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Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Housekeeper

In your job, how would you like to always be remembered in a negative way? That happened to the White House housekeeper, Henrietta Nesbitt.

Nesbitt was hired by Eleanor Roosevelt, when Franklin Roosevelt was govenor of New York. Later, she joined the family in the White House, after FDR was elected president.

Nesbitt offered the president a very bland diet. One morning, FDR exclaimed to his secretary, Grace Tulley, "Doesn't Mrs. Nesbitt know that there are breakfast foods besides oatmeal? She has served it morning in and morning out for months and months now, and I'm sick and tired of it!"

Later that day, when the secretary appeared, Roosevelt showed her that day’s newspaper inserts displaying various breakfast cereals along with their prices. Then he began his dictation, "Cornflakes! 13 ounce package, 19 cents! Post Tosties! 13 ounce package, 19 cents! Cream of wheat! Two for 27 cents!... now take this gentle reminder to Ms. Nesbitt."

All of this was to no avail. When Roosevelt was running for his fourth term, he joked to his staff, the main reason he wanted to win was to fire Mrs. Nesbitt.

For years now I have seen Henrietta Nesbitt's name in various biographies of Roosevelt. Not one time to remember anything positive written about her. What a terrible indictment. Nesbitt's problem was she forgot who she was serving.

Christians do not have that excuse. Even when we do not like our earthly boss, Paul reminds us that we serve someone even higher:

23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving (Col. 3:23-24.)

May we daily work for the Lord Jesus.

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