Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Humble Talent

Humble talent deeply moves me, no matter where I see it. It breaks my heart when people suffer with self-esteem, wrongly thinking they are not good enough.  

This “secular” clip touched my heart. In fact, it made me cry tender tears of joy. Happiness is helping others know they are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. 

People who desire affirmation but cannot see how wonderfully God created them, need to be told. Let’s be among those who help people to see themselves for the beautiful creations of God that they really are.

Enjoy. ❤️ 


Presence Matters Most!
That is... Presence. Unity. Souls. Love. 

Pastor Kerry Willis 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Philemon 1:3-7

This passage was once sent to me by one of my Jesus-like, Middle Eastern, pastor, friends. He said it was a portion of God’s Word that reminded him of me. So humbling. I pray it can still be said of my life and can always be said of my life...


Presence Matters Most!
That is... Presence. Unity. Souls. Love. 

Pastor Kerry Willis 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Vacation for Inspiration

At times I am sure people wonder why my wife, Kim and I, almost always prefer coastal settings for our down time? It’s a fair question. Besides the obvious reason that we were both pretty much raised where the waves meet the shore, the main reason is perhaps less obvious. When on vacation, the number one thing we both need is inspiration. And we are most inspired in the midst of nautical surroundings. 

Think about it this way. Have you ever noticed how much of our spiritual music — traditional hymns and contemporary songs — rely on stories related to the sea? I can name a few: “Anchored in Jesus”, “Rescue the Perishing”, “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning”, “Jesus Savior, Pilot Me”, “The Old Ship of Zion”, “Love Lifted Me”, “The Anchor Holds”, “My Lighthouse”, “Oceans”, and the list goes on and on. Well, that pretty much explains why we choose seaside inspiration for nearly every vacation. 

Speaking of inspiration near the shore, here are some photos from the final two days of our latest getaway to the Cape Henlopen and Lewes, Delaware coastline.

These photos speak to me mostly about “hope for lost souls.” It should be obvious why.


Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse in sunset.


Harbor of Safe Refuge Lighthouse, The Point, Cape Henlopen, Delaware. 


Lewes, DE to Cape May, NJ Ferry, Harbor of Safe Refuge Lighthouse. 


Inspiration. 


Distant light. 


The Shore at Cape Henlopen, DE.


The pathway to light.


Red Sky at Night, Sailors Delight. Delaware.


Lightship at Life Saving Station. 


Old Life Saving Row Boat.


Light in Lightship. 


U.S. Lifesaving Station at Lewes, Delaware. 


Flower on property. 


Old lifesaving boat. 


Lifesaving cart. 


Ropes and Block. 


Lifesaving boat shed. 


Interior light. 


Lightship named “Overfalls.”


Love that #2. Definition for “inspiration”. WOW! Indeed, inspiration can give us new breath, renewed life. 

Presence Matters Most.
That is... Presence. Unity. Souls. Love. 

Pastor Kerry Willis 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Exhale, Finally...



Finally able to exhale as @kimwillis418 got a call from her Mom today in Sea Level, NC and found out all is well after Hurricane Florence. Please keep praying for the Carolina coastal people — no electric, flood waters, trees down, bridges out — nevertheless, Alive. #ilovelucy💕 #FourWinds #PresenceMattersMost #Maranatha


Pastor Kerry Willis 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Storm Weary

I remember in 2014, our family was in a storm. My Dad, Capt. Billy, was in fact, in the storm of his life. He was facing cancer and death right in the face and eyes. The diagnosis came during my sabbatical, but my season of rest was compromised by Dad’s storm weary season.

I wrote earlier this week how in 1989, my Dad survived Hurricane Hugo’s 150 mph winds in his shrimp boat (of all places). Yes, all night long, near Charleston, South Carolina, Dad stared down what could have been death by drowning. 

Well, when 2014 came, I have no doubt that Dad’s sea storm of 1989, somehow helped prepare Him to stare down death and cancer. As a matter of fact, the night before Dad passed, he would not be distracted. He was fully focused in a storm. He was obviously facing down that last great enemy, death. So, Dad did die physically during the fourth watch of the night, around 3 am, November 17, 2014, but He surely made it through that storm to the beautiful shores of his Heavenly Home. His storm weariness gave way to soul restfulness. 

Today, my brain is a little storm weary as my heart is very heavy for my family and friends who have been and still are battling Hurricane Florence down in the Carolinas. It’s not my storm, but it still causes me true weariness. 

Just like in 2014, it was Dad’s cancer storm, not mine, but honestly, it sort of took the life out of me, too. Why? Because I loved Dad so much. Same with my family and friends in the wake of this hurricane. I love them so much. So, okay, I may not be in the storm physically with them, but believe me I am storm weary with them in spirit. This has been a week of vacation for me, but like my sabbatical, it has been compromised by this storm. 

