Saturday, December 07, 2019

Advent 2 :: Peace

Advent 2 peace

"The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

"The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea."
Isaiah 1:6-9

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Advent 1 :: Hope

Advent 1 hope

"They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more."
Isaiah 2:4

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Porch Story • November • Autumn 2019

desert spirit's fire porch stories icon winter 2020

desert spirit's fire porch story November 2019

Porch Story host Kristin's month of November 2019

• As meteorological autumn ends, I'm linking to Emily P Freeman's blog

desert spirit's fire! September 2019 highlights

desert spirit's fire! October 2019 Features

Reboots 30 Days to Gratitude 2019

• For November, Reboots Podcaster Tracy L Winchell offered a participatory 30 Days to Gratitude 2019; instead of Facebook updates like many do during November (I'm still on FB sabbatical) I tweeted several times a day. First gratitude was realizing though ideally I would have done an analog version in a notebook with a pretty cover because nothing compares to your ideas, thoughts, or drawings going from head to heart to hand to paper, it felt good to tweet to the world and to accompany some of those tweets with a picture.

• Did four fall weeks of intentional gratitude change my life? No—because I still need to work on moderating my constant habit of rationalizing what's going not badly because things always could be so much worse; and yes, because noticing and noting those things that form the micro-infrastructure of our days helped me acknowledge it's okay and it's necessary to keep doing so. Sensory stuff like colors, scents, tastes, flavors, and sounds can make the difference that lets you (me, anyone) keep on keepin' on. Fresh berries on my morning cereal; streaming music while I'm working; actually stopping to smell the roadside flowers; admiring a color palette I just created.

• The gratitude challenge also confirmed I need to find ways to make life changes that will lead to more participation in the greater good.

camera

• Every week I download Creative Market's design asset freebies; with pictures from my camera, phone, or my artistic/design ventures always a major aspect of my monthly updates, I'm including my own photoshopped version of a fun camera from a Creative Market vendor.

farmer's market peaches

• Another Saturday trip to the nearby Torrance Farmers Market! Their fruits and veggies always look soooo good... these peaches come from the previous peaches seller.

All Saints Sunday

• For All Saints, church sponsored a Saturday evening showing of the movie COCO; our Sunday morning display included some cultural pieces from Latino/a culture.

Wild Rose

• With judicatory office complex no longer having an on-campus school, the amazing kids' art I used to photograph no longer is there, but here's a lovely Wild Rose I might – or might not have noticed – during the days of Window Art.

God in the Verbs book cover

• As a gift for being on the launch team for Brent Bill's latest book, Beauty, Truth, lIfe, and Love: Four Essentials for the Abundant Life, Brent sent me a hard copy of Finding God in the Verbs: Crafting a Fresh Language of Prayer, co-written with Jenny Isbell.

Reign of Christ Colossians 1:17 Cosmic Christ

• The church's year of grace concluded with a celebration of the Reign of Christ. This interpretation of the cosmic Christ of Colossians 1:17 is one of my all-time faves of my own liturgical art.

Sub of the Day

• Lunch at Subway a few times a week has become a savory habit that reminds me whatever's going on or not, some sensory pleasure truly can improve the situation. I particularly love the fresh local veggies at all the LA area Subways, and I always add most of the salad bar to my sandwiches.

Thanksgiving Day succulents Thanksgiving Day succulents

• My fifth Thanksgiving Day at church! Fifth Thanksgiving Day in LA! One of the families has amazing gardens of every kind—flowers, veggies, ornamental plants. Here's a sample of the table centerpieces created with succulents from their place.

Beanie Baby Tom Turkey Theo Therapy Dog

• Beanie Baby Tom Turkey is one of my regular Thanksgiving blog illustrations.

• Theo Therapy Dog enjoyed dinner with us; his mom was flute and vocal soloist for before-dinner worship.

Thanksgiving Day Place Setting Thanksgiving Day dinner
Thanksgiving Day Dinner Thanksgiving Day Dinner

• Thanksgiving Table setting and dinner sampler

Emily P Freeman Autumn 2019

Kristin Taylor porch stories button

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Beauty Truth Life Love :: Brent Bill

beauty truth life love front coverBeauty, Truth, Life, and Love: Four Essentials for the Abundant Life by Brent Bill on Amazon

The reason for the title? Author Brent Bill tells us, "Beauty, truth, life, and love move us beyond doing life and faith correctly into doing them well." Love, life, truth, and beauty are among the attributes of God; logically, created-in-the-divine-likeness humanity (by grace!) has gotta rock those characteristics, too. Lyrical, homespun, and mellow, closer to an idea book or a guide book than a manual of instructions, at not much longer than one hundred pages Beauty, Truth, Life, and Love is small enough to slip into a pocket or purse to accompany you into the field.
beauty truth life love back cover
Brent gives his readers an intro that contrasts ideal and abundance, followed by – not surprisingly – a chapter for each title topic, with a conclusion about interweaving all four. My favorite part is the embedded reflections: Beauty Rest; Testing for True; Life Lines; Love Letters. Society of Friends/Quaker pastor Brent's perspective clearly is Christian, but not exclusively so, definitely not obnoxiously so—you probably know what I mean by that. With the year's main gift-giving season only a few weeks away, anyone (yes, that's anyone anywhere) would enjoy the universal appeal of the anecdotes and stories from Brent's own experience.

