Friday, September 26, 2008

Food and Clothing

When we moved last December into our current home, I blogged some "thoughts on moving," and the disorganization and stress of it all. I commented on Carolyn Mahaney's advice to, in busy seasons, focus on food and clothing.

I have since wondered if that comment made sense to anyone but me. But it's simple, practical advice that I've found so helpful as a wife, mother, and homemaker, so I want to point you to the GirlTalk blog entry for today. The GirlTalkers explain this principle much better than I can, a principle that can really lift the burden you may feel when you face a busy season. Click here to read more.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fearlessly Feminine

Fearlessly Feminine: Boldly Living God's Plan for Womanhood, by Jani Ortlund is encouraging teaching for Christian women of all ages in all stages of life. Clearly and unashamedly complementarian, Jani Ortlund discusses several key scripture passages regarding biblical womanhood.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the book:

  • She gives this word to single women:

"I belive that marriage is good, something to be sought after and prized. I
believe that it is God-ordained and is for our benefit and pleasure. But
marriage is not the best thing in life ~ God Himself is."

  • Ortlund quotes some of my favorite writings on biblical womanhood, including Elisabeth Elliot's Let Me Be A Woman and an obscure little book by Brenda Hunter called Where Have All the Mother's Gone?

  • The appendix titled, "Sweet Sacrifices: A Word to Ministry Wives" was particularly encouraging to me as a ministry wife. She even addresses seminary wives specifically. That's pretty rare!

  • Before each chapter is a story of a real-life fearlessly feminine woman. These sketches include Fannie Crosby, Ruth Bell Graham, Susanna Wesley, Edith Schaeffer, Amy Carmichael, Sarah Edwards, and more. These are inspiring women!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Family Reading

Some delicious peaches this summer inspired us to check out James and the Giant Peach from the library. I wasn't sure if Calvin would be able to follow the storyline in a chapter book with few pictures, but he can. So this has been a fun evening activity.

Any suggestions for more chapter books at a similar level that would make for more good family reading?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

We're Back On The Grid

Our power is back on! Or, as they are saying around here, we are "back on the grid."

Many in Louisville are still without power, though, including our church. We had our worship service outdoors this morning, which was very cool.

From conversations this morning, it is clear that this has been a long week for many, and, particularly for those still without electricity, nerves are frayed.

On a brighter note, I have a request to share some grilling recipes, created during our power outage:

Grilled Peaches

Cut fresh peaches in half and pull out the pit. Place peach halves, face down, directly onto hot grill. Cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove peaches from grill and place face up on serving plate. Drizzle with honey. As good as peach pie, but healthier!

Creole Tinfoil Packets

1 link smoked sausage, halved and sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Olive oil
Garlic powder
Chili powder

Spray 4 sheets of tinfoil with cooking spray. Portion out sausage, peppers, onions, and beans on the tinfoil sheets. Drizzle each serving with just a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder. Wrap edges of foil up and around the food and seal like a package. Place tinfoil packets directly on grill and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. About 4 servings.



Friday, September 19, 2008

Still No Power

Our home is still without electricity or telephone. Now it has been 5 1/2 days.

Our friends, Steve and Tammy, have power at their house. They are graciously allowing the Schmidt clan to crash at their house while they are out of town this weekend. A computer, telephone, television, hot showers, hair dryer, refrigerator, washer and dryer, an oven...this is luxury.

We have been doing just fine though. Many blessings come from "unplugging" for a few days, as anyone who goes camping knows. Some lessons learned:

  • I spend way too much time on the computer.
  • Reading by flashlight is tricky.
  • I take hot water for granted.
  • Without hot water for washing (clothes, dishes, floors, ourselves, little boys), bad smells crop up quickly.
  • Grilling is awesome! With only one cooking method, we're trying all kinds of delicious grilled crisp, roasted green beans and mushrooms, creole tinfoil packets, honey-drizzled grilled peaches, pizza, chocolate biscuit "clouds." Yes, we are eating quite well.
  • I understand why the average nightly hours of sleep was so much higher in ages past. Without electricity, there's little reason to stay up past dark or get up before sunrise. We are well rested!
  • Gathering around a couple candles and a single flashlight in the evening is great family bonding time.
  • Lacking some of our usual entertainment, we've been telling jokes to one another. Fun!

Louisville Gas and Electric was working two blocks from our home shouldn't be too much longer.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Camping At Home

We've been without electricity since Sunday afternoon.

Strong winds swept across Louisville Sunday, and half the city is still without power. Trees are down everywhere you look. Nearly everyone has piles of branches and debris set out at the end of their drive.

We had almost no damage to our home (just one small piece of siding blew off), though the yard was a mess. Neighbors down the street were not nearly so lucky. One house sits crushed beneath a huge tree.

The seminary cancelled all classes and activities for the week. Ken is also out of work for the time being because the Macaroni Grill has only partial power. We are hearing mixed reports about when the entire city will be back up and running...anywhere from five days to a month.

So, in the meantime, we are eating out of a cooler, cooking all our meals on the BBQ grill, eating outside (the weather is gorgeous, praise the Lord), using the laundromat, and taking cold showers.

Essentially, we are camping at home.

But we have so much for which to be thankful, and we are remembering often that this is all mere inconvenience compared to those affected by Hurricane Ike.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Dinner time conversation...

Teddy: (pointing at Calvin) He's Mr. Incredible
Calvin: No I'm Brett Favre
Teddy: No, Mr. Incredible
Calvin: No, I'm Brett Favre

This went on for 10 minutes...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Baptist Faith and Practice

I just finished the assigned reading for my class this Thursday night, a Seminary Wives Institute class on the Southern Baptist Convention. I'm looking over my notes from last week (we have quizzes!), and thinking about Baptist faith and practice.

Faith and practice were the central themes of last week's lecture by Dr. Gregory Wills. He stressed to us that, around the time of the founding of the SBC (1845), Baptist culture had settled into uniformity of both faith and practice.

As concerns faith, Baptists were generally united by Calvinistic doctrine. This uniformity in Calvinistic doctrine is interesting because, until the 19th century, this was precisely what divided Baptists. They were divided for centuries into general baptists, who were Arminian, and particular baptists, who were Calvinist.

All right, that's what I learned last week (in a nutshell) about Baptist faith. And what about practice?

This part was fascinating to me. Dr. Wills described in detail how churches proceeded (still talking 1845 here) to receive new members, baptize believers, and carry out church discipline. I could go on about this, but, in general, I found their procedures to be much more stringent, though much more biblical, than most modern churches.

I can hardly wait to learn more this Thursday night!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Well said...

"The world today is looking for, and desperately needs, true Christians. I am never tired of saying that what the church needs to do is not to organize evangelical campaigns to attract outside people, but to begin herself to live the Christian life."

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Calvin's Catechism

I took a break from translating 1 John and listened in on Kimberly teaching Calvin from "A Catechism for Boys and Girls." This catechism is based on the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. The catechism breaks up into six parts (God, man and sin; the Ten Commandments; Salvation; Prayer; the Word, church and ordinances; and Last Things) in which a question is asked and an answer is given. Kim will ask a question and Calvin will give the answer. It is a great tool to teach children the Bible and how it fits together.

Calvin doing great, this evening he correctly answered the first forty questions. However, one answer was classic Calvin. Kim asked, "What do we inherit from Adam as a result of this original sin?" Calvin's answer, "Animals!" (The correct answer is 'A sinful nature.')