Wednesday, December 31, 2014

We've Come This Far By Faith

As the old year disappears and the new year lifts before me, I awoke with these old song lyrics on my mind this morning: "We've Come This Far By Faith!"

I've pasted below a YouTube link that might help your heart make the leap of faith from 2014 to 2015. There's about a 12-second delay once you click the link before the music begins, so settle in and be prepared to be inspired:

Click here: West Angeles COGIC Praise and Worship We've Come This Far By Faith, I Will Trust, You Brought Me - YouTube

Give away you life...


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"Knowing That He Knows You"

Shortly after my Dad's passing in November 2014, a friend in The Lord, Samantha, mailed me a card of comfort from her family that I am still carrying close to my heart, over a month later.

It is a Dayspring Greeting card with a writing by Roy Lessin. 

Hear the message:

"He knows you personally and will not confuse you or your needs with another sheep in His flock.

He knows where you are and will guide you;

He knows your fears and will keep you safe;

He knows your hunger and He will feed you;

He knows your weariness and will give you rest;

He knows your valley and will bring you through;

He knows your enemy and will defend you;

He knows you dwelling place and will safely bring you home.

He speaks these words to you...

My child, I love you, you are Mine!"


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Monday, December 29, 2014

"Pulling Back the Throttle..."

Just returned with my old friend, The Oreo Pup, from the trash dump where I left all of our Christmas wrappings and the like. 

I am, Lord willing, "away from" any official pastor-related activity until next Sunday morning. Today, marks my first opportunity to truly pull back the throttle of activity in my life since my Dad's funeral. I admit I am weary. And yes, I know that "being-the-oldest-I've-ever-been" helps weariness to happen easier, no doubt.

Anyway, all is well. We had the Billy C. Willis family Christmastime last night at our home. It was a glorious time. Though Dad was not here, we celebrated the Christ Child with Mom and one another and sensed that Dad was somehow aware, maybe even smiling with Jesus as we gathered together.

We began our family time together with me praying passionately over my loved ones and ended our night with me doing the same again, even anointing one family member as the whole family leaned in. It was beautiful. 

As a friend recently prayed for me, "I truly sense my Dad's mantle resting comfortably around my shoulders as his oldest son." It's a new glorious burden for me.

I appreciate your prayers as I now take responsibility to be faithful in pointing Dad's family to those golden shores of our forever home. 

Yes, and you are right if you are thinking, "I already miss Christmas." You know me too well. 

Peace my friends. 


Sunday, December 28, 2014

"Give..." (Words of Jesus)

"Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” -- Words of Jesus as recorded in Luke 6:38 THE MESSAGE


Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Link Between Christmas & Mission

Thanks to the Link family for linking Christmas to our local church's vision/mission statement:

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Friday, December 26, 2014

In The Afterglow of Christmas

Lord, as we bask in the afterglow
Of Christmas just past, 
You are our King -- Everything,
You are First; You are Last. 

Let Your Spirit of the Season
Keep lighting our way.
Until we bow down before You,
In Heaven's Forever Day. 


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Witness

This Christmas 
must witness:
"The Bethlehem Boy
Brings Beautiful Joy --
Came to be crucified,
So we can be justified."

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

1,017 showed up for our Christmas Eve service tonight. What an inspirational evening.

The C-H-R-I-S-T-C-H-I-L-D is our Peace.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Christmas is Near the Atmosphere!"

Christmas is near the atmosphere.
In a few short hours it will be here.

Life can be hard, we know it's so.
Still wrap some gifts and add a bow.

Others may need to know you care.
Yes, Christmastime is in the air.

For some I know it can be sad.
Yet I choose to be among the glad.

Though I'll truly miss my Dad this year,
The Bethlehem Babe is surely here. 


Monday, December 22, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"We'll Shine For All We're Worth"

Almighty God, we want to say
We're glad You turned our night to day.
To Bethlehem, You sent Your Son
To show Your Love to everyone,

Almighty God, in You we breathe
New Life from You we did receive.
Because our Savior came to earth 
We'll shine Your light for all we're worth.


Love Shines

"Those who love The Lord shine as the sun!" -- Judges 5:31 (TLB)


Friday, December 19, 2014

"My God, My God..." (My Morning Prayer)

Lord, I come before Your Throne of Mercy for this, a brand new day.

I lift my whole heart up to You in holy adoration and humble dedication.

You not only know me, but You love me and I must remember "Jesus cares!"

When I fall asleep at night, You give your angels charge over my life.

As morning dawns, You await to hear my voice lifting new prayers to You.

When I look back on my days, I see that Your Name really is Faithful and True.

As I consider the present, I must have Your Presence with me and within me.

And apart from Your direction, the forecast of my future would be all fear.

Yet, Your Love embraces my never-dying soul, and You are my strength to go on. 

My God, My God, never leave or forsake me and keep me focused on you forever.

In the name of the One called Wonderful, I pray all these things. Amen and Amen.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Please Come and Stay"

Morning is here, Lord
And we turn to You.
The Season so Holy
We know that it's true.

Please keep us focused
As distractions abound.
In Your sure embrace
We want to be found.

For friends and strangers
We lift up our prayers.
Too many burdened
With sorrows and cares. 

Yet you came to save us
Born a baby one day.
You came here to die
To take Sin far away.

How can we ever
Thank you enough?
For leaving Your throne
Up in Heaven Above. 

