Thursday, January 28, 2010

San Diego Downtown ODDities

i have a friend who likes to wear wigs...she doesn't like the Tina Turner style i gave her -- i wonder if she'll like this one?

Being invisible is part of a photographer's role...but sometimes i like being in the picture, too. (What did the Psalmist say? "Vanity of vanities...all is vanity!" (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

This is definitely NOT the usual red San Diego Trolley! i've never watched The Simpsons. The only cartoons i think cool are Pink Panther... and Mighty Mouse -- who always saved the day.
(Now that i'm a grown-up, i know Who really saves the day!)

This wig store is just a couple blocks from San Diego City College. Again, i couldn't resist adding myself in the composition.

Funny how all of humanity want to leave their mark in this world -- immortalized somehow -- hoping that maybe after they die, they'll be remembered by this or that legacy left behind. But we're all vapor...never knowing if this breath is the last. Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. (Psalm 39:5)

When i was waiting for the bus to Balboa Park (for my Botanical Garden GODventurez), i saw this artsy-fartsy looking car parked in the San Diego High School parking lot, next to the bus stop. i joined a couple tourists in taking a photo of it -- what a colorful, attention-getting distraction!

When i was a child, i spoke as a child, i understood as a child, i thought as a child; but when i became a man, i put away childish things. (I Corinthians 13:11)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Balboa Park's Botanical GARDEN -- JOYful GODventurez!

San Diego's Balboa Park -- Reflecting Pool and Botanical Garden... a must-see for those who visit the Park, for there's always something new to see within its birdcage-like walls. These are the things that brought me joy that afternoon -- simple, beautiful things of GOD's creation.

C. S. Lewis said of joy -- "Joy is never in our power and pleasure often is."

W. A. "Billy" Sunday said of joy -- "If you have no joy, there's a leak in your CHRISTianity somewhere."

Thomas Aquinas said of joy -- "Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys, it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures."
Amy Carmichael said of joy -- Joys are always on the way to us. They are always traveling to us through the darkness of the night. There is never a night when they are not coming."
Samuel Dickey Gordon said of joy -- "Joy is distinctly a CHRISTian word and a CHRISTian thing. It is the reverse of happiness. Happiness is the result of what happens of an agreeable sort. Joy has its springs deep down inside. And that spring never runs dry, no matter what happens. Only JESUS gives that joy. He had joy, singing its music within, even under the shadow of the cross. It is an unknown word and thing except as He has sway within."
Thomas `a Kempis said of joy -- "If there is joy in the world, surely the man of pure heart possesses it."
R. A. Torrey said of joy -- "There is more joy in JESUS in 24 hours than there is in the world in 365 days. I have tried them both."

Charles Stanley said of joy -- "Joy is a gift from GOD that enables believers to find hope and peace -- even when life seemingly falls apart." (The above list of authors' words on joy is from In Touch Magazine, January 2010 issue.)

The Psalmist said of joy -- "I will be filled with joy because of You. I will sing praises to Your name, O Most High." (Psalm 9:2)

Isaiah says of joy -- "With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!" (Isaiah 12:3)

Jeremiah says of joy -- "Your words are what sustain me. They bring me great joy and are my heart's delight, for i bear Your name, O LORD GOD Almighty." (Jeremiah 15:16)

Simeon, the prophet of old, says of joy -- "This Child will be rejected by many in Israel, and it will be their undoing. But He will be the greatest joy to many others." (Luke 2:34)

JESUS said of joy -- "There is joy in the presence of GOD's angels when even one sinner repents." (Luke 15:10)

J ESUS...O thers...y ourself.

P.S. i am again raising funds for the Naselesele Village school children in Taveuni, Fiji. Your charitable donation of any amount is deeply and heartfully appreciated! GOD bless your loving heart!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Balboa Park GODventurez -- with CoolPix

Join me in a gad-about around Balboa Park -- San Diego's world-famous and popular every-day-of-the-week hangout for the young and the old and all the in-betweens; for the "native" San Diegan, as well as the "Zonies" from Arizona; and for all the other friendly and curious tourists from all corners of the globe.

