November 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
There is a lot to complain about these days…..
Traffic on my way to work… doesn’t anyone know how to merge lanes properly instead of racing ahead and cutting people off?
Prices at the grocery store are noticeably much higher than a year ago. Filling up my car cost double than it did two years ago.
It seems most of what I purchase is made in China. Our house has had four leaks in our slab. We have had floods in the kitchen, bathroom, and garage.
And the list goes on… and on… and on.
Sometimes my adult children who grew up on the Coco River in Nicaragua sleeping in the bottom of dugout canoes and bathing in a cappuccino-colored river hear their friends complaining about some aspect of life in America and usually the turn to one another and say simply “First World Problems.”
Laura and I often have conversations that begin well, but then we take a side street called “Complaint” and find ourselves lost in a dark hole of negative comments. It’s a rough detour from pleasant conversation.
Interesting, God knows how easy it is for us to get mentally off track, and the damaging effects of letting our minds dwell on negative aspects of our lives. He tells us often in His Word how to counteract that, and keep our minds focused.
October 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
In our fast pace society, it is easy to overlook so much of the process that God is attempting to work out in our own hearts to make us more effective in our walk in this world. We ought to be a living spring naturally overflowing unto many lives and provoking many along the way to come to partake of Christ in us. This is the lifestyle of a true disciple.
A few years ago, we spent a few days in the Negev Desert, in the southern part of Israel. We were near the Red Sea, in a very remote spot, for a time of reflection after a busy two months of travel and study. We trekked for three days in the Negev with five camels and nine friends along with our guides Shaiya and Yael.
The desert is a good place to go to listen to God. There is an absence of modern noise, and life gets down to the basics. It’s just you, your camel, the rocks and sand, and God’s creation. We slept under the stars, made bread, cooked over an open fire, and even had a wolf invade our camp one night and carry off three bags.
One of the places we stopped was a waterfall. Yes, it does rain in the Negev- about an inch a year on the average. Some years it rains more, and when it does, rivers form in the wadis. This particular wadi (riverbed), called the Wadi Isaron, has a 150 foot drop- to a natural pool/cistern below.
September 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
Mirna Cunningham went to be with Jesus. After Truman, her husband, our friend and Project Director passed in 2016, she was sullen and in poor health. She no longer suffers because she is with the Lord.
“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain “
I hear this for Mirna’s life . Pray for her 8 children she left behind. Three of their children continue to help us with Project Ezra where we are now focusing more of our attention on their spiritual gains for Christ rather than just primary education. Educating the whole community…. Whether it be pastor training or simply equipping the saints for works of service, we want to gain a more focused approach to their relationship with God.
August 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
July 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
Even though we as a culture have turned away from a Biblical morality to where we do what is right on our own eyes, we are still enjoying the fruits of our Founders efforts, along with those who have sacrificed their time and lives for our freedoms. We have not been perfect in our national decisions. Many mistakes have been made, and people have suffered- from Indigenous peoples to unborn humans. We have made corrections to our bad decisions, and I believe will continue to.
After travelling and living in 31 or 32 countries of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Pacifica and Central America in these past years, I can honestly say that America is an exceptional country and the best place in the world to live. Americans are more generous in helping others than any other nation in the world.
June 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
Along the way of this creative endeavor, we may give in to distraction that leads us away from our intended work of art. Our focus gets lost. We cease to create.
We approach the table of our creative work and then choose a distraction like cleaning something along the way or zeroing in on thoughts, feelings, & reactions. The artwork gets put to the side. Incomplete.
May 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
We have a new coffee that at our roastery in Vero Beach that actually comes from the Coco River in Nicaragua. Since our profits from our coffee business go toward our school project on the Coco River, this is a very nice connection.
As most of you know, we have been providing education for Miskito Indian children along the Coco River since 1985. This year 2022 is our 37th year educating children and adults in one of the most remote corners of Central America, where not too many outsiders have come.
.........Like the process of taking hard tasteless coffee seeds and transforming them into a pleasing, nutritious beverage that provokes good thinking along with good others-centered living, we are being transformed as well from self-serving individuals into a community of God’s Kingdom on Earth. For a coffee bean, it takes the application of heat to initiate that transformation. God uses ‘heat’ in our lives to allow us to realize our need for Him, and Him personally, not just the ‘blessing’ that He brings. Be it personal disappointments, relational issues, our economy, our health, or even the cultural climate that we find ourselves, He is the source of all we need and really all we desire in this life.
April 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
My Youngest daughter Moselle once went to an Encounter at our church when she was still in grade school. She came back from this experience and declared to us that, “Everything is different now! It’s all changed!”
Michael and I had a brief second of a thought, “How different can it be for this young little sweet life?!”
From that start until this day, she has led an extraordinary existence choosing the high and narrow road keeping, maintaining and living out the priority of her relationship with God and those around her.