Thursday, August 31, 2006

little flowers

I love little delicate flowers.

The problem with them in most gardens is that they often get lost around showier blooms. But this doesn't daunt me: their exquisit faces are more beautiful for having to be searched out. The thrill of discovery of finding a little double poppy among the rudbekia is worth the exposure to mosquitoes (who also love to hide beneath the shade of taller plants).

I used to be the type who would never pick a flower. "It took enough to get one, so I'm not going to pick it" was my philosophy. But over time I'm coming to realise that I have to spend more time indoors and don't have the opportunity to spend hours enjoying these hidden blooms in different parts of my garden. so now I'm coming to the place where I don't mind picking my flowers. I am better at keeping those that I do pick (thanks to left-over flower food & lots of practice from all those bought bouquets!) and can enjoy a riot of colour brought indoors (in a mosquito-less environment).

I would still prefer to spend hours outside enjoying the blooms but I do enjoy arranging and bringing in the beauty. I find also that picking little flowers and highlighting them in little vases is especially rewarding since it puts them in the spotlight and shows their true sweetness & beauty at eye level.

A little vase with a double poppy, campanula, rose campion, alyssum & lavender graces the livingroom.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Floods

Psalm 93

The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.
Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.
The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.
The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.
Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.


I have often thought about prayer and how it works in relation to other facets of our life. Oswald Chambers has a good entry on this subject in the August 28th entry from My Utmost for His Highest. I shall quote the entry in full since I didn't want to remove any of it but the final paragraph (and the ultimate sentence in the penultimate paragraph) is the section that I found most interesting.
What's the Good of Prayer?
"Lord, teach us to pray." Luke 11:1

It is not part of the life of a natural man to pray. We hear it said that a man will suffer in his life if he does not pray; I question it. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer. When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.

"Ask and ye shall recieve." We grouse before God, we are apologetic or apathetic, but we ask very few things. Yet what a splendid audacity a childlike child has! Our Lord says--"Except ye become as little children." Ask, and God will do. Give Jesus Christ a chance, give Him elbow room, and no man will ever do this unless he is at his wits' end. When a man is at his wits' end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get in touch with Reality. Be yourself before God and present your problems, the things you know you have come to your wits' end over. As long as you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.

It is not so true that "prayer changes things" as that prayer changes me and I change things. God has so constituted things that prayer on the basis of Redemption alters the way in which a man looks at things. Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man's disposition.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I was away this weekend on a canoe trip. Except for one night of wind and rain the weather was perfect. Here are a couple photos (with more on the way):

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Poplar-Field

This poem has a slightly mournful tone but I like it both because of the 'all flesh is grass' sentiment (I Peter 1:24) and for the beautiful description of his memory of these trees. It all seems so shady and cool--exatly like the weather we're enjoying today!

The poplars are fell'd, farewell to the shade
And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade,
The winds play no longer, and sing in the leaves,
Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.

Twelve years have elaps'd since I last took a view
Of my favourite field and the bank where they grew,
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat that once lent me shade.

The blackbird has fled to another retreat
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat,
And the scene where his melody charm'd me before,
Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.

My fugitive years are all hasting away,
And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,
With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head,
Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.

'Tis a sight to engage me, if anything can,
To muse on the perishing pleasures of man;
Though his life be a dream, his enjoyments, I see,
Have a being less durable even than he.
-William Cowper

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Psalm 91

1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. 14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Psalm 91 has been among my favourite Psalms for quite a while. At first I was attracted by the two pleasant settings we have for it in the Psalter, then for the rousing words and promises it contains.

I have thought of these promises as comfort for times of trouble. I have not run into times of great peril, personally, but much life may yet be lived and only God knows what is beyond that bend in the road. So I have stored up this Psalm (along with 23, 121 etc) for future use when greater need arises and been content to look on it objectivly as something that shows His great love for us and how we can trust Him for Him protection in our daily lives.

A few weeks ago, someone (probably my pastor) pointed out that this Psalm (vv 11,12)is the one that the devil quotes when tempting Jesus:
And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Matthew 4:6
The implication of this passage being used to tempt Jesus is that this Psalm applies directly to Jesus' life (i.e. prophesy). This is not unusual since many Old Testament passages, Psalms included, are prophesies of Christ and His ministry on earth.

But if we think of the way in which we have a tendency to apply the promises in this Psalm to our own lives (we won't see or have part in any trouble or inconvenience at all) and try to match that up with how it applied to Christ's life (Isa 53:3"...despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:", finally hung on a cross etc) we have to ask if we are really listening to the implication of Christ's words in Mattehew 10:24,25
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
In other words, are we expecting better treatment than our Master recieved?

But how can Christ be promised "long life" (v16)? The answer is that these promises go beyond this temporal world. One of the aspects of Christianity that I find great joy in (although -- as in my last post -- it can be sorrowful to see) is the way that Christians have a deeper understanding of so many things. Our alliance is not of this world so although we may enjoy some of its passing pleasures, they are not the end in themselves.

Oswald Chambers makes an interesting distinction between deliverance from trouble & deliverance in trouble (My Utmost for His Highest August 2) stating that the first is what many new Christians believe will happen and the second is the way the Christian life actually works itself out. This reveals the deeper, Christian view of deliverance.

This is why we are not afraid of "the terror by night" and its kin: because our hope is in our LORD, we are in His shadow already and we have assurance that He will keep us there (John 10:28,29). What more could we want!?

de profundus

I have read a couple books over the past week or so. Generally I devour books but these just didn't seem to sit right. The books that I read are about (and most likely by) smart men who are searching for truth in the world yet tragically (as the song says) "looking for love [truth/the Savior] in all the wrong places".

