Saturday, June 30, 2007


Take joy wherever you go. You have been much blessed. You are being much blessed.

Such stores of blessing are awaiting you in the months and years that lie ahead. Pass every blessing on.

Love can and does go round the world, passed on the God-current from one to the other.

Shed a little sunshine in the heart of one, that one is cheered to pass it on, and so My vitalizing joy-giving message goes.

Be transmitters these days. Love and Laugh. Cheer all. Love all.

Always seek to understand others and you cannot fail to love them.

See Me in the dull, the uninteresting, the sinful, the critical, the miserable.

See Me in the laughter of children and the sweetness of old age, in the courage of youth and the patience of man- and womanhood.

from God Calling by Two Listeners - edited by A. J. Russell



A year ago today Mom died. I miss the sunshine she lavished on me, and her zest for life. Still sometimes in the half-awake state of early morning, I can't believe I'll never speak to her on earth again. Something in me calls out, 'It's been long enough. I need to talk to her, be wrapped in her soft hug, look into her kind brown eyes, share a laugh with her...'

Photo: Butterfly on Goldenrod

Friday, June 29, 2007

dynamite of thanks

There's no mind hygiene like meditating on a bit of the Bible. I know this, but how often don't I neglect it? Lately I've made (another) new start. Last week it was Psalm 32:8-10. Then day-before-yesterday, I flipped the page on my little collection of verses handwritten on file cards, held together with a binder ring, and came to the next one. It's Psalm 50:23: "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me and prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God" (this is NIV).

As I've mulled these words over in the last two days, I've come to the conclusion this is a dynamite verse. The whole concept is earth-shaking -- thanking God for a thing before it ever happens. Even the writer acknowledges this isn't normal. It's a "sacrifice," an "offering." But it does so much.

First it honors God. Now I think we're talking here not only about mouthing words of thanks, but being so confident God will answer that our whole outlook is changed. We have gone from anxiety to trust and optimism. God likes us to trust Him that much. It honors Him.

Second, such an attitude of thanks before the fact constructs a road -- "prepares the way" for the answer, "the salvation of God." How? Only God knows. It's another one of those Kingdom mysteries.

Are you asking God for something? Take the advice of this verse and join me in thanking Him for the answer He will send. Every time an anxious thought tries to slip in, slam the door tight with the words of this verse. Live this whole day "preparing the way" for God to show His salvation in your situation by uttering audible thanks for the answer that's coming. As you do, watch your attitude change from fretful to faith-filled. And don't forget to keep a lookout for the answer, which will come.

Photo: Mustard - pink this time.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

next Recipe Roundup

Do you like to eat? Then this meme is for you!

For the last three months, participating bloggers have been posting a hash of recipes. It all started in April with Rebecca hosting a collection of Quick Supper Fixin's. In May, the category was Appetizers. In June it was Desserts.

For the customarily hot month of July (in North America at least) the category is Summer Salads. And the July Recipe Roundup will be hosted right here at promptings on Thursday, July 12.

Cooks of every age and experience are invited to join in!

Here's what you do:

1. Post a salad recipe (any salad from high carb pasta to pure rabbit fare) on your blog -- or pull up a salad posting from the past. Submit one or several recipes.

2. I'm thinking of getting a Mr. Linky to collect the posts on Thursday, July 12th, but I don't have that in place yet. If I do get him, all you do is come back here on July 12th and add your link to the collection.

UPDATE - June 28th: I have successfully installed Mr. Linky. Therefore I will be using Mr. Linky to collect posts for the Recipe Roundup. Of course if you're away from your computer on that day, you're most welcome to email your post earlier (email below) and I'll include it in the Roundup.

OR you can also email your recipe's link to me on or before July 12th and I will make sure you get included one way or another!

More questions? Check out Rebecca's "Recipe Roundup Page" for answers to everything from who designed the "Recipe Roundup" logo, to how to get printed Word documents of the recipes emailed to you.


Spring frosting


Thursday Challenge

Next week: TIME (Old, New, Clock, Watch, Hourglass, Calendar,...)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

more murals

This mural from the children's foyer of our church is only a taste...


