Category Archives: Jesus

Jesus, Savior, Lord, Friend

Our current situation…

From a local businessman and church leader- 12/15/12

I have tried putting down my opinion this morning and have found it very difficult to breathe when I try to gather my thoughts to write. Sleep was interrupted most of the night when I would find myself thinking of the children. I have no connection to any of the families other than human feelings and compassion and that seems to fall way short of reasoning when it comes to the magnitude of this loss. I don’t recall ever hearing the name Newtown, Connecticut until yesterday. Now I have. Through live news coverage of an incomprehensible act that will now live in my mind as long as I draw breath. An external enemy with years of cultivated hatred took life from us on 9/11 however this senseless murderous act was committed by a sick minded neighbor cultivated internally. I say cultivated because this was not a spontaneous loss of mind but a premeditated, evil act that totally disregarded human life. Any life taken in this manner is senseless and incomprehensible but children! What can cause anyone to commit such a heinous evil act?

Opinions as to the cause will mount in days and months to come and will mostly focus on what appears to be the obvious. As President Obama said we should debate vigorously every “meaningful” issue that would prevent anything close to this from ever happening again. However most of us will focus on the “apparent” obvious and in some cases deliberately avoid the root cause. We will reason that it is just too humanly hard to deal with. As with similar tragedies in our recent history we cannot allow this to end up media spin to promote political agendas that do not address the root problem. As with every major crisis that America is currently dealing with this one as with the others could have been anticipated because the root problem has yet to be addressed. Sure, a sick mind and guns can be debated, opinions stated and laws passed until the next tragedy however unless the root cause is addressed these tragedies will continue to occur again and again, only more frequently and by possibly different means. Anything but addressing the root cause is a Band-Aid for a gashing wound.

Evil has been allowed to develop as untreated cancer in our society and is now with great devastation is taking its toll with human life. It will be interesting to see in the coming days to see if it will be reported how many times this sick mind received hugs and told he was loved from a broken dysfunctional “family”. How many hours a day he spent playing violent video games, watching violent movies and listening to music that disregard human life produced from an entertainment industry left unchecked. Again only evidence and fruits of a deeper root cause in a depraved culture. Our human spirits and ultimately our actions are cultivated by what we allow to entertain (to maintain ones the mind) our mind and our minds have been entertained by evil rather than good. America we are beginning to reap the whirlwinds. The root cause; Acceptance of evil as a cultural lifestyle. Acceptance of evil as a society does have its moment of temporary satisfaction and pleasure but will eventually surface and result in the destructive death stench that it really is.

It is easy if you are slightly informed to cry out about the dark fruits or evidence of evil however as I said earlier, addressing, debating or merely crying out is not enough it requires action. Humanly it is much harder to address the solution, especially if you are not aware or been taught that the solution requires indivual reflection, accountability and action that is found in ancient writings. This ancient writing, if followed will have an immediate, significant and positive cultural impact.
Some will argue that we don’t want or need to change our developing culture. Really, really? Continue to follow this and future developing news stories and tell me that we don’t need to change our sick “developing culture”. Look into the eyes of the children and see what we have left them and with conviction repeat it in the mirror. We have always had and will no matter what continue to have sick minds and available weapons but we do not have to endure these evil actions that have been now experienced in Newtown.

There is a Solution!!!!

My fear is that we will debate passionately the peripheral issues, avoid the root cause and therefore once again reject the Solution.
The Solution – The ancient writing ?

2 Chronicles 7:14
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Leaders please lead!!! Pastors, Clergy, Senate Members, House Members, Governors, Mayors, Commissioners, Media Moguls, Business Leaders, please, please, please lead this great nation in repentance before God. Let us the followers see you repent through all available outlets. TV, Radio, Internet, Youtube, Facebook etc. we will follow!

We have been warned over and over and now it is time for action. Going over the fiscal cliff will pale in comparison of going over the spiritual cliff. Arrogant and prideful unbelief is the only thing standing in way of true change and solution.

America, if our leaders don’t repent, we must take it on ourselves lead our families in repentance anyway we will then have the wisdom and fortitude to appoint the correct leaders!

As for either side that attempts to politicize this act to promote their agendas that do not address the root cause, they should be prosecuted and held in contempt of human life. We will not be able to write laws, build prisons, borrow enough money and build enough gravesites fast enough if America does not repent and find its moral compass through faith in Jesus Christ.

Gary Hensley


Some Dave Ramsey thoughts

It was first introduced more than 2,000 years ago to keep our calendar aligned. And today, despite all of our advances in technology and science, we still need to add a day to our calendars every four years to keep it straight.

To celebrate this extra special extra 24 hours, we’re offering 29 quick tips from Dave’s EntreLeadership Master Series on how to help your business grow and your team prosper. Happy Leap Day!

