First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Message recap

Today’s message:

Happiness is.......

Psalm 1.
The book of psalms was my grandmas favorite. Today, pastor touched on the first chapter. I enjoyed meditating on the words of the psalmist and for a brief moment was taken back.

I remember the joy my grandma had every day. No, this didn’t mean a pasted fake smile or acting as if her life was without trial. But there was always a peaceful, calm serenity which allowed her to fill a room with her peaceful presence. She was a tree planted by the waters and she was deeply rooted. But rooted in what? Her life was actually filled with heartache. She lost 2 children after birth and helped to save her daughter from an abusive marriage and care for her grandchildren most of their lives. But every day, no matter the problem, the answer was prayer and reading scripture. See, she didn’t do it because she felt she had to do so. She did it because her happiness- ALL happiness, is a supernatural byproduct of a relationship with Christ. We expect to hear some booming voice or miraculous turnaround of our problems. But, grandma knew that her happiness and peace was found when God spoke to her through reading His Word. Pinterest and Instagram feeds will tell us “Happiness is a choice”, but it’s more. Happiness is a gift, and yes, we must choose to accept that gift and focus on our relationship with our creator. We were created after all to love, and to be loved. That love, and it’s byproduct is happiness.

I pray for myself today and all my friends that we can remember the love our Lord has for us. I forget. I live like I don’t know. Yes, many days, I forget.

Thursday, April 12, 2018


Please see below. Hope to see our community and family.

The Psalms have been called the Prayer Book of the Bible; or as John Calvin noted, "I may truly call this book an anatomy of all parts of the soul...All the sorrows, troubles, fears, doubts, hopes, pains, perplexities and stormy outbreaks by which the hearts of men are tossed have been depicted here to the very life."
Commencing 6 May 2018 and continuing over the next three to four years, most Sunday messages will focus on a psalm as we pray increasing intimacy with Him for Him in all things in all places with all people at all times.
This will be a great opportunity to invite, welcome, include, and love new friends to Redemption on the Corner of Lincoln and Main.
Bring a Bible or ask a Gideon to provide one for you; especially now that the Gideons use the outstanding ESV for distribution.  The Gideon NT with Psalms and Proverbs with helps is handy, accurate, and an extraordinary gift from God.
We are about to experience a seismic Spirit-led-Spirit-filled-wineskin-expanding kairos moment at Redemption on the Corner of Lincoln and Main.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Celebrate God’s grace during Holy Week with our family of faith. We recognize that although we are sinners, our Lord meets us in our circumstance. For this, we worship.

Mark 2:17 
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Maunday Thursday- service at 7pm
Good Friday- services from 12-3pm
Easter Sunday- services at 7:20am and 10am

Thursday, March 1, 2018


This week, during our midweek programming we talked about bullies. The truth is, we can all be bullies at times. In fact, bullying includes gossiping (even if it is a true statement about someone), ignoring someone or excluding them, and desiring revenge or harm on someone. These spirits that can rage in all of us perpetuate the cycle of violence in our communities and schools. People who are mentally unstable or don’t have supportive family environments may even turn to retaliation of this bullying behavior and cause more harm, which is evident by our increase in school shootings.

So what can we do about this? How do we teach our children to survive and even help in these situations. Well, the answer to all our questions, as Pastor Bob likes to say, is “Jesus.” Jesus tells us in the Bible that perfect love drives out fear. His perfect sacrificial love is the example of this. We discussed with our children that love is not a feeling. In fact, it is an act. So, what do we do to counteract these moments- these cruel times? We must act up and stand up and show love by actively giving it. This may be simply smiling and waving at the person you know is being ignored in the halls. After all, everyone desires to be seen and recognized. In fact, that is what is so comforting in Psalm 139. The psalmist writes, “You created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.....Your eyes saw my unformed body and all my days are ordained for me were written in your book.”  What a wonderful thought!
The same God who made the stars cares for all His creations. When he made the earth He said it was “good.” But when He made man, he said it was “VERY good.”

God loves all His people the same. Black, white, rich poor, cultures and class of all kinds. Our job is to love. When we love- it drives out the dark. It is the only thing. Show love- active love. Every day. Show love to the undeserving because we all are unlovable at times, yet we are still adored by our creator.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Message recap

Farmers can teach one a lot about life. Farmers never get too down about a "bad" year, because they know a "good" year will come. In the same manner, however, they will not get too high about a "good" year because they know a "bad" year can follow. 

Farmers can also tell one about the pecking order of chickens. Typically, the biggest, strongest, and most aggressive chicken will bully their way to the top of the flock by literally pecking others into submission. 

Unfortunately, we can all get caught up in a good moment, and forget to give thanks to the One who gives such blessings, or get so caught up in a bad moment, that we forget to call on the One who wants to be our ever present help in times of trouble. Additionally, several of us get caught up in our own "pecking"at one another in order to give ourselves an upper hand. As Christians, we must remember the greatest command, which is to love Christ by loving others LIKE Christ. Jesus did not get caught up in who was better than another. In fact, He mocked the Pharisees in their vestments and those who thought of themselves as "better than the rest." Jesus said, "as you do it to them, you do it to me."

Lord, help us remember that we are all a part of your family and to treat one another as such. Help us to remember to thank you in good times and seek you in our hard times. Thank you for your promises to remain faithful when we fail to be.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Message recaps

Our message this week was a reminder of the need to allow God to examine our hearts. In Psalm 51, King David reminded us of his humanity. See, we all fall short. David was no exception. However, God called him to great things because of his desire to allow God to examine his heart, show him the error in his ways, and surrender to God, so he could be helped from the pit of sin that we all inevitably get into,  at some point in time. NONE OF US are good. We just sin differently- not better or worse. We are made righteous through God- alone. Our sacrifice will never be enough. No amount of volunteer work, or monetary offering can make up for our sin. Our Lord desires one thing- our hearts. Once we give Him that, truly and completely, what we seek and what we see, is changed. This is how we "abide" in Him and not just visit from time to time. Seek, knock, find..... the door will be opened. Amen.

             Psalm 51
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.
Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Today's message reminds us of the Fortress we have in God. Problems, although abundant, are temporary. Gods love for us is everlasting.

"No pit is so deep that God is not deeper still"-
Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom

Have a blessed day and live your love out loud. ❤️❤️