Author: Keith Trollinger

Surrendering My Heart to the Creator

This upcoming Sunday, June 4 we will sing what I think is one of the most aggressive songs you could sing to God. It was written by David Crowder and the title is Here’s My Heart Lord.  More than a song, it’s a prayer: Here’s my heart Lord Here’s my heart Lord Here’s my heart Lord Speak what is true ‘Cause I am found, I am Yours I am loved, I’m made pure I have life, I can breathe I am healed, I am free ‘Cause You are strong, You are sure You are life, You endure You are good, always true You are light breaking through You are more than enough You are here, You are love You are hope, You are grace You’re all I have, You’re everything I just want to bust out singing this prayer to Abba Father! This song leads me to two Psalms written by David that have had incredible influence and impact in my life. The first is Psalm 51 where we find David’s prayer of repentance after being caught …

Do You Have the Hope to Endure the Heat?

Often times when I preach, I come right out of the gates with the strong points. We don’t get a lot of time, so sometimes you just got to get to the point. This is definitely James approach in his book in the New Testament. Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4 In the first century, a silversmith would take raw silver and purify it by applying heat, turning the silver into a liquid.  The impurities would separate from the silver and rise to the top. Using a spoon, the silversmith would remove the impurities, or dross, from the top layer of the silver. A good silversmith would repeat this process many times over. When the silversmith could see his full reflection in the silver, he knew that …

Do You Really Know Jesus For Real?

When I walk into a school, 99% of teenagers will tell me they believe in Jesus. I’ve learned there’s a stark difference between believing in Jesus and believing Jesus. Most people say they know who Jesus is, but do you really know Him? In Philippians, Paul writes, “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death…” (Philippians 3:10) The power of this sentence is in the word know. It’s the Greek word gnoskis and Paul uses it to mean deep intimacy. Gnoskis describes the relationship that a husband has with his wife on the wedding night, the husband and the wife know each other in the most intimate way possible, becoming one. Paul is implying that he wants to know Jesus in the most intimate way that we can possibly know Him. Do you believe in Jesus or believe Jesus? The difference implies the weight of gnoskis. To believe in Jesus is easy, the historical evidence for His existence on this …

Parenting with the Heart in Mind

If you missed this past Sunday at SoHills, click here to catch up.  And I urge you to listen if you missed it, especially Shannon’s talk on parenting. He should write a book! When it comes to parenting children, what needs attention first, the heart or their behavior? I believe we would always lean toward the heart of a child being the most important, but their behavior seems to attract the most attention, especially when it comes to a parent’s reaction. We want to respond to behavior immediately before we really even consider what is going on in our child’s heart. Let’s be honest, it is much easier to react to behavior than to go after the heart. Attacking the behavior is an immediate fix. By all appearances, the situation has been resolved, control has been maintained, consequences have been distributed, and we believe “it’s handled.” But we often times miss something that is much deeper. Now, we can’t ignore the behavior.  Sinful behavior requires consequences, but when the consequences are a means to an end, we …

What Does Your Faith Mean to You?

This past weekend I went to play golf with a friend of mine. It was an incredible day to be outside, mid 60’s, slight breeze out of the west, not a cloud in the sky, picture perfect. It was less about playing golf, and more about spending time with my friend. Our conversation went to everything from hunting this fall to tinnitus in my ears (he is a doctor and I am a hypochondriac). He is from the west coast and moved a couple of years ago to take on a new position here locally. It has been an awesome move for him and his family. Through our time together, I wondered how different it was for him now, being here on the east coast. I wanted to know what it meant to a Christian there as opposed to here, and his answer left me thinking. My friend said, “To follow Christ on the West Coast, it meant something. You didn’t just tell people that you were a Christian and that you went to church. You …

Living Under the New Covenant of Christmas

I love Christmas! Food, family, and food! I may have those out of order, but I love this season. Growing up, we would attend our church’s Christmas Eve service. I remember the church being packed with families, singing Christmas hymns and lighting candles. My family would read the story of Christ’ birth from Matthew and Luke. My brother, sister and I would have a slumber party on Christmas Eve, staying up all night laughing and making every attempt to “catch Santa.” And even though Santa was cool, I knew it was about Jesus. But I didn’t fully understand just how important His birth really is. God gave Moses the 10 Commandments to make the Israelites aware of their sin. The Law did nothing to bring about atonement for sin, so God required daily sacrifices.  But Moses and the prophets knew that God would establish a new covenant, and it would not be written on tablets, but on the very hearts and minds of God’s people! “But this is the new covenant I will make with the …

What Will You Give Jesus This December?

This past week we started a series in Fusion called “Vintage Christmas.” During this series, we are taking a closer look at the events surrounding the birth of Christ and rediscovering the Christmas story. When I study the scriptures, I often find myself saying, “You can’t make this stuff up!,” and that is exactly the sentiment of this birth narrative.  In Matthew 2, we find a group of men, known as the Magi, following a “wandering star” in the sky. We don’t know a lot about the Magi, but we see from the text that they came from the east, and they saw a star in the sky that was leading to Jerusalem and eventually Bethlehem.  It is likely they were a part of a Persian Priesthood from the ancestry of Daniel.   They clearly believed that stars are significant, hence they made a 1000+ mile journey to Jerusalem. Thanks to the science of astronomy, we know the positions of stars and planets all throughout history.  The star that the Maji followed was actually Jupiter, …

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 …

Poverty of The Heart

I don’t believe that one has to look very far to see what is missing. The evidence is everywhere and it is clear. No matter where you go in this world, there is one common missing element among humanity: the need to be loved. I was keenly aware of it during my first trip to Mexico in the summer of 2001. We were working in Matamoras, a city labeled as the most polluted city in the world in the late 90’s by National Geographic. You could smell the stench of human waste at every turn. We had traveled to the outskirts of Matamoras to feed children; it was a Thursday afternoon and it was hot. The dirt streets were cluttered with large gaping trenches made by semi’s that had driven through in the rain. It was this day each week that these children would get what they considered a gourmet meal; not the usual rice and beans, but burritos and enchiladas. I believe that the children looked forward to Thursdays, kind of like when we were young and we …

Make The Hike: Where Are You Going?

Two weeks ago we kicked of the 2016/17 Fusion school year with a simple, yet, massive challenge: “Make The Hike.” We desire for all our students to make some kind of movement forward toward God this school year. We want them to move and we thought the imagery of a hike illustrated this well. Before I start a hiking trip, I have to choose my destination. We asked our students, at the end of this school year, where do you want to be? What is the destination?  It could have been a “small step” or something huge that put them “miles” down the road.  The important thing wasn’t the destination, but that they had a goal in their minds, something to strive for. What about you? Where do you want to be in May of 2017? Do you want to start leading your family spiritually, start a Bible study at the office, serve within the local church or start a community outreach? Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ …