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...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Caloric Overload!

Please tell me that I'm not the only one eating tons of calories! I've been the recipient of an enormous amount of really good (yet bad for you) food! Yoyu know the kind! And I have eaten plenty! Actually, I've eaten more than plenty! It seems like every time I finish with one dish another one arrives. Or Mrs. Willis is taking something out of the oven. It's unbelievable! Now I know why everyone gets excited about the possiblities of resolutions for the New Year. And I know why diets are usually at the top of the list. I'd like to write more, but I have some fudge I need to get to...

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Face?

With this whole "face transplant" thing becoming a genuine possibility I started thinking... Who do I want to look like? Whose face would I like transplanted over my mug? There are innumerable faces which would be significant upgrades but, I've settled on one: Mel Gibson. The guy's "ruggedly handsome" and I think that would be a good look for me. Plus it would be pretty cool to see Mel's face preaching the gospel! So, who's your new face?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sammy Baugh

One of he legends of football has died. "Slingin" Sammy Baugh was a "Ruthian" figure in the early days of professional football. Baugh played for the Washington Redskins (1937-1952) and excelled on offense, defense & special teams! He did stuff that NO ONE does these days. Sure the game has changed, but Baugh is overlooked because of the prevalence of chronological snobbery that blinds people to the accomplishments of the great players of yesteryear. This is true of most sports with baseball being the one dramtic exception. Baseball almost reveres its old timers. If you want to check out more about a great one go here.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I remember this from my childhood and it endures even today. This scene from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" served as a tremendous platform to tell many of the birth of Jesus Christ! Special thanks to the late Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts.

If you have a minute check out 2 Timothy 4:21.

Servant's Heart?

This past Saturday our Men's ministry (M.A.S.H. = Men Activley Serving Him) were out on Warwick boulevard doing some clean up. We "adopted" a strip on the nearby road and regularly go out and pick up all the junk & trash people throw down. One quick note: Smokers have to be the biggest polluters per capita! If I had a dollar for every cigarette butt...

Now back to my story...

I'm riding with one of our guys to our starting point. for clean up effort. As we pull up to the group he rolls down the window and says, "Look what I found - a preacher with a servant's heart." For some reason that just struck me. Are preachers not seen as men with servant's hearts? Or were they surprised by my willingness to help? Hmmm. A servant's heart? Now, I'd expect to hear "a heart for the truth" or perhaps "a heart for preaching." I don't know that I've ever been identified as someone with a servant's heart. Maybe someone thought it once, but didn't verbalize it!

A servant's heart? I need to work on this.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Budget Time

Today was our annual budget meeting at church. This isn't the congregational one; it's just the one with the leadership discussing things and hashing out details. It was relatively painless, but I'm still glad it's only an annual event. I'm thankful our guys are committed to being good stewards. I suppose we are like many churches in that we tend run below "budget" all year long and then finish in the black at the very end. The last Sunday is always, without exception, the best. It's like an annual Christmas bonus! During these tough economic times we've had to tighten our belts somewhat. I'm sure you have too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

B-ball Coach

That's right I am now officially "Coach Willis." My childhood friend, Gary Malarkey, asked me to be his assistant coach this year for a coed basketball team of 8-10 year olds. My girls are on the team too, so it's pretty cool. Ironically, Gary & I played together at the same age many years ago. Honestly, we were really good. We would spank teams like 70 to 12 on a regular basis! We were the city champs and many years later I still enjoy those glory days - can you tell? Back then I was huge and would dominate the boards (& block lots of shots too). I became the outlet pass king and Gary was on the receivng end many times. He average easily 20+ points per game. Anyway, it's fun coaching, but I have to be conscious of not gettting "too competitive." If you know me then you get that. At our first practice the coach told everyone that the #1 rule was to have fun. I'm used to the old schools rants of yesteryear - "Losing isn't fun! We are here to win!" so I just smile and enjoy the kids. And it is actually fun!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


I recently finished reading Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups by Nelson Searcy & Kerrick Thomas. I read this in conjunction with a Fusion group sponsored by the Virginia Evangelism Group. Our Fusion group got together and discussed our reading. I have to say that this book was really eye opening. Some books over-sell themselves in the title, but not this one. Yes, it is about a much talked about topic - "small groups" (aka. LIFE, Community, Cell, Gel, Home, In Reach, ABF, etc.). However, this book challenges a lot of the commonly accepted ideas about such groups and is far from the predictable rehashing of the same old stuff. If you are doing this type of ministry Activate will be worth your time. Many books share concepts and ideas, but Activate goes further and is very practical. You will not be able to say this book doesn't give any "How to" stuff. It is jammed full of specifics and application. Here are some of my favorite insights & quotes...

"You need to minimize your weirdo factor"

"Think Friends...Not Initmacy"

"Think Short-Term...Not Long Term"

"Think Church of Small Groups...Not with Small Groups"

"People will know what is important by what you do, not what you say"

"You can structure for control or you can structur for growth, but you cannot structure for both"

"Think Leader Multiplication...Not Group Multiplication"

There are many, many more. I'm confident you'll find Activate to be worth $10 and a few hours of your time.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Thinking About Hebrews 6:4-6

Hebrews 6:4-6 has been a much debated and analyzed passage.

4For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of he age to come, 6and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. (NASB)

There are basically four approaches to this passage. The first two should be quickly rejected. One argues that this passage isn't even addressing an authentic believer. This is wrong for several reasons, but I'll mention one: "To renew ... AGAIN to repentace (v.6) clearly shows they had repented previously. Another view argues that this passage is merely hypothetical. Huh? I just odn't buy that especially when you consider it the context of the entire book. The other two views of this passage have merit.

A Christian can fall away (be lost) yet can still return to Christ. Admittedly, I like this view on the surface and it is still the view I am inclined to accept. Jack Cottrell skillfully agrues for this view in his "Faith Once for All: Bible Doctrine for Today". Among other consideration, Cottrell suggests that The Lost Son" of Luke 15 should be considered . Billy Dyer and I discussed this passage last night and he holds this view. He pointed to James 5:19-20 for support. This camp would favor the alternate rendering of verse 6: if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because[a]to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
(NIV alternate rendering - "Or repentance while" ). The idea is that it is impossible to restore someone while he or she continues in this fallen state.

If you fall it's final = no second chance. This appears to be correct when I initially read the passage. Tim Warner of Pristine Faith Restoration Society makes a strong case for this view. This is also Roy Ingle's positon. You can read a good discussion of this passage on his Arminian Today blog. Douglas Jacoby sees a distinction between wandering and falling and supports this view rather than the above interpretation.

I'm not going to wade into all the pros & cons right here & now, but I will continue to look closely at this passage. Any insights are appreciated.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I couldn't convince Vince...

Some of you who stop in here at WTBW? also visit Vince Anotnucci's blog, so you may be aware of the current discussion over there. A few days ago Vince posted about "tithing." The post that caught my attention contained the following from Vince: "(by the way, I'm not a "If you don't tithe, why don't you incrementally increase your percentage until you give ten percent" kind of guy. Personally, I think that's crap. To me it's the same as saying, "If you're living in disobedience to God now, why don't you slowly decrease the amount that you're disobeying Him until you get to the point of obedience." Yeah, that's great. No, we need to obey God. He says 10%, give Him 10%. Actually, I teach our people that 10% is the starting point, but a real bad place to stay. Give as much as you can...)"

