Monday, October 21, 2013

Break Time is over...

We are pleased to announce that our short break from radio programs is just about over. We are working on several new messages to share with you, via BlogTalk Radio. Stay tuned for more information on programs and schedules.
We encourage listener interaction during LIVE broadcasts.
Listeners can also access our programs via the archives after the original air date.

Our link to programs at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/awebpastor


Enjoy!

Rev. Joseph Holmin
Host
Lost and Found Today

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Break Time

Dear friend's, and visitor's...

As you may or may not know, we are taking a break from our internet radio broadcasts. Our vision and goals remain the same. Bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, and show the principals lived out in our relevant examples and lives.

Rest assured, we will return. Our format may get changed, as we only bring our program in a limited 30 minute time slot. This will also change the times for our programs, to be aired either before 6PM, or after 10PM; in the Central Time Zone.

If you have any suggestions for future programs, we'd love to hear from you. Send us an email at radio@lostandfoundtoday.org and listen to our archives at
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/awebpastor.

We look forward to seeing you all again, real soon.

Blessings,

Rev. Joseph Holmin
Host
Lost and Found Today

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Cost of Being A Disciple for Christ

It seems that Christians are obsessed with counting sheep. How often do you hear Christians of all stripes asking each other about the size of each other's congregations? Often we hear folks asking, €œHow many do you have on a Sunday morning? We marvel at so-called mega-churches. We feel good when we see a large crowd in church on Christmas or Easter and wish that it was like that every Sunday. 

A large crowd at a worship service is considered a success.


In our gospel teaching today, we hear that €œlarge crowds were traveling with Jesus.€ If Jesus were a good church programmer, he would have dispatched some of the apostles to get everyone'€™s name, phone number, and home address. He would have made sure everyone felt welcome. Perhaps he would have fretted over his sermons, making sure that each one was a practical, uplifting message that the crowd would come back for again and again. If they were singing psalms, he would have made sure the tunes were easy and appealing to the largest group possible.


Jesus wasn'€™t a good church programmer. This is because Jesus wasn'€™t calling crowds; he was calling disciples. Jesus wasn'€™t concerned with being popular; he was concerned with helping people transform their lives. Jesus knew that no matter the size of the crowd, it was all temporal anyway. It didn'€™t matter in the larger scheme. Jesus was leading people toward eternity, not temporal things like material success.


When Jesus sees the crowds, his instinct is not to wow them. His instinct is to make each person aware of the cost of being his disciple. It is this awareness of the journey that brings about transformation. He tells the crowd that unless they can detach completely from everything they are holding onto emotionally and physically, they can never really be his disciples. He tells them€“ and us, that we have to detach from our family systems, from our very lives as we know them. We have to be ready to take up a cross.


This is a familiar message to Christians. We know that this is what Jesus keeps telling us, but when we get overly concerned with our institutional success, we lose sight of the heart of the matter: discipleship.


Jesus is calling us again to consider the cost. When we do not consider the cost, then we are like a builder who makes no budget for a project or a king who makes no contingency plans for a battle; we are bound for lackluster results and frustration.


When we consider the cost of following Jesus, then we will deepen our spiritual lives. We will hold in front of our prayers our need for discipleship, not membership in an institution. When we make discipleship and not the size of the crowd the number-one priority of our life as a church, then we are about making disciples, not growing membership rolls.


When we are counting the crowd and not the cost, we get into the dangerous habit of thinking we are in control of the movement of the Holy Spirit. We begin to think that we can grow€ the numbers. We become proud in our endeavors to draw and keep a crowd instead of trusting in God with all of our hearts. We also get trapped in our frustrations at not being able to draw and keep a crowd. This becomes the major focus of our life together as a church.


God sends Jeremiah down to the potter's house to make a point: God is the potter, we are the clay. We and our endeavors to be the church are in God'€™s hands. We are not called to manipulate and manufacture the outcome; we are called to be faithful as baptized ministers of the gospel.


We are to be the kind of ministers that Paul is asking Philemon to be: putting aside our past grudges and our need to be in control. Paul is asking Philemon to begin anew with Onesimus. Paul asks Philemon to do even more than he is asking him to do.


It's our spiritual and religious task to become good, pliable, usable clay. God makes the pottery. We become good usable clay when we put scripture and tradition at the core of our community. We gather to study life-matters found in the gospel and the teachings found in our Catechism and Baptismal Covenant. When a community places these things at the center of its common life, it can't help but grow and be fashioned into a beautiful and sustainable piece of pottery made by the Creator.


We also become workable clay for the potter when we apply reason to our study. We study in community so that we can hear and experience other points of view. This will make us grow inside; as we grow inside our discipleship blossoms. As our discipleship blossoms, we become more and more attractive to others. We become pieces of art made by our Creator that others admire and wish to become part of.


If we work primarily on our discipleship, then we will be prepared to minister to the crowd. Then we have something to offer them. Then we will begin to imitate Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 9, Jesus sees the crowd and has compassion for them. He sees that they are helpless and harassed like sheep without a shepherd. He reminds the disciples that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.


We are called to be those laborers. We reach out to the crowd with compassion. When we encounter the crowd, we let them know that we are offering them the Good News: God in Christ has reconciled us to each other, to God, and to all of creation. We are new creation. We are the priesthood of all believers. We invite the crowd to join us on our pilgrimage. We show them, not tell them, how our lives have been transformed by the gospel and by the sacraments we celebrate. Each of us becomes a catechist. This is the cost of our discipleship. Drawing a crowd this way takes time. Many will turn away. But those who engage will engage deeply and profoundly.


Maybe then we can stop asking each other about numbers and start sharing with others the depth of our discipleship.


This is where we are headed with Jesus: eternal life. Eternity is a long time. Eternity puts all of our anxieties about numbers on Sunday into perspective. Jesus is calling us on a great adventure. It'€™s an adventure that is full of tension, healing, bold thinking, and new life. It goes beyond our Sunday worship out into our everyday lives. So, indeed, we seek out the crowds not to count them but to have compassion for them. Counting the crowd doesn't make them stay engaged; showing the crowd our transformed lives brings them to Jesus.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

5 Women Missionaries Beaten Publicly in India for Sharing Gospel

Courtesy of Charisma News.




Women beaten
Five women, Bansari, Jaladhi, Kuyil, Sunita and Viveka, were beaten in India for sharing the gospel. (Gospel for Asia)
Five women have been beaten by a man in the Andhra Pradesh region of India while sharing about the love of Jesus in a public marketplace. Amazingly spared, they retreated to safety, thanking God for the honor of suffering for His sake.
The women, all leaders in the Gospel for Asia (GFA)-sponsored Women’s Fellowship ministry, had been sharing with store owners and shoppers when one man demanded to know what they were doing. The assault began with a powerful slap to the face of one woman and continued to the others, one of whom was isolated and surrounded by five men.
“Jesus promised persecuting and hardships,” says Daniel Punnose, vice president of GFA (gfa.org). “These young ladies see it worth facing the beatings in order to share the love of Christ.”
The women, Bansari, Jaladhi, Kuyil, Sunita and Viveka, were beaten on their faces, ears and heads. All report that no bystanders came to their defense during the ordeal and that they miraculously escaped from their multiple attackers and were delivered from further harm.
GFA-sponsored Women’s Fellowships are intentional ministries across South Asia for women reaching women with the love of Christ in cultures where men are severely limited in ministering to women. Local Women’s Fellowships are often nurtured by one of 2,000 GFA-sponsored women missionaries.
Special prayer is requested for the women attacked and for all the women missionaries and leaders of Women’s Fellowships who work in cultures where women endure cultural oppression and degradation.
“When we see young women publicly beaten for the faith, it tells us what the future holds in regards to persecution,” Punnose says. “Things will get worse, but the Lord is faithful in all things.” 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Keep Your Fork

Keep Your Fork

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given 3 months to live. So, as she was getting her things "in order," she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

"There's one more thing," she replied excitedly."What's that?" came the pastor's reply."This is very important," the young woman continued."I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked. Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor. 

The young woman explained. "My grandmother once told me this story and, from there on out, I have always done so. I have also always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement." 

"In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.'" 

"It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful and with substance!" "So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork ..........the best is yet to come." 

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral, people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor and heard the question. "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her.The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.

Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us. Show your friends how much you care.

Remember to always be there for them, even when you need them more. For you never know when it may be their time to "Keep your fork." Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share ... being friend with someone is not an opportunity but a sweet responsibility. And remember to keep your fork.

Fellowship of the Unashamed

FELLOWSHIP OF THE UNASHAMED
(An African martyr's last words)

I am part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.

The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.

The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.

I'm finished and done with low living, sight-walking, small planning,

smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions,

mundane talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.

My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven,
my road is narrow, my way is rough,

my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear.

I won't give up, back up, let up, or shut up until I've preached up, prayed up,

paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ.

I must go until He returns, give until I drop,
preach until all know, and work until He comes.

And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear.

"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ." [Romans 1:16]




This was the last will and testament of a man whose passion for souls grew from his love for Jesus.
PRAYER: Almighty God, Thank you for the opportunities that you place before me. Thank you Lord, that I don't "got to" do anything, but more so that I "get to" share your Word with those you place before me. Make me a more effective and obedient servant for your Kingdom. Use me to educate, encourage and edify others for your Glory. Father, you have prepared a way, The Way, and I know this. Take away my selfish thoughts, and instead replace this with a selfless outlook, that I may be more effective in the urgent matters of your work and your kingdom. Make me to be more like you, Lord.  In Jesus' name I pray. AMEN


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ten Questions - Bible Verses

Ten Questions - Bible Verses:


Question 1:  Is there a direct command for it or against it in the bible?
Exodus 24:7
7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people.
They responded, "We will do everything the LORD has said; we will
obey."

John 14:15
15"If you love me, you will obey what I command.



Question 2:  Could this cause others to stumble in their faith?
Romans 14:21
21It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else
that will cause your brother to fall.

I Corinthians 8:13
13Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will
never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.


Question 3: Is this activity necessary?
I Corinthians 6:12
12"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial.
"Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by
anything.


Question 4:  Does this activity harm my body?
I Corinthians 3:16-17
16Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's
Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God's temple, God will
destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.


Question 5:  Does this activity rob me of my freedom?
Could it be addictive?
I Corinthians 6:19-20
19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who
is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.


Question 6:  Does this activity promote evil?
Romans 12:9
9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

I Thessalonians 5:22
22Avoid every kind of evil.

Proverbs 8:13
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.



Question 7:  Can I ask God's blessing on this activity?
John 8:28
28So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you
will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my
own but speak just what the Father has taught me.



Question 8:  Would I act differently if Jesus were standing next to me?
Proverbs 15:3
3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere,
keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

2 Chronicles 16:9
9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen
those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish
thing, and from now on you will be at war."



Question 9:  Can I glorify God in this thing?
I Corinthians 10:31
31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the
glory of God.



Question 10:  What would Jesus do?
I John 2:6
6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.