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O Come All Ye Faithful

Posted on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 under Students Expression 3

“O Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant...Come and behold him, born the King of Angels. O Come let us adore him.”  -O Come All Ye Faithful, John Wade 
 
We wrapped adults in wrapping paper and stuck bows on their faces. There were special appearances by Buddy the Elf. We ate a lot of snacks and Christmas cookies and hot chocolate (but, let’s be honest, those cups had more marshmallows than hot chocolate in them). If you’ve ever had the privilege of sneaking into a Student Ministries Lift or Amplify Christmas party, you’ll know that what I’ve just described is the milder stuff of the night. 
 
After it’s all said and done and every kid is safely home, once we’ve cleaned up wrapping paper that was stuffed into every conceivable corner of the room, and when we’ve scraped red and green frosting off the floor, I get to drive home, alone and in silence for the first time all day. This year, as I was driving home, the song, O Come All Ye Faithful, came on the radio. And as I sang along, I realized that with every word, I was thinking of our students here at Southland.
 
Whether you’re a parent, a volunteer leader, or just know someone who is trekking through adolescence, you know that the pressure to want good, holy things for them can be immense. We want them to make the right decisions, to avoid all the mistakes we made when we were their age, and to never have to deal with the pain or loss that we’ve dealt with.
 
But let’s be honest—while we can guide them and provide wisdom, we can’t control the lives of anyone. What can we do? We can pray for them every single day. And I can’t think of better words to pray over any student in your life than the lyrics to O Come All Ye Faithful. Isn’t that what we’re really hoping for? We want students who, no matter what circumstances or choices are present in their lives, can be called faithful, adoring followers of Jesus.

Stephanie Boxx
Student Ministry Coordinator / Administrative Assistant - Richmond Road

Life is Hard, God is Good

Posted on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Weekend Expression 1

If you missed Mike Foster’s talk this past weekend, you gotta head to the teaching page and watch it. It’s money. But for those of you going through the Freeway workbook, let me give you a highlight that stuck with me. Hopefully it’ll help you as you’re pouring yourself out onto those pages. 
 
Recognizing life is hard but trusting that God is good. 
 
This is the toughest thing for a lot of us to get our heads around. But God wants what is best for you. He really does. When I hear those words, I’m reminded that I’m not doing this to get something from God. I’m doing this because there is something that God wants to give to me. 
 
At my house right now, sitting on a high shelf out of reach from little hands, are a bunch of Christmas presents. I have four kiddos that look at those boxes everyday and eagerly wait for December 25th to come. But here’s the reality: Between now and December 25th, there are going to be a lot of disciplinary conversations, time-outs and stern looks from dad. My kids will get into trouble and will face punishment for their bad choices. They’re kids. It’s bound to happen. But, I can also promise you that none of those hard talks will keep me from showering those gifts on my kids. I can’t wait to give them their presents. I can’t wait to see their faces when they open up the boxes. They’re not earning those Christmas presents. But I love them and nothing will stop me from giving my kids that blessing. 
 
Same is true with God. He wants to give you freedom. He is good. You’ll have to trust that He is good, in the midst of difficult conversations, to really appreciate that freedom. Tough circumstances come along and we all get into trouble. But He is good. 
 
If you’re walking through the Freeway workbook, you’re probably uncovering some difficult truths at this point. But stick with it. You’ll honor God by putting truth on those pages and He’ll bless you for it. 

Derrick Purvis
Formation Pastor

Christmas Lists and Caramel Apples

Posted on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 4

Sometime in mid-October, I was walking through an apple orchard in Cynthiana with my husband and his parents. It was a perfectly crisp fall day. The sun was shining. The apples were sweet. And the pumpkin patch was reaching Cinderella status. We ate caramel apples and sipped apple cider. And somewhere in the middle of it all, my mother-in-law asked the dreaded question, “So, what do you guys want for Christmas?” Immediately, we all started laughing. It was October. “I’m serious!” she said “I want to have all of my shopping done by mid-November!” She totally meant it. 
 
Here’s something that you need to know about me... and it will be telling. I haven’t bought a single Christmas present yet. And in my mind, right now, I have all kinds of time. My mother-in-law is one of those rare, impressive people who does everything well and in advance. She is on it with presents, thank you notes, and all things kind. I mean on it. 
 
