Wednesday, December 28, 2011


All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do…

Successful goal selection stems from our inner perceptions and the correspondence of our actions. If what we want and how we go about accomplishing our goals does not correspond, then we are likely to experience a degree of self-sabotage.

In order for success to be achieved, one’s intentions and actions must be in alignment when selecting and committing to a goal. It is important to take time to consider if the results you desire will actually be processed effectively by your goal choice.

Ask Yourself These 4 Questions When Contemplating A Goal:

Do I truly Want what I think I want?

Do I “Believe” God wants “This” for my Life?

Do I earnestly Believe that I can achieve my goal?

Do I deeply feel that I Deserve to have what I want?

It is certainly better to be clear about your answers to the above questions than to forge ahead and then have nagging doubts. Otherwise, you may become a candidate for self-sabotage. So, how do you explore your true intentions so that ultimately your actions will be in successful alignment?

The answer is to take a close look at your real intentions, your level of belief, and your feelings about deserving the outcome. Let’s take a look at each of these points.

Explore Your Real Intentions…. Why are you acting on this particular goal? Is it actually your goal or the idea of another person? Is the goal 100% what you want? Taking the time to consider this fundamental step is very important and can mean the difference between success and disappointment…

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals…

Explore Your Level Of Belief…. In addition to wanting the goal, do you truly believe the goal is achievable? Do you believe down deep this is important enough to you to go after it? Have you thought about the tools and resources you will need for positive action? Can you commit yourself to what is necessary to accomplish the results you want? Can you honestly say that the goal aligns with God’s Word? Will the goal be pleasing to Christ?

The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment. Earl Nightingale

Explore Your Feelings About Deserving The Outcome…. While this may seem strange, if you do not completely feel that you are worthy of a successful outcome, all the time and energy invested simply will not bring the goal to fruition. You have to “Believe” that God wants you to have “This” and will Help you accomplish it! You deserve God’s Best! He is a Good-Father and wants to Bless you!

If you want the goal and believe in it, but have any doubt whether you are worthy of its success, figure out why you feel this way…………. Do you feel un-worthy? You are, but Jesus has you covered, move out in Faith. Have you sinned? O.K. welcome to the human race.. Now confess it “Repent” and move out into 2012 forgiven….. Most likely, when honestly addressed, you can resolve any issue that holds you back and move forward…

Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality…

It is absolutely wonderful when your intentions and actions are in alignment and you know that you want a goal, believe in it, and deserve it. But, unless you consciously deal with these basic elements, then it is possible to sabotage your well-intended efforts.

Remember: A well-structured goal is essential to establish a clear path to a desired outcome, but carefully selecting the right goal is perhaps even more critical. That also means that the intent of the goal and the actions to implement it must match. Pursuing a poorly conceived goal is paramount to self-sabotage. Learning to make a successful goal selection is fundamental to goal-setting…

Trust This Helps Your 2012 Goal Setting…

Deb & I are Praying for YOU that 2012 will BE YOUR YEAR of Destiny...

Keep Us and New Life in your Prayers

Happy New YOU!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Child... Christmas Son...

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace… Isaiah 9:6

The underlined sentence is a double one, but trust
me; it has in it no duplication. The careful reader will soon discover a “great” distinction. And it is not a distinction without a difference. “To us a Child is born, to us a Son is given.” As Jesus is a Child in His human Nature, He is born, generated of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He is as truly born, and as certainly a Child, as any other man that ever lived upon the face of the earth! He is therefore in His Humanity, a Child born. But as Jesus Christ is God’s Son, He is not born, but given, begotten of His Father from before all worlds, begotten—not made, being of the same substance with the Father… He IS “Emmanuel..” which translated means “God-With-Us”

There is so much to write about, so much to “Think” about in our little prophetic verse… His Name.. Wonderful…Counselor.. Mighty God!! Everlasting Father… “The Prince of Peace” … meditate on those for a few hours..

Back so soon……. Well, I want to take three minutes to draw Your Attention to the two simplest words in the verse, and some would argue the most important & Power-Full… “To Us” (or for you old school King James fans) “Unto Us”

Here in these two little words we begin to perceive the “real” Power of this verse.

This Mighty God; This Wonderful Counselor; This Everlasting Father; This Prince of Peace… “Is Ours”

The question must be asked this Christmas season is this Babe of Bethlehem “Born Unto YOU?” If He is then You are “Born-Again Unto Him”

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16

Because of this earth born Child, this heaven sent Son we have escaped the penalty of our past, the eternal prison of sin has been shattered and we are “Free” …

Free to Love God..

Free to Serve God…

Free to Worship God…

Free to walk on streets of gold someday..

Heaven is Ours... Salvation has been provided!!

Praise this Child of Christmas... Worship this Son of Heaven…

Deb & I are trusting you will be able to join with us on “Sunday” …Christmas Day.

We are having a special 10:00am service, remember to bring your 1-1-2 “Birthday Gift” for Jesus

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Signs Of “The” Times!

When I am blessed to have some free time there are several “Blogs” I enjoy reading; some just for fun (“Stuff Christians Like” by John Acuff) others as “food for Thought” falling under that second category is one Dr. Richard A. Swenson, M.D. Author of the “Swenson Trends Blog” very intellectually stimulating (that means I have to read them twice to actually understand what he’s talking about)

His Post and comments (See Below) made me realize afresh just how crazy our world has become and just how close we are to the Return of our Blessed Liberator….

