Join us today for the Saturday Night Special with Walt Shelton author of Authentic Living in All Seasons...

In this episode Walt Shelton I talk about faith, life, and law...

In tonight’s Saturday Night Special I interview Walt Shelton.  I ask Walt to share with you his thoughts about faith and the law.  Walt also shares with you how he believes that daily practices and routines are the key to growth in his book Authentic Living.  I also ask Walt to share with you how faith and practical action are connected.

Join in on the Chat below.

SNS 185: Saturday Night Special - Interview with Walt Shelton about His book Authentic Living in All Seasons

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Welcome to tonight's Saturday Night special episode 185.

[00:00:06] Walt Shelton: I'm Walt Shelton. I challenge you to invest in and take care of yourself, invest in and care for others. Develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling and sense of vocation.

[00:00:29] Practicing daily preparatory routines for your faith journey is key. One way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend Scott Mayer.

[00:00:55] When I think of being what it means to be Christian, to me [00:01:00] that means to get up each day and endeavor to the best of our talents and abilities with God's health to live out our faith consistent with. The role model Jesus gave us.

[00:01:16] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:01:21] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, who will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that. Can impact the world.

[00:01:48] And tonight, Saturday Night Special. I interview Walt Shelton. I ask Walt to share with you his thoughts about faith and law. Walt also shares with you how he believes that daily [00:02:00] practices and routines are the key to growth and how he described this in his book, authentic Living. I also ask Walt to share with you how faith and practical action are.

[00:02:10] One area that a lot of folks need some help with is around the area of productivity. Getting not just more things done, but actually getting the right things done can be really tough. I've got a course called Productivity for Your Passion that's designed to help you do this and then to hold you accountable and walk with you so that you can tailor productivity, not just to be getting more done, but actually getting the right things done.

[00:02:44] What's more, we take the approach of looking at your personality and how you actually look at things in the world and tailor the productivity system to your person. Because the truth is, a lot of the systems that are out there are written really well for [00:03:00] somebody with a particular personality type. But if you have a different approach to things, they just don't work.

[00:03:07] But there's tools and techniques and approaches that you can take that will work for anyone, and we help you do that and productivity for your passion. Check it out slash launch. Walt Shelton is one of the most red faith columnist in Texas over the past decade, writing countless columns for the Austin American Statesman.

[00:03:30] Professor Shelton has focused in recent years speaking and writing primarily on ethical wellness, life quality, and faith related topics, not only for attorneys, but for everyone in a variety of context, often related to people in demanding work environments that make it difficult to balance priorities.

[00:03:49] He's a professor at Baylor Law School, an environmental attorney and a noted speaker, and he is passionate about empowering others through knowledge and encouragement. [00:04:00] Professor Shelton is taught at Baylor Law School since 1990, and he currently teaches four environmental and water related courses. He also supervises externships at federal and state agencies, directs independent studies and sponsors the Baylor Environmental and Natural Resource Law.

[00:04:17] Walt has published two books, the Daily Practice of Life, and Authentic Living in All Seasons. Walt is married to Roxanne and they have two children, five grandchildren, and a special Dutch hound, and they live there in the Austin area. Welcome to

[00:04:34] Walt Shelton: the show, Walt. Thank you so much, Scott. So Walt, we, you've,

[00:04:38] Scott Maderer: we talked a little bit about in the intro how you've had a bit of a winding personal journey to kinda get where you are, but what led you down the road to deciding to write the columns that you write and then turn them into books and work on that as a way of getting a message out into the world?

[00:04:58] Walt Shelton: It is [00:05:00] a different kind of journey, but I suppose all of our journeys are. I grew up Scott in a traditional Baptist church in East Texas. My faith has always meant a lot to me. I had some early Sunday school teachers that encouraged me to study the Bible and make it my own.

[00:05:19] But things really took a, a turn toward what I'm doing now. When I was in college, I went to the University of Texas. Essentially majored in religion. It was a history degree that allowed me the latitude to take a number of courses and languages and prepare myself to go to graduate school. And in that context, there were certain professors, teachers that I bonded with and my mentors.

