First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Message recap

Today’s message:

Happiness is.......

Psalm 1.
The book of psalms was my grandmas favorite. Today, pastor touched on the first chapter. I enjoyed meditating on the words of the psalmist and for a brief moment was taken back.

I remember the joy my grandma had every day. No, this didn’t mean a pasted fake smile or acting as if her life was without trial. But there was always a peaceful, calm serenity which allowed her to fill a room with her peaceful presence. She was a tree planted by the waters and she was deeply rooted. But rooted in what? Her life was actually filled with heartache. She lost 2 children after birth and helped to save her daughter from an abusive marriage and care for her grandchildren most of their lives. But every day, no matter the problem, the answer was prayer and reading scripture. See, she didn’t do it because she felt she had to do so. She did it because her happiness- ALL happiness, is a supernatural byproduct of a relationship with Christ. We expect to hear some booming voice or miraculous turnaround of our problems. But, grandma knew that her happiness and peace was found when God spoke to her through reading His Word. Pinterest and Instagram feeds will tell us “Happiness is a choice”, but it’s more. Happiness is a gift, and yes, we must choose to accept that gift and focus on our relationship with our creator. We were created after all to love, and to be loved. That love, and it’s byproduct is happiness.

I pray for myself today and all my friends that we can remember the love our Lord has for us. I forget. I live like I don’t know. Yes, many days, I forget.

Thursday, April 12, 2018


Please see below. Hope to see our community and family.

The Psalms have been called the Prayer Book of the Bible; or as John Calvin noted, "I may truly call this book an anatomy of all parts of the soul...All the sorrows, troubles, fears, doubts, hopes, pains, perplexities and stormy outbreaks by which the hearts of men are tossed have been depicted here to the very life."
Commencing 6 May 2018 and continuing over the next three to four years, most Sunday messages will focus on a psalm as we pray increasing intimacy with Him for Him in all things in all places with all people at all times.
This will be a great opportunity to invite, welcome, include, and love new friends to Redemption on the Corner of Lincoln and Main.
Bring a Bible or ask a Gideon to provide one for you; especially now that the Gideons use the outstanding ESV for distribution.  The Gideon NT with Psalms and Proverbs with helps is handy, accurate, and an extraordinary gift from God.
We are about to experience a seismic Spirit-led-Spirit-filled-wineskin-expanding kairos moment at Redemption on the Corner of Lincoln and Main.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Celebrate God’s grace during Holy Week with our family of faith. We recognize that although we are sinners, our Lord meets us in our circumstance. For this, we worship.

Mark 2:17 
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Maunday Thursday- service at 7pm
Good Friday- services from 12-3pm
Easter Sunday- services at 7:20am and 10am

Thursday, March 1, 2018


This week, during our midweek programming we talked about bullies. The truth is, we can all be bullies at times. In fact, bullying includes gossiping (even if it is a true statement about someone), ignoring someone or excluding them, and desiring revenge or harm on someone. These spirits that can rage in all of us perpetuate the cycle of violence in our communities and schools. People who are mentally unstable or don’t have supportive family environments may even turn to retaliation of this bullying behavior and cause more harm, which is evident by our increase in school shootings.

So what can we do about this? How do we teach our children to survive and even help in these situations. Well, the answer to all our questions, as Pastor Bob likes to say, is “Jesus.” Jesus tells us in the Bible that perfect love drives out fear. His perfect sacrificial love is the example of this. We discussed with our children that love is not a feeling. In fact, it is an act. So, what do we do to counteract these moments- these cruel times? We must act up and stand up and show love by actively giving it. This may be simply smiling and waving at the person you know is being ignored in the halls. After all, everyone desires to be seen and recognized. In fact, that is what is so comforting in Psalm 139. The psalmist writes, “You created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.....Your eyes saw my unformed body and all my days are ordained for me were written in your book.”  What a wonderful thought!
The same God who made the stars cares for all His creations. When he made the earth He said it was “good.” But when He made man, he said it was “VERY good.”

God loves all His people the same. Black, white, rich poor, cultures and class of all kinds. Our job is to love. When we love- it drives out the dark. It is the only thing. Show love- active love. Every day. Show love to the undeserving because we all are unlovable at times, yet we are still adored by our creator.