Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Glorifying God in Whatever Circumstance... "

My longtime sister-in-Christ gave me her blessing to share this humbling correspondence to me, with you. To God be all the glory: 

As I was having devotions this morning this is what I read.  It not only reminds me of your dad but your life as well.

From "All In" by Mark Batterson:

"It's not about success and failure, it's not about good days and bad days, it's not about wealth or poverty, it's not about health or sickness, it's not even really about life or death.  It's about Glorifying God in whatever circumstance you find yourself in."

Thanks for being such an amazing example of what a life dedicated to God should look like.

Heidi 

Grateful 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Delightful Commentary -- Capt. Billy's Homegoing Service

If you were unable to be at my Dad's homegoing service on November 19, 2014, we hope to post the audio from it as a 3-part broadcast on our www.frontporchtalks.com website within the next 3-4 weeks. 

Until then, here is a commentary posted below sent to me from a family friend who attended. Her name is Delight. (She gave me permission to share it with you.) It's a delightful commentary that humbled our hearts and warmed our souls.

Delight's commentary: 

just wanted to take a moment to thank you, and the Willis boys, for allowing the rest of us to be part of yesterday (Capt. Billy's November 19, 2014 funeral).  I don't know that I have ever been to a service like that where I felt privileged to have been in attendance like I did yesterday.  It was a Song of Songs service....that only the Willis boys could have done.  What a love feast!   "I am my beloved's and He is mine!"

I once was asked WHEN I WAS YOUNG, what it was that I found most attractive in a man......my answer then, and still is, LOVE.  When someone loves you it does not matter what they look like, or really much of anything else, they are attractive.  LOVE ATTRACTS.

I know you thought the service went long, but it did not feel it.  It was as if you three boys invited everyone into some wonderful place where you loved on your father..your mother, and most of all GOD...and in doing that, you loved on everyone present.  That service will bear much fruit. Relationship. You left everyone with a good word, and a challenge.

Your folks have one incredible family,
Much love, Delight 

Grateful 




Thursday, November 20, 2014

"The Morning After"


(Dad would often tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree to highlight homecomings at our homeplace. So, we tied one around the old oak to mark Dad's homegoing.) 

There was a pop song that I heard frequently on the radio when I was in my teen years titled, "There's Got to Be a Morning After." Well, today is exactly that-- "the morning after" my Daddy's homegoing service.

Yesterday, our family's life overflowed with emotions of every kind and embraces from every direction. We were humbled by friends and loved ones who came from both near and far to help us officially remember our Dad's life and to enlarge our Hope of being reunited with him and Jesus one day in Heaven.

However, after the 1 1/2 hour celebration service at the Free Grace Wesleyan Church and the 1/2 hour graveside send-off at Virgie Mae Cemetery, everyone had to, of course, depart and return to their own lives. 

My brother, Billy Joe, was the last of our crowd to leave last evening, but not before the two of us drove after sunset back to Daddy's fresh, flower-covered grave. As we stood hugging each other with flashlights shining, our lingering numbness finally gave way to the raw reality that our Daddy is not coming back to be with us. But we will eventually go to be with him. 

I awoke this morning at 5:30 a.m. I slowly made my way into the living room. Mom soon joined me and now we sit together in the silence. Yes, "There's Got to Be a Morning After" and this is it. 

Sitting here in the dim light, Mom is whispering prayers under her breath. She just looked at me and said, "The last eleven months have been a whirlwind and today 'I just feel out of it'".

My son, Grayson, just entered the room and now Mom has transitioned to testifying. She said, "When you pray 'not my will but Thine be done', you just have to totally trust God with all that takes place." Grayson's reply? "'Not my will but Thine be done' is a dangerous prayer." Then he said to Mom with assurance: "When we have all left, Nana, just remember you are not alone." This morning my immediate family will leave to return for Virginia and I will stay with Mom for a bit longer before I also depart.

I am so overwhelmed with the outpouring of compassion that so many people in our lives have shown to us in Dad's season of cancer and the strong support lasted right up until this week when we sent him on ahead of us to Heaven. 

So, yes, "There's Got to Be a Morning After", and this is it and while there is a tremendous sense of loss in our lives, we mostly feel blessed, hopeful and...

... Grateful  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"I Miss Him Already..."

Last night our family greeted friends and loved ones for about three hours near the altar of Free Grace Wesleyan Church at my Dad's wake. It was a glorious evening.

I kept repeating three things over and over to the ones who came:

(1) "I already miss him."

(2) "Don't let anything come between you and where my Daddy is!"

(3) "The best gift we can leave our loved ones before we leave the planet is assurance that we will be in Heaven." 


(Flowers for my Daddy from his seven grandchildren.)

Grateful 



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Island Boy -- Billy C. Willis

The life of an island boy, 'lil Billy Cameron Willis', will be celebrated today. Billy was born in his parents' island home on July 19, 1940, and transported to his Heavenly Home on November 17, 2014. 


Grateful 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Our Daddy: In Heaven

⚓ 2:50 a.m. Mon. Nov. 17, 2014, The Old Ship of Zion picked up our Daddy, Capt. Billy, and transported him to Heaven. ⚓


Grateful 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Meanwhile..."

A dear friend sent me these verses of Scripture this past week. While we as a family continue to enjoy God's marvelous presence and trust His mysterious ways especially during Dad's season of suffering, this passage surely reinforces our resolve: 

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." (Romans 8:26-28 MSG)

Grateful