First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008

Friday, December 30, 2011

Script #34


The new year begins at First with worship this Sunday at 7:30 (chapel) and 10:00 (sanctuary).

Officer orientation will be this Sunday (1/1) and next Sunday (1/8) in the chapel at 8:30 a.m. in preparation for the ordination and installation of officers on 1/8 at 10:00 a.m.  We will spend time getting to know each other, review faith particulars, talk about the rights and responsibilities of deacons and elders, and explain our polity that's sometimes difficult to understand (i.e., how we make decisions and who has authority to operate by prayer and desire under the authority of our Lord).
While the new classes of officers are small because of the stability of our deacons and elders, I encourage continuing officers and any member who'd like to know how we pray and labor to minister/deliberate/decide to attend.

All Wednesday activities/meetings/studies resume on 1/4 as noted in the bulletin and available via

While both services were packed on Christmas Eve (4&11) and almost SRO, I'm not expecting worship on 1/1 to break attendance records; but I am expecting Him to show up in His spirit of Hebrews 11:6.  Our missionary Allison will speak (10:00 a.m.), there will be a very, very, very reassuring moment during our moment for children of all ages (10:00 a.m.), and, most important, we will begin the new year at His holy table of grace, continuing presence, and miracles.

You may also want to catch Bill's show on 12/27 by going to the archives of and clicking on the 12/27 edition of Kopp Disclosure.  I was unavailable for the broadcast that day as I had to be with a member in a difficult moment before the show and then at the funeral home during the show to preside at the resurrection service for our beloved Velma Vivian.  Bill got it!  He nailed it!  He understands what the author was praying/trying to, uh, gospel.  And please don't forget that depends upon the generosity of "extra mile" givers like you! 

I am praying 2012 is the best year in your life!

2012 will be the best year in your life as you increase intimacy with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through worship, discipling opportunities, immersion in His Word, sacrament, fellowship, and...

Aside from what most would consider incorrect spelling of her first name, Carole King was wrong! 

It's never too late!

Spread the news!




Return His unconditional favor for you with the same for His as to Him in a Matthew 25 kinda way!

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Script #33


This is the last script of 2011.

O.K., you can stop with the PTLs.

Until 2012:

1. Everything is "on" for this Wednesday!  Everything is "off" on 12/28 but everything resumes on 1/4/12; with the exception of "Midweek Boost" which will resume during Lent.

2. Don't forget Christmas Eve Services (Saturday) at 4:00 p.m. (sanctuary) and 11:00 p.m. (chapel).

3. One service on Christmas Day (Sunday): 7:30 a.m. in chapel.

4. Expecting record-setting attendances (Not!), regular worship hours resume on New Year's Day (Sunday, 1/1/12): 7:30 and 10:00 a.m.

5. Don't miss a Christmas message for you by clicking on right now; and you don't want to miss the concluding video.  It will help to make your season bright!

Merry Christmas!

And despite the cynicism of #4, see you on New Year's Day!

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Script #32


Dr. Bob Griffin, a good friend of First who has preached and will preach again for Him/us and remains the main man at Rockford Renewal Ministries, wrote a book demanding attention from anyone caring about reviving/renewing congregations: Firestorms of Revival: How Historic Moves of God Happened and Will Happen Again.  While Bob has yet to plug my new book, I urge anyone interested in a Biblical/Christocentric/pneumatic revival in their local church to digest it and then incarnate it.

Essentially, it's about consistent, persistent, passionate intimacy with God through worship, prayer, Bible study, fasting, and the like as the key to unlocking the reviving/renewing graces of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Speaking of that, don't forget Midweek Boost, our new Advent and Lent discipline, on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. in the chapel.  Attendance has been great in terms of true worship; but severely lacking in terms of what Dr. Griffin has written about so eloquently and persuasively.  Today will take a few minutes for a devotional reading of Psalm 101 and open the heart of a leader. 


