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