Wednesday, February 28, 2007


"Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

Our local photo club had a group outing this past weekend to our very own museum. There was only about 7 or 8 of us at the event but the museum was sad to hear that only 1 person in our whole group had ever been to the museum before. An old relic of a building, they are crying for funding and donations. Its sad that its own town doesn't come out to support it. I'm no exception. Sometimes it feels like one museum isn't much different than the next. I enjoy looking at a few old things but usually, after I've seen them once, I don't really desire to see them again. So it goes with a starving small town museum.

In any case, it was an interesting place for photography. Very challenging due to low light & lots of stuff behind glass. Tri-pods were necessary and really slow shutter speeds to allow maximum light into the shot.

I became fascinated with making close up shots of some old suitcases. I loved the detail in the stitching & the clasps. The rough orange-brown leather was textured & worn. I spent a good time up close & personal with these pieces of baggage. So long that my fingers & toes were cold.

It sort of made me think of how I deal with 'personal baggage'. Sometimes I can't let go of it, can't forget about it so I spent a lot of time with it, thinking about it, sorting it out, sharing it with others. Our cares and our worries and our sorrows. Its very human of us to spend a lot of time focused on our baggage. Some people share their baggage with others, sometimes in hopes for sympathy, hopes for support or it just feels better to talk about it. However, baggage will eventually become a burden, not just because you can't let go of it, but you will burden others with it too.

Have you ever had to spend time with someone who seems morose or melancholy at all times. Or worse, angry or grumpy about it. Because of their baggage. They can't stop thinking about it, can't stop talking about it & feel the world owes them something because of it. And you're the one that has to be in the presence of this baggage carrier more often then you would like to be. You have to hear about it, sympathize or pretend to give sympathy. Or sometimes you're just sick & tired of having to hear about it. Or perhaps you're the one over-abundantly sharing your baggage and you don't realize everyone around you is also tired of it.

If its you with the never ending baggage, its time to talk to God about helping you get rid of it, or at least ease the burden. He says "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11: 29-30
And if its someone near you that shares their baggage the Lord says this "Bear one another's burdens" Galatians 6:2 Pray for those who seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. You may not be able to help ease their worries or cares, but you can take it to God.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

One Last Reminder

One last reminder that February is indeed STILL WINTER. Our normally brown end of February was blanketed with glistening white this morning. Spectacular & beautiful! I couldn't resist running out in my backyard with my camera before work. A bit dark still but I knew by lunch time, the icy magic covering each branch & twig would be gone!

And I was right, the sun since came out & the winter wonder melted back to our regular brown!

But I still managed to get a few shots to share...

Honor and majesty are before Him;Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Psalm 96:6

Monday, February 26, 2007


A view that I love, winter & spring

I need this verse for myself today...

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Saturday, February 24, 2007

People Person

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. ~ John 15:12

Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. ~ 1 Peter 4:9

I'm the first to admit to you that I'm not a 'people person'. I don't like crowds & don't trust strangers. I would never be successful in a job in the 'customer service' field. I don't believe the 'customer is always right' and would not hesitate in telling them so. I don't like forced small talk. I also don't give people the 'benefit of the doubt' very often. Neither do I go out of my way to meet new people.

Because we are mortal & human, we let eachother down, time & time again. People lie, steal, cheat and deliberately hurt other people. People are false, two-faced & evil. Sometimes I feel like our generation is no different than Noah's. Why would I go out of my way to meet & greet more of them? How can I possibly love them? This is my confession. I don't know how to over-come this.

Its not even about loving my enemies either. I'm a long way from that. But I've got to start with my non-enemies first. Baby steps, remember! I am talking about compassion for my 'fellow man', or even just compassion for those of the same faith. If I have the love of God within me, I ought to be just about bursting with it?! But its not...because I fear it. I read the verse over & over again "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear." 1 John 4:18 So how do I overcome a fear of loving. Its not a total fear of love itself, because I find it easy to love my husband, my family & those dear to me. But the love stops there. And I haven't got any left to share with the world of unknown people. In fact, I'm finding it hard to even desire it. If I can't even desire to have compassion for the world, for the people around me, it can't be forced out of me.

I can only conclude that I will need A LOT of help on this one.

"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 6:33 and 7:7-8

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rejoice Always?

