The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in Culture Notes belong solely to the author. They are not and do not necessarily reflect the opinion(s) or position(s) of the organization, board of directors and/or any other individual(s) or entity (ies) affiliated or unaffiliated with Christians in Public Service, Inc. 


 

When the Bride Cheats on the Bridegroom
Friday, December 14, 2018 12:07 PM

When the Bride Cheats on the Bridegroom

Friday, December 14, 2018 12:07 PM
Friday, December 14, 2018 12:07 PM

The church will forever be the bride of Christ. It's how God set it up before He wrapped himself in flesh as Jesus the Christ and stepped into time from eternity to redeem the world.

But it is heartbreaking to me to see the 21st century western church now sadly married to a political party and has seemingly become not the bride of Christ but the bride of President Donald John Trump.

And we have seen with utter clarity and sadness how he eventually treats his brides. Before you jump on me for being "political," I voted for the man. A vote, knowing what I know today, I would have never cast. Nor would I have voted for Mrs. Clinton. Now since that is out of the way...

We know from scripture that in the last days there will be a great falling away. In my humble opinion, this is exactly what we're seeing.

Millennials are being driven away from the church by the hypocrisy in the pews and the hypocrisy spewing from far too many pulpits.

What they are seeing is what others who are walking away see - churches whose teaching and actions don't square with what Jesus taught about loving our neighbor as ourself; taking care of the poor and ensuring that social justice is rooted in biblical truth. They hear what we're saying but it is not what they are seeing and experiencing.

I ran across a video on evangelicals and what evangelical means in today's political climate, compared to its true meaning.

How far we are off the mark! Our faith has become politicized to the point where not only is it causing strident division, but it has to break the Savior's heart to see how it has become weaponized and an insidious racial wedge. 

Jesus never involved himself in political parties, though he could have as they certainly were there, as powerful and influential and "religious" as they are today. He didn't. And he warned His disciples and us against the same.

Many of us today give lip and labor to the faith, but not our heart. We are not called as many have come to believe to change the nation through political reform by aligning ourselves and giving ourselves over to one or the other political party.

We are called instead to change hearts through the Word of Holy God not by forming unholy alliances with temporal and worldly political systems and those who lead them.

Since we have, we are losing our voice and ability to speak into a culture that is in desperate need of truth, love and authenticity; and with that, our moral authority.

This is not an indictment on the church or any leader - but rather an informed observation and warning.

A sold-out church is a burned out church and many, while they believe are going full speed ahead are unknowingly merely running on fumes.

I am not a preacher but thankfully a well-prepared teacher of scripture. It's why I love doing this.

I thank God for my role as teacher and leader of an organization that will not bow to political pressure and the only agenda we have is not a political agenda, but God's Kingdom agenda.

All that we do is rooted in scripture. To some that will look liberal; to others conservative. We are neither. Because our role model, Jesus, was neither. As an organization, if we and if I as the leader are not operating in accordance with the Kingdom agenda set forth by the King in His Word, we have no reason to exist.

World political systems and agendas mean nothing to us because they are only temporary solutions. The pendulum will always swing back and the political party holding sway today may be relegated to the back bench tomorrow. Then what?

It's not America first. With CIPS, it will always be Jesus first.

He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end. And with His power, we will hold down the middle.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Revelation 22:13

Yes he is and we will remain faithful and true to the Bridegroom.


Dorothy Burton 
dburton@cipsin.org

Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:25 PM

We Wait, Time Won't

Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:25 PM
Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:25 PM

The first sign it's time for a change is an incredible sense of being stifled. Whether in a relationship or in a job. If you're stifled and don't move, you will be positioned so you can't move!

Another year is about to be here. What are you waiting for? What will be different in your life at 12:01 a.m. 2019 than it was at 11:59 p.m. 2018? You know the Holy Spirit has been tugging at you, yet you are afraid.

Afraid you can't do it. Afraid you won't have enough money. Afraid people won't support you. Afraid of what people will say. Afraid of the criticism. Afraid you will fall flat on your face and people will laugh at you. Afraid..... just afraid.

Fear is not an attribute of the God we serve and who created us in His image. So if the fear isn't coming from God (and it isn't) guess where it's coming from?

