Photo above: The Hertford Bridge in Oxford, England. Used by Permission. © Tom Ley 01302 782837

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Facing the Giants

By Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

Deuteronomy 1:27-29 (New Living Translation) You complained in your tents and said, ‘The Lord must hate us. That’s why he has brought us here from Egypt—to hand us over to the Amorites to be slaughtered. Where can we go? Our brothers have demoralized us with their report. They tell us, “The people of the land are taller and more powerful than we are, and their towns are large, with walls rising high into the sky! We even saw giants there—the descendants of Anak!”’ “But I said to you, ‘Don’t be shocked or afraid of them!

Where are the giants in your life that impede the expansion of your physical, spiritual and emotional territory? I was greatly blessed by the film “Facing the Giants” about a losing football coach who used biblical principles to bring revival in himself thereby providing the spark for a Holy Ghost firestorm that ignited his family, the football program, the school, and an entire community. One of the “fear-busting” principles he employed was to redefine what “victory” entails. In order to attack the giants, the first step is to identify the enemy. The real adversary was not an absence of talent as God leverages whatever gifts and abilities we are given to achieve His will and goals, nor was it a low level of motivation as they all wanted desperately to win, the root cause was their belief that losing made them “losers” thereby agreeing with the “Gospel” of the secular worldview that accomplishments (the wins and losses of life) are the foundation of our identity.

This “vain imagination” belief created giants of fear that grew more powerful with each loss generating enslaving self-fulfilling prophecies of discouragement yoking the players and coaches with a slow growing cancer of negative self-image. The coach discovered the Kingdom principle that Godly victory is not achieved through a winning record, but the slow cultivation of Christ-like character as we endure and grow through trials and tribulations. He redefined the definition of team success by adopting the principle that we are stewards of our God-given gifts and abilities and that we honor and worship the Lord by giving our best efforts in pursuit of team goals regardless of the circumstances and the ultimate outcomes. The outcome of our efforts is God’s responsibility, not ours. We plant and reap, but only God gives the increase. “Winning” is realizing the collective potential of the team as each member dedicates himself to developing his God-given talents to support the communal efforts of the squad (the body of Christ).

Winning occurs when we exert every ounce of our energy in a God-honoring fashion playing by the letter and spirit of the rules of the game. As the coach stated, when we win we give God the glory, and when we lose we still praise Him. Atheists and agnostics ridicule the notion of prayer before football games, but they miss the essential Kingdom principle that in God’s economy He uses all circumstances to shape our character. Winning challenges us as we are tempted to worship our “greatness”, while losing tempts us to yield to despair and hopelessness (curse God and die) denying the power and providence of God to yield good fruit through all circumstances. Hence God concurrently uses winning and losing in a football the game to realize His unique purpose for each individual player and coach. God is the master efficiency expert who created this wonderfully complex and intricate universe, and He is well able to use winning and losing to reveal the hidden motives of the human heart and promote self-knowledge, learning and discovery. The coach discovered that great power occurs when we truly embrace Romans 8:28 that all things work out for the best for those who love God and are called according to His purposes. Let us all agree to “face the giants” in our lives recognizing that victory occurs by obeying and praising God in all circumstances. If we follow these principles, we can truly embrace the Apostle Paul’s’ joyous observation that we are more than conquerors through Christ who strengthens us.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Great Blessing of Thanksgiving: God’s Divine Attributes

By Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

As we reflect on the blessings of Thanksgiving, I urge you to meditate and be thankful for God’s attributes. One of the greatest gifts of God is the comfort He provides as we trek through the “worldly sorrow” emotions that burden our souls. When we are lost in the wilderness of pain, sorrow, self-pity, depression, and fear, His healing rain provides sweet relief. When we seek the Lord with an earnest desire, we find a gentle voice that eases the pain with His tender touch. Below are eight principles of divine comfort that are water on the lips of a man parched in the desert.

Principle 1): Eternal Love: God did, does and will always love you and I unconditionally. If you doubt this, remember that Jesus sacrificed the most for us when we were at our worst! He first loved us while we were sinners mired in our unsaved state of condemnation.

