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Welcome to the firstChristian E-Newsletter!

If you are reading this, it means you are on your way to learning more about upcoming events and getting up close and personal with all the things happening within the FCC family. Be sure to check out this week’s blog post and other vital information to stay connected.

Join us Sunday as we continue our sermon series which takes a deeper look into the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah is a dramatic story of one man’s faith-fueled response to seeing God’s people and city in a neglected state of disrepair. God providentially protects and provides as His people are stirred to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, and in the process are rebuilt themselves. 
Walking in my Chacos:
RC Truck, No Batteries

Before I had kids, I remember wondering how my parents knew what I wanted for Christmas. They didn’t read my letter to Santa, so there had to be another explanation. My dad laughed when I asked him and said, “Son, we didn’t need the letter because you told us every day for 2 months.”  Well, that rang true this year as we knew exactly what our 4-year-old son, Elijah, wanted… a remote-controlled monster truck.  He was absolutely set that this would be what would make this Christmas, “the best Christmas ever!” Sure enough, when he finally unwrapped the big box that we had cruelly saved until the end he was ecstatic.  

As complete as Elijah now thought his life was, with his remote-controlled monster truck in hand, there was still a key item missing… batteries.  Sure, he could have some fun with a remote controlled truck without batteries. He could still push it around the floor on hands and knees and make the sounds of the engine with his voice, but he’d always be left with some disappointment knowing that it would be better if he only had batteries. 

When I look around, it saddens me to see a lot of people living life without batteries. I see people (both Christ followers and those who aren’t yet), who are trying to create heaven on earth. They fight to gain the “good things of life”: wealth, adventures, family, comfort, beauty, but are left with uneasy emptiness. An emptiness which reveals that theses things which were meant to make life complete, aren't doing the trick. Why? Because they’re missing the batteries, they’re missing God. 

When I hear people discuss what heaven will be like, I hear them describe fishing ponds, streets of gold, beautiful scenery, seeing deceased loved ones, or perfect vision and a six-pack, etc. But what they don't mention is being with God. It’s being in God’s presence and hearing him tell you that “you are very good” (Genesis 1:31). It’s looking into the eyes of Jesus and seeing the compassion that led him to die on a cross (Isaiah 25:8). It’s seeing the power of God in full and realizing the depths of His faithfulness. It’s joining in the celebration with all of heaven when someone accepts Jesus (Luke 15:10). Because in all reality, heaven without God isn’t heaven at all. 

We can experience heaven on earth, but it doesn’t come from good things or good people. Heaven on earth comes from experiencing them in a relationship with the God who gives “every good and perfect gift” (James 1:17).  

Because who wants a remote-controlled monster truck without batteries. 

For HIS glory,

Greg Springer

You can view this and other blog posts on our website here. 

Click here to see a complete list of happenings.
Small groups are one of the Big Four of firstChristian. We want everyone to be a part of a small group to:
  • Keep the Conversation Going – small groups are a great way to talk about what you heard on Sunday morning and apply it to your life

  • Build Community – small groups are a place to develop meaningful connections with other people and care for each other 

  • Impact our Communities – small groups provide opportunities to serve others, invite new faces, and transform lives

    Small groups start up again January 29. 
     
    Sign up on Sunday at the Connection Center!

    Women's Bible Study
    Rejection often finds its way into our hearts at an early age. In Uninvited , Lysa TerKeurst gives concrete truths to combat the Enemy’s lies; you are handpicked by God. Study begins on Monday, January 23rd at 9 a.m. and due to our most recent snow storm our Tuesday study will begin January 31st at 6:30 p.m. 

    Study book cost is $9. 

    Contact Chris McKibbon at 379-4596 (evenings) or cmckib@telebeep.com to register.
    On Sunday, January 29, parents and kiddos have the opportunity to worship together at both the 9:15 and 11 AM services as part of Family 5th Sunday!
     
    K-12th Students: Students in grades K-12 will have the opportunity to worship with their families during the entire main service.

    Preschool 4's & 5's: Preschool children ages 4-5 will join their families for worship in the main service and be dismissed after communion for Children's Church.

    Nursery, 2's & 3's: Children ages birth through 3 years will have regular programming during both of our services.

    Family JAM- Date Night Challenge
    Our Family JAM Date Night Challenge is designed for married people wanting a little time to reconnect. We make it easy for couples to do what sometimes seems impossible: make time for each other to have a little fun. We want couples to have time to be with each other and only each other through this guided date night. Only catch: we want parents to complete the date night challenge, too. We promise it will be fun! Date Night challenge cards will be distributed that night. Childcare will be provided for infants and toddlers. Kids programming will be provided for Preschool - 6th grade. 

    Wednesday  |  February 1  |  6pm
    Drop in the Bucket 
      Drop In the Bucket takes place on the first Sunday of every month. The people of firstChristian have the opportunity to anonymously give to people in need by dropping change or dollars into buckets around the church. Each month we give whatever is collected to someone in need as God directs.  


