Paths – Arborglyphs Along the Trail/Bethel Mill Park

Arborglyphs, dendroglyphs, silvaglyphs or modified cultural trees is the carving of shapes and symbols into the bark of living trees. ~Wikipedia

Arborglyphs, what a great word. I love blogging when I learn something new through researching a post. Who would have guessed there was a name for the carvings found scratched into the bark of living trees? I wonder when the first man carved an image into the bark of a living tree.

It would be interesting to know the history of the couples who chiseled their initials into the tree. Are they still together? Do they visit the tree and reminisce? Is it a place of happy sentiment, heartbreak, or both? Only the dozens of blade-wielding risk-takers know the real story. *

These trees are still growing alongside the pond at Bethel Mill Park in Sewell, NJ.

*Carving into living trees is illegal in many areas.

Place – Richland Tree

In the town of Richland, New Jersey, between the Delaware River and the Jersey Shore, on Route 40, there stands a tree. Carved into a 235 year old oak tree that died in 2015, are scenes of trains, sawmills, clocks, homes, weathervanes, farms, chickens, people, roadsigns, etc. It’s an amazing sight.

The 235-year-old oak tree, centerpiece of the park, died in 2015. Instead of chopping it down, Richland hired chainsaw artist Brian Ackley to carve the town’s history into the tree’s trunk and branches. He expects to finish later in 2017, in time for Richland to celebrate its 150th birthday. ~Roadside America

We found this place on the return trip from Ocean City. Since Route 55 has been finished, no one travels the ‘old’ way ‘down the shore’ anymore. In the age of the pandemic, leisurely drives are making a comeback. It had been near two decades since we were on this road. We found a few surprises, the most interesting, The Richland Oak.

This post is part of Skywatch.

I’m so glad I found the site Roadside America. Who knew that near this old oak tree are also musical robots. I’m going to have to take a few moments tonight and browse all the interesting places for a drive in my area. Put some towns near you in the search bar, and find things you never knew were near to you.

Perspective – Taking My Temperature

When I went to a favorite pizza restaurant recently they took my temperature on the back of my wrist/upper hand before I was allowed to enter. When I went to the dentist last week, they took my pulse, and my temperature, using my hand and forehead before I was allowed to enter. Just saying…read your Bible…be aware.

The second beast was permitted to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship it to be killed. And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark—the name of the beast or the number of its name— ~Revelation 13:15-17


Of course, they will say, it’s moral, for the ‘good’ of your neighbor. To do otherwise would make me ‘evil’ and ‘immoral.‘ Be aware.

Blogging Friends, check and double-check your post content. For a time, mysteriously, my quote was deleted. When I attempted to edit in the new block editor, there was a note that the content was questionable. It took me quite a while to get my Bible quote back in the post.

Praise – Sundays with Spurgeon/John’s Doxology Part 2 – Magnify the Savior’s Name

“Now, in the matter of this bursting out of devotion at unexpected times, John is one among the rest of the apostles. Their love to their divine Master was so intense that they had only to hear his footfall and their pulse began to quicken, and if they heard his voice, then were they carried clean away: whether in the body or out of the body, they could not tell, but they were under constraint to MAGNIFY THE SAVIOUR’S NAME; whatever they were doing they felt compelled to pause at once, to render direct and distinct homage unto the Lord Jesus by adoration and doxology. Observe how Paul breaks forth into doxologies: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Again: “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” The like is true of Jude, who cries: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” The apostles overflowed with praise.” ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon (John’s Doxology)

Bible Portal lists over 200 names of Jesus. I enjoyed reading this list of the names of Jesus. I thought of a few that were missing, but all in all it is a pretty comprehensive list. I also felt uplifted as I created my own visual poster for this post using a few of the names most meaningful to me, and also those I consider most important.

Spurgeon’s sermon, combined with scripture, brings a burst of joy and faithfulness out of me. I hope to magnify the name of Jesus through all my life. I hold each of his beautiful names dear to my heart.

