Saturday, March 31, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
You can't read the captions above or below the picture(s) so I'll print them here. Remember that C. T. Studd came from a wealthy background and was called by God to give it all up and leave the comforts of home for the mission field.
"IMPOSSIBLE is an opinion, NOT a fact."
I'm so grateful to the God of heaven that "impossible" really isn't part of His vocabulary. Of course God cannot lie, go back on His word or be unfaithful. That's impossible!
The scriptures declare, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." - Matthew 19:26 (NIV)
Without this knowledge I'd be afraid to go on. Carol and I live on the corner of Impossible Street and Not a Chance Road but we trust in a God of surprises who has met us at our intersection so many times.
Yes, impossible is just an opinion. God has a better idea. A better plan. I choose to entrust the things which are seemingly impossible to Him. He has a way of changing things...and lives.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Carol and I were especially interested because our son Matthew (11) has Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.
It was stated that back in the 50's polio was considered an epidemic because of the seeming inordinate number of cases. Now, 1 in every 95 boys will be born with some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder and people don't seem too upset or alarmed.
"Jesus Christ is the sum and quintessence of the gospel; the wonder of angels; the joy and triumph of saints. The name of Christ is sweet, it is as music in the ear, honey in the mouth, and a cordial at the heart… the Mediator of the covenant, the restorer of lapsed sinners." -THOMAS WATSON
"Jesus is the Truth. We believe in Him, —not merely in His words. He Himself is Doctor and Doctrine, Revealer and Revelation, the Illuminator and the Light of Men. He is exalted in every word of truth, because He is its sum and substance. He sits above the gospel, like a prince on His own throne. Doctrine is most precious when we see it distilling from His lips and embodied in His person. Sermons [and songs] are valuable in proportion as they speak of Him and point to Him. A Christ-less gospel is no gospel and a Christ-less discourse is the cause of merriment to devils." -C.H. SPURGEON
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
The margins of the book are filled with meaty quotes taken from the text. If you buy the book and read nothing but these excerpts by MacArthur you would benefit...if you allow the Spirit of God to permeate and illuminate your thinking.
MacArthur takes Brian McLaren to task concerning his generous orthodoxy which is also the title of one of his recent books (McLaren's).
Why have we slipped so subtly into the practice of placing less importance on truth and doctrine and more attention to reaching the lost and skeptical where they're at?
Here's one of those quotes that MacArthur's editors have placed in the margin:
"Uncertainty is the new truth. Doubt and skepticism have been canonized as a form of humility. Right and wrong have been redefined in terms of subjective feelings and personal perspectives."
Do you agree? Pick up a copy of THE TRUTH WAR, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers at your local Christian bookstore! You might not like what you read but...what MacArthur declares needs to be shouted from the housetops.
You can also get a good "read" on a man (pun intended) by the books he cherishes.
Yes, I've got thousands of books, literally, but there are some that I would never give away. Here's a picture of some that I'd place in that category. "Quite a strange selection", you might say.
From top to bottom, there's:
How God Answers Prayer by George Muller (the book that got me fascinated with Muller's life of faith.)
A Table in the Wilderness by Watchman Nee (In my early 20's this devotional book helped shape me)
Coping by Elizabeth Skoglund (Spurgeon, C. S. Lewis, Amy Carmichael and Hudson Taylor's
coping mechanisms in the battles they faced)
The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer - Truly a classic!
Carl Henry at his Best - Quotes and excerpts from one of evangelicalism's great thinkers.
Sadly his scholarship was dismissed by many fundamentalists.
In Retrospect by F. F. Bruce - Perhaps the greatest thinker and writer from 20th century
Plymouth Brethrenism (so called) Great reading!
Chief Men Among the Brethren by Henry Pickering - brief sketches of the leading men who were active amongst the early brethren assemblies. Men like Darby, Kelly, Muller, Groves and Chapman
Bright Days, Dark Nights by Elizabeth Skoglund - Dealing with depression with excerpts
from the writings of Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The Journals of Jim Elliot - Painfully honest journaling by one of five missionaries
martyred in Ecuador in the 50's. Edited by his widow...another great writer, Elisabeth Elliot.
So, don't break into my library with the intention of stealing any of these. THANKS!
