Friday, December 20, 2013

A Week to Celebrate!

Future home of Victory of the Lamb!
What a week! Tuesday evening the Common Council gave us a tremendous Christmas present when they voted in approval of our Loomis Rd plans. I’ve been overflowing with thanksgiving all week long, but I haven’t run out of thanks yet. So just in case you haven’t heard it from me… I want to thank all of you who attended, spoke, prayed about, or voted for such a favorable outcome!

What this means is that we have a bright future here in Franklin for many years to come. We’ll soon be closing on the Loomis Rd property and continuing the process of working towards our permanent church home. I’m excited to move forward with our next steps and our ongoing discussions with Kayla’s Krew. We’ll have 15 beautiful acres of land (about 7 of which are buildable). If it works out best for them we’re happy to freely provide a portion of it for the community to come and build a playground where all families and kids are welcome regardless of ability or background.

In the spirit of making a difference, Thursday also brought us back to the south side of Milwaukee for a service project we call Operation Jesus Cares. It’s humbling and fulfilling to be able to show the love of Jesus to people in real world kind of ways. Even as we make plans to build a new church here in a great suburban community like Franklin, I think it’s important that we don’t lose a heart for people living in the city who don’t have it nearly as good as we do even though they live literally just a few miles away. Check out the video I made below highlighting the day’s events yesterday. There are some impactful stories you don’t want to miss.


Finally, this Sunday will be our special Victory of the Lamb Christmas service. We’ll have an opportunity to zero in on what makes Christmas truly worth celebrating. You won’t want to miss this either! Come to church this Sunday and find out how Christmas means you can go in peace. Our worship band will be playing music pre-service also starting at 9:20 so you might want to come a little early, grab your coffee at the Victory Café, and find a seat in the cinema. In fact that whole idea about coming a little early, that’ll help get you ready for 2014 when we’ll be moving up the start time for our service to 9:09 am.

Did you know that? It’s true. In 2014 church at Showtime Cinema will start at 9:09.

A new year. A new time. 9:09. It’s got a ring to it, wouldn’t you say?

Sermon audio podcast from Sunday.

Recorded service video from Sunday.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Victory News - God With Us

What is it like to feel alone? I can only imagine that it feels a lot like being in a sunken ship at the bottom of the ocean. Incredibly, that’s where one man found himself a week ago. Did you hear his story? It’s amazing. The boat Harrison Okene was in sank. For 60 hours he lay inside at the bottom of the ocean. There was just a small pocket of air for him to breathe. It was cold. It was dark. He was alone.

Except that he wasn’t.

God was with him. And he knew it. Psalms that he had memorized ran through his mind (I’ll bet he was thankful for whoever told him it was worth the effort to commit Scripture to memory!). Prayers raced over his tongue. He cried out to God. He prayed for God’s will to be done. And then, amazingly, he was rescued. Here’s what he had to say about the whole ordeal yesterday in an interview. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should really watch it. He talks about how his hope, his trust, his confidence were in God even when he felt alone.

Now there are certainly days when all of us appreciate our time alone. I think that’s true even for extroverts! Yet who of us isn’t afraid of the prospect of one day finding ourselves abandoned or feeling left completely alone? While I don’t expect that I’ll ever meet anyone who’s spent time alone in a sunken boat down at the bottom of the sea, there are a lot of folks I know who feel sunken down and alone during this holiday season. Maybe you’re one of them.

Yet here’s the truth we’re going to talk about this Sunday: Christmas is the assurance that we are and never will be completely alone! Immanuel has come. Jesus is the God who is with us. He is the One who entered our world as one of us on that first Christmas to redeem every lonely step we take until he takes us home, sets all things right, and makes all things new. Until that time if you know Jesus as your Savior God, you are never ever all alone.

--

Victory of the Lamb was on the front page of the Franklin NOW newspaper today! Check it out online. I’m excited for our big meeting this coming Tuesday, December 17th. At this meeting the Common Council will be voting on whether to rezone our land on Loomis Rd that we hope to buy for our future church home. Since it’s a public meeting you are all welcome, especially Franklin residents, to come and show your support at City Hall at 6:30 pm on 12/17. I don’t know when we’ll be up on the agenda but the more of you who can come, the better. And if you can’t come, that’s ok. Please take this up with God in prayer!

9:09 – If you haven’t heard yet, 9:09 will be our new start time in 2014 starting the first Sunday in January. We’re going to mail postcards and use social media to invite our community to come visit us in the new year at Showtime Cinema at 9:09.

Our 2nd annual Bible Quest Christmas Pageant was a big success Sunday. There were 342 total people in attendance worshiping, participating, teaching, and learning. By far that makes this past Sunday the highest attended Sunday morning we’ve ever had. God be praised! Thank you everyone who helped make Sunday happen. Without a doubt it took a total team effort to transform the movie theater into Bethlehem.

On December 22nd we will be having our special Victory of the Lamb Christmas service at 9:30 am. Since we are only able to meet at the cinema on Sunday mornings we don't have Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services.

This Thursday, December 19th is our Operation Jesus Cares’ Christmas project. Thank you, everyone, who has donated or signed up to help. We are just shy of our goal of raising $2,000 for this project to show the love of Jesus to help people in need. Sunday again there will be an OJC Donation box located at the OJC table in the lobby at Showtime with more information about the project. Any questions, please contact Ryan or Rebecca Solie. They would be more than happy to let you know how you can help show the love of Christ this Christmas!

Sermon audio podcast from Sunday.

Recorded service video from Sunday.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, December 6, 2013

Victory News - Moving Forward!

So many of the songs we hear on the radio contain stories of unfaithfulness and brokenness—the stories that are so common to us all. But Christmas sings of a God of faithfulness who kept the most precious promise of all. In our new series starting this Sunday, called My Christmas Playlist, get ready to be inspired by the sacred songs and promises of a God who is determined to win us over with his faithful love.

Live From Bethlehem! This Sunday is our Bible Quest Kids’ Christmas pageant. This is a special opportunity for everyone to hear the Christmas story told in a fun, creative way by our Bible Quest kids. This Sunday therefore we will have a special Sunday morning schedule. The Bible Quest kids will join us in theater #1 for their 35 minute pageant which will start promptly at 9:30. Then I’ll be preaching a sermon to kick off our My Christmas Playlist series. So basically Sunday will look like this: pageant, sermon, offering, blessing, song, and then “So long, everyone!”

Please keep in mind that we are expecting many travelers coming to Bethlehem for this Sunday. You should plan on arriving early. It would also be prudent to get into theater #1 before 9:30 while there is still room in the inn and please do your best to fill up the middle seats so we can be gracious to our guests, visitors, and any latecomers. We don’t want anyone to feel turned away. Keep in mind though we may have to also set up chairs in the lobby to watch on the TV if necessary.