    Charles Haddon Spurgeon was known as the ‘Prince of Preachers.’ A terrific biography of him can be found on the Spurgeon Center’s Blog: Who is Charles Haddon Spurgeon. 

  • Savior and Saviour are both acceptable spellings of one of Jesus’ names.

Plants – Moringa Update

My Moringa trees grew from seed, in dollar store buckets, to about four feet in height throughout last summer. I loved the look of the leaves, and even better than just being beautiful on the tree, they pressed perfectly between the pages of books.

In the Autumn, I waited too long to bring them indoors. They endured a bit of cold weather. When I brought them into the house, and put them in their winter resting place in the basement, they immediately dropped all their leaves.

I cut the branches way back with hopes they might send out some shoots, and I’ve been rewarded with a bit of green. The foliage is rather sad in appearance in comparison to what grew outdoors, but I have hopes all it will take is a few hot days on the back patio to bring them back lush growth once more.

Place – Ocean City, January 2021

January 2, 2021 was a good day to visit the Ocean City Boardwalk. Because an early January weekend visit has become a tradition for us we weren’t surprised by the crowds.

Masks are mandated for indoors in our state, but outdoors some wear them, and others do not. This is the line of people waiting in the cold temperatures for…

..what we think is the best pizza ever! Just like their sign says, Manco and Manco pizza is the ‘Best of the Best.’

 

Praise – Sundays with Spurgeon/John’s Doxology Part I

    Charles Haddon Spurgeon was known as the ‘Prince of Preachers.’ A terrific biography of him can be found on the Spurgeon Center’s Blog: Who is Charles Haddon Spurgeon. 

I love to read the beautiful words of praise Charles Spurgeon preached. One of my favorite sermons is titled, John’s First Doxology.

Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 1

JOHN’S FIRST DOXOLOGY

SEPTEMBER 2, 1883,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT EXETER HALL.


“Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” ~Revelation 1:5, 6


JOHN had hardly begun to deliver his message to the seven churches. He had hardly given in his name and stated from whom the message came, when he felt that he must lift up his heart in a joyful doxology. The very mention of the name of the Lord Jesus, “the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth,” fired his heart. He could not sit down coolly to write even what the Spirit of God dictated, he must rise, he must fall upon his knees, and he must bless, and magnify and adore the Lord Jesus. This text is just the upward burst of a great geyser of devotion. John’s spirit had been quiet for a while, but all of a sudden the stream of his love to Jesus leaps forth like a fountain, rising so high that it would seem to bedew heaven itself with its sparkling column of crystal love. Look at the ascending flood as you read the words, “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Truth is timeless. Beautiful praise for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is timeless. I like to read this sermon out loud, but I must confess, in the midst of the praise of these paragraphs, I become so touched and blessed by the Holy Spirit, I rarely reach the end of even one paragraph without breaking down into tears of joy.

I don’t know when the idea to share this sermon, over the course of a year of Sundays, came to me, but it did, and so through 2021 I hope to share a portion, and perhaps a short comment, on what the words mean to me.

‘—Fired his heart—‘ I hope my own heart is fired this year of 2021. In the midst of what seems to be so much encroaching evil I want to turn my eyes toward the Lord Jesus Christ even more. When I feel the power of the Lord Jesus rest upon me, I must do as John and Spurgeon did, I must adore Him. I must share the Good News. I must let my joy in him ‘leap forth like a fountain.’

I ask you to read the words of John and Spurgeon out loud. We can all add some praise into the cacophony of so much contemptible negativity and attempted mind-control. The best defense against evil is praising the Lord and calling upon His Holy Name. Amen.

Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/Carol of the Bells

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

~Romans 15:13

I love the way this verse from Romans reinforces the same joyful message as ‘Carol of the Bells.‘ This song, by whoever performs it, and whatever the accompaniment, seems to exude amazing energy. That’s how I want to go into 2021…with energy! I don’t want to be fearful, or without confidence, and I want to pray, sing and rejoice in the Lord Jesus every day. I hope your 2021 will be blessed, peaceful and full of energetic JOY!

CAROL OF THE BELLS by Mykola Leontovych/Peter Wilhousky (1914)

Hark! how the bells
Sweet silver bells
All seem to say
“Throw cares away.”
Christmas is here
Bringing good cheer
To young and old
Meek and the bold

Ding, dong, ding, dong
That is their song
With joyful ring
All caroling
One seems to hear
Words of good cheer
From ev’rywhere
Filling the air

Oh how they pound
Raising the sound
O’er hill and dale
Telling their tale
Joyf’ly they ring
While people sing
Songs of good cheer
Christmas is here
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas

Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/The Holly and the Ivy

THE HOLLY AND THE IVY (traditional English Christmas Carol 15th – 16th century)

“Christians consider holly symbolic of Jesus Christ in two ways. The red berries represent the blood that Jesus shed on the cross on the day he was crucified. Legend states that holly berries were originally white, but that the blood Christ shed for the sins of humankind stained the berries forever red. A holly’s pointed leaves symbolize the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head before he died on the cross.” ~How Stuff Works

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. ~Acts 4:12

THE HOLLY AND THE IVY

The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown:
O, the rising of the sun,
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

The holly bears a blossom,
As white as lily flow’r,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
To be our dear Saviour:
Refrain

The holly bears a berry,
As red as any blood,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
To do poor sinners good:
Refrain

The holly bears a prickle,
As sharp as any thorn,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
On Christmas Day in the morn:
Refrain

The holly bears a bark,
As bitter as the gall,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
For to redeem us all:
Refrain

The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown:
Refrain

Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/Good Christian Men (Friends), Rejoice!

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. ~Colossians 3:16

When I researched the lyrics for this Christmas carol, I found two versions, one signifying men as the recipients of the words, and another set of lyrics with the song sung to friends. Whatever way you choose to sing the song, the message remains the same, “Jesus Christ was born to save!”

Gaudenzio Ferrari 002
Gaudenzio Ferrari – Musizierende Engel (1530-1540)

GOOD CHRISTIAN MEN, REJOICE! – Medieval Latin Carol – translation by John Mason Neale (1853)

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
give ye heed to what we say:
Jesus Christ was born today.
Ox and ass before him bow,
and he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!
Christ is born today!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye hear of endless bliss:
Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened heaven’s door,
and we are blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this!
Christ was born for this!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye need not fear the grave:
Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all
to gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save!
Christ was born to save!

Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/The Gifts They Gave

The more the words, the less the meaning,
and how does that profit anyone? ~Ecclesiastes 6:11

Years ago, a lady I worked with ridiculed this version of The Gifts They Gave, not realizing Johnny Cash singing this sweet song was one of my favorites. It reminds me to watch what I say and to not criticize much, if at all. Something I dislike, or find laughable, just might be precious to someone else.

The Adoration of the Magi – Gentile da Fabriano (1423)

THE GIFTS THEY GAVE (12th Century)

Jesus our brother, strong and good,

Was humbly born in a stable rude,

And the friendly beasts around Him stood,

Jesus our brother, strong and good.

I, said the donkey shaggy and brown,

I carried His mother up hill and down

I carried her safely to Bethlehem town;

I, said the donkey shaggy and brown.

I, said the cow all white and red,

I gave Him my manger for His bed,

I gave Him my hay to pillow His head;

I, said the cow all white and red.

I, said the sheep with curly horn,

I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm,

He wore my coat on Christmas morn;

I, said the sheep with curly horn.

I, said the dove, from the rafters high,

Cooed Him to sleep that He should not cry.

We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I;

I, said the dove, from the rafters high.

And every beast, by some good spell,

In the stable dark was glad to tell

Of the gift he gave Immanuel;

The gift he gave Immanuel.[3]

Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In

I learned something as I composed this post…camels are known as the ‘ships of the desert.’ The song refers to the wise men and their camels.

WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM. 

Adoration of the Magi – Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1655-60)

I SAW THREE SHIPS COME SAILING IN by William Sandys (1833)

I saw three ships come sailing in
on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day.
I saw three ships come sailing in
on Christmas Day in the morning.

And what was in those ships all three
on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day?
And what was in those ships all three
on Christmas Day in the morning?

The Virgin Mary and Christ were there
on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day.
The virgin Mary and Christ were there
on Christmas Day in the morning.

Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/Ding Dong Merrily on High

Although the big day is over, and in spite of so many world crises, even though I might sound cliche, I hope to keep the spirit of Christmas in my heart the whole year through. We’ve made some adaptations due to current circumstances of the pandemic, but I have hope for a brighter year. As Tiny Tim said, “God bless us, every one.”

The Christmas Tree – Albert Chevallier Tayler (1911)

DING DONG MERRILY ON HIGH by George R. Woodward (1924)

Ding dong! Merrily on high
In heav’n the bells are ringing:
Ding dong! verily the sky
Is riv’n with angel-singing.
Glo——————————ria,
Hosanna in excelsis!
Glo——————————ria,
Hosanna in excelsis!

E’en so here below, below,
Let steeple bells be swungen,
And io, io, io,
By priest and people sungen:
Glo——————————ria,
Hosanna in excelsis!
Glo——————————ria,

Hosanna in excelsis!
Pray you, dutifully prime
Your matin chime, ye ringers;
May you beautifully rhyme
Your e’entime song, ye singers.
Glo——————————ria,
Hosanna in excelsis!
Glo——————————ria,
Hosanna in excelsis!

Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/Handel’s Messiah, Hallelujah Chorus

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. ~John 14:3

I love this stunning video combining beautiful scenery and cities with Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. I don’t think this song would actually be considered a Christmas Carol, but no matter, I’m including it in my 31 days. What better day to shout and sing, ‘Hallelujah!’ than Christmas 2020? No matter what is going on in our world, He still reigns.

HALLELUJAH! by George Frideric Handel (1741)

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord
And of His Christ, and of His Christ
And He shall reign for ever and ever
And He shall reign for ever and ever
And He shall reign for ever and ever
For ever and ever, forever and ever
King of kings (Forever and ever Hallelujah! Hallelujah!)
And Lord of lords (Forever and ever Hallelujah! Hallelujah!)
King of kings (Forever and ever Hallelujah! Hallelujah!)
And Lord of lords (Forever and ever Hallelujah! Hallelujah!)
King of kings (Forever and ever Hallelujah! Hallelujah!)
And Lord of lords (King of kings and Lord of lords)
And He shall reign
And He shall reign
And He shall reign forever and ever
King of kings (Forever and ever)
And He shall reign (Hallelujah! Hallelujah!)
And He shall reign forever and ever
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
And He shall reign forever and ever
Forever and ever
Forever and ever
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah!

Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/No Room & Have You Any Room

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. ~Luke 2:7

When I was a child my parents sang in many Christmas cantatas. While performing, Born a King, by John W. Peterson, everyone in the choir dressed in robes fashioned after clothing in the time Jesus was born. My parents had the roles of Joseph and Mary, and sang No Room as a duet. It was over fifty years ago, and I still remember it perfectly. I recall being like a parent myself, so proud of them!

Christmas Eve is a good time to think of bygone days, family and friends still with us, and those who have left and are now with the Lord Jesus. In all you do this day I wish you the joy of the Spirit, and pray you feel the blessing of our Father in Heaven all around you today and in the coming year.

Adoration of the Shepherds – Gerrit Van Honthorst (1622)

No Room (c John W. Petersen)

Have You Any Room for Jesus? (unknown 1871)

Have you any room for Jesus,
He who bore your load of sin?
As He knocks and asks admission,
Sinner, will you let Him in?

