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Victory News - God's Unconditional Love

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Dear Friends,

This week I ran across an old grocery store bag in the corner of the garage. It was heavier than I expected it to be. That’s because there were a couple rocks in it. (What…you don’t keep a bag of rocks in your garage too!?)

Rocks like the one pictured above. And I was reminded of my shortcomings. You see, five people who weren’t able to attend our VotL groundbreaking ceremony in May of 2015 gave me their “prayer rocks” which I promised I was going to press into the concrete foundation of our ministry center building along with the hundred or so other prayer rocks that people made at the groundbreaking ceremony.

But these five rocks in the grocery store bag didn’t make it. I failed to put them in the foundation. They found their way instead into the corner of the parsonage garage. And I couldn’t help but wonder, How many other things have I failed to do over the years of serving as a pastor here? How many other things have I overlooked or in my weakness failed to say or …

Victory News - High Hopes with God

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Dear Friends,

Get your hopes up high! That’s the theme of Pastor Bill’s message coming up this weekend as we begin a new series called New Year Revolution.

And I understand if some of you might be thinking, “Yeah, right!” Or, “Sounds like wishful thinking to me.”

But it’s not. Not when our Almighty and Gracious God is involved! Not when we’re talking about the Source of forgiveness, joy, freedom, radical generosity, and audacious faith. Not when God who made our hearts also knows just how to heal them and then even to begin using us to bring his healing to others.

Hope / Identity / Community / Purpose / Love

I need these things. You need these things. The world needs these things. The good news is that the church of Jesus Christ is uniquely able to offer them.

Please join me and Pastor Bill the next five Sundays as God produces in our hearts and lives what we could never produce on our own. We’re going to marvel at the revolutionary truth of the gospel and how the message of God’s graciou…

Intangible Christmas Gifts #BecauseofJesus

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Dear Friends,

What’s on your Christmas wish list? If I were asking the kids I got to hang out with Tuesday as part of Operation Jesus Cares, I would hear answers like legos, a particular video game, or a basketball signed by Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. If I were asking their parents I would hear things like having a permanent place to live, having enough money to fix the car, or wishing to be able to take a trip to see a loved one who lives far away.

How about you? Perhaps you realize that what you really wish for isn’t the kind of gift you can find wrapped up under the tree anymore. And that’s ok. Because that’s exactly why Jesus Christ came into this world for you and me—to give us the intangible, greater gifts of things like a clear conscience, credited righteousness, a justification that stands firm in the face of Satan’s accusations, a baptismal identity strong enough to overcome the world, a victorious hope that conquers the grave, and finally…lasting joy with…

Victory News - Christmas Joy!

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Dear Friends,

The Grinch is a bitter, grouchy, cave-dwelling creature with a heart “two sizes too small” that tries to steal the Christmas joy from Whoville—home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos.

What’s trying to steal your Christmas joy… Stress? Worry? Fear? Bitterness? Anger? Grief?

For the people that the prophet Isaiah was writing to long ago, all these things were threatening to rob them of “Christmas” joy too. Would they ever find deliverance from being exiled in Babylon? Would they ever experience joy again? Would the promised Savior ever come?

Of course the answer to those questions was Yes!

Even more, it’s a resounding Yes for us as well because Christ has come! God has kept his promise of sending us a Deliverer—a stress, worry, fear, bitterness, anger, grief, SIN and DEATH deliverer! And because of what Jesus accomplished for us… “No matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory o…

What's Your "Generostory"?

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Dear Friends,

I’m going to coin a new word. Ready for it?

Generosity + Your Story = Your Generostory.

What’s yours? What’s your generostory #BecauseofJesus?

During our Thanksgiving Eve service we didn’t collect an offering. Instead we gave out 100 envelopes filled with over $2,300 cash for all of you to be able to generously bless someone else #BecauseofJesus. I hope you’ve been having fun with it and experiencing the joy of giving!

It’s certainly been pure joy this week for Pastor Bill and me as we’ve heard and seen some of your generostories (it’s got a plural!). Keep ‘em coming! So far we’ve received from you via email or seen on Facebook a number of your generestories and they’re spectacular! For example, here’s one where Linda received $5 and parlayed it into $55 to make an even bigger impact…

“I received 5.00 and thought about how I could grow that amount. During our small family Thanksgiving dinner I shared the assignment and asked each family to match the $5. A couple gave me 20s a…

Victory News - Is Your Heart Happy?

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Dear Friends,

“A generous person will prosper;whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).

Generous people are happier people! This isn’t mumbo jumbo. It’s a fact supported by modern research. The commitment to be generous actually increases both generosity and happiness.

Why is this? I believe it’s because God has wonderfully designed us as his creatures to reflect his own nature and character. The Bible reveals to us a God who is generous. He is the greatest giver. He gave his own Son for the world and provides us with everything we need. And when we reflect his character in our lives by being generous with our time and money to help others, we discover a little more of the happy heart of God who once made humanity in his own image.

Friends, how’s your heart doing? Are you happy? This Sunday we’re going to begin a new series this Thanksgiving season that will lead us to become happier people as we learn to reflect God’s generous heart. Pastor Bill will begin this we…

Victory News - Confident? In Christ Alone!

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Dear Friends,

“We believe in Jesus too…. I’m a Muslim” said the friendly young father as we talked a couple Saturdays ago at his front door. We weren’t able to ask any clarifying questions like, “What exactly do you believe about Jesus?” But we were able to mention that because of Jesus we can be sure of God’s love and certain that we are fully forgiven right now because of what Jesus has already done for us all. From the look on that young father’s face, this simple gospel message at the very least resonated with him as being different from what he believes about Jesus. So we planted a gospel seed. And we made sure he knew that he was always welcome to come and visit our church anytime.

How about you? What do you believe about Jesus? Does it matter? It does if you seek to be certain of where you stand with God. That’s why this Sunday as we continue our Seeking Certainty series, we’ll see how only the completed work of Jesus Christ can lead us to have such confidence. And yet we’ll t…