First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008

Monday, January 27, 2014


A quick update from the corner of Lincoln and Main!

Because we care about the safety of every member of our family of faith including even our staff members, the church office and campus will remain closed until Wednesday morning when global warming resumes.

Parenthetically, ole Al invented the internet, got everyone flustered about global warming as if using less aerosol deodorant could actually moderate the earth's natural movements in a predestinarian kinda way, and could have accelerated the dumbing down of America even more than the last two...


It's cold.

In short, all Midweek activities/programs are on but the office/campus is closed until Wednesday morning.

Do not depend upon the church phones for an emergency until Wednesday morning.  If you have an emergency and need assistance, call 815-222-9216. 

O.K., now go down to #s 3 and 4 and...

Also, this global warming trend this winter - ;) to Al - is hitting our budget very hard.  Hint.

Blessings and Love!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

That's right, beloved, we never cancel worship on the corner of Lincoln and Main!

The parking lot is being plowed as I send this to you! 

However, always remember whether you're there or here or anywhere, you can listen to our second service (10:00 a.m.) live every Sunday by clicking on


1. The church office and campus will be closed on Monday for obvious reasons except to Al Gore.

2. However, I will be in early on Monday to receive emergency calls; but must leave by 10:00 a.m. for parochial meetings in Oregon (city in Illinois not state on the left coast).  I also have to go to the hospital after those meetings; but you can reach me via my cellular (815-222-9216) if necessary or you feel all of this weather is a harbinger of...

3. Hey!  This is a great time to write to our dear friends and family members Grace and Bob Ward!  They remain an important part of our heritage, as we continue to build upon the best of the past that they helped develop, and they remain an important part of our present and future for they have taught us what Christians do when they obey/love Jesus: Never let go or run away from the family!!!  Write and thank/encourage them at 16 Lake Hunter Drive, #B116, Lakeland, Florida 33803.

4. Here's something else to think/pray/act about if you're caught in the cabin today and until "seasonal" weather returns.  We're hosting a community Good Friday service in our chapel on, uh, Good Friday (April 18) from noon - 3:00 p.m. in 15 minute come-as-you-can-leave-when-you-must segments featuring local pastors who love Jesus by the book.  This winter weather is killing our budget - utilities - which means we need your help to donate $ to sponsor the service (viz., honoraria, bulletins, promotion, etc.).  I figure we'll need about $1000.  If inclined/nudged/called to help, write a check to First Presbyterian Church and designate it for, uh, Good Friday.  If session approves, the offerings on GF will be split between our Compassion Closet, Wounded Warriors, and Salvation Army.

5. O.K., if you are coming to worship today, why not invite somebody; especially if his/her church's services are cancelled today?  Bring 'em to the family on the corner of Lincoln and Main where Jesus and only Jesus is Lord and everyone is welcomed, included, and loved and there ain't no partiality or favoritism and the table's open and we're getting out of the way so He can have His way!

Stay warm!

You can/will with Him!

Blessings and Love!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dearly Beloved,

Our Lord is gracing people all over the world who are getting out of the way so He can have His way in families, churches, governments, and...

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 comes to mind.

Anyway, a key to revival, a cause for revival on the corner of Lincoln and Main and anywhere, is articulated sooooooo well below by Ella Jane; especially beginning with the third paragraph: "I believe..."

Anyway(2), "Well, the weather outside is frightful..."

Amen to that!

Buuuuuuut we never cancel worship on Sundays at 7:20 and 10:00 a.m.  So come and get warm in Him!





Blessings and Love!


    To all who joined us on these 21 Days of Seeking God through prayer and fasting -- Expect God Things!  Your seeking, praying, fasting is not in vain, but will work in you the power, wisdom, and anointing that you hunger for.
    Jesus promised that we would do the works He did - and greater!  He also said "this kind comes through much prayer and fasting." In Mark 16:17-18 Jesus gave the Great Commission and said, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."  He promised to send the Spirit of Wisdom, Truth, and Power in Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth." In Ephesians 3:20 Paul writes, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..."

    I believe we are called to "greater" in Christ - to walk in the promises He gave to His Church!  Perhaps some are content to settle and live in "the land of good", but some of us feel the compelling call to "go deeper and go higher!"  We cannot be content with "good" when "greater" is calling us!  The Spirit of God has made a deposit in you when you surrendered your life to Him - He gave you the Power of His Spirit!  He gave us His authority to continue on with His works! 

