Friday, September 17, 2010

Faith is a Candle

A family friend gave us a movie to watch on the weekend. Entitled 'The Third Jihad', I found it quite disturbing. It didn't have a religious agenda from any group against another group. Rather, it was a documentary type of movie, narrated by a Muslim physician living and working in the USA warning viewers of dangers to come in the future for all democratic countries. He cares about his fellow Muslim believers and is distressed by the brainwashing that is happening to many of them by their fanatical leaders.
I'm posting a poem written by Helen Steiner Rice many years ago that is still relevant today. Hope it helps in wondering what to do about this frightful situation of hatred.

In this sick world of hatred
And violence and sin,
Where men renounce morals
And reject discipline,
We stumble in darkness
Groping vainly for light
To distinguish the difference
Between wrong and right,
But dawn cannot follow
This night of despair
Unless faith lights a candle
In all hearts everywhere
And warmed by the glow
Our hate melts away
And love lights the path
To a peaceful, new day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Singing Bird

I read a Chinese proverb on a calendar recently that appealed to me. "Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come."

I like the "perhaps" part in this proverb. Did you know that a proverb is a meaning with a promise? Now it doesn't mean that if you do what the proverb says, than you will always have positive results or negative. It just means that your chances of obtaining good or bad results are more likely. It's a probability, but not a certainty.

Most of us want a sure thing, but I was reminded this week that the only sure thing we can expect in life are problems. After countless things going wrong, I realized that nothing is certain except problems. Things and people fall apart; relationships may suffer and need to be repaired. What I like about this proverb is that it reveals a secret to a happy life. Cultivating a positive vibrant attitude will attract positive vibrant people. I got to thinking. How does one grow a green tree inside our heart.

By living in thankfulness. In Thessalonians 5: 18 says, "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

The writer of this verse (the apostle Paul) said to give thinks in everything. No matter what happens. Why? Because this is God's will for us. But how can we do that when bad things come our way. It's not easy, but Jesus Christ, God's Son, offers the gift of salvation to every single person on this earth so that everyone can find God. Jesus' death and suffering on the cross was for our sins, and is the reason we have hope and life. And this is certain, not a probability.

So remember, keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come. Here's a little poem I wrote a while back.

Morning Greetings

The sun yawns each morning
and rubs its sleepy eyes.
Then, slowly misty ghosts
whisper, good bye and rise.
Then birds greet the morning
like a lost and cherished friend.
And earth feels right again
from beginning to end.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Have you ever started the day wishing you could stay in bed and not bother with anyone? Sometimes I feel like that. Usually the best remedy for fixing that problem for me is to ignore that feeling, get out of bed and keep moving. Soon, bad feelings disappear and you feel great again. Move your body, move your brain, speak positive words and soon negative feelings are drowned out. It's really up to us.

Today I will laugh more
Not take life so seriously.
I'll throw out garments of fear
I’ll wear clothes of simplicity.
Today I’ll run through the rain
Feel raindrops on my face.
And later I’ll count the stars
From inside my hiding place
Today I’ll stop and listen
Consider the words of a friend
And if we have a conflict of view
I know our joy won’t end.
For friendships will grow sweeter
When kindness is given a chance
And watered with the passage of time
That starts and ends with a dance.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Light A Candle

There's a proverb that says--You may light another's candle at your own without loss. How true. When we share joy and happiness with others we don't loose anything. In fact, we gain much more in return.

If you light someones candle
Your flame can't grow dimmer.
Your candle will keep glowing
And retain its light and shimmer.
It's the same with happiness.
And if you smile to those around
Your happiness keeps growing
And new friends will be found.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Just do it

I saw him standing in the rain.
His eyes were filled with fright.
He looked so cold and lonely
In the blackness of the night.

I tried to think of pleasant things
As I hurried down the lane.
I paused to listen to my feet
Dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

His ragged arms so shamelessly
Held a dish, chipped and frayed
I glanced and saw his broken eyes
I paused, then rushed on by, afraid.

Oh why had he been standing there
It made me feel so sad.
Still, the party at my sisters
Would make me feel so glad.

