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...

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."