Please keep praying for our family and friends down south and especially down east in Carteret County, North Carolina. My Mom held up well Thursday night through Florence’s 105 mph winds, but because of phone service further east, we have yet to talk with Kim’s Mom. We are trusting our strong Holy God, but still we are humanly storm weary, indeed. Nevertheless, all is well! 

Here are a few images from the day...


Someone sent a photo of the Harkers Island, North Carolina bridge sinkhole damage. 


The little Rehoboth Lighthouse here in Delaware inspired me. 


We had supper — fish and chips — 🇬🇧 Brit-style. 


Sign reminded me of Dad and my coastal loved ones. 


Fish and Chips. Ate seafood to support my coastal people, especially fishermen. 

Presence Matters Most!
That is... Presence. Unity. Souls. Love. 

Pastor Kerry Willis 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Simply Trust

I remember a few years ago when I called my Mom, Lady Melba, and asked: “Mom, do you ever have times when you just can’t pray?” “Oh, yes,” she said cheerfully. “That’s the best place to be, because then you simply trust.” 

Ironically, these thoughts came to me today as I sat along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Henlopen, Delaware, trying to pray for my Mom down on the coast of North Carolina where Hurricane Florence seems to be violently approaching the Willis homeplace. 

I called her a few minutes ago and the phone service was bad. So, I texted my son, Grayson, and said please call Mom (his Nanny) and ask her how she is. These words made up her whole reply: “Grayson, tell your Dad, I’m fine!” I’d guess that means the praying is past and the best place to be is now hers — simply trusting!


Old gull hanging out beside me. Makes two old birds. 


A wooden cross by the ocean gave me peace. 


The Atlantic is fierce today even up north. Invigorating, too.


This hymn, a prayer to lead us to simply trusting. 

Presence Matters Most!
That is... Presence. Unity. Souls. Love 

Pastor Kerry Willis 


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Call of the Sea — Capt. Billy

My Dad, Capt. Billy, used to talk to me about “the call of the sea.” Few understand it, but those who have heard it know there is no getting over it. 

Such is the call of God upon my life. God’s life-call for my Dad was to the sea, thus he lived most of his life on and around the ocean as a fisherman. God’s life-call for me has been to give my life to Him, as a fisher of men, women, boys and girls. 

I also have a love for the sea. Mostly, because of my Dad’s love for it, no doubt. It was there that he experienced the strongest sense of His Lord’s Presence. I also feel that same holy embrace when I am at or on the sea. 

My Dad feared hurricanes, but only out of respect. Some of the most exciting times of my childhood were watching Dad prepare his shrimp boat and our humble home for a hurricane. The only thing that overcame his fear of these giant unpredictable storms was the undeniable invigoration he felt preparing for one. It was obvious that he never felt more alive than when a hurricane was approaching.

As a matter of fact, in 1989, my Dad rode out Hurricane Hugo near Charleston, South Carolina aboard his shrimp boat. The short story is, Dad went south to miss the trajectory of the storm but the storm shifted and 150 mph winds with all of its fury came straight over the inland river where Dad had anchored. All night he stayed vigilantly awake, making sure his pumps worked and his anchors held. And praise the Lord, the Master of the Sea saw to it that Capt. Billy survived to tell the story. And man, did Dad love to tell the story. In fact, Dad became a legend of sorts because of his call to the sea and the invigoration that was his having survived a Category 5 hurricane on the water.

These days, the call of the sea is still working on me. This being a week of planned and needed vacation, Kim, Lucy and I scrambled back to homebase after our evacuation from Ocracoke Island, N.C., loaded the Four Winds RV and made our way to a new beach that we  believe to be just out of reach of Hurricane Florence’s wide-spread wings. Yes, we are beside the Atlantic Ocean at The Cape — Cape Henlopen, Delaware, that is. 

In spirit, however, we are also present with our family and friends in deep prayer as you are in the track of the storm. We are trusting the Almighty One Who holds this hurricane by the mane. King Jesus! May His call be evident to us all. 

A few images from Cape Henlopen, Delaware... 


Morning-lit beach path


Deer, deer, deer.


Ships passing. 


Seagull lift-off. 


His.


Hers. 


Coolest horseshoe crab ever. 


Waterfowl presence evidence.
 

The Point at Cape Henlopen. See the lighthouse in the fog. 


My Dad, Billy, as a young captain aboard trawler.


My Dad’s life-passage above from KJV.

Presence Matters Most!
That is... Presence. Unity. Souls. Love. 

Pastor Kerry Willis