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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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November 2013

Beyond the Skyy

While cleaning  I noticed a grease spatter on my fridge. I wasn’t surprised. It’s right next to my stove, but I guess the specks were camouflaged.

The Problem…

The more I cleaned, the more I saw.

Frustrated, I finally moved the stove.  And yes, I hit the mother-load! Yuk! Grease, sauce, and “other” splatters  were everywhere!

Revelation moment-I’d been spot cleaning!

The area was so filthy I had to get down on my hands and knees to scrub.

Now I could have easily cleaned the surface and no one would know, but once that filth was brought to my attention, I could do that.

In the same way, the Holy Spirit allows us this opportunity. We all may have a few dirty little secrets! The problem occurs when we pick and choose what we want to clean despite the warnings.

That’s where we run into the risk of “indecent exposure.”

…For He will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.

2 Corinthians 4:5b

Realize God doesn’t allow us to get into embarrassing situations to get us back for sinning, but rather, to get us back on track. If we refuse to listen to gentle, discreet nudging, we set ourselves up to be put on blast.

Why risk it?

Through Christ’s blood we are redeemed from the death of sin, so there is nothing that we can do to ever separate us from God’s love. He is just to forgive, but we must fully repent. God’s  allowed me to camouflage so many character flaws and I am so grateful.

The first step, however, was I had to not only face my fault for what it was…a problem, as defined by Merriam-Webster–something that is difficult to deal with : something that is a source of trouble, worry, etc.–

Next, I had to admit that I created and nurtured it myself…

Only then did God cover the details of my past.  His grace allowed me to walk away from who I was, an alcoholic. So yes,  I dropped Jack D., renounced Crown’s throne, and sent Grey Goose flapping. Unfortunately some of my old drinking buddies are still bound, but I’m confident that if He could deliver me from the desire to drink with one prayer and ) AA meetings that He too can help them to look beyond the SKYY.

 

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

The Decision to Kill Myself

So I decided to hasten to His voice

Granted by choice

Ignoring logic for longing

My heart

Time to part

My preference made

Expense paid

Not by ordinary means

Though a norm it seems

My demise-inevitable

One unforgettable

One a world to see

My new reality

My seed will be well

No tears will swell

No lips tremble

My departure – simple

Gone from the toils of yesteryear

His yoke taken –no burden of fear

Memories fade of wrongs suffered

Forgiveness recovered

His life for mine

Now I gladly give

I died to self so for Christ I live.

©2013 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved

I die every day–I mean that, brothers—just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:31

Don’t Forfeit Your Freedom

Since the temps dipped, the mornings’ cold air slapped me with two realities today. One: winter is almost here and Two: I’d almost given up before I’d arrived at my destination. 

 

To put it nicely, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  To put it plainly, I went into rampage mother mode this morning and left my “shoes of peace” conveniently tucked at my bedside. Granted, I’ve repented since then, yet, when you add sleep deprivation to disarray in my home and top it off with ungrateful teenaged sighs, it’s pretty guaranteed that you’ll create a monster!  I suppose I was on the “Hyde” side of things–in short, I was not my best!

 

I’m  sure that everything that could have gone wrong actually did. Only, there was one common denominator in all these wrongs of my morning.  ME!!!! Yes, it was not my circumstance, my kids’ attitidues, or their laziness, but I was the only common thread right in the middle of the mayhem!  I was out of order. And wouldn’t you know it, just when I realized how completely useless my morning rant had been I almost felt sorry for myself because I hadn’t lived up to that “Supermom” image that every single mother covets!

 

For the 5 minutes or so I sulked–okay it was really more like 4 hours—but anyway….This is what the enemy had me mulling over>>>>>>

 

I’d failed my children by oversleeping and not having breakfast ready.

 

I’d failed myself because I hadn’t kept it together.

 

I’d failed God because I just had not been Christ-like in any way, shape, or form all morning.

 

 

I’d allowed all the negative emotions that I’d promised to let go back in somehow.  I say somehow, but I know full well just how it happened.

Thankfully, after a cup of coffee, I grabbed my bible. I was hoping to look up something about Freedom when the Lord placed the title of this post on my heart. What I found was 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 where Paul addressed the church about the hardships he’d endured:

 

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers (sisters), so that we despaired even of our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.  Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

 

After reading this, the only reason I can give as to why tears hadn’t drenched my face is because I cried so many internally that I depleted my reserve.

