Posted in America, Culture, Friends & Family, Leadership

The Inner Ring- Our Desire to Belong

It starts out when we are young; our desire to fit in, to belong, to be accepted. I see it in my kids, or should I say I recognize it in my kids, for I have first seen it in myself. The truth is that even as we grow into adulthood, we still desire it. Maybe the inner ring is being in management at work. Maybe it’s a desire to fit in with a certain crowd at a social club or church. God created us with a desire to belong; primarily this is realized through connecting and belonging to “Our Father in Heaven.” And it is also legitimate to want to belong to the “Inner Circle”. It’s not the inner circle that inherently evil, it’s our wiliness not fully be ourselves in order to belong. Years ago C.S. Lewis delivered a lecture entitled, “The Inner Ring“, which he gave at King’s College, at the University of London, in 1944. In it he warns of the dangers of desiring to fit it. I encourage you to read the entire speech at the link above, but I have posted below the parts of the Inner Circle that really spoke to me.

That is my first reason. Of all the passions, the passion for the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things.

My second reason is this. The torture allotted to the Danaids in the classical underworld, that of attempting to fill sieves with water, is the symbol not of one vice, but of all vices. It is the very mark of a perverse desire that it seeks what is not to be had. The desire to be inside the invisible line illustrates this rule. As long as you are governed by that desire you will never get what you want. You are trying to peel an onion: if you succeed there will be nothing left. Until you conquer the fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain.

This is surely very clear when you come to think of it. If you want to be made free of a certain circle for some wholesome reason—if, say, you want to join a musical society because you really like music—then there is a possibility of satisfaction. You may find yourself playing in a quartet and you may enjoy it. But if all you want is to be in the know, your pleasure will be short lived. The circle cannot have from within the charm it had from outside. By the very act of admitting you it has lost its magic.

Once the first novelty is worn off, the members of this circle will be no more interesting than your old friends. Why should they be? You were not looking for virtue or kindness or loyalty or humor or learning or wit or any of the things that can really be enjoyed. You merely wanted to be “in.” And that is a pleasure that cannot last. As soon as your new associates have been staled to you by custom, you will be looking for another Ring. The rainbow’s end will still be ahead of you. The old ring will now be only the drab background for your endeavor to enter the new one.

And you will always find them hard to enter, for a reason you very well know. You yourself, once you are in, want to make it hard for the next entrant, just as those who are already in made it hard for you. Naturally. In any wholesome group of people which holds together for a good purpose, the exclusions are in a sense accidental. Three or four people who are together for the sake of some piece of work exclude others because there is work only for so many or because the others can’t in fact do it. Your little musical group limits its numbers because the rooms they meet in are only so big. But your genuine Inner Ring exists for exclusion. There’d be no fun if there were no outsiders. The invisible line would have no meaning unless most people were on the wrong side of it. Exclusion is no accident; it is the essence.

The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it. But if you break it, a surprising result will follow. If in your working hours you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. You will be one of the sound craftsmen, and other sound craftsmen will know it. This group of craftsmen will by no means coincide with the Inner Ring or the Important People or the People in the Know. It will not shape that professional policy or work up that professional influence which fights for the profession as a whole against the public: nor will it lead to those periodic scandals and crises which the Inner Ring produces. But it will do those things which that profession exists to do and will in the long run be responsible for all the respect which that profession in fact enjoys and which the speeches and advertisements cannot maintain.

And if in your spare time you consort simply with the people you like, you will again find that you have come unawares to a real inside: that you are indeed snug and safe at the centre of something which, seen from without, would look exactly like an Inner Ring. But the difference is that the secrecy is accidental, and its exclusiveness a by-product, and no one was led thither by the lure of the esoteric: for it is only four or five people who like one another meeting to do things that they like. This is friendship. Aristotle placed it among the virtues. It causes perhaps half of all the happiness in the world, and no Inner Ring can ever have it.


Posted in Church, Family, Friends & Family, Ministry, Missions

A New Season

Five years ago I sensed a call to leave our church of 12 years and relocated to Petal to be a part of the life and ministry of Turning Pointe Church. During this time our kids have grown physically and we all have grown spiritually and emotional. The people of Turning Pointe have taken us in, cared for us, and taught us how to love and serve more fully.


Now we sense God calling us to a new work. There is much that we don’t know. As of now the LORD has put into our hearts, to relocated back to West Hattiesburg (4th Street Area). Once there we hope to start meeting with others in a Missional Community (A Missions Focused Small Group). We are submitted to His will and trust that he will lead us in his time.


First Thessalonians Chapter 2 expresses how Paul felt as he looked back on his time with the Thessalonians Church. In this passage I found verse 8 which summarizes our feelings toward you all; “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” We Love You All.


