The Safest Place of All

“I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,
for you have seen my troubles,
and you care about the anguish of my soul.
You have not handed me over to my enemies
but have set me in a safe place.” – Psalms 31:7-8 (NLT)

And the safest place of all is in Jesus’ loving embrace…

~Phather Phil


Hold My Heart Today Lord…

Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!

Hold my heart today Lord…

As the world threatens to encroach on my peace,

And taunting voices of dissent gain audience in my mind.


Hold my heart today Lord…

When my struggles seek to overwhelm me,

And uncertainty clouds my spirit.


Hold my heart today Lord…

When frustrations overtake me,

And the specter of anger tries to seize my words.


Hold my heart today Lord…

As the subtle voice of arrogance whispers to me,

Directing me to judge the hearts of others.


Hold my heart today Lord…

As the worldly pull to live “safely”,

Tries to dissuade me from reaching out in love to those in need.


Hold my heart today Lord…

As my worries and anxieties petition for control,

Attempting to cloud my thoughts and guide my decisions.


Hold my heart today Lord…

While the world assaults my sense of worth,

Seeking to refute my identity in You.


Hold my heart today Lord…

For only in Your loving hands,

Is it truly ever beating.


For it’s in Your precious name I pray,


~Phather Phil

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All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Jesus

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge;

I will pay them back,”

says the Lord.


“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.

If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap

burning coals of shame on their heads.”

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” – Romans 12:6-21(NLT)

Long before Robert Fulghum penned his famous “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, the Apostle Paul detailed in his Epistle to the Romans some similarly clear and practical directives for showing and sharing God’s love, and for striving to live as Jesus’ perfect example gave precedent for us to do.

~Phather Phil

Becoming “Fruit Inspectors”

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” – Matthew 7:15-20 (NLT)

It’s very important that as Christians we become “fruit inspectors” when listening to or reading teachings from others.  While it’s important that the words they use strive to relay the truths and proper context in Scripture, it’s just as vital to examine the manner in which they show Christ’s love to others and try to live those messages out.

Don’t Do As the Hypocrites Do

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:1-4 (NLT)

Acts of truly selfless giving aren’t done in the public eye, but instead are performed with no thought as to recognition or recompense.  God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7), and the knowledge that our gifts of service and charity please Him and glorify His presence in our lives are the only reward that actually matters.

~Phather Phil

Come Boldly…

“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” – Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)

While it may seem unnatural to come “boldly” to the Creator of all, that’s exactly how God desires we approach Him; certainly not from a position of arrogance or entitlement, but instead completely confident in His infinite love for us and knowing that He would move Heaven and Earth to come to our aid.

~Phather Phil

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