Sunday, February 28, 2021

Winter & February 2021 Rundown

Valentine Heart Header for February 2021
• February is Heart Month in more than one sense; February is Black History Month. Black History belongs to all history, but it's great to celebrate a season of special emphasis. COVID-19 continues, yet happily updated with vaccines rolling out worldwide. As long as everyone continues to Wear-A-Mask and maintain distances of 2 meters – 6 feet, we may recover recognizable lives before long.

December 2020 Highlights

Still Living Local in January 2021

Sunday School for the Four Sundays of February

• In the interest of simplification, Emily P Freeman no longer hosts a linkup, but I'm giving her a shoutout because she's the reason I've been summarizing every single month. She also sends an interestingly helpful weekly email, so check her out!
Black History Month 2021 Poster by suntreeriver design
• My header for February is one of several versions I did for Valentines and Hearts; here's this year's poster for Black History Month.

southern California flora
• With ongoing statewide Stay Safe–Stay Home orders and smart people (like me, of course) not going very far (as my google maps prove), I don't have any extraordinary documentation from museums, zoos, or related venues, but I did capture some lovely local flora.

southern California flora
• Another group of three

Three tree photographs from urban park
• Some trees from the nearby park, simiar to scenes I've featured in previous months.

three camera views of a late February lily
• Three views of a lily from late February–Stella d'Oro, Star of Gold?

Blueberries and Blackberries in Ikea Bowl with plaid background
• I tried for quite a while but didn't yet create a good version of February's full snow moon, so this month ends with another Ikea bowl of blueberries and blackberries together forever.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

27 February • Community

Saturday 27 February :: Community
Community kids in San Diego
Pictures from Previous City.

I had a bunch of good ones, but needed to be sure no one would be able to recognize anyone—I'd do that even if they all weren't kids and youth.
Lenten Snapshots 2021 footer image

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Thursday, February 18, 2021

18 February • Rules

Genesis 1:16 illustration text on sun with tree for lenten snapshots rules word prompt
Thursday 18 February :: Rules

"God then made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: God made also the stars." Genesis 1:16

Translation from the Geneva Bible the New England Puritans used; scripture text typed in Geneva the font.
Lenten Snapshots 2021 footer image

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

17 February • Love

February Daffodils
Lenten Snapshots 2021

Again this Lent April created a list of one-word prompts for social media, blog, church website, or anywhere. A snapshot can be words, a still picture, or a micro-video. How cool that Des Gomez' BlackberryBlues alphabet I used in my footer graphic shows a heart for #!

Wednesday 17 February :: Love

What better love illustration than a tree or a flower?! A classic song tells us "take the world in a love embrace;" and that's how nature's flora roll. With roots sinking deep, branches reaching out, foliage stretching to the sky, they hug humans, critters, and all God's created wonder.
Lenten Snapshots 2021 cross footer image

Monday, February 15, 2021

Five Minute Friday :: Once

Once You Know Freedom MLK quote for Five Minute Friday
Five Minute Friday :: Once Linkup

February is Valentine's Month, Heart Month, Black History Month…
"This is freedom. This is a weapon greater than any force you can name. Once you know this, and know it with all your being, you will move and act with a determination and power that the federal government cannot ignore, that the school boards cannot overlook, and that the housing authority cannot dismiss." Martin Luther King, Jr., Chicago, 1966
• Once you know [the power of freedom]…

freedom / obedience

God gifted Israel with the ten Words or Commandments of the Sinai Covenant after they'd been liberated from slavery, been freed from production quotas. Out of imperial Egypt, into the exodus desert, on their way but not yet at the promised land, they'd learn to keep and maintain that freedom by keeping and obeying the commandments. Slavery to empire no long would be their frame of reference; instead they would reverence God by serving the neighbor.

As I've mentioned not a few times on this blogsite and countless times in the adult Sunday School class I facilitate, we discover the neighbor at the heart of the Torah, we meet our neighbor when Jesus of Nazareth summarizes the ten commandments into two: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. In Luke's gospel Jesus then tells the lawyer "thou shalt live" if he follows the commandments. God gifted us with commandments (ordinances, precepts, statutes, law, torah) so life might harmonize with Martin Buber's definition of love as responsibility of an I for a thou.

masks / freedom

Early in the COVID-19 mask-wearing mandate people started to protest. Almost a year into masks, people haven't stopped complaining, with some refusing to mask up because they insist masks take away their personal freedom. As the commandments (the law!) and the prophets (grace!) reveal, life's not about a supposedly autonomous "me" individual because no one lives by or for themselves. Polite suggestions or municipal demands to mask don't remove anyone's freedom; freedom always has limits and boundaries because no one can be that autonomous "law unto themselves." Life is about me, a person connected to the other – to my neighbor whose neighbor I become – in love that regards their greater good as my privilege and obligation, that perceives the neighbor's good as my own.

Once you know freedom, you will know love in action. Justice, determination, power – and responsibility – come alive when we love God, neighbor, and self.

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FIve MinuteFriday button
Five Minute Friday Once word prompt

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Transfiguration 2021

Transfiguration 2021 Mark 9:7
Transfiguration 2021

"This is my Son the Beloved.
Listen to him!"

Mark 9:7

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Five Minute Friday :: Sunrise

desert spirit's fire bokeh sunrise

Five Minute Friday • Sunrise linkup

I've spent immeasurable time preparing for tomorrow, for a future, for that best I told myself was yet to come. But when? Come on up to the rising. When? At the rising… of the sun, at the dawning of a new day. Look to the east! The time is here!

Before memes became an internet concept and a household word, I collaged one that read, "Your view, Leah? Follow your heart; the best is yet to come–but you've got to be an expert." [You gotta be very good at everything you do if you really expect that eventual best.]

Carl Sandburg says there's "only an ocean of tomorrows, only a sky of tomorrows." But I don't want another tomorrow! I want this very day slowly breaking wide into full bloom. There had better not be only tomorrows. I've spent too much time getting ready for a tomorrow I logically assumed would turn into today. I need one of those sunrises then another of those sunrises, another, another, and another to turn into days so splendid I forget all about the possibility of any tomorrow, todays so glorious I'm happy to live here and live now.

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five minute friday sunrise

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Five Minute Friday :: Design

suntreeriver design sun icon

Five Minute Friday • Design linkup

With design as the prompt, how could I not FMF this week? Borrowing from my mid-January reflection on John 1:43-51:
John's gospel refers to Jesus' actions as signs instead of miracles. We talked about sign, symbol, and meaning almost as much in design classes as we did in cultural anthropology classes. Words printed on a page, spoken out loud, or communicated silently using hands, arms, face, and body – "sign"– language symbolize realities beyond and other than themselves.

Street signs, freeway signs; a product label. None of those is the actual thing, but point to something else. In short, signs and symbols lead to substance. … Jesus instinctively "knew" Nathanael because in his religious and cultural tradition, anyone studying Torah underneath a fig tree would be a Jewish son of the Sinai Covenant.Jesus knew how to interpret that sign!

I've done some art and design for hire almost since the dawn of time; for a while now, I've mostly earned my keep as a graphic artist-designer, with an occasional side of liturgical art. With its goal of presenting and promoting a product, concept, or style, communication design is another term for graphic (from the Greek word for writing/scripture) art. Like spoken and written language, design conveys message and meaning.

I'd love you to visit my website suntreeriver design. Sun, tree, and river are persistent biblical images. Almost everywhere I've used this FMF post's sun header as my avatar; a tiny version is the favicon for my websites.
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