Jumping In

Dear Lord; Happy Wednesday Father!

First off Lord, I want to thank You for yet another wonderful Small Group gathering at the house last night.  We’re three weeks into the “Treasures of the Transformed Life” study, and so far it’s been an encouraging and inspiring series.  And while the course material has certainly been an excellent starting point for our discussions, the tangential conversation topics that have evolved from that syllabus have been even more of a Blessing to the group.

This week’s section was called “Jumping in With Both Feet”, and focused primarily on the role of our church family in our Walk with Christ, and also how important our presence is for that family to thrive.

Without going into a great deal of detail, the chapters this past week were dedicated to helping us understand how significant a commitment to our church membership truly is.  The author draws a very distinct line between our “attendance” and our “presence” at church, making the differentiation that when we’re “plugged in” to the other members of the congregation, we open ourselves to listening, caring and aiding them when they’re in need.  In addition, when we joyfully share the unique combinations of Spiritual Gifts that we’ve each been Blessed with, we strengthen and expand the Body of Christ, which in turn aids us in growing our faith, and in showing Your light to others.  The Apostle Paul wrote of this relationship in his Epistle to the Romans:

“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” – Romans 12:4-8 (ESV)

Our group last night was an excellent example of what Paul described; coming together with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and sharing the encouragement, support and perspective that Your intimate presence in our lives brings about.

Heavenly Father,

All-in-all Lord, last night was another wonderful, inspired gathering, and I thank You for bringing us together once again to dig deeper into our relationships with You.  Please continue to guide us in Your will, that we may grow both as Your Blessed Children, and as members of the Body of Christ.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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The Waters Begin to Flow

Dear Lord; Happy Wednesday Father!

To begin with Lord, I want to thank You for this morning’s time together.  As I explained in yesterday’s post, I’ve been feeling convicted as of late that I wasn’t spending adequate “still” time in Your presence.  Following Jesus’ example in Mark 1:35, I got up a good bit earlier than usual this morning, and spent that time quietly absorbed in Your Word.  It was a wonderfully refreshing way to launch the day, and will be my “new normal” going forward.

Last night Father, we were Blessed to host the first of six gatherings to go through a Small Group Study called “Treasures of the Transformed Life: Satisfying Your Soul’s Thirst for More”.  It was a wonderful group of people, and while our children played happily together we spent the evening in fellowship and exploration of Your desire to bring us closer to You.

The message title for this week was “Priming the Pump”.  In a nutshell, the author of the study teaches that in order to satisfy our thirst for Your presence in our lives, we need to first “prime the pump” before Your Living Waters will begin to flow.  We do that by making a genuine and real commitment to seeking You; deliberately putting Your desires for us first, and allowing You to guide our lives along Your path.  As part of that commitment, he emphasized the need to determine our role in the Body of Christ, and to step out in faith, working together with others to accomplish Your work on earth.

“Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.” – Psalm 37:5-6 (ESV)

The information presented was quite thought provoking, and it led our group to branch out and discuss a variety of tangential topics about seeking Your presence, and more thoroughly involving You in our daily lives.  It was a truly enlightening and Blessed evening Father, and I thank You for bringing us together to share in that fellowship.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You Lord, for being so powerfully present in Your Children’s lives.  We thirst for You Father, and pray that You will continue to fill us, that we may more fully quench our need for Your presence each day.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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Thankful Thursday: Ups-And-Downs

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Well Lord, this past week has certainly been filled with ups-and-downs here.  One thing’s for sure though, life is never dull in the Malmstrom household!  Thankfully however, through all of the “tossing about” our lives have experienced as of late, Your Blessings have continued to be the lighthouse in our daily storms.

