Friday, September 24, 2021

Five Minute Friday • Care

Five Minute Friday Word is very near you Deuteronomy 30:14
Five Minute Friday :: Care Linkup

So… my illustration has the gerund caring because I love its sense of ongoing care that never quits.
Deuteronomy 30:14 "The word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you can do it."

Better translation: "The word is very near you in your mouth and in your heart—and you will do it!" Deuteronomy 30:14

"You will do it" carries a double meaning of charge and promise; no serious worries because the Spirit of Life will be there with you and for you.

God gave Moses' people Ten Words or Commandments amidst their tedious trek to the place God first promised Abraham. I can hear God's nascent nation Israel joyfully announcing, "We will do all the words God has spoken!" To do the words of the commands means to claim humanity's created in God's image identity of love, mercy, and justice for our neighbors. With its constant concern for caring action on the other's behalf, Deuteronomy (that together with Exodus records the actual decalogue or ten words) later on includes the statement I illustrated and that the Apostle Paul famously quotes in Romans 10:8.

The word is very near you in your mouth and in your heart—and you will do it!

We will do the word because that word of life is so close to us. You may know heart in Hebrew biology is where will, intention, and determination dwell. Our hearts also carry emotion and creativity, but more than anything if it starts in our hearts, it will end in our interactions.

This weekend on my Lectionary Project blog where I write each week about one of the scripture readings, I'll reflect on James' epistle. I hadn't been very familiar with the book, but as I read and studied, it became clear the entire letter is about the relationships of individuals in community and the community's call to care for each member. It's mutual and it's reciprocal. James the author (who probably wasn't Jesus' disciple James Zebedee, who may have been Jesus' brother James, or a different James/Jacob may have written it) describes people who rock divine holiness in their common life and in their individual lives because like Jesus, they embody love, justice, mercy, and caring.

The COVID19 pandemic continues worldwide; at least half the world has no access to vaccines yet. How about those of us who have no medical or other contraindication to getting jabbed? Have we cared enough for each other and cared sufficiently for our own well-being to get that shot? Granted some face masks are less comfortable than others, and even N95 masks don't create a perfect barrier, but every type helps protect both parties. So are you continuing to mask? Doing the word of life means taking care of each other.

What else about James? His call to pray in almost every setting and situation!
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Five Minute Friday Care
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Friday, September 17, 2021

Five Minute Friday • Purpose

LOs Angeles Food Bank truck Apple side
Five Minute Friday :: Purpose linkup

• The angel of the Lord touched Elijah and said, "Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you." 1 Kings 19:7

• Los Angeles Regional Food Bank • Fighting Hunger. Giving Hope.


purpose, end, cause, intention, goal…

What's more basic that food? Well, water is, but food needs come before shelter and even before community. Sometimes "meaning and purpose keep you sane" feels like a first world, born of privilege rant, but it's a fact for anyone from anywhere. You don't need to venture far to see how contributing and making a difference changes an individual's sense of self and sense of health. And what could be more purpose-filled than providing bodily nutrition, maybe especially for those who at this juncture find it hard to come by?

In this county that's the largest in the country, may be the most linguistically and culturally diverse in history, and that's particularly COVID-challenged due to many factors (including a high percentage of immigrants and ethnic minorities), the school system recently started free breakfast and free lunch for all students to be sure everyone got fuel for their bodies and their brains.

Most Mondays I work at one of the local distribution sites for the regional food bank. I've long had a "thing" for all kinds of food ministries, especially the kitchen to plate to consumer aspect, and I'd love to blog more about it all in the near future. For now? It's a privilege to know the journey will be a little lighter and easier for a few of my neighbors because #WeFeedLA.

LA Food Bank online
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Friday, September 10, 2021

911 • Twenty Years

911 twenty years
911 2001 • 20 years • 911 2021

Yet my soul, keep thou silence unto God: for mine hope is in him. Psalm 62:5

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Five Minute Friday • Rescue

Promised Land Deuteronomy 28:2-3
Five Minute Fridays

It's been called a flash mob! Most Thursdays Kate our host publishes a one word prompt with a small image and then dozens to a couple hundred write to the prompt. The linkup party stays open seven days—until the next Thursday! If you haven't played yet, we'd love you to join us.

