Friday, March 31, 2023

March 2023

march header collage
• Header collage: mid-March peach blossoms; Lion King banner outside the Pantages Theatre. A friend and I had planned to see Lion King, but it ended before we got tickets (long story). LA Phil tickets; late March peach blossoms.

Urban Wilderness Lectionary Project for March

• March has a string of special days; the entire month celebrates Women's History, with International Women's Day on the 8th—a midweek Wednesday this year.

• A friend got tickets and chose LA Phil's New Music Group for Tuesday March 14th. John Adams has won a Pulitzer and multiple Grammy awards. His autobiographical Hallelujah Junction for two pianos was the unforgettable highlight! This was my first time inside Disney Concert Hall and I'd previously only heard LA Phil at Hollywood Bowl.

John Adams' Hallelujah Junction book

• Every March 17th we remember Saint Patrick, patron of Ireland whose day makes everyone Irish.

Holu Fun Fest
• On Sunday March 19th it rained a little on the local Festival of Colours / Festival4India / #HoliFunFest that celebrated the full moon, a full range of natural colors, and the newness of spring.

• This year's spring equinox happened on Monday the 20th, along with the Persian Nowruz, another time of new beginnings. A few years ago I captured some Nowruz pictures in Westwood's Little Tehran or Tehrangeles; if I find them I'll add them here.

• Two days after the solstice the annual World Water Day rippled across the planet especially to raise awareness of fresh water without easily measurable saline content. For several years I've designed for WWD, but not this time—follow the tag to see some of my previous WWD interpretations.
Lake Balboa
Lake Balboa
• Six days later on Saturday March 25th several of us – including Sweety dog – walked around Lake Balboa. Of my dozen photos, these are the really irregular ones.

colorful crosses
banners handout header
• On the last Tuesday of March, I facilitated an afternoon banner workshop at the Synod Bishop's Colloquy. These color-filled free range crosses are from audience participation in the first morning presentation.
Glendale center stained glass
Living Loval 2022

Friday, March 24, 2023

Five Minute Friday :: Follow

I will follow you wherever you go I will follow
Five Minute Friday :: Follow Linkup

• Luke 9:57 I will follow you wherever you go … I will follow you.

• Matthew 8:19 I will follow you wherever you go … I will follow you.

There have been saints and martyrs in all eras whose passion for love, mercy, justice, and the reign of heaven on earth has led them to follow Jesus to the extent of forsaking their earthly lives. Jesus told us to follow him; a classic perspective says we follow Jesus to the cross, then to the empty grave, which feels especially appropriate during this season of Lent.

My header image isn't quite a labyrinth, yet if you follow the words you'll find yourself at the center that's also source and destination. My footer photo is the labyrinth a friend in Previous City designed and built for his Eagle Scout project.

If a stranger asked, what would you tell them following Jesus is about? You could tell them it's like a labyrinth that guides you unimpeded without dead ends but typically has a few surprising switchbacks that momentarily make it look as if you've gone backwards. You could say it's like following words of life – love of God and love of neighbor – to create healthy local community and ultimately, a global commonwealth.

You could tell them both religious and political leaders in Jesus' imperial context with its violence, poverty, and despair considered Jesus a major threat. In that case, what would following Jesus here and now look like?

You could tell the inquirer to follow you into worship where the sacraments / ordinances of baptism and holy communion are politically, socially, and culturally subversive. If you follow the visible words of the sacraments you'll find yourself at the center that's also source and destination.

Exodus 24:3 Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, "All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do."

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university city san diego labyrinth
five minute friday follow
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Friday, March 17, 2023

Five Minute Friday :: Story

Five Minute Friday :: Story Linkup

Here's one from a few years ago with my Telling the Story label

Suddenly you look and no matter how you parse it, you're not remotely where you'd marginally expected to be in terms of relationships, career, accomplishments, people you'd expected to stay on the journey with, or join you (join me, that is) on the journey.

Countless outreach attempts. I can't count the number of stories starting to be written (yay! finally!) and then erased. Did you know, do I really believe insanity is expecting different results from the same behaviors? Well… context matters. Where and when may not exactly be the key, yet how many times have I told myself and recently dared say to at least one other? My experiences would have been different in a place like Cambridge or Berkeley.

You've heard life is about story and it's about the journey. Stories include the give and take of relationships with other imperfect people. Stories happen in assorted cities and diverse surroundings. Ends of situations. Beginnings of others. Messiness and unexpectedness. Yet the best way to predict the future is to create it.

William Faulkner reminded us the past keeps overtaking us. My good actions, my mistakes and missteps, behaviors and attitudes of coworkers, acquaintances, and distant strangers, all converge to make an imperfect whole that continues to influence my future, yours, and outcomes on the other side of the planet.

Where's your story? Who's in your story?
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Friday, March 03, 2023

Five Minute Friday :: Reach

reach grand park indowntown los angeles
Five Minute Friday :: Reach Linkup

Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. … and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Genesis 12:1, 3b

God charged Abram to go because when he did, all the earth would be blessed as far as Abram's life reached.

Where is home for you? How is home for you?

How far does your life reach?
What spaces, places, locations do you frequent or wish you could reach?

To be human means to reach out and participate in politics, education, commerce, sometimes religion—all those endeavors outside the four walls of home that converge to create the fabric of society.

How far does your life reach? How far does my life reach?
Do you typically reach onto the edges of your existence or into the center of the action?

Do you reach out and reach in, halfway between center and margins so you don't need to label yourself either insider or outsider? Do you covet the threshold, neither back where you began or in that new place you haven't seen—but God will show you when you get there?

How far does your hospitality reach? Do you distinguish between strangers and friends?

Reach out! Connect with insiders, outsiders, strangers, and friends whose lives reach out and touch yours.

Where is home for you? How is home for you? Comfortable or not?

Reach out!
Go from your home, your comfort, and your kindred, to the place and the people God will show you (when you get there…) because in you they will be blessed.

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five minute friday reach sunfowers
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