Welcome new contributors – the Garms Family!

As promised earlier this week, the time has arrived to welcome a new contributor to SouthernGospelBlog.com—or, more precisely, eight of them!

You met the Garms Family last fall when their youngest, Caleb, was featured in this Legacy Six video. They’ve been active participants in the comments since. Recently, after they made a comment expressing interest in blogging about Southern Gospel, I invited them to give it a try here. They said yes!

Perhaps the most unique aspect we can be looking forward to is the range of ages and perspectives they bring—from middle-aged parents to a seven-year old! Here is just a preview and a taste, as each shares thoughts on joining:

Dad (David)

“SouthernGospelBlog.com has been a positive part of our family’s cyber life. We’re excited to see the latest postings, read the captivating comments, often laugh, as well as identify with the topics. It makes for great discussion around the kitchen table! Our family is humbled to share this home-grown perspective spanning a couple of generations from little Caleb to Mom & Dad.

Mom (Kris)

“Exciting! Our home life has been a buzz with Southern Gospel Music and all it entails since falling in love with the Cathedrals music in 2005. We love this genre with the powerful message of hope in Jesus Christ. May God use our time together on this blog to honor Him and give Him all the glory and praise for this music and the lives (like ours) that have been changed.”

Interestingly, that was within a year of when I discovered the Cathedrals’ music myself, as my first exposure to Southern Gospel! That would’ve been mid-2004 for me, I believe. – Daniel

From left to right: Taylor, Ben, Samuel, Dad/David, Jayme, Mom/Kris, Caleb, and Leesha Garms

From left to right: Taylor, Ben, Samuel, Dad/David, Jayme, Mom/Kris, Caleb, and Leesha Garms

Ben (age 20)

“How amazing it is to have an opportunity like this! Thank you, Daniel, for giving us the chance to share our thoughts and to support your blog. I’m praying we will be a welcome addition to SouthernGospelBlog.com, and I hope you readers and commentors enjoy this as much as we will!”

Taylor (age 18)

“It has been a joy to read and participate on SouthernGospelBlog.com for the past four months, and now it is an honor to be active contributors. I personally am excited to learn more about this amazing genre through our time here! It is actually a dream come true for us, as Ben, Leesha, and I used to talk about starting our own SG blog even before we had discovered Southern Gospel Blog. By the way, Daniel, do you really know what you have gotten into? Do we, for that matter? :)”

I think I have a pretty good idea! But we shall see! – Daniel

Leesha (age 16)

“All I can say is, God is truly amazing! God moves in mysterious ways and this is another incredible twist on the journey He’s put us on. I’m very humbled by the position Daniel has given us. I have enjoyed reading SouthernGospelBlog.com and can’t believe I’ll be a part of it!”

Samuel (age 11)

“This is interesting! It’s going to be a new experience. I can’t wait to get into it and find out how it turns out. Otherwise, it’s just another part of my daily life.”

Jayme (age 9)

“It’s interesting that this will include us kids. In a way it scares me, having people looking at our comments. I’m looking forward to being a part of it [SouthernGospelBlog.com].”

I think you’ll be the ones doing as much as anyone to make it interesting! And I mean that in a good way! – Daniel

Caleb (age 7)

“It sure is going to be exciting and really, really fun! It is interesting that people are going to look at my comments. That makes me feel weird, to think others are learning what I think about things.”

Might as well get used to it, my friend! One of these days, plenty of people who have never heard of Daniel Mount will have heard of Caleb Garms! – Daniel


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70 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I wasn’t expecting this! I thought you were bringing David Mac aboard. What a lovely surprise. Welcome one and all. This should be…interesting. LOL. 😀

    • Yes, he’s the obvious pick, and if he had the time, I’d not have the slightest hesitation welcoming him. 🙂

      I really thought this would be a surprise, and very good one at that. I think that all their perspectives will be valuable – and that those of the Lil’ Adventurers, especially, will be something entirely unique in Southern Gospel’s corner of the online world. So yes, I’m excited!

