Showing posts from 2012

OJC 2012

Here's what I did yesterday. Thank you VotL church family for helping to show the love of Jesus in practical, tangible ways. I am inspired by your commitment, energy, and joy. You aren't content to settle for becoming just another cruise ship church in the suburbs and I love that about you. Our country needs churches with this kind of attitude. God will use us to make a difference in our world. Thank you for helping people see the light of Christ. Merry Christmas, Milwaukee!

When God Shows Up


Who is Worthy?


Fall Fun

Many thanks to everyone who helped make our Fall Festival in the park a really fun time last Saturday. Lions Legend Park is a beautiful place to be in the Fall with all the tall old oak trees surrounding the pavilion. It was a little chilly, no doubt about that, but that just made me appreciate the hot apple cider that much more! Once again it was great to get together as a church family (which is sometimes tough to do being a "portable" church) but also to get together with people from our community. A highlight of the day for me was getting to meet a family who'd just come over from the library with their kids to play at the park and I had the fun of introducing them to Nancy at the photo booth after they finished pumpkin painting. What a cool way to meet people and introduce them to our church at the same time. Here are just a few pictures of the afternoon...

Paradise Restored

Hello Friends,

“There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” These are words from the Bible’s last book, the book of Revelation, that describe the eternal victory that Jesus has won for all who trust in him. These words are simple. They are clear. They are pure promise. They describe a place that is nothing less than Paradise!

So if you recognize that there are some longings this world can’t satisfy, that there are some hurts this world can’t heal, that there are some battles in this life too difficult to face on your own…this Sunday would be a great day to come to Victory of the Lamb.

This Sunday I’m beginning a new sermon series in which I’ll be preaching from the book of Revelation throughout September and October. And I’m going to begin with the end in mind…Paradise restored!

No worries if you haven’t been to our church before. Just come as you are. Come casual if you like. The routine of Fall is a great time to …

2 Exciting Things

Two exciting things took place this past Sunday at VotL

1) Joe Gawel was installed as our senior vicar and preached an awesome sermon on how God's grace changes people's hearts. You can read it here if you'd like. Vicar Joe will be serving with us for the next 9 months as he completes his senior year at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon. (Basically in our church body a vicar is someone who's not quite yet a pastor but helps do all the things a pastor does under the mentoring of a pastor.)

So over the next 9 months Vicar Joe will get a full taste of our ministry at VotL. He will be serving especially in the areas that Andy Glende was responsible for when he was our part-time discipleship pastor. So Vicar Joe will be helping our ministry by preaching every couple weeks, putting together the Sheep Squads materials, personally leading one of the Sheep Squads himself, helping Andy teach Jr. High confirmation class, and filling in occasionally elsewhere as he ha…

Questions Kids Ask Their Parents

After talking one Sunday morning after church with Larry J it sounded like a fun idea to do a series on the simple yet profound questions that children I'm inviting your input.

If you've got some time this week, please take a brief survey that I created to help me compile a number of questions I might develop into a sermon series. Just follow the link below. Thanks!

Questions Kids Ask Their Parents

Father's Day Leftovers

Yesterday while preaching on Job 1:1-5 for Father's Day, I realized that I am a truly rich man. As I was reading how Job had so much worldly wealth (think a garage full of camels, not cars) I could see my wife and kids sitting in the front row of chairs and a thought struck me: Even though Job was an enormously wealthy man, "the greatest man among the people of the East", what made him truly rich was his faith and his family. Job was wise because he realized this--that this true wealth was not found in his financial situation but in his family and his faith in God.

There can be a big difference sometimes between having lots of stuff or money and having true riches. On the one hand, a person can have lots of stuff yet be ultimately poor if he despises faith or neglects his family. On the other hand, a person can have little of stuff and yet be ultimately rich if he stores up treasures of faith for himself and his family. Yet these aren't always the only two options.


Mother's Day

Hello Friends,

This Sunday of course is Mother’s Day. I’m thinking about this because I just got back a couple days ago from a brief trip to El Paso, Texas where my Grandma and Grandpa live. I got to preach at their church this past Sunday and spend some quality time with them. My Grandparents aren't in the best of health anymore and I hadn't seen them in a long time so it was very special for me to be with them. It was actually the first time my Grandma had ever seen or heard me preach. And it was the first time I ever got to personally give my Grandma flowers in advance of Mother’s Day. So it was very special. I love them so much.

