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.

Snapshot

Lisa Gangloff

Oh, where to begin with all of the blessings I have received working with and being in charge of the infant and toddler rooms at CFC!

I absolutely love kids, so when I first came to CFC, and was asked to work in the nursery with the babies, I was so excited. I won't go into the long story but I have always loved children since I was old enough to babysit. I always wanted to have 4 children when I got married. Unfortunately, I was told I only had about a 10% chance of getting pregnant. God definitely had different plans for me because after trying for several years (like 7) and then giving up on the fertility treatments, I finally got pregnant and had my son Noah on April 24, 2001.

Unfortunately 2 years later my marriage ended, but I am so grateful for my miracle baby Noah who is now 14 1/2 years old. I would not trade him for anything in the world. God is so awesome and although I could not have any more children of my own, I am so blessed to be able to take care of and watch children of CFC families starting from infants and then seeing them blossom and grow into the wonderful children they are.

I think God knew that I would love the children at CFC and treat them like my own. I have a few families that I have had all of their children in the nursery and that just touches my heart to be able to see how each of them have their own special personalities and they are all so loving and learning about our wonderful God. I cherish each and every moment that I get to spend with them. Working in the infant and toddler rooms has truly been a blessing for me because I can still love and spend time with so many wonderful children. There have been times when I woke up in not so happy a mood and as soon as I get to the infant or toddler room my mood has changed to being happy just from seeing the kids. They truly have changed my life for the better. I also love that I can give the parents a break to go in and worship our wonderful God.

Snapshot

Brian Young

Several years ago, Barry Cook began talking about a prison ministry he had become involved with called Kairos.  Having spent almost 30 years in law enforcement, I was very interested in the idea of going into prisons to minister to the inmates (we call them “residents”) and sharing the love of Jesus with them.  After coming up with excuses not to get involved, I finally agreed to attend what they call a Closing Ceremony, which is basically a graduation ceremony from a Kairos weekend.

After seeing the way the residents spoke of the impact the Kairos weekend had had on them, I knew I had to get involved.  I volunteered for the next Kairos weekend (the group we are with has weekends at North Central Correctional Complex in Marion in early spring and fall).  I had to attend six weeks of team meetings where we not only learned what we would be doing once we got inside the prison, but where we grew together as a team.  Even if we had never gone inside the prison, those meetings were a blessing in themselves!

Some might wonder why anyone – especially a retired police officer – would take the time and effort to minister to prisoners (it definitely is a commitment in time and is a taxing weekend).  After all, these guys are in prison because they deserve to be.  They are criminals; the lowest of the low, preying on the weak and vulnerable in society.  The world is better off without them!

But thankfully, the Lord has been working on me for the past several years and has helped me to see that the only difference between me and the guys on the inside is that their sins are illegal; mine aren’t.  I just happen to engage in sins that the world has deemed “acceptable”.  But in God’s eyes, my sins are every bit as bad as the murderer, the rapist or the robber.

We all have violated the rules of a holy and righteous God, and we all are deserving of nothing except His eternal wrath.  But for whatever reason, God determined some 40 years ago to save me from His wrath.  As a result, He has also given me a new heart for these residents and helped me to see that they are in need of His love and forgiveness – and just as undeserving of it – as I was.  Through Kairos, God has allowed me to witness His transforming power in the lives of people that many – including their families – have written off as worthless.

Not everyone has been called to go inside, and it isn’t for everyone.  But everyone can be a part of this amazing ministry.  In order for us to put on a Kairos weekend, we need approximately $200 per man to cover the costs of food and supplies.  We also need cookies; lots and lots of cookies!  Each Kairos volunteer is expected to provide 200 dozen cookies.  On every Kairos weekend we have been involved with so far, CFC has always come through with both cookies and financial contributions. 

Barry and I can’t tell you how much we appreciate the way you all have opened your hearts to this ministry. We are so thankful for all of your prayers for us and for the guys we meet during the Kairos weekends. And men, know that you are welcome to get involved.     

 

Snapshot

Pastor Dave Pound

I have always really enjoyed how we celebrate Communion as a church body here at CFC. Devoting an entire church service to worshiping and honoring Jesus’ death for our sins has made it a very special time for me.

While I have had the privilege to preach a number of Communion services it has been really fun to add Communion to our Promised Land kids ministry in the last year. Helping kids understand a very deep theological idea gives new meaning to our need for child like faith.

One Sunday, after relating the idea of Communion to a birthday party for the kids to understand the remembrance of Jesus, I could see the wheels in my son Cameron’s head start to spin. The thought of juice being like Jesus’ blood and bread being like his body is weird even for adults, but to my 6 year old boy it didn’t matter how it sounded, he just liked that it was worshiping Jesus. Hearing James DeSantis or Atherton Bunner or my son Cameron talk about that faith in Jesus’ death for our sins always points me back to why this service is so important – that “while we were sill sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).”

Whether you are taking Communion with us or just reading this from your home, take time to spin the wheels in your head as you think about Jesus real blood and actual body being given for you.  Get back to your child like faith and see how your worship will change today.

