The Christian Public Servant – “despite the surrounding idleness”

lazy workers1

February 14, 2018 – Wednesday

Reading

2 Chronicles 15:7 [KJV] Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.

Reflection

I work the overnight shift at veterinary clinic to complete my graduate degree. Last night, I found the clinic completely trashed from the earlier shift. Those workers hadn’t left yet – just sitting around as if nothing was out of place and our animals needed no service. My stomach turned flips thinking this was not the first time I would have to do my shift’s work along with the work the dayshift left behind. I was weary before I started to work.

Scripture reminds us to be strong despite the surrounding idleness. While some may get away with it, do not let your hands be weak and join the lazy. No, God wants you to do your very best and, He promises, your work shall be rewarded.

So, I gained strength through prayer and did my very best to ensure the animals got what they needed and the clinic looked like it should. When the sun rose, the day shift didn’t even notice the work I did. And I suspect tonight I will face the same mess. But that doesn’t matter because His word reminds me to be strong despite the surrounding idleness.

Does this happen to you? Do you wonder, why am I putting my best foot forward only to be taken advantage of? It’s easy to grow weary when it seems like you are the only one pulling all the weight. But have faith. Do your job well despite the surrounding idleness. Glorify Him.

At work today, let not your hands be weak. Do your best despite the surrounding idleness. Your work will be rewarded – here or elsewhere. He promises.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for blessing me with a job that allows me to make a difference and gives me the opportunity to complete my education. Give me strength to use Your gifts to serve Your creatures as I serve You. I pray for strength in the mist of weariness and doubt. Help me, oh Lord, hold tightly to Your hand. You will reward my work. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Aleighsa Johnson
Online MPA Candidate
Belhaven University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

The Christian Public Servant – “decently and in order”

working orderly1

February 13, 2018 – Tuesday

Reading

1 Corinthians 14:33; 40 [NKJV] For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints… Let all things be done decently and in order.

Reflection

Recently, I was in a meeting where a few coworkers discussed heatedly an issue. Tension mounted as those passionate voices grew stronger and louder. The chaotic conversation went on until our supervisor quietly got everyone’s attention. As the room stilled, she said, “we are not going to have a successful resolution to this problem unless we are respectful and hear each other out.” It was evident she wanted us to conduct ourselves decently and in order. It’s funny how at that moment the whole meeting atmosphere changed. We were able to come to a consensus and close the meeting peacefully.

Scripture affirms that you and I will encounter circumstances at work beyond our control. When things get chaotic and tensions rise, we need to remember that God wants us to conduct business decently and in order. He will bring peace in the midst of the confusion.

Today in your workplace, allow God’s guidance to direct how you react to chaos. Remember, anything that brings confusion is not of Him. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom on how to operate in peace. Coworkers will feel the calming presence of God through your demeanor and actions.

Today, work decently and in order. Be one who sets the tone and creates a peaceful atmosphere!

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank You for showing me how to do things at work decently and in order. In the midst of chaos, send Your Holy Spirit to help me to bring calm. Allow me to be Your example so Your peace will flow. I pray for these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Phoenecia Hill, MPA
Indexing and Enrolling Assistant
Virginia House of Delegates
Richmond, Virginia, USA

The Christian Public Servant – “God controls”

God in control1

February 12, 2018 – Monday

Reading

James 4:14-15 [NIV] Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

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

Often, when rushing through the day, I get wound up about some insignificant “thing.” That “thing” may be a circumstance. It could be a project due at work, a meeting I am stressing over, a boss, or simply a personal interaction with someone who is tough to get along with. I forget about the purpose of my being here. I forget that God controls my destiny.

Yes, God controls what the future holds, and He is planning a good one for you and me! However, when your day starts to become stressful, knowing God knows your future is a comforting thought. No matter what kind of work you do, confess that God controls your today and tomorrow. Your most important task is to love our Lord and do His will in all that you do each and every day. Nothing else matters. It is as simple as that.