Are you ready to read this new book and write about your own discoveries of Beauty, Truth, Life, and Love?

Notice of material connection: As a member of the book launch team, I received a pre-publication copy of this book with no requirement or expectation to write a positive review. As always, my opinions are my own.

My Amazon Review: Lyrical, Homespun, Mellow

Thursday, October 31, 2019

October :: Porch Story

porch stories icon winter 2020

October 2019 desert spirit's fire

• Porch Stories host Kristin reveals an extremely varied October; her book suggestions always interest me.

• Here are a few of this month's stories from round about town!

early October middle eastern dinner

• Very early in October, Green Teammate Jane and I enjoyed a middle eastern dinner with conversation about our currents.

LA Metro fall 2019 conference table decor

• LA Metro Fall Conference happened in my old South Central 'hood; not any pictorially memorable metting moments, but the pumpkin-themed table d├ęcor was seasonably pretty—pumpkin desserts, too!

Glendale playground Glendale greeneries and flowers

• With the school no longer on site, Green Team meetings in Glendale no longer bring a plethora of pics, but I found a worthwhile glimpse of the playground plus one of intertwined flowers and greens.

farmers markets apples farmers market peaches
farmers market root veggies farmers market pomegranates
farmers market gourds, squashes, etc. farmers market sweet bell peppers

• A small sampling of the many excellent images a romp through one of the largest local Farmers Markets yielded; I also enjoyed a [not illustrated here] savory Peruvian lunch.

blessing of the animals 2019

• Sunday morning closest to St. Francis day for annual Critter Blessing No. 3.

last moonflower of 2019

• Last moonflower of 2019.

Another Level at the Proud Bird

Another Level Ministries celebrated Ten Years! at The Proud Bird—within easy earshot of LAX. Surprising that I didn't find any memorable photo opps at the celebration itself.

Roxy Kitteh nine years birthday/adoption

• Roxy Kitteh flew from DFW through PHX to SAN nine years ago!

porch stories icon winter 2020
• It's been far too long since I blogged blueberries (or any berries), so here's some for this year as the berries season slows and concludes.

Reformation 2019

• As a church geek, theology geek I had to celebrate Reformation Day 502. I didn't get a bulletin cover designed for my church this time, but upcycled a design from a previous year for this blog and for twitter. Really appropriate since again I discussed the Jeremiah pericope with my SS class. Can you say "neighborology"? Can you live neighborology?

Kristin Taylor porch stories button

Monday, September 30, 2019

Porch Story :: September 2019

porch stories icon 2019

September 2019 desert spirit's fire

• End of most months I link my story to Porch Stories host Kristin's. I know you'll enjoy reading about her September 2019.

• Where am I? How am I?

• In City of Angels.

• Wondering. Waiting. Worrying. Wishing. Excited to move into cooler weather, wearing sweaters, and interesting activities.

season of creation 2019 wisdom series ocean sunday 01 season of creation 2019 wisdom series fauna and flora sunday 02
season of creation 2019 wisdom series storm sunday 03 season of creation 2019 wisdom series cosmos sunday 04

• As I've done for about a dozen years, I created a design for each Sunday in the Season of Creation. The liturgical emphasis originated in Australia and has spread worldwide, traditionally for the month of September; Blessing of the Animals/Blessings upon all Creation on the October Saturday or Sunday closest to St Francis of Assisi day on 04 October concludes the hope-filled celebration. Watch this space for my October summary Porch Story that will include our local Critter Blessing! By the way, each of the three Revised Common Lectionary years features a different theme—for Luke's lectionary year C, it's wisdom.

WTC 911 18 years 2019

• The still free world again remembered the 18-year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attack on NYC's World Trade Center. Let's never forget. My 18-years memorial design (simply updated from 2012 and from 2014) quotes Lamentations 3:

Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

• Background image by Michael Connor of Morguefile comes from before they'd finished the memorial; I still love the reflective graphic style I added.

God's Work Our Hands logo

• I didn't get any bloggable pictures for the September 17th God's Work, Our Hands Day when we assembled snack and hygiene kits in the church backyard to help lighten the burden of nearby transient (homeless, unhoused, unsheltered) street people that are among the approximately 50,000 who sleep rough nightly in this town. The LA NBC affiliate has been airing an exceptional semi-documentary, fully-human interest series called Streets of Shame.

• The choir sang contemporary composer David Haas' Christ Among Us, with text inspired by Teresa of Avila. I frequently remind everyone we're God's hands, feet, eyes, ears, voice, and the anthem took it further with thoughts, words, song, heart, touch, care, love, light, hope, strength, joy!

Michaelmas 2019

• The 29 September Feast of St Michael and All Angels / Michaelmas fell on a Sunday this year. The choir sang one of my all-time favorites, Handel's Hallelujah, Amen!

beauty truth love book cover

• Society of Friends friend Brent Bill is assembling a formal, official, launch team for his upcoming Beauty, Truth, Life, and Love; it already has an Amazon page!

• While you wait for the early November release, you can visit Brent's Amazon page so you can start to discover his other books. I even have a "Brent Bill" tag for this blog so why not check out my blog posts?

Kristin Taylor porch stories button