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

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Turn Up the Heat in the New Year

                                                             
December 27, 2017
Dear Friends,

It was a pastor's worst nightmare. I arrived at church early on Sunday
morning and the church was freezing cold. The furnace was not working.
I hit the reset button and nothing happened. On an ordinary morning
I'd call the heating company and let it go.

This wasn't your average day. It was a Sunday in Advent and we were
planning one of our biggest services of the year. To make matters worse,
we were hosting a musical program featuring a full orchestra and sixty
plus singers from area churches that afternoon.

All morning I fretted over the situation.  I made myself sick with worry.  
Yet, there wasn't much I could do.  It was out of my hands.  We bundled
up and made it through our special "White Gift service" and children's
pageant.  It actually went well despite the cold.

The theme for our afternoon program was "Invitation to a Miracle" and
I had to laugh as I thought to myself, "It will take a miracle for the heat
to come on in time."  I'm sad to say that the heat never made an
appearance until the closing moments of the performance.

When I went down to check on it, the guys told me that the problem was
a two amp fuse.  Once they replaced it the whole system came up and
was running again.  The truth is that it isn't the big things that trip us up.  
It is usually the minor, inconsequential, things that do it.

It speaks to my life.  It isn't Christmas dinner that sabotaged my diet.  It
was the Christmas cookie.  The only way to overcome these challenges is
to be prepared for them.  That's why I go to Weight Watchers.  That's also
why I go to church.  It helps me focus on the little things.

I love New Years Day because it provides a natural place to begin again.  
You can put the old behind you and make a fresh start.  I'm not talking
about resolutions.  They don't last.  What I'm suggesting is much bigger.  
I'd like to encourage you to go deeper in your faith.

Make 2018 the year you attend worship regularly.  Try keeping a
devotional diary.  Spend more time in prayer.  Read your Bible every
day.  Volunteer by serving the poor.  Practice generosity.  Are you doing
some of these things already?  Great.  You are off to a good start.

Happy New Year! See you in church.  

Cal
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
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