And as we said our goodbyes, for the first time I got to tell them how thankful I am for the legacy of faith that they’ve passed down to their family—a faith in Christ that I share, a faith that I see now especially gives them so much comfort when nothing else can, a faith that I want to pass on to my family and to share with our commun…

The Easter Project

A big thank you today to everyone who helped with our second Operation Jesus Cares project! In case you're wondering what that is...Operation Jesus Cares is our ongoing mission to help people in need by showing the love of Jesus in real world ways. Today was another awesome opportunity for us as a suburban church to show our heart for the city. That is something that is important to me and I'm excited to be part of a church that is passionate about loving people where they are.

Today we had about twenty volunteers helping elementary school kids on the south side of Milwaukee put together Easter baskets which we then delivered door to door to their neighbors. Each basket included some candy (of course!), some essentials like soap, a jump rope, a kids' book that told about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and a bi-lingual invitation to Christ Lutheran church's Easter services.

It's really fun to get out with the school kids and see the reaction of their…

New Bible 101 Opportunity

What is Bible 101?

Basically it is your opportunity to casually learn about the Bible with other people in a group and ask whatever questions are on your mind. You don’t have to go to our church. You don’t have to know anything about the Bible. You don’t even have to have ever met me before.

As for me, I’ve just noticed in conversation that a lot of people would like to know more about the Bible but assume there’s no safe place for them to begin exploring it. Or a lot of people assume that they know what the Bible says but have never actually taken the time to check it out for themselves.

So I want to help. I want to help provide an opportunity for people maybe like you to see what the Bible actually says so that you don’t have to take anybody’s word for it, not even mine, but that you can make up your own mind about it for yourself. Don’t you owe it to yourself to spend at least some time learning about the bestselling, most influential book of all time?

What are the details?

Bible 101…

Path to Victory

Dear Friends,
I am a bundle of excitement right now and here’s why. Since starting from scratch 5 years ago, God has grown our church from a small group of less than 10 meeting in my home for Bible study to the 180 who’ve been worshiping with us on average lately in the theater. Over this time God has had to teach us countless times that we live by faith and not by sight as is always the case and that’s just how our God would have it! In our reading of The Storylast week, I was struck again by how God calls us to follow him with bold confidence. He’s not a God who calls us to play it safe. Instead he calls us to the grand adventure of a life lived in step with him. Just look at how he called Abraham to lay everything in his life on the line with nothing but a promise of things unseen. I’m excited because God is giving us some opportunities to live out our faith in that same kind of way. The next couple months especially are going to be packed with lots of things going on. After almost a…

Parenting Seminar

Hello Friends,

I want to personally invite you to attend a free Love and Logic® parenting seminar sponsored by our church. Please feel free to pass along this invitation to anyone you think would be interested even if you're not.

It’s for parents of children of any age who want to sharpen their parenting skills or anyone hoping to be a parent one day. As a parent of two myself I'm really looking forward to meeting up with others. Here’s the scoop.

When? There are two sessions. Each session will explore different content. You can attend only one day if you want.

Session A—February 18, 2012   5-7 PM
Session B—February 25, 2012   5-7 PM

Root River Center
7220 W. Rawson Ave
Franklin, WI 53132

Cost: Free (includes pizza and soda!)

Registration: Online directly at this link or from our church homepage. Please register by February 12th.

Here are just a few things you will learn during this training:

 Session A
- Handling misbehavior without breaking a sweat
- Putting an end t…

The VotL Story Blog

Howdy Friends,

Yesterday was a great day. We had a nice crowd for worship. Bible Quest re-expanded to serve kids through 5th grade. We began our journey together through the Bible using The Story. I was extremely excited to see such a great turnout for the introductory session yesterday. I am praying that everyone who was there and even more of you will come aboard as we really get going our journey together this Sunday at 8:30. I think this journey together is going to be one of the most beneficial things we’ve ever done as a church. Please consider how you can be a part of it.

Just a quick reminder that there are a number of different ways to experience The Story.

There are of course the readings themselves. For example, please read through chapter 1 for this coming Sunday. Suggestion for parents: read your kids the same story using the appropriate kids’ version of The Story before bed and say a prayer afterwards. Or with older kids you could have a discussion after sup…

The Best Laid Plans

"A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away" (well not that far away actually), I played Quarterback on a football team. So bear with me. I will explain...but I'm going to use a football analogy. You see, as a Quarterback on the football team, I had to learn how to call an audible sometimes. An audible is when the Quarterback reacts to the defense by changing the play at the line of scrimmage... in other words, right before the play starts. Usually an audible is called when the play you had previously called just isn't going to work. Usually an audible is called because of an unexpected look that the defense presents. It's not that the original play itself was bad, it's just that the defense changed.

Why am I mentioning this? Because my friends, it's time for an audible. Unfortunately, the extra 30 minutes that we expected to get after church at the theater is suddenly only going to last one Sunday. That's because a Star Wars movie is be…