1. Review script 31 below for opportunities tonight to spread the love of Jesus by caroling with our Chancel Choir.

2. Don't forget Jeremy and his family.

3. After Kopper walked me this morning, I caught an interesting report on Fox News about "The Endowment Effect" that is crippling the American economic recovery.  Talk about providence!  Anyway, essentially, the endowment effect is folks who pile up money and then don't want to use it because they prefer to keep it piled up even though...  And so on.  Whoa.  I couldn't believe my ears!  It went on to talk about how this endowment effect causes people to find security in what's piled up and, therefore, they become very irresponsible about personal responsibilities like sacrifice, service, giving, and doing their part to keep America great by depending on the endowments of the past to pay for their bills.  Or something like that.  Whoa.  I couldn't believe my ears!  It almost sounded, uh, Biblical!  Anyway, I heard it after sending out the last which I urge you to read about a prophetic word delivered to yours truly about, uh, endowments.

4. That's right!  Go to for some declaratives/interrogatives about endowments. 

5. Speaking of opportunities, is reaching more and more and more people according to regular reports to me.  For example, 48+ people listened "live" to "The Best Cantata Ever" last Sunday!  The station has limitless potential for honoring Jesus and helping us to approach our prayer and desire to be a beacon for Jesus and safe haven for His children of all ages.

6. Speaking of the potential for, its continuing vitality and growth and, uh, operation, collectively, depend(s) upon the generosity of saints who get it to support it through gifts and offerings above the tithe to the storehouse.  Psst.  You know, the Biblical model of giving from God.  Anyway, from what I was told yesterday, it only costs 3K to run the station for a year!  The station needs some sugar daddies/mommas asap.  Ask Him if you're suppose...  Seriously, don't ask me.  Ask Him!  He'll give a direct answer to you.  I don't know what He'll say to you because I don't know what He's entrusted to you.  So it's just between you and Him and nobody will know but you and...Him.

7. Have I got some last minute Christmas shopping ideas for you!  Know anybody who needs a hat?  Or a book that will keep 'em awake during...?

Blessings and Love!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Script #31


1. Several times yesterday afternoon and in phone messages and e-mails since, folks have been saying the same thing: "Best Cantata Ever!"  While some will be the judge of that in a Christian kinda way, of course, all I know, very little as most think/assume, Lisa, the Chancel Choir, Jeremy and Jeanette (in a kinda farewell tour), our AVers, and all involved helped align my heart with Him in an extraordinary way; and if my old, hard, can't stand change, tight winkeskined...  Simply, the Cantata honored Him and helped us to move into greater intimacy with Him and each other.

2. The "live" broadcast of the Cantata via our own was crystal clear; and you can spread the word that folks can hear it again and again and again by going to and clicking on the archive for yesterday's worship service.

3. Come to think of it, why not purchase a copy of yesterday's service as gift for a shut-in or...?  Just call Karen and order copies!

4. Watch for the next KD before Wednesday (Avent, 5) which will talk about the exhaustion of the endowment at First and a prophetic word from near Kansas City about it along with an undershepherding word from moi.

Blessings and Love!

Script #30



1. Please remember our farewell to Jeremy, Jeanette, Bree, Kara, and Ben after the second service on 12/18.  Please see attached invitation to express your affections.  The deadline for donations to the "love gift" is 12/15.

2. Speaking of next Sunday, don't miss the opportunity to invite folks to the "Children's Christmas Program" at 10:00 a.m.

3. If you want to go Christmas caroling with our Chancel Choir, please be at the church a tad before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

4. Speaking of Wednesdays, lots of opportunities for all ages!

5. Two more Advent "Midweek Boost" services in the chapel (see below) at 11:30 a.m.  MB will resume as a Lenten spiritual discipline/opportunity on Ash Wednesday (2/22/12).
Attendance records have not been broken!  But those in attendance...Matthew 18:20.  Hebrews 11:6!!!

6. Christmas Eve services are set for 4:00 p.m. (sanctuary) and 11:00 p.m. (chapel).  We will have one worship service on Christmas Day at 7:30 a.m. (really, it starts at 7:20 a.m.) in the chapel.