    • So YGG, why don’t you have a link in your name now so we can find your site easier? Huh? Huh? 🙂

      • I can’t do that on Daniel’s blog. I do it on others though. Check out Phil or Adam or one of those guys, and if I have a comment you can click on me.

        And then, uh, of course once you add me to your favorites it’ll be easy for you. 🙂

      • Oh, I just realized that was dropped. I never noticed when it went away!

      • Yeah, you can, actually – you never read the links in the sidebar? Click on the “get an account” link. 🙂

        I did it to trip up spambots, which have submitted something approaching 100,000 spam comments since launch.

      • Oh, I do remember something about that. My blog isn’t active, and I’m not planning on traveling again for sometime, so I didn’t think it was worth it.

      • Yes – it’s just an option for those who want it.

      • I took out the website line in mine as well and for the same reason. It does seem to have reduced the problem a bit.

      • Am I correct that you don’t have the “create an account” option, or did I miss something?

        By the way, the reason this helps is that different spambots find WordPress sites to spam by searching for specific lines of code found in all WordPress installations. The more of those I customize or change, the fewer spambots find me!

      • I don’t allow accounts to be created either, but I can also add them manually if anyone wants.

    • Hope you not too disappointed ex-NSF!!

      My family ain’t this big anyway, and it is good to get cross-family comment.

      Congrats guys, a real SGM-housefull for Daniel’s Den!

      Look forward to lots of bloguments :-)!

      • I suspect they’ll largely resolve disagreements before posting . . . but we shall see!

      • I think they should do an album review with just the younger kids and see what they come up with!

      • I am rooting for plenty of posts from the Lil’ Adventurers (or LAs for short)! 🙂

      • It will definitely be the most distinctive aspect we can look forward to.

        🙂

      • Agreed. 🙂

      • Thanks David Mac! We never argue around here…right guys?
        “Yes.” “No.” “Yes!” “NO!” “YEESS!” I said, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”…etc., etc. It’s going to be another longggg nighttttt. Thanks again, David Mac!

        -Mom for TGF

  2. Wow! big family!

    • Average by the standards of my background/culture and theirs! 🙂

    • That reminds us of a song phrase, “There’s always room for more!”

      -TGF

      P.S. What song is that taken from? -Caleb

      • “Welcome to the Family” by the Booth Brothers.

      • Yeah! One of our favorite songs from one of our favorite groups! – The LA’s

        P.S. “I forgive you for the comments you said below…just don’t say them again!” – Caleb 🙂

      • Who, me? For saying you were going to be handsome and hoping you’d marry a nice girl someday? 😀

      • Umm, YGG, I think you just said them again! 😮

      • Oh, I did? 😮

      • Well, you didn’t say the “c” word, but you did say the “g” one – and having been a 7-year-old boy once myself, the latter is as scary as the former! 🙂

      • LOL! My dad actually got up in church and testified the other night about how he was so glad he hadn’t let us go over and play with another family that included a teenage boy many years ago, because he thought that maybe they were playing matchmaker, but I finally did “find the right one” (my husband).

        I was all of twelve years old and detested this boy! It was still embarrassing fourteen years later.

  3. Will Caleb mind if I say that he’s cute, or would “sharp young man” be a better fit? 😉

    • I don’t really mind it, but I like “sharp young man” a little better. 🙂
      -Caleb

      • All right then. You’re on track to grow up very handsome. Choose a girl wisely when the time comes! 🙂

      • [He’s way too young, YGG sis!]

        Welcome to Daniel’s Den!!

        The famous Garms Guy IS Caleb – a YouTube SGM solo performer!

        Way to Go Caleb! Glad to see the whole family along, this old world needs families, and Christian ones even more so!

      • I was thinking the same thing, but wasn’t sure quite how to say it!

      • S G Muse,

        We agree, he’s WAY too young!

        Thanks for the warm welcome…to Caleb that is!! Chuckle, chuckle. 🙂

        Thanks for the encouraging comment! -Caleb

        Why does he get all the attention (and comments!)? – Jayme 🙂

        Yes, we are one (sort-of) big family. We have an older daughter, as well, and a younger foster daughter…we’re trying to convert them to SGM. Pray for them!! 🙂

      • Hang on, did I miss something here or did David Mac become S G Muse?

