JULY 2017 CONCHSHELL CHRONICLES
Above the door to my junior high school in Reynoldsburg Ohio was chiseled the words “You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
At the time I thought “How nice!”, and that year I learned how to do differential equations, and other random stuff. Later on I learned from my chemistry teacher, Mrs. Datish, that an experiment had been done by Miller and Urey at the University of Chicago in 1952 that proved that life had originated in a primordial swamp when a bolt of lighting had struck and formed amino acids. During my university years I learned that many smart men did not believe in God, and that the Bible was a really book of mythology and philosophy that I could not trust. I also learned that Christian morality didn’t really fit into my world, and that I could decide what was right and wrong.
I was successful in many areas of my life, but very confused in others. Ask any of my friends from that era. Some are reading this right now. Am I right my friends?
Then in 1981 I had an experience with God, and He became real in my life. As a historian, I decided to see if the Bible was a trustworthy book filled with valid historical facts. That is when I read these words in the book of John:
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (So there was something missing from the chiseled words above the entrance to the Reynoldsburg Junior High!)
“But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” John 8:31-33
The Geographical context of this conversation is important. This discussion took place in the Temple at Jerusalem which was overshadowed by the Antonia Fortress and it’s four towers that stood 115 feet above the Temple floor. The Romans built this massive fortress in 35 B.C. on a hill on the northwest corner of the Temple mount. We have often descended below the Via Dolorosa to a platform where you can see the bottom foundation of one of the four towers.
“We have never been slaves to anyone…?” Really? Ignore that tower…” That was me– denying reality.
Jesus says that if we remain faithful to his teachings and connected to Him, we will somehow know the truth, which will set us free. It is a spiritual dynamic, given by the Holy Spirit.
Understanding God and His ways, and leaning into Him with simple acts of obedience, brings understanding and Truth. There are physiological, psychological, and sociological explanations for many aspects of this process, but it comes from having a spiritual connection with God.
In our Tuesday morning men’s group, we discussed what exactly Jesus has set us free from. It was an incredible discussion from 10 men who have had many life experiences: a championship race car driver, a millionaire software engineer, a Hell’s Angel, highly successful business men, accomplished athletes, successful husbands and fathers.
One was dealing with a potentially fatal illness in his extended family. “Jesus frees us from death. We will never die, just pass from this life to the next.”
Another said: “We are freed from the judgement of God.”
Another: “We become aware of the sources of relationship issues, and are able to cope and find freedom to enjoy.”
“We have the power of prayer, freed from the despair of hopeless situations.”
“We are freed from the identity that the world tries to give us through our jobs, and our accomplishments, and understand our true identity as God’s children.”
“We are free from our past failures, and empowered to accomplish impossible things.”
“We are free from our narcissist character to live a life of service to those around us.”
“We are free from the power of sin in our lives, and given the chance to lean into God and his power to change us, instead of condemning us.”
“We are free to tell others about our experience with God, and even though they may ridicule us, we are free from their opinions.”
We all started our adult lives figuring things out on our own. We were somewhat successful, but most of us shared a common trait of taking things to the edge- we were intense men. All of the 10 men in our group then had their own personal experience with God, like I did. Everything changed. Now we live as men freed from the philosophies of this world, freed from speculation of what happens after death, freed from appearing at the judgement seat of God, freed from serving ourselves to focus on those around us, freed from past failures, freed from hopeless situations, freed from hurts and anger that destroys relationships, and free to walk in our relationship with our God knowing what He thinks of us.
This month we celebrate Independence Day. July 4th is a significant day in the life of our nation, and I was baptized on July 4th, 1982 at Wailea Beach on Maui. Its all about Freedom, and our Founding Fathers understood that this Freedom ultimately came from “Providence” – their term for our Heavenly Father. He is the one who provides the basis for these freedoms.
Let’s celebrate that this month! MB
34 Jesus replied, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:34-36
The Unbroken Groove
Freedom from outside voices, comments, hurts, issues, habits, sins, tendencies, the world and people in general that can bind us up like no other. Unfortunately, we will not live sinless totally free lives on this side of heaven, but the greater we are controlled by a Perfect Source of Power, goodness and Love the more we will find freedom even in the worst of circumstances and trials.
Love covers a multitude of sin and Perfect Love casts out all fear. There is a place of freedom and safety for each of us. I find myself keep going back to that place of refuge, strength and safety. Without it I literally do feel doomed, overwhelmed, sad and lost. I find myself in both worlds….the one that I know Someone greater than myself is in charge where Freedom is alive & well and the one that I try to control, get tangled up in knots and begin digging a hole for myself that makes me ineffective and unable to move about in freedom, love and a sound mind and heart. Not a good place. People, places, circumstances break my Groove and my rhythm I have with my Safe Place. I allow myself to get intimidated because I am not secure enough in my Place of rhythm and peace.
When I receive a mandate, direction and command from my One Authority, I simply need to follow through with confidence attaining to my goals so I am not dissuaded by anything or one. I follow through with peace, not willing to break my stride and walk in any of the many interruptions I have in life.
I am learning so much about freedom and proper boundaries for myself. How not to get caught in the fly traps that used to plague me…this becomes less and less…as I am aware of the trap and aware of the Higher Source that rises above all to overcome sin . I remember He is the End game and I am a player for Him that lives to please Him and serve the world that He placed me in.
Pray for us as we go on our mission to Utila and literally will be serving the world…people from every nation will come to our little Café and be touched.
We are also preparing another place of ministry right in the middle of the town of Vero Beach via hospitality and coffee. The scope of our family and ministry continue to grow as we minister together and teach and disciple others in our midst.
We thank all of you who come alongside of us in support, love, prayers, words of encouragement…we need you in our lives. We are all trying to duplicate ourselves all along the way believing we are making more disciples of Freedom…It has been the greatest adventure ever…so thankful to have each of you along for the ride to eternity. Laura
This month and next we are back on our Caribbean island of Utila, off the north coast of Honduras where we have had a Rio Coco Café since the summer of 2011. Many of our friends are awaiting our arrival, and will be lined up outside our gate at 7:00 am waiting for a cup of our coffee and piece of the world famous Banana Bread. We will have so much opportunity to make friends and shine the Light of the World in their direction.
We have seen God touch many in these past 5 years, and we love serving our friends in this manner. It is amazing what serving good coffee and food will do for friendships and sending echoes into eternity! MB
Please pray that God will:
1) Touch many who come into our café on Utila– that they may know Him;
2) Provide for the teachers in Nicaragua as well as our personal needs while on Utila;
3) Protect us from the schemes of the enemy on Utila!
We appreciate your prayers. They Change Everything!
How Can You Help?
- Support a Seek The Lamb team member serving in Central America and the U.S.
- Support our school project in Nicaragua.
- Purchase Rio Coco Beans Coffee @riococobeans.com.
You may donate online at
Rio Coco Beans Coffee
Order coffee that will be roasted today and shipped tomorrow (more or less!)
Support our school project in Nicaragua with each purchase?
Here is where to order.
Thanks for joining us this month. Please contact us at
Seek The Lamb
P.O. Box 2151 Vero Beach Florida 32961