2015 Baptist Women in Ministry Conference: Reflection 2

As I entered into the chapel of Logsdon Seminary and gazed upon the beautiful, multicolored stained glass wall facing the entrance, I was reminded of the glorious diversity that is the Kingdom of God. With the different shades of reds and blues and greens all touching each other as to create a work of art that leads people to marvel, I am hopeful that Christians around the world will be able to celebrate the diversity in leadership. I am extremely hopeful that one day women and men will be able to stand side by side recognizing each other as people called of God.

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2015 Baptist Women in Ministry Conference: Reflection 1

I went to the Baptist Women in Ministry Conference a couple of years ago at Logsdon Seminary and was impacted by my experience. A year and a half into seminary and feeling unsure of myself, I thought it would be helpful to go to a conference that focused on women in ministry and that could potentially shed some light on what exactly I felt called to. Now in my last semester with certain experiences behind me and new revelations I’ve come to about myself, I looked at the BWIM conference schedule and knew I needed to be there. A couple of years ago, I went to the panel discussion on preparing for ministry. This time, I would attend the panel discussion on living as a woman in ministry. Both times I went, I received what I was in need of for the specific season of life I was in. I was in a season of exploration a couple of years ago. Now, I am in a season of discernment. With a full semester, I knew that a day away to reflect on my experiences and on things to come after graduation would be beneficial for me.

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How I Read and Interpret the Bible

I. Why?

I can remember being a Freshman in college and signing up for “this new Facebook thing.” It was such a cool way to connect with other people on campus, and it really did that at the time. However, in recent years Facebook has shaped our culture in so many other ways besides merely connecting people throughout the world. In a lot of ways, it has become a platform for sharing peoples’ beliefs. Unfortunately, it’s the loudest, most extreme voices that are often seen and heard.

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Leading Funerals for People You Never Knew

I recently saw a tweet about conducting funerals for people you do not know, along with a link to an article offering advice. My interest was piqued, but I refrained from reading the article so that I could share my own suggestions without my ideas being influenced by the writer. In four years of ministry in two different churches, I would estimate that I helped lead 15 to 20 funerals. Of those, I had never met six of the people and had known three only a short while. When faced with leading a funeral service for someone that you have never met or knew briefly, how do you proceed? Continue reading →

On A (Little Blue Bird’s) Wing and a Prayer: Announcing the @GWTruettSermons Twitter Account!

This is the third and final installment in a special three-part blog series on the project to digitize and present online the final sermons of George W. Truett (1867-1944), noted pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas and namesake of Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Read Part I here and Part II here.

Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen how technology and theology worked hand-in-hand to deliver the sermons of George W. Truett to thousands of Americans in the early 1940s. The process of creating transcription disk-based recordings of his live church sessions, shipping them to a 50,000 watt “border blaster” radio station and playing them over the air a week after their original delivery was a state-of-the-art approach in 1941. Truett and his broadcast partners understood the powerful ability of radio to transmit his message to a vastly larger audience than could be accommodated at First Baptist Church of Dallas’ sanctuary, and it is impossible to gauge the impact those sermons had on the listeners who tuned in on Sunday evenings at 9:30 for three years from 1941-1943.

Today, we’re excited to announce a decidedly 21st century update of this process with the launch of our first-ever specialized Twitter account! [READ ON]


This article is a repost from the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections Blog.

About the Author
 Eric Ames is the Curator of Digital Collections for Baylor University Libraries, adjunct lecturer in Department of Museum Studies, Baylor University. MA in Museum Studies (Baylor University) and BA in Public Relations (Texas Tech University).

Sure-Fire Tactics for Achieving More Tip #7 – What You Absolutely Must Do

Have you ever tried to see the back of your head without using a mirror? Doesn’t make sense to try, does it? Since we can’t see it, we don’t pay much attention to it or even know much about what’s going on back there.

It doesn’t make sense that you can see all there is to see about you or achieve all you can without the influence of others.  Since you can’t give yourself a 360° look, you may gradually stop paying attention to gaps you can’t see.  Without support, you may stop working on those gaps you can see.

Every person who wants to achieve more absolutely must invite trusted individuals to help them see where they cannot, offer counsel as requested when the way is dark, provide accountability where discipline is thin, and support when the times are challenging and courage wanes. These people must be able to provide a non-judgmental, confidential, safe space in which you can open up about your life.


Here’s Tip #7: Proactively invite positive, sharpening influences into your life.


Supports for Success
I prefer to see these people as supports for success versus guards against failure.  I regularly invite people I trust to speak to me about blind-spots, offer counsel, provide accountability, and lend support. Find these people for yourself and engage them. Don’t wait for them to come to you. By then, it’s probably past prime time.

Why Don’t People Reach Out for Growth?
I am always intrigued by how few people reach out to others for support in becoming all they can be. I’ve come up with a few thoughts about the inner dialogue that may hold people back.

• “If I ignore my blind-spots and gaps maybe they will go away.”
• “My strengths are good enough to get me by.”
• “I don’t care enough to continue learning and growing.”
• “I don’t want to work that hard to change things in my life.”
• “I’m too busy to intentionally and proactively pursue growth.”
• “I am embarrassed for anyone to know that I am less than perfect.”
• “I might not measure up. People may think less of me.”
• “Everyone else seems better than me.  They have everything under control.”
• “It’s too painful to think about my ‘shortcomings’”

Do you identify with any of these?

My Passion
I am passionate about my personal growth and about seeing others be more, see more, and achieve more in their life and work. I come alongside successful individuals, just like you, with a process to support them in discovering what experiencing more is for them and in taking action to move toward it.

If you want to be more, see more, and achieve more, you absolutely must invite invite positive, sharpening influences into your life.

Tell us about how you have established these types of influences?

In five words, how has this helped you?


This article is the last part of a series entitled Sure-Fire Tactics for Achieving More.

About the Author
Dr. Michael Godfrey has served as a lecturer in Christian education and leadership at Truett Seminary since 2002. You can keep up with Dr. Godfrey on his blog: True Course Ministry.

The Power Behind the Call: Examining the Rhetorical and Presentation Styles of G.W. Truett’s Sermons

This is the second installment in a special three-part blog series on the project to digitize and present online the final sermons of George W. Truett (1867-1944), noted pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas and namesake of Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Read the previous installment here

The human voice is a powerful medium, surpassing the printed word in its ability to bestir, to convince, to cajole and – in the case of a pastor’s words to his congregation – to save. In a preliterate society the power of speech was the sole means of conveying an idea, rousing a people or sending along the latest gossip. And even after humans gained the skills to write down our thoughts via print and share them with others who spoke the same language, we find ourselves captivated, spellbound by someone with an ability to spin ideas from spoken syllables, to offer hope by the combination of his mind, his tongue and his vocal chords.

Perhaps that’s why there is such power in the recorded sermons of George W. Truett. It’s true that you can get the gist of his message by reading a transcript, either from our digital collection or in one of the many publications that cited his words. But nothing can replace the impact, the instinctive reaction that comes with listening to them, as clear as the day they were recorded over 70 years ago. Truett’s voice may occasionally waver, his cadence and phraseology may sound distinctly Southern and turn-of-the-19th-century, but when he infuses even a simple phrase or concept with the force of his well-honed speaking voice, it assumes an authority that can only come from a speaker who is supremely confident in what he has to say. [READ ON]


This article is a repost from the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections Blog. Check back every week for the next article in the series.

About the Author
 Eric Ames is the Curator of Digital Collections for Baylor University Libraries, adjunct lecturer in Department of Museum Studies, Baylor University. MA in Museum Studies (Baylor University) and BA in Public Relations (Texas Tech University).

Sure-Fire Tactics for Achieving More Tip #6 – Clear the Biggest Barrier

Your biggest asset and the biggest barrier to achieving more may be one in the same – you. Your own false assumptions and limiting beliefs can sabotage your progress.

You can achieve more by establishing strategies and disciplines needed to employ…


Tip #6 – Get clear of false assumptions and limiting beliefs.


False assumptions are ideas we have formed with inadequate information, we build a weak case for holding them, and we act as if they are true. Beliefs are adopted by us and/or they have been programmed into us early in life. Some of our beliefs are lies that limit us from becoming all we can be. As we repeat them to ourselves and others, they sound like:

I can’t . . .
It’s out of my reach . . .
I never will . . .
It won’t be good enough . . .
I will always . . .
I am not ________ enough . . .
I don’t deserve . . .
It’s too late . . .
I am too young/old to . . .
I need others to approve . . .

False assumptions and limiting beliefs hold us back from reaching our full potential. We tend to hang around with people who share similar assumptions and beliefs to ours which further reinforces these limitations.

Removing these barriers is essential if we are to achieve more.  Some keys to dealing with limiting beliefs and false assumptions are:

• Ask honest questions, even if painful.
– How did I come to this thinking?
– How do I know it is true or accurate?
– What drives me to hold on to this belief/assumption?