Since then he has written a lot more and received a great number of responses (pro & con). For the record I know longer teach the concept of monetary tithing. Ironically, Vince's quote above could have been mie a fews years ago! Back then I did teach "monetary tithing" with much fervor, but eventually abandoned it in favor of what I now understand to be the New Covenant standards. Giving in the the New Covenant is about the heart. 2 Corinthians is probably to most thorough teaching on giving in the NT. Notice what Paul writes... 2 Cor 9:7 - Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 is all about sacrificial giving and generosity, but no mention of a "monetary tithe."

Let me say I don't have any personal animosity toward Vince Antonucci. He seems like a good brother who is passionate about reaching the lost and Christ's kingdom. His blog offers lots of keen insights from someone who gets the mission of the church. I do, however, vigorously disagree with what he a has recently espoused about "tithing." It also appears that he isn't going to give up his position (at least not right now). If you want, you can read it all for yourselves.

The discussion (like most on blogs) had some very informed comments along with the occasional ad hominen, but it was a good exchange over all.

For a better understanding of this issue (IMHO) I'd recommend the work of Russell Kellley which can be found here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Jimmy Needham-Fence Riders

Different Yet the Same

Two very different men...or at least it appears...

One is old and old school. He shows up on Sundays in his finest - the best he has to wear - suit, tie, neatly ironed dress shirt & shined shoes! His hair is neat and his apearance serious as he enters the church building. He does so because he wants to give his best to the master. He's coming to "God's house" so he dresses "appropriately". He reverently sings the old hymns. I like this guy. In his heart he is striving to please his Lord.

The other guys is young and of the new generation. He is unencumbered by the external trappings of this aforementioned older brother (or so he thinks). He comes on Sundays in baggy pants, awell wrinkled tee and his customary flip flops. The flip flops come off quicky as the "worship" begins. This is "Holy ground" and he removes his shoes just like Moses! He is in the presence of God! He quickly stands when first note is struck on a guitar. He claps, raises his hands and perhaps even dances. I like this guy too. In his heart he also desires to please His Lord.

What's the difference between these two approaches? I'd suggest not much at all. Yes, on the surface, these two seem very different. Yet, quite ironically, they really are the same... It's just different applications of the same misunderstanding. You see, both of these men believe that they are going to "meet God" in a place. Is this correct? Is this what the Scriptures teach? I think not.

Don't we believe in God's omnipresence? Don't we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

The first guy is guilty of the "edifice complex" and the "temple mentality." He should revisit Acts 7:48-50: "However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says: " 'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?'

The second guy has the popular "encounter God" mentality. He needs a broader understanding of worship based on 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.

They both should read....

Acts 2:38: Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:9: You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Times Have Changed

Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1789
by President George Washington

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many single favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the Service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the single and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, of the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have to acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humble offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone know to be best.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

R.I.P. Riggins

Yesterday was the day - I got the call from Mrs. Willis - our 13 year old German Shepherd Dog, Riggins, was fading fast. Riggins was named after Redskin great John Riggins. He was 13 and in rapidly declining health. I took him to the Vet and did the deed. We buried him in the backyard. I was wondering how our children would react. Our oldest (10)? She cried. She has a extra soft spot for animals like her Mom. Our middle child (7)? She asked about a getting a new puppy or a kitten. Our youngest (5)? He wanted to know if we could dig up the dog and look at him. It was sad all in all. It's tough to see your wife sad. He was technically "her dog" and she picked him out. Riggins had been around since before Tammy and I were married. I actually bought him for her while we were engaged. He had his faults - nonstop barking, destruction of many items, escaping form the yard numerous times, etc. But he was a good dog in many ways. He was good with our children and protected the family. He also kept his fair share of door to door solicitors away. He is survived by Lu-Lu (our American Bulldog) & Rascal (our guinea pig).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Must Read Alert

See the Internetmonk's most recent post. It's a keeper!

Communication isn't so easy...

A preacher decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.Three worms were placed into separate jars...

1. The first worm was put into a jar of alcohol.
2. The second worm was put into a jar of cigarette smoke.
3. The third worm was put into a jar of good, clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the minister reported the following results:

1. The first worm in alcohol - DEAD.
2. The second worm in cigarette smoke - DEAD.
3. The third worm in good, clean soil - ALIVE.

So the minister asked the congregation, "What can you learn from this demonstration?"A little old woman in the back quickly raised her hand and said, "As long as you drink or smoke, you won't have worms!"

Admittedly, this is a made up "preacher story" - something I rarely use. But I liked this one and it represents well the failed attempts of guys like me when we attempt to illustrate concepts & ideas while proclaiming the Scriptures. Many, many times I am stunned that people seem to miss what I'm saying. And I know I can't be the only one feeling this way. People have commended me for things I didn't say and challenged me on points I didn't make and everything thing in between. Being misunderstood comes with the territory - just look at Jesus!

Monday, November 24, 2008

You need to blog!

I have noticed several new bloggers arising lately. The look to be good ones too - Billy, Greg, Rick & others. I have also discovered a few existing ones that i like very much. I love the blogosphere especially because it affords me access to the work of so many I would otherwise have to do without. I just read so great stuff at Robert Lowery's blog. I'll probaly never meet him in this life and he has no idea who I am, but I get to glean from this profound teacher. Cool, huh? I'm also reminded that there are some good thinkers who aren't filling the shelves at the local Lifeway...like Aaron Saufley who's blog I read regularly. And, of course, I'm a regular at Mike "Soren" Kjergaard's blog too. He introduced me to this whole new world a couple of years ago.

Anyway, I was thinking of some guys who I wish had a blog. Here's my ever expanding list...

  • Jack Cottrell. He's the theological kingpin. He writes voluminously, but i say "how 'bout some more?" Get a blog!
  • George L. Faull. Sure he has a blog, but he needs to use it.
  • Johhny Pressley. My old professor at RBC. He is sharp and he needs to spread it around via the internet.
  • Dave Hileman. He's with the VEF and this brother is all about the Kingdom. He's also a voracious reader with a boat load of insights.
  • Ronnie Jones. He preaches in Mechanicsville, VA. He knows the Scripture and I'd love to get some of his takes.
  • Tim Warner of PFRS. He's a meticulous student of the Bible and the church. I always find him to be well studied and thoughtful.
  • Jim Tune. I know this brother has a lot to say and I want to hear it.
  • James Snapp. I discovered him on a discussion board and the guy is a thinker with a lot to offer.

So, who's on your wish list?

Friday, November 21, 2008

What Do You Think About the State of Today's Church?

I know I keep beating the same drum, but I thought this was good stuff and certainly something to consider.

Whatcha Preachin?

