Friday, March 26, 2010

Merton Montana Retreat

I will be leading a Merton Retreat in Montana from April 7-9. Please be in prayer for this time together with a group of Disciples of Christ Ministers and their wives.

Here is information about the retreat center:

I am looking forward to a period of solitude and spiritual refreshment.

I am beginning a project to develop what I call, "The Spiritual Journals of Brother Dan Phillips." I am beginning to go back through my old journals and search for themes that occur again and again. So far I have:


Gratitude -- have you ever made a gratitude journal.Gratitude is a healing companion.

Listening -- Pause so you can connect to that which keeps vigil in your heart. What is stirring in me?

Antiphons --Hide me in the shadow of your wings.

Treasures of Darkness--Is.45:3

Handiwork of God -- The Lord moved the heart of Cyrus.

You get the idea. Prayers appreciated.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  (Howard Thurman)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I just got a copy of John Gunter's book, Death Be Not Proud, at a book sale. It is a book I have wanted to read for years. It is the story of his son's fight against cancer and his death at 17.

To me, it was interesting that, after his death, he began rummaging through the leftovers.Things he left behind and saved, things he treasured from his earlier days. It raised my eyebrows. When we are gone, how can people take what is left and make sense of it? Does it tell a story about us that even we did not know.

For instance it has made me think of my Mother and what was left behind. A bell someone gave her from Jerusaleum that sits on my desk and I ring at appropriate contemplative moments, a handmade book of poems that she had written and placed in her Bible, some old pictures made with a Brownie camera, her sitting on a bicycle that we got by saving Blue Stamps. Admittedly, I have had difficulty going through her things for some reason. She died on December 23, 1999.

Oh yes, the elephants. Why did she collect elephants? I remember her laugh. Her family could laugh better than any family I have ever known.

She was a teacher. This week I received a facebook message from a student of hers in the third grade. You could tell that Mom had made a big difference in her life, this over five decades ago.

Her biscuits and cold slaw were memorable. She came to my ordination after a car wreck in which our dog Herky was killed. How difficult was that for her? A trip of over 400 miles.

You get the point. What about you? What will you leave behind? What will that tell us about you? You think about that!

(P.S.) You might even share that with me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Advice for a contemplative

Sit in silence
Count your blessings
Be thankful

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thinking Aloud

As many of you know I have had problems with this blog. The last time I posted 30 messages were added without my permission. I know what the problem is but am not exactly sure how to fix it. It does not happen unless I post from my pocket computer which I love to do. So the discouragement from posting with it has kept me from blogging as much. I have tried something different so will see how that works.

I continue my facebook account at and my twitter account at
So if anyone want to join those you are welcome.

I am always encouraged by comments and am thankful for them. Some interesting thoughts: I am leading a Thomas Merton Retreat in Montana in April. This will be only for Disciples of Christ pastors. I am really looking forward to it.

I am shifting through my time objectives. What is important at this stage of life? I am 66, thinking of retirement, but not wanting to become someone who spends all his time forwarding emails.

My thoughts toward contemplation have not changed. I believe in the value of silence and listening for the voice of God. The trip to Israel last October (you can check blog for Oct/Nov 2009 to view) has given me a new perspective on the country of Israel, particularly the Old Testament. I am still in awe when I speak of Qumran. What an interesting place and the discovery of the century.

I enjoy my grandson Jack. He is really a delight. Janet continues to be a source of strength. I have recently had some health problems. I could not walk for a while but that is better. However, the cortizone shots have caused my diabetes to reactivate strongly. Oh well !!

So, I will try to work on this blog more. Just pray that my new way of using my tiny computer will work. If it does I will be ok. With God's blessings. Bro. Dan

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