Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuned Together or Dueling Pianos?

The following devotional appeared on David Jeremiah's Turning Point site today. Truly, if we are in tune with our Creator, God, we will live in harmony with each other. Idealistic? Yes! Realistic? Can be! Let's strive for that unity in spirit by staying close to the Father. - David

"Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers [meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship."

These are the words of A. W. Tozer, who clearly understood the importance of fellowshipping with believers in order to keep our minds and hearts turned toward the Lord.

On our own, it is easy to become out of tune and start living a life that is in disagreement with God's standard. But when we surround ourselves with the body of in-tune believers, our ears are suddenly opened, and we hear our need for a spiritual tuning.

"Keep yourself in tune with the Lord by staying in consistent fellowship with other believers. There are many things which a person can do alone, but being a Christian is not one of them. As the Christian life is, above all things, a state of union with Christ and of union of His followers with one another, love of the brethren is inseparable from love of God." - William T. Ham

Morning Meditations

Gracious Father, I haven't ventured out into a fallen world yet. Before I encounter Your creation I desire to see Your face, hear Your voice and rest in Your embrace.

Today I will face challenges that, without Your enabling grace, would almost destroy me. I can't "go it alone". I need You!

As I linger here in the quietness of the morning, please fill me afresh with Your divine Spirit, Your enabling Presence.

Give me a love for the unlovely. A hatred for all that displeases You. A desire to know You better. And when I lay my head down tonight, may I be able to say, "God, You gave me fresh strength to face every trial. You are a good God. AMEN!"

Monday, July 30, 2007


While driving home today I noticed an F18 fighter jet circling close to the airport (and our home). I picked up Nathan and went back to the airport to see if the jet had landed. It had! How exciting! I'm an airplane buff and I'd never seen a Canadian Forces jet at our airport before.

One of the pilots/captains came over to the fence where a dozen or so "flight fanatics" were standing and fielded questions from us. Jameel Janjua and the other pilot, Brandon Robinson, are stationed at CFB Bagotville, Quebec. They were doing manoeuvres and needed to refuel.

Brandon's parents live in the area so he radioed them to say they were refueling in Peterborough. His father is a pilot as well so his parents flew down in their private plane to meet him. They hadn't been together since Christmas.

Nathan and I drove home to get Matthew and my camera. I wanted to watch them taxi and take off. As the plane built up speed, the roar of the engines was deafening. Being a plane buff, and a NASCAR fan (by the way), the sound brought tears to my eyes.

We spoke with Brandon's parents after the F18 disappeared from sight. They were certainly pleased that they had a brief visit with their son over lunch.

The boys and I were grateful for a divinely appointed diversion in the middle of our day.

God is good!

BRETT BUTLER - Prayer Request

Brett & Eveline Butler have been great personal friends and generous supporters of Epistle Sports Ministries for many years. Brett had a long and successful career in major league baseball with five teams and is currently managing the Mobile BayBears, the AA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

On June 15th, Brett celebrated his 50th birthday and Carol and I both had the pleasure of speaking with him and getting caught up.

Today we received the following e-mail from Brett & Eveline's daughter, Stefanie.


Stefanie writes:

For those of you who were not made aware of this the day before last; my mom asked me to e-mail everyone and keep you all updated on my dad's health. Brett was sent to the hospital this past Friday for what they believed to be Vertigo at the time. He was very dizzy; his equilibrium was off; and he was having trouble with his balance. However; once he was at the hospital and they checked him out and ran tests; they found that he had actually suffered from a mild stroke.
Thankfully Eveline was with him; she had flown in from Arizona by way of California and met them at the Mobile; AL hospital. They checked him out and said that the only type of paralysis that he has experienced thus far is in his equilibrium; which does throw off his balance; and makes him nauseas. This paralysis they said can be something that he totally recovers from within the next six months; or it could be something that he has to live with from this point on.

The stroke they believe is something that is hereditary (something from his parents); because he is in very good health and has no other symptoms that would lead him to have a stroke. His blood was clotted which was preventing him from getting enough oxygen flow to his brain; which in turn; caused the stroke. Since then; they have out him on blood thinner and are trying to prevent anymore clotting. He is going to be in the hospital for a few more days; but hopefully Eveline will be able to take him home shortly. He was in pretty bad shape on Friday; but has since then progressed a lot. I think that is definitely from all the prayers! Right now; someone is taking over his managing position until they decide whether or not he is going to be well enough to go back and finish out the season. But; if you know Brett; he's pretty persistent and I wouldn't doubt that that is a possibility! Either way; I will keep you all updated on any further information I receive.

Please just keep him in your prayers; as well as Eveline and the doctors. He's a strong man and when I spoke with him yesterday; he said "Stef; I don't know what's going on but I know that God is going to get us through it. We just have to remember that and trust Him." Ab and Katie and Blake and I are doing okay at the moment. Brett and Eveline appreciate your support and love and we will contact you with any further news. Thanks so much and God Bless!

His girl,


* I have just been informed that Brett is doing very well and that the doctors are going to be sending him home on Monday. I'll keep you posted otherwise!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Looking Good

Since my friend Gabe Gross was assigned to the Nashville Sounds, the AAA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, he has looked good, not only in his Sounds uniform (#27) but at the plate.

