Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 19

GARBAGE OUT, GARBAGE GONE!

by Gordon Ferguson

My Boston years allowed me to spend much time with Wyndham, from the day I arrived until the day we left. I found my way through the rough patches in my life by asking him to share his wisdom with me, which he freely and frequently did. I couldn’t begin to list the many pearls of wisdom I received from God through him. They were numerous, but became a part of me to the point that I cannot easily separate what I learned from him and who I am today. Not surprisingly, I quote from him and use his life example frequently.

One of my early memories in Boston was trying to work through ministry issues that I either didn’t understand or didn’t agree with. I recall a day when Theresa and I were driving over to get with Wyndham and Jeanie for a discipling time. I don’t remember what the inside of their abode looked like or what borough it was located in, but I remember the parking lot. When I drove up, I saw a dumpster and felt like my world smelled just like it did.

All of my bad attitudes were near the surface and came out quickly. Wyndham, in his patient way, somehow dealt with all of my “junk” and sanity was restored! I remember that parking lot as I drove away, because it seemed to now be located in a different world than when I drove into it. I remember thinking to myself that Wyndham must feel like a garbage dump, but I feel like I could fly! Of course, I learned in time that his ability to help others sort through their issues without letting it ruin his day was rather an amazing gift. In fact, it was two gifts rolled up into one: helping others process their pain while protecting yourself and your family. I have never been able to do both at once in the way that he can.

Since we left Boston nearly 15 years ago, I have called Wyndham many times to get help. I have made trips to Boston just to get time and input from him. When I hear his voice or catch sight of him at such times, my heart starts settling out immediately. It has learned that when Wyndham is near, God is near. (I’m crying as I write this.) He has absorbed an incredible part of my pain through the past 30 years, and I’m just one of those for whom he has done this.

Wyndham, I’m expressing much love and appreciation on behalf of all who have been so blessed by your wise and loving heart. May God bless you for being an amazing demonstration of his principles, “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” and “the greatest of all is the servant of all.” 

 

 

 

 

 

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I could fill a daily blog for years with wisdom I have learned from Wyndham. However, I’ll stick with one day a week. Each Wednesday I will share wisdom gleaned, not just from me, but from our family who saw him day and night and from friends near and far whose lives he has touched.

Many of you have already told me you wish to share wisdom you learned from Wyndham. If you wish to contribute to this collection please email me at shaw.jeanie@gmail.com with the subject line—Wednesday Wisdom. If you wish to receive these blogs in your inbox, feel free to sign up to follow the blog.

I’ll look forward to meeting you here on Wednesdays. And if you would, please remember us in your prayers. It’s a privilege to have you in our lives.

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 18

Wisdom Remembers Generations to Come

Though extremely limited in energy, Wyndham finds time for the next generation. Wisdom understands that Jesus and his teachings must be instilled in coming generations if this world is to have hope. I learned more about wisdom as Wyndham asked me to set up some time last week for him to visit with a young man who is entering college. He recognized this disciple’s convictions and desired to instill vision in him—for ways the young man might consider making a lasting impact for God.

I remembered as a young girl the inspiration I gained from a few women in the older generation who were making a difference in this world…yet stopped to talk to me. Wisdom calls me to make more specific times to share, as it takes forethought and deliberate conversations to instill God’s greatness and love to the next generation(s). Never underestimate the difference your words and actions make to young eyes who watch and listen.

A few weeks ago Wyndham turned 65. As is our custom, with each birthday every family member expounds on a word that describes something we love or admire in the birthday person.  Our eight grandchildren are continual beneficiaries of their Papa’s practice of Deuteronomy 6:1-9. (Look it up. It’s a great scripture to memorize!) I loved each of their meaningful words as they shared. (Well, I didn’t fully understand 8-month-old Colette’s words…though she made her voice known.)

The next generation listens…and watches.

Pictured here is a card from our 7-year-old grandson. In phonetic spelling it reads, “You taught me to how love God and now it’s my turn.”

He gets it.

