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, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley Jr.,

William F. Buckley Jr., has died at the age of 82. I remember him from many years ago. He had to have to biggest vocabualry ever! He was often imitated but he was a one of a kind. He was the founder of the National Review magazine which was a mouthpiece for political conservatism for decades. Lately it has become a little too neocon for me, but it remains a prominent voice in the politcal world. I didn't study Buckley closely but I did listen when I saw him on TV and a I suscribed to National Review for a few years. I liked Willliam F. Buckley. Sorry to see him go, but we all have to go eventually!


The latest Pew Research poll is interesting. Click it for the details.

You're Winner

David Archuleta will win American Idol. now you know, so stop watching and do something productive with your time. Okay, you probably won't stop watching, but I'm calling the winner now, so you can enjoy the show without stessing about the outcome. It's kind of like watching a a replay of a game when know the result beforehand. I personally am watching less of Idol than in previous years, but I caught the end last night. This, guy, David Archuleta, is the total package, so it's a done deal (IMHO). For the record I like the Aussie guy - whatever his name is.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Alison Krauss-A Living Prayer

Just listen and enjoy. Allison Krauss has such a pristine voice. This is live too. I saw her on a PBS special a few years ago and was amazed.

In this world I walk alone
With no place to call my home
But there's one who holds my hand
The rugged road through barren lands
The way is dark, the road is steep
But He's become my eyes to see
The strength to climb,my griefs to bear
The Savior lives inside me there
In Your love I find release
A haven from my unbelief
Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God to Thee
In these trials of life I find
Another voice inside my mind
He comforts me and bids me live
Inside the love the Father gives
In Your love I find release
A haven from my unbelief
Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God to Thee
Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God to Thee

A Developing Theory

I came up in the day when the move towards "contemporary" music in church was gaining traction. Back then this was quite a new frontier and "gospel rock" music wasn't readily welcomed. Actually, it had been welcomed in many places -it was just relegated to their youth/teen ministries, camps & conventions. As these teens aged they still retained a preference for the music & praise style of their younger days. I heard one preacher guy recently say "church is just youth group for grown ups." He was a youth minister several years ago. Many youth guys have moved on to adult youth groups. This brings me to my theory...

The new move in the church is toward a multi-sensory style of "worship." Where did this idea come from? Yesterday I was in a meeting where our approach to our "children's church" program was being described. I heard how we involve all five senses in the learning process. Now I wonder when we will soon hear "church is just children's church for grown ups." Maybe if we live long enough we will be able to experience the "church is just nursery for grown ups!"

Friday, February 22, 2008

Gentleman my cry...

My nine year daughter recently had to memorize a portion of Patrick Henry's famous "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death!" speech. It was an assignment from her fourth grade history class (I guess government schools aren't all bad, huh?). I'd say this is the most important and powerful speech in our history. Here's the ending of Henry's speech:

Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is
actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our
ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field!
Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they
have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of
chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others
may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

why do the innocent suffer

This video was done by Levi Cichorz. I found it on his blog. Levi is a good brother in the Lord. I first met him back in the day at Christ's Church of the Peninsula and several years later we we eneded up serving together here at Olivet. He's now witht the Old Ford church in Washington, NC.

Truth Works

The following question was asked on a forum that I frequent:

Is it better to do what is true or what works? by this I mean is it better to do
something just because it works even if it goes against what is scriptural?

My response:
The truth works IMHO. I think we have a growing over emphasis on what works to
the neglect of truth. Pragmatism and truth aren't always polar opposites but the
enemy of the best is often second best. We see a great deal of effort and energy
expended on secondary issues while the main things are in the backseat. There
was the "excellence" wave for years - do everything the best...holy shoddy is
still shoddy, etc. Now we have an "experiential" wave - be authentic, use the
senses, create interaction, etc. Some argue that all of these incidentals create
a more potent impact and result in kingdom advancement. While I am not against
excellent experiences per se, I do think we may be neglecting weightier
mattters. I think in terms of my own preaching... Sometimes it has devolved into
a mutlimedia presentation with humor and illustrations and not much of the Word.
A funny, audio-visual extravaganza will make me popular but will it propel
people toward Christ-likeness? I believe we must always guard against the
degeneration of truth.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Charles Barkley: Fake Intellectual

If the people of Alabama elect this nitwit in 2014 as Governor I'll be completely stunned. How does this guy remain a voice to be heard? He insults a whole group of people with impunity. He's quite the theologian too! "Not supposed to judge, blah, blah, blah"...then he judges! What a clown.

Friday, February 15, 2008

This Weekend

"Whatcha Talkin Bout Mrs. Willis?" & I will be attending the Weekend to Remember conference this Friday-Saturdayat the Founders Inn over in Va. Beach. We are going with several couples from church. One couple who went a few months ago sold us all on it. This is one of those rare opportunities when Tammy and I actually go somewhere without our children. Even if the conference is lame it will still be great to get away, just the two of us. I should mention that the couple that went to conference previously is expecting now - so it sounds like it's going to be a good conference!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jim Reeves - Danny Boy

Jim Reeves was one of my dad's favorite singers. I remember him listening to Jim Reeves and also my dad's occasional imitations of "gentleman" Jim. I acquired a taste for Reeves' music and now it remains a special connection with my late father. If my dad were still alive he'd be 82. He's been gone over 9 years. This was one of his favorites and mine too.


