Thursday, July 30, 2009

Are you a father or do you know one?

If you are either a father, would like to be, or know one, you need to check out a new blog, Responsible Father. It is by a brother from church. I read his current blog The Responsible Puppet. His new blog is about fatherhood. He has seven kids ages 12 to under one. They have adopted their last two children. They are a very neat family and I am really looking forward to read what he has to say. I'll add it to my blog roll on the right so you can follow along.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Read Alouds--The Indian In The Cupboard

One of my latest joys is the time that I get to spend in the evening reading to the boys. This is something that I have always looked forward to about having kids. Having the kids bring me book after book of Sandra Boynton, Dr. Seuss, etc. has never been my favorite. But getting to read a well written, gripping and sometimes moving story to my little boys as they lay in their beds quietly listening is awesome.

I know that for some of you with smaller kids this is but a dream. But be assured, your time will come. I thought it would be somewhat interesting for me to regularly share my Read Alouds and give you some reaction. I have done this earlier with Soup and Me and Sarah, Plain and Tall.

Right now we are reading The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynne Reid Banks. My mom taught forth and fifth grades for many years and this was one that she recommended. She has given us some great suggestions of books that boys would really like. This is one of those. It has Indians, cowboys, horses and is written from a definite boy's perspective. It is so much fun to have Ben and Caleb say each night when we finish our chapter, "Please, can you start the next one? Just a little!" Matthew has fallen asleep some nights as I've read. I think he is a little young, but I think it's still good practice for him to try and listen.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hymn of the Week--Be Still My Soul

Anxiety, worry, cares, sadness: These are everyday things in our fallen world. Caleb is our worrier. Whenever something happens, I can read it on his face. When we sang this yesterday we talked about how God is in control of all things and he asks us to cast our cares on him. God tells us "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Then he promises us that "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Many people we love are going through difficult , scary, sad and trying times right now. I am praying that God, through this hymn, will guard hearts and minds with the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Hymn of the Week
Be Still My Soul
Words by Katharina A. von Schlegel
Music by Jean Sibelius

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Parenting, sorrow and a mirror of God's love

Pastor John just wrote a poignant article about the sorrow that comes to fathers in the loving of their sons. If you have a moment, read it.

Babies are coming to many of the people we love. We just got back from the hospital after visiting the baby of one of our small group friends. Another Nagel cousin will join us this fall. Our new baby will be here in January. Other friends will have new ones in January, February and March. As we anticipate the joy that these lives will bring, Pastor John's article reminded me also of the possible sorrow that comes from loving with all of our hearts. The pain of rejection is proportional to the love of the rejected. For parents who love with all of their hearts, who long for nothing more than for their children to find joy, and who know that the only true joy is found in enjoying God forever, the rejection of such must be terrible.

I have prayed often that God would gift my children with the faith to believe in Him. These thoughts lead me to pray more, trust more and confess more. I fall short in how I love my kids. Oh that God would spare me from being the reason that they might some day give for their rejection of Him.

God must feel like this though. Isn't this at least one reason why he allows these rejections to happen, so that we might see his pain in our rejection of Him. This rejection of parents is the Gomer to Hosea, the children of Israel to God and me to God every day. As I think about the pain that my children might cause me, might I be more sensitive to the pain that I cause my heavenly father as I turn away from Him. Might I pursue my children with the love and care that God pursues me. Might I always be at the door, knocking, willing to come in. Might I always be the father who sees his son a long way off, runs, embraces and kisses.

Summer and above ground pools

When I was little our friends The Durhams got an above ground pool. It was pretty cool. Our above ground pool is not anywhere near as cool. The boys seem to like it though. We're hoping for some warmer weather so the water gets above 60 degrees.

Monday, July 13, 2009

2 years of Molly Pearl

This weekend we celebrated 2 years of joy that God has brought into our lives through Molly Pearl. When each of our kids has been born, I always wonder to myself, "Will I love this child as much as I love Ben . . . Caleb . . . Matthew?" In the case of Molly, I love her unlike I love her brothers. Her sweet spirit, her smile and her strong will, draw me to her in special ways. Amanda and I consistently look at each other in wonder when she says things and does things that tickle us. We are so thankful for her and look forward to more joy that God will give us through her life.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Best Children's Book I've Ever Read

, rEvery night I read a book aloud to the boys. This week we read Sarah, Plain and Tall. I have read a lot of children's books, both as an adult and as a child and this, by far, is the best one ever. I love the imagery and most of all the way that she painted the emotions of the two children. It reminded me of authors like Rick Bass and Wendell Berry. The words were poetic and sounded beautiful read aloud.

Usually I read only a chapter or even half a chapter depending on the length. With this book both the boys and I wanted it to continue. We finished the whole book (it is short) in two nights. I cried multiple times reading it aloud. It's a love story of a couple viewed so innocently from the children. It's a love story of the children longing for a new mother.

When we finished last night I brought the book up to Amanda and said, "You've got to read this." It took her about twenty minutes. If you've never read this book or if it has been a long time, go to the library and pick up this book.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Quotes: MJ

Relayed from Shube via e-mail this morning.

Ben asked to watch a little bit about Michael Jackson, so we said ok, for 20 minutes.  Brooke Shield was giving her eulogy and she said, “Michael’s up there looking down on us, sitting on a crescent moon.” 
"Why does she say that.  It’s not true.  He’s not sitting on a crescent moon, he’s either in heaven or hell!"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hymn of the Week--O God Our Help In Ages Past

Back home and back into routine! Thanks be to God.

Hymn of the Week

O God Our Help In Ages Past
Words by Isaac Watts
Music by William Croft

Wednesday, July 1, 2009