Wednesday, November 25, 2009

You're a big kid now

Ben got his own library card yesterday. He was really excited.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

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

It's Thanksgiving time! This seems to be our traditional Thanksgiving hymn. This year, I am thankful mostly for God, but also for his many gifts. Pastor John has been preaching through John chapter 6. In this chapter Jesus feeds five thousand people. They want to make him their king. They love him, not because of who he is but because of his gifts (the bread he gave them.) I certainly don't want to seek God because of his many good gifts, but I do think that I can be thankful for and love God for his gifts AS WELL AS love him for who he is. What do you think?

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.

Country music in Heaven

Abraham over at 22 Words wrote a post this week about whether there would be sad country music in heaven. I couldn't really get this idea out of my mind, so I wrote the following comment.

I have been thinking about this a lot this week. Whether because of my love of classic country (and new classic country, i.e. Ryan Adams, Gillian Welch, Patty Griffin) or because of my deep interest in and longing for Heaven, I’m not sure.

Two points: First, I’m not sure that there won’t be sad songs in Heaven. What better way to glorify God than to remember the pain of this world and see no longer through a glass dimly how He redeemed those sad things. So while we’ll hear those great old country songs like “I’m so lonesome I could cry”, we will understand them in a new way.

Second, there are so many GREAT country songs that speak of God’s redeeming work. How about this for a great post–”What good country songs are we sure to hear in heaven?” I just heard JC sing this morning “Like a Soldier”. Give it a listen. This is for sure to be one I’ll request of him.

Whether Willie will be there to sing the harmony, I’m not sure. Maybe we could find someone to sit in.

What do you think? Will there be "sad" things in Heaven? I was talking with some friends at church last week about prayer and how sometimes we don't understand the answers that God gives us to our prayers. I said that I would not be surprised if there is a film room where we can watch episodes of "Redemptive History". Wouldn't that be an amazing way to give God glory? I said that I would love to watch creation happen or to see Joseph reveal himself to his brothers or to see my dad sharing the gospel with his friend on the banks of the river. Maybe this will be part of the "knowing as you are known".

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hymn of the Week--This Is My Father's World

Caleb is memorizing the first two verses of this hymn for his Wednesday night class. Hopefully at some point I'll be able to post of video of him doing it. (Wouldn't that be great!) I told the boys that this was the first song that I ever sang in church by myself. I can remember how nervous I was when Tom Knight and I sang this song. I think I was 10 or 11. Funny.

Hymn of the Week 
This Is My Father's World
Words by Maltbie D. Babcock
Music: Terra Beata, traditional English melody

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Read Alouds--The School Story

We finished The School Story by Andrew Clements last week. It's a story about a little girl who writes a novel and how her friend and her work to get it published. It has some fun elements that the boys really liked. There's the friendship of the two girls, the suspense of whether it will all work out, and the story of the little girl and her mom. I'd recommend this book. It's not a classic, but it is a good page-turner.

Hymn of the Week--The New Church Hymnal

As I've mentioned here before, I grew up signing old hymns. My parents love(d) them and passed that love to us. As we've been singing hymns after dinner we've collect some old hymnals, but they are hit or miss. What I've really wanted was a set of the same hymnals for all of our family. I mentioned this to my mom and she got busy. With the help of friends from her church in Alpena, she collected six of the old hymnals that I grew up with, The New Church Hymnal.

When I got the box in the mail with six beautiful books, it made me so happy. These are the hymnals that my dad led singing out of; these are the hymnals that saints from Northern Michigan have praised God over; these are the hymnals that countless sinners have seen God in. I'm one of those sinners. I now pray that my children will see God in these songs and that they may be a part of their knowing and loving Him.

Thanks to Mom and Mrs. Kirschner. I look forward to singing these hymns with both of you and many others from "the old church" in heaven.

Monday, November 16, 2009


This weekend we had a surprise party to celebrate the 31st anniversary of Shube's 29th birthday. It was a great time. As you can see from the above picture she was very surprised. (Sorry about the photo quality. My lens has been having some problems.) All of Shube's family from Chicago made the six hour drive up to celebrate with us. Gregg and Allison even flew in for a whirl wind 24 hour trip. Shube's friends Jim and Jean Anderson were the only non-Wendts who made the cut. (But they are both very Scandinavian so that has to count for something.) The Nagel girls (Amanda, Sarah and Allison) put a ton of work into making it a success. The food was good, the setting was beautiful and the company was close. It was great to see everyone and great to celebrate our love for Shube. We are all very blessed.

You can see all of our pictures here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quotes: Big girl

Yesterday as we were getting drinks ready for dinner.

"I don't want da lid. I big girl."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hymn of the Week--The Solid Rock

Many of those around us are struggling with sickness and pain right now. This seems like a fitting hymn for a week like this. All other ground is shifting sand: health is shifting sand; job is shifting sand; family is shifting sand; relationships are shifting sand. On Christ the solid rock I stand.

Hymn of the Week
The Solid Rock
Words by Edward Mote
Music by William B. Bradbury

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gammons karaoke

This is the sign that Ben posted on our wall going down stairs last night. We have been doing "karaoke" for fun in our basement. This consists of us using our keyboard and mic to sing along to the songs on the song bank. These are such hits as "Mary had a little lamb", "Camptown Races", etc. Last night Caleb did a great rendition of "On top of Spaghetti".

It is fun to get inside Ben's head with something like this. Having kids sure is fun!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Glad for Amanda

This Luther quote was retweeted by Pastor John from a tweet his wife sent out. It makes me thankful for Amanda.
"Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave." --M.Luther

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

From October

We had a great time on Saturday night. Shube came over as usual to help pass out candy while Amanda and I took the kids first to my bosses house and then to our neighbors. My boss has a whole room full of sports memorabilia like autographed balls from Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana and others. Ben thought this was one of the highlights of his night. While we were there, he kept slipping back to the room to check things out. My boss thought that was pretty cool. She loved having us and I was so glad we went.

Trick or treating is always a highlight because we get to see a lot of the neighbors that we don't see all year. There are some old people that really like to see the kids and I like to stand and talk with them for a while. Each year, I get a little braver and stay and talk a little longer.

As soon as the costumes hit the floor we started talking about what we would be for Trick o' Tweet next year. Any ideas for three boys, a little girl and a baby? So far, Robin Hood, his merry men, and Maid Marian are at the top of the list. You can see all of our photos here.