Speaking on the Subject of “The End of Days” Jesus Said….

And they asked Him, Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when this is about to occur? And He said, Be on your guard and be careful that you are not led astray; for many will come in My name [appropriating to themselves the name Messiah which belongs to Me], saying, I am He! and, The time is at hand! Do not go out after them. And when you hear of wars and insurrections (disturbances, disorder, and confusion), do not become alarmed and panic-stricken and terrified; for all this must take place first, but the end will not [come] immediately. Then He told them, Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. [II Chron. 15:6; Isa. 19:2.] There will be mighty and violent earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences (plagues: malignant and contagious or infectious epidemic diseases which are deadly and devastating); and there will be sights of terror and great signs from heaven…. But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know and understand that its desolation has come near…. And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth [there will be] distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity [without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring (the echo) of the tossing of the sea, Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great (transcendent and overwhelming) power and [all His kingly] glory (majesty and splendor). Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near. Luke 21: 7-11; 20; 25-28

Paul Wrote about a Planet in Birthing Pain!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us! For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God's sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship]. For the creation (nature) was subjected to frailty (to futility, condemned to frustration), not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will of Him Who so subjected it--[yet] with the hope That nature (creation) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption [and gain an entrance] into the glorious freedom of God's children. We know that the whole creation [of irrational creatures] has been moaning together in the pains of labor until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves too, who have and enjoy the firstfruits of the [Holy] Spirit [a foretaste of the blissful things to come] groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies [from sensuality and the grave, which will reveal] our adoption (our manifestation as God's sons). For in [this] hope we were saved….. Romans 8:18-24

Let’s Be Motivated to DO MORE! We must Reach More; Love More; Pray More; Give More…

Read the attached article……. “A Classic Greek Tragedy!”

Deb & I are Praying for You... Pray for us...

“See You in Church”

So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word. And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into
prison to test you.

You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10

Faithfulness, kind of an old-fashioned word…

Faithfull, someone has to retire before we think to use the word in our “modern” culture.. “After thirty-years of “Faithful” employment” ….

Faithful, “My dog may be an ugly-mutt, but she’s Faithful….

The word is employed to describe the most famous geyser in America, Old Faithful, at Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful is not the biggest geyser in America. And it’s not the most powerful geyser in America…

What makes it famous is its faithfulness! It’s like clockwork. Reliable…..

People appreciate dependability, even in an old geyser…

It’s not easy to find someone who can be counted on. One who will be faithful to the end. One who is dependable through thick and thin. The fact is that not everyone who volunteers actually comes through. Not everyone who says they will perform a task actually does it. Not everyone who makes a commitment can be counted on. Not ever Friend will “Stick” with you through a storm..

I’ve learned after almost 30 years of pastoring that “few” people will be “With You!” for the whole journey..

You should THANK-God for those who are with you! And “Have been” with you..

But, Faithfulness is not just a religious duty that we employ on Sundays or when we are supposed to be Christian. When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember that God has planted us in a certain place and told us to be a dependable and reliable accountant or teacher or parent or engineer. Christ expects us to be faithful where he puts us…

In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to a Monk at a local monastery, asking to be accepted into the monastery, so as to spend the rest of his days in quiet meditation.

“Your Majesty,” said the Monk, “Do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king.”

“I understand,” said Henry. “The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.”

“Then I will tell you what to do,” said the Monk. “Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.”

Not bad counsel. Go forth and do likewise “Faithfully”….

Uncommon people Do daily what Common people Do Occasionally…

Deb & I are “striving” to BE Faithful

Pray for Us, we are praying for YOU!

Leave a “Comment” love to hear from you…

See You IN Church?

Got more “Time” check out “Stability through Faithfulness”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Milk, Meat and the Malnourished Church by: Steven Furtick

One of the greatest critiques of the American Church today is that it’s malnourished. Some would even say it’s our most pressing problem….

When most people voice this complaint, the focus is on the “Sunday Worship Experience.” From people who leave these churches, you hear, “I wasn’t getting fed.” Or, “I just want some deeper teaching.” From people outside these churches, you hear, “Too much milk, not enough meat.”

In some cases, I’m sure this is true. But I really don’t think that’s the real problem. Yes, American Christians are malnourished. But I don’t believe it has anything to do with milk or meat.

Most American Christians aren’t malnourished because of what they’re getting fed on Sunday. They’re malnourished because they don’t feed themselves Monday through Saturday.

So you had filet mignon on Sunday and learned about the mystical union of Christ and the church as it relates to the rapture and the design of the tabernacle in relation to Levitical dietary laws as understood by the Council of Trent. Good for you. Have fun starving yourself the rest of the week and letting your pastor read the Bible so you don’t have to.

So you had some milk on Sunday and learned 37 ways to _________________. Have fun having 37 new ways to not obey God during the coming week.

The crisis facing the church today isn’t what people are getting fed on Sundays. It’s what they’re not feeding themselves the rest of the days. Who really cares whether you consume meat or milk on Sunday if it’s the only meal you have all week?

