Thankful Thursday: A Perspective of Gratitude

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

And once again Father, we come to my favorite weekly post here at; Thankful Thursday.  As we draw closer to Thanksgiving Lord, it seems as if more and more folks are taking time out to focus on the many Blessings You bestow on us.  And while my heart sings seeing such a wonderful outpouring of gratefulness this time of year Father, it also highlights to me one important thing that I think sometimes we all miss…

Your Blessings grace our lives EVERYDAY; not only at Thanksgiving, not just every Thankful Thursday, but every minute of every day.

Even when we don’t have a Holiday to direct our attention to Your many gifts Father, it’s important to recognize and celebrate the fact that we exist and thrive within Your mercy and grace each day.  By keeping that fountain of gratefulness flowing in our hearts, we’re better able to weather our personal trials and at the same time to share that perspective of gratitude with others around us.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

When we do everything from that foundation of thankfulness Lord, our lives become brighter in so many ways.

And on that thought Father, here’s this week’s Thankful Thursday list!  Looking back over the past seven days Lord, I’ve been especially grateful for:

391. Daily Inspirations.

392. A wonderful guest “Email to God” written by Lisa from “A Moment With God”.

393. Completing the final session of the “Treasures of the Transformed Life” Small Group Study.

394. New contact lenses.

395. A quiet, but loving and productive weekend spent with my family.

396. The help of a close friend in cleaning and repairing a “brewmeister” I was given.

397. A profound and overwhelming moment of “Spiritual Release” You gave me Tuesday morning.

398. The “Glue” that binds our hearts to Yours.

399. Feeling better following a two-week-long respiratory illness.

400. An update to the Android version of the YouVersion Bible App that brought some great new features.

401. That nine years ago tomorrow, You Blessed Shannon and I with our youngest son, Aidan.

402. The encouragement, kindness and support I received from one of my Facebook friends this week.

403. A fun “one on one” dinner out for Aidan and I while Shannon and Jonathan were at church groups last night.

404. Getting caught up on bills last weekend.

405. That even in our brokenness, our sin, and our pain You forgive us, and seek to draw us to You.

We continue to live bathed in Your grace Lord.  🙂

Heavenly Father,

We thank You Father God, for the many Blessings You bring to our lives each day; both those that fill our hearts to overflowing with Your benevolence, and those that Bless us quietly from the sidelines.  Please help us to maintain grateful hearts, and to reach out and share Your many gifts with others.

In Jesus Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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My Traveling Companion

Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!

Heavenly Father,

I come to You today not in pride,

But from humility.

Not in stability,

But from within my brokenness.

Not as a man,

But as Your Child.

Walk with me Father,

And be my Strength.

I seek Your presence Lord;

Your divine touch that rights my troubled spirit,

Your radiant visage that lights my path,

Your comforting embrace that soothes my anxious heart,

And Your guiding hand to lead me.

Walk with me Father,

And be my strength.

I’m tired Lord,

And weary,

And burdened,

And fearful;

And Your voice seems quieter than usual.

Help me silence that dissent Lord,

And free my heart from those things that obscure You from me.

Walk with me Father,

And be my strength.

Draw me to You Lord;

Allow me haven in Your tender mercy,

That I might shed my soul of earthly trials,

And focus on Your will.

Though the road before me twists and turns,

My Traveling Companion knows the true path.

Walk with me Father,

And be my strength.


~Phather Phil

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Thankful Thursday: Freed From My Bonds

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

And yet again Father, we come to the Thankful Thursday edition of  To be completely honest Lord, this has been a painful and stressful week for me on a number of fronts.  Ten years back, this kind of week would have seen me sleepless, highly agitated, and very likely drinking too much in an attempt to numb the angst.  Thankfully Father, You’ve freed me from those bonds;

The misconception that I have to rely on my own strength to solve my problems…

The chains of trying to use alcohol, food or other distractions to “fill the hole” that I was feeling…

The overwhelming sense that I was truly all alone in my trials…

So although this week has brought along with it a number of challenges Lord, my spirit is much more at ease knowing Your presence is with me.  I’ve felt that soothing embrace around me as I’ve struggled this week Father, and for that I am truly thankful.

Picking up where I left off on last week’s list of Blessings, this week I’m especially grateful for:

346. The fellowship of our church family.

347. The indescribable “God High” that I have following our Small Group gatherings.

348. Fresh, still-warm egg salad sandwiches.

349. Getting a significant jump-start on our Christmas crafting projects last weekend.

350. A wonderful, unexpected discussion of faith I had with a client last week.

351. Time spent teaching my boys about woodworking last weekend.

352. Finding a deli nearby my office that makes amazing subs and sandwiches.

353. Finding a good, free Twitter client that works on my PC, my Mac, my tablet and my phone.

354. The complex intertwining of souls that You grace my life with.

355. YouVersion offering a 48-hour period this weekend where I can download NIV and NLV translations for offline viewing.

356. The wide variety of inexpensive or free eBooks available online.

357. Your reminders to me each day that I’m always in Your loving embrace.

358. Neighbors that gave up their last three sheets of printer paper so our kids could finish a school project.

359. Eternal Prosperity.

360. Having a marriage where no matter how crazy or stressed things get, we’re able to cut through it all and support each other.

Even when the clouds loom above us Father, Your many Blessings cut through that haze every time.  🙂

Heavenly Father,

We thank you Lord, for the multitude of Blessings You bring to our lives each day; both those that announce Your presence with abandon, and those that quietly Bess us from the shadows.  You are indeed a loving, giving Father, and I rest securely knowing that whatever path You lead me down, that Your grace will ensure my steps land on sure footing.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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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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Thankful Thursday: Armoring Up

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Well Father, it’s certainly been a see-saw of a week for me so far.  I knew before it began that this five day period was to be filled with new challenges, anxiety-ridden trials and stressful situations, and it’s absolutely lived up to my expectations.  Fears of the unknown held positions all around me, while whispered messages of doubt taunted me from deep within.

Thankfully, I clothed myself appropriately for these battles I’ve faced…

I armored up.

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” – Ephesians 6:13-20 (ESV)

The challenges have come, and were conquered.  Anxieties flooded my waking mind, and were dispersed.  Fear gripped my heart, and was silently sent away.

Wrapped in Your divine protection, those things that prey in the dark corners of my mind and hide in the deep recesses of my heart don’t stand a chance.

Thank You Father.

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

316. A big batch of homemade chimichangas shared with good friends.

317. A fantastic first gathering for our Small Group Study: Treasures of the Transformed Life.

318. Being married to a lady who can always make me laugh.

319. Those moments where Your presence overwhelms me.

320. Having the complete Armor of God at my disposal each day (Ephesians 6:13-20).

321. “Still” time spent in Your Word each morning before the household awakens.

322. Sharing a big homemade breakfast with friends after church on Sunday.

323. Long weekends spent in the company of our “extended family”.

324. The encouragement I’ve received recently from friends.

325. A fun and successful dinner party we hosted last Saturday night.

326. The strength You provided me to work through my anxieties this week.

327. New non-stick cookware from Kitchen Aid to replace our 15-year old aluminum set.

328. The information and resources to expand that Google offers for free through Analytics and FeedBurner.

329. A bushel of fresh-picked apples from a local orchard.

330. Tickets for the family to attend a John Waller concert in Dover tonight.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You Lord, for all those Blessings You bestow on us each day; both those that shine as brightly as the sun, and those that glow softly as a candle in the night.  For all of Your many gifts of grace in our lives Father, we give thanks.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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