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...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Remember Sam Harris?

Man, I'm getting old! I remember watching this back in the day. Sam was the original American Idol. I sure wish he would've gotten better producers, etc. He never made it "big" but he has done well nonetheless.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sermon Intermission?

If you've ever preached in a church setting or taught a group of people somewhere then you'll probably know where I'm coming from. Have you ever looked out at the crowd and noticed someone with that glazed over, dear in the headlights face? Sure you have. You likely have also seen the sleepy face or the I really don't want to be here face. I was thinking of introducing a sermon intermission for such folks. I could pause and give everyone a chance to get up, move around and greet each other. Then I could say something like "If you are bored, not interested, perhaps sleepy, or you really just want to leave...this is an ideal opportunity for you to slip out inconspicuosly and get an early start on lunch." Hey, who wants to sit through a sermon when you really aren't interested? I'd rather speak to those who want to learn anyway. Wouldn't you love to see the faces of the people who heard something like that? Sure, they'd be mad at me, but I wonder if they'd appreciate it more if I simply didn't listen the next time they felt compelled to bend my ear.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Say it isn't so!

Mitchell's report is in and he names Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, Tejada, Sheffield, Pettitte, and many others as users of performance-enhancing drugs. Well, at least the sports radio guys will have lots of material for the weeks ahead! What will happen next? Half of the guys are no longer playing, so they are likely free from any penalty....but what about the current players?

The Toaster

I do this almost every day: I plug the toaster in, use it, then unpug it. Does anyone else do this? I caught myself today and wondered why I do this. I thought it must be a fire hazard or something, but then I looked around. Virtually every outlet is in use 24/7! Are toaster inherently more volatile than lamps, TV's, etc? Maybe...maybe not, but I have a feeling that I'll keep unplugging the thing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Duck Huck!

You better duck Huck! Mike Huckabee is in for a beating. He's surging in the polls and seems to have a refreshing authenticity BUT HE'S NOT going to get the nomination. Trust me. The GOP big boys aren't going to let a Baptist preacher be the nominee. Believe me, it ain't going to happen. They've already started the hatchet job and it's just beginning. He's being branded as a whacko. He's soft on crime...he raised taxes... he rejects evolution... he's wants to quarantine people with aids, etc. More will come and he'll be branded as "unelectable" and too overtly religious. Guliani is the annointed one, so just relax and watch it unfold.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hitman Hatton

Rick "Hitman" Hatton will meet Floyd Mayweather this Saturday night in Las Vagas for for Mayweather's Welterweight title. Hatton is the current Light Welterweight champ. He's moving up in weight. This will be a tough bout for Ricky because he's moving up in weight and because he is a at a significant reach disadvantage. Both men are undefeated. There's been a big build up and Mayweather has been doing a lot of talking (what else is new?). In Hatton's last fight he KO'd José Luis Castillo with a body shot.

Sexual temptation and men

Many authors have written voluminously about men and their struggles with sexual temptation. Books abound. Accountablility systems are available. Worshops. Retreats. The list goes on, but Mark Moore (from Ozark Christian College) has written a concisely yet practically on his blog about this subject. He concludes, "If you can't be a good man you better be a wise man." Check it out.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Happy Holidays?

Soren wrote an great piece on the "Happy Holidays" issue. Check it out. Now my thoughts...

While I basically agree with everything Soren wrote I've decided to add my perspective. Frankly the move to "Happy Holidays" is increasingly irritating to me and i actaully find it refreshing when someone says "Merry Chrstmas." Let me emphasize that my irritation with the whole "Happy Holidays" jive is cultural not biblical. It doesn't bother me if Christians do or don't celebrate Christmas. I don't even care if they want to celebrate Christmas as a purely secular holiday. So what society does in this regard is not important to me from a Christian/Biblical perspective. My problem is now we have to give equal time to every "holiday" even made up ones!

My oldest daughter sings in the chorus at her elementary school. I went to program where they sang three songs obstensably as part of a celebration of the "season." They did three numbers. The first song was instrumental with kazoos and some plastic pipes they tapped for percussion. I have no idea what kind of song it was. The second number was unfamilar to me since it was a Japanese New Year song (sung in Japanese). The final number was a Kwanzaa song. Happy Holidays!

Of course the greens and reds of "Christmas" were around with the obligatory candle, snowflake and snowman thrown in to boot! Yet, not one Christmas song, not even the non-Jesus ones like Jingle Bells! I'm sure they'll get one in during the next and larger program along with a Hanukkah tune of course.

Here's my beef the social engineering in schools would leave one with the impression that all of these holidays are to be valued equally and are equally practiced. I wonder what's next...Ramadan? Yeah, I know it's already here. Pluralism, mulitculturalism and a holiday season. Oh boy!!!


My buddy Soren has written an insightful and provocative piece about the "Happy Holidays" issue. That has given my inspiration to weigh in on these matters. I'll cover it in two parts. First, let me address the Christmas holiday...

I used to be one of these "keep Christ in Christmas" guys but I've moderated my position over the years. I basically see four approaches to Christmas taken by Christians.

  1. It's not biblical, so we don't celebrate it. (Also, some troubling issues with it's pagan and catholic origins might be involved).

  2. It's a CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY. Less than blatant expressions of a Jesus' birthday approach are unacceptable. Hence, Santa, Rudolph & Frosty must go!

  3. It'a a secular (non-christian) celebration. Bring on Santa, Rudolph, Frosty and everything else, just don't give me that Jesus' birthday nonsense!

  4. A little of all of the above. That's what I do.

I read Luke 2 and watch Charlie Brown and sing Silent Night as well as Jingle Bells. I do Christmas Eve service and Santa. I concede it's not biblical, but I still think it's nice to focus on His coming in a special way.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My 9 year old speaks...