At work, turn your heart to God. Surrender to Him. Recognize His control over your everything. Stop worrying because He will guide your every move. He wants to help you deal with every aspect of your life, even the little stuff, if you only let Him.

So, the next time that “thing” comes at you, remember God cares for you. See how much better your workday goes when you recognize God controls your destiny.

Prayer

Lord, Thank You for Your control and Your plans for me. When I call on Your name, You are there to help and guide me. Thank You so much for Your Son, Jesus! In His name, I pray. Amen.

Gilbert O. Craven, M.A.
Civil Engineering Technician
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic (NAVFALANT)
U.S. Department of Defense
Norfolk, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “do good regardless”

Acts of kindess3

February 9, 2018 – Friday

Reading

Galatians 6:9 [NIV] Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Reflection

For three weeks, I encountered nothing but ungrateful brothers on Life Row. My job – a runner on my tier – is to get everything anyone wants: boiling water for instant coffee, a soup container warmed in the microwave, ice cubes for cooling down, passing along messages, and perhaps finding a pencil or piece of paper for writing a letter. A lot of times someone just wants to talk, and so I do. In the last three weeks, no one ever thanked me. Plus, I discovered how much I hate ungrateful people –my attitude grew worse than a Pharisee!

But yesterday a spiritual mentor and I prayed about my attitude. This brother gave me a new perspective – a God perspective. He said some people have no gratitude for goodness received today and won’t realize how special that goodness is until it’s a memory.

Scripture tells us never to get tired of doing good – that we must continue to do good regardless of the response. Even when our goodness is not appreciated, we will be rewarded at the proper time. Our Lord promises a harvest when the act of goodness will be remembered and understood.

Perhaps you haven’t had a bad three weeks, but you probably know some ungrateful people through your job. Do not become tired. Do not hate them. Don’t give up! No, continue to do good regardless of the immediate response. Continue to do good regardless of how long the harvest takes. In His time, others will remember all the goodness received from you. At the proper time, you will reap that harvest!

Today at work, continue to do good regardless of how ungrateful others seem. Even before the harvest, you will glorify God and be blessed.

Prayer

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Thank You for renewing my heart so that I can keep doing good in my job while waiting patiently for Your harvest. It will come in Your proper time. 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 – “emotional control unravel”

emotinal intellenges

February 8, 2018 – Thursday

Reading

Proverbs 10:8; 16:21 [KJV] The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall… The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.

Reflection

Part of my challenge in serving others is the fact that I face not only physical and spiritual trials – but emotional ones as well. In the tedious but necessary processes of problem-solving, relation-building, and affirming community with others at work, it is easy to lose control of emotions and say things that should not be said. Part of it comes from fatigue, and part of it comes from working in an open, democratic culture. Regardless, it remains easy to let emotional control unravel.

Does this happen to you? Perhaps to coworkers or supervisors? In trying to serve citizens? At meetings? Over the phone? I bet it does. While studies show only 6% of job performance comes from intellectual and cognitive abilities, nearly 30% comes from emotional intelligence.

Scripture affirms that God wants you and me to be aware of the damage done by letting emotional control unravel. When our hearts become disobedient, we become pratting fools. This disrupts our ability to serve Him and His people in His workplace. But when we obey and control our emotions, we think before acting – and this permits our words and actions to be wise.

Today, let not your emotional control unravel at work. Be obedient in your heart – be aware of your mood, say a “bullet” prayer to preempt disruptive emotional responses, take a few deep breaths when you must. Know He is watching you, and He is there to calm you down.

Whatever happens today at work, let sweetness come from your lips. In the fire of battle, let not your emotional control unravel. It will not be easy, but being wise in heart glorifies Him!

