Joshua Luke Smith – From Interlinc Blog

”No White Rappers For Me” But Joshua Luke Smith Changed Everything

By Mary Wilson Peed • • Fort Valley, GA

I have only one rule as a writer for—NO white rappers. I mean no disrespect. I gave birth to a son who loves rap music of every ilk. Seriously, he taught his daughter to beat box before she could speak. Rap is just not my genre of choice.

Enter Joshua Luke Smith. I broke my own rule. To be honest, I had no clue who he was until I googled him. And, as providence would have it, I came upon his Ted x Talk, The World Within: Healing Matters of the Heart. I listened. I was moved. I fell in love with his heart. Joshua speaks out and works against the modern day slavery of human trafficking. Slavery and objectification that exists because there is a demand for it. He makes the accurately haunting connection between the driving hunger in a man’s heart to the table that is laid on the back of slaves, admitting to the appetite in his own belly and the need to starve that appetite.

Having three sons, I immediately resonated with this truth and the courage to speak into the chaos so personally.

My middle son, Jonathan Joshua, works for Garmin – he is a lead engineer. His work is global. He has partners and true friends in Russia and Thailand. He is grieved by a world that paints entire people groups with derision, hate, and suspicion. Joshua Luke Smith, although British born, was raised in impoverished northern Pakistan, he understands ethnicity, bias, and diversity. He’s lived it. He speaks not to people groups or prejudice, but to the human condition and changing the world by changing the world in our own hearts.

The heart of the matter is truly a matter of the heart, and Joshua Luke Smith nails it in lyric after lyric.

What’s on my playlist next to “Grace Got You: Mercy Me,” “Water and Dust: Cory Asbury,” and “Known: Tauren Wells?” Joshua Luke Smith’s “All My Friends,” and “Headlights.” Regardless of how you feel about the genre, Joshua Luke Smith is an important voice for this generation. His music is as profound as his Ted X Talk, resonating with his millennial culture as well as the unsettling times we find ourselves in.

Wanna Get Baptized?? – River Baptism Rescheduled for Sunday, October 21

Update – We saw 29 get baptized September 16!!!


Click Here for: BaptismParentGuideMiddleSchool

Sunday, October 21 is our RESCHEDULE for Oakwood Picnic and Baptism in the River Day!

What do I do if I want Pastor Brandon to Baptize me in the RIVER?

  • Show up at Lazy L&L
  • Sign up at Welcome Area as you walk into Pavilion for Lunch
  • Meet Down By the River
  • Tell us you want Pastor Brandon to baptize you

What if I decide to have another Pastor Baptize me?

– Hey, whatever floats your boat down by the river!  We love that you are taking this step of faith in obedience.


Vital Parent Cue


Your kids are talking all about vitals, so what better time to teach them how to check their own? This week, practice checking your vitals by taking each other’s pulse.


Go out of your way to do just one nice thing you don’t have to do for someone else. Showing just a little kindness to others when you don’t have to is a great way to live out the greatest commandment as a family this week.


This week, talk about what’s vital to your family. Make a list of the things that are most important to you as a family and post it somewhere you all can see as a reminder of the vitals in your home.


To practice what they’ve been taught this week, encourage your student to say one thing they love about themselves, one thing they love about someone else, and one thing they love about God. Then, share your own answers as well!

For more parenting resources visit

Fusion Wednesday Rescue Series Parent Guide

September 5 Begins our Regular Fusion Wednesday Format:

Q What is Fusion?  Fusion offers a loving and accepting environment geared for Middle School Students Grades 6-8.  We have events, weekly meetings, and exist to Intentionally Engage Middle School Students by leading them to the heart of the Father.
Q What happens on Fusion Wednesdays?  5:30 is hang out and Pizza, 6:00pm Bible Study Begins in the STUDENT PAVILION.  We begin with Worship, move to Talk Time, then Students move to break out rooms for real life discussion. 7:30pm is dismissal time


What can my Middle Schooler do for dinner?   Two Options :
1. Join us in the Student Pavilion for Papa John’s Pizza at 5:30pm.
2. Eat as a family at the Oakwood Wednesday Night Dinner for a nice hot meal.
Can my Middle Schooler play on the playground?  Parents, please let your Middle Schooler know that the playground is for CHILDREN and that they will be asked to leave the playground.

1)  Rescue Intro Lesson: This lesson helps students gain a framework for the salvation story of
Jesus: the consequences of sin, his sacrifice on the cross, the need for a rescue mission, and
our adoption into God’s family.
2) Sin: Why do we need grace? This lesson emphasizes the fact that every person chooses to
worship themselves instead of God. This introduces guilt, shame, and pain into the world. But
thankfully, God has created a plan to save and heal us. Bible Passage: Luke 16:19–30
3) Sacrifice: Why did Jesus have to die? This lesson dives into the idea that Christ’s sacrifice is
necessary to bridge the gap between humanity and God. Bible Passage: John 3:1–21                                                                                                                                                                                 4) Adoption: How do I fit into God’s family? This lesson will underscore the fact that followers of Christ are adopted by God. When we accept Jesus as Lord, our sins are washed away. But we’re also accepted into the family of God. Bible Passages: John 1:1–18 and Ephesians 2:1–10
5) Salvation: How does being saved make a difference in my life today? Being saved and following Christ means that we have a mission to fulfill here on earth. In this lesson students be challenged to make the mission of Christ a part of their life on a daily basis. Bible Passage: John 9

1) If someone asked you how or when you became a Christian, how would you respond? If you had to give your testimony, what would you say?
Note: Having your child tell you their salvation story is a powerful way to get a deep understanding of your child’s faith. It is also great evangelism training and a way to coach them in how they would share their testimony with others.
2) Do you feel adopted into the family of God? What does that mean to you?
Note: Because orphan adoption is a familiar concept to many people, they will likely connect with the fact that they are adopted by God and are his children through Jesus’ work on the cross. If you’re an adoptive family or are close to adopted children, you can talk through the struggles, the beauty, and the similarities between earthly adoption and God’s adoption of us.
3) How do you and your friends talk about sin? Does it come up much? Why or why not?
Note: Sin is not a popular subject today, especially for young people. But it’s important to know and understand our sin and how we are to repent from it and claim Christ’s rescue of us. Talking about sin with your teenage child might not sound like fun, but you may be surprised by how they open up and want to share all that is going on in their world. Sometimes as parents, we just need to ask and listen. Only after really listening will we know how to guide, coach, disciple, and pray.