Discipleship is 24/7 and Hands-On, Christian Ministries Volunteer Todd Shupe Says

todd shupeIt’s no news flash that the number of people who identify as Christian is in decline and has been for some time now. Some would attribute this to selfish desires rather than a generous heart. Others might refer to the Bible and the number of times that God’s people turned their back on Him. “So, perhaps we are just in ‘another cycle,’” says Christian ministries volunteer Todd Shupe. “There may be some truth in both of these explanations, but I believe there is something much deeper and profound.”

 
The church universal has failed to create disciples. Many church-going Christians consider themselves to be disciples. “It is great to attend church on Sunday; we attend to worship, pray, sing, tithe, and fellowship,” says former LSU lab leader Todd Shupe. “However, a disciple is not a passive sport and it certainly is not contained to one hour a week on Sunday.” The natural question at this point is what is your definition of a disciple? Jesus answered this when he first encountered his disciples and said, “Follow me.” My definition of a disciple is one that follows Jesus. Colossians 2:6 reads, “Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.”

 
The heart of discipleship is The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” God is calling us to spread the Good News. We are called to be His witness and to “make disciples of all nations,” says Todd Shupe.
I think it is important here to recognize that a person cannot disciple another until he or she is a disciple. You simply cannot give to others what you do not have yourself. A disciple has the love of God in his heart and a desire to fish for men. He generously shares his prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness to build up the church. “I urge you to prayerfully assess your spiritual life. Talk to your pastor, spouse, and close friends,” says Todd Shupe, LSU wood sciences expert. “Continue to feed yourself with the Word. Discipleship is a life-long process.”

 
We should always be seeking to grow closer to Christ. Feed yourself with the body and blood of Christ. Drink the living water from Jacob’s well. Then, you can pass along what you have and can feed His sheep. Prayerfully consider how God is calling you to be His disciple and how you can help build His kingdom.

Todd Shupe Explores The Traits Of True Leadership

todd shupeIf you are like me, you have seen several books on leadership. The books are typically authored by successful CEOs of large companies or military leaders. These books are often best-sellers and contain very useful information on the principles of secular leadership. The themes are typically along the lines of this: A leader is a visionary. A leader knows how to delegate. A leader surrounds himself/herself with good people. A leader leads by example. A leader is trustworthy. A leader is tough under pressure and, finally, a leader doesn’t tolerate nonsense, says Baton Rouge’s Todd Shupe, who is also a dedicated Christian ministry volunteer.
The best leader that ever walked the earth was not a CEO or a decorated military leader. Jesus modeled true leadership to us by his service to others. Jesus was a servant leader who never once used his authority to serve himself but rather to serve and help others. This point is amplified in Matthew: “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
The Psalmist wrote in 119:125, I am Your servant; give me understanding, That I may know Your testimonies. He is acknowledging himself as a servant to God.. In turn, God wants us to serve him by serving others. Matthew 25 tells the story of the sheep and the goats and contains this great message in verse 40. “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
According to Todd Shupe, a Christian leader is humble. Jesus demonstrated humility by washing the feet of his disciples in John 13. You may be wondering what is the benefit of humility. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” The ultimate gift of Christ was the forgiveness of sins for those that believe in Him and life everlasting. “I encourage you to lead by serving others,” says Todd Shupe. “Be blessed.”

Baton Rouge’s Todd Shupe Asks The Great Question: Where Is God?

todd shupe baton rougeWe were created as curious creatures, designed to seek, learn and discover. As Christians, we have a desire to seek God’s face. We read in 1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk so that by it, you may grow up in your salvation.”
Craving spiritual milk is a holy desire to become more Christ-like, says Todd Shupe, LSU’s former wood science professor and lab director. “However, in your journey to understand God, we often ask ‘Where is God?’”

In the book “Economy” by Henry David Thoreau, he writes “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Todd Shupe, of Baton Rouge, thinks that all of us as curious creatures of God are seeking something. The “desperation” occurs when we don’t find what we are seeking. Matthew 6:33 tells us precisely what to seek: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

It is easy to become discouraged when we don’t have a “mountain top” experience with God as did Moses or if we don’t walk on the water as did St. Peter. We then “swim away” disappointed and search for answers in places that are unable to provide them – alcohol, gambling, pornography, etc. “We fail to realize that God is present now,” says former LSU professor Todd Shupe. “In the boring rainy days, stuck in traffic and the day-to-day work grind.”

You must have eyes to see the beauty of Christ that is present all around you. St. Thomas did not believe that Christ had risen even though he was told so by the other Disciples. Jesus appeared to him and said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed,” (John 20:29).

With human eyes we only see as humans; with God’s eyes, we can see His presence all around us. Imagine yourself this day walking on the road to Damascus with Saul. Scales cover your eyes and you are blinded but you follow God’s instructions and the scales are removed.

For the first time in your life, you can see. You are seeing the world through God’s eyes and you see His presence all around you. You are filled with the love of the Holy Spirit and a burning desire to fulfill the Great Commission. You are a child of God and He loves you more than you can ever imagine. He is always with you and will never leave you. “Go out into the world with the peace and knowledge that God leads you, just as he did Moses, by day and by night,” said Todd Shupe, of Baton Rouge. “Be blessed.”

Areas of Wood Science Research

todd shupe lsuOf the many hats worn in the illustrious career of Todd Shupe, LSU professor, lab director and quality manager of ISO 17025 Testing lab (1994-2014), wood scientist is among the most intriguing.

While teaching Wood Science at LSU, Todd Shupe performed proprietary third-party mechanical, physical, and chemical tests for new and existing wood-based products, biocides, coatings, etc. so that they could gain approval/re-registration from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

While wood science is extremely important for utilizing one of the world’s most widely used natural resources, not many are aware of the types of research that goes into this field.

To help shine some light on the subject, Todd Shupe reviews some of the main areas of wood science research.

Biodeterioration, Materials Protection, & Product Durability

This is the research of wood decay, and the information gathered through this research has a wide-range of industrial applications. Improvement in the science of wood product durability is a result of this type of research. For those who want to learn more about how to sustainably design and manage wood products, this is the field of research for them.

Composite Materials

Wood composite materials research ranges from composite manufacturing to formaldehyde-free adhesives to the study of composite fracturing. All of this is important when trying to understand the ever-changing applications of wood composites and the diverse range of materials that can be used to make them.

Forest Products Business and Marketing

Forest product innovation relies on the research of business management and marketing strategies for these products.  Those who study this area learn marketing in renewable materials, corporate responsibility, and how to use the competitiveness of the industry as an advantage.

Green Building and Environmental Performance

The use of wood in green building and sustainable design has increased and so has the research of this area. The development of reliable wood-based green materials is in high demand as the market for green products continues to grow.

Timber Engineering, Mechanics, & Structural Design

Timber engineering and structural wood design involves advanced mathematical and engineering, including the studying of materials and components, the performance of structural systems and fasteners, and the design of wood structures. This research helps determine the integrity of wood structures.

Wood Aesthetics & Natural Coloration

The natural coloration of wood by fungi—or spalting—is another area of wood science research that some find fascinating. This field of study explores this process and sometimes unexpected aesthetic or commercial opportunities come along as a result.

Wood BioEnergy

Perhaps the fasting growing area of wood research is bioenergy and includes many agricultural residues that are not even wood such as sugar cane bagasse, corn stover, etc.  This research identifies cost effective methods of converting wood and other raw materials into pellets and thermos-chemical methods to develop energy such as pyrolysis, gasification, super critical conversion, and liquefaction.

Be sure to check back to learn more from Todd Shupe about his many areas of expertise!