Lies you have internalized from the enemy or thoughts he is placing in your head germinate and grow with each "I can't" that comes out of our mouth.

The power of life and death is in our tongue. We can literally talk our future to death.

Stifled and stuck or courageous and bold? Choose wisely. We don't have as much time as the Devil wants us to think.

2019. Catch it, before it catches you!

Back on the Path God Laid Out For Me
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 10:42 AM

Back on the Path God Laid Out For Me

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 10:42 AM
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 10:42 AM

I am clearing the desk, clearing the mind and taking that leap into what God has purposed me for. A lot of you thought I had. True confession, hadn't.

If you are a regular reader of my Facebook posts, you know that I post a lot on courage and fear and how these above all are the greatest deterrents to being all we can be. I encourage so many but it's really myself I'm talking to. You heard it here first.

God gave me an out-sized vision in 2012-2013 for a teaching, training and support "ministry" (though I hesitated to call it a "ministry") for public servant leaders.

I never, ever wanted to be one of those "women in ministry." Never. I have a number of friends who are whom I love and respect; but, that just wasn't me. Still isn't. And I've had to learn to be okay with that.

By nature I am a doer, a fighter, an innovator, charge the hill kind of person. I have always been a fighter and will drop folks in a minute because I don't have that long-suffering kind of love or patience and bristle when things and situations become overly emotional. I am definitely not the ministry type!

I have always been so sure of myself, so bold, never arrogant, but confident. There was nothing I didn't think I couldn't do if I put my mind to it. I was so sure of my politics, my convictions and my view of the world.

I blazed a bunch of trails, then seminary, then confusion, then frustration, then trying to live in a past in which I was comfortable but one long in the rear view mirror. And the future God had shown me, to be honest, scared me to death. Why? Because I couldn't control it. I'd always been in control of every step, every decision. But this? To be vulnerable with people, to not be Lone Ranger and Wonder Woman?

For the past five years I have been burying my talent and gifts and passion with cipsinc.org getting other people to speak when God told me to speak; to teach when God told me to teach; and, lead when God told me to lead. I've been trying to pour myself into a mold God never intended for me to try and squeeze into.

I have been a Saul; not the Paul one, the king one who had such a small view of himself that he never grasped the magnitude of what God called him to. He couldn't see himself as king.

Insecurity is a helluva thing - and straight from the pit of hell because it is demonically designed to deter us from fulfilling God's plan and purpose in our life and the blessing we are to be to and for others.

I thank God for great friends who have answered when I've called and a great Board of Directors who have been so very supportive.

While God has blessed Christians in Public Service to do some great things, He is not going to move as He would until I be fully obedient, not partially obedient as I have been by doing fully what He has given me the vision, experience, knowledge, skills, ability, and passion to do.

I so know why he kept telling Joshua to have courage. Partial obedience for lack of courage is no obedience at all. Though to others it looks good from the outside.

I am still that doer, fighter, innovator, charge the hill Dorothy I've always been. It is just channeled now in a different direction. I had to get used to this idea too.

I had to understand and come to grips with that. God uses us how He created us. I was born with this kind of personality - this kind of edginess. My interests, expertise and passion are still there, just re-purposed for Kingdom purposes. I am free to be all that and more in him.

This is why I will be teaching the inaugural class on Saturday, January 12, 2019 for Christians who lead in the public square, that will initiate the Christians in Public Service Center for Public Servant Leadership.

Attempting once again to bury my talents, I had asked others to lead this and teach, but God said, "NO! It's time for you to do what I've given you to do."

I will have a lot to say about leadership; the dark side of leadership; self-awareness; how to lead to win in life and career; and, moreover, reading and leading people and self in the world system of politics and public service in ways that God honors and insures good success. Throughout this unique four-hour course helping leaders recognize the correlation between their relationship with God and others and the degree of their success as leaders.

It has nothing to do with religion, but everything to do with timeless biblical principles that have proven over generations to lead to sustained success in leadership and in life. This is my assignment. This is my commitment.

As I close, in the waning days of 2018, I ask you the question I finally had to ask myself. As it relates to what you know you should be doing and what you sense God is leading you to do - I ask this one simple question, if not now, when?


