First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Script #100


I have never felt better in my entire life and ministry because of a Psalm 62 decision yielding a Psalm 131, uh, life and ministry.

Truly, truly, truly, He says to you/me/anyone/everyone...

It's like the bus metaphor below.

Anyway, something/Someone big is gonna happen in worship again this Sunday and I pray you don't miss it/Him.

As I admit just scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus, I'm so excited (lame word) about discovering new things/truths/whatevers.

Here's the most recent.

Rumors/lies/gossip are all a part of the same thing forbidden by God in the big ten.

I've always known that; but what I overlooked was the connection to the enemy.

Who is the father of all rumors/lies/gossip?


In other words, people who spread rumors, tell lies, and gossip show more kinship to Satan than Jesus.

He really caught my attention on that; because, like, uh, others, I spread rumors, lie, and gossip.

And when I do, I'm showing more kinship to...

First, admit it.

Second, pledge repentance from it.

Third, receive His forgiveness and start all over again in a 1 John 1 kinda way.

Blessings and Love!

Monday, September 24, 2012


A fellah in California who actually reads has said I/we will resonate with the recording below.

Lord, I pray it.

Speaking of prayer, we are becoming a beacon for Jesus and safe haven for all.

This came in this morning at 5:39 a.m. via e-mail: "I would like you to know that yesterday's service was very, very, powerful.  If everyone didn't feel the Holy Spirit moving yesterday, they ain't got it yet.  Great service!"

As your undershepherd, I must confess something to you.

C. S. Lewis said going to heaven is like getting on the bus.  The bus stops for everyone; but not everyone decides to get on.

It's a choice.

I am very concerned about folks who are missing the bus or choosing not to hop on - infrequent worshipers, people who make excuses for..., the spiritually deaf/blind, auto-suggested religionists, people detoured by the devil, the arrogant ignorant, and the like.

I am not angry.

That's not my place; or as the first black elder of Winston-Salem, NC's FPC counseled me many years ago, "You love 'em!  Let God judge 'em!"

I just feel badly about folks who - for whatever reason - don't make the trip in a 815-544-3535 kinda way.

We are seeing new faces in worship every Sunday now.

They are wide-eyed and open-hearted and thirsty and hungry flexible wineskins who don't want a religion about Jesus at the expense of a relationship with Him.

They are authentic; and teaming up with you to fulfill our prayer to be a beacon for Him and safe haven for His.

I am convinced some folks who haven't gotten on the bus chose/choose not to get on the bus because they didn't want to make room on the bus...well, uh, the recording below will...

Frankly, I'm just scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus and guided by my friend in WSNC.  As Chan says, "I'm having a hard enough time trying to figure out my relationship with Jesus; so please don't ask me to figure out yours."  Just get in touch with Him and work it out, as Paul wrote, for yourself.  Get on the bus!  Invite others to get on...!

Over the next few months, we will be scratching the surface of our relationship with Jesus big time via worship, Wednesdays, and

I am already grieving those folks who won't get on the bus or miss the bus or take other trips other than the way to...

Finally, I understand Paul: "He...[and therefore we]...want everyone to be saved."

The bus has stopped on the corner of Lincoln and Main.

All aboard!

Blessings and Love!

Listen to this and tell me what you think.  You may find this guy defines "church" closer to what you envision . . .  and this kind of talk would be essential for new comers, new members, and new leaders-to-be  . . .


Friday, September 21, 2012

Script #99


Important updates/requests/opportunities:

1. The response of our family of faith to Love, Inc. has been swift and enthusiastic.  Family members who attended last Wednesday's meeting have been in contact with Danice et moi and are eager to partner and grow together in service, uh, in the Name of Christ!  Get it?  Love, I-N-C?The complementary opportunities juxtaposed to existing community paradenominationals have been noted.  Stay posted!

2. Deacon Dennis was in a serious traffic accident last week and needs transportation throughout September and October for Wednesdays (Deeper Discipleship) and Sundays (worship).  If you can help, please call him directly at 815-558-1004.  And call right now anyway to encourage him!  Help him to feel the love!

