Sunday, December 30, 2007

So, What's the Fuss?

For the believing Christian who understands the real meaning of Christmas, the unspoken question often leveled at us when we make much of our Savior is..."what's the fuss?" So today I wrote a few lines:

A baby born...
So what's the fuss?
Emmanuel
He's God with us.

Born to die
At Calvary
The Lamb of God
He died for me.

An empty tomb
A risen Christ
For all my sin
He paid the price.

And one day soon
Oh what a fuss!
He'll split the clouds
And come for us.

And that, my friend, is what the fuss is all about. God came to us in human form. He, the incarnate God, moved into our neighborhood and became one of us...only to end up on a cross...for us. Why? Because He loved us!

That is what the fuss is all about.
~ David

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Our friend Mrs. Mac over at What Ever Happened To penned the following, The Ghosts of Christmas Past, and posted it just before Christmas. Good stuff! Have you ever wondered:

Whatever happened to:

- neighborhood church bells
- a reverence for religious and national holidays
- special occasion dresses
- waiting until December 25 for a present
- a much anticipated long distance phone call ... for just a few minutes due to cost
- 99.9 % of stores and businesses closing for Christmas, Sunday, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc.
- saying "Merry Christmas" ... instead of "Happy (generic) Holidays
- Christmas savings programs through your bank so you didn't owe on credit cards for six months past Christmas
- moderation
- being content with whatever present you received ... instead of handing out a wish list
- driving to grandma's house for a family gathering
- meaningful Christmas music
- nothing remotely Christmasie until after Thanksgiving ...
- the real reason for celebrating Christmas ...
- whole intact families

It makes you wonder doesn't it!

Maybe next year...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Respectable Sins...A Review

The following review of an excellent book which I'm presently reading is taken in its entirety from the following web site entitled The Shepherd's Scrapbook: http://www.spurgeon.wordpress.com

Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges

The title of Jerry Bridge’s new book – Respectable Sins — pops with sarcasm. While confronting many obvious and blatant sins in culture – abortion, corporate corruption, homosexuality, bullying and physical abuse – the Church frequently misses the sins running rampant within its walls.

“The motivation for this book stems from a growing conviction that those of us whom I call conservative evangelicals may have become so preoccupied with some of the major sins of society around us that we have lost sight of the need to deal with our own more ‘refined’ or subtle sins” (p. 9).

Later in Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate (NavPress: 2007). Bridges makes this shocking statement: “In our human values of civil laws, we draw a huge distinction between an otherwise ‘law-abiding citizen’ who gets an occasional traffic ticket and a person who lives a ‘lawless’ life in contempt and utter disregard for all laws. But the Bible does not seem to make that distinction. Rather, it simply says sin – that is, all sin without distinction – is lawlessness” (p. 20).

Bridges begins the book with an excellent chapter on defining sainthood in light of the messed-up Corinthians being considered “saints” (see 2 Cor. 1:1). We are called to live as the “saints” we have been declared in Christ. The second chapter — “The Disappearance of Sin” — paints a strong argument that the Church is having a hard time defining and seeing her own sins. The third chapter – “The Malignancy of Sin” – sets out to reveal that sin is not merely what we do but who we are. Our sinful actions spring from our sinful heart. Sin is a “principle or moral force in our heart, our inner being” (p. 24). Bridges then gets into the Gospel as our hope. We can face and overcome sin because of the Cross and the powerful working of the Holy Spirit. Bridges has dressed the reader for warfare.

The “Respectable Sins”


So what sins are “respectable sins”? Bridges’ chapters include the following topics:

- general ungodliness defined as a sinful attitude towards God
- anxieties and frustrations
- discontentment
- unthankfulness
- pridefulness revealed specifically in self-righteousness, even in a pursuit of theological accuracy, in prideful motives behind our achievements and revealed in a spirit of independence
- selfishness with our interests, time, money and inconsiderableness
- lack of self-control in eating, drinking and temperament, finances, entertainment and shopping - impatience and irritability
- anger, even anger towards God, and the underlying roots of anger in resentment, bitterness, enmity, hostility and holding grudges
- judgmentalism and a critical spirit over differing convictions and doctrinal disagreements
- envy, jealousy, competitiveness and being controlling
- the sins of the tongue like gossip, slander, lying, harsh words, sarcasm, insults and ridicule
- worldliness shown financially, by our idolatry and in “vicarious immorality,” that is, the enjoyment of watching or reading the sinfulness of others.

And Bridges says his list was whittled down for print!

Conclusion

Bridges’ new work fills an important gap. There are excellent theoretical and architectural works to help church leaders conceive the mission of pastoral ministry and fellowship groups (Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp is one great one). But Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate (NavPress: 2007) may be the best yet in giving churches an easy-to-read book that has great potential in small group settings as believers help one another identify — and then mortify — the “respectable” sins of the heart. And only one who has proven himself faithful to the message of the Cross, like Bridges, is suited to lead us deep into the caves and caverns where sin lives in our hearts. A useful and excellent book worthy of consideration in the 2007 TSS Book of the Year contest.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Greetings

We pause on this Christmas morning to send warm, heartfelt greetings to all our fellow pilgrims. We pray that you will pause to reflect on all that Christ means to us and all that He has accomplished on our behalf. God bless you as you celebrate the birthday of our King.

