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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Th Myth of the Normal Family: Self-Awareness

Th Myth of the Normal Family: Self-Awareness

For my tenth birthday, my parents bought me a pup tent and sleeping bag and suggested I spend more time away from home. “The fresh air is good for you,” my mother said. So I became a camper and spent the nights with my friends in the woods around Danville. There was a...

The Myth of the Normal Family: Accept Responsibility

The Myth of the Normal Family: Accept Responsibility

When Joan and I were married, we went on our honeymoon to Colorado, and on our way there stopped at the Harry Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri.  I had grown up Republican, raised by a father who didn’t care for Mr. Truman and made no bones about...

The Myth of the Normal Family

The Myth of the Normal Family

Well, last weekend, with it being too cold to do anything else, Joan decided to clean out and organize our kitchen cabinets. I was perfectly content binge-watching Downton Abbey, but could tell she wanted my help, so I went in the kitchen and whenever she’d put...

I Am So Tired of Talk

I Am So Tired of Talk

I was in the grocery store this past week, turned a corner into the Dinty Moore beef stew aisle, and saw a man who talks and talks and talks about the most inane, uninteresting things. I felt like a fox caught in a trap. I’d chew my leg off to get away. And there he...

Cherish, As You Are Cherished

Cherish, As You Are Cherished

I met a woman this past week who had given birth back in the summer and she was at that stage where all she wanted was a night’s sleep. Her baby had started out having his days and nights turned around, then he’d gotten one ear infection after another. She’d taken six...

Who Do You Say I Am?

Who Do You Say I Am?

I was reading a newspaper article not long ago about Donald Trump giving a speech at the Values Voter Summit where he announced he was going to put Christ back in Christmas, for which I’m sure Christ is grateful. Jesus had been trying to get back into Christmas, but...

The Staying Power of Grace

The Staying Power of Grace

I was at the doctor’s this past week, waiting for my name to be called. There was nothing to read except for some brochures on cholesterol placed there by a pharmaceutical company. I never read those brochures because I’m very open to suggestion. If I read about heart...

Trapped In Amber

Trapped In Amber

This was our first Thanksgiving without Mom, which put everyone in a funk, except for Madeline, who seemed not to notice her great-grandmother’s absence and was therefore her usual cheerful self, pulling the rest of us out of the dumps by the sheer force of her...

Our First Enthusiasm

Our First Enthusiasm

The weekend before last, when we had our Books and Brunch event, our daughter-in-law brought our granddaughter to the meetinghouse, which made it a morning filled with my three favorite things--bacon, books, and Madeline. After we ate, Madeline wanted to explore the...