(I originally wrote this as a personal journal entry on Monday, November 6, 2017, after the massacre at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I decided that maybe others were trying to make sense of all the tragedies occurring so I decided to rewrite it as a blog post. I pray it brings hope to other heavy hearts as we await the return of our Savior. - Pastor Mike Gauch)
Sunday afternoon, as I was driving home after a delightful lunch with family, I was shaken by the news of another massacre. This time in a Texas church. I was also shocked how quickly I began numbing these painful emotions through various well-worn practices. I'm just so tired of senseless, dehumanizing violence on such an epic scale. As we in America get desensitized to mass murders, that seem to happen weekly, let us be clear that it never does to God. His heart breaks over the evil acts of men.
This statement in itself brings up the age-old question: Why does a good God not stop the evil? I personally wrestle with this question as individuals and groups abuse, enslave, ruin and destroy others. I must always go back to what is true to find a path through the evil to the place of hope.
Evil has been unleashed by Adam, our distant progenitor, therefore there is no escape. Evil cannot be caged until it leaves its destructive trail through history. Its path, set by God, has boundaries and an expiration date but this does not mean we can dodge evil’s effect.
If anyone had the moral right and righteous might to not experience evil it was the God-Man, Jesus. Fully God, fully man, he stepped into the polluted flow of wickedness taking on its full blast by undeservedly enduring the shameful cross and humiliating death as a rebel slave. Evil’s short-lived victory lasted 3 days - a Pyrrhic victory indeed for it won a battle but lost the greater war! Jesus defeated evil, devils and death through His resurrection which verified that His sacrificial death was accepted and complete. Evil would never win in the end.
My imagination is such that I cannot help but put myself in the place of those dear saints. In community, they came to meet Christ in worship through song and teaching. Suddenly they were pounced upon by unvarnished evil. Death and destruction, heartless and indiscriminate, has left a trail of tears and grief.
Those who died at the hands of a deranged, demon-controlled hater of God, did so as blessed martyrs of Christ. They therefore saw heaven open up where the glory of God encompassed Jesus, who greeted each with a loving embrace of the shared experience (Acts 7:55-60). For these faithful saints, young and old, a special crown of life was given to them by the Lord Himself (Rev. 2:10). They are alive, just not here, with the God of the living (Matt. 22:32). This is our hope, which we rest everything upon.
My heart breaks for those who experienced this trauma. My tearful prayers rise up for them. Evil-experienced has a way of lingering for years affecting both the consciousness of day and the dreams of night. I pray that they will be kind to themselves and grieve, hanging on to their hope as best they can.
Even though life will never be the same, I believe from both God’s word and experience that Jesus will heal these deep soul wounds over time. His promise still stands true, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance” (2Th 3:16). I pray for courage and humility to seek help from wise, gifted and Spirit-filled aides whom God has raised up on His behalf.
Last, I pray for God’s unlimited and empowering grace to be received by this whole community. This is so needful for the body ministry of the “one anothers” to each other but also of displaying the gospel to those who now know they need this saving grace. This grace will also aid in forgiveness which Jesus displayed on the cross (Luke 23:34).
Hope comes as we long for the day when we experience this promised experience:
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (Rev 21:4).
As we yearn for this future day while “in the midst of a wicked and twisted generation,” we can know that there is a crown that awaits each of us. Jesus, the righteous judge, will award this crown of righteousness “to all who have [expectantly] loved his appearing” (2Ti 4:8). This is the path through the evil of our age where our hike always ends at our Blessed Hope, Jesus (Titus 2:13).
Whether I'm at home by myself with my guitar or leading our congregation in worshiping our Lord, these are often the times when I feel the Spirit's presence in my life the deepest. The moments when I sing a certain line in a song and realize there is a deep meaning that shakes me to my core and better helps me understand the God I serve, those are moments I rarely experience any other time. Worship has been a gift to me, God provided me with a way to express myself and honor Him at the same time. It is truly an honor to be able to share that gift with anyone who cares to listen, and hopefully sing along from time to time.
