Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This is my prayer for the new year, 2009.
I need God's guidance as I walk down uncharted (to me) paths.
Father, show me Your ways and teach me Your paths.
My hope is in You all day long!
Here are my New Year's Resolutions for the coming year...2009:
- I WILL NOT make New Year's resolutions that I can't keep
- I will procrastinate less.
- I will read more.
- I will trust God more.
- I will worry less.
- I will write more.
- I will be stressed less.
- I will make fewer lists of things I will attempt in 2009.
I've been blessed to have my own personal rabbi who gives spiritual guidance to this pilgrim. Rabbi Paul (pictured) is always there to help out. He is presently under the weather but as soon as he gets better he will be offering help to this struggling Gentile. Paul's synagogue is in Brantford but he also spends a lot of time in Belleville and once every 50 years, in the year of jubilee, he comes to Peterborough.
Please pray for Rabbi Paul that he would recover quickly and enjoy a great Sabbath.
Note: This was written with tongue firmly placed in grinning cheek. Please don't think I've gone off my rocker. I did that years ago.
CONGRATULATIONS, my boy!
FINAL NOTE: ...and he didn't learn any of that from grandpa.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The damp, coldness of a gray, December day seeped into my shoes and inched up my long legs. The chill in the air somehow got inside my clothes sending shivers up my spine. It would be worth the discomfort though.
Our family eagerly anticipated the approaching cavalcade. Fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and other service vehicles lined the off-ramp of the four-lane Highway of Heroes at the Port Hope exit. Hundreds of grieving supporters stood at attention, ready to pay their respects to the families of three fallen soldiers. Men who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Sons, husbands, fathers, brothers, fiancés, friends who left Canada to serve and returned having given their lives for freedom.
This parade of vehicles from CFB Trenton carried the bodies of our heroes, slain in Afghanistan, their families and friends. As their flashing lights came into view I could trace the trickle of tears as they began to course down my face. I had warned my family that it would be an emotional experience for me. It always is at times like this.
One of the heroes hailed from Peterborough. Private Michael Freeman celebrated Christmas in a far-off land, gave his life a day later, killed by a roadside bomb and was repatriated today here in his homeland. The funeral will follow in several days time in a local church.
Those who came to pay their respects waved Canadian flags or waved their hands as the cavalcade passed under the overpass where we had positioned ourselves. I was proud to be a Canadian today. Proud to share the same hometown as our hero. Grateful for those who represent us in war-torn lands.
The police and military vehicles, hearses; limousines and other support vehicles passed quietly on their journey to Toronto. Crowds would cheer and show their support from every overpass on the Highway of Heroes from CFB Trenton to Toronto.
War isn’t pretty. Peace is elusive. Lives are lost. Sacrifices are made. Families are grieving. I was deeply moved.
“God of all comfort, strengthen those who mourn today. Come alongside and minister peace and hope in the midst of chaos. We pray through Jesus our Lord, the Prince of Peace. AMEN.”
We are grateful for those, like Freeman, who have made such a sacrifice to secure and maintain the freedom of others.
Without minimizing the contributions made by our troops, I can't write this post without being reminded of the supreme sacrifice made by our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ, when He gave His life to buy our freedom.
We join the Freeman family today as they mourn the passing of their loved one and pray that the Lord will give strength and comfort during this difficult time.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
It's 6:35 in the morning and I am:
- too tired to get up and
- too awake to go back to sleep
- rehearse everything that has gone wrong and
- worry about everything else that could go wrong
- praising the Lord for all the good things He has done and
- being thankful that nothing happens in my life that He doesn't allow
- pray about all the things that concern me and cause me to worry
- commit everything to the Lord and trust Him
- wake up an hour and a half later and
- wonder why I was in such a worried state of mind
- Why worry when you can pray?
- Trust Jesus, He'll be your stay;
- Don't be a doubting Thomas
- Just take Him at His promise
- Why worry, worry, worry, worry
- When you can pray?
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I've posted the "favorites" from Tori's blog and bolded, italicized and posted in RED the ones that I share. It's amazing how God's children can be so different and yet so similar.
Welcome to my family of blogging friends, Nikki and Tori!
Here are those favorites:
* Playing the piano
* ice hockey (GO BLACK HAWKS!!)
* writing stories
* receiving massages
* the computer
* food (pepperoni pizza/black olives/black jellybeans being my favorites!)
