All posts filed under: SoHills News

I Have a Confession to Make: Teenagers Scare Me

Teenagers scare me. It’s silly but true. As a preschool pastor and mom to young children, I’ve lived in this preschool/elementary phase for so long  I feel awkward and culturally irrelevant when it comes to engaging with anyone between the ages of 13 and 19. Now, I do remember what it was like to be a teenager and I do understand in a few short years (3 to be exact), I will be raising an adolescent of my own. But… this doesn’t make me anymore confident. Honestly, it wasn’t until earlier this year I began giving much thought to this idea. That’s when I made the connection between my ministry and my feelings. Many of you already know our church is experiencing an amazing period of growth. This is no less true for our preschool ministry. Over the past six months we have averaged nearly 150 preschoolers on a weekly basis! On any given Sunday, there are between 40 to 60 leaders serving in the Treehouse and nearly half of those are student volunteers! That’s …

God’s Judgement is Coming. God’s Grace is Here.

Micah was written to bring God’s lawsuit against His people. He begins by telling his readers, “Attention! Let all the people of the world listen! The Sovereign Lord is making accusations against you; the Lord speaks from his holy Temple” (Micah 1:1). When Micah tells his readers the Lord is coming he says, “The mountains melt beneath his feet and flow into the valleys like wax in a fire, like water pouring down a hill” (Micah 1:4). Pay attention. When the Lord comes in judgement, even the mountains melt! No one and no thing can stand. Speaking of Samaria’s idols, we see “all her carved images will be smashed. All her sacred treasures will be burned. These things were bought with the money earned by her prostitution, and they will now be carried away to pay prostitutes elsewhere.” (Micah 1:7). I feel the need to back up one step and address a question. Does God come into the presence of idols? If you are a Christian, I want to say directly to you- YES! God …

How To Communicate What’s In Your Heart

Charlie Shedd writes about two rivers that are flowing along smoothly and quietly—until they come together. At this juncture the water “boils,” spray is thrown into the air, and mud comes up from the bottom. After this turbulence, a few miles downstream the two waters flow smoothly and quietly again, now as one. But the newly formed river is broader, more majestic, and more powerful than either of the two were on their own. He goes on to say: A good marriage is often like that. When two independent streams of existence come together there’s going to be some dashing of life against life at the juncture. Personalities rush against each other. Preferences clash. Ideas contend for power. Habits vie for position. The waters boil and mud often comes up from the bottom. And you wonder where the loveliness has gone. But when you go downstream a few years these two lives are flowing smoothly and quietly again. But together they are more than either of them could have been on their own. There will …

Are You Planning for Destruction or Life?

A few years ago I remember one fateful night. Melissa was gone so it was just me and the two boys home alone. I had walked out of the room for a couple minutes when I heard both boys screaming and laughing. This was not good. This combination is a herald of bad things to come. I walked in the room to find one of my sons in his underwear sitting on the other’s head. “Can you smell it?!?” Kids don’t wake up thinking, “How can I stretch the limit of my parent’s patients and love?” But they still seem to do it, don’t they? (For the record, everyone could smell it.) What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans. You rise at dawn and hurry to carry them out, simply because you have the power to do so. – Micah 2:1 We “as adults” don’t succumb to the base urges our children do (most of the time). So we think ourselves better in many ways. But here God points …

Are You Keeping An Eye on the Harvest?

My in-laws own a strawberry farm. They live in Gallatin, TN, so if you are ever passing through in the month of May, you should stop. There really is nothing better than popping a juicy, fresh picked strawberry into your mouth. It’s sweet and flavorful and you’ll never buy from a store again once you’ve had field fresh strawberries. Every year when the season comes around, late April to early June depending on the weather, we head up several times to help and enjoy the harvest. My girls love this time of year. They help at the selling hut and walk the rows with their cousins, showing people how to pick the best berries. The plants are always loaded with berries, but not all the berries are ready to pick. Each day new berries become the deep red, juicy goodness you are looking for and the girls are experts at picking the best ones. Sometimes people pick berries that aren’t ready and they have a sour experience. (Fun fact: a strawberry never ripens after you …

Glory in Our (Not So?) Failure

God’s timing is funny. I meet weekly with 3 other ladies to talk about our relationships with Christ. We discuss the assigned Bible reading, recite the memory verse to each other, share our struggles, and confess our sins. The week of Thanksgiving Offering, we read about Joshua and the Israelites crossing the Jordan River into the promised land. As they crossed, each tribe was to pick-up a large stone. Joshua explained to the people: We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, “What do these stones mean?” Then you can tell them, “They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.” These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever. – Joshua 4:6-7 Shannon mentioned this story during our Thanksgiving Offering services and then we dropped our rocks into our own memorial. God was the one who months ago gave me the idea of rocks and creating a visual reminder of how far …

Have You Limited Your Generosity?

I remember the first time I saw him put a check in the offering plate. I was sitting next to him in the choir. He didn’t make a big deal about it; just quietly took the check out of his pocket and dropped it in the plate. I have no idea what the amount was. But I wanted so badly to be able to do it, too. I was only 15 at the time; not old enough to work a regular job like he did. I cut grass for $1.20 per yard. In my mind, my twelve cents didn’t match up to a hand-written check. To me, the amount was more important than the spirit behind it. I turned 16, got a job, and opened a checking account. Each week I wrote a check and dropped it in the offering plate on Sunday morning. I can’t say I tithed every week, but I was pretty consistent. After all, we are to be good stewards. Right? Right. But tithing was about the extent of my idea …

Will You Wither or Glory Under the Heat?

These are some entries written in one man’s “journal.” They may sound like yours. I’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles… I’m not sure what to do… I’ve been spiritually terrorized… I’ve been thrown down… Even if you don’t write in a journal you’ve probably said similar things to yourself. Maybe even out loud. We’ve all felt the heat of circumstances beyond our control. Some of us wither under the heat. Some of us react in hurtful ways—towards others, towards ourselves, towards God. And some of us come through it glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. What makes the difference? The Apostle Paul wrote those “journal entries” above. You can find them in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (The Message). But he, in today’s jargon, did not put a period where God had put a comma. If you look in your Bible you will see that each of the above entries (even if worded differently) is followed by a comma. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not …

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! …

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 …