Monday, October 31, 2005

Beauty & the Unicorn

Our son Stephen e-mailed these pictures of Rebecca (3) and Michael (1 1/2) in their costumes. Grandpa David is proud of course! Stephen, Denise and the kids live in Burlington, Ontario. We don't see our grandchildren as much as we'd like to so we were glad to get these pix!

Cute eh?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Twin 7's

Today (Sunday, October 30th) our twin grandchildren, Daynica and Josiah, are celebrating their 7th birthday. Nicole and Tim are the proud parents. To add to the celebration, Mike Fisher scored a goal and an assist in the Senators' 8-0 thrashing of the Maple Leafs. Ironic that a former Thrasher, Dany Heatley, would score 4 goals to help the cause. We'll tell you more about the Heatley connection later.

Here's a photo of Josiah's birthday cake! Note the Senators' colors.

Happy Birthday Daynica and Josiah! We love you!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Cross and Heaven

Every Saturday morning I listen to The Gospel Greats with Paul Heil on Life 100.3 (89.3 here in Peterborough) when possible. This morning they announced the most recent inductees to the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame. One of those was Gloria Gaither. She mentioned that Southern Gospel singers have often been accused of only singing about two (2) things...the cross and heaven. Not a bad accusation if you ask me!

One of Bill and Gloria Gaither's lesser known songs was "Between the Cross and Heaven There's a Whole Lot of Living Going On". If you're a follower of Jesus that's where you stand today...between the cross and heaven. Not a bad place to be! We look back on the cross (The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference For Me) and look forward to Christ's return (The King is Coming) and our heavenly home.

Regardless of what circumstances you find yourself in today, revel in the fact that you stand between those two great markers in human history...the cross and heaven. Because He Lives we can face tomorrow! The Gentle Shepherd will lead you through the valley and bring you safely home.


Hat Trick A Treat

I've never liked the Philadelphia Flyers so I was doubly blessed on Friday night when the Carolina Hurricanes clobbered them 8-6 and my friend Eric Staal picked up a hat trick (3 goals...for the uninitiated) for the Canes! CONGRATULATIONS Staalsy!

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Glory of Autumn

This is another
"no words required"
post! Isn't God good!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Another Hero Gone

Rosa Parks' story will be cherished
by those whose freedom was bought
through her actions. Thanks, Rosa,
for taking your stand!
see a brief video recounting
her historic life.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Jungle of Hope

(This photo was not taken in some tropical rainforest but at Hope Valley Day Camp just north of Peterborough, Ontario. Photo is courtesy of my friend, Todd Anderson)

In January 2006 we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the martyrdom of five young men in the jungles of Ecuador. Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, Nate Saint and Jim Elliot were speared to death by the Auca Indians. Five young men who had sensed God’s call to take the Good News to the Ecuadorian interior. Was this a waste? Certainly not! God has mightily used the testimonies of these men to bring others to faith in Christ and many have sensed God’s high call on their lives after reading the accounts of these godly men.

Hope springs forth from the jungled, entwined messes that we find ourselves in when we allow the sovereign God of the universe to have His way. Obey the call of the Master and go where he bids. As the songwriter has so powerfully penned:

“My house is full but my fields are empty!”


A Devoted Man

One of the heroes of the past that I'd love to chat with is Andrew Bonar, a great Scottish preacher and writer. From everything I've read about him, he was truly a godly man in every way.

The following quote by this man of God encouraged me! We need more true saints in this generation who love God passionately like Dr. Bonar did.


"It was in the year 1830 that I found the Saviour, or rather, that He found me and laid me on His shoulders rejoicing, and I have never parted company with Him all these sixty-two years"

Andrew Bonar in 1892

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hi Brodie!

Hey, Brodiemac...did you check out these latest posts? Can we still be friends? I promise...I'll never get an Afro again!


Go Get 'em, Andy!

There's no question about who I'm cheering for in the World Series! It's Houston all the way! I know we have our work cut out for us but I can't tolerate seeing the White Sox win! I'll explain why later...if you care to know.

Anyhow, we need to be cheering for our good brother, Andy Pettitte, tonight! Go get 'em, Andy!

Big Hair

Now's a real laugher! What ever got into my head (and onto my head) to get an Afro? And, why did I do it during Christian Sportscene '79? We invited several sports celebrities to Peterborough over the course of 4 or 5 days.

