search
top

A Very Special Gift

Dear Lord; Happy Wednesday Father!

Today Lord, I simply want to say thank You.

As You know Father, the last couple weeks have been particularly stressful for me, and I’m afraid in several situations I allowed myself to weaken and give audience to Satan’s voices of dissent within my heart…

You’re not worthy of God’s attention…

You’re weak…        

You’re alone…

I can still get to you…

And yet, through all these attacks on my spirit Lord, You were right there.  You’ve quietly reminded me of my true identity, sent me fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to bolster my reserve, and through Your Word have helped keep my eyes focused on Your Kingdom.

And then this morning, You gave me a very special gift…

As I’ve mentioned before Father, I quite enjoy the path I take to work each morning.  I consciously avoid the highway, and instead travel a series of smaller back roads that run through much more rural settings.

My route also holds one further benefit.

For a short portion of the drive, my truck heads due East; affording me a wonderful front-row seat as the sun lifts above the horizon behind the farmlands ahead.  Most mornings it’s a lovely scene, but today it was particularly breathtaking.  The air was vividly clear, save for a thin line of clouds that dotted the horizon.  Lying behind that smoky veil, the morning sun’s radiance streamed upwards, seeming to burn rays of light into the heavens.  It was truly a marvelous sight, and as I smiled in recognition of Your handiwork, You let me know why…

“It’s for you…” You said.

For me??  I momentarily struggled with my disbelief, but it was just too powerful; the wall came crashing down and I clearly understood Your message:

You love me Father, and You’d move heaven and earth that I should know it.

What an amazing gift Lord… I am truly humbled, and forever changed.

Amen.

~Phather Phil

Pin It

Thankful Thursday: A Day Late, But Still Thankful

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.

Heavenly Father,

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,

Amen.

~Phather Phil

Pin It

Thankful Thursday: Drawn Closer With Every Word

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Looking back over the last year Lord, so much has transpired here at PhatherPhil.org.  Hundreds of “Emails to God” were shared, precious connections with fellow Christian bloggers were formed, friendships were developed and nurtured, and each word I wrote drew me ever closer to Your side.  It’s been a powerful first full year Father, and I’m excited to see how You’ll use this ministry in the coming months.

Continuing my weekly tradition into the New Year Lord, I present You with the first Thankful Thursday list of 2012!  And even though we’re only a little less than a week in, signs of Your gracious love abound.  This past week I’ve been especially grateful for:

481. Our Tuesday night Small Group Study gatherings starting back up following a two week break.

482. Seeing the excitement in Jonathan’s eyes working with his new electronics project kit.

483. Seeing Your Blessings showered on a friend and her family this week.

484. Sharing a stuffed crust pizza with the kids.

485. The “Walking Dead” marathon on AMC last Saturday.  :-)

486. A wonderful visit from our good friend Katie over the weekend.

487. Seeing Your influence in unexpected places.

488. An extra day off this past Monday to relax and rejuvenate.

489. An inspiring and uplifting message delivered by a guest pastor at Ewell’s-St. Paul UMC last Sunday.

490. That during the many struggles I faced in 2011, each time You used those times of trial to draw me closer to You.

491. A reminder from a dear friend today that even in the midst of our struggles, Your Blessings abound all around us.

492. Your calming restraint when I feel myself getting angry.

493. Celebrating the beginning of the New Year in the company of close friends.

494. The cleansing appearance of our first (albeit minor) snow this morning.

495. You nourishing us in our drought.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You Lord, for the many gifts You grace us with each day; both those that announce Your glory like the first light of dawn, and those that Bless us subtly like the shadows of the setting sun.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,

Amen.

~Phather Phil

Pin It

Thankful Thursday: A Shift in Vision

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Today Father, we come to the final Thankful Thursday edition of PhatherPhil.org for this calendar year.  When I began this recurring post 31 weeks ago (whew!), I honestly never expected the profound impact it would have on me, or that it would draw me so much closer to You in the process.

As I sit down each week to write out my list Lord, my mind drifts back over the past seven days; revisiting those moments that left their marks on my heart.  What I’ve found in doing so Father, is that even in those situations where things don’t seem to go my way, when I look closely enough, Your Blessings pour out nonetheless.  That little shift in vision Lord, has been a major Blessing all by itself.  I still have struggles and times that tax my strength, but when I look through my “Thankful Thursday Goggles”, I’m much more able to place those moments in their proper light.  It’s been an eye-opening experience so far Lord, and I can’t wait to see what Blessings You’ll reveal to me in the coming year.

Therefore Father, to close out the year on a joyful note, this past week I’ve been especially grateful for:

466. Time spent alone with Shannon last Friday afternoon and evening.

467. Google Music which allows me to listen to my music on all my devices, anywhere, at any time.

468. The pain relief provided by our heating pad last night.

469. Hickory Farms New York Cheddar Spread (Used to be called Chutter).

470. That when my stubbornness blinds me to common sense, my wonderful wife Shannon “nudges” me back on track.

471. The Living Water that satisfies my spiritual thirst.

472. Having three days off over Christmas spent with those I love.

473. A beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve service at Ewell’s-St. Paul UMC.

474. Andes Mint Cookies.

475. Sharing the celebration of Jesus’ birth with friends.

476. An inspiring guest post on Tuesday by Jean Wise from Healthy Spirituality.

477. That the stabbing pains I had in my lower back yesterday have settled down today.

478. Seeing the expressions of wonder and joy on my children’s faces Christmas morning.

479. The opportunity to support other local ministries.

480. The trust of a good friend.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You Lord, for gracing us with such a multitude of Blessings this past year.  As we start anew in 2012, please clear our eyes to reveal Your gifts in all circumstances; both those that lift our hearts in song, and those in which Your Blessings may be masked within our trials.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,

Amen.

~Phather Phil

Pin It

Thankful… Friday?: That Greatest of Gifts

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.

Heavenly Father,

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,

Amen.

~Phather Phil

Pin It

« Previous Entries Next Entries »

top