Tuesday, May 15, 2012

First Podcast

Here is a try for my first podcast.  I have signed up for Itunes, but it may take up to a week before they have me officially listed.  I soon expect to have at least two subscribers, counting me and Denise.

It is not a video, but it automatically puts my podcast photo in the window.  You can simply stare at me and wish you looked like me, or just listen and wish you sounded like me. :)

Seriously, I don't know how to change the photo, so please don't label me narcissistic.

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cut Finger Or Compassionate Heart

Loading Bricks

Carrying Water Up The Path

Carrying More Water

The Old House Only Had 3 Walls

Outhouse, Notice The Toilet Is Broken

The Kitchen

Josh Outside Old Wall

This Is The Entire House 

Preparing The Rebar For The Column

Notice The Walls Are Freestanding

Preparing The Foundation Of The Column

Mixing The Concrete


My Finger Hurts

Everytime that I type the letter ‘I’, my finger hurts.  Whenever I touch it, my finger hurts.  It is the big finger on my right hand, and the thumb.  It is amazing how much we use these two fingers.  It hurt when I opened the cover on my ipad.  It hurt when I shift gears on my truck. It hurt when I was taking the lid off of my coke zero.  It hurt when I brushed my teeth.

Here is what happened.  We went to help out a man that lives in our town.  He has a disease that is slowly paralyzing him.  Right now he can only walk with a cane, and has to take half steps.  He cannot use his left hand or completely close his right hand.  Because of this, he cannot work.  He lives in a house with his four children.  The house only had three walls made of dirt, no electricity, no water, no sanitation, and no driveway.  His house is on the side of a mountain and the only way to get to it is to walk up a dirt path.  The house is about 60 square feet, and has one room.  A local church decided to help him, so some volunteers went out and built three brick walls to give the man a new house.  Unfortunately, they did not know construction, and the walls were not built with a solid foundation nor were they ‘connected’ to each other.  The end result is that the house is falling down.  We went there this week to build support columns out of brick and using rebar and concrete to tie the walls together.  We were adding stability to the structure. 

We were limited on tools.  I had to carry a 50 galloon drum of water from my house in order to mix the concrete because no one in his neighborhood has water.  We dug a hole in the dirt to make the concrete.  I did something a little dumb.  I used my hands to stir it.  I would wash them off immediately after each batch.  However, the concrete has an acidic base that ended up giving me a slight burn, thus my fingers hurt.

It is driving me boinkers.  They hurt at every touch.  Now, get this.  This morning as I was driving, I had a thought.  Instead of saying, “I wish that I hadn’t been stupid and used my hands.” , I thought, “I don’t want to go build the other two columns or the third wall.”

I was having a distorted pity party.  Here is a man who is not only disabled, he is lost and if he does not repent will spend eternity in hell.  This will be after a miserable life without the basic necessities, with no friends, and with a huge addiction to alcohol which is destroying him from the inside out.  His life is HORRIBLE. His future is DISMAL.  His eternity is DOOMED.  

My finger hurts.

You know what I am thinking of more?  I am more concerned about the letter ‘I’ on my keyboard hurting my finger than I am the eternal destination and the horrible poverty of someone Christ died for.  Am I messed up or what?  I am just being honest with you.  My finger is more important than his soul.

Well, it was.  Now I am using my finger to pray for him.  When my finger hurts, I ask God to bring this man to Christ.  It is now my ‘prayer trigger finger’.  May God use our labor of love, and our slight inconvenience to reach into this man’s heart!

Now, it is time to be like Isaiah.  Remember in Isaiah 6 when he talked about how bad he was, then he said, “And I live with people just like me!” (paraphrased).

I am bad.  But I think that I am really a product of my sinful nature and my hedonistic North American culture.  In other words, I am just like you. J

What do I mean?  Lets get practical.  The vast majority of the world is hurting and in poverty.  People do not have clean water, sanitation, or food.  Housing is atrocious, and millions die of preventable disease.  Worse than all of this, billions of people are heading into a Christ-less eternity where they will suffer the wrath of God upon their sins for ever, and ever, and ever.

Does it bother you?  Do you even think about it? Or are you, like me, so consumed with a painful finger that souls in hell don’t matter? 

Let me cut to the chase.  The average EVANGELICAL Christian gives less than $20/year towards world missions.  That is four ten thousanths of their income.  How much do you give?  How much do you care?  What do you spend your money on?  I would bet that you probably pay more attention to lunch or a latte than to the thousands of children that die each day from malnutrion related illnesses.

Why are we like this?  I think it is because our finger is on our hand and although it is a little thing, it is always in front of us.  The needs of others are far away, both in sight and in mind.  Therefore, we think about our finger.  I think that I have a solution to this.  First of all, one of the reasons that I write my blogs and post so often on FB is to keep missions in front of you.  Maybe through my failures and successes you can be reminded of the needs of the world.

I also have a practical way of helping you help yourself and others.  The Bible says that where your treasure is, there you heart will be.  Notice the order.  Your heart FOLLOWS your treasure.  Your passion pursues your money.  So, here is a great way to get you to think about the needs of the world.  

GIVE YOUR MONEY TO MEET THEM.  

On a regular basis, no less than monthly, support some mission work.  I happen to think that we are a great place to send your money, but if not us, then send it somewhere.  Denise and I are missionaries, and yet we support two other missionaries in Africa as well as donate to other agencies.  This is because we don’t want to become near sighted and see only OUR needs. 

Sending your money is a great way to forget about your finger and remember the souls of others.  It is a little painful.  You will have to do without some cool luxuries and/or nice treats.  However, your inconvenience can change the lives of others.

If you want to give to us, and we can sure use the money for projects (we are fine on personal support—all we want is money to help others), go to my website: www.holmanfamily.org and click on the investing in eternity button.   

Just a thought.
Joe















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