Authentic Living in All Seasons

How can we enhance our life and faith journeys right now and for a lifetime? Focusing on today, not allowing fear to block our aspirations, and consistently identifying and balancing our priorities are keys to enriching our lives one day at a time.

We all share mortality: a limited time in this life. We also share a related uncertainty: the length of our lives. Increasing the quality and happiness of our one God-given gift of life demands intention, commitment, discipline, and consistency. Practically, we will always be a work in progress. Engaging in the hard work of developing good habits can reward us with a more meaningful life now and in the future, including as role models, mentors, and light for others. When we cross the river to the life beyond, we can potentially leave an indelible imprint of our time in this world as a lasting and illuminating legacy for others.

Part I of Authentic Living in All Seasons highlights the importance of three key aspects of authentic life from a practical and applicable perspective:

1. Focusing on each moment with full daily attention and awareness;
2. Dealing with the emotion of fear while not allowing a “state of fear” to immobilize us and keep us from pursuing our aspirations; and
3. Periodically identifying, refining, and balancing our life priorities to progressively live them as fully as possible.

Two Appendices enhance the first and most important of these keys: focused, momentary attention.

Part II of my book includes twenty personal reflections and is very similar to my first book, The Daily Practice of Life. My perspective is rooted in my Christian faith journey and what I have learned from experience, mentors, favorite authors, and a life of study and reflection. This book, however, is for everyone, regardless of faith-orientation or lack thereof. My writing and orientation toward life, faith, and others is inclusive, action-oriented, and practical. Some readers might choose to read Part II in a “devotional” manner, perhaps a chapter per day for consideration and reflection.

I hope my book provides ideas, suggestions, challenges, and encouragement, including for you to examine your own life, experiences, and influences toward a happier and enhanced quality of daily living.


Walt is the person I think of when naming a “model” human being. He truly does walk the walk and it inevitably influences all of those around him. Authentic Living in All Seasons is no different. Walt takes you through the “why” of authentic and principled living, and then provides short perspectives on how we can apply it to our daily lives. Every time I open one of Walt Shelton’s works, I know I am going to be motivated to view life in a more positive and directed manner. Walt also doesn’t leave anyone out. While Walt is open about his Christian faith, his books are not limited to a Christian audience. With Walt’s inclusivity, he encourages all of us to be more open-minded, community-based, and to realize that “God’s plan” is really just one and the same for us all.

Zoë Fedde | Associate Attorney at Merritt Law
Houston, Texas
Baylor Law School Class of 2021
Former law student, research assistant, and now friend

God absolutely uses Walt Shelton as a vessel for His teachings. Walt’s first book, The Daily Practice of Life, is a moving account of Walt’s life experiences and perspectives on incorporating faith-based principles into a daily routine. My husband and I both read The Daily Practice of Life like a devotional and had many thought-provoking discussions regarding its contents. Walt’s latest book, Authentic Living in All Seasons, is so deeply personal and relatable that it makes you feel seen and understood. But perhaps most importantly, his book is soul inspiring in such a way that it evokes a call to action to be the best versions of ourselves. The book takes on a wide range of complicated topics—from inclusiveness and social justice to suffering, to name a few—and provides a subtle yet dynamic, biblical perspective for evaluating these topics. The book provides a much-needed solution-oriented focus, a refreshing approach in a world that seems to often dwell on the negative. Walt points to an abundance of scripture to illustrate just how beautiful the day-to-day bustle of life is and shows that even the “little things” we do for others can have an impact. Authentic Living in All Seasons is the perfect book for those that want a deep and reflective study of faith and meaningful living.

Kristen Fancher | Attorney/Owner of Fancher Legal, PLLC
Prosper, Texas
Colleague and Friend of Walt Shelton
Co-Chair of the Law School Programs Committee of the State Bar of Texas, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section with Walt Shelton

Walt Shelton has been a mentor and friend to us for more than two decades. His support and words of encouragement allow us to overcome – and cherish – what at first might appear to be overwhelming. In his first book, The Daily Practice of Life, Walt expands on articles he wrote for the Austin American-Statesmen that we can use as devotionals for meaningful living. Part II of Authentic Living in All Seasons is also based on expanded articles. But the first part of the book is Walt as we know him during his Sunday School class, church meetings, workshops, study groups, and retreats: Teaching and showing us how we can be mindful in the present to care for and love all, especially the poor and oppressed. Or, as the inspiration to The Church at Highland Park’s Vision Statement boldly states, “To Follow Jesus by Embracing All.”