I’m not saying this to get pastors and churches off the hook. It is the shepherd’s job to feed the sheep (John 21). And feed them well based on their needs and faith development. But it’s also the sheep’s job to eat:

For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant! But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law. ~Hebrews 5:13-14

Here’s the point.

Churches: we have a responsibility. We should serve up the Word, hot and fresh, every single Sunday. As church leaders, it is our job to create and sustain processes and systems that responsibly enable people to grow in their faith after receiving Christ.

People in our Churches: you also have a responsibility. If you refuse to study the Word, apply it, pray some during the week, join your (Mid-Week Bible study) or a small group and dig deeper with others, (commit to reading Selah Everyday) there’s not much we can do to help you. Your malnourishment won’t be cured by anything we give you on Sunday…

So are you an infant and need milk? Drink it for now, but the only way you will mature and be ready for meat is by training yourself. Constantly. Do you want meat? From these verses, it seems like meat is doing the milk. On your own. Constantly. Not getting it served to you once a week.

Hey! New Life Family …. Ouch!

Read this article yesterday, thought it “kind” of fit with our theme the last few weeks at our Thursday Night “Study-Hall” sessions… If you haven’t been there… Re-Read the article above!!

Deb & I Love You

Want you to Grow Up… Healthy and Strong!!

Got to eat Right! Got to eat your Veggies and plenty of Protein..

See You At “Study-Hall” This week…

For older sessions listen here..

Monday, June 27, 2011

Are You an Influencer?

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.
~Matthew 5:13


Spreading the Gospel isn't solely the church's job; it's the job of every Christian.

Salt seems little more to us than a cooking spice, flavoring agent, or dinner table accessory. But history tells a different story of salt. Before refrigeration, people had no way of preserving meat they owned. A good day out hunting might provide many hundred pounds of meat, but without a way to preserve the meat, the food was lost in spoil. To help this problem, many people used salt to preserve meat. Barrels of salt were taken on long journeys to keep food from spoiling. In fact, salt became so necessary to every-day life that it became quite expensive. In Roman times, employees were sometimes paid in salt which they could sell or trade for other necessities. Next to the sun, Romans valued nothing more than salt.

Examining the properties and uses of salt is useful not only in the scientific realm, but in the spiritual realm as well. When describing the Christian's duty on earth, Christ refers to us as "salt and light." How are we to be salt? What are we to do as light? Notice a few uses of salt which can be applied to our spiritual lives.

Salt Preserves from Contamination. Salt is commonly used to flavor, but it was also used to preserve, as seen in the above illustration. It keeps foods from spoiling. Christians are to be a preserving influence on the world. We are to hold back complete moral and spiritual spoilage in our culture by living a God-centered life. The unsaved have no moral guide or compass, but as Christians we are to preserve the world around us by living by God's morals.

In what areas should we preserve our lives?

Our Testimonies- How can you influence the world? Start by preserving your personal testimony. James 1:27 says, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." You can't have a good influence on others if you aren't different from them. Make sure your Life-Testimony is Christ-honoring.

Our Families- Just as Jesus commanded His disciples to begin their ministry in their own circle of influence then spread out, so you should focus on your family first. As Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] minds and hearts; [then] You shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Influence those closest to you first.

Our Communities- Contrary to popular belief, man is not "evolving upward." Spiritually, morally, and even physically, man is getting worse. But as Christians, Christ tells us we are made new, clean, whole. “Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” ~2 Corinthians 5:17

Too often, our influence in our communities extends (or is limited) to church programs, outreach events, or weekly services. While those things can help present the Gospel, God desires for us to personally be influences on the world around us. Spreading the Gospel isn't solely the church's job; it's the job of every Christian. Our greatest influence comes through our testimony, our families, and our life around our community. Are you influencing those around you today by being a preserving agent?

Deb & I are trying to “Be” Salty

Shake it Up! & Shake it Out!

See You IN Church…..

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Broken Trust

The news is filled with people who have unfortunately lost their credibility.. Politicians, Performers (actors) and Preachers top the list ...

When we Break-Trust with those who have chosen to follow us, or with those we are
connected to through relationship we lose more than just our credibility. We lose our Ability! Our Ability to Lead, to Help, to Encourage, to Challenge, to Motivate, to Effect, to Lift these people from where they are.

Why would they listen to us Why should they listen to us?

We lose our usefulness in Gods hands when we break-trust

Character is much easier kept than recovered. ~Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

This again, unfortunately is not a new phenomenon. People have been failing, falling, and downright letting other down since Adam failed to lead Eve in the garden.

The life of King David was filled with numerous triumphs, conquests, and successes. He single-handedly took down Goliath with a sling and a stone. He wrote many of the psalms from which we find comfort in our times of difficulty. He presided over the nation of Israel and was considered by many to be its greatest leader.

But David also learned a hars
h lesson about the importance of trust. While sitting on his rooftop one day (when he should have been at war), he saw Bathsheba bathing on an adjacent rooftop and sent for her. This act of willful self-indulgence led first to adultery, then the murder of Uriah the Hittite, and of course the subsequent cover-up of the whole situation. Only when the prophet Nathan confronted David about his actions did the king ask God for forgiveness. However, the Lord did not let David off easy. The child he fathered with Bathsheba died, there was a constant threat of murder in his family, and his son Absalom caused David problems until he was killed in battle.

