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Written by Matt Davidson

During our time away from campus, Timothy will send out some Timothy Devotionals for families to participate in together. (We don’t want every communication from Timothy to be more information or more instructions or more home-learning. Let’s stay connected as a community…as a family!) The goal is that we will gather with our family around the living room or dinner table and experience these devotionals together. We will mix it up as well, using video and other creative ways to deliver these inspirational devotions. In this particular devotion, the bold portions are points in the devotion to pause and actively participate.

If you have spent considerable time around a Davidson family, you will frequently hear us reference the initials “DP,” which means Davidson Policy. This was actually started by my kids along with my nephews and nieces. Their generation noticed some characteristics that are common to Davidsons and any time one of these characteristics is on display, they will respond by saying “that is DP.” They even created a DP Manual and distributed it at Christmas a few years ago. Admittedly, my generation has joined in the fun of adding to the list. Some of the items on the list are ambitious and worthy goals, while others are general descriptions and stereotypes. We even have plaques in our homes that remind us of the more virtuous DP items. I’ve listed a few below. 

Assignment: There are Bible verses with several of these, so divide them up among your family and take turns reading them. For this particular devotional, try the New Living Translation or the New International Version. (Maybe you have YouVersion or Bible Gateway available on your phone or tablet.)

Here are a few of the bullet points in the DP Manual:

  • Davidson Policy: We love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength! Everything else is secondary — NEVER FORGET THAT! Luke 10:27, Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Matthew 6:33. Our mission in life is to make His name great! We must decrease, HE must increase! John 3:30
  • Davidson Policy: We lead our families as servant leaders, and we diligently train our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4, Proverbs 22:6, Colossians 3:19-21. We intentionally teach our children the Truth of God’s Holy Word. We also seek to live out our faith for all to see, especially our children. We desire to say with our life, “Follow me, as I follow Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1. We fully understand that God works in spite of us and all of our shortcomings– never because of us. We are far from perfect, but HIS grace is sufficient! 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • Davidson Policy: We are burdened for those who don’t know Christ, and we actively pursue opportunities to share the life and love of Jesus, in both word and in deed. Mark 2:17, Matthew 28:19-20, Matthew 5:16. We embrace the Great Commission of Jesus Christ in His last words spoken on this earth– these are our marching orders. It is indeed the Great Commission, and not the Great “Suggestion.” He sends us into this world to be salt & light, and to always point others to Him! I Peter 3:15
  • Davidson Policy: We work hard! Colossians 3:23. We come from a long-line of extremely hard-workers — it’s in our DNA! In generations past, a person was largely judged based upon their work ethic. Our culture has gotten away from this, but not us. Outwork ’em all.
  • Davidson Policy: We are “grinders.” Philippians 3:14 We understand that life is going to hit us hard, even knock us down at times. Through the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we get back up. We press on. We will not be discouraged. DAVIDSONS NEVER QUIT! Joshua 1:8-9 Embrace the Grind.

In full transparency, some of the DP rules in the manual are not nearly as deep, admirable, or virtuous:

  • Davidson Policy: We get furious if anyone says any basketball player is better than Jordan.
  • Davidson Policy: We think we have a great singing voice.
  • Davidson Policy: We love anything that is made by John Deere.
  • Davidson Policy: We rave about how good we would have been at football (none of us had football at our high schools).
  • Davidson Policy: We make anything into a competition.
  • Davidson Policy: When it comes to food, we are known to ask “are you going to finish that?” when we are with others.
  • Davidson Policy: We repeat our jokes until someone laughs.
  • Davidson Policy: We sometimes say things just to stir up some commotion.

Assignment: What are some characteristics of your family? What are the (fill in your last name) known for? Have fun with this discussion!

God also has a manual…or “policies”–the Bible. It’s the only manual for living a life of fulfillment and reward. Certainly we can easily discover the things that are important to God by reading His Word…and, trust me, the Bible is absolutely more reliable than the Davidson Policy Manual. So what does God emphasize a lot in His Word?  

Assignment: Try to guess what is [by far] the most frequent command in all of the Bible…what does God tell us to do more than anything else? (Ask your family to guess before reading on.) 

Here is the answer: the most repeated command in all of the Bible is this: do not be afraid.

Surprised? When I first learned this, I was surprised too. But it made me think back to a time when I was afraid. 

Assignment: Take a few moments and ask your family about a time when they were afraid. Be vulnerable and transparent. Hey, we are all afraid sometimes. My daughter, Macy, is terrified of bugs! 

It was in the spring of 2007, and I brought my family with me to visit Northwest Christian School in Phoenix, AZ–the largest private school in the state. We were visiting because I had recently accepted the job as Superintendent, and I would be starting in the role the next fall. My kids were shadowing at the school for a day while my wife and I were looking at homes. We didn’t know anyone…it was “us against the world.” We were leaving behind our family and friends and everything that was comfortable and known. I was afraid. 

Our youngest son, Joey, was only in 2nd grade while we were visiting. Luke and Macy were in 6th and 4th grades at the time of the visit. To make a long story short, our family had an amazing adventure during our time in Arizona. God was faithful…He never let us down. Believe it or not, I still have an art project that Joey made while he was there shadowing as a little 2nd grader. It sits by my desk in my office. 

I have no idea what it is and I don’t anticipate it selling for big bucks at an art auction. (Sadly, it might have been an attempt to create a statue of my face.) The only reason I have kept it for all of these years is because it reminds me of God’s most repeated command: do not be afraid. It reminds me of that time when I was very afraid, and yet God gave me confidence and courage. Every time I look at this “artwork,” I am reassured and feel a sense of peace and calm. It reminds me that God is always 100% in control, and I have nothing to fear.

Application: As a family, take some time to read Psalm 91:1,2. Creatively and collaboratively plan a visual reminder of God’s faithfulness to place in a spot where you will see it frequently. It doesn’t have to be a lumpy clay creation, but use your imagination! Your kids will have the best ideas. Every time you see it, you can be reminded that God is always in control.

Stay tuned for more Timothy Devotionals!

Very Truly Yours for Timothy Christian Schools,

MD

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