We are trusting God for great things in the coming year. Our prayer is that you would walk with Him more closely and share His love with a world that has lost its bearings.

I've been reading an excellent new book by John Stott entitled The Living Church. He states that "we are trustees of God's revelation" meaning that the Father has entrusted His truth, the Good News, to us and it's our reponsibility, by the Spirit's enabling, to faithfully and biblically declare that revelation to our world.

Have a joy-filled Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

The pilgrim, David

Note: Thanks to Becky from Glad Books for this beautiful picture of sun on snow.

Friday, December 21, 2007

More Bittersweet

As the ongoing drama of selling our home unfolds we find ourselves riding a wild roller coaster of emotions.

We received an offer that we couldn't refuse almost two weeks ago. All the conditions have been met thus far. One condition was that the perspective buyer could arrange a home inspection. This was carried out yesterday. You can imagine how Carol was feeling as the inspector thoroughly went from top to bottom checking every imaginable thing. Tapping, banging, opening, closing. He did it all!

We waited nervously. The buyer was there with the inspector and when he was done she was so excited she blurted out, "I love this home so much. I wish we could move in today." We were relieved that the inspection went well but it brings us one step closer to moving on.

The problem is that we "love" our home a lot. But...it's just bricks and mortar and the things that mean most will be going with us wherever we end up.

Each time I look out the back window and see the picturesque winter wonderland that has been ours for 13 1/2 years my heart trembles and I choke up. This will be our last Christmas in this home. I won't be sitting in my Adirondack chair beside the creek anymore. No trails to wander through. But life moves on and God has great things in store for us. That's what we believe but at times it's hard to convince myself of that fact.

Last night I drove past the home of my friends Watson and Noemi Atkinson. Watson will never return to that home. After suffering a heart attack in the Philippines recently God called him to his eternal resting place...a much better home. Seeing their empty home (Noemi and their daughter Jenalyn are still in the Philippines) helped to place things in perspective.

We are pilgrims here and we better not put our roots down too deep. The things that matter most are NOT "things" but relationships and people and our faith in a sovereign, faithful God.

"Father, don't allow me to get too attached to earthly things that will quickly fade in significance but cause me to fix my eyes and attention on You and Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for every blessing that You lavish upon Your children. We have a heavenly home whose builder and maker is God and we are but pilgrims on a journey that leads to You. Thanks for walking with us each step of the way. We praise You for who You are and what You have done for us through Jesus Christ our wonderful Lord. AMEN!"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

That Night












What we celebrate:

Mary conceived
Joseph protected
Innkeeper accommodated
Straw cradled
Baby slept
Cattle lowed
Shepherds watched
Angel announced
Shepherds trembled
Angels sang
Shepherds visited
Mary pondered
Salvation birthed
Mankind delivered
Prophecy fulfilled
God smiled.


~ David W. Fisher
December 19/07

What Does It Take?

Last night the boys and I ate at Arby's. The paper placemat on the tray (pictured) told us what it takes to make "life good". ROAST BEET. CURLY FRIES. LIFE'S GOOD. Matthew & Nathan couldn't understand why I would fold up the greasy placemat and take it home. This is why. It got me thinking! What really constitutes a "good life".

Is it being physically fit by working out at one of the GOOD LIFE fitness centres?

Is it getting a "case of 24" for a "buck a bottle" as some commercials proclaim?

If you were to re-write the Arby's statement using only 4 words...two groups of 2, then adding "Life's Good", what would yours look like? For the Christian who seeks to obey God, walk in the Spirit and love others what would he/she say?

Here are a few of mine, keeping in mind that life isn't always "good" just because of the pleasant things we encounter:

"PERPLEXING PROBLEMS, GOD'S GRACE, LIFE'S GOOD!"

"STRUGGLING PILGRIMS, GOD'S FAITHFULNESS, LIFE'S GOOD!"

"PERFECT PEACE, EVERLASTING ARMS, LIFE'S GOOD!"

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." - Psalm 16:11 (KJV)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Scattered Thoughts

It's late! I'm tired! My mind is racing! I'm at work! Christmas music is playing in the background! But...I'm not ready for Christmas!

My friend will be buried in the Philippines on Tuesday. I'm not sure when the funeral is but they are 12 hours ahead of me so it's almost noon on Tuesday as I type this.

There are so many hurting people out there!

