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Showing posts from 2017

Intangible Christmas Gifts #BecauseofJesus

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Dear Friends,

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

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

Victory News - Christmas Joy!

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Dear Friends,

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

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

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

Of course the answer to those questions was Yes!

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

What's Your "Generostory"?

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Dear Friends,

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

Generosity + Your Story = Your Generostory.

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

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

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

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

Victory News - Is Your Heart Happy?

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Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

Victory News - Confident? In Christ Alone!

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Dear Friends,

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

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

Victory News - Seeking Certainty

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Dear Friends,

When we started Victory of the Lamb 11 years ago, we had many dreams. One of them was that our church might become a place where anyone could come no matter what their religious background, feel welcome, and ultimately discover the uniquely wonderful joy of knowing that Jesus Christ did everything to save them!

Before we ever held a worship service as a new church, something blew me away. As a group of us began going door to door to meet people in our Franklin community, about 80% of the people we surveyed said they didn’t think they could ever be sure they were going to “heaven”. We found this to be a fairly consistent response whether a person claimed to belong to Gesu church near the Marquette campus, the Hindu temple in Pewaukee, the Mosque on 27th St, or the local Kingdom Hall.

As we asked more questions their reasons came out. “I don’t think anyone can know for certain.” “I just hope that I’ve been a good enough person.” “Eventually if I store up enough positive k…

Victory News - What is Good?

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Dear Friends,

This week I asked somebody via email if there was anything I could be praying about for them. I received this reply: “It seems like no matter where I turn there is a lot of hate, negativity, or divisiveness around. It feels as if some people wake up in the morning just looking for something or someone to be angry with.”

Might that also be a fair assessment of how you’re feeling too? It seems to me that in an absurd kind of way this might be the one thing everyone can agree on right now: People are so mean!

But how did we get here? How did we end up in a world where we think everybody should love each other and yet we feel like everybody else is so angry and mean? Why do we find ourselves in a world where so many people want to express unity only to end up feeling like we’re more divided than ever?

These are worldview questions. More specifically, these are morality questions. That’s what we’ll be talking about this Sunday as Pastor Bill continues where I left off last w…

Soul Searching - You're Invited!

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Hello Friends,

It’s not as well-known as the 4th of July or Labor Day. It’s perhaps not as anticipated in stores like Halloween. But did you know? It’s NationalBack to Church Sunday this coming Sunday, September 17! (It’s true. You can’t make this stuff up!)

But that’s not the only reason I’m inviting you to join me at Victory of the Lamb Church this Sunday. We’re starting a new message series that I believe God’s going to use to have a big impact on our lives. It’s called Soul Searching.

We’re going to explore together some of the natural, inherent, deeply rooted, and almost irresistible longings inside human beings. After all, we all yearn to know answers to questions like: Where have I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? What is the point and purpose of life? Does my life mean anything? What happens when I die? Is there a God out there? And if so, so what? These are some of the questions we’re going to explore in our series, Soul Searching, starting this Sunday, …

Victory News - God Cares About Islands

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Dear Friends,

In the Caribbean there’s a small island called Barbuda. It’s just north of Antigua where we have a church and a school. God be praised, Antigua was just south of Hurricane Irma’s eye. Antigua was thus largely spared the most devastating winds. However, many Antiguans have relatives on Barbuda which, sadly, didn’t fare as well as Antigua. It was nearly obliterated by Hurricane Irma yesterday. The pictures from Barbuda are devastating. The losses are just beginning to be counted at this point. Please join me in praying for the people of Barbuda and all those in the hurricane’s path.

Each morning this week after reading my Bible, I’ve checked social media to see some of the 1st hand accounts and reports of places along the hurricane’s path to help shape my prayers throughout the rest of my day. Otherwise I find it’s easy not to notice sometimes, you know what I mean? On the one hand, sometimes we might feel like we are bombarded with tragic news from all over the world. It…

Victory News - Take Up Your Cross Part 2

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Dear Friends,

Last Sunday we began a three-part series to end the summer that I pray will help all of us from every generation see that we have much more in common with each other than we might think. In this series we’re getting at the heart of what Jesus meant when he said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

We started by looking at what this means especially for our young people—those heading out the door for school, our teens, our college age students and young adults. We learned how none of us is in this cross-carrying struggle alone. We also learned how to lean on God and each other for strength as we live our lives under the cross. In case you missed it be sure and catch up by watching it online.

This Sunday Pastor Bill will pick up where I left off by talking about the crosses we carry from the perspective of our middle ages years. How do we stay focused on what’s most important when the business of ma…

Victory News - New Series Starting

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Dear Friends,

It’s a tough, lonely thing to grow up in a world filled with high expectations and endless temptations. Young people need to understand that they are not alone—everyone faces the same struggles. How can we come up alongside our youth, our teens, let them know that we love them, we care about them, we’re ready to listen without judgement?

