Jan 26, 2012
Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!
Today Lord, I’m truly Blessed to be sharing some of the inspirations you’ve given me over at a fellow blogger and friend’s site; Healthy Spirituality.
Jean’s blog is always an amazing source of encouragement, education and inspiration to me Father, and I was absolutely honored when she asked me to write a post for her. I’ll admit it Lord, I struggled for some time with what I felt You wanted me to share, and then again with finding the right phrasing to bring that truth to life. Thankfully though Father, the words did come and I pray that I did Your message justice through their employ.
Continuing to count my Blessings Lord, on this very Thankful Thursday I’m especially grateful for:
526. That I have people who challenge me to grow closer to You, and hold me accountable for that commitment.
527. A wonderful movie event held at Ewell’s-St. Paul UMC last Friday night.
528. The care and assistance of a business client when some friends of mine were in need.
529. Skype and webcams allowing me to “visit” with friends far away.
530. An unexpectedly good client meeting today.
531. Steak Fajitas.
532. Your healing presence with two members of our Tuesday night study group as they dealt with injuries and illnesses this past week.
533. That the Internet allows me to connect with other believers all over the world.
534. A fun evening last Saturday playing cards with friends.
535. Being reminded of some powerful truths while watching “Facing the Giants”.
536. The abundant opportunities You give me to share the Gospel Message with others.
537. The lessons of Winter.
538. Friends that see when my heart is heavy, and push through the barriers I put up.
539. That when crises struck members in our Tuesday group this past week, the other members came together in love to support them.
540. That in You, we don’t have to be defined by our past.
I thank You Lord, for the many Blessings You bestow on us each day; both those that light the night as a monument to Your love, and those that grace us quietly, whispering Your message from the shadows.
In Jesus’ Name we pray,
Jan 13, 2012
Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!
You know Lord, as I look back over the “Emails to God” I’ve written to You over the past year, it amazes me how much we’ve discussed, how much ground we’ve covered, and most importantly how far I still have to go on my Walk to Your side.
The other thing I find fascinating Father, is to see how those who’ve come to share this journey have found us. Through the statistics engine in place “behind the scenes” here on phatherphil.org, I can drill down and get very detailed information as to what sites, searches and links were followed to land people on these posts and pages. It also allows me to see which of our conversations generated the most interest, and which posts led the most readers to comment as well.
It’s a fun look back over our year together Lord, and today I’d like to share those results.
Top 5 Search Terms Used
Google’s engine is some kind of mystery Father. While in some cases I understand completely how certain search phrases lead people to find this site, there are others that just leave me scratching my head. Nonetheless, the top five phrases that were used last year to find this site were:
1. my son’s birthday
2. come to me all you who are weary
3. being used
4. mercies in disguise
5. a beautiful prayer
Top 5 Posts by Views
It’s always interesting Lord, to see exactly which of our conversations were most sought out. Not only does it help to give me a better perspective on what topics are close to people’s hearts, but it also serves to help guide my prayers going forward. Funny enough, the top five posts for 2011 contains several of my personal favorites as well:
1. Jumping In
2. On My Son’s Birthday
3. Come to me, all you who are weary
4. Really God??
5. A Beautiful Prayer
Top 5 Commenters
One of the most profound Blessings that’s come from sharing our time each day Father, has been the wonderful people I’ve connected with. Through their emails, comments and fellowship, these beautiful souls have been an important part of our conversations Lord, and I am forever Blessed by their contribution. Everyone I’ve connected with has been a true gift Father, but in 2011 these ladies were a part of the most conversations:
1. Lisa from A Moment With God
2. Jenifer from ~Sweet Blessings~
3. Kandi from Get Out of the Boat
4. Jean from Healthy Spirituality
5. Martha from Martha’s Daily Devotions
All in all Lord, 2011 was an amazing year of spiritual discovery and growth here at PhatherPhil.org, and I’m very excited to see where You’ll take this journey in 2012.
And now Father, on to the Thankful Thursday list of Blessings! This past week has been an eventful one to be sure, yet through all the peaks and valleys Your Blessings have shone brightly. I’m truly thankful Lord, for all of the many gifts You surround our lives with, but this week I’m especially grateful for:
496. A fun “dinner and games” night with some wonderful friends last Saturday.
497. A powerful, inspiring final session of the “Plan B” group study this past Tuesday.
498. That You are a God of infinite contingencies.
499. The cleansed feeling the world gets following a morning rainstorm.
500. The difference in perspective I’ve received by listing these first 500 Blessings.
501. Fresh Draft Beer.
502. The outpouring of compassion and support we received upon the passing of our dog this past weekend.
503. That when I begin to doubt that I’m following Your desire, You find a way to send me reassurance.
504. Friends with beautiful hearts who share them willingly.
505. That even when I’m clumsy in my Walk to You Lord, You’re there to steady my footing.
506. New members to our Tuesday night small group.
507. Being given almost seventeen years with our little Pomeranian, Hunny.
508. A good friend who came to my aid last Saturday morning.
509. That following a week-long illness, Jonathan is back to his happy, obstinate self. 🙂
510. Situations that stretch my faith, and help me grow in my Walk.
I thank You Lord, for the multitude of Blessings You grace our lives with each and every day; both those that reveal Your presence with splendor, and those that Bless us in the Stillness.
