Thursday, June 29, 2006

Angels Unaware

Angels Unaware
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.

Today was Melissa's last day as a nurse at our facility. When I had surgery for prostate cancer two and a half years ago she took care of me in the recovery area.

Later, she told me the full story. When she saw me to be on the surgery schedule the next day she asked God to allow her to be my nurse. When she got the assignment the next morning she wore her special angel earrings and prayed for me all day. I was a very sick puppy that day but she did a great job of carrying for me. I have always called her my angel since.

"The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them."


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Psalms - Titles by Dan K. Phillips

NOTE: It took me 3 years to do this. Thanks Ray Waddle for the


1.      The Blessed Man (vs.1)
2.      God’s In Control (vs.6)
3.      Landscape of Dreams (vs.5)
4.      Night Prayer (vs.4)
5.      A Morning Prayer (vs.3)
6.      Sound of Weeping (vs.2-3)
7.      My Shield (vs.10)
8.      Majesty (vs.1)
9.      Not Forsaken (vs.10)
10.     Defender of the Helpless (vs.14)
11.     Examination (vs.5)
12.     Words (vs.6)
13.     Unfailing Love (vs.5)
14.     Fool’s Gold (vs.1)
15.     Sanctuary (vs.1)
16.     The Path of Life - Trust (vs.11)
17.     Shadow of Your Wings (vs.8)
18.     Deliverance (vs.17)
19.     God’s Handiwork (vs.1)
20.     Soul’s Sincere Desire (vs.4)
21.     A King’s Blessing (vs.6-7)
22.     Crushing Silence (vs.2)
23.     Provision (vs.1)
24.     Preparing for God’s House (vs.3)
25.     Life Up My Soul (vs.1)
26.     Merciful (vs.11)
27.     Waiting for the Lord (vs.14)
28.     The Lord-My Strength (vs.7)
29.     The Voice of the Lord (vs.7)
30.     Joy in the Morning  (vs.11)
31.     Spacious Places (vs.8)
32.     My Hiding Place (vs.7)
33.     Watching Over Us (vs.18)
34.     Angel Eyes (vs.7)
35.     Enemies (vs.19)
36.     The Evil and the Good (vs.4)
37.     God’s Wisdom (vs.3-7)
38.     Crushed (vs.8)
39.     Life’s Brevity (vs.5)
40.     The Solid Rock (vs.2)
41.     A Need for Healing (vs.3)
42.     Soul Survivor (vs.2)
43.     Prayer of Presence (vs.3)
44.     Forsaken (vs.24)
45.     A Wedding Song (vs.11)
46.     Quiet Please (vs.10)
47.     Inaguration (vs.7)
48.     Diary of a Zion Pilgrim (vs.9)
49.     A Rich Man’s Destiny (vs.12)
50.     Importance of Thanksgiving (vs.23)
51.     Have Mercy (vs.1)
52.     Evil Men (vs.1)
53.     A Fool’s Vision (vs.1)
54.     Sustainer (vs.4)
55.     Desire: To Fly Away (vs.6)
56.     No More Tears (vs.13)
57.     Refuge and Praise (vs.1)
58.     Avenged vs.10)
59.     Wild Dogs (vs.6)
60.     Fractured (vs.2)
61.     My Refuge (vs.3)
