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. 


 

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

Because In Politics The Hook Is Always Baited For Christians
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 11:31 AM

Because In Politics The Hook Is Always Baited For Christians

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 11:31 AM
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 11:31 AM

Many of us are in prayer for Mr. Caraway and his family during this difficult season and in the days and years to come. He served the citizens of Dallas well for many years. (Photo: CBS11 KDFW)

Religion and politics have always mixed. After all, the religious and political leaders colluded to crucify Jesus. However, Christianity and politics can never mix because they are two different systems, one of the world, the other of God.

Christians will continue to flounder in the political world because the quest to bend that world to the will of "religion" is fantasy.

We don't deal in fantasy. We deal in the reality of the spiritual v. the material - the dichotomy of servanthood and power that is inherent in positions of public authority.

Conflict is inevitable. We help Christians navigate between the tension of the need to be all at once humble and at the same time wield power. And not getting caught up in the many and varied temptations that ultimately leads to destruction if they take the bait. And the hook in politics is always baited.

All that we do is based on the Word of God. We're not a "religious" organization because unlike some want to make it, the Bible isn't a "religious" book. It is the King's (God's) instructional manual for Kingdom citizens living in this colony called earth.

The Bible is replete with lessons from the lives of public servant leaders God used throughout history to carry forth His truth that enables us as an organization to do the same.

We don't preach, we teach. We don't judge, we love. If you fall down, we're here to pick you up. If you need confidential peer counseling, we have leaders who have been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and cap who can help you through it - confidentially. If you get in trouble call us.

We don't operate in the nice and polite world of "churchiness," but the rough and tumble world of politics - where right is still right and wrong is still wrong.

The Bible is written for our instruction and the similarities between leaders in government then and leaders in government today are nothing short of stunning.

The wisest (and wealthiest) public servant leader that ever lived, King Solomon, tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. What has been will be and what will be has been.

There is nothing we can do that has not already been done. But God always offers us a way out and grace when we don't take Him up on His offer.

We are not confused and we know we're not every public servant's cup of tea.

We are cool with that because while we love everyone, our organization's target audience is in our name - Christians. And not even all Christians who serve. Just as all Christians don't attend church, we don't expect all Christian public servants to attend our sessions and play active roles in the organization. That's life in the real world.

Our lane or system (vineyard) is government and Christians who serve within it. There are other systems such as business, media, education and others that together make up the entire world.

In whatever system we've been placed in this colony called earth, we will be held accountable in the last day as we stand before the King to give an accounting of how we spent the time, talent and treasure He allotted to us.

There is no way around this simple truth. 

As Christians, we must light the way. We've stepped up to the plate to help lead that way.

To that end, we want those who name the name of Jesus Christ as public servants to serve wisely, well and finish the same; without regret or blemished record of service because the hook is always baited for God's people.

The video below illustrates the reason for our existence - our why.


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

We Have Met The Enemy, And It Is Us
Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:59 AM

We Have Met The Enemy, And It Is Us

Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:59 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:59 AM


The greatest problem in America is Americans. We are at war with one another. From Washington, DC to sea to shining sea.

The greatest problem with Christians are not sinners (we all are), liberals or progressives or racists or Antifa - it's fellow Christians.

Many of us have forgotten what Jesus taught us through scripture that the greatest commandments are simply to love God and one another.

Not be "in love" with one another, but making the conscious decision to care for and about the well-being of others as much as we love and care about our own - without qualifiers.

But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to Him, 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. - Matthew 22:34-40

In today's America, for a growing number of Christians, whether we love a person or not is predicated on their politics.

I had coffee one morning with a woman, wearing a cross around her neck who in one breath professed Christianity and in the next said she finally had to divorce her husband. Why? Because she no longer could stand his politics.

I have known of a number of reasons for ending a marriage, but admittedly was not prepared for that one. Adultery, sure. Refusing to work, sure. Abuse, you bet. But because they had grown apart politically?