The following week my daughter recounted to me a conversation between Micah and his close friend. On the way back from summer football camp Micah’s friend inquired about the book which was in the back seat of the car. Micah told him it was his Bible, to which his friend asked, “What’s the Bible?”

Micah then explained that the Bible teaches about God and Jesus, and proceeded to tell him the books that were in the Bible from Genesis through Revelation (something he had been working on).

He told his friend he would love to teach him about the Bible, as he shared, “ I’m a Bible teacher. That’s who I am.”

He then showed his friend Galatians 5:22 which speaks of the fruits of God’s Spirit. After reading the verse, he asked his friend…”Which ones do you think you need to work on?” Micah then told his friend that he needn’t feel bad, as he had to work on self-control as well.

Next, he excitedly showed him Jesus’ first miracle in John 2, telling his friend how amazing Jesus was. He reminded him that he would love to teach him more about the Bible any time.

Yes, Micah…it’s your turn.  

Wisdom remembers that the next generations are listening and watching.

May wisdom rule our conversations as our lives speak of the wonders that God has done…and continues to do.

O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.
  I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old–
  what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us.
  We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
  He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children,
  so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
  Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
  (Psalm 78:1-7)

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 17

Wisdom Finds the High Road

It was a pivotal time in my life. A time when I could have sold my soul to bitterness. Thankfully, Wyndham’s wisdom (and humility) prevailed.

We had been in the ministry for eight years. I was 28 years old and Wyndham was 30.  He had been preaching in a traditional type church for 3 years. We had led campus ministry for the previous five years, but this was his first preaching job. The church was growing, but the leadership was not united. In fact, one of the leaders would stand at the back door after Wyndham came down from the pulpit and pass out negative literature about us to the people who were leaving.

One woman called and swore at me, and I never even knew why. We were away one week when one of the leaders called and told my husband he should find a new job, as he wouldn’t be able to stay there. Fired. The reason stated was this. “We don’t have any problem with what you are preaching. It’s the Bible. The problem some people are having is that when you come out of the pulpit, you expect people to follow it! And they don’t want to change.”

I was angry with the leaders and their decisions. I felt we had been wronged and were treated unfairly. That was true. I felt, as James and John (in their immaturity) stated in Luke 9:54 like calling down fire from heaven to destroy them.

As Wyndham delivered his last sermon I was waiting for him to “let them have it”— firmly rebuking them.  Instead, he took the high road. He called them to follow Jesus, but then apologized for anything he had ever done to hurt anyone.

What?!  I then struggled with my husband. Why didn’t he let them have it!  Bitterness was growing in my heart.

But he understood the wisdom that comes from God.

  Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
  But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
  Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.
  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13-18)

He found the high road and took it, never giving in to bitterness but trusting that God would take care of us. We just needed to be humble and trust God. I had to have some talks with the elders and some soul searching times with God. I realized that Jesus could have sinned even as he hung on the cross. Perhaps he faced his greatest temptation while on the cross! The temptation to be bitter. He was unimaginably mistreated. Yet he said to the angry crowd as they spat and swore and crucified him, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”  (Luke 23:34).  As I read I thought…what do you mean? Of course they knew. Why did he say that?

I do believe they still needed to repent and be baptized to be forgiven (Acts 2:38). But, perhaps Jesus said those word to rid any temptation of bitterness from his heart. If Jesus was not bitter, what right did I have to be bitter? I don’t deserve forgiveness, but Jesus gave it to me.

So, I let it go, and following the example of Wyndham’s “wisdom from above” –truly forgave. God’s word was still true, and his plan for the church was still his only plan. I have hurt others so who am I to hold on to hurt?

I shudder to think where this bitterness would have led me had my husband not taken the high road. I would have lost my soul had I held on.

Soon after, a brother that had been converted in our campus ministry asked if we would be willing to move where he lived to start a church. 13 disciples were there and were willing to support us. One of the families invited us (along with our two girls and a child on the way) to live with them. We had no insurance and no money—but a lot of faith. God blessed that decision and never deserted us. Instead, he blessed us. 

We all have temptations to grow bitter. Yet we all can make the decision to take the high road. Which road will you travel? Wisdom finds the high road.