My 9 year old daughter dropped her Chrstmas wish list on me tonight and she surpasses her little brother. Her list...

  • Nintendo DS Lite

  • Nintendo Wii

  • Laptop computer

  • Digital camera

  • Cell phone

  • Ipod Nano

What happened to a Barbie & an Easy Bake Oven???

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oh boy!

We were leaving our Real Life Group (aka. home Bible study/small group) tonight when my son suddenly stuns me. He's only four but he has quite a Christmas list. He said he wants a bumble bee transformer (seems reasonable) and an Ipod! ... and a cell phone! ... and a Nintendo DS lite! ...and a Nintendo Wii! Oh boy! Things have changed that's for sure.

I'm back

Yes, I'm finally back, but I'm not quite 100% yet. I've picked up the "crud"...with the congestion, etc. It could be worse for sure. I did enjoy my time away and Thanksgiving with the family and ate lots of good stuff. I also indugulged my pumpkin pie craving. We did a little shopping too. Yes, I did the "Black Friday" thing this year. I haven't sone it in a couple of years but my wife & I decided to get back in this year. We went to Walmart & picked up a couple of GPS's. They was actually for my Mom who is giving them as gifts. She saved a nice chunk of $$$. Anyway, it was fun and it got me a out of bed. As I walked a mall in South Carolina I noticed something you've probably observed too. I don't think there has ever been a time that a jeweler didn't have a "sale." There is always a discount: 50%, 60%, etc. ...be it Mother's Day, Valentines Day, Christmas - it doesn't matter. Anyway, I'll get my blogging groove on tomorrow (maybe).

Monday, November 19, 2007


The Willis family is off for a little "R & R" in South Carolina. My sister lives in Pawley's Island & we will be going down for Thanksgiving. I might update my blog while I'm there...then again...I might not. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Flax Seed Oil?

The jig is up, the news is out... Barry Bonds appears to be in deep trouble. He thought it was just flax seed oil and some vitamins. Sure he did...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

John Piper on the prosperity gospel

John Piper rocks!

Don't get too excited

I know a lot of conservatives & republicans are excited that Hillrry Clinton is in "trouble." Some are even suggesting that she is finished. Really? Are our memories really that bad? Bill Clinton has adroitly dodged much more serious problems. If the Monica Lewinsky scandal (& MANY OTHERS) couldn't topple Bill Clintion I don't think that the Mrs. is any serious trouble. I still think we will see a Clintion/Obama ticket in '08. As crazy as it seems to some, I actually think they have a chance thanks in part to the ineptitude of the republicans.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Benny & the Feds

Looks like Benny & other well known preachers & preacherettes are under investigation. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is questioning how the churches are allocating their funds. He's concerned about tax issues & charitable organizations. I'm glad that it will bring attention and scrutiny, because some these "ministries" are the worst purveyors of the word-faith/prosperity deception. The others "minstries" being examined along with Benny Hinn's are those led by Eddie Long, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland and Paula White.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sermon Warning

This week I'm addressing the Charismatic movement (& surrounding issues) and specifically answering why we are not a part of it. Simply put, it's a counterfeit of the real thing. What is happening today is nothing like the authentic recorded events in the Bible. Just compare Jesus' healings with those of Benny Hinn! It seems, however, that charismatics have no problem preaching, teaching and advocating their beliefs. We, on the other hand, often refuse to speak clearly on these matters. It is a sensitive/controversial subject so I'm employing a sermon warning label this Sunday. What we need is not ambivalence; rather we need clarity and correct handling of the word of truth. I hope people will open their Bibles & their minds. It's a lot to cover, but I'm giving it a shot. I'll cover miracles, prophecy, tongues (everyone's favorite), healing, etc.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Go Navy!

Wow! I know Soren had to be stunned, but it was nice to see Navy win.

Election Day

I just voted and this year we have a very controversial and close race for state senate. I'm with Tricia Stall. She campaigned in my neighborhood and stood in my yard and talked at length with me and with my family. Moreover, I like where she stands on the issues and she strikes me as someone with conviction and abiding philosphy. She is on the "fringe" in the minds of many (i.e., the liberal paper) and that is okay by me because I'm one of those "extremists" too! This will be a close race in an otherwise "republican" district. Some of the repubs aren't "comfortable" with Stall and are supporting her opponent! I hope they realize that door swings both ways.


Recently here at WTBW? we've seen an increase in anonymous replies. I'm not sure what to make of it. It could be coming from my regular readers - this I seriously doubt. Maybe my blog is becoming popular - this I more seriously doubt! Maybe it's just an anomaly.

It does raise the issue of people writing in anonymity. I leave this blog wide open and don't even screen replies. I've never removed a reply either, even the asinine ones. I will, of course, remove anything that is blatantly offensive or immoral. I've just never been a fan of writing in anonymity because it seems so cowardly. I know the anonymous reader/replier will be offended but so be it.

On the positive side, however, it does give you information you would otherwise be denied. And maybe that's a good thing.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm convinced

I'm convinced my friend is right. He says, "People don't want counsel; they want confirmation." The longer I'm around and the more I counsel people, the more I believe the above statement is accurate. People generally want someone to agree with what they already think. They want someone to confirm their decision(s). They want people to tell them what they want to hear. And they virtually never listen to the bible when it disagrees with their plan or view. I am amazed by the number of folks who fake interest in biblical counsel when they are going to do what they want anyway! Sadly, this is common among those who are alledgedly mature in the faith.

Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Preaching Plan in 2007

My buddy Soren has been doing some sermon planning for next year so I thought I'd share my loosely organized plan. There are 260 chapters in New Testament. There are 52 weeks in a year. That means we can read the entire NT in a year by reading one chapter daily every Monday thru Friday. My plan is to get the church to do this together in 2008. Each Sunday I will bring a message from somewhere within the 5 chapters read the previous week. For example: Matthew 1-5 & I preach from 4:1-11 on the temptation of Jesus. It's simple, straightforward and it encourages Bible reading. My challenge is rearranging the reading plan so we don't do the 4 gospels consecutively, but that is doable. Also, keeping it "fresh" will be imperative so I''ll try to build mini-series within the year long plan.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Conservatism is a Tower of Babel is the title of Pat Buchanan's latest column and it is a good one (as usual). I am a political conservative (some might say "extremist") but less and less these days do I define myself as a Republican. The G.O.P. is old but not not so grand in my estimation. Soon social/religious conservatives (whatever they call us thsese days) may have a most difficult choice to make: compromise and support the new direction of the Republican party OR say goodbye and let the country club attending, big spending, pro-abortion, government expanding, foreign nation building, illegal immigration tolerating, neo-con types go it without us. I'm leaning toward the latter. I've frequently seen the "mainstream" & "moderate" elements of the party both locally and statewide all to willing to switch their allegiance when a real conservative gets nominated. So I say, "What's good for the goose..."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I had know idea!!!

I'm being lazy one day and I'm mindlessly watching the idiot box. An infomercial comes on - you know the kind - trying to look like an informative talk show. This one even had a gal with British accent (they sound smarter I guess). This particular show was on the apparent need we all have for a thorough "colon cleanse." It was scarey actually. Apparently many of us have several pounds of "impacted fecal matter" we are carrying around. We also have something like tire rubber coating our bowels as a result! There's maybe as much as six feet of this stuff! Also, parasite & worms are probably living in there too! Not to mention toxicity! WOE! So what are the symptoms of this toxic build up? This is the best part. Here they are...
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Skin problems
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Bad breath or body odors
  • Depression
  • Mental dullness or poor memory
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Joint aches (especially knees)
  • Low back pain
  • Poor circulation
  • Stomach bloat or gas
  • Nausea
  • Acid reflux
  • Heartburn
  • Acne
  • Poor digestion
  • Weight gain
  • Premature aging

...Just to name a few! Wow! It looks like everybody needs a good colon cleansing!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Good news & bad news..

After a recent tennis match I called my wife and opened the conversation with those famous words: I have good news and bad news, which do you want first? She asked for the bad news. "I broke my tennis racquet tonite! BUT the good the good news is I have to get a new racquet! "

For quite awhile now I've held to the idea that a new racquet would elevate my tennis game. Well, I'm about to find out. After much deliberation, consideration and negotiation I now own a Wilson n1 ncode tennis racquet. I got it for a third of the retail price and it was the one I'd been eyeing for months too. I hit with it and it has some pop to it. In the end all I really want to do is hit a big (really big) serve, so hopefully this will be a weapon in that regard.

Tennis anyone?

Friday, October 12, 2007

And the prize goes to....Al Gore?

I heard a caller on the Neal Boortz radio show today nail it. He said, "The Nobel Peace Prize is the liberal Man of the Year Award." EXACTLY!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

This is "Church?"

Recently I was considering the modern church and I've concluded that this simply cannot be what Jesus had in mind when he said he would build his church. I suspect it must be disappointing for the Lord to see what the "church" has become. Club members. Consumers. Christianity lite. Un-converts. Judgement Day will no doubt be quite a surprise for many! The more ecumenical among us like to say that we'll be surprised by who is in Heaven, but I think we will be more surprised by who is not! May God have mercy on us!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Women in the Church

Gender roles and the Bible have become quite the controversial issue in the modern church. I fear that the biblical text has been so thoroughly assaulted by "professionals" that the egalitarian perversion of Scripture is beginning to take hold and become entrenched. I fear that the church may never evict this compromised position, at least not in this current generation. The timing of this erroneous doctrine is particulary damaging because the modern "pew sitter" walks in biblical ignorance. Add to that an increasingly feminized culture and you have what we have today = a gender ignorant & gender neutral movement. Morever, today's church is dominated numerically with women...they do the work, they "man" the programs, etc. So, the modern preacher-pastor-minister guy can & will be tempted to go soft on gender roles because he might lose his flock or a portion of it. I strongly recommend a book to aid you in this morass of gender issues. "Women in the Church" by Andreas Kostenberger & Thomas Schreiner is the best single volume resource available. It is scholarly yet readable. It is thorough - they even refute bogus arguments you probably haven't even encountered...yet. Please get it and read it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

And now why tarriest thou?

The Associated Press quoted Senator John McCain recently. He said:

"I was raised Episcopalian, I have attended the North Phoenix Baptist Church for many years and I am a Christian," McCain said. He added that he has considered being baptized in the Baptist church, but he does not want to do it during the presidential race because "it might appear as if I was doing something that I otherwise wouldn't do."

The Senator might want to check out the following Bible verse - Acts 22:16 (KJV): And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

From my column in the OCC newsletter...