I was asked recently what I was reading. Well, it's not the latest in church growth...it's a book about prophecy. When's the last I've read a book on this topic? I have no idea. I'm like most I know - we avoid the topic of prophecy. We're covering eschatology in Sunday School so I figured I'd better brush up a little. So I started reading "Nobody Left Behind" by David Vaughn Elliot. Obviously his book is partially devoted to debunking the popular "Left Behind" series which does skillfully. I have to admit that I really like this book (I'm almost finished). His views are "old school" and he'll draw conclusions that are sure to make the ecumenically inclined most uncomfortable. So if you're looking for a relativley simple, yet very good book on an often misunderstood topic, then check out Elliot's book. His website is quite good too.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Primary in VA

Well Virginia is finally on the primary map. I've seen several Obama TV ads already. And tonight I saw my first McCain ad. Nobody else as of yet. I'd be stunned if McCain and Obama didn't win here. I'm not for either one, but they seem to fit the climate politically here. The demographics just fall to their favor. Anyway, I'll be pulling the lever for Ron Paul much to the chagrin of some of my conservative brethren. It should be fun to see the faces of the local republican establishment types working the primaries when I say I'm for Paul!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

More important than politics...

I've been hitting the political stuff pretty hardy recently. Lest you think I've forgotten weightier matters, here's something for us to stop and consider:

The message of the cross is not about felt needs. It is not about Jesus loving you so much He wants to make you happy. It is about rescuing you from damnation, because that is the sentence that rests upon the head of every human being.

John Macarthur

"Soren" nails it again...

Mike "Soren" Kjergaard has a written great post on John 3 (See "Nick at Night"). Mike's insight is right on. Take a look...

Less Jobs & More Wars (see video below)

"The jobs are never coming back... the illegals are never going home... but we're gonna have a lot more wars." McCain's platform: Less Jobs & more Wars! Too funny, yet probably way too true.

(I couldn't get this video from youtube to show up on my blog unless I did no editing of the title and made no comments. This isn't a problem normally. Hence the 2 posts to make 1 point.)

Pat Buchanan on the John McCain Platform

Pat Buchanan 1992 RNC Speech Finale (see below)

This vid disappeared from the post below. Here it is again.

Take back our country...

This political season got me thinking about when I realized how far I really was out of the American mainstream. Yes, it became clear that I was indeed an "extremist" and a "whacko!" I watched Pat Buchanan's speech at the 1992 Republican Convention. Pat rocked the house! When it was over I was very fired up! It was the best political speech I'd ever heard. "Force rooted in justice backed by moral courage!" Then I watched the pundits rebuke Buchanan and his own party distance themselves from him. Huh?

What did I tell you?

So Bob Dole (aka Bob Dull) is defending John McCain (aka Bob Dull #2). This should come as no surprise to readers here at WTBW? I think it was when the GOP nominated Dole that I begin to have second thoughts about the Republican Party. Even before that I was slipping a little as I was pulling for Buchanan agianst Bush #1 in the primaries way back when. "Read my lips..no second term for George Bush." Pat was the man and boy did he tick off the establishment.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Acts 4:13

Acts 4:13 is one of my favorite verses. It seems to embody the impression we should endeavor to leave with people, even unfriendly people. Peter & John are standing before the hostile Sanhedrin. There is Annas & Caiaphas. And the apostles don't back down. Actually, they are amazinging bold in their proclamation of Jesus. The Sanhedrin lose this battle and are left with an indelible impression emblazoned on their minds...

"When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13, NIV)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Life After Tiki...

The Giants win! A shock? YES! I'm glad for Eli Manning most of all. This guy has been unfairly criticized repeatedly over the years. His former teammate, Tiki Barber, even threw him under the bus - questioning Eli's leadership ability. Well, now he's the Super Bowl champion QB (& should be the MVP IMHO). Peyton last year & Eli this year...I predict more commercials for the bros. I guess Coach Shula and the '72 Dolphins are breaking open the champagne. I'd hoped the Pats would get it done. But, in the end, it's just a game...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Straight Talk from Pat Buchanan

Buchanan is right again.

Coulter will campaign for Hillary if McCain is the nominee

Limbaugh, Coutler and more will be walking if McCain is the Republican nominee. I'm with Ann except for the vote for Hillary part. But a Hillary win might be helpful in long run. Remember Carter paved the way for Reagan. With Hillary in there maybe the Repubs will actually act a little bit conservative. Hey, I'm starting to feel like voting for Hillary too! Okay, back to reality, I'll actually be going third party unless something dramatic happens with Ron Paul.