Monday, December 14, 2009
Don't laugh too hard. If the Lord doesn't return and we live to a ripe old age, this poem will be about me and YOU.
CHRISTMAS AT ROCK-AWAY REST
'Twas the night before Christmas at Rock-Away Rest,
and all of us seniors were looking our best.
Our glasses, how sparkly, our wrinkles, how merry;
Our punchbowl held prune juice plus three drops of sherry.
A bedsock was taped to each walker, in hope
That Santa would bring us soft candy and soap.
We surely were lucky to be there with friends,
Secure in this residence and in our Depends.
Our grandkids had sent us some Christmasy crafts,
Like angels in snowsuits and penguins on rafts.
The dental assistant had borrowed our teeth,
And from them she'd crafted a holiday wreath.
The bed pans, so shiny, all stood in a row,
Reflecting our candle's magnificent glow.
Our supper so festive -- the joy wouldn't stop --
Was creamy warm oatmeal with sprinkles on top.
Our salad was Jell-O, so jiggly and great,
Then puree of fruitcake was spooned on each plate.
The social director then had us play games,
Like "Where Are You Living?" and "What Are Your Names?"
Old Grandfather Looper was feeling his oats,
Proclaiming that reindeer were nothing but goats.
Our resident wand'rer was tied to her chair,
In hopes that at bedtime she still would be there.
Security lights on the new fallen snow
Made outdoors seem noon to the old folks below.
Then out on the porch there arose quite a clatter
(But we are so deaf that it just didn't matter).
A strange little fellow flew in through the door,
Then tripped on the sill and fell flat on the floor.
'Twas just our director, all togged out in red.
He jiggled and chuckled and patted each head.
We knew from the way that he strutted and jived
Our social- security checks had arrived.
We sang -- how we sang -- in our monotone croak,
Till the clock? tinkled out its soft eight-p.m. stroke.
And soon we were snuggling deep in our beds.
While nurses distributed nocturnal meds.
And so ends our Christmas at Rock-Away Rest.
'fore long you'll be with us, We wish you the best!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
But on a frosty Friday night in Gatineau, one thought was so clear and so unmistakable.
"I was proud to be Canadian," the Ottawa Senators centre said after doing his part to bring the Olympic Torch Relay into the national capital region.
Clad in a white track suit with the words 'Vancouver 2010' emblazoned on the pant legs with a Winter Games toque protecting him from the chill of the wintry winds, Fisher jogged for 300 metres down Boulevard du Carrefour in Gatineau to a round of cheers that also included a few 'Go Sens Go' chants.
"Everything they've got going on here, it's pretty neat to be a part of it," Fisher said after running behind the convoy of vehicles that is leading the coast-to-coast torch relay.
Just after making the turn onto Boulevard de la Cité, Fisher stopped to light a torch held by Jean Labonté, the captain of Canada's national sledge hockey team. Labonté brought the flame into Place de la Cité and, after making his way through a wildly cheering throng, mounted a stage and lit the Olympic cauldron.
Fisher enjoyed his own share of cheers, starting from the moment he climbed into a van that carried the torchbearers to their designated starting points. He was mobbed by fans after his run was done, sharing a keepsake photo with a number of them.
The entire experience brought the Olympic spirit a little closer to Fisher, something he clearly felt as he took his turn carrying the torch.
"Just that I was proud to be Canadian, and the Olympics and everything that it represents," Fisher said when asked afterward about his thoughts as he ran with the torch. "A lot of different things and emotions. I'm very fortunate to do it and it was neat."
There's one moment that might possibly top it — playing for Team Canada at the Vancouver Games. Fisher's hot start with the Senators this season has at least put his name into the conversation for a spot on that team.
