September 2019 Conchshell Chronicles
Pep In My Step, Glide In My Stride
During the summer on Utila, I had many moments with my bride enjoying the sunsets off the dock. Many were stunning. Such artistry!
Watching the evening show prompted many thought of what I was doing each day on Utila. It also gave me opportunity to think ahead to what I wanted to accomplish when I got back to Vero Beach. Slowly I began to make a plan for September-December.
The Bible says in Proverbs 16:9 that
The mind of man plans his way, but God directs his steps.
This principle came into play as Hurricane Dorian appeared just a week after we returned to Florida, and began targeting Vero Beach.
In a week’s period, Dorian grew from a tropical storm to the most powerful Hurricane ever to appear in the Atlantic basin. At one point, Dorian’s winds were at 185 mph with gusts to 210! This was a Killer Storm! We began making plans, as the forecasters issued predictions of possible landfall on our beaches, or a sharp right turn to the north. One would pass us with some rain and wind, the other with a direct hit and massive storm damage to trees, electrical grids, homes, and beaches.
As the storm approached the Bahamas, we decided to board up all the windows at the cafes and our homes. This happened on Sunday September 1st - my birthday.
“Wow, what kind of year will this be?” was my question to the Lord. Then next day we began to receive the reports of the destruction on Abaco Island, where we had made many flights in our Seneca in ’95, 96, and ’97. Suddenly I began making plans to evacuate Vero and get out of the way should this storm not make it’s forecasted turn north. I called a friend in Naples Florida who manages a hotel, and our friend Randy Smith in Sebring. They both said “Come!”.
Tuesday, when Dorian was 60 miles offshore from Vero Beach, the storm began a slow turn north. By Wednesday, it was definitely headed for the Carolinas, and over the next few days dropped much rain along the east coast of America and Canada.
We were greatly relieved to be spared, but very distressed as we viewed the destruction to Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands.
My next week was a blurrrrrrrr. Things popped into my schedule that I hadn’t planned, and suddenly I found myself accomplishing so many things in an almost effortless fashion. Meetings with people that I needed to see; tasks completed quickly, a video advertising project that began that I was only hoping for, new opportunities for ministry here in Vero, and significant personal one-on-one conversations. Each night I fell into my bed satisfied with the day’s events and accomplishments.
That is when I realized, it was the Holy Spirit that had been directing my time and attention, making His schedule for me each day, and allowing me to do things easier, with less stress, and more family & friend time.
I know now I have received my answer to my Birthday Question: “What kind of year with this be?”
If I let it, it will be a Holy Spirit led year that will allow me to be more fulfilled, productive, relational and healthier, and ultimately, more transformed into the man, husband, father, friend, and servant that God has designed me to be. If I don’t allow Him to take the reins of my life, it will be more distraction, frustration, and very little accomplished.
When I lived in Vail Colorado in ’79 to ‘82, I worked at the Mark Hotel as a banquet waiter with a professional waiter from Shreveport Louisiana named Greg. He taught me a lot about table service at the hotel. Greg was also a talented basketball player. “Dr. G.” as he was known on the court for his moves, was also one of my favorite people to hang with. In those days when we often indulged ourselves in various “highs”, Dr. G would often offer me something and say “This will put pep in your step, and glide in your stride.”
It was only a few years later that I moved to Maui, had an experience with God, discovered who Jesus is, and received the Holy Spirit into my life. I began to realize that He is the one to put pep in my step and glide in my stride. It has been easy for me to forget this very important reality in my life, as I get caught up in the throes of my culture, business, and daily activities.
Photo: Caribbean Glide
So, this will be a “Pep in my step, Glide in my stride, Holy Spirit orchestrated year”, if I let Him do His thing. I realize that I really do need Him directing my thoughts, my emotions, and my actions.
What a birthday present from my Heavenly Father! May this year be one for you as well! Michael
I love what I do and have been doing what I love for a while now. I rest in a deep inner joy and peace for the majority of my moments because my focus rest on The Creator & Sustainer of this inner state of well-being. My relationship with The Divine Creator is the mainstay of this love I have for life.
The moments of chaos, unrest, sadness, frustration, anger, stress are still ever looming and beckoning me for attention, time and negative action. This is a given that I am ever managing for the bettering of my overall well-being, health, welfare and prioritization .