Gabe went hitless in his first game on Tuesday but has had 7 hits since then, not counting tonight's game.

Thanks for your prayers for Gabe & Kelly! Hopefully he will show the Brewers that he should be in the "bigs" and they'll call him up before September.

CONGRATULATIONS, Gabe! We're praying for the two of you!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sixteen Sunday Saints

O. K. friends, here are Sixteen Saints who I'd love to spend time with on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I've listed eight (8) women and eight (8) men who I would love to get to know better. Many are dead now but these would be my SIXTEEN SUNDAY SAINTS.


  8. EVANGELINE FISHER (my grandmother)
  4. D. L. MOODY

Oops, that makes seventeen. I neglected to add my hero, Hudson Taylor and I couldn't remove a name from the list so we have SEVENTEEN SUNDAY SAINTS.

Of course I could add 50 more but this would be my list as of now. What about yours?

I'd be curious to read your list of Sixteen (or Seventeen) Sunday Saints. Go ahead! Make your list! God bless!

Keeping Watch Over the Flock

Living in the country, we enjoy many of the pastoral scenes that grace the landscape. We are fascinated by the sheep which graze in a nearby field. One thing we've noticed is that the sheepdog is never too far from the flock.

Regardless of where the sheep are, the dog is always closeby.

After nightfall they congregate in a corner, tightly squeezed against each other with the sheepdog on the perimeter, keeping watch over the flock.

You know where I'm going with this don't you! At times the Great Shepherd may seem distant from us but He's always attentive to our cries. He won't let us stray too far from the flock. And He does lead us in green pastures.

Trust the Good Shepherd tonight! He knows us by name and He's given unto us, eternal life, and we will never perish. John 10

"For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice." - Ezekiel 34: 11-16 (NIV)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

That Still, Small Voice

A Remarkably True Story...

For fifteen years I owned and managed the local Christian book store in my hometown of Peterborough, Ontario. This had been a dream of mine since I was a teenager and it came to fruition in 1971. I was only 25 years old when I purchased the Ambassador Bible Book Store. The store was sold in 1986 when I went into another form of full-time Christian ministry, Epistle Sports Ministries.

During those fruitful years at the store we saw God's hand at work in wonderful ways.

One morning I felt led by the Lord to post a sign on the wall behind the cash register. It read, "IF YOU WOULD LIKE SOMEONE TO PRAY WITH YOU, ASK FOR DAVID" I didn't hear an audible voice but there was no mistaking the fact that God wanted that sign on the wall. It was posted around 9:15, 15 minutes before the store was to open.

At 9:30 two ladies were waiting for me to unlock the door. They walked back to the counter, read the sign and the elder of the two, Elsie Knott, asked for David. I told her that I was David and she asked if I would pray with her.

I led her back to a quiet room at the rear of the store and asked another staff member to "look after the floor" while I met with Elsie. She told me that she had left her home at the Curve Lake Indian Reserve that morning, determined that she was going to "get saved" that day.

She stopped to see a pastor in a small town north of Peterborough. Willard Day wasn't home. Next she tried to see Russell King, a Christian plumber in Lakefield. He was not home either. In desperation Elsie told her daughter that someone at the Christian book store would be able to help so they drove to Peterborough.

When I asked Elsie how I could pray for her she told me that she wanted to become a Christian. I began to explain the way of salvation to her but she told me that she already knew "how". She actually explained the steps to salvation to me so I knew that she was knowledgeable about these matters. She told me that she just needed someone to lead her in "the sinner's prayer". After discussing the matter a little longer, I led in prayer and Elsie was gloriously saved, born-again, set free from the bondage she was experiencing.

Elsie Knott because the first female Indian chief (Ojibway) in Canada and went on to have a powerful testimony amongst her native people. She undertook to have a new, evangelical church built on the reservation and asked me to participate in the dedication service.

Elsie appeared on 100 Huntley Street, Canada's daily Christian television program, and shared her testimony. It was exciting to hear her recount the events of that glorious morning in the book store.

Years later when Elsie was called "home" I had the joy of being involved in her funeral, explaining to the many family, friends and guests how she had come to know Jesus Christ personally.

What a special morning that was! God prompted me by His Spirit to put that sign on the wall. He had already been moving in Elsie's heart to bring her to the book store. Who knows what would or wouldn't have happened if I had not obeyed the heavenly calling.

When God prompts, don't delay! Just obey! You'll be glad you did! I am!

Waiting For My Ship

Recently our family enjoyed at meal at a Bob Evans Restaurant in Niagara Falls, NY. While waiting to be seated I noticed a great little plaque on the shelf that made Carol and me chuckle.

It read:


That's our prayer as we await the arrival of "our" ship! Maybe today...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Looking Back

Now that I've turned 62 I'm realizing that I have crafted more baseball-related memories in the past than I will ever be able to make in my remaining years.

A year and a half after stepping away from my position with BASEBALL CHAPEL I find myself recalling literally hundreds of those memories...fondly. Yes, there's a book in the works but I have enough stories for a dozen volumes.

