Pope John Paul II...Pray for him.

As a non-Catholic, I have always admired the vigor and stamina of Karol Wotyla (John Paul II). This son of Poland has revolutionized, in many ways, the (then) rather stagnant face of the Roman Catholic Church during his pontificate which began in the late 1970s.

Known for his sharp intellect, wonderful sense of humor, linguistic abilities, Pope John Paul II is loved by the millions, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Few religious leaders, with the exception of Dr Billy Graham, has earned the respect and admiration as has the current Bishop of Rome.

I remember reading Crossing the Threshold of Hope (one of his many encyclicals) several years ago, and being absolutely amazed at the clarity and discernment this wonderful Christian possesses in light of contemporary culture.

Dr Billy Graham once labeled the Pontiff as the "greatest pope of my lifetime"--and he has seen many of them, I'm sure.

I remember seeing Pope John Paul II twice during his pontificate.

The first in 1989 when I was privileged to be in Rome (actually Vatican City) and he was doing some type of blessing on the crowd (can't remember the exact event...I was on vacation in Europe, and spent the day at the Vatican).

The second time was in 1993 during World Youth Day in Denver, and along with multiplied thousands of others, I lined the streets along the "parade route" where the Pontiff would be traveling.

It was a special time...and one that I will cherish for a long time.

Even though I have some strenuous disagreements with the denomination that he leads, I have much, much respect for this tender servant of the Lord. A precious Catholic priest once told me, "The Pope is fiercely loyal to Christ. Unfortunately, many Catholics are more loyal to the Pope than they are to Christ....which the Holy Father would not approve of..."

Let's pray for this good, good man.

One man with enormous courage..


Dr Erwin W Lutzer, Senior Pastor, The Moody Church here in Chicago, has done a marvelous service to this country as well as the rest of the world in his book, The Truth About Same Sex Marriage.

I have included the link above because of the vital importance of this message for our society, both believing and unbelieving alike. The "everyone has the right to marry whomever they choose" crowd hasn't examined all the implications that such "liberties" would force on everyone including themselves.

"Liberties" that are forced are not liberties--they become bondages.

Get a copy of the "Truth about Same Sex Marriage." Read it all the way through and then pass it on.

Terri is dead...May God have mercy on all of us!

Terri Schiavo died just a few minutes ago according to the news reports.

This nation literally starved this person to death.

This is a national shame....and every single person in this nation bears some of the responsibility.

May God, our All-loving, All-merciful, All-holy, and ALL-Just Heavenly Father have mercy on each of us.

When you pray...please remember these people..

Just wanted to ask my "blog readers" to remember these people when you speak to our Father God. These are special people to me....and only a representative sample of God's blessings in my life:

Christian Nass: getting ready to graduate from college, and becoming an Army officer.

Janet Paschal: Battling Breast cancer...and living like a trooper.

David Seleb: My friend here in Chicago..wonderful Christian, wonderful man.

Pastor Al Toledo: My shepherd at Chicago Tabernacle. With a sheep like me, he can certainly use all the prayers you want to offer up.

Thanks for remembering to pray for them.

When the pain is too much to bear...

Someone I know, a Christian, recently decided to end his own life. I'm profoundly saddened that such a tragedy happened first and foremost, and also grieved that he didn't feel that anyone...not even God...cared about him.

So, what happens when a Christians commits suicide?

What about the ones left behind?

What about the family, friends, coworkers, and others who are left to ask "Why?"

Please let me encourage you...

If you are reading this "blog" and you feel that you have reached the "end" of what ever may be happening in your life, talk to someone.

PLEASE...talk to someone. There isn't anything happening in your life that is worth ending YOUR LIFE--because that really solves nothing...and it creates much, much, much pain and disappointment for so many others.

And, taking your own life grieves, may I even suggest, BREAKS, the heart of God.

You can email me if you want to...I will keep all contacts confidential...and I will pray.


God is good! He has created life within you...therefore, Life is good...


Phil Hoover

An Update on Janet....

From Janet Paschal's website:


Her husband John writes about a recent chemotherapy treatment that Janet endured:

Pressing on.....Yesterday was a good day for Janet. She was physically, emotionally, and spiritually charged. Words are simply inadequate in describing how proud I am of Janet. Not once, I mean it, not once has she indulged in self pity. In fact just the opposite.

Allow me to relate a recent event. This latest visit, after Janet and her Oncologist finished reviewing the lab work and other information garnered from that mornings work up, Janet headed upstairs to the chemotherapy room. I waited in the checkout line (that is correct...you wait to check in and you wait to check out, with patience not being a virtue but an absolute necessity!) and about 20 minutes later I joined up with Janet in the chemo room.

I entered Janet's little corner of the room just as Angela was inserting the catheter. Janet had tears in her eyes and I could tell she was really fighting the urge to cry. I waited until Angela walked away for a few minutes to re-supply her cart. I then asked Janet if inserting the catheter had hurt. She assured me that was not the case, but that she was crying because the gentleman sitting across from us had gotten ill during his chemo treatment and had vomited. She was crying for him....that my friends is Janet.
Please continue praying for this wonderful servant of the Lord.

People dear to my heart...(link)


Pastor Gary Langley was my youth leader in Huntsville, Alabama thirty years ago. He is now the Senior Pastor of Windward Worship Center in Kaneohe, Hawaii, where he has served for almost 23 years in various capacities, before becoming the Senior Pastor.

He is quite a character. Great sense of humor, good music, good speaker, and a very loving, and gracious man (most of the time).

Visit the link site, and tell him that Phil Hoover says "howdy."

Please read this....(link)


Terri Schiavo's life is now in the hands of the legislature...and the Lord.

Please pray for her.

The Power of the Gospel....

Just what do we proclaim when we say we are "sharing the Gospel..."?

Are we simply spewing a set of ideas, systematized centuries ago, and deep down inside wonder if all "this stuff" is really true? Does it really "live up to its' claims"?

Are we living out the Gospel of Christ in lives that have been radically transformed by His grace, rescued from the cesspools of sin by His love, and raised from the tombs that have imprisoned us by His power?

Just what is so "good" about this "Good News" that we call the "gospel"?

Does it make us love our neighbors?

Our enemies?

Does this "gospel" free us from our tendencies toward selfish ambitions, self-centeredness and "me-istic" conceit?

Just what does the "Gospel" do for us any way?

What do you think?

I'm listening....

"No Strings Attached..."

Well, everyone gets a bit "suspicious" when we hear these three words, don't we? "NO STRINGS ATTACHED..."

Yeah, right. Uh huh..."whatever you say..."

At least that's what most of us think anyway.

I've recently challenged people in my sphere of friendship and influence to live out their "care" with "no strings attached."

Let me explain what I mean:

As Christians, we are called to be the Body of Christ, the family of God....At least that is the meaning of two-thirds of the New Testament that we all claim to read...and believe.

We are told to have the "same care one for another" and to love one another fervently. Every Epistolary writer (James, Peter, Paul, John, Jude--as all the others) in the Scriptures gives us the picture of what the Family of God should look like.

It is to be one of rebuke and correction. And we all need that from time to time.

It is to be one of instruction in righteousness. And we all need that on a regular basis.

It is to be one of "great grace" (Acts 4:33). And we must have His grace to fill everything we do and want to accomplish.

But most of all, the "family of God" are to be people of love and care. That love and care is to be without strings....in other words, LOVE each other when you need something, and LOVE each other when you don't need anything.

Don't love someone simply for what they can do for you. After all, that's not love...not sure what to call it...but "love" ain't on the list...!

I know someone that will call me regularly when they need me to help them with something. And I know I can count on that person to contact me during those times.

But sadly, I never hear from them any other time.

No calls to say, "Hey Phil, just wanted to check in on you brother, and let you know how special you are..."

No calls to say, "Hey Phil, I missed you at ____________ the other day."

Sorta utilitarian at best, I guess.

But is that the message we want to send a "watching world"?

Is it really?

You decide...and let me know.

My heart's cry....

From the Eighth century, we get this wonderful hymn of Christendom:

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me,
save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought,
by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping,
Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee
and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father,
I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling,
and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity,
Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter,
Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward,
O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance,
now and always:
Thou and Thou only,
first in my heart,
High King of heaven,
my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys,
O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart,
whatever befall,
Still be my Vision,
O Ruler of all.
What greater request and prayer can we make, except to ask the Lord to "be our vision..."
May I always see through His eyes. May I always cry out to Him, "Be Thou my vision...O Lord of my heart..."

Important Questions....

How can we encourage each other?

How can I encourage you to draw closer to Jesus our Lord?

What can I do to help you deepen your relationship to Christ and toHis children?

Do we "really" need each other?

Anybody want to take a stab at these questions?

MEN (of all ages) Pay attention! Women can look too!

One of my colleagues, Larry, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He is only two years old than me (that would be an early forty-something). He has three small boys, and is just a bit concerned about this latest "drama" in his life and that of his family.

I'm beginning to get a little concerned myself...and so is my physician.

Here's a website you might want to check out.

Cancer in any form is nothing to play around with...and I'm beginning to get "more than concerned" about my own physical well being.

I'm not gonna stay young forever....

Keep Larry in your prayers....