Author: Southern Hills Christian Church

Love Does Alongside the Greatest Visionary

-written by J.J. Cole Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found.  I’ve found it’s the small things.  Everyday deeds by ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. – Gandalf, Lord of the Rings Earlier this weekend Christine and I did a family devotional with the kids titled “Sandcastles & Monuments.” We decorated rocks with markers, depicting how God has shown Himself to us in our lives.  Gabby drew a rainbow on one rock and waters parting on another.  Tyler drew a fireball coming down from the sky (go figure) and the Cross. It struck me how the kids so easily reached for these “monuments” in history where God acted, where God demonstrated that love does. The rainbow – His promise to Noah The Red Sea parting – His deliverance of the Israelites The fireball from heaven – His support of Elijah The Cross – His willingness to go any length to save us Throughout the Bible, we see God works …

Can We Skip The Hard Stuff And Get to The End?

-written by Devin Feeney I don’t know about you, but I find the ambiguity of life both frustrating and terrifying. As I end college, I’m learning more and more that life is a process in which God grows and refines us. Which leads me to ask, “What storms am I going to face and can I avoid them?” Up until now, life has been planned out with clear steps set before me. I feel as though I’ve been living in a bubble where the realities of life aren’t squeezing in. As I enter into this new stage, I’m learning more and more that life is messy and hard. Life isn’t easy. I know that there are lessons I need to learn, but I’d much rather skip the learning process, not have to face anything difficult, and be on the other side where I have it all figured out. How unrealistic is that?!? My fear of the uncertainty that life brings is outweighing my trust in who God is and what He promises to do. When …

The Effect of Serving with the Heart of Jesus

-written by Matthew Hicks When I think of the word serve, many different things come to my mind: serving in the military, serving dinner, serving a ping pong ball, serving the church. While all different, in each instance action is required from something or someone. I can’t serve in the military without first signing paperwork committing to service. I can’t serve dinner without first getting off the couch and preparing the meal. I can’t serve a ping pong ball without first finding an opponent and gathering the necessary equipment.  For me, I couldn’t serve at SoHills without first practicing and waking up early on Sunday morning. Do you notice a pattern? Each form of service is an effect of the initial action.  The end result, the service we are trying to achieve, is the effect and our actions are the cause.  We live in a cause & effect world; everything we do has an impact on our life and the lives of those around us. Jesus was fully aware of this cause & effect world …

Bugs, Worms and Your Daily Bread

written by Jean Daniel Just outside my screened-in porch, I have a small birdhouse. A pair of chickadees chose it as their nursery for the spring and began building a nest. After they carried straw for a few days, Momma Chickadee answered the call of nature and laid her eggs. She patiently sat until the time was right for her babies to hatch. I enjoyed watching all of this from my swing on the porch. Although I could not see into the birdhouse, I could tell when the babies arrived because Momma and Daddy Chickadee began the never-ending task of feeding those mouths just begging for a bug or juicy worm. But when I sat on the porch swing, the parents would not come feed the babies. I was a hindrance to the feeding process. If I moved farther away from their sight, the feeding would continue. The babies were hungry but I became an obstacle to their being satisfied. Give us this day, our daily bread. – Mathew 6:11, KJV We are the children of God …

This Week For Sunday

-written by Matthew Hicks As a kid, I had this strange obsession with RVs. I was fascinated by aesthetics and how much fit into such a small space. In January of 2011, I was watching a show called “Extreme RVs” and saw something that didn’t look quite like an RV. It was on wheels like an RV, but looked like a very small house.  I knew instantly that I wanted one!  As I began telling everyone about how I was going to build a tiny house, I received nothing but laughter and disbelief.  Today everyone knows what a tiny house is as they are all over social media and there are at least 4 different shows about them. But when I was introduced to the tiny house, no one had ever heard of it and it seemed like a strange idea. But that didn’t stop my dream of building one. Fast forward 4 years to my junior year of high school, and I purchased a custom built trailer that would be the base of my very own …

Is Your Faith Authentic in a Season of Masks?

