Archive for September, 2007

September 25, 2007

Q&A Interracial Relationships

Q: I just have a question. I go to NewSpring and recently had a frustrating conversation with a co-worker. I believe that interracial relationships, intimate that is, not friends, is wrong. Being raised in the south, I was taught that it is sinful. Personally, I have chosen to stay true to that belief and it does bother me to see that. My co-worker strongly disagreed saying that God made us all different and it doesn’t state that it is wrong anywhere in the Bible. My question is this…….What does our church believe about the issue, and is there a Biblical answer? I would appreciate any thoughts or answers.

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September 23, 2007

Q&A The Parable of the Talents

Here is a great email Question I received about how to intepret parables…

Q: I’ve been doing an in depth study on The Parable of The Talents. God has shown me so much in it….I would like to seek your advice on something though….
It concerns Matt. 25:24-27….What does the servant mean when he says, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting……….. not scattered seed..”? and what does the master mean when he says, “Well then you should have put my money……….. received it back with interest.”? How do these two statements relate to Jesus.?

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September 19, 2007

One more baptism and Jellyfish story

I drove to the beach thursday after work to meet my family who had been on vacation last week. I was so excited to see Suzanne and the kids after being gone from them for a week, but I was really anticipating what was going to happen the next day at the beach.

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September 13, 2007

We all need encouragment

I love care ministry.  The care staff at NewSpring gets to hear and experience how Jesus changes lives every single week.  We have an unbelievable privilege of encouraging people, helping people with their life struggles, and the awesome opportunity to point others to Jesus.  But often, we deal with some heavy situations as well.  Sometimes the ministry gets overwhelming, and there are days where you wonder if what you are doing is helping people in a real way.  I know that God is always completely aware of when we need encouragment and sends it at just the right time.

Several weeks ago, I was having one of those weeks, and I received a letter in the mail that did more than make my day…it made my year.  As I read it, I wept and thanked God for His perfect timing and encouragment.  I have kept it on my desk everyday since then to always remind me of the awesome privilege God has given our care staff to encourage and speak truth to others; and that even when we are not aware of it, God is changing people and drawing them to Himself.

Here is the letter I received…

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September 12, 2007

Cremation Q&A

I have received around a half dozen questions about the subject of cremation over the last several weeks. Since this is a subject that many people are thinking through, I thought I would share one of those emails…

Q: I would like to hear your thoughts about cremation. I was raised that its wrong. But cant find it in the Bible anywhere. I also cant find the
scripture that says ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Could you email me and tell me where it talks about this in the Bible. Thank you.

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September 11, 2007

NewSpring Classes starting soon!

Next Wednesday, September 19th, NewSpring is beginning a new session of fall classes (I can’t wait to teach the premarital class again!). We would love for you to be a part of these with us. Childcare is provided for the classes. If you are interested in signing up for any of these, you can do it online here.

Here are the classes we are offering:

Basic 5 Class

Basic 5 is a five-week class designed to introduce you to Christianity in a way that is interesting, comprehensive, fun and practical. Our desire is to help you have a firm grasp on how we can better live as Christ did. The class is perfect for anyone who has recently become a Christ follower or for those who might have unanswered questions about God, the Bible or the essentials of Christianity.

Date: Begins Wednesday, September 19
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Questions: Email Andrea Martin, Assistant to the Discipleship Pastor, at andrea.martin@newspring.cc

Premarital Class

Are you getting married? NewSpring is teaching a five-week class for seriously dating couples and engaged couples to help them prepare for marriage. During the sessions we will discuss many subjects, including God’s plan and purposes for marriage, marital roles and responsibilities, communication skills and conflict resolution. We will also help you recognize your relational strengths and how they can benefit your marriage, and we’ll teach you how you can work to improve areas where you may need growth.