3. We praise God for sister congregations in Belvidere through BMA!  I even recommend people who hate me to try them!  And when someone from a member congregation visits here to complain about another pastor in town, I do not listen, enable, encourage, or steal sheep!  That's for others who don't get it/Him.  I offer to meet with them and their pastor and seek God's counsel and correction juxtaposed to John 17.  That's why I'm excited to encourage you to attend Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University on Monday's at First Baptist Church (10/8-12/3 at 6:30 p.m.).  Pastor Rex will be leading the sessions.  He loves Jesus, will love you, and will begin an adventure with you through Ramsey that will help you to learn how to handle money as a Christian.  Lois taught this course for us not too long ago; and Daniel and I attended it and were so blessed that we tried to get Lois to teach it as often as possible!  While we expect Lois to teach this again on our turf in the near future - She was/is great at it! - I encourage you to join Pastor Rex and get on with it if you are having any struggles with personal finances.

4. Scratching the Surface begins in worship this Sunday!  It is the worship dimension of our scratching via,, and Deeper Discipleship.

5. And don't miss really, really, really revealing photographs of...during Sunday's "Moment for Children" in the second service.

6. Speaking of worship, RRK's favorite (weak word for what it means to him) clip will be shown as the conclusion of Sunday's message in both services.

7. Speaking of the preceding, 815-544-3535.

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Script #98


Tonight at 6:00 p.m. in the chapel!  Love, Inc.!  Our opportunity to hear about an exciting new mission in Belvidere and Boone/Winnebago Counties!  See below!

We begin scratching without anesthetizing lotions this Sunday at 7:30(20) and 10:00 a.m.  See below; especially line commencing, "If you're outta the flow...815-544-3535..."

Watching Muslims freak out over a film - go to for more on that with comments from around the country - we must remember who we are as His and act like Him more than ever before to honor His high priestly prayer in John 17.  Segregating/separating/divisive/irreconcilable people are not saints!  Jesus did not die, rise, and now reign for us to act like loons when we don't get what we want; especially when it collides with revelation as enfleshed in Jesus and explained in the Bible.  This is a great opportunity for us to model Someone better.  Jesus!!!

Blessings and Love!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Script #97


"This is the day that the Lord has made!"

Come and savor it/Him with us today at 7:30 and 10:00 a.m.


1. Priorities will be disclosed in a John 3:19-21 kinda way during today's worship services.

2. Don't miss the informational meeting of Love, Inc. on Wednesday from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in our chapel.  Danice Loveridge, local director, will be the guest speaker.  If you care about local missions...  Representatives from Salvation Army, BMA, His Glory Mission, and others will be with us.  Don't miss it!

3. Next Sunday will be even more disclosing as we commence scratching the surface simply.  BTW, see "If you're outta the flow..." below. 

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Script #96


Midweek returns tonight for all ages!

While I am always reticent to mention anything related to what I may be doing on Wednesdays for obvious reasons, Deeper Discipleship now moves from its summer hours (5:30-7:00 p.m.) to 6:00-7:00 p.m.

We will begin Scratching the Surface which will be coupled with KDs via and

Some notes:

1. Tonight will feature an update on jury duty that will not be repeated anywhere else but tonight in the chapel at 6:00 p.m., detailed information about Montana's rebirth that will not be repeated anywhere else but tonight in the chapel at 6:00 p.m., important announcement about 9/19's session, and a preface to Scratching the Surface.

2. You may be interested in the "Henry Metaphor" that appears in the comments of; or just ask for it and I will send it to you.  Or if someone asks tonight, I'll read it.

For more background on the preceding, go to the last two editions of

Blessings and Love!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Script #95


If you're one of those folks who have no need for improvement or can't get any closer to Jesus than you are right now or don't participate unless you're in charge/teaching/leading, do not read the following:

1. Sunday School got off to a great start with four new adult classes with over 10+ adults in each class!!!  While we're not into #s, that's pretty cool.  And our classes for younger folks show great signs of growth.