-written by Kyndel Pirkle For the past couple of weeks at school, we have been dressing up. From cowboys to crazy Hawaiian shirts; my personal favorite was pajama day. Halloween will be no different. I love dressing up and seeing all the different creative costumes and the face make-up that creeps me out, but can’t take my eyes away from it. Kids and adults alike will take this holiday as an opportunity to dress up as that one thing they resonate with. Halloween is fun because we get to look like someone else for the night. We get to wear clothes that would normally have people staring holes through us and make-up that distorts our faces. We put on masks that hide who we really are. This is often what we do when we put on our happy “I’m blessed” Christian face, even though we are the same sinful human on the inside. Our human nature is obsessed with covering up flaws and correcting bad behavior, but as we have read and heard, Christ is in the …

Giving is Much More Than Money

–written by Jean Daniel Many years ago upon getting her weekly allowance, a little girl asked her father, “Daddy, how do you tithe a nickel?” She had been taught to tithe her money, but later learned it also meant giving of her time, money and personality. How does that apply to you? Personality: Does your Christian spirit come across through your smile, your words, your actions to your family or to strangers?  When my children were young, I accidentally recorded our conversation while preparing dinner. Later when playing it back, I was appalled at the manner in which I spoke to my kids. What would God’s recording of your comments and behavior toward others reveal? Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5, NIV Money: You know that you are supposed to tithe your money, but is it given with a tight fist or an open heart? Teach your children while they are young to tithe their money and they will give with eagerness and serve as an …

It’s Elementary, My Dear Christ-Follower

 -written by Kyndel Pirkle I’m an elementary school teacher. My job as an educator is to instill basic concepts and foundations of mathematics to my students. This means teaching and reminding students the same principles over and over and over again. I have to master all of the elementary teachings that I drill into my students’ heads. And yet I still sometimes forget the elementary teachings of Christ. For me, the principle I often “forget” is how much my Father loves me, even when I sin. I was reminded in my life group while doing a study on the Holy Spirit that “God doesn’t want a good slave who tries really hard. He wants me to know how good of a father He is.” (Forgotten God, Francis Chan). Translation: God is the perfect father who loves me with an unconditional love that far exceeds what any human has seen. This is especially true in my imperfect and sinful nature. We learn at a young age that God creates and loves us so much, but at times I need …

This Week For Sunday

-written by Emily Greene Have you ever heard of the story in the Bible where God destroys the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? If you haven’t, you should read Genesis 18:16-19:29 to get the whole story. To sum it up, these two cities were so unrighteous that God demolished the two places. Beforehand, he sent angels to rescue Lot (Abraham’s nephew) and his family. God told them to run away and not turn back. As they were escaping, Lot’s wife turned to look at the cities. As a result of her disobedience, she became a pillar of salt. How often do we look back at our old unrighteous life instead of running with our eyes focused on what is ahead? In Philippians, Paul shares how he strives to live his life: “But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:13b-14) We know …

Life Lessons With Legos

-written by Joe Bradley It’s amazing what you can learn from your own kids, isn’t it?  We’ve been doing a daily devotion with Jack and Sam through All-Stars.  Last week the devotion was entitled “The Horse.”  The purpose of the lesson was to point out that God made everything, and He takes care of everything.  If God spends His time and energy in making and loving these things, how much more is His love for us? The first line reads “Have you ever made something so beautiful you just had to run and show someone?”  I asked Jack what he loves to build, his answer?  Legos.  If you’ve never experienced the imagination of a boy that loves to build with Legos, you’ve never really experienced joy the way God intended it.  Jack spends hours at a time pouring his heart into the Legos and then runs into our room loudly exclaiming, “Mom! Dad! Look what I made!”  He then proceeds to explain in a 20 minute dissertation how exactly he arrived at such a creation. I was able to take this simple lesson and explain …