South Hills Church - Costa MesaSep 17, 2023
"Most Relaxed" with Moses Camacho - Week 3 - TINY GOLDEN STATUES
We’d all appreciate less demands and more freedom – but for some, this is an obsession of their heart. When we pursue the idol of comfort, we’re more than willing to not be productive at all if we can be comfortable. In our avoidance of stress and expectations, we see people around us as potential obstacles to our comfort – because relationships take work. But for all the comfort we pursue, we simply make ourselves more uncomfortable – because our hearts were designed for community and meaning through work.
"Most Liked" - Week 2 - TINY GOLDEN STATUES
When we begin to feel that life only has meaning, or that we only have worth, if we are loved and respected by a certain person or group, we’re facing the idol of approval. We want affirmation, love and relationships so much that we sacrifice our independence. The desire to be loved is healthy and natural, but for the problem for the person with the approval idol is that they are not ultimately satisfied with God’s love for them, so they do just about anything to get it from people.
"Most Influential" - Week 1 - TINY GOLDEN STATUES
What we would define as success or influence, may be the idol of power in disguise. It’s not even primarily about winning as much as the fear of losing – of humiliation. People with an unhealthy pursuit of power often cause others to feel used or manipulated, because their relationships are built on what others can bring them or do for them to increase their position. Jesus called us to a very different relationship with power, one that is more beautiful and more difficult than any the world could entice us with.
“Is it stupid to still have hope?” - Week 4 - POLITICAL POWDER KEG
It’s becoming all-too-common for our politician, platform or party of choice to not be in power. People have always believed the right political power will save them, but how can we make sure that people in power don’t determine our level of personal peace? How can we hold on to hope when it feels like it’s all falling apart?
“Can I somehow win them over?” - Week 3 - POLITICAL POWDER KEG
It’s easy to feel like our Christian values are under assault and that we need to fight to protect them. But while we’re hoping to beat the opposition and change people’s minds, Jesus is calling us to pray for our enemies while he changes their hearts. All-to-often, we’re louder about our political beliefs than we are about our spiritual beliefs; shouting our politics and whispering our faith. Scripture is clear that we should try to win people over…but it might be a surprise what we’re supposed to win them for.
“How could they think that?” - Week 2 - POLITICAL POWDER KEG
How can they claim to be a Christian, but vote that way? How could they possibly think that person is the right choice? My faith is why I’m a Republican! Wait…your faith is why you’re a Democrat? Maybe things aren’t as cut and dry as we think they are. Could it be that we’ve edited Jesus to fit neatly within our political framework? And more importantly, have we lost sight of the very thing he was most clearly concerned about?
“God’s on my side, isn’t he?” - Week 1 - POLITICAL POWDER KEG
It seems that all of life is a battle between good and evil. It only makes sense that we, as Christians, are the good guys – right? We see sin, brokenness and evil all around us, and we want to make it stop! Obviously God is on our side, right? This week we’ll look at the importance of having “rightly ordered loves” and avoiding the temptation to recruit Jesus for our own goals.
"Sensing God in Beer Commercials, Rap Lyrics, and HBO Shows" - Week 5 - Noise Canceling
We might expect God to speak through a Bible verse, worship lyric, or sermon quote. These things feel sanctified, sacred, safe. But where else might we find the voice of God? What about a romance novel, superhero comic, R rated movie, or explicit song? Should we look for God in these places or avoid them altogether? Are there certain things God never speaks through? Is it possible for something to pull one person closer to God while pushing someone else away? How do you know when to look closer and when to look away?
"Hearing God With Your Gut Instead of Your Ears" - Week 4 - Noise Canceling ft. Alec Alvarado
Most of us aren’t great at stillness. We’re always on-the-go, multitasking, earbuds in, distractedly doing one thing while worrying about not having time for the next. A lot of us can’t stand silence. Even more of us can’t sit still. Our lives are busy and noisy, our minds even more so. Ever have someone nudge you and ask, “Did you hear me?” And you wanted to say, “yes”, but you were so distracted you didn’t even realize they were talking? What if God was speaking, but the pace and noise of our everyday lives prevents us from hearing Him? Could it be that God whispers more than He shouts? And if that’s true, what do those whispers sound like and how do we still our souls long enough to sense them?
