Monday, December 22, 2014

Victory News - Christmas Blessings!

Join us for a joint Victory of the Lamb / The Bridge at St. Paul's service in the gymnasium at St Paul's in Muskego.
God be praised! We all have so many reasons to rejoice this week. Of course the greatest of these reasons is the gift we have all received from God when He gave His one and only Son to be our Savior on that first Christmas. Jesus is the one Gift none of us would ever want to return! Come celebrate this Gift with me on Christmas Eve this week at 6 pm in the gym at St. Paul’s in Muskego where we are having a joint service with The Bridge at St. Paul’s. I'll be preaching a message from the Bible based on Hebrews 2:14-15.

I also thank God today for your generosity though as well. Yesterday at church was our commitment Sunday for our More Than Bricks campaign. Right now we are sitting at just over $300,000 in commitments and gifts made just yesterday alone! Would you join me in praising God for that incredible amount that reflects the overflow of your hearts! That means we are well on way to reaching our campaign goal of $500,000 in commitments over 3 years to help make our vision a reality after just one Sunday. What a joy for me to see the gospel move our church family to such extraordinary generosity! I am hopeful that with God’s blessings over the next couple weeks we’ll reach or exceed our goal. Thank you!

Friends, if you weren’t able to join us yesterday at church, simply bring your commitment card any of the next Sundays and just put it in the offering basket. Take a moment as you do to pray for God’s blessings on our ministry.

Christmas Eve Service — Wednesday at 6 pm we are having a joint Victory of the Lamb / The Bridge at St. Paul’s worship service at the gym of St. Paul’s in Muskego. I’m preaching. Pastor John Backus from St Paul’s will lead a band blended with musicians from both our churches. Our Victory Café is providing cookies and hospitality. We look forward to celebrating God’s blessings together even as we anticipate having our own Christmas Eve service next year in our newly completed ministry center! Please note that the service is in the new gymnasium which is on the east end of the school, not the church which is located right on Janesville Rd. Note also that offerings given at this service will go towards More Than Bricks.

Bible Quest:  BQ is taking this coming Sunday (12/28) off. We look forward to seeing you in the new year! Have a blessed Christmas!!

Operation Jesus Cares Christmas Project – Sunday we showed the video we made. In case you missed it, watch it here on YouTube.

Thank-You Letter From Grace Lutheran Church in Minot, ND. As you know, with our More Than Bricks campaign we are supporting three mission opportunities around the world. One of these is a new mission church that’s just starting in Minot, ND. Read the letter Pastor Nate Walther sent us this past week in thanksgiving. This is just a little reminder of what God’s Word says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

My sermon from last Sunday can be found here on our website.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben


Friday, December 19, 2014

Victory News - More Than Bricks Commitment Sunday

Operation Jesus Cares - Delivering care packages and some Christmas hope on 22nd St
For over 400 years God remained silent…until a voice in the wilderness, a prophet sent by God, cried out, “Prepare the way for the Lord!” Sunday we’ll listen to this voice as God speaks to us through his word to clear away the obstacles in our hearts so that we too can celebrate Christmas with maximum joy and peace!

Remember that this Sunday is also our More Than Bricks commitment Sunday. At Christmas we remember that God, the greatest Giver, gave us the greatest gift in his Son Jesus. So this Sunday each of us has an opportunity with our More Than Bricks campaign to prayerfully consider how generous we can be as God has uniquely blessed each of us.

There will be an opportunity in the service for each of you to come forward with your commitment card pledging your prayers, support, and gifts over the next three years. No prayer is too insignificant. No gift is too small. Together we will celebrate God’s faithfulness and pray for his future blessings! If you don’t have a campaign packet which includes the commitment card you can pick up one at church on Sunday or view all the More Than Bricks campaign materials on our website. If you are unable to be with us Sunday, you’re welcome to bring your response card to worship the following weekend, or mail it to the church office.

Christmas Eve Service — On Christmas Eve at 6 pm we are having a joint Victory of the Lamb / The Bridge at St. Paul’s worship service at the gym of St. Paul’s in Muskego. I’ll be preaching. Pastor John Backus from St Paul’s will lead a band blended with musicians from both our churches. We look forward to celebrating God’s blessings together even as we anticipate having our own Christmas Eve service next year in our newly completed ministry center!

Operation Jesus Cares Christmas Project – Thank you to everyone who helped make our Christmas project helping kids and families on the south side a huge success this past Tuesday. We raised over $2,000 and had over 30 volunteers serving Jesus and letting his light shine. A special thank you to Ryan and Rebecca Solie for their efforts at coordinating the event including receiving generous donations from Aurora Health Care and Pick N Save whom we also thank.

VotL In the News (again!) The Franklin NOW published a great article about us this week. The article was also printed in the NOW newspaper which is included with the Thursday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. If you have an extra copy of the printed version, please feel free to bring it Sunday to put in the church “archives” (aka my filing cabinet).

My sermon from last Sunday can be found here on our website.

Livestreaming ­–  Our apologies for the persistent crashing of the live service feed in the last couple weeks. The main issue is with the bandwith of the internet connection at the cinema. This is one area of our ministry that will greatly improve after we build our ministry center. Until then we’re trying to figure out whether we might be able to improve the experience—at least the best we can. So thanks for your patience. We want it to be a blessing and not a source of frustration.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Victory News - Bible Quest Pageant

This Sunday at Victory of the Lamb is our Bible Quest Christmas pageant. Of course you all are invited! What this means is that for the first half of the service you’ll get to sit back and enjoy the service as the kids from Bible Quest present “The Not So Silent Night.” Afterwards I’ll have a 20 minute message based on John chapter 1 from the Bible and we’ll have you on your way with plenty of time to enjoy some fellowship around the Victory Café in the lobby. Please note that because of the special event this Sunday we won’t be having Communion. We’ll wait till the end of the month for our next opportunity.


