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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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ministry

Last Night I had a MOMent

On the heels of two blessings I was not expecting, the enemy tried again and thought he’d won, but never. I thank God for His word and reminding me that I have no business allowing the enemy to blindside me with foolishness. I was reminded that life and death is in the power of the tongue. I found myself saying things and thinking things I knew were not true of my seed…Pain can make you do and say stupid stuff. Yet, I refuse to allow the enemy to dissuade me from what My God already showed me. My Father is faithful. My Father promised me life more abundantly so I suppose the enemy was running out of options yet again. I know God is my provider and my father…He is even my husband in this season and my children’s father as well. Yes, the battlefield is the mind, but I’m strapped and covered from head to toe with all that God provides for my protection. I rejoice in the knowledge that God is in control and that HE alone directs my paths. I refuse to allow my mind to succumb to worry or doubt period. My son and daughter are successful and are blessings sent directly from my Father.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for giving me the ability to give the devil a black eye with my smile. Father, thank You for restoring the years that were destroyed by the canker worm. Thank You for preparing me for this transition. Thank You for allowing me to be wise in every decision from here forward. Thank You for allowing me the charge to pray for the Man of God. Thank You for my future husband and our ministry. Thank You for the ministry that You have allowed Your angels to provide to me in this moment and every other moment my flesh seeks to outweigh my spirit. Thank You for always reminding me that GREATER IS HE IN ME THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD. THANK YOU FOR BLESSING ME AND ALLOWING ME TO BE A BLESSING. THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME SO MUCH DADDY! THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME THE COMFORT OF YOUR ARMS. THANK YOU FOR NOT ALLOWING MY FOOT TO STUMBLE AND THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING THE CALL YOU HAVE ON MY LIFE TO HELP OTHERS WHO HAVE STUMBLED UP TO THEIR FEET!!! GLORY TO YOUR NAME! THANK YOU FOR MY CONFIDENCE! THANK YOU FOR DETERMINATION. THANK YOU FOR GRACE. THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME THAT I AM THE APPLE OF YOUR EYE! THANK YOU FOR FAVORING ME IN SPITE OF ME!

YOUR LOVELY DAUGHTER,

SO IT ALL IS

Green Light in All Directions

“The traffic light at Hacks Cross Rd is out. It’s showing a green light in all directions for about five minutes.”

When traffic lights go out, it’s common sense to treat them as a four-way stop…to even proceed with caution…but when I heard this news on the radio today, I got a different message.

So I’ve decided to move forward anyway…regardless of what had just transpired moments before hearing it…

You see last night I went to bed in tears and found the same dampness on my cheeks while driving my children to school.

Considering today is the anniversary of my mother’s passing, one might think my grief had stemmed from the memory of that loss.  Yet, my grief had another source.55884266727f852597c2cc126406b24c

I was concerned about my next  transition. So I breathed a sigh of relief when inclement weather delayed the process another day.

I don’t believe I was afraid of the coursework or the demand of my time, but I’m sure now that I was afraid of the impact the news of my decision to officially give up my “job search” in favor of attending seminary, working in ministry, and spending more time with my children would have on others in my family…particularly those who’d been helping me thus far.

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In fact, unless, my brother and cousin, who’s more like a sister,  decide to read this post, they would remain uninformed until a more courageous time.

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News of another aunt’s diagnosis with dementia has taken its toll on all of us.

Last week  my cousin and I discussed how she was a caretaker for her own mother who passed 5 years ago almost to the date….how she cared for her father until his last breath less than two years ago…how she was finally in a place where she was ready to live…for herself.

Having just turned 38 two weeks ago, she admitted to me how she was a little bummed about not accomplishing more by this time.  I suppose she felt as I had a while ago.

and so much had happened in a week

A time when she should have been reflecting on the good times she’d shared with her mom, instead on that very anniversary she was rushing an aunt to the hospital because she just seemed, “out of her head.”

Though I’m living in her home for a time, I hadn’t seen my cousin much since our aunt’s admission to the hospital and the diagnosis. She was with her and I understood why. My cousin was her father’s best friend before he passed and this was his sister. I joined her there myself after church yesterday.

I’m grateful that God used the pastor to remind us of the foundation of our frustrations.   I needed it.  Otherwise I would not have been able to stomach the way my cousin lashed out at me last night.  She was tired and perhaps the reason I really cried out to My Father was because I too am tired. I’m tired of seeing her struggle in different ways than I have experienced. I’m tired of seeing her not live because she feels obligated to live for others instead. Yet, in my summation, I can not judge what God is doing on her behalf through all she is experiencing.

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I am, however, more confident in my understanding of what He is doing in me and what He has planned to accomplish through me.

So while the impact of what transpired yesterday and this morning nearly overtook me, God confirmed with that timely traffic warning that I am still heading in the right direction.

It was the motivation I needed to keep moving forward despite how illogical things seem.

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He will prove His power of deliverance through my obedience so until He tells me to stop,  I’m taking the green light.

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Yeah, I want to sing, but I’ve been called elsewhere for this Season

At work, I’m often intrigued and sometimes even a bit disturbed by the tenacity of some of our constituents.  Today, I spoke with a woman whose comments initiated the latter.  She called in response to our broadcast and immediately went into a tangent of how she has a business that has been going down for years and she did not want to end the business because she is an honest and godly person. She went on to say she needed advice.

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After she took a breath, I responded telling her that while we do not offer counseling over the phone, we have E-mentoring available. That’s when she broke in again stating that she had no access unless she went to a library. She then again went onto to say how she knew that what she was doing is good and again began spouting off the name of her “singing act” whereby she said she ministers to nursing homes in her area. The way she said it was as if she “needed my approval.”