2. Midweek commences (go back to the first paragraph of this script) this Wednesday for all ages with so many opportunities to learn, grow, and increase intimacy with Jesus.  For more details, go to

3. Maybe later today but definitely by Wednesday, you may want to click on for some undershepherding clues titled "Henry, St. James, and..."

4. Trappists at Assumption Abbey in Ava, Missouri taught me to set aside several devotional periods a day.  I try.  You know how it goes.  But in my first devotional period a few hours ago, I came across this prayer from Charles Stanley that kept me on the pot a lot longer than expected: "Lord, I want to walk in victory, not just do the best I can.  Do the best You can through me.  Amen."  Selah.

5. And from A.W. Tozer which kinda relates to what we've been talking about, uh, everywhere at First for the past several weeks: "The way to spiritual power and favor with God is to be willing to put away the weak compromises and the tempting evils to which we are prone to cling.  There is no Christian victory or blessing if we refuse to turn away from the things that God hates...Even if your wife loves it, turn away...Even if your husband loves it, turn away...Even if it is something that has come to be accepted by our whole generation, turn away...Every Christian holds the key to his or her own spiritual attainment...if he or she refuses to hate sin and evil and wrong, our churches might as well be turned into lodges or clubs."  Whoa.  I'm betting in a Christian kinda way that you'll see this related to #3 above.

BTW, if you're outta the flow at First, you're missing what a member said on Sunday: "I don't know what's happened; but more and more and more folks at First are on fire for Jesus!  There are new people every week and people are starting to invite more!  I feel so sorry for people who are missing out.  It makes me cry for them."


I knew it/He would happen sooner than later on the corner of Lincoln and Main.

It/He has/is.

Blessings and Love!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Script #94



1. Sunday School for all ages resumes this Sunday at 8:30 a.m.  Four adult classes!!!  Of course, if you and your children/grandchildren/great... already know everything or can't attend what you're not leading/teaching, these opportunities to grow closer to Him and His are not for you.  Go to for more details!

2. Speaking of worship, the Psalmist says, "God inhabits the praises of His people!"  In other words, closer to Him means getting, uh, closer to Him and tapping into more blessings in your life!  Of course, if you're pure and perfect in every way and there's no need for improvement, you probably...  It's so simple.  More Jesus in your life = more Jesus in your life!  Supernaturally!  So if you're not, uh, regular in worship and study (see item #1 again), that's why you're not...  Duh.  And if you really love someone who's not in Sunday School and worship, you'll...

3. You gotta read today's reader comments via  Whoa.

4. Our youth staff person just told me about a very, very, very unique fundraiser coming our way before the weather gets bad.  Ask her when you see her in Sunday School or worship on Sunday; or write her at

5. BTW, if none of the above makes any sense to you, call 815-544-3535.

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Script #93


Quick hits:

1. Our complete Midweek calendar resumes next Wednesday.  Read the bulletin on Sunday or go to for more details;

2. Sunday School for all ages - except for those who already know everything and have no need to grow closer to Jesus like some folks who leave if they're not leading something (e.g., SS, Session/Deacons, Dishwashers Removal at the Direction of Pastor Bob who has nothing better to do than...) - resumes next Sunday morning; and, again, go to the bulletin or for more on...;

3. Scratching the Surface has already begun via and and begins on Wednesdays very soon and on September 23 in worship at 7:30 and 10:00 a.m.;

4. Speaking of, did you know "Confessing Moments" has become the most highly rated internet devotional in the world as well as outdistancing all other programming on our radio station by a very, very, very exponentially wide margin?  Catch Bill every morning at different times; and when he pays attention to me, he will run it throughout much of the day; and

5. Tonight's last summer session of Deeper Discipleship will include a pastoral letter from our undershepherd on why he may go to jail on September 19. 

Blessings and Love!

P.S. For more juicy rumors about you, go to, look in the right column archives, and click on "Rumors About..."