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
“Not my fault – not my fault – not my fault!”
Walking down the hall with my arms full of folded laundry I heard my preschooler’s voice repeating “Not my fault.” I quickly delivered the piles to each person’s room then walked back to see son Jeff sitting alone on the floor.
“Jeff, what are doing?” “I am practicing in case Heather and Meredith get me in trouble.” His older sisters often pointed at this cute little blonde boy when they were the guilty ones.
He is now a husband, father of four, and pastor. His grown sisters look up to their “little brother,” respecting him for his integrity and love for the Lord.
Whenever I remember this moment I recognize we live in a culture of blame. We suffer the consequences of too much “not my fault,” practice. Our attitude of sidestepping responsibility is now ingrown and accepted. Group faces off against group; ideology garners support while demeaning another ideology. One worldview espouses “passing the buck” and naming others as oppressors. Teaching young ones to quickly respond, “My fault (or “my bad!) – I am sorry – or forgive me” is a challenge, but one of the healthiest exercises for maturity.
The grace of God is sufficient to provide redemption and reconciliation. Accepting our shortcomings without blaming it on society, family relationships, opportunity, or even God leads to joy. We can continue to sit on the floor and chant “not my fault, not my fault, not my fault” but what a loss. Let’s get up, “man (or woman) up” and live as contributing adults.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“Your monthly email touches my passion – Christian education. I am thankful for these schools which educate the whole person.”
This month as a new semester starts, let’s stop together and pray for schools which hold high the banner of Jesus Christ. When administrators, faculty, and staff join to bring the message of life in Christ to students we can be their support. These are critical times – this is a turning point in history – this cultural moment is significance. Our students are preparing to stand for Truth as seen in our great triune God throughout the world. We are called to encourage them sharing our personal witness of God’s mighty deeds and goodness in our own lives. Thanks be to our risen Lord for the message of hope and salvation through grace.
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
“28 And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:28-29).”
It was Peter whose question prompted our Lord to speak these words: “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” (Matthew 19:27) “What’s in it for me?” is a question commonly raised (privately, perhaps, but raised nonetheless) question.
We all take note of the things our Lord promises in the “sweet bye and bye,” but what of those things that He promises us now? I would like to focus on family, rather than farms (though that is a worthy matter to pursue as well). Jesus promises His followers that if they give up family now, they will gain family. Surely this will be true in heaven, but I believe it is also true in this life. Paul gave up marriage and family to serve the Lord, but there were also men like Timothy that he called “son” (1 Timothy 1:18; 2:1-2). So, too, with Peter and John Mark (1 Peter 5:13).
For me, and many others, the greatest takeaways from college have been relationships which are often closer than family. May God grant faculty and staff members to “adopt” “sons” and “daughters.” And may our students seek “sisters” and “brothers” in the Lord, and “fathers” and “mothers” as well.
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Weekly Thought – September 5, 2023
Fred valued character, relationships, and faith. He also valued money, but as a tool, not an idol. Growing up extremely impoverished financially, but he was rich in wisdom and life experience. Many sought his counsel as they both built businesses, and rebuilt from financial devastation.
Thinking About Money
Money is one of life’s greatest necessities. To disparage it is to show your ignorance of real life. Money is as important to a functioning life as blood is to the body. It is necessary, but should never be the end goal. We make blood to live, not live to make blood. In the very same way, I make money to live, but never live to make money.
I have explained to our children “money is option.” With it a multitude of choices are possible. Without it our experiences are limited. However, money does not bring with it the sense of responsibility needed to make wise choices and choose the right options. When someone gets into financial, social, or relational trouble, the root cause is rarely money itself, but the irresponsible use of it.
I am sure some of my friends have found a way to through life twice. They seem to think this time they are going to focus on making money and the next time through they are going to enjoy it. In my experience I found we only go through once and I think it makes sense to make it and use it well on the one time we get.
The truth about money has been known for a long time. Aristotle called it “barren” not because it didn’t bring benefits but because the emotions it brought were among the most base and not to be compared to the nobility of love, patriotism, and religion.
The man or woman whose greatest emotions are reserved for money knows nothing of the higher emotional life. Money may buy fun, even happiness at times, but never true joy. It has no potential for elevating the intellectual and spiritual potential.
The love of gold almost blocks the love for all else…certainly those things that are noble. How pale is the struggle for wealth when compared to the struggle for freedom, searching for truth, or the love of family.
This week think carefully about: 1) When I am honest with myself is money a tool or an idol? 2) How important was money when I grew up? 3) Who is a proper model for the prudent use of money?
Words of Wisdom: “The man or woman whose greatest emotions are reserved for money knows nothing of the higher emotional life.”
Wisdom from the Word: “What’s the point of a fool having money in hand to buy wisdom, when his head is empty?” (Proverbs 17:16 NET Bible)