Monthly Archives: December 2009

Christmas Tradition and Gifts From Above

Tonight we took part in one of our family Christmas traditions. We sat around the living room and opened a Christmas Eve gift. Ellen and I were always children at heart when it came to Christmas. As hard as it is for children to wait for Christmas morning, it was even harder for us. So, we decided to start a tradition that has stuck for 22 years now and open a gift the night before. This year we were joined by our new son-in-law Thomas and our first grandson Robert. That made it all the more special.

To my knowledge, I can’t remember a Christmas when our children didn’t get the “big gift” that they wanted. We’ve always somehow managed to make that happen. This year was going to be different. This year we just were not going to have Christmas any where near the normal thing that our kids are used to having. In fact Christmas was not going to happen at all as far as gifts were concerned.  There are lots of reasons for that, but suffice it to say that we just didn’t think that the money would be there. Little did we know that things would change.

I’m not going to talk about the amounts or what specific ways people have blessed us this year, but I told our kids tonight that all of their gifts this year were made possible because of gifts given to our family. I can’t name specific individuals because most of them chose to give their gifts through people who were sworn to secrecy. The few that did just give directly asked not to be recognized about it. These are people who did not have to do anything, but chose to help in a time when it was going to really bless us.

Now, I know that Christmas is not about just the giving of gifts, but the way in which people have showered us with gifts is a huge encouragement. There are still people in this world whom God is using to help get people like me and hundreds of others through these seasons in our lives.

So, if you read this and you are one of those people allowing God to work through your giving heart, I can’t tell you what it means to Ellen and me to see the eyes of our children light up because there are gifts under the tree. If you haven’t been the giver of gifts, please hear this blog as a reminder that God does take care of us in all kinds of ways.

My kids are older now and their eyes are open to the mysteries of Christmas. Their innocence concerning this season is lost in a way. But one thing they do know–God is the giver of all good gifts and is always solely responsible for what ever we receive in the way of blessings, not just at Christmas, but all through the year.

Please have a very Merry Christmas from the Davis’!!


Tough News Yesterday

It looks like my work at the Sound Shoppe on a somewhat regular basis will end soon. I was hired on the promise that I could work pretty regularly until Christmas at a local music store. (Heaven for a drummer–even though it is primarily a guitar store.) I work with two great guys whom I’ve grown very close to in a short period of time. It is a small business, however, and I will probably not get to work there after Christmas except a couple of days a week.

I’ve been very appreciative to my friend Darrel for taking me on as long as he has. It has been great for me to work around one of my passions in life–music! I’ve enjoyed this part of my journey.

Now I need you to pray for us that God will work the next step out in our life. I have every reason to be confident that He will take care of us. He has never failed us yet and I don’t suspect He will start now.

I feel God leading me back into ministry somehow, but it is still unclear how that will happen. I have some ideas, but do not feel that it is the right time to act on them.

A Day To Remember

Wow! What a day! It started off with me and Brandon going to pick up the wedding cake and chicken tenders for the reception. That sounds harmless enough, but transporting an expensive cake and worrying about if it will stand the near 30 minute drive to the church is not an easy task. We made it just fine until we were turning into the church parking lot. The cake was fine, but the chicken tenders began to slide. My nephew caught the container and saved the day!

Once at the building, the stress began. There were so many loose ends to tie up before getting ready for the picture-taking. We had to get the last-minute music in order, finish the food stuff for the reception, finish the decorating, and take care of last-minute problems.
We started the picture-taking part of the day about 12:30. Getting that many people in line to cooperate can usually be a chore, but once we got everyone settled, it went pretty well. I hope to share some pics soon.

After picture-taking, the time seemed to really slow down. Every detail is etched in my mind now, but thanks to video, even when the details are gone, I’ll be able to watch most of the day on TV.

Emotions began to sink in and we all had our contemplative moments where a few tears were shed. The first time I saw Tabitha in that dress, those same emotions flooded my heart that did the first time I saw Ellen in hers. Tabitha is a beautiful girl inside and out. Thomas looked rather damper in his tux as well. He still says “swayt tay” (translated sweet tea) as country as the come even when looking all “upidy” in his threads!
The wedding did not go without flaws, which makes a wedding even more fun to watch. First, the candle-lighter for Perry would not extend. Second, the runner that would be the white carpet the wedding party would come in on would not roll out. When it finally did, tape that was holding the front of it let go. Thankfully, Randy was there taking video and just stood on it.

