Thankful Thursday: Daily Inspirations

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Today Father, I want to take a moment to say thank You and to celebrate some changes here at

When You led me to begin this site a little over a year ago, I really had no distinct idea as to what direction it would take, what I’d write about each day, or who in the world would possibly have interest in reading it.  I certainly didn’t see myself as a writer, but You were diligent in Your pursuit of me taking on this endeavor so I followed those urgings, and 327 posts later, here I am.  🙂

Over the last few months Lord, I’ve felt You urging me once again to take another step with this outreach.  One of the things I hear most when talking to people is that they’re unsure how the Scriptures pertain to their lives and situations today.  To help with answering those questions, I’ve begun something new here at

The site has now been divided into two blog threads; the “Emails to God” I’ve been posting for the last year, and a new section called “Daily Inspirations”.  Each post in “Daily Inspirations” will contain a Bible Passage, accompanied by a short message connecting those wisdoms and truths to our world today.  The posts from both sections will all be visible together on the home page, or can be viewed independently on their respective pages as well.  Along with this new blog thread, I’ve also added a “Contact Me” page to allow a more private connection with the readers if they so desire.

I’m truly thankful for this ministry You’ve led me on Father.  Through it I’ve connected with some wonderful people, had the opportunity to minister to the needs of others, and in the process nourished my relationship with You as well.  It’s been an amazing Blessing in my life this past year, and I’m excited to see where You’ll lead me each day.

To add to that note of thanks Lord, I’d like to continue my Thankful Thursday list from last week.  This past week, I’ve been especially grateful for :

376. The opportunity You’ve given me to minister to others through

377. Shannon helping with nighttime “dog duty” so I could get some rest.

378. That our Tuesday night Bible Study group wants to continue meeting after the conclusion of the “Treasures of the Transformed Life” series next week.

379. The beautiful colors the trees take on in Autumn.

380. Spending some “Down Time” with Jonathan and Aidan.

381. The urgings You place on my heart to reach out and share Your Truth with others.

382. Hot Apple Cider K-Cups for our Keurig.

383. Breathing treatments that help me combat the effects of my current respiratory illness.

384. An evening of good food and fellowship at the “Heart and Hand” dinner last Saturday.

385. Making good progress on the redesign of Ewell’s St. Paul UMC’s web site.

386. The helpful staff at our local Christian Bookstore : “The Branch”.

387. Lessons in a foggy morning.

388. Half-price “post-Halloween” candy sales.

389. The brightest star in my sky.

390. The selfless sacrifices that our Veterans and Active Duty Military make each and every day.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You Lord, for the multitude of Blessings you bestow on us each day; both those that light up the sky with Your brilliance, and those that grace us quietly from the shadows.  I thank You from the bottom of my heart for guiding me along this journey Father, and for drawing me ever closer to You in the process.  More of You Lord, less of me.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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Meditations Monday: Thoughts on Giving

Dear Lord; Happy Meditations Monday Father!

This weekend Father, I think you may have left the freezer door open a bit… 🙂

It was downright cold here in Delaware the last couple days!  This time of year, we’re usually hovering in the mid-to-high 50s, but the last two days we saw the mercury dip into the high 20s more than once.  Add to that some rain/sleet mix Saturday night, and it was a wonderful weekend to spend inside, all warm and toasty…

Although, we didn’t.

Saturday evening, we braved the wintry weather and joined a group of our friends for a “haunted trail” event that one of the families had constructed on their 50 acre farm.  In the rain, sleet and the muck they carted the kids around on a tractor-driven hayride through a mile-long wooded trail filled with “things that go bump in the night”.  We were cold, we were wet, we were muddy, and we had an absolutely wonderful evening.  🙂

Sunday morning, as usual, we attended the contemporary worship service at Ewell’s St. Paul UMC, where I was Blessed to be asked to participate in the service.  I read passages from both 1st Kings and Malachi, and then delivered a testimony on my thoughts about financial giving and stewardship.  When I was first asked by Pastor Kris to address the congregation on this, I spent a good bit of time thinking and talking with You about exactly how I wanted to make my feelings and beliefs known, and in the end I was pretty pleased with what You and I came up with.

Therefore Father, for this morning’s Meditations Monday, I’d like to share that testimony:

Good morning.

In a few moments, we’ll have the opportunity to exercise our financial stewardship role, and provide our offerings to the church.  Before we do though, Pastor Kris has asked me to share my thoughts on giving with you.

As you know, Shannon and I are relatively new to the congregation, and we’ve been exceptionally thankful for the outpouring of fellowship, kindness, and acceptance we’ve received since we began attending services here.

Before finding our home here at Ewell’s, it had been quite a few years since we’d attended church regularly, so the thought of giving financially really was one that we hadn’t considered in great detail.  Once God had placed in our hearts that we’d found our family here however, supporting that family and it’s endeavors became an important consideration for us.

Like many of you, the economic turmoil has taken a heavy toll on our family the last couple of years.  More than a few months we’ve barely scraped by, wondering how we’re going to make ends meet.  So when we first started placing funds aside each week for the offering, we felt that pinch even more so.

And yet, I can honestly say that we feel richer today than we ever have before.

We give joyfully; and find that when we do, Christ fills our hearts even more so.  The knowledge that we’re supporting God’s works through our gifts is a powerful motivation, and exactly what Jesus led us to do.  We’re called to be stewards of God’s gifts to us; to use those Blessings in our lives to further His work here on earth.  And yet, as we give these offerings in His Name, we’re also building true wealth in a place where stock market crashes, the IRS, and the credit card companies simply can’t get to it.