I suppose I have a tendency to imagine that everyone is as I am. I do have non-christian friends but we don't often tread as intimately as these books do within the intricacies of their inner being! My friends seem happy, so do I. They have some troubles, so do I. We seem to be on a fairly even surface with a few differences of opinion about points of morality. It is hard for me to understand to what depths a soul without real hope can go.

In the books it was the hopelessness the characters felt that struck me the most. Because of this I felt none of the usual comradeship with the characters. Yet both these books are highly acclaimed so the pictures they portray cannot strike untrue among the critics.

It served as a sobering reminder of how blessed we are and how, because of this, we ought to show our hope in Christ to the hopeless world we are surrounded by.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


This photo may not mean much to some people but there are hidden points in it that represent for me some of the many blessings that I have been showered with in my life.

First, merely materially, the jacket and purse are accessories that I am quite able to do without (I held out long enough until I found just the right one of each that I know this to be true) yet I really enjoy them (because I did get just the right ones) and they bring me joy in their way.
Second, the tiny flowers tucked in to both the purse & the coat (pocket & button hole) remind me of both how God has blessed us with flowers (what would this world be like without flowers?!) and has blessed me with someone to bring flowers to me!
Third, the sunshine reminds me of what beautiful weather we often have here in Ontario.
Fourth, the location (a lookout on the Elora Gorge) reminds me of the day we had fun exploring & admiring the beauty of the Gorge.

These points don't even scratch the surface of many other areas in which I have been blessed: living in Canada, having access to an education, being rasied in a loving, Christian home, having a sound mind in a sound body and others beyond what we ask or think.

We memorized Psalm 103 in our church this past Spring and the first two verses often come to mind when I start to think along these lines:
Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
Pslam 103:1,2

Friday, August 11, 2006


I stumbled across a facinating website full of Jane Austen stuff. I havn't explored all the links yet (working hard at that) but there appear to be some really interesting stuff. You too can find it here & and I'll add it to my links when I have time.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

human nature

Great advice for marriage or any relationship we may have.

...if we love a human being and do not love God, we demand of him [the human] every perfection and every rectitude, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; we are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give. There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Why our Lord is apparently so severe regarding every human relationship is because he knows that every relationship not based on loyalty to Himself will end in disaster. Our Lord trusted no man, yet He was never suspicious, never bitter. Our Lord's confidence in God and in what His grace could do for any man, was so perfect that He despared of no one. If our trust is placed in human beings, we shall end in despairing of everyone.
-Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, July 30th


On the 8th day of the 8th month in the year 1888 my great grandfather was born. Were he still living he would be turning 118 years old today.

I think that's pretty gr8!

Monday, August 07, 2006


Just a lonely little nasturtum in an impatients patch...

I love the crisp contrast in the colours in this picture.

I havn't had much time to write lately hence the substitution of content for images.

There should be more mind meat here tomorrow (DV).

I still enjoy pictures, though!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


They may not be brilliant but they're decent creatures and can look pretty when near the flowers

I also appreciate eggs

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

best-known quote

He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.
-Jim Elliot


I am so thankful that God, through my circumstances and my parents' & church's teachings, guarded my ways while growing up. When I think of all the things I could have done and think of my level of maturity (or lack thereof) at the time I realize that it is only by God's grace (and maybe my chicken heart!) that my feet were kept from straying too far. This applies to all areas of life but I read a poem recently that (once you get past the language to the meaning) speaks to young women throughout the ages about maidenly virtue. Note that it was written by a woman too!

The Resolve
Whilst thirst of praise, and vain desire of fame,
In every age, is every woman's aim;
With courtship pleased, of silly toasters proud;
Fond of a train, and happy in a crowd;
On each poor fool bestowing some kind glance;
Each conquest owing to some loose advance;
Whilst vain coquets affect to be pursued,
And think they're virtuous, if not grossly lewd;
Let this great maxim be my virtue's guide:
In part she is to blame, who has been tried,
He comes too near, that comes to be denied.

-Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

microwave recipe

With this heatwave comes the indisposition to use the oven for anything let alone baking treats. Yet, in this world of modern convenience we can bake our cake and be cool too with this recipe tailored especially for the microwave (it's also fairly quick & easy to make)!

Microwave Coffee Cake
In mixing bowl combine 2 c. flour, 1/2 c. sugar, 1 tbsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt. Make a 'well' in the centre. In seperate bowl beat 2 eggs, add 1/2 c cooking oil & 1/2 c. milk. Pour wet ingredients into 'well' in dry & stir until just moist. Pour into greased 8" dish (microwaveable).

Sprinkle with a mixture of
2 tbsp. flour, 1 tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tbsp cocoa, 1/3 c. sugar & 1/4 c. butter. Microwave at high for 5-7 minutes (depending on wattage, may want to check earlier) turning while cooking. Cool 15 minutes. May want to drizzle with 3/4 c. icing sugar & 1 tbsp. milk. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


always room for another picture post of pretty posies!


I've been reading Jim Elliot's biography (written by his wife) these past few days. What a testimony of zeal for the Lord that is! I have a feeling that a few quotes will appear here sometime soon (once I get around to copying them down).

I'm still digesting what the book means to me but hopefully it will help to spur me on to spending more time conversing with our Lord. I find that it takes some time for things like this book to sink in. Maybe by the time I get those quotes out, I'll be able to express myself more fully on how it affected me.