Thursday, June 30, 2005
The Millbrook Scene
Millbrook & Cavan Historical Society
in downtown Millbrook
Why not pay us a visit sometime. You'll be glad you did!
The "Write" Stuff
One of the columns I read without fail is written by a Christian lady, Kimberley Payne. I'm encouraged each week as she shares biblical principles, without apology, in her column, Today's Faith. Her writing is relevant, pertinent and uplifting.
Kimberley Payne, local writer
For those of you who live in a small town, why not hone your writing skills by offering to submit a column to the local paper each week. Some towns publish a weekly newspaper and some offer the paper twice a week.
What a wonderful opportunity to share you faith in a meaningful way without cramming "religion" down the throats of the readers. You do it skillfully, Kimberley! Thanks so much and may the Lord use your column to bring others to Himself.
4th Line Theatre in Millbrook
Another Millbrook feature is the 4th Line Theatre, live theatre in a rural, outdoor setting.
The Moral Decline of Canada
Here's a letter from the Canadian President of Focus on the Family. Let's join them in their fight to preserve the sanctity of the family and biblical marriage:
By now many of you will know that the House of Commons has passed legislation to make same-sex marriages legal all across Canada. Though this legislation will redefine marriage in law, we are committed more than ever to protecting marriage. The results of last night's vote provide renewed impetus for Canadians to work harder than ever to promote the value of marriage between a man and a woman.
Redefining marriage blatantly disregards the deeply held beliefs-whether religious or not-of millions of Canadians who believe marriage is meant for a man and a woman. Public opinion polls have been very clear: the majority of Canadians do not support this legislation. We expect it will be an important consideration in the upcoming election as Canadians return to the polls.
I want to make it very clear that regardless of what courts and parliament may do, Focus on the Family will continue to do all we can to ensure that marriage between one man and one woman is valued, supported, and protected. We will do what we have done since our inception more than 20 years ago: provide help for marriages and families. It will be more difficult than before, but we will continue to do so.
We will also be working hard to strengthen religious freedoms in Canada. New legislation is needed at the provincial level to ensure that all Canadians' rights to freedom of religion, conscience and expression are vigorously protected and upheld.
Many Canadians like you have contacted Focus on the Family Canada and have thanked us for speaking on behalf of marriage. Our very vocal, public defense of marriage over the last two years has been costly to our organization and many of our staff have put in long hours to ensure we provided you with complimentary resources to get involved including thousands of Marriage Action Kits and our online email- and fax-to-MPs service. We've also been quick to respond to media and have held numerous meetings and events in Ottawa to support marriage and take every opportunity possible to get out a "message for marriage".
We thank you for partnering with us over the last few months and ask you to join with us as we move forward. More than ever we need you to play a vital role in shaping the future of our country.
We appreciate the generous support we have received from you and ask that you continue to partner with us both in prayer and financially to help Focus on the Family maintain a strong voice for faith and family in Canada.
From all the staff here at Focus on the Family Canada- thank you and may God bless you.
For more information or to contact us click here.
President of Focus on the Family Canada
Dr. Charles Stanley
FACING CHALLENGES - Psalm 17
"Challenges are universal. Whether we face financial difficulty, health crises, or personal trauma, we all struggle through some hardship in our lives. The believer's first instinct should be to pray, which is certainly the right approach, but the manner in which we pray is also important.
Worship is not reserved for Sunday morning, but should come from our lips every day. Our conversations with God are often problem-focused, but many of the heroes of the Old Testament laced their requests with worship of the Almighty. David repeatedly speaks of God's protection even as he begs for refuge from Saul's pursuing army. We will stand up from our prayer time with renewed vigor and confidence if we spend time acknowledging God's capability to handle our challenges, instead of concentrating on the trial.
Another way to tackle our problems is to get others involved in praying for us. Sometimes this requires courage and boldness. We may be private people, or perhaps we are dealing with a deeply personal issue. But the prayers of fellow believers will encourage and strengthen our spirit. If you have never heard another person calling out your name before God, let me tell you it is a very powerful experience.
In addition, the Lord may use one of our prayer partners to provide a solution. The words he or she speaks in passing could contain the exact message God wants us to hear. We can be certain He will always show us a way to resolve the difficulty we face, whether through another person, His Word, or His voice in our hearts."
Fellow pilgrim, let's avail ourselves of all the Great Shepherd has to offer today! Let's offer Him our worship as we entrust our challenges to Him. He is more than able to meet our every need. - David
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
A Gift...For YOU!