"When and Why God Sometimes Sounds Like Someone Else" - Week 3 - Noise Canceling ft. Jeff Fernandez
If you’ve ever visited a place where you don’t speak the language, having a reliable interpreter is a lifesaver. You need someone to translate what’s being said into words you can understand. But everyone’s who’s gotten a message through an interpreter has also wondered, “Is that really what the other person said?” Trusting someone to translate takes a lot of faith—because what if they get it wrong? Then their mistake becomes your mistake. And what if they’re translating for God? Ever had someone tell you what God wants you to do and wondered, “How would they know?” How do you tell the difference between someone pushing their own agenda and someone trying to help you hear God’s voice for yourself?
"How to Receive a Personalized Message from God Every Day" - Week 2 - Noise Canceling
Some people say the Bible is the ‘Word of God’; like it’s somehow His way of speaking to us. But it wasn’t written to us. It was written to people who lived a really long time ago, in another part of the world, and spoke different languages. And yet, some people read this ancient book and say things like, “that spoke to me” or “that was just for me”. What does that mean? How does God use all these old stories and sayings to guide us through our current situations? Does God say specific things to specific people through Scripture? Or is everyone just seeing what they want to see to justify doing whatever they want to do?
"The One Full Proof Way to Know if a Thought is from God" - Week 1 - Noise Canceling
We all know stories or have seen documentaries about people who claim to have heard from God. Most of them weren’t just convinced God wanted them to know something, but DO something, and the ‘somethings’ are all over the place—adopt a baby, launch a non-profit, fight an addiction, pass a law, start a commune, or bomb a building. Most of us have our fair share of suspicion. Did God really tell these people to do these things? That can’t be true. But I guess it’s possible he said something to some of them. After all, the bible has stories about people hearing from God. How do you know if something is from God or not?
"IN – How do I carve out a life I’m proud of?" - Week 4 - Four Short Words
Everyone eventually asks themselves, “What do I do with my life?” And a lot of the cultural answers to this question don’t end up being all that satisfying. We all know people who have made lots of money, acquired lots of power, and had lots of sex, but feel hollow and unhappy. It turns out, humans aren’t content to simply be alive, we want something to live for. The obvious Christian answer might be, “Just live for God.” But, how? What does that mean? How do I channel who I am and how I’m wired into something that matters? Do you ever wish you could have something inside you that would lead and guide you to do what’s ultimately best for you? Interestingly, God had that very same idea. Everything after the Gospels in the New Testament is the story of God enlightening and empowering us to discover our true selves and partner with one another to bring heaven to earth. So, what was this big idea and how exactly is it supposed to work?
"WITH – Why is loneliness so unbearably painful?" - Week 3 - Four Short Words
There are few things as painful as feeling like nobody gets you and there’s no one you can turn to. We are meant and made for relationships—with each other and with God. The people part can be difficult but is somewhat intuitive. But a lot of us don’t think of God as relational. And to be fair, through most of human history, He wasn’t. For the most part, people didn’t walk and talk with God. They connected with Him from a distance by carrying out various rules and rituals. God was present but not close, real but not relatable. That is until God picked a point in history and inserted himself into humanity. God closed the gap between us, not just by coming near to us, but by becoming one of us. And this mind-blowing move changed everything about everything…forever. This is the story of the Gospels, and it reframes everything that came before. But what exactly does that mean for us and our everyday lives?
"BETWEEN – Why don’t things work like they should?" - Week 2 - Four Short Words
Ever felt like there was something between you and someone else? Like something was off between you. Maybe you weren’t even sure what it was, but it was clear there was something there. Almost every relationship has these moments. But it wasn’t meant to be that way. Something happened in the story of humanity that got between us and each other, us and God, us and ourselves, God and His creation. Something went off course. Something got in the way. And our entire existence afterward has revolved around us trying to work through it or work around it. This is what the Old Testament is about. And when we see it through this lens, it reveals why so much of our lives and our world doesn’t work the way it should. The question is, what do we do about it?
