Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday of Bright Week

white flowers on fence

Reflecting Chaos

Since Lent began, I've been blogging more about myself than I have in several years: Tuesdays of Lent 1, Lent 2, Lent 3, Lent 4 and 5... it's now Bright Week, the week following Easter Sunday. Does that require different focus? Has anything replaced the chaos and disorder of the desert?

Practicing Resurrection? Maybe!

telling the story buttonHave I previously mentioned I'd assumed I'd "always be doing" and continued preparing to do so many things? There's little point in listing them here, but it still could do my heart good, rather than once again affirming and celebrating all the gains I've made. Those achievements include this basically non-reader who started a theology blog a dozen years ago, and became an amazon vine reviewer! True that my reviews are not exclusively books, but I've written some thoughtful, incisive, blogs and book reviews, including a few reviews some people haven't liked (I suspect those folks are biblical literalists, since what's not to like about my insights and observations?) Although I'm still not writing as well as I did back in the day, my theology is better-examined, and reflects my experiences more thoroughly. Of course digging back into the Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle paid off, along with my decision to freelance as a designer once again.

In Acts 8:9-24 we read about the sin of simony—buying and selling church offices, trying to purchase ministry opps, but I'm not quite convinced that's what I'd be doing: if I could, I'd pay $100,000 or up to $500,000 to attend the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit. Detroit is my dream ministry destination ... context, but Detroit may be only a fantasy, since I'm going to be participating in the future I'd been preparing for, that on some level I doubted ever would dawn. Hopefully Future City (soon to be called "Current City") will work in a similar way to what I imagine about Detroit. More on this topic soon; thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014 #greencities

earth day 2014

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life,
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb,
through the middle of the street of the city.
On either side of the river is the tree of life,
and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:1-2

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter 2014

easter banner

And in this mountain
shall the Lord of hosts
make unto all people
a feast of fat things,
a feast of wines on the lees,
and he will swallow up death forever.
Isaiah 25:6, 8a

telling the story: Holy Saturday

Did I tell you Sunday's coming?

Since Ash Wednesday / and Tuesday of Lent 1 I've been blogging a little about myself: Tuesdays of Lent 1, Lent 2, Lent 3, Lent 4 and 5... every Tuesday. You could say this post was supposed to be "Tuesday of Holy Week," but Tuesday got away from me, and it's now Holy Saturday: the day nothing happens, yet everything happens.

As Walter Brueggemann observes, a lot of life – most of our days, probably – are sabbatarian, literally spent in the interstitial time between Good Friday afternoon and Resurrection Sunday dawn. Like the rest of creation, I'll experience a lot more Saturdays, but about a week ago I found out I'm going to be participating in the future I'd been preparing for, that on some level I doubted ever would dawn.

telling the story buttonAll along I've had no trouble affirming the skills and knowledge I've gained. I've told people how my total background had wowed Sizable Suburban Church when I interviewed, but that person (me!) could not touch the theological, design, and musical skills I have now. I easily admit how I've been making lemonade of my lemons all along, yet amidst all the loneliness and disappointments, I've had to rehash Tip O'Neill's "all politics is local" into "all [real] life is local," and truly it is.

*They* insist comparisons typically are abhorrent, but that's typically about comparing oneself to others, since I am who and where I am, you are where and who you are., etc. But it's helpful to look at other similar people: in a first- or second-world developed country; reasonably middle-class; reasonably well-educated; somewhat skilled and highly experienced, and to assess the reasonably expected opportunities and outcome in this society, even allowing for an economy that has flattened a lot of careers, and done its best to devastate expectations. Had my life not been so violently interrupted, I well could have expected that 3/2 house, the Audi, another symphony series. Ok, the economy! I still could have anticipated a 2/1.5 house, another Chevy, a few symphony concerts...

Despite this telling the story blog post series, just like one of my blogging friends, there's too much I don't yet dare throw out into cyberspace. Saturday's almost over—Sunday's coming? Yes, it is, and this time Sunday's Easter Day!