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Again she took a breath and I seized the chance…I offered prayer, but not before reiterating I was no counselor. She agreed. As I began, the Lord brought to mind the story of Paul when he desired to revisit all the cities he’d preached in before.  I recalled how he mentioned the Holy Spirit would not allow him to go to Asia on at least two occasions…that his service was needed elsewhere instead. After that second attempt, Paul had his vision that help was needed in Macedonia.  Obedient to the Holy Spirit, Paul went. Regardless, Paul did what he had to do.

For those a little fuzzy about the specifics of the journey, the story is detailed in Acts 15:36-16:15.

Leaving Barnabas behind this time, Paul and Silas felt compelled to take an alternate route. They ended up going through the place they originally had planned to go around.

Of course, I didn’t share the specifics of this story in my prayer but bits and pieces came to mind as I interceded on her behalf.

As I prayed, at one point I must have mentioned something about allowing “her to accept Your will” even if it’s against what “she wants to do”…She interrupted the prayer and stated, “I don’t want to do that!” loudly and then began mumbling some other words similar to her original protest. After I closed the prayer…she continued her rant, except stating that she was continuing her prayer, but it was as if she was demanding that her business thrive…that she is praying for “going in” and not “going out.”

I realize that prayer is communication with God and we all communicate differently, but I couldn’t help but wonder where was her reverence?

Now, I applaud her fervor, but I felt like that portion was so not “right.”  I’m not judging her heart because I can’t, but neither can I sit by and agree with what I felt in my heart was wrong. I concluded our call and immediately began re-reading the account of Paul for clarity in my own life.  There had to be another reason that her words were so unsettling to me. Then it hit me! Before ending the call, the lady said, “The Lord knows what I want, and I want to sing!”

One might think that her words were words of faith, but the Holy Spirit showed me otherwise. Those words were of selfish disobedience.

You see I know that because I could identify with them myself….even today…prior to receiving her call, I’d been going through old emails I’d received from our music ministry with song selections.  I’d actually been compiling a spreadsheet of all the songs and artists with the intent of putting my own little organized choir book together so that when I returned to the choir, I’d be ready like I had been before I realized my commitment to that ministry had waned.

I like, Paul, wanted to revisit the places where I’d ministered before.

I, like Paul, wanted to be prepared with a spirit of excellence.

Yet, like this lady who I reluctantly identified with, I wanted to sing too… always have since age 4, so why was I not at peace even as I meticulously typed my little list of songs and artists?

Wasn’t being prepared a good thing? Wasn’t wanting to minister in this way the thing God knew I wanted to do?

Yes, God knows all about me as He does the young lady I spoke with this morning. However, I imagine by her comments, she like I have known for a few years our calling now is elsewhere.  For me I know that God wants me to minister with my written words,  but I hadn’t been as obedient as Paul.  You see as soon as Paul had no peace about his decision to go his way, he changed it in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s leading.  It actually took me almost 2 years to even get a clue as to why things were not meshing together in my life as they had before.

After getting off the phone with the lady, I found myself grieving….but not just for her… for myself as well.

Yet. my grief dissipated as I examined the scripture further.  I didn’t smile because I knew how Paul’s story ended, rather,  at the end of the 6th verse the words “at this time” gave me peace.  They reassured me that God didn’t give me a gift he didn’t want me to use, rather He gave me many to use at specific times and places.  So yeah, I may want to sing, but I’ve been called elsewhere this season and that’s okay with me!

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©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

Ministry or Mess?

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, the right or wrong video is worth a million hits! That said, if you are in ministry, I caution before you post just any old thing. Social media will either propel your purpose for Christ or pollute it.

Christians should not be so “normal” within society that there’s no evidence of a difference so be proactive with your actions and words online. For that matter, you might want to get a grip on your self control in person as well. I mean it only takes a few seconds for someone to press record and even less time to post your antics for all the world to see!

Trust! I grew up in church, but I seriously almost threw up the deuces after high school because of what I saw!   And that experience was in person!  Now, there is an entirely different set of P.E.W.S. to consider: PEOPLE EVERYWHERE AT THE SAME TIME! (And yes, I realize that “simultaneously” would have fit that acronym better, but you do you and I will do me)!

I know what you’re thinking:

“I can just hide it from my time line.”

“I can just delete my comment!”

“I have privacy controls in place!” 

“I’m covered by the blood!”

“We all Make Mistakes!”

Yes, I get it.

These are plausible excuses, but they are what they are: excuses!

I know I probably lost a few of you with that last comment, but hear me out as I work my way up from the bottom!  Yes, the blood of Jesus covers every sin, however, the Father holds us more accountable the more we know. Basically, He is a good father and any parent knows there must be boundaries, warnings, and consequences…IN THAT ORDER!

God’s word clearly provides the parameters and for all the other stuff….“privacy” policies don’t really matter. Facebook’s ongoing court fiascoes are proof of that. It is still terribly easy for a person to  reset a password on your social media account because of the cell phone number attached to it.  Yes, peeps it’s sad but true!

Privacy does not apply to social media period!

So even if you remove a post later, it doesn’t negate the fact that you—YES, YOU alone have put yourself out there for the world to see! Even if it is only for a moment, that moment can never be retracted.

Once it’s posted, it’s permanent!

Wow…I’m not big on negativity and I can’t help but feel like a Debbie Downer with this post!

Yet, there is HOPE! You can avoid a lot of the pits of this public forum by relying on the Holy Spirit to lead You!  Just Be Proactive!

My prayer is you consider the platform of social media as a means to glorify God and not to “messify” your witness! Yes, I made that word up! Basically, if you don’t want people to know about it tomorrow, don’t post it today!

 

©2014-2018 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved

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