"Who am I deep down?" - Week 1 - Four Short Words
Knowing where you came from brings into focus who you really are and how you got that way. Our culture is interested in this, maybe more than ever. When we meet people, we impulsively ask them where they’re from. We love movies that revolve around the origin story of a character. We map our family trees. We ship our spit off to companies to tell us the ancestry of our genetic code. When you open the Bible, the beginning of Scripture is about how we began. It’s our origin story. But maybe not in the way you might think. What does this ancient piece of poetry that opens the story of us and God tell us about the bigger picture of who we are and what we’re made for?
"Can Anyone Become More Resilient in Any Area?" - Week 4 - The Rules of Resilience
We’ve all seen stories of people doing things we thought were impossible. They made a massive change, turned their lives around, overcame an addiction, or overturned an entire industry. The reason we’re in awe of these people is that most seem to come from humble beginnings. We’re not impressed that they did something they ought to be able to do, we’re impressed they did something we weren’t sure anyone could do. What’s truly unbelievable is some people do it more than once. Are these just special people? Or do they know something we don’t? Can anyone become better, stronger, and more successful in any area or is that just an American myth? How are those with multiple successes doing it?
Is What You Say More Powerful Than What You Do? (feat. Sam Mahlstadt) - Week 3 - The Rules of Resilience
How can two people with similar skill sets look at the same situation and come to vastly different conclusions? It would make sense that both would have the same shot at success. But we’ve all seen prepared people fail, and those nobody would bet on succeed. Is it pure luck? Is it circumstantial? Or is there something happening on the inside of them that’s influencing what’s happening on the outside of them. We’re told that the mind is pretty powerful. Is that just something people say? How much does outlook effect outcomes? How much are our experiences impacted by our expectations? And if so, can you change yours?
"Does Who You’re Around Limit How Much You Can Handle?" - Week 2 - The Rules of Resilience
The plot of most inspirational stories boils down to someone with everything stacked against them, who, through sheer will and determination, conquer seemingly insurmountable odds & rise to the top. We love the self-made success story. There’s just one catch: that’s not how it works. No one who survives, overcomes, or achieves anything unbelievable does so by themselves. We’re social creatures, significantly shaped by our surroundings. Could what’s holding you back be more of a “who” than a “what”? How much do the people you do life alongside determine what kind of life you end up living?
"Are Inspiration and Determination Enough?" - Week 1 - The Rules of Resilience
When there’s something we can’t seem to make ourselves do or stick to, we assume it’s because we lack inspiration. We go on the hunt for an uplifting story, an encouraging word, or motivational quote to get us going. But all of us have things we feel inspired to do but never quite get around to. Is it that we don’t want it bad enough, aren’t focused, or don’t quite see its significance? But some of what we’d argue is most important, we still can’t seem to prioritize. So, what’s the problem? Is it that we need more or different inspiration? Is that we need a better, more compelling “why”? Or is there another ingredient we might be missing? What are successful people not telling us? Is there a magic recipe for resilience? If so, what is it?
"Christianity makes people more arrogant, selfish and vengeful; not less." - Reason #3 that people are NOT INTERESTED
Almost everyone’s heard the statement, “God is love.” If that’s true, why do so many of His followers seem so unloving? How important is it to reflect the god you believe in? Are most Christians just hypocrites, or are they a reflection of who they think God is—condescending, self-protecting, and punishing? Is Christianity about you living a certain way or you getting everyone else to live a certain way? Some people say becoming a Christian changes everything. Does it? How? Are Christians supposed to live like Jesus or is it more about praying a prayer to get into heaven? How does trust in Jesus affect how you treat other people? Should it?
"Christianity punishes anyone who thinks differently or asks difficult questions." - Reason #2 that people are NOT INTERESTED ft. Moses Camacho
Christians are nice enough, as long as you fall in line, fit the mold, and don’t ask too many questions. But if you have your doubts or disagree with someone in authority, you’re out. Does having faith mean playing along with everything you’re told & keeping your mouth shut? Is God as annoyed with our lack of certainty as other Christians seem to be? Is what you say you believe more important than how you behave? Is it possible for a thriving spiritual community to be full of people who aren’t on the same page?
"Christianity breeds ignorant people who use the bible to avoid reason" - Reason #1 that people are NOT INTERESTED
Christians have a reputation for getting cornered by a logical argument, responding by quoting a cryptic Bible verse, and then celebrating as if they won the fight. Is that what the Bible’s for? Is quoting Scripture some sort of untouchable trump card? Are there certain situations where ancient instructions don’t make sense in our modern context? If so, which ones? Are we even allowed to ask that question? How did Jesus treat Scripture? And as His followers, how should we read it and what are we supposed to do with it?
