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Seeing the Promised Land

Remember the days of long ago; think about the generations past. Ask your father, and he will inform you. Inquire of your elders, and they will tell you.” (Deuteronomy 32:7, NLT)

On April 4, 1999, New Life Church had its first service. Almost everything that could go wrong did. But we were a church! We took our first offering and gave it to Woman to Woman Pregnancy Center.

Back up a bit. Sometime before, my wife and I had moved from Seminary Hill in Fort Worth to Sanger, Texas. We were looking for a church home. We ran into some dear friends, Ed and Debra Cook, and they had us over for dinner. As we caught up, we talked a lot about church. We soon realized we all had the same idea of what a church should be. Seeds were planted.

So, we kept talking. We started praying and dreaming. Then we started planning. We met in the Cook’s living room preparing to launch. Resurrection Sunday 25 years ago, we opened our doors at TWU in their Student Center. Shortly thereafter, we moved to the North Lakes recreation Center. Everything we needed for a Sunday service was in a trailer I’d pull to church each Sunday.

Eventually we bought property in north Denton. We moved again to Calvary Church on Sherman Drive and finally began the building process.

In 2010 we started another amazing campus at Robson Ranch.

Mostly it’s been beautiful sunny days. But we’ve weathered storms, too (literal and spiritual), economic downturns, and a pandemic. We had to shut our doors for a season and learn how to do church remotely. We’ve grown and declined and grown again. There have been many salvations and baptisms. Lots of weddings and funerals. Reverent times and celebratory times. Praise and worship has shaken the rafters. The Word of God has been honored. And lots and lots of prayers have been prayed.

There’s a sense in which it feels our first service was yesterday…and then I look in the mirror and realize it was a quarter century ago!

In the passage above, Moses has led the Hebrews to the Promised Land. He reminds them (and us), it’s good to look back and remember…to rehearse God’s mercy in our minds and words. But the importance of our history is that it encourages us toward our future!

God has done great things…but even greater things are in store for the next 25 years! The Promised Land awaits!

I hope you will join us on Sunday at 10 a.m. for our birthday celebration!


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New Life Church, Denton