Principle 2): Unconditional Forgiveness: What a joy to realize that we are blessed with 360 degree eternal forgiveness! Jesus forgives all my sins, past present and future. The blood of Jesus protects and cleanses us and quiets the voices of fear, guilt, condemnation, shame, and doubt emanating from our flesh and the demonic realm. Jesus is tearing down the walls and identifying all the sources of unforgiveness. Take comfort, as Jesus is our advocate, lawyer, and redeemer!

Principle 3): Amazing Grace: Grace is God’s love in action. It involves all elements of the trinity, and is most fully developed in the New Testament redemptive covenant of complete forgiveness of sins. Remember that grace covers every failure, sin and weakness. Grace is the foundation for abundant living. Ponder the formula that ongoing weakness + God’s grace = Abundant Life. Embracing grace is one of the most powerful forms of belief and faith. It is a sin of pride to reject God’s grace. We must humbly accept this great gift and apply it liberally to our wounds, sins, temptations and weaknesses. The Holy Spirit is the comforter, teacher counselor, and provider of grace. God’s grace is always with us and we must build our homes upon its rock solid foundation. Grace softens and purifies the motives of our heart freeing us from the bondage of legalism and a spirit of works. When we desire to earn a reward from God, it is very easy for Satan to transform our motives into a “works spirit” that becomes a cruel taskmaster given the need to perform and accomplish instead of simply being in relationship. Grace meets us where we are at, and we do not need to be “cleaned up” as the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) clearly illustrates when the father runs towards the distantly viewed son and then joyously hugs and embraces his pathetically downtrodden and sin-stained child.

Principle 4): God is Patient: God is never frustrated or angered in human emotional terms. He is patient whether I obey or not, act or not, agree or not, and this takes away the burden of legalistically having to please God. We don’t have to change all at once, only God can provide instantaneous transformation, and in most cases it is contrary to His will to “zap” us given that we need gradual transformation to build character, faith, patience and empathy. These attributes are the foundation of a ministry of healing that God creates with our tears and scars. The comfort we are given, we give to others. Don’t despise the day of small beginnings and remember that the Lord will not let us be tempted and tested beyond our ability to bear.

Principle 5): God is Responsible for the Increase: God, not our efforts or talent, is responsible for the fruit, the healing and the change, both within us and with others. This reduces the pressure to “perform” and reinforces the power of Godly excellence which entails embracing obedience, humility and character growth. This assurance enables us to love others and ourselves in the appropriate fashion, with the combination of support/encouragement and necessary “tough love” accountability. We must always ask for the Lord’s power and guidance to base our motives on agape love which helps guard our heart from guilt, condemnation and manipulation.

Principle 6): God Will not Test Beyond Our Ability to Endure: Romans 8:28 clearly states that all things work out for the best for those who love God. This means that in all circumstances, the Lord will not test or tempt beyond our ability to bear the burden. This provides powerful reassurance that irrespective of how large and powerful the Goliaths and strongholds that we face, God’s power to protect is always greater! Another key element is to reject any form of comparison with others regarding the size or nature of our problems. God does not use a comparative standard in terms of the objective size or strength of our enemies or judge us on a relative standard of strength and courage. He is equally pleased with the “timid and fearful” who learns to trust God and face their fears of a mouse as He is with the brave warrior who is facing lions. Never despise the day of small beginnings!

Principle 7): Godly discipline is always for our benefit. God uses trials to discipline us, and His discipline bears pleasant fruit when we humble ourselves and surrender our will. Every thought has the power of life and death, and Satan attempts to influence our thinking to plant seeds of doubt, unbelief and fear that impede God’s purpose. How do you hear the voice of Jesus? Even in those bible passages in which He voice anger and frustration, it was always done with a spirit of love as evidenced by His actions. He always forgave and moved on, He was patient with reoccurring failure, he never abandoned or rejected even when His beloved disciples fled, and He returned love and peace for failure and sin.

