Friday, December 15, 2006

It's a Bug's Life

Anna Ruth's hair is in that stage where it's long enough to get in her face and look messy, but yet not quite long enough to put in cute little pony tails. When I tried the other day it came out looking like this. She ended up looking like a bug with funny antennae rather than a little girl. Rich added that she also looked like an alien...but, I think I may still continue to do her hair like this because it gets a lot of laughs. What do you think she looks more like--a bug or an alien?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, Anna Ruth

As many of you know, Anna Ruth's birthday was on December 6th. We actually celebrated it early when we were in Charleston for Thanksgiving, so this post is long overdue. Even though it's a week late, I did want to post a few pictures of the party. Aunt Carol made this beautiful flower cake for Anna Ruth. The best part was that the inside was red velvet cake, so the mess was even better. :)

Even though she had no idea what was going on, it was still fun to have a little party for her. She got several great gifts, and one of her favorites is a push toy from Aunt August, Uncle Jody & Storm. She gets very excited because she can walk by herself, and she loves it when we chase her. Overall, she had a wonderful birthday, and we were glad that we could spend it with family.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Please Pray

Ask the God who heals our diseases for healing here. Dustin Salter, RUF campus minister at Furman University, is in a coma. His family is dealing with the probable loss of their father and husband, and, even if he survives, severe brain damage is likely. Click here for updated information.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Cure

Since the middle of last week, Anna Ruth hasn't been feeling well. I took her to the doctor and found out that she had an ear infection. She also had a pretty bad runny nose and a little cough. So she hasn't been quite herself for a little while. But last night we found something that brought her loud and happy disposition back--a cinnamon graham cracker. I gave her one (which didn't make Daddy very happy because those are one of his favorite kinds of cookies), and she loved it. She was laughing and being silly, so I wanted to catch it on video for you all. Also I wanted to pass along this amazing discovery for any of you who might need a cure for all these colds and other viruses floating around this time of year.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The long awaited "Beer-On-A-Shoestring Rankings" have begun

My wife has informed me that the blog should be renamed "Hamlin Hoopla." Hopefully, I can begin to rectify this sad state of affairs.

Our finances have forced the masculine member of this family to curtail his consumption of barley-based alcoholic beverages. However, dire times though they may be, they have not yet forced the apocalyptic last call. (Note: in reality, there will be no apocalyptic last call, as we will be sitting around the Lord's table, drinking the most complex wine (for the first time for Jesus since the Last Supper). But for effect, I will continue...) Beer's great advantage over wine is cost. However, back in Blacksburg, I had become spoiled. Free beer tastings every Friday had enabled me to enjoy the finest of domestic and imported liquid cuisine while making the salary of a student. Here in Alabama, a supposedly conservative government has taxed alcohol nearly back to Prohibition, while also banning the best of beer from the state altogether (alcohol percentage cap). There has had to become a beer-imbibing strategy of sorts. I have begun to work my way up the cost/quality ladder of beer. Knowing full well that Bud/Miller/Coors would not get me up the first step of this ladder, I began with the next cheapest beer I could find. Wal-Mart sells Yuengling Black and Tan for $5.34 /six pack. I began there. I will admit being disappointed. I remember having one bottle that I really enjoyed, but on most days, the beer barely tasted. For the last two weeks, I have been sipping on Michelob's Amber Bock ($5.84/six pack at Wal-Mart). I would rate this beer equal to Yuengling Black & Tan in terms of quality, and I prefer the Black & Tan genre to that of the Amber Bock. For the price, both are ok, and if times become more desperate I may have to revert back. For now, however this is my ranking. For beer enthusiasts on a shoestring, keep an eye out, as this blog will be carrying a live updated ranking complete with prices in the upcoming months.