Are you too busy? Perhaps you are too busy with church stuff. Huh? Did the preacher just write that? YES HE DID! I did because I firmly believe that sometimes we are tempted to do more & more church stuff… start more activities… do more things… plan more events and fill the church calendar. Yet, WE MISS THE SIMPLICITY OF BEING A PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST. Have you ever wondered how the early Christians survived without all the trappings of the modern church? In our current age there is a tremendous pressure to try and do “what the big churches do.” We are deluged with books, magazines, websites, conferences, etc. all trying to tell us how to improve church. This supposed improvement usually requires buying somebody’s ministry programs or products. Some are helpful, but some result in activity without productivity. We erroneously seem to think that busyness is next to godliness. Don’t misunderstand: I’m not suggesting idleness as a preferred lifestyle either! I have, however, seen many well intentioned believers burnout and drop out. It usually starts with intense enthusiasm and energy yet ends with barely a trickle of life. Church leaders aren’t inclined to say “no” especially to people who want to do more stuff “at church” so we often unwittingly let them run full speed into their own demise! Let me illustrate: Someone comes forward with a ministry idea (usually something someone else is doing somewhere else)… he/she reasons that this a MUST FOR US TOO… he/she recruits help… and sells the idea… and takes off with great expectations only to be disappointed in the end. This scenario is frequently accompanied by unrealistically elevated expectations of our brothers and sisters. We end up, in the worse cases, turning on those we were allegedly going to serve. How, you ask? Well, these folks don’t “support” or “participate” like they should. Maybe the leaders (or yours truly) aren’t doing enough either. So we then begin that highly detrimental practice of fault finding in others. It is ironic, but it is predictable. That’s why I share it. Maybe someone will avoid spiritual calamity, maybe not. But, let me close by suggesting some alternative ideas to the present pressure of the current church culture.

Here are some suggestions…

  • Keep it Simple! Clichés are irritating but this one is true & powerful.
  • Remember: Everyone can’t do everything so instead let’s major in majors.
  • Less is more! Sometimes a prayer with a child is better than an elaborate event.
  • Stop evaluating everyone else. Fault finding is only helpful when it is applied to oneself.
  • Read your Bible more than the plethora of authors who roll out the latest & greatest fads.
  • Finally, read the passage below very slowly & prayerfully.
Romans 12:9-17 (NLT): 9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
In Christ,

Jon Gibson Have A Talk With God

This guy was one of my favorite Christian music guys back in the day. I remember jamming to this song over and over again! Great memories with this one.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Faull in the Fall

We finished our fall revival this past Wednesday. It was outstanding! I don't know how exactly to put it but George Faull is an enormously powerful Bible teacher. I sat there with my jaw dropped half the time. His insights were tremendous & his command of scripture was unmatched in my experience. God was glorified by His servant and we were all inspired. If you ever have a chance to hear brother Faull teach please don't let the opportunity pass you by. I joked but it was true: George makes me feel dumb yet he inspires me to want to know more. I don't think I'll ever forget him preaching on sin being exceedingly sinful! WOW! That was some good preaching!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Me a Coach?

Just call me Coach Willis. Today, I begin a training process that will hopefully result in my earning "coach certification." I am working with Virginia Evangelizng Fellowhip and they are training me in coaching. The VEF’s Coach Certification Program will allow allow me to be deployed to coach other kingdom workers. So far my reading has been interesting, but I admit, I do occasionally think..."if the blind lead the blind...!" Actually, I think the training is going to be very helpful and I'll be able to use it in my ministry. It's different than I thought, but I think it will be helpful.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Yeah, Newt. Attention Republicans. Meet your presidential candidate: Newt Gingrich. Notice I didn't write my presidential candidate. I saw Newt this morning on one of the morning shows and I believe he's going to be the guy for the GOP. Fred Thompson has not gained traction and the others seemed to be without much momentum. Someone will fill the void and Newt is an opportunist. Here he comes again with and 6 point plan (another contract with America?). A lot of folks love Newt, but I've never been a big fan. He seems to be an establishment guy akin to William Bennett. I used to like those guys until they both unleashed hatchet jobs on Pat Buchanan many years ago when Pat became competition to their candidate in the primaries. Anyway, Newt vs. Hillary ought to generate some entertaining debates.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Revival & More Revival

The Northampton Church of Christ concluded their fall revival last Wednesday and we began ours yesterday. It's been cool having back to back revivals with a sister church. D.J. Maxey was the speaker at Northampton. I've known him since he was a teenager and (I'll sound like an old timer here) I'm really proud of D.J. He is an outstanding preacher and is doing great things for the Lord in his ministry. D.J. is also the most spontaneously funny preacher I know. He had me on the verge of crying with laughter at times. I pleased that our revival has started off extremely well. George L. Faull is our speaker. Brother Faull has to be more well versed (pun intended) in Scripture than anyone I know. I am actually intimidated when I discuss the Bible with him! I just feel so dumb! He inspires me to want to study more and that's great. He's been tremendous in and out of the pulpit. His style is so good too. He brings so much depth in his messages - thorough, logical, meticulous and, of coure, biblical. I can hardly wait for tonight!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Johnny Cochran, where are you now???

O.J. Simpson is in trouble again. Surprising, huh?

NFL observations...

Here are some of my early NFL observations...

  • Belicheat's Pats may get SuperBowl #4 this year.

  • "LT" should take a few reps next preseason.

  • Carson Palmer is really, really, good.

  • Peyton Manning is still the man.

  • The Saints are back to being the Aints.

  • Who is this Derek Anderson guy? Wow!

  • The Cowboys might be pretty good.

  • The Redskins are probably not.

  • Randy Moss is back.

  • Favre looks like the old Favre again.

  • Atlanta wishes they still had Matt Schaub!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I used to jump like this (in my dreams).

This an old video of me back in the day before I changed my name to Willis. NOT!

I don't get it

I know fantasy football is a big deal these days, but I just don't get it! I played one year after being talked into it by a brother in law. I lost interest pretty rapidly. I kept thinking "Who cares?" I mean the trash talking alone was beyond silly. There's something about a bunch of non-athletes (or athletes for that matter) talking smack about their fantasy teams and idolizing "their players" that brings the unflattering term "jock sniffer" to mind. Is it just me or does this whole fantasy thing seem a little juvenile? I know it's popular and surely I'm overstating things, but c'mon! Get away from your TV and your computer and, yes, your cell phone and go do something productive!

Monday, September 10, 2007

My ideal church gathering...

Foundational Scriptures…

KEY: Romans 12:1: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

Mike Root: “We will have Sunday only Christians as long as we have Sunday only worship.”

Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Hebrews 13:15-16: 15Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.


Mike Root: “Together is one thing you can’t do alone!”

Mike Root: “The saddest indictment of any church is that it is structured in such a way that members can attend the assembly and still be alone.”

Do I need to “go to church” to be with God? NO! I need to go to be with YOU!


Hebrews 10:22-25: 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Acts 2:42: They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

The apostles' teaching…
OUT: Dry lectures from the pro. Surface level stuff.
IN: Deeper teaching. Interaction. Application. Questions. Answers. Equipping.

The fellowship…
OUT: Turn around & shake hands “fellowship.” Fellowship only happens outside the “service” mentality.
IN: Table fellowship = eating toget
her…perhaps breakfast before or lunch after. TIME to talk, pray, encourage, share life, etc.

The breaking of bread…
OUT: Chiclets & mini-shot glasses & isolated spiritual fetal position “communion.” Synchronized communion rituals.
IN: Breaking bread, taking together, sharing thoughts on Jesus and the cross. Communing as families, as small groups, etc.

OUT: Predictable invocation-benediction stuff.
IN: Authenticity. Variety of times and lengths. Silence. Large group. Small group.

The Sunday gathering becomes active instead of watching the show. Authenticity trumps “excellence.” People will be central to what happens and not just on the sidelines.

THINGS THAT ARE OUT: Cooker cutter service. Ruts & routines. Predictability, boredom & auto-pilot services. Formality. Cathedral thinking. The pulpit. The “communion table.” Offering trays or bags. The “invitation.”

THINGS THAT ARE IN: Anticipation. Participation. TOGETHERNESS. Informality. We are the TEMPLE thinking. People not performance. Love, edification, equipping, encouragement, KOINONIA!

Approximate length: 2 hours.

Possible flow: (With lots of flexibility!)

  • Breakfast
  • Prayer in small groups
  • Large group singing – some planned – might be some requests. VARIETY. Much more interactive & less about presentation, lighting & mood etc.
  • Communion within groups – discussing the gospel & remembering Jesus. It may happen within the small group “teaching time” or during a meal.
  • Intro of Bible teaching (large group)
  • Small group breakout for discussion, questions, application, etc.
  • Large group debriefing (elders lead)
  • Singing & prayer...
  • Hangout (People still needing attention, encouragement will hang around)
  • Giving? (Boxes located at doors)
  • Evangelism? It will happen here, but it isn’t the purpose. It is the by-product.
  • Elders & perhaps deacons and teachers will lead small breakout groups. The leaders can identify individuals or families in need of further attention.

    See Acts 2:42-27; Acts 20:6-12; I Corinthians 11-14


I know I am. The church where I serve is moving in the right direction. This, I believe, has resulted in inceased oppostion from our adversary, the devil. Of course that means my mind works overtime and I lose sleep. So, I'm committing to prayer instead of worry, to spiritual warfare instead of fleshly battles. Satan is stepping up the attacks...he is using gossip and marital problems WITHIN THE BODY in an attempt try to derail our forward progress. But we will not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The "trinity" of megachurch wannabes...

Signs that you are a megachurch wannabe:

  • Do you frequently say things like "Andy Stanley says..." or "Bill Hybels wrote..." or "Rick Warren does..."???
  • Are your three favorite churches North Point, Willow Creek and Saddleback?
  • Do you use "point" or "purpose" or "seeker" in everyday conversations?
  • Do you frequently refer to the "trinity" aka. Hybels & Warren & Stanley as though you know them personally? Sometimes you call them Bill, Rick or Andy?
  • Do you have a Purpose Driven calendar?
  • Have you considered changing your church name to include "community" or "creek" or "point?"
  • Do you think "40 days" is the key to doing anything?
  • Have you made the requisite pilgrimage to Atlanta, Chicago or Orange County?
  • Do you consistently disregard the fact that none of these three would recognize biblical soteriology if it was walking down the street with a hat on?

There are many more, so PLEASE ADD YOUR OWN. Thanks!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fred's in...

Fred Thompson finally makes it official. I have to admit he has a cetain likability factor and in this superfical age it can definitely help. Maybe it's the actor thing. Maybe it's his voice or his accent. I don't know about that, but I do know I don't see him winning this thing. I wish somehow Ron Paul could get some traction. Wishful thinking I know...


Church folks recognize the term "shut-in." The names of these people usually show up in bulletins for prayer, etc. Recently I got to thinking about this category within the church. I've encoutered "shut-ins" in department stores, medical facilities and at weddings & funerals. I know of some who seem to make it out to "hair appointments" and various other essential and non-essential activities with great regularity. I'm wondering if maybe we have assigned some sort of undo status to those in this category. YES THERE ARE GENUINE "SHUT-INS" and we do need to pay attention to them. But, I wonder how many "shut-ins" don't come to church simply because of reasons less respectable than being "shut-in." Younger folks have to use excuses... you know them: It's my only day off... The people aren't friendly... You don't have anything for my kids... I don't like the preacher (WHAT???)... We've been sooooo busy....ETC. But, "shut-ins" have a trump card and it makes them beyond reproach. Just try and criticize them and see for yourself. Yeah, I know one day I'll be old...but that's not my point! My point = every "shut-in" isn't truly shut-in. Okay, now I'll shut up about shut ins.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Back to School

Today was the first day for the public schools here. I remember being a child and hating to see those last days of summer slip away. It changed later in my highschool years, but I have to say that my kids handled it pretty smoothly (thus far!). I'm also starting a new sermon series Sunday after next. I'm calling it "Back to School" and I'll be tackling some hefty theological topics. I hope it's the right move. I'm just convicted that I need to get folks deeper and they ain't coming to Sunday School, so I'll just take to the main assembly.

Was that great or what?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


We are off to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a few days to visit with family and for some "R & R." Have a nice Labor Day...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dry Spell

I go through periodic "dry spells." I don't think I'm unique in that. The proverbial rollercoaster ride is my life particularly the professional ministry part. There are highs and I'm excited and then someone rains on the parade every time! Ironically, the rain usually comes from those you least expect. I used to wonder why some preachers avoided "getting close" to people in the congregation, but now I'm starting to see why. Invariably, some of the biggest complainers & winers are the the used to be fun to be around supportive types. Is this weird or what? In my old age I'm growing ever more intolerant of these folks. Is this bad? Maybe, but I just want to say: "If you don't like it here...if want to believe those rumors...if the leaders are as bad as you think...if you're that petty...if you're that mypopic and self-righteous then...good bye! Oh...and GOOD LUCK finding the perfect church! "

Monday, August 27, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Vick Connection

As you probably know Michael Vick and I share the same hometown: Newport News, VA. He also played football at my highschool (Ferguson). The school was closed while was there and he finished at nearby Warwick. Our connection goes still further. In highschool I played football with Vick's uncle Casey. Casey was a good guy and lives fairly close to me now. Whenever i see him we salways top and chat. He was the right gurad and I was the left back at Ferguson (Go Mariners!). Anyway, I saw this picture with Casey in it. He's in the middle in the background smiling big. This picture is from a few years back during brighter times.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Just Wondering

“Everywhere I go, all over the world people still support Mike Vick. Regardless of what I go through, people will love me.”

-Michael Vick

I wonder how many pit bull puppies will be named "Vick" over the next few years...as an expression of love of course!

My baby girl...

My first born, Bethany, turned nine today. It's amazing how fast time flies (I sound like your parents, don't I?). I still vividly remember when she was born. Amazing! My andrenaline was way up there...It was so high I think I could've taken a quarter off of the top of the backboard (okay, maybe not). Now, my little bald, blue-eyed, toothless baby girl is getting bigger seemingly every day. Wow. Tonight we will celebrate with a pool party and lots of friends and presents. Maybe I should turn on "Butterfly Kisses" and sob for a few...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Jack Lambert

One Bad Man...


I rarley get political on WTBW? Today is an exception and a minor one at that. Pat Buchanan has long been my favorite political commentator. I've liked a him a great deal since he was the right guy on Crossfire (back during my politically formative years) on CNN. I loved watching him skewer the libs and their predictable drivel. I've followed with interest his presidential bids and I also have several of his books. I especially like his columns. I like others too: Robert Novak, Ann Coulter, Walter Williams. But Pat always seems to right on and he has the courage to take on topics than many are too cowardly to face. I wish he was a preacher. I bet he would throw down! Oh well...I can at least enjoy him as a brillinat & bold writer. Go Pat go!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Don't Argue With Your Wife

I made a mistake the other day and paid the price. My wife and I were out for a bike ride and I was leading. As we appraoched an intersection I slowed down resulting in my wife's almost rear ending me. She got on me and I proceeded to tell her to pay attention (all while still riding). As we argued I turned around just in time to see my front tire making contact with a substantial curb. I tried an evasive manuever to no avail! I came crashing down on my side resulting in some seriously bruised ribs. I thought the rib deal was ironic (see Adam & Eve). Anyway it's no fun laughing, coughing or sneezing. I learned a good lesson.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

George L. Faull

I'm excited to announce that George L. Faull will the speaker for our fall revival. He happened to be available so we decided to go for it. Brother Faull brings some seroius bible teaching/preaching when he comes. I don't know anyone who knows the Book like he does. Anyway, I asked if I could make some sermon requests. I hope he does at least one of them. Here they are...

  • I Have Never Split a Church
  • Where I Disagree With God
  • In Essentials Unity
  • Joe Brown’s Funeral
  • Mutiny on Old Ship Zion

And I threw in a couple of others with titles I can't remember. One about having a clear sound and one about being a disciple. I know he is going to rock!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I used to think I could swim, but not any more. My family is now full of robust swimmers with the exception of yours truly. My wife swam a mile the other day. A MILE!!! My 8 year old daughter just started on the swim team this year and qualified for the City Meet (it's a big deal) tonight. My six year old daughter, who could barely swim a few weeks ago, is now smooth and fast in the water. Then today my 4 year old son stunned me by swimming the length of the pool (25 meters)! What's up with this?! I swam the pool, up & back, last week and I almost didn't make it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Freak Show

I used to think that a Republican Congress & Whitehouse would rescue America from the peril of liberalism & socialism. Well, I was wrong. I'm a right winger for sure, but I've continued to slowly become a little more Libertarian these days. Admittedly, I've been disappointed in the Bush administration and in general with the semi-democrat modern big government republicans. Just when I thought there was no difference between the two major parties I got a wake up call in the form of the recent democrat debates. What a freak parade these "debates" are. Can you imagine a President Dennis Kucinich? I can't fathom the catastrophy that would be! Anyway, after I listened (this was difficult) to these folks promise everything to everyone I realized that these guys are essentially socialists. Obama? Clinton? Edwards? Say it isn't so!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Vacation Ending

It's a sad day. It's the day before my vacation ends. We stayed home this vacation and it was really good. I actually enjoyed the pool that we joined a few years back. I rarely go , but we went several days this past week. My children are all swimming these days and that makes it a lot easier on Mom & Dad. We've done a little work around the house (but not too much). We've spent some money (but not too much). Mrs. Willis and I have done several workouts together including a 20 mile bike ride this morning. We've played hard and relaxed too. It's been a simple, no frills vacation, but I've enjoyed it much. I'll pick up the pace here at WTBW next week. grace & peace...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vicktim? I don't think so...