Five Minute Friday Rescue Linkup
Anamnesis from Eucharistic Prayer

You are indeed holy, O God, the fountain of all holiness;
you bring light from darkness, life from death, speech from silence.

We worship you for our lives and for the world you give us.
We thank you for the new world which will come
and for the love that will rule all in all.

We praise you for the grace shown to Israel, your chosen,
the people of your promise:
the rescue from Egypt,
the gift of the promised land,
the memory of the ancestors,
the homecoming from exile,
and the prophets' words that will not be in vain.

With One Voice, ©1995 AugsburgFortress

Taking Five…

"If you obey the Lord your God, blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field." Deuteronomy 28:2-3

"…the rescue from Egypt, the gift of the promised land…"

The rescue from slavery, liberation from empire with its incessant production quotas and deadly objectification of everything. From bondage into freedom, and then? The grace-filled gift of the commands to help us stay free. After they left Egypt, the history of Israel became the story of their journey toward a land where they could settle, obey, live, farm, and thrive—a quest and a hope for flowing rivers and boundless goodness from the ground.

After they crossed the river Into Canaan, Israel would keep covenant with the God who rescued them and with each other by regarding their neighbors' needs as important as their own. They no longer depended on what they could eke out of the dregs of a system that disproportionately rewarded those who already had a lot and offered almost nothing to anyone who didn't. They didn't even depend any more on God's provision of manna and quail from the sky, water from the rock. As a sign of trusting freedom they'd keep Sabbath: a ceasing from striving, from work, from quotas.

You may know scripture has two versions of the Ten Words or Commandments of the Sinai Covenant? The one in Deuteronomy says we keep Shabbat because God freed us from slavery. In my featured verse from Deuteronomy, the land of promise would yield, the city would flourish if the people obeyed.

I opened this blog with the remembrance or anamnesis from a late twentieth-century Eucharistic prayer. Like the blessing and invocation over baptismal water, the anamnesis in a service of holy communion brings all God's people together to remember the past, celebrate this now, and anticipate the new world that will be when love rules all in all. We tell the salvation story in order to make it part of our own stories. We remember and retell the story so (just maybe) we won't need to be rescued again?

That's all for this time.
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Five Minute Friday Rescue by the water
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Friday, September 03, 2021

Five Minute Friday • City

Los Angeles River at Elysian Park
• Alongside the Los Angeles River that Named the City •

Five Minute Friday – City Linkup
Every so often I remind myself FMF is a writing challenge and not a photographic or artistic one. I have almost countless city pictures I could have used for my header, but I claimed a little self-control and picked just one. Thanks to our host Kate for beautifully illustrating her trip to Chicago.
Taking Five

City is a custom-designed prompt especially for me—you even could call it bespoke. Forever I've been about the city and cities. From my sense of call as a little kid to beautify the city, through living in different styles of urban neighborhoods and in four different major US cities as an adult, through minoring in Urban Studies only because the school at the time didn't offer an Urban Studies major, to everything I pursued being more experience and more skills for urban ministry or other possible urban involvements.

And on to Citysafari being my "second line" design entity. What else? Partial list: substitute teaching in the Boston Public Schools; three days a week for a few months with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Communities and Development. Four years as an urban mission (re)developer.

Why? Cultures, cuisines, languages, ethnicities, sartorial styles, and futures meet, meld and sometimes fuse in an urban context. Most cities are built along a river, which even before anyone imagined traveling by air allowed people and cargo to travel from one continent to another. And then? Cultures, cuisines, languages, ethnicities, sartorial styles, and futures can meet, meld and sometimes fuse, because of everything cities are. Everything cities do.

