summer solstice!


Friday, January 25, 2008

winter friday 5

from Singing Owl—I love this one!

snowy tree dry brushSinging Owl posted a pic looking out a window from where she currently lives; my "snowy tree" is one of the series of Christmas trees I put out on my porch after Christmas when I lived in the snowland of High Desert City.

1. According to channel 10, it was about 45° F. around 5:15 in Paradise this morning, but I don't have an outside thermometer so regarding Where I Live that's approximate.

2. Do I love snow or hate snow? It totally depends. Snow falling out of the sky already in mini-snowball form accurately predicts slush, layers of ice, urban corn and impossibly hazardous driving, so I don't care for that at all. But powder slowly drifting earthward as it gathers itself into a lovely soft though chilly to the touch blanket can be a true delight, especially since that variety of snow goes along with drier climates, as in "The Greatest Snow on Earth!" among others.

3. About winter here in Paradise, technically we're in the Sonoran desert region and not far from the Mexican border, so you can tell a little about the generic climate, though it's not quite the stereotypically desert I visit in Arizona. The Rainy Season officially begins in October (I think...I'd better check that out), and right here, a couple miles from the beach, most days hover around 60 F. or so. Cool enough to wear sweaters and light-to-medium weight jackets.

4. Do I like winter sports? Not technically—NBA season can be fun, but I think Singing Owl probably means skiing, hockey, sledding, ice skating... My good story is about being a good winter sport by driving the youth group to the ski resort more than once and then sitting in the lodge while the kids enjoyed themselves trying to navigate the slopes.

5. Technically summer is my favorite season because I love the long days, predictably warm weather, occasional cooling rain, barbecues, beaches and the feeling of the fullness of hope in the air.

bonus: Share a favorite winter pick-me-up. A recipe, an activity, or whatever. This may not quite qualify as "activity," but I've learned to appreciate the subterranean, near-silent growth that happens during the colder seasons, closely parallel to the vast amount of life underneath the immediately apparent top layer of the desert. I'll say more about that when I begin blogging for our next book discussion.

Colossians 1:17 - new!!!

Oh, I so love the cosmic Christ of Colossians, and here's a newly enhanced version of one of my all-time favorite texts and mega-fave graphics...

Colossians 1:17

Thursday, January 24, 2008

poetry party 11: what I've found

invitation to poetry icon

tell us what you've found...Christine explains,
at Hood CanalThe photo was taken at my hermitage on the Hood Canal. Whenever I take the ferry out there I am reminded of Jane Siberry's lyrics "Will you sail cross the water and tell us what you found" and so I thought today I'd make that the loose subject of today's poetry prompt.

loose subject—indeed it is, though still I'll pick up on the lovely boat on the lake and add an image of my own.

I love water imagery, and have a persistent habit of connecting water to baptism. I'll begin by paraphrasing from a couple of my own blogs; the first is from a post I did way back in August 2002, shortly after I birthed desert spirit's fire, that today I pretty much reserve for my more formal theology: Jacob/Israel; and more recently, River on Fire! Both times I included a passage from one of my all-time favorite songs:

"The Ark," from Gerry Rafferty's City to City, (1978)
See, the dark night has come down on us,
The world is living in its dream,
But now we know that we can wake up from this sleep,
And set out on the journey…
We'll take the road that leads down to the waterside…
We'll meet out on the water,
Where all strangers are known
The truth is there to set you free...
River so often in Scripture is boundary, border or barrier – for Israel, the Jordan was all three, as it was for Jesus, as it is for us...We baptize within the context of the gathered community, which represents the whole People of God in every time and every place; as the waters of the baptismal river embrace us, the separations, distinctions and distractions that once were barriers become the boundary and border of our new life together. Baptism's waters carry us home to a place, an attitude and a condition of safety and embrace, where "I" and "me" become we and us. Later on I wrote, "I've been thinking so much about the fire of the Presence of God we find throughout scripture, and in our lives today. Pentecostal fire?" In my sermon on Advent 3, 2006 I challenged, "Today I'm asking you if the waters of baptism quench the Holy Spirit's Pentecostal fires? Think about it!" sea cools glowing edges

Although each of us *should* discover a physical, emotional and total place of belonging anywhere we find the people of God, that theory often doesn't play out in reality; for too long I've been dismayed and disappointed that my expectation I'd find community and identity hasn't been happening, but now back to the party! Christine asked what we've found out on the water; forever I've been a visual person, and in the quiet tranquility of Christine's photograph I see assurance I'll find stuff of life and stuff for giving life that will settle my heart, renew my body and rebirth my soul, while my own intensely colored and energized "sea cools" reminds me of the Holy Spirit's pervasive, irresistible, oftentimes healing and frequently re-forming fire that water cannot quench or destroy. God baptizes us with water, with spirit and with fire, all of which freely interplay, while paradoxically and beyond human logic together bestow life to us and prepare us to be God's life-giving, life-sustaining presence in the world. Amen? Amen!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

from OnlyMeSaved

I've indicated my choices this time around in bold; check out customizable letter of concern from OnlyMeSaved - Demo: Letter to a Friend

Dear Neighbor,

When I first met you, I thought you were a nice person and was not too concerned that you were a flower child. In fact, you stimulated my interest in your beliefs. I began looking into your belief system, and was soon shocked to find that you believe in multilevel marketing and that you reject plain Bible truth such as that found in Oprah 6:6:6. [I also really like the Arnold 13:22 and Atkins 3:1 options.] Further, I was stunned to find that a seemingly intelligent person could possibly believe in non-Biblical absurdities such as motivational workshops or, worse still, that you could believe in Windows 95. Anyone that adheres to such heresies is obviously not an authentic candidate. In fact, I must warn you - in the spirit of pure love - that you are toast and as such, you cannot escape auditing.