From Johhny Mac: "I’ve said this many times: I can listen to a guy preach—put anybody in front of me—and I’ll tell you what his view of Scripture is by what he says. If he doesn’t preach out of the Bible, I know what his view of Scripture is, I don’t care what he says. I don’t care if he wants to die telling me he’s a believer in inerrancy, if he gets up and does not preach the Word of God, that’s his view of Scripture leaking all over the place. Look, every preacher preaches for impact, for effect, for result. You’re up there saying what you think is going to get you the best result. If you think it’s foolishness and fun n’ games and song n’ dance and sermonettes for Christianettes..." For the rest for here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Peter Schiff Was Right 2006 - 2007

I found this very interesting. It's definitely worth 10 minutes of your time. Mr. Schiff served as an economic adviser for the Ron Paul campaign in the 2008. Of course he, like Dr. Paul, was frequently belittled and dismissed. Maybe we should pay more attention to guys like Mr. Schiff. Or maybe we'll keep on doing the same thing and expect different results. I fear the latter will be the course of our "leaders' in Washington.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whatever - New blog from Rick Robie

Rick Robie and I roomed together back in the day at RBC. I have many great memories of those days and am glad to see that Rick has entered the blogosphere. I'm looking forward to his thoughts. He has his first post up already. Check him out at "whatever."

Church Fight

I've seen a few church fights in my day, but never one quite like this. The moral of the story: Don't mess with "Rev. Armstrong." He apparently does not play turning the other cheek!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So you want to marry a pagan?

Occasionally, I'm confronted with the opportunity to perform a wedding ceremony where the would be bride & groom don't share a common commitment to the Lord. I know many of my "preacher brethren" will disagree with me, but I don't do these ceremonies. Sure, I get people all ticked off at me. Even some "leave the church." It's amazing, but not surprising.

Check out one of my OT heroes, Nehemiah, dealing with this type of situation...

Nehemiah 13:23-26 (ESV): In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab… And I confronted them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair. And I made them take oath in the name of God, saying, "You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin on account of such women?

WOW! Maybe I ought to try the Nehemiah approach!

Please Welcome Greg to the blogoshere...

Greg Coverdale is a good brother in the Lord and now a fellow blogger. Drop by and welcome him into the blogosphere.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pop that bubble!

Pop that bubble! The gated community "gospel" has got to go. We are supposed in the world but not of the world. Most of us actually have it the other way - we're of the world but not in the world! Lord, help us.

Those are my comments in response to a very insightful post written by Aaron Saufley entitled "Living Differently". Check it out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Hero?

I was thinking about often I hear the word "hero" these days. In my estimation it is an overused word. It regularly gets applied to entire groups of people - literaly millions of people some times, just because of their jobs. We hear about our "heroes" in the military. Our police, firefighters and even teachers are touted as "heroes" too. Certainly some in these groups are heroes but everyone of them? Now, I realize this might be a sensitive issue, but may I ask, "Do we really think that all of the aforementioned folks qualify as 'heroic'?" Consider these definitions from Merriam Webster...

Hero - 1 a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b: an illustrious warrior c: a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d: one that shows great courage.

Heroic - 1: of, relating to, resembling, or suggesting heroes especially of antiquity2 a: exhibiting or marked by courage and daring b: supremely noble or self-sacrificing 3 a: of impressive size, power, extent, or effect b (1): of great intensity : 2): of a kind that is likely only to be undertaken to save a life.

If every soldier is a hero than what do we call the soldier who rushes into enemy fire and is wounded trying to aid a fallen soldier, yet still drags his brother to safety? Is he a "hero" along with the guy who works on jeeps back at the base? What do call the firefighter who almost loses his own life rescuing someone? Is he a hero along with the guy who cooks back at the firehouse? (Somehow "superhero" doesn't seem to work.) There are more examples but I think you get my point. Maybe it's because we lack many genuine heroes that we "dumb down" who can be one. Or perhaps it is a desire for more credit than we deserve that this happens. But, I'm convinced, that if everyone is a "hero" then no one really is.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Obsessive Obama Supporters Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Escape boredom...

And get serious about follwoing Jesus Christ.

Erwin MacManus wrote, "Somewhere along the way the movement of Jesus Christ became civilized as Christianity," he writes. "We created a religion using the name of Jesus Christ and convinced ourselves that God's optimal desire for our lives was to insulate us in a spiritual bubble where we risk nothing, sacrifice nothing, lose nothing, worry about nothing. Yet Jesus’ death wasn’t to free us from dying, but to free us from the fear of death. Jesus came to liberate us so that we could die up front and then live. Jesus wants to take us to places where only dead men and women can go."

Have you noticed that someone can “come to Christ” & years later remain basically the same person and no one seems to mind? Honestly, I don’t fear that many "church folks" will renounce Jesus. I do fear, however, that many of them are living with a less than serious, dare I say “shallow” commitment to Jesus. Big Question: Could it be that today most people no longer associate following Jesus with what it means to be a Christian? Seriously, we have innumerable church members who dont' seem to "get it." What are the expectations for these people in most places? Attend… Give… & BEHAVE! Do we expect radical transformation into Christ-likeness? Do we expect absolute commitment? No, but Jesus does...

Luke 14: 25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' 31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kutless - Your Touch

This is a great song. It's booming through my nano when I'm at the gym.

All Night at the Shelter

This past Sunday/Monday I worked at the local homeless shelter with about 20 or so folks from Olivet. This was our third time doing so and I'm always surprised with how well everything goes. Our folks are divided into teams with differently responsibilities all functioning together. We do the evening meal and breakfast the next morning and everything else in between. One of our guys took full leadership of this ministry team (from me) this year and did a tremendous job. It was nice to do my job without having to be concerned with everything & everyone else. Working at the shelter always provides an interesting perspective and a time for some introspection. You wonder what you would so in a similar situation. I think of how these people might have ended up here. I try to see ways out for them and wonder who is stuck for the long term. Some are just here for the night while others are regulars. Some have substance abuse issues. Some have mental deficiencies. Some are criminals. I'm on the all night crew and that's the most fun for sure, but this year was pretty quiet. I did see one guy who went to high school with me. The deputy working overnight said this guy had been a frequent guest at the city jail. It's ironic because he seemed to be on that path back in the day. After staying up all night I returned home a little bit sicker (with the "crud") but a lot more thankful that I have a home..and that I don't have to stand in line for a meal or sleep on a mat on a hard floor...that I can take a shower every day and that I have family and friends who would be there for me.

Take a moment and consider how blessed you really are.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

Standing Firm?

There's a song that says, "Everybody talkin' 'bout heav'n that ain't goin' there." And this includes some church folks who are doing the talkin. Some disagree and suggest that no true Christian could ever be lost. What does the Scripture say? Consider...

-Specific warnings against apostasy (Hebrews as a whole & 2 Pet 2:18-22)

-The conditional nature of salvation (The “IF” passages: John 8:31; John 15:1-6; Rom 11:17-22; 1 Cor. 15:1-2; Col 1:21-23)

-The naming of apostates: Hymenaeus & Alexander (1 Tim 1:19-20); Demas (2 Tim 4:10)

-Charges to protect the flock: Acts 20:28-30

-Passages naming those who have fallen away and prove to be a danger to others (1 Tim 1:18-20, 2 Tim 2:16-18)

-Passages in which the author complains that their work may be in vain among believers (Gal 4:9-11, 1 Thes 3:5)

-The possibility that a person’s name can be removed from the book of life. (Rev 3:5)

The BOTTOM LINE: There are some in the faith who won't stay in the faith.