Pepper Grove...picnic area and playground for young tots and not-so-young tots.

Be a kid-at-heart again...(the Natural History Museum in the background)

Take off your shoes and dive in...feet first, that is! (Fountain in front of the Reuben H. Fleet Museum)

El Prado...not so populated, for a change. But summer time's another story, as an army of tourists and locals congregate and stroll leisurely along this avenue to enjoy the sights and entertainment.

Kudos to all the gardeners who take such meticulous care of the grounds!

Mexican tamales, as well as Hawaiian shaved ice...where else but in this San Diego melting pot?

Many talented folks display and share their talents...and your donations are very welcome indeed! Beware of the Tarot and palm readers...but, hey, it's your money...even they have to eat.

Entrance to the Botanical Garden...(next blog will showcase its beauties)

Just floating...going with the flow. How many of us can do what these two kois do so effortlessly?

Inside the Botanical Garden...many of the visitors are so focused on all the brightly colored bromeliads and exotic orchid blooms, the many varieties of species of plants from all over the world, the special display of bug-eating pitcher plants -- they forget to look up, and they miss out on the giant ferns and the shadowed patterns from the see-through enclosure above.

Early Spring blooms, which fall down like snow flakes when the wind plucks them from their heights.

The romantic Rose hiatus, waiting for Spring. Ecclesiastes 3:1 describes this scene perfectly -- To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. And GOD has promised resurrection for this barren garden...for He has made everything beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Just next to the Rose Garden is the Cactus Garden...what a contrast! The roses are delicate and fragile, while the cactus blooms are other-worldly and "robust" in make-up.

When i wander around Balboa Park and discover something i've overlooked in past visits, or see a new bloom from an "old friend" -- i am filled with gratefulness that the awesome GOD who created the universe and all the countless galaxies and gazillion stars gave such meticulous care in populating our earth with such beautiful and varied and plants and animals that only His infinite mind could devise and manifest.

Then GOD said, "Let the land burst forth with every sort of grass and seed-bearing plant. And let there be trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. The seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came." And so it was.

The land was filled with seed-bearing plants and trees, and their seeds produced plants and trees of like kind. And GOD saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:11-12, NLT)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

GODventurez in Giving

GODventurez is about opening a door of opportunity that GOD has orchestrated, and then stepping through boldly. It's about the privilege of adventuring with the indescribable Maker and Giver of life.

This recent GODventurez in Life 101 is about giving...beyond tithing. Malachi 3:10 says, Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in My Temple. If you do, says the LORD Almighty, I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let Me prove it to you!

Pastor Baize gave a message at Midway about tithing and putting to the test Malachi 3:10. It was during Midway's World Outreach Week, with missionaries from the Philippines, China and Africa asking the church to help make a difference in those countries. i was impressed with the mission outreach called Impacting Asia, with Luke and Kelly Lyons (along with Marc and Jessica Buxton, of Honest Deceiver) who help plant churches in metro Manila, Philippines.

GOD provided this door of opportunity to be of help -- so i gave them the $100 my sister gave me towards their evangelizing efforts in the Philippines. To some, $100 is not much; but to me, with no regular income to count on, it meant much. But GOD lit a fire in my heart for this mission...and i was glad to give. SPIRIT filled me with joy -- He made me a cheerful giver!

After CHRISTmas, i received monetary gifts...enough to buy that digital camera i was eyeing at CostCo. But GOD checked me...He asked, What about your glasses? i've been putting off getting new glasses (the prescription was four years old). And i really wanted my own digital camera, especially after deleting all of Mom's pictures while trying to "fix" her camera. Having a camera to illustrate my blog(s) was very important to me. GOD knew that...and He also knew how much fun i got from doing photography.

