February 2020 Conchshell Chronicles
It is Time
One of the most significant passages in the Bible is recorded in the first chapter of Acts when, after His miraculous resurrection, Jesus disciples ask him:
So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8
In His answer to this all-important question, Jesus uses two Greek words that define “time”.
The first is “chronos,” and the second “kairos.”
One of my dictionaries defines chronos as “a definite time, a while, period, season, periods of time, with chronological accuracy,” (Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English lexicon). From chronos we get the word “chronometer”, a highly accurate instrument for measuring time especially for navigational uses. Most of us wear a type of chronometer on our wrists.
Kairos is a different kind of time, and often translated as epoch, season, era, age, occasion, and opportunity, but in a more strategic sense. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament offers this insight into the meaning of kairos.
‘Nevertheless, the linguistic development of the term clearly suggests that the basic sense is that of the “decisive or crucial place or point,” whether spatially, materially or temporally.’
In my daily life, I deal with chronos. I have meetings to attend, opening hours of the cafes, and workouts at the gym. But in my life as a whole, I experience kairos, like when my pants get too tight! It’s time to make a change!
Chronos is me getting this newsletter in the mail on time.
Kairos is what is happening on the Rio Coco now: It seems we are entering a new season.
Last week we were visited by Alex Semenyuk, a Ukrainian-American who pastors a church in Atlanta. Alex’s father was thrown in jail in the Soviet Union for three years for being a Christian pastor. After he was released, somehow, he got permission to bring his family to the United States.
Photo: Larry Boan, Alex, Michael, Laura, Nutie & Tom
All of Alex’s family are involved in the work of the Kingdom, and he has brought three teams to the Coco River in these past two years. Now we are talking about a partnership in a focused discipleship and church planting strategy in all the villages where we have been educating children since 1986.
I spoke to our project director Danilo Cunningham a few times this week. He is facing many issues in dealing with a Nicaraguan government which is broke and trying to squeeze the NGO’s for money. They are asking us for much, and threating fines if we don’t comply with their new regulations on teacher salaries, social security payments, building safety, fire escape plans, fire extinguishers, certification of boats, motors, & drivers, etc, etc. Government bureaucracy has arrived in force in our remote corner of Central America!
At the same time, Danilo is recognizing that he is in prime time to make his impact on the spiritual climate on the Coco River. His training in Children’s ministry at Hope Chapel Maui and his year of Biblical culture education in Jerusalem have well prepared him for a new Kairos. As he told me “Maik, I am 42 years old, and it is my time to reach the hearts of our students.” All he is asking me for us the money to conduct teacher/pastor workshops, and conferences for our students.
Augusto Vicente is walking on his new leg but having trouble with stairs in our office building. Danilo wants to move our offices from the second floor to the first, to accommodate Augusto. Great idea! He just needs the funds to do it.
Augusto told me in our last conversation that his new leg was a signal to him that God still had plenty of work for him to accomplish. I reminded him of our time in October 1997 when we spent the day sitting in the Garden of Gethsemane, listening to what God had to say to us all. He spoke very clearly to Augusto that day, regarding his role in creating a climate of worship on the river. He agreed that it was the season to focus on this.
Reinforcements are arriving. It’s Kairos.
Photo: Bible Study is perhaps the most important class of the day in our Project Ezra Schools. We teach in the Miskito language.
What is our most precious resource? Its not money, or material things. It is Time. Time cannot be replaced. Once it passes, nothing will bring it back.
One of our most listened songs in these past month for Laura and I is “Time Waits For No One”, which has an incredible guitar solo by Mick Taylor, but even more poignant lyrics.
“Time can tear down a building, or destroy a woman’s face.
Hours are like diamonds, don’t let them waste.”
Kairos becomes very personal for me in our passage from Acts 1, where Jesus tells me not focus on trying to figure out the times and epochs, but to simply follow the Holy Spirit in His campaign to bring all into relationship with God. It is through this “following” that I would “know” when a corner in time is coming.
I like turning corners. I love to see God doing special things, and transforming my life. At this point, this is what really matters . I don’t want to waste another moment.
It’s Kairos. Michael
A Soldier’s Child
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27
We had opportunity last month to work with our dear friend Daryl Mackin and his foundation, A Soldier’s Child, and wrap and ship over 200 February birthday presents for children whose military father or mother has died serving our country.
Daryl began A Soldiers Child in 2007, and now serves over 2500 children with birthday and Christmas presents, summer camps, scholarships, and more. It is quite a story that began when his neighbor was preparing a birthday party for his grandson- the first after his own son, (and the boy’s father) had been killed in combat in Iraq. On that same day, Daryl was preparing a birthday party for his own son. Suddenly it hit him how his neighbor must be feeling, and crossed the street to help out.
