The Christian Public Servant – “need your help”

need your help1

September 21, 2017 – Thursday

Reading
Deuteronomy 16:17 [NLT] All must give as they are able, according to the blessings given to them by the Lord your God.

Reflection
It’s that time again. The Christian Public Servant is dangerously close to running out of devotionals. We need your help.

Would you tithe to our Lord to write 1 one-page workplace devotional per month?

Would you tithe to Him to write 2 one-page workplace devotionals per month?

How about just 1 devotional, and let’s see where He takes you after that?

Don’t have anything to write about? You have a job, right? You have a career, right? In retirement? On vacation? Searching for a new job? Dealing with job problems?

Not a good writer? We have a tip sheet, showing how and what. We also edit to make sure your best comes out.

Below are the email addresses of the coeditors. Please contact one of the editors, and he/she will send you the tip-sheet.

We’ll never ask for a dime, but will you tithe your thoughts and experiences?

Give as you are able, and the blessings will be many!

We are dangerously close to running out.

And we need your help.

Prayer
Father, if it is Your will, let this ministry continue. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

The Co-Editors:
Kevin Cooney kjcjapan@gmail.com
Bill Dudley bbssongs@gmail.com
Tammy Peavy tammy.peavy@mid.ms.gov
Stephen Pincus spincus@nnva.gov
Jim Slack jslack0229@live.com
Greg Smith greg@kelsysarmy.org

The Christian Public Servant – “be strong and stay focused”

Gold & silver1

September 20, 2017 – Wednesday

Reading
Proverbs 16:16 [ESV] How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

Reflection
Although you must go to work today to earn the “gold” necessary for survival, what is it that makes your work – your productive activity – worth living for? Is it money alone?

Fellowship with Jesus, coupled with one’s tangible mission in Christ for the Kingdom of God, brings the necessary love, peace, and joy from the Holy Spirit to make life more than hand-to-mouth. As you work today, be strong and stay focused. There is wisdom and understanding out there – His wisdom and His understanding – and they are more valuable than gold and silver.

So be strong and stay focused throughout this workday. After all, His return is closer today than it was yesterday! And all the gold and silver in your paycheck will not help.

Prayer
Lord, it is so easy to get confused over work and career. Gold and silver – a good salary – is needed. But You are needed more than money. Let me be strong and stay focused on You. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Chris Summers
Chaplain
W.C. Holman Correctional Facility
Alabama Department of Corrections
Atmore, Alabama USA

The Christian Public Servant – “go beat myself up”

beating yourself up1

September 19, 2017 – Wednesday

Reading
Psalm 130:3 [KJV] If You, Lord, kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?

1 John 1:9 [KJV] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Reflection
I did it again. I messed up. I gave into my flesh. I did what I knew was not Christ-like. I SINNED. There I said it. I admit it. I don’t know why I have trouble admitting it. I know, as a Christian, I am supposed to be the example. So because I think I need to be perfect, I’ll go beat myself up until I feel I have punished myself enough to feel like maybe Christ will now forgive me. Yet, Christ has never told me to go beat myself up in the process of forgiveness. He said I just need to confess it, and He will be faithful to forgive and remember no more.

So, why do I take something so easy and complicate it to where the result is that I go beat myself up? Maybe it’s because I don’t comprehend the depth of His love and forgiveness. I am thankful that He doesn’t keep a record of my sins; that he does forgive; and that I really do not have to go beat myself up. I just need to run to Him for forgiveness, receive His mercy and then, through the power of the Holy Spirit, set my sights again on pleasing Him.

What happened in your job, so far this week, that makes you say “I need to go beat myself up?” Maybe you got mad at a coworker and said the wrong thing. Maybe you were short with a citizen you serve. Maybe you slacked off on your responsibilities. If you’re like me, you could make a list of things that you messed up as you aim at perfection.

However, there is only one person who achieved perfection. Thankfully, because He did achieve perfection, He relieved you of having to achieve perfection. So you don’t need to murmur “I need to go beat myself up.” You just need to go to Him for forgiveness, and then receive His wisdom and strength to do better in the future.

Something to think about as you go to work this morning.

Prayer
Father, I am so thankful You do not remember my sins, but You provide mercy and strength for me to overcome them. So this workday, Father, forgive me for my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me, and lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and glory forever. Amen.

Pastor Bill Dudley
Logistician
U.S. Department of Defense
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “frail human biases”

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September 18, 2017 – Monday

Reading
1Timothy 5:21(b) [NKJV] maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.

Leviticus 19:15(b) [NKJV] you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.

Reflection
For the past two years, a friend has been applying for in-house jobs as a social service worker. Yet, every time she’s turned down. Oh, she has experience and never applies for a position where she lacks qualifications. But she doesn’t get the job.

So, what is the problem? Why does she get passed over? Based on a rumor about HR, my friend suspects applicants are selected before the search. Positions are posted only to follow protocol!

Have you ever experienced an unjust situation at work?