7. New Year's Day services will be, uh, kinda normal: 7:30 and 10:00 a.m.

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Script #29



1. Don't miss Wednesday opportunities for all ages to get closer to Jesus!

2. Choir Cantata this Sunday at 10:00 a.m.  "There is Peace in the World Tonight" is a wonderful opportunity to invite someone to...Him.

3. "Love Gift" donations for Jeremy, Jeanette, Bree, Kara, and Ben still being received in preparation for presentation after the second service on 12/18.  See attached!

4. We're hoping/expecting/desiring the elevator to the sanctuary will be ready by 12/24!

Blessings and Love!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Script #28


Do you want to be well?

Do you want to be filled with joy and love and peace and...?

Do you want the best Christmas of all?

Do you want a new year better than last year?

Do you know someone who wants a "better" Christmas? (Advent, 2).

Prayer line: 815-544-3535.

Blessings and Love

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Script #27


Some news flashes as we move deeply into Advent:

1. Over two dozen men have already signed up for this Saturday's Men's Breakfast at 7:30 a.m.  Even if you haven't signed up, come!  If necessary, we'll ask Him for a fishes and...

2. Don't miss "The Second Annual Holmes Production" of "Toys for Tots Christmas Concert" on December 16 at Belvidere's Community Building.  Read more about it via and next week's bulletin.

3. Midweek Boost continues every Wednesday during Advent in the chapel at 11:30 a.m. (scroll down for more information).

4. "Deeper Discipleship" (Wednesdays at 6pm in the chapel) is moving rapidly to concluding sessions in its review of Chan's Crazy Love as a preface to his book on the Holy Spirit: Forgotten God.

5. See you Sunday at 7:30 or 10:00 a.m.

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Script #26


Wednesdays are another opportunity to align our hearts with His and each other with so many wonderful children's programs and opportunities to sing and study and...

Today begins our new Advent/Lent spiritual discipline with Midweek Boost ("Positively Good News at the Table") in the chapel at 11:30 a.m.

Beginning with a few minutes of quiet music commencing around 11:25 a.m., there will be 5-10 minutes of devotional/expositional reading from the Bible and then the privilege of Holy Communion.  The "boost" will conclude with a benediction before noon.

If you scroll down to script 24 (yeah, scroll down after reading this sentence to review a note or two) to #2, you will see a parenthesis that I did not make clear.  The parenthesis comes after the notation on quiet music and was an invitation to folks who'd like to provide some gathering music for the boost.  Two friends read that to mean an invitation to provide the devotional.  While that was not the original intent, I trust the Lord's working in their lives and a message for me through them that if anybody does feel called to provide a 5-10 minute devotional during the boosts of Advent and Lent that I am to clear the way!  So if you feel called to do it, just let Karen or me know a week in advance.  I look forward to His Word through you!

Getting back to last Sunday, what a blessing to have Bruce and Dan with us again!  And I'm praying they come back again and again and...

BTW, disks of the service - requests have been coming in - are available by calling Karen at the church (815-544-6402); and you can even pick up some more of their disks at the same time!

He is quickening His movement among us.

Blessings and Love!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Script #25


With thanks and praise to God for Jeremy's nearly eight years of ministry to the children and youth of our family of faith at First Presbyterian Church, we will gather together in Fellowship Hall after the second service on December 18 to celebrate our love and life together as he accepts a call to the Reformed Church of America in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as Director of Youth on January 1, 2012.

A small part of our affection and affirmation will be expressed through a love gift presented to Jeremy, Jeanette, Bree, Kara, and Ben during the celebration; and you are invited to contribute to this gift by sending a contribution to the church by December 15.  If your gift is by check, please make it out to "First Presbyterian Church" with a designation/memo for "Jeremy's Love Gift."

A transition/search committee for children, youth, and educational ministries has been appointed and will report regularly to session.

