How To Pick Our Next President

Oval Office“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 32:17 NIV

I passively listen to the news as I get ready for work and one of the daily topics appears to be who just announced their candidacy for the President of the United States in 2016. Every one of their nomination speeches tout, “I am proud to announce my candidacy for President of the United States.” Immediately followed by their prescription, “This is what America needs… my agenda.” This is great! We need to know who these people are and if they have the credentials to fulfill our nations top job, but they are mere humans declaring what they believe is best for an entire nation; that’s a bold decree which takes courage and confidence. I applaud them all, yet pause to question, “Whose agenda is best for us?”

Have you read 1 Samuel lately? I’m in chapter 13 where Saul gets his undies in a bundle because Samuel doesn’t show up at his said time and he decides to take matters into his own hands and disobeys God (and Samuel) by offering a sacrifice. We do that don’t we? We get anxious when God is not providing answers and take matters into our own hands. Instead of putting our faith in God and waiting on Him. We are prone to run to our religious rituals as if to speed up the process or control outcomes. Little do we know that God could be testing our obedience and patience; a tough place to be when our circumstances overwhelm us. Saul was feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of the Philistines. The world is overwhelming right now, let’s not be prone to wander away from God and cling to the most enticing nomination speech.

We don’t need a leader rushes in and tries to “fix” things.  In Saul’s case, God gave the people a king because they were asking for it, yet the king (Saul) was more about himself than he was of God and for the people. If we evaluated our presidential nominee’s to discern who are the God fearing men and women that would certainly narrow the candidate pool.

As a follower of Christ, I want a follower of Christ to lead our nation. Each nominee brings an area of strength that will make them best in some areas, yet ALL have weaknesses. On the candid roster, we have a blend of strong business acumen, military and foreign affairs guru’s, medical and healthcare experts, tenured government officials who “get Government”, but we don’t have one that is best at everything. In a time when understanding the world and the enemies in it is critical, when healthcare is overwhelming – yet necessary – for reform, our government is corrupt, economy waffling and our national debt compiling… Who IS the best man or woman for the job?

Here’s my proclamation. If we chose a Godly candidate, God will use their strengths for our benefit and he will fill in the gaps where he or she lacks. We don’t need a King Saul in the office of President, we need a committed leader of faith. So evaluate carefully America. A Christian doesn’t come with a party label of Democrat or Republican, race or ethnicity, age, gender, net worth, education or social status. God can use them all if they are true believers.

The Key to Success

Secret to Success

Today’s Devotional: Deuteronomy 17

A valuable chapter which deals with the regulations that would control a king. I do have a verse that jumped out at me and inspired this blog today. It’s verse 19, “It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees.”

It is written to instruct a king, but I see application for us. What if we made it personal and read it as, “God’s WORD is to be with YOU, and YOU are to read it all the days of YOUR life so that YOU may learn to revere the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of His law and these decrees?”

God may have been giving advice to prepare a king for his role as a leader, but I also know that the bible is our source for preparation in our daily lives. When I imagine the roles and responsibilities of a king I think of all the decisions he has to make, the people who are depending on him to lead them and the great responsibility on his shoulders not only in his household, but in his kingdom.

How is that different from our lives? We have decisions to make, we have people who are depending on us to lead them and we have great responsibility on our shoulders in our households and our workplaces, neighborhoods and communities. Should we need God’s Word less than any king of any land?

I think verse 19 has a very important instruction for us and I’m blogging this to help us remain firm in whatever life is throwing at us right now. You’ll find what you need in His Word and He is all we need. That may sound cliche, but I’m not intending it to be. Read, pray, meditate on his word daily. God sums it up perfectly in Joshua 1:8, Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

God Delegates


Today’s Devotional: Numbers 34

Over time, I have have come to realize that delegation is an art. From the most successful people I know in business to the Wonder Mom’s out there make me realize delegation is the key to keeping our sanity.

Now I’m not talking about dumping their workload onto other people and abuse of power kind of stuff. In business I’m talking the people to which they delegate are people who are hired specifically to do the jobs, and perform the functions, that the over-extended CEO has to depend upon them for. They don’t feel like doormats or the dumpster for menial tasks; instead they pride themselves on helping the CEO look good and perform their jobs effectively.

What’s even more fascinating to me is that they do their work joyfully, they pride themselves in their work and they love their jobs. They wouldn’t want the pressure, schedule, accountability or stress of the CEO and they know that they are essential to not only the CEO, but the success of the organization.

Numbers 34:18, jumped out at me this morning when God said to Moses, “And appoint one leader from each tribe to help assign the land.” God didn’t ask Moses to do it. He told Moses who to delegate the work too. God could have done this for many reasons:

1 – Moses isn’t the best man for the job!

2 – Moses was the big picture guy and when it came to the logistics of the Lot, there were people more qualified than Moses to accomplish the goal more efficiently.

3 – God knows how to leverage other people’s strengths.

4 – Moses had to coordinate the leaders to make sure everyone was going about their work appropriately.

5 – God knew it would be more fair an equitable if there were more people involved. Imagine Moses trying to organize all of these families and make sure everyone received their fair share.

The point I am making and how the LORD is teaching me through this message is that I/we don’t have to do it  [life] alone. I need people to help me and God puts people around us to accomplish His work together. Some of us are big picture people, while others are detail people and get the job done to perfection. God knows who has which strengths that compliment others. God knows who can get it done and who can organize it, facilitate it and orchestrate the task at hand.

It’s a beautiful picture (in my mind) of God accomplishing His work through others and God understands that we are better together, we can only accomplish so much when we are alone and independent.

I’m Nothing Special


Today’s Devotion: Numbers 27

Moses gets ready to pass the baton. We have been with Moses since Genesis. Not only a long life, but a lot for us to learn from this man of God and today, in Numbers 27, is no exception. I love Numbers 27: 15-17, “Moses said to the LORD, ‘May the LORD, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community 17 to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.'”

Joshua is to be the successor of Moses. After Moses lays down the work, Joshua will pick it up. In one sense he was the most unlikely one to succeed Moses. Do you know why? He was an average man. No one went around saying that Joshua had great potential, great leadership ability and all that sort of thing. Apparently Joshua didn’t have that. He was an ordinary individual. Joshua reveals what God can do with an ordinary man.

If you’re like me, I don’t feel like I’m anything special. You hear about the greatness of Marie Curie, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, etc, etc, etc… But throughout the bible God uses ordinary men to do His great work and I’m only to assume the greatest people in history probably didn’t see themselves as anything special either. If anything, I would bet most of them cried out, “Why me?” I’m inspired by Joshua and I’m always grateful when God uses the most unlikely as the best candidates to get the job done. He will not leave us to be without a Shepard and this tells me He can use ordinary people like you and me.

I’m so encouraged today that my ordinary day and ordinary life can be used by God for great and wonderful matters. Not for my glory, but His glory. Not by my abilities, but by His ability. Not for my needs and desires, but for His needs and desires. What a purposeful, yet amazing life we can led if we listen to His voice, be obedient to His calling and live according to His will.

Leadership Into Trouble


Today’s Devotion: Exodus 32

Exodus 32:22 “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil.

This verse jumped off the page. Aaron is making excuses to justify the sin of the Israelite people. Are you kidding me? Since they are prone to sin, Abraham, and ultimately God, are supposed to not be angry and forgive them automatically?

They can’t get off that easily. I don’t know if I can say this, but the worst thing is that Aaron (the leader while Abraham was gone) should have been keeping them in line, but instead he jumps right in and recruits them to supply their gold to build and idol, and he goes right along and worships the golden calf right along with them!

Sadly, I can relate. I am the oldest of three, I have two younger brothers. I remember when my parents would tell me to watch my brothers because they had a quick errand to run. It wouldn’t be long before their car pulled out of the driveway that we started down the path of mischief. When my parents got back home they would look at me and with a stern and disappointed tone, “Sarah! What did you do?!” Oh I can still remember how it felt to hear those words. That face on the kitty from Puss-n-Boots at the top of this blog post, Yah… that was me. Guilty! Caught! Busted!

Of course, I didn’t know what came over me. I was given a little piece of responsibility and I blew it! I not only DIDN’T stop my brothers from doing wrong, I participated in it and sometimes even came up with the idea. Yes, my parents punished them, but I carried the guilt afterwords knowing that I undermined their trust.

This seems to parallel what happened when Moses when up on the Mountain to meet with God. “The cats away the mice shall play right?” Well, God was mad first and Moses persuaded Him not to punish them, but when Moses witnessed the mess for himself, even he got angry and acted on his anger.

We have to be aware of when we are given an opportunity to standup against the crowd, the temptation of fun, the festivals of idolatry, and the golden calves of our day. Yes, people are prone to sin, but that doesn’t mean that is our excuse for not living righteously and standing firm to keep people from participating in wrongdoing. God has entrusted us with the opportunity to know better. Not only do we need to take responsibility for ourselves, but we have to be especially careful what we lead others to do.

Equipped For Success

True Success

Today’s Devotion: Exodus 31

I’m moved. God’s Word does that to me all the time, but today in particular because we have this pleasant little chapter set refreshingly inside of a pretty heavy book. So far in Exodus we have gotten God’s Laws and all of God’s uncompromising expectations about the tabernacle. Interestingly enough, I never questioned who would actually build the tabernacle and who could satisfactorily accomplish such a standard of perfection. God answers it in chapter 31… the gifted!

I love this! I manage a small team on the professional career side of my life and it is true. When God equips the gifted, get out of the way. They can scale mountains and overcome virtually any obstacle, seemingly without effort.

I remember out of college how I used to interview for jobs with the mindset that I needed to tell them what they wanted to hear. I would try to impress my interviewer with answers that would fit or mold me into the position that they were seeking to fill. I learned over the years that that is like fitting a square peg into a round hole. If I tried to morph into the perfect person for the job, the chances are likely that I would be prone to make mistakes and the job itself would be miserable for me. On the flip side, my boss would be frustrated because my errors and inefficiencies cost the company money in rework, additional training, and additional supervision/guidance.

Since then I have interviewed for jobs with the confidence in knowing what I can and can’t do. I’m very transparent in my interview because I want my future employer to know full-well what strengths I bring to their organization and I also want them to know where I would disappoint them. That allows them to fully discern how we can mutually benefit from having a relationship. I can be assured that I will be working in areas that I will be most effective and they can find someone to compliment my strengths so the organization can capitalize on the strengths of a synergistic team.

When this is accomplished, everybody wins. Can you imagine Moses trying to carve the wood on the altar, hang the curtains, take measurements to God’s specifications, sew the priestly outfit and chemically blend the special incense? Of course not! God equips the workers and results in true success.