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I’ve always read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah as if the events happened seamlessly, one after another and, to be honest, a little bit “by magic.” I have always taken it for granted that God somehow just “did something” and that everything happened pretty quickly. This time through, I took a deeper look into the story – into the details and the drama –  for the miraculous ways God worked through (instead of “in spite of”) history and people.

Some of my goals in life are to always be happy, always be sure, always be confident and excited about what I need to do next. But, apparently, these were not Jesus’ goals.

I've added a new Bible study, "Paul on Work," here.

At the end of his life, one of the many things Jesus did for his followers was to speak clearly about the role of leadership. All through the last few chapters of Matthew, he explains - and ultimately demonstrates on the cross - what true leaders are meant to do: their job/our job (we all lead something!), is to work hard to make the burdens that other must carry easier. We are not meant to just carry them for them - everyone must carry something - but we are suppose to help.

Sometimes, having two bosses can work (right now, I have four), especially if these bosses are working towards complimentary goals and the competing time demands can be managed. In this kind of setup, it is mostly a matter of sorting out what each boss needs at any given time, and on a good day, many of our actions can be applied to meet multiple needs. (The lesson plan I prepare for one department can be used when I guess lecture at another, for example.)

Can this idea of keeping two bosses happy be applied to our view of government? Jesus seems to think so.