 

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham

Wisdom Speaks Aptly

Jeanie Shaw

It happened to me yesterday and again today. In fact, few days go by without someone telling me something like this:

Wyndham believed in me, and his words gave me vision to see myself as God sees me, not how I see myself.  When I didn’t believe in myself, his directed and encouraging words (full of vision for me) changed my life.

They tell me what he said, when he said it, and how this has affected their lives.

Wisdom knows the power of words aptly spoken.

  A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.
 Like the coolness of snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the spirit of his masters.
(Proverbs 25:11-13)

While most of us can remember words that damaged, fortunately we also remember specific words that gave us courage to keep going and faith to believe what we couldn’t see. Words that reminded us of our value to God and to others.

I watch and learn as I hear Wyndham continually look into people’s eyes and offer them vision and hope for their lives. He tells them ways God can use them to make a difference in this world—and that they are needed. I hear him give loving correction when needed, yet these words also end with vision and hope.

I get busy—and must remind myself to have these conversations. I have good intentions and think these things about others, but thinking them and taking the time to express them are two different things. Truth is, these conversations take consideration and deliberateness. After awhile, they will more naturally flow from our mouths. When I take the time to think though who, when, and how to encourage, as the Scripture below states, it really does make a difference. I know it does for me.  I am motivated toward love and good deeds when I’m encouraged.


Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
(Hebrews 10:25-26)

This Scripture tells me I need to do this more and more! There is also more that’s needed than just “showing up” (though that’s a great start as we surely can’t have these conversations without being with each other). God wants us to encourage each other while meeting together!

So, beginning today, on this particular “Wednesday of Wisdom with Wyndham,” join me in being deliberate with someone—taking time to encourage them in a specific and meaningful way.  Not only will you be wiser, but these words aptly spoken may change a life for the better.  

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 15

Wisdom to Make God Our Strength

By Melissa Miller

I have to confess that as a little girl I would often pretend to be asleep so that my dad would carry me in from the car or from the couch and put me to bed. Burying my head into his chest with my arms around his neck and my legs as limp as a rag doll, I remember breathing in the gentle spice of his Brut aftershave, which will to me always be the fragrance of strong, safe, dad–and  of home. I have never felt a safer place in my life than being carried in the strength of my dad’s arms.

Just the other day my eight-year-old daughter was rummaging through my husband’s dresser to find just the right t-shirt of his to wear to bed. I smiled and savored the moment as I recounted how many times I wanted nothing else to wear to bed but my dad’s t-shirts because they were his and because being in bed clothed in something that was “him” made me sleep sweetly and secure.

From the earliest moments I can remember of being a little girl carried in from the car, to being lifted on his shoulders as a schoolgirl so that I could see over the crowds at a parade, to my teenage years with frizzy hair, braces, acne and lonely times where his shoulder bore my tears, to the embraces before he dropped me off at college, to him carrying me on his arm as he walked me down the aisle and later danced to “Butterfly Kisses,” to him holding my own baby for the first time in his arms, he has constantly carried me through life. 

By myself, I am naturally a guilty person that loves to think of how I should’ve been or what I could’ve said, or what I would’ve done and how I’ll never measure up to what I think is the mark of “rightness.” I can be fearful and anxious, compare myself to others, and find the ways something can’t be done. But from the first times I can remember, I’ve had a real life “championer” of me, telling me how it can be done, how I am enough, that I am worthy, valued, and worth it. This has clothed me in confidence and created the safest place. It has allowed me to let go and be carried by a greater strength than my own.

My dad, almost every time he sees me, tells me how proud he is of me and always expresses the good he sees in me, how valuable I am to him, and that he loves me. There have been so many moments when life has felt unfair, when people have left, when I have no idea what I feel, where friends have moved, or it’s just plain hard to see the truth and I feel sad. My dad has the most uncanny way of drawing out my heart, listening intently as if I am the only human on the planet, empathizing in the most profound way, hugging so it melts me, and yet also gently carrying me back to what is right and good.

