All posts tagged: community

Speaking the Truth Within Community

Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. – Ephesians 4:14-16, emphasis added One common issue our counselees express in Biblical counseling is the feeling of being stuck spiritually. These believers usually read their Bibles at least occasionally outside of Sunday morning and spend time in prayer, but still feel as if they are not growing. I have been in that place, and so have many of my friends and family members. Often times, the underlying problem is a lack of biblical …

This Week For Sunday

Schedules get crazy during the holidays.  Due to vacation, commitments, and general holiday chaos, I had to miss six out of seven weeks at Southern Hills.  I was surprised at how much this time away from my SoHill family affected me.  I felt this general malaise in my spirit that I really couldn’t put my finger on.  I didn’t go on a crime spree and I didn’t kick my dog, but there was this heaviness that I could feel and a difference that was quite tangible.  Sometimes “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone” is very true!  And time away from God’s body showed me how vitally important it is to my spiritual walk.   We receive spiritual covering and correction by listening to God’s message for us.  It challenges us and motivates us.  Sometimes it holds our feet to the fire, but it is through the fire that we are shaped and molded. Spending time with our fellow believers provides us with the connection we need to take the next step the Lord …

Are You United in Thought and Purpose?

One of the clearest ways that the church looks separate from the world is through unity. In 1 Corinthians 1:10, Paul says, “I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” It is worth noting that Paul does not base this statement on his authority as an apostle. Instead, he appeals to them “by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In this short verse, Paul instructs the Corinthians to:  agree in all matters concerning the doctrines of the gospel maintain a tender love for one another not form groups as a consequence of disagreement Anyone could look around at the global church and see that we have messed this up. Evaluating my own life based on this verse, I asked myself: Am I leaving people out? Do I intentionally avoid specific or certain kinds of people? Who have I not maintained a tender …

Is Your Faith Authentic in a Season of Masks?

-written by Kyndel Pirkle For the past couple of weeks at school, we have been dressing up. From cowboys to crazy Hawaiian shirts; my personal favorite was pajama day. Halloween will be no different. I love dressing up and seeing all the different creative costumes and the face make-up that creeps me out, but can’t take my eyes away from it. Kids and adults alike will take this holiday as an opportunity to dress up as that one thing they resonate with. Halloween is fun because we get to look like someone else for the night. We get to wear clothes that would normally have people staring holes through us and make-up that distorts our faces. We put on masks that hide who we really are. This is often what we do when we put on our happy “I’m blessed” Christian face, even though we are the same sinful human on the inside. Our human nature is obsessed with covering up flaws and correcting bad behavior, but as we have read and heard, Christ is in the …

You Are Just An Ambassador, Not the Savior

Jumping into a full-time internship here at SoHills, I tried to do everything. I tried to be at every church event, every football practice, every football game, school lunches every week… I tried to make my presence be known everywhere. I thought I was doing the right thing. Instead, I became exhausted and unhappy. My priorities were all messed up. I put too much value on what others thought; about the public image of “SoHills Intern Tucker Musick.” I knew expectations were high and I didn’t want to let anyone down. But the truth is I can’t do everything for everyone.  In Exodus 18, the Israelites had just left Egypt and Moses was leading them through the wilderness. At this time, Moses had been doing absolutely everything! Moses and I had a very similar mentality: the mentality of “I.” I have to do this. I have to be here. I have to be at this event. Only I can do it. Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. When a dispute arises, they come to …

Reflecting on Who We Are in Christ

Words that mean a lot to me may have very little impact on you. The name “Linda Lovelady” brings a smile to my face (and makes my blood run hot). Those words may not resonate with you, but she is my wife; the one woman I chose to spend my life with. But if I say, “Nine eleven,” many of you will lean back in your chair and take pause as you reflect on an event that changed our world. We were glued to the TV, horrified at the pictures. Hours. Days. Weeks. Many of us can still see the gruesome carnage as if it happened yesterday.  We still bow our heavy hearts and heads in memory of those who lost their lives in the towers, the Pentagon, and the crashing planes. They had no choice. Work, circumstances, perhaps tourism caused them to be at the wrong place at the wrong time without any suspicion of the sinister forces that would snuff out their lives. But there were others. Firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical personnel—all kinds …

This Week for Sunday

This Sunday we kick-off our new series “How to Neighbor.”  In Luke 10:30-42, we see Jesus redefine the term neighbor.  Our neighbor isn’t just the family next door we see over the fence or the person who lives upstairs playing music at 1am.  Our neighbor is anyone in need. God calls us to love our neighbor.  And that’s rarely easy. It requires our time and resources, which we often feel are already stretched thin.  It takes compassionate listening to get to the heart of the need, not just a handout to bandage the symptoms.  Loving our neighbor requires us to step outside of ourselves and step into their often messy world.  It means putting our needs and wants aside so we can meet their needs. You might not share a fence with someone, but you can still share their burdens and joys. Each week in this series focuses on a different aspect of how to build relationships with our neighbors.  Join us this Sunday as we talk about practical ways to love the lonely.  When The Fight Calls …

It’s Elementary, My Dear Christ-Follower

 -written by Kyndel Pirkle I’m an elementary school teacher. My job as an educator is to instill basic concepts and foundations of mathematics to my students. This means teaching and reminding students the same principles over and over and over again. I have to master all of the elementary teachings that I drill into my students’ heads. And yet I still sometimes forget the elementary teachings of Christ. For me, the principle I often “forget” is how much my Father loves me, even when I sin. I was reminded in my life group while doing a study on the Holy Spirit that “God doesn’t want a good slave who tries really hard. He wants me to know how good of a father He is.” (Forgotten God, Francis Chan). Translation: God is the perfect father who loves me with an unconditional love that far exceeds what any human has seen. This is especially true in my imperfect and sinful nature. We learn at a young age that God creates and loves us so much, but at times I need …

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, …

We Believe in the Church

Have you heard it said, “Oh, I’m a Christian, I’m just not a big fan of the church,” or “I love Jesus, but I’m not into church,” or “I don’t need to be in the church to be a Christian”?  Maybe family members come to mind or friend groups have said things like this before or maybe you are that person. When you really reflect on statements like these, it becomes clear how false they truly are. When someone says, “I don’t need to be in the church to be a Christian,” I sort of understand where he is coming from. In some sense it is true, my salvation has nothing to do with my church attendance. According to scripture, salvation comes by grace alone.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”  Galatians 2:16 says, “Yet we know that a …