The Publisher's Pen

Jeff Schumacher

I guess you could call it one of those weeks, but I am certain this one was on purpose. I can’t ever remember a week when so many “like” things popped up in my life...and were all connected to one thing —joining together to make our world and community a better place.

It started Sunday as I was attending a church service. During the sermon, Pastor Kevin was talking to the young graduates about putting God first in their life. He explained how life goes by so fast, and you must center yourself with God as the main thing. He spoke about the great things they could go on to do, and the turmoil that wait.

But, he kept coming back to the most simple of things…make God the main thing you strive for. Make his work the thing that makes you who you are.

As he spoke, I couldn’t help but align others and myself in influential positions in the same category. Have we all put God in the center?

Has He always been the reason we get up each day and do the work He has chosen for us to do?

I can tell you from experience that it has not always been the case with me. There was a time in my life where I began taking all the credit for everything happening in my life.

I was moving up the ladder in corporate life, running a 65,000 circulation daily newspaper with more than 300 employees.

And, I knew it was because of my hard work and talent that got me there. I was taking all the credit for my good fortunes.

But God has a funny way of reminding you who is in charge. Without Him as your focal point, things begin to unravel.

And, they did. I had an accident that nearly killed me. And, following that, I decided right there to put God back in the center of my life. I quit the high power job I had, moved back to the mountains of North Carolina, and began my walk with Jesus once again.

Since that day, I think I have done pretty well. I still have my moments, but that’s what God’s grace is all about. He knows how imperfect we are, and still loves us in spite of all our faults.

Unconditional love.

Which leads me to the meat of my column.

If leaders are supposed to be Godly in their actions, I fear we don’t have much a choice come November…especially for President.

Neither of the candidates speak of anything that has God in the center. They all talk about how the rich are taking over the world, and the government is our only salvation.

None of the rhetoric could be further from the truth.

I am reminded of Nehemiah. Nehemiah saw that the walls of Jerusalem had been torn down, and went there to rebuild them. Not only that, but he helped rebuild the nation to a “Godly” nation where people treated each other with Godly principles, and decisions were made in line with those principles.

If you really want to know what I am talking about, read about Nehemiah in the Bible, or just read the short version in Wikipedia. You’ll get the picture. He wasn’t popular with some people, but he was truly an effective leader - using “Godly” principles.

All of this leads me to believe that we have to look for candidates who believe in the right thing, the things God teaches.

I have taken this on as a challenge to help spread the word that it’s time we all start caring about each other a little more.

The world is harsh enough without the help of our neighbors.

I also think its time to unite as a Christian population to put people in leadership positions that have the right morals, and ideas. And, that their “real” life and their “professional” life mirror each other.

We have far too many people in leadership roles who have thrown out Godly principles so they can get re-elected or be liked for doing what is politically correct. Even though they know it’s wrong, the power and notoriety sways their decision-making ability.

So, I’m trying to start a mini-revolution here. As this election season is upon us, let’s listen to what is really being done and said by our local, regional and national leaders. Then, let’s put it into the context of whether or not it is in line with what is right - not popular - but right.

For those of you who think those government leaders, or any leader for that matter, and Christian principles shouldn’t co-mingle with each other - think again.

The Bible is full of events where leaders were condemned for doing wrong in the eyes of God.

And, rightly so, there are many examples of people praised and given favor for doing the Godly things they were put into position to do.

So, what has changed?

We have.

We have become soft and afraid that we may not be in the majority.

At this point in my life, I have really started to focus on what is the right thing to do. I fail miserably at times, but I know that if my heart and soul is truly committed to doing the right thing in a Godly manner, then I will certainly be at peace with my decisions.

As I look back on Pastor Kevin’s sermon, even though it was meant for the graduates, I couldn’t help think about our country and the leaders we are trying to elect this year.

I think it’s pretty simple.

We need more Nehemiahs in charge.

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