First Presbyterian Church

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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Script #116


Beloved,

Quickies:

1. PW Christmas Dinner tonight at 6:00 p.m.

2. Don't forget new officers training this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall!  BYBBL!  This is open to everyone!  For more, go to script 114 via www.belvpresbyterian.org.

3. Check out the updated www.bnnsinternetradio.com website.

4. See below (#115).

5. Call 815-544-3535 and then recommend it to...

Blessings and Love!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Script #115


Beloved,

There's been a lot of talk about what's been happening on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois; especially over the past three months or so.

In short, as WingMan would say, "Awesome!"

That's awesome in the highest sense of the word!

Every part of our life and ministry has been transformed with an outpouring of increasing peace, unity, and purity.

The love experienced and expressed on Sunday mornings during worship is awesome!

If you know someone who is hungry and thirsty for what's happening, don't hesitate to forward this invitation to 'em.

This Sunday's message: "The Truth About What's Happening on the Corner of Lincoln and Main" (State of the Church Message).

7:20 a.m. (chapel) and 10:00 a.m. (sanctuary).

Blessings and Love!

P.S. While there's no substitute for incarnate worship - As Hebrews counsels/urges/warns, "Let us not neglect to worship together!" - the hungry and thirsty can listen live via www.bnnsradio.com this Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

Script #114


Beloved,

Quickies:

1. PW Christmas Dinner on Thursday at 6:00 p.m.

2. All Midweek activities resume on Wednesday.

3. Bless our ringers today!

4. Comment from younger member: "If you let all of your beard grow out, you can play Santa!"

5. For more on #4, go to www.koppdisclosure.com and go to the right column of archives and click on "You Better Listen!"  If you don't, don't ask.

6. 815-544-3535

7. Request for Sunday's opening prayer (see note below on #4 of script 113):

    As prayed so many years ago by a monk who
    got it/You: "Oh, God, fix my heart so I may
    perfectly love You and worthily praise You."

    This time is for praising and honoring and
    thanking You for Your many favors in time
    and throughout eternity.

    This time is for thanking You for our deacons
    and helpers who fed two dozen families last
    week.

    This time is for thanking You for everyone in
    our community who helped feed the poor and
    those who often feel alienated from the
    community at the annual Harvest Meal; and
    we're really thankful for the many kind saints
    from our family of faith who helped lead and
    serve...

    This time is for thanking You for family
    feasting on food and each other's love
    on Thursday.

    This time is for thanking You for how You
    are caring for...

    This time is for thanking You for blessing
    our nation beyond anything imaginable for
    so long with prayers that we will bless You
    as You have blessed us - faithfully...

    Oh, Lord, Solomon got it/You: "Do not
    withhold good when it is in your power."

    As You have blessed us, help us to bless
    others as blessing You; recalling how You
    said, "As you do it for..."

    Now, Lord, as we begin this worship
    service, help us by Your Holy Spirit to
    sharpen our focus on You in this time,
    turn off our cellulars and stop texting
    and put watches in our pockets, let go
    of this time so You may lead us for
    Your pleasure and our benefit as we
    pray in the name of Jesus.

    Amen.

Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Script #113


Beloved,

1. Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm praying your Thanksgiving is filled with warmth, love, grace, and His best!

2. Our annual congregational meeting to elect officers will be immediately after the second service on December 2.

3. This year's new officer training will be held on December 2 at 12:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall over BYOBBL (viz., bring your own brown bag lunch).  We also invite anyone else - especially new family of faith members in the past few years - who is interested in how Christians in our part of the Kingdom called the PCUSA govern themselves.  It can be confusing.  Simply, we are not hierarchical (dictators or entitled) or congregational (everybody voting on everything) but connectional which takes a few seconds to explain.  So if you're being ordained/installed, new to the family and want to know more, forgot how we govern ourselves, or whatever, see you on Sunday!

4. Several folks have requested a copy of last Sunday's pastoral prayer.  Though our prayers are not scripted as our worship services are increasingly Spirit-led, here are some notes and recollections:

    Lord,

    So much going on; and we can't keep up with it: the
    Arabs and Jews are going at it again in the Middle
    East and this one threatens to draw some big boys
    into the fray, the East Coast is a mess after Sandy
    and the weather isn't stopping for us to catch up,
    the nation is more divided than since Vietnam,
    nobody trusts anybody, a general goes down
    trimmed by seductresses and must bear
    consequences for those choices despite the
    hypocrisy of those who call him out yet remain
    silent and inactive as the nation's moral fiber
    increasingly unravels before our eyes, and on
    and on and on and...

    Lord, it's a mess.

    We're a mess.

    The world, nation, even churches that should
    know better in our beloved Boone, McHenry,
    and Winnebago Counties, families, youth sports
    organizations, and everywhere anyone gathers -
    people can't seem to help themselves from
    fighting, contending, criticizing over petty things,
    seeking to control others over the most stupid of
    personal prejudices, and so we can't even come
    together on the big things like caring for the
    poor, hungry, and homeless which were always
    and remain so important to You.

