July 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
Israel Study Tour 2023
April 25-May 5 2023
Dr Randy Smith teaching at the Caesarea Maritima amphitheater
After many inquiries, we have scheduled a time in 2023 to go to Israel with our friend Dr Randy Smith and study Biblical Culture, visit many Biblical sites, all the while asking the question “What did they hear Him say? What is the Bible really saying to us in this 21st Century?” We will enjoy moments of meditation of the greatest event in history as we sit in the airspace, marveling what God has done in history, as well as or lives.
We have been with Randy on at least 10 study tours to Israel, Italy, Greece and Turkey, and he is the very best to walk a site with.
All is information is on a downloadable pdf which you will find at https://www.seekthelamb.com/pages/biblical-studies
Call Joan or Larissa at Christian Travel Study Programs to get your name on the list. Our space is limited.
email@example.com tel:800-371-4485 www.studytrip.info
Here is the page to download the complete itinerary.
Photo: Pierre, Craig and Michael praying at the Western Wall
Photo: on the streets of La Ceiba Honduras, where we lived for 14 years, we found the perfect pair of wings for my angel.
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.”
I Peter 4:12-13
When I went to Oahu to be with my dad on my last visit, we had the goal of getting a few things in order with the help he was receiving. I worked with the current caregiver which we all agreed was not the right fit for my father. Lots of red flags and inappropriate behavior. Anyway I tried my best to work with her and give her the benefit of the doubt. God helped us through the process and made a way for us to simply let her go on her own volition praying that she would move on without any unpleasant exchanges between us. After a month or so of arriving back to Florida, I received in the mail an official envelope that looked super special with my full name and PO Box on it. The outside of the envelope said “Sincerely, Not” with an address in the corner. “Mmm...It seemed fun and interesting! The excitement heightened as I saw a brown envelope within a plastic wrap on the inside. “I wonder who wrote me something encouraging?!”
I was confused when I got to the front of the card and it read “I’M SORRY…ABOUT YOUR basic bitch problems.” I thought, “Yeah I do have some of those for sure…” Smile. I try not to take myself too seriously… Then I opened it and it read in basic handwriting “Ur not only a basic bitch…but an generic ugly, filthy, slant eyed rat eating bitch….filthy worthless twat.” Wait . What?! Who would write that in their handwriting and take all that trouble to go through a company that specializes in anonymous hate mail and pay money for it to happen?! A very hurt and put out person…
This was such a classic illustration of how we receive from those around us and make a choice on our response….My prayer has repetitively been over the past 45 years of being a follower of Jesus, “Please make me more like You and less of me.” The problem I have is: I keep getting in the way of Him and taking over with my own devices, feelings, thoughts, hurts, understanding and I do NOT immediately hand it all over to the Only One Who is Perfect and Complete to gain His peace, understanding and wisdom. I forget who is actually in Charge. There is only One who will do anything for me because of His great Love for me. I forget that only He can save me and those around me and I cannot change anything or one but myself (and even that is a impossibility without Jesus overcoming and freeing me once I decide for Him, with Him and by Him).
I am surprised at how quickly I forget TRUTH and how easily I get knocked off of the Straight and narrow. It takes but a millisecond and I am off joining evil in all of its normalcy. I forget that we are all but journeying through this life trying to get to the other Side. We are in the battle for our souls to remain ever given over to the Creator free from the evil that abounds in us and around us. I forget that there is but one enemy that is constant in his exploits to do evil. I forget that there is One Savior that died for all evil and is the One and Only Perfect One who I can trust, serve, and believe.
I choose to keep this amusing card that I received as a great reminder to me that I have a choice at the response I make to all that happens around me. I do not have to defend myself or try to get my own revenge or way in any matter…God sees all, knows all and loves all and He will take care of all things. He knows my needs before I even ask.
“Help us to lean upon You, Lord in all matters of our lives and look to You alone for the need of every moment of every day. Only you can fulfill, free and fully understand us” Prov 3:5-6
I thank you that you know us completely and still care for us. ”
We are all happy to be back on Utila!
Our school project on the Rio Coco is in full swing. Our school year is from February to December, and rainy season is upon us. We have repaired many of the school roofs since the disastrous hurricanes Eta and Iota of 2020, but there is still work to do to make them completely dry. This is our 36th year of educating Miskito Indian children, and we are happy to see what God is doing through all our combined efforts.
Future teachers, nurses, wives, mothers.
We spend the last two weeks in June at our Rio Coco Café on Utila. Because of the virus lockdowns, it’s been over two years since we have been there. Finally, Honduras has opened up, and many divers are coming to our island for their scuba and free dive certification courses. Our property is in very good condition as our carpenter Robert and his wife Karla have been very faithful in cleaning and caring for the property.
Robert has been a faithful co-workers at the Utila Cafe.
He does beautiful work on our buildings and docks.