Thursday, March 22, 2007
since 1975. Please pray that the cards, letters, e-mails, phone calls and personal contacts will be used by God to encourage, challenge and strengthen these ballplayers during the course of the 2007 season.
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” – Romans 15:4 (NIV)
The Morning I Heard the Voice of God
by John Piper
March 21, 2007
I couldn’t sleep for some reason. I was at Shalom House in northern Minnesota on a staff couples’ retreat. It was about five thirty in the morning. I lay there wondering if I should get up or wait till I got sleepy again. In his mercy, God moved me out of bed. It was mostly dark, but I managed to find my clothing, got dressed, grabbed my briefcase, and slipped out of the room without waking up Noël. In the main room below, it was totally quiet. No one else seemed to be up. So I sat down on a couch in the corner to pray.
As I prayed and mused, suddenly it happened. God said, “Come and see what I have done.” There was not the slightest doubt in my mind that these were the very words of God. In this very moment. At this very place in the twenty-first century, 2007, God was speaking to me with absolute authority and self-evidencing reality. I paused to let this sink in. There was a sweetness about it. Time seemed to matter little. God was near. He had me in his sights. He had something to say to me. When God draws near, hurry ceases. Time slows down.
I wondered what he meant by “come and see.” Would he take me somewhere, like he did Paul into heaven to see what can’t be spoken? Did “see” mean that I would have a vision of some great deed of God that no one has seen? I am not sure how much time elapsed between God’s initial word, “Come and see what I have done,” and his next words. It doesn’t matter. I was being enveloped in the love of his personal communication. The God of the universe was speaking to me.
Then he said, as clearly as any words have ever come into my mind, “I am awesome in my deeds toward the children of man.” My heart leaped up, “Yes, Lord! You are awesome in your deeds. Yes, to all men whether they see it or not. Yes! Now what will you show me?”
The words came again. Just as clear as before, but increasingly specific: “I turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There they rejoiced in me—who rules by my might forever.” Suddenly I realized God was taking me back several thousand years to the time when he dried up the Red Sea and the Jordan River. I was being transported by his word back into history to those great deeds. This is what he meant by “come and see.” He was transporting me back by his words to those two glorious deeds before the children of men. These were the “awesome deeds” he referred to. God himself was narrating the mighty works of God. He was doing it for me. He was doing it with words that were resounding in my own mind.
There settled over me a wonderful reverence. A palpable peace came down. This was a holy moment and a holy corner of the world in northern Minnesota. God Almighty had come down and was giving me the stillness and the openness and the willingness to hear his very voice. As I marveled at his power to dry the sea and the river, he spoke again. “I keep watch over the nations—let not the rebellious exalt themselves.”
This was breathtaking. It was very serious. It was almost a rebuke. At least a warning. He may as well have taken me by the collar of my shirt, lifted me off the ground with one hand, and said, with an incomparable mixture of fierceness and love, “Never, never, never exalt yourself. Never rebel against me.”
I sat staring at nothing. My mind was full of the global glory of God. “I keep watch over the nations.” He had said this to me. It was not just that he had said it. Yes, that is glorious. But he had said this to me. The very words of God were in my head. They were there in my head just as much as the words that I am writing at this moment are in my head. They were heard as clearly as if at this moment I recalled that my wife said, “Come down for supper whenever you are ready.” I know those are the words of my wife. And I know these are the words of God.
Think of it. Marvel at this. Stand in awe of this. The God who keeps watch over the nations, like some people keep watch over cattle or stock markets or construction sites—this God still speaks in the twenty-first century. I heard his very words. He spoke personally to me.
What effect did this have on me? It filled me with a fresh sense of God’s reality. It assured me more deeply that he acts in history and in our time. It strengthened my faith that he is for me and cares about me and will use his global power to watch over me. Why else would he come and tell me these things?
It has increased my love for the Bible as God’s very word, because it was through the Bible that I heard these divine words, and through the Bible I have experiences like this almost every day. The very God of the universe speaks on every page into my mind—and your mind. We hear his very words. God himself has multiplied his wondrous deeds and thoughts toward us; none can compare with him! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told (Psalm 40:5).
And best of all, they are available to all. If you would like to hear the very same words I heard on the couch in northern Minnesota, read Psalm 66:5-7. That is where I heard them. O how precious is the Bible. It is the very word of God. In it God speaks in the twenty-first century. This is the very voice of God. By this voice, he speaks with absolute truth and personal force. By this voice, he reveals his all-surpassing beauty. By this voice, he reveals the deepest secrets of our hearts. No voice anywhere anytime can reach as deep or lift as high or carry as far as the voice of God that we hear in the Bible.
It is a great wonder that God still speaks today through the Bible with greater force and greater glory and greater assurance and greater sweetness and greater hope and greater guidance and greater transforming power and greater Christ-exalting truth than can be heard through any voice in any human soul on the planet from outside the Bible.
This is why I found the article in this month’s Christianity Today, “My Conversation with God,” so sad. Written by an anonymous professor at a “well-known Christian University,” it tells of his experience of hearing God. What God said was that he must give all his royalties from a new book toward the tuition of a needy student. What makes me sad about the article is not that it isn’t true or didn’t happen. What’s sad is that it really does give the impression that extra-biblical communication with God is surpassingly wonderful and faith-deepening. All the while, the supremely-glorious communication of the living God which personally and powerfully and transformingly explodes in the receptive heart through the Bible everyday is passed over in silence.
I am sure this professor of theology did not mean it this way, but what he actually said was, “For years I’ve taught that God still speaks, but I couldn’t testify to it personally. I can only do so now anonymously, for reasons I hope will be clear” (emphasis added). Surely he does not mean what he seems to imply—that only when one hears an extra-biblical voice like, “The money is not yours,” can you testify personally that God still speaks. Surely he does not mean to belittle the voice of God in the Bible which speaks this very day with power and truth and wisdom and glory and joy and hope and wonder and helpfulness ten thousand times more decisively than anything we can hear outside the Bible.
I grieve at what is being communicated here. The great need of our time is for people to experience the living reality of God by hearing his word personally and transformingly in Scripture. Something is incredibly wrong when the words we hear outside Scripture are more powerful and more affecting to us than the inspired word of God. Let us cry with the psalmist, “Incline my heart to your word” (Psalm 119:36). “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). Grant that the eyes of our hearts would be enlightened to know our hope and our inheritance and the love of Christ that passes knowledge and be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 1:18; 3:19). O God, don’t let us be so deaf to your word and so unaffected with its ineffable, evidential excellency that we celebrate lesser things as more thrilling, and even consider this misplacement of amazement worthy of printing in a national magazine.
Still hearing his voice in the Bible,
by John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org. Email: mail@desiringGod.org. Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Terry from Canadian Blogger is always such an encouragement. You could read her comment following my Retracing My Steps post but for those who don't do such things, here's what she wrote. She knows my heart and can write her comment with such understanding. I trust that others of you felt that you were along with me on my pilgrimage to England. I certainly sensed your prayers.
Terry (whose real name is Teresa) comments:
"As you do post these "ramblings" when they come to your heart and mind, it is surely like we had been standing there with you when you went on your dream trip. If you posted just a story to tell and were not showing your true feelings at the moment then it would be all so cold and stiff. When you are actually in the joy of the moment remembering what you were feeling as you gazed at those buildings and thought of the thousands of children who had entered the doors and came out of them, actually many of them having been born again because of George Muller, then the story is as fresh as the morning dew.
So delighted are we to be able to read it." - Terry
Thanks, Terry! And, thanks for the celebration that our family had recently! You know what I mean! GOD IS SO GOOD!
Here's a shot of Jonathan (J.D.), Mike and Colin.
Mike has such a wonderful way of making others feel special! Thanks for all you do, Little Fish!
Note: Mike had a lot of family and friends at the game last week and yet he took time to speak to everyone. That's Mike for you!
Monday, March 19, 2007
Why not pay us a visit. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the rat race and catch your breath at Quiet Rest Lodge. You'll be refreshed.
I won't be posting every day from my adirondack chair on the dock but I will post as often as possible. You may even hear the call of a loon in the background.
So, go out to the lodge and pay us a visit. The link is shown at the side of Pilgrim Scribblings where my other blogs are listed.
Relax, refresh, rejuvenate!
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Pray for her son Kyle as well. She has posted some photos of Kyle and I have included one here.
Check out The Faith Expedition at:
Have a great week!
We'll miss you Roger! Thanks for the memories, dear brother!
Here's the e-mail I received concerning Roger:
Legacy Five pianist Roger Bennett died today as a result of complications encountered though his long battle with leukemia. He was 48 years old.
Born March 10, 1959, Roger grew up in Strawberry, Arkansas. In November of 1979, Roger fulfilled his life-long dream of being a part of professional Southern Gospel music when he was invited by Glen Payne and George Younce to join the legendary Cathedral Quartet. Though he would leave the group for two years (1987-1989) to serve as the president of Journey Records, Roger was the group's pianist at the time of the quartet's retirement in 1999.
Following the retirement of the Cathedrals, Roger and fellow Cathedrals member Scott Fowler launched Legacy Five. In 2004, Roger fulfilled another dream (having his own successful quartet) when readers of Singing News voted Legacy Five as the Favorite Traditional Male Quartet.
Although an excellent singer, Roger is best remembered as pianist-- and often a comedian--for the Cathedrals and Legacy Five. Roger received the Singing News Fan Award for Favorite Southern Gospel pianist 14 years in row (1993-2006).
Songwriting was another forte' of Roger Bennett. Many of his songs appeared on the recordings of the Cathedrals, Legacy Five and many others. His writing talent was not limited to just songs, however. Roger was a contributing editor to Singing News, writing "Midnight Meditations."
Roger leaves behind his wife (Debbie), their children (Chelsea and Jordan) and father (Doug). Funeral arrangements are pending.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I'm posting Becky's e-mail in its entirety and would encourage you to visit her blog, get her e-mail address, send her a note and continue to lift her up before the Lord in your prayers.
Hi David...thank you so much for your continued love and support.
I'm nearing the end of my final year of University (although I have one more year of teaching practicum to go before I'm officially a school teacher). It's been a long haul, and true to any race, the last few 'miles' have been the most difficult. In order to graduate, I've had to take a math course. Since it's been about 25 years since I've done any math other than calculating shopping discounts, I'm really, really struggling. As it looks now, I may need to take the course again in the summer in order to continue on to my Professional Year. I would appreciate any and all prayers in that regard.
As for the 'rest' of my life, Kyle is thriving and things on the domestic front have continued to be disappointing and hard. Last August, I finally got all the pieces to the puzzle and I have made the decision that Kyle and I will go it alone. There are just some things that cannot be repaired, no matter what. Also, financially, things are looking pretty dire for my final year of schooling, but I'm trusting that God didn't bring me this far to abandon me now. I'll need to find a cheaper place to live and that's going to take a miracle. The average basement suite here is about $700/month. That's about $300 more than I can afford. So...again, prayers in that area would also be appreciated. Feel free to pass this info on to any who still wonder how I'm doing. I hope all is well with you. How was your recent trip to England?
Holding Tightly to His Hand,
O. K. friends...now is our opportunity to show true Christian love and care towards Becky. Let's overwhelm her with our prayers and encouragement.
Note: The picture in this post was taken from one of Becky's earlier posts.
By the time we left... our waitress was looking a bit haggard. I took this photo after giving her a 50 cent tip. Just kidding! We rewarded her generously for putting up with this noisy crew! Pray for Ape Rill.
Thank to jel at my place for the photo. Don't know if she took it from her family album or not.
I brought along my sons Matthew and Nathan this time. The boys and the Petes were all off school for March break so we were able to meet before practice instead of after. Matthew was out in the parking lot before lunch shooting pix of the guys. I'm posting some of the better ones.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
The next night, he bounced back from a tough first period to stop 19 of 21 shots in a 3-2 win over the Big Red. Most importantly, Fisher stopped all seven Cornell shots in the third period, including a late flurry with the Bobcats protecting a one-goal lead.
The Bobcats now move on to the ECAC Hockey League tournament semifinals, where they will face St. Lawrence on Friday night at the Times Union Center in Albany. The two teams will face off at 4:30 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to Saturday's championship game at 8 p.m. The loser will play in the consolation contest at 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Please excuse my voice at it breaks up a couple of times due to the emotional nature of the subject matter and the means whereby the Lord gave me the lyrics and the melody. I trust you will be blessed.
Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJEiXsqMR2E
It could have just as aptly been used in the evangelical Christian journal, LEADERSHIP, to depict a local church pastor who tenderly and lovingly cares for his mottled and troubled flock.
It also could fittingly portray the "Good Shepherd of the sheep", the One who leads us by green pastures and still waters. The One who restores our soul.
While traveling in rural England recently I was struck by the pastoral scenes throughout the countryside. The predominant farm animals seen grazing the lush pastures were sheep. The beloved Good Shepherd often came to mind.
He, like the experienced sheep herder in the picture, tenderly lifts His sheep who are called by His name, when they are endangered and lovingly places them back in the fold or strongly holds them to His breast until danger has passed. He knows His sheep by name and calls them to His side. We, too, hear His voice and we follow Him. And He gives unto us, eternal life, and we shall never perish. Neither shall any man, mechanism, demon or devil wrestle us from His strong hold. This Man loves His sheep!
Do you love the Shepherd?
"The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand." - John 10:27-30 (Amplified Bible)
Friday, March 09, 2007
These words came to me and this pilgrim scribbled them down while waiting. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and I was sensing God's presence in a refreshing way.
Today (Friday) as I was going over the words of the first verse in my mind, the melody came to me so I had to record the tune with my camera so I wouldn't forget it. If I had a tripod I could have focused the lens of my SONY on the piano keyboard as I played but this rendition will have to do until I get more sophisticated. May God minister His peace to you as you listen.
NOTE: I'm having difficulty downloading the video I took of me playing this song. Please enjoy the words until I can get the audio visuals added. If you know how to do this, please let me know. THANKS!
UPDATE: I was able to download the video to YOU TUBE so you can hear the melody as I played it on the piano. Please note that my voice breaks a couple of times due to the emotional nature of the subject matter and the wonderful way in which the Lord graciously provided the lyrics and the tune. Thanks for your understanding. Be blessed!
Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJEiXsqMR2EBASKING IN THE FATHER'S LOVE...
Basking in the Father's love,
Beams of mercy from above;
Daily His great promise prove,
I am His!
He has bought me, saving grace,
Given me in heav'n a place;
One day soon I'll see His face,
I am His!
When my ship the storm assails
Then His promise never fails;
He is there 'midst fiercest gales,
I am His!
Soon this journey will be o'er,
And I'm safe on heaven's shore;
There abide for evermore,
He is mine!
- David W. Fisher - March 7th, 2007
On sitting in the cathedral close in Exeter, England waiting for Roger Steer
Mike was celebrating the return of his uncle from England and chose to do it this way! He was named the 1st star of the game as well! Thanks, Little Fish!
That's 17 goals so far this season. Keep up the good work, young man!
Uncle David (Big Fish)
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
We walked down a muddy incline to Mr. Muller's grave. The area around his tombstone and those of his first and second wife was kept up...thanks for the efforts of the Foundation.
Seeing Arno's Vale reminded me afresh that it's only the decaying body of the Christian believer that is placed in these cemeteries. Our spirits are "absent from the body, present with the Lord".
Thank you, Julian, for taking me to Arno's Vale and for the wonderful hospitality and love you extended to me during my visit.
I look forward to a future day when I can ask George Muller about his life of faith and obedience. My first priority, though, will be to stand before Jesus and fall at His feet in grateful adoration for loving me and saving me.
What a day that will be!
We had lunch together and it was such a pleasure to discuss my heroes with this godly man. After lunch at the University of Exeter, Mr. Steer autographed his books for me and drove me to the train station where I caught the next train into London...about a 2 and a half hour trip.
I'm here now at an internet cafe posting this note and then I'll get something to eat before retiring early. My flight leave London's Gatwick airport at 10:15 tomorrow morning. Hopefully I won't be a squished "Fish" on the way back but we'll have to wait and see. Maybe I should pack myself into my own luggage. It might not be so crowded.
Lord willing I'll touch down in Toronto around 1:25 p.m. tomorrow and my good friend David Kennedy will pick me up and take me back to Cavan, home at last after an incredible adventure.
After my return I'll post my overall observations and conclusions and add quite a few more photos to my blog.
Thanks for your prayers, dear friends! The "floater" in my eye continues to bother me but it hasn't affected my vision. It's just a nuisance.
Homeward bound! A dream realized! God is good!