Author: Southern Hills Christian Church

Are You Ready for Something New?

-written by Betsie Richards Here’s the deal… when I go to the nail salon, the decision of which color to choose seems like national security, level 9, life or death. I will stand there like a goober and ponder for a good ten minutes over which color to chose, talking out loud to myself about if this color will match this outfit or if it will last longer than another color. Heavens to Betsie (pun intended)… does this really matter?? I’m just going to pick the same red color that I pick 9 our of 10 times anyway. Why do we have a tendency to return to the same old thing? The same nail color, the same meal, the same sin? Is it comfort? Fear of change? Fear of being ridiculed by our friends and family? Sometimes, I think it’s because we truly don’t understand there is something better out there, something new. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those …

Lessons from My Anonymous Generous Admirer

–written by Terri Morris The manner of giving is worth more than the gift. – Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur I have a secret admirer. Not the weird, stalker version, but a true anonymous admirer that leaves me fabulous gifts on a monthly basis. This has been going on now for a little over two years. Initially, I was determined to find my nameless benefactor, but that proved to be a fruitless endeavor so I stopped looking. I am pretty confident God Himself is sending me these gifts. They are so personalized to my personality and preferences that it’s almost scary! Who else knows me like Jesus?  The gifts always seem to come at a time when I need to be encouraged — often when no one even knows that I am struggling on a personal level… but Jesus knows! I believe one day in heaven someone will come walking up to me and I’ll just know they were the one who brought the gifts and I’ll say, “Thanks so much for making me feel loved, valued and …

You Can Influence People Beyond Your Ability

-written by Matt Clotfelter  All of us like positive statements. Statements like, “You did a great job!” “You are important to me!” It feels good to be affirmed after we do something good. Keeping this in mind, I try to apply this principle as a dad. I take every chance to give my sons positive feedback. I also try to give positive pre-action statements. “I know you can do it!” “You’ve got this!” These sometimes give us the nudge we need to do something well outside our comfort zone. As a kid, maybe you were nervous to ride a roller coaster, but you had a buddy with you to give you that common encouragement, ”What are you, chicken?” While this particular statement may not be the most positive, many a young man has done something they thought they couldn’t because of it. We find this same principle in the Bible. In Judges 6, we find an unusual encounter between an angel and Gideon. Unlike most of the encounters in the Bible, Gideon doesn’t even realize he …

Are You Living Out The Forgiveness Given To You?

-written by Betsie Richards Some of my favorite Bible stories are the ones where Jesus gives open, no-holds-barred forgiveness to someone and. at the same time He puts the Pharisees in their place. It may be because I have a “bit” of a snarky side and when Jesus calls the Pharisees out, it makes me smile. It may be because I know I need that open, no-holds-barred forgiveness too.  I love the story of the woman who was caught in adultery and brought to the Temple where Jesus was teaching. Jesus silences a crowd full of accusers by writing in the dirt and telling the one without sin to throw the first stone. When the crowd leaves without one rock thrown in condemnation, Jesus replies to her with “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” This small statement is a declaration of forgiveness and purpose (see John 8:1-11) Another favorite of mine is the story of Luke 7:36-50. This passage tells the story of the “sinful woman” and how she washes Jesus’ feet with …

The Truth Will Set You Free

-written by Matt Clotfelter My family’s favorite holiday is Christmas. We enjoy the giving and receiving of gifts, but for us, it is much more than that. We love the experience: the music, movies, food, cooking, hot chocolate… Out of all these things, music has the greatest impact. We even have an unwritten rule about Christmas music: between January 1 and July 1, no one is to play more than a few Christmas songs in a row. After July 1, it is fair game. By Halloween, more often than not, Christmas music is in full swing. My boys have developed their own taste in Christmas music. One of their favorite songs is “Christmas with a capital C” by Go Fish with comedian Brad Stein. Stein talks about how we have watered down the Christmas season to avoid offending people. Listening to this song each year makes me think about the way we as people try to weaken truth. We try to make truth a concept that can be taken piecemeal. Take the phrase absolute truth. …

How to Write A Thank You Note to God

-written by Jean Daniel If my mother gave you something, she expected to receive a thank you note! It might be a wooden nutcracker for Christmas that she got on sale dirt cheap, or maybe just two dollars stuck in a birthday card. No matter how expensive or cheap the gift was, she would be looking for a handwritten “thank you” note in the mail. If she didn’t get one, she would say, “Well, I guess you didn’t appreciate what I gave you since you didn’t bother to write a thank you note!” The next year you might not receive a gift at all!  My children learned to write thank you notes very quickly. In this age of technology, when was the last time that you received a handwritten thank you note for a gift or thoughtful deed? Showers, weddings, birthdays, graduations. We zip off a text or email to the giver, if we bother to thank them at all.  Just last week, I received a note by snail mail from a friend thanking me for …

You Are More Than Just Useful

-Written by Matt Clotfelter If you are anything like me, you probably find yourself at night, lying in bed, reviewing your day. During that review, these questions come to me: Did I make a difference to someone today? Did I serve God in this world? Were my choices driven by my will or God’s will? I want to do my best to serve God faithfully with my life and work. I don’t want to interfere with His plan, but be useful to God. As we look at the story of the redemptive work of God, there were only a few people who had truly pivotal roles in the plan. There is Jesus, of course, who is God come down to earth to redeem man. There is Mary, who gave birth to Jesus. (Jesus had to get here somehow!) (see Isaiah 7:14). We find Judas, who betrays Jesus. Pilate, who has this opportunity to release Jesus, but instead, he caves to the crowd and orders him be crucified (see Isaiah 53:3). Finally, we find the soldiers who …

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 …