After the wedding party all got in, it was Tabitha and my turn. That is one of the most sobering moments in my life. I realized that I had never done this before and had better sure never have to do this with Tabitha again. I realized that this was the moment she had been waiting for and one that Ellen and I had known would come and did know how to really know how to do this!

We made the walk just fine. Mark Maybrey was waiting in the minister’s spot to receive us. He had the kids to write a letter to one another signifying what this day meant to them. I was doing just fine until I heard the words they had written–very mature and loving toward one another.   After reading these statements, Mark asked, “Who gives this bride to be wed?”  Then I handed her over to Thomas.  I then switched places with Mark and did the ceremony.

I stared with a verbal blunder.  I can’t remember the exact way I goofed, but it did start the whole ceremony off with a light note.  I’ll play you this clip sometime because it is a classic, but the best I can remember, I said something like, “We’ve prayed since Tabitha was in the womb that a man would come one day and take her away.”  I didn’t really mean it like that, but people love to laugh at preachers who mess up, so I was able to give them one there.  The rest of that part of the ceremony went well.

Once we got to the rings, Raymond, Thomas’ granddaddy and best man, decided he would fake losing the ring.  He really hammed it up.  It was great. 

Once the vows were made, kiss exchanged, and unity candle lit, the couple came to the center to be presented–only this couple already has a baby boy.  They decided to allow Robert to leave the ceremony with them.  He was brought in and handed to them.  I presented them, “Thomas, Tabitha, and Robert Holcomb.”

They left to the music “Walking on Sunshine” by Catrina and the Waves.  They all danced down the aisle as they left.  Ellen and I even did a little jig.  My mom danced out with Brandon.  I can’t wait to see (and hopefully share) this video.  As Britney went out, she provided one more light moment when she got tangled up in the very flimsy runner.

All in all , it was a great day.  It ended with Brandon playing one of the best basketball games of his high school season.  I’ll show you a picture of his radio interview in a later blog.  He had ten steals, too many assists to count, and five points.

Pray for Britney though.  Her day ended with her boy friend breaking up with her.  She really didn’t need that today.  Boys don’t have the best judge of timing.

Giving Her Away

I guess I really never thought this would happen so quickly, but it is here. This is the week of my oldest daughter Tabitha’s wedding. It’s going to be busy all week. Plans have already been happening, but it is down to the wire now and it’s really starting to sink in for Ellen and me.
I doesn’t seem that long ago that we were leaving the hospital with her. She came into the world on October 7, 1987. She was a beautiful baby–not all babies are you know, but this one was. She was the first of what would be seven grandchildren for my mom and dad. They sure let her know it.
Tabitha did like many first children and learned quickly. She did many things early in life. She walked quickly, talked quickly. She was very coordinated. She learned in school very well and was never, at any time, any trouble. When she turned six, we started playing softball. She even did well at that. Every kid in our family did the same. We’ve spent many hours on a baseball or softball field–some of the happiest times in life. A bad day on the ball field is better and a good day at work!
She joined the band in the sixth grade and played the drums (smart kid). Little did we know that the drumline would be something that affected all of our kids lives in some way. Danielle and Brandon played in the drum line, and Britney was inspired to be a part of the color guard. The Muscle Shoals High School band program was a huge part of our lives.
She came to us at the age of nine and wanted to be baptized. That seemed very young to us, but she insisted and with her family present, I baptized her into Jesus at Cox Boulevard.
From the moment we found out that Tabitha was coming into the world, we prayed that God would be preparing someone for her to spend the rest of her life with. We prayed that he would be the kind of husband for our daughter who not only would take care of her physical needs, but would take care of her spiritually and keep her close to God. She dated a couple of guys who, at least in our hearts, were not that. She finally met Thomas and we felt good about this guy from the start.
Thomas and Tabitha met on the internet. That kind of scared us, but when we met him, those fears left us. He has such a genuine heart and loves Tabitha so much. He is a quiet spirit who works hard and most of all loves the Lord. One of the first things he told me was that his favorite musical group was Casting Crowns. I knew then that, at the very least, he had good taste in music.
As time went on, Thomas came to me and asked me if I thought he’d make good “son-in-law material.” It was not long after that conversation he ask me if he could ask Tabitha to marry him. I gave him permission, and he did. They set the date for December 12.
After setting the date, at some point their morals relaxed and they got pregnant with Robert. Though it was very disappointing, we are now glad to have our grandson. Tabitha and Thomas decided to wait till their wedding date to get married. Some liked that and some didn’t. I thought it was the mature thing to do. But I digress.
This Saturday will bring joy and sadness for me. People say, “You are not losing a daughter, you are gaining a son-in-law.” While that is true, it’s going to seem strange for me to walk that beautiful person down the aisle and give her away.
I’m giving her away to a good man, but still losing her to decisions and situations in life that will no doubt be difficult, but that’s just the way of it all. I’m giving her away to have her cleave to another guy and build a family of their own. I’ve seen other men do the same for their daughters and somehow it didn’t have the same effect on my life.
So, to our Tabitha I say this, “Woo Woo, I love you. I know you are just moving a mile away, but in my heart it will seem ten thousand miles. I know you are marrying a good man who will take care of you, but know that we will always be here for you both. I know that you are going to have and create a beautiful family for yourself, Thomas, and Robert, but know this–our daily home life will have an empty spot that only a Woo Woo could fill. We love you and will always have a place where you and your family can belong.”
(Genesis 2:24 NCV) “So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.”

