Saturday, December 31, 2016

Unknown Seas

My friend, Sheryl, reminded me today of a devotional and prayer I included in a devotional booklet I published 14 years ago. The focus still seems quite relevant many years later.

(Click on type below for full-frame view.)

"All is well..." Isaiah 52:7 GW


Friday, December 30, 2016

Present Sufferings

This verse is a good place to saturate our souls all day and all night:

(Click on text box for full-frame rendering.)

"All is well." Isaiah 52:7 GW


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Patiently Faithful

Lord, let Your Words from Revelation 13:10 (GW) characterize our earthly existence so that eternal life will be ours both now and for forevermore:

"...God's holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful."

(Last rose bud of winter photographed December 2016 in Eastern Carteret County, North Carolina.)

"All is Well..." Isaiah 52:7 GW


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nonjudgmental Presence

Henri Nouwen wrote the following:

(Click 2 font boxes below for full-frame readings:)

"...all is well." Isaiah 52:7 GW


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

"It Took a Miracle"

By now, you may know that during the week leading up to Christmas 2016, my wife, Kim, and I, rescued a Beagle/Treeing Walker Coonhound mix puppy from the local SPCA. Her name is Lucy and she's only nine months old and already weighs 46 pounds. Nevertheless, she is a real sweetie. 

One thing I didn't realize I was missing out on since our old dog, Oreo, passed in June, is looking at the night sky when taking the dog out late at night. My, my the awe and wonder of it all.

Last night it was midnight when I took Lucy Pup out for a backyard visit under clear and majestic skies. It was breath-taking to gaze at all the night lights high in the heavens, each star a fireball created and sustained by my Lord. As I worshiped deep within under the starlit canopy, a song my Mom has always loved to sing came to mind and I sung it aloud as Lucy listened.

(Click below to hear the old chorus and consider yourself warned, because these lyrics may get wonder-ously awe-stuck in your mind.) 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Monday, December 26, 2016


My newest favorite saying of the Christmas season this year came in a Christmas card: "When you realize Who He is, you will understand why He came."

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Sunday, December 25, 2016

"Take Me to The King!"🌠

At our Christmas Eve service this was our song of worship, a time to turn our human desperation into holy celebration. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GE


Saturday, December 24, 2016

New Day Dawning

(Click type below for full-frame passage of Good News at Christmastime and beyond.)

(Click for song "New Star Shining" by Ricky Skaggs and James Taylor.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3


Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas = Love

A few years ago I co-led a group to Ancient Corinth, Greece, through our Hearts Aflame Discipleship Journeys. It was amazing to walk in the place where The Apostle Paul had penned his love song of the New Testament, 1st Corinthians 13, yes the same passage that includes these three words together: "Love Never Fails!"

As the Christmas season is nearly full-bloom for this year, it occurs to me that "Christmas Never Fails" because "Christmas is Love!" John 3:16-17 is proof! You know... "For God so loved the world that He gave His Son... not to condemn us but to save us!"

(Click below to view full-frame image from Ancient Corinth. Looks a lot like the stonemason was carving a Holy Day wreath to me.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Thursday, December 22, 2016


Today, my mind has been considering Christmas and how God loved the world so much that He chose Incarnation to deliver us from our desperation. 

These deep thoughts overwhelm me rendering me speechless and grateful. At our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship services, I pray that The Holy Spirit will speak through me and make clear for all to hear these truths I am trying to fathom. 

All I can say is this: "Christmas matters so very much! Without God becoming flesh, a future hope for us would be nonexistent."

But because He did become human and live among us, Hope is Alive for us for forever and today. Hooray for Christmas!

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Time

Joey Feek went to be with the Lord this past year after her courageous battle with cancer. Her husband, Rory, and their only daughter, Indiana, must be having a tender Christmas Season. 

Enjoy this song by Joey and Rory and pray for him. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Prayer

As Christmas Day 2016 approaches...

(Click on image for full-frame.)

Photos below of our 2016 pre-Christmastime celebrations with our NC family:

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Monday, December 19, 2016

"Mary's Boy Child"

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, Joseph, our local church's worship pastor, led us in the holy day classic song made popular by Boney M. This song, set to the music of the islands, is very rich in the all the theology of the Incarnation. Enjoy. Celebrate.

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lucy, Another Christmas Rescue Story

(Click image box below for a good news Christmas story from the Willis home.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Friday, December 16, 2016

All is Well!

This is a lovely Scripture for the Christmas Advent Season:

(Click on type for full-view of passage.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Kids

Click and celebrate Christmas like a kid:

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Let's Be Friends, Especially at Christmastime!

This morning, a friend texted me and asked, "How can I pray for you, today?"

My answer to his question was almost instantaneous:

"Ears to hear...
Words to speak...
Wisdom to know the mind of Christ in all things."

