Archive for the ‘trials’ Tag

The Good News Of Restorative Justice!

restorative justice

 In this Gospel message entitled “THE GOOD NEWS OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE!” guest speaker, Mako Nagasawa, Proclaims the GOOD NEWS of The God Revealed in Jesus Christ at New Life Fellowship of Baltimore! Mako proclaims God’s vision for GENEROUS giving and the importance of Jesus giving us A NEW HUMANITY, EMPOWERING US to bring more of His JUSTICE and LOVE into this world!

In this message we understand that:

  • God has a GREAT vision for EVERY kind of relationship including Economic and Political relationships, and involving Historic Injustice. He has been very specific with us, biblically, about what that should look like on the lending and borrowing of money by fostering good banking practices, and opposing bad banking practices!
  • Jesus took OUR HUMANITY to himself and, by His Spirit, shares with us a new humanity that filters out the toxins in us such as fear, jealousy,and grief, enabling us to reach out to the poor in mercy, forgiving others their debts even as we have been forgiven our debts from God our Father.
  • We are called to manifest the LOVE and RELATIONSHIP that exists within the TRIUNE GOD, and extend THAT kind of love to others; that love looks like the Father stirring up in us a deep concern and right way about how to care for each other in our communities and through the difficult times many people have fallen into!

Check out this practically challenging message!


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Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships More And More!, pt.4 (or WHO Baltimore Needs!)


In pt. 4 of this Gospel Series, Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the GOOD NEWS of The God Revealed in Jesus Christ with a new message entitled, “Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships MORE And MORE!” pt.4 (WHO Baltimore needs!).

As you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ learn:

  • How much the current Baltimore troubles and the book of Hebrews in scripture have in common!
  • That the one way forward in the middle of the current passion and protest in Baltimore, MD. is for the body of Christ to BE the Body of Christ!
  • How to think out and share Christ-centered responses to current pressing questions such as: What does Baltimore need? and Who does Baltimore need? and Where is God in all of this?
  • the importance of remembering that behind every law and system is the person or persons who created or promotes those laws or systems!
  • What it means that we are made in the image of God and why this is important for addressing Baltimore’s current issues and the issues in your city, and even in all the world!

Also get Gospel insight and learn:

  •  More about the myths and idols concerning marriage, singleness, sex, celibacy and family life and be reminded that ANYTHING we idolize WILL kill us!
  • That in God’s Grace we have been given various forms of living in relationship but these are ONLY ways of living in Christ now in our present form but are NOT fully the end goal for our lives in relationship!
  • Why we all struggle so much and how WE CAN LIVE MORE IN THE RECONCILIATION worked out it in the entire human life of Jesus!
  • What process God uses to strengthen families in the world, bringing the future family of God into the present!

Hear in this message that ___________________ in Christ is the goal of Christ no matter your station in life or your current status as the Father’s Child. You CAN receive every day as a gift and receive it BEST by _______________ !  And that it isn’t ____________ that is wearing you out but ______________!

Tune in and participate by filling in all the blanks! 🙂

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Profit And Loss


 isaiah 55

Are you wondering WHEN are you going to experience the treasures that come with knowing God?

In this Gospel Message entitled “Profit And Loss”, Pastor Richard Andrews of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the Good News and  gives encouragement through The Apostle Paul and by exploring Philippians 3:4-14 and also by reading the Lectionary, 17th Sunday after Pentecost: That our Profit and Losses are not Fiscal Profit and Losses but Profit in the context of our trials – Treasures in heaven. The kind that are measured in our Blood and Jesus’s Blood. The kind that are measured in sweat and tears.

In this message hear how to see our trials and ourselves differently by learning:

~We need to start seeing Jesus and what HE wants differently.

~We need to start seeing the acts and works of our hands differently.

~We need to start seeing the things that come out of our mouths differently as we grow in Christ.

~Our Prize is to move forward, to press on through trials, to see the heavenly calls. (Isaiah 55-1)

~To count it all as a period of cleansing – Our “Pressure Cooker Period”


~To see trials as a way of melting/weakening of the flesh/ humbling us.

