Posts Tagged ‘Christ Jesus’

I must give props where props are due so before I get any further I want you all to know that my son brought the title of this post to mind. It was kinda out of the blue last night while I was cooking when he mentioned it, but I thank God for His timing.

He just came up to me and stated, “Mama, we’ve had it wrong for a long time. You know how everyone is always saying , ‘God doesn’t bless mess’…He does…He blesses us all the time and we’re pretty messed up!

Such wisdom from a child….so glad God thought to bless me with him!

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Of course he was absolutely correct….I’ve even said that old cliche’ myself…but I admit that when I have it was usually with a self-righteous attitude….

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Yep…I thank God for renewing my mind to the realization that I HAVE NOT ARRIVED…so I don’t have to worry about those ugly little thoughts anymore.

Regardless,  what my son so eloquently reminded me was so profound that I literally woke up rejoicing that God’s  mercies are indeed new every morning!

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That said, this is not a license to do whatever you want because you can!  

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Rather, this is reassurance that though God knew the wrong you were going to do before you knew you the wrong you would do, He still chose to unconditionally love YOU…

images (30) EVEN IN YOUR MESS!!!

He loves YOU so much in fact that He took the time to set His thrown aside, step into YOUR shoes, walk through YOUR valleys, carry YOUR cross, and be condemned in YOUR place. He loves YOU enough to lay His life on the line so YOU wouldn’t have to do it. And it wasn’t forced.

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So even when I don’t get this Christian walk right, it’s refreshing to know that God’s love blesses me even while I’m in my mess.

 

Today one our constituents called in a panic.  She and her husband were hosting one of our Art of Marriage Events in about 2 weeks and had not done anything to prepare.

  • Yes, they were the marriage ministry leaders for their church!
  • Yes they specifically knew of several couples who would benefit from it’s content
  • Yes, they bought the kit in April!

Of course, we’ve seen it all so I’ll admit, I almost got a little judgmental.  Yep, I know that’s kind of wrong, but in my mind…I thought…

“You bought the kit in April and now you’re calling for help?”

Well, I guess she sensed how ill-prepared she’d sounded so she began to further explain her dilemma…

She went on to say that she and her husband tried to schedule their event back in April for October, but at the time was told that the calendar was closed.  So she and her husband held onto the kit and did nothing further.

I guess you’re wondering why they didn’t just ask to be scheduled for the next open date? It’s easy to say that from the outside, but I can attest to the fact that when you’re already a little nervous about being put in the spotlight, sometimes you gladly accept any set back as a “get out of jail” free card and get on down instead of relying on God’s direction and pressing on.

So yes, they had the kit, the flyers, and posters (everything they needed), they sat idly by watching marriages fall apart holding on to that excuse that the calendar was full.  Well, sometimes folks, God’s got another plan!

Well, usually God has another plan and because He grants us free will, He allows us to only go so far before we’re obligated to do things His way. Well super long story short…the couple found out about the event “they” were hosting the same way the rest of the congregation did…Sunday morning announcements.

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Now if her church is as technologically savvy as most are these days, the announcement was displayed on some huge screen for all to see…And yep..that’s what happened.

Now I understood her panic and I was immediately able to reassure her that we can help her…I submitted an urgent request for one of our ministry advisers to contact her immediately and when I asked her when she would be available, her reply comforted and convicted me in succession.

“I’ve cleared my schedule for the next two weeks because we’ve got to get this together.  I’m available anytime. Just call.”

The words she stated reminded me of the words I’d uttered not long ago to my Father.  I’d embarked on a mission to complete my memoir several years ago…got with a publisher…paid…and yet sent nothing…I could say that it was writer’s block, but that’s a lie…it was fear…fear of the questions…fear of the answers…fear of rejection…fear of acceptance…fear of memories…fear of the need to forget…I understand now how I’ve allowed that fear cripple me.