    I guess that's why, as undershepherd assigned
    to this place until assassination or my number
    comes up in the roll call, I've been called to
    thank You for the remnant in our world, nation,
    churches, and everywhere else where You are
    still Lord and people recognize calling You Lord
    requires loving You by loving like You: "Not
    everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will
    enter the kingdom of heaven.  Simply calling Me
    'Lord' will not be enough.  Only those who do the
    will of My Father who is in heaven will join Me
    in heaven."

    So, Lord, I join my family of faith on the corner
    of Lincoln and Main, and while confessing the
    personal and corporate omissions and
    commissions and trying harder, we thank You
    for the remnant in our world and nation and
    churches.

    We thank You for Tuesday's Harvest Meal with
    leadership from our family - Julie and Ric and
    the continuing vision of Rick and Terri - a
    treasured coming together of the community
    for the poor, hungry, and homeless...

    We thank You for Thursday and Your permission
    to feast by Your generous graces...

    We thank You for what You are doing here on
    the corner of Lincoln and Main as the season of
    salting to preserve, promote, purify, purge, and
    prune has moved to the season of shining as a
    beacon for Jesus and expanding borders as a
    safe haven have intensely increased by Your
    undeniably miraculous movement of the Holy
    Spirit especially in the last few months.

    And, of course, as always, we thank You most
    for loving us, forgiving us, giving us more
    chances to get You right, and helping us to
    face the future unafraid because it has been
    sealed by Jesus in whose name we pray.

    Amen.

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Script #112


Beloved,

With Kathie, Karen, Bill, and Harlan keeping us posted about our life and ministry through bulletins, newsletters, big screen announcements in the Gathering Room, www.bnnsradio.com, and www.belvpresbyterian.org, there's no reason to miss the movement on the corner of Lincoln and Main!

Speaking of bulletins, whoa, there's a lot in 'em!  We should call 'em weekly newsletters or booklets!  They're really comprehensive; and what a great instrument to introduce someone who needs the beacon and safe haven to the family!  Why not take an extra copy every now and then and share it with someone who needs...?

Speaking of newsletters, we're going to begin snail mailing them to shut-ins, military personnel, college students, and others who cannot be with us on Sunday mornings beginning in January.  The rest of us will be able to pick 'em up in the narthex (second service) or near the "Gifts for Ministry" box (first service) or electronically by providing an e-mail address to Karen via kmac@belvpresbyterian.org.

Speaking of cyberspace, if you know someone who needs to be on the receiving end of the plethora of publications..., get their e-mail address to us with, of course, their permission.

Speaking of..., Jesus is counting on us!

Blessings and Love! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Script #111


Beloved,

With the glorious and dramatic increases in worship, music ministries, Sunday School, and Midweek attendance. excitement, freedom, and depth over the past two months or so, this is a great time for us to invite new friends to get involved in our rapidly expanding life and ministry together:

    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 a.m.
                                          10:00 a.m.

                                       And so much...

I really don't know what's been happening lately; but a logjam has burst and our worship, attendance, educational opportunities, mission interests/involvements, positive attitudes, passion, peace, unity, and purity for our Lord have moved to...

Well, you're a part of it and you know what we mean.

All I know is the excitement, enthusiasm, and energy are exponentially greater than anything that I've experienced on the corner of Lincoln and Main as we cross over into the 8th year of our life and ministry together.

It's a miracle of increasing intimacy with Jesus!

Criticisms, negativities, speck-inspecting, dissonance, stress, contention, and all of those kinda things have suddenly dissipated and evaporated!

Praise the Lord!

I don't know what's happening; but as we said last Sunday, we're not gonna get in the way!

I've rarely seen anything like what has happened so seemingly overnight!

The Holy Spirit is unleashing...

When I received several calls, texts, and e-mails of concern and frustration and disappointment on Wednesday about a world ablaze, country in division, and sister congregations in disarray, I wrote a message to one dear friend that I have been sharing over and over and over again and which I urge you to forward along with this script:

    Certainly, I share your sentiments.

    Just as certainly, I trust God will not be mocked.

    I will pray about this on Sunday; and, providentially, the
    message will be scratching the surface of
    Joshua: "But as for me and my house, we will serve
    the Lord!"

    We are together and we will build something together
    for Him on the corner of Lincoln and Main.

    Invite others to be a part of our beacon for Jesus
    as we welcome, include, and love others into our
    safe haven!

    You will be glad you did!

    And our part of America will be stronger for it/Him!

We have shed the control needs of religion at First as we have increasingly embraced the servant leadership modeled by Jesus!

Don't cheat people of what can satisfy their hunger and thirst!

The confessional, repentant, and increasingly unified Body of Christ on the corner of Lincoln and Main!

Invite!  Welcome!  Include!  Love!

Blessings and Love!