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Hymn of the Week – O Sacred Head

Words: Attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux (12th cen.), translated into German by Paul Gerhardt (1656), translated into English by James Alexander (1830)
Music: Hans Hassler (1601), arranged by Johann Sebastian Bach (1729)
Recording from the annual singing at the Kleinwood congregation

O sacred head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down;
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown;
How art Thou pale with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn;
How does that visage languish,
Which once was bright as morn!

What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee, dearest Friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever;
And, should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my love to Thee.

Tennessee Kayaking

View photos on Flickr

These are some pictures from a camping/kayaking trip I went on with some college friends in April 2010. Yes, that was more than a year ago, so long ago that I don’t even remember the name of the river we kayaked on! And although I may be behind on posting pictures, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been taking pictures. There are plenty that are just waiting to be blogged, so stay tuned!

Hymn of the Week – My Faith Looks up to Thee

Words by Ray Palmer (1830)
Music by Lowell Mason (1830)

My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Savior divine:
Now hear me while I pray;
Take all my guilt away;
O let me from this day
Be wholly Thine.

May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire:
As Thou hast died for me,
O may my love to Thee
Pure, warm and changeless be—
A living fire.

When life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream
Shall o’er me roll,
Blessed Savior, then in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above,
A ransomed soul.

¡Xijyeko nawatl! – Numbers

I know the previous post in this series was a few months ago, so let me catch you up a little bit. Nahuatl is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Mexico, being the language of the Aztecs of old. However, it can be somewhat deceiving to refer to it as a language—there are actually a number of different dialects spoken across the country, and all are different from Classical Nahuatl, the lingua franca of the Aztec Empire. The dialect I am presenting in this basic tutorial is the Western Huasteca dialect, spoken in the states of Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí.

The previous post was about the alphabet and phonetic system of the language, which is really very simple compared to some languages. If you need to go back and review, feel free to do so, then come back here and let’s learn some numbers. Read More

The Bruised Flower

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

Within my hand lay a beautiful blossom. It was perfect in shape and delicately penciled with the most exquisite coloring, nestling amid the vivid green of its own leaves. With delight I gazed upon it, but how soon was my pleasure changed to disappointment when I found it yielded no perfume! No aroma of hidden sweets greeted my senses; no fragrant breath from its glowing heart perfumed the air. Scentless and valueless, it had grown up in riotous beauty, flaunting its lovely face and hiding in its heart its sweetness.

I wearied of the bright flower, and, mechanically closing my fingers upon it, it was crushed, when—lo!—up from the bruised petals floated an invisible cloud, so sweet, so subtle, that I was silent with astonishment. Then I chided myself for my haste, when I saw the blossom bruised and discolored; but a voice whispered: “Better so than to have lived its brief life and faded away with that ravishing sweetness hidden in its heart.”

It is thus with many a human flower. When friendship smooths the path, love beautifies the life, and health, wealth, and prosperity paint the earth with their rich coloring, the heart too often refuses the homage due the great Giver of all good; but misfortune comes and over the prismatic tints casts a sober, somber hue. Griefs that mar and trials that vex creep in, when—lo!—up from the bruised heart go prayers of penitence, and from the tried soul float songs of love and praise withheld in brighter days.