I am Phillip Wright – a happy husband, proud dad, and progressing pastor in Springfield, MO, formerly of Fellowship Bible Church and now of The Venues, working toward understanding how to better let Jesus live His life through me as I move through my day, relating to the community around me. Let’s think together about how to connect better to God and to our culture.
I am so excited to have found you. I believe in God…and I believe in you, you have Inspired me in more ways than I could have imagined. Murray and I look forward to reading your blog and hopefully hearing you tell the story again.
Thanks for waking up to soul food.
Where are you going to be on the 23rd?
I am so thankful for “thinking Christians.” It’s about time!
Pastor Wright. I’m so thrilled to have discovered your blog. A breath of fresh air, a satisfying stream of water to ease my thirst which I drink continually from Jesus’ promise but not from our church’s pulpit for as long as I’ve been a Christian. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this journey until that blessed day.
No, I haven’t always understood this type of writing, this kind of grace that touches my heart deeply, until about two years ago. It took God more than two decades to bring me to a place when I realized if was saved by grace, I must also live by grace, and I feel it after reading just a few articles into your blog. The writing on the movie “12 Years a Slave” is beautiful, too.
Phillip you rock brother you bring Jesus into my life in real time real meaning. At Fellowship before and now at The Venues you show me that religion can be true and fun not just law. Thanks again for leading me to a up close and personal relationship with the Savior. Love ya brother.
thank you Phillip for allowing me to not be afraid to search for the truth. You are special ……..
Hello Reverend Phillip Wright,
I just Stumbled, (literally stumbled from frozen toes) across this “about me” profile page, which is really about you. Very little about you. I don’t even know if this is still an active page. If so, I”m Sure you will see my name and wonder what that Ponder guy is harassing you about now. Anyway,
There is some very good information here, however, I would like to comment that you are somewhat understating the facts that you are a happy husband (1 in a million chance), proud dad and progressing pastor. You are Actually an exuberant husband, blessed with a wonderful partner, and you have a son, that like yourself and your spouse, Have a wonderfully warm, loving Spirit. And a gift for making people feel special. Hearing your son teach this morning was such an encouraging time as he is able to to touch the hearts of The Kind of old People , like Me as well as reaching the younger people. Those of us That “found” the Venues while looking for a New church are so blessed by you and your family. When a 60 year old, loner type, single man (60?that’s impossible) finds a church where he can be of service, and feel like he has a family, God has been seriously involved in guiding someone. And in this case, I believe all are following God, as well as we can. I am certainly No Spiritual Giant, but I am a seeker of God and love. I have been involved with several of the mega churches in our area, and I have No Doubt that With You, your wife, and your son and family, could make The Venues a Mega Church, with a giant auditorium and 2000 attending each Sunday. But if We were like that, Would we really reach as many people as we do now? I do not believe so. I have had more friends become open to CHURCH, and Eventually come to Christ, in the last 2 year’s, then at any other time in my life. And it isn’t my doing, that is for sure. I am not a good example of anything, except surviving, and being grateful for help from others. And I have changed, mellowed, but it is mostly that my friends are hearing “the Gospel of Jesus” without all the human laws and interference, and realizing that in attempting to follow Jesus, we find freedom rather than bondage.And you and your son, convey that message better than any others I have ever heard. So as I said at the start, you are being yourself, and you describe your family, and the church you pastor very modestly. Because in actuallity, you, your wife, and son
Are All Superheroes. And the Venues is full of superheroes from childrens care to our outreach programs. It’s just that in True SuperHero Style, most work is done quietly and anonymously. Working for a cause, Not the applause. Thank you Phillip for always welcoming me, and Me getting to be a part of an incredible group of people. See you in the field or at A Blue Christmas. I first had A TYPO “BLUR Christmas”…….had a lot of those. Thankfully it is no longer Blurred or Blue. Sincerely, Terry Ponder
I wrote this on my Facebook page today. I wanted you to know the impact your sermons have had on me. Thank you!
Today as we contemplate Mother’s Day, I want to communicate my undying gratitude that I am Ethan’s mom.
I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. In fact, when people have said that to me, as sooooooo many have, it has always seemed like a flippant remark made to (inadvertently) dismiss and/or justify my suffering. (For a much more eloquent and intelligent study on this topic, please watch Pastor Phillip Wright of The Venues Church https://vimeo.com/268324802.)
Ethan is not a reward, not a trophy I received after finishing the devastating marathon of trying to have a tummy baby. To call him such is ridiculous. He’s a gift. He’s a miracle. But he’s just a little boy, he has his own path, his own journey, one that did not start because my tummy wouldn’t work.
However, yes, I am beyond blessed to call him my son. I get to wake up every day for the rest of my life and call him mine. But whether my path to him was through storrms or sunshine, he would still have been the miracle that he is today. I would still have been the lucky one, not him, that he calls me mom.
And on this Mother’s Day, if there’s anyone out there suffering as I did once, despondent, depressed and left hopeless by fertility challenges, I tell you this story.
I was sitting in the doctor’s office in one of my favorite black dresses, it had raised white polka dots that I would slide between my fingers as I nervously sat and listened to the devstatings words said after a third miscarriage, and I wanted to give up. Pastor Phillip is wrong I thought then— this was God’s way of telling me I didn’t deserve to be a mom, I shouldn’t be one, give up the idea.
I thought and said for days, weeks and months after that day that I would never get over the broken feeling of not being able to give birth to a child. It reinforced everything I already felt about myself. That I was defective. That I was inherently bad. That I was broken beyond repair. That God and the Universe had decreed that my genes should not be duplicated, and I should not be a mother. That I was crazy. That I was bad. That I was being punished. That my inability to carry a child in my body was a clear, undeniable staement about my value as a human being. Or rather, my lack of value to the world.
I thought that for the rest of my life whether I lived 10 more minutes or 60 more years, that I’d never get over the despair of being so “bad” that I couldn’t birth a child.
Several years ago, I don’t remember exactly how old Ethan was, we were walking into Price Cutter. Still in the parking lot we were holding hands when Ethan tugged on my arm and pulled me down to him. Out of nowhere he said: “Mommy, aren’t you so glad your tummy was broken so you got to have me?”
Aren’t you so glad your tummy was broken so you got to have me… with that one line I realized, like a lighting bolt to the head, that all of that pain I felt that day in that white-polka-dotted-black-dress was gone. Like it had never been. This toxic scar that I thought would live in my soul and heart forever was no more. What I once thought I wanted more than anything (a tummy baby) I no longer had even the least desire to possess.
I wanted Ethan. I cannot explain by what miracle I’m allowed to be his mom, but he’s exactly what I wanted. Suffering…. was it suffering? Yes, I know it was, but it seems so dim now. Such a very, very small part of the story.
I was meant to be Ethan’s mom—- whether through sunshine or rain. And I am. And on this Mother’s Day I’m grateful for two things: (1) Ethan and (2) The knowledge that while everything does not happen for a reason, Jesus walks beside me no matter the weather, and through some mysticism that I don’t understand, I was part of a miracle.
Thank you Jill. What a powerful story you are living and telling! You inspire me.