It is October 12, 2018, day 20. I am writing a bit each day about my thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams.

Home, I am not even sure where that is anymore, but I do know that I have left it a lot over the past 23 years. Lately I have been longing for home, longing to go back to it, but not knowing where it is. Earlier this year I was flying back from Cambodia when the thought of home came into my head and heart. I The longing for home was stronger than it has ever been. I was walking through the airport on my layover and so wanted to go home, but couldn’t figure out where that was. Home to me, and my family, is where the people are who are closest to us. Home is mom and dad in Canada. Home is friends and God parents in Seattle. Home is our community in Hawaii, where we lived for three years. The only place that doesn’t feel like home right now is where we currently live.

Today I was reading in the Celtic Daily Prayer, and here is what it said:

Whatever the reason, many of the early Christian Celts shared the desire to travel. in contrast to the red martyrdom of givings one’s life up for Christ, or the green martyrdom of participating in severe penitential practices, they faced the white martyrdom of living years far from home and hearth for the sake of the gospel. The Celts had a specific word, hiraeth, for the extreme yearning for home associated with this latter form of martyrdom; because of their deep love of family. It was considered the hardest of all to endure. Beginning with St. Patrick, Celtic missionaries chose this way of life our of deep devotion to Christ. Edward Sellner, Wisdom of the Celtic Saints.

This passage rings deep with my longing to go home. It rings deep with where I am currently at in feeling like I am not home. I know that this is where we are supposed to be in our journey right now, but it is not easy. The above passage puts words to my situation, which helps a lot.

Dallas Willard says, “Obedience is an essential outcome of Christian spiritual formation.” This is how I continually try to live, in obedience to Him and his prompting on my life. It is not always easy, in fact it is filled with hardship and difficulty, but my family and I will continue to walk in obedience to Christ, until He calls us home.

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It is October 11, 2018, day 19. I am writing a bit each day about my thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams. I like books. I mean, I am not the person who is buying up books every day like an uncontrollable habit, but I am also not the person who would rather watch the movie than read the book. I fall somewhere in between, leaning a bit more to the book side.

How do I choose my books: I mainly choose books that are recommended by others. Last week I was in Mexico learning about immigration. One of the team members highly recommended a book on an child’s journey through Central America, so I ordered it. Another book I am reading was recommend by a teacher that I listen to each week.

When do I read: I read the Bible in the morning, as well as a devotional book called Celtic Daily Prayer. I also read more heavy books in the morning, ones that are more theological. After school, while I sit at my kids swimming lessons I read lighter books, ones that are motivational. Then, at night I read books to my kids, that we both like and will learn from.

Kindle or Paper: Paper for sure, though I do have a lot of books on Kindle, I prefer paper. I like the way paper feels, smells and looks. I like highlighting and underlining and it is easier for me to find stuff I highlighted in paper books, more than on Kindle.

How much do I read: I read approx. 30-40 minutes a day, on average. Not a lot, but I try to read daily.

I am not an avid reader, but I do see it as important and heathy for my life. I want to be continually learning from others, as we all should be. Below are a list of the books I am reading now, if you care to pick one or a few of them up.


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It is October 10, 2018, day 18. I am writing a bit each day about my thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams. Last night I was roller skating with my girls, some friends and the Syrian youth group that I help run. At one point in the night, as I was practicing my crossovers that I learned in the 1980’s, I thought to myself “your old, you have grayish hair, and your rollerskating to pop music with a bunch of teenagers, you don’t belong here.” Thanks self for that deposit into my mind.

This wasn’t the first time I had this thought, it has been happening a lot over the past few weeks. Before this, I had never had these thoughts, so it is all new to me. I remember hearing old telling people telling young people to act their age when they were messing around, or being immature. So, If a teenager is being immature, they are told to act their age. Does this saying apply to those who are old too?

I was just talking to my family about this over the breakfast table. I asked the question, “am I supposed to act my age (46) or my hair color (old man gray)? This really is the thought that has been coming into my head lately, “Phil, act your hair color.” I don’t think 46 is old, but I guess Im getting a bit insecure about feeling and acting young than I ever have.

Do I fight this feeling, or do I give into it?

I know I have to fight it because it is just culture talking, but as we all know, culture talks loud. Culture can dictate what we buy, what music we listen to, who is in, who is out and where and how we shop. Culture is a voice that has the control of many. Jesus tells me to come as a child. Jesus tells me not to worry. Jesus tells me to have fullness of life. Hmmm, that sounds a lot better than what culture is telling me.

I guess the answer is to be yourself, do what you love and be thankful for it. The older I get the more I will have to fight this voice, but the more I fight the more victor I will have over it. I don’t want to be the old dude, who has no fun, hangs with people his own age and eats at Marie Calendars, I want to be me.



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It is October 8, 2018, day 16. I am writing a bit each day about my thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams. I didn’t write the past couple of days, mainly because I was pooped from a busy weekend. As you read here, I spent the weekend on both sides of the US/Mexico border learning about immigration, DACA, Dreamers and the separation of families. It was heartbreaking, refreshing, exhausting and life giving.

The Global Immersion Project is a non profit that works to bring understanding  about conflict, and give stories, statistics and ways to bring peace or at least start the peace process in the midst of conflict. They aim to immerse people in the middle of conflict, guide us to contend with those sitting in conflict and bring restoration, which is a long, complicated, messy process.

I learned so much this past weekend, form so many people on both sides of the wall. I learned from the beautiful people who were on the trip, from deportees, women who are living in the USA without status and missionaries, It was a true gift.

This was the first time that I have been a part of a trip in the past 23 years that I didn’t have to lead. I just got to show up, learn, process, and respond. I didn’t have to give out money, sort transportation, keep a budget or lead a debrief time, I could get used to that, haha.

To end, here are a few resources that provide more information about what I mean when I talk about immigration, peace making and conflict:

  1. Mending the Divides: Creating Love in a Conflicted World. By Jon Huckins and Jer Swigart.
  2. Enriques Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with his Mother. By Sonia N.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in Canada, and the rest of us, have a great Monday.

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It is October 5, 2018, day 13. I am writing a bit each day about my thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams. Today/tonight I am writing a bit about a mission/learning trip I am on this week in Tijuana and San Diego. My first time to Tijuana was 25 years ago. I came on a mission trip with YWAM. We built a home, did some dramas and I even did a Tamborine dance (it will cost you $50 to see that picture).

Tonight, 25 years later, I’m sitting in TJ on a immersion trip learning about immigration, DACA, and reflecting on the first time I was here. I love this country, both the beauty and the brokenness. I have learned so much from Mexico and I am excited to learn more in the next two days.

Today we went to the border wall, on the US side. We heard about immigration, both the facts and the stories. Then, we went over the border to a center that houses men and women who have been deported. I sat across the table from Roberto, a man who just got deported today. He leaves behind his wife and four children. He was not legal in the USA, but was working to provide for his family, and trying to be a good husband and father. He was pulled over for a traffic violation, checked for his status and deported (this was his story).

I was humbled to hear the heartbreaking stories of these men tonight. These men have made mistakes, and were living undocumented in the USA, but still, it is so sad to see them alone, in a country that they don’t know and living in a shelter. The people of the Casa del Migrante center love so well, they look a lot like Jesus. I am excited to go back tomorrow to learn more.


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