Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another favorite

Originally uploaded by Oeil Photography

Here's another amazing photo from Oeil Photography

Friday, December 26, 2008

The best of 2008

I came across a beautiful blog that I want to share,

I am struck by the beauty of these hands,

these hands are found right in the middle of wedding pictures and kissy face pictures and young lovely vibrant people and younger lovelier more vibrant people (!) but in the middle of all this youngness, is this weathered wrinkled spotted set of hands that absolutlely captured my attention.

These hands made it.

They have an unbelieveable story to tell... if they will ever get the time to tell that story. They will make you a cup of coffee while they feel guilty that they are neglecting the other duty that their mistress had intended they be doing.

They have darned and laundered and gardened and swept and wiped snot and patted and hugged and wiped tears and kneaded and fried and I know for sure these hands have held a Bible. How do I know? Just look at these hands.

So right in the middle of all that young vibrant and lovely, is true beauty. I don't have to see her face, I've seen these hands before. They are my mother's and my grandmother's and its so funny, they held them exactly this way as well. Even tho these hands are still, they are not idle, they are poised and ready once the weary old bones catch up to the ever thinking brain, off we go.

This post was titled the best of 2008 and I think her pictures are just amazing. I hope you take a minute and visit her page, she's very talented.

But that got me thinking, what was the best of 2008?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Handel's Mesiah

It's hard to believe how fast the month has flown, and here I am on the Eve of Christmas. Tomorrow it'll be Christmas goose and figgy pudding (or really garlic mashed potatoes and a big slab of beef) but tonight I'm enjoying putting pictures to the AWESOME lyrics of the Mesiah.

Messiah is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel based on a libretto by Charles Jennens. Composed in the summer of 1741 and premiered in Dublin on the 13 April 1742 Messiah is Handel's most famous creation and is among the most popular works in Western choral literature. It includes the very well-known "Hallelujah Chorus".

MAJORA CANAMUS(Virgil, Eclogue IV)

And without controversy,
great is the Mystery of Godliness:
God was manifested in the Flesh, justified by the Spirit,
seen of Angels,
preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the World,
received up in Glory
(I Timothy 3 : 16)

In whom are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge
(Colossians II : 3)

PART ONE : The prophesy and realization of God's plan to redeem mankind by the coming of the Messiah

Sinfony (Overture)Accompagnato (Tenor or Soprano)
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplish'd, that her Iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness; prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40 : 1-3)

Air (Tenor or Soprano)
Ev'ry valley shall be exalted, and ev'ry mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight, and the rough places plain. (Isaiah 40 : 4)

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40 : 5)

Accompagnato (Bass)
Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts; Yet once a little while and I will shake the heav'ns and the earth, the sea and the dry land: And I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come. (Haggai 2 : 6-7) The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts. (Malachi 3 : 1)

Air (Alto)
But who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire.(Malachi 3 : 2)

And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3 : 3)

Recitative (Alto)
Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, GOD WITH US. (Isaiah 7 : 14; Matthew 1 : 23)

Air (Alto) & Chorus
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain.
O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid;
say unto the cities of Judah, behold your God! O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, Arise, shine, for thy Light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.(Isaiah 40 : 9; Isaiah 60 : 1)

Accompagnato (Bass)
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. (Isaiah 60 : 2-3)

Air (Bass)
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9 : 2)

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9 : 6)

Pifa (Sinfonia pastorale)Recitative (Soprano)
There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. (Luke 2 : 8)

Accompagnato (Soprano)
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. (Luke 2 : 9)

Recitative (Soprano)
And the angel said unto them: Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2 : 10-11)

Accompagnato (Soprano)
nd suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying: (Luke 2 : l3)

Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men. (Luke 2 : 14)

Air (Soprano or Tenor)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen. (Zecharaiah 9 : 9-10)

Recitative (Soprano)
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. (Isaiah 35 : 5-6)

Aria (Soprano)
He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40 : 11) Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, an He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11 : 28-29)

His yoke is easy, and his burden is light. (Matthew 11 : 30)


The accomplishment of redemption by the sacrifice of Jesus, mankind's rejection of God's offer, and mankind's utter defeat when trying to oppose the power of the Almighty

Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1 : 29)

Air (Alto)
He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53 : 3) He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting. (Isaiah 50 : 6)

Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows! He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. (Isaiah 53 : 4-5)

