December 15, 2020
Psalm 19:1-11

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Psalm 19:1-11 by Nikki Filby

I find the images in this passage very meaningful, and especially the image of Light. God pitches a tent for the sun, the source of our earthly light, which is so welcome in these colder months. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes (and to our minds). In my Community Bible Study group this fall, we have been reading the gospel of John. Several passages in John proclaim that Jesus is the true light of the world; with his birth, God’s light became visible to us in a new way, and shows us the path to follow.

One of the things I will miss this year is our church’s usual Christmas Eve service, when we light candles and sing carols together. That’s something I have always enjoyed, and look forward to doing again next year. Meanwhile, as I listen to carols, I will think about our community lit up with candles, and with the Holy Spirit.

May we all feel God’s light surrounding us, and walk gratefully in that light!

O Holy Night performed by Marty Lew

Christmas Tradition

Peanut Brittle Recipe by Gil Gilbert

For the past several years, around Christmas time, I have gotten out the large, heavy pot, and assembled the necessary tools and ingredients along the counter of our kitchen to begin my peanut-brittle-making marathon. Typically, I made and distributed between 30 to 40 bags of it each year to give to friends and neighbors.  We had obtained the recipe from a neighbor probably 40+ years ago, and I have used it ever since.  The recipe is easy, but the cooking requires lots of patience and attention.

Ingredients for one batch:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup Karo light syrup
  • 4 T butter
  • ½ - ¾ raw, shelled Spanish peanuts(fresh, raw peanuts give the best flavor)
  • ½ t salt
  • ¼ t baking soda
  • A few drops of vanilla extract


  • Heavy pot
  • Buttered baking sheet
  • Candy thermometer


  • Add sugar, water, and syrup to the pot, and begin cooking over medium heat.  
  • When it boils up the first time, wash the sugar crystals from the side of the pot and stirring paddle.
  • Stir in the butter, and then cook to 260° without further stirring.  
  • Stir in peanuts and continue stirring gently with the thermometer.  Watch especially for peanuts on the bottom of the pot.  
  • Cook to 300 – 305°, and immediately remove pot from the stove.  
  • Quickly add the salt, baking soda, and vanilla, and vigorously stir.  
  • Pour the batch onto the buttered baking sheet, and spread it out to the thickness you like.  When it has cooled, break into pieces.

Once the brittle has cooled and is broken into pieces, I turn the process over to my wife, Ann.  With food scale, ribbon, scissors, and gift bags, she bags the candy for gifting.

Unfortunately, this annual tradition won’t be followed this year.  With the pandemic and my recent shoulder surgery, our peanut brittle tradition is on hold.  But, next year!

Coloring Page
Psalm 23 by Arlyn Ranillo
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