Welcome...

Thanks for stopping by.  I'm pastor of First Baptist Church in Dupo, IL.  You can visit the church website for information on the church: www.fbcdupo.org.  Here I hope to share some inspiration and perhaps a few tales from the winding road…this journey called life, where God can be seen in the moments of our day if we are looking for Him.  ~Roger~ 

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First Baptist Church
620 Godin Avenue | Dupo, IL 62239

Thought for the Day

Even when we don't sense God's presence, His loving care is all around us.

Words to live by...

Those who seek Him will praise the Lord.  Let your heart live forever!
Psalm 22:26 

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Tuesday
Nov082016

THE LEGACY

It seemed to be just another ordinary, but in a few hours everything was about to change.  A woman called her husband at and told she thought something was going on next door.  She told him their are a lot of cars there.  Because of his neighbor's occupation, he feared the worst, and soon those fears were realized.  His neighbor, who was a policeman had just been killed in the line of duty, trying to stop the escape of two bank robbers.  The community was stunned. 

The man had no time prepare for his death.  Yet he was ready.  His faith in Christ was secure, and his reputation as a remakrable man was intact.  At his funeral, attended by hundreds of fellow officers, his colleague said, "He was a dedicated police officer, but first and foremost he was a loving husband and a doting father to his children."  Indeed the theme of tributes all centered on his great possibility and his love and care for his family.  

His life exemplified the words of Colossians 3:12-13, "Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other."  Those traits leave an inspiring legacy.

We don't know when God will call us home, but we do know this: "Each day is an opportunity to leave a testimony worthy of our faith."


Thursday
Jul072016

Welcome To All!

A beautifying project on the main road of a small town prompted the demolition of a church built in the 1930s.  Although the windows of the empty church had been removed, the doors remained in place for several days, even as bulldozers began knocking down walls.  Each set of doors around the church building held a message written in giant fluorescent-orange block letters: KEEP OUT!

Unfortunately, some churches whose doors are open convey that same message to visitors whose appearance doesn't measure up to their standards.  No fluorescent, giant-size letters needed.  With a single disapproving glance, some people communicate: "You're Not Welcome Here!"

How people look on the outside, of course, is not an indicator of what is in their hearts.  God's focus is on the inner life of people.  He looks far below the surface of someone's appearance and that's what He desires for us to do as well.  He also knows the hearts of those who appear to be "righteous" but are "full of hypocrisy" on the inside. 

God's message of welcome, which we are to show to others, is clear.  He says to all who seek Him: "Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters" (Isaiah 55:1)

Tuesday
Jun282016

What Are You Known For?

In the Roman Empire, pagans would often call on the name of a god or goddess as they placed bets in a game of chance.  A favorite deity of the gambler was Aphrodite, the Greek word for Venus, the goddess of love.  During the roll of the dice, they would say "epaphroditus!"  Literally, "by Aphrodite!"

In the book of Philippians we read of a Greek convert to the Christian faith by the name of Epaphroditus.  He was a close companion of Paul who served him well in his missionary enterprise.  Of his friend, Paul wrote: "Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier" (Philippians 2:25). 

Epaphroditus was a spiritual brother in Christ, a faithful worker who shared ministry efforts, a brave soldier of the faith, and the carrier of the inspired letter to the church at Philippi.  He modeled brotherhood, a work ethic, spiritual endurance, and service.  Certainly, Epaphroditus had a well-deserved reputation that showed he did not live by a pagan deity but by faith in Jesus Christ.

Even more important than our name are the Christian qualities that are seen in our life: dependability, care, encouragement, and wisdom.  What words would you like others to use to describe you?

Friday
Jun242016

Because 

One day a toddler exclaimed to his mother "I love you."  The mother was curious about what makes a 3-year old tick, so she asked him why he loved her.  He answered, "Because you play cars with me."  When she asked if there was any other reason, he said, "Nope.  That's it."  

When you begin to think about the response of that toddler, it causes one to stop and begin to think about the way we relate to God.  Do we love and trust Him just because of what He does for us?  What about when the blessings disappear?

Job had to answer these questions when catastrophes claimed his children and demolished his entire estate.  His wife advised him: "Curse God and die."  Instead, Job asked, "Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?"  Job struggled after his tragedy --- he became angry with his friends and questioned God.  Still, he vowed, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him."  

Job's affection for his heavenly Father didn't depend on a tidy solution to his problems.  Rather, he loved and trusted God because of all that He is.  Job said, "God is wise in heart and mighty in strength." 

Our love for God must not be based solely on His blessings but because of who He is.

Thursday
Jun232016

Radical And Upside-Down

The values of the kingdom that Jesus came to establish were radically different than those of His day.  The Pharisees and teachers of the law clamored for the spotlight and sought the adulation of the crowds.  Many still do today. 

In Luke 14, Jesus told a parable that taught His followers not to be like that.  The parable talks about people who chose the most honored seat for themselves at a wedding feast.  He said they would be embarrassed when the host asked them publicly to take their rightful place.  Jesus went on in His story to talk about whom to invite to such dinners.  He said they shouldn't invite friends and family, but "when you give a feast, invite poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.  And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you" (Luke 14:13-14). 

Disappointed because you have not broken into the more elite group in your church or neighborhood?  Stuck down on rung two when you'd rather be on rung eight or at least climbing the social ladder?  Listen to what Jesus said: "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:11).  That's the radical and upside-down way of God's kingdom.