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
God: The Original Stain Remover                           August 28, 2013

Dear friends,

I had three hours to kill before my connection left.  I was walking off some nervous
energy by crisscrossing the concourse at the Baltimore Washington International
airport.  I walked by the Starbucks three times before I went in.  I didn't really want
to spend the money on anything to drink but the mocha frappucchino light kept
calling my name.

Between the outrageous prices and the exorbitant calories in the fancy drinks, I
pretty much decided that there was no way that I was going to get anything. The
problem is that I had this little voice whispering in my ear.  It said, "You should at
least look and see if there is anything you want."  I don't know why I did it. I
stopped short and went in.

When I saw that the frappucchino only had 130 calories I heard my stomach growl.
I swallowed hard and noticed that my throat was parched.  It was like my whole
body was conspiring against me.  Before I knew it I had handed over a five dollar
bill and was headed over to the seating area with my guilty pleasure.  Then I sat
back to indulge in this sweet treat.  I tried to justify it.  Who would know?  I
deserved a treat. I was on vacation.

That's when I realized that the cover wasn't on quite tight enough and three big
chocolate drops had landed on the front of my shirt.  I panicked and tried to wipe
them off with my napkin.  All I did was smudge them more.  I went to water fountain
and tried to apply a little moisture.  All that did was produce three big wet spots
along the front of my t-shirt.  So much for my little anonymous treat.

It was embarrassing. I tried to cover it up.  I even went into the men's room and
tried to dry it off with the hands dryer.  All that did was get me some dirty looks.
That's when the thought hit me.  We must look pretty foolish when we stand before
God trying to pretend that we haven't sinned or made a mess of things in our lives.

Like with my frappacchino, sin always leaves its mark.  Whether it is an addiction,
some wrong choices or an action that satisfies that little voice, there is always a
price to pay.  Isaiah the prophet suggests that our sins come in scarlet or bright
red. He does so to emphasize the point that they are obvious.  You can't hide them.
The best you can do is try to cover them up.  That just makes them worse.

The good news is that God loves us and is quick to forgive. Isaiah says "though
your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.  Though they are as red
as crimson, they shall be like wool."  When we come to him, God washes us from
the inside out and puts his love in our hearts.  He creates us anew and leaves us
feeling fresh and ready to start all over.

So don't try to hide your sin.  Go to God and ask his forgiveness.  He will lift you up
and make you as good as new.

God bless.  See you in church.  Cal