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Tag Archives: family

Succession and New Beginnings

The center of Christianity is endings and new beginnings, death and resurrection, leaving and launching into new unknowns. I have written and preached it. Now I am living it in a new way. Tonight is the Celebration of our 26 years at New Life Fellowship Church. This Sunday I preach my final message as Senior Pastor on “Lessons Learned in 26 Years at NLF.” I then officially transition to a new role within New Life under the new leadership (i.e. Rich Villodas and the Elder Board) on October 6th. I am continually asked by leaders around the country: “Really, Pete, how are you?” My answer: “I am thrilled and excited beyond words. I could never have imagined such a gift. Yes. I have some normal apprehensions, but this has been one of the highlights of my life. I would recommend it to every senior pastor!” This is the culmination of a 4½ year succession process.. Read more.

Perfectionism: The Great Killer of Joy

Last Saturday was the wedding of one of my four daughters on a farm in upstate New York. The music, the dancing, the great celebration with family and friends left me breathless. It was one of the most fabulous days of my life. The wedding was also flawed.  Despite 10 months of planning, a great deal of money, and lots of work, the wedding was not perfect. Think about it: All vacations are imperfect. The best church is very imperfect. Every one of our children is imperfect. Our parenting is imperfect. The best employee is imperfect. The best leader whom we idealize is imperfect. The most perfect physical body is imperfect. The most wonderful spouse is imperfect. The greatest love making is imperfect. Do the best you can and let it go. If the whole world were given you, you would still say, “It is too little.” Why? You were made for a perfect. Read more.

The Central Park Five

A co-laborer at New Life recently encouraged me to watch The Central Park Five. It is the story of five teenagers – four blacks and one Hispanic, ages 14 to 16, who were arrested and charged with raping and beating, nearly to death, a 28 year old, white woman after dark in Central Park. The boys were portrayed as  “beasts,” and “wild animals” with no remorse for their actions. Donald Trump placed full-page ads calling for the return of the death penalty. They spent the next 7-13 years of their lives in prison. Their lives and families were ruined. The problem: They were innocent. The murderer who committed the crime finally admitted it in 2002. This documentary is important to watch for many reasons. Here are my top three: 1. Social class and racial divisions remain a deep reality. The Central Park Five gives us an amazing portrayal of the injustice that befalls so. Read more.

Sex and the Salvation of the World

As goes the sexual embrace of a husband and wife, so goes the marriage.                             (As goes the sexuality of a single person, so goes their close relationships). As goes the marriage, so goes the family. As goes the family, so goes the church. As goes the church, so goes the community. As goes the community, so goes the city. As goes the city, so goes the world.

I Quit – My New Year's Resolution

  Geri spent fourteen years pondering the eight I Quits. Then we spent almost two years writing the book, excavating the biblical foundations and complexity of the material. We spent quite a bit of time reflecting on our journeys with these truths, looking at how they have become so intricately interwoven with our walks with Christ. This past week (Jan. 9, 2011) we began an 8 week sermon series at New Life to expand on these truths.We see I Quit as only an introduction to something much larger and far-reaching  — on all levels (for leaders, pastors, communities,parents, singles, marriages, etc). They are essential if we are going to truly lead our churches to become life-transforming communities for Christ. The problem is so vast that there is no other way. Enjoy this recently published article from the Washington Post.   “I quit!” I told my husband. “I’m leaving our church. This no longer brings me life. It brings me death.”. Read more.