“I am cared for.” – Jim Pace

10375155_10102535544235883_1319404522494283890_nThis past weekend, NLCF had it’s first ever summer retreat.  I don’t remember if it was my idea or someone else’s, but I was excited about it from the start.

Then my 15 year old son, Seth, fell over.  I mean like a tree fell straight backward in the middle of a conversation he was having with Tracy.  Straight back onto his head and he was unconscious for 15 or 20 seconds.  Even when he came around he was disoriented and groggy.  So we rushed him straight to the ER.  All this started about three hours before I needed to leave.  Everything is working out fine with Seth, it just seems like he fainted, but it took a looong time in the ER to be sure.

I called and texted two of our staff that were leading the retreat, Jeanette and Steve, to let them know I might need to stay behind.  They instantly gave me the freedom to do so, even though my absence would make their jobs harder.  I texted our staff and asked for prayer which they did.  A nurse who works at another hospital checked in to see how he was doing and 2nd nurse, when he heard about Seth, came over to make sure everything was okay.  (Also, thanks DR for the sodas you brought!)  My co-pastor checked in from his vacation, I even heard many at the retreat were praying for Seth as well.

We were cared for, given freedom to deal with this situation, prayed for and loved.  I do love this church.  Thanks New Life Christian Fellowship.

“Your Word” – Jeanette Staats

Psalm-119-105-web2If you are keeping up with NLCF’s Summer Reading Plan of the Old Testament you know that this week finds us in Psalm 119. Psalm 119: 105 was one of the first verses I memorized and one of the first praise & worship songs I sang (way back in the day!). Yet it was this morning, during a fresh reading of this chapter, that I was drawn in to the power of His word. Not even recording the uses of “Your commandments” or “Your laws”, David references the word of God (“Your word”) 38 times (see below)!

What are you learning this summer from getting into His word? Have you grown to treasure, long for, or simply to keep His word more this summer? Have you relied on His word for strength, comfort, or sustenance? Do you need to be reminded of the truth, pureness or sweetness of His words? Do His words bring rejoicing and singing?

In this day and age, we can be surrounded by a lot of “words” … from books we read to songs we hear to conversations that we might have throughout the day. Today’s reading of Psalm 119 has been a much needed reminder to seek out His word in the good and the bad, in the waiting and in the answers, in the longings and in the praises.

Your word I have treasured in my heart (vs. 11)

I shall not forget Your word (vs. 16)

Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word (vs. 17)

Revive me according to Your word (vs. 5)

Strengthen me according to Your word (vs. 28)

Establish Your word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You (vs. 38)

May Your loving kindnesses also come to me, O LORD, Your salvation according to Your word (vs. 41)

So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your word (vs. 42)

This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me (vs. 50)

The Lord is my portion; I have promised to keep Your word (vs. 57)

I sought Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your word (vs. 58)

You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word (vs. 65)

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word (vs. 67)

May those who fear You see me and be glad, because I wait for Your word (vs. 74)

O may Your lovingkindness comfort me, according to Your word to Your servant (vs. 76)

My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word (vs. 81)

My eyes fail with longing for Your word (vs. 82)

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven (vs. 89)

I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word (vs. 101)

How sweet are Your words to my taste! (vs. 103)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (vs. 105)

I am exceedingly afflicted; revive me, O LORD, according to Your word (vs. 107)

You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word (vs. 114)

Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live (vs. 116)

My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation and for Your righteous word (vs. 123)

The unfolding of Your word gives light; it gives understanding to the simple (vs. 130)

Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me (vs. 133)

My zeal has consumed me, because my adversaries have forgotten Your words (vs. 139)

Your word is very pure (vs. 140)

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your word (vs. 147)

My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word (vs. 148)

Plead my cause and redeem me; revive me according to Your word (vs. 154)

I behold the treacherous and loathe them, because they do not keep Your word (vs. 158)

The sum of Your word is truth (vs. 160)

