Have you ever felt something is not quite right but don't know why? Are you tired all day but have trouble sleeping at night? Did you have a hard time losing the extra weight?
Come and find the answers to your health issues, and the key to unleash the healing power within you. This might be exactly what you are looking for!
WHEN: DEC 1st @ 2pm
WHERE: 15 Chatfield Circle, Westford
Yesterday we announced that the Jarrett family has decided to capitalize on a wonderful opportunity they have to do God’s work in beautiful downtown Ashville, NC. This was not an easy decision and the Jarretts have struggled in making this choice for almost a year. But after more than 10 years of serving the good people of NewSong, God is now leading this wonderful family to serve His needs in a new community.
Beginning January 1st, the Jarretts will be serving the Churches of God’s Eastern Regional Churches by planting new churches throughout the southeastern states of North and South Carolina, as well as Tennessee. They will be joining a launch team, called the “Orchard”, with the goal of planting eight new churches over the next two years. Travis will serve as the region’s Executive Teaching Pastor and Becky will serve as Family Ministry Pastor.
Though it’s with a heavy heart that we bid the Jarretts farewell, we have to realize what a great opportunity this is for this family and how impacting their work will be for their new community.
The Jarretts will continue to serve NewSong until the year’s end, and your Admin Council is working aggressively to put an interim pastoral team in place immediately. We should have announcements along these lines after Thanksgiving. NewSong is blessed with so many talented and devoted people already in place so the transition should be smooth.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
-- Andre Gide (French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947)
Change is always scary but growth is best realized when we break away from our comfort zones. I hope you’ll pray for both the Jarretts in their new venture and our wonderful community church as we move forward. May we all be basking in God’s guiding light.
Last Sunday we continued our teaching series through Jesus' parables, exploring the "secret" truths of the Gospel and
the Kingdom of God.
:: The Kingdom is Like a Mustard Seed // Matthew 13:31-32
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
Last Sunday, NewSong teacher John Peatfield preached from the Parable of the Vine and Parable of the Mustard Seed to describe and define Kingdom-driven community.
John reminded us first that, "The Church exists for those that are not yet part of it."
- We must be constantly inclusive
- To be missional = being invitational
John also reminded us of the words of Jesus: "a tree is known by the fruit it produces.
Are you "on mission" with Jesus and are you producing results that prove it?
In the message from Sunday, we defined a "next steps" process for living in Kingdom-minded community. Click here to listen to the message and learn more about staying connected and producing results.
It's the morning after the Presidential election and already social media is buzzing with the posts, tweets and blogs of disappointed - and often openly angry - Christians. There are some insisting they're moving to Canada, others who are already gearing up for a 2016 election campaign, and still others calling down God's wrath and judgment on our nation. Some are just glad it's all over - "Citizens, you may now resume your lives."I would say that for NewSong, it's "go" time - not in a political sense, necessarily, but certainly in a spiritual and Kingdom-minded way. Why? Because our mission isn't finished and our job description hasn't changed. Today - like every day - is a day full of opportunity and expectation to live the Gospel and invite others into the Kingdom of God.
That is our mission whether your guy just won or just lost last night. It hasn't changed. I'm including an excellent post from Ed Stetzer (President, Lifeway Research) from his blog
:: The People Have Spoken - What Should Christians Do Now?
The presidential election is over, and I am sure many, like the little girl who cried "no more Bronco Bamma or Mitt Romney,"
are breathing a sigh of relief that the season of contention and the barrage of political ads are over for now. Still, we are left to move on as we begin a second term for the 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama, and it is time for us to consider what that means from this point forward.
Once the election was "called," I prayed for the President again. I asked God to guide him and give him wisdom as I will continue to do for the next four years.As I said in the Tennessean
, I don't endorse specific candidates publicly. As a matter of fact, I gave both campaigns the opportunity to answer questions (see here
) so that we could be well informed as we went into the voting booths. However, it is no secret that the candidate who was supported by 57% of Protestant pastors did not prevail
. Furthermore, it is no secret that most evangelicals did not support President Obama
. So, there is a lot of disappointment among many Christians.
