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
“When we did that I knew we were old.”
My son in law told me of standing over the newly purchased washer mesmerized, watching through the acrylic lid as the clothes agitated. They paused, laughed, and knew they weren’t 25 year olds anymore.
I love to ask people when they first realized they were aging. Top of the list is usually, “When a young person called me ma’am or sir.” That is a startling rite (or wrong) of passage. Or, how about being given the senior discount without asking!
Last week my daughter and son in law hosted a dinner at my house. I proudly presented a stack of Christmas CDs after digging through many boxes. She graciously ignored my efforts as she quietly said, “Alexa, play Christmas music!” YIKES!
At church last night an energetic young staffer conversed with two of the deacons. “I retired in 2001.” Quickly, the youth worker responded, “I graduated from high school in 2001.” “Wow! That makes me feel old was the deacon’s response.”
Those are outward evidences we have turned more calendar pages than most, but “feeling old” is not the same as chronological age. “How old do you feel?” is a question I enjoy asking my 65+ friends. Rarely do I hear someone response “I feel every day of my 70 years.” Or, “I feel ten years older than my age.” Quite the contrary. Most of us put a pin at a point 5 to 10 years younger than the sundial reads.
Dad used to say, “I cannot stop getting older, but I can certainly refuse to get old.”
We can be told by the culture we aren’t riding in the fast lane, but we aren’t being flagged off the course quite yet.
Psalm 71 records David’s request for years enough to tell the next generation about the strength, mighty acts, and greatness of God. He didn’t ask for years of idleness, or total leisure. He sought time to speak to the next generation. We aren’t finished – we are still in the race with a clear purpose.
Okay, when I am told “nobody carries sacred sheet music anymore,” I can smile remembering the delightful hours of exploring music stores, but recognizing “time marches on.” When a kind person offers an arm when walking up a hill, I can accept the help knowing there is an agile young woman inside who is enjoying the assistance.
Aging is a privilege. At age 85 Caleb asked God for years to conquer a mountain in the Promised Land. Let’s carefully consider our requests. What is your mountain? What is your testimony to the next generation? The world may look askance at us, but little do they know what lies behind that gray hair!
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“More than a thousand faith-based institutions of higher learning in the United States are coming under assault from political forces looking to shut them up or shut them down, because of their more traditional views on sexuality and gender roles, according to a recent report.”
This headline grabbed my attention and I thought at once of you who are praying. The arms of our Moses-leaders need our uplifting. We are calling for a fervent dedication to prayer for our schools. The world system is coming against Christian higher education as never before.
Of course, we know the power of the Holy Spirit stands with them, but it doesn’t keep them from being bloodied in the battle.
Please pray with us as they lift high the Cross of Christ their strength will be renewed, their hearts and minds will be refreshed, and their spirits will be encouraged. Let’s go faithfully to the Father God on their behalf. May 2020 be a year of great spiritual overcoming.
What’s New This Year?
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
9 That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NAU).
21 (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.) (Acts 17:21).
21 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22 The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:21-23).
In one sense, there is nothing really new in this world. Yet there are those who foolishly seek for that which is new and novel, without really finding what they are looking for (Acts 17:21). But there is a newness about our Lord’s work in our lives, a freshness, an anticipation of some new understanding of God’s greatness and love. God seldom does things in “the same old way.” Reflect back on the multitude of ways that God gave His people victory over their enemies, from the plagues of the exodus (Exodus 1-15), to hailstorms (Joshua 10:11), earthquakes (1 Samuel 14:13-15), and even a special effects display which terrified the enemy (2 Kings 7:6).
Let us pray that our students, faculty, and staff, along with us, look for God to work in our lives in new and fresh ways, so that this year we may experience God in all of His creative newness.
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Weekly Thought – January 14, 2020
Fred valued friendship, enjoying several relationships for a lifetime. His ability to keep confidences, offer wisdom, and enjoy experiences deepened friendships. The hallmark of relationship management is his keystone phrase: “Friendship is mutual.”
BWFLI further deepens our relationship with students this year, producing a series of sessions for a small group of students nominated by their school administrators and faculty. These will feature two team members focusing on one student, developing a serious relationship. We will strengthen their understanding of mentoring, networking, and perseverance.
Mutuality is the heart of relations. We invest interest, time, energy, and love in others. If the relationship is healthy, we receive as well as give. Without mutuality health doesn’t exist, nor can it grow.
Exchange is a better word than share. Where one does all the giving and the other takes all, the relationship will be flawed, and in most cases will be short-lived.
Mutuality is pragmatic. The first time I heard someone observe about the efficacy of mutuality I felt that the statement and the observer were cynical. But as I watched for this, I realized all parties must get something valuable from the relationship, or it will die. We must be motivated by the desire to give and if our motivation is to give more than we receive, health increases.
Not only must the benefits balance, but also the spirit of mutuality.
This cannot be formulaic or it eventually fails. When approached by the Philippian jailer with the question, “What must I do to be saved?” Peter answered with “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” A current phrase reflects this: “Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship.”
Relations must be planned, and well maintained, if they are to flourish. Like floral designs, they must be arranged harmoniously, artfully, and synergistically with each unique flower relating to the others. Some friends must be enjoyed only in one environment. For example, they may be great bridge partners or fellow vacationers, but are not transferable to other environments. Others take a long time to develop and bloom, yet resemble the cactus which can survive contrary conditions.
A very few friends are for all seasons but most of our acquaintances are for particular times. We must consider each relation, knowing how best they fit into the arrangement. Our oldest granddaughter has a friend who said to her, “I have friends when I am serious and sad. You are my friend I laugh with.”
Those who would refute mutuality as the basis for long-lasting relationships quote John 3:16 to me. I feel this is proof of mutuality, not refutation. God created man to have a relationship with Him. The relationship is mutual in that communion is God giving His best to us and our yearning to give back to Him everything we have. The real proof: God wanted that fellowship so much that to redeem the broken world, fallen by sin, God sent Jesus Christ to restore the relationship. Man is precious to God.
This week think about: 1) How purposeful am I about developing healthy relationships? 2) What value do I bring to my friendships? 3) Who teaches me about the true meaning of mutuality?
Words of Wisdom: “Not only must the benefits balance, but also the spirit of mutuality.”
Wisdom from the Word: “He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30 NET Bible)