Saturday, April 30, 2005

If I Could Be

This game of "tag" has been making its rounds among bloggers. I don't understand the game so I'll just add my thoughts concerning five (5) of the many occupations which have been listed:

If I could be a musician...I would play the piano like my favorite Southern Gospel pianists, Gerald Wolfe, Stan Whitmire, Roger Bennett and Lorne Matthews. I'd give the royalties from the CD sales to help young pianists pay for lessons.

If I could be a missionary... I would take the gospel to the country which sent so many missionaries to other nations in the 19th and 20th centuries, England. This country suffers from spiritual darkness and needs a modern day revival.

If I could be an athlete... I would volunteer to be the chapel rep and make the chaplain feel wanted and welcomed. I'd seek to live a godly life before my teammates and invite them to Bible studies in my hotel room while on the road. I'd support the chaplain financially and give generously to Christian ministries.

If I could be an inn-keeper... I would have a library where Christian books and videos were available for the guests. I'd also have a small chapel where guests could attend a church service on Sunday mornings.

If I could be a writer... I would give my royalties to provide books for Christians in third-world countries.

But I'm an encourager so I will build up believers so they can become musicians, missionaries, athletes, inn-keepers and writers.

Be encouraged today, my friends!

Finding Treasures

The other day I visited a large Christian bookstore while I was in Ottawa to see the Peterborough Petes. Looking through the SALE shelves I unearthed some hidden treasures. A number of great books had been reduced to $4.99. Talk about a kid in a candy shop...I was having a ball! I left with 5 treasures under my arm. Wow! I was praying for red lights as I drove down the road so I could peruse my purchases.

I picked up three Amy Carmichael books. Gold Cord, Rose from Brier and a third one, the title of which I can't recall. The other two were The Forgotten Spurgeon and The Journals of Jim Elliot. All five are like nuggets of gold! I've already got The Journals of Jim Elliot so I gave the new copy to a great friend.

Journals of Jim Elliot, one of my favorite books!

What books do you treasure? Do you place the highest value on the Book of Books, God's eternal Word? I hope so!

Representing Our Country

The World Hockey Championships have begun in Austria and I'll be watching more closely than every before. My nephew, Mike Fisher, was one of the last additions to the team and will be representing Canada overseas. I can only imagine how it must feel. We wish him all the best over the next couple of weeks. His parents, Jim & Karen, will be flying over later next week. His brother Rob and two of his friends will be going over also. His uncle David will be staying in rural Cavan, Ontario. So sad!

"Little Fish"

We may never have the opportunity to be ambassadors for our country but every day we can represent our Lord and Master in the marketplace, in our homes and wherever God leads us. There is no greater joy than to serve Him and point others to Him.

Do you represent Him well?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Pilgrim's Marching Song

Since attending the Greater Vision/Legacy Five concert the other night, I've almost worn out the latest CD from Greater Vision, "Greater Vision Now and Then". The first song is entitled "On a Journey" and I've played it over and over again. I can envision a "band of believers" lifting their voices heavenward as we get closer to home.

On A Journey

We are on a journey,
Ev'ry step brings us closer home;
We're going to keep our eyes on Jesus
Knowing that He'll lead us
To that land where streets are purest gold.


Walking together towards heaven
Talking and singing about heaven,
Brothers and sisters
Members of the Family of God;
I can't wait to leave here
Don't you want to be there?
When the saints all go marching in;
Some from every nation
What a celebration!
Hand in hand, together with the Lord.

Those who've gone before us
With the Lord will greet us
As we walk through those gates of pearl;
We're going to bow our knees before Him
We're going to worship and adore Him
It's the church, forever with the Lord.

Fellow pilgrims, don't grow weary! The Great Shepherd will lead us safely home! Can you see the lights of heaven just up ahead? Press on, dear friends!

Check out Greater Vision's Web Site at: to order this CD.

Hockey Games & Funeral Homes

Note: I wrote the following article several days ago while my blog was down. Since then the Petes lost 3-2 in overtime to lose the series 4 games straight. I was in Ottawa for the game and was there afterwards when the players were coming out of the dressing room.

This is what I wrote the other night:

My Peterborough Petes lost tonight, 4-3 to the visiting Ottawa 67's. We're down 3 games to 0 in the best of 7 series with the next game in Ottawa on Wednesday night (April 27th). As I waited for the players to come out of the dressing room following their loss, I likened the experience to being at a wake at a funeral home. What do you say that will be meaningful and not trite? So many cliches are mouthed at funerals and sports events. Things like "he's in a better place", "she won't be suffering anymore", "go get 'em the next time", "good effort", etc.

I've found, over the years, that often the best thing to say is NOTHING! Just being there speaks volumes. A smile, a pat on the back, a hug. Those gestures mean a lot!Hopefully I won't have to worry about what to say in Ottawa on Wednesday.


Please Be Patient

Dear Friends of the Pilgrim Scribblings site:

Thanks for your friendship, your encouragement and your visits to Pilgrim Scribblings. In the last few days I've had quite a few problems with the site as you may have noticed. Some blogger friends have already helped me and hopefully we can get back to "normal", whatever that is, real soon. There's still a lot of work to do to get things right so thanks for your patience.

I've lost my counter and my clock but those can be replaced. It's interesting to note that my counter just turned over 5,000 miles (oops, I mean 5,000 visitors) when things shut down on me.

Please e-mail me at: if you have any suggestions. Thanks so much!

Have a good and godly day and may the Lord bless you abundantly!

David/Pilgrim Scribblings

Friday, April 22, 2005

Last Night I Was In Heaven

GOOD NEWS! - Last night (April 21st) I was in heaven. BAD NEWS! - I had to come back down at 11:00 p.m. If you've read my profile (see above) you'll know that I love Southern Gospel music. Greater Vision and Legacy Five are my two favorite groups. Last night both of them were together in Georgetown, Ontario, about 100 miles from our home. Our son Matthew (9) went with me. He loves this style of music as much as I do and has memorized dozens of songs. One of the singers noticed Matthew and commented on his talent after the concert and others noticed that he was singing along on most of Greater Vision's songs. To hear these three men sing It Is Well With My Soul with such tight harmonies gave me goose bumps. Of course the crowd gave the guys a standing ovation at the end of their rendition. Wow! "Heaven came down and glory filled my soul". Sounds like a good song title but someone already used it.

Greater Vision, Three Great Guys!

Anyhow, with apologies to Melissa Rose, Brodie MacLeod, David Kennedy, Tom Tucker and others who think I'm "nuts", it was a night when Jesus was exalted and made much of! We sensed His presence in a powerful way! Too bad "heaven" ended at 11 and we had to make the long drive home. I cranked up the CD player and enjoyed "the best music this side of heaven" all the way home.

Next time I go to "heaven" why don't you come along with me!

Award Winners...Legacy Five

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

My Dream, My Song

A Good, Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing

Recently I was taking an early morning drive to a breakfast appointment and was thinking, again, of the dream I have for a quarterly (or monthly if it's successful) Community Hymn Sing on Sunday evenings. That's the old hymn-lover side of me coming out again. As I drove I thought a theme song for our gatherings would be appropriate and the following words (for verse 1) came to me. I stopped at a rest area and scribbled down the lyrics so I wouldn't forget them. I envision a three-verse song with a different well-known chorus from old hymn between each stanza.

Here's what came to me:

Oh there's nothing like a good, old fashioned hymn sing,
As we tell of all His wondrous grace and pow'r;
So let's lay aside the cares and doubts that plague us
As we praise and worship Him this very hour.

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

And so, I'll dream on and, perhaps, put some feet and legs to the dream. I've shared it with others and there seems to be some interest!

Words of Hope from Spurgeon

The following quote, taken from Elizabeth Skoglund's book, Bright Days, Dark Nights, was a blessing to me. The sorrows we experience are not wasted. A sovereign God will use these dark times in our lives to equip us to minister to others who tread the same path. Be encouraged today! He knows the path that you take!

Spurgeon, The Prince of Preachers

“I often feel very grateful to God that I have undergone fearful depression of spirits. I know the borders of despair, and the horrible brink of that gulf of darkness into which my feet have almost gone; but hundreds of times I have been able to give a helpful grip to brethren and sisters who have come into that same condition, which grip I could never have given if I had not know their deep despondency. So I believe that the darkest and most dreadful experience of a child of God will help him to be a fisher of men if he will but follow Christ. Keep close to your Lord and He will make every step a blessing to you.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 32 (1886)

Monday, April 18, 2005

Who is this Writer?

Oops! I lost the post I had here about the mystery writer. Can any of you bloggers tell me how to recover a post?

Dr. Harry A. Ironside

Anyhow, we have a winner. Becky guessed right when she identified this man of God as Harry A. Ironside. He has written many excellent commentaries published by Loizeaux Brothers and pastored Moody Memorial Church in Chicago.

CONGRATULATIONS, Becky! Check out Becky's blog, The Faith Expedition, at:

Seven Choices

Guess I'm a questionnaire freak! I love asking questions! Here are a few for my blogging friends. Please pass these along to others and send me the results. I'm curious.

Deserted Island...Send me there, please!

You are on a deserted island, OR
You are in prison (heaven forbid) OR
You are away on a personal retreat...

1. You can only have one book with you. What would it be?
2. You can play one CD. What would it be?
3. You are allowed to make one phone call. Who would you call, other than a family member?
4. You are permitted to have one visitor for an afternoon. Who would you choose other than a family member?
5. You are allowed one special snack while there. What would it be?
6. You can only watch one TV program (battery-operated TV on the deserted island). Which one would it be?
7. You are buoyed up by a scripture verse. Which one would give you strength?

Please let me know your answers so I can compute them. THANKS! Reply by sending me a comment or e-mail me at Thanks!

A New Look

Stephen Weber's Daily Encouragement Net web site has a new look. I subscribe to Stephen's devotionals and they always strike home with me. Perhaps it's because I have met the Webers and my resonates with theirs. Check out his excellent site at:

New Header for a great Web Site!

CONGRATULATIONS on the "new look"! Thanks for your ministry to thousands around the world, dear brother! You truly do what the verse stated in your "header" says, "Encourage one another daily." - Hebrews 3:13

Another Hero

All of us have heroes! Even though much of my time is spent with professional and amateur athletes, most of my heroes are godly men and women who have faithfully served God in some type of ministry. Missionaries, preachers, authors, hymnwriters and teachers are among the most respected and loved people who have impacted my life. Godly saints like Amy Carmichael, George Muller, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, Ira Sankey, Isobel Kuhn, Elisabeth Elliot, Marion Loney, my mother and father and others. J. Hudson Taylor who left England to carry the gospel to the millions in China has had a profound influence on my life. Often I've tried to pattern my beliefs, way of life and values after Hudson Taylor's but lately I've been challenged by the words of one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Skoglund (see the link to her site on the left side of mine). She writes, "In all accuracy it should be stated that Taylor lived in an economy different than ours. Additionally one must glean from great lives principles of living rather than strict dogma. Furthermore, it is dangerous to become a carbon copy of anyone." Elizabeth has encouraged me, by this quote, to pattern myself after Jesus Himself and be a unique individual, not a "carbon copy".

Two of Taylor's quotes have given me much food for thought over the years though. They are:

"God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's supply."

"Move men, through God, by prayer alone."

J. Hudson Taylor 1832-1905

Hudson Taylor's favorite hymn:

"Jesus! I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy bounty fills my soul
For, by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole."

Exciting Days!

These are exciting days as the Peterborough Petes advance through the OHL post-season. We have eliminated both the Belleville Bulls and then the St. Michael's College Majors 4 games to 1 in the first two playoff series. Next we face the Ottawa 67's. Our "Monday We Have Fish" chapel services continue throughout the playoff run. We had 16 guys at our most recent get-together and we're meeting on April 18th again. It's good to know that in the midst of all the excitement, the guys still want to have Fish "pointing hockey players to Jesus". Thanks for your prayers as we seek to impact these young lives for eternity! - David ("Fish")

Jeff MacDougald saves a big one against St. Mikes!

He (God) Misses Me? Incredible!

Recently as I was driving to Syracuse, NY I heard the following song made popular by Larnelle Harris, "I Miss My Time With You". I hadn't heard it for quite some time but the words had been on my mind a lot since reading Fil Anderson's book, "Running on Empty". It's hard to imagine that the Creator God, Abba Father, the King of Glory would desire my fellowship but that's why He created me! Can you get your mind around that truth? I find it almost impossible and yet I know, in the deepest recesses of my heart, that it is true.

I Miss My Time With You...

"There He was just waiting,
in our old familiar place
an empty spot beside Him,
where once I used to wait
to be filled with strength and wisdom
for the battles of the day
I would have passed Him by again
if I didn't hear Him say:


I miss my time with you
those moments together
I need to be with you each day
and it hurt's me when you say
you're too busy
busy trying to serve me
but how can you serve me
when your spirit's empty
there's a longing in my heart
wanting more than just a part of you
it's true
I miss my time with you.

What do I have to offer
how can I truly care
my efforts have no meaning
when Your presence isn't there
but You will provide the power
if I take time to pray
I'll stay right here beside Him
and You will never have to say.."


Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Reluctant Traveler

Recently I picked up an excellent workbook entitled The Reluctant Traveler. The bi-line reads, "A Pilgrimage Through Loss and Recovery". The author, Diane Dempsey Marr, is an excellent wordsmith and I've been enjoying her writing. Let me quote from her chapter entitled, "Embracing the Darkness":

"The dark night's apparition whispers to our imagination, convincing us that whatever lies beyond loss is not worth having. But its repeated attempts to drown out the voice of hope only serve to expose its ghostly countenance. We cannot be bound by the chains of darkness when we focus on the intrinsic beauty of night itself. It is rare that natural eyes would recognize the simple elegance of God's perfect plan, for they are not equipped to do so. But the sparkling stars of a moonlit night, seen through spiritual eyes, reveal a glimmering hope that speaks to the very core of our souls; He has a plan for our lives. In the sweet solace of God's presence we learn that, not only is there life after loss, there is abundant life."

Something to think about as we contemplate grief and loss!

Here's someone else's review of this worthwhile book published by Navpress, copyright 2002:

THERE IS LIFE AFTER LOSS! If you are mourning a loss, there is hope. In The Reluctant Traveler, a compass for navigating the deep waters of grief, author Diane Dempsey Marr suggests that if you commit to processing grief step-by-step, it can actually become an ally in refining your character. Marr examines issues such as:

•Identifying and reacting to loss
•Managing anger and avoiding bitterness and rage
•Dealing with depression
•Sorting through normal feelings of loneliness and isolation
•Granting forgiveness
•Integrating loss into life
•Recovering personally

Regardless of how you may feel now, take heart. By learning how to embrace the grieving process, you can restore your life after loss and add deeper dimensions to your spiritual walk.

An Excellent Book for Pilgrims Journeying Through Loss

A Wasted Life?

My blogging friend Debra always includes such great illustrations on her site. This old fashioned picture from the "good old days" brought back fond memories. But is the caption true? Is a clean house a sign of a wasted life? I don't think so but anything we obsess over, anything that takes our eyes and focus off the One who gives abundant life can lead to waste. What is important in your life? A clean house, a clean car, clean yard, a clean garage, a clear mind or a clean heart?

Is This True or Not? Something to Think About

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." - Psalm 51:10

Check out Debra's site at:

Solved Mysteries

Who is this mystery woman? We had several good guesses. Florence Nightingale, Amy Carmichael, Fanny Crosby, Jane Fonda (no, just kidding about that last one). My friends at our local Christian bookstore guessed her name after I gave them almost every clue in the book (no pun intended) they don't win the prize. Finally, Diana Johnson got the right answer. The mystery lady is Frances Ridley Havergal, author, hymnwriter and godly lady from a past generation. One of her better known hymns is "Take My Life And Let It Be". The prize for the winner? I'm not sure yet. More mystery guesses later.

Check out Diana Johnson's "blog" at

Have a great week!


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Mystery Woman

Who is this woman? Only two clues...she was a strong Christian and her work still lives on. The first correct answer wins a prize! Who is this mystery woman?

Who Is This Woman?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Difficult or Impossible?

Recently I picked up an old friend, a book, that I marked up pretty well several years ago. It's entitled "Through the Wilderness of Loneliness", authored by Tim Hansel (published by David C. Cook). I always enjoy reading that parts that I've previously highlighted in a book. I'm not at home with a book unless I have a marker or a highlighter in hand. Unlike many people, I think marking up a book increases its value. Anyhow, a number of quotes in the book caught my attention. Here's one that hit home:

Streams in the Wilderness

"When God is going to do something wonderful, He begins with a difficulty. If He is going to do something very wonderful, He begins with an impossibility." - Dewey Cass

If that's true, and I believe it is, I have all the prerequisites for God to do something VERY wonderful. Are there difficulties? YES! Impossibilities? Humanly speaking, YES! I'm sure you're in the same boat. Once we've committed our situation/circumstance to the Father, we can sit back at watch God do miraculous things! Maybe today!

"Now to Him to is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen! - Ephesians 3:20,21

Encouragement 101

One of my favorite fellow "bloggers" is Debra. Recently she wrote a piece on encouragement. Have you encouraged someone today? I'm sharing most of her story below. Why not check out Debra's web log at: and leave a comment of encouragement on her site. Visiting "As I See It Now" is worth it just for the pictures she includes. The excellent writing is an added bonus. Check her out!

Where Do You Turn When Your Encouragers Are Out to Lunch?

Debra writes:

Encouragement 101. The best thing I learned in that class? "But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord" ...I Sam. 30:6 Very often, you can't wait for a truckload of Christians to come along and peel you off the Highway of Life. Sometimes you just have to ask God to do it. You have to let Him be The Great Encourager when all your regular encouragers are out to lunch... When they've not picked up the signals--spoken or otherwise--relaying the fact that you need some kind, uplifting words.

Sometimes, in fact, God purposely scrambles those signals in hopes that we will come to Him for encouragement. In that case, it does no good to get upset with the people who failed to race to us when we needed them. So often it's more a matter of God wanting us to run to the Throne, instead of the phone in times of need. (I am stealing that statement, I'll confess.) I am so thankful for Encouragement 101. Kind, healing words from other people--really, they're wonderful! But sometimes even the best encouragers fail us, for whatever reasons.

There is only one Encourager who never, ever fails.

Monday, April 11, 2005

A Crazy Day in a Busy Life...

Just thought you’d be interested in reading a journal of the events of a day in the glamorous (sic) life of a sports chaplain:

Fasten your seatbelts. We’re going for a ride:

Sunday, April 10th:
6:00 a.m.
– Wake up at my night shift job at Christian Horizons. Go over my message(s) for Baseball Chapel services at the Rogers Centre (formerly Skydome) in Toronto. I say messages because I used a different outlines in the Red Sox’ and Blue Jays’ chapels.
7:00 a.m. – Leave Christian Horizons and go home for a quick shower, shave and change.
8:00 a.m. – Leave for Toronto.
9:00 a.m. – Listen to Ravi Zacharias’s “Let My People Think”radio program, a regular routine on my way to the chapel services at the ballpark.
9:30 a.m. – Arrive at the Rogers Centre and I have to pay $25.00 for parking because the $13.00 lot where I usually park is already full.

Jays' Home Opener on April 8th, 2005 at the Rogers Centre

9:45 a.m. – Go down to Field Level and arrange for the Argos’ Dressing Room # 1 to be opened for the Red Sox’ chapel. When I get to that room I walk in on the lady cheerleaders who are using our “chapel” for a change room. Embarrassed, I go to Dressing Room # 2 and discover that there are no chairs. After walking endless miles (it seems), chairs are ordered and I go into the Red Sox clubhouse to ask chapel rep Trot Nixon when we can hold our service. He decides that 10:45 would be best.
10:15 a.m. – Go to Blue Jays’ clubhouse and I see Gabe Gross (my best friend on the team) speaking to a newspaper reporter. He had just been told that he’d been optioned to AAA Syracuse but it was no surprise. He is a committed Christian with a great attitude. I’ll see him this weekend in Syracuse. Discover that the wives’ lounge where we normally conduct the Jays’ chapel is filled with players’ furniture, golf clubs, suitcases, bicycles and all manner of things. We clear a spot big enough to hold our service.
10:45 a.m. – Red Sox chapel service with 8 players, 2 coaches and the radio broadcaster in attendance.
11:15 a.m. – Call Gabe Gross at the Renaissance Hotel and find out that the Jays are sending a limousine after the game to take him to Buffalo where the Syracuse Skychiefs begin a series on Monday.
11: 40 a.m. – Blue Jays’ General Manager, J. P. Ricciardi, who is very supportive of our ministry to the players, passes me in the hallway and says, “keep the faith, David!” – What an encouragement that was!
11: 50 a.m. – Blue Jays’ chapel. Only 4 players come but the manager, John Gibbons, is there along with a media guy. Chapel went well in spite of low attendance.
12:20 p.m. – Visited the Umpires Room and prayed with the four umps before the game. This has become a regular Sunday occurrence throughout professional baseball.
1:00 p.m. – I go to the parking lot and discover that I have lost my key so I call CAA and ask them to come and unlock the car in case I have left the keys inside.
2:00 p.m. – CAA man arrives and unlocks the car. No key! I call home and our son says he will bring me the spare key.
3:13 p.m. – I catch the GO commuter train to Pickering and plan to meet Brad there at 3:50 so I can catch the 4:00 o’clock train back to Toronto with the key.
4:05 p.m. – Brad arrives late and brings our 8 year-old son Nathan with him so Nathan can enjoy the train ride with me.
5:00 p.m. – We catch the later train and ride back to Toronto, get the car at the Rogers Centre.
6:00 p.m. – Leave the Rogers Centre
6:45 p.m. – Get some dinner on the way home
7:30 p.m. – Arrive home and help Carol get Matthew and Nathan off to bed.
8: 45 p.m. – Leave to catch the last few minutes of the Peterborough Petes’ playoff game against the St. Michael’s College Majors.
9:15 p.m. – Arrive at the rink and catch the final two minutes of the game. Game went into overtime and the Petes won 2-1.
9:45 p.m. – Visited with a number of the players following the game. They were pretty excited and now enjoy and 2 games to 1 lead in this series.
10:30 p.m. – Left the rink and headed to my job at Christian Horizons
11:00 p.m. – Back where I started the day, tired but pleased that, for the most part, things went well during my hectic day.
12:00 a.m. – Ready for my “night-sleep” shift.

Much to be thankful for on this Lord’s Day in spite of the potholes and detours along the road. God had been faithful and true again and I had the wonderful opportunity to lift up Jesus and present him to ballplayers, umpires and hockey players. Glamorous? I’m not so sure about that. Hope you enjoyed walking through the day with me. Are you as tired as I am? Sleep well!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

One of My Heroes

If you read my profile above you'll know that Elisabeth Elliot is my favorite author. She is also one of my heroes! Here's a brief bio of the widow of Jim Elliot. Her best loved books include Through Gates of Splendor, The Savage my Kinsman and Shadow of the Almighty.

Here's a brief biographical sketch of her life:

My parents were missionaries in Belgium where I was born. When I was a few months old, we came to the U.S. and lived in Germantown, not far from Philadelphia, where my father became an editor of the Sunday School Times. Some of my contemporaries may remember the publication which was used by hundreds of churches for their weekly unified Sunday School teaching materials.

