Pastor Cal's
Weekly Epistle

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column
for the Spirit Page of
the Norwich Bulletin.

He also sends it out to
members and friends of
the church via e-mail.

E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
you want to be added to
the weekly list.
Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

Check out our blog at Central Baptist Life
A Friend Like No Other                                February 6, 2013Dear
friends,

We were the three musketeers. Mike, Leon and I did everything together. It began
at Ben & Leo's Supermarket when Leon and I were hired as stock boys in the
summer of  1974. It wasn't long after that we included Mike in our circle. Our
friendship blossomed out of the common interests we shared as teenagers growing
up in a small town.

The three of us loved sports, were involved in student government, played in the
band, sang in the chorus and had a number of classes together. We spent hours at
play rehearsal. We even went to each other's church youth groups. On the days
when we didn't have an organized activity at school, we made up a reason to hang
out. We played games, talked about girls and dreamed dreams about where life was
going to take us. It was great to have friends like that.

After high school our lives took us in different directions for a few years. Yet in the
Fall of 1980 we were reunited up at UCONN. Many a night we would get together
to study or argue about sports. We spent time talking about our hopes for the
future. Leon wanted to become a lawyer. Mike dreamed of opening up his own
business. I spoke about my calling to the ministry.  

On one of those nights we were together, Mike and Leon did something that set my
future into motion. They grabbed the phone and dialed Lori's number and stuck it in
my hand before I could object. I asked her out on a date and the rest is history. A
few years later I got to return the favor by officiating at Mike and Kim's wedding.
Leon was the best man for the both of us. Over the years they have continued to
bless me. There is nothing like a friend.

I thought about Mike and Leon the other night.  I was struggling with something
and needed to talk to someone.  I hadn't talked to either of them in a while. My
mind drifted back to those late night discussions we used to have. I miss those
days. The truth is that our friendships meet a very important spiritual need. We are
wired to connect to God and one another.

The problem is that many of us have not spent the time cultivating our relationship
with God. My friendship with Mike and Leon was built over time through the many
hours we spent together. God wants to have that kind of deep and abiding
friendship with each of us. The only way we can make it happen is to spend time
with him.

Begin by finding a quiet place. Open up your heart to him. Start reading the
scriptures. Meditate on the Psalms. Read through the Gospels. Share your hopes,
your dreams, your fears with God and then begin to listen for his response. It may
come through a stranger, through a devotional reading, or through a serendipitous
event in your life. Rest assured it will come. After a while you will realize how much
God cares for you and you will discover God is a friend like no other you will ever
have.

God bless. See you in church.  Cal.

Dear friends,

We were the three musketeers. Mike, Leon and I did everything together. It began
at Ben & Leo's Supermarket when Leon and I were hired as stock boys in the
summer of  1974. It wasn't long after that we included Mike in our circle. Our
friendship blossomed out of the common interests we shared as teenagers growing
up in a small town.

The three of us loved sports, were involved in student government, played in the
band, sang in the chorus and had a number of classes together. We spent hours at
play rehearsal. We even went to each other's church youth groups. On the days
when we didn't have an organized activity at school, we made up a reason to hang
out. We played games, talked about girls and dreamed dreams about where life was
going to take us. It was great to have friends like that.

After high school our lives took us in different directions for a few years. Yet in the
Fall of 1980 we were reunited up at UCONN. Many a night we would get together
to study or argue about sports. We spent time talking about our hopes for the
future. Leon wanted to become a lawyer. Mike dreamed of opening up his own
business. I spoke about my calling to the ministry.  

On one of those nights we were together, Mike and Leon did something that set my
future into motion. They grabbed the phone and dialed Lori's number and stuck it in
my hand before I could object. I asked her out on a date and the rest is history. A
few years later I got to return the favor by officiating at Mike and Kim's wedding.
Leon was the best man for the both of us. Over the years they have continued to
bless me. There is nothing like a friend.

I thought about Mike and Leon the other night.  I was struggling with something
and needed to talk to someone.  I hadn't talked to either of them in a while. My
mind drifted back to those late night discussions we used to have. I miss those
days. The truth is that our friendships meet a very important spiritual need. We are
wired to connect to God and one another.

The problem is that many of us have not spent the time cultivating our relationship
with God. My friendship with Mike and Leon was built over time through the many
hours we spent together. God wants to have that kind of deep and abiding
friendship with each of us. The only way we can make it happen is to spend time
with him.

Begin by finding a quiet place. Open up your heart to him. Start reading the
scriptures. Meditate on the Psalms. Read through the Gospels. Share your hopes,
your dreams, your fears with God and then begin to listen for his response. It may
come through a stranger, through a devotional reading, or through a serendipitous
event in your life. Rest assured it will come. After a while you will realize how much
God cares for you and you will discover God is a friend like no other you will ever
have.

God bless. See you in church.  Cal.