Thankful Thursday: A Perspective of Gratitude

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

And once again Father, we come to my favorite weekly post here at; Thankful Thursday.  As we draw closer to Thanksgiving Lord, it seems as if more and more folks are taking time out to focus on the many Blessings You bestow on us.  And while my heart sings seeing such a wonderful outpouring of gratefulness this time of year Father, it also highlights to me one important thing that I think sometimes we all miss…

Your Blessings grace our lives EVERYDAY; not only at Thanksgiving, not just every Thankful Thursday, but every minute of every day.

Even when we don’t have a Holiday to direct our attention to Your many gifts Father, it’s important to recognize and celebrate the fact that we exist and thrive within Your mercy and grace each day.  By keeping that fountain of gratefulness flowing in our hearts, we’re better able to weather our personal trials and at the same time to share that perspective of gratitude with others around us.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

When we do everything from that foundation of thankfulness Lord, our lives become brighter in so many ways.

And on that thought Father, here’s this week’s Thankful Thursday list!  Looking back over the past seven days Lord, I’ve been especially grateful for:

391. Daily Inspirations.

392. A wonderful guest “Email to God” written by Lisa from “A Moment With God”.

393. Completing the final session of the “Treasures of the Transformed Life” Small Group Study.

394. New contact lenses.

395. A quiet, but loving and productive weekend spent with my family.

396. The help of a close friend in cleaning and repairing a “brewmeister” I was given.

397. A profound and overwhelming moment of “Spiritual Release” You gave me Tuesday morning.

398. The “Glue” that binds our hearts to Yours.

399. Feeling better following a two-week-long respiratory illness.

400. An update to the Android version of the YouVersion Bible App that brought some great new features.

401. That nine years ago tomorrow, You Blessed Shannon and I with our youngest son, Aidan.

402. The encouragement, kindness and support I received from one of my Facebook friends this week.

403. A fun “one on one” dinner out for Aidan and I while Shannon and Jonathan were at church groups last night.

404. Getting caught up on bills last weekend.

405. That even in our brokenness, our sin, and our pain You forgive us, and seek to draw us to You.

We continue to live bathed in Your grace Lord.  🙂

Heavenly Father,

We thank You Father God, for the many Blessings You bring to our lives each day; both those that fill our hearts to overflowing with Your benevolence, and those that Bless us quietly from the sidelines.  Please help us to maintain grateful hearts, and to reach out and share Your many gifts with others.

In Jesus Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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Sharing a Conversation

Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!

Today Father, I’m honored to be hosting a guest “Email to God” from a good friend of mine and fellow blogger, Lisa Phelps from “A Moment with God”.  Lisa’s site is wonderful Blessing to me Lord; she brings Your message of faith and hope to her readers each day, and at the same time teaches and enlightens with a whimsical spirit.  It’s such a gift for me to have her sharing a conversation with You here on, and I hope it Blesses all those who get to read it.

Good morning Father,

First of all, I want to say thank you to Phil for allowing me to share my conversation with You on   I’m so thankful that I have come to know Phil.  Through his words and actions, I am learning more about what it looks like to live as Your servant.

Father, thank you for the awesome service we had at church on Sunday.  You taught me so many lessons through those few hours we spent worshiping together as Your body.  As you know, Father, I sometimes struggle with leading worship.  I want to make sure that we all sound good and flow together in unity.  As I was thinking about these things before the service started, you clearly spoke to my heart.  You were asking, “Why are you here?” or more specifically, “Why are the people here?”  You wanted me to understand that if they had come to hear perfect vocals or rousing music, we might be able to provide on some level, but they would leave disappointed.  As Your church, we are to love and encourage one another, but if the people came just for the fellowship, they would leave disappointed.  But if they came to encounter a Holy, Living God, then you would meet them and they would leave filled and satisfied.  Thank you for reminding me that the world doesn’t need to see me, they need to see You!  

You also reminded me that you have called us by a new name.  You don’t see us the way we see ourselves.  In the secret places of our hearts, we may call ourselves unworthy, unloved, unforgiven, or a disappointment.  But You reminded us that, through the blood of Jesus, we are now called Dearly loved, Forgiven, Righteous, and Children of the Most High God.  Father, thank you for reminding us of Whose we are and help us to listen only to Your Voice of Truth.

And finally, Father, you spoke to us about the sunrise.  We know that as Your children, our future is secure; we will spend eternity with You in Heaven.  But You have called us to see the sunrise.  The sun rises each morning, signifying the start of a new day; the old is gone and the new has begun.  So it is in our walk with You.   The old is gone and You have given us new life.  

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19

Father, you are truly amazing.  I love that You bend down and speak to Your people.  Help us to keep our hearts and minds fixed on You that we might always hear Your still small voice.  Thank you for giving us a new name and a new identity through Jesus Christ.  I pray that each one reading these words today would forget about the past and focus on the new thing You are doing in their lives.  Father, help them to see themselves the way You see them.  Remind them that You have come to give them Hope and a new beginning.  I ask all these things in the precious name of Your Son, Jesus.


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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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Thankful Thursday: Bring the Fire

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Well Father, November is upon us once again, and with its onset our thoughts begin to turn towards the upcoming holidays.  For many, this month is a time to focus on those things we’re thankful for; to count our Blessings, and recognize the multitude of gifts You bring to us each day.

And while I’m all for any occasion that directs people’s attention towards thanks and praise, my prayers for this season of Thanksgiving reach much further Lord.  As Your Children open our hearts to You Father, as we look past the day to day struggles and trials that attempt to disguise Your Blessings, and pause for a moment to consider Your many gifts…

Bring the Fire Lord…

Ignite Your Spirit within us…

Blind us from the world, and draw us to Your side…

For when we dwell in the Holy Spirit Father, EVERY day becomes Thanksgiving.

I pray for that revival Lord; for Your Spirit to overwhelm us all, and to bring us together in Your Holy Name.  Open our hearts Father, and light the flame of Christ within us.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,



Continuing our Thankful Thursday tradition Father, this week I’d like to lift special praises to You for:

361. The encouragement and prayers of a good friend yesterday.

362. The opportunity to deliver a testimony on my “Thoughts on Giving” to the congregation last Sunday.

363. Warm, cozy blankets on chilly evenings.

364. A fun evening spent with friends at a “Haunted Trail” event last Saturday.

365. A wonderful evening with Shannon and the kids at Ewell’s St. Paul UMC’s Fall Festival on Monday.

366. A tasty new recipe for Crockpot Chicken Tacos.

367. My children still delighting in being woken up each morning by visits from the “Tickle Monster”.

368. Sharing my “Bubble” with You.

369. Your not-so-subtle reminders where I need to keep my focus.

370. Enjoying watching old X-Files episodes with Jonathan.

371. A new Keurig B60 WR coffee machine as a free warranty replacement for our defective unit.

372. Positive signs of increased maturity and growth in my children.

373. Our central heating system firing right up after 8 months.

374. One full year of “Emails to God” here at

375. A powerful spiritual meeting with a local Pastor this morning.

So many Blessings Lord… So many wondrous gifts.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You Lord, for the many Blessings You bestow on us each day; both those that light up the sky with Your radiance, and those that grace us in the stillness.

Open our hearts Father… Bring the Fire.

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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