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  • Todd Shupe on Finding Peace in Times of Adversity

    Todd Shupe on Finding Peace in Times of Adversity by Todd Shupe 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. ...
  • Todd Shupe Discusses Happiness

    Todd Shupe Discusses Happiness by Todd Shupe Our society has achieved a point of technological advancement that was unthinkable a mere 10-20 years ago.  In the Western world, we have freedoms of speech and access to clean drinking water that are unheard of in other countries that Todd Shupe has visited.   All of us, even those barely out of diapers, have smart phones.  However, most Americans are unhappy and seeking answers from pharmaceutical companies to the bottom of a beer bottle.  In my 47 years of life I have learned 5 keys to happiness.1. Read and BELIEVE God’s PromisesReading the Bible is...
  • Todd Shupe On Anxiety, Waiting: Have Faith, For ‘God Is Our Partner’

    Todd Shupe On Anxiety, Waiting: Have Faith, For 'God Is Our Partner' by Todd Shupe Waiting is a daily occurrence: We wait in line at the grocery store, post office or on the phone. Sometimes, we are waiting long-term for news regarding a loved one who has suddenly become ill or was in an accident. Waiting is also a part of joyous occasions such as the birth of a child or marriage. In any case, worrying almost always leads to anxiety. Todd Shupe, former LSU wood sciences professor, lab director and Christian ministry volunteer, has five favorite scriptures that he refers to...
  • The Walk to Emmaus: The Best Spiritual Weekend Retreat, Says Todd Shupe

    The Walk to Emmaus: The Best Spiritual Weekend Retreat, Says Todd Shupe by Todd Shupe The Walk to Emmaus “Walk” is a three-day spiritual retreat that came out of the Roman Catholic Cursillo movement. The Walk to Emmaus is held numerous times during the year at various locations throughout the U.S. and the world. Separate walks are held for men and women, notes LSU’s Todd Shupe, who is also a dedicated Christian ministry volunteer.Luke 24 tells of two of Jesus’s followers walking to the village of Emmaus. Jesus joins them, although they do not recognize him, and eventually begins to explain all of the scriptures regarding Himself....
  • Love is Everything

    Love Is Everything by Todd Shupe “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs;” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5) I overheard a conversation between a young couple recently. The couple agreed that they deeply loved each other but the young lady said: “love is not enough.” I was intrigued by her statement and gave it some thought. I certainly had no idea as to what struggles the couple was experiencing. However, I do have a decent understanding of the power of love. I pray...
  • Trusting In The Valley and the Mountaintop

    Trusting In The Valley and the Mountaintop by Todd Shupe Jesus warned us that we’d have problems in life. No one is immune from pain or insulated from suffering, and no one gets to skate through life problem-free. You may have heard the old saying “nobody is an atheist in a fox hole.”  Many of us turn to God during the difficult times in our lives but then go back to living in the flesh during periods of good times.  This is a recurring theme for the Jewish people in the Old Testament and is epitomized by the story of the golden...
  • Return to the Father

    Return to the Father by Todd Shupe “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me” (Jeremiah 15:19 NLT).All of us that follow Jesus have many things in common.  One of which is that we are all sinners.  As we become a believer in Christ, we are born again into God’s family.  Once you are born again you cannot be unborn.  Our relationship with God can, and will be, damaged by sin.  However, read this closely – no matter the sin- the relationship is still there.  The Parable of the Prodigal Son (also known as the Two Brothers,...
  • “Self-Control Can Vanquish Weakness In Trying Times”

    “Self-Control Can Vanquish Weakness In Trying Times” by Todd Shupe The Bible teaches us that self-control is essential to living a Christian life. We must exercise our self-control or we become controlled by our weakness. Whether it is food, alcohol, drugs or pornography, the enemy knows our weakness better than we do and will encourage us to go to it rather than to God in times of need. Todd Shupe says that our lives can soon be dominated by our weakness and we are living completely in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. Self-control is the very essence of “dying to...
  • Do We Realize Who Is With Us?

    Do We Realize Who Is With Us? “… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20, NIV). Some of the rotten “fruit” of the enemy is fear and doubt.   If we truly stopped and contemplated who is with us always, then fear would be defeated.   Eventually, Jesus will return, and the enemy will be destroyed along with all of his weapons of spiritual warfare.  In the meantime, we can exercise our free will to live in the dark or live in the light.   The darkness is scary because our own vision is useless.  I...
  • Finding Peace

    Finding Peace “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:25 NIV). by Todd Shupe One of my greatest desires is peace.  However, it also can be one of the most elusive.  I “postpone” peace until some task is completed.  The problem is that some tasks can often go on for years, if not for a lifetime.  As I hurriedly try to check items off my “to do” list, more items are added. A friend recently told me that I should focus on discerning what it is that God wants me to learn, see, or...
  • Wrestling With God

    Wrestling With God by Todd Shupe “Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me’” (Genesis 32:26 NLT). I love the visual image of Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis 32:22-32. This is a powerful story, and it raises many questions.  Obviously, God could have overpowered Jacob and ended things instantly. Why did God let the struggle go on? Here’s the lesson: When God allows, note-He does not create the crisis, a crisis into your life, He doesn’t solve it immediately. He uses the crisis as an opportunity to...
  • Thanksgiving Is Not Just For November

    Thanksgiving Is Not Just For November by Todd Shupe “Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this”  1 Thessalonians 5:18 GW I love Thanksgiving!  It is a fun time of year to get together with family, eat some great home cooked meals, and watch football.  Thanksgiving is a time for us to reflect on the past year and identify things which we are thankful.  In some families, they go around the table and each person states one or two things for which they are thankful. God has blessed us with many emotions with which we can...
  • The Biblical Path To Peace

    The Biblical Path To Peace by Todd Shupe 6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”  Philippians 4:6-9 (NIV) Americans are...
  • The Unforgivable Sin?

    The Unforgivable Sin? by Todd Shupe “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.   For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:22-24 NIV). Years ago a dear friend, let’s call him John, confided in me that he had made the “unforgivable sin.”  I was expecting him to tell me about how he had committed blasphemy against the...
  • True Freedom

    True Freedom by Todd Shupe“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18 NIV). One of the greatest freedoms we have as Americans is our freedom.   The first ten amendments of the Bill of Rights guarantee us certain rights that are fundamental to our freedom.  Despite all of our freedoms, many people still live in bondage and have denied themselves true freedom.Many us live in fear of something – death, debt, an abusive spouse, etc.  Some live with guilt over...
  • Five Steps for Handling Frustration

    Five Steps for Handling Frustration by Todd Shupe “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV). We all have experienced frustration.   Sometimes we are frustrated with ourselves and sometimes with others, including God.  Our frustrations present an opportunity to either deepen our relationships with others or divide us.  Regardless of the nature of our frustration, our response will determine if good fruit comes from the situation. Here are five simple steps for dealing with frustrations. Did I cause it? The Bible says, “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7). We are often frustrated by things in life...
  • Self-Control Can Vanquish Weakness

    Self-Control Can Vanquish Weakness by Todd Shupe The Bible teaches us that self control is essential to living a Christian life. We must exercise our self-control or we become controlled by our weakness. Whether it is food, alcohol, drugs or pornography, the enemy knows our weakness better than we do and will encourage us to go to it rather than to God in times of need. Our lives can soon be dominated by our weakness and we are living completely in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. Self-control is the very essence of “dying to self” and living in righteousness with...
  • True Confession of the Heart: My Hatred Is Strong

    True Confession of the Heart: My Hatred Is Strong by Todd Shupe “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.   Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.  But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them” (1 John 2:9-11 NIV). Holy Scripture encourages us to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16).  I have a confession to make.  I...
  • Is Your Burden Too Heavy?

    Is Your Burden Too Heavy? by Todd Shupe “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV) Many of us carry heavy burdens due to a wide variety of physical, mental, and spiritual reasons.  The burden can cause us to ache at the deepest level, our soul.   At this point two conclusions can be drawn: (1) the burden is not from...
  • A Christian Approach to Depression

    A Christian Approach to Depression by Todd Shupe“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV) God has blessed us with the Living Word known as the Holy Bible.   We can turn to the Bible for advice and instruction for our worries and problems.  Some may feel that the Bible is too old to be relevant today.  However, many, if not all, of our issues of today are essentially the same as when Jesus walked the earth.  We learn from Ecclesiastes...
  • Finding Clarity in a World of Confusion

    Finding Clarity in a World of Confusion by Todd Shupe“Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters—a pathway no one knew was there!” (Psalm 77:19 NLT). I think many of dislike to be in “limbo.”  We want to know where we stand.  We seek clarity.  Perhaps at no time is this greater than in times of adversity.  It is in these times, that we face the proverbial fork in the road.  Pursue clarity from the secular world or obtain clarity from God’s word.  If you pursue clarity from the secular world, you will never find it.  However, God provides...

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and wood science.  Shupe worked as a  professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the Secretary of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, Database Coordinator for Gulf South Men, and volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, Iron Sharpens Iron, Open Air Ministries, HOPE Ministries food pantry. Todd is currently preparing to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men.