* watching movies
* playing games
* drinking French Vanilla cappachino
* ultimate frisbee
* playing with my dog
* receiving comments on my blog
* The Princess Diaries 1 & 2
* What I did for Love
* Love Comes Softly series
* Gomer Pyle
* Andy Griffith
* Little House on the Prairie
* Facing the Giants
* What Not to Wear
* Trading Spaces
* The Cosby Show
* I Love Lucy
* Wheel of Fortune
* Judge Judy
* Roman Holiday
* Anne of Green Gables
* Believe In Me
* The Cathedrals
* Candy Christmas
* Gaither Vocal Band
* Ernie Haase and Signature Sound
* The Wissmann Family
* The Browns
* Beach Boys
* '50's music
* Janet Paschal
* Adam's Voice
* Vance and Jeannie Sharpe
* Southern Gospel
* Jimmy Dell
* Dr. Elmo's Christmas CDs
* Go Fish
* The Bible
* A Proper Pursuit
* Eve's Daughters
* Chronicles of the King's series
* A Woman's Place
* The Preacher's Daughter series
* Annie's People series
* The Heritage of Lancaster County series
* The Courtship of Nellie Fisher books
* Redemption of Sarah Cain
Check out their blogs here:
Nikki's Powerplay 4 Him
Tori's Dare to be Different
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Anyhow, not long after my hint or suggestion that Cliff join me, he pulled his truck up to our house with his son Michael and two shovels in tow. Just as they arrived I had to quit because my heart was beginning to race. They did a great job!
As he left he added, "my name is Cliff, drop over some day." Just kidding! That's an old, well-used joke.
Need help...call Cliff!
Here's a picture of the McGrath family. Cliff, Jane, Michelle and Michael.
THANKS SO MUCH!
A few hours later Carol was startled by the sound of a mighty rushing wind. Actually it was a flock of turkeys which landed in the tree next door.
Our granddaughter Victoria captured a few pictures on her camera before the birds took flight. I didn't know that turkeys can fly as well as they do.
Not having a gun I wasn't able to shoot a bird for Christmas dinner. Of course I wouldn't shoot one if I had a gun.
P. S. Carol just told me that there were 15 turkeys in the tree several hours after this photo was taken.
Note: Click on the picture for a better view of the turkeys. You'll see some small red berry-like things on the tree. The turkeys thought they were cranberries. They know you can't have turkey without cranberries.
As she began to speak she sensed that God was already beginning to answer her prayer. God began to speak through her as the Holy Spirit melted cold hearts. The freedom in the Spirit was so evident that Lotz found it difficult to stick to her alloted time.
Following the service a pastor paid her a compliment which she will never forget. He said humbly, "Mrs. Lotz, it's obvious to me that you have been in the kitchen, preparing the Food. Thank you for serving it to us tonight without messing it up."
When we spend time with God, in preparation, others will sense that "we have been with Jesus". Have you been in the kitchen today, preparing the Food? I trust that you, at least, have been feasting on the riches of His grace and when given the opportunity, you will be able to share the life-giving Food.
This morning I found the following pictures in my friend Joan Harrington's Facebook picture gallery.
You'd almost think that coffee was a big part of our morning routine here in Canada.
What about Bible reading?
Friday, December 19, 2008
For several days I've been battling a real funk...a spiritual low...a "cold mashed potatoes and Coke that's lost its fizz" feeling as the late Paul Little would call it. As we draw close to Christmas I'm not experiencing the warm fuzzies that usually accompany the season. Far from it!
Yesterday it took several hours to break free from the "pit of purposelessness". This morning I'm fighting again to climb out. It doesn't take much to get teary-eyed. Listening to some of the Christmas songs (not the beloved old carols) with their sick sentimentality makes me want to throw up. What's wrong with me?
It's been a difficult year for many of us. Change seems to be the buzz word. Yes, our lives have been literally "buzzing" with transitions. New house, new job, new school, new challenges, new concerns, new, new new.
One thing remains the same. Let me rephrase that. One person is changeless. Our eternal God is immutable, without change. We change. He changes not.
As I stare out the windows of my office here in the heart of Peterborough into the cold, gloomy, gray of another December morning I'm reminded to look "up" instead of "out". Beyond the heavy, snow-laden clouds is a God who shines His everlasting Light into our hearts and transforms the burdens into blessings, frustrations into freedom and heartaches into hope.
Somehow, by an act of faith, throw yourself into His all-encompassing arms today. Ask Him to lift you above the meaningless and mundane into the joy that comes ONLY from His embrace. Rest in His love today.
He cares! He really does!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Please forgive me for my politically-based rant today but the recent events (or what might have happened in our native land of Canada) are cause for much concern.
Canadians will understand this graphic that I've posted. Hopefully most of you will share my political bent. If not, I'll pray for you!