[00:05:54] Both in terms of my interest in religious studies and digging [00:06:00] deeper into my faith as well as my interest in teaching, which started them then. And it started a lot because I admired these teachers so much and what they meant to me having them as mentors, really choosing them as mentors and seeing

[00:06:17] them.

[00:06:19] Walt Shelton: Role models and them encouraging me to follow my aspirations. I went from University of Texas straight to graduate school in religion and did an MA in religion at Baylor and part of a PhD. And one of the hardest decisions I ever made in my life, Scott, was to lead my, leave my full ride PhD in religion because we were ready to start a.

[00:06:47] but the family was more important and taking care of my children and my wife. So I became an insurance adjuster of all things to make a living. But one thing that stayed constant, [00:07:00] that actually started in graduate school is that I have taught and led Sunday school and faith related groups since 1978.

[00:07:11] Mostly in churches, but also for a handful of years an interfaith group in terms of my writing. As a law professor, of course, I did a lot of writing and teaching on legal issues, but began to develop more of an interest in the ethical components. Being a lawyer in terms of speaking and writing, but in a little different way than many lawyers speak and write about ethics.

[00:07:44] I was more concerned about how the way we live our lives, what our priorities are, how that translates into being a better person and a better and more effective. [00:08:00] In terms of my columns in the paper, which really started a watershed for me in terms of changing how I spend my time and my priorities now in writing and speaking.

[00:08:17] The Austin paper has for a long time had a very. Faith and life quality related column. But for many years, Scott, when we lived here, there was someone on staff that was responsible for writing them and they did an excellent job. I noticed at a point they changed and started having guest writers and I decided on a lark.

[00:08:43] I felt I had a sense one day

[00:08:45] of

[00:08:45] Walt Shelton: something to write about my father's memorial service after he. And so I wrote something and decided what could it hurt to send this in? So I sent it in and in short order had a nice [00:09:00] response and they said they'd like to publish it. They did. I heard from a number of readers, I was blown away by how many readers I heard from in terms of, I love your approach.

[00:09:13] I love your practicality To faith matters. Please keep. So I did and over the years I had, I don't know what the number is, Scott, 60 to 70 articles in the paper. I still do that kind of article, shorter journal, like if you will, type of writing. . But I found some other outlets including, for example, progressive Christianity.

[00:09:42] In terms of the book again, the source of that really is readers of my columns. I started having readers reach out to me and say, you should write a book. Because, and again, the emphasis was almost always. The [00:10:00] practicality of the writing and the application to day-to-day life, and the emphasis on how we live every day.

[00:10:07] So I decided, like I did when I wrote the first column what could it hurt to write a book? And I really felt a sense of more than attraction to. I felt almost a compelling sense of this is something I really want to do and need to do even if it's, if some someone's not interested in publishing.

[00:10:31] And so I wrote the book and I used my first 40 columns as a basis for the book but revamped them into a book format. And the second publisher I sent the manuscript to responded within two weeks with a book. . And subsequent to that, Scott, I was fortunate to have so many readers of my book reach out to me and tell me the same things I had heard about my [00:11:00] column, but in, in a more inspiring way, if you will.

[00:11:05] That, that encouraged me to write a second. Which was published about a year and a half after my first book. A little different from my first book. Similar in some ways but more of an emphasis on some key components that I consider important for us living authentically and meaningfully as people of faith as Christians, or people of other authentic traditions.

[00:11:35] That may be a bit long winded, but that's the winding .

[00:11:39] Scott Maderer: No I've got some follow up things to, to run down on that, but not too longwinded at all, but so when you think about it you mentioned several times that your column the practical, you were taking a practical approach, and yet I think a lot of times when people hear faith, [00:12:00] spirituality, those sorts of things, they think.

[00:12:03] Kind of by definition is impractical not really in the real world or the practical. How do you see the intersection between what you call the practical application and what, I guess the more common belief of faith

[00:12:20] Walt Shelton: might be? I think the intersection at the time of Jesus was, What we think of today is belief and practice were intertwined.

[00:12:34] They were inseparable. In my study of the New Testament and just thinking about life experiences and what I think is meaningful about faith two words that I think Jesus said more than often. Have had a great influence on my perspective, and those are the words [00:13:00] follow me and to, to me, that syncs up well with at the close of the the longest recorded account of his teachings, the Sermon on the Mount.

