First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008
815-544-6402

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Family and Friends,

With so much going on in our world, country, churches, and all of the below that seems so out of control, it's good to know God is sovereign over all that was, is, will be, and...more!

My friend the OGD who also happens to be the most articulate "Reformed" theologian in my experience has written some powerfully encouraging words about the strong calm sanity generated by trusting in our sovereign God (see below).

Annnnnnnd the revival on the corner of L&M accelerates as our trust increases (see attached).

Speaking of trust, we have our annual meeting to elect officers after the second service on Sunday (11/30); and everyone who has been, continues to be, will be, or thinks she/he may be an officer is invited to attend our "New/Used Officer Training" in the bored aka board room immediately following the annual meeting.  This is a good time to refresh our understanding of the essentials of our faith (profession) and how we pray, plan, and proceed to enflesh 'em (polity).

Speaking of enfleshing essentials, Jesus said, "As you do it for/to them, you do it for/to Me."

Our shared Compassion Closet in concert with our sisters/brothers at St. James is distributing 50+ food boxes a month and our last Compassion Meal for the hungry (yesterday) hosted 48 friends and extended family members with 8 more meals being delivered.

It's hard to keep up with the expanding enfleshment of essentials on the corner of L&M; which is why I urge you to stay tuned via weekly bulletins, regular newsletters, www.bnnsradio.com, and www.belvpresbyterian.org.

Annnnnnnd it all begins, deepens, and blossoms as we increasingly trust our sovereign Father, saving Son Jesus, and sustaining Holy Spirit.


Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Friends,

While it's important to stay tuned to the plethora of announcements and opportunities for ministry via weekly bulletins, regular newsletters, www.bnnsradio.com, and www.belvpresbyterian.org, here are two timely announcements/opportunities:

1. The annual Salvation Army "Community Thanksgiving Meal" for the hungry and homeless of Belvidere and Boone County will be on 11/25; and we have the privilege of providing five servers for the first shift commencing at 4:30 p.m.  We already have three volunteers.  If you are interested - first come, uh, first serve - please call Karen at 815-544-6402; and

2. Our new officers will be nominated and elected on 11/30 after the second service.  "New/Used Officer Training" will be held that same day after the congregational meeting in the bored aka board room.  Somebody'll provide coffee and snacks; but ya may wanna bring a brown bag.  This is kinda mandated for new officers; but also encouraged as a refresher for continuing officers and our Nominating Committee and as an introduction for anyone who would like a crash course in our profession and polity.  Simply, we concentrate on the essentials of our faith and how decisions are made to honor Him.

BTW, I'll never forget Tony being confronted, "I don't like the way that you pray."  He replied, "Listen, lady, I wasn't talking to you!"

Cool.

True.

My friend and often mentor the OGD has written some wonderful commentary on prayer (see below).


Blessings and Love!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Friends,

Permit me to amplify an opportunity for our family of faith on Wednesday.

While all of our Wednesday Midweek programs will proceed as scheduled this Wednesday, a prayer service organized by Diane Anderson "to pray and remember persecuted Christians" will be hosted by Immanuel Lutheran Church commencing at 7:00 p.m.

Though not significant and almost totally irrelevant, I have been asked to participate; meaning I will leave Deeper Discipleship early enough to get to ILC for the service.  Friends and family who attend DD can then decide if they will stay for the last few minutes of our weekly dive into, uh, deeper discipleship or drive over for the service. 

Noting our Mission Committee has been leading us in prayer at both Sunday worship services every Sunday for persecuted Christians around the world for the past few years, I accepted the invitation to participate in Wednesday's gathering in a John 17 kinda way to connect with ILC and others.

Any time we can be a part of tearing down idolatrous fences that separate us from what our Lord lived, died, rose, and reigns to accomplish among His children is a blessed opportunity.


Blessings and Love!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Family,

While tempted to comment on the political and prejudicial intrigue related to the current adult dysfunctions in School District 100 - and if I were inclined to try to explain that to folks, they wouldn't want to understand anyway - I ask us, humbly, to surrender the increasing adult dysfunctions in the district to the Lord so that those entrusted with the academic, athletic, and character-building prowess of children entrusted to them will remember their baptismal promises concomitant to Matthew 18:6.

If there is a strike this week with all adult leadership involved being culpable, the intrigue will be obvious and the fracturing of Belvidere catalyzed by you know what will accelerate.


Blessings and Love!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Friends,

Now that we've gone through the first full cycle of fall musical offerings, I praise the Lord with you for Becca, Bev, Karen, Mona, and Dan's leadership and everyone involved in our musical ministries that align our hearts with each other in/through/for Him.

Awesome in the highest sense of that word!

My sentiments have been echoed by so many in our family.

Indeed, candidly, all of us know not everybody appreciates every style of music; however, and praise the Lord with me for this miracle, I am hearing from folks who never thought they would like certain styles who are now praising the Lord for the diversity of our musical offerings!

Praise the Lord!

On another note, there is a sad rumor going around (click on www.koppdisclosure.com for more on that) that I believe comes from dark inspirations to distract us from the awesomely increasing peace, unity, and purity being experienced on the corner of L&M as we pray and labor to remain faithfully as a part of the remnant in the PCUSA.

On another note, while I know the rumor is meant for bad, the Lord has allowed it to be used for good in providing the privilege for me to repeat how much I love you and remain loyal to you as your undershepherd to the Good Shepherd.


Blessings and Love!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Friends,

Important Updates and Opportunities:

1. Culver's Night is tonight!  That's 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at, uh, Culvers!  Enjoy dinner while supporting a local business and our youth group will receive a % of the take!

2. Don Skaar, my favorite octogenarian pastor who attends our first service on Sundays, writes a weekly devotional for us that's included in our bulletins.  He has also made himself available ("If you want to talk Jesus, call me at 779-552-8138!").  Examples of his wisdom shared with me at Boone County Jail last Thursday as we counseled incarcerated children of God (see Matthew 25): "Only true Christians are persecuted and all true Christians are persecuted...The problem with too many church members is they aren't really hungry for Jesus.  They are fans of Jesus but not followers of Jesus!"  Whoa!  As I've said, my wisdom compared to his is like comparing a BB gun to heavy artillery!  Are you hungry!  If so, call Don today and be blessed.  Also, consider recommending him to folks who you know who...

3. Fireside dinner and show on November 16!  Hear more about it this coming Sunday!  Of course, it was in the bulletin last Sunday.

4. Our Compassion Closet is very, very, very active and very, very, very much in need of extra-mile-giving support!  Many local churches are now sending members and drop-ins to us.  While we are hoping they will kick in a little if you know what I mean, we will not depend upon them.  It is our privilege to feed Jesus by...in a Matthew 25 kinda way.


Blessings and Love!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Alert!

Dan Holmes and "Joyful Noise" return to lead worship (2nd service) this Sunday!

Invite!

Welcome!

Include!

Love!

BTW, if you don't get the "Joyful Noise" name for our praise team, psst, read Psalm 100.

More on Psalm 100 on 11/23 (both services).


Blessings and Love!