Princes persecute me without cause, by my heart stands in awe of Your word (vs. 161)

I rejoice at Your word (vs. 162)

Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your word (vs. 170)

Let my tongue sing of Your word (vs. 172)

Do the Work – by Steve Englund

Psalms + PrayerThis summer, our staff team has decided to meet up Monday through Thursday to pray for an hour each of those days.  Now, an hour doesn’t seem like a ton of time in the grand scheme of things, but if you don’t find yourself in the habit of this type of rhythm, it can take a little bit of time to adjust to it.  As Jim says on occasion, we’re “doing the work of prayer.”

I’ve also been taking the time to read through Psalms this summer in addition to our OT reading plan that Sweet Robbie came up with.  I really like Psalms.  It’s been some time since I just read straight through them, but I’ve been reminded of how great they are as this summer has progressed.  There are a lot of great things about them, but what I like the most is that they’re real – they’re real words, expressed by real people, on how they really feel.  Now, I don’t mean that in the way that they could be fake, but that the Psalms are people expressing raw emotion.  Emotions resulting from being happy, sad, excited, doubtful, hopeful, etc.

These two things, Prayer and Psalms, have helped bring me back to a place of being both reflective on what God has done, and in being hopeful in what he is going to do.

As we continue throughout the summer, we want to know how we can pray for you.  If there is something in particular we can be praying for you about, please let us know in either the comment section of this post or by leaving a comment on the FB post.  If you’d rather not let the world know in that way, just shoot us a message via Facebook or by e-mailing us.  We want to know how we can be praying for you!

– Steve
twitter – @stephenwes // email: [email protected]

NLCF Summer Retreat Details!

We hope you’ll join us in Richmond on June 27/28 for our first EVER summer retreat! Make sure to click on the image below for details. Remember to RSVP to [email protected] with ‘SUMMER RETREAT’ in the subject line.

We would also love to have transfer students and incoming freshman, so feel free to invite the future Hokies in your life! They’ll get a $5 discount on retreat cost.

Hope to see you there!

rsvp to
NLCF summer 2014 retreat

Welcome to New Students!

NLCF – Welcome to new students! from NLCF | Video Team on Vimeo.

So, here you are!  You are about to begin what will likely prove to be one of the most defining seasons of your life.

I very clearly remember my first days at VT.  My dad and I arrived at Pritchard Hall with all the stuff I was bringing in the back of our Honda Accord.  My clothes, a radio (I know, I know, I am old), some milk crates to store things in and a blue steamers truck for a “coffee table.”

I guess, being an alum of Tech, and now having been on staff with New Life Christian Fellowship for the past 16 years, I might like to offer a few words from one who has been there.

First, make good friends.  Friends that will help you to be the person you want to be.  Not ones that will make it harder.

Second, make good decisions.  You now have access to a level of freedom you likely have never experienced before.  I let that freedom blow me up for a while.  Don’t make my mistakes.  I generated an illustrious GPA of 1.75 my first semester.  I fought that for the rest of my time here at Tech.  Even making a 3.96 my last semester didn’t fully correct it.

Third, find a group quickly that will help you walk closely with God.  This is one of the most centrally important things you will do.  There is a big debate about whether secular universities like Tech are out to crush your faith.  I don’t think they are.  Now I did have some professors who were very outspoken in their disdain for a lively faith in Jesus…

But you are mistaken if you think you won’t have your faith strongly challenged while you are here.  That challenge will at times seem like it is coming from everywhere.  Having a group that will allow you to process those questions you are getting honestly, that will help you to hear the voice of God, that will help you to really live out your faith…  Well, it is a necessity.

Fourth, but certainly not least, let God be close to you.  Talk with him, listen to him, worship him, learn more about him, and follow him.

We would love to walk through this time with you.  Again, check us out on the web and feel free to stop by our 11am or our 7.07pm services!

Peace, Jim