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Archive for the ‘Spring’ Category

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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An artistic friend was decorating the church with beautiful palm leaves; and its time again for our Children in the Sunday School to reflect on the meaning of Palm Sunday and sing praise songs related to “Hosanna”.

What exactly is the meaning of “Hosanna”?

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This link from Got Question.org provides a really good explanation on the meaning of the word.

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The weather is wet and windy and my mood has turned gloomy, especially after days with a bad flu; And the trees outside are groaning and hoping for more sunshine to stream down so their naked branches can once again be adorned with budding leaves.

Out of the blue came a sunny sky!

With the sun sneaking in, I quickly grab my camera and scurrying out to take advantage of this lovely spring weather; And the first tree that catches my breath is the magnolia tree – what a pleasant surprise!

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Standing under and looking up the tree is most delightful — branches decorated with bunches of pink flowers against a background of clear blue sky with fluffy pearly-white clouds; I feel the presence of God and His gentle love liberating me from my gloomy self.

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Since Good Friday and Easter celebrations are round the corner, I stand beneath the pretty pink tree and reflect on the joyful season; and this beautiful poem by Carol Wimmer came to mind:

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When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost sometimes
That’s why I chose this way”

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble –
needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
and pray for strength to carry on

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
and cannot ever pay the debt

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When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
asking humbly to be taught

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible
but God believes I’m worth it

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache
which is why I seek God’s name

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I do not wish to judge
I have no authority
I only know I’m loved

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Yes, beneath the beautiful blue sky and the blossoming pink, I’m feeling loved!

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IMG_8362 After a long week of work, I drove leisurely and excitedly through the highway and byway to my friend’s country home. IMG_8363 As I pulled in to the driveway, the narrow alley leading to the red barn was so inviting and calendar-like. IMG_8360 In fact the whole driving excursion was scenic, poetic and movie-like. IMG_8374 The next day we were greeted with a mild foggy morning with soft rain dancing in the air. I sat by the kitchen table looking out the peaceful farmland and listening to the uplifting worship music adoring the majestic God.

The sizzling sound and the aroma from the stove with buttered sauteed onion and fresh cut potatoes and sausage whetted my craving appetite. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the plate of deliciousness, a gourmet breakfast before me. IMG_8368 When all is eaten up and washed up, we went for a drive on this drippy wet morning. IMG_8418 We found a mysterious gem hideaway and we paused to reflect on the attributes of God in this picture perfect landscape in front of us. IMG_8423 The leafy branches over our heads point to us that God is our Shelter of life. IMG_8493 The chirpy songbirds and the smiley scarlet flowers whisper to us that God is our daily Provider. IMG_8466 The gentle flowing water direct us to Jesus who is the Prince of Peace. IMG_8543 The misty white cloud covered mountain resembles a smoked cover mountain help us to reflect the holiness of God. IMG_8400 The sight of a grazing deer brings to mind the soul longing verse: As the deer pant for stream of water so our souls long for God. IMG_8508 After the serendipity outing and a delicious bagel sandwiched with smoked salmon, avocado and cucumber, we were craving for more… IMG_8536 and we just have to indulge ourselves with huge scoops of creamalicious vanilla ice-cream over refreshing fruits and nuts to satisfy our appetite. IMG_8573 On this one fine spring day, we enjoy the presence of God upon us, besides us, surrounding us and being with us, IMG_8452 and we are overwhelmed! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNPTREz6FvE

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Dandelions Fuss

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Some people get irritated by dandelions but I am always delighted to stumble upon these bright and beautiful weeds, and I love to “fuss” about it.

It must be the recent bountiful raindrops and brilliant sunlight that contributing to such profuse showy flowers that glitter at every corner of the streets.

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The name dandelion came from the French word “dente de lion” meaning lion’s tooth, because the leaves resemble the jagged teeth of the king of the jungle.

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Gazing at these smiley blossoms always brought a big smile to my face.

Whether they are in one stalk standing alone, gathered in a bunch like a bouquet, or scattered gleefully all over the verdant pasture, dandy dandelions are captivating to look at.

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To bask in these delightful star-light blooming, one needs to stoop down, really low down, to see their shimmering hue against the glistering grassy green.

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Some gardeners dislike these golden jewels hugging so tightly to their emerald green lawn, for they are considered as pests; whereas other gardeners know the strength of these price-less treasures. It is said that these weeds can break the ground and bring out the soil’s richness to the farmers’ olive green fields.

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When the stunning sunny bloom withers, it forms into a fanciful fuzzy ball that looks like a cotton lollipop which is yummy to look at.

