Our Mantel’s Menagerie 

mantel menagerie

Our Imaginary Friends

 Critters are all over our mantel —and we have none living in our house. Yet, cats and dogs are my recent subject matter. 

I am not sure how I would react if one on these crazy critters were actually making themselves at home with us. 


Inspired by Sally Thursby

I am moving on from critters, Lord willing, and trying my hand on more seasonal subjects: landscapes and maybe some figures . . . 

Then, it dawned on me —thanks to a FaceBook friend  —the clock is running on creating hopeful holiday images . . . in these uncertain times.

A Manger will  soon be on Our Mantel

mantel manger

a real Friend came

O Holy Night has never seemed so hopeful and helpful; how apropos its origins and authors,  given the times in which we live—owing its creation to people of different world views. 

I have loved its sound and sense since I heard it over 60 years ago. With a friend, we talked the junior choir director and organist at Nativity Episcopal church in Govans into letting  our choir sing it one Sunday Morning. 

And then later our French class —in a public junior high— learned it and sang it! 

I couldn’t hit those notes today. But, its poetry helps me pray.

So, I  have started . . . singing now and not waiting for Advent. How grateful I am to be able to just pull up a version and sing: Carols from the King’s College ~ 2017 

Remember how simple life was five years ago? 

I pray the melody and  words will  appeal to souls so hurt and hardening. Here are  the lyrics in English and French.

Psalm 80 is tonight’s campsite —it’s a good reason and way to keep Christmas in my heart and hand.  (I emphasized verse 17 . . .)

Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel,
You who lead Joseph like a flock;
You who are enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth!

Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up Your power
And come to save us!

O God, restore us
And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

O Lord God of hosts,
How long will You be angry with the prayer of Your people?

You have fed them with the bread of tears,
And You have made them to drink tears in large measure.

You make us an object of contention to our neighbors,
And our enemies laugh among themselves.

O God of hosts, restore us
And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

You removed a vine from Egypt;
You drove out the nations and planted it.

You cleared the ground before it,
And it took deep root and filled the land.

10 The mountains were covered with its shadow,
And the cedars of God with its boughs.

11 It was sending out its branches to the sea
And its shoots to the River.

12 Why have You broken down its hedges,
So that all who pass that way pick its fruit?

13 A boar from the forest eats it away
And whatever moves in the field feeds on it.

14 O God of hosts, turn again now, we beseech You;
Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine,

15 Even the ]shoot which Your right hand has planted,
And on the son whom You have strengthened for Yourself.

16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down;
They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance.

17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.

18 Then we shall not turn back from You;
Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.

19 O Lord God of hosts, restore us;
Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

Praying in these anxious times, God’s words for God’s peace — that passes understanding.

 P.S.Who is Jesus? An  Answer Worth Hearing

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