As we thank and praise our Lord for the privilege of our previous partnership with Jeremy, Jeanette, and their children, we look forward to our continuing bond in the extended family of faith for the glory of Jesus alone.

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Script #24


I thank God for you every day; as I intercede for His best in your life!

I am praising God more than ever before on this Thanksgiving for who He is and what He has done for us through Jesus along with the privilege to be your undershepherd.

Some quickies:

1. While the Sunday after Thanksgiving ranks right down there with other "empty tomb" Sundays, I hope to see you this Sunday along with folks you invite as we welcome Dan Holmes back to First with his buddy Bruce!  Seriously, let's have a big welcome home Sunday for our friends!  Invite!  Welcome!  Include!  Love!

2. We're starting an Advent (and then Lent) spiritual discipline on the corner of Lincoln and Main: Midweek Boost ("Positively Good News at the Table") in the chapel on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m.  Beginning with a few minutes of quiet music to align hearts with His (and if you'd like to volunteer on a Wednesday, let Karen know), there will be a 5-10 minute devotional/expositional reading from the Bible and gathering at the table for Holy Communion.  The "boost" will conclude with a benediction before noon.

3. I Just Wanna Ride (see below) will hit the, uh, market, officially, on 1/1/12.  The message is clearly Christocentric/Biblical; but the language is rough and tough to reach people for Jesus in an unconventional way.  Specifically, while I studied French, German, Latin, Hebrew, and Greek, I have come to realize, as Paul noted, that we must learn the language of the people if we are to reach them for Jesus.  This book is in the language of "real" not posing folks.  I know it will offend some; but I beg your indulgence to the higher intentions of the author.  My goal is to humble myself, even humiliate myself, to get people of all persuasions looking to Jesus alone as Lord and Savior and the only solution to the meanness, madness, and misery of life in the modern world. 

4. Leslie is doing well after surgery; and your prayers have been heartfelt.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Script #23


Preceded by worship with holy communion and a devotional reading of Matthew 9:35-10:42, session met for its monthly stated meeting with representatives from the deacons and invited guests.

Because of our Lord's passion for witnessing in His light (see John 3:19-21), I will ask Karen, if no one objects, to duplicate this update for inclusion in this coming Sunday's bulletin.  It will also be published on Wednesday as "First's Family Undershepherd Script (23)."  While it may be lengthy and cumbersome for some, one consistent concern in our congregation is the thirst for more information.  Well, uh, here we go!

I know e-mail or snail mail or any written communication has limitations - open to sad misinterpretations and reading between the lines and imagining and...

I know some folks rebel against such communications and prefer face-to-face reviews of everything; and while respecting that desire and always available to anyone about anything at just about anytime as asked, this update is important for so many in such a timely way that such individual attention is imprudent as well as hurtful to those who would ask why they were not contacted when someone else was contacted.

Now to last night's meeting.

Last night's meeting was marked by the best expressions of Christian character by all who attended.

All decisions were unanimous or clear/substantial/indisputable majorities.

The meeting's deportment was marked by grace, generosity, and other hallmarks of agape.

I felt privileged to moderate such a meeting of people so dedicated to honoring Jesus.

Among the many decisions made, I believe two rise to the level of Christocentric/Biblical significance.

Other decisions will be reflected in the minutes of the meeting that are available to anyone who asks Karen for a copy and highlighted by Connie for the newsletter.

First, appreciation and affirmation were expressed repeatedly for the tireless, generous, and steadfast service of Dale as chairman of the Project Team.  Everyone recognizes the financial challenges of these times and thanks him for leading with Jan, Carl, Pat and those employed by the church during this renovation/expansion.  The bad news is we will exhaust most of our endowment as we move to completion of the project.  The good news is we will not be in debt.  Bob (not me) will be helping to monitor the completion of the work; focusing on completing all current aspects of the renovation/expansion while not commencing anything new.  Again, while recognizing the challenges, this discussion was marked by celebration along with appreciation and affirmation of Dale's exemplary service.

