First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Script #165

Family Friends,

Addendum (related) to Script 164 below (read again for context).

Our children have suffered two losses this week.

It is very painful for them.

We will be talking with them about it this Sunday during their moment in the second service.

If you know a child related to these particular losses or any parallel losses, please keep your very adult/mature-in-Jesus baptismal promises and bring them to the service with you.

Blessings and Love!

P.S. The "Pavilion Task Force" has met and Phase Two has been changed to "God's Glory Outdoors" (see below).  Also, on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m., Deeper Discipleship will meet in the Board/Bored Room across from the Choir Room and next to the undershepherd's study instead of the chapel.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Script #164 Part 2

Family Friends,

Important Dates:

1. Bob Champion went home to Jesus on early September 24.  The memorial worship service will be in our sanctuary on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

2. This Sunday's worship services - 7:20 and 10:00 a.m. - are opportunities to renew our understanding of faith's basics and invite someone who needs to new a relationship with Him.  Psst.  That means invite, welcome, include, and love!  Again, in obedience to Jesus, invite, welcome, include, and love!  Psst.  You can read more about that in the current edition of

3. Phase Two - "His Glory Outdoors" - is coming to the corner of Lincoln and Main on May 22, 2014.  You can learn more about this glorious wineskin-expander in our Gathering Room.  Look for the poster on the easel and read what's below for context!

Blessings and Love!

But Jesus said, "Allow the little children, and don't forbid them to come to me; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to ones like these." - Matthew 19:14
The love of Christ for children was one of the most beautiful qualities in His life. It revealed His true human-heartedness. But we must remember too that it revealed His divine interest in the children.
Jesus was very displeased when His disciples rebuked those who brought the little ones, and tried to keep the children away. “Allow the little children, and don't forbid them to come to me,” He said. So we have the caution for ourselves. We must be very careful that we never keep any children from coming to Christ.
We could do this in many ways. We may do this if we are parents or older Christians, by our own worldly example. Nominal Christian parents are likely to keep their children away from the Savior, even unintentionally, by the influence of their own life. We may do it also by telling them they are too young to come to Him; by simply doing nothing, allowing them to grow up uninfluenced by what is right; by allowing their minds to become pre-occupied with other things, to the exclusion of Christ.
Christ calls us to clear every barrier out of the way so that the children can come to Him. Notice that it is to Christ Himself that the children should come. Suppose they cannot understand “the plan of redemption,” or cannot know the doctrines of the Church, or cannot answer the hard questions we sometimes put to those seeking Christ -- shall we therefore prevent them from coming? No, say's Christ, “Let them come to me.” No matter how little they know of the way, we are to put up no obstacles. We are to make no demands of them having knowledge or experience. We are only to be certain that they can freely come to Him. After that there will be time enough to teach them.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Script #164


Sunday's coming!

7:20 and 10:00 a.m.

Don't be, uh, left behind.

Blessings and Love!

P.S. For more on the below, call 815-544-3535.

Here's Today's Devotional from The Vine...
The Beggar's Escort
It happened that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. - Luke 16:22
Nothing is said about his funeral -- of course it was only a poor mans burial. Earth had no honor for the beggar, no fancy coffin or expensive flowers... but the angels came and were his bearers to escort him to glory. Notice also that nothing is said about what became of his body, but that doesn't really matter, for the man himself was no longer in that old, worn-out, battered body. He was soon far away in a realm of God's glory. While the body was dropped, the beggar, the real man, was carried away to heaven; and we see him there, a beggar no longer, enjoying the presence of God.
There is still another thought here. We are afraid of death. It seems the end of existence. But really to the Christian it is only an incident in his life. It is just a moment's passage through an experience we never can understand. One minute this poor beggar lies at the gate, despised, suffering, hungry; the next, a strange sensation passes over him, and all is confusion; then he awakes flying through the air with angel-escort, and in a little time is inside the gate of heaven where he lives on. There is no break in his life.
Death came also to the rich man. His riches could not save him from that. No doubt he had a fancy funeral. There would be a long procession, many mourners, great waste of decorations and every show of honor. But who would not rather have the beggar's escort after death than the finest funeral earth ever gave to a mortal? There have been funerals of rich men at which there was genuine sorrow, where those who had been blessed by their kindness on earth came and wept by their coffins. But in this case there were no sincere mourners, for the man had allowed the needy to lie hungry at his gates. He had lived for himself only and no one really missed him when he was gone.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Script #163

Mes Amis,

Things are moving sooooooo fast in our world, country, and...

We're about to bomb another country without much support from historical allies; and the divisions in our government, churches, communities, and all of the below are starting to remind me of those horrific divisions of the late 60s and early 70s.

