Sunday, January 30, 2005


"I actually watched you melt when you came to our house. I almost heard your heart slow down to a gentle beat."


Recently I read these words, penned in response to someone's visit to a friend's home. It got me thinking. Other people can either cause our icy, hurting hearts to become even more frigid or the warmth of their love and acceptance can begin to melt our cold, cold hearts. The words from an old Hank Williams song came to mind. "Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart."

What effect do your words and actions have on others? Can your words, fitly spoken, begin to melt an icy heart? Or, does your deportment actually cause others to freeze up more? Let's determine, by the enabling of God's Holy Spirit, to be people who warm the hearts of others and actually cause their racing hearts to slow down!

"Father, may my life bring warmth, love, acceptance and forgiveness to those I rub shoulders with on my journey 'home'. I pray this in Jesus' strong name! AMEN"

What Kind of Shadow Are You Casting?

Never Ending Quest, poem by E. Natalie Johnson

Cast a Tall Shadow

My shadow wears my winter things
My hat, my mittens with their strings
And just like mine her face is cast
Against the snow but never lasts
She's on a never ending quest
As sun is sinking in the west
To be a bigger taller me
If even for a time so brief.

Cast A Tall Shadow
2005 photo by E. Natalie Johnson

Check out E. Natalie Johnson's web site @

What kind of a shadow are you casting across your world? How well are you reflecting Jesus?

His Hands and Feet Extended

A friend shared this with me recently!

"Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless (others) now."

- Teresa of Avila

"Make me a blessing
Make me a blessing,
Out of my life
May Jesus shine."

Father, may we touch lives today for your glory through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN!


(I received this note from a friend and felt it was worth passing on)

Here Lies Common Sense...Rest In Peace

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common Sense. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn't always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Note: We laugh (or cry) as we read this because it is so true. Father, help us today to trust you and to be Christ-followers in this world that has lost its moorings. In the strong name of Jesus we pray, AMEN!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Please Take Time for Another Rhyme

Here's another great poem from a friend of mine in Montreal, Patty Sarazen. She is praying for Nathan as he has his surgery today:

Hey Nate
Your dad is great
So you must be too!
If you're alot like him
Then I know you can grin
And bear the pain in your tooth.

I don't know you mom
But I'm sure she's fun
And at least she can be by your side
To hold your hand
It's part of God's plan!
So you don't have to be terrified.

I'll be praying for you
Tomorrow at Noon
As the doctors are checking out your teeth
Breathe from your nose
As you wiggle your toes
God loves you, it's His Hand you'll feel!

Love and prayers,

Thanks so much, Patty!

- (Aloof) David

Note: When Patty first met me, she thought I was very "aloof". Maybe I am but I was able to convince her for awhile that I wasn't. We both served together with Hockey Ministries International.

Keep Brushing!

A Poem Just for Nathan

Today our son Nathan (8) is having some oral surgery done in the hospital. He received e-mails from friends all over the world assuring him of their prayers. Here's a poem from a pastor/writer/friend from the Chicago area:

I'm your father's friend, young Nathan,
and I heard you need some prayer,
so I'm writing you a poem
as a way to say I care.

I am also asking Jesus
to make sure that all goes well.
He is called the Great Physician
and as best as I can tell

He's especially fond of children.
He makes sure He finds a way
to be near them when they need them.
So that's just how I will pray.

I will ask the Lord to help you
as the doctor works real fast
to fix what in you needs fixing
in a way that it will last.

I will pray you won't be worried
when the doctor says let's start.
Just relax and think of Jesus
who is living in your heart.

Though I haven't ever met you,
we're related, you and me.
You and I have the same Father.
Pretty neat. Don't you agree?

by Greg Asimakoupoulos
Chicago, Illinois USA

(Now isn't that a tear-jerker!) Thanks, Greg, for taking the time and making the effort. It's much appreciated! - David (and Nathan)

Jesus Loves Me

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Try Again

There have been no "takers" so far. Nobody has even hazarded a guess as to who this man is/was.

Here's another clue:
He penned the words to one of my favorite hymns:

There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

Any guesses? E-mail me at:

Here's the earlier posting:

Another quiz! Who is this man (yes, he's a man)? Why is he wearing such a strange hat? E-mail your guesses to me at:

Nice Hat ???

O. K. I'll give you one clue! He lived in England! More later if you can't get the answer.

Bowed Down ???

He is Holding You!!!

Quiet . . . Experiencing the Stillness

Coffee Break or Quiet Break?

Recently I visited a childhood friend who has gone through several stressful, life-shattering changes in the past year. He retired from the pastorate and experienced the sudden death of his young, married daughter. He invited me to join him at their home for coffee and conversation. As we chatted, a CD was softly playing in the background and a mini-waterfall (Home Depot version) was subtly filling the room with the sounds of a “babbling brook”.

The setting was very soothing, very pastoral, and we found ourselves reflecting on the struggles of life and the goodness of God. I was able to relax, breath deeply and enjoy the fellowship of another pilgrim making his way “home”. We asked hard questions. We felt “at home” enough to answer them too.

We, in our advancing years, are both becoming much more reflective and contemplative. And we’re enjoying that change!

How about you? Do you take the opportunity to slow down enough to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re at and where you’re going? Do it!

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Feeling the Heat

Again, I refer to my fellow pilgrim, Chuck Congram, who has been leading his congregation on a journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Today Chuck writes of a childhood experience and the need for accountability.

Out of Control?

He writes:

"All this cold weather has stirred memories for me especially around the home where I grew up. We had two sources of heat, a small "annex" in the kitchen in which we burned wood, and in the middle of the house in the dining room, was an oil burning stove which we refueled at least twice a day. Any heat that managed to migrate upstairs did so through the hole in the hallway floor directly above that heater. As a child, there was always a certain measure of fear around that stove. All of this came to a head one of the first evenings my parents left me on my own. I forget exactly what I was doing, but I do know that oil heater was making noises because, as far as I could discern, it was burning out of control. My first line of defense was to throw the manual switch to the 'off' position. However, it seemed to make little difference and I was faced with plan B. My father's business partner was the chief of the fire department and lived just a half block away. I made the call hoping that he would walk the four houses to our place to offer his assistance, but the next thing I heard was the sound of sirens. In a small town when the fire alarm sounds, just about everybody tunes in. Within minutes, all of the equipment was stacked up outside of our home and shortly after, my parents arrived. Needless to say it would be a long time before I was ever left on my own again-certainly not in the winter season.

That story speaks to the foremost reason why I believe I need accountability partners in my spiritual journey. I am just not discerning enough to be able to identify those times when my spiritual, emotional or relational life is in need of having the heat turned either up or down. I know I benefit most when there is someone alongside of me who can perceptively identify when I am at risk or perhaps have grown cold."

How about you? Could you be left alone? None of us can stand alone! Accountability is desperately important these days! The fires of temptation blaze! Who do you have in your life who will ask you the "hard questions"? Let's not journey alone! We may grow cold or we might burn.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Ministry of Letters

The following poem has been pinned to the wall in my office for many years, a reminder of the call of God on my life to write letters of encouragement. I, too, have felt like quitting. Packing it in! Over the past 30 years I've wondered if these notes, cards and letters were really making any difference. But, the Lord continues to re-affirm His calling and I keep writing. Sometimes unwillingly. But I write. For, when I write, I feel His pleasure. - David W. Fisher

Lord, I sometimes think
I can’t strike another typewriter key,
I can’t write another paragraph or word,
I can’t even put down a period
at the end of a sentence.
I look at the fat bundle
of unanswered letters
and it all seems so futile.
so time-consuming, so unending
I can’t think or concentrate.
What I write seems empty, lifeless.
I struggle to keep my thoughts coherent.
Yet, I know I must keep on.
I have committed myself
to a ministry of writing –
Writing letters!

The Pen is Mightier
Than the Sword

And often, God, when I begin to question
my personal commitment
You send me a ray of hope…
a personal rainbow.
Someone stops to say,
“Ten years ago, when I need it most,
you sent me a letter of encouragement.
I’ve read it a hundred times.
It’s worn and tear-stained
but I’ll treasure it forever.”
Lord, I don’t even remember writing.
It’s been so long. But it doesn’t matter.
I see again the value of ministry
and so I’ll continue.
But first, Lord,
I must put a period after the sentence
I so wearily wrote just an hour ago.

- Ruth Harms Calkin

In His love, David

Note: Epistle Sports Ministries, a letter-writing ministry of encouragement to athletes, was founded in 1975 and continues to reach out with "an encouraging word".

Monday, January 24, 2005

He Is No Fool

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." (an entry in Jim Elliot's journal)

Jim Elliot, a modern martyr, gained international recognition when he died with four others at the hands of Auca Indians. His story and memoirs have become a source of missionary inspiration through the writing and speaking of his wife, Elisabeth.

Journals of Jim Elliot, one of my favorite books!

Here are the lyrics from a song by Scott Wesley Brown, a musicianary (musician missionary), who wrote this after reading "Shadow of the Almighty" (Elisabeth Elliot) and "Lords of the Earth" (Don Richardson).

I've lost track of all the Sundays
The offering plates gone by
And as I gave my hard earned dollars
I felt free to keep my life
I talk about commitment
And the need to count the cost
But the words of a martyr show me
I don't really know His cross

For he is no fool
Who gives what he cannot keep
To gain what he cannot lose
Yes, he is no fool
Who lays his own life down
I must make this the path I choose

Obedience and servanthood
Are traits I've rarely shown
And the fellowship of His sufferings
Is a joy I've barely known
There are riches in surrendering
That can't be gained for free
God will share all heaven's wonders
But the price He asks is me.

