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
“Stay away from the crunchy stuff.”
My daughter Heather and her husband Bob now own a lovely tritoon. After a year of learning about “Ohana” they hired a professional captain to check them out and stretch their expertise.
The two hour cruise on Lake Grapevine impressed two points on me as I luxuriated in the sun while he “schooled” them.
1) Stay away from the crunchy stuff. He pointed out trees, rocks, and underwater obstacles which could create hazardous events. He advised them to learn where the unseen dangers were which were only visible when the lake was low. Over and over he reminded them – “Stay away from the crunchy stuff.” I started thinking about my own life. There can be lots of crunchy stuff which can threaten a fruitful and mature life. If I don’t navigate well, I can run up on rocks damaging my reputation, the accomplishment of goals, and my future direction. Unseen temptations can threaten my smooth sailing. They may be only uncovered after my life’s low ebb shows them. A moral depth finder is vital for a healthy life.
2) Know the rules and etiquette, but always assume the other boaters don’t. Raising children allowed me to hear countless times, “that’s not fair.” We all know from experience and from reading Scott Peck’s classic that “Life is not fair.” On the water, just as on the highway there are clear rules for right of way, no wake observance, and distances. In my life, there are also ways to manage for positive outcomes. But for me to believe everyone else understands is naïve. Maturity means living with eyes wide open and equipping myself to flex. Rigidity results in breakage.
Captain Chris revels in the business of good boating. He teaches from the overflow because it is his passion. What is so strong in our mind and heart that we cannot help talking about it?
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“Just because we get older doesn’t mean we automatically get wiser or more spiritual.”
This month the request is for those who guide, direct, mentor, pray for, and love our schools. Most of us see 50, 60, or even 70 in the rear view mirror. What have we learned? What is our responsibility to the next generation(s)?
Years ago a group of believers formed a fellowship group which eventually gained the nickname: Sit, soak, and sour. Sadly, these devoted men and women became a Dead Sea because the water of the Word had no exit. Their intake valve was wide open, but they had no output functionality.
Our students, faculty, staff, and administrations look at the completion of another academic year – one that looked strangely different from past terms. There is weariness and discouragement in some. They need the refreshment of the Spirit – they need us!
So, this month I am calling on the prayer network to lift up the schools in earnest prayer. More than that, I am reminding all of us that financial gifts are necessary, as are words of encouragement and support.
Let’s not waste the years God is giving us. May we see His hand, hear His voice, and follow His leading more diligently than ever before. May aging for us reflect greater wisdom, greater love for God, and fruitfulness beyond measure.
When our Work Can Get in the Way of Knowing God
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42, NAU).
Mary had her focus on one thing – Jesus. So much so that she was not in the kitchen helping Martha. Martha was preoccupied with too many other things, mostly related to the meal she was about to serve. She wanted everything just right, but she was so busy doing this that she missed out on enjoying Jesus, sitting at His feet, and listening to His words. There is nothing wrong with preparing a good meal, but not at the expense of enjoying a relationship with Jesus.
College students, like the rest of us, have many competing demands on their time and energies. But the “good part,” the best thing of all, is enjoying fellowship with Jesus. Let us learn from our Lord’s gentle rebuke of Martha, and from Mary’s devotion to Jesus. Let us pray for our students, that in the rush and hurry and fast pace of their studies and other activities they don’t neglect the “good part,” fellowship with the Savior.
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Weekly Thought – April 20, 2021
Fred referred to an intellectual friend as “a man with a superior mental organ.” That was certainly descriptive of him. He grew up in the mill district of Nashville, was disabled at age five, was unable to attend college because of financial limitations, and enjoyed few or none social networks. But God gifted him to think – and he used that gift unceasingly.
Think and Do
“I just can’t believe that I did that; What in the world was I thinking; It just came over me.” How many times do you hear these excuses for inappropriate actions? I am convinced action is the last step, not the first. Here is the formula I worked out for myself: first, the thought, then the mood, then the rationalized action.
First the thought comes in our mind and if we keep it long enough and know it with validity, it creates a mood. The mood then rationalizes the action. Scripture talks of this when James talks of the progress from temptation to enticement to sin and death. Death was not the goal at the outset, but it was the logical end.
How do we control this formula? We start by keeping the wrong thoughts out of the heart. Remember the old adage: “You can’t keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.” Therefore, our first responsibility is to dislodge the thought before it creates a mood and ultimately births an action. I am not suggesting a mind free from thoughts – far from it. We reprogram our mind by replacing the worthless with worthy. The Apostle Paul spoke often about his system of thought control which resulted in appropriate behavior.
It is my firm belief you can trace back an action that surprised you to the mood in which it was taken. Mood is a mindset we create to facilitate the action. The thought is buried into the soil but doesn’t grow until the root is fully formed. Have you ever lashed out at somebody and wondered what got into you? Think of the emotional mood and mental mindset – the action becomes logical. Have you made a decision that was atypical of your thought pattern? Recreate the mood environment before the decision you will understand what came together to cause that decision. Every action is wrapped in a mood.
The rationalization of action is almost an unspoken process. The thought has come to life. The path to action is in the mind. Once the act is performed we can express shock, but we must take responsibility for we were the one who initiated the process.
Psychologists tell us that to create a new habit or break an old habit takes 21-30 days of consecutive positive activity. The key is consecutive. Undoing the “stinkin’ thinkin’” my good friend Zig Ziglar talks about is the implantation of concentrated, consistent, consecutive discipline.
This week think about: 1) Have I ever said “that just wasn’t me” as a rationale for a bad action? 2) How can Fred’s thinking help me this week? 3) What habit am I working to make or break?
Words of Wisdom: “It is my firm belief you can trace back an action that surprised you to the mood in which it was taken.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The law of their God controls their thinking; their feet do not slip.” (Psalm 37:31 NET Bible)