Posted by southcitychurch on January 30, 2011
January 30, 2011 – South City Church sermon
Hebrews: The Great High Priest – Part 2
by: Jay Simmons
Posted by southcitychurch on February 19, 2010
This morning I was feeding Annie (our 6 month old) and wondering what I would write for today’s meditation on the Lord’s Supper. And so I said a little prayer, asking God to feed our church with the knowledge of our need for His Son and His heart to meet that need. But Annie was hungry – really hungry – so I couldn’t tarry long in my prayer. As I buckled her into her high-chair she sat there like a baby bird with her beak open – so wanting the food that she knew was coming. That’s one of the daunting, yet wonderful things about having little ones: they really need you. She needed the food I had and we both knew it. And thankfully Annie really wants it too. Annie is an EATER! (Don’t know where she gets that from). She loved the Apple/Strawberry mush that I started with – gobbling up the first few bites as if she hadn’t eaten in days. She even giggled a little bit as it was going down which made me laugh. I think she’s really funny.
But of course only half of it got where it needed to go. Feeding a 6 month old can test one’s coordination skills I assure you! As usual, she was wearing as much as she was eating. And it got worse as her hunger began to ease. She became distracted by a balloon across the room and forgot all about the meal for a minute or two. I had to be patient with my spoon. Very patient. There was a lot to do today, but what was more important than making sure my little girl had the food she needed? Nothing, I guess – but I did feel the tension drawing me elsewhere – on to the next thing.
Well, when she finally did resume eating her bites were smaller and even more spilled out onto her bib because of her distraction. So, I decided to change things up a bit. I’d bring out the peas. And when the first bite hit her tongue she grimaced and spit it out. Blah! Oh well, that didn’t work. I admit I was a little frustrated with her as I wiped the green goo off my glasses. She’ll need to learn that there will be days where peas are the only option. But today she had a choice and so I busted out a fresh container of sweet potatoes – another healthy alternative – and she resumed eating. I know that about her. She likes sweet potatoes. Not as much as bananas and strawberry/apple mush, but she likes them still and so she ate until she was quite content.
She’ll be hungry again in a few hours. I know that about her too. And I’m thankful for the opportunity to feed her again, so long as I’m not too distracted to enjoy it as much as I did this morning.
Today I’m thankful. Maybe you are too. Thankful for a God who doesn’t think our neediness is daunting at all. Quite the contrary – he delights in it – never tires of it. I’m thankful for a God who knows what’s good for me – even if it tastes like peas. I’m thankful for a God who is patent and undistracted and eager feed me despite that fact that I am entirely impatient with him and so very distracted by the world that I rarely find joy in the food He spoons out. I’m thankful for a God who likes me…and yes…loves me too. And for a God who knows me…better than I know myself…whose very purpose in sending His son was to make me quite content in Him.
And so my prayer today – for myself and each of us – is that we will be EATERS, plain and simple. Giggly eaters of His grace. Amen.
Posted by cgillam on January 8, 2009
Everyone can say, “If you knew me before…”. We share our testimonies to try to explain who we were before (Before Christ, before surrender, before …) and so that we can give glory to God for His work in our lives.
I have the unique, exciting and somewhat frightening, opportunity to re-connect with a high school friend. She knew me before…, and I knew her before…, it’s going to be interesting to see how the dots get filled in.
Do you have any dots to fill in?
Posted by cgillam on September 17, 2008
I’ve wondered what the landscape of health insurance would be if we treated it like we do our automobile and home-owner’s insurance. What would happen if we only had coverage for major health issues (injuries, hospital stays, emergency situations) instead of having regular “maintenance” (i.e. annual doctor visits, short-term illness treatments – such as colds and viruses, chronic treatments – such as allergies, high blood pressure, etc.) covered also? How would this change the way our health-care system worked?
Posted by southcitychurch on September 17, 2008
Week 2: Kingdom Calling – Mission
1. Scotty Smith writes that “We are not ‘trophies of grace’ to be placed on the mantel for display. We are to become ‘conduits of grace’ placed in the messy world of relationships to serve the forgiving, freeing, healing purposes of God.” (Objects of His Affection, p. 89). If we were able to really see that our main purpose in life was to be a conduit of God’s grace and so participate in His mission to turn back the Fall – what difference would that make in how we live/work/play, etc?
2. Read Luke 10:25-37. Our primary difficulty with mission is our self-centeredness. Interact with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Where do you see yourself in the story? Have you been a recipient of people passing you by in need? How did that feel? Where do you see God in this parable?
3. How have you fallen into the trap of trying to justify yourself with good works of mission?
4. How have you guised your obedience to the call of mission by going to Tarshish instead of Ninevah? What is your Tarshish? What is your Ninevah?
5. How does seeing yourself as God’s mission (yourself as Ninevah) empower you and motivate you to participate in His mission to the world? What is the proper motivation for mission?
6. How can you – as a group – contribute to God’s world mission?
Posted by southcitychurch on September 9, 2008
For each of the next ten Wednesdays (with the exception of Oct. 1) leading up to Thanksgiving, we at South City Church are going to be exploring together what it means to live out the Kingdom of God right here, right now. We’d love to do this together and with the help of our friends who may not be able to make it to services to hear the sermons. Our sermons are available to listen to on the South City Sermons blog. This is the first week of discussions. Each week, we will post the questions and hope you will join us in this discussion.