    My question to the Church is "What are we doing with what He gave us?"  Many of us are like a Lamborghini that is just sitting in the garage or creeping around town.  It was made for power, for greater things than sitting there or doing grocery store runs!  Some of us feel like the eaglet that was born in a chicken pen.  He was raised to think he was a chicken, scratching at the dirt, pecking like a chicken and clucking like a hen. He sees the majestic eagles soaring above him and something deep inside of him rises to the surface and suddenly he hungers for something he never had before!  Something he was born for begins to consume him!  He must leave the constraints and the dirt of this chicken pen and soar to height unknown!

    I believe we will see great results because we put Christ first and humbled our flesh to seek Him.  Already we are witnessing His power and His Presence!  Reports are coming in of people who were diagnosed with cancer that are healed, leaving doctors to wonder what happened!  Yesterday, one of our members who is extremely allergic to nuts was served food that had nuts in it. Immediately tingling and swelling set in. We prayed with him by phone, and for the first time in his life, he did not go to the emergency room, but instead, he went to work!  The swelling and tingling immediately subsided; his throat NEVER swelled and closed up!  I believe more miracles will follow!

    I encourage you to continue on with a life of pursuing Christ! Let "His power" work in you the great things to which you are called!  Don't settle or be complacent with your faith, but pursue the greater things of the Spirit! 

    Thank you for joining me on this fast and prayer time!  I would love to hear YOUR testimonies of what God is doing for YOU! 

Pastor Ella Jane Coley

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Wait until you see our new bulletins for Sunday worship services...starting this Sunday!

We've often joked about our bulletins being booklets; and the truth is they were fine...but a tad cluttered, busy, and...

Thanks to the herculean efforts of time, energy, reflection, consultation, and cooperation of Karen and Kathie, we now have extraordinarily clear, concise yet comprehensive, user friendly, and even cost effective bulletins!

So much so clearly communicated at such reduced cost!


Blessings and Love!

P.S. Della sent the video below that's very inspirational.

Friday, January 10, 2014


1. Don't forget that our long-awaited-weather-delayed cantata is this Sunday during the second service at 10:00 a.m.!

2. Going back to #1, please, I beg you in the name of Jesus, don't miss this opportunity to invite, welcome, include, and love folks to this Sunday's second service.  I am convinced the delays have been a part of His providence to allow more time for you and me to invite, welcome, include, and love.  I sense...

3. The ordination and installation of officers will be at the beginning of the second service; sooooooo don't be tardy!

4. Part of my increasingly compelling call is to decrease so He may increase through you!  That's why I try not to hawk too much related to me; admitting, of course, that several non-best-selling books have taught me that...  Sooooooo I'm more comfortable encouraging you to go to and listen to Alex, Bill, Tim, Scott, Joe, Fred, and...  That's why, in addition to the commandments about it, we don't announce who's bringing the message on Sundays.  That's why...  Anyway, there's a really good video that I commend to you in the current edition of (Scratching the Surface of James).  You can skip what I wrote and go directly to the video at the bottom.  Click it on; and you'll weep for the suffering and weep with joy for what we're trying to do for Him and His on the corner of Lincoln and Main.

See you Sunday with your invited guests who hunger and thirst to be adopted into the family!

Blessings and Love!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Actually, my e-mail has been down since 1/6 and is only up now; noting, confessionally, that me being off line has been a boon to many!

So please read the updates below.

The only change is regarding the first service on 1/12.  Very early this morning while Kopper was walking me, I had an inspiration/indigestion to hold off on what's listed below as a preface is necessary via Psalm 51 and Matthew 6:13 for "Coming Clean and Trying/Praying to Stay Clean."  The outline guided by the texts prompts the kinda transparency that makes me glad that our first service is not broadcast over the radio. 

Well, the weather report, finally, is good for this Sunday; and I beg you in the name of Jesus to invite, welcome, include, and agape as many as possible to this Sunday's cantata during the second service.  I am convinced there will be an overwhelming outpouring of blessings during our second service this Sunday.

Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


It has just come to our attention that any e-mail sent to or since yesterday (1/6) at noon and until a little over an hour ago has been lost in cyberspace.  Sooooooo if you sent Karen or moi an e-mail expecting a response and have wondered why we haven't responded, it's because we haven't received that e-mail and you'll have to resend it.  It happens.  That's why one of my favorite ITers is gonna flash drive my hard drive asap!  Other staff members have e-mail addresses apart from our domain - whatever that means - meaning they should have...

