Todd Shupe Provides Five Keys To Balancing Home, Work To Be A Good Parent

todd shupeMost, if not all, of us have a job in order to supply for the needs of our family. Hopefully you enjoy your job but at the end of the day, you are working to provide for your family. According to Todd Shupe, we often feel the struggle between balancing work life and family life. As such, our work may sometimes cause us to miss ball games and other events and we’ll feel guilty that we’re not being a good parent. With that in mind, Todd Shupe has gathered five keys to help you balance your home and work life and be the parent that God has called you to be.

  1. Focus on being a Godly parent.

Children are always watching their parents and they put much more importance on actions than words. One of Todd Shupe’s favorite sayings is from St. Francis of Assisi: “Speak the gospel wherever you go and use words when necessary.”

  1. You cannot lead somebody to a place where you are not.

Complete and honest self-examination is one of the most difficult things that we can do.  However, it is necessary to do this so we can continue to grow in our relationship in Christ. We must continually examine and then prune ourselves. Todd Shupe encourages you to pray each day to grow closer to Christ by removing more of yourself from your soul and allow more of Christ to fill the void.

  1. Remember the First Commandment

We know that we are not to have any gods before God. However, Todd Shupe advises that both work and home life should not be put before your spiritual life. Matthew 6:24 tells us about the dangers of trying to serve two masters.

  1. Pray for discernment

A life out of balance is often due to us trying to lead God and not following. According to Todd Shupe, we can seek discernment from prayer, Christian friends, local pastor and The Bible.

  1. Raise your children right

Todd Shupe acknowledges that we all love our children, but we must be careful not to spoil them. They need to see that in our words and actions, we are putting God first, spouse second and children third. Scripture reveals that our primary responsibility is to train our children to honor God and follow His teaching. Proverbs 7:2 reads, “Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.”

From Flooded Out To Flooded With Faith: A First-Hand Recollection

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In this personal recollection from Todd Shupe, we explore the effects that 2016 flooding in Baton Rouge had on his home and why it only strengthened his faith in the end.

 

As I type this on August 13, 2017, I reflect on the one year anniversary of the great flood of 2016 that damaged so many homes in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area – mine included. In the humble opinion of former LSU professor Todd Shupe, there was nothing “great” about the flood; it was a terrible event for all and resulted in hardship for many. The “great” part occurred a few days later when dozens of people from my church came to my house to assist with the gutting — removal of the sheet rock up to four feet from the floor — and mucking — removal of all flooded furniture and clothing from the house. In the middle of the day, there was a mountain of debris in front of my house. Family antiques and heirlooms, treasured books and pictures, all of our beds, toys and so much more were in a mountain in front of our house. The mountain grew to include everything that was blocking access to the studs. So, the kitchen cabinets, custom-made wood shelving and bath tub and shower were added to the heap.

 

In the middle of building the debris mountain, I had a short but memorable talk with a long-time dear friend of mine who is more like an older brother.  His name is David, just like my own brother. They are similar in many ways. My friend David was standing next to me by the debris pile. He noticed my sadness and he said to me, “The Lord says, ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; … I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’”

 

He quoted Isaiah 43:18-19 to me. This is a favorite scripture of mine but, like all scripture, it can have a totally different meaning to you depending on your current situation. I felt at peace and a calm came over me as he said those words and hugged me. I think back on that day and I realize without a doubt that David was not talking to me. David was merely a vessel for Christ to talk to me and deliver the words that I needed to hear at that time to provide me a peace that surpasses all understanding.

 

David was helping me to understand that this day was not the end — but rather the beginning of a new life. “As a child of God, I can stand steadfast that the new life will be good,” former wood sciences LSU professor Todd Shupe said recently. The scripture above was intended for the Jews, who had provoked God to send them into captivity so that they might repent and seek God. According to Todd Shupe, the flood was not a result of God being provoked; rather it was a chance for him to grant a fresh start to many of us. If you are nearing the end of a marriage, job or other major life event, I encourage you to focus on the beginning of a new life and not the loss of the old. Focus on Jeremiah 29:11, “ For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

Todd Shupe’s Wood Science Education Put To Use During Overseas Aid Missions

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“Practice what you preach.” It’s a common refrain that, while seemingly rooted in religion, isn’t always tied back to its roots. However, this mindset is what Todd Shupe has carried around with him on a daily basis given his educational background and devotion to the Christian faith. That’s because Todd Shupe is a former LSU professor with an extensive background in wood sciences.

