Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Strong and Courageous


Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

If you are a regular follower of Meditations of My Heart, you've been introduced to Stumpy, aka David, in this previous post.  I hope my new readers will take a moment to visit this offering before plunging into this one, but if not, here's a short recap:  Stumpy is a squirrel, who is, sadly, missing most of his tail.  He is rather shy and reclusive; we are fortunate to spot him at all in our yard, let alone get a photo.  And it seems he will visit the ground beneath our sunflower seed-filled bird feeders only when all the other squirrels are napping, so his presence goes unnoticed.  He is, as it were, an outcast, and seems painfully aware of his place in the pecking order in the fiefdom of squirrels.

But when my MIL ventures onto our deck several days ago for some fresh air, she spies Stumpy beneath the bird feeders, seeking seeds like any normal squirrel.  When a full-tailed squirrel decides to vie for his territory, Stumpy doesn't sound the usual retreat as he does in this photo:


Glomming onto the nearest tree trunk, holding Ninja still, he reminds me of the toddler who covers her eyes in front of her family, and declares, "You can't see me!"

No!  This time, Stumpy challenges his would-be bully, not once, but twice, successfully chasing off his potential oppressor!

Where did he get the courage?  The fortitude?  When did he realize that he has the same rights as his long-tailed brothers and sisters to share in the generous feast we provide?

Some questions in life will always go unanswered, won't they?  I'm just so overjoyed to know that Stumpy now stands up for himself, boldly and unequivocally, no longer on the outs with his kind, and confident that he has every right to belong in the niche God has provided.

And you, too, my friends, have every right to belong in your niche - that of a treasured and beloved child of God.  Don't let the enemy tell you otherwise.  When fearful or discouraging thoughts cloud your mind, remember what God has commanded:  Be strong and courageous!

For God is with us, wherever we go.

Amen!
~

Because of upcoming events these next two weeks, I will be taking a break from blogging for the time being.  Should have lots of news and photos to share with you when I return, so stay tuned and enjoy your summer!  Love and blessings!

22 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear Stumpy stood up for himself. As I read the other post and began with this one I thought, "Oh man. He's going to be bullied." Not this time! Thanks for application too Martha. And have a great couple of weeks.

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    1. I'm with you, Bill - so glad Stumpy finally stood up to his tormentors! It will be a busy break as I'm helping with VBS and taking Virginia with me each day, but I'm so looking forward to it!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Good lesson in today's post, Martha. Thank you.

    Enjoy your holiday.

    God bless you and your family.

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    1. Thank you, Victor, and yes, I will enjoy these days away for a breather.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Love Stumpy and his lessons. Have fun on your break.

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    1. I knew you'd love this one, Jean! And yes, I'll be busy with VBS next week, but will have lots of fun with Virginia and the other rising third-graders.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Lessons from little furry mammals abound--ha!

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  5. LOVE IT! I am always for the underdog!
    What a great analogy, Martha!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. So glad you liked the analogy, Lulu. Yes, cheering for the underdog always!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. What a powerful lesson from Stumpy! No matter how we "feel" or even how we "appear", God is always with us and uses even our weaknesses to make us strong and courageous!
    Another encouraging message, my sweet friend.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Beckie! God can, and does, use our weaknesses that His strength might shine through and be glorified.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Awesome! I root for the under dog! ... and squirrel with the chopped off tail...

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    1. Me, too, Floyd! Stumpy is certainly a beloved character in our neck of the woods, that's for sure.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Love this post about Stumpy. I guess I missed the previous one. Proud of him for finding his courage and standing his ground. I feel a story coming out of this in your next book.... :)

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    1. Yes, Pamela, there sure could be a story in this one, that's for sure. One can't help but love Stumpy!
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Oh, Martha, this is such an amazing post about precious Stumpy. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to bullies. I think I'm with Pamela on the comment regarding your next book. :)

    My heart is warmed and encouraged. Thank you, Martha!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Well, Kim, if Pamela and you are in agreement, how can I say no? :) Like you, I'm so happy that Stumpy finally stood up for himself.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. Joshua 1:9
    Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.


    I love this verse!

    Cheering for Stumpy. :) YEAH. That's right. We have a right!

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    1. Yes, Sandi, it's one of my favorite verses, too. And I'm glad to know you're cheering for Stumpy. I'm so proud of the progress he's made!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Always such a joy to visit your blog Martha! So happy that Sammy has finally found the courage to stand up to the squirrels around him! I love how you can take an ordinary event in life and turn it into a parable. It sounds like you have some fun and exciting things going on this summer too... we are heading out on vacation as well this week. I pray the Lord blesses your time away :) Hugs to you dear friend!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Marilyn! I'm glad to know my posts bring you joy, too. Being a storyteller, I'm always seeing potential parables in every day events, and so enjoy sharing my thoughts here.
      All the family excitement was Danny's oldest son graduating from Air Force boot camp, and my spending a whole week with Virginia as we both participated in VBS. Hope your vacation is a wonderful time for you and yours!
      Love and blessings!

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