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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. 
Growing Orange:
Habits of a Best US

This Spring, Kirk and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage. I know what you are thinking. “Wow! They must have been babies when they got married.” I know! I don’t feel that old. When we got married, we became a unique “US”. We were two unique people with unique personalities, unique histories, unique challenges, and unique needs. Our “US” looks different from your “US”. Our “Us” will have different challenges from your “US”. Your “US” will celebrate different milestones than our “US”. Each couple’s “US” is different in their uniqueness. That is pretty awesome! However, what every couple shares is their need for connection with each other. This connection needs to be nurtured whether you’ve been married 1 year, 20 years or 50 years. Below are four core habits for married couples that we have adapted from the “Married People” curriculum developed by the Rethink Group. Your marital habits either lead to the connection or the disconnection of your “US”. I think you will find that these four habits give you a great start to growing the best “US”. 

Have Serious Fun. We can get so serious with all the “important” things in our lives. But having serious fun is a must for every marriage. When you have fun as a couple, you walk away saying, “We need to do that more,” We like to have fun with our spouse. It’s what we did when we were dating. It’s what made our connection so strong. But now there are some barriers to having fun, and they come in all shapes and sizes. But regardless of the barriers, we can “do that more,” we can make having serious fun a habit. Ask your spouse, “What is one thing we can do this week to have more fun?” 

Love God First. You may be wondering, how is that a habit for our marriage? Isn’t having a better marriage about learning to better interact with your spouse? Yes, but that’s just part of it. Maybe the most important question shouldn’t be what makes your marriage work, but WHO makes your marriage work? When we learn how to live out the answer to that question, it can change everything. Ask your spouse, “What are some ways you personally connect with God?” “What are some ways we can connect with God together?” 

Respect and Love. Every couple has conflict at some point, even if every couple handles it in different ways. And during those times of tension or disagreement are the times when we are most likely to get caught in a pattern, a cycle of lost respect and love. But we can choose to break that cycle when we understand it. Be responsible for your response. Speak love. Ask your spouse, “What is something I can say or do this week that speaks love to you?” 

Practice Your Promise. On our wedding day, we promised our spouse some pretty big things. When your spouse does things that drive you up the wall, that doesn’t work for you. When you do things that drive your spouse up the wall, that doesn’t work for them. To one degree or another, most of us will have a point in our marriage where it’s not working for us. But there is a better question that is powerful for all marriages, “What am I doing personally to make my marriage work?” Live out those big promises in small ways that really matter. Ask your spouse, “What is one thing I can do to make our marriage better in a certain area?” (Money, communication, help, etc.)  

These habits are not the only way to have a great marriage, but they are a great place to start.  Over the next year you will hear us talking more about these four habits and encouraging you to connect deeper to each other on your way to become your best “US”. And, hopefully you will start by joining us for our date night challenge on February 1st. 

Growing Orange Together,
Kristi

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

Click here to see a complete list of happenings.
Dates to Know
2.1 Family JAM
2.5 Drop in the Bucket
2.5 FUEL Small Group Super Bowl Parties 
2.5 Winter JAM (deadline)
2.18 TNT Valentine's Banquet
2.19 Serve Somewhere Sunday
2.26 Boys II Men (deadline)  

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.

On Saturday, January 28th, firstChristian held a FamilyD Celebration Event. Two families made the commitment to raise their children in a Christ-centered home. 
 

Tommy and Alyssa Zegers 
dedicated August (1 month).

Rachel and Darin Zuhlke
dedicated 
Lauren (8 months). 

Congratulations to each of you on your commitment!

  Congratulations

Jose Avila  was baptized at first Christian  on January 22nd at 9:15 am.

Congratulations and welcome to the first Christian  family.

We are celebrating with you! 
Family JAM - Date Night Challenge Tonight! 
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 tonight. 

Childcare will be provided for infants and toddlers. Kids programming will be provided for Preschool - 6th grade. 

Today  |  February 1  |  6pm
   FUEL - Super Bowl Parties
 
T his year, FUEL Students will be having individual small group, Super Bowl parties.  Students will need to bring a yummy food to share and join the rest of their group at the group leader's home. 

If you have any questions, please contact your group leader or Marshal Hardy at marshal@fcnorfolk.org.
  If you would like to join the fun, find out any additional information, or discuss locations, please contact Marshall Hardy through facebook, email (marshal@fcnorfolk.org), or even face to face.
Drop in the Bucket
  D rop 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.  


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 II 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.

Stay Connected
Sunday Announcements
If you missed Sunday's video announcements or last week's newsletter, you can view them on our website at fcnorfolk.org/news.
February Song of the Month
Joy of the Lord by Rend Collective

I got the chance to worship with The Rend Collective in Lincoln, last October.  It was quite the experience.  One of the things I remember most clearly is a thought they gave on the Fruit of the Spirit, in other words, the qualities of Godly character we will see in our lives when we are listening to and following the direction of God’s Holy Spirit within us.  

Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." 

What they said was simple, but rather profound.  “Seriousness is not a fruit of the Spirit, but Joy is.” You can watch their full explanation here. 

This world is trying to steal our Joy in the Lord, deceiving us to mourn, to fret, to lose hope, but Nehemiah reminds the Israelites in Nehemiah 8 that “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” Knowing God’s great power coupled with His great love and joy over us being His children is what will strengthen us and enable us to bring God’s Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Their song, “Joy of the Lord” is just such a song for the occasion, giving us a chance to celebrate remembering that when we celebrate our Joy in the Lord here on earth, we are just preparing ourselves for the eternal celebration in Heaven. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3gLeCiMJqI

for HIS glory, 

~ Greg

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 29, 2017
 
Attendance 
Worship: (412, 325) 737
Sunday School: 157

General Fund
Budgeted weekly: $14,704
Given: $13,946
Budgeted ytd: $73,520
Given ytd: $74,480
 
Missions
Given: $2,202
Given ytd: $9,203
 
Thrive Vision | Building
Given: $2,837
Total given to Thrive: $881,094
Committed: $1,354,600
 
Give Online Now!
first Christian | 402.371.5734 | office@fcnorfolk.org | fcnorfolk.org