Celebrate Love! February 2023 Concnshell Chronicles
I remember as a first grader having “Valentine Cards” that we would sign, and drop in the brown paper bags taped to the chalk shelves under the blackboards. Each bag would have the name of one of my classmates, and in this way we would send Valentine messages to our friends. First Grade is too young for romance, so these messages were all about affirming our friendship with our classmates. After the day was over we would look with anticipation in the bag to see the cards from those who wanted to be our friends.
Having friends is a good thing. They are the spice of life. The longer I live the more I value my friendships. Why? Friends affirm me. They support me. They are there to help when I need it. When I need to talk to someone, it’s usually a trusted friend that I turn to- a friend who loves me in spite of my shortcomings.
Friends often correct me, because I have discovered that I can be wrong about some things in life.
January 2023 Conchshell Chronicles
I was talking with a friend last week about the post Christian culture that we Americans seem to be in now. How did the church of our youth lose its influence with our generation and the current“ one?”
We concluded that it was because we were offered a watered down, unexciting version of what the Body of Christ should be, or at least what we see portrayed in the Bible, especially the Book of Acts. The dynamic, Spirit-led group of followers of Jesus grew from a small band to a significant portion of the Roman Empire in less than 300 years. We spread to North Africa, to all parts of Europe, some parts of Asia, and eventually all of North and South America. They were adventurers, willing to take courageous risks to be part of something much bigger than themselves. Their success has shaped Western Civilization.
December 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
November 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
There is a lot to complain about these days…..
Traffic on my way to work… doesn’t anyone know how to merge lanes properly instead of racing ahead and cutting people off?
Prices at the grocery store are noticeably much higher than a year ago. Filling up my car cost double than it did two years ago.
It seems most of what I purchase is made in China. Our house has had four leaks in our slab. We have had floods in the kitchen, bathroom, and garage.
And the list goes on… and on… and on.
Sometimes my adult children who grew up on the Coco River in Nicaragua sleeping in the bottom of dugout canoes and bathing in a cappuccino-colored river hear their friends complaining about some aspect of life in America and usually the turn to one another and say simply “First World Problems.”
Laura and I often have conversations that begin well, but then we take a side street called “Complaint” and find ourselves lost in a dark hole of negative comments. It’s a rough detour from pleasant conversation.
Interesting, God knows how easy it is for us to get mentally off track, and the damaging effects of letting our minds dwell on negative aspects of our lives. He tells us often in His Word how to counteract that, and keep our minds focused.
October 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
In our fast pace society, it is easy to overlook so much of the process that God is attempting to work out in our own hearts to make us more effective in our walk in this world. We ought to be a living spring naturally overflowing unto many lives and provoking many along the way to come to partake of Christ in us. This is the lifestyle of a true disciple.
A few years ago, we spent a few days in the Negev Desert, in the southern part of Israel. We were near the Red Sea, in a very remote spot, for a time of reflection after a busy two months of travel and study. We trekked for three days in the Negev with five camels and nine friends along with our guides Shaiya and Yael.
The desert is a good place to go to listen to God. There is an absence of modern noise, and life gets down to the basics. It’s just you, your camel, the rocks and sand, and God’s creation. We slept under the stars, made bread, cooked over an open fire, and even had a wolf invade our camp one night and carry off three bags.
One of the places we stopped was a waterfall. Yes, it does rain in the Negev- about an inch a year on the average. Some years it rains more, and when it does, rivers form in the wadis. This particular wadi (riverbed), called the Wadi Isaron, has a 150 foot drop- to a natural pool/cistern below.
September 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
Mirna Cunningham went to be with Jesus. After Truman, her husband, our friend and Project Director passed in 2016, she was sullen and in poor health. She no longer suffers because she is with the Lord.
“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain “
I hear this for Mirna’s life . Pray for her 8 children she left behind. Three of their children continue to help us with Project Ezra where we are now focusing more of our attention on their spiritual gains for Christ rather than just primary education. Educating the whole community…. Whether it be pastor training or simply equipping the saints for works of service, we want to gain a more focused approach to their relationship with God.
August 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
July 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
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.