Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The sun arose this morning
And God is on His throne
No need to fret or worry
The Father loves His own.
So bid farewell to doubting
And welcome trust anew
Rest in the truth of scripture...
The Father cares for YOU!
~ David W. Fisher
January 29th, 2008
The following devotional appears on David Jeremiah's Turning Point web site today:
"He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." - Matthew 5:45
In Matthew 5:45, Jesus spoke of God's fairness and graciousness. Every morning the sun gives another day's life to all humanity, whether evil or good. Refreshing showers fall on the lawns of committed Christians and of their pagan neighbors. While some blessings are reserved only for the children of God, others are common to the entire world.
In the same way, some burdens are borne by believers, such as persecution or sorrow over lost souls. But other burdens are shared by all humanity, and being a Christian doesn't make us immune from trials. Even seasoned Christians need to remember this, or else we'll find ourselves thinking, "Why is God treating me so badly? If He loves me so, why am I in such painful straits? Why don't other people have these problems I'm facing?"
Sorrow is universal; but for the believer, it is redemptive because God turns it to good. Dr. F. B. Meyer wrote, "In suffering and sorrow God touches the minor chords, develops the passive virtues, and opens to view the treasures of darkness, the constellations of promise, the rainbow of hope, the silver light of the covenant."
Trust Him today and rejoice in His mercies whether it's sunny or raining.
In the meantime let us believe that God's love and wisdom are doing the very best for us.- F.B. Meyer
Monday, January 28, 2008
Driving home an hour later I had the lyrics for the chorus and, again, went straight to my computer to enter the data.
When I arrived home from my doctor's appointment in Toronto this afternoon I got out my trusted SONY and tried to film the Pilgrim (me) playing my song at the keyboard. That's when my technical know-how hit a brick wall so you'll have to wait for the video (at 11) or later.
Here are the lyrics, dear friends, and I trust that they will be a blessing:
MIGHTY TO SAVE
Stumbling through this pilgrim land
Holding to His nail-scarred hand
Confident that victory has been assured.
As I face each fiery trial
Challenges with every mile
But praise God it's by His grace I have endured.
Heaven's gates are now in sight
Where the risen Lamb's the Light
And my Jesus waits to welcome me I know
So 'til then I'll watch and pray
Trusting Him to lead the way
Telling others why I love my Saviour so.
I know He walks with me
Thrilled that He talks with me
On this long journey
From the cradle to the grave
The all-sufficient One
God's well-beloved Son
He's my Redeemer and
He's mighty to save.
He's my Redeemer and
He's mighty to save.
~ David W. Fisher
January 28th, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
If Hillary Clinton becomes America's next president I'm moving to the Far East. What a scary thought having her in the White House again!
Tim Challies' book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, (Crossway Books) should be read by every Christian, lay people and pastors alike. He has done an excellent job tackling this much-needed subject. Congratulations Tim!
I'm craving an A & W Teen Burger as I write! Too late to go and get one!
I hope the N. Y. Giants can steal a win from the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. I don't know why but I don't look forward to an undefeated season by the Patriots.
I'm glad that Tony Dungy will be back as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts next season! What a class act! If every Christian would carry himself/herself like Tony does. What an honorable ambassador for Jesus Christ!
Finding a home for us to move into by April 30th is getting frustrating. We can't decide whether we want to stay in a rural area or move into the city. Please pray! We're grateful to God that our present home sold as quickly as it did.
I'm certainly missing my friend Watson Atkinson who went "home" just before Christmas.
I sure enjoy John Piper's preaching!
It's almost a year since I visited England! I'd sure love to return! What a memorable trip it was!
Sure wish D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was still alive. I'd love to spend a day with this preacher/author picking his brain.
I'm getting tired! Good night, dear friends!
~ The Pilgrim
Friday, January 25, 2008
No Bible is present…or frankly necessary because they are not preaching from the Word of God.
Don’t teach from the word of God
It’s all about me and how I feel.
God is only as good as what He can do for me.
It’s about what I do…not about being broken in my sin and repentant.
No conviction…I leave feeling good.
No recognition that I am a sinner saved by grace.
I don’t hear anything about me being a sinner
The message is meant to make me feel good.
There are props on stage
It’s a stage not a pulpit
A few verses are thrown in just for good measure
Casual…no suit or tie…the approach to the word of God is casual and laid back.
No conviction of sin
Illustrations from movies or personal experience…not from the Bible
They make Jesus cool…not holy and they don’t revere Him as God.
No talk of sin…which left me dead and condemned.
