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

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Surviving the Rapids of Life

                                                                                                    June 1, 2016
Dear Friends,

When I got on the bus I immediately began to second guess the decision to take the
kids on a white water rafting trip.  Just signing the waivers was scary enough.  The
leader banged his paddle on the roof of the bus and began with his list of rules,
warnings and disclaimers.

I almost called it off when he mentioned the possibility of serous injury for the
fourth time.  My co-leader whispered that he was just aiming for dramatic effect.
I looked at the kids and they seemed to be oblivious to the risk.  They were just
psyched for the experience.

I think I was the only one scared out of my mind.  It was a concern for their
well-being that got me.  Our group was in Colorado for a national youth gathering.
There were eleven of us in all, four adults and seven kids.  The rafting was part of our
"exploring Colorado" agenda.

Over the years I've had this propensity to take responsibility for the care and well-being
of others.  I hate to see people go through trials.  I don't like to watch people suffer.
As a result, prayer has always been central to my ministry.  Why?  Because I know
what God can do.

I did a lot of praying on the river that day in Colorado.  No one got hurt.  That hasn't
always been my experience in ministry.  Life can be hard.  People lose their jobs.
Marriages fall apart.  Friends get sick and die.  Sometimes the unthinkable happens.
Yet I keep praying.

Why?  Because I believe that God cares for us.  When we walk through a storm he
walks with us.  He gives us the strength to hold on like I did in that boat that day.  He
gives us the courage to do things we never thought we could.  He carries us over the
rapids of life.

We will never know how many times our prayers have diverted disaster.  We will never
know how many times that friend who showed up was an answer to prayer.  You see
God doesn't just sit on some lofty throne.  God gets right in the boat with us.

So don't let anyone tell you that prayer doesn't work.  I'm here to tell you it does.  
I survived that white water rafting trip of 2000 because I had ten other people who
saw how scared I was.  They prayed for me and got me through.  I've been doing it
for others ever since.

God bless! See you in church.

Cal
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
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