"God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, LORD Jesus." (Jim Elliot)

Note: The life of Jim Elliot has been such an inspiration to me over the years. His widow, Elisabeth, is my favorite author. Our son Nathan's middle name is "Elliot" in memory of Jim Elliot!

Sunday, January 23, 2005


There's rich beauty in a broken fence. The Father looks for brokenness in His people. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." - Psalm 51:17

The First Snow

Isaiah's "Message" for Today...

My dear friend, Chuck Congram, has been taking his congregation through the Sermon on the Mount this month. He has been communicating with his "larger" flock by e-mail with a daily, thought-provoking message of challenge, blessing and encouragement.

Here's what Chuck wrote today (Sunday, January 23rd, 2005):

Early in my ministry life I remember the advice of an old preacher who said "When you preach, speak to the broken heart in every pew because there is a broken heart in every pew." And for some of you it may be difficult to rejoice these days, so I wanted with you particularly in mind, to take you to a place in God's word where I would encourage you to set down your broken and weary heart:
"But now, God's message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: " Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
"...they will not sweep over you."

When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end-Because I am God, your personal God, the Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: ... That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you. So don't be afraid: I'm with you." Isaiah 43:1-5a (The Message)

Do me a favor. Walk, once again, very slowly through those words. Here's what I want you to be attentive to: What is the one thing that speaks most clearly to you from those words? Think about it carefully and then write that down because I don't want you to lose that insight.

I'm not exactly sure that I did the math right, but it seems to me the words "you", "your" or "you're" appeared 18 times in that short passage. Even more significant was the way Isaiah spoke about the place where we find ourselves from time to time -in over our head, in rough waters or between a rock and a hard place. I know you're going to say that it is easy for me to find strength and joy in verses like that considering the good place I find myself in today. But the reason I find myself drawn there centers on my desire to let that truth wash over me now so that when my circumstances change I can come back here and lay myself and my situation into the hands of the One who made me in the first place, who got me started, who redeemed me, and who called me by name, who promises to be right there with me, who tells me I will not go down, who protects me from dead ends, who paid a huge price for me, who tells me how much I mean to Him and how much He loves me and who ultimately reassures me of how far He will go to make sure I am His.

Thanks, Chuck, for those encouraging words! As we continue our journey "home" today may we be buoyed and steadied by Isaiah's words which still speak so powerfully thousands of years after he penned them.

Take His hand and let Him lead the way!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

English . . . Four all who Reed and Right

My friend Darryl Parsons gave my other friend, Diana Johnson, the following piece. The first thing that came to mind after reading it, was "God Bless all those teaching English as a second language!" Enjoy!

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;
but the plural of ox became oxen not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice;
yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

God Bless all ESL Teachers!!!

If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet,
and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
and the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
but though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
but imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.

Let's face it! - English is a crazy language.

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England.
We take English for granted.

But if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly,
boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?

If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on.
If Dad is Pop, how come Mom isn't Mop?


God Knows What He's Doing!

God Has Big Plans for YOU!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Can You Guess His Identity?

Another quiz! Who is this man (yes, he's a man)? Why is he wearing such a strange hat? E-mail your guesses to me at:

Nice Hat ???

O. K. I'll give you one clue! He lived in England! More later if you can't get the answer.

Books...Priceless Treasures

Old titles...A well-stocked shelf

Some of my best friends are books! Yes, I'm a bibliophile! How about you? Let me know how you feel about books, these priceless treasures. I'm working on an article about the love affair that many enjoy with books. I'd like to include your thoughts and some of your favorite titles. E-mail me at and watch for the upcoming story on this site. Happy collecting!

Precious Heirlooms

Your Personal Mission Statement

Do you have a personal mission statement? What is your reason for living? Can you articulate your purpose for being here? We should be able to give others a reason for the hope we have within us.

What is your personal Mission Statement?

Check out to find out how you can effectively share your personal mission statement.

Half Forgiven or Full Pardon?

Lately I’ve been marveling at the extent of God’s forgiveness. When did you last tell someone that they were partially forgiven? You forgave them for 1/3 of what they did but they will have to indefinitely carry the guilt and shame of the other 2/3? If we don’t treat others this way, how much more forgiving must our Father be!

I’ve been considering a particular phrase that the prophet Isaiah penned so long ago. He urged the wicked sinner to forsake his waywardness and turn to the Lord. The wording used in the King James Version is “abundantly pardon”. That’s God’s response to our confession and repentance! There’s no stinted measure of forgiveness there! It’s full and complete pardon!

Horatio G. Spafford, after losing his daughters at sea, wrote the lyrics to one of the most beloved hymns of all time, It Is Well With My Soul. Revel with me as you read (and sing along perhaps) the third stanza:

“My sin – O, the bliss of this glorious tho’t-
My sin – not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”

Half-forgiven? NO! They’ve been cast into the sea of God’s forgetfulness, never to be remembered against us again . . . no more. (Note the double negative).