Our Sin (Dude! That's an old-fashioned word) always effects Others and always bears a price tag!! "For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord." ~ Romans 6:23

When someone is trusted with a leadership role, they are given the opportunity to use their talents, time, and influence for causes bigger than themselves. As they make good decisions while showing integrity and concern for others, they earn trust. Author John Maxwell likens this to putting change in their pocket. However, when they betray that trust, it becomes difficult to regain. In addition, the leader has to pay some of their change back to the people. When one runs out of change, trust is gone. And when trust is gone, the leader ceases to be a leader.

King David's story should serve as a reminder of the importance of trust and how quickly it can disappear. Allow God to mold and refine your character so that your decisions will inspire others to trust your abilities.

Is there a Cure for Broken-Trust YES!! Character!

Is there restoration for fallen people YES!! .. Christ!

Is there a way to regain Trust YES!! Time!

Join Us Thursday for Study-Hall 7pm at our Trumbull Campus ....


We continue our series "The Power of a Credibility Connection"

Listen Part #1 Online:

Do You Want To LEAD! then You MUST Establish Credibility....

Credibility is a leaders currency. With it, he or she is Solvent ; without it, he or she is Bankrupt. With credibility, leaders Connect. Without credibility, leaders Disconnect.

How do I Gain Trust How Do I Connect with People and make a Difference?

There is a reason big businesses do a lot of business and stay big, because people trust them. They know they are an established company. So when you're ready to show the world you're serious you need the "Power of a Credibility Connection."

Join us Thursday Nights at 7PM for "Study-Hall" One Hour that could change your ability to Connect with Credibility and Increase your Influence and Effectiveness in the lives of people around you..

Deb & I are striving to be people of "Credibility" will you pray for us

See you In Church......

And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, "There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and
with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor mans lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him." Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity." Nathan said to David, "You are the man!
Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your masters house and your masters wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.' Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. ~2 Samuel 12:1-11

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Resolving Conflict

Preached last Sunday on “Resolving Conflict in Relationships” got some “Good” Feed-Back (a refreshing change J) If you missed it you can order the CD from our office (203) 261-2728 ……

This morning in my in-box I got this article from a pastor/leadership mentor. Thought it was too good not to pass on…. Trust It Blesses & Equips..

In every life situation involving people, whether among family, friends, or co-worke

rs, there will be potential for conflict. In fact, if relationships are normal, conflict is inevitable. It stands to reason then that learning to deal with conflict successfully should be our goal, especially those of us who desire to lead our Families to Better Places or guide an organization toward profitability.

Here are 10 tips for more effective handling of conflict in your life:

1. Understand the battle. What is the real source of the conflict? Make sure you are addressing the real issue.

2. Find the right time and place to confront the conflict. When emotions are high is not good timing for dealing with conflict. Personal conflict should not be handled in public.

3. Examine yourself first. Sometimes, the issue is personal to you, and you are only blaming others for your problem.

4. Consider the other side of the conflict. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider their viewpoint in the conflict.

5. Do not overreact to the issue or overload on emotion. Stick to the issue at hand.

6. Do not dance around or sugarcoat the issue or disguise it in false kindness. Sometimes, we fail to address the conflict because we are afraid of how the other person may respond or we are afraid of hurting feelings. The avoidance usually will cause more conflict eventually.

7. Do not allow the small disagreements to become big disagreements without confronting them along the way. Minor conflict is always easier to handle than major conflict.

8. Be firm but gentle. Learn the balance between the two.

9. Work towards a solution. Never waste conflict, but use it to make the organization and relationships better. The best-case scenario is a win-win situation, but ultimately, the conflict needs to be resolved with the right solution.

10. Grant forgiveness easily and do not hold a grudge or seek revenge. Healthy families and teams handle conflict and allow it to make the organization stronger.

Face “Your” Conflict the “Right-Way” and just watch God Bless You!!

Deb & I are Praying for YOU!

Will You Pray for US?

Those are my suggestions. How do you handle conflict? (Leave a Comment)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stop Dating the Church

Jack and Grace met through a mutual friend. From day one they seemed to be the perfect match. Grace was everything Jack had always wanted. She was beautiful, outgoing, and caring—always there when Jack needed her.

For the first five months they were inseparable. Jack could hardly think of anything but Grace. He didn’t need to look further, he told friends. “She’s the one."

Now almost three years have passed. Jack still enjoys the comfort and familiarity of being with Grace, but the spark is gone. Grace’s flaws seem more obvious. He’s not sure he finds her as attractive as he once did. And he’s beginning to resent all the time she wants to spend with him.

One night, when she asks if they can define the nature of their relationship, Jack blows up. “We’re together, aren’t we?” he asked angrily. “Why isn’t that enough for you?”

Obviously, Jack isn’t ready for commitment. And it’s unclear if he ever will be...
Have you ever been in a relationship like this? I’m writing this book because I believe God has something better for you. He wants you in a relationship defined by both passion and commitment. But before you can take hold of this wonderful plan, you need to know something about this couple. There are millions of Jacks walking around today. And Grace isn’t the girl.

Grace is a church.

Traveling Solo

This is my third book on relationships, but it’s unlike any of my previous books. You won’t find anything here about how you should relate to the opposite sex. Instead, this book is about how you should relate to the family of God.