Life rarely happens as we plan it and there are many things that can cause me to trip, stumble, and fall. Whether was a scraped knee to a more impressive bike accident or broken bone, the memories I have of my dad carrying me through my tears is what I remember far more than the pain.

It’s the yellow post-it-notes of encouragement from him, stuck to the coffee pot in the early hours of the morning, that gave me strength to keep walking with God that I remember far more than the temporary high school crisis I was facing. It’s the voice on the other end of the line telling me that it would be OK that stayed with with me a hundred times more than whatever difficult problem over which I was distraught.

What amazes me most about him is that through the most difficult challenges of his most cruel disease, he continues to carry me. I think one of the most impressive pieces of wisdom I have gained from this amazing man, who I get to call my dad, is his strength to let me go, and let God be who ultimately carries me and us.

He would give me every one of his t-shirts in a heartbeat, but what he most cares about and through tears has implored is that he in no way ever wants the security that he provides to overshadow the ultimate rock, refuge and “carrier” that God is for me–and that ultimately God is who will carry us home.

I have always felt the luckiest and most blessed that I get to be his daughter. He is immensely humble, inexpressibly kind and gentle, selfless beyond measure, mightily wise, and the strongest man that I know. I am very grateful for his t-shirts and I will cherish the days of wrapping my arms around his neck as hard as I could squeeze, but the wisdom he has imparted and the legacy he is imprinting on my hearts and the hearts of my children to have God as my refuge are eternally profound.

  I love you, O LORD, my strength.
  The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:1-2)

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham -14

Wisdom Listens Well Before Responding

by John IIames

The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.  Psalm 37:30

Over the years I have observed and been inspired by Wyndham’s impartiality with others, his wisdom of relying on the talents of both staff and non-staff to plant and water, and also his laughter and joy in both the mundane and the extraordinary.  

I observed early on in our marriage and while working with him in the ministry that Wyndham was a fair man. On one occasion, while gathering his family for some outing, his older daughter Melissa (probably early middle school to be fair to her) was undone by some issue (use of a cooler??) that from my viewpoint required him to tell her to deal with her attitude and get in the van. He spent time gathering the facts from her, dealt with her presentation, found that she had a very legitimate claim. He then promptly rectified the situation, and everyone went away satisfied. It is difficult for everyone to go away satisfied in any conflict, yet on many occasions, this was the result of his mitigation from a spiritual standpoint (Exodus 18:23…and all these people will go home satisfied).

I was most affected in my own character change by an observation which both Wyndham and Gordon Ferguson gleaned by spending time with my dad playing a few holes of golf. Through their interaction with my family they were able to gain real clarity on my interaction skills with others. Wyndham and Gordon were able to speak directly to what they saw, and to this day that feedback has changed my life significantly.

One fun thought of a shared experience with Wyndham. On one occasion Wyndham and I were driving to a Bible study in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, when he and I got pulled over by a Massachusetts State Trooper. As the Trooper approached the driver side of the mini-van, I made the mistake of asking Wyndham where his registration was located. In this particular car’s make and model the glove compartment was located under the passenger seat.

I reached under the seat to retrieve the document, only within seconds to have my door ripped open with the officer training his gun on both of us.  I still sort of laugh at the picture of both an elder and a minister standing at the front of the vehicle, hands on the hood, being searched while my Bible and papers were blowing outside on the pavement. I enjoyed laughing with him at the juxtaposition of our purpose and the purpose of that officer. BTW – Wyndham was not speeding, it was a random stop of vehicles matching his vehicle’s description for a crime committed in another county.  (Wisdom also keeps a cool head.)

These are just a few thoughts of how my friendship with Wyndham, and his sharing of his wisdom, has changed my life. I believe this has affected the character of my two boys and ultimately how they will raise their future children. Wisdom does that. It changes lives.

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 13

Though I love to honor my husband each Wednesday via nuggets of “Wisdom from Wyndham,” my prayer is that the words shared will help paint a vivid and personal picture of Godly wisdom expressed through actions and attitudes, I know that as I have observed such actions and attitudes first hand and have striven to incorporate them into my life–I have grown. I pray these bits of wisdom will enrich your life as well. Jim’s note (below) was written to Wyndham five years ago.

