March 2017 Conchshell Chronicles
My life is a whirlwind.
I just got back from one trip and now I’m packing for the next. There is one after that, then a long one in June. I remember the day I was baptized, July 4, 1982, at Wailea Beach on Maui. After Craig and Jason dunked me under, I swam about 200 yards offshore, and as I floated on my back, I told the Lord, “I’ll follow you now Lord, just let me travel.”
He is letting me travel. Thanks. Now if only I can get all the piles of paper cleared up in my office. The garage is full of stuff, and needs some work. I still have not finished cleaning up the yard from Hurricane Matthew in October.
And I just got a notice for jury duty.
Can you relate?
Yet I have found some sweet times walking through these days with the Lord, and honestly have had many enjoyable moments with my family. I think I have finally understood: It is all about living in the present, enjoying the moments that God gives me, and letting Him work out the details of the day.
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them “The Lord’s Prayer.”
“Our Father, who is in Heaven, Great is your name. Let your Kingdom come, let your will be done, on Heaven and in Earth. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sin, as we forgive those who have sinned against us, and lead us not into temptation…”
This a fine outline for a successful day. When I acknowledge God for who He is, and then ask Him to let His Kingdom come into my life, and let His will be done, I am really asking Him to take charge of my day. I want to give Him the opportunity to lead me through the day. When there are obstacles, He is there to take me through. When there are people who need a touch of God from me, then I stop what I am doing, and get involved. When suddenly I sense the presence of God in a moment, then I stop to enjoy.
I realize I have issues, and I am constantly asking Him for forgiveness, and help to overcome. Others are like me, and when they have hurt me or offended me, I am now quick to forgive. I have to for my own mental health.
There are many needs in my family, in my body, and in the projects that I am involved in. I like to take things to Him, and not be worrying about them all day. I’ve tried that and it just doesn’t work!
There is a lot going on now on the Rio Coco. I have frequent telephone conversations with my friends Damilo, Augusto, and Onofre. They have just taken school supplies, and cement downriver. We have a team coming from two of our cafes- the Radford Coffee Co. and the Rio Coco Café- going to Nicaragua in a few weeks. There will be six of our servers/baristas traveling with Eric & Barbara Johnson to visit our schools, and to build a walkway in Sawa. This will be a hands-on project for our team who are responsible for much of the fundraising we do through our non-profit businesses. They all will be touched by the experience, and be better communicators of the vision. It will be a sweet time.
Our primary schools are open in seven communities, with our secondary school in Living Creek. We have 1697 students enrolled, with 43 teachers and seven administrators on the payroll. I am amazed at the ability that the Lord gives us each month to send the money for salaries, gas money, and school supplies! Thanks to all you who are making it happen.
We have had busy days at the Rio Coco Café in Vero Beach. Many Bible study groups use the café each week – at least seven that I know of, and probably more. Our team has just finished a study of the book of Nehemiah, and our Israeli member ‘Eela, was there to pronounce the Hebrew names. Nice! There are so many leadership and spiritual warfare principles in this book, and my son Lukas did a very nice job leading the discussions. Although the Monday morning study is voluntary, all of our team participated, and it was a growing experience for us all.
We have targeted specific clients of the cafe in our prayers, and God has given us definite answers! Open doors for conversations! Meaningful moments. Deep personal discussions. It is amazing what happens when you express friendship to others, and serve them. This is what we are about.
I have finally found the time to publish the second and third books in the “Things That Really Matter” trilogy. Echoes Into Eternity was the first, and now there are two more. As I have spent the hours sitting at my computer and writing, and most importantly listening to my Inspirational Boss, I have had a renewal of many thoughts and attitudes. It’s a fact: the greatest beneficiary of a writing project is the writer himself! God does so much in the process! If there is a story in any of you, let me know and I will walk you through the process of getting it in print.
Finally, I am well aware of the tactics of the enemy to distract me, and get me off the playing field. We all have been there. “Yes Lord, let me not fall into the traps of the enemy! Keep me on your path. I need your help!”
