Thankful Thursday: Freed From My Bonds

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

And yet again Father, we come to the Thankful Thursday edition of  To be completely honest Lord, this has been a painful and stressful week for me on a number of fronts.  Ten years back, this kind of week would have seen me sleepless, highly agitated, and very likely drinking too much in an attempt to numb the angst.  Thankfully Father, You’ve freed me from those bonds;

The misconception that I have to rely on my own strength to solve my problems…

The chains of trying to use alcohol, food or other distractions to “fill the hole” that I was feeling…

The overwhelming sense that I was truly all alone in my trials…

So although this week has brought along with it a number of challenges Lord, my spirit is much more at ease knowing Your presence is with me.  I’ve felt that soothing embrace around me as I’ve struggled this week Father, and for that I am truly thankful.

Picking up where I left off on last week’s list of Blessings, this week I’m especially grateful for:

346. The fellowship of our church family.

347. The indescribable “God High” that I have following our Small Group gatherings.

348. Fresh, still-warm egg salad sandwiches.

349. Getting a significant jump-start on our Christmas crafting projects last weekend.

350. A wonderful, unexpected discussion of faith I had with a client last week.

351. Time spent teaching my boys about woodworking last weekend.

352. Finding a deli nearby my office that makes amazing subs and sandwiches.

353. Finding a good, free Twitter client that works on my PC, my Mac, my tablet and my phone.

354. The complex intertwining of souls that You grace my life with.

355. YouVersion offering a 48-hour period this weekend where I can download NIV and NLV translations for offline viewing.

356. The wide variety of inexpensive or free eBooks available online.

357. Your reminders to me each day that I’m always in Your loving embrace.

358. Neighbors that gave up their last three sheets of printer paper so our kids could finish a school project.

359. Eternal Prosperity.

360. Having a marriage where no matter how crazy or stressed things get, we’re able to cut through it all and support each other.

Even when the clouds loom above us Father, Your many Blessings cut through that haze every time.  🙂

Heavenly Father,

We thank you Lord, for the multitude of Blessings You bring to our lives each day; both those that announce Your presence with abandon, and those that quietly Bess us from the shadows.  You are indeed a loving, giving Father, and I rest securely knowing that whatever path You lead me down, that Your grace will ensure my steps land on sure footing.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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Meditations Monday: Intertwining Souls

Dear Lord; Happy Meditations Monday Father!

Well Father, once again we come to another Meditations Monday here at  This past weekend saw days filled with Your abundant Blessings, and quiet evenings curled up under warm blankets watching movies with the kids.  We managed to get our Christmas crafting projects off to a healthy jump-start, enjoyed an inspiring church service Sunday morning, and then while Aidan and Shannon attended a birthday party for one of his classmates, Jonathan and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and went out to Port Mahon and Woodland Beach for a photowalk.  I truly love these times of connection with my family and the “extended family” that You’ve placed in my life Father, and I thank You for Blessing me by granting a weekend filled with their company.

In recent weeks Father, my thoughts have often drifted to the connections You’ve placed in my life; my loving family, the wonderful variety of friends I’ve made, and most recently the warm and inviting church family You led me to at Ewell’s St. Paul UMC.  I know without question that You’ve placed each and every one of them into my life for a reason Lord, and by doing so have Blessed me with one of the components essential to growing in Your presence…


“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:23-25 (ESV)

Your path for our lives includes a complex (to us anyways) intertwining of souls.  You bring us together for many reasons; to encourage us, to teach us, to comfort us, and to share our spiritual gifts with one another.  The Holy Spirit draws us together, creating those vital allegiances that nourish our soul as we journey along the path to Your Kingdom.

Heavenly Father,

As we begin the week, I lift thanks and praise to You for all the wonderful relationships You’ve brought into my life.  Through these Blessed connections I’ve seen countless signs of Your gracious love, and they continue to inspire me to reach out and share that love with others.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

Thankful Thursday: All Eyes Are On You

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Last week Lord, I had my annual eye exam as required by Delaware law to renew the prescription for my contact lenses.  I’ve never been a huge fan of anyone poking around in my eyes, but since I switched to contacts a few years back I’ve become accustomed to the necessary ritual each autumn.  This year’s visit however, yielded a bit of a surprise for me.  When the examination had been completed, the doctor quietly informed me that she was going to have to write me a different prescription…

My eyesight has actually gotten stronger.

The doctor explained to me that it wasn’t uncommon for people’s eyesight to vary over the years, but I still feel there’s a parallel here that I shouldn’t ignore nonetheless.  My eyesight began to degrade when I was seven years old, requiring me to wear glasses from second grade on.  Since that time, I can’t remember even one eye exam where my vision has shown even a minute change for the better.  I find it intriguing that while my earthly eyes have become stronger, at the same time I’m seeing Your presence all around me with ever increasing clarity as well.