Father, touch those who hurt with Your loving, outstretched hand! Minister love, mercy, grace and peace to them tonight! Enfold them in Your everlasting arms. May the mystery of the incarnation become real to them as they discover what Christmas is all about. Grant this, O God, for Jesus' sake! AMEN!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bittersweet Scribblings

Those of you who receive my Pilgrim Scribblings e-mail updates will already be aware that a dear friend of mine, Watson Atkinson, died in the Philippines several days ago following a severe heart attack. His dear wife Noemi and their special adopted child Jenalyn (from the Philippines) grieve the loss of a wonderful husband and father. Watson will be buried in the Philippines this coming week.

I struggle to come to grips with this seeming tragedy. Watson is "absent from the body and present with the Lord" but those who remain are left to grieve...although "they don't sorrow as others who have no hope."

It's hard to imagine Noemi and Jenalyn coming home to an empty house with all the reminders of Watson there. It will be difficult for me to get any sense of closure because I won't get to see Watson's body.

We joked about growing old two weeks ago while we were chatting at church. He spoke often in recent months about being ready to go "home" but we never thought it would be this soon. Even though Watson lived in the Peterborough area (Millbrook) his heart had been in the Philippines for years. He had a heart for World Missions and served on the Missions Committee at Auburn Bible Chapel.

Watson, I'll miss you, dear friend. Noemi and Jenalyn, you are in our prayers and you are safely gripped and embraced by God's everlasting arms.

Thanks for praying for Noemi and Jenalyn, my friends!

Friday, December 14, 2007

JESUS...What a Wonderful Name!


End of Construction

Taken from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Christmas newsletter:

"Years ago Ruth (Billy's wife who went to be with Jesus earlier this year) noticed a highway sign and told us she wanted that sign as her epitaph. If you visit her burial place today in Charlotte, you will find the words of the sign etched on her marker stone: 'End of construction. Thank you for your patience.' "

How fitting! We are continually being fashioned into His likeness. It's an ongoing work that won't be completed until we see His lovely face. In the meantime we ask that friends, family and associates be patient with us. We are a work in progress.

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

Italics mine - David

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stones of Remembrance

Lest I forget that God is faithful, I have many reminders throughout my office. For this post I've assembled some of these "stones of remembrance" that serve to assure me that God will provide and that He knows my needs.

In the accompanying photo you can see the portrait of George Muller that graces my desk. The photo on the right of one of the orphanage buildings was taken when I visited Bristol, England earlier this year.

The rock on the left was taken from a crumbling stone wall in front of one of the buildings. The other piece on the left is from the foundation of one of the orphanage buildings. The college that presently occupies these buildings was doing some renovations and I took this piece as a reminder of God's faithfulness and provision.

The book in the center is written by Roger Steer, Muller's biographer. Roger and I met in Exeter in March and enjoyed a wonderful time of Christian fellowship.

So, when I wonder if God will provide for our present needs I just need to look around my office. Of course His word declares His faithfulness and I just need to trust His promises.

When You Don't Understand

Today I read the following quote by J. I. Packer and it's so good I need to share it.

Packer writes, "We should not abandon faith in anything that God has taught us merely because we cannot solve all the problems which it raises. Our own intellectual competence is not the test and measure of divine truth. It is not for us to stop believing because we lack understanding, or to postpone believing till we can get understanding, but to believe in order than we may understand. This is the core issue of authority - are we going to trust our own minds, or are we going to trust God's Word?" taken from Fundamentalism and the Word of God

Something to think about...

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5,6 (NIV)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Financial Career

One of Canada's most recognized writers from a past generation was Stephen Leacock (1869-1944). Born in England, Leacock's family emigrated to Canada and settled on a farm near Sutton, Ontario. Many of his summers were spent in Orillia, Ontario, not too far from where I live.

The short piece of Leacock's work that I recall most vividly is his "My Financial Career." Check it out here. Banks and Leacock weren't good friends. Likely enemies. I can relate! My first job after graduating from my 2nd year in Grade 12 was with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. I persevered for two months then made a withdrawal. I removed myself from the bank and deposited myself in the family business for 7 years before buying the local Christian bookstore which I kept afloat with God's help for 15 years with frequent visits to the bank manager. How I despised those visits!

When you live on the edge, with no visible means of support, eking out a hand to mouth (God's hand to my mouth) existence, banks can be a life saver or a curse. You're always waiting for "the call" when the crusty clerk calls to say that your cheque was made of rubber. The bank statements arrive in the mail and you quickly shred them and line the bird cage with the pieces. You never read them. You hate bad news!

With modern technology we can stick a plastic card in a metal machine and get paper money for free or at least that's what my kids think. Insert the card, enter your PIN and the amount needed than pray fervently that NOT APPROVED doesn't flash on the screen. I've seen those dreaded words far too often., this morning for example, and this may have prompted me to write this post.

You only have $5.00 left in your pocket and you need gas in the car. You know your credit card is maxed, your chequing account is taxed and you have to make a choice. Rather than suffer embarassment twice you choose to pay cash and go without milk. How come the outstanding balance owing on your card is always higher than you thought and the available balance in your bank account is always lower than you guessed?

It's not that the bank employees I've dealt with in recent years have been hard to deal with. On the contrary they have been exceptional. They had to be to deal with me! All twelve managers in the last eight years have been understanding women. Not a guy in the group. I wonder why. Of course it takes a month or two to explain what "living by faith" is all about. A foreign concept. You work but you might not get paid. Such uncertainty! When the tellers see me coming they know that I either have to do some juggling or another miracle has happened. Some unknown donor has taken pity and sent along a charitable gift.

Will there be financial institutions in heaven? I'm banking on the assurance that there won't be any such thing. I pray that there won't be. No need! The Giver of every good and perfect gift will be enthroned there. We will have all we need...in Him.

'Til then I guess I have to make my treks to the TD Canada Trust after waiting for the mailman's miracle deliveries either to make a deposit or arrange a loan to carry me 'til the next miracle.

Am I stressed? YES! Do I need to be? NO!

I've been writing this while waiting for the mailman to arrive. It's two o'clock. He should arrive soon. Maybe this is the day!

Excuse me while I check the mailbox.

AND PLEASE PRAY...

THANKS!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Share A Comment

Yesterday I received some encouragement while waiting for our church service to begin.

A member of our congregation who I had never engaged in a conversation before told me that she enjoyed reading my blog. I was excited to hear that but I asked why she had never left a comment after reading any of my posts.

We talked about the need for encouragement and I thanked her for letting me know that she reads my blog.

So, dear friends, share a comment...or two when something I've written has been a blessing.

And the friend's name who I challenged to "share a comment'? Sherra! Yes, that's her name...Sherra Fam!

I'll be waiting for your comments and be sure to encourage someone today.

"so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." Romans 15:4 (NIV)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Lone Man On The Totem Pole

This post was inspired by a photo I found on Becky's site. See the link to Becky's Glad Books.

I've heard the expression "low man on the totem pole" as I'm sure you have. What about "lone man on the totem pole"?
Have you ever felt so alone that you're convinced that nobody else understands the way you feel or knows your heart? I'm sure you have. Just like the leaf in this picture...you feel that you're all alone, deserted, abandoned by God and everyone else.

That's how Elijah felt. He was determined that he was the only righteous man left in the country but God told him otherwise.

You're never alone even though it may seem that way. God has promised never to forsake His own and He keeps every promise.

TRUST HIM TODAY! HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Nudge In Tight

Last Friday was one of those times when the events of the day mirrored the weather or vice versa. One minute the sun was shining, the next it seemed like a blizzard was blowing the roof off. One minute I felt at peace and then my sense of well-being would be shattered. Being the end of the month there's always a bit of apprehension. Will we able to make the mortgage payment? Will God provide miraculously again like He's always done before? Back and forth I went...all day, riding an emotional roller coaster that seemed out of control.

In the midst of the turmoil God, by His Spirit, was giving comfort and encouragement. Without His whispers urging me to carry on I wouldn't have made it. I would have crashed and it wouldn't have been pretty.

Every time I would begin to despair God would whisper, "Nudge in tight, things WILL be alright!" I'd cozy up to Him, so to speak, get under "shadow of the Almighty, be carried along by His everlasting arms and I'd sense a calm release. This happened repeatedly throughout the day.

Friday night I was awake in the middle of the night...thinking too much, of course, and God whispered again. I finally got up, went down to my computer and typed out this dialogue between the Father and me.

First a poem:

The whisper of God came out of the heavens.
Caring, compassionate words filled with love,
The whisper of God, so intimate, personal
Meant just for me and they came from above.


Now the dialogue:

GOD: “Nudge in tight, things will be alright!”

DAVID: “Nudge in tight, things will be alright?” Nudge? Doesn’t that mean to push aside? Surely that’s not what You’re trying to say.

GOD: “Your mere human words can’t ever describe
And convey to you what I’m trying to say.
Nudge, nestle, cuddle?…you know what I mean
Just trust me and do what I tell you today.”

GOD: “Nudge in tight, things will be alright!”

DAVID: "Yes, Father! I’ll nudge in tight, Things WILL be alright!


Dear friend, are you battling something that looms so large that it threatens to defeat you? Nudge in tight to God. Allow Him to take your burdens and cares. He has never lost a battle yet...and never will.

Psalm 91 is such a comfort in times like these:

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

AMEN!

~ David W. Fisher

December 3rd, 2007


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Satisfied

My friends Stephen and Brooksyne Weber posted this picture on their Daily Encouragement web site today.

What a wonderful portion of scripture! He truly provides the ultimate satisfaction for each of us. His unfailing love can be counted on in the midst of every circumstance.

May you know His peace, comfort and satisfaction today!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Our Breath is a Blessing

This picture and quote were taken from Lisa J's blog, Thoughts from the Teahouse. Something to think about.

"The very breath with which we complain is a blessing." ~ Richard Allestree from The Art of Contentment

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pilgrim Scribblings's 3rd Anniversary

1429 posts later we are celebrating the 3rd Anniversary of Pilgrim Scribblings.

