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
“I’m not afraid of heights – I’m afraid of falling.”
Her comment caught me off guard. I have always put myself in the “afraid of heights” category, but she challenged my thinking. She is right – I don’t mind being high if falling isn’t an imminent danger.
Fear is a strange emotion, isn’t it? Anger masquerades as fear; anger often comes dressed as depression. We find the emotion that is most socially acceptable. Or, we just play hide and seek, ducking behind a smiley face and “I’m doing great!”
I was driving US Highway 550 in Colorado from Ouray to Durango. The sun was sinking farther and faster in the west than I intended. As I maneuvered a mountainous curve I had a panic attack. I was alone, I was afraid, and I was petrified. Thankfully there was a pull-off. I sat in the car, talking to myself. “Brenda, no one is going to drive you down the mountain. You can do this – you have driven mountain roads for years. What is going on with you?” The last voice had a critical edge to it – not what I needed. I needed the “atta-girls!”
It wasn’t the height – it was the fear of driving off the edge and plunging down the hillside. I finally had a profitable talk with myself, prayed, quoted favorite fear scriptures, and started the trek homeward.
Pulling the mask off fear and telling the truth about it allowed me to manage the moment. I am not downplaying the reality of panic attacks. For this time, the experience had a rapid conclusion. I know there are other times when the outcome isn’t quite so easily resolved.
We live in a fear-driven, fear-addicted culture. We use anger, fear, and hostility as motivators of ourselves and others. What a foolish misuse of time and energy. We were created as God’s masterpiece, His work of art, His poem. We aren’t designed to operate with fear as our default system.
I heard her words and they triggered an immediate response. What about you? What are your fears? Are you realistically defining your fear or should you be looking for the “fear behind the fear?” Identify it, speak life into the emotion, and be released from the paralysis.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“The current trend is radical mediocrity.”
The speaker’s remarks were accepted as acceptable and assumed. I looked around to find another face with a stunned expression like mine. Seeing none, I thought “that would be a good lead line for our prayer network email…and so it is.
God calls us to excellence, not mediocrity. As He transforms us He conforms us to the image of His own beloved Son, Jesus. There is nothing mediocre about Him!
This month as we join together let’s lift up those faculty members, administrators, and students who do their work “as unto the Lord.” Let’s stand with them in prayer, financial support, and personal contact. May we eagerly pray for clarity, focus, and steadfastness for them as they plan, work, and witness to the truth of the gospel. May radical faith be the byword, and mediocrity never be spoken in word or deed.
Bring Joy to Teachers and Mentors
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, when you received the message with joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, despite great affliction. 7 As a result you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For from you the message of the Lord has echoed forth not just in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place reports of your faith in God have spread, so that we do not need to say anything. 9 For people everywhere report how you welcomed us and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus our deliverer from the coming wrath. (1 Thessalonians 1:6-10, NET).
For who is our hope or joy or crown to boast of before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not of course you? (1 Thessalonians 2:19).
What a great joy the Thessalonian saints were to the apostle Paul. When Paul visited Thessalonica, a good many came to faith, but there was a corresponding resistance to the gospel as well, forcing Paul to leave that city (Acts 17:1-9). And yet the gospel was planted in fertile soil. As a result, many others heard the gospel, and also the testimony of the growth and perseverance of these new Thessalonian believers. The news of this church’s faith spread far and wide, and it brought great joy to Paul.
I believe that those Christians who faithfully minister in our colleges and universities greatly desire to hear similar reports of the faithfulness and perseverance of those young people whom they have served in their college days. What a joy it is for them to hear such good news, just as Paul did many years ago.
Let us pray for those who minister to our young people by faithfully proclaiming and practicing the gospel, so that they may rejoice at the way God has spread the gospel through them, and their students.
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Weekly Thought – October 8, 2019
Fred believed in maturity. Despite his reputation, Fred did not relish confrontation, but he knew it was part of growth. In typical Fred fashion, he did a great deal of thinking on the subject. This excerpt from musings and notes highlights his process.
Please pray as BWFLI continues deepening relationships with students, faculty, and administrators. Watching them navigate the challenges with faith excites us. Recent articles trumpeting the lack of faith, decline in belief, and evaporation of hope emphasize the importance of the relationship between Christian laymen and the schools.
Confrontation is a Responsibility
Control of confrontation is important. Too often it is seen as a loaded gun open on the desk. That is a faulty way of thinking – and using – it.
It is a very purposeful tool, and I like to think of two basic types:
1) In a work environment between employer and employee
2) In a personal environment between friends or family
In the first one, you deal primarily with the facts of the case. It usually includes “this is the failure – here is why it is unacceptable.” Creating a strategy to rectify the situation is part of the outcome. It is a formal process.
The second involves feelings, motivations, and deep sources that require careful handling.
Confrontation requires a correct environment. It is very important the other person hears what you are saying. And not only what you’re saying, but why you are saying it. For that you have to go below the surface by asking questions.
In the personal confrontation I have found taking a “third party persona” works well. For example, I tell the story of somebody else who had a similar problem. I may not even mention the offense in the story. As it unfolds it is not unusual for the person to say, “You know, that is pretty close to my situation.” The opening up of the problematic situation permits the conversation to move ahead. I know the parallel in the stories but I do not create a scenario that manipulates the situation. And I am careful to never confront anybody with anything that they can’t change.
In confrontation it is not necessary to take the position that it is the immovable hitting the unstoppable. I like to think sometimes it is like running along and jumping on like you would a San Francisco trolley car. But you have to have the right environment for this to happen.
1) You have to have the right motive. Itching for a fight is not the way. It is always to enable the other person to grow, never to humiliate them. Accomplishment is the goal.
2) You have to have the right modus operandi (MO). I am careful about confronting anyone in business or the family before others. Correction is private. These conversations need to be respectful, even in the most difficult circumstances.
3) You have to have the right follow-up. Many times the right follow-up is no follow-up. I don’t want the person to give me blame or credit for the steps taken afterward.
This week think about: 1) How careful am I about confrontation? 2) Who models this skill well? 3) What situation am I facing right now?
Words of Wisdom: “In confrontation it is not necessary to take the position that it is the immovable hitting the unstoppable.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The one who refuses correction despises himself, but whoever hears reproof acquires understanding.” (Proverbs 15:32 NET Bible)