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  • Mar17Thu

    Christianity and Culture Sift: Part 1

    March 17, 2016
    Filed Under:
    Pastor Douglas's Posts
    Read On Blogger
    In the current climate of the surrounding culture, we live in a Western society (America and Europe), many would characterize the environment is now post-Christian. The church,Christians of all denominations, traditions, and backgrounds are in the midst of an ongoing cultural paradigm shift and a great struggle identity and relevance. The current president, Barack Obama, in June of 2006 emphasized the pluralist formulation of the culture, he said, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation - at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.” Many have jumped onto the notion he is attempting to dilute the Christian heritage of America.Maybe this is true or maybe not. At best it is a matter of opinion. Either way, I am neither defending nor opposing his statement here. What his statement does do for this dialogue gives it a call towards reflection about Christianity’s relationship with and in American Society and the World.
  • Feb11Thu

    Becoming Better Neighbors

    February 11, 2016
    Filed Under:
    Pastor Carlene's Posts, Our Story

    At New Vision Fellowship we are exploring what it means to be Good Neighbors.  The core of this exploration is to become more and more like Christ, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, so that we reflect Jesus in our everyday lives through our actions, through our choices, through the way we use our resources and time, and through the way we treat others.  In order to reflect Jesus fairly to the world, we must practice the same kind of humility as Christ; a self-sacrificial humility.  We often consider the opposite of humility as pride, but Jesus didn’t come to earth and live among us in humility to save us from pride.  Jesus came in humility to save us from judgment.  In this case, it is not pride that is the opposite of humility; rather it is judgment that is the opposite of humility.

    It is when we are sitting on the seat of judgment that we are the least like Christ.  It is when we give up the idea that we somehow sit above others or through our actions and words consider ourselves better than, that we are becoming closer to the person Jesus was and is.  Sometimes our knee-jerk reaction to the suggestion that we think of ourselves as better than others, or simply put that we are judgmental, is defensiveness and a lot of examples of ways we are not judging.  However, a part of the way we process and make decisions about things every day is through judgment. Within the first 5-10 seconds of meeting someone we have already made a judgment about that person.  How far this judgment is carried and how much impact it has on our choices and actions is where we need to focus. 

  • Jan12Tue

    Jesus Napped

    January 12, 2016
    Filed Under:
    Pastor Carlene's Posts
    In Christian education and conversation we often talk about how human Jesus was when he became a man and lived in our world. We realize that he was never devoid of his divinity, yet he was fully human and felt everything we feel, struggled with human issues, and had to make choices between good and bad. It has always been an area that I believed, yet I saw this man navigate his life so perfectly that even though he was human I suspected that his god-ness made him a little more superhuman.

    That was, until I read a very short sentence in the midst of a verse in Luke this week.
  • Dec24Thu

    God So Loved

    December 24, 2015
    Filed Under:
    Pastor Carlene's Posts
    We celebrate this season of Christmas and can sometimes be distracted and forget to focus on what is important. Let’s not forget that Christmas is about giving – God giving his Son to bring us life. Christmas is about hope, preparation, joy – and most importantly LOVE!
  • Our church’s partnership with Saint Child has resulted in us taking a step into the world of human trafficking. We knew when we began volunteering at Saint Child one year ago that we would be serving at a safe house for young moms and their babies. We also knew that the time these moms and babies spent at Saint Child would help them to transform their lives of dysfunction into lives that would give their kids a better chance at health and success. What we didn’t know at the time was that 85-90% of the young women who live at Saint Child come out of a life of human trafficking. As a result of our service and ministry at Saint Child, we have come to realize that the crime and tragedy of human trafficking is a world that God has called us to reach into and one we know very little about.

    Pastor Carlene writes with discretion, but when reading further please be aware this is a * MATURE SUBJECT *

  • Oct22Thu

    Being Active With Purpose

    October 22, 2015
    Filed Under:
    Pastor Carlene's Posts, Our Story
    The decision to partner more specifically with two groups coincided to God’s call this fall on New Vision Fellowship to go deeper in our faith.  As we collectively agreed to grow, I expected this to be an individual experience that would make a difference in the whole of the church body.  However, the deeper growth is also becoming evident in the Actions to which God has called us. 
  • Sep24Thu

    Growth? Growth?! Oh, Growth!

    September 24, 2015
    Filed Under:
    Pastor Carlene's Posts
    Not one of us who is a follower of Christ look like we did when we became a believer. A transformation takes place from the inside out and we are forever changed. No growing church body looks the same over time, unless it stagnates, because just as individuals are living beings, the church is alive as the Body of Christ. The question that has been raised recently is by what do we measure growth?
  • Sep15Tue

    Blossoming

    September 15, 2015
    Filed Under:
    Pastor Carlene's Posts
    I read a book recently called "Carry on Warrior" by Glennon Doyle Melton in which she includes a quote by Anais Nin that says, "And the day came when the risk to remain tight as a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

    My own heart is so hopeful, hopeful that those whom I shepherd will decide to blossom.  God has called the...
  • Sep3Thu

    Theology is Important

    September 3, 2015
    Filed Under:
    Pastor Douglas's Posts
    Read This Post on Blogger

    Theology is important. 
    It is central to our faith as followers of Jesus, the Anointed One. Our theology forms our worldview at all levels or at least it should. So, our first question in asking or developing what Jesus’ Theology is “What is Theology.”
  • Aug20Thu

    Unpacking A Busy Life

    August 20, 2015
    Filed Under:
    Pastor Carlene's Posts
    In January, God led our church and those in it to find focus words for the year. The main focus that I chose for this year is self-care. As the months passed, I never forgot my focus word, especially since I have it inscribed on a small stone that sits on my kitchen counter. But, as I became busier and busier, I found myself rationalizing that I would implement self-care when I had time...