditations on knowing God that will be reissued in January. They are based on Moses’ meeting with the Lord in Exodus 33 and 34. One of the meditations is on the Ten Commandments and I thought I would pass it along as a good summary of our series and an introduction to our series in Galatians. (Once the book comes out I will let you know—I hope many at New

Protecting Our Children

Our church has a long history of taking seriously our role in protecting children who participate in our Children’s and Youth Ministries.  We consider it a joy to welcome children from infancy onward as a part of our church family, and to share with parents the obligation and privilege to instruct boys and girls in Christ. For many years, New Life has required background checks (Pennsylvania Child Abuse clearance and National Criminal History) for anyone working regularly with children (i.e.

Why is your life better with Jesus in it ?

Last Sunday was the membership class for students in junior and senior high school. It’s one of my favorite classes to teach. In our study guide, we’re reminded that membership has a long history dating back to when Abraham was called by God. It’s much the same today. We respond by faith to God’s rescuing us through Jesus Christ by saying ‘yes’ to the church which Jesus called His Body.[1]  It’s an amazing thing to see our students step up

First Thoughts from the India Trip

I returned, together with the rest of the India Team, a week ago today to JFK Airport on a massive Emirates airliner from Delhi via a surreal and bleary-eyed turn through Dubai in the middle of the night.  Everything was as we had left it–except the snow had melted.  Thank you, New Life, for sending us and blessing us on our way, and for your prayers for us throughout.  We’d like to invite you to join us on Sunday evening,