Defined by Our Blessings

“Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” – James 1:17 (NLT)

When we allow our attitudes, our outlook, our words and our actions to be expressions of the many Blessings God places in our lives each and every day, we not only share His light with those around us but also find that our struggles and circumstances no longer define who we are.

Becoming “Fruit Inspectors”

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” – Matthew 7:15-20 (NLT)

It’s very important that as Christians we become “fruit inspectors” when listening to or reading teachings from others.  While it’s important that the words they use strive to relay the truths and proper context in Scripture, it’s just as vital to examine the manner in which they show Christ’s love to others and try to live those messages out.

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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Mending the Chasm

“For God in all his fullness

was pleased to live in Christ,

and through him God reconciled

everything to himself.

He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth

by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” – Colossians 1:19-20 (NLT)

When sin entered our world, it painfully corrupted the harmony between creation and Creator.  Through the blood of Christ, that chasm was mended, allowing us to enjoy the intimate and personal relationship with God that we were intentionally designed to have.

Into the Heart of the Potter

Dear Lord; Happy Thursday, and Happy New Year Father!

To begin the New Year on the right foot Father, yesterday morning I began a new Bible Reading Plan on called “The Essential Jesus”.  It’s a 100 day reading schedule, focused specifically on the prophecy, teachings, ministry and life of Your Son as written in Scripture.

The first reading covered the Gospel of John, chapter 1, verses 1 through 18; and while the entire passage gave me pause for prayer and reflection more than once, one verse in particular really spoke to me…

“He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him.” – John 1:10 (NLT)


How many times Lord…

How many times have I rejoiced at something wonderful that’s happened in my life, but neglected to give You the glory…  Or marveled at the beauty of the sun boiling away as it sets behind the trees, yet failed to remember that those colors are fresh from Your divine palette…

If I’m honest with myself Father, I allow the world to captivate my view far more than I recognize the Hand that shaped it.

Therefore Lord, my prayer today is a simple one:

Open my eyes Father; let every image I see and every sound I hear rush You to my heart.  Help me see past the beauty of the pottery, and gaze instead into the heart of the potter.

Lift that earthly veil Lord; help me realize Your presence in every part of my life, and through that divine acknowledgement to love in Your name with abandon…

So that when others observe my life Father, they recognize You in it.

Inhabit me Lord… Come into the world through me…

That in my words and actions Lord, Your presence shines for all to see.

In Jesus’ name I pray,


~Phather Phil

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