Andre Thornton and Rick Waits of the Cleveland Indians came to town for a luncheon at the Rock Haven. Rick sang, accompanied by me, and Andre gave a challenging message. Andre had lost his wife in a tragic car accident in 1977.

Later in the week Andre Dawson (Expos) flew in from Montreal and Alvis Woods from the Blue Jays joined us in our booths at Peterborough Square.

Mike Crombeen of the St. Louis Blues and ex-Pete, Randy Johnston also joined us.

In this picture my good friend Stephen Smith and Al Woods (Blue Jays) joined me in the booth!

Please don't laugh too much! THANKS!

Slugger Fish

Oh those good old days! I'd look forward to Friday evenings when the Kawartha Church Slo-Pitch League would play their games. We had some great times! Then on Saturdays several of our team would play for Golfview Motors (with those terrible uniforms). Great memories.

Those Edmison Eskimos became the Ambassador All-Stars with uniforms like the old Houston Astros. Navy, white, yellow and orange! I thought they looked good at the time. Wow! I just found another photo. Here's our best player, Bryan Johnson, with Mike Belsey from the rival Westmount team.

Both Mike and Bryan went on to play for the Peterborough Tigers baseball team! Me? I continued to play on Friday nights despite my advancing years! When Carol and I came back from Toronto I tried a comeback with the Calvary Cannons but my hits dribbled out to 2nd base instead of cannonading (that's a Danny Gallivan word) over the outfielders' heads.

I had to hang 'em up! So sad!


Mixed Ministries...

In 1971 I bought the local Christian bookstore. Four years later the Lord led me to launch Epistle Sports Ministries. Two years later I was asked to join Baseball Chapel as the Toronto Blue Jays chapel leader. For several years I looked after the Montreal Expos' chapel program as well. Talk about "mixed ministries". For 11 years they were all operating simultaneously.

In 1986 the book store was sold and shortly afterwards I got involved with the various sports ministries on a full-time basis. Then I joined the staff at The Peoples Church in Toronto! Wow! Those were the days, my friends!

This picture was taken when I still owned the Ambassador Bible Book Store here in Peterborough. The Holiday Inn photo was taken the night of our Spring Thing, an evening when we showcased new products and invited customers and friends to join us. We'd never had our name "up in lights" before this.

Smashin' Pumpkins

Harvest Humor...

Wow! What a pair! I thought it was a good time of year to bring out this wonderful picture. We can hardly remember when we looked this good. Of course we've both lost our mind, our memory, our money and our...

The kids keep asking when we can carve the pumpkins. We tell them we don't have enough strengh to carry them in from outside. Oh the joys of getting old!

Note: Please don't let Carol know that you saw this on my Pilgrim Scribblings web site!

Maybe we should rename it Pilgrim Pumpkins!

Looking Back...A Gallery

Brett & Eveline Butler
and you-know-who!

David with Jeff & Karen Musselman,
former Toronto Blue Jay pitcher!

Carol & Christine Burke, wife of
former Expo pitcher, Tim Burke!

Fish and the boys! A UPI missions trip
to the Dominican Republic back in '92

John Olerud visits a young man at
Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto!

David & Carol with Bill & Amy Sampen.
Bill pitched for the Expos!
Fish and Gary Carter, the 1st ballplayer
I got to know...back in 1976

Pete Metzelaars (former Buffalo Bill)
with Barb & family at Skydome!
Pete spoke in chapel that day!

Post-chapel shot at Exhibition Stadium
How many you recognize?

Al Woods and Big Fish in Florida
(check out the hair)


This weekend I've been going through old files, correspondence, boxes, etc. doing a major fall housecleaning. In the process I've uncovered a lot of wonderful (and not so fond) memories. Over the next few days I'll be sharing some of the old pictures. Many of them will give you a good laugh. Most of them pertain to our involvement in various sports ministries.

This picture was taken of my father on his birthday on May 5th, 1992. Dad was in Kingston General Hospital, battling lung cancer. No, he never smoked a day in his life! That morning I took a book filled with tributes for dad. I had gathered them from civic leaders, missionary statesmen, employees, friends in ministry, family and others. When dad opened the box and began to read, he was overcome with tears.

