Sunday, December 25, 2005
God uses, Oh, such humble Things:
A swatch of hay, a stable crude,
A swaddle cloth, a manger rude,
a donkey colt, a young, sweet girl,
To hold the hope of all the world-
The King of Kings-
Such little things.
by Margaret Penner Toews
God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;The warmth of Christmas, which is love;The belief in Christmas, which is truth;The all of Christmas, which is Christ.-- Wilda English
Saturday, December 24, 2005
That sacred night was just the beginning of a life of service teaching and great sacrifice, Jesus never traded His manager for a mansion, nor did he surround himself with powerful or wealthy friends. The rich were always amazed by Him, but few worshipped Him like Magi. And the Shepherds? They became the model for how He wanted to care for those who loved Him. the angel declared, "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!" And it's as true today as it was that night!
Friday, December 23, 2005
Some months later, baby Jesus received a visit from a group of international travelers, Magi from the east. They had followed a special star in the sky, which they interpreted as announcing a newborn King of the Jews. They brought with them expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and when they saw Jesus, they fell down before Him and worshipped Him. They were the first of a host of people from every corner of the world who would someday also worship Him.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
When the brilliance of the angel's presence had vanished from the night sky, the Shepherds shook their heads and looked at each other in disbelief. Then their curiosity got the best of them and they literally ran to find this baby who was special enough to have an angelic introduction. When they found Him, they told everyone about the angels. Afterwards, they went home to take care of their cheep, still amazed at what had happened. What a night they were having.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
With the Son of God now newly born on Earth, it was time to make an official announcement. That night, with a touch of the over dramatic, an angel suddenly appeared to a group of sherpherds who were living in the fields with their sheep.
Absolutely terrified, the shepherds listened to the news of the birth of the Messiah and took note of the specific directions for finding Him. Then the angel was joined by a mass of others and they treated the Shepherds to a chorus of praises to God.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The birth took place on a busy night in the middle of a national Roman census. It must have been the most profoundly understated way that a prince has ever been born! With the local inn full, the young first time mother wrapped her tiny baby in some cloths and laid him down in an animals eating trough. No fireworks, no international headlines, no royal retinue. Just a mother and father destined to be the caregivers for a divine child.
Monday, December 19, 2005
The drama began one day when an angel dressed in shining brilliance suddenly appeared to a young unmarried woman. She was told that God had chosen her to be the mother of the Savior of the world!
She would become pregnant through the work of the Holy Spirit before her wedding and the child would be the Son of God! Naturally she was afraid of her finacee's reaction but an angle visted him one night and explained to him what had happened. With the assurance that God was in control, the couple prepared for the most important birth that has ever occured in all history.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I found the spirit of Christmas alive and well and living on four blocks of Trinity Street in Vancouver. Tonight, tired from days of shopping, cleaning and cooking in preparation for the holiday, we armed armed ourselves with a list of decorated houses, a warm car (the temperature was -2)and a determination to find the true spirit of Christmas somewhere. We figured these folks, who spend hours decorating their houses every year and pay enormous hydro bills just so that looky loos like us can enjoy the sight, must know something about the Christmas spirit. We stopped at various light shows all the way from Port Moody to Vancouver. There were some very beautiful and creative light displays all along the way and it is obvious that some people have put a great deal of time and effort into it. However, none more so than the folks who live on four blocks of Trinity Street in Vancouver. Not only have they decorated their houses they have convinced EVERY person on those blocks to do the same! I can't convince three of my neighbors to agree to anything let alone get them to decorate their houses for charity for a solid month and put up with the traffic and noise all night long. As well, we arrived on the one night that they have a street fair with food and hot drinks and carollers and Santa Claus and his elves. There was so much fun and laughter and good wishes being exchanged and every nickle raised goes to charity. These people have truly discovered the meaning of Christmas. It's not what you get, it is what you give and there is not greater gift you can give than the gift of your self. This neighborhood has much to teach the rest of us about good will and Christmas!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The decorating is done, the parcels are purchased, wrapped (for the most part)and mailed (when necessary) and the food is purchased. The farther into the festivities we get the more difficult to remember why we drive ourselves so hard every holiday season. So tonight as I sat exhausted in front of the computer trying to get my brain to finish the last of the Christmas cards and letters and pondering this question, I aimlessly began to look through my Christmas file. I found something that reminded me of exactly what the season is about.