Sometime last year God laid it on my heart that I'd like to have more worship time...whether that was during the week, or earlier Sunday morning I wasn't sure...but I started talking to Marcy about it pretty regularly. And as Pastor Mike often says, "ready, fire, aim", we set a date and started a ball rolling. I contacted some others from our worship teams and we enthusiastically prepared an hour of music, rather than our usual 20-25 minutes. It was a blessing to those who attended from what I was told, and I know it was a huge blessing to me...but I'd been asked a question I couldn't answer yet.
"What do you hope to accomplish with this worship night?" was the question.
As we planned the second evening of worship a few months later this question was still in the back of my mind, but the answer never came and we played our worship night all the same. Again, through worship music and testimonies we honored God...but there was still that question.
As we began planning the third God finally gave me an answer. It's a simple concept, but an important one. I hope to use these evenings of worship to convey the Gospel, from the broad strokes of Jesus' sacrifice for us, to the intricate details of His love for us, to those who may otherwise miss it. I want to do this using music, because that is how God reaches me.
So I hope you'll join us to Sing to our King, Friday May 5 at 6:30Pm at CFC. Come alone or bring a friend, all are welcome!
Since coming to know the Lord many years ago, I have been a part of numerous Bible studies all of which have aided in my increasing knowledge of God.
However, Discipleship Training (DT) is so much more than gaining Biblical knowledge. DT taught me how to worship Him and apply His word to my every day life by having a Daily God Encounter (DGE). DGE is a pathway to true intimacy with Jesus. I am still in awe as I remember how day by day and week by week my worship of Him and love for Him grew deeper in such a personal way and continues to this day.
When I signed up for DT, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard prior attendees discuss various DT experiences but not in detail. In retrospect, I am pleased that I wasn't aware of any particulars because the Holy Spirit revealed to me what He wanted me to know in His timing. EXTREMELY POWERFUL!
Consequently, I do not want to go into any detail about the 9 week journey other than to say that I feel DT is a tool Jesus uses to draw us closer to Him in a most intimate way, and I would strongly encourage anyone who is seeking a deeper relationship with the Lord to attend this series of classes.
Truly, DT is a life changing experience, and you will embrace and look forward to your DGE time with a smile on your face and peace in your heart.
Every few years, Christmas falls on a Sunday, therefore CFC has chosen to emphasize our Christmas Eve service (4:30 & 6:30 pm) and cancel the Sunday morning worship service. (FYI, there will be a 10 am Christmas Day brunch at CFC hosted by the Curatti’s – sign up by clicking HERE.) Our hope is to push CFC's worship service inside your home. In your mailboxes and in the lobby (as well as by clicking HERE) is a guide, 2016 Home Christmas Celebration, to help families worship the Lord together. However you plan to celebrate the incredible loving act of humility where God became man, we pray that your gathering is truly a Merry Christmas!
In the afternoon, on August 25th, I sat with Pastor Mike in his office. I was there because I needed help. I had been crying out to the Lord to change things in my life and it just didn’t seem like He was hearing me. Actually, I had been crying out for years. By the end of our meeting something would happen to me that I will never forget.
Now, before you jump to any assumptions, you should know that on one hand, I can’t imagine my life being any better. I adore my wife (and I think she kind of likes me too. J). All of our boys are doing great and I couldn’t ask for the relationship with them to be any better. My business is doing well and I absolutely love working part time at the church and being around these wonderful people. I am thrilled to be leading the Men’s Bible Study on Friday mornings, my health is great and, this may sound weird, but my relationship with the Lord has never been better.
So what’s the problem? Well, aside from the outgoing man that you see, there is also a scared little boy inside me that has other ideas about who I am. Worthless, filthy, inadequate, never good enough. These are just some of the things that fill this little boy’s head. I am going to share somethingsfrom my youth but I want you to understand that I was never deliberately abused in any way by my parents.
My parents were divorced when I was 4 and by the time I was 12, I had lived in five different houses, gone to five different schools and had three different step-fathers. I had already been involved in crime, experienced drugs and done a number of other things that, frankly, are too shameful to admit and certainly not appropriate to mention here. Most of the kids I hung around with were much older, so I ran the streets and got into trouble, more like an 18year old than a 12 year old. To put it mildly, I grew up fast!