~To see trials as pointing us to THE ONE IN WHOM ALL ANSWERS ARE FOUND!

~To see trials not just as losing self but GAINING JESUS CHRIST, growing in his righteousness!

In this message we understand that:

~There is NO WAY to share in Jesus’s suffering without US SUFFERING! To know Christ is to know him in his suffering!

~Our Father is saying, STAND UP as a Community in the LOVE of God and WALK as a Community to help other Communities. We are never in a vacuum but rather, US TOGETHER with FATHER SON and SPIRIT embracing us all. We stand in the name and power of Jesus Christ who lives in and through us!

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Stories Of Prayer In Acts

Greg Williams

Grace Communion International Regional Superintendent, Greg Williams, recently visited New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Maryland and took them through various stories of prayer in the book of Acts. These stories demonstrated how the Church can and does experience the Father, Son and Spirit in relationship through prayer and the importance and encouragement of relating with God in this way! Greg concluded the message by leading the congregation in a prayer gathered around on of its seriously sick teens, Autumn Brassell, who looks to be suffering the symptoms of Lupus.

Y(Our) Struggles Aren’t Against Flesh And Blood, Part 4B

12.09.30 Y(Our) Struggles Aren’t Against Flesh And Blood, Part 4B (Eph 6.10-20) – TAH

“God has assumed all responsibility for evil in Jesus Christ….There is no need for us to demand that God take responsibility. He has done so.”,  writes Rev. Dr. Gary Deddo. I AGREE!!! Therefore, a better definition of Spiritual Warfare is “God the Father, Son and Spirit of Love and Grace coming into creation in the Son Jesus to adopt, reconcile and save it BEFORE it even got lost! It is God’s passionate and proactive Love and determination that all of His creatures know and experience Him as Jesus does, forever!” Wow! This means that our fight with evil is REALLY a “Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner” situation – with evil being “Wile E. Coyote”, and all of creation being the “Road Runner” in Jesus! HaHa! Think of the Confident Craftiness and Glory that must lie behind God’s command for dust (Us!) to stand before evil in the Power of the Lord’s Might!

Y(Our) Struggles Aren’t Against Flesh and Blood, Part 2 (Ephesians 6.10-20)

12.09.16 Y(Our) Struggles Aren’t Against Flesh And Blood (Eph 6.10-20) – TAH

What if Spiritual Warfare has more to do with Who God the Father, Son and Spirit is as Love and Reconciliation, than who and what evil is as hate and division? What if we looked at spiritual warfare through God’s “Love Glasses”?; might we not then see personal evil (and its accompanying sin and disease) more as a sickness to be healed and not as a”roach” to be exterminated? You are encouraged in this series to embrace the Relational God revealed in Jesus and let Him be not only Central but Sovereign as you consider every topic in the Light of Him, including who and what the Church is as it participates uniquely with Christ!

Life is Like a Car Wash…

 I distinctly remember the first time we took our daughter, who was maybe eighteen months old at the time, through an automated car wash.  Her big brothers were on either side of her car seat in the back seat of our turquoise Dodge Intrepid, and they were regaling her with stories of how cool it was, watching the machines as they did the hard work of cleaning the winter salt residue from our car.  It all started so well.

She seemed to enjoy the young men who used a power wash sprayer to pretreat the car, but the trouble began when the car started to move (without Mommy driving it) and the brushes and sprayers commenced their work.  She screamed, cried, and wailed, desperate to wrench herself out of the car seat and escape from the terror of the heavy wash curtain, which went thump, thump, as it draped itself across the roof of our car.  Nothing that I could say (or her brothers, for that matter) would convince her that she was in no danger and that the result would be good (a clean car).

The other day, my daughter and I took our family’s van (not turquoise) through an automated car wash to clean off the salt residue from our winter driving.  I wish I could say that the process of an automated car wash has become better or at least different than it was over twelve years ago, but it’s not.  This time, however, my daughter and I chatted while the brushes, sprayers, and heavy wash curtain did their thing.  No screams, no tears, no trying to get out of the van.  What has changed?

