Happy New Year! 2015 From Pastor Hartman

Dear NLS Family and Friends,
Once again, we say farewell to an old year and hello to a new one. The longer one lives, the more one experiences the New Year phenomenon of wonder and excitement. There is a ​hope that all will become better, that ​bank accounts will mysteriously expand,​ and that​ success will follow us wherever we go.

The truth of the matter is, success doesn’t come automatically with the New Y​ear. To change the course of our lives we must change our attitudes and habits. Yet no matter what we change, ​if God is not involved we will find ourselves ​right back in​ our old ways of thinking, doing and being.

Time is God’s gift to us. He has a plan for each of us. He wants us saved, productive and happy. He wants us flourishing​ and growing​ spiritually. He wants us to be a blessing to our family, community and world. He wants to set heaven in our hearts so that one day we will enjoy fellowship with Him forever.

“​For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.​”​ Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

As we welcome in the New Year, let us welcome the Lord  to have His way with each new day. And as He inhabits our lives, He will fill us with ​wonder and excitement.

Happy New Year!

Pastor JS Hartman
New Life Sanctuary
Pooler/Bloomingdale, GA​

‘Twas The Day After Christmas

‘Twas The Day After Christmas
Copyright 2007 Dave Veerman. Permission is granted to send this to others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.

Day_After_Christmas__NRockwell_1922‘Twas the day after Christmas
and all through the room
Strewn wrappings were crying
for use of a broom.
The children were scattered
the friends’ gifts exploring
Since now most of theirs
were broken or boring.
All tummies still stuffed
from the fabulous feast;
Leftovers would serve
for one month at least.
And mama and papa
were the countryside ranging,
Those unwanted gifts
returned or exchanging.
Yes Christmas is past
with its bustle and noise—
Sales and carols
Santas and toys.
Decorations are packed
the yule tree’s discarded
The holiday’s over
just as we got started
To celebrate peace
and the meaning of giving
To discover real love
and the purpose for living.
Dear Jesus please help us
to stop and remember
That you came to earth
not just for December.
But from birth in a manger
to death on a cross
You gave up your glory
and counted it loss.
So now as we trust You—
God’s only Son—
The real celebration
has only begun!

Candlelight, Carols and Communion

New Life Sanctuary celebrated Christ’s birth with candlelight, carols and communion. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas filled with the HOPE Christ for New Life. Join us Sunday at 12 noon to worship King Jesus!

(Photos provided by Russ Conway)

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Contentment

By Pastor Hartman

When I got up this morning my thoughts were about being content. We are so richly blessed. We all have a roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes on our backs. We have our families and friends. But most importantly, we have a great God who loves us, takes care of us, comforts us and saves us.

Below are a few quotes regarding contentment. Many people have something to say on the subject. And our God said something about being content as well. May each of us take account of all we have and are. With that we can look up to the face of God, smile, and say, “Thank You.”

Read on… Here are some quotes I found to go along with the subject of contentment.

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” Helen Keller

“He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” Socrates

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” Lao Tzu

“Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.” Benjamin Franklin

“You can make positive deposits in your own economy every day by reading and listening to powerful, positive, life-changing content and by associating with encouraging and hope-building people.” Zig Ziglar

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out.” 1Timothy 6:6-7

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am in to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out.” 1Timothy 6:6-7

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with what you have: for He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”Hebrews 13:5

Thanksgiving

By Pastor Hartman

Thanksgiving will soon be upon us. I imagine many have come up with the menu. Some have even made the purchases which possibly include turkey, with all the trimmings, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie… Are you hungry yet?

Thanksgiving! Images come to mind such as the gathering of family and friends, an awesome meal, Thanksgiving Day Parade, Football, a nap and food, food food!

Almost everyone in America celebrates Thanksgiving.

The Pilgrims dug seven times more graves than they built huts. For example, for ever 10 huts, they dug 70 graves. Yet they still set a day aside to celebrate with their new friends and give thanks to God for his blessings.

We have so much! Generally we get ourselves anything our heart desires. Sometimes we forget there are others just struggling to live.

Help Me Thanksgiving Day Prayer, by Samuel F. Pugh

O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Amen.

This Sunday we will take up a special offering for the hurting victims in the Philippines. It will go to the Red Cross, a trustworthy agency, that will use collected funds for the intended purpose. As we sacrifice just a little of what we have to bring relief, I know our meal will taste even better. And as we give God thanks for what we have, let’s pray for those in dire need.

Like a Lamb

By Pastor Hartman

This has been somewhat of a hard week for us. Charlie, our black (and graying) Labrador Retriever is no longer with us. She has been a part of our family for over 15 years. She was pretty old for a lab, they say. I, my wife and three grown children are affected by her sickness and her passing.

Since my wife was on the way to the hospital for a non-life-threatening procedure, it was my duty to take Charlie in to the local veterinary clinic. She had gotten so weak, she had bladder cancer, and suddenly lost the use of her back legs. The night before I took her in she had crawled using her front legs to our bedroom door, asking to go outside. She was actually too weak to bark, and had lost control of her bladder before we were able to put her outside.

After we cleaned her up, as well as the floor, we put her on her bed and threw a cover partly over her. My wife left and I was getting ready to do what I had to do. The whole time she was giving out a little whine. It was so interesting to me that she stopped whining when I told her it was time to go. She never made a sound from that point on as I drove to the vets.

I couldn’t help but think of Isaiah 5:7, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

Late that afternoon I picked up my wife and we went on to be with Charlie for a few more minutes. We got to say our goodbyes, and praise her for being such a good dog. She was alive, but barely with us. Then the doctor gently allowed her to leave a body that was used up. I admit, tears flowed, and do so now as I write this. As hard as it was, we did the right thing for her.

As I write on, please don’t be offended as I make a comparison between our dog and Jesus’ death. I in no way do I consider our Lord to be like our dog.

My dear friends,

When the Lord Jesus went to Calvary’s cross, he went in the very prime of his life. He could have reviled, but didn’t. He could have called heaven’s angels to release him, and smite his enemies, but he didn’t. It was not a used, diseased and worn out body, but a pure, undefiled one that was being crucified. He submitted himself to a heavenly plan to bear our sins and diseases.

Those that thought him to be weak we’re wrong. He was God in the flesh, manifested to take away the sins of the world. He was strong in resolve… He was strong in his love for humanity… He was intent to do God’s will.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

I am so glad he went willingly for you and me… He died so we could live forever with him. Some reflect their love with only words. Jesus reflected his love through words, but when it was finished, he reflected his love for us, in silence.

As I praise the living, loving Lord of heaven, I also pray for you, my brothers and sisters. May God bless and keep you today, and forever.