1 Corinthians 10:12: So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

For the husbands...

It's a simple thought, but it needs to be said.

Ephesians 5:25: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

Guys, you can’t be wrong with your wife & right with God!

REMEMBER: If she's not #2, HE's not #1!!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election 08 - My Quick Take

The blame game has begun. I'm guessing Governor Palin will be a big scapegoat and, of course, President Bush will be blamed too. In as much as they represent the GOP they should get the blame. The bottom line is that the GOP lost because they didn't get it done when they had the chance. They had the Congress & the Whitehouse and DROPPED THE BALL. They became the big government boys that they had impugned in the past. And I'm not sure that they can pick that ball up any time soon. I used to think that that pendulum would swing back in four years and the Repubs would bounce back. Maybe, but I'm not so sure any more. Pat Buchanan says, "demography is destiny" and he is likely right. Typical GOP voters are simply shrinking as a part of the electorate while democrat leaning constituencies are rapidly rising. Consider: The baby boomers are aging and becoming more government dependent (democrats). Immigrants are swelling and typically vote for more goverment and the democrats. Even the once solid evangelical vote is waning as the neo-social gospel leads some to vote for more government solutions for the underclass. Virginia is a prime example of this shift in the last several years. We once were solidly republican at Senator(s) and Governor. Now those posts are all occupied by dems. The demographic shift in the electorate produced democrats in office.

The obvious needs to be noted before I close. The Republicans have to stop nominating lame candidates. This will be ignored and/or explained away, I'm sure, but John McCain was a loser from the jump (just like Bob Dole before him). He stuck his finger in the eye of the right for years and arrogantly expected that they'd still carry his water. Of course, the GOP will analyze the results of this election and surmise that they need to move to the center in order the win. Meanwhile back at the farm the democrats will be expanding goverment and growing their constituencies too.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Reflections on this campaign...

Here are some of my random thoughts on this campaign.

I was frequently wrong...
  • I was sure Hillary would win the nomination & Obama would be her VP.
  • I thought McCain was done & had no chance at the GOP nomination.
  • I thought Romney was going to be the GOP's guy.
  • I thought McCain would go with a moderate for VP.
  • I thought McCain would close the gap before election day.

I still think I'm right that McCain is just Bob Dull (Dole) all over again.

The turnout is huge! Our church building is next to a voting spot. Our parking lot is almost full with the overflow & people are parking up & down the street to.

At my voting spot this morning I noticed the biggest turnout I've ever seen. The demographic make up of the voters was noticebly different too.

I believe the GOP has dropped the ball big time & is suffering the consequences.

I believe the natural gravity is for things is to move increasingly toward socialism.

This was the LONGEST campaign I can remember and I'm glad it's over.

It looks like the lesser of two evils argument will be with us for a long time.

I'm increasingly tired of politics. I think I better understand the apolitical crowd.

This election has certainly stirred the passions of many.

I was thinking it would get worse before it gets better, but maybe it will just keep getting worse.

I'm surprised by the political thinking of some of my friends. Some in a good way - some in a not so good way.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Mark Moore is "ProLife and ProObama"

Ozark Christian College professor, Mark Moore writes,

"I am voting for Obama because I am pro-life. There is no question that John McCain and Sara Palin have a more pro-life stance on the abortion issue which I truly believe represents the heart of God as well as biblical principles. Obama's misstatement (usually repeated without full context) that he did not want his daughter's "punished with a baby" is a horrible way of stating things but hardly a reflection of his true views on babies, particularly his own children whom he appears to cherish and nurture. His vote against banning partial birth abortions was not, according to his own explanation, because he favored them, but because the law, as articulated, was flawed for other reasons." To read the rest go here.

Having read and listened to Moore for a few years now I am not surprised by his views. (I don't agree however). Moore is unpredictable and definitely makes you think. His position is atypical within the conservative ranks of evangelical Christendom and, I'm convinced, represents a flawed view of government. The government, I would argue, has hurt the undersclass with its innumerable efforts at "fighting poverty", etc. Redistributing wealth via socialism is not the answer for the poor (or the rich for that matter). Neither is it the answer for curtailing abortion.

What say you?


(I don't remember where I got this)

-Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
-Don’t wait for your ship to come in, build one.
-Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.
-Don’t listen to critics -- do what has to be done.
-Speed isn’t always an advantage. Cheetahs were on board, but so were tortoises.
-Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.
-No matter how bleak it looks, if God is with you, there’s always a rainbow on the other side.
-Don’t miss the boat.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Old School Candy

I know I'm getting old when I see the reimurgence of candy I loved as a kid. I went to one of these old school candy shops in South Carolina last summer. It was greast: lemon heads, fire balls, now & laters, chick-o-sticks, mallow cups (my #2), caramel creams, etc. How about those classic candy cigarettes? I also see some of these timeless treats occasionally show up in mainstream stores. I think my all time favorite is caramel creams. My mom stopped by the other day and dropped of a bag of these babies. I ate like 50! I simply could not stop -they are the best (IMHO). I like lots of other candy from back in the day but caramel creams are still at the top of my list. I remember consuming an entire bag of caramel creams while watching then #1 UVA (remember Ralph Sampson?) lose a basketball game to Notre Dame. So what's your favorite retro candy?

Friday, October 31, 2008

1st it was B-Rock, now it's Johnny Mac

Senator Obama came to town a couple of weeks ago. Now it's Senator McCain's turn to visit Newport Nerws. He will be at my alma mater tomorrow. We have been deluged with commercials & mailings for many weeks now. Both candidates (& their would be veeps) have been in the the Commonwealth several times already. Obama was in nearby Norfolk and Va. Beach within the last few weeks. Frankly, I'm over being a "battle ground" state. Just a few more days and it will be over. For now I'm off to get some candy and have some fun with the family.

I liked this one

"A Christian woman attended worship at her local church every Sunday without fail. However, her unbelieving husband didn’t like it one bit, and he often asked her to stay at home, and sometimes even threatened her. One Sunday morning, the woman got ready to go to services as usual and the husband said, 'Your not going, your staying home today.' When she insisted that she was going, the husband pulled out a gun, pointed it at her and said, /Where are you going now?' The wife replied, 'If you pull the trigger, I’m going to heaven. If you don’t, I’m going to church.'"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Bible & Us

Bible Ownership...
Most Americans own a Bible…. 92% of households own at least one copy.
Of those households that own a Bible, the average number of Bibles is 3.

Bible Reading...
In 2000, 59% of Americans reported that they read the Bible at least occasionally. (73% in 1980s)
The % of Americans who read the Bible at least once a week is 37%. (40% in 1990)
Which gender is more faithful at reading the Bible at least weekly? Women (42%) vs. Men (32%)!

