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
“Your [sic] the best Mom!”
I moved from a home where I had lived for decades. There were several cabinets unopened for years. As I looked in to check contents an aged post-it note fluttered down into my hand. The words made my eyes water… “Your [sic] the best Mom.” Everyone who knows me understands my reaction. “You’re, not your…” That is what they would assume. But no, tears, not jeers came. The little hand that wrote those words now belonged to a woman who is a wife, mother, and friend extraordinaire.
Grammar was my last thought. Feeling the effort and emotion displayed in that little yellow note overwhelmed me. Those words were not written during an “all is great” time. No, that note came after a very difficult Mom/teenage daughter season. It was her way of reaching out. Tears? YES!
When my Mom died I cleaned out drawers in her nightstand finding piles of greeting cards she saved. It chronicled the passage of time as three children sent birthday and Mother’s Day greetings. The childlike love grew into adult messages of appreciation and trust.
Too often we let the minutiae get in the way. Perfection is way oversold. Seeing the heart and acknowledging the love is the only thing that matters. Forget the spelling errors, and the grammatical flaws – see the expression and experience it with a grateful heart.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“Put on the whole armor of God. (Ephesians 6:11a)”
Have you ever wondered why Paul added “whole?” Each piece of armament speaks to a particular aspect of the spiritual battle. Neglecting one item is to leave ourselves vulnerable to attack.
Emphasizing the critical totality of Christian higher education, our schools often include language referring to the development of the “whole person.” The goal is to fit them fully for Kingdom work in each and every arena. As the students graduate, the schools’ desire is for the learners to be suited in all areas to serve the Lord Jesus Christ wholly. Let us pray with them to pursue this goal with clarity, freedom, devotion, and steadfastness.
May the love of God as seen in Jesus shine and may our love be seen in our prayerful and financial encouragement to students, staff, faculty, and administration. May Jesus Christ be praised!
Taking Another Look at Love
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away (1 Corinthians 13:4-10, NAS).
Valentines Day focuses on romantic love, and 1 Corinthians 13 is almost always the first biblical text people will turn to when thinking of love. But let us take note of the fact that romantic love is not really Paul’s focus here. He is writing to the Corinthian church. This church is plagued with factions and divisions. There is sexual immorality that is being overlooked – indeed, the church is proud of doing so. And their members are taking other believers to court. Their worship service is a disaster, where folks are drunk and disorderly at the Lord’s Table (communion). Paul has written about the great diversity that God has created, a diversity that is designed to edify and build up the church. And chapter 13 is set forth as the key to church unity and health.
As students and faculty give thought to love, may they focus on that love which governs all our relationships and ministry to one another. As Paul teaches us, love is the greatest. It is God’s love for lost sinners which prompted our Lord’s greatest act of love – the cross of Calvary.
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Weekly Thought – February 13, 2024
Fred, in his mid-to-late twenties, met Maxey Jarman. That introduction grew into a lifelong friendship. A job offer and years of learning under Mr. Jarman and other strong, wise men helped Fred set a path for accomplishment.
Take A Note and Ask a Question
One form of mentoring helps the mentoree define the principles of living. Recently a young man said to me, “Mr. Smith, my grandfather was everything to me. He loved me and he taught me how to live.” That young man was surely blessed by a relationship like that. As we look at lifestyle mentoring in scripture, we think of Paul and Timothy. From the text we don’t know how much technical “how to be a missionary” time was spent between them. But we do know Paul was an excellent sponsor – a father in the faith. He allowed Timothy to work with him, observing, and absorbing. The words of Paul to Timothy were pointed and key to establishing healthy life patterns.
For years Zig Ziglar and I meet regularly to talk. Without fail the first thing Zig does is pull out his notepad and pen even though his memory for material is far better than most. I told him I was writing about mentoring and he said, “Be sure and tell the person being mentored to take notes. No one should trust his memory with anything this important.” Another friend, Dr. Ramesh Richard always puts his electronic notetaker on the table when we begin talking. “Mr. Smith, I have a completed recorded file of all our conversations.” For forty years as I worked with Maxey Jarman first as his employee, to a trusted consultant, fellow Christian board member, friend, and confidante I wrote down everything I saw him do or say that I thought was key. I was continually learning and wanted to remember both the principles and the illustrations.
Having a lifestyle mentoring relationship is not the same as a skill-based, or situational mentorship. This one focuses on a long time walking with another. The mentor is to be open, real, and to consistently personify their values before the young mentoree. Asking questions is a significant part of this process. One man with whom I have an ongoing conversation always comes prepared with questions to ask me before I enter that “senile eclipse.” (Editor’s note: Bill Glass, who considered Fred a mentor for 60 years came to the ICU for his last visit with Fred notebook and pen in hand. “I still have some questions for Fred,” he told the family in the waiting room.)
The mentor must provide a comfortable environment in which the mentoree feels free to ask any questions he considers needed. These may be questions about the mentor’s life or situations that may be coming. Questions like: “What were the major decisions in your life? What were the circumstances? What were the principles involved? How did you evaluate the outcome?” The more probing the questions, the better the learning.
A good mentor never ridicules a question. The mentor may choose to not answer, but must never ridicule for that shuts off the pump which produces the flow.
Lifestyle mentoring is coming alongside another for the purpose of learning and development. This won’t be the ordinary process. In fact, it will be reserved for very few, but for the right combination it provides an opportunity for a mentor to pass on more than techniques. As Paul said to Timothy, take what you are learning from me and build it into the lives of others who will then teach. Lifestyle mentoring is an effective method of torch passing.
This week carefully consider: 1) Who do I seek out for meaningful conversations? 2) What questions should I be asking a mentor?3) How can I become available to learners?
Words of Wisdom: “The mentor must provide a comfortable atmosphere in which questions can be freely asked.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Let the wise also hear and gain instruction, and let the discerning acquire guidance! (Proverbs 1:5 NET Bible)