Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hymn of the Week--All The Way My Savior Leads Me

Last night we were reading in our devotional book about question 7 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?
A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass

At first this seemed like a pretty difficult one to understand. The previous ones have been pretty simple: What is God?; Are there more than one God? But the book did a great job of introducing this question. It pretty much says that God is in control of all things that happen and all things that happen are caused by God for one purpose, his own glory. As I talked to the boys about this it was so comforting to me. Ben was sick last night and I told the boys that God knew that Ben was sick and that he caused Ben to be sick. Why? For his own glory. I said to Caleb, "Isn't it good that we don't have a God who is in heaven saying, 'Oh no! Ben is sick. What do I do now? Now I've got to do something to make this good.' Instead, we have a God who loves us and is directing all things to a good end--his own glory." Because God is in control of all things, we can trust him!

I had to pick a hymn that talked about God's providence. I think this is a pretty good one. I just noticed, another Fanny Crosby hymn.

Hymn of the WeekAll The Way My Savior Leads Me
Words by Fanny Crosby
Music by Robert Lowry
All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Art update & Quotes: Pulling Matty's ear

The boys all love drawing pictures for me to take to work. Here is the latest stash that I picked up today at lunch.

I love this one. As you can tell, this one is titled "Dady", by Caleb. I especially like the details of my thermos, coffee mug and computer bag.

Another great one by Ben. My favorite details in this one are the TV cabinet with the antenna coming out on the right, the boxes stacked in our living room (remodel) and the end table with the balls at the bottom of the legs.

Ben also did this one. His very "Ben" quote when he showed it to me was, "As you can see, Caleb is pulling Matty's ear ..." Ben's the first born, making sure everyone is in line. Hilarious!

What a sweetie!

I was looking through some old videos of Matthew. I love this one.

You can see all of our family videos here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hymn of the Week--When Morning Gilds the Skies

It has been a while since I have posted our HOTW. It has been a while since we've had a HOTW. But we're back in the swing of things with our evening devotions and our HOTW. This week's is a good one. We make the boys at least sing on the "May Jesus Christ be praised." Hopefully we'll be back on track for our weekly hymns now.

Hymn of the Week
When Morning Gilds the Skies
Words from the Katholisches Gesangbuch
Music by Joseph Barnby

When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

MIDI--When Morning Gilds the Skies

Monday, April 20, 2009

A verse for the boys' wall

Amanda and I were talking last night about how it would be cool to write something on the walls downstairs. I think this is what we should write on the boys' wall.

Psalm 133:1
Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!

HT: Noel Piper

A & A Painting

9 different color samples

5 gallons of primer

3+ gallons of ceiling paint

3 rooms

Many hours

We are chipping away at our painting project in the basement. Estimated time of completion is Tuesday night. We are excited to see the colors on the wall. Amanda was a little nervous that they might be too dark, but I think it is going to be great. We are on schedule for a completion of the total project to be middle of May.

Thanks to Shube and Dave and Joni for handling the kids while we worked.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Dad, can we play the Ungame?"

This has been Benjamin's question for a few nights in a row. On Tuesday we finally got to play. The Ungame is a "game" from my childhood. We had the board (that just went around in a circle, no goal) and the whole game. We only played it a few times as I remember. I played it often though with my RA and RD staffs when I worked in Residence Life. It is an amazing game. The players pass around the deck of cards and simply answer the questions. Here are some excerpts from the rules.
  • Players agree to REMAIN SILENT except during their turn. This encourages LISTENING and UNDERSTANDING and discourages probing and challenging.
  • Select the deck of cards to be used:

    DECK #1 cards contain LIGHTHEARTED topics. (These cards can be used as an "ice-breaker" or a fun way to get acquainted with the other players.)

    DECK #2 cards contain more SERIOUS topics. (These cards are better suited to a group of players who have already played the game using the cards in Deck #1.)

It has been so fun to play this with the boys. They sit quietly while the others answer. Matthew doesn't really get all of the questions yet, but it is so much fun to watch him think through them. I look so forward to many more rounds of the Ungame at the Gammons house.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Being able to tell the world how sweet you think your kids are

Every parent wants to take pride in their children. Every child wants to make their parents proud of them. I think this is especially palpable with fathers and sons. I am not sure if my dad lived long enough to be REALLY proud of his sons. I think that if he were alive today he would have many things to take pride in about all of his kids. I know there have been many moments when I have been proud to be Joey and Tricia's little brother.

These were the thoughts that I had today when I read Pastor John's post about his son Ben and Ben's remodeling of their kitchen. I look forward to being able to stand with my sons and Molly and say, "Well done. I'm proud of you. You are the man/woman that I have prayed that you would be."Lot's of people read the Desiring God blog, so I am sure that Ben will get some great referrals from that post. We'll just hope he finishes our basement before he gets too busy :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Recap

From Easter 2009

Easter has come and gone and it seems like a whirlwind. Unfortunately, the chaos of our remodel, living in two different places, and the stress that has come from all of it overshadowed much of our Easter celebration for me. This was so frustrating. Easter is usually a highlight of my year. All I could say to Amanda was, "This is why I need the cross and Easter."

We are home now though, the sun is out, the kids are playing outside and God's grace is rich and palpable.

Here are some fun pics from Easter. The following is what it took to get the picture about.

"Caleb! Sit still!"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thoughts on Men

I have been thinking about the joys and struggles of being a man lately. Last week at our small group we had a great conversation about some of these issues. Then yesterday I started listening to Pastor John's lectures on sexual complementarity. This is the idea that men and women are created with distinct differences and with different roles in the church, family and society. So far they are very interesting and challenging.

One thing that I have been thinking about men is what I might term the spectrum of engagement. Engagement is a constant struggle for men. This often manifests itself in relationships. On one hand, when relationships become difficult we may disengage and retreat. This often happens through silence, work, technology, tasks. On the other side of the spectrum is inappropriate engagement or over engagement: anger, abuse, control. The bull's eye is right down the middle. A healthy consistent engagement in love. I made the graph below to illustrate what I'm talking about.

Over the years, I have vacillated between retreat and over engagement. In my life now, I would say that over engagement is where I find myself most. This is a struggle for all men that I know and that I've observed. This is one reason that we need Jesus and the cross. How about you? Where do you fall on the graph? What do you do to try and aim for healthy engagement?