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Earlier this week, I was talking to our music director, Jim Turk, about this sermon. I told him that I was going to challenge you to live out your faith. I told him a story about myself that makes me very self-conscious. It is a story I had never told anyone else. I explained to Jim that it was a story I didn’t feel I could share with you. When I finished the story, Jim said, “You have to tell that story.”


As embarrassing as it is, I know he is right. Here’s the story:


When I was the retail advertising manager at the San Antonio Light, one of the salespersons came to see me. Her name was DeeDee. She came into my office, asked if we could talk and when I said, “Yes, of course,” she closed the door.


She said, “You are different from other managers. There is something about you that we all trust. We work harder for you than we have worked for other managers. I want to know why you are different.”


I wasn’t sure what she meant, so I questioned her some more. Ultimately, she said, “You are kinder, more encouraging. You also seem to be calmer than the others.”


I still wasn’t really sure what she was saying, but the only thing I could think of was my faith. I told her that maybe the difference was that I was a Christian. She looked at me with a strange expression, a surprised look. I asked her if she thought that was the difference and she said, “Yes.”


A few days later, she came again. This time, she asked me if I could recommend some scriptures that she could read. I gave her a Bible and told her about some passages that had meant a lot to me.


Over the coming months, three other salespeople quietly stopped in to talk about faith. I turned out giving away a number of Bibles. I feel self-conscious telling this story because I don’t like to talk about myself in this way, but I want you to know that I’m not asking you to do something I wouldn’t do myself.


All I ask is that this week, you carry the Spirit with you and you share a word of kindness in a harsh world; a word of healing in a hurting world; a word of hope in a despairing world; and a word of caring in a cynical world. You may be amazed at what happens when you let the Holy spirit sparkle and fizz in your life.

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