The story behind this book is closely tied to my own journey. I was raised in a Christian home, but even though the church played a big part in my life growing up, for many years it didn’t have a big place in my heart.
My first home as a child was across the street from the little Baptist church my parents had gotten save in during the Jesus Movement of the seventies. My dad was a pastor till I was seven and even planted a church in Texas. But after two disillusioning church splits, he left the pastorate and started speaking across the country on homeschooling. Over the years our family attended a wide spectrum of churches-mainline, evangelical, charismatic. One church gathered at a run-down commune complete with hippies and llamas. Another was a seeker-sensitive megachurch with a suburban campus that could pass for a shopping mall.

When I graduated from my church’s high school youth group, I started visiting around. I loved God and had big dreams for how I wanted to serve Him, but I didn’t see any reason to get too involved in one church. By then, I thought I knew all there was to know about church, and I wasn’t impressed. Most churches struck me as out-of-date and out-of-touch. There had to better, more efficient ways to accomplish great things for God.

For me, that meant becoming the next Billy Graham. But I was only nineteen, and invitations for me to lead a worldwide media crusade weren’t rolling in. So I threw my energies into opportunities that were closer at hand. I started a magazine for homeschoolers. I began to speak at my own conferences for teenagers. Before long, I had written my first book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye.

The message of that book was that singles should avoid directionless relationships that were romantic and physical but had no intention of moving toward commitment. The irony of this was that even though I had stopped playing the dating game with the girls, I was perfectly happy to keep playing it with the church. I liked attending on weekends, and I enjoyed the social benefits of church, but I didn’t want the responsibility that came with real commitment. Like Jack in our story, I wasn’t interested in settling down. SO though I gave the appearance of commitment, I mostly just flirted with different churches and kept my options open.

Then something happened that I never expected.

A Passionate Encounter

A friend sent me a set of sermons on tape called “Passion for the Church’ by a pastor in Maryland. I’m still not sure why I listened to those tapes. For a confirmed church-dater like me, the title alone was baffling. “Passion for the church”? The words passion and church absolutely did not connect in my mind! The series might as well have been called “Passion for the Grocery Store.” But for some reason, as I drove around my hometown of Gresham, Oregon, I popped those tapes into the cassette player and began to listen.

The preacher taught from the book of Ephesians. He showed that the church was actually God’s idea-not some plan or program invented by humans. In fact, the church is the only institution God promised to sustain forever.

This is where passion came in. To be part of the universal church isn’t enough, the preacher said. Every Christian is called to be passionately committed to a specific local church. Why? Because the local church is the key to spiritual health and growth for a Christian. And because as the visible “body of Christ” in the world, the local church is central to God’s plan for every generation.

I have to tell you, the biblical truths in those messages picked me up, turned me over, and gave me a good shaking. Out of my pockets tumbled an avalanche of well-worn attitudes about the church. Most weren’t carefully thought-out, it’s true. But all of them were misguided, and some were unscriptural and dangerous. For the first time I realized that a wholehearted relationship with a local church is God’s loving plan for me and for every other follower of Christ.

It is not just what my parents want for me. It is not just what some pastor thinks.

And it is not optional.

Can you Spot a Church-Dater?

Today we live in an increasingly fragmented world. That mind-set has influenced the way we approach our relationship with God. Faith is a solo pursuit. These days, experts describe America as a nation of “believers” but not “belongers”—and the numbers confirm it. According to pollster George Barna, while the adult population in the United States increased by 15 percent during the nineties, the number of adults who either didn’t attend church or only went on major holidays increased by 92 percent!

Can you spot what I’m calling a church-dater? Here’s a quick profile. Do you see one or more of these characteristics in yourself?

First, our attitude toward church tends to be me-centered. We go for what we can get- social interaction, programs, or activities. The driving question is, “What can church do for me?”

A second sign of a church-dater is being independent. We go to church because that’s what Christians are supposed to do- but we’re careful to avoid getting involved too much, especially with people. We don’t pay much attention to God’s larger purpose for us as a vital part in a specific church family. So we go through the motions without really investing ourselves.

Most essentially, a church-dater tends to be critical. We are short on allegiance and quick to find fault in our church. We treat church with a consumer mentality—looking for the best product for the price of our Sunday morning. As a result, we’re fickle and not invested for the long-term, like a lover with a wandering eye, always on the hunt for something better.

Take my friend Nathan. He attended two churches on Sundays—one because he liked their music, the other because he liked the preaching. And his involvement in both went no deeper. At the first church he’s slip out just before the last song wound down and drive to the other church five minutes away. He even factored in time to stop by McDonald’s for an Egg McMuffin. He timed it so that he’d be walking into the second church just as the pastor started to preach.

I guess you could say Nathan was two-timing.

If you see yourself in any of these descriptions, I want you to hear this from a former church-dater: God has something better for you and me than dating the church. What practiced daters like Nathan and Jack don’t realize is that what they assume is working for their personal gain is actually resulting in serious loss- for themselves and others.

I’m writing this book because I want to share with other sincere followers of Christ the profound blessings that come with living a life committed to the church. I want you to catch a glimpse of the beauty of God’s plan for the church in each believer’s life and the unimaginable power that could be unleashed through even one generation embracing that plan.

And why shouldn’t that generation be yours?

But before we look at the benefits of commitment, consider what is lost when church dating becomes a way of life. The plain fact is, when we resist passion and commitment in our relationship with the church, everyone gets cheated out of God’s best.