She is Republican. Her now ex-husband is a Democrat.

My husband and I have been on opposite ends of the political spectrum since he discovered I was a Ronald Reagan Republican and he, a Jimmy Carter Democrat. We married over 30 years ago with these realities and together raised a beautiful, intelligent daughter who is balanced in her approach to politics. 

It would never occur to me to divorce him because of our political differences. And for Republicans who believe Democrats can't possibly be Christians - it was that Democrat who modeled the love of Christ and led me to Him. I thank God every day for him. 

Division among Christians is deep, wide and growing exponentially.

Race used to be it, now it's politics and sadly, still race. 

America has been divided racially since Columbus set foot on what would be American soil. It wasn't long before indigenous people were separated and ostracized by the newcomers because of the color of their skin and custom of their ways. The white man and the red man. The civilized versus the "savages."

Though the "savages" weren't "savages" until they were savaged and were merely fighting to keep and protect what was rightfully theirs. I digress.

But for the record, reservations for the native American and plantations for the slave were satanic. And what we're seeing across the American political landscape today is no less satanic, just in a different form. And I just lost some of you right there. Truth has a way of doing that.

But for those mature enough to keep reading, back to my point. The greatest sin of far too many American Christians today, from the pulpit to the pews and from city streets to country roads, is that many have partnered with Satan by re-defining themselves by his standard of measurement and not by God's.

Viewing others not by God's standards but by worldly political views.

If we wake up to anything, we should wake up as Christians to the hard cold truth that by God's standard of measurement, many of us are not measuring up.

We can cheer and jeer as loudly as we want. Pack out stadiums for candidates of choice, cheering them on, but if another brother or sister were standing beside us who loved Jesus too, were saved and on their way to heaven too, many of us would condemn them to hell if they were a "liberal" and we a  "conservative;" or, if they were a "conservative"and we a "liberal."

May I tell you a secret? Satan doesn't care about any of that. As far as Christians go, Satan doesn't care about our politics, our skin color or if we want to make America great again, turn it red, blue, inside out or upside down.

He is interested in turning us against the God we proclaim and the way he is doing it, 21st century-style, is to get us to turn on one another. He has a means for every era but the goal is the same. What? To make Jesus out of a liar. And we help him every time we choose hate over love because of someone's politics.

Jesus told us we have one enemy, one. He called Satan the Adversary because his ways and very essence are adversarial to God's truth, God's way and he is a forever enemy of every Christ follower regardless if we call ourselves a Democrat or a Republican.

May I tell you a secret? Satan doesn't care about any of that. As far as Christians go, Satan doesn't care about our politics, our skin color or if we want to make America great again, turn it red, blue, inside out or upside down.

When he looks at us, he looks at us all the same - as lambs. And when we forsake Jesus as our Shepherd, by with blind loyalty following after our political leaders instead of our Lord and Savior, we become lambs without a shepherd and the Adversary, like a lion, swoops in, divides and devours us. Just as Jesus said he would.

He devours our witness by taking control of our tongue and mind so that what rolls off our lips when we speak and our fingertips when we post to social media, don't reflect what we claim is in our heart - laying bear our hypocrisy. And turning people off and away instead of drawing them to God.

People can't see our heart, but they hear and read our words. And our actions will always betray our affirmations. When we choose our politics over our Christianity we lose all effectiveness for the Kingdom. That's the Adversary's goal and the sad part is, we have become so blind that Satan continues to steal us blind. We have eyes but can't see.

We're losing people. Christianity is not winning the hearts of the lost nor of our young people as it once did. Recent Pew surveys tell us this.

Non-Christians can't tell the difference between the good guys and bad guys because we have taken on the ways and words of the bad guys.

Political victories are temporary but eternity is eternal.

What does it profit us to gain what in the next election could so easily be lost, at the expense of our witness but for which someone's soul could be eternally lost?

