I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Open Pandora's Box

I found this free streaming music site recently and it's really very cool. Basically you select and artist or a song and they build a music station that reflects that preference. I have several "stations" that I have set up. Pandora is pretty extensive and offers a real range of music types. Here are some of my stations: Elvis, P.O.D. , Harry Connick Jr., Hall & Oates, Third Day, Jim Reeves, Project 86, Mute Math, Michel Buble, Trace Adkins, Chris Isaak, Superchic(k) & more... It is a great way to discover new (or old) artists that sound like performers you already like. They've also added a new "Quickmix" feature so you can play all your stations together.

WARNING: Pandora doesn't seem to consider lyrical content when finding similar artists for your station(s). So a Christian group like Project 86 will generate similar style bands but the lyrics may be quite different.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I have a bad feeling...

Republican Senator George Allen and Democratic challenger Jim Webb "debated" last night. I've supported Allen for a long time based mainly on his stint as Governor here in Virginia many years ago. I was disappointed in George's performance last night. He seemed too scripted and too interested in dropping Hillary Clinton references whenever possible. Honestly, his campaign is highly negative - I keep getting stuff in the mail about how Webb opposed women in our military academies 27 years ago! It's getting old but I'll stay with George for now. I have a bad feeling, however, that many other Virginians will not...

Monday, October 09, 2006

"You can't have that in here"

Yesterday I struck up a conversation with a new face at church. He was a young casually dressed soldier from Montana. I usually ask new folks how they found us. His answer was a story like those I've read about. He said he started the morning at another church but ended up with us where he "felt comfortable." He said two guys at work told him about their churches. He went to fellow soldier #1's church first and entered the building with his cup of coffee. He said he was approached by a woman who didn't identify herself or even greet him. She simply said, "You can't have that in here" and walked away. He exited the building to put his coffee back in his car and then decided he should give fellow soldier #2's church a try instead. He also said everybody was really dressed up at the other place like it was a fashion show. So after the coffee incident he chose to give us a try. I'm glad he came and felt comfortable with us but I'm continuallly amazed at "church folks." If that lady ends up in heaven I hope her mansion is next to a Starbucks!

Bench Blesoe

I'm no Dallas Cowboys fan by any stretch. As a fan of the Redskins it is my duty to pull for any team that plays Dallas, but I'm reluctantly willing to offer the boys some advice: BENCH BLEDSOE! I rarely watch an entire football game but did watch about half of yesterday's Cowboys - Eagles game. Drew Bledsoe completely tanked and he's been looking like this for quite some time. I realize Tony Romo may improve Dallas' chances at winning even at the expense of my team's playoff hopes, but Washington isn't going anywhere this year anyway.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Where is baptism?

So I get an email - The Christian Standard Online Newsletter. In it is an announcement about four new church plants. I love new churches so I pick the first one, Hope Community Church, and check out their website. I scan around and locate their "Beliefs." As I flip through the pages I come to "Salvation." I know I shouldn't have looked, but here is what it says:
We believe people are made in the image of God, to be like Him in character.People are the supreme object of God’s affection, and the pinnacle of His creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This “sin” separates people from God and is the root cause of many of the problems we face in life. The penalty for our sin is eternal separation from God. We believe that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin, and by this to give us eternal life. This salvation is a free gift by God's grace. (But this gift, although free, is not cheap— for it cost God the life of His own beloved son). A person is restored to a relationship with God, or, “saved”, only by faith in Jesus' finished work on the cross, and if this faith is real, it will produce repentance—which is a change of mind concerning sin and everything not pleasing to God—that results in a total change of actions and deeds. We believe that repentance is not optional, but necessary proof that one has true biblical faith.

Okay, so where is baptism? Unfortunately I'm not surprised. At least they didn't give some compromised innocuous double talk drivel about baptism that is so common on "our" websites these days. Here is a sample from another Stadia church plant in Ashveville, NC: Our faith journey begins when we give our lives to Jesus Christ, and we express our commitment and unity with Christ through baptism by immersion. I don't know which is worse - double talk or complete ommission. I hope this isn't typical of their church plants.