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, September 28, 2009

Sermon Online

The sermons from Olivet Christian Church are online in an additional location now. You can find us at our page at Sermon.net. Internet savy folks can figure out how to set up a podcast too. Clicke "sermon player" and then hit the "podcast" icon. The sermons can still be found over at our main website too. We're 2 weeks into the "Gospel of John - Believe" series. I'm also making the Sunday bulletin inserts available as well. I think I can set all this up on this blog too. I'll work on it so stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

John's Gospel

My preparation for a new sermon series on the gospel of John is now fully underway. I'm really excited! I've been compiling resourses (commentaries aren't cheap either!) after soliciting input and suggestions on what to get.  Let me say thanks for the helpful suggestions from some you. I also asked Jack Cottrell and Mark Moore for recommendations and both were quick to respond. If you know me you know I highly respect Dr. Cottrell. I also have found Dr. Moore's work on the life of Christ to be outstanding. I'm still waiting for a few more books to arrive, but I have enough to get started. Just doing the background and introductory work is very cool - much more so than I anticipated. I've never gone verse by verse in a sermon series through John so this should be a profound time for me. I hope & pray it is also powerful for those who hear these sermons and travel through John with me.

I realize John's writing was about Jesus (John 20:31) but my admiration for the apostle is growing too as I learn about the author of the forth gospel. What a tremendous disciple of Jesus he was!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

"Who Stole My Church?"

I just finished Gordon MacDonald's "Who Stole My Church?" It was a rewading assigment for the guys in my Fusion group. Fusion groups are a much needed minstry started by the Virginia Evangelizing Fellowship (VEF) and I've been a part of one since their inception. So we met this morning and discussed the book (& lots of other stuff too). I'd wholeheartedly recommend MacDonald's work especially to anyone involved in a established church and looking to make some methodological changes. This is a fictional work but is still VERY REALISTIC. MacDonald writes of a weekly meeting he has with a group of older church members who are uncomfortable with the direction of the church and the changes that are being proposed. You will see people you know in this book - maybe even yourself. The funny thing was that I skipped the intro stuff and didn't realize it was fictional at first. I did have my suspiciaons! The book accurately reflects the mindsets we face when we strive to implement important changes in the church today. It helps understand the various perspectives in play too. It also provides some of the history of profound changes in the way the church has done things throughout history. He raises provocative questions as to what would have happened had the naysayers had successfully stifled many things we now take for granted. I think there is much that will be eye opening to most. I was especially encouraged by some of the intergenerational dialogue and understanding that took place in MacDonald's fictional church. This is an issue important to me. Also, though he touched on it breifly, his mentions of new church work reminded me of some of the best days in my own personal church history. And I better understand why these memories are so good.

I hope you will read "Who Stole My Church?" And if you already have, let us know what you think.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


One of my buds from back in college, the muti-talented Tony Wolf, has posted some thoughts on his blog about Brett Favre. It generated several comments, so I thought I'd share mine...

I wish when I was 40 an NFL team wanted me to play QB. You know at first (last year) I got beat with all the Favre stuff, but now - what the heck - it's just football. The dude's just got it like that. There have been others like him & there will be more. I don't lose any sleep over Favre or Vick or TO or Cutler or Brandon Marshall. It's amazing that we have a culture that gets so tied up in these dudes. Don't get me wrong - I like ball, but it won't bother me if Favre retires & comes back again & again. Gives sports fans something unsubstantial to talk about during break time at work anyway. Maybe Washington could get him next year!


If you've been attentive to gender issues and Bible translations then you are aware of the controversy which ensued when the TNIV arrived a few years ago. The NIV, longstanding enourmously popular Bible translation looked like it was to be replaced by the "gender neutral" TNIV. The ESV burst forth and was heavily supported by those who rightly opposed gender neutrality in Bible translations. There was a lot of fall out in cyberspace and the debate isn't much less heated even years later. So now a new NIV update is in the works for 2011. As I long time NIV user I am interested to see where this goes. It looks like those behind the NIV/TNIV have admitted "mistakes" in their recent translation efforts. Several evangelical big boys (Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan) and the good folks at CBMW seem hopeful. I'll be hoping for gender accuracy.