Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Reflections

Many of us here in the States are celebrating Thanksgiving - preparing meals - Turkey and other goodies, traveling to love ones, and for many, the start of the Christmas shopping season - though I suspect retail sales will be adversely affected by the current economic woes.

Yet I am very thankful - for my aging parents whom I will get to visit soon in January, for my wonderful and supportive spouse Gerda, my delightful children - Hannah and David, for my siblings and their families (too numerous to name), for my church family and wonderful pastor whom has faithfully preached the Word, for meaningful and productive work and for good health.

In response, please allow me to share this following verse: O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever (Psalm 136:1–3) . The Psalmist is making the point, repeating the same phrase three times - no other passage in the Bible where any other phrase appears three times in succession.

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, whom successfully led the country amid the severest crisis - the American Civil War, said this

We have been the recipients of the choisest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Visitors This Morning

At around 7:30 this morning, I was pleasantly 'startled' by two deer. Ordinarily this is a common occurrence - however the deer came into our fence-in backyard (as you can see in the photo below). With camera in hand, I took the first photo without their knowledge - I was in my home office looking directly at them - they were no more than 6 feet away.

The second photo saw the 'mom' alerted to my movement and in a split second, took off like a lighting bolt - clearing the fence effortlessly. Unfortunately the yearling tried to follow suite but was unable to escape.

For a tense few moments, the yearling was trapped in our backyard - I was outside and could see the frantic look on its face. I wish I had pursued it more aggressively - not to harm the deer but to capture more photos. Yet, I did not - it was cold this morning at about 36 degrees and I chose to come in the house to get to the back door. By the time I got outside via the back door, I saw the yearling finally exiting out the back gate (which was ajar and that was how they got in the back-fenced area in the first place).

I reflected on this event - a bit perturbed. On one hand, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to witness this encounter and take some photos but on the other hand, I wish I had some video footage to share. Yet, such is life - do I see things as half full or half empty? This occasion has taught me contentment with what I have - but also a reminder to live life to the fullest - to have the courage to act. As Paul exhorted Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Book Chapter to be published

One of my summer projects is bearing fruit! This past summer, I engaged on a writing and research assignment on a topic dear to my heart - trusted computing.

This coming spring 2009, my book chapter contribution - See Chapter XVI. Trusted Computing: Evolution and Direction of this reference textbook Cyber Security and Global Information Assurance: Threat Analysis and Response Solutions will be published by IGI Global.

Writing has not always come easy for me.... but as I work at it, I am finding satisfaction and joy in this reflective process. I hope to do more of it both professionally and in maintaining this blog.