BWFLI team stretching and blessing the next generation of leaders at East Texas Baptist University
Cliff Shiepe, best-selling author, inspires students
ETBU students gathered at midnight to discuss “What’s Next” and job market tips
Former All-American, All-Pro Bill Glass stirring the athletes
ETBU Steering Committee Chair Emily Prevost and BWFLI President Brenda A. Smith sharing a celebratory moment
“Error message: your proximity sensor is not working.”
My go to response was “ignore it and it will go away.” Right? I got so tired of seeing the message, clicking for it to go away, and then trying to use the phone until it popped up again.
Finally, after weeks I thought… “what is a proximity sensor?” Searching for the answer I found a technical description which left me with nothing but more questions. Then I asked, “what makes a proximity sensor stop working?” Ah, ha! Helpful information at last.
“When a screen protector is incorrectly applied, the proximity sensor is deactivated.”
I immediately knew the answer – I installed a screen protector myself with no assistance. Even though it didn’t fit exactly right, it was a “close enough” job. Then the error messages began. I removed the protector and the messages disappeared.
People have proximity sensors, as well. We have what psychologists call “psychic space.” This varies from person to person and even culture to culture. We know when someone closes in and creates a social claustrophobia. We create barriers which send error messages to those who violate our space. We move, we fold our arms, we grimace – all as ways of saying, “Back off, you are making me nervous.”
How careful are you to read others well? How discerning are you when meeting new people? What do you do when the error message appears on the face of another?
Just like my phone drove me nuts when the repeating message which deterred the efficient use, we can miss the message from others who are saying, “I really want this conversation to work, but you are crowding me and creating a distraction.”
Effective communication results from well-developed skills used efficiently. The habit of reading people involves recognizing their space requirements and working within them to facilitate easy conversation.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“I shut down all my social media accounts except one. I was being influenced by all the seeming perfection and competition I saw and felt. Now I check Facebook rarely and only friend those who really care about me.”
This student’s reaction to the peer pressure felt (even on a Christian campus) through social media highlighted the need for God’s grace and wisdom. As we pray this month for our schools, let’s boldly approach the throne on behalf of all who are feeling pushed and shoved into the world’s mold. May the power of God’s Word and the strength of prayer enable them to stand strong in a demanding culture.
Let us speak words of encouragement to these men and women who study, work, and lead. Let us lift them up with the hope of faithfully following their calling through the Lord Jesus Christ. And may our hearts be drawn to pray for them day by day.
The Nearness of God
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your work (Psalm 73:28, NAU).
Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word. You are good and do good; Teach me Your statutes (Psalm 119:67-68, NAU).
Thanksgiving draws near, and when it comes there will be many who will give thanks for good times, for good health, for success in business or schooling. As a parent, it is all too easy to pray that God will “bless” our children with success and freedom from sorrow or pain, but God’s word makes it clear that the ultimate good is experiencing the nearness of God, and this is often achieved the hard way – through trials and adversity.
Let us pray wisely and well by praying for our college students, faculty, and staff to experience the nearness of God, no matter which way God chooses to bring this to pass. May they all (may we all!) be able to give thanks to God for drawing us nearer to Himself, whether by removing difficulties, or by sending them our way.
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Weekly Thought – November 6, 2018
Fred learned by watching and listening to business leaders he admired. One of the common denominators of all was the consistent use of personal discipline. In mentoring high achievers throughout his life he recognized the necessity of healthy habits. In the family he “encouraged” the children to persevere by quoting the poet’s line: “When nothing but the will says go.”
Breakfast With Fred (BWF) is truly grateful for the encouragement. Your messages, your prayer, and your financial support enable us to move forward with the work, both through the website, weekly thoughts, and Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute. Your tax-deductible gifts allow us to continue “stretching and blessing the next generation of leaders…to the glory of God.”
Importance of Discipline
Let’s recognize the difference between punishment and discipline. Many people use the words interchangeably, but punishment is what happens when discipline fails.
For years I have observed the importance of discipline in a person’s area of expertise. Many, particularly in performance, live undisciplined lives but are very rigorous about their art. They compartmentalize their strong habits.
In a documentary about famous tenor Pavarotti, it is interesting to see how perfectionistic he is in his artistry, yet totally unregulated in his eating. Having been known as Fat Fred for decades in years past, I understand being calorically-challenged. I found the disconnect between other disciplines in my life and my love of eating. Exercising physical discipline helped me create continuity.
A film on Elvis Presley pointed out the discrepancy between the high level of discipline in his professional and private lives. A friend who was familiar with his work habits told me how Elvis would sit at the piano working on his phrasing hour by hour until it was exactly right. Even such geniuses as Ernest Hemingway who lived a dissolute and destructive life said, “Every morning at 8:00 I bite the nail.”
Bishop Fulton Sheen spoke to a parish priests’ retreat. During his discussion on impact he made the comment: “People listen when I talk. It is because everyday since entering the priesthood I have spent one hour with my Lord. Even when I only had two hours of sleep, I walked the floor and prayed for one hour.” He felt this spiritual discipline gave him power.
Unfortunately, there are people of superior talent who will not submit to discipline. The result is the lack of fulfillment and full development of their potential. For example, I knew a young man with great running ability. In high school he ran so fast he literally ran through the curves on the track. Coaches saw his world class speed and expected to see a future Olympian. He refused to discipline his talent and leaned just on his natural ability. When that wasn’t enough, he stopped running. He even lost his college scholarship. Failure wasn’t lack of talent, but lack of “paying the price.”
As a young man I discovered a simple formula which has contributed to my progress. The secret of a discipline life is building strong habits which then form positive reflexes which are the foundation of healthy living and success. When discipline becomes the normal pattern, the full use of potential and productivity is possible.
This week think about: 1) Where are my areas of strongest discipline? 2) Who can I encourage to build healthy habits? 3) What has been the most satisfying reward of exercising discipline?
Words of Wisdom: “Punishment is what happens when discipline fails.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Acquire truth and do not sell it— wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.” (Proverbs 23:23 NET Bible)