 

 The Lord had already attempted to reassure me that His grace is sufficient.   As the caffeine took its toll, with every sip I remembered a little more of what He’d been saying.  I recalled that as drove in the freezing rain Creflo Dollar had been spouting off about being so busy dealing with guilt that we fail to realize that we can’t earn God’s grace. Yes, people, I heard what was said, but I had not been listening.

 

My point… I hadn’t applied effort to understand what had been said.

 

I had a long list in my head of what “I needed to do to “change” my situation, my children, and virtually everything around me.” Basically, I’d left God out of the equation.  I’d failed to pray because I’d taken on a lot in the last few days. I was angry and I let everyone in my home know it every chance I got. I was tired of picking up after my children who seemed to care less about what I did for them.  I felt defeated. Yet, since I obviously missed the point God had been attempting to get me to understand with Creflo, He obliged me directly in His word.  How grateful I am for the influence and the reminder. I realize that there is absolutely nothing that I can do to change anything apart from God.

 

©2013 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

In Light of Tragedy

There’s been  so much illness and death on every hand  lately that it almost makes Murphy’s Law seem factual. Thankfully, I hadn’t been directly impacted, but people I know have been bombarded with tragedy after tragedy so I wonder “Why not Me?”

Now don’t get me wrong…I’ve had my share of problems coming and going, but I guess I’ve learned to take the good and  bad as good regardless of what has happened. A friend told me once that the way I reacted to “certain issues” was as if I were numb. I  pondered for a while and discovered I wasn’t numb at all. Rather, I’d gotten to a place where I  was unable to care more than I should have.

I sat back a couple of days ago and poured out to the LORD how truly grateful I am for every little issue, snag, and setback because I realized that I would not be where I am now had I had it any easier. I’m not talking about the physical “where I am”but the spiritual “where I know I need to be”  I know that I can’t function without being in HIS presence.

I wholeheartedly thank God for those who left my side when it seemed everything was falling apart. I understand that I’d been trying to hold on to what I thought I needed to be “right.”

WRONG!!!

I’ve found peace in the unimaginable lately and I realize that I only have God to thank for it.To us, a burden is just a burden, but to GOD it’s just a building block for our spiritual maturity. 

So whether it’s cancer, divorce, or even loss of a loved one, the real tragedy is that sometimes we only realize how much we need the Lord after the fact.  Yes, surrendering all to God comes with sacrifices, but nothing less than we can bear.  Because of this promise, I gladly give all my burdens to God because He can do so much more with them than I can.

Don’t Be Normal, Be Real!

Jesus didn’t just pop on the scene at 33.  He crawled before He walked.  He walked before He ran.  He grew and was tempted, but He did not sin.  Just as Christ matured , we as His followers are expected to do the same, but it seems that more often than not we get stuck in crawl mode.  In the natural, when a toddler fails to walk or talk by a certain age, he or she is labeled physically or mentally disabled. It’s no different in the body of Christ.

We are all at different stages in this walk understandably, but when we know better, we should do better.  Nothing is immediate, but change should definitely be evident at some point. John 3:7-10 points out that we should not easily sin. We cheat ourselves when you compromise.

It’s time to check ourselves and make sure that we’re not spiritually disabled.

Jesus died so that we are no longer bound by sin. He gave His perfect life for our imperfect existence. He died so that we can walk in God’s ways and not be tricked by satan. Paul reminds us in Romans 6:7 that we are set free from the power of sin. In short, we have a responsibility to strive for righteousness.  Anything less would be settling for the norms of this world.

©Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

New Light on a Horrific Concern

I remember when one of my former co-workers asked me if I am offended when people talk about horoscopes. Now I suppose she asked me that question because I’d been finally displaying my faith in God alone outwardly. Not to boast on anything that I could have achieved on my own, but I was a little proud that someone thought enough to consider my stance on the subject. Yet, possibly to her surprise, my response was uncharacteristically simple.

No, it does not offend me.