•You cheat yourself.

•You cheat a church community.

•You cheat your world.

I hope you have the courage to stay with me, because the biblical insights we’re looking for in this book have the potential to bring tremendous change for the better in your life.

Let’s start with the last idea. Your world.

Your Life is Bigger

Step back for a minute. Remember how high the stakes really are for every human life. Each of us lives out our earthly days in a visible world that just barely conceals a larger invisible reality. What we see won’t last forever. We’re in a cosmic conflict against the spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). At some point in the future, every human being alive today will be dead, and there will be an accounting. Every one of the six billion souls on earth will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. That’s why every human being alive today needs to hear the Good News of the gospel!

The Good News is simple and powerful—Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins, and there is no other way of salvation (see John 14:6; Romans 5:8). To receive the free gift of salvation Jesus offers, we must turn from our sin in genuine repentance and trust in Him and His sacrificial death on our behalf (see John 1:8-9; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Have you heard this Good News before? Have you responded to it and had your sins forgiven through faith in Christ? I hope so!

Now I want you to see how the church and the Good News connect: The church is the vehicle that Jesus chose to take the message of the gospel to every generation and people.

Are you seeing the bigger picture? The church matters because Jesus chose it to tell and show the world the message of His love. And this message, carried forward through history and lived out for all to see, is the world’s only hope.

Paul David Tripp writes to Christians:

Your life is much bigger than a good job, an understanding spouse, and non-delinquent kids. It is bigger than beautiful gardens, nice vacations, and fashionable clothes. In reality, you are part of something immense, something that began before you were born and will continue after you die. God is rescuing fallen humanity, transporting them into His kingdom, and progressively shaping them into his likeness—and he wants you to be a part of it. Isn’t this amazing? God has not only saved us; He has invited us to participate in His master plan of redeeming a people for His glory. Through the local church we take part in His eternal plan to rescue men and women from their sin and totally transform their lives. This is the mission of the church. It’s our duty, our calling and our privilege.

But as you’ll see in the pages ahead, another powerful dimension is at work when we decide to take our role in the family of God seriously. As we become genuinely involved in the church’s work in the world, we put ourselves in the best possible place to allow God to do His work in us. That’s because the church is the best context—God’s greenhouse, if you will—for us to flourish spiritually. It’s here that God grows us and conforms us to the image of His Son. (And when I say “the church is the best context,” I’m not only talking about what happens in the pew, or prayer room, or anywhere else inside the walls of a worship facility.)

The church community is where we learn to love God and others; where we are strengthened and transformed by truth from the Word; where we’re taught to pray, to worship, and to serve; where we can be most certain that we’re investing our time and abilities for eternity; where we can grow in our roles as friends, sons, daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. The church is earth’s single best place—God’s specially designed place—to start over, to grow and to change for the glory of God.

That’s why I tell people that when they stop dating the church, they’re not just adding another item to the long spiritual to-do list. Instead, they’re finally getting started on experiencing all the other blessings that Jesus promised to His followers as the fruits of the truly abundant life.

Why Should You Keep Reading?

In the rest of this book, we’ll look at how God views the church and how seeing the church from His perspective can transform our attitude. We’ll narrow our view to look at “the church down the street”—what keeps us from really committing to it, and what we can do about that. We’ll also examine the lifestyle changes that take place when we make the church a priority, as well as the tangible benefits this change brings. And we’ll talk about what to look for in a local church when you’re ready to commit.

For some, I know, just the idea of committing (or recommitting) to a church stirs up unpleasant feelings and memories. You may think you’re doing just fine on your own. Or you may have had a bad experience at church in the past. Perhaps you’ve seen a church torn apart by greed, arrogance, or lack of moral integrity. And talk of commitment makes you balk or want to run. You don’t want to give your heart and have it broken again.

If this is where my book finds you, I understand your feelings...and I hope you’ll keep reading! My prayer is that in the pages ahead you’ll dare to dream again of what your place in the community of faith was meant to be. And more than dream, that you’ll believe that God’s loving, unchanging purpose for you is stronger than anyone else’s sin.

I’ll admit, the prospect of falling head over heels in love can feel very risky. But God is calling us to just that kind of wholehearted and deeply involved experience with His church. He feels this kind of passion.

And I’m not exaggerating. Because, as you’re going to see in the next chapter, Jesus still calls us His bride.

This Blog is an excerpt from Stop Dating the Church—Fall in Love With the Family of God by Joshua Harris.

To Purchase the Book click HERE!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Radical Missionary

On Friday, March 18, two of our Associate pastors will be flying to Cardiff, Wales. U.K. We are asking all the friends of New Life to keep them in your prayers, for safety and that The Lord will direct their paths & plans… Jason Evans and Andy Patton are going on a 5 day exploratory visit to the place of our Senior Pastor’s Birth… Wales, a nation that in times past has seen some of the greatest moving of God’s Spirit among mere mortals.. (Search “Welsh Revival” It is believed that at least 100,000 people became Christians during the 1904–1905 revival)….

Today, unfortunately the nation of wales is in a deep spiritual decline…

Church Attendance in Wales Slumps….

We are “unsure” of the “What” we can do, but for several months have felt a stirring to “Do” something to reach the younger generation of this land… with that in mind we are planning on meeting with several local small churches to see if there would be a possibility of NL doing a summer “Outreach Missions” trip either this year or in the summer of 2012. They will also meet with the “First” Assembly of God Missionary to Wales… Bruce Page.

We are really in the early stages of development & planning with regard to Wales but earnestly covet your Prayer... It is Exciting to “Anticipate” WHAT God will Do!

We have always been a “Missions” Church… and we want to Thank-You again for being a part of Praying & “Giving” to the cause of Lost Souls through your Monthly Faith Promise to Missions & Outreach her at NL through this program we are able to support 40+ Missionaries on a monthly basis, all around the Globe…… (If You are not yet a part of that program, see Pastor Jason or Patty Papp in church, or call the office)

Did you know that YOU can “BE” a Missionary?

Take a survey of who you work with, live with, and I am sure you will discover you are living in a land of Lost-Souls….

Who will Love them… Who will Tell them…?

Who Me? Yes YOU can “Be The Church” You Can “Be The Change”

It is Amazing what God can do with Willingness…not ability just availability…

Check out this story of a young 21 year old who made himself “Radically Available” to God’s Plan & Purpose… You and I may never travel to foreign soil, we may not speak to thousands, but we can share with “One” the water that Christ has poured out into our lives…

Can you find “One” to share with this week?

Radical Missionary….

In September 1853, a little three-masted clipper ship slipped quietly out of Liverpool harbor with Hudson Taylor, wild-eyed 21-year-old missionary, aboard. He was headed for a country that was just coming into the Christian West's consciousness; only a few dozen missionaries were stationed there. By the time Taylor died a half-century later, however, China was viewed as the most fertile and challenging of mission fields as thousands volunteered annually to serve there.

Taylor’s parents were a Methodist couple fascinated with the Far East who had prayed for their newborn, "Grant that he may work for you in China." As a teenage Hudson experienced a spiritual birth during an intense time of prayer. He spent the next years in frantic preparation, learning the rudiments of medicine, studying Mandarin, and immersing himself ever deeper into the Bible and prayer.

Upon his arrival in Shanghai Taylor made a radical decision (at least for Protestant missionaries of the day): he decided to dress in Chinese clothes and grow a pigtail (as Chinese men did). His fellow Protestants were either skeptical or critical. (What Would you be willing to “Change” to Reach People?)

Taylor was not happy with most missionaries he saw: he believed they were "worldly" and spent too much time with English businessmen and diplomats who needed their services as translators. He wanted the Christian faith taken to the interior of China. So within months of arriving, he and Joseph Edkins set off for the interior sailing down the Huangpu River distributing Chinese Bibles and tracts.

When the Chinese Evangelization Society, which had sponsored Taylor, proved incapable of paying its missionaries in 1857, Taylor resigned and became an independent missionary; trusting God to meet his needs. The same year, he married Maria Dyer, daughter of missionaries stationed in China. He continued to pour himself into his work, and his small church in Ningpo grew to 21 members. But by 1861, he became seriously ill and was forced to return to England to recover.

In England, the restless Taylor continued translating the Bible into Chinese (a work he'd begun in China), studied to become a midwife, and recruited more missionaries. Troubled that people in England seemed to have little interest in China, he wrote, "Can all the Christians in England sit still with folded arms while these multitudes [in China] are perishing—perishing for lack of knowledge—for lack of that knowledge which England possesses so richly?"

Convinced a special organization was needed to evangelize the interior of China, he made plans to recruit 24 missionaries: two for each of the 11 unreached inland provinces and two for Mongolia. It was a radical visionary plan that would increase the number of China missionaries by 25 percent.

Taylor himself was wracked with doubt: he worried about sending men and women unprotected into the interior; at the same time, he despaired for the millions who were dying without the hope of the gospel. In 1865 he wrote in his diary, "For two or three months, intense conflict … Thought I should lose my mind." When visiting a friend on south coast of England and while walking along the beach Taylor's gloom lifted: "There the Lord conquered my unbelief, and I surrendered myself to God for this service. I told him that all responsibility as to the issues and consequences must rest with him; that as his servant it was mine to obey and to follow him."

This was the birth of the China Inland Mission (CIM) which pioneered a number of distinctive features: its missionaries would have no guaranteed salaries nor could they appeal for funds; they would simply trust God to supply their needs; its missionaries would adopt Chinese dress and press the gospel into the China interior.

Within a year, Taylor, his wife and four children, and 16 young missionaries sailed from London to join five others already in China working under Taylor's direction.

Taylor continued to make enormous demands upon himself (he saw more than 200 patients daily) and on CIM missionaries, some of whom balked and had to be dismissed. Some CIM missionaries, in the wake of this and other controversies, left to join other missions, but in 1876, with 52 missionaries, CIM constituted one-fifth of the missionary force in China.

Because of their continuing vast need, Taylor instituted another radical policy: he sent unmarried women into the interior, a move criticized by many veterans. In 1881, he asked God for another 70 missionaries by the close of 1884: he got 76. In late 1886, Taylor prayed for another 100 within a year: by November 1887, he announced 102 candidates had been accepted for service.

