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~ 

Coming Events


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 

Powered by Squarespace

Are You Listening

He was frustrated.  He was angry.  He was tired of being blamed for everything that went wrong.  Year after year, he had gotten them through one disaster after another.  He was continually interceding on their behalf to keep them out of trouble.  But all he got for his efforts was more grief.  Finally, in exasperation he said, "Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?" (Numbers 20:10).  

That suggestion might sound preposterous, but it wasn't.  Forty years earlier, the previous generation had the same complaint: no water.  God told Moses to strike a rock with his staff.  When he obeyed, water gushed out --- plenty of water.  When the grumbling started again so many years later, Moses did the thing that worked before.  But this time it was the wrong thing to do.  What Moses told the Israelites to do --- to listen --- he himself had not done.  God told him to speak to the rock this time, not strike it.

Sometimes in exhaustion or exasperation, we don't pay close attention to God.  We assume He will always work the same way.  But He doesn't.  Sometimes He tells us to act; sometimes He tells us to speak; sometimes He tells us to wait.  That is why we must always be careful to listen before we take action.



In a radio interview, a basketball superstar was asked about his knack for making the game-winning shot in crucial situations.  The reporter asked how he was able to be so calm in such pressure-packed moments.  His answer was that he tried to simplify the situation.  "You only have to make one shot" the player replied.  One shot.  That is the essence of simplifying a difficult situation.  Focus only on what is in front of your right now.  Don't worry about the expectations of your coach or teammates.  Simplify. 

Recognizing that the challenges of life can be both overwhelming and suffocating.  Jesus urged us to take matters in hand by simplifying.  He said, "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34).  This was His wise conclusion to His teaching on the debilitating power of worry.  Worry doesn't accomplish anything positive.  It just adds to the sense that we are drowning in the troubles we are facing.  We must take things as they come --- one day at a time --- and trust Him for the wisdom to respond properly. 

If you feel overwhelmed by life, do what you can today and then entrust the rest to Him.  As Jesus said, "Each day has enough trouble of its own."


The Pilot's Rutter

During the era of great sea exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries, sailing ships traversed vast, hazardous oceans and navigated dangerous coastlines.  Pilots used various navigation techniques --- including a book called a rutter (not the rudder, the ships steering device).  This was a log of events kept by earlier voyagers who chronicled their encounters with previously unknown and difficult waters.  By reading the sailing details in a rutter, captains could avoid hazards and make it through difficult waters. 

In many ways, the Christian life is like a voyage, and the believer needs help in navigating life's perilous seas.  We have that help because God has given us His Word as a "spiritual rutter."  Often when we reflect on a meaningful passage, we can recall God's faithfulness through trying circumstances.  As the psalmist suggests, perils are found not only in life situations but also in our inner tendency toward sin.  Because of these dual concerns, He wrote, "Direct my steps by Your Word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me" (Psalm 119:133). 

As you reflect on the teaching in the Bible, you'll be reminded of God's past care, assured of the Lord's guidance in trying circumstances, and warned against sinfulness.  That's the advantage of having a "spiritual rutter."


Fresh Fruit

When you look at the obituary page of a newspaper, you often see pictures of old photographs.  A grinning young man in a military uniform and words such as: 92 years old, fought for his country in WWII.  Or the young woman with sparkling eyes: 89 years young, grew up on a farm in Kansas during the Depression.  The unspoken message is: "I wasn't always old, you know."

Too often, those who have had a long life feel sideline when they reach their later years.  Psalm 92, however, reminds us that no matter how old we are, we can have a fresh and fruitful life.  Men and women who have been planted in the rich soil of God's vineyard will continue to bear fruit and be fresh and flourishing.  Jesus promised that "he who abides in Me, and I in him," will continue to bear "much fruit" (John 15:5).

Muscles may ache and joints may hurt, and life may slow down a bit.  But inwardly we can be "renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16).

I saw a T-shirt sometime ago that said, "i'm not 80.  I'm 18 with 62 years experience."  No matter how old we get, we can still be young at heart --- but with the benefit of a well-lived lifetime of knowledge and wisdom.


Humbly Receive

In James 1:21, we find these words, "humbly accept the Word planted in you, which can save you."  So often or efforts to be better informed simply become a means of resisting God's instruction rather than receiving it.

James was writing to followers of Christ when he said: "Lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.  But be doers of the Word, and not only hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (James 1:21-22).

Bible scholar W.E. Vine said that the Greek word used here for receive means "deliberate and ready reception of what is offered."  Meekness is an attitude toward God "in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting."  A humble heart doesn't fight against God or contend with Him. 

God's powerful Word, implanted in our hearts, is a trustworthy source of spiritual wisdom and strength.  It's available to all who will humbly receive it.