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

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Brian J Dixon :: Start with Your People

Start with Your People by Brian Dixon book cover
Start with Your People: The Daily Decision that Changes Everything by Brian J Dixon on Amazon

Like the composer author Brian Dixon described as a guy who'd done everything you're supposed to do to get noticed so you'd get opportunities you prepared for and couldn't be truly alive without, I've worked all the traditional options correctly and compulsively, with close to no return. I've even done it knowing my own light shines brightest when I help other people discover and develop their gifts, therefore trusting God would respond to my awareness and to the world's needs.

But first, about Start with Your People book. Did you know your people include "everyone you interact with, not just your family, friends, and coworkers"? That's every single person. Good beginning. However, you still need your own tribe, which often means "asking for help. No one succeeds on their own. Everyone has a team. ... When you're inside the bottle, it's impossible to read the label. That's why we need other people. ... Allow these people to speak into your life and be honest with you." (page 129, launch team pdf book version)

Again, that validated what I've known almost forever, but that's where the book title and concept becomes powerful. You start with the people by serving them, by placing them first, as Jesus would.

When my social and professional networks both crashed, I knew I needed to rebuild, but that's the subject of several earlier blogs and not a topic for today. Brian includes a dozen examples of people who've reclaimed their dreams after failure or brought their dreams to life for the first time ever. If they could do it, so can you. Me, too!

Although Brian clearly is a highly committed Christian – follower of The Way of Jesus, as the early church would say – and Start with Your People is firmly grounded in service, you would not need to be Christian, religious, or even acknowledge some kind of spirit of life in order to benefit and change from reading the book, from asking, "What are you working through?" and – if that's your jam – doing the exercises at the end of the book.

Brian J Dixon's Start with Your People offers a practical, life-giving way to make your own particular gifts, passions, and skills matter to the world as you engage in community building that validates everyone's worth. Like very very many people these days, I found myself suddenly in the gig economy (sometimes ironically called the precariat), trying to find a way in a world where internet expansion and a major financial recession had moved a ton of work to third world countries where the cost of living is minuscule compared to North America and Western Europe. Still, Brian's ideas give me hope for a future when again I'll wake up excited about my work for that day. BTW, distinct and discrete projects never have stopped exciting me; I'm waiting for that next level that will happen because Brian Dixon's experience and insight has lit a new fire for me!

Notice of Material Connection: As a member of the launch team, I received a free pre-publication copy with no requirement or expectation I'd write a positive review. As always, the opinions expressed are mine alone.

my Amazon review: Validating, Igniting, Practical!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Porch Story :: Summer 2019

porch stories icon 2019

spring 2019 summary header image

• Porch Stories host Kristin writes about an August that sounds almost enviable.

• With August concluding meteorological summer, Emily P Freeman hosts her quarterly linkup.

June

• Day Camp in the San Fernando Valley easily was the high point of June, possibly of the summer so far. Check out pictures here!

July

• Reading and reviewing I See You by Terence Lester qualifies as a highlight of this year.

• For the first month in a long time, I didn't blog about July—no interesting outing or activities or pictures, but I did accomplish the amazement of retrieving my belongings, all of those everythings, out of South Central where they'd spent four years in storage. Despite downsizing and donating a lot of mostly furniture along with some other effects before leaving Previous City, like many or most, I couldn't Marie Kondo as thoroughly as might have been ideal. Almost everyone knows about items that don't necessarily occupy a whole lot of space, items you have three or four or more of that are similar but deciding which one to hang onto is too major at the moment, etc.

August

• No August pictures at this time, though I may add a few later. Continuing the sorting and donating theme because most of it has happened this month, everyone knows about donation regrets that frequently happen because sorting and unloading generates such an emotional high... Chances are I'll schedule a few more pickups (with Vietnam Vets of America) and waiting until I better could assess what to keep and what not has been freeing and satisfying. Due to different box sizes ranging from standard small through medium to quite a few large, blogging a number doesn't say much, but twenty five (25) is the current count.

Watch This Space!

1. For a review of another launch team book, Start With Your People, about gathering your tribe and being a supporter;

2. For a serious blog about Previous City friend Markus Watson's fabulous Spirit Life and Leadership podcast. It's not only for pastors, teachers, deacons, elders, and seminary types (professors and students). It's for everyone because if we are alive, we are spiritual so we have a spiritual life!

Emily P Freeman Spring 2019

Kristin Taylor Porch Stories button