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
“The noise of battle all around you is unnerving.” Colonel Richard Goldsmith sat with an interviewer from the Madison County (AL) Hall of Heroes as an inductee answering his questions. They discussed his Army service in the Vietnam era. This comment made me stop and think.
We, too, are surrounded by the noise of battle. And, yes, it is unnerving. We are in the midst of clashing values which distract and discourage. How are we to know who to follow? What should be our answer to pressing problems?
Scripture says, “Be still and know that I am God.” How difficult that is in a world which shouts at us, over us, and around us. Turning down the volume as much as possible is a good option. Silence is a requirement for mental health. But even putting “sabbath rest” into our schedule is temporary. We must eventually return to the fray.
We turn on the news and the panelists see who can out bully the others with bold gestures and shrill voices. No stillness to be found!
As Christians we are called to put on the armor of God. The underlying assumption is constant warfare. We are not living in a safe space, but are battered by the conflict of God’s will versus that of “the power of this world.” It is noisy — it is unnerving.
But Jesus promises peace, doesn’t He? Not “spa day” peace, but peace which passes ordinary understanding because it exists in the tumult. It is quiet which is found in the rancor of arguments and the crushing pain of brokenness.
But we are not alone in this battle. The Holy Spirit gives us strength, comfort, and direction. The furor may swirl around us, but we have the hope of His courage. We may hear the world’s effort to drown out the small, still voice of God, but He breaks through calming us. The noise of battle can be unnerving, but when we walk with Jesus we know the victory has been won!
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“Several of our schools are changing their top leaders.”
This casual comment made me think of the shifts we have seen in the more than ten years of BWFLI endeavors. Men and women who served boldly and well move on to other callings. Schools are under the new leadership of strong believers who confirm their faith in Christian higher education. Please pray for those whose tenures are marked by progress and depth. And pray for the new leaders who are accepting the challenges ahead.
Christian higher education is blessed with trained, devoted leaders seeking to develop students who with excellence and expertise will shine for Jesus. Please uphold our schools as they strive to maintain a Biblical witness and reputation for scholarship. We are blessed to stand in the gap with them.
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read” (Luke 4:18-21, NET).”
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. 21 So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. 23 For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:20-23, NET).”
Freedom is a very popular theme in our day, and it will certainly be celebrated this month. But freedom is not likely to be understood in biblical terms. Pray for our college students, that they may understand the gospel and commit themselves to Jesus Christ as Savior, and as the source of true freedom. Pray also that those who have truly been set free through faith would share their freedom with others.
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Weekly Thought- July 2, 2019
Fred lived in a state of realistic hope. He disciplined himself to take neither a darkly pessimistic, nor hyper optimistic viewpoint. He challenged others to “wait to worry.” He was a fact-based thinker which allowed him to live in hope while keeping current on the situation and not drifting off into the wish mentality.
2019 is an exciting year for BWF. The revisions on You and Your Network are being done. We are working with Tracey Jones, President of Tremendous Leadership Books. A manuscript for What’s Next is in process, as well. And, of course, the vital and necessary updates on the websites are beginning. Please continue to pray for these projects and if led, please help us financially underwrite these efforts.
Grounded in Hope
The three key words in the closing verses of 1 Corinthians 13 are “faith, hope, and love.” Is the Apostle Paul making a climactic statement that hope is more than faith and love is greater than hope? Certainly, it is one of the controlling emotions in our lives. Faith is largely present, hope is largely future, and love transcends all time. Hope is our belief in the future based on Christ who holds it. Hope is not for the seen, but the unseen much like faith.
As the philosopher said, “a man can stand almost anything as long as he has hope.” When hope goes and hopelessness becomes the ruling emotion, suicide is often the course. Scripture says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is like a tree of life.”
I have a Polish physical therapist whose job is to stretch my muscles back into usefulness after months and months of being bed-bound. I find when he counts out loud I have hope of his quitting because I know the routine and know when the end is coming. When he doesn’t I don’t have the confidence that the end is in sight. Hope energizes patience. It gives reason for tenacity. It promotes discipline in accomplishment.
The source of hope is not hoping in hope, but in putting hope in something larger and more permanent like Scripture, or our belief that our life has purpose – even when we don’t see it. Hope requires a definable object. Hope for the Christian is eternity – the “blessed hope.” That opens the door for us to hope while here on earth. Mary Alice’s favorite hymn was “Take the Name of Jesus With You.” She rocked our three children and sang that song. As we said goodbye to her, the family stood together and sang that hymn. One of the phrases refers to the hope we have in the name of Jesus which is “the hope of earth and joy of heaven.” Another favorite hymn line is : “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’s blood and righteousness.” That is hope anchored in reality and truth.
Hope also provides peace for those of us who require objectivity. We can take hope in a changeless God. He can be the standard because he doesn’t waiver. We can hope in who He says He is because he means it.
This week think about: 1) Where is my ultimate hope? 2) How do I distinguish hope from wishing? 3) What allows me to live with hope?
Words of Wisdom: “Hope energizes patience. It gives reason for tenacity. It promotes discipline in accomplishment.”
Wisdom from the Word: “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5 NET Bible)