The Hymn of Joy

In the summer of 1785, a German poet by the name of Friedrich Schiller wrote the well-known ode, or poem, “Ode to Joy”.

In 1824, the great German composer, Ludwig van Beethoven completed the Symphony No. 9, probably the most famous piece of classical music, using the words “Ode to Joy”.

And in the year 1907, Henry van Dyke, an American, wrote the poem “The Hymn of Joy”, commonly known as “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”, setting it with Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”.

“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” is a much loved hymn, and here we have my favorite Christian singing group, GLAD, singing it a cappella!

Lyrics: (from Wikipedia)

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee
God of glory, Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee
Op’ning to the Sun above
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness
fill us with the light of day!
All Thy works with joy surround Thee
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays
Stars and angels sing around Thee
center of unbroken praise
Field and forest, vale and mountain
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea
chanting bird and flowing fountain
call us to rejoice in Thee!
Thou art giving and forgiving
ever blessing, ever blest
well-spring of the joy of living
ocean-depth of happy rest
Thou the Father, Christ our Brother—
all who live in love are Thine
Teach us how to love each other
lift us to the Joy Divine!
Mortals join the mighty chorus
which the morning stars began
Father-love is reigning o’er us
brother-love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward
victors in the midst of strife
joyful music lifts us sunward
in the triumph song of life!


The Chronicles of Numbskull: Part 3 – THE TREASURE OF IGNORAMUS REX

Part 1: The Pirate, the King, and the Straitjacket

Part 2: The Return of Captain Numbskull

Captain Numbskull


‘Twas the year 1611…

“WHY DIDST I DO THAT FOR!!!” roared the king of Fanaticostcosodor Island, King Victoro, as he stomped around his throne room. “I shouldst have kept that foolish nutty little numbskull alive for a well-deserved public hanging! Aaargh!!”

“Er, sire? Wha-what if he still liveth?” said the king’s main servant, Robinsen Gruso.

At that the king suddenly changed to attack mode. “Well, find him!” he barked.”Find him and bring him to me dead or alive. Either way I will have his map, and,” the king made an evil smile, “the treasure will be mine!” Then he ordered his guards to search outside the castle for their lost prisoner, the venerable Captain Rascal Numbskull of the Seven Seas.

At that moment they heard a loud ‘Clang! Clang!’ coming from somewhere underneath.

“What was that?” asked Robinsen Gruso to the king.

“It better not be our old prisoner imprisoned down below. It wilt not be good if he escapes, wilt it?” said the king, twitching his graying blond mustache.

Then they heard a scream.

“That soundeth like Numbskull’s obnoxious voice! Find him! Find him NOW!!!”

With that fifteen of the king’s guards dispersed.

“Ahhh” said the king, letting out a deep sigh of distress as he sat back on his throne. “I needest something to calm me down!!”

Then he requested his small orchestra standing near him on a low platform on his right, to play “The Raiders March” for him. Then he proceeded to take off his crown and put on his fedora. . .

Meanwhile. . .

“WHY DIDST THOU DO THAT TO ME FOR?!!” whined Captain Numbskull as he slowly and painfully got to his feet, straightening his hat and pushing his spectacles back to their proper place on his nose.

“That was to teach thee a lesson: to be cautious of your actions. And just to warn thee… appearances can be deceiving and I knoweth kung fu”, said the old man.

“And ye betta watch out ’cause I’d be a’knowin’ yoga!!” said Numbskull.

The old man squinted his eyes at him and crossed his arms. “That willnae help thee much, wilt it? And by the way, ye shouldst have gone to college to learn thy math!”

“Actually, I have,”proclaimed Numbskull proudly. “I, the great Captain Numbskull, has been a’graduatin’ from the University of Fanatic Oafs… and I canst tell thee this one thing, that that place is NOT the place for intellectuals like me!”

Pistachio Penguin looked at him with mouth gaped wide. “The University of Fanatic Oafs? No wonder why thy mathematical skills are horribly down under… Also, I must add, ye dost not know how to speak to thy superiors.”

