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Tag Archives: Waiting

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.

Doing as an Expression of Being (Pilgrimage Reflection #8)

“He who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left” Chinese proverb. Geri and I now depart with respect (for our partners The Willow Creek Association New Zealand and Australia, and Eagles Communications in Singapore, along with New Life Fellowship Church out of which EHS flows), with affection (for the many wonderful people we have met), and with gratitude (for the people who worked hard to serve EHS in this part of the world). I think we are finally getting it that EHS offers a powerful message of deep, beneath-the-surface spiritual formation that resonates around the world, and not simply in New York City. At the same time, a consistent thread weaved itself through this trip – our doing must flow from our being. In other words, live the message we preach, giving out of the overflow of a full cup. What does that look like when we are traveling?. Read more.

The Delays and “No’s” of God (Pilgrimage Reflection #1)

Due to a tragic plane crash at the airport in San Francisco, our trip to New Zealand was delayed – for one day. We “lost” a valuable day of sightseeing in that beautiful country before we begin a series of Emotionally Healthy Leadership and Marriage seminars. 400 years ago Vincent de Paul said, “(The one) who hurries delays the things of God.” I have delayed many of God’s good plans through my impatience over the years. How interesting that this is God’s first gift to me on this trip. In fact, God has been delaying to my plans for over thirty-five years as a Christ-follower. Whether I was leading our college fellowship, relating to Geri, advising our children about their future, engaging in plans for New Life Fellowship Church, dreaming about new writing projects, or imagining a vacation, He has said “no” to many of my “good” ideas. I remember tonight that I am. Read more.

Our Greatest Longing and "Goal"

Most Christians are more focused on the here-and-now than on the then-and there, i.e., our future life that is anchored in heaven (Heb.6:19). Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1647-1652) and his sculpture of Teresa of Avila. and the angel with the spear, portrays the following episode from her autobiography where she describes her encounter with God. We see in her a picture of our greatest longing: I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could. Read more.

Transition and Succession

The center of Christianity is endings and new beginnings, death and resurrection, leaving and launching into new unknowns. Last Sunday, at our NLF Annual Vision meeting, I took 30 minutes to update our church on my process of transition at New Life Fellowship as I move from being the Senior Pastor (after 26 years) into a new role as a Teaching Pastor and Pastor-at-Large. It has been an awesome experience. I hope this video encourages you to be responsive to God’s invitation, at different seasons of your own life, and to let go as He leads — for the sake of His glory, other people’s development, and yourself.

Not Giving to Others What We Have Received for Ourselves

Recently, three other New Life staff joined me in attending a Spiritual Formation Academy, bringing home with us varied treasures. Among those riches were the following words from Bernard of Clairvaux: “We must not give to others what we have received for ourselves; nor must we keep for ourselves that which we have received to spend on others. You fall into the latter error, if you possess the gift of eloquence or wisdom, and yet—through fear or sloth or false humility—neglect to use the gift for others’ benefit. And on the other hand, you dissipate and lose what is you own, if without right intention and from some wrong motive, you hasten to outpour yourself on others when your own soul is only half-filled.” – Great Devotional Classics: Selections from the Writings of Bernard of Clairvaux, ed. Douglas Steere (The Upper Room, 1961), p.24. I have been meditating on these lines for the past week. It is true: It may sound selfish. Read more.