Of course, if you sent the picture of Mary's face that recently appeared in the Sahara or the astrologer's insights on how the Bears could leave a Packer so wide open on 4th and 8 with time running out, perhaps it was predestined for your e-mail to be lost in cyberspace.

Moretheless, a few notes:

1. All Midweek activities resume tomorrow (1/8).  Go to for the regular schedule.

2. While I'm a little nervous about saying this considering the last three weeks, weather permitting, our chancel choir Christmas cantata has been rescheduled for this Sunday (1/12) during our second service (10:00 a.m.).

3. Ordinations/installations of officers will be during this Sunday's second service.

4. Officers' orientation will be immediately after the second service in the bored/board room. 

5. The first service's message on Sunday at 7:20 a.m. will be "How Did I/We Miss That/Him? (Rebirthing Recollections of an Undershepherd Since October 2011)" with Matthew 23 as the primary text.  Of course, if it's like the last few weeks, it could also be the message of the second service.

Stay safe and warm!

Blessings and Love!s

Monday, January 6, 2014

script #188


An increasing concern at one of our nursing homes requires me to leave the fort aka corner of Lincoln and Main sooner than noon; ergo, if you need me, you can hook up via my dumb phone (# below).

Also, because of calls - land line and dumb phone - and administrative aggravations, I have got to take a potty break before heading to the nursing home.  Sooooooo if you call the church # and there's no answer, I'm here in there or headed there; sooooooo use the cellular number.


BTW, no sandwich board has showed up for today; but, remember, it's gonna be an extended opportunity and I suspect we will have more opportunities to be a warming center this year and next year and beyond regardless of what Bill's old VP mused.

If this weather keeps up, we may change our Easter Day musical offerings to the inaugural Christmas/Easter Extravaganza.  Hmm.  That could be a real boon to C&Eers.


Blessings and Love!

Script #187


Well, I've never witnessed Kopper walking/pulling me so fast as this morning!

We started a little late - 4:35 a.m. - but it still made me wonder how they ever played that game last night in the tundra region of...

Anyway, it was -14 degrees at 6:05 a.m. on my late start this morning with a wind chill of Siberian proportions.


1. The church is closed all day today.

2. The temperature is expected to increase to almost Chicago bearability tomorrow afternoon.  Hence, the church will remain closed until tomorrow afternoon.

3. Emergency calls can be received at the church from 6:11 a.m. - noon.  Then I must leave for off-campus care and counseling; however, you can reach me via cellular (815-222-9216) in an emergency or to provide a theophaneous apocalypse through vous pour moi.

4. The cantata, ordinations, and installations have been postponed until the second service on 1/12/14 with new officers' orientation immediately after the second service in the bored/board room.

5. Please review all of the below for anything else that may be of...

Blessings and Love!

P.S. A few years ago, it was suggested that we have a sandwich board sign made that said "Warming Center" in big letters and then "Please come in for a cup of coffee and get warm!" in smaller letters (both sides).  While that did not happen, uh, now might...  If anyone can do that or drop that off before noon today, I will come back in the evening and stay until tomorrow morning before heading to BBs around... Oooooooor, I think this is gonna be a loooooooong...  All I know is my tech doesn't need to blood transfuse my pony any time soon!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Script #186


Well, uh, I guess we're just gonna extend our Christmas season on the corner of Lincoln and Main!

The good news is we never cancel worship on the corner of Lincoln and Main except for the parousia; so our regularly scheduled worship services for 7:20 and 10:00 a.m. will proceed but the second service not as previously planned/postponed.

The cantata, which is awesome, uh, weather permitting, has been postponed to the second service on 1/12/14 (next Sunday).

Ordinations/installations and officers' orientation have been postponed to the second service on 1/12.

Church offices will be closed on Monday; and I trust I don't need to explain that but you can read what's below for a clue. 

While I will be in on Monday for emergencies only, please restrict your calls to emergencies. 

If you have a meeting or activity scheduled for the church on Monday, please consider postponing or hosting it at a warm home with easy access.

Common sense.

For example, though they're spunky octogenarians, I would, because of my dad's several hip surgeries, tell my parents to take a look at the long view and listen to the second service at home via live today at 10:00 a.m.

The weather forecast for Tuesday appears to be more of the same; which means we will probably close the offices; however, we are hoping all Midweek activities will resume on Wednesday as planned.

Stay tuned to and for updates on weather-affected scheduling.