End of Five
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Five Minute Friday Chicago
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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

August and Summer 2021

Summer 2021

• June summary [Mostly] Flowers in Los Angeles

• July synopsis Here There Everywhere Around Town

Lectionary Project for August

Dominguez channel LA River gate 2021

• Beautiful gate to the Dominguez Hills Channel of Los Angeles River in Gardena

Restaurant description on window

• I love the variety and layout of the writing on this window for the Natural World Market Café.

August 22 Full Blue Moon 2021

• The Full Sturgeon Moon on 22 August was a Blue Moon. I thought blue moon was a second full moon in a calendar month (it is, isn't it?); it also can be the third full moon in a season containing four full moons (three is usual).

Stacked Pallets Summer 2021

• Stacked pallets are such cool arrangements! This is the best picture of the ones I captured this month.

Outdoors Leafy Greens 2021

• Leafy greens in the outdoor dining area of Natural World Market and Café. I still haven't Dined Inside a sit-down restaurant yet.

Recall ballot and sticker 2021

• A bunch of COVIDIOTS and MAGAS are trying to recall California's blue governor. Everyone got a vote by mail ballot; though I'd much rather vote in person, I'll mail-in this time. 40+ candidates took up both sides of the ballot! How thoughtful for them to provide an "I Voted" sticker. Right?!

Living Local 2021

• Living Local, Still.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Five Minute Friday :: Desperate

Advent hope candle
Five Minute Friday :: Desperate linkup

In Spanish, esperar and its cognates mean hope, wait, and expect. The English "desperate" comes from the same root, so yeah, de-spero equals without hope, or de-hoped. No more hope or wait or expect.

We often talk about God's passionate love for all creation, about God's charge for all of us to love the same way Jesus of Nazareth – the Christ of God – shows us. In the power of the life-bestowing Holy Spirit of Pentecost, we do what we can to enact justice for all. Most of us attempt to show others the kind of merciful consideration and forgiveness we want for ourselves. But more than love, more than justice, more than mercy, Christianity is about hope. We actually expect newness and we wait for resurrection because Easter has erased death. Easter has erased despair!

No longer desperate, we hope. We wait. We expect. We trust. Because we know!

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Illustration notes: I designed my header "HOPE" candle during Advent 2019 for the cover of our Lessons & Carols worship folder. With the world over a year and a half into Covid-tide, Advent 2019 feels long ago and far away. I love how the image our FMF host Kate provided also is abloom with flowers. Planting, waiting, hoping, and harvesting is such an icon, such an action of non-desperation!
five minuter friday desperate flowers
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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Five Minute Friday • Teach

suntreeriver design yard chair
Five Minute Friday :: Teach linkup

A decade ago on facebook mini-polls trended for a while. One of mine asked what little kid me wanted to be when I got older. Choices were artist, teacher, famous, and designer. Similarities between artist and designer should have clued people – although I do some fine art, I usually identify as an artist-designer – but evidently not. Most people guessed teacher or artist. Only Mike Lewis of MIchael David Lewis Music correctly guessed famous, but he may have been the only respondent I knew in real life. Mike didn't need to guess. Mike knew.

Famous hasn't happened (yet!), but teacher has. I'm very greedy and I want to learn as much as possible from everyone and in every situation. Of course… I don't seriously crave a lot of life going down with circumstances sufficiently dire they only become a "learning experience." I love to teach because When you teach others, you teach yourself, per violinist Itzhak Perlman.

What do I like to teach? Everything I know something about. Art and design; bible and theology; music— especially keyboards. How about you? Would you rather be the teacher or the learner? If your answer is teacher, you know you're both.

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A big "Thank You" again to FMF host Kate for the wonderful cable knit and yarn heart button.
give minute friday teach knitting sweater or scarf with heart
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Saturday, August 07, 2021

Five Minute Friday • From

five minute friday from heaven bread of life

Five Minute Friday Linkup • From

Many churches worldwide follow the Revised Common Lectionary for their Sunday scripture readings. This year we get five Sundays in a row of John 6; this year I'm blogging five Sundays of John 6 on my Urban Wilderness Lectionary Project blog.

John 6:32-42

32Then Jesus said to them, "Amen, Amen, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34They said to him, "Lord, give us this bread evermore."

35Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. … 38for I have come down from heaven…"

42And the religious authorities said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?"

Writing for five

Bread from heaven gives life to the world. I am the bread of life… from heaven. John begins his gospel account with, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

The synagogue leaders were confused because they knew Jesus as a local guy, son of Mary and Joseph. They were right! Like them, we know Jesus born in Bethlehem – Little Town of House of Bread – came from the earth, his body made of creation's stuff—just like ours. Yet Jesus is from heaven. How about us?

Every one of us comes from a certain place on the map: born one place, maybe we currently live in a different one. We've been born of particular parents, and in some cases, adopted by different ones. Many of us have been nomadic enough to have more than one reply to "where are you from?"—depth and complexity of anyone's answer all depends. My casual one is "Los Angeles," but I've been known to backtrack with "I'm from San Diego," or go wayback to my geographical origins on Mobile Bay. Like Jesus, we're from earth; like Jesus, we're from heaven, too, as baptized we breathe the Spirit of the Divine.

"From heaven" means knowing justice, love, mercy, and grace. "From earth?" Solid (sometimes shifting?) ground underfoot, sun in our face, feasts of food and friends … sometimes a deluge of hunger, loneliness, thirst, and want.

When heaven and earth meet in Jesus, in each of us…?

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Five Minute Friday From clothespins
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Saturday, July 31, 2021

July 2021 • Here There Everywhere

July 2021 blog header with tiles and berries

• Header collage of fresh berries and North Hollywood retro tiles.

Lectionary Project for July; I still need to update and republish July 10th (with a different name).

July 4th Rose  in Gardena

• Fourth of July Sunday Roses from St John's Gardena

North Hollywood Train Depot Front

• The revitalized North Hollywood Lankershim Train Depot now houses a Groundwork Coffee

Here's the Groundwork Coffee NoHo Page

North Hollywood Lankershim Depot Side

• Sideview of the Lankershim Southern Pacific Train Depot

Lankershim tile in NoHo Subway Station

• Most Los Angeles Metro Subway stations have a unique style; North Hollywood is very mid-[twentieth]century. Here's only one of my many pics (recently and over the years) of NoHo tiles; this is one of the Lankershim farm. Isaac Lankershim was Isaac Van Nuys' Father-in-Law.

COVID compliant sign

• COVID protocols compliance sign at the Camp Central site—I was the main kitchen person. They gave me the menu and told me I'd make it happen. A really great week!

Camp Central Tote Bag

• "Life is Better at Camp Central" tote bag

Garden Cow

• Van Nuys Garden Cow

Garden Hen

• Van Nuys Garden Hen

Garden Peacock

• Van Nuys Garden Peacock

Camp Central Art Activity

• Campers had artistic craft and musical activities that included making their own masks. Being in the kitchen most of the time, I didn't get many pictures.

Subway Restaurant interior

• Except for the few weeks last spring the nearby Subway totally closed, I've been getting Subway takeaway—even after they opened up for indoor dining. Camp Central week included a COVID milestone: lunch inside the restaurant.

Burger- Hotdog fire pit

• Supper-Dinner-Evening Meal on the last day of camp was burgers and hotdogs. How do you like the firepit?

Camp Central Shirt

• Staff and campers all got "Life is Better at Camp Central" shirts on the last day.

Pioneer Day 2021

• My almost-annual design for Utah's National Holiday, Pioneer Day, also known as Pie and Beer Day: Days of '47 because This Is The Place

Leafy Restaurant Skylight

• A second COVID milestone! Here's the leafy skylight at the restaurant where J treated me to Al Fresco lunch at (but not inside) the restaurant. We'd enjoyed this mostly vegan establishment before COVID.

Restaurant Greenery tall plant

• Garden greenery tall plant from the restaurant

Lunch Table

• Our lunch table – they had 6 or 8 on the Al Fresco patio, though some braved their meal inside.

Vegan Lunch Bowl

• Such a delicious lunch bowl


• Succulent One from Van Nuys


• Succulent Two from Van Nuys

Living Local 2021
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