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 trucking company was built on the vision of a blind man.”
Ormsby Trucking Company travels with this painted on the back of their vehicles. It grabs you, doesn’t it? As I rode along behind the 18 wheeler it made me think about other irregular visions.
The Menninger brothers established a medical clinic on the Kansas plains, far from the major schools, populations, and technology. The Mayo brothers created a world-renown diagnostic facility in Rochester, Minnesota. Who would ever create a strategic plan for medical institutions placing them in these remote areas? Yet, the vision of “blooming where they are planted” belies the advice of most consultants.
The names of successful companies on the “it can’t be done here” list always get my attention. A common element is a man or woman who had an idea and built on it, like Mr. Ormsby. Undoubtedly they all faced great challenges and probably questioned themselves at times. But the vision motivated, disciplined, and drove the activity needed for realization.
So much is written about passion as the engine for accomplishment. Great bursts of energy without conduits to direct them lead to “blowing off steam.” Vision is the structure.
As Christians our operating vision is the transforming work of God which continually changes us into the image of Jesus. This is the vision in the mind of God – we are His workmanship, the outworking of His vision. Even though we cannot even imagine what the outcome will be, we can be scripturally attune to many of the elements in this process. We know His changing us from self-directed to Spirit-led is indeed in His “vision statement.”
Our lives can be visionary adventures. We can exult in the unexpected experiences He presents. Trucks roll on the vision of a blind man; we move on the impeccable vision of Him whose sees all.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
August brings transition: summer to fall, graduation to post baccalaureate studies, career focus from one place to serve to another… all coming with decisions and differing responsibilities.
Leadership changes on several of our campuses reflect God’s plans. This month please pray for students returning, faculty making preparations, staff members organizing transitions, and administrators setting vision.
Pray for the Lord to pour the Holy Spirit’s power on our Christian colleges and universities. Please pray for the Word of God to be the standard. Join in support for these bold warriors to have hope and joy.
What To Pray for College Students
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
“For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects – bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light (Colossians 1:9-13, NET).”
I wish I had said this. I wish that my prayers were much more like Paul’s than those which I offer up so often. The disciples of our Lord said, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1). I think we can safely pray, “Lord, teach us to pray like the apostle Paul prayed.”
What a contrast there is between Paul’s prayers and most of ours. Here is a prayer that is appropriate for all Christians, of any age, and it is surely a prayer that applies to the students, faculty, and staff of our colleges and universities. This prayer sets forth God’s goal for our lives, and as such it sets the standard, not only for us, but for those for whom we pray. Let us pray this for ourselves, and for those in our colleges and universities as well.
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Weekly Thought – August 6, 2019
Fred committed much mental and physical energy thinking about Christianity Today, International (CTI). His friendship with Billy Graham began long before the inception of the magazine and his relationship to the work of CTI was on his mind until his death in 2007. Paul Robbins and Harold Myra were great partners in their mutual exhilaration process. They capably activated the “fire hose” of Fred’s thinking. This week’s content is extracted from an interview with Paul. Even though it is nearly 30 years old, the thoughts are contemporary.
www.breakfastwithfred is a senior citizen in the world of digital content. This summer needed repairs were made. Upgrades are currently underway to bwfli.com. Houses, cars, and websites all need maintenance, don’t they? Thanks for your prayerful encouragement. We are grateful for your standing with us throughout these years. It is joyful to serve you while expanding the reach of Fred’s work.
Paul Robbins (PR), Harold Myra (HM): Fred, you have achieved a great deal in your life. How did you find the time?
Fred: Those of us who divide our efforts, particularly in the more visible activities, may appear to do more, but I doubt it. Frankly, I thought you might ask me why I have done so little, considering Wesley, Napoleon, Churchill, and others who have done so much with their 24 hours. I keep thinking how much Wesley did in such a relatively short life span. I am not being facetious or humble. My rule is to “think use, not amount.” Blaming lack of time can become an escape mechanism.
PR, HM: You always appear so relaxed, even casual, yet there is below the surface a lurking intensity. Does this intensity have a special meaning for you?
Fred: Yes, I guess it does, for it is one of my touchpoints, like a channel marker to a ship captain. Intensity is the boiling point of effort, the concentration of energy, the tip of the welding flame. Most accomplishers have a special ability to develop intensity at the right time over the right issue. Most pros have the ability to maintain a relaxed pose, then snap into action at the right moment. Only amateurs keep jumping up and down all the time like college cheerleaders. Many hardworking people fail to accomplish because the lack intensity at the critical points. Good leaders study situations, identify the critical elements and put additional resources at those points. Occasionally I do a check-up on my intensity level. If I am flat and intense about little, I know I need an adjustment. The people around me and the projects are important to maintaining intensity in good working order. I need people who correctly evaluate and turn up the intensity. Those who can’t can foul up the play or severely limit the options.
PR, HM: What are shorthand clues to your style?
Fred: I try to decide 1) what I’m trying to do, 2) what it takes to do it, and 3) who can I get to do it better than I can. I find summary thoughts helpful to keeping me conscious of goals like: “Results are the only reason for activity.” So many good-intentioned people will spend their time (and try to take mine) telling about the details of the work they are doing. I short-cut this by looking them in the eye and simply saying, “Don’t tell me about the labor pains – show me the baby!”
This week think about: 1) What are some of my key markers for leadership? 2) How apt am I to get bogged down in labor pains? 3) Where is my source of intensity?
Words of Wisdom: “Blaming lack of time can be an escape mechanism.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Trust in him at all times, you people! Pour out your hearts before him! God is our shelter!” (Psalm 62:8 NET Bible)