Monday, November 28, 2011


I was having a conversation with my son the other day.

We like to talk about life and faith.

He's wise, that young man. I'd love to say that he got his wisdom from his mother. But, since most of you know quite a bit about that mother, you know that can't be true!!

This day we were discussing some of the many trials that arise in life. How sometimes the narrow way is fraught with confusion. How it’s difficult to stand strong, let alone stand firm. How following Jesus is sometimes daunting(cross-carrying costs something…)

He asked me a rhetorical question –

"What can we do about it, Mom?"

I told him – "Hold fast."

All of a sudden, I was reminded of something that happened when "The Hub" and I visited my brother a couple of weeks ago. He lives by the ocean. We ate at a restaurant on the San Clemente pier. I had the most delicious salmon fillet. And I've got to tell you, a piece of fish never tastes better than when you eat it outdoors in the ocean breeze.

After eating, we walked along the beach.

I collected rocks.

(Oh, the joy of my rocks!)

The beach was littered with giant strands of kelp. (Kelp trivia – I like stepping on the little *bulbs* that are connected to the stalks. They make a really fun "POP" sound – like my knees). Evidently, a recent storm had churned up the kelp beds laying a few hundred yards offshore.

My brother told us that those kelp beds were artificial – (not the kelp!)

Here's the backstory on that (from 2008):

"SAN CLEMENTE – State and utility officials applauded the completion yesterday of the world’s first artificial kelp reef, which they say will provide a thriving habitat for fish and marine organisms for decades.

Spread over two miles south of San Clemente Pier, the pioneering reef was undertaken by Southern California Edison to make up for environmental damage caused by the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. (Editorial opinion here: Boo, San Onofre!! The damage wasn't radioactive, by the way, or I would glow in the dark...)

The 175-acre reef was constructed by dumping 120,000 tons of rock ranging from the size of a soccer ball to a miniature refrigerator in a patchwork over an area about 1 mile by 2½ miles, at a depth of 30 feet to 50 feet.

David Kay, Southern California Edison’s manager of environmental projects, said the rocks must be large enough to anchor the kelp, which are algae that can grow 1½ to 2 feet a day to a length of 120 feet.

Some of the rocks have to be light enough so the ocean can toss them about, to shake off organisms that crowd out the kelp.

The reef will add marine habitat to the Southern California coast by nourishing as many as 50 varieties of fish and invertebrates.

The reef is named for the late Wheeler North, a California Institute of Technology scientist and kelp researcher."

I find this information fascinating, by the way.

So, as we're walking along the beach, we came upon a HUGE piece of kelp. It had to have been at least 20 feet long. And attached at the bottom of this kelp was a huge clump of…well, for lack of a better word…clump. A thick, roundish, glob of tiny intertwined tubes of seaweed. It looked like the aquatic version of a massive root system.

My brother said to me, "You know what they call that, don't you?"


"They call it the holdfast."

I googled it as soon as I got home.

"A holdfast is a root-like structure that anchors aquatic organisms, such as seaweed. Holdfasts vary in shape and form – often having complex tangles of root-like growths. The holdfasts of organisms that live on smooth surfaces (such as the surface of a boulder) have the base of the holdfast literally glued to the surface."

Light bulb moment.

Yes, you see it too, don't you?

When I told my son to "Hold fast" – all of a sudden, I saw the spiritual lesson found in God's creation.

Each of us is like a piece of kelp. And we must *hold fast* to the rock – The Rock – which anchors us against the storms and currents of life. Just as the kelp is moved and jostled and sometimes thrashed by the motion of the sea, we are tossed and turned by circumstances too. But just like the kelp, firmly anchored by its holdfast, we are firmly held in place.

We are literally glued to the Lord.

Come what may – we "go with the flow"buffeted perhaps by the stormy waves, but never loosened from our connection to the Rock that holds us.

We will never be swept away.

Hold fast, dear friends, hold fast.

How do you hold fast to the Lord when the narrow way gets a little stormy?

I'm linking up with Joan - it's a great day to be SHARING HIS BEAUTY!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. One of your best lessons yet, Sharon! It's as if God wrote the whole thing, and all you had to do was point to it.

    I wonder if the lesson would have whipped right by you were you not holding fast right now.

