Friday, June 30, 2006

Holly's Higher Hopes

Dear prayer partners:

Carol and I visited Holly today and we were thrilled with the progress in her recovery. She smiled and waved when we entered the ICU unit. Even though Holly is 26 years old, I have fond memories of her early childhood when she was a favorite of mine. Today I stroked her hair, her face and repeatedly told her I love her. I asked her what nickname I had given her when she was a little girl. She smiled and softly said, "Seamhead". Upon hearing that I was thrilled and told her that she was going to be O.K. You ask, "Why Seamhead?" Beth would often put Holly's hair in pigtails, forming a part (or seam) down the back of her head. Thus...the nickname "Seamhead". Before leaving Holly's bedside we prayed with her. Her nurse was watching and asked me if we were Christians. We responded in the affirmative and she told us that she, too, was a believer and was so pleased to see us praying with our niece.

Here's Holly's dad's latest update. Thanks, Ken for this excellent report:

Little Miracles, Little Steps, and the “Best Birthday Ever!”

Yesterday was my birthday, and only one week ago I would never have imagined celebrating my birthday let alone celebrating with Holly!

Yesterday was truly a miraculous day! Holly’s mom Beth, Grandma Fisher, Brock and Abby and I witnessed Holly sitting up in her ICU bed, “eating Mashed Potatoes by herself” We were all absolutely amazed as we watched her. This was the best Birthday present I could ever have wished for! Earlier in the day, when I first went in to see her, she looked up and said “Happy Birthday” and gave me a big smile. The progress Holly has made in the past two days is nothing short of incredible. The prayers offered up all over the world on Holly’s behalf are working!! Holly is off her Respirator, but continues to use an oxygen mask. She is still sedated for pain etc but her mental sharpness even with this sedation is great. Her wounds continue to heal. We are hoping she will be able to be moved from the ICU to a regular room in a few days. Her spinal injury continues to be the issue that will be a long term recovery and to what level we will, not know for months.

Please continue to pray for her recovery and specifically her spinal injury. We see little miracles every day and we can see Holly taking these little steps toward her recovery. She had two special visitors yesterday, her cousin Nancy, and when Nancy told her about all the people praying for her, even people in Cyprus, Holly said “I am going to get better”. Another friend “Brendan McShane” stopped by. Brendan has been a special friend to Holly over the years and Holly was delighted to see him. We think he received the biggest smile of them all!

Words cannot express our gratitude for the support and prayer for Holly.

Thank you!


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Breakfast With George

What a great morning so far! I had breakfast with George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilization. His ministry and writing have had a profound influence on me over the years. We walked back to my office after breakfast. What a privilege to know his heart which mirrors God's heart.

Actually I've never met George Verwer. I took his book, "Out of the Comfort Zone...A Compelling Vision for Transforming Global Missions" with me to breakfast. Another of his books, "Revolution of Love" is a powerful challenge.

As Ziggy in his comic strip once said, "Books are friends that you can read."

Thank God for the printed page! I'm grateful for godly men like Mr. Verwer who have championed world missions in unique ways.

Check out the web site of Operation Mobilization at:

Here is a photo of one of OM's ships, the Logos.

Nothing Between

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." - 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)

Is His glorious light shining through today or is it blocked by all the seemingly harmless branches and limbs of everyday living that separate us from His loving touch?

I'm reminded of the words to an old hymn as I pen these scattered thoughts...


Nothing between my soul and my Savior,
Naught of this world’s delusive dream;
I have renounced all sinful pleasure;
Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between.


Nothing between my soul and my Savior,
So that His blessed face may be seen;
Nothing preventing the least of His favor;
Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.

Nothing between, like worldly pleasure;
Habits of life, though harmless they seem,
Must not my heart from Him ever sever;
He is my all, there’s nothing between.

Nothing between, like pride or station;
Self or friends shall not intervene;
Though it may cost me much tribulation,
I am resolved, there’s nothing between.

Nothing between, e’en many hard trials,
Though the whole world against me convene;
Watching with prayer and much self-denial,
I’ll triumph at last, there’s nothing between.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Hues of His Handiwork

How does the evolutionist explain this?

