Month: November 2016

Are You Working Willingly as if For God?

What is your favorite scripture passage in all of the Bible? Maybe you think of the famous verse, John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Or maybe you learned Proverbs 3:5 growing up, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” Of the 31,102 verses found in the Bible, I would have to say one of my favorites is found in Colossians 3:23, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” We are not living for this world and we need to be prepared for opportunities to serve God through serving others. We must pray and live intentionally with our focus on living for God. Let’s break down Colossians 3:23 to help us grow in our walk with the Lord. Work willingly: Our work, or whatever we commit our time and energy towards, needs to …

This Week For Sunday

 A couple weeks ago, my wife Shona and I took our three year old, Aidan, to Disney World.  It was so much fun to see his enthusiasm, excitement and passion for Mickey and all his friends, especially at the Character Meet and Greets.  As we stood in line, getting closer, the excitement on his face built and then he would joyously run into the arms of his favorite characters. As parents, we live for moments like these ourselves, moments when our child will melt into our arms and embrace us with their entire little being.  In Mark and Luke, Jesus says we should receive the kingdom of God as little children.  I also believe this is the way God wants us to worship Him; to just throw ourselves wholly into Him and embrace His holiness, goodness and limitless love for us.  When a child embraces her parent like this, she feels sheltered, protected and unconditionally loved.  This is exactly what we feel when we engage in worship like this as well.  We can feel our fears melt away.  …

Be Thankful for the Little Things

Jim was one of the most optimistic, joy-filled, inspiring friends I have ever had. Always smiling—even when he didn’t feel well. One of the highlights of my Sunday morning was to soak up the sunshine of his greeting.  Jim had his regular spot in the back of the church where Linda and I served. If he was not there, I counted it a pleasure to visit his house on Sunday evening and, after a lengthy conversation, serve him the Lord’s Supper. He was always grateful. And I was always a better man because Jim brushed up against me. The signature above was on a letter Jim sent me after we moved to Chattanooga, TN. I cherish it, because it is the last communication I had with him before he went to be with the Lord. Hard to read his handwriting, isn’t it? That’s because Jim couldn’t hold a pen in his hand. He signed his correspondence by holding a pen in his teeth while someone held the paper up to his face. Jim could’t scratch …

There is More to You Than Just You

Colossians is one of my favorite books of the New Testament.  I’m not just saying that because I was asked to write about it; I truly enjoy the theology that Paul uses here.  The problem with writing about this book is I don’t really feel up to the task.  I don’t know if I have the right words to get what’s in my head onto “paper.” But that’s what Paul is trying to teach in this letter isn’t it?  I don’t have the right words, my thoughts don’t always come out the best way possible.  That’s why he taught that our life isn’t really our own. This is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. – Colossians 1:27 It’s Christ in me that gives me the hope of glory, but Paul doesn’t stop there. We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. – Colossians 1:2 It’s not just Christ in me, but me in Christ.  Let’s take it even …

This Week For Sunday

I’ve always found it interesting that in the English language the word good is only one letter different than the word God . This has served as a helpful reminder to me that God is the definition of good. His grace, love, mercy, and faithfulness are unending. He will never let us down. He is such a good God and a good Father. The goodness of God can be found in every aspect of our lives. One aspect in particular is during the darkness and storms of our lives. As Tim Hughes writes: When faith is shaken, when fears surround, my feet will stand on solid ground. In every season, my song will be, oh God, be here with me. In every breath, every joy and tear, every passing hour, let me know You’re near. In life, in death, for eternity, oh God, be here with me. In spite of our lack of faith or our unbelief that God is with us, He is always faithful. He is always there, even when we can’t see or feel …

A Different Perspective to Working For Peace

Peace is something that doesn’t come easy – anyone who has ever tried to work for it knows that. As Christians, we consider Jesus to be the greatest peacemaker of all time, after all, He did reconcile mankind to God (1 Timothy 2:5). In the book of Matthew, Jesus lays down some instructions for us as Christians to fight for peace as well: “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). This is one of the great statements (also known as the Beatitudes) that Jesus makes at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Surely peacemaking isn’t just holding doors open and being nice to people. When Jesus says work for peace he is saying that there is much to be done and that it isn’t easy.  But what does this actually look like for us?  Jesus said, “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword,” (Matthew 10:34). This is an interesting statement from …

Don’t Worry: He Holds All Things Together

He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. – Colossians 1:17 I remember reading this for the first time years ago and bearing down with a pen onto my Bible, underlining this sucker over and over and over. I was thinking, “That’s right, He, the brother, holds it all together!” It makes me think of a message I heard from Louie Giglio years ago called “How Great is Our God.”  In short, he talks about a protein molecule called laminin. It is a molecule in the body that literally holds the body together; it’s the rebar (steel enforcing rod holding cement together) of the human body and it is shaped into image of a cross. Amazing, right?!! At the microscopic level of our body, a molecule in the image of a cross is holding us together. Jesus is literally holding our body together. When Paul writes this, the fullness of his words are meant to be understood that Christ has total sovereignty and control over all creation. Much like His working in our body, Christ …

This Week For Sunday

Have you ever had a period in your life when you felt like God wasn’t near? I think we’ve all been there.  We’ve all had times when we’ve felt like our prayers were just bouncing off the ceiling.   King David wrote, “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!” (Psalm 139:7)  This Sunday we’re singing a new song that says: In every breath, every joy and tear Every passing hour, let me know You’re near In life, in death, for eternity Oh God, be here with me While we’re assured that God is always with us and nothing can separate us from His love, it doesn’t always feel that way (Romans 8:31-39). When God feels far away, it isn’t God’s fault.  He is always faithful, always the same, always consistent.  When God feels far away, it’s a heart issue; our heart issue. So what do we do when God feels as far away as the stars? Diligently seek Him. God says to the prophet Jeremiah, “If you look for me …

Our Crazy SoHills Family

I love our crazy church family!  It never ceases to amaze me how God so graciously allows us to be a part of His plans.  And make no mistake, God is definitely using His body here in little ‘ole Carrollton, Georgia! Did you know?… our 456 program for 4th-6th graders has experienced tremendous growth averaging 46 kids and 16 leaders the last 2 months on Sunday mornings our Fusion (7th-12th grades) ministry has over 140 students showing up every Wednesday night to hear the Gospel and how it applies to their lives there are currently 26 adults being discipled in the Soul Care ministry, and since January over 80 adults have experienced Soul Care through one-on-one counseling or participation in our Care Groups Campus Outreach (our UWG partner) is experiencing unprecedented growth on campus and we are seeing a rise in college students attending on Sunday mornings new members are joining Southern Hills every month each month, more people get involved in the various ministries of Southern Hills. The Fusion ministry alone has had 7 new volunteers …

Is Your Heart Leading You Towards Destruction?

The heart wants what the heart wants – or else it does not care. – Emily Dickinson The heart is fickle as it seems to be able to rule our lives through our emotions.  Worry, anger, fear, jealousy, how did these things get such a foothold in our lives? Almost 6 years ago we just found out we were having another baby.  A few months into the pregnancy, we went to the doctor for a routine check-up. As the nurse checked the baby’s heart rate, “the look” came across her face. As a nurse myself, I knew what “the look” meant and my stomach sank.  She immediately left to go get the doctor and the doctor came to tell us that our son’s heart rate was extremely high and we needed to go see a specialist.  Then we went to the specialist and were told we needed to go to another specialist. Needless to say we saw a specialist every week for about 4 months, having different tests run every week.  And every week the doctor or nurse would …