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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

O Holy Night

Laura Nothnagel, Evonne Johnson and Nathan Fry perform O Holy Night in the sanctuary of First Free Rockford.

Song written by Adolphe Adam and Placide Cappeau (public domain).

Silent Night

Nathan Fry performs Silent Night in the sanctuary of First Free Rockford.

Song written by Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr (public domain).

His Name Shall Be

First Free Rockford’s chorale and orchestra virtually perform His Name Shall Be.

Song written by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman (ThankYou Music).

The incarnational work of an artist

by Nathan McDonald | 3-minute read

 

These thoughts are inspired in part by Madeline L’Engle and N.T. Wright, and when I refer to the “Artist,” I am referring to the general sense of the word as someone who creates and holds some skill (or skills) in an art form.

 

“I am the Lord’s servant, ready to serve.
May it be with me as you have said”
–Luke 1:38

 

Mary had just received the most mysterious news. An angel declared that she would give birth to a son by the Holy Spirit. She responded with the humility of a servant and the open heart of an artist: I am the Lord’s servant, ready to serve. May it be with me as you have said. 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