Todd Shupe Explores The Traits Of True Leadership

todd shupeIf you are like me, you have seen several books on leadership. The books are typically authored by successful CEOs of large companies or military leaders. These books are often best-sellers and contain very useful information on the principles of secular leadership. The themes are typically along the lines of this: A leader is a visionary. A leader knows how to delegate. A leader surrounds himself/herself with good people. A leader leads by example. A leader is trustworthy. A leader is tough under pressure and, finally, a leader doesn’t tolerate nonsense, says Baton Rouge’s Todd Shupe, who is also a dedicated Christian ministry volunteer.
The best leader that ever walked the earth was not a CEO or a decorated military leader. Jesus modeled true leadership to us by his service to others. Jesus was a servant leader who never once used his authority to serve himself but rather to serve and help others. This point is amplified in Matthew: “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
The Psalmist wrote in 119:125, I am Your servant; give me understanding, That I may know Your testimonies. He is acknowledging himself as a servant to God.. In turn, God wants us to serve him by serving others. Matthew 25 tells the story of the sheep and the goats and contains this great message in verse 40. “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
According to Todd Shupe, a Christian leader is humble. Jesus demonstrated humility by washing the feet of his disciples in John 13. You may be wondering what is the benefit of humility. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” The ultimate gift of Christ was the forgiveness of sins for those that believe in Him and life everlasting. “I encourage you to lead by serving others,” says Todd Shupe. “Be blessed.”

Baton Rouge’s Todd Shupe Asks The Great Question: Where Is God?

todd shupe baton rougeWe were created as curious creatures, designed to seek, learn and discover. As Christians, we have a desire to seek God’s face. We read in 1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk so that by it, you may grow up in your salvation.”
Craving spiritual milk is a holy desire to become more Christ-like, says Todd Shupe, LSU’s former wood science professor and lab director. “However, in your journey to understand God, we often ask ‘Where is God?’”

In the book “Economy” by Henry David Thoreau, he writes “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Todd Shupe, of Baton Rouge, thinks that all of us as curious creatures of God are seeking something. The “desperation” occurs when we don’t find what we are seeking. Matthew 6:33 tells us precisely what to seek: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

It is easy to become discouraged when we don’t have a “mountain top” experience with God as did Moses or if we don’t walk on the water as did St. Peter. We then “swim away” disappointed and search for answers in places that are unable to provide them – alcohol, gambling, pornography, etc. “We fail to realize that God is present now,” says former LSU professor Todd Shupe. “In the boring rainy days, stuck in traffic and the day-to-day work grind.”

You must have eyes to see the beauty of Christ that is present all around you. St. Thomas did not believe that Christ had risen even though he was told so by the other Disciples. Jesus appeared to him and said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed,” (John 20:29).

With human eyes we only see as humans; with God’s eyes, we can see His presence all around us. Imagine yourself this day walking on the road to Damascus with Saul. Scales cover your eyes and you are blinded but you follow God’s instructions and the scales are removed.

For the first time in your life, you can see. You are seeing the world through God’s eyes and you see His presence all around you. You are filled with the love of the Holy Spirit and a burning desire to fulfill the Great Commission. You are a child of God and He loves you more than you can ever imagine. He is always with you and will never leave you. “Go out into the world with the peace and knowledge that God leads you, just as he did Moses, by day and by night,” said Todd Shupe, of Baton Rouge. “Be blessed.”

Todd Shupe on Finding Peace in Times of Adversity

According to Todd Shupe, we learn at a young age that there are two things certain in life – death and taxes.  I would add a third to that list:  adversity.  We all have experienced some form of adversity in our life from death of a family member, loss of a job, divorce, etc.  My first real experience with adversity was when I was 9 years old and my sister died in a car crash.  My Christian roots were shallow and so my coping skills ranged from very limited to non-existent.  I believed then that God caused my loss or at least was indifferent.

Todd Shupe attended church as a child and as an adult and had a distant relationship with Christ.  I did not read the Bible, pray, or support any of the ministries of my church.  Thirty one years later my father died and I began to hear a calling which I discerned was from God.  I attended the Walk to Emmaus after wandering this earth for 40 years.  The Walk is a three day spiritual retreat with talks by laity and clergy and lots of fun and fellowship.  I left that weekend on fire for Christ and with a strong desire to learn more about God through the Bible, small groups, and being the hands and feet of Christ.  I learned that Christ does not want His people to suffer.  The Psalmist writes in 149:4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory.   I am comforted that the creator of the universe takes pleasure in me and knows every detail about me but yet loves me anyway.