My Mother, who loved me dearly, had her own set of problems. It’s probably no surprise that alcoholism was rampant and I took on the responsibility of dealing with that and taking care of her.
My Dad probably knew that I would never choose to leave my Mom when I turned 14, which was the age of decision in Ohio. I loved my Dad and I knew that life would be drastically better living with him. But who would take care of my Mom? That was my responsibility, right? Anyway, he got custody of me halfway through 6th grade and within a couple of hours of finding out, I was in a car leaving Toledo and heading to Columbus. What I felt was that I had failed and deserted my Mom. It was only five years ago, during a Transformation Prayer session with Pastor Mike, that I finally let go of that guilt. For 43 years, I believed all of that was my fault.
I could go on and on about the dysfunction in my life, not only then, but also later in my adult years, but the details really aren’t that important. You see, we all have our own stories. They are just different. And we all have lies that we believe and they seem to just get more and more distorted the older we get and the longer we don’t deal with them.
We all have parents. Some of those relationships are great. Many are not so great. But we have to realize that our parents had parents and maybe those relationships weren’t that great either. I have never blamed my parents or God for the things that happened to me when I was young. It’s what we do with those experiences and how we raise our own children that count. But we need to deal with the lies that affect how we react to things now.
Which brings me to what happened on August 25th. At the beginning of our meeting, I confessed to Pastor Mike that I had given up and lost all hope. I didn’t realize it, but I was letting things from the past affect my daily thoughts and I wasn’t feeling very good about myself. I began to hate myself and the thought that I was going to have to live the rest of my life like this. I began to believe that because of all my sins, this emotional pain was just some sort of thorn in my side and I would have to live with it forever. What I didn’t realize is that “giving up” was exactly what God had been waiting for.
After talking with Pastor Mike for almost two hours we started to unravel the ties between the events of my childhood and the emotional pain and ugly thought patterns that I was enduring. I was finally beginning to realize that much of what happened to me wasn’t my fault. In some respects, I was an abused child and was probably still suffering with some sort of post traumatic issues. The fact that much of this was explainable gave me hope.
Our meeting was coming to an end and as always, Pastor Mike invited the Lord in to reveal anything that He might want me to know. We got quiet and it was as if God took me to another place. I stood on a wide threshold, between two white columns, with a long arch connecting them. I was looking over a mountainous landscape and knew, immediately, it was the landscape of my past. I saw the Lord walking up a path towards me, with a smile on his face and felt no condemnation. When He reached me, He hugged me, like a Daddy would hug his scared little boy. He pointed back to the landscape and said, “We’re not going to look at that anymore.” He turned me around and said, “We’re going to go this way now. And I will never let go of you.”
In the Psalms, David often cries out for God to crush his enemies. I know that my enemies have often been myself and the lies that I have continued to believe for so many years. On August 25th, through His amazing love and grace, God crushed my enemies and I feel a freedom that I have never felt.
God has no intention of making us stronger. He isn’t going to just make a few changes and let us go on our way. He is waiting for us to completely give up; surrendering and yielding only to Him. He wants us so weak that we don’t have any choice but to depend on Him.
I’m sharing this with you, because I know so many are still hurting from things that aren’t their fault. I hear it in the Men’s Bible Study and I heard it on the Men’s Retreat. I can’t tell you why He allows things to happen, but I know that He wants to turn you around and go another way. Yield to Him and let Him crush the enemies in your life.
One final thought on what I have learned. You can’t truly experience the Christian life until you accept God’s total, unfailing and unconditional love for you. That may be the most difficult thing we all face. But remember, God doesn’t accept us because of what we have done, or what we will do in the future. He accepts us because of who we are. We are accepted because we are in Christ.
For he chose us, in him, before the creation of the world, to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship, through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us, in the One he loves.
I don't really remember the moment God laid it on my heart that I should plan a men's retreat at CFC. Honestly it feels a bit like I just woke up one day in the woods with 30 other guys from church, who were asking me what was on the agenda for the day. God can be funny that way, he commands, you obey, the path can sometimes be a bit of a blur.
