Episode 46

Where is Your Pulpit?

Are you seeking purpose not realizing that your pulpit is right where you are? God may have you in a job you don’t like or a situation you’d rather not be in. Hear how it’s often in uncomfortable places that we’re able to minister most effectively.

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Show Notes

Often, we go through our lives just doing the things we need to do to survive. We sometimes fail to recognize opportunities to minister that are right under our noses. At some point, we may ask God if He means for us to stop what we are doing so that we can better serve Him. His answer may surprise us as we are likely already right where He needs us to be.

Romans 8:28 tells us that, “…in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him…” and He proves this time after time. We must never be afraid to share His word and share our faith with everybody, every day to help bring them closer to Jesus. Be encouraged to do that in this episode.

Host Barry Meguiar is a car guy and businessman who hosted the popular TV show, Car Crazy, on Discovery Networks for 18 years. He loves cars, but he loves Jesus even more! Learn more about Barry at IgniteAmerica.com

Get your copy of Barry’s book Ignite Your Life: Defeat Fear with Effortless Faith at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and other online booksellers.

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Episode Transcript

Welcome back to Ignite, I wanted to talk to you about the fact that you have a pulpit. Oftentimes we think about pulpit is, you know, up on the stage right? With the lectern and all the pomp and circumstance that goes around that but, but if you read the definitions of what a puipit is, it goes way beyond that. And in my terms, I would just say if anybody who has more information than I have on a given subject, they kind of have a pulpit.

 

I did this television show for a lot of years called “Car Crazy” for eighteen years. And one of the great interviews I ever did was with the rock musician, the guitarist Jeff Beck. Amazing car guy. I’m there because he’s a car guy, but when we finished and we actually had there was so much, we did two shows together. He was fabulous. But then I said, I want to I want to just sit and watch you play your guitar. So in the studio, and he started playing, and I can see it my mind right now. It’s been a few years, the way his fingers glided so effortlessly. It was like he was my teacher and I was his student. I was never going to play guitar, but you get the, you get the understanding of he had his pulpit was that he was a great guitarists, and I’m sitting there watching it. Wow. Pulpits take off all kinds of things. I’m reminded of Eric Liddell, you know, back in the chariots of fire story, remember? And what a great story. Of course, he was born of missionary parents and went on to be a missionary afterwards. But his great story was in running and he felt when he ran the Holy Spirit flowed through him and he used running as his pulpit.

 

I had a great professor in college by the name of Ken Armstrong, Dr. Cohn Ken Armstrong, one of the best professors I ever had and he taught me so many great things. But one thing he said was, if you want to be great, hang out with great people. And do whatever you have to do to hang out with great people carry their bags, take up their trash, do anything. Just hanging out with great people, and you become great. Now that’s I guess there’s some scripture in there somewhere. I don’t know what it is, but it’s a, it’s a truth that works. And I have done that. And I’ve had many great people in my life that I have run to I’ve known Dr. James Dobson. Jim Dobson and I have been friends since I was 14 years old and, and he’s been more than a mentor to me. He’s been a rock to me. His life he’d surely both. They’ve never changed just as easy to be with as ever. With this loud voice and this unchangeable voice where nothing’s going to change Jim Dobbs and I have watched that and, and he has been a model for me in how I’ve lived my life and not to change. A lot change is going on right now. There’s a lot of people that I hugely admired few years ago that I will say I will avoid now because of apostasy. There’s a lot of crazy stuff going on. That’s another subject. David Wilkerson, David Wilkerson, the author of the Cross and the Switchblade. He founded Times Square Church of 51st and Broadway I found that church with him. Close friends for 40 years, a prophet, he prayed every night for two or three hours a night every night for 40 years. We’d come home at night at 12 o’clock Karen and I go into bed he’s going to pray. And this man knew God. He carried on conversations with God when he’d pray. He would say and hear back and he’d carry on conversation. That’s how close he was to God. Obviously, he was a great man in my life and I owe much of where I am today to David Wilkerson. So that that idea of hanging, if you want to be great if you want to know God hanging around with people who know God, okay?

