May 2020 Conchshell Chronicles
During this time, we are all asking:
What is Truth?
Photo: Sunset reflected on the clouds off the SW corner of Maui, with Kahoolawe on the horizozn, taken from Lava Java Ranch
Pilate said, “So you are a king?”
Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”
“What is truth?” Pilate asked. John 18:37–38
What is Truth? It is a question that many of us are asking in these days of fake news and opinions driven by hate rather than reason.
What is this pandemic all about? How lethal is this virus? How do we protect the vulnerable? Are we overreacting? Are these doctors who have been censored by YouTube correct in their analysis? Should we open our businesses and restaurants? Is there a strategy by some to vaccinate us all and mandate a subcutaneous microchip? Where is the line between public health and our Constitutional rights? Does wearing a mask while walking on the beach really benefit anyone?
Anyone who is dismayed by the cancellation of March Madness, The NBA, and Major League Baseball, is questioning the decisions of our government. Those who are not able to open their ‘non-essential’ businesses are demanding reasonableness and ‘correct data’ from our governors and mayors. Yet in this environment, where do we go for ‘The Truth’?
When I first walked into Reynoldsburg Junior High school in January 1966, I noticed that chiseled into the stone above the main entrance were the words “You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” That was inspirational to me. I was into education then, and eager to learn all I could.
In the next few years, I learned a lot of ‘truth’. My chemistry teacher told us that we were descendants of apes, and that Darwin’s theory of evolution had been proven by an experiment at the University of Chicago by two scientists, Miller and Urey, who produced some basic amino acids in a five liter flask filled with methane, ammonia, and hydrogen by sparking it with electricity to simulate lightning hitting a primordial swamp. Later NASA experiments proved that the earth’s atmosphere never had these concentrated amounts of ammonia present in the flask, and the amino acids produced were not the 128 amino acids in the specific order necessary for life.
So was it ‘the truth’, or just some skewed data? For the next few years I lived my life by my discoveries of ‘what worked’, which often had very little to do with ‘the Truth’.
Then I had an experience with God in 1981. I got connected to Him through His Holy Spirit. I began reading His Words in the Bible. Imagine my surprise when I read those words written above the door of the Reynoldsburg Jr. High!
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31–32
I now wonder why those builders left off the most important part of that statement by Jesus. Only if you are a disciple will you know the truth!
Truth is rarely absolute and often relative, except in aeronautics, banking, gravity, and other such areas of life. One of the definitions of Truth in my dictionary is “values shared by a group”. By this I understand that terrorists, corrupt politicians, greedy businessmen and sexual perverts all have their ‘truth’ which they conduct their lives by, and we are all living a world that is soured by their societal decisions.
How do you like living in their world?
The Good News is that we have a choice of how we are to live, and what we base our ‘truth’ on. Jesus said:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
As we choose to let Jesus show us The Truth about any situation we find ourselves in, how we are to respond to any person that we encounter, how we are to navigate through the economic system we work in, with what principles we are to guide our communities and nation in, then we actually become a potent force of change in this sour world.
The Truth will triumph over “their opinions”.
Jesus guarantees this to us!
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We overcome the world with every decision that we make and every action that we take that is based not on our feelings, not on our best guess, but on His Wisdom, and obedience to His Word. Remember what God said to the Hebrew people seven times in the book of Deuteronomy as they prepared to enter the land.
“You shall walk in all the way which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess.” Deut. 5:33
Photo: 'Essential Exercise" along the south shore of Maui at Makena, with Molokini on the horizon, where I worked on a dive boat in 1982.
The Simple Ways of LOVE…
Photo: Laura Uyeda, Moanalua Elementary School
Ever since I came into existence, there has been a book being written upon my soul. Moments, paragraphs, and perhaps volumes of adventures and experiences.
With all of my life experiences, there are a few that truly matter. They are all connected to LOVE….either LOVING , overcoming WITH LOVE, FOR LOVE AND BY LOVE.
Love is an action.
Memories that linger for me all have to do with an act of Love. The Patience I was shown by my band teacher when it seemed like everyone else did not have faith in me or my abilities, Mr. Suyama believed and gave me hope to exceed even my own expectations for my flute playing. By the kindness of Mr. Eckerd in woodshop, I was made to feel as if I could start building houses if I wanted to. I was shown grace by my Home Economic/Food class teacher many a moment when I walked into class late and loaded…she never acted unbecoming or angry with me, ever….
