Wednesday, April 21, 2010

AMBASSADORS FOR CHIRST

I am hoping I can get across the thoughts that have been running around in my heart and spirit since I heard the message at church last Sunday. Here goes...

Our Pastor was out on Sunday as he had a skin cancer removed on his nose on last Thursday. I won't lie and say that I wasn't disappointed when I discovered that he wouldn't be there. He wasn't sure the Sunday before if he would be or not, as he was just going to see how it went. Obviously, he decided he wasn't up to it. ANYWAY, I don't know why I always panic or get disappointed when I realize we are going to have a guest speaker, when I don't think there has EVER been a time that I didn't thoroughly enjoy whoever it is replacing him, or be blessed usually in many different ways. I guess it is just because I soo love Pastor Dave and look forward to hearing him teach. But....Sunday morning was just a real blessing to me. It wasn't just the fact that he was around our age (always so easy to relate to for me in some way when they are) quite funny, an excellent speaker and a former professional baseball player, that had me hanging on his every word. It was much more the fact that he had such a genuine and obvious love of the Lord, and a practical, down to earth way of talking about how he lived his life as a result. He didn't become a Christian until AFTER he was hit by a line drive that basically took him out of the game. He was a confirmed Atheist at that point. But again, all of this is not what intrigued me. He was talking about how important it is that we OPEN our mouths and talk about what Jesus is doing in our lives basically ANYWERE we might ourselves with the opportunity to do so. He challenged us to pick a place (any place we might find ourselves in during a normal week) and devote just 15 minutes to WHOEVER the Lord might send our way to talk to. Now I will admit that I have not yet done so this week, but I am looking for the opportunity. I find it exciting to think who the Lord might just send my way. But what this man did suggest to us all is that we don't have to worry about being CLOSERS. Now married to a Sales Manager for many, many years I am very aware of what it means to close the deal, or the importance of doing so, haha. But we are not called to "close the deal" when it comes to another's salvation. This is the job of the Holy Spirit. All we are to do is be His Ambassadors. His spokes persons so to speak. Ready and willing to spread the good news and talk about what He is doing in our very ordinary, everyday lives.

2 Cor 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.

All of this got me thinking about why it is that we all seem to be soo consumed with our lives here on this earth. Why it is that if we lose someone we love, or find ourselves possibly nearing the end of our own lives that there is such a feeling of panic or dread. We are all truly just passing through. There isn't a one of us who is going to get out of here alive. We won't be taking anything here with us either. This is NOT where we are all going to EVENTUALLY be. Our hope and our lives are in what lies ahead. Our panic and our dread should be for those who won't be spending that eternity with us. And we should be consumed with getting this message out. This life as we know it is but a vapor in the scope of all eternity. Our eternities really start for us right now while we are still on this earth with our relationships with Him. We don't have to wait until we die for that to begin. Now I know there is NO WAY that I explained this message in the way that this man did. But I do know this. I am soo grateful that I live in a place where I CAN open my mouth (or my blog page ~ haha) if I so chose to, and SHOUT of the love and mercies of the Lord and what He did for us on the cross, but also what He is doing in my life today.  I pray that the Lord might challenge all of our hearts to be His ambassadors and to live our lives here, grateful to have that opportunity. 

I almost forgot!  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was going to mention a different blogging buddy every week that especially blesses me and a little about why.  There are soo many that do that this might take me SEVERAL weeks.  And just so you know ~ they are in no particular order. = )  This week I want to tell (those of you who don't know her already that is) about Kris @ It's a Sweet Life.  She is just the neatest lady.  She is one of my very first blogging buddies and I have been reading her posts for so long now I feel like I have known her for years.  Her blog posts are entertaining and heart felt and funny, and as babysitting Grandma's we have much in common.  She is quite the talented lady and cooking is one of her passions and she shares her recipes' generously.  She also does beautiful quilting.  So if you get the chance, check out her blog.  You will be blessed if you do.   I thank God for you Kris!

To join the other Thankful Thursday posts, click HERE.

I have an especially busy week-end coming up so I decided to link this post with Spiritual Sunday as well.  Many thanks to Charolotte & Ginger for hosting this event that soo blesses me.  May you all have a WONDERFUL week-end.  To join the other Spiritual Sunday posts, click HERE...

30 comments:

  1. I also have to remind myself that I don't have to be "holy spirit junior" and close the deal, as you said. It's a good reminder that we are ambassadors for the King! Thank you for sharing your heart today.

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  2. We talked about this yesterday on the phone, and I have been thinking about it a lot. It is sooo true. Eternity and those who will spend it with us should be our focus each and every day. Thanks for giving me so much to think about.

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  3. I like that phrase - the closer - I don't think I have heard that one before but I know exactly what how it works out in my own life. Sometimes I become so focused...feeling I need "just the right" word, or message or thought that will be exactly what "leads them to a decision"...soon it really becomes all about me! I don't think that is the point. I think I will stick that phrase "the closer" in the back of my mind...and remember I don't have to be one:) I really appreciate your thoughts.

    Sure hope your pastor is feeling much better and back in the pulpit this weekend. Who was your guest speaker, by the way?

    And you live in "Upland"...can honestly say I have never heard of that?!?! Interesting, though. Have a beautiful Thursday...

    Hugs - Jennifer

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  4. Amen Debbie! This is sooo good ....we all need to remind ourselves at times....We are NOT the Holy Spirit nor do we need to be doing HIS job. It is easy to fall into that ....I used to be horrible when it came to my husband with this and FINALLY I learned Praise the LORD for teaching me and never giving up on me in this area!

    Bless you my friend

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  5. Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your heart. I'm so glad you shared, I like how you said that we don't have to be "closers." I guess we never know what we can say or do that might make all the difference. That challenge for the 15 minute encounter is great too!
    God bless,
    Bethany

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  6. Deb, don't you just love when the Lord uses someone to speak directly to us? So glad that this man was the one preaching last Sunday. Yes, we are all called to share the Gospel. How many opportunities do we miss out on because we are so preoccupied with unimportant things? Thank you for the reminder.

    And you are so right. We are to share the message but we're also not responsible for the person's response. We may water and another may sow the seed.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

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  7. Hi Debbie. I was reading along, like I always do on your posts...when suddenly I see you are mentioning my name!! You have made my day! I too feel as though I have known you for a long time. We do indeed share much in common. I envy your knowledge of the Bible. I did not grow up in a church. I learn a lot from your posts Debbie. And I am so thankful for your friendship.
    Thank you! Have a great rest of the week.
    : )

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  8. i know what you mean about closing deals because i've been in sales for years. but you're right about not being "closers" when it comes to one's salvation. we plant seeds and maybe somebody else would do the harvesting. the important thing is that we, as christians, plant seeds whenever and wherever we can.

    God bless you, debbie.

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  9. Great post, Debbie. Have a blessed day.

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  10. What a wonderful reminder for all of us to take just a few minutes out of our busy days to spend some time with a stranger!

    Going to check out your friend's blog now!!

    Enjoy your weekend!

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  11. Hope you are having a wonderful Friday...with at least a few fun plans for the weekend:) Just stopping by to say hello!!

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  12. OH! Dear Debbie,
    How I have missed your words of wisdom,and inspiration.
    You are truly an Ambassador for Christ right here in blogland, and that person you were to spend 15 mins. with might just stop and read this beautiful post.
    I too have been wanting to spotlight other bloggers, just haven't had the time to even blog lately. I will visit Kris.

    May your weekend be filled with many more blessings,
    Hugs,
    Sue

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  13. Hi Debbie!

    So happy to meet you! This is my first Spiritual
    Sunday event!

    It wonderful that you have a minister that motivates you and you love so much!

    Thanks for the inspiration! Stop by if you aren't too busy!

    Creative Blessings,

    Kelee

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  14. God has His people and positions them to empower His body....strangers? or fellow travelers....thanks for this.

