Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hymn of the Week--Angels, From The Realms of Glory

For the first week of advent we chose Angels, From The Realms of Glory. I like this carol a lot. I am really looking forward to the advent season and all of the music that we get to enjoy. The version below is not the best one. But it will at least give you an idea of the song.

Hymn of the Week
Angels, From The Realms of Glory
Words by James Montgomery
Music by Henry T. Smart

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.


Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Monday, November 24, 2008


John 1:29
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

Today I am thankful for salvation: the moment when Jesus' blood covered over all of my sin and I became an heir of the father. Today I am thankful for sanctification: the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in my life by which I am able to accomplish the good works that God prepared beforehand. Both of these are free gifts from God, bought through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, given to me freely due in no part to anything that I have done or will do.

This is what yesterday's sermon at church was all about. You can read, listen to or watch it here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

And so it begins . . .

Gregg and Allison arrived yesterday and so our holiday festivities begin. It has been great to have them. Gregg built a new Lego set with the boys this morning and we've been watching some college football all day. It's almost time for dinner: pulled pork barbecue sandwiches. More updates later this week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hymn of the Week--Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

After a quiet week at the Gammons' house we come to the days before Thanksgiving. This season brings with it some traditions. Amanda has hung the "I'm thankful for . . ." banner on the wall to be filled in; the turkey salt and pepper shakers are on the table; and we turn to a hymn of thanksgiving. Gregg and Allison come this Saturday for the week before Thanksgiving, so it seems like the holiday is right around the corner. I do love this time of year. I love the way that it turns my heart back toward all of the many things that I AM thankful for. Join us in learning this hymn. I am sure we'll sing it at our church. I hope you get the chance to as well.

Hymn of the Week
Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Words by Henry Alford
Music by St. George's Windsor, George J. Elvey

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Memorize Hymns with Covenant Life Church

What a great idea! For the next ten months, Covenant Life Church, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is going to be memorizing ten great hymns of the faith. From their website, they explain the reason for doing this.

"We’re doing this project because we want to benefit not only from the songs written in our lifetime, but also from hymns that have served the people of God for generations and will endure long after we’re gone. They are time-tested and true. They speak to every circumstance of life and point us to the wisdom, love and power of our gracious God and Savior."
The best part is that you can join them. They have put up an album of these hymns on (a site I've mentioned before.) I'm listening to it now and the arrangements are new but not annoying. The list is pretty traditional. You might not know "Before The Throne". It is one that our church does quite a bit though and it is a great one. Click on the link below and it will take you to the download. Tell 5 friends or just pay what you want. Feel free to use my e-mail addresses.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chicago Weekend Highlights

From November '08

This past weekend we got out of dodge and headed to Chicago. We had a great time. On Saturday we went to the Jelly Belly factory in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. We did the tour and got some free Jelly Belly jelly beans. My highlight was getting the Bean Boozled pack. They have some really gross flavors mixed in with normal flavors. I'll be bringing these to Alpena for Christmas. My favorite weird flavor is toothpaste. The worst one was black pepper. It was terrible.

Amanda's cousins live right across the street so we did lunch with them and hung out at theirplace for a while. Then we headed to Chicago to stay with Amanda's grandma. On Sunday we headed over to Amanda's aunt and uncle's house for some Chicago style pizza. I love this pie. I didn't like it at first, but I am definitely a convert. On Monday we got up and went to the Shedd Aquarium. It was a free day, which was perfect. We stayed about two hours and then didn't feel guilty about leaving. Caleb loved the aquarium and would have stayed much longer. Everyone else was done. My favorite things at the aquarium were the sea dragon and watching Caleb sit for about 15 minutes and listen to the worker talk about a tortise.

The weekend was capped off by our meal at the Norske Nook. Didn't we have the fun!

Happy Birthday, Shube!

From July

Today Shirley turns 29, again! We love you Shube. Thanks for being such a great mom, m-in-l, and grandma. We look forward to many more.

Hymn of the Week--There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood

This week's hymn is another great old one. It is also easy to memorize.

Hymn of the Week
There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood
Words by William Cowper
Music is Cleans­ing Fount­ain, 19th Cen­tu­ry Amer­i­can camp meet­ing tune

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

Mmmmm, Norske Nook

This past weekend we went to Chicago to visit Amanda's grandma and other relations. (More on that to come.) Whenever we make this trip we talk about stopping in Osseo, Wisconsin at Norske Nook restaurant. It doesn't usually work out though. We have only been there one other time. But on Monday night we hit Osseo right at dinner time. The restaurant is about 3 miles off the highway in their downtown. It is definitely in my top 5 restaurants in the WORLD. Both times I've been there I have had their hot sandwiches: turkey last time and beef this time. The meat on the sandwich was so tender and delicious. I only had half a sandwich because I was saving room for the main course, the pies. I had their white chocolate and raspberry pie. It was great. Apparently on Wednesday night you can get pie and coffee for $2.50. If you're ever traveling on I-94 through Wisconsin on your way to the Twin Cities, take the time and stop at Norske Nook. You won't regret it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why I love church

All week long I struggle against my "old man". I struggle to love my wife and kids well. I struggle to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I struggle to care for the people at work. I often find myself falling short in these areas. Some days I even find myself falling short in the desire. Then Sunday comes (or Wednesday night, like last night).

What is most encouraging to me in my struggle is to see other people loving God. When I see young people, old men, and many others obviously growing and being affected by the Holy Spirit it rejuvenates my spirit and my desire to follow Christ more.

Last night, I was exhausted. I wasn't being very nice to Amanda and the last thing that I wanted to do was go to church and sit with five ants-in-their-pants second grade boys and talk to them about wisdom. Then I got to church. We sang about God and his transcendent control over all things and his rule over all people. We prayed for our new president-elect that God would bless him and even change his heart about the unborn. Then we went to our classes and the boys in my group were much more focused and enjoyable. Church is definitely a means of grace in my life.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Minnesota Election Results

Check back here throughout the evening for your Minnesota election results.