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Hymn of the Week – Abide With Me

Music by William Monk (1861)
Poetry by Henry Lyte (1847)
Audio recording

Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens. Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me!

I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless:
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee!
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

Adventures of a Language Nut: Meet My Friends!

english

Greetings! I am Mashkioya, and I am a language nut. I am not a linguist (although admittedly, being a linguist would be pretty cool), and I don’t often use the word “polyglot” because it sounds kind of ugly, and not many people know what it means. Plus, I don’t claim to aspire to fluency in 20 languages, or anything like that. I just like to dabble, and happen to have dabbled quite a bit in this particular area. Thus, I am a language nut.

You may have heard this proverb among Latin students:

Latin is a language,
Dead as it can be.
First it killed the Romans,
And now it’s killing me!

I understand the sentiment, but instead of thinking of the languages I learn and speak as enemies out to kill me, I like to think of them as friends. Some of them I’ve been acquainted with my entire life, while others are budding relationships that I’m just beginning to explore. And each one is beautiful and unique in its own way. This post will begin a series in which I will introduce you to my language friends, one by one, and hopefully motivate you to get to know them as well, or at least to begin widening your linguistic circle in other directions. Read More

Tackling Unforgiveness

At the Duluth Church of Christ this coming Sunday morning, Cary Oglesby will bring us a lesson about getting rid of unforgiveness in our lives. Our worship, while directed primarily toward God, will also help us to encourage each other as a Christian family to live and love more like Christ would have us to.

All song numbers are from the book Praise for the Lord.

Doxology – 528

The music of this classic hymn dates back to 1551, and the words to 1673. Despite its age, the message rings ever true: Each member of the Godhead is worthy of praise and glory from both men and angels.

A Common Love – 842
Audio recording
I have fond memories of singing this song with other young people, hand in hand as we finished a time of devotion together. When we forgive each other, we show our love and strengthen the bond between us.

He Paid a Debt – 859

Before the sermon, we will sing this song and remember the debt that Jesus has already paid for us. Now that we are forgiven, we can forgive others! And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12 NKJV)

Sweet Will of God – 432
Audio recording
As the invitation is given, we will sing this beautiful hymn from the turn of the last century. This song puts into words our longing to want what God wants, for His will to be ours, “Till I am wholly lost in Thee.” May this be our goal every day!

Nailed to the Cross – 444
Audio recording
Part of the sweet will of God was for the Son to willingly give His life on the cross, in order to pay our debt. This solemn song will remind us of that sacrifice and help us get into the right mindset to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows. (Isaiah 53:4 NKJV)

Beloved, Let Us Love One Another – 846

Our final song will return to the theme of loving our brothers and sisters in Christ, which includes forgiveness. Dennis Ryder put 1 John 4:7, 8 to music in 1974, and it is a great way to memorize this Bible verse, complete with the reference!

An open letter to passport stampers everywhere

Dear passport stamper person,

Let me begin by thanking you for your service. I’m sure you serve an important role in the immigration office, making sure that only legitimate travelers are allowed into your country, and that terrorists and suchlike are denied. I also am aware that your job is not necessarily a pleasant one, and that you would probably much rather be at home watching TV at 11 PM instead of stamping passports. So please accept my sincere gratitude for your efforts.

However, I do have a minor complaint. Are you aware that my U.S. passport features 17 pages for you to stamp visas on? I certainly don’t expect you to count them like I just did, but I can’t help but notice that, every time you stamp my passport, you always add your stamp somewhere in the first few spreads, which have been stamped many times before. It’s almost as if, instead of looking for a blank space to stamp on, you are looking for the very spot in my passport that is so overstamped, that no one could possibly spot, much less read, a new stamp! Every time is the same, continuing the vicious cycle.

I know this is an insignificant grievance, but when I look through my passport and see whole blank pages, just longing for someone to stamp on them, I can’t help but wonder what you were thinking when I handed you my passport and you thumbed through it. All I ask is that you look more carefully next time, and give some love to the lonely back pages of my passport before it expires.

Sincerely,

Mashkioya, world traveler

Stop the U.S. Imperialists from sneaking into your house!

So, today I happened to be browsing a North Korean website—that’s totally normal, right? Well, the truth is, I don’t do this often, since North Korean websites generally serve up an uninteresting array of news related to what Kim Jeong-eun is up to, and how awful South Korea and America are. But this time I was surprised to see a button labeled “Game”—not only did it promise something more interesting, but they used an English word that South Korea has adopted, but which I would expect the northern comrades to avoid. At any rate, I was ready to play some North Korean computer games!

Not all of them would load (North Korean servers aren’t known for their speedy page delivery), but I got a few to fire up. First I played a geography game with a map of the Korean peninsula, the goal being to recognise each province and major city by its shape, and then stick it in the proper place on the map. I didn’t do too bad, despite my very limited knowledge of Korean geography! Read More