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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.

By Your spirit I will rise, From the ashes of defeat. The resurrected king, Is resurrecting me. These words from the song The Resurrecting King tell a story. It is story about a king who himself once was dead and now lives forever. It is a story of those who have tasted death at the heart level and are discovering the life Jesus came to give. It is a story of Jesus resurrecting hope, faith, and purpose. Join us for four weeks beginning this Sunday as we make this story our own. 

In this Newsletter...
Maundy Thursday Service
We hope you join us for our Maundy Thursday service. This is a special communion service where we reflect on Jesus’ last supper with His disciples and the suffering soon to follow. This is a powerful opportunity to prepare our hearts for the Easter weekend. 

Maundy Thursday
Thursday, April 13
6:30 pm
Easter Weekend Services
Join us for our Easter Celebration for dynamic worship and real-life biblical teaching. We have  pro gramming  for children from birth through 4th grade during the 6 p.m., 9:15 a.m., and 11 a.m. services. We hope that these service times will give you and your family a chance to celebrate with us what God has done and to be involved in the many events and gatherings that happen during this meaningful time. 

Saturday Easter Service
Saturday, April 15th
6:00 pm

Sunday Easter Services
Sunday, April 16th
7:30 am
9:15 am
11:00 am

Do you have a friend that would like to join the celebration? Get them connected with firstChristian here.
FCC Blog

The law, or what we call Torah in our Torah class…anyway. Torah is the Hebrew word for instruction. You can sit in on a reading of the law and you get to hear the heart of God as expressed to another people. But I want to show you that this is more than just in the law.

The big story of Exodus, again—hurting people, and God comes to the rescue. Understand also, that this is also the story of Genesis. Abraham, wallowing in the muck. God comes down to rescue. People down here, God up here. God will consistently do this. He will come down and pluck them up.

Super interesting point, and the reason that we can say that Torah extends beyond law, is the way God treats people who are on top and hit people on the bottom. Look at Exodus 17. This is one of those stories I have mentioned before. They get to the mountain, after they do the Red Sea stuff that’s in all the movies – and right before they get to Mount Sinai.

The Amalekites come and beat up the Israelites. Exodus 17:8-9:

“The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites and Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some of our men, go out to fight the Amalekites, tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand. So Joshua fights the Amalekites as Moses had ordered. Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. So long as Moses held up his hands the Israelites were winning. But whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. Moses hands grew tired, they took stones and put them under him and he sat on them, and Aaron and Hur held his hands up, one on one side, one on the other. So that the hands remained steady until sunset, and Joshua overcame the Amalekites army with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered, and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.’ So Moses built an altar and called it, ‘the Lord is my banner.’ He said, ‘For the hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be against the Amalekites for generation after generation.’”

And if you read Samuel, if you read in Numbers, in Deuteronomy, the Amalekites will always be mentioned. It’s possible it goes all the way into Esther with Haman the Agagite, which was the name of the Amalekites king. All that’s to say, these guys were very efficient in angering God. 

There’s a bunch of slaves that were running for their lives. These aren’t military trained folks, these are slaves. So the Amalekites thought, “Ooh, opportunity. They come out with the plunder of Egypt, we can take it.’” They were up here, the Israelites were down there, and the Amalekites thought we can just hit them. It’s not hitting them while they’re down, it’s just hitting them while they are who they are.

If you want, in the Bible, to find the single most efficient way to anger God, that’s it. It is opposed to the entire project of everything after Genesis 1-11. Genesis 1-11 is people willingly sit down on the edge of the toilet and jump in, just spiral down. Everything else is God reaching in and grabbing them out. So when he watches someone reaching in and holding their head under, that’s it. He comes in and kicks down doors. That’s it. He’s done. It’s antithetical to the Exodus story, we’re they’re actually throwing babies in water. God’s like, “That’s it. I cannot have this.” It’s the ultimate example of the weak being taken advantage of by the powerful. The powerful willingly standing above the weak and not pulling them up is incompatible to the project. That part will run all the way through scripture.

