Hold My Heart Today Lord…

Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!

Hold my heart today Lord…

As the world threatens to encroach on my peace,

And taunting voices of dissent gain audience in my mind.


Hold my heart today Lord…

When my struggles seek to overwhelm me,

And uncertainty clouds my spirit.


Hold my heart today Lord…

When frustrations overtake me,

And the specter of anger tries to seize my words.


Hold my heart today Lord…

As the subtle voice of arrogance whispers to me,

Directing me to judge the hearts of others.


Hold my heart today Lord…

As the worldly pull to live “safely”,

Tries to dissuade me from reaching out in love to those in need.


Hold my heart today Lord…

As my worries and anxieties petition for control,

Attempting to cloud my thoughts and guide my decisions.


Hold my heart today Lord…

While the world assaults my sense of worth,

Seeking to refute my identity in You.


Hold my heart today Lord…

For only in Your loving hands,

Is it truly ever beating.


For it’s in Your precious name I pray,


~Phather Phil

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Thankful Thursday: My Tallest Mountain

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

I was fried Lord…



And consumed with worry.

As I followed the familiar route into my office earlier this week, my chest tightened while my mind raced; methodically detailing each project and deadline that loomed ahead of me, and allowing those shadowy voices of foreboding to gain audience in my heart.

“It’s not the mountains that you face that are the obstacles Phil, it’s your doubts.” You interrupted…

The world paused for a second; my thoughts held hostage by Your statement…

And then I realized You were right… I’ve been my own tallest mountain.

You know my needs Lord, far better than I do…

And yet, I often view the trials and challenges in my life as if I’m the only one who understands,

As if I’m facing them on my own;

Allowing those whispers of self-doubt to draw me into myself,

And obscuring me from knowing Your loving hand in every facet of my life.

Help me climb that lonely mountain Father;

To scale its craggy face and stand high upon the summit,

Boldly facing all life’s moments in Your steadfast company.

Such is my prayer Lord… In Your precious name,


As I continue to list some of Your many Blessings in my life Father, my heart swells with the recognition of finding Your loving hand in more and more places every day.  And while I know that my existence is awash in Your grace Lord, this week I want to give special thanks for:

691. Both my boys having the opportunity to attend Camp Pecometh this summer.

692. An inexpensive repair to our air conditioner.

693. Shannon having a safe flight home from Florida.

694. An inexpensive update to Lightroom 5 that was released last week.

695. A wonderful Father’s Day spent with people I love.

696. Wonderful photo opportunities while walking in Blackbird State Forest last week.

697. Watching the sunrise over Port Mahon this past Saturday morning.

698. Your protecting and healing presence while a friend of ours recovers from surgery that was performed last week.

699. The Histiocytosis groups on Facebook that allow us to share information, encouragement and prayers for other families dealing with LCH.

700. The encouraging comments I’ve been receiving regarding my photography work on

701. Your protecting and comforting hand as I drove through some very severe weather last Thursday.

702. Your patience with me.

703. The opportunity I had to watch and photograph an osprey flying in to feed it’s young at Port Mahon.

704. New glasses for Jonathan.

705. The wonderful message and discussion about living in a state of gratefulness at our “Where Two or Three Are Gathered” Tuesday night small group.

… And for so very much more.

I Thank You Lord.

~Phather Phil

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Intentionally In His Presence

“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.” – Mark 1:35 (NLT)

Just as Jesus awoke early to commune with His Heavenly Father, so should we all make time each day to spend specifically with Him.  Every moment spent intentionally in God’s presence strengthens our relationship to Him, and draws us that much closer to His desire for our lives.

The Chains of Understanding

Dear Lord; Happy Wednesday Father!

As You know Lord, for the last five weeks the group I lead on Tuesday evenings has been working through a study on Francis Chan’s book “Crazy Love”.  It’s been an eye-opening and convicting exploration so far, and has challenged quite a few perspectives I’ve held on how to pursue a truly intimate relationship with You.

The group discussions this study have led to have been powerful to say the least, and have also stirred in me some challenging thoughts about other facets of my “Faith Life”, and how I perceive You…

For example, why in my arrogance do I keep You in a “box”… You’re so much bigger than that…

I study Your written word in search of Your will in my life… And yet, You’re bigger than a book.

I attend church services and functions to better focus on Your Presence… And yet, You’re bigger than a religion or a building.

I spend time and energy worrying about struggles in my life that seem impossible to overcome… And yet, You’re bigger than any problem I could possibly face.

You’re bigger…


It’s actually an amazingly freeing feeling Lord; the more I cast off the chains of “understanding” I’ve held onto for so very long and open my heart to You with abandon, I find You there waiting for me…

Beckoning me forward.

And so Father, as I continue to seek Your Presence through study, through worship and through prayer, please help me see past those earthly confines I’ve placed on You.  Expand my heart Lord, to more fully connect with Yours, and lead me to Your side.

In Jesus’ name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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So From My Knees…

Dearest Lord;

I hurt Father.

I hurt with the ache of all the things my broken shell won’t release;

My failings…

My mistakes…

Bad decisions I’ve made…

Those times I’ve closed my heart to You…

All flood in and overwhelm my spirit.

So from my knees I reach for You.

I feel alone Father.

Alone with all those self-imposed burdens I allow to linger;

The pain I see in others’ lives…

Missed opportunities to serve…

Those “What ifs” that haunt my heart…

All sobering reminders of my limitations in this mortal coil.

So from my knees I reach for You.

I feel unworthy Lord.

Unworthy of the Blessings You bestow;

Undeserving of other peoples’ love,

Of Your love for me,

And of Your immeasurable Grace in my life…

Truly unfit to receive those gifts You place in my life each day.

So from my knees I reach for You.

And from that penitent pose Father,

You touch me…

And remind me;

That You feel my pain, and want to take it from me…

That I’m never alone…

And that I’m worthy in Your eyes.

And from Your Throne You reach for me.


~Phather Phil

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