Refrain:
Room for Jesus, King of Glory!
Hasten now His Word obey;
Swing the heart’s door widely open,
Bid Him enter while you may.

Room for pleasure, room for business,
But for Christ the Crucified,
Not a place that He can enter,
In the heart for which He died?

Have you any room for Jesus,
As in grace He calls again?
Oh, today is time accepted,
T’morrow you may call in vain.

Room and time now give to Jesus,
Soon will pass God’s day of grace;
Soon thy heart left cold and silent,
And thy Savior’s pleading cease.

Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/Coventry Carol

I include this Christmas Carol with a heavy heart, for the slaughter of the innocents continues today; it is so entrenched in everyday life we aren’t aware of the reach of its insidious tentacles. Even a quick search of how deeply infiltrated our lives are with this horror causes me to want to run away to an uninhabited place and live totally off the land. At Christmas, sad talk is shunned, but turning away doesn’t make the problem disappear. What to do? I’m completely baffled. I can only leave it on God’s altar and ask him to show me the way.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. ~Psalm 139:13-16

Flight Into Egypt – Titian 1508

Coventry Carol – Unknown (16th Century)

Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child,
Bye bye, lully, lullay.
Thou little tiny child,
Bye bye, lully, lullay.

O sisters too, how may we do
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we sing,
“Bye bye, lully, lullay?”

Herod the king, in his raging,
Chargèd he hath this day
His men of might in his own sight
All young children to slay.

That woe is me, poor child, for thee
And ever mourn and may
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
“Bye bye, lully, lullay.”

Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/Good King Wenceslas

Wenceslas was a real person: the Duke of Bohemia, a 10th-century Christian prince in a land where many practiced a more ancient religion. ~NPR

When people are ordered to show tolerance and kindness it breeds nothing but hypocrisy. True kindness almost never springs from force, but must be born within to be genuine. Authentic kindness grows out of love, love for God, love for others, and also love of self. The self-loathing being fobbed off as ‘wokeness’ in our culture today will not bring about love or kindness, but only perpetuate darkness and unrest.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Saint Stephen’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Stephen, is a Christian saint’s day to commemorate Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr, celebrated on 26 December in the Latin Church and 27 December in Eastern Christianity. The Eastern Orthodox Churches that adhere to the Julian calendar mark Saint Stephen’s Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on 9 January of the Gregorian calendar used in secular contexts. In Latin Christian denominations, Saint Stephen’s Day marks the second day of Christmastide. ~Wikipedia

GOOD KING WENCESLAS by John Mason Neale 1853

Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gath’ring winter fuel.

“Hither, page, and stand by me, if you know it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain,
Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me food and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither,
You and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together,
Through the cold wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger,
Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page, tread now in them boldly,
You shall find the winter’s rage freeze your blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, while God’s gifts possessing,
You who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.

Preserving the Good – 31 Christmas Carols/I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I’ve loved the tones of The Carpenters for decades, and they don’t disappoint in this version of ‘I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.’ Fifty years ago, on Christmas Day, I received a record player and an album of the Carpenter’s titled ‘Close to You.’ How has time gone by so quickly?

I still have the album. It’s easy now to bring up the old songs sung by the Carpenters on tablet, Fire television or computer, but holding the old album in my hands takes me back to when I unwrapped it all those years ago.

I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day

Their old familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet the words repeat

Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along th’unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:

“There is no peace on earth,” I said,

“For hate is strong and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,

With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Till, ringing, singing, on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,

Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Phun Phacts – Stars

Mathias Krumbholz, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing. ~Isaiah 40:26

This evening, a rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will resemble The Christmas Star.

“Find a spot with an unobstructed view of the sky, such as a field or park. Jupiter and Saturn are bright, so they can be seen even from most cities. An hour after sunset, look to the southwestern sky. Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible. Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky.
The planets can be seen with the unaided eye, but if you have binoculars or a small telescope, you may be able to see Jupiter’s four large moons orbiting the giant planet.” ~NASA