Things will be heating up in these parts soon. Michael (aka. Mike) Vick has been indicted by a grand jury. I had a feeling that this dog fighting business wasn't going away in spite of the efforts (or lack thereof) by the prosecutor in Surry, VA. Once outside authorities showed up things took a turn for the worse. Hmmm....

Stick a fork in him...

McCain is done! And that's fine with me. No, he's not officially done, but the writing is on the wall.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I've never been good at tennis but I really like the game. As a kid my favorite player was Bjorn Borg. The headband...the Donnay racquet... the two-handed backhand and the court cool of course. I couldn't stand McEnroe back then as he was Borg's nemesis and was the one who ultimately overtook Bjorn. Now I like Mac, but that's another story. I didn't catch breakfast at Wimbeldon this year (like I did back in the day when I was lost), but I did see a little of the postgame stuff in the afternoon. The coolest part was seeing Bjorn again. There he was talking about his Wimbeldon glory days. Great stuff! I used to try to look and play like him. It's funny how much I idolized the guy when I was a kid.

Delmarva Family Camp

Well, I finally returned to the Delmarva Family Camp up in Delaware. It's been over a decade since my last time there. I spoke Monday night along with David Jones who preaches across town in nearby Hampton, VA. It was good to see many folks I hadn't seen in years and it's always a treat to see Ray & Gyneth Bennett. Ray's one of the most influential preachers in my life. I'll never forget the first time I heard him. It was via a cassette tape and I had never heard anything like it! When he's on there's no one like Ray in the pulpit. It was hot at Delmarva and I just about preached myself to death. It's funny how I get going up there. People are "amening" and talking back to you and the encouragement gets you going. I hope I get invited back next year. At least I think I got my right wing street cred back!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hannity vs. Voinovich

Yesterday I'm in my car when I tune into a discussion between Ohio Sen. George Voinovich & talkshow host Sean Hannity. I tire of Hannity rapidly these days and I think he's too much of an apologist for President Bush, but I have to give him credit this time. He was like a dog on a bone with Voinovich. I thought to myself: "I thought Voinovich was a republican." Well he is and Hannity cut him no slack. The sad part was that the Ohio senator came across as arrogant and ignorant. Sad. Read the details if you wish.

My Guy

I've found my favorite of the potential presidential candidates out there: Ron Paul. I like this guy. He actually seems to have unwavering convictions and he sticks to them. He's proabaly too libertarian for my friends but I'd love to see him have a shot at the Whitehouse. Yeah, I know it's unrealistic. Can you say "Fred Thompson?" He's knwon as "Dr. No." I love it!


It's been a few weeks since I've posted here. Frankly, I lost momentum. We had a big loss here at Olivet. One of our members, Bruce Horner, was killed in Iraq. Bruce was serving in the Army and was shot by a sniper. Bruce was such a good guy... He kept it simple: He loved God & loved people. He shared his face frquently and effectively. He was the guy who really cared about others. I was blessed to have known him. His loss really hit us hard. I saw Bruce frequently at the gym where he regularly introduced me to people he was trying to reach for Christ. He seemingly always had a song on his lips and a smile on his face. We'd sit around laughing and talking about music and the gym and the Lord. And Bruce could eat too. I used to tell him that he could find any desitnation in town if you told him what buffet was nearby. It was amazing how many people he touched in his 43 years. His memorial was a major event: TV crews, the newspaper, the Army, hundred of friends. Bruce was presented the Purple Heart & Bronze Star posthumously. It was simultaneously one of the most stressful and rewarding times in my ministry. It's odd I know but it still doesn't seem like he's really gone. I miss Bruce, but I look forward to seing him on the other side.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Young Men

This Sunday I'll be preaching about the future of the church specifically with regard to young men. I came across this quote for Mark Driscoll:

In Seattle, the young men are, generally, pathetic. They are unlikely to go to church, get married, have children, or do much of anything else that smacks of being responsible. But they are known to be highly skilled at smoking pot, masturbating, playing video games, playing air guitar, free-loading, and having sex with their significant others. However, the emerging-church massage-parlor antics of labyrinth-walking by candlelight will do little more than increase the pool of extras for television’s Will and Grace. If there is any hope for a kingdom culture to be built in Seattle, getting the young men to undergo a complete cranial-rectal extraction is priority number one.
Mark Driscoll, Radical Reformission, p. 184

So, think I can use it?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bluefish TV Pastor

I did it again. I normally skillfully avoid the telemarketers (with the help of my secretary), but this time I failed. It was the Bluefish TV guy that got me. He used the old "Pastor Willis this is Pastor ______________ hook. Nice strategy. So, I listened and I agreed to let him send me a package of videos to "review." (I could've kicked myself after I hung up!) After all it was such a "great value!" So I opened the box and checked out the videos. I knew I'd made a mistake. I don't use videos regularly anyway and I won't be anytime soon so why do I need a few hundred of them? Now I have a bunch videos I'll never use (nobody else did either) - and that's why there in this huge package at such a low price. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure some of these vids are quite good, but I prefer to buy the ones I want. Who has the time to "review" all of these? Maybe Pastor _____________ watched too many videos at his church and that's why he's selling them over the phone instead of pastoring! Now I have the lovely responsibility of shipping these vids back to them! Oh boy!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I always get myself into stuff. I say to myself: "Dave, just smile and keep your mouth shut." Then I quickly ignore myself and speak up anyway. We had our small group at my house and one lady menitons how much she likes T.D. Jakes. She is also quite stunned that one of the guys there doesn't even know who Jakes is. Well one things leads to another and I mention that Jakes doesn't affirm an orthodox belief in the Trinity. I didn't even get into some of the other junk he preaches, but i could tell this lady was troubled (as she should be). I really like her too. She's got spunk and fire and I like that. I hope I don't end up alienating here. I get a little tired of these celebrity preachers: Jakes, Olsteen & ALL OF THE TBN preachers and preacherettes. Far too many people watch them and swallow what they say. Whatever happened to discerment? Norman Geisler said, “I know T.D. Jakes is very popular, and I know people don't like his ministry being called a cult, but it is. It would have been condemned by any orthodox church down through the centuries… Jakes promotes modalism, which denies the doctrine of the Trinity.” More from Jonathan Moorhead.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Levi, our Teen Minister, has departed to take a new position at a church in Washington, NC. His last day was yesterday and we had a "going away" cookout for him and his family. Levi is a good dude and I appreciated his time here. I'll also miss our occasional lunch excursions. Levi was here about 6 monthes before my arrival. Ironically he became a Christian at the church I served previously. I knew him there but not very well as he circulated mainly in the youth area as a sponsor and I was primarily with the "old folks. " I appreciated Levi's convictions and his character. He was especially helpful to me as we weathered some severe storms together. May God bless him for his faithfulness and in his new work.

