I had 3 nominations in these almost 2 years of Blogging and when it gets to that, I freeze and don’t know how to handle the instructions
This time I am humbled and grateful to have been nominated but the site is a .com. is this truly a real nomination? I can’t believe and truly humbled.
I want to thank Shegoz.com for the nomination. Please look at this site for me.
Pat, Child of God.
Have you ever picked up or touched a starfish?
The name, starfish, hints at magic and mystery. As if they have fizzled down from the heavens to plunge into the sea. When they wash up on shore, they are the darlings of beachcombing parents because starfish are beautiful, benign, and beguiling. Completely safe to pick up and examine.
But starfish are neither stars nor fish. The scientific community calls them sea stars. You can find starfish from icy polar regions to the steamy tropics in a kaleidoscope of colors. They can be teeny tiny or gigantic—like the sunflower sea star, which can be three feet across and crammed with sixteen to twenty-four arms.
The charming starfish—seen on any beach in the world, seemingly captive of the waves, harmless to humans—is not really all that weak and helpless. They are in fact, patient and persistent predators.
When the starfish encounters a tightly closed oyster, scallop, or mussel shell as he roams across the seabed, he wraps itself around the shell in a tight embrace. Slowly he exerts outward, suctioning pressure until the bivalve cannot resist. A tiny slit emerges as the shell opens, just a crack.
This is all our patient predator needs. He then extends his stomach outside his body and into the shell through the tiny opening. He digests the meat inside and slurps up its tasty meal. Then his stomach retreats back into the sea star. His persistence has prevailed.
Our starfish’s surprising tenacity gives us hope. His charming, small, decorative appearance hides his amazing ability to crack open tough cases. He reminds me of the little old ladies in church with their blue-tinged hair. These ladies seem frail and innocuous. But when she’s alone, the little old lady rises up in the full armor of God, like a ninja warrior in prayer. She won’t give up, she won’t shut up, and she doesn’t cease putting the pressure on until she sees victory.
This is how we crack tough cases: persistent prayer.
James 5:16 tells us, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
When Peter told Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Messiah,” Jesus said that upon that confession, this bedrock of truth, Jesus would build his church. And then he adds, “And the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:15-19). Meaning, our prayers are to reach into evil and dissolve it. And the gates cannot stand against it.
Persistent prayer may sound soft and squishy, but it’s like a sea star. In tough cases, it’s lethal.
He was stuff-stuff-stuffing his face. Frantically, while he looked about him, he crammed the seeds into his mouth as fast as he could.
I thought he was adorable.
Chipmunks have a remarkable ability to stuff their cheek pouches full of food. As the pouches expand horizontally, they give you a visual picture for the idiom “stuffing your face.” And their expanding cheeks serve dual purposes. They allow the the chipmunk to quickly gather food and serve as a suitcase for temporary storage and transport to a safe location.
So why do they need to stuff their cheeks, scurry about, and hide their food?
Because chipmunks live haunted by lack. They hibernate during the winter and unlike other mammals (bears, for example) that live off of their stored fat, chipmunks need to have food put away so they can periodically eat their stored cache throughout the winter.
While I find their overstuffed cheeks adorable and their hoarding habits admirable, it’s not so cute when humans do it.
My husband isn’t impressed when he can barely push the closet door open because it’s stuffed with too many clothes. The boxes of craft supplies (knitting, painting, jewelry making, fabric) that stuff our garage is not a testimony to my creativity, it’s a testimony of a scattered soul. When I stand at the refrigerator eating leftover lasagna when I’ve just eaten an hour ago, it isn’t about hunger, it’s about stuffing down my feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.
These are just a few areas where I stuff, stuff, stuff my life to over-filled and overindulged. If you’re like me, it can leave you feeling somewhat shameful, pathetic, weak, and icky.
Most of us don’t stuff ourselves out of a sincere lack or need like the chipmunk—we stuff ourselves out of anxiety and dreams for the way we hope to live, instead of the way we are living now. We stuff and stuff out of fear that we will never have enough or be enough.
This is in direct contrast to Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need.” Or, as the New International Version puts it: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”
Like Eve in the garden, when we constantly focus on what we don’t have and what we erroneously believe will make our lives better, we fall prey to living with a haunting sense of lack, which leads to temptation and misery.
We want to live lives of purpose and meaning.
When we focus on God’s care and provision instead of stuffing our lives with the meaningless, we are on the right path. We have the right stuff.