Dorothy Burton is an author, conference and keynote speaker for various organizations and governments across the country. She is the author of the new book, Why We Fall: The Power of Self-Awareness.

Interested in having Dorothy speak at your event? Please complete the SPEAKING REQUEST below.

SPEAKING REQUEST

Answering Your Critics
Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:28 AM

Answering Your Critics

Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:28 AM
Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:28 AM

Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews. He spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing?” – Nehemiah 4:1-2

The story is told by Dr. Alan Zimmerman of a judge campaigning for re-election.

The judge was an honorable man, however, his opponent was conducting a vicious, mud-slinging  campaign against him.

At a news conference a reporter stood and asked the judge, “Your Honor, would you care to respond to these accusations being leveled against you by your opponent?”

The judge paused, looked over at the reporter and responded, “When I was a boy I had a dog. And every time the moon was bright, shining and full, that old hound dog would howl and bark at that shining moon all night long.” 

With that, he handed his coat to his assistant and walked off the stage. His campaign manager was furious!  “Judge, say something else! That was a neat story but you haven’t answered your critics!” 

The Judge looked stoically at his young assistant and said, “I did. When that old dog kept barking and howling at the moon, that moon just kept right on shining. I don’t intend to say anything back to them, I’m just going to keep on shining.”

You don’t have to be a judge or an elected leader running for re-election to be attacked.

Anytime you step forward to do good, serve others, and accomplish feats others dare not try, you will be attacked, ridiculed and criticized – and from personal experience, I can tell you that not only does it hurt, but hurts deeply. 

But as Christ followers if we view ridicule and criticism from the right perspective – God’s perspective, we can, like the judge, keep right on shining.

How? How can you resist the temptation to strike back and sling back the same mud slang at you?  

As a Christian, first recognize the source. Satan, by influencing the thoughts and actions of others (even other Christians), will seek to steal, kill or destroy (John 10:10) anything and everything he can - from our relationships to our purpose and work.

The goals of unfair and unwarranted criticisms and attacks are to discourage you, disappoint you, shame you and ultimately to throw you into such despair that you will give up and quit.

As a political leader, Nehemiah’s goal was to garner the support of the people to rebuild the Jerusalem wall.

In those days, cities were protected from enemy invasion by huge walls of wood and stone.

As they were rebuilding the wall, they were publicly ridiculed, mocked, threatened and criticized. 

Sanballat, a governor from a nearby region, made sure everyone in town, especially those of influence, heard his and his supporters’ criticisms of Nehemiah and his team.

Nehemiah, like the judge, did not answer them a word. But knowing that God had purposed him for this assignment,  Nehemiah didn’t consult any polls, sling back mud or do any political grandstanding.

Instead he tuned it all out, went privately to God and prayed, “Hear, O God, how we are despised! Return their reproach on their own heads and give them up for plunder in a land of captivity. Do not forgive their iniquity and let not their sin be blotted out before You, for they have demoralized the builders” (Nehemiah 4:4-5).

They had messed with God’s people and God’s work!

God answered Nehemiah’s prayer. Nehemiah understood that while the criticisms were too overwhelming and the opposition too great for him to overcome, they were not too great for God. 

We can fight criticism with criticism but we will never overcome it. Criticism is a spiritual attack and can only be overcome spiritually through prayer. And when we refuse to engage them, as the judge or give them over to God as Nehemiah; like the judge, we will keep right on shining - and like Nehemiah, keep right on building. Don't ever allow critics to cripple you!

Who are your critics? Instead of criticizing back, like Nehemiah, ask God to deal with them and see what He will do on your behalf. No critic can get the better of you!

 


Dorothy Burton is an author, conference and keynote speaker for various organizations and governments across the country. She is the author of the new book, Why We Fall: The Power of Self-Awareness.

Interested in having Dorothy speak at your event? Please complete the SPEAKING REQUEST below.

SPEAKING REQUEST

Handling Defeat and Disappointment When You Run But Lose
Thursday, November 8, 2018 3:48 PM

Handling Defeat and Disappointment When You Run But Lose

Thursday, November 8, 2018 3:48 PM
Thursday, November 8, 2018 3:48 PM

You prayed about it, had peace about it and sensed God's prompting you to run for office. You ran a hard fought, faith-filled race but came up short. You "lost."