Looking back, it was likely the most meaningful thing I have ever done. The Lord put this idea on my heart and I obeyed and began working on the project immediately. About 70 people responded.

Dad went to be with the Lord on May 21st, 1992. I'll never regret putting that tribute together. I hate to think how I'd feel if I hadn't obeyed the Spirit's voice.

I miss you dad!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Forboding Darkness

Last night we went for a walk in the woods behind our house. We had never gone down there in the dark before. Recently we cut a path through the brush so we could get through to the creek which cuts across the far corner of our property. Nathan was a little leery of making the trek but felt much safer with his hand gripped firmly in mine. It reminded me of a "post" I made almost a year ago about the time that Matthew and I went for a walk 5 years ago.

Here's that "post" entitled, "Holding God's Hand".

Several years ago my son, who was 5 at the time, begged me to take him on a hike through a densely treed forest. An old trail was vaguely visible through the tangled mesh of vines and rotting branches. Several times we stumbled as we trekked through the bush. Matthew asked me what we'd do if we got lost. I reassured him that I knew the way back and we'd be alright. We crossed an old man-made suspension bridge with a few rotting boards that we had to step around. Matthew was enjoying his "adventure" and when I asked if he was scared he quickly responded with a definite "no". When questioned if he'd like to make the trip back to the car by himself he quickly said "no" and told me he'd be afraid if he was alone. He said that having his hand in mine made him brave and afraid of nothing. You get the point! Take God's hand as you venture into the unknown. He knows what lies ahead. Let Him take you through to a "wider place". There's no fear when He's leading the way.

"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

Friday, October 21, 2005

Healing Rain

Feeling dry? Parched? Step out into the downpour of God's healing rain! He is the only One who can satisfy your thirsty soul!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Petes' Winning Ways

The Petes are on a roll! Keep up the great
work, guys! Those "Monday We Have Fish"
sessions are paying dividends!

Wishful Thinking

Join me, friends, at First Baptist Church,
Monday to Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The Big Fish will be casting the
net and fishing for men!
All are welcome!

I can dream can't I?

Worship vs. Chaos

Recently I heard Crawford Lotitts Jr. speak at the Straight Up Conference in Rolling Meadows, IL. His ministry challenged me deeply! Here's a thought from his Living a Legacy radio broadcast:

Living A Legacy Broadcast for Oct. 17, 2005
Dr. Crawford Loritts

Spontaneous worship is not the same as confusion and structure doesn’t necessarily mean stifling the Spirit.

Have you ever seen a teenagers room where you thought you might need a tetanus shot before you went in there? There’s clutter all over the place and mass confusion. The floor is such a mess that you can’t even see the floor. There’s stuff piled upon stuff and you can’t tell what is important and what is trash. To tell the truth the kid probably can’t tell you what’s important and what is trash. They can’t find what they need. Its somewhere in there but they just can’t seem to locate it. It’s gotten lost in the clutter.

Sadly, I’ve been in some church worship services where sometimes the worship of God is lost in the clutter. All the stuff that we call worship may not necessarily be worship. There’s a lot of confusion that goes on, things that are out of order, that don’t make sense. Sometimes we pass the stuff off as being led by the Spirit.

As I read the Scriptures I come to the conclusion that our God is a God of order and design. I didn’t say stifling, rigid structure, that’s a different thing. There’s incredible freedom but also God gives us a word about being confused, about having clutter. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 verse 26 and verse 33. Verse 26 says; “What is the outcome then brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, or has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

He underscores the goal that when you come together he says, “Let’s have some order here. Let’s not be tripping over one another but there’s a point.” The point is edification. That word ‘edification’ simply means to be built up. People need to be benefited by the worship service and in context here he is saying, “Be clear about what you’re doing. Be clear about what you’re saying so that people are not confused.”

In 1 Corinthians chapter 14 verse 33 he puts a bookend on it when he says; “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace as in all the churches of the saints.” Here in context the Apostle Paul is saying, “Now listen I’ve spent all this time telling you about the freedom of the Spirit and the fullness of the Spirit but also there has to be order. People need to be built up.” So, our worship services need to reflect the order and design that is part of the very nature and character of God.

If there is a sense of confusion it did not come from God. There needs to be a sense of peace in the church. The peace that he is talking about here is not just the peace of personal tranquility but he’s talking about the peace that hovers over the congregation as a result of structure, order and design.

Here’s what I want you to remember today. Let’s corporately approach the worship of our awesome God with a fresh appreciation of the order that His divine dignity not only deserves but also requires.

Pray for Little Fish

Please keep my nephew, Mike Fisher, in your prayers as he recovers from a shoulder injury. He should return to the Ottawa Senators' lineup soon but he's not ready yet. Thanks!

Uncle David

My Hero...Bud

The Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey team earned some well-deserved recognition on Monday afternoon after taking its eighth Quinnipiac Cup title in 10 years over the weekend. Freshman forward David Marshall (Buffalo, Minn./Chicago Steel) was named ECAC Hockey League Rookie of the Week, while junior defenseman Reid Cashman (Red Wing, Minn./Waterloo Blackhawks) and freshman goaltender Bud Fisher (Peterborough, Ont./Lindsay Muskies) were chosen for the league's weekly honor roll.

Fisher has done his best to capture the inside track on the No. 1 goaltender position so far for the Bobcats. He stopped 11 shots on Friday night to earn his first collegiate win. The next night, he stopped all 18 shots to claim his first collegiate shutout in a 6-0 win over Bentley. Fisher is 2-1 with a 1.67 goals against average and a .922 save percentage.

Fisher was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Quinnipiac Cup for his play.

It marked the second time in as many weeks that Fisher was named to the ECACHL Honor Roll.

Minnesota Cuke

Check out Charlie Daniels in this Veggie Tales song, Minnesota Cuke:

Walking With Jesus

No one in the forest
But my Lord and me;
Walking in the coolness
'Neath the shady trees.

Hand in hand with Jesus
As we walk along;
Troubled when I started
Now I have a song.

Lonely, tired, discouraged
Are you that today?
Take a walk with Jesus
On the narrow way.

Let His arms enfold you
As you journey home;
He will guide you safely
Never more to roam.

He's the gentle shepherd
You, the wand'ring lamb;
Walking home with Jesus
He's the great "I AM"!

- David Fisher, October 20/05

My Buddy...Jay Halle

My roommate this week at the Straight Up Conference at James MacDonald's Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, IL was Jay Halle. Among other things, Jay serves as the Baseball Chapel leader for the Seattle Mariners and their minor league affiliates. Jay is a good friend but he has never visited this site. I'm trying to surprise him by putting his mug shot on Pilgrim Scribblings.

By the way, Jay's last name rhymes with Holly, Molly or Golly. Remember the singer, Buddy Holly? Well Jay is my buddy Halle.

Love you, brother!

Here's an article about Jay:

On Sundays in Seattle during the baseball season, Jay Halle goes to a worship service with whoever is playing against the Seattle Mariners. Then he goes to worship with the Mariners. Then he has a service with the Safeco Field employees who are working that day.

Most important, perhaps, then he worships with the umpires.

“God gave me a heart for people with thankless jobs,” he said. “Without umpires there would be anarchy!”

The worship services are through the Baseball Chapel organization, which operates with full endorsement of Major League Baseball. Each of the 210 major and minor league teams has a chaplain. Every service Halle conducts is attended by 10-15 players.

“These guys are completely consumed by baseball. The chapel service gives them a safe haven,” he said. “It brings them a peace they otherwise don’t get. They tell me it’s a sanctuary—a time of peace and prayer, where they can spend a little time focusing on God.”

Do any players come in because they are in a hitting slump, and they want some supernatural help with their batting averages?

“I don’t care why they’re there,” Halle said. “But they’re going to hear about Jesus. It’s the same as why some people go to church when things aren’t going right in their lives. At least they’re showing up.”

Halle has a Bible study during the week with interested players. Sometimes the players call him just to check in with him and let him know how they are doing.

“The best part is that in this world consumed by greed and power, you get to see a player give his life to Christ, or get more serious about his walk with Christ,” he said.

Halle attends the North Seattle Church of the Nazarene, and has conducted services and counseled with major league players since 2000, after he had worked with the Mariners’ minor league affiliate in Everett, Washington. This ministry combines two of his deepest loves—sports and Christ. He played football, baseball, basketball, and several other sports throughout college, while he worked on his business degree. His fulltime job picks up on his interest in business—he is the chaplain for the employees at the Campbell Nelson Volkswagen and Nissan car dealership in Seattle.