Often Carol and I will talk of the times that we were ministering together before we adopted the boys. We made many friends in the world of baseball...as a couple.

With all the talk in recent weeks about Barry Bonds' assault on Hank Aaron's home run record, I find myself thinking back to the time that Barry's dad Bobby Bonds was a friend of mine. Bobby passed away several years ago but we had many talks during his career. I can clearly remember the day in the visitors' clubhouse in Montreal when Bobby told me about Barry. He spoke as a loving and proud dad. Who ever would have thought that Barry would become such a prominent figure?

Now, as Barry approaches the record of 755 home runs, I find myself feeling old. Ancient!

I recall with fondness the night that Hank Aaron bested Babe Ruth's record of 714 homers. Hank had been my favorite ballplayer since I was a kid. How exciting to watch that 715th homer clear the fence!

The excitement won't be there when Barry hits his record-breaker! Sadly, the record will be tainted!

My fondest memory finds me kneeling in the kitchen with my mom when I was only 6 years old. That morning I welcomed Jesus Christ into my life and became a born-again Christian. Nothing can taint that memory! It's forever etched in my mind and I'll always be grateful for a godly mother who showed me the Way!

Well friends, I could go on and on but...there are so many other stories to be told and so little time to tell them.

Ask me about Tim Foli sometime...
"I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or His children begging for bread." - Psalm 37:25 (ESV)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Divine Intervention With Aaron Devine

As a matter of interest regarding young Aaron Devine, our friend who was hit while cycling, the young man who ran into him attends the same church, Kawartha Community Church, as the Devine family. Of course he is heart-broken as a result of this saga but, like the rest of us, is excited about what God is going to do.

Here's the latest update I've received from Aaron's grandfather, Carl Hudson, concerning this:

Praise Report:

“Aaron has been taken off the ventilator. He is speaking and recognizing family members. He does have bruising & some bleeding in the brain and also brusing of the bladder, and is experiencing stroke-like symptoms. They are putting a cast on the broken leg. He’ll remain at McMaster’s Children’s Hospital until all assessments are completed. The prayers of God's family are valued beyond words. Thank you & God bless all of you."

Note: Carl Hudson, Aaron's grandfather, was my former Program Manager at Christian Horizons before he retired. His wife Ruth taught our granddaughter Victoria and our sons Matthew and Nathan at Grace Christian Academy. - David

Mike Coolbaugh Tragedy...Please Pray

Even though I'm no longer involved with Baseball Chapel on a hands-on basis I continue to receive their prayer requests and wish to pass the latest one on to my PILGRIM PALS. What a tragic story. Please pray for the Coolbaugh family.

Here's that prayer request:

Please remember the family of Mike Coolbaugh who died after being struck by a line drive in a game yesterday. Tino Sanchez, who hit the ball that struck Mike, could also use our prayers. The following is from Tulsa Driller Chapel Leader Victor Cruz:

I am so sorry to inform you of the fatal accident that took place Sunday-July 22 during the baseball game between the Tulsa Drillers and the Arkansas Travelers.

Tulsa hitting coach Mike Coolbaugh was struck in the head by a foul ball hit by Tulsa Drillers Tino Sanchez. Mike was transported to Baptist Medical Center in North Little Rock and at the time, he was not conscious. Coach Mike, never recovered from his injury. I was informed by Tulsa catcher Rick Guarno, who is one of our Baseball Chapel player reps, of all the events, as they happened.

I understand that Coach Mike Coolbaugh is survived by his wife, two sons and Mrs. Coolbaugh is also pregnant. I also understand that they reside in San Antonio, TX. Please lift up the Coolbaugh family to our Father in Heaven.

Tino Sanchez is not doing well in dealing with this. Please keep him, the entire team and staff in your prayers.

Note: For more on this tragic story please check out the following link. Thanks for your prayers.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Nashville Bound

Most people, especially those in the music industry, would like to be Nashville bound. Not many, if any, of the Milwaukee Brewers would enjoy this trip. Their AAA affiliate, the Nashville Sounds, play in Music City.

Yesterday my good friend Gabe Gross was optioned to Nashville from the Brewers. When I read the news in the "TRANSACTIONS" column (which is daily reading for me...being in a sports ministry), I was disappointed and a little angry. Gabe was not getting the playing time in Milwaukee that he deserves. At least in Nashville he'll get in a good groove and show the powers that be just how good an all-round player he really is. Am I biased? Yes! Do I have a reason to be? Yes! He is a good player. He was the Toronto Blue Jays # 1 draft pick several years ago.

