Life Notes

“God of Peace!” – 1 Thessalonians 5:23
At times, it seems we have a secret to share that everyone is looking for. It remains a secret, not because we try to keep it hidden, but rather because many choose to not find it. The secret to life, which we are chosen to share, is that God has given us a world of complexity and in this world is hope, joy and peace.

The opposing view, a sophisticated religion of disbelief, discredits purpose, morality and beauty and replaces it with an explanation that everything is determined by chance. The renowned agnostic Carl Sagan attested to this belief when he wrote, “We would prefer it to be otherwise, of course, but there is no compelling evidence for a cosmic Parent who will care for us and save us from ourselves. It is up to us.”

So here we are, in between Christmas past and a New Year ahead. The Christmas Celebration has given us the opportunity to know and feel the cause of “Peace on earth!” Paul tells in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way…” So, yes Lord, you are the God of purpose, of beauty, of joy, of hope and peace. We come to you to confidently knowing that through you fear and chance is removed and peace is given.

Question of the week: Joseph was warned in a dream to take Mary and Jesus and flee from Bethlehem because Herod wanted to kill “the King of the Jews.” What country did they flee to?

Answer: The answer, Egypt, is given in Matthew 2.13-15. “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod.”

Sunday School and LifeGroups Resume
Sunday, Jan. 4, we resume our regular time for Sunday School and LifeGroups.

New Year’s Series
On Jan. 4 we begin a series called “Cinema, Culture and Christ!” . The first movie we will reference is “Mockingjay Part 1.” Other movies we will look at in the series are “Exodus” and “Unbroken.” Is there a recent movie you would like to suggest is a part of the series?

Church Updates – Word of Life Directory
Word of Life has a church directory with photos thanks to Larry and Susan Biel for the pictures and Haley Kindrex for organizing and entering information. It includes phone numbers and addresses. Go to Church Updates and click on the icon in the upper right hand corner.

Life Notes

Join us us Wednesday evening for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service called “Children of Light!” – 1 Thess. 5:5
A prophet of old had prophesied that a Messiah, a king, was to be born in Bethlehem of Judea. A star appeared in the sky leading certain wise men from the east to Jerusalem to ask, “Where is the king of the Jews who has been born? For we have followed a star.”

After being told the king would have been born in Bethlehem, they continued their search. Soon the star appeared again, lighting the way to the Christ Child, stopping over the home were the Christ child was. “When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Matthew 2:10. The star light had brought them to their destination. That light continues to lead us, children of light.

Question for Christmas Eve: The angel spoke to the shepherds and told them the Savior had been born in the town of David. What was the name of this town and what sign were they given so they would know where to find this baby?

Answer: The town was Bethlehem and the angel said, “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Welcome to our Guests
Word of Life welcomes you on the part of Pastor Larry Oetting and all the partners in the Gospel here at Word of Life. We are blessed with your presence as we worship together in the presence of the Spirit of God.

Christmas and New Year Schedule Updates
There is a Christmas Eve Communion service on December 24th at 6:00 p.m. That is our only special Holiday Service. There is no Sunday School or LifeGroups held on December 28th. On January 4th, we resume our Sunday School and LifeGroups at 9:15 a.m.

All services are at our present Fallbrook Blvd. location.

Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend
Invest in the Success of Your Marriage on a Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend! The next Weekend is Feb 13-15, 2015, at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lincoln Airport in Lincoln, NE. Apply online at GodLovesMarriage.org, or contact Randy & Jill Sigler at randjsigler@inebraska.com or 402-486-1342 for more information. But hurry – pre-registration is required by January 13, 2015.

Orphan Grain Train Christmas Love Gifts
Grant Schmidt, Vice President of Orphan Grain Train, has announced a Christmas Gift Outreach Ministry of Orphan Grain Train coordinated with churches. Word of Life has been selected by Orphan Grain Train as a church to designate recipients to receive this Christmas gift. Contact pastor or Grant for more information.

LifeCenter Update – On Schedule
We are on schedule to be able to move into our new facility early next year, probably in January. Painting is almost completed. Our work team of Phil Dani, Greg Larson, Dan Walla, Tom Hoegemeyer, Lucas Mohrman, Lucas Renken and others have installed tile and cabinets this week. Chairs for the sanctuary have been ordered and our sign and logo for the side of the church is being prepared. A contractor has been hired to install the carpet. The address is 200 Fletcher Avenue.

Life Notes

“Blameless!” – 1 Thes. 3:11-13
Paul had risked his life to share the Word of God with the Thessalonians. Yet, he had been forced to leave early because of rioting and anger directed at him and our returning King. After a few weeks of sharing the Good News, he fled Thessalonica. Perhaps he regretted that decision. Certainly, at other times, he had weathered difficult situations. What we know is he was elated, relieved and thankful to hear the great report that the Thessalonians had remained faithful and were known for their deeds and love. Paul’s words show this, “How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence. Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith.” 1Thes. 3:9-10. With words of encouragement, Paul challenges them and us to remain blameless through the power of the Spirit as they and we wait for the coming of Jesus. And all the people say Amen!

Question of the week: Joseph and Mary were from Nazareth which is about 75 miles from Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Why did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus?

Answer: In Luke 2 we find the answer. “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. … And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.”

Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend
Invest in the Success of Your Marriage on a Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend! The next Weekend is Feb 13-15, 2015, at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lincoln Airport in Lincoln, NE. Apply online at GodLovesMarriage.org, or contact Randy & Jill Sigler at randjsigler@inebraska.com or 402-486-1342 for more information. But hurry – pre-registration is required by January 13, 2015.

Orphan Grain Train Christmas Love Gifts
Grant Schmidt, Vice President of Orphan Grain Train, has announced a Christmas Gift Outreach Ministry of Orphan Grain Train coordinated with churches. Word of Life has been selected by Orphan Grain Train as a church to designate recipients to receive this Christmas gift. Contact pastor or Grant for more information.

Family Life Minister – Larry Biel
A Family Life Minister is trained to help families of all descriptions to grow in faith and function as part of the body of Christ. Family assessment opportunities are made available to help families set and reach their goals. A family is defined as an individual or a group that lives under one roof and can includes a wide range of needs within their lives from the cradle to the grave. Activities and programs are made available at church and in the home to provide families with the tools needed to move forward in their faith journey. Larry Biel received his Master’s in Family Life Ministry from Concordia University, Seward in 2004 and is willing to aid your family with some of the questions, concerns, and desires you may have for your family.

Life Notes

“Word of God!” – 1 Thes. 2:13, 19-20
Paul was writing with thanksgiving and joy in his heart. His concern for his friends and believers in Thessalonica, who he had led to Christ by the power of the Spirit, had been answered with wonderful news. Timothy, who Paul sent to check in and care for the Thessalonians because of Paul’s concern for their spiritual welfare, had brought back a glowing report of their faithfulness, good works and strong faith.

Hearing this news, Paul praised God that this young church had received the Word of God and the Word was at work in their heart. As he encourages, directs, compliments and builds trust, Paul answers their questions of faith. They were being persecuted and members were dying. Why had Christ not returned? Paul reassures them that the Lord Jesus is coming and in doing so reassures us. The promise of the Word is true: Immanuel was born, lived, died and rose again, is with us now and will come in His glory. Alleluia, amen.

Question of the week: Why did Paul leave Thessalonica so quickly after so many had responded to the Spirit through his testimony and believed in Christ as their Savior?

Answer: Simply put, Thessalonica became a very dangerous place for Paul. In Acts 17:5,10 Luke writes, “… But some of the Jews were jealous, so they gathered some troublemakers from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot … That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea.”

Orphan Grain Train Christmas Love Gifts
Grant Schmidt, Vice President of Orphan Grain Train, has announced a Christmas Gift Outreach Ministry of Orphan Grain Train coordinated with churches. Word of Life has been selected by Orphan Grain Train as a church to designate recipients to receive this Christmas gift. Contact pastor or Grant for more information.

Family Life Minister – Larry Biel
A Family Life Minister is trained to help families of all descriptions to grow in faith and function as part of the body of Christ. Family assessment opportunities are made available to help families set and reach their goals. A family is defined as an individual or a group that lives under one roof and can includes a wide range of needs within their lives from the cradle to the grave. Activities and programs are made available at church and in the home to provide families with the tools needed to move forward in their faith journey. Larry Biel received his Master’s in Family Life Ministry from Concordia University, Seward in 2004 and is willing to aid your family with some of the questions, concerns, and desires you may have for your family.