The Journal of Seek The Lamb
Laura at Banyas - one of the very cool places in Israel
Consistent, habitual, positive every day rituals have become a must in my life. The decades have come and gone and we are in a season of intentional living that demands many every day non optional choices that have become a part of my daily to the point that I don’t have to think about whether it will happen or not. It ranges from not speaking in the morning until I have had a good washing over of my mind with the positive hearing of the Word, making my bed, a moment of physical warm up (squats, push-ups and a few stretches to warm up my body for the day). Other rules get implemented in order to keep up with it all.
The decision to have mobility, flexibility, strength and good cardio health was made years ago before kids and has continued. Now, we reap the benefit of our adult kids taking us to go play pickleball or work out with them at Vero Strength and Conditioning class that Mikaela and Moselle coach (VSC). We worked out with them for many years prior to them choosing for themselves…walks, bicycle rides, swimming, karate, skiing, free diving, scuba, etc. It was a consistent practice to be involved in motion and movement.
Freedom comes with practice. Flexibility comes with consistent small motions forward toward greater range of motion and strength. A little bit every day goes a long way. Slow but sure If I consistently practice. The Joy of the Lord has been my strength. In this world there will always be tribulation, but Jesus said, “I have overcome the world and that his power is perfected in our weakness.” I find my trust increase when I have no other choice. Certainly not because I am more spiritual, but really, I am much quicker to recognize my deep need for my Savior to rescue me. It is good to be pushed into these corners which we can only rely on the saving grace of a Supreme Creator who is able to do all things abundantly beyond all that we ask think or imagine. In all the chaos, turmoil, unrest, evil and warfare, we remember where our hope comes from.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulations, brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were sinners , Christ died for us.“ Romans 5:1-8
I need stable reference points for my focus on a continual basis. Reminders of who is in ultimate Control and knows the most, best and all. I need to rely on such stability of Hope and knowing that all things work out for good to them that love God and who are called accordingly to his purposes especially when things really look bleak and hopeless. We saw a miraculous act of God with a prayer answered when we saw a new born come out of a coma, after being in that vegetable state without crying.
The doctors basically gave up and believed the baby would be brain dead because he had been without oxygen too long. The whole process was gut wrenching and painful as we heard each segment of negative news…baby goes limp and turns ashen grey, lifeless, doctors know he will die and or be totally brain dead…no hope from the medical profession and for a long time no word for the parents who were not able to even go into the hospital to be by the baby’s side. But for God not only did the baby come to life and cry (which he didn’t respond or cry for days) but the doctors declared that they don’t understand what could have happened.
The miracle did not make sense to the circumstances and bad reports given, but God showed up. God is into wowing us with His power, might, strength and wisdom. If we only stay tuned in as a consistent habitual practice, we will see the good that will rise up from all the ashes.
And we will celebrate that goodness again and again, just as we celebrated Michael’s birthday a few days ago! Laura
When Storms Come
Hurricane Idalia just passed through northern Florida as a Category 2 Hurricane, with winds around 125 mph. We had some strong winds here in Vero Beach, just enough to turn our chairs over and clean out some palm fronds from our trees. We have had worse!
We remember well our double whammy in September of 2004, when Hurricane Francis slowly passed, followed three weeks later by Hurricane Jean. Trees were topples, our roof damaged, and two bedroom ceiling collapsed because of all the water in the attic. What a mess!
The day after both storms, our neighbor was driving his boat up and down our street. Electricity was off for over a week. It was just like a storm on the Rio Coco in Nicaragua. But something good happened in both of these storms- we became much better friends with all of our neighbors, sharing food, generators, and news. And our insurance company bought us a new roof for $17,000!
The news from Maui is not good. Hundreds of people are still missing. Many survivors are homeless, and questions are being asked to the government and electric company on how this disaster could happen. We are here on Maui now, trying to help those in need.
But the response from the community has been nothing short of phenomenal! So much food, clothes, water, and other supplies have been gathered and distributed by churches and private companies. The very first food and water that was delivered to West Maui was by our friends at Hope Chapel, Calvary Chapel, Trilogy, and Pacific Whale Foundation. It was these private efforts that kept the victims fed and hope alive.
Something is happening on Maui as a result of the fire tragedy. The Aloha spirit is dominating daily life for so many. We are realizing that we cannot depend on the government to solve these problems, but it is up to us and Him. Many prayers have gone forth and He is answering so many! Relief has poured in from many sources, and many citizens are voicing their opinions to the government on how the rebuilding should proceed, protecting the rights of the locals and caring for the victims who have lost homes, property, jobs, and normal life.
A economic storm is on the horizon for Maui that has resulted from tourism coming to a screeching halt. $4 out of every $5 that comes to our island is from tourism. Hotel and restaurant workers are being laid off, and condo cleaners and maintenance worker as well. The beaches are deserted, and many are struggling to pay their rents and other bills.
Like the Prodigal son (Luke 15) who “suddenly came to his senses,” many are realizing that God is now not only their best hope, but only hope. When the storms pass and take those things that make you feel secure, suddenly we all start to look upward, asking God for his provision. There is a good reason why. Mark records a day when Jesus and his disciples got caught in a storm.
On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Mark 4:35-41
The Sea of Galilee- 630 feet below sea level
It is common for the cold winds to descent 10,000 feet from Mt Hermon into the bowl that the Sea of Galilee sits in. It can go from calm to six foots sets of waves in 20 minutes. The disciples were experienced fishermen, but this storm caused great panic, and they believed they were perishing. Meanwhile Jesus was asleep, on a cushion in the stern or the boat.
They responded as we have- freaking out! Where are you God when we need you?!?!? Asleep somewhere? Yet over and over again, we have experienced that He is not asleep, but watching over us, and allowing us to go through an experience that brings us closer to Him.
Great lessons of life often happen as a result of storms that blow through. Lives are changed, relationships strengthened, priorities straightened out, as we let God reign in our lives.
Pray for our friends on Maui, that many will draw closer to Him during these rough times. And please pray for us, for health and guidance. Michael
Cruising on the Sea of Galilee
Seek The Lamb Prayers and Giving
Thanks for being with us this month. If you would like to participate in our project, please pray for:
1) Our teachers in Nicaragua- there are many storms rolling through the area;
2) For more staff for the Rio Coco Cafe on Utila. Its time to re-open and we want to reach the divers that come.
3) For us as we travel- our health and guidance. We really need to stay close to our Lord.
We welcome your gifts! Here is the link to our giving page:
Julio Moody - one of our former students now a teacher!
Rio Coco Bean Coffee
How about some fresh roasted specialty coffee delivered to your door?
Here is our coffee store with 27 delicious single origin and our special blends.