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
Be Prepared So You Can Stand Strong        August 14, 2013

Dear friends,

The smoke was billowing out of the house. Traffic was at a standstill as everyone
slowed to see what was happening. Four firemen were on ladders trying to get at
the roof. Another dozen or so were on the ground working with the equipment. You
couldn't see the flames but something horrible was happening. A family's home was
going up in flames.

I confess that I stopped in a nearby parking lot to watch. It was fascinating to see
the firemen working in teams of two to get the fire under control. They worked
together, hand in hand, and seemed to be able to anticipate what each was going to
do even before he did it. It struck me that I never really thought about the type of
training they must have to be as effective as they are in dealing with volatile
situations.

In the back of my mind was a comment I heard a year ago.  I was called to preside
over a funeral for a young firefighter. In visiting with his friends, one of them said,
"We train every day so we can be there when the whistle blows. You always have
to be ready because you just never know when you will be called on. You want to
have every angle covered so that you can be in a position to save someone's life if
need be."

I thought about that as I drove away last night. "Be prepared!" It is not just the
Boy Scout motto. It is good advice for all of us. We need to find a way to be ready
so that we can act when the situation we are in dictates we do so. Then it hit me. As
believers we have the best training manual in the world. It is called the Bible.

All week long we have been hosting our Annual Vacation Bible School at the
church. The phrase we've been teaching the kids is "Stand Strong in the Lord!"
Every day we gave them something else that would help them. On day one it was
the assurance of God's love. On day two it was a reminder that God sends family
and friends to encourage us. Day three pointed to the power of prayer. Finally we
lifted up the Scriptures as a resource that gives strength and hope.

We may never have to go into a raging fire like my friends in the fire department.
It doesn't hurt to get ready though. You never know what trouble could be just
around the corner.  So stand strong in the Lord. Make it a point today to spend a
little time in prayer. Set aside a few minutes to study God's Word. Take the
initiative to gather in worship with friends and family. In doing so you will be
prepared for every emergency.

God Bless! See you in church.  Cal