My friend knows first-hand it’s hard being treated unfairly in the workplace. She wants to retaliate – get even somehow. My advice is “don’t.” Instead, she must use this unpleasant experience to demonstrate that she will follow Christian principles and not let her own frail human biases get in the way. Like you and me, my friend must demonstrate her faith to coworkers and supervisors – even to HR!

Today at work, you may experience injustice. But don’t let your own frail human biases get in the way of treating others fairly – regardless of how you are treated. Maintain Christian principles in everything you do. If you do nothing in the spirit of partiality, others may follow and the organization’s culture may change.

Remember, don’t retaliate through frail human biases. Others are watching, and so is our Lord!

Prayer
Father in Heaven, please help me maintain Your values at work. Let me show You through my actions, and empower others to do what is right and just. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

Barbara Hill
Jackson Public Schools
Jackson, Mississippi USA
and Candidate MPA
Belhaven University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

The Christian Public Servant – “that coworker no one likes”

coworkers you hate2

September 15, 2017 – Friday

Reading
1 John 4:8 [NIV] Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Reflection
Once my job was to baby-sit my nephew when he was a toddler. He would always point to what I was eating, and he wanted some. Though he didn’t have teeth, I still gave him a little taste because I loved him. If I didn’t love my nephew, I suppose I might not have given him a taste of those treats. But I loved him, and I wanted my nephew to know me through my love.

Well, it is not too far of a stretch; so, what about that person working next to you? No, not the one you really like. You know, the one not like my nephew – the one no one likes. What if he knows nothing about the God you serve? What if she doesn’t have a clue about the love of God, or even how to love God? How is that coworker supposed to know God? And what if that coworker died leaving work?

Today’s scripture is about believers – not non-believers, not yet-to-be-believers, not baby believers. It is about you and me – mature believers in Christ. It reminds us about the responsibilities of love. It proclaims God is love and, therefore, you and I must love if we are to know God. We must love – even that coworker no one likes.

So today at work, remember God really is love. Before the workday ends, love that coworker no one likes. When you do, you will know God. And so will that coworker.

Prayer
Father, in the name of Jesus, hear my prayer. Thank You for Your awesome love, and for showing me how to share it with others. Amen.

Jimmy Davis, Jr.
Z-557 Unit N-10
Death Row
Holman Correctional Facility
Alabama Department of Corrections
Atmore, Alabama USA

The Christian Public Servant – “in true relationship”

Jesus weeping3

September 14, 2017 – Thursday

Reading
Hosea 6:6 [NIV] For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Matthew 5:23-24 [NIV] Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Reflection
Have you ever met someone who gives God a bad name? A citizen you serve in your job? A coworker? Maybe it’s you? Boasting of being in church all the time, but having no mercy or care for others. Those around know it, and it makes the title – a Christian public servant – a poor epithet.

God wants you and me to be in true relationship with those around us. However, we seem to get so busy, we may sometimes forget the very thing God wants. Sure, He wants our love, but He also wants us to love and care for one another. Instead of shouting in the public square so that we can be right, You and I should spend time with others and get to know them better.

When you are at work today, focus on being in true relationship with someone. If you do this, perhaps the office stress will decrease. Maybe you will find that person in need. Or maybe, you will find that person in the greatest of need.

Today at work, be reconciled and be blessed! Find that true worship with God begins with you being in true relationship with others.

Prayer
Dear Lord, help me to stop and spend time building true relationships with the people I pass by at work each day. You created me to watch out for others, not to shout against another. I pray for Godly love to be my brother’s and sister’s keeper and, in so doing, worship You better. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Stan Best
Training Manager
Apprentice School
Newport News Shipbuilding
Newport News, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “pause to seek Him first”

September 13, 2017 – Wednesday

Reading
Matthew 6:33-34 [KJV] But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Reflection
Ever run out of work to do? Me neither. The work keeps coming and coming. One day, with everything hitting me at once, I found myself about to turn in a project report that wasn’t as polished and complete as it should have been. With a quick prayer for guidance, the Holy Spirit prompted me to remember today’s scripture. I knew I had given the project my best, but I also knew my best was not enough. And so, I decided to sleep on it.

The next morning, refreshed with prayer and private time with our Lord, I reread the memo from my supervisor. Turns out, my stress caused me to misread it. The project report wasn’t due for another week! God refocused me because I gave pause to seek Him first.

You and I face daily deadlines, along with insufficient time and limited resources for completion of assignments and tasks. Regardless of the kind of workplace, the stress and anxiety can really build up. We need to take time and give pause to seek Him first. We must be mindful that God will provide for our needs in the workplace, just as He does in all other realms of our lives.

As you begin work today, do not stress and do not fear what may come later in the day or even tomorrow. Just give pause to seek Him first and the right things will be added to your day!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank You for providing my needs each day. Grant me faith to continue to trust You first before I focus on the problem or issue at hand. Give me peace knowing You are always with me – including in my workplace – and You will continue to meet my needs. I know You will never leave me nor forsake me. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

TaQuesha Brandon, MPA
Robertson School of Government
Regent University
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA