Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nobody knows this little Rose

by Emily Dickinson

Nobody knows this little Rose --
It might a pilgrim be
Did I not take it from the ways
And lift it up to thee.
Only a Bee will miss it --
Only a Butterfly,

Hastening from far journey --
On its breast to lie --
Only a Bird will wonder --
Only a Breeze will sigh --
Ah Little Rose -- how easy
For such as thee to die!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


blue, blue, blue.
any shade will do.
out of all the colours in the wheel,
it seems i like this one more,
for real

{Joyful Servant, 27-06-09}

in my walk in the brilliant sunshine yesterday, i happened across this lovely old building, with beautiful, blue, exterior walls and crisp, white trim.

it reminded me very much of fairy tales, my trip to prague and wedgewood china.

the lovely metal gate in black, is also perfectly framed by the lovely blue wall.

the side of the building is in the shade giving the
exterior walls a much fuller body.

as i was snapping these pictures, i was reminded of seeing the writer, frank kafka's house, in prague, czech republic.
the particular house i'm recalling is small and located near the royal palace.

some day i would love to get back and see more of prague!
the city is so alive with coloured buildings, blues, yellows, russets.....

[caption: frank kafka's house number 22, credit: prague.net]

Friday, June 26, 2009

Love is an Action

My little children, let us not love in word,

neither in tongue;
but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:18

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Visiting the Dispossessed

My friend, Pastor Jonah in Kenya visited a camp for internally

displaced persons

recently. Here is his story.

Our visit to the Internally Displaced Persons IDPs Center was quite devastating. The IDPs have experienced so much loss to their lives and personal dignity.

We were without words as we visited this place. I have uploaded a lot of pictures here of all the parts of the Center that we visited so that you can see what it is really like.

I am now trying to implement what I learned at the
Amahoro Gathering I attended the week before last in Hekspoort, South Africa; teachings about community building and reconciliation. We Christians are called to be peace makers.

God bless.
Missions of Hope

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What's Red?

Red is a strong color
Red is a Strawberry
A very juicy red fruit
Red is an apple
Another delicious fruit
Red is a fruit
those small little cherries
Red is a light
The light that means stop when you get to it
Red is a firetruck
The truck that fire people use when theres a fire
Red, Red, Red
What a color

by Favie Erase

[Caption: Red fire hydrant in nearby park. I love the 'pop' of colour]

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On Being a Tourist

The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality,
and eventually in one's own.
Susan Sontag

On a jaunt the other day, I saw things that made me want to be a tourist in my own city. A Carnival cruise ship was docked for the day in the city's harbour. Cruise ships anchor just a few accessible steps from our city's historic Gastown with it's many tourist attractions and old town feel.

While snapping the cruise ship, I saw tourists riding by on the city's only trolley. The trolley is an enclosed trolley, not like the ones in San Francisco which are open on the sides. Moreover, it's sole function is to take tourists to all the main tourist attractions in the city. You can embark and disembark, as you desire, all along the trolley's route.

In the bus below, you have a choice between being in the open air or being fully covered. This comes in handy if you are not able to sit in the direct sunlight, or if it happens to be raining and you don't want to get wet!

Sometimes it is just nice to be a tourist in your own city and experience the sites and sounds of where you live, through the eyes of those that have never seen it before.

I might just have to hop on one of these buses before summer's end.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Little Tired Today

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint

Isaiah 40:31

After my busier day than usual yesterday, I am feeling a little tired today. I woke up very early after going to sleep late, but managed to chat briefly with two Kenyan brothers before their electrical power went down.

After that, I went back to sleep to try to rest and woke up late to prepare this brunch.

First I sauteed a handful of baby crimini mushrooms
and 4 little half strips of bacon.

Next I roughly chopped a small tomato,white cheese and mint

And folded them into two scrambled eggs.

I found the mint gave the eggs an interesting and nice refreshing flavour and I'll try it again some time as there is only so much tea I can have with mint *smile.

I am spending some time reading, studying and making phone calls.

Tomorrow, I get to meet with the carpet contractor and view some samples of the replacement carpet. This means that restoration work is finally getting underway at my condo.

Please keep the restoration on your prayer list as my main concern is getting rid of all the mold and I see there is still insulation left behind with mold in it. I will speak to the contractors and the strata management tomorrow and see about having it all removed.