Did this natural, floral bouquet just happen?

Who else but God could create a color as vivid and gorgeous as this shade of violet?

Have you marveled at the Creator's handiwork lately?

Have you paused to notice the work of His hands, the beauty that His Word spoke into existence?

Praise Him for His glorious works! Give thanks for His awesome power! "Be still and know that He is God."

A New Day Dawning...A Reflection

What a day it's been! Lots of pleasant surprises. A few disappointments. A visit from a good friend. Coffee with my workmate at the office, David. Now the day is almost over and, as I reflect on today's happenings, I can't help but be grateful for the rich blessings of God.

He has lavished his love on us to such an extent that our bank of blessings should never run dry. The difficult circumstances of life can't compare with the riches of God's grace, the benefits that have accrued to us because of the sacrifice of His beloved Son, Jesus.

So, as I lay my head on my pillow, I thank the Father for His goodness today. Tomorrow will be a brand new day with blessings and buffetings of its own. Our sovereign God will give us everything we need to face the day head on.

Until then, be encouraged, dear friends. We are on the winning side and the lights of "home" are just ahead.

Tea Party Gone Bad

I wonder if that old Maple Leafs mug thinks he can improve his lot in life by hanging around those pieces of fine china.

I'll have to send my blogging buddy
Terry (Teresa) a Senators mug. It would feel more at home with royalty.

Oh well...

Encourage Generously

A recent entry by Chuck Swindoll on my desk calendar spurred me on to greater heights in the ministry of encouragement.

He writes:

"Is there some soul known to you in need of financial encouragement? A student off at school - a young couple up against it - a divorcee struggling to gain back self-acceptance - a foreign servant of God laboring in an obscure and difficult ministry?

Encourage generously!"

A ballplayer friend of mine left a message on my answering machine several days ago. When I listened to it yesterday it lifted me up in a wonderful way. That's what words fitly spoken can do.

What will you do today to encourage another pilgrim on the "way"?

"And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." - Hebrews 13:16 (NIV)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Heather Writes For Holly's Hope

Here is my cousin Heather Arnelien's composition (a prayer) for my niece Holly as she recovers in St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto after her horrific automobile accident. Thank you, everyone, for your prayerful support. God is good and He is working through this heart-breaking situation.

Holly's Hope...

With broken up body,
And broken up dreams,
It all seems so senseless,
What does it all mean?
The Family is gathered,
and praying for you,
they're praying that He will
make all things new.

Grant her hope,
Give her peace
Give her everything she needs,
Hold her heart,
hold her hand,
Lord, please let her understand
that You love her so much,
May she feel Your perfect touch,
then someday when she's well,
may she boldly go and tell,
that her hope, Holly's hope, is in You.

God's angels surround her,
They watch as she sleeps,
They're singing God's praises
while God's people weep-
they minister to her
in ways we can't do,
They constantly praise God
Who's faithful and true.

Grant her hope,
Give her peace
Give her everything she needs,
Hold her heart,
Hold her hand,
Lord, please let her understand
that You love her so much,
May she feel Your perfect touch,
then someday when she's well,
may she boldly go and tell
that her hope, Holly's hope, is in You.

Heather Arnelien
Cabri, SK
June 2006

Splendor of Sunrise

"Lord I have heard of your fame, I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord...His glory covered the heavens and His praise filled the earth. His splendor was like the sunrise." - Habakkuk 3:2-4

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Future Draft Pick Wins

Our son Tim sends along this report on my grandson Josiah's championship ball hockey game:

"This one was close. The first 10 minutes of the game were scoreless and but then they managed a copy of goals and then pretty much held on. Both goalies were sensational. The other team scored with about 4 minutes left, and then pulled their goalie with about 90 seconds to go. It was a pretty exciting end to the game, but they held on to win.

Jo played a good two-way game, mostly at centre – maybe he’s learning a thing or two from his favourite Senator."

So, friends, keep your eyes on this future star...Josiah Fisher or "Jo" if you prefer.

A proud grandfather,

Grandpa David

P. S. That's Jo, 2nd from the right in the back row or the guy just inside the net on our right.

Liturgy, Laziness or True Worship???

A. W. Tozer

A. W. Tozer was a prophet in the truest sense of the word. Many, if not most, of today's self-proclaimed prophets are just that...prophets in their own minds...empire builders.

Tozer made his readers and his parishioners uncomfortable. His words were (and still are) piercing, pointed and probing. He could "rankle your feathers" whatever that means.

Today's devotional thought concerns our forms of worship. To many, who were raised in some of our evangelical churches, the word "liturgy" is foreign and forboding. Many of our churches could use a little more "liturgy" and a little less "free-spiritedness".

I'm grateful that even though my home church is not "liturgical", a lot of thought and prayer goes into the planning of our worship service and there's form and meaning in the selection of hymns, choruses, etc.

What I can't tolerate is the lack of reverence that is so often apparent in so many of our churches. In our efforts to be "people-friendly" we have often pushed a holy and awesome God to the sidelines. The Holy One must be pre-eminent in all our worship!

Enough of my's what Tozer had to say to his generation:

Nonliturgical Worship:

"Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth." -Psalm 96:8-9

We of the nonliturgical churches tend to look with some disdain upon those churches that follow a carefully prescribed form of service, and certainly there must be a good deal in such services that has little or no meaning for the average participant--this not because it is carefully prescribed but because the average participant is what he is.

But I have observed that our familiar impromptu service, planned by the leader twenty minutes before, often tends to follow a ragged and tired order almost as standardized as the Mass.

The liturgical service is at least beautiful; ours is often ugly. Theirs has been carefully worked out through the centuries to capture as much of beauty as possible and to preserve a spirit of reverence among the worshipers. Ours is often an off-the-cuff makeshift with nothing to recommend it.

Its so-called liberty is often not liberty at all but sheer slovenliness......mostly there is neither order nor Spirit, just a routine prayer that is, except for minor variations, the same week after week, and a few songs that were never much to start with and have long ago lost all significance by meaningless repetition.

In the majority of our meetings there is scarcely a trace of reverent thought, no recognition of the unity of the body, little sense of the divine Presence, no moment of stillness, no solemnity, no wonder, no holy fear.

taken from "God Tells the Man Who Cares"

Historic Churches I've Attended

One of the blessings I enjoyed during my 29 years of ministry with Baseball Chapel was the opportunity to visit some very historic churches in America.

This photo is Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Dr. James Montgomery Boice was preaching on the Sunday that I was privileged to attend.

Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse was a previous pastor at Tenth.

Dr. Philip Ryken presently ministers at Tenth.

While visiting Boston to see the Blue Jays play the Red Sox I had the pleasure of visiting historic Park Street Church (pictured on the right) on Boston Common.

The church was pastored at one time by Dr. Harold J. Ockenga, a committed evangelical.

Park Street Church is known for its emphasis on World Missions and is a favorite of many university and seminary students in the Boston area.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

"Fish" Dodges Draft

This evening I was surprised to see that I had been drafted by the Montreal Canadiens. When I took a second look I realized that either my name was misspelled or they drafted someone else.

Here's what I read on the ESPN web site:

"Montreal used the 20th pick -- acquired earlier from San Jose in exchange for the 20th and 53rd picks -- to choose big Minnesota defenseman David Fischer, and the New York Rangers selected New Jersey defenseman Bob Sanguinetti 21st."

I guess it's someone else. My "Fisher" doesn't have a "C" in it.

CONGRATULATIONS to Jordan Staal of the Peterborough Petes who was chosen 2nd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Henry & Linda Staal must be pleased. This couldn't happen to a nicer family!

Books and Baseball Bats

Visit my office and you'll seed a lot of two different things...books and baseball bats. So, the following quote by Steve Rushin in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated caught my eye. He writes, in the column entitled AIR AND SPACE:

"God made trees for three reasons: to give us books, to give us baseball bats and to give us shade in which to read books about baseball."

