Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Here are some verses from Psalms dealing with mountains:

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Psalm 90:1,2

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.

At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
Psalm 104:1-13


I think the first palindrome I heard was fittingly attributed to the first words of introduction between our first parents:
Madam, I'm Adam.
and ever since then, it seems, people have been jumping on the bandwagon.

Love or hate Napoleon, he had a great opportunity to use his captivity for greatness at that crucial moment when the line
Able was I ere I saw Elba
was appropriate.

However clever these two illustrious speakers were to come up with the right phrase at the right time, it seems even more so when we see that the phrases were spoken in good English. You ask how this can be? I ask how it can be otherwise; we have to conclude that they were originally in English since the chances of a palindrome in one language translating into another perfectly good palindrome in a completely different language are slim indeed!

I once saw writing in Hebrew that looked quite palindromic but I couldn't verify whether it actually meant anything. Besides, it is read backwards in any case so that may put it in a different category entirely. I mean one would be reading backwards forwards and forwards backwards and end up being twice as palindromic. So confusing.

This confusion aside, English is indebted to many other languages (mainly those who read forwards, however) for the use of their words. These words can make it easier in some cases for the construction of a palindrome.

To make things much easier, we should find a language that has words that either spell the same both ways (i.e. "elle") or that has words that are spelled the same as our words backwards so we might borrow words useful for palindromes. Since this language may not exist, I suggest we start it ourselves. Perhaps it could be called something like Hsilgne.

If this is too much work we can simply be satisfied with what foreign words we have to suit our purposes. Words such as toyota. A simple phrase can be constructed by adding just a few extra letters using this wonderful word as a base:
A toyota's a toyota.

And not much else can be said about that.

I am indebted to my Uncle for this last one containing two foreign words that beautifully mirror into a rather singular sentence:
go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog.

But perhaps we are getting too carried away.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The gleaner

This picture was taken last fall as I was cleaning up my bit of earth for the winter.
I like it because everything looks so serene and lush. It seems as though my brother has an eye for pictures too. It reminds me of the painting of the gleaners. I'm not exactly sure what it is but it's more than just the way I'm standing; it has something to do with the overall mood.

Monday, June 26, 2006


I love taking pictures. I enjoy finding just the right angle and lighting to make something ordinary look extraodinary.

I took some of our gardens and assorted livestock this afternoon after a morning of working around the property. When we looked at them afterwards, my mom remarked "that's our garden?" It certainly looks beautiful in the pictures (I may post some when they're sent to me).

It's funny how they say a camera doesn't lie, yet something can look so much better in a picture than it does in real life. I think it is because a picture can exclude certain unsightly parts and focus on the good parts and because it only captures one short moment in time -- it can be easy to make something look good for a short time.

It makes me think of how we can so easily put on a good show for those who only see us outside our home: just as people who only see the beautiful pictures of our garden, they see only the good, showy points. But people who see the real thing, every day, see the weeds, the bug-eaten leaves, the plant that is not going to make it; it is our family and close friends that see our less-than-perfect points.

On another thought-line, do I treat people as well as I take pictures? Do I focus in on their good points and ignore not-so-good points so that the impression that I bring away (and perhaps show others) is beautiful? Not to say that I should be gullible and trust & think well of everyone out there but specifically in my relationships what do I focus on?

Friday, June 23, 2006

More medicine

Hope your day is filled with pleasant surprises (and many laughs)!

A few of my favourite things

There are two things I delight in, yea, even three: a wonderful (k)night, a pleasant walk, and a comfortable chat.

God is so good
God is so good
God is so good,
He's so good to me!

It's a simple song that I learned in the time before I can remember how old I was and yet it sums up much of what I've been meditating on lately.

I've discovered that my moods (although certain factors can affect their rise or fall) are pretty much up to me to determine. I can let myself slip into the mopes or I can will myself out of them.

One approach to willing out the mopes that I have been trying recently is to count my blessings. I have more than I can count and beyond that more than I know. Psalm 103 is a good one for this topic.

How can I be sad when I have so much?
Bless the LORD, o my soul. God is so good!

Reply pending

Dear faithful commenter,

If you've been wondering, I am planning on replying to the question on saints, I just have to find a time when I'm online long enough to organize my thoughts and write it (I guess all the posts in the meantime haven't taken much thought!).

Thank you for your patience.


Self-Irrigating Potatoes

My great-aunt Lois told me about this. I wonder why no one has thought of it before...

You'll never have to water your potatoes again!

How to create self-irrigating potatoes in one easy step:

Simply plant onions in with the potatoes -- as soon as the eyes appear, they'll start watering!

have a great laugh =)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Studiam Linguae Latinae Amo

I am preparing to take yet another year of Latin. I seem to be festina lente-ing my way through the language. Yes, although you may be wondering, I do have a mens sana in corpore sano as Juvenal would say. There is nothing wrong with me; infact, I believe that the study of Latin is profitable on many levels.

Latin has a plethora of purposes. Even if I were to forget the forms or (unthinkably) the name of the subjunctive case, as our beloved Dr Bloedow has said (with much more eloquence): Latin teaches one grammar, if nothing else. I shall forever know that, by saying "if I were..." (as above), I have ventured into the uncertain relm of the subjunctive (thankfully only in English this time!).