Seriously, please pray for our PM, Stephen Harper. You may not agree will all he does but he sure beats the alternatives.
For a few days I thought Larry, Curly and Moe might be running our country but we've been given a reprieve. Thank you, Father!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Yes, without Him, the incarnate Son of God, Christmas pales and really has no lasting meaning. When Christ came He brought light, the Light of life, to a dark world. His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection offered a sure and steadfast hope to those who trusted Him.
The picture I've included on this post reminds me of the light that Christ brings when He is given room in the busyness and messiness of our lives.
The "blues" turns to light, the true Light, when Jesus is introduced to the picture. Please make room for the King of Glory this Christmas.
He's waiting at the door...
"There it was...the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines every person." - John 1:9 (The Amplified Bible)
Friday, December 12, 2008
I've read The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass and laughed at myself for the way we Christians talk and act. If we could only see and hear ourselves through the eyes and ears of the unconverted we would realize how weird we sound.
Check out the web site of Adrian Plass here and listen to brief clips from his CD.
Several times as I was driving home I laughed so hard that passersby or Plassersby must have wondered about me.
Oh well...laughter doeth good like a medicine. I needed that prescription today.
P. S. Be sure to check out CABBAGES.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
This morning's devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada from Pearls of Great Price challenged me. Joni's writing usually does!
She spoke of getting sidetracked from her daily reading of the scriptures by a mail-order catalogue that caught her eye.
"...Twenty minutes later I still had my nose in the catalog. I'm ashamed to say, the Word had been pushed aside. This is why I have learned to pray, 'Lord incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.' There are days when I don't even want to pick up the Bible. But I know if I succumb to a ho-hum attitude toward the Word of God, my spirit will shrivel, my faith will shrink, and my hope will become dull and dim. So I plead, 'Lord, don't let me get away with this! Put the 'want to' in my heart...persuade it...bring it around...predispose it...please, incline my heart to your Word and don't let me covet anything in its place!'
I'm sure we all struggle with the same temptations that Joni battles. May this be the prayer of each of our hearts today:
"Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness." - Psalm 119:36 (KJV)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Do you recognize this parable?
Feeling footloose and frisky, a featherbrained fellow forced his fond father to fork over the farthings.
Featherbrained fathead flew far to foreign fields and frittered his farthings, feasting fabulously with faithless friends.
Fleeced by his fellows in folly, and facing famine, he found himself in a filthy farmyard. Fairly famishing, he fain would have filled his frame with foraged food from fodder fragments.
"Phooey, my father's flunkies fare far finer." The fragile fugitive frankly faced facts. Frustrated by failure, and filled with foreboding, foolish fellow fled forthwith to his family.
Falling at his father's feet, he forlornly fumbled, "Father, I've flunked. I've fruitlessly forfeited family favour."
The farsighted father, forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged the flunkies to fetch a fatling from the flock and forthwith fix a feast.
The fugitive's faultfinding brother frowned on fickle forgiveness of former folderol, but the faithful father figured: " Filial fidelity is fine but the fugitive is found. What forbids fervent festivity? Let the flags be unfurled, let fanfares flare forth."
So, the father's forgiveness formed the foundation for the former fugitive's future fortunes.
- Phil Kerr
Friday, November 28, 2008
I can "almost" guarantee that this bird is NOT worried. We worry. They don't. Something's wrong!
Aren't we of much more value to the Father than the birds?
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Here's that post:
Recently I stopped at a favourite restaurant of mine, hoping to enjoy a quiet, relaxing lunch in the middle of a busy, hectic day of “ministry”. The hostess seated me in a back room away from the buffet area where people were helping themselves.
A few moments later a group of mentally challenged adults, with their caregivers, were seated at a long table next to me. My solitude was short-lived! These people were grunting and groaning, shouting and calling out. Two other families asked if they could be seated in another area of the restaurant when they saw these people arrive. In the midst of the noise, God’s Holy Spirit spoke (or shouted) to my heart. I immediately thought WWJS …”where would Jesus sit?” if He were here. Of course He would be found at the center of that table, showering His love, care and compassion on these dear, precious people. If that’s where Jesus would sit, then I wanted to follow “in His steps” and look upon this intrusion on my “quiet time” as an opportunity to watch God at work.
The caregivers lovingly attended to their clients, helping them with their food and patiently expressing God’s love in a tangible way. The outbursts of these people, created in the image of God, became like a symphony, a choir, to my ears.
