Category Archives: Reset

Reset Anxiety

I had a month of deep-down-at-the-core anxiousness when I was in seminary. I saw a statement of what I owed on my student loans and it crippled me. Suddenly, I was unable to breathe or think or function. It consumed me for weeks. And I questioned God in the process—”How could you call me into ministry, lead me to seminary and then abandon me with this world of debt???” It crushed me. Until that point, I had had no idea of what I had accumulated. I just took out loans for school because that’s what they told me to do. Then to top it off, I sat in a class where a professor commented, “Anywhere God calls you, He’ll provide. He won’t put you in debt.”

“Yeah, right,” I thought. I became doubly insulted at God. But somewhere in that chaos, a still, small voice planted a short praise chorus in my head:

I cast all my cares upon You. 
I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet. 
And anytime I don’t know what to do, 
I cast all my cares upon You.

This short chorus became my prayer. Over and over and over again. I wanted to believe in God’s faithfulness. I had mentors telling me stories of how God provided for them over and over again. I had scripture like Matthew 6:25-34 coming up in my study times. God was there. He was not angry at my offense. But He was waiting for me to turn over my anxiety and once again trust His plan. He was doing a reset of my heart in the world of finances and anxiety.

There is a lot God wants to Reset in us, which is why this sermon series is going on for a couple of months. I hope you’ve enjoyed this study of the Sermon on the Mount so far, but more importantly, I pray that God is continuing a reset in your life as much as He is in mine. I still encounter anxious thoughts, and when those happen, I conquer them with that same chorus: “I cast all my cares upon You…”

Leah Carolan
Director of Worship and Media

Reset Worship

Rē-ˈset (verb) – 1. to move back into an original place or position | 2. to put back in the correct position for healing | 3. to restore

God tells Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house so that he can receive a message. After watching the potter form a lump of clay, the message Jeremiah receives is this: “Like clay in the hand of the potter—so you are in My hand.”

God’s dream for us is that we would be shaped by His hand. One of the places where this shaping happens is when we worship.

When we reduce discussions about worship forms to simply matters of style, we miss a crucial aspect of corporate worship: worship forms us. Worship is not simply a matter of our preference, it is also about God’s preference. It is both expressive and formative.

At our core, we are defined by what we worship because we worship the things that we love. We engage practices that demonstrate what we love and these practices shape us. So the shaping is like a two-way street. The way we worship becomes the way we believe and the way we believe shapes the way we worship.

Some people hold onto worship traditions simply because they like them. Others ditch all tradition because they don’t like them. Both options miss the point—worship is not about what we like or don’t like, it is about God’s desire to shape us.

A great question to ask is: How does our worship practice shape us? Which worship practices are most like being shaped by the potter’s hand?

Our goal for worship at Cedar Hills is to be God-centered, Bible-based, Gospel-declaring, and Body-building. That means that our music, prayers, and preaching must remain Christ-centered. When our worship is built around the gospel, this will shape us.

We need to reset our worship so that it is not reduced to an expressive activity where the most important feature is our sincerity. We need to reset our worship so that it is a formative, God-oriented practice that shapes and reshapes our lives. We are clay in the potter’s hand.

Kent Landhuis
Pastor of Teaching and Leadership

Microwave Reset

Sometimes if my microwave at home gets wiggled, jostled, or moved by too many slams of the door, it will power off. You have to reach behind to wiggle the power cord on the back to get it to turn back on. After it powers off, the screen always displays “0” instead of a clock. This drives me nutty. My husband will usually leave it on “0,” but my eyes are so accustomed to looking at the microwave for the time, that I am always compelled to reset the clock.

I wish I could leave it at that, but when I reset the clock, I face the dilemma of which clock do I set it to? The coffee pot clock? The big clock on the wall? Or my cell phone clock? I know my cell phone is the most accurate, but I also like all of my appliances to display the same time. (Any one else have this issue?) So much so, that if I use the coffee pot as my reference, I will wait until the minute changes and quickly reset the microwave at the same time so that their minutes both change together. This makes me happy. This January we will focus on recalibrating our hearts as we start a new year… doing a ‘reset’. But what should we recalibrate too? What is our guide of reference? And how can we align with all of those around us?

Jesus’ intro to the Sermon on the Mount gives a glimpse of how God’s principles for living are vastly different than the world: “Blessed are they that…” It’s good to take stock of our minds and hearts and rediscover where we have gone astray and reset them in line with God’s principles. I’m looking forward to doing this alongside all of you this new year!

~ Leah Carolan
Director of Worship

Resurrection Re-set

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have Him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. . . . Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation. (1 Peter 1:3-9—The Message)
This torn, tarred, terrified, tear-stained world got its ultimate re-set 2,000 years ago when the apostles discovered an empty tomb and felt the nail-scarred hands of a living Lord. Re-set from Eden lost to Eden re-gained. Re-set from death to life. Re-set from the curse of Adam to the blessing of Christ. “Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph over his foes.” On that Sunday morning, the whole human family was set on a new course toward wholeness. You and I and all our neighbors were then and there resurrected, restored, and revitalized with Jesus, the victor over sin and death, the man who represents and embraces us all. Keep your eyes focused on the risen Savior—and his glorious resurrection re-set!

~ Alan Crandall
Pastor of Care