October was early, but by now, in the middle of December, I’m guessing that you’ve either asked or been asked for a Christmas list. What do you want? Every year, we take the time to think about a few (or a lot) of the things we would like to have to make life easier, happier, more comfortable, more exciting, more fun, more, more, more. Christmas lists are a time-honored tradition. And they go back to before Christmas even existed. 
 
See, the Israelites had a “Christmas” list long before they knew what it was all about. They had a list for God that detailed what they wanted in a Savior. They were expectant. They were counting down the days. They were looking for a man who would be a king. They said he’s gotta stand up for us. Settle the score. He’s gotta set things right. He’s gotta be strong, he’s gotta be fast, and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight.
 
God knew what the Israelites wanted. What they expected. But he had a totally different plan in mind. A tiny baby, born in a smelly barn, to a scared young couple who had no idea what was ahead of them. A tiny baby who would come into the world quietly, and yet change the world forever. He would not fight with a sword, but he would eventually defeat sin and death. He wouldn’t be a political figure, but we would become the most influential man to ever live. He didn’t look like the “Christmas” list the Israelites had mailed to God, but he actually fulfilled it in every way...and then some.
 
Today, God has called us to be the “Gift Givers.” People who share the truth of Christ with the wanting world. Their lists are made. People know what they want. But do they realize what they need? What they are truly missing? I’m not telling you to throw your Christmas lists away this year. But maybe we do need to think about making another one. Who needs to be on that list? Who needs to hear from you? Who needs a chance to hear about the tiny baby that has changed the world forever? Friends, let’s share the good news. After all, tis’ the season.

Hanna Wahlbrink
Creative Director

Celebrating and Giving

Posted on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 under Local Involvement Expression 3 Expression 4

 
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. ~Maya Angelou
 
Each weekend in the Big Picture Show, kids gather with their Life Groups, connect with leaders, and learn about Jesus. Recently we had our semi-annual Life Group Celebration where our volunteer leaders take over and plan an entire weekend of service projects, crafts, and games. 
 
With the Faith and Community Christmas Store opening December 17-19, Scott Haga decided this was an opportunity to teach his 5th grade guys a lesson in giving while celebrating and having fun. 
 
Sunday morning, Scott arrived with popcorn, tennis balls, a radar gun, two unassembled bicycles, a YouTube video complete with bike stunts, and a picture of a little girl named Carson from St. Jude’s Hospital who is fighting cancer. 
 
Scott and his guys built the two bikes, one for a boy and one for a girl, and donated them to the Community Christmas Store. The girl’s bike had Little Mermaid decals and because of Carson’s love for the Little Mermaid, they donated that bike in her honor.
 
Developing a giving heart requires consistency and effort. The volunteer leaders in the Big Picture Show get that. It's a great privilege to serve alongside these loving people.
 
If you’d like to learn more about what we do on our team, I’d love to hear from you!

Tobi Florence
Children's Groups Leader - Richmond Road

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - December 20/21

Posted on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 under Children Weekend Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. So we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you! Take five minutes this week and read the Bible story with your child and talk about the questions below. You can also listen to the songs we'll be singing this weekend!

ANIMATION STATION

Bible Story: Baby Jesus is Born - Luke 2:1-7

Big Idea: Happy Birthday Jesus!

Talk About: Have a birthday party for Jesus. Cake, games and presents for Jesus.

Worship Songs:

He Is Born
by Promiseland

Jump for Joy
by Promiseland

Oh What a Special Night
by Promiseland

THE DRIVE-IN

Environments closed so Children can worship with their parents.

THE BACKLOT

Environments closed so Children can worship with their parents.

Heather Johnson
Children’s Leader / Programmer -Richmond Road

Make Someone’s Day Today

Posted on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 under Evangelism Expression 4

Have you ever made someone’s day? Has anyone ever made your day?
 
You know what I mean.  
 
An unexpected kind word delivered at just the right moment.
A gift given on a day when there was no special occasion. 
An out-of-the-way gesture that simply communicated care and concern.
Good news when bad news was expected.
Good news when no news was expected!
 
When you really think about it, it doesn’t take a whole lot to make your day. It just takes someone going a little bit out of their way, for no reason at all, to share something with you, that brings a little bit of light to your day. 
 