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  15. Hi Debbie,
    This is such a good post and I'm glad you have shared it today. It's true, we all miss our pastor when he's away. But a visitor preaching in his place can also be a blessing just as he was for you. I remember when my husband was in the hospital and we had to have someone preach in his place, it was hard on Hubby not to be there but our friend was a real blessing to our congregation. It gave Hubby a much needed rest and the church family benefited much from our friend's ministry there. Yes, we are His ambassadors and we ought to share the love of Christ wherever we go! We are only here for a short time and we must make the most of our time here. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  16. Wow. It sounds like you heard an amazing sermon! Thanks for sharing your reflections with us.
    I'll say a prayer for your pastor that his skin cancer does not come back and he continues to heal.

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  17. This is such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

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  18. Hi Debbie. Great post. Especially loved how you say that we are all just passing through this place. Oh so very true. We are. Nothing is forever, and we take nothing with us. Good things to remember. And you are so sweet to say such nice things about my Mom. You probably made her day.

    Enjoy your weekend Debbie!

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  19. I was so blessed by reading this post. I would have loved to have heard that message you heard last week. You did a great job of relating it to us. I'm grateful for blogging as it does give us a good platform for sharing our faith. Thank you for sharing yours here today.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  20. One plants, another waters. Thanks for the reminder to do my part to bring people into the kingdom.:)

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  21. Last night, as I was going on my way to work [and every time I do], 2 things came to mind always...1=seeing so many houses in all the places where I pass by, the people driving on the road with me, I often wonder, and with sadness always feel, how not all might not know His gift of salvation. 2=One spot has a very dark silhouette with a very few light and one spot on my left side, was a cluster of bright lights illuminating all the darkness around it, that there was even a soft glow [which was beautiful] being reflected upward into the skies. This came to mind of how beautiful it must be for the Lord to see, if many of His children are incessantly burning their lights for His glory. And how some are not that active that there was barely any light in a dark place.

    I'm glad you linked this post because you have a wonderful reminder here today of how our salvation does not stop at just accepting that from the Lord. But we are also commanded to share it with others. Praying for your pastor's healing. And I'm glad you are blessed by the one who filled in for him. God surely works wonders every time! Blessings to you sister Debbie. And thank you for sharing with us wonderful blogging bros/sisters in Christ. Sorry for this long comment :) Have a wonderful week!

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  22. Sorry, I meant..."I often wonder, and with sadness always feel, how not all MIGHT KNOW His gift of salvation.

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  23. That does sound like a good sermon. You know the other day I was eating in a cafeteria, and an older man next to me started talking to one of the young lady workers there. He was telling her about the Lord. She was very receptive. I heard her say that her parents were gone. Then she went to work at the cash register. As I checked out, I told her the Word says when your mother and father are gone, the Lord will take care of you . Now I can't find that verse! I'm glad we have our blogs too. Blessings ~

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  24. I am always reminding myself of this.I think how beautiful this world and how I don't want to leave but Heaven WOW! I can't wait.
    Thank-you for sharing your churches message.
    Blessings,
    Ginger

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  25. Very inspiring post, Debbie. It stirred me.

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  26. I love this post! I really do need to work on doing a better job with the "divine appointments" God sends my way. And such a great point that we don't have to be the "closers". And also that we don't have to see the results; I've heard testimonies before where people suddenly remember something a friend said 10 years earlier and due to current life situation, accept Jesus! I hope you had a lovely weekend!

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  27. Hi Debbie,
    I feel like I have been away from blogland for such a long time, and I have missed visitng. This was a great post, and I had such a spiritual trip to visit my daughter that is was extra special.
    You are a very inspirational person, and it comes out so generously in your posts. Always a pleasure to visit.
    Maryrose
    PS...I will have to check Kris' blog ;)

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  28. Ah Debbie, love this one. It's so how I've been feeling lately. I'm wanting to learn so much more about the bible and just forget about everything that has been bringing me down. I'm in such a place where I know what is important and it's so obvious to me right now how this life is just the beginning. It seriously makes me feel like what I do and worry about on a daily basis is just so insignificant. Your post is just what I needed. I thank God for your blog Debbie and the words that you share with us. I know that through your posts alone I've become closer to Him. So thank you.

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I am so glad that you would take the time to comment on my thoughts and feelings, it is such a blessing to me!