62.     Finding Rest (vs.1)
63.     Desire for God (vs.1)
64.     Ambushed (vs.1)
65.     A Hymn of Thanksgiving (1-4)
66.     Beethoven (vs.1-2)
67.     Harvest (vs.6)
68.     Rose Bowl Parade (vs.17)
69.     Deep Waters (vs.2)
70.     My Deliverer (vs.5)
71.     End of the Road (vs.18)
72.     Prayer for a King (vs.15)
73.     Danger of Bitterness (vs.2-3)
74.     587 B.C. (vs.7)
75.     Trampoline (vs.7)
76.     God’s Judgment (vs.8)
77.     Unseen Footprints (vs.19)
78.     Family Heirlooms (vs.3)
79.     Desperate Need (vs.1,3)
80.     Restore Us (vs.3)
81.     Strike Up the Band (vs.2)
82.     Plea for Righteous Judgment (vs.3-4)
83.     Bloody Shame (vs.14-16)
84.     Sacred Sanctuary (vs.1)
85.     A Prayer for Restoration (vs.4)
86.     In the Day of Trouble (vs.7)
87.     Zion-Mother of All Cities (vs.1-2)
88.     Sitting in the Darkness (vs.18)
89.     How Long Lord, How Long? (vs.46)
90.     Counting Our Days (vs.5)
91.     Shadow of the Almighty (vs.1)
92.     My Rock (vs.15)
93.     Shoreline (vs.3)
94.     Vengeance (vs.1)
95.     Bowing (vs.6)
96.     A New Song (vs.1)
97.     God’s Holy Reminders (vs.12)
98.     D-Day Symphony (vs.4-6)
99.     Bow Down (vs.5)
100.    Thanksgiving (vs.4)
101.    Inaguration Day (vs.6)
102.    Dead Man Walking (vs.5)
103.    Mercy (vs.17)
104.    Musicians Prayer (vs.33)
105.    Remembrances (vs.5)
106.    Remembrances Part 2 (vs.8)
107.    God’s Deliverance (vs.9)
108.    Waking Up (vs.2)
109.    Curses: Being Blunt (vs.8-15)
110.    Youthful Reminders (vs.3)
111.    Home Run (vs.2)
112.    Blessings of a Righteous Man (vs.1)
113.    Praise to a MercifulGod (vs.7)
114.    Exodus (vs.1)
115.    Trust in the Lord (vs.9)
116.    Walking Again (vs.16)
117.    Stedfast Love (vs.2)
118.    This is the Day the Lord has Made (vs.24)
119.    Marathon
120.    Peacenik (vs.7)
121.    Looking Upward (vs.1)
122.    Going Home (vs.1)
123.    His Mercy (vs.2)
124.    Escaped (vs.7)
125.    Power of a Strong Foundation (vs.1)
126.    A Time of Joy (vs.3)
127.    God’s House (vs.1)
128.    A Fruit Filled Life (vs.2)
129.    Undefeated (vs.2)
130.    Waiting (vs.5)
131.    Simplify (vs.1)
132.    A Place for the Lord (vs.14)
133.    Brothers (vs.1)
134.    Night Preparation (vs.1)
135.    Praise the Lord (vs.1)
136.    His Love Endures (vs.1)
137.    Weeping in Babylon (vs.4)
138.    A Thankful Heart (vs.1)
139.    Nowhere to Hide (vs.1-2)
140.    A Cry for Help (vs.4)
141.    Incensed (vs.2)
142.    Rainy Days and Monday (vs.1)
143.    A Faint Spirit (vs.4)
144.    Soundtrack of Life (vs.9)
145.    Glorious Splendour (vs.5)
146.    The Lord Reigns (vs.10)
147.    A Stary Night (vs.4)
148.    Praise Him (vs.1)
149.    Song of Triumphant (vs.4)
150.    Cymbalism (vs.5)

