The Christian Public Servant – “the Kingdom of God is within”

November 30, 2016 – Wednesday

Reading
Luke 17:20-21 [NLT] One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”

Reflection
There are mornings when I don’t want to turn on the radio or television because the news is so bad. Another terrorist attack; a riot; more shootings; politicians attacking opponents rather than working for the good of the people they represent. It would be easy not to get out of bed.

Yes, we live in anxious times. We feel tension in every facet of life. Some even believe the end of days is approaching. Newsflash—it is! With every breath we draw, our end draws nearer. But it’s not life that ends, it’s the living in fear of never finding the peace that already exists. So stop getting sidetracked with unnecessary emotions like fear. The peace you seek is within you.

As a Christian public servant, go to work today and live out Christ’s example of meeting fear head-on with faith. It may be natural to want to know what’s ahead and to be in control of the outcome, but that’s not faith. God is in control. Focus your eyes skyward and your thoughts inward and say to yourself, “the Kingdom of God is within me.”

Today at work, be the disciple you are called to be and seize every opportunity to share the Gospel with coworkers deceived by fear. Let them see the light of Christ shine through you.

Let them see the Kingdom of God is within them – as it is within you.

Now that’s news worth getting out of bed!

Prayer
Father, thank You for the opportunity to serve Your purposes. Help me emulate Your Son, Jesus, who taught the Kingdom of God is within me because I believe. Give me courage to share the Gospel today with a coworker who remains fearful. In the mighty name of Your Son, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

David Boisselle, D.S.L.
President & CEO
Agape Leadership Consulting, LLC
Chesapeake, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “not your home”

November 29, 2016 – Tuesday

Reading
Hebrews 13:14-15 [ESV] For here we have no lasting city, but seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Reflection
It’s easy to think that job and career are central to our lives. Our salaries, after all, pay for a lot in life – mortgages, food, things for the kids, college, weddings, spoiling grandchildren, vacations, retirement.

The list just grows the longer you think about how important your job and career is to the betterment of yourself and loved-ones.

As important as your job and career might seem, scripture reminds that it is not lasting. And like all aspects of this life, it is not your home.

The fruit of your lips and what you share can demonstrate a workplace-world much different from the normal workplace values of this world – if your words and acts point to and acknowledge Jesus.

And yes, doing so will push against the tendency of workplace selfishness. But pointing to and acknowledging Jesus will be a sacrifice of praise – a desire to please – our Lord.

So today at work, know it’s ok to do your best and make money so that you maintain all those things God blesses you with each and every day. But just remember, this workplace is not your home. You are a visitor – one who visits to find ways to acknowledge Christ.

At work today, use your visit to do good and share what He has given you. And seek His city that is to come.

For this is not your home.

Prayer
Father, help me remember where I am, where I long to be, and why You have me visiting here. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

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

The Christian Public Servant – “to beat the truth”

November 28, 2016 – Monday

Reading
2 Timothy 2:24-25 [NKJV] And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.

Reflection
The “win at all cost” mantra tends to affect many of us more than we would like to admit.

I used to think my job as a believer was to beat the truth into the victim of my biblical rant – hence my nickname “bible thumper.” My emotions quite often took control when someone was not getting my message. I thought my job was to make sure they got it…really got it. I spent more time quarreling over the things of God – so I would win the argument – than presenting the truths of God and letting God work in their hearts. The reality is, my winning the argument often resulted in me losing the opportunity to ever present the Gospel to that person again.

As servant leaders, our job is not to beat the truth into coworkers – but to teach and demonstrate a godly leadership. How will you react to objections to your leadership today? Will I react with emotion or gentleness? Are we out to prove our power or provide godly direction?

At work today, do not quarrel and try to beat the truth into your coworkers. Be gentle to all so God will grant repentance and reveal the truth to those you encounter.

Yes, today at work, teach God’s leadership through an example of love rather than showing your power.

Prayer
Holy Spirit, give me the strength today to fight against the desires of my flesh. Fill me with Your Spirit, and use me to provide truth and wisdom to those You place before me. May the change You made in my life make a difference in the life of a coworker, and may You receive the glory for what is done. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

Bill Dudley, MPA
Pastor and Logistician
U.S. Department of Defense
Naval Base Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “seize the day for Christ”

November 25, 2016 – Friday

Reading
Luke 9:61-62 [MSG] Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.” Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”

Reflection
In my country, there is an athlete named Tim Tebow. He is an excellent football player. In college, he won the most prestigious award. In the pros, he helped his team get to the play-offs for the first time in years. Yet throughout his football career, he was mocked and ridiculed. And when he was cut from the pros and became a sports announcer, he was ridiculed even more.

And that’s because he puts God’s kingdom first.

Instead of drinking and taking drugs, Tim Tebow prays and ministers. He never makes excuses nor does he apologize for being a practicing Christian. And so he never speaks ill of those belittling him because he’s too busy putting God’s kingdom first. It must not have been easy, but Tim Tebow never looked back – even after being cut from the team – even before he ever played sports. No, sir! He decided long ago to seize the day for Christ, and that is what he focused on – and still does – and that is why he keeps following Him with joy and a smile on his face. And he continues to show the world how to seize the day for Christ in everything he does!

This is what Tim Tebow did – and does – in his workplace. What about you?

Are you willing to make no excuses? No compromises? No looking back?

Will you seize the day for Christ? Or will you say, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out.” Do you think, “If I just fit in a little longer, I will make more money and my job will go better and my career will go the way I want it to.”

Oh my God, are you not ready to give up fitting in a little longer?

Choose wisely today, my friend. You don’t know how many days you have left.

Today at work, seize the day for Christ! And don’t worry about fitting in a little longer.

At work today, make Christ the center of your game plan.

Prayer
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Thank You for Your love and grace so I can no longer make excuses to put You and Your kingdom second. I don’t want to fit in a little longer. In Your workplace, I simply want to seize the day for Christ! Amen.

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

The Christian Public Servant – “have hope in everything”

November 24, 2016 – Thursday

Reading
Psalm 9:1(a) [NIV] I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;

Romans 12:12(a) [NIV] Be joyful in hope

Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV] “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Reflection
For many, this is a miserable economy. Perhaps it has been that way for years. You may have a job, but not without furloughs and pay cuts. There may have been reductions-in-force – terminations – that affected you, loved-ones, or coworkers you treasure. You may still be searching for that first professional job.

And things are stretched to the limit on the Homefront.

Whether or not you work today – whether or not you even have a job today – give thanks to our Lord. And have hope in everything for He truly provides everything: The job you have. The job you want. The job you need.

Rest assured He has a plan for you – one to give you hope.

So today, be joyful and have hope in everything.

Today, give thanks to our Lord for that hope – give thanks with all your heart!

Prayer
Father God, I thank You for all You give to me – especially hope and a future. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

James D. Slack, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Public Policy & Administration
Jackson State University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

The Christian Public Servant – “the hands and feet of Jesus”

November 23, 2016 – Wednesday

Reading
1 John 3:17 [NIV] If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

Reflection
My dearest friend is a very successful business woman. One day she shared that, for some time, she takes meals (tuna packets, crackers, cups of fruit and water) in zip lock bags to homeless people on the street near where she works. She said that God calls her heart to feed them and get to know them. So my friend knows each name and each story. And I am not sure who gets more out of the encounters – her or the people she is feeds!

Last week, she was walking to her office from a parking garage and a colleague joined her. My friend was a little nervous because she hadn’t yet given meals to her homeless friends, and this particular colleague was not the nicest of people. As they walked, one of her street friends waved and called out to her. My friend got the meal out of her bag and delivered it to her homeless friend. And they chatted briefly.

Well, her colleague was speechless – probably for the first time in his life. For the rest of the way to their office, they had minimal conversation. But her actions – of being the hands and feet of Jesus – had an obvious effect on this coworker.

Have you ever been hesitant to do something God was calling you to do – hesitant because you were afraid to have your actions witnessed by a coworker?

Next time, don’t hesitate.

Today as you go to and come from work – and while you are at work – be the hands and feet of Jesus. Don’t be afraid. Just be bold like my friend.

Your actions will glorify God and show the love He places in your heart.

Today, be the hands and feet of Jesus!

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for boldness. Give me courage to always make my actions represent what You are putting on my heart to do. And when there is doubt or fear, remind me that You are in control and are protecting me! In Your amazing son Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Wendy Standorf, PHR; IPMA-CP
Human Resources Director
City of West University Place
West University Place, Texas USA

The Christian Public Servant – “find paths of integrity”

November 22, 2016 – Tuesday

Reading
Proverbs 10:9 [NIV] Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.

Reflection
If you’ve worked in local government for a while, you know one of the most challenging times is the transition between old and new elected leaders. It doesn’t specifically matter if the incoming mayor was “your” candidate – the stress is there. And typically the stress comes from appointed department heads, insecure about their future, trying to accomplish self-selected glorious tasks in unreal amounts of time – driving their staff nuts – and doing so frequently without regard to local codes that establish legal guidelines for decision-making.

Yesterday two coworkers approached me for advice. Both are tasked by the current department head in ways that pushed them to the edge of integrity and ethical behavior. I advised each to document what they were asked to do, and keep documenting their every step – providing a truthful paper trail should legal action be necessary in the future.

But I did not suggest blocking the director, which would be insubordination. Instead, I encouraged each to find paths of integrity that would provide light to the transition team, the future mayor, and the citizens as to what happened, why, and by whom.

It sometimes appears hard to find paths of integrity in the modern workplace. And it seems even harder to stay on that path once found. But today’s issues are no more complex than those found in scripture. And like the Proverbs teach, if you keep your eye on integrity, you will avoid the crooked paths.

Today at work, apply His way to the tasks ahead and find paths of integrity.

You will walk securely!

Prayer
Lord, I am in the trenches of public service not because I expect great monetary reward or personal glory. I am here to help create a better life for the people in my community. You have given me good workplace skills – guide me always to use them for Your Glory while serving those whom You have created. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Patricia A. Maley, AICP
Senior Planner, Design and Review
City of Wilmington
Wilmington, Delaware USA