In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?



A Splendid Piece

A beautiful carol, from the 12th century no less, sung by Allison Krauss, and with Yo Yo Ma--gorgeous. I hope you all had a pleasant and abundant Christmas, not only in gifts, but in joy and health and food and hope! Just had to share it quickly; I hope you have a lovely week leading up to our New Year.

Merry Midwinter!

'It was a frosty morning. The air was crisp and cold and everything sparkled in the winter sunshine. The little mice hurrying along the path turned up their collars and blew on their paws in an effort to keep warm.

"Merry Midwinter," panted Dusty Dogwood, scurrying past Mr. Apple and the Toadflax children with a huge covered basket. Mr. Apple and the children were busy too, dragging great sprays of holly and trails of ivy and mistletoe towards the Old Oak Palace. When they arrived at the gates, they heaped all the branches on the ground, and Wilfred tugged at the bell.'. . .
"When the days are the shortest, the nights are the coldest,
The frost is the sharpest, the year is the oldest,
The sun is the weakest, the wind is the hardest,
The snow is the deepest, the skies are the darkest,
Then polish your whiskers and tidy your nest,
And dress in your riches and finest and best . . .
For winter has brought you the worst it can bring,
And now it will give you
The promise of SPRING! "

~Jill Barklem

Let the Nations Be Glad!

God has come to live with us. . .
Watch these beautiful fellow-lovers-of-Christ rejoice to see God's word in their own language.
This is missing a little of the right side, but I had to share it. If you click on the video, you can watch it on youtube.

A Festive Quote

"None of the Melendys ever forgot that vacation. In the memory of each, those weeks had a shine and glitter that would never grow dim.

For one thing, the weather was right. December, unlike some Decembers, seemed to have modeled itself on all the Christmas cards in the world. It snowed and snowed, and when it did not snow, the sun came out, and the fields sparkled as if they had been covered with granulated sugar. There was hardly any wind, so the trees kept their heavy epaulets of snow, and the iron deer in front of the house wore big white mob-caps on their antlers.

"I keep expecting the smoke to come out of the chimney and form the words, 'Season's Greetings' " said Rush."

~ Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze . . . Elizabeth Enright

Two Songs

Over at Katie's blog, she posted a beautiful song.
It is very moving. . . somehow giving the feel of vastness in this occasion.
God entering time. It is so big.
Below is another song I love for advent. Gotta love Chris.

Welcome to Our World

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You've been promised, we've been waiting
Welcome holy child
Welcome holy child

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long awaited, holy stranger
Make yourself at home,
Please make yourself at home

Bring your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
We're now breaking heaven's silence
Welcome to our world,
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorns
Tiny heart, whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around you
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect son of God
Perfect son of God
Welcome to our world

~Chris Rice

In December

Although entirely unknown to you, I have been attempting to upload these pictures for the last three days, without success. But thankfully, I didn't completely give up, so here they are, if a little late. Meanwhile, I have been busy and blessed as usual.
We have over a foot of snow, the temperature has been below zero, but is now in the comfortable twenties. We have also been visited by a cardinal recently. Strange as it seems, we very rarely see these beautiful birds. They seem to like towns and such, and don't cross the prairie to us very often. This one has been a delight to watch. Brighter than we remember them, and shyer than our other feeder-friends. They look especially striking beside the bossy blue-jays, of which we have several.
The other pictures are pretty random, but I enjoyed them and hope you will too~
~Lights for Him~

The ever faithful Mitford book beside my bed ~I'm reading the series again from beginning to end :) . . . actually, I did rotate this so that it was horizontal, but it uploaded like this anyway. . .

the happiest book, by Diane Goode.

He cannot deny himself

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13

“I tell you, if he were to shut you out, dear soul, whoever you may be, if you go to him, he would deny himself. He never did deny himself yet. Whenever a sinner comes to him he becomes his Savior. Whenever he meets a sick soul he acts as his Physician. . . . If you go to him you will find him at home and on the look-out for you. He will be more glad to receive you than you will be to be received. . . . As Matthew sat at the receipt of custom, waiting for the people to pay their dues, so does Christ sit at the receipt of sinners, waiting for them to mention their wants. He is watching for you. I tell you again that he cannot reject you. That would be to alter his whole character and un-Christ himself. To spurn a coming sinner would un-Jesus him and make him to be somebody else and not himself any longer. ‘He cannot deny himself.’ Go and try him; go and try him.”

C. H. Spurgeon, Treasury of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, 1950), III:862.

Read this on Ray Ortlund's blog

Advent . . .

.....I promise I didn't forget it. Despite the day's fullness, despite football victories and many other important things going on that day, I did not forget to thank Him.
.....Oh, the wonder-filled expectation that this day inaugurates! Beautiful traditions are begun in so many houses throughout the world. We are all remembering the coming of our Only Hope. The birth of the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace. How many of us actually pause our festive activity--setting up candles, making wreaths, opening paper doors--to truly marvel that He actually came. This birth (a seemingly normal event--babies are born every day) that happened more than twenty centuries ago, changed the course of life and history and eternity. If this Baby had not been born, heaven would be void of humans. If He had not grown healthily to manhood, we would be lost forever. If He had not died, we would not have life.
.....God becoming man, over two-thousand years ago, over six thousand miles away, changes our everyday lives in a way we ought never to forget. Any hope or life we might have, rests in Him alone. Join me in joyful memory, in eager expectation, in awe-struck gratitude. . .
.....And as you light the first light, open the first day, or just lift your eyes and notice this Season of Hope. . . have a blessed, blessed Advent.

Comfort, comfort ye my people,
Speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell her that her sins I cover,
And her warfare now is over.

Yea, her sins our God will pardon,
Blotting out each dark misdeed;
All that well deserved his anger
He no more will see or heed.
She hath suffered many a day
Now her griefs have passed away;
God will change her pining sadness
Into ever-springing gladness.

For the herald's voice is crying
In the desert far and near
Bidding all men to repentance,
Since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
Let the valleys rise to meet him,
And the hills bow down to greet him

Make ye straight what long was crooked
Make the rougher places plain;
Let your hearts be true and humble,
As befits his holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord
Now o'er earth is shed abroad;
And all flesh shall see the token
That his word is never broken
~Johannes Olearius, 1671