The words we say...

FB Post, September 12, 2017

The following is a tough subject to tackle, but here goes.

We Christians have a two fold problem. First, we need to be careful what we say and how we say it. Insensitivity to a persons feelings, position in life, recent losses, race, marital status, personal history, personal social or political burdens, or personal business in general, can often be triggers for hurt and rejection that are either hidden deeply in the offendeds' heart or located just below the surface. Either way, such insensitivities are often lightening rods used to unleash those feelings. Most of the time, "common sense" rules regarding what to say or how to say it; but often, one person's common sense is another's stumbling block. But, we should have a common understanding and common wisdom about human nature that reminds us certain off-the-cuff comments, or supposed light-hearted words, may not really be that light-hearted to everyone; and you never know who will be offended, or how a person will react. The Holy Spirit will help us with that needed discernment if we ask, and if we are "walking in the Spirit," which we should be but in reality, are not always. And if or when an offense does occur, a sincere apology should immediately follow. The offender should not now become the #2 offended because the #1 offended became upset. Follow that?

On the other hand, and there is always "the other hand," (this is the second part of our problem) we sometimes become too offended by something someone says or does in innocence or ignorance, and we respond out of anger and hurt. I can remember a situation that happened to me many, many years ago, when I was a unsaved teenager. I was still living at home with my mom and dad, and of course we had a "landline." The phone rang several times, and each time, there was a hang up. Well, at the time, that was an "offense" to me, and the next time it happened, I really gave it to them! "Don't you ever call here again, who do you think you are??!!, blah, blah, blah". When I stopped yelling, a few seconds of awkward silence ensued, and a woman's very soft and gentle voice came on that said, "I only wanted to speak to your mom." Needless to say, I was humiliated and felt horrible. That dear woman had every right to blast me right back. But, she didn't. I was so wrong in offending her, and she was so right in how she handled it.

So, if legitimately offended, what does the Word say to do? To paraphrase, it says to try to work it out. Talk to the person. Get clarity. Get understanding. Try to resolve the issues. Most times, this works. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree.

I often encourage the offended to consider the source of the offense. Who, how, why questions are important. Replaying assumed facts in one's mind never brings anything positive. Assumptions and unwarranted opinions are often our worst enemies.

Here are some scriptures to consider in this discussion:

“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector." Matthew 18:15-17 NKJV

"Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone." 
Romans18:12 NKJV

"There are diversities of gifts, but the same another discerning of spirits" 1 Corinthians 12:4,10c NKJV

"I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish." Galations 5:16-17 NKJV

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1 NKJV

Let's try our best to live in peace with one another. Remember Calvary and the Cross of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice should make a difference, not only how we act toward the Lord, but how we act toward one another as well.

"He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed"
Isaiah 54:3-5

~Pastor Rick


Church email, August 22, 2017

Greetings NLC!

There is a scripture in the Old Testament that says, "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace" (Exodus 14:14 NIV). This was written at a time when Moses was leading the Chosen People away from Egypt, as the Egyptians army marched aggressively towards them, to capture them and return them back to Egypt and bondage. Moses was reminding the people that the Lord was with them, fighting for them, and still had wonderful promises for them in spite of the dire circumstances they were facing. And, the Lord did indeed fight for them, and through miracles and signs and wonders, delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians and into the Promised land. 

I really like that verse! There is a two-fold application for those of us that are trusting in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. First, we are definitely in a spiritual battle, but we are not alone in this battle. Jesus is fighting for us; fighting on our behalf.  That is great news! And, secondly, because Jesus is fighting for us, we can have a confidence and an assurance that will lead us to in peace in the midst of the storm.

Facing any storms lately? If not, hallelujah! But, remember this when the eventual storms of life do come!  If yes, be reminded of this wonderful promise...Jesus is fighting for you. 

Jesus is fighting for us! Yes, He is fighting against spiritual forces and ungodly situations that may attempt to disrupt what He has planned for our lives. Remember, although the enemy of our souls sometimes rears his ugly head, is already a defeated foe! Take a moment, and hear what the Word of God says on this topic of the Lord fighting for us:

*Deuteronomy 1:30 "The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes."

*Deuteronomy 3:22 "You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you."

*Deuteronomy 20:4 "for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you."

*Deuteronomy 31:18 "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

*Deuteronomy 33:27 "The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms"

*Joshua 23:10 "One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised."  

*1 Samuel 17:47 "Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear;  for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands."

*2 Samuel 22:2-3 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Savior—from violent people you save me"  

*2 Chronicles 20:15 "And he said, 'Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’"

*Psalm 9:9-10 "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your Name trust in You, for You Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you."

*Psalm 56:9 "When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me."

*Psalm 109:21 "But you, Sovereign Lord, help me for Your Name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me."

*Psalm 140:7 "Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle."

*Isaiah 50:7 "Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame."

*Isaiah 50:9 "It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. If God be for us, who can be against us?"

*Romans 8:31  "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Wow, the Lord really is fighting for me, and for you! This encourages me in many ways. One way is that now, I want to sign up and fully engage in the battle too! I want to join with Jesus to fight "the good fight" as Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7.

Another way this encourages me is that now I am motivated to "put on the armor of God." See Ephesians 6:10-18, 1Thessalonains 5:5-8, 2 Corinthians 6:3-7 and Romans 13:11-14. I want to join in on this fight and do my part. And, I am very glad the Lord instructs me to put on spiritual armor for this fight.