Bible Study...
When it comes to going beyond merely reading the Bible to actual study of the Bible, the numbers decline sharply. Only 1 in 7 report involvement that goes beyond just reading the Bible.
(14% currently belong to a Bible study group… This is down a full one-third from 1990 when 21% said they were involved in a Bible study group)

Biblical ignorance is a serious challenge...
Our movement was blessed by God in the beginning because we were a people of the Book. Let’s not lose that emphasis. Our movement is at its best when we clearly teach God’s Word. “The Bible only makes Christians only.” Now some churches have a new slogan, “Biblically based and culturally relevant.” That’s good. But let’s make sure the attempts to be culturally relevant don’t override the need to be biblically based.

I love what Phil Johnson wrote: "That’s why preachers ought to preach the Word instead of telling stories and doing comedy. That’s where the power for ministry resides: in the Word. It’s not in our cleverness or our oratorical skills. The power is in the Word of God. And our task is simple: all we have to do is make the Bible’s meaning plain, proclaim it with accuracy and clarity. And the Spirit of God uses His Word to transform lives. The power is in the Word, not in any technique or program."

Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What kind of fool are you?

The Bible speaks of a number of fools…

1. The unbelieving fool. Psa 14:1 “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”
2. The ignorant fool. Prov.1:7 “fools despise wisdom”
3. The self righteous fool. Prov. 12:15 “the way of a fool is right in his own eyes”
4. The mocking fool. Prov.14:9 “fools mock at sin”
5. The self sufficient fool. Rom.1:22 “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”
6. The Rich Fool. Lk. 12:16 “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.”
7. The Christian fool. I Cor. 4:10 “we are fools for Christ sake.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

John Oates singing National Anthem at World Series

I flipped on the idiot box last night and did a quick double take - Is that John Oates singing the National Anthem? Yes it is! I was quite surprised, but then I recalled his Philly connection. I thought to myself - that's pretty cool that John got a solo gig like this. Then I heard Buck's words at the end: "A great job by John Oates pinch hitting for his partner Daryl Hall who's under the weather..." Man! This guy gets no respect! (But he has gotten paid). He went from singing quite a bit back in the day to becoming a highly paid rhythm guitarist/background singer. I'm sure he contributes in other ways too. Hall was the voice of most of the hits and things ran their courser I guess. Oh well. The word is that Daryl Hall will be back for the next game.

The Obama Administration

Pat Buchanan warns of what we might expect from an Obama administration:

– Swift amnesty for 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens and a drive to make them citizens and register them, as in the Bill Clinton years. This will mean that Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona will soon move out of reach for GOP presidential candidates, as has California.
– Border security will go on the backburner, and America will have a virtual open border with a Mexico of 110 million.
– Taxes will be raised on the top 5 percent of wage-earners, who now carry 60 percent of the U.S. income tax burden, and tens of millions of checks will be sent out to the 40 percent of wage-earners who pay no federal income tax. Like the man said, redistribute the wealth, spread it around.
– Social Security taxes will be raised on the most successful among us, and capital gains taxes will be raised from 15 percent to 20 percent. The Bush tax cuts will be repealed, and death taxes reimposed.
– Two or three more liberal activists of the Ruth Bader Ginsberg-John Paul Stevens stripe will be named to the Supreme Court. U.S. district and appellate courts will be stacked with “progressives.”
– Special protections for homosexuals will be written into all civil rights laws, and gays and lesbians in the military will be invited to come out of the closet. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” will be dead.
– The homosexual marriages that state judges have forced California, Massachusetts and Connecticut to recognize, an Obama Congress or Obama court will require all 50 states to recognize.
– A “Freedom of Choice Act” nullifying all state restrictions on abortions will be enacted. America will become the most pro-abortion nation on earth.
– Affirmative action — hiring and promotions based on race, sex and sexual orientation until specified quotas are reached — will be rigorously enforced throughout the U.S. government and private sector.
– Universal health insurance will be enacted, covering legal and illegal immigrants, providing another powerful magnet for the world to come to America, if necessary by breaching her borders.
– A federal bailout of states and municipalities to keep state and local governments spending up could come in December or early next year.
– The first trillion-dollar deficit will be run in the first year of an Obama presidency. It will be the first of many.

With a democrat controlled Congress this may be pretty close to reality. Hopefully the republicans in the Senate still remember how to phillibuster!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In but not out...

"We need a preacher who can really bring the people in."

"If people leave when the preacher leaves they are following the wrong person."

I think it is interesting to juxtapose these two statements. If you've been around the church for a while you've probably heard some statements closely resembling these. I once said to an elder who made two statement similar to those above that "I guess it's okay to follow him (the preacher) in as long as you don't follow him out!" I don't think he got it. We apparently approve of "preacher following" when the followers come to & give at "our church." However, if the preacher leaves and they do too....well they were just "preacher followers!" Oh, the irony of it all!

Great Quote

I just picked up this great quote from Brent Nelson in an article he wrote over at CBMW's Gender blog. To see it in context go here.

Here's the quote: "Imprecision is the handmaid of confusion, and confusion the prelude to bondage."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

PJB: Tribal Politics

Pat Buchanan on General Powell: "Here was a man who was rendered extraordinary honors by three Republican presidents. Reagan raised him from Army colonel to national security adviser, the first African-American in the post. George H. W. Bush named him chairman of the Joint Chiefs, over hundreds of more senior officers. George W. Bush made him the first African-American secretary of state." For more go here.


Recently I encountered two people from two very different religious backgrounds under the unmbrella of "Christendom." Listening I couldn't help but notice some patterns of speech unique to each of them. One frequently spoke of "visions" and how God spoke to him. He mentioned "speaking into the lives" of people. The other used the phrase "oh my God" (& another I've forgotten) repeatedly in a less than appropriate way. The first was from a very Charismatic orientation; the other was from an old mainline denomination.

What does one's vocabulary reveal especially in religious circles? I remember in college learning the theological orientations of the major publishing houses (i.e., Broadman = Southern Baptist). Now, by looking at a publisher, I am immediately aware of potential bias. Similarly, people use words & phrases that indicate what they've been reading (or not been reading!) and who's been influencing them. Consider the following "buzz words" and phrases and see if you can detect another any underlying meanings or orientations..
  • "Welcome to God's house"
  • "God was a wonderful purpose for your life"
  • "Don't speak that" (in rebuke of someone saying he is "sick.")
  • "I'm a Christ follower"
  • "You can't have coffee in the Sanctuary"
  • "God spoke to me"
  • "Dialogue"
  • "Annointed"
  • "Spirit filled"
  • "New Testament Christian"
  • "Christians only but not the only Christians"
  • "Let's just preach Jesus"
  • “Plead the blood of Jesus”
  • "Seed faith"
  • “Missional”
  • "Holistic”
  • "Narrative”
  • "Don't go the church - be the church"
  • "Intentional"
  • "God is sovereign"
  • "Conversation"
  • "I don't teach, I facilitate"

I'm not suggesting that all of these are inherently wrong, but i am saying they usually are revealing. It's interesting that most groups of people, whatevr their orientation, create their on in-house lingo. There are many more examples, but I'm a little under the weather so I'll leave it at that.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Looking back at Old Ford