      • Jayme, he gets all the attention because he’s so cu… I mean, he’s a sharp young man. 😉

      • “Nice.” – Jayme 🙂

      • No, Jayme, he doesn’t get quite all the attention – when I was looking through pictures to select for this post, I decided to look for the ones where you had a great smile, he had a great smile – and none of the others looked particularly distracted! 🙂

      • “I’m glad you have seen my smile, because I am also trying to work on smiling more often. So I’m glad you found some pictures with my smile on it. I lost some of my teeth and now they’re finally coming in!” 🙂

        -Jayme for TGF

      • Great! 🙂

      • “Yuck!” – Caleb’s first reaction.

        When he’s about 50 he might change his mind! 🙂

        – Mom (Caleb’s sweet”mom”)for TGF

      • Ha! Good. “Yuck” is about normal for a guy his age. Give him ten years. 😉

  4. Oh by the way Daniel, you can’t have something be “very unique” or “most unique.” Either a thing is unique or it isn’t. It’s like being “very pregnant.”

    However, you could say, “Perhaps the most distinctive…” or something like that. 😉

    • Actually, YGG, some things can be more unique than others. There’s no reason why not.

      • No, actually, you’re wrong. “Unique” means that there is nothing else like it, anywhere. I am unique. My fingerprints are unique. And so forth. When you understand what the word really means, you understand that attaching an adjective like “most” or “very” simply doesn’t make sense. It’s exactly like the word “pregnant.” “Judy is more pregnant than Amy.” See what I mean? What you’re trying to say is that the most *distinctive* feature, the feature that most stands out, is the perspective from the younger kids. If you want to use the word unique, just say, “A unique feature of this setup is…” without the adjective in front of it.

        Grammar lesson for the day. 🙂

      • You are sort of right, but not entirely. You are using the primary definition; I am using a legitimate and accepted alternate definition:

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/unique

        I will concede that your definition is the primary one, but I’m sticking by the fact that mine is also legitimate.

      • As usual, you’re relying on a dictionary definition that has conceded to the standards of colloquial grammar, which is not necessarily the same thing as correct grammar. Your use may be “legitimate” in the sense that people use and accept it, but it’s not legitimate in terms of what is actually correct.

      • I read an interesting article the other day on descriptive versus prescriptive dictionary-ing (the proper verb escapes me). They were standing up for prescriptive, but I don’t completely go for it.

        I was going to segue into saying that I agree with Daniel on this one, but now I’m sure he’ll say that he believes in prescriptive dictionary-ing but in this case doesn’t feel it applies.

        I kind of wish I really had the ability to play referee in every dispute … but on second thought that’s a little too much responsibility.

      • Well, I don’t know about other folks, but I read a dictionary to find out what a word means, not what people think it means. 😉

      • YGG, language changes over time. It might be a regrettable fact, but it’s a fact.

        Even Merriam-Webster now concedes that the language has changed:

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unique

        Again, I’m not talking “might someday change,” I’m talking “has changed” – regrettable or not.

      • My dad was once unfortunate enough to find out from the dictionary that “victuals” is pronounced “vittles.” So he now feels obligated to read it “vittles” if he encounters it in Sunday School readings. He’s not really a hick, but it makes him sound like one.

        I’d rather have other people think I’m educated than be educated and have them think I’m a hick. In matters like that, anyway. (Please take this as friendlily as it’s meant.

        I’ll stand up for my views on creationism in the most cultured society you can bring on.

      • Once you start talking that way, the sky is the limit. You can end up using that line to argue that there is no such thing as objectively good grammar.

      • Sorry, I meant that as a reply to Daniel, but Amy posted before I did.

      • Oh, good grief! 🙂 We’ve been down this road two or three times before, and at least once previously in the comments.

        You acknowledge that language changes over time, correct? That even though it’s linguistically superior to have thee/thou and you/ye for singular and plural second person, the language can and does change?

        The only point we differ on is whether to use currently defined definitions or the definitions from 50 years ago.