This weekend the world summit is being held right here in Canada. I watched the news and heard about all the protests going on in Toronto. That got me to thinking. We need to notice people that others overlook. It's so easy to do that because most people tend to gravitate towards people who can offer them something in return or make them feel good so they can move ahead. We all want to be connected to the stars of life. But really, didn't God create all people with the same need to be loved and appreciated. It's universal. That includes women in poor countries that don't have adequate health care when they give birth. Or, children that go hungry either because there is no food or they don't have proper parenting. There are so many people that suffer in this world because no one cares about them. But if we want to make a difference in how people are treated we need to start in their own backyard. Take a look around you. There might be someone that needs a helping hand or a word of encouragement. Don't think too long about it though. Just do it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Leave Your Cares

In case you've been wondering why I haven't posted anything in the last 8 weeks it's because I'm preoccupied with a new hobby called sewing. I have found that I really enjoy creating something from scraps of material. I'm even taking a sewing course. Writing has taken a back seat unfortunately, but, maybe I needed a vacation from it. Hopefully writing this short poem will encourage me to give it another go.

Don't forget me when I'm gone
I'll not be far away.
I've simply found another song
To occupy my day.

For as shadows rise and fall
My heart will never wane.
And someday I'll return
To write a poem again.

For now the scent of cloth,
Of aprons, purses, bears,
Takes me to another place,
Where I can leave my cares.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Search for God

A game my kids loved to play when they were young was 'hide and seek'. It gave them hours of fun. It was a good game for developing patience and searching skills. This weekend I read an article in our paper entitled "The Search for God" that tried to explain why some people put faith into a god that no one can see. It stated some schools of thought believe some people may be hardwired to believe in God. They might have what is called a God spot on the brain. It also mentioned Dr. Richard Dawkins, an atheist and author of 'The God Delusion' who had spoken at Oxford University on why there is no God. At the end of his talk he was asked "What if you're wrong?" by a young student. Instead of giving an answer he gave the same question in reply. Not the most brilliant answer from a brilliant man.
One thing I know is that life hold many mysteries we can't fully understand. It also appears that the higher a person climbs the academic ladder of success the more prideful they become in themselves. But if God is who He said He is then their achievements are small potatoes in comparison. It must be frustrating for those exceptionally bright people to compete with God. It's interesting that humbleness has been the formula God uses in revealing Himself to us. He first appeared as a babe in a cow's feeding troth. Then he grew up as a carpenter's son making wooden tables and chairs. After wandering around the country side with a motley crew of simple and rough men as followers, he died a criminals death in front of his enemies while they mocked Him.
I got to thinking. I have a God spot on my brain. It was built in when God designed me. God wanted me to search for and to find Him. And He gave a lot of clues to help in the search. But the amazing thing is He did the same for Richard Dawkins. For all of us really. It's just too bad Richard Dawkin's Pride spot grew larger than his God spot.

Jesus claimed to the Son of God
Yet, they nailed Him to a tree.
Then flower blossoms of love and hope
Grew from the blood He shed for me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Make Butter

I came across a story or a fable about two frogs that had fallen into a barrel of cream. They both struggled awhile trying to get out, but the cream was thick and soon one frog gave up. "Good bye cruel world," he said as he sank into the creamy ocean. The other frog kept on swimming. "Maybe a miracle will happen and I'll find a way out," he said to himself. Can you guess what happened? As the frog churned his arms and legs the cream became thicker and thicker until butter was formed. The frog climbed onto a lump of butter and jumped out of the barrel. He was free at last.
I thought of how our lives are a lot like these frogs. Sometimes it's easier to give up as the first frog had done when we are confronted with a problem. From the frogs point of view it sure looked like his situation was hopeless. The second frog looked at things differently though, and he never gave up trying to get out. He didn't even know if he'd receive a miracle, but thankfully his efforts were rewarded. He kept on trying until his circumstances changed. I liked this story and I hope you do too.

Two little frogs in a barrel of cream
Swimming with all their might.
One stopped swimming and so he sank
Into the cream, out of sight.

The other little frog said to himself,
"A miracle might pass my way."
He churned his legs til' butter was formed
And he jumped out to freedom that day.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Wind

In the town I live there's an atheist trying to end the public school's policy of allowing the distribution of Bibles to children in grade 5. The children only receive the Bible if their parents sign a permission paper. This has been a policy for over 50 years. The atheist doesn't like this and feels it should be stopped. He has even issued a human rights complaint. He also wishes to distribute a book called "Just Pretend" to the children in retaliation. I haven't read the book, but the school board is considering it.
My thoughts on this are that the Bible is not only a historical book, but offers great literary writing and therefore has great educational value. The parables Jesus told are powerful and often repeated in films we watch or even Shakespeare. Although the Bible is regarded by many as a theology book it also offers practical advice on how to live a wise life. Many of our laws in our country are based on Judeo-Christian principles which comes from the Bible. If we didn't have the Bible who would have come up with the these wise principles that King Solomon wrote:
A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is heavier than both. Prov. 27: 3
A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as a lion or bear attacking them. Prov. 28: 15
If you assist a thief, you are only hurting yourself. Prov. 29: 24
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength. Prov. 17: 22
Where does an atheist get their wisdom from. If it's history then they need to remember that religion has always been part of the human experience. When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments there was a lot of selfish activity going on. No one thought to say "Hey let's not kill anyone. Let's not steal or lie. Someone had to state the right way to live first, and I believe it was our Creator. Today, instead of posting a poem that I wrote, I would like to give you a poem written by Christina Rossetti called 'The Wind".

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Taking Turns

This year I have a lot of kindergarten kids on my bus and half of them want to be first in line. This made me think about leadership. Not everyone can be first or be blessed with the gift of leadership, but there is a way one can lead and that is by example. When we dare to do things differently than others around us people will notice. And that is a good thing. Not everyone will want to follow, but some might. Of course, if we do something that's anti-social, meaning it's destructive or not for anyone's benefit but ourselves we might not get a lot of followers.
In I Corinthians: 1 it reads, "If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal." NLT.
This week I am going to challenge myself to seriously think about the language I'm using with my friends and family. Then I'm going to change what needs to be changed. How about you?

The school bus comes to a stop.
Cole hurries to the front.
Being first is what Cole likes best.
He’s a charging elephant.

Nick's standing out in front
He jumps into Coles way.
And he hollers to the driver,
“Hey, he’s first everyday.”

The driver gives a speech.
“You need to take your turn.
“When you grow up you can’t be first
Of this you all must learn.”

Cole shoves Nick to the back.
He tries to look real tough.
“Taking turns isn’t fun for me
I think I’ve had enough.”

The bus driver looks sad.
Her face is turning blue.
“Everyone must take a turn
And that includes you.”

Then Peyton gives a smile.
“Being last is so much better.”
He’s a mighty roaring lion,
A brave trend setter.

The kids walk out the bus.
And Peyton’s last in line.
But now the kids want to be last.
Being last is rather fine.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Maintenance Love

In the hum of everyday life there's a chance something might go wrong in our day. But isn't it nice when someone loves you enough to increase the chances you'll have a wonderful day. Think about love and what it means for a moment. Sure there's the tender side when we snuggle with and read to our kids and the romantic side we share with our special someone. And of course there's friendship love, but maintenance love is like oil in the hinges and keeps everything running smooth. I sure like maintenance love. It's sensible.

There's a kind of love called maintenance,
Which makes sure there's gas in the car-
Which shovels the walk before any one's up
And saves parking money in a jar.

Maintenance prepares for emergencies,
By checking the atlas to find the right way,
And tells funny jokes so all feel at ease
When traffic is packed the third time that day.

For maintenance is the sensible side of love
And checks important dates so not to forget
To pay the insurance before it expires
And researches flyers so none will fret.