Rejoice in the Father’s undeserved and unreserved pardon today!

“Let the wicked forsake His way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God; for He will abundantly pardon.” – Isaiah 55:7 (KJV)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

My Father's Hands

His Hands

Here's a "scribbling" I penned over a year ago:

Recently I had the joy of spending a morning in Syd Birrell's home. God has given me the wonderful gift of getting an inside glimpse of the changes that occur when a man loses a son to cancer. While we were in the “music room”, I played a song on the piano for Syd that the Lord had given me back in the mid 80’s during a difficult time in my life. Syd wrote out the music and lyrics for me and yesterday the choir at Murray Street Baptist Church, where Syd is organist and choir director, sang it as a Benediction. For years my composition had no title but I’ve named it “My Father’s Hands”. Let me share the lyrics, taken from the 139th Psalm, with you:

“Before me, behind me, Thy hand shall be upon me,
Thy right hand shall lead me and guide me always.
How precious, thy thoughts, Lord, to me Thy new creation,
Now search me and know me and lead me to God.”

May God’s strong hand guide you as you journey towards “home”.

Note: Although this chorus was written many years ago, it continues to bless and encourage me when I sit down at the piano and begin to play. I trust the words have been meaningful to you!

One Sentence Sermons

- Be Fishers of Men.... You catch 'em, He'll clean 'em
- A family altar can alter a family
- A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing
- Don't put a question mark where God put a period
- Don't wait for six strong men to take you to church
- Exercise daily. Walk with the Lord!
- Forbidden fruits create many jams
- Give God what's right, not what's left!
- Give Satan an inch and he'll be a ruler
- God doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the called
- God grades on the cross, not the curve
- God loves everyone, but probably prefers "fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts."
- God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage
- Having truth decay? Brush up on your Bible!
- He who angers you, controls you!
- He who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else
- He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
- Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back
- Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity
- Never give the devil a ride! He will always want to drive!
- Nothing ruins the truth like stretching it
- Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark
- "Pray" is a four letter word that you can say anywhere
- Prayer - Don't give God instructions - just report for duty!
- This Church is "Prayer Conditioned!"
- To be almost saved is to be totally lost
- WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning!
- Watch your step carefully! Everyone else does!
- We don't change the message; the message changes us
- We set the sail; God makes the wind
- Wisdom has two parts:
1) Having a lot to say
2) Not saying it

Are You Thirsty? Bring a Bucket!

What are you bringing? A cup or a bucket?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A Cup or a Bucket?

“Let us therefore come boldly before the throne of grace that we may
obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16

Do we come boldly before the Father, as He has invited us to, or do we approach Him with fear and trepidation, hesitant to ask any small thing?

John Newton, former slave trader and composer of the beloved hymn, Amazing Grace, penned the following words.

"Thou art coming to a King
Large petitions with thee bring,
For His grace and power are such
None can ever ask too much."

Nancy Spiegelberg wrote the following poem which we have displayed in our home:

"Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to You
with my empty cup,uncertain in asking
any small drop of refreshment.
If only I had known You better,
I'd have come running with a bucket."

© 1974 Nancy Spiegelberg

Come Expectantly

Check out Nancy Spiegelberg’s excellent web site at:

Let's trust God for "big things". If we don't, then it can be said, as J. B. Phillips entited his book, "Your God Is Too Small". He is NOT too small! He is mighty and worthy to be trusted!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Proud Uncle

Little Fish with the Golden Arch Socks

My nephew, Mike Fisher, continues to play well for Zug in the Swiss League. Of course I'm proud of Little Fish, as I affectionately call him, and I follow his progress regularly on the Zug web site (in German). Thanks for keeping Mike in your prayers!

Greg "Bud" Fisher

Mike's younger brother, Greg (or Bud as we call him), continues shine as the Lindsay Muskies' # 1 goaltender. "Minnow" is hoping to get a scholarship at a U. S. college and go on to play in the NHL. We're praying for you, Bud!

Dark Nights of the Soul

Hot Sweats
Cold Sweats

The Alternative . . .

“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, O Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.” – Psalm 4:8 (KJV)

Perfect Peace

Courtesy of Diana Johnson's Scrapbook - Check out her web site at:
Eternal God, give us Your perfect peace as we face uncertain days (and nights). Give us the assurance that we are firmly ensconced and safely sequestered in Your everlasting arms. In the strong name of Jesus, I pray! AMEN!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Prayer Pointers for Pilgrims

My dear friend, Chuck Congram, pastors a growing flock of pilgrims just outside of Windsor, Ontario. He’s taking them on an incredible journey this month through the Sermon on the Mount. Chuck quoted from the poet Stan Walter Foss in a recent e-mail. Chuckle (no pun intended) as you read this:

The proper way for a man to pray, said Deacon Lemuel Keyes;
And the only proper attitude is down upon his knees.