        There’s a part of me that would like to use the definitions from 50 years ago, but I am writing for an audience today – therefore I seek to use words as they are currently understood.

      • Am I allowed to use ain’t? Cause I ain’t got no problem using it.

      • If you live in the South, you can. 🙂

      • A bunch of people I know we’re going through a phase a while back of getting the old 1823 version of Webster’s Dictionary. I find it of great historical interest, but not so much practical interest.

        My definition of marriage is not based on what the dictionary says. And I was very careful about saying my “boyfriend” because I know it frequently means “live-in.” I still think that “gay” ought to mean “happy,” but I no longer use it.

        And I prefer my dictionary to warn me about those things.

      • Yes. God’s Word provides us with absolute standards of right and wrong. Those do not change.

        But the terminology our language uses to describe those concepts does change over time.

        Of late, most changes are for the worse. I concede that – and I’ve made up my mind that there are far more important battles to fight than to change the meaning of hundreds or thousands of words.

      • I don’t know where “thee” and “thou” came from, but whatever. 🙂

        Here is something else to think about, Daniel. When you begin using a word incorrectly, you’re robbing the language of its clarity and precision. Think about the word “unique.” Because people have lazily lapsed into the convention of using it the way they would use the word “unusual” or “distinctive,” they have rendered those words unnecessary. Now, if I say that something is “unique,” there is now nothing (as it were) unique about the word. It could mean that something is one of a kind, but according to the modern definition it could also simply mean that the thing is different or unusual. If I really want to say that something is “unique” as in utterly set apart from anything else, I have to go into a big spiel to clarify that.

        That’s what I mean when I say the language is being fuzzified. Once people are allowed to use a word however they want, it promotes laziness and creates confusion.

      • Oh, and Brian can use “ain’t” as much as he likes. He could even write a southern gospel song using it if he was fixin’ to. 😀

      • It would be a different story if I was the first doing it.

        The thing is, though, NSF – it is now standard usage. It’s widely accepted and has made it into the dictionary.

        I am not fuzzifying the language; I am accurately using a language others have fuzzified.

      • Oh BTW do any of you guys subscribe to A Word A Day? http://wordsmith.org/awad/ It’s a pretty decent email subscription. Very interesting, but frequently the quote for the day is from an atheist or agnostic perspective. The vocabulary part is worth having though, IMO. And I’ve never gotten any spam; you can unsubscribe if you don’t like it; it’s very short; give it a try!

      • But Daniel, you are one of the people using the word that way, hence you are contributing to the fuzzification process.

        Nobody says you have to cooperate.

        🙂

      • There’s the core of where our views differ. As far as I’m concerned, once a definition is standardized enough that I check three current dictionaries (including Merriam-Webster) and all three have it as a definition, the fuzzification process is over and the new meaning is an accepted, defined part of our language.

      • That doesn’t make any sense. When something correct is being used incorrectly by multiple people and modern dictionaries, it’s an ongoing process to which anyone can contribute. Whether or not a dictionary is affirming it, it is still confusing to give the word that meaning. It will always be confusing, and fuzzier than things were before. That’s just a fact that has nothing to do with the passage of time.

      • Well, I can understand that and at least understand where you’re coming from.

        As a writer, I think it’s my responsibility to use the language accurately as it exists today, not as I think it ought to exist today – and perhaps I just place a little too much trust in dictionaries as the standard.

        But, you see, I’m a writer and not an etymologist. My job is to use the language as it exists today, not determine it.

      • I think we’re talking past each other. I just realized something: I have no clue what your ultimate standard for determining the definition and proper usage of a word is.

        I go by current dictionaries, e.g., the Merriam-Webster, to understand how a word is and (unless there is a definition that somehow conflicts with the Biblical worldview) should be used today.

        Evidently you use something else. What is it? 1828 Webster? A more recent Webster from, say, 50 years ago? Your own opinion?

      • FYI…

        To all you debators, the definition for “very unique” is our brother Ben! – Taylor and Leesha for TGF 😉

      • I love friendly family feuds!

      • Taylor and Leesha – I love it! 🙂

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