Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thoughts on a Rainy Day

Thoughts Today:

I am certainly excited that Professor Newt called this morning asking for my vote. Just to think that he took time from his many visits in Iowa to call me. How is that for personal attention!

And then there are the dishes! Since many guests have been here in the last week, I have been in charge of emptying the dishwasher. However, there are to many dishes and not enough places to put them. I believe this is a conspiracy. When anyone dies, there is always a rush to give a way dishes. Here is her complete Twiddly Winks set of dishes. I know you will love them. Right?

Dishes have complicated the world. There are too many to handle. Was it Thoreau who said, "Beware of any enterprise that causes you to buy a new suit." The same compulsion is with dishes. You need special dishes for: Halloween, Good Friday, Christmas, dishes for the Kentucky Derby, a special dish for your birthday, Columbus Day dishes, and of course Mother-in-law Day Dishes.  What a scam. Why won't four dishes, a cup, a saucer, and a few forks,etc. do? Did I miss something? Let me know. Maybe I could start the dish sell network.

More Seriously:

I have updated my blog, added a different picture, and changed the introduction. Try it Dan's Blog

My high school friend, Jim  Pemberton, got his ham license today: KK4FUW. I look forward to talking with him.


The love of solitude is the beginning of the love of God.

A monk is a man of prayer.

Do I hear the voice of Christ singing in the Psalms?

It is easier for parents to have children than for children to have parents.

I remember the music
I meditate in my heart
My spirit ponders (dreams)
      Psalm 77:6)

Have a nice day/

Bro. Dan

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Midnight Dreams-AN ADVIL MOMENT

Sometimes I have difficulty sleeping. It is my knee. It aches badly. It is arthritis, a gimpy disease disturbed mostly by a cold front entering my life.

I get up at 2 a.m., make half of a mayonnaise sandwich, drink some buttermilk, then take an Advil PM. It causes me to dream strange things, like last night, I was in Washington D.C. attending an old downown church. It was a flimsy story of how things had changed. The once famous church was now attended by just a few people, the walls were bare and unpainted, the mutterings from the pulpit were mostly un-understandable, the parisoners were old old and mean. (One said to me, "don't have your Bible open when the preacher is speaking."). And of course the finance committee was looking for extra money to pay the preacher, or maybe hire a choir director.

Nightly, I listen to Milt Rosenberg on WGN Radio in Chicago. Two nights ago someone told him that the best book he had read all year was TRAIN DREAMS by Denis Johnson. Since I come from a long line of railroaders, I kindlelized the book and read it yesterday. It was a great book, but a reminder, like the midnight dream, that times change, and often slowly. The problem is that we do not often recognize it.

So the dream is in Washington D.C., a city once of great dreams, the capital. Now it is broken. Money disappearing. "Old type ladies" running the show in eccentric fashion. I need a remedy for my knee, instead I get a dream that tells me my story. Searching for the past in a rundown church. Going to a city where reality not only depresses, but causes us to be dumbfounded by the fact I really lost my flashlight and the batteries are dead and I can't find my way.

This is not suppose to make sense. Little makes sense today. We are hunting the illusive god particle, finding planets millions of miles away that should have life and we don't even have a spaceship big enough to cast a man into orbit. Our progress has become a nightmare. We aren't who we think we are. Our drones are uncontrollable, and Santa Claus does not have enough gas for his reindeer. Something to think about. Dream Time. AN ADVIL MOMENT.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thomas Merton Memorial Day

Thomas Merton Memorial Day- 

Several years ago several of us online began a day of retreat on December 10th in reference to Thomas Merton. He entered The Abbey of Gethsemani on December 10, 1941, and died in Thailand on December 10, 1968. The significance to this date is important to many of us. So today, in memory of Thomas Merton, we have a day dedicated to his memory. Having an online retreat seems appropriate at this time.

Enclosed is a previous format of this retreat, using the seven hours of prayer used by the monks at Gethsemani, Merton's home monastery.


You can use a previous retreat if you like and add to it as appropriate. Its location is:

Or  you can use your own reflections from Merton's readings, using your own Merton library, and please journal your entries. On facebook you can journal your entries if you like or add to this blog.

I am so thankful for Thomas Merton. Without his spiritual direction I would never have had the opportunities I have been given. I am thankful for that. THANK YOU FATHER! for placing him as a mentor in my life.

As this is a day of retreat with Merton the following are listed as prayer hours, or minutes. You may vary as you like.
7  am vigils and lauds
9 am- Terce
12- Sext
5 pm - Vespers
Bedtime - Compline


Facebook: Facebook/brodanphillips

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


It is that time of year when little things creep into our lives. Some memories with a touch of sadness that remind one of past years. (For instance I just discovered I played taps for 9 coal miners who died in Robbins, TN in 1959. Funny what things you can find on the web.) Or other memories with thanksgiving, publishing my first book this year, a new grandchild Luke Daniel, a trip to the beach, a look at the new Shoney's menu and a free piece of cake.

But if we look and listen there are other tiny examples. Being invited to a Christmas party at the hospital where I formerly worked today, facebook-- sure I get tired of to many ramblings from some people--but it is still a way of keeping up with what is happening. An e-mail from a friend in Wisconsin who is 80 plus years and whose mind and thoughtfulness always challenges me.

And my journal always is an intriguing adventure with words and thoughts such as, what really pleases me, what am I grateful for, (really, a warm puppy in my lap), have I learned to live with my limitations? One thought stood out this week. I was reviewing the things I said when we went to Jerusalem and after 8 full days of visiting holy places I wrote in my journal, "I don't feel like going to any more holy sites." So enough of a good thing can be a bad thing, right? What words rule over me? What captures my attention too much?

My pastor Mark Marshall taught us about lost sheep and lost coins this past Sunday from Luke 15. Pondering his words JOY stood out. When the shepherd found the lost sheep there was joy. When the lady found the lost coin she was JOYFUL and shared with her neighbors. What about Joy?

What brings Joy to God? What brings joy to my life? Sometimes we fumble the ball, our emotions go viral, anger overcomes us. But, we must remember that God forgives and continues to pursue us like the lost sheep. Joy is an attitude, an opportunity.

What brings joy to you this season? Better yet, how can you bring joy to others?