Organizations are never limited by their opportunity; they are limited by their leader. The good news is that you can choose to change.
As a business owner, always be generous. If you are a dentist, all your team members should have great teeth.
Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. This is how you build unity and loyalty.
Love your team well. Treat them like family, and they will act like family.
Most people and organizations fail from a lack of clear goals and focus.
Time is like a fire: It can either destroy us or it can keep us warm. Learn to manage your time well and stop putting off things that make you uncomfortable.
Your business, ideas and team will be paralyzed by an indecisive leader. As the Bible says, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
Train your team to bring you several possible solutions, not just problems.
Lack of communication will limit you, hold you back and keep you from winning. When in doubt, over-share with your team.
When everyone knows what the goal is, anyone can pick up the ball and run.
Confrontation tastes best when served fresh. Don’t postpone it.
Your yes means yes and your no means no. That’s called integrity.
If you put up with people not doing a job, then people doing the job won’t want to do it.
Put rock stars on your team and treat them like rock stars.
The EntreLeader has a responsibility to make sure that the family they lead is taken care of.
When you do the right things, all benefits come to you.
When hiring for a position, you are looking for the right player, not just talent.
If you wouldn’t hire them again, why are you keeping them?
People will allow themselves to be led by someone who treats them with dignity.
Make all errors on the side of giving too much grace. You’ll never regret it.
Some days, being a leader stinks. But if done right, the good far outweighs the bad.
Micromanagers are control freaks who don’t have the maturity to trust their team.
One way you say “I love you” is with your checkbook. Show your team you care.
Get rich quick doesn’t work. Slow down.
If using God’s financial principles in our personal lives causes us to win because they always work, then using God’s financial principles in our business lives will cause us to win because they always work.
Character is everything in leadership because that’s what people look for and how they decide whether they are going to follow you or not.
Stop being in such a hurry to fill a position. It takes less time to hire one good team member than three different boneheads who don’t work out.
God is inordinately pleased when we are obsessively, compulsively consumed with the needs of others.
Take a lesson from The Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and steady wins the race every time.

Tired but…

Thanks to everyone for giving God the glory for all that has happened with Demorris Davis.  Demorris truly loves Jesus and it was wonderful to see all the people come together to be the body of Christ!  Some updates below about our current situation…I appreciate all the prayers for my family!

Well I am constantly reminded that I am blessed in spite of the current situation.  Many people all over the world are starving, uneducated, and homeless.  Now this may be a tough break but we will be fine in the long run. We are only going to face small challenge in comparison to what many people have to deal with every single day.  My hope is that Jesus Christ remains the most important person in our lives and that focusing on Him leads to true satisfaction which in turn glorifies God the most.

Work status: I am applying for ministry and secular jobs at the moment.  I simply want to be able to support my family at this point.  We will be out of our home by the end of Sept. and arriving in Asheville, NC the first of October unless something major happens in the next 14 days!

Stay strong for the Lord Jesus THRiVE!!!  I love each of you and pray for you daily!!!


Register for Passion 2010

Follow THRiVE C & C on twitter
Follow THRiVE C & C on twitter

Passion2010CLICK HERE to Register

for Passion2010

Passion 2010 is 4 days & 3 nights in Atlanta, GA Jan. 2-5, 2010.  It will be a life changing event for all who are able to attend.  Total cost for Registration and Hotel for 4 days & 3 nights is only $230.00 (before Sept. 15, $20.00 more after) and includes conference attendance, lunch on Jan. 3 & 4, and conference materials.  You are responsible for any remaining meals.  When you register, enter “THRiVE” in the Ministry/Organization field in the online registration form.

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Laying Down Finally

Happy Memorial Day! We had a great day with several members of both our families coming over today to visit! We took on several projects and got them done, ate Youmans/Parsons leftover wedding cake, mixed concrete, climbed in the roof of the church and lowered a projector, rang the church bell to see if Pastor Scott would come and preach, and last but not least I took both my sweet girls to Sonic for a date tonight! Can u say SonicBlast!

I am thanking God for His blessings and at the same time acknowledging that it is very hard at times, but trying to be content. Jesus is my portion.

I miss all my friends from THRiVE. A few were in town this weekend for the wedding and it was so fun to see them all! Can’t wait for August 23rd to get here already!

Lastly, our sweet baby girl is making faces and noises at us. It is really fun to try and get her to respond to us. I am praying for her even now that God would change her heart to one that loves Jesus Christ and believes on Him alone for her salvation. I am also praying for her future husband!

Thanks to all the many donations that have been pouring in. Some have been large and some small, but all very important. I am very thankful to be growing a base of donors who invest only a little money but much prayer!

NEWS. A friend of mine in ministry recently lost a donor who contributed 6,000/yr to his ministry. This young man is leading many people to Christ on WCU’s campus, pray that he would make that amount up as well as exceed it with the generosity of many people.

Till next time!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

So I found this old pic…

Caleb Mayfield's Senior Portrait
Caleb Mayfield's Senior Portrait

Really excited about this photo of Caleb Mayfield that i found.  You should let him know that he is in my blog!