Blogging buddy Susan writes the following "post" concerning our gift of TODAY:
Each Day...A Gift From God:
"With the recent death of my friend Hugo...and seeing my beloved Pastor, Chuck Obremski, in his ongoing battle with cancer...I'm more cognizant that each day that we are given, is a gift from God.
Not too along ago when Chuck began his recent series "Living Life in the Light of Eternity" we prayed that God would grant Chuck the time to preach the message which God had laid upon his heart. God has been faithful and merciful and answered our prayers abundantly. He has given him the strength each week...to preach a powerful message from His Word. Chuck in turn has been obedient to God and faithful to use the gifts God has given him.
Each day is gift from God. None of us is granted another hour...much less another day. We should examine ourselves and ask, what am I doing with the gifts that God has given me? Am I faithful and obedient to do that which He has asked me to do? Do I seek His will and plan for my life? Am I doing that which is pleasing to God?
While none of us is guaranteed another day here on earth, each one us can receive that guarantee of an eternal future secure in heaven...with God our Father...His Blessed Son and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. As you lay your head on your pillow tonight...ask yourself if your eternal future is secure? If not...remedy that right now...and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. The Lover of your soul...has gift waiting just for you."
So, as the biblical writer challenged us... "teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom." I'm not sure of the scriptural reference just now but I'll post that after I find it. - David
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
My Cousin Carolynn
As soon as Carolynn called, she asked, "are you alright?". I was having a "bad" day and felt overwhelmed with the "stuff" I was working on and dealing with. The timing of her call was impeccable. Isn't that the way God works?
We talked for a few minutes and she quoted a verse from 1 Peter 5 which has meant a lot to me in the past. I needed to be reminded of it again today though. Peter writes, "And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." (vs. 10)
What are you struggling with today? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Receive encouragement from the Word of God, as recorded by Peter, a man who struggled himself.
Do you know what I like about that verse? It says God "Himself" will make us strong. He doesn't send an emisarry because He's too busy. He HIMSELF will do the work because He's infinitely interested and concerned about YOU!
The Place We Call Home
We've been attending Auburn for over four years now and we are grateful for what God is doing there. Many years ago I taught Sunday School there. We were attending Westmount Bible Chapel but Auburn was a small, struggling "work" at the time and they needed Sunday School teachers. I guess in a real sense I was a missionary "to" Auburn.
That's me...the big, tall guy in the blue vest and yellow shirt
standing next to the aisle on the right side of the sanctuary.
I'm grateful for an assembly of believers that believes in the ministries I'm involved in and is supportive in every sense of the word.
Be sure to pay us a visit.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Desert Reflections by the Lake
A Dry & Thirsty Land
As we encounter our desert experiences on life's pilgrimage we are not alone! The One who Himself was tempted in the desert (yet sinned not), walks with us through our droughts and desperations. We can choose to make these desert places a meeting place where we encounter the living Christ and then, as we emerge from our trials, we can "comfort others with the comfort wherewith we ourselves have been comforted".
"Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion." - Psalm 84:5-7 (NIV)
Jesus from A to Z
The chorus is filled with names of our Lord Jesus. Here it is:
Anointed One, Beloved Son, Christ…th’Eternal Gift of God,
Deliverer, El-Shaddai, Faithful to the very end.
Glorious in all your splendor, Holy, Holy is Your name,
Infinite, Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Messiah, Nazarene, Omnipotent, the Prince of Peace,
Quick’ning One, Redeemer, Saviour, True and Living Word,
Unique, Victorious & Wonderful, Excellent in all Your ways,
Yahweh, Zion’s Hope, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
We worship You the Lord of Hosts!
Names & Attributes:
King of kings
Lord of lords
Prince of Peace
True & Living Word
Lord of Hosts
Maybe sometime, when I get brave, I’ll sing the song and you can hear it on an “audio post”. Until then, I pray that the words, at least, will be meaningful and precious to you!
Note: In response to this article my blogging friend Susan wrote the following: "When I find it hard to pray...one thing that helps me to focus is to think upon/dwell on the attributes of God...or his different names or titles. It quiets my mind...and help me to better focus. From there it's easy to offer praise and thankgiving to my great God and Savior, Jesus Christ."
I find doing this very effective as well. - David
Feeling Sorry For Ourselves
- First the engine went in our van.
- Next, our oil furnace quit in the middle of the winter.
- Then our roof started leaking and had to be re-shingled.
- Next, the transmission conked out in our van.
- One day our stove almost started a fire and had to be replaced.
- Then we had to repair the dishwasher.
- And finally (I hope this is the end of the list for awhile) our John Deere riding mower needed an overhaul.
In total, this set us back over $17.000.00 at a time when finances were extremely low. Yes, I must admit, I was feeling sorry for myself until I recalled the Apostle Paul's list of setbacks.
Paul's list: (taken from 2 Corinthians 11:24-28)
24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
So, when I line up my setbacks against the Apostle Paul's they pale in comparison. Yet they were so real and so costly, so discouraging, so untimely (I thought). Yet the Great Provider meets our needs in the midst of our trials and is "an ever present help in time of trouble".
What challenges are you battling today? Place your hand in God's powerful grip and let Him walk with you through the discouragement. When we are thrown into the furnace of affliction we can state, as the three young Hebrew men affirmed, "the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king." (Daniel 3:17)
Be encouraged today, my friends. You are not alone!
Friday, June 24, 2005
Greater far than this communication is the way which God speaks to us, His children. The writer to the Hebrews stated that "in times past God spoke unto the fathers by the prophets but in these last days has spoken to us through His Son." "But God demonstrated His love in this fashion, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8
I'm grateful to the Father that He revealed His great love to us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, on the cross. That that's real, true communication!
Now what are you saying back to Him? Have you told Him lately that you love Him? If not, why not?
Mighty Warrior for Jesus
When you read this article by Diane Reed...you'll understand why I feel ever so blessed by God that he has allowed me to sit under the Bible teaching of Chuck Obremski. Not only is Chuck an awesome Bible study teacher...but he's a man that each day walks out his unwavering faith and trust in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. - Susan
Chuck & Linda Obremski
Pastor Chuck Obremski, who serves Anaheim's baseball and hockey teams, battles cancer. By DIANE REED, The Orange County Register
Angels' Chaplain Has No Quit in Him
Growing up on a dead-end street, in the shadow of a steel mill, in a sad, sooty section of Pittsburgh, Chuck Obremski awakened daily to the sound of prizefighters punching a heavy bag in the basement, where his stepfather ran a boxing club. It was a tough town, in even tougher times. "People in Pittsburgh mask their memories with shots and beers," Obremski said. It wasn't the best foundation for family life, but sports provided a positive force in his hardscrabble youth.
Still, he didn't dare dream that one day he'd have Angels in his corner and a World Series ring on his finger. The kid who went to Forbes Field to watch Roberto Clemente play would go home later and fire rocks at phone poles, pretending to be the Pirates legend. Now 48, Obremski - the chaplain of both the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Mighty Ducks - is battling pleomorphic soft-tissue sarcoma, a rare and deadly cancer. He's firing everything available at it, but doctors say this may be his final inning.
Reeling from chemo cocktails and transfusions, and coughing up blood, Obremski still ministers to his athletes, missing just one service at the ballpark since his diagnosis two years ago. Before each Sunday home game, he prays with the Angels and their opponents for 20 minutes. "I can't tell you how many times, out on the field, guys I'm playing against tell me, 'Oh my gosh, chapel was awesome today. You are so lucky to have Chuck,'" Angels right fielder Tim Salmon said.
Obremski continues to serve as senior pastor of Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills, too. He hasn't missed a Sunday there, despite five surgeries and a litany of treatments. Doug MacGinnis, a church elder, marvels at the courage: "On a Monday they had to cut through his ribs and remove the lower lobe of one of his lungs ... the next Sunday he was back in the pulpit."
Obremski is upbeat. "A year ago, I wasn't sure I would be here now, but I got up today, and everything after that is a bonus." That positive attitude wasn't inherent in the kid from Pittsburgh who pretended to be Clemente. Obremski was a pretender in other ways, too. At 18, he married Linda, pretending to be a man - though still a boy. Because he was baptized and married in a church, he pretended to be a Christian, too. When his first baby came along, Obremski pretended to be a father, but was unprepared. Problems plagued his marriage.
Seeking a fresh start, the Obremskis moved to Southern California. Looking back, Obremski recalls that somehow his problems got packed inside the U-Haul that he pulled West. When Linda found work in a Christian company, they began to see those problems in a new light. Chuck took a job with the same firm. There, he saw people operating in a highly ethical, Christian environment. He found it weird. Then, at a Valentine's Day dinner in 1978, he found Jesus on the menu, and ordered up a new life.