Because of the pageant we will not be celebrating Communion this Sunday. We will have it next week however on December 15th.

Also note that because of the pageant this Sunday we will be having Bible study in theater #8 instead of #6 because the BQ kids are going to be using that theater for prepping and dressing up. All BQ parents are invited to join us for Bible study in theater #8 while your kids get ready. Just pick up a Bible on your way in.

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and/or attendance at the Plan Commission meeting last night. We rejoice that the Plan Commission voted in favor of our project! Now it's on to the Common Council for their vote on December 17th. This will be a most important meeting for the future of our church. Please consider making plans to attend. Your presence in support of our church makes a difference. Thank you for your prayers and support!

November was the highest attended month we’ve ever had. We averaged well over 200 people in total attendance. That is awesome! Great job at inviting others to come celebrate Christ’s victory with us. Keep it up! December is a great time to invite people to church. “Come and see.”

9:09 - That’s when our church service here at Victory of the Lamb is going to start beginning in 2014. It might seem like an odd time at first, but this is our way of turning an obstacle into an opportunity. Because of the earlier movie times here at Showtime, it’s a necessity for our Bible Quest ministry that we start sooner. We hope it will also relieve some stress for our take-down teams and give people more of an opportunity to get to know our guests and visitors. The odd time 9:09 will also give us an opportunity to send out mailings and use social media to give our community an update on our future plans and invite them to come check us out in the New Year as we get ready to build our own ministry center that will allow us much greater flexibility in when we can meet.

Last Sunday I announced my decision to return the call to Goodview Trinity in order to continue on at VotL. I ask you to keep the people of Goodview Trinity in your prayers as they wait for a new pastor to shepherd them and to lead them to be able to reach out to their community in Goodview/Winona. I’m at peace that I made the right decision. My family and I are happy to be here in Franklin with you and I’m excited about the future of VotL!

Christmas Service—Sunday, December 22nd we will be having our special Victory of the Lamb Christmas service at 9:30 am. Since we are only able to meet here at the cinema on Sunday mornings we don't have Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services.

Thursday morning this week I had the privilege of leading chapel at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. It was a great experience to get to preach to a couple hundred high school students. Afterwards I also got to meet with VotL students who attend WLHS. What a blessing to be at a school where students can go to chapel and hear God’s Word taught and applied to their everyday lives!

Coming up very soon on Thursday, December 19th is this year’s Operation Jesus Cares’ Christmas project. Please consider donating towards this event so that we can purchase the items needed to make this a success. There is an OJC Donation box located at the OJC table in the lobby at Showtime with more information about the project. Any questions, please contact Ryan or Rebecca Solie. They would be more than happy to let you know how you can help show the love of Christ this Christmas!

Sermon audio podcast from last Sunday.

Recorded service video from last Sunday.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Relax, the Right Way

Make sure you relax.

That’s good advice heading into Thanksgiving.

That’s perhaps not such good advice heading into the end of the world.

After four weeks, this Sunday I’ll be wrapping up our series How To Survive the End of the World. For some reason I thought I’d try and see if there’s anywhere in the Bible where you can find the word “relax”. I thought it’s got to be in there somewhere. But it’s actually kind of hard to find. In fact you have to diligently search a variety of English translations to find the word “relax” anywhere in the Bible.

One place I found it was in the ESV translation of Luke 12:19 where Jesus tells a story about a man often referred to as “the rich fool.” In Jesus’ story this man hatches a plan to tear down his barns so that he can build bigger ones to hold all his stuff. He’s pretty satisfied with himself over all that he’s accomplished, all that he’s accumulated, and all that he has planned. So he says to himself, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”

In other words, “Note to self, make sure you relax.”

How did that plan work out for him? Not so good.

“But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'” Luke 12:20

Turns out there’s never really a good time to take a break from thanking God and depending on him.

So I hope you all have a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. It’s good to rest and be refreshed. In fact the Bible says it’s a gift of God to be able to enjoy blessings like good food and drink and the company of loved ones.

Just don’t be a fool. Don’t ever forget who it is who blesses you with everything you have—your gracious, generous God. Take time to read his word. Take time to worship him with songs and prayers of thanks and praise around the dinner table.

Our God is so kind and good that he not only gives us our daily bread to strengthen our physical bodies. He also gives us the Bread of Life, his Son Jesus Christ, who forgives our sins and nourishes our immortal souls. Both are gifts to be received with thanksgiving even though one is vastly more important than the other.
  • Sunday at church I’ll be announcing my decision regarding my call to Goodview Trinity in Minnesota. Thanks again for all of your encouragement, words of advice, and prayers!
  • Mark your calendars...this year’s Operation Jesus Cares’ Christmas project with Christ-St. Peters will be held on Thursday, December 19th. There will be a sign up sheet at church Sunday on the OJC table for volunteering for the 19th. Please write your name and email address on the form, and Ryan Solie will send out more detailed emails as the event approaches. There will also be a donation box at the OJC table that you can make donations in. So far we have raised $178.00 towards our goal of $2,000.00.There are a limited number of Sundays remaining until the day of the event, so please consider donating towards the Christmas project to ensure its success.
  • Sermon audio podcast from Sunday.
  • Recorded service video from Sunday.
  • View on online version of this email with pictures on my blog.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Encourage One Another With These Words

150 years ago this week President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg address. People didn’t regard it very highly at the time. Yet it’s endured over time as one of the finest, most frequently quoted speeches in American history. Set against the dark landscape of the Civil War, Lincoln’s words gave people something to hold onto. A vision of freedom. Words of hope to outlive the deaths of all the soldiers who died.

Interestingly it’s only about 270 words long. Takes about 2 minutes to read out loud. That makes it only a little longer than the words of the sermon text from the Bible that I’ll be preaching on Sunday!  (I’m also aware today that Lincoln’s speech is significantly shorter yet infinitely more memorable than any of my blog posts.)

Yet the words that God has to share with us this coming Sunday will outlive President Lincoln’s speech. In fact they will outlive our nation’s government of the people, by the people, and for the people. They will outlive every blogger’s musings. They will outlive the internet. They will outlive even the grave. They are words that will never perish. They are words that give us the sure and certain hope that we too will outlive death through faith in Jesus Christ.

Therefore encourage one another with these words, says the Apostle Paul.

That’s what I intend to do Sunday as we learn together and celebrate our hope that outlives death, all because of Jesus. Don’t let yourself miss out. In fact go ahead and read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 in advance of Sunday. Whet your attitude for some hope!