Robert has done a magnificent job of extending and widening our dock, and the second deck is almost finished. We are making plans to reopen in early 2023.
Any volunteers out there looking for an opportunity to reach the international crowd of young people who flock to our delicious coffee and food? It’s a 3-month stint of café ministry, and the fields are ripe for harvest.
Living in these two countries had been one of the most profound experiences of my life. Experiencing the culture and living in often very primitive conditions, eating simple food, travelling in rather rugged trucks and boats, enjoy “ambient temperatures” where a cool breeze and dip in any available water makes the difference in sleeping well at night has given me a great appreciation of what I experience when I return to the United States of America.
First there is the roads. Paved, smooth, and continuous. I can generally count on getting to my destination in America without washed out road and bridges issues.
Then there are the uniformed armed men who stop and ask to see passports. I appreciate the security but the reasons behind the stop bother me. Some are looking for lunch money. Others are looking for criminals, and there is a lot of that in my third world environment. With the corruption that is rampant in government circles, who knows what the result of a routine stop may be. The ex-president is now in jail in the U.S. on drug charges.
Then there are the elections. Our current president on the other country has been elected to his fourth term, after jailing a handful of his opponents. That does provide for “stability”, but to get a government job you have to be a member of his party. There is no real opposition.
These two countries were founded in the 16th century as colonies of the Spanish empire. They brought an authoritarian government that oppressed the indigenous people, often enslaving them to work the silver and gold mines. That heritage seems to have continued, with very little sense of justice and equality between the economic classes- the rich deserve their place and the poor serve them.
The Miskitos have different heritage. Their first outside contact was with Englishmen, who began trading with them, and helped them form their own kingdom with a Miskito king. Oppression was never part of the political atmosphere. Maybe it was the difference between a religious culture in Spain and a more personal relationship culture of Protestant England that brought these freedoms to the Miskito people.
This same Protestant culture in the 16th century in England was from where the first settlers to North America came. They brought with them a sense of “inalienable rights” to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness given by our Creator. They also had an understanding that “all men (and women) are created equal”. These concepts came from their Biblical worldview, and it was in the 18th Century that Christians who took the Bible seriously began to take a stand against slavery- in England and in America. They started the Abolitionist Movement that resulted in a civil war to rid our country of this economically profitable but humanly despicable practice.
Our Founding Fathers were serious about the role that God was to play in the government of our new nation. Recognizing the fallen state of mankind and the corruption that power brings, they divided our government into three separate branches, to spread the powers and create checks and balances for each branch of government. They realized that true freedom would only come from a population that understood and accepted God’s morality for personal relationships, family life, community business and state and national governments.
That has proven to be true.
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.
Our national character continues to be shaped by Biblical values for the sanctity of all life, and respect for the freedoms of others. I think the 1.6 million migrants who have crossed our southern border in the past year (267,000 in March alone!) will agree that America offers economic opportunities that far exceed the countries that they are leaving, and freedoms that they never experienced in their homeland.
Many who have not traveled to other countries might disagree with me.
Many who think that an atheistic socialist government is better that our Constitution did not experience living in those countries in the 20th Century where elite groups oppressed the common man, and over 100 million humans died.
Pray for them.
Pray for a spiritual revival for our nation.
Pray for our leaders while you ask our Creator what part you are to play in our local communities.
In the meantime, let's celebrate America!
Seek The Lamb Giving
We trust that God will supply all the needs of our school project, as well as for all of us personally, even in times when the world economic system is under pressure.
We thank all of you who have been faithful in giving to Seek The Lamb over these years, especially this season.
For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them Mark 14:7
We do have such opportunity each month in our education project in Nicaragua.
The writer of Proverbs gives us this principle:
One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD,
And He will repay him for his good deed. Proverbs 19:17
We know God is aware of our hearts, and we try to be sensitive to what we are to do with his resources that we manage.
Here is our Giving Page for Seek The Lamb. Please consider a gift this month.
Rio Coco Beans Coffee
I pulled up to the Rio Coco Cafe at the Airport on Monday and there was a young lady getting out of her car and heading for the door.
"We are closed on Monday, but our Downtown location is open. I headed there myself," I told her.
About 20 minutes later I saw her walking through the door of the Downtown Cafe. She picked up three bags of our coffee and walked to the counter.
"You came! Thanks."
"I had to come and get some of your coffee. I live in Melbourne and your coffee is worth the 45 minute drive."
To the girls behind the counter I said "Please give her a coffee or other drink!"
She smiled. "I cannot find coffee anywhere like your roast it here. I got hooked on Rio Coco a few years ago, and have been exclusively drinking it ever since."
"Thanks for the good words, and your contribution to educating our kids on the Coco River."
You don't have to drive from out of town to Vero Beach to get Rio Coco Beans coffee. We ship many bags each month to friends from New York to Hawaii, Michigan to Texas.
Place your order here:
Thanks for spending time with us this month.
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