Another way this encourages me is I am now reminded that because of Jesus, I have the victory, and so do you! I John 5:4 “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 

Have a blessed and victorious week in the Lord Jesus Christ! Stay on the winner's side, and always be ready to rumble. The god of this age may be on the prowl, but our Lord Jesus is still on the Throne! (1Peter 5:8,Rev 3:21)

Still thanking the Lord for wonderful services this past Sunday, and for the very special Water Baptism Service last Sunday night. So happy and proud of those that baptized!   

God is good...and He is still fighting for you!!

See YOU this week at NLC!

All For Jesus,

Pastor Rick and Pamela


"Just My Opinion" FB Post Aug 18, 2017

JUST MY OPINION regarding the removal of Confederate War Memorials throughout the country. Having a "yankee" father, whose family was in Italy during the Civil War, and a "southern" mother whose family was in Tennessee during the Civil War, I believe I have a unique perspective. Being raised on the outskirts of NYC, with first cousins in NY, Tennessee and South Carolina, adds to my vast exposure to a social condition that has plagued our nation for generations.

Why wasn't this an issue in the 50's and 60's when MLKJr's and Malcom X's voices were dominant? Why wasn't this an issue pre WW2 when African-Americans lined up to join the US Military to defend our country against Germany and Japan? Why wasn't this an issue pre WW1? And, why wasn't this addressed post Civil War, when the US was supposed to be mending after an horrific war between the States? As often said, hindsight is 20-20; and it should have been addressed a long, long time ago. Those statues and memorials should have never been erected in the first place.

Why would any American honor people who fought gallantly to keep people brought to this country against their will to be slaves? Or why would any American honor people who fought gallantly to keep natural born citizens of the USA bound to slavery because of the color of their skin? Obviously, slavery should never have happened, but celebrating the military leaders that fought for it to continue should never have happened either. Yes, it is necessary to keep and preserve history, but it must be honest history. Preserve history that says these generals, these soldiers, these people...fought to keep people slaves. We should remember that. It is our history, albeit, bad history. There is no honor here. There is no glory here. There should be humility, and repentance, and brokenness here. These should be remembrances that remind us never to go that route again. Such memorials, from the beginning, reminded people and white people, that African-Americans would never be afforded equal status in this country, and that those that tried desperately to keep them slaves would always be remembered as heroes. How does one live under such oppression and arrogance?

As a proud grandparent of four beautiful grandchildren of African descent, I can say with full conviction...I get it. What ethnic group would want statues and memorials that honor people that wrongly tried to keep their people literally in chains, or in "their place", and I include those that attempted to keep Italian-Americans, or any ethnic group in their place as well. It is an across the board issue. Ethnic superiority is always wrong. Didn't we learn anything from Hitler in Germany? By the way, there are no statues honoring him there, or anywhere.

The beauty of America is that we are truly a melting pot of ethnic people and traditions from around the world. And, I clearly denounce any white supremacist group, KKK, or other such groups, especially those that do their bigotry in the name of Jesus Christ. As Islamic leaders are called upon to denounce Islamic terror groups, I (we) should also denounce any terror group in America or around the world that acts and speaks "in the Name of Jesus." Jesus has NOTHING to do with bigotry, hated, violence, segregation, etc. He is the unifier, not the divider.

All this, of course is....JUST MY OPINION.

Summer greetings!

Dear NLC,

Greetings in the wonderful Name of Jesus! Trusting this email finds you well, and sensing the great love of the Lord upon your life.  I am writing today to encourage encourage you to remember exactly who you are in Christ Jesus. You...are a child of God! John tells us plainly in chapter one, verses twelve and thirteen, "But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He has given the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." 

If you have received Christ into your heart and spirit as your personal Savior and Lord, you have entered into a brand new relationship with God.  This relationship never gets old!  Please know, and if necessary be reminded that now, God is for you, not against you (Romans 8:31b). He is concerned about you, He loves you, He wants the ultimate good to come to pass in your life.  And, He "will fight for you" Exodus 14:4a.

  My brothers and sisters in Christ, what a wonderful fellowship we have entered into!  Let's try our hardest not to let anything (ANYTHING!!) get in the way of this holy relationship with our Father in heaven. Worries? Offenses? Stresses?  Financial concerns? Marriages? Children? Relationships?  Health?  Etc, etc, etc? Our Father knows all about these things, and He is here to help us through each circumstance and become over-comers in all areas of life. 

Romans 8:37-39 "No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved usAnd I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Stay close to Jesus!  Rest in His love, meditate on His Word, for His word is life (John 6:63b.)   Let's not let anything get in the way of this wonderful, beautiful, awesome relationship with the Lord! 

Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer.  So very thankful for the great services this past Sunday in our absence as we visited with family members from out of state. Thank you to all that made the services run so smoothly and powerfully!

See you all this Sunday!!

All For Jesus,

In His Love, 

Pastor Rick and Pamela

Thank you!

Hillstock 2017 was great blessing to the City of Haverhill, to New Life Christian Assembly of God, and to the Lord Jesus!  Special thanks is in order to the many, many volunteers that made it all possible.  With such help, we were able to host a beautiful Worship Night on Hillstock Wednesday, a Prayer Walk on Hillstock Thursday, the Hillstock Saturday event at GAR Park, at which we served an estimated 800 men, women, teens and children!