“I look back and shake my head at how God has put all of this together,” he said.

This article appeared in Holiness Today, the denominational magazine for the Church of the Nazarene

Friday, October 14, 2005

Saija's Sunset

Blogging buddy Saija took this shot of an
incredible Manitoba sunset tonight!
God is always at work, creating
glorious masterpieces in the
"The heavens declare the glory of
God, and the firmament and the firmament
sheweth His handiwork" - Psalm 19:1

Birth Pangs

Pastor/writer friend, Greg Asimakoupoulos, penned the following piece regarding the natural disasters and upheavals that planet earth is experiencing these days.

Birth Pangs of the Cosmic Sort

There’re wars, earthquakes and tidal waves.
Then deadly aftershocks.
Could Armageddon be on deck?
So ask newsmen on Fox.

And hurricanes are on the rise
with killer floods in tow.
There’s talk of bird flu and mad cow.
St. Helens’s set to blow.

A Carpenter from Nazareth
once hammered home the truth
that escalating tragedies
would wake prophetic sleuths.

So could the end be drawing close
for late great planet Earth?
Are all these headlines labor pains
that mark redemption’s birth?

We can’t be sure, but let’s beware.
The Scriptures make it clear.
That Carpenter will come again.
Perhaps this is the year.

- Greg Asimakoupoulos

Note: Watson Spoelstra was the man God used to launch the Baseball Chapel ministry in 1973. We began corresponding back in 1975 and he became my sports ministry mentor, so to speak. Watson went to be with the Lord several years ago and I've missed his insight and encouragement.

One of his "signature statements" was: "The coming of the Lord is so near that Gabriel is beginning to moisten his lips." I often recall this prophetic word from my dear friend.

Yes, dear friends, the Lord will return as He promised. Are you waiting and watching?

No Words Required

Good Morning, Friends

Good morning, blogging buddies! I pray that you will sense the presence of the Lord today as you continue on your journey "home". I'm reminded of an old chorus we used to sing when I was young:

"I just keep trusting my Lord
as I walk along,
I just keep trusting my Lord
and He gives a song;
Though the storm clouds darken the sky
On the heav'nly trail;
I just keep trusting my Lord,
He will never fail.

He's a faithful friend
Such a faithful friend;
I can count on Him
'Til the very end.

Though the storm clouds darken the sky
On the heav'nly trail;
I just keep trusting my Lord,
He will never fail.

Happy trails to you today, friends!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Occupy 'Til I Come

Today, while meeting with the Church in the City pastors and Christian workers in Peterborough, I was thinking of the scripture verse, "occupy 'til I come!" (Luke 19:13)

Earlier in the morning my friend Paul Mackay and I had been discussing world events and the imminent return of Christ. I mentioned the verse at that time and it was on my heart throughout the morning. In context (Luke 19:13), the command was given by a nobleman who was leaving for a far country and had given each of ten servants, ten "talents" to invest. The challenge still applies to us. The Master has gone away but has promised to come again. How will He find us? What have we done with the mandate He has given us?

Being an aspiring preacher (I've been preaching and aspiring for 40 years) I made an acrostic of the word OCCUPY. The fact that I did it while another brother was praying might be cause for a slap on the wrist. Anyhow, here's a thought for you...

O Order your private world, the inner life

C Confess any known sin

C Call others to repentance

U Undergird and encourage your fellow believers

P Proclaim God's power and glory to "your world"

Y Yield moment my moment to the Spirit's control

If we would commit to doing this (redeeming the time) rather than frittering away our days, we would fulfil Christ's command and see His tranforming power at work!

Autumn Splendor

Autumn splendor fills the air
Changing colors everywhere!
- Matthew & David Fisher
Picture by the young guy...
Poetry by the old guy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Really Good News

Bud's No Dud

Yes, Uncle David ("Big Fish") is proud of Bud (Minnow)! His U. S. College hockey debut was a good one! The Bobcats lost but Bud played a stellar game between the pipes! Keep up the great work, Budmeister!

