Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lessons Learned From Making Pizza

My dad has been making pizza for about 66 years. He learned what has become the Radosti family recipe from his mom, my grandmother who was born in Calabria, Italy. I watched dad make pizza for many years and learned how to make it myself a couple of years ago. Now my brother John is also learning how to make it. While I was visiting New York recently, together John and I made pizza. We have a tradition in our family to make pizza during the Christmas holiday season. I heated up about sixteen ounces of water and when the temperature was just right, added the yeast with a small amount of sugar. I mixed it with my hand until it was silky smooth. John rubbed a little olive oil in the inside of a very large pot. He then added the flour to the pot and I added some of the water mixed with yeast. Then John began to knead the dough with his hand. I added more of the water mixture and after some time the dough became more uniform. It had many rifts and cracks, so I added more water and John continued to knead the mixture with his hands. It became sticky and it was harder for John to mix so I added some more flour to dry it out and then some olive oil. Within minutes the dough had become consistent. It was now one big lump. We then covered it with a lid and my mom took it into the bedroom and covered the entire pot with a blanket.

The body of Christ is a lot like a lump of dough. In Christ we are one lump. Our identity is in Christ the living bread which came down from heaven (John 6:33-51).When we all work together we are like one lump of dough, uniform throughout. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget that our identity is in him and we end up like the pizza dough that is not yet consistent with cracks and rifts caused by comparing one another, jealousy, envy and showmanship. To get to that uniform lump of dough it takes the right amount of water, flour and oil. And for the body of Christ to be uniform it takes Christ living within us by the Holy Spirit. The love of Christ is what makes us uniform. We need to lose our identity in him. Our identity isn't in our denomination, nor is it in our talents or gifts or anything else. It's in Christ alone the Living Bread which came down from heaven to give life to the world.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Message From Clinton

No it's not Bill, it's Clinton Tuck, my friend who is a resident at Shady Lawn Nursing/Rehabilitation Facility. Clinton has a message that he shared with me and he wants me to share it with you. He asks that you would also share his message with everyone you know.

Clinton is a proud veteran of the United States Army. Not long ago he was going about his business working as an armed guard in Nashville, Tennessee. His doctor told him he needed to stop smoking and drinking. Clinton asked, “Are you crazy?” and then proceeded to totally ignore his doctor's warning.

It wasn't long after his doctor's admonition that Clinton had a stroke. He recovered completely and resumed his normal activities, which included smoking and drinking heavily. Clinton was an expert in the use of profanity. He says he even patented a few choice words.

About five years ago, Clinton suffered his second stroke. He didn't have any recollection of what occurred and thought he had an asthma attack. He knew something was seriously wrong after he regained consciousness and wasn't able to speak or move the right side of his body. Days and weeks went by. Clinton was moved from the VA Hospital in Nashville to a rehabilitation facility in Paducah, Kentucky to another rehabilitation home in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and finally to Shady Lawn Nursing Home/Rehabilitation Facility. He prayed, “God please let me speak again and I will speak of your goodness continually.” God intervened for Clinton and he began to speak again. Shortly thereafter he started walking. Although still partially paralyzed and mostly confined to a bed and wheelchair, he occasionally manages to get around with the use of a cane.

Clinton is now able to see the world from a different perspective. He relies on others to help him with his daily needs. He says, “God lives and he can see the future. Why should I complain. Instead of complaining, I count the blessings that God has given me.” He has a new found strength he didn't have before he became disabled. The same strength that Jesus told the apostle Paul about when Paul asked God to heal him of his infirmities and Jesus said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). He knows where that power and strength come from; his complete and total reliance upon Jesus Christ.

Clinton isn't looking for pity. He wanders throughout the nursing facility encouraging the other residents. He tells them, “Don't give up hope.” He says, “So many of these people are dropped off here and get few or no visitors afterward. I go around trying to encourage them.” Clinton is most often found with a great big smile on his face.

If you are ever feeling depressed or discouraged because of the circumstances in your life, just think about Clinton. Better yet, if you are really hurting, give him a call or stop by and visit him. Chances are he will make you feel much better.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is The Gospel A Set Of Rules Or Laws?

Sunday I attended a small group Bible Study. Someone questioned whether our focus should be on commandment keeping. The thesis is that the Bible does talk a lot about keeping the commandments. That got me thinking and I asked myself, “Does my relationship with God boil down to a set of rules? Does the gospel have anything to do with rules or laws?

I believe I need to understand what the gospel is to answer these questions. Gospel means good news. What exactly is the good news? Isn't it the good news of Jesus Christ? The King of the Kingdom. If we try to understand the gospel without going down the narrow path, Jesus Christ, we won't have any understanding of the gospel.

If we try to understand the gospel without the Light of the World, then we won't have any understanding of the gospel. How can we understand the scriptures unless the Light of God shines on them? Isn't this exactly what Jesus said to the religious leaders of his day? (John 5:39).

Paul said he was crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20). Crucified means dead.

Christ lives in Christians and it is Christ who lays down his life for all human beings. His very nature is love and we read that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). The law never covered a multitude of sins. The law pointed out sin and our need for a Savior. If righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain (Gal. 2:21).

The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ saves us by faith in Him not by anything that we do. The gospel is all about Christ and what He has done. The focus is not on us but on Him. The gospel is centered on Jesus not on us, lest we boast (Eph. 2:8-9). The inheritance of all of God's children is a gift. We can't earn our inheritance. We can't earn a gift. Jesus lives in Christians and He lives by the nature of God, not by human nature. So if He lives in us, His nature will be apparent-the nature of love.

Monday, September 13, 2010

911 Commemoration at Worldwide Grace Fellowship, Clarksville, Tennessee

Worldwide Grace Fellowship Clarksville, Tennessee
Worldwide Grace Fellowship of Clarksville, Tennessee commemorates 911 celebrating the gospel of Jesus Christ, the hope for mankind.

Joe Radosti, a member of Worldwide Grace Fellowship and an eyewitness of the attacks on New York City from a highrise office building on 15th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan, gave a message titled, “The Miraculous Story of Josephine Harris.” In addition an exhibit was displayed for viewing.

Josephine Harris worked on the seventy-third floor of the North Tower, World Trade Center, New York City.

At 8:46a.m. on September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the N. Tower at full throttle. Ms. Harris began evacuating the building shortly thereafter. The rescue team of Ladder Company 6: Mike Meldrum, Tommy Falco, Matt Komorowski, Bill Butler, Sal D'Agostino and Captain John Jonas, met up with Ms. Harris on the nineteenth floor. The group stopped to help her down the stairwell. They moved at a slow pace until they reached the fourth floor. That's when Josephine said, “That's it. I can't take another step. Go on without me.” However, the men of Ladder Company 6 waited patiently for her while she rested.

A short time later the building began to rumble. The N. Tower was imploding. There was a terrifying noise. An incredible rush of wind blew through the stairwell. The group lay covered with ash and debris, but miraculously everyone was alive. There was smoke and fires were raging nearby. They were encapsulated between the second through the fourth floor of stairwell B for more than four hours.

When the smoke began to clear they saw a light. Fire Chief Rich Picciotto who met up with the group around the twelfth floor and was also trapped with them, followed the light and climbed out of the wreckage. Soon the entire group made their way from darkness, ashes and death to life. Josephine Harris was carried in a rescue basket by Ladder Company 43 and Ladder Company 53.

Salvation is a journey in Christ likened to a journey down stairwell B. It's transformation and salvation through tribulation (for reference see: John 16:33; Acts 14:22; Rev.7:9-17). We need both Light and Water (Living Water) for our journey.

Satan the devil pretends to be an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), but he is the Prince of Darkness and can distort our view of God. Similar to someone trying to recognize another person in a darkened room, his identity can be mistaken. The devil offers humanity a water-slide ride, but at the end of the ride there is no water, only a lake of fire!

The religious leaders of Jesus' day rejected him as the Christ and thus rejected the Light that would open up their understanding of the scriptures and lead them on the journey to life-salvation. They murdered Jesus and tried to bury the Living Word in a dark tomb. But he is the Living Word, not the dead Word! Instead they buried the truth in the darkness of their hearts.

As we head down stairwell B, our journey to salvation, we cry out to God, as those trapped in stairwell B cried, “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! If we see God through the darkness, without the Light, we will hear him say, “Get out of my way. You're not moving fast enough. You're blocking up the stairwell.” So we might cry out again and receive another rebuke from him saying, “You again. I'm tired of your wining you sluggard. If you don't get moving, I'm going to kick you right down that stairwell into hell fire!”

It's only when we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6) and not a perverted view of who he is, that we hear him say, “I'm coming for you my brother! I'm coming for you my sister! Here put your arm around my shoulder and lean on me. I'll walk with you down the stairwell. I won't let you slip or fall. I will be your Light. Drink some of this Living Water for your journey. Be refreshed. My tomb wasn't dark enough, the stone in front of my tomb wasn't large enough, the guards weren't powerful enough, to keep me from rising or to prevent me from saving you!”

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lessons from Camp TAG 2010

Camp Tag 2010

Thursday July 22-Sunday July 25, I attended a camp for grieving youths. The theme of camp was, “Finding Our Way Through Grief By Leaning On Others.” There were about thirty five children at camp this year, the second year I have volunteered to serve at this camp.