  • How about that crazy weather last Sunday!? I’ve asked a number of veteran pastors and no one I’ve talked to can ever recall experiencing a storm like that with tornado sirens going off during a church service, much less during a service about the end of the world, much less during a prayer asking Jesus to help us be ready for his return even if today is the day. I just wish all my sermon applications could be that effective! I actually had the thought while I was praying that if this was how God wanted to call me home—while praying as a church family…that wouldn’t be a bad way to go.
  • Again thanks for all your words of encouragement and prayers concerning my call to Goodview Trinity in Goodview/Winona, MN. It’s amazing how actually holding a call to another church helps a person to zoom out a little bit and remember that the church of Jesus Christ is so much bigger than any one particular gathering or place. It’s a good reminder too how blessed we all are to be a part of the Church through faith in Christ. And how privileged we are to have opportunities wherever we are to share the gospel with others because there are opportunities everywhere.

    So at this point there are still a few conversations I’d like to have. I think I’ve mostly got my mind wrapped around the situation. I continue to feel humbled and blessed throughout this process. I feel spiritually healthy and happy. So my process right now is to hopefully make a decision for myself by this Sunday, write out my thoughts, then live with them for a week and hopefully God confirms them for me. Then I will announce my decision in church on December 1.
  • I’m looking forward to our Thanksgiving Meal this coming Sunday at the Oak Creek Community Center. If you’d still like to come but haven’t registered yet I believe Sammi said that there are 4 adult seats and 3 child seats still available. Contact Sammi if you’d like to reserve any of those seats.
  • Mark your calendars...this year’s Operation Jesus Cares’ Christmas project with Christ-St. Peters will be held on Thursday, December 19th. There will be a sign up sheet at church Sunday on the OJC table for volunteering for the 19th. Please write your name and email address on the form, and Ryan Solie will send out more detailed emails as the event approaches. There will also be a donation box at the OJC table that you can make donations in.
  • Sermon audio podcast from Sunday.
  • Recorded service video from Sunday.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, November 15, 2013

Victory News - Replenish


"Time is the world's  most perishable good, and it is not replenishable."
It was healthy to be able to get away and enjoy some time with family and good friends but it’ll be so good to be back with you this Sunday. Thankfully I hear that church at Victory of the Lamb last Sunday went just fine without me, in fact much better than the Packers’ game that Sarah and I went to!

Before the game though we had the opportunity to worship at St. Mark in De Pere. We got to hear a great sermon on love as part one of a series they were starting called Relationships: Handle with Care. It was neat also to be in their newer church building designed more for modern communication and ministry. (I’m taking notes everywhere I go.)

If you were at Victory of the Lamb or you watched online, Ben Reichel, our student assistant, kicked off our new sew series How to Survive the End of the World. What a heady title that is, huh!?

I thought Vicar Ben did a great job introducing us to this series by taking us into a book of the Bible called Matthew where Jesus was talking. There we heard Jesus making us aware of all things that he says will happen leading up to the end of the world. Jesus told us in advance signs that should remind us that he is coming back soon. Ben then told us about how we can be prepared for Christ’s return by clinging to the gospel of Jesus no matter what bad things are happening all around us. That’s the key to making it all the way safely Home!

Well this Sunday I’ll be exploring that idea further with you as we learn from a story that Jesus himself told about his return at The End. It’s found in Matthew 25:1-13. We’re going to talk about the one unreplenishable gift that we have—time. And we’re going to talk about how we can use our gift of time wisely so that God can replenish our faith through his means of grace.

  • Thank you, everyone, who’s reached out to me so far through texts, emails, etc.  with encouragement or counsel regarding my call to Goodview Trinity in Winona, MN. I have had good conversations about it. It’s quite an adventure to hold two different calls from God to serve his people. I continue to be humbled and learn things about myself and about our gracious God. I have been prayerfully considering where I can best serve using my gifts and abilities to His glory. I hope to announce a decision next Sunday, November 24th. Please keep me, our church, and Goodview Trinity in your prayers.

  • Yesterday I got to participate in a super fun meeting. Members from Kayla’s Krew, Victory of the Lamb, architects and engineers met Downtown to talk about and tweak our site plan that we are submitting to the City of Franklin Plan Commission. If you read the Franklin NOW paper yesterday maybe you saw that our application for rezoning has officially been entered. We will have a public hearing with the Plan Commission on December 5th and then with the Common Council on December 17th. One more thing to keep in your prayers. More news to come!


  • Mark your calendars...this year’s Operation Jesus Cares’ Christmas project with Christ-St. Peters will be held on Thursday, December 19th. There will be a sign up sheet at church Sunday on the OJC table for volunteering for the 19th.  Please write your name and email address on the form, and Ryan Solie will send out more detailed emails as the event approaches. There will also be a donation box at the OJC table that you can make donations in.

  • Watch the video I made last year for our Operation Jesus Cares' Christmas project.

  • Sermon audio podcast from Sunday.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, November 8, 2013

How To Survive the End of the World

“The Book of Eli,” “The Darkest Hour,” “Contagion,” “The Day After Tomorrow.” The list of doomsday movies that Hollywood produces is incredible. Yet they keep coming. There’s something about these end of the world stories that fascinates us, frightens us, and keeps us coming back for more. The theme that inspires is survival. Against all odds, when all hope is lost, humanity grabs hold of courage, defies the enemy, and turns the tide.

What Hollywood won’t show is the real end of the world story or how the victory is won. The end is coming. For some it will be a day of judgment and destruction, grief and pain like nothing even seen or imagined before. The Bible calls this “eternal death.” But for others the end of the world will mark the beginning of a new life where pain and trouble will cease forever. The Bible calls this “eternal life.”

When the last day comes… on which side of the fence are you going to be on? How will you survive the end of the world?

The good news is that Jesus has done everything to chase away our fears! He is able to replace them now with complete confidence in answering those questions. Through faith in Jesus we will stand firm to the end. With him we will stand on the side of eternal life!

Come this Sunday as our Student Assistant, Ben Reichel, kicks off the first message in our November series “How to Survive the End of the World.”

video

  • Join us for our annual VotL Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal on Sunday, November 24th. Join us for fellowship at 4:30 and dinner around 5PM.

    The meal will be held at the Oak Creek Community Center (8580 S. Howell Avenue in Oak Creek - appx. 1 mile south of Drexel or 1 mile north of Ryan Rd.)

    Suggested donations for dinner are $10 for adults (over 12) and $6 for children (2-12). These donations will be collected at the dinner.

    CLICK here to RSVP (I think this link should work for you)

    Otherwise please RSVP to Sammi Goodger via phone (414-304-5736), email, or at church. RSVPs must be submitted by Wednesday, November 13th.

    We hope you can join us!
  • Sermon audio podcast from Sunday.
  • Recorded service video from Sunday.
  • View on online version of this email with pictures on my blog.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, November 1, 2013

Victory News - God Is Our Refuge

Wednesday morning I awoke early—around 4 am. No, it wasn’t because our foster daughter was crying. It was because I was. At least...I was in my dream. Suddenly wide awake however I felt sick to my stomach. The quickly fading memory of the dream, and the feelings that went along with it, were still fresh.

