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
“Great! It looks like your have a new start.”
The time came to scrub the house. What a shock awaited me. Within the first hour the servicemen came, asking me to look at the back of the garage. Uh, oh… what problems do I have? But no, they wanted me to see the progress. They are not just pressure washing the logs – they are hand scrubbing each inch using a special cleanser.
As I rounded the corner of the garage (not knowing what to expect) my eyes widened in total shock. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! How could I imagine my house was hiding beneath all that dirt and grime? I posted the pic on Facebook and nearly 125 people celebrated with me.
What could the transformation teach?
1) Dirt sneaks up. I remember the shiny, honey-colored logs I fell in love with in 2007. Day by day, storm by storm, the weather coated my house with a film which collected the residue of seasons. It happened slowly and I adjusted to the new color – probably even telling myself it was a desirable patina. Not until yesterday did I see what denial reaped.
2) Reclamation is hard work and expensive. Neighbors with log homes do a once-over cleaning every six months. Waiting and ignoring intensify the process. The expense of manually rubbing the build-up increases the cost exponentially. Regular, scheduled care prevents major catch-up.
3) Stewardship is neglected. This house is mine to appreciate and preserve. It is not just an asset, nor a roof – it is a gift of God to be used in His service. The more I neglect the maintenance, the less I can fully enjoy the blessing. The Bible tells us everything we have is given to us. Therefore, I am responsible to be a good manager.
Great – those are obvious. How can I apply them to my life?
1) Bad habits are slow growing. A compromise, a flawed decision, a slip into sin come incrementally. Before we know it, we are moving in a dangerous direction which seems to be totally unexpected. “How did I get here” is an often heard question from people whose lives are destroyed by conflict, broken character, or even criminal activity. There is always a chain of decisions in life-altering consequences.
2) Coming back takes time and investment. We don’t go from disaster to delight without hard work. And sometimes the path has veered so far off from the original destination there is no coming back. Counseling, prayer, serious spiritual exploration all take time, require painful work, and repentance.
3) We are responsible for our decisions. God doesn’t create us to be free agents. We are “not our own.” Scripture tells us how to think, behave, and live. When we become followers of Jesus, we bear His name. Those who carry His banner are to carefully walk to honor and glorify.
Just as my house has a new start, redemption is our through the blood of Christ… the best cleanser of all.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“H.A.L.T. before making a life-altering decision.”
Businessman Jack Turpin’s wise words prepared me for decades of difficult decisions. Jack didn’t just mean hold on and think about it – no, it is much deeper than that. What he said was “never make a life altering decision when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.”
April brings great stress on our campuses. And it brings great opportunities for important decisions such as pushing for “a ring by Spring,” a graduate study path, or mission trip participation. Others are far more life-altering.
May we engage in active prayer support for those on our Christian campuses who are making decisions that may change the course of their lives. May they trust the Lord for direction and find the strength to HALT.
Pursuing Wisdom, and Not Just Knowledge
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in my father David’s place, even though I am only a young man and am inexperienced. 8 Your servant stands among your chosen people; they are a great nation that is too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning mind so he can make judicial decisions for your people and distinguish right from wrong. Otherwise no one is able to make judicial decisions for this great nation of yours” (1 Kings 3:7-9, NET).
With regard to food sacrificed to idols, we know that “we all have knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1).
The fear of the LORD provides wise instruction, and before honor comes humility (Proverbs 15:33).
It is important to note what Solomon did not ask for, as well as that which he sought from God. Solomon did not ask for riches or fame, but for wisdom, because that was what a young and inexperienced man needed in order to rule over Israel. God gave Solomon wisdom, and He also gave him those things for which he did not ask: riches and honor.
Proverbs makes it clear that wisdom is something which must be diligently sought after (Proverbs 2). It is a search that must begin and end with humility. Knowledge without wisdom and humility leads only to arrogance.
May we pray that God will grant our men and women students a desire for wisdom and a heart of humility. In this way knowledge will lead to fruitful living.
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Weekly Thought – May 7, 2019
Fred’s mentoring questions are a compilation of conversations with the AM/PM group. It met in the morning and was initiated by Peter McNally, thus AM/PM. As they met month by month he would throw a question on the table. On www.breakfastwithfred.com there are over 300 of them for consideration. They serve as a personal exercise, as well as for a group. Fred was asked to give an impromptu answer to his own questions. Here is the unedited text.
BWF Project is excited about the new edition of You and Your Network. It will be available by fall, 2019. The research for What’s Next will continue year long. We invite you to participate in the interview process. Contact us at Brenda@bwfli.com
1) Question; What changes would I make if I could live my life over? Fred: I doubt I would make any changes if the circumstances and options were the same. If I were given hindsight, then certainly I would have taken advantage of many more opportunities. As the wag said, “If I had my life to live over I would live over a delicatessen.” I don’t believe it is profitable to worry about such unchangeable things as our past.
2) Q: What psychological barriers have I permitted in my life? Fred: Psychological barriers can either be temporary or long-lasting. We outgrow the temporary ones. For example, one can be controlled by what others think of us. As we mature, we can overcome this one and have a healthy view of ourselves. The long-term ones are mostly character flaws. We must first recognize them and then develop a plan and time frame to reduce their influence on us. The long-term ones will take serious work, but can be minimized.
3) Q: How much does advertising influence me? Fred: I wish it influenced me less than I am afraid it does. However, I am allergic to nonsensical advertising. In fact, I consider the mute button on the TV remote as one of the greatest inventions of the modern age. Therefore, I mute most commercials. I read the advertisers believe we must see an advertisement nine times in order to become conscious of it. I hope that is true, because I seldom watch an ad more than one time. I am immunizing myself. I saw a survey of the American population saying they are far more influenced by Madison Avenue than by the church. George Gallup wrote a book titled, The Saints Among Us. He says only 10% of those claiming to be born again are really influenced by their faith.
4) Q: Do I have a healthy sense of humor? Fred: As long as I can genuinely laugh at myself rather than laughing at others I will have at least a moderate sense of humor. Much of today’s humor is sick. It does not promote healthy mental attitudes. I always look for any humor in any situation, often finding it. Most of my life I have studied humor because I think it is a vital element. I would like to be able to laugh at only those things which are genuinely funny. Humor should be a bridge between people rather than an obstruction. I have a very intelligent friend who every Sunday morning called one of his friends to read the comics together. We are admonished in scripture to be careful about taking ourselves too seriously. I believe in humor as Gods lubricant in life and certainly as a happy reality.
This week think about: 1) What makes me laugh? 2) What affect does stress have on my sense of humor? 3) How can I discipline my humor to keep it clean and appropriate?
Words of Wisdom: “I don’t believe it is profitable to worry about such unchangeable things as our past.”
Wisdom from the Word: “After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” (Luke 2:46 NET Bible)