A few months ago, a co-worker handed me a book that changed my life…I know that sounds so cliche…but it did nonetheless…I started writing again…I started remembering again…I cried tears that had been buried in a facade for over 3 decades, but even half way through that journey I stopped…overcome by the “what ifs.”  But today, God not only allowed me to remember my vow this evening as I attempted to reassure that customer.  But early this morning, he reminded me with a message from Joyce Meyer…the words…”It’s time” has been ringing in my head all day…I’ve had friends lined up for months to offer assistance to review my pain on paper, but shame preferred it be kept hidden…

But something else spectacular happened on that call…something God always has a knack of allowing in my life…He allowed me to minister to myself.

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You see the past two days, I’ve been fighting a sinus infection and I’ve gotten pretty good at hitting my mute button just before that sneeze…I’d begun telling the young lady this: (mind you this isn’t verbatim-going by memory here)

After she mentioned that she and her husband prayed about it and she couldn’t back out because she felt like God’s hand was on it…I agreed with her and recalled the time when I’d been co-chair over Women’s Day at my church one year…how I’d made all these new plans and when I went to the planner and even to the pastor to offer my input, I was completely rejected.

All I could think of was, “Why in the world was I selected if they weren’t interested in anything I had to offer?” I was sick because my naivety had me so geeked that I’d called vendors and made all these plans to make the Women’s Fun Day a Spa Day…

Well of course I prayed…God reminded me of Nehemiah and the wall…how he was constantly met with opposition but how he was able to complete it anyway…not by his own effort, but by his faith in God’s power to help him finish the task…In the end, the pastor’s heart softened, but two days prior…every vendor cancelled at the last minute.

I arrived at the site on the day of distraught, but slowly as I tried to get things together by myself…one by one God provided people who had everything I needed.

By the end of that night, the ladies were given makeovers (Maybeline donated boo-koos), manicures were done by volunteers, massages were given, pictures were taken…all because I relied on God and refused to take the glory for myself…I smiled as I reminisced in that moment…

And I simply told her that it wouldn’t be a miracle if “you could get it together in 4 months.” 

So with that, I’m no longer stressing about how I can get this and that together and what if this person says this or that…I’m going with what I’d decided before…to allow God arrange my calendar!

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved

Okay I admit….I’ve been still struggling with road rage….the last few weeks hasn’t been easy and the other day, I went off….The ironic thing is that earlier that day, I’d read the passage from Our Daily Bread about how a “so-called” courteous driver allowed another driver in front of him and because the receiving driver didn’t nod or wave, the other one kind of went berserk!  When I finished reading it, I remember thinking how completely unnecessary his actions were.  Yet, I succumbed to the same idiocy not an hour later!  What’s worse is that my 11 year old daughter bore witness to my antics…

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So…if I may explain...

I was attempting to exit I-630 right in the middle of a hard-hat war zone…the woman in the car to my right was cruising in my blind spot and was attempting to do the opposite.  I saw her so I guess she wasn’t really in my blind spot, but she was obviously not paying attention to me.  Anyway…she nearly side-swiped me with a quick left and my mouth followed suit…let’s just say I had a moment…

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…Not a good one, but still a moment.  Immediately I said, ” I need to get in the word” My daughter responded, almost sighing, “We all do, but I think you need to eat the whole bible!”  She was laughing when she said it, but clearly the last few minutes had been no laughing matter.

Years ago, the Lord showed me that cursing was beneath me and as if some light bulb was ignited, I just sort of stopped doing it.  Along with the urge to curse, went my tendency to gossip (yes people, listening to it counts too), and my desire to argue.  I also no longer cared for the “liquid courage” that held me captive for years either so what happened?  As soon as I thought the question, the answer came to mind…

… I knew that James said it but didn’t know where.  Arriving home, I felt horrible for two reasons.

#1 I felt like I’d failed God. 

#2 I felt like I’d failed my daughter.

So reluctantly I peeled back the pages to reveal the truth I avoided for so long…

James 3:9-11(NLV)

Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water?

