The Christian Public Servant – “not to your cave”

The Christian Public Servant – “not to your cave”
July 29, 2016 – Friday
Reading
1 Kings 19:9 [MSG] Then the word of GOD came to him: “So Elijah, what are you doing here?”
Reflection
Like Elijah, I cannot count the number of times I run to my cave, and not to Jesus, when I am in trouble. The tendency is always there. And once in that cave, it is easy for me to pretend I am still loving Him, caring for His flock, and doing what He needs of me. Worst, it is easy for me to pretend that I – alone – can either solve my problems or hide from my troubles.
But how can I really love Him, really care for His flock, and really do what He needs when His voice asks, “what are you doing here?” And why do I think I am not hiding when He has to repeat, “what are you doing here?”
We all find caves and, when we enter them, they become prisons. We think we are safe, but we’re not, and the walls limit our responses to Him.
Today, at work and in your life, don’t wait for God to ask, “what are you doing here?” You know what you are doing for you and, more importantly, you know what you’re not doing for Him.
When things get tough at work today, run to Jesus, not to your cave. You will hear Him better, and you will know where He is at!
Don’t wait for Him to ask even once. Today run to Jesus, not to your cave.
Prayer
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Thank You for being my refuge in troubled times. Keep reminding me that my cave denies me Your presence and power. I promise, You will not have to ask me where I am again. I am with You, Lord. Only You. Amen.
Jimmy Davis, Jr.
Z-557 Unit N-10
Death Row
Holman Correctional Facility
Atmore, Alabama USA

The Christian Public Servant – “not just for rest but for praise”

The Christian Public Servant – “not just for rest but for praise”

July 28, 2016 – Thursday

Reading
Genesis 2:3 [NKJV] Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Revelation 4:11 [NKJV] You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.

Reflection:
I’m just starting out in my career. In fact, I am currently looking for a job. Even though the job market is really tough right now I am willing to do the work to land that first job. I am not lazy. Far from it. I will burn the midnight oil to be successful. Believe me, I will work long and hard, not only to find that job but to succeed when I get it.

But I pray I will be able to have one day off, a Sabbath – not just for rest but for praise. It may not be Sunday, I understand that. But it will be one day a week to rest and worship Him for His goodness to us.

God, himself, set the example for you and me – He rested. As Christian public servants, we need to follow His example. We need to reserve one day – not just for rest but for praise. Having fun is good along with spending time with family and glorifying Him together. Spending time in worship with family. Spending time with Him.

This week, reserve one day – Sunday if possible – not just for rest but for praise.

And you will be refreshed to burn that midnight oil when necessary!

Prayer
Dear Lord, thank You for creating this world and me. Let me reserve one day – not just for rest but for praise. All glory goes to you, my Lord, only to You. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Paul Bayer, M.A.
job hunting – in every region of God’s Kingdom!
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “never ask for a dime”

The Christian Public Servant – “never ask for a dime”

July 27, 2016 – Wednesday

Reading
1 Samuel 12:24(b) [NIV] serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

Reflection
We still need your help.

The Christian Public Servant runs entirely on a donation of devotionals from readers.

Readers just like you.

We’ll never ask for a dime, but we ask you to write a one-page devotion each month.

Bad grammar? We edit!! Can’t think of a workplace experience? Of course you can! Bad writer? We re-write!! Nothing ever happens in your workplace or career? Oh, come on now! Only good things happen to you? What a great praise devotional that will be!

We’ll never ask for a dime, but we ask you to write a one-page devotion each month.

Please contact any of the co-editors. We will send a tip-sheet on how to write a devotional for The Christian Public Servant.

Prayer
Father, if it is Your will, let volunteers to send devotionals. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

The Co-Editors:
Kevin Cooney kjcjapan@gmail.com
Bill Dudley bbssongs@gmail.com
Jonathan Lantz jklantz@outlook.com
Christopher Meconnahey cmeconnahey@gmail.com
Tammy Peavy tammy.peavy@mid.ms.gov
Stephen Pincus spincus@nnva.gov
Jim Slack jslack0229@live.com

The Christian Public Servant – “like a passing shadow”

The Christian Public Servant – “like a passing shadow”

July 26, 2016 – Tuesday

Reading
Psalm 144:4 [ESV] “Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.”

Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”

Reflection
They call them New-Agers. Millennials. And they’re all part of Generation Y, which is just a little younger than Generation X.

Young people – they know so much, demand so much, and expect so much more than we did at our age. Truth is, you and I were like them just yesterday – maybe 10 years, maybe 20 years, maybe just a short 30 years ago. As the psalmist David grew older, he began to see the frailty of humanity. He understood that time passes faster with age. He started to realize his days were numbered – like a passing shadow.

And so it is with you and me.

There was a time, we’d complete our work with youthful vigor, waking up each morning determined to change the world. But with each added year, we’d start to worry about our frailty – becoming more cautious in our bets and wagers about the future. Oh yes, worry and stress clouded our vision years ago.

As Solomon discovered, serving Jesus with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength is the only source of meaning in this life.

And so when you pass that Millenial in the hallway at work, remember the days of your youth. No matter your age or station in life, we all need God’s wisdom and grace as we try to make sense of our existence.

And pray especially for those who try to find their way without Christ.
Just like you, their lives will be gone like a passing shadow.

Prayer
Father, You know my time is brief – shorter than what I hope. Use me today like it is my last day on earth. Help me be more than a passing shadow today at work. Let me use each minute to glorify You through my diligence and accomplishments. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

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

The Christian Public Servant – “just pushing through the day”

The Christian Public Servant – “just pushing through the day”

July 25, 2016 – Monday

Reading
John 8:12(b) [ESV]  I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

Reflection
Ever have problems just pushing through the day? You know what I’m talking about… Rolling out of bed is hard, and once at work, staying motivated becomes a challenge. Your plate is already overflowing and umpteen different tasks get thrown in your direction.

Is this how your day is going?

Everyone has workdays like this – the struggle seems more than the day is worth. When this happens, remember your strength comes from the Lord. God promises if you seek His will and His direction in all situations, He will provide. This includes days when you are just pushing through the day.

So if you’re having trouble just pushing through the day – getting out of bed, tired, dragging at work, then intentionally take time to seek His help in prayer and in devotion. In the midst of the darkness of those times seek His light, and He will provide.

You will accomplish so much more than just pushing through the day!

Prayer 
Lord, thank You for another day of opportunities to serve You in my workplace. Thank You for always shining Your light into in my life. As I go throughout my workday, help me try even harder to seek You in all situations. Fill my heart and mind with motivation and positivity. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Morgan Best
Elementary School Teacher
Wake County Public Schools
Raleigh, North Carolina USA

The Christian Public Servant – “the best training ground”

The Christian Public Servant – “the best training ground”

July 22, 2016 – Friday

Reading
Luke 22:3 [NLT] Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples,

John 13:12 [NLT] After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing?”

Reflection
This may sound strange, but I thank God I did not get saved while I was out in the free-world. And for about 10 years here I was still not saved. But then our Lord touched my heart, and He changed my life, and death row became Life Row.

You may ask: why wouldn’t I have wanted to be saved on the outside? Well, prison is the best training ground for me because there are a lot of demonized people who believe in their own abilities, their own will, and their own desires. And until Jesus flooded my life with His blood and I surrendered to the Great Authority, I was just like those demonized fools.

That’s how I got here.

So when I see someone who has not found Christ, I think of how Jesus treated that one demonized fool called Judas. He loved him. He served him. Jesus washed Judas feet, just like He washed the feet of the other disciples.

When I realize that people who don’t know Jesus are being driven by Satan, I know I must show them the love of Jesus — especially them – just like Jesus showed Judas. Like He showed me.

My setting is no different than that of the disciples – for they also had the best training ground for learning to follow Jesus.

Where you live and work, is it any different? Look around at all the people who do not know Jesus. Look closely.

Today at work, understand you also have the best training ground to learn and do His work.

Prayer
Father, in the Name of Jesus, I pray. Thank You for helping me see You in everyone – especially those guided by Satan. No matter how bad they act, let me love and show Your example. Thank You for placing me in this training ground. Amen.

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

The Christian Public Servant – “when a bully comes your way”

The Christian Public Servant – “when a bully comes your way”

July 21, 2016 – Thursday

Reading
Proverbs 11:12 (NKJV) He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace.

Reflection
A few months ago, I had to deal with a bully. This bully cussed at me, wrongly accused me, and called me a liar. He was totally out of control. He made me feel awful. I really wanted to let him have it – use my authority over him and scream right back at him. Oh, I really wanted to.

But I didn’t. Instead I kept my cool. I kept whispering, “Dear Father, help.”

Obviously the incident was dreadful, and I was bothered by it all day. I went home, that day, wondering if I had done the right thing in that exchange – keeping my cool and not lording over the person.

A coworker heard about my day and, that night, forwarded to me a devotional from The Christian Public Servant. Now, I had never heard of this publication, and the devotional he sent was rather unique. You see, the author was not a government employee. It was written by a man in prison – a man on death row. Here was a man with no control over anything in his life, yet his words reinforced in me what Christ wants: I need to let God be in control. Even when events get out of control, I need to keep myself under control by surrendering to Him.

I felt better that evening. Through that author’s words, God assured me I did a good job. I did what was right because I asked my Father for His help. And He came through.

Today at work, can you do the same? When pressed on all sides, don’t give in to anger. Be like our brother on death row. Be wise and understanding when a bully comes your way. Ask for God’s help, and He will come through for you, too.

So at work today when a bully comes your way ask God to give you peace and help you to respond as He would.