Elisabeth Elliot

Our family continued to live in Philadelphia and then in New Jersey until I left home to attend Wheaton College. By that time, the family had increased to four brothers and one sister. My studies in classical Greek would one day enable me to work in the area of unwritten languages to develop a form of writing.

A year after I went to Ecuador, Jim Elliot, whom I had met at Wheaton, also entered tribal areas with the Quichua Indians. In nineteen fifty three we were married in the city of Quito and continued our work together. Jim had always hoped to have the opportunity to enter the territory of an unreached tribe. The Aucas were in that category -- a fierce group whom no one had succeeded in meeting without being killed. After the discovery of their whereabouts, Jim and four other missionaries entered Auca territory. After a friendly contact with three of the tribe, they were speared to death.

Our daughter Valerie was 10 months old when Jim was killed. I continued working with the Quichua Indians when, through a remarkable providence, I met two Auca women who lived with me for one year. They were the key to my going in to live with the tribe that had killed the five missionaries. I remained there for two years.

After having worked for two years with the Aucas, I returned to the Quichua work and remained there until 1963 when Valerie and I returned to the U.S. Since then, my life has been one of writing and speaking. It also included, in 1969, a marriage to Addison Leitch, professor of theology at Gordon Conwell Seminary in Massachusetts. He died in 1973. After his death I had two lodgers in my home. One of them married my daughter, the other one, Lars Gren, married me. Since then we have worked together.

Divine Discontent

Recently (April 8) I heard a passionate plea on a Christian radio program for Christians to return to their first love and be totally, unreservedly committed to our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Michael Youssef pastors The Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, GA. His radio program is called Leading the Way. Dr. Youssef is an Egyptian believer with a powerful ministry.

Dr. Michael Youssef

Check out the web site at

Check on the archives link to hear the April 8th broadcast. You'll be challenged! I was! I have a couple of Youssef's books, his latest being "Divine Discontent".

Another Red Sea

Recently I heard a great new song by one of my favorite Southern Gospel groups, Gold City. Here are the lyrics. Hope you enjoy them!

Gold City on Easter Sunday

It's Just Another Red Sea

Well let me tell you 'bout a story, the prophet Daniel told
How three Hebrew boys wouldn't bow to the king's image of gold;
Well he threw them in the fire, but the Lord was there too
And he delivered them the same way He'll deliver you.


It's just another Red Sea
That the Lord will walk you through;
It's just another giant
Like the one that David slew.
Well it's just another battle
An opportunity, for you to claim the victory;
Don't worry when the water looks deep
It's just another red sea.

So you say you've got a problem, feelin' helpless and afraid
Another dead-end situation, with no hope for your escape;
Just remember when it looks like you have faced your final hour
God sees it as another chance to move and prove His power.

CCLI License # 1226832 - Epistle Sports Ministries

Note: For great pointers on how to face "another Red Sea" in your life, check out Robert Morgan's excellent book, The Red Sea Rules. See my earlier post for more information.

Separated by a Streetcar and a Bus

Yesterday I had the pleasure (it's great when "work" is "fun") of being with two of the teams I minister to within an hour or two of each other. It was OPENING DAY for the Toronto Blue Jays so I went to the Rogers Centre (formerly Skydome) to visit with some of the Jays and Red Sox before the game. Being OPENING DAY, there was a flurry of pre-game activity and it was good to see the facelift that parts of the stadium have received since the new owners took over. Rather than parking at the stadium and paying "an arm and a leg", I parked at the arena where the St. Michael's Majors OHL team plays.

Last night they were hosting another of my teams, the Peterborough Petes, and I wanted to catch the game. I took a bus and a streetcar from the rink to the stadium and then returned in time to watch the Petes lose a heartbreaker to St. Mikes 8 - 6.

Toronto Streetcar

What a day! I've had the privilege of being the "spiritual caretaker" for the Toronto Blue Jays since they came into existence 29 years ago. I've done the same with the Peterborough Petes for the past 9 seasons. To be with both teams the same afternoon/evening was a blessing!

Thanks for your prayers as I continue to "point these athletes to Jesus"!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Un-Sacrifice

Another thought-provoking, well-written, gut-wrenching piece of writing from Debra's web site, As I See It Now. See link on the left. It certainly challenged me when I read it. - David

This post will shake some of you up, but hang in there with me, ok? There's one thing I know for sure: If I want radical changes in my life, I will have to do some radical things in order to get them. It's downright foolish of me to keep doing the same old thing and expect different results. Years ago, God told me in order to make room for more of Him inside me, I would have to let go of anything which was taking the place reserved only for Him. It was like He would come to the theater of my heart, walk down the aisle to His reserved seat, and then find other people sitting there.

He doesn't like it when that happens.So because I told God I was willing to do whatever it took to become empty of me and full of Him, He put me through a sort of spiritual boot camp. We started with a class named Coming When Called 1A. It didn't sound hard. All I had to do was come away with God whenever that still, small voice called me. Well, it would have been easy if He only called me when nothing else was going on. But instead, I'd hear that voice call me right before my friends were going to go out for coffee. Or during the time my favorite tv show aired or even--gasp--right before a Sunday night church service.

He even asked me to stop writing letters to some of my friends, even though they probably would not understand why. Oh my... It didn't make sense back then, but it certainly does now. I was so addicted to friendship, that God had to yank my fingers from their death-grip upon it. He had to wake me to the need of obedience even in small areas like tv viewing. And the first time He had me stay home from a church service (no one went to church more than me, except perhaps the pastor--but maybe not even him) He showed me how I'd used such legalistic standards while judging others about their own church attendance (or lack thereof). And of course, since letters had been my lifeline, He had to tie that lifeline off--for a season.

I could go on and on. Coming When Called 1A was no easy A--trust me. It required sacrifice because let's face it--it is never easy to die. It is never easy to do what almost no one else thinks you should do. And yet...and yet sooner than you would have guessed, it became more of an un-sacrifice. Something which appeared harder to my friends and others who didn't understand than it was in actuality to me. When God tells you to do something, He usually forgets to tell your friends about it. He means to do that--it's all part of the course. It's on every test.

Coming When Called 1A became a joy, because there is nothing sweeter on Earth than spending time with the God who made you for Himself. There is nothing more wonder-filled than His presence. Like I said, my death-grip had been on friendship and seeking approval. What is yours on?It took radical obedience for me to be set free from my various addictions. I took Coming When Called 1A eleven years ago and I'm still going through God College. I've taken lots of courses since then and still have never found an easy one I can recommend to you. But I will recommend this: Don't try to skip courses or cut class. Don't expect to sail through any course God puts you through in a measly week or two. All changes take time. But you can expect help from Grace. She doesn't hand out cheat sheets, or anything, but she will help you with your homework.

Piano Interlude

Recently I stopped at my mother's home due to a sudden urge to play the piano. As I was "fiddling around" on the piano (mom wasn't there), the lyrics and melody to a praise chorus came to me. Being a lover of old hymns, the lyrics were "King James Version'ish" but that's me! I'm glad I scribbled down the words because the tune has left me . . . for now at least. Thought you might enjoy these lyrics:


Almighty God, Ancient of Days

O Thou Almighty God
Ancient of Days,
Loving and Faithful One
Thy name we praise!

Now and eternally
Thou art the same;
Crowned now in majesty,
Exalt your name!

We worship Thee, O Christ,
Thy anthem raise!

- David W. Fisher

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

What Will You Do With Christ?

Lately I've been reading through the Gospel According to Matthew. As I've been reading, I've noted the following things concerning the Lord Jesus in the first four chapters.

Christ Knocking...Will You Let Him In?

The Holy Spirit CONCEIVED Him!
The Wise Men WORSHIPED Him!
John the Baptist BAPTIZED Him!
God, the Father, AFFIRMED Him!
Satan TEMPTED Him!
The angels ATTENDED Him!
The disciples OBEYED Him!
The crowds FOLLOWED Him!

I will choose to __________________Him!

Choose one or more: TRUST, REJECT, IGNORE

My prayer is that you would choose to trust,
believe in, obey, serve, praise, worship, accept,
and follow Him. Choose today. "What think ye
of Christ?" "What will you do with this Man who
is called the Christ?"

53 Years in God's Family

April 6th is always a special day for me! It was 53 years ago on April 6th, 1952 that I made the most important decision that any person can make! It was on a Sunday morning, after listening to a Christian radio program, that I invited Jesus Christ to come into my life and take control. Even though I was only 6 years old at the time, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I needed a Savior and that Christ had died in my place at Calvary. My mother had the joy and pleasure of praying with me that morning and I was "born again" by God's Holy Spirit. Mom is still alive and well. Dad was called home to be with the Lord almost 13 years ago. I thank God for godly parents who nurtured me in the "things of the Lord".

Life's Most Important Decision

I'll be celebrating thanks to God for "His unspeakable gift". Have you made that decision to allow Christ to take control of your life? He is waiting to come in and transform you, giving you peace, joy, contentment and hope for the future. Trust Him today!

The following "post" was written on the 50th anniversary of my conversion. Check it out!

The Landlord of My Head

Debra had a great "post" today on her site that caught my eye. We certainly allow some pretty poor tenants to take up residence in our minds. Perhaps we should take note of Paul's exhortation to the Christians in Philippi as recorded in Philippians 4:8. Check out Debra's blog by clicking on the link at the left, As I See It Now!

Debra writes:

"That's me--the landlord of my own head. Up there I own a street of lovely homes which I rent out to those feelings and emotions I deem worthy and responsible to take up residence. I look these folks over and decide who will add to the peacefulness of my street and who will not. To the peace-enhancers I give my hand. To the others, I give my boot.

Sometimes, though, certain emotions come in a good disguise when really they are not good at all. And sometimes I've discovered some feelings living up there who snuck in through windows while I was unaware. They didn't even ask first if they could take up residence. I have had to step into those houses and insist that those squatters leave, they and all their junky belongings.

Oh my... the bad renters I have had! The Evil Forebodings are renters who keep returning and I keep having to throw them out. If I don't, they sit on the front porch in rocking chairs and shout words like, "Hey! Things have been going really well for you lately. Maybe a little too well, perhaps? Maybe you are due for something bad to happen next. Better look out!"

I've learned you just can't let folks like that rent space in your head. You have to insist that they leave--sometimes over and over until they get the message. Otherwise they ruin your life because they get you believing for bad things instead of good. And it matters what we believe. Like Jesus said, "Be it done unto you, even as you believed."

Other bad renters?

The Easily Offendeds
The Fearfuls
The Guilties
The Dreadings
The Worries
The Unforgivings
The Irritables
The Allaboutme's

All will ruin my life if I don't exercise my legal, God-given right to kick them out of my homes.

Who are the good renters, you ask? Who adds to the peaceful neighborhood of my head?

The Mercifuls
The Courageous'
The Pardoneds
The Anticipatings
The Trustings
The Forgivings
The Calms
The Notallaboutme's

...and so many more.

I enjoy being the landlord of my head. It's never a boring job and God and I get to write up all the contracts. He and I are in charge of what goes on up there--and we are certainly not helpless in dealing with bad renters."

Still I Will Trust

The following peom brought much encouragement to my soul as I read it. Isaiah 41:10 has always been one of my favorite portions of scripture. Please check out Saija's web site, Thro' a Glass Darkly, for other encouraging "posts" (See the link at the left). May you know God's loving embrace TODAY as you lean on His everlasting arms.


Still I will trust, though all my hopes lie shattered
In broken fragments at my feet:
Though all my plans, like driven leaves, are scattered
By winds of darkness and defeat.
For in my need I hear my Saviour saying,
In answer to my pleading and my praying,
“I am thy God, be not afraid:
I will be near, be not dismayed!”

Yea, in the deepest shadows of death’s valley,
Where sorrows circle me around;
When all the powers of darkness seem to rally,
And scarce a ray of light is found.
Then will I trust in Christ with great rejoicing,
In Him who once again His love is voicing -
"I am thy God, be not afraid;
I will be near, be not dismayed!”