So it is appropriate for us to ask the question, "What now?" Well, here are some observations and suggestions:
So let's all slow down, take a deep breath, and do the same thing we did yesterday--preach the Gospel, love people, and engage in God's mission.
- We must face the reality that we may be on the losing side of the culture war. For decades, the "religious right" has focused its energies on winning the day through political means. But this year, voters in more than one state appear to have clearly passed referenda supporting gay marriage. This marks the first time for any state to legalize same-sex marriage by the expressed will of the people rather than through court rulings or legislation. While this certainly does not mean we should stop legal or political efforts completely, it does mean that we should begin thinking about what it looks like to be the church in a "post-culture war" era. We need to be prepared to defend the protection of religious liberty as we move into the future.
- The fight for the unborn continues. This year one of the major political parties, at their national convention, actually celebrated the right to abortion. This is a shift from the posture in years past, when at the very least it was seen as something that we hoped to keep to a minimum. (I mentioned that constant cheering for abortion rights at the DNC.) In fact, that same party actually removed the language from their platform that referred to keeping abortions "safe, legal, and rare." Rod Snyder, of Young Democrats of America, said in our interview that President Obama does believe that we should work to reduce the number of abortions, but still, this development in the party that has secured the highest office in the land is cause for grave concern and even grief. We need to continue to fight for life through education, advocacy, ministering to women, and promoting orphan care in our churches. President Obama, I am ready to partner with you on the part where we start reducing abortions.
- The "Mormon Moment" is not something to be dismissed and forgotten just because the election is over. In recent days, much discussion has centered around how we should view Mormonism. I have made the case that while it does qualify as a cult in the theological sense, I do not think that we should use that language in general. Many people jumped to the conclusion that I was saying this for political reasons, in order to elect Governor Romney. However, this has been my position for some time, and it continues to be my position after the votes have been counted. This election has brought Mormonism to the forefront of people's minds, and we should not forget our responsibility to reach out to our friends and neighbors for Christ. Just because the conversations die down doesn't mean that the mission goes away.
- We must remain respectful and law-abiding citizens, regardless of this outcome. We exercised a tremendous right, perhaps the greatest privilege that we have as Americans. Over 200 years ago, a group of very brave men stood up against "taxation without representation" and fought to develop a nation in which its citizens could have a voice. We only need to look at pictures in recent years of brave men and women in countries like Iraq, dipping their fingers into purple ink and showing their happiness and pride over the right to cast their vote. We have that privilege. We exercised it this year. We will exercise it again. Regardless of the outcome, that is a great privilege and shouldn't be taken for granted. We now need to go back to our homes, our schools, and our places of work and be respectful and gracious to others who have also used their voice.
- For those of us who believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, nothing has changed. The Gospel is still real, and we still serve a God who has declared victory over sin and death. Anything that we do through political means is not to hold back the darkness lest it will overtake us. Rather, the charge to the church is to advance a kingdom that has already prevailed. Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, our King is still sitting on His throne.
Thanks to Amy Whitfield for helping put this post together.
Last Sunday we continued our teaching series through Jesus' parables, exploring the "secret" truths of the Gospel and
the Kingdom of God.
:: The Unforgiving Servant // Matthew 18:21-35
“The Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold - along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned - to pay the debt. “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.”
A few essential truths are made evident by Jesus here:
- First, we see WISDOM at work - “The borrower is slave to the lender.” [Prov. 22:7]
- Second, we see HUMAN NATURE at work as well - our hope that we can fix our own problem. “I will pay it all” is an impossible promise that we attempt to apply in both our spiritual & regular life.
- So Jesus then gives us a GOSPEL TRUTH: We can not repay the debt on our own.
- Jesus reminds us of the RELENTLESS LOVE OF GOD: The King's mercy went beyond the actual request; instead of more time to attempt the impossible, the impossible was accomplished for the servant - a full pardon from debt.