Specifically, he oversaw a lab of four scientists at  Louisiana State University and was responsible for lab testing, contracts, final reports, working with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and more. This position came after earning his bachelors of science from the University of Illinois in forestry in 1992, a master of sciences degree in wood sciences in 1994 and his Ph.D. in wood science in 1996. His more than two decades of research into wood science has also allowed Todd Shupe to be called an expert witness in legal cases that  had wood as a possible factor.

“Todd directed a quality academic testing lab with an industrial sense of urgency,” Mike Freeman, a Memphis, Tennessee-based consultant, said.

As for the Christian lifestyle that former LSU professor Todd Shupe has led, his documented work as a volunteer with  Louisiana-area faith-based institutions have included teaching the children of incarcerated parents how to fish, ministering to the homeless in Baton Rouge, volunteering with Christian Life Magazine and helping out with internal church functions. He was also database coordinator for Gulf Men South and past chairman of the St. Andrew’s United Methodist board of trustees.

Where these two characteristics intersect – and how former LSU professor Todd Shupe indeed practices what he preaches – is the fact that he made more than a dozen overseas trips to help out the victims of Hurricane Mitch. The 1998 storm that struck the Honduras region spurred Todd Shupe to lend his knowledge of Earth-friendly construction methods to help improve the lives of the less fortunate. During his trips, he traveled with an LSU team to help re-establish and improve the local wood products industry in Honduras. This effort was a natural move for Shupe, who was uniquely positioned to provide insight, advice, guidance and general oversights of an industry that he held three degrees in. Should your own endeavor require the assistance of someone who has a background in environmentally-friendly construction or wood sciences, bringing aboard Todd Shupe as a consultant is a wise move.

Todd Shupe Discusses Biblical Roots Of Trust

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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.

Children of Incarcerated Parents Need Caring Volunteers To Improve Quality Of Life

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The errors that parents occasionally make all too often end up on the shoulders of their children. Failing to secure a well-paying job before having kids, not having a home fit to raise children in or having kids while the relationship between you and your partner is failing are just some signs of a rough road ahead. While the ramifications of some of those mistakes aren’t as life-altering as others, ending up behind bars is a monumental disruption that is going to require complicated logistics to work around. As a devout Christian, Todd Shupe has seen the effects that incarceration has on children. By volunteering with Grace Camp, Todd Shupe has helped children of parents who are presently behind bars by going fishing with  them.  As simple a gesture as it may be, an afternoon fishing trip is just one example of programs and services that good Christian men and women can participate in if they’d like to help kids in need. In this article, we’ll explore some of the facts surrounding the children who so desperately need a compassionate figure in their lives who can also provide a sense of comfort and control.

While government-run or non-profit programs to help these children vary from state to state, the size of the problem can’t be under-estimated. For example, recent figures show that a little more than 81,000 children in Pennsylvania alone had a parent in state prison. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), children living with one parent while the other is behind bars is the most common outcome. However, grandparents, other relatives, friends and foster agencies often fill the void. It’s easy to extrapolate from here that not every household is equipped to provide the adequate level of care; a grandparent or foster care facility simply can’t take the kids out to play the same way that a parent could. The federal Child Welfare Information Gateway further shows that parental rights can be terminated is a child has spent 15 of the past 22 months in foster care or simply abandoned. “With the average sentence being more than 1 year, this requirement can be a significant barrier to reunification for incarcerated parents,” a recent HHS child welfare document reads.

According to Todd Shupe, these vulnerable children are the ones who need the most love and volunteering your time to help those in foster care while they await adoption is one of the most self-less things an individual can do. Todd Shupe has employed the word of God during his tireless efforts to improve the lives of men, women and children. Given that there are an estimated 2.1 million people in jail across the U.S., it’s time someone start looking after the lives they left behind.

