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Chaplain Phil's Journal


Introduction

Brothers and sisters in Christ,

The written works contained here span that time in my life from when I first encountered Jesus Christ until the present.  The story of this initial encounter is related here, in a feature entitled "Is Anybody There?"  Anyone interested in knowing me will find pretty much my entire story in the works linked below, and I post this material here because so much of it forms the experiential basis for Radio New Jerusalem.

The earliest works are a series of essays addressed to McCormick Theological Seminary, an institution now as then dedicated to training  men and women for service in ministry within and without the Presbyterian Church.  These pieces were written prior to my departure from the seminary near the end of my first semester in the fall of 1977.  They represent that time in which my faith was finding its voice after years of wandering in the wilderness of unbelief, and the fact that these works seem to hold up so well after all of this time is testimony to the Spirit which infused them rather than to my talent as a writer.   Indeed, what tumbled out of my old Underwood typewriter back then surprises me as much today as it did in those halcyon days of faith when I first wrote it.

The next nearly quarter century is a largely silent time in which my wife, Jean, and I were busy at the tasks at hand that raising seven daughters entailed.  During this time, we purchased and restored an old farmstead and built a vacation rental management business in Leelanau County, Michigan.  We operated this business very successfully until we sold it and our home in 2003.  This was a very formative time in our lives, and it was in these years that we turned our attention skyward during the long, winter nights and began to listen earnestly and seriously to the prophetic Christian programming that filled the shortwave frequencies back in those days.   To encourage others to listen, we built a hobby business around restoring old tube era radios and communication receivers, and this was when I first dreamed of hosting and broadcasting a program of my own. The events of September 11, 2001 rekindled a prophetic urge I hadn't felt since my seminary days, and I wrote a series of short essays that expressed the emotions of that time.  I wrote a few other things thereafter, mostly pertaining to Christian shortwave radio.

 In 2002, a deeply profound personal crisis led Jean and I in search of a deeper relationship with Christ in the Catholic Faith, and both Our Lord and Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, came to reveal themselves in our lives and send us in a new direction. It was during this time that we felt called to sell our business in Michigan, and we used the proceeds to finance the Santa Rosa Hotel in Sebring, Florida.  We operated the Santa Rosa for exactly one year until it was destroyed by Hurricane Jeanne in the fall of 2004.  Subsequently, we ended up moving back to my hometown of Alma, Michigan in 2005, where we established a more humble, but also more spiritually fulfilling life, in which we were called to Catholic ministry: Jean to the elderly and me to the incarcerated as a jail chaplain.  We also felt called to redevelop the Radio New Jerusalem web site, originally dedicated to global Christian shortwave radio and our radio restoration business, into a Catholic news portal and information web site.  In the fall of 2012, my old friend and Catholic brother, Jack Quirk, founded Christian Democracy, an online magazine dedicated to injecting Catholic Social Teaching into the American political discourse, and I wrote a monthly prophecy column for this publication under the heading "Camel's Hair and Locusts."  I ended this column when we began preparations for the latest transition in our life, which has brought us to Safety Harbor, Florida.  The bulk of what is posted here to date comes from this time in Alma, and is comprised of reflections, essays, articles and columns written as inspired or as needed for the various ministries and projects of this last decade.

In the months leading up to the presidential election of 2016, I reprised "Camel's Hair and Lousts" and found the leftist slant of Christian Democracy, and my role as the token conservative on political and religious issues, something neither Jack Quirk nor I could deal with effectively.  As the core issue of the election was more and more revealed, at least to me, to be the struggle of a nation seeking to reclaim its very soul in the 11th hour of a diabolic and sinister leftist possession, I responded with a rekindled love of country, and a new found desire to speak to the leftist inspired propaganda leading into ruin both Church and State.  I addressed this in some detail in an essay titled, What is Truth?  Since that time, the few pieces I have written have been so inspired, and have spoken to the issue of a mainstream media turned leftist propaganda service, and to the quest for freedom of expression, and truth, in the believing Catholic and patriotic American alternative media.  Now that we have settled more permanently in Clearwater, I hope to publish more pieces in this vein, with the hope that this may serve to better illuminate the news as reported on Radio New Jerusalem.

Overall, the writings collected here represent a faith journey; a work still in progress.  As such, they may not all necessarily represent exactly where I am now, but they tell the story of where I have been and how I got from there to here.  What I wrote at certain times is, perhaps, not what I would write now, but it is what it is and I stand by it.  In reality, the goal is to point to Jesus Christ, and where I have accomplished this is where these works succeed.   For where they fail, I beg your indulgence and His forgiveness.

Yours in Him,

Chaplain Phil


Catholic Issues and Opinions

ACTION ALERT! To the Catholic Advocacy Network
The Light of Christ Illuminates the Darkest Days
The Dubia and Filial Correction Describe the Symptoms
Speaking of the Devil
?What is Truth?
The Sixth Hour
Note to Geno: A Brief Introduction to Catholic Mysticism
Crucified With Christ, Twisting in the Wind
Seedpods of a Catholic Spring
Lamentation and Bitter Weeping
Confessions of a Homophobe
The Politics of the Cross
The Seed of Onan
Everything has Been Fine Up Until Now...
Who Am I That My Lord Should Come to Me?
Conversion at the Cross
Saying, "Peace, Peace," When There Is No Peace
Why We Must Not Fiddle While Rome Burns
Thus the Empire of Our Redeemer Embraces All Men
Jesus Christ:Historical Presence, Transcendent King
Lightning Flashes in a Clear Sky
The Church Possessed
Who Am I to Judge?
A New Assumption?
Sometimes in Life We Meet Our Destiny On the Road to Avoid It
Day of the Dove Revisited: Making Peace in the Catholic Church
For All This His Hand Is Stretched Out Still
Comments on"Easter Lore"
Truly This Is the Son of God!
The Gospel According to Albert Nolan
Good Friday in America: The Sixth Hour
Keys of the Kingdom
Heaven is for Real: When Private Revelation Goes Public
Orthodox Ratzinger will Stand Tall in the Shoes of the Fisherman
Lady Justice, RoboCop, and Jesus on the Yellow Brick Road
For the Sake of His Sorrowful Passion
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Apocalypse
The Mark of Cain

Reflections

Whispering Hope: The Final Verse
Who isThis Who Even Forgives Sins?
The Lord Has Truly Been Raised and Has Appeared to Us! A Miraculous and Glorious End to a Wondrous and Joyous Day
That He Might Have Mercy Upon All The Rumors of God's Death have Been Greatly Exaggerated
Truly, You are the Son of God After the Order of Melchizedek
Called According to His Purpose Spider-Man 3: A Gospel Message for the World
The Spirit Comes to the Aid of Our Weakness Jesus Freaks
Put to Death the Deeds of the Body -- And Live! Gospel on the Cutting Room Floor
Whatever You Bind on Earth Shall Be Bound in Heaven My Lord and My God!
Nothing is Concealed that Will Not be Revealed Untie Him and Let Him Go
The Kingdom of Heaven is At Hand Fatted Calves
Let Us Strive to Know the Lord Burning Bush, Holy Name
Founded Upon A Rock The Wandering Aramean
Exceeded Expectations The Source of Our Faith
O Lord, Do Come Along In Our Company Lower Your Nets
Receive the Holy Spirit! A Still More Excellent Way
Ascending Together The Beginning Of His Signs
Journey to Jerusalem Next Year in Jerusalem
He Must Increase While I Must Decrease The Greatest Commandment

Biblical Essays and Commentary


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