A week ago I was nervous. Why? I was preparing to leave for Washington, NC for a revival at Old Ford Chruch of Christ. It has been several years since I was a revival speaker and I'd forgotten how nervous I got. So, how did it go? It was a good time and I don't mean to sound trite at all. It was good to spend time with Levi Cichorz, my friend & brother. It was good to see his family. It was good to to get to know Eddie Bowen and Patrick Harrison. It was good to be with the very talented Tony Krantz every night. It was good to see this "small town" congregation being so progressive in their methodology (while remaining doctrinally true). It was good to meet so many fine Christian people who were so generous, encouraging and hospitable to me. It was all good - the fellowship, the food, the family of God! It was a privilege and honor to be with them. I can only speak for myself, but I was revived! If you ever find yourself in Washington, NC., I hope you'll stop in and fellowship with the Old Ford church.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

TONIGHT: Pavlik vs. Hopkins

I'm hoping to watch this fight with a friend tonight. If you like boxing then this fight has some drama and is one to watch. Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik vs. Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins. Hopkins is a veteran who fights in a non-flashy, defensive, yet productive style. Pavlik gets in there and throws hands - with KO power. Hopkins is not usually seen as vulnerable to KO's, but here's my prediction: Pavlik by TKO in the 10th round.

PS. Kudos to Vitali Klitschko for his recent domination of Samuel Peter.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

From Spurgeon...

I picked this up over at Pulpit Magazine. For the whole sermon go here.

"You know what party politics are. We are all trying to [usher] in
another set of maggots to eat the cheese; that is about all it amounts to; first turn out one lot, and then turn in another. It comes to little more than that. Even in the pursuit of really good matters of policy, do you know any Christian man who goes into politics who is the better for it? If I find such a man, I will have him stuffed if I can, for I have never seen such a specimen yet. I will not say, do not attend to politics; but I do say, do not let them spot you."
-Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Clubhouse

Reggie McNeal: "I’m talking about the church world in North America. A world that has largely forsaken its missional covenant with God to be a part of kingdom expansion. It has, instead, substituted its own charter of church as a clubhouse where religious people hang out with other people who think, dress, behave, vote, and believe like them."

This is a great quote is from one of my favorite books - The Present Future by Reggie McNeal. I can't add much to it, but to say McNeal is spot on. This book has been around for about 5 years but it's still extremely relevant.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ever noticed?

  • Women routinely staff "Men's Stores" but men are never employed in "Women's Stores.
  • When you receive really good customer service you're completely stunned.
  • McDonald's usually get's something wrong on orders especially when the order is for multiple people.
  • J.C. Penney is always having a sale. Jewelers too.
  • Your car always breaks down when $ is tight.
  • Someone always forgets to flush in the public bathroom.

  • I guess maybe I'm just too observant!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Driscoll Knows How to Make His Point, Huh?

There is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. Some emergent types [want] to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair, who drank decaf and made pithy Zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a prize fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up. I fear some are
becoming more cultural than Christian, and without a big Jesus who has authority and hates sin as revealed in the Bible, we will have less and less Christians,
and more and more confused, spiritually self-righteous blogger critics of Christianity.
—Mark Driscoll (from Relevant Magazine)

Off to Old Ford Church of Christ

I'll give you an update when I return from the revival at Old Ford. I'm nervous but I'm looking forward to it especially hanging out with Levi Cichorz again. I'll try to check and i've "scehduled a few posts. Talk atcha later...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"O Holy Night" By David Phelps

I know it's a little early but David Phelps knocked this out of the park! Amazing pipes on a powerful song! WOW!!!

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- In May 2008, Daryl Hall and John Oates took the stage at the legendary Troubadour for the first time since playing their earliest Los Angeles shows there 35 years before. The best performances from this much anticipated two-night concert, which included hits such as "Maneater," "Private Eyes," "Rich Girl," "Sara Smile" and "Kiss On My List,"will be made available in three formats - DVD, Blu-Ray, and a 1-DVD/2-CDcombo, via Shout! Factory on November 25.

You know I've already pre-ordered it from Amazon. H & O are still getting it done and sound as good as ever. These dudes are amazing: Daryl turned 62 today (Happy Birthday!) and John will hit 60 next year. Yeah, I feel old.

Men's Breakfast

Well, I'm off this morning heading to our monthly men's breakfast. It's always good - bacon, eggs, sausage, etc. Not that I'm going for the food or anything. I'll head to the gym after that so I can burn a few of those calories off. I usually go with english muffins in the in morning so this will be a significant upgrade!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Messiah?

Now this is scary.

Shocking Admission

Larry Simons (of the so called "Real Truth Online" blog) wrote,
"My version of 9-11 CAN have errors because there is not just ONE
official alternate theory---there can be 100 variations of it since we dont know all the answers."
My take: Wow! This must have been a brief moment of clarity for the aforementioned anti-Christian blogger. He admits he doesn't KNOW exactly what happened on 9/11! He has a "theory"! And such theories can have "100 variations"! And he doesn't "KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS"!

Readers here at WTBW? are no doubt still stunned by Simons' shocking admission. Hopefully, this acknowledgment of ignorance by Mr. Simons may be his first step in returning to the real truth.

We are anticipating a name change for his blog to the "Real Theory Online" so as not to mislead real truth seekers on the internet. That would be the real truth (IMHO).

Good Morning...

"Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!"

(Props to The Truman Show)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It Ain't So Joe!

If Sarah Palin had made just one of the wildly inaccurate statements smugly uttered by Sen. Joe Biden in last week's vice presidential debate, there would have been 3-inch headlines in newspapers across America. (I can almost hear Katie Couric asking me, "Which newspapers?")
-Ann Coulter

For the rest of Ann's column see PULL THE HAIR PLUG ON THIS GUY

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ever strugle being a parent? I'm reading Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. Our Sunday school class is doing this together. Shepherd Press describes the book: "Shepherding a Child's Heart is about how to speak to the heart of your child. Bringing deep biblical principals to the task of parenting and concentrating on what is going on inside a child rather than just their outside behavior."

I'm about half way through it and boy do I already feel convicted! I have made several of the common mistakes that Tripp has pointed out thus far. I'm also doing the workbook, but I honestly find it a tad tedious at times. The videos are straightforward and insightful. I do find Tripp's approach to parenting to very refreshing as he constantly strives to embrace biblical standards for parenting. Tripp's valuable effort is tainted slightly by his Calvinism. A discerning reader should be able to safely navigate these waters however.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

To Be The Man

You gotta love the "Nature Boy"! Yeah, I know it's fake, but Ric Flair is still "the man" and a legend.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Better Late Then Never

Roger Chambers died over two decades ago but I find many of his writings to be vibrant and relevant today.

The late Dr. Roger Chambers asks and answers a very compelling question:

“What is the primary work of the local congregation?
Evangelism? Worship? Fellowship? Therapy? Benevolence? Missions? Maintaining the property? None of the above. The first business of the New Testament Church was and must be teaching and learning; all else stands upon this foundation; all else flows from this fountainhead.