What is the most important lesson I learned from camp this year? That God in the person of Jesus Christ came to take away our grief and sorrow (Isa. 53:3-5). When he went to the cross he took all our pain and sorrow upon himself. Those who are the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:30) are called to participate in the healing of humanity. Jesus said we should be like the Good Samaritan who took care of the stranger that fell among thieves (the Good Samaritan poured oil on the strangers wounds (Luke 10:30-37). Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was resurrected. Thomas needed physical proof that it was Christ who appeared to them. So Jesus showed him his wounds and Thomas felt them with his own hands (John 20:24-29). All of humanity shares in the wounds of Christ. It is only Jesus who can not only bring healing to the flesh but is able to bring healing to the deepest wounds of the heart by the Holy Spirit which he freely gives to those who believe. It is the Spirit, the Oil of God that permeates the inner being healing grief and every other sorrow of the human heart.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Forty Hour Fast For Freedom

Independence Day, True Freedom

July 2, 1776 Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain.

July 3, 1776 John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail: “The second day of July, 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty" (my emphasis).

One of the best known sentences in the English language comes from the Declaration of Independence. It says: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Thomas Jefferson is remembered as the man who was delegated with the task of writing the Declaration of Independence. But he isn't the Real Champion of Freedom. Nor was it John Adams or Ben Franklin. No the Real Champion of Freedom is none other than the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Jesus Christ; because it was his precious blood that bought our freedom.

1 Peter 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (NKJV throughout).

1 Cor. 6:19-20 are not your own. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

All who have died with Christ have been raised up with him in the newness of life (Rom. 6:1-11). Thus we are free from the law of sin and death but live by a new law of the Spirit of Life in Christ (Rom. 8:1-3). Life in Christ has set us free from sin and death (John 8:32,36). Now we use our freedom to serve one another in love (Gal. 5:13).

Therefore, I invite you to join with me in celebrating true independence, freedom in Christ. My prayer is that everyone will experience true freedom. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell those you know who are hurting, that you will be joining in this celebration, and that you will be remembering them through prayer and fasting.

If you would like to participate in this event, start fasting (abstain from food and drink) at 4pm Friday, July 2 through Sunday, July 4 at 4pm (or sometime in between). I'm calling it the “Forty Hour Fast For Freedom”. You can fast for one hour or all forty hours (please use wisdom if you're weak or sick you don't need to fast for all forty hours).

“ The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed (Luke 4:18).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

BrotherJoeRadosti visits Agape Church of the Savior

Brother Joe with his good friends, Ezekiel, Jean Marie & Pastor Stan.

Here is a summary of the message given by Brother Joe. The Gospel Through The Life Of  Richard Wurmbrand, founder of The Voice of the Martyrs.

His life is a testament to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:44-48; "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you."

What are the lessons learned from the life of Richard Wurmbrand? Wurmbrand was in chains, but never was he in captivity! Because long before he was put in prison and tortured, he was set free by the precious blood of Jesus the Christ. Wurmbrand didn't own any of that "currency" and neither do we. Only Jesus had the currency needed, his own precious blood, to buy our freedom (1 Peter 1:18-19). Blood speaks a universal language. There is no lukewarm in blood. There is no hypocrisy in blood. The blood of hatred is demonstrated every day; it's the history of this world and it cheapens life. But the blood of Incomprehensible Love of Christ, was demonstrated once for all mankind (Romans 5:8) and it makes everyone expensive! It's the blood of fervent love and it has no limitations. It breaks all the barriers of language, culture and race. It transformed the heart of an atheist like Richard Wurmbrand and even the hearts of those who tortured him.

... because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5 Holman Christian Standard Bible).

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7 New Living Translation).

There is a lot of talk today about the failing currencies of over-indebted nations and many people have turned to gold as a safe haven. But the best and only "currency" needed for our salvation is the precious blood of Jesus Christ and it has already been used to free us from the captivity of sin and death. 



Thursday, April 22, 2010

American Idol Gives Back 2010

I appreciate the efforts of all those involved in the American Idol Gives Back fund raiser. Some of last night's performers included: Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, Carrie Underwood and Elton John. The Emmy Award winning TV series has raised over $140 million dollars for charities. Some of the money raised:  helps fight Malaria, helps provides health care to children of low income families, helps feed the hungry, helps children in emergency situations and helps educate children. All are noble causes. But what about the unborn babies? In Roe v. Wade, the court held that a fetus is not a person. There is only one solution for a world in darkness and that is Light (John 8:12)! In Jeremiah 1:5, God says to Jeremiah: "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb." Approximately 1 million unborn babies are killed every year in the United States by abortion. Should anyone have the right to stop what God is forming?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Life Isn't About "I"