The torch relay will spend the weekend in Ottawa-Gatineau, with three other members of the Senators organization taking part in it. Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray will carry the flame from the Alexandra Bridge into Ottawa around 12:10 p.m. on Saturday. Then on Sunday morning, the relay will wind its way down Palladium Drive past Scotiabank Place, with Bill Courchaine, the Sens' director of sales and corporate partnership, carrying the torch at 8:40 a.m.
On Monday at about 7 a.m,, Senators president Cyril Leeder takes the torch down King Edward Avenue in downtown Ottawa, between Laurier Avenue East and Osgoode Street.
The 106-day relay, which involves 12,000 torchbearers, will visit more than 1,000 Canadian communities. Traversing in excess of 45,000 kilometres, it is the longest torch relay in Olympic history, culminating in the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Games on Feb. 12.
The following article by Bruce Garrioch appeared in the Ottawa Sun before Fisher carried the torch:
Mike Fisher hopes he doesn’t flame out carrying the Olympic torch through Gatineau Friday night.
“I’m going to have do some training this week. I haven’t run that far in a while,” the Senators centre joked about his 300-metre opportunity of a lifetime.
GM Bryan Murray gets his chance Saturday; on Monday it will be team president Cyril Leeder.
Fisher will become only the second NHLer to carry the Vancouver-bound torch after Sidney Crosby did the honours last month in his hometown of Cole Harbour, N.S.
A grateful Fisher didn’t think he’d ever get the chance.
“It’s an honour for me and it’s exciting,” said Fisher, who will receive the torch from the Preservation Centre at about 6:50 p.m. and carry it along du Carrefour Blvd. to the intersection of de la Cite Blvd.
Murray, who will receive the torch at 12:10 p.m. Saturday as the relay crosses the Alexandra Bridge to St. Patrick St., was surprised to be given the opportunity.
“I’m pleased and honoured to be one of a large team of people who have had the opportunity,” he said. “I take with pride that I’m able to participate. It’s a great event.”
Of course, Fisher wouldn’t mind seeing the Olympic torch again while suiting up for Team Canada in February. His strong play has certainly put him on the radar screen for executive director Steve Yzerman, but Fisher is realistic about his chances.
“It’d be a nice surprise if that (playing for Canada) ever happened, but I’m just focused on what I’ve got to do (with the Senators),” said Fisher. “It’s so hard to make the team. You never know really. I’m probably a longshot, but who knows?
With 13 goals, Fisher has already equalled his total from last season. He also has 12 assists in 28 games. He is skating better, shooting the puck more and, as always, is diligent in his own end.
“I feel like I’m playing pretty good and I’ve just got to keep that going,” said Fisher. “That’s kind of my focus. I’m not (worrying) about anything else right now.”
There was talk Yzerman was in the building last night, but he was actually at home in Detroit flipping through channels on his hockey package.
Fisher, who is likely in competition for a spot with Flyers centre Mike Richards, said he isn’t sure if the fact he can play wing will help.
“I know I can play both. Maybe that helps, but who knows?” asked Fisher. “I just want to play as hard as I can.”
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I needed to hear this song today. I trust that as you listen to Janet pouring out her heart...your spirit will be refreshed and renewed by His Spirit, the blessed Holy Spirit.
Thank you, Cathy Simpson,(from Melodies and Hymnsongs) for pointing me to this song.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
That night Greater Vision sang a song that I hadn't heard before and it really ministered to my tired and hurting spirit. The song entitled Treasures Unseen speaks of those hidden, eternal treasures that the children of God possess even when the riches of this world have evaded them.
Click here to enjoy Greater Vision's rendition of this great song. Gerald Wolfe is playing the keyboard, Rodney Griffin is playing the bass guitar and their great, new tenor Jacob Kitson does a marvelous job hitting the high notes.
Enjoy and let the Spirit of God minister to you.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Here's a YouTube rendition of this incredibly powerful song. The graphics aren't the best and the sound towards the end is not good. Still, your will be blessed by the affirmation of "those things which we believe."
The groups that joined in on this song were Greater Vision, the Hoppers, Legacy Five & the Booth Brothers.
Click here and be blessed.
Here's a comment from another web site concerning this song:
Statement Of Faith
This is the song that features not only Legacy Five but The Hoppers, Greater Vision and The Booth Brothers. It is a very powerful song that has already shown at NQC that the people will love it. I love the addition of the reading at the end by Gerald Wolfe. The Legacy Five guys that were featured on this song, were Scott Howard and Scott Fowler. But the standout moment vocally comes from Jacob Kitson the tenor for Greater Vision. He really sings his line with power. I truly hope these groups will strive to live by the message in this song. And one that I hope people listening to will take on in their own lives.
Just a brief update to let you know what's been happening to the Pilgrim and how you can pray for him (me).
This week I began my Day Hospital Program at North York General Hospital (pictured) in Toronto. This is a 3-week long program, 5 days a week, designed to assist those who are going through the throes of deep depression. The first week has been very profitable and I'm looking forward to going back on Monday morning. The group sessions have been particularly helpful.
This deep-seated depression has been affecting all parts of my life and our family's lives. Please pray that we will get relief from this dreadful, debilitating disease.
We continue to change my medication in an attempt to find the correct dosage and medicine. Please pray that we will soon find the best meds.
I'm grateful for the support of all my friends. Your comments here and on my Facebook account have been very encouraging and much appreciated. THANK YOU!
Monday, November 23, 2009
While perusing some "old" scribblings I came across a poem written five years ago. The last verse is particularly meaningful as I navigate through the raging waters of depression. Enjoy! We are getting nearer "home" each day.
Here’s that last verse:
The trials endured
As pilgrims heading homeward;
Are temporary and
Will not last too long.
So hand in hand
We’ll cross the final valley;
Eyes fixed on “home”
We sing redemption’s song.
- David W. Fisher (Dec. 13th, 2004)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Naturally the book will be entitled Pilgrim Scibblings with the byline being "Personal Reflections by a Fellow Pilgrim on the Journey Home", just like the blog's heading.
If there is a particular post or posts that have been very meaningful to you, please let me know. If you have time, please click on "older posts" at the bottom of this page and check out some of the earlier posts. Next week we will celebrate our 5th Anniversary of Pilgrim Scribblings. To date there have been over 1850 posts although they have been less frequent of late.
Thank you for your enouragement and your readership over these last 5 years. By God's grace and His enablement we hope to get back to posting on a daily basis.
"The Lord is good..." (Nahum 1:7)
Saturday, November 07, 2009
I don't have an e-mail address, phone number or any contact information so I can't get in touch with you. Please e-mail me @ firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you ASAP.
Please get in touch! We can help! We understand your pain!
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Regular readers of this blog will spot the title of this one and be scratching their heads wondering what on earth this is all about. And it might leave readers on the Alltop aggregator guessing, too.
One thing I’ve never done a lot of on this blog is self-promotion. Unfortunately however, there is a lot more complexity to blogging these days than ever before and some of this involves how search engine web-crawl spiders connect to different parts of the web. It turns out that this blog was missing a post like this one, so I needed to do this at least once. You might want to consider doing something like this on your blog, also. This section will disappear after about five days leaving only the section in black type below.
So… if you’re a regular reader, this isn’t for you…
Now...this one is for our regular Pilgrim Scribblings readers.
Today we had a visit at our church from a fellow blogger and good friend, Paul Wilkinson from over at Thinking Out Loud. His posts are always thought-provoking and we agree on many issues. There are some preachers who we have differing opinions on but I'm sure Paul will come around to my way of thinking sooner or later. Ha! Ha! We have both been involved in Christian bookselling for many years and now we blog together.
I'm anxious to see if Paul writes a post concerning their family's visit to Auburn Bible Chapel this morning. I'll be checking daily to see if he has. I check daily anyway. It's a regular stop along my daily blogging route.