I'm a guy who loves God, books and baseball (in that order) so I thought it was a quote worth sharing.

There's a 4th reason though...

God made trees so Zacchaeus, the crooked, dishonest tax collector could get out on a limb and eventually have a life-changing encounter with His Son, Jesus Christ...that afternoon.

Have you met Jesus? Has He changed your life? I trust you can answer "Yes" to both of these questions.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Holly's Hope...Part 2

My sister Beth called our mom this morning with an update on Holly's condition. Her back surgery was a long, drawn-out procedure and hopefully it was successful. Beth's call came around 4:00 a.m. this morning after Holly came out of the OR. Holly was too drowsy to be cognizant of her mom's presence. Beth told Holly that this is the beginning of a whole new way of life for her. Holly will definitely need the prayers and support of God's people as she undergoes months of healing and rehab.

So many of you have responded lovingly to my earlier e-mail. Prayer chains all across the country are lifting Holly up before the Father. Family in Cyprus are praying. Friends in other parts of the world are interceding on Holly's behalf.

My wonderfully-gifted cousin Heather Arnelien from Cabri, SK who loves Beth and Holly dearly wrote the following chorus, inspired the Holy Spirit. She took the title from my posting on Pilgrim Scribblings.


Grant her hope,
Give her peace,
Give her everything she needs-
Hold her heart,
Hold her hand,
Lord, please let her understand
that you love her so much,
May she feel Your perfect touch,
Then someday, when she's well,
May she boldly go and tell
That her hope- Holly's hope- is in you.

KEEP PRAYING, dear friends!



Holly's Hope

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST - Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Dear Blogging Friends:

Please pray for my niece, Holly Edwards! My sister Beth's daughter (26 year old) was involved in a very serious automobile accident on Wednesday. She was airlifted to a hospital in Toronto and then transfered to St. Michael's Hospital where she underwent very complicated and drawn out spinal surgery last night.

Her young body is beaten up pretty badly. She has numerous injuries and her recovery time will be long and painful. I drove with Beth to the hospital last night as a support for her.

Please pray for Holly, her mother Beth and her dad Ken. THANKS SO MUCH! I'll keep you posted, friends.

There are already a number of prayer chains across the country lifting up Holly before our Father "who does all things well".

Commodore...Hair No More

The other night while my friend Brodie MacLeod and I watched the Hurricanes celebrating their Stanley Cup win, I stated, quite emphatically, that I hoped Mike Commodore would get a haircut. Just looking at him made me feel itchy.

I'm so glad he overheard me and went and got rid of some hair... and, for charity to boot. Here's Commodore as he progressed from hairy to almost bald.

Or, as they say, "hair today, gone tomorrow"!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Teacher Arrested

At New York's Kennedy airport today, an individual, later discovered to be a public school teacher, was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a setsquare, a slide rule, and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement.

He is being charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction. "Al-gebra is a fearsome cult, "Gonzales said. They desire average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value.

They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as unknowns, but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, "There are 3 sides to every triangle."

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes."

My Preacher Friend

One of my childhood friends is a pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Elkins, WV. Ralph Andrus was recently recognized as the featured speaker on a web site which archives messages from many preachers.

One of the many reasons that my heart resonates with Ralph's is that we both have a profound love for those special treasures sitting on the shelves behind him...BOOKS!

Click on this link. Check out some of his excellent sermons!

CONGRATULATIONS, Ralph! Hope I can get to visit you and Alice again soon! Preach, brother, preach!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hurricanes Win...Hurricanes Win

Despite all my detractors, I continued to cheer for the Carolina Hurricanes throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs.

After the Senators and Mike Fisher were eliminated by the Sabres, a team I can't stand, I hoped and prayed that the 'Canes would go all the way.

Why? Several reasons...

- Glen Wesley had played so many seasons without a Stanley Cup.
- Eric Staal had such a breakout season and I was hoping he could cap it off with a Cup victory. His family are good friends of mine and I was cheering for Eric all the way.
- Cory Stillman has Peterborough connections and I've met him several times.
- Cam Ward played with incredible poise for a rookie and I appreciated his comments regarding his faith so much.