I was so intrigued by watching this transpire before my eyes that I lingered at my seat long after I’d finished my meal. As I was leaving, one of these dear people choked on her food and her caregiver handled the situation so well. Tears came to my eyes and I thanked God for my “quiet lunch”.
Oh that we might see people as our loving, compassionate Father sees them! Oh that our hearts might be broken by the things that break His heart! God had noisily got my attention that day!
Let’s look for opportunities today to witness God’s loving care for His people. Let’s ask how we can be His arms extended to His people today, ministering His love, mercy and grace to those who so desperately need His touch!
For more information on the organization that these wonderful people are involved with, please check out their web site at http://www.christian-horizons.org/
Wish I could join you for a big turkey dinner today.
We have so much to thank the Lord for! He has blessed us abundantly and we praise Him for everything He has showered upon us.
Have a wonderful day, dear friends, and don't eat too much!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Here's an account from Don Liesemer concerning my associate in hockey ministry, Bruce Smith, a faithful, godly servant of God:
No room! The last time hockey missionary Bruce Smith walked through the doors of the arena in Bathurst, New Brunswick (pictured) he was told by the coach that HMI would never be “invited in” to provide a Christian chapel program for his team. It just wasn’t going to happen. There was no room for HMI or for HIM. Our Canadian field staff director felt the sting of rejection…but this was nothing new….it had happened many times before where team management and players closed out HMI’s “messengers of hope in Jesus Christ”.
Move the clock forward three years to November 20, 2008. Our same hockey missionary, Bruce Smith, entered the same arena, knocked on the same door but this time things weren’t the same…indeed amazingly different. He was ushered into the GM’s office who in turn escorted him to the dressing room to be warmly received by players and coaches alike. Bruce enthusiastically outlined and explained the HMI chapel program to the whole team and followed with an actual chapel session with interested players. The first ever with that team…Interesting isn’t it?
No room in Bethlehem’s Inn and yet God’s purposes were miraculously accomplished. God never changes. The same Lord that fulfilled His plan in Bethlehem despite the closed door is at work in the world of hockey. His Kingdom is advancing. How amazing to see doors which were closed for many years suddenly opening. The walls of resistance surrounding the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, a hold-out for over thirty years, are finally coming down. The last frontier in hockey in North America is making room for Jesus, God’s champion. The King of Glory is winning victories.And as we go under His command…in His power and in “triumphal procession we are spreading everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.”And what a message to proclaim!“A Savior has been born…He is Christ the Lord”
Hockey Ministries International
Exactly one minute after receiving this "good news" from Don Liesemer I received the following e-mail from Jeff Twohey, the GM of the Peterborough Petes. I had sent him an e-mail just minutes earlier to ask if the Alumni Room at the Peterborough Memorial Centre was available for next Monday's MONDAY WE HAVE FISH chapel with the Petes. Jeff always lets us use that room unless the Directors have a meeting on the evening we meet.
Here's Jeff's reply and we praise God for the support we've had from Jeff and the Petes for the past 13 years.
"David, not a problem! You are welcome to the room. Thanks as always!" - Jeff
Monday, November 17, 2008
The past week has been a blurrrrrrrrr.
With the adjustments to my new position with SIM Canada (which I'm really enjoying) and our fundraiser last Thursday (An Evening With "Fish" and the Peterborough Petes), it's been a hectic week.
Through this transition period God has remained faithful and we have sensed His gentle nudging through it all. His everlasting arms have been our strength.
Be encouraged as you enter a brand new week, dear friends! He is faithful!
"The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms." - Deuteronomy 33:27 (KJV)
P. S. Yesterday afternoon the boys and I drove to Hamilton, ON to see our good friend David Shantz. He was recalled by the Rochester Americans from the Dayton Bombers earlier in the week and he got the start in goal yesterday in his hometown. He played well and kept his team in the game although they fell 5-2 to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
He's picked up 5 points (including a game-winning overtime goal) in the last three games.
You can't keep a good guy down...for long.
GO SENS GO!
If you enjoy this blog why not add your name/blog/picture to those who "follow" these scribblings. Click on "Follow this blog" or click here and you'll be taken to a page that will explain how to become a pilgrim follower.
Thanks, friends, and enjoy the journey "home", walking with the King!
"In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever
My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
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.
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
I will strengthen them in the LORD and in his name they will walk," declares the LORD.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Please exercise your right and privilege to have a say in the way your great nation is governed. PLEASE VOTE TOMORROW!
Much is at stake and I urge you to get out and VOTE!
Thank you...from a Canadian who loves America and is grateful to God for your nation!
~ David, the Pilgrim