"She Thought He Was The Gardener!" - Easter at South Hills
What does help look like? It may be most recognizable in the flashing lights of a tow truck, or the sirens of a fire engine, or maybe even in the red swimsuit of a lifeguard. But what if we don’t know what we’re looking for? Would you even recognize help if it was standing in front of you? The Easter story is full of twists and turns - not the least of which is that Jesus’ followers didn’t even recognize him after the resurrection. What were they looking for? And, if they missed it, is it possible that we could?
"My Pesky Ability To See Other's Flaws Before My Own" - Palm Sunday at South Hills
There’s not a person around who would claim that the world is perfect. In fact, with social media and the 24-hour news cycle, we are over-informed of the issues, problems and challenges both locally and globally. War, politics, the environment, education, and the general fabric of society: God, won’t you please fix it? This same thing was shouted at a parade 2000 years ago, so what does it mean for us today?
"The Two Hardest Words To Say To Yourself" - Week 4 - Economic Atheist
We get that it’s a good thing to be a giver. Maybe generosity is even a goal of yours. But where do you draw what lines? If you gave everything away—you’d end up naked and penniless, living on the streets. That can’t be what God wants. You don’t want to be a miser either. How do you know what to give and what to keep? There are needs and needy people everywhere. What do you say YES and NO to? How do you use what you’ve got wisely, not wastefully? How do you pursue selflessness without starving? Will you eventually just arrive at a certain sweet spot, or is this an area you’re going to have to constantly wrestle with?
"7 Honest Questions People Have About Tithing" - Week 3 - Economic Atheist
Tithing is is something that SO MANY OF US have heard about, but over 80% of Christian's in America don't do it. Why is that? And if Christian's have questions, struggles or doubts about tithing - surely many others do too! So Rather than preaching a sermon about why we believe tithing is something Christian's should participate in, Pastor Chris Kretzu honestly addresses 7 common questions and concerns that people have with tithing.
"Why does work suck? (and 3 things to do about it)" - Week 2 - Economic Atheist
Part of growing up is getting a job. Everyone’s eventually got to think about how they’re going to make money. You’ve got to pay rent and buy groceries, clothes, and a car. Then there’s insurance, utilities, subscriptions, and shampoo. And savings, obviously. If there’s anything left after, you can finally have a little fun—a vacation, an upgrade, dessert. The more you make, the more you get to move from simply meeting your NEEDS to grabbing hold of your WANTS. And that’s what we’re all working for. Is that enough though? Is getting what you want all there is? Does is work? Is it fulfilling? What else is there? What does God have to say about the point of making money and do we really care?
"Why does God even care about money?" - Week 1 - Economic Atheist
If you were to ask all your neighbors for the first thing they think of when they hear the word “Christian”, how much you want to bet “hypocrite” comes up more than once? That stings a bit. But is it an incorrect assessment? And if it is, are you contributing to or countering it? A lot of people call themselves Christians, but how many actually live like one? What does it mean to fully follow Christ? Which of his instructions—on everything from ethics to economics—are we tempted not to take seriously? And what’s the cost of doing so—for us, our families, and our communities?
"Parenting - The Problem With Focusing On Your Kids” - Week 4 - First Comes Love
Kids complicate relationships. Some of us aren’t sure we want to have them. Some of us accidentally had them. Some of us inherited them. Some of us are absolutely obsessed with them. Maybe you thought you met the love of your life, but then you had a kid. You don’t want to say you love them more, but you definitely love them differently. You’d sacrifice anything for them. And you have. Including your health, your sense of self, and every ounce of romance remaining in your relationship. Is that just how it works? Or are we doing it wrong?
"Marriage - The Submission Competition” - Week 3 - First Comes Love
Falling in love with someone is the easy part. Learning to live with someone is the hard part. All romance starts with a spark of chemistry, but over time, some couples really complement one another, and others seem to want to kill each other. Is it just dumb luck? What separates those that crumble after seven months from those who end up celebrating seventy years? It’s either a complete fluke or they’ve figured something out. And since nobody looks forward to starting over again, what could we learn from them?
"Dating: What are you even looking for? (AKA the Proverbs 31 Man) ” - Week 2 - First Comes Love
Like it or not, relationships define us. But it’s in different ways for different people. Some of us are preoccupied with finding our person. Some of us are wondering if the person we’re with is worth staying with. And others of us are actively trying to avoid being pinned down by anyone. What we all do have in common is we don’t want to do life alone or be stuck in a bad relationship. But are you being unrealistic? Does what you want even exist? And if it does, how do you find it? How do you know when you’ve found it? And how do you hang on to it once you have?
"Sex: are you obsessed or repressed?" - Week 1 - First Comes Love
Sex has never been more openly talked about or easily accessible. We’ve got apps for hook ups, websites designed to help us have affairs, and endless pornography at our fingertips. Plus, sex is dripping from our music and movies; cleaver ads and clickbait articles. Words like “thirsty” “ghosted” & “cuffing” are all part of our cultural vocabulary. And yet, for as free as we all seem to be, fewer people report having and enjoying sex than ever before. How can that be? What do we all need to do to have more and better sex?
"Bring Me A Heifer" - Week Four - Safe Distance
Ever known someone who was almost impossible to read—one minute you’re best friends, and the next they won’t even return a text? It was hard to tell if they wanted to hang out or not. They’d excitedly make plans. Then randomly break plans. No one’s ever made you feel more special and then instantly unsure of yourself. They’d pull you close and then immediately push you away. Maybe you’ve been told you’re like this. You hate being alone, but it’s hard to shake the sense that you’re too damaged, annoying, and in the way to experience anything but rejection. Are comfortable, stable connections even possible for you, or is every relationship an unpredictable roller coaster?
"Conceal, Don't Feel (Shutdown Attachment Style)" - Week Three - Safe Distance
Ever been around someone who came off a little calloused? They were focused and reliable, but you could never seem to get below the surface. You think they liked you. They never told you, but they did a lot for you. In fact, they never really slowed down. They always struck you as strong and confident. Sometimes you imagine they don’t need anything or anyone. You’ve joked, “It’s like being friends with a robot.” Maybe you’re a little bit like this. You like sharing life with people as long as you don’t have to share your feelings with them. Something about that just doesn’t seem safe. But are you missing something by never fully revealing what’s going on inside you to those around you? What might happen if you did?
"No More Vigilance: The Treadmill Sermon (Sensitive Attachment Style)" - Week Two - Safe Distance
Ever been in a relationship with someone who came off a little clingy—always needing to know where you were, what you were doing, what you were thinking, how you were feeling? They seemed to read into every look, gesture, text, and conversation. They clearly cared about you, but always acted as if they were afraid to hurt, frustrate, or lose you. Maybe you’re this person. How do we end up this way? Is it possible to trade your relational anxiety for a sense of confidence in the midst of closeness?
"How We Get & Keep Connection With Others (Secure Attachment Style)" - Week One - Safe Distance
Ever struck by how confident, connected, & comfortable certain people seem, and think to yourself, “That’s not how my life & relationships feel at all. Are they really as close & happy as they appear, or is it all for show? And if they are, why aren’t I?” Is there something wrong with you? And if so, what & why? Are you destined to live a life of disconnection, or can you experience the closeness you crave?
New Years Day 2023 - South Hills ft. Jeff Fernandez
New Years Day 2023 at South Hills Costa Mesa
"Showing Up for Christmas" - Week Four - Christmas at South Hills
There’s a difference between looking at a picture the Mona Lisa and standing in the Louvre alongside others. There’s a difference between a video of a meteor shower on youtube and looking up at the night sky to experience it yourself. There’s a difference between reading about travel and getting on a plane. Nothing can be truly known through observation, only through participation. The magi knew the Messiah was born, but they wanted to experience it. Similarly, everyone observes Christmas, but how are you participating in the Christmas story today?