You cannot advocate the gospel, you cannot advocate the God of scripture, and push people down. If you want to advocate, if you want to love like the God of the Bible loves, you rush in and pick them up. This is why Jesus gets so irritated with the Pharisees. It has to be central to the way you think. Part of the evidence that it isn’t central to the way we think, is you don’t look at the Amalekites and get angry. What would be more angering to you is that Israel disobeyed, right? Israel disobeyed and kept the food overnight like they weren’t supposed to. That says something about you—it says something about me—that the part I’m offended about isn’t the Amalekites, but I’m mad at the Israelites keeping the food overnight.

The last thing I want to show you is how that’s reflected in the law, Exodus 23.  I want to show what the function of some of these laws are. So let’s look at 23:4-5.

“If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you fallen down under its load, don’t leave it there. Help him up.”

This is part of what they are required to do if they are to be this people that is separate. If someone is against you, you pull them up. If someone is low, you raise them up.

It is part of the very message of this text. If you are to be holy as God is holy, you get a demonstration of this in this story. Watch how God behaves towards his people. In Genesis, you get to see it towards individuals, in Exodus you’re going to see it en masse. You have to mimic that behavior.

That’s Exodus!

Upcoming Events
Click here to see a complete list of happenings.
Women's Ministry - Girl's Night Out 
Please join us for a night out with the “girls” at the Downtown Coffee Company on Norfolk Avenue.

We hope to see you there!

Monday | April 24th | 6:30 – 8:30 pm

TNT (55+) Event
TNT (55+) is featuring NOAH (and the Ark) by The Sights and Sounds Theatre in Branson, Missouri, on Saturday, April 29th, from 5:30-8:00 pm at firstChristian Church. We will also have a good ol' chuck wagon supper of BBQ pork, baked beans, chips, and of course, animal cookies!

Mark your calendars! You won't want to miss out on this wonderful adventure in the times of NOAH.

Saturday | April 29th | 5:30 to 8:00 pm
FCC Women's Softball

It's the perfect time to join firstChristian's women's softball team!

Games start mid-May and are scheduled for Tuesday evenings.

If you are interested in joining: 
Contact Melora Hirschman at 402.841.5907.

Registration deadline is Wednesday | May 3rd

Family JAM Picnic

Join us for the Family JAM picnic as we celebrate a great year! We’ll eat, laugh, play games, enjoy time with our JAM family and maybe eat some more. Meat, drinks and desserts will be provided. Please bring a side-dish to share with everyone.

Register online here.

Wednesday | May 3rd | 6 pm

In other news...

Daniel Aguilar  and Katrina Olivas  were b aptized at first Christian  on April 9th at the 11 a.m. Sunday service.

Congratulations and welcome to the first Christian  family.

We are celebrating with you!

Morning Star Preschool
morning star logo

Has Morning Star or Kiddie Kollege Preschool impacted your life? We invite you to join us in recognizing and celebrating what God has done through FCC’s preschool over the years.

Please share your stories with us before May 8th, by emailing them to 

Children's Ministry
Our JAM Kids Ministry strives to combine the critical influences of the church and home to incite wonder, provoke discovery and fuel passion in the hearts of children toward the love of Jesus. We believe children’s ministry should be fun, creative, powerful and life changing all at the same time. Our curriculum is always relevant, Biblical, engaging and experiential, and also emphasizes a relationship with God and with others. 

Click here for information on the various programs we offer.
Thrive With Us

Heroes Help People Thrive

There are heroes among us. They probably don’t wear a cape, but they are heroes none the less. They are saving people’s lives, some they know and some they haven’t even met yet. They don’t see themselves as heroes, but I do. There are many people I think are heroes, but right now I am thinking of everyone who gives to Thrive.