Yep, that’s it. It was not that I was intentionally attempting to abandon my post as a Christian to use this inquiry as a point of evangelism or even that I thought it odd that she asked me the question. In fact, because she questioned me, immediately I wondered had she, also a professed Christian, been questioning her own motives for bringing up the topic in the first place.
I think I knew right away that had indeed been her motive, but in the back on my mind, front of my heart, and on the tip of my tongue was this lingering desire to utter, “I just know better now.” Yet, I refrained and kept my response more simple than the incessant urge to follow the Holy Spirit at the time. Yes, this definitely would have been an awesome opportunity to shed light on the truth of God’s word and how believing in such is really practicing witch craft coupled with idolatry, however, what I should have possibly been thinking instead of “I just know better” would have been more aptly phrased had “sort of” been sandwiched smack dab in the middle of the “know” and “better” while completely omitting the “now” altogether. Consequently, the truth was that God had indeed revealed to me in His word the very thing I should have been able to share, but I still didn’t know enough to adequately explain myself to her at that time so instead, I opted to keep it simple, stupid!
Yes, indeed my response was a prime example of stupidity though one might argue that it was merely ignorance. On a better day, perhaps I could have even attempted to defend my own retort with such. I mean after all to be ignorant of something just has an innocent ring to it, wouldn’t you think?
And yes, stupidity sounds so harsh…I digress. By definition, stupid is lacking normal intelligence or understanding.

So how does one become less stupid about a thing? Well, studying helps, of course. Rather as Paul admonished Timothy in his 2nd letter to his son of the Gospel.
To do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.(2 Timothy 2:15-NIV).

There’s just nothing worse than mishandling the words in the bible! I mean, as a child, I used to hear inside and outside the church, how “money is the root of all evil.” Yet, nowhere in the bible does it say that! Actually in 1 Timothy 6:10, Paul writes that the “love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” This simple misunderstanding has literally caused of divide among Christians. Jesus confirms that we must seek God’s heart before we seek His hand and all “these things” will be given to us in Mathew 6:33, but because of the misconception bred in ignorance that humility equals poverty, many of our brothers and sisters in the faith are missing out on their own promise.
Do you see how important it is to meditate on the word for wisdom? The bible says in James 1:5,

if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God…” If you believe and not doubt, God will generously supply you with more than enough. He will generously give it to you.

In my situation at the time, I had not taken the opportunity to ask or even seek further wisdom on the subject, so naturally when the question about my horoscope stance arose, I hadn’t been confident in a proper response. Now, I had got the confidence to refer certain passages in the bible to support my claim like in Revelations 21. Yet, though I’d read that witchcraft displeased God, beyond that I hadn’t dug deeper for a clearer understanding. Actually, I couldn’t even recall where in the Old Testament I read it!
So now do you see why what I’d done was stupid over ignorance? Stupidity implies a choice. I had the opportunity to meditate on the issue and receive further perspective so that I could rightly divide God’s word, but I hadn’t known as much as this co-worker thought I should so I took the easy way out.
In retrospect, I know that perhaps in some way she wanted my approval, as if it mattered, to see if her discussion with others about the horoscopes was “ok.” In my summation, who was I to judge? However, as the word of God reveals, we are to judge only by the same means that we intend to be judged ourselves.
Basically, if you hadn’t gotten that area of your house in order, you really have no room to judge another by the state of their home. I’d been given access to the truth, but wasn’t confident in my claim. It’s taken me years to admit that to myself. I knew what not to do, but did not know why. I think that’s where a lot of Christians err in their witness.
For instance, we say it’s wrong to have premarital sex because “it’s in the bible.” Yet, we fail to explain the consequences of fornication. In essence, we fail to properly confirm our claim because we lack preparation.
With regard to Horoscopes, I admit, I used to rely heavily on them because they seemed so on point with how my life had been going at the time.
Angh! Wrong Answer! Survey Says>>
The thing that we as Christians have to realize is that “for entertainment purposes only” does not negate the damage that’s inherently done by relying on such. It all starts in one’s mind. Before long, you begin to anticipate what the columnist wrote as opposed to what God wrote concerning your life. You unconsciously accept their opinion over God’s opinion.
And for the record, when you put your trust in anything other than God, it’s idolatry. So though it’s taken me about three years to properly answer the question, I can gladly say that no, horoscopes do not offend me, they offend God! Enough Said.
©2013Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

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