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A little girl called Karen was walking down by the sea-shore. As she paddled in the pools among the rocks she suddenly stopped and gasped, "Oh. What lovely shiny stones!" How excited she was as she dipped her hand into the water and grasped a handful of the pebbles, and ran off to her house. "Mummy, Mummy!" Karen called, "come and see my lovely stones." "Well, Karen," her mother said, "what's this you have today?" (You see, Karen was always bringing her exciting "finds" into the house.) So Karen opened her hand. But what a shock she got, for all that was there was a handful of dull, dry stones, just like those on the gravel path outside the house. What a disappointment for Karen! However, her mother took her by the hand down to the seashore again, and as they looked into one of the pools, there, glinting up at them were dozens of lovely, bright, coloured pebbles reds and blues, greens and mixtures of colours, too. Karen dived her hand into the pool and closed it round a lovely red one. When she had drawn her hand out of the water, her mother said, "Now, show me your red pebble." But when Karen opened her hand, her stone was no longer the bright glinting thing she had grasped, but it was dull and dry. "Put it back into the water," said her mummy; and as she did so, the stone began to sparkle and shine again. "Now then," said Karen's mummy, "sit down and I'll teach you a little lesson you can learn from the pebbles." And as they both sat by the seashore, Karen's mummy said to her, "You know, Karen, without God we are like those pebbles when you took them out of the water; our lives are dull. But the Bible says that we are to "abide" in Him; we are to live with God from day to day. And when we do that, then, we are like those pebbles while they are in the water; our lives µshine¶ and µsparkle¶. 'For IN HIM we live and move and have our being.' (Acts 17:28) µI am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.¶ (John 15:5) Dear friend, is the above not true? A dull life or one that shines is determined by whether we are µin the water¶ or out of it. I hope and pray that we may all dwell µsubmerged in the sea¶ all the days of our lives and never choose to leave it. And if you, dear reader, think that you are out of the water, on the shore under the scorching sun; dry and dull, remember that you are only a prayer away from receiving back your µsparkle¶. HE, being God, can pick you up and return you to where you belong in the blink of an eye!