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Dirinda’s Dilemma

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

When Jeems Henry’s name first appeared in the Buglehorn as a candidate for the office of constable, I was just as proud as proud could be. Jeems Henry always stood high in my estimation, and I was glad that others had a good opinion of him also. To be sure, it was not much of an office, but Jeems Henry soon reconciled me to that. He illustrated it by a ladder, and made it look beautiful to my eyes. Of course, every one knows that you ascend a ladder step by step and round by round, and I must confess that I built in my imagination a stairway that rivaled Jacob’s; only, his led to heaven, and mine to the presidency.

It was a right pretty little notice that was in the paper. Things were said of Jeems Henry that I could have told them long before, concerning his good looks, good morals, and fine sense, and I took real pleasure in reading it. “Several friends” wrote it out, so it said, and I was wrathy all over when the opposition hinted that it was Jeems Henry himself. But he didn’t run after office—not he. He told me in confidence that if his party chose to give it to him, he would accept, but he did not ask for office.

Old Peter Doolittle ran against him, and, like an old scamp, as he is, he must rake up a great chance of tales against Jeems Henry, and narrate them all over the country, till, if I hadn’t known them to be false, I couldn’t have voted for him myself. But Jeems Henry paid him back in his own coin. He picked up some things about old Peter that were true, and published them in the Buglehorn, and old Peter’s son sent Jeems Henry word that he would thrash him on first sight. After that you may know I was uneasy all the time. I was troubled all day and dreamed bad dreams all night, till I wished the election was safely over. Read More

Hymn of the Week – Father of Mercies

Music: Traditional
Poetry: F. W. Faber, et al.
Free MP3 recording from the television programme In Search of the Lord’s Way

Father of mercies, day by day
My love to Thee grows more and more;
Thy gifts are strewn upon my way
Like sands upon the great seashore,
Like sands upon the great seashore.

Father of mercies, God of love,
Whose gentle gifts all creatures share,
The rolling seasons as they move
Proclaim to all Thy constant care,
Proclaim to all Thy constant care.

Father of mercies, may our hearts
Ne’er overlook Thy bounteous care;
But what our Father’s hand imparts
Still own in grateful praise and prayer,
Still own in grateful praise and prayer.

Wake Up!

I hope you read the hymn that I posted this past Sunday. Most likely it was unfamiliar to you, as it was to me before my uncle told me about it. It’s a bit of an oddity, really. Although it uses the phrase “Church of Christ,” it was written by Fanny Crosby, who was not a member of the church. Apparently she used the term in a more ecumenical sense, as opposed to our current usage of it to refer to the church that strives to follow Christ’s teachings in everything.

Despite its origins, however, the song holds a rousing message: “Church of Christ, O sleep no more!” As far as spirituality goes, to sleep is to die—in fact, the euphemism “sleep” is often used in scripture to refer to death, both physical and spiritual (e.g. I Thessalonians 4:15, Ephesians 5:14). And I greatly fear that Christ’s church in many locations is indeed asleep, and thus dying.

This past Sunday morning, those who attended the Bruce family reunion met for worship with the church in a little town in the Oklahoma panhandle. This was the congregation of my great grandparents, and their building was where one of my great aunts was married. The building has been changed and added on to since the times my father remembers it, but the congregation still exists. However, I was a little disconcerted to find that our Bruce family greatly outnumbered the regular members there. Read More

The Reapers

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

The soft June sunshine floods the hills,
And loitering breezes fan my brow;
Sweet-throated birds, insane with joy,
Pour melody from every bough;
While in the valley at my feet
I hear the reapers’ cheerful shout,
And see the sickles gleam and flash,
Cast by the sinewy hands about.

The ripe grain falls before the blow,
And prone upon the earth is cast;
But other hands soon fashioned it
Into firm, golden sheaves at last.
‘Tis thus our simplest words may fall
In other hearts and lodgment gain;
Young minds receive what we cast by,
And bind in sheaves of living grain.

And let us now a lesson learn,
If work we can and work we must:
Look up, be glad, toil cheerfully,
Grovel no more in grief and dust;
Sing while we work all cheerily;
Let songs and laughter cheer the day,
While shines the sun and sing the birds
And fragrant flowers bloom by the way.