The Christian Public Servant – “lead to leave a legacy”

jumping out of bed!

November 13, 2017 – Monday

Reading

1Timothy 3:1(b) [NIV] Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.

Reflection

It’s 6:15 am, and my alarm clock won’t stop making noise. Time to get up, and get up quickly. By 8:00 am, subordinates will be coming to me, left and right. On top of that, I am not yet prepared for a 2 p.m. meeting. In the meantime, 3 new interns will be staring at me until I pair each with a mentor. And I hope my phone doesn’t ring at any point today!

So, it’s time for me to stop laying here, thinking (complaining) about all the things I must do. After all, it may not be easy, but the task I do is quite noble. And God wouldn’t have chosen this noble task for me if He knew I couldn’t handle it.

As Christian public servants, you and I have chosen a noble task – building teams of public servants to strengthen our workplace and, in fact, our community. God chose this noble path for us because He knows we can manage and supervisor – He knows we can lead. And when it’s time for you and me to move on, we will have readied others to accept this noble task.

So wake up! When your alarm goes off, start thinking about how you can lead to leave a legacy – how you can impact someone’s workday so he or she really aspires to do your noble task someday. Find a way to pass on the enthusiasm and leadership skills God has blessed you with.

At work today, don’t lead just to lead – lead to leave a legacy for those who follow you in this noble task. Aspire others in His name.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for allowing me to serve You another day in this noble career You have chosen for me. Stay by my side as I juggle my busy work schedule. Remind me to be strong, patient and supportive to those who seek my guidance, so that they may also see and feel Your love. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Meredith Pulsford, MPA
Operations Officer
Norfolk Police Department
Norfolk, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “when Jesus knows you”

when Jesus knows you1

November 10, 2017 – Friday

Reading

John 10:27 [KJV] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me

Reflection

There is a Christian brother on the row who doesn’t always follow Jesus. Sometimes he is just so tired, he neglects comforting another brother. Other times he is fearful of being a Christian brother to one of the correctional officers. A few times, he just is lazy. Instead of doing the Lord’s work, he prefers to watch a football game in his cell.

This Christian brother is not alone. Sometimes I am too tired or too fearful or just don’t want to be bothered. Is the same true with you?

Too many times, we want Jesus to use us, but here is the problem: Jesus knows us all so well, and this fact tends to hinder our side of the relationship with Him. After all, when Jesus knows you, He knows you hear His voice. So, when Jesus knows you, He knows He can give you a word to send along to a coworker or supervisor who needs that very word that very day. Yes, when Jesus knows you, He expects you to follow Him – especially when you hear His voice.

Today at work, know You belong to Him – if you are a Christian. Understand that, when Jesus knows you, you are on His time, not yours. And He has work for you to do.

At work today, you have nothing to fear when Jesus knows you. Only when His voice is silent do you have something to fear.

Prayer

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. I seek to hear Your voice every minute of the day. I am part of Your flock, and I want to hear You, follow You, and carry out Your will. Amen.

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

The Christian Public Servant – “through the eyes of faith”

eyes of faith1

November 9, 2017 – Thursday

Reading

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Reflection

For years, I found myself thinking of my dreams and goals, and wondering where I was headed in life. Yet, fear caused me to talk myself out of opportunities. I feared not being smart. I feared not being able to work full-time and go to college. I also feared going back to college would mean neglecting my family. So, I retreated into negativity and counted myself out. One mountain of impediments after another always seemed to stand in my pathway.

Finally, I realized my fear was based on a lack of faith. This crippling fear was contrary to the fact that I, a child of the Most High, made in the image and likeness of my Creator, only needed to realize Who I belonged to and Who was for me. I only focused on the physical person I could see in the mirror – I was not seeing through the eyes of faith.

Our Lord wants you and me, as Christian public servants, to turn our fears over to Him. He wants you and me not to give into what on the surface seems impossible. He wants us to approach our fears seeing through the eyes of faith rather than through our own human frailties. After all, look who Jesus called to become apostles – the unqualified. Yet they would spread the Gospel through the eyes of faith.

Now I know that, through strength and determination only offered through faith, I can be successful in my job and at school. And guess what? I graduated!

At work today, when you are faced with challenges – unrealistic project deadlines, problem meetings, promotion issues – do not be afraid. Rather, remember to see through the eyes of faith beyond the obstacles. Know God does not give a spirit of fear, but one of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Prayer

God, please help me understand who I am as Your child. Each workday, teach me to fear not the obstacles that may interfere with the goals and the paths You set up for me. Let me see through the eyes of faith so I always have confidence in Your infinite wisdom, love, and power. In Jesus’s heavenly name, I pray. Amen.

Malcolm Jones, MPA
Local Probation Officer
Norfolk Criminal Justice Services
Norfolk, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “just keep going and stay humble”

humble1

November 8, 2917 – Wednesday

Reading

Galatians 6:9 [KJV] And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

James 4:6 [KJV] But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Reflection

My friend is one of the top performers in his office. His work is thorough; his analysis in-depth, and his briefings are clear and concise. Obviously, he is the type of coworker everyone would want on their team. Yet his coworkers do not like him. Some think he is a sycophant. Others see nothing but arrogance in what he says and how he completes his work.

My friend is growing tired of the whole situation. He says it’s hard to just keep going and stay humble when coworkers are hurtful or rude. Yet he is a Christian public servant and, therefore, knows that is exactly what he is called to do.

