October 2017 Conchshell Chronicles
Life has been very “Full” these past two months. Getting back from the summer on Utila took a few days of adjustment. Then “Birthday Season” began on September 1st, followed by Laura leaving for Honolulu on Monday the 4th. It was Tuesday that we realized Hurricane Irma was heading our way, and Sunday she hit the entire state of Florida- it was a massive storm, with stronger winds than I expected. The clean up took us longer, as there were two more storms out there threatening us. The rains came, and it poured for two weeks straight, every day. The front yard became a swamp.
I noticed my gutter on the front of the garage was sagging and leaking on the seam. I bought seven-inch nail supports, and a tube of sealer. Last week, it finally cleared up for a day, and I got the ladder and drill out, my nails and sealer, and positioned myself on the ladder. In a few moments, I repaired the sagging drain. Then I got my flathead driver and began cleaning out the seam so I could apply the sealer to a clean metal surface. I then took a wet rag and really got it ready. Then I looked around for the tube of sealer.
It wasn’t on the ladder. I looked in the gutter, left and right. No dice. I climbed down and looked on the tool bench in the garage. Then in the laundry room. Then I climbed back up on the ladder and looked in the gutter again. What a mystery! The tube of sealer was nowhere to be found.
I spent the next twenty minutes retracing my steps. I could not find it. I asked the Lord to help me, and ended up in at my desk in the office, where I stayed for the rest of the day. Later I drove to the café, and to Lowes, and back home. As I was pulling into the driveway, I saw it- the tube of sealer. It was lying on the roof, right above the gutter seam. That is where I strategically positioned it as I setup for the job. But in all my haste, I had forgotten where I put it. While I was looking down the gutter in both directions, (twice) I never looked up, where it was 12 inches from my head.
Yes I felt like the fool. It’s a sensation that happens often these days! But then these words came to mind:
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
These words are famous, because they are the very first Scripture quoted on the Moon. My friend Jim Irwin spoke these words in 1971 when he was on the Moon’s surface during the Apollo 15 mission and looked up to the surrounding mountains and ravines of the Hadley-Apennine region.
I always understood the psalmist to be saying that when he needed help, he lifted his eyes from the problem in front of him, “Up” to the Lord, who would provide all the needed assistance.
In my gutter repair job, I had looked all over for my tube of sealer. If only I had looked up both times when I was on the ladder instead of just looking sideways down the gutter.
As I meditated on this later, I realized that in my chaotic life, I often look to God for the answers. But some of the times, many of the times, I just keep my focus down on my circumstances, and try to figure it out myself.
I can think of the times that I have looked to myself for the answers to relationship situations, and acted out of my emotions. I have seen limited success with this. With one of my children it became apparent that my way wasn’t working, and then I paused and “looked up” in a moment of frustration. “Don’t get emotional! Be gentle!” said the Lord. I followed His advice, and our relationship slowly changed over the next few months.
I have often strived in my ministry and business project to “make it happen. Again, limited success, mostly because of the stress I and the others around me felt. I cannot do that anymore. I look up daily and ask the Lord to amaze me with His Presence, and His Actions. I ask Him to allow me to enjoy the moments in the process. He has. It has been amazing.
My professional life is focused now on leading a team of 59 men and women in Nicaragua who are administrating the eight schools and 1697 students on the Rio Coco. I will meet with them next month to discuss this year and plan the next. God has provided us with very experienced leaders (Danilo, Augusto, Onofre, Rodolio, Nutie, & Tom) who really do an incredible job working within the Miskito culture, with a limited budget. Amazing! I have trust in their judgment, and leave the daily details to them. I’m constantly asking the Lord how I can best support them. That is my role now.
I’m also responsible for the Café ministry on the Caribbean island of Utila. We have many issues with the café
property, and a shortage of team members, yet God has provided us with two new team members, my brother and his wife Ginger, who arrived there today to oversee the café and team for the rest of this year. I’m enjoying a new season of working with my brother- and watch him wash dishes so well, which he rarely did when we were growing up. Mom always asked me to do the dishes since I did a better job. He’s a great dishwasher now!