Date: Begins Wednesday, September 19
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Cost: $25
Questions: Email Lanna Coates, Assistant to the Outreach Pastor, at lanna.coates@newspring.cc

Financial Freedom Class

We all want to have financial freedom, but how do we obtain it? Come and learn how to find freedom once and for all as Joe Sangl, Pastor of Financial Planning and Counseling, teaches how to effectively develop a plan of action in these areas:

* Budgeting-monthly, bi-weekly, weekly and irregular incomes
* Debt Reduction-strategies for eliminating debt
* Investing-how to get started, types of investments, compound interest and how much is needed for retirement
* Insurance-types of insurance and how to get started
* Long-Term Plan-strategies for maintaining your plan

Date: Begins Wednesday, September 19
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Cost: $20
Questions: Please contact Joe Sangl at joe.sangl@newspring.cc

September 9, 2007

Baptism and Tailgating…a great combination!

Last night was incredible.  we saw 562 people stand in the waters of baptism and declare with their mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord.  It was one of the most awesome things I have ever seen.

I also wanted to say thank you to everyone that came out and tailgated with us yesterday (I also wanted to say a special thank you to the Home Groups that gave our staff free food!)  We didn’t even really advertise that we were tailgating yesterday before baptism.  We sent an email to our homegroups and mentioned it quickly from stage last Sunday…and to be honest, I expected about 10 people with grills and a few hotdogs to show up and cook out before we got started.  But I was amazed as people started rolling in at 2:00 (baptism started at 6pm).  By 4:00 our building was surrounded on all 4 sides by people with tents, buses, signs, and grills.  It was a great night!  When we finished tearing down everything at about 10:00, people were still tailgating!  Baptism is a celebration!  And we celebrated last night.  I think we had more people tailgating for baptism than they had at Clemson for the football game yesterday.

We baptized 6 people at a time and it took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to get everyone dunked.   What an incredible night.  The name of Jesus was glorified and we had an amazing celebration of the lives that God has changed in our community!

September 5, 2007

Did 800 People get saved at NewSpring?

There has been a stir in our community and in the minds of many others as a result of NewSpring saying that 800 people received Christ at our church in the month of August. Did God save that many people? Yes He did! And this is only the start of how we are seeing God move in our church. August has been one of the most amazing months of ministry I have ever witnessed or been a part of. But I have to admit that I was brokenhearted to see all of the second guessing, and criticism that a small percentage of people expressed about what God is doing at our church.

We are no stranger to criticism at NewSpring, and have learned through the years that if people criticized Jesus, then they will also criticize a church that is following after Him. Tony wrote a great post about this subject last week.

 

 

So why am I writing this post? I am not writing this as a defense of our ministry. I have no desire or need to defend this church. God will defend what He chooses to defend, that is not my job, it is His. It is evident that God is moving here. We preach the gospel at our church and teach the whole of scripture more than any other church I have ever been a part of. I am not writing this to attack any other church or person. People are entitled to their opinions, even when they are wrong. If you have attacked our Church, I want to tell you one thing…we love you. If you belong to Jesus and teach that Jesus Christ alone is the only way to salvation, then we believe we are on the same team. Here is why I am writing this…

1 Peter 3:15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

There have been questions raised about what our church believes and what we are teaching about salvation. I am glad to give a response to that, and to answer a few other thoughts that have been brought up on this subject. We will always give the reason for the hope that we have in Jesus.

Here are some of the questions and concerns that have been brought up:

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September 3, 2007

A funny thing happened tonight at church

We had an awesome day at NewSpring today. Perry presented one of the clearest presentations on baptism I have ever heard. One of the coolest parts of our services today was the 4 people that we baptized on stage as part of each service. It was so awesome to watch each of them give their testimony for how Jesus has changed them during the Illuminate series. Thank you God for the amazing way you save! After the video testimonies, Dave Nimmons, one of our care pastors, or I got to be a part of each baptism.

After a great day and 4 services, we saw 361 people come down to meet with one of our staff members/care volunteers and sign up for baptism this Saturday!

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