And you doing the same for someone else will make their day.
 
Today could be someone’s day that you could make. You could make someone’s day today and here’s how.  
 
Take a few minutes and read 2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2. Accept the fact that God has called us to be the presenters of the best news anyone could ever hear. Good news when they weren’t expecting any news at all. Good news when maybe all of the other news they hear is bad. Sharing that there is a new life awaiting them is the best out-of-the-way gesture of care and concern anyone could ever experience. There is no greater gift than the gift of life and you could be the bearer of that gift on behalf of God.
 
Today is the day of salvation for someone in your life. Grab some time with a friend and deliver this unexpected message of kindness that Jesus loved them enough to die for them and they get a fresh start today.  
 
I promise, that kind word will be delivered, that light will shine on them, at just... the right... moment. Bam! Day made!
 
Whose day are you supposed to make today?

Chris Hahn
Lead Executive Pastor

You’re Already Qualified

Posted on Wed, Dec 10, 2014 under Global Missions Expression 4

When I graduated college, I wasn’t really interested in missions, or God for that matter. I studied agricultural economics and business for the sole purpose of succeeding in the Thoroughbred industry.
 
Well, after God did some work in my heart, He started to direct me toward missions. The issue I had was: how do my skills and interests line up with what others need? It turns out that I can love people really well in Haiti. And in central Asia, I can use my business and agriculture training to help locals develop business plans to grow their farms.
 
As God has revealed to me where He wants to use me in global work, I realize a lot of you have the same questions. Maybe you haven’t reached out to global missions because you don’t know where your strengths match the needs of our partners around the world.
 
I have good news for you—we want to help you! Whether you’re a teacher, medical professional, plumber, business person, chef, mechanic, musician, athlete, student—we need you. Maybe all you know how to do is love people. Guess what? We need you!
 
I want to challenge everyone who reads this to email me one thing you do really well. I want to work with you to match your skill set with the trips we have available regionally, nationally, or globally for 2015. Our first trips start in March and go consistently throughout the year. So whether it’s you, a friend, or your whole family, I want to challenge you to pray about this. Maybe 2015 is the year you take a step out in faith.

Lizz Kunz
Global Outreach Logistics Leader

Take the Polar Plunge… Sorta

Posted on Tue, Dec 09, 2014 under Expression 4

 
It’s time for Southland’s Polar Plunge! Well, sort of. It will be cold outside, but plenty warm in the baptistry inside our Richmond Road Campus.
 
Now, I know our baptism events normally involve a pond, but unless you’re ready to take the true “Polar Plunge” the best way to jump in the water in winter 2014 will be on Monday, December 15 at 6:30pm.
 
Have you been thinking about taking the next step in your faith and being baptized? I’m confident that God would absolutely love for you to respond to His invitation to follow Him with your life, and we’d be pretty excited to see you as well at our final Baptism Event of 2014. Wouldn’t it be an awesome way to cap off the year? 
 
You don’t need to register—just show up in your swim trunks and t-shirt ready to jump in the water. We’ll be ready to help you take this important step in your life and walk alongside you as you take your first steps out of the water and into a life as part of God’s family forever.
 
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or Adaryll.

Will Briggs
Care Pastor

A Strong Dose of Reality

Posted on Mon, Dec 08, 2014 under Spiritual Formation Weekend Expression 1

So I’m sitting at my desk, working through this Freeway workbook just like most of you. Man, I am challenged! Am I really ready for discovery? Am I up for the “soul scavenger hunt?” This Freeway series has me peeking into my my strengths, my fears, my doubts and my emotions in a way that, quite honestly, has me wanting to quit. 
 
It’s a strong dose of reality that is swarming my heart like a bunch of mosquitos. No matter how much I swat at it, it just won’t go away. But, the truth is, I don’t want it to go away. We heard a great story this weekend that challenged me in a big way. Though it may hurt, discovering God’s plan for your life brings an immeasurable joy. Knowing His plan is so much better than the pain that we bring on ourselves when we hide from it. 
 
If you’re working through the Freeway book, keep at it. I’m sure you want to quit. If you bought one and haven’t even cracked it open, open it. If you put it down, pick it back up. It’s worth it. 
 