Unless one has experienced the devastating defeat of losing a campaign, it is impossible to know that sinking, kicked-in-the-gut feeling when it becomes apparent that winning no longer is an option.

The worst part is making that phone call of concession and be at best cordial to an opponent who for months had been the adversary and depending upon the tone of the race, just a downright enemy. One who tried their best to destroy your name, tear down your character and distort your record.

What do you do when you run the best well-planned race, but come up short? How do you handle what can and is for some the embarrassment and shame of defeat?

The weight of loss doesn't come all at once, but "losing" an election is a grieving process. The shock of "loss" doesn't come all at once.

The night of and the day after, you will handle things pretty well, keep a stiff upper lip and appear to roll with the punches. You're still in campaign mode, you just don't realize it.

As the days and weeks wear on, defeat will begin to wear on you. You will question decisions made, get somewhat upset at the thought of those whom you believe could have done more to help; and, you will begin beating up on yourself, telling yourself you should have done this differently or that differently, that you should have worked harder.

NONE of this is entirely true. It is the mind's way, however, of coping with the shock, pain and grief of not winning. 

So what do you do?

First of all, change your mindset from defeat and loss to believing that the race transpired exactly according to God's will and providence. 

Just as you would have believed it was God's will and favor in victory, believe the same in defeat.

I had to come to grips with the same when I lost my first city council race. It hurts, no doubt about it, it hurts.

Losing an election is a grieving process. It is the death of a long-hoped dream and one that you sacrificed so much for - only you and those you love and love you, know the sacrifices you made.

As a follower of Christ, know this. While the numbers didn't fall your way, you didn't "lose."

Three-fourths of people will never have the courage to put themselves out there as you did to take the attacks, character assassinations, sleepless nights, sacrifice of precious time with family, missed moments you can't recapture, the money spent, the verbal assaults, social media attacks; and, misrepresentations of who you are.

You didn't "lose," you actually gained! While you did not get enough votes to win an election, what you gained will last past any term ever could.

You will discover things about yourself that but for defeat at the ballot box, you never would have believed possible. You will discover strength you didn't have before, stronger self-confidence, stronger self-image and an indomitable spirit. Even more, deeper faith and a greater hunger for and anticipation of what's next. Whereas before you maybe meandered along, you will move with purpose and determination.

Know that there is a what's next. As long as God sits on the throne He always has a what's next.

Rest. Rejuvenate. Re-examine your heart and know in your heart this was part of God's plan for your life - the unseen, providential hand of God.

Trust that He knows. He knew before you filed and before one vote was cast. He had to allow you to fight this fight so that you would grow in the faith and courage needed for the next leg of your life journey.

God doesn't tell us from the outset all of the hurdles and hardships we will encounter in pursuit of success.

Just know as a Christ follower, on the other side of every wilderness is a promised land.

He couldn't tell the Hebrews about all of the "ites" and enemies they would encounter. Why? Because they would have been too afraid to leave Egypt and would have missed the biggest blessing and answered prayers for not only them, but for generations that would come after them, even up to today.

God knew what they would face in the wilderness, but He had much better in store for them on the other side of it.

So does He for you! When we fall short and experience the pain of defeat, we're in the wilderness. Had we thought we would lose, we never would have taken the journey.

Just know as a Christ follower, on the other side of every wilderness is a promised land.

No, my friend you didn't "lose." Keep going. What is ahead of you is so much greater than what is now behind you.

Know that you are blessed and still as a child of God, highly favored.

Rest, breathe, take some days away to clear your head and don't linger in the wilderness of defeat. Your promised land is still up ahead and the best is yet to be.

Click on the image below to take a look at the video I created just for you. Be encouraged!


Dorothy Burton is an author, conference and keynote speaker for various organizations and governments across the country. She is the author of the new book, Why We Fall: The Power of Self-Awareness.

Interested in having Dorothy speak at your event? Please complete the SPEAKING REQUEST below.

SPEAKING REQUEST

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Personal and Essential Leadership Qualities for Public Servant Leaders

Bouncing Back From Defeat: What To Do When You Run For Office But Lose