Wednesday, April 29, 2009

No Show

Here's an update on the unveiling of the picture of Barack Obama that was to have taken place today. The artist canceled the showing after receiving so many e-mails from those who were offended by the picture. I'm glad! He is NOT the Messiah! JESUS is! - David

Here's that update:

A New York artist has canceled the public showing of his portrait of President Obama after receiving a barrage of angry e-mails condemning the religious nature of the work.

"The Truth," a painting by Michael D'Antuono, was scheduled to go on view Wednesday in Union Square in Manhattan to mark the president's first 100 days in office.

The work depicts Obama in a crucifix pose and wearing a crown of thorns, with the presidential seal in the background.

The artist said that he intended to display the acrylic painting in a mock voting booth, with viewers lining up to see it one by one. The booth would have been located on the south side of Union Square, near the Whole Foods grocery store.

"It was supposed to provoke political dialogue," the artist told Culture Monster on Monday. "I wanted to start a discussion. Is Obama being crucified by the right? Do people think he's the next savior?"

D'Antuono said he has received more than 1,000 e-mails, the vast majority of which criticize the use of Christian symbolism in the painting.

"I canceled the showing out of respect for religion. It was not meant to offend so many people," he said. "I don't think it would be helpful to the cause of unity to show it."

-- David Ng

New Life

Welcome to a brand new day, friends! I just HAD to add a new post so I wouldn't see that disgusting representation of Barack Obama each time I came back to Pilgrim Scribblings.

This photo of the blue flowers represents NEW LIFE which we have in and through the person of Jesus Christ.

He has redeemed us and given us everything we need for life and godliness. A great transaction took place at Calvary. He took our sins, which were many, and gave us His life which is eternal.

Have a good and godly day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


What is our world coming to? These certainly are perilous times as we witness the decline of Judeo-Christian values in every segment of society. If we fixate on the troubles around us instead of fixing our eyes on Jesus we will despair. Knowing Him and trusting Him will redeem us from the sin that surrounds us. Run to the Father and find forgiveness in Him. "Father, forgive us, for forsaking the way of truth!"

Here are some news items from the last week or so:

"Newsweek" recently did a cover story saying the Christianity has less influence on our culture today than at anytime in our nation's history. (That probably explains all of the following.)

The president, contradicting every previous American president who addressed the issue, told leaders overseas that America is not a "Christian nation."

Connecticut has become the fourth state to legalize homosexual "marriage."

Miss California, Carrie Prejean, had the God-given honesty and fortitude to repond to a question by saying "marriage should be between a man and a woman." By all analysis, it cost her the Miss USA title. But the homosexual activist judge subjected her to a barrage of vulgarisms and obscenities. Guess who got interviewed on the networks. Yep, the gay activist.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a memo describing conservatives, particularly anti-abortion (pro-life) conservatives, as possible terrorist threats. (So, how does it feel to be a "potential terrorist?")

Democrats in Congress say they're just about to push through Congress the "Freedom of Choice Act" which would eliminate all abortion restrictions. (That helps explain the previous item.)

The government will allow the "morning after" abortion pill to girls as young as 17 without a prescription. (Are you sensing a theme here?)

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.) just vetoed a popular pro-life bill, the 2009 Late-Term and Partial-Birth Abortion Regulation Act, in her state. And now, financially supported by one of the nation's leading abortionists, she may become the nation's Secretary of Health and Human Services. (She'll fit right in.)

The House Judiciary Committee passed the "hate crimes" bill (discussed here last week) which could result in prosecution if you or your pastor quotes Bible passages saying homosexuality is sinful behavior and someone is (heaven forbid) offended.

The FCC is considering rules that would "require equal time to contrary opinions on controversial issues," according to Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice. He notes that the proclamation of the Gospel, the definition of marriage and the issue of abortion would all be deemed "controversial topics," increasing the flood of immoral opinions on the air — or the cessation of Christian values reporting. Christian broadcasters would be especially vulnerable.

Georgetown University, a Jesuit institution, was forced by the White House to cover over the monogram "IHS," signifying the name of Christ, before the president would speak there.

Tomorrow a painting (pictured) is to be unveiled in New York City's Union Square depicting Barack Obama with his arms outstretched and wearing a crown of thorns. The "messiah painting" by Michael D'Antuono, is entitled "The Truth." (Could this relate to the previous item?)

The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted 89-69 to keep a requirement that its officers practice "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness." (Why did there even need to be a vote on this? And why in the world was it so close?)
Here's what the Scriptures say:

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." - 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ESV)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Birthday Celebration

Mike Fisher celebrated his father's birthday by picking up another goal in Canada's 9-0 thrashing of Hungary at the World Championships in Zurich, Switzerland today!


Keep up the good work! That won't be hard! You NEVER quit!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, brother Jim!

Mike