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

Check out our blog at Central Baptist Life
Out Front for God
                                                                              February 14, 2018
In the summer of 1974 I met Ben Cohen. He owned the small grocery
store known as Ben & Leo's in downtown Colchester.  I turned sixteen
and I walked into the store and asked to speak with Ben.  A few hours later
I got the call and began working as a bag boy.

Ben trained me himself.  He was the kind of owner that was right out front.
It wasn't uncommon to see him ringing the register, bagging groceries, doing a
magic trick and chatting with the customers.  Everyone loved Ben.  He was an
institution in Colchester.

The only time I ever saw Ben get mad was the day I was fooling around up
front at the cash registers.  He took me aside and told me something I'll never
forget.  He said he was disappointed in me.  That hurt.  He went on to explain
that what I did, how I composed myself while in the store, and how I treated
the customers, was a reflection on him.

He said that when I was at the registers they didn't see Cal Lord.  They saw
Ben Cohen. My actions would shape how they felt about shopping at Ben &
Leo's. I took Ben's words to heart and it changed my thinking forever. I would
never want to hurt him or the store.

It wasn't long before I realized that this had repercussions on the way we live
out our faith as well. The truth is that words are cheap. The way we live says
so much more about our faith than what we say. And people notice. Just like
that bag boy at Ben & Leo's, we are on display for the whole world to see. Our
actions reflect back on the God we love.

If our faith is a source of comfort and strength it will tell the world that
God is trustworthy and true. If our faith compels us to love and forgive, it
will tell the world that God is compassionate and full of grace. People will
be drawn to this God we love and serve.

On the other hand, if we are critical and judgmental, angry and lashing out at
everything, the world will see God as hard and unforgiving. If we turn a blind
eye to the hungry and homeless, the single parent, the poverty ridden family
and those who are crying out for justice, then we tell the world that God
doesn't care about the human situation.

Like it or not, when we step out in faith, the world doesn't see us, they see
God. Ben Cohen was right. So live to the glory of God. Reflect his love and
his grace. Turn away from sinful practices and embrace all that is good and
pleasing to God.

God Bless! See You In Church!

Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
Pastor Cal's Weekly

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.
Pastor Cal's
Archived Epistles