My Favorite Feathered Friends

Well I knew it couldn’t hold out forever. The sun finally broke out in these parts this past week-end, and as I’m writing this now on Tuesday morning, I see that it’s back outside my window for a return visit. Never one to pass up an opportunity, or to leave my camera at home feeling lonely, I grabbed my favorite Nikon and headed out for a walk, just to see what I could find.

So after strolling here and strolling there, I ended up at one of the local parks, and guess what? (Drum roll please….) The boys (and the girls) are back in town! Yes! There in the duck-pond, swimming and diving, then climbing up on the edges of the pond to shake those little tail-feathers. Oh yes..it was quite the show. And they were so happy. They didn’t even mind the party being crashed by a couple Canada Geese trying to fool everyone into thinking they were just oversized Mallards with strange complexions. Nah! It was a good party, everyone enjoyed themselves, and I snapped a couple pictures before I left just so you folks could feel like you were there. Because your absence from the festivities was noted, and we (the ducks and I) are really hoping you can make it next year. So mark it on your calendar. But for this year, I guess a couple pictures will have to do, and that little rock figurine (a small Inukshuk) by the water that you see in one of those pictures, was specially erected just for you guys so that if you do make it to next year’s party, you’ll know you’re at the right place. There is even a picture that explains the parking method we prefer here in Vancouver after we have a beer or two (which is why I only VERY seldom imbibe alcoholic beverages). In the meantime, stay healthy, happy, and safe.

My Favorite Feathered Friends

Remaking Broken Friendships

In my regular Bible readings, I find myself these days in the Book of Ezekiel, a gentleman I’ve always found myself to be quite fond of. Most of those Prophets had tough jobs, and I’ve always appreciated anyone who works hard…at whatever they do.

Well it seems that immediately after his encounter with the Lord (or as Ezekiel himself put it, after “the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God” [Ezekiel 1:1(b) NIV]), the encounter during which Ezekiel received his commission to be a Prophet, he was taken by the Spirit to the place where some of the exiles from Jerusalem were living. This was a place down by the Kebar River (“Chebar” in some translations) in Babylon, and this was the location at which his duties for the Lord were to begin.

Before Ezekiel actively began prophesying to the people of Israel down at the Kebar River, however, the good Prophet ran into somewhat of a snag. It appears that his encounter with The Holy One of Israel had had such a profound effect on Ezekiel that in his book he conveys how upon his arrival at the Kebar River, he, “…sat among them (the exiles) for seven days — overwhelmed” (Ezekiel 3:15 NIV – parenthetical comment mine).

Now this is a Prophet we are talking about. A professional speaker, and this one, unlike a couple of the others (such as Moses) had made no complaints to God about being chosen TO speak. He was a trained priest (also unlike a couple of the others), so he had been trained to talk. But encountering God, in what has to be at least ONE of the friendliest “meet-and-greet” scenes recorded in the Bible, left this professional speaker speechless. Not just momentarily speechless either, but without words for an entire week! For seven days and seven nights Ezekiel sat there completely awed by what he had seen.

What that reading told me was that I NEVER want to meet God when He’s angry, because He wasn’t angry at Ezekiel, and look at the result of that FRIENDLY encounter. It also made me realize once again that I owe to my Lord Jesus every last ounce of gratitude that I can muster, For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled¹ to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled¹, shall we be saved through His life!” (Romans 5:10 NIV – footnotes added).

1. reconcile(d): Make friends again. – The Gage Canadian Dictionary – (1983)

So I for one, am certainly very glad that having lost our original status of friendship with God, no thanks to the efforts of a certain serpent, and the original sins of our first parents, in a certain garden so long ago, that we can now receive that friendship once more by faith in, and the following of,  the Lord Jesus Christ.

handshk4

Remaking Broken Friendships

A Couple Follow-Ups

Well, needless to say, we here in Vancouver are truly verifying to ourselves (and to anyone in the world who may be interested) that we do indeed still live in one of the last Coastal Temperate Rainforests on the planet. It is still wet and wacky out my window, and the color-scheme is a not-so-lively gray-on-gray. As usual, my sincere prayers go out to all in the vicinity who suffer from any degree of clinical-type depression, or are troubled with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), which for those of you who aren’t quite sure, is a type of depression that has symptoms which, according to the Mayo Clinic, “start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody“. I do understand that S.A.D. can be treated quite successfully at times with something as non-invasive as “light therapy”, the act of sitting in front of the proper kind of lighting for a prescribed period each day, but still, this kind of continual dreary weather is almost guaranteed to exacerbate the symptoms connected to the types of conditions that I listed above. My own personal way of combating the effects of too much wet weather (which I don’t really dislike) or gray skies (which I DO dislike when it lasts too long) is to put as much color in front of my eyes as possible. This has nothing to do with LSD (I heard that snicker), just my photographs, and it’s the main reason I keep such ready access to them.