[00:13:14] At the close of that, he says, essentially, I don't care who calls me, Lord, I care. I care about how you live. And Scott. So when I think of the practical applicability of faith, to me, if it doesn't have practical applicability in our daily lives, then it's close to meaningless. And I'm concerned that in our day and time, For some people certainly not for all, but for some people when they think belief and they think that Christianity is about what one believes in [00:14:00] our culture, that can have kind of a surficial just affirm something in words.

[00:14:09] Whereas I think at the time of Jesus, , anything affirmed in words was meaningless unless it was actualized in how we live day to day. So I think I, I think in terms of when I think of being what it means to be

[00:14:29] Christian,

[00:14:30] Walt Shelton: to me that means to get up each day and endeavor to the best of our talents and abilities with God's.

[00:14:41] to live out our faith consistent with the role model Jesus gave us and the the primary EMS in his teachings. How we treat each other, in other words. Are you

[00:14:54] Scott Maderer: walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

[00:14:57] Walt Shelton: abs. Absolutely. And again, [00:15:00] Scott, it seems to me at the time of Jesus and what Paul wrote and some of the ways.

[00:15:09] I, I think some people, certainly not all people, use some kind of snippets from Paul about if you just affirm this or if you just believe this. That's all you need to do. I don't think they're understanding Paul correctly, because when we read the entirety of Paul, it was essential to. How we lived.

[00:15:36] Did for example Paul saying the only thing that matters is faith made effective through love. And again, I think it's So I talk a lot on the show about the either or mentality versus both and mentality. It, what I mean by that is [00:16:00] I think a lot of times in our society we tend to put things, especially in the Western culture it's either this or it's that.

[00:16:06] Scott Maderer: So it's about faith or it's about works. Why can't it be both it's it's okay to be both too. It's, those are. Mutually exclusive things. You can have belief that's in your heart and your mind, and maybe you don't even fully understand why you believe it, but you believe it.

[00:16:24] And also go do good things for each other. It's not like one of those prevents the other

[00:16:29] Walt Shelton: A, absolutely. I c I couldn't agree more Scott and I think that I think that they're one and the. . I think they're the one in the same. I don't think faith is authentic without works. And again, back to back to Paul he, he tells us God created us for good works.

[00:16:48] And that I couldn't agree more with you, Scott. The way you put it. When we create a strict [00:17:00] dichotomy between, Surficial belief and faith, I'm gonna put it that way. And living it out and works. Then I think that we're missing out on what Jesus was all about.

[00:17:15] Scott Maderer: So the other thing you mentioned in your intro that I think is worth unpacking a little bit more is you're a teacher at heart, you've been teaching for a long time. You've been writing, you've been doing all of these things. But then you also mentioned. You work with the law and teach on ethics and that sort of thing and obviously we could go for all of the various jokes that everybody makes about lawyers, right?

[00:17:36] There there's 1.5 bazillion of them and there's a reason for that. Cuz there is, I think sometimes people see things that happen in the law and go, that's just not right. That's not the right way to do it. How do you. Intersect and how do you look at where your faith fits and how that overlaps with the [00:18:00] law and how you approach teaching lawyers about ethics and these sorts of things?

[00:18:05] Well,

[00:18:05] Walt Shelton: couple of things there, Scott, in a sense, law school is a context for me living out what I consider my vocation. Which is teaching and having hopefully my faith in practice by the way I treat and encourage people. Another thing though is that I grew up with a very positive impression of attorneys.

[00:18:40] And a lot of that is rooted in.

[00:18:46] My great-grandfather my maternal grandmother's father was a judge in East Texas, and she told me when I was a little boy about her dad that he was a [00:19:00] judge that presided over the trial of I think it was three white men. Who had lynched a black man and they were found guilty. And my grandmother told me that her father lived for the rest of his life with death threats.

[00:19:24] And I knew other lawyers growing up including some others in my family that I considered champions of. Justice in terms of what I mean by justice is biblical justice. Standing up for people who need help and who were poor, who were impoverished, who were impressed, and I think that lawyers.