The following story appeared in the Quinnipiac University newsletter:

Bud Fisher Named To ECAC Hockey League Weekly Honor Roll
Freshman goaltender stopped 30 shots against Michigan in collegiate debut
Oct. 11, 2005

After a 30-save effort in his collegiate debut against Michigan, Quinnipiac University goaltender Bud Fisher was named to the ECAC Hockey League weekly honor roll on Monday evening.

The Peterborough, Ontario native enjoyed an impressive outing in the 2005-06 season opener. Sixteen of his 30 saves came in the second period against the Wolverines.

Quinnipiac returns to action on Friday night at 7 p.m. for the 10th annual Quinnipiac Cup. The Bobcats will host the Rochester Institute of Technology in the second semifinals contest. Air Force and Bentley will play in the first semifinal at 4 p.m.

The consolation game is Saturday at 4 p.m. The title game is on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Quinnipiac has won seven of the first nine Quinnipiac Cups and five in a row.

Cold Shoulder

Please pray for my nephew, Mike Fisher, as he suffered a shoulder injury in the game against the Leafs the other night. The Big "E", Eric Lindros, was the culprit (if you want to lay the blame anywhere). With Mike's agressive, never-give-up style of play, the Senators will miss him until "Little Fish" gets back (hopefully in a week or two). THANKS FOR PRAYING!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by Cindy and asked to do a little exercise.

Here's what she said on her blog:

As a bloggiversary present, Tina tagged me with this intriguing meme:

1. Search your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (this is meant to say something about you).
4. Post that sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same.


My 23rd post was an interview I did with author Jeri Massi. The fifth sentence is Jeri talking: "JERI: I think the most important thing that any of us can know is the grace of God." Amen, Jeri! By the way, that does say something about me, because I couldn't live without God's amazing, ineffable grace in my life. OK, now here I go a-tagging!

So, in response to Cindy's request, I'm including my 23rd post from last November. I've highlighted the 5th sentence in red and it does say something about me. It's also a challenge to me. We can Trust the Provider!

Here's that "post":

Head Start . . . A Poem

Many years ago during a particularly difficult time, the Lord gave me a poem/song that lifted the burden. I've quoted it countless times since then. God knows our needs before we even ask. The answer may already be on the way. Trust the Provider. He has never failed!

Our Great High Priest above,
In righteousness arrayed;
Presents our every need to God
Before we've even prayed.

Jehovah is His name,
Our needs He will provide;
His Word declares it to be true
And He has never lied.

- David W. Fisher

I'm not going to specifically "tag" anyone but I hope that several of my blogging buddies will do what I have done! THANKS!

REMEMBER...Trust the Provider!

Fall Beauty

Who but God, the Divine Creator of all
things, could have formed such beauty?
I love the fall season but I know that
winter is just around the corner.
"Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love!"

Monday, October 10, 2005

World Serious

Seriously, who do I cheer for in this year's Fall Classic? With friends on several of the teams in post-season play, how do I choose a team to cheer for?

Well, for those interested in this "stuff", here is my rationale, beginning with all the teams who qualified for October baseball.

Atlanta vs. Houston:

There wasn't a clear winner here but I guess I was pulling for Andy Pettitte because he's a Christian and I know him better than I know any of the Atlanta players. In addition, I'm pulling for Roger Clemens. The Rocket Man seems to keep rolling along. A couple of other Astros who I don't know personally but who are Christians are Lance Berkman & Morgan Ensberg.

So...I was pulling for the Astros and they beat out the Braves.

St. Louis vs. San Diego:

For several years I've been hoping that the Cardinals would go all the way. But this season a couple of longtime friends moved on to other teams and another player who I've met a few times also went elsewhere. Woody Williams went back to the Padres, Mike Matheny signed with the Giants and J. D. Drew moved on to the Dodgers. So, my desire to see the Cardinals win has decreased. I think Albert Pujols is one of the best players in the game and he's also a Christian so I'd like to see the Cards win for his sake. But... Woody Williams is with the Padres now and even though the Padres were just a mediocre, .500 team, I wanted them to win for Woody's sake.

So...I was cheering for the Padres but they lost 3 straight to the Cardinals.

Boston vs. Chicago:

This was a no-brainer. I don't really have a friend on the White Sox but I know several of the Red Sox including their manager, Terry Francona and one of their coaches, Brad Mills. Two of my all-time favorite players and friends, Mike Timlin and John Olerud (both ex-Jays) play for the Red Sox.

