The Christian Public Servant – “choose not to harm the faith”

August 31, 2017 – Thursday

Reading
1 Corinthians 10:23-24, 31 [ESV] “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.  Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor… So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Reflection
Going out after work with colleagues and coworkers can be fun, and perhaps productive, but it can also test the will of any follower of Christ. While it may be a welcome opportunity to stray from your diet, and that second or third alcoholic drink may be a welcome opportunity to let your hair down, remember others are watching. Some wait for you to trip on your faith. You want to have fun like everyone else but, in doing so, you don’t want to hurt the faith-building of someone just starting to look to Christ.

Scripture verifies this predicament is nothing new. The ancient Christians of Corinth knew that the eyes of others may interpret one’s eating and drinking as worshipping things other than Christ. Like you, the Corinthians wanted to have fun, but they learned to choose not to harm the faith of the on-looker.

So when you go out with coworkers, do as your brothers and sisters in Corinth did so long ago. Have fun, but don’t make selfish decisions. Have fun, but remember: just because you “can,” doesn’t mean you should. Have fun, but make sure your behavior glorifies God and edifies others for Jesus. Have fun, but build others up.

Yes, have fun and let your hair down. But choose not to harm the faith of those around you.

Prayer
Father, especially when having fun with coworkers, let me always glorify You and let my behavior teach others about Jesus. Let me be more concerned with the helpful and less with the legal. Let me seek not my own good, but the good of the coworker watching me. Let me choose not to harm the faith of a coworker who looks at me in the hope of seeing Christ for the first time. 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 – “become truly free”

chains broken2

August 30, 2017 – Wednesday

Reading
Galatians 5:1, 13 [NIV] It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery…You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Reflection
Have you ever notice how much we all look forward to holidays? Doesn’t matter the season of the year, you can always tell when a coworker is getting ready to go on vacation. He seems lighter somehow, like just the thought of getting away is liberating.

Why not? It seems during the rest of the year people are shackled to their jobs. Often the pressures of the everyday grind just get to them, and they cannot see the freedom that is right before them. The Christian public servant has a responsibility to share that freedom with others and to share in a responsible way. Scripture reminds us that we must not use freedom to indulge in worldly anticipation. Rather, we are to use the freedom Christ gives us to humbly love and serve one another.

It is in the serving of others that you become truly free. You are no longer just an employee working on a menial task. You now have a mission – His mission – and that mission brings freedom.

Today at work, don’t let the pressures place its “yoke” on you. For the sake of all you come in contact today, love others humbly and show others what it means to become truly free.

Yes, a vacation is nice. But today, stand firm for Him at work and become truly free.

Prayer
Dear Lord, I am free because You have redeemed me. Help me not waste the high price You paid for me. Help me reach others who are bogged down at work. Help me live free for others and as a witness of what a life in You is all about. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

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

The Christian Public Servant – “take the rest God has set aside”

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August 29, 2017 – Tuesday

Reading
Genesis 2:3 [NIV] Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.

Proverbs 19:23 [NIV] The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Psalm 62:5 [NIV] Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

Reflection
It seems like the more days tick off during the week, the more restless and tired I become. I “go and go” at work only to realize that, at times, the progress made is for naught. After work, I run all over creation doing things with my family, yet never spend any quality time with them. It is just “go here” and “go there”. The weekend comes and I am so spent that I forget to take the rest God has set aside.

Can you relate?

You know, we only have to turn to the Word to get the appropriate guidance. Scripture reminds us that God made the seventh day holy, and, most importantly, He rested. Scripture is mindful that He wants us to rest, too!

The most important time you and I have, aside from spending time with Him in His house, is when we take the rest God has set aside. But when we take our weekends to “rest” in our own selfish way, we negate time to truly recharge with Him.

After each day of work, do not forsake your time alone with Him. On Sundays, do not neglect gathering with the body of Christ to learn, refresh, recharge, and prepare your heart for another workweek.

This coming weekend, take the rest God has set aside. Then you will truly be able to serve Him and others better come Monday morning!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for showing me where I need to focus my time. Thank You for the constant reminder that You love me and I need to rest. I pray this in Your Son Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen!

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

The Christian Public Servant – “delight in”

delight in2Deights in

August 28, 2017 – Monday

Reading
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.

1Timothy 4:12 [NLT] Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

Reflection
My good friend and coworker belittles her accomplishments so as not to offend those around her. She was first in her family to go to college. She worked hard and made the dean’s list, was inducted into a National Honor Society, graduated a semester early, and was accepted into graduate school. And now, with an MPA degree, she has an excellent job and is doing well. These are her successes. And she deserves to delight in her accomplishments.

So, I took her on a weekend vacation to honor all her hard work. She cried because she didn’t believe she deserved to be celebrated. But she started to realize that, even though not everyone has walked the same path or experienced the same successes, these remain her moments and trophies to delight in God. And each success is a way God takes delight in telling her she is on the right track. God is using her to show others they can do anything with Him.

As a Christian public servant, recognize that God has ordered your steps. Every big or small success at work or school is a part of the plan He has for you. Remain humble, but delight in His blessings. Each accomplishment is a stepping stone on your journey ordained by God.

Today realize what my friend and coworker now knows. As you go to work, delight in the tasks God has trusted you with. At work, delight in the plans He has for you. Then come home with delight in your heart at having discovered He is with you each step throughout the day!

Prayer
Dear God, thank You for guiding my steps and leading me on this journey. I delight in the opportunities You have blessed me with. By following Your will, I can accomplish many things. Use me as a vessel to show others they can achieve their goals. I appreciate each accomplishment, big or small, and I am honored to glorify You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Logan Dickens, MPA
Special Projects Analyst
Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services
Richmond, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “that righteousness”

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The Christian Public Servant – “that righteousness”

August 25, 2017 – Friday

Reading
James 1:20 [NLT] Human anger does not produce the righteousness of God’s desire.

Reflection
Where I live and work, righteousness can sometimes be hard to find. It’s there, but you really need to search for it. Anger, however, can be found just down the row. If you are not careful, anger can be found in your own cell. Anger can block both vision and relationships. It can block the heart and, more importantly, that righteousness of God’s desire.

As Christian public servants, regardless of where we live and work, it is our job to keep a check on anger. Because of who we are and Who we represent, anger produces the wrong image of our Heavenly Father.

Today at work, produce that righteousness of God’s desire. Do so even when others have wronged you, even when others don’t do as they say, and even when others show hate. That righteousness will show others what God really wants. And that righteousness will not block the heart.

Where I work and where you work, do not let anger block the heart. Produce that righteousness instead – the results will bless many.

Prayer
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Thank You for Your righteous love of me. Let me show Your desires to others today. 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 the most unlikely places”

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The Christian Public Servant – “in the most unlikely places”

August 24, 2017 – Thursday

Reading
Genesis 28:16 (ESV) “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”

Acts 13:1, 52 (ESV) “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

Reflection
Recently I had the opportunity to visit some brothers in a place which most of the outside world forgets about – prison. Even though these men were incarcerated, I realized that we had much in common.   These men who made mistakes, and some of those mistakes were horrific. However, God’s love became very clear during that visit. Together with the brothers, I rejoiced in the splendor of God and that His presence was there – revealed in the most unlikely place.

How often do you celebrate the presence of God, and for that matter, do you celebrate His presence in the place where you work? Is God there with you even as you fill out paperwork, sit at the computer, answer that phone call, or meet with that citizen? It can be so easy to overlook the fact that the Spirit is with us at all times, even in the most unlikely places.

As Christian public servants You and I should rejoice in the presence of God, because He is with us always, even in the most unlikely places. His presence should always have an effect on our actions.

Today, acknowledge the presence of God wherever you are and remain focused on Him. You will come into His presence even in the most unlikely places.

 Prayer
Lord, thank you for never leaving me. Your presence surrounds me and guides my steps each and every day. I pray that today I will be able to see your glory in my life, so that the world around may as well. Help me to honor you with my every action. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

A Child of God

The Christian Public Servant – “to do list”

God's to-do list2

The Christian Public Servant – “to do list”

August 23, 2017 – Wednesday

Reading
Matthew 16:24-25 (ESV): Then Jesus told his disciples, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

 Reflection
I, like many people, have a full calendar and an even fuller “to Do list” at work. I often find it difficult to commit to memory all of the tasks and meetings that I am responsible for so I use my computer to build and track my “to do list.” I find this to be very useful as the list is ever present with tasks and due dates. It also gives me satisfaction whenever I am able to cross an item off my list and move on to the next one.

Recently, as I examined my “to do list,” it occurred to me that nowhere on it was a reminder to serve Jesus today or to put Him above my needs. How did I let myself get so busy that I did not remember my Lord? Where was Jesus in my day? Did I serve Him in my workplace today? If so, what have I done for my Lord today specifically? If Jesus is my best friend how will I get through my day without Him? From that moment on I resolved to put Jesus at the top of my “to do list,” permanently!

I have a job that is sometimes stressful and always busy, and there are many days that I can feel overwhelmed. Nevertheless, it is important that I always remember that my most important task is serving Jesus. As a Christian public servant the responsibility of serving Him is always with me, particularly at work where it is usually the most needed.   What about you?

 Prayer
Dear Lord, help me to always remember that my most important task is serving You first and advancing Your kingdom. Help me to deny myself and put You first in everything I do. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Paul Theroux
Maintenance Program Manager
U.S. Department of Defense
Naval Base Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “I could do more”

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The Christian Public Servant – “I could do more”

August 22, 2017 – Tuesday

Reading
1 Peter 4:10 [ESV] “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace”

Acts 20:35 [ESV] “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Reflection
I recently decided to help a friend going through a tough divorce. I offered to take her children to school which was followed with a request to watch them overnight while she worked. I agreed hesitantly until further help was requested. However, wanting more time with my own family, I began to pull back and declined requests for more help. My spirit troubled me though. I realized how blessed I was, and after prayer, decided I could do more and offered help.

As Christian public servants you and I are sometimes called to go above and beyond in serving others. While this help may come at an “inconvenience” to us, it can be a real blessing to those in need. In the work place it might even mean saying “I could do more” to provide others with the help they need.

At work the mantra of “I could do more” could bless a supervisor or co-worker in amazing ways as they feel the touch of Christian love upon their lives. The blessing received in return will continue to encourage you as you live your life for Christ who gave His all.

Prayer 
Dear God, I ask You to continue guiding me in Your light. I ask You to help me to do Your will. Make me into a steward of grace and help me to give unto others as You have given to me, Lord. Amen.

Logan Dickens
MPA Candidate
Regent University
Virginia Beach, VA

The Christian Public Servant – “demonstrating love for God”

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The Christian Public Servant – “demonstrating love for God”

August 21, 2017 – Monday

Reading:
Proverbs 21:23 (NIV) Those who guard their mouths and tongues keep themselves from calamity.

Luke 23:24 (NIV) Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

 Reflection:
The break rooms at work can be filled with all sorts of conversations – talk about progress on a project, what you might do after work, things going on around your house, and other various topics. At times, these conversations may not be productive. You know, gossip, rumors, criticisms of others. and the list goes on.

In my break room, one of my coworkers is always complaining about her ex-husband. It seems that with every break, she tells everyone about her most recent contact with him. He wants forgiveness and reconciliation. But, she wants no part of it and is openly judgmental of him. This person is unloading all of her baggage to anyone who will listen. Her actions clearly are not demonstrating love for God.

You know, it’s hard not to bring baggage to the workplace much less speak about it to coworkers. Yet, sometimes that very baggage reflects more than your relationship with another person – it may reflect your relationship with God. You and I need to ask, “Are my actions demonstrating love for God?”

In my house as I was growing up, I was often instructed to, “Think before opening my mouth to speak.” Another rule was, “If you cannot say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” Don’t these rules sound familiar? Shouldn’t we as Christian public servants use these rules in the workplace too?

Scripture tells us to be guarded in what we say. The Word also says we should not judge. We are to stand against Satan and his demons and pray for and forgive people. God commands us to forgive even when it is not requested.

Today at work whether you are in your office or your break room, guard what you say. Reflect on God and His word. If you find yourself judging someone, even if that someone has hurt you, STOP! Leave judgment to God. Encourage others by being the example of forgiveness.

Be the one demonstrating love for God. It will make the workplace and the world a better place. Now go have a great day!

 Prayer:
Father God, I stretch my hands to you asking for continued guidance. I need you now more than ever, Lord. Keep me in your arms and direct my path so I no longer allow the enemy to move for me. Allow me to guard my tongue and be forgiving of others as You, Lord have forgiven me. Help me to demonstrate my love for You. In Jesus’ name, I pray for your grace and mercy. Amen.

Michelle Lewis
CEO/Executive Director
Kicks N More Unltd Boutique
and MPA Candidate
Belhaven University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

The Christian Public Servant – “keep walking in love”

August 18, 2017 – Friday

Reading
Exodus 4:10 [NIV] Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

Ephesians 5:2(a) [NIV] and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us

Reflection
As I work as a “runner” in the halls on my row, I come across a lot of situations where I am attacked, used, and devalued. I could get angry and hateful, but I must keep walking in love – even when it hurts and even if it would be easier to retaliate. I must obey right away.

You see, if I delay being obedient to Christ – if I would first respond with hate – it would stop the love of Christ. My disobedience to His love would limit His glory, His joy, and most important, the purpose and plan He has for that person shouting at me. So I don’t want to be like Moses who delayed doing what God wanted because he did not feel eloquent. I don’t want to think of any reason why I should delay my obedience. So I must keep walking in love.

Now, your workplace is not like mine in so many ways. But still, I bet there is a coworker who ticks you off. There are citizens you serve who try to devalue you. Your boss may attack you.

Today at work, do not delay being obedient to showing God’s love. Do not interfere with His plans because your feelings get hurt. He’s given you everything needed to carry out His will.

Regardless of what happens at work today, you must keep walking in love.

Prayer
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Thank You for giving me everything I need to love, as You love me, when I am doing my work. I promise I will obey directly and immediately. I want to glorify only You. Amen.

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