We were in an urban area—my family and I. But we got separated. There was an earthquake. Buildings collapsed all around us. Kaboom! One of my daughters was gone. I couldn’t find her. She was buried alive. It was sorrow overwhelming. I was weeping. All of a sudden the world around me starting spinning out of control like it was being sucked into a black hole.

Then I woke up. Heart pounding. Sick to my stomach. Sweating.

Until I went to one of my “go-to” verses which says, fittingly, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” (Psalm 46:1-2). God used that verse once again to soothe my soul, still my mind, and settle down my heart.

No wonder Martin Luther also found Psalm 46 to be one of his favorite prayers. He loved it so much it became the basis for one of his most famous hymns, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” This Sunday at VotL we’ll learn about why knowing God as our refuge gives such peace as we wrap up our series Bridging the Gap under the theme: Find Truth.

  • New Bible 101 Starting THIS TUESDAY! What are you waiting for? This is your opportunity to start digging in, finding answers to your questions, and discovering the joy of knowing Christ’s victory!

    When: 4 Tuesday evenings starting November 5th from 6:30-8:00 pm
    Where: The community room at Harris bank on 76th and Rawson.
    What: 4 weeks, 4 topics—sin, grace, faith, works

    Click here to register!  Think about bringing a friend. God promises that his word changes lives!
  • Missionaries’ Conference Recap. This Monday and Tuesday I got to be out of town attending a WELS missionaries’ conference in the Dells. The best part was getting to connect with some classmates and friends. It’s good to be able to have opportunities to encourage each other, share ideas, and help carry each others' burdens. Over the course of two days we also sat through quite a few presentations from our mission counselors and other pastors on topics like, “Christ is sufficient,” “The reality of the world in which we live,” “Relationships with those of a different culture,” “Staffing for growth and structure for a large church” and “Special ministries use for evangelism.”
  • Join us for our annual VotL Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal on Sunday, November 24th. Join us for fellowship at 4:30 and dinner around 5PM.

    The meal will be held at the Oak Creek Community Center (8580 S. Howell Avenue in Oak Creek - appx. 1 mile south of Drexel or 1 mile north of Ryan Rd.)

    Suggested donations for dinner are $10 for adults (over 12) and $6 for children (2-12). These donations will be collected at the dinner.

    CLICK here to RSVP (I think this link should work for you)

    Otherwise please RSVP to Sammi Goodger via phone (414-304-5736), email, or at church. RSVPs must be submitted by Wednesday, November 13th.

    We hope you can join us!
  • Today is the day all the proper applications and paperwork are being submitted to the City to officially begin the rezoning process on the Loomis Rd land. We will keep you updated with dates and times of community hearings in the weeks ahead! Please keep this in your personal and family prayers.
  • Sermon audio podcast from Sunday.
  • Recorded service video from Sunday.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Victory News - Life to the Full

Ah, the good life. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Isn’t that why we invest so much time and energy into the relationships that we think will make us feel fulfilled? Isn’t that why we try and surround ourselves with the things that we think will make us feel happy? Isn’t that why we get up and go to work—so that we can experience and enjoy the good life? And if not now, then later, right? Because God wants us to be happy, doesn’t he? Eventually…maybe…hopefully?

Ah, the good life. It’s downright elusive even though it seems everyone’s trying to find it. Fortunately God knows just how to fill our empty hearts and lives with a gift that’s far better. Not necessarily the good life the way we might be inclined to think of it, but a full life.

Life to the full.

That’s what I’ll be talking about this Sunday as we continue our series Bridging the Gap and plumb the depths of what Jesus meant when he said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

What is life to the full? The answer to that question may not be what you expect to hear, but it will exceed your highest expectations. Find Jesus, Find LIFE.   

3 open forums down, 1 more to go. Thank you everyone who came this week to give feedback on the Path to Victory document we sent out. There is one more open forum this Sunday morning starting at 8:00 am in theater #6. Feedback so far has been unreservedly supportive, positive, and helpful. I am greatly encouraged and excited for our future! Quick note: the open forum coming up Sunday morning will take the place of Bible study in theater #6. 

New Bible 101 Starting in November. Bible 101 is the starting point for anyone who wants to investigate what Christianity is all about, anyone who wants to explore what the Bible says, anyone who has spiritual questions, or anyone who is interested in taking the first steps to becoming a member of our church and receiving communion with us.

Group begins in November on Tuesday evenings.   (Please note: I had to eliminate the Saturday option for mixing and matching. Sorry, just too many previously scheduled conflicts!)

When:4 Tuesday evenings starting November 5th from 6:30-8:00 pm
Where: The community room at Harris bank on 76th and Rawson.
What: 4 weeks, 4 topics—sin, grace, faith, works

Click here to Register!  If you’ve been through Bible 101 before, consider participating again. And this time…bring a friend to join you.
 
Save the Date— Victory of the Lamb will be having our Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal on the evening of Sunday, November 24th at the Oak Creek Community Center. We invite you all to come and bring your friends. Registration details coming soon. 

A day of rest – Join me in thanking God that tomorrow I am planning a day off to spend time with my family. Friday is the day I had hoped to consistently plan as a day off this year. But I’ve come to realize it’s been well over a month since I last had a rest day. That’s not healthy. So I’m also tomorrow going to attempt to do something that can only be accomplished with supernatural strength…turning off my cell phone. But I’m going to try!  Say a prayer for me please :)

Here’s the recorded service from Sunday.

Sermon pdf from Sunday.


Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, October 18, 2013

Victory News - Bridging the Gap

Is there a reality beyond what we can see? If there is, can we really know what it is?

So many people want to find and understand the “supernatural.” But to know if anything exists - and what - beyond the reality we live in, we need to hear from someone who has bridged the gap between that natural and supernatural.

Enter Jesus.

He came to bridge the gap between our yearning for God and truly knowing who God is.

In our new series starting this Sunday we will listen to the words of Jesus who came into our world as the Word.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
 
New Bible 101 Starting Soon. Bible 101 is the starting point for anyone who wants to investigate what Christianity is all about, anyone who wants to explore what the Bible says, anyone who has spiritual questions, or anyone who is interested in taking the first steps to becoming a member of our church and receiving communion with us.
 Group begins in November. Two weekly options. Mix and match according to your schedule.

When:4 Saturday mornings starting November 2 from 10-11:30 am or 4 Tuesday evenings starting November 4th from 6:30-8:00 pm or
Where: The community room at Harris bank on 76th and Rawson.
What: 4 weeks, 4 topics—sin, grace, faith, works

Click here to Register!

If you’ve been through Bible 101 before, consider participating again. And this time…bring a friend to join you. 

