Saturday, April 13, 2024

Five Minute Friday :: Limit

flowers mural
Back in math class with limits? Or assessing the limits of my own situation?

Remember the Eagles?

"All alone at the end of the evening...
You know I've always been a dreamer put me on a highway
Show me a sign.
Take it to the limit
One more time."

Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Don Henley

What are the limits of human willfulness? Obedience?

Does my patience
have limits?
(For whatever reason or reasons) my creativity has become tamer, more limited, less appealing.

When will it rebound? (Please notice i said when not if.) Will I express it in terms of motion, change, limits, and hope?

Or will its energy, excitement, and momentum be so unstoppable I won't notice the new highway or that sure enough sign?
The one I'd always known would be here
More than one more time.
Amen? Amen!

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Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Five Minute Friday :: Already

already sunset sunrise
Already Nightfall or is it Already Daybreak?

Five Minute Friday :: Already Linkup

With Already I immediately remembered the Eagle's triumphant breakup song announcing, "I'm already gone – I'm feeling strong – I will sing this victory song"

That refrain is great when we need to break up with our pasts. Oh, I know, if you don't remember the past you're bound to repeat it; if you don't focus on the future you'll never reach it. (How often do how many of us stay balanced in this eternal now?) But we seriously need to breakup with some aspects of our pasts. Only some.

It's already evening? How can days be so short?

Three years ago on the second Sunday of Easter I observed, "On this side of Easter we often find ourselves in the "Yes, already!" of resurrection and the "No, not yet!" of Holy Saturday, that time between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away. John 20:1

This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24

It's already time to break up with some of those pasts. The worst of yesterday's already gone—dead and buried with Jesus of Nazareth. The best of tomorrow is yet to come—risen, free, and full of hope with the Savior's victory.
Nectarine Flowers in Tucson :: Already Spring
five minute friday already
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Sunday, March 31, 2024

March 2024 Lent to Easter

March header
city paradise / urban wilderness lectionary reflections for March
Panorama City Party Ball Venue
California Rangers Ball at a posh venue in Panorama City.
Dance floor pics weren't too great, but the blog header has a good shot of the light show.
world water day banner
World Water Day 2024
palm crosses and lavender in basket in narthex
Palm Sunday
• Palm Sunday! Back at Saint John's Gardena
Maundy Thursday program cover
• Bilingual Maundy Thursday
coral flower and greens
• Creation Beauty on Good Friday
Easter at Saint John's Gardena
easter tulips and dinners
easter golden poppies
• Easter Sunday at Saint John's and around town
living local 2024
March summary
• March Summary:
Panorama City Mural
Santa Clarita Succulents
Palm crosses with Lavender in narthex

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Wake Up Mr. B!

Wake Up Mr B!Wake Up Mr B! by Penny Dale is a book for lovers of dogs in general, airedales in particular, kids, art, books, animals, pets and people. I bought it at the local library sale because the enchanting illustrations were irresistible. My copy is bound in boards and durably sewn in signatures; Amazon listed several copies of the paperback version and there were a few on eBay, too.

Rosie and Mr BWhat a visually lovely book, and the narrative's easy to track, whether you do it via the gentle pictures or the very sparse large-type text displayed in simple sentences at the bottom of some of the pages. Rosie's the daughter, Billy's her brother and Mr B is the big, sort of shaggy, airedale-style family dog. Although the brother and sister appear to be caucasian and they live in a 2-story dwelling, the story could be set in almost any Western hemisphere country, almost any small town to large city and even almost any time from the latter part of the 20th century (the © is 1988) into the current 21st. In other words, these are regular people living regular lives almost anyone could relate to and appreciate.

Rosie and Mr BVery very early on an unspecified day of the week, Rosie wakes up and gets out of bed rarin' to go and ready to play. She can't drag her brother Billy out of bed or rouse her parents from their sleep, but she goes downstairs and convinces Mr B to wake up. Rosie gets dressed and dresses up Mr B and they play play play, imagining and acting out driving to the seashore, getting into a boat, sailing around the world and flying to the moon. The last page outcome? Rosie and Mr B end up falling back to sleep themselves, and the rest of the family wakes them up for the rest of the day.

Rosie and Mr BWake Up Mr. B! is an excellent choice for any teenager or adult who loves beautiful art and illustrations, or for preschool through grade 3 or 4 kids who love to look at pictures, place themselves in a different world and read for themselves. You'll enjoy everything about this book!

