This was the first July 4th since 2010 that I have celebrated in the United States. Usually I am in Honduras at this time these past years serving at our café on Utila. Living outside the U.S.A. will give you many reasons to celebrate our incredible country. There are good roads, filled grocery stores, economic opportunity for anyone willing to work, safety to travel anywhere, freedom to share opinions and worship, and fair elections.
Have you enjoyed these benefits of living in ‘The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?’ Still, I am reminded that even though I have a U.S. passport, my real citizenship is elsewhere.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20-21
We who have decided to follow Jesus have become members of His Kingdom. What does this actually mean?
Our form of government is a monarchy. We don’t get to vote. We have a supreme ruler who has authority over everything. The special thing about this King is that he died on the cross thinking of me… and you. He loves me, and will do anything for my eternal benefit. Yes, that’s my king!
Our Kingdom has a different set of moral standards. There is a definite right and wrong, and these standards seem to be centered around doing what is best for those around you, protecting the weak, and giving of your resources to help others.
We have a different mission: we are not to live for ourselves, but rather to serve our King by doing our best to invite others to join this Kingdom. We do this through our kindness and service to those He has placed around us.
Our Kingdom has no end. We will transition from this life in our bodies that are wearing out, to eternal life in bodies that will never age. We live now for eternity.
Most of the Founders of the United States in 1776 were also members of this Kingdom. They understood all of the above, and decided to form our government here incorporating the morality and many principles from The Kingdom that would protect each of us individually, provide personal freedoms to live and worship as we choose, and allow us to prosper in a previously unimaginable manner. The result of this unique form of government set a standard in the world that many nations have tried to emulate. We became to most attractive country in the history of our world to live in.
Our founders recognized the basic sinful nature of mankind, and set up a unique separation of powers to protect us citizens from tyrannical government. They understood the basis of our unique form of government. Listen to them:
“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible”
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams
“The Bible is the cornerstone of Liberty…Student perusal of the Sacred Volume will make us better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.”
How then do we live as citizens of The Kingdom while residing here in our nations on Earth?
This is such an extraordinary time in our history! We are being challenged on many of the values that form the basis of our government. Yes we have problems….we are a nation of human beings. Yes, many of the Founding Fathers owned slaves. Yes, there has been prejudice residing our hearts that has been displayed in public, by people of all colors. Yes, there has been injustices committed against others throughout our history.
However, from a historical perspective, despite all of this, America has offered more opportunities to more people of all ethnic backgrounds than any other country, because of the many Biblical principles embodied in our Constitution. We have made many changes in my lifetime. There are more multi-ethnic marriages, more acceptance of one another, more shedding of ungodly prejudicial thinking.
May I suggest our best role in these days as citizens of the United States is to conduct ourselves as citizens of The Kingdom, letting our monarch direct our feelings and our efforts in service to those around us. Let us take our cue from our King and treat all with dignity and respect, in spite of the pressures to do otherwise. Let us never be offended by others, nor be offensive to others.
Our King is orchestrating a massive outreach to many who are witnessing the outcome of societal ungodly living. Many do not like what they see.
When they encounter us, will they like what they see us do and say? Will they feel respect, dignity and love from us? What will be their reaction when we stop to lend a helping hand? Will we be shining lights for the world to see Jesus in us?
I hope so.
Many of you enjoyed my bad reactionary behavior in my last writing. Thank you for all your support and laughter with me. I am admittedly very amusing, even to myself and I continue my process of sanctification of my wrong doings. My latest is my discovery of how exceedingly delusional I am. I told a group of young couples over dinner (as we discussed marital stuff) how I thought men were super delusional and often give themselves more credit than they ought. Little did I know how that judgement would fall on my own head like a ton of bricks.
Two of our long time inspirational good friends came over to our house for dinner and we were showing them some things that Michael finished doing (he has become a plumber, constructor, gardener, dish washer, personal bike gang leader to name a few…) Quite accomplishing as we make the best use of our consecrated covid time on Maui. He has also been using his beautiful teaching gift to give here to a couple of churches.
As we walked past a scale in the house, Michael decided to boldly get on it and see what he weighed. When we all looked down, Craig said, “Hey, that’s how much I weigh!”. He stepped on the scale. It was exactly the same. Now Craig is taller than Mike by over 2 inches and uses the scale every day to help him stay fit. Kathy (who is also looking spry and fit as ever) said something to make Michael feel comforted. We all laughed at Michael because he was so surprised that he and Craig weighted exactly the same… He got off and on a couple of times just to make sure it was right.
I had been thinking how I could be of help to Michael in my healthy cooking skills but knew he had to be “ready” to receive that kind of help from me. Everyone in my family from top to bottom likes making their own choices all by themselves and often do not look all too kindly on “advice” given by others…self revelation being a high value…another Bagby delusion, but God knows, cares and is ever dealing with us all….