Just know that if you name the name of Jesus Christ and claim to love God whom you haven't seen, yet dislike people who you see every day because their politics or race or culture differs from yours, you are like Eve and have been duped by the Adversary.

And by God's standard, that in no way is "winning."


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

Because Life Is Too Short To Spend It At War With Yourself
Thursday, October 11, 2018 11:19 AM

Because Life Is Too Short To Spend It At War With Yourself

Thursday, October 11, 2018 11:19 AM
Thursday, October 11, 2018 11:19 AM

I believe every word of the Bible to be God breathed by a perfect God through imperfect men to reach and redeem imperfect people. Imagine a God like that!

As much as my husband loves me, NOBODY can love me like that. That's why I refuse to deny Him, dumb down his word for political expediency and why I chose to extract myself from political party affiliation.

I couldn't have it both ways. If loving my neighbor meant I had to hate or denigrate Democrats to ingratiate myself more deeply with Republicans, I couldn't do it.

If I had to denounce creation as male and female and deny God's definition of marriage in order to be in good with the Democrats, I couldn't do it.

Jesus came to save the world. What is "the world?" Its systems. Government system. Business system. Entertainment system.... people make up these systems.

He saves his people and sends us into the systems to change them to advance God's kingdom and to influence for eternal good, others.

But instead of us changing them we are ill-equipped because we don't spend enough time with Him and in the Word and fall for the allure of the systems and instead of us changing them, they change us and curse the very God that sent us.

So no, Dorothy Burton hasn't changed. Dorothy Burton just made up her mind whose side she's REALLY on.


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

If America Is To Be Saved, Christians Must Stop Fighting For The Enemy
Sunday, September 30, 2018 6:42 PM

If America Is To Be Saved, Christians Must Stop Fighting For The Enemy

Sunday, September 30, 2018 6:42 PM
Sunday, September 30, 2018 6:42 PM

In Christ there is one race - humanity. There is only one time God Himself divided humans - after the flood in Genesis 11:1-9 when they all decided to come together and build the Tower of Babel.

God recognized the power they had when they banded together. His plan at the time was to re-populate the earth so the Bible says that God himself "came down" and confused the languages and scattered the people.
 
The common enemy of common humanity is Satan. And we are more powerful than we know. But he knows it. If you don't believe this then none of what we're experiencing today will make sense to you.
 
Depending on your political bent, you will blame either the Democrats or Republicans and/or some great right-wing conspiracy or a left one.
 
Satan too recognizes our power. We're at war alright because the two kingdoms are. And as Christians who believe in the power and understanding of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) we must also understand that God's Kingdom extends to earth and as Christ followers we are citizens of that Kingdom, colonized on earth.
 
Being that this is true, we must also understand that we are at war with citizens of Satan's kingdom, the kingdom of darkness; established in the earth by Lucifer (Satan, the Devil, Diabolos) when he was thrown down from heaven - with colonies of people adhering to its doctrine. They, too, are spread out throughout the earth.
 
They are at the top of every world system - especially the center of all world power - the world of government and governing systems throughout the world.
 
If you think I am whistling Dixie, you'd better go grab your Bible!
 
Satan, the prince of the kingdom of darkness, has a hierarchy of demons that seek to divide us, agitate us, anger us, frustrate us and cause us to turn on one another. And they are on it big time and overtime, 24/7.
 
The clashing of the kingdoms is being played out through where? In the very sphere of power - the world and in the arena of human power -- the political arena.
 
Some commentators speak on various media outlets of a coming "civil war." I don't believe that at all. It's another ploy of the Enemy to keep us suspicious of and hating one another.
 
There will be war but the only coming war that matters is not a "civil war" caused by the division of politics and race, but the war of Armageddon where Christ returns as the conquering King not as a babe in the manger, to restore the earth back to God the Father.
 
And this my friends is what all of what we are seeing, hearing and experiencing is about. All of this hostility and division is leading up to that day. The exact day and hour only God himself knows. But know this - it's coming.
 
