Sunday, November 20, 2005

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!

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