Second, it was unanimously decided the "senior" (Geez!  I know I'm...) pastor will exercise the constitutional rights/demands/expectations of our denomination's constitution and order worship subject to the review of session.  These discussions were marked by attention to "Leadership for Today's Church" which can be read via  Appreciation and affirmation were expressed repeatedly for all who have been coordinating and ordering music, rubrics, and ceremonies of rites in worship; however, it has become increasingly clear that members of our family of faith at First Presbyterian Church have become increasingly frustrated by not knowing where the "buck" stops.  Session made it clear that the buck stops with session through the "senior" pastor as the primary liturgical leader of the family.  Practically, this means anyone who has a problem, complaint, concern, vision, revelation, inspiration, or indigestion will know that they can blame the pastor and focus their energies in his direction.  I made one important comment (amplified since last night) here: "It is important for all of us to remind folks that listening and agreeing are not synonyms."  Specifically, the "senior" pastor subject to the review of session will order the liturgies, determine how much music is included in services, honor the diversity of music inspired by our Lord, and so on.  After the unanimous vote, I fleshed it out a bit more.  While I pray never to be pharisaical as I submit to the reviews and authority of the session, I told session that this will commence on 11/27, Elaine will coordinate praise songs with me and help order the service with Karen et moi for publication in bulletins, Lisa will be the "gatekeeper" of all musicians and continue her responsibilities with our rich diversity of choirs and musicians and consult with Elaine and me about the availability of selections for Sundays in advance, Mona will continue her ministry in the first service and be asked to play the organ and piano in the second service as requested (noting Lisa will play organ hymns when Mona is unavailable), and Karry will coordinate liturgical participation/leadership/speaking/praying apart from the concerns preceding the service, message, sacraments, prayers, and other elements entrusted to the "senior" pastor and subject to the review of session.  In short, people will now know where the buck stops and how to be heard as we pray and labor together to honor Him in worship.

If I am wrong in any of my recollections or amplifications, participants in last night's meeting will hit "reply all" and correct me; expressing my apologies in advance for anything that I have miscommunicated or misinterpreted.

Again, it was a great meeting; and from worship through adjournment, I trust we felt the warmth and gentle guidance of His Holy Spirit.

Blessings and Love!

P.S. Please feel free to forward this to anyone not appearing as copied who you feel should recieve this.  Again, if anyone reads anything pejorative in the above, it is my failure to communicate the overwhelming presence of the Lord in gently guiding session in all its deliberations last night.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Script #22


This morning, in prayer, I was almost paralyzed by my tears and sorrow over the pain in our world, country, denomination, churches, families, and even on the corner of Lincoln and Main.

I recalled a terrifying/horrific paragraph from William Barclay's The Letter to the Romans (1955) about 16:17-20 that I first read back in 1976: "He picks out...characteristics of men hurtful to the Church and to the Christian fellowship.  They are men who cause dissensions among the brethren.  Any man who does anything which disturbs the peace of a church has much to answer for.  A minister was once talking to a man newly come to his congregation from another town.  The man had obviously little of the love of Christ upon him.  He said to the minister: 'You know such and such a congregation?' naming that of which he had formerly been a member.  'Yes,' said the minister.  'Well,' said the man with a certain evil relish, 'I wrecked it!'  There are people who take a pride in making trouble and who like nothing better than to sow the poisonous seeds of strife.  The man who has brought strife to any band of brothers will answer for it some day to Him who is the King and Head of the Church."


Calvin was right; remembering he got it from Paul who got it from God.

We can't help ourselves.

We like to grumble, gripe, gossip, banter, bark, bite, beat, batter, and...butcher.

It's our nature.

Uh, that's why He said we must be born again and from above.

Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Script# 21


Worship is the only indispensable activity of God's people - Biblically, confessionally, historically, and traditionally; and, for those of us in that part of the Kingdom called the PCUSA, constitutionally.

It is what we say and do when we recognize in highest degree who He is, who we are, and what He has done for us and our salvation through Jesus.

God's people hunger and thirst to worship.