I pray that you will return to the Pepsi generation. There is still hope for you.

Just do it,
My name goes here

Saturday, January 12, 2008

sea dreams among the mesquite

road with cattle right road center with cattle

I posted a basic and perfunctory Noel 2007 reflection over on an inactive blog, but about a third of the way into January I have a really good one for today! For starters, during my recent visit to Tucson, the ride toward the international border as we drove out to Rio Rico-Rich River was amazing! Remember, this is the Sonoran desert with its exceptional biodiversity that absolutely for sure does not include coastal, shoreside, seashore, seaside or beach habitat. I love the title I gave this post—back in my cultural anthropology classes, the professor frequently commented on people stereotyping to such a degree they talked about customs, etc. "among the whomever whatever whichever" culture in question, but today I truly am writing about things I witnessed amidst desert plants like the (yes, stereotypical, usual) mesquite and similar. The fun thing was the street names that included nautical language like océano, mar, ballena, mariscos, embarcadero, muelle, playa, langosta, huracán, agua linda, agua salada, (plus Finlandia and Dinamarca).

cattle crossing cattle in the mesquite

I've blogged and posted some pictures from the seafaring town of Harwich, Massachusetts and about Salem, Massachusetts―we'd drive up the shore from Boston to Salem when we lived in Boston and later up the Shore to Marblehead, Ipswich and Gloucester when we lived in Salem, but in those cases you'd expect the vocabulary to align with the land- and seascape, which it sometimes did, though lots of streets and roads and churches and buildings got named after historical people or happenings.

On our exodus out of Rio Rico, we enjoyed cattle crossing―javalina, too, but didn't get any pics of the javvies. Given the considerable size of the bovine population cohort, we were able to get some great cattle pics; you can see four of the best right here!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

poetry party 10

invitation to poetry icon

poetry party 10: welcoming this new year

Christine's words:Christine - BC fog
The photo was taken in Squamish, British Columbia on a foggy December day. I love fog because of its mystery, not knowing what is being cloaked in its mist. The New Year offers us new possibilities we may have no inkling of just yet, but we are invited to fly, our beating hearts and beating wings carrying us forward into the unknown. What does the new year evoke for you?
first, memories:

early morning summer fog crawls along Harwich, Pleasant Bay
later creeps inland from Salem Willowsafternoon fog
surprisingly after a sunny morning
quickly Prospects up from Windansea—
on that same Saturday afternoon I pictured afternoon fog...

now, this new year 2008:

started in another cloud of apparently obliterated expectations
but next the Spirit remembered me into trusting
God who makes everything new
journeys alongside us
and surprises us with resurrection
often emerging through foggy haze
what does this year 2008 mean for me, for us?
new life despite and because of shattered pasts?
oh, yes! of this I am so very, very sure!

Friday, January 04, 2008


from Sally and RevGalBlogPals, new year resolutions friday 5

1. Do you make New Year resolutions?

laid out some plans and aspirations for 2008. but that doesn't quite answer Sally, so i'll say technically i really don't and never really have (made new year's resolutions). however, i like being aware of some kind of demarcations and distinctions between that old year and this new one.

2. Is this something you take seriously, or is it a bit of fun?

one of the reasons i don't often resolve much for any new year is that i tend to take everything seriously, but for fun i enjoy eating traditional new year's food (which i didn't do for 2008, since i was out of town), especially pickled herring and hoppin' john.

3. Share one goal for 2008.

constantly living 'as if'—always, in every day and way, to practice resurrection, to quote Wendell Berry, and as Sheryl Crow sings, "these are the days when anything goes—every day is a winding (yet open!) road..."

4. Money is no barrier, share one wild/ impossible dream for 2008

globally wild: obliterate world hunger

more home frontally wild: better all-over care for returning and especially disabled military veterans

5. Someone wants to publish a story of your year in 2008, what will the title of that book be?

given that i expect 2008 to be far better than 2007, it'll be called practicing resurrection along life's winding road (kind of dumb, i know, but it's already 8:15 am)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

leah sophia: recipe

thanks and happy 2008 to purpletologically speaking

The Recipe For leah sophia

3 parts Daring
2 parts Savvy
1 part Superiority
Splash of Grace


recipe for desert spirit

thanks and happy 2008 to purpletologically speaking
The Recipe For desert spirit

3 parts Giddiness
2 parts Kindness
1 part Flair
Splash of Charisma

Sip slowly on the beach