Weekly Thought – December 17, 2019
Fred’s influence on those in his employ encouraged many to deepen their spiritual lives. His personal goal was to stretch others… and this meant in all ways, professionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Two stories which illustrate this connection with others make up the weekly email.
The academic year ended for the Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute. We are grateful for those whose lives were stretched and blessed to the glory of God. Next year will introduce a deeper event focusing on constructive conversations on key topics and intense follow-up. Your friendship and financial support is appreciated. Your donations, prayer, and encouraging words strengthen our leading.
I received an essay from a former employee. I took it home to see if Mary Alice could guess at the authorship; she couldn’t determine the writer. She was as amazed as I had been when I first read it. The woman was a professional who adopted a cynical attitude about the church and faith. She continued to go through habit, but without a vital relationship. However, difficulties changed all of that.
She wrote: “When troubles came, my strength which I felt was so great began to crumble. It started slowly then finally disintegrated. Despair began to fill my life. Because I had grown up in the church I began to turn to prayer. My communication with God was no longer the ritualistic process I had always followed… it was real. Talking to God about me, my problems, and my life because ‘me’ was a good place to start. I knew something was wrong there that needed to be straightened out before we started to even work on my problems. For a long time I knew there was something missing, and I was secretly, yet constantly searching. There was a gnawing in my stomach that was ever present. I now know the feeling was a result of a lack of peace within. Now I have an intangible presence which is very difficult to convey in words, but it is as real as anything I have ever known.” Her essay on faith was a multi-paged piece on peace.
She moved from depending on a social and personal reservoir of strength to spiritual reality.
The letter began, “Fred, the Lord and friends have been more generous with me than I could ever deserve. I have just returned from Switzerland, Austria, and several South American countries where I have been doing medical lectures. I’m working full time and my practice has exceeded all my expectations. Currently I am working on a contribution to a medical textbook.”
This may sound like a typical success story. But when I first met him he was coming out of a battle with alcohol which had immobilized his practice, and his personal life. Through this struggle he found the reality of faith. And even more, he found not only sobriety, but a caring nature which has replaced his cynicism. He came out of a life depending on his ability to make it to the understanding of the reality of God.
This week think about: 1) Where is my strength? 2) Who is in my realm of influence can use a word of hope? 3) How can I expand the reach of the Gospel in my life?
Words of Wisdom: “She moved from depending on a social and personal reservoir of strength to spiritual reality.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power” (Ephesians 6:10 NET Bible)