Prayer

Father, thank You for the many gifts You provide me to serve others. Keep me focused today on how I can align my emotions with Your glory. Give me strength and wisdom to remain in emotional control. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

Richard J. Conroy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor,
Department of Criminal Justice
Dallas Baptist University
Dallas, Texas USA

The Christian Public Servant – “at the right time”

time9

February 7, 2018 – Wednesday

Reading

1 Peter 5:6 [NLT] So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.

Reflection

In my country, I’m a huge fan of a professional football team called the Seahawks! Once the Seahawks were in a championship game, and it seemed they were headed for a brutal lose. The quarterback was flat, the offense was struggling, and it seemed as if they wouldn’t even score one point. But then, in the last period of the game, things turned around. The quarterback started to throw incredible passes to receivers who could not help but catch them. This included (what we call in my country) a “Hail Mary” pass in overtime to win the game.

It was wonderful to win, but it was a blessing to hear the words of that quarterback after the game. He confessed his faith in God and, while admitting Christians were on both teams, he had faith in his Lord and wanted to give Him all the credit for his success. This quarterback ended the post-game interview by proclaiming, “God is so good!”

Wow! Someone, who could have taken all the glory, gave it to his Lord!

Scripture says, when we humble ourselves, He will lift us up – at the right time – in honor.

Are you facing a mighty challenge at work? Striving for that promotion? That transfer? Or have you applied for another job elsewhere? Perhaps you are just trying to be a better steward over the responsibilities you hold? And it appears you don’t even have a chance to be successful.

Today at work, remember God gives no promises except His will be done. But don’t give up hope! Work very hard, wait patiently, and humble yourself under our mighty Lord. Like that quarterback on my favorite team, let “God is so good!” be your words come win or lose. If you do, you will gain victory in His eyes and in His work-world. He promises, He will lift you up in honor – at the right time.

Prayer

Dear God, not my will, but Your will be done today in my work-life. The picture You have for me is so much bigger than I can imagine. Humble me with patience and diligence so I can be ready for new outcomes. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Sherrilyn Thomas
Benefits Coordinator
Alliance Healthcare Services,
Memphis, Tennessee USA
and online MPA Candidate
Belhaven University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

The Christian Public Servant – “render assistance in times of trial”

People helping people1

February 6, 2018 – Tuesday

Reading

John 16:33 (ESV) I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Reflection

This past year, my country suffered the impact of several hurricanes. These terrible storms shattered both lives and property. We all listened to the weather forecasts. Some failed to adequately prepare, others took heed to the warnings. All did not recognize, nor could they fathom, the gravity of what was to come.

As the storms passed, the news was not only filled with accounts of devastated neighborhoods, homes and businesses, but more importantly there were also stories of people helping others. Complete strangers even went to the hard-hit areas to render assistance in times of trial.

Have you experienced a serious storm in your walk of life? Were you prepared? Did others come forward to lend a hand?

When I have experienced storms in my life, it seemed I could not turn left or right. No matter what I did, not a thing would go my way. In fact, I felt trapped and lost my sense of direction. I needed my brothers- and sisters-in- Christ to lift me up to remind me that in Him there is peace no matter the storm.

As Christ’s servant workers, we are commanded to render assistance in times of trial. So, today as you travel to and from your job, or maybe today as you perform your job duties, look for that person experiencing one of life’s storms. It may not be a hurricane, but it could be someone having trouble in marriage, struggling to pay a medical bill, or fighting an addiction. Our Lord wants you to bring His peace, pray for and with, and attend to all needs.

Today at work, will you bring Christ’s peace to people in the middle of tribulations? Will you bring reassurance that He has overcome the world, and in Him there is true peace?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I can’t thank You enough for Your blessings and what You continue to do for me. I ask that You show me how to bless others and render assistance to Your children experiencing times of trial. Show me how to deliver Your peace even amid the storms so that Your love and glory are known. I ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Dwayne Plummer, MPA, Special Ed.
Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs (SECEP) Center (School)
Chesapeake School District
Chesapeake, Virginia USA