Christianity is a taught religion, and people believe what they're taught. The idea of Illumination is Calvinistic nonsense. The Holy Spirit does not filter out the truth from the flood of religious error and impress it upon the minds of people in a process that protects believers from heresy. There is nothing about the Gospel truth that guarantees that it will be better received than false doctrine. Quite the contrary; the Bible says that fallen man is more likely to accept a lie.

False churches grow because dynamic teachers teach the people what is not true. The New Testament Church will grow only when dynamic teachers teach the people what is true. "
I have rediscovered the works of Roger Chambers recently thanks to E.L. Jones, Billy Dyer and some of Dr. Chambers’ former students. I knew of Roger Chambers and had heard a few of his sermons, but didn’t know of beyond that. Fortunately, some of his former pupils have made many of his writings, lectures & sermons available via the internet. To checkout the works of Dr. Chambers go here or here.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Drudge wins WTBW? best headline award

(That's classic!)

Guess Who's Coming to NN?

Senator Barack Obama! That's right Obama returns to Hampton Roads once again. Virginia is supposedly "in play" this election and I don't doubt it. In recent years, with the influx of new residents (northeastern liberal types who bring with them the very politics that ruined the areas they are leaving), the Commonwealth has moved left politically. This time Obama will be right here in my hometown - Newport News. They are expecting thousands of people and I'm sure they will turn out in droves. But, I won't be there...

Friday, October 03, 2008

I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist...

I'm very thrilled to announce to the many readers here at WTBW? that I have finally solved the endless questions and riddles surrounding 9/11. After watching "In Plane Site" & "Loose Change" I knew something was wrong, so I dedicated myself to endless hours of extremely intense research. Here is what really happened: It all started when Bigfoot made the fateful decision to attack us. Why? Because so many of us don't believe he exists. He could tolerate our denial no longer. Now Big Foot (aka. Sasquatch) is very stealth and very strong yet he knew he'd be unable to pull it off by himself. After careful consideration he enlisted the Abominable Snowman and Piltdown Man to aid him in his cause. They knew they would need to be high tech. Recognizing their on limitations they appealed to several extra-terrestrial aliens who are indeed very high tech! Then they underwent intensive training at Roswell. Later they underwent even more training at Area 51. It was there they developed the initial plan: They would conspire to draw many Americans into the Bermuda Triangle where they would meet sure destruction. This, however, proved implausible so they went to plan "b". For this to work they would need to solicit the services of the dreaded Loch Ness Monster. Thankfully, Nessie was more than willing to help! This proved to be the turning point in their evil plot. They boarded flying saucers (thanks to the extra-terrestrials) and made their move. Of course most Americans are far too lazy and way too dumb to see the truth and instead choose to believe the offical story. If only they would do their research they would be freed from their overwhelming stupidity. Reluctance to so, of course, makes them all accomplices to the actions of Bigfoot and his gang. How utterly despicable!!!

REMEMBER: Now if you don't believe my story you must disprove it. Otherwise it is truth!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Not Proportional?

Back in June our Supreme Court outlawed executions of people convicted of raping a child. I was going to post about it then but I never got to it. Anyway, the vote was 5-4. Justice Kennedy (pictured) wrote, "The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child." One wonders how the Justice might feel if this was a personl issue and not just a judicial rulling. Nevertheless, I can only imagine the sheer horror of such a crime and the raw anger that must flow from parents. I'm no legal expert but I say the death penalty is as proportional as we can get in this life for such a heinous act. Kennedy is one of Ronald Reagan's appointments to the high court. This one certainly could've been better. (Reagan did hit a homerun with Antonin Scalia however!) In Reagan's defense it is hard to guarantee how a justice will rule. They have life terms and virtual impunity.

Another look at a familiar passage...

Ever read this passage? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

If you've been around the church for a while you've no doubt heard this passage. It's been used to promote & prohibit. Some use it to promote exercise, getting plenty of sleep and eating a healthy diet. Others use it to prohibit smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking beer (and any other "bad habit"), etc.

Before I go on let me post this disclaimer: I'm NOT encouraging people to be unhealthy. I'm NOT encouraging them to become addicted to unhealthy stuff or to eat bad food or to forsake sleep or take up bad habits. Now back to the Scripture...

Let's read it in context: (1 Corinthians 6:12-20, emphasis mine)

12"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13"Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."[b] 17But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

The point is tht our bodies are temples of the holy Spirit so we should obstain from defiling ourselves by sexual immorality. This isn't about making time for the gym or quitting your Skoal. It really isn't. Context is always extremely important. It's funny how we acquire interpretations over time and then they become the default explanations and/or applications without serious consideration.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

How's Your Walk?

Eph 4:1-2--"Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called…”

1 Cor 7:17--"As the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk."

2 Cor 5:7--"We walk by faith, not by sight."

Eph 2:10--We were "created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Eph 4:17--"Walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind."

Eph 5:2--"Walk in love."

Eph 5:8--"Walk as children of light."

Eph 5:15-16--"Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil."

3 John 3-4--"I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Preview of Vice Presidential Debate?

I do like Governor Palin and I hope she holds her own in the upcoming debate, but this video is pretty funny. I had watched a clip of her with Katie Couric and thought she struggled a bit and than I thought briefly about the famous Miss South Carolina contestant video. Then the very next video I select is this - lol!

His 1st Day of School

It's offical: My son, Preston, is now in kindergarten. It happened a few weeks ago, but a neighbor just sent this picture from that first day. We took our camera to the bus stop but our batteries were dead (I hate it when that happens)! Fortunately our neighbor had her camera (with good batteries). I think the pic is pretty cool myself. He was off on his first ride on the school bus and the good news is --- he likes it! School is going well for him (& his big sisters too). I remember my first day of school and I recall being much more of a baby than he was.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I don't feel good about this...

As I type I'm listening to President Bush in the background trying to reassure Americans with his "economic rescue package." Why do I not feel so good about this? Lets' see...I thought the recent stimulus checks were supposed to whip the economy into shape. Don't misunderstand - I appreciated the extra cash, but it didn't seem to turn things around. So, here we go again. Is this more government? Yes. Is it good government? I don't think so, but I hope I'm wrong - I really do. It looks like more power for the so called "Federal Reserve" and that is never a good thing!

PETA Urges Ben & Jerry's To Use Human Milk

"The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."

Thanks, but NO THANKS!!! Just in case, WTBW? is now officially endorsing Häagen-Dazs®

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just Wondering...

Just wondering if I should turn WTBW? into a 9/11 debate blog. Okay, okay - I'm kidding. Really I am. But I have noticed that the 9/11 stuff really generates the comments! Seriously, I wrote what I thought were two relatively insightful posts (for me anyway) about the "gender gap" in the church (which is an increasing problem) and gals serving communion (which I'm cool with) and exactly how many comments did they generate? A big fat 0! Okay one more time: ZERO! Not that there's not usually a dearth of comments around here. I guess the 9/11 comment volume was raising my expectations. Maybe these "great posts" dripping with deep insights just got buried by the hot topics: does God exist, Christians & politics and who was behind 9/11. Or maybe they weren't as insightful as I thought! lol!