"Christmas Eve's Eve" - Christmas At South Hills
Christmas At South Hills
"The Gift of Myrrh" - Week Three - Christmas at South Hills
Myrrh was from a plant that had various uses, but primary ones were for healing wounds and embalming the dead. While this may seem like an odd baby gift, it was symbolic of the role Jesus would play as a prophet who would say and do things that would create tension – ultimately leading to his death. Jesus’ actions, teachings, and way of living always stirred up controversy, because he gave voice to the silenced, healing to the sick, valued the outcast, and challenged the comfortable. The gift of myrrh was an ancient way of saying; “buckle up – it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
"The Gift of Frankincense" - Week Two - Christmas at South Hills
Frankincense was burned as incense in a temple, a way to shield the priest from the direct presence of God. When the magi gave this gift, it was symbolic of Jesus becoming our High Priest; no longer a distant human surrounded by ritual and untouchable by the masses, but a baby, born in a manger and surrounded by both family and strangers alike. Through the vulnerability of Christ, we can be fully vulnerable in our relationship with God.
"The Gift of Gold" - Week One - Christmas at South Hills
Gold has always been linked to royalty; the ultimate symbol of kings. So when the Magi brought gold to honor Jesus, they were proclaiming him king. King Herod was “disturbed” when he heard about this newborn king of the Jews, and Matthew tells us that all Jerusalem was disturbed also. Herod was paranoid about anyone taking power from him or challenging his throne, but he couldn’t even begin to imagine that Jesus was not only king of the Jews, but ultimately the King of Kings. While we can all agree that Herod was evil in many ways, he was right in understanding that the arrival of this new King would change everything.
“What Story Is Your Spending Telling?” feat. Alec Alvarado - Week 4 - Blessed
Ever looked at something someone bought & thought—I would never pay that for that! Different people value things differently. So, why do you spend the way you do on what you do? Most of us use our resources to reinforce our identity. We put money into what we think will help us be (or at least be seen as) who we want to be. And while it’s fine to aim our finances in different directions, all spending isn’t equally satisfying. Jesus told his followers to leverage their resources in ways that maximized fulfillment & minimized regret. But how?
“Why Does Fear Make So Many Money Decisions?” - Week 3 - Blesssed
Like it or not, the way we approach money is way more emotional than it is logical. A lot of our budgeting is an attempt to access one feeling or avoiding another. We think – “If I lease this, I’ll look good.” "If I save that, I’ll feel secure.” “If I invest here, I’ll have influence.” We don’t all have the same impulses, but we are motivated by the same mechanism: fear. We’re afraid if we took advice from God about money, He’d eventually ask us to give in ways that threaten our sense of security. And He probably will. So why would listening be worth it?
“How Much Does The Order You Do Things In Matter?” - Week 2 - Blessed
We all develop various rhythms & routines to hold our lives together. Some we design, others happen by default. In short—We all have certain things we do a certain way. A lot of things just work better when you do them in particular order—like putting on socks BEFORE shoes, or buying a house BEFORE you move in. These things seem ridiculously obvious (to most of us). And the reason the Universe is like this is that God is like this. And that brings up a pretty important question: Could the reason we don’t feel blessed be because we’re living our lives or organizing our resources in the wrong order? And if so, what do we do about it?
"Does “Blessed” Mean What You Think It Means?" - Week 1 - Blessed
What pops into your head when you hear the word “blessed”? Maybe a social media post of someone enjoying something expensive or exclusive? Is that the best Biblical definition? When Jesus spoke about being blessed, he outlined circumstances & scenarios most of us actively avoid. He acted as if it had less to do with how much you have than how well you live. What did He mean by that?
"A Healthy Family Is Not The End-Game" - Week 5 - Family Month 2022
If we throw ourselves into helping our family flourish—we draw out & cultivate the uniqueness of each person, unite around a common vision, schedule first what we value most, and everyone’s soaring toward wholistic health – what else is there? Is there a bigger purpose to family than simply making sure its members are somewhat emotionally, relationally & financially stable? Does our family have any responsibility to other families, or to our overall community? Does a healthy family have a larger purpose, or is it an end unto itself?
"Practice Makes Permanent" - feat. Randy Sherwood - Week 4 - Family Month 2022
Ever suddenly realize someone in your family doesn’t share your core values? You thought everyone was on the same page, but it turns out, you weren’t. Or maybe you got this vision of the kind of family you want to be – so you share it with them & set goals & everyone nods in agreement, but as time drags on, nothing really changes. Why is that? Why do our default settings consistently overpower our dreams? How do we move from where we are toward who we want to be – together? Is it possible to change your family dynamics?