Category Archives: November 2020 Chips

Leadership Notes

NOVEMBER 2020

LEADERSHIP NOTES

NOVEMBER SERMON TOPICS

When life is crazy, we need hope. Whether it is events around the globe or just down the block, life can surprise and overwhelm us. Life’s trouble can crush our dreams, steal our peace, and destroy our hope. What do we do? Do we throw up our hands and retreat? Do we get angry and fight?  Peter knew what it was like to go through tough times. He endured threats, beatings, time in jail, and false accusations.  Peter wrote about his trouble so that we would find hope. We need hope!

November 1 – Discover Your Victory 1 Peter 5:5-14

November 8 – Discover Your Salvation 2 Peter 1:1-21

November 15 – Discover Your Adversary 2 Peter 2:1-22

November 22 – Discover Your Hope 2 Peter 3:1-18

Thanksgiving Eve Gathering

On Wednesday, November 25 at 6:30 pm we will gather to give thanks. God is the giver of every good gift and we want to start the holiday weekend by giving thanks to God. Enjoy a family-friendly worship experience in the Gathering Space.

Advent 2020

The Advent season begins on Sunday, November 29. This year we will reimagine the meaning and significance of Christmas each Sunday at 8:30 and 11:00. Our seasonal worship experiences climax on Christmas Eve with services at 3pm, 5pm and 7pm.

Annual Congregational Meeting

Due to disruptions and challenges associated with the pandemic and the derecho recovery, the board approved delaying the annual meeting one month. We will meet on the first Sunday of December at the end of each service to get updates on the budget, vote on the 2021 budget, and approve 2021 Elder and Deacon nominees. Information for this meeting will be included in the December Chips. Absentee ballots will be available for those who cannot attend.

Leadership Notes

Our leadership board, the Consistory, is made up of deacons, elders, and pastors who discern the path God calls us to follow, who keep us on that path, and who celebrate progress along the way. We are committed to grow our ministry by making disciples who love, belong, and serve. We value hospitality, authenticity, forgiveness, and restoration. In this uniquely challenging season we want to impact our world in ways that keep our staff, volunteers, and community safe. Pray for wisdom as we lead.

2020 Consistory:

Deacons: Alan Brockette (Chair), Bruce Boldt, Melissa Dahm, John Davidson, Allison Johnson, Nancy Josifek, Andrew Moen, Josh Oberembt

Elders: Gary Mills (Vice President), Pastor Alan Crandall, Robin Joens, Pastor Kent Landhuis, Diane Potter (Clerk), Crissie Rozendaal, Deb Cameron, and Ken Viggers

Staff:

Leah Carolan, Director of Worship & Media
Kris Crowther, Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool
Alan Crandall, Pastor Emeritus
Hailey Griffin, Nursery Coordinator
Rick Lyons, Maintenance Coordinator
Kent Landhuis, Pastor of Teaching & Leadership
Cathy Poole, Children’s Sunday Class Coordinator
Steve Poole, Director of Youth & Young Adults
Gary Sager, Ambassador of Care
Lindsey Ungs, Connection and Communication Architect
Jennifer Wagaman, Office Manager

 

 

Holey Socks

NOVEMBER 2020

Holey Socks

We have a rule at our house: if your socks have holes, we throw them away. Simple. To the point. Life goes on.

It’s actually really hard to throw socks away for my kids. Often their socks are covered in pictures of their favorite characters—Batman, Spider-man, Woody from Toy Story, Forky.  Which also means the socks they love the most get worn the most and get holes the quickest.

But yet, the rules stands: If your socks have holes, we throw them away.

I’ve tried to fix socks. I’ve got some sewing skills. But socks are tough and more often than not, my ‘patch’ becomes an uncomfortable spot inside a shoe that drives your toes nutty. So I got over the mom-guilt of not being able to salvage those most-beloved socks and hold fast to the ‘throw-it-away’ rule.

The other day my socks had a hole in them. But I didn’t care, because it was not bothersome to me. They were a pair of my favorite bright and colorful striped socks. I was content with the holes. No big deal, right?

Until my three year reminded me “Mooooooom! We throw away holey socks!”