Montana Mission Tour!

Hey Dan. Sounds like you had a great trip to the Peach State last weekend. Hope all is well for you. I'm in Montana this week doing mission work with some friends from church. Below is our mission blog. Take a look and pray for us. Love you, buddy. (Wayne C.)

Check out their mission trip. LINK

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Follow me

So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him." When we find someone with the bread of life why not go spend the day with them? Maybe see how they tie their shoes, read their Bible.

I once was a member of Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. Charles Carter was the pastor. Each year he invited the great preacher Robert G. Lee to preach his famous sermon, "Payday Someday".

Carter said he went and stayed with Dr. Lee to see how he lived his life. One night he heard Dr. Lee eating at 3 a.m. On closer inspection he was eating an onion sandwich. Commenting on this Dr. Carter said, "I still can not speak like Dr. Lee but when I mount the pulpit I smell like him,

Have you ever made a pilgrimage to see how someone lived their life?

Monday, June 26, 2006


It has not been an easy day. I guess I was to tired from the trip. I have rested most of the evening, studying The Sacred Way and fumbling through my prayers. The best I can come up with is "have mercy on me in the morning" from Psalm 142. Not a bad way to close the day with. Amen!


Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.

The wedding was great in Georgia yesterday. Cousin Jeff Dixon married Elaine Jenkins. We had a perfect day for the wedding. The trip home was long. There were several car wrecks on I-75 and heavy rain. But, we arrived safely. A great weekend of family reunions and joy. See the happy couple !

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Sacred Way

At a Bible Outlet last night I picked up Tony Jones' book The Sacred Way. I am really enjoying it. Some early quotes: (1) God finds us and leaves a mark. (2) the goal of Christian spirituality is to be enlivened by God's Spirit. (3) people want COMMUNION with the Creator. And also a special quote from Marjorie Thompson : "the spiritual life is simply the increasing vitality and sway of God's Spirit in us!"

Several years ago Marjorie Thompson and her husband, John Mogabgab, and I worked closed in helping develop Penuel Ridge, a contemplative retreat center in middle Tennessee. Majorie's spiritual temperament was always one with a quiet and listening spirit. The thing that REALLY impressed me about Majorie is that she worked for Georgia O'Keefe, the great artist, in New Mexico. I bet that was an unusual experience. Time for breakfast. Selah.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Locust Grove, Ga.

Locust Grove, Ga.
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
Spending the night in Locust Grove, Ga. It is always nice when the

police station is near.

Welcome to Georgia

Welcome to Georgia
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
We just arrived in Georgia. I will be going to 2 family reunions while

here and I will perform a wedding on Sunday. It looks like a hot


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

St. Anne's

The grace of St. Anne's has haunted me for days, since I first saw it 2-3 weeks ago. I spent time in the Intimate Merton reading sketches of St. Anne's
this evening.

He first goes there in February of 1953 and continues returning to at least March 19, 1958, the day after the 4th and Walnut experience.

Merton says, "How rich for me has been the silence of this little house, which is nothing more than a tool shed." Boy that is the truth. What gets me is its meagerness and how excited Merton was to be there. "It seems to me that St. Anne's is what I have been waiting for all my life," he says.

To me, it is a rat infested one room building falling apart and then I
realize it was a sacred place for one of the greatest spiritual leaders
of all time.What does it take for me to have that much joy in such a simple place? I think that is the problem, everytime I review that picture of it I am caught in stunned awareness of the holiness there. It over comes me. I am awed. It drives me closer to a God of silence and love.

What about you? Have you ever been in a place like that?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Words to Live By

Words To Live By:

1. Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.
2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
3. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
4. Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
5. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
6. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you don't have a leg
to stand on.
7. The early worm gets eaten by the bird, so sleep late.
8. When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
9. Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.
10. Ever notice that the people who are late are often more jollier than the people who
have to wait for them.
11. If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy.
12. You may be only one person in the world but you may also be the world to one person.
13. We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull,
some have weird names, and all are different colors but they have all learned to
live in the same box.
14. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
15. Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Thomas Merton's St. Ann

Thomas Merton's St. Ann
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
On my last trip to Gethsemani Brother Paul Quennon took several of us to St. Ann's, the tool shed TM used to meditate in. It was his first real hermitage. He often went there in the daytime.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Beautiful Day-Saturday Morning Musing

What a beautiful day. Cuddles and I are outside enjoying a soft breeze. I just completed my task this morning of personally naming each of the 150 chapters of the Psalms. It only took about 3 years. The Psalms take on a different meaning when one has personally made them a part of your life.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New Southern Baptist President

In a surprise vote, Dr. Frank Page was elected the President of the
Southern Baptist Convention. As a candidate it was mostly bloggers who
supported him. My hope is that this begins a new day in Southern Baptist
life where civil discourse becomes the mode of sharing among brothers.

As I go back in my own history, I remember some of the Southern Baptist
men and women who touched my life with the grace of God: Paul Turner,
Grady Ketchum, Shelley Richardson, James Leo Garrett, Harry Piland,
Grady Cotham, Lloyd Elder, Richard Kay, Larry Shotwell, James Sullivan,
Mrs. J.O. Williams, and tons of other unknowns, some Sunday School
teachers, other faithful deacons, all people who loved the Lord. I am
thankful how these people have touched my life.

