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

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You don't have to imagine

                                                                    January 16, 2019

Dear Friends,

What do you think of when you hear the words, Battle Creek,
Michigan? Those words transport me back to my childhood.
That's the place where many dreams were realized. I can't tell
you how many envelopes I sent to a Post Office box there as a
kid. Until recently I'd never been there. Two weeks ago that

I was in the midst of what I'm calling, "Fast & Furious 3" and
making my third cross country trip in the last year. I was
heading to Denver, Colorado with a friend. We were delivering
a car to my daughter's boyfriend. Along the way we stopped in
Cleveland and Detroit and then headed west. Traveling toward
Chicago on Interstate 94, I saw a sign noting the famous site
where many-a-childhood dream was made.  

Battle Creek, is the city where both W. K Kellogg and C W.
Post launched their breakfast cereal lines. For kids like me
growing up in the sixties and seventies, the cereal boxes often
contained gift offers. By sending in a few box tops, you could
snag a toy car, airplane or some other cool gift. It was a like the
North Pole to me and Tony the Tiger was Santa Claus.

We didn't actually stop. It was dark and rainy as we passed
through. Yet it was pretty cool to be that close. Despite the fact
that we didn't see it, I did learn from Google that it got its name
from a skirmish at the river. Colonel John Mullet and two
Potawotamie Indians fought it out there. It was known as Battle
Creek after that.

I mention this because I am in the middle of a study about
heaven. As I was thinking about Battle Creek and how I had
imagined this place I'd never been, it dawned on me that we do
the same thing with heaven. We catch a few glimpses into what
heaven is like in Scripture. Yet none of us have even been there.
So we can only imagine what it will be like, if and when, we get

I love the song "I Can Only Imagine," by the Christian group,
Mercy Me. The song was featured in a major motion picture
that came out last year. It tells the story of Bart Millard, the
group's leader, and how he came to write the song.  At his
father's funeral Bart shares a glimpse into what might lie ahead
for all of us in heaven.

He says, "I can only imagine what it will be like when I walk by
your side. I can only imagine what my eyes will see when your
face is before me. I can only imagine. Surrounded by your glory
what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you Jesus or will in
awe of you be still? Will I stand in your presence or to my knees
will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah? Will I be able to sing at all? I
can only imagine."

Every once in a while we get a glimpse of heaven. We pass
through whenever we feel the touch of God upon our lives. I
think it happens when love is shared. I believe we feel it when
grace is experienced. There is no doubt we see it when
forgiveness is offered. It is in these moments that God comes to
us and wraps his arms around us. No need to imagine it. To me,
that is what heaven will be like.

God bless! See you in church. Cal
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