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
“Physics always wins”
My friend Steve is a professional trucker. I bragged to him I make a point of driving courteously around trucks. “I never pull in front of them on a down-hill grade.” His automatic response was “that’s good because physics always win.” He was telling me that thousands of pounds moving downhill cannot be stopped on a dime because a foolish auto driver decides to pass and pull back in quickly.
Laws of nature apply to all areas of life. There are consequences to our choices. Assuming we can beat the odds is short term thinking. “What you sow, you will reap” is a way of putting it. If we jump out of a plane without a parachute, we will crash… physics wins. Gravity is always the victor.
Another lesson is resistance. Most 18 wheelers have a cab with a wind reduction configuration. The rounded appendage allows the wind to go up and over, decreasing resistance and increasing performance. We need to have strategies to overcome emotional resistance in our lives. What can we do to defeat depression, loss of direction? How can we come back from bad decisions, or moral failures? We need winds of turmoil resistance structures in our lives. We need to build in scripture, Christian friends, good books, and music among other elements which will build up our resistance. We need to establish go-to habits which will cause the attacks of the spiritual winds to pass on over and not cause drag.
Most trucks have lettered signs like 1: “If you can’t see my mirror, I can’t see you.” 2) “This truck makes wide right turns.” These informational warnings help you avoid trouble. They also let you know the driver is aware of his truck. When we really know ourselves we can help others do well around us. Each of us has constructive strengths and destructive weaknesses. When we discover these, we can enable others to “drive safely” on the road with us.
I grumble at them as they rumble by me on the interstates, but I also pray for them for I know they are people working hard to support their families. I laugh when I hear their shower number called for a shower in a Pilot station, but also cheer for them to safely deliver goods across the country. They teach me about perseverance, professionalism, and grit. I will try to give them a wide berth and be a courteous driver as I share the road with them.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“Educators engage learners to nurture Christian virtue.”
This phrase is used in the mission statement of LeTourneau University. It aptly expresses the heart and mind of other BWFLI friends and partners.
These seven words clearly set Christian higher education apart from other institutions.
The very fact that Christian virtue is defined, recognized, and emulated gives them a distinctive rarely seen in American education. This mission is not lightly spoken, nor easily maintained.
Pressures come again to them year by year, but their faith in the power of God who is greater gives them strength to thrive and prevail. As learners, faculty, administrators, and staff are taking a break from school year schedules, please pray for their refreshment and restoration.
Pray for the protection of students, provision for mission opportunities, and preparation for the next year. And continue to pray for the effective use of talents and gifts to the glory of God.
The Identity of Christ
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).”
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come (2 Corinthians 5:17).”
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Galatians 2:20).”
Never before in my lifetime has there been a time when so many young people (and older folks too!) have been so confused about their identity.
The Scriptures are very clear in declaring that when a person comes to trust in Jesus Christ for salvation he or she experiences a change in their identity. We are not the person we used to be, and thus we are not to think or to live the way we once did (see Ephesians 4:17ff.).
For Paul, every experience in his life was viewed through his profound sense of his identification with Jesus Christ. And thus he could say, “For me to live is Christ.” Too often, I fear, we strive to get our young people to conform to our standards out of duty, as opposed to living their lives in light of their new identity – a new creation in Christ.
Pray for a growing awareness of our new identity for every student, every faculty and staff member, and for ourselves as well.
● Sign up for the monthly Prayer Network newsletter to be delivered to your email on the first Monday of each month by clicking here.
Weekly Thought – June 19, 2018
Fred spoke to a men’s group and mentioned if his family were aristocratic enough to have a crest it would have Be A Blessing as the motto. A package arrived a few weeks later with a framed, colorful graphic crest bearing symbols representative of Fred’s life and emblazoned with the words Be A Blessing (in English). He always wondered what the Latin would be. If any scholars have the answer I am sure BWF would appreciate adding that to the archives.
Thank you for your continued support. The plans for Asbury University September 21,22 are firming up well. Keep on praying for the team members, the steering committee at Asbury, and the students who will be participating in the What’s Next Roundtable.
Be A Blessing
Our grandson Jeff Horch prepared to leave for Russia to do a video documentary. He said, “Pray for me, Mom.” She answered, “Be a Blessing.” She internalized what Mary Alice and I always wanted for our children – that they find their uniqueness and use it to bless others.
I thought about Dick Halverson’s comment that Jesus didn’t have a day planner, but simply went about doing good. On His way to heal a dead child He stopped for a woman who received healing from a long-term disease simply by touching His garment. We never know how a small blessing will grow. Giant oaks from small acorns grow.
As I remember the story, our friends Cliff and Billie Barrows were stopping in the home of sisters who invited them to go to the church where a young man was preaching. When they got there they needed a song leader and pianist. So, they volunteered to help. The young man preaching was Billy Graham. As association began that night that has influenced the entire world. Those sisters were a blessing.
Again, on a snowy night when the visiting preacher could not get through the storm a layman stood and read scripture to the scant audience. That was the night Charles Haddon Spurgeon made a profession of faith in Christ. A small acorn was planted that night that grew mightily.
If each Christian started the day by praying, “Lord, make me a blessing” what a difference it would make in our world. First, we have to have our lives opened to others; then we have to be looking for opportunities; and finally, we must take action. Good intentions are never enough. Can we be honest enough to ask ourselves every night – have I been a blessing?
(Editor’s note: When the Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute developed a mission the purpose became: “Stretching and Blessing the Next Generation of Leaders… to the glory of God.” Fred wanted his epitaph to be “He stretched others” and “Be a Blessing” as a family motto.)
This week think about: 1) Who has been a blessing in my life? 2) When was the last time I said thank you to those who bless me? 3) How have I been intentional in blessing others?
Words of Wisdom: “Giant oaks from small acorns grow.”
Wisdom from the Word: Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3 NET Bible)