Friday Night at GAR Park was rained out for the first time ever! None-the-less, we were able to effectively minister to a woman who was having a difficult time that night in the Park. Thankfully, we were there to assist.

Thank you to all that served!  Thank you to all that contributed funds and gifts and soda and water and food, and various other supplies. Through it all, the Lord Jesus was promoted, lifted up, honored, and blessed.

The following day, Hillstock Sunday at NLC, thirteen souls gave their hearts to Christ during the salvation call. Thirteen! The Teen Challenge Men's Choir from Brockton, Ma did a wonderful job ministering that day in song and testimonies. A beautiful all church picnic/fellowship followed the morning service.

With a thankful heart, we at NLC give all praise to the Lord.  May we continue to be "that light on a hill" that can not, and will not, be hidden!! Matthew 5:14

All For Jesus,

Pastor Rick




Sunday, July 9, 6pm

This documentary film features NLC's Jesus Ruiz, former prison inmate, leader of the Latin Kings (Lowell, MA), and now Servant of Jesus Christ!  Brother Ruiz serves NLC as an usher and Bus Driver, and he and wife Wanda head up "Off The Streets Ministry" an outreach ministry via Common Ground Ministries at the Cafe on Winter Street, Haverhill, each Saturday.

"Beyond the Wall highlights one of the most critical issues in criminal justice reform: the many prisoners returning to their communities each year where they face tremendous challenges and barriers. The film follows five formerly incarcerated men who are attempting to rebuild their lives on the outside with little support from the U.S. criminal justice system. Through this compelling and personal account, the film vividly shows their struggles and strategies for survival beyond the walls of jail and prison." (

All invited and encouraged to spread the word! Following the screening of the film,  Brother Ruiz and follow advocate, Louie Diaz will share their dramatic testimonies of the life changing power of Jesus Christ!

Beyond The Wall

Produced and directed by Jenny Philips and Buster Cram

"Jenny Philips is a cultural anthropologist, filmmaker,writer, and psychiatric nurse.  She has a psychotherapy practice in Concord, ma, specializing in crises intervention, family and marriage therapy, behavioral medicine, and mindfulness training" (

Please spread the word to Law Enforcement, Probation and Parole, Social Workers, DSS Workers, Counselors, Teachers, Pastors, etc!!

See YOU on July 9, 6pm

"Beyond The Wall"

"Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah

gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; 

a new life burgeons!"  2 Corinthians 5:17  The Message

nlc 966 main st haverhill, ma 01830 978-373-1379


From The Eagle Tribune, Haverhill, Ma

Eagle Tribune, Haverhill, Ma

Article began on June 19 and should run till Hillstock begins.  It is listed under "Haverhill Community" in the online edition,


Christian Bands Returning To GAR Park

Contemporary Christian bands and soloists will once again fill GAR Park with uplifting music and praise when New Life Christian Assembly of God presents "Hillstock 2017."

"Hillstock is a celebration of praise and evangelistic music and arts designed to lift up and promote the lordship of Jesus Christ in private and public settings," said New Life Pastor Rick Amendola.

The celebration begins June 28 at 7 p.m. at New Life Christian Assembly, 966 Main St, with a worship concert featuring the New Life Worship Team, led by Stacie Amendola-Johnson and various singers and musicians from the church.

The celebration continues outdoors June 30 at 7 p.m. in GAR Park, with performances by Christian bands, rappers, and soloists. The public is invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the festivities.

The July 1 event at GAR Park is from noon to 5 p.m. and will feature live music, videos, rap, Christian bands and soloists, and a special puppet show for children. There will be many special activities including face painting, pony rides, dunk tank, snow cones, popcorn, hot dogs, refreshments, and a high striker, all for free. There will also be free raffles of items such as bicycles, school back packs, CDs and other items.

Sunday services on July 2 will be at New Life Christian Assembly at 10:45 a.m. (one service only) and will feature the Teen Challenge Choir from Brockton. Events conclude at 12:30 p.m. with an all-church picnic on the church grounds.

For more information, call 978-373-1379. Visit online at



"HILLSTOCK: A celebration of Praise and Evangelistic Music and Arts designed to lift up and promote the Lordship of Jesus Christ in public and private settings."


Hillstock 2017 Dates/Venues:

Wednesday June 28 at NLC, 7-9PM A Night of Praise and Worship

Friday June 30 at GAR Park, 7-10pm, various singers and groups and ministries

Saturday, July 1 at GAR Park, 12-5pm, Fun Day! Bands, soloists, Kids Ministries, pony rides, snow cones, popcorn, face painting, hot dogs and drinks, games and activities for people of all ages, give aways-bikes, school supplies...all for Free!

Sunday July 2 at NLC, one special service 10:45AM, featuring Teen Challenge Choir from Brockton, Ma. Cookout to follow!

Volunteers us, 978-373-1379

Make plans NOW to be there!!


nlc 966 main st haverhill, ma 01830 978-373-1379

May 25, 2017 Devotional


Greetings All!

Trusting this day finds you well, and close to our Lord Jesus! I am writing today to encourage you in your faith, in your personal devotions, and in your church attendance.  Please give a little thought and meditation to the following scriptures:

FAITH: Hebrews 11:6  "And it is impossible to please God without faith.  Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him." Romans 10:17 "So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ." 

