Life Notes

Blessing God – Luke 2:28
Simeon had waited a long time. He had been told by the Spirit that he would see the Lord’s Christ before he died. He had been promised. Certainly he must have been challenged, perhaps ridiculed because of his belief. Each day he waited and each day was completed with his prayer of seeing the Christ child. Then the day came. Led by the Spirit, he waited and as Joseph and Mary entered the temple carrying the baby Jesus, his wait was over.

Taking Jesus into his arms, Simeon blessed Him with the words that identified this baby as the Savior, a light for all people. Then a prophetess, Anna, “began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” And Joseph and Mary marveled about the blessings their son had received and what had been said about him. Hope was given by a promise and, when kept, hope was magnified.

Question of the Week: Why did Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus go to the temple 40 days after Jesus was born?

Answer: Jesus was presented to the Lord. In addition, the ceremonial laws given through Moses to the people of Israel commanded that the mother of a son be purified by going to the temple 40 days after the birth and offer sacrifices.

New Year Schedule
On Jan. 5, we begin a series called “”Brave New World” and resume our Sunday School and LifeGroups at 9:15 a.m.

Scrip and Recycling For Cash
Consider using SCRIP cards for groceries and many other purchases. Obtain your SCRIP cards from Lynette Windhorst. Mike Hagerbaumer will have his pickup at the “Church” parking lot collecting aluminum cans before and after the first church service of each month. The proceeds will go to the New Church Building Fund.

Life Notes

Come worship with us at our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service called “Shepherds Made Known the Sayings.” The sermon text is Luke 2:17.

Our Advent-Christmas message series is called, “Do Not Be Afraid.” What do you fear the most? What overcomes fear? How can we live with an absence of harmful debilitating fear? First we must recognize the source of our fear. Yes, fear can be helpful, and, yes, there are reasons to have fear. However, there are negative consequences of fear. When can fear be harmful and bad for us?

Harmful fear is fear that immobilizes us, fear that destroys our ability to live life “abundantly.” The fear that pushes us into a “cage” of doubt, discouragement and removes hope is wrong and not what God wants for us. At Christmas Eve, we celebrate the birth of Christ who gives us the strength that keeps us whole as God wants us to be.

Question of the week: Who composed and wrote, “Silent Night?”

Answer: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht is a popular Christmas carol that was first sung in 1818 in Austria. The original lyrics of the song Stille Nacht were written by the priest Father Joseph Mohr and the melody was composed by the Austrian headmaster Franz Xaver Gruber. The song was first accompanied with a guitar, perhaps because the church organ was broken.

Christmas and New Year Schedule Updates
There is a Christmas Eve service on Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. That is our only special Holiday Service. There is no Sunday School or LifeGroups held on Dec. 29. On Jan. 5, we begin a series called “The Brave New World” and resume our Sunday School and LifeGroups at 9:15 a.m. on Sundays.

Update on our LifeCenter
The Planning Team is meeting on a regular basis with Rick Geiler, our architect. Our Planning Team’s next two meetings are at 7 p.m. on Jan. 7 and Jan. 13. The Jan. 7 meeting is to develop a plan on what we can provide to the building effort through our own construction abilities. For more information, contact Luke Renken at 402-440-1887.

Present plans are to distribute bid plans in January to be returned in late February. Construction will start as weather permits in March or April. Projected completion of the LifeCenter is Thanksgiving 2014.

We pray and trust that God will lead us as we go, serving Him. Our LifeCenter for Christ and Community Campaign Co-Leaders are R.O. Ouellette and Jason and Lynette Windhorst, Mike McHargue and Tom Hoegemeyer. Contact me, Pastor Larry at 402-641-3692 or larkitoetting@yahoo.org for information on our prayer team and the vision we have in serving Him.

Prison Ministry Update: Jail and Prison Ministry Seminar
The Nebraska District is sponsoring a Jail and Prison Ministry Seminar on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at Immanuel Lutheran at 2001 S. 11th St., Lincoln. The leader is Liz Jeanette, area director for Prison Fellowship Ministries. There is no cost, but please register with CandiM@ndlcms.org by Dec. 15. For more information, contact Pastor Larry.

Life Notes

Joseph, Son of David, Do Not Fear – Matt. 1:20
Joseph has just received crushing, devastating news. Physically, he feels sick, his stomach is knotted. His spirit has sunk low, very low. Every fiber in his body aches, and he cries out loud, first with disbelief, then anger and now soul-wrenching sorrow. The women he loves has been unfaithful and the envisioned hope filled life ahead has slipped away. Sleep does not come easy, and he slowly deciphers a plan. He will divorce Mary but do it quietly. Then as he lies restlessly, he repeats the Shema, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut. 6:5) over and over until he falls asleep.

Later that evening all is changed as an angel appears to him in a dream and tells him not be afraid. “Joseph, do not fear, there is something you must know.” When Joseph awakes, hope has returned and now he knows.

Question of the Week: Matthew quotes an Old Testament prophet to explain to us the validity and significance of the angel’s revelation to Joseph. The quote is, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” What prophet is he quoting?

Answer: The Old Testament prophet quoted is Isaiah and the quote is from Isaiah 7:14.

Christmas and New Year Schedule Updates
There will be no Sunday School on Dec. 22 and Jan 5. On Dec. 22 the Sunday School kids will arrive early to prepare for their service.

On Dec. 22, there will be a special pastor-led Bible Study on the Holy Spirit and Prayer but no LifeGroups, and there is no LifeGroups schedule for Jan. 5.

There is a Christmas Eve service on the 24th at 6 p.m. That is our only special Holiday Service.

Update on our LifeCenter
The Planning Team is meeting on a regular basis with Rick Geiler, our architect. Our Planning Team will next meet with him on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. During this past week, a test well was drilled on our property.

Current plans are to distribute bid plans in early January to be returned in late February. Construction will start as weather permits in March or April. Projected completion of the LifeCenter is Thanksgiving 2014.

We pray and trust that God will lead us as we go, serving Him. Our LifeCenter for Christ and Community Campaign Co-Leaders are R.O. Ouellette and Jason and Lynette Windhorst, Mike McHargue and Tom Hoegemeyer. Contact me, Pastor Larry at 402-641-3692 or larkitoetting@yahoo.org for information on our prayer team and the vision we have in serving Him.

Prison Ministry Update: Jail and Prison Ministry Seminar
The Nebraska District is sponsoring a Jail and Prison Ministry Seminar on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at Immanuel Lutheran at 2001 S. 11th St., Lincoln. The leader is Liz Jeanette, area director for Prison Fellowship Ministries. There is no cost, but please register with CandiM@ndlcms.org by Dec. 15. For more information, contact Pastor Larry.