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
(This is excerpt two from my book Divine Confinement, written during a seven year caregiving period).
“The blood has pooled creating a hematoma. Don’t put pressure on it, don’t pierce it, and it will naturally be absorbed into the body.”
Those were the instructions to Mom and me as she was being discharged from the hospital. But all she could see was a monstrous red mound on her tiny arm. “What happened?” “What caused it?” I think I must have learned cause and effect from this little woman who still searches for who to blame, desperately hoping it isn’t her.
This week Mom was hospitalized for a seizure and Dad had cancer surgery.
Those 13 words are the “what caused it” of my emotional hematoma. No one can see the bulbus gathering, but it is as real as was Mom’s on her hand. “Don’t bang it – don’t prick it – or you will cause damage.” The emotions of this week have pooled in my spirit and I need time to reach equilibrium and reabsorption. In Dr. Swenson’s great book Margin he talks about living in the red zone where we use adrenaline designed for emergencies in our everyday lives. I felt I was living there for way too long.
My emotional thermostat overheated. It is time for some coolant and time for some comfort. Hopefully, it will come through resting, not ingesting. Christ is the answer – not chocolate.
PS In April 2018 I was at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, KY with a team from the Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute. After the evening session I stepped off a curb, went face down into the gravel, and was ungracefully raised up by two strong college professors. Nothing was broken, but my pride was badly bruised.
However, for the next 12 months I watched an enormous hematoma on one knee gradually reabsorb. Over and over I thought about the words I wrote during my caregiving time. This swelling on my knee reminded me again of the process, both physical and emotional.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“College kids are bringing home more than their laundry.” A Pennsylvania pastor’s wife made this point in her blog.
For many students this Christmas break will be the longest time away from campus. They will bring home stories, experiences…and anxieties. Let’s pray for our students, their families, and home time. Let’s also pray for those who can’t go home.
During this time of celebration may we always remember the greatness of our God.
Implications of Our Lord’s Incarnation
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
“23 ’Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:23, NAU).”
“14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).”
“5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:1-11).”
Christmas is the time when we particularly focus on the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Undiminished deity took on sinless humanity, for all eternity. We also celebrate the incarnation whenever we celebrate communion in partaking of the bread. But our Lord’s incarnation should not only be celebrated, it should be lived out by every Christian. As Paul teaches in Philippians chapter 2, our Lord’s incarnation is a model for Christ-followers to imitate. We Christians should reflect God in our human bodies (which are not sinless). We should manifest the kind of humility Jesus had, which prompted Him to put the interests of others above His own, and that led to His ultimate sacrificial service for our well-being.
As our college students, faculties, and staffs celebrate this Christmas, let us pray that they (and we) will manifest the humility modeled by our Lord, fleshed out in the service to others which humility prompts.
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Weekly Thought – December 10, 2019
Fred’s prayer life was personal. He never raised his hand to be the “public prayer expert.” His prayer was part of his private devotional life. His daughter Brenda commented on seeing her Dad kneeling by his bed nightly during her childhood at home. “To see this strong man humbly coming before the Lord marked me.”
Thank you for supporting the team at Palm Beach Atlantic University last month. Ongoing reports from President William Fleming and other campus leaders reinforce the effective ministry of the What’s Next Roundtable.
San Angelo Prayer Breakfast
(Note: Fred was invited by his friend Max Hulse to be the initial speaker as San Angelo, Texas established their annual Prayer Breakfast, inspired by the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. This newspaper article written by Ron Durham covered the event. Fred’s thoughts in the 1980s still speak to us today.)
“Despite indications that the nation is in the Dark Ages morally, there are enough true believers acting out their commission as ‘the light of the world’ to prompt optimism,” Dallas businessman Fred Smith told an audience Thursday.
The remarks from Smith, a businessman, author, and inspirational speaker, was received enthusiastically by the approximate 600 people attending San Angelo’s version of the National Prayer Breakfast. This was the first-ever event.
“Prayer is a relationship that unites us instead of a doctrine which divides us.” At another point he said “moral problems require spiritual solutions.”
Acknowledging that “these are turbulent times because we are between Christian and non-Christian ideas.” He compared these times to a trapeze artist letting go of one bar and flying through the air reaching for the next swing.
Citing others who agree that the nation is in moral decline, Smith referred to Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitszyn’s remark “the West is spiritually weary.” He quoted newsman Ted Koppel’s observation that “the ten commandments have become the ten suggestions.”
He also observed that the culture’s materialistic bent only points to a hole in the soul. “Many people have means but very little meaning.”
Smith posed a blunt challenge to members of churches and synagogues to live up to the claims of their faith. He referenced a recent study which said only 10% of church and synagogue members showed any significant difference in their lifestyle from non-members.
On the brighter side, he spoke of strong ministries growing and flourishing. He cited prison ministries and others focused on professional athletes which are the reason for optimism. He observed what he is seeing in the number of people who are verbalizing their desire to move from success to significance.
This week think about: 1) How can I apply Fred’s words from the mid-80s to my life today? 2) Which quote is particularly applicable to me? 3) If I were asked to address a prayer breakfast, what would I say?
Words of Wisdom: “Prayer is a relationship that unites us instead of a doctrine which divides us.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1 NET Bible)