Thursday, August 30, 2007

What Should A Pastor's Wife Be?

In my Seminary Wives Institute class called Essentials, we learned about our role as a committed Christian and a ministry wife. We did a fun exercise in class. Together, we listed all the stereotypes we have ever heard or held of what the pastor's wife should be. Here is what the class came up with:

The pastor's wife has a spotless home, is a gifted teacher, and cooks everything
from scratch. She is an extrovert, always dressed-up and fashionable.
She is even-tempered, wears long skirts and a bun, and never spends money on
herself. She knows all the verses to every hymn, cuts hair, is poor and gets
everything for free. Her children are perfect. She is a willing worker in the
children's ministry and especially the nursery. Her children are monsters. She
visits everyone in the church, is quiet and demure, never says no. And, of
, she plays piano, because the last pastor's wife did.

This list is ridiculous for many reasons, one being that some of her characteristics are contradictory. She's an extrovert and she's quiet and demure? She's dressed-up and fashionable but plainly dressed and never spends money on herself? No woman can be all these things, the perfect pastor's wife in everyone's eyes. And, praise the Lord, God does not ask any of us to be all these things.

Our instructor, Mrs. Mary Mohler, reminded us that there is no job description for a minister's wife. God does not want us to try to be someone we are not. We do, however, need to desire to serve, we need to be teachable, and we need to be willing to be all God wants us to be.

We ended the class with this encouraging quote from Pam Farrel, in Woman of Influence:
A call from God to be a pastor's wife is simply saying yes to being the person
God has already designed you to be. God knows what tools to use to make each of
us diamonds and for some of us, being married to a man in the ministry is just
the tool God will use to make us each the priceless gem He sees in us already.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It was a good night!

Tonight was a great night. Kimberly has class on Thursday evenings, so that means it is boys night out for Ken, Calvin, and Teddy Dean. Two amazing things happened this evening. First, we were at Target and I looked up and found a package of Caribou Coffee whole beans decaf on the shelf! Second, and more importantly, we (the boys) watched the Green Bay Packers and ate popcorn. Calvin kept singing, "Go, Pack, Go"!!! Yes, it was a great night!

Wonderfully busy

Sorry for the delay in posting. Kimberly and I are adjusting to the new schedule. A typical day begins around 6:00 am and ends around midnight. The exciting news in the Schmidt house is how well Teddy Dean is crawling. He loves the action so he scoots after Calvin from room to room giggling all the time. Calvin was just gifted with a blue life jacket for swimming. He loves it and so do mom and dad. Calvin has absolutely no fear of the water. Combine that with the fact that he cannot swim and you can see why we really love the life jacket. Kimberly began her two classes in the Seminary Wives Institute this week. The courses are Discipleship I and Essentials I. I will let her write about the courses. I am so excited for her, she has been dreaming of taking these classes from the time we were engaged. I still love my classes. The amazing thing is that Hebrew Syntax & Exegesis is my favorite course! It does require a lot of work; probably 1-2 hours of study each morning, but it is worth it. The reading load for this semester's classes is about 50-75 pages a day.

We are going to the seminary's Annual Fall Kickoff Festival tomorrow evening. The big draw is hot air balloon rides for everyone. Check back this weekend for pictures...

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's hot!

We are in the midst of Louisville's longest streak of consecutive days above 90 degrees since 1985. I thought that I should disclose the hot temperatures of August since I will be reporting on the nice weather in December and January.

Interesting fact that may only interest me...

According to the article "fat, inc." in the August 2007 issue of Readers Digest, 'Americans are a collective 7,223,637,522 pounds overweight!'

