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
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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
Let Your Light Shine               June 6, 2013

Dear friends,

I was with a group from church that went through the Amish country in Lancaster,
Pennsylvania. After enjoying a tour earlier in the day, our guide had arranged for
us to dine in the home of Abner and Katie Algyers and their seven children. Their
home was beautiful.

As we sat at the table I thought about what life must be like for them. They had
chosen to live life differently than the rest of the world. There were no televisions
or computers in their home. The telephone was shared with a neighbor a half mile
down the street. Their lights were powered by a diesel generator and the cooking
was done on stoves heated with propane gas.

As our bus pulled up to the house, someone joked, "We are not in Kansas
anymore!" The children came running out to greet us dressed in their simple and
plain clothing. The girls in their bonnets and the boys with their suspenders. It was
as if we had stepped back in time.

The meal was wonderful. After grace was offered, we enjoyed fresh vegetables,
home made bread and baked chicken. We sat at long tables and shared the bounty
before us family style. After dinner the Algyers family came out and sang for us. It
was the perfect touch for a special evening.

As I went out for my nightly walk I thought about how the Amish people lived
separate from, but also side by side with, their neighbors. They were doing what all
of us are called to do. We live in this world but our faith tells us that our lives
should reflect the fact that we belong to God. The truth is that a stranger would be
hard pressed to tell the difference.

I have to be honest. I don't know if I could give up my iPhone and my laptop. I've
grown pretty fond of them. Maybe that is why the apostle Paul warns us not to be
conformed to the world, not to let the culture dictate what we believe and how we
will live. Before you know it we have abandoned that which is most important. It is
hard to stay strong but we can do it.

The key is to keep our eyes focused on God. The Amish have got that right but
they retreat into their own world. I believe we are sent into the world to display the
love of God and the joy that fills a heart that is sold out for our Lord. I saw that
when the kids were singing but I had to go looking for it. We need to be in the world
so that the world can see that there is something different, something much more
satisfying, than what the world has to offer.

So get out there and let your light shine. Let God's love flow through you and watch
what happens. You might just transform the corner of the world where you live.

God bless. See you in church. Cal