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
“The trees with leaves and fruit are the most likely to fall over in saturated soil.” As I watched the Weather Channel’s interesting graphic on why trees fall in heavy storms, I thought “that’ll preach!”
For some time I have noticed dead trees seem to maintain their stature while trees with obvious life fall over. I kept thinking, “there is a principal at work here, but I just don’t know what it is.”
Then the Weather Channel gave me an excellent illustration. When the ground is saturated, roots lose their hold. Typically, trees have shallow roots sufficient for normal periods. When unusual water soaks in, the roots lose their control trees topple. And when the branches are heavy with leaves and fruit, the downward pull is even stronger. The lack of pressure on the dead trees allows them to survive.
No, that isn’t where I stopped. Interesting as that may be, it really doesn’t preach, does it? So, here goes.
When I look around and consider leaders I often think of them as giant oak trees. I see broad leaves, and if they are fruit trees, I comment on their vast harvest. They are heavy with fruitful ministries, successful businesses, flourishing families, and verdant lives. Then I see them fall. How can that be? They look like the healthiest of all.
What we don’t see is the impact of life’s storms, temptations, and failings which saturate the root system. We don’t see that too often they fall under the very abundance that we admire. Their foundation is loosened as the waters rise. They maintain their green appearance until the final storm pulls them down.
Let’s pray for our leaders. Let’s pray for those who look so strong, so good, so attractive. May their roots go deep. May they be rooted in the Word of God with our encouragement.
And then let’s focus on our own “leafiness” knowing sometimes our greatest successes can be the greatest hindrances in our battle to overcome the storms.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
Impact 360 Institute states their mission as “cultivating leaders who follow Jesus.” In a report on Generation Z they speak of the responsibility of older believers to take seriously the role of mentor.
In summation they say, “If we do nothing they will be shaped away from life with God in Christ. We have the opportunity to reimagine what passing on our faith to the next generation looks like in this unique cultural moment.”
Christian higher education is at the forefront of this transformation process. It is not an easy place to be. Prayer and perseverance are critical elements. Let’s be their prayer support as they endure and contend for the faith.
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
Now an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?” 27 The expert answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:25-27, NET).
Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples– if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8).
Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children 2 and live in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15).
I find it most interesting to note that repeatedly in the Bible love sums up our obligation toward God and men. It sums up the law and it distinguishes us as His disciples.
Sadly, our culture has re-defined love in very different terms. Pray that our students would grasp and embrace a biblical version of love by first and foremost loving God through embracing the person and work of Christ, and loving one another in their campus environment.
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Weekly Thought – February 5, 2019
Fred assumed God gave him gifts, not just for his enjoyment, but for he good of others – and to His glory. The concept of stewarding his “uniqueness” remained uppermost throughout his life, even to the last days. (Note: when Fred used the words “I am convinced” friends and family paid attention because it was always the preamble for a Fred truth.)
BWF is undertaking a writing project using several of Fred’s principles for effective living: mentoring, networking, and persevering. Please pray for the ideas to form into a usable, helpful shape. Your prayerful support and your financial gifts enable us to continue bringing Fred’s lifework forward. Thank you.
Personal Development Planning
I am convinced I am responsible for my own personal development. Only I know who I want to become. Only I know my real strengths and weaknesses; my passion and my talent. Only I know the price I am willing to pay to become who I can be.
On January 1st each year I look at what personal progress I made the year before and then importantly, what possible progress I can make in the coming year. For effective analysis I divided my development program into four areas: 1) physical, 2) emotional, 3) mental, and 4) spiritual. I do audits of my business, and family, as well, but this particular analysis is for my personal development.
I then measure four elements: 1) association, 2) reading, 3) writing, and 4) travel.
Association: when I was young I was always told, “Birds of a feather flock together.” I wanted to associate with individuals who would be my mentors and role models. Early in my business career I chose six qualities I wanted to build into my life. I asked individuals who personified each to give me an autographed picture. I framed them, along with a print of Hoffman’s head of Christ, and a mirror. I hung them with Christ at the top and the mirror at the bottom, surrounded by the others. It was an informal way to measure my progress.
Reading: I do prescriptive reading. What do I mean? Just as everyone doesn’t have the same prescription of their glasses, not everyone is helped by reading the same subjects. I read no fiction. I concentrate on certain authors who can give me what I need. I read on philosophy, theology, mentoring, and psychology – subjects for which I have a natural affinity.
Writing: Until I began working with Maxey Jarman, chairman of GENESCO, I was totally verbal. Once as I reported on activity in one of the manufacturing plants, he said, “Fred, write it.” When I told him I couldn’t, he said, “The reason you can’t write it is that you don’t know it. Anything you know you can write.” He required writing as a way of developing the discipline in me. Later in life I adopted Bacon’s quote: “Writing makes an exact man.”
Travel: Travel expands my viewpoint. Growing up in the mill district of North Nashville my world was very limited. But, I knew there was more. I would sit in the attic of our house with a crystal radio set searching for broadcasts from the outside world. Dreams became realities and I experienced all those places.
My friend Charlie “Tremendous” Jones always says: “Except for the books you read and the people you meet, you will be the same person in five years as you are today.” So true!
This week think about: 1) How well am I growing in Fred’s categories? 2) What are my measures for personal development? 3) Who can help me be much stronger in five years?
Words of Wisdom: “I am convinced I am responsible for my own personal development.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that everyone will see your progress.” (1 Timothy 4:15 NET Bible)