What else does a dead language teach, you ask? Latin is replete with English roots (or have I it backwards?). One cannot venture far into the language without stumbling upon a word that looks vaguely familiar, yet different. That is a root, my fine friend. I shall further claim that English words are full of Latin roots (if this were a garden, we'd have some difficulty digging this ground). Understanding Latin gives us hints into the origins and meanings of many English words (particularly long, complicated technical terms).

On these grounds alone (not even venturing into the area of the buckets of wisdom to be found or the sheer enjoyment of the structure of the language itself), I believe I have made my case for the sanity of one (such as yours humbly and truly) who loves such a pursuit.

I hope that you will wish me well on my journey per ardua ad astra (thanks to the RAF for that one)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


it can be fun to sleep in. Actually I prefer to be awake but lying in bed, perfectly relaxed, with nothing calling me out until I feel like getting up. I only like this, though, because it rarely happens. I savour the times that it does happen and live with the times it doesn't. Of course because I do enjoy the mornings, I'm not really loosing out by having to get out of bed (it can be hard for those first few early-morning-moments, though). But I remind myself during those times I have to get up that I did have a time in my life when I didn't have to get up in the mornings because I didn't have a job or any pressing responsibilities. During that period I longed for a reason to get out of bed.

I found a poem that I thought was interesting. It deals with the theme of the sluggard (note some Proverb references) and a few other Biblical ideas (it's by Isaac Watts, so what do you expect!)

The Sluggard

'Tis the voice of a sluggard; I heard him complain--
"You have waked me too soon; I must slumber again;"
As the door on its hinges, so he on his bed,
Turns his sides, and his shoulders, and his heavy head.
"A little more sleep, and a little more slumber"--
Thus he wastes half his days, and his hours wihout number;
And when he gets up, he sits folding his hands,
Or walks about saunt'ring, or trifling he stands.

I passed by his garden, and saw the wild brier
The thorn and the thistle grow broader and higher;
The clothes that hang on him are turning to rags;
And his money still wastes till he starves or he begs.
I made him a visit, still hoping to find
That he took better care for improving his mind;
He told me his dreams, talked of eating and drinking,
But he scarce reads his Bible, and never loves thinking.

Said I then to my heart: "Here's a lesson for me;
That man's but a picture of what I might be;
But thanks to my friends for their care in my breeding,
Who taught me betimes to love working and reading.
-Isaa Watts

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I spent part of my weekend reading Dickens. It was quite a pleasant, relaxing time. I found it particularly enjoyable since I had just finished a long, tiring week.
Along with reading Dickens, I spent some time skimming through a collection of poems among which I found one that expressed my sentiments on the subject quite well:

O for a Booke and a shadie nooke, eyther in-a-door or out;
With the greene leaves whispering over hede, or the streete cryse all about.
Where I maie Reade all at my ease, both of the Newe and Olde;
For a jollie good Booke whereon to looke, is better to me than Golde

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lovely Lilies

Why does it seem so much worse when a person who calls himself a Christian cheats? Or lies or goes back on his word? One reason is that we, as Christians, are expected to be ambassadors for Christ in this world; that men are to see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Another reason, that we are in a highly priveliged circumstances (and to whom much is given...).
I would like to set forward another facet on the answer of why this sort of behaviour seems worse coming from a Christian than from a non-Christian. As Shakespeare would say:
For sweeter things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.
(from Sonnet 94)

In a way, this does tie in with the idea of being priveliged. When we are born again in Christ, we are given a new heart, a heart that is turned to God. So we see that those that sin before the new birth are following their sinful nature but when we sin after regeneration, we are going against the nature God has given us. In both cases sin is sin and it stinks yet it seems worse for Christians because we were made for better things.

As we daily present our bodies as living sacrifices may they let off a sweet-smelling savour to God!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Pride is the deification of self, and this today in some of us is not the order of the Pharisee, but of the publican. To say "Oh, I'm no saint," is acceptable to human pride, but it is unconscious blasphemy against God. It literally means that you defy God to make you a saint, "I am much too weak and hopeless." Humility before men may be unconscious blasphemy before God. Why are you not a saint? It is either that you do not want to be a saint, or that you do not believe God can make you one.
- Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest (June 12th)

Monday, June 12, 2006

weeding song

One of the Psalms from The Book of Psalms for Singing (which we use for a Psalter in our Congregation) that is a favourite of my Mom's while weeding/gardening is Psalm 92C. The third stanza (verses 7 & 8 of the Pslam) of which is:

Though sinners grow like weeds, Ill-doers blossom may,
They're doomed to be destroyed. You LORD, exalted stay.
LORD, Your foes fall.
See! How Your foes, vain evil men, are scattered all!

As you can see, it is a triumphant song (with good music too) and wonderful to sing while knocking down weeds "they're doomed to be DESTROYED..."!

For the flip-side of this idea, the fifth (and final) stanza (verses 13-15) is:
Those planted by the LORD Shall in God's courts be see;
When old they'll still bear fruit and flourish fresh and green,
And loud proclaim
How upright is the LORD, my Rock; No wrong in Him!

