First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008

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.

1 comment:

  1. PBK –

    Couldn’t stop in last night after I delivered the bread, but as always Murph was there to assist. He and your secretary are such wonderful representatives for your church. Always in a good mood, always fun to talk to and honestly if they weren’t, I would have pawned the job off on Nikki because she enjoys running over to the Salvation Army to see what deals she can find for our family. But every Wednesday I look forward to my trip to the Presbyterian Church to see and talk to the inner core of every organization; the leader and those on the front line. Your message this morning really rang true for me and I couldn’t agree with you more. When you are more worried about losing, than trying to find ways to win, you always lose.

    Have a GREAT DAY