Save the Date — Victory of the Lamb will be having our Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal on the evening of Sunday, November 24th at the Oak Creek Community Center. We invite you all to come and bring your friends. Registration details coming soon.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Victory News - Living By Faith

"The righteous will live by faith." Habakkuk 2:4
Who can show us any good?

Don’t you feel that way sometimes as you scan the headlines, listen to the news, or participate in a workplace discussion of current events? Who can show us any good?

That question is certainly a contemporary one, but it has also been around a looooong time. People at the time of David around 1,000 B.C. were asking it (cf. Psalm 4:6). People at the time of Habakkuk around 600 B.C. were asking it (cf. Habakkuk 1:2-4). I’m sure people long before then speaking different languages in different places were asking it too, just like people today.

Fortunately, God has an answer for us. When bad things happen in this world, when we feel surrounded by danger and evil, we know that we have God’s promises to protect us as we live by faith. That’ll be the focus tomorrow as we wrap up our series “Me without You.”

  • A big thank you to everyone who helped make our Fall Festival last Saturday a success despite the flash flood warnings that were texted to us! I was genuinely impressed by the adventurous spirit of all of you who came. I think it was kind of fun actually to all huddle together under the pavilion for a while. Then afterwards the skies cleared and quite a few people came who had simply received postcards in the mail. That was great!

Right about now is when it started to rain.
Playing in the sand...I mean mud...after the downpour.

Pumpkin painting was a bit hit for everyone.

High tech apple meets low tech pumpkin
  • Many thanks also to the members of the Franklin Historical Society who gave us what I’m sure will go down in history as some of their more memorable tours during the torrential downpour. History during a thunderstorm…now that’s the way to learn! Likewise we thank the City of Franklin for approving us for a community grant which enabled us to rent the park without having to pay all the fees which helps us make our Fall Festival event open to our community.
  • Save the Date— Victory of the Lamb will be having a Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal on the evening of Sunday, November 24th at the Oak Creek Community Center. We invite you all to come and bring your friends. Registration details coming soon.
  • Our apologies this week if you tried visiting our website or listening to the sermon podcasts. Data is being transferred to a different server and there have been a few hang-ups in the process. Hopefully we’ll have the podcasts up again soon.
  • Thursday night I attended the Evening For Life banquet in support of WELS Lutherans For Life Metro-Milwaukee. I serve as a member of the Board of Directors and got to participate in some very valuable training the night before on how effective boards function.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD (Psalm 4:6 NIV84).

Friday, October 4, 2013

Victory News - God's Perfect Love Drives Out Paranoid Fears

Paranoid King Saul of Israel, not a good role model.
Taking others’ words and actions in the worst possible way coupled with a failure to trust God and his promises, sets the scene for irrational fear and suspicion in our lives. What burdens could be lifted if we simply put our trust in God and his promises!

This Sunday we’ll see how we can absolutely do that. We’ll learn about our status before God so that we can be secure in our relationship with him and then also with others.  His perfect love for us drives out fear.

“Hello, my name is child of the one true King…and his name sure isn’t Saul!”

  • Tomorrow’s our Fall Family Festival from 2-5pm at Lions Legend Park here in Franklin. It’s the park just east of City Hall, just southeast of the Franklin library. I hope you all can make it! It looks right now like there’s a good chance of rain. But that’s ok. Bring an umbrella, join us under the pavilion, and then have fun taking a tour of Franklin’s historical village right next door. The Franklin Historical Society will be giving tours of the school house, church, town hall and cabin from 2:30-4:00pm.

  • I got a thank you card in the mail yesterday from Christian Jensen who is the Executive Director of My Team Triumph WI. Some of you I’m sure will remember when Christian came and talked at Victory of the Lamb after church. I’m pretty sure that I speak for all of you who were able to participate in the Brewers Mini that it was a very fun, rewarding experience. Debbie from church sure had fun crossing the finish line of her 10K! I’d have to say too that I was yet again quite impressed by the willpower of our own Ryan Solie who successfully pushed captain Cody Andersen the entire half-marathon all by himself, with an uncooperative chair I might add. I know he doesn’t want any spotlight on him for that. But all to the glory of God I’m excited about participating again and looking forward to how we can partner more with a great group of people like My Team Triumph. If you haven’t seen pictures yet, be sure and check out the album on our church Facebook page.

  • Save the date: December 19th will be our next Operation Jesus Cares project where we will again help the school kids from Christ-St. Peter’s on the Southside put together Christmas care packages for their neighbors and go out with them into their neighborhood to deliver them and invite people to come hear the Gospel at their bi-lingual school Christmas Eve service.

  • This week I was gone two days up in Mishicot for a joint pastors’ conference. We heard presentations on new hymnal project in WELS that has begun with the goal of being completed by 2024. It was quite interesting especially when considering how quickly technology is changing and thinking about what an impact that has on the different ways of delivering hymnal type resources in a decade!
  • Leadership Team Meeting—This Monday night, October 7th, the Leadership Team will be meeting at the parsonage from 7:30-9:00pm. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the future site options of our church in light of recent developments as well as to chart a timeline for congregational input and feedback. Stay tuned for more information and opportunities for you to give feedback regarding our future.
  • I’m thankful to Manager Todd from Showtime for working with us and being flexible regarding their additional movie show-times.  For the sake of our Bible Quest staff and take-down, I’m also going to work to build our worship services a little shorter. That might mean one less song, a shorter sermon, or subtracting the Q and A from worship service week to week depending on what we know in regard to the movie times in the Bible Quest auditoriums. This week for example we have to be completely out of theater 8 by 11:10 which should be doable as long as the preacher this Sunday doesn’t go into overtime (But don’t be paranoid about that, people…remember you’re going to hear a sermon about that Sunday!)
  • Just a note: There is NO Confirmation Class this Sunday. Vicar Ben will be out of town attending to a family situation. The next class will be then on October 20th as scheduled.
  • There is Bible study at 8:30 before worship though on Sunday. You all are invited.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Victory News

