Category Archives: October 2022

From Ankles To Belonging

From Ankles To Belonging

Small groups are restarting now at Cedar Hills, as we begin our Walk Like Jesus series, and I would like to encourage us all to join a group. Not because it’s easy. In fact, small groups take time and work to be successful. Don’t join a small group because it will solve all your problems because some days it will seem like your small group has created new problems. Don’t join a small group if you feel like everyone will agree with you and always get along easily. All of these are unrealistic expectations of small groups. They all over sell the benefits and minimize the fact that when you meet with other broken people, it won’t always be easy to love them (or for them to love you), and sometimes you will be offended. That’s just life. However, there are many benefits to opening up your lives to others.

It helps me identify my own selfishness and pride. When I meet with others, I must wrestle with caring for other people. Do I care enough to listen well to you? Do I care enough to inconvenience myself to help you when you need it? Will I swallow my pride enough to admit when I need help? If I ‘go it alone,’ as a ‘lone ranger’ Christian, I never have to deal with these issues. However, when your son ends up in the hospital where do you turn for support? Well, for my family, that is my wife’s small group. These women watched our children and made us meals.

I hate to be an inconvenience to others. I despise being dependent on others for help. But I believe the humble call of Jesus is to be a part of His Body and to find a place to belong. The brain needs the blood vessels and heart. The feet need the leg muscles to function properly. I recently rolled my ankle. My right ankle is healing, but now my left leg muscles and back are sore. Why? Because all the parts of my body are connected. While my right ankle is hurting, my left leg is working overtime to help compensate as I limp. Just like all the parts of my body are interdependent, God made us to belong to each other as part of His body. I think one of the best ways to find a place to belong at Cedar Hills is to join a small group. It won’t be easy. It may drive you crazy at times. However, belonging is worth it.

Steve Poole
Director of Youth & Young Adults

What did you think of this article? Did you laugh? Cry? Learn something new? Let Steve know below.

    Living In Fear Of

    Living In Fear Of

    Part 1:

    I just read a blog post suggesting that if we put the word “teenage” before any term, the second word automatically becomes negative. For example: “Teenage Driver.”

    Also, teenage drama. Teenage hormones. Teenage choices.

    This negative association, according to the blogger, is everywhere. We seem to be living in fear of teenagers. Then the writer of this post said, “I think there is something fundamentally wrong with how we think about teenagers.”

    I agree.

    And I wonder, if we spent time with teenagers, would that make us less fearful? I wonder, if we imagined the potential of teenagers as 1 Timothy 4:12 does – “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity – would we have less fear? I wonder, if we invested in helping the next generation succeed, would we have less fear of teenagers?

    Familiarity overcomes fear. What are we living in fear of? Teenagers? Maybe we need some exposure therapy to help us confront this fear.

    Part 2

    I met with my small group last night. It was the meeting that saved my week. After an exhausting series of meetings, I did not want to meet again with my small group. I actually was afraid that I might not have enough energy.

    We met anyway.

    We are doing the Walk Like Jesus study and the group blew me away. We all want to be more like Jesus. We want this even though this desire kind of scares us. What will Jesus want from us? What changes can we expect to make? What happens when Jesus calls us to obey and we are not ready to obey?

    Our group said, “Full steam ahead. We want to walk like Jesus and we will not live in fear.”

    “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6).

    Kent Landhuis
    Pastor of Teaching & Leadership

    Did you enjoy this article? Did you laugh, cry or learn something new? Let Kent know.