“Wait, what? That rule doesn’t apply to me! I’m mom! I’m an adult! I can wear whatever socks I want. That’s just a rule for you guys. It’s different for me.”

Matthew 7:3 says, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?“

This moment was enlightening. How often do we hold others to the rules while at the same time making room to exclude ourselves from the rules?

The log in my eyes was glaring. I could have used my official ‘mom’ status and kept the socks, but the witness to my children would have been extreme. Rules are rules.

There is no room for the log in true Christian witness. We must ask God for a greater self-awareness of our downfalls so we can effective deal with them. Then we can apply the rules to others in our influence.

Our kids our watching. Our families are watching. Our co-workers are watching. They can spot hypocrisy from a mile away.

I threw the socks away.

Leah Carolan
Director of Worship & Media

 

 

 

 

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Mental Health + God’s Love

NOVEMBER 2020

Mental Health + God’s Love

It’s officially been a year since my mental health started to deteriorate. In the fall, this looked like a tiny lessening of good habits. A lessening of grace-giving, causing situations to turn into frustration here and there. A surprise at how my mind was processing the brokenness that life throws at us.

By February, I had quit journaling all together. Scrolling social media had taken priority to reading a good book. Sadness was frequent. Self-focus became a constant. Repeating negative thoughts to myself, increased each week. Everything was harder to accomplish. Exercise was lacking. Then COVID-19 started.

Tears would frequently overwhelm me at various times of the day.

Motivation went missing. This came as a shock because my normal personality is full of motivation and new ideas.

Indecision touched everything. Anger and control spewed out of me towards others. Grace was missing for myself and towards others.

Looking back, I saw signs in September 2019, but didn’t know to call it depression until May 2020. It can take a lot of time for the pieces to form a clear picture.

But it was at the same time in May that I was able to start looking for the good, again. It’s like turning a cruise ship around. It happens slowly, wave by wave. Prayer is the rudder.

Slowly, my interest in new ideas returned. Motivation started to appear infrequently at first. It was maddening that I could not will my mental health to return at the pace I desired.

Here I sit a year later, 25 pounds heavier, with the realization of what I’ve been through and the glimmer of light giving me hope and growing stronger. I feel grace starting to flow back into my head and heart.

I have a God that loves me, shown through a community that cares. At Cedar Hills, we are the kind of people that care. Others were able to reach out and take hold of my hands (as the body of Christ) when it felt like the waves would overwhelm me. Thank you for the grace and bits of encouragement that were offered throughout my year. Whether you know it or not, each encouraging breath uttered was like a nudge back towards health.

If you are in a mentally difficult spot, I am happy to meet with you. Ultimately, the only solution to mental health is to open your heart to God’s love. This can be done by allowing people that care to share God’s grace and truth.

Lindsey Ungs
Connection & Communication Architect

 

 

 

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Noah’s Ark November 2020

NOVEMBER 2020

noah’s Ark Update

November is a time to be thankful and a time for giving!

Noah’s Ark is busy this month collecting food for our Food Pantry.  Noah’s Ark families have always surprised us in the abundance of food they give to the food pantry!

We really love our rooms with the new carpet, paint and lighting. We want the church to know how thankful we are for providing us with a wonderful place to call “home”.

Our student numbers are down this year, but we are doing everything we can to keep the doors open. One way you can help Noah’s Ark is with our quarterly Blood Drive. When we get 20 blood donors, we receive a stipend that we can use to purchase cleaning products.  As you can guess, we go through cleaning products quickly these days. The Blood Drive is November 17.  Due to COVID-19, you must make a scheduled appointment.  You can go online at: www.bloodcenter.org, email the Noah’s Ark office or call us at 319-396-3125.

Kris Crowther
Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Give Up

NOVEMBER 2020

Don’t Give Up

I used to think that naptime was only for young kids. Now, I love a good nap even though I’ve found lately that even when I get enough sleep I still feel tired.

Did you know that your mind is capable of producing 50% more stress than your body can handle? When we experience trauma, stress hormones dull our pain and boost our energy so we respond quickly. Stress makes us alert and hyper-vigilant but over time it causes overload and fatigue.