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Yesterday was refreshing for me in every way. I took a much needed mental break from work, went out for a very long drive through the mountains, enjoyed the beautiful afternoon and got some much needed fresh air. There was nothing stressful, soul dampering or grumpy about yesterday. I found my center again and felt rested. Took a few photos also.

Today, however, I went back to work. I wanted to go back with a different attitude. I wanted to be joyful in my job, thankful that I have a job and a shining beacon of happiness for those that can't seem to get away from the grumps.

But I couldn't find it in me. I couldn't find the joy for being there. It was going to be harder than I thought. How can one rejoice always? How can one be thankful for everything? Its hard! Its going to take work & effort and even some force to make it come about.

So I start slowly. I have to find things that bring me joy. My friend Barb gave me a good start. Yesterday we had a visit & she gave me this hilariously fun pen that has fur and a bobble on it (which I glued eyeballs on) Every time I wrote with this pen today I had joy because I found it hilarious. I used it all day.

Also, yesterday when I was out driving, I was listening to the Sheryl Crow song "Soak Up The Sun" and realized that it truly applied to me. "I'm gonna soak up the sun, gonna tell everyone to lighten up! I got no one to blame, so every time I feel lame I'm lookin up" First of all, everyone I work with DOES need to lighten up but I probably won't be the one to tell them that. But I can hopefully be sun to them. Also, I don't have anyone to BLAME for my attitude. Just cuz they are grumpy doesn't mean I have to be so if I'm feeling LAME I will try to find some sunshine. And I like the last line "I'm lookin up". If I can't find my sunshine or joy, I should 'look up' and ask God to help me find it cuz it might not be within me to find all on my own.

So I wrote on a mini post-it today "Soak up the Sun" and drew a little sun in the corner. My reminder to lighten up & find some joy.

Its just the small things, baby steps, when trying to form a new habit, that will help the most. I definitely won't be able to be one who walks around with a giant joyful grin at all times, but I want to keep rejoicing in my spirit. Bit by bit, little by little and with a little help from above, I will find myself rejoicing. Maybe not always, but I'm workin on it!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Right Spirit

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

I'm at home today, taking a Mental Health Day from work. Sometimes it gets to be a stressful atmosphere at the office where I work, especially when we all work in such close proximity. When one person is cranky or stressed out, everyone feels it. Lately, its been getting to me, yesterday especially and it kept me awake half the night fretting about it. So, I decided to take myself a 'sick day' and stay home. Not that I'm feeling unwell, just needed a mental break from the politics and tension. I suppose its a little unethical to take a sick day when I'm not really sick, but I think its for the best. Sometimes, when tensions build up around me, I'm afraid I may say or do something I will regret. So, this is a much better solution. Take a day and center myself again.

So, here I am. I've done dishes, laundry, baked muffins and now I'm listening to some worship music to put myself in a good frame of mind. And its working. Its just what I needed. Got a hot chocolate on one side of me and an open Bible on the other. I'm purifying the last few weeks of office uglies from my mind & heart and refreshing my spirit.

And its a beautiful sunny day, somewhat windy & chilly but clear blue skies, another way to renew my soul. I will probably take myself out for a scenic drive today, maybe somewhere I can get out & walk a bit with my camera. Definitely where the fresh air can cool my lungs and the views can lift me up.

Also, I have my kitten inside today with me (see above photo) His crazy kitten antics are another thing that lift me up. Sideways leaps, tail chasing, shadow attacking and much more to make me laugh. And then, when he's tired out, he'll climb on my lap, purring like a Hemi, and snuggle up to sleep.

Everybody needs a day like this every now & then!

"This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" Psalm 118:24

"To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul." Psalm 25:1

Monday, February 19, 2007

Critters Just Gotta Eat

Squirrel munching off all the bark from this tree branch
(thought of you Lone Grey Squirrel)

"These all wait for You, that You may give them their food in due season. What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good." Psalm 104:27-28

Went for a stroll, camera in hand, to my favourite Provincial Park, Hayne's Point again on the weekend. Its only about a 10 minute walk from my house so I go there as often as I can. I never come home without a few interesting photos. All the snow is melted there except for the ice on the 'lagoon' and the birds and critters are starting to come out of winter hiding.