What a beautiful picture of growth this gives. How encouraging to the gardener and saint to be able to proclaim this!


I have the day off work today and spent most of my time weeding my gardens. There are two quotes that I find describe the fight against weeds perfectly:

- Give a weed an inch and it'll take the whole yard.

- One year's seeds makes seven years' weeds.

Not to harp too much on the garden/life analogy... I find that weeds are perfect pictures of sin (after all, they are a result of sin). If a sin, however tiny, is ignored, it starts to put out roots and grow (and maybe even start to re-seed itself). Once it has been left to grow like this, it is so much harder to erradicate. Therefore vigilance is required and a readiness to spot and remove the first traces of weedy sin.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sticking out like a sore...

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
- I Corinthians 12:25,26

At work yesterday, I managed to hurt my thumb. I don't normally think much about my thumbs; they do not normally carry a high profile. I am not overly pleased or displeased with their appearance, I don't often spend time marveling about how useful they are -- at least, not until I can't use one.

The last hour or two of work I spent, utterly useless, holding something around my thumb to stop the bleeding. I learned a couple lessons during that time, lesson that I hope I will not forget easily.

First, I got a small glimpse of what it is like to be crippled.
With only four fingers to use (and those hurting) I found how hard it is, without full functionality to do even simple jobs like holding a water nozzle. I wanted to be of help, I hated having to sit around and watch the work done but I got the feeling that I wasn't much help even when I was trying my hardest. It was very humbling. I thought about how there is nothing in me that says that I deserve to have a sound body and mind; I could easily have been born without one or both of those blessings.

Second, it brought to mind those two chapter twelves: I Corinthians 12 & Romans 12 where Paul talks of the church using the image of the body. He addresses several issues about the body of the church in this passage but, as the quote above indicates, the part I have been thinking about is how the other member sympathize with the hurting member. In my body, my other hand didn't start sympathizing with my thumb only after it had finished what it wanted to do or until the 'weekly bodily meeting' where it showed concern but forgot afterwards when it had extra work to do. Once my thumb was hit, I couldn't think about much else for a long time. All my thoughts were directed toward concern for it, trying to find ways that it would hurt less. If I did something careless and touched it, renewed throbbing called my entire attention to that one little digit.

I compared these natural reactions in my body to the functioning of the church body. I also compared it to how I, as one member, react to things that happen to other members of my church body. The truth is that I do not act in this way. I do not often truly suffer with a suffering member or

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
- Romans 12:15

The question I am asking myself now is how do we set up a system of nerves within the church body so that we are truly of one body in Christ and reactions come naturally?

But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
And if they were all one member, where were the body?
But now are they many members, yet but one body.
- I Corinthians 12:18-20

I think that much of what Paul addresses in these two chapters (and in most of his letters) has to do with practical advise on how to work on this very issue.
may we all strive to live out this advice and may it be said of us one day that
...we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
- Romans 12:5

childhood poem

Among other things that I remember from my family's use of the Rod and Staff curriculum for our homeschooling is a simple poem that I learned a long time ago (probably before I could even read). I can't remember the title or author but it's probably called 'the owl'.

A wise old owl lived in an oak.
The more he saw, the less he spoke,
the less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why can't we be like that wise, old bird?

Thursday, June 08, 2006


As it looks like rain, my thoughts turn to my gardens. I love gardening for many reasons but one of the parts that I enjoy most about gardening is the anticipation of what everything will look like in a few years.
Not that they don't look nice already but there is always at least one thing that I have just started, or something that was set back, divided, transplanted, sat upon by a friendly dog (the list goes on) about which I'll think: "it'll look better in a few years".
I am posting some pictures that were taken around this time last year and it is interesting (to me)to see how this year some things are doing much better and some things are not doing as well.
I would suggest that an interesting parallel can be drawn between the growth of a garden and the growth of a soul. Maybe not everyone can relate to what I'm talking about regarding plants, but every soul has had experiences of both set backs and growing beyond expectations (often both at the same time!). We can truly joy in the Lord through set backs when we keep our focus on the long-term.

My "bit of earth"

A beautiful yellow Columbine my best friend gave to me several years ago.

Lupins (one plant that greatly exceeeded expectations last year but is not doing as well this year!)

made for another world

Here is a quote by Charles Colson quoting C.S. Lewis... It's quite good:

"We know in our hearts that peace never really lasts for long, which leads to an interesting question: Why is it that humans are apparently designed to desire good and noble things we cannot possibly have? Considering this question, C.S. Lewis concluded: "If our deepest desires cannot be satisfied in this world, then we must have been made for another world"." -Charles Colson

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


As may be obvious to some, the inspiration for the title of this blog came from Psalm 23. Another source, however, is the saying "still waters run deep" (referring to the depth of emotion that is often hidden under a quiet exterior).

The image I get from the combination of these two references is a Christian who is at peace in God while deeply inspired and moved by love for Him.

This is the picture of the Christian that I am attempting to become. I have a long way to go but I am trusting that the Lord will lead me the whole way, restoring my soul.