“Art thou sayin’ that ye is bein’ MA’ superior, Mr. Pineapple Pumpkin Pelican Pajamas, uh, sorry, Pen Pineapple Apple Pen, er, whatever?”

“It’s Pistachio Penguin. My friends used to call me that because when I was young, I eateth pistachios so much that I becometh fat and I walketh like a penguin.”

“Ha, ha, ha. . . er, wait a minute. . . ye said that already!”

“Oh, did I?”

“Yes, and for some reason I findeth that name not to my liking. What day is it today?”

“Huh? Now what on earth art thou talking about?” Then the old man looked at the thirty-seven years worth of notches made by his knife on his prison wall. “Well, looks like today’s Thursday!”

“Then”, said Numbskull, pretending to knight the old man with his right arm, “from this day forward, thou shalt be known as. . . Thursday!!”

“. . . Why?”

“Because it’s easier to say and it maketh more sense… and today is Thursday, the day ye are released!”

Then Numbskull made a serious expression. “I hast something to show thee, something extremely important.”

“What is it?”said Thursday in the tone of an irritated person.

Then Numbskull took a piece of parchment from out of one of his coat pockets. “Dost thou know what this is?”

“I knoweth not. Thy certificate of clumsiness, perhaps?”

“No, no, no, and NO!!! This is the map that leadeth to the treasure of great pirate king, Ignoramus Rex, the evil pirate captain of his flagship, The Idiosyncrasy, and he owned fifteen other ships. It is said that this great pirate lord sailed the Seven Seas and has found a certain valuable treasure in a cave in an island near Persia, the lost ring of an ancient Persian prince that is said to be made out of nothing but solid gold! Embedded in the ring is a veeeery expensive red pearl of enormous price! I want thee to help me find this treasure, a treasure that I has spent seventeen years lookin’ for it, said to be worth about fifteen thousand gold doubloons! It’s somewhere in this castle. If we findest it, mark me words we shall most certainly find it, then I’ll be rich and I can buy dozens of ships and become a pirate admiral! And to show thee ma’ gratitude, I wouldst give thee one- fiftieth of the booty. . . savvy?”

“Well, uh, I see not a reason to decline. But, Ignoramus Rex?. . . Never heard of him. Where is he now?”said Thursday.

“Alas,” said Numbskull in a gloomy voice, “he was killed about half a century ago by a young knight named Victoro Cornmillius. . .”

“What! Victoro?! Why, he is the king of this island!”

“Oh, boy, oh, boy! What a major coincidence! More the reason to find the treasure before the king does! I’d like to have my revenge on that sulky ol’ King Corn!”

“Well, then. If ye wilt have me as thy fellow treasure hunter, I’d be too glad to help!” said Thursday excitedly.

So Numbskull showed him his treasure map. “We art here”, said he, pointing to the castle on the map.

“Undoubtly so”, said Thursday. “The X here marks the spot of the treasure, yeah, that’s great, but we needeth more clues!. . . Hey, wait a minute, what art those small letters at the bottom of the map?”

“Eh? What? Where?” said Numbskull densely.

Thursday snatched the paper away from Numbskull’s skinny hands and examined it carefully. “Let me see thy spectacles for a moment, Captain.”

“Here are ma’ spectaculars!” said Numbskull as he handed them over to Thursday.

Thursday then used them as a magnifying glass.

“Well, what doth it say? Quick, tell me! Art thou tryin’ to be Father Brown or somethin’?” squeaked Captain Numbskull.

Casting a quick angry glance at him, Thursday dictated the words, “It sayeth: ‘Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, and the dreams that you dreamed of, dreams really do come true’. . .”

Silence reigned for about twenty-five seconds.”What the weirdo does that mean?”said Numbskull.

“First of all let’s get out of here. Let’s climb up those steps over there!”

Pretty soon they were in a large hallway.

“I thinketh I know where to look!” said Thursday.

“Where? Outside? Art we supposed to go outside and wait for a rainbow to come up? That’s absolutely ridiculous!”

“Don’t even think of it. Besides, by the sounds I hear, it’s raining cats and dogs outside, anyway!”

