Friday, October 30, 2009

Sea Food

I’ve been visiting this fishermen’s wharf for years and only recently did I come across this interesting scene; a new kind of fishermen, Sea Urchin divers.
The Japanese have always loved their “uni.” (sea urchins) Like most other sea food, they ingest it raw. While most other fishing boats were displaying shrimps, salmon and tuna, this particular diver/fisherman was hawking green and black sea urchins.
They were even offering free samples of this raw delicacy. They look delicious to the uninitiated, until they taste their first mouthful. What dainty morsels rumours are – but they sink deep into one’s heart. Any story sound true until someone sets the record straight. Proverbs 18:8, 17

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Is it a fruit or a vegetable? Actually it’s more like an ornament!
Sometimes I feel it’s such a waste that farmers who spend an entire summer growing these monstrous gourds only to have them carved up and discarded after the season.
The pumpkin is actually a fruit, but it is often only cooked as a vegetable, used in soups most commonly baked in pies, and can also be made into pumpkin bread.
The lowly pumpkin actually has many nutritional and health benefits.
Pumpkins are rich in cartenoids, which aids in our immune system; a power antioxidant found in beta-carotene prevent build up of cholesterol in the body; high in fibre; and it’s loaded with zinc and potassium, which are critical for lowering the risk of hypertension and bone loss. Nice to look at, it is said to prevent macular degeneration.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Say it with Food

Don’t eat with people who are stingy; don’t desire their delicacies. ‘Eat and drink,’ but they don’t mean it. They are always thinking about how much it costs. You will vomit up the delicious food they serve, and you will have to take back your words of appreciation for their ‘kindness.’ Proverbs 23:6-8

The 'Preacher' must have had some bad dining experiences in his life.
I’m thankful there aren’t many people I know who are like those described in this Proverb. My experiences have largely been positive and life affirming.
One of the few luxuries that I allow myself to indulge in is good food. During the most stressful times of life; my prayer has been for God to send someone to pamper me with a good meal.
I’ve found a good friend who knows my heart and desires. He doesn’t say much, but he shows his care and love through his amazing prime rib steaks and the many dinners I get invited to.
It’s true that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!”
Thanks buddy for your special ministry and many blessings.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Time to Plant?

Even as my summer garden slowly goes into hibernation, it's also time for me to rake up the leaves; and put into the ground my spring bulbs.
I love to go shopping for spring bulbs during this season. So many types of plants, so little space in the garden; so many beautiful flowers in spring, so limited the budget! What should I plant? What colour scheme do I want? How much am I willing to invest today for a wonderful back-yard garden colour explosion in spring?Daffodils, tulips, aliums, crocuses, amaryllis, or lillies? Some perform better than others in my West Coast garden. I've developed a system of planting some time back. Every year I put in an extra 50 tulip and 50 daffodil bulbs. That way, I maintain my tight budget as well as fill in the empty spaces in the garden. The daffodils are always planted around the tulip bulbs to keep out the squirrels.
I learnt this expensive lesson in the early years, after 'feeding' hungry rodents over the winters.
Lessons learnt from planting:

What I sow now – I will definitely reap in the near future.
I have to carefully consider what kinds of seeds I am sowing today.

“Those who plant seed of injustice will harvest disaster; and their reign of terror will end.” Proverbs 22:8

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Fountain

I`ve always wanted a pond in my garden with a nice fountain and a water feature, so shortly after I bought my home, I picked a nice shady spot and created it. Soon I had hummingbirds frequenting this nice refreshing spa in the garden. The water from the pond is also a great source for watering the plants during hot spells in the summer.
The sound of the water splashing into the pond helps shut out the daily hum-drum of life.
The advice of the wise is like a life-giving fountain;
those who accept it avoid the snares of death. Proverbs 13:14

Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.
Proverbs 14:27

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Colour of Change

Colors have great significance in life. Every human being has a distinctive fondness for certain colours. People select colors that make them feel soothing and comfortable. Tints and shades of color we choose reveal our personality and preferences.
The largest influence on the human state of mind with the possible exception of the weather is color. If you think about it, even these two things are inter-related too. Artists interpret life through the colour pallets they are known for in their masterpieces.
You can easily tell apart a Monet from a Picasso, not just from the form but from the colours.
They tell us that colours even affect human behaviour and mood. Colours should be chosen carefully for interiors; warm or muted colours for the bedroom; bright colours for living space. I guess if you take time to consider it, there is something significant about colours. Even nature reflects the changes in the season through its kaleidoscope of colours.

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life. Proverbs 16:31
I guess even the colour changes in our hair is indicative of major changes occuring in our physiology as aging takes place.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


“Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows.” Proverbs 13:11 Went for a long walk on a rare sunny day and I decided to take some pictures of the beautiful fall colours but ended up on a mushroom “hunt.” I was amazed at the variety of mushrooms we came across just from an hour’s walk through a residential neighbourhood. I gained more appreciation for the cliché, “spring up like mushrooms”, during this search for fungi. These same fungi weren’t there a few days earlier when we had walked through.
There are many parallel truths that can be drawn from the lowly mushroom and the lessons found in Proverbs 13:11.

The product of instant growth rarely last
Longevity comes with hard work
Oak trees outlive mushrooms

James A. Garfield, prior to serving as President of the United States, was president of Hiram College in Ohio. One day a father asked Garfield if there were a short-cut whereby his son could get through college in less than the usual four years. He wanted his Son to get on with making money. The college president gave this reply, “Of course there is a way; it all depends on what you want your boy to do. When God wants to grow an oak tree, he takes 100 years. When he wants to make a squash, he only takes two months.”

I wonder how long it takes to grow a mushroom; two days?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dirty Your Hands

There are lots of things in life that require you to get your hands dirty if you want results. Many jobs in life are unpleasant but essential; most require hard work.
Unless someone is willing to dirty their hands:
Life would be devoid of beautiful gardens
Lots of thankless tasks will go undone
There would be worldwide food shortages
Streets will be filthy
Lives will not be touched “An empty stable stays clean, but no income comes from an empty stable.”
Proverbs 14:4 (NLT)

Friday, October 16, 2009


One precious year of my life was spent in Taipei –Taiwan. Out of that life experience, I’ve gleaned many lessons and I'm left with quite a few bitter-sweet memories.

One of the many stories that involved the materialistic attitude in that society was about the landlord of our apartment. I had flown into Taipei a month ahead of my family and team members to find a place to live.
I still can’t get over the strange method of advertising homes for rent in that city. Instead of your daily Newspaper or Craig’s list, they had bulletin boards erected in certain segments of each neighbourhood that listed homes for rent.
After a few days walking the length and breadth of that city, I came across a suitable location and made an appointment with the landlord to meet him in a prominent downtown, 4-star hotel. I found out that this man owned 15 homes just in the city, which probably made him a millionaire.
On the day of the meeting, I dressed formally to make a good impression and was at the hotel lobby 30 minutes early. After what seemed like an hour, there was a commotion at the door and I noticed a shabby looking man being escorted out of the hotel lobby. I intervened and found out he was my landlord. He looked more like a street-person than a successful businessman; it was no wonder that the door man didn’t allow him into the posh hotel lobby. His kung-fu pants were tattered and he carried an old worn-out backpack. He must have been in his late sixties; and in my subsequent conversation with him, found out he was single and had no immediate family.

It’s ironic that that a rich man like him would dress so poorly and live with such a poverty mentality.

“Some who are poor pretend to be rich; others who are rich pretend to be poor.” Proverbs 13:7

Years later, I still think about this old man occasionally. I still can’t get over our first meeting and wonder whatever happened to him. Did he ever get to enjoy some of the hard work and sacrifices he made all his life? Since he didn’t have a wife or children, I wonder what will happen to his fortune after he dies.

“Greed makes a poor job counsellor.” Max Lucado, Cure for the Common Life