Meditations Monday: Spiritual Health

Dear Lord; Happy Meditations Monday Father!

Well Father, as always I want to begin the week by thanking You for the multitude of Blessings You bestowed on us over the past weekend.  Due to a nasty respiratory infection I’ve been fighting since late last week, our time was spent in much less energetic pursuits than usual, but it was a lovely couple days nonetheless.  On Saturday we went on a short outing with friends to a local alpaca farm, followed by a quiet afternoon and evening at their home enjoying a tasty home-cooked meal and wonderful conversation.  Sunday morning we attended the contemporary service at Ewell’s St. Paul UMC, and were officially accepted into the congregation as members of the church.  We feel truly Blessed to be a part of this church family Lord, and I thank You so much for bringing us together with them.

As You know Father, it’s been quite some time since I’ve gotten sick, so when this illness came on me hard and fast last week, it very much caught me off guard.  Respiratory infections have always hit me rather intensely, and this current bug is no exception.  However, as I was driving in to work sniffling and coughing this morning, something important dawned on me…

My physical body may be ill at the moment, but I’m more Spiritually Healthy than I’ve ever been.

The distinction between physical and spiritual health is actually one I believe to be fairly significant Father.  I’ve known a number of physically sound people who are absolutely lost spiritually, and yet, some of the brightest signs of Your Holy Spirit have come to me from people whose bodies have turned against them.

In the opening greetings of his Third Epistle, John indicates this division as well by wishing his friend Gaius good physical health, while noting that he’s already quite sure of Gaius’ spiritual well-being:

The elder,
To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. – 3 John 1:1-2 (NIV)

“…even as your soul is getting along well.”  John already knew Gaius’ devotion to Your Truth was firm, and with that “spiritual fitness” as a reference, he sent wishes that Gaius’ physical well-being would follow suit.

So Father, what can we do to achieve the Spiritual Health that’s so vital in our lives?  If we break it down clinically as we would a physical ailment, I believe it would go something like…

Examination: Evaluate our lives regularly, and ensure that we’re living as God desires us to.  Identify sinful behaviors and actions.

Diagnosis: For the “symptoms” noted during the Examination, consult the appropriate reference (The Bible) and seek additional consultation (pray) to determine the correct course of treatment.

Treatment: Follow the prescribed course of action as determined in the Diagnosis.  Quiet time and rest (Stillness), and increased fluid (Living Water) consumption will aid in healing.

Follow Up: A proper diet (Daily Bread, Eucharist) and exercise (Worship) will help maintain Spiritual Health.

Now that’s reasonable health care reform.  🙂

Heavenly Father,

I thank You for the “Heavenly Health Care Plan” You’ve provided for us Lord.  Please nourish our needy spirits, and bring to us that divine healing that only You can provide.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

Thankful Thursday: Bring My Spirit Rest

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Well Lord, once again we arrive at the Thankful Thursday edition of  In addition to posting my usual list of 15 things I’m particularly grateful for this week, I also want to pay special notice to one in particular.

Last night was not one of my more restful evenings Father.  Yesterday afternoon, I started feeling the tell-tale signs of increased sinus pressure and drainage, and some accompanying stomach discomfort.  I increased my fluids and tried to push through it, but as of 3:30 this morning my head felt like it was in a vice and my whole body ached.  I was awake, and uncomfortable, and exhausted, and grumpy… Not a good combination.  I tried lying quietly in the bed, focusing on the stillness around me, but the thumping in my head readily thwarted my efforts.  By that point, my frustration level was elevated and I resigned myself to the thought that I’d had all the sleep I was getting for the night.

“Rest in God’s Word.” drifted through my mind.

I’ll be honest Father, in the shape I was in at that wee hour of the morning the thought of focusing on Scripture (or on anything else for that matter) wasn’t particularly appealing.  Nonetheless, I decided to trust the “urgings” and do some reading.  I grabbed my Nook Color off the nightstand, fired up YouVersion and picked up where I’d left off earlier in the day in 1st Kings.  I’d read three chapters or so when I realized…

The thumping in my head had stopped…

My nerves had quieted…

And I was feeling tired again.

I shut of the Nook, and lay back down.  I’m not sure exactly how quickly I fell asleep Father, but it certainly didn’t take long.  And while I didn’t have long before the morning alarm broke the silence and jolted me into the day, it was sleep I would not have had otherwise.  Therefore Father, I want to give special thanks for #265 on today’s list.  🙂

Continuing from where I left off last week Lord, this week I’m especially grateful for:

256. Our cat curled up on my chest, purring softly.

257. A strong cold front coming through bringing with it mid-60s temps for the weekend.

258. Allergy medication.

259. Unexpected opportunities.

260. Discerning Your whispers in the noise.

261. Courteous, responsive customer service at the online pharmacy I use.

262. The opportunity to host an upcoming Small Group Bible Study in our home.

263. Free stock photo sites from which I can pull images for my blogs.

264. Finding three pairs of jeans in my size at the local JC Penney, and on sale.

265. That on those nights when I can’t sleep, I have Your Word to bring my spirit rest.

266. The opportunity to read the Old Testament Scripture at church last Sunday.

267. Pizza nights with the kids.

268. Inexpensive, reasonably reliable high-speed Internet at my home.

269. Key Lime Pie.

270. The daily devotions found in Stand Firm Magazine which start my days off in the proper frame-of-mind.

My life is truly “chock-full” of Blessings Lord…

Heavenly Father,

I thank and praise You for the multitude of Blessings You bestow on us each day; both those that light up the Heavens in glory, and those which grace us in relative silence.  We are truly Blessed!

