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
“Kindness is an intentional way of life.”
The featured guest on Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family program spoke of living kindness every day. Her comment about intentionality sparked my interest. For years the “random acts of kindness” campaign has filled the air. Each time I hear it, I mentally object saying, “That is okay, but to be truly kind, you have to have a strategy. “ It must be part of a lifestyle.
As a child I memorized (in the King James Version, of course) “be ye kind, one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Years later I see kindness as a choice, as a part of being a mature, healthy adult.
“Be a blessing” is part of my familial DNA. It was repeatedly spoken to me in my home. And, now I try to build that into my grandchildren. Recently, I dropped my 20 year old grandson for his day. He got out of the car, turned, and said, “I know, Gram, be a blessing!” When he was in early elementary school we had “blessing day.” On one occasion I gathered a bag of loose change, picked him up, and drove to a local outdoor strip mall. We walked up and down the sidewalk depositing coins in obvious, but unexpected places. With each we would smile knowing how happy we were making someone who found the coin. We laughed as we thought of the person who found the quarter. To a 5 year old that was an enormous find!
Making a decision to live with a kind heart requires yielding to the great, holy God who through His own kindness brings us to repentance, as the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans. Walking in the expectancy of brightening someone’s day with a soft answer, a sweet smile, an encouraging word brings hope to both us and the recipient. Proverbs tells us when we water another we are also watered.
Let us be people of blessing and kindness, spreading the joy of the Lord.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
Loneliness, anxiety, and depression are at epidemic proportions in the general population, but particularly on our college campuses. The sense of “less than” is promoted by social media which only displays the perfect life, the successes, and the fun. A woman at Asbury University stepped away from all social media saying, “I couldn’t live up to what I saw and I dropped deeper and deeper into depression.”
This month please pray for our schools (students, faculty, staff, administration) as they face the demands of a world which is under the fallen influence. But we know:“Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world.” May they see the reality of a great God who will never leave them.
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
But I do not consider my life worth anything to myself, so that I may finish my task and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace (Acts 20:24, NET).
I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith! 8 Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day– and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
For how can we thank God enough for you, for all the joy we feel because of you before our God? 10 We pray earnestly night and day to see you in person and make up what may be lacking in your faith (1 Thessalonians 3:9-10).
We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28).
The apostle Paul was intent upon finishing well, even though it meant suffering. And so he did! He was not only intent on finishing his course well; he labored hard to encourage and assist others to finish well also.
Our students need to be encouraged to finish this school year well, but even more than that they need to resolve to finish their walk with Christ well. There is no better time to make that commitment than now, so let’s pray that many students do that.
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Weekly Thought – April 23, 2019
Fred grounded his faith in scripture. His profound belief in God and His Word formed his foundation. He did not spend time trying to justify objections from non-believers. He valued intellectual integrity, but didn’t “put much stock” in endless debates trying to prove God.
BWF Project, Inc. has large goals for 2019. We are excited about the work that is ahead. And thank you, as always, for your faithful participation with us.
The Practicality of Faith
Being immobilized and bedridden, I watch a great deal of educational television (or so they name it). Recently I heard four scholars discuss the authenticity of the Bible. On another night archaeologists discussed the discovery of Noah’s Ark. They followed Biblical directions to Mount Ararat. After a group of my friends lost real money on an oil exploration in Israel based on the existence of tar pits as described in scripture, I find such endeavors less credible.
I watched a long program discussing the historical evidence validating the resurrection. I acknowledge there are weighty Biblical scholars who major in the area of scriptural validation and verification. I choose to accept its authority and authenticity by faith. What it says I believe.
I certainly applaud those who are gifted to study the historicity of scripture, but it cannot be just an academic exercise – it has to be taken beyond that to a faith position.
My personal conviction at this advanced age is to focus more on obedience to the scriptures rather than the validation. By faith I substantiate it.
Those who search for Biblical antiquities like the Ark assuming its discovery will cause non-believers to immediately turn to faith in Christ are operating on sight, not faith. I am not diminishing their scientific enterprise, but to think salvation comes through seeing the Ark seems counter to scripture. Those who are blinded to spiritual truth will continue to be so, even in the presence of the original Ark.
I had a preacher friend who became popular in Hollywood, divorced his wife, and married a young, more glamorous woman. When we met sometime later he said, “Fred, I have become a Universalist, let’s discuss religion.” I said, “There’s no point discussing what you want and need to believe.” The humanist is not going to accept the Biblical definition of truth. Jesus said, “I am the truth.”
At a couples’ retreat I was drawn into an intellectual discussion about comparative religions (against my better judgment). I thought I was holding my own until one of the wives broke in to say, “I don’t understand one word you all are talking about. All I know is that I love Jesus.”
I am not saying faith is putting your mind on the shelf. After all, we are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. We are to be faithful “dividers of the word.” But we aren’t to spend our time on useless debates. And we are to be prepared to defend the hope that is within us. But it isn’t to be an intellectual dueling match.
My own prayer is, “Lord, I believe – help thou my unbelief.” I don’t need proof – I need obedience.
This week think about: 1) What do I accept by faith? 2) How apt am I to get into circular arguments about religion? 3) What is my source of authority?
Words of Wisdom: “My personal conviction at this advanced age is to focus more on obedience to the scriptures rather than the validation. By faith I substantiate it.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD considered his response of faith as proof of genuine loyalty.” (Genesis 15:6 NET Bible)