Sunday, April 5, 2009

Reflections On Our Seminary Adventure

Manchester Creek Community Church ~

It's been a long journey getting to Rock Hill, South Carolina. But every step of the way has been completely worth it.

Our journey started nearly three years ago when we realized Ken could not graduate from Southern Seminary without resigning his pastoral position in Minnesota. We then spent a year preparing to leave St. Paul-- planning, packing, apartment searching, selling our house, wrapping things up at church, and saying our good-byes. Somewhere during that year, Ken sensed God preparing him to be a senior pastor.

Then we had 22 amazing months in Louisville, Kentucky. Our time at Southern Seminary was like being in a spiritual greenhouse and a pressure cooker at the same time. It was an intense time of training and preparation for Ken as well as for me. Our entire family needed to make a focused effort of all our energy, time, and money in order for Ken to finish his degree in a year and a half.

During this entire journey, we have been praying for the church where God would send us. And now we're here, at Manchester Creek Community Church. God has answered so many of our prayers already!

Thank you for journeying with us. It has been such fun to share our experience with so many friends and family through the blog.

Here we are, on Ken's first Sunday as pastor of Manchester Creek. We made it!!

And thus we conclude Cookbooks & Commentaries: The Schmidt Family's Seminary Adventure.

Of course, getting here is just the beginning of a new season of life. Continue to follow along with us at Kim's new blog, Fill This House.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Our New Rock Hill Home

We are settling into our new home in Rock Hill, and it is so fun!!!!

We are still learning some of the crazy means through which God has provided a home like this for us. One such way is that the house has mismatched carpet. The word on the street is that many potential buyers turned up their noses at it, so the builder had to lower the price drastically. Guess what? We are praising God for mismatched carpet!

Some areas of the house are unpacked and functioning well ~

Other areas need some work ~

God has given us abundantly more than we have ever asked or imagined!

The Funny Thing About Seminary

Our friends and former neighbors, Brian and Kacie, finished seminary a year ahead of us and moved on to Ohio where Brian is a pastor.

Kacie has an excellent blog called Wondrous Love. At the end of their seminary time, she posted a list of funny things about seminary life. This list still makes me laugh and is oh-so-true.

Check it out here.


Friday, March 27, 2009

My Old Kentucky Home

Today we moved out of our Kentucky home.

This house has been home to us for sixteen months. To live in such a beautiful house, with a yard and a quiet neighborhood, has been a tremendous blessing. Our thanks to Jason and Marsha for allowing us to rent their lovely home ~

Some farewell pictures (from pre-packing days, of course!) ~

We will remember this home fondly and we pray it will bless the next residents as much as it has us.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Manchester Creek

For about two years, Ken and I have been praying for the church God would have us serve. As we began getting to know Manchester Creek Community Church, we witnessed God answering our prayers.

Some things we love about the church:

  • The people love, understand, talk about, and rejoice in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • The church does not have a lot of programs to maintain. This positions the church well to respond to needs in the community.

  • The church body has a warm and friendly spirit. Many people told us they were drawn to Manchester Creek because of the friendliness of the people.

  • Manchester Creek is fun! Ken realized this during a phone interview with the search committee. He found himself laughing with them, telling jokes, and feeling like they were old friends. (In fact, the tag line of the church is "A fun place to get serious with God." Is this Ken in a nutshell, or what?!)

  • The church has a mix of generations, a vital aspect of a healthy church.

  • Local outreach is important to them.

  • World missions are important to them.

  • They value biblical preaching and teaching.

  • Their eight core values are solid and motivating: God's word, cultural relevance, community of grace, loving relationships, inspiring worship, changed lives, ministry participation, and compassionate outreach.

  • They obviously love and care about their pastor and his family. (We are receiving some of this loving care this weekend ~ Some church members are travelling to Louisville to help load up our truck. Then they are personally driving it to Rock Hill!)

  • They respect and trust their leadership.

  • They have highly qualified lay-leaders, including a dynamite elder board.

  • The church has a realistic and honest estimation of itself.

God has now given us the names and faces of the church we have been praying for all this time! We can't wait to get there!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Courtship Continued

Our lives have been a whirlwind over the past couple months.

It's difficult to unpack it all, but the gist is this:

We are moving to Rock Hill, South Carolina, where Ken will be the Lead Pastor of Manchester Creek Community Church!

This is the church I wrote of in January, when I said we were currently in a "courtship" with a church.

Since that January post, we have travelled to Rock Hill twice. The first trip was sort of exploratory; we felt we needed to see it and meet people face-to-face to know if we could really plant ourselves there. That trip was fantastic! We had some sweet times of fellowship with the search committee and with the elders and their wives.

We left that weekend knowing without a doubt that we wanted to be at Manchester Creek.

A couple weeks later, we drove to South Carolina once again. (Both trips were with the kids...I know some of you are wondering...and it's a nine hour trip from Louisville. The drive is through the hills and mountains of Tennessee and is really quite beautiful.) This second trip was a candidating weekend. We met more of the church families, did some house-hunting, and Ken preached for Sunday worship.