Read Matthew 4:17-23. What does the “Gospel (or good news) of the Kingdom” mean? What does it mean to you? Do you see and understand the “Gospel” as it relates to the “Kingdom”? And what implications does this have on how you view the world, your life and the role of the church in it?
Imagine yourself in Peter or Andrew or James or John’s shoes. You are in thee middle of your work when Jesus walks up and tells you to drop everything and follow him. What sort of internal struggle would you have when faced with the choice? Would you go? What fears would you have? What difference would it make if you realized that he was ushering in the “kingdom of heaven” (v. 17) and wanted YOU to participate?
Do you live in the reality that Jesus calls you by name? That he had you in mind on the cross? That he is with you now – as you eat, sleep, work and play? What difference would it make in your life (your work, your relationships, your private life) if you really lived as if Jesus was your spouse – always with you – knowing everything about you? Is Jesus Christ really your personal savior or is he just some cultural or theological abstract on the fringes of your personal life?
Edmund P. Clowney writes that “The church, according to the Scripture, is not a religious club, a voluntary association of like-minded Christians who cultivate friendship and engage in joint projects. It is rather the institution of Christ and of the Spirit, formed by his power and governed by his Word.” Do you see the church primarily as a club or as the Covenant family of God? What does your understanding of this have on how you prioritize the church community?
We live in an individualistic culture. We are inundated with exhortations to “do your own thing”, “do what makes you happy,” and to “be all that you can be.” The internet has allowed people to relate with each other on their own terms – to manufacture identities and to make friendships that cost them very little. Do you treat church like just another internet site where you can visit without it costing you anything? What difference would it make if you treated it like a family?
Richard Lovelace says that the trend toward thinking of Christianity only in terms of its personal benefits is like thinking of the Christian life as one where “the individual believer is connected to the source of grace like a diver who draws his air supply from the surface through a hose. He is essentially a self-contained system cut off from the other divers working around him. If their air supply is cut off, this does not damage him nor can he share with them the air that he receives. The situation would be no different if he were working alone a hundred miles away” (Dynamics of Spiritual Life, p. 167-68). What effects does this have on the church? How does it essentially undermine the “Gospel of the Kingdom?”
How can you grow as a disciple of Christ in these areas?
Posted by blueberrycat on April 12, 2008
Last Saturday evening, after hearing guitarist Robin Bullock perform in person at the Mississippi River Celtic Music Festival, I rushed to the lobby to buy one of his CDs — Rosewood Castle (to hear samples, follow the link below). I don’t know if it’s possible to wear out a CD just by playing it, but if so, I’ll have to replace this one within a month, because I’ve listened to nothing else for the past week!
There is no evidence anywhere on the CD case that Mr. Bullock puts his faith in Jesus Christ. I hope so, because I want to hear him play over and over again in heaven. But whether or not he has personally experienced God’s saving grace, his beautiful and soulful music reflects humanity created in the image of God, the Creator of everything that is beautiful.
Rosewood Castle also reminds me that for now, although Christ has paid in full the mortgage on my home in heaven, moving day is yet to come. It is not unusual for me to be moved to tears by beautiful music; nearly every tune on this CD provokes that response. You’d think I would rejoice at such exquisite sound, and in fact I do, but along with the joy comes a sense that the peacefulness and freedom conveyed in Bullock’s music cannot be grasped. They belong to the future, when all that God has promised comes to pass.
In the meantime, I listen again and again, while driving, while drifting off to sleep, while praying, all the while longing for that Kingdom of the future. God speaks through Scripture, He speaks through sermons, He speaks through our brothers and sisters in faith; but He also speaks through music, and through Bullock’s music Our Father says “I love you.” Listening to Rosewood Castle is worship.
Posted by southcitychurch on November 6, 2007
Please watch this video from a recent Oprah Winfrey Show broadcast.
OK. So, the question is: How does someone who never heard the name Jesus, get into heaven?
We believe that Jesus is the only way – John 14:6. But, it’s obvious that it’s not the name of Jesus, but the person of Jesus. We know his name because we’ve been introduced to him through the New Testament. I think what people get hung up on is that there are many people who have never heard of the name Jesus and yet do many wonderful things and we want to believe that they are going to heaven because of what they do. But what Abraham and David and Noah and all the great men and women of Scriptures knew was not the name of Jesus Christ, but that there was to be a Christ. They knew that there was no way they could go to God, but they knew and trusted that God would come to them, and he did. They knew that there was no way that man could make it to God without God coming to man. That is what Jesus did! He was God on earth – Immanuel!!! God with us!!!
The woman in the audience, when posed with this question, would have been better to say – “You know, Oprah, that’s a really a good question and one I grapple with myself. I know that Jesus is the only way and I know this because I know him. I can see that you have put a great deal of time and effort in trying to find the answer yourself and that you struggle with understanding yourself. I don’t have the answer to your question and I apologize for not being prepared to answer it. I would be willing to continue this discussion later because it is something that I should have a better understanding. There is not a ’10-second soundbite’ answer. It requires a close examination of Scripture and that takes time.” Or something like that.
Posted by cgillam on July 31, 2007
Some questions to think about from this week’s sermon:
In what ways do you try to manufacture heaven on earth?
In what ways do you continue to add to the wall that separates you from heaven?
Share experiences of tasting heaven on earth.