Principle 8): God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness: This is one of the most comforting but humbling lessons. Christians are victors and victorious, but this triumph is based upon a radically different definition of success and excellence than the secular world and culture utilizes. Victory and success in God’s eyes entails: 1) loving Him unconditionally, 2) obedience to His commands and will, 3) recognizing, confessing, repenting and renouncing our sins, 4) learning from our mistakes and failures, 5) learning to love, and 6) forgive and offer grace to others and ourselves. It is not an outcome based perspective. It is when we are weak and in a failed state that we most clearly recognize that our strength, victory and power comes from God. An attitude of humble strength acknowledges that all of our talents, gifts and abilities, all of our successes and accomplishments, our ability to focus, work hard and persist, all are gifts from God, hence we cannot boast. When we are successful, pride insidiously infects our ability to assign the appropriate locus of responsibility to God and redirects it to our character and “worthiness.” Failure is very effective at penetrating the defenses and placing us back on the correct path.

I pray that you will dedicate yourself being hearers and doers of the word, and that these principles will be a source of Godly blessing and encouragement.

Monday, November 21, 2011

God-Honoring Boundaries

By Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

The battle over time is one of the great spiritual warfare struggles. Satan uses our addiction to activity and works to impede our relationship with God. Time can become an idol when our schedules become more important than obeying God. The underlying principle resides in one of the foundational commandments, though shall have no other Gods before me. God created human beings for an intimate personal relationship with God. He implanted eternity in our hearts. We are ceaselessly restless until we make the free-will choice to place God at the center of our universe. The reason is simple. Only God can complete us. To experience wholeness, we require purpose, meaning and transcendence of the self. Only God loves us unconditionally and forgives us unconditionally.

Human beings since the fall and the introduction of sin employ an almost infinite array of strategies and objects to experience meaning. All of these strategies become idols (activity, money, power, prestige, relationships) that temporarily satisfy but ultimately fail us. All of our idols become sources of fear and insecurity given their inability to provide humanity with the unconditional love that is essential for our security and growth. Why is this relevant? Even as Christians, we can lose sight of God. We spend so much time and effort working for God, we lose sight of the critical factor, to be in relationship with Him. Scripture likens our connection to God as being the branches of the vine, when we are cut off from the central vein, and we lose life-giving sustenance.

One of the things we teach in our public administration classes is the need to balance our lives between work, family and leisure. In reality, life is too complicated, there are too many variables, the system interconnections are impossibly complicated for rational calculation. When we attempt to balance on fully human terms, we budget time for discrete tasks making us more sensitive to disruptions impeding our ability to rest in and enjoy the present. The life of Christ demonstrated the importance of the well-ordered life (as John Ortberg stresses in the book the “The Life You’ve Always Wanted”), not the well balanced life. A well-ordered life places Jesus as the center, our most important daily objective is to maintain an ongoing relationship with God through spiritual disciplines such as prayer, bible reading, and most importantly, a conscious commitment to loving God with our entire being (heart, mind, and spirit) and our neighbors as ourselves.

Jesus set priorities, but they were the Father’s priorities. He also demonstrated the ability to improvise, to be sensitive to what we term the ministry of interruptions. The most important parts of our day are frequently unplanned and unanticipated, and we must make a conscious choice to act upon these opportunities. A rigid “checklist” approach to time management increases our resistance and stress to answering these calls. The other major element of the well-ordered life is that our lives are divided into seasons. There are times when our lives are unbalanced for God’s greater glory. Jesus and the apostles spent sleepless nights, suffered hunger and exposure to the elements, forsook material comforts, prayed all night, were persecuted and imprisoned, and exposed themselves to danger. They also recognized that there are times to rest and refresh. The Lord will in subtle ways communicate the absence of Godly order in our lives. God can run the universe without me as I am not its center! We must stop throwing ourselves off the “temple roof” and expecting the angels to save us, a reference to Luke 4:9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. 10For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" 12Jesus answered, "It says: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Many Christians become prideful, thinking God will protect them no matter how foolish their actions. God will always ultimately protect and save us, but our actions do have consequences. I pray that every human being experiences the reality of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Imagine the joy, peace, excitement when you realize that not only is God real, but that He wants to be involved in every area of your life. This knowledge provides incredible comfort, power, energy, passion, and purpose, but God’s wisdom must govern our efforts.

