Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunset on the Day of Pentecost

In the last few days I've gotten a head and chest cold. It has kept my body in pain and my head hurting. In addition, some other things I'm dealing with meant I didn't have a lot of energy or motivation today.

But God's nature "paintings" always have a way of exciting me. I had gone down the street to purchase some produce and other goodies for a late dinner. When I returned to my suite, this is the scene that awaited me from my patio window.

How spectacular!
I haven't yet learned how to take night shots or even properly use my camera. Thankfully, I found my instruction booklet and managed to find the night setting and the largest pixel setting with which to capture this night.

I absolutely love the way the sky looks.
And I am so glad I could "snap that".

I hope you had a good day today, the Day of Pentecost, when we remember the beginnings of the Christian Church.

"The day of Pentecost was the birth of Christianity. It was on this memorable day that repentance and baptism in Jesus' name for the remission of sins was first taught and experienced (Acts 2: 38). The height of Joel's prophesy had been "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered" (Joel 2: 32). When those whose hearts had been pricked asked what must they do, were told, and did it, they were calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 2: 37-42). People today are thus saved in the same way by calling on Jesus' name (Rom. 10: 13)."

May God bless you and your family throughout the coming year and may you find deeper meaning in Him.

Sunday Hymn

With the sun peeking through just to the upper right of the cross on the church exterior, it reminded me of this powerful hymn.

At the cross,
At the cross,
Where I first saw the light
And the burdens of my heart rolled away.
It was there by faith,
I received my sight
And now I am happy all the day.

Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling
block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ
the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:22-24

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oldies but Goodies, Newbies & the Not So Uglies

I thought it might be interesting to capture the variety of buildings we have here in our part of the world for visitors from elsewhere to enjoy. Whenever I have travelled to other lands, I've observed that Vancouver has a greater variety of building styles throughout the city and there is very little of same style development in any given neighborhood. Part of this is due to the fact that Canadian cities are generally not that old and so the buildings we have do not have the same history as in many parts of Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Nonetheless, I really enjoy the variety of building styles here. Combined with the natural beauty of the ocean, mountains and rain forest, the variety of buildings, is one thing I take joy in as I walk about in the different neighbourhoods. Recently, I took a lot of snaps of buildings right in the heart of the city. I would like to share a few of them with you.

Oldies but Goodies

(Above) Saint Paul's (Catholic) Hospital
(Below) St. Andrew's Wesley United Church


(Above & Below ) Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel

Not so Uglies

(Above) Vancouver Provincial Courthouse
(Below) Former BC Hydro Headquarters, now private condos

Buildings are important to God and are referenced many times in His Word, both in the spiritual sense and in the literal sense.

Corinthians 3:9 says "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." The Apostle Paul refers to Jesus as the "chief cornerstone in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord" (Ephesians 2:21) and Peter quotes Isaiah saying "Behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame." (2 Peter 2:6)

Right now, Jesus is preparing a literal place for us. In John 14: 2-3 He says:

In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

I don't know about you but I would rather have my mansion and be spiritually connected to Jesus for all of eternity, than to have all the silver or gold on earth for a season.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thoughts to Ponder

To realize
The value of a sister/brother:
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to a premature baby

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:

The origin of this letter is unknown.

Hold on tight to the ones you love!

[Received from my relative, Darlene with thanks and a few modifications.]

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today I am Thankful For....

... a number of answered prayers.

Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

1 Chronicles 16:8

News that my friend Pastor Jonah has obtained a visa for his first trip to South Africa to participate in a conference for emerging leaders in Africa. Pastor Jonah is a very humble servant of the Lord and he has a great heart for evangelizing the youth. I feel that God wants to bless him with this opportunity to go to South Africa. I've been praying for this trip. So today you can imagine how excited I was when I learned that he has just obtained a visa. This means that the trip is closer to a reality.

A nice chat with Enock, a Kenyan student friend of mine who I haven't heard from in some time. He is back in college after a school break. That in itself is good news, but even better was the news that he received a generous financial gift from one of his papa's friends to help him enroll in college this term. God is so awesome!

My own mama has been needing a new apartment for the physically disabled. She has finally gotten a call to go and see one today. Praise God!

Listening to Reverend Faisal Malick's sermon on-line. If you've never heard him you will be blessed. He is a converted Muslim who is now being used to reach Muslims and others for the Lord. He and his wife, Sabina make a dynamic duo for the Lord.

Watching Pastor Len Paxton's tangle video "The Cross & The Holy Spirit". It is a message full of truth, dynamism and helps. Pastor Len heads the Acts 26:18 Ministry.

If you are into praying, I have a number of requests to share:

I pray that Pastor Jonah will have all the funds he needs and more, to make the trip to South Africa less stressful. It is always hard to plan to go far away when you have little in the way of means to meet your needs. Please pray along with me as Lord willing, the trip will happen in early June 2009.

Please pray for Enock's funds to complete his education on time. Brother Enock daily faces challenges that many college students in the developed world will never have to face or even imagine. This is true of many students in Africa, including Kenya. He is studying business administration at a Bible college and when he is finished, his dream is to go onto higher learning in North America.

Pray for my mama. Pray that God would clearly let her know if the home she saw today is the home that God wants for her, or that we will soon know to which home she will be able to move. Also, that she will have more than enough help for the move. There are particular challenges she faces in finding just the "right" home and in the timing of the move. God knows and cares about each one of these challenges.

Protection and anointing for Reverend Faisal and his wife, Sabina, and for Reverend Len and his wife, Angie as they carry out the work of God for the Kingdom. These two couples are dynamic duos spreading the truth of the gospel to the nations.

Photo credit:

If you have a prayer need, let me know and I will pray for you too. God bless!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Every Earring Tells a Story

Today was a simple day. I didn't sleep so well last night so I wasn't terribly energetic to do much.One of the simple joys of the day was organizing a few of my earrings that I had hurriedly thrown into my carrying bags when it was time to relocate to a hotel post-fire investigation.

I didn't realize that I had so many singular and broken earrings with me. I spent a few moments to put them aside. Later, I will see if anything can be done to repair or re purpose them. I was pleased to see that some of the earrings I managed to bring with me actually matched. *smile* It gave me an idea for a blog about how even earrings have stories to tell. So here are some earring stories.

I purchased the earrings (left) for myself so many years ago that it was difficult to remember where I bought them. While I was putting this blog together, my memories of the day were triggered. I also remembered that I had originally purchased a necklace to go with the earrings. The necklace fell apart some time ago and is also awaiting repair or re-purpose. The entire set was purchased for what I thought was a great savings when I attended a pow-wow (Aboriginal dance gathering). They are fashioned out of turquoise and silver. Materials which are more often used in traditional southwestern Native American regalia, but are now used by many other Native peoples throughout North America. The pow-wow I attended was held in Kanesatake, Quebec. A place better known in contemporary Canadian culture as the place where the Canadian army & the Aboriginal people of Kanesatake were in an armed standoff over the desecration of a Native burial site. The standoff arose due Aboriginal frustration and anger over a local golf course expansion onto their burial grounds.

The earrings on the right are made of silver and abalone. The silver is carved with an eagle design. They were made on Vancouver Island and given to me by my mother for my birthday a few years ago. Unfortunately, I have a habit of losing hook earrings from my right ear. They simply fall out of my ear throughout the day. True to form, the right earring went missing after several months of wear.

Later, I purchased another set and promptly lost the right earring! Good thing I kept the one from the first set so I still have a "pair". In taking the photos of the earrings today, I noticed for the first time that one of the earrings has a silver ball just above the carved piece, while the other earring has a bronze coloured ball, *smile. That's okay. I will still wear them as a set. I don't think anyone will know the difference unless they've read this blog!

I do so love the vibrant blue colour of these earrings. I also love that they have the eagle design. Eagles are important in both Native American/Aboriginal culture and also in the Biblical/Christian culture.

The earrings to the left are what I would term an impulsive purchase based on the trendy fashion of the time. They are made of pink cubic zirconium and the colour is brighter & lovelier than this photo depicts. Sadly, I've never worn them. Don't you find this is often the case with impulse or trendy purchases? Pink diamonds were all the rage a few years back when Ben Affleck gave Jennifer Lopez a huge pink diamond engagement ring. Sadly, that marriage never happened so the engagement now too seems to have been a impulse, though I probably shouldn't speculate on the private lives of celebs.

The earrings on the right are made of mixed white and yellow gold. They are very lightweight so there is very little gold in them. I bought them from the shopping channel when I was looking for a budget pair of hoops that would coordinate with everything. This is a case of the photo of the earrings looking better than the actual product. How can that be?

Hoops are one of my favourite types of earrings because I can wear them daily. I usually like to have gold hoops on hand because they also go with most attire and one thing I really don't do much of is change my jewellery from day to day. I bought these hoops at The Bay (formerly The Hudson Bay). This store got its start years ago as a British fur trading company; a company which played a significant role in Canadian history and relations with the Aboriginal/Native peoples. The Hudson Bay Company even has an extensive and valuable archival collection which is open to the public for research purposes. The was truly a Canadian institution. Sadly, it was sold in July 2008 to an American company. It is still hard to fathom that what was once such a Canadian institution, is no longer in Canadian hands but is now in American hands. Such is the world of business.

To the right you will find garnet earrings set in gold. These were purchased in Prague, Czech Republic on my one and only trip there in December 2005. My how time flies!

Prague was a cold, but delightful place to visit in December. Christmas lights and markets were everywhere and the sites of the city were all within walking distance or short subway ride from the historic old town centre where I lodged.

Magical scenes of buildings and Christmas scenery abounded and my imagination ran to remembrances of childhood storybooks. One day, I shall write about some of my experiences in this enchanting place.

Garnet earrings are called "granat" in Prague. (I guess that is probably garnet in the Czech language). Garnet earrings are a very popular stone to purchase in Prague and they are usually set in 14K or 18K gold. I purchased garnet earrings set in 14K gold setting. I'm not usually so extravagant in my personal purchases but I told myself that these earrings will last me a lifetime and remind me of the wonderful memories of my trip. I can only wear 14 carat gold or higher as my ears have never fully healed from the piercing process. The purchase was quite expensive for me, especially given the difference between the Canadian and the Euro dollars. It was the only purchase I made for myself while in the Czech Republic.

After strolling down memory lane about how I came to be in the possession of each set of the earrings shown in the photos, I settled on wearing the lovely turquoise and silver earrings. I do love their engraved and embellished setting and the lovely blue green colour of the stone. I haven't worn this pair for a long while and so it is long past time to enjoy them once again.

I leave you with this parting thought.

I have always loved gold, silver and precious stones for their intrinsic beauty, and also, because I love just about anything that comes from the earth itself (examples, gold, silver, jewels, wood, etc.). God certainly knew what He was doing when he created these precious gems and metals. At the same time, I know and appreciate that God esteems us, His created beings. He esteems us so highly that He calls us "His jewels".

This thought is worth far more to me than all the gems in the world. It means I hope to be with my Father in glory some day when He returns. The world's politics, disasters and economies, they all trip along from one catastrophe to another. I can do little about that but the thought that I am "His precious jewel" brings me great comfort for these dark times.

16Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.17And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.18Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
Malachi 3:16-18

If you enjoyed this blog, please check back again sometime. I'm mulling over thoughts of another post about jewellery based on a Bible reading I did today. I'm still working out the concept in my mind. If the concept works, I'll write the blog. God bless you, til you read me again *smile.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No Fried Green Tomatoes Here

My condo building had a fire in a suite located two floors above mine about two weeks ago. There was significant water damage to my suite so I have been temporarily relocated to a downtown hotel.

I'm grateful that my brother has been living with me over these past few years while I've been convalescing due to having multiple health conditions. He is my chief cook and bottle washer these days, but I wasn't always grateful for him and he wasn't always my chief cook and bottle washer. Currently, he has his own suite in the hotel where he cooks the majority of our dinner meals. We do each have a kitchenette in each of our hotel suites and for the most part my brother does the cooking for us, just as he does at home.

I usually suggest what to make given the ingredients of the day, but only make general suggestions as he and I have different tastes when it comes to food combining and use of fruits and veggies. It is rather difficult to generate ideas for anything other than the truly basic. We live in temporary lodgings and do not know quite how long we will be here. We don't have even simple things like salt and pepper, condiments, oils and other spices, though I have purchased a few small items as well as all the basic food stuffs, veggies, fruit, milk, bread, eggs, etc.

Tonight, I suggested to the chef that he stuff a bag of organic green peppers I purchased yesterday in a dollar bag. It is common here that produce stores will sell dollar bags of wilting produce or fruit and you need to use them right away. So I suggested he stuff them with a combination of rice, ground beef, onions and garlic (bought fresh in cloves). He declined to use the onions and garlic and opted instead to mix avocados in with the rice and the ground beef. He also made baked potatoes and chicken. He is a big guy and always cooks ahead for later snack.

I had one of the green peppers and the baked chicken and saved the rest for another meal or part thereof.

Anyway, each time my brother makes a meal, I am truly grateful. It is an act of love and caring for me and he is getting to be a rather good cook. The avocados with the rice and ground beef was superb in texture and a delight to the mouth.

"Better a meal of vegetables where there is love
than a fattened calf with hatred."
Proverbs 15:17

Rain Falls, a Promise is Made

raining,raining,raining - the weather this time of the year

After a week or more of blessed sunshine, it was pouring rain overnight and into the morning. Rain brings a freshening of the earth, in addition to a cleaning for our enjoyment on another sunny day. It just so happened that my reading for the day was also about rain.

In Genesis, chapters 6-9, I read again about the flood that God sent upon the earth due to the evil and violence in the world.

11The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

12And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

13And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Genesis 6:11-13

But God found in Noah, a perfect man for his generation.

Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Genesis 6:9

So he made a way of escape for Noah, his family and all the animals, both clean and unclean by getting him to build and Ark and enter into it for the duration of the 150 day period (Genesis 7: 24) over which the water prevailed on the earth.

I've loved this story about Noah and the Great Flood since childhood. It is because it is so incomprehensible to my human mind that man could be so wicked and violent so as to provoke God to flood and encompass the entire earth. Yet, God in his awesome love and mercy would save the world and even the animals so that the world could be inhabited once again. This speaks to me of how awesome God's love and mercy really is. He didn't have to save us but for one Godly man, He did! Praise His Name!

This wonderful story concludes with God's promise to us to never again send a flood to encompass the entire earth; the mark of which is His beautiful rainbow.

11And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

12And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

Genesis 9:11-13

Whenever I see a rainbow, I am reminded of this wonderful story and God's promise to us, His children. I am grateful that God keeps His promises.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Greet the Day

This is the scene that greeted me today. I thank God for the beautiful day.

As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah.
Psalm 68:2-7

This is a wonderful verse of scripture. I greet the day with gladness and I pray you have a wonderful day in Him. Remember He will never leave you, nor forsake you. No matter what the storm. He is ever near you. Hallelujia to His name.

Flowers, Greens & Water

As I wandered to town on a short errand, I captured these refreshing snaps along the way. The first thing that was a surprise to me was the new community garden built right on the corner of two very busy downtown streets.

Entry to the garden

Vegetables grow here

And so do flowers

The growing season hasn't been under way that long here as the weather has been rather chilly all spring. We are just now getting good temperatures. At last. How nice it was to feel the warmth of the sun without a jacket today.

I always love to see the trees in the city. They soften the edges of the concrete jungle.

These flowers are in front of the city hospital which is just around the corner from the city garden.

And these lovely, refreshing fountains are across the street from the hospital at one of the city's newer and popular hotels, The Sheraton Wall Centre.

These flowers are planted where there would otherwise only be concrete at the Sheraton Wall Centre.

The concrete cobblestones make an interesting backdrop for the flowers, don't you think?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunset at the Bay

I thought it would be fun to capture the sunset from my window through its different phases.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Make a Joyful Noise


1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Wondering Where the Lions Are"

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised.

Psalm 113:3

Bruce Cockburn is a Canadian folk/rock guitarist and singer-songwriter who has written many songs and released about 30 albums ranging in styles from folk to jazz-influenced rock to rock and roll. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston for three semesters in the 1960s but those of you in the United States may be less familiar with his music.

Perhaps if you have heard of him, you're familiar with the album Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws (1979). One of the songs on the album, "Wondering Where the Lions Are" made it to #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA and earned Bruce Cockburn a spot on Saturday Night Live.

Bruce Cockburn was raised as an agnostic and he became a devout Christian early on in his career. Many of his albums reference his Christian beliefs and his concerns for human rights and the environment. His music also includes imagery inspired by 20th century Christian poet, Charles Williams and the ideas of theologian, Harvey Cox.

On today's short hike to English Bay beach, I took a number of pictures that I've set to the song "Wondering Where the Lions Are". I used some artistic license in putting together sunset scenes with lyrics that reference the "sun's up". I apologize in advance for the quality of the sound recording but the laptop I am using is much slower than my desk top at home.* I may try to correct the music quality at a later time.

However, if the sound turns out to be problematic for you, or you are on dial-up, you can enjoy the photos by clicking here

* I learned it isn't the speed of my laptop that affects the sound quality (music upload) but the hotel's wifi connection is 30x slower for upload than my home internet service....this means, I will re-do the music but it will be a month or more.

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised.
Psalm 113:3

Bruce Cockburn is one of my favourite Canadian singers. Besides "Wondering Where the Lions Are", my other two favourite songs of his are, "If a Tree Falls in the Forest" and "Waiting for a Miracle". I invite you to check out his music.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Take a Walk With Me

"There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast."~ Paul Scott Mowrer

"One step at a time is good walking."
~ Chinese proverb

Tuesday 4 ~ Books

Welcome back to Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4 . Books are such a big part of many people's lives. Maybe we should talk about that. 1. Do y...