All posts filed under: Personal Growth

The Gospel has the Power to Drive Out Shame

Sin is ugly. Rarely does sin have only one consequence. More often, sin has a web of consequences. In John 4, we can see a few of those consequences playing out in the life of the Samaritan woman. First, the Samaritan woman came to draw water at the sixth hour, that is, about noon (v6-7). Why would anyone come to draw water at noon? The context seems to point to the fact that no one else was there during that time, except for Jesus. It’s speculated that the Samaritan woman came to the well at this time intentionally. She wasn’t coming to the well because she knew Jesus would be there, but likely to avoid shame she would feel in the presence of other people. There’s one consequence of sin—shame. Perhaps the shame she already feels is what led her to the well—all alone—at this hour. Sin also tends to separate us from other people. Whether we withdraw from community, or the community withdraws from us, sin can be found at the heart of this division. …

Would You Like to Get Well from Your Sickness?

In John 5 we find the story of Jesus healing a sick man. We learn a lot about who Jesus is through this story. Jesus shows us He understands people when He saw him and “knew he had been ill for a long time” (v.6). Jesus demonstrates He heals us when He wants to because He wants to, not because we did something to earn it. Jesus shows that He is God in human flesh by speaking with authority to the man (v.8, 14). Jesus speaks with such a tone and with such assurance that the man instantly obeys. No objection, no disbelief, no self-doubt, just pure obedience to a believable authority. We learn some about human kind in the story as well. We see a man who sort of wants to get healed; “I can’t, sir” (v.7). Aren’t we often like this, too? “I need healing, but I’m going to sit here in my self-pity, not asking for help, just complaining about my situation.” Jesus asks an incredibly deep question, “Would you like to …

The Church Is Not A Building (Even a Really Cool One)

I’m heading to the chicken farm. Are you at City Station? I can’t wait to see our SoHills family this Sunday! During the move to our new facility, you would frequently hear statements like these. Without knowing it, at least among the staff, we made a clear distinction between the two locations and the body of believers who meets there. I pointed this out to my husband and he thought it was awesome enough for a blog post. After a few days though, I started to refer to City Station as “the church,” and Corey would remind me the church is not the building. After he pointed this out several times, I wasn’t as enthusiastic about sharing my observation. Since the beginning, Shannon has said City Station is a tool. We were not building something fancy to provide us comfort. We were not giving towards a facility that would meet all our needs and we would only use on occasion. We were sacrificing to show the community that love does. And now we are here! …

Is Your Love Stopping Short From Your Calling?

-written by Cambrian Brock This past Sunday Keith talked about passions. We learned how Godly passions lead to a life of actions which ultimately glorify the Lord, while worldly passions lead to a life of sin and separation from God. However, knowing how our passions align with the Gospel is not enough; we need to live with the implications of that knowledge. To look deeper into this, let’s look at one of Southern Hills’ core values: Love does. Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. – 1 John 3:18 I am in love with this verse! It reminds me the best way to love people is not just to say it but to live it. Godly passion promotes action, action, action, and more action. Why do we stop at merely saying we love people, instead of following through with actions? I believe it is because Biblical love costs us stuff. Sometimes money, sometimes time, maybe even being in tough, emotionally draining situations. At times, …

3 Practical Ways to Build a Legacy to Last

All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine. – Jim Rohn What is your personal legacy? Or to phrase it another way, if today was your last day, how would your kids and those closest to you remember you? If you want a legacy worth remembering, it requires being intentional. If you want to be thought of as more than a sports fan, then take time today to build a legacy worthy of the calling God has placed on your life. If you want to build a legacy, share your testimony. Do your kids know what your life was like before Christ? Do they know the difference Jesus has made for you personally? I recently asked the preteens and there was only one student in the room who knew their parent’s testimony. Mark your calendar right now and make it a priority to share your story with your kids. If you want to build a legacy, celebrate milestones. Days …

