His direction, Our desire.

We were nervous opening our business over twenty years ago. My wife, Jennifer, and I had both worked for other companies, but to be in charge of everything…? Well that was a daunting responsibility. We prayed and worked and finally got the keys to our first karate school. We didn’t make much money at first, but we kept it clean and used all the tips and tricks we had learned in all of our other jobs. Slowly we began to grow and we saved up enough money to fulfill a long time dream of mine…we were going to Disney World!

I had studied Walt Disney and I was intrigued not only by his creativity but also his business practices, customer service and his vision in general. Walking through the gates for the first time, I was mesmerized by all of the thought that had gone into every detail. It was much more than I thought it would be.

We stayed in a budget resort, but I’ll never forget going over to the Grand Floridian Resort on the monorail. I took pictures of Jennifer and our daughter Nikole posed in front of the white Rolls Royce parked out front. We walked inside and it was absolutely beautiful. It looked like something out of a movie. We watched the parents collecting their kids and secretly wondered what it might be like to be wealthy enough to stay there. It was a magical moment. We went back to our rooms that night and talked about what it would be like to ever stay in a place like that.

We really enjoyed that trip and actually went again in the first six years we were open. God continued to bless the school and we decided we were going to expand and buy some property to build our own building. That was an experience that can’t be conveyed in my next ten blogs…but there was one moment we will never forget.

One of the biggest challenges was to find an architect that would do the complete drawings for the money we had in our budget. We told the builder our dilemma and he gave us a number of a guy that might help us. I was hopeful when I called and the man on the other end of the line said he had just retired but he would be willing to take a look at my sketches.

Jennifer and I dressed up and drove into Houston to a small home office in a nice neighborhood. An elderly man answered the door and kindly introduced himself as Charles Edgar Sims. I handed him my sketches of the building and began to look at the array of photos and models of past buildings that were spread throughout the small office. We didn’t know what to expect and I was beginning to wonder what we were doing there. I’m sure his quote will be outrageous like all the others, I thought.

“This shouldn’t be a big deal. How does forty five hundred sound?”

That was about a third of what everyone else wanted to do the job so we eagerly agreed. We shook hands and were about to leave when I looked up and stopped dead in my tracks. There on the wall in front of me was a large rendition of the Grand Floridian Hotel. I looked back at Jennifer and then back at the picture.

“Mr. Sims…we saw this when we were at Disney World. It’s so beautiful.”

He casually responded. “Yes it is. I was one of the many architects that designed it.”

I couldn’t move. It was as if Jesus himself was standing beside me at that moment whispering in my ear. “I told you I am the One that can do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20

We thanked Mr. Sims and tried to get back to the truck and contain ourselves at the same time. We couldn’t stop talking about it on the way home and every day the following week.

Well it’s twenty plus years later and we’ve been back to Disney several times. We even stayed at The Grand Floridian once. But I can never look at it or my building without being amazed at how God gives us the desires of our heart… in His timing and in His own special way. Sometimes He does it with that small quiet voice and sometimes he does it in a “Grand fashion.” These days I look for both…I suggest you do the same.

Manly men hunting for…Kate Spade

The air was crisp and cold. It was the kind of cold that burned when you took a breath and made your eyes water. I’ll never forget the hunt during the Christmas season last year.

I had been scouting for months. Studying the movement and likes and dislikes. I purposed on the inside that I would watch and listen for the entire year to make sure I had a successful hunt.The hunt always starts long before the event takes place. It seemed that science would say one thing but the reality of it was time and study. So I looked on the internet and went to various stores. There seemed to be lots of advice out there.

I’ve done really good in past years. Especially last year. I bagged a two tone specimen that brought a smile and made the hunt worthwhile. So…this year my goal was to match and surpass last years hunt.

The most successful hunts come when you seek out the advice of an amazing guide! The best advice I ever received was from The Ultimate Guide. His name…Jesus Christ.

He said in Matthew 19:5 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

What on earth does this have to do with hunting? Well the hunt was actually for Jennifer’s Christmas present. And the truth be told, it actually wasn’t very cold that year. Lol

But the principle is the same and it’s time for all of us, as men, to use our gifts and talents that God gave us. The media belittles men nonstop and there are some knuckleheads out there that give us a bad name. But there are lots of us that love our wives and family and try to live a life pleasing to God.

We are designed to hunt! It’s a spiritual principle that is in our DNA.

Proverbs 25:2 says “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”

God has concealed deep treasures within my wife and it will take a lifetime just to discover some of them. It’s a proactive thing though. I can’t just sit around and wait for God to show me. Psalms 1 says “everything I set my hand to will prosper” and Ecclesiastes 9:10 says “whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” This approach to marriage will present challenges. I have made it a part of life to constantly check the “spiritual thermostat” in my home. The enemy is divisive and would love to stop the Davis train from accomplishing anything for the Kingdom. So I have to be on guard, alert and ready to humble myself to keep peace in our home.

It’s actually funny now. When I walk into a women’s store I am always greeted with the assumption that I need help as a man to get a gift for my wife. I always politely tell them the same thing. No thanks…we’ve been married for 27 years and I know her better than anyone on this earth. Gift wrap please. Lol

How did I do ladies?

How well do we listen?

 

img_3243Josiah walked out of the workshop and headed across the courtyard, two large chairs in tow. He looked up and closed his eyes, inhaling deeply, smelling the fragrant spring flowers in the afternoon breeze. He just stood there as the sun warmed his face and enjoyed the moment.

“Father.”

Josiah jumped slightly and laughed, opening his eyes and looking down at his teenage daughter. “Mary you startled me.” He put the chairs down and hugged his daughter.

“I’m sorry,” Mary smiled. She looked up and said, “You did jump a little.” She laughed and Josiah smiled and hugged her even more as he playfully growled at her.

“Were you praying?” She asked and stepped back a bit, looking at her father while thinking she might have interrupted him.

“No. But I was enjoying what God has done for today,” he said as he arranged the two chairs to point into the breeze. “Sit and let me show you.” Mary sat down eagerly. She was smiling knowing what her father was about to do.

“Now close your eyes and tell me what he’s done for us.” Mary closed her eyes. She settled her hands in her lap, took in a deep breath, and let it out slowly.
“Now, tell me. One at a time.” Josiah almost whispered and leaned in towards her with his eyes closed.

“The sun feels nice…and warm… and the breeze is cool, but not too cool.”

“Good, what else?”

“I smell flowers. I should pick some for mother.” Mary smiled, keeping her eyes closed, tilted her head back, then turned slightly as if trying to hear a distant sound.

“Keep going,” Josiah spoke softly.

Mary paused and breathed deeply turning her face towards the afternoon sun which gave her face an amber glow. Josiah couldn’t help but see Samira’s features in her face and smiled with pride at the young woman she had become.

“I smell cedar… and I hear birds singing in the distance… and a rooster…”
“And the caravan is here, so there are things to gather, and a donkey to load,” Samira whispered in their ears while gently putting her hands on both of their shoulders, smiling and pulling them together.

Mary jumped slightly as Josiah and Samira laughed. “Mother!” Mary cried out as she jumped out of the chair and playfully pulled away. She spun in a circle and tried to cover her smile with her hands. “Mother you scared me!” Mary began to laugh.

“She got you!” Josiah proclaimed pointing at his daughter. Mary crinkled her nose and grunted making funny faces at her father. Josiah reached out to grab her but she just avoided it and grabbed one of the chairs and ran towards small coral. Josiah quickly grabbed the other chair and ran after her. Samira watched the both of them playfully poking at each other only slowing down when they entered the coral and approached the donkey…………..

If you enjoyed this please get the novel Nathaniel at http://www.trippdavis.com or on Amazon. Thank you for reading.

This day a king is born!

A Prologue from my novel “Nathaniel.”

“Azeem, Azeem! Come quickly…Azeem!”

“Coming, lord,” Azeem cried as he came running into the room out of breath.

He looked around frantically and found his master standing at the rail on the balcony staring at the night sky.

“Azeem!”

“I’m here, my lord. What’s troubling you?”

“Troubling me? Troubling me?” Balthazar turned around quickly and embraced his servant, letting out a deep belly laugh as he hugged his servant and picked him up off the ground and spun in a circle. “Troubling me? You wonderful servant, you wonderful friend!”

Balthazar put him down and pulled him closer to the rail, so quickly Azeem feared he might fall over. Balthazar pointed to the starry heavens and said, “Do you see that? Azeem, do you see that?”

