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Archive for the ‘Outdoor’ Category

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While walking along the shore in the early mornings, I often see discarded crab shells and claws lying on the beach which ruined the peaceful sight by the sea.

My first thought, “Why would people be so irresponsible, eat the crabs and not clean up after themselves the night before?”

On second thought, perhaps the empty shells are good for the beach’s ecosystem.

Then one day, I was being enlightened; I found out who the real culprits were!

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See, when the tide comes, it rolls in some of the best fruits from the sea such as clams, fish or crabs;

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and these creatures are the ones that that are sharing and enjoying a daily feasting of fresh seafood by the ocean, and leaving the mess behind!

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The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time. (Psalm 145:15)

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Blue Uke loves travelling; Uke’s owner and I made a pact that whenever either of us goes travelling, Uke comes along.

Last time, Uke went to Cuba with its owner and they even strummed a few chords for the locals and tourists by the deep blue sea.

It’s freezing cold now and Uke needs another

It lamented:

Please

And so Uke was whisked off to the faraway island of Hawaii.

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and was thrilled to be reunited with some of its charming cousins at the tropical climate.


While basking in the sun and enjoying the waves of peace, 

Uke trolled,

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Yup, I totally agreed!

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Winter turns into Spring, and songbirds returning to rebuilding their nests.

While enjoying the birds singing in the woodland, I have the tendency to pick up feathers of birds that are fallen on the ground.  Somehow I feel compassion for the fallen feathers and I want to pick them up and comfort them.

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Holding onto a real feather makes me feel lighthearted and free-spirited.  I marvel at the softness and the beauty of  feathers and how they provide a protective cover over the body of avians.

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Reflecting on the bond between me and feathers, one real life encounter with a bird floated across my mind:  

Once, my landlord told me that the house we lived in needed to be vacated and that I needed to find a new place to stay within a short frame of time. After scouting at various options, I was still unable to find a place to stay, the deadline to move out was fast approaching, and I was getting anxious.

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So one evening before dusk, instead of busing, I decided to walk the long route home so that I could spend more time praying.  As I was walking, I was startled by a small moving creature beside me;  It was a tiny bird! 
Normally, birds only approach humans if there is food to feed them but I had none!  I continued my prayer walk wondering why a small bird would walk so calmly alongside me.

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Suddenly, my heart felt a tug, and tears sprung from my eyes. I felt as if God was speaking to me through the tiny creature, saying that He would take care of me and to provide a new dwelling place for me.  Then I remembered the fascinating story of how God asked the ravens to feed to the prophet Elijah on the remote ravine for a number of years (I King 17); then Matthew 6 came tweeting in my ears, “Look at the birds in the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

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As I contemplated the little buddy beside me and the verses about God’s care, my feet seemed to feel lighter and my pace faster than the bus ride that I usually took. I felt as if I were like the tiny bird spreading its wings and gliding home! 

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God acted swiftly, for within a couple of days, I was assured  a comfy nest to dwell which was way beyond my imagination.

Through feathers and nests, I have experienced God’s presence, protection and provision in season and out of season.

The Creator God not only use the flying creatures to interact with humankind and to tell His story; He also use the image of a bird as a metaphor to show His protection, love and care!

Psalm 91 states that whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty; God is our dwelling place, and that He covers us with His feathers, and under his wings we can find refuge.

 

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Wintry Joy

A walk in the wood


blanketed with pristine white snow on this sunny blue sky


is magical and sheer wintry joy.

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

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It was a foggy day and I looked forward to enjoy a cool and misty stroll up the mountain.

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The sunset above the cloud was glowing with delight;

and the thick blanket of fog that covered the city skylines looked like a fairyland.

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Renewed Strength

The morning sun is shining, the fresh snow is falling, and the mountains are calling…

for me to come and enjoy their snowy splendid.

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As I am huffing and puffing up the snow trail, I grow exhausted and have to stop every so often to rest, and to contemplate whether to go higher or to turn back down.

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After a sip of drink and some tasty snack, I look around and in awe once again by the magnificent white, my strength is renewed and I am able to march upward.

As I am climbing, suddenly, the well-known verses from Isaiah 40 come to mind:

He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:29-31)

Oftentimes, when I think of these verses, I think I would only experience this renewal when I grow older.

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But today while grinding up the slope, I suddenly have this spiritual epiphany and could totally relate to the rich meaning of these Isaiah verses.

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Just like how I need rest and food to renew my energy hiking up mountains,
I also need to rest and wait on the Lord to nurture me and renewed my strength when I am weary, so I can soar again and again.

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Upon the water

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I usually go paddling at least once a year; This year I had the opportunity to go paddling twice: one under the city skylines of Vancouver, and another in the serene slough at Mapleridge, BC.

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It was fun to paddle in the hub of the city and to experience a new perspective of the panoramic view of the city skylines, instead of the usual view by the roadside.

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The waterway was busy and bustling — water taxis picking up and dropping off passengers, dragon boats, canoes and kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and yachts — all sharing the same busy waterway.

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As much as I was mesmerized by the various architectural buildings, it was kind of nerve wrecking to be in the midst of these water transport; thus one needs to to keep balance and to avoid being tipped over by the waves created by the boating traffic.

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Upon the slough in Maple Ridge, I experienced a different kind of scenery — peaceful and picturesque, especially on this Autumn weather with its gentle sunlight and cool wind.

I lingered and immersed myself in the serene surrounding along the smooth-flowing slough; and delighted to spot the white majestic Mount Baker ahead.

Suddenly, before I could collect my thoughts, I was seated waist-deep in the water! What’d happened??

Then the sound of giggles snapped me back to reality, my friend from behind laughed uncontrollably as she witnessed me being unceremoniously dumped into the water while the kayak headed to the water’s edge.

As we later figured out, a log beneath the water had tipped the kayak. Thank goodness it was low tide, hence the slough was shallow.

After several attempts and coaching from my friend, I managed to get back into the boat and glided into the sunset, so care free but watchful.

Despite the mishap, I enjoyed being in the open air upon the water and having my soul refreshed.

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