Dear Friends,

The last two weeks for me have been joyfully busy. I’m as excited right now for the future of our church as I’ve ever been! I’m also happy therefore in the midst of the busyness to welcome back to VotL this Sunday our friend Caleb Schultz. Caleb is one of the Fide band members who helped out at our soccer camp this August and preached for me. As a second year student at the Seminary, Caleb needs to have an Old Testament sermon video recorded for reviewing with his homiletics professor. We just happen to have a series that I could work him into for that. So this Sunday Caleb’s going to continue our series “Me Without You” with a message based on the prophet Amos. It’s a message from an ancient prophet that I think you’re actually going to find very relevant to our world and your lives today.
  • Tonight I finished up with another Bible 301 group. Congratulations to Rick, Sue, Jordan and Kristina for completing my whole Bible 101-301 course! What this means then too is that I’m looking to start a new Bible 101 group this October. So if you haven’t yet taken Bible 101 with me, now’s your chance to let me know what days/times work best for you. But even if you’ve been part of a Bible 101 group before, now’s a good time also for you to invite someone else to take it again with you. Think how awesome it would be to give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to work on someone else’s heart when they get to study his Word and hear the Gospel with you!
  • The Fall session of Sheep Squads is underway. Visit our website for more info. You can also contact Daniel Tomczyk, our small groups coordinator, by email at dan.mel.tomczyk@gmail.com or phone at 414-367-8009.
  • Our church’s Fall Family Festival will be on Saturday afternoon, October 5th from 2-5 pm at Lions Legend Park in Franklin (the park just southeast of the library). Thank you everyone who’s already signed up to help. There will be pumpkin painting, caramel apples, two bounce houses, and free tours of Franklin’s historical buildings from 3:30-5:00pm thanks to the Franklin Historical Society. Make plans to just come hang out and have fun. I will undoubtedly also have a football with me and I’m hoping I might have a few more receivers to throw to this year!
    Saturday, October 5th, 2-5 pm at Lions Legend Park
  • This week a couple of us met at length with our District Mission Board leaders to discuss the future of VotL in our community as far as site options are concerned. Mission Counselor Ed Schuppe (whom I know many of you have met before) came up from Atlanta to spend time with us. As one blessing of being connected with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the Mission Board provides us with valuable mentoring, counsel, coaching, prayer, and support as we evaluate everything from different site options, site plans, ministry programs, community relationships, and financing through the Church Extension Fund which helps mission churches like ours.
  • Two years ago I prayed very specifically to God, asking him regarding our church’s future to surprise me with something I hadn’t even considered before. Well over the last two months God has been doing that and I couldn’t be more excited. You’ve heard me communicate over the last month or so about a wonderful group of people in Franklin called Kayla’s Krew. Their mission is to build a large, all-accessible, all-inclusive playground here in Franklin for kids and adults of all abilities to play together. Now after two months of conversations I’m excited that it looks to be a mutually agreeable possibility for our church to provide the place for their playground to be built in way that would bless the community and be a true community partnership. We continue to talk as we work toward making this dream a reality.
  • Many of you have gotten to meet Kathy and Debbie at church. They are the ladies who receive transportation to VotL from a group home here in Franklin. Well this Saturday morning I’ll be getting to push Debbie as a “captain” in the Brewers mini-marathon / 10 K race with me as one of her “angels” with My Team Triumph. This will be my first My Team Triumph race. I’m really looking forward to it and I know Debbie is too! And I won’t be the only person from VotL involved in this race either. I think the majority of MTT people Saturday are actually going to be from our church including runners, volunteers, and captain Cody. How great is that that we can show the love of Jesus in this way!?
  • If any of you can come early Sunday morning for set-up this week that would be a blessing to us. Showtime Cinema is now being required to open its doors for some movies starting at 11:00 am. I think we’ve worked out with management most of the kinks that we experienced last week so that we should be able to continue our Bible Quest ministry running smoothly for the time being. We’re going to have to do some moving things around however to make this happen. It will probably involve storing our Victory Café equipment in a different theater and rearranging some of our Bible Quest storage.
  • Here is a link to this past Sunday’s worship folder for announcements and other church communications. Here’s a link to the sermon podcast as well.
  • Finally, can you join me on our church field trip this Sunday? Please take a second to register here and let me know if you’re coming. I promise it will be worth your time!
  • Pfew…that’s a lot of bullet points this week. If you read this far give yourself 10 points. What do these points get you? I have no idea. Come up with something fun. But you can’t say Heaven. It doesn’t work that way. The good news though is that Jesus scored enough points for all of us and he’s happy to share his perfect accomplishment with us simply by trusting him.
And that’s why I continue to enjoy…sharing Christ’s victory, (And now it’s definitely time to get some sleep)

Pastor Ben

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Victory News - LIVESTRONG in the LORD

Samson (as seen on The Bible miniseries at least)
Superman. Iron Man. Samson.

All…vulnerable.

Kryptonite. A weak heart. Philistine women.

What about you?

This Sunday as we continue our series “Me Without You” we’ll learn an important lesson from the story of Samson in the Bible (Judges 13-16) regarding the nature of true strength. We’ll see a man who was given the gift of superhuman strength become incredibly weak when he failed to acknowledge and glorify God as the Giver. We’ll learn that you can only live (and die) strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. As I used to sing as a child, “We are weak, but He is strong!” (from the children’s song “Jesus Loves Me This I Know”)

Don’t think you need to hear this message? You think you’re good enough, tough enough, strong enough, (dare I say it for some of you) man enough to hold it together on your own without God? Well then I challenge you with these words: “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12)

Come this Sunday and learn how you can only LIVESTRONG in the LORD! 



  • The Fall session of Sheep Squads is getting underway. What is a Sheep Squad? Basically it’s a group of 7-10 people where you can discover friendships, grow in God's Word, and put faith into action. It’s a way for you to get connected and keep growing beyond Sunday mornings. Visit our website for more info. You can also contact Daniel Tomczyk, our small groups coordinator, by email at dan.mel.tomczyk@gmail.com or phone at 414-367-8009.

    Click here for more information
               
  • Speaking of Daniel, this Sunday during the service we will be installing him with God’s blessing as the newest member of the Victory of the Lamb Leadership Team. I look forward to working with Dan on the Leadership Team. He has many gifts but most importantly a humble servant’s heart.
     
  • I also want to acknowledge that in the process of selecting a new Leadership Team member I delight in the many individuals in whom we see leadership qualities and activity. I am thankful to God who is the giver all gifts that we have a bright future at Victory of the Lamb because we have so many people serving, giving, and stepping up to lead in so many different areas. It’s something I regularly pray for that “God would at all times fill the offices of this congregation and its societies with upright, honest, and sincere men and women, who have the welfare of their congregation at heart and are able to help me in my office with their counsel and their deeds.” (words from A Pastor’s Daily Prayer from the old The Lutheran Agenda).
     
  • Remember, there is Sunday morning Bible study going on. 8:30 am in theater #6. You are all invited! I’m teaching this Sunday. We’re studying John’s Gospel together. This is a great book to jump in on if you’ve never been in a Bible study before. Bring a Bible or we’ve got one for you.
     
  • Save the date: Our Fall Festival is coming up on Saturday afternoon, October 5th from 2-5 pm at Lions Legend Park. Plans in process. Think pumpkin painting. Food. Photo booth. Tours of Franklin’s historical buildings thanks to the Franklin Historical Society.
     
  • Here is a link to this past Sunday’s worship folder for announcements and other church communications. Here’s a link to the sermon podcast as well.
     