About a year and a half ago I started asking around about why the women had retreats but the men never did. The common answer was “well, we've tried but have never been able to get one off the ground.” So I felt the challenge, and I started asking a few deacons and elders what they thought about having a retreat, and everyone seemed to be on board. It's funny to me how straight God will lay a path out for you when you obey Him in your life. The first 2 deacons I approached both pointed me to Mark Lindsey, and when I talked to Mark about it he immediately offered up his family farm for the retreat.
So now I had a handful of deacons on board and a location, the only thing I didn't have was a clue of how to proceed. Fortunately, God took control and through several meetings we managed to piece together what I believe was God's plan for a weekend full of fellowship and worship. The best part of the planning process was that I got to know the other men helping to plan the retreat better...my wife and I had made some incredible friends at CFC through bible studies and discipleship, but I had no idea he had more in store.
So the weekend of the retreat rushed upon us, it came so fast I don't think I ever looked at the forecast for the weekend. Friday was pretty nice for early October, 65 and sunny if I remember right. Then at about 2 pm the clouds rolled in and the temperature started to drop. The rain didn't start for a few hours, but when it did start it brought more cold with it. By the time we all settled in around the giant camp fire after dinner it was about 35 degrees and raining sideways. But we pushed on and continued with some damp worship all 30 of us trying to huddle into about 30 square feet of covered space. By the time I rolled into my tent for the night I was pretty wet, and cold...but not miserable. I think there was a sense of accomplishment for pushing through and still finding some joy in all of the chaos.
Saturday was a cold morning, still damp but the rain had slowed to a drizzle and the hot coffee was flowing during breakfast. The men in attendance didn't look miserable, everyone was smiling and enjoying fellowship time. Pastor Mike taught us a lesson on how to be a man in today's church and world. One of the guys gave up his fancy folding chair that had it's own umbrella so Pastor Mike could face us while he taught. That may have been the fanciest thing at the retreat. We moved on from there to some small group prayer and reflection, and then the days activities.
Most of our activities for the day consisted of shooting at targets, and the chili cookoff. But the thing that caught me off guard was that during all of this there were always ten to fifteen men back around the fire, enjoying conversation together. For some of the time I'd just play around on my guitar while the others were cooking chili. There's something about being out in the natural world God created for us to enjoy that we usually take for granted, but once in a while a moment rolls around when it clicks. Even soaked to the bone, cold and tired...you can find God there.
So where did I find God after all of this was over? Where did I seem him the clearest? As everyone was packing up on Sunday after our communion service and heading home, I was walking around asking everyone what they enjoyed and didn't enjoy (the weather) in order to prepare for this years retreat. I expected the answers to be “shooting was the best” or “the chili cookoff was great,” maybe even “I loved being outdoors and surviving this crazy weather.” But the common response, actually everyone's first response, was“Fellowship” and “worship.”
This is why we needed a retreat. This is why I pray the men's retreat continues and grows. God's sons need a place to go and get away with brothers for a time...just to share in fellowship and build relationships. Men are wired in such a way that they don't open up easily, especially to other men. But if they are close enough to another man, and can feel comfortable with him...they can open up about anything and grow in their faith. If one man every year finds a brother to trust like this, the retreat is a success.
Thank you to all who attended our first retreat. If you're interested in this years retreat please contact me and I'll get you all the information. This year's retreat will be September 23-25 and we will be at Mark Lindsey's farm in Kenton Oh.
FROM: Pastor Mike Gauch
On Sunday, August 21, 2016, I took time to update the congregation on where we are since I announced the restructuring plans in January and, more importantly, how we as a congregation could bless Sue Oldford. This information in letter form was also inserted into the mailboxes. So as not to repeat everything produced, below is the audio presentation (with PowerPoint) plus for the letter in case you didn't see it - CLICK HERE.
What I failed to mention was HOW to give to this fund. There are 2 ways:
- Make a Check payable to: CFC
& In the memo: Sue Oldford love gift.
- Give Online:
- Click Here or on Giving in upper right corner the header above.
- Click the GIVE button.
- Fill in the form.
- When you get to the More section, from dropdown box, choose Love Gift (Sue O.).
- Complete the financial information.
Thank you for your prayerful consideration.