“What? Where?” said Numbskull, poking his head out a nearby window. “But I ain’t seein’ any cats and dogs!”

“Bah! Whatever! Thou must have mashed potatoes for brains!”

At that moment, a raven that was perching on a tree branch at the same height as the window cawed at Numbskull, mocking him.

“Oh! Hiya little birdie!” said Numbskull.

The bird stared at Numbskull ominously, which made him want to bring his head back inside the castle.

“So where shall we look?” asked Numbskull to Thursday.

“To the king’s library, my dear Englishman, to the library. . . for Ignoramus Rex liked nothing more, other than treasure and rum, than reading!”

Numbskull looked at Thursday with big round eyes, mouth wide open, and tongue sticking out. “Bu-bu-but thou hast said that ye has never heard of Ignominious Rex, er Ignoramus Rex!”

“Oh! Um, w-w-e-ll,” stammered Thursday. “It was only a little deduction. Nothing more.”

And so they searched for the king’s library, a mission not to be found a difficulty beacuse the library filled one-third of the whole entire castle. After about thirty-five minutes and twenty-one seconds of searching, they found the king’s library.

“Here we are!” said Thursday triumphantly. “We hast reached our destination!”

“Wha-ha-haow! Just look at all these books!” exclaimed Numbskull. “I’ve ne’er seen so many in ma’ laff o’ forty-five years!”

For in that library were hundreds of thousands of books, in many thirty-five-meter tall bookshelves reaching up as high as the ceiling

“Neither have I! Well then, let’s go find that treasure of yours! A rainbow. . . a rainbow is what we need to find first. . . Let’s get started with our search, and nuts to those who don’t do their work of searching, eh Captain?. . . Captain?”

“Z-z-z. . . Z-z-z. . .” snored Captain Numbskull as he slept soundly on the long twenty-meter library table.

“What in the hocus pocus art thou doing, huh! This is absolutely no time to sleep! Up with thee and help me search, ye little brat!!”

“Oh, oh, oh, yessiree, mister!” said Numbskull jumping off the table and collapsing on the floor. “Sorry, I got a bit sleepy there, after all that sailing to this island and the fiasco, ehe! And anyways, ye said ‘nuts to those who don’t do their work’, so where are my nuts? Do ye has any almonds?”

Thursday walked towards Numbskull, took off the clumsy pirate’s hat, and slapped his head, then placed the hat back on his head.


And so they began their search, looking at the books, the bookcases, the walls, the ceiling. . .

“Hey, Thursday!” said Numbskull after about five minutes of searching. “Ye see that yonder painting over their, over the smallest bookshelf?”

“Yes, yes, I see!” shouted Thursday. “It’s a rainbow! You’ve made a brilliant discovery. . . strangely. . .”

They ran towards the bookshelf.

“In order to reach it,” said Thursday, “we needeth a ladder. . . Hey! What!”

Without warning, Numbskull started to climb up Thursday’s old shoulders.

“What art thou doing?! Who art thou trying to be?! Don Quixote?!”

“I thinks I can be a’reachin’ it!” As Numbskull looked closely, he spotted a small red button over the rainbow.

“Aha! Bingo!” said Numbskull triumphantly as he pushed the button.

At that moment, something from high up a different bookshelf came falling to the ground. In a moment, Numbskull was off Thursday’s shoulders.

“What is that?” said Thursday, massaging his shoulders.

“It must be some kind of massive book”, said the numbskull.

Thursday looked at it carefully. “It ain’t a book, Captain! It’s a box!!”

Hands shaking, head bobbing up and down like a chicken, and spectacles sliding down to his nostrils, Numbskull moved slowly towards the mysterious wooden box.

Then he looked aghastly at Thursday.

“The-the-the lock is broken! And I’d be a’seein’ scratches around the lock!!”

Thursday looked shocked as well. “The treasure better be in there, or my name is not Tyra… Thursday…”

“Tyrathursday? Whaddaya mean ‘Tyrathursday’?”


“OK, well!” said Numbskull, turning his face back to the box and rubbing his hands with excitement and delight. “The treasure betta not be a’being in there, or ma’ name is Salamander Higgins! Let us open the treasure of Ignoramus Rex, shall we?”

