Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Favourite Flowers – Orchids

If you’ve been following my blog, you would know by now how much I love anything that is alive; fishes, plants and all living things. I visited one of the biggest and most extensive orchid gardens in the world on one of my trips, and took some of these photos. Did you know that orchids are indigenous in almost every habitat except deserts and glaciers. In fact, they are the largest family of the flowering plants. Orchid species outnumber mammals four times.

What would our world look like if there was only one species of everything? Diversity is the spice of life!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Canada Day Celebrations – July 1st

This is our biggest event of the year. Since moving into our present church building in 2004, we’ve been hosting this community event. It’s been such a success story that we’re expecting over 5,000 people to turn up for a fantastic time of fun, food and festivities.
15 games booths, hot dogs, Starbucks coffee, slushies, popcorn. pony rides, bouncy castles, and a 25 feet climbing wall make for an exceptional event. Consider that fact that everything is free, certainly makes this is one great way for our church family to give back to our community.
It definitely has delivered a clear message to those unacquainted with our God; that He is a God with a big heart who gives and gives.

Friday, June 26, 2009


This morning the world received another “wake-up call”. No one, no matter how famous or talented they are, lives forever. Life is not to be taken for granted –it is a gift for a season. We are flowers in the field that blooms for a day and then withers. In our church this month, we’ve been studying the book of Exodus in a sermon series entitled, “Road Trip.” I guess every road trip must end sometime, somewhere. As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.
Publilius Syrus (100 BC), Moral Sayings, First Century B.C. It’s not death that disturbs me, it’s what we do with our lives that worries me.
There’s something worse than death – it is not having lived your life to the fullest!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Favourite Beaches – White Rock, Canada

Mount Baker, Washington in the background

This has been one of my favourite places ever since I moved to Canada in 1989. Back then, not too many people knew of this wonderful stretch of beach that really begins in Crescent beach and ends at the Pier in White Rock, South Surrey. I have many pleasant memories of picnics and barbeques with the family along this beach. Due to the recent popularity of this beach, until recently, I have stayed away for some years from the crowds that litter the beach on sunny days.There was a time, when I could drop our crab nets into the waters off the pier and be assured of a catch of either Dungenness or Red Rock crabs. The last time I tried, the net came up empty. I’ve heard of the legendary Geo Duck clams that used to make the sandy beaches their underground home, but that too has been fished into extinction. Sigh! Now the main attraction of this beach is the sun, the superb ice cream served up at the curb-side shops, and the wonderful atmosphere of the place. The sound of children playing on the beach, the fragrance of burgers on the grill and sight of the sparkling surf reminds me its summertime – and it feels great to be alive!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Favorite beaches – Coral Island, Pattaya - Thailand

The beaches on Pattaya were way too commercialized so we decided to take a ferry to a nearby island, that was relatively uninhabited and unspoilt, for a day of snorkelling and sun. We nearly took an expensive guided tour to our planned destination of Coral Island, but the concierge at our hotel was nice enough to show us how to get there by just playing regular rates on the local ferry. We ended up paying one dollar Canadian, instead of $30 per person. Once on the island, we had to get across the 5 miles on the back of a pickup truck `taxi.` It was worth the trip as this was truly a Coral island – the sand was comprised of ground up white corals. Though the tide was out, the clarity of the water was at least 20 feet. Though the coral diversity was not much, yet I managed to find some unspoilt sections with 6 foot coral outcroppings.
I spied a family of pink Clown fishes in their anemone, some huge parrot fishes and lots of butterfly fishes. I had to watch out for the spines of the black spiny urchins that were all over the place.
Yet another moment of awe and wonder at the creativity of God. As a kid, my dream was to live on a coral island and do nothing but swim, snorkel and soak in the sun. I’m thankful that I can live out that dream, a few days at a time, when I get these rare opportunities in some of my favourite beaches.
I Saw From the Beach

I saw from the beach, when the morning was shining,

A bark o'er the waters move gloriously on;
I came when the sun o'er that beach was declining,
The bark was still there, but the waters were gone.

And such is the fate of our life's early promise,
So passing the spring-tide of joy we have known;
Each wave that we danced on at morning ebbs from us,
And leaves us, at eve, on the bleak shore alone.

Oh, who would not welcome that moment's returning
When passion first waked a new life through his frame,
And his soul, like the wood that grows precious in burning,
Gave out all its sweets to love's exquisite flame.

by Thomas Moore

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Favorite Beaches – Koh Chang (Thailand)

Every beach has its own appeal; some outstanding landmarks and sometimes a different color or texture to its sand. Koh Chang is an island accessible by ferry from the mainland. After a 3 hour drive from Pattaya and a 20 minute crossing of the channel, we arrived at this hilly-terrain island that had some of the nicest beaches tucked and hidden away in lagoons and coves along the coastline.
Two unique things that made this beach very special to me were rope swings hanging on coconut trees, and the bright orange sunsets along the long stretches of unspoiled beaches.

An ocean sunset bright and vibrant
Reflecting their colors to the clouds
The waves shine golden under hypnotic light
Seagulls fly high in the sky
Into the sky set ablaze with evening star rising
Across the waves a new day dawning
People awaking to calls of doves so pure
Their morning star rising glowing with the dawn
Looking back across the shore

Monday, June 22, 2009

Unusual Plant in Unusual Places

I came across these pretty flowers growing along the seawall. I had to interrupt my walk to take a closer examination of them. I wonder how they got there in the first place and how well adapted they are to this seemingly inhospitable environment. I guess these plants somehow found its own niche, and put down roots and just started to bloom. While other plants struggle to survive in this harsh setting, these tiny yellow flowering plants flourish. Thought for the day: Everyone is created to fill a special place in life. Just because you are not like everyone else, does not devalue you, nor does it take away the unique purpose you serve in your little part of this world. Bloom where you are planted!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tribute to My Dad

Dad was born into a big household,
Lost his mom to cancer before he was 10 years old.
Smarter than his peers, he jumped grades several fold
He was a teen when the Japanese invaded Malaysia, I was told
How he coped in the jungles, I will never know
But he survived the gun, the rain and the cold

Years later he would find his way back to his birthplace
He discovered a space to stay just to keep up with the rat race
One day my mom found him living under a staircase
The British RAF officer would show him such grace;
Gave my dad his first job, so he wouldn’t lose face. Dad had to fib about things like his last name,
Cause grandma was more concerned about the shame
But dad would not be denied with excuses so lame,
So he won out in the marriage game.

Then came my siblings, one, two, three…then, six.
It was amazing we were all fed, with Campbell soup mix.
All these memories are captured in these pics.
Dad taught us how to play,
He showed us God’s way.
That’s the reason why I want to say,
Thank You Dad! We Honor you this Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Beach Chairs

There have been some great beaches I’ve visited that had beach chairs arranged so neatly; you didn’t want to sit or move them less the symmetry is lost. Beach chairs are an oxymoron icon on the beach. It symbolizes order and comfort; yet it sits on sifting sand that represents all things wild and restless.

Beach Chairs

Sitting on the beach chairs
watching the setting sun
Holding hands and reminiscing
how it all begun
Sitting on the beach chairs
watching the ships out on the sea
Holding hands and smiling
together we're meant to be
Sitting on the beach chairs
watching people walking past
Holding hands and knowing
that our love will always last
Sitting on the beach chairs
watching the waves along the shore
Holding hands we realize
our love is stronger than before
Sitting on the beach chairs
watching the changing tide
Holding hands with happiness
to be by each others side
Sitting on the beach chairs
watching the sunrise
Holding hands with tears of joy
there are no more good-byes
Joyce Ebrecht
Life is a mixed experience of the orderly and the restless; comfort and adventure.
The ebb and flow of life, like the tide on the beach, brings with it gifts and surprises everyday. Learn to enjoy the moment, relish the memories, move on from bad days, and surf the storm waves.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Favorite Beaches – Hua Hin (Thailand)

Three and one half hours from Bangkok city, is the setting for another beach that I have fond memories of. Thanks to my brother, who lives in Bangkok, and owns a travel magazine, we were treated to one of the best Resorts in my travel experience. We were put up in Evason Resort, which also housed the Six Senses Spa. This boutique hotel entices its guests with walled-in villas and private pools. The entire Resort is connected by Lotus and water-lily ponds. The massive three-tiered infinity pool is set 20 feet from the beach. The thing that made this beach special is its white sandy beach that stretches for miles. Coconut palms swaying in the warm breeze, the sweet fragrance of white Frangipani flowers, and the crashing of the waves on the shore is a winning ingredient for total relaxation and rest. One morning I took a 2 hour walk and did not bump into a single person on that entire stretch of beach. Every inch of that beach was covered with seashells, which is another reason for my love affair with beaches. At low tide, I could walk a mile out and explore the sea life that is unique only to that part of the world. We actually rescued an octopus that was stuck in the tiny pool when the tide receded.
At night this beach comes alive with eerie green lights in the horizon – hundreds of squid fishing boats out collecting their catch. The green lights are fluorescent light hung off the boats to attract squid right up close to the boats. Hua Hin beach ranks high up on my list of favorite beaches.

This all-expense paid hoiday in the Evason Resort was another of God's special blessings we have received on our Road Trip of life.