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Books I Read This Summer

Instruments In The Redeemer's Hands: People In Need of Change Helping People In Need of Change by Paul David Tripp
For me, this was the second time reading this book. I read half of it over a year ago when Ken came home raving about it. I got bogged down after the first four chapters and set it aside. I have since heard so many people speak highly of this book that I felt I owed it a second read. The book is part of a growing canon of books and resources in what's called "Biblical Counseling." Biblical Couseling is helping people grow and change and face life's trials by passing their issues through a grid of scripture, helping them see their life within the framework of creation, fall, redemption, new creation. Biblical Counseling is in many ways contrary to modern psychological counseling, which is founded on a humanistic, postmodern worldview. Instruments In the Redeemer's Hands paints a poignant picture of our need for change, my need for change, because I live in a fallen world and am myself a sinful person. My sin messes up my relationships and my thinking and my doing. Furthermore, Tripp writes that every interaction we have with people is a form of counseling. I give advice, I am counseling. I sympathize, I am counseling. I approve behavior, I am counseling. The gist of his book, then, is that we should approach these casual counseling settings with a Biblical worldview to help people change for the glory of God.

Your Money Map: A Proven 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom by Howard Dayton

Written by the CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, this book is filled with biblical principles for managing your money. Did you know that the Bible has 2,350 verses on how to handle money and possessions? God certainly cares about how we manage our money, and it goes far beyond just tithing. I found this book easy to read and extremely practical.

Shopping For Time: How to do it all and not be overwhelmed by Carolyn Mahaney, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore, and Janelle Bradshaw

The four authors of this book are also known as "The GirlTalk Bloggers." A mother-and-three-daughter quartet, they are mothers, pastors' wives, and ministry leaders. They write in their book about the many demands on a woman's time and how to live victoriously in the midst of those pressures. The book is based on Ephesians 5:15-16, which warns us to be wise in how we live, making the most of every opportunity. They write with humor and grace, with encouragement and not condemnation. A brief 94 pages, it is a worthwhile and manageable read for busy women.

Lose the Halo, Keep the Wings: Great Advice for Ministers' Wives by Virginia Wilson

I read this in preparation for a Seminary Wives Institute class, Essentials for the Ministry Wife I and II. Virginia Wilson writes from many years of experience. She doesn't hesitate to share her embarrassing moments as a pastor's wife as well as her more victorious moments. A common thread through the entire book is that God has made each pastor's wife unique, and she should use her own gifts and strengths to bless her church, never trying to imitate another minister's wife. I especially appreciate the thoughtful discussion questions at the end of each chapter, and I hope to have opportunities to discuss with my classmates!

Classes begin!

I am absolutely thrilled to be an official student again. I just completed my first session for each of my classes. It feels great to be in classes studying God's Word. My classes are Systematic Theology I, Church History I, Ministry of Proclamation and Hebrew Syntax & Exegesis.

Some of you may remember Dr. Russ Moore who preached at First Free for our Mission's Conference last October. He is my Theology professor. The first session (3 hours) was amazing, the best lecture I have heard in my entire life. He is having us read numerous books, the one I am finishing up today is called Biblical Theology and Preaching by Edmund Clowney. Excellent book, although I am not sure that everyone would enjoy the depth of it. In Church History we are examining the 2nd Century (100's). This is the patristic period, meaning that it is the period of the church fathers (guys that followed after the apostles and wrote, such as Irenaeus). I have been assigned two texts to preach over the course of this semester in Ministry of Proclamation. My first is Colossians 3:1-4 and the second is to come from James. I am leaning towards preaching something from James 4. The Hebrew course is considered the most difficult course in the M. Div. program. I am really enjoying it, it meets at 7:00 am on T, W, and Th. It is a small class, 6 students, so there is great interaction with the professor (who goes to our church).

As you can tell, I am very thankful and excited to be here. Kimberly and I continually look at each other and say, "Can you believe that we get to do this?" Please be in prayer for me that I would be a godly husband, father, student and co-worker. Pray that I would be diligent in my studies and that I would find a great balance. Finally, please pray for my dear wife and boys. They are going to be without daddy much of our time here in Louisville. Kimberly is so selfless and loving. Pray for her growth in godliness, opportunities to grow and learn about being a pastor's wife and for the salvation and well being of our boys.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

More Pictures

We also ate at Macaroni Grill while Grandma and Auntie were visiting. We had an extremely handsome and talented waiter.