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The silvery gossamer balls crowning elegantly on the bared and naked thin stems are like alluring spherical bubbles waiting to be burst.

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With just a gentle puff, the fuzzy feathery seed heads would instantly transform their brushes into magical miniature flying windmills dancing and floating in the breeze. A fascinating watch!

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Since the field is still covered with the glory of dazzling gold and silvery dandelions, one must seize the precious moment to blow away fluffy dandelions fuzz and making secret wishes before the lawnmowers mercilessly come and bulldoze the amber weeds down.

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Bees’ll buzz, kids’ll blow dandelion fuzz
And now I know what is all the fuss…

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Bubbly dreamy dandelions fuzz in Frozen-land!

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The dancing tree

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Somehow on every spring season, there is at least a plant that I am attracted to, this time it’s the blossoming pink tree.

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Up close, one could see dainty and miniature ballerinas dressed up in dazzling pink tutus swaying with flair on the branches.

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Though I never desire to be a ballerina with puffy pink dance-ware, these fairy-like ballerinas do remind me of a ballet-like dance I learned recently at the Israeli folk dancing class.

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When the new dance was first introduced, I almost wanted to give up learning due to the many twisting and turning that caused my head spinning with dizziness.

But when the instructor mentioned that the dance is about a tree story, I suddenly become very alert, for I love anything related to trees. The instructor had turned my “mourning” into “dancing” mode^^

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The title of the dance is called “Ilan”, in Hebrews means “tree”.

When the choreographer first heard the song, he was instantly drawn by the captivating melody.

And when he learned about the parable behind the song, he was even more intrigued by the music. The parable is about how a blessing tree which blessed others, was being blessed extravagantly.

Since then, the song and the story had been dancing in the choreographer’s head and a year later, the dancer unleashed the music through all those swaying, twirling and arms stretching dance motions.

Here’s the story behind the dance.

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After I learned about the interpretation of his dance, I began to pay close attention to each of the movements.

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And now with my arms stretched out reminiscent of branches, I am imagining myself whirling gracefully with the ballerinas in pink tutu on a breezy spring day.

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Ilan by Elad Shtamer, the choreographer.

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Magnolia

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I marvel magnolia and was thrilled to receive one of the elegant magnolia postage stamps on a snail mail the other day.

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Last month, Canada Post has issued the above two stunning floral stamps of magnolia to commemorate the arrival of Spring.

Here is how Canada Post describes the uniqueness of this exotic flowers:

“The two colourful magnolias appearing on the stamps are the ‘yellow bird’ and ‘eskimo’ hybrids, specifically developed for the harsh Canadian climate. Whether it is their shyly opening cup of velvety petals, or their intoxicating fragrance prized by luxury perfumers, there’s something romantic and irresistibly exotic about magnolias. This breathtaking flower is one of the world’s oldest flowering plants dating back over 30 million-years, existing even before bees.

The flower is associated with nobility, perseverance, dignity and a love of nature. Magnolias are often used in floral arrangements such as wedding bouquets to represent the purity and dignity of the bride. Magnolia’s are also known for their resilience under difficult circumstances. They represent rebirth, transformation and tenacity, the perfect metaphor for the spring season.”

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Magnolia, the first time I heard of this elegant name was through a brand new ice-cream chain that invaded our small town during the high school days. Their chocolatey, milky and creamy ice-cream bar was pretty craving; the flavorful ice-cream bar still linger on my taste buds these days!

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The magnolia blossoms adorning the tree somehow resemble fanciful decorated ice-cream bowls… now I am imagining the hallow of the petals being filled to the brim with swirls of flavorful ice-cream awaiting to be licked!

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The next time I heard of the name “Magnolia” was during my college year.  One day, at the school campus,  we were awakened by the sudden explosive of these flamboyant flowerage outside the window of the school library.

One of our professors exclaimed delightfully that those showy flowers were called Magnolia and it was his most favorite flower.

Wow, we were surprised to hear his liking towards flowers for he was a stern man.  Huh, it must be the power of flower that revealed his tender side!

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Back then, magnolia flowers were a rare jewels; but these days it has become a household name.

At this season of time, my path is brightened and colored by these luxurious flowers, and their vibrant presence definitely commands attention.

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These goblet-shaped blossoms liken floating flower candle bowls are fascinating to look at.

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Every time I pass by one of these showy plants, especially during this peak beauty, I can’t help but to run towards the tree and be saturated by its elegance and fragrance.

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Like many flowers, this majesty magnolia petals wither pretty fleetly;

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Ahh, the splendour and the brevity of life!

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Master of Life

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