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
“Fred, I am turning 80 and I want you to tell me what I need to be thinking about.”
Dad was completing his 80s as his friend Ed Yates asked that question. Their friendship of at least 50 years consisted of common interests, relationships, faith, and eagerness to learn. Neither stopped searching until their last breath – literally. Ed and Gloria were the last non-family members to visit with Dad before he began his transition to heaven. As 2020 was closing Ed completed his assignment and went home to Jesus.
His question serves as a prod for me, as well. What did Dad say?
1) Make longer plans. If you start operating short-term you are giving yourself permission to die. He and Mom bought carpeting in their 80s with a 25 year warranty. Don’t shortcut your goals.
2) Be clear about your uniqueness and be a taskmaster managing the use of your gifts. Don’t allow other people to spend your time or energy because both are diminishing resources.
3) Invest your time, don’t spend it. Choose carefully so that you receive dividends, not pile up debts.
4) Leaving a legacy, not an estate is a better aim.
5) Work to create a relationship with kids where they love you, but don’t need you. Don’t establish a golden chain that ties them to you through financial support that they can’t sustain independently.
6) Be grateful. When the time comes be “delightfully dependent,” not a miserable old man.
7) Don’t make a junkyard of your old age by making foolish decisions. Guard your heart and mind.
8) Mature spiritually. Getting old doesn’t automatically make you spiritual. In fact, illness and incapacity can war against spiritual peace. Deliberately grow in grace and being “useful to the Master.”
There were more, but these bear an indelible mark.
I think of those coming behind me who are stepping into the next decade. Wouldn’t it be good for us who are farther along to construct answers in case they ask: what do I need for my 50s, 60s 70s?
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“Current proposed legislative changes would require foundational changes in Christian higher education.”
Despite the darkening clouds, our schools are shining for Jesus. They are often embattled, but they stand strong for the truth.
Please pray this month for 1) safety of all in the new semester 2)spiritual fortitude and growth 3) strong financial support. Our men and women who lead are courageous. Their faithfulness to the mission of promoting excellence and developing maturity requires tenacity. We are thankful for them and look to the Lord for His favor and blessing.
Pray for Perseverance
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
“4 The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, 6 but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.” (Numbers 11:4-6, NAU)
“4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:4-5)
It is now 2021, so “out with the old, in with the new.” Not so fast! We only wish that the old year, with its global virus attack were history. While the new year is here, the masks, the social distancing, the constant hand washing, are still with us, and for a number of months to come. It is already evident that some who are suffering from “Covid fatigue” have slackened in their due diligence, and in so doing are putting themselves and others at risk. Sadly, this seems to be happening on our college campuses.
If we are feeling sorry for ourselves because our adversity lingers on, let us consider the ancient Israelites, whose menu never changed for 40 years. Fried manna, baked manna, sweet and sour manna, boiled manna. Yuk! The apostle Paul tells us that the Old Testament Scriptures were given to us so that we might be encouraged so that we will persevere in tough times. In addition to this, the Scriptures encourage us not to become irritable with one another, so that we may have the same mind and heart.
As our students and faculty return to less-than-desirable conditions in their colleges and universities, let us pray that they will find encouragement from the Scriptures, and that they will persevere and not grow weary in well-doing (Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13).
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Weekly Thought – January 19, 2021
Fred valued self-control and discipline in others. He also demonstrated what these qualities looked like for he committed much thought, prayer, and effort to growing into a man of character. He spoke of his younger years when anger often flared and his determination to “leash” it. True to his nature, he spent hours analyzing the subject and processing. This week’s thought is a peek into his thinking about anger.
Thank you for praying for our Christian colleges and universities. Please join us each month as we dedicate a few minutes outlining prayer requests. Sign up for the Breakfast With Fred Prayer Network. Standing with and behind these institutions is critical in this cancel culture which moves aggressively against them. Thank you.
A Leash For Anger
I think of “leashing” our anger, because I don’t believe it is possible to live without anger. It is a cat with way more than nine lives. It can only be controlled. It is part of our human nature. We are angered both by others and even by ourself.
One of the dangers of anger is the misconception that two wrongs make a right when we are under its influence. We get lost in the wrong thinking about revenge, thinking getting even is possible, and maybe preferable. Have you ever tried to recognize when you drop into a “mad?” Here is one clue: when we start immediately thinking of something bad to do – then enjoying the thought of the other’s suffering we are in trouble. The idea of righteous satisfaction in retribution signifies unleashed anger.
There are two emotions we call anger: 1) mad and 2) righteous indignation( a phrase given to us by theologians). There is a significant difference. When we are angered by what angers God we are righteously indignant. There are two clearly different spirits in these emotions. Once we take our stand in righteous indignation we are to hold that position. We are to stand for the right, win or lose. The real discipline is to hold to the righteous and not slip into self-righteous.
Mad anger comes from loss of personal power – not being able to force our will on the situation. The desire to get even with those who hurt us is present, especially when we feel stopped in our ability to get even. Mad anger retaliates “I’m not going to take it!” When someone insults us, talks down, or does something spiteful we get mad and seek revenge. But scripture is crystal clear: “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. I will repay.” We have trouble waiting for Him. This is when I need a check. The more I want to take matters into my own hands, the more I know I am vengeful and not waiting for God.
We are told “don’t let the sun go down on our wrath (or mad anger). It is an acid which burns in the night. We are to purge it before we sleep and not let it settle into the value structure of our subconscious, When we do this we can start each day with refreshed souls. The rancor of yesterday has not festered overnight.
To keep this from happening means we take the offensive in settling the conflict. Though we are mad, we should never be so mad we cut off communication with another person. He/she is still a person for whom Christ died, as am I. I am to be willing to forgive, forget, and hope that he is, too. I will even make the first approach, if necessary. With our anger leashed, we can control it. Self-control gives us freedom, maturity, and joy.
This week consider carefully: 1) How strong is my leash on anger? 2) What causes me to get mad? 3) When do I successfully recognize the difference between mad and righteous indignation?
Words of Wisdom: “We are to stand for the right, win or lose. The real discipline is to hold to the righteous and not slip into self-righteous.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger.” (Ephesians 4:26 NET Bible)