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.

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Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

Check out our blog at Central Baptist Life
Is Your Name in the Book?              January 23, 2013

Dear friends,

It was a phone book. I was out for my morning walk with our dog, Anna, when I saw
it. I don't know how long it had been sitting on the sidewalk leading up to their
house but it looked like it had been there for some time. It was still in it's
cellophane wrapper and there was condensation built up inside. I wonder if the
resident knew it was there or was just ignoring it.

It seems like phone books are becoming obsolete today. We don't use them like we
used to. I have most of my friend's phone numbers programmed into my cell phone.
When I want to order pizza, check for the store hours, or find out where a business
is located I look for the information I need online. Everything is available on your
smart phone or through your Internet browser in seconds.

When most of us were growing up there was something magical about the phone
book. It was like a dictionary or a road map. It opened your world and made it a
bigger place. To find your name, your street, your friends meant you were
somebody. I am reminded of the scene in Steve Martin's hilarious movie, The Jerk.
Navin Johnson, the character he plays, goes out to get the phone book. Jumping up
and down with excitement, he flips through the pages to find his name. When he
does, he declares that he is somebody now. We laughed at it but deep inside we
connected to that scene at some level.

Seeing that phone book sitting there made me sad. Modern technology has made
dinosaurs of the phone book, the road map and the dictionary. We are living in a
different world than the one we grew up in. That's life. We should be used to it by
now. Everything changes. But here is the good news. God doesn't change. The one
who created us out of love knows our name. He knows where we live. He
understand the struggles we are going through.

He doesn't need Facebook to get our status updates, Twitter to see what is
trending in our lives or Instagram to find out who we are with and what we are
doing. He created us out of love and continues to reach out to us. Psalm 139 tells us
that God knows us intimately. He even knows what we are going to say before the
words leave our lips.

The best part of it all is that God knows our name and He dials up our number
every day. Our name is written in His book of life and that is the one that counts.
So move over Navin Johnson. You can throw away the phone book. In God's book
we are all a "somebody!"  

God bless. See you in church.  Cal