His leadership style and high ideals created enormous strains between the London and China councils of the CIM. Taylor felt he was only doing what he thought was best for the work, and then demanded more commitment from others. He wrote, "China is not to be won for Christ by quiet, ease-loving men and women. The stamp of men and women we need is such as will put Jesus, China, [and] souls first and foremost in everything and at every time—even life itself must be secondary."

Taylor's grueling pace, both in China and abroad (to England, the United States, and Canada on speaking engagements and to recruit), was carried on despite poor health and bouts with depression. In 1900 he had complete physical and mental breakdown. His passion for his ministry placed a high cost on his family as well: his wife Maria died at age 33, and four of eight of their children died before they reached the age of 10. (He eventually married Jennie Faulding, a CIM missionary.)

Between his work ethic and his absolute trust in God, he inspired thousands to forsake the comforts of the West to bring the Christian message to the vast and unknown interior of China. Though mission work in China was interrupted by the communist takeover in 1949, the CIM continues to this day under the name Overseas Missionary Fellowship.

Keep “Being The Great Church You Are”…

Keep Us in your Prayers

Leave your “Missionary” event; story as feedback…

See You In Church!

Mark & Deb

Want “More”

Click on… The Whole World….

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


"If you really love someone, you shouldn't have to work at it."

Loving feelings should come naturally in a relationship, so if you have to work at it, something's wrong…….

True or False?


The truth is exactly the opposite:

If you truly love someone, you will work very hard for the relationship.

There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results….

Rock or Sand….

Jesus spoke of a house that was built on sand and shaken by storms, while another house was built on rock and remained unmoved. It is always surprising to see how many people build their marriages on the sand of feelings instead of the rock of commitment. But I truly believe that committed couples are able, with God's help, to thrive even through the inevitable storms of Love, Life & Marriage.

Over a five-year period, one woman shared with a close friend via me e-mails about her struggles with her marriage. She went from daily messages that read, "I can't take this anymore!" to e-mails saying, "He is such a gift to me."

What accounted for the change?

Her Determination……

She now says, "A successful marriage has little to do with circumstances and a lot to do with determination — try taking the word divorce out of your vocabulary and replacing it with commitment."

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.

What is Commitment?

Responsibility; something that takes up time or energy, especially an obligation; Loyalty; devotion or dedication, e.g. to a cause, person, or relationship…

Commitment is a decision to have the abundant marriage God desires, regardless of circumstances or whether you think your spouse is doing his or her part.

Commitment turns a promise into reality with words that speak boldly of your intentions and actions that speak louder than words…..

This Kind of Commitment includes:

•Realizing That Marriage Is An Unbreakable Covenant Before God. At weddings, Atlanta minister Barry Grecu explains that ancient Hebrew culture understood a covenant not as a contract, which could be broken, but as a binding, permanent agreement — just like the covenant God makes with us.

•Choosing To "Do It Until You Feel It." We often let our feelings guide our actions, but we are actually built for the opposite. Our Creator has designed us so that when we love another person with our actions, our feelings inevitably follow.

•Focusing On The Good In Our Spouse And The Sin In Ourselves — Instead Of The Other Way Around. If you're dissatisfied with your marriage, try this challenge: For the next 30 days, don't say anything negative about your spouse — neither to him or her nor to someone else. Every day, find something you appreciate about your spouse, and verbalize it. This marital application of Philippians 4:8 (which instructs us to focus on whatever is praiseworthy) has the power to transform a marriage. When we examine and work to change ourselves, we often bring out the best in our spouse as well.

•Engaging In Christian Community, Prayer And Discipleship — Especially When You Don't Want To. These three aspects of the Christian life help sustain every believer, but they are particularly essential for those going through a difficult season.

•Relying On God To Help You Act Selflessly Toward Your Spouse. As Grecu puts it, "We are incapable of living out our covenant promises in our own human strength. Jesus says, 'Apart from Me you can do nothing' and calls us to engage with the Spirit of God being lived out through us."

Is Commitment Possible?

The often-cited statistic that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce — even among churchgoers — can make commitment seem fruitless. But that statistic is misleading. Dozens of studies distinguish between couples who claim a nominal faith and those who prioritize church attendance. Couples who have a strong commitment to faith and attend church regularly are far more likely to have lifelong relationships.

One recent study in particular shows that those who go to church and pray together have a much lower divorce rate. The University of Virginia's Brad Wilcox found that regular church attendance cuts the likelihood of divorce by 30 percent to 35 percent. Wilcox's work is supported by another study by Annette Mahoney of Bowling Green State University, which independently came to a similar conclusion.

While that rate is still unfortunately high, when you add prayer into the mix, thoughts of divorce plummet. A 1998 survey by the Georgia Family Council found that among couples who prayed together weekly, only 7 percent had seriously considered divorce, compared to 65 percent of those who never prayed together.

The abundant marriage that God has designed for us is not only possible but also likely, and the journey there starts with one word — commitment.

Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the "right stuff" to turn our dreams into reality…….

At New Life we are “Committed” to helping couples find the Love & Purpose God intended for them…

Deb & I are Praying for your Marriage….. Pray for us!!

Sign up for our NEXT

“The Art of Marriage” seminar Friday March 25th & Saturday 26th

Call to Register (203)-261-2728 …. Registration Fee: $50.00

Check out the “Application” Tool: Strengthening Commitment…

Leave a Comment Below!! Would love to hear from some of you that attended our last “Art of Marriage” weekend…