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Hymn of the Week – He Paid a Debt

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

MP3 recording by the Alton Howard Singers, from

He paid a debt He did not owe,
I owed a debt I could not pay.
I needed someone to wash my sins away.
And now I sing a brand new song:
“Amazing Grace.”
Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.

He paid that debt at Calvary,
He cleansed my soul and set me free,
I’m glad that Jesus did all my sins erase;
I now can sing a brand new song:
“Amazing Grace.”
Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.

One day He’s coming back for me
To live with Him eternally,
Won’t it be glory to see Him on that day?
I then will sing a brand new song:
“Amazing Grace.”
Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.

Jack's Keepsake

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

A little story came to my ears the other day which was so full of pathos that I have a mind to write it for the children who read the Advocate; and I hope if such children were ever given to teasing, they will take a thought on the subject, and do so no more.

Once upon a time, as stories generally begin, there was a little boy whose name was Jack—at lest that was the name he went by. When he was a tiny infant his proud father had said: “Let us call him John. It is a good, old-fashioned name; good men have been called by it, kings have worn it; it is a Bible name—John.”

How easily and how naturally it became “Johnnie” to the loving mother, and what a comfort to her was “Johnnie” in the sad days of her widowhood which followed!

As Johnnie grew up, the neighbors and the boys on the street called him “Jack;” and when that dear mother died, poor Jack was left alone.

Shall I try to tell you how Jack struggled with the grief that rent his little heart, of the hunger which tore at his vitals, of the many straits he was in, of the many shifts he made for bread? He ran errands, blacked boots, sold papers, and did everything a poor, homeless, ragged lad could do to keep soul and body together; but there were many more such as Jack, and it seemed that in the race he would be left behind. Read More

Life and Death United

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity


These morning glories are growing on a trellis on our back porch, where hangs a ram skull. We were delighted this morning to find that one of the blooms had found its way through the skull’s eye, and I thought it humorous and interesting to see how the flowers bring new life to a dead thing.

Thanks to Nione for taking the picture!

Journey's End

I have returned home after spending two weeks at a Christian camp in the mountains of New Mexico. And to celebrate my arrival home, here is a favorite song of mine by Clannad, from their album “Macalla“:

Another good end-of-the-journey song is “Back Home,” written by Kindra Ankney and performed by Bobby Horton. It is from the album “Lewis & Clark: Songs of the Journey,” a set of songs about the Lewis & Clark expedition. It is very good music, and educational as well! Here are the lyrics for “Back Home”:

The end of the journey!
They’d been gone so long
Folks back home were thinking surely something had gone wrong.
Missouri River traders called them men returned from graves,
For rumors were that they’d been killed
Or taken in as slaves.

Though many U.S. folks had given up on their return,
There was one who still had hope: Mr. Jefferson.
His dream had surely been fulfilled—
The wealth of knowledge gained
Was all that he had hoped for
And soon would be explained.

All St. Louis greeted them when they arrived in town;
The corps presented their salute by firing off three rounds.
Celebrations welcomed them,
Newspapers spread their name,
Towns of happy citizens
Declared the corps’s fame.

The journey was now ended,
The story just begun,
There’d be changes to our land because of what they’d done.
The captains and their party
Rejoiced to be back home—
The adventure was over,
But the tale had just begun.

Language change and use

When one reads about language change, and how Latin evolved into its many children over time, it is difficult to see how this is still happening today. The English we speak is essentially the same that was spoken two hundred years ago, and it may seem like little has changed in the language since then. However, change is taking place, and as Spanish speakers have had increasing contact with English speakers in the southwestern United States, loanwords have been exchanged between the two tongues. Words like tortilla and jalapeƱo have entered the English language because we had no words of our own to describe these things. Read More