My Dad would always let me know how much he trusted me and it caused me to feel like I never wanted to betray that trust and love he was honoring me with….My mom seemed to have an extraordinary ability to overlook arrogant unbecoming behavior toward her and say the phrase, “Kill em with kindness.” She was not easily provoked in this because she would Overcome evil with Good…toward the end of my mom’s life, she let me know how remorseful she felt over her not being able to do certain things herself…it moved me to just do anything I could to make her life better, easier and more bearable. The humble in our Love is moving and powerful and my mom was always one who would…
Blast hatred & Negativity with Love and a Positive Attitude..
The simple act of keeping my mouth shut is LOVE being demonstrated because actively loving sometimes means having the self-control to simply keep my mouth shut. Mabel, Michael’s mom would frequently align my attitude, mouth and heart to a higher place by her sheer pure hearted loving manner of speaking words of gratitude & praise toward me. I felt undeserving because of the filth of my own heart. Her Love for me transformed me. Michael’s dad, would frequently let me know how much he loved me. He would hug me and tell me often how special I was…His kindness will ever be etched on my life. I miss them.
I have friends in my life who take the extra mile to Love and express it in thoughtful giving ways that have allowed my heart to be extended bigger, wider and deeper…When Michael and I first got married, we were invited to a few people’s homes for dinner. Their hospitality early on in our marriage opened up a way in my heart that caused us the ability to go and do likewise. With every invitation, I learned the power of such extension of our lives unto others. Love given and received was like power obtained to go and act with the same kind of grace.
It is said, “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous, love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…..”1 Cor 13:4-7
I have gotten lost in my own self, thoughts and emotions….Never resting in Love or able to give Love in those moments of being consumed by my own inner world of self…..
I want to be able to place myself in the proper hands of LOVE and live in such a way to emerge as an inspiration to others as so many have lovingly inspired me along this rugged path of Life. Because at the end of my days, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt only the things I have done in LOVE, by LOVE , for LOVE and with LOVE will last as a sound memory and inspiration for others.
“Naksa” from The Rio Coco
Danilo Cunningham writes:
“Our team members have been praying for you guys. Also the teachers in the villages are asking for you some information about corona virus and I told them that you all are fine. Danilo Cunningham writes:
Here in Nicaragua there is virus in the Pacific side of the country, especially in Managua, as well as the departments of Masaya, Jinotega, Matagalpa, and Chontales. Thanks to God that the Moskitia Coast we don’t have any virus yet. We are praying to God that He will not let the virus come and keep us safe. Will you join me with your prayers and put me with my people on your prayer list? Let’s be connected in a spiritual way.
Our ministry Seek The Lamb is working this year with 1697 students in nine different schools, and 35 teachers that we pay. The government pays the other teachers in our schools. The schools are going well, and we supervise downriver every month.
May my God bless you all.
I say “naksa” from Waspam Nicaragua.’
Danilo (with iguana)
Fire Your Spiritual Arrows!
Please pray that God would
1) Throw this virus to the ground..
2) Let Truth prevail in our government decisions.
3) Provide for all the financial needs of school project and our missionaries in Nicaragua, Florida & Honduras.
Your prayers make things happen!
Seek The Lamb
If you would like to make a gift today to the school project or our missionaries, please use this link:
Rio Coco Beans
Why take the time to drive to the supermarket and purchase coffee that was roasted at least 3 weeks to 6 months ago?
We ship many bags of coffee to friends from Florida to New York to Washington to California and Hawaii. Its is guaranteed fresh!
We take a tithe right off the top and send it to Danilo in Nicaragua to pay our teachers each month. It is a Win Win Win situation.
1) Miskito kids on the Coco River get educated!
2) We make some money to maintain our roasting equipment and pay the workers who fills the bags, helping them pay their rent this month!
3) You drink fresh roasted, delicious coffee!
Try our new 'Honey Processed' Colombian Coffee! Very naturally sweet! We will ship it right to your door in just a few days.
We love you folks. Love all you do for others. Love your Love for God. Hugs. R&R