On Good Friday

It’s Good Friday, and the journey to the cross has ended abruptly.

These guys who called themselves disciples had given up everything and put their lives on hold to follow this Jesus. He was God – he was invincible. He was sent to save the world. That kind of story had to have a happy ending. And so even when the story started to go off the rails, I have to think that they convinced themselves deep down that everything was going to be okay – even when Jesus got arrested, and beaten, and mocked. Maybe even when he was walking up the hill with his cross. Maybe even right up to the very end.  Because the story wasn’t supposed to end this way.

Has life ever jerked the floor right out from under you?


We lose people we shouldn’t have to live without. We get unspeakable diagnoses. Marriages crumble, and families disintegrate. People fall apart. The story ends all wrong.

Our CF family has experienced staggering losses.  Moments where the story has come to a scraping halt in the wrong place. It can’t end this way – it just can’t. The story ends all wrong.


There’s always a good long pause after dynamics of a person’s life are completely shifted. Days that feel like they go on for years, and nights that last even longer. Three days must have felt like an eternity. What was left for them? Their Jesus – the superhero revolutionary God-man on whom they’d hung all their hopes and with whom they’d set out to change the world – he was just gone. How are you supposed to deal with something like that?

And so they waited and gathered and grieved. Because that’s what we do, in the face of great loss. We hug and cry and say awkward things that too often start with “well at least…” and we bring food and we try to love each other more and better, because what else is there to do?

We have an advantage over the disciples because we know the ending of the Jesus story. We know there is a happy ending after all. We know that they only have to wait three days before this sad story comes untrue. And we know they get their Jesus back and he puts everything to rights and sets them on a path of purpose. Despite this advantage, we know exactly where the disciples were – hopeless, sitting in their pain and waiting. This part of the story stings, because it feels all too familiar and a little too close to home.

On this Good Friday, let’s take a pause in the dark part of the story. Jesus is gone. The world is in the middle of skipping a beat. There’s burying and gathering and waiting. Hope died with the one who was supposed to save the world. There’s nothing left to do but wait.

For hope. For Sunday. For everything to be made right.

Wait for it.

Faye Antezana
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Our Place in a Hurting World

The world seems off kilter right now doesn’t it? Like someone nudged its axis just enough to set it spinning all wobbly, like a bicycle with a bent wheel. Major hurricanes, mass murders, racial tension, political nonsense, and important people dying – it’s enough to put everyone on edge.


And in case waking up to tragic news isn’t enough, social media has become an outlet for everyone – from your favorite restaurant, to the celebrity you follow for no apparent reason, to your childhood friend’s mom (why is she a Facebook friend again?) – to share their thoughts, condemnation, emotional outbursts, and articles explaining why your opinion on the matter is wrong or why you should be doing more. It all just becomes too much, doesn’t it? The fire hose of information and outrage and important but depressing news updates can leave you feeling half drowned and bracing for the next inevitable impact.

In times like these, faith or religion can seem a little bit abstract. Sometimes it feels like a nice thing that isn’t too much help in the practical day-to-day messy hard stuff of life.

“Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.” (James 1:27)

What if the answer is to roll up our sleeves, and get to work? Maybe the world’s problems are too big for us to solve. But maybe, if we who call ourselves “Jesus people” just quietly went to work, we’d see an impact. And maybe that impact would spread. And maybe, just maybe, we’d see the world change a little.

The world is hurting. Portsmouth is hurting. Our neighbors are hurting. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. “Reach out to the homeless and the loveless in their plight…”

  • We’re packing care packages and volunteering for Portsmouth’s Homeless Assist Day to show some love to the homeless in our city.
  • We’re baking more than 100 dozen cookies and taking a road trip to prison with Kairos to love the forgotten and unlovable.
  • And because we’re a family, we’re having a birthday party. Because families gather for holidays and birthdays, to have fun and to celebrate that life is still beautiful, even when the world is a little wrecked. Invite your neighbors. They’re probably hurting too.

It can be tempting to check out and zone out and curl up into an emotional ball. Don’t give in. Take your outrage and your sadness and your big, exhausted feelings and turn them into action. We can’t fix everything, but we follow the Jesus who can. And he’s calling us to turn our faith into action.

– Faye A.

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An Insider Perspective on Serving

Anytime you throw a party, most people show up on time or 10 minutes fashionably late.  But there are always a few who show up early – the sisters and best friends who show up early to finish the cleaning or the chopping or to answer the door.  They’re the ones who know where you keep the extra serving spoons and toilet paper, and who run to the store for napkins 5 minutes before the party starts because you ran out and forgot to buy more.  The ones who linger to clean up and chat after everyone else leaves.  These are the people who make throwing parties fun instead of just stressful.  The ones who make a group of friends a family.
This Sunday, I found myself at CF’s venue a few hours early, watching the body of Christ waking up, stretching, opening the curtains, making the coffee and getting ready to throw a party.  One by one, people trickled in to the building a few hours before service, rolled up their sleeves and went to work.  Tidying, practicing music, laying out kids’ craft materials, mixing sound, adjusting lights, laying out communion elements, making pancakes, and stationing themselves by the door – a self-appointed welcoming committee – to greet churchgoers with a warm hug and a gesture toward the coffee.  These are the people who make our Sunday morning gatherings a party instead of a stressful obligation.  The ones who make a group of Jesus people into a family.
It’s easy to attend church, just like it’s easy to attend parties.  But if you never do more than attend, you’ll find yourself missing the most important parts.  The connection of coming together with the other parts of the body of Christ to roll up our sleeves and serve one another.  It may seem a small thing, volunteering to clean the building or teach kids.  And perhaps in the grand scheme of things, it is a small thing – like showing up early to your best friend’s party.  Small things build great things, like friendships and ministries and churches who impact communities.
Join us.  Sign up HERE!
CF is for lovers!
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Getting Plugged In

As a guitarist I used to play a lot of gigs in a former life. I had a trademark… I would plug in the power supply to my amplifier, connect all my effects pedals, plug in my guitar, tune up and like clockwork I wouldn’t get any sound to come out of my amp. Why? Because I always forgot to plug my guitar into the amp. No matter how many other things I did, sound will not come out of my amp if I don’t get plugged in. It became a joke with the guys I use to play with, they expected it.

Things happen when you get plugged in. 


We believe getting plugged in is crucial for our church too. The truth is Christ’s Fellowship doesn’t exist without so many people serving. We’ve been so blessed to have a number of volunteers and volunteer leaders to hold so many things together. As we look to the future and continue impacting our world for Christ. Things happen when you get plugged in by serving.

  1. You are allowing yourself, your time, abilities to be used by God for His glory.
  2. You are joining in with the body to help people love God, love people and impact our world for Christ. We are in this together.

In the Bible, Paul is talking about the Church and compares it to a body.

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body,so it is with Christ.” 1 Corinthian 12:12

We are many people with different talents, different personalities and different God given gifts that can be used for His glory and impacting this world.

Here are the ministries that we are trying to get more people plugged in to.

  • CF Kid’s- teach or assist with our elementary and younger kids
  • CF Students- teach or assist with our 6th-12th graders
  • Tech Team- run lights, sound, or our presentation computer
  • Home Team- Help peolple have a great experience by making coffee, greeting, holding doors, directing traffic and helping with info.
  • Facilities Team- regular cleaning crew, maintenance, repairs
  • Prayer Team- meets first Tuesdays for group prayer, pray regularly for submitted prayer requests

You can sign-up online HERE or you can sign up in the Lobby on Sunday. Let me challenge you to ‘try it out’. We’d love to help get you plugged in. Things happen when you get plugged in.

CF is for lovers!



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What’s Next for CF’s Worship?

We had an incredible Sunday last week as we joined together to ‘love God’. Most of you know this but we said ‘bye’ to Mike and Erin Twine as it was Mike’s last Sunday as our worship minister. It is a big transition for CF and some of you have asked ‘what’s next for CF?’ or at least you are wondering that.

At Christ’s Fellowship, one of the things we’ve always valued is having quality music for our worship time. The truth is, when ‘unchurched’ people come through our doors, one of the first things they will experience is our worship team, so we want it to be good.   It’s a huge first impression that helps open the door for who CF is, and more importantly for who God is. We want people to connect with the music so they will connect with the message of the music. Mike has done a great job with that.


So what is next for CF? For the next season our worship ministry is being held together by several volunteers that have stepped up. I can tell you this, God has provided us with a number of talented people who have the ability and passion to lead others in worship. I can also tell you this, for some of them this is a step of faith. Stepping up to be used by God in new ways is often scary and takes us out of our comfort zone.

On Sundays for this next season of church life you will experience familiar faces taking the helm to help lead us in worshipping our God together.

Even through transitions and change, we hold to making those great first impressions to those who are ‘checking church out’, and creating experiences for us to grow in our love for God.

Remember this Sunday we have one service at 10:10am. I want to remind you committed people to take the worst parking (on the far side of the building), and take the least popular seats (up front) to make room for our guests so they can have a good experience and more importantly a God experience. As Jesus said about himself,

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10

We want to join Jesus in that rescue mission by pointing people towards Jesus. Everything you do helps impact someone else’s experience.

CF is for lovers!