I sure miss the old days...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Anna Ruth Loves to Walk

This past Saturday was a beautiful, crisp fall day. I dressed Anna Ruth in her overalls and we went outside to walk around. Anna Ruth loves to walk with someone holding her hands. She thinks she's actually walking, and so gets very excited. So we decided to get some footage of this for y'all who aren't here to witness these milestones. Some other new developments are that she waves, points, says "Dada", "Mama", "baby", and "Bye-bye". She also has started pulling up, but is still perfecting that one. Tune in later for more footage as we catch it all on video.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Make your memories last

For all of those readers who are into scrapbooking like me, I have added something to the blog to foster ideas and give helpful tips on scrapbooking. It will be updated every day with a tip, and you can click on it for more information. For those of you who haven't gotten into it, here's in hopes that it will spark some interest in this very fun and also very practical hobby. So scroll on down to the bottom of the page and check it out...HAPPY SCRAPBOOKING!

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Woot* Scoot

Anna Ruth has begun scooting, and it's just so funny that I wanted to catch it on video. Here she is this morning trying to grab a hanger and eventually, the camera. Enjoy!
*By the way, for those of you who don't know, our pet name for Anna Ruth is "Woot". It started with Rich calling her "cutie wootie", and then that got shortened to "cute woot", which then led to just plain "woot". Just thought I'd explain so you weren't puzzling over the title.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Love is in the Air

Ever hear people say that summer is wedding season? Well, this summer is definitely proving it. We just returned from Charleston where we attended two weddings in two weekends. Rich's sister, Judith, got married on July 15, and my sister, Jessica, got married on July 21. We were glad that we were able to see a lot of people that we hadn't seen for a while, as well as seeing both of our families again. We had a fun time, but now need a vacation after our vacation. Now that we have a child, trips are a huge production. How can such a little person require so much stuff? Anyway, here are a few choice photos from our time in Charleston.

Ben and Judith pose in between bites at their reception.

The four sisters at the Pavilion Hotel rooftop bar for Jess' bachelorette party

Mr. and Mrs. Brian Moroney toast to their new life together.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Carolina Day

I guess I should have known about this. Ligon Duncan on Ref21 blog alerted me to it. I was actually surprised to hear that Fort Moultrie was a Revolutionary War battle site, rather than merely a War of Northern Agression battle site. Happy Carolina Day everyone!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Size comparison

It's fun to put Anna Ruth in places that reveal how small she is... , like Mommy's chair. She was so cute, I stopped paying attention to the U.S.-Italy match for a few minutes.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Anna Ruth's new dress

This dress was sent to Anna Ruth by Grandma H. She felt like a princess in it. Here's a snapshot of her modeling it for you.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Summer Fun with Hats

I guess it's not technically summer yet, but it sure feels like it down here in Birmingham, AL.
As you can see, Anna Ruth is ready for it with all of her hats and bonnets. We've been having fun sitting outside in the sun on our back lawn. Anna Ruth likes being outside as long as the sun doesn't get in her eyes. That's why the hats are so essential! (But they sure are cute, too!)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"Baby Got Book"

If you want to know who God has for you, and if you've already missed out on the woman that was God's will for you to marry, then watch this edu-taining video.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Calvin on 1 Corinthians 11:16

I Corinthians 11:16 "If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God."

Calvin's Commentary:
16. But if any man seem A contentious person is one whose humor inclines him to stir up disputes, and does not care what becomes of the truth. Of this description are all who, without any necessity, abolish good and useful customs — raise disputes respecting matters that are not doubtful — who do not yield to reasonings — who cannot endure that any one should be above them. Of this description, also, are those (ἀκοινώνητοι) would be singular persons 641 who, from a foolish affectation, 642 aim at some new and unusual way of acting. Such persons Paul does not reckon worthy of being replied to, inasmuch as contention is a pernicious thing, and ought, therefore, to be banished from the Churches. By this he teaches us, that those that are obstinate and fond of quarrelling, should rather be restrained by authority than confuted by lengthened disputations. For you will never have an end of contentions, if you are disposed to contend with a combative person until you have vanquished him; for though vanquished a hundred times, he would argue still. Let us therefore carefully mark this passage, that we may not allow ourselves to be carried away with needless disputations, provided at the same time we know how to distinguish contentious persons. For we must not always reckon as contentious the man who does not acquiesce in our decisions, or who ventures to contradict us; but when temper and obstinacy show themselves, let us then say with Paul, that contentions are at variance with the custom of the Church 643

Monday, April 03, 2006

Overdue Update

An update on our lives is long overdue. On March 1st, Liv and I drove from Blacksburg, VA to our new home in Birmingham, Alabama. With the help of Liv’s mother and sister and some friendly locals, we moved into an apartment just outside of city limits.

