Caleb Southerland's blog
As with everything in culture the Christian has three choices: Embrace it, Demonize it, or Redeem it. Valentine’s Day is of no exception. We can embrae Valentine’s and go with the culture, we can demonize it and talk evil about what it is, or we can redeem it and bring it back to how God designed love.
Everyone seemingly has a very strong opinion towards Valentine’s Day whether it be love or hate. Our feelings of this holiday seem to stem from three main variables: relationship status, money, and/or time.
Everyone at one time or another seemingly has the ‘want to’ or desire to read the Bible, but often get frustrated at its complexity, style, or seeming monotony. We often quit investing the time because we don’t understand it or aren’t “getting anything out of it.”
This problem compounds when we try to read it with our spouse or kids. It either quickly becomes routine or non-existence. If this is you, I have jotted down a few ideas to help you grasp the scriptures and read the bible as literature. The simple idea is that the bible is God’s story of Himself and man.
Four years ago, I stood before God, you, and our family and friends to commit ourselves first to God as a couple then to each other. I remember the days leading up to our wedding many asking “are you ready?” to which I would usually respond “I think so” or “absolutely” or “I hope so.” What I know now that I didn’t know then was that I was not ready. I was not ready for all of the blessings and grace that God was about to give me through you. I didn’t know all of the incredible things we were going to be able to accomplish together.
2010…Thinking back, I am deeply encouraged by the faithfulness and goodness of God and the blessing Urban Hills has been both internally and externally. We saw much growth, countless Gospel-opportunities, and birthed some incredible things. I am humbled by what we have become in Christ, in just two short years. We are truly a Gospel-centered community seeking the renewal of our city. Here is a snapshot of our year…
- Raised over $15,000 cash, furniture, appliances, clothing, etc…for the 18 families who lost their home in the Chaparral Creek Apartment fire.
New Years Resolution
I saw a poll while watching the Rose Parade New Years Day (this parade always makes me feel five years old). The poll asked what people’s resolutions were. The choices ranged from losing weight, to saving money, and to quit smoking. Saving money won at a 36% clip. For the record, I would have voted for losing weight…just like my resolution for the past 9 years.
I love the New Year because it does allow for a starting point. But, why do we only take that time of year to resolve/commit to do something?
“House of Peace” Isaiah 2:1-5
By: Andy Bennett
We live in a culture that puts so many things up on a pedestal or mountain to be exalted or “shown”. Celebrity personalities, material possessions, power, money, success and right ideology. We are so overwhelmingly concerned with what others think of us based on monetary value and more so interested that others know we did it on our own. We have become so concerned with social and political right ideology that we are literally destroying each other for not agreeing with our social or political views.
“The Illuminated Word”
There is no better description of Jesus being the eternal, preexistent, and now incarnate Word of God. In John’s opening to his letter he emphasizes the fact that Jesus has always been. That simple fact completely changes the idea and story of His birth. Slow down and read the following verses stopping after each line. Allow the truth of Jesus to be revealed and overwhelm you.
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God.
‘Matthew Fox and Plan Crashes’- 1 Peter 1:10-12
by: David Eiler
LOST is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. It always will be. And it’s not because of the special effects, or the plane crashes, or the crazy smoke monster. No, I was intrigued and captivated by the story-line and the fact that each week my thirst for answers was whetted but never sated. There were always more questions than there were answers, but that’s what kept me coming back for more.
‘Anchor’- Heb. 6:19-20
The imagery of an anchor is a very commonly used biblical metaphor. It is something we are all aware of but our life and lively hood are probably not centered around it so it loses so much of its meaning. In a society where fishing and boating were essential to live, the anchor had much meaning. Whether it was the end of the day and you were tying down your boat for the night or you were in the middle of the lake awaiting fish, anchoring your boat was essential for current resources and future resources.
We need Men, not Males.
There is not a person in this world who doesn’t need Godly men in their life. The lack of Godly men is astounding and devastating. There is definitely no lack of boys or males, they are the ones creating most of the problems. The problem is exacerbated because we have 50 year old boys who have claimed leadership roles, while they neglect the 20 year olds struggling to find identity.
‘Males have the parts, Men have the hearts.’
The problem of Godly men and/or biblical masculinity did not begin with this generation, it is several generations deep.