As you receive this, we are on Maui working with Hope Chapel. Laura and I will be doing a class on Tuesday nights and visiting our friends at Kumulani and Waipuna Chapels. We look forward to seeing many of you in this next month. Contact me please if you have a moment for some coffee (772.633.6808). MB
GOALS, DEADLINES, PREPARATION, TRIPS, MEETINGS, ACCOMPLISHMENTS, COMMITMENTS, TO DO’S, BOOKS TO WRITE, HAIR TO DO, CLASSES TO PREPARE, WEDDINGS, PARTIES, PAINTING FLOORS, WALLS, MOVING HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE, PEOPLE, ETC, ETC, ETC………
There is this one factor that trumps, defines, propels and accomplishes the impossible through all the impossibilities of this life….
We know it as the “GOD FACTOR”.
We have full weeks. There is life at the café, where I get to serve my friends a special lunch plate each day. Then there is hair: I love the artistry in my profession. I love making people look their best. Then there is the gym. I love dancing and exercising my body. I was fortunate to have the first “Move & Groove” class at the café last week. Over 60 attended! We had so much fun, and it was the first class I taught since Michael dragged me off to the jungle 29 years ago. There is so much opportunity working in this crowd. As the darkness gets darker, our light shines even more brightly. And of course, there is my family, which I love working with. I get to spend quality time with each of them every day.
Michael has been in the same groove. He has been writing two books, washing dishes at the café, teaching his three studies each week, and he found time to paint the back room floor after my dance party.
The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Prov 3:5-6
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt 6:33
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives generously and without reproach. But let him ask in faith without any doubting. For the man who doubts is like the wave driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6
We ask believing that God will do what He says he will do. The only way we survive in this crazy world is to receive our “orders” from our King and Lord.
As we do as He says, the many factors of this life fall into its appropriate places in the most miraculous ways. This way of faith is a hard thing to explain, but once experienced cannot be denied or doubted.
I am a believer in my eternal destiny with the Creator of the universe who is The Giver of Life, the Way and the Truth. I live and will die by this Truth made real in my heart. Daily I am deeply persuaded by this poignantly real force that exists and runs freely in my heart and is made manifest before my eyes with every breath that I take….every goal I ever make, my steps in preparation and deciding, my schedule, my trips I am to take, my meetings that need to occur, any accomplishment great or small, my commitment I am helped to keep and all the other movements I get to make…I am often overcome and driven by this undeniable FORCE that keeps me , sustains me, moves me and frequently delivers me from harm.
I am grateful for my faith and trust in the GOD FACTOR. Without it, I cannot imagine life and all the goodness that exist in it and through it.
Blessed are those who believe….I pray that all will see and experience the greatness, the comfort, the ease and the power of the GOD FACTOR. The REAL STORIES AND ADVENTURES of life only begin with that eternal factor…THE GOD FACTOR. Our lives are full and meaningful because of it.
This month we have published two book for your enrichment and enjoyment.
The Vision Behind The Verses
Why is the most published book in history often the most misunderstoood? How did our modern culture get to the point of regarding the Bible as nothing more than mythology and philosophy? What does archeology say about the Bible? Are their easy paths to understand the message?
Here is a more in depth description:
Join a round table discussion between Dr Randy Smith, Laura Bagby, and Michael Bagby on Angels and Demons, The Bible, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, as well as God’s Favored Creation- Mankind. Explore what the Bible says about these important topics.
How Can You Help This Month?
1) Help us purchase school supplies for Project Ezra. Much is needed.
2) Sponsor a Seek The Lamb missionary. We are volunteers.
3) Purchase Rio Coco Bean coffee.
You may donate online at seekthelamb.com—”Give”. Thanks!
Please pray that God will:
1) Safe & productive travel as we spend the next week in Hawaii.
2) Provide more workers for the Café ministry team.
We appreciate your prayers. They Change Everything!
We just received our green coffee from Maui Grown Coffee. It is some of the finest that we offer. Also we have an organically grown coffee from a small farm in Nicaragua that we know you will enjoy.
Remember that our coffee business profits go to fund our school project in Nicaragua!
Order at http://riococobeans.com