First Presbyterian Church

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Script 130


Beloved,

I'm increasingly grieved by posers, including myself, who mock our Lord's high priestly prayer of John 17 by their distancing, dissing, divorcing, destroying, and damning attitudes/actions toward their sisters and brothers of one Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior.

While our family of faith is in the midst of great revival as the faithful remnant is being reinforced by trickles turning into rivers, I find myself tearing up then weeping and praying so much more and more and more not to add to the separations, segregations, and schisms of the demonically oppressed sometimes possessed whose blasphemy against the Holy Spirit so shamelessly and arrogantly makes their "Christianity" coincidental at best to the real thing personified by Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture.

Observing how the posers are killing our country and so many denominations and so many churches and so many..., I am exceedingly thankful - and vigilant in exercising my call as undershepherd - for the saints on the corner of Lincoln and Main who have enfleshed the call to reconciliation as noted in "Scratching the Surface of Reconciliation" (attached).

I call upon our family to continue to model Someone better; and invite family, friends, and foes to our chapel on Ash Wednesday (February 13 at 6:00 p.m.) for "Real Christians for Reconciliation."  As we consider His call to reconciliation and the stern warning to the irreconcilable, I'm reminded of a refrain from Randy Stonehill, "I've got news for you!  This is not a game!"  We are inviting everyone who wants to be reconcilable in obedience to our Lord - to prove kinship to Him - to come regardless of church, community, county, or...  Help stop the meanness, madness, and misery!  Worship with sisters and brothers who want to be used by Him as the good leaven that mixes in to make things better!  Leave the world's side!  Fix your focus on Him and forsake the distractions from Him!  Peace is possible!  Reconciliation is possible!  He wants everyone to be saved!  Join authentics at the table on 2/13 and become refreshed and refueled for the ministry of reconciliation!

Speaking of reconciliation, join the over 30 folks who are already signed up for Mark Gungor's "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage" in Fellowship Hall on February 9 (Saturday) from 9:00 a.m. to a little after noon!  Call 815-544-6402 for reservations.

The prayer line is open: 815-544-3535.

Learn about the much, much, much more on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois by clicking on www.belvpresbyterian.org and www.bnnsradio.com.

Blessings and Love!

P.S. A prayer from 1/20/13:

Father, Your Psalm-writer said, "Happy are the people who worship You."

Your Word - in Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture - is consistent.

You take pleasure in the pleasure of people provided people take pleasure in You.

You provide pleasure for people who take pleasure in You.

Food tastes better when You come first in our lives.

Relationships are better when You come first in our lives.

Everything just falls into place and turns out just fine when You come first in our lives.

We confess not always placing You first in our lives, families, churches, and country.

We confess knowing why we are prone to less than pleasure.

It's because we are so much more about pleasuring ourselves than placing You first in our lives; ignoring the truth that You take pleasure in the pleasure of people provided people take pleasure in You.

We want to be happy.

We want to be healthy.

We don't want to be afraid anymore.

And You say we can; as long as You come first.

Today, we say You come first.

Today, we thank You for forgiving what we have forfeited for too long.

Today, we worship You; especially for Jesus in whose name we pray.

Amen.


Scratching the Surface

of

Reconciliation

(A Brief and Incomplete Guide to Restoring Relationships)

Some people like fights more than friendships.

A woman came to me and asked about the agenda for a meeting. 

I said, “It looks like we’ve got at least one tough topic coming up.”

“Oh, goodie,” she said, “I just love a good fight!”

It was one of the most un-non-Christian things that I’ve ever heard in a church.

Sadly, there are people who like to fight, hit, hurt, beat, batter, bruise, bite, and butcher; betraying the darkness in their souls.

There are people who like to distance, divorce, and destroy.

Pride, control needs, lusts, idolatries, hatreds, and other deeply dark pathologies  masquerading as arrogant and condescending self-righteousness often cause segregations, separations, and schisms.

It’s natural.

Fortunately, Jesus has provided a path to restoring relationships in Matthew 18:15-17:

1.     Try to work it out face to face.

2.     If that doesn’t work, bring along a few fair and objective
folks who will tell the truth to both of you while insuring
neither of you is tempted to lie about the conversation
to others at a later date.

3.     If that doesn’t work, try a committee, board, or bunch of
good folks to sort it all out.

4.     If that doesn’t work, isolate and avoid them.

Unfortunately, while our Lord commands us to love and seek reconciliation with even the unlovable people in our lives, some folks are determined to remain irrational, irregular, irascible, and irreconcilable.

God has another plan for them: “Keep up your guard against anyone who is causing conflicts and enticing others with teachings contrary to what you have already learned.  If there are people like that in your churches, stay away from them.  These kinds of people are not truly serving our Lord Jesus…They have devoted their lives to satisfying their own appetites.  With smooth talking and a well-rehearsed blessing, they lead a lot of unsuspecting people down the wrong path” (Romans 16:17-18).
In other words, some people playing out deeply dark pathologies with no desire for reconciliation must be identified, ignored, and isolated lest they infect the rest of the body of believers with their disease.

There’s no place for a rotten apple in a barrel of freshly picked ones.

While our Lord set the example for always inviting, welcoming, including, and loving, He also said there are evil ones who slip into churches like wolves in sheep’s clothing with no desire to be reconciled to Him which is exposed by their irrational, irregular, irascible, and irreconcilable behavior with the rest of His family; causing Him to conclude, “If someone is inhospitable to you or refuses to listen to your testimony, leave that house or town and shake the dust from your feet” (Matthew 10:14).

Allowing the irrational, irregular, irascible, and irreconcilable to infect a church with darkness brings a stern warning from our Lord: “If anyone is a cause of stumbling to one of these little ones who have faith in Me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung round his neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

Jesus declares the sternest of warnings for people who are irretrievably irreconcilable: “If you forgive…, your heavenly Father will forgive you…But if you do not forgive…, neither will your Father forgive you” (Matthew 6:14-15).

Restored relationships reflect a restored relationship: “As you do it for them, you do if for Me” (see Matthew 25:31ff.).

When we are reconciled to Him, we are reconcilable with others.

A passion for reconciliation shows intimacy with Jesus.

It’s belief confirmed by behavior.

Remembering we must be reconcilable with everyone to prove reconciliation with our Lord, we will remain reconcilable with even the irrational, irregular, irascible, and irreconcilable; knowing, sometimes with some people, it’s better to talk to God about them than to talk to them about God.

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…

ΓΏ

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