All posts tagged: church

Why us, God?

I was laying in bed the night before last, reflecting on the day’s events at Southern Hills.  I was thinking of people being prayed for, believers asking for one-on-one discipleship, new members getting plugged into the body, first-time visitors, and 75 or so bikers who showed up to have people pray over them and their bikes.  The more I reflected on the the day, the more I was blown away at how God is moving through His bride here in little Carrollton, GA. My mind immediately shifted to the question, “Why?” Why does God care so much about what is going on in this small little corner of the world?  Why is He moving the way only He can move in the life of our church, in our town? Then I remembered… I remembered that there was a church in Corinth that only had between 40 and 125 members.  And they were messed up!  They were constantly being dragged back into their old ways.  They were weak.  They were broken.  They were misguided.  They were hopelessly confused! But …

Buttermilk, Vinegar, and Chocolate Syrup

Linda and I had been married only three months when she asked me to go to the store and buy some buttermilk, vinegar, and chocolate syrup. I was a rookie at this marriage thing, but I had heard about the strange cravings that pregnant women develop. Nothing much more strange than that: buttermilk, vinegar, chocolate syrup. UNLESS you are cooking a Red Velvet Cake for your husband’s birthday! As Shannon spoke this past Sunday about the Bride of Christ—AKA, the church— I thought about how the church is made up of buttermilk people, vinegar people, and chocolate syrup people—people that don’t naturally go together.  UNLESS the Groom (Jesus) is blending all of us together so that He can watch His Bride come down the aisle “in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27 ESV). The church is Jesus’ creation. And He knows how to blend buttermilk, vinegar, and chocolate syrup into a masterpiece “that in every way…will make the teaching about God our …

Submitting to Christ

In Ephesians 5:22-23, Paul describes what a strong marriage looks like. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church and a wife is to submit to her husband’s leadership, as the church submits to Christ. A husband who serves his wife, leads her to a better place by putting her first. A wife, who loves and yields to her husband, strengthens her husband. The wedding day is the beginning of a life-long commitment to change and growth with one another. My wife is such a delight. Kelli is my best friend and I would do anything for her. Our relationship is wonderful. However, that doesn’t come naturally. Naturally, we’re selfish, but we’re both willing to do the work to live out Ephesians 5. What makes Kelli such a great wife is that she humbly does whatever hard work she can to help get us where we need to be. We talk through big decisions and standards we live by, like our budget and parenting. I consider her thoughts, her wishes, her wants, and her needs because we are a team, I love …

Experiencing Joy

My husband’s grandmother, Joy Jones, passed away last week.  She had been struggling with her health for some time and was ready to go home. We expected the phone call, but when death came it still took us by surprise. Tragedy.  Loss.  Grief.  Sorrow. “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 (NLT) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV) As disciples of Christ, we are promised life in and through Jesus.  We are called to be a people of joy.  But how can we have joy when tragedy strikes?  How are we to experience life when a life has been taken from us? Upon hearing the news, SoHills staff members offered words of comfort.  They encouraged us to leave as soon as possible to be with family, assuring us they would handle things in our absence. Our life group stepped in and took care of our dog, not …

It Really Does Take a Village

“It takes a village to raise a child.” I’ve heard the phrase used throughout my life, but I never really gave it much thought until I had children of my own. After our oldest son was born it became apparent very quickly that there was no way Joe and I could figure out the whole “parenting thing” on our own. We read all the recommended books, asked all the right questions, and attended all the classes offered by the hospital. If grades were given for how-to-prepare-for-parenting, we would’ve been on the honor roll. So you can probably imagine our bewildered, sleep-deprived, desperate faces when we realized we had NO CLUE how to take care of this amazing miracle we had been blessed with (much less his little brother who would come along 19 months later). It was in our weakness that God revealed His strength and faithfulness. Like the Israelites, God had already placed us in a faith community that offered a wealth of support and experience. Deuteronomy 6 is a speech given by Moses …