To say they/you are heroes and that we are saving lives may seem like an exaggeration, but I don’t think so. True, only Jesus can do what Jesus came to do. Jesus came to give all people life and life to the full, life that Thrives. When you give to Thrive, you are part of what Jesus is doing. You are providing a tool to introduce more people to Jesus, welcome more people into his family, and encourage more people to let Jesus give them life that Thrives. When you help people know Jesus, you are saving their lives. You are a hero.

So far, 319 households have given to make Thrive a reality. In 2017 alone, 59 more households have partnered.  Every column, beam, joist, girder, stud, wire, conduit, light, pipe, speaker, chair, tile, window, door, drain, duct, toilet, sink, heating/cooling unit, piece of insulation, bag of grass seed, yard of concrete, square foot of carpet, and everything that makes up the building is made possible by your generosity. And as a church, we will use all of it to bring glory to God and attention to Jesus.

Seeing the construction progress is exciting. I encourage you to view the construction progress. Check out the 360 degree view as well as the Thrive Vision online. Watch the time lapse construction video. It will give a glimpse of what we will get to experience together in just over two months. And as you do, think of those that you can invest in, invite, and welcome to be part of what God is doing through first Christian in helping the people of northeast Nebraska to Thrive.

Thank you for being heroes. You matter. Your gift matters. Thank you for helping people Thrive through Jesus.

Onward and Upward,


Nebraska Christian College Matching Gift

When people respond to God’s calling, they soon discover the need to prepare for ministry challenges ahead. One of the biggest barriers to fulfilling their calling is the cost of quality ministry training. Now, for the first time, you can be a double answer to their prayers.

Nebraska Christian College, one of FCC’s Core Missions, strives to “prepare exceptional Christian leaders.” During April, all gifts to Nebraska Christian through FCC will be doubled up to $5,000 and will be used for scholarships. A generous donor has made this opportunity possible.

Together, we can encourage men and women to prepare to help a local church to Thrive. Please consider a gift to Nebraska Christian during April.

Visit for a closer look at Nebraska Christian.
Stay Connected
Sunday Announcements
If you missed Sunday's video announcements or last week's newsletter, you can view them on our website at
Take firstChristian With You
We know that you aren’t in town every weekend, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on Sunday Mornings at firstChristian. All of our sermons are available on our website, and can be automatically delivered to your apple or android device every week when you subscribe to our podcast.

On the website, you also have the opportunity to keep the conversation going with our sermon discussion guides.  Parents can do the same with their kiddos using the Parent Cue. No matter where you travel, you can always take firstChristian with you. 

At firstChristian, we believe many disciplines help shape our faith and strengthen our relationship with Jesus. Of those, we have narrowed our focus down to four essential practices that can be found throughout Scripture, and we have seen and experienced to be true. We call them The Big Four. Each of these are an influential aspect of forging a faith that goes beyond the everyday and into the extraordinary. They encourage us to partner with God in changing our attitudes and actions, shaping us more into who God made us to be. But don't be fooled by their simplicity. They are bursting with limitless opportunities and next steps, but never a final step.   

Gather Big: Gathering together every Sunday to learn more about who God is and praise Him for what He has done. God does something special when we gather together.

Group Small: Meeting weekly with a few to do life together and to “keep the conversation going” beyond Sunday morning.
Serve Somewhere: Using our gifts, skills and passion to serve within the church and community. One cannot be like or become like Jesus without serving.    
Give Something: Practicing generosity in everyday life. Giving releases the grip of stuff on our hearts, so we can more fully give our hearts to God. 

Participation and Giving
April 9, 2017
Worship: (340, 230) 570
Sunday School: 248

General Fund
Budgeted weekly: $14,704
Given: $14,239
Budgeted ytd: $220,560
Given ytd: $232,755
Given: $3,333
Given ytd: $29,833
Thrive Vision | Building
Given: $6,168
Total given to Thrive: $972,946
Households Participating: 319
Give Online Now!
first Christian | 402.371.5734 | |