Continuing from last week’s Thankful Thursday list Father, this week I’ve been particularly grateful for:

301. A wonderful day spent with friends at the Chesapeake Celtic Festival last Saturday.

302. A good “New Patient” visit for Shannon at our new Primary Care Physician.

303. Spiritual lessons on a cold morning.

304. Finding tasty new recipes on the Internet.

305. New ways to express myself on Pinterest.

306. Our cat Serenity recovering well after having a wound stitched up on her face last Friday.

307. The enjoyment I’ve been getting playing a new video game that was released this week.

308. That what I can handle in life isn’t wholly dependent on my strength alone.

309. A WordPress plugin that allows readers to share my posts on Pinterest.

310. An inexpensive repair for our large color laser printer in the office.

311. Friends that come and help move furniture.

312. Shannon and I being on the “same page” on how we handle the children.

313. Seeing a smile on my beautiful wife’s face.

314. A special deal on one of my prescriptions that allowed me to get it at half price.

315. The salvation we’ve received through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension.

(I’m especially thankful for #315 Father… 🙂 )

Heavenly Father,

We lift thanks and praise Lord, for all of the Blessings You bestow on us each day; both those that make Your presence in our lives obvious, and those that quietly support us without due fanfare.  You are indeed a caring Shepherd, a skillful Potter and a loving Father.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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Thankful Thursday: Another 300

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Well Lord, once again we come to the Thankful Thursday edition of  My life has virtually overflowed with Your Blessings this past week, so compiling my list of gifts that I’m grateful for was a relatively easy process.

Continuing from the previous week’s list, today I’d like to give special thanks and praise to You for:

286. Having a wife with whom I’m comfortable sharing and discussing absolutely anything.

287. Having the Holy Spirit in my life to guide me in Your will.

288. Some wonderful photo opportunities coming up this weekend.

289. The repair I made to our central air conditioner working perfectly.

290. Revised priorities.

291. Understanding friends.

292. Free ROMs for both my phone and tablet from that make them a pleasure to use.

293. All the seasons in our marriage, and the Blessings they’ve brought us.

294. The laughter of my children.

295. The fellowship, friendship and encouragement I receive from my fellow Christian Bloggers.

296. The shift in weather brought on by moving from summer into fall, and the cooler air it brings.

297. Wonderful inspirations for Christmas crafts.

298. Halloween candy filling the store shelves.  🙂

299. The fellowship we receive from the “Parents Place” small group at church.

300. 300 shared “emails to God”.

(And 300 Thankful Thursday entries now too!  🙂 )

Heavenly Father,

We give thanks Lord, for all the Blessings You bring to our lives each and every day; both those that shout Your presence from the mountaintop, and those that grace us in a gentle whisper.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

Thankful Thursday: Passing the Tradition

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Once again Father, we come to the Thankful Thursday edition of  In addition to adding to my continuing list of Blessings, I’m also pleased to have “passed on” this tradition to Lindsay over at The Evatt’s Beautiful Mess.  She writes a wonderfully fun, devotional blog and it’s always a Blessing to read it.  Today’s her first Thankful Thursday post, and hopefully it’s just the beginning of many to come!

And now Lord, on to my list!  This week, I’ve been especially thankful for:

241. The patience shown by friends.

242. The sun streaming through the clouds as a gentle rain falls… Absolutely beautiful.

243. The beauty of a rainbow following a rain shower.

244. Jonathan starting Youth Group (called the Jesus Freaks…:-) ) at church this week.

245. The opportunity to introduce some good friends to our church this past weekend.

246. Being invited to become members to Ewell’s St. Paul UMC, and signing the Covenant last Sunday.

247. A final report from the Pediatric Dermatologist that Jonathan’s moles aren’t LCH related.

248. Sharing a game of Scrabble on Facebook with friends.

249. Having a wonderfully diverse, caring and supportive group of friends.

250. Being given the opportunity to redesign and implement Ewell’s St. Paul UMC’s web site.

251. A successful surprise birthday party we threw for a good friend at our house.

252. Cherry Coke.

253. The power and flexibility of the step outside my “comfort zone” in ministering to others.

255. The overwhelming sense of Your presence I feel after taking Holy Communion.

Such wonderful gifts You grace us with each day Father…

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

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