Stay safe and warm!

Again, we will have worship at 7:20 and 10:00 a.m. but, really, use your common sense about it.

Blessings and Love!

P.S. If you prayed for a snowflaked Christmas, we would like you to shift your focus to our global/national/local economy.

Script #185

Well, mes amis, it appears we're on for tomorrow's Chancel Choir Christmas Cantata!

10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary!

Of course, you can always check for sure by calling 815-544-6402 before the first service at 7:20 a.m. or between services or...

This is an extraordinary opportunity to invite...

Yeah, that's right! Her! Him! Them!

Really, this could be the moment for...

Invite!  Welcome!  Include!  Agape!

You will be glad you did!

He will smile on your obedience in a Matthew 28, Mark 16, and Acts 1 kinda way!

Blessings and Love!

P.S. While we never cancel worship on the corner of Lincoln and Main except, uh, if it's for the parousia because..., any changes regarding the cantata will be communicated via Script 186 if necessary by 7:45 a.m. on Sunday.

P.S. #2 - I planned to return to the church again today at 2:00 p.m. and leave at 4:00 p.m.  However, there were some changes, so I returned around noon and will be leaving before 3:00 p.m.  So if ya gotta chat about the cantata, you can reach me at the church until, uh, I split for religious reasons related to, uh, uh, uh,...another American idolatry.  Can you guess?  If yes or no, please don't reply!  :)

Script #184


Quickly, a word from the Lord for 2014: Revelation 21:5!!!

Some important announcements/updates for the first week + of 2014:

1. Yes, the awesome chancel choir Christmas cantata is this Sunday (1/5) during the second service (10:00 a.m.).

2. Yes, new officers will be ordained/installed at the beginning of this Sunday's second service.

3. Yes, the children's moment will be extended as they sit with their parents during the cantata or head off to nursery...

4. Yes, new officers' orientation, originally scheduled for 12/22, will be held this Sunday immediately after the second service in the board/bored room next to His study used by the undershepherd.  Yo, deacons, bring up the leftover coffee and goodies!

5. Yes, all Midweek opportunities resume on 1/8.

6. Yes, Mountaintop Cell(ular) Ministry continues every Wednesday from noon - 3:00 p.m. in our chapel.  Hosted by our family of faith, Mountaintop Cell(ular) ministry is a shared opportunity with Presbyterian Elders in Prayer to take your confidential praises and prayer requests before the Lord in concert with PEP's global prayer network.  Just send in your praises/prayers to or leave 'em on our shared prayer line (815-544-3535).

7. Yes, we always have a first service commencing at 7:20 a.m. no matter what's happening in the second service.

8. No, we never cancel worship on the corner of Lincoln and Main; but we may adjust as we have in moving the cantata from weather-assaulted 12/22 to weather-hopeful 1/5.

9. O.K., yes, we would cancel worship concomitant to the parousia; which, of course, would mean no one who believes in Jesus would be in the chapel or sanctuary in that they'd have graduated if you know what He means.

10. Getting back to #s 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and maybe 9, the weather report for 1/5 is already pretty dicey and it looks like our church parking lot will be plowed at least twice today (1/1) for inexplicable reasons pour moi considering that it's kinda quiet around here with nothing scheduled and no one around; meaning to stay tuned to the weather reports 'cause we will reschedule the cantata again if the weather prevents maximum opportunities for participants in the cantata and those who will be invited by you!  It will be a matter of common sense; but, remember, we never cancel worship on the corner of Lincoln and Main.  We just, uh, adjust, uh, like new wineskins...  Buuuuuuut if we have to reschedule again, that decision will be made prior to the first service on Sunday.  Calls can be received at 815-544-6402 for information until 7:10 a.m. on Sunday and then after 8:15 a.m.  Of course, common sense goes a long way...

Getting back to the cantata, I'm convinced, having heard/experienced it on 12/21 in prep for the 12/22 presentation now to be held on 1/5 at 10:00 a.m., this maximizes our opportunity to invite, welcome, include, and agape!

Getting to the point, invite; then welcome, include, and agape!

This is a wonderful opportunity to begin 2014 by sharing Whom we're not supposed to keep to ourselves!

Besides, I believe some very pneumatic will...

Snooze and lose!

Fail to invite and...shame on us!

I am praying your 2014 is filled with the joy of Jesus and an intimacy with Him that exceeds anything ever known to you!

Blessings and Love!3