You see, I started writing this post early last week but I filed it away half-finished…
 
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I’ve done that a lot lately.
 
 
When that pinch of conviction hurt too much or when I realized I didn’t have it all together, I voluntarily pushed the words God put in my mouth aside because I didn’t like the taste of them.
 
Well yesterday at work I was forced to eat those words anyway…call after call…I was reminded of what I needed to do.  At least 4 calls in a row were prayer requests.
 
  • One guy called saying that he and his wife struggled with prioritizing and that he seemed too busy for regular time with God…my prayer for him included a reminder that prayer is merely a conversation with God…that we should MAKE the time for Him…
  • A mother wanted her relationship with her son and her mother to improve…she was seeking approval for the way she’d been handling things.
  • A wife called pleading for improved communication with her husband…
  • Still another woman mentioned a portion of a verse that hit home…She said she knows the enemy must flee if she resists him.  Immediately I corrected her stating, “so many of us get that verse wrong.  It says that we are first to submit to God, resist the devil, and he must flee!”

I know now that I was not speaking on my own authority or my own thoughts. Who was I to judge?  I know now that the Holy Spirit was leading me to assist them while assisting myself.

 
 
By the end of the day I was humbled.  I realized my prayers for those anonymous callers had become my own.
 
 
So yes, I’ve been hesitant lately.  I’ve not posted as often because of my “own issues” but God again reassured that my transparency sets others free too.  Despite cringing under the conviction that I too had some adjustments to make,
I’m grateful for His reminder that over time I’d been taking in too much “junk” and not feasting on His word like I used to…He graciously pointed out that the difference between me and a none believer SHOULD be evident…that my spiritual physique should be void of bitterness, cursing,  and doubt.
 

John 16:13 (NLT)

13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

I’ve always known that too much junk food negatively affects the physical body, but, now I also know the same is true for my spiritual body.  So the past aside, I’m re-learning to be a picky eater.

 
 ©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 
 

The value of something is equal to the sum of what someone is willing to pay for it.  Now think of it this way.  You were bought with the blood of Jesus so you’re priceless!  Why settle to be treated like a simple trinket?

Simply put,  baby, you don’t know your worth!

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I’m sure that you’ve heard that you cannot love someone else without first loving yourself.  While there’s some truth in that statement, that’s not the starting point.  Some people have it twisted that love is about “give and take,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Yes love is about giving, but the latter part is receiving not taking.  It plainly states in the bible that Jesus willingly laid down his life for us according to John 10:18

No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.

Now that’s love! 

Receiving God’s love opens the door for you to be able to receive love from others.  But if you think you don’t deserve something, it’s a lot easier to turn it down even when you know it’s good for you. I admit I didn’t know my worth for a while and I settled for less over and over. 

Do you know why I thought I was undeserving of better?

I hadn’t considered the magnitude of God’s love for me then.  This misguided perception almost crippled me with insecurity and self-loathing. I didn’t know how to receive His love….even in prayer, I’d find myself commenting to God about how unworthy I was to be in His presence.  I think God got a little sick of my pity party because lately when I drift off into “woe mode” because of a sin I’ve willingly committed, the moment I repent, He abruptly interrupts me with something like Romans 8:1-2 

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.

As if He were telling me, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

But God lovingly taught me how to receive love. I’m still working on some areas of healing and it’s been a process, but I’m learning every day to embrace God’s love for me more.

Even today, He placed on my heart these questions,

  • Who told you that you were unworthy of my best?
  • Who made you believe that you had to settle?
  • Who made you forget that you’re my diamond?

Then God whispered,

Daughter, when your world seemed dark and you felt all alone suffering under a world of pressure, I was perfecting you.

I admit that I had no immediate answer. There were too many faces to blame, including myself.  Yet when He reminded me of His grace, it really didn’t matter anymore. I was no longer concerned with counting who did what to me.  Instead, I counted myself a diamond who’s not so rough anymore.

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©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.