Click on images at the right to view the Presentation PowerPoint as you listen.
It's so very nice to meet you! I am the new administrative assistant here at CFC, and am excited to see what the Lord has in store.
My husband, Mike, and I just moved to the area. We have a golden retriever, Lucy, and way too many belongings, even though I know we purged before we moved! I am a native Floridian, having lived in Jacksonville, FL for 25+ years. All of my immediate family lives there (as well as Mike's family), and it is the land of eternal sunshine (though sometimes that sunshine comes in the form of rainy afternoons every day at 2:00 pm). Some of you might think I'm crazy to leave such a warm place for cold Columbus, OH - many people I have talked to question this very idea. "You left FL? We'd love to move to FL!" And you may need to remind me of this come this winter, when I'm walking around in a parka, shivering, and feeling miserable. In the meantime, I am enjoying the slightly cooler weather here with the fantastic evenings, and remaining in denial that winter is coming!
A certainty that I have always held onto is that our Lord works in mysterious ways, and often takes us to the unexpected. I have learned this lesson many times over the course of my short life, as he has taken me to places or has allowed events to happen that I would not have chosen for myself. Sometimes he says yes, sometimes no, and sometimes he takes, instead of giving. Sometimes he calls you to spend three years overseas serving Him (a great story that is better told in person), and sometimes he calls you to move across the US away from your families and the familiar. The good news is, He so often makes things work out more perfectly than we could have ever imagined. His blessings are so wonderful!
I have a long history with Columbus, OH, and yet I have never lived here until now. Mike and I have followed the call of the Lord, traveling 12+ hours, to serve at Bethel Presbyterian Church in ministry together. He has the official title of Associate Pastor, and I have the less official title of 'Pastor's Wife.' I was delighted several months ago when my husband told me that Bethel Presbyterian was hiring. Bethel is special to me for several reasons: my dad began his ministry there 30+ years ago as their youth minister, he was ordained there, and I was baptized there. Columbus in general is special to me because my father grew up here, graduated from OSU (Go Bucs!), and met my mother here. Between extended family, and some old family friends, this city feels a bit like a second home to me. After months of uncertainty while looking for a call, a couple of no's (from the Lord and from us), and lots of prayer, we still can't believe just how perfectly this has worked out. The Lord was certainly in this move!
This position here at CFC has also been a unexpected blessing from the Lord. In the midst of the craziness of our moving, I told my husband that I wished I could find a part-time job that would fit into our life here, but wasn't sure what that looked like. The very next day, I was told about the job opening at CFC, and I thought, "wow, God you are so good."
I am delighted to be back working in a ministry setting, and I am also excited to do ministry with all of you here at CFC. Please come by the office sometime so we can meet!
Do you have a favorite bible? A version that you prefer? A leather one that feels good when you hold it? One that you know has the note on a particular subject in the left margin?
Over my 36 years as a believer I have had several. For my first decade I used a black, synthetic leather-bound King James Version, then I got a maroon, synthetic leather-bound New American Standard and have not looked back. I love that bible, my underlines and notes in the margin, how it feels when I hold it, the memories of a convention I used it at or reading it with a girlfriend, you get the picture. It was so worn; the leather was no longer attached.
Two years ago my four children took it to a book maker and had it rebound in new, synthetic maroon leather as a Christmas present. Even newly bound, it for many years has been missing the single page 927 and 928 containing Psalms 138 and 139. Obviously, I have several other bibles shelved to look those up when needed, and of course the internet, but it is not the same.
I have written before about my wonderful sisters from Thursday night bible study. During the course of one study, Gaye Richardson and Kay Scott came to see that I did not have those Psalms. Gaye thought there should be a way for me to have the page. Kay has an old NASB that has come apart and she was able to make a copy of the page front and back and fold it, glue it together so it looks like a page in my bible.
They carried the page around for two Thursdays and two Sundays as they tried to sneak it into my bible without me knowing.
So, here is the good part!
After reading my bible in bed one morning (which I never do, I always read in my living room) Rachel popped into my bedroom, we talked for a few minutes while I started to make the bed. Not seeing my bible as I had covered it with blankets, it fell to the floor, opened, and that page popped out. I was confused. I at first thought it was my page, but realized it couldn’t be. It fit right in, the font was the same, and the flow from 926 through 929 was perfect. Rachel laughed and explained the story to me about Gaye and Kay and their covert operation.
I was moved to tears of joy as I thought of God’s love for me and theirs also. They said “now you again have the complete Word of God.” What a blessing!
I recently went on a trip to Capernaum Camp, where we took 6 friends with disabilities to Carolina for summer camp. I talked with my parents about it, and Dad gave me a cool quote, and I think it's cool enough stuff to share.
“I understand why God would want to make a kid like Trevor.”
I said this as I was explaining to Dad how I saw Jesus during my week at Capernaum Camp. I said this about Trevor because Trevor was constantly reflecting the personality of God. And for Trevor, it is not by intentionality that he points me to Christ. He just does this. He just is who God created him to be. He experiences joy, excitement, and emotion in the purest way I’ve seen.
I listened to Trevor sing lines of “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” hundreds of times that week. I fell off the paddle board with Trevor dozens of times. I rode in the passenger seat of a Go-Kart with Trevor round and round the track. I went down the water slide with him again and again and again. No matter what we were doing together, he was thrilled to do it again, shouting and laughing and singing and dancing just as he had done before.
One night, I playfully asked him how many times we went down the water slide that day. Sometimes with Trevor, you don’t get a straight answer. But he looked me dead in the eye, and said, “Nine.” Trevor remembered exactly how many times he went down the water slide. The thrill of the speed, the jump, the splash, the chance to do to a Tarzan scream or the opportunity to sing “Michael Rode the Boat Ashore” at the top of the slide never got old for him. He loved each moment equally.
I call Trevor’s emotions pure because it appears nothing has been lost. It reminds me of Jesus’ emotions, which are pure because nothing has been lost. Jesus loves me - unconditionally, equally, never ceasing, never growing tired or fed up. Trevor portrays this love to me, just in the form of waterslides and songs. When Jesus made my friend with a disability, I understand he had just as much of a plan for Trevor as anybody else.
Dad shared this quote from G.K. Chesterton with me, reminding me of what I had said about my friend.
Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit
fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and
unchanged. They always say, "Do it again," and the grown-up
person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people
are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is
strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says
every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it
again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes
all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately,
but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the
eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and
our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be
a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE.
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
God, we praise you! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
And we repeat, with just as much meaning as before, Hallelujah!
The Men’s Ministry at CFC has been a mixed bag for me. There have been frustrating times when we just can’t get the ball rolling. There have also been extremely fulfilling times.
Last year’s retreat was amazing. The weather was uncomfortable to say the least, but the fellowship the Lord provided through that was a HUGE blessing to me and to others. We are in the planning stages for this year’s retreat and I encourage YOU to come with us.
Besides the retreat we have participated in many other activities. Prayer Nights have been both challenging and rewarding to me. Euchre nights, moving days, Men’s Fraternity, Monday (and Friday) Bible study, and fellowship breakfasts have all been rewarding and a great bonding time for me personally. I have developed a few strong relationships, some new relationships with men I have never really spoken with before, and been able to serve when needed. All things that bring me closer to God.
I am not a particularly outgoing or expressive person, so getting close to other people is hard for me, and I feel that God has used the Men’s Ministry to help me (and other men) grow in that regard. In the different activities I have participated in communication is needed and so is working together for planning and execution. God has kind of forced me to be more interactive and reliant on others, which can be both uncomfortable and humbling BUT is a part of the growth process as a follower of Christ.
This day often carries a lot of weight. Some people have great relationships with their fathers. Others have relationships that leave something to be desired.
But I bet we could all point to a man who, at some point, has had a significant impact on our lives: a father, grandfather, uncle, teacher, pastor, friend, mentor, etc. And I wouldn't be surprised if some of those stories included lots of men from our CFC family.
You don't have to be a father to influence somebody's life for the better. In Titus, Paul encourages the older men to be a good example for the younger men.
Lucky for guys and gals alike, when men in the church live the way Paul describes, we all learn from them.
And it is wonderful to watch the men of CFC show us what it looks like to be men of God.