    Happening next Sunday | 2.05.17   
    Winter Jam -  4th & 5th Grade
    Winter JAM is a weekend retreat designed specifically for 4th-5th graders to help them grow in their relationship with God and others. This event provides a great opportunity for students to get to know each other better as well as meet students from other Nebraska churches. This year’s theme is “I AM”. We will spend the weekend digging deeper into what Jesus meant when he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Students will also be challenged to see who they really are in Christ and to live that out every day.

    Registration Deadline: 2/5/17

    Register online

    February 24th – 26th  |  Cost $48
    Boys II Men
    Join us for this year's Boys 2 Men father/son weekend. Activities, teaching topics, worship, conversations, competitions,  lots of shotguns, lots of bacon, incredible snoring, and essential time with each other. $110 per father/son, and $40 per additional child. This is specifically for Jr/Sr High students and their dads.

    Registration Deadline: 2/26
     
    Contact Marshal Hardy through facebook, email (marshal@fcnorfolk.org), or even face to face, to get registered.

    Dates to Know
    1.29-2.4 Small Groups Kick-Off
    1.29 Family Sunday
    2.1 Family JAM
    2.5 Drop in the Bucket
    2.5 Winter JAM (deadline)
    2.19 Serve Somewhere Sunday
    2.26 Boys II Men (deadline)  

    In Other News...
    Office Personnel Update
      As everyone may know, we have been very blessed to have wonderful volunteers to help us in the office during our transition period and it is our pleasure to introduce Sarah Bauermeister our newest part-time Administrative Assistant that will be in the office in the afternoons.  Please feel free to stop by the office and give her a welcoming hello and introduce yourself.

    Congratulations

    Addison Cassity  was baptized at first Christian  on January 8th during Sunday Evening FUEL.

    Congratulations and welcome to the first Christian  family.

    We are celebrating with you! 

    Stay Connected
    If you missed Sunday's video announcements or last week's newsletter, you can view them on our website at fcnorfolk.org/news.
    Missions Update: Miyazaki Bible House

    Miyazaki Bible House is a ministry led by Al and Rhonda Juve in Japan that reaches out to college students through Miyazaki International Christian Fellowship (MICF). They also have ministries through English and Bible classes for children and high schoolers, prison outreach, community outreach, and mentoring/discipleship/prayer meetings with several individuals.  

    Al and Rhonda write,

    "We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love, prayers, and support in 2016. What God is doing here in Miyazaki is a direct result of what you are doing to support our mission work. 

    Last year, we focused on making new contacts, planning extra outreach events, and sharing with people our joy in the Lord. God blessed us to meet many people in our new neighborhood, as well as friends and co-workers of the Bible study members. As we prayed about our theme for 2017, God confirmed that we now need to focus on following up and teaching these new contacts, along with mentoring the young international Christians attending the MICF Bible study. 

    Our MICF theme for 2017 is Pass It On, taken from I Corinthians 15:3-4. It has many applications, from evangelism to discipleship. We will continue to have outreach events, but plan to put more emphasis on teaching and training."

    Please pray for Al, Rhonda, and other leaders as they carry out the mission God has given to them in the coming year. Praise God for the record number of people attending several special Christmas outreach events and for the Gospel message being proclaimed. You can give to help finance the Juve's mission work in Japan by designating your gift on an offering envelope.

     

    Find out more about the various aspects of the Juve's ministry by visiting www.miyazakibiblehouse.wordpress.com 

    If you would like to read the full Miyazaki Bible House Report, please stop by our front office and pick up a monthly newsletter from the Missions Wall.

    January Song of the Month
    This We Know by Vertical Church Band

    I love Ephesians 6:10-20. It’s entitled “The Whole Armor of God” in the NIV. You might have heard it before (I would encourage you to take a moment right now and read it). Paul writes that we need to remember our battle is “not against flesh and blood”, but against the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”. In light of this, Paul says we need a different set of weapons, not earthly ones like swords and shields, but spiritual ones: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, the word of God. If we forget who we are fighting (the Devil himself, not people), we resort to human ways, which often lead to destruction instead of advancing God’s Kingdom.  It’s important for us to remember what God told us through Isaiah, “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways God’s ways.” (Isaiah 55:8) This We Know is a song of declaration, giving us an opportunity to remind ourselves of God’s role in our lives and providing us an opportunity to renew and declare our trust and obedience to Him and His ways.

    Click here  to browse FCC's Worship Sets.
    In Case You Missed Sunday...
     We know life gets busy, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on Sunday Mornings at first Christian . All of our sermons are available online on our website, fcnorfolk.org. On the website, you are also able to keep the conversation going with our sermon discussion guides. Parents can also keep the conversation going with their kiddos with the parent cue here. No matter where you are on Sundays, you can always take firstChristian with you. 
    Participation and Giving
    January 22, 2017
     
    Attendance 
    Worship: (323, 300) 623
    Sunday School: 265

    General Fund
    Budgeted weekly: $14,704
    Given: $13,800
    Budgeted ytd: $58,816
    Given ytd: $60,533
     
    Missions
    Given: $1,348
    Given ytd: $7,001
     
    Thrive Vision | Building
    Given: $5,246
    Total given to Thrive: $838,784
    Committed: $1,354,600
     
    Give Online Now!
    first Christian | 402.371.5734 | office@fcnorfolk.org | fcnorfolk.org