This zeal is a great benefit, but can develop into a weapon if we lose perspective and it is not directed by the Holy Spirit. Energy and passion channeled and focused in the right direction becomes a laser in the hands of God, but dissipates without the lens of Christ. Busyness overwhelms Christians as we are unable to separate God’s will (the best) from the many good things that can distract us. Seek Godly priorities and cease from your own labors. Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you and be that lamp unto your feet.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tempting Others to Sin

Dr. Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

Matthew 18:7
“What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting.”

One of the most humbling aspects of leadership is to recognize that as shepherds of the flock, we possess a great responsibility to not discourage our employees and tempt them to sin. Many managers are oblivious to the fundamental Christian world view understanding of leadership that assigns great spiritual accountability for being the source of temptation. How do managers tempt employees? The answer to that question requires more than a dissertation solely devoted to the subject, but I will endeavor to introduce several fundamental principles. First, we tempt our employees to sin when we fail to provide the necessary encouragement and recognition. In essence, we “steal” the intrinsic heart rewards that are essential for stimulating ongoing motivation and the promotion of hope in difficult circumstances. Most employees report a drought of job-related feedback and are disheartened by the lack of acknowledgment. When we fail to recognize good performance, we are using dishonest scales and stealing from employees! We are called to encourage and support others with the comfort that we receive.

Second, we tempt our employees when we fail to provide the necessary discipline to correct poor performance and improver behavior. God disciplines those whom He loves, and undisciplined employees like uncorrected children will operate in a spiritual vacuum testing the boundaries until they are broken in spirit and body.

Third, we tempt employees to anger and bitterness when we develop in-group and out-groups in the workplace in which employees are treated unequally not based upon character and performance, but upon the manager’s arbitrary likes and dislikes. God call us to be no respecter of persons and treat all according to character and faith.

Fourth, we tempt employees to higher levels of distrust and cynicism when there is a gap between policy and practice. The absence of consistency between words and deeds shipwrecks the faith of many employees. If we promote empowerment in policy, but in practice only support employee decisions that validate or rubber stamp a preordained management decision, we promote organizational hypocrisy.

As Christian servant leaders, we must continually test both our motives and actions to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. If any of these temptations are present, we must repent and address the root cause issues to regain employee trust. It becomes a long road back, because it takes much more time and effort to regain trust once it is lost. Being a “hearer and a doer” is the path less well traveled, but well worth the cost given the bounty of trust produced from righteous treatment!

Monday, August 22, 2011

God's Tests

Dr. Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

Exodus 20:20: “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!” NLT

As an educator and a life-long learner, I am very comfortable with the notion that our time on earth consists of a series of “tests.” We are simultaneously “cramming” and taking exams of one sort or another every day of our temporal existence. There are numerous biblical references to testing in the bible, and the “life is as a series of tests” metaphor instills a variety of emotions depending on our own personality, life experiences, and understanding of the nature and attributes of God. For those wracked by text anxiety and the fear of judgment or failure, this concept is frightening given the identity of the “teacher” and the predicted dire consequences. Conversely, for those who relish life’s final exams and take great pleasure from the adrenaline rush, the prideful bravado instills a sense of false confidence that produces a spiritual recklessness.

There is a Godly middle ground that I am beginning to grasp but having great difficulty putting into practice. The greatest danger is for us to use our own wisdom and reasoning and select the tests. It is analogous to having the students write the exam questions based upon imperfect knowledge, limited experience, and scope of understanding. Scripture states in Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” If I can accomplish this task such as complete my tithe, forgive someone once at work, read my bible everyday for 30 minutes, I am “okay” and passed the test. These types of tests can become a form of “sacrifice” that temporarily assuages our conscience, but does not address the root sin issues.

From a Godly perspective, tests are not about performance, but about obedience, trust and character development. I am not “okay” and set free for what I do or for how many self developed tests I pass with high grades. Liberty springs from humbly taking the daily tests that the Lord provides through ongoing life circumstances, those “dying to the self” moments that validates our willingness to obey the Lord. The tests that we create are “fixed” to feed our egos. They are means to self medicate and anesthetize the pain and avoid facing the true root cause of our problems.