God's people hunger and thirst to worship.


God's people hunger and thirst to worship.

And when they/we do, they/we are lost/immersed/healed in wonder, love, and praise.

It's the pulse, power, breathe, and so much, much, much more of life - now and then.

Peterson: "Worship shapes the human community in response to the living God.  If worship is neglected or perverted, our communities fall into chaos or under tyranny."

He goes on, "Our times are not propitious for worship.  The times never are.  The world is hostile to worship.  The Devil hates worship.  As The Revelation makes clear, worship must be carried out under conditions decidedly uncongenial to it."

Come, let us worship God.

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Script #20


Kopper finished off the Halloween chocolate when no one was looking - a big, big, big bowl of it.

Leslie thought he was a goner; until I reminded her about the last box of chocolate that he gobbled down.

Of course, my walks with him well before 4:30 a.m. over the past few days have been a lot longer if you know what I mean.

How's your diet?

I've been thinking a lot about mine (read quickies below).

Garbage in...garbage out...

Psalm 119:105: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

Peterson translation/paraphrase of selected verses from Psalm 119: "You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God...How can a young person live a clean life?  By carefully reading the map of Your Word...What You say goes...Every word you give me is a miracle word - how could I help but obey?"


1. Jesus said, "When your fast..." not "If you fast..."  Watch for a forthcoming on the spiritual discipline of fasting as His way of getting closer to...

2. A neighboring Presbyterian church will close its doors in the next few months.  10+ churches in America are closing their doors every day.  While we won't be among those dominoes, we are not immune to the continuing decline of America's economy.  Indeed, just this morning, I discovered Belvidere's unemployment rate is the highest in the state.  We are eating away at our endowment.  Weekly income, like all churches, is declining at an accelerating rate.  Facts.  Personally, I am looking for secondary employment as we approach the inevitable.  I will not entertain other opportunities because I love you and I am called to love you and live with you through this transition.  In conversation prior to prayer with a member of our Project Team earlier today, I said, "We will trust Him through this and celebrate together on the other side."

3. While it is never my intention to offend anyone because I pray and labor, depending upon His grace, to love Jesus by loving like Jesus, I know I do, have, and will.  If I am going to practice what I preach, I must embrace "A Good Report Card" and invite anyone that I have offended over the past seven years to tell me how I have offended them so I can confess my sins to them face to face, pledge repentance, ask forgiveness, and model Someone better for our family of faith and church at large.  Hence, for the next two Sundays, I am suspending our regular prayer meeting from 3:00-5:00 p.m. for "Pastor Confession and Repentance" and inviting anyone who has ever felt offended by me to come to the chapel and list my offenses so I may humble myself before them as humbling myself before Him.  I praise the Lord for this compelling opportunity!

Blessings and Love!

Script #19


I commend "Confessing Moments" to you.

You can catch it live most mornings and listen to the archives anytime by clicking on

Bill is being used mightily during those moments for us.

Blessings and Love!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Script #18


John Eldredge wrote in Wild at Heart, "Do you know why there's been such an assault?  The enemy fears you.  You are dangerous big-time."

Wow, did I get a major dose of that today.

For the past few weeks, the Holy Spirit has been sweeping us up into greater peace, unity, and purity.  Increasing intimacy with Jesus in our family of faith is increasing that PUP.  People are joyful, loving on each other, and getting over past distractions and divisions.

That's what He does when people are intimate with Him; building each other up into the true Body of Christ.

Praise the Lord!

Then came yesterday's message on Psalm 32.

While I didn't think too much of it because I always pour out my heart in every message as I try to honor Him and, in honoring Him, enable holy communion with Him, there has been more e-mail and telephone and personal encouragement about how our Lord used that message to help people forgive, receive forgiveness, and get closer to God.

Then it happened.

Like two of my friends who came back from our mountaintop experience with Eugene Peterson in Montana, I was attacked.

The specifics are irrelevant.

The reality must be repeated.