There have been times when I haven't posted as regularly as I would have liked but when you average it out, there has been more than 1 post per day over these last three years.

The readership isn't as high as I would like but the discipline has been good for me even if nobody drops by to visit or read.

I trust that these scribblings have been a blessing to you and I hope to continue writing as God gives me strength.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

With The Petes In Saginaw, Michigan





























I'm here in Saginaw, Michigan on a road trip with the Peterborough Petes. This afternoon we had a chapel service in my room. With only three chairs in the room, we had to improvise. In other words, I had to share my bed with 9 other guys.


We had 18 players, two trainers and myself in the room as I challenged them concerning the lives they are writing each day. The handout was entitled "We're Writing Our Story Each Day Of Our Lives...Write Well."

Last night we were in Windsor and tomorrow (Sunday) we're in Sarnia. Tonight the guys snapped their losing streak with a well-deserved win over Saginaw.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Blessings





The following thoughts are taken from the TURNING POINT online devotional:

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 34:1


The words "thank" and "think" hail from the same root, reminding us that thanksgiving comes from thinking about our blessings. That's what David did in Psalm 34. He scribbled out the words of this passage during a distressing time in his life. According to the superscription of Psalm 34, this was David's prayer as he fled from King Abimelech by feigning insanity. After escaping by the skin of his teeth, David declared he would "bless the Lord at all times," because, he said, "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears . . . . This poor man cried out, and the Lord . . . saved him out of all his troubles."

How many times has the Lord saved us out of all our troubles? How many times has He protected us in near-accidents? Healed us during sickness? Provided in moments of need? Given us verses to calm us, friends to help us, and blessings to enrich us?

Think of all the prayers God has answered in our lives. How many answers has He given you? A thousand? Ten thousand? A hundred thousand?

Let's think—and thank!

The person who has stopped being thankful has fallen asleep in life.
Robert Louis Stevenson


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sad Thanksgiving

Tonight I put a few lines together and called it An Atheist's Lament on Thanksgiving Day. How sad it must be to have so much and yet not believe in the God who is the giver of every good and perfect gift. Sad to say, the words of this poem could be true of many people during this Thanksgiving season.

Today I am thankful for friends and great food,
I don't have to work so I'm in a good mood;
Our family will be here and we'll watch the game
We'll be feasting on turkey, it's always the same.

And when it's all over, I've said my "goodbyes"
I'm sick to my stomach, I've got bloodshot eyes;
The bottles are empty and my mind is blank
But saddest of all...I've got no one to thank!

Note: For the believing Christian, Thanksgiving should be one of the most joyous days of the year. The Father has blessed us bountifully and we have so much to praise and thank Him for.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bud Slams The Door


I'm so proud of my nephew Bud Fisher! He led the Quinnipiac Bobcats to a 4-0 victory over Princeton on Saturday night earning the shutout!

He had been out of action for awhile with a banged up finger but he was shutting 'em down Saturday night!

CONGRATULATIONS, Bud! We love you a lot!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

SIN, Call It What It Is

Last night I began reading Jerry Bridges new book, Respectable Sins. I was reminded again that we tend to categorize sin and use synonyms that make the word "sin" more palatable. SIN is SIN! Don't fool yourself! Call it what it is! We can't escape its reality but we can get freedom over its clutches.

I've had an idea percolating in my mind all day and I've finally put it in writing. I'm serving it up here for all to sample.

Here's that little rhyme mixed with some thyme:

Misdemeanours, mistakes, misdeeds, indiscretions,
Mix them together and add some transgressions;
Throw in some seasoning to make them more tasty,
Boil then let simmer, now don't get too hasty.
When you smell the aroma from the things you've put in
Just take off the lid, there's a pot filled with SIN.

~ David W. Fisher
November 17th, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

George Muller

Dear Friends:

Have you checked out our GEORGE MULLER blog recently. I try to post new items regularly. Muller had such a profound influence on my life through his books and through biographies written about his life of faith.

If you haven't checked out the site lately, please check it out here!

- David

Hazardous To Our Complacency

I've always been challenged by missionary quotations. When I was on staff at The Peoples Church in Toronto, the annual Missions Conference was the highlight of the church calendar. Each year the sanctuary of the church was adorned with quotes from famous missionary statesmen including one or more by the founder of that church, Dr. Oswald J. Smith (pictured).

The following You-Tube video clip may challenge your complacency. I did mine!

View at your own risk. Here's the link!

"Father, forgive us for finding excuses NOT to obey Your Great Commission. AMEN."

Gracious Words

The following thoughts appeared on David Jeremiah's TURNING POINT online devotional today:

"So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"
Luke 4:22


Everyone knows the value of a snack as an energy booster. Half an apple or a handful of grapes or a tangerine, all natural sources of sugar (carbohydrates), can be the fuel our internal engine needs to allow us to shift into a higher gear when we feel tired. They didn't know the science, but even the ancients knew the value of "carbs" as a source of energy: Jonathan's "countenance brightened" (1 Samuel 14:27) when he ate the honey from a honeycomb.

