Friday, May 28, 2010


What is the one thing that people in today’s world are seeking more than anything in the world? We know that the human race is typically seeking after wealth, fortune, wisdom, and a higher way of life. People also crave the desire to be appreciated and liked. However, in light of how the world has evolved into such a corrupt and dangerous place to live, I believe that people in general are craving the fundamental elements of love and compassion. The bible teaches that Christ came and died for the ungodly while they were yet dead in sin. The disciple of Christ known as John wrote it best in his book with probably the most quoted scripture in all of Christendom:

John 3:14-16 (King James Version)
14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

There are two goals that Christians should strive to achieve when getting together for events such as our annual picnic. The first goal is to have friendship and the second is to have fellowship. To know that someone truly loves and cares about you is something that no earthly value can match. Numerous millionaires, business owners, and politicians have often failed in their offices and personal lives due to the lack of finding love. The things that are truly real can only come from God above. We know he sent his son into the world, not to condemn but to save. God is truly a friend and a companion that sticks closer than a brother. God has chosen to use his church as his body in the world today. It is not often that a person can find a spirit filled church with anointed leadership with vision. Thank God for pastors today who truly lead with vision and purpose. New Life Church in Watkinsville is a place where the body of Christ truly does care and loves one another with mercy and grace. To be with true believers and people who you can call “friend” is a marvelous thing. John also wrote this about friends:

John 15:13-15 (King James Version)
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

The other important element of the body of Christ is fellowship. The great physician and writer of the book Acts, Luke writes the following scripture about the New Testament church:

Acts 2:42 (King James Version)
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

This was a common practice in the early church era as Christians faced all types of pressures such as persecution, martyrdom, financial issues, and a changing world political situations. What has changed today? We are still facing many of the same issues. That is why body of Christ needs to understand the importance of attending church services and church events on a consistent basis as we see the day approaching, the coming of the Lord. The bottom line is this: “We need each other and we can’t make it alone on this earth without Christ and his body.” John also wrote this concerning fellowship:

1 John 1:7
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

For several years, New Life Church in Watkinsville has an annual picnic near or around the Memorial Day Holiday. This has been an amazing day of fun, food, and fellowship for our church and the community. The very principles of love, mercy, and grace are practiced by the members as they gather together in spirit and truth. This year, the picnic was held for the first time at Oconee County’s Veterans Memorial Park (Pavilion and Playground are pictured above left). The park offers so much in the way of picnic facilities and recreation. There is a walking trail, playground, lighted tennis courts, softball and soccer fields, grills for cooking, and much more.

This day of May 22nd was filled with joy and gladness as many families gathered for the cookout (Basketball & Senior facilities are shown below). Home grilled burgers and hotdogs gave way for delicious homemade desserts. Then games were played with volleyball, horse shoes, tennis, walking, and fellowshipping. The night ended with much needed exercise and personal enjoyment. We had once again demonstrated that the principles of the book of Acts church is still prevalent in today’s world: friendship and fellowship.........

If you need a friend, some fellowship, or a church body to attach to, please consider New Life in Watkinsville. Contact the church office at 706-769-6824 or email Scott Strawn at

Why Do Hurting People Hurt?

Why Do Hurting People Hurt?

Thursday, May 13, 2010


New Life Church has recently begun a session of classes to help our newlywed couples. It is called “The Marriage You Always Wanted” written by Gary Chapman. The class is for couples who have been married for five years or less. It has been a lifelong vision of Pastor Tim Hammond in Watkinsville to see the church in Oconee County grow spiritually, emotionally, and in maturity. If you have weak families, you will have a weak church. If you have strong families, then of course you will have a strong church. As John Maxwell always said, “we are no stronger than our weakest link”. The church is under constant pressure from outside forces such as society in general, career pressures, financial dilemmas, and such like. Not only do we have to battle the things in our lives that feed our minds each day such as television, movies, internet, books, and conversation, we have to battle an adversary that is after the destruction of our souls. The following scripture gives good insight into the battles we face:

1 Peter 5:8 (King James Version)

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

We know as Christians, that the battle comes from a formidable enemy because we know that we are no match for Lucifer without the Spirit of Christ in us. The battle also comes from a much greater force and that is our fleshly bodies. It can be described as a “beast within us” due to the strong sinful carnal nature that we have to deal with everyday. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Roman Church:

Romans 7: 19-21 (King James Version)

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Paul goes on in his writings to state how thankful he was to the Spirit of God that dwelled in him for the power to overcome his fleshly desires. As these scriptures state, we can have victory over the flesh and live in the spirit if we so desire:

Romans 8: 1-11 (King James Version)

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The New Life Marriage Class has made it through seven of the classes to this point. Pastor Tim called on ministry teams comprised of the Vaughn’s, the Strawn’s, the Long’s and the Russell’s to become teachers and mentors for these great young people. These four couples have many years of solid marriages and are excited to share love, support, and knowledge with each one. No matter how many years, we all know that our marriages are “works in progress”. We are all learning and growing together.

Some of the topics discussed thus far are: 1) Forgiveness 2) Our Feelings 3) Serving 4) Listening 5) Conversation with God 6) Learning to Love and 7) Talking with our spouse. New challenges are bringing great rewards to the couples and their teachers. The entire group is binding together and sharing their burdens, triumphs, and frustrations in order to work through the issues and be victorious in their marriages…..Some of the highlights at a local eating establishment are seen in the picture below. The class will be attending the Gwinnett Braves game on May 15th. If you are struggling with some marital issues and would like to be in a great group, please contact New Life Church @ 706-769-6824 or Scott Strawn, Outreach Director at