If you are dealing with adversity now, I encourage you to meditate on this scripture from Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and learn not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”  Todd Shupe encourages you to call The Upper Room Living Prayer Center at (800)251-2468 (7:00 am – 11:00 pm CST) which is a 7-day a week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by Christian volunteers.

Remember God’s strength often begins when our strength ends.  Once we submit to God, His promises will come true.  My favorite promise is found in Jeremiah 29:11 “For surely I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   May God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and give you peace.

Four Ways To Turn Father’s Day Into A Celebration Of The Selfless Service Men Do Daily

While we’d rather see more than one day per year dedicated to recognizing the fathers in all our lives, we’ll take one and seize upon it for now.

With Father’s Day just around the corner, now’s the time to start planning the best ways to mark the occasion. From family outings to intimate sit-downs with like-minded family and friends, Father’s Day is a chance to show respect, appreciation and utmost gratitude for the sacrifices our fathers have made throughout their lives and ours to better our quality of living. Todd Shupe — a member of Gulf South Men, a Christian men’s organization — is a firm believer in Father’s Day. That’s because it can be used for purposes beyond a card in the mail or a nice dinner.  For more information on Gulf South Men, click here.

With that in mind, here are four ways to spend the upcoming holiday thanks to suggestions from the Charlotte, North Carolina-based arm of Band of Brothers. For more information on that organization, click here. For ways to turn this upcoming Sunday into a celebration of men everywhere, keep reading.

 

– Angels in the Outfield: What says “spring has arrived” more than an afternoon at a baseball game? If sports aren’t your thing but you still want to spend time outdoors with your family, Todd Shupe suggests a nature walk, day at the beach or visit to an animal sanctuary.

 

– Leading by Example: Reach out to your congregation and see if they will allow you to use the church for an educational seminar on the modern role of a father. Invite the community at large and be surprised at how much new information and insight into other’s lives that you’ll walk away with.

 

– Sunday Service: When it comes time to attend church on Father’s Day, those in the position to preach should take their role to heart and spread a message that will reach all men – not just fathers. Encourage a handful of men in the congregation to share stories of success through faith. You can also distribute a survey to men in attendance to get a better idea of issues they face today. That survey can then be used by your church’s leadership team to shape fall programming in hopes of reaching more with resonating messages. St. Andrews United Methodist in Baton Rouge, La., has an United Methodist Men Sunday that occurs on or near Father’s Day.  The service is lead by the men of the church and they select a special guest speaker to bring a powerful message of God’s love and grace.

– Rest and Relaxation: After church, head outdoors for a family picnic or to a site with recreational options for you and the family to consider. It’s both a team-building exercise and quality time well spent with loved ones.

Todd Shupe Discusses Biblical Roots Of Trust

todd shupe

Trust is an essential component to any relationship. Trust is essential for a relationship to move past a superficial level to a more intimate and personal basis. Our relationship with God is based on our trust that first, He lived and died for our sins and second, He has our best interests at heart and loves us unconditionally.

The actual phrase “Jesus loves me,” cannot be found in the Bible, former LSU professor Todd Shupe states, but there are examples that support this fact. In John 13:34 Jesus said, “As I have loved you, you must love one another” and in John 15:9 He said, “As the Father has loved me so have I loved you.” In John 15:13, we read, “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” According to Todd Shupe, while He spoke these words to His disciples, it’s clear He was speaking through them to us.

Todd Shupe’s favorite example of trust comes in Matthew 14 when Jesus walks on the water. After Peter sees Jesus, He tells him to “come.” Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and as he was beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.“You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

The message of this story is clear. We can do great things if we have faith in God. Recall Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” But if we let doubt, worry, fear or anxiety control us then we become weak, self-reliant and are living in the flesh and our ability to accomplish great tasks is severely limited.

Peter was able to walk on the water because he kept his focus on Christ and kept his belief in Christ. Here was an ordinary man doing an extraordinary task – walking on water! He began to sink when he was challenged by the wind and lost his focus and confidence in Jesus. I think Jesus was disappointed in Peter when he said, “you of little faith” and “why did you doubt.”

According to Todd Shupe, who previously taught at LSU, there is an old saying that anybody can be the captain of the ship when the water is calm, but the true character of a captain is revealed during bad weather. The same is true of our Christian walk. It is easy to be a good Christian when all is well with yourself, your family and friends. However, how do we respond when the winds of adversity inevitably come? Do we keep our focus and faith in Jesus and stand steadfast on His promises of health and prosperity?

Faith is essential in our Christian walk. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Have faith, be blessed, says Todd Shupe.