Did you know there is something else that can refresh a tired and weary soul as quickly as honey? Proverbs says, "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones." How many souls, even "bones," are sick and downcast because it's been so long since they heard a pleasant word? One of the reasons Jesus Christ was so loved was because of the "gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth." People couldn't believe that an ordinary person ("Joseph's son") could speak so graciously and with such a healing effect.

The next time you encounter a tired soul or sick body, speak some pleasant and gracious words. It may be just what the Doctor ordered.


"Words, those precious cups of meaning . . . ." - St. Augustine

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lest We Forget

Here in Canada we celebrated Remembrance Day today, November 11th. Today was one of the few times that this special day falls on a Sunday.

We heard from a veteran who had served in World War II at our church service this morning. We also paused for a moment's silence in memory of those who fought for our freedom. I thought it was good for us to do this during our service because there is a strong parallel between what those veterans did for us and what Jesus Christ did at Calvary to forgive our sins and buy "real" freedom and peace.

I've included a postcard showing a field of poppies taken from the new booklet I picked up the other day, THE ART OF GOD.

May we never take for granted the freedoms that others paid for at such a great price!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Stale or Fresh From the Oven

A good friend e-mailed me recently and signed off with the following quote:

"It is easier to relate a testimony that is mouldy with age because it has the dogmatic ring about it that people agree with, than to talk from your last moment of contact with Father."

Think about it! Is there a ring of truth to this statement? Am I guilty? Are you?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Diminishing the Truth

Commenting on my post on Inerrancy (actually Rebecca's post), my friend Paul sent along the following quote from James MacDonald, pastor and radio preacher on Walk in the Word:

"We are expected to obey our Master and to accept His Word without equivocation. Cavalier questioning of the explicit statements of Scripture regarding the necessity of the new birth, the priority of biblical proclamation or the binding authority and sufficiency of Scripture cannot build a stronger, more Christ-honoring church no matter how sincere the messengers. Critiquing the church is good, disregarding or diminishing the revealed truth of our Founder is not good, no matter how ‘nice’ the people are who do it." ~ James MacDonald

Stephen the Encourager

Yes, I know, it was Barnabas that was "the son of encouragement" but Stephen Weber carries on a vital ministry by way of the internet that blesses thousands each day. This is a photo of an Amish farm taken by Stephen or his wife Brooksyne. They live in the midst of Amish country in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, my favorite part of America.

Be sure to check out Daily Encouragement if you haven't already done so. You'll be blessed by this godly couple who dispense encouragement in large doses.

Inerrancy of Scripture

One of my favorite sites is Rebecca Writes. Here's one of her most recent posts. It's good...very good!

Inerrancy of Scripture...

The principle that the Bible as it was originally written is completely true and without error.

From Numbers 23:19 and Psalm 12:6 (ESV)


"God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. "

From The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy:

1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God’s witness to Himself.
2. Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms, obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.
3. The Holy Spirit, Scripture’s divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.
4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God’s saving grace in individual lives.
5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible’s own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.


From John Frame in Is the Bible Inerrant? :

Other things being equal, I would prefer to drop all extra-scriptural terms including “infallible” and “inerrant” and simply speak, as Scripture does, of God’s Word being true. That’s all we mean, after all, when we say Scripture is inerrant. But modern theologians won’t let me do that. They redefine “truth” so that it refers to some big theological notion, and they will not permit me to use it as meaning “correctness” or “accuracy” or “reliability.”

…Now what is our alternative? Even “accuracy” and “reliability” have been distorted by theological pre-emption. “Correctness” seems too trivial to express what we want to say. So, although the term is overly technical and subject to some misunderstanding, I intend to keep the word “inerrant” as a description of God’s Word, and I hope that my readers will do the same. The idea, of course, is more important than the word. If I can find better language that expresses the biblical doctrine to modern hearers, I will be happy to use that and drop “inerrancy.” But at this moment, “inerrancy” has no adequate replacement. To drop the term in the present situation, then, can involve compromising the doctrine, and that we dare not do. God will not accept or tolerate negative human judgments concerning his holy Word. So I conclude: yes, the Bible is inerrant.

Learn more:

What is the Doctrine of Inerrancy? by Don Stewart at Blue Letter Bible
The Inerrancy of Scripture,
Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 by Tim Challies
Is the Bible Without Error? (mp3) from John Piper

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Art of God

Today I picked up a book of heavy card stock postcards entitled THE ART OF GOD...A Panoramic Postcard Book. It contains 30 beautiful postcards, 3 each of 10 designs. Another bonus was the price...on sale for only $2.99.

Over the next week or two I'll post these, adding an appropriate scripture verse.

Today's postcard is of a birch forest in Upper Michigan.

"Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy..." - Psalm 96:12 (NIV)

Note: Click on the picture for an enlarged view!



