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?



He is Risen Indeed!

I always love the setting of an elegant table ~ there is so much pleasure in making it lovely

Early sun through waiting glass

I love Katie's handwriting . . .

And of course the food begins to come~

It was entirely delicious--ham, potatoes, beans, everything

Happy chatter -- He is not here, but is risen!

These daffodils make me so happy! Thank you friends!

This is the cheesecake I made ~  Leah made a lovely dessert as well, but my pictures didn't turn out :)
This is Katie's gorgeous almond-flour cake
 For several hours of the afternoon, most of us were enjoying the sunshine of the park.  We played basketball for a very long time--several games--and got properly worn out before coming back inside to help put supper on.

 There were scrumptious left-overs from the noon-meal, plus deviled eggs, cheese, pickles, and olives.

Auntie Leah & little Greta
After dishes, we played instruments and air-soft guns until it was too dark outside, and then watched Jeeves and Wooster.
"Tomorrow's never promised, but it is we swear
Think we holding our own, just a fist full of air
God has never been obligated to give us life
If we fought for our rights, we be in hell tonight
Mere sinners own nothing but a fierce hand
We never loved him we pushed away his pierced hands
I rejected his love, grace, kindness, and mercy
Dying of thirst, yet, willing to die thirsty
Eternally worthy, how could I live for less?
Patiently you turn my heart away from selfishness
I volunteer for your sanctifying surgery
I know the spirits purging me of everything that's hurting me
Remove the veil from my darkened eyes
So now every morning I open Your Word and see the Son (Sun) rise
I hope in nothin', boast in nothin', only in your sufferin'
I live to show your glory, dyin' to tell your story . . . "

He is Risen!

Photo by Will
"Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation. Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back.

He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending; and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.

Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said with a merry heart, “He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.” Then he stood still a while, to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked, therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down his cheeks. Now as he stood looking and weeping, behold, three Shining Ones came to him, and saluted him with, “Peace be to thee.” So the first said to him, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” the second stripped him of his rags, and clothed him with change of raiment,  the third also set a mark on his forehead, and gave him a roll with a seal upon it, which he bid him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the celestial gate: so they went their way. Then Christian gave three leaps for joy, and went on singing,

'Thus far did I come laden with my sin,
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,
Till I came hither. What a place is this!
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?
Blest cross! blest sepulchre! blest rather be
The Man that there was put to shame for me!' "


Death is Swallowed Up in Victory

Opening the door to dine with Him
Traveling to earth to let us in
Laying down His glory crown of old
Setting up the wedding feast foretold

Oh, we can’t contain our love
We turn it up loud
We love you, Jesus
For so many reasons
For death and life and freedom
Even now we love You
We love you Jesus
In and out of seasons
In valleys and on top of mountains
Even now can we sing

What manner of love is this that you would say
Your sin is mine - I'll take it to the grave (then rising)
Death oh death, where is your sting today?
Death is swallowed up in victory

Oh, we can’t contain our love
We turn it up loud
We love you, Jesus
For so many reasons
For death and life and freedom
Even now we love You
We love you Jesus
In and out of seasons
In valleys and on top of mountains
Even now can we sing

We love You, Jesus! . . .

Shane and Shane

The Veil is Torn

"But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed."
--Isaiah 53

"Not one of his bones will be broken."
--Psalm 34

"They will look on him whom they pierced."
--Zacheriah 12

R.C. Sproul Jr.
Repentance is not sorrow that He suffered but shame that I scourged Him, mocked Him, beat Him, spat on Him, crucified Him. He knew it was me.

" 'Twas I Lord Jesus, I it was denied you
I crucified You."

His death was so very real, and yet I cannot really fathom the sorrow of it, because I have never had to live a minute believing Christ was dead.
I can't imagine what it would be like to think that that was the end . . . but it was only the beginning.

“But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief.”
“He was crushed for our iniquities.” 

"Your death of anguish and Your bitter passion
For my salvation"

There is no hope but in that cruel death.  And so the cross is beautiful to those who know the One who suffered there.

Oh death where is your sting?

Draw Near through Christ

In Eden’s bliss we walked with God
Unhindered by the curse.
Yet we rebelled and were expelled—
Estranged; alone; perverse.
Two mighty cherubs barred the path
To Eden’s holy place;
No more could men, now stained by sin,
Behold our Maker’s face.

Beneath the Law we sought the Lord
Through sacrifice and priest.
One time each year one man, in fear,
Sought God with blood of beast.
Still mighty cherubs blocked the way
So sinners could not pass—
In curtain sewn, on golden throne,
They stopped the rebel fast.

Then Christ appeared to clear the way
To God for sinful man;
Fulfilled the Law without a flaw—
Our Temple, Priest, and Lamb.
Astounded cherubs stepped aside;
Each hid his flaming sword.
With nail and thorn the Veil was torn;
Draw near through Christ the Lord!

In Jesus’ name we boldly come
Before the throne of grace.
With empty hand, in Christ we stand
To seek Almighty’s face
Till saints and cherubs join in awe
Around the Savior’s throne.
With one great voice we will rejoice:
“All praise to Christ alone!”

Not my deserving.

Ah, holy Jesus, how have you offended
That mortal judgement has on you descended?
By foes derided, by your own rejected,
O most afflicted!

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon you?
It is my treason, Lord that has undone you.
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied you;
I crucified you.

For me, kind Jesus, was your incarnation
Your mortal sorrow, and your life's oblation,
Your death of anguish and your bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Therefore, dear Jesus, since I cannot pay you,
I do adore you, and will ever pray you,
Think on your pity, and your love unswerving,
Not my deserving.

My Song is Love Unknown

My song is love unknown,
My Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.

They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He to suffering goes,
That He His foes from thence might free.

In life, no house, no home
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav’n was His home;
But mine the tomb wherein He lay.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.

What a Savior!

Man of Sorrows! what a name
for the Son of God, who came
ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
in my place condemned he stood;
sealed my pardon with his blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
spotless Lamb of God was he;
full atonement can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was he to die;
"It is finished!" was his cry;
now in heaven exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When he comes, our glorious King,
all his ransomed home to bring,
then anew this song we'll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Before the Throne

Before the throne of God above I have a strong and perfect plea,
A great high Priest whose Name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me,
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb,
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace.
One with Himself, I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God!

One with Himself, I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God!

Yesterday in the Garret

Afternoon tea is a regular event at our house -- real English tea you understand, consisting not exclusively of beverage.  And so I pour myself a steaming cupful before I climb the stairs.  The rain is pattering this afternoon, lending especial pleasure to indoor activities. Today we've been enjoying classical radio, and made sure to find time for The Fellowship of the Ring -- two delicious chapters: A short cut to mushrooms, and A conspiracy unmasked.  Oh, I love them!  I probably say that every other chapter is my favorite, and truly each character has become an old friend.

hot black tea with honey

But now I make my way to a door in the back of my bedroom.  Opening it reveals a flight of board steps worn grey over the years, and weights on ropes.  I switch on some lights, and as I pull the weights down to the floor, I see the light through the opening door above me.  I climb these steps too, writing materials and tea in hand.

A real attic is a delightful thing to have, and a thing I had never experienced before we moved to this house.  Especially to those who have for many years had The Magician's Nephew and Little Women as companions and inspiration, an attic provides much more than the sum of its parts.  A hideout of any sort you please; dim and still and old.  Many delightful adventures and beloved stories have begun in places like this.  With rain pattering now on the sloping roof above me, the cars sweeping by on the wet pavement might be any poetic sound my imagination suggests.  Enchanting birdsong comes faintly through the vent and the sweet smell of beeswax wafts from the candle by which I write.

Here, where I have set up a writing desk, hung curtains on strings, and strung lights from rafters, I sit, think, write.  It is a timeless place somehow.  With little electric light or modern conveniences, thoughts can travel far -- to distant lands, over many years past.  This could be anywhere -- Great-uncle Merry's attic, Professor Kirke's house, or Narnia itself.

doodles as I write

But most often, I'm Jo,"writing away at her novel with all her heart and soul," for although I haven't a novel to work on at present, I do occasionally find the urge and inspiration to write on and on, never sure of what the finished product will be--if it ever does finish-- nor what goes on about me.  Not always the best thing to do, but it is rather freeing never to look the clock.

And so I am ever-so-thrilled to have a garret just like Jo! 

Tuesday is for Tolkien

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

Gandalf looked at him. "My dear Bilbo!" he said. "Something is the matter with you! You are not the hobbit that you were."

~ It's nice to be back here! The realities of family, church-family, and gorgeous weather have kept me away from the computer for a while. We've been reading a little more, and I finished A Tale of Two Cities . . . Dickens is a brilliant writer!

I also finished reading The Hobbit to Ben, while sitting in the sunshine. I've read it several times before, but this is Ben's first time and I enjoy experiencing it with him. We'll go on to The Lord of the Rings next! I'll never tire of those books. . . ~.

Good night!