Prayer
Father, I ask for Your help today as I strive to be the worker that You have called me to be. Please give me wisdom and understanding in every situation. I give You all the glory. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Ronald Wilson
Development Review Coordinator
Franklin County
Town of Rocky Mount, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “need your help”

The Christian Public Servant – “need your help”

July 20, 2016 – Wednesday

Reading
1 Samuel 12:24 [NIV] But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

Matthew 25:40(b) [NIV] Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

Reflection
There’s a lot of ways to serve our Lord. You can serve Him faithfully by engaging in all kinds of ministries. You can serve Him faithfully in every activity found in your church. But there is one additional way to serve our Lord – one that will give you the gift of serving him faithfully by serving others in the workplace.

We need your help. The Christian Public Servant runs entirely on the donation of devotionals from readers. These devotionals assist the Holy Spirit help many on six continents, but especially that one person who needs it most because he/she is the least of His at that given moment.

We’ll never ask for a dime, but we ask you to write a one-page devotion each month.

Bad grammar? We edit!! Can’t think of a workplace experience? Of course you can! Bad writer? We re-write!! Nothing ever happens in your workplace or career? Oh, come on now! Only good things happen to you? What a great praise devotional that will be!

Did we mention we edit?? Shoot, did we mention we even re-write!!

You will never be embarrassed, and your mama will be proud!

Please contact any of the co-editors. We will send a tip-sheet on how to write a devotional for The Christian Public Servant.

We are running out of devotionals, and we need your help.

Prayer
Father, if it is Your will, let volunteers to send devotionals. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

The Co-Editors:
Kevin Cooney kjcjapan@gmail.com
Bill Dudley bbssongs@gmail.com
Jonathan Lantz jklantz@outlook.com
Christopher Meconnahey cmeconnahey@gmail.com
Tammy Peavy tammy.peavy@mid.ms.gov
Stephen Pincus spincus@nnva.gov
Jim Slack jslack0229@live.com

The Christian Public Servant – “always a gut check time”

The Christian Public Servant – “always a gut check time”

July 19, 2017 – Tuesday

Reading
Luke 10:33 [NIV] But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

1 Samuel 16:7(b) [NIV] People look at the outward appearance, but , but the LORD looks at the heart.

Reflection
When you walk into a social services building, you see people suffering. Hurting from something. Bleeding from emotional wounds. Having physical needs that require attention. Broken families with broken hearts. The same is true when you walk into a court building, or a building that houses homeless. You see people hurting on the streets. The hurt is real.

It’s a challenge being a public servant, but it’s an even greater challenge being a Christian public servant. Constant interaction with the wounded and broken can wear you down. Toward the end of the day, do you really want to come by another person desperate for help?

With each encounter, it’s always a gut check time. Will you take the comfortable path – the easy one that leads quickly to the day’s end? After all, no one will probably know if you do. And, if someone does, you can always rationalize why you did less than you could.

Or, will you pay the price? Will you get your hands dirty one more time? Will you invest sweat and time? Will you forget fatigue and do some more heavy lifting?

Today at work, remember the Samaritan. Be the Samaritan. Remember how God judges you. You have a choice: make the world a bit colder by not giving? Or use time and energy to help and, thereby, make Jesus proud.

You know there’s always a gut check time. At work today, what will you do?

Prayer
Lord, please give me the strength to see the need in others and bring Your love to the hurting. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Gary Roberts, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Master of Public Administration Program
Robertson School of Government
Regent University
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “having a small ego”

The Christian Public Servant – “having a small ego”

July 18, 2016 – Monday

Reading
Matthew 5:3 [NKJV] Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Reflection
When I served in the military, it was too easy for me to forget my subordinates were fathers and mothers themselves – people who represented the knowledge of the world to their children. I was humbled when I realized they were so much more than merely “troops,” or “sailors.”  When I began to check my ego — stopped talking and started listening – my unit became an effective organization.

You know, Jesus teaches us that being poor in spirit is having a small ego. His lesson is this: we don’t know everything. Therefore, we should remain humble knowing it’s God’s grace that permits you and me to be what and who we are. We are after all His children – His sons and His daughters. So humility is perhaps the most important Christian virtue – it is, after all, the first beatitude.

One of the great strengths of public and nonprofit administration may be the high level of technical expertise brought to the table. But being technically right isn’t always, well, right. In fact, the technically correct decision often turns out badly – when “people” knowledge is discounted or ignored.

So today at work, really listen to others – staff members and residence living closest to the problem or setting. Practice the virtue of becoming poor in spirithaving a small ego. Remember, everyone is a child of God. And remember, you don’t know everything.

Yes, at work today, be humble with your expertise – give Him the glory. After all, we are nothing without Him!

Prayer
Lord, I pray that You re-teach me today the value of humility. By Your grace, and only by Your grace, I can be a better servant and disciple. Keep me humble, Lord, so that I might be Your instrument in building the Kingdom of Heaven by listening to, and helping, others. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Allen Stout
Director, Inland Empire Campus
University of La Verne
Ontario, California USA