Jim Killam

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Book Spotlight: January 2021

by Jim Killam | 5-minute read

 

Winter is a great time to discover books that can challenge us, help deepen our faith and spark our imaginations. Here are a few staff recommendations for books you can find in the Scroll Resource Center. Read More

Defeat the January gloom

by Jim Killam | 3-minute read

 

Here’s one way to fight the post-Christmas COVID doldrums: Get outside. So far, the January weather is not that bad. In fact, lingering snow and daytime highs just below freezing make for great sledding and skating weather. Social distancing is easy and this may be the only time when wearing a mask actually makes you more comfortable. Read More

Q&R with Pastor Luke Uran

by Jim Killam | 6-minute read

 

As a tumultuous year draws to a close, we spoke with Lead Pastor Luke Uran about spiritual lessons he will remember from 2020, and looking ahead to a new sermon series to start 2021. Read More

Q&R: Therapist David Creek – part 2

by Jim Killam | 7-minute read

 

First Free Rockford offers a list of recommended marriage and family counselors. One of those is David Creek. In the second of two parts, Dave talks about finding God working in us and through us during this challenging year.

 

What do you see in people who are dealing with the current challenges in healthy ways?

I think they’re finding new pathways. So, when faced with the unexpected, it’s doing that work of, How do I slow down? Because if I can’t find an anchor in the midst of this, then I’m just going to be blown all over the place, too. Read More

Q&R: Therapist David Creek – part 1

by Jim Killam | 7-minute read

 

First Free Rockford offers a list of recommended marriage and family counselors. One of those is David Creek. In the first of two parts, Dave talks about spiritually healthy ways to deal with this high-pressure year. 

 

I’m using the word “navigating” a lot right now for the holidays, for COVID, for the political stuff and everything else that’s on the radar. What are you seeing as a counselor? How are people doing?

I think that’s one of the most appropriate terms, because navigating makes me think of boating. It makes me think of coming upon a storm. Like anything, you can be faced with something that you are unprepared for. Nobody was really ready for this. Read More

Finding our place in a larger story

by Jim Killam | 4-minute read

 

When King Solomon had finished praying to dedicate the temple in Jerusalem, he stood and turned toward the people of Israel.

“May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us,” he shouted.

That’s 1 Kings 8:57. The whole dedication ceremony was a beautiful picture of reverent worship, but even that single line speaks volumes. Read More

Darcie Eklund: A Run to Remember

by Jim Killam | 14-minute read

 

“There’s no greater feeling than winning a race.”
–Jeff Gordon, NASCAR driver

 

This is the story of a beautiful girl who won lots of races. It’s about a close family that grew around that girl and protected her, swords drawn. It’s about unconditional love, and a precious gift disguised to some as a burden. It’s a story that changed more people than we can count. Read More

Bethlehem and basketball

By Jim Killam | 3-minute read

 

Scripture: Micah 5:2
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.

 

On March 2, 1962, the NBA’s Philadelphia Warriors met the New York Knicks in what looked to be a meaningless, late-season game. Sometimes the league would schedule games in small towns as a way to drum up new fans. This one was in Hershey, Pa., which would be equivalent to the Chicago Bulls playing a game in Belvidere.
History happened that night. Read More

Your 2020 Christmas music sampler

by Jim Killam | 5-minute read

 

We asked First Free’s three musical worship leaders — Renee Cooper, Nathan Fry and Nathan McDonald — for Christmas music recommendations. They came back with quite a variety. Read More

Your Thanksgiving pregame pep talk

by Jim Killam | 5-minute read

 

Transparency alert: I wrote this article several weeks ago, before Illinois was begging its residents to stay home on Thanksgiving. With increasing numbers of us either sick or under precautionary quarantine, and most others heeding the guidelines (I hope), a traditional Thanksgiving just isn’t in the offing this year.

So, if you’re forging ahead with smaller plans, here’s a walk through a typical Thanksgiving itinerary. If you’re feeling blue about cancellations or Zoom dinners, parts of this might make you feel better about staying home this year.

 

The Warmup

The wardrobe. Unlike Christmas, no one goes out and buys a new Thanksgiving outfit. Business casual is a good bet here, although you’re likely to see everything from suits and ties to sweatpants. Pro Tip: Whatever your level of formality, go for the adjustable waistband.

The coat pile. It’s in the spare bedroom, on a bed with attractive throw pillows from 1976. Read More