So...another NHL season has finally come to an end on the 19th of June, just before the 1st day of summer. What a year it's been! I guess we appreciated hockey so much more after the lockout last season!

CONGRATULATIONS, Glen, Eric, Cory and Cam! I'm thrilled for you! You deserve this!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fish Out Of Water ???

Swimming with the big boys...Am I in over my head? NO!

This weekend I have the distinct privilege of conducting the Hockey Chapel on Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the Roger Neilson Coaches' Clinic in Windsor, Ontario. Thanks for your prayers!

My topic is... "REVERSING THE TIDE" or "Why I MUST Do What I Do"

Here's the lineup of speakers from the RNCC web site:

2006 Confirmed Speakers
(Speakers and topics subject to change)


TODD MCLELLAN - DETROIT RED WINGS, NHL "Forechecking Systems & Theories"
BARRY SMITH - PHOENIX COYOTES, NHL "Teaching Support Concepts vs. Systems"
DR. SAUL MILLER (North Vancouver, BC) "Common Mistakes Coaches Make"
BRUCE CASSIDY - CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS, NHL "Principles of the Power Play"
GREG IRELAND - GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS, AHL "Developing a Strong & Cohesive Penalty Kill"
PAUL DENNIS - TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS, NHL "How Character Influences Optimal Performance"
MATT NICHOL - TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS, NHL "A 'Scientific' Approach to Off-ice Training for Hockey’"
E.J. McGUIRE - DIRECTOR, NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING "Offensive Zone Attack in the New NHL"
KEITH ACTON - TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS, NHL "Preparing for your Opponent (plus the Difference Between Minor Hockey and Pro Hockey)"
MARTY WILLIAMSON - BARRIE COLTS, OHL "Sound Defense in Today's Game"

DAVID ROY - THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE HOCKEY ACADEMY (Burnaby, BC) "Skating Speed and Mobility in Today's Game" (classroom and on-ice demonstration)
JIM CORSI - BUFFALO SABRES, NHL "Blocking Skills for Goaltenders"


Friday, June 16, 2006

Increase My Vision, Lord

Anyone who has read my profile knows that I'm an incurable Southern Gospel fan. Greater Vision (pictured) is the group that ministers to me the most. These three godly men, Rodney Griffin, Gerald Wolfe and Jason Waldroup (left to right) sing with the anointing of God on their hearts and voices.

Today I received Gerald Wolfe's latest piano CD and, being a pianist, I was blessed beyond measure. I thank God for men who uncompromisingly exalt our Lord Jesus and make much of His Word.

My prayer is for "greater vision" that I would "see the fields that are white unto harvest" and invest my life wholeheartedly in reaching out to those who need Jesus.

God bless you, Greater Vision!

60 Going On 90...Or 30

It's one of those days. I'm really 60 but my body feels like it's 90. After walking miles and miles pushing our power mower we finally got ol' John Deere back. Whew!
What a relief!

Now if this 30 year old mind could just catch up with the rest of me and my 90 year old body would slow down and come back to 60, I'd be in great shape.

Reminds me of those SPEED LIMIT signs. I should be going 60 but my body's going 90 and my mind is going 30.

Oh well...

Ravenous But Satisfied

Those who entered Elijah's tent would have seen this picture dangling from the center pole.

It was a reminder of God's faithful provision by the brook Kerith and again, in the home of the widow and her son in Zeraphath.

What reminders do you have of God's marvellous intervention? How has Jehovah Jireh provided for you when it seemed that help could not be found? Some of my reminders are hymns or poems that our sovereign God gave me in times of desperate need.

This poem (which was given to me in two stages) continues to bring encouragement when I recall how God intersected with my life:

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 declared it to be true
And He has never lied.

Trust Him today in the midst of your seemingly impossible situation. "God will make a way when there seems to be NO way."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hidden Reflections

You can barely see it but there's a hidden reflection of the photographer (me) of this photo in the picture on the wall of my office. You can see about 1/40th of the books in my library as well. Don't you ever DARE throw out any Christian books! I'll drive as far as Argentina to pick them up. Well, not quite!

