Phil Letizia

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shameless, Shameless Plug

Many of you know I'm a worship leader here in South Florida. For a lot of years now I've played the guitar and sang in front of people, but never tried to put anything out there for the world to hear.

God willing though, in early '09, (the year of Dan Franklin) along with my sidekick Joe White in Orlando, we'll be finishing a project. A full length album of hymns and psalms. The project is still untitled, so if anything comes to mind, feel free to pass it along. The project is a compilation from a few artists/contributors, including original material from Joe and I.

In the meantime, I created a MySpace Music page over the weekend. Just a place to put up some incredibly rough tunes, that hopefully will sound a lot better on the album. But for now, you can check them out at, as well as some recent sermons.

Hope all is well in your town today.

Phil Letizia - MySpace Music

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Today, the Day

Well, it's here, talk about great expectations. It feels like I've been watching this election cycle with a lot of interest for over a year. I've made many predictions of what I thought was going to happen through the months, and I've been wrong on almost all of them. So, to venture a prediction today here, would be incredibly dangerous.

I am still amazed however, by the beauty of our country. In no other country is the transition of power so seamless, so easy really. Although it may not seem like that to us depending on whoever we're voting for, tomorrow we will see an entirely different leadership and administration begin to take power, whichever side wins.

It makes me think of the struggles others have had throughout the ages to be "free". The struggle that so many still fight for today. As far as I know, God willing, no one will be storming "the Bastille" today, or running around with heads on pikes like they did in France 200 years ago. (Come on, you have to love the French)In January, George W. Bush will shake hands with the next leader of the free world and in that handshake, transfer power to another man, another group, with different ideas and different means.

Pretty amazing.

I said earlier, I wouldn't make a prediction. But come on, I have to! So here's Phil's prediction on today's events. I know you go to your political blogs to find the answers. To Drudge, CNN, Peggy Noonan. But today you've come here, so let me enlighten you of what will happen today...

Everything early will look like an Obama landslide! All the exit polls will favor Obama causing a great deal of excitement among many voters and the media in particular. However, around 8:30pm, things will begin to take shape and we'll see that the exits are not as accurate (they weren't in '04, leading us to believe Kerry had the lead) and McCain will make a strong push. Throughout the night, it will be close, real close. We may not even know until the morning. My final prediction though. In a close, closer than people think race.

Obama wins, 49%, McCain, 46%
I won't take a stab at the electoral votes.

ON a lighter note this Election Tuesday, did everyone get anything interesting while voting? USA TODAY reported people handing out everything from donuts, to unmentionables. Voting Gifts

Happy Election Day! And don't go near the Bastille!

Monday, November 03, 2008


Most of our lives are driven by the hope of outcomes. We stage a play each day in our minds of how things could break for us, how life could turn our way. We are focused on expectations. From relationships to business, political hopes, to sports dreams. Every day, what wakes us from our sleep is the expectation of an eighteen hour block of time being better than the last.

The reality however comes when our head hits the pillow and we come to understand that some of those "Great Expectations" have been met, others dashed, while a few were just simply forgotten about. All of this makes me wonder what drives our hopes and desires. What is it about our hearts and minds that allow our expectations to hijack us like a coal car barreling down the rails of dark shaft. The ride is fast and long but the reach for the handbrake becomes more and more difficult the farther down the mine of expectations we run.

Maybe Calvin and Hobbes were right. "I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep every one's expectations." Maybe an eight year old Calvin can deal with a more balanced life of expectation than I can.

Dickens saw it when he wrote the classic, "I never had one hour's happiness in her society, and yet my mind all round the four-and-twenty hours was harping on the happiness of having her with me unto death." His story of Great Expectations, tells the story of our expectations. That whether something is ultimately good or bad for us, we're governed by the hope of it coming to be in our lives. Even if "one hour of happiness" is all we feel, we beat and scratch for it the other twenty-three long hours.

Whenever we find ourselves in the midst of a situation, a decision, or a problem, we scream for balance. Balance becomes the expectation. But that reality is more elusive perhaps than any other expectation. Will my life ever settle into a balanced, healthy one? Will my views, lifestyle, and hopes reflect a "mid-expectation" world?

But that world is boring, and maybe that's no world I want to live in. Really, after all our work and toil is done under the sun we still need to come back to the realization that everything is for nothing if we don't have something rooting peace deep into our souls.

One of the joys of being human is the hope of expectation. It can carry us through the darkest of hours, and the deepest of disasters. The greatest of expectations is the hope that contentment and peace can actually be experienced in this life. The hope that when my head falls on the pillow top, it finds true rest and not continual uncertainty.

The greatest of expectations belongs to the peacemaker. The one who in all opportunities strives for peace because peace is found in his or her heart always.

And these shall be called, "Sons of God."

Peace is set in the hearts of the sons and daughters of God. The reality of hope, not the expectation of hope, has calmed them to know and love peace, to feel and experience peace, and balanced, content lives here on earth, waiting for the greatest expectation... the coming of the king of peace.

The One who will set every expectation and desire in its proper order.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fetus Fatigue

Fetus Fatigue

Many of us are tired of the election process. The discussion, the debate, the issues. But these are important times with increasingly important issues. I've tried my best to stay out of the fray, let dialogue take place and see where the chips fall.

It has become taboo to be a "one-issue" voter in this election cycle. Whatever side of the aisle you are on, to believe in one, "titanic" issue, is viewed with a skeptical eye.

I love that younger "evangelicals" are becoming more and more passionate about the environment, poverty, Africa, and human rights around the world. Peace around the world is our hope and aim and we pray for it and seek its coming. I still cannot shake however, the issue that looms... abortion.

Even as some of you read this, you may be saying..."Oh, here we go". By posting this I am not imploring you to come to his conclusion. I just hope we do not sleep on it, and you consider it strongly.

Douglas Gruthius, who is a Christian philosopher and apologist, wrote an open letter to "young evangelicals", entitled "Fetus Fatigue". It's linked below, and though his voice is strong, and his tone confrontational... I just can't shake it.

It's not a "faith" issue. It's not a "religious issue".

It is a human rights issue.

For the least of these...
Fetus Fatigue - Gruthius

Friday, September 26, 2008


The economy is the only issue on the minds of most people. From young to old, rich to not so rich, we're all thinking about it. I still can't seem to get my head around how it's all happening, but it is and I'm trying to keep up. For those of us who are young and in our first "real" job, starting life and looking ahead, this is our first big dose of reality on the national scale. Even with 9/11, i was still too young to feel it myself. I saw it, experienced it, but it didn't shake up my world like this could.

It's scary.
Mainly because I don't understand it, though I know I'll be affected by it.

Then today I thought of my 82 year old grandmother. i thought of a generation who grew up in a decade long depression, and lived and fought through the Greatest War the world has ever seen. What did they think about? What was their outlook? How could they have thought things were going to get better?

And I think of my parents, who felt the chill of Cold War. Who waded through the endless nights of Vietnam, oil shortages and rampant inflation.

This is not a pro-USA note trying to say, "We pull through, we always do." I'm not naive. But, there's hope to see that life isn't always about a mortgage, 401K, or job security.

And there's precedent.
In the voice of my Grandmother.
In the eyes of my Father.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Game Changers

The past week has brought an interesting analogy to the world of politics and the American landscape. Sarah Palin's rocket launch into the world of everyday America has many calling her a "game changer". The type of player who forces their opponents to revert to different tactics, to scrap previous plans and adjust accordingly, because if you don't, you lose. She has changed the entire dynamic of the election. The star power and bravado Barak Obama brought to the national stage over the last year was just as powerful, and his rise almost as fast. Both of these personalities have sparked the attention of average Americans, much like an incredible sporting event does, or a Soprano's series finale.

A "game changer", as the term is used for Palin, turns a situation upside down, on its head. You have to start over.

We're all looking for that type of moment. The moment in our lives where things go blurry, fade, black, and then upside down. Granted, we want it to go for the better, but we want the game changer, we need the game changer. How it comes... well, that's the risk, the Hail-Mary pass. It fails most of the time but once in awhile, it changes careers, lives, loves, and us. It changes US.

It can come with a team picking up that one player, the last piece of the messy puzzle that makes things work, puts you over the top and turns a franchise around for years to come. It can come by doing something so unexpected everyone has to sit a little closer to the edge of their seat to see or hear what you're about to say. It can come when a church is in the midst of a step that could change the course of its future. Something risky, that people may not respond to. They need the game changer.

It's scary. But a good shake up is what we all need.

Or, it can come while you sit in a car with friends, having a conversation that changes you. The kind where for the first time things are revealed, exposed, and brought to light. Where it doesn't seem so bad and for the first time in a long time you're able to breathe life, freedom, and ease into the situation.

Change is dynamic.

Change has been the tired, yet effective dynamic of this election year. It plays. Now and always. You know it when you see it. You feel a new dynamic when its there. It's here on both sides. Which way you go is up to you. But to say it's not here, and that you don't need it is even more risky. Not just on the national stage, but on the personal.

Where will it come from?
How will it show itself?
When will your life be turned upside down?

In the middle of a conversation?

It did for me.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Love (III)

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lack’d any thing.

A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungratefull? Ah my deare,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

- George Herbert