In other news, today has been a fun day for the Speier family.  We got up and went to church for a sermon on church government.  Could have been a tough topic to teach on, but Pastor Scott was able to bring it all back to the headship of Jesus and make it very applicable to all of us.  We had lunch at the house and Sarah’s family came over to visit Ana Claire.  Mr. James proceeded to make our walk way bigger by chizzleing out brick for nealy 5 hours.  Way to go Mr. James!!!

Tonight’s biblical leadership session went great and we had some good discussion afterwards as well.  I am really glad for all those who came tonight!  Next week we will finish up Neh. 2 and then go right into chapter 3.  Otter (our dog) has gotten loose again.  He is a smart dog determined to sneak out and run around the neighborhood anytime he gets a chance.  Pray that he will come home.  Tomorrow is going to be a busy day of all kinds of stuff.  Happy Memorial Day to all those who served our country and paid the ultimate price.  We honor Christ for doing what no man or woman could do, and that is to live the perfect life, be murdered as the penalty of our sin, and coming back to life to defeat the grave, death, sin, and Satan. God bless you as you read this blog, please pray for my wife Sarah and I and for our little daughter Anastasia!

Has Christian America Come to an End?

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle
Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle

Has Christian America Come to an End?

By Mark Driscoll
Pastor, Mars Hill Church

Has Christian America come to an end? That question has been hotly debated since Newsweek published their recent feature story reporting that the number of Americans claiming no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990. Additionally, the percentage of self-identified Christians has dropped ten points in the past two decades.

As an evangelical pastor with one of America’s fastest-growing churches in one of its least churched cities, I do not find the report surprising or discouraging. Newsweek missed the subtle — but vital — difference between Christian America and Christendom America.

Christian America is comprised of those people who have had a truly transforming experience with Jesus Christ and are living new lives as practicing Christians. Experts such as sociologist Bradford Wilcox at the University of Virginia have well documented the fact that those who practice Christian faith by reading their Bibles regularly, attending church, praying, and so forth are far less likely to engage in acts such as adultery, divorce, substance abuse, and the like.
Christendom America is comprised of those people who have not had a truly transforming experience with Jesus Christ and are living lives virtually indistinguishable from those who are non-Christians. The confusion is that it was common in Christendom for people who did not practice Christianity to profess Christianity. This was often done for social reasons, such as living in a culture that expected church affiliation, being born into a religious tradition and assuming it was simply part of one’s identity (like a cultural or racial connection), or personally, socially, and vocationally benefitting from being connected, even loosely, to a church or denomination. Researchers such as George Barna have documented the fact that, as Jesus himself said, not everyone who says he or she is a Christian is in fact one.

Subsequently, the Newsweek report simply confirms the fact that, just as Christendom has died in Europe and the major American cities, it is now dying in the suburban and rural areas of America as well. With the social benefits of professing to be a Christian no longer in place and the social stigma of not professing to be a Christian now lifted, those who were part of Christendom America are simply no longer pretending to be part of Christian America.
Since those who professed faith but did not practice faith were confusing to account for, this is actually a good thing. Now, it is more likely that if someone is a Christian or non-Christian, he or she will state so plainly.

Therefore, the number of Christians has likely not diminished as much as has been reported, but rather we are seeing an increasingly accurate accounting of actual Christian America. The ARIS study confirmed this by saying that the number of people who claimed to be Christians decreased, while the number of people who claimed to be evangelical increased. This fact is not discouraging, but rather clarifying.

Additionally, Christianity has always reformed itself around major technological innovations. Just as the printing press enabled the Protestant Reformation, so too the Internet and video technology are changing how ministry is done. Networks are currently overtaking denominations as the gathering place for innovative young leaders, megachurches are using video to become multi-site, and young pastors are increasingly moving into cities to plant churches. Our own church planting network Acts 29, for example, now has 250 church plants and is on pace to be at one thousand churches in roughly seven years. We are not alone. As the churches and ministry forms of Christendom are dying, new churches, networks, and ministry forms are replacing them with great passion, as the ARIS study confirms. Therefore, while it is too early to tell, we may in fact simply be living in the time between the times of Christendom and post-Christendom America, with Christian America getting more innovative and devoted than ever and poised to see many more lives changed by Jesus Christ.

There is one thing that is concerning, namely the loss of the residue of some aspects of Protestant morality. For example, as authority is less and less respected, and social order becomes more difficult to maintain, and sexual sin increases the number of addicts and abuse victims (as we are dealing with by the thousands in our church), the result will be a culture that is less beneficial for Christians and non-Christians alike. This is because, although being good does not save you, insofar as the culture is concerned, it is still good. Proceeding forward, the distinctions in lifestyle between Christian America and non-Christian America will become increasingly stark and will require great service by the church in the areas of mercy and justice to help people damaged by a Christless culture.