If you missed this weekend’s sermon, catch it online. At the very least, watch Mike’s story. It’ll show you how God wants to capture your fears and doubts and emotions and make them something great. 

Derrick Purvis
Formation Pastor

Big Picture Show Sneak Preview - December 13/14

Posted on Mon, Dec 08, 2014 under Children Weekend Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. So we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you! Take five minutes this week and read the Bible story with your child and talk about the questions below. You can also listen to the songs we'll be singing this weekend!

ANIMATION STATION

Bible Story: Baby Jesus is Born - Luke 2:1-7

Big Idea: Jesus is with me.

Talk About: Take a nativity set out and talk about what happened at the manger and why it was such a special night.

Worship Songs:

He Is Born
by Promiseland

Good Good News
by Promiseland

Who Was There
by Promiseland

THE DRIVE-IN

Bible Story: Mary and Joseph - Luke 2:1-5

Big Idea: God has a plan for me.

Talk About: As a family read the Bible Story aloud and discuss how even when our plan doesn't work out, God's plan does.

Worship Songs:

Jingle Bells
by Jonathan Shelton

Silent Night
by Heath Balltzglier

THE BACKLOT

Bible Story: Mary and Joseph - Luke 2:1-7

Big Idea: God has a plan for me.

Talk About: As a family make a master plan where you do a bunch of nice things for others. Worship:

Worship Songs:

Raise Your Candle
by James David Carter

The Greatest Gift
by Nathan Angelo

Gloria
by Todd Fields

Heather Johnson
Children’s Leader / Programmer -Richmond Road

Christmas at Southland

Posted on Fri, Dec 05, 2014 under Weekend Expression 1

As the Christmas season approaches, we want to make sure you spend time with your friends and families, but we also want to give you the chance to come worship together as we celebrate the birth of the One who came so we could have Life.

Harrodsburg Road Campus

  • 7pm, Friday, December 19
  • 5:30pm, Saturday, December 20
  • 9:30am, 9:40am, 11:15am, Sunday, December 21

Kindergarten through 5th grade will be closed as we encourage parents and their kids to worship together as a family this weekend.

Richmond Road Campus

  • 7pm, Friday, December 19
  • 5:30pm, Saturday, December 20
  • 9:30am and 11:15am, Sunday, December 21
  • No 608 on December 21

Kindergarten through 5th grade will be closed as we encourage parents and their kids to worship together as a family this weekend.

Danville Campus

  • 5:30pm, Saturday, December 20
  • 9:30am and 11:15am, Sunday, December 21

2nd grade through 5th grade will be closed as we encourage as we encourage parents and their kids to worship together as a family this weekend.

Student Ministries of all Campuses

  • No Lift on Sundays, December 21 or 28
  • No Lift or Amplify on Wednesdays, December 24 and December 31.

All student related activities resume January 4.

Justin Meeker
Communications Director

A Prayer I Don’t Want to Pray

Posted on Tue, Dec 02, 2014 under Expression 1

This past weekend Jon gave us a prayer to pray. But I have to be honest, I’m not completely sure I wanna pray it. Can I refuse? Can I just, maybe, forget to pray it? Maybe that means I need to pray it more than anyone. Here we go...
 
“Father, let me know as much truth about myself as I can handle.”
 
Whew. That’s a hard one to get out. I’m the guy that would rather be blissfully unaware that his fly is down rather than face the humiliation of someone telling me. But, alas, Jon is right. We have to be self-aware. 
 
And that’s what this Freeway series is all about. Over 5,000 of you have picked up a Freeway book to work through during this series. And I wanted to take a minute to encourage you. 
 
Keep it up. 
 
This workbook is a great tool to discover self awareness. It’ll teach you things about yourself and make a huge difference in your life, if you let it. And I know that can sometimes be painful. So I wanted to let you know that I’m praying for each of you as you’re praying your prayers of self-awareness. 
 
One of the tips that Freeway gives us in the beginning of the book says, “Don’t be mean to yourself. Be honest and compassionate.”
 
So keep praying for self-awareness. And I’ll be here in my office praying for you and knowing that God is bringing some big change your way. I can’t wait to see what happens.

If you don’t have a Freeway book and you want to get in on the action, just stop by the church office this week or Connection Point this weekend. They’re $10 each. 

Derrick Purvis
Formation Pastor


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