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Archive for the ‘Trees’ Category

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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A Colorful Journey

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A friend from Colorado paid a visit to town and begged to see our fall foliage.

I thought, didn’t she come from colorful Colorado? Why did she still want to see OUR autumn colors??

She described the place that she came from was full of Aspen trees so everywhere she turns, it glistens only yellow.

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Then I remembered that she used to live in Japan; isn’t Japan prominent for its fall season?

But she whined that where she used to live, only red Japanese maple trees were in bloom.

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Sensing her disappointment with only one-colored fall seasons, I knew that OUR multi-brilliant colored autumn blooming would revitalize her spirit!

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During the days prior to her arrival, the weather was a downpour of autumn rain. But the day we headed out for our an adventure, it was dry and brisk; so our VIP was treated to the amazing colors in the open air.

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When we drove by the leafy vistas blazing along the streets, my friend jumped out of the car, ran to the shimmering hue trees, and played hide-and-seek with the frolicsome fall leaves.

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After visiting several fabulous fall foliage, we had an al fresco lunch by a thunderous rushing stream water left over by the autumn downpour.

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As we headed to another park by the shoreline, this avid traveler noticed a narrow path leading to a small granite island; her eyes lit up and she wanted to run across the water.

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Since it was low tide, it was safe to cross the stony path.

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And of course, like any other adventurous and daring person, this athletic girl who ran half marathon not too long ago, trekked across the narrow trail and hiked up the steep granite slope like a mountain goat while I huffed and puffed, trailing behind her.

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When she reached the top, she basked in the sun and absorbed the splendorous view of the sea and sky;

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while I crouched against a big boulder from the exhaustion of entertaining her whole day long, chasing after the colorful fall.

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My chingu not only enjoyed snippets of yellow glory and flaming red that she had experienced in Colorado and Japan; she also savored splashes of leafy green, amber orange, scarlet red and mahogany brown of God’s exquisite and artistic creation!

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And behind the glamorous blushing leaves, we emerged as radiant facial cream, silky hair shampoo and dazzling eye-wear models!

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On this colorful journey during this autumn season, we also had a mini-reunion with our seasoned friends who not only look graceful but… youthful as ever — thanks to their our colored hair!

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“… for the joy of the Lord is my strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

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Oh Christmas Tree

6th day of CHRISTmas

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The Christmas festive song echoes…

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, thy leaves are so unchanging.
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, thy leaves are so unchanging.

Not only green when summer’s here, but also when it’s cold and drear.
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, thy leaves are so unchanging…

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I used to think that indeed the freshness of the evergreens were so unchanging, but my perspective changed when surrounded by groves of evergreen trees…

And here’s my finding.

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Cherry Blossoms

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I cherish Cherry Blossom; they are aesthetically pretty and pleasingy! It is fascinating to notice the smiley starry eye gazing down at me whenever I look up the dazzling blossom.

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My late mother adored Cheery Blossoms. She was always beaming with joy whenever she shared about her many pleasant experiences strolling through the dazzling pink wonderland near Washington DC. She loved the sweet and soft pink petals snowing pretty-fully and playfully upon her. I think she had encountered hanafubuki!! (=花吹雪 Snowstorm/Blizzard of Falling Cherry Blossoms)!

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Cherry blossoms is a cherish-er of joy!

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These few weeks, cyberworld is graced with many stunning and candid snapshots of cherry blossoms with people reminiscing their delightful encounter with this springtime beauty!.

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The first time I ever saw cherry blossoms was from a flip-page calendar we got from a grocery store.   The elegant and mystic pinkish flowers against the backdrop of the majestic snow-capped Mt. Fuji would usually featured on one of the picturesque pages.   As soon as the calendar year was over, I would quickly tear off the page and use it to wrap the cover of one of my elementary school textbooks, so that I could glance at the splendid scenery and dream that one day I could step into this enchanting land of Sakura and experience her Hanami Festival (观赏樱花盛开)!

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Walking under the canopy of the fluffy cherry blossom and catching the blowing soft and delicate petals is happiness!

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I can totally identify what Kathleen Gillum experienced below:

I stand beneath the blossomed boughs
all touched with fairy lace,
And feel the wisp of fragile petals
on my upturned face,
I’m gazing up in wonder at the beauty of the trees,
cherry, damson, plum and almond
Dancing in the breeze.