A couple other notes about Sunday from Cassy, our Bible Quest Director: Before church, we are going to have pageant rehearsal in Theater #1 for the kids and to coordinate all of the AV and music with the kids. Therefore, Theater #1 will be closed until 8:45am to allow us to rehearse with the kids without the distractions of people coming in and out of the theater. The doors to Theater #1 will open at 8:45am for the pageant. During this time before 8:45, there will be Bible study in Theater #7 starting at 8:09 as usual.

We are also expecting a full house for the pageant, so as you enter Theater #1, please sit towards the center of the rows to make the most possible space for others.  Lastly, there will be overflow seating in one of the theaters (not sure which one yet depending on the movie schedules). Our plan is to have the service streamed to that additional theater with audio/video where people can still watch the service and sit in comfy chairs even if theater #1 is full.

More Than Bricks Watch the video here! Celebrate. Pray. Share! Remember that next Sunday, December 21 is our Generosity Sunday.

Operation Jesus Cares Christmas Project – This Tuesday morning, 12/16, is our Christmas service project with the school kids from Christ-St. Peter on the south side. If you signed up to volunteer you should’ve received an email from Ryan Solie with details regarding Tuesday morning. If you didn’t, please email him. And to help you get in the Christmas serving spirit, check out last year’s OJC video!

Kayla’s Krew — This week Fox 6 News aired a special segment on Kayla’s Krew with interviews and footage from their design day last Thursday. You can watch it here.

VotL In the News The Franklin NOW mentioned us online. A bigger story is soon to come as well.

Christmas Eve Service — On Christmas Eve at 6 pm we are having a joint Victory of the Lamb / The Bridge at St. Paul’s worship service at the gym of St. Paul’s in Muskego. I’ll be preaching. Pastor John Backus from St Paul’s will lead a band blended with musicians from both our churches. We look forward to celebrating God’s blessings together even as we anticipate having our own Christmas Eve service next year in our newly completed ministry center!

My sermon from last Sunday can be found here on our website.

Finally, I just want you all to know that as your pastor I’ve been praying for you. I’ve used some extra moments this week to intercede with God for the people in our church family. I know many of you are going through some really tough times emotionally and spiritually. And I know some of you feel right now like you’re all alone in your struggle—whether it’s with depression, or anxiety, or grief, or physical pain or family conflict or whatever. But you’re not alone! Of course other people might not always see you hurting. They might not know exactly what you’re going through. They might not notice…and if that’s the case, chances are it’s because they’re dealing probably with something too in their own life that’s also pretty tough.

So I want to just end this blog post as a pastor by sharing this awesome passage from the Bible which ties into my sermon last week about how Jesus is our great High Priest. Let it remind you that Jesus loves you and lives to pray for each and every one of you no matter what you're going through: “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, December 5, 2014

More Than Bricks - Gathering Sunday's Here!


This is a big week for our church moving forward! At Thursday evening's Plan Commission meeting, our church's site plan received unanimous approval. The Mayor commended us for being a church that benefits the community. He complimented our architects and engineering team and spoke highly of our process as an example of how things should be done with new developments in the city. It was amazing! I feel truly humbled to be a part of this and tremendously excited for the coming year. God is good!

I'm really proud too of everyone on our team who's been working super hard to make this happen. And I'm proud also of our City leaders and staff. They're a great group of people and have been helpful to work with. There's just so much communication that's involved in this process but it's amazing when good people get together to work for the common good of a community. Exciting things are happening here in Franklin and the fact that we get to be part of it is very humbling to me.

Making the day even better was getting to be a part of the design day for Kayla's Krew. It started early in the morning. I got to meet out at our land with Kayla's Krew, Play By Design (the playground designers), and representatives from the City of Franklin. I by myself then went out and walked on the land where I prayed--thanking God and asking his blessings on our day, our church's upcoming campaign, and our future in the City. Specifically I asked God to use us our church's ministry center building project to reach the people in our community who don't know him and those who are hurting that they might know the victory of Jesus too.

Later in the day at Ben Franklin Elementary, in front of a gym packed with people, Kayla's Krew revealed their playground design with the input they received throughout the day from kids at all the public schools in the community. I got to see a number of people from our church and some of the concept designs of kids who I know from church or soccer camp. So cool. Let me just tell you...the playground is going to be one of the most incredible things you've ever seen when it's all done. And the whole community is going to come together to build it over 6 days in September 2015. You're all invited to help. It's gonna be awesome!

Kids at Ben Franklin Elementary getting excited to see the playground design
So...this Sunday continues our big week as a church. It's our Gathering Sunday for our More Than Bricks campaign. We'll get together to worship our gracious God. Then after the service we'll have a special presentation on what we hope to accomplish together with God's blessings. I hope you all as are excited as I am about the opportunities we're going to have to share Christ's victory with more people. So on Sunday we've got an awesome video to share. We've got some stories to tell. We've got a mission to move forward and I'm pretty pumped to do that with you.

So friends, God willing, I invite you to join me this Sunday at Showtime as usual. I hope to see you there.

Sharing Christ's Victory,

Pastor Ben