Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This is Big Phil. Big Phil in 2004. On his birthday. My parents were in town that weekend because I had graduated. Even they were invited to his birthday party because Big Phil loves everyone. Actually that's not true. But he loves me and my parents.

Phil has a blog. Somewhere between seminary and real life Phil got smart. Or maybe spiritual. Maybe both. Not that he wasn't smart or spiritual in seminary (how ironic), but somehow he's focused and refined those qualities in himself post-Waco and is now producing some really quality shit (I'm quoting him of course).

Phil is about as foul as they come. I would not lie to you. But somewhere in all that vulgarity, if you peek beneath the bald head, the feminist tee-shirt and the tattoos (or even just look closely at them), you will find a large teddy bear with a brain and heart who not only hugs but actually sucks the life out of you. But not in a bad way. You can't help but spill your soul to Phil if you've known him for longer than 15 minutes. Again, I would not lead you astray. I can tell you stories of men and women he's befriended from psychos to deadbeats to the demon-possessed; he could make a Buckingham Palace Guard cry and confess his story. And then Phil would pass that Guard a beer, give him a hug, and tell him he loves him, wiping tears from his own eyes.

You'd think a man named Big Phil wouldn't cry. You'd think someone nicknamed "The Godfather" wouldn't weep. But Philip Shepherd cries. I would not tell a lie. The man cares about people and if you are real with him, he will really cry with you.

So check him out. His link is on my blog of course. It's titled Drive Thru Society. What the heck does that mean? Here's an excerpt... "In my journey the last several years, I've entered into many conversations with my community of family and friends on this question: how do we dine upon this life of the kingdom of heaven here on earth? Throughout these conversations I realized that the vein of Christianity that I grew up in is obese from feasting upon drive-thru spirituality. After I had this long painstaking epiphany, I started asking, "How then do I become healthy?"” And, "“How do we become healthy as a community?"” While I am still looking for answers to that question, one of the answers that I did find is the intentional spiritual formation practices of individuals and communities. Many people ask me to define what is spiritual formation. And this is the answer that I usually give: spiritual formation is the set of tools (if you will) that help us find God outside of our box. Spiritual formation is the practices and disciplines that help us exfoliate the kingdom of heaven here on earth, creating a rhythm for the Creator to illuminate through us."

So please, if you love me, you'll love Phil. If I appall you, you'll really like him. He's very spiritual and I tend to offend the gods.

And now may I introduce... Big Phil.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind words and I truly do miss and love you.


Anonymous said...

The woman does not lie. . .
Ann, you have introduced this man I know so intimately in such an amazingly true way.
We love you,
The Wife of Phil
P.S. - Phil also does speaking engagements. Have him come to you, folks, and you too can experience for yourself life-changing interactions with this man.

Ann said...

Ps- we're dressed like that because it was a theme birthday party - The Soprano's or The Godfather. So I'm dressed as a female Italian mafia gangster. You just can't see my gun.

Aaron Sacco said...

I never knew Big Phil that well, but in my limited time with him, I felt much the same way. Very few people actually listen closely to what a person is saying and respond with thoughtful understanding and caring. All my best to you in the future!