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Marriage Conference | What Did You Expect?

Posted in Adults  |  By Jordan Cox  |  Posted on Wed Aug 24, 2016

Expectations can be burdensome. We face expectations of ourselves and others at work, in our free time, and even at home.

Perhaps where expectations project the most burden and stress is in our marriages. Viewing ourselves and marriage through the incorrect lens can create crippling circumstances, but even when all is right within our marriages and life can't seem to get any better, it's beneficial to be reminded that our marriages are not for our personal satisfaction. Marriage is an act of worship of a holy God.

We were honored to host pastor and author Paul David Tripp in August for Marriage Conference: What Did You Expect? During our four sessions together, Paul cemented the Gospel in our hearts and minds. He didn't preach marriage; he preached the Cross of Christ.

If you missed one of the sessions, or were unable to be with us, associate pastor Chad Cossiboom sat down with Paul for a conversation. Parts one, two, and three are below.

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Adopted Women's Conference

Posted in Adults  |  By Jordan Cox  |  Posted on Tue Apr 19, 2016

“What I say won’t get you through the next week, but the stories of the ladies around you can get you through seasons.”

That’s a profoundly humble, startlingly self-aware statement from a guest speaker.

It’s what Lisa Harper told a room of 300-plus women last weekend during Adopted, Women’s Conference 2016.

One of those stories is Holli Parker.

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Gifted | Finding renewed purpose in selling art

Posted in Adults  |  By Shades Staff  |  Posted on Tue Oct 13, 2015

When you take yourself out of the race that the world of retail has created and instead rest in the reward of Christ with a selfless perspective, you'll be shocked at the difference it makes. Creating becomes an overflow of the heart and an act of worship.

For as long as I can remember, I've loved creating little pieces of something special to give to other people.

I made my mom countless "works of art" as a "birthday gift" every year for about ten years straight. I painted all of my closest friends canvases with Bible verses on them for graduation presents, and I even glued rocks on a piece of paper for my dad with the phrase "You Rock" one Father's Day.

That process of creating for a purpose - giving something you've created to someone you care for - it's a pretty great feeling.

Two years ago, I was able to sell some of my artwork at Gifted for the first time, and something just seemed to click. This was one of the first opportunities I had to sell for a purpose that was bigger than an individual.

A portion of the proceeds would go to benefit the Orphan Care Ministry at Shades. I began to see that I could take the gifts and abilities that God had given me a passion for and use them in a way to minister to and bless others. The thrill of each sale became less and less about the money I might make and more and more about contributing to a ministry.

There was a little bit of an anxious excitement in my process as I started to think about the products I could offer. I felt like in some small way, I was getting to use my work to live out James ‪1:27; and what a blessing to combine art, which I'm passionate about, with service, which I feel called to as a believer.

Let me just say, it changes your perspective. Each sale is no longer about the money you might make or the profit you get to see, it becomes about the blessing you might be able to pour out on some children who need homes and a loving family. Selling with a purpose really changed the way I work and brought to life Colossians 3:23-24 which says, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."

This verse became my prayer as I created products to sell.

Those hours I spent creating were intended to serve God and bless others, not boost my own pride or make my name known. When you take yourself out of the race that the world of retail has created and instead rest in the reward of Christ with a selfless perspective, you'll be shocked at the difference it makes. Creating becomes an overflow of the heart and an act of worship.

I found that I could sell a product without the pressure of approval or the need to compare. I wanted my products to bring joy to the buyer and glory to God.

Selling with a purpose changed the way I defined success.

One thing I never saw coming was the relief of comparison when you begin to create and sell to the glory of God. We can look to the right or the left and see half a dozen people doing the same craft we do and think, "Wow, they are so much more talented than I am..." or, "Man, if I could just create like she does..." But those thoughts do nothing to inspire creativity or encourage your work. Those are thoughts that the enemy tells us to discourage our process and put the focus on ourselves.

When we look to God, the ultimate Creator, and find inspiration and purpose from Him, our work becomes so much greater.

Our efforts become a direct reflection of the gifts He's given us. When you start to put those products out there for others to see, you don't have to feel insecure or worried about what others have to offer. You can trust that God will use your efforts and that your work can bring glory to Him.

Selling a product becomes less about you and more about obedience to Him. That is one of the greatest gifts I've experienced in this process over the past few years.

I would encourage anyone who has the gift of creating to consider selling with the purpose of blessing others and serving God. I have found such joy in combining my passion with a greater purpose, and I pray that God would receive glory for as long as I'm able to create.

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A Heart Restored | Laura Difatta

Posted in Adults  |  By Laura DiFatta  |  Posted on Wed Feb 18, 2015

"We've just gotten him stable, but he still may die."

Those were the only words the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit head physician spoke to us before she turned around and left the room. She and several other cardiologists and residents had worked on our nine-week-old son, Trent all night long to save his life. Twenty-four hours before, we had been living a normal life. Suddenly our normal had turned into a nightmare.

In May of 2010, we welcomed a healthy, nine pound and 11 ounce Trent— the youngest of three boys— into our family. We took him home and we all began acclimating to life with a newborn. We were exhausted, but happy

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Sandee Mogle Testimony

Posted in Adults  |  By Sandra Mogle  |  Posted on Tue Feb 17, 2015

Sandee (Stephanson) Mogle grew up on the beaches of San Diego, CA. Her parents offered little moral guidance or love which led to a long string of boyfriends with no direction. Leaving college after a year, and the need to support her cute red convertible, Sandee set out in search of a job.

After graduating 'stewardess' school for the Pacific Southwest Airline, Sandee became an official stewardess. The standard uniform for PSA at that time was hot pants and boots! Life was basically carefree as she flew from one location to another. However her totally self absorbed life was leaving a wake of destruction and feelings of utter emptiness. During one particular flight lay-over, Sandee cried out to God "God, will I ever be happy? Will I ever have a husband who loves me and the family I crave?"

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Stephanie Hartsell

Posted in Children, Adults  |  By Stephanie Hartsell  |  Posted on Fri Jan 23, 2015

We cannot always control what happens to us in our lives, especially when we are children. Unfortunately sometimes the things that happen to us as children wind up defining the rest of our lives. Sometimes people give up and give in to the lie that because of the things that happened or were done to us, we can never be whole.

We say, "I'm like this because of ______.
I can't change because of ______ that happened to me."
You fill in the blanks.

For most of my teens and early 20's I believed this lie. Satan wanted me to believe my legacy was one of addiction, depression, anger, mental instability. It was not until I came to SMBC that I heard for the first time, that this was truly a lie. God sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins and to make a way for me to have a relationship with Him. Through this relationship with God, He gave me a new legacy. I became a new creation in Christ. My new legacy is freedom, peace, joy and grace.

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