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

In a Whisper…

Dear Lord; Happy Wednesday Father!

Following yesterday’s discussion Lord, I’ve been mulling over the whole “Ways God talks to us” question at length.

When I speak with people about their relationship with You Father, quite often they express frustration in trying to understand what You desire of them, and feel that they aren’t “hearing” You as they should be.  I’ll admit, early on in my Walk when I began to recognize Your communications, my “logical” brain cast them aside as stray thoughts and urges of my own making.  I’m not honestly sure at what point that changed, but now I’ve come to count on those intimate “nudges” in my daily life to keep my feet on the stalwart path, and my heart focused on You.

Today was a perfect example.  I hadn’t really decided how I should approach the topic of Your speaking to us, but as I was quietly reading my YouVersion Bible over lunch, I reached a passage You felt fit the situation…

“That’s the one.” You whispered.

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 

After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 

When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” – 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)

I love it when You do that Father.  🙂

When my journey to You was in it’s infancy Lord, I looked for some grandiose sign announcing Your presence; the powerful wind, the earthquake, the fire… Something that would scream “Hey Phil!  Here I am!”.  What I realized over time however, was that You were there with me all the time; I just wasn’t looking in the right place.  As Elijah found You at Horeb, I found You in the Stillness… In the whispers.

Finding those moments; those times of spiritual clarity where Your voice rings out through the noise we all live in, has become an important part of my days.

I yearn for those whispers Father… for those nudges that guide my way.

Heavenly Father,

I thank you Lord, for Your faithful presence in our lives each day.  Please open our hearts and our minds to better recognize Your influence all around us.  Help filter out the “noise” that congests our spirits, and bring us that peace that can only come through an intimate communion with our Creator.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

Do Unto Others…

Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!

First off Father, I want to raise Kim Miller up in prayer to You once again.  Her powerful testimony in the video I linked to in yesterday’s post has very much been in my thoughts, and continues to inspire further introspection of my own Faith.  Lord, please grant Kim Your peace, Your comfort and if it be Your Will, Your healing that she may continue to know Your abundant presence in her life.

Today Father, I’d like to discuss manners and courtesy, or more specifically the lack of them I’ve been seeing as of late.

During a quick trip at lunchtime over to the nearby WalMart, I was confronted a number of times with blatant examples of selfishness, disrespect and a general disinterest in the feelings of others.  Simple little things like:

In a busy parking lot, taking up two full spaces to avoid being parked next to…

People not looking behind them when going through a door to see if someone is following close by before letting it swing closed…

Shoppers standing in the middle of a narrow aisle chatting while people and carts sit behind them waiting for them to move…

Parents allowing their young children to run around unsupervised and then getting upset when other people question them…

Leaving shopping carts rolling all over the parking lot when there are plenty of cart return stations nearby…

It’s very frustrating to witness such widespread disregard Father.  And while I certainly ran into several smiling, courteous folks today as well, they were somehow less obvious than those whose focus was very much on themselves.  Now, I’ve absolutely been guilty of allowing my mood to sidetrack my manners now and again Lord… I believe we all have.  This begs the question; how would You have us act towards others so as to best reflect Your Love?

With forgiveness and compassion:

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

With thought and empathy:

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31 (NIV)

In the spirit of peace and unity:

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” – Romans 14:19 (NIV)

With humility:

“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Luke 14:11 (NIV)

And with Love:

“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”” – Galatians 5:14 (NIV)

It’s so handy having Your Instruction Manual Father.  🙂

Heavenly Father, please help guide our words and actions to best exemplify the behavior that You desire of us.  Make Your light visible through our lives, so that others may witness the peace and compassion of Your presence in us.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

Thankful Thursday: Through the Haze

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Today Father, my thoughts are scattered.  While I slept reasonably well (five hours or so), I awoke feeling a bit on the “cloudy” side and I haven’t been able to shake it as of yet.  Funny enough however, even with my focus not being overly sharp I’ve had no problem putting together today’s Thankful Thursday Blessings list.  I love the fact that even when my human frailties present themselves, Your Blessings in my life still shine through the haze.  🙂

Continuing my list from last week Lord, this week I’m especially thankful for…

166. Having Shannon’s mother visiting with us for a few weeks.

167. Unexpected funds showing up exactly when we needed it.

168. New beginnings.

169. An “everything looks fine” report from Jonathan’s MRI.

170. A short break from the oppressively hot weather.

171. Your faithfulness to Your Children, even in our brokenness.

172. Connecting with others in ministry to support one another.

173. Finding deep-discounted treasures in the Christian Music section of a bookstore that’s going out of business.

174. “Tickle Monster” fights with the kids.

175. The Glo Bible Application for my computers.

176. Fresh sweet corn given away by a local farmer.

177. The calming voice of reason from good friends.

178. Ten years of “Normality”.

179. Quality free, open source photo editing and manipulation software.

180. Snuggling up with Shannon at night and watching episodes of classic TV programs.

Heavenly Father, once again I lift up my thanks and praise for the Blessings You surround us with each day; both those that are tangible, and those that remain silently unseen.  Keep us in Your watchful gaze, and guide our actions to best serve Your divine plan for our lives.  Amen.

~Phather Phil

« Previous Entries Next Entries »