[00:19:53] Can put themselves in unique positions to have [00:20:00] an incredible impact on the pursuit of justice. And I associate the pursuit of justice at the very heart of the gospel. I see Jesus, for example, in the fourth chapter of Luke coming out of the wilder. After a time of what I consider introspection to make sense of his calling it his baptism and he says, with clarity in, in, in the synagogue, God has anointed me to bring good news to the app, to the poor, and to set the oppressed free and so to, and yes, I understand the lawyer. And as a lawyer, Scott, and my career as a lawyer and teacher overlap for 32 years. But the story is I've progressively become more teacher and less lawyer. But I know by working in the legal field heavily, there are a [00:21:00] variety or are a variety of kinds of lawyers out there.

[00:21:03] I hope what I do in law school, And I certainly have my very bad days and downsides and moments, but I hope to set an example and to encourage and to help other lawyers to pursue their aspirations, especially when I sense that their heart is really toward. Helping other people and they see the law as a vehicle for that.

[00:21:37] Scott Maderer: It's the one of the lawyer jokes that's out there though is everyone thinks that lawyers are bad until they need one. Then all of a sudden, wait a minute, maybe they're not so bad after all. Cuz cuz obviously it's like any other field.

[00:21:53] Teachers, lawyers, doctors podcasters, whatever. There's good ones and [00:22:00] bad ones because there's good there's people that act in good ways and bad ways has nothing to do with the profession, . And yet I think we make lawyers into the butt of the joke sometimes.

[00:22:09] Walt Shelton: I think. I think that's, I think that's true and I think for me, Scott, whether or not ended up teaching religion in college, which was my original plan or history, or been a high school teacher.

[00:22:24] My life would be and my interests and what I hope to accomplish each day would be very similar to the context I'm in law school. , Uhhuh, . If that makes sense. I

[00:22:38] Scott Maderer: hope Uhhuh . Absolutely. Yeah. It, because you are who you are, again, independent of what you're doing. Yet it also informs what you're doing.

[00:22:48] So it works both ways.

[00:22:50] Walt Shelton: And the relationship building is so important. That's such an important part of teaching. It was for me as a student. And another thing I suppose that [00:23:00] is part of the intersection with law school is that since I went to law school and became a lawyer I sp I feel a strong connection with students in law school.

[00:23:14] What they're considering doing and then what they do as lawyers and I love the relationship building aspect of teaching, not only with students, but with the handful of students that over the years post-graduation have become my good friends. , that is one of the biggest treasures of being a teacher.

[00:23:44] That I have. Yeah,

[00:23:46] Scott Maderer: I agreed. As a former teacher, I agree. I always tell the kids that reach back out to me sometimes years later, it's like that, that's what actually make I think teaching is one of those fields that very much lives out. The, you often are watering and planting [00:24:00] seeds and never seeing the harvest and so it's really nice when the students come back and it's okay, now I get to see the harvest too sometimes and see the results of what happened in the classroom.

[00:24:10] Walt Shelton: Absolutely. That, that, that means a lot because teachers meant so much to me. And if someone comes back to me and said, the way you treated me, the advice you gave me has meant a lot to me, and I want to continue our friendship, that, that enriches my life in so many ways. So let's talk a little bit about the book.

[00:24:38] Scott Maderer: So you the first, I you've written two, so the Daily Practice of Life and Authentic Living in All Seasons in, in Authentic Living. And it sounds like both of them have some of this from what you were describing earlier where you talk about daily practices and you talk about routines that.

[00:24:56] That are strong and vital to living a [00:25:00] Christian life. Could you share a couple that you see as the most important or the most foundational or most critical sorts of daily practices that folks need to focus on?

[00:25:10] Walt Shelton: Absolutely. The primary thing in my opinion, that is so very important indeed, vital to our faith journey.

[00:25:21] Is having a first of the day routine to prepare ourselves for living with a with intent, with commitment, and then going forward with response. Action. To live a day at a time to stay focused, to pay full, complete attention to the person before us. To the task at hand, the opposite of multitasking.

[00:25:50] The opposite of always having our mind dispersed, thinking about what we've just done, what we need to [00:26:00] do, and instead doing everything to be fully present. And for me, it needs to be the first thing I do during the. And I think it's something that, that's very personal, something we experiment with.