Have a good and godly week!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Delightful Duo

Yesterday our grandchildren Carissa (left) and Daynica gave us a delightful duet on our piano. They are trying to teach me how to play. I sat down with Carissa and tried to show her how to "do" it but she already knew.

It's always great having Tim and Nicole visit us. Our kids get along well with theirs (their kids are our children's nephew and nieces). Tim is Matthew and Nathan's older brother. There is only 28 years difference between Tim and Nathan.

Communion at St.Timothy's

It's amazing how often the words "Tim Hortons" find their way into our Christian blogs, sermons on Sundays and the daily conversations of the followers of Jesus.

Of course this is primarily a Canadian phenomenon but our American friends are regularly meeting at St. Arbucks for their communion and conversation.

How many seeds have been planted at these coffee churches? How many of those seeds have been watered there? How many have come to fruition within the hallowed (???) walls of these sanctuaries?

Just think...Tim Horton was a dumb jock (in some people's minds) who was killed in a tragic car accident before his empire became so famous.

Let's share the love of Jesus whenever and wherever we get the opportunity!

Meet me at Timmy's at 11:30 tomorrow morning!

So Near and Yet So Far

The other night I took this photo of the moon while I was out in our front yard. It seemed so near and yet it's so far away.

Similarly speaking, God often seems to be so far away and yet He is always near. He promised to inhabit the praises of His people. He's as close as the mention of His name.

Give Him praise and honor. Worship the God who created the sun, moon and stars and who created YOU to bring glory to His name. He loves you and is always near!

Lighting the Way

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Pilgrim's Strange Side

Just in case you're interested I'm going to share some "wierd" or "strange" things about me. Maybe you don't even care. Oh well...

Here goes anyway:

1. Holding a coffee cup is therapeutic for me. I take my coffee black. When asked at Tim Horton's if I want it "double cupped" I emphatically answer "NO THANKS". The heat, even in the summer, takes away stress. Wierd?

2. When listening to my Southern Gospel CD's I'm listening to the piano or keyboard player first and foremost. NOTHING excites this ol' guy more than excellent pianists. I can detect, I'm sure, some runs and progressions in a song that most people would be completely unaware of. I could listen to Gerald Wolfe play all night. Lari Goss is one of my favorites. So is Stan Whitmire. Then there's my friend and neighbor, John Dinnick. There WILL be pianos in heaven.

3. Some of the greatest sounds and smells I've ever experienced were in the garage area at a NASCAR track. I've participated in chapel services conducted by Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) where the speakers and singers had to outduel the cars which were being prepared for the race. I love that sound! There's nothing like the sound of 43 stock cars barreling down the straightaway at the first of a race with several jet fighters flying overhead. The smell of gas, fumes and burning rubber at the track should be packaged somehow. I'd buy NASCAR cologne.

4. A hardcover book is like a person to me. I study the binding, the font of the title on the spine, the color of the paper, even the smell of the book. Taking a book on the commuter train to the ballpark is like having a traveling companion who rides free. Books have a personality. They have a story behind them that goes far beyond the actual story told in their pages. I have a stack of reading material beside my bed. Each night I read parts of several books. When the pile gets too high, my wife Carol takes 8-10 of them down to my basement office and then I start another pile. I'm a hopeless, helpless bibliophile. Got any books you need to get rid of? How can you do it? Books are people you know.

5. Before going to bed I go outside to call our cats, Willow and Smokey. I end up staring into the starry sky, transfixed by the beauty of God's handiwork. We live in the country so the vast expanse of the heavens is easily visible to us. The little game I play is counting the number of seconds before I see a jet plane flying overhead. I can't recall going past 30 seconds. Seems like there are always planes flying over the Fisher household.

6. I never tire of eating Swiss Chalet barbecued chicken. I'm sure I could eat there every evening. My menu selection never changes. It's always a quarter chicken dinner with white meat and fries. My appetizer is always a house salad with the house dressing. After downing my salad, I eat the fries first and then the chicken. Yes, I'm in a rut but it's a good rut.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Next Book I Read

As you know, I'm a bookaholic. Books are my passion. Bookstores are my favorite place to visit.

The next book I want to read, cover to cover, is The Doctrines of Grace by Philip Graham Ryken and James Montgomery Boice. This was Boice's final work before cancer claimed his life and he went "home". He actually hadn't completely finished the book and his co-author, his successor at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Philip Ryken, completed it for him.

I fondly remember hearing Dr. Boice preach at his church. What a compelling communicator! His deep, resonant voice was heard on the Bible Study Hour until his homecall.

The ongoing Calvinistic/Arminian debate intrigues me and, at the same time, confuses me and alarms me. When I go where Boice went, I'll know the answers.

Until then...

George Muller

Since I was a young boy I have been fascinated and challenged by the life of implicit faith personified by George Muller.

Here are three of his quotes. I'll post more later.

"A servant of God has but one Master."

"It ill becomes the servant to seek to be rich, and great, and honoured in that world where his Lord was poor, and mean, and despised."

"At last I saw Christ as my Saviour. I believed in Him and gave myself to Him. The burden rolled from off me, and a great love for Christ filled my soul. That was more than fifty years ago. I loved Jesus Christ then, but I loved Him more the year after, and more the year after that, and more every year since."

Here is a picture of some of the Muller orphanage buildings at Ashley Down in Bristol, England.

Four Pillars

Harvest Bible Chapel (Pastor James MacDonald) in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, has built their fast-growing church campuses on these four (4) important pillars:

1. Proclaiming the authority of God’s Word without apology. 2 Timothy 4:2
2. Lifting high the name of Jesus through worship. John 4:24
3. Believing firmly in the power of prayer. Ephesians 6:18
4. Sharing the good news of Jesus with boldness. Ephesians 6:19,20

Sounds pretty good to me. No wonder God is honoring this body of believers.

Green Thumb???

Looking at this picture I should have known that this cute little guy standing in the green would end up being part of the Toronto Blue Jays' grounds crew.

Brent Erskine, his brother Graeme and his dad Ken all became friends of mine during the early days of Blue Jay history back at the "mistake by the lake", Exhibition Stadium. Several players invited both Brent and then Graeme to attend our Sunday chapel services at the ballpark and both were impacted by these gatherings.

Their father, Ken, became a close friend after that and we have stayed in touch, to some measure, ever since.

The photo of Brent was on the invitation to attend his 40th birthday in a couple of weeks. My, how time flies.

All the best, Brent!

Yes, He Stops Me

The following "post" is taken in its entirety from my friend Debra's blog entitled As I See It Now. Thanks, Debra, for your excellent blog and the thought-provoking entries you make each day!

Debra writes:

Some people say they could never follow Jesus because He would stop them from having fun and good times... and that He would stop them from doing what they really wanted to do...and going where they wanted to go...and being what they wanted to be.

My list is different. I mean, yes, let's admit it-- Jesus does stop us from doing some things... He stops me all the time.

Jesus stops me from saying words I will later regret.

When I am sick and draped over my couch, He stops me from feeling sorry for myself and hopeless.

When I am alone, He stops me from feeling lonely... and He stops me from accepting all those pity party invitations.

And when people treat me horribly, He stops me from mistreating them or crumbling into shattered pieces.

He stops me from becoming bitter and unmerciful toward others--and myself.

He stops me from becoming lazy, sloppy and selfish.He stops me from judging others from my own, limited experience.

He stops me from making wrong moves and bad decisions.

He stops me from feeling unloved, unforgiven and unappreciated.

I prefer my list. I prefer my life. I would never choose a different one.

Check out Debra's blog at:

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rocket Roger Rocks

Last night Roger Clemens started for the Lexington Legends, a minor league affiliate of the Houston Astros. Recently Clemens signed with the Astros, again, and is getting into shape with some minor league starts. One of many highlights in last night's game was the fact that Clemens' son Koby (pictured with his father) was playing 3rd base for the Legends.