Our daughter has changed.  She’s turning fourteen years old tomorrow, and now when we go through the car wash, she understands the purpose of the machines and what the ultimate result will be.  I cannot tell you how many car washes it took before she no longer cried, but sometime during that period, she began to listen to her brothers and me as we reassured her that it would turn out OK.    Her ability to reason grew, along with her experience, which taught her that even though this car wash situation looks terrifying, it does work out all right.

I recently read an ancient saying, “The still is the master of unrest.”  This made me think of another ancient saying, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  As we grow and mature, we undoubtedly will be faced with unpleasantness and difficulties.  If we are still and calm, we can more easily remember the previous times in our lives when we faced trials and walked through them.  By taking time for stillness, we also can better hear the whispers of the Father, Son, and Spirit, who offer us comfort and peace.

Sometimes life is like that car wash.  Situations which have many unknowns are scary, and they can make us want to cry, wail, and wrench ourselves out of there.  Often, there is no way out and only a choice to go forward.   Through stillness and calmness, we can move ahead as if we’re in the eye of the storm.

 ~by Nan Kuhlman

The Universe is Unfolding as It Should

“…You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”  ~ Desiderata,” Max Ehrmann, circa 1927

Actor Morgan Freeman never was considered a “star” until he was 50 years old.  Although he had worked as an actor for many years, he was unable to break into movies until Driving Miss Daisy brought him into the spotlight.  In the interview I saw, I was interested to hear him describe his early days in the acting business.  He spoke of being hungry all the time, existing on stale donuts,  and wondering how he would pay his rent, yet he looks back on those days and says his career path was “providential.”    He also referred to the poem called “Desiderata,” which he calls his creed and has framed on the wall in his boat.  This poem (excerpted above) talks about how “the universe is unfolding as it should.”

As I watched Freeman’s interview, I reasoned that he could say his career was “providential” and that “the universe was unfolding as it should” because he was viewing it in hindsight.  Now that he was secure in his career and set financially, it would be easy to say that everything happened for a reason.

After all, the old cliché says, “hindsight is 20/20.”  But if it is true that “the universe is unfolding as it should,” then it would seem that we could handle the rough spots with more patience, knowing that everything will work out for the best.

I’ve been wrestling with this idea that “the universe is unfolding as it should,” given that I have friends and loved ones who have experienced serious illness, loss, financial woes, and other sore trials.  How can the universe be unfolding properly when good people are suffering?

Although I’m far from having a definitive answer for this question, here are my thoughts:

o Our perspective is too narrow.  While our lives seem pretty long (80 years or so), they are just a small point on the continuum of eternity.  And if our entire lives are small on the continuum of eternity, the amount of time we are actually suffering is even smaller when put in the perspective of eternity.  We need to see the broader picture.  Even our view of death, that it is an ending rather than a transitional continuation, is probably too limited.

o Our memories of past blessings are too short.  We are quick to forget the many times that situations worked out for us when we couldn’t see how they could ever be resolved.  Somehow, some way, difficult  circumstances were settled, and all was well.

o Our view of the Triune God is too small.  Many people struggle with the view (often imposed by the church) that they are unacceptable and displeasing to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because of their shortcomings.  They feel like they are being punished (and should be punished) for the many ways they’ve let God down.  What is needed is a radical change of thinking, where the loving Father is recognized for his overwhelming desire that we shouldn’t be lost to sin, so much so that he sent his Son (who wanted to come save us anyway) to take on our humanity and make it possible for us to be adopted as his sons and daughters.  Once we realize that our loving Father securely holds our lives both now and in the future, we find it easier to face any day-to-day uncertainty, convinced that “providence” is on our side.

Even if it isn’t immediately clear to us that everything is turning out as it should, we can be comforted that we are a small, yet essential part of a much grander picture.  Actor Morgan Freeman believes that “providence” is orchestrating our paths, ultimately assisting us in fulfilling our life-purpose.  I think we have been positioned in the world at this particular time and place to fulfill our indispensable part in the beautiful tapestry called eternity.  Just as the poem “Desiderata” declares, each of us is “a child of the universe,” and more importantly, a beloved child of the Triune God.