Anyway, back to my own delusion…I had been thinking how blessed we have been on this trip to try and think of creative ways to stay relatively fit and still attaining to the goals that we make for ourselves along life’s ever- changing ways. One of my goals upon turning 60 has been get rid of my muffin top. So I started implementation about a year ago by changing some minor things in my daily routine of life…from cutting sugar from my daily coffee drink to other simple cut backs and additions to my physical fitness. Little did I realize how distracted and delusional I have been…until I stepped on that infamous scale and shouted at my husband who was in the room next to me, “Whoa, Michael, I am beyond my max birthing weight and I don’t think I am even pregnant! Maybe I do have a baby in there! What do you think???!”
He said, “Take off your clothes! It will help.”
“It doesn’t help at all…only by .2 ….this is unbelievable! I thought I was doing so well! I mean my muffin top isn’t there anymore, is it?”
Pause…the horrendous thought of having the bottom part of that muffin catching up to the top part so as not to be a muffin anymore came simultaneously to Michael saying, “Maybe it just disappeared …….like it got filled in.” We both burst out laughing! I don’t feel bigger…
In the morning, along the way to ride our bikes, still in some distress and delusion I said, “I still can’t believe how much I weigh…I mean um…you know, muscle weighs more than fat…” I put my left arm up as Michael drove and tried to make a muscle as he and I glanced at my measly arm and we both erupted again in laughter. “I can’t believe I am beyond my birthing weight and have grown into the muffin... I thought I was achieving my goal!”
Well, he said, “You have been saying you are hungry a lot” as if to comfort me.
I thought, “I eat healthier than you!”
Then another thought: “I did think my long pants were snug but ….not sure what I wanted to make of that…” I thought I love wearing dresses because some of them keep you in the delusion that no change is required. This culture has a dress called ‘muu muu’ and we like to wear it to Luaus so we can eat all we like and not feel the discomfort. I have been avoiding pants and I told Michael, “No wonder…I like wearing elastic so much…so comfortable” We laughed!
The moral of the story is….How often do we live in that delusional place of preventing ourselves from making choices that will better our present state of being? How I can sit smugly laughing at others all the while not paying attention to my own silly behaviors and areas I need to work on? How easy it is to be distracted from buckling down and meeting my own goals? How easy it is to look at others and feel so much better about ourselves never quite getting around to dealing with our own stuff that get in the way of our own growth?
Get the Log out! Matthew 7 (Correlating Bible Read)
Michael and I have decided together how we are to walk out some of our goals with God’s help for this next phase of our lives. We feel God has been putting into motion the next season of greatest effectiveness and how we will be most successful walking it all out. We laugh about our inabilities to attain to even the simplest physical goals…there is much more that we continue to work on and through and we are thankful to have our Savior and Lord be with us and help us in this very complex world we live in.
Please continue to pray for:
- Project Ezra …our Miskito leaders, teachers, children.
- My Father and our family as we maneuver through a difficult but divine time of his life.
- Our Team at Rio Coco as we continue to grow, influence and expand.
- Michael and I as we and all those He has called to us, by the grace of God lay out a foundation and future for all that God wants to do . Laura
For those of you who would like to support our school project in Nicaragua, or one of our missionaries, here is our secure PayPal donation page.
We appreciate your participation with us.
We are roasting some delicious coffee at our roastery in Vero Beach Florida and shipping many bags each month to friends from Virginia to Hawaii, and points in between.
We are traditional roasters who source high altitude specialty coffee from Sumatre, Papua New Guinea, Timor, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Mexico, and Ethiopia.
Our lightest roast is our First Crack Honduras and Colombia, with traditional light roast of Nicaraguan Altisimo, Honduras Blue Mountain, and Ethiopia Yirgacheffe and Ethiopia Harrar coffees.
We have some classic medium roasts: Colombia Mile High, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Timor White Star, Papua New Guinea, and Sumatra Rain .
Our dark roast lineup is our Honduras Blue Mountain, Nicaraguan Altisimo, and Truman's Negro Fino.
We also have some exquisite blends: Los Dos (Negro Fino & Nica Lt) Dos Centavos (Colombia & Ethiopia), Rio Espresso (Nica, Hondo & Ethiopia), It's Morning (Colombia, Honduras, & Nicaraguan), as well as our Hero Blends Papa Jack (Honduras Light & Dark) Sky Larkin (Ethiopia, Timor & Negro Fino) and Java Jake (Sumatra, Papua NG & Timor)
Our course we have two delicious decafs: Our medium roast Colombia Swiss Water, and our dark roast La Mexicana natural decaf.
Place your order for delivery to your door; Rio Coco Beans Coffee