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
“Pilot Car: Follow Me”
I have a good friend who recently retired after a long career as an OTR driver. He said truckers say there are only two seasons for those who drive American interstates: winter and road construction. Both create problems and slow their progress.
An addition to his observation is rural East Texas where somehow money is always available to work and rework roads which seemingly have minimal traffic. I often suspect it is good for the local economy and for the results at election time.
Driving to Tyler this week I encountered one of those seasonal hazards – an extended line of construction trucks blocking us off.
As I obediently and fairly patiently waited in the one lane created by the road crew, I glanced at the lead car. The sign in very large letters emphatically instructed: Pilot Car: Follow Me.”
Of course my first reaction was “why do we need that? We can certainly drive the distance without a guide.”
Then, my “find a life principle everywhere” kicked in an I smiled to myself. Life is a construction zone, isn’t it? There are many roads closed down to one lane and obstacles obscure vision and safe travel.
Often we are frustrated by slow forward movement and seek ways to skirt around situations and decisions. Peace is nonexistent. Then I remember life has no true shortcuts – the struggle is real and authentic peace only comes through the trials, not by skipping them.
And help is available. We have wise counselors, life experience, and Biblical imperatives to pilot us as we avoid falling off the paved road and into the pitfalls. We have the hope of successfully traveling through the “slow down: construction zone ahead” and riding on the smooth pavement for a while.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“We are in a battle for the soul of Christian higher education.”
These words sounded a clarion call. But they weren’t an alarm – they were a recognition of the privilege to serve the next generation of Christian men and women. They were a reminder to put on the spiritual armor each day knowing He is adequate and sufficient to forward the progress and purpose of Christian education.
This month brings Thanksgiving, home visits, and for some a time of separation from homes far away. Let’s commit to join together lifting up those whose calling is to prepare young minds and hearts for Kingdom service throughout the world. As we do, we remember faculty who feel the press of social drivers which fight against Christian thought. We bring before the Lord administrators and staff who strive to lead with integrity. And we hold in our hearts the students who are on the front lines of the spiritual battle.
We serve a God who finishes what He starts and gives grace to complete the mission. Hallelujah!
Thank you for encircling our Christian higher education brothers and sisters.
Misplaced vs. Godly Hope
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17, NET).
Therefore, get your minds ready for action by being fully sober, and set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:13).
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).
But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess (1 Peter 3:15).
The Christian stands apart from unbelievers because of their hope in Christ. This month Christians are going to be tested with regard to their hope, and particularly regarding the basis for their hope. This election, many will be tempted to pin their hopes on which political candidate will win.
The Bible teaches us to set our hope on Christ. Paul tells Timothy to warn those who are rich not to misplace their hope on material wealth. Peter tells believers to set Christ apart as Lord, and thus to be ready to explain the basis for their hope to others, particularly unbelievers.
Let us pray that our students, faculty, and staff will be known for their eternal hope, solidly rooted in Christ, and that they will have occasion to share Christ as the source of their hope with others, regardless of the outcome of this election.
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Weekly Thought – October 27, 2020
Fred built deep, lasting friendships. His commitment to loyalty and confidentiality allowed his friends the freedom to know he was trustworthy and true. These words were delivered to the Elliott Class of the Highland Park Presbyterian Church at the death of his dear friend Jim Smith, who was not a blood relative, but a certain brother in Christ and beloved teacher of the class.
Between Here and Eternity
Yesterday afternoon Jim asked me to come over so he could say goodbye. We sat, held hands, laughed, prayed, talked, and just kept quiet together. Two or three times he said, “This is a blessed time.” It was a time when we blessed each other, recalling the many years of friendship and experiences we had shared. He spoke of his surprise at not going into remission. He firmly believed it would happen. But then in true faith style he said, “It’s all right. Let God’s will be done.” There was no despair, only peace and assurance.
I asked him what it would be like to die without the Lord. “Sheer terror” was his answer.
He told me how much he appreciated the friends who paid off the mortgage on the family home. What a wonderful way to use wealth. That blessing went both ways: to the family and to the giver.
After I left him I sat with the family. They could see I had been crying and they gathered around me, held my hand, and put their arms around me for support. We all stood there upholding each other.
On his mind, also, was this class. I am convinced this class was Jim’s finest work. It was closest to his heart. Year after year we talked together about the class and never once did I ever hear him say, “my class.” It was always “the class.” He knew he didn’t own it; it owned him. The class wasn’t part of his ego, but part of his love. This class is a living memorial to Jim.
A sociological study defined great men and women by the strength of their ideas, how far it reaches, and how influential it is in the lives of others after their death. Jim will never completely die so long as we continue in what he has taught us. When my mentor, Maxey Jarman, died people asked me how I felt and I said, “Maxey will never be dead as long as I’m alive because I am carrying out the things he taught me.”
Once, sitting in the lobby of the Gibson Hotel in Cincinnati, I overheard two writers, one younger, the other older, talking to each other. The younger asked the older, “If you had your life to live over, what would you do?” Without hesitation, the older woman replied, “If I had my life to live over I’d find a cause big enough to give myself to.” Jim had no regrets for having given himself to this class.
As I talked to Jim I realized that he was submitting to the Spirit, not giving up. The act of submission is an act of the will, an act of worship. It is a victory, not a defeat. He crosses from earth to heaven knowing he fulfilled his work and finishes well.
This week carefully consider: 1) Whose life is still going on through me? 2) What is my big cause? 3) How can I submit to the Spirit this week with joy?
Words of Wisdom: “The class wasn’t part of his ego, but part of his love.”
Wisdom from the Word: “My teaching will drop like the rain; my sayings will drip like the dew, as rain drops upon the grass, and showers upon new growth.” (Deuteronomy 32:2 NET Bible)