No more excuses…

No more excuses, I need to do a little more explaining about my tardiness in posting. This week I’ve been in what I call the new “Sin City”, Washington DC. Every year, a couple of thousand local public officials invade DC for a few days of learning and to meet with their Congressional Delegations to discuss issues that affect us at the City level. Being from Arizona, this trip is a double-edged sword because half of our delegation is never there and the other half that is there, at times, is indifferent to local issues. Not to mention the gridlock currently underway. The flipside is that as we gather to exchange ideas and information, we become stronger community leaders. It was a good trip for me; I strengthened my understanding in a few areas and gained new perspectives in a couple of more. However, as far as my Monday morning commitment is concerned, I missed yet another deadline due in part to my schedule in DC. I have also been a graduate student in the Public Administration Program at Grand Canyon University since last October, which has challenged me in a number of ways including time management. This part of my website is very important to me. Someone asked me, “couldn’t you just write a bunch at one time and then schedule them to be posted?” The short answer is no. It is interesting how God works in this situation. I look at a bunch of bible verses searching for something relevant or current and let God do the rest. He has been inspiring each one of these so I don’t just “crank them out”. I think that is why this is so important to me, and hopefully, you are inspired too. I look at who is receiving or viewing these every week and have a truly worldwide audience; which is humbling in and of its self.  I know that my readers forgive me but I wanted you to know what has been slowing me down. Thanks.

“Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips.”  Ecclesiastes 10:12

I never started this website to share my opinion; I started it to share leadership principles and God’s word. Over time it has moved from leadership of the workplace to leadership of life. Once in a great while, I’ll share something about a project that I’ve worked on. Most of what I do in management consulting is pretty straightforward and not very glamorous. I meet great people and love working with municipal governments and once in a while, the US Military. Some say that I am wise but all I do is share what is already available and help municipal clients put it into order. A fool is consumed by his lips when he is just spewing opinion of which he has no real experience or education. A wise man however, one who is experienced and educated, is gracious. What kind of a disciple are you – a fool or a wise man? When we read the word and live by the word, we are both educated and experienced. We all make mistakes along the way but do we always learn from them? If we do, we remain wise. This time leading up to Easter that we call lent, is a time for us to reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. It is also a time for us to reflect on the grace of God who sent us a Savior so that we could spend eternal life with our Father in heaven. This is a great time to become wise and help the fools to see that their focus is misplaced.

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Wise and Faithful Servant

One of the many hats that I wear in my life of service, is that of local elected official – yes, a politician. It makes me cringe when I say it or write it; politician is now a horrible way to describe your self. I am a public servant, doing the work of and for the people of our community. We are responsible for making policy, providing direction, setting budgets and guiding the development of the community. We have an awesome staff who understands what our community needs and what vision we have set for it. Our citizen satisfaction is high and most people you run into will say that they love our community. It is safe, clean and stands out among the other cities in our region. I know it sounds like utopia but it is, without exaggeration and all true. We have been able to achieve all of this because of our ability, as a city council, to work together toward one vision and with one purpose – do what is right for the whole city and not selected developments or special interests. The thing about local politicians is that they can’t stop working with each other when they disagree, they can’t pick ideological agendas to push onto the community and they must put the community first. Our positions require us to be wise when we zone properties or approve developments. We must lead in all situations by providing direction the city staff on what we expect for our residents. We don’t have the option to “shut-down” your local government because we can’t get along; we must always shine despite what is happening around us. Dare I say? We must be wise.

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:3

“Wise” is defined as “having or showing experience, knowledge, and good judgment”. Many of us are wise in a number of things, some in sports while others in gardening and others in general information. The TV character Cliff Clavin from Cheers thought he was wise in general information but we know how that turned out. The bible is instructing us here to be wise about the teachings of God. In the Old Testament, the people were subjected to the Laws and were constantly proving to God that they were incapable of following them. They relied on their own interpretations and followed their own desires. They were not wise. Those that followed the Laws, believed in God and openly shared their faith lead many to righteousness. The bible teaches that they will shine forever. We can use this verse to be reminded that we too, will shine, when we are wise to the teachings of Jesus Christ. God’s Son, whom He sent to save us because we were not wise, has given us the examples we need to be wise. While we are no longer under the Laws, Jesus taught us how to live righteously through parables, He lead by example and demonstrated His power through miracles so that we might be wise. God inspired the writing of the bible for us to build our faith, grow our knowledge and confidence so that we can lead others to righteousness. God wants us to join Him in heaven so we can shine like the stars for ever and ever. Go and be a wise and faithful servant.