God provided me with a job from MBA Structural Engineers, Inc. here in Birmingham. Here are a few of their largest projects. After 3 ½ weeks of work, I can say that I love my job. My bosses have been very knowledgeable and gracious and yet at the same time have been forcing me to learn on my own. I can’t imagine a better vocational situation than working under two believing bosses and being given the responsibility that I have been given.

As great as the work situation has been, other circumstances have not been quite as promising. Most importantly, the main reason I applied to this job was the hope of a good church in Birmingham. Sadly, that church has not appeared to be quite what we expected, and though we have tried, we have been unable to get connected there. We have yet to find a church that would be an ideal match to our convictions, though we have been here for a month. We greatly miss our dearly loved spiritual brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers in Blacksburg. We are still hopeful that one of a couple of churches we have visited will be close enough to what we think the Bible teaches that we could serve there wholeheartedly.

It seems that race (and economic class) relations here are somewhat strained. Liv in particular has been treated badly in stores where she has been out of place as a non-white, lower-income individual, and yet when she has been to predominantly black areas to shop, she has been treated even worse. I, too have felt this when I have been out. This type of thing has been altogether foreign to us, though we both have grown up in what we once considered the Deep South.

One of the advantages of our new abode is living right down the street from the zoo. However, if one of these ferocious cats ever got loose, we’d be doomed. I’m not lyin’!

We also live right across the street from the famous (and free) Birmingham Botanical Gardens, where Liv and I have visited once already.

While we were gone, Anna Ruth laid back, chilled out, and watched the tube. What a couch potato!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Westminster West on Justification

I just found this statement on justification by the faculty of Westminster West. It relates to the current NPP and FV controversies.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

There's some kind of effect we have on our friends...

They seem to be getting a little depressed. Here Wade and Emiley end it all, driving over a cliff in Utah. What do you think? Is it a cheesy way to die?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Snow Day

"I'm not so sure about all that white stuff outside."

"Brrr! It's cold out here!"

"They left me!"

"So it's a snowball fight you want, huh?"

"That was fun, but I'm glad to be back inside where it's warm!"

Sunday, February 12, 2006

All Decked Out in Our Sunday Best

Anna Ruth has had a fussy week, but Sunday has been a good one so far. Right now, she is full and content, but in another 5 minutes, she will be ready to go down for a nap. What a life!

I think he'll put me down if I pull his hair hard enough...

And she tried, but she was unsuccessful. Here she is, trying to hair-pull me into submission. I endured long enough for the camera to flash a couple times.

Friday, February 10, 2006

NBA All Stars

Recently, I considered never watching the NBA again (see Antonio Davis getting punished for doing the right thing), but, oh well. Anyway, the NBA All Stars have all been named. Also, did anyone see the hurtin' the Mavs put on the Heat? This might be the year for the Mavs; they are a changed team.

Oh, yeah, did anyone else wonder why Ray Allen made the team and not Chris Paul? I love Ray Allen, and I love watching him play, but it seems like the votes went to players making the biggest difference for their teams, so why Allen? The same could be said of Paul Pierce, but his stats are amazing, the best in the league in my opinion.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Is the Catholic Church a true church?

(I should ask the same thing about 80% of modern American churches also, since they teach basically the same thing.) Is it a big deal that they teach that justification is dependent on works in addition to faith? If so, how big? I mean, they're right on so much; how important is it that they are wrong on this one?