Their branches seem like billowed sails
Against a sea of blue,
Stirred by the wind they bend and sway
And scatter beads of dew.
A pretty froth of pink and white
in beautiful array,
Adorned in bridal finery
In delicate display.

As rays of light touch tiny buds
They open one by one,
And turn their dainty petalled cups
Towards the morning sun,
And high upon the apple spray
A blackbird starts to sing,
Pouring out its praises ‘midst
The blossoms of the spring.

(taken from the publication “This England” Spring 2010).

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As I write, the place outside is astoundingly bursting, like sparkling fireworks, with cherry blossoms showing off their glorious splendour. It is glamourous!! Unfortunately the flirty sight and the floral scent of cherry blossoms are only momentary. The flowers as it has a short life span. Normally within a week or so of its blooming, the petals will give ways to new fresh green leaves.

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Long live cherry blossoms… before the next gentle wind come to “hanafubuki” your sweet smelling petals away to the neverland!

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Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and glory are in His sanctuary. (Psalm 96:6)

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Mango Madness

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The homegrown mangoes were enormous and extremely sweet. My sister, Iris, said they had spared three for me to try. I was anticipating to taste those wonder mangoes that the family highly valued; but when I reached home, those fruits were still dangling on the treetop yet to be harvested.

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After a month, those eye-catching mangoes looked more like a forbidden fruit as it still refused to ripen. After I left the country, the family sort of didn’t think much about the green mangoes. One day, Iris heard the chirping of singing birds outside the kitchen window. In fact, the cadence had been going on for a few days, but on that particular day, the tweedling was unusually loud and joyous so she decided to take a peek at the commotion.

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To her sheer delight, she looked up and saw one of the green mangoes had finally turned to a ripen yellow;  but to her utter dismay,  the fruit was bruisely attacked by the avian creatures.    Gazing at the soft ripen yellowish flesh of mango dripping down with tangy juice, Iris couldn’t resist not to climb up and pluck away the fruit. But then the thought of the Heavenly Father watches over the birds and feeds them stopped her from reaching further. Thus the birdies were able to continue enjoying the nibbling on the mouth-watering crop.

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Eventually the ripened mangoes were picked off from the tree.

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Hmmm… those meaty-sweet-smelling-tropical-deliciousness were supposed to be for my palate!!

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Iris told me her family almost chop down the mango tree last year because it didn’t produce much fruit, and sometimes no fruit at all.   One day, under the mango tree, the family was led to pray for God’s guidance whether to axe down the tree or to keep it.

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Within a short period, the tree started to blossom profusely with mango flowers.

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The blossoms gradually transformed into many mini mangoes…

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to mouth-watering mangoes…

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The family was overwhelmed by the miracle tree and the abundant harvest that the good Lord has blessed them with — over 100 sweet smelling mangoes waiting to be picked!

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The family not only enjoyed the fruit with gratitude, they also distributed the fragrant fruit of their prayer in their neighborhood.

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I took this picture with Iris’ grand-daughter two years ago, and who knew that the tree behind us would turn out to be one mighty tree that causes such mango madness!

Iris told me that this year gotta be another year of fruitful favour, for the same tree is now adorned with many tiny mangoes already. They can’t wait to savour and to share their bountiful harvest with their community again… including the carefree birds in the air!

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Skeletons of Trees

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It’s officially Spring and ’tis the season to marvel at the skeletons of trees! Some might feel leafless trees dull looking, ugly, gloomy, barren, vulnerable, lonesome, depressing and lifeless;  But I find great beauty and plenty of potential in rugged and naked trees.

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A bare tree is a piece of art in itself. They look dramatic, mystic, alluring, gripping, transparent, unashamed, hopeful and inviting.

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During this season of the year, many of these life-awaiting trees have become lively singing trees… with songbirds perching on the bare branches, chirping and whistling joyfully welcoming the dawn of Spring!

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Many of these bare trees can’t wait to leaf and to show-off their cheerful hue while some Spring birdies are tweeting away for their mates to come and nest in this soon-to-be their leafy shelter for their young.

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Dancing branches of naked trees in the midst of a gurgling brook is a great sanctuary to be at.

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The ruggedness and the carefreeness of these skeletons of trees towering toward the alluring blue sky is intriguing to gaze upon. The bare and naked branches stretching upward reminds me that I too need to yield my naked spirit, soul and body before the Holy God!

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There is no palm branches to wave on this Palm Sunday weekend, but one could simply imagine the bare branches on the treetop rustling in jubilation: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (John 12).

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