[00:26:16] For me, it involves reading scripture, reading a portion of another meaningful book. Being quiet, Scott, it certainly needs to involve coffee it needs to involve my porch or my chair and my study, my dog in my lap. Some meditative prayer. And then Scott, I steal myself even better when I move, and so I follow up my time of being still in a chair and with a book and just being quiet with a walk.

[00:26:54] I'm a longtime runner, so I combine walking and running. Now [00:27:00] that, that's the main thing and I take my cue there. From Jesus. There's a, at the end of the first chapter of Mark, and toward the end of the fourth chapter of Luke, were told that very early in the day, Jesus went off to a deserted place by himself for a time of prayerful reflection.

[00:27:26] And I'm reading something into this, to, to me, I. That implies a habit of his. And so I remember having the thought at one point in my life when I that occurred. To me, if Jesus is a human being, needed a first of the day routine, goodness knows, I do just stay on track. Another important routine for me just during the day.

[00:27:59] Is [00:28:00] to have a plan in mind when we inevitably fall off the path of how we intend to live. And that can include thinking back to our morning time and the stillness, the god's presence that we experienced. What we intended for the day, and maybe even having a word or a phrase of the day. And one idea there that occurred to me in preparing for talking to you today is the title of your podcast, inspired Stewardship.

[00:28:42] I love the title of your podcast because it captures inspiration. Our personal calling and vocation, our talents, [00:29:00] what we want to do, all those things collectively, and the stewardship, handling it and living it with care. So that's as good as any I can think of. Others might be compassion, having an attitude of gratitude, a theme for the.

[00:29:21] The theme for today. So those are, in terms of daily practices, they're things that have helped me and Scott don't misunderstand me, they haven't led to perfection. What they helped me with is in having a routine, having a process, reexamining it, tweaking with it to make it more effecti. , but it always being a work in progress to keep me as close to the narrow path as I can stay.

[00:29:56] Scott Maderer: Yeah. So I'm a Methodist at [00:30:00] heart, and so John Wesley's has a sermon called on to Perfection. And actually Oh, beautiful.

[00:30:07] The whole point of the sermon is we're always on a journey towards perfection. It's not that we ever reach it , it's that we, if we're not striving to go that direction, then we're missing the boat, so to

[00:30:18] speak.

[00:30:19] Walt Shelton: Scott, I couldn't believe, I couldn't agree more. And I think when Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect, he's talking in an aspirational way. Aspire to be perfect. And as you so artfully put it it's always a work in progress. And that's, I love the term disciple.

[00:30:47] Discipline. It's a practice, it's an art. And if we're not working at it daily, if we're not working on. Present in the now with [00:31:00] the people we're with and focusing on our task or activity at hand, then it's gonna be hard to make pro progress. So what do you think when you think about having those daily practices, having a practical model?

[00:31:18] Scott Maderer: And then having a spiritual life. And again, with the idea in mind that this is not an either or, like we talked about earlier. It's a both. And how do you think these actually help inform our success in life get whatever and however we define success in life not not trying to define that in a particular

[00:31:40] Walt Shelton: way.

[00:31:42] Okay. Okay. And, And I think. that, that's a great question and I'll bite at the last part of it and offer my meaning of what I consider successful. Okay. What I consider successful is meaningful [00:32:00] living and fulfilling our sense, our personal sense of vocation with intentional choices.

[00:32:10] Commit. And response action in what we do and how we live on a daily basis. One of my favorite authors is Harold Kushner, and in his book, when All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough, and what a captivating title, Scott just to think about that when all you've ever wanted isn't enough. He offers what I think is just wonderful advice.

[00:32:41] And this would be if I had to just pick a motto for having a practical routine day-to-day and a goal for it, it would be what he says in that book. And that is, we should aspire to fill [00:33:00] each day with one day's worth of meaning. I love that. A day at a time in the now. Hopefully, Scott, you and I both have a lot of years and a lot of days left to live but for all of us, it seems to me the only thing we're sure of each day is now and therefore focusing on how we're living in the now each day life step by step.

[00:33:33] Again, going back to Paul. . Another one of my favorite Pauls is be careful how you live making the most of the time. I think that might also be a good concept of success at the end of our days when we look back at them or at the end of today when we [00:34:00] look back on it, have we made the most of our.