I hope some of my regular visitors haven't been frightened off. I'll get back to what you've come to expect around here: shallow insights, weak attempts at humor, a little preaching and a lot of what I'm talkin bout!

Themes, Series, and Expository Teaching

Arminian Today hits another one out of the park. Maybe I should stop blogging and just redirect everyone over to his blog!

A Tip...

If you decide to use the windshield washer fluid feature on your car...and you drive a car with a sunroof... DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT LEAVE THE SUNROOF OPEN when using this feature. Just a tip. You're welcome. I'm glad I could help. Have a good one.

Ron Paul on 9/11 Truthers

I couldn't have said it better myself. You go Ron! I wonder if Larry is still going to write your name in come November. Obviously Ron must be losing it because he isn't walking in lockstep with "truthers."

Btw, I like Dr. Paul and I definitely agree with him on the issue in the video.

Monday, September 22, 2008


With all the 9/11 CONspiracy stuff being mentioned on my blog I thought I'd share a couple of videos. Well, they're more like "audioes" but they're good nonetheless.


Here's another one if you're interested. If you aren't that's cool. If you've visited WTBW? lately you may have noticed some input from Larry of "The Real Truth Online" blog. We went to college together and both supported Ron Paul in his bid for the republican presidential nomination. I have watched several videos from Larry questioning the "official story" of 9/11. I have been to his website many times, but I remain unconvinced by his arguments and reject the vast majority the views expressed on his blog. Feel free to pursue the truth yourself.

Ravi: How do you know there is a God?

Ravi Zacharias has much more in depth information available, but I thought I'd share this brief yet thought provoking video. Ravi is one of the foremost Christian apologists today. He's also quite likeable (IMHO). He's seen here with the late D. James Kennedy.

Separate but Equal?

Titus 2:1-8: 1You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

6Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

In my opinion we in general have failed miserably at implementing the ideas expressed in this passage. Honestly, we've practiced a sort of "separate but equal" approach for the last generation. I for one am as guilty as anybody. Think about it: we segregate by age throughout the body of Christ - a sort of "ageism." This is particularly eveident in the transition years from highschool to adulthood. We lose 90% of the youth within two years of their highschool graduation! We have kept them separate for 18 years - from the nursery to teen church - away from the boredom of adult "churchy" stuff. The result should be expected. What do we do? We create "grown up youth group" experiences and try to get them to stick around in familiar territory thus prolonging their inevitable departure in most cases. The problem is we unwittingly reject the dorectives of Titus 2 and miss the blessings thereof.

Back in the day young folks grew up more quickly. Now adolescence (a 20th century) invention goes on for some (guys especially) into their early thirties! Why grow up? Hey get a room in mom's basement - she does the laundry, cooks the meals & pays the bills! This means more time and money (from your part time job) so that you can purchase and master all available game systems! Not for from the truth in many places.

Our culture says worship youth. It says old people step aside and far too many seniors are willing to oblige. Hey it's just the "generation gap" (another recent invention used to divide). But, I am convinced that we need to figure out how to reconnect generationally in the body of Christ. We need every part of the body working together for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. I suggested several ideas in church yesterday and I'm sure you can come up with many good ones if you pondered it for a few minutes. We know God desires unity not fragmentation - generations working together. That's obvious from the verses above. It will only get worse unless we intentionally swim against the cultural tide. It will require deliberate efforts on both ends of the generational spectrum.

Seniors have to re-engage, take a break from nationwide RV trips and weeks in Branson and "un-retire" from kingdom work (and loosen up a little). Young folks have to stop seeing older folks as dinosaurs and instead be will to listen to them and solicit their counsel (a tighten up a little).

I could write more, I'll post the sermon link later.

Here it is.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Well this is better...

Obama appears to be to the right of Kennedy! Okay, actually he's not and that's saying a bunch because T.K. is the poster boy for the far left.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

No God, huh?

Sometimes I get irritated with people who don't believe in God. Just being honest here. Many throw out these time honored yet bogus and reflexive arguments like... "How do know the Bible wasn't written by some man somewhere?" or "If there is a god why is all this bad stuff happening?" or "The Bible has too many contradictions". or "How do prove God?"... I could continue with the list, but I think you get the gist. (A little rap moment for my hip hop fans). It should be noted most people with such arguments have no genuine interest in an answer. It's just an effective way of stifling believers.

Let's consider the alternative of unbelief or atheism for a moment. First let me concede that we all operate with faith. As uncomfortable as that might be for some to acknowledge it is nonetheless true. NONE OF US was there at the beginning whatever your view is.

Now, let me get this straight... there was nothing...okay, actually there was something - some stuff - from somewhere (from where we don't know)... and then BOOM there's an explosion followed by billions of years & billions of mutations...and here you are reading my blog. AND YOU THINK CHRISTIANS ARE NUTS? Your god is the holy trinity of Time, Matter & Chance: a whole bunch ot time (How much? Apparently not important) + some matter(where it came from is apparently immaterial) + a unfathomable amount of random chance (The evidence? Let's not trouble ourselves witht that!) = US? You believe in the eternality of matter/stuff. And in your ignorance & arrogance (a deadly combo by the way) you think I'm the only one with faith. Yes I do have faith. But, frankly, I prefer tp place my faith in the real trinity: Father, Son & Holy Spirit. And I believe in the eternality of God.

Ultimately, where does the un-God view necessarily lead? Nihilism that's where. Seriously, if all that exists comes from this "natural" explanation then what really has meaning. If I thought this way, honestly I'd be tempted to jump off the James River Bridge. Why? Why not? Like the old song says, "Nothin from nothin leaves nothin - you gotta have somethin..." But you have NOTHING in the end (Oh, except your everlasting stuff). Again, if there is no God why care about anything? Additionally, since there is no right or wrong (who can say since it doesn't matter anyway?) every thing is just an opinion and the opinion really means nothing. All views are equal - nazism, fascism, conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism, sexism, racism, humanism, et al. - equally meaningless. You can deny this by immersing yourself in a social cause or poliltics alledgedly trying to better the future, but why? Your definition of the past robs your future of any potential significance. Sure, you can embrace some sort of cultivated humanistic reasoning like "respecting the rights of individuals", but why? You might even see your roll as passing on your DNA and the survival of your progeny, but again, WHY?

Yeah, I'm one of those Bible believing neanderthals your science professor warned you about.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Road Less Traveled

I highly recommend Aaron Saufley's blog: The Road Less Traveled. It gets the highly coveted and much sought after WTBW? Seal of Approval. Aaron is a good brother doing a good work. Pray for him as he will be making a move to Greenvillle, NC in the months ahead.

I really got his latest post "G-Vegas: Funding" It's a crash course on how to plant a church. It should be required reading for all would be church planters (IMHO). Aaron & the folks at Discovery in Harrisonburg have been doing unique, interesting and innovative kingdom work. Their micro-church concept is very biblical and may the wave of the future. I certainly find it much more authentic & desirable than the megachurch wannabe trend. I suggest you dig through some of Aaron's older posts - there's some really good stuff to be found.