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

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Let love be your testimony

                                                      
                                                                   June 19, 2019
Dear Friends,

When I was sixteen years old there were two things I
said I would never do again. First, I declared that I
would never wear a suit and tie. I told my parents that
it wasn't my style. Second, I swore I would never go to
another funeral. I laugh now. It seems like that's all I
do these days. In the last ten days I've been to five
funerals.

If that wasn't bad enough, I picked up the newspaper
on my birthday. I turned sixty-one this week. As I
thumbed through to the obituary page, I noticed that
the only death recorded was of a man my age. It was a
stark reminder that you just never know when your
time is going to come. It reinforced the truth that we
need to learn to enjoy every day as if it was a gift.

Life happens. We can't control everything but we can
choose how we will live. That was very evident in the
funerals I attended. Each of the men had chosen to
live well. Glowing testimonies were given of each and
we were told of their love for their  families and their
deep appreciation of their community. They had lived
lives that touched others and made lasting impressions.

I was reminded a sermon I heard Dr. Tony Campolo
deliver several years ago. Standing before a gathering
of nearly a thousand men at the Annual Windham
County Men's Fellowship in Danielson, Connecticut,
he began with a challenge. He said "Are you living in
such a way that those who know you, but don't know
God, will come to know God because they know you?"

Campolo pointed out that we live in a lost and hurting
world. When all is said and done, he suggested, the
future will depend upon those of us who reach out to
make a difference. I think the name of his sermon was
"Titles or Testimonies?" In the message he noted that
a lot of people will collect impressive titles. They will
have earned positions of honor and prestige. That's
ok.

Then he looked at us and said, "Titles are good.
Testimonies are better." You see testimonies speak of
the ripple effect of your life upon the people you meet
along the way. Testimonies come after a life that has
been well lived in the service of others. They are given
for people who have embodied the love of God in their
lives.

There were stories like that told at the funerals this
week. I remember Dr. Campolo asking his audience,
"When you were born, you were the only one that
cried. Everyone else was happy. When you die will
you be the only one who is happy and will everyone
else will be crying? That's your testimony. You
touched people's lives."

As I left the last funeral this week, I thought about
what I had heard. Then I loosened my tie and went
back to work. You see, it takes a lifetime to create
a testimony. My name wasn't in the obituaries
today and neither was yours. So there is still time
for you and me. So let's go out and bless someone
today and show them the love of God.

God bless!
See you in church.
Cal
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
Pastor Cal's Weekly
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Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column for
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Norwich Bulletin.

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