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Faith Baptist of Zephyrhills

Sept. 29th, 2021

Hi Church!

What is the most valuable thing that you have ever lost? Was it a piece of jewelry, a cell phone, a ring, a wallet or purse, a family heirloom, a beloved pet, a picture…? We “lose” things all of the time. Sometimes the loss is temporary but unfortunately, sometimes it is permanent. Some things are found but many are not. Some end up in designated lost and found areas. While “things” are hard to lose, the greatest losses are loved ones.

Did you ever have a child come up missing? Maybe at a store, or festival of some sort? It is one of the most traumatic experiences for a parent. When our son Josh was about 3 years old he seemingly vanished on our family farm. My parents were on vacation, so I along with other family members were “running” the family farm. One evening during miking time, Josh came up missing. It was terrifying. On a farm like ours there were any number of places that he could have been hurt or died. There was a large unfenced manure storage “pit”. It was 100’x150’x10′ deep, and we had lost animals in it. There was a swimming pool that was not gated. There was the haymow filled with walls of hay and big holes. There were the silos and grain bins… Danger lurked nearly everywhere for a wandering child. There were miles of acres of land he could have wandered away on…

We searched and we searched those worst case scenarios looking for any sign of him but with no trace. About an hour went by (seemed like eternity), and we were exhausted from running “to and fro” on the farm. We wondered, where was he? What had happened to him? In that short time we felt every imaginable emoticon – confusion, guilt, anger, sorrow… And just writing this, brings back a flood of feelings. But then we saw him! It was him! He was barely visible, but it was clearly him!

He was 500-600 yards away trotting along behind our pair of border collies through the large hayfield that was below our barns. His little head was just visible above the grass. It was the greatest sense of relief that I had ever felt in my life. I ran as fast as I could and when I got to him, I snatched him up and just hugged him tight. He was found!

Search efforts are going on every day for missing items, pets and people. By far, the most important are the missing people. They are lost. And we wonder and fear what has happened to them. The world can be a dangerous place for lost people. The story of Gabby Petito has gripped the heart of the world and brought attention to people who go missing.

This Sunday we are going to look at another story that Jesus told. This one is about missing animals, money and loved ones. All of us can identify with these stories. They illustrate a GREAT TRUTH – EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THIS EARTH HAS VALUE TO GOD. No matter what they have done or where they are in life, God loves them and he has sent out a SEARCH PARTY TO FIND THEM AND BRING THEM HOME. You don’t want to miss this very important message! Plan to join us on Sunday as we learn more about The Search Effort that Continues For ?

I will be sending out an attachment with some requests for prayer. Thank you for praying! God answers prayer.

Searching with you,
Pastor Mike