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  • Writer's pictureSouth Lyon Church

When we first moved back from Canada we lived in Urbana, Illinois on Easy Street. Yes, we had made it to Easy Street; but, the place we rented was anything but easy. The bedrooms were so small that we could barely get the kids beds in them with their dresser. The dryer wouldn’t work. We found out the dryer was fine, but they had never cleaned out the vent to the outside. Yeah, there was about a foot of lint clogging it. The sliding glass door leaked like a sieve, so I had to buy an oversized shrink wrap to put around it to keep the furnace from running all night. So, after nine months, we left Easy Street for an easier place to live.

Several other things happened in that house that left more bad memories than good. One memory is the action figures that we got the kids. It was Christmas and the thought was to give them something positive, Christian, uplifting for Christmas. So, when they came out on Christmas morning there was the cave with a stone that could roll away along with a Jesus and some other New Testament action figures. Needless to say, for a then five and seven year old it was a Christmas to remember, but not for a positive reason. The action figures did not go over well.

When you think of Bible action figures who do you think of. Jesus of course, then maybe David and Goliath. How about Moses, or Abraham? Jonah is another one that may come to mind with the large fish that swallowed him. Then there is always Noah with his ark that most Bible classes have for kids to play with. In the New Testament, outside of Jesus, we may think of Peter the impetuous one, or the “Sons of Thunder” as James and John were called. All of these were also fishermen. I’m not sure Matthew with a tax collector’s booth would come to mind, but for some it may. But the Biblical action figure I would want, would be Paul.

Why I like Paul is because he was a true “Action” figure. Think about all he did from persecuting Christians to becoming one himself. I love how Luke records not only his three journeys he went on the spread the good news but also his travels to Rome. Paul was a man of action, be it standing up in the Synagogue, speaking to the Areopagus or standing before King Agrippa. Paul didn’t sit around, but was very active in sharing about the salvation and love he had found through the Savior whose followers he once persecuted.

As we Walk the Walk this year we are going to take the next four weeks to Walk with Paul. Bryson and I will bring lessons from Paul’s life as he walked in service to our Heavenly Father. We will look at changes in his life, at the conviction he had, the challenges he faced and some of those that came to call Jesus, Savior. We will look at some of the action the activities that we have recorded in the book of Acts as we Walk with Paul.

Though I am a huge Paul fan, because of what I see in his life, there is a verse that he writes that always sticks with me. 1 Corinthians 11:1 reads, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (NIV). If Mattel had called him and wanted to make his likeness into an action figure, I’m sure he would said to make one of Jesus instead. He was always pointing those around him toward the Messiah.

With Paul, focused on Jesus,


  • Writer's pictureSouth Lyon Church

By Holly Schilling

Many of you have seen the new movie The Sound of Freedom. If you haven’t yet, here’s a brief synopsis: After rescuing a boy from ruthless child traffickers, a federal agent learns the boy's sister is still captive and decides to embark on a dangerous mission to save her. With time running out, he quits his job and journeys deep into the Colombian jungle, putting his life on the line to free her from a fate worse than death.

Based on a true story, the movie stars Jim Caviezel who plays Tim Ballard, a former government agent who embarks on a mission to rescue children from sex traffickers in Colombia. It is produced by Angel Studios—the same company that created The Chosen, the very popular three season series depicting Jesus and his followers.

Covering such a difficult subject, the movie is very well made. It is utterly heart wrenching without being unnecessarily graphic. While it has mixed reviews, it is certainly very popular (its latest gross revenue was 8.5 million since its opening on July 4th) and it is definitely raising awareness on child trafficking and the message that, “God’s children are not for sale.”

I think the hardest part for Christians is what to do when they walk out of this movie. You’ve seen this distressing movie and been told at the end: There are more humans trapped today in slavery than at any point in human history, including when slavery was legal. You’re angry, sad, and helplessly asking yourself, What do I do now?

While we may not be able to go to Columbia to rescue children, there are some places near us that we could become involved with. A few for you to research are Vista Maria, an organization that focuses on healing and advocacy for human trafficking victims, and Michigan Abolitionist Project, (MAP), a group working to prevent and end human trafficking in Michigan and beyond. You can help by donating, volunteering, and especially just educating yourself and others on this very real problem.

Vista Maria even seeks volunteers to act as “Heartmovers,” people who perform ministry services and prayer groups for youth, serving 2 to 4 hours a month and offering a moral compass and spiritual teaching for the abuse survivors in their residential program. Isn’t that what we should all be to all people we meet; a heart mover. Helping people move from the greatest slavery of all—the slavery of sin and death—to the freedom found only in Christ. Ultimately, God’s grace is the sound of freedom everyone in our world needs to hear.

  • Writer's pictureSouth Lyon Church

Technology is one of those ever changing things. By definition it is “the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.” As scientific knowledge increases, technology —which is based off of that knowledge—also advances. I recently was watching a show from back in the 70s and it was so cool, they had this large, probably four inches by twelve inches by eight inch tall box installed in the consul between the seats in the car. The box had a cord on it and a telephone handle on the other end of it. Yeah, a car phone that was so cool and about the same size as fifty of our smart phones today. Technology is one of those things that does change with time.

Concepts don’t change, but the technology that goes with them does. Power Point is such a great advancement in technology. I am a visible learner, seeing helps me learn so much more that simply hearing. Seeing a graphic or even the words on the screen helps me grasp it more than just hearing the words read. And though the technology of Power Point may seem old to many, the concept of this visual lesson aid is even older. They used to be called sermon sheets. Items and pictures written out on sheets that the traveling minister would take with him from congregation to congregation to get his message across. Overhead projectors were a technological advancement on this. I’m still waiting for the holographic projectors to come out for congregations so we can immerse ourselves in the story of Jesus reaching out his hand to heal or keep Peter from sinking. Not sure if I want us all sitting around wearing goggles during the lesson, but it would be pretty cool. The concept of getting us to see or feel is still there, just changing how it is displayed.

Technology has always seemed like one of those things the church has been resistant to. Like something that is easier to understand or comes too close to entertainment or is just more visual, must be wrong. We need to suffer, have a difficult time if we want to follow Christ. Naw, we don’t need to make it more difficult to follow Christ, the culture we live in seems to do its part to make it difficult enough. So, as a church we need to make sure we are not afraid to embrace advancement of technology.

Now, I am not saying we need to get a holographic preacher to deliver lessons. Even though I do like the idea of us sitting in the round facing each other, rather than simply seeing the back of someone’s head. I do believe the live person is better than, though it would be pretty cool, a holographic preacher.

The church is about relationships. We need to be here with a live person who we can relate to. We need to be able to walk across the room and see how someone is doing, or rejoice with hugs when someone makes their commitment to Christ. In person is best. But there are times when you just can’t be here because you are traveling. Or maybe someone is sick, or work causes you to miss a Sunday. That is where the technology comes in. Our services are streamed live and you can always go to our website to find our YouTube channel and see any sermon you may have missed.

So if you miss one of these current lessons “Down the Aisle. . . with Christ”, you can always catch it live online, or watch it sometime during the week before the next Sunday, or just view it again for encouragement. But ultimately shaking a hand, giving a hug, or seeing a smile is the best. Let’s use the technology we have, but never leave the relationships behind.

Liking Smiles,


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