9  And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight
10  to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless,
11  having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.  (Philippians 1:9-11 NRSV)

4 Characteristics of Wisdom

By Jim Blough

Wyndham, we have known you and your family for many years, but have gotten to know you better over the last ten years or so, first by working together when we were still in Northern Virginia, and even more so since we moved back to Boston six years ago.  There are several things that I appreciate about how you live your life as a disciple and as a leader in God’s church: 

  1. Embracing the hard things.  Many of the times we have worked together have involved difficult situations—trying to help struggling Christians restore their faith and relationships, trying to balance conflicting priorities regarding missions and resources, and even trying to determine what God’s will is for my own life and family.  I have always appreciated that you never shrink from these kinds of challenges, but you willingly embrace them and give them your full heart and attention.  I admire and respect that.
  2. A principle-based approach.  Not only do you embrace challenging situations, but I also appreciate how you start with principles when you try to make up your own mind or give direction to others.  Whether in a board meeting, a counseling appointment or a sermon, I find it refreshing that you continually look for godly, Biblical principles that are to guide and shape our decisions and our actions.  Those principles help to give me guidance and stability on my own journey, and I’m sure are helpful to many others as well.
  3. Concern for the individual.  Especially since moving back to Boston, I have been impressed at how much time you and Jeanie spend getting together with individual disciples in the church who are in need.  One time I made a comment at a meeting, and several weeks later you approached me at church to see if we could get together and talk about it.  That showed me you had been thinking about what I said, and it was on your heart to get together and explore those comments further.  That’s the heart of a true shepherd.
  4. The old and the new.  Finally, I appreciate how you have embraced the changes we have all been working on over the past ten years or so in our fellowship.  You believe strongly in collaboration, two-way communication and teamwork, yet you also remain committed to our founding principles of discipleship, commitment to Christ and his mission.  This reminds me of what Jesus said about “practicing the latter without neglecting the former.”  I appreciate that perspective that you bring to your life and leadership.

 

I could fill a daily blog for years with wisdom I have learned from Wyndham. However, I’ll stick with one day a week. Each Wednesday I will share wisdom gleaned, not just from me, but from our family who saw him day and night and from friends near and far whose lives he has touched.

Many of you have already told me you wish to share wisdom you learned from Wyndham. If you wish to contribute to this collection please email me at shaw.jeanie@gmail.com with the subject line—Wednesday Wisdom. If you wish to receive these blogs in your inbox, feel free to sign up to follow the blog.

I’ll look forward to meeting you here on Wednesdays. And if you would, please remember us in your prayers. It’s a privilege to have you in our lives.

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 12

It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.   
Colossians 1:28-29 (NRSV)

Wisdom is not meant to be used merely for ourselves, but to help each other grow to maturity in Christ. This wisdom requires the vision to see who one can become through the power of God.
Jesus used this kind of wisdom throughout his ministry…calling things that were not as though they were. He inspired the men and women around him to become who they were not. Think Simon—the impetuous disciple—whom Jesus nicknamed “Rock.”
May we grow in wisdom to see ourselves and others the way God sees us.

Wisdom Sees Beyond “What Is,” to “What Can Be.”
By Gary Hannon

Wisdom sees beyond “what is,” to “what can be.” Wyndham is one who saw considerably more potential in me than I saw in myself. He is one who has had significant impact in so many areas of my life. Of the many great men who have been part of shaping and molding me over the years, he by far gets the nod for “Best Director.”

Wyndham was one of the three men who studied the Bible with me. A very level-headed discussion with him about “a wrong choice I was currently choosing but could change” was pivotal in helping me see I could overcome my sinful life when becoming a disciple of Jesus.
Wyndham saw potential in me as a teen leader—and with his recommendation I went on to do that for about 15 of the first 20 year of my Christian life…perhaps more.

