Recently, Fox 6 News in Milwaukee, WI did a story on a special school project that took place at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. This year was the sixth year that the high school opened “The Reality Store.”
In the Reality Store, junior and senior students have the opportunity to pretend that they are living in the real world as grown up adults. They pick careers that have income levels. Some have pretend families to care for. They have the opportunity to buy a home, buy or rent a vehicle, buy insurance, buy pets, and much more. Each student then has to balance the budget for the month and to see if they can “make it in the real world.”
This invaluable exercise is a rude awakening for a lot of students. They quickly learn that they will need to grow up quickly. Life isn’t quite as easy as high schoolers normally think.
Having attended Wisconsin Lutheran High School, I’m very proud of such an advanced and creative school activity! (I’m also very jealous that I never got to do it!)
As Christ the King School moves forward as a school of excellence, I think this would be a wonderful addition to our school that our upper grade students can learn from. Hopefully we can incorporate this activity into our school curriculum so that we can better prepare students to live in the real world!
There are some ministry moments that I will never forget. I will always cherish special landmarks in Christ the King’s history like our first ever organizational meeting in my living room, the day we opened our Preschool, or the dedication of our new building. These special moments have been significant moments in an extremely blessed history of our church and school.
But more often its the people that mean so much to me. Those special few who truly soak in every Word I teach them from Scripture. Those wonderful members that showed up out of nowhere one day and now are leaders at the church. Those unchurched visitors or school families that learned the true meaning of God’s grace for their lives. Often the unique stories of these people and my encounters with them are precious memories held near and dear to the heart.
Recently I had the privilege of one of my special memories turning into something now that I can always watch. I’ve had the privilege of working with a family, teaching the Word of God to them and sharing the good news of salvation. I even had the joy of baptizing the mother and both children. This family has taken to heart the joy of Jesus and the blessings of baptism so much that the husband produced a short video to capture the event.
This is an example of how I pray all receive and cherish the Word of God and the message of forgiveness. This is why I love what I do!
Here is their memorable video:
There is nothing easy about starting a church. Everything about it is challenging: There are few people to work with. There aren’t many resources. It’s a lot of work to get people into worship. It’s a lot of work to teach and guide people after they have been to worship.
Perhaps as challenging as anything in starting a new church is the lack of an actual church building. “You worship where? Where is that?” “How long do you think you are going to stay there?” Those questions are usually just the first of many skeptical questions that go along with many skeptical looks.
Christ the King understands this very well. We went through this for three years. There were many questions, many looks, many doubts. It was very difficult to convince people to try out a church that worships in an elementary school. It was very difficult to convince people that we were not just another “fly-by-night” church.
Then we built a building. Building a church and school building has been one of the greatest blessings to date for Christ the King. It gave legitimacy to the church. It gave people a reason to come and “check it out.” It gave our current members something to be proud of.
The video of the week for this week is about a church in South Carolina that recently celebrated the dedication of their new building. Not only is it a similar story to Christ the King’s, but this church also has several connections to Christ the King. Pastor Huebner and Becky helped out this church several years ago as they chaperoned a mission trip of high school students for 16 days in Myrtle Beach. Back then building a church was just a distant dream! In addition, Pastor Ben Zahn from Amazing Grace is the older brother of Courtney Zahn, the new 1st grade teacher at Christ the King!
We can give thanks to God for his blessing of a new building in both of these mission church locations–Myrtle Beach and Palm Coast. Enjoy the video below!
For over 100 years, one of the most popular Christian hymns in churches around the globe has been How Great Thou Art. This hymn was written in 1885 by a Swedish pastor named Carl G. Boberg when he was 26. The story goes that upon return from a visit he made he was caught up in a severe storm which was followed by a bright and shining sun. The sweet singing of the birds in the trees followed this storm as well. As the story goes, this experience led Pastor Boberg to fall to his knees in humble adoration and then pen the text to this hymn. Over the years it was translated into several languages until Pastor Stuart W. K. Hine translated it into English in the 1930s. The tune of the hymn is traced back to a Swedish folk tune from the 1890s.
Many Christians love this hymn for many reasons. It calls to mind the greatness and grandeur of our God. It calls to mind his love and grace in sending his Son Jesus to carry all our sins on the cross. It calls to mind the power of our victorious King who will return again and take us to our heavenly home.
Recently this hymn was performed by Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill at a special country music event. It was performed with tremendous passion and incredible skill. The music and singing certainly served their purpose–highlighting the text of the hymn.
Below is a video of the performance and the text of the hymn is below that. May the song remind us all of how great our loving and compassionate God truly is–a God who forgives and saves even sinners like us!
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art!
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder
Consider all The works Thy Hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy pow’r throughout the universe displayed;
And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come, with shouts of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!”
“Go and make disciples of all nations.” It wasn’t a suggestion. This was Jesus’ command. It wasn’t just a command for the 12 disciples. It wasn’t just a command for pastors and teachers. This was Jesus’ command for all of his disciples.
“But how am I supposed to do that? I don’t speak other languages! I don’t have the time for that! I don’t have the training for that!” Indeed, not all are able to do mission work in other countries in the very specific, gospel preaching sense of mission work. For many, carrying out Jesus’ Great Commission will mean sharing the good news of our Savior with family, friends, and neighbors.
But this is another blessing of being part of an international church body. The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) carries out mission work all over the world in many different countries. As individual congregations gather offerings each week, they have the privilege of sending a portion of their offerings to the WELS to carry out mission work. These congregational mission offerings fund all kinds of missionaries and their work. Thus, in essence, every day Christians are able to make disciples of all nations through their generous offerings of thanks to the Lord.
There is an inspiring story about these offerings in action, doing mission work in Mexico. Here is the story about WELS work in Mexico: