• Fred's Blog

    The Virtue of Wealth

    We came to our community over 30 years ago. Not long after we arrived, I had the privilege to meet and get to know men and women who had carried public and charitable responsibility in this community for generations – and did so until they died. Sometimes their children took their place and sometimes not. I don’t know if all of these men and women would have described it this way, but to me there was a clear sense of having a call to this place. They were not simply living here but had made a life here. They had wealth and an ingrained sense of caring for others. In…

  • Fred's Blog

    Enemies in the Land

    Peace is good. War is bad. Right?  Not always. In fact, there are times even now when making peace is simply accommodation and the avoidance of a necessary war. “So then, the Lord left some nations in the land to test the Israelites who had not been through the wars in Canaan. He did this only in order to teach each generation of Israelites about war, especially those who had never been in battle before…They were to be a test for Israel, to find out whether or not the Israelites would obey the commands that the Lord had given their ancestors through Moses…And so the people of Israel settled down…intermarried…

  • Fred's Blog

    Unavoidable People

    In a smaller community we are, as Brooks says, “forced to deal with inconvenient viewpoints and facts.” Os Guinness would say it is a place where we learn to live with our deepest differences. Henri Nouwen defines community as “the place where the person you least want to live with always lives.”

  • Fred's Blog

    Rebuilding the Ruins

    Earlier this week I was with Peter Greer of Hope International. He was in town to speak to the faculty and board of East Texas Baptist University about the importance of the board’s continuous focus on the mission of the school and the dangers of drifting. But he also talked with them about the role of periodic self-reflection on the part of the board members individually to make sure they were building not only the school but their own inner commitment to the deeper purpose of the school. Peter’s approach was neither preachy or pointed. It was an invitation to stay true both personally and corporately. I had the same…