 

Snapshot

Joanne Leathers

I have attended CFC since 1989. A long time, yes, but with each New Year there seems to be an opportunity to grow more in the Lord. I never grow tired of the family I have at CFC, the messages I hear each Sunday, and the opportunity I have to spend on Thursday nights with many great ladies.

One of many things that is so special about the Women’s Thursday night Bible Study is that I believe each woman there has a deep desire to know the Lord better but often life just interferes with that desire. I know for me I get discouraged, have a down or hard day, am tired, just want to be left alone to have a pity party, or have not done any or all of my study etc., etc., etc.

Anyway, no matter how you feel, what you think you should have done or not done, you are always welcomed back with open arms to the Thursday night bible study. There have been specific studies that I have felt such growth with and other ones I have had a hard heart about and stopped going. It does not matter. You can go back, get involved in what CFC calls a Sunday Plus One Growth Group. As the saying goes, life is not a sprint but a marathon, and as the Lord says, there are new mercies every morning.

Thank you, CFC and the Thursday night ladies, also known as Chica’s, for loving me and accepting me just the way I am as I seek to follow the Lord in this life! I am excited about learning how to put on and use the Armor of God. I am praying I will do the study and come each week, but I know if I don’t reach those self-imposed goals, I am still loved and accepted when I return the next Thursday.

Wow, I think the Lord lead me to the right church!

Snapshot

Sue Oldford

The Food Pantry is a blessing to more people than many of us know. God is surely working through the people of CFC in this ministry. Every time someone gives to the Pantry, someone else receives that gift. Some are people from our church. Some are people from the community. All are people who have a need.

It is such an honor to get to play a part in and witness firsthand the goings on of the Pantry. I want to share with you the happenings of the Food Pantry from October-December 2015.

In those three months, 18 families used the Pantry for 52 visits.  9 of those families were from CFC, and 3 of those used the Pantry for the first time. The other 9 families were from the community. Of those, 4 were first-time users, and have returned one or more times.

Thanks to all from CFC who have donated food and money to keep our Pantry running. Thanks also to ministry leaders Bill and Kim Rothermel for their continued help with shopping, moving the food to the Pantry, and keeping the shelves and freezer in order. I couldn’t serve the families without them.

Some may not know that we started a new relationship with Shadow Lakes Apartments in November. The residents of Shadow Lakes wanted to play a part in providing Thanksgiving meals for families in need.

With donations from CFC and Shadow Lakes, we were able to give out 12 Thanksgiving food boxes. Of those receiving boxes, 6 families were from CFC and 6 were Food Pantry families from the community.

It was a blessing to pass out the boxes. When I asked one of the moms what they usually did for Thanksgiving, she told me that this was the first one they have ever had. They couldn’t afford a turkey and the fixings before. What a wonderful gift.

WHEN I ASKED ONE OF THE MOMS WHAT THEY USUALLY DID FOR THANKSGIVING, SHE TOLD ME THAT THIS WAS THE FIRST ONE THEY HAVE EVER HAD. 

We’d like to thank the residents from Shadow Lakes Apartments for playing a part in blessing those families. We look forward to continuing our relationship with them and their ongoing contributions of food to our Pantry.

Because of our connections with the families from the Food Pantry, God has enabled us to do some other outreach with them.

Thanks to Carol Torrie and her friends from “New Albany Friends Who Share,” we gave away 10 Christmas boxes of personal items, cake mixes, hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, and small toys. 6 CFC families and 4 Food Pantry families enjoyed the boxes.

During the month of November, God put me in contact with a wonderful woman who has a heart for the families using our Pantry. She works at a thrift store, and wondered if I knew of any needs for good, used, winter clothes for kids. I asked around and one day she showed up in my office with 4 bags full of winter stuff. We were able to provide coats, hats, gloves, boots, and scarves to 4 kids from 3 families. When I was at the Single Moms Group, I asked the moms if any of their kids needed clothes. Our new connection then proceeded to round up jeans and shirts for 6 of their kids.

How fun it is to serve these families.

One of my favorite stories happened in December when a dad from the community asked me if I knew of anywhere they could get a bassinet for his wife’s new baby. She was due in early January. I called my friend at the thrift store and 2 weeks later she showed up with a bassinet and sheets for a tiny new baby. Last week, the dad called so thankful for a healthy baby girl, who is enjoying her bassinet. Mom and Baby are doing well. Once again I was so blessed to be a part of God working at CFC. 

Snapshot

Crystal Headings

Roger, Natalie and I started coming to CFC in the spring of 2000 (the others weren’t born yet).  

No where else have I grown so much in my relationship with the Lord as I have here at CFC.  It was here that I found assurance of salvation; no more fear of losing my salvation. Wow, how freeing that was!  

I’ve been involved in the Women’s Bible Studies for many years and have made many friendships along the way. I have enjoyed both Thursday nights when the kids were very small and then Tuesday mornings once they started school. 

The biggest growth spiritually for me came a number of years ago when I took Pastor Mike’s Discipleship Training class for the first time.  I absolutely loved the class and the course work but most of all, I loved how it opened my eyes and my ears to seeing and hearing the Lord speak to me through His Word.  The Word finally came to life for me. Yay!!  

