Weekly Thought from Fred Smith

M2M is happy to share a leadership ministry message from our friends at BWFLI (Breakfast with Fred Leadership Institute).

Fred was consulting with a manufacturing firm in northern Ohio on November 22, 1963. He drove to Granbury, Ohio where their elder daughter was a student at Denison University. He visited and talked about the implications of the Kennedy death. He returned on Sunday to take her out to lunch with a group of friends. Walking through the lobby of the Holiday Inn in Newark they watched the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas. So much changed that weekend, but Fred was there – she could count on him.

Steadfastness

Frankly, I was surprised to find in my study that loyalty is one of the key elements in love. I always thought of spontaneity and extravagance as demonstrations, but now I have to add loyalty. Of course, when I think back on my life I realize how important it truly is, even without recognizing and naming it.

For example, during one of my hospital stays I woke up to see a paper taped to the wall with the letters YTCO printed. One of our granddaughters had made the sign because she knew the story behind them and how much they meant to me. Confederate Cavalry Officer Jeb Stuart always closed his correspondence to General Robert E. Lee with these words, “Yours To Count On.”(YTCO) When I told my family the story, they all adopted it.

Every time I woke up and saw those letters I knew she was saying, “We are with you, Grandfather, and we love you.”

I am a connoisseur of donut shops. I have given them my expert opinion from coast to coast. One time in Grand Saline, TX I was in one of the best. Across from my table sat a rural couple. She was dressed in what I think women call “gingham.” He was dressed in his best “go to town” overalls. He got up to pay, but she didn’t get up. I wondered why. Then he came back and gently, but firmly, picked her up. I then saw she was in a full body brace.

He carried her to their pickup while everyone in the shop watched them through the front window. The waitress turned to me and said, “He took his vows seriously, didn’t he, Mister?” Yes, he did.

When I think about God, His love always comes to mind. God’s love for us is evidenced through his loyalty to us. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Our names are permanently engraved on the palms of His hand. He takes his covenant seriously.

This week think about: 1) How do loyalty and love work together for me? 2) What behaviors represent loyalty? 3) How loyal am I to those who love me?

Words of Wisdom: “God’s love for us is evidenced through his loyalty to us.”

Wisdom from the Word: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38,39 NET Bible)