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
Sep292009

Doing or Being?

Teenagers nearing graduation are often asked the question “What do you want to do?” Some respond with well thought out dreams and goals, other responses are pretty off-the-wall and not particularly well thought out.

All of us need to consider a deeper question.  What we want to do is not nearly as important as what we want to be. The longer I live, the more significant that truth becomes. It is possible to do a lot of things in your life and yet not be much as a person. Doing is usually connected with a vocation or career, how we make a living. Being is much deeper. It relates to character, who we are, and how we make a life. Doing is tied up with activity, accomplishments, tangible things like salary, prestige, roles and trophies. Being, on the other hand, has more to do with intangibles, the kind of person we become, which usually can’t be measured by objective yardsticks and awards. Of the two, being will ultimately outdistance doing every time.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:17,23

Paul’s message is not about the doing…”whatever you do”…but about the being. Our being should be wrapped up in the Lord Jesus, in giving thanks, in obedience and bringing Him glory.

The question is, are we giving thought these days to things that count? It is important to set goals and to strive to achieve them…to ask “what do I want to do?” But it is important that we take a deeper look inside and ask ourselves the harder question, “what do I want to be?” Listen to your heart. Choose one or two targets and then watch God work. As you seek Him to develop these characteristics, He will arrange circumstances so that the very target you are focused on will begin to take shape in your life. It won’t happen over night, but that is a major difference between doing and being. One may take only years, the other, the better part of a lifetime.

On His journey,

Wednesday
Sep232009

Seasons change

Every year I look forward to the appearance of mums…it’s the first signal that the season will soon be changing. It means cooler nights and changing tree colors are just around the corner. I always look forward to season changes…although I’m less excited about the coming of winter than other seasons!  The transition from summer to fall is one of my favorites.  Gone are the hot, dry days of summer as we welcome the cool, crisp autumn air and changing colors…and football.
  

The transition of seasons is always a time of reflection for me…looking back at how quickly the summer slipped away, wondering what the rest of the year holds in store.  I am spending more time in reflection this year than most. Beth and I have experienced more change this year than we have in quite a few years.  As we look forward to our upcoming 30th anniversary, we have been pondering over some ‘lists of 30’…the 30 most memorable moments, the top 30 on our ‘thankful’ list, 30 things we want to do over the next 30 years. One thing is for sure…God has blessed abundantly and we can see how we have been constantly kept in His hand over those years. 

This should also be a time of reflection for us at
FBC.  We are in transition mode, and while I look forward to what lies ahead, I realize that the transition has already involved some change and many other changes inevitably lie ahead. Transition is not without its growing pains. But I hope that as we reflect on how God has abundantly blessed us and we begin to formulate His vision for us going forward, I hope that each of us will be completely open and willing to embrace the new opportunities that lie ahead in this new season of life at FBC.

On His journey,
  

 

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14 TNIV

Saturday
Sep192009

Building up of the Body

The foundation of a building determines both the size and the strength of the structure. That being the case, you can never build a structure that is larger than the foundation can handle. We can apply this same principle to the church. A church built on an inadequate or faulty foundation will never reach the height that God intends for it to reach. It will topple once it out-grows its base. Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church points out this principle:

The church’s foundation will determine both its size and strength. You can never build larger than your foundation can handle.

If we want to build a healthy, strong, and growing church, we must spend time laying a solid foundation. One of the building blocks for the foundation is our Bible study time on Sunday morning. Paul reminded the church at Ephesus:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand so that we could walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)

Later in the letter he points out:

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12 (NASB)

Our Sunday School program fills the important role of equipping and training which is one of the necessary steps in laying the foundation that will allow us to accomplish the ministry that God has called us to.

Sunday, October 4th, will be High Attendance Sunday at FBC Dupo. We have set an attendance goal of 125 for Sunday School and 200 for the morning worship service. I hope you will plan to attend and invite your neighbors. More important than reaching attendance goals, I hope you will commit to our Sunday School program.  It will serve to build the foundation in your own spiritual life, and collectively we can build a strong foundation as we move forward as a church in advancing God’s kingdom in Dupo.

I hope you'll plan to join us on the 4th and help us reach our goals.

On His journey,

Tuesday
Sep152009

Just As God Commanded...

So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.  Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.  I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you.
Genesis 6:14-18

Noah did everything just as God commanded him. (v. 22)

Why is it so hard for us today to believe that God can still do the seemingly impossible? When did he stop leading people down unusual paths? Have you noticed in God’s Word, those who experienced the fullness of His power stepped in with total obedience?

I believe God is calling the church today, our church, to step in with total obedience to the task of building His kingdom.  What unusual path is He leading you down?  Are you seeking His direction, completely open to where He may lead?

On His journey,

 

Sunday
Sep132009

What's the condition of your walls?

We had a great day today as we celebrated our 97th anniversary. We had some special visitors and we enjoyed great fellowship over dinner. I would like to say ‘thanks’ to Jason Johnson and Deanna Stanberry for leading us in worship through beautiful music. I would also like to say a big ‘thanks’ to Johnna Lou Sanders for coordinating the dinner and to all those who helped her in the kitchen. I also want to give another ‘thanks’ to Gayle Gilmore for the beautiful fall decorations. We have the legacy of the faithful who have gone before us to build on as we look ahead to the unlimited possibilities that God has in store. The road ahead may include unexpected curves, hills and valleys, but if we stay focused on God’s direction, He will bring us safely to our destination. Along the road, we will experience God’s abundant grace and blessings as He reveals Himself.

Tonight I began a Sunday evening study of the book of Nehemiah.

They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire." When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:3-4

Nehemiah was burdened by the condition of the wall around Jerusalem. He prayed and then set out a plan to rebuild the wall and lead the children of Israel back to God.  As we face this new church year, we need to assess our own spiritual walls. We must first have a genuine concern for the condition of our walls. Are we following Christ daily or are we following our own path as our spiritual wall slowly crumbles?  We must pray for guidance – for specific direction. Nehemiah’s plan was detailed, specific and led by God. If we ask, He will reveal those areas of our life that we need to submit to His authority. We must make our appraisal  an honest one if we are to be motivated to commit to spiritual growth. We must also realize that we cannot correct the condition by ourselves.  We must place complete dependence on God with humility toward others.

Nehemiah has much to teach us. I hope you’ll come join us on Sunday evenings as we unwrap the truths from this book and learn how they apply to our lives.

As you go along your journey this week, I hope you will look for God’s touch and listen for His voice.