Then they both laid their hands on the lid.

“Together!” said they in unison, and the box was open…

What their eyes beheld made them speechless with great surprise…

Rubies, emeralds, diamonds of diverse sizes, gold doubloons… sparkling with the sun’s bright rays beaming out of a nearby window, for the rainstorm has passed…

“We found it! We has found the treasure of Indominus Rex, er, Indoraptor Rex, no, Ignoramus Rex!!” exclaimed Numbskull. “But the Persian prince’s ring? I don’t see it in the treasure box! Uh, Thursday? What hast happened? Ye looketh like ye has seen a ghost!”

Sure enough, Thursday’s face was as white as snow. “Wha-wha-what i-i-i-s tha-tha-that-t-t-t?”

Numbskull looked carefully at the treasure, and his jaw dropped…

Out of the many jewels and gold came forth a small little hand, moving really slowly. Then the other hand emerged from the box. Pretty soon the head, the body, and the legs of the mysterious creature came out of the treasure. The creature slowly clammered out of the box…

“H-h-help!” screamed Numbskull. “This thing’s grabbing ma’ poor legs!”.

“Ahh! Ahh!” said the cute little baby sloth as it slowly climbed up Numbskull’s legs!


by Sir Magnanimous Jacksonville

All Lefts Reversed… Oh! I mean…

All Rights Reserved 🙂








The Scrabble Game


Monday, after the Dental College Hospital nightmare… (I personally don’t like hospitals… gives me the bout of the jitters…)

After coming home from the hospital, Dad, bro, and I played a long game of Scrabble (probably about 2 and a half hours).

Scrabble… probably one of the best board games ever invented (My opinion it is), and maybe one of the most challenging…

And guess who won?…..



(Don’t worry, this didn’t happen to me…)

(picture: Timmy crying, from Shaun the Sheep)


You’ve won the Scrabble game… for the first time without any help!!!

And with a whopper of two hundred and forty-seven points, too!

Well done, bro, well done!

(Before that game, on a different day, he and I played a game of Checkers and… well, yeah, he won… [if only I didn’t give him any hints!!]😒.)

thTLF9NGIW     “Checkmate!!” – Professor Calculus

(Picture from Flight 714 to Sydney) (Quote from Tintin in Tibet)


BTW, Scrabble is my favorite game. What’s yours?




A Day at the Dentist


Today I had to go to the big Dental College Hospital in Fukuoka City to have a lump in my lower gum checked out.

We prayed to God that it will not turn out to be a serious problem.

And He answered our prayers!! I had an X-ray, and the doctor (who extracted all four of my wisdom teeth last year) checked the lump out and she said that it was only bone.

Phew! Nothing serious…


How Great Thou Art

The great classic hymn,”How Great Thou Art”, by Carl Boberg, is definitely one of my favorite hymns. I like this version sung by Steve Green, and here it is.


Verse 1:

O Lord, my God! when I in awesome wonder,

Consider all the worlds Thy hand has made.

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed.


Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Verse 2:

And when I think that God His Son not sparing,

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;

That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,

He bled and died to take away my sin:


Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Verse 3:

When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation,

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!

Then I shall bow in humble adoration,

And there proclaim, my God how great Thou art!


Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

The Leviathan

A few days ago I posted something about the Behemoth, and today I’ll talk a little bit about the mysterious sea creature mentioned in the Book of Job… the Leviathan.


“Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?… Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about. His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal… Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.” – Job 41: 1-2, 14, 19-21

The Leviathan has always taken my fancy ever since I was a little kid. The creature the Bible mentions is most likely a kind of extinct sea reptile, something like a Mosasaurus or the like… What do you think?

In Job, the Leviathan is described as a powerful creature, greatly to be feared. This great creature manifests the great power of its Creator.”Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.”- Job 41: 33-34

The interesting thing is that the Leviathan spewed forth flames from out of his nostrils and mouth… like a dragon of old, something we don’t see these days. As far as we know, there aren’t any more massive sea serpents swimming in our oceans.

But who knows what may be lurking in the dark unknown depths of the sea?. . .