Do you have coworkers who create strife and display immaturity? Is there a supervisor who just does not appreciate the effort you give? Do some of the citizens you serve display an ungrateful attitude? Are you getting tired of the mess?

It’s difficult, I know, but just keep going and stay humble. Don’t give into the temptation to lash back. Don’t be negative in return. Stay upbeat and continue to perform well.

Today at work, know the harvest is coming and grace will be your reward. But in the meantime, just keep going and stay humble.

Prayer

My Father, thank You for the time I have on this Earth and the opportunity to be an example at work. Help me stand as a Christ-filled example before my coworkers and supervisor. Thank You for the ability to sow good seed into the workplace. Help me stay strong and not grow faint while awaiting the harvest. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen!

Samuel Henry, M.A.
Deputy
Training, Readiness and Exercises
United States Transportation Command
Norfolk, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “perfect courtesy”

courteous1

November 7, 2017 – Tuesday

Reading

Titus 3:1-3 [NIV] Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.

 

Reflection 

Wow! What a hateful type of people we must have been! Now, in Christ, Paul summarizes his list: (1) be submissive to those in authority; (2) be ready for every good work; (3) speak evil of no one; (5) be gentle with a wonderful attitude and action we are to show and give everyone we encounter.

 

Christ calls you and me to give one another perfect courtesy.

 

But is perfect courtesy possible? Is it possible especially at work, where human consideration might take second place to productivity and deadlines? Is it possible in a workplace that forgets human kindness and favors bullying and hostility? My answer is, YES!

 

You can love with perfect courtesy – especially at work and even with people who show hostility – because you, too, were foolish and disobedient. Like me, you hated and tried to deceive. Yes, like me, you were captive to all types of selfishness. You and I were like that until we met Christ. And now we are able to show perfect courtesy – the same kind of love He shows you and me.

 

Today at work, as hard as it may be, make amends with that coworker or supervisor who just doesn’t understand what Christ expects. Show that person perfect courtesy.

 

This is what Christ expects of you this workday.

 

Prayer

Father, You know the issues I face at work. You know the challenges I have working with those I must serve. Remind me constantly today of what You expect of me. Give me strength to meet Your expectation. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

 

Chris Summers

Chaplain

W.C. Holman Correctional Facility

Alabama Department of Corrections

Atmore, Alabama USA

 

The Christian Public Servant – “those quarters belong to God”

God's quarters1

November 6, 2017 – Monday

Reading

John 6:31(b) [NIV] as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’

Matthew 6:19-21 [NIV] Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Reflection

Twice a month I take off work to visit my friend on Alabama’s death row. As I enter the building, there are three vending machines. Visitors can bring a maximum of $40 in quarters and, because the food is so outrageously expensive, quarters go quickly. I don’t mind spending $40 of quarters because I can afford it and, besides, those quarters belong to God, not me.

At a recent visit, I noticed three young ladies staring at the vending machines. They were visiting their dad, and it was obvious they didn’t have a whole lot of quarters. I suspect they couldn’t afford the quarters and, by the looks on their faces, they were in sticker-shock over the prices. Plus, each looked as if their dad would somehow be disappointed by not having something to eat during the visit.

I tried to give them some quarters, but they declined. Well, God then intervened, like He did with manna from heaven. I put in $5 of quarters to buy a single sandwich for my friend, and two sandwiches came out of the machine. Coincidence? This happened three times! And while it did not happen a fourth time, it didn’t have to because He gave me enough sandwiches so each daughter could give one to their dad. And while the girls were still hesitant to take the sandwiches, saying the quarters belonged to me, I told them those quarters belong to God, not me. Each smiled knowing she now had something to give to dad in the visitation yard.

Be careful about what you store up as treasures today at work. As you walk by a vending machine, look around. Remember those quarters belong to God, not you. Use them to bless someone else. And if you do, your treasure will be in heaven, where your heart wants to be.

Prayer

Father God, You bless me so much in this world. Do not let me view those blessings as personal treasures. Let me use them to glorify You, for I know my treasure will be in heaven – where my heart wants to be. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

James D. Slack, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Jackson State University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

The Christian Public Servant – “God’s instrument”

vending machines1

November 3, 2017 – Friday

Reading

Romans 6:13 [NLT] Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.

Reflection

In and around the visitation yard are several vending machines. When my free-world brother visits, he brings me food from those machines. Pot pies. Hamburgers. Chicken wings. Pork chop sandwiches. My favorite, besides the pot pie, is strawberry cheesecake. So, he gets 3 or 4 slices before he comes to my table.

This may sound like a lot of food, and it is, but the vending machine items are betting than the meals back on death row. Yet my friend knows I will not eat all the food. Some visitors can’t afford a lot from the vending machines, and so I offer items to brothers, and (because inmates must remain seated) my friend gets up to deliver them. I give away a couple of cheesecake slices, and certainly a sandwich or two. I know what some brothers like, and my friend knows what to get from the vending machines. Together, we act as God’s instrument. In a place where it is too easy to be the instrument of selfishness and Satan, giving away vending machine food glorifies God. And we have such a good time doing it!

Today in the breakroom, use the vending machines to be God’s instrument. “Accidentally” buy an additional item and give it away. Don’t make a big thing about it, or you will be an instrument of selfishness and pride. Just have fun glorifying God.

Before the workday is over, find a way to be God’s instrument – even if it’s through the vending machine.

Prayer

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Thank You for trusting me to be an instrument to advance Your Kingdom. Amen.

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