Wyndham and/or Jeanie at some point suggested that I take this lovely sister, Julia Shropshire, out on a date. I did and then later married her. When Julia was like “Hey, I need some help with this guy and with how he’s doing,” they were there getting us through that rough patch. 

When Wyndham came calling to ask if Julia could come work for HOPE, I gave up my vision of her being a stay at home mom as she fulfilled a dream to design the “Permanent Families” program which has led to many kids getting a new lease on life in a Christian home.
When he had vision for me to become a deacon I said “No Problem,” and have since loved serving in any ways I can.

When Julia’s father was toying with the idea of faith, Wyndham built a friendship with him and gave him all the information he wanted to hear from the Bible. When he got the news he was dying, Wyndham was there, full speed, and gave him a vision for a future with Jesus. The reality that this man could whole heartedly change and became a disciple of Jesus was a miracle that I witnessed…based on Wyndham’s faith and vision. He was there when he was baptized.

And most recently, Wyndham has given me a vision that my son (who just graduated high school) may even have a future as a minister someday. Who knows—stranger things have already happened!

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 11

Wisdom to Impart Confidence in God
By Kristen Shaw Gonet

Two and a half years ago my husband and I and our two children left Massachusetts where I lived five minutes away from my parents and moved to an affluent town in central Connecticut. It’s the kind of town in which, although I’m 36, I can still find myself trying to keep up with the “popular crowd.” My son just finished first grade and my daughter kindergarten and yet I have seen them already compete to be in the highest reading group in their class and struggle when they are not the best on their team at a sport or not wearing the right clothes. It’s overwhelming to try to “keep up” appearances in my community, but I can even feel that same pressure sometimes as a Christian. Am I serving enough; giving enough; have I done all my Christian duties? Being a wife, mom, Christian, and friend can start to feel like a never-ending checklist. 
Growing up, my dad never let life become a list of duties. His Christianity was never a checklist; it was and still is his identity. Although I wanted so badly just to fit in with the rest of the crowd when I was in high school, he constantly reminded me by the way he lived his life that the only ones with whom I needed to fit in were he and God. My dad’s example was so powerful that I never actually had to wrestle with this worldly desire. He made sure I knew I fit perfectly next to him. When I was next to him I was never afraid. He was a protector. Next to him I didn’t have to look a certain way because I never doubted that to him I was beautiful. To him I was strong, funny, a fighter, and smart. Now that I’m raising my own daughter I understand in a way I never could before what a profound gift he gave me.
He has a sixth sense as a dad. He always knew (and still knows now) when my sister and I caught a case of “daddy-itis”. He could sense we were “off” somehow and that we needed time with him. For the two of us, that usually meant a trip to Dunkin Donuts and then a long, often tear-filled conversation in the driveway, talking about everything we were feeling at the time. He would listen to me talk about my current crush unrequited. He would then express to me his own disappointments. He never settled for an “I’m fine” response from me when he’d ask me how I was doing. He would ask more questions or just sit and wait while we drank our hot chocolate until I was ready to talk. He would let me go on for hours about the trials of being a girl in middle school with bad acne. Nothing was off limits and I was never too embarrassed to tell him all the details. It may have been the six sisters he grew up with that gave him such a sensitive heart, but he somehow would find a way to relate to me. I always felt listened to and understood. He would ultimately bring all of it back to Jesus and the Bible. He made Jesus and the Bible so real in those moments. I cling to those talks still today. 
In the busyness of life, I can often want to settle for the “I’m fine” responses from my kids or from my neighbors but I think I inherited my dad’s emotional intelligence and I can’t help but dig deeper. I want to give my kids what my dad gave me. My daughter and I recently read Psalm 139. I want her to have the same confidence in who she is that my dad gave me and I want her to know the true source from which it came. I watched her eyes fill with confidence as she thought about the fact that God made her just as he wanted! When I look at those around me I want to see beyond the “I’m all set” exterior and remember that people just need to be asked the right questions or that sometimes they just need someone to sit and drink hot chocolate with them. This world is full of broken people who need Jesus and the Bible to be made real in their lives. My Dad is my hero and most trusted adviser. Although his voice is softer and he has less strength than he used to, his words remain just as loud in my heart and his strength is just as profound.
__________________________________________________________________
I could fill a daily blog for years with wisdom I have learned from Wyndham. However, I’ll stick with one day a week. Each Wednesday I will share wisdom gleaned, not just from me, but from our family who saw him day and night and from friends near and far whose lives he has touched.

Many of you have already told me you wish to share wisdom you learned from Wyndham. If you wish to contribute to this collection please email me at shaw.jeanie@gmail.com with the subject line—Wednesday Wisdom. If you wish to receive these blogs in your inbox, feel free to sign up to follow the blog.

I’ll look forward to meeting you here on Wednesdays. And if you would, please remember us in your prayers. It’s a privilege to have you in our lives.

Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 10

Wisdom Invests in Others’ Lives

                                                             by Jack Frederick

I know Wyndham. He is a friend, mentor, fishing buddy, counselor, shepherd of my soul, minister, football player and family best friend. We spent twenty years together doing all of the above and having fun. Wyndham is maybe two years younger, but perhaps his most important role to me was being like a father to me. Wyndham has always been a man of wisdom beyond his years. When I became a Christian I began to recognize the value of wisdom and sought wisdom for my life, though I considered myself ten years behind the wisdom curve for my age.

I made every opportunity to spend time with Wyndham and Jeanie, seeking to soak up wisdom just being around him. Our families (parents and kids), loved one another from the start and we spent lots of family times doing fun things. Wyndham and Jeanie were our discipleship partners in life and ministry for many years (“discipleship partner” is Greek for ‘good friend,’ or at least it should be). If you’re in a discipling relationship and you don’t build a good friendship then you need to reevaluate and likely repent, because you’re not helping one another as you should. Partner is also an operative word, as discipling partners is a two-way relationship; we share honestly about our lives and we apply scriptures and friendship to disciple one another to become more like Jesus. Wyndham and Jeanie were the best at that. They opened their lives to us and asked us for help just like we were peers, though we knew they had more experience and training. But that was never a barrier to them seeking our insights and help. 

Wyndham’s midweek house church lesson in the fall of 1987 convinced us to move to Boston. Before then we had never met, but it was obvious from that one lesson he was a man of deep conviction, passion, integrity and wisdom. Beyond this it was a blessing/good fortune that they came to live near us a year after we moved to Boston. I trusted Wyndham–probably the first man I learned to trust enough to open my heart and life. He was wise, a man skilled in leading, and yet he took the time to know me. I had friends I loved to whom I owe much, but I had never had a man with such ability and qualities take the time to teach & mentor me, and to be a best friend to me. He wasn’t older than me, but he was far wiser. He was like the father I didn’t have–a father of great wisdom, and a father with a heart and determination to impart to me his wisdom. I feel like an unlikely recipient of a wonderful gift, a man of great ability & wisdom willing to invest himself to help me grow to become the man God wanted me to be. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one he so invested himself into, but I feel fortunate in a special way—in that our families drew us even closer together.

Boston elders a decade or so ago

It has been my experience in both business and spiritual life that no education or training compares with a friend who genuinely invests in helping you grow. I enjoyed friendships with business and university leaders who guided me and shared wisdom, many spiritual advisers, but no one who invested so much or did so much to help me grow as did Wyndham. I wasn’t the Shaws best student, but I may have been their most eager student. Wyndham was like the father I didn’t have growing up. He treated me with respect and helped me know how to be the man God wanted me to become. I worked hard to grow and honor his investment in me and my family. I owe him so much.

We are older now. We moved away from Boston several years ago but the stamp of Wyndham’s influence is etched into my heart. I quote him, I remember him, I speak of him everywhere I go, and his influence shapes how I help others and how I love my family. Age and health problems take their toll, but these have not diminished my love and respect for this man who shaped my life. When I help others I think of what Wyndham did and what Wyndham taught me. He is a great dad in life, as is obvious in his children, and I am indebted to Wyndham that he took the time to be a father influence in my life. I love you brother, happy Father’s Day.– Jack