This card from a dear friend with words of friendship and caring was lovingly made and sent to me a long time ago. Tonight it made me realize that friendship and caring and love are "the real reasons for the season"
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
It is the first snow of the season. I am not ready for it. I try to see the snow as something of beauty - something pleasant. Instead I merely see it as something to be endured.
Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, "I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway." Maya Angelou
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I was filled with emotion as I watched this young woman take her place on stage yesterday to receive her second degree from the University of BC. To have been able to watch this young woman grow from a small frightened sad little girl to a happy young woman has been one of my greatest pleasures in the last eight years. I so remember the first day I met Diane. She was so eager to speak to me and I think so happy to have someone to tell about her beloved life in China. It was not easy to see such a homesick little girl trying to be so brave. She would smile shyly at me as she struggle to act as translator for her parents and me. Sometimes I knew that she wanted nothing more than to tell me her own tale. Read me a Chinese story or explain a joke book from her country. She especially like to share the beautiful Chinese music that told such fascinating stories of the country she had left behind. She would tell me, when we were alone, that her one desire was to make her parents proud of her because they had struggled and sacrificed so much to bring her here. Eight years later with two degrees to her name... I think she can finally feel that she has accomplished her goal. Aero and Flora, her parents, have also accomplished their goal. Through their sacrifice and perseverance they gave their daughter a much better life than they had ever hoped to have. To have been allowed to play even a little part in this has been a great priviledge.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Karen Gail Canuel - November 1952 - November 2005
(May the great spirit always walk by your side)
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
In the hustle and bustle of adult life I have forgotten my promise to never give up Hallowe'en. I bought the goodies and oohhed and ahhed over the little ones dressed in the latest purchased hero costume of the day. Next year though I think I am going to look in the back of the closets and the old trunk down stairs and grab my pillow case and shout 'TRICK OR TREAT'!
Friday, October 28, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Went to the kitchen only to find that the field mouse had visited again. This despite the fact that we have put out multiple traps, mouse poison and an electronic mouse repeller. Not to mention THREE cats! I am cutting off their food supply.
Went to start the car (after cleaning up the mouse leavings instead of the quiet newspaper thing I had envisioned for my morning) only to find that it would not start.
Decided if I hurried I could catch a bus and still be almost on time. NOT! gave all my change up last night and the buses won't take bills.
Run a mile to the office and get there only 15 minutes late to find out that no one has keys and the person who does will not be in for another one and a half hours. Decide to console myself with a steamed milk and an iced scone and read that newspaper in peace and quiet. NOT !Some very nice lonley man asked if he could join me and talked and talked and talked!
Finally get into the office and within half an hour some one comes in with a fax that they want sent right away to Victoria! Great I can do that.... except that the fax machine will not work!
So now I am on my way to bed in hopes that tomorrow will be a better day.
Monday, October 24, 2005
It was a wonderful fall day on the coast. All afternoon I was out doing errands and thinking how sorry I was that I had not brought my camera. The trees were radiantly attired in hues of red and gold and yellow. They swayed in the gentle breeze as though swooning from the warmth of the last rays of sunshine. Tomorrow we are to get rain and a great wind that will leave them naked by the end of day. I rushed home and grabbed my camera late in the day and rushed to Rocky Point only to get there just a little too late. The sun had dipped and all that was left was this little bit of fall sunset.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
The Caribou is a special place. The land is vast and seems, to me at least, almost empty although some of the pioneers of the area would argue that it is getting too crowded. As well, there is a peacefulness that seems to blanket everything. From the peaceful grazing cattle to the lonely call of the loons on the multitude of lakes in the area you are struck by the quiet serenity of the place. With little cabins tucked away behind massive trees and the only evidence they are there is the smoke rising from their chimney it is obvious by the way people struggle to build houses with no running water and no septic fields that the people that live here do so for the sheer pleasure of nature and privacy. As I walked the paths around Dekka Lake this past weekend with Lucy I was struck by the beauty, but awed by the silence. More on the Caribou later.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Thanksgiving came and went. I always take my Aunt out for a traditional dinner and a trip to the gambling ship. I lost , my daughter won and Auntie enjoyed herself.