I pray for the Lord’s strength and courage to starve and abandon my works based tests, and feed the love and fellowship based obedience exams while rejecting the self protective tests that our conscious recognizes as inadequate in solving problem. When we develop our own tests, we define success and failure and attempt to predict and control the consequences. All such attempts are vanity and usurp God’s power and wisdom. Satan manipulates our self tests, as man judges on appearance, but only God tests the secret innermost motives of our heart as Samuel learned when God selected David over his more “Kingly” brothers (1 Samuel 16:7).

We commit the same errors, both in assessing ourselves and others, we grade and judge the inner man in a superficial manner. When we write the exam, develop the answer key, and set the grading standards, this deflects us from God’s will and purpose as we confuse the best from good and make mountains out of molehills (and vice a versa). God’s test produces Godly wisdom and learning, our tests generate confusion. I can practice, but only God tests. God grades and evaluates using His standards which is always based on love and promoting our best interests. Truly we grow in faith when we test ourselves according to God’s principles. One of the most comforting aspects is that there is a test within the test. Even if we fail, if we embrace Godly sorrow, seek and apply His grace and forgiveness, and try again, we have passed a very important examination, that of learning to fail with grace as we “fall forward”. To God be the glory!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Answering the Call

Justin Murff
Admissions Recruiter, Robertson School of Government

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

The beginning of the semester brings a sense of newness, excitement, and a healthy dose of trepidation for others. Beginning a graduate degree is challenging enough, but starting a graduate education at Regent University includes the preparation to answer the unique calling that God has on our lives. Stretching beyond the mere academic rigor of the normal grad school experience, Regent students are called to prepare for the fulfillment of their role in God’s plan for the nations through the integration of faith and learning. The Apostle Paul teaches in his Epistle to the Romans that:

"There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good." Romans 13:1-4

Many scholars would agree that this text refers to the governing authority as being God appointed. Oftentimes, people grumble about politicians and bureaucrats using the negative stereotypes that have become associated with those in leadership. But, one can often wonder if those leaders are just the second, third, or one hundredth choice in God’s economy. Many gripe and complain about the government and its leaders, but few rise to the occasion to make the bold declaration like Isaiah did when he cried out, “Here am I Lord, send me.” The Lord issues the calling; ultimately, it is our responsibility to answer the calling and step up and into the best plan that God has for our lives.

Answering the call to public service is not an easy task. It requires stewarding the awesome responsibility to govern and lead others. One key principle that must be learned is that the stewardship of leadership requires service above self. Answering the call to lead, govern, administrate, and serve our nations, our communities and those around us is not for the faint of heart. Alumni from RSG have served in positions from the White House to the City Hall and everywhere in between. When, we, as Christians serve others, love others, and diligently seek the Lord’s direction, it is no surprise that we find ourselves ministering in a unique arena that few are privileged to be called to. RSG students have the opportunity to walk the halls of government, intern in Congress, serve at numerous foundations, and glean knowledge from our professors every week who bring a wealth of personal experience that causes us to be acutely aware that as “God is doing a new thing” in our own lives.

As the semester wares on, take solace and comfort in the fact that it is the Lord who orders our steps, if we will only listen; for when we do, we can then begin to perceive the path that the Lord has for us. God may be calling you to be the next city council member, State Delegate, Governor, Congressman, Senator, or even President. Whatever you’re called to do, your journey begins here. Through diligent preparation, you will be used for His glory and that is the highest calling of all.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Toothless Platitudes Won’t Solve Debt Crisis

James A. Davids
Assistant Professor of Government & Law, Regent University

I like Sen. Tom Coburn.  In 2007, after the electorate threw out his party’s majority in the Senate, Coburn said:  “I think [American voters were] wise to want change. The Republicans didn't do what they said they were going to do. They deserve the wrath of the voters."  Refreshing.  Coburn was and is a fearless opponent of congressional earmarks, bucking his own party members when they sought to benefit their state at the expense of the nation (Coburn was the Senator who blew the whistle on Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere”).  According to a 2007 GQ article, Senator Coburn wants the American public to know “how it works in Washington, how the machine keeps itself running, and the favors get traded, and the deals get struck, and the bridges to nowhere are going up every day. He wants you to know that the United States Congress simply cannot stop itself—that both parties are in on the fix, backing each other and looking the other way, and that in the spirit of bipartisan waste, they manage to blow $500 billion more than they collect in taxes every single year.” Ahh, the “good old days” when the federal deficit was only $500 billion a year!

