Saturday, August 29, 2009


Blue is one of my favourite colours. Both my vehicles are blue, my favourite hockey team jersey is blue and many of my baseball caps are blue. Blue is considered a primary colour in art.
Blue is calming. It can be strong and steadfast or light and friendly. Almost everyone likes some shade of the color blue. Maybe that’s one reason why I love the open sky and living near the sea so much. When I go for walks, I much prefer doing it beside a wide expanse of water than on a dark trail in some forested area. In the English language, blue may refer to the feeling of sadness. "He was feeling blue". (Wikipedia)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Encouraging Words for Difficult Times

When we go through tough times; we all need a word of encouragement; here are five scriptures that will give you hope and faith:

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ. Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." Ephesians 1:3-5

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:1-3
Stanley Jones tells of a missionary who got lost in an African jungle, nothing around him but bush and a few cleared places. He found a native hut and asked the native if he could get him out. The native said he could.
"All right," said the missionary, "show me the way."
The native said, "Walk," so they walked and hacked their way through unmarked jungle for more than an hour.
The missionary got worried. "Are you quite sure this is the way? Where is the path?"
The native said, "Bwana, in this place there is no path. I am the path."
Let these words of life serve as a beacon in these dark days!
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. John 6:67-69

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Healthy Diet

One of my early childhood memories is accompanying mom to the market twice a week.
I’ve always loved the sights and the smells of an open market; though some in Asia do really smell bad.
I love the different vegetables all laid out neatly like an artist’s pallet. It’s almost a work of art, the way some of the fruits and produce are arranged.
Of late, I’ve begun to appreciate, not just the aesthetic value of these fruit and vegetables but, their importance in my diet. Though most health nuts would extol the virtues of organically grown produce; I really can’t tell them apart. One thing I’ve noticed about my own organically cultivated peaches in my back yard is that they rot a couple of days after you pick them. It makes me wonder what they’ve put into some of the fruits you buy in a fruit stand. Whatever the label they put on these produce; the important thing is having a balanced diet.
As much as I love my meats; especially when they are grilled; sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad for you!
A healthy life is about balance.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Uncertain Times

Read in the news today that Reader’s Digest is filing for bankruptcy protection; I wonder who is safe in these tough economic times?
These are uncertain times that we live in. As much as the economists in our land can announce that we are out of the recession; try telling that to the common folks who are still losing their jobs. Try explaining that to the students who cannot get enough funds for their tuition fees, and can’t a minimum wage job to supplement their meager income.
Everywhere you drive, you see “for lease” signs going up; at the same time, you see "for sale" signs on the front lawns of expansive homes.
Depending on whom you listen to; energy experts will tell you that gas at the pumps will cost less and yet you see the prices rising again. It is in times like these that we need something certain; something that is stable, unchanging and unshakable.
This weekend I met up with over a hundred men for an hour of prayer; desperate men who needed divine assistance as they see their jobs slowly disappear week after week. Uncertain times calls for unconventional means. Uncertain times demand time-tested methods. What a moving sight to behold; when grown men turn their eyes heavenward, to the unchanging One who certainly will take care of all our needs.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV)

Monday, August 24, 2009


One of the most unique flowers that I’ve grown in my garden is the sunflower.
How can one not love a plant that can grow to 10 feet tall, and have a flower that is 12 inches across. Its uses vary from being the subject of Van Gogh’s famous painting, to a healthy snack. One of the most unique applications of the sunflower is to extract toxic ingredients from soil, such as lead, arsenic and uranium. They were actually used extensively to remove radiation from the soil and water ways after the Chernobyl disaster.
The amazing thing about the sunflower is its heliotropic ability. At sunrise, the faces of most sunflowers are turned towards the east. Over the course of the day, they follow the sun from east to west, while at night they return to an eastward orientation. As the bud stage ends, the stem stiffens and the blooming stage is reached, the flower head generally faces east for good. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beware – Beautiful but Poisonous

Brugmansia is a class of flowering shrub or tree that grows in tropical to sub tropical areas in different parts of the world. Strangely enough, I came across my first specimen in the Calgary Zoo. Ever since then, I’ve been looking for them in nurseries across the city. This year I managed to purchase four different varieties and they’ve grown from 3 inches to 3 feet over the summer.

The flowers are huge and showy and the fragrance sweetens your garden in the dusk like a fresh perfume. The one thing about this plant is that all parts of the Brugmansia is as poisonous as it is beautiful. It can be fatal if ingested and contact with the eye can actually cause pupil dilation. Some have actually tried a diluted concoction of the plant as a hallucinogen, often with deadly results.

I couldn’t help but draw a parallel application with our tongue. It has the potential of uttering beautiful words that build and inspire yet it can be full of poison too!
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:7, 8

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


It’s so nice to see all kinds of colourful banners all over the city. Some announce upcoming events, while others are merely for aesthetic purposes.
Some banners are created from children’s art work, and others are the expensive product of professional graphic artists. In the British Isles, banners were used to display a family’s Coat of Arms; in China, during the Manchu era, they used them for signalling; in battlefields throughout the ages, they have been used for identification. Have you ever noticed that banners are always placed in strategic and very visible locations? No matter the purpose behind them, banners are made to be seen.

Moses built an altar there and called it, ‘The Lord My Banner.' Exodus 17:15
Jehovah Nissi literally means “the Lord our Victory.”
Our banner of victory which is symbolic of the finished work of Jesus, gives us hope and focus in uncertain times.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Another season is swiftly passing as I enjoy this exceptionally nice summer in our beautiful city. It’s amazing how quickly time flies when you’ve got great plans. I painted my house two summers ago, (after procrastinating for two years) and decided the job would be complete when I painted the front door and the gutters black. This task was planned for the beginning of summer. I’m still waiting for the next nice warm day to do it; Yeah right!
You may delay, but time will not. Benjamin Franklin

The scary thing about time is that you don’t really realize the extent of its passing till you compare your old photos with the latest portraits. While the elements of time yellows and weathers old photos, they seem to be etched into your features in your latest shots.
Perhaps that’s why so much is spent on youth enhancing products today.
You may be able to hide your age, but you can’t turn the clock back on time.
Things to do:

Do what you need to do when you get the opportunity – they might never come your way again.

Tell your love ones how much you love and appreciate them – it might be the only time you ever get to express it again. Enjoy what you have now – don't complain about what you don't have!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Never Say never

It’s strange how God sometimes jogs your memory, and reminds you of things you’ve said years ago. I remember a conversation I had with a close friend in the Air Force, in 1987. It was about considering immigrating to a new country when we finished our stint in the military. Without much thought, I blurted out that Vancouver, Canada would be my first choice; but I mentioned it would never happen.
Here I am, a Canadian citizen, living in the best place in the world for the last 20 years.

Never say never!

Never say never, for if you live long enough, chances are you will not be able to abide by its restrictions. Never is a long, independable time, and life is too full of rich possibilities to have restrictions placed upon it. Gloria Swanson
Try something crazy. If it doesn’t work, do something else. No idea is too crazy. Jim Hightower.

Nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


The term symbiosis commonly describes close and often long-term interactions between different biological species.It can also be defined as the living together of unlike organisms.
I discovered this interesting concept of survival of certain species when I was a teenager on my first snorkeling experience in a coral reef. On my first dive in 15 feet of water, I came across a purple-coloured anemone that was five feet in diameter and there swimming in the center, was a Clown Fish. I couldn’t get over the sight of this six inch clown fish swimming among the poisonous tentacles of the anemone with impunity. While other fish get stung and eaten by anemone, the clown fish had adapted to life in it’s poisonous host.
In later dives, I also discovered tiny striped shrimps that also lived in the anemone.
Through keeping a clown fish and some anemones in my marine tank, and research in the library, I learned more about this symbiotic relationship of the anemone, clown fish and shrimp in depth and discovered the following facts:

The clowns fish developed certain eye diseases when it was kept in a marine aquarium without the anemone.
The anemone would be poisoned by rotting scraps of food wihtout the shrimp cleaning up.
Both the clown fish and the shrimp gets protection from other predators.

What an amazing relationship that is mutually beneficial to all.

We need one another not only to survive, but also to grow and excel in our lives.