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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Wednesday
Jun222016

Facing Our Fears

A mother asked her 5-year old son to go to the pantry to get her a can of tomato soup.  But he refused and protested.  "It's dark in there."  Mon assured Johnny, "It's okay.  Don't be afraid, Jesus is in there."  So Johnny opened the door slowly and seeing that it was dark, shouted, "Jesus, can you hand me a can of tomato soup?" 

This humorous story of Johnny's fear reminds me of Gideon.  The Lord appeared to Gideon, calling him a "mighty man of valor" (Judges 6:12) and then telling him to deliver Israel out of Midian's hand.  But Gideon's fear reply was "My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house" (Judges 6:15).  Even after the Lord told Gideon that with His help he would defeat the Midianites, he was still afraid.  Then Gideon asked the Lord for signs to confirm God's will and empowerment.  So, why did the Lord address fearful Gideon as a mighty man of valor?"  Because of who Gideon would one day become with the Lord's help.

We too may doubt our own abilities and potential.  But let us never doubt what God can do with us when we trust and obey Him.  Gideon's God is the same God who will help us accomplish all that He asks us to do.

Tuesday
Jun212016

Unexpected Blessing

Naomi and Ruth came together in less-than-ideal circumstances.  To escape a famine in Israel, Naomi's family moved to Moab.  While living there, her two sons married Moabite women: Orpah and Ruth.  Then Naomi's husband and sons died.  In that culture, women were dependent on men, which left the three widows in a predicament. 

Word came to Naomi that the famine in Israel had ended, so she decided to make the long trek home.  Orpah and Ruth started to go with her, but Naomi urged them to return home, saying, "The hand of the Lord has gone out against me!" (Ruth 1:13).

Orpah went home, but Ruth continued, affirming her belief in Naomi's God despite Naomi's own fragile faith.  The story started in desperately unpleasant circumstances: famine, death, and despair.  It changed direction due to undeserved kindnesses: Ruth to Naomi and Boaz to Ruth.

It involved unlikely people: tow widows (an aging Jew and a young Gentile) and Boaz, the son of a prostitute

It depended on unexplainable intervention: Ruth just so happened to glean in the field of Boaz.  And it ended in unimaginable blessing: a baby who would be in the lineage of the Messiah.  

God makes miracles out of what seems insignificant: fragile faith, a little kindness, and ordinary people.

Monday
Jun202016

In Brief

Brevity is the hallmark of Psalm 117.  In just 30 words (actually just 17 words in the Hebrew text) the psalmist said all he had to say.

Contained in this hallelujah psalm is a message to all nations of the world that God's "merciful kindness" --- His covenant love --- is "great toward us" (Psalm 117:2).

Think about what God's love means.  God loved us before we were born.  He will love us after we die.  Not one thing can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus our Lord.  His heart is an inexhaustible and irrepressible fountain of love.

There is no greater encouragement for our journey than the reminder of God's merciful kindness.

Sunday
Jun192016

Dad's Hat

Amid the celebration, there was tragedy.  It was the opening ceremonies of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.  One by one the teams entered the stadium and paraded around the track to the cheers of 65,000 people.  But in one section of Olympic Stadium, shock and sadness fell as Peter Karnaugh, father of United States swimmer Ron Karnaugh, was stricken with a fatal heart attack.

Five days later, Ron showed up for his race wearing his dad's hat, which he carefully set aside before his competition began.  Why the hat?  It was the swimmer's tribute to his dad, whom he described as "my best friend."  The hat was one his dad had worn when they went fishing and did other things together.  Wearing the hat was Ron's way of honoring his dad for standing beside him, encouraging him, and guiding him.  When Ron dove into the water, he did so without his dad's presence but inspired by his memory. 

On this Father's Day, there are many ways to honor our fathers, as Scirpture commands us to do.  ONe way, even if they're no longer with us, is to show respect for the good values they taught us.

What can you do for your dad today to show him th ekind of honor the Bible talks about?

Thursday
Jun162016

Rescued

In the aftermath of Haiti's devastating earthquake in January 2010, the scenes of destruction and death were often punctuated by someone being pulled alive from the rubble, even after all hope seemed gone.  Relief and tears of joy were followed by deep gratitude toward those who worked around the clock, often risking their own lives to give someone else another chance to live.

How would you feel if it happened to you?  Have you ever been rescued?

In Colossians 1, Paul wrote to people who had come to know Jesus Christ and whose lives showed evidence of their faith.  After assuring them of his prayers fro them to know God's will and to please Him, Paul used a wonderful word picture to describe what God had done for them all: "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13-14).

In Christ, we have been rescued.  He has taken us from danger to safety; from one power and destiny to another; from death to life.

It's worth pondering all that being rescued means to us, as we thank God for His grace and power.