Relationships and food are on the top of my lists as I manage myself, time, money, decisions and actions.
The creating of good food is much the same as the creating of good solid relationships. It takes a lot of creativity, research, intentionality, time, energy, efforts, thoughts, preparations, cleaning up, and putting everything back in its proper place.
Then we eat of its fruit and the labor, love and sacrifice pays high dividends.
I have been told by a few people (both strangers and acquaintances), “I can taste the Love in your food”. This makes me feel a deep sense of gratitude because I strive to put that kind of care into my efforts and making a good quality, eye appealing, tasty product for other humans that I am in relationship to enjoy. My first and foremost being Michael, my family, and extended ohana I am doing life with. I also get to Love and serve strangers that may come through the doors of our cafes.
Life is good.
Currently I get to love and serve my father Ronald who is miraculously here with us for a season. We are all thankful to have him in our midst and are making the most of our time with him. Time, creativity, intention, thoughtfulness, efforts, actions, research, prepping and cleaning up are definitely involved and I thank God I can apply myself in this way with my dad.
My food prep and execution of this area of my life has been a delightful creative release. I call it Edible Nutritious Art and I get to practice whenever I desire. It is a Practical application of divine inspiration. Serving my dad is so easy because he loves boiled eggs with a little salt and cut fruit ... very easy to do. The food is always easier than the Relationship part. It doesn’t have emotions and does not talk back!
Our focus on that which is most important to us is a necessary part of enjoying the answer or result of meaningful relationships ...let us apply ourselves .... to one another and our Creator. Laura
Utila Summer & Fall
This summer was a wonderful time of work, play, and ministry this on Utila. We had many new friends who came to the Rio Coco Café and enjoyed our coffee drinks and Laura’s Edible Nutritious Art.
We had many conversations that sparked thoughts of eternity.
One of our new friends is a chemical engineer from Chile. She works for a large company selling plastic molding materials. I was fascinated as she described the how large plastic forms are made, and I asked her many technical questions.
Finally she asked me why I was so interested. I told her of my background in aeronautical science, and my Third World “find out all you can about something because one day you may need that information” mentality. I asked her about her spiritual life, and she excitedly told me that she believed in reincarnation. When I asked her why, and based on what information, she said simply “I feel that this is right”.
“How interesting that a woman who bases her professional life on scientific facts and shift to pure feelings when it comes to her eternal life!”
She smiled and said “I had to ditch my Catholic upbringing to become a Buddhist.”
I was really enjoying my conversation with this Chileana, and then asked “Well, have you ever actually read the words of Jesus?”
With a sudden serious face, she said “No, I never have. My experience with Christianity has been the ritual of Catholicism.”
“Jesus’ thoughts on morality, on relationships, and on eternity are so unique, and so compelling. If you take some time to actually read what Jesus has to say about you and your life, you might have the same experience that I did. I became convinced that He is who He says He is– God in the flesh, sent to Earth to show us our way.”
After a few moments, she said “I will read his words. Where shall I begin?” I suggested that the books of Mark and John would speak to her.
We had many such conversations this summer. With people I had grown to enjoy and respect, like this lady from Chile, I found the opportunity to urge them to slip through their own preconceptions of Christianity and actually read the words of the Creator. This seems to strike a chord within many hearts.
This month, we have a team of four who will travel to Utila to open the café and serve until Thanksgiving.
Our son Lukas will once again lead the team, with help from a returning Utila veteran Naomi, and two rookies- Rachel and Courtney. These ladies are very talented in baking, cooking, and serving our coffee drinks. We know God will use them to reach many of the travelers and our local friends.
Let’s Give Thanks!
1) That Laura’s father Ronald is able to be with us this season!
2) For the many souls touched on Utila this summer!
3) For the opportunities to expand our café ministry this fall.
If you want to help out this month, please donate online at seekthelamb.com/collections/give Thanks!
Fire Your Spiritual Arrows!
Please pray that God will:
1) Protect our Utila Team and open spiritual doors with many into the Rio Coco Cafes this month.
2) Provide for all our needs in the Rio Coco ministry.
3) Provide for all our Seek The Lamb missionaries this month. Thanks For Your Prayers!
Rio Coco Beans Coffee
Here is the link to enjoy fresh roasted coffee that is delivered right to your door!
Order Fresh Roasted Coffee Here.
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