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

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How Shall We Live Together (9)

How Shall We Live Together (9)

In 1979, the year I graduated from high school, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and Jimmy Carter, our president at the time, responded by requiring men of a certain age to register with Selective Service in the event the United States reinstituted the draft. I...

How Shall We Live Together (8)

How Shall We Live Together (8)

When I was a kid, my father became active in politics, so my brothers and I were drafted to help him, even though Dad was a Republican and I was starting to see things from the Democrat’s point of view. On election nights, the townspeople would go to the court house...

How Shall We Live Together (7)

How Shall We Live Together (7)

Shortly after Joan and I began dating, some 36 years ago, a child was born down the road from her family’s farm. The baby, a little boy, was born deaf, so just as soon as he grew old enough to play outside, the county installed a road sign of a little boy wearing...

How Shall We Live Together (6)

How Shall We Live Together (6)

It’s been an exciting week in Danville. On Monday, our town board passed an ordinance that allows people to drive golf carts on the town streets and announced it on Facebook, anticipating, wrongly as it turns out, that Danvillians would welcome this development.  A...

How Shall We Live Together (5)

How Shall We Live Together (5)

When I was seven years-old, my mother began teaching at St. Susanna School in Plainfield. Up until then she had enjoyed a life of leisure raising five small children. Five kids born in six years, she being Catholic, and the times being what they were. Mom had attended...

How Shall We Live Together (4)

How Shall We Live Together (4)

When I was 18 years-old I began attending Plainfield Friends Meeting, after the young women at Danville Friends Meeting kept telling me the two things no young man wants to hear─You’re like a brother to me, and I just want to be your friend. So I began attending...

How Shall We Live Together (3)

How Shall We Live Together (3)

We’ve been thinking about the characteristics of responsible nations, and today I want to talk about the difference between can’t and won’t.  Something happened to me last week that brought this to mind. I was driving on Road State 39, south of Danville, and a man...

How Shall We Live Together (2)

How Shall We Live Together (2)

Joan and I were out for a drive this past week and went past the house where my family lived until I was 9. There was a chokeberry tree in the fence row which had somehow escaped the developer’s bulldozer when the neighborhood was built. Since it was the only place...

How Shall We Live Together (1)

How Shall We Live Together (1)

Well, it’s good to be back with you. I thank you for the expressions of concern we received when you learned Joan was ill and I had been placed in charge of her care. I know you weren’t implying anything negative about my abilities, but were simply affirming your love...

What I Remembered and What We Can Be

What I Remembered and What We Can Be

I’ve been thinking about families this month, what with the marriage of our younger son Sam to his fiancé Kelsea on June 17th, which was also Father’s Day. In the hustle and bustle of their wedding, they forgot to get me a Father’s Day present, which I will let slide...