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An Equal Temper of Mind

Dear Lord; Happy Monday Father!

Over and over for the past several weeks Lord, You’ve repeatedly placed a very specific passage of Scripture on my heart.  And although those verses clearly speak to me in the midst of the situations I’ve been dealing with as of late, I’ve very much had the impression that Your intention is for me to gain something deeper from those words rather than simply finding comfort in them during my time of struggle.

And as I read these words from the Apostle Paul again today Father, I realized You were prompting me…

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)

…Not prompting me to simply look at my current situation and draw strength from these verses, but instead to examine other seasons and events in my life, both during good times and periods of trial, and place them against that same litmus test of contentment that Paul describes in his letter.

And when I do so Lord, I find myself lacking Your peace more often than not.

I’ve gone through times of surplus Father, as well as times of want.  But when I look back with open eyes and an honest heart I realize that even when the problems I faced paled in comparison to the resources You Blessed me with, I still quite often felt unsettled…

Waiting for the axe to drop.

And in periods such as those that I’m going through now Lord, where Your presence seems almost hidden amongst the glaring trials all around me, that peace evades me yet again…

Allowing myself to be overwhelmed by my limitations, instead of drawing strength from Your lack of them.

…Certainly falling far short of achieving that encompassing contentment the Apostle spoke of.

So as I dug deeper into Paul’s words this morning Father, I came across a commentary by Matthew Henry that gave me pause to reflect…

“The apostle was often in bonds, imprisonments, and necessities; but in all, he learned to be content, to bring his mind to his condition, and make the best of it. Pride, unbelief, vain hankering after something we have not got, and fickle disrelish of present things, make men discontented even under favourable circumstances. Let us pray for patient submission and hope when we are abased; for humility and a heavenly mind when exalted. It is a special grace to have an equal temper of mind always. And in a low state not to lose our comfort in God, nor distrust his providence, nor take any wrong course for our own supply. In a prosperous condition not to be proud, or secure, or worldly. This is a harder lesson than the other; for the temptations of fulness and prosperity are more than those of affliction and want.”

In this, I think Mr. Henry aptly described Paul’s state…

Let us pray for patient submission and hope when we are abased; for humility and a heavenly mind when exalted. It is a special grace to have an equal temper of mind always.”

An equal temper of mind always…

In his times of worldly excess Paul placed his focus on humility and gratefulness to You Lord, to keep his spirit balanced and his heart rooted in Your love and grace…

And in those periods of pain and struggle, he placed his full trust in that love and grace he’d reveled in; knowing that his true life and worth lay in Your sovereign hands, leaving no room in his heart for doubt and fear.

He achieved a balance Lord; by filling his heart with You, the waves of his life were quieted and made calm.

I want that Father;

To be filled with Your love in such overwhelming fashion that true peace becomes the only possible reality…

And Blessed in that state of divine contentment Lord, with earnest supplication I pray that my heart may remain anchored in that peace through all of life’s storms.

Please grant me that special grace Lord, that I may find an equal temper of mind… Always.

For it’s in Your Holy Name I pray,


~Phather Phil

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And There Was a Great Calm

Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!

You know Lord, it’s a vicious circle we face.

Storms erupt around us in our lives; casting the shadow of doubt upon our hearts and threatening to draw our focus from the peace You freely offer.  We allow fear to gain hold, and from there we proceed not from faith but instead become driven by our false perception that for some reason, You’re not interested in our current plight.

Eventually, the waters recede as they always do and in our illuminated hindsight we realize that once again You’ve led us through… Unshaken by our circumstances, and unwavering in Your love.

Yesterday as I pondered this recurring tendency to doubt that we all seem to have, You placed in my heart a reminder that we’re in good company…

“As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”” – Mark 4:35-41 (NLT)

Now these were men Lord, that had personally witnessed You performing miracles and seen firsthand Your divine Love at work…

But still they doubted.

And over the course of my life Father I’ve seen Your hand in so many places, and experienced Your love in so many beautiful ways…

And yet, I also allow those doubts to cloud my heart.

Thankfully Lord,

You remain unshaken by our fears…

Unwavering in Your devotion…

And stalwart in Your love for us.

