Life Notes

“God’s People” – 1 Peter 2:10
Once you were not in. Once you were nothing. Once you were entirely on your own, isolated, no linkage, without a group to trust or someone to guard your back. Then, just like that, you suddenly are embraced, given new clothes to wear that claim and identify you. You are told not only that you have family, but you are royalty amongst royalty. You are chosen and are in the ranks of God’s loyal and favorite, God’s people.

Can we believe this news? Does it seem too good to be true? Do the clothes fit or do they seem too tight and restrictive? Perhaps you don’t feel royal and you cannot tell that your new clothes are anything unusual. Mercy is something you needed a long time ago but it is too late now. Maybe you just need some time to reflect, hang out and then you will consider if Peter is talking to you. Yet, if it is true, why hesitate from claiming and solidifying your new birthright?

Question of the week: All the priest of Israel came from one of the 12 tribes of Israel. What was the name of that tribe and who was the very first priest of Israel?

Answer: The tribe that was given the role of the tribe of the priests was Levi and the first priest was Aaron the brother of Moses.

Easter Egg Hunt
The Word of Life Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Palm Sunday, April 13, with activities and snacks from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the Easter Egg Hunt at 3 p.m. It is one of our outreach and Community Service events of the year.

LifeCenter Auction
The LifeCenter Auction to benefit construction of our LifeCenter will be held April 6 at 1:30 p.m. in Seward at the 4-H Building.

For more details, see the attached flyer.

Life Notes

“Taste that the Lord is Good” – 1 Peter 2:3
Do you have a favorite restaurant? What about a favorite meal? Do you have a memory of dining and the company was perfect and the taste of the food was unmatched. Peter uses taste and food to bring a picture of contentment and delight in having Christ in our heart.

Peter goes back to David’s words, “Taste and see that the Lord is good,” Psalm 34:8, and adds since you know that wonderful taste, continue to dine on the food that gives life. Eating food for the soul, life giving spiritual food, gives growth in the most miraculous way. Are you ready to dine?

Question of the week: What remains of the Temple in Jerusalem where Jesus, Peter and the other disciples worshiped?

Answer: The only remaining part of the temple is the foundational wall that is now referred to as the “Wailing Wall.” The largest stone is 45’ long, 12’ high and 14’ wide. The stone is part of the foundation, found underground but accessible and visible from a tunnel.

Update on our LifeCenter
Word of Life held a congregation meeting on March 16 and approved a motion to begin construction of the LifeCenter, the new church facility. The motion directed the Lay Leadership Board to complete the financial and construction agreements under the guidelines given.

We pray and trust and know that God has led us and will continue to 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.

Easter Morning Prayer, Praise and Ground Breaking Service
Word of Life will celebrate Easter this year with an early morning, 8:30 a.m., Easter Prayer, Praise and Ground Breaking on April 20. A reception will be held at 9:45 a.m. at our present location. Our regular service will begin at 10:30 a.m. There will be no Sunday School or LifeGroups that day.

Excitement Rules at Word of Life
Word of Life Lutheran Church, based in northwest Lincoln, has approved construction of its first church building. The congregation will break ground for the new facility on Easter Sunday, April 20, at the wooded site north of Fletcher and 1st Street in northwest Lincoln. The new building is scheduled for completion in December 2014.

“We are excited and thankful,” said Rev. Larry Oetting, pastor of Word of Life. “This is a blessing that will help us share God’s love with all in our community.”

An auction fundraising event is planned for April 6. Details about this and other events can be found on the church’s website at www.wordoflifelincoln.org.

Life Notes

“The Word Remains Forever” – 1 Peter 1:25
Peter woke up with the dream still raw in his memory. It was a familiar dream, really a flashback to when Jesus had asked him, “Peter do you love me?” The scene was by the Sea of Galilee, days after the Easter morning, when life as it had been known changed forever. Jesus had appeared to the disciples twice after He rose from the tomb, as they were gathered together in Jerusalem. Jesus then had left them and now they were alone waiting. One afternoon, Peter decided to go fishing, something he hoped would relieve the ache and loneliness he felt. Yet, after a night of an empty net, he and his fellow disciples headed back to the shore. Greeted by the voice of a lone figure standing on the shore, they followed His directions and cast the empty net to the other side of the boat. With their net now overloaded with fish they knew it was their Lord. They landed their boat with Peter leading the way rushing to be with his Savior. Later after breakfast, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

The dream had ended at that point with Peter feeling the tug of what Jesus had said to his reply, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” As he prayed that morning he asked, “Lord, how must I feed your sheep?”

Question of the week: Peter wrote his letters to his fellow exiles during the reign of what infamous Roman Emperor?

Answer: Nero was the Roman Emperor that reigned during the time Peter wrote his letters. Most experts believe that the worst of Nero’s persecutions happened soon after Peter’s letters were written.

Partners (Congregation) Meeting
Everyone is invited to attend a congregation meeting that we will hold immediately after the service Sunday. At the meeting we will consider and decide on the Lay Ministry Team recommendation to begin construction our LifeCenter, our planned church building.

Update on our LifeCenter
The Planning Team met with Rick Geiler, our architect, on March 10 to review the bids that have been returned. The bids came back within the financial guidelines the Planning Team set. A recommendation to proceed with the construction of the LifeCenter will be presented to the congregation Sunday for a vote on whether to begin the building process.

Life Notes

“Born Again!” – 1 Peter 1:3
What does it mean to be born again? Nicodemus, a Jewish ruler, asked Jesus, “How can that be?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.” John 3:5-6. Yes, we can understand that being born again is spiritual, a gift that comes through God through water and the Spirit.

Peter declares to his fellow exiled Christian, “God … has caused us to be born again.” He then explains further what that new birth gives us. The list includes an identity, a destiny, an inheritance and a heat shield. Really, a heat shield with this new birth? How does that happen?

Question of the week: Did the Apostle Peter have any children?

Answer: We do not know. What is known is Peter had a wife. In Matthew 8:14-15 we read, “When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him.”

Update on our LifeCenter
The Planning Team meet with Rick Geiler, our architect, Monday, March 10, to review the bids that have been returned. A recommendation, based on the outcome of the bids, will be presented to the congregation on March 16 for a vote on whether or not to begin the building process.

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.com for information on our prayer team and the vision we have in serving Him.

Partners (Congregation) Meeting
Our annual congregation meeting will be held immediately after worship service on March 16. At the meeting we will consider and decide on the Lay Ministry Team recommendation to begin construction our LifeCenter, our planned church building. A Ministry Plan will be presented and voting members will elect officers and Lay Ministry Board Members whose terms are completed.

Life Notes

Ash Wednesday
“Exiles!” – 1 Peter 1:1-2

“Remember: you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Those are the words that are said as the ashes of the palm branches are placed on our forehead on Ash Wednesday. But there is more. Dust is not our destiny. Peter greets those he loved and wanted to encourage with a proclamation that they are exiles. They were no longer citizens of Jerusalem but exiled to the far reaches of the known world. They now lived in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia and Lincoln. Exiled for how long? When do we get to return to our home?

Question for this week: Peter’s name originally was Simon. Who gave him the name Peter?

Answer: Simon’s brother Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at Simon and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter.)

Imposition of Ashes
This ancient act is a gesture of repentance and a powerful reminder about the meaning of the day. Ashes symbolize dust-to-dustness and remind worshipers of the need for cleansing, scrubbing, and purifying. The ashes are from burned palm leafs. If you choose, the ashes will be placed, using the thumb, in the sign of the cross on your forehead, with these words: “Remember: you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”