• my Amazon review: kids, a dog, imagination and art

Rosie and Mr B

It's a dog's life

It's a dog's life by Mark Stern on Amazon

It's a dog's life cover Quite a while ago I picked up this socialist dog's book and decided it needed a review and a blog. Mark Stern's illustrations are fresh and fabulous! Author Stern follows and narrates the experiences of Patch, a dog whose days progress from true happiness with his simple life in the hood to the production and marketing by someone else of a great idea he has dreamt of.

The "someone else" overdog then It's a dog's life backco-ops Patch's entire existence, along the way setting up himself and his expansively growing company in superfluous luxury—no surprise?! Eventually Patch escapes from being an enslaved cog – and worse – in the means of production. He happily returns to "the true joys of life: fresh air, grass and trees," alongside his sweetheart Honey.

Call it a cautionary tale, a cogent example of "I told you so," or a vision of a more just society that features "what's really important," It's a dog's life is enough to make a human think, think again, and reconsider their own dreams and priorities.

my amazon review: from happiness, to utility, to happiness...

Friday, March 22, 2024

World Water Day 2024

World Water Day 2024
Water for Prosperity and Peace

United Nations World Water Day

The UN has a plethora of informational, study, and visual resources

WWD emphasizes fresh water of every kind, including natural bodies of water with less saline content. World Oceans Day every June 8th celebrates water with easily measurable saline.

I usually blog to the year's theme. For 2024 "More than 3 billion people worldwide depend on water that crosses national borders. Yet, only 24 countries have cooperation agreements for all their shared water" seriously impacted me. We necessarily live life right here, in this building or tent, on this plot of land, these coordinates, in this postal code.

Where does your drinking water come from? Here in southern California some of ours comes from north in this state; a lot of it comes from Arizona. How much do they reclaim locally? I don't know. Do you separate water used for drinking and cooking, for bathing, for laundry and general cleaning? How about the car wash? In any case, although who knows where its life journey has taken it, all of our water for local use is native to the USA.

We're not talking water for prosperity, for flourishing and thriving. This is basic level Water Is Life stuff.

Where does your household and workplace water come from? Have you lived in a place where water crosses national borders in order to become local? Have you been taking extra measures for water conservation?

May the deep peace of the Son of Peace be with your watershed, with your water district, with your household, and with you.
world water day dove and olive branches

Five Minute Friday :: Blame

life stuff
Five Minute friday :: Blame Linkup


I tend to want everything to be all my fault (completely in control and even to blame, ha ha) or not at all my fault (totally outta control no blame). Fact is, everything everyone does factors into outcomes. Bad behaviors, good actions. Negative intentions and positive attempts.

"No One Is to Blame" by Howard Jones is about unrequited love, and it's a general sigh of disappointment with other longings that sometimes never happen for no apparent reason:
You can look at the menu But you just can't eat
You can feel the cushions But you can't have a seat

You can dip your foot in the pool But you can't have a swim
You can feel the punishment But you can't commit the sin

You can build a mansion But you just can't live in
You're the fastest runner But you're not allowed to win

Some break the rules And let you count the cost
The insecurity is the thing that won't get lost


Once again I'm trying to discern my next move on several levels. That means a classic looking back to recognize what moves went well and which ones didn't; it means looking around at visible options and trying to peer into the future to imagine how past successes and present longings might come together into something new in ways that would serve church and world and offer good stewardship of my gifts, education, and experience. Gifts, education, experiences and desires! As in sense of call.

Like most women – probably most humans – I usually try to figure out who are what's to blame for everything that hasn't happened as reasonably expected. And then there's the unprogrammed, unexpected, the surprises that happen and suddenly everything changes! Everything changes because there's a new factor in town. Maybe a new person has come on stage, sometimes long range plans have turned around. Can we say "blame" the new factor, person, or circumstance?

Ages ago I was counseling with a colleague who said to me, "you keep wanting to hear everything's all your fault. Wouldn't that be nice. You'd be in control." He then pointed out some terrible behaviors and bad actors that had been factors in where my life and expectations had landed. Were they to blame? Partly. Was I to blame? In spite of no responsibility for their actions, simply being there made me a factor, though probably not blamable or culpable. Or guilty!

What's the solution? Is there an answer? Yes, there is. Look back to discern as clearly as possible what has brought you (or me) to this point. Gaze into the future to whatever extent possible. Don't blame; don't wish you could change your here and now. Acknowledge God waits for you at your future. Get up. Put one foot in front of the other. Follow your heart. Go there and welcome the future.

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