As we move closer to our Lord and closer to each other and really pray and labor to be a beacon for Jesus and safe haven for all, we will be attacked, sometimes even viciously, because we are becoming a threat to the enemy's plans to deceive, detour, disrupt, divide, degrade, denigrate, devastate, and destroy.

Fortunately, I've spent a lot of time preparing for such attacks; especially with Bill Westlund and VMTC in our appropriation of God's armor as explained in Ephesians 6 (pick up copies of "When Attacked" in our narthex).

As Francis Frangipane often says, "How do we defeat the enemy?  Victory begins with the name of Jesus on our lips; it is consummated by the nature of Jesus in our hearts."

We are becoming an increasing threat to the enemy on the corner of Lincoln and Main.

It will attack; but the victory is ours: "Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:7-8).

Some quickies:

1. I don't like to talk about messages after they're delivered; but, apparently, yesterday's was a healing balm to so many in feeling God's love and enabling people to love.  If you missed it, go to and listen to the archived edition.

2. Speaking of, you've gotta listen to Bill's "Confessing Moments" which are timeless.  Go to for the calendar and archives of missed moments.

3. "Good Report" cards are due.

4. The last two editions of are about what's needed to restore our country, churches, and families and a model for leadership in today's church.  I may be wrong; but I think they're worth a moment or two.

It's all about Jesus at First Presbyterian Church.

That's what it says on our signs; and that's what is so clearly evident from what's in our hearts.

Blessings and Love!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Script #17


I believe there are four ingredients to restoring our country, community, and church: trust, humility, guts, and Jesus; noting trust, humility, and guts increase via increasing intimacy with Jesus.

You can read more about that by clicking on

Also, check out the next edtion of which will focus on a leadership model that I have embraced for, uh, almost 4 decades; and which was confirmed while in Montana (click it on Monday or Tuesday).

Blessings and Love!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Script #16


Some may recall the process of discerning God's will for our lives in last Sunday's message: (1) We don't have to ask God to reveal what He's already revealed in Jesus and the Bible about His will for our lives; and (2) Specifically, we couple His revealed Word with our feelings, facts, friends, and faith to know His, uh, specific will for our lives.

Clearly, last night during Midweek, His Holy Spirit provided a refreshing wind of joy and unity through the whole place in all corners through all programs and activities.  It was overwhelming and confirmed by so many according to the process recalled in the previous paragraph.

It was a "turning from" to a "turning to" in our life together; if you know what I mean.

I wept this morning about those who missed it by their absence or...

Two more quickies:

1. Twelve people have dug deeper in their discipleship and are prepared to help you understand "A Good Report Card" (go to right now for more on that).  If you need help, ask Bob, Vicki, Bonnie, Ginny, Tim, Norby, Don, Phyllis, Pat, Loretta, LuAnn, or Dennis.

2. Every Sunday is Easter.  Resurrecting.  Especially now that the Holy Spirit is answering specific prayers for increased intimacy and intentional ministry.  Invite.  Welcome.  Include.  Love.  What a privilege to be a partner with Him in His desire as revealed to Timothy through Paul: "He wants everybody to be saved!"

Carpe Diem.

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Script #15


Seven is a big number in the Bible.

Check it out.

The end of 2011 and 2012 will be very big, as in glorious, on the corner of Lincoln and Main.

I pray/hope/want you to be a part of it/Him.

Go to and become a part of it.

Sign up in the wave of originals!

Read the previous script below.

Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Script #14


Go to for the big news/opportunity and a tool for measuring deeper discipleship on the corner of Lincoln and Main.

See the original signatures on the glass door on Main.

And watch for an opportunity to enable Jeremy's forthcoming sabbatical (coming within the next two/three weeks; but requiring your preparatory prayers right now).

Blessings and Love!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Script #13


We talk a lot about modeling Someone better in our family of faith at First Presbyterian Church.

The next KD (later today or sometime tomorrow) will take that talk from blah, blah, blah to a very practical measurement that will be used for congregational/personal accountability, guidance for our Nominating Committee, assistance in identifying saints called to serve, staff evaluations, helping to focus prayers, and so on.