"What was it that gave rise to the stupendous polemic of the Epistle to the Galatians? To the modem Church the difference would have seemed to be a mere theological subtlety. About many things the Judaizers were in perfect agreement with Paul. The Judaizers believed that Jesus was the Messiah; there is not a shadow of evidence that they objected to Paul's lofty view of the person of Christ. Without the slightest doubt, they believed that Jesus had really risen from the dead. They believed, moreover, that faith in Christ was necessary to salvation. But the trouble was, they believed that something else was also necessary; they believed that what Christ had done needed to be pieced out by the believer's own effort to keep the Law. From the modern point of view the difference would have seemed to be very slight. Paul as well as the Judaizers believed that the keeping of the law of God, in its deepest import, is inseparably connected with faith. The difference concerned only the logical -- not even, perhaps, the temporal -- order of three steps. Paul said that a man (1) first believes on Christ, (2) then is justified before God, (3) then immediately proceeds to keep God's law. The Judaizers said that a man (1) believes on Christ and (2) keeps the law of God the best he can, and then (3) is justified. The difference would seem to modern "practical" Christians to be a subtle and intangible matter, hardly worthy of consideration at all in view of the large measure of agreement in the practical realm. What a splendid cleaning up of the Gentile cities it would have been if the Judaizers had succeeded in extending to those cities the observance of the Mosaic law, even including the unfortunate ceremonial observances! Surely Paul ought to have made common cause with teachers who were so nearly in agreement with him; surely he ought to have applied to them the great principle of Christian unity. "

As a matter of fact, however, Paul did nothing of the kind; and only because he (and others) did nothing of the kind does the Christian Church exist today. Paul saw very clearly that the difference between the Judaizers and himself was the difference between two entirely distinct types of religion; it was the difference between a religion of merit and a religion of grace. If Christ provides only a part of our salvation, leaving us to provide the rest, then we are still hopeless under the load of sin. For no matter how small the gap which must be bridged before salvation can be attained, the awakened conscience sees clearly that our wretched attempt at goodness is insufficient even to bridge that gap. The guilty soul enters again into the hopeless reckoning with God, to determine whether we have really done our part. And thus we groan again under the old bondage of the law. Such an attempt to piece out the work of Christ by our own merit, Paul saw clearly, is the very essence of unbelief, Christ will do everything or nothing, and the only hope is to throw ourselves unreservedly on His mercy and trust Him for all.

"Paul certainly was right. The difference which divided him from the Judaizers was no mere theological subtlety, but concerned the very heart and core of the religion of Christ". (Machen, J. Gresham. Christianity and Liberalism, New York: Macmillan, 1923, p. 23-25.)

Here is more (though on a slightly different subject.)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

January 15th

This was a little while ago, but on the 15th of January, at Redeemer Church, in Blacksburg, VA, Anna Ruth was given her rite of initiation into the covenant of salvation. Here she is, with our pastor, her mother and father, and a little bit of water. Thank you to everyone who attended. It was very encouraging to have believing families on both mother and father's sides in attendance. God is truly faithful to his promises to be God to the children of believers.

If you are wondering what this is about, I will attempt to give a short explanation. Salvation is by Christ alone, and we gain that salvation from him by faith alone. But the promises of God to save are made only to those who are in covenant with him. Those outside the covenant of grace cannot be saved. All those within must have faith to be saved; they must trust in those promises God makes.

Baptism, according to the Bible, is the initiation into the covenant God has made with his people, and the beginning of the faith journey, the life of discipleship. In the Bible, children are not viewed as autonomous individuals, but, if their parents are believers, they are disciples of Christ. If one grows up to be an unbeliever, it is an act of covenant breaking, for they were in the covenant as a child, in God's sight.

Not only does Baptism enter one into the covenant, but in it, God also signs and seals his promises to his people. Baptism, as a sign, pictures the work of God, in cleansing his people of their sin, granting them his Holy Spirit, and uniting them to Christ, in whom is salvation. As a seal, Scripture speaks of baptism as gracious thing; it not only pictures grace, but through it, God also gives grace to his people, though this grace is not necessarily given at the same time that the baptism is administered, and it is only given to those who believe.

That was my attempt at brevity. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Taken today

Anna Ruth is a happy girl (at least right this second--if you wait a few, she might be very upset). But lately, it seems she has been happy a lot. It's good to catch it on camera. She has been so much fun. She's starting to coo and interact with us in other ways. I'm convinced she knows to stick out her tongue when I tell her to. It could just be that her favorite game to play is the "let's stick out our tongues game." It sounds boring, but when it's your own child interacting with you as a separate human being, it's really exciting. God knew what he was doing when he designed families.