Thankful Thursday: Ups-And-Downs

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Well Lord, this past week has certainly been filled with ups-and-downs here.  One thing’s for sure though, life is never dull in the Malmstrom household!  Thankfully however, through all of the “tossing about” our lives have experienced as of late, Your Blessings have continued to be the lighthouse in our daily storms.

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

301. A wonderful day spent with friends at the Chesapeake Celtic Festival last Saturday.

302. A good “New Patient” visit for Shannon at our new Primary Care Physician.

303. Spiritual lessons on a cold morning.

304. Finding tasty new recipes on the Internet.

305. New ways to express myself on Pinterest.

306. Our cat Serenity recovering well after having a wound stitched up on her face last Friday.

307. The enjoyment I’ve been getting playing a new video game that was released this week.

308. That what I can handle in life isn’t wholly dependent on my strength alone.

309. A WordPress plugin that allows readers to share my posts on Pinterest.

310. An inexpensive repair for our large color laser printer in the office.

311. Friends that come and help move furniture.

312. Shannon and I being on the “same page” on how we handle the children.

313. Seeing a smile on my beautiful wife’s face.

314. A special deal on one of my prescriptions that allowed me to get it at half price.

315. The salvation we’ve received through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension.

(I’m especially thankful for #315 Father… 🙂 )

Heavenly Father,

We lift thanks and praise Lord, for all of the Blessings You bestow on us each day; both those that make Your presence in our lives obvious, and those that quietly support us without due fanfare.  You are indeed a caring Shepherd, a skillful Potter and a loving Father.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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Death Has No Sting

Dear Lord; Happy Wednesday Father!

Last night Father, as I was preparing to shut down and head to bed for the night, a message appeared on my Facebook wall that made me pause, and then to pray.

On August 15, I wrote to you regarding an inspiring story of faith I’d heard on 88.7 The Bridge on my way to work that morning.  It described the Baptism of Kim Miller; a young lady dealing with terminal cancer, who instead of dwelling on the terrifying and painful nature of her situation, chose to give thanks and praise for Your Blessings in her life.  The church she attends made a video of her powerful testimony, which was then shared on the radio that morning.

Following that conversation Father, I emailed Kim on Facebook to let her know that her story had touched me, and that I was praying for her.  We ended up “friending”, and I’ve been following her journey since.

Last night, the message came across my screen that Kim had gone home… Into Your waiting arms Lord.  And while my spirit aches knowing the hole this undoubtedly leaves in her family’s hearts, I’m rejoicing in the knowledge that she’s arrived in the one place where her pain and troubles are surely at an end.

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”” – 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (NIV)

Kim’s powerful and courageous testimony of faith touched so many lives Father, including mine.  Yet while we nurse the sorrow of her passing, Kim has achieved that victory the Apostle Paul spoke of, continuing on alive and well in her eternal home.

Death has no sting for those who dwell in Christ.  You’ll be missed here Kim, but we’ll see you again soon enough.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You Father, for the victory over death You delivered us through Your Son, Jesus Christ.  We pray that You keep the family of Kim Miller wrapped in Your holy presence, and comforted in the knowledge that she rests in Your loving embrace.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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Like a Puzzle Piece

Dear Lord; Happy Tuesday Father!

Over the last year or so Father, I’ve come across a seemingly increasing number of people who are going through some form of hardship or another.  Be it a job lost, financial upset, serious illness, or relationship crisis, personal stress very much appears to be on the rise.  Recently, I was speaking with a young lady going through such a trial, and she popped out a statement that I’ve heard many, many times…

“Well, I know God won’t give me more than I can handle.”

Now Lord, to be fair, for many years I used this misquote of 1st Corinthians 10:13 myself.  It was a phrase many of us heard growing up, and it wasn’t until my “edge” was reached that I understood the misinterpretation in full.  The actual Scripture reads:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

As the Apostle Paul wrote here, our earthly temptations (or trials) are not unique to us as individuals; others have endured similar turmoil.  And while we may feel sometimes that our burdens are beyond our ability to adapt, that’s when Your strength comes to bear.

Are we given more than we can handle?  Absolutely!  Thankfully, God’s grace fills that gap like a puzzle piece.

Through our trials, our struggles and our pain, You temper and stretch our spirits Father.  However, when we find that point where our earthly tolerance wavers, Your strength eagerly awaits our call.  As Paul so aptly noted, when we face temptation or trial You always provide a way out so that we can endure… Right into Your arms!

…Where there is no pain… no suffering… only the divine love and protection of a Father for his child.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You for Your ever-faithful presence in our lives.  In those times when our lives seem to spiral beyond our capability to contain them, please bring us those gentle, calming assurances that Your love transcends our pain, and that in Your embrace we are truly safe.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

Marking a Milestone

Dear Lord; Happy Wednesday Father!

Well Father, today marks a milestone for  This post is the 300th “email to God” that I’ve shared with the world.  It’s been a wonderful journey so far Lord, and I feel truly Blessed to have been guided down this path with You.