So when the storms rage about us and our hearts feel that grip Lord, I pray You help us see beyond those crashing waves; resolute in the knowledge that You’re in that boat with us and that soon we’ll once again be able to state…

“And there was a great calm…”

For it’s in Your precious name I pray Jesus,


~Phather Phil

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Today and Every Day

Dear Lord; Happy Thursday Father!

It’s unfair.

How many times have I felt this way Lord…

How many times?

When its seemed as if the problems and struggles of this life were threatening to engulf me, how many times have I cried out to You…

“Why Father?!?”


And in those anxious moments as my heart flitters on the edge of despair, dark questions flood to mind seeking to pull me from the anchor of my faith.

Such was the case this morning as I made my way towards the office; contemplating the situations that I knew awaited me just down the road and fervently petitioning You for aid and guidance.  Awash in a sea of concerns, my thoughts aimed to betray Your peace as my heart fought to regain it’s footing in Truth.

And somewhere in the midst of that flustered conversation Lord, I heard Your small, still voice whisper


And a new song started playing on the radio…

“Who told us we’d be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It’s unfair”

I’d heard these lyrics sung many times before Father, but this morning through Your prompting I allowed the powerful truth in these verses to answer my need…

“This is what it means to be held
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.”

In spending my energies to focus on my struggles and allowing frustrations to cloud my thoughts, I was missing the bigger picture…

Through all of my nightmares and all of my trials, You’ve always been there…

Holding me when my world seemed most fragile…

And today would be no different.

So thank You Lord, for holding true to Your loving promise,

Today and every day.


~Phather Phil

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Hold My Heart Today Lord…

Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!

Hold my heart today Lord…

As the world threatens to encroach on my peace,

And taunting voices of dissent gain audience in my mind.


Hold my heart today Lord…

When my struggles seek to overwhelm me,

And uncertainty clouds my spirit.


Hold my heart today Lord…

When frustrations overtake me,

And the specter of anger tries to seize my words.


Hold my heart today Lord…

As the subtle voice of arrogance whispers to me,

Directing me to judge the hearts of others.


Hold my heart today Lord…

As the worldly pull to live “safely”,

Tries to dissuade me from reaching out in love to those in need.


Hold my heart today Lord…

As my worries and anxieties petition for control,

Attempting to cloud my thoughts and guide my decisions.


Hold my heart today Lord…

While the world assaults my sense of worth,

Seeking to refute my identity in You.


Hold my heart today Lord…

For only in Your loving hands,

Is it truly ever beating.


For it’s in Your precious name I pray,


~Phather Phil

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What Following Christ Isn’t

Dear Lord; Happy Saturday Father!

I think to a great extent, we’re missing it… Aren’t we Lord?

As I sat and enjoyed my morning coffee while perusing the newest status posts on my Facebook News Feed today, I found myself thinking back over the past few weeks’ events and contemplating…

Are we as Christians Lord, as followers of Christ, truly striving to live by the example and teachings You gave us?

And as I read through Your Word over and over Lord, it becomes more and more apparent to me what being a follower of Yours isn’t defined by…

It isn’t about what denomination church we attend.

It isn’t about which translation of the Bible we read.

It isn’t about our political views.

It isn’t about our sexual orientation.

It isn’t how many “Likes” we get, or how many people follow our status updates.

It isn’t about how many church functions we attend.

It isn’t about what music we listen to.

It isn’t about what we eat, or whether or not we choose to have a drink with our dinner.

And it certainly isn’t about casting judgment on the perceived failings and sins of others.

“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” – Romans 3:22-24 (NLT)

We all sin… We all fall far short of Your perfect example Lord.

And yet, when I look around I see so much judgment…

So much anger…

And so much hate.

And unfortunately Lord,

I see some of that when I look inside myself as well.

So this morning Father, my prayer is simple;

Open our eyes Lord, and open our hearts.

Help us to recognize that we are in fact, beings crafted of Your infinite Love;

That Your desire for us is to show and share that Love,

And in so doing glorify You.

For it’s in Your precious name I pray Jesus,


~Phather Phil

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