PERSONAL DEVOTIONS: Hebrews 10:22 " let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water." Psalm 1:1-3 "Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.  But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.  They are like tress planed along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.  Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do."

CHURCH ATTENDANCE: Acts 2:42 " They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Hebrews 10:24-25 "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near."

The above scriptures are taken from the New Living Translation.  Can you "see", and can you "feel" the meaning of each one?  Here is a quick paraphrase:  

"Understand that faith is of the utmost importance.  Always have faith in God.  And, increase your faith by hearing, really hearing and pondering, the Word of God. When you take personal time in God's Word, you literally 'hide yourself' in His presence. It is there that you are cleansed and purified from the darkness and evil of this world.  We benefit so much by spending time in His Word, in fact, we receive strength and plant deep roots in Christ as we tarry in His Word. On top of this, we must continue in the ways of the early believers that 'devoted themselves' to sound doctrine, to fellowship, to communion and to praying with one another.  All this takes place in the local church.  As we gather together, on the 'first day' of the week or during mid-week, we encourage one another to keep going! We do this, especially as we discern the times, that Jesus is coming!"

Have a great week!  Please feel free to respond to this devotional to me. I would really like to hear from you!  

All For Jesus!                                                                                                                               Pastor Rick



April 11, 2017


Just want to take a moment to encourage all that are reading this to find a good, Bible believing church to go to this weekend as we remember and celebrate two of Christianity's most important dates: Good Friday and Resurrection Day!

"Then he said, 'When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.' Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, 'Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day.' It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: 'There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things." Luke 24:45-48

Praise the Lord for His mercy and His grace!  Seize the moment to reflect and rejoice this weekend, Friday, April 14, and Sunday, April 16 with believers of like faith. He, the Lord of Hosts, is worthy of our attention!!

All For Jesus!

Pastor Rick

PS. See "Events" for NLC Good Friday and Resurrection Day Services



Well, here we are on this fine day of February the 9th.  We are in the midst of a Blizzard!!  It is truly awesome to behold this storm.  Earlier, I had the wonderful opportunity to embark on an "adventure in Narnia" with three of my grandchildren...the three that live closest, (right next door actually!!) Ava West, Jack Sullivan and Ella Victory.  We trekked around the church property for a while, and ended up at the NLC Playground behind the church. Being at the Playground in the midst of this Blizzard was something to behold!  A summer spot now being enjoyed in the Blizzard...very cool! (No pun intended!)

The kids are quite unique, you know.  Each poetically talented, and different.  In a way, they represent all of us...curious, chatty, sensitive, needing love and craving independence.  I liked when Ava yelled out, "come on everyone!!" as they began their plunges down the slide and into the waiting snow at the bottom.  There were only three, but it seemed like an army...or an entourage...or...a family.  We all have a need for "family" don't we? A need to... belong?

This Blizzard gives me time to think of my many blessings....the recent return of my car that was stolen last Friday (a story for another day!), some truly wonderful services at church these past few Sundays, my personal family (Pamela, and Stacie and Jeffrey and Betsie, and my mom and other family members in NY and NC and Fla), and my church family.  

So curious, that church family is; IE last night was a very interesting Bible Study of 1 Timothy 2:9-15.  Check out that passage to see what I mean! Many creative questions were asked. Chatty they are...time just flew by! Sensitive, oh yes..each having a different story to share, and different application to grasp. And, how all of us need love,  yet desire independence.  

Which brings me to this: Romans 12:5, from the Message. Don't you just sometimes love the Message?

"In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t."

In other words, "enjoy your individuality, enjoy your togetherness, enjoy your new life in Christ!" 

Thanking the Lord today for a time to think....and a time to be truly thankful for His many blessings! 

BTW...."YOU" are welcome at NLC, anytime!!

And, yes, I really do love my grandkids!!



Sunday Services 2017

Just a reminder....

We are resuming our regular

Sunday Schedule of Services

this Sunday, January 8:

*8:30am...Worship, Prayer, Word

*9:50am...Adult Bible Study

*10:45am..Worship, Prayer, Kids Ministries, Word

*6pm...Adult Service, "Ignited" Youth Group

Start off the New Year with new determination to put, 

and keep God first in your life!!  

Join us this Sunday as we seek the Lord and enter into His presence!


"Come, let’s shout praises to God,

    raise the roof for the Rock who saved us!

Let’s march into his presence singing praises,

    lifting the rafters with our hymns!

And why? Because God is the best,

    High King over all the gods.

In one hand he holds deep caves and caverns,

    in the other hand grasps the high mountains.

He made Ocean—he owns it!

    His hands sculpted Earth!

So come, let us worship: bow before him,

    on your knees before God, who made us!

Oh yes, he’s our God,

    and we’re the people he pastures, the flock he feeds."

Psalm 95:1-6 The Message


See YOU this Sunday at NLC!!


Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

"For there is born unto you this day, in the City of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you, you will find a Babe lying in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes."            Luke 2:11-12


Merry Christmas to all!  And, a very Happy New Year.  Please join us as you are able for our special Christmas and New Year's Services.  See "events" for complete Christmas schedule. 


We love you so very much!!

In Jesus,

Pastor Rick and Pamela



Tuesday, November 22. 2106

Dear NLC,

Please pray!!

