NEW VISION FELLOWSHIP: Broken People Becoming Whole

Insights From Our Pastors

Brokenness and (True) Righteousness

Jesus chose 12 men to be His disciples. They were the ones into whom He would pour everything He desired to share about God’s kingdom. These men grew into His closest friends. He invited these 12 friends to climb up a mountainside, sit and listen. These friends would be left to carry forth the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16–20), but

Fishers of Men and Women

When God first called me to the position of senior pastor at New Vision, my husband Ted and I had a vacation planned and spent a week camping in the unique canyons at The Cove Palisades in Central Oregon.  During that vacation, God unfolded before me a plan that he had to breathe new life into New Vision. It was an ACTION plan, with the
Transformation, growth, recalibration, transition, change…

Each of these words can conjure up different connotations in our mind, some positive and exciting and others more negative and intimidating. However, without constant development in our lives we will grow stagnant, dissatisfied, and wonder what is missing from life. In John 10:10, Jesus says that he brings us life that is full and satisfying! We stay full by constantly taking in more – more and more of what God has to give us – which leads to a satisfying life.

Being the Church

At New Vision, we have a value of transparency.  Therefore, I shared with the congregation about the urgency for this church body to examine ourselves and make sure that the fruit we are bearing is pure... WE ARE THE CHURCH!  It has absolutely nothing to do with a building.  When one of our family members was in distress, it didn’t even matter in that moment that Satan was working overtime to try to get at our core. When it really matters we move in unity and we are the church of Jesus Christ!  We love, we respond quickly, and we rally because we are all in process together as we grow into the church that Jesus has been very faithfully crafting.

Grasping God's Word

In talking with our service planning team at New Vision about where to head in our teaching for the summer, it made great sense to put together a series that taught people how to study the Bible.  The how-to is often skipped in church with an assumption that somehow it becomes an innate trait when one is a Christian believer. Recognizing this to be a falsehood, we organized a 13-week series on "How to Grasp God's Word." Most pastors, churches, and planning teams approach the summer as a downtime, with the idea that we bring in the stuff that requires work, thought, and some stretching out of our comfort zones when we launch something new in the fall. Well, at New Vision, we don't take the approach of most churches. In fact, God could not be any clearer to us in his directive that we must, without hesitation, follow wherever he leads us - and that is exactly what we do...

Unconditional Love and Forgiveness

At New Vision, God has given us a church body with a strong core group of believers on which he will continue to build his church.  He has given us the ability to understand what it really means to be family.  And, he has given us the ability for our paths to cross with others in need. There are myriad opportunities that God will continue to give us to show love to those who are in need, and we will be tested.  Can God, who has blessed us with much, continue to trust us to show love to those who have need? 

It's Not Really About Me

I had the opportunity to be the main speaker at the Amazing Grace Conference this month. This event is a weekend-long retreat that brings together women from all around the State of Oregon, primarily from Free Methodist churches, but also from various other churches. I got to write and deliver four sermons over 3 days!

Why We Worship

As a church body, we recently participated in a survey that measures quality characteristics that are used by God to build His church.  A main area of focus in this survey was to assess whether we are providing an “inspiring worship service.”  As I’ve examined the idea of “inspiring worship” more closely, I’ve had to ask myself this question: “Who is to be inspired by our worship?”  After giving this some thought and spending time in study, I am able to answer this question.  The one who is to be inspired by our worship is God.

Becoming Better Neighbors

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. 

Jesus Napped

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.