I hear the prophet quoting the Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior, "Return to Me...and I will return to you!"

Tomorrow's worship services will include something about my personal return that may be encouraging to...

My heart is already breaking for people who...

Anyway, read the below if interested; and, if interested, go to for some context.

Joshua 24:15.

Blessings and Love!3

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Script #162


When I arrived eight years ago, I was told not to talk about Jesus as the only way to salvation, homosexuality, same sex marriage, abortion, politics, taking care of the poor in town, and...just about anything that matters to our Lord as enfleshed in Jesus and explained in Holy Scripture.

I was told that the content of worship, essentially, must be mind-numbing so people could daydream about whatever they wanted to imagine God to be and that I would be judged by many as effective if I could keep the worship services from exceeding 59 minutes and 59 seconds.

Efforts to buy my cooperation while asserting some sense of entitlement by those whose "word" was surely more important than anyone else's along with threats of leaving the church clouded my...for a while.

While I had been warned by all of my living predecessors while my ecclesiastical superiors questioned my sanity for insisting I was called to the corner of Lincoln and Main, I will confess, after eight years, that every day hasn't been a hot fudge sundae for me.

I have only survived because I am called and with the call comes the equipping/encouraging/enabling; especially in a Psalm 62 kinda way coupled with the love of saints like you.

Anyway, getting back to being clouded...for a while.

I confess my sin of satiating too much sin from people who felt entitled to try to force me to water down the Gospel, couldn't be on the team unless they were the captains, felt they were so much closer to Jesus than anybody else, speck-inspected to the horrific degree of driving so many people out of the church in a Steppenwolfed kinda way ("We don't know how to mind our own business...'cause the whole world's gotta be just like us...") with total defiance to His agape and high priestly prayer of John 17, and...

Simply, in the early years of my undershepherding ministry, I cooperated with the witting and unwitting accomplices of...

The church suffered from my infidelity.

Then while everything was going topsy-turvy during the renovation and I couldn't find anything anymore, I came across a framed note.

It came from a young boy about 30 years ago who encouraged me to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth because only the truth enables freedom, revival, and...salvation.

I wept when I read it.

I had forgotten.

I had sinned.

I was so concerned about vocational security, being liked, and...

You know what I mean.

Now I keep that framed note where I can see it daily and remain founded, fixed, focused, and filtered on/to/through Biblically Christocentric undershepherding.

I will be sharing that framed note in worship on Sunday at 7:20 and 10:00 a.m.

It changed my life/ministry over 30 years ago and changed my life again about two/three years ago...

Assuming my role/Beruf, it has contributed to the revival on the corner of Lincoln and Main that can only continue with increasing obedience to our Lord as enfleshed in Jesus and explained in Holy Scripture.

One way.


Only hearts of stone to God will not be softened, tenderized, and turned back when the framed note is seen/read/heard/experienced this Sunday.

Blessings and Love!

P.S. If you are receiving this out-of-state, you can always listen live via this Sunday at 10.  Yeah, it's archived.  And, yes, please forward this to anyone needing some light...or salt.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Script #161


How can there be so many opinions about what Christianity is all about?

That's simple.

Many books about the book about Jesus twist what the book reports about Jesus to satisfy less than the truth about Jesus: "I know that's what the book says Jesus said but I think..."


Here's just one perfectly imperfect illustration of how "Christianity" that's not by the book can be so misleading and maybe even...

American government and courts along with many to most Americans including increasing #s of Biblically illiterate or ignoring at minimum pewsitters and pulpiteers are pretending "Christian" marriage can't/mustn't/won't be limited to a female and male tying the knot.

Questions: "So, uh, where do you find support for that in what Jesus said about marriage?...So, uh, where do you find support for that anywhere in the Bible?...So, uh, where do you find support for that anywhere in Christianity for over two thousand years?...So, uh, where do you find support for that in any of the church mothers/fathers, creeds, confessions, constitutions, traditions, and...?  So, uh, just exactly where do you look to find support for this totally recent bastardization of Christianity?"

Answer: "Well, I know the Bible, Jesus, church mothers/fathers, creeds, confessions, constitutions, traditions, and...say the three main ingredients of marriage are a woman and man called to complete and complement each other by God for His glory...but I think..."


Here's the deal aka covenant for Christians by the book.

Christianity by anything/anyone other than by the book is human invention apart from divine revelation because divine revelation as especially conclusive in the enfleshment of Jesus and explanation of the Bible is only confusing to those who are dense by design or have the arrogance to ignore or defy divine revelation as especially conclusive in the enfleshment of Jesus and explanation of the Bible.

For more on this, go to sometime later today for Scratching the Surface of Gospelers.

"But as for me and my house..."

Blessings and Love!