Hi Friends –
Have you ever had a song get stuck in your head? It plays over and over again in your mind, and you can’t get it out. Fear has a greatest hit: it is called a “what if.”
Fears take over when we give more weight to our “what ifs” than to God’s promises and who God is. What do you do with your “what ifs”? Because I want you to know that they are always going to be there, kind of like the smell of the smoke at a bonfire – it’s just going to be there.
We so often freeze in the “what ifs”. We wade out only so far because we are afraid it is going to get deeper: what if there is more trouble? what if it gets harder? What we need to do is play out the “what ifs” to the very end. When we play them out to the very end, we find out God’s character and purpose in our lives. We end up with a stronger faith, because EVEN IN OUR DARKEST DAYS, GOD STILL HAS LIGHT; GOD IS THE LIGHT.
Go to the next phrase. Go from “what if” to “that would.” “What if” produces panic, whereas “that would” acknowledges pain that has happened or will happen. If she says no, it will hurt. If I fail that class, it will ruin me. It they laugh at me, I will feel embarrassed. But there is still another phrase: from “what if” to “that would” to “God’s promise.” What if this gets worse?… that would be so hard, but I know that God is keeper, sustainer, comforter, mender of broken hearts, SAVIOR.
Panic… Pain… Promise.
Think of it this way: In the old days, they used to talk about back masking. Back masking is where words (supposedly Satanic words) could be heard if you played a record backwards. Do this with your fear; play it backward and you will hear not Satan but God. Faith is believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse. Play your fear backwards. For example, in 1 Samuel 17 there is a scrawny kid and a huge giant. Every time I read 1 Samuel 17 Goliath, the giant dies at the end. Every single time. When I read in the Gospel every Good Friday, Jesus dies. But he dies for my sins and yours. And every Easter he rises conquering death for us. God has perfect love for us, perfect love that drives out fear (I John 4:18).
I want you to play this song over and over. Repeat the words of the song after me: God is Faithful. God is Faithful. God is Faithful!
Crazy Love – This week, we continue our sermon series “Crazy Love,” as we talk about the freedom of forgiveness.
ICYMI – Last Sunday, we learned how Jesus hung out (literally!) with individuals that we church people would deem “beneath us.” And he showed them the same love, the same grace. Learn more about how Jesus’ love embraces all by viewing last week’s sermon here.
Easter Sunday – Who are you praying about inviting to Victory of the Lamb on Easter Sunday? Watch on Facebook for posts to like and share, a frame to add to your profile pic, and videos to share. This weekend, grab an invite card on your way out of church to use to personally invite a family member or friend. Also, please consider serving with one of our volunteer teams for Easter Sunday. We need LOTS of friendly faces to greet guests, teach children, serve food, direct traffic, and lead worship to make Victory of the Lamb an inviting, uplifting place.
Call – Thursday evening, the Leadership Team called Pastor Eric Hansen of St. Mark Church (DePere, Wisconsin). Keep Pastor Eric, St. Mark and our congregation in your prayers as he deliberates his call and where he can serve God joyfully with the gifts God has given him.
Recent Guest Experience – “I have to say that Victory of the Lamb is a fantastic church and your members are so welcoming and friendly. It was really awesome to meet some of them.” – Thanks for your continued desire to reach out to people and make them feel welcome and loved at Victory of the Lamb.
Ordering Easter Flowers – If you are interested in purchasing Easter flowers to decorate the worship center on Easter Sunday, please click here to fill out a form. Easter flowers are $9 each and selections include Easter lilies, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips. You may bring your flowers home after the services on Easter Sunday; any remaining flowers will be donated to Autumn Leaves Memory Care of Franklin on the Thursday after Easter.
Sanctuary Art Update – The Sanctuary Art install that was scheduled for the week of March 19 has been postponed due to a manufacturing complication. Stay tuned for an updated install date.
Amazon Smile – If you make purchases from Amazon, please consider shopping through AmazonSmile for a portion of your purchase to be donated to Victory of the Lamb. From March 12-31, Amazon is running a promotion in which they are tripling the donation amount to 1.5% when customers make their first eligible smile.amazon.com purchase. To make sure part of your purchase is going to Victory of the Lamb, start at smile.amazon.com and select “Victory of the Lamb Exploratory” as your organization of choice.
Thrivent Choice Dollars – This is the time of the year where you can designate your Thrivent Choice Dollars to your favorite charities. If you a Thrivent member (and we have at least 36 who are in our membership), you can do this in either of 2 ways:
(1) Call 1-800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice” at the prompt to send your allocated dollars to Victory of the Lamb Church, OR
(2) log in to the Thrivent Website, www.Thrivent.com/thriventchoice and select “Designate Choice Dollars” to do the same. Our church is entitled to receive a total benefit of $1296 if all our Thrivent members remember to designate their allotted amount before the dollars expire on March 31st, 2018. Why not take advantage of using your share of the fraternal Choice Dollars to benefit VotL? Thank you for your generosity.