In Matthew Chapter 6, Jesus made it very clear where we’re meant to do our “banking”.  He said:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (v.19-21)

As we give of ourselves, we’re making deposits into the one account that’s truly eternal, and in the process we’re sharing our Blessings with others through the outreach and programs the church sponsors. 

The Bible says God made us in His own image.  Therefore, by design, we’re created to be givers.  So as we make our gifts today, it’s important to remember that when we give of ourselves, we’re actually doing exactly what we’re intended to do.  By sharing the financial Blessings God has lovingly and graciously bestowed on us, we’re also fulfilling one of God’s primary desires for our lives; to reach out in His Name, and use His gifts to Bless others.

I very much appreciate the opportunity we’ve been given through the church to share our Blessings with others, and for being a part of such a wonderful, giving family here at Ewell’s.

Thank you all so very much, and God Bless.

Heavenly Father,

I thank You Lord, for another wonderful weekend spent in the company of my family, good friends, and our church family.  As we begin the week, please place in our hearts a renewed sense of giving; reaching out and sharing our many Blessings with others as Christ’s example showed us to do.  Lead us in service Father, that we may glorify Your Name in our decisions, our words and our actions.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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Reflections in the Word

Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!

As You’re aware Lord, over the last few weeks my Scripture reading time has been spent wading through the Old Testament books of Kings and Chronicles.  I won’t pull any punches Father, they can be some onerous books to read, but without a doubt they’re chock-full of Your wisdom nonetheless.  This morning, as I was nearing the end of 2nd Chronicles the thought crossed my mind:

“Wow… They just didn’t learn very quickly, did they.”

It really wasn’t meant to be disrespectful or nearly as sarcastic as it came out, but reading about king after king that “…did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord”, and by doing so led their people down paths of destruction and pain, I was struck by the fact that even with all they knew to be true, they still turned away from Your path.

“You do that now and again yourself…” You whispered.

Double Ouch!!

Yes Father… yes I do…

While I may not erect idols and temples to other gods, I certainly have allowed my focus and desires to shift away from You, and to cling to earthly things.

I sometimes allow my pride to overwhelm me and try to rely on my own strength to “fix” things, instead of humbling my heart and following Your lead.

Although my Walk with You has grown ever closer, there are still times that the concerns of the world get their hooks in my heart, and Your voice becomes drowned out in the turmoil.

While I very much try to look towards others with Your love in my heart, there have certainly been more than a few cases where I’ve allowed negative feelings to get the better of me, and not treated people as Jesus’ example directed us.

I guess I don’t learn very quickly Father…

Thankfully, You haven’t given up on me.  🙂

It’s convicting to read through those pages and see reflections of our own behaviors Father, but if that realization helps guide us closer to You, then we’re truly bringing Your Word into our hearts.

Heavenly Father,

I lift my praises Lord, for the lessons and messages You bring us through Scripture, and for the guidance we receive through Your Holy Spirit.  For although the truths we uncover may be convicting, uncomfortable or even painful, if in the end they draw us closer to Your will, it’s a path we need to follow all the same.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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Seasons of Change

Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!

As I mentioned yesterday Lord, Shannon and I have been spending time recently going over everything we’re involved in, and making adjustments to prioritize our energies on those activities that best benefit the growth and harmony of our family, and glorify Your will for our lives.  It’s been a good, productive exercise for us, and we’re making some changes that we believe are the right direction for us at this point in our lives.

Reading through Your Word this morning, I came across a very fitting passage (it’s fascinating how often that happens Lord…  🙂 ).  It’s from The Book of Ecclesiastes, and is arguably one of the most well-known teachings in the Bible:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)

Looking back over our marriage, we’ve certainly had a variety of distinct seasons Lord.  And while we may not have realized it during those times, each one has taught us something about ourselves, strengthened our union, and helped us grow as a family.  These verses speak volumes more than the words alone reveal, and I’m very thankful for their depth and meaning in our lives.

Heavenly Father,

We lift thanks and praise to You for ALL the seasons in our lives; both those that radiate with Your love and compassion, and those which bring lessons born in trial.  For while Your plans for us may not always keep us in calm waters, at the end of our earthly journey those seasons of change will have guided us closer to Your arms.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

Fresh Meat for the Lion

Dear Lord; Happy Friday Father!

Forgiveness Father, is sometimes very difficult.

This past week, I’ve had several instances where people have gone out of their way to say or do something they know will upset me.  Now, generally Father, I’m able to filter out that sort of thing and place my ire in Your hands.  This week however, my thresholds have been a bit lower than usual, and I’ve found myself holding on to those negative feelings instead of releasing them to Your care.

And then today, I reread the Scripture selections You placed on my heart to share on Facebook this week…

Tuesday : “We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” – 1 John 4:19-21 (NIV)

Wednesday : “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Thursday : “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” – 1 Peter 5:6-9 (NIV)

I usually feel that You give me these verses each day to help others in their Walks Lord, but I think this time You were talking to me as well.

Jesus gave us two very powerful commands to follow, above all else;

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

In those verses this week, you were reminding me the importance of the second part to that teaching…

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

In my weakened state, I allowed the enemy to use those moments of pain to gain a foothold inside my heart, temporarily blinding me to the fact that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ; even those who still need to find You Lord.  The “roaring lion” had fresh meat for a few days, but no longer.

Thank You for the reminders Lord.

Heavenly Father,

I thank You for Your gentle guidance when I waver from Your path.  Fill me with Your divine presence, and help me see others through Your eyes, that I may cast aside my earthly notions and recognize Your Blessings in us all.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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