My New Life

On Vision Night, we launched a new communication portal for all of New Life! Create your “My New Life” account now:

Here’s what you can do on My New Life:
• Sign up for your next step
• Communicate with your Team & Crew
• View your serving schedule
• Check your online giving
• View New Life’s calendar
• & more!

We believe this will be an awesome tool to help us stay connected, engaged and ready for what’s next!

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New Songs, New Season

The songs of Season 3 are about discovering the deep roots of our religion and the core of our faith; songs and hymns that inspire us to a real heart of worship and love for God and His Church.

Listen to the playlist on Spotify:

Behold (Hillsong Worship)

Crowns (Hillsong Worship)

King of My Heart (Bethel)

How Great Is Our God (Chris Tomlin)

I Could Sing of Your Love Forever (Delirious)

I Have Decided (Phil Wickham)

I Surrender All (Phil Wickham)

10,000 Reasons (Rend Collective)

Down to the River to Pray (Alison Krauss)

For Your Glory (Tasha Cobbs)

Awesome God (Michael W. Smith)

The Book of Esther: Vol. I Reading Plan

Queen Vashti Deposed

1 This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush: 2 At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, 3 and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.

4 For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. 5 When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. 6 The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones.7 Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king’s liberality. 8 By the king’s command each guest was allowed to drink with no restrictions, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.

9 Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.

10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona,Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— 11 to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.

13 Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times 14 and were closest to the king—Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan, the seven nobles of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom.

15 “According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”

16 Then Memukan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. 17 For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ 18 This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.

19 “Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. 20 Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”

21 The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. 22 He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue.

Esther Made Queen

2 Later when King Xerxes’ fury had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her. 2 Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. 3 Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. 4 Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.

5 Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, 6 who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin king of Judah. 7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.

8 When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem.9 She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.

10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. 11 Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.

12 Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. 13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.

15 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. 16 She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

17 Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.

Mordecai Uncovers a Conspiracy

19 When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.

21 During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. 22 But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. 23 And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were impaled on poles. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.

The Pioneering Spirit

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Hebrews 12:1-3

It’s within humanity to press towards progress. To Push. To Create. To Build. To Expand. You have that drive and this pioneering spirit was placed within you by God, your creator.

A Pioneering Spirit isn’t for getting more for yourself, but to make a way for others.

The problem we face is that sin tries to distort the pioneering spirit and cause us to selfishly strive for ourselves, rather than using those blessings to bless others. When we lose sight of Jesus, we lose the Spirit of a Pioneer.

Fortunately, Jesus crossed eternity to descend to Earth, abandoning His kingly comforts embraced the poverty of humanity, He added to His divine nature; a human nature that was both fully God and fully man. He walked the earth for 33 years defying every expectation and cast off the conventional and mediocre.

Jesus is the greatest pioneer the world has ever seen. He’s the ultimate example of what it means to be a pioneer. Jesus’ purpose was to pioneer a path to God’s presence, a road laid with bricks of grace.

A Pioneering Spirit isn’t for getting more for yourself, but to make a way for others. You are called to continue this legacy of pioneering.

Pioneers don’t settle for what is normal, average or indifferent. They don’t accept “what is” but tirelessly strive toward “what could be” and “what should be”. And you are called to do the same.

Our motto should be: “I believe things can be different and I can be the difference!”

It’s time to re-awaken your pioneering spirit. Don’t do less. Don’t do little. Don’t back down. Don’t give up.


How to Fast

Part 3/3

In our previous two blogs on fasting we talked about what fasting is and why we fast. If you haven’t read them, make sure to do so.

While most of us attribute fasting to simply be about giving up food, there are far greater benefits to a fast than controlling our wills to abstain from favorite foods for a set period of time.

When we choose to sacrifice what we would prefer to eat and put our desire for food behind our desire to seek God through prayer, God honors it. This reordering of our priorities draws us closer to God and Him closer to us. We become more attuned to His voice and His direction. This is the amazing benefit of a fast and why it is necessary for Christians to do!

As noted, a popular option for fasting is the Daniel Fast, which, pertains to eating mostly fruits and veggies. See more at Regardless of the type of Fast, the following are some suggestions for maximizing a fasting experience.

1. Focus more on your Source than on what you’re ‘giving up’.

– While hunger pangs (for food, or anything else from which you might fast) are normal, they should never be allowed to usurp the focus. Allow them to serve as a reminder of just how much you really need the Lord in every area of life.

2. Limit distractions.

– If fasting in order to hear from God, it’s a good idea to take inventory of other things in your life that may be distracting from that same goal. Some music, TV/film and even possibly relationships could be working against the goal and vying for your attention – seek God about what might be best to hold off from until after the fast. You might be surprised by what the Holy Spirit recommends.

3. Listen

– Just as sometimes we forget to listen for the Holy Spirit during prayer, we can also forget to listen during fasting. God is almost always speaking, but it’s usually our distractions that keep us from hearing. Now that you’re focused and positioned to hear, stay attentive. Part of the Holy Spirit’s job is to tell us things we don’t know; now’s the time to listen.

Enjoy the time. God’s faithful – eagerly expect for the Holy Spirit to reveal new things, and bring greater understanding in a variety of areas. Join us each week night from January 2 – January 13 at 7pm at either the Smithfield or Fall River campuses for a time of prayer.