PlainSpeech Messages | Find YOUR way to GRACE.

I recently read a message I’d given in 1984 and felt a mixture of embarrassment and surprise. Embarrassed because it seems inadequate now, and surprised by how much my worldview has changed. Twenty-five years from now, I might read these messages and have a similar reaction. I offer no guarantee that my work or words will endure the eroding effects of time. I can only assure you these thoughts have been helpful to me, and perhaps a few others, today. With that qualification, I offer them to you.

~ Philip


The Missing Fruits (Truth)

The Missing Fruits (Truth)

Election time is fast approaching in Danville, we’re voting in a new town board, and the town is abuzz with gossip and speculation. The yard signs are popping up like dandelions, people are staking out their claims, forming alliances, and avoiding people they’ve known...

The Missing Fruits (Courage)

The Missing Fruits (Courage)

One of my favorite movies is A Christmas Story, the scene where the dogs from next door, the Bumpus hounds, break through the front door and carry off the turkey cooling on the kitchen table. Do you remember that? I identify with that scene because the Bumpus family...

The Missing Fruits (Curiosity)

The Missing Fruits (Curiosity)

Our granddaughter Madeline was spending the night one evening last month and she and I began talking about haircuts. She’s a very curious child, so there were lots of haircut questions. She’s decided she’s Rapunzel and never wants a haircut. She asked if I could play...

The Missing Fruits (Positive Anticipation)

The Missing Fruits (Positive Anticipation)

I met Joan in the summer of 1982, when she was working as an intern at Public Service Indiana, and living catty-corner from me. Not realizing she was destined to marry me, she was dating someone else, an oversight we corrected just in time for me to be invited to her...

Fruits of the Spirit (10) (Galatians 5:22)

Fruits of the Spirit (10) (Galatians 5:22)

Joan and I had a fascinating week. We traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend a conference with Baptists from Lubbock, Texas, an ecumenical experience that caused me to reconsider everything I’d ever thought about Baptists from Texas. We stayed an additional three...

Fruits of the Spirit (9) (Galatians  5:22)

Fruits of the Spirit (9) (Galatians 5:22)

I was driving down US 36 the other morning on my way to breakfast with the Quaker Men, and fell in behind a pick-up truck. It had a sticker on the back window that I couldn’t quite make out, one of those silhouette stickers, so I sped up a little to see what it was,...

Fruits of the Spirit (8)  (Galatians 5:22)

Fruits of the Spirit (8) (Galatians 5:22)

When I graduated from high school and began working at Public Service Indiana, I vowed I would never miss a day’s work. Fortunately, I didn’t tell anyone, because three months later I fell down a flight of stairs, cracked my tailbone, hit my head, and had to take a...

Fruits of the Spirit (7)  (Galatians 5:22)

Fruits of the Spirit (7) (Galatians 5:22)

Joan and I were at the grocery store this week, and while she was shopping I was standing at the magazine rack reading and came across a fascinating story about a Japanese soldier from World War II, who evaded capture until 1975, when authorities on a Philippine...

Fruits of the Spirit (6)  (Galatians 5:22)

Fruits of the Spirit (6) (Galatians 5:22)

When the boys were in high school and still lived at home, our phone rang one evening. It was a friend calling to see if we wanted to meet the Dalai Lama, who was coming to Indianapolis the next day to give a speech.  Yes, we thought we did. So Joan took a day of...

Fruits of the Spirit (5)  (Galatians 5:22)

Fruits of the Spirit (5) (Galatians 5:22)

When I was a kid, my brother Glenn told me I was adopted, that they had awakened one morning, opened their front door, and there I was, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a banana box. I was maybe five years old when Glenn told me that, and was initially...

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