Fall on the west coast is here with a passion, leaves falling in colorful mounds on the ground and the usual deluge of rain. I can't tell you how many times a day I change shoes and socks and coats because I have to walk Lucy in pounding rain that most of the time even she doesn't want to go out in. I don't want to complain too much though, because people have been telling me that we are going to have mounds of white stuff this winter something I dislike even more than rain.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
Ralph Waldo Emmerson
Sunset in the Fraser Valley
Friday, September 23, 2005
Friday, September 16, 2005
Good news from a world perspective as well - New Orleans is starting to recover, President Bush has admitted it was his governments fault that it took so long for help to get to the people after Katrina hit, the NDP finished their first week in the legislature finally ending four years of a mean dictatorship by Gordon Campbell and his BC Liberals and the federal Liberals are actually talking about giving us some relief from the high gas prices we are all trying to live with.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Saturday, September 03, 2005
I have a bruised toe and knee, skinned elbows, sore arm and sore lips to prove what a great day it was. Next year when I go again, I am hoping that my daughter forgets all about the incident in the "Black Hole" , but incase she doesn't I am planning on bringing some one new with me who has never been there before. Won't that be fun!
The one enjoyed the most was "Big Jim's River Run"! For this one you take an inner tube and climb the stairway to the run entrance where a huge fountain sits in the center of a wide run spewing water. You walk around the fountain and flop yourself into the tube and cascade down several levels of water landing in pools on each level till you get to the last pool. The pools are of varying widths and you can get trapped there having to use your arms and legs to pull yourself to the next drop to get going again. As well, other riders are flying over the falls and hurtling themselves a you and at times crashing into you so hard that you think you will fly head first into the high cement walls on either side of the run. Screams and laughter are al l around you as you spin around on your inner tube, sometimes going over a pretend fall backwards adding to the excitement. Finally you reach the last drop and you and your inner tube hit the recieving pool and spin halfway accross before you realize that the ride is over.
My daughter and I barely sat down for over two hours and we laughed so hard that even the bruises I got from bumping down these water runs didn't hurt much. We tried everything but the kiddie runs and that only because my daughter wouldn't let me! However the one ride that finally did us in was the "Black Hole" tube rides, but I will leave that one till tomorrow when the pain in my body has hopefully subsided.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Look around you friend.
Everywhere you turn you see the face of pain.
Look down that dark and dirty alley
See the man who trembles there using dirty needles
to shoot the poison in his veins.
Look deep into his eyes,
See the pain.
See the beggar on the street,
Wrapped in rags from head to feet
Pushing all her lifes possession is a dirty rusted cart.
"Just some coins for a meal" she begs
as the bugs run through her hair.
Look deep into her eyes,
See the pain.
Watch the young girl on the street ply her trade
In sheer black stocking and tiny stretchy skirt
Shivering in the winters chill
Her makeup covering her bruised and battered face.
She smiles sweetly for the johns to fill her empty plate.
Look deep into her eyes,
See the pain.
Remember Jesus Christ, the man from Nazareth?
They said He was a criminal and they hung Him on a cross.
They mocked Him and spat on him as they bartered for His clothes.
Look deep into His eyes,
See the pain.
Look around you brother
Look around you friend.
Everywhere you turn you see the face of pain.
Can you let them suffer?
Can you ignore their pain?
Did the man from Nazareth -
Our Saviour die in vain?
Sunday, August 28, 2005
I promise myself to:
- Try to see the whole picture. Afterall, if Lucy is still there giving me kisses and wagging her tail can it really be such a bad day.
- Try to find beauty in different way. Not every day can be perfect, but every day can have some perfect moments. Sometimes the most violent rain storm produces the most beautiful rainbows.
- Make the most out of the smallest things. Sometimes the greatest things in life are the littlest things. Morning dew on the grass, coffee with a friend, or a beautiful sunset can mean more than caviar and champagne.
- Always give thanks for everything. It is not the problems we are dealt in life that define us, it is how we deal with them.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Sunday morning brought even warmer temperatures and as we drove to the park where our family picnic was to be held I kept my fingers crossed that we would find a spot in the shade. Once more we were able to get a spot under a pair of giant maple trees that provided enough shade to shelter twenty of us for a day of games, good food and family eccentricities causing me to ponder how many other family picnics these ancient trees had witnessed.
Trees... we think so little about them. They stand majestic in all seasons. They give us shade in the summer, provide warmth in the winter, shelter from the rain in the spring and in the fall they turn beautiful shades of gold and yellow bringing beauty into our lives making saying goodbye the last rays of summer sun a little easier.