Good Wedding

If you read WTBW? you know one of my least favorite ministerial duties is officiating weddings and everything that goes with it. So, thought I'd share positive wedding experience. This past Saturday I officiated (I like that word) a wedding for a young couple and I actually enjoyed myself. I really like both families and the bride & groom as well. They had dated for several years and the really do seem right for each other. I can't say that in every case! The ceremony went well in spite of a few bumps in the rehearsal road. They had a guy sing who really could sing. That was refreshing. Everyone was happy and I was too. This doesn't mean I'm going to be a wedding chaplain in my retirement years, but I did have fun this time around.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I don't know who thought of this...

But cheese filled dogs were a great idea. Amen? I just had 4 for lunch. You take the glorious old hotdog and you think "it don't get no better than this" and then surprisingly it's been taken to a whole new level. I know these babies aren't new but I haven't had one in a while. But, who would've thought just a little cheese in the middle of this thing and we'll have a winner weiner. Some guys sitting around downing and dogs and somebody says "Hey, what if we put the cheese inside the dog?" Amazing! What's next? Chilli? Mashed potatoes? Peanut Butter? Maybe jelly? Hamburger? Or how about onions? Kethcup or Ketchup/Mustard has definite potential. I figure I'll be rich if I can just figure this out. Suggestions?

Idol Surprise

Melinda is gone. I was on the phone with a friend last night and walked by the TV and noticed Melinda Doolittle singing her farewell song. She appeared to be the lock of the century but she was sent packing. I've been a Blake guy from the beginning but I think he's destined for second. This year I've really lost interest in the Idol hype machine. I read on Drudge yesterday that ratings have also been declining. I think last yer was the beginning of the continued slide. I can hardly remember the name of last year's winner.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dirk the MVP

Dirk Nowitzki finally got an MVP. He's been tremedous this year but his former teammate Steve Nash is still the man. Don't get me wrong, Dirk is phenomenal but Steve Nash is the real MVP. He's the total package and the Suns are highly ineffective without him. Mark Cuban really looks dumb in retrospect for letting Nash get away. By the way...who's the current point guard in Dallas??? Yeah, my point exactly. Kudos to Dirk, but here's hoping Steve gets the MVP in the NBA Finals!

Farewell Falwell

Readers of WTBW might be surprised that I was an admirer of the late Jerry Falwell. Sure I couldn't accept his positions on baptism or the end times, but I still liked him. He was a conservative rock and was particularly prominent in my early days when I was forming my religious and political worldviews....back in the days of Reagan. He stood firmly againt the immoral tide rushing over the land then and now. He was probaly the most abused religious leader in modern history. He was made fun of and worse by many. I went with my parents to hear him preach when I was very young. My dad always liked him. I liked him too and I really appreciated his strong and unwavering stance on social and moral issues. He was a champion of the conservative religious right and he wasn't some whacko either. It's sad that a lot of godless nut cases will revel in his passing.

A little rant...

Things irritate me these days that probably shouldn't so I figure it's simply evidence that I'm getting old. For instance, what's up with all these preacher/youth minister guys triyng to look "relevant" and/or "manly?" Is there a youth minister somewhere out there without a goatee? Google "youth minister" or "youth pastor" and see for yourself. I predict that soon dreadlocks will replace the now omnipresent goatee among those trying to be "relevant" in order to reach "this generation." (Remember you read it here first at WTBW!) Of course clothes from the local thrift store will still be in vogue for years to come. But, it's not just the young guys either. How about theses mid-life crisis preacher dudes trying to look manly on their Harleys? You might as well paint Richard Simmons green and try to pass him off as the Incredible Hulk! It's false bravado and I don't get it. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't see tough guys pouring into church buildings manned with such "leaders." "Hey, I hear the preacher plays poker so I'm taking my entire family to that church this Sunday." And don't even get me started on earrings and those disc things stuck in their earlobes! Oh the irony of copying the masses while claiming eccentricity! I feel better now. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mark Driscoll

I've heard people refer to Mark Driscoll as the "cussing preacher." I've read his blog occasionally but I don't know a lot about him or his theology. I do know he's a Calvinist and in error when it comes to the New Testament terms of pardon. I listened to one of his sermons today. It was on 1 Timothy 2:11-15. I thought it should be interesting and it was. He was more solid than I anticipated but he's still a little too much to the left for me. The stunning part was when he described the liberal/egalitarian postion. He said something like they think this passage says "I want women to teach and have authority over men." (congregation laughs). Then he says something like I'd like to hear how they handle those passages in the Old Testament that say people aren't allowed to have sex with animals! Woe! I wish I could get away with that. It was great and actually made the point very well. For the record: I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 1 Timothy 2:12 (ESV)