All posts filed under: Playlists

People Need to Hear Your Testimony of Grace

In John 4 we read about Jesus encountering a Samaritan woman, a woman who had absolutely zero value in the eyes of the world. Not only because she was a woman, but also because she was a Samaritan, a race that the Jewish people considered to be a half-breed. The third strike against her is that she had also had five husbands and was currently living with a man to which she was not married (John 4:17-18). When I look at this woman from a worldly perspective, I can’t help but wonder what could Jesus possibly want with her? Why would a Jewish rabbi willingly go against all cultural, social, and religious norms, risking his reputation, to strike up a conversation with a woman that scripture doesn’t even name? I think the answer is really very simple: He’s Jesus. At its core, this story is a perfect picture of the gospel. Jesus knew this woman’s past. She herself tells the townspeople after leaving Jesus, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could …

Your Identity in Light of a Good God

This upcoming Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day.  For some of us, it is a day to celebrate with our father and say thanks.  For some of us, it is a day to remember our father and be thankful.  And for others of us, it is just another day as we never knew him or he wasn’t worthy of celebration.  I’ve been thinking about this recently.  I once had a professor say to me he never prays “Heavenly Father” because he doesn’t want to bring up bad memories of bad fathers for his students. I understand the heart, but I think this keeps a side of God at arms length. On Sunday we will be singing the song Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin.  I think it is a very appropriate song for Father’s day.  Two things stand out to me in the chorus: You’re a good good Father It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are And I’m loved by You It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who …

Fight Human Nature And Embrace Compassion

Recently, a friend asked me a very poignant question. He wanted to know what I felt was Jesus’ most “Jesus” moment.  I knew immediately what he meant; what moment of Jesus’ life and ministry spoke to me the most. His answer was Jesus showing compassion to the adulterous woman and challenging those who were judging her to throw the first stone if they were without sin (see John 8:1-11). I have always loved the side of Jesus that challenged the established, religious leaders.  As He was extending grace to the sinner, He was scolding and educating the hypocritical aristocracy. I thought my friend had chosen his answer wisely! My answer came to me almost immediately.  When Jesus was hanging on the cross, suspended between Heaven and Earth, life and death, He looked down in His moment of greatest agony, upon the very source of His pain, and uttered “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:42).  Jesus possessed all the power in the universe.  With a word from His lips, a legion of angels would have come to His …

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 …

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 …

How is Your Monday Different Because of Sunday?

On Monday are you thinking about Sunday? Probably not. My Monday revolves around Sunday.  I have meetings all day where we evaluate Sunday, share wins, and consider what we could have done differently.  Then we look to the next Sunday, making adjustments based on our evaluations and confirming everything is covered. My Monday is all about Sunday. But if I’m honest, I don’t always bring my Sunday into my Monday. Sure, I talk about what I did and what I’m going to do, but I don’t really talk about what  God did and what I hope God continues to do. I talk about Sunday, but Sunday doesn’t always impact my heart on Monday and my teammates probably wouldn’t tell you they know I’ve been in the presence of Christ. I need to be more intentional about bringing my Sunday into my Monday.  How about you?  On Monday, can the people you work with tell you’ve been in the presence of God and with the family of God?  Can your kids tell it’s a little easier for you this …

This Week For Sunday

In Jonah 4, we see that Jonah did not want God to have compassion for the city of Nineveh. In Jonah’s eyes, Nineveh was completely evil and undeserving of God’s mercy and forgiveness. I have always found it odd that Jonah felt this way. However, if I’m honest, I sometimes feel the same way. When I think of the evil some people have done, I don’t think they deserve of God’s mercy and forgiveness. I don’t want God to show them compassion. Yet He does. He extends His mercy and grace to everyone. Showing compassion to others is not always easy. However, if there is anyone that teaches and encompasses compassion well it is a mother. A mother’s heart is full of compassion, not only for her kids but for others as well. If a mother sees her child or any other child get hurt, she will immediately go to them. Even if it is completely the child’s fault that they got hurt, a mother will always be there for her child and show them compassion. …

This Week For Sunday: Limiting God

I’m not a man, I cannot lie, I know the plans, for your life, So, I’m asking you to dream again, believe again… And take the limits off of me… No, I’m not a man, I cannot lie, Know the plans I have for you, they’re my design, So, I’m asking you to hope again and trust again, And take the limits off of me… I love this beautiful and compelling song by Israel Houghton.  It is written and sung from God’s perspective imploring us to “Release him in our lives to accomplish what he has promised.”  It is a sobering thought that we can actually limit God’s plan in our lives by our attitude.  If we give way to fear, doubt, complacency or apathy in our lives, we “bind” the Lord’s ability to work in us and for us.  It is basically impossible to reach our potential when we allow our lives to be governed by any of these emotions. The Lord constantly reminds us that as daunting as life can be sometimes, He holds our present …

This Week For Sunday

Has God’s grace changed you? When someone encounters God’s grace, it totally changes the DNA of their heart. Consider the story of Zacchaeus found in Luke 19:1-10.  Jesus comes to town and chooses to personally visit a chief tax collector known to be a cheat.  We don’t know much about their time together, but clearly it changed Zacchaeus.  He professes that he will give half of his wealth to the poor and return to those he cheated four times the amount. That’s what happens when we look in the eyes of grace; we are changed at our very core. Not to say that we are now perfect; far from it.  But we are transformed, made new.  When we accept Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit and as Paul says, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” (Galatians 2:20). If you call yourself a Christ-follower and you’re going about life like you always have, wrestling with the same temptations and wallowing in the same sin, I urge you …

This Week For Sunday

Thousands of years before Christ was born, the prophet Isaiah wrote: He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7) When they arrested Jesus, He willingly submitted.  He didn’t head for the hills and hide in a cave or put up a fight.  He gave himseld over to his accusers, being fully aware of God’s will and his future.  On trial, He didn’t offer a defense.  He remained silent and humble.  As He walked the streets with a beam across His shoulders, He didn’t complain under the weight, beg for mercy, or drag His feet.  And when they nailed Him to the cross, He didn’t resist.  He didn’t pull back his arm or flail His feet.  He willingly laid down His life. This Sunday, we’re singing “Worthy of Your Name,” which says: You did not speak, You made no sound You died for Your accusers As Your blood fell to …