Photo: Clover - and bees.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

remember Uncle Arthur?

Yesterday a package came in the mail. I was puzzled at first. I didn't recall having ordered another book. Then I opened it and remembered. A few weeks ago I got an email, asking me to confirm my address before sending out a book from the Seventh Day Adventist Southern Asia-Pacific Education Division for a reader which has a story I wrote in it.

At the time I faintly remembered giving permission for this story to be included. Yesterday that book came.

It's a colorful paperback. I crack it open and scan the contents page. Yes, here is my story -- "Never Silenced," a two-part about John Bunyan, first published in Guide. Then I look at the other stories and authors and find an author name that sounds familiar: Arthur S. Maxwell.

Indeed it should be familiar because I grew up on Arthur Maxwell stories. We had a set of five books called Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories. Our set became completely tattered with all the use it got. And when my own kids were little and a traveling salesman came around selling an updated edition -- I bought. (After reading them to my own kids, they're sitting upstairs in the bookshelf, just waiting for story-hungry grandkids to come along.)

So, how cool is that -- to have a story in the same book as Uncle Arthur!?

Sunday, June 24, 2007


When Peter asked Jesus to prove His identity by commanding him to walk on the water, Peter was putting out a fleece of sorts. Jesus' answer, "Come," brought Peter to a crossroads of faith. Would he trust Jesus, or trust his ears, eyes and the very slap of the wind on his face?

We know the story -- how he jumped out, started walking on the water but then, distracted by the storm, took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink.

How many times don't we find ourselves in a similar situation? We've prayed, perhaps even put out a fleece and sensed Jesus' answer was "Come." But then we must actually live our faith by jumping into that roiling sea, which every human instinct says will swallow us up. Our choice is to either focus on the natural situation or on the face of the One Who said, 'Come.'

How does walking on water work? I sure don't know. But I do know from this and many other Bible stories of faith, that the very act of doing seems to throw the switch on the law of Kingdom buoyancy.

We're in a situation today where I feel like we've jumped over the side of the boat. The story of Peter walking on water came to mind as I was praying about it, and the old hymn, "I Need The Every Hour':

I need Thee; oh I need Thee!
Every hour I need Thee!
Oh bless me now, my Saviour;
I come to Thee.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!
Sing out the honor of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
Say to God,
"How awesome are Your works!

Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men.

For You, O God, have tested us;
You have refined us as silver is refined.
You brought us into the net;
You laid affliction on our backs.
You have caused men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.

Psalm 66: 1-3, 5, 10-12 NKJV

Thursday, June 21, 2007

summer is missing

and rumors are going around ...

She is having too much fun in Ontario.

She had an accident and is waiting to see a doctor in the E.R.

She's out shopping for a new swimsuit at the Bay, but can't get any help.

Her feelings were hurt by talk of the flood damage she'd cause if she came too early, so she's staying away a good long time.

She's out camping and can't get over her fascination with the furnace in her Airstream.

She's caught in RAV Line construction on Cambie Street.

She's tired of Global Warming getting all the attention and has decided to create a little news of her own.

But I think she's on an Alaskan cruise. After all, by now surely she's banked enough time to have earned a summer holiday of her own.

Yep, that's a picture of our outdoor thermometer, taken a few minutes ago -- and it's raining again too. Actually, Summer paid us a brief visit Tuesday and Wednesday. But this morning she's nowhere in sight. Can't she read the calendar?!


River Squat

This interesting collection of floatables is anchored in the Nicomekl River, near the Nico Wynd marina (South Surrey, B.C.). I'm not sure someone lives there, but I think so.


Thursday Challenge

Next Week: WEATHER (Clear Skies, Rain, Wind, Storm, Snow, Hail,...)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I was thrilled, a few weeks ago, to find myself on the shortlist of the 2007 Word Guild Awards in three categories. The Word Guild is an association of Canadian writers and editors who are Christian. Every year they sponsor a contest where Canadian editors, publishers and writers can enter a variety of writing (from song lyrics to books) published in the previous year. Winners in past years have been such Christian literary luminaries as J. I. Packer, Mark Buchanan and Phil Callaway.

This year's winners were announced at a gala in Toronto last Wednesday, June 13th. I was not able to attend, so had no idea who won until this morning. On checking the Word Guild website, I found the winners posted (at last!)

I won two awards!!! Not in any category for which I was on the shortlist, though, but in two categories for which there was no announced shortlist: Children/Young Adult article (for "A Touch of Wonder" an article about the sense of touch, published by Guide - it's not online, though) and in the Review category (for a book review of Presumed Guilty [by James Scott Bell] syndicated by, and published in

I am smiling. This is hugely encouraging (not to speak of the fact that I get a little back from the wad I blew on entry fees).

Monday, June 18, 2007

beach beauty

These sturdy pink stocks of something are blooming at the beach (Mud Bay). They remind me of rhubarb, but I'm sure they're not. Can't find them in my field guide. Does anyone know what they are? (The whites and yellows all around are mustard.)

(I also blogged here today)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

loosening the roots

Things are happening on the house front. On Wednesday we met with the realtor. I was nervous about that -- felt like I was about to get my grade on the last six weeks of work.

It turned out fine. He didn't make any suggestions about more things to do (except re-roof -- something we were planning to do anyway). While he was here, we also talked about the kind of house we're looking for (a townhouse), the location (a little paradise somewhere in Cloverdale, Langley or South Surrey) and made a first date to go house-hunting.

Yesterday son (who is a roofer) came with his buds and unloaded the shingles. The are perched in bundles on the roof as I type. We're hoping for a speedy installation, but wouldn't you know, today it's raining.

☜ Back garden

Then last night around dinner time, our realtor's assistant came with the lawn sign. Now the world knows -- this place is for sale.

Side garden ☞

I tidied my garden plots yesterday. They sure needed it, as full of soggy cotton sticks as they were (from the cottonwood in the park behind us). As I collected and weeded and scratched the ground black, it suddenly hit me. This might be the last time I do this. Probably not, as we'll probably not sell so quickly. But it is possible.

I felt a grip inside. I'll miss the plant friends I've nurtured all these years -- the herbs, hostas and roses, my little plot of sea thrift, the joyous yellow alium, and the clumps of pink dianthus that are presently freshening the air with their spice. The garden is especially lush and full this year because of cool temperatures and lots of rain.

☜Front garden

I must capture this moment, I thought. And so, in a symbolic gesture of goodbye -- just in case this is the last time I grub about in these plots, I photographed each one. I hope whoever buys this house loves them as much as I have!

Friday, June 15, 2007

seen on the pier

The lookout

Standing guard

Too small

Too dangerous
(The crab catcher had to flick the snapping creature onto his back in order to pick him up and fling him back into the water)

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Family Circle


Thursday Challenge

Next Week: BLUE (Melancholy, Gem Stones, Water, Sky, Flowers, Birds,...)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

divine originality

There is only one thing you can consecrate to God and that is your right to yourself (Romans 12:1). If you will give God your right to yourself, He will make a holy experiment out of you. God's experiments always succeed.

The mark of a saint is the moral originality which springs from abandonment to Jesus Christ. In the life of a saint there is this amazing wellspring of original life all the time; the Spirit of God is a well of water springing up, perennially fresh. The saint realizes that it is God who engineers circumstances, consequently there is no whine, but a reckless abandon to Jesus.

Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you.

- Oswald Chambers - My Utmost for His Highest

Photo: Heron among seagulls - White Rock, B.C.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I blogged here today.

Monday, June 11, 2007

apple cake

It's a month since I brought home a new iMac. I blogged about the initial experience here.

In the intervening weeks, along with devoting myself to house tasks, I've spent time getting familiar with the new environment. Perhaps predictably, I soon came to prefer the Mac, and there were many days I didn't turn on the Windows machine at all.

But the time for play ended last week. I have an article due at the end of the month. I needed to get the new computer installed in the 'place of honor' on my computer desk so I could actually do some work on it. In order to take down the old one, though I needed to transfer a bundle of files.

So most of my time on the computer last week was sent combing through the folders and files on my old computer, and manually converting each file I wanted to move from WordPerfect to Word. It took hours and hours!

The actual move, though, was easy. After I'd burned the files I wanted to move onto a CD, I could simply drag them into the appropriate folders on the Mac.

All the converting and moving took me till Friday morning. Then I had one more hurdle to get over -- set up our house accounts on the new computer. To do that on the old, I've used Quicken forever (as in using Quicken 3!). There is a Quicken program for Macs (Yaaay!!). And when I went to the Apple store on Friday afternoon, I was able to snafu their last copy in stock.

Saturday, then, was spent reconstructing the last month or two of our spending on Quicken 2007 for Mac. (I know there is a way to import data from an old Quicken account to a new one. But the instructions are so complicated, I decided to start fresh. Next tax year when we need to access that old information, we'll just have to get it from the old computer, which E. now inherits.)

Then on Saturday night, after all the above was done, I officially took the old system apart, and installed the new one on my computer table. I am now an official Apple user -- and don't regret making the move.

Of course I'm still learning how to do stuff on here -- and keep other stuff from happening. In that last category, for example, yesterday for no apparent reason (I must have done something to make it happen but I sure don't know what) everything on the screen (the dock, the screen picture, the tool bar at the top) began shifting around as I moved my mouse. Somehow the screen picture also got enlarged and so as I moved the mouse, sometimes the dock would disappear, or the tool bar at the top would disappear. Yikes! To remedy this, I simply restarted the computer.

Here is my list of pros and cons after using Mac for a month:

- Reliable, fast, elegant, quiet.
- "Help" is easy to understand.
- Lots of nice features to organize photos.
- Software has been simple to load.
- Can enlarge print on screen with a keystroke.
- Love the smooth scroll ball on the mouse.

- I still wish I had my ergonomic keyboard.
- Mouse action took some getting used to.
- Don't have the option to print a 'selection' from the internet. I must do it in two steps, e.g. copy/paste my selection into a text or Word document, then print.

The Apple store where I bought the computer offers a free class. As I come across things I can't figure out I'm making a list, which I'll try to get answered when I attend the class in late June.

I'm glad I was able to transition slowly. Looking back on the experience, aside from all the file conversion necessary, I can say it was pretty much a piece of (Apple) cake.

(Apple Cake photo from

Saturday, June 09, 2007

creamy cheesecake

1 1/4 cup graham crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter

Combine all three ingredients. Press into an 8" pie plate or square pan and 1/2" up the sides. Or just cover the bottom of a springform pan.

1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Combine in order given. Add eggs one at a time. Mix well.

Pour filling over crust. Bake at 325 F for 40 minutes or until light brown.

1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together. Spread over hot cheesecake (after it has baked the 40 minutes) and return to oven to bake for another 10 minutes.


Top with your favorite pie filler or a fresh fruit glaze.


Comments: I've made this countless times and it's always a hit. I usually bake it longer than 40 minutes, though, until the center seems firm.

Source: This recipe is from one of my favorite books -- Are There Meals After Marriage? It is a church ladies jobbie, put together by the Circle Drive Alliance (Saskatoon Sk.)Young Couples in 1981, the year we were married. My much-used copy has long since lost its plastic coil binding, I've replaced the cover with a mac-tacked construction paper one of my own, and the stained and crinkled pages are held together with binder rings.


This recipe is posted for June's Recipe Roundup day which happens next Thursday, June 14th. This month's category is desserts. It will be hosted by Karen of Simply A Musing Blog.

Do you have a dessert recipe on your blog? Consider this your invitation to submit it to the Roundup! Details of how to submit a recipe are here (basically, submit to Mr. Linky at Karen's blog on the day of the Roundup).

Friday, June 08, 2007

a wormy tale

I'd say this is a good way to publicize a book.

HT: Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf - June 7 newsletter

let's 'go to the village'

What does that mean to a Ugandan?

Going to the Village" ... involves a change in mentalities as much as it involves a change in living standard. Villagers are infamous for their inability to keep time. A wedding scheduled to take place at 1pm may not start until after dark.

This from Chris, my nephew working under Equip near Jinja, Uganda.

