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“Example Is Better than Precept”

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

“Pa is pretty late getting home.”

It was Mrs. Jackson who spoke, standing in the doorway and shading her eyes with her hand—not because of the strong light, but because her eyes were weak and she had a habit of curving her hand over them. Two children—a boy and girl—were looking out, too, for “Pa,” for that was another of Mrs. Jackson’s habits—calling her husband “Pa.”

“I think I hear the buggy,” said Tom.

“Yes,” Alice chimed in, “and I see old Ball’s white face.”

Mrs. Jackson went back to her supper, which was smoking on the stove; while Tom ran to open the big gate, and Alice went to meet her father.

Mr. Jackson was a cheery, good-humored kind of man, and his coming generally brought the sunshine with it; and now, when he came in laughing, stamping, and laden with bundles, like a great, rough Santa Claus, his good humor was infectious, and his wife bustled smilingly around the table, while the children clamored for a peep into the parcels.

“No, no,” he said; “wait till ‘ma’ gets supper over.” So you perceive he had a habit, too.

Supper was soon over after that, and the dishes cleared away in a hurry; then came the unwrapping of the mysterious parcels.

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Aachen, Germany

Our first destination after settling into our European home in August was Aachen, Germany, known in French as Aix-la-Chapelle. Despite being in a different country, it was only a short train ride from Verviers, Belgium, and although today the town is little known beyond its own regions, it was once the capital of the illustrious Charlemagne and his Frankish Empire.

I was amazed by Aachen Cathedral, the coffin of Charlemagne, and the old Byzantine-style mosaics on the ceiling of the cathedral. But I also enjoyed the cultural experience–this was my first visit to Germany, after all! It was also my first time to leave Belgium while in Europe, and the first place to visit where French was not spoken (I certainly utilized the two German words I know: hallo and danke!). Read More

Hymn of the Week – “Christ for the World!” We Sing

Music by Felice de Giardini (1769)
Poetry by Samuel Wolcott (1869)
Listen to MP3

“Christ for the world!” we sing;
The world to Christ we bring,
With loving zeal;
The poor and them that mourn,
The faint and overborne,
Sin-sick and sorrow-worn,
Whom Christ doth heal.

“Christ for the world!” we sing;
The world to Christ we bring,
With fervent prayer;
The wayward and the lost,
By restless passions tossed,
Redeemed at countless cost
From dark despair.

“Christ for the world!” we sing;
The world to Christ we bring,
With one accord,
With us the work to share,
With us reproach to dare,
With us the cross to bear,
For Christ our Lord.

“What Father Takes”

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

They drew around the festal board,
Where hearts beat high with mirth and joy,
And bubbles danced on beaker’s brim—
‘Twas fairyland to that fair boy.

Old age was there, and manhood’s prime,
And smiling beauty fresh and fair,
Who bowed to toasts of flashing eyes,
To smiling lips and flowing hair.

“What will you take?” the waiter asked,
And paused to hear the youth’s reply,
Who, all unused to such gay scenes,
Upon his father turns his eye;

And as the waiter smiling stands,
His sweet, young voice the silence breaks
In flutelike music on the air:
“I’ll take whatever father takes.”

A thrill ran through the father’s heart,
A thrill of pain, and yet of joy.
He saw a way to guide the feet
Of his bright, trusting boy.

A nobler look grew on his brow,
Even as the ruby wine went by.
“Waiter,” he said, “bring water pure
For this my boy and I.”

O, fathers, will you stop and think,
Lest some day your sad heart should break
Because a son has gone to ruin
From taking what he saw his father take?