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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Roadblocks to Rebuilding...

Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work. But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. "What is this you are doing?" they asked. "Are you rebelling against the king?" I answered them by saying, "The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it."
Nehemiah 2:17-20

Before the children of Israel had even begun the rebuilding project, there were those who tried to sabotage the process with their mocking and ridicule. Sanballat and his friends had a vested interest in making sure that the walls of Jerusalem were not rebuilt.

You and I will face our Sanballats this week. Any time we embark on carrying out God’s will, the enemy will place in our path those who will attempt to derail our progress. The same is true in the church. The enemy will not allow us to rebuild without attempting to tear down the process by using negative attitudes and intimidation, which often leads us to question our mission.

Nehemiah did not entertain Sanballat’s mocking for even a moment. “The God of heaven will give us success.” He deflected their ridicule with the truth. You and I have the truth of God’s word to deflect the enemy’s attacks this week.

On His journey,

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9  


First Place!

FBC won the Dupo chili cook-off today.  A big thanks goes to Gayle for all her hard work and her award-winning chili!  Also thanks to everyone who helped with preparation and with the booth. It was a cold day...but perfect chili weather. We had a lot of fun and appreciate the support of the FBC family. The winnings will go to the building fund.  Check the Photo Gallery for more photos!




New Perspective

This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

Have you ever stopped to consider the Lord’s admonition to “forget the former things?” We like the sound of new things springing up, but before we look for those new things do we make it a point to forget the former things? The past holds many amazing testimonies to God’s mighty acts and His great mercy. I believe He intends for us to recall those testimonies and allow them to give us hope and strength. But the children of Israel were stuck in the former things. They were chained to rigid regulations and could not see beyond their traditions. We, too, get prideful about the past and take comfort in its ‘same-ness’. We resist change, even fear it, because we can not predict the outcome, we can not control the result.

In his classic, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, Chuck Swindoll says we are “good at building rigid walls out of dogmatic stones…cemented together by the mortar of tradition….Our self-concept remains undisturbed and secure since no challenging force is ever allowed over the walls.”  He goes on to suggest that when a restlessness stirs within the walls and ideas are challenged or questions are entertained and alternative options released, the stones in the wall begin to shift as the mortar cracks. The most common reaction is to maintain the status quo and patch the wall by resisting change with rigidity.  “We are masters at rationalizing around our inflexible behavior.”

The better reaction is to embrace the change. Let the wall crumble and be replaced instead with a river of grace. God delights in doing new things! And He delights in involving us in His plans.  Yes, new things make us uncomfortable and cause us to humble ourselves and lay down our pride, release our control. We must be brought to the end of ourselves, the end of our resources, in order to arrive at a place where we can trust the Lord completely, without reserve, holding nothing back.

Do you believe that God can do great things in the life of the church? Do you believe He wants to do great, new things in Dupo and the surrounding community?  Be careful how you answer that question. If you say ‘yes’ then you must understand that He wants you to be involved in His plans, which will require a release of your will, a surrender of your agenda, and opening yourself completely to His purpose for your life.

I believe that God has placed us here in this place, at this time for His special purpose. I believe He wants to do something new in the life of our church. He still desires to make a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. I’m willing to follow…are you?



It has been a difficult day for our FBC family. We unexpectedly lost a dear sister in Christ. In my short time here I grew to love Judy’s sweet spirit, her bright smile and her encouraging words. We can take comfort in knowing that she is worshipping at the feet of her Savior. But we are left with a deep emptiness in her passing. I hope you will join me in lifting up Judy’s family as they deal with this painful loss.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:1-4

 Life is but a Stopping Place
Life is but a stopping place, a pause in what's to be,
A resting place along the road, to sweet eternity.
We all have different journeys, different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things, but never meant to stay...
Our destination is a place, far greater than we know.
For some the journey's quicker, for some the journey's slow.
And when the journey finally ends, we'll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace, together with the Lord.
Author unknown

 If tears could build a stairway and memories were a lane,
We would walk right up to heaven and bring you back again.
No farewell words were spoken, no time to say goodbye;
You were gone before we knew it, and only God knows why.
Our hearts still ache in sadness and secret tears still flow.
What it meant to lose you, no one will ever know.
But now we know you want us to mourn for you no more,
To remember all the happy times, life still has much in store.
Since you'll never be forgotten, we pledge to you today
A cherished place within our heart is where you'll always stay.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. Psalm 55:22

Jesus said "Iam the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. John 11:25-26

All the way my Savior leads me, Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way.
Fanny Crosby


He is no fool...

We had a great day today. We surpassed our Sunday School goal with a total of 136 attending. We were a little short of our worship goal of 200, but we had a great morning worship. As I have said several times, I don’t want this to be an attendance gimmick but the start of building our Sunday School program and reaching out to encourage others to join us. 

We ended September by well surpassing our state mission offering goal. I appreciate that many of you saw the offering as an opportunity to support ministry throughout Illinois. The Acting Up team, led by Kim Johnson, presented the moving story of Jim Elliott, whose passion for reaching the lost led him to South America and the Auca Indians.

Jim Elliott wrote these words in his journal during his years at Wheaton College, “Father, if Thou wilt let me go to South America to labor with Thee and to die…let me go soon.”  He did eventually head to South America and had begun to make contact with the unreached Auca tribe. He and four other missionary companions were killed by the Auca Indians in 1956. As a result of their contacts, however, other missionaries were later eventually able to bring the gospel to this group. Jim Elliott is known for his statement, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”  He did not consider his life too great a price to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. 

I pray that we will know that same passion and be willing to step out of our comfort zone to take the gospel to our neighborhood, our community. What will you do with the opportunities that will come your way this week?

Have a grace-filled week.