Heed Woman Wisdom


Dear Friend of BCS,

Over the years, I have found that when I systematically read through the Bible, God will suddenly cause a passage to standout in such a way that my mind will not let go of it for days or weeks. Often these passages will find their way from my thought processes, through my vocal cords, and into multiple and varied conversations, prayers, and classroom devotions. I love it when that happens.

My wife and I are in our 25th year of marriage, one of our children is a sophomore in college, two are in high school, and the fourth is wrapping up middle school. I am entering middle age and the realities of life are taking on a new hue. The privilege of leading the administrative staff at Bethlehem College & Seminary presses in as both a joy and weighty responsibility. Because of these things, wisdom is a constant plea in my prayers. Constant.

For some strange reason that I have not fathomed yet, my regularly scheduled Bible reading this year has taken on the sheen of something bright, clean, and new. It has felt at times like I have never read it before, and that each word, each paragraph, is new and never before discovered. Frankly, I don’t remember a time like this in my life. Every verse seems new. The story of David took on new dimensions and depths, the pain in the Psalms was more heart-achingly beautiful, and the cries for wisdom in Proverbs have reverberated through my being in ways that they never have before.

Not just a single passage has pressed into my heart and mind, but the particular quality of wisdom in Proverbs has occupied much of my meditative thinking for the last six weeks. As I enter middle age, fight sin, seek to love my wife and launch my children into adulthood, and attempt to oversee the administrative functions of Bethlehem College & Seminary, thoughts of wisdom often press in. The fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10), feels weightier. The reality that the simple have hope if they but listen for wisdom crying in the street is a breath of fresh air, and quite frankly, a relief for someone as simple as I. Tom Schreiner writes, “Being a fool or a scoffer is irremediable. But one who is ‘simple’ can turn from gullibility and can become wise (19:5), if one is willing to listen to Woman Wisdom (1:4; 8:5; 9:4, 6; 19:25; 21:11)” (Schreiner, The King in His Beauty, 2013, pg. 288). Lord, may I listen carefully!

This is why I am thrilled that one of the aims of Bethlehem College & Seminary is for our students to apply what they learn wisely. When John Piper publicly laid the foundations for Bethlehem College & Seminary, he said, “We aim to enable and to motivate the student to apply wisely and helpfully what he has observed and understood and evaluated and felt. It takes wisdom, not just factual knowledge, to know how to wisely and helpfully apply what they understand and feel” (The Earth is the Lord’s: The Supremacy of Christ in Christian Learning)

Please pray with me that this would be true for everyone at Bethlehem College & Seminary, our students, staff, faculty, and board. May we all hear Woman Wisdom calling and heed her, learning to apply wisely all that we have observed and understood and evaluated and felt.

Trusting in our wise and merciful God,

Jason Abell
Vice President of Administration, Bethlehem College & Seminary

Prayer Requests

  1. Please continue to pray for our admissions and recruitment staff. They are working hard to fill out the incoming freshman class at the college. Please pray that the Lord would lead just the right number of new college students to us this fall.
  2. Even though it’s still July, we are already preparing for the fall semester. Please pray for our faculty and staff as they begin the many preparations for the beginning of a new school year. Pray especially for Barb Waldemar, our Events Coordinator and Dean of Women, as she bears a particularly heavy burden in preparing for the many events that occur in August and September.
  3. Please continue to pray for the accreditation process. We are hosting an accreditation consultant in early August who is coming to help us prepare for the formal accreditation visit that will be taking place in early October. In advance of that October visit, we need to submit a revised Self-Study to our accrediting association. Pray for Betsy Howard and me as we work to get that document submitted by mid-August.
  4. Pray also for the ongoing need for funding. It obviously takes a lot of money to operate an institution of higher learning—even one which is intentionally very lean in its operation like BCS. Pray for many new contributors to join our support team in the coming months.