A week after that, the church voted unanimously to call Ken as their Pastor!

Coming up: Ken and I will describe the church to you a bit, explaining why we "fell in love" with it.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Will We Leave You Hanging?

Some of you have asked us if we're just going to end the blog and leave you all hanging. Well, we sure appreciate that some of you faithfully read Cookbooks & Commentaries and want more of it!

While we are definitely going to bring this seminary blog to a close, I am creating a new blog. It will have a little more focus to the content, but still plenty of family updates, pictures, and, your favorite, "The Things They Say." Once I get it up and running, I'll post a link from Cookbooks & Commentaries. Ken is considering starting his own pastoral blog.

Here's a little family tidbit from today:

Teddy: I want to be a pastor like Daddy.

Me: You need to stop hitting children in the nursery before they'll let you be a pastor!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Louisville Ice Storm

Our "Schmidt Family Seminary Adventure" won't be properly chronicled without any mention of what transpired over the past week...

On January 27th, an ice storm froze our city into a crystalline Narnia. Trees were weighed down to the breaking point under thick ice, many of them bowed over to the ground, unable to withstand the weight. Many other trees were uprooted, including one in our backyard.

Hundreds of thousands of people were left in the cold without electricity as these downed trees took out power lines. We were among those thousands. By the morning after the storm, our house was too cold for our little children to tolerate.

Our friends from church, Steve and Tammy, opened their home to us. We imposed on them for a full week as we waited for the Louisville Gas & Electric trucks to roll into our neighborhood.

Our power came back on yesterday, and now we are joyfully back in our home. Ironically, this happened to us before, during "Windstorm 2008." I can't help but laugh at what life hands you sometimes.

A word about our hosts, Steve and Tammy (and their three young children!): They were so good to us! We felt completely welcome and wanted. Through all the hassles of being displaced, being in their well-run, child-friendly home made it much easier on us.

And a word about our great God and Savior: The Lord has provided abundantly for our family. In a city where we have no family, few roots, and have only lived a short time, God has given us a spiritual family-- our church.

As our family sang at bedtime last night, "God Is So Good!"


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Winding Down

Did you know that the average blog lasts just 18 months?

Cookbooks & Commentaries is likely to hold true to that statistic. Before we wrap things up on our seminary blog, we want to give you all a few updates on our church search process...

As it stands right now, we are well down the road in a "courtship" with a church, as our friend Tim D. calls it. Ken has interviewed with them, we have researched the church and they have researched us. From all we know of the church, we are very like-minded. Examining the church's documents, I exclaimed, "Ken! You could have written this yourself!" The documents were just that clearly aligned with Ken's heart for ministry.

Our thoughts and prayers, our hearts, are definitely being draw to this church. We still have a couple more steps in the process, though, to confirm finally if this is the place God would have us. Please pray for us, if you would, that we would have our eyes wide open, that we would catch any details that we may have missed, that we would be able to discern God's will and that we would be sensitive to His leading. And, finally, pray that we would follow the Lord's leading unhesitantly, in faith that He works all things for the good of those who love Him, who are called by His name.

You can expect some more updates over the coming weeks!


Friday, January 16, 2009

A New Convert?

It is -1 today! At breakfast, Calvin asked what temperature it needed to be to be warm. Kim said, at least 50. At that Calvin replied, "We need to go down, down, down south!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Things They Say

I was ready to move on with the day, but Calvin was still nibbling at the last few Cheerios in his bowl. "Are you finished with your breakfast?" I asked.

After ignoring my question three times, he said, "What's that called, Mommy?"

Now, I've been trying to train Calvin to say something just once to me, wait for my reply, remember my response, and then not ask the same thing again. I've explained to him how irritating it is to be asked the same questions repeatedly. I was about to find out that he has in fact been listening...

"What's what called?" I replied.

"What's it called when you say the same thing over and over?" Calvin said.

Sensing a trap coming on, I hesitantly said, "Do you mean...obnoxious?"

"Yes! Mommy, you are being a-noshious, askin' me that again and again!"


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Breaking The Silence

I'm breaking the blog silence with some Christmas pictures! These are in no particular order, and only show a handful of the many memories we made during our surprise visit to Minnesota.

With four of the five Gregerson siblings married, we are now a group of nine. I loved being all together on Christmas Day. Lots of noise, fun, and laughter ~

Calvin-turned-Mr. Incredible ~

Chloe Jo, one of my adorable nieces ~

A mass of knit stockings, stuffed full with 3M treasures ~

Some time with friends ~

A private Christmas concert (the musicians were exceedingly handsome!) ~

That's just a jumble of a few precious moments. And that shows nothing of all the wonderful time spent with grandparents, and with our friends Bob and Dottie, and sledding, and wrestling with uncles, and all the other Mr. Incredible poses, and my other adorable niece, and my sweet nephew....and a loooooooong trip home to Kentucky.