Never stop “Turning People to Christ”,

Trenidy & JJ Davis

Posted in Family, Friends & Family, Technology

Why Your Calls Aren’t Being Answered

Last week I was on a conference call at work, using my personal cell phone, when someone I know very well called on the other line. Now I was preparing to speak to 50 people or more on this call, so I let the call transfer to voice mail. After the call I went to listen to the message, not knowing I was in for a treatJ. You see, after the call rolled to voice mail, the caller didn’t hang up their phone. So I got to hear the rest of the conversations they were having (I love it when this happens). It turns out they were frustrated with me for not answering their call. “They had things to do” and the fact that I was unavailable at that moment was unacceptable to them. So today I thought I’d blog about three legitimate reasons why others may not answer our calls.

  1. The person we are calling is either on the phone or in a face-to-face conversation with another person. I believe that as default, our current on-going communications SHOULD trump all others. If we are talking to another human it is respectful to give that person our undivided attention. I’m not perfect at this but I trying to get better.
  2. The person is busy with a task that requires their full attention. This is not just for Doctors in the middle of surgery. If I’m in the middle of a tedious task at work I will silence my phone. This helps me concentrate in order to get things correct the first time and this requires forgoing phone calls.
  3. The person we are trying to contact is taking a break, “de-teching”. In an effort to try to balance all of life it is good to step away from our phones for a short period each day. Sometimes I leave my phone at my desk and walk around the office to clear my mind. This helps me break the false impulse I feel to always be available.

When we make ourselves available to everyone all the time the demands of our time will be so great, that we will feel stressed and unable to really focus on anyone. So, if you call me and I don’t answer, it’s not that I don’t care about you, it’s that I’m trying to care about someone else at the time. “Leave a message I WILL return your call later.”

Posted in Family, Friends & Family, Leadership, Parenting

I’ve Given Up On You

Dear (insert persons name),

I wanted to write and let you know that I’ve given up trying to make you into who I want you to be. Before all creation God created you with a purpose in mind. I’ve justified some of my efforts to direct you by trying to connect my plans for you with what God wants. I still believe that God’s plan for you is revealed in the scriptures. I know he wants you to be saved, be holy, be filled with his Spirit, and to be a transformational person in this world; however, I’m going to stop my efforts to bring about these changes in you. I will be tempted in the future to tell you what you should do, but I will remind you and myself that you are ultimately responsible to Jesus himself. I’ll still be here for you, but Christ alone is your Master, not me. I’ve given up on you, but I know Jesus has not.

Posted in Culture, Friends & Family, Marriage, Technology

Why I Share a Facebook Account With My Wife

Facebook is a great tool for connecting with old friends and being available to be contacted by people who otherwise would not be able to find you. Since cell phones have taken over, many people no longer have their name listed in the phone book and since cell numbers aren’t always easy to find, Facebook has become the new phone book. But as with any new technology there is a down side. Facebook allows people to communicate with others without being detected, or so it seems. I continue to hear and read reports of marriages that are being affected by this. The husband or wife finds a old flame or an attractive acquaintance and decides to start direct messaging them just to say “Hi”. In hopes they may say “Hi” back. This eventual grows into an emotional bond which is always step one away from their current spouse and family.

The way the Bible sees it, a man’s job is to lead and protect his wife; covering her spiritualy, emotionally, and physically. And women have the right to hold their husbands accountable to the covenant they made to God when they said , “I do”. As I written about before, marriage is a commitment to look away from every person on earth, who ever did or might in the future, seem to be your perfect match. You already have your perfect match even though it may not seem that way. There are no perfect marriages. And if you think the conflict you are having now is bad, wait until you jump ship. The problem is not your spouse; it’s the person you look at in the mirror every morning (I’m talking to myself). And “news flash” if you leave, you will be taking your problem with you.

I think it’s wise and safe to have open communication between you and your spouse about who you are talking with/to each day. A shared Facebook account keeps it all out in the open. We both have the same account on our phones and so we know who we are talking to 🙂 You may be thinking it’s inconvenient, but I know people who wished they’d done this a year ago. I would love for Facebook to make it easier to have a joint account; but for now Trenidy N JJ will navigate the Facebook world as one.

Matthew 19:6 “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Posted in Church, Family, Friends & Family, Health/Exercise, Money, Quotes

Happy 2009!

We’ll 2009 is off and running. I took a few days off from blogging, but I’m back. I have a ton of thoughts floating around inside my head so here goes.

  • I really enjoyed two weeks off from work hanging out with my family.
  • We sold the lot/land next to our house during the holidays thanks to our new real-estate agent! You can visit her site at Now all we have left is for the house to sell! But I’m confident that the LORD will move us in His time.
  • I surprised JJ and kids on Christmas day by announcing that we would be going to Disney World later in the spring! Daily TJ keeps saying, “I’m ready to go to Dizzy World.” He thinks were going to leave any minute. I know these are difficult economic times, but there are some incredibly inexpensive deals out there right now. It’s never going to be any cheaper for our family to go, so we are pumped.
  • The photo is from New Years Eve. We hung out with friends and watched the fireworks, while two of my kids stayed in the truck with ear muffs.