For a fresh glimpse of Hope
We cry out right now.
We're desperate for Light
You will lead us somehow.

We invite You, our King
To please come and stay.
Be with and within us
and don't go away. 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"Praying Deep"

I told a loved one recently: "Whenever I think of you I will turn my thinking into praying." I call it "praying deep". This morning I am doing just that.

With the Christmas season picking up speed, if we don't take time today to think and then to turn our thinking into praying, we will for the most part, very likely, miss the deepest meaning of these fleeting Holy Days.

So, right here, right now, yes on my blog today, I am praying you will experience Blessed Holy Days, especially as you think of loved ones and turn your thinking of them into praying for them. 

"Praying Deep" is one right answer to the question: "How can we partner this day with Holy God in needed Miracles?"

Let us pray for one another today.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Today, has been one of those days when I have had to constantly remind myself to breathe. Before 9 a.m., two precious souls affiliated with our local church family crossed the line between time and eternity -- Archie, 96, and Velma, 85.

I keep wondering if they have met my Daddy over yonder, yet?

The Christmas Season in Heaven must be some kind of breath-taking!


Monday, December 15, 2014

As Another Monday Arises...

As another Monday arises
I look to You, Lord.
Seeking true favor
Only You can afford.
With yesterday gone
And tomorrow at bay,
Please be here right now,
Have Thine own way. 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Matthew 2:11 -- From The Christmas Story

I preached from this passage today. It warmed the messenger's heart. Hope it warms yours:

“When they (The Magi) entered the house, they saw the child (Jesus) with his mother Mary. So they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11 (GWT) 

Bowing down to worship the King of Kings for being our Great High Priest and Suffering Savior results in offering Him our very best gifts. (At least the response of the Wisemen proves that it does.) 


Friday, December 12, 2014

A Preview of the Good News...

What a lovely preview of The Good News from The Old Testament:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)


Thursday, December 11, 2014

"The Old Rugged Cross"

In case you missed this powerful presentation of the beloved hymn. "The Old Rugged Cross", Here it is:


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"Though It Seems Like You Can Never Recover..."

My wise and compassionate friend, Keith from Michigan, sent me words of comfort today. God must've let him in on the fact that I could really use some spontaneous encouragement this morning, as the Advent Season continues and my thoughts turn often to my Daddy now absent from us but present with our Lord. 

Keith's words to me:

"It's the little things, the small, everyday occurrences that you'll remember (about Capt. Billy). The laughs, the stories, the smiles. And even though it seems like you can never recover from your loss, it is these very memories that will help push the pain away and bring back the smiles. Lifting you and your family before the throne. -- Keith"

My Daddy praising Jesus and wearing his red celebration shirt at one of our visits to the cancer clinic this past year. I inherited the red shirt and Lord willing, I'll be wearing it at our Christmas Eve Service.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Written Words From Half-Way Around the World

Today, my dear brother in Christ, Pastor Ajay, from Calcutta, India, sent me such a compassionate email greeting as he knows I am in the afterglow of my Dad's recent passing and the Advent season is underway. 

I cannot over-emphasize how his simplistic but profoundly written words sent from half-way around the world wonderfully warmed my heart as I read them at 5:30 a.m. this morning. Yes, as an ice storm covered the outside of our house, on the inside the home fires of friendship inspired my being deep within.

Here are the words from Pastor Ajay whose home is near the orphanage founded by Mother Teresa:

"Dear Pastor Kerry:

I hope you have been emerging from sorrow.

May this Christmas bring all peace and rest in your heart and in the life of your family.

With Love,
Pastor Ajay"


Monday, December 8, 2014

"It's Christmastime & Confession Time!"

Ok, it's Christmastime and confession time, so it's time for my own Christmas confession: "Luke, chapter 1, has -- had for weeks now -- a sacred stronghold on my soul."

Yes, indeed, during these Advent days of anticipation, while I hope to finally reach chapter 2, for now the first 80 verses of Dr. Luke's Good News account -- simply and profoundly -- refuse to turn me loose! And, I just love it. 

So, if you're coming to our local church this third week of Advent or if you plan to get the message from our media file found at , you already know in advance where to read ahead and where to mark your Bible. 

Consider yourself warned and expect your heart to be warmed. 

All is well!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

"Wings Like a Dove"

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

"Be Still..."

"Be still and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10 

Friday, December 5, 2014

"For Now... But Then..."

I told a friend today, "What seems surreal to us may really be the most real." In other words, "Our earthly lives now are less real by far than our eternal lives will be then." Deep thoughts, I know. 

This verse helps explain my statement, though I don't expect you to understand it fully, because neither do I: 

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV)


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


These recorded words from Luke 1:30-33, spoken by the angel, Gabriel, to Mary of Nazareth, warm my heart today (especially the final words of verse 33):

(30) The angel told her:
"Don't be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. (31) You will become pregnant, give birth to a son, and name Him Jesus. (32) He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. (33) Your son will be KING of Jacob's people FOREVER, AND HIS KINGDOM WILL NEVER END!"

That's my KING JESUS!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Unpardonable Sins?

Every kind of wrongdoing is sin, 
yet there are sins that don’t lead to death. 
1 John 5:17

All deviation from perfect holiness is sin, 
but all sin in not unpardonable. 
 John Wesley

The sin that continues to be repeated without true repentance
is unpardonable. 
Kerry Willis


Monday, December 1, 2014

A Song of Peace

A song of Peace for the Season sent to me by a friend of Jesus: