Phil’s Blogs
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Phil’s Blogs

Thinking Out Loud

Imagine The Light

Imagine The Light

The Jewish mystic and writer, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, once wrote, “for though my faith is not yours and your faith is not mine, if we are each free to light our own flame, together we can banish some of the darkness of the world.” Since Covid, Northwest Barrie United...

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Slopes and Dreams

Slopes and Dreams

Oprah Winfrey once said, “skiing is the next best thing to having wings”.  I had no idea Oprah was a skier, so I looked it up.  Not only does she ski, but she recently bought a $14,000,000 ski chalet in the Colorado mountains.  Now that’s commitment!!   I tested her...

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LOVE!!

LOVE!!

Happy Valentine's Day!! According to experts who track such things, the average person will spend $176 on Valentine’s Day.  Are you average?  According to the same experts (who seem to have a lot of time on their hands), the thing that you are most likely to spend...

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Chasing Pigeons

Chasing Pigeons

In this winter that isn’t winter, I took a walk in the park. It was so warm the birds were out. Well, to be clear, the pigeons were out. A little girl who was at the park with her mom was trying to make friends with a small flock of them. She was following them around...

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Simple Wisdom

Simple Wisdom

We all need wisdom in our lives.  And we all have places we go to find that wisdom. Some of us may turn to ancient and sacred texts such as the Bible or the Koran.  Others of us may find wisdom in the stories of literary giants like Shakespeare, Jane Austen or Charles...

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Loyalty and “That Kick”

Loyalty and “That Kick”

Robbie Burns famously wrote, “There is no such uncertainty, as a sure thing.”  Boy did those words come home to roost in Buffalo on Sunday night.  With moments to go in the Bill’s divisional championship football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, a kicker by the...

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I Am Where I Am

I Am Where I Am

On the back wall of Northwest Barrie United Church, there hangs a series of banners on which is written the following prayer: “Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities...

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The Heart of the Poet vs The Mind Of The Machine

The Heart of the Poet vs The Mind Of The Machine

So writes the poet: “In moonlit skies, a dance of light, Stars whisper tales through the tranquil night. A gentle breeze, a whispered song, Nature’s poetry, where dreams belong.” I love poetry. Growing up I found it to be a safe place of retreat, where I could go and...

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New Year Intentions

New Year Intentions

2023 is quickly winding down.  What kind of year has it been for you?  Are you excited for 2024? With the end of a new year comes the pressure to make changes.  January 1st is a threshold in time, clearly dividing what is behind us from what is in front of us.  Thus,...

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A Song of Peace

A Song of Peace

In 1818, a young Austrian priest named Joseph Mohr went for a walk on a cold and wintry night just days before Christmas.  He climbed a hill and looked down on the sleepy village which was his home.   He sighed deeply.  His nation had suffered greatly during the...

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The Secret Side of Christmas

The Secret Side of Christmas

A few years ago, I wanted to use the sign outside of our church to advertise the upcoming Christmas Eve services.  I didn’t have enough “c’s” for the sign, so instead of Christmas, I put “xmas”.  Within a couple of hours someone from the church stopped into the office...

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Behind Door Number One…!

Behind Door Number One…!

Last week I posted a picture on Facebook of an Advent Calendar with the caption, “I don’t care how old you are, you are never too old for one of these!”  It sparked an interesting discussion about Advent Calendars.  A few people used the comment section under the...

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My Old Friend

My Old Friend

This week, the season of Advent begins.  Children will be cracking open calendars, shoppers will be checking items of their list, bakers will be baking, decorators will be up on ladders stringing lights, and the countdown to Christmas will ramp up a notch or two, or...

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A Love Like No Other

A Love Like No Other

Last Sunday morning, I had a text from Lori telling me that our 13 year old golden retriever Chloe wasn’t well. She couldn’t stand on her own anymore. It was not really a surprise as her health had been declining, but it was still a shock. I was at the church getting...

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Missing Linda

Missing Linda

Linda is leaving town!!  I was so sad to get the news this morning.  Apparently, she and her husband are moving to Huntsville to be closer to their granddaughter.  To be honest, I didn’t know she had a granddaughter, or a husband for that matter.  And until today, I...

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Perception or Perspective

Perception or Perspective

There is an old story about a group of blindfolded people who were asked to describe an elephant.  Each one was touching a different part of the elephant’s body; thus, each had a different idea of what the entirety of the elephant was like. “An elephant is tough and...

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Matthew, Anthony, Diana and Robin

Matthew, Anthony, Diana and Robin

Celebrities die at the same rate as we common folk, but their deaths can seem more significant given that millions of people have had a stake in their lives, and thus millions of people feel their passing in a personal way.  Social media has given us a platform to...

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The Hourglass

The Hourglass

There is a new Home Sense store that has opened in Barrie.  Technically, it’s not new, it just moved from one end of the Georgian Mall to the other, from a small space to a bigger space.  But even though not new, when you change the space around something, it can seem...

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