So...I was hoping the Red Sox would beat out the Pale Sox but Chicago prevailed 3 games to none. Yuck!

Los Angeles vs. New York:

This was difficult to call. Aaron Small of the Yankees was a Blue Jay briefly back in 1994 and finished this season for the Yankees with a 10-0 record. What a special man! He's a Christian and loves the Lord as does Mariano Rivera, the Yankees' closer. But one of my long-time friends, Tim Salmon, plays for the Angels and even though he missed the entire season due to injury, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Angels. Their chapel leader, Chuck Obremski, who went home to be with the Lord recently, is a huge part of the equation. Garret Anderson is the chapel rep for the Angels. Rex Hudler, a long-time friend, is part of the Angels television crew.

So...I am cheering for the Angels (who are leading in Game 5 as I write this).

I think I'll pause until this game is over and then give my favorite to win the World Series. Whew! The Angels just defeated the Yankees 5-3 and are heading to Chicago for the ALCS.

Houston vs. St. Louis:

I'll pick the Astros for the reasons mentioned above.

Los Angeles vs. Chicago:

I hope the Angels knock off the White Sox 4 straight...but that won't happen.


Hopefully it will be the Astros and the Angels. My pick? The Angels! Why? What a tribute to Chuck Obremski and two players who have been such an encouragement to Chuck, Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson!

Go Angels Go!

Divine Safety Net

Thank you, Saija, for this great graphic depiction of what it means to be really safe. A favorite scripture passage of mine is Colossians 3:1-4. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." (King James Version)

The section that I often quote is the 2nd part of verse 3 - "your life is hid with Christ in God." To illustrate this truth when I've been speaking, I've placed a quarter in one hand and said that the 25 cent piece represents my life. I then form a fist around the coin. My fist is a picture of Christ. Then I bury that fist in my other hand. That fist speaks of God. So I'm securely held both in Christ AND in God. What comfort! Are you abiding in the shelter of His mighty hand?

Pat Kelly...Man of God

Last week while at the Hockey Ministries International staff conference I learned that a former ballplayer and good friend, Pat Kelly, had been called home. Pat had an incredible smile! When you met loved him. I have such fond memories of this precious brother.

After he retired he got involved in Christian endeavors and the Life Line ministry, based in Ellicott City, MD, was founded and directed by Pat. He married Phyllis Jones, daughter of Howard Jones, a renowned preacher and former associate evangelist with Dr. Billy Graham. Andre Thornton, another longtime friend of mine and former Cleveland Indians slugger was Pat Kelly's brother-in-law. Andre married Gail Jones. Pat was a powerful Spirit-empowered evangelist and many came to faith in Christ through his faithful preaching of God's word.

Years ago I flew to Baltimore, attended the Orioles' chapel service, watched the game and then was driven to the Baltimore train station by Pat. I took the short run to Washington, DC to attend the Christian Booksellers Convention.

Years later, following Pat's retirement, we both participated in an outreach banquet in Timmins, Ontario. Pat flew into Toronto from Baltimore and walked into the Air Canada gate area where I was waiting for the flight to Timmins in Northern Ontario. When Pat saw me he began a conversation from the far side of the gate area, saying "hi brother" and then preaching to the waiting passengers (indirectly) through his dialogue with me. He did it in such a natural way! Pat never missed an opportunity to tell people about Jesus and the change He can make in a life.

Pat, I love you and I'll miss your newsletters! It's been a few years since we saw each other but we'll meet again soon...on the other the presence of Jesus!

Pat leaves Phyllis and one daughter, April, behind! Please pray for them.

The following article appeared in the Baltimore Sun:

By Frederick N. Rasmussen, Sun reporter, originally published October 4, 2005

Pat Kelly, a former Baltimore Orioles outfielder who turned to Christianity after finding himself in an unsavory lifestyle during his playing days and later became an evangelistic minister, died of a heart attack Sunday afternoon at a hospital in Chambersburg, Pa. He was 61.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Kelly had preached at Amberson United Methodist Church in Amberson, Pa., and was on his way to visit friends near Chambersburg when he was stricken.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Harold Patrick Kelly was one of seven children of a devout Baptist couple who sent them to Sunday school each week.

After graduating in 1962 from Simon Gratz High School, where he had been an outstanding baseball player, Mr. Kelly was signed by the Minnesota Twins as an amateur free agent.

He made his first major league appearances in 1967 and 1968, appearing in 20 games with the Twins, then was acquired by the Kansas City Royals in the expansion draft of October 1968. He was traded in 1970 to the Chicago White Sox, and recounted later how he reached the lowest ebb of his life in his years there.

By 1975, Mr. Kelly had adopted the lifestyle of the carousing big-leaguer who enjoyed forays with drugs, liquor and women, he said.

"The Pat Kelly I had known for 30 years just stopped existing," he told The Evening Sun for a 1986 profile. He described himself as a "fire engine Christian," the kind of person who finds consolation in religion when he needs "to put out the fire."

Depressed and on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Mr. Kelly enrolled in a Bible class at the urging of a friend and was born again, he said.

When he was traded to the Orioles in 1976 for Dave Duncan, Mr. Kelly brought skills as an outfielder and hitter as well as a desire to help others find Christianity.

In the beginning, he faced subtle opposition and wisecracks by teammates, he said, but by the time he left the Orioles in 1980 - picked up as a free agent by the Cleveland Indians - he had helped pitchers Scott McGregor and Tippy Martinez, infielders Doug DeCinces and Kiko Garcia and outfielder Ken Singleton become born-again Christians.

Mr. Kelly enjoyed telling the story of how he urged Earl Weaver to "walk with the Lord," which provoked the Orioles manager to say he'd rather have Mr. Kelly "walk with the bases loaded."

"I got saved in 1978 through his influence," said Mr. McGregor, pitching coach this year for the Frederick Keys.

"I guess we had about 15 guys in the group, and every Sunday we'd have chapel for about 20 minutes in the weight room at Memorial Stadium. And then during the week, we'd meet for Bible study at one another's homes. We had lots of good fellowship," Mr. McGregor said.

Mr. Kelly played for two years with the Indians until being released in 1982 - ending his 15-year career having appeared in 1,385 games, with 1,147 hits, 76 home runs, and a batting average of .264.

Putting down the bat and glove, he became executive director of Christian Family Outreach, a nonprofit Cleveland ministry that assisted needy inner-city young people. The ministry had been founded by his father-in-law, the Rev. Howard R. Jones, said to be the first black evangelist to work for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Mr. Kelly commuted between his Timonium home and Cleveland. He also attended what is now Morgan State University and became a licensed minister in 1986 with the Evangelical Baptist Church in Baltimore.

In 1987, he established the Ellicott City-based Life Line Ministries, a nondenominational evangelistic ministry that conducts revival services.

"Pat has traveled all over the world to preach to people, rich or poor, who want to hear about his love for Jesus Christ," said his wife of 26 years, the former Phyllis Jones.

"Pat was such an asset to the community. He was the embodiment of his religious beliefs and a great lover of people," said the Rev. Joseph C. Ehrmann, the former Colts linebacker who is now pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Baltimore.

"He transcended race, class, sports, and was just a fabulous lover of people, a good husband, and father. He was a charismatic preacher whose message came from his own life, and he wanted people to know that he walked with God," Mr. Ehrmann said.

"He wanted everyone to know about Christ and that they could be saved," said the Rev. Rick G. Cash, pastor of Valley Baptist Church in Towson. "He was very peripatetic, had a great voice and knew how to use it. He'd energetically walk across the stage, clap his hands and point. His services were always riveting with people coming forward for spiritual assistance.

"Mr. Kelly, who attended Calvary Baptist Church in Baltimore, also enjoyed fishing and playing basketball with friends.

Also surviving are a daughter, April Marie Kelly, a sophomore at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.; two brothers, Leroy Kelly of Willingboro, N.J., the former Cleveland Browns running back and member of the Football Hall of Fame, and Samson Kelly of Philadelphia; and three sisters, Dorothy Allen, Elizabeth Allen and Maybelle Kelly, all of Philadelphia.

Funeral services will be held Friday at Vaughan C. Greene Funeral Services in Randallstown, 8728 Liberty Rd. Family will receive friends Saturday from 10-11 a.m. at New Antioch Baptist Church, 5609 Old Court Rd.

Copyright © 2005, The Baltimore Sun