Leftovers from "Roger Clemens Night" at Applebee's Park:

The announced crowd of 9,222?
The 9,000 part, ok. But 222?
On a night when No. 22 was pitching. Of course.
Then again, the Astros have set Clemens’ first outing for the parent club is June 22. Coincidence? We think not.
Clemens’ two youngest children served as batboys. Kacy is 11. Kody is 10. Kory Clemens, 18, sat in a suite with mother, Debbie.
Two of Clemens’ sisters, Brenda Pavlovich and Janet Johnson, were also on hand.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Roy Lee, Clemens’ uncle, and the brother of his deceased mother Bess, drove in from Carlisle, Ohio for the game.
One of the night’s neatest moments came when fans applauded Lake County’s Johnny Drennen after the first-year player homered off Clemens in the first inning.
So how did Clemens’ look from a pitching standpoint? Pretty sharp for someone who had not faced a batter since the U.S. was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic on March 17.
He threw 4 1/3 innings that night, allowing six hits and two runs. He threw 73 pitches.At Applebee’s on Tuesday, Clemens threw 62 pitches. He faced 13 batters in three innings. He threw eight first-pitch strikes. He had seven swinging strikes.
He reached a full count just once, then prompted the Lake County batter to fly out to the warning track in center.
He did throw 40 strikes, not 41. Hitting Lake County’s Marshall Szabo counts as a ball, of course.
Lake County fouled off 13 pitches, including the foul tip by Fornasiere that was caught by catcher Jeff Mackor for the final out in the third.

A great night for the Clemens family! A great night for baseball!

??? (You Decide the Title)

During the Peterborough Petes' playoff run our local merchants got behind the team in a big way. Dozens of businesses had encouraging messages for the Petes on their storefront signs. Now that the Memorial Cup is over, the slogans are disappearing.

The pictured sign is still displayed by a toilet supplier in Peterborough's west end. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw it and had to go back today to capture it on camera.

You can decide the title for this "post" but many of them come to mind and others have been suggested by family members who were with me when I took this picture.

To name a few...

The Petes...Gone To Pot
The Petes...Potty Trained
Free "P" Shirts
Petes are Pooped
Royal Flush
Petes Tanked
Get a Handle On It

These names are taken from the American Standard version...

Any more suggestions? Please leave a comment...Thanks!

Back in the Picture

My good friend, Paul Mackay, is out of the hospital and on the road to recovery after another bout with cellulitis. Paul stays at my mother's home during the week and heads home to Brantford on weekends. He doesn't know it but I've been known to use a shot or two of his POLO cologne when he's not looking. Please keep Paul in your prayers.

He was accidentally (or so we're told) left out of a picture recently (bottom shot) and wanted to make that right in the top picture.

His brother Bruce is the chaplain of our rival, the Belleville Bulls, and his sister Carol plays the piano like I've always wanted to. Mother Marg is keeping Paul well fed as he recovers and Father Dave is a wonderful encouragement to me (David), the stumbling pilgrim.

Check out Paul's blog at

John Saw...A Heavenly Harp

(click on poster to enlarge)

This will be a wonderful evening with great music, humour and a challenge to get involved in what God is doing around the world! Be there if you possibly can! That's at Northview Pentecostal Church this Friday evening at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Kind Gestures

Guess what this is? It's the game puck from the Petes' 3-2 win over the Quebec Remparts at the Memorial Cup Tournament in Moncton, NB last month.

Guess who gave it to me? David Shantz has been such a blessing to me and many others this season.

His generosity has refreshed so many people. The other day he autographed a T-shirt for a young ten-year-old boy who has not been very well of late. We didn't realize until we gave Will his shirt that Shantzy was his favorite player. Will was thrilled! It takes so little to brighten someone's day.

That's what that game puck did for me that night. I certainly appreciated David's kind gesture but I really think he should have it for his trophy case. Don't you agree?


What greater goal than to commit to giving Jesus Christ the pre-eminent place in every area of our lives? That was the Apostle Paul's prayer. Is it yours? Is it mine?