It was getting late. Now the disciples got into a boat and started to row across the Sea of Galilee destined for Capernaum. They had rowed several miles and now the wind had picked up and the sea became rough. Beyond the crashing waves they saw something or someone and they were filled with fear. "Do not be afraid. I AM."  It was Jesus. He could have said, "It is I." But he didn't. He said, "I AM." No argument ensued. Why would they argue? They knew their history. I AM is the one who met with Moses and led Israel out of Egypt. He fed them for forty years while they wandered in the desert. Earlier in the day the disciples had just witnessed another miracle. Jesus had not only fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, but he also provided a basket of food from the leftovers for each of his disciples. Now Jesus comes to them dancing on the waves. Suddenly they are at peace. They reach out to take Him into the boat, but miraculously, Jesus takes them boat and all to Capernaum. That added an exclamation point to what Jesus had just said. It makes me think of my life and how many times I have been rowing in my little boat trying to get to "Capernaum". If only "I" rowed a little harder and a little faster... Then the wind and rough seas pick up and I'm afraid and exhausted. But then I hear his voice, "I AM who I AM."  Life isn't about I, It's about I AM.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Book of John & Hillsong

I have been studying the book of John for months doing Bible studies and preparing to give a sermon-more to share later. But I wanted to share this music with you. The Lord has spoken to me through this song. Hillsong has so many great worship songs. I can't tell you how many times God has used music to help me through some personal trial. I hope this song will inspire you the way it has me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Time Out

This past Sunday my Pastor gave a sermon about Lent . He encouraged us to spend more time with the Lord through prayer, fasting and Bible study. He also encouraged us to take the money we save on food, from fasting and giving up some things that we enjoy, and use it to bless someone else. So I started thinking about how I am spending my time. Because obviously, if I am going to do more of something, that means I have to do less of something else. If I fast, I don't have to prepare food and I don't have to clean up. That saves me both time and money. My Pastor got me thinking about my priorities and the choices I am making. Since I consider myself a Christian, my choices and priorities are focused on two things: Jesus and people (Mat.22:37-40). So I can't see how my life would be focused on Jesus and people, if I am not spending time with them. Jesus made a choice he didn't have to make but did. He said, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work," (John 4:34) and that is exactly what He did. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

What is Brother Joe Radosti all about?

Joseph-He shall add; Radosti-Happiness & joy.

It's about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. It's about living out my passion. It's about participating in his love, compassion and mercy for humanity. Jesus is God in the flesh (John 1:1,14; Mat. 1:23; 1 Tim. 3:16). He is a witness of what is in heaven (John 3:31-34). He is love and life eternal.
(1 John 4:16; John 5:26). Once we understand who Jesus is and believe, it changes us-transforms us. When we participate in his love, compassion, and mercy; all things are possible! Sharing the gospel means sharing the love of Christ with others. So in addition to visiting and praying for sick and afflicted people at nursing homes and hospitals, we also have Bible studies and distribute clothes and blankets. We hold support group meetings to encourage those who are suffering from various hardships. We also stir one another to share God's love, compassion, and mercy with others by using our gifts, talents and resources for His glory. This blog was created to communicate Jesus' love with others and to discover additional ways to improve the way we serve Christ and those in need. My passion is to know the Lord Jesus more deeply each and every day and to express his love more effectively.

Please share your comments and suggestions. You may post them here at this blog.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Death Just A Shadow

Psalm 23:4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (parched land)  I will fear no evil. I have been through that valley-not alone thankfully; the Lord was with me and carried me through it. In 2002, after an emergency visit to Greenwich Hospital (Connecticut) and having surgery to remove a blockage in my intestine, a suture began to leak and I ended up on life support. Most of my organs failed. I had written in my journal months before during intense prayer, many scriptures including Psalm 91:2-4(NLT). This I declare of the Lord, He alone is my refuge, my place of safety, He is my God and I am trusting in Him. For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings, He will shelter you with His feathers, His faithful promises are your armor and protection. The Lord was speaking to me clearly, "I will shield you with my wings, I will shelter you with my feathers." At the time I didn't understand what He meant. I discussed it with a good friend and we prayed together often. Later when I was fighting for every breath, my friend gave encouragement to my loved ones. It was when I regained consciousness that I understood the Lord's message to me. He kept His word and "shielded me with His wings and sheltered me with His feathers." We can't get from the parched land to green pastures without the Godman Jesus, because only he has the Living Water to give. We need the Living Water to get from parched land to green pastures. Death was only a shadow and it still is for all who belong to Christ.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Can The Government Protect You?

How can the government protect you when there are people with ideologies of hatred, who are willing to put explosives in their underwear, climb aboard a commercial jet and then blow themselves up?  Unlike those who wage war against flesh and blood, followers of Christ know that we fight a spiritual battle-For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms (Eph. 6:12 NLT). Jesus taught us to love our enemies: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Mat. 5:44). You can't change the world unless the heart is changed and you can't change the heart until Jesus gets a hold of it. It's only Jesus who can transform the heart of man from that of hate, to a heart of love. Let us follow Jesus command and resist the forces of evil.