When I don’t know I’m a sinner…I don’t need a Savior.
Jesus is someone who came to show us how to live…not pay the penalty for my sin.
It’s about what I do…not what He did.
We’re all sons and daughters of God…they don’t define what makes one a son and daughter of God.
No prayer for those who don’t know Christ, who are dead in their sins to accept God’s plan of salvation and forgiveness through Jesus Christ our Lord.
No awe and reverence for God.
The pastor tells me what I ought to do…but doesn’t share that I can not do it on my own power and strength…but only through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within me.
Everyday Liturgy: Holy Habits
They say a mother wears an apron and a myriad of hats. I say she wears a collar too. A collar which can never be removed. A collar which cannot be observed by the material world: a clerical collar. For she is a priest in her home, before a congregation of children.
True, she snaps wet sheets onto the line, mashes heaping bowls of steaming potatoes, kneels to scrub the grime that rings the toilet; she cares for a home. And yes, little bodies wiggle up in her lap for tales of Peter Rabbit, press close to study the topography of Israel, follow her lead through the wildflowers to the woods; she cares for minds.
But she never fails to know the essence of who she is: “But you are… a royal priesthood…that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of the darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9-10). While a mother continually changes her hats throughout the hours of the day, her collar remains: she is a priest proclaiming Christ’s glories. She cares for souls.
The Cross rent the veil; the priest now lives openly in the Presence of the Holies of Holies, leading little ones to the altar to worship too. The banqueting table is spread; the priest invites these young persons to come and feast on Him Who is sustenance. There is no intermediary, there is no spoon feeding. She is a priest, serving not only God in this domestic, hallowed place but inviting her children to come and do likewise. As Martin Luther wrote, “all we Christians are priests… as priests we are worthy to appear before God to pray for others and to teach one another divine things.”
So a mother consciously chooses to live out her priesthood as a believer, so that her children might be taught ‘divine things.’ As the Old Testament priest’s days carefully stepped to the beat of His expressed laws, so the New Testament everyday priest thoughtfully orders her days to the divine rhythms of Father’s heart. While the Old Testament High Priest wore the apron-like ephod, the New Testament ministering mother wears apron and holy habits. Holy habits of communing with God, reading and memorizing His Word, prayer, fasting, service, worship. Holy habits of putting on the garment of Christ (Gal 3:27 NEB).
The domestic priest cannot forcibly dress her children in holy habits, for these are not outward mantles of routines and checklists, but the interior attire of the heart. One can only clothe one’s own soul. What is a mother to do? She can faithfully adorn herself with her own ardor for Christ, her own daily, holy habits stirring the desires of her children, all the while thoughtfully laying out threads for young souls to take up in their own life’s tapestry. She prays and fasts and sings hymns and serves and loves and meditates on Scripture before her children. Then she creates space, stillness and opportunity for her children to also enter in. She lives so that each child feeds not on her devotionals, prayers or worship, but from his or her own. She kneels beside her child and helps him gather his own spiritual food with his own hands, rather than simply eating from hers.
“Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth” (Proverbs 26:15). I wonder: do (my) children sit in Christian homes (like ours) with cupped hands, waiting for someone to take food to their mouths, for a priest to spiritually spoon-feed them? (Do Christian parents attend Sunday morning services, then meander home with hands full of food…but spend the next seven days not even lifting food to their mouth?) Bibles on shelves, hymnals on table, prayer journals in baskets. Food is plentiful. Yet there must be purposeful effort to take it up in hand. The familial priest’s holy habits show how one daily lift’s food to mouth.
Yet it is not solely a mother’s life or holy habits that will make her a model for her children. For children to model a believing priest taking up food rather than emulating bewildered, malnourished peers, they need to be close----spiritually, emotionally, and physically close. A mothering priest’s words and routines are critical but insufficient. Unconditional love, support, connection are the necessary, compelling magnets that draw a child close. Close attachment stokes a desire within a young person to be like mama, to take up holy habits too. Modeling, in short, is a function of relationship and heart strings. The mothering priest focuses, above all, not on parenting skills or behaviors, but on relationship—first with God and then with her children. Without an intimate, emotionally-supportive relationship with mother, young people are less likely to take up the holy habits modeled in a home. Why purpose to be like someone from whom he or she is emotionally distant? Thus, in a mother’s daily service before God, relationships—horizontally and vertically—are the paramount priority. “Have time for a walk down through the woods this evening?” “ Can I give you a back rub while you tell me about your day?” “Let’s make popcorn and play a board game together tonight."
Relationship is the essence of our daily reality. Our relationship with God, nourished by holy habits, is the essence of our spiritual (and eternal) reality. Our relationship and connection with our children, nourished by attachment and time invested, is the essence of our mothering reality…and our modeling. Priesthood, mothering, holy habits: they orbit around relationship, the essence of all reality in the universe.
So a mother adorns herself with apron, priestly collar, and holy habits. And there, daily handing out bowls for the Feast, her apron strings ties love knots to young ones gathered around. (Bowls and feasts are nothing without love.) “So, daughter, let’s lay out on the hammock tonight and talk to God under all the stars He knows by name.” “Son, would you like to lead our worship tonight?" "Might you pray for us tonight, dear?” “Anyone have any ideas of what might we do to serve that family at the corner?”
Care to have the next generation of kingdom priests know how to feast themselves with both hands, from their own bowl, wearing their own holy habits? Put on your own collar, take up your own habits, eat from your own bowl.
And love them to His Love Feast.
Today I received a donation for Epistle Sports Ministries with a "mysterious" story behind it.
This Sunday evening the latest Hallmark Hall of Fame movie will air on CBS television at 9:00 p.m. The Russell Girl (see review below) was filmed in Canada and some of the scenes were shot in in front of the gift shop owned by a friend of mine.
She was paid for the use of her store frontage and she chose to give the proceeds to several worthy causes that she believes in.
The exciting part of the story is that we always try to watch the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies on TV and I had just given our granddaughter Victoria a flyer advertising the movie this morning. Needless to say, we're going to watch the film through different eyes this Sunday evening.
God does provide in unusual ways doesn't He!
Here's a review of this movie from VARIETY:
Sarah's repeated attempts to engage neighbor Lorraine make it clear, however, that Sarah's return has triggered memories of a horrible accident years earlier. Neither, it seems, has fully dealt with the incident. Sarah's unassuaged guilt has left her believing she somehow deserves her recent troubles, while Lorraine's misplaced anger has affected her relationship with her husband and two teenage sons.
On paper, writer Jill Blotevogel's script is standard TV melodrama, but Tamblyn's deeply expressive performance, along with that of Tony-winner Ehle, creates believably heart-wrenching emotions. "The Russell Girl" proves Tamblyn can carry a film. Ehle, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Meryl Streep, is as good onscreen as onstage.
Supporting perfs are well done and key to the overall story, especially the father figures eloquently portrayed by DeKay and Henry Czerny. Paul Wesley as Evan, Sarah's old flame, is a little too good to be true but is a charismatic match to Tamblyn's Sarah. Mastrantonio is not well served in the role of Sarah's mom, whose misguided optimism and cheerleading is the opposite of what Sarah actually needs.
Bleckner's deliberate pace, paired with Charles Minsky's lingering camera shots, make for a thoughtful and beautifully filmed piece. The musical score is equally affecting. Film is exasperating at times only because it so accurately depicts the common inability to express one's true emotions.
Perhaps the book that most shaped my life as a young man was By Searching by Isobel Kuhn. She sensed the call of God to take the gospel to the Lisu people in China. The first chapter is entitled On To The Misty Flats and begins with a poem by John Oxenham. I've recalled this poem many times over the years and thought of it again this morning. Here it is for your perusal:
The Misty Flats
To every many there openeth
A way, and ways, and a way.
And the high soul climbs the high way,
And the low soul gropes the low,
And in between on the misty flats
The rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth
A high way and a low -
And every man decideth the way his soul shall go.
- John Oxenham
High Road, Low Road or the Misty Flats?
What road will you choose to travel today? May your pilgrimage be filled with divine surprises as the God of Heaven reveals Himself to you today!
"The sovereign God is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights." - Habakkuk 3:19 (NIV)
Monday, January 21, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Please pray for Watson's wife Noemi and their daughter Jenalyn as they continue to grieve the loss of a husband and father.
I wrote the following poem/song while preparing my message for the service. Watson had a real heart for World Missions so the first stanza can be taken two different ways. He was "ready to go" if the Lord should call him "home" but always "ready to go" if He sensed the Lord's call to a foreign land.
Anyhow, here's that poem I penned:
Ready to go if my Saviour should call me
Ready to go to that land far away
Ready to bow at the feet of my Master
Ready to go and it may be today.
Now I am feasting on manna from heaven
Now I am looking on His lovely face
O what a wonder that Jesus has saved me
Only because of His marvellous grace.
I know that you are now grieving my passing
And if I could here's what I'd like to say
Don't hold too tight to the things that are fleeting
When you are gone they will all pass away.
O what a thrill just to bask in His glory
Troubles and heartaches are finally o'er
Trust Him today and receive of His goodness
Soon we shall meet on this heavenly shore.
David W. Fisher
January 8th, 2008
Note: The poem/song was written as though Watson were speaking and, knowing him as well as I did, this accurately reflects his heart.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Want to be challenged? Do you need to be shaken up a bit from your complacency? Then check out The Thirsty Theologian.
Depending on your theological bent, you'll either love it or...
I love it!
We meet on the third Tuesday of each month for mutual encouragement and to provide feedback (critiques) on each other's writing.
Tonight I was looking for an online dictionary to give me some definitions of the word "crucible".
Here are some of my findings:
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
cru·ci·ble (krōō'sə-bəl) Pronunciation Key n.
1. A vessel made of a refractory substance such as graphite or porcelain, used for melting and calcining materials at high temperatures.
2. A severe test, as of patience or belief; a trial. See Synonyms at trial.
3. A place, time, or situation characterized by the confluence of powerful intellectual, social, economic, or political forces: "Macroeconomics . . . was cast in the crucible of the Depression" (Peter Passell).
What the Writer's Crucible is is really a combination of all three of the above definitions.
One thing is certain, I've already benefited greatly from associating with these fellow scribes and I look forward eagerly to each meeting.
Thanks, Bev, for inviting me to be part of this wonderful group!
Monday, January 14, 2008
A path to walk, a soul to hold, a place, just around the next corner, to call Home ... His daily graces
Cost: Free Gifts from Father --$0
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Here's their news brief:
Puck Bounces In Favor of Cats
Yale Falls 3-0 to No. 16 Quinnipiac
Jan. 12, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Three different players scored goals and Bud Fisher stopped all 16 shots as the No. 16 Quinnipiac men's hockey team handed Yale a 3-0 loss before 3,486 at Ingalls Rink in ECAC action.
Friday, January 11, 2008
BOGOSIAN EARNS 2ND ECAC ROOKIE HONOR
Jan. 7: St. Lawrence University freshman center Aaron Bogosian has been selected as ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week for the second time this season after helping the Saints to a 6-5 upset of 7 th-ranked New Hampshire on Sunday.
Bogosian had a goal and set up the game-tying goal as the Saints came from down 5-3 in the third period to win with three goals in the last 7:06 of regulation. The Saint rookie from Massena, who played junior hockey at Cedar Rapids last season, has scored a goal in each of his last three games and has scored six of his eight points on the season in his last three starts.
Bogosian, who has played in all 19 games thus far for the Saints, was also named Rookie of the Week after a Saint split at Ohio State in early December.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Saturday, January 05, 2008
My nephew, Bud Fisher, has made me proud again. The following post appeared on the Quinnipiac Bobcats website this week:
Bud Fisher Named ECAC Hockey Goaltender Of The Week
Written by: QuinnipiacBobcats.com
Quinnipiac junior Bud Fisher (Peterborough, Ont.) has been named the ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week, as announced by the league office on Jan. 2, 2008. The award is Fisher’s third of his career.
This past weekend, at the 2007 Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup, Fisher took home Most Valuable Player honors after Quinnipiac won the cup with back-to-back wins over Western Michigan, 2-1, and Vermont, 5-1. Fisher, who allowed just one goal to each team, had 18 saves against Western Michigan while registering 19 against Vermont in the championship on the Catamounts’ home ice.
For the year, Fisher has allowed 16 goals in 481:24 minutes over eight games for a 1.99 goals-against-average. With 180 saves on 196 shots-on-goal, Fisher also boasts a .918 save percentage. Fisher currently ranks 12th nationally in GAA and 26th in save percentage.
Friday, January 04, 2008
The New Year's Challenge
I was watching a few minutes of the news this morning and one of the national morning shows issued a challenge - to sum up the entire year of 2007 in three little words.
I watched as they posted some of the answers viewers sent in and thought what a great idea! We bloggers are always rambling on and on about stuff - but how many of us could sum up an entire year in just three words?
So let's get the word out and see how many people will play along. Here's mine along with some other possibilities. I've listed one as a summary of 2007 and another as a goal for 2008.
Let's hear about yours!
Mine for 2007: Perplexed But Persevering
Mine for 2008: Moment By Moment
Other possibilities: Finding God Faithful, Trusting God Implicitly, God's Generous Grace, Burdened But Blessed
Thanks to Lisa J. over at Thoughts from the Teahouse for this photo.