Todd Shupe Says ‘Know Your Enemy’ But Realize Your Neighbor Isn’t Among Them

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Coaches of all sports will study game film of their upcoming opponent. Their goal is to understand their opponent and the better you understand them, the better you make the necessary adjustments and preparation to defeat your opponent. It’s much the same in the game of life.  Todd Shupe says we often mistakenly label our neighbor as our enemy when they are not our enemy at all. You may wonder how can that be – my neighbor deliberately does things to upset myself and my family.

First, you must understand that your neighbor is your brother or sister and is just as loved in God’s eye as yourself. Your neighbor is a sinner, as are you, but you both are saved by the blood of the Lamb. You must first remove the splinter from your eye before you criticize your neighbor for the plank in their eye (Matthew 7:5).

“Now, this does not mean that you should not protect yourself or your family from danger. I am speaking of your heart, not your physical safety,” Todd Shupe, previously from LSU, said recently.

According to Todd Shupe, the true enemy is Satan and he walks among us and takes great delight in dividing us and using his lies of greed, lust and jealousy to accomplish his work to weaken The Body of Christ. Jesus teaches us in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) exactly who is our neighbor: The neighbor is the one that showed mercy. Again, Todd Shupe notes that the neighbor did not put himself at risk; he simply showed mercy to a man in distress.

Back to our coaches example: In this case, their opponent is easily identifiable — it is the other team. However, our opponent is so often unseen. We may think it is our neighbor or the guy that cut us off in traffic.  However, our brothers and sisters are not our enemy.

St. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12, “ For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

The enemy walks among us and uses lies and treachery to create division among God’s people and to tear down the body of Christ. Todd Shupe, formerly of LSU, thinks this is why God asks us to turn the other cheek and pray for those who persecute us. Because He knows that these people need the love of Christ to overcome their wicked ways. Every knee will bow in response to the love of Christ. It is so easy to act out of the flesh and return rudeness with rudeness. Next time, I pray that you return rudeness with a kind word and smile and then when alone, pray that God will touch his/her heart. If God can turn Saul into Paul, He can certainly help you with your problems with your neighbor. Seek Him first in prayer and carefully examine yourself. Then, go out and be the light of Christ. The light always conquers the darkness. Know your enemy and pray for your enemy. Be blessed!

 

Joy Of Being ‘Saved’ Just One Stop On Long Road Toward Salvation, Todd Shupe Says

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One of the phrases that Todd Shupe hears from fellow Christians quite often is one that gives him both joy and concern: “I am saved!” Quite often, the person has recently been born again and is joyous and with good reason: They have accepted Christ into their life and have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. However, after speaking with the person, Todd Shupe begins to realize that they feel that they are now “good with God” and there is no need for anything else.

“I rejoice when another brother or sister has decided to give their life to Christ. However, I lament that the church universal has not properly conveyed the discipleship process to new Christians,” Todd Shupe said recently.

As a disciple of Christ, we are called into action. It’s true that not all of us are able to participate in physical ministries such as Habitat for Humanity or travel to foreign countries on mission trips. However, all of us are able to do non-physical tasks that are also needed to build the Kingdom; we can all offer a smile or a kind word to our neighbor and we can all pray for those in need. All of these are necessary to build up our fellow Christians and ourselves, Todd Shupe said recently.

It is great to believe in Christ and to accept Christ, but remember that even the enemy believes in God (James 2:19). What God needs is your hands and feet, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also,” (James 2:26).

As a born-again Christian, our eyes and hearts are now open to the love of Christ. Todd Shupe warns that this love is not to be stored, but received and given to others. Discipleship is a life-long process of growing closer to Christ. This is not accomplished by just attending church on Sundays. However, participation in worship is very important because we need to be full-time Christians and not just on Sunday mornings. We must engage in some sort of Christian action and we need to read and study scripture. We need to pray for ourselves, spouses, family, clergy, and the entire Body of Christ. Our life should be lived as a witness to God. This is true evangelism and this is the mark of a disciple.

At the same time, it is important to realize that we will miss the mark. Sin is the human condition and is inevitable. We will not go through life as perfect angels. According to Todd Shupe, we can acknowledge our sins, apologize to those that we have offended and repent our sins to God. Then, on our final day we can be presented to “blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation,” (Philippians 2:15). “Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky and hear the words well down my good and faithful servant,” (Matthew 25:23).