First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008

Friday, August 28, 2015


Are you ready for some football?

Actually, that's not why I'm writing.


1. If you have been trying to contact us via cyberspace aka e-mail around here, please be patient as we are having lots of problems since changing ISPs.  Especially Karen and Leslie have been affected when it comes to sending/receiving e-mail and even using printers.  So if you've sent something to them and wonder why they haven't responded to you, it's because they haven't been able to receive it and, ergo, respond.  We appreciate your patience.

2. This coming Sunday's message (viz., Frankly) is among the most painfully personal/pastoral/prophetic that I've prayed/prepared in a long, long, long time.  It's about one of the most difficult topics to talk about because we don't like to talk about it; but, according to the Bible, it's really, really, really consequential in an eternal kinda way.  That'll be this Sunday at 7:20 or 10.  If you're away, you can always catch worship live on Sundays at 10 by clicking on

BTW, I'm ready for some football!

Blessings and Love!

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Responding to requests...

The memorial service for Don Norek was broadcast live in its entirety on August 18 by  The recording of the service remains available in the archives of  Just click on the site, go to the archives, and click it on. 

A summary of the message at the service is available by clicking on, going to the right column, and clicking on "An Authentic Pastor."

This week's radio version of KD (8/25), every Tuesday live at 11:30 a.m. on, will feature a discussion of Don's legacy in Belvidere, Boone County, and beyond with regulars Kathie, Bill, and Tony.  Tune in and listen for the number for you to call in.

Blessings and Love!

Friday, June 12, 2015


1. Praise the Lord for all of the people in our family of faith who prayed and labored so hard and long to honor God and align hearts with Him in this year's VBS that concluded on Thursday night.  If you missed it, you can catch some of the flavor in the second worship service at 10 on Sunday with Joyful Noise leading the way and our children singing VBS songs in front of VBS decorations that are awesome! 

2. Psst!  Announcements commence immediately at 9:50 a.m. or even a minute or two earlier in the second service.

3. See the flyer below and forward it!  Honor God and encourage America's return to Him!

4. Speaking of honor, have you participated in the Veteran's Memorial yet?  The deadline is September 1.  Go to, go to the right column, and click on "An Opportunity to Honor Veterans."  You will be glad you did!  Troops and veterans will be honored!  And you may be part of igniting a revival for God and country in America!

Blessings and Love!

 Please join us for

  An American Salute to God”

 Patriotic Community Worship Service/Concert

Heritage Days Weekend
Sunday, June 28, 2015 
10:00 A.M
Community Building Complex of Boone County
111. W. First St.
Belvidere, IL  61008

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


1. There's still time for you to be a part of "An American Salute to God" that Mona, Karen(2), Fred, Ric, and many others have resurrected as a community worship service during Heritage Days on June 28 at 10 a.m. in the Belvidere Community Building.  The next rehearsal in our sanctuary is Saturday, June 20 at 9:00 a.m.  Please forward this invitation to friends in other parts/franchises of the Kingdom.  This is no time for petty and idiosyncratic denominational pride that is so insulting to Jesus; and if I have to explain that to you... Our nation is in peril; and the promise/caution is consistent throughout the Bible and history: "Return to Me," says the Lord, "and I will restore you."  For more information contact or call 815-544-6402 or 815-985-3532.

2. Are you interested in a tangible expression of thanks to God for our veterans and a continuing show of appreciation, love, and support for veterans and our troops?  Click on (see below).

3. As everyone knows who pays attention, I praise the Lord for the many Biblically Christocentric pastors and churches in Belvidere, Blackhawk Presbytery, Boone and Winnebago Counties; and, of course, around the globe.  Unlike the schismatics and mindless denominational drones of all flavors and franchises, I know denominations generate more confession/repentance than pride in the breaking hearts of believers; and If I have to explain that to you...  However, I have been asked by many people and increasing visitors and inquiries when it's O.K. to change churches.  If interested, see the attached.  It will soon be available as a Sunday morning bulletin insert, multiple copies will be added to our literature rack, and I suspect it will appear via within the month.