Everything Jesus told us would happen, has been happening since He ascended to heaven. So don't listen to false prophets who point to earthquakes in diverse places and other prophetic signs Jesus taught as if they are some new phenomenon. Such have been unfolding since Jesus was taken up and will be until He returns.
 
Each day we live is a day of unfolding prophecy so don't believe the hype that the word will soon end. It may or may not. We just need to start living as if or keep living as if it could be tomorrow or tonight. We've always been on countdown.
 
Satan can blind us all - some temporarily, others to the point of total and complete blindness who will never find their way back.
 
I too of late had been temporarily blinded. Fussing and fighting with folks on social media and feeling awful on the inside the whole time. Why? Because I had fallen into the trap of the Enemy and was being used as so many others. And I felt dirty and small.

We can't fight as they do and expect to win.
 
Thank God for the Holy Spirit and sometimes we really do have to wrestle with our demons. Given the political climate and my love of politics and governing, I've had to wrestle with more than a few demons over the past several weeks.
 
Let me say this to leaders who are Christians - you are a target for serious spiritual warfare. We all are. But leaders who publicly profess Christ especially so. If Satan has to send every demon in hell, or even come for you himself, he will.
 
That's why Paul warned to not be so quick to aspire to be a leader or teacher. Trust me when I tell you this - you will be up against some mighty forces of evil. You, as a leader must spend time with God and in His word. If you don't, you will be weak, your ability to lead effectively seriously diminished; and, you will live in a constant state of frustration.
 
You will be challenged on every hand and will spend so much time putting out fires that you will wear yourself out and soon grow weary enough to want to throw in the towel. Or, question your ability or question whether of not you're in the right place at this age and stage of your life and career.
 
It is Satan's greatest ploy against leaders who profess Christ - to wear you down and wear you out until you want nothing but out. And you will abandon the assignment God has purposed you for. The enemy will have won and you will have forfeited your God-given purpose and failed your assignment.
 
That's how our enemy rolls, leaders.
 
As a Christian, if you're walking around angry, hating the Democrats or the Republicans, the right or the left, joining with others in throwing verbal assault bombs, writing the same - and feeling angry and agitated on the inside - king's x, you've switched sides and are now fighting in the other kingdom for the other god (small g) and there is no way you will win.
 
They will eat you up and you will continue to be eaten up on the inside because that's what compromising with evil does to us.
 
The wars within the world system of politics have to be fought on our knees in prayer and with our lips with the sword of the spirit - the uncompromising truth of God's word.
 
Don't lie to gain favor or to keep it - because you invariably will lose the very thing you lied to keep or protect.
 
Satan laughs at us as we fight in his armor using his weapons because he knows we can't win and all we will do is his dirty work by destroying one another. Even more important we will destroy our witness for Christ to the world; a world and people desperate for truth and authenticity. Yet when they look at so many of us, we look and sound no different. 
 
The very same way David, when going out to meet Goliath, had to shed Saul's armor and go out to battle with his own weapons, in his own clothes, so must we.
 
Clothed in righteousness with truth as our weapon and faith as our shield, we can fight and win and change America.
 
It only took one brave little shepherd boy to defeat the greatest most powerful threat representing the enemy of God. An army didn't defeat Goliath, David did.
 
We need some Davids and Deborahs and Esthers and Daniels to rise up. Don't wait for your elected official to do it. Way too many are compromised with their only interest being to fit in where they can get in with the power structure by doing and saying whatever they must to keep their seat and to guard against being "primaried" in the next election.
 
No, if it is to be, we as individuals have to take the same attitude as that ruddy little shepherd boy and that brave public servant judge Deborah, who ladies, when Barack wimped out, she herself led the charge.
 
We must really understand that God alone is our protection and He alone worthy of our allegiance and life - not the ideology or platform of the right or left. 

We can't fight as they do and expect to win.The god of the other kingdom knows it, and as Christ followers of every race and hue in America, we had better quickly learn the same. 
 

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