Here's an update on Gabe's assignment to Nashville that appears on the Brewers' web site:

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' pitching staff grew to 13 strong on Saturday, when reliever Chris Spurling was reinstated from the bereavement list and little-used outfielder Gabe Gross was optioned to Triple-A Nashville.
The team opted for an extra arm because Ben Sheets is on the disabled list with a finger injury and the team is in the middle of a stretch of 18 games in 17 days, including a doubleheader in St. Louis next weekend.
Gross had played only sparingly. He was hitting .202 in 55 games, but got only 18 at-bats in June and 17 at-bats in July.
"Hopefully I'll be able to go down and get some at-bats," said Gross, 27. "It's been two years since I've been able to play every day, so that's going to be nice. I'm looking forward to waking up every day knowing my name is going to be in the lineup."
The Triple-A Sounds are on the road, so Gross will travel to Nashville on Monday to join the team beginning Tuesday. He vowed to make it back to the big leagues.
"I have never been more confident in my ability to play every day," Gross said. "I feel like if you put me in the lineup on the first of April and take me out the first of October, that my numbers won't just be adequate, they'll be very good. I have to convince somebody to give me that opportunity."
Back on June 18, the Brewers faced a similar decision but opted to keep Gross over Tony Gwynn Jr., who was sent to Nashville to get at-bats. Gwynn had since returned to the Majors and was kept this time around, according to manager Ned Yost, partly because center fielder Bill Hall is on the disabled list and Gwynn is a true center fielder.
Hall said Saturday that he expects to be back in the lineup Wednesday in Cincinnati, at which time the Brewers will have to make another roster move. If they stick with 13 pitchers, Gwynn may have to go back to Nashville again.
"It's real important to us that Gabe Gross and Tony Gwynn are swinging the bat, because we're going to need them in September," Yost said. "They can be a big part of our bench and can win ballgames off of our bench. They're both young players and it's difficult for young players to stay sharp not playing every day."


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Are We There Yet?

I love this old picture! Looks like they just pulled out of the driveway.

That means that about 15 more minutes will pass before we hear the first, "are we there yet?"

Aren't kids fun!

I should know! We have seven (7) of them!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Attention Witches & Wizards

I had to write this post while I was still "hot under the collar". Tonight I stopped at our local CHAPTERS book store on my way to work. I had left home early so I had a few minutes to browse.

Usually CHAPTERS closes at 10:00 p.m. but tonight was the much-anticipated launch of the final (?) Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".

CHAPTERS was be-decked in black with staff members and customers outfitted in their Harry Potter garb. The store was already packed with patrons, ready to pick up their book at 12:01 a.m., July 21st.

Repeatedly a staff member would announce over the P.A. system to all the "witches and wizards" in the store that they could get their wristband to facilitate their purchase if they had already pre-ordered the book.

This was beginning to "rankle my feathers" (whatever that means) and when I saw a Christian family eagerly awaiting the "bewitching hour" it only made matters worse.

I know that there are differing opinions amongst Christians as to the value (or lack of same) of these insanely popular editions by J. K. Rowling. My mind was made up when I read of Rowling's less than complimentary view of Christianity and our Savior, Jesus Christ. She doesn't think much of Him or us.

With all the excellent literature for children and young people by Christian authors, why do we get so excited about witches, wizards and spells?

The public address announcer made one too many announcements to the witches and wizards and I was "outta there".

I'm not a witch or a wizard. I'm a redeemed, blood-bought, set free, born-again, bound for heaven child of the King.

If we had as high a view of God, His Son, His Spirit and His Word as the world has of Harry Potter, we'd be out there making an eternal difference in our world.

There, I got it off my chest!

"Thank You, Lord, for lavishing Your love on me! Give me the same hunger for Your eternal Word that these people have for their "witches and wizards. AMEN!"

Plunge BOLDLY!

One of our local business establishments always posts a humorous or thought-provoking slogan on its sign by the roadside. It always begins with, "Sydney says..."

This week's edition caught my eye and I wrote it down so I wouldn't forget it.

Sydney say, "Plunge boldly into the thick of life!"

Good advice!

I suppose the opposite would be, "Gingerly stick your big toe into the edge of existence."

As believers in Jesus Christ, redeemed by His blood, we should boldly step out to face the daily challenges of abundant living. Instead, so many of us hesitate to take risks. We settle for the comfortable. The easy! The mundane!

Let's trust God and forge ahead, confident that He will lead us aright! Go for the gusto!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." - Hebrews 12:1,2 (ESV)

Thursday, July 19, 2007


My good friend and Pilgrim Pal, Susan Bunts, always has thought provoking posts at Susan's Blog. This one is particularly good! The photo was taken from her sight as well. Read it and confess that this is all too true!

She writes:

Dear Dissension:

It is with great eagerness that I commend you,
For your effective division,
Of the body of Christ.

As you know,
It is my deepest desire to see,
Those once on fire for Christ no longer a threat to my kingdom of darkness.

Good work…job well done
Your methods ever so clever,
Stealth…undetected…quite easily they follow your lead.

An effective mix,
Of genuine issues blended with personal opinion,
Lead them down the primrose path and soon we’ll see a critical spirit in full bloom.

Tread lightly,
Careful you must be…so as not to alert them,
Of our true mission to bring dishonor to their King.

May they not see their transgression,
Nor be repentant…and seek forgiveness of their sin,
Press onward…what’s a little gossip and slander…when carefully hidden as constructive criticism.

Dissension…be sure to blind them,
Veil their eyes, so they may not see,
May they not grow stronger by the reading God’s Word.

May they forget about prayer,
Or battling this war upon on their knees,
Calling upon their God will only bring our much hated foe…to battle by their side.

Throw out the bait,
Hook them with dissatisfaction,
Reel them in with discontent.