Genuine Joy or Fleeting Happiness

It is the strangest thing, but today I’m genuinely joyful in the Lord. I’m not so happy, but I’ve learned there is a difference in the two.

The root word of “happiness” is “hap” and it originally meant “lucky.” It’s where we get our word, “happenings.” You see, the things that “happen” to us day by day in the physical world try and dictate our feelings of happiness–correction, they don’t “try”, they “do” dictate our feelings of happiness.  We get unhappy when things don’t go our way and we are happy when they do.

Right now in my life, finances are the struggle. For you it might be that your favorite team didn’t win or that your spouse isn’t doing like you think they should or maybe the washing machine has broken. It can be drastic or not so drastic, but the external world around us dictates our feelings of happiness.

Joy, on the other hand, is an internal thing. It stays more constant–even when the physical world is turned upside down. It is guided by our faith in Jesus Christ who has, through the resurrection, guaranteed our salvation.  It is something that the external world around us cannot take away.

The problem we have is when we try and mix the two.  Sometimes we allow the happenings around us to dictate our joy.  When the washing machine breaks we ask, “God, why have you done this, do you not care about me any more?”  I don’t think it’s wrong to cry out to God for help in the time of need in any situation, but it is a problem when we allow our external circumstances to cause us to lose confidence in our salvation or our God.

Remember, joy should never leave us as children of God.  Happiness is fleeting and can ebb and flow.  Listen to what Peter says about this.  (1 Peter 1:3-9 NCV)  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In God’s great mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope, because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. {4} Now we hope for the blessings God has for his children. These blessings, which cannot be destroyed or be spoiled or lose their beauty, are kept in heaven for you. {5} God’s power protects you through your faith until salvation is shown to you at the end of time. {6} This makes you very happy, even though now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. {7} These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you. {8} You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. {9} And you are receiving the goal of your faith–the salvation of your souls.”

The “happy” “sad” in verse six are contrasted with times of trouble.  Yes, we do get sad when times of trouble come.  This is a normal reaction that we have.  The troubles that come are external.  For these people, the troubles were extreme persecution–more than just the washing machine breaking down.  He also points out that the troubles we endure are things which prove our faith.  We are to go through trouble times not losing our faith–even though we may lose our happiness.  That’s how the “joy” thing works.

In verse 8, he equates our faith in who Jesus is with our joy.  It is a joy the “cannot be explained.” It is not “normal” to react with joy in times of trouble.  It is out of the ordinary to have a genuine faith in the times of unhappiness, but it is what proves to the world that we are extraordinary because of  Jesus.

Now, no one wants troubled times.  None of us want to hurt today.  I want life to run more smoothly.  In fact, I’m ready for some more smooth roads in my own life.  But, I am learning that even in my tough times right now, Jesus is still my Savior, God is in control, and the Holy Spirit is still my guide.  I am truly joyful inside.  I am glad to be a son of God.