Sunrise With The Son

Dear Lord; Happy Wednesday Father!

“Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.” – Ansel Adams

As You know Father, over the past several months I’ve been spending a good bit of my leisure time working on improving my photography skills.  As part of that effort, the last couple Saturdays I’ve awoken in the pre-dawn hours and headed out to a local shoreline on the Delaware Bay in an attempt to capture the inherent beauty that those moments of sunrise bring.

And while the initial intent of those outings was simply to further my artistic pursuits Father, it quickly became apparent that I wasn’t there alone in that serene stillness…

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” – Psalms 46:10 (NLT)

Surrounded by the beauty and peace of Your creation Lord, I shared those precious moments with You and was blessed to capture some of that wonder through my lens…


The Morning After

Mahon in the Morning

Pre-Dawn in Leipsic

Silhouettes at Sunrise

Sunrise at Port Mahon


Thank You Father.

Thank You for allowing me to share in those wonderful moments with You, and for the breathtaking beauty of the world You’ve given us.

For it’s in Your precious name I pray,


~Phather Phil

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A Matter of Trust

Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!

People frustrate me Father… Or should I say, I allow people to frustrate me.

And yet, in truth it’s not other people that are the cause of my angst Lord, it’s the unmet expectations I regularly place on them; thrusting undue responsibility on earthly shoulders to fulfill my perception of need.

But that’s not really fair, now is it Father…

To begin with, more often than not what I feel my needs are isn’t based on seeking Your direction for me, but instead on my reacting to a situation I’m in the middle of.  And while I feel my journey to You has brought me ever closer to discerning Your will in my day-to-day life, I’m fully aware I still have a long way to travel.

So, right out of the gate Father, I readily concede that my perception of need is quite often, flawed.

Then to compound that Lord, quite often I drag those around me along for the ride; shackling others to my sense of fulfillment, and finding myself feeling empty when those artificial requirements aren’t met.

In the end Father, I know it’s all a matter of trust;

Trust that You know my needs Lord, far better than I or anyone else does…

Trust that You love me; completely and with a purity that no one on this earth can match…

Trust that Your ways are best Father, whether they’re what I think I want or not…

And finally Lord, trust that You can and will move Heaven and earth to do what’s truly best, whether I know what that is or not…

Complete faith… Complete trust in You Father…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;

do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do,

and he will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

It’s a tall order for my flawed, easily distracted heart Lord, but it’s a goal I strive to realize with every passing day.

Infuse me with Your spirit Father; make Your will my heartbeat, and the sound of Your voice define my every waking thought…

Relinquishing the worldly tethers I cling to,

And placing all faith in Your Holy hands…

I trust You Lord.


~Phather Phil

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On My Knees Again Lord

Dear Lord; Happy Thursday Father!

On my knees again Lord;

A prayer…

A petition…

A tear.

The stains within come pouring out,

And lie scattered at Your feet.

I’m broken Father…

So deeply broken.

And yet,

In the midst of my distress;

My pain…

My anxieties…

My fears…

You remind me who I truly am;

Your Beloved Child.

You are my hope Lord;

My portion…

My redemption…

And my serenity in the chaos.

Yet even through that shield,

The world creeps in;

Those voices that tell me I fall far short…

And don’t deserve Your love.

My feelings of defeat…

And sense of failure.

And yet,

You sent Your Son

To bear my sins,

And wash my life in Grace.

Siblings in Your Light,

Bonded through His blood.

So I give it up to You Lord,

All of it;

My trust,

My love,

My life,

All I was,

All I am,

All I will be,

I lift them all to You;

My Abba, Father.


~Phather Phil

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Thankful Thursday: Where He Was Truly Needed


Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

You know Father, I truly love reading the Gospels.  In those pages I find myself enveloped in the personal, intimate nature of what Christ Jesus meant to the world, and gain essential perspective to help guide me in my earthly journey.

As an example, while reading in the Gospel of Mark today, I came to the passage which described Jesus spending time in the home of Levi (Matthew), a tax-gatherer for the Romans:

“And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”” – Mark 2:15-17 (ESV)

Now Father, while I understand the usual message derived from these verses deals with Jesus condemning the self-righteousness of the scribes asking the question, today You laid on my heart a different thought to take away from my reading…

“Reach out in love to ALL My Children, not just those you’re comfortable being around.”

I’ll admit Lord, I play it safe far too often; missing opportunities to connect with those outside of my “comfort zone”, and to share Your message of hope and love with them.

Jesus didn’t restrict His ministry to those places where He was comfortable or safe, He went where He was truly needed.

I’ll be working on this one Father… Message received.  🙂

Continuing to count my Blessings Lord; this past couple weeks have been witness to countless signs of Your love for me, but in the midst of it all I’ve been very grateful for:

586. Attending a fun Kids Construction workshop with the boys last weekend at Home Depot.

587. The opportunity to reach out and minister to someone in need last week.

588. The new Audrey Assad “Heart” CD that I can’t seem to stop listening to.

589. Completing a reading of the Old Testament from start to finish.

590. Having friends with truly open, giving hearts.

591. Two nights in a row of six hours contiguous, uninterrupted sleep.

592. Sharing my morning drives to work with a good friend.

593. Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra Wellness Tea.

594. A relatively easy and inexpensive repair for our squealing clothes dryer.

595. The early arrival of several unseasonably warm days.

596. Making significant progress on home repairs and cleaning this past week.

597. Gaining a more personal, intimate relationship with Jesus through the Gospels.

598. A beautiful preview of gifts to come.

599. Finding a buyer for my large aquarium that will truly appreciate it.

600. Divine reassurance that I’ve made a good decision.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You Lord, for the multitude of Blessings You grace our lives with each and every day; both those that announce Your presence with regal fanfare, and those that whisper Your influence quietly on the spring breeze.

In Jesus’ name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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Both You and I… Again.

Dear Lord; Happy Friday Father!

Today Lord, You’ve led me to repost an article I wrote on this date last year about remembering the life of a truly wonderful author on the anniversary of his birth.  His works have touched countless lives including those of mine and my children, and I’m honored to again share this tribute.

Father, today marks the birth of someone who greatly influenced my early years, as well as the lives of many other children throughout the world.  And while he’s no longer with us here, the legacy he left behind continues to inspire, educate and delight those who read his works.  I’m of course speaking of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known by his pen name of Dr. Seuss.

While he made a point of not speaking to any one religion or group in his writings, his messages of tolerance, understanding and peace were obvious and recurring themes in the books he wrote.  Through whimsical characters, engaging stories and tongue-twisting rhymes he made learning fun while passing along the underlying positive messages to his young audience.  Even as an adult, I still get a smile reading his stories.

The one published exception to his self-imposed rule of not writing works with obvious religious connotations came in a full-page, full-color article in the December 23, 1955 issue of Collier’s Magazine, where he wrote “A Prayer for a Child”* :

“From here on earth,
From my small place
I ask of You
Way out in space:
Please tell all men
In every land
What You and I
Both understand . . .

Please tell all men
That Peace is Good.
That’s all
That need be understood
In every world
In Your great sky.

(We understand.
Both You and I.)” – Theodor Seuss Geisel

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gifts this man brought to me and to so many other children.  While his words may not specifically carry Your name, Your Light shone brightly through his works all the same.  Amen.

~Phather Phil

*The poem and image used are Trademark and Copyright of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.
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