Maintenance checks for the need to grout
Before waters drips through the floor at night.
For love can be found in mortar and brick
And safeguards it with all its might.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I haven't been writing as much as I'd like lately. Too busy dreaming, designing, and making sewing projects. I'm also trying to guide (not tell) my daughter into a vocation that suits her. Now I think dreaming is a good thing. We need to imagine and recreate ideas inside our head. But then we also have to take the brave step and act upon it. What are your dreams? And what have you done to fulfill them. If nothing, ask God for guidance. You might get the answer you've been looking for. And the best part is, your dreams just might come true.

I like it in the morning
when the sun is waking up.
It a perfect time to think
and pour tea inside my cup.

I like it in the evening
when the world heads off to bed.
It's a perfect time to make believe
and write of things inside my head.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The wind and the lion

It's very cold once again in Ontario. We've experienced a few spring like days but winter is back. I felt the winds blow through the cracks of our house and feel thankful for shelter. There are open fields behind our house and as I watched the white snow blow about like steam coming off the ocean I put together this poem. If you're looking forward to spring as I am, remember that God has given us the earth and the sky, the sun and the wind, the snow and the rain. Let's enjoy all he has given us in the moment.

I look out onto the fields and see a lion.
He's roaring with a mighty blast.
I watch him lean back and crouch
And jump through the air smooth and fast.

Suddenly, the lion slaps the air and laughs.
He sees me hiding inside.
I shiver and feel exhilarated with his speed
And the strength and width of his stride.

As his snowy mane whips about his face
His giant paws, makes not a sound.
Swiftly, he tramples the grass so it lays flat
All the while whistling a tune deep and profound.

Then just as icicles form on the branches
Of trees that bow as he passes by,
The silvery sky opens and the sun begins to shine
Causing the lion to run away with a sigh.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Just Smile

My good friend from high school visited me on the weekend and we had a lot of fun laughing and smiling about silly things. My kids see a different side of me when we get together. What I like about my friend is that she smiles a lot even though she has had a difficult time in the last few years. Her son and my son enjoyed hanging out together, too. I saw a lot of ourselves in them. It made me think of how dull life would be if we couldn't smile. Isn't it wonderful God gave us the ability to smile and laugh.

Like bread without jam
or fried eggs without ham.
Like a house without doors
or a grandpa that snores.
Like a ship without sails
or a beach without pails
and no sand found for miles
is a face without smiles.

Like a school without blocks
or doors without locks.
Like a nest without eggs
under tall ostrich legs.
Like a clock with no chime
that can't tell the time,
is a face that won't smile
even once in a while.

Like spahgetti without sauce
or a small dog that's cross.
Like a bird without song
or nights that lasts long
is how people would feel
If none gave a smile that's real
For the smile on each face
is what brighten's the place.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What is Yellow

When I talk with young kids the question often asked is, what is your favorite color. Although I like all color I always say yellow. Yellow goes with everything. Getting along with people is important, too. Instead of trying to get your way by losing your temper or getting depressed use a quieter approach. There is a story of three big men, who tried to push a donkey through a gateway, but the stubborn donkey wouldn't budge. A little girl held out a carrot and the donkey followed her. The moral here is a little patience and encouragement does wonders.

Yellow is buttercups
Dancing in the breeze.
Yellow is friendship
And autumn leaves.

Yellow is a party
And chocolate sauce.
Yellow is banana
And candy floss.

Yellow is a crayon
We can’t do without.
Yellow gives courage
To sing and shout.

Yellow is peaches
And cream on top.
Yellow is pie
At the coffee-shop.

Yellow is glad.
Yellow is strong.
Yellow is sunshine
All day long.

Yellow is the fur
Of a brand new chick.
Yellow is the light
On a candle wick.

Yellow is a tiger's eye
In the twilight hour.
Yellow is shocking
With its power.

Yellow is clean
And lemon soap.
Yellow is springtime’s
Dash of hope.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Smile

It's a new year and a perfect time to wish everyone a great year. But if things don't go as planned remember there is One who is with us in everything we do, to help us, to comfort and to guide us each and every day.

My wish for you is health and strength
All through the year two thousand and ten.
I hope you'll be happy in all that you do
And you'll want for nothing again.
But if some things turn sour for you,
What good will moaning and groaning do?
Life will be kinder if you give a smile
Just smile till things turn better for you.