[00:34:04] Toward living meaningfully for others and for ourselves consistent with who we believe God is calling us to be. And I think that also aligns with what we want to do and be, because to me, those things are intertwined in terms of finding our gifts and being aware of our opportunities. . I think that's a practical way to think about how God calls us.

[00:34:34] And what our vocation is, as opposed to finding a needle in a haystack. I think it's more about introspection in a prayerful way and finding a way to apply that daily. Yeah. I think we often. I think we often our calling shows up when we're not looking for it in a way. Meaning when we're out there doing things and sometimes that's [00:35:00] when all of a sudden that thing shows up that we were meant to do it we just didn't even, we didn't know we were looking for it, if that makes

[00:35:06] sense.

[00:35:06] That makes a lot of sense to me, Scott, because I remember both in. Starting to choose teachers as mentors. And then how I felt when I started teaching just one course one afternoon a week, and primarily being a lawyer. A lawyer, I fell in love with it. I fell in love with it. And I it caused me to think of vocation.

[00:35:38] In a different way. I remember growing up and hearing so often God has a plan for your life and you need to find it, but oftentimes it was presented as, gosh, I've gotta I better find the right thing and not make a mistake. But then it occurred to me, no it's [00:36:00] a matter of partnership.

[00:36:01] And it's a matter of seeking, including through our own experience how God is leading us and the opportunities that we have and discovering what we love and how we think we can make a positive difference. And for me that was triggered by. Teachers that made such a difference in my life.

[00:36:30] Scott Maderer: So I've got a few questions that I like to ask all of my guests, but before I go that what else would you like to share? Either from your journey or from your books with the listener?

[00:36:40] Walt Shelton: A couple of things, Scott. One is the importance in addition of daily practice. Of periodic practices.

[00:36:49] And again, I'll take Jesus as my model I see his time in the wilderness as not being a one time thing. In the [00:37:00] Gospel of Luke, it says that the tempt departed to from him until another opportune time. I see that as a time of introspection where Jesus was wrestling. His special mission as God on earth, in human form.

[00:37:18] And I believe he discovered it in what God had called the Jews to do. And unless we forget Jesus was a Jew and think, I think he tied directly into. Being a champion of justice and a champion of love, and a champion of caring. And I think it's important for us, and I talk about this in both books to a greater extent in my second book of the importance of periodic, be it annual, semi-annual, quarterly self audits or personal retreats where we get away.

[00:37:58] Even if it's getting [00:38:00] away for half a day or a few hours in our own house. But better yet, maybe going off somewhere and examining how we've been living thinking about our priorities and the way we're spending our time, seeing if the two align. Thinking about whether we should tweak with our priorities and the way we live, not in a self-judgment.

[00:38:26] But in a self analytical way and using that as a springboard to come forth and to commit ourselves to making changes. But I think that's something that we do periodically, and to me, combining daily routines with periodic routines is especially important toward success in the sense. Of meaningful living.

[00:38:53] And then the second thing is in my second book, I focus on three key [00:39:00] things in part one that I think are especially important to authentic or meaningful living. And that is first what we've been talking about, the importance of full attention and awareness in the moment being where we are and making it count and working on.

[00:39:20] Secondly, not allowing fear to get in the way with pursuing our aspirations in life. What we feel is our calling, our vocation and I'm talking here about fear in a bad way. Fear is a good thing when it keeps us from running across the interstate or into a burning house, unless it's to save a family member.

[00:39:43] But I'm thinking here of fear as a state of iner. where we're afraid we might be making a mistake, afraid of taking the wrong path, as opposed to just recognizing that the emotion of fear is normal. [00:40:00] But when we spear feel inspired about something, we should pursue it with all of our vigor. And then the last thing is the importa.

[00:40:09] And this keys into the periodic practices of consistently reexamining our priorities, how we're spending our time, and really living in a mode of repentant living re repentance in the sense of not I'm a failure and I'm sorry for everything but repentance and the need for progress in changing.

[00:40:36] And working toward the perfection as we were talking about. So

[00:40:42] Scott Maderer: you mentioned stewardship earlier is one of those themes for the day. Taking inspired stewardship, and obviously that's my brand. That's how I run things, the lens I run things through. But stewardship, like leadership is one of those words that I hear people use, but we don't always mean the same thing by it.

