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
(Note) In 2005 I published a book titled Divine Confinement: Facing Seasons of Limitation. It was written during a seven year season of mine while my parents lived out their last days in my house. A section of the book was devoted to short personal responses. I called them “Musings and Amusings.” For the next few months I will share some of them as the bi-monthly blogs. Brenda A. Smith’s book is available as a Kindle book on Amazon here.
“You must feel confined.”
Just a passing comment, but it scored a direct hit in my soul. Confinement, yes that is exactly what I feel. I am under house arrest. I sit in my office, looking out the window much like Robert Louis Stevenson lay in a childhood bed of sickness, pretending grand and glorious adventures.
Sadly, I often go into an electronic stupor ad overdose on HGTV. But this isn’t a random confinement – this is one appointed by God – this is divine confinement.
I can either continue making chalk marks on the wall denoting time served, or I can see that this is really a learning lab created to mold me into usefulness. Haven’t I been confined before – a marriage gone bad, a broken relationship with a child, a job with no hope of success, an addiction to chocolate and ice cream, a mean and jealous spirit, a wandering heart — weren’t these all confinements?
But how much better to see God’s hand in this and know that He has the key and that He came to set the prisoners free. I won’t be here on day longer than I need to be and in an ironic twist, Mom and Dad won’t be here one day longer than God knows that I need them to be. Who is taking care of whom?
Aren’t they the stuff of which this confinement is made, so aren’t they the stuff of which the divine purpose will be constructed? And then, ultimately they will be my source of freedom for I will learn to trust Him, love them more dearly, and understand freedom is not lack of confinement, but the recognition that it is divine.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“Serve the Lord with gladness; come into His presence with thanksgiving.”
These simple words from the Psalms describe what we see in faculty and administration among our Christian colleges and universities. Undoubtedly, these men and women serve sacrificially as they undertake the build the next generation of Godly leaders. They commit to follow the Lord in the effort to develop whole people of character, faith, and good will.
Their choice of Christian higher education demands a great deal of them. They often struggle financially knowing money isn’t the measure of their value to the Kingdom.
In this month of Thanksgiving, let’s earnestly bring them before the Lord in gratitude. Let’s perhaps stop and send a note of encouragement to the school leaders. The task is great, but the provision of the Lord is even greater as they truly serve with gladness.
Thanksgiving Is Not An Option
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18-19, NAU).
21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures (Romans 1:21-23).
Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, but it is often looked upon as optional (How much genuine thanksgiving usually takes place on Thanksgiving Day?), but it is really a command and an obligation. To ignore or to disregard this command to give thanks has serious implications, as we can see from the text in Romans 1 (Psalm 95 underscores this as well).
It is easy for those who have grown up without ever experiencing a nation-wide financial depression, or having gone to war, to feel that the “good life” is somehow an entitlement, rather than a God-given blessing, for which we should give thanks. We would all do well to ponder just how we should express our thanksgiving to God this Thanksgiving Dad, and every other day as well. What does thanksgiving look like in the Bible?
Let us pray for students as well as faculty and staff, that genuine thanksgiving will be offered this Thanksgiving, and every other day, to the praise and glory of God, and for our own well-being.
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Weekly Thought – November 19, 2019
Fred thought systematically. He once said about a friend, “He has an impeccable mind… everything is in place.” Fred, too, had a mind which organized for maximum usage. Mary Alice loved order, too, but in the house. She finally gave up on having his environment (covered with books, articles, scraps of notepaper, etc.) match the pristine nature of his thinking process.
2019’s Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute schedule completed with a successful time at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Thanks to Mark Modesti and the BWFLI team for their work. And deep gratitude to President Fleming and his outstanding staff for their devotion to the growth of their students.
(Fred categorized as an effective way to organize content. This week’s thought is built on sets of four things.)
- Four great questions:
- Adam, where are you?
- Am I my brother’s keeper?
- Who do you say that I am?
- Do you love me?
- a. Identity and individuality
- Community – a sense of being home
- Meaning and significance
- They set realistic, not impossible, goals for themselves
- They prefer work situations in which they can take personal responsibility for the effort and the goal achievement
- They desire feedback about their own performance
- They show initiative in researching their environment, traveling, trying new things, and searching for new opportunities
- The emotional strain of playing with your own chips.
- Wearing more hats and being required to handle more detail than customary
- Realization that working with people takes twice as long and at least 50% more money.
- Consider early change in lifestyle and social status understanding money alone is not the full satisfaction in life.
- Locate the path of potential. People cannot do anything they want to or anything they can think of, despite current clichés.
- Have faith to believe in the potential. Faith is an act, not a feeling or simply a word. Faith is acting as if it were so.
- Initiate discipline to accomplish the potential. This is the operating system.
- Have gratitude to enjoy the potential. Gratitude recognized that we have nothing but what we have received.
This week think about: 1) Which set of four things particularly stirs my thinking? 2) How can I organize my thoughts to be more helpful to myself and to others? 3) Who should I be investing in this week?
Words of Wisdom: “Have faith to believe in the potential (of others) knowing faith is an act, not a feeling or simply a word.”
Wisdom from the Word: “There are four things on earth that are small, but they are exceedingly wise.” (Proverbs 30:24 NET Bible)