Along with strengthening my bond to You Father, this site has also brought another wonderful and unexpected Blessing to my life as well; it’s connected me to an Internet fellowship of believers, many of which I’ve come to regard as valued friends.  Without their daily encouragement, postings on their blogs that teach and inspire their readers, and their kind thoughts and prayers, would not have come this far.  Therefore, to celebrate this happy event Father, I’d like to give thanks to some of these wonderful people.

Jenifer at ~Sweet Blessings~ : Jenifer; you’re a wonderfully sweet and tender soul; a true Child of God in every way.  Your posts each day bring a smile to my face, and never fail to inspire me.  Thank you.

Lisa at A Moment With God : Lisa; I’ve learned so much from your posts, and from your friendship.  You find messages in Scripture that make me reach deeper, and I’m Blessed each day by your efforts.  Thank you.

Jean at Healthy Spirituality : Jean; Reading your site dear lady, I often feel as though I’m sitting quietly with you having coffee.  Your beautiful spirit comes through in every post, and you raise questions that expand my mind, and make my heart reach for truth.  Thank you.

Allison at Beautiful in Him : Allison; Your energy for the Lord is infectious!  Your posts expose a beautifully vibrant heart, and your love of Christ shows through in every article.  You’ve inspired me in many ways through your writing and your service to others, and for that I thank you.

Kelli and Heidi at Mothers On Mission : Ladies; Although your site is geared towards women, I’ve gained so much inspirations from reading your posts.  And even though I’m not your “target reader” 🙂 , you’ve always encouraged me and kindly included me in the discussions.  Thank you.

Eileen at The Scenic Route : Eileen; I think Eileen, you’re one of the most insightful people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.  You see God’s messages in everyday life with wondrous clarity, and relay them to your readers in eloquent fashion.  You have a beautiful heart, and I thank you for sharing it with us.

Mandy at Growing with God : Mandy; I’ve very much enjoyed watching your Walk with the Lord grow closer in your posts.  You’ve seen through the clouds of trial, and have emerged into His light.  Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Alida at Blackpurl’s Knitpickings… An Expat Journal : Alida; Through your photos, your postings and your comments here, I’ve gained wonderful insight into what it means to truly spend your life in God’s service.  I seldom leave your site without a smile, and thank you for Blessing us with your work.

Kandi at Get Out of the Boat : Kandi; Your words are so transparently lovely Kandi… You bring your heart to every post, and I truly believe God smiles when you’re writing.  Thank you for letting us peek in on your kind spirit, and for sharing your Walk with us.

Elaine at Peace for the Journey : Elaine; You have a stalwart energy, and a thirst for knowing Christ’s heart that I rarely see.  Your writing is simply elegant, and I’ve gained much perspective and inspiration in sharing your journey this past year.  Thank you.

Debra at Pure and Simple : Debra; You have a purity to your writing Debra, which I feel makes God’s presence shine in your postings.  Your tender heart is always apparent, but is aligned closely with a wisdom that educates and inspires as well.  Thank you.

Christopher at The Happy Seeker : Christopher; My dear friend, I feel a remarkable connection between us, even though we’ve never actually met.  You have a beautiful energy that you share with your readers, and you bring that presence to everything you write.  “Meeting” you has truly been a Blessing.  Thank you.

And there are so many more Father… Blessed souls, all of them.

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord, for connecting me with such a wonderful fellowship of believers, and for Blessing this ministry as You have.  I look forward to many, many more conversations.  🙂

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

Thankful Thursday: Bountiful Mercies

Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!

Well Father, as You know this has been a complicated week for my family and I.  As I mentioned on Monday, the respiratory infection I contracted last week blossomed and it’s been beating my body up quite significantly.  And although I’m very much still under this bug’s influence, I’m thankful that it seems to at least be getting a little better.  Nonetheless, the true Blessing in all of this has been the amazing amount of support I’ve received from family and friends.  Be it through prayer, dropping off of medicine, checking in on me, or just expressing concern, I’ve seen examples of Your presence throughout.  I am truly Blessed Father, and I thank You for connecting me with each and every one of these kind people.

And now, on to this week’s list!  This week Lord, I’ve been particularly thankful for:

271. The kind, caring people who reached out to me while I’ve been ill.

272. Being Spiritually Healthy.

273. Zithromax.

274. Blueberry Tea.

275. Having the “Torchwood” TV series on my media server for entertainment while laying in bed.

276. Officially becoming members of Ewell’s St. Paul UMC last Sunday.

277. A warm dog on the foot of the bed to keep me company.

278. A wonderful day spent relaxing, cooking and chatting with good friends.

279. A wonderful wife who’s picked up my slack and let me rest this week.

280. Banana Cake.

281. Inspiration from unusual places.

282. My staff providing me the quiet to take a short nap on my couch in the office yesterday.

283. A friend with an excess of nebulizer supplies.

284. The “Scrabble” application for my Android tablet that’s kept me from going stir crazy while resting.

285. New opportunities to spread Your light to others.

So many Blessings Father…

Heavenly Father,

We thank You Lord, for all those Blessings You bestow on us each day; both those that light up the Heavens, and those that grace us quietly without fanfare.  For while our situations here on earth may change, Your bountiful mercies in our lives remain constant.  We are truly Blessed.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


~Phather Phil

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