    How do I hold fast? I do it by whining to God. I hold, but I'm the little piece of kelp thrashing to and fro screaming to the rock, "That holdfast is still latched, right, Rock? Right? How's that holdfast holding? Fast? Can we just beach this thing for a pair of minutes? Wokwokwokwokwok..."

    I'm sincerely trying to be more of a quiet holder.

    And can you make a devotional out of you popping all the kelp? I'll bet you can.

  2. Yes, I had that lightbulb moment too Sharon as I read your explanation of the holdfast. I'm clinging to the Savior. Blessings to you.

  3. Hmmmm. How do I "hold fast"? Well, when things get rocky (as they tend to do), I open His word, get on my knees and look to Him! Sometimes I have to inundate myself with reminders of God - sometimes in music, sometimes in pictures, blogs and more. The more I focus on His presense, the more I feel it and He strengthens me as I cling to Him.

    Blessings, Joan

  4. You know I bet Debbie doesn't know she has company out there - That is how I do it sometimes too! But I don't give up. sandie

  5. Another great teaching coming from the coast of southern California, Sharon! What a great picture of holding fast to the solid rock of our foundation. What helps me remain steadfast is renewing my mind in the Word each morning, early before other thoughts get in to get me off track! You are such a good teacher.

  6. That is interesting about that artificial kelp, Sharon. I learned something new today!

    I loved the definition of holdfast. Jesus indeed is the anchor for us to cling to, our definite holdfast! I hold fast to his word, his promises, literally to him at times!

    I think you are a very wise woman, Sharon! Don't sell yourself short! You are a blessing to your children, hubby and to us!! I for one appreciate your wisdom!


  7. Well, this was totally interesting. I can almost hear the waves and that pop from the kelp...I know that too. I love that it is called holdfast, but your definition just cracked me up..."And attached at the bottom of this kelp was a huge clump of…well, for lack of a better word…clump." I love the visual of being glued to the Lord. Keep writing, you inspire me. (o;

  8. AWESOME! Can you get any better?

    HOLDing FAST to my ROCK always! and I know that You are too.

    I'm so fascinated with all this interesting data you dig up and for once, I saw the spiritual lesson clearly ... and lately I feel like a dead kelp, or dead weight. But He breathes life into me through MUSIC... have you noticed? I'm soaking in a song of thanks every day. I'd love to sound all pious and devout and tell you that I run to His Word, but when I do, I am not always lifted from the 'pit' of pity to pious... nor can I tell you I fall on my knees, because mine like yours pop and creak now more than I'd like to admit, BUT I do spend much of my day and some nights in prayer when the 'storm' is relentless and I am ever so weary, I just HOLD ON... soak and soak and hold. The hardest for me is to remain calm and not panic or allow my mind to race to the worst drowning scenario.

    I guess that's hold fast! But at times, I'm slow ... slow to reach out and grasp. So many other dear saints are facing such tumultuous storms and need us to hold them up like Exodus 17:12 with dear Moses. I do try! Pressing the gates of heaven for a very dear soul right now (or 2 or 3)and my, how I get washed out to sea... but I come with confidence that Our Rock is Solid! No pop in Him... just Papa and Abba... and so much strength and power when we surrender and admit that we are weak without Him!

    Even when I get this, I love how you vividly explain... priceless!

    Many blessings Sharon, and be sure to get my email from tonight, it has something very important for you... a gift! (if it's hard to see because it went askew to the right... I'll send just that part from Amazon KINDLE again, not sure how long you get to open, I sent it from my gmail not Yahoo! OK?

    This is definitely seeing and sharing the BEAUTY of God's wonderful creation!

  9. Love this analogy, Sharon. When we cling to the Rock and holdfast, we are not easily shaken by the things of this world.

    By the way, I think your son has a very wise mother!


  10. I hope your family knows how blessed they are to have such a light to always point them to "The Light"...

    This analogy shines with the anointing...and I am so glad it shone my way...

    Super glued to Him!

  11. Hi I like your blog and I'm a new follower! I hope your visit! Have a wonderful week!

    Peace & Love!

  12. Hi Sharon -

    I like how you described the hold fast. It sure held me.

    Hebrews 6:19 - KJV
    Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,...

    Romans 4:18 - KJV
    Who against hope believed in hope,...

    Romans 8:18
    For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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