Monday, August 15, 2005
- Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.
- Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
- Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
- Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
- If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
- If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
- It may be that your sole pupose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
- Never buy a car you can't push.
- Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, becuas then you won't have a leg to stand on.
- Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
- Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
- You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
- Some mistakes are too much fun to only make one.
- We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
- A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Went to the Sea Calvalcade Parade this morning and despite all the work it took, having to get up at the unholy hour of 5 am to catch the early ferry to the Sunshine Coast, as well as leaving Lucy with someone for the day(I have never left Lucy with any one but family before and I felt like a new mother....almost phoned home to check on her!) it was well worth it. I got to relive a little of my childhood. In Gibsons, a town where they roll up the streets by 6 pm ,a festival no matter how small is a big event and one of the major high lights of school vacation for me growing up. I remembered the endless chatter with friends about what we would wear and what events we could go to and of course the one thing no one wanted to miss - the parade. Today, it seemed to me, as it did in they days of my youth, that the entire town turned out for it and as though to emphasis in no uncertain terms the importance of this event nothing less than a mounted RCMP in full dress regalia led the parade! You could see the awe and expectation on the faces of the children as, with incredible pomp and ceremony, that horse and rider elegantly,wound their way down the hill with the Canadian flag snapping in the breeze. What truth there that old cliche "every one loves a parade".
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
It is one of those warm calm evenings when the sky turns that wonderful purple hue just above the mountain tops and there is a big round full moon hanging there like a big yellow ball. It is just these kinds of evenings when I like to sit back and let my thoughts drift. I think about other full moon, purple hued evenings. Evenings when I was young and slept out under the crab apple tree and stayed awake for hours watching for shooting stars or when I was a teenager and sat on top of the roof of the rooming house I lived in and chatted with the other tenants. My thoughts on these evenings are always sweet thoughts. Thoughts of family and good friends. It is as though I am wrapped in the delicious warmth of a downy soft purple blanket and my soul is at peace witht he universe.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Saturday, July 16, 2005
As I sit, on this lazy sunny afternoon, watching her gaze at the green grass of my neighbor, I can't help but think how much she resembles the human race. Rarely do we stop, think and give thanks for what we have. Instead, like Lucy, we seem constantly driven to look for greener grass.
Friday, July 15, 2005
and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated
from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind
of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few
persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our
circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its
Thursday, July 14, 2005
freshness of childhood."
Summer, with it's hot days and warm nights seems to finally have arrived in BC. Despite it's tardiness in appearing this year people seem to be very forgiving and the sun puts a smile on most everyone's face. Summer has a way of helping people to put their problems aside for a little while. Vancouver gets very laid back in the summer. People head for the parks and beaches with subway sandwiches in hand and beer hidden in their back packs. Late into the evening people stroll along, their dogs happily loping along side enjoying the freedom. Summer has always meant freedom for me as well.
As a child growing up I would head for the beach and spend hours playing in the water. I loved it! The smell of the salt air, the warm sand between my toes, the sound of the waves as they hit the rocky coast and the sea gulls screaming over head all brought me immense inner joy. Today when I get the chance to take in a day at the beach I begin to feel the same way inside. It feels as though thanks to summer I have hope again and dreams become possible once more.
Today as a middle aged woman I have again lucked out - I live just a few blocks from Burns Bog. I walk there most days with my dog and as I watch her run through the forests chasing the squirrels, birds and butterflies I wonder what this place and this province will look like when my daughters are my age. I see governments who are more interested in the bottom line than in preserving the natural beauty of this province. Roads cutting through environmentally sensitive areas so tourists can flock to Whistler to ski, forests being clear cut to build more condos for tourists and foreign investors and rivers polluted by companies who feel they cannot compete on the world market if they spend the time, manpower and money on environmentally friendly manufacturing equipment and practices. Our oceans , not only are becoming polluted and destroying natural habitat for sea life, but the oceans are being fished out by improper fisheries management. The majority of the people of this province seem unable to grasp the incredible richness that is in their backyard and is their rightful inheritance to it let alone put any kind of a value on it. I wonder if they will feel that concrete towers, miles of pavement , polluted rivers, lakes and oceans were the right economic choice when they show their grandchildren pictures of what this province used to look like. I wonder if that generation will feel that the bottom line in the bank statement that their was their grandparents choice justified the destruction of their inheritance. Once it is gone it can never be restored.