Well I'd better run. Last night at church I heard about a woman who lives close to where I am staying. She broke her foot and needs help with buying groceries. If she still needs help I will offer it. It would be awesome to be a blessing to someone in my church body. Someone I haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting.

Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other;
let us really show it by our actions.

1 John 3:18 (NLT)

Sunday, June 21, 2009


This is the day which the LORD hath made;

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

Oh it has been a busy day today.

First, I awoke a bit late so I didn't go to church this morning. I decided to go to the apartment tonight and take in an evening service instead.

I was chatting with a young brother in Kenya and he told me the story of how God miraculously provided money to his father so that his college tuition could be paid. Some of my friends and I have been praying for this young brother, so his testimony was greatly encouraging to me. Needless to say, he was also ecstatic over God's provision for him.

As we were chatting, I received word that my nephew had made an unannounced day trip to Vancouver where I live. It is a 5 hour journey each way by car. He had come down with friends to try and see the Cold Play concert even though he had no ticket and the concert was sold out. I set about readying the hotel suite for guests and getting a parking pass organized for him.

When they got here, his friends decided to go down the street for fabulous Greek food at a well known establishment. My nephew went off with my brother to try and purchase tickets for the show.

The young girl in the photo above is named, "Sarah". She is an international student from Accra, Ghana and it turns out she didn't have a ticket for the concert either. We were able to have a quick visit about her homeland where I visited a few years ago before her and her friends went for their Greek dinner. The young man next to Sarah is Nick, then Joel and my nephew Ryan. It turns out that my brother was able to secure tickets to the concert for both my nephew and for Sarah.

Next up was the evening service where I was treated to some rousing singing by the new choir. This is the first evening service I've attended and I enjoyed enough to want to return.

At my church there are three distinct congregations that worship together in the same building. It is all the same body but each service has its own pastor and worship leaders. Congregants usually attend one of the three services on Sundays and the one I generally attend is the 2nd service on Sunday mornings. We have also started a new sister church on the other side of town, about half way between the church and one of the city's major universities.

I enjoyed evening service and will try to attend again soon mainly because it seems as if they are not having to rush away after service. They spend time trying to build a community of people by having refreshments and mingling. They also do this in the morning but it is harder to do when one service immediately follows the other and the second service ends when most people are having lunch. The evening service has a bit more luxury in terms of time for gathering afterward and this is what I desire.

On my way home, I "ran into" this bull on the sidewalk. The last time I passed this spot an eagle was in his place. I think they change the animal or fowl according to whatever artistic efforts are underway in the city at any given time so it is always interesting to see what you will come across next.

I also passed by our main public library. I love the curves of this building. The library is housed in the shorter circular building. The high rise contains federal (national) government offices.

I got home late and am a little tired but this beautiful scene awaited me. Every night I get to see something this spectacular and I love it!

I forgot to mention that the sermon tonight was on John 17, part of which included how Jesus prayed to his Father to give us, his disciples, joy. How awesome is that?!!

And those my friends, were the key "joyful" vignettes of my day. I hope you also had some "joyful" vignettes in yours. ♥♥♥

Peonies & Cheese

...the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Nehemiah 8:10

What do peonies and cheese have to do with each other, you might ask?

Well probably not a lot unless you've been to the Farmer's Market.

In one of my walks a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find this sign.

I made a mental note to return and today was the day to do so. Am I ever glad I did. Not only did I find some fabulously good food, but I also found a quaint and colourful "secret" path off the main streets. I'm going to blog about it another day when I have my camera ready.

Join me for lunch now with the market finds of the morning.

We are having crunchy green salad,

cranberry artisan bread and some locally made cheese, called "Tilly Jilly". I don't know what's in it but it sure was good.

I also brought these lovely peonies home to enjoy.

I've enjoyed another day in God's beautiful world. I hope you did too.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Comes

[Caption: Palm tree & sand in front of local restaurant]

Summer Poem

Summer brings us nice warm sun
For swimming, fishing, and lots of fun
For finding seashells in the sand
For sunbathing to get a tan
To do all these things and more
At the beach and seashore

Author unknown

I was surprised to go out yesterday and see these scenes of palm trees, sand and Muskoka chairs set out on the street. It is a clear sign that spring is almost gone and summer is just around the corner.

It has been rather hot here already with little rain so far in the month of June and record breaking temperatures. With temperatures this high one doesn't have to go and seek heat elsewhere.

I'm so glad to have air conditioning, and patio windows in my hotel suite. I can get fresh air or cool air and enjoy putting my feet up while I look out over the evening sunsets.

[Caption: Put your feet up and relax]

The sunsets are spectacular every evening.

~ I am blessed ~

Friday, June 19, 2009

Get Involved

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

James 1:27

[Caption: Mother & her children receive seeds, Credit: Pst. Jonah]

Ever since I was a little child I've dreamt of being involved in African missions. Given I was only a child when I had this thought, I was never really sure if it was simply a flight of fancy or a real desire.

Over time, I put these thoughts aside as life got busy and very involved. A few years ago though things seemed to open up to new possibilities and it was as if God was "paving the way" for me to get involved in missions in Africa. My church has made a strategic 10 year investment in Cambodia, so I am basically on my own to try and help these missions. I do what I can as an individual to help missions in Africa, specifically in Kenya since I don't have the backing of a large non-governmental organization (NGO) or a local church body behind me.

Getting involved in missions is really not that difficult. It is simply a question of whether you will be obedient to God's word to practice pure and undefiled religion and help the widows and the orphans.

I've set out some ideas to help you in considering how you can get involved with the Missions of Hope in Kenya. I pray you will consider getting involved and making a real difference in the lives of these precious people. Now here are some ideas to pray about and implement:

* Link your website or blog to http://jonahsmissions.blogspot.com & www.jonahsmissions.weebly.com
* Pray specifically for the Kenyan pastors, their families; the orphans & caretakers.
* Fast for 1 or 2 days if you have no health issues.
* Sponsor, share sponsorship with a friend or find a monthly sponsor for one family ($55/month).
* Sponsor one child's education for a half year or year.
* Sponsor a building project (church, house, renovations, pit latrines). Africans have hands to build but need the raw materials.
* Organize & sponsor pastoral teaching for Kericho's pastors and create pastor's reference kits.
* Tell your church pastors, leaders & friends about these Missions of Hope.
* Get a group of friends to organize specific projects e.g. buy and ship bibles, sewing projects, fund raise for land rental & planting, buy animals and motor bike etc.
* Send funds (large or small) to meet urgent and long-term needs.

I hope you will become as passionate about these on the ground Missions of Hope as I am. God bless.

[Caption: Little boy holds tightly to the precious seeds, Credit: Pst. Jonah]

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bornest Goes Home

[Caption: Bornest is laid to rest. The orphans lay flowers at her grave.]

He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
All these things are gone forever.

(Revelation 21:4 NLT)

Bornest, a young orphan woman in the community of Kericho, Kenya was my friend. She died over the weekend and was laid to rest yesterday.

In her short life on earth, Bornest touched many and I've learned that her life was mirrored in the words the people shared at her funeral. Though the rain fell heavily on that day, many people showed up to say goodbye and to pay their last respects. Bornest loved life and people and it was evident in her touching send off.

Pastor Jonah shared these photos of her going home celebration. The photos capture the order of their funerals which is:

- removing the body from the funeral home
- taking the body home
- talks & speeches
- preaching
- final farewell.

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4 NLT


A word is not the same with one writer as with another.
One tears it from his guts.
The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.

~Charles Peguy~

I love notebooks. I love them because they come in all shapes and sizes. I love them because they remind me of possibilities. Possibilities of keeping track of things, possibilities of recording things, possibilities of writing.

I buy a lot of them. I generally browse the dollar stores and buy a couple at a time for a dollar each. I think this is a great use of a dollar! What else can you buy for a dollar these days that has as much value?

The notebook in my photo is one of my newer purchases. I like it's light green colour and I adore the little sketches on its cover.

The stone with word "Believe" reminds me to record things, even if only mentally, but hopefully on paper. Thoughts that help me believe in positive possibilities keep me mindful of gratitude for everything I have.

The stones are also reminders of the possibilities of writing more some day. More than lists, more than blogs, more than contact information.

~ I can dream. ~

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Today I am Thankful For.....

I have learned, in whatsoever state I am,
therewith to be content.

Phillipians 4: 11

I am thankful for....

1. Nurses attending at my mother's home to cleanse her leg wound and the scheduling of a doctor appointment to evaluate the nature of the wound. The nurses suspect it is now cancerous. My friends and I are praying that it is not. Her doctor appointment is on June 22, 2009.

2. Pastor Jonah's safe journey to and from Hekspoort, South Africa to attend the Amahoro Gathering. Read more here about his journey.

3. My student friend and little brother Enock, in Kericho, Kenya. He was to leave Bible college to the village to find more money for his tuition. But praise God, he received a phone call and his father is sending him funds. He won't have to travel back to the village after all. God is looking after his schooling needs.

4. My friend Bornest, in Kericho, Kenya died a few days ago. I am thankful that arrangements are well underway for her funeral and going home party which will be held today, Wednesday, June 17, 2009.

5. I am thankful for my brother who is handling fire insurance matters and other business. He is saving me a lot of time and energy.

6. I am thankful that rain is expected so that my little garden can flourish.

7. I am thankful for bloggers, Shell in Australia and some of her friends who blog about beautiful things and have creative gifts to lift the spirits of others.

8. I am grateful for a cleaning woman who cleans my bathroom daily while I am at the hotel.

9. I am grateful that I can soak my feet in "salts" and relax.

10. I am grateful for beautiful flowers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Little Garden

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

Genesis 1:29

I live in a condominium complex in a large city and I am so grateful to have a very large patio and small garden for enjoying nature. God was good to me in providing this as nature is one of the things that gives me great joy in life and makes me feel connected to God.

I am not, however a very good gardener. I so long to have beautiful flowers and after 10 years of trying I have only once come close to it. I can make a lot of excuses and one of them is lack of knowledge. But truthfully there have been many ups and downs in the condo life, things like total exterior restoration due to rain damage. That and health issues, lack of knowledge and income and family health challenges, have all contributed to little time and enthusiasm to really do much with my small garden.

From the beginning my small garden needed a LOT of help. It had plants in it that I did not like. The garden was completely ruined during the building restoration so it gave me a reason to get rid of some plants, mainly shrubs but little by little I got rid of other plants. Over the years, I have done a little here and there and gained a bit of knowledge. I think the soil is finally starting to be healthy enough to actually grow something. The challenge now is having enough time and energy to tend the plants, weed the garden and make sure the soil is properly fertilized and watered.

This year we had a very cold spring and then we had the building fire around the time the weather was improving enough to prepare the garden. Last week, after weeks of being in a hotel, I was finally able to get out to the apartment and so some gardening. Unfortunately, I had to weed it for the 3rd time and prepare the soil before I could actually do any planting.

Gardening in this plot is a particular challenge. It isn't like kneeling down in your yard and doing your gardening bit. The garden is in a raised bed with a foot and half high retaining wall. You must either reach over and stretch as far as you can into the garden to lay soil or plant. Alternatively, you have to jump up into the plot and bend over or squat to reach the farthest parts. It is a little uncomfortable. But I press on because I want to see growth.

I've learned I'm not good at growing flowers. At least not yet. So last year, I turned half of my small plot into a vegetable garden and had an abundance of corn for the squirrels and lettuce for the salad. This year, I've decided to continue with vegetables for both the squirrels and for my household.

Here is the kale that I planted. When it is ready, I will use it to make juices. I got this idea from one of the Christian women bloggers I follow. Just in the foreground to the left, you will see a small beet plant.

Here are my corn stalks. These look so pretty when they grow high and wave in the wind. I love to watch the squirrels scamper across the patio railing in the Fall and come and collect corn kernels.

Here are my tomato plants and my various peppers (green, long yellow and sweet red ones).

I have also planted some herbs. This year I've planted dill, rosemary and basil. These are great for cooking.

My little garden also has some flowers and other plants. The rose bush you see below has never been that healthy. It is kind of scraggly. It was in the garden when I moved in and I keep it because I love red roses.

I planted the large Solomon's Seal in the right of the photo. It was a very small plant when I planted it and it has grown large and healthy. Yippee! I love the green and the little white bells that hang from the leaves. I also love the tall grasses that you see in the background because they blow in the wind when they get tall and give me a feeling of peace.

You can see that my little garden really is little. Though I also have two trees in it, one on each side. I don't grow a lot but it is enough to keep me busy without overwhelming me. I love to see even small growth and greenery. It gives me a lot of joy.

I hope you enjoyed my little garden too.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13

My beloved spoke and said to me,
"Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me.

See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.

The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me."

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...