Sickness has hit NLC pretty hard these past few weeks.

Please pray that the Lord would not only heal those listed below, but also protect all of us from future health problems, especially as we enter the Holiday Season and New Year.

Be reminded of this important verse (among others) that pertain to our "position" in Christ as we pray to Him.  Psalm 66:18 tells us, "If I regard iniquity (sin) in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."  Be sure to "wipe the slate clean" before you go to the Lord in prayer.  Hold no offense against Him, nor against another brother or sister in Christ, nor against any unbeliever.  Come clean before the Lord, personally, as well as regarding your relationships with others.  Talk with someone, if necessary, about your desire to "clear the air" between you and them.  This may be difficult, but sometimes it is necessary to do so.  The Lord has established a way for "righteousness" to prevail among us.  May we allow the Holy Spirit to move in us, and through us, as we reach out to the Lord for others to be healed. (See scripture verses below.)

To God Be The Glory!!

Pastor Rick and Pamela

(List of people in need of prayer is not published on this website. The special needs alluded to in this blog can be found on the NLC Email Prayer List, sent out today.  Please pray for men, women, teens and children from NLC to be healed of sickness, disease, and accidental injuries. Thank you!) 

"Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again."

James 5:16-18 The Message




Favorite Things!!

Why I Love Being A Pastor: 5 Favorite Things

by Jack Wellman, Christian Media Magazine

 April 9, 2015

I could list more than five things that I love about being a pastor but here might be my favorite ones.  Which ones might you think of?


Soul Winning

I was told in seminary to preach the gospel in each sermon because there are likely some in the congregation that have never really been saved.  Jesus gave the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares with the understanding that He was saying that there will always be unregenerate people mixed among those who are saved (Matt 13:24-30), therefore it makes in necessary to use good, expository preaching in every single message from behind the pulpit because there is power in the message of the gospel to change lives (Rom 1:16) and the power to save.   Paul said“the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”(1 Cor 1:18) so this power must be unleashed every time I preach because we know that God’s says “my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).  I don’t trust my own thoughts, ideas or opinions but I do trust God’s Word to do what He sets it out to do. I have had the greatest of privileges to lead people to saving faith in Christ but I knew it wasn’t really me that saved anyone but the Word itself as it takes a man of God, using the Word of God, with the Spirit of God, to make the children of God for the glory of God.


Compelled to Preach the Gospel

It might seem that I covered this already but let me explain why this is another of the reasons that I love being a pastor.  I feel absolutely compelled to do it.  For over 25 years, when I was much younger, I also taught Sunday school but it felt like something was missing for many years.  I felt like it wasn’t enough and I couldn’t figure it out until I got the chance to fill the pulpit one time for a pastor that was retiring. Then I understood what Jeremiah felt in 20:9 “If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name, there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.’”  Like Paul I say that “preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News” (1 Cor 9:16)!  Pastors that I know will tell you “we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20) and like Paul “I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish” (Rom 1:14).  I can honestly tell you that I would be miserable doing anything else in life which agrees with Paul’s statement “For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor 9:16b)!  Like the runner in Chariots of Fire, I feel God’s holy pleasure in me when I preach the gospel, as imperfect as I am. I often tell the church; “Part of my sermon today will be perfect…the part where I read out of the Bible” but I have no other choice in life.


Loving the Flock

I have a tradition every Sunday morning. On the last worship song that is sung before the sermon, I go around to as many people as I can and hug them and tell them that I thank God for them being there. Some people are huggers and so I hug them, some are uncomfortable with hugging and I respect that and even though I am a hugger, I shake their hand or pat them on the shoulder and tell them I am glad they are there.  I love the people of God and there is no other place that I would rather be than with the people of God and to love the people of God and to thank God for these people.  I try to never take them for granted that they are there adding to the worship service and giving it a more meaningful experience and adding to the filling out of the Body of Christ, the church. I love these people as if they were my own family because they truly are.  I pray for them, I tell them to their face, “I love you,” and I appreciate what they contribute to the church in whatever way they do. I try to be specific and not just using empty words with insincere flattery.



I have some young men that I am mentoring but don’t get me wrong … I have a mentor too.  I believe that every Timothy needs a Paul but every Paul needs a Timothy.  The Body is to grow up together and to be accountable to one another.  I believe that my experience, my failures, and my successes must be shared with younger men so that when I am gone someday, they can take up the lantern like Elisha took up the lantern for Elijah.  Pastors should train men to take up and continue the ministry when they are gone.  Not one of us knows where we’ll be in the next year, not to mention next week, and we must train, equip, and prepare young men to take up where we might leave off like Paul did with Timothy and Titus. Paul instructed Timothy “Command and teach these things.  Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Tim 4:11-13).  Like Paul considered Titus his own true son (Titus 1:4) and there was no greater joy, so too did Paul consider Timothy as his spiritual son.  Mentoring brings joy because I get to see these young men’s lives be transformed but I need mentoring too and my mentor is our retired pastor of the church where I am at now, proving that we never outlive the necessity to be mentored and to mentor others.