Don and Becky Dillard
Austin, Texas
Members of The Church at Highland Park and members of Walt’s Sunday discussion group
Participants in Walt’s Spring 2021 six-week virtual program: “Cultural Transformation: An Open Discussion of Respect, Inclusiveness, Racial Harmony, and the Pursuit of Justice”

It is not difficult to recognize when a person lives out their calling. Whether or not Walt ever dreamed of becoming a teacher, it is evident to anyone who meets him that he was called to this profession. In the short time I have been blessed to know him, Walt has taught me how to be a good student, a good person, and a good Christian. Walt uses his gift of teaching in Authentic Living in All Seasons to provide readers with a guide to living a meaningful life through vulnerable personal stories, authentic self-reflection, and thoughtful discussion of the teachings of Jesus. I have no doubt that this book will have a profound effect on anyone who reads it.

Riley Rogers | Counsel at Summit Midstream Partners, LP
Houston, Texas
Baylor Law School Class of 2021
Former law student, now friend, and forever mentee of Walt Shelton

With passion and grace, Walt Shelton engages, challenges, and guides us in how we can each make the most of this incredible life we have been given. Sharing profound insights from personal experiences, wisdom from a variety of voices, and tools and resources for us to use, Walt encourages us to address our distractions and fears as well as articulate our life priorities throughout the seasons of our lives so that we may live meaningful and meaning-filled lives.

Rev. Dr. Susan Lowe, CT | Minister of Congregational Care at Beargrass Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Louisville, Kentucky

Authentic Living in all Seasons: Focused, Fearless, and Balanced by Walt Shelton could perhaps be more appropriately entitled Authentic Loving in all Seasons: Focused, Fearless and Balanced. As an author with more than 30 years of experience as a law professor and life-long student of theology, Walt challenges his reader, teaches his reader, and then provides practical and personal counsel on how to apply what he teaches. It is as if he sees his reader as a focused law student eager to learn so that the teaching can become a useful tool for their profession of life.

Walt’s focus is “love” as defined and modeled by Christ. What constitutes the love of Christ? What likely misses the mark? Further, if the reader audits his or her life, is he or she loving as Christ teaches us to love?
Again, based on his life-long dedication to learning and teaching, Walt begins his book by giving his readers three useful tools for living: Focused Attention on Now; Avoiding Stagnation from Fear; and the Practice of Periodic Self-Reflection. As you read the first four chapters of his book, you will find yourself engaging in self-analysis time and again.
If you are challenged and/or concerned about the caustic “tribal” nature of our present society (e.g., party politics, homelessness, hunger, racial issues, immigration debates, denominational disputes, religious apathy), and wish to consider those issues while attempting to apply love as defined and modeled by Christ, this is a must read for you. Even though you may not always agree with Walt (a tool often used by law professors), you will walk away from this book challenged, convicted and perhaps with a changed heart of how you personally should interact with others by voice and by deed.

Johnny Merritt | Merritt Law — Owner and Attorney
Austin, Texas
Host of Popular “Shifting the Law with Johnny Merritt” Podcast

It is rare to find a book that genuinely feels as though it is meant for everyone. Authentic Living in All Seasons is among those rarities. Like Walt himself, the book embraces readers from all walks of life. Though the book is centered around the Christian faith, it certainly does not exclude a non-Christian audience. Instead, the book encourages a sense of community and oneness among its readers. It advocates for positivity with purpose and provides a refreshing perspective on daily living. Additionally, the style and tone of the writing bring a sense of warmth to the reader that is unique to Walt Shelton’s work. Walt’s passion for life and love of humanity is clear from the first few pages. Walt Shelton himself is an inspiration, and his work is no exception.

McKenzie Speich | Attorney at General Land Office
Austin, Texas
Former law student and now friend

In Authentic Living in All Seasons, Walt’s own lifestyle is evident as he considers what it means to live, in a practical sense, and he encourages his readers to do the same. Walt’s emphasis on justice as a crucial part of our expression of our faith, and his model of principled, qualitative, and mindful living is essential for all Christians. Additionally, his practical and systematic approach makes authentic living feel not only attainable, but also imperative for the life of both individual Christians and the Church at large.

Masyn Evans-Clements | Minister for Youth and Outreach at The Church at Highland Park
Austin, Texas

I met Walt Shelton when he taught me at Baylor Law School. Since the moment I met him, he has been a wellspring of wisdom, knowledge, and virtue. I am proud to have said that I took as many classes with him as I could. I am prouder now of the privilege to call him a friend.
I am as much a student of his now as I was in law school because of these profound books he has created. His first book, The Daily Practice of Life: Practical Reflections Toward Meaningful Living, struck a real chord for me, and I only read it in law school. However, in the “real world,” the legal profession can be fraught with spiritual onslaught to the point where many lawyers feel completely spiritually bankrupt. There is a dearth of guided spiritual nourishment for the legal community, and it truly shows. Authentic Living in All Seasons brings us some necessary reflection and guidance for a profession that is expected to have all the answers to peoples’ problems. And it points the finger at something that every lawyer and other person has control over: themselves. The need for introspection and personal inventory that Walt’s Part I calls for from the get-go is echoed in his first book in some respects, but it now calls for a more nuanced journey toward spiritual self-care.

Wyatt E. Fraga | Associate Attorney—Anderson, Smith, Null & Stofer, LLP
Victoria, Texas
Baylor Law School—Class of 2021
Former law student and now friend

I feel Walt Shelton has a compelling desire to help his readers hear the call to discipleship. Encouragers are on short supply – not so with Walt and those of whom he speaks and writes. Every time I listen to his Sunday school lessons and read his books I cannot but feel more joyful and ready to pursue a deeper relationship with God and my fellow man. For this I am so grateful.

Donna Reisenbigler
Austin, TX
Member of The Church at Highland Park and Walt’s Sunday discussion group
Participant in Walt’s Spring 2021 six-week virtual program: “Cultural Transformation: An Open Discussion of Respect, Inclusiveness, Racial Harmony, and the Pursuit of Justice”

I have known Walt Shelton since my high school years as a friend. Now I get to know him as an author! Walt’s first book, The Daily Practice of Life: Practical Reflections Toward Meaningful Living, is an insightful and meaningful guide to important and relevant topics that are part of daily living. In this his second book, Authentic Living in All Seasons: Focused, Fearless, and Balanced, Walt continues to lead readers to think deeply about the choices we make as we walk the paths of our lives. Walt introduces new and important topics. He encourages and challenges me and all of us to think about our respective personal journeys in clear, concise, and meaningful prose. Mindfulness, fear, personal change, and balance are just a few of the subjects that he guides the reader to embrace with a combination of seriousness, humor, clarity, and sincerity.

Mary Lu Breshears
Tucson, AZ
Long-time friend of Walt
Participant in Walt’ Spring 2021 six-week virtual program: “Cultural Transformation: An Open Discussion of Respect, Inclusiveness, Racial Harmony, and the Pursuit of Justice”

After getting to know Walt personally in several classes throughout law school, it was no surprise to me that his wit and wisdom would be communicated through his books. Authentic Living in All Seasons truly applies Walt’s insight to everyday human problems like fear, time management, and stress. He offers readers his methods of self-reflection and meditation along with the Gospel to help show us how we can maintain a healthy balance in life.

Devante Marshall
Houston, Texas
Former law student and now friend

In my experience, Walt Shelton embodies the highest of character traits. I appreciate his insights on living a life of authenticity and meaning because Walt knows how easy it is to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of the modern world. Despite this, he has continuously reexamined what is meaningful in life. In Authentic Living in All Seasons, Walt has refined his part-parable, part-autobiographical style of writing to extend a hand to the reader and say, I know the path of life is hard, but maybe my story can help you in yours. No matter who you are, where you are from, or what you believe, Walt’s words break through all the divides to envision a life of love, kindness, compassion, and care for everyone.

Brock Lewis | Associate Attorney
Houston, Texas
Baylor Law School Class of 2021
Former law student, research assistant, and now friend