This is gonna be really, really, really big and public and will complete the pruning process as well as help First model Someone better for each other and others.

Some quickies:

1. Wednesdays are being transformed from "Pastor's Bible Study" to "Deeper Discipleship" which will be explained this Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. in the chapel.

2. The really, really, really big, uh, ___ will be introduced to the family on Wednesday; but, don't forget, you can get a big peek in the next KD.

3. The Peterson reviews (see below) are important for members, officers, and staff.

Time is growing short to be faithful.

Blessings and Love!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Script #12


If you missed last Wednesday's review of Chuck, Jeff, and Ken's trip to Montana to sit under the wisdom of God through Eugene Peterson, you've got three more chances!

First, you can go to for the archived edition!

Second, you can listen live on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. as Kathie, Bill, and Tony query one who went.  Just click on at 11:30 a.m.

Third, you can go to the archive of Tuesday's program!

This is important.

If you are a member, officer, or staff member, it is really, really, really important.

One more thing.

A revelatory resurrection occurred in moi a few days ago about a very Biblically practical way to model Someone better in our family of faith.

Watch for it in the the next script and KD. 

It will be especially convicting.

Blessings and Love!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Script #11


Eugene Peterson likes to say, "The sooner we get the message, the better off we'll be, for the message is good, incredibly good: God is here, and He's on our side...God is here right now, and on our side, actively seeking to help us in the way we most need help."

Of course, as C.S. Lewis wrote, we gotta get on the bus!

It's our choice.

God offers.

We respond in one of two ways with differing consequences - saved or...

We receive and experience supernatural blessings concomitant to increasing intimacy with Him through worship, prayer, and, as Eugene likes to say, "chewing" on His Word.

Or we reject His invitation and remain, uh, well, uh, you know...

Read Matthew 23:37-39.

Undershepherds like yours truly can feel His pain - never fully because He loves us so much more than anyone else - for it is so grievous when people miss His showing up in so many opportunities in worship and study bless!!!

Why continue to be so stressed and miserable and...when He's right here when two or bless!!!

Some quickies:

1. Last night's review of our mountaintop trip to Montana with Eugene Peterson was broadcast live over; and if you missed it/Him, well, uh, seriously, I must wipe away my tears to continue...

2. But He is the Lord of second and third and...chances!  Just go to and click on the archive for last night's broadcast blessed!!!

3. Unfortunately, only 34 minutes of the hour were recorded because of a technical difficulty (defective microphone); but getting back to second and third and...chances, we will review the notes again next Tuesday (live) on at 11:30 a.m. and extend the show several minutes if necessary.  But go to the site now if you missed last night!  I don't want you to miss it/him/Him.

Speaking of second and third and...chances, don't put off opportunities to be blessed if you know what I mean.

Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Script #10


Some quickies:

1. Don't forget the special review of our visit to Eugene H. Peterson of The Message in Montana this Wednesday from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the chapel.  This is a definite "don't miss" opportunity to hear what a universally acknowledged sage of Christendom has to say about being a faithful leader and church in today's culture;

2. If you can't be there, uh, here on Wednesday, tune in to tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. for a live broadcast of the review;

3. I was overwhelmed to tears when I came home and saw/experienced the undershepherd's renovated study!  While I did not ask for it or help design it even though I was asked and certainly do not feel worthy of it, it is better than I could have ever imagined and extraordinarily conducive to study and care.  A big thank you to Jan, Carl, Dale, Pat, and all of the workers; and

4. Getting back to, today's edition of KD was blessed to bless!  Kathie, Bill, Tony, and the host turned to God for answers on how to be/remain joyful in a world trying to, uh, destroy wholeness, happiness, joy, and security.  If you know someone trying to remain joyful and it's getting tough, direct 'em to the archives of today's show.  Just dial, click on Kopp Disclosure, and then click on the archive for today's show.  Seriously, He showed up big time!

Blessings and Love!