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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calstigers@gmail.com if
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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
There is Freedom in Our Faith                          September 12, 2013

Dear friends,

My friend, Marc is one of my heroes.  A few years ago he and his wife retired and
moved to Florida.  Today he spends a few days a week working for Mickey at
Disney World.  Talk about a dream come true!  I know I am probably glamorizing
what Marc is doing.  A job is still a job but the thought of being at Disney every
day...

It sure beats what I used to think about when I thought of retirement.  Sitting in a
rocking chair on the front porch for hours on end is not exactly my idea of whipped
cream on the sundae of my life.  Maybe it is the actor in me but I want the last
scene of my life to be memorable.  I want to do something that will make a
difference.

That's why I signed up for the retirement seminar that our denomination offered
this month.  The seminar was great.  It brought together a number of resources that
helped the participants think about the future and the ways to prepare for it
financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  

Now let me be honest with you.  There are some things I would rather avoid.  I
would rather remain blissfully ignorant about my future than deal with my aging and
the transitions that come with it.

The truth is that even if I ignore it, time marches on.  Whether I plan for it or let it
sneak up on me, I will get there one day.  This seminar got me thinking about what
I need to do today to prepare for the best possible outcomes.  The blessing that
comes in planning ahead is that it can improve the quality of  life along the way.

It struck me that this is what our faith is all about.  A lot of people, including one of
my good friends, think of their faith"fire insurance."  It is good to have because it
saves us from hell.  That may be true but the real gift that comes from our faith in
God is a deep seated peace and sense of well being.  It is knowing that God is with
us and that his perfect love takes away all fear.

That peace allows us to really live our lives to the fullest.  It opens us to sharing
ourselves and our love with others.  It is in these relationships that life really
blossoms and finds it deepest fulfillment.  So don't wait.  Embrace your faith in God
and let it free you up to live and love life to its fullest right now.

God bless.  See you in church. Cal