Azeem looked up and saw a magnificent star. A star like he had never seen before. It was so beautiful and he was quite sure he would have remembered this star, yet he had never seen it before.

“Master it is wonderful,” Azeem muttered as he stared in amazement. Both men stared for several minutes, marveling at it’s splendor and beauty. It was unlike anything they had seen before.

Balthazar urgently spoke in a whisper, “Azeem.”

“Yes, my lord?” Azeem responded quietly as they both stood still, mesmerized by the spectacle in the sky.

Balthazar turned towards Azeem and grabbed his shoulders, looking at him with an intensity Azeem had only seen before a battle. With the excitement fading from his voice he spoke with a sense of urgency, he spoke with the authority of a king.

“I need you to do something for me. Something more important than anything you have ever done before.”

“Of course my lord, anything. You need only to say the word,” Azeem responded respectfully.

“By now, Gaspar and Melchoir have seen the star. I need you to go to the stables and get our fastest steed and ride like the wind, ride all night and bring them both. Repeat to them exactly what I tell you and nothing else. Do you understand?”

“Of course, master,” Azeem said with a puzzled look on his face.

“Tell them these words from the holy text, ‘A star will come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel.’ They will understand these words and will gather their things for the journey. Tell them to bring gifts for a king. Tell them to bring some frankincense and gold,” Balthazar raised his voice as Azeem was heading across the massive palace courtyard towards a large door leading towards the garden and stables.

“Go now quickly, there is a great distance to travel. When you return with them, the three of us will begin our journey. Hurry, go quickly, something wonderful has happened tonight.”

“Yes, master!” Azeem shouted as he ran from the room.

Balthazar smiled as he watched Azeem run across the courtyard towards the stables, the cool breeze blowing away the dust trail that followed him. He looked back towards the heavens and was once again filled with amazement and for a moment felt like a child again.

“God had returned to his people.

A king is born this very night.

A king that will save the world.”

Merry Christmas

http://www.trippdavis.com

I’m all thumbs!

I was texting my wife last night and a friend that was with me commented on how quick I could type on my iPad with my thumbs. I laughed and told him it was very natural for me and that my new Christian novel was just being edited at the publisher and I typed all two hundred and twenty five pages…with my thumbs.  He shook his head and we laughed.

I remember when I started the writing process. I went out and bought a new MacBook and began to try and write like a “real writer.” I had read books on writers habits and what great authors did like C. S. Lewis and Hemingway. I would get the ambiance just write in my home study and fumble around on the keyboard awkwardly. I would accidentally hit the mousepad relocating the cursor to some random spot on the page and fumble for the shift key, stretching to reach it with the wrong fingers. It was a disaster. As was the cool little “in cover” keyboard and the wireless Bluetooth keyboard I bought for my iPad.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I felt like a failure. There was no possible way I could write a book like this. Every time I walked in my study at home I would see my Mac and the extra keyboards and the enemy would whisper something discouraging in my ear.

One day I was thinking about an idea and got excited about it because it could only have come from God. I sat down and wrote out the whole first chapter on my iPad in a couple of hours…with my thumbs. I didn’t even realize how I typed it. I was inspired and I just did what I could to get the job done.

I laughed after the fact thinking about the idiom, “being all thumbs.” It means feeling awkward or clumsy. At that moment I came to a realization that has changed my life.

I realized that God has given us all very specific gifts and talents. They are all very important and we have a responsibility to utilize them for the Kingdom and for others. We have got to stop comparing ourselves to others and really focus on what we are supposed to do and to “stay in our lane.”

Eclesiastes 9:10 says that “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”  So don’t give in to discouragement. Follow your heart and focus on obedience and relationship with your creator. Our lives are not insignificant and sometimes God does his best work in our lives…when we feel like we are all thumbs!

 

 

They are our Business

So riding a road bike, as a cyclist, can be a remarkable experience. The freedom, combined with the fact that the exercise itself is really good for you, can be exhilarating. When I first started riding with the pastors from church it was horrible! First of all, you have to wear these tight little pants which make you feel really goofy. You need to pump up the tires, put on the helmet and special shoes. Oh yeah, don’t forget the goopy, slick’em stuff that you have to apply before every ride to keep from chaffing. Then you climb on top of the world’s smallest seat and try to remember that your shoes are literally attached to the pedals. That part is HUGE! The consequences of forgetting this will land you on the pavement in an awkward mess, or you can even break your leg like my pastor’s wife did on her first outing.

