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Words of Wisdom from Lemony Snicket

I am and will be quite busy riding the rapids of the end of the semester, so I am not likely to be blogging much in the next fortnight. However, I did want to share with you a bit of wisdom from Lemony Snicket’s witty book Horseradish, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t already.

Wishing, like sipping a glass of punch, or pulling aside a bearskin rug in order to access a hidden trapdoor in the floor, is merely a quiet way to spend one’s time before the candles are extinguished on one’s birthday cake.

Hymn of the Week – God Himself Is with Us

In the University Chorale we have been preparing to record some of our music, and this grueling work was begun yesterday. We are putting together an album of traditional hymns, and although most of them are already familiar to me, I have been introduced to a few that I did not know previously. This is one of these, a majestic German hymn reminding us of God’s unceasing presence.

Poetry by Ger­hard Ter­stee­gen, translated into English by Fred­er­ick Fos­ter & John Miller
Music by Jo­a­chim Ne­an­der

God Himself is with us
Let us now adore Him,
And with awe appear before Him.
God is in His temple,
All within keep silence,
And before Him bow with reverence,
Him alone,
God we own;
To our Lord and Savior;
Praises sing forever.

God Himself is with us;
Whom angelic legions
Serve with awe in heavenly regions.
“Holy, Holy, Holy,”
Sing the hosts of heaven,
Praise to God be ever given.
Bow Thine ear
To us here;
Hear, O Christ, the praises
That Thy church now raises.

O Thou fount of blessing,
Purify my spirit;
Trusting only in Thy merit,
Like the holy angels
Who behold Thy glory,
May I ceaselessly adore Thee,
And in all,
Great and small,
Seek to do most nearly
What Thou lovest dearly.

Amazon MP3 downloads of this song: David Slater, The York College Concert Choir.
Cyber Hymnal entry

First Impressions

In my Bible study this morning I came across a memory verse from my early childhood, I Samuel 16:7, in which Samuel is to anoint the next king of Israel after Saul’s disappointing failure. Looking at David’s older brothers (Eliab in this case) Samuel was certain that one of them would be the one.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  (NASB)

Our first impressions of people, whether positive or negative, can often be deceitful. I have found this out repeatedly when meeting new people on the college campus here, since often after hastily forming an opinion of a person, I have come to know them better and appreciate them for who they really are.

Here is a short poem that I wrote not long ago that deals with this very topic:

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain;
Loveliness blooms for a day.
Don’t ever judge any book by its cover,
Examine its pages one after another:
Know it by what it may say.

“By their fruit you will know them,” the holy book says,
Don’t look at the form, but the heart.
Befriend and discover, love and reveal,
Don’t be afraid to find out what is real.
Appearance is but a small part.

Pardon the Renovation

I am finally getting around to making my own design for this blog. The Mars landscape was nice enough, but a few days ago I got an idea for a new design, so that’s what I’m working on now. Please pardon the messiness, and I am sure I will be finished smoothing out the wrinkles by the end of the week.