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It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean.

Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp

Ed walked out to the end of the pier, where it seemed he almost had the world to himself. The glow of the sun was a golden bronze now. Everybody was gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed was alone with his thoughts….and his bucket of shrimp.

Before long, however, he was no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots came screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier. Before long, dozens of seagulls had enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stood there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he did, if you listened closely, you can hear him say with a smile, “Thank you. Thank you.”

In a few short minutes the bucket was empty. But Ed didn’t leave. He stood there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place. Invariably, one of the gulls landed on his sea-bleached, weather-beaten hat – an old military hat he’d been wearing for years.

When he finally turned around and began to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hopped along the pier with him until he got to the stairs, and then they, too, flew away. And old Ed quietly made his way down to the end of the beach and on home.

If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might have seemed like “a funny old duck,” as my dad used to say. Or, “a guy that’s a sandwich shy of a picnic,” as my kids might say. To onlookers, he was just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp.

To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant ....maybe even a lot of nonsense. Old folks often do strange things, at least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters. Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida. That’s too bad. They’d do well to know him better.

His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker. Eddie was the American Ace of Aces in WW I and started Eastern Airlines back in the 30’s. He was a famous hero working as a civilian back in World War II. On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.

Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were. They needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft. Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was a seagull! Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal – a very slight meal for eight men – of it. Then they used the intestines for bait. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait, and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued after 24 days at sea. Eddie said all aboard were converted to Christianity while on the raft.

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, (he died 23-Jul-1973) but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first lifesaving seagull. And he never stopped saying, “Thank you.” That’s why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.

By Tom Henderson

Beloved saints, let us all remember to start 2014 right by remaining rooted and grounded in the word of God.

Below is a prayer for the New Year (Click on the prayer title to get the prayer points).

PROPHESY ON YOUR STEPS IN THE NEW YEAR

Stay blessed & prayed up!

Sandi (Deliverance by Fire)

=>> 30 Day Prayer Challenge <<=

=>> There Is Power in Prayer! Your Prayers Have the Power to Profoundly Impact Your Destiny. <<=

Prayer is the most powerful weapon against trials. The most effective medicine against sickness. And the most valuable gift to someone you love. Through prayer, you can conquer all things.

Jumpstart your prayer life today with this empowering, uplifting and inspiring 30 Day Prayer Challenge. Act Now Beloved Saint! Don’t let the enemy cheat you out of your divine destiny! Invest in yourself today, and begin to unlock your destiny through these powerful prayers!

Don’t underestimate the power of prayer! People are testifying of financial breakthroughs, business breakthroughs, job promotions, marital breakthroughs, academic breakthroughs, healing and so much more, after taking the 30 Day Prayer Challenge!

~ Act Now Beloved Saint, Tomorrow Is Promised to Man! Take the Challenge Today & Begin to Unlock Your Destiny Today! Tomorrow May Be Too Late! ~

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18: “Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

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