As I walked I noticed two squirrels up in a tree, peeling off the bark like mad. Guess they didn't store up enough this winter & were coming out for some fresh almost-Spring bark. They didn't seem too bothered that I stood beneathe them and snapped a few photos.

I also walked on the paths through the protected wetland portion of the park. And I discovered a somewhat humourous tragedy...

I guess the beavers have been BUSY in the last couple weeks. Most of the trees in this park have chicken wire wrapped around the bottoms to prevent this but I guess those clever beavers found the one tree that didn't. I chuckled as I took the photo. But then I realized that this was one of the nicest trees in the area for beautiful fall foliage. I have several shots of its vibrant yellow leaves against a saphire blue sky. A couple more nights and this tree will be ancient history. Food, shelter & dam materials! Whatcha gonna do?

I have yet to see any of these beavers up close, but at sunset, I have seen them swimming out in their lagoon. Its quite a big lagoon/pond that they've created for themselves and they are heavily protected from prying eyes or visitors pets because the pond is surrounded by reeds/bull rushes. It is a beautiful haven at all times of the year for me.

Still iced over

I never cease to be amazed at how well God provides for His animals.

"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Matthew 6:26

"He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens that cry. " Psalm 147:9

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Revealer of Secrets - Sunday Theology

"But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets..." Daniel 2:28

Is it possible to find true Christian prophets anymore? With the Bible so full of prophecies revealed through dreams & revelations & angels, does that sort of thing happen in this day & age still?

The world puts forth fortune tellers, palm readers, tarot card readers and psychics. And most of us have heard of Jean Dixon's predictions. But accurate or not, I would say most of these prophecies are not of God. Aside from the Bible, does God still speak to people about the future. Can we find meaning in our dreams anymore or dismiss them just as dreams?

I'm a very vivid dreamer and I believe vivid dreaming is possibly genetic. My immediate family all dream vivid dreams. I feel sorry for the people that claim they don't dream or don't ever remember their dreams. But those that I have met that claim to be vivid dreamers also claim the same trait of their family members. Perhaps it has to do with developed family sleep habits.

Today, I want to know more about Christian Dream Interpretation. I believe God does still speak to us in our dreams and want to know what others are saying about it. I found an especially useful website called Communion With God Ministries and a page on Dream Interpretations here. Lots of interesting info there if you care to read it. It offered verses in the Bible that say God will speak to us in dreams in both the old and new testaments. It also listed a few things you can do to help recall your dreams and that the average person who gets 8 hours of sleep a night will in fact dream for about 2 hours of it and that the last hour of our sleep is usually when we dream the most.

I have a lot of strange dreams that I often wonder about. Often I can trace back part of its reasoning for something I saw or heard during the previous day or days. For this reason I try not to watch scary or especially grotesque shows because I know it stays with me. But also, I know that the interesting and/or creative stuff stays with me too. For example, we watched the first part of 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' lastnight and then this morning I dreamt that we were being forced to leave our house because someone (or something) was coming and we were fleeing in a horse and wagon.(like the people of Rohan) And yet in the dream I was making sure I brought my laptop, my camera and plenty of macaroni. Old transportation with modern technology. A strange combo of my brain I suppose.

But should I be looking for the meaning of this dream, or just assume its the product of my creative mind? Perhaps I could just interpret that if I did need to flee for some reason, it is pretty obvious as to what I find important to take with me. Laptop, camera and macaroni. :)

I also came across this site called Tehilla Ministries where the ministry is Christian dream interpretation with information on Biblical Dream Symbols, Prophecy and other info about dreams.

In fact, there are several more sites on Christian Dream interpretation that one could read about it all day. The most common theme among them all is that if we want to know if God is speaking to us in our dreams, all we have to do is ask Him. Praying about it and asking God to reveal to us the secrets of our dreams may open up the meanings for us. I don't think any dreams are meaningless but if one third of our lives is spent sleeping, I'm a little curious to know what I'm missing by not knowing a bit more about my dreams.