  • No resolutions for me this year. Resolutions always seem to place more expectations on this perfectionist and that spells stress. However I did join a Gym on December 21 and have only missed a few days since then. I even went on Christmas Eve! You may be thinking, “I thought you said you didn’t set any resolutions?” Again, I didn’t. {Shhh- I’m trying reverse psychology on myself to see how it works. Maybe as long as I say I don’t have to go; I’ll still want to go}
  • I’m very excited about all that is happening at the Turning Pointe Church. Last night Scott rallied the church behind our new “Passion Statement”, which is “Turning People to Christ”. Most churches have a mission statement, a vision statement, a doctrinal statement, a legal statement (I’m rambling here to show how silly we can get with all the statements), but most of the time statements are phrases we hang on the wall (aka website), not what is “actually” happing in the church halls. But your passion is what you do out of who you are! No matter where someone is in life; we must turn them to Christ!
  • I got impulsive one night and decided to put up a tent for the kids in the living room. I purchased the tent over 2 years ago and had never gotten it out of the bag. I forgot that it said 8-10 person on the side! Before I knew it I had to open the doors in order to put the poles in. It almost whipped me, but this old Boy Scout didn’t go down without a fight! Here is my final result.
Posted in Culture, Family, Friends & Family, Theology

Thankfulness: From Sentiment to Reality

Proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds.

Psalms 26:7 (ESV)

What many of us consider as gratitude in our hearts is only sentiment. Gratitude must be verbalized for it to become Thankfulness. Telling God and others how grateful we are to them moves our gratitude from a potential into the domain of reality. No one benefits if they remain only thoughts. We must speak our gratitudes out loud and observe there power. Most of us, including myself, consider ourselves grateful people, but that mostly consists of grateful thoughts and feelings we possess. This Thanksgiving let’s not keep them to ourselves, but confess them verbally those we love.

Posted in Culture, Friends & Family, Technology

My First 100 Friends on Facebook!

I know 100 friends on Facebook is not a big deal to you guys who have 500 fb friends, but it’s significant for me. First of all I’d like to thank all of the “friends” who made this possible. If it were not for you I’d be virtually friendless, like those other online losers who only have a dozen or so friends. I’d also like to thank my wife and kids for allowing me to make and maintain friendships with people online. I hope to continue to be a good virtual friend to everyone, by making appropriate comments about your photos that you post. I will attempt to withhold judgment for those of you who are continually updating your status. (Once every few days is acceptable.) I will resist the temptation to think that some of my friends are a bit “narcissistic”, with comments like, “I just finished 1000 sit-ups.” (I’m joking here) And for those of you who work for someone else, I would nix the constant updates about your hobbies (golf, fishing, etc). When I see those I often think, “Do you ever work?” And chances are that if your boss or clients every see your status they’ll be thinking the same thing. I would like to apologize for not updating my status very often, but having been trained in the Way of the Ninja (4th Grade) I prefer to remain in stealth mode. So here is to the fun of Facebook and to the next 100 friends.

P.S. Thanks to Chris Potin for becoming my 100th Facebook friend and helping me reach my goal!

Posted in Football, Friends & Family

Friday Night Lights-I Still Miss It

Favre may not have retired, but I did on a November Friday night in 1991. For all of those who have played the game and loved the game, it changes your life. I wasn’t that good; I made up for my lack of size with a lack of speed, but I truly loved it. {Pictured Above: 1992 Columbia Wildcat Seniors}

It’s been 17 years and every August, when I hear about the local High School teams starting two-a-days, it takes me back. The coaches, the players, and the games: great memories. {Sorry to be so nostalgic.} A few years ago I heard the song, “Never Gonna Feel Like This Again” by Kenny Chesney that sums it all it. I like to queue it up on my MP3 Player and listen to it from time to time. Here are the lyrics below:

Friday night butterflies
Like clockwork they’d arive
Little chill in an October sky
Nervous till the kickoff came

Posted in Family, Friends & Family, Theology

Forgive and Forget

The truth is that only God can do that. While we are commanded to forgive those who have sinned against us (Matt 6:12), we are never commanded to forget. Only God can choose to never remember. To the Israelites God said,

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jer. 31:34)

Dr. David Stoop has written, “One reason why God can forget is that there is nothing he needs to learn by remembering.” You and I, on the other hand, need to get to a place emotionally where we no longer hold a grudge over someone who has hurt us. But at the same time we must remember what happened in order that we may hold fast to the lessons taught us through the painful experience.

Remember forgiveness is both a decision and an ongoing process. As a Christian we decide to forgive up front, but it often takes time to accept what has been inflicted on us, and truly extend forgives to others. The power to do this only comes from the blood torn body of the Prince of Peace, who in the middle of pain being inflicted uttered the words, “Father forgiven them, for they know not what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)