Again, i obeyed GOD...i followed His guidance -- prioritizing need, versus desire. GOD provided the new glasses -- after all, He is the bottom line Source of all that i have, all that i am. AND...
On the day i was at CostCo to get my eyes checked, i was at the display case of digital cameras, yearning for that low-priced, pocket-sized digital Canon, when i overheard that this Mexico-born German, Herman H, was looking for a lens for his Canon digital body. As he was walking away, i called him and told him that i had what he was looking for!

After a couple of criss-crossed e-mails (even trashed), we met at CostCo. My used Canon lens was priced at $300+ new, and Herman's asking price was $150; i countered with $175 (though i had prayed for $200). i also gave him zoom-extensions i didn't need anymore. And praise be to GOD, Herman gave me $200! (Bless his kind heart.)

Instead of buying the Canon, i bought a higher priced Nikon. i had just enough cash in my wallet for the required tax, even down to the 11 cents. GOD kept His promise in Malachi 3:10 -- i did my part by obeying when He prompted me to let go that $100 i was holding on to. And i trusted Him to keep His promise -- He gave me what i needed (new glasses) and even what i desired (my own digital camera). The LORD is my Good Shepherd, i have everything i need. (Psalm 23:1, NLT)

Of course, the true blessing was not the new glasses or digital camera, but that SPIRIT grew my faith in CHRIST through His orchestration of these events. Who but GOD could have put all the pieces in place so that Herman and i would meet at that very exact moment that we did so that both our prayers would be answered? Who else could have engineered such perfect timing?

Pastor Charles Stanley says, GOD is responsible for the consequences of my obedience; and i am responsible for the consequences of my disobedience.

i'm having a lot of fun with the Nikon CoolPix GOD provided. i've already tested it to document my San Diego Trolley ride into downtown and Balboa Park (including a gad-about in the Botanical Garden, which showcased these orchids), as well as trying my hand at shooting a video (rln's FirstEverVideo).

And the best consequence of my obedience is a closer, deeper, more intimate fellowship with GOD, in CHRIST JESUS.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

San Diego TROLLEY -- Blue Line GODventurez

Palm Avenue Station (Blue Line)
The first leg of my SPIRIT-led GODventurez...

The San Diego Trolley has actually been a movie prop (though it escapes me which movie).

Coronado Bay Bridge...not as pretty from this angle, eh?

(Barrio Logan Station)
Since coming back from Fiji to San Diego, April 2009, i haven't really ventured much out into the "real world."

i've sort of cocooned myself around South San Diego, Chula Vista, and Imperial Beach.

My world had shrunk to Midway church activities (worship, Bible studies, Rose's), 24-Hour Fitness (Zumba and TKB), and being a homebody (painting, blogging or housekeeping).

(Imperial and Market Station)
The gas prices didn't encourage me to get out there...and i was no longer interested in those things that used to interest me before.

(PetCo Park Stadium)
But Tuesday, i broke out of my cozy routine and went on a GODventurez -- which to most of you is really no big deal -- i took the trolley downtown!

For just $5, i got to ride around for a whole day (including the bus system).

i had to ask a cyclist headed for Balboa Park to help me get the ticket out of the machine...duh!

(Fifth Avenue Station)
Yep, i'm a bush-woman from the boondocks!

Most of these (full-frame) photos were shot from inside the trolley, as seen afresh through eyes agog with a spirit of GODventurez.

i savored the experience, my face unusual amongst the crowd because my smile was practically a fixture from ear to ear -- i couldn't stop smiling! i must've looked like i was high on something -- i was! High on CHRIST!

GODventuring shoes...

i wonder if she still sees new things on her route -- back and forth, north to south, and back again on the same tracks...i wonder how many times in the course of her shift she goes back and forth, north to south and back again on the same tracks. i wonder if she still sees new things on her route...

Back at the Palm Avenue Station...longer shadows marked the nearing sundown.

There's a train a-coming...i can hear the whistle blowing! What are my choices? Get on the train? Let it pass me by? Or let it run over me?