Have you ever wondered if God is trying to speak to you in your dreams? What are your thoughts on this? What are your thoughts on the fortune tellers & prophets of the world as we know it now? Are their 'gifts' from Satan or just a creative mind? Have you ever asked God to reveal to you the secrets of your dreams?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Search For The Light

Mountain on Fire by Lawrence Wolfe
(click on photo to see larger version)

I got up early this morning, on a Saturday, to go search for the light! So many mornings while I'm stuck at my desk at my day job, there has been some beautiful morning light for photography. My husband took the above photo about this time last year. The mountain appeared to be on fire, lit by the earliest morning sun beams. This is what I hoped to find today. But it was not so.

The beams of orange light, glowing over the eastern horizon quickly turned to a dull yellow, blocked by cloud and denied to break thru & light the mountains I was set up to shoot. I could see the edges of blue sky along the western horizon, some glowing yellow light to the south, but nothing came through the clouds to light anything for my lens. It just wasn't meant to be this morning.

However, the forecast calls for some sun later in the day, so perhaps I'll get my chance with the light later this afternoon.

Looking for light for photography can be compared to human's search for enlightenment. Everybody seeks SOMETHING. And we all go about it in different ways. Often, we can get on the wrong path, the wrong idea to finding what we seek. And we take this path, hoping to find the light we are longing for only to be disappointed at the outcome, like I was this morning.

Its only when we seek the true 'light of this world' that we can be truly enlightened.

Jesus said in John 8:12 "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

"If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another" 1 John 1:7

And when we receive this light that we seek, we then become lights pointing the way for others to find what they seek.

"You may become blameless and harmless, children of God without falut in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." Philippians 2:15

So when you do meet someone who is searching for this type of light, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Friday, February 16, 2007

Be Still!

Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! ~ Psalm 46:10

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Something New

So I've decided to try something new. I've been so impatient for spring photography that I thought I'd try my hand at some indoor photography with a white sheet. So I went to the store on a rainy ugly day on the weekend & bought a nice new white sheet. After several ironing attempts it took laundering the sheet twice to get all the fold creases out of it. Got myself a little set up in a corner of the living room and stole both desk lamps from our office for my little project.

Shooting indoors against white is harder than I thought. For starts, for outdoor photography, I almost always set the white balance on my camera to "Cloudy" because I like the warmth it captures. But it was making the white sheet very yellow so I adjusted it to 'tungsten' in order to 'cool' the white down. This helped with making the white look whiter.

However, due to having lights on both sides, I found I was getting a lot of ghastly shadows so it took several shots & light repositioning. I also noticed that if there were any creases in the sheet, they would cast a shadow too. So I pinned & pulled & straightened it as much as I could.

Lone pineapple - desaturated

The pineapple, by the way, was a very willing & patient model. Hardly moved a muscle! The pinecones, however, got attacked by my meowing assistant and eventually busted into crackles on the floor. The assistant was then fired & sent outside.

I also tried different levels of flash output. Eventually I found that if I wrapped one piece of tissue around the flash gave me just the right amount of light. And with the two desk lamps pointed just so and the shutter speed slowed down, I could still get enough light without the flash at all.
So, I spent the better part of an afternoon snapping & flashing, repositioning and learning. Then I got to the post processing on the computer for some more tweaking. I've only just begun & have realized that there is a lot more to it than I first imagined. And that with a few afforable tools, I've discovered a whole new world of photography to learn. Definitely a great way to spend a rainy cold afternoon. With a little practice, I might be able to turn out some pretty good shots.

Another suggestion, I found on the internet, is to use a large white cardboard instead of a sheet...but I will continue with my sheet testing a little longer.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

A Valentine's Message out of chocolate!

Its Valentine's Day! The day of love! The day of sweethearts! The day of romance! Cards, flowers, chocolates and teddy bears will be flying off the shelves at elevated prices for today. Restaurants will bring out their special 'Valentine's Day' menus that are always at least 50% more than any other day of the year. Couples will be engaged today, fall in love today or be reminded of romance by their loved ones. Other couples will use this day to emphasize their already romantic relationship. And still other couples realize they don't need a special day to show their love for they show it each and every day.

I was a bit cynical on love and romance for a couple years. Divorce has a nasty way of doing that to people, as some of you may be able to relate. But something found me again. Found me when I stopped believing in it. Love had this amazing way of creeping up on me & forcing bitterness out of my heart to make room for its ever expanding ways. Simple special moments, one by one, filled my life with smiles.