In Jesus’ Name we pray,
Jan 2, 2012
Dear Lord; Happy Meditations Monday, and Happy New Year Father!
As we bid farewell to 2011 Lord, I confess that my feelings on it’s passing are somewhat conflicted. In a number of respects, this past year brought with it some of the most difficult trials our little family has experienced in quite some time. And yet, along with those stresses and struggles, I can honestly say that Your presence in our lives has never felt more powerful, or been more obvious…
In the midst of our fears, You comforted us.
When we struggled for direction, You guided our hearts.
When we doubted our value, You reminded us that we’re Your Beloved.
In our moment of need, You provided a path.
When we sought for community, You led us to our church family.
As our financial security was threatened, You showed us that our true wealth lay elsewhere.
The world knocked us down Father, over and over…
And yet, You were there… each and every time.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)
While from a worldly perspective 2011 was a trying, difficult year for us Father, every time we stumbled, You picked us up and drew us to You.
The drought came Lord, but in You we were nourished.
I pray that 2012 brings us even closer.
Dec 27, 2011
Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!
Well Father, to start off our week together I want to thank You wholeheartedly for the wonderful Christmas weekend You Blessed my family and I with. Saturday evening we attended a beautiful candlelight service at Ewell’s-St. Paul UMC, followed the next day by a lovely Christmas morning with the kids and a trip to my (earthly) father’s house for a family dinner. And most importantly Lord, I was Blessed to have three whole days spent wrapped in the love of my wife and children. It was an absolutely joy-filled time of respite and celebration Lord, and for that I am truly grateful.
Today Father, I’m very Blessed to have the opportunity to share a guest “Email to God” from a dear lady and fellow Christian Blogger; Jean Wise from HealthySpirituality.org. Jean’s posts never fail to inspire and encourage her readers (including me), and I’m excited to have her sharing her prayers here today.
Happy New Year, Lord!
I love the end of December – watching the transition from one year to the next. It is a time of new beginnings and renewed energy. You invite me to sit with You, reflecting on the past 12 months and praying about the coming year.
Lord as we “harvest” my journal, sort through my emotional ups and downs, and dig deep into my past experiences, help me to remember You were with me then, You are with me now, and will stay by my side into the unknown future.
I pause and lift up 2011 and my entire life journey once again into Your hands. With a highlighter and my favorite pen in hand, what shall we look for?
- · Cherished moments.
- · Unexpected joys and obstacles
- · Reoccurring thoughts or stubborn nudges that You won’t let me forget
- · Bible verses that guided me or still sing to me even if I don’t know why
- · Times I felt Your presence and times I walk in lonely darkness
- · Lessons I learned and lessons that will take a life time to fully comprehend
- · Answered prayers and dreams that still bubbled with life and passion
Lord, be my companion, teacher, and guide as 2012 unfolds. Let this coming year be filled with warm relationships and the strength and wisdom to help those You place before me. Help me to love You more, love others as You do, and to love myself as only You can.
And Lord I ask for a bit a whimsical joy in 2012. Give me childlike wonder to see your creation with new eyes. I ask that You lavishly send love, peace, kindness, and patience to fill my heart and remove the pettiness, greed, and jealously that I hide in its corners.
The gift of 2012 is not for me, but an opportunity to serve You, love You, and give You glory. Father, the One who “makes all things new,” help me keep my eyes only on You the coming twelve months.
Thank You for being the God of our yesterdays, of our todays, and all of our tomorrows.
Dec 23, 2011
Dear Lord; Happy Thankful… Friday?
Well Father, as You’re no doubt aware I didn’t manage to get my Thankful Thursday post out yesterday afternoon. Instead however, of going into the Christmas weekend without listing out some of Your many Blessings in my life, I decided to make this “Thankful Friday”. 🙂
As we focus our hearts on celebrating the miracle of Christ’s birth Father, it seems only fitting to mark the beginning of this weekend by giving thanks; thanks for the daily Blessings You grace our lives with, and thanks for that Greatest of Gifts that Blessed our world so many years ago.
On that note Lord, this past week I’ve been especially grateful for:
451. The inspiring and entertaining selection of Christmas Music that’s been playing on 88.7 The Bridge this season.
452. The official release to the world of the new Ewell’s-St. Paul UMC website.
453. A fun dinner out last night with Shannon and Aidan.
454. A lovely array of Christmas Lights that brighten my drive home from the office each evening.
455. Free overnight shipping from Amazon.com. 🙂
456. That Jonathan doesn’t see brokenness, flaws, or differences in other children, just opportunities for new friends.
457. That Jonathan had a wonderful sleepover birthday party last Friday night.
458. The Light of a Star leading my heart to His manger.
459. A wonderful Chick-Fil-A lunch bought for our office by a good friend.
460. Being asked to write a guest post for a friend’s wonderful blog next month.
461. A wonderful afternoon with friends celebrating their foster son’s birthday.
462. The healing power of a good laugh.
463. Simple beginnings.
464. A fun night of fellowship with our Tuesday night Small Group.
465. The most important Christmas Gift even given; the birth of our Savior.
We thank You Lord, for the multitude of Blessings You grace us with each day; both those that shine high in the Heavens, guiding us to a manger, and those that whisper Your love for us gently on the evening breeze.
In Jesus’ Name we pray,