But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance....Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. And thank you to all the men in our church who have blessed us, encouraged us, and been like fathers to us over the years.
Lastly, a hearty congratulations to all of our first-time dads this Father's Day! Here's to many more (kids and Father's Days).
Summers As A Family
With beautiful weather comes great responsibility.
With beautiful weather comes lots of activity. That's more accurate.
We know that summer is really busy, and we hope that everyone can enjoy the sunshine in lots of fun and creative ways. We also hope that we are able to stay connected with you over the coming months. We don't want to lose you, ignore you, or miss you.
There are still lots of things going on around CFC during the summer:
Some Bible Studies and groups are still meeting through the summer
We've got whole church picnics coming up
VBS is in a couple weeks, and that's a wonderful outreach and avenue for the Lord
Miss a sermon, but really want to hear the message? You can always listen online.
Want to know how God is moving in and through the people and ministries of CFC, be sure to read the Snapshots every week.
Shepherding is underway, so be sure to let your Elder Couple know how they can be praying for you.
CFC is a family. And like other families, we want to keep one another involved and connected. We want to know how you are doing. We want to spend time with and encourage one another.
Enjoy this summer and stay connected with us. Come to the picnics, stay and visit after church, communicate with your Shepherding Couple, hang out at the fellowships. We'll miss you if you don't.
Vacation Bible School
Out of the mouthes of babes
What's your favorite part of VBS?
Cadence Pound (8)
Making crafts and snacks, because I love how the snacks go with the Bible story, but they're still a yummy treat. Crafts is fun, because of how cool they look when they're finished, and I get to make them with my friends.
Cameron Pound (6)
I love snacks because you can build certain things, but you can also build other things.
Atherton Bunner (9)
Games, making new friends,
Edmond Bunner (almost 8)
Crafts, making new friends ("but I forget their names")
What have you learned at VBS?
In the skits, by the end, the bad guys always believe in Jesus. That means you can always believe in God. Even if you're bad, you can still believe.
That church can be really fun, because we get to do fun classes, invite friends, and you get chocolate.
We had Bible study, but I don't remember anything specific...
We made a walking stick, it was like "walk to God..." I think...
The new songs and dances
Out of the mouthes of parents and volunteers
The best part about being a leader is seeing the kids' joy and how innocent they are, and quick to listen to Bible stories. It's a real sense of pride when you can see that they get the stories, and bring friends that might not be in church, and get to hear about Jesus for the first time. I would recommend that everyone get involved at VBS at some time.
Vacation Bible School. It always brought up mixed emotions for me. Yes, we wanted our kids to be a part of it but some of them did not want what we wanted. Often times I wondered if it was worth the fight and oh the early mornings...but years later my kids have fond memories of Vacation Bible School. Just last Sunday Roger showed Natalie and a friend a picture that was taken of them at VBS when they were probably first and second grade. They laughed and could still remember how the sanctuary was decorated that year.
As I think back over the years of VBS I keep thinking of the volunteers who gave of their time and energy year after year often in the same areas. I also remember the way a few of them worked extra hard to get a child of mine to be ok with leaving my side. Thank you, Volunteers, for investing in the lives of my kids. My kids enjoyed VBS but they couldn't wait till they could be a volunteer instead of a student. It's hard to believe that day has come for all four of them.
As one who has volunteered for VBS over the years I sit and think...was it worth my time and energy? Was it worth dragging myself and my kids out of bed and to the church by 8:30? (Ok, I'll be honest...very rarely did I make it before 9).
Yes and Yes and Yes!
I've never really sat back and thought about what it meant to volunteer at VBS; writing this has been a good thing. I think about the mornings. Yes it was hard to drag myself and my kids to church every morning for a week, and muster up energy for the very energetic kids. But I remember the way they would come in...some would run in and be excited and some were a little hesitant looking for a kind smile and a warm welcome of acceptance and I got to be the person to offer them that smile and acceptance. I had opportunities to love on the kids. I had opportunities to pray silently over the kids as they would sit with me feeling a little homesick. I had opportunities to laugh and have fun with the kids and at times
act like a kid myself. Was it hard, long and tiring? Yes, at times it was hard and seemed like the morning was never going to end and I was definitely tired by the end; I often needed a nap by the time I got home. But I also remember a sense of peace and satisfaction at the end of each morning; I had the opportunity to serve the Lord by serving the children.