May this be a new beginning where we can rejoice in God's work in others

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Saturday Morning in June

It is a beautiful day outside. It will be a hot one. I have a summertime
cough and cold so I feel terrible. Hope I get to feeling better soon.
Someone gave me an old copy of Imitation of Christ and I am enjoying
reading it. I remember the first copy of that book I ever bought. It was
on our honeymoon in Bilouxi, Mississippi, over 38 years ago.
What about you? Do you have a treasured book? What is it?

Now the latest from Father Burns......
"For if I am to love truly and freely, I must be able to give something
that is truly my own to another. If my heart does not first belong to
me, how can I give it to another? It is not mine to give!"

(NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, page 28)

Why is love so often so difficult to define and understand?

Wayne Burns

Friday, June 09, 2006

Merton thought from Wayne Burns

"I cannot make good choices unless I develop a mature and prudent
conscience that gives me an accurate account of my motives, my
intentions, and my moral acts. The word to be stressed here is mature."

(NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, page 27)

What steps am I taking in seeking to be spiritually mature?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Midnight List


Many have asked about my trip to the Abbey of Gethsemani. It was a meaningful time for me. For once, nothing bad happened, like getting locked out of my room. But it was nice sharing with 30 others who were there studying the life of Thomas Merton, a monk who lived at Gethsemani for 27 years, before his untimely death in 1968.

We sat on the porch of his hermitage – where he was a hermit – and read his poetry, drank tea, ate cookies, and shared with one another. Just being with people who have a common interest was nice.

I was reminded while there of the importance of VIGILS. In a monastery vigils is held at 2:15 a.m. (That’s right AM). I have difficulty getting up at that time to pray, but it is part of the regular routine of the monks, along with 6 other prayer times scattered throughout the day.

Many years ago, when I first moved to Nashville, I lived for 3 months with Mrs. J.O. Williams. (Her real name was Ethel but everyone called her “Mrs. J.O.”). Each day when I came home from work she would share interesting highlights of religious and historical interest that she thought would be helpful to me. But the thing she taught me that was more important than anything else was that she had a special time to pray.

“When you have a prayer request,” she would say to me, “you can call me at MIDNIGHT and I will pray for it.” Every night at Midnight she would wake up, read her Bible, and pray, which was her Vigils.

Since then, I have what I call “the Midnight List.” When I wake up in the middle of the night, I take the names on the special list and pray for them. The midnight list differs from my regular prayer list. It is much shorter and it contains, not just the routine prayers, but special prayers for friends and others who need a special uplifting before God.

I have found that to be a special time for me. Do you have “A Midnight List?”

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday Evening Compline

Beautiful day. Ate lunch after church at new Monells. Visited family and
friends. Even a nap. Psalm 79 was evening reading for me, a Psalm of
digging the rubble of one's life searching for hidden treasures.

Have you ever found treasures in the rubble of your life?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Prayer Adirondack Chairs

Prayer Adirondack Chairs
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
Last fall I spent time sitting in comfortable Adirondack chairs in North

Carolina. Much of my time there was spent in prayer. Since, I have been

searching for such chairs. At a big sale last week I brought two at $29

a piece. Of course, I had to put them together which was certainly a

major chore, but I used them this morning as I began a Day of

Recollection. Thanks Lord for the prayer chairs !!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Lynn R. Szabo

Lynn Szabo is a Professor of English at Trinity Western University in British Colombia. She directed our ITMS retreat at the Abbey this weekend. She, Paul Pearson, and Erlinda Paguio were the planners for this event and did an exceptional job.

Lynn has a new Merton out. The title is In the Dark Before Dawn and is composed of New Selected Poems of Thomas Merton. A Good read ! Thanks Lynn for your leadership.

Lyn Szabo
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.

Sister Jose Hobday

Sister Jose is always a blessing at such events. Her humour and encouragement are worth a lot to all of us. Check out this website for pictures of her and her encouraging message. LINK