  • This week I had the pleasure of meeting with those people you see working the A/V tech each Sunday morning who make sure we have live sound and are responsible for our live internet streaming. In the next couple of weeks we’re going to be working towards streamlining and standardizing our set-up. Once that’s done we’ll be asking for some more of you to volunteer and get trained on the equipment. If you’re interested in that, feel free to reach out to me and let me know.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Week Two of Me Without You

Come to Victory of the Lamb this Sunday and you will learn how to sin and get away with it.

Well, at least that’s what Aaron and Israelites sort of thought that they could do in Exodus chapter 32—for a while anyway.

But come on, be honest. Isn’t it crazy how deep down there’s something inside of you that would love for my first sentence up above to be true? (That something is what the Bible calls the sinful nature. I know because I’ve got one too.)

After all as human beings we like to have good reasons for everything we do, don’t we? Usually we can manufacture some sort of good sounding reasons. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. Everybody else is doing it.  It’s not like it’s hurting anybody else. 
If we didn’t have good reasons, we wouldn’t do it, right? And so over time we become quite accomplished at coming up with clever ways of covering up, rationalizing, or simply explaining our choices in ways that make sense to us.

Yet when we start coming up with “good reasons” to sin, we elect to walk a dangerous path away from God. As it turns out, people have been doing this for a long time. In our series “Me without You” this Sunday we’re going to learn how Aaron and the Israelites manufactured a golden calf idol to worship and along with that calf… a whole host of “good reasons” for thinking they would be able to get away with that sin.

In the end however, only the work of a mediator saved them from God’s wrath. The same is true for us. Thank you, Jesus!


Jesus is a better mediator. Hebrews 9:15

  • Confirmation class starts Sunday. Ben Reichel will be teaching the Jr. High kids in the birthday party rooms just off the Showtime Cinema lobby. Pray for God’s blessings on this year’s instruction.
  • There will be Sunday morning Bible study this week. 8:30 am in theater #6. You are all invited! I’ll be teaching.
  • News flash: Showtime Cinema is going to begin showing movies throughout the cinema starting at 11:00 am now. I’m told that this won’t impact the theaters we use for ministry. There will however be some overlap between the end of our ministry morning and moviegoers entering the cinema. Think of it as an opportunity for us to be friendly and show people the love of Jesus who might be surprised to learn there’s a church meeting in a movie theater.
  • Save the date: Our Fall Festival will be on Saturday afternoon, October 5th from 2-5 pm at Lions Legend Park. Still making plans. Think pumpkin painting. Food. Photo booth. Tours of Franklin’s historical buildings.
  • Here is a link to this past Sunday’s worship folder for announcements and other church communications.
  • Volunteers helping with Sunday morning set-up and take-down have a huge impact on our ministry—especially now as we’ve grown considerably over the last year and we have more to do. So if any of you can come early / right away at 7:00 am when I arrive to open the doors and start setting up theater 1, that would be awesome. Likewise Cassy could use a couple helpers early setting up Bible Quest in the west wing. Otherwise we can use a few more eager people to roll up their sleeves and jump in after church to help with take-down. Especially with the expansion of Bible Quest into a 4th auditorium there is a lot to do. (Get it…A Lot? Like from Vicar Ben’s sermon last week… anybody?) Just find someone who’s got that look of determination because they’re hard at work and ask how you can help.
  • Conversations regarding land/building/playground here in Franklin are ongoing with numerous people. I am tremendously excited about so many recent developments over the last few weeks. Hopefully soon I’ll have more info to share more and we can start charting our course into the future together. Pray for God’s good and gracious will to be done as we seek to put down roots in this community.
  • Last but not least, this week I became a foster dad. Her name is Hailey. She is tiny and she is cute. God is good all the time!
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, September 6, 2013

Me Without You

There’s a song that some of you may have heard if you listen to Christian contemporary music. It’s called “Me Without You” by the hip hop-rock-pop musician Toby Mac. The song attempts to answer the question about God, “Where would I be without You?”

In our series starting this Sunday, we’re going to answer that very question too by digging into some Old Testament scriptures. Our back-to-school series brings us face to face with the spiritual weaknesses that plagued the Bible’s heroes and villains of old.


What’s amazing is how incredibly contemporary their stories are. As their stories speak to our own individual life stories, our comfort is Jesus, who alone can rescue us from both the guilt and the tyranny of our sinful nature.

That’s why the New Testament encourages us that everything that was written in the past was written for our benefit, “so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

Come find hope this Sunday as we start our new series!

  • I’m excited for Sunday not just because we’re starting a new series (and the start of a new series is always a good time to invite someone new) but because our new Student Assistant, Ben Reichel will be installed in the service. For the next year while he finishes up his senior year at the Seminary, Ben will be a part-time preacher at VotL sharing the gospel with us every 4th or 5th Sunday. He’ll also be team teaching Confirmation Class with Jon Brown-Schmidt. Unlike Joe Gawel last year, Ben won’t have any responsibilities with our small groups ministry which will be led long term now by Daniel Tomczyk to provide consistency from year to year. And by the way…more info coming soon about those groups starting this Fall.
  • There will be NO Sunday morning Bible study this week. Instead you are all invited to…
  • Bible Quest Kickoff Sunday…celebrating the launch of the new, additional Discoverer Room (our 4th Bible Quest room)! Have you ever wondered what exactly goes on in Bible Quest? What the new room will look like? Kickoff Sunday is your chance to get a first-hand look. Cassy, our Children’s Ministry Director, will be giving guided tours of the Bible Quest rooms and talking about what is happening at Bible Quest. You are all invited whether you have kids in BQ or not. Tours will be at 8:45am and 9:00am. Special kickoff treats and surprises will be on the tours!
  • Confirmation Class is beginning again soon—next Sunday in fact, September 15th. Confirmation class takes place twice a month during the Sunday morning worship time. Parents, if you have children 6th-8th grade, and you haven’t contacted me yet, please contact me to make sure I have your up-to-date contact info so that you receive further communications about the class.
  • Save the date: Our Fall Festival will be on Saturday afternoon, October 5th at Lions Legend Park. Mark your calendars. More info to come next week.
  • Here is a link to this past Sunday’s worship folder.
  • Last but not least…we rejoice with Micah Biesterfeld and Robina Reddie who will be joined together in marriage tomorrow afternoon. I have the privilege of leading their rehearsal and preaching at their wedding service tomorrow. In case you’re wondering…when you don’t have a church building of your own, you do the next best thing and borrow someone else’s! So in the case of Micah and Robina they’ll be married at St John’s Lutheran Church on 68th and Forest Home.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Victory News - Peace Through Jesus


The butterfly is one of the oldest symbols of the Resurrection.
The background is my Greek New Testament, 1 Corinthians 15.
Last Sunday was a full day. In the morning we got to worship together as a church family and we had so many first time guests with us at church. In fact I got to reply to ten new connection cards this week and have already set up a couple follow-up meetings with people where I’ll get to talk more with them. It doesn’t get much better than that. God be praised! For a lot of reasons I am as excited about the future of our church as I’ve ever been.

Sunday evening also gave us another reason to praise God. After bravely battling brain cancer over the course of a year or so, Sarah’s Mom finally received the eternal victory won for her by Jesus our Savior. Our daughter Lydia pretty well summed it up when she said she felt, “A little happy. A little sad.” We will miss Mom so very much. I cannot in so few words say just how much she meant to all of us and what an inspirational example she was to so many.

But what joy it gives us to know that she is now forever free and at peace in that place where there is no more pain, no more suffering, and no more death! Faith in Christ was made for such a time as this. Mom lived and died trusting in her Savior. For that reason we boldly and confidently assert that Mom did not lose her battle with brain cancer but that she won it when Jesus ushered her soul into glory everlasting! “Thanks be to God; he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

This Sunday we get another opportunity to hear about that victory Jesus won for us. We are wrapping up our summer series “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” with what is one of the most powerful stories Jesus ever told. You can read about it in Luke 15:11-32.

  • There will be Sunday morning Bible study this week. Frosty Bivens will continue teaching on the Beatitudes of Jesus found in Matthew chapter 5 from 8:30-9:10 am in theater #6. You all are invited.
  • This afternoon is the visitation for Sarah’s Mom at the Heritage Funeral Home in New Berlin from 4-7 pm. Her Christian Victory Celebration will be Friday morning at 11 am at St John’s Lutheran Church in Newburg, WI. Mom’s obituary can be found here online.
  • Tuesday evening this week I also had the opportunity to lead a celebration of life/memorial service for Liz Schinners who passed away on August 23rd. I was privileged to talk about sin and grace and the victory won by Jesus. I look forward to sharing God’s Word more with Liz’ dear husband Mike and their family at Victory of the Lamb in the future.
  • God’s blessings and protection to all of you who are traveling this Labor Day weekend!
  • Just another friendly reminder that each Sunday’s worship folder is the primary means of our church communication. If you happen to miss a Sunday you can always access the worship folder via the File tab under the Victory of the Lamb Group in our Online Community. Here is a link to this past Sunday’s worship folder.
  • Confirmation Class is beginning again soon on September 16th. I am in the process of finalizing the schedule and will send it out this coming week. If you have children 6th-8th grade, and you haven’t contacted me yet, please contact me to make sure I have your up-to-date contact info so that you receive further communication about the class.
  • Save the date: Our Fall Festival will be on Saturday, October 5th at Lions Legend Park. Mark your calendars. More info to come.
  • The Franklin Historical Society has been in contact with me about how we can help provide volunteers for community events because they have heard we are a church that wants to help the community. Right now one immediate request they have is for 2-3 people to help park cars during the St. Martin’s Fair which is held this Sunday and Monday afternoons. Basically they need a couple people willing to stand for 2 hours and direct cars. If you are able to help it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Jim Luckey via email.
  • Last but not least, this past Sunday many of you got to meet Shelly from Kayla’s Krew. I’ve heard many of you express interest in helping Kayla’s Krew in our community. That is awesome! One way you can participate is by joining them tomorrow night at the “Blackout 2013” game between Greendale and Franklin. Details are on their website. And if you’re on Facebook, be sure and like the Kayla’s Krew Facebook page for regular updates.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Victory News - Everyone Needs Compassion


"Your faith has saved you; go in peace." - Jesus
One of my favorite lines from the soccer camp video that I made was when Coach Caleb is talking about compassion and he says, “Compassion is like loving somebody when they need love a lot.” (It’s true!)

Again this Sunday we’re going to get a chance to see just how much compassion Jesus has because he is the friend of sinners. Go ahead and read Luke 7:36-50 ahead of time. Think about the courage and the conviction that it took for the sinful woman to enter the Pharisees' house.

When we understand the true depth of our own sinfulness, then we can’t help but marvel at the magnitude of Jesus’ compassion and love for us too. It’s really this kind of deep appreciation for Jesus’ love that makes us want to be a church that welcomes sinners and shows them compassion too just like Jesus did.
  • This week I met with Ben Reichel. Ben’s going to be our new Student Assistant, or Senior Vicar, this school year. I’m excited to introduce him to you this Sunday. Ben just got back from serving at a mission church for a year in a culturally diverse part of Toronto. He’ll be completing his senior year at the Seminary while serving with me at VotL. Ben’s duties will include confirmation class teaching and some occasional preaching. He’ll be installed during worship on 9/8 and preach his 1st sermon at VotL on that day too. So yes, that means we’ll have Pastor Ben and well…Mr. Ben? Vicar Ben? Maybe…just…Ben?
  • Confirmation Class will begin again on September 16th. I am in the process of finalizing the schedule. If you have children 6th-8th grade, and you haven’t contacted me yet, please contact me to make sure I have your up-to-date contact info so that you receive further communication about the class.
  • Save the date: Our Fall Festival will be on Saturday, October 5th at Lions Legend Park. Mark your calendars. More info to come.
  • Do you have a CD player at home that you are no longer using? Please consider donating it Bible Quest. We are currently looking for two additional CD players for weekly use in the classroom.  Music is an important part of our learning and a number of our activities are on CD.  Contact Cassy or bring your CD player to church on Sunday. Thanks!
  • Bible Quest Kickoff Sunday!  September 8th is the first regular season Packers game and the day BQ kicks off the new Discoverer Room. This new room will be held in Theater #11 (across from the Explorer Room). The ages from the rooms will be:  Climbers 18 months to 2 year olds, Adventurers 3 and 4 year olds; Discoverers 5 and 6 year olds, and Explorers 7 year olds to 5th graders.  We are introducing the new room because the current Adventurer room is just too big (God be praised!) and by reducing the age range in each room, kids will have a better Sunday morning experience. Have you ever wondered what exactly goes on in Bible Quest? What the new room looks like? Kick Off Sunday is your chance! Cassy, our Children’s Ministry Director, will be giving guided tours of the rooms and talking about what is happening at Bible Quest on Kickoff Sunday. Tours will be at 8:45am and 9:00am. Special kick off treats and surprises will be on the tours!
  • A number of you have asked about the potential for regularly giving your offerings online. Well we’ve got it. You can set up recurring or one-time giving here. You can also access the e-giving site via the Electronic Giving tab on our website.
  • Finally, meetings continue with people in Franklin regarding the future of VotL—just where and how we partner with people in our community to help others, show compassion, and make a difference long-term in our community. We’re having some great conversations with City officials and Kayla’s Krew and generally just praying that God keeps guiding us into the future! At this time we have not formally moved forward with applications for rezoning the Loomis Rd property. We are awaiting another meeting and conversation with the Mayor.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben