Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More Answers

Today I received more responses to my "Trinity of Questions". I'll give you the answers from Brodie and Saija (pronounced Sigh Ya) in this post and do another post tomorrow with Susan's response.

Here are the responses:

From Saija (Thro' A Glass Darkly)

1. What comes to mind/what is your heart's response when you think of or hear the word..."CALVARY"?

pain/suffering; forgiveness/love; redemption!

2. What would you like to have inscribed on your tombstone?

Saija is not here ... she has graduated to Glory!

3. Which attribute of God do you find yourself revelling in the most?

His infinite love.

From Brodie (Hope of His Calling)

1. What comes to mind/what is your heart's response when you think of or hear the
word... "CALVARY"?

What comes to mind is blood, sacrifice and forgiveness. My heart's response is sorrow, shame and a motivated love for Him who first loved me.

2. What would you like to have inscribed on your tombstone?

"Friend of God, friend of others. A Husband and Father without peer." Would that be nice! I so often fall short, but I won't stop my efforts.

3. Which attribute of God do you find yourself revelling in the most?

Immutability. When everything else in life is subject to change at a moment's notice. He is the one constant. Always.

Keep watching for more responses...including mine!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What Is God?

The following summary of sixteen (16) of God's attributes was posted by Rebecca on her blog, Rebecca Writes, today. Please go to her site and check out all sixteen scripture references for these characteristics of God. In these perilous days we need to have a high view of the eternal God and His inerrant Word. Thanks for your thought-provoking blog, Rebecca!

Also check out Rebecca's site for instructions on how to enter your "post" in this week's Christian Carnival. I did it last week.

What is God?

God is a Spirit, [1]
in and of Himself infinite in being, [2]
glory, [3]
blessedness, [4]
and perfection; [5]
all-sufficient, [6]
eternal, [7]
unchangeable, [8]
incomprehensible, [9]
everywhere present, [10]
almighty, [11]
knowing all things, [12]
most wise, [13]
most holy, [14]
most just, [15]
most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. [16]

Core Values

David Barnett from Texas is the first to respond to my "tagging" exercise. Check out his excellent web site! David (A Core Life) responded as follows:

1. What comes to mind/what is your heart's response when you think of or hear the word..."CALVARY"?

A place of intense pain and suffering.

2. What would you like to have inscribed on your tombstone?

A faithful husband, a loving father, and a loyal friend.

3. Which attribute of God do you find yourself revelling in the most?

Unconditional Love

Thanks, my friend!

Schools, Rules and Fools

I've read the following poem many times and received it by e-mail again tonight. It's worth sharing though. God help us! We're flying down the slippery slope..................

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,

It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote God’s Word will make me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!


Trinity of Questions

The blogosphere is filled with questions and responses as people are "tagged" for their answers to specific questions. Depending on the nature of the queries, I often enjoy responding and checking the answers of others.

As we begin our 2nd year of Pilgrim Scribblings, I'm throwing out three questions for your consideration. I've tagged five blogging buddies as well but I'd like to get responses from the general "blogging public" out there.

Here are the questions. Please try to respond in one sentence if possible. THANKS!

1. What comes to mind/what is your heart's response when you think of or hear the word..."CALVARY"?

2. What would you like to have inscribed on your tombstone?

3. Which attribute of God do you find yourself revelling in the most?

Please GO AHEAD and COMMENT on your responses. Thanks, friends!

I'm "tagging" the following friends:

Brodie at
The Hope of His Calling
Saija at
Thro' A Glass Darkly
Susan at
Susan's Blog
Cindy at Notes in the Key of Life
David at A Core Life

Please check out their sites!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Obstacles On The Journey

Today I picked up a used book entitled "Companions For Your Spiritual Journey" by Mark Harris, published by Inter Varsity Press. Harris quotes from many of the mystics from past generations including Bernard of Clairvaux and Julian of Norwich.

Harris writes the following as the introduction to one of the chapters:


"Some travelers never make it to their destination because they are unprepared for obstacles they encounter. Too often these obstacles leave pilgrims frustrated or disoriented, resigned to making little or no headway. Spiritual dryness, prayerlessness, temptation and discouragement can make us wonder whether it is possible or worthwhile to stay the course of Christian pilgrimage. John Newton, Origen, the Desert Fathers and Evelyn Underhill assure us that there is a way through these obstacles. More than that, these masters of the spiritual life invite us to understand that, appreciated rightly, these obstacles have the potential to move us forward on the hard but joyful road of Christian pilgrimage."

Sounds good to me! I can't wait to get started on this book but...right now...I better get into bed.

Good night!

1st Blogiversary

Today we begin our 2nd year of blogging. Our first entry was posted to the Pilgrim Scribblings site back on November 27th, 2005. Since that time we've posted close to 600 entries. It's been a blessing sharing my thoughts and insights with you, my blogging buddies. I've also enjoyed perusing the blogs of others and including many of your posts on my site.

As we begin our 2nd year I pray that God will continue to give wisdom and discernment as we seek to encourage others through these Pilgrim Scribblings.

To commemorate our 1st Blogiversary I'm including the very first post I entered last year. It's ironic that since writing this article in July of 2004 and posting it in November, I joined the staff of Christian Horizons and have been serving at House 11 in Peterborough since early March.

Thanks so much for your encouragement and your kind comments over the course of the last year!


Recently I stopped at a favourite restaurant of mine, hoping to enjoy a quiet, relaxing lunch in the middle of a busy, hectic day of “ministry”. The hostess seated me in a back room away from the buffet area where people were helping themselves.

A few moments later a group of mentally challenged adults, with their caregivers, were seated at a long table next to me. My solitude was short-lived! These people were grunting and groaning, shouting and calling out. Two other families asked if they could be seated in another area of the restaurant when they saw these people arrive.

In the midst of the noise, God’s Holy Spirit spoke (or shouted) to my heart. I immediately thought WWJS …”where would Jesus sit?” if He were here. Of course He would be found at the center of that table, showering His love, care and compassion on these dear, precious people. If that’s where Jesus would sit, then I wanted to follow “in His steps” and look upon this intrusion on my “quiet time” as an opportunity to watch God at work.

The caregivers lovingly attended to their clients, helping them with their food and patiently expressing God’s love in a tangible way. The outbursts of these people, created in the image of God, became like a symphony, a choir, to my ears. I was so intrigued by watching this transpire before my eyes that I lingered at my seat long after I’d finished my meal.

As I was leaving, one of these dear people choked on her food and her caregiver handled the situation so well. Tears came to my eyes and I thanked God for my “quiet lunch”.

Oh that we might see people as our loving, compassionate Father sees them! Oh that our hearts might be broken by the things that break His heart! God had noisily got my attention that day!

Let’s look for opportunities today to witness God’s loving care for His people. Let’s ask how we can be His arms extended to His people today, ministering His love, mercy and grace to those who so desperately need His touch!

For more information on the organization that these wonderful people are involved with, please check out their web site at

True Potter

The following caption appeared on a church sign in Yelverton, ON. I saw it this morning as I drove home from my weekend road trip.

"JESUS IS THE REAL POTTER...NOT HARRY" There's been a lot of controversy about the Harry Potter novels. This sign was thought-provoking!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Budding Buddies

Over the past year I've met some new friends through this blogging phenomena. Here's a personal reflection (click on the audio blog) from my long drive home from Saginaw, Michigan!

this is an audio post - click to play

Decision Making

Further to my previous audio post, here's the correct title to the book by Garry Friessen. It's entitled "Decision Making and the Will of God".

this is an audio post - click to play

Fish in the Factory Outlet

I always enjoy Factory Outlet Malls. They are especially appealing when there's a Christian bookstore in the mix.

Today I found one on my way home from Saginaw, Michigan in the Birch Run Outlet Mall. I was able to pick up four excellent books from around $16.00. Part of the "fun" is seeing how much money you can save. One of the books is one that has often been quoted from and recommended. I was able to pick it up at a fraction of the normal price. Click on the audio post button and check out what I bought.

You may be surprised at my "offer".

this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Shootout In Plymouth

Instead of the classic western movie scene of a shootout in Dodge, I personally experienced a nerve-racking (or is it wracking) shootout in Plymouth. Plymouth, Michigan that is.

On this road trip the Peterborough Petes are finding different ways to win games. Last night in Windsor they won 4-3 in overtime.

Tonight in Plymouth the game finished after regulation time in a 4-4 tie. After 5 minutes of overtime the game was still tied so we went to a shootout. Three skaters from each time have their "shot" at scoring. Whichever team "pots" the most goals in the shootout gets the win. The Petes prevailed and won the game 5-4. It was an exciting come-from-behind victory for our Petes. The game was marked by two penalty shots, one for each team. Each team scored on their penalty shot opportunity.

Whew! It was a close one!

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, November 25, 2005

Road Warrior

This morning I'm leaving for a weekend roadtrip, meeting up with the Peterborough Petes in Windsor, Ontario and then spending the next three (3) days in Windsor, Plymouth (Michigan) and Saginaw (Michigan). Today I'm heading northwest to Flesherton, Ontario to pay my respects to the Neil family following the tragic passing of Bonnie Neil earlier this week. Bonnie and Barry's son, Chris, plays for the Ottawa Senators and is a good friend of my nephew, Mike Fisher. Following that, I'll head down to Windsor.

Tomorrow morning we'll have "Monday We Have Fish", our twice-monthly Bible study with the Petes. We'll meet in my hotel room after breakfast. My mother baked several batches of cookies for the occasion so I guess we could call it "Saturday We Have Cookies". THANKS MOM! We know that David Shantz loves her ginger cookies. She made him a whole tin two weeks ago.

Please pray for safety as I'll be traveling many miles over the next few days. The weather could be treacherous so I value your prayers. Pray, too, that my time with the guys on the team will be profitable.

Thanks for standing with me.


David/Epistle Sports Ministries

Thursday, November 24, 2005

11th Hour Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all our
American friends! We give thanks to God for all He has richly blessed us with! One of the biggest blessings I give thanks for is our wonderful neighbors to the south, our American friends. Thanks for being such great friends! We have so much to be grateful for! "Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One."

Trust you had a great day!

WARNING! Don't get trampled to death in Wal-Mart tomorrow morning!

Much love from the far north,

David & Carol Fisher
Pilgrim Scribblings

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Two Great Guys

The following article and photo appeared on the Ottawa Senators' web site today. Please pray for Chris and the rest of the Neil family. THANK YOU!

Senators regroup after sad news to beat Hurricanes

Forward Mike Fisher, right, a close friend to Chris Neil, left, and his family, spoke about the attitudes of the players during what turned out to be a 5-3 win during a tragic day.

Teammates rally in support of Neil...

The Ottawa Senators wanted to put in a hard-working effort against the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night after learning just a few hours earlier that teammate Chris Neil had lost his mother Bonnie in a single-vehicle car accident.

Forward Mike Fisher, a close friend to Neil and his family, spoke about the attitudes of the players during what turned out to be a 5-3 win during a tragic day.

“When things like that happen it really shows you how important family and relationships are. We played for Neiler and his family. He’s the heart and soul of our team. He always gives his best, that’s what we wanted to do. She was so proud of what Chris has done. I felt tonnes of different emotions (during the game) but I tried to channel them.”

Fisher said Mrs. Neil reminded him a lot of his mother.

“I knew her pretty well and she was a huge part of that family. She was an unbelievable person. It’s hard to put in words all she has done for Chris and his family. That family is so close. I see a lot of my mom in her, and it’s tough to see what Chris is going through. I can’t imagine it. It breaks your heart.”

Captain Daniel Alfredsson said the Senators were motivated to play well for the Neil family Tuesday night.

“It was a hard day for all of us. We felt for him. In respect to the family, the best thing we could do was focus and play hard to win.”