This might be something you wouldn’t expect but when people come to me, they know that they can confide in me and I won’t share their struggles with anyone. I keep all of my counseling sessions in strict confidence.   When people tell me that they’re struggling with pornography, drugs, sexual addictions, same-sex attraction, alcohol, marital problems or whatever else it is, the most frustrating part is that sometimes I can’t help them but I do know Who can and it’s not a human.  I heard one pastor say that living the Christian life is not hard…it’s impossible so we need God’s supernatural strength to help all of us to overcome in different areas of life but during the times that I can actually help someone to transform their life through prayer, the Word of God, intervention, accountability applications or whatever it is, there is tremendous joy in this.  I also tell those that I counsel that I am not their solution, God is and what I can’t do, He can but to have people come to me with problems that they have only shared with God and no one else makes me feel that they trust me thoroughly and know that I won’t gossip to anyone about their weaknesses because I too have my own personal struggles.



Maybe you can find something else that you love about being a pastor.  Another thing I love about my ministry is that I get to study the Word of God during my writing (as I’m bi-vocational) and during my message preparations for sermons.  Since I get so much enjoyment out of studying and reading the Word of God, it’s such a privilege to love what I do and to feel that I am fulfilling God’s purpose for my life for which there is nothing in life more satisfying than being in the sovereign will of God.


"The Secret Pain of Pastors"

Greetings! Came across a great article following this brief introduction written by Philip Wagner  Check it out...and pray for your Pastor!

Something to think/pray about...aspiring pastors, congregants, community of faith. 

Certain that without God's calling, "pastoring" would not happen:

1. "Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ." Ephesians 4:11-13.
2. "Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit." Hebrews 13:17



The Secret Pain of Pastors

By Philip Wagner

Philip Wagner offers insight into the six major struggles pastors face in the ministry and how to overcome them. 

Peter Drucker, the late leadership guru, said that the four hardest jobs in America (and not necessarily in order, he added) are:

  • The President of the United States
  • A university president
  • A CEO of a hospital and
  • A pastor

Is that true? Pastors love God and love people. They get to pray for people, lead people to a faith in Jesus Christ, and teach the Word about God.

That’s the dream job. You can read the Bible all day, pray, play a little golf and preach. I want to do that!


Here is the secret. Being a pastor is hard work. It’s not for wimps. 

This is the reality—the job of a pastor can be 24/7 and carry unique challenges.

Some pastors wear themselves out trying to help people. Some wound their families because they are so involved in ministry. Others flourish in their ministry and personal life.

Approximately 85 percent of churches in America have less than 200 people. Sixty percent of churches are under 100 people. The average size congregation in the U.S. is 89 people, according to The Barna Group. Staffs are small, and needs are great. In many situations, the pastor needs to be a Bible teacher, accountant, strategist, visionary, computer tech, counselor, public speaker, worship director, prayer warrior, mentor, leadership trainer and fundraiser.

Who can be all of that?

  • Ninety percent of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they
    thought it would be like before they entered the ministry. 
  • Seventy percent say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.

Personally, I love being a pastor. I have a great staff. We have great people in our church. I am content whether going through good times or difficult seasons. Of course, it’s a lot easier to be “content” when things are good. I have great friends who are pastors. My marriage is strong. I am a better man because of my time in ministry.

Some of the unique problems that pastors face are:


1. Criticism

Pastors can be criticized by a lot of people for a multitude of things.

 “Music is too loud. Worship is not long enough. It’s too long.”

“Sermon is not deep enough. It’s too long.” 

“Pastor thinks he’s too important. It took me three weeks to get an appointment.”

“You talk too much about money.”

“Can I talk to you for a minute, Pastor?” This simple question can cause a pastor to think: “Oy vey. Now what?”

We pastors need to find a way to not take criticism so personally and learn from truths that could be hidden in the criticism.

2. Rejection

Members leave, leaders leave and pastors’ friends leave. The reality is—people leave.

The smaller the church, the more obvious it is when people leave. Some leave for reasonable decisions; many leave ‘ungracefully.’ They leave the big churches, too—by the thousands.

People leave T.D. Jakes’ church, and they leave Andy Stanley’s church.

When our church had about 150 people and some would leave, it was so disappointing. I tried to console myself by thinking, “They may be leaving by the dozens here at Oasis, but thousands have left Jack Hayford’s church, and he’s a great pastor.” … That only helped for a minute.

“I’m leaving.”

“We want something deeper.”  

“My needs aren’t getting met.”

These comments can feel like a personal rejection.

Every pastor has heard, “I’m not getting fed here.” Bill Hybels has heard it. Wayne Cordero, Dino Rizzo, Ed Young, Craig Groeschel, Steven Furtick and Matthew Barnett have heard it.

Really? Not getting fed? In those churches? How is that possible?

One of the most difficult conditions to achieve is to have a “tough skin and a soft heart.” Love people, hold them lightly and don’t take it personally. 

“Uhhh, OK. Lord, help us.”


3. Betrayal

Trusting church members with personal burdens can backfire. They may end up telling the pastor’s personal issues to others. Staff leaders can take church members away. The pastor trusts a person with the platform or title, and that person uses the influence given to them to take people away. The Judas kiss.

Church staff causing problems is a betrayal. Pastors rightfully think, “I’m paying you to solve problems. I can get new problems for free. I don’t need to pay someone a salary to create them.” 

  • Fortypercent report a conflict with a church member at least once a month
  • Eighty five percent of pastors said their greatest problem is they are tired of dealing with problem people, such as disgruntled elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members and associate pastors. 
  • The #1 reason pastors leave the ministry is that church people are not willing to go the same direction and goal of the pastor. Pastors believe God wants them to go in one direction, but the people are not willing to follow or change. 
  • Forty percent of pastors say they have considered leaving their pastorates in the last three months.

We pastors have to find a way, with God’s grace, to love people as if we have never been hurt before.

4. Loneliness

Who’s my friend? Who can I trust? If I tell another pastor my problems, will he criticize me, tell others or just treat me differently?

  • Seventy percent do not have someone they consider a close friend.

Are my friends really my friends or a church member who is a temporary friend who may leave any day now?

Healthy friendships are crucial to a fulfilling life, especially to the wellbeing of a pastor. Put special effort in this area.


5. Weariness 

Fifty percent of the ministers starting out will not last five years

Seventy percent felt God called them to pastoral ministry before their ministry began, but after three years of ministry, only 50 percent still felt called. 

Keeping personally refreshed is an art and a science … and extremely important.

When fatigue comes in, you not only look half-empty, but also dirty, contaminated and undrinkable.

6. Frustrations & Disappointments

Disappointments come in many ways.

Because of smaller congregations, the average compensation package for pastors is between $35,000 and $40,000. There are many things pastors in this salary range are not able to do for their family that other people around them can do.

There are many areas of ministry in which judging “success” is difficult. Pastors can be hard on themselves. We work in an area that good work and good effort does not always guarantee success.

Many pastors work hard but are missing some kind of “X-factor.” They are good people, sincere believers, love God, know the Word, have great content in their sermons, but somehow it’s not clicking. It’s frustrating.

It’s like a worship leader who loves Jesus and has a great singing voice but somehow cannot lead people in an effective worship experience.

Some days, leaders feel like they can’t seem to do anything right. The ministry finally gets momentum, and then a leader in the church falls. Things are going well, and then a couple of your biggest givers leave.

The church needs money, but the pastor doesn’t want to put too much focus on money. It’s not about the money—but it becomes about the money.

All of this can be overwhelming. 

  • 4,000 new churches begin each year and 7,000 churches close. 
  • Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year. 
  • Over 3,500 people a day left the church last year. 
  • Fifty percent of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if
    they could, but have no other way of making a living. 
  • 45.5  percent of pastors say that they’ve experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry. 

This is not the case for all pastors. In fact, many that I know have managed to handle these issues well. 


How Christians and church members can help:  

Pray for your pastor.

Pray for guidance, protection, healthy friends, their marriage and family. Pray for inspiration, anointing, the leadership team, unity and clarity. 

Protect your pastor.

As best as you can, don’t allow or participate in gossip and criticism. How can you serve and problem solve to prevent overload? 

Encourage your pastor.

Thank him or her for his or her work and ministry. Thank them for their sacrifice. Tell them a specific time in which you or someone you know experienced a life change in their church. Honor them to others. Let your pastors know you are praying for them. According to the Barna report—the profession of “pastor” is near the bottom of a survey of the most-respected professions, just above “car salesman.”

To Pastors.

Don’t give up, pastor! Persistence is powerful.

Keep on. Really! Your work, your labor of love and your sacrifice matters.

I realize the last thing a pastor needs is another sermon. But these verses have helped me. Hold on to God’s Word with your life.

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36 NLT

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Gal. 6:9 NLT

Be careful of the comparison trap.

Looking at other ministries can be inspiring. Comparing yourself to other churches can be destructive and discouraging.

Make new pastor friends. Expose yourself to new influences, new leaders, churches or ministries that are doing some things differently.

Discover to some fresh views and ideas. Sometimes, it just takes one or two new ideas that can change momentum around.

Pastors that are struggling or are no longer in ministry may have unresolved hurts. I encourage you to find healing. Seek counseling; find a local Celebrate Recovery group; equip yourself with resources on healing (some examples are Safe People or Boundaries) and share your secrets with safe people. Remember, you’re only as sick as your secrets.

*The Fuller Institute, George Barna and Pastoral Care Inc. provide the statistics I have used in this post.

Philip Wagner

Philip Wagner is Lead Pastor of Oasis Church in Los Angeles and founder of Oasis is an innovative and racially diverse church, largely comprised of people in their 20’s & 30’s. Oasis is known for its local and global outreach to the impoverished; especially orphans and widows, and funding clean water projects. Philip and his wife, Holly, started Oasis in 1984, in Beverly Hills with10 people. Today they’ve grown to 3000+ members. 















"Three reasons to get to church on time"

Why arriving before the start of the service can make a huge difference.

         BY SAMUEL MILLS  8 MARCH 2015  

I must admit, I’m not naturally someone who runs on time. I don’t really like waking up early, and often if I’m in the middle of something I don’t feel like I want to be restrained by deadlines or appointments. 

But I’ve recently become convicted of the many reasons to get to church on time, or even early! As young people (especially those of us with our own transport), it’s not really that hard –  we don’t have kids to buckle up into the car, or a whole bunch of people to organize.

Getting to church on time is actually really important, and I think we need to be starting to get into this habit in our teenage years. 

So without further ado, here are three reasons for you to get to church on time regularly:

1. To meet new people

A few weeks ago at the evening church service I attend, I looked out on the congregation ten minutes before the service was due to start. There in the chairs sat three groups of people who I’d never seen before, glancing through their service handouts. Unfortunately, there were very few regular churchgoers at church at that point (apart from those of us in the band), and so there was no one there talking to them. What a missed opportunity. 

Let’s face it – new people are usually the ones who get to church early. And if you get to church even five minutes before the service starts, you can welcome them before the first song even begins. 

Our churches need to be welcoming new people, whether they’re Christians visiting from another church, Christians who might be looking at coming to the church, or people who are yet to know Christ just coming along to see what it’s all about. It’s good to meet new people after the service over tea and coffee. But welcoming them – and having a good conversation with them – before the service even begins is going to make them feel so much more at home. It could be the difference that makes them want to come back next week!


2. To encourage the encouragers

I could be a bit biased here, as I’m usually playing in the band at church, but I think it’s true – getting to church on time shows those serving at the service that you appreciate what they do. If you’re there when the service begins, and sing heartily along to the music, listen when the bible is read and listen to what the service’s MC has put together, you are showing that you appreciate the work they are putting in to encourage the church. 

Contrast this with regularly turning up fifteen or even twenty minutes into the service. As someone who often is serving up the front at the start of the service, I get the message that you don’t think what goes on at the start of the service with is that important. You don’t value the way the music team has rehearsed and are using their efforts to lead the congregation in praise to God. And you don’t value the work that the MC, the bible readers and the person praying have put into helping the congregation grow in and be encouraged in their faith. You just come to church to hear the sermon – or worse, for the refreshments afterwards! 

Of course, the people serving up the front shouldn’t be doing it to impress people – they should be doing it for God. But as fellow brothers and sisters, we should be encouraging them as they encourage us, and appreciate what they do. 


3. Because it shows and sets your priorities

Regularly turning up to church late might not seem that big a deal for you. But I think if we’re really honest, it’s just a symptom of the real problem – we don’t see church as important as it should be. 

What is it that makes us late for church? 

  • Maybe we were asleep and just wanted a few more minutes in bed. 
  • Maybe we were halfway through a DVD and wanted to finish it off.
  • Maybe we were hanging out with friends and didn’t want the conversations to end.
  • Maybe we wanted to stop off at McDonald’s on the way to church, or… 
  • Maybe we were finishing off an assignment that we really should have done earlier.

See, when we do this regularly, we’re putting sleep and entertainment and friends and food and schoolwork before church.

And why is church so important? Because the bible says it is

(and for good reasons)!

In Hebrews 10, the author urges his reader

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV)

The same applies for us – we are to hold on to the hope we have in Jesus, and spur one another toward love and good deeds. We’re to keep on meeting together regularly at church – for that is how we encourage each other, as we look for the day when Jesus returns.

Church isn’t just a bunch of randoms meeting in a building each week. It’s not just a combination of readings and songs and talks. It’s the time when we encourage each other in our faith, reminding each other to hold onto the hope we have in Jesus, as we wait for him to return.



See YOU this Sunday at NLC...on TIME!!


"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, 

making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand

what the will of the Lord is." 

Ephesians 5:15-17


Annual Mission's Banquet

MISSION'S BANQUET!! All invited to this yea,rs' Mission's Banquet, held at the Haverhill Citizen's Center, 1 Welcome St, October 28, 6-9pm.

Special foods, special mission's presentations, guest speaker, Kurt Lange, East Coast International Church/Dream Center, Lynn, Ma

Contact Samantha Berry to let us know you are coming and what foods you will be brining! 978-590-8215.

All invited!! Children, youth, adults!


United Night of Prayer

Join us for our United Night of Prayer!!

A a follow-up to September's United Night of Worship, NLC is partnering with numerous local churches for a concentrated effort to pray together, once a month, beginning this Thursday, October 20, at 7pm.  Each third Thursday of the month, the meeting place will vary, moving from church to church throughout the city.  The first Prayer Meeting will be held at NLC, 966 Main St (Rt 125), Haverhill. 

Churches that have been invited to attend include The River Church, Advent Christian Church, Community Christian Fellowship, King of Grace, First Church of Christ-Bradford, Riverside Church, First Baptist, Second Baptist, Rehoboth Lighthouse, Church of the Nazarene, Haverhill Community Church, West Congregational, and several others. 

YOU are invited to come and pray at this historic event!  Please feel free to invite other believers, and other churches to attend as well.  The meeting will last for approximately one hour.  There not be coffee, nor snacks!  We will simply gather to pray and to seek the Lord as one body.

Spread the word....United Night of Prayer, this Thursday, October 20, 7pm at NLC.

Next prayer meeting, November 24, 7pm at Riverside Church, 278 Groveland St, Haverhill.  Make plans now to attend.

"You were all called to travel on the same road

and in the same direction, 

so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. 

You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, 

one God and Father of all, who rules over all, 

works through all, and is present in all. 

Everything you are and think and do

is permeated with Oneness."  

Ephesians 4:4-6

The Message



Greetings and welcome to our church website!  Launched earlier this year, we hope that this medium will be helpful in informing you of our purpose and our events.  This "Pastor's Blog" will be a place to bring a special word or insight, or a special notice that we feel is really important for you to know about.  

Feel free to contact us via email:, or phone: 978-373-1379.

Our facebook page is: "Nlc-Haverhill"  You can find pertinent info there as well.

Also, check out the "NLC MEDIA" link on this website for current sermons and recorded church events.

God bless you!!  Hope to see YOU soon at NLC!

~Pastor Rick