Monday, January 31, 2022

January 2022 trippin'

January 2021 trippin
4 more Reflections on Scripture During a Worldwide Pandemic on my other main blog: Urban Wilderness Lectionary Project

Rose Parade Leopard
Rose Parade White Flowers and Toucans
Rose Parade Polar Bear and Lords Prayer
• Float Fest happens the day after the Rose Bowl Parade. They charge not low $$ admission and these days you need to prove your vax status, but especially after watching the parade on TV a few times the day before, admiring the floats up close was fabulous! Due to their scale and my proximity I didn't get enough good shots, but here are a few; my header collage includes a couple others of my fave pics.

• A first ever venture into nearby world-renowned Forest Lawn, where I saw their stained glass version of Leonardo's Last Supper. Good Friday and Easter need to wait because they were closed to visitors. They didn't allow inside photographs and I didn't attempt to capture the green grounds.

• Next stop the same day as Forest Lawn was the almost brand new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures that forms a trilogy with the Petersen Automobile Museum and LACMA. They do allow guests to take pictures, but due to the nature of the displays and other factors I didn't try very hard to get anything memorable.

• Lastly, we sauntered to the Farmer's Market for dinner. Some vendors already had closed, and astonishingly the venue was new to me despite my having become an Angeleno (as in no longer a "San Diego transplant") and despite having lived in nearby Koreatown.

• This year there were many online observances for MLK Day, but I didn't participate in or watch any. So sad. Hopefully 2023 will be different.

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve
Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve
Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve
Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve
• On the fourth Sunday of January that wasn't its last, Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area "A Symphony of Sounds" started mid-afternoon and transformed into the golden hour.

• Enjoy these tangerines! I LOVE this picture!

• Formally and officially I began living local in 2020, not long before COVID became a worldwide reality. I was happy to revise typography and year on my banner.
Living Local 2022

Friday, January 28, 2022

Five Minute Friday :: Trial

tree in paradise all my trials healing of nations
There grows a tree in Paradise
The Pilgrims called it the Tree of Life…
The leaves of the tree
Are for the healing of the nations

Art copyright © Leah Chang / Sun Tree River Design

Five Minute Friday Linkup :: Trial

All My Trials

I had a little book was given to me,
And every page spells liberty,
All my trials Lord, soon be over.
Too late my brothers, too late
But never mind,
All my trials Lord, soon be over.

There grows a tree in Paradise,
The Pilgrims call it the tree of life,
All my trials Lord, soon be over.
Too late my brothers, too late
But never mind.
All my trials Lord, soon be over.

Excerpt from traditional Bahamian spiritual; full lyrics on Daily Prayer Ministries accessed Thursday 27 January 2022


"All my trials, Lord, soon be over."

Every page spells liberty?! That must be a very very Good Book! Popular theology that's often not very scriptural too often tells us a certain trial or series of trials is necessary for God to achieve God's purpose in a situation and/or for God to refine us into that next stage certain point. As sweet as it would feel were that the truth, many many trials, disappointments, and conundrums we experience are anything but redemptive; too many to count actually slow us down, detour us, and in the end confound what would have been a better path with a healthier outcome. (In themselves they're not salvific, but in the end God redeems them, no surprise.)

Quite a while ago former neighbor and occasional blogger Sara observed the gospel in one word is–remember! As we necessarily focus on preparing for next week, for tomorrow, for next year, or that dream God revealed to us, we can get caught up in the pain of yet another this isn't quite working out; I thought God had already brought me through this particular type of trial (and I even learned a whole lot from it), but rather than agonizing about each trial du jour, we need to remember the witness of scripture—especially exodus and easter! Those events spell liberty for the future, freedom from a past in bondage to sin and death. Those events point toward the not yet for us that yet is a place God already has gone and waits for us to arrive. Exodus and Easter summon us into well-stewarded creation with pristine waterways, gift-laden trees, a cosmos that thrives and helps heal. Toward the time all our trials are over.

Several times I've quoted Cornel West and I need to remember his reminder, "We are people of hope! Why do we party on Friday nights? Why do we go to church on Sundays?" Because we are Easter people, who love to and who need to practice resurrection! Gospeled Good News from the Good Book!

"The Leaves of the Tree are for the Healing of the Nations."
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Friday, January 21, 2022

Five Minute Friday :: Possibility

Is anything too hard for the Lord with God all things will be possible
Is anything too hard for the Lord? Genesis 18:14
• With God nothing will be impossible. Luke 1:37

Possibility FMF Linkup

Photos and patterns, graphics and designs inspire us the same way as single word prompts. Come to think of it, so does music.

I love Kate's two lane highway to a possibility! Could that possibility be home? Either returning to a previous home or journeying home for a first time ever? Are we driving alone or together to a place we'll recognize when we're there? The road's not labeled, though (of course) it started somewhere and this particular one ends—wherever it does. Does it connect to an interstate or maybe arrive at a city or town? Streets and roads so energize our imaginations! Remembering ones we've driven and trod. Recalling old night dreams and faded daydreams and bringing them back to life. Do you remember Abraham? God told him "go to the place I will show you" …when you get there. Did Abraham's descendants know "this is the place" when they finally reached the edge of the Jordan?

This road isn't remote. It's paved, has a median strip and runs betwixt verdant fields. Is anything too hard for the Lord? Resurrection from the dead isn't. So even homecoming isn't too hard for God? With God no thing – even a broadly settled place – will be impossible. The good, the graceful, the bountiful, and the new will flourish as God leads the way to possibilities that aren't exactly remote.

Did you watch pre-Olympics skating last week? At some point someone said "it takes a village" to raise a skater. It takes a village to create any life, to make any dream a possibility. It takes a village to make a home. It takes a village to welcome someone home. Again or for the first time ever. Remember! With God everything will be possible! Amen? Amen!

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Friday, January 14, 2022

Five Minute Friday :: Determine

determined garden whimsy
FMF :: Determine Linkup


The apostle Paul determined to preach only Christ and him crucified. (This is a theology blog, remember?!) My intro image is from a 5-part Whimsies series I drew long ago; I bounced the Determined 2 title off the late theologian and Snoopy cartoon creator Charles Schulz's Determined Productions company name. I'm definitely Determined 2 as in Roman numeral II – also known as a second expression of – and Determined 2 as in "2 keep going" "2 succeed" "2 be".


The outcome eventually will be determined because it's not over until it's over, but I've spent literally forever (since I was a little urban kid in the second grade, yes that long!) determining to prepare for a life of service, especially determining to beautify the inner city and help a whole lot of others to do so, too (or is that "2"?). Along with that determination I've consistently acted, making what I determine more likely than not to happen.

Given Christianity's high theology of vocation, to determine one's own destiny may sound arrogantly self-willed, yet i've done my best to listen to and heed promptings of the HS, to observe my surroundings, to ascertain my particular gifts, and even to consider other's comments and observations. Ages ago when senior pastor commented on my musical abilities and I replied "I don't have the passion for music a person needs to pursue a musical career," he replied, "You're right; you don't. Your passion is obvious—go for it!" Wisely i didn't ask what he considered my passion, though he'd sent some of my scripture-related design to a prominent artist-poet-theologian.

In the interest of bloom where you're planted scripturally expressed by Jeremiah as "seek the well-being of the place where God has sent you," with high determination I've kept on keeping on with my dream of beautifying my surroundings wherever I've found myself.

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