Would you enjoy going to the village? Read Chris's entire post - and decide.

Thursday, June 07, 2007




Thursday Challenge

Next week: PEOPLE (Crowds, People Relaxing, People Rushing, Individuals: happy, sad, pensive,...)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

share everything

Already Love is drawing others to you. Take all who come as sent by Me, and give them a royal welcome. It will surprise you, all that I have planned for you.

Welcome all who come with the love of both your hearts. You may not see the work. Today they may not need you. Tomorrow they may need you. I may send you strange visitors. Make each desire to return. Nobody must come and feel unwanted.

Share your Love, your Joy, your Happiness, your time, your food, gladly with all. Such wonders will unfold. You see it all but in bud now -- the glory of the open flower is beyond all your telling. Love, Joy, Peace, in richest abundance -- only believe. Give out Love and all you can with a glad, free heart and hand. Use all you can for others, and back will come such countless stores and blessings.

from God Calling by Two Listeners, edited by A. J. Russell

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

the art of drifted wood

Heather Jansch sees all kinds of beautiful things in driftwood -- thing like horses and pigs and greyhounds. This talented sculptor from the Westcountry of England has made a career out of crafting animals, mostly horses, out of driftwood, although she also does bronzes.

Check out her gallery of life-size horses, other animals and a few pics of a typical day of driftwood sculpting.

HT- Thanks Barb!

Monday, June 04, 2007

modern Rip Van-Winkle

Imagine waking up after being in a coma for 19 years. That's what happened to 65-year-old Polish man Jan Grzebski. He awoke to a new world where his children were married, he had 11 grandchildren, and his country was now a democracy.

His wife Gertrude is the real hero in this story. She turned him every hour of every day for those 19 years so that he wouldn't get bed-sores. Kind of puts a new light on the expression "It's always too soon to quit" -- or any other maxim about perseverance, for that matter.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

let God connect the dots

Late for work? Flight delayed? Ever wonder why these things happen so often? Could it be that God has a divine appointment for you to touch someone's life?

Helen Burns talks on "Connecting the Dots." (4 min.)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

family outing

Seen on our walk today at Blackie's Spit.

potpourri of lists

52 proven stress reducers (HT: the evangelical outpost)

25 uses of Ziploc bags (HT: the evangelical outpost)

10 ways to be a better listener; 5 blocks to listening

8 winning worst first lines – from the Worst First Lines Contest – blog of Editorial Anonymous, a children’s book editor.

2 winners for the Seuss Honor – same contest.

Friday, June 01, 2007

euthanasia debate

Conjoined-at-the-head twins Tatiana and Krista Hogan-Simms are now seven months old. Should they have been allowed to be born, debate Michael Coren and Dr. Ken Walker (alias Dr. W. Gifford-Jones, who writes a medical column carried by about 500 newspapers).

Michael Coren says "YES":

"...There is an absolute that we have to tackle. Life is either sacred or it is not. If it is, preserve it at all costs. If it is not, we might as well destroy it at will. It is terribly expensive to keep the sick alive and wholly impractical to prolong the life of an ill person who will die anyway.

No civilized person or society, however, considers expense and practicality to be more important than goodness and humanity. If it did, it would immediately wipe out, for example, drug addicts, the homeless and people with AIDS.

Gifford-Jones says "No":
"...They will never walk, joined at the head in such an abnormal position. Physically they are destined for ill health, lying on their backs forever. They will become obese and develop the myriad of diseases that accompany this problem. Their lives will be a living hell.

This should be a wakeup call for us to prevent unimaginable future cruelty of this kind. We are a compassionate nation and we routinely remove children from parents who abuse them. I would ask this question. Is there anyone among us who would want to be born this way or willing to trade places with these conjoined twins?

...Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, believes that children with major deformities of this kind should have life terminated within 28 days of their birth. But in my opinion it would have been a greater kindness to terminate this pregnancy in the early weeks of gestation.

Chilling stuff, coming from a doctor! (The family of the twins thinks so too.) When someone else's parameters about quality of life become the measure of whether we live or die -- are any of us safe?

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