Hope your Sunday was a good one and that you met with the King today!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Got me thinking. What would it be difficult to go without...for a year? I need your comments. Your insights?
Just mention "things"...NOT people.
To get you...and me...started, here are a few things that I would find it hard to live without for a week...let alone a year.
- A good book
- A Tylenol
- A Tim Horton's coffee (even though I don't like them sometimes)
- Lemon meringue pie
What couldn't you do without for a year?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
For the past several years, David and Carol Fisher have been driving their son Matthew to Toronto, to play hockey for the Don Mills Diamonds...a team of players who have autism or Aspergers Syndrome. Realizing that Peterborough is Hockeytown, David and Carol wondered why it couldn't be possible to have a team in Matthew's hometown for kids with similar special needs.
And one year later, with Saturday's inaugural practise (sporting brand new jerseys), the Kawartha Komets are here.
It's difficult to describe the emotion that was in the arena...so far removed from what many of us have witnessed in minor hockey (like parents yelling at referees...or screaming at their kids, fully convinced their child will be the next NHL superstar).
No. There were no NHL expectations here... as they gathered around the boards encouraging their children on...giving hugs and high-fives...snapping pictures and taking videos...with smiles that seemed to go from one blue line to the other. For the first time, their children were able to experience something that so many others take for granted - - to play hockey, on a team.
The Kawartha Komets will actually be putting two teams on the ice this year, featuring players between the of ages between 6 and 20...with a varying range of hockey skills. That's where I come into the picture. My daughter Emily and I have volunteered, as Pete Dalliday has as well, to help these incredible children develop on the ice. David and Carol have also recruited their nephew to be the Honourary Captain of the Komets...some guy by the name of Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators. The NHL Players Association has also just confirmed a generous donation of 16 full sets of equipment for the team.
Autism and Aspergers present unique challenges for some of these children in order to play hockey. For some with sensitivities to the sensation of touch, the feeling of having equipment on is an issue in itself. For others, the rationale behind taking turns on the ice or understanding rules of the game will be an issue.
But, as I talked to some of the kids and parents, I came to the realization on Saturday that these challenges are merely obstacles that (with understanding, patience and commitment on our part) will be overcome...just as many other so-called obstacles have been overcome in their lives.
I have so much respect for the moms and dads I met this weekend...who deal with these challenges every day...and will do whatever it takes to allow their child to experience new things, to grow and explore their limitless potential.
Yesterday it was my turn to lead the chapel service at SIM Canada and I wanted to teach my colleagues the song. But, alas, there were no lyrics.
On Sunday evening these words came to me. I trust they will be a blessing to you. Come and hear me perform in Carnegie Hall in New York City to hear the melody. Dream along, David!
Here are the words and, as you read them, remember that God really does understand the circumstances and nuances of our complicated lives.
Have you been struggling? No peace can you find
Life is so barren and dry
Darkness surrounds you and friends seem to fail
Clouds always cover your sky.
Hold to His hand,
He’ll be your refuge and strength
When all around you brings heartache and pain
God will restore and sustain.
He’ll give you joy once again. (after 3rd verse)
When you’ve decided that life is too hard
Worry and fear brought you down
Lift up your eyes to the Savior, my friend
He always cares for His own.
When clouds have lifted and sunshine breaks through
Darkness and gloom pushed aside
You can point others to this Friend divine
And in His arms safely hide.
© David W. Fisher – October 2009
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Be still and know that I am God.” - Psalm 46:1,10 (NIV)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Here is that post:
Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s….Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” (2 CH 20.15, 17)
When we face a “great horde”, be it actual enemies, financial problems, rebellious children, marital problems, sickness, or our own gigantic sin that looms before us, we can be tempted in two ways. We can be tempted to be afraid and tempted to be dismayed. God told Jehoshaphat two times not to give in to these temptations.
Do not be afraid or dismayed. Don’t fear and don’t be discouraged.
God tells us not to yield to fear or discouragement, for the battle belongs to him. He is waging war against the sin in our life and in the life of that rebellious teen. He is fighting the fear and unbelief in our hearts. He is fighting for our holiness and joy. The battle is not ours but God’s.
We must guard against this double-edged temptation. We must battle fear and discouragement.
“Do not be dismayed” has to do with the present. We can be dismayed at the state of our marriage or how our kids are doing. We can be discouraged at our slow progress to conquer a sin.
“Do not be afraid” has to do with the future. We fear for our teen if she continues the direction she’s going. We fear there won’t be enough money next month. We fear that this pain won’t go away. God tells us not to be fearful for the future, nor be discouraged about the present.
A sister I know had been battling depression and was experiencing powerful emotions of discouragement and fear. One day on her way into a store, she passed a Salvation Army Lady collecting money. She’d just heard a message about casting our bread upon the waters, so she went back and gave a dollar, and the lady gave her a little envelope with a card inside. She opened it and the card read:
Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.’
God specifically spoke to her about the very emotions she was struggling with and greatly encouraged her that day, and he wants to encourage you today. Do not be dismayed at what you see, nor afraid of what may be – the battle is the Lord’s.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Here it is:
Time and time again I go back to a book, Bright Days, Dark Nights, penned by a favorite writer of mine, Elizabeth Skoglund. She writes on subjects such as confidence, depression, anxiety, change and transition using the writings of the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, to illustrate her point.
The following quote by Spurgeon mirrors a statement that I used to make quite honestly and quite often. But now, I must confess, I don't know that I'm able to truthfully say it any more. The ravages of uncertainty, the stresses of being "down to the wire", the scariness of "not knowing" have played havoc with "all I once held dear".
Admitting this is difficult! What I once declared may have sounded very "noble", very "spiritual", very "right" but the years have taken their toll.
Let me give you Spurgeon's quote before I continue..."If I might have any choice between having abundant wealth, or being brought to absolute dependence upon daily supplies, if, in the latter case, I could have greater power to exhibit and to exert faith in Christ, I must confess that I should prefer the mode of living which would give me most room to enjoy the luxury of depending upon my God. I believe it is more happy and more divine a life to live from hand to mouth, dependant upon the provinces of God, and having the confidence to trust Him, than it is to have all the abundance of this world, but to have nothing about which faith may exercise itself." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
There it is! As I said, I used to echo these thoughts although not so eloquently. Do I want to trust God implicitly? Of course! Do I believe that He can provide all I need? Absolutely! Do I want abundant wealth in a worldly way? Definitely not!
So, as I find myself in uncertain waters, I am crying out to God to be the Great Provider. He has been that in the past for me and He will never change.
Living on the edge has made me edgy and that can be a good thing.
1. I could be on the edge of another God-thing...another miracle that has no explanation other than that God did it!
2. I could be on the edge of a breakthrough where I experience deeper intimacy with God than ever before.
3. I could be on the edge of a new career path...a new vocation where God continues to be at the center.
Or, in a negative sense:
1. I could be on the edge of financial ruin.
2. I could be on the edge of unexpected grief or pain.
3. I could be on the edge of something that could shatter hope.
So, as I begin a new day with my hand held firmly by a Sovereign God I will say, "Surely God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid." - Isaiah 12:2
Yes, the unknown is scary! Yes, I want to truthfully say what Spurgeon said! But, for now, I will say this, "Moment by moment I'm kept in His love." I'll choose to look at the positive "edges" and "expect great things from God."
Thanks for your prayers during my bumpy pilgrimage!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The posted picture shows the PEZ lady in an ad from a by-gone day.
I know a modern day PEZ lady. Actually she's a dispenser lady whose name is ROZ WINNEY. ROZ dispenses candies at her desk at the office where I work. She always has a great selection of mints, hard candies, life savers and other tasty treats. Need a bottle of Diet Pepsi? There are always a few at the dispenser lady's desk.