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8 Ways To ‘get your serve on’ at CF

Christ’s Fellowship is kept running by so many people who serve. Serving doesn’t have to be daunting or draining, it can be fun but most importantly you can help CF point people towards Jesus.

While we are always looking for people to serve in every area, here are some new opportunities as well as some much needed areas:

1) Wear a neon vest and help park cars. People’s experience starts the second they pull on our property, and we want them to have a good experience… and we don’t want anyone to get run over.

2) Be a Teachers Assistant in our Lower Elementary Class. While the risk is great, the reward is greater. Help point our kids towards Jesus.

3) Be a teachers assistant for our 2-3 year old class on Sunday mornings. Again great risk, great reward.

4) Make Coffee as part of our Hospitality team. If you really need people to love you then this is a job for you.

5) Come in the office on Thursday or Friday to get the bulletins ready for Sunday. 

6) Take pictures and/or videos at events, activities and baptisms. Are you gifted or passionate about this? We’d love for you to help capture some of these moments and help us in sharing these moments.

7) Make sure the building is clean for our Sunday services. Join a team of 2-3 people and your group will be in the monthly rotation.

8) Greeting people and holding the door for people who are coming in and out of church. Warning: someone might give you a hug.

If you are able and interested to start serving in any of these areas (or other areas), please contact me at: aaron@cfisforlovers and I’d love to get you connected.

Loving God. Loving People. Impacting the world for Christ.

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Impact the World- a 40 Day Bible reading plan for 2015

Let’s make 2015 the best year yet! As believers, staying in God’s Word is incredibly important. Join in with CF and allow God to work IN you so he can work THROUGH you. Let’s impact our world for Christ!

2015 40dayplan


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Why You Should be at CF this Mother’s Day

Mothers Daycf


This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and here is why you should be at CF:

1) It’s a great way to honor our moms: literally without them we wouldn’t be here 🙂

2) We are continuing our series ‘Identity Theft’ and I can’t wait for this message.

3) It’s a great time to invite somebody or whole families who aren’t part of church.

4) We celebrate mom’s CF style… which is pretty awesome. You’ll have to be there…don’t be late 😉

CF is for lovers!



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#CFselfies #allyouneedtoknow

As you know we like to have fun. Christ’s Fellowship is doing a 5 week series called ‘Identity Theft’ through the book of Ephesians from April 27th-May 25th. During this series we are having a ‘CF selfie’ contest to go along with our ‘Identity’ theme.

In case you haven’t used technology for the past 5 years a ‘selfie’ is a picture taken of you…by you. We are going for funny, creative, cute, epic…whatever. The only rules are: it has to be a selfie,  no ‘duck face’, and no slutty selfies (should be a given right).

#CFselfies #softtacoselfie #almostlostafinger

#CFselfies #softtacoselfie #almostlostafinger

Just upload your selfie(s) to CF’s Facebook or Twitter (both cfisforlovers) with the hashtag #CFselfies, or you can email a pic to aaron@cfisforlovers. Bonus points for fun hashtags.

May 16th is the entry deadline, and they will be narrowed down and voted on Sunday May 18th.

As we close out our series on May 25th our winners will be named.

1st prize: $100 Lowe’s gift card

2nd prize: $50 Lowe’s gift card

3rd prize: a hug or a high five

CF is for lovers…of selfies


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Hey Christ’s Fellowship, stay safe during the Snowpocalypse! If you’re out from work, school, or whatever it is you normally do on a week day: Take video of yourself doing one of these and tag us on Facebook or send an email to aaron@cfisforlovers.com. We’ll repost them and maybe even show it on Sunday!

Top 10 Things To Do During Snowpocalypse 2014

10: Instead of angels, make snow cupids, in your shorts.

09: Make a snow man, with dad in the center & his head sticking out saying, “I just love the snowpocalypse!”

08: Have a snowball fight with yourself… and lose.

07. Make a snow fort and crush it like a bad godzilla movie (bad voice overs included)

06: Build a wall of snow and break through it like the guys coming thru the tunnel at the super bowl yelling, “OMAHA!!!”

05: Set up a lemonade stand in your summer clothes and get your neighbors to buy some.

04: Get our your old boogie board and use the snow to give us your best Point Break, Johnny Utah impression on the snow waves.

03: Build the tallest snowman in the history of two inches of snowfall and tackle it like a linebacker!

02: Grab some friends and do a flashmob in someone’s lawn to “Roar” by Katy Perry. 

01: Get your mom & dad to dance in the snow in their summer gear singing, “Summer Lovin'” from Grease. 

Don’t forget, tag CF in your post or email your video. BE SAFE AND HAVE FUN!


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