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
“54 hours, 48 miles, 45 pound pack, 36 warrior stations, 29 team building exercises, 6 hours of sleep, and 2 meals.”
THAT is the outline of The Crucible, a final grueling element of Marine basic training. My grandson, Colby Hurd, underwent this severe test in order to move from Recruit Hurd to Marine Hurd. Family and friends all over the world lit a candle and prayed for his endurance, strength, protection, and faith. We came together on his behalf knowing he was going past what his mind allowed, pushing his body to extremes.
I will never be a Marine. I will never persevere such a trial. I will never experience pushing my body beyond any normal (for me) expectations. But in my life I have been in crucibles designed to take me out of my independence into dependence and reliance on God. I bet you have, too.
The crucible is a container for melting metal. Its name derived from the original shape of the bowls which were shaped like a cross. The Latin word for cross is crux.
We know in scripture we see the picture of the refiner’s fire. The process of clarifying metal is multiple exposure to high temperatures which causes the slag to rise and be pulled off. Time after time and heating after heating, this continues until all dross is removed. We have all heard sermons using this analogy in the walk of faith. We understand and identify with the experience, don’t we?
Spiritual maturity and growth occur as we lean on God in circumstances which are overwhelming. “Where can I go but to Jesus?” is the question asked during these crucible seasons.
I am proud of Colby for coming through. I hope he felt the prayers of hundreds who lifted him up for those hours. We are a community of faith who stand (and kneel) with each other as the fire heats up, and the demands increase. The crucible will come – may the Spirit of God bring us together supporting one another. And may we be thankful for a God who wants to refine and purify us.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“Never lose the good of a bad experience.”
This month Dad’s quote seems appropriate. As believers we live and move in the reality of God’s sovereignty, don’t we? The challenges facing our Christian colleges are opportunities to operate in faith. They need our prayer support – and our financial gifts.
The American culture is changing at break neck speed with the mission statements of Christian higher education clearly in the center of the bull’s eye. We are called to stand with each other through bold encouragement. During July we celebrate the birth of American freedom which led to the institutionalizing of religious rights. These are being attacked and our schools are feeling the force of the battle.
May our commitment to our friends in the academic community shine brightly. Perhaps this is a good month to drop a note to those who are called to educate the next generations, expressing friendship and support. Thank you for praying together – our God reigns!
Staying Under God’s Word, and Not Over It
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:1-4).
I recently read an account of a chapel message Francis Chan delivered at Azusa Pacific University:
Chan went on to say that, over the past 20 years, he has noticed a change at APU [Azusa Pacific University] and in Christian culture in general. While he was clear that he knows he is generalizing, he said he has noticed a trend of people elevating their own thoughts and feelings over the authority of God’s Word. He challenged his audience to evaluate whether there is anything they believe from the Bible that they actually don’t want to believe. Or are they comfortable with all their beliefs, meaning they are probably interpreting the Bible to suit their feelings? Francis Chan at Azusa Pacific University
Pray for the professors and staff of our schools that they will model submission to God’s Word, even when it is not what we are inclined to believe or practice (because it does not conform to our wishes or lifestyle). Pray that faculty and students alike will position themselves under the Word, in obedience to Christ, as opposed to being “over it” in the sense of picking and choosing what they wish to hear.
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Weekly Thought – July 7, 2020
Fred’s appreciation of excellence applied especially to sales. “In tough times one of an organization’s most important hires is an accomplished sales force.” In the late 1950s he addressed the management of GENESCO focusing on the topic: “Management’s Responsibility to Salesmen.” Fred used the masculine noun in the title assigned, but demonstrated his great admiration for the talents of men and women. The month of July will feature excerpts from the speech.
During these off-kilter times, prayer for Christian institutions of higher education are much needed. Please consider joining us as we pray each month. Sign up for the monthly BWFLI Prayer Network.
Management’s Responsibility to Salesmen
“Reach that quota,” “Make those calls,” “Get those reports in…”
Salesmen hear this constantly, don’t they? I agree these are necessary in effective sales supervision. However, these commands of leadership will be more actively heard and translated into increased sales when a foundation of mutual responsibility between sales force and sales management has been built.
It starts with management’s responsibility to the salesman. The accent is on our “sowing before reaping”…a Biblical principle continually validated in the successful development of people.
& bull; Management’s first responsibility to the salesman is: Be sure he qualifies for the team. Two problems face us immediately: a) the selection-placement of salesmen and b) the termination of sales people.
First of all, the selection of salesmen should be placed in the hands of responsible management – those with a proven record of successful selection. It takes knowledge, experience, and almost a sixth sense to select the right person, even with all the interviewing and mechanical assistance available. For examples, The Marines and the New York Yankees have a superior selection system. Motivation cannot overcome poor selection.
Even with the most careful selection, however, mistakes will happen. These must be corrected. Pruning the team is difficult but critical. It takes an unusual brand of stamina to remove people from the organization. Many managers do not have the stomach for it. They will wait for a downturn in business or postpone until the sales person fails to the point of starvation.
Usually they rationalize they are being humanitarian, when actually they are being very selfish in trying to avoid an unpleasant experience for themselves. Is it humane to let people out when business is depressed and jobs scarce, or when they are years older rather than doing it when it becomes clear that it needs to be done?
Misfits with little possibility of success should be removed as soon as possible with as little pain as possible. When removal of a person is considered a responsibility rather than a right, there is a great deal more urgency and understanding. Perhaps some of you have had the experience of having a former employee say to you, “Thanks for letting me go. That’s the best thing that ever happened to me, even though I didn’t think so at the time.”
This week think about: 1) How do I think about my responsibilities to my employees? 2) What is the difference between a right and a responsibility at work? 3) Who models this principle for me?
Words of Wisdom: “While these points are specifically for improving management-salesman relationships, many will be helpful in considering management’s relations with all its people.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Commit your works to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3 NET Bible)