More important than the candies and drinks that are always in good supply, you can get more important, life-changing goodies at Roz's desk. Things that money can't buy. Encouragement, a word of prayer, a funny joke, a friendly smile, a verse of scripture to lift a troubled soul. Yes, Roz is a great dispenser of love, joy, peace and blessing and I count it a privilege to have my office next to hers.
And, by the way, Roz will often bring me a hot cup of Tim Horton's coffee and leave it at my door.
Thanks, Dispenser Lady. ROZ beats PEZ any day!
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Rat Poison? My cardiologist is recommending a change in my heart medication and so "rat poison" made it to the title.
Rickshaws? I don't have a clue. I had to add something that begins with R didn't I?
Well, here's my solution! I'll write about such a miscellaneous collection of unrelated things that something here might be of interest to someone. Will this post inspire or encourage? Hopefully? Will anyone get a much-needed laugh? I trust someone will. Will a few folks get angry? Maybe!
So here goes...in no specific order:
Things I think about when I'm driving, dozing or falling asleep in church:
Chicago loses out on bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics! Yeah! Rio de Janiero gets the games in spite of Obama and Oprah and hoopla going over to Helsinki or wherever they went. Why not save babies from the abortionist's scalpel instead of trying to secure the Olympics for the USA? That trip must have cost a penny or two.
Road Rage! Yesterday afternoon I tried coming home from Toronto early to beat the Friday afternoon traffic. I should have left at 5:45 in the morning. Oops, that's when I left Peterboorugh to drive in to work at SIM Canada. I left Toronto at 2:30 and arrived home at 9:15. Actually I stopped at two different malls to get the circulation moving in my legs from sitting still so long on Highway 401. Finally I turned around and went back to Toronto. Every alternate route I tried had resulted in more frustration. I went back to my room at work and waited it out. Lots of fun.
End of an Era? Yesterday's disclosure that the Toronto Blue Jays' players are upset with the management style of manager Cito Gaston caught some by surprise. Apparently a mutiny would be imminent if the season's end wasn't Sunday. Many sources say that Cito had "lost" the "room" or the clubhouse. I'm sure the players have their reasons. I must add that Cito has always been very supportive of my work with the players while I served with Baseball Chapel. During his 2nd term of office he has been very helpful and cordial.
The Jays' GM, J. P. Ricciardi, is apparently on his way out too. J. P., like Cito has been a great friend to me and I will be sad to see him go if he, in fact, moves on. Yes, it seems like it's the end of an era and I will miss these two classy men.
...to be continued when I think of more to write...
Shortly after posting these "Ruminations" I read that J. P. Ricciardi (pictured) has been fired by the Toronto Blue Jays. Farewell, good friend! Thanks for being in my corner for the last 8 seasons! I will miss you!
For more on J. P. check here.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
There is only one reason why I don't stop by to visit with Ann every day. That is due to the fact that she is such an incredible writer that I feel my work could never come close to matching hers. I know it's a crazy reason to miss out on her incredible perspective on life but...
Please go and see what she so poignantly, transparently and honestly writes. What a woman! What a great God she serves! Check out her site! If you don't know her God...He is worth discovering and you can do that here at Holy Experience.
I've gone fishing in the archive pond again. As I battle this present bout with depression I often find solace in things I have written in the past while I looked up from the bottom of the pit. Here's one from 2 years ago:
Long-time friends of the Pilgrim might recall this post from the "dark ages". This dreaded guest, clothed in black, came knocking again this weekend and especially this morning, causing me to recall this post. Through the support of friends and the Spirit of God I was able to right my ship before it hit the rocks. THANKS.
Here's that post:
Lately another guest, or maybe I should call him a predator has been lingering around my "house". The dreaded "D" word...depression... has been lurking. Many of you, no doubt, have had to deal with this unwelcome visitor.
Back in January I penned a brief "post" entitled Dark Night of the Soul. In the midst of our darkness may we experience His deliverance, His delight, His divine presence.
Dark Night of the Soul
"The peace of God which passes all understanding shall GUARD and GARRISON your hearts, through Christ Jesus our Lord." - Philippians 4:7
These words came to mind, I took pen in hand to capture them and I share them with you, my fellow pilgrims:
By faith I stand in Canaan's land
And trace the outline of His hand.
As fear and doubt encompass me
Jehovah-Jireh is my plea.
Into His hand my cares I thrust,
In Him alone I place my trust.
And when this present battle's done,
My faith renewed, the vict'ry won.
I'll praise Him for His outstretched hand
That pulled me from the sinking sand.
My faith still stands in no one less,
My sovereign God...His name I bless!
Thanks for your prayers today, dear pilgrim!
Monday, September 14, 2009
My friends over at The Blazing Center added this post to their site today and it fits right in with what I was feeling as I gazed heavenward on the weekend.
Please read on and then pause to thank God for who He is and for what He has done.
From The Blazing Center:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center estimates that there are 10 to the 21st power number of stars in space. That’s a 10 with 21 zeros following it. They can only estimate because the Hubble telescope can’t see all the stars that exist.
Depending on who you read, within the part of the universe we can observe, there are from 100 to 240 billion galaxies, each composed of billions of stars. In other words, we really have no idea how many stars there are. Astronomers can only guess.
Sometimes we can feel like God has forsaken us in this vast universe, or he has lost track of us. After all, how can God keep tabs on a single speck of dust amidst hundreds of billions of stars? Surely he’s got too much on his plate to be aware of our trifling troubles.
When Israel felt forsaken, God reminded them of his infinite power and care:
Lift up your eyes on high and see:who created these?He who brings out their host by number,calling them all by name,by the greatness of his might,and because he is strong in powernot one is missing.Why do you say, O Jacob,and speak, O Israel,“My way is hidden from the Lord,and my right is disregarded by my God”? (IS 40.26-27).
First God says he brings out every star by number, calls each by name, and never forgets what he called them. Next he says his infinite power guarantees that not one star in the whole universe ever goes missing. He never forgets nor loses track of the most far-flung star in the heavens.
Then God challenges his people, saying, “If I assign a specific number and name to each and every star and uphold each one by my might so that not a single one is ever lost, why do you say ‘My way is hidden from the Lord?’ If I don’t lose track of a single star, I won’t lose track of you. If my almighty power can uphold hundreds of billions of galaxies of untold numbers of stars, my power can certainly uphold you.”
Take heart, your way is not hidden from the Lord. He knows every detail in your life. He called you by name and he hasn’t forgotten you. You are more valuable to Jesus than all the stars in heaven, because he purchased you with his precious blood. He’s more concerned about a single one of his own children than all of the galaxies combined. I care infinitely more about the well-being of my children than all my possessions. How much more is God concerned for you.
God’s universe-sustaining might upholds you and he will preserve you to the end.
No one can snatch you out of his hand. He never takes his eyes off you, even when you are sleeping. He is continually and actively doing good to you moment by moment. He will certainly strengthen and help you and bring forth his glory in your life.
photo by Pipe F&FF
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This weekend the town is hosting a Memorial Celebration to commemorate the life of Joseph Scriven, best known for writing the lyrics to the popular hymn What A Friend We Have In Jesus. Scriven's life was marked by tragedy. After leaving Ireland following the tragic death of his fiancee on the eve of their wedding, Scriven settled in Port Hope, about 20 miles south of my hometown of Peterborough.
A monument to Scriven has been moved several times and it now stands in Memorial Park, complete with a new plaque that was unveiled today. The Honourable David C. Onley, The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and his wife Ruth Ann were present and David presided over the unveiling.
David and Ruth Ann are long-time friends of mine and David represents the Queen of England (see photo) at a variety of functions here in Ontario. He also champions the cause of disabled people who require greater levels of accessibility than others. David himself gets around in a motorized scooter. Not only does he represent the Queen well but he also is a committed Christian who takes opportunities to share his faith. His wife Ruth Ann is an accomplished soloist and is often present with David at functions like today's.
It was exciting to see Joseph Scriven, a godly, Christian man, get recognized in such a public forum. The ceremony was very tastefully done and many other events are taking place today and tomorrow. You can check out the happenings here on this web site.
George Hamilton IV (pictured), renowned country singer from Nashville, heard about the celebrations taking place this weekend and asked if he could participate...at his own expense. George, along with the Salvation Army Band, led the attendees in a rousing rendition of What A Friend We Have In Jesus. Thank you, George, for your desire to add your classiness to this event.
My friend, Paul Wilkinson, has become a very prolific blogger over at Thinking Out Loud. Be sure to check out his frequent, thought-provoking posts here. We had a good visit during the celebration.
And...don't forget that we have a wonderful friend in Jesus, the One who gave His life for our salvation.
POST SCRIPT: Blogging buddy Paul Wilkinson has now added a post concerning Joseph Scriven to his Thinking Out Loud blog. Check it out here!
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
"God marks across some of our days, 'Will explain later'."
So true! The explanations often aren't forthcoming and we can wait for years without getting the reasons or the answers. C. S. Lewis once said that the most-heard word when we finally get "home" will be "OH!". The explanations (if we even need them) will resolve all our misgivings, doubts and misunderstandings. Personally I believe that the reasons won't have to be articulated by our omniscient God. My sense is that we will instantly understand when we stand before the King of Glory. We won't need to know anything or anyone but Him. We will spend the "ages to come" enjoying the riches of His grace with all our questions left behind.
But, back to Vance Havner . . . I got to preaching there didn't I!
He writes, following the homecall of his beloved wife, "When before the throne we stand in Him complete, all the riddles that puzzle us here will fall into place and we shall know in fulfillment what we now believe in faith - that all things work together for good in His eternal purpose. No longer will we cry "My God, why?" Instead, "alas" will become "Alleluia". All question marks will be straightened into exclamation points, sorrow will change to singing and pain will be lost in praise."
Wow! Vance Havner certainly gives us something to think about and look forward to!
So, dear friends, are we willing to wait for God to explain later? Looking back we'll see that "His appointed way" was truly the best plan.
Eternal God, give us Your strength to stand against the enemies of doubt, defeat and discouragement. Through You we will find grace to help in time of need. Thank You, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN!
Monday, September 07, 2009
I have many fond memories of the years I spent ministering to those players. Many of them continue to be good friends and I stay in touch with as many of them as I can. Players like Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, Darren Fletcher, Tom Foley, Tim Burke, Doug Flynn, Andy McGaffigan, Terry Francona and many others.
One of those players, Kent Bottenfield, went on to be a very accomplished singer after his major league baseball career was over.
Check out his song I Can't Wait To Go Home here. You will be blessed.
God bless you, Kent!
Then he petitions God to respond.
Finally his tone takes an abrupt U turn and he praises God for His unfailing love, His salvation and His goodness.
May the final two verses of the Psalm be our testimony today even though our circumstances would cause us to ask "how long?".
"How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death
My enemy will say, "I have overcome him" and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD for he has been good to me."
Psalm 13 (NIV)
The U. S. Navy's Blue Angels acrobatic team were the star of the show and it was thrilling to watch them do their magic over the waterfront by Ontario Place. The sound of six (6) F-18's flying in formation at low altitude gave me a "rush" that's hard to explain.
I've always loved airplanes and I've always enjoyed watching planes landing and taking off at airports. I'm also a NASCAR fan and often the beginning of a race is announced with a fighter jet flying overhead just as the drivers are told to start their engines.
The Air Show was exceptional at the CNE and we were glad we made the effort to be there!