Blessings and Love!

Scratching the Surface


When It's O.K. to Change Churches

Sitting in the stands for a Belvidere Bucs high school football game with my friend and often mentor Ev about a decade or so ago, he directed my attention to some fans: “Hey, there’s…He was a member of the church about 30 years ago…Hey, there’s…She was a member about 20 years ago…Hey, there’s….He was a member about 15 years ago…Hey, there’s someone who left when you came!”

I think of pastor search committees.

Often asked why it’s common for PSC members to leave churches not long after the pastor “of their choice” has been around, I acknowledge those instances when the pastor or PSC or both erred in discerning them being called together for life and ministry.

Unfortunately, there are too many instances of PSC members leaving churches not long after “their” choice was installed that have little to do with identifying and yoking with a worship leader, discipler, and radical advocate for Jesus; as most often they leave because “their” choice failed to become “their” BFF, paramour, or champion for…

People leave churches for many reasons.

Most of them are silly, superficial, stupid, and selfish.


Go ahead, list ‘em.

Which ones aren’t silly, superficial, stupid, or selfish?

Which ones don’t make a mockery of our Lord’s expectations/commands in Matthew 18, John 17, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and…?

C’mon, which ones aren’t ideologically, idolatrously, idiosyncratically, or just plain old ignorantly motivated?

Unless proven otherwise by the example of Jesus, Holy Scripture, and common sense, I see only one valid reason for changing churches; and whenever this comes up, I urge people to leave those churches asap for their souls’ safety and especially for the spiritual and eternal welfare of children entrusted to them.

When the pastors, church professionals, church boards, and church constituents do not acknowledge and advocate Jesus by the book but rather sport religion only coincidental to Jesus by the book at the altar of denominational, traditional, or ideological loyalties from their navel-gazing left, right, up, down, inside, outside, and sideways, it’s time to leave.

Whenever someone in our family of faith tells me about people in such remotely-related-to-Jesus-by-the-book churches, I urge ‘em to invite, welcome, include, and agape ‘em into our family of faith.
That’s not stealin’ sheep.

That’s savin’ ‘em from…

If I have to explain that to you, you may be in a church that I would urge people to leave.

The real issue is the church’s leadership.

Do the women and men entrusted with leading the church believe in Jesus by the book with enthusiasm and without equivocation?

If so, embrace ‘em and work through the silly, superficial, stupid, and selfish things threatening to separate you from each other rather than insulting the One who lived, died, rose, and reigns to bring people together for life and ministry in/through/for Him.

If not, run from that church to save your/their life/lives.

Of course, the best way to insure your church stays with Jesus by the book is to ask prospective pastors, professionals, officers, and members, “Who is Jesus?”

If they are uncomfortable with that question, for God’s sake and everyone else’s, don’t enable them for church leadership!

If you cannot sense their joy and contagious excitement while struggling to answer the question, for God’s sake and everyone else’s, don’t enable them for church leadership!

If their answers are “nice” but only coincidental to Jesus by the book, for God’s sake and everyone else’s, don’t enable them for church leadership!

Bottom line.

Christianity is all about Jesus.

If you find yourself in a church that’s not, leave.

If you are in a church that is, stay…and pray/labor through who/what threaten to insult our Lord’s call for peace, unity, and purity in/through/for Him.


If you are in a church that is all about Jesus, you will overcome the worldly temptations to schism and separation; because, uh, in the existential as well as eternal end, Jesus and all who really love Him are…out of this world.

Are you still looking for a different way to do church?

Are you tired of the SOSO RELIGION?

Are you put off by posers in pews, politics, and pulpits?

Are you searching for something/Someone real, honest, timely, and true to…?

Try our family of faith on the corner of Lincoln and Main!
(Belvidere, Illinois)

Sundays at 7:20 and 10:00 a.m.

And so much…