• Argue with yourself about your assumptions and limiting beliefs.

• Focus on people like you who are also achievers.  Since they are like you and are achieving, you may think, “If they can, I can, too.”

• Hang around with people who
– Will speak truth to you, ask questions, and challenge your thinking.
– Are positive, hopeful, grateful, encouraging, and big thinkers.
– Will help you dream, affirm you, acknowledge you, and encourage you to achieve more.

• Avoid people who are discouraging, negative, and tend to encourage your false assumptions and limiting beliefs.

• Visualize what things would be like if the positive opposite is true (instead of “I can’t achieve that goal” visualize actually doing it).

• Take courageous action.  If what you visualized would move you forward to achieve more, take action as if that vision is true.  With each little forward step your actions will prove your assumptions were indeed false and your beliefs were unnecessarily limiting your achievement.

What results when you act against your false assumptions and limiting beliefs?

What has worked for you in acting against them?


This article is part of a series entitled Sure-Fire Tactics for Achieving More. Check back every week for the next article in the series.

About the Author
Dr. Michael Godfrey has served as a lecturer in Christian education and leadership at Truett Seminary since 2002. You can keep up with Dr. Godfrey on his blog: True Course Ministry.

How A Depression-Era Huckster’s Radio Station Brought God’s Word to Mexico – and Beyond – Via George W. Truett

This is the first installment in a special three-part blog series on the project to digitize and present online the final sermons of George W. Truett (1867-1944), noted pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas and namesake of Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

One of the most interesting examples of God’s ability to use anyone – or anything – to serve Him is recounted in the twenty-second chapter of the book of Numbers. It is the story of Balaam’s donkey, and if you haven’t read it, do so now, for it demonstrates God’s ability to speak through even the dumbest of beasts when it will be the most effective means of getting the message across.

Balaam’s donkey is a particularly apt comparison to the strange story of how a “border blaster” radio station founded by a convicted medical charlatan would be used to broadcast the final sermons of a powerful Baptist minister to the citizens of three North American countries. [READ ON]


This article is a repost from the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections Blog. Check back every week for the next article in the series.

About the Author
 Eric Ames is the Curator of Digital Collections for Baylor University Libraries, adjunct lecturer in Department of Museum Studies, Baylor University. MA in Museum Studies (Baylor University) and BA in Public Relations (Texas Tech University).


Sure-Fire Tactics for Achieving More Tip #5 – Consider Who before What


Running headlong into a task or a job situation without considering how it fits you and whether it will value your uniqueness can be disastrous.   When you try to force the proverbial square peg into the round hole you may damage the peg, the hole, or both.

It is important to assess your personal strengths, your interests, your social style, and the intensity of your courage as a foundation for achieving more. Know who you are before deciding what you will work toward.


Here’s Tip #5 – Consider Who before What


Identify your strengths. Then, limit your efforts to those that capitalize on your unique strengths. You will not be strong in every area and I do not recommend working on “weaknesses” unless they are fatal flaws that can cost you your job and relationships. Try to avoid situations that put undue pressure on you to act outside of your strengths. I recommend the Birkman Method for identifying strengths.

Here’s an example: If organization is not your strength, don’t engage in work that requires it. Bring someone alongside you who is a strong organizer to do that part while you exercise your strengths which lie in other areas. In some jobs, lack of organization is a “fatal flaw,” so if that is the case for your pursuit either don’t go there, get some help, or get organized.

Get clear about your interests. Identify what fires you up most and do that as much as you can. Get a job that requires it. If you love interacting with people, avoid a job that requires you to work alone in your office. If you love creating, avoid a job that requires a lot of structure from you and gives you little freedom. Someone has said that life is too short not to do what you love.

Get clear about how you prefer to interact. If you prefer that people be direct and straightforward with you, get in an environment where this is a regular occurrence. If you prefer a slower, thoughtful pace then find a job environment that embraces it. If you need a democratic, collaborative environment don’t go to work in a hierarchical organization with a directive and commanding leader.

Take courageous action in light of your personal strengths, your interests, and your style. Not everyone will appreciate you or your actions. Some may even oppose you and your actions. But, if it fits and you believe it to be the right thing, move in that direction. Waiting for everyone to get happy is an endless wait.

What has helped you most to know the “who” that is you?


This article is part of a series entitled Sure-Fire Tactics for Achieving More. Check back every week for the next article in the series.

About the Author
Dr. Michael Godfrey has served as a lecturer in Christian education and leadership at Truett Seminary since 2002. You can keep up with Dr. Godfrey on his blog: True Course Ministry.