Grandma Patti and Auntie Lyndsay Visit

We had a great time the past few days with Grandma Patti and Auntie Lyndsay. The Zoo, the Waterfront, swimming at Regent Park, swimming and a picnic at the seminary, Seneca Park, Cherokee Park, Sonic! We packed it in, but still had time for naps...Lyndsay was grateful. Thanks for visiting us!

Treasures In Heaven

I wrote this letter this afternoon to someone near and dear to me who I have been talking with lately about money and jobs. I thought perhaps someone else out there could be blessed by reading it:

I agree with you that many quality teachers are grossly underpaid. It is unfortunate that many careers done "from the heart" are not rewarded monetarily. I think this is part of why the Bible says, "Work wholeheartedly, as serving the Lord, not men." People may not give us our just pay, and employers may even mistreat us. But when we work at a job or volunteer ministry or station in life (like motherhood!) as though we are employed by the Lord Himself, not only do we work harder and with integrity, but we trust God to reward us in eternal ways. Jesus said it this way:

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)

God has called Ken and me to vocational ministry. We may never have much money in worldly standards. But we feel rich! Honestly, we do. We are rich in relationships, family, purpose, joy, and we are rich from the ultimate treasure of knowing God. Furthermore, we are not lacking anything. God really does provide for our every need...unexpected gifts exactly when we need that have blessed us and others. There are ways He provides that you may never even give thought to, such as finding a great deal on clothes that helps stretch the budget. Sounds silly, but it is true. God gives us so many good things.

The Bible says clearly that he will provide for everyone what they need if they will simply ask. Not everything we want, though. That's one of the biggest challenges: knowing the difference between a need and a want. The second challenge is to be content with what God gives us. You can only feel rich if you have learned to be content. Jesus continues his message about money like this:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?...So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:25-34)

If the first two challenges are 1) to know the difference between a need and a want, and then 2) to be content with what God gives us, the third challenge is to be good stewards of what God entrusts to us. This may be what frustrates you the most about people not achieving their full potential: they may have squandered what God has given them. They have been given life, and time, and opportunity. Yet maybe they didn't make the most of it. I agree it is sad, because they may have had more in life. This is another principle about resources that Jesus teaches, that when you are faithful with the little He gives you, He will entrust you with much more. "You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things." (Matthew 25:21) In this sense, I echo your frustration with people. Yet when I look at myself, I have made that same mistake often. I have wasted time. I have wasted money. I have wasted opportunities. I can be just as frustrated with myself! Praise God for His amazing grace. God gives me undeserved gifts of provision. And God gives me the most amazing undeserved provision of all: Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

At the Zoo

The water feels so good on a 100 degree day...

Daddy's favorite animal at the zoo

Sunday, August 5, 2007

My accent???

The most common question I am asked by my tables is, "You have an accent, where are you from?" Can you believe it?

Friday, August 3, 2007

John Piper's comments on the bridge collapse

John Piper is one of my favorite pastor/writers. Please read his thoughts he posted immediately after the bridge collapse:

Thursday, August 2, 2007


We are praying for all those that have been impacted by the tragic events that happened last evening. For our First Free friends, we are praying that you will be a Gospel light witness in this dark time for the Twin Cities. Please comment back on any specific prayer requests you may have.

We want to point you to a blog post by Dr. Al Mohler this morning: He rightly points out that we often depend upon earthly structures for our support when in reality they ultimately cannot be depended upon. Only God can be depended upon at all times and in every situation!

Water Day for Calvin & Teddy Dean at church

Our church has weekly activities planned for the preschoolers. We went to the Water Day at the church on Tuesday. Here are some pictures of Kim, Calvin and Teddy Dean. The one picture is of our friends Kim, Shelby and Caleb Davenport.