- I'm inclined to believe that the man leaves free, grateful & thankful, expressive & emotional, but evidently he fails in this KINGDOM REALITY: simply responding to an act of God is not the full expression of worship.
Here's the proof:
“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
The heart of this parable is not simply "Forgiveness vs. Unforgiveness" - at the core of the parable is the tension created by the ongoing battle between "My Kingdom" (my human nature)
and God's Kingdom.
This is about my lustful desires...
my need for vengeance...
my joy in causing pain...
my inability to forgive...
My human nature... in light of God's Kingdom, God's reality.The parable hangs on the king’s last words: “Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?”
- The king is asking not just for a servant to forgive a debtor - he's looking for a conversion of heart
- Since the king is an allusion of God, the appeal is to become like God, to live with the heart of God
Through the parables, Jesus is continually inviting us to step away from our reality and into God's reality.
The reality of God's Kingdom always demand we go against our human nature in order to prove our submission and loyalty to Him as King. It’s God’s purpose to conform us to the image of His Son and that means we must change, we must be transformed.What are some “God-realities” in your life that demand you go against your nature?Where is God asking you to conform to His Kingdom instead of continuing life in yours?
In the message from Sunday, we defined a "next steps" process for life-change.Click here to listen to the message and learn more about CHOOSING and ALIGNING.
Have you ever had questions about the Bible, but were afraid to ask? We're here to help -- below are some questions that came in from our teaching series "No Fear in Love" a 13-week journey through the letter of 1 John.
Pastors Travis Jarrett & Mark Schory took some time to answer these questions last Sunday in our latest "Ask Anything - Live!" service. Click here to listen to their answers to your questions.
1. [1:1-4] - What would John say to someone who believes the historical Jesus is not Christ?
2. Should I have friends who aren’t Christians?
3. What would John say about hybrid religions (Christianity+“X”)?
4. What would John say to someone who thinks the supernatural/spiritual world isn’t involved with the natural/physical world? [Eph. 6:12 “Not against flesh & blood”]
5. [1:6-7] - I have a hard time loving God – what can I do about that?
6. What happens if I don’t spend time with God?
7. I struggle with doubt in my faith – what can I do about that?
8. [5:13] - What would John say about eternal security? How do I know I have eternal life?
1. [1:8-10] - Can a person with a persistent/compulsives in (gossip, alcoholism, pride, lust) still be a Christian if they confess their sin? What if they repeat it again & again?
2. [Eph. 1:6-8] - Why do we need to confess our sins if they have already been forgiven? [Positional vs. Relational forgiveness]
3. [Matt. 18:15-20] What should a church do if a member sins? [1 Cor. 5:1-13 / 2 Cor. 2:5-11]
4. [2:19] - What would John say to people who leave churches, denominations, or Christianity? [1 Cor. 5:9-13]
1. [4:8, 20-21, 5:1] - What does it mean to “hate your brother?”
2. [3:14-15] - What if I don’t hate a person, but don’t love them either?
3. [3:17, 4:19] - Am I responsible to help if someone brings their problems on themselves?
4. [3:22-23] - Will God answer my prayers if I don’t obey/follow him? What if I am obeying him and he still doesn’t answer?
5. [5:16] – Are there some people we shouldn’t pray for?
This is a picture of the first pumpkin to come out of my garden this year; actually, it's the first pumpkin I've ever grown, period. I'm sorta proud of it... but I could've been happier with my results. Why?
Because I'm a rookie at the whole gardening thing, and so I ran into a problem that most amateurs will encounter at some point: ignorance.
Basically, that pumpkin is as big'n'orange as it's ever going to get - and while it's not bad, it's not going to meet the standard for a full-grown pumpkin. See, what I didn't know (until my neighbor pointed it out) is that there is a moth that loves to lay its eggs in the vine of the pumpkin. Once they hatch, the larvae continue to live in the vine, eating away at it and boring holes in the vine walls until, inevitably, the vine collapses and any growing fruit fall off. But watching the pumpkin alone, the results would be telling me that everything is a-ok when in reality, it's a dying vine and nothing more will ever grow on it.In 1 John 4, the Apostle gives us a similar scenario when it comes to our faith. He reminds us that fear is the enemy of faith; fear will eat away at the walls of our faith, boring holes until our faith collapses and the works of our faith die away.LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE ONLINE
Let's be clear: fear is a natural reaction to what we perceive as a threat against our well-being, and in the right context, fear can be healthy - it could be the correct response for protecting oneself or someone else from danger. But groundless fear produces needless worry - that is harmful, not healthy - and more often than not, our energy gets put into living in fear. It might be a fear of sin. Maybe of failure. Maybe we're just afraid to live life itself (don't worry, if that's you join us next week - we’ll be dealing with these areas!)[Prov. 24:16] “Though a righteous man falls seven times, he gets back up again.”
What does that mean? It means that fear can't keep us down! If we are part of God's kingdom, then we have the ability to overcome fear. This is important to remember: Faith is the spiritual force that drives God’s Kingdom; fear is the spiritual force of Satan’s kingdom. We are saved, healed, changed, equipped, fulfilled -- all by faith. Which means that for our faith to be strong, we have to deal with the fears that would attempt to bore in and undermine that faith. That's why John makes this powerful statement:"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." [1 John 4:18]So how do we find this "perfect love" in our lives?
The Apostle John reminds us of three important factors when it comes to matters of God's love at work in our faith:1. PERFECT LOVE IS SUPPLIED BY GOD AND GOSPEL FOCUSED
[I John 4:7-11]
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
2. PERFECT LOVE IS EMPOWERED BY GOD AND MISSION PURPOSED
[1 John 4:12-16]
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
3. PERFECT LOVE IS PROMISED BY GOD AND KINGDOM MINDED
[1 John 4:17-18]
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
This Sunday we'll be looking at the Apostle John's warning against false teachers and teaching -- so here's seven questions you can ask to help you discern whether what you're hearing lines up with God's Word:
(1) How does the teaching affect my relationship with God? Is He magnified and glorified, or diminished?
(2) How does the teaching affect my attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ? Does it magnify Him and give Him first place? Or, does it subtly shift my focus onto myself or some experience?
(3) How does the teaching affect my attitude toward Scripture? Did the teaching come from and agree with the Word? Does it increase my love for the Word?
(4) How does the teaching affect my self-life? Does it feed self or crucify it? Does it feed pride or humility?
(5) How does the teaching affect my relationships to other Christians? Does it cause me to withdraw, find fault, and exalt myself in superiority? Or, does it lead me to genuine love for all that truly know Christ?
(6) How does the teaching affect my relationship to the world system? Does it lead me to pursue the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life? Does it lead me to pursue worldly riches, reputation, and pleasures? Or, does it crucify the world to me?
(7) How does the teaching affect my attitude toward sin? Does it cause me to tolerate sin in my life or to turn from it and grow in holiness? Any teaching that makes holiness more acceptable and sin more intolerable is genuine.
Hey everyone! Hope you're all having a great weekend! The slow internet connection has kept me from posting the last few days, but I promise to have more pictures and video uploaded shortly!
In the meantime, here are a few pictures of a quick outing we took around downtown Kharkov - enjoy!Click here to view the album
Hey friends and family! It's the end of Saturday and we have just returned from an adventure out to Kachalovka, a small village about 1.5 hours outside of Kharkov. We left at 7:30am to get on the road, first heading to Good News Church to meet up with one of their kid's ministry outreach teams (which, of course, also meant fitting 13 people into our 9-passenger van), and then out of the city toward the village.
Once there, we were met by the mayor of the village and surrounding communities who treated us to potatoes, salad, raspberries, and fresh compot before opening up the town hall and letting the setup and minstry team inside. I was on the setup crew and took care of video recording, while the Scherban girls were in charge of music and games and Becky led the teaching. Caelyn and Amelia were attached to Revecca and Victoria, taking part every way they could.
Following the day's service, we headed over to Pastor Vitaly Falay's house outside the city and had dinner in his "kitchen in the yard." Here's a video of the days events, enjoy!