However, despite all of the steps of preparation over time, I have begun to love riding. This morning I got my gear and loaded up the Jeep and went to my favorite riding spot. It was hot and humid, a typical day this time of year on the Gulf Coast. I turned on my Garmin “activity monitor.” It tracks miles, speed, etc., and away I went. It’s really frustrating when I forget to press start on the Garmin or pause it if I have to stop for some reason. It’s almost like the workout never happened. I don’t get to see the cool charts and graphs on the computer afterwards, tracking all of my hard work. I didn’t forget today.

I had a great ride and was coming to the end when I saw a young man fishing in a pond. I passed by and began to sense that God was wanting me to speak with him. I had already passed by as I began to rationalize away the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. I slowed down realizing that I had a holy obligation as a Christian to respond. I had a choice.

I turned around slowly and begin to ride back. Mixed thoughts were swirling through my mind. “Look at what I’m wearing, he’s going to think I’m a weirdo or a stalker, it’s going to be awkward,” I told God. It just didn’t matter at this point. So I said a silent prayer for Him to give me the words and I parked and got off my bike. As I approached, I yelled out, “Catch anything?” He responded, “Just a little crappie.” We talked a bit about fishing. Still not knowing God’s reasoning for all of this, I just blurted out, “You don’t by chance go to Grace Church do you?” He told me that he attended Mission Baptist and that his name was Curtis. He was twenty and out of a job. I told him that it might be strange, but I felt like God wanted me to pray for him. He agreed, and I prayed for a new job and that he would begin to hear God’s voice in his life. He thanked me and we shook hands and walked off feeling like I had accomplished what God had wanted.

I jumped back onto my “carbon fiber steed” and headed back to the Jeep. As I was riding I looked down at my Garmin and realized I hadn’t hit the pause button! As I began to think about that big flat spot on my mileage/intensity chart, God began to show me how often it is when our activity decreases, He will increase. At that point I was excited to get home and download my data. Sure enough there it was, a lull, that pause, in the middle of “my activity.” I began to laugh as I saw the dynamics of today’s chart. Of course, it’s just like God to take something I absolutely hated and teach me a lesson about love for others and selflessness. We all want to be used by God and it’s only when we decrease that he can increase. Remember as Christians: “People are not an interruption to our business, THEY ARE our business!”

Friendectomy?

image

January 16, 1989 is my birthday. That is, the day of my rebirth as a Christian.

I had gone to a Carman concert and although I was using drugs and living A terrible lifestyle, I felt the gentle tug of the Holy Spirit that night and gave my life to the Lord.

I began to make some changes in my life. I made the decision to throw away all of my metal music and I chose to listen to Christian music. It was kind of boring at first, but it grew on me in time. I didn’t attend church right away, which was a big mistake because the only influences in my life were my old friends. Almost all of them were unbelievers and the influence was, shall we say, less than Godly.

If I had heard, my  pastor, Brett Jones’ sermon on Jonah and kicking some folks out of your boat and the process of eliminating relationships in your life that are detrimental to your walk and family relationships, I would have been spared a lot of heartache and grief.

Friendectomy – The cutting off of relationships in your life of people that are not good for your marriage, your family life, and those who don’t embrace your walk with God. 

What I didn’t understand, at that time, is that “darkness and light don’t coexist.”

I was under the false belief that I had to be in relationship with everyone and as a Christian I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, even when I knew on the inside those relationships were wrong.

So what happened next was inevitable. I got drawn back into that world. And although I  professed to being a Christian, I lived as a non believer.

The Word of God says “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” in James 1:8  and  further down in James God speaks directly to the double minded and says “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you, cleanse your hands and purify your hearts.” We simply cannot do that when our “friends” are pulling us back to the things of this world.

if you notice I put “friends” in quotations . Are they really your friends?

This is my litmus test.

  1. Do they enhance or disrupt my relationship with God?
  2. Do they promote unity and peace in my marriage or cause division?
  3. Do they make me a better father and person in general?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s time for a friendectomy!

The message

2 Corinthians 6:14 Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? 15 Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? 16 Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. 17 So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. 18 I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.” The Word of the Master, God