Blog

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,

Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) Affirms Biblical Marriage

This week many of you read the disturbing news that the mainline Presbyterian denomination, the Presbyterian Church in the USA (PCUSA) not only approved its pastors performing same-sex marriages, but even changed the definition of marriage within its governing documents. The Stated Clerk of our denomination (PCA) was quick to present a thoughtful statement that made clear the position of the PCA (to stay with the biblical standard). Here’s a link to that statement, PCA Affirms Biblical Marriage. You should

Praying the Lord’s Prayer

This past Sunday (March 15) I used the simplified version of the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11 to explain my own experience of learning to pray all over again. I’m writing to reinforce the importance of that message. If you missed the sermon, I suggest you go to the Resources section of our website and listen to it. The heart of what I tried to say was not simply the value of the Lord’s Prayer—and for many of us it

Avoid that half-dead body!

While preparing my recent sermon on the Good Samaritan it hit me how much context matters. Multiple contexts, I should say! There’s the conversational context in which the parable occurs, namely, the interaction between the lawyer and Jesus. Then there’s the religious-political-racial context that is necessary to understand why a good Samaritan (gasp!) was such a provocative suggestion in the mouth of a 1st century Jew. But what I didn’t have time to describe was the covenantal context, which helps

Sharing the Gospel

On most Friday and Sunday nights, you’ll find me hanging out with our students here at New Life. The pattern is the same on both nights; we hang out as a big group for a while and then break out into smaller D-Groups. If you’re not familiar with D-Groups, it’s short for Discipleship Groups. Here, in these groups, we’re free to talk about what’s on our mind and in our hearts. To be honest, we don’t always go deep. Sometimes

Walking Through the Door

I am always “walking into” things, not being sure what I’m going to encounter. You are too. (Imagine an automatic sliding door that opens before you as you walk toward it…but there are no windows through which you may have an advance warning of what to expect.) As a pastor, I make hospital visits, and as I go I often don’t know how bad the health report is, what the person’s state of mind will be, who else will be