Another friend, who's life is not always easy, texted me these good words this morning:

"The Lord has been so good to us."

Who in your life, in my life, today, would love for  a friend to simply ask them: "How can I pray for you, today?"

Who in your life, in my life, today, simply but profoundly, needs to hear a good word of encouragement?

People need the kind of friends that have contacted me today to encourage my heart. Especially during Christmastime, let's be friends, friends.

Let's be reflectors of God's glorious light and go shine.

(Click image below of photograph I took of glorious light coming through a window at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, The Holy Land.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Strange Way

Sunday as I preached on the Incarnation, lyrics of this song rang very true in my mind. No doubt, the way our God chose to save us from Sin and death and to reunite us with Him, was strange, but nevertheless beautiful. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Incarnation

(Click on two verses below to saturate in Scriptures that help explain the reason for the Christmas Season.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Adore Jesus

This YouTube will be part of my Sunday morning message this Sunday. My Advent message is titled "Christmas = The Incarnation Celebration."

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Friday, December 9, 2016

Miss You

My Mom, Lady Melba, asked me if I had heard this song titled "I Sure Miss You?" During the Christmas Season, we especially miss loved ones who are no longer here to celebrate with us. 

Miss you, Dad, Capt. Billy. Yes, I know "All is Well!" 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Thursday, December 8, 2016

One Day

"Live one day at a time." Words of Jesus Matthew 6:34 TLB

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Aquinas Prayer

(Click text below for full-frame prayer.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Awaking to Christmas P.E.A.C.E.

This morning I awoke with a wonder-filled word from the Lord on my mind. It happens occasionally and it's always so beautifully encouraging when it does.

Yes, as I stirred from my December night's slumber at the first hint of daylight, I had this word on my mind as an inspiring acrostic that seemed to help me better understand the blessed benefits of Christmas for me as a Jesus-believer...

P - Pardon
E - Extended
A - At
C - Christ's
E - Expense

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas Bicycles

It was an inspiring Monday. Our pastoral staff went as a team to help The Salvation Army get their children's toys for Christmas organized. 

Our hearts were so moved that we turned a recent financial gift given to us over pastoral appreciation month into six new bicycles for precious children who wouldn't otherwise receive them. 

As Monday comes to  a close, my heart is humbled and warmed. It's the most wonderful time of the year -- Christmastime.

(Click on photos for full-frame.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW



Sunday, December 4, 2016

Faith Clinging

(Click below.)

"...and i wait." GW


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas Lamb

Today, my wife, Kim and I, helped my Mom get the island homeplace and yard decorated for Christmas. One ornament on the tree is so inspirational and reminds us of The Christmas Lamb, Who is Worthy indeed! 

And the Nativity is in place in the front yard.

Finally, we viewed the Christmas boat parade along the Beaufort waterfront. Inspiring. 

And one boat had a lighted Beagle. We will miss The Oreo Pup this Christmas. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Friday, December 2, 2016

Island Joy

Last evening, I was blessed once again to attend the yearly Christmas concert at Free Grace church, yes, the church of my upbringing on Harkers Island. When the community carolers sang passionately "Joy to the World," it was inspirational Island Joy, indeed! Surely, the Bethlehem boy brings beautiful joy to the whole world and even to small villages... still !

Was also joy for Kim and I to attend with my Mom, Lady Melba. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Jesus More

My pastoral mentor, James and I agreed recently that this song is in part our testimony as believers and local church leaders. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Living Prayer

After my post yesterday titled "The Prayer", a dear brother in Christ sent me this song. Thanks Brother Anthony. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Prayer

A tender yet powerful song titled "The Prayer". Beware: May cause tears. Good tears. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas Memories Recorded in Photos

These Christmas Memories recorded in photos matter so much to me. I am glad for Christmases past, present, and future. I love Christmas. I need Christmas. Christmas is for rejoicing and remembering.

Photo: Christmas 2009, The Oreo Pup becomes a Nativity Character.

2015 was The Oreo Pup's final Christmas. We miss his sweet presence. Good grief.

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Gloria / Glory

Today, in our worship service we began the Advent Season leading up to Christmas by singing the Christian Hymn titled "Gloria".

This information about the song warmed my own heart. 

(Click below for full-frame rendering.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Prayer for the Christmas Season 2016 & Beyond

If you could take a few quiet moments now (or set aside a special quiet time later) to be still before the Lord and fervently pray this Christmas 2016 & Beyond prayer with me as a local pastor in The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, USA, I believe our Lord will be honored, our world will be helped, and we will be humbled. 

So, Let Us Pray… A Christmas Prayer…for 2016 & Beyond:

Dearest Loving Abba Father, Daddy Father:
By the precious blood of Your Darling Son and our Dear Savior, Jesus,
And by the powerful presence of Your Blessed Holy Spirit,
We come now before Your Throne of Mercy to pray together.
We pray A Christmas Prayer for 2016 & Beyond.

First of all, Dear Lord, we pray for our Missionaries.
Indeed, Lord, all around Your world today and everyday,
Your Missionaries are depending upon the prayers of Your people.
May Your Missionaries who are scattered to the four corners of the globe
Know Your undeniable presence and Your indescribable peace.
Please, meet all of their specific needs according to Your abundant riches
In Christ Jesus. Let Your joy, oh, Lord, be their strength.

Secondly, Dear Lord, we pray for our Military personnel.
At Christmastime this year many families are separated
Because of loved ones who are overseas in uniform.
Bless the Chaplains as they pray and plan to celebrate Christmas
On foreign soil. Give to them Your embrace and Your Word.
We are blessed to live in the United States of America, Abba Father.
Make us grateful & prayerful for those who protect & defend freedom.

Finally, Dear Lord, I pray for our Heavenly Mission as a glocal church.
We say “Thanks” as we savor yesterday’s memories. However, Lord,
We also want to seize today’s moments and see tomorrow’s miracles.
Help us be a bright BEACON of Your perfect love & prevailing hope
In Your Shenandoah Valley & Beyond… In 2016 & Beyond!

Give us a desire to seek Your face, hear Your voice, obey Your Word
And become Your will. Help us to keep living with devoted and totally
Surrendered Hearts so that our lives can be Your lights in darkness.
We pray for a God-ordered, Jesus-led, and Spirit-filled unity & future.

In the name of the One called Wonderful, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Friday, November 25, 2016

Singing Hearts

How long has been since my heart and your heart sang out in uncontainable praise to The Lord? Too often, I fear, we forget to lift our hearts in song to the Lord especially when life seems hard. Yet, He is worthy and we must not miss any more opportunities. 

Psalm 96:2, issues this command: "Sing to the Lord; praise His Name! Proclaim His salvation day after day."

Occasionally, my heart is lifted when I hear someone else say things like: "Jesus makes my heart sing!" 

While at my brother's home in Tennessee for Thanksgiving Day, at sunset the heavenlies just seemed to be celebrating in synchronization with my own soul. 

Funny thing is, this reality didn't register until the morning after, yes this morning. I am grateful for the invitation to join in with other singing hearts. Jesus makes my heart sing!

(Click image for sunset sky, a heavenly celebration synchronization for me.)

"..and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanks Giving

We have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. My mind goes back to the quiet moments of the past year. I pray the solitude of the Holy Spirit will make your holiday a holy day.

(Click image below for full frame.)

Ocracoke Island's UMC Chapel

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Old Ship

This morning this old gospel song I first heard in the 1970s, a favorite of my Dad's, Capt. Billy, warmed the hearts of his wife and eldest son as we shared breakfast. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Least

Today, my mom, Lady Melba ⚓, shared a devotional page from a book I gave her years ago. The author is Dennis Kinlaw.

The book is titled This Day With the Master. My mom likes to read ahead, so while today is November 22, the page she shared with me is November 25. Please click the JPEG below for a full rendering of the devotional reading.

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Monday, November 21, 2016

Obedient Offerings

Often I wonder if God mainly weighs our obedience in offerings by the amount we give to Him and others or by the amount we keep for ourselves? 

God looks at our motives when it comes to our giving. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Inspiring Eyes

When I saw this image on social media I had to screen-shot it to inspire my own interior life. I want Jesus to be undeniably evident in my eyes. 

"Christ in you/me, the Hope of glory." Colossians 1:27b

(Click image for full-frame.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Friday, November 18, 2016

All Things

God's Word is powerful in every season.

(Click on text box below for full-frame.)

Shenandoah Valley's North River reflections as autumn gives way to winter

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Capt. Billy / Psalm 107

My Dad, Capt. Billy, stepped into the realized presence of Jesus two years ago today. 

My Dad's favorite Psalm was Psalm 107. Today, as I saturate in Psalm 107, verse 13 and verse 14 speak deeply to my soul. 

Click below for full-frame rendering of the passage from God's Wprd Translation.

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Awake/A Lot

In reading Luke 12 today from God's Word Translation of The Holy Bible, two ideas go deep into my thinking. Yes, so deep that tears come and line the corridors of my eyes. Two ideas in two of the verses particularly speak to me. 

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW


Tuesday, November 15, 2016


This verse has been so strong in my thinking this week, as if God keeps reminding me of its truth so that I will anticipate the wonderful things coming my way as I walk into the future with Him.

Together, let's choose faith and not faint.

(Click on text box below for full-frame rendering of Scripture.)

"...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW