Snapshot

Keri Horst

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!

Blessings,
Keri

Snapshot

Gayle Sinclair

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!

Snapshot

Tony DeSantis

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.

Snapshot

Men 

Father's Day.

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.  

Titus 2: 1-2, 6-8

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).

Snapshot

Summers As A Family

With beautiful weather comes great responsibility.

Wait. What? 

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. 

Snapshot

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?

Cadence Pound
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.

Cameron Pound
That church can be really fun, because we get to do fun classes, invite friends, and you get chocolate.

Atherton Bunner
We had Bible study, but I don't remember anything specific...
We made a walking stick, it was like "walk to God..." I think...

Edmond Bunner
The new songs and dances


Out of the mouthes of parents and volunteers

Niki Pound

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.

Crystal Headings

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 :)

Snapshot

Stephanie Bunner

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.

Snapshot

Bill and Kim Rothermel

Baby Dedication

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!

Snapshot

Women.

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.
Titus 2:7-8

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. 

 

Snapshot

Sherry Detillian

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!

Snapshot

Aaron and Candy May

We have recently been blessed with having the Meals Ministry provide service to us after our baby Dylan arrived.

Being very sleep deprived for the first few weeks and getting adjusted to our new baby, the Meals Ministry saved us.

It was so nice to not have to worry about what we were making that evening for dinner, so we could concentrate on child rearing, poopy diapers, and many feedings. 

We enjoyed each meal that was delivered, whether home cooked or take out, and enjoyed short visits with our church family.

The Meals Ministry showered us with much love, and was so encouraging in our time of need.

Special thank you for all those who volunteered to bring us a meal.

Snapshot

David Hampson

“Baptism, I don’t need that I am already saved.” This was a common belief that I had held onto for a long time during my early Christian walk on avoiding publicly being immersed by water. Another conflict inside of me was I felt that because I was baptized as an infant, I was covered and did not need to do it as an adult.  With all of this held deeply inside of me, baptism was always an issue that I struggled with as an adult and tried in vain to justify not doing. 

Nevertheless, God had other plans. 

See, for a long time early on in our marriage, Nikki and I were not regular church attenders. We would hop and hop from church to church, not ever feeling really connected, or finding some excuse not to go. It was not until the summer of 2006 that Nikki and I felt that we had found a church family in Christian Fellowship Church (CFC). From there we got involved in a Young Marrieds Bible Study and really started pouring into the word of God on a regular basis, began meeting and hanging out will fellow Christian couples, and attending church on a regular basis. It was also during this time where I felt God really reaching out to me about baptism. 

I had seen adult baptisms before. For example, my wife Nikki was baptized at our church in Dayton while we were attending college at Wright State. In fact, it was during this time, early in my walk with Jesus, that I began seeing my struggles with the issue with baptism. I remember telling my wife that, “You know, baptism does not save you.” And while this is true, I was missing the point on why Nikki was preforming this act. It was not accepting Jesus as her Lord and master (she had already made that decision early on freshman year in college), it was making a public decree to our congregation at the time, that she was submitting to the will of God and wanted the support of our Christian family.

Fast forward to 2010 at CFC, we were firmly connected to a new Christian family, and I was being confronted with baptism again. Baptism is a focal point at CFC and something regarded as a major heart felt decision when undertaking. There are classes and meetings with pastors before someone goes through this process. However, one spring Sunday there was a change to the process. As Pastor Mike was telling the congregation about baptism and how it is a public act of submitting to Gods will, I felt overcome with the urge to be a part of that. Pastor Mike continued to say that this time they were going to do something different and allow people who felt led to meet with an elder in the back and take part in today’s baptism. It was at this point that he asked the congregation to pray and for those being baptized to come to the back of the sanctuary. 

I could not stay seated! I felt a literal pulling on my body to get up and take part in this act and I submitted to God at that point and let him take control. I had come to realize that it was my lack of humility that kept me from truly experiencing God. I had to give that insecurity over to Him and be willing to submit totally to His Will.  

I remember pulling my cell phone, wallet, and keys out of my pocket and handing them to Nikki. My wife looked at me in shocked and said, “What are you doing?” 

The only reply I had was, “Getting baptized.” 

When I made it to the back, I prayed with an elder and told him why I was there. Now please know, I did not come with a change of clothes or a towel and the only thing they could find to fit me was a choir gown. Without hesitation, I took it and walked down to the water where I was greeted with open arms by Pastor Mike. I told my testimony up to that point and was baptized feeling overcome by the Holy Spirit. 

After this act of submission, I cannot say that everything became easier in my walk with Jesus. However, I can say that when I feel like I am struggling or stagnate in my walk, I can always recall this incredible moment in my life where God was very much present and took care of my doubts and insecurities.

Snapshot

Joy Hickey

When my husband, John, and I started going to CFC (about 4.5 years ago), I knew that I wanted to be a part of the worship team. I thought I wanted to be a part of the worship team because it was something I had always done in churches before I came to CFC. However, I had not consistently gone to church for almost 10 years. I had spent a lot of time lost, and I believe God had to prepare me (and my husband) to be a part of the worship team.

When John and I met, it was singing karaoke rock songs in a bar. We thought we were pretty good, maybe not the best, but decent enough to impress most. It was fun. It was how we met. What I love about our story is that John and I began singing in church long before we met and in a way, singing and music may just be the way we met the Lord. I don’t believe a single part of church had the impact on me that worship did. As a young teen, I would get lost (or perhaps found) in worshiping Jesus. 

After spending so much time away from church, I had to get ‘found’ again to lead worship. God protected me (and maybe the congregation) from both of us getting involved with worship too fast. When John and I began attending, I was ripe and ready to have our first child, Mary, and I knew it was not yet the time. As she grew, and we became more attached to CFC, I really began to feel the tug of being on a worship team again. I approached Marcy about joining and even though she was enthusiastic about the idea, scheduling still wasn’t lining up. 

Finally the day came when Marcy asked if John and I could BOTH sing one Sunday on the worship team. In my head, this was not what I had envisioned. I was not even sure my husband and I could really sing together…at least not worship music? God had to open my mind so I could see his vision for me AND my husband was (and still is) much bigger than anything I would envision for myself. Thank God for that!

When we did finally sing at church, we received compliments and were told we were a blessing. After all our time away from church, God still used us to bless others and continues to do so years later. It always seems like the weeks we have little time to prepare or I’m just not ‘feeling it’ when we practice, these are the Sundays God has lots of room to do his work and he never disappoints! Being a part of the worship team family has been a blessing to us in ways we really can’t quantify, but we have been humbled by God’s power in it. My hope is that when we are a part of the worship team, God is able to use us to bring his children in so they can get lost (or found) in worshiping Jesus.

Snapshot

John Hickey

The sound ministry has been a bit of a roller coaster over the past several years. I was approached by 7 Hoerath just before his son was born, so it seems fitting to share this with you now as he is soon expecting his next child.

My wife and I were fairly new to CFC, not yet involved in any ministries or small groups. 7 asked if I would be willing to help out on the soundboard, and honestly I was a little intimidated by the idea of learning to operate all of the equipment involved. He assured me he could teach me the ins and outs, so I agreed. As it turns out it is incredibly interesting to see how everything works, and to realize what an impact the “sound-guy” has on our Sunday service.

I am happy to have the opportunity to explore how being a “sound-guy” is a blessing in my life. As I ponder the question, I realize perhaps I'm asking the wrong one...not how have I been blessed, but how have I been allowed to be a blessing. God has used me through this ministry (a blessing in and of itself) and I am grateful for that.

Honestly, most often when God chooses to use me through this ministry it usually isn't even my week in the rotation. When something goes haywire, my instinct is to act...to find a solution...to get things back on track. Whether it's batteries dying and needing replaced, or instruments not working properly with our equipment, I enjoy the chance to resolve issues. But beyond the gratification of finding a solution to a problem, hearing from other members of our church family after a service that they appreciate what I've done is a blessing. It can be monotonous sometimes sitting back in the back just in case you need to resolve an issue, when most of the time everything works great...so to hear from others that they appreciate what I've done makes my day.

I can't leave out our worship teams either...often I am at the practices making sure everything is prepared for our Sunday service. These practices are often opportunities to enjoy some raw worship...before anyone has considered order of songs, or who should start a song, or any of the other complexities of preparing for Sunday. When they are just playing a song and everything aligns and I can just sit in the back and worship my God along with them...it's a special time that I am very grateful for.

Christ's Resurrection Power Available Any Day

Easter, the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, is the high, holy day of the Church Triumphant.  This day seems like the culmination of God’s plan, and yet it is really the beginning of a new age which pulls the past up to it and leaps ahead making the future submit.  But this glorious day in which we delight also impacts our present day life in marvelous ways.

In Paul’s prayer request for the believers in Ephesus (Ephesians 1:17-23), he asks God the Father for the Holy Spirit to “open their eyes of their hearts” (this is heart knowledge, which includes the mind, but takes it to a more experiential place in our lives).  He wants them to know the Hope and Inheritance that believers have in Christ.  The third nugget of illumination is found in verses 19 – 20:

…and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places...

Have you ever wondered about how much strength was required to raise Jesus from the dead?  I have a theory that may or may not accord with what actually happened.  If I was Satan, I would have called in every demon from earth and heaven to Golgotha to stop the predicted resurrection.  (Side note: If true, I wonder if every other place in the world that Sunday experienced an amazing blissful day without demons?)  Maybe this is how God, in one fell swoop, “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in [Christ] (Col 2:15).”  The point remains that at the resurrection, God defeated the demonic, evil, death, and sin.

Christ Triumphant over Sin & Death, Peter Paul Rubens (& Workshop). Columbus Museum of Art

In a recent trip to the Columbus Museum of Art I was struck with this painting by Peter Paul Rubens called “Christ Triumphant Over Sin and Death” (about 1615-1620).  These iconic paintings were meant to communicate spiritual ideals to a largely illiterate people.  Jesus is depicted here, not as a pathetic, beaten figure on the cross, but as powerful, in spite of His visible wounds, as He rises from the grave.  One cherub worships Him with what I believe is a palm branch. The other, after removing the shameful crown of thorns, is placing a victor’s laurel on His head.  Jesus is holding a standard to signify a sovereign is present, as well a rallying point for His army that He is not defeated, but rather victorious.  This victory is best seen by His left foot crushing both the serpent (representing Satan and Sin) and the skull (representing Adam’s sin which brought Death).  The fires of Hell cannot reach Him.  While this painting gives a vivid picture of the victorious Resurrected Christ, it pales in comparison to how He currently exists (e.g., Revelation 1:12-17). 

When the Monday after Easter is upon us, we desperately need to remember that there is a power available to those of us who believe in Christ as our only Savior and Lord.  This power is working in us to conform us to the Son (Rom 8:29-34).  God’s might has made us more than conquerors in Christ Jesus so that nothing can separate us from His love (Rom. 8:37-39).  The power is released in our lives through humility, like Christ’s example, and our acknowledged weakness (2Cor. 12:5-10).  So we live in light of Easter as Paul later instructed the Ephesus faithful, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might (Eph. 6:10).”

Snapshot

Pastor Dave Pound

Almost every year that I've been at CFC, Pastor Mike has given me the honor of speaking on Good Friday. It is something I look forward to all year as a time to prepare our hearts for Easter Sunday by recognizing what it took to give us our Salvation.

A few years ago God gave me the idea to buy huge nails like the ones used in crucifixion and hand one out to everyone on Good Friday. Other years, Pastor Mike has had people write down a sin they needed to confess and literally nail it to a life-sized wooden cross. Yet it is the stark contrast of Palm Sunday, today, that makes Good Friday so hard to understand.

On Palm Sunday, the people believed in Jesus.

On Palm Sunday, the people worshiped God for bringing Jesus.

On Palm Sunday, Jesus was seen as the King of Israel.

In John 12, the people shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.!” Yet in only five days, these same people would shout "Crucify him, crucify him." Today, we worship Jesus as the Risen King, but I want to invite you to our Good Friday service this Friday at noon to worship Him for what it took to get there.

Snapshot

Anonymous Greeter

I have always been blessed by being greeted at the door by a friendly face.  Eventually I was asked to help fill in one day

Do you know whats better than being greeted?  Its even MORE of a blessing to greet all of you on your way in.  The parents herding their kids, the youth walking into things texting, but most of all seeing the family God has created here come together to worship Him and share our successes, trials, and lives with. 

As you may have heard about this place, God made us a family, and it is a great blessing to welcome you all home every week. 

Snapshot

Dan Rohrs    

Because of the confidential nature of the Benevolence Ministry, I had to keep much of the Snapshot fairly general, so I hope that all who read it will understand the heart behind it.

About 15 years ago I was asked to administrate the Benevolence Ministry, which has been a blessing to many individuals and families within Christian Fellowship Church and outside  of our church family as well.  The Benevolence Ministry was established to assist families and individuals who have fallen on difficult financial times through job loss, medical calamity, or other life-issues that cause a financial crisis.  

Over the years, the Benevolence Ministry has paid utility bills, rent, car repairs, and other necessities in our modern-day society that have allowed a family or an individual to have some relief from the stresses of overdue bills, not having enough money to feed a family, or not having the capabilities to get to work.  In addition to financial assistance the Benevolence Ministry has accepted cars that have been donated, and given them to those in need so that they could have a way to get to work.  

The general philosophy of the Benevolence Ministry is to show the heart of Jesus by demonstrating compassion to those who need compassion and by fulfilling Jesus’ second commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Snapshot

Prayer Chain

The prayer chain has been instrumental in our life.

In 2009 a mid life crisis threatened to destroy an entire family. Kids, & grandkids and wife would be affected. It shook our world.

But God had other plans. The prayer chain prayed, the church as a whole prayed, friends and family prayed, the churches of friends and families prayed. The prayer was for a penitent heart, a heart that would return to the Lord and the heart of the home and family. I can't explain what it feels like to go through a heartache like this and still have peace and joy.

In amongst the tears and feelings of rejection, was a deep sense of love and security that only an intimately acquainted God could provide. He was my husband, because I was husbandless  at this time. Little by little God was winning his heart back to me, our kids and grandchildren and most importantly his faith in Christ.

Prayer is a vital key in the changing of hearts and minds it unleashes the power of God. We don't have because we don't ask. Imagine what God would do if we just asked.  The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 

- Anonymous

 

Snapshot

Trillion Richter

“Lord, please give me your words and wisdom to speak into the hearts of these youth.” This is one of my “quiver prayers” as I prepare myself before Sundays with the youth, but especially before retreats. I have always felt I lack the right skills to be a leader in the youth. Yes, I’m a teacher by profession and love working and fellowshipping with the youth, but the idea of praying over them and helping them wade through their spiritual walk intimidates me. I’ve never been great at memorizing scripture and feel like I never can know enough to offer words of wisdom. But I’m always reminded by God that where I feel weak, he can make me strong and use me.

Last weekend’s retreat was the fourth winter youth retreat for Barrett and me. When thinking about joining on this retreat a few months ago, we initially thought that since I am seven months pregnant and insanely busy this might be the year to stay home. I selfishly wanted a relaxing weekend and a nice Valentine’s date. On the other hand, the youth retreats are always an amazing time to connect with the students and with God, and this might be the last retreat that we can both go on together for a few years - I’ve heard having a child changes things :) After discussing and praying about it, Barrett and I both felt at peace and excited about going.

These retreats never disappoint! God shows up and moves in the hearts of the students and the leaders. It’s amazing to see the spiritual growth and development in each of the students. We feel blessed to have gotten to see this growth first hand over the last few years. This group is tight knit, and they continue to surprise us with their willingness to openly share their struggles, questions, and desires to grow close to God. The high schoolers set the tone and create an environment where even the youngest of the group feels at ease asking questions and sharing their thoughts. I wish I could do a better job of describing the feeling you get on these retreats. Experiencing it first hand is the only way to do it justice.

This year a big question that kept coming up in our small group sessions up was, “how do I keep this mountaintop connection with God all the time?” What a great question to hear! Not only does it show how connected to God they feel on the retreats, but also the desire each has to continue to grow and “feed” themselves everyday. What great hearts for God our youth display.

When we get home, we are physically drained, but spiritually full. I encourage each of you to pray that the students can continue to seek and grow a close relationship with God and praise Him for all he has done with our small but mighty CFC youth.