The café ministry is such an open door to so many who have never walked into a church, or met true Christ followers. Yes it is hot, and yes there are challenges living in the Third World. But the rewards are great, and we are thankful for the opportunity to serve there.
The café in Vero Beach continues to be an open door to so many. We just had a class of Swiss pilot return home after four months with us. None of these guys had ever been to a church, yet they noticed something special about the café and our team. Will the words I spoke to them make an eternal difference? We know God has a plan for each one of those young pilots, and He set a few signposts in their paths while they were here.
We are opening another café in Vero Beach. This one is a small space downtown in the oldest commercial building in Indian River County- 1926. Today the plumbers came, as well as the glass man who changed the door. I ask God to amaze me in this complex operation, and He has. We will need more team members when this one opens in a few weeks. I know that He has them already lined up. Currently we have 13 on our team- eight Asians & five Haoles. We meet weekly for Bible study, and share many meals. I love each one! God provides! The Café ministry is growing, and touching many! I am the innocent bystander…….
Life is good when you look to the Lord for guidance and His power for overcoming the issues of this life. It can be hell if you keep your eyes down. You will never find the sealer for the leaks in your gutter. Michael
From the Author of Peace,
We are promised to have it .
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding . In all of your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight .” Prob 3:5-6
In the straightness of our path that God gives to our hearts , lies perfect peace that casts out all fear .
“Do not be anxious for anything but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Peace . It guards our hearts and minds in Christ . I need protection. Everyday we all get assaulted by a variety of challenges that come against our general State of Well-being and peace.
Sometimes we are confronted with plain evil that messes with us and our protected groove of peace … evil that cannot he explained away in human terms. In this world we will have tribulations but Jesus overcomes the world and all of the forces that operate.
It is so easy to get caught up in moments or distracted out of God’s place for our lives unless we
practice the discipline of focus in staying well protected by God and his barriers of peace that overshadow any moment or situation. Practice and the working out of our salvation is constant and very intentional lest we get lost in chaos out of the will of God and his peace. Takes only a moment of choice in either direction. Laura
Please pray that God will:
1) Provide all the finances need by our missionary team;
2) Bring more ministers to our Rio Coco Café team. “The fields are white for harvest…”
We appreciate your prayers. They Change Everything!
How Can You Help This Month?
1) Support a Seek The Lamb volunteer in the café and school project.
2) Pray for us!
3) Purchase Rio Coco Bean coffee.
You may donate online at seekthelamb.com—”Give”. Thanks!
May 5 to 16, 2018 $2989
It’s been 10 years since our last study tour to Israel with Dr. Randy Smith, and many of you have asked us when we are going again.
Understanding the Bible in its historical and cultural setting so enriches your study and understanding of God’s Word. Standing in the same airspace and following the footsteps of Biblical people makes a connection to the Bible that can only happen in The Land.
We will begin at the coast and travel north to Galilee, spending our days in Biblical places. Heading south along the Jordan River, we will spent the next portion around the Dead Sea and Negev Desert. Finally we will go up to Jerusalem, where the drama of the Gospels unfold.
We have done this study six times, and it still opens doors of understanding and inspiration. We will have fun, delicious local food, breathtaking panoramas, and inspirational teaching from one of the very best experts on Biblical culture.
Much of the scope of our studies can be found in our books co-authored with Dr. Smith: Echoes Into Eternity, Living in the Spiritual World, and the Vision Behind the Verses, all available on Amazon.com.
Here is the itinerary and registration form, along with more information. Clik on ech to download the pdf file.
Order some of the tastiest coffee available.
Thanks for spending time with us this month!
To contact us please use our
Mail: P.O. Box 2151 Vero Beach FL 32961