Soon he was teaching Sunday school and serving as chaplain for the Los Angeles Rams. Eight years ago he became the Angels' chaplain and later added the Ducks to his ministry. Former Rams linebacker Kevin Greene credits Obremski with saving his soul. "Oh Chuckie ...," he said by phone, as a hurricane bore down on his Florida home. "There's not too many men that I'll tell I love them, but I tell Chuck.
Says longtime Angel Salmon: "As a Christian ballplayer there's only a few people I can really open myself up to. Chuck is on the short list." Obremski is so dedicated to his sports ministry that he schedules his cancer treatments and his church services around it. "He has chemo on Mondays and other procedures early in the week just so he can be in the pulpit on Sundays and at the stadium right afterward," his wife said. The athletes appreciate it. "I have a peace in knowing that some things that happen aren't in my control, and I'm OK with that now, because of Chuck," Angels left fielder Garret Anderson said.
The team showed its appreciation on Easter Sunday 2003, by presenting the chaplain with a World Series ring. "I was overwhelmed, shocked and humbled, but appreciative," he said. "Chuck's true character has been revealed through this disease and suffering," Linda Obremski said. "There's no anger or depression. It has just put everything into perspective."
Bald, frail and hollow-eyed - his clothes clearly too big for him now - Obremski is realistic about his fate but making the most of life, relying on his faith and sense of humor. "I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death," he said, grinning. "And now I know why you never see a U-Haul behind a hearse."
To hear fist hand...about Chuck's experience on the "cancer coaster"...I recommend you get a copy of "Desperation to Dependence" CD set. See the contact info below.
Kindred Community Church is at 8712 East Santa Ana Canyon Road, Anaheim Hills. Call (714) 282-9941.
This is one of several "posts" concerning Chuck Obremski. Click here for others that have appeared in the past. Here's another one! Click here for more!
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Still, Serene, Sunset Setting
"STAND STILL," my soul, for so thy Lord commands:
E'en when thy way seems blocked,
His arm is mighty to divide the wave.
"Stand still," my soul, "stand still" and thou shalt see
How God can work the "impossible" for thee,
For with a great deliverance He doth save.
Be not impatient, but in stillness stand,
Even when compassed 'round on every hand,
In ways thy spirit does not comprehend.
God cannot clear thy way till thou art still,
That He may work in thee His blessed will,
And all thy heart and will to Him do bend.
"BE STILL," my soul, for just as thou art still,
Can God reveal Himself to thee; until
Through thee His love and light and life can freely flow;
In stillness God can work through thee and reach
The souls around thee. He then through thee can teach
His lessons, and His power in weakness show.
"BE STILL"--a deeper step in faith and rest.
"Be still and know" thy Father knoweth best
The way to lead His child to that fair land,
A "summer" land, where quiet waters flow;
Where longing souls are satisfied, and "know
Their God," and praise for all that He has planned.
Check out Becky's site at:
She is refreshingly honest and transparent and is
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Angel at the Wheel
As I neared my exit off Highway 401, I looked forward to getting out of the car for a few minutes and buying a coffee to wake me up. The problem was...I missed the exit to Highway 115 and kept driving...asleep at the wheel. Suddenly I snapped back from my dozing and, for a moment, didn't recognize the scenery. Realizing that I had missed my exit I knew that the next exit was just a mile or so down the road. When that exit didn't show up I knew that I had passed it too, while sleeping. I had gone over two (2) miles, asleep at the wheel. What a scary thought as I look back on it! My only conclusion is that "the angel of the Lord was encamping round about me".
Christ our Pilot
So...what did I learn from this episode? My family doctor recently requisitioned a "sleep test" to monitor my changing sleep patterns. Carol has told me that I'm not sleeping as soundly as I used to. I have not had those tests yet. I will...now that this has happened. Also, I will not wait "til the next exit" when I begin to doze off. Most of all, I was reminded of the truth stated in one of my favorite psalms, Psalm 91. The Psalmist writes, "For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways, they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."
Thank you, Father, for delivering me and protecting me! Psalm 91 goes on to say that "because he (the believer) loves me, I will:
1) rescue him
2) protect him
3) answer him when he calls on me
4) be with him in trouble
5) deliver him
6) honor him
7) satisfy him with a long life
8) show him my salvation
What a mighty God we serve! Because He loves us passionately and unconditionally, He comes to our rescue and does for us what we could never do ourselves.
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
A Real Keeper
Here's that e-mail. Enjoy!
"I grew up in the 40s/50s with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it... a father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door,the oven door, the hem in a dress...things we keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence.
Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more. But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more. Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return. So... while we haveit... it's best we love it.... and care for it... and fix it when it's broken...... and heal it when it's sick. This is true for marriage.... and old cars.... and children with bad report cards..... and dogs with bad hips.... and aging parents..... and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special..... and so, we keep them close!"
What "keepers" do you have in your life? I've got an old shirt, certain books I'd never part with, some old Dinky toys and some artifacts that missionaries have brought back from the "field". They are priceless! My faith is the real keeper. I often relate, when I'm speaking, that I had a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card when I was a kid but the most important "thing" I ever did was also in 1952 when I gave my life to Christ. The card is long gone but my relationship with Christ is alive and intact and, praise God, will last for eternity. Now that's a real "keeper".
Living on the Edge
He Will Never Let You Fall
Enjoy the Father's care today, dear friends.
"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." - Psalm 55:22
The Path of Life
The scripture verse that accompanied this picture on Saija's site is one of my favorites. Psalm 16:11 states, "You have made known to me the path of life, You will fill me with joy in Your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
"Thank You, Father, for the beauty of Your creation! Thank you that we can derive much pleasure from knowing You and from walking in Your presence along the path that You have laid out for Your children. We give You praise today and thank You for walking every step of this journey with us...until we get "home". We offer our thanksgiving in the strong name of Jesus, our Lord. AMEN!"
Check out Saija's "blog" at: http://www.saija.blogspot.com
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Hearing & Obeying God's Voice
Here's the story concerning beloved speaker and writer, Beth Moore:
Apr 20, 2005
Knoxville Airport, waiting to board the plane:
I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I'd had a marvelous morning with the Lord. I say that because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you. You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise.
Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons, not the least of which is your ego...I tried to keep from staring but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt. His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones. The strangest part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy gray hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back. His fingernails were long. Clean, but strangely out of place on an old man.
I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I'd just had a Howard Hughes sighting. Then, I remembered that he was dead. So this man in the airport... an impersonator maybe? Was a camera on us somewhere?.... There I sat trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him. Let's admit it. Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man. I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall. I've learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And it may be embarrassing.
I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind. "Oh no, God please no." I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into heaven and said, "Don't make me witness to this man. Not right here and now. Please. I'll do anything. Put me on the same plane, but don't make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!"... There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, "Please don't make me witness to this man. Not now. I'll do it on the plane."
Then I heard it..."I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to brush his hair." The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or brush his hair? No brainer. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, "God, as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I'm on this Lord. I'm you're girl! You've never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed? I am on him. I am going to witness to this man."
Again as clearly as I've ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind. "That is not what I said, Beth. I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair." I looked up at God and quipped, "I don't have a hairbrush. It's in my suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush?"... God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God's word: "I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works." (2 Tim 3:17)
I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story, my pulse quickens, and I feel those same butterflies. I knelt down in front of the man, and asked as demurely as possible, "Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?" He looked back at me and said, "What did you say?" "May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?" To which he responded in volume ten, "Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that." At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, "SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?" At which point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Longlocks.
Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, "If you really want to." Are you kidding? Of course I didn't want to. But God didn't seem interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, "Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem. I don't have a hairbrush." "I have one in my bag," he responded. I went around to the back of that wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger's old carry-on hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up and started brushing the old man's hair. It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I don't do many things well, but I must admit I've had notable experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls. Like I'd done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull.
A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man's hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me. I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair.I know this sounds so strange but I've never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, I - for that few minutes - felt a portion of the very love of God. That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while. The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God's. His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant's.
I slipped the brush back in the bag, went around the chair to face him. I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knees, and said, "Sir, do you know my Jesus?" He said, "Yes, I do." Well, that figures, I thought. He explained, "I've known Him since I married my bride." "She wouldn't marry me until I got to know the Savior." He said, "You see, the problem is, I haven't seen my bride in months. I've had open-heart surgery, and she's been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself...What a mess I must be for my bride."Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we're completely unaware of the significance. This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God moment, and I'll never forget it.
Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I'd acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft. I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, "That old man's sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do that?" I said, "Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!" And we got to share.I learned something about God that day. He knows if you're exhausted because you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you're hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you're sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed. He sees you as an individual. Tell Him your need! I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one had I missed along the way... all because I didn't want people to think I was strange. God didn't send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me. John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Monday, June 20, 2005
A Clean Heart
Here it is: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
Psalm 51: 10 (NIV)
Dads Leading the Way
A Little Fellow Follows Me
A careful man I want to be...
A little fellow follows me
I do not care to go astray
For fear he'll go the same way
I cannot once escape his eyes
What he sees me do, he tries
Like me - he says he's going to be
That little fellow who follows me
He believes in every word of mine
The bad in me, he must not see
That little fellow who follows me
I must remember as I go
Through summer sun and winter snow
I'm building for the years to be
That little fellow who follows me.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
A Personal Message
Thanks for your visits to Pilgrim Scribblings! I pray that the time spent at this site will be profitable and enriching for you.
Have a great week, friends!
Father's Day Tribute
My Dad, a beloved father!
After dad went to be with the Lord it was difficult, when Father's Day rolled around, to walk past the card racks in stores that displayed cards for the special occasion. I realized that I "still" had a father, he had just gone on ahead and I will join him someday. So, I began buying my dad birthday cards and Father's Day cards. The sentiments I would share with dad, were he here, are written in the cards and then I date them and put them away in a drawer. It has been a very therapeutic exercise for me.
This is the card I bought for dad this year. On the inside it says, "As my dad, you're loved! Happy Father's Day"! "Love goes on forever..." - 1 Corinthians 13:8 (The Living Bible)
The Father's Day Card for my Dad
I trust you've had a good day! God bless you and make you a blessing!
Here's an article that appeared in the Jefferson Community College newsletter back in the early 90's. It's a fitting tribute to a man who loved God and served Him gladly:
The Chester W. Fisher Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship, created by the employees of Fisher Gage Inc. (now known as Fishercast), in Watertown, New York, was established to recognize a great leader. Jim Fisher said his father 'was a man who cared about people, life, family and the church. To know him was to know a gentleman. His influence was deeply felt.' This award, which was started in 1992, is given to a hard working, well-adjusted Jefferson Community College student in the second year of study. It is open to all students.
Chester W. Fisher was born in Birmingham, England, on May 5, 1922. A year later his family immigrated to Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
Apprenticing as a tool and die maker, a tradition among the men of his family, he began work at Canadian General Electric in Peterborough. He worked for the company for many years and held several management positions. In 1955, Mr. Fisher and his brother, William F. Fisher, formed a partnership, establishing Fisher Gauge Limited in Peterborough, Canada.
As both a shareholder and senior executive of the company, he was engaged in establishing the Watertown, New York, branch in 1964. Subsequently, his involvement in creating Fishercast in Watertown made the company a leading manufacturer of a small precise zinc alloy die casting in the United States.
During his many trips to Watertown from Peterborough over the years, he started a special relationship with his Watertown employees. To them, he was more than an executive of Fishercast, he was a friend.
Just as his Watertown employees respected him, so did his Canadian employees. His Canadian secretary Lynda Whitney said, 'Whenever I'd introduce Ches as my boss or supervisor, in his quiet manner he'd say, I am Lynda's co-worker.' Chairman Todd Wilcox added this: 'It has been my privilege to observe this high-principled man, a model for all who aspire to further the happiness and well being of others.'
Mr. Fisher's humanitarianism extended to friends and strangers. The list of organizations he served is extensive and includes church and missions, businesses, social service agencies, and educational, environmental and arts councils.
Chester W. Fisher died May 21, 1992.
Note: The Watertown plant was closed in 2003 due to economic conditions at the time. Dad's influence continues to live on. He was highly respected as a Christian business man...a man of integrity and Christian values. - David
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Are You a Redneck?
We have enjoyed the redneck jokes for years. It's time to take a reflective look at the core beliefs of a culture
that values home, family, country and God. If I had to stand before a dozen terrorists who threaten my life, I'd
choose a half dozen or so rednecks to back me up. Tire irons, squirrel guns and grit -- that's what rednecks are
made of. I hope I am one of those.
Ya'll know who ya' are...
Rednecks...Movin' Up the Ladder
You might be a redneck if:
You might be a redneck if: It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, "One nation, under God".
You might be a redneck if: You've never protested about seeing the 10 Commandments posted in public places.
You might be a redneck if: You still say "Christmas" instead of "Winter Festival".
You might be a redneck if: You bow your head when someone prays.
You might be a redneck if: You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National
You might be a redneck if: You treat Viet Nam vets with great respect, and always have.
You might be a redneck if: You've never burned an American flag.
You might be a redneck if: You know what you believe and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.
You might be a redneck if: You respect your elders and expect your kids to do the same.
You might be a redneck if: You'd give your last dollar to a friend.
So, there you have it! Redneck or not? I'm not afraid to admit that I am!
Friday, June 17, 2005
Tribute to a Dad
A Tribute to a Lifelong Coach...Lessons my dad taught me
by Greg Asimakoupoulos
June 17, 2005
Some say there is no perfect dad.
But they don't know the one I've had.
For more than fifty years
this manhas modeled life for me.
Since I first joined the human race,
my father showed tough love and grace.
He knew I needed discipline
so coached me how to run.
But more than law and leniency,
my loving dad gave time to me.
Although he had a stressful job,
he sought me out at home.
When I was just a little tyke
he taught me how to ride a bike.
He made the time to throw the ball
and took great pride in me.
He kissed my cheek and hugged my neck
and very often wrote a check.
He helped me see that love can be
expressed in varied ways.
With that in mind my dad taught me
to treat my wife like royalty.
And so I learned to love my wife
the way he loves my mom.
He also showed me men can weep
and pray with kids before they sleep.
The cues he gave me as a kid
have helped me raise my girls.
My dad remains a proud Marine.
And while he's not as strong or lean
as when he fought back in the war,
he's taught me freedom's price.
And though my dad is growing old,
he still is prone to be quite bold.
He's quick to chide me when he thinks
I'm holding out on God.
He warns me not to work too much.
He offers tips on stocks and such.
He never fails to stop and pray
when he knows I'm confused.
But I don't mind. I trust his heart.
This one who's coached me from the start
will train me 'til the day he dies.
That's just what coaches do.
This column appears every Friday only in The Partial Observer. This article was printed from www.partialobserver.com. Copyright © 2005 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Cradled During the Storm
Thanks, Becky, for the illustration. May you sense His peace during your storm. Check out Becky's story at:
My Gift...A Day Late
A day later I had breakfast with a good friend* and following our meal he told me he had a gift in the car for me. We often exchange Southern Gospel CD's so I thought that was what he'd give me. To my surprise he handed my two (2) Speed Stick 24/7 deodorant sticks. What was he trying to tell me? A subtle hint? A strange gift...you must be thinking. Where was he yesterday morning when I needed his "gift"? He came a day late.
Sweet Smelling Gift
Now that I've got my personal hygiene story out of the way...let me get to my application.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian believers to thank them for their generosity. They were the only church that had communicated with Paul in a financial way as he traveled to encourage the early Church. Paul writes of what those gifts meant to him and to the Lord he served. He penned these words which have been favorites of mine for years. "You sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be crdited to your account...the gifts you sent...they are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God." - Philippians 4: 16-18 (NIV) The gifts Paul received were "an odour of a sweet smell" according to the King James Version rendition.
Recently a friend gave me a special "gift", the gift of praying for me at a critical time. That was a "fragrant offering"!
When we give gifts of love, money, time, affection, kindness or whatever...they are like a sweet, smelling savor not only to the recipients but to our heavenly Father.
Let's give those unique and special gifts that brighten the lives of the ones we touch. Two deodorant sticks can be "special" even if they're a day late! Thanks!!!
* the identity of the generous donor has been withheld to protect the innocent
Getting Ready To Go
Several days ago I wrote about my friend Gordon Dorey and his readiness to see Jesus face to face. I visited him on Saturday and he got his orders to "come home, my child" on Tuesday (June 14th). Gord is finally "home"!
The account of Gord's final moments before leaving on the "trip of an eternity" is recorded below. What a time that must have been for his wife Norma and the rest of the family! It reminds me of my final moments with my beloved dad.
Here's that account:
This morning, Tuesday, with several family members in his room, Gord spoke his last words. Terry (his son) had a pen ready and jotted them down. "Jesus, I'm ready", he said. "Amen. Thank you, Jesus." He paused, then calmly stated, "Ready to go." There then followed a few moments when those in the room all agreed it looked like Gord was taking instructions. That concluded, he responded, "Yes Lord." And finally his last, calm statement was, "Norma, it's OK."
It was 12 o'clock noon. Said Terry, "It was terrible and wonderful at same time."
What an entrance into the presence of the King that must have been!
Are you ready should the Lord call you today! Have you determined your destiny by trusting God's Son, Jesus Christ, as your Savior and Lord? I pray that you have! - David
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Rollercoaster Ups & Downs
Welcome back to Toronto, my friend!
Gabe is back in town!
Be sure to check out the comings and goings, or the ups and downs, of Gabe & Kelly Gross at: http://www.livejournal.com/~kgross18/
How hard it is to see clearly when devastating circumstances fill my eyes with tears. How blurry everything gets. Even You get blurry and the sound of Your voice becomes stangely unfamiliar.
Help me to blink away those tears to see that You are standing beside me, wanting to know why I am crying...wanting to know where it hurts...wanting to wipe away every tear from my eyes.
Thank You, Jesus, for being there, for never leaving me or forsaking me, even in the darkest and chilliest hours of my life.
from Intimate Moments With The Savior
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
I shall know why when time is over,
And I have ceased to wonder why;
Christ will explain each separate anguish
In the fair schoolroom of the sky.
- Emily Dickinson 1830-1886
The Big E...Encouragement
One of my favorite preachers
Living in the Land of E - by David Jeremiah
What a wonderful world it would be if we all learned to unlock the power of encouragement. Encouragement is the act of inspiring others with renewed courage, renewed spirit, or renewed hope.
In the New Testament, the words most often translated as "encouragement" mean "alongside of" and "to call." When people come alongside us during difficult times to give us renewed courage, a renewed spirit, renewed hope-that's encouragement. That's living in the Land of E.
The Land of E was familiar terrain for the great heroes of the Bible. The Land of D, by contrast, was deadly territory. Remember the twelve spies who infiltrated Canaan? Moses later said, "When they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, so that they did not go into the land which the LORD had given them. So the LORD's anger was aroused on that day" (Numbers 32:9-10).
When we unwittingly dishearten others by a negative or critical spirit, it dampens spiritual enthusiasm and displeases the Lord.
Forty years later, when Moses was preparing the Israelites to finally enter the Promised Land, he told them: "Look, the LORD your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the LORD God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged. . . . Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it" (Deuteronomy 1:21, 38).
"Don't be discouraged. And don't be a discourager. Encourage him!" That was Moses' message to Israel.
Read Paul's letter to the Thessalonians to see how highly he valued the power of encouragement.
• For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging . . . you to live lives worthy of God.
- 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 (NIV)
• We sent Timothy . . . to strengthen and encourage you in your faith.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:2 (NIV)
• Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
When Encouragement Made the Difference
History has been changed by the power of encouragement. Think of Aaron and Hur lifting Moses' hands toward heaven in Exodus 17 as Joshua fought in the valley below. Consider the power of Isaiah's words to King Ahaz when Judah was faced with invasion by two enemies: "Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands" (Isaiah 7:4).
In modern times, Churchill's encouraging optimism and dogged determination provided hope that led to the survival of Great Britain and the liberation of Nazi-occupied Europe. You and I can also bolster spirits, those of others in our fight against Satan.
Nobody accomplishes anything in isolation. The Bible says, "None of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself" (Romans 14:7). Everyone who does anything noteworthy is blessed with at least one cheerleader-one person gifted with hope, faith, and a can-do attitude.
You can be that person in another's life!
Asked to sing his first solo at an evangelistic meeting, a nervous young man waited outside the tent, combing and re-combing his hair, unaware that everyone inside could see his silhouette. On a high note, his voice cracked. Humiliated, he said he just didn't have the voice for solos. "Nonsense," said his encouragers. "All we have to do is transpose it into a lower key, and you'll do fine." And George Beverly Shea has been doing fine ever since.
Someone once said, "A word of encouragement after a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after a success."
Spend time with the Lord, claim His promises, see life from the perspective of His power, and keep your own spirits strong. Stay filled with joy and faith.
Then spread it around. Encourage someone else with the encouragement God gives you. Strengthen them in weariness, and steady them in weakness. Come alongside, and walk with them across the borders of the uplifting Land of E.
This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah's devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points.
Monday, June 13, 2005
My Brother Gabe
Through it all Gabe knows that his times are in God's hands. He knows that his time will come...in God's timing!
Thanks for your friendship, Gabe! What a blessing you and Kelly are to me! Keep looking to Jesus!
Note: Check out Kelly's Journal on the comings and goings of a professional baseball couple. Her new site can be found at: http://www.livejournal.com/~kgross18/
Teaching Molitor How to Catch
Are you fulfilling the high calling of God in your life?