So will I walk with Christ, in faith believing,
With childlike trust, whate’er betide:
And from His hand His strength and love receiving,
As in His presence I abide.
Thus shall I journey on to His glad morrow,
Where I shall hear him say, “Lay down thy sorrow,
Come dwell with Me in realms above,
Where all is light, and life, and love.”

- Albert Simpson Reitz

I found comfort in this poem in the days when Leo didn't yet know the Lord, and I prayed earnestly for his salvation; in the dark days of his surgeries and disappointments, because there was no cure for the chronic pain and God said "no" to healing; in the darker days of a marriage in trouble ... the Lord has never once let go of my hand and has always given me a song in the night ... He will do the same for you ... - Saija

Saija & Leo on a recent outing

Note: Regarding the "ministry" of blogging, Saija's husband Leo follows the Toronto Blue Jays during the baseball season. When Saija and Leo found out (through my blog) that I'm the Jays' chapel leader they committed to pray for me and for others on the team who I have mentioned. God is doing great things through this "blogging" phenomena. Thanks for your prayers on my behalf. - David

Monday, April 04, 2005

Running on Empty...Update

The following note was posted on this site last December. Due to the positive impact that Running on Empty had on my life, I thought I should "post" it again and encourage you to pick up a copy. Since reading the book, the author, Fil Anderson, and I have stayed in touch by e-mail. He has been such a blessing and encouragement to me.

Fil Anderson

A Great New Book That Has Impacted My Life . . .

If you're like me, you live your life at a breakneck pace and find little time for the spiritual disciplines that are essential to health of your "inner man". In February, while in Florida on my first Spring Training trip, I picked up a new book by an author I had not heard of before. His name is Fil Anderson and his book is entitled "Running On Empty".

I completed the book and have begun my second "journey" through its pages. Fil has written things that I've "felt" for years and have never heard anyone else "say" before. I highly recommend that you visit your local Christian bookstore and pick up a copy. Special order it if you have to. It is published by Waterbrook Books. (See the link below).
God bless you today as you "journey" towards home.

Random Interview Project

The following interview appeared on Mikao's World, a web site that I visit often. See the link on the left of this page.

This fourth interview in The Random Interview Project 2nd Round comes from David Fisher, of the blog Pilgrim Scribblings. I don't really know him at all, but I believe he reads my blog from time-to-time, and knows a few people I know. :)

1. Tell us a little bit about who you are.
I'm a 59 year old man involved in sports ministry as chaplain to the Toronto Blue Jays. We have 5 grown children in their 30's and two young boys who we adopted. They are 9 and 8. I'm a born-again Christian who loves the Lord.

2. What is one of your favourite things about being a parent?
I enjoy spending time with our boys and, hopefully, impacting their lives in a positive way.

3. If you could attend a free year of college or university anywhere for a year, what school would you choose and what would you want to take and why?
I'd like to attend Capernwray Bible College in England and take a basic Bible course.

4. What has been one of the hardest biblical concepts for you to comprehend?
That God loves me unconditionally and desires my fellowship. He loves me passionately. That's hard to grasp because I know my own heart.

5. What is your favourite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?
Go on hikes with our boys.

6. What has been one of your life's most rewarding experiences?
I guess leading Canada's first woman Indian chief, Elsie Knott, to Christ might be one of the most rewarding.

7. What are some things you anticipate happening in the world in the next ten years?
I'm afraid to think of what might happen. The way our nation of Canada is forsaking biblical principles I hate to think of where we might be. God may have to judge our nation for leaving Him out of our affairs.

8. Who, living or not, would you most like to sit down with and have a conversation with, and why?
Apart from Jesus I guess it would be my hero, George Muller, who founded orphanages in Bristol, England in the 1800's.

9. What are some of your favourite aspects of your hometown?
I grew up in a very special neighbourhood where the kids all got along very well. We had a very close-knit family that lived within two or three blocks of each other. My church was a very central part of my life growing up.

10. What do you remember most vividly about your wedding day?
We had a crazy man who tried to get into the church and was intent on disrupting our wedding. We had to lock the doors of the church and tell the ushers that he couldn't enter.

Hope Springs Anew

If we fully realized the awesome power of an encouraging word and acted accordingly, hope would spring anew in the lives of the recipients. Encourage someone today! Write a note! Send an e-mail! Give someone a hug! Call a friend on the phone!

"The human spirit soars with hope when lifted by an encouraging word." - Author Unknown

Untold Millions

A quote from a recent Our Daily Bread devotional:

"Untold millions are perishing

. . . UNTOLD!"

Who is going to tell them of Jesus and His love? Am I? Are you? If not, why not?


Recently I had the distinct pleasure (and thrill) of hearing our son Tim take a segment of the preaching time at the church where he is an elder. Tim and his pastor challenged the congregation at Lincoln Road Chapel in Waterloo, Ontario. Tim had given me a "heads up" a week or two ago that he would be preaching and asked me to keep him in my prayers as he prepared and presented. Of course I was thrilled to do so. I told Tim by e-mail that I had a commitment I had to keep (thus making him think I couldn't be present yesterday). Actually the "commitment" was to be there and I slipped into the back row just before the service began and "hid" behind someone so Tim wouldn't see me. Tim did a "great job" (and I'm not just biased) and following the service I walked up behind him and commented, "not bad, Tim". Of course he was surprised and very pleased that I had come to hear him.

That was a momentous occasion for both father and son! What a privilege to be there! I was reminded afresh that those "little things" that we do for our kids are, in fact, "huge" for them. Let's determine, by God's enabling, to do some of those "little things" this week for those that we rub shoulders with.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

What Kind of Christian?

Recently I heard a message where four types of Christians were mentioned. Then we were challenged by the pastor to think about which definition most suited us.

The types were:

1. Census Christian - You're only a "Christian" because that's what you stated on your census form.
2. Ceremonial Christian - You're part of the CE crowd. You only attend church at Christmas and Easter.
3. Customized Christian - You accept the parts of Christianity that are appealing to you and discard those which are uncomfortable and hard to embrace. Only the parts of the Bible which are non-threatening become relevant to you.
4. Committed Christian - You fully commit your life to Jesus Christ and entrust yourself to Him, being obedient to what He asks of you and being filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit.

So, which type am I? What about you?

Incurable Passion for Hymns

The following article appeared on a "blog" that I often read. The author, Cindy Swanson, has captured my thoughts and articulated them so well! We even love the same hymns! Thought you might be interested (if you're an incurable hymn lover like me) in reading this piece:

Charles Wesley, Hymnwriter

"Hymns are the vocal equivalent of stained glass. They have served across centuries to glorify God, teach and celebrate the faith and shed light on every lifeI didn't have a chance to look at yesterday's USA Today until today (is that a tongue-twister, or what?) But finally glancing over it this morning, my attention was caught by an article about Christian music: "Easter sings anew," by Cathy Lynn Grossman. Any major newspaper article that quotes "He Lives" is guaranteed to catch my eye: "He walks with me, and talks with me, along life's narrow way. "I've blogged before about my love of hymns and my concern that they're dying out and being replaced by nice, but sometimes shallow and repetitive choruses. Don't get me wrong, praise choruses have a valid place. But there's nothing quite so stirring as one of the great old hymns of the faith.

The USA Today article quotes Jars of Clay lead singer Dan Haseltine (his name inexplicably misspelled): "We want lyrics that remind us, 'Why am I going to church? Why am I drawn to worship?' The great hymns talk about man's depravity and God's greatness and how God bridges that gap..." "You read the stories of hymn writers who were always grappling with how the gospel meets suffering, pain, frustration and doubt. Hymns are their response. There's a richness in their works because they are wrestling with it all. They are not people — we are not people — who have figured it all out." Jars of Clay is one of several groups that are giving hymns a spirited new voice and in some cases, a whole new audience. The band's new album, "Redemption Songs," includes versions of "I Need Thee Every Hour" and "Nothing But the Blood. "I'm blessed to go to a church where hymns are sung on a regular basis. I can't adequately describe the times my soul has been stirred, my heart blessed and my eyes filled with tears of praise and gratitude while singing songs like "Great is Thy Faithfulness," "And Can it Be" (my personal favorite), and "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross." USA Today's Grossman writes: "Hymns are the vocal equivalent of stained glass. They have served across centuries to glorify God, teach and celebrate the faith and shed light on every life." Amen!

Check out Cindy's "blog" at:

And Can It Be

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

- Charles Wesley

30 Great Things to Do

My friend, Neville Christensen, from New Zealand, sent the following list today. Here's something to keep you busily and profitably engaged for the month of April. Great advice! Have a good month! God bless you richly! - David

1. Dream big, take risks, live boldly.
2. Make a habit of early to bed and early to rise.
3. Love deeply and passionately.
4. Stay connected to God, every minute, every day.
5. Be quick to praise, slow to criticize.
6. Go the extra mile. Cheerfully give people more than expected.
7. Live life with eternal perspective.
8. Give generously without expecting anything in return.
9. Write notes of appreciation daily.
10. Read more books and watch less TV.
11. For every recent book, read a book from prior century.
12. Be quick to admit mistakes and ask for forgiveness.
13. Every day you laugh and cry is a good day.
14. Make failure a stepping-stone to success.
15. Tell your spouse & children you love them every day.
16. Call your mom often.
17. Look people in the eye.
18. Be enthusiastic.
19. Find a quiet place to retreat and pray so you can keep your eyes on Jesus.
20. Always have someone you are mentoring, and someone mentoring you.
21. Give thanks in all circumstances.
22. Think outside the box, be creative.
23. Never pay back wrong for wrong or seek revenge.
24. Sow generously. As you sow, so shall you reap.
25. Smile and enjoy life. Stop and smell the roses.
26. Don't go through life as a tourist; be God's ambassador.
27. Make your home a place of joy and peace.
28. Keep friends for life.
29. Don't worry about what people are thinking of you; they're not thinking of you.
30. Your attitude and character is more important than your looks.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

You Earned It, Gabe!

Gabe Gross

Toronto Blue Jays' outfielder, Gabe Gross, has rightfully earned a spot on the team's 25 man roster! Gabe led the team in home runs and rbi's during Spring Training and has shown why he was the Jays' #1 pick in the 2001 draft. Gabe has been a good friend since signing with the Jays' organization and has been a Baseball Chapel rep with the various teams he has played for. A strong Christian, Gabe has led several chapel services himself including a service this spring when Sports Illustrated writer, Tom Verducci, joined in. CONGRATULATIONS, my friend! You deserve this!

Note: Gabe was optioned to the AAA Syracuse Skychiefs on Sunday, April 10th, but his attitude is positive and he knows that God has everything under control! Gabe will be back in the "show" soon. - David, April 13th, 2005

Praise...Bondage Breaker

My "Faith Writers" friend, Mitzi Smith, penned the followed offering of praise to her God. I'm sure you'll join me in saying "AMEN" as you read this expression of adoration to our awesome God!

Our Awesome God

"Praise the Lord for it is the key to unlocking the chains of bondage!

I can barely take it all in. I’m becoming more and more open, as He renews my mind and infills my spirit with a new breath and a new touch. Precious, Precious Lord, My Savior, how I adore You. Beautiful Maker, Lover of My Soul, I will not allow anything to come between me and You. You are my everything.

I press in for a touch. I bow humbly at Your feet. You are Faithful and True. You have never forsaken me. I know that I will understand it better by and by. You will not let the righteous be forsaken. We are in You – white as snow, pure and clean by the Precious Blood of the Lamb of God.

I love you, Lord Jesus. I could never thank You enough. Your Spirit is so tender and sweet. Thank You for the tough love, as I know that You are looking out for my best. I trust You if You still the storm and I trust You if You do not. I trust You as You carry me, as You still me to stand in You. Anchor me in the Rock of Your love."
- Mitzi Smith