And since then, I have had not only 2 very special but memorable Valentine's Days, but nearly 3 years of love-filled moments making every day special. This is our third Valentine's Day together and the morning is like any other, we drink coffee together, content in the quiet peace of being in the same room, never doubting that we are in love!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

On the Way

Motorcycle season yet?

I think its becoming pretty obvious that I'm getting impatient for spring. It was a bit easier not to think about it when there was snow on the ground but the valley bottom is back to its regular "February Brown" color and now I get antsy. Patience is a virtue I need to work on.

Today was the first morning that I felt like I could drive to work without headlights on. Not a sunny day, still typical low cloud, but it was bright. Oh how tempting it is to call in sick in the weeks building up to spring. Just want to strap on my hiking boots & head for the hills. But then, the hills are still covered in snow. So they aren't ready for me yet.

I think its just a longing to be outdoors, away from a desk, away from a cooped up building full of dust and paperwork & people with colds. I long for some fresh air, sun in my face, and the smell of the wet earth coming back to life. I'm longing for walking & hiking and riding on the motorbike, daylight past 4:30pm, sunrise before 7:30am.

Are you eagerly anticipating spring? Is your world still covered in snow & ice or starting to thaw? I can't be the only one with this longing so please share with me yours!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Spring Yet?

Is it Spring yet?

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him ~ Psalm 31:7

The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:8

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. ~ 1 Timothy 6:11

Wait on the LORD;Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! ~Psalm 27:14

Sunday, February 11, 2007

No More Sea: Sunday Theology

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." Revelation 21:1

Approximately 70% of our planet is covered by water. Oceans, seas, lakes, rivers. We are called The Blue Planet of the solar system due to our abundance of water. Without it, our planet would likely be desolate and barren. Water and the need for it affects everyone on earth. In countries in Africa there is a huge shortage of clean water. Seems so helpless when so much of the earth is covered in salt water.

What would the earth be like without our oceans? Would it become a great desert, with miles and miles of sand? Would the lakes and rivers have anywhere to go? What would sustain the greeness on our planet?

I have been curiously pondering this verse in Revelation 21:1 today. When the earth is renewed after the 1000 year reign, what does it mean by "there was no more sea"? I don't understand so I thought I would dig a bit to see what theologians had to say about this. What I found mostly, was that theologians focus on the first half of the verse, interpreting what the 'new heaven and new earth' would be and many of them seem to ignore that 'no more sea' part in their interpretations

However, I did find some information, mostly taken from the site Blue Letter Bible which offers several commentaries on most verses in the Bible

Some theologians interpret this literally, as it is. The oceans will be gone so that there is more landmass to house the redeemed from all the ages and they are free to spread out over the entire earth.

Another interpretation deems the sea as a representation of "perpetual unrest" so the absence of the sea would mean the presence of peace.

Another theologian, David Guzik, says that "To the Jewish mind, the sea was a place of separation and evil... the source of the satanic beast... and the place of the dead." so perhaps he means the absence of the sea then would be the absence of evil and death.

I found an interesting interpretation on a website of commentaries called Divine Plan that said this "the sea is a symbol for the masses of people in a restless and unstable anarchistic condition, just as the land represents the social order, and as the mountains represent the kingdoms of the present time. As there is no reference to the physical earth and physical heavens being destroyed, so there is no reference to the physical sea being obliterated. The symbol signifies that under the new arrangement, under the control of the new heavens or spiritual powers, the reconstructed social order will be so satisfactory, so complete, so thorough, that there will be no more sea-class, no more restless people, no more dissatisfaction, no more anarchists; everything will be reduced to law and order; and law and order will under the new regime secure justice to every creature, obliterating the differences of wealth and power as they now exist." Interesting, no? Click here if you want to read more from this same line of interpretation.

Well, I've found interpretations for both physical absence of the sea and metaphorical for this particular verse. I'm sure there are countless more commentaries to be read as Revelation is a book that has fascinated theologians for centuries. I'm not sure which interpretation I would prefer. I love the beauty and vastness of the oceans on our planet. But I also believe God could continue to sustain our world without the enormous quantity of water. Another thought that will, for now, remain a mystery to me until that time comes to pass.

Have you got an opinion of this verse? Please share it with me!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Heart's Desire

Reeds along a stream in winter waiting for Spring

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. " Proverbs 13:12

My husband and I were talking the other night while we watched a dvd series we had bought on the book of Daniel from JVI Ministries and it got us talking about blessings asked for and blessings received without asking.

We have each gone through periods in our life where we've begged & pleaded with God for the 'desires of our hearts'. So often, when we as people, are earnestly desiring something that may not be in line with God's will, we often hear His answers as "No" because we don't see results right away. What we are really missing is that still small voice saying "Patience".

Strangely enough, when the begging & pleading stops, and we open our hearts, it seems God takes that moment to say "now that you're listening, let me show you what I have for you, its so much better than what you thought you wanted." And it is! God knows our heart's desires even better than we do. But sometimes we're so concentrated on the thing we think we want, we may never open up our heart's to see what He's got in store for us.

So, my husband and I came to this conclusion that God had indeed granted us our heart's desire, once we stopped seeking for what we thought we wanted. But with this thought, we also concluded that now that He has blessed us so richly, being thankful isn't enough. How can we give back to God in appreciation for the blessings he's granted us? It has started the thought process and we're certain it will be a new challenge or goal in our lives.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Historical vs Old

"Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks" Ecclesiastes 10:18

I love coming across old barns or old cabins, especially in the middle of nowhere. There is so much to wonder about when I see one. I wonder who lived there. What sort of farm did they have? Is it really really old or has time and weather just been really hard?

My thoughts seem to be the same as many others for I always hear people saying "I love old barn photos.". This particular barn is not to far from where I live. I like to photograph it in the different seasons. I was out there on Sunday morning after a new dusting of snow to see if I could capture it in a white winter blanket.

It has signs on it now asking people to keep out for their own safety but visitors are more than welcome to explore all around the outside. It has definitely stood strong through many years.

I often wonder about the purpose of some heritage buildings. Though I appreciate many of them, like this barn, sometimes I wonder why others were even bothered with. A certain building in our town is going through the process of deciding whether or not it should be deemed a heritage building and if so, preventing any more upgrades to be done to it. This sort of annoys me because in my opinion, its just an old junky building. Though its history is important to the people who know it, its appearance and frame just come across as old. Maybe I'm just not sentimental enough but I believe a far greater good would be done by knocking it down, building a new building in its place and dedicating the new building with old photographs and the story of the building's history in its foyer.

I don't suppose I'll be asked to participate in this town's historical society any time soon. I do understand the purpose of heritage sites. If I didn't appreciate the buildings of the past, I wouldn't be photographing old barns & buildings. But sometimes I wonder if the effort of preservation is worth it in the long run on certain things, like this building in town. Its not really a building that tourists are going to drive by and notice and think "what a neat old building, lets stop here and look around.". But they may drive by and think "what an old building!" and keep driving by.

Or maybe I like small 'grasps' of history but don't appreciate saving the whole. For example, I can't wait to restore a junky old door with glass panes in it to replace a regular interior door in my house. Not because I know any of its history, just because I think it will look kind of cool and the glass will allow more light through. I suppose I could have just gone out and purchased some sort of french door to serve the same purpose but I'm attached to the thought of using this old one. And besides that, I got it free!

So, though it sounds like I'm a bit on the fence, I think I'm more about careful selection. Some historical things should be preserverd & revered, others are just old and its time to let them go!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Seeking Adventure?

Flying over Greenland - Photo by Jen Warkentin (my mom)

"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me." Psalm 139:9-10

There are still some pretty remote places on this planet. But true wilderness, land untouched and undiscovered is getting to be a rare thing. Someone somewhere has a goal to be the first to see it, the first to walk on it, climb up it or swim under it. Deep jungles and rugged lands used to be a mystery, something that only National Geographic showed us and very few would venture into. Travelling to Antarctica had suddenly become trendy. Trekking the Himalayas is on many people's "Top Ten" lists. If there is somewhere on this planet you want to see, there is a tour operator waiting for you.

Of course, not everyone is meant for adventure. And not everyone longs for adventure. Or certain kinds of adventures. Though I love photos of the blue iceburgs of the Arctic Circle, penguins in Antarctica and Himilaya trekking, I don't think I'm meant for a COLD adventure. Unless I can greatly improve the circulation to my extremeties, my fingers and toes always get cold first leaving me uncomfortable, even with the proper gear. So for now, I'm convinced I should stick to warm weather adventuring.