As Toby Mac stated in the song “Lose My Soul”;

All eyes are on You Lord… All eyes are on You.

Thanks for the smile Father.  🙂

Picking up where I left off on last week’s Thankful Thursday list Lord, this week I’ve been especially grateful for:

331. The opportunity I received to minister to a friend in need this week.

332. A wonderful, inspiring evening’s discussion at this week’s Small Group Gathering : “Treasures of the Transformed Life”

333. A tasty Sunday after-church brunch trying a new recipe : Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.

334. Having a weekend with a good bit of “down-time”.

335. My thoughtful Administrative Assistant bringing me two big bags of Twizzlers for Boss’ Day.

336. The comfort of Your presence when life’s situations begin to overwhelm me.

337. A wonderful photowalk with Jonathan and Aidan in Blackbird State Forest last Sunday.

338. The convictions of the Holy Spirit helping me to focus and grow as You desire me to.

339. A powerful evening of music and worship at the John Waller concert last Thursday night.

340. A successful first attempt at making homemade calzones this week.

341. Seeing the Holy Spirit growing in my wife Shannon more and more each day.

342. An eye exam showing that my vision has actually improved slightly.

343. The opportunity to be a part of Someone Else’s Story.

344. Connecting with a wide range of inspiring people and organizations through Twitter.

345. The inspirations You place on my heart each day.

Heavenly Father,

We give thanks Dear Lord, for all the many Blessings You bestow on us each day; both those which boldly announce Your glory, and those that grace our lives in silence.  Please open our eyes that we might recognize and praise You for the many gifts you bring to us, and open our hearts that we may share those overwhelming Blessings with those around us.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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Meditations Monday: Someone Else’s Story

Dear Lord; Happy Meditations Monday Father!

Well Father, I couldn’t have asked for a lovelier weekend.  Coming off of a tiring and complicated week, Shannon, the boys and I were all well-worn by the time Friday evening rolled around.  With that being the case, we made the decision to spend a good bit of our “down time” as the description implies… down.  Friday evening we curled up on the couch together and watch movies until bedtime.  Saturday morning we lounged around the house in the morning, and then headed outside to do our “Fall clean up” of the planting beds along the house.  The rest of the day was split between miscellaneous housework, and more movie-time with the kids.  Sunday morning began with an uplifting service at church, then back to the house for a tasty, fun breakfast of Cinnamon Roll Pancakes (Thanks for pointing me to the recipe Alida :-)).  Jonathan, Aidan and I then gave Mommy some quiet time and headed out to Blackbird State Forest for a long walk in the beauty and abundance of Your Creation.  The rest of the day was spent finishing up some odds-and-ends around the house, and then yet another quiet evening on the couch with the boys.  This was the first weekend in quite some time where we didn’t have a packed schedule of activities, and it was ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL.  Thank You so much for that much-needed respite Lord!

This week’s Meditations Monday Scripture is actually inspired by something John Waller talked about at the worship concert we attended last Thursday.  One of the songs he played discussed his desire to be used to bring Your light into other people’s lives.  The song is appropriately titled “Somebody Else’s Story”:

Out of all the wonderful music he shared with us that night Lord, this is the one that really hit home with me.  As a Christian, I can think of no greater joy than bringing Your message to the hearts of those around me; to show them the true wonder of Your love for us, and to share the gifts You’ve Blessed me with in Your service.

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” – Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

I take that Commission very seriously Father, and when I get the opportunity to be a part of someone else’s “Story”, It’s a Blessing beyond words for me.  Mr. Waller’s song captures that desire beautifully, and I thank You for placing it in his heart to share with us.

Heavenly Father,

As we begin the week Lord, please help guide our choices and actions to best reflect Your desire for our lives.  Inspire us to reach out and share Your message of love and redemption with those we encounter each day, and to faithfully serve Your will.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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An Evening of Music and Worship

Dear Lord; Happy Friday Father!

Last night Lord, we had an absolutely fabulous evening.  As you know, my family and I were Blessed to have the opportunity to attend a “Listener Appreciation Concert” held at Calvary Assembly of God in Dover, sponsored by the local Christian Radio Station, 88.7 The Bridge.  The production featured Christian Artist and Songwriter John Waller, who led a wonderfully inspiring music and worship concert for those in attendance.

Among the songs that Mr. Waller played, one of the last on the program was his hit from the movie “Fireproof” called “As for Me and My House”.  While he was singing on stage, this video played on the room’s two projection screens:

It was a powerful statement, and a rousing moment of worship Father.  Thank You so much for placing this song in his heart, that we might be inspired by it’s message.

Heavenly Father,

As we begin the weekend Lord, please guide our decisions and actions to best serve Your desire for our lives.  Make Your presence powerfully apparent to all that seek You, and bring Your comfort and aid to those truly in need.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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