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Showing posts from November, 2013

Relax, the Right Way

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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 l…

Encourage One Another With These Words

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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 blogge…

Victory News - Replenish

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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. Ther…

How To Survive the End of the World

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“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 t…

Victory News - God Is Our Refuge

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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 us…