So since I showed you a couple single plants that I grew on my balcony last summer in my previous post, I thought I would show you the whole group of my balcony plants in a couple shots this time. So these are the “guys and the gals” that kept me company on all those nice warm summer evenings last year, while I sat on my balcony writing, or listening to tunes, or maybe even sanding down a piece of wood that I was refinishing for someone. So meet my friends, counselors, advisors, and harshest critics (you may have to click on the pictures – and see the enlarged version – if you wish to meet the smallest of the company, but that’s why I chose this particular format anyway). In the meantime, stay safe, healthy and happy, and if you see any stray sunshine, please send it my way.

A Couple Follow-Ups

A Glance Back

Since we’re still in the rainy days here, I refuse to give up the fight, so I’m taking a look back today, at just a few of the plants that adorned my balcony last summer. That was when I moved into this building, and growing season was already underway, so many of my plants got quite a late start. They did finally manage to catch up (I suspect thanks are owed, at least in part, to all that nice rich soil laced with the casts from my worm-bins), but in the beginning they did lag behind the rest of the garden, and each new bloom was a truly special pleasure for this plant-lover to see. Especially since I hadn’t had any kind of outdoor area at all to grow anything in for over 13-14 years. I only found a few of the early shots to show you today, but maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll find the folder I hid the other embarrassments  beauties in (ahem). In the meantime, I seriously hope your weather is being nicer to you than ours is to us, and I hope you are all getting well into the swing of this brand new year. Stay healthy (watch out for that flu-bug critter), as happy as you can (it drives your enemies right up the wall), and keep yourself and your loved ones safe (I let the Lord look after this one for me, but we are each entitled to our own ways, and I wish you all the best with yours). See you next time.

A Glance Back

My Lost Vision

Since I moved a while back, you may have seen me writing a few things about how much I’m enjoying the new place. A ton of extra space (a one-bedroom as opposed to a bachelor suite), a beautiful balcony to share with my plants on the warm summer evenings, and because of my senior’s discount, a lower rent than what I was paying before. But there is one thing I had to give up in the trade that I will definitely be missing, and that was the view (on really clear days only) that I had from my windows in the old building. The view wasn’t all that spectacular on regular days if the air was at all hazy, or if it was cloudy, or raining out, but on those occasional crystal-clear days…well, it was always worth the wait when I would wake up and find this sight waiting for me outside my kitchen window:

mount-baker out my old kitchen window
mount-baker out my old kitchen window
mount-baker-out-my-kitchen-window-2
mount-baker-out-my-kitchen-window-2

But such is life, and I certainly wouldn’t trade away my new place for those views, or any other. I know when the Lord has blessed me, and He’ll get no complaints from this guy. I am, however, exceedingly glad that He also provided me with a camera a while back, so that I was able to get these pictures before I changed locations.

As for all of you fine folks, I hope your winter has been a good one, and I continue to pray for your health, your happiness, and of course, your safety. And may the upcoming week be a great one.

My Lost Vision

A Splash of Color

Just thought I would drop in a couple new pictures here that missed getting in with the last batch. I liked the colors, and the flowers remind me that Spring is once again approaching these Western Canadian shores and soon I’ll be able to get some serious planting done on this balcony of mine where I spend so much of my time when I’m at home. In the meantime, everyone take care, stay healthy (it has been a pretty good flu season with no major outbreaks that I’ve heard about at least), and keep safe. If you can manage to get extremely wealthy while you’re doing all that, feel free to do so. God bless each and every one of you.

Purple Blossoms
Purple Blossoms
White Blossom
White Blossom

A Splash of Color

Craving Summer

Well, as this rain has settled in once again (still far better than that slushy snow we had last year), it has finally reached that point of persistence where it has me craving the brighter days of summer, although at this point, I’d settle for a couple cool Spring evenings; just no more rain for a day or two. Anyway, whenever that happens, I just reach into my laptop (figuratively speaking of course), and pull out a picture or two that serves to remind me that those warmer days are in fact approaching quite rapidly, and will soon enough be upon us. So since I took the time to warm my own heart and soul up, how could I refuse but to share that experience with all my favorite folks? So here you go, these are they that worked for me, and perhaps one or two will help to chase away any Winter blues any of you might be feeling also. I certainly do hope so, and I wish you all the best as:

Outside my window, the rain is beating the time,

to the song in my heart, where the Son of God shines,

as the sun that is hidden by those clouds up above

is not needed when my heart is warmed, by the free gift of God’s Love.

Busy Little Bee
Busy Little Bee
It's Gonna Take More Bees
It’s Gonna Take More Bees
A Burst Of Warmth To Chase Away The Rain
A Burst Of Warmth To Chase Away The Rain
The Colors Of Summer
The Colors Of Summer
Definitely Summer Seagulls
Definitely Summer Seagulls

 

 

Craving Summer