Given his reputation as a fiscal hawk, I was not surprised when Sen. Coburn became a member of the Bowles-Simpson Debt Reduction Commission, nor was I surprised when Sen. Coburn continued this effort by becoming a member of the “Gang of Six.”  Given the pap that constitutes the Gang of Six proposal endorsed by the President yesterday, I see now why Coburn walked out of the Gang of Six weeks ago.

The Christian Science Monitor today reported on the elements of the Gang of Six proposal.  Some of these elements are a bill that cuts $500 billion in discretionary spending over 10 years (remember that in 2007 Congress overspent its revenue by the same amount in one year), a congressional pay freeze (unlike many employees today, Congressmen have had pay raises the last few years), the sale of “unused federal property” (don’t expect top dollar in this real estate market!), and “new discretionary spending caps through 2015.”

“Spending caps” sounds good, but Congress already tried this years ago and it failed. In 1985, because of rising deficits Congress passed, and President Reagan signed, legislation sponsored by Sens. Gramm, Rudman, and Hollings.  This legislation, popularly known as “Gramm-Rudman,” provided for automatic spending cuts of “non-exempt funds” if the budget failed to reach established targets.  Not surprisingly, in five years Congress failed to pass a budget that met the established targets, and because Congress had exempted a big portion of the budget, Gramm-Rudman required a 32% reduction in defense spending.  This was unacceptable, and therefore Congress scrapped Gramm-Rudman and enacted the current system which caps spending and requires Congress to identify and secure new revenues for new spending (the “pay-as-you-go” requirement).  We have all seen how well this has worked over the past five years.

The GQ article on Sen. Coburn makes the point that “the members of the United States Congress will spend your money just because they can. That they'll do it even when they can't.”

President Reagan when discussing a nuclear arms treaty with the Soviet Union famously quipped: “Trust but verify.”  He never made a similar comment about Congress, perhaps because he found Congress less trustworthy on budget matters. 

The only way to save our public treasury and economic future for our children and grandchildren is to restrain our representatives.  Just like the Founders restrained government from interfering with citizens’ religious convictions, free speech, freedom of assembly, warrantless intrusions into our homes, right to counsel during criminal proceedings and all the other elements of our Bill of Rights, we need a constitutional restraint from government overspending.  We need the federal government to pay for its spending by raising revenue, suffering electoral consequences for either raising taxes or not spending enough money.  Just like the states and our households, the federal government must balance its budget, and the only way to hold the government accountable is a constitutional amendment with a provision giving taxpayers the standing to sue if the federal government’s budget is not balanced.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Avoiding Discouragement

Dr. Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done (Matthew 26:42, KJV).

As we approach Good Friday and the upcoming joyous good news of the resurrection, it is critical to reflect on the passionate suffering of Jesus. In order for us to experience the resurrection power of Christ, we must walk through the dark valleys when God’s presence seems distant or nonexistent.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Leadership Prodigal

Dr. Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them" (John 13:12-17).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Who Shuts Down the Government According to the Constitution?

James Davids, J.D.
Robertson School of Government

Shutting down government, or at least stalling its progress, seems to be a rite of spring these days. Last year a Republican filibuster delayed passage of the health care reform bill in the U.S. Senate.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tempting Others to Sin

Dr. Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting (Matthew 18:7).

One of the most humbling aspects of leadership is to recognize that as shepherds of the flock, we possess a great responsibility to not discourage our employees and tempt them to sin. Many managers are oblivious to the fundamental Christian world view understanding of leadership that assigns great spiritual accountability for being the source of temptation.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Recognizing Strongholds

Dr. Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rising Above Circumstances

Dr. Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:5-8).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Spirit of Rebellion

Dr. Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king (1 Samuel 15:23, NLT).