 

I gotta go to the other end of the scale and I gotta tell you that I had a friend his name was Bob since passed away, but Bob was a good bit older than me. Married one of my college friends. Bob was not well spoken, and he was not of well stature. He didn’t have any status. He did all kinds of wonderful things for God the church couldn’t live without him but it was never the chairman of the board or speaking in front of a lot of people. But Bob knew God and even though he did not speak well he knew God, and whenever he would come into the room, I would run to Bob. I would sit with Bob, as much as I could, if if we got to a table or we are, I would move people away so I could sit next to Bob. Bob was a huge influence in my life. It wasn’t because of stature it is because of his relationship with with the Lord and my wanting to have a little more of what he has.

 

I started sharing my faith, Karen and I both started sharing our faith back when we were first married. I’m now going back to 1973 this is 50 years, we have been sharing our faith every day for 50 years. That’s incredible. I’m old. And you know what I’m building my business that was a tiny little business. I’m working like crazy and I’m working 18 hour days. I did that for about 30 years, worked really hard. But at the same time, I found myself going from being a horrible fath sharer, not wanting to be a faith sharer to doing a little more and then after a while you get to where you start doing it more easily and started just relaxing and having fun doing it and becoming quite good at doing it. I have to say you know you start shooting baskets you may miss them all for a while but you keep doing that after all you’re gonna start sinking some baskets and and that happens when you share your faith. And when you do that you enter into this thing called Joy. And I never realized there’s something different between happiness and joy. Happiness comes and goes. I’ve talked, I’ve I think I did a podcast on this. Happiness is fleeting, it’s fit depending on what circumstances going on at the moment, but joy? Oh man, that if you have joy, you could you could go through anything. How do you get joy? That’s another subject today.

 

I was I was finally to the point where I say I should go into full time ministry. I was really thinking I should go into full time ministry. It was hitting me so clearly I just kept him, because I was, now I’m sharing my faith with with gusto you might say. To, is that still word we use? Now you do with energy and you look forward to doing it and then and results are happening, anything God you’re leading me into full time ministry. And so I pray this most, really the most fervent prayer of my life saying God if you want me to go into full time ministry, I’ll leave my business it will fail. There’s nobody else to lead this, this little fledgling family business and I’m third generation leader but I would do that I just want to be where you want me to be. I just want to serve you whatever that is. Not 20 minutes later a guy walked in my office by the name Dave McNutt and I’d never spoken to him before, and again there’s a story I’ve told many times it’s in my book “Ignite Your Life” but it very quickly he just started to ask me questions. And he said I was just in the area, just wanted to stop by see how you doing? How’s it going? And so I decided as a missionary kid, he was a missionary kid, he grew up in Africa, with a missionary family, my age, he was my age now had his own business. And as I started sharing, he said, wow, God’s given you a wonderful ministry here hadn’t He? I said, what do you mean by that? He said, Well, Pastor couldn’t reach all the people you reach but as a businessman, you can. He gave me this line: your business is your pulpit. Wow, I never put together that the life that I’m now living is my pulpit. The life you’re now living is your pulpit, look around. There’s people all around you who are lost. You’re there. You’re you have purpose. God has you right where He wants you. You may want to go somewhere else somebody I don’t care where that is. I don’t care if you’re a young person and you’re in a job you don’t like right now. Right now, this is your pulpit. And if you honor Him, recognize this is your pulpit you do that you start living for His purpose that He has all kinds of plans for you and it just plays out. You know, it’s never been easier than now to do that? I’ve been doing it to, Karen and I have both been doing it now for 50 years as I just mentioned. But you see yourself differently. I transitioned and seeing myself as a guy that sells car wax to a guy who’s in ministry that God’s using and using my business as my pulpit. And the more I did that the more He blessed my business and now we’re the number one selling car wax in America. I mean it’s amazing how that’s worked but I didn’t do it out of you know fight and struggle and all that. At every meeting was how do I lead everybody who what ever that I’m meeting with, whether it’s my own board meeting or it’s it’s at a huge retailer who I really need their business, I want to lead them closer to Jesus. This little, this little thing of what is it? This little light of mine, this little light of mine I gotta let it shine. That’s what we’re called to do. It just happens that our little light right now is huge. Thank God we’re in tragedy. We’re in turmoil. The whole world is in turmoil. There’s darkness everywhere we look and this little light of ours shines bright. People don’t expect us to be happy. They just don’t. They just don’t. And when they see happiness, and it’s real happiness, real joy in us, they will want what we have and that’s our pulpit. I don’t care how how mean or I don’t care if you’re living on the street, I don’t care where you are. When you have joy, you can have joy no matter where you are, when you know God is with you. You know, God loves everybody on the street as much as he loves you and me. And how are, how is He going to reach them unless He has Christians among them speaking to them. That’s a whole another subject.

 

But when you’re in the dark place, when you lost four years ago, your 49 year old daughter. When you’re when you’re dying in the hospital, the doctors give up on you. They gave it up on me. I’m toast. I mean, I still had joy. Nothing really affected my joy. And I use the darkness, people around say well, of course he’s he’s smiling. He’s got a beautiful wife and business and cars of course he’s smiling. If I had that I’d smile too. Well guess what? I’m talking about truce that I discovered in the midst of tragedy when I had no hope. I had a friend and her name was Anne and, and she served the Lord all her life. But she just she was like, she was there. She was on her way to heaven who came from a great Christian family. But she was also a businesswoman and did great things in business and all kinds of things and even remarried. And then she got cancer. And that’s when our relationship really took off. Because she started questioning what was God doing her life and when I explained to her what we’ve just been talking about, she got really excited and realized that she was going to use her cancer to lead people to Jesus Christ. And she did. And she got to where as I was when I was in the hospital, looking at everybody walks through that door, they are one more person I could talk to you about the Lord. And she did that. And I talked to her regularly until finally she didn’t have a voice strong enough to talk with but she could still push buttons on her computer. And we still and I tell you, you know He’s kept you alive there’s still at least one more person he wants you to talk to about God. She had a pulpit in her weakest moment. I often tell the story of Mrs. D’Amato who was one of the most godly people I’ve ever met. And she died horribly. And I was mad at God. They couldn’t stop her pain. It was cancer. She could not stop her pain. They gave her the most serious stuff, they could not stop her pain. And then we go to her funeral and I’m mad at God. I’ve been mad at God several times He puts up with us. He puts up with us. And I’m at her funeral and I’m just beside myself. I’m just mad I’m just sitting there mad. I don’t understand you God. I don’t understand, until three different nurses got up one after the other and each told their version of the same story of how they had nothing to do with God untill they met Mrs. D’Amato. And they never met anybody who had so much pain who had so much joy. And they each decided that’s that God is real. I want what she has. The one nurse I never forget. She said as I was walking down the hallway, the day she died I was walking down the hallway and I could hear her singing hymns. Wow.

 

So let’s go back just for a second and I’ll end this but you know, Romans 8:28 I love this verse: All things work together for good for now until you get to heaven. God will make everything in your life work together for good as long as you love Him and live for His purpose. The question is what’s good? Was, was that good for Mrs. D’Amato to have all that pain? You bet it was. Do you know when she got to the other side and she realized that God led three more people into eternity because of that momentary pain, and now she’s gonna be with them forever. Are you kidding me? Is she going to be doing backflips or what? See God’s definition of good is how many people, how many more people can I get into heaven because of you. And if I need to put you through some fire, to get a few more people in heaven, that’s to your credit, that’s to your benefit. Wow. 100 years from now I say this so often it is probably more like a year from now. I don’t know what it is, but safe to say 100 years from now the only thing that’s going to matter, when you’re in heaven, this is for Christian stuff. You’re a Christian, 100 years from now the only thing that will matter when you’re in heaven is how many people are in heaven because of your influence because of your pulpit? Think about it. No matter how many bottles a car wax I sold or how big good things I did or built or it’s hay and stubtle, it means nothing! How many people are going to be in heaven because of your influence? And if you, if there’s, if you, if you’re right now like most Christians say none guess what? You need to get busy. And now it’s never been easier.

 

Let me leave you with one last thought and then I’m out. Can you imagine being in heaven and having a person walk up to you and say because of your influence I’m here. Thank you. Imagine having a person coming over to say because of your influence I went to that church I went to that service I prayed that prayer God rescued me and saved me and forgive us of our sins and I’m here today because a your influence. Wow. Can you imagine having a whole bunch of people who say that to you? That’s possible. If you keep first things first. Live for God’s commission. Live for His purpose and move everybody every day closer to Jesus. See you next time.

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