2020 has created its share of trouble and weariness. Somebody encouraged me recently with this advice, “If you are weary, cut yourself some slack. Be good to yourself – get some rest.” Jesus invites us to this same place. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).

Maybe you can find rest in this promise from Isaiah 4:29-31: He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

We are the kind of people who invite weary people – including ourselves – to find rest in Jesus that restores hope. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9).

We face challenges but don’t give up! Keep doing the good God calls you to do. And if you need a nap – that’s okay.

Kent Landhuis
Pastor of Teaching & Leadership

“Like cold water to a weary soul is good news.” ~ Proverbs 25:25

 

 

 

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Dare 2 Share

NOVEMBER 2020

DARE 2 SHARE

Dare2Share LIVE is an international youth event focused on training teenagers in evangelism and discipleship. The core of their strategy first is to make sure that teens know and understand the essentials of the gospel so that they can share it clearly.  Please, ask one of our teens who attended what G.O.S.P.E.L. stands for!

Once students know the gospel, Dare2Share strategy continues with Prayer, Care, Share.  Pray for your unsaved friends and family.  Show the power of the gospel by caring for others well.  Finally, boldly have gospel conversations.

Along with training this past weekend, October 10-11, our group CARED for our community well by distributing free produce to our neighbors on D Ave, and cleaning the ditches along E Ave.  We didn’t find “everything and the kitchen sink” in those ditches, it was a bathroom sink! 🙂

 

 

 

Steve Poole
Director of Youth & Young Adults

 

 

 

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Bread

NOVEMBER 2020

BREAD

Bread is one of the essential foods of most cultures around the world. It is a staple in many diets, and for centuries, it has been one of the most accessible foods for people of all wealth and social status. Bread is pretty amazing in the Bible too. It is mentioned at least 492 times in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. We still celebrate it today in both Jewish and Christian faiths.

After Jesus feeds the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish, He tells them “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Jesus repeats himself in verses 48 and 51, when he reminds the people about the manna the Father gave their ancestors in the wilderness, after leaving Egypt. He states, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever, and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:51).

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which translates as the House of Bread. In Hebrew alphanumerically, it also means nativity, the occasion of a person’s birth. The place of Jesus’ nativity is in the House of Bread. It is a place of life. Jesus did not come into the world mainly to give bread, but to be bread. We need bread to physically live, but God’s bread of forgiveness enables us to spiritually live. It makes the Lord’s Prayer a little clearer. When we ask God to “give us this day our daily bread,” we are asking for both His provision and that He would come and fill us up with His everlasting grace.  When we go to the House of Bread to accept God’s forgiveness of our sins, we see again how God feeds our souls with something we must have to spiritually survive. His bread is the only kind that leads to eternal life.

For those of us, who are followers of Christ, there is more. We join Jesus in being bread in the lives of others. Whenever Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, he summarized from His own life that He is chosen from all eternity, blessed at his baptism in the Jordan River, broken on the cross, and given as bread to the world.  When we submit to Christ’s calling on our lives, we are expressing our commitment to make our lives conform to the life of Christ. We too want to live as people chosen, blessed, and broken, and thus become food for the world.

Henri Nouwen shares the following regarding our call as Disciples of Christ:

“Like the bread taken by Jesus, we are chosen by God, selected for a unique role to play in God’s story. And as we recognize that we have been chosen, so also we recognize the chosen-ness of all people.

 Like the bread blessed by Jesus, we, too, are blessed by God. We are called to claim our blessing and to bless others as we live each day.

 Like the bread broken by Jesus, we also are broken in so many ways…in our bodies and in our hearts, in our homes and in our world. Jesus asks us to take up our cross, to claim our unique brokenness, and to join it with our blessing as we move into service to others who hurt.

 Like the bread given by Jesus, we also are given. Each of our lives is a gift to those close to us: family, friends, those we serve, as well as to people we will never know. God has given us each one of us as a sacred gift to the world.”

 Take a moment to consider how you have been taken, blessed, broken, and given in your life and ministry. When has this been most evident? How have you been changed by your work in service to others? How have you come to know Jesus through your service?

Gary Sager
Ambassador of Care

 

 

 

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