~by Nan Kuhlman

Making a Way in the Desert

The media has been featuring the best (and worst) of 2011, and like many of you, I am sucked into watching these list-making programs just to see a summary of what really made headlines in 2011.  One of the year’s most-covered stories was about the shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords in Arizona and her subsequent work of recovery from a traumatic brain injury.

Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly’s memoir, called Gabby:  A Story of Courage and Hope, was recently released in November.  As the story goes, the couple was looking forward to consulting a fertility specialist in early 2011 and hopefully having their first child by the end of the year.  This past Christmas ended up being very different from what they pictured a year ago, yet they still press forward.  Kelly shared his thoughts on the events of the year with author Jeff Zaslow:

You don’t get the life you planned.  That’s what Gabby and I have learned.  When things look bad, the only answer is to find a path through it.  What other choice do you have?

Gabby and Mark have learned that it’s possible to still find joy and hope, even in the most trying of circumstances.  Maybe you find yourself in their camp this year, stretched to your limit and trying to find a path through it, wondering if it’s even possible to have joy after suffering such disappointment and trouble.  Maybe you’re even wondering if God hears or cares about your misfortune and pain.

The nation of Judah had similar doubts about God’s care and concern for them, and the prophet Isaiah encouraged them (and us) by reminding  them they were  God’s special treasure:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze…Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland…(Isaiah 43:2, 18-19, NIV).

The promise of “making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” is still true for us today.  Even as we encounter trouble and misfortune, we are never alone.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are with us, keeping our heads above water, our feet from being burned.  The Triune God helps us find a new path through whatever circumstances we face.  And as Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly have learned, the new path, though different from our original plans, can have its own hope and joy.

~by Nan Kuhlman

Comfort and the Brown Tooth

When she was about three years old, our daughter Chloe took a spill in a Pizza Hut parking lot and ended up hitting her mouth, specifically one front tooth.  As a result, the baby tooth turned an unpleasing shade of brown.  While most of the time she was not self-conscious about it, there was one time that I found her on her bed, crying.  “Josh  (a friend of her older brothers) called me Brown Tooth,” she sobbed.

I held her, gave her tissues, and said I would talk to Josh about his comment.  Before I left, I reminded her that her brown tooth was a baby tooth, and that anytime it could fall out and be replaced by a new, white, permanent tooth.  Despite the hurt, there was hope.

You see, when I was three years old, I also injured one of my front teeth.  I had endured the “why is your tooth brown” questions, and I had been called “Brown Tooth.”  So when I reminded Chloe that the brown tooth’s time in her mouth was limited, I knew what I was talking about.

In the same way, Christ comforts us and gives us hope when we are going through difficult times.  When he took on our humanity, he also took on our pain, both great and small.  Hebrews 2:14,18 says:

“Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death…That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life.  Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself–all the pain, all the testing–and would be able to help where help was needed” (The Message).

When we are suffering, whether it’s a life-threatening disease, the loss of a loved one, or hurt feelings over a nasty comment, Jesus Christ suffers with us.  After all, “We live and move in him, can’t get away from him” (Acts 17:28, The Message).  He understands our every emotion.  When we grieve, he grieves.  But there is a difference.

When we grieve, we cannot see how we will ever be able to get past this situation.  When Jesus grieves with us, he grieves with hope, because he knows that his Father’s will is to make sure “that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good” (Romans 8:28, The Message).  He feels our pain, just like I felt Chloe’s pain about being called “Brown Tooth,” but he grieves knowing that everything will work out.  Sometimes he even sends someone to comfort us, someone who has been in a similar situation and made it through, like I did for Chloe.  Sometimes he just gives us peace in the midst of not knowing how this situation will be resolved.

                I’m hoping that the clumsiness and the resulting Brown Tooth isn’t a family tradition, passed on forever to future generations.  But I’m sure that if Chloe ever has a daughter who falls, injures her tooth, and then suffers the embarrassment of a brown tooth, she will know what to say to comfort and encourage her.  Our Elder Brother Jesus Christ will provide the comfort and the hope through her.

 ~by Nan Kuhlman

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