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.

E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
you want to be added to
the weekly list.
Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

Check out our blog at Central Baptist Life
With Love From Above                    July 31, 2013

Dear friends,

"I love you, Clayton!"  That's how he ended every conversation we had.  He could
have called me Cal like everyone else.  Instead he chose my given name as a way
to set our relationship apart.  He could have coined a phrase like "Be blessed" or
"Later, Gator" but he chose to say those words that go right to the heart of any
relationship.  "I love you."

As a matter of fact the last words he shared with me were "Love ya!"  We were
texting back and forth about an upcoming event.  He was heading out for vacation
and wanted to touch base before he went.  A week later he was gone.  His life cut
short by a tragic accident.  He was 52 years old.

My friend, Greg Hamby, died too young.  Yet Greg lived a full life.   How he lived
and the way he touched people sent ripples across the span of time and space that
he occupied.  He loved his family.  They always came first.  He loved Jesus and
was always looking for ways to make him relevant to a changing culture.

Greg was not cut from the mold of old stuffy preachers.  He was just as apt to wear
his Patriots jersey to church as he was to bring up the lyrics of an old rock & roll
song in a sermon.  He told us that he hated to wear the uniform (a suit and tie) and
stand behind the wooden box (pulpit.)  He wanted to be among the people.

This week I am preaching on King David.  Greg was a lot like David.  He wasn't
perfect.  He had his flaws.  Yet he loved God with all his heart and he sought to
share that love in a way that connected with each person in his life.  To me it was
through my given name, reminding me that I am deeply loved and appreciated.  I
was blessed.

This is our calling as people of faith.  Each of us has gifts.  Each of us has a circle of
friends that we connect with.  God doesn't ask us to be somebody we are not.  He
simply calls us to open up our hearts to the people we know and share his love with
them in our own unique way.  If we do that our lives will be leave a legacy that will
go far beyond our time on this earth.

So go, knowing that God loves you, and share that love with somebody today.
When they ask why.  Tell them a friend sent you.

God bless.  See you in church. Cal