Satan's Onslaught

Here's another excellent thought-provoking challenge from A. W. Tozer:

Spiritual Warfare and Sin: Increased Hostility

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." - 1 Peter 5:8

As we move farther on and mount higher up in the Christian life we may expect to encounter greater difficulties in the way and meet increased hostility from the enemy of our souls....Satan hates the true Christian for several reasons.

One is that God loves him, and whatever is loved by God is sure to be hated by the devil. Another is that the Christian, being a child of God, bears a family resemblance to the Father and to the household of faith. Satan's ancient jealousy has not abated nor his hatred for God diminished in the slightest.

Whatever reminds him of God is without other reason the object of his malignant hate.

A third reason is that a true Christian is a former slave who has escaped from the galley, and Satan cannot forgive him for this affront.

A fourth reason is that a praying Christian is a constant threat to the stability of Satan's government.

The Christian is a holy rebel loose in the world with access to the throne of God. Satan never knows from what direction the danger will come.

taken from That Incredible Christian, 71

"Lord, it's not hard to see why Satan attacks. May I continue to be enough of a threat to him to merit his attention! Don't ever let me become so anemic in my Christian walk that he doesn't need to bother with me. Amen."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Fisher: Big hits, bigger heart

The following story appears on the Ottawa Senators home page today:

Rob Brodie Ottawa Senators

Nov 7, 2007, 11:03 AM EST

Upon first glance, he’s perhaps the grittiest of players the Ottawa Senators send out onto the ice each night.

But the heart and soul makeup that defines Mike Fisher doesn’t begin and end with hockey. Not when you’re a guy who never forgets to count his blessings every day.

“A lot of it is my God-given abilities,” Fisher said when asked what drives him to excel on the ice. “We’re all given different things, and I think one of them is the determination I have. I don’t take my health for granted, and try to give it everything I have when I can.”

That drive turned Fisher, a “mostly offensive player” in junior hockey, into one of the Senators’ hardest hitting forwards.

“It’s a fun part of the game,” said Fisher. “I feel like if I’m playing physical, then usually I’m into the game and at my best and can make plays, too.”

Senators fans, who’ve voted him their favourite team player in ottawasenators.com polls the past two seasons, surely appreciate Fisher’s hard-nosed style.

“I guess I try to leave everything on the ice, and fans just appreciate effort and hard-working guys,” said Fisher, who’s clearly humbled by the fans’ support.

Fisher, a devout Christian, applies the same approach to life outside the rink. He’s often one of the first in line to help out someone in need.

“It’s rewarding and having a faith in God, too, for me it puts a perspective on things that are important, like trying to help others,” he said. “I feel blessed to be in the position I’m at, and I just want to help out if I can and try to give back.

“A lot of guys on the team are great that way. We’re all in a unique position, and it’s an honour to be able to help out.”


Senators Prevail Again

Mike Fisher and his Ottawa Senators did the expected again last night...they defeated their rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-1 in the ongoing Battle of Ontario.

Give the Leafs a powerplay and you can almost count on Ottawa netting a short-handed goal. It happened again last night.

Crying towels anyone?

On a more serious note, why not pick up the latest issue of Sports Spectrum magazine which features a story on Mike Fisher.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

the big E



Encouragement...the big E! It's vital, it's essential! We shrivel up without it! Have you encouraged someone today? Why not reach out to a friend, a family member, someone in need today with a phone call, an e-mail a note of encouragement, a pat on the back.

"...so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hop." - Romans 15:4

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mike's Milestone

When Mike Fisher scored his first of two goals last night in the Sens 3-2 win over Boston it was his 200th NHL point.

Mike scored the winning goal in the 3rd period and was the game's 1st star.

No wonder he's smiling in this photo! His uncle was pretty happy as well.

CONGRATULATIONS, Mike!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Praying and Praising

Today's devotional from David Jeremiah's Turning Point seemed appropriate to post on Pilgrim Scribblings.

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving: The Mayflower

He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. . . . He guides them to their desired haven. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! - Psalm 107:29-31

Recommended Reading - Psalm 107:23-32

As the 90-ton Mayflower, captained by part-owner Christopher Jones, sailed for the New World on August 5, 1620, the 102 Pilgrims huddled in dark, low-ceilinged holds. Jones gave up his captain's quarters for the women and infants, but everyone else was crammed below deck in little hot rooms reeking with body odor. Because of rough seas, no hatches were open, and many of the passengers suffered seasickness amid violent storms that tossed the little craft like a cork.

The Pilgrims prayed and praised as best they could during the seven-week voyage. Upon landing at last, according to William Bradford, "they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all their perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth."

God deserves our thanksgiving, too. He calms our storms and guides us to the desired haven. Oh, that we would give Him thanks for His goodness and for His wonderful works!

"All along my pilgrim journey, let me, Savior, walk with Thee." - Fanny Crosby

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Worry Zaps Your Strength

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength. - Corrie Ten Boom

“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” – Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No Pat Answers

This morning Carol and I were briefly discussing how annoying (and angering) pat answers can be when one is in the midst of a difficult and trying situation.

Years ago I remember reading a book entitled NO PAT ANSWERS penned by the well-known novel writer Eugenia Price. It cut me to the bone because I had been guilty of just that...giving out pat answers to all who would listen. I naively thought I knew it all.

Now, many years later when I actually DO know it all...


Honestly...I'm just kidding...

The older I get the more I realize just how little I DO know. I have discovered that indiscriminately dispensing pat answers for the problems of others is not wise and often can be very damaging. Usually the hurting friend we want to help just needs a loving pat on the back, a listening ear or a loving note of encouragement saying that we care.

But aren't the scriptures God's truth on every matter? Yes they are! But to load someone down with a bucket full of Bible verses without adding a large dose of compassion and empathy could drive them deeper into the depths of despair.
We need discernment when dealing with those who hurt! Watch what you say! A kind deed done in love will mean more than empty words even though the words are truthful.

NO PAT ANSWERS PLEASE!

Developing a Disciplined Devotional Life

This morning I discovered this note as I was going through some old files. I believe that it bears repeating:

Quiet Reflections on Developing a Disciplined, Devotional Life . . .

Those of us on the faith journey have to admit that we often grow weary as we travel. Not only weary but hungry, thirsty, tired, discouraged, disappointed, frustrated, annoyed and even angry.

Since I was a young boy I’ve always been encouraged to have a daily “quiet time” with the Lord. These moments have often been contrived, rushed, obligatory exercises when, in fact, I was not quiet and I did not sense God’s presence. Futile attempts to calm my anxious heart.

As I’ve grown older (and, hopefully, wiser) I’ve recognized that these “quiet times” can come in many disguises. God meets with us in the midst of our circumstances in serendipitous ways that could never be planned. Looking back we can attest to the fact that our Father came alongside when we needed Him most. That, though, doesn’t excuse us from developing a disciplined, devotional life!

Life’s journey is not easy! Our lives need to intersect with God on a daily basis or we won’t survive. The titles of some of my “quiet time” books remind me that we need to be refreshed regularly along the way. Volumes in my library include:

STREAMS IN THE DESERT – Charles Cowman
A TABLE IN THE WILDERNESS – Watchman Nee
SANCTUARY – David Jeremiah
SPRINGS IN THE VALLEY – Charles Cowman
STRENGTH FOR THE JOURNEY – Joseph Stowell

As you make your way towards “home” today, reach out and take His hand. He provides nourishment, refreshment and His loving touch as we travel down the path.

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mountains, Valleys, Deserts, Streams

Fellow pilgrim, where are you today? What circumstances have caused you to wonder, to question, to stumble? Have the trials along the road stolen some of your joy? Has the sense of wonder and amazement disappeared? Has the God of heaven who launched you on this earthly pilgrimage suddenly become distant and detached?

Perhaps you're having one of those welcomed days when the sun is shining in the midst of the storm. Maybe the situations you're facing today seem inconsequential when lined up against the awesomeness of the all-sufficient One. Do you feel like you and God could handle anything today? If so, praise His name! There are many other pilgrims who'd like to be in your shoes today.

Truthfully speaking we are all are differing stages of the journey. Some have just left home. Others have criss-crossed the landscape and have discovered that God is who He said He is and have found Him to be faithful. Others, perhaps, have disembarked temporarily with a sense that God has forsaken you. Be assured, no matter how convinced you may be that He has...He hasn't! Get back on board!

Today as you struggle to put one foot in front of the other, allow the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, Christ Himself, to come alongside. Walk with Him! Draw from His limitless resources! Cross the valley with the Divine Deliverer! Drink at His well if you are tired and thirsty! Rest awhile before journeying on!

Together let's keep our eyes on Jesus. In our deepest despair He is there! Allow Him to lift you above the crashing storm and take you to your place of quiet rest.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." - Hebrews 12:1,2 (NIV)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Goals Galore

Last year Matthew was a goaltender for the Don Mills Diamonds. This year he wanted to be a forward and today he played his first game. Most games are on Saturday but we had to miss church for today's season opener. Carol couldn't come because we were having an OPEN HOUSE here so she told Matthew that she'd give him $5.00 if he scored a goal.

She'll have to use another means of motivation because Matthew scored 5 goals and added 2 assists in the Diamonds' 8-7 win over the Durham Dragons. He was so excited he could barely contain himself. The coach, realizing that Carol and I were going to be in the poor house, put Matthew back on defence partway through the game but he still scored while playing back.

CONGRATULATIONS Matthew! Your dad was proud of you!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bending and Breathing

Yesterday I received the latest issue of Heartcry magazine issued by Life Action Ministries. Just inside the magazine I saw this excellent definition of revival:

"Revival is God bending down to the dying embers of a fire just about to go out and breathing into it until it bursts into flame." - Christmas Evans

O how we need some of God's bending and breathing in these dark days!