Senators coach Bryan Murray said it was a very quiet ride to the arena prior to the game. “Chris has been here a while. You build bonds and you become brothers, really. It really struck home. We all owe an awful lot to our parents. They take us to the rinks early in the morning, carry our kit bags to the car….”

The memorial service will take place Saturday, Nov. 26, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s United Church in Flesherton, Ont.

Memorial donations can be made to:

Flesherton Minor Sports (please indicate if the donation is to go to hockey, baseball or figure skating)
c/o Fawcett Funeral Home, 1 Highland Drive, Flesherton, ON Canada N0C 1E0
519-924-2810 or to your local branch of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fish Debuts In Philly

Here are some other things I found while cleaning out my desk. One of the most exciting sports events of my life was attending my nephew Mike Fisher's NHL debut in Philadelphia on October 2nd, 1999. Roger Neilson, the Flyers' coach at the time, arranged for tickets.

I wanted this to be a surprise for Mike and he didn't know I was there until he came out of the dressing room following the game. This picture was taken that night. Now Mike has 5 seasons under his belt and had a great game tonight with a goal and two assists against the Carolina Hurricanes. You've come a long way, Little Fish!

Twenty Minutes of Fame

Tonight, while cleaning out some drawers, I uncovered this old photo from the good 'ol days! Back on Labour Day of 1959 I won the Senior Division of the Annual Soap Box Derby here in my hometown of Peterborough.

It was exciting for a few minutes but the prospect of starting High School the next day took away some of the momentary joy! By the way, my high school years were not the best 5 years of my life.

I'm the goofy-lookin' guy sitting down in the car!

Pray for Chris Neil

My heart ached this afternoon when I received word that Ottawa Senators' Chris Neil's mother Bonnie was killed in a card accident today! I've known Bonnie for a number of years as she is a close friend of Ron & Cathy Pegg from Flesherton, ON, long-time friends and supporters of Epistle Sports Ministries. Chris and my nephew Mike have spent a lot of time together and Chris lived at Mike's place near Ottawa for several years.

Please pray for Chris! He is having a tremendous season so far. Plans are underway for wedding bells next summer. Now this! Pray that the God of all comfort will do His work in the Neil family during this time of grief and loss.

Details are sketchy at this point. This is the only account of the accident that I could find on the internet:

NEIL'S MOTHER KILLED IN ACCIDENT -- Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil left the team in Carolina Tuesday after learning news his mother was killed in a car accident in Flesherton, ON. Details of the accident are unavailable, but weather is considered to be a factor in the single vehicle crash. Ottawa is scheduled to play Carolina Tuesday night.

P. S. On a more positive note, Ottawa beat the Hurricanes 5-3 tonight. Mike Fisher picked up a goal and two assists.

Defining Who I Am?

After writing close to 600 posts on this site over the last 12 months, you may have clued in to what my theological bent is. Maybe so, maybe not! You will have discovered that I have implicit trust in a sovereign God. You hopefully will have realized that I'm committed to the innerancy of the Bible, God's Word. You will know that I believe that the only path to true peace, love and joy is through an intimate relationship with God's beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

But, you don't know my stance on many of the other tenets of the Christian faith. I'm going to spell out my position on some of them. You'll either agree, strongly disagree or assent to the fact that I'm entitled to my own opinion on some of these issues. Hopefully you won't write me off.

So, here goes...

I'm a Trinitarian who holds to the innerancy, in the originial autographs, of the Word of God, the Bible. I believe in the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His substitutionary death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension into heaven and His imminent return. I believe that the Holy Spirit of God indwells every born-again child of God. We don't have to ask Him to come in. He takes up residence the moment we commit our lives to Jesus Christ. I believe that every believer should be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit and that this is an ongoing experience. Christians can spring a leak so we need to "be being filled" with the Spirit as Paul wrote to the Ephesians.

I'm not a died-in-the-wool cessationist. I believe that the Holy Spirit can and does give supernatural gifts to the body of Christ according to His will. I don't believe that tongues is the initial evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit. I don't believe that physical healing was bought for everyone in Christ's atonement. Yes, God still heals but what about the millions of believers over the centuries who trusted God, lived godly lives and were not healed.

I'm not a five-point Calvinist and I'm not an Arminian. I'm somewhere down the middle even though my theology professor, Robert Duez, said that is not possible. I believe in the sovereignty of God. I believe in human responsibility. I believe that God is not willing that any should perish. I don't believe that God arbitrarily destines some for heaven and others for hell. I believe that He knows where we will spend eternity though. I don't buy into this "openness theology" that purports that God doesn't know everything we will do because He has given us a free will. Either He is omniscient or He is not. You can't be 75% omniscient.

I'm a premillenial dispensationalist! I'm a hymn-loving, church history buff who feels at home in most evangelical churches. I'm not a "name it and claim it" Word of Faith charismatic but a Jesus-loving traditionalist who is pretty old fashioned and black and white in most areas.

There...I've automatically alienated myself from many Christians. You've pigeon-holed me. Judged me. Put me in a box. Maybe you strongly disagree with me. Maybe you think I'm just a crazy, mixed up Christian.

Have I defined who I am? No, I've only stated what I believe. I'm defined by other criteria. My prayer is that I would be a compassionate, passionate follower of Jesus who is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ but is committed to living out my faith on a daily basis and sharing it with those who don't know Jesus. I want to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit! My prayer is that words like integrity, authenticity, honesty & transparency would be used concerning my character.

That's what will define me! Not what I believe but who I am! Any comments?

NOTE: Just because I believe what I do, I still love Christians at the opposite end of the spectrum theologically. I trust that this will be reciprocal. Let's expend our efforts on reaching the pre-Christians with the gospel ofJesus Christ instead of arguing and fighting with our fellow believers. AMEN?

Fish Nets Two

Mike Fisher potted two goals on Saturday night in the Senators' 5-4 win against the New Jersey Devils. Was Uncle David proud? You bet your boots I was! Keep up the good work, Little Fish!


Big Fish

Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday We Have Monkey

Here's a gallery of shots from our recent Monday We Have Fish with the Peterborough Petes on Hallowe'en night at East Side Mario's.
Top: Trevor Hendrikx gets a pie in the face. #2 - Justin Caruana & Liam Reddox. #3 - Liam Reddox & East Side Mario's staff. #4 - Kyle Raftis, Fish (me) and Ian Norrie (Petes' stick boy). Bottom - 27 guys and lots of grub.

Fisher History

My 2nd cousin, Jennifer (Jenny) Venville, now Nicol, sent me the following photos today. This is the wedding picture of my father's parents, Fred & Evangeline (Venville) Fisher. The wedding took place in England in the summer of 1912. My grandparents came to Canada for several years to scout out the land and then returned to Birmingham. Dad was born there in 1922 and the family came back to Canada shortly after that. I've also included a photo of the home of my grandparents (and my dad) for a short period of time before they returned to Canada.

These historical things intrigue me. My office is in the attic of the home in Peterborough that my grandparents lived in for many years. My brother Jim has an office on the main floor as well.

Carp's Hero

These are the headlines we like to see. Former Peterborough Pete and Carp, Ontario native, Kurtis Foster, made the headlines after being called up by the Minnesota Wild.

Here's the ESPN headline after Saturday's game:


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- "K
urtis Foster scored his first two NHL goals and the Minnesota Wild ended a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

Foster, who led AHL defenseman in scoring with 15 points in 19 games, was recalled from Houston on Thursday.

His first goal came 1:55 into the game when a shot from the point deflected off a Nashville player and trickled between Tomas Vokoun's pads.

Foster's second goal -- on a slap shot 13:04 into the second period -- gave the Wild a 3-1 lead. He's the first Wild player to score two goals in his first game with the franchise."


In this photo Foster is winding up in the Fastest Shot competition (which he won) in the 2003 AHL All Star Game festivities. He played for the Chicago Wolves at the time.

Your Story

Have you ever found yourself apologizing because your testimony isn't as exciting as someone else's? No powerful stories of deliverance from drugs? No escape from gang wars? No humanly miraculous tales of transformation? Do you hesitate to share your story because it's just not "up there" with those that you hear on Christian television talk shows?

Many of us have struggled with the "no testimony" syndrome. Rodney Griffin and Chris Binion have collaborated on a great song on Greater Vision's newest project entitled "My Favorite Place". It is entitled "Your Story". Powerful stuff! They have expressed in song the gut feeling of my heart!

Every born again Christian has a story and every one is unique. Your story may be the very one that someone needs to hear. Don't keep your story from others because it's not powerful enough. Every Christian has undergone a total transformation. We have been "translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son.

Here are the lyrics and be sure to pick up a copy of the CD, My Favorite Place, at your local Christian bookstore. This one, by Greater Vision, is another winner.


You wish your story had more meaning
So you could tell how you conquered all the pain
But, life’s been gentle, even easy
You’ve convinced yourself you don’t have much to say

So your story goes unspoken
A testimony that’s been silenced by your fears
But, let me tell you, the day God saved you
He penned a wondrous story someone needs to hear


Your story holds the power giving hope to the weary on their way
Your Story tells them how this God of love still reaches out with arms of Grace
You’ve seen what God can do.
Now it’s up to you to share His Glory
They’re waiting to be free, wanting to believe,
You have what they need Your Story


The cross of Christ a sacrifice that cannot be denied
It took as much to save you as the thief He hung beside.

Words and Music by Chris Binion & Rodney Griffin
©2004 Centergy Music & Songs of Greater Vision, BMI

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Favorite Hymn

Every Sunday Rebecca posts a favorite hymn on her blog. I always visit her site on Sundays (and the rest of the week too) to see which hymn she has posted. Today Rebecca (see photo) is battling a severe headache and wasn't able to include a hymn. I've posted one of my favorites. Being a pianist, I love to play (and sing) this old hymn written by Julia H. Johnston.


Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.


Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.

What can we do to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,

Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

The Rest of the Story

The following teasers were sent out to my e-mail list of over 550 friends. In order to get "the rest of the story" they had to come to the Pilgrim Scribblings site. The things some people will do to get visitors to their site, eh! Anyhow, here's "the rest of the stories."


1. That American T. V. news personality, Diane Sawyer, once came to hear me speak?

A number of years ago I was in New York City with the Toronto Blue Jays and was speaking in both Sunday chapels to the Yankees and the Blue Jays. A Yankee player saw Diane Sawyer in the hallway outside the clubhouse door. He went out and invited her to the chapel service which was held outside the main clubhouse in a room down the hall. So, Diane Sawyer came to hear me speak. She didn't have a clue who I was but she came and sat through my message. Of course I've never forgotten that Sunday.

2. That I spoke to two basketball teams, in two different leagues, in two different countries on the same day?

Back in the mid 80's I was in Philadelphia for the weekend and spoke in the 76'ers NBA chapel in the early afternoon, got to meet my all-time sports hero, Julius Erving, and then flew back to Toronto before the game was over to speak to the Toronto Tornados, a Continental Basketball League (CBA) team that was only in Toronto for one season. I had the pleasure of conducting their chapels that year. It was a busy day but a fulfilling (and tiring) one.

3. That a Toronto Blue Jays pitcher was convinced that he did better in a game if he knew I was in the stands?

Dave Stieb always wanted me in the stands on the days he was starting. I tried to accommodate his wishes as often as I could. Unfortunately I wasn't able to be in Cleveland when he pitched his no-hitter. Needless to say, Stieb and I were good friends.

4. That getting lost in Toronto caused me to miss meeting a hero of mine who I'd always wanted to speak to?

Carol and I got lost trying to find the picnic that our foster daughter, Amanda, was supposed to attend. We finally found the park, let her off, and rushed down to the Marriott Hotel at the Eaton Centre to meet Billy Graham. I was on the Committee for Mission Ontario when Billy Graham was invited to come to Toronto in 1995. All the committee members and their spouses attended a reception to meet Dr. Graham but by the time we arrived he had left to go back to his hotel. Boy, was I ever disappointed! My friend, and Dr. Graham's associate evangelist, John Wesley White, was there and when I shared my disappointment with him, he offered to arrange a private meeting with me and Dr. Graham at his hotel room. Was I excited! Well, the next day Billy Graham spoke at the Empire Club in Toronto and collapsed while there. He was taken to hospital and my audience with him never materialized.

As I promised my e-mail friends, there will be more "rest of the stories" later.

Have a good and godly week, dear friends!

Paul Harvey Says...

I'm glad somebody, like Paul Harvey, has the guts and the platform to say something like this:

I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution.

Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.

"But it's a Christian prayer," some will argue. Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1.

So what would you expect-somebody chanting Hare Krishna?

If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.

If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.

If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha. And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit. When in Rome...

"But what about the atheists?" is another argument. What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer!

Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating; to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. God, help us.

And if that last sentence offends you, well , just sue me. The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard.... that the vast majority don't care what they want. It is time the majority rules! It's time we tell them, you don't have to pray; you don't have to say the pledge of allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right. But by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back and we WILL

God bless us one and all .. especially those who denounce Him. God bless America, despite all her faults. She is still the greatest nation of all. God bless our service men and women who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God. May 2006 be the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions.

Keep looking up.

Paul Harvey receives the Presidential
Medal of Freedom from President George
W. Bush on Wednesday, Nov. 9th, 2005

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Attractive Drabness V

Here's part 5 in my Attractive Drabness series. Note: Enter "Attractive Drabness" in the search engine at the top, left-hand corner of this site and click on "Search This Blog" for other Attractive Drabness posts.

As I looked at this picture I was reminded of a couple of crazy, old riddles from my childhood.

What's black and white and red (well, really read) all over? - A newspaper

What's black and white and red all over? - An embarrassed zebra?

Now this...

What's black and white and red over there? This picture with a red cabin in the distance.

Thanks to Michelle for this photo. Check out her blog, Mikao's World. She's another fellow Canadian whose "posts" I read regularly. As much as I hate the winter season (sorry, Brodie), I love the scenery...when I'm inside beside a blazing fire, looking out.

"He has made everything beautiful in His time." So true! Even the drab is attractive when God holds the paintbrush!

Fish is Fishin'

Just came back from a visit to the The Upward Call and I had to post this picture I found there. On a cold, snowy November Saturday, I can only imagine what it would be like to be sitting in a boat wetting my line. I'm a fisherman in name only but doesn't this picture make you want to launch out into the deep? Thanks so much, Kim!


My writer/pastor/friend Greg Asimakoupoulos has written another thought-provoking poem about the ravages of war in Iraq. I'm don't hesitate to add that I'm a supporter of George W. Bush although I know this puzzles and even enrages some of my friends.

Here's what Greg has written:

In this grim war
a hundred score
have come back in a box.
And still they die
while some ask "why?"
"Is Bush's brain but rocks?"

Two thousand troops
in funeral suits
with eyes forever closed.
Some say they died
for one man's pride.
But just suppose

they shed their blood
in Baghdad’s mud
for those who nightly dream
of freedom's prize
and joyful sighs.
Do you know what I mean?

Although the toll
deflates my soul
and renders me so sad,
I still am for
this horrid war
that aims to curb the bad.

Iraqis need
(aren't we agreed?)
the chance to fend off terror.
They want our aid.
They're glad we've stayed.
Of course they want us there.


My blogging buddy, Cindy Swanson, has nominated this site, Pilgrim Scribblings, as her favorite blog in the Best International Evangelical Blog category. I'm flattered and honored that she would feel this way. Please check out Cindy's blog, Notes in the Key of Life. Cindy and I have a unique connection because her husband Doug is the Baseball Chapel leader for the Rockford Riverhawks in the Frontier League. She writes:

The Evangelical Blog Award nominations are underway!

Here's your chance to go here and nominate blogs in several categories.

Here are the categories, and my nominations: (Note: There are some categories where Cindy didn't nominate a blog.

Best Evangelical Teen Blog
Best Evangelical Group Blog--
Stones Cry Out
Best Evangelical Youth Pastor Blog
Best Evangelical Missionary Blog--
And I Shall Yet Praise Him
Best Evangelical Blog-Humor--
I Drank What?
Best New Evangelical Blog--
Best Evangelical Blog-Pastor--
Whirled Views with Dan Burrell
Best Evangelical Blog-Apologetics
Best Domestic Evangelical Blog (U.S.)
Best International Evangelical Blog--
Pilgrim Scribblings
Best Evangelical Blog-Ministry--
Best Evangelical Blog-Politics--
La Shawn Barber
Best Designed Evangelical Blog--
Unmerited and Karagraphy
Best Overall Evangelical Blog
Best Evangelical Home Education Blog
Best Evangelical Business Blog
Best Evangelical Video Blog
Best Evangelical Heretic Blog
Best Evangelical Family Life Blog--
Amy's Humble Musings
Best Evangelical Mother Blog--
Blest with Sons
Best Evangelical Father Blog--
Caffeinated Adventures

Now, I admit I would love to even get nominated for one of these awards. However, my blog doesn't easily fit into any of the niche categories. I was going to suggest a new category: "Best Evangelical Culture Blog," but I was too late--Eric Ragle isn't considering new categories now, since nominations are already underway. My wish for a "culture blog" category isn't just selfish, either. There are so many wonderful blogs that could fit in that category...blogs like Lisa Samson's
Author Intrusion, B. J. Hoff's Grace Notes, Word Praize, Write Thinking, A Life in Pages, Charis Connection, Fiddler on the Roof and Miss O'Hara, to name a few. Blogs that encompass a variety of topics, but tend to focus on things like the culture, media, entertainment, music and books/writing.

According to the site: "Nominations will end January 5th. On January 6th the voting will begin and the winners will be announced January 16th."

Thanks again, Cindy!

Moving On

Today I'm sharing a piece of writing from a writer whose work I enjoy. Often what Mitzi Smith writes resonates with my own heart and spirit. As I read Moving On I thought of what we have to do when we literally move on. We get rid of a lot of "stuff", we pack up what we really need and we hire a moving van to help us "move on". Hence, the picture of the Mayflower truck. That reminded me of the Pilgrims who sensed a real need to move on and leave the religious persecution in the "old world" behind and cross the sea to new opportunities and freedoms. Perhaps as you read this you will determine, as they did and as Mitzi has, to move on. Thanks for sharing your heart, Mitzi.

MOVING ON... by Mitzi Smith

I’m changing from the inside out, getting off this merry-go-round I have been riding. In the words of a Rascal Flatts song, “I’m gonna stop looking back, start moving on, learn how to face my fears, Love with all of my heart, make my markI wanna leave something here.”

It is time for me to MOVE ON. I must stop living in yesterday or tomorrow and live today, in this moment. I can learn from the mistakes of yesterday and prepare for the future, but today is what I am given to live to the fullest. I must lay off the weight that would press me down and allow My Savior to carry the baggage, or better yet, allow Him to erase it all.

It is all under the blood, no longer to be seen or felt again. The scars remain to remind me of where the road has taken me. The scars also remind me of healing and His sustaining power. I am still here and was not pressed beyond what I could handle. My Daddy God has been with me every step of the way. He encourages and cheers me toward the prize.

When Jesus is Lord over our lives and circumstances, we can walk through the fire and floods and not be touched because of His Blood pouring over us. As Children of the Living God we are often reminded that we are held in His arms and rocked in Assurance of Hope. Hope for today and the days that come.

As for me, I’ll keep believing the One Who died in my place. The only One who is able to save, deliver and heal.