Nay, I should say the way to pray, said Reverend Doctor Wise,
Is standing straight with outstretched arms with shining upturned eyes.

Oh, no, no, no, said Elder Snow, such posture is too proud.
A man should pray with eyes fast-closed and head contritely bowed.

It seems to me his hands should be austerely clasped in front
With both thumbs pointing to the ground, said Reverend Doctor Blunt.

Last year I fell in Hodgkin's well headfirst, said layman Cyrus Brown.
With both my heels a stickin' up, and my head a-pointin' down;
And I made a prayer right then and there; best prayer I ever said:
The prayin'est prayer I ever prayed, a-standin' on my head.

On a personal note, Chuck adds, In the intervening years of my spiritual journey, I wish I had heard the words of the Benedictine author Dom Chapman say:

"Pray as you can - not as you cannot."

And so, my pilgrim partners, JUST PRAY!

This Pilgrim Pathway

For centuries hymnwriters have referred to the Christian life in terms of pilgrimage. During the night several hymns/gospel songs came to mind and I found myself singing them over subconsciously. The common expression in each was the word “pilgrim”. Let me share a few of them with you:

When We All Get To Heaven

“While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when traveling days are over
Not a shadow, not a sigh.


When we all get to heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!”

Words by Eliza E. Hewitt

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

“O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day
Leaning on the everlasting arms.


Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.”

Words by Elisha A. Hoffman

Surely Goodness and Mercy

“A pilgrim was I and a wand’ring;
In the cold night of sin I did roam,
When Jesus the kind Shepherd found me,
And now I am on my way home.


Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days, all the days of my life.
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever
And I shall feast at the table spread for me.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days, all the days of my life.”

Words by John W. Peterson and Alfred B. Smith
Copyright 1958 by Singspiration Music

CCLI License # 1226832 – Epistle Sports Ministries

As you continue your pilgrimage “home” dear friend, take heart! The clouds will soon clear. We’re nearer “home” than when we first believed.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Original Pilgrim?

My friend Mary Jane Pilgrim (yes, that's her "real" name) sent along this shot of the "original" pilgrim. Thanks, MJ!

The "Original" Pilgrim

The Least of These

And the King shall answer and say unto them, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me." - Matthew 25:40

What Would Jesus Do?
Some personal musings on yesterday's leg of the journey "home" . . .

My first entry on this site was entitled Noisy Restaurants where I related an experience with a group of mentally challenged adults at mealtime in a busy eating place. (Click on the November archives and read it again) Little did I know that six months later I would be working, on a relief basis, ministering to these precious individuals.

Yesterday I sat with three residents at the dinner table in the home where I'm working. Some of their behaviours would have been a real turn-off if I hadn't first prayed that I would see these dear people through the eyes of Jesus. As I joined them for lunch I tried to imagine how Jesus would relate to them. As I viewed them through His eyes, my heart was gripped by a sense of His presence in that very room.

O that we would view everyone as our wonderful Savior sees them! We've become so self-centred and concerned about our own pleasure and comfort! What a tragedy! Where is the compassion that Jesus so lovingly exhibited?

Before leaving for work yesterday I somewhat jokingly penned the following note in an e-mail to some prayer partners:

Hi Ho, Hi Ho,
It's off to work I go.
I trust they'll see
God's love through me,
Hi Ho, Hi Ho!

Today, let's determine to see the people around us through God's eyes. We can be His heart and His hands extended . . . as we interact with those for whom Jesus gave His life.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

His Splendor is Above the Earth

"Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens." - Psalm 148:13

Quiet Reflection

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Year # 29

Back in 1977 the Toronto Blue Jays took flight and I had my boarding pass on that snowy Inauguration Day on April 7th. The upcoming baseball season will be my 29th year of ministry with Baseball Chapel. This ministry, founded by Watson Spoelstra, continues to provide Sunday chapel services, mid-week Bible studies and one-on-one discipleship to interested ballplayers. Check out the Baseball Chapel web site @

Check out the Baseball Chapel Web Site

Daily Encouragement

Encouragement is vital! We need it daily as we journey "home". I've often mentioned my friend Stephen Weber and his Daily Encouragement meditations. You can subscribe to a daily encouragement e-mail that will come each week day morning. Stephen writes these fresh, relevant musings each morning so they are always fresh...just like SUBWAY sandwiches. You can subscribe by writing Stephen at:

Looking for some daily encouragement???

A Clean Slate

Recently my wife went out for the evening and I was left "in charge" of helping our sons with their homework. What a frustrating evening it was! Nothing seemed to go right! Finally (about an hour after they should have been in bed) I tucked them in and prayed with them. Whew! I hoped I wouldn't have a night like that again for a long, long time.

The next morning I had to leave the house earlier than usual and woke the boys up so I could have breakfast with them before I left. The incidents from the night before were forgotten and the boys were forgiven. I couldn't wait to see them!

I'm so thankful that our heavenly Father doesn't love us with any strings attached. Did you mess up yesterday? Did things not work out the way you wanted last night? God was still passionately pursuing some "quiet time" with you this morning! Did you disappoint Him by rushing off to some commitment? He doesn't keep a record of wrongs and hold us at ransom until we "shape up". He can't stand being without us!

"If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared." - Psalm 130:3,4

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Pilgrim's Progress

The other night my sons and I watched a video depiction of John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress". I was thrilled again as I watched Pilgrim stand before the cross of Christ. As he confessed the burden of his sin, the heavy load he was carrying on his back broke free and rolled down the hill. Pilgrim was finally free! That's what happens when we stand before that old rugged cross, by faith, and acknowledge our need of a Savior. He frees us from the weight of our sin and liberates our souls. In the words of the hymnwriter, Margaret L. Carson:

"My chains are snapt,
The bonds of sin are broken,
And I am free.
O let the triumphs of His grace
Be spoken,
Who died for me!"

How are your progressing, fellow pilgrim? Have the pitfalls along the way caused you to stumble? Take the hand of Almighty God and head for the Celestial City. Be encouraged today, dear friend!

"And the burden of my heart rolled away"

Down By the Old Mill Stream

I found this picture today and marveled at God's handiwork! Who could possibly say that there is no God? Not me!

Who says, "There is no God"?

What an Attitude!

My friend, Marg Griffin, sent the following update today! What a heartwarming account from someone in the midst of a battle with cancer! What a positive attitude! Please keep Marg and her husband Bill in your prayers! Thank you!

Marg writes:

"As a result of your loving, faithful prayers, I have been experiencing the most amazing sense of God's amazing grace in every situation. From the lab techs, the x-ray technicians, the nurses, the surgeons to the parish nurse from the church, I have been treated with such compasion, tenderness and skill, that my heart has been overflowing with thanksgiving and peace. The waiting room at the beautiful Crowfoot Radiology clinic had the most magnificient mountain view and Psalm 121 echoed and re-echoed through my mind --- " My help comes from the Lord who will perserve my going out and coming in". The nurse at the women's imaging center where I had my core biopsy was truly one of God's ministering angels as she wrapped me in warm (fresh from the dryer) blankets and put on Pachelbel's Canon (my favorite classical music selection). I feel as if I have a bottomless reservoir of God's strength and power often manifested through my wonderful husband, my kids, my church, my many dear friends from near and far. I am now awaiting my first chemo appointment or my second surgery but I am confident that God's amazing grace will continue to lead the way and be my daily strength. Thank you so much for your caring and loving spirit . God is so good, all the time." - Marg Griffin

Saturday, January 08, 2005

New Senators Goaltender

If the NHL lockout doesn't end soon, Dominik Hasek may find his job being challenged by our grandson, Josiah Fisher. Check out the Senators toque! Go Jo Go!

Josiah Fisher Tending the Goal

New Strength for Miller

We Have a Winner!

Yes, I took the first 25 entries who mentioned Joseph Stowell's "Strength for the Journey", put them together and picked out one name. The winner is Brian Miller, Head Trainer for the Peterborough Petes. NO . . . it was not "rigged". We had participants from Cyprus, Florida, Victoria (BC), Nashville, Windsor, Hagerstwon (MD), Mount Joy (PA), Peoria (IL) and points in between

CONGRATULATIONS, BRIAN! And, to the rest of my friends, I trust that you will experience "real" strength for the journey as you trust God every mile of the "trip".

Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Roger Bennett Battles On

Roger Bennett, formerly with the Cathedrals and now the pianist with Legacy Five has been battling a form of leukemia. Check out his personal journal at: Thanks for keeping Roger in your prayers!

Roger Bennett,
pianist with Legacy Five

Greater Vision

Here's a great picture of my favourite Southern Gospel group, Greater Vision. When they sing they minister to the hearts of their listeners. My life has been enriched by their genuine love for the Lord and the anointing that is upon their music. Many of the songs are written by Rodney Griffin. What a tender heart he has! Check out their web site at

Jason Waldroup, Rodney Griffin & Gerald Wolfe of GREATER VISION

The following is taken from Greater Vision's web site:

As Greater Vision enters their fifteenth year of ministry in 2005, these three gentlemen continue to present the Gospel in a way that has endeared them to audiences with diversified musical tastes for many years. Their diversity has gained them the respect of fans and industry members alike. As Gerald Wolfe says… “We just try to sing songs that minister to us, and if the songs bless us and minister to us, then we believe our listeners will be ministered to.” As for the group’s success, Gerald comments…”We don’t measure our success by how many number one songs we record or the number of awards we receive. Our responsibility is to do whatever we can to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us to touch the life of the listener. If we do that, then we feel like we’re successful.”

Turning the Page to a New Year

An excellent article written by my friend E. Natalie Johnson. Check out her web site at:

How can one not journal at the start of another new year?

The first of January, I get the same feeling I had on the first day of school each September. A fresh notebook full of unused paper. A pencil case full of sharpened coloured pencils. A new box of crayons.

I remember writing so neatly on the crisp white lined paper for the first few days until my notes eventually deteriorated to the same sloppy mess I ended up with the previous year. A desk full of dog eared books, dull pencils, and broken crayons.

Perhaps I have lived enough years now, that I might resolve (with the help and wisdom of the Lord) to remain organized, stay sharp, new, and creative, for His purposes throughout this entire new year.

He has, after all turned the page of my life over to a new year - a new chapter in time. I feel I must give it my best shot for Him. He promised those with faith in Jesus Christ, that old things would pass away and that He would make all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17). As my chronological age increases by one each December, I am acutely aware in January of my innate need to journey through another year with God, rather than attempt to go it alone.

I love to write about a lot of things. But when it comes to my life, I'd rather let God write the story, and in faith enjoy the read while He turns the pages.

January 2005. E. Natalie Johnson.

Passing Down a Name

What’s in a name? My father’s name was Chester Warren Fisher. My parents named me David Warren. Our oldest son is Timothy Andrew Warren. Tim & Nicole gave their son the name Josiah Warren. Four generations of “Warrens”. Will that continue? I don’t know but I hope so!

For two thousand years the name of Christ has been passed along to every one who becomes one of His followers. Entrusting your life to Him, confessing and turning from your sin and accepting His forgiveness qualifies you to take on Christ’s name. Believers in Jesus were first called “Christians” or Christ’s ones in Antioch (Acts 11:26). For generations since then those of us who love and serve Him have gladly taken on His name. We do so without hesitation or embarrassment. I’m not ashamed to be called a Christian. I’m honoured that Christ would be pleased to have me take on His name. As Bill Gaither wrote, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there's just something about that name!" Yes, there certainly is! Charles Wesley in his majestic hymn, "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing" penned these words:

Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease,
'Tis music in the sinners ears,
'Tis life and health and peace."

How about you? Do you carry His name? He longs to pass it along to you! Trust Him today! Give Him your sin, He'll give you His name!

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Extra Strength/A Correction

Further to my earlier offer to send a copy of Joseph Stowell's "Strength for the Journey" to the 25th person who responds . . . I'm going to put the names of the 1st 25 respondents in a hat and pick a winner. Some of you are holding off, hoping to be #25.

Go ahead, send me a note and mention "Strength for the Journey". I hope your day is going well.

In His love,


Friends From Afar

I got to know the Weber family through Stephen's Daily Devotional web site (see my previous post for the details). Two years ago I visited them at their home in Mount Joy, PA and the bond between brothers became even stronger. I commend this family to you! Please keep them in your prayers and check out Stephen's web site. Thank you!

Stephen Weber with his wife, Brooksyne and daughter, Ester

We Have a Winner!

We have a winner! The "mystery man" whose picture appreared yesterday is A. W. Tozer, a great preacher and writer who is now with the Lord. My friend, Stephen Weber, from Mount Joy, PA is the "winner". Check out Stephen's Daily Devotional web site at:

A. W. Tozer wrote numerous books including "The Pursuit of God" and "The Knowledge of the Holy" which I mentioned in an earlier "post".


Note: As I mentioned to Stephen, my mentor, Keith Price, who is now in heaven, was mentored by A. W. Tozer when he was pastoring the Avenue Road Alliance Church in Toronto. I'm hoping that some of Tozer's wisdom and godly insight was somehow passed on to me through Keith Price.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Strength for the Journey

The devotional book that I'm using for 2005 (among others) is Strength for the Journey by Dr. Joseph Stowell, published by Moody Press. I highly recommend this volume. I have an extra copy that I would like to send to the 25th person who responds to this "posting" by sending me an e-mail. Just mention "Strength for the Journey" and I will add your name to the contest. Go ahead! And . . . if you aren't the "blessed" recipient . . . you can order this thought-provoking book at your local Christian bookstore.

I'll await your e-mails! Your fellow pilgrim, David

Dr. Joseph Stowell

Mystery Man

Who is this man anyway? If you know, e-mail me and the first correct respondent will receive a "mystery" gift in the mail. Go ahead! Take a guess! What can you lose?

Mystery Man

PGA, Here I Come

Hockey isn't the only pastime that my nephews are good at. Brandon Edwards is an aspiring (and very good) golfer who is hoping to get a golf scholarship from a school in the U.S. and eventually make the PGA tour. I'm proud of you, BJ!

Brandon Edwards and long-time friend & golf instructor, Ralph Kuster

Our Thoughts About God

My pastor friend, Chuck Congram, challenges us today with the following question:

Let me begin with an important quote by A.W.Tozer -"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." If that is true, I need you to be able to wrestle with this question: When was the last time you simply took a quiet period of time for no other purpose than to listen to God? Do you remember that? It might even be helpful just to write down when that was.

Chuck Congram

Think about Tozer's quote! Also, answer Chuck's question! Challenging "stuff"!

"The Lord Almighty will be exalted by His justice, and the holy God will show Himself holy by His righteousness." - Isaiah 5:16

Note: Two of my all-time favourite books are by A. W. Tozer, "The Pursuit of God" and "The Knowledge of the Holy". Check them out! Order them through your local Christian bookstore! Great, thought-provoking reading!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Mike Fisher in Switzerland

Here's a picture of my nephew, Mike Fisher (Ottawa Senators) suited up for Zug of the Swiss League. Of course his proud uncle keeps track of Mike's success overseas by way of the internet. All the best, Little Fish! - Big Fish

Mike Fisher playing for Zug in Switzerland

The Everlasting Arms

My favourite scripture verse is Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.” I quote it often. The “epistles” I send out often bear this verse. To my discredit, some of my friends often quote God’s word back to me when I fail to fall back into those everlasting arms.

The founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance penned the following words that meant much to me this morning:

“Art thou sunk in depths of sorrow,
Where no arm can reach so low?
There is One whose arms Almighty
Reach beyond thy deepest woe.
God th’ Eternal is thy refuge –
Let it still thy wild alarms;
Underneath thy deepest sorrow
Are the everlasting arms.”

- Rev. A. B. Simpson

Run to your Refuge today and find solace in those strong arms!

Monday, January 03, 2005

The Beauty of Thy Peace

"Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace."

- John Greenleaf Whittier

A prayer for the New Year! O that we might enjoy "ordered lives"!

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord." - Psalm 37:23

God Will Take Responsibility

F. B. Meyer writes, "Are you weary with burdens that are crushing you? Is your heart oppressed with loneliness? Take Jesus into account. Don't face your difficulties alone, but meet them in the fellowship of your Saviour. Let the Lord Christ dwell in your heart and He will be responsible for all."

“We thank thee, Lord, for weary days
When desert streams were dry;
And first we learned what depth of need
Thy love could satisfy.”

- Anonymous

Give Him your burden today. "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7

Can He Care?

The truth that our eternal, immutable, sovereign God cares for every detail of my life and the well-being of every one of His created beings boggles my mind. Not one life in the Tsunami disaster escaped His watchful eye. Amazing! Incredible! Some might ask why He would allow such tragedy. I can't answer that. What I know is that, "as for God, His way is perfect." Psalm 18:30

“Among so many, can He care?
Can special love be everywhere -
A myriad homes – a myriad ways,
And God’s eye over every place?
I asked. My soul bethought of this -
In just that very place of His
Where He hath put, and keepeth you,
God hath no other thing to do.”

- Anonymous

Take heart, weary pilgrim! God cares for you!

Sunday, January 02, 2005


Another writer sent the following note in response to my article, Keeping a Journal:

"I started a New Year's resolution last year. It was called SOAP. I read certain assigned scripture daily, made an observation, wrote how to apply it and then wrote a prayer. It was one of the only New Years resolutions I have been able to keep. I sometimes got behind, but I always caught up and today I finished. It has been a wonderful experience and I recommend it for everyone. The assignments were written out so that by the end of the year you have the entire Bible read. It is such a wonderful feeling to know I did it. Plus the real benefit is how much closer I am to God."

Her SOAP suggestion is excellent.


I'm going to try to use this method myself from time to time. Happy journaling!

Worship Prayer

I wrote the following chorus back in the 70’s. We would sing it in Sunday School just before going to our individual classes. I’ve often sung it since then as a personal prayer of worship before reading God’s Word. May it be a blessing to you today as you read the lyrics! – David W. Fisher

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
Come into His courts with praise;
Lift high the name of Jesus,
Look upon His face.
Quietly we wait before You,
Teach us now we pray;
Lead us to the Fount of Blessing,
Fill us with Your love today.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” – Psalm 100:4,5 (NIV)

Saturday, January 01, 2005

New Beginnings

From our conversations and observations there can be little doubt that the pace of life is so intense these days that the one thing which often gets neglected or squeezed out is providing time for spiritual nurture and reflection. If that is true perhaps these two questions could serve us well:

1. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
2. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what's one way you could go about doing that?

My personal realization is that my life currently is filled with doing things for God much more than pursuing intimacy with Him. The words of Chuck Swindoll are the most challenging in this regard, "Noise and words and frenzied, hectic schedules dull our senses, closing our ears to His still, small voice and making us numb to His touch."

Note: These reflections were written by a pastor friend of mine who will lead his congregation into the new year with a desire to see them develop a deeper intimacy with God. That is my desire for myself, for you and for the body of Christ at large. I trust that this will be a year when you discover God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit in a deeper, fuller way. God bless you on the journey. - David W. Fisher