All posts filed under: Playlists

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. …

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! …

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 …

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 …

Can You See Clearly Enough to Help?

God is constantly teaching me through my role as a parent. I know, I know… My last blog was about parenting. Bear with me. Kelli and I make a great team and being a parent is a lot more difficult without my wife/baby-mama. Monday through Thursday, Kelli leaves the house at 5:00 AM for work. Which means I have to get our two boys up, ready, and to school all by myself. It was tough for the first few weeks until I applied what I call the “Wooden Plank Principle.” In Matthew 7:5, Jesus says, “Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Some versions use the word “beam” or “plank.” Simply put, the Wooden Plank Principle is being sure to take care of yourself first. You may ask, “Isn’t that being selfish?” Actually, I believe it’s the opposite. I believe there are many areas in our lives where we can focus on our self first and thus be enabled to serve …

Need Reminded About God’s Perfect Love for You?

The song “Reckless Love” is a current favorite at the Bradley house. My six-year-old requests it all the time so we’ve downloaded pretty much every version out there. There aren’t many things sweeter than glancing in the rearview mirror to see him singing at the top of his lungs, eyes closed, head moving empathically to the rhythm. I asked him the other day why he liked that song so much. He said, “I don’t know. I just really like that part where he says ‘there’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me.’” I then took the opportunity to explain to all four of my kids what those lyrics meant (since they were trapped in car seats and didn’t have a choice anyway). And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[p] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the …

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 …

Who We Are, What and How We Do It

If you have been around Southern Hills at all in the last year, you know something new is coming. It has been on the horizon for a while now and we are getting super close to moving to City Station. Obviously, a new building means a new location, new procedures, new habits, new needs, new people.  While it’s been the buzz at SoHills, City Station isn’t the only “something new” that has been going on in our church. Over the past several years, our church family has been intentionally working on becoming disciple-makers. While an old command, we want to approach each day with this mission made anew. Because of Christ in us, we are seeing more and more new people walking through our doors, ready to take on this mission as well. Our mission of making disciples who make disciples is hard to miss when you first come to SoHills. After you have been on campus a few times, you’ll start to understand (or least we hope you’ll understand) why this is what we do. Our mission comes out of …