The Beauty of the Gift…

So very often we miss (at best) or choose to ignore the beauty and grace that surrounds us… This Christmas I pray that we all experience the wonder of the Gift we celebrate, and see that His love and majesty is in each and every one of us.


Through The Lens of God’s Gifts

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” – John 14:27 (NLT)

Joy and Peace are gifts of grace already given to each and every one of us… Receiving, embracing and allowing those gifts to shape us however, is a choice.  And when we make the choice to see our lives through the lens of those gifts, we begin to recognize how truly present God is with us every day.

For By Grace…

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)

Through no obedience, efforts, or works of our own can we earn God’s favor in our lives.  Our salvation therefore, is not an achievement we may obtain, but instead is the ultimate expression of God’s divine love for us; received through our faith, and bought with the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

I Surrender

Dear Lord; Happy Friday Father!

“Surrender, Phil…”

Your words echoed painfully throughout my heart this morning Lord; binding me to a realization I’ve been purposefully ignoring these past several weeks…

I haven’t been trusting You completely.

I’ve worried…

I’ve struggled…

I’ve panicked…

I’ve tried to handle things under my own strength…

And I’ve been feeling that crushing weight on my shoulders Lord… A weight You never intended for me to carry alone.

I’ve been swimming upstream Father, and I’m tired.

And yet, in the midst of my self-focused efforts to fight those fearsome currents Lord…

You offer me rest,

And assistance,

And grace.

“Surrender, Phil…”

Help me to see beyond my arrogance Father; with vision not clouded by earthly lenses.

Remind me Lord…

That my burdens don’t define me, but instead offer an opportunity; the chance to know Your unending love for me in a personal, intimate way:

To draw me closer to You…

To share my pain, my joys, my laughter, and my tears;

And to guide and strengthen me into the man You desire I become.

I hear You Father…

And I surrender.

~Phather Phil

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Throwing Stones in Glass Houses

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” – Luke 6:37 (NLT)

Over and over again in Scripture, we’re warned against casting judgment or assessing blame on others.  As Jesus reminds us in this verse, none of us are without flaws and should exercise the same grace and forgiveness for others that we would desire they bestow on us.

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