Divide them, conquer them,
Big or small, young or old…it matters not,
Use music, or style or even their precious translations to divide.

May they not be like their God,
Who looks upon the heart,
Instead may they only dwell upon that which their flesh can see and hear.

Divide them,
Scatter them,
Send them to the four winds.

My deepest desire,
To see that beacon…that bright and shining light upon the hill,
Extinguished…so I can take countless more souls to hell!

Insincerely yours
…the enemy of their souls!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sky Ablaze

Our special friend Claire (Pilot Mom) posted this incredible picture on her blog recently! Wow! She said that forest fires in her state of Utah have caused the skies to be ablaze like this!

Thanks for posting this beautiful shot, Claire! We are praying for you, dear friend!

"In the beginning You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands." - Psalm 102:25 (NIV)

Aaron Devine

Have you visited our PILGRIM PALS blog recently? We started this site so that bloggers could pray for one another...and for others and God has really poured out His blessing on this effort. If you have any prayer requests or if you would like to become a PILGRIM PAL, please e-mail me, David Fisher, @ dwfisher@nexicom.net

Here's the latest update on a young teenager that we've been praying for. THANKS FOR JOINING US IN PRAYER!


Here's the latest update we have on Aaron Devine, the 14-year-old teenager from Peterborough who was hit by a car while riding his bike.

A friend of mine and local pastor/counselor Don Nicholson writes:

11:10 a.m, Wednesday, July 18th. . . .

I just got off the phone with Aaron's father at the hospital in Hamilton.

Aaron has been highly medicated and so therefore not in a conscious state. However the doctors are going to slowly wean Aaron off the medication. He has not become worse and the doctors see that as a sure sign of hope. The cranial fracture has not widened.

When he first went in the hospital, Aaron opened his eyes and tried to pull out the tubes, so the doctors medicated him to stabilize his condition.

The big concern of course will be cognitive damage. Let us focus our prayer on that part as well. Let us also focus on the family as a whole.

I will be telephoning the second youngest son, Evan, in a few moments and going out with him . . . he is beside himself, of course.

I told the family that 100's in the city were upholding them in prayer and that was real encouragement to them.

Thank you to all.

Don Nicholson

Thanks for praying for Aaron and his family, PILGRIM PALS! As you know, God hears and answers prayer!

- David W. Fisher, the Pilgrim

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Green

Long-time visitors to the Pilgrim Scribblings site will be familiar with my "Green" posts. I love the color green, especially in the springtime when gray has been the predominant color for months.

This picture was posted on Susan's Blog and I had to "steal" it and add it to my site.

What a great shot! What a great God who created the skies, the stars, the trees and YOU!

Be encouraged today!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Matthew Battles On

Tonight our son Matthew (11) attended the first session the Canadian Hockey Enterprises Goalie Camp. Each evening this week, several dozen young, aspiring goaltenders will spend 2 hours doing various drills to improve their skills.

When registering Matthew for the camp we wondered if his aching body would be able to withstand the physical beating. Matthew is in constant pain when he walks. He has a very pronounced high arch in his feet caused in part by a tethered spinal chord.

Watching Matthew ply his trade on the ice tonight was a bittersweet experience for Carol and me. We are thrilled that Matthew, with all his challenges, is brave enough to enroll in a hockey school when he knows that he'll be up against other boys (and some girls) who aren't shackled with all the physical setbacks that Matthew has.

Tonight Matthew was wondering if his body will be able take the 2-hour sessions each evening this week. We assured him that if it's too much for him, he can walk away and we won't be disappointed in him. What a fighter he is! He doesn't want to quit but he may be forced to.

Thanks for praying for Matthew! What a blessing our chosen son has been to us!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Prone To Wander

Here's an excellent post that I read tonight over at Lisa's Thoughts From the Teahouse. I have heard the unconfirmed story before about Robert Robinson (pictured) riding in a carriage watching a woman studying a hymnal. Read about this below. A great post!

Robert Robinson, 1735-1790,
Pastor, Hymnwriter

My favorite verse of this hymn has always been this verse:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

It resonates in my own oftentimes traitorous heart. When I began to read about Robert Robinson, I was struck by the following well-known, but unverified, story:

"One day, he en­count­ered a wo­man who was stu­dy­ing a hymn­al, and she asked how he liked the hymn she was hum­ming. In tears, he re­plied, “Madam, I am the poor un­hap­py man who wrote that hymn ma­ny years ago, and I would give a thou­sand worlds, if I had them, to en­joy the feel­ings I had then.”

Certainly, if this is a true account, it is stirring to my own soul that the man who wrote this hymn was so troubled.

However, I would also like to add that the final verse below was unfamiliar to me. After reading and contemplating the words, I think it is so restorative following the earlier verse I mentioned. So - now, I prefer the last two verses taken together! Read it (sing it) and tell me if you agree!

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.


Friday, July 13, 2007


Today I went digging in the Pilgrim Scribblings archives for some choice nugget of truth that I could revel in...all over again.

Here it is...written back in November of 2005. The truths expressed still apply today.

"Father, by your Spirit, quiet my heart today and allow me to rest in Your everlasting arms. For Jesus' sake and Your glory I pray, AMEN!"


This morning I've been blessed beyond measure with a remarkable quietness that defies description. It's as though a terrifying storm is on the horizon and yet a "perfect peace" permeates my spirit and His "quietness and confidence" is making me strong far beyond my own efforts.

The beauty of this inner strength is that it didn't come from an extended prayer time, a fresh reading of God's eternal truth or some other external exercise expended after I awoke this morning. As far as I can tell, today's "rest" has come from a compilation of 55-plus years of walking with my Redeemer and King. That sense of companionship that can't be quickly conjured up! That deep relationship that only comes from decades of walking the rough road with a God who understands.

Do you "get" what I'm trying to say? Often it's difficult to articulate these mighty, inner workings of God's Spirit. All I know is this...what I'm holding onto today is a confidence that was bought and paid for over 2,000 years ago when the God of Heaven gave up His rightful place to take my place and punishment on a rough-hewn cross.

Today's peace was purchased at great cost so I could face the impending storm with a bold confidence that can't be realized any other way than by receiving God's priceless gift of "quietness and confidence". And so I say this morning, "Thank you, Father, for all You've done for me. Without You I'm doomed! By Jesus' sacrifice I'm delivered! By His death and resurrection I'm destined for eternity in Your holy presence."

"And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." - Isaiah 32:17 (KJV) WOW!

Reminds me of the chorus of an old hymn, Blessed Quietness, written by Manie Ferguson:

Blessed quietness, holy quietness,
Blest assurance in my soul!
On the stormy sea Jesus speaks to me,
And the billows cease to roll.

There you have it, friends! A golden oldie! Trust Him today!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Dear Pilgrims:

"While we walk this pilgrim pathway
Clouds may overspread the sky;
But when trav'lling days are over,
Not a shadow not a sigh.


When we all get to heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be;
When we all see Jesus
We'll sing and shout the victory!"

Each of our "clouds" may be different today as we launch out into a new experience, another day of God's grace. Clouds of disappointment, discouragement, debt, disease, depression, death of a loved one, etc. will seek to hide His lovely face.

Be assured that the God who forms the clouds that hide the sun knows about your "cloud" and is
still present even though He (and His Son) may appear to be hidden for a time.

Rest in the comfort that Isaiah spoke to God's people, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

That Old Church...

I've had an idea percolating in my mind for years that may actually come to fruition in the near future. I won't say what it is yet but I'm starting to put some flesh to the skeleton and hopefully it will spring to life this fall.

Stay tuned! In order to prepare me for this I'm reading an excellent biography (actually re-reading it) on the evangelist D. L. Moody by the renowned biographer, John Pollock.

What a fascinating read! More later, friends!

Exploring With Gabe & Kelly

After reading some of the "tongue-in-cheek" comments to yesterday's post of my friends Gabe & Kelly Gross, I have posted a new photo that should please everybody.

Those who know me best know that I love trails that lead into the woods. Paths that beckon you to "come and explore".

This great shot of my friends shows them heading into the woods on their ATV.

Ya' gotta like Gabe's T-shirt! Satisfied?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Time Off

After my visit in Pittsburgh last Tuesday, Gabe & Kelly Gross (Milwaukee Brewers) decided they needed a few days off. Here are my friends back home in Alabama.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Balderdash! What Next?

The following headline and subsequent story appeared in today's Daily Mail newpaper in England! What next?


Church of England leaders warned yesterday that calling God 'He' encourages men to beat their wives.
They told churchgoers they must think twice before they refer to God as 'He' or 'Lord' because of the dangers that it will lead to domestic abuse.
In new guidelines for bishops and priests on such abuse, they blamed "uncritical use of masculine imagery" for encouraging men to behave violently towards women.
They also warned that clergy must reconsider the language they use in sermons and check the hymns they sing to remove signs of male oppression.
The recommendation - fully endorsed by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams - puts a question mark over huge swathes of Christian teaching and practice.
It throws doubt on whether the principal Christian prayer should continue to be known as the Lord's Prayer and begin 'Our Father'.
It means well-loved hymns such as Fight the Good Fight and Onward Christian Soldiers may be headed for the dust bin.
The rules also throw into question the role of the Bible by calling for reinterpretations of stories in which God uses violence.
The guidelines also claim that abuse is common within marriage and says this is because marriage heightens a sense among husbands that they own their wives.
The document prompted an outcry from conservative clergy. They accused the Archbishops' Council, the C of E's cabinet that produced the guidelines, of distorting theology for a 'feminist agenda'. Rod Thomas, a Plymouth vicar and spokesman for the influential evangelical Reform movement, said: "There is a danger that this document has veered too much towards political correctness.
"The Bible says God has both female and male characteristics but it does not feel inhibited about referring to God as male." Simon Calvert of the evangelical Christian Institute think tank, said: "They appear to suggest seriously that we should ditch many centuries of Judaeo-Christian teaching because of some half-baked feminist theory." The guidelines - Responding to Domestic Abuse -say that centuries of Christian teaching have led to "questionable assumptions" about the Bible and moral teaching.
"Domestic abuse is fundamentally an abuse of power, and many conceptions of God derived from the Bible and the Christian tradition have portrayed divine power in unhealthy and potentially oppressive ways,' say the guidelines.
"There are particular problems in the attribution of violent actions and attitudes to God, chiefly but not solely in the Old Testament, which require careful interpretation." The document adds that Biblical violence, 'in combination with uncritical use of masculine imagery, can validate overbearing and ultimately violent patterns of behaviour'.
It quotes a feminist thinker that "If God is male, then the male is God". Calling for the Church to "correct this major imbalance", it says changes must extend to sermons, formal teaching and hymns.
There should, it recommends, be "imagination and sensivity in using potentially problematic language".
"For example, the idea of God as "Lord" may be used in harsh and domineering ways."