This Sunday we’re starting a new series that I pray will help us to do just that. It’s called “Take Up Your Cross” and it has to do with the struggles and challenges that we face as we follow Jesus in every generation. Over the next three weeks we’ll take a look at some of the crosses that are unique to different seasons of life—in youth (this Sunday), in middle age (next Sunday), and in our golden years (9/3).

At the same time we’ll all find common ground at the foot of the only, truly unique cross—Christ’s cross. There we will find what brings us all together—forgiveness and renewed strength through God’s Holy Spirit to say “no” to sin an…

Victory News - Saturated With Prayer

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Dear Friends,

To be honest, I’ve never considered myself an accomplished pray-er. I’ve always felt that other people probably pray more frequently, more naturally and more insightfully. So it’s been really healthy for me personally to spend a whole summer saturated with a sermon series on prayer. I hope you’ve felt that way too as we’ve been working through some tremendous examples of prayer in the Bible and seeing how we too can pray with the confidence that our prayers are powerful!

For example, this past Sunday we learned to confidently go to God and ask him to do in you what only God can do. We looked at how this can be as easy as using a one-liner prayer.

Cleanse…  Create…  Cultivate…

Those were a couple of my one-liners based on Psalm 51 in the Bible. What were some of yours? Did you get an opportunity to craft your own one-liner prayers for God’s unlimited power?

In case you missed last weekend’s message, be sure and catch up by watching it online. And join us this Sunday at 8:30 o…

Victory News - Pray for God's Power

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Dear Friends,

YouTube has been a game changer for me. I learned how to install a new video card in an old desktop computer by watching a video. I learned how to put new strings on my mandolin by watching a video. There is almost no limit to the number of things you can learn to do by watching a “How-to” video online. YouTube empowers me and makes me feel like I can do almost anything (so long as I can find a video of a twelve-year old showing me how via the internet!)

And yet is that true…that you can do anything you put your mind to doing?

Not exactly. This Sunday we’ll be looking at Psalm 51 in the Bible where we see that there are indeed some things, some really huge and important things!, that only God can do. And that’s why we need prayer. Prayer is acknowledged helplessness. At the same time prayer is acknowledging God’s power to do in us what we cannot do ourselves.

So please join me this Sunday at 8:30 or 10:15 as we continue our series Prayer Is Powerful. And in case you missed …

Victory News - News Service Times This Sunday!

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Dear Friends,

Don’t forget…this Sunday our new service times are 8:30 and 10:15!

I will be continuing our series “Prayer is Powerful” as we look at Abraham’s prayer to God on behalf of his nephew Lot and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:20-33. Please join me as we learn how persistent prayer is pleasing to God. And let’s take advantage of the freedom that God has blessed us with in this great nation to gather together to listen to his word, to praise him and to pray to him!

This Sunday we also will be welcoming the Branches Band as guest musicians for both our worship services. There will be a free will offering opportunity to support their music ministry after the service as well as an opportunity to purchase CD’s and other music resources in the lobby. Visit the Branches Band website or on Facebook for more info. If you’d like you can also find their music on Spotify.

(ICYMI watch Pastor Bramdeo Ramgolam’s sermonfrom this past Sunday. “Let’s start with prayer and go from …

Victory News - Prayer Is Powerful!

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“If God is for me, who can be…who can be against me???”

This isn’t just the chorus to the catchiest soccer camp song of all time (You’re welcome, parents😊). It’s also a promise of God recorded in the Bible (check out Romans 8:31-39)! Since God has already given us his greatest gift in Jesus who went to the cross for us and has defeated sin, death, and the devil for us, we can therefore trust God for everything else that we need in life too. Every. Single. Thing. God is for us!

This means we can talk directly to God now as our dear Father in heaven because of the victory that Jesus won for us. And that’s really what prayer is…talking to God. It’s our privilege to pray knowing that our relationship with God has been changed because of Jesus. God is now our true, heavenly Father. We are his children. He loves us. He is for us. And so he delights to hear from us – in any and every situation. In fact, God promises that our prayers have power. And that’s what we’re going to start talking …

Victory News - Don't Laugh at the Gaffe

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Dear Friends,

“Oops…Sorry! I didn’t mean to do that.”

Whether Gideon thought this way or not, what we’re going to see this Sunday is that he made a huge spiritual gaffe. Something that started out seemingly kind of small spiraled into something significant and spiritually dangerous. That ever happen to you? Have you ever set up a secret idol, unintentionally? You might be surprised to find out you have. But even more surprising is to learn how God deals with us according to his grace time and time again…even when our lives are full of spiritual gaffes!

Join us this Sunday at 9 or 10:45 as Pastor Bill is going to bring home our series Ordinary People, Extraordinary God with the grand finale in part 4: Gideon’s Gaffe.

(ICYMI, watch and share my sermon from this past Sunday. God used Gideon to defeat the Midianites. See how God also wants to use you. And the good news is that Gideon’s God…is our God too! He is patient when we waver. He is powerful when we’re weak!)

Soccer Camp Is Here – Here…