Me - Rhinos - Zambia

I have to say, I'm a little bit glad that there is still a mystery surrounding the depths of our oceans. With so much water on this planet, there is still much to be discovered underneathe its depths. Every year there are announcements of newly discovery sea creatures, both large and small. Might be a blip in a headline or hit the back half of a newspaper. A few people see it and think "oh, that's neat." and the rest carry on without a care about the discovery.

It always brings me back to the verse, "This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great." Psalm 104:25 "Innumerable" always stands out at me, like a message that we aren't ever going to know the diversity of life under the sea. I've tried snorkelling a couple times and then I took a few scuba diving lessons in Africa. I was blown away! Swimming along underwater and being able to breathe is a fantastic experience, very surreal the first couple times. I couldn't believe the things I saw in my few short times. It was fascinating. I felt like I wasn't even on earth because I was seeing such new & amazing things. Not unseen by people before but a new discovery for me in somewhere that was formerly 'remote' to my way of thinking.

Scuba lessons in Malawi - Me on the left

I think there are still more adventures in store for my future and I wish them for you too. Discovering something 'new to you' about this planet can be an amazing experience. When I think of how God created this planet for us to discover I am reminded that there are no remote places to go that He isn't there with us. And I think it brings Him great joy to see us take pleasure in these discoveries. From the remotes of the Arctic, to the depths of our oceans, find something new that amazes you, even if its being fascinated by the leaves in your own backyards.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:2

Just about anyone who knows me, knows I love my car. I drive this black Jetta. She's sporty, and cute all in one car. I adore my heated seats and my diesel fuel tank that goes twice as far as gas giving me more freedoms in driving further to where I want to go. The seat covers & steering wheel are covered with geckos. Right now, a snowman hangs from my rearview mirror. Its definitely a 'girl car'.

I love driving my car. I just love going for drives, even without a destination. It seems to be my replacement for the times I need to get out in nature to still my soul but don't have the time or place to go for a hike. Sometimes I'll crank up the stereo, sing along at the top of my lungs and sometimes I'll just drive in silence, more enthralled with the scenery around me or the thoughts in my head. I almost always can re-center myself out for a drive.

Though I love my car so much, I have a secret. I really want a truck one day! A red sporty 4x4, not too big, not too small. Nissan Frontier comes to mind. One to take me up in the mountains & backroads where my car is too delicate to go. But I am loyal to my car. Its taken me down many roads both literally & figuratively in my life. Its great to travel in, comfortable and reliable. Perfect for long road trips. I'll ward off the truck desires for a while longer in favour of my car.

Its hard not to be affected by the 'bigger & better' theme that is always bombarded in the marketing world. A bigger truck. A bigger house. A bigger boat. Bigger! Bigger! Bigger! More! More! More! I see it in my little town too. The battle of the big trucks. Competition is fierce. For such a small town, we probably see more Hummers than most of the valley. So much competition to appear important. Don't get me wrong, I think Hummers are pretty cool, but they've lost their appeal over this past year or so when I see their purposes around here. "look at me and be jealous" they seem to say. And truthfully, I've seen a few that I do feel 'jealous' of but not to the extent that I feel I need to join the competition.

Still, I take pride in my car but I think its more because I know where I've been and where I want to go. And I know my limitations. A loan for a big fancy new truck right now is out of the question and unneccessary. My car is paid off and we have other priorities. Maybe one day I'll have a little sporty red pick up but not right now. I don't need to be part of that 'bigger and better' world.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Peppers & other such sins

Thou shalt not eat a plate of nachos, delightfully indulging on jalepenos and green peppers, for thou knowest that they shalt give thee extreme indigestion & bloating & pain. Thus are the pestilences thou shalt bare for thine momentary pleasures of wrong doings.

Ok, you're saying - where in the Bible does it say that? Well it SHOULD say it in MY Bible because I obviously needed to read it yesterday!

siiigghhh! What a horrible sleep I had. What a tummy ache I have this morning!

So, after work, the three of us gals decided to go out for a drink and a visit. It had been a long week and we needed to talk about it. One gal ended up working late so two of us sat & vented about all & everything work related. But because we waited for girl #3 for so long, we ordered a plate of nachos, with everything on it. Now I KNOW BETTER than to eat green peppers and I NEVER eat jalepenos but for some reason 'drinkin & talkin' seemed to dull my judgement (I only had one drinkk but managed to pick off every tiny shred of green pepper I could find in the pile to ingest) The other gal finally showed up so we continued chatting & continued picking off the plate.

2 and a half hours later, I finally went home only to change my clothes & turn around and go back to the SAME pub to meet diff friends for appies. (I hoped the change of clothes would throw off the waitresses - I'm sure they had no clue that I was JUST there) We had a few wings & I had half a drink, no longer hungry or thirsty but enjoying the company. All was well, good visit, went home & was in bed by around 10.

However, when hubby woke up the first time at 1:00 I felt soooo blah. At 3:00 I went to the couch, burping & groaning. And about 4:30 when he got up cuz he couldn't sleep anymore I went back to the bed, still groaning. Got up at 7:30 and tummy is still in knots. So, I think its safe to say that I got my reminder about not eating PEPPERS. hehehe. Now I'm enjoying a coffee and will have some mild cereal in hopes of taming things in there.
So there you have it. My 'whine' for the week and my lesson learned!

Friday, February 02, 2007


"You will keep him in perfect peace who's mind is stayed on you" Isaiah 26:3

In the busyness of our every day lives, its easy to be consumed with our jobs, our families, our friends and our hobbies and forget to peacefully centre ourselves. In a world full of war, hate and turmoil, its hard to find a place of peace in our souls.

"World Peace" is that term that every body wants, the phrase every beauty queen states is her utmost goal, and something nobody really believes in.

Where is that place of tranquility, where you can step back from the world, from its horrors and terrors, from its nagging for your constant attention, and be still? It doesn't need to be a place of beauty & serenity, but it does need to be a place where you can quiet your mind.

It is said: "There is no peace,' says the Lord, 'for the wicked." Isaiah 48:22

In this world full of so much wicked, where is the hope for our peace. Our hope can only rest in God. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

My prayer for you today is that you have a place where you can be still, and allow the peace that comes from God give you rest and hope.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Light of Creation

Its going to be a beautiful day! I woke up this morning & saw the whole street was 'socked in' with fog and thought to myself 'Great! Another dull day of low cloud." I was soo wrong. Got into my cold frosty car & drove off into the spooky foggy darkness on my way to work. As I topped our hill I noticed this blazing light over the opposite horizon. It was the almost full moon, looking amazingly huge through the fog. Wow! It was breath-taking!

And then I looked over my shoulder to see the eastern horizon was just glowing orange, preparing for sunrise. I broke through the fog to see it was going to be a gorgeous clear day!

I could see that every twig, branch and blade of grass was encompassed in a sheath of white frost where ever the fog had touched, just waiting for the sun to crest over the horizon and bathe them in gold.

Its days like today that I mourn the fact that I'm sitting at a desk inside, staring at a computer all day when I wish to be outside taking it all in with all my senses...and my camera of course!

However, I realize that I am much luckier than many who are stuck at a day job all day. I'm not sitting in a cubicle, nor am I in the center of a cold dark building. I'm surrounded by WINDOWS! Over my right shoulder, the sun rises behind me over the mountains and travels across the sky over my shoulder through-out the day. Usually once it rises I have to close my blinds to the brightness or I can't see my monitor but it keeps me warm & bright all day. In front of me and to my right, I have two huge windows over looking the mountains and the valley to the north. I can see the weather coming, the wind direction (cuz I have a view of the airstrip wind-sock) and a view of some glorious mountains in front) If I get up and walk to my left, I have a view of the western hills, which are currently being illuminated by the rising sun. So while I may not be able to be OUT in the beauty of this valley each day, I can certainly enjoy seeing it from my desk all day long.

On a day like today, an old Sunday School song comes to mind that I share with you now: (I couldn't find who the author was for this song)

Morning sun, light of creation
Grassy fields, a velvet floor
Silver clouds, a shimmering curtain
He's designed a Perfect World

I'm amazed at His talents
Stand in awe of One so great
Now my soul begins to sing out
To the Source from which it came

Bless the Lord, who reigns in beauty
Bless the Lord, who reigns with wisdom and with power
Bless the Lord, who reigns my life with so much love
He's designed a perfect heart.