Holy Saturday 2014

holy Saturday 2-14

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday 2014

good friday banner

He was wounded for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
the chastisement for our peace was upon him,
and by his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday 2014

Maundy Thursday 2014

What shall I render to the Lord
For all his benefits toward me?
I will take the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.
I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And will call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the Lord's house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

Psalm 116:12-13; 17-19

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lent 6: Palmarum

Lent 06 Palm Sunday
Hosanna to the Son of David;
blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
the King of Israel.
Hosanna in the highest!
Matthew 21:9

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Tuesday of Lent 5


I spend a lot of energy trying to convince myself notwithstanding all the anonymity, anomie, and rude, mean people, those pics of graduations and ordinations you see actually are real―no one has Photoshopped people into the pics, they really were there, and the events truly happened.


telling the story buttonAs I've thrown out snippets of my previous lives, I realize those activities were very different from my here and now. I've obsessed about Brighter City Day Camp, the six-week long annual summer program in City of History. Although I inherited the basic program structure and the name, I don't know what it was like before I arrived. I was grant writer, site director, van driver, treasurer, art teacher (from the second year on). By that second year I owned BCDC! I think of the Release Time Christian Education program I also took over as part of my job description. Again, I do not know what they did before me, but I was (grant writer, site director, van driver), liaise with the elementary school, and wrote an actual lectionary-based curriculum.

there, then, here, now

As I watched the Winter Olympics I remembered how ambitious I was, how hard I worked, and how I've achieved more than I'd ever imagined.

Back in a Former City, a now-deceased friend said to me, "This has been a catastrophic illness—what else do you call something that has cost you your friends and your career?" I replied, "I'm not at all worried. Before I turn around – no, before I blink – my life will be full again." I was very mistaken in terms of the participation I fully expected to find before I'd blinked this many times, yet...

Things – as in "my own things related to my life" – truly are moving and changing, and as I survey these past years, I'm happily amazed at how I've grown my theology, design/art, and music résumés. Despite a true dearth of opps to contribute my gifts locally. For example, when I look at the close to a dozen years I've been blogging here on desert spirit's fire, I remember I've never been much of a reader, and I almost never read anything other than school assignments (did well on most of those, usually completing 80% – 95%) and an occasional copy of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Yet over this past decade I've read and considered dozens of books of my own choice, under my own steam, become an amazon vine reviewer, and generally lit a fire under myself to accomplish tasks that I trusted would benefit someone somewhere someday.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Lent 5: Judica

Lent 5
Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation.
Deliver me from those who are deceitful and unjust, for you are the God in whom I take refuge.
Psalm 43:1-2a

Friday, April 04, 2014

mulberry bush 5

3dogmom hosts an all around the mulberry bush 5 and wonders, "When you need to hold disparate parts of your life in tension, what do you do? Share five things that steady your pace, recharge your batteries and invite peace to your soul."

Like 3dogmom, I usually hanker after whatever I can find to feed my five senses; here are 5 possible quick and usually readily at-hand options. Sorry about no pics—as a creative, I'm becoming even more careful about using pics, and though I could find a few of my own for each of these, I want to play and post at least reasonably on time today:

1. taste: a big classic green salad, minimally including 2 or 3 types of lettuce, tomatoes, onions that don't bite, sweet cukes, and creamy Italian dressing. Add warm, fresh bread and butter, and it's a soul-satisfying feast.

2. smell: vanilla extract!

3. sound: too stressed and whatever to retrieve a CD? One of my almost dozen YouTube playlists will do.

4. vision: look outside myself at the trees, the up and coming spring flowers, the sky... sometimes I enjoy looking at my own print portfolio or my design website that intentionally doesn't have a lot of content, but presents it more coherently than my facebook page does

5. touch: kitteh snuggles

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Tuesday of Lent 4

Continuing from Tuesdays of Lent 1, Lent 2, Lent 3....

telling the story buttonsigned and symbolized

As a de-signer, as a theologian, word (source, immanence), sign, and symbol are my currency, yet I also try to convince myself the symbolism of a lot of this matters not. I also realize we human creatures typically are able to admit, deal with, and work through losses and disappointment when they get something reasonably to take the place of whatever they've lost. It's still Saturday, but I know Sunday's coming!

current location; future location

The city where I've been living generally is rated the seventh largest in the USA, but every single person I've discussed it with agrees it's small town, border town, military town. That truly is consensus, so moving north to Los Angeles sounds like a plan. A very good plan.