To all of that...this pilgrim says, "GARBAGE!"

I've called my Father "HE" since I met His Son Jesus Christ over 55 years ago and I've never beaten my wife yet. I don't expect to either! Male oppression? Ridiculous!

"Our Father, I pray that these church leaders who either have never met You personally or who have some hidden agenda that contradicts everything Your Word declares will be brought to their senses before they lead the Church of England farther down the road to apostasy. I thank You for godly men within the Church of England who still adhere to Your Word and preach Your truth. Give them strength to declare the whole counsel of God and to stand firm on the fundamentals of the faith when everything seems to be crumbling. Thank You for all You are and do. We pray in the strong name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Redeemer. AMEN!"

The Morning Watch

The following devotional is from Turning Point, Dr. David Jeremiah's daily online mediation. Check it out or subscribe @ http://www.turningpointonline.ca

"My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up." Psalm 5:3

Recommended Reading Psalm 59:16-17

Bertha Smith served the Lord in a bitterly cold part of China. During the day she wore thirty pounds of clothing, and at night she slept under heavy bedding and with a hot water bottle. Her greatest challenge came in the early morning hours when she wanted to rise early so she could have her quiet time before the scores of interruptions that each day brought. She would struggle in the darkness to put on her layers of clothing, then break the ice to wash her face in the cold water; and she would slip out to a particular haystack where she would rake aside the frosted part of the hay, kneel down, and spend time with the Lord before the sun came up.

Shame on us when we neglect our morning devotions! Most of us live in heated and air-conditioned homes, with padded slippers, hot showers, and plentiful breakfasts.

There's no better way to launch a new day than with the Lord through Bible study and prayer. Even Jesus himself rose a great while before daylight to slip to a nearby mountainside for prayer before the day's work began (Mark 1:35).

Have you been looking up in the morning?

"The morning is, as it were, the cream of the day; let the cream be taken off, and let God have it." - Thomas Watson

Monday, July 09, 2007

Who Is This Man?

I love these pictures of preachers sitting beside a bookshelf with an open Bible.

Can anybody out there tell me who this man is?

Note: I already know but I'm curious to see if anyone else recognizes him.

Send me your comments...and guesses.


Thank You!!!

This is the front of the birthday card that Hebrews 11:1 (L'il Pilgrim Pal) and prayingsensfaninmontreal sent me. It arrived today right on time. L'il Pilgrim Pal took this photo in Arnprior, Ontario in 2005 on a camping trip.

Thanks for the card, dear friends!

And...to ALL my PILGRIM PALS...thanks for making my 62nd birthday a memorable one. I think all of you had just as much fun as I did with all your posts and funny comments. Some of you even enjoyed MONDAY WE HAVE FISH.

In closing let me share a scripture with you...

"By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." - Hebrews 13:15,16 (KJV)

Old...But Not Dead

Today I celebrate birthday # 62! WOW! What an old man!

Let me share a scripture verse that has become more meaningful with each passing year. We serve a faithful God who has never let me down...and He never will!

The psalmist writes, "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread." - Psalm 37:25 (NIV)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Pilgrim Poet

Last night (and this morning) I lay awake, battling a migraine and meditating on the King of Glory.

Here are a few scattered lines that came to mind. I trust they will encourage you this Lord's Day.

Holy Spirit, Breath of God
Ignite my cold, hard heart;
O may the things that charm me most
Be subject to Thee, Heav’nly Host
Give me a burden for the lost
Thy Holy Flame impart.

Holy Spirit, Teacher, Guide
Remove the scales I pray;
O may I more of Jesus see
Be willing Lord to bend the knee
Remove the chains and set me free
Thy will be done today.

Holy Spirit, Fire of God
Convicting me of sin;
O may the coals that dormant lay
Be fanned to flame to show the way
Open my ears to hear Thee say
“The battle’s mine, WE WIN!”

- David W. Fisher, July 8th, 2007

God's Mysterious Ways

The following post was taken in its entirety from Lisa J's post over at Thoughts from the Teahouse (see link under Pilgrim Pals). As you may recall, I visited Cowper's home in Olney while I was in England earlier this year. The photo is of Cowper's Summer House where he did much of his writing. He'd also visit with John Newton there, receiving encouagement and hope from his friend. His life and his battles with depression have always been an interest of mine. Thanks for posting this, Lisa!