Do I still struggle being in the Word on a daily basis? Yes!  Do I still struggle hearing Him from time to time? Yes!  I’m constantly reminding myself or maybe it’s the Lord that is reminding me, that no matter what I struggle with, He will always love me.

He is Forever mine and I am Forever His!

Snapshot

Rachel Sinclair

2016 is upon me, and with a new year comes all sorts of excitement. Changes (one might call them resolutions) to better my future. Stability from sticking with what I know in some areas. Hope for what God is going to do in the new year.

As I’ve reflected on what 2015 looked like for me, I’m overwhelmed. God allowed me to start and finish my thesis. I had the pleasure of going on vacation with dear friends. I got to meet the babies of two of my best friends. I’ve already gotten to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens twice (once at 12:45am on opening day). And I got to start working here at the church.

I love working here, and being a part of CFC. From day one, everyone has been so encouraging.

I’ve said before that I didn’t think I would end up back here. I went to a mega church when I lived in Cincinnati. It was a wonderful church, and I was very connected with people my age for a small group, the worship team, the creative planning team for the weekend services, and other areas.

CFC is a small church. That’s one reason I didn’t think I’d be back.

God is using CFC in mighty ways, though. Small doesn’t matter to God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

(I went to look up the reference for this verse on my bible app, and wouldn’t you know, it is the verse of the day as I write this. I love when God does things like that.)

This is such a great verse for the beginning of a new year. With Christ every day is new. I have new mercies shown me every day. I have another opportunity to serve God every day.

Every day.
And every year.

The people on staff at CFC are so wonderful. I love getting to come to work. I actually love having meetings (don’t tell them I said that).

When I was in the throes of my project, I spent more time being stressed and tired than not. Everyone at work was so encouraging about it.

Not a week went by that I wasn’t asked by at least one staff member how my thesis was going. People were genuinely interested. Each time someone asked, and I was able to talk through my progress, God gave me a new fascination with and excitement for my topic and content, and a fresh dose of perseverance and perspective for the task at hand.

When I first came back to CFC, I often felt like a child, because so many people who call CFC home were here when I was a child.

At the Women’s Luncheon last spring, I was at a table of women I call Oldies But Goodies – not because they are old, but because they are part of the CFC of my childhood. One of the women asked me, “What is it like to be back here as an adult?” I started to give a very insightful answer about how I’ve grown up, become a whole different person, and enjoy being back as an adult. Before I knew it, though, the conversation had taken an unforeseen turn.

The women all started to tell stories about times they’d babysat me, changed my diaper, and watched me throw temper tantrums when I was a youngster.

“Well, now I don’t feel like an adult.”

I’ve thought about that conversation a lot. I giggle every time. But I also seriously reflect each time. I am the same girl they babysat. I still throw temper tantrums. I still need to be watched over. I still need someone to tell me to “get it together already” (not that any of the women ever said that to me).

That is why Christ makes me new every day. I need to be a new creation, because I can’t get it together on my own. Working at CFC and going here have helped remind me of that.

Every day is a new day. Every year is a new year. I am excited to see how God moves this year, and what He does in and through CFC.

 

 

Snapshot

Dave and Nikki Hampson

Infertility. Who knew one word would define a marriage for such a long time? After five years’ of marriage, David and I decided that we wanted to start our family.  We tried for over two years with no success and no explanation from the doctors as to why.  We both struggled mightily with God and ourselves as to why we couldn’t get pregnant, the emotions ranging from sorrow to anger. It was the Spring of 2012 and we had been attending CFC regularly for almost four years.  David was participating in a Discipleship training, reading through the book of Romans.  He was led to

Romans 8:15: “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship…”

After praying on this verse, David knew that we were supposed to adopt a child.  During this same time, I felt God urging me to quit all of the fertility medication and go the adoption route instead. Adoption is strong in both of our families and we had always talked about adopting a child sometime in the future, after we had biological children. 

God was definitely re-arranging our plans.  

After talking about it and praying for clarification, we both agreed to follow God’s direction even though we had no idea how to start the process. A week later, my mother-in-law called; she had met with a former co-worker for lunch and somehow adopting children came up. Her co-worker mentioned she knew a family who had adopted two children through an Ohio agency and she was willing to pass their names so we could meet with them. That meeting only confirmed our feelings and we met with the recommended agency in the next couple of weeks – we were ready to go!  A mere three months later, we had taken all the required state classes, completed all the paperwork, and had our homestudy approved.  It’s only because of God that the process went so smoothly.  Two weeks later we were preparing to go on our summer vacation when we received a call that a birth mother wanted to meet with us.  After that meeting, she indicated she wanted to place her baby girl with us, not even meeting with another family.  Through the long months of waiting, we always had a peace that we were following God’s plan and even through some rocky times, we didn’t question that we would be given this baby.  Our young adult bible study gave us continual support and prayer, which really helped through this time.  Almost nine months to the day that we started this process, Grace Lynn Hampson was born.  Her birthday is in the middle of December, so she will always be our Christmas miracle, the most special gift that God has given us.