This one birthday party was the seed of a Holy Spirit inspiration to begin honoring the fathers (and mothers) of these orphan children and their widows by providing birthday and Christmas presents. He found families in his neighborhood, then his city, then his state and suddenly found himself inundated with requests to include more and more orphans from all over the country. We have been blessed to be part of a “wrap & ship” for these past three years, and each time, one of the families comes for a special birthday party.
Such moments of caring and honoring the fallen!
Daryl is a master chef who has been our friend since we met on Maui in the early 90’s. He has made multiple trips to Honduras with us. He also helped us start the Vero Rio Coco Café in 2011 by training our children on a few breakfast and lunch items. Daryl and his wife JoJo are some of our favorite people on the planet.
Mikaela, Arielle, Laura & Moselle spent Friday at WalMart purchasing cartloads of presents. Saturday we wrapped and palletize the boxes with our friends at Central Assembly. Scott Coffey and I surprised Daryl with a “wrap” at the end of the day.
That was the fun part.
Such a sweet ministry! www.asoldierschild.org
Photo: Laura loves feeding people AND birds!
God doesn’t need our input, acknowledgement, thanks, praise or honor but because He designed us for relationship with Him and each other, It is always a worthy trait to give our Creator what we were designed to give and to live for.
I watch and care for my surroundings from my Husband, to children, teammates, plants, household, flowers, food, our cats and whatever else I am responsible for. My priority is always to let my Creator in on every moment because each one really belongs to Him and I am remiss if I do my day and time without His divine input. I am able to get a head start on what is truly important when I intentionally make that acknowledgement happen.
The legendary Movie, AVATAR had one take home for me… ”I SEE YOU”. The great eye to eye contact that is often completely lost in our culture. It often appears that my world around me cares less about people and more about whatever is happening on their phones…outside of the present…
I am dismayed by the tendencies of many who are together physically but so far away from that precious moment because there is no SEEING ONE ANOTHER in that moment.
VALENTINES DAY IS UPON US and it is a time to reflect on Love and to be intentional about acknowledging Love and those we appreciate in our lives. My greatest gift I can give to any moment is my full attention and intention to give myself. It demands eye to eye and an all-out concentration on the other person I am with. I am consciously trying to practice this art of Seeing and acknowledging…of being in the moment and giving my full attention to the people around me. Looking even strangers in their faces and at least acknowledging with a smile…having random positive remarks that come to my mind and speaking it outloud to people. Amazing how responsive and happy people become when they are acknowledged and noticed for something positive. It fades any angry face or attitude.
“What the world needs now is Love sweet Love no not just for some but for everyone…”
Dionne Warwick sang that song and it comes to me especially when someone gets me irritated…I remember that we all are struggling with something…some more than others and it helps me regain a sense of compassion, grace and forgiveness.
My mom used to always say, “If you don’t have something nice to say….don’t say it.” I did not practice that very well for a very long time, but I have become tired of facing the consequences of my own stupidity so I have grown and continue to strive to practice the trait of only saying what will give edification and grace to every moment and person. (Ephesian 4:29) It does bear much better fruit in my life when I am practicing good, kind and encouraging words.
I am becoming a better Valentine as I practice using better words, see my surroundings with gratitude and acknowledge my Creator and those He created as valued entities .
Happy intentional Loving on this Valentine Celebration !!!!!
I will be on Oahu with my family at the end of this month, and the rest of the Bagby Bunch will be coming in March to spend a few weeks on Oahu and Maui. We hope to see many of you!
Let’s Give Thanks!
1) For a new partnership on the Coco River.
2) That Danilo & Augusto are getting “fresh vision”.
3) That we are beginning our 35th school year !
If you want to help out this month, donate online at Seek The Lamb Giving
Fire Your Spiritual Arrows
Please pray that God would
1) Allow us all the time we need to accomplish His mission.
2) Let us focus on the people He places in front of us.
3) Provide for all the financial needs of school project and our missionaries in Nicaragua, Florida & Honduras.
Your prayers make things happen!
Rio Coco Beans Coffee
We are roasting and shipping coffee from our Vero Beach Roastery to many homes and offices from here to Hawaii, and points in between.
Our most popular single origin coffee is from the island of Timor. This is a complex, smooth coffee with hints of almonds, vanilla, and chocolate. We roast it to a medium degree and dump it from the roaster at the height of the second crack.
Our best selling blend is It's Morning, which a combination of light roast Honduran and Nicaraguan coffee mixed with a medium roast Colombian. Plenty of kick with citrus, spicy tones. It's a exquisite way to start the day.
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Thanks for spending time with us today>
Aloha until next month.
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