William Cowper, 1731-1800, Poet, Hymnwriter


God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

In his biographical talk on John Newton, John Piper shared the following text about Cowper, preached at his funeral by John Newton. (originally from The Life of John Newton by Richard Cecil)

He drank tea with me in the afternoon. The next morning a violent storm overtook him. . . . I used to visit him often but no argument could prevail with him to come and see me. He used to point with his finger to the church and say: "You know the comfort I have had there and how I have seen the glory of the Lord in His house, and until I go there I'll not go anywhere else." He was one of those who came out of great tribulations. He suffered much here for twenty-seven years, but eternity is long enough to make amends for all. For what is all he endured in this life, when compared with the rest which remaineth for the children of God.

Read more!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Little Did We Know

Little did Carol and I know the challenges we would face when we adopted our special gifts from God, Matthew and Nathan.
We didn't know that we'd be dealing with ASD and FASD. We likely didn't even know what those abbreviations meant.
I just wanted to be a DAD to them.
Matthew has Asperger's Syndrome, an ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder condition.
Nathan deals with FASD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. It is relatively mild but the challenges are immense.
God knew what he was "in for" when He chose us, redeemed us and called us for Himself and yet He did it anyway.
When we were still in our sins, Christ died for us. He knew all about us and loved us anyway. What love! Thank you Father!

Saturday Sixteen

Sixteen Saturday Musings brought about by a visit to the restroom in a large department store.

It’s Always Nice…

· When you walk into what you think is the men’s restroom and you see the urinals. (the signs on the door are often so non-conclusive that you wonder if you're going into the "right" one.
· When you run into a friend you haven’t seen for years.
· When someone sends you a card of encouragement in the mail for no reason other than to lift your spirits.
· When someone compliments you on “a job well done”.
· When the item you’re buying has a further reduction that you weren’t expecting.
· When the food you ordered at the restaurant arrives before you expected it.
· When you sing Great Is Thy Faithfulness at church.
· When the price of gasoline drops unexpectedly.
· When the teacher tells you that your kids are really doing well at school.
· When you finally go out the door and leave for a much-needed vacation.
· When you get complimentary comments after baring your soul on your blog.
· When you hear a powerful testimony at a baptismal service (like we did last Sunday).
· When someone drops in to see you at your office and brings a coffee.
· When God unexpectedly provides for your needs.
· When Greater Vision (my favorite singing group) releases a new CD.
· When you’re finally done cutting the grass after 4-5 hours have passed.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Growing Up Too Quickly

Matthew invited his friend from school, Victoria, over to our place today. They get along so well and always look so "cute" together.

Our little boy is growing up too fast! He'll be 12 on August 29th.

Where has the time flown?

God Breathed

As always I went to "The Quiet Heart" page of Decision magazine when the latest issue arrived in our mail box today.

This month's theme is "Breathed By God" and deals with the divine inspiration of the scripures.

John Piper is quoted:
"The very God of the universe speaks on every page (of the Bible) into my mind - and your mind. In it God speaks in the 21st century - 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.

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."

I'll add a loud, hearty AMEN to that!

If the truth of Piper's statement permeated our finite beings, wouldn't we take more time to hear God's voice through His inerrant Word? Wouldn't we be more intentional and diligent about spending time with the Book?

Father, may I understand the reality that You have spoken clearly and authoritatively through Your Word. Give me a hungry heart and a passion to know You better by bathing myself in Your Holy Word. AMEN!

Living Cautiously

Yesterday another book caught my eye while I was browsing in a Christian bookstore. Of course the fact that the book was on sale for half price was even better. I had given this book as a gift before but hadn 't read it.

Nobody will ever be able to say that David Fisher lived too cautiously but, still, I wanted to get Luci Shaw's perspective on risky living. She is an especially insightful writer.

Here's a review of the book:

“The Crime of Living Cautiously: Hearing God’s Call to Adventure” by Luci Shaw
InterVarsity Press, 140 pages

"For those of us who live a “safe” existence, The Crime of Living Cautiously jumps off the bookstore shelf and compels us to read it. Luci Shaw, a prolific poet and writer whose work has spanned many years, invites the reader to embrace “God’s call to adventure.”

There is a distinction, Shaw writes, between an impulse to takes risks and God actually leading us in a certain direction. Living cautiously isn’t always a bad thing; discovering God’s leading in our lives is key to understanding what risks we are to take.

Shaw uses numerous biblical examples to support her position for seizing opportunity. And one of the most difficult emotions that prevent us from seizing opportunities is fear. Fear can paralyze us and cause us to miss out on what God can do with us and through us.

Shaw challenges the reader to critically examine our lives and realize where God might be leading. It’s not a call to abandon, but instead a call to adventure."

And from another review:

"Risk must be firmly grounded in trust. And trust, by definition, always includes risk, the risk of the unknown or the dangerous known. Reaching the riverbank and the safety of solid ground felt a bit like reaching heaven after an earthly life of belief in the midst of often perilous and uncertain circumstances." —from chapter one of The Crime of Living Cautiously". Luci Shaw does not live cautiously—her life is an exuberant romp in the things of creation. Nor does she write cautiously—her poetry is a dive into the pool of spirited (Spirit?) language. This witness, a fusion of personal stories and revealing poems, welcomes us into the fullness into which Christ calls us." —Eugene Peterson, author of The Message.