All posts tagged: comfort

Are You Experiencing Community as it was Meant to be?

-written by Betsie Richards “Joe’s here.” That’s all the text from my sister said, but that’s all it took to calm my nerves for the moment. My mom’s IV pump wasn’t working correctly and it’s hard not to panic when the medication keeping your Mom’s heart going isn’t getting there. In all honesty, we had minimal training on the home equipment we were given. But I knew who to call, part of my “tribe” if you will. Joe beat me to my parents’ house with two of his kids in tow. He had everything working correctly before I even got there. This was in addition to answering the (likely) thousands of texts I had sent him in the previous six weeks. “Bets, you have good friends.” Mom said this to me repeatedly during her hospital stay. She knew this because they came and sat with us, prayed with us, brought food, rolls of quarters, offered their homes, slipped cash into my hand or purse, sent constant encouragement, and even came to the hospital to visit …

Sure You Can, But Should You?

The phrase, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” can be applied to so many areas of life. Just because I can eat ice cream for breakfast, doesn’t mean I should. Just because I can stay up all night watching Netflix, doesn’t mean I should. Just because I can buy that shiny new thing, doesn’t mean I should. We might have the right to do something, but that doesn’t make it right. If you have attended a Southern Hills service, you have probably heard someone mention Galatians 2:20: My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. As a Christ follower, we are called to crucify ourselves and our desires for the sake of the Gospel. We ought to give up our rights and demonstrate it’s no longer about us and what makes us happy, but it’s about honoring God with …

God Knows Your Mess and Accepts You

-written by Betsie Richards I’m sitting in an ICU waiting room, wishing I wasn’t here. To distract myself, I people watch. I’ve caught myself wondering the stories of all these people and their families. How did they end up here? What’s wrong with their loved one? Do they feel like we do? I could go up and introduce myself and get to know them but… yikes. Strangers. One thing I’ve noticed about my Mom during this hospital stay is, when she is feeling well enough, she makes a point to find out everyone’s name. Her nurse, the tech, the person taking her for a CT; then she typically thanks them by name. I’ve been scolding myself for not doing the same. For being willing to leave those I meet as anonymous or outsiders to my world. Sometimes I wonder if the shepherds felt like outsiders? We don’t know much about them specifically- not even their names. We know they weren’t the social elite of the time, they were probably smelly and dirty, they basically lived …

How Can You Be Content With Less?

I think most would agree being content is not an attitude that comes easy. I wish I could just wake up content, but I think the opposite is true; I wake up wanting. I believe this is why Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11 he has “learned how to be content with whatever I have.” Have you ever seen an advertisement suggesting, “Don’t worry, you don’t need this.” Nope! Billions and billions and billions are spent on pushing back against contentment, convincing us stuff, trips, and food will bring about completion, then we will be content. But it’s only good until the next thing comes along. It never stops. So where does wanting end and being content begin? Are you ready for this, because it’s pretty genius… Jesus! As Shannon said, and many before him, and many after him, Jesus is enough. The first key to giving generously is being content. Why? Because we no longer hold tightly to anything anymore. There are no more strongholds to what we believe is ours, or to what …

Are You Stepping Out In Faith?

Something that I love to do is exercise. Working out for me is a time to relax, as contradictory as that sounds. Lifting weights, running, anything along those lines is a mindless activity for me. It’s time I get to hang out with the guys and my fiancé.  It’s a way to better myself. When I get in a workout routine, my body quickly adapts and my progress becomes stagnant, but I like the predictable. I have a friend who works hard to “confuse” his muscles to get the most out of every exercise. Wrapped up in KT tape, Ace Bandages, and blood blisters, when this guy shows me a new workout, the entire I’m thinking there is no way I am doing this. I like my comfort of my routine. We have that same mentality with God. We develop a bubble of comfort we hesitate to step out of. When we look at the servants at the wedding at Cana, we see the faith of servants as they stepped out in obedience (see John 2:1-12). We …

Our Family on Mission in Nicaragua and at Home

Why do people who go on short-term mission trips love them so much? Is it the exotic destination?  Is it the time away from their own life?  Is it time spent in a different, fascinating culture? Some would think so and they would be right to some extent. These are really enjoyable aspects of traveling. After going on and leading numerous trips over the past several years I believe the reason most people enjoy mission trips (and keep going back) is because they put their faith into action and see it work. On mission trips, we live out our Christianity in a way that resembles how Christian community in the first century church was modeled. We spend every moment of a week living in community, doing projects together, praying together, eating together, sharing our resources, encouraging one another, sharing the word of God with non-believers, and doing extreme acts of generosity for people we don’t know. I’ve never had a mission trip ruined by adversity.  We’ve had flat tires, wrecked vehicles, torrential downpours, illnesses, hospital trips, emergency room trips, …

What does God look like?

Dallas, Texas. Surgical waiting room. Surgery was going well. Then it happened. The words that bring terror to preachers’ hearts (well, some preachers)- “Preacher, I’ve got something I need to talk to you about.” Time freezes. Blood curdles. I bit the bullet, “Go ahead, shoot!” (no pun intended). “My son asked me a question yesterday that I don’t know how to answer. He wants to know what God looks like.” “That’s all?” I asked, breathing a sigh of relief. “That’s it,” she replied. “Well, sometimes God looks like you. Sometimes He looks like me.  Here is why I say that…” I quoted 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (NLT) “When God helps us, and we, in turn offer that same help to others, we look …