You Can Overcome Disabling Fear

Fear as a primary motivator never really works out the way we want things to. In one of my earlier blogs, I talked about how we should not be ashamed of our fears. Let me tell you about a time fear gripped me. When I was in nursing school I was taken out of my element. I drove to Northside hospital to start my mother-baby rotation. As part of this rotation, I was to be a part of the gross birthing process miracle of childbirth. On this particular night, my first night on the job, I had just been traumatized amazed by my first birth. Afterwards, my instructor immediately ushered me into the next room with the next baby waiting. At this point, my mind had gone to another place. When I walked into the next room I was just standing there like a kindergartner in right field; I was picking flowers in my mind. In my distracted state, I never noticed what someone was handing to me. The baby. Someone handed me the dirty, …

What Do Your Passions Say About Your Heart?

Where do your passions come from? Are you passionate about food, sports, your car? For some of us it revolves around our families. For others it may revolve around our extra curricular activities. Or perhaps for you it is your work. What are the things in life which make you excited? I love good food. One could easily say it is a passion of mine; ask the other staff members. I enjoy recommending specialty food items they have to try. I have tasted and enjoyed the wonderful flavor, so I want others to experience it as well. I believe my passion for great tasting food can lead other people to a great experience. But, if my passion comes from the wrong place, then I end up just serving my self and my own lusts in life. I may want you to try this incredible new entrée at the latest restaurant, but if my motivation is to make you like me, appreciate me, or herald me as the best connoisseur of food, well that isn’t God …

Overcoming Fear of the Little and the Worst

-written by Betsie Richards Ever wake up with a mouse in your hair? I have and it’s quite a story, especially coming from someone who hates/fears mice, snakes, lizards, frogs, spiders, and clowns. Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll ever die from a heart attack or I would have that night for sure. (Ask me for the story if you guys ever need a good laugh.) On some level, we all struggle with fear and worries.  Sometimes it’s over seemingly ridiculous things like small reptiles, but sometimes it’s over pretty significant things like your mom having cancer, financial concerns, losing a job or even a loved one. I read a quote from Beth Moore’s Breaking Free study that says, “Anything we exalt over God in our thoughts or imaginations is an idol.” Woah. Anything huh? Including the fears that I allow to take over my thoughts and influence the way I act? That’s pretty tough to swallow since idolizing is sin. I have a bad habit of letting my imagination run wild. It starts …

Are You Tailoring the Message of Jesus to the World?

To the angel of the church of Southern Hills write…. What would Jesus’ next words be to us as a church? I have been challenged by this thought in recent months after reading the book of Revelation. For a book so often thought of for its complexity and shrouded prophecy, I believe we Christ followers may fail to realize the blunt clarity of the first three chapters. We seem to read through them, looking forward to the drama of the later chapters and do not pause to truly consider these chapters which contain the personal letters sent, from Jesus Himself, to seven different churches. What would Jesus write to us specifically at Southern Hills (or fill in any church name)?   In these letters we call the Book of Revelation, Jesus describes Himself differently at each letter’s beginning and the reaction He intends to invoke from each church.  Read for yourself and observe the uniqueness of each letter, but in each one, His intent is crystal clear: the message matters to Christ, and we are …

You Can Have Unshakable Confidence in Christ

Have you ever heard of Saint Augustine? Before his conversion to Christ, Augustine was known for his sexual appetite. He often indulged his flesh, as all unbelievers do in some form. While traveling, Augustine heard the gospel and responded in faith and repentance. Upon returning home, it is said that his former lover called out to him “Augustine, Augustine, it is I!” Augustine turned to her and said, “Yes, but it is not I.” Something changed in Augustine. His salvation not only altered what he believed in his mind, but also his desires and his will. In 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Paul writes, “For the love of Christ compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: if one died for all, then all died. And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised” (CSB, emphasis mine). I wish I could draw out every single treasure in these two verses. I’m often overwhelmed by this passage of Scripture as …