And with His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53 : 5)

All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53 : 6)

Accompagnato (Tenor or Soprano)
All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn; they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying: (Psalms 22 : 7)

He trusted in God that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, if He delight in Him. (Psalms 22 : 8)

Accompagnato (Tenor or Soprano)
Thy rebuke hath broken His heart: He is full of heaviness. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was no man, neither found He any to comfort Him. (Psalms 69 : 20)

Arioso (Tenor or Soprano)
Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow. (Lamentations 1 : 12)

Accompagnato (Tenor or Soprano)
He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgressions of Thy people was He stricken. (Isaiah 53 : 8)

Air (Tenor or Soprano)
But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell; nor didst Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption. (Psalms 16 : 10)

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.(Psalms 24 : 7-10)

Recitative (Tenor or Soprano)
Unto which of the angels said He at any time: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee? (Hebrews 1 : 5)

Let all the angels of God worship Him. (Hebrews 1 : 6)

Air (Alto)
Thou art gone up on high; Thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; yea, even from Thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them. (Psalms 68 : 18)


The Lord gave the word; great was the company of the preachers. (Psalms 68 : 11)
Air (Soprano)
How beautiful are the feet of them: that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things. (Romans 10 : 15)

Their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world. (Romans 10 : 18 / Psalms 19 : 4)

Air (Bass)
Why do the nations so furiously rage together, and why do the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His Anointed. (Psalms 2 : 1-2)

Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us. (Psalms 2 : 3)

Recitative (Tenor)
He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision. (Psalms 2 : 4)

Air (Tenor)
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. (Psalms 2 : 9)

Hallelujah! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. (Revelation 19 : 6) The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11 : 15) King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19 : 16) Hallelujah!

A Hymn of Thanksgiving for the final overthrow of Death

Air (Soprano)
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. (Job 19 : 25-26) For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep. (I Corinthians 15 : 20)

Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (I Corinthians 15 : 21-22)

Accompagnato (Bass)

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (I Corinthians 15 : 51-52)

The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. (I Corinthians 15 : 52-53)

Recitative (Alto)
Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. (I Corinthians 15 : 54)
Duet (Alto/Tenor)

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. (I Corinthians 15 : 55-56)

But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15 : 57)

Air (Soprano)
If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8 : 31) Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us. (Romans 8 : 33-34)

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 5 : 12-13)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Blessed Christmas

Today at last, I got my meager offering of Christmas cards made and ready to send to the few people on my list.

I'm late, I know, and every year I'm late, (I know) and as usual, feel extremely bad about it.

I just don't get with the program in time to be a delight to those who like to receive a card in the mail.

I actually think about it around the 4th of July, and if I pursued it then, I could get them out on time.

But risk my Christmas cards getting stained with watermelon juice and potato salad blobs? I can't bring myself to it.

I am into Christmas up to my ears in every other area, but my cards are late (again) this year. Mine are handmade as I usually like to do, I feel they are artful and unique and I like to write some note to those that I send to. If you are on my list, you're special.

Well, thinking of cards, I happened across this article on the web somewhere and I wanted to share a little Christmas trivia.

Pictured on the left is the world's first commercial Christmas card.

The sending of commercially printed Christmas cards originated in London in 1843. Previously, people had exchanged handwritten holiday greetings, first in person, then via post.

In 1822, homemade Christmas cards had become a huge frustration to the U.S. postal system.

There were so many that year, the Superintendent of Mails in Washington, D.C., complained of the need to hire sixteen extra mailmen.

Fearful of future mail overload, he petitioned Congress to limit the exchange of cards by post, concluding, "I don’t know what we’ll do if it keeps on."

How times have changed.

The first mass produced Christmas card designed for sale was by London artist John Calcott Horsley, and is pictured above.

A respected illustrator of the day, Horsley was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, a wealthy British businessman, who wanted a card he could proudly send to friends and professional acquaintances to wish them a "merry Christmas."

Horsley produced a triptych.

Each of the two side panels depicted a good deed-clothing the naked and feeding the hungry.

The centerpiece featured a party of adults and children, with plentiful food and drink (and this card provoked severe criticism from the British Temperance Movement for picturing wine with children).

The first Christmas card’s inscription read: "merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you."

"Merry" was then a spiritual word meaning "blessed," as in "merry old England."

May you have a Blessed Merry Christmas!

Modern day card photos courtesy of:


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