Friday, April 30, 2010

Read Alouds--Kildee House

The last book we read, Kildee House by Rutheford G. Montgomery, was a great one.  It is the story of Jerome Kildee, a former head stone maker who retires and decides to become a hermit in the California redwood forest.  Relationship finds him though.  First in the raccoons and skunks that come to inhabit his little cabin and then in the person of a neighbor girl.  She is one of my favorite characters in the book.  The relationship that she builds with Jerome is a sweet and tender one.  She is as important to him as he is to her.  She is also a strong, yet feminine character (something most kids stories lack.)  The boys loved this book and I loved reading it to them.

Hymn of the Week--He is Lord

We are back into our Hymn of the Week groove.  This week's hymn is a short one, but a great one straight from Philippians 2. 
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Hymn of the Week
He Is Lord
Words and Music by Unknown

He is Lord, He is Lord
He has risen from the dead
And He is Lord
Every knee shall bow
Every tongue confess
That Jesus Christ is Lord

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Labels

I was talking with Teresa the other night at church about blogging.  I brought up labels and how I felt that I don't do a good job with this.  The label that I think would be most helpful are ones for each kid.  So if you wanted to see all the posts mainly about Benjamin, you could click on the label and there you go.  Or if you wanted to see what I've written lately about Lucy, click the label and wallah!  The only problem that I had with this was one of comparison.  What if I had 50 posts about Caleb and only 49 about Ben?  Would I feel pressure to keep them equal?

Well I've decided to do it.  So you can look on the label cloud (Recurring Themes) to the right and see all of the kids names.  You can also see who has the most.  Ben of course has the most.  He's the oldest and has been with us the longest.  I think it will be a fun way though for me to continue to organize the blog this way.  Any other suggestions for blog maintenance.

Quotes: My sunglasses

Molly is a movie star in the making.
"I need to wear my sunglasses so no one sees my eyes" 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Evangelical Calvinism", Bethlehem Baptist Church and me

Ever since I began attending Bethlehem Baptist Church three years ago, I have had a nagging question.  "How does Bethlehem's "Reformed Baptist" theology compare to a traditional covenantal Reformed theology?"  It has seemed since the beginning that all of this just doesn't add up.  I'm not sure I would call it "cafeteria style theology" but it has seemed like the parts don't necessarily equal the whole.  I haven't ever really gotten a good answer to this question.  Maybe I haven't been able to articulate it very well.  Maybe it's a question with which people aren't very comfortable.

My thoughts have been like this.  When I was at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a Christian Reformed college, I didn't always agree with their stance on some theological issues, but the arguments always went back to a traditional Reformed theology.  That theology was consistent across the board from Baptism to the Lord's Supper to their overall hermeneutic.  At Bethlehem, I agree with almost everything, but I can't always trace our stances to a traditional Baptist theology.  It's hard for me to understand where the Baptist ends and the Reformed thought begins.  It doesn't always feel consistent. 

Michael Horton from the White Horse Inn and Westminster Seminary California, just wrote a great blog post articulating this exact question and argument.  Horton encourages people who have become interested in the doctrines of grace and God's sovereignty to call the movement "Evangelical Calvinism."  This makes sense to me.  It's not that I'm Reformed.  I don't agree (yet) with infant baptism or some or the other outgrowths of covenantal theology.  I think I'm a Baptist who is excited about God's sovereignty and is thrilled with the doctrines of grace.  If you go to Bethlehem or if you consider yourself part of the "New Calvinism" movement, I'd love to hear what you think about these comments and Horton's article.

UPDATE:  Here is another very interesting article about the New Calvinism.  My reaction to the article is this.  I continue to hesitate with many of the things articulated in the article that are Reformed.  Therefore, I hesitate to call myself Reformed.  The implications of all that the other things mean, i.e. the cultural mandate and the sacraments, I'm not real comfortable with yet.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Matthew riding his bike

Matthew is really getting good at riding his bike. We went for a walk/bike ride last night and he made it all the way around our neighborhood. He's still got to figure out getting started on his own and breaking. But once he gets going, he does great. Way to go, Matt!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Gammons Dragons

Every family needs a logo, right?  Well that's what Ben and Caleb were thinking this morning when they came up with this one for us.  Maybe there is a graphic design team in our future. Any graphics people out there want to take a stab at refining this?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Quotes: Uncle Carrie

Molly really loved hanging out with her Tante Carrie when we were in Florida.  I think Tante Carrie especially liked having a girl to fuss over.  A few days ago, Molly asked the following question.
"Is Uncle Carrie your dad?"
Hilarious, but unfortunately wrong on so many levels.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen!

We had a wonderful time at church last night.  Celebrating Easter on Saturday was a little different but He in fact has been risen for over two thousand years.  The sanctuary was almost full which is a change for a normal Saturday night.  The abundance of people definitely added to the celebratory nature.  Today is going to be more celebrating, starting with DeRouchie cinnamon rolls and then ham with the Nagel crew later.

The above picture is for MJD.  She has been wanting us to change to a picture that includes Lucy.  Happy Easter to all.  May the you experience the resurrection power today and throughout the year.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Last night we attended our church's Maundy Thursday service.  It was the beginning to our celebration of the most important holiday of our year.  Amanda and I have been talking about how we can make this (in deed) the most important holiday of the year.  We have debated about doing anything that is not centered on Christ.  Last night's service was a great way to get us centered and to begin our thanksgiving for Christ. I sat at church last night just beaming. Beaming over so many things. I was so thankful for my savior and all that he has done for me and continues to do. I was thankful for my church, that holds both the terribleness and wonderfulness of this season in tension.   (Ben couldn't get over the fact that the service was in the dark and that we were going to exit in silence.)

I was thankful for my friends. To have Tom sitting next to me and Jason preach to me was wonderful. God spoke through him to my heart and led me to a deeper level of thankfulness for who Jesus was/is. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

I look so forward to Sunday and celebrating Christ's giving up of himself to absorb the wrath of the father that I deserved, the victory that he had over sin and death and to look forward to his second coming when he will consummate his kingdom.  Thank you God for making this season amazing.  Help our family to stay amazed.

Caleb's watch

In the comments of my last post, Shube referenced Caleb's watch and my mom wanted more information.  A few years ago, we bought Benjamin a watch when he was learning to tell time.  He wasn't that into it.  He stopped wearing it.  For some reason, Caleb felt differently.  He nabbed it and it has become an ever present accessory since.  Caleb is a person of routine and detail.  He is the first to wake up every morning.  He loves wearing his Twins shirt.  He's a artist and sees the world in a different way.  As our friend PhiltheCarl would say, "He's not anal, just particular."  He comes by this personality trait by very naturally.  Whenever we're with Uncle Joe, the resemblance in mannerisms and personality is uncanny.

The watch has become a part of his routine.  When a long sleeve shirt goes on, the watch is slid off, set aside and then slid back on.  When it's time to get dirty, the watch is slid off, set aside and then slid back on after the dirt.  When it's time to wash up, the watch is slid off, set aside and then slid back on after the wash.  We love Caleb and all the things that make him him.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My best friends

Don't you just love these guys?