If you're thinking of volunteering for VBS...do it! I survived, you will too! You may have a couple of new gray hairs though :)
First memories begin at 3 and 4. Do you remember yours? How great to be able to create the first memories of Jesus Christ in our little ones! Our preschool class helps give CFC kids a taste of what joy and freedom comes with knowing the Savior. You may wonder what cookies and juice have to do with Jesus, but to a kid, songs, crafts, snacks, and stories create palpable memories that drive them to learn more. And for me, it is a chance to remember what unabashed love for Jesus looks like.
The Preschool class at CFC is a work in progress—as I hope all ministries are. It is designed to engage the children in seeing Christ through all the new things they are experiencing. New emotions, new siblings, new responsibilities—new friends; these are all opportunities to build faith and experience God. We crave your prayers and we have plenty of opportunities to get involved.
Bill and Kim Rothermel
As a Church, we rejoice in life's mile markers, starting with birth, as we dedicate our children to the Lord. ln the Old Testament, Hannah brought Samuel to the temple and dedicated him to the Lord saying, "For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition...l also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord" (1 Samuel:27-28).
ln the New Testament, Joseph and Mary did the same as they brought Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to consecrate Him to the Lord (Luke 2:22-32). When Jesus began His ministry, He was eager to bless the children brought to Him, "And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them" (Mark 10:16).
When we bring our children before the Lord in church and dedicate them to Him, we're doing the same. It's an important celebration, for how greatly our children need Jesus, even from birth!
We all know them. We all have them in our lives.
If I could talk to everyone I know, I have no doubt I'd hear amazing stories about how many lives have been influenced by their moms, their grandmas, other relatives, someone else's mom, a family friend, a teacher, a mentor, or some other motherly figure.
The moms and women in our lives play such an important role. When Paul wrote to Titus (Titus 2:4-8), he included some instruction for women in the church. The older women are to teach the younger women.
Be kind, be pure, love your husbands and children, think before you act.
In all things show them how to live by your life and by right teaching. You should be wise in what you say. Then the one who is against you will be ashamed and will not be able to say anything bad about you.
These relationships between the older women and the younger women are invaluable. It is a blessing to know that CFC is full of so many of these types of relationships.
Thank you to all of the women who have invested in the lives of their children, their grandchildren, their neighbors, their students, their friends, and everyone else. You are appreciated, loved, and valued. One day is hardly enough to celebrate all that you do for those you love.
Congratulations to all of CFC's new moms who are celebrating their first Mother's Day today.
Every since I was a child, I have always been awed by the beauty that God has shown us through His natural world. It still takes my breath away when I see a beautiful sunset, a rainbow, countless flowers of all colors and shapes, the mighty power of an ocean, a full moon on a clear crisp night, a majestic mountain, a forest full of all kinds of trees and other growing things, a simple blade of grass, all the different kinds of wildlife - and especially the wonder and the potential of a perfectly-formed human baby. We have an awesome God!
So...once I retired, I felt God calling me to help spruce up the CFC grounds, and maybe create some flower beds that could perhaps showcase some of the beauty He has created.
I asked: Why me?
He answered: If not you, then who?
To that question, I had no acceptable answer - and that's how the Flowers and Grounds Ministry began.
Over the years, the F&G volunteers have expanded the flower beds and planted many perennials so that only a few summertime annuals need to be planted - to create a sea of different colors. In addition, we have cleaned up around the Ranch and around the playground and picnic area. We have cleaned out underneath the large evergreen trees. And we had a small part in the purchase and planting of a large number of trees to replace the original ash trees that fell victim to the ash bore.
As with any ongoing ministry, the work is never really done, and we always welcome new volunteers who enjoy gardening and/or the natural beauty of God's world. Without our wonderful volunteers who plant, weed, and water, that beauty would never be as pronounced as it usually is. Weather always plays a part in what we do when, and one year, God did 90% of the watering Himself.
I'll say it again: we have an awesome God!