[00:40:59] And I'm [00:41:00] a firm believer in defining our terminology. So for you, when you hear the word stewardship, what is the meaning of that word and what has its impact been on your.

[00:41:08] Walt Shelton: The first thing I think about is I think the most important synonym, and that is care and caring. Stewardship for me is all about being careful and intentional and committed to how we are.

[00:41:28] And how we're relating to other people and how we are dealing with the opportunities that present themselves to us or ever present in the context of our work lives and our personal lives. I think stewardship is incredibly, I. I think we should we could and should think of stewardships, of our stewardship [00:42:00] related to our time, our talents, our opportunities, our families our friends and every, everyone else as an inherent part of.

[00:42:15] Faith journey, if not the heart of our faith journey. And it's meant everything to me both in observing others who are mentors and role models that are very good stewards of their time, of how they live, of how they deal with their family and their friends, and of how they are constantly working to be better stewards of all those things.

[00:42:45] Scott Maderer: So this is my favorite question that I like to ask everybody. Imagine for a minute that I can invent this magic machine. And with the power of this machine, I was able to pluck you from the seat where you are today and transport you into the future, maybe [00:43:00] 150, 200 years. And through the power of this machine, you were able to look back on your whole life and see all of the impacts, all of the ripples, all of the connections that you've left behind in the.

[00:43:11] What impact do you hope you've left behind in the world?

[00:43:16] Walt Shelton: I hope that it's, while people that remember me will certainly recognize that I, like everyone, have my faults and my very bad days, I hope that the things they would remember would key into being kind, caring for other people. Being empathetic, being inclusive, and being compassionate, all without a trace of partiality.

[00:43:52] In other words, regardless of race, creed, [00:44:00] economic level, or any other differences. So

[00:44:04] Scott Maderer: as you continue on through this end of the new year and keep working through it, what's coming next for you as you continue on this journey?

[00:44:12] Walt Shelton: Over the last six to eight months, Scott, I've started spending more of my time and investing more of

[00:44:24] looking for opportunities in in. I have done a lot of speaking in the last eight to 10 months on wellness to a variety of audiences and with wellness, I'm talking about self-care. I also include things that we've talked about today the importance of living a step at a time and being focused and attenti.

[00:44:52] Having preparatory routines. So I'm hoping to expand that. And I've spoken [00:45:00] I've done wellness presentations for law students, wellness presentations for employees, wellness presentations for lawyers. So wellness for fill in the. . I've also led a few church and faith related retreats on many of the topics that we've talked about.

[00:45:22] Practically living our faith daily and periodic practices that can help us stay along the narrow path more consistently working toward that. Point of perfection that we never reach, but we always

[00:45:40] aspire

[00:45:40] Walt Shelton: to. And being good friends to ourselves, talking about things that I've had feedback from readers that have helped them.

[00:45:51] So that's what I'm turning to. I'm gonna continue my writing both my shorter writing and may well write another book. [00:46:00] On the near term horizon is more speaking or as much speaking as short writing, and probably not another book for a while, although, who knows?

[00:46:14] Scott Maderer: You can find out more about Walt Shelton over on his Both of his books and more about his speaking is listed there. If you're interested in having him come and present to your group. Walt, is there anything else you'd like to share with the

[00:46:28] Walt Shelton: listener? I wanna thank the listeners for taking the time for listening to us today, Scott.

[00:46:36] And to thank you for having me on your show. I've enjoyed very much our conversation and the conversations that we've had outside of the podcast. I hope that readers will consider picking up and taking a look at and reading my books, and I hope you find them meaningful. I'd also encourage [00:47:00] readers as I've done and as is reflected in my.

[00:47:04] To think more through their life experiences and reflect upon them and what they can learn from them, because I believe that our life experiences and what we learn from them is a very underrated and important aspect of our faith journey.

[00:47:29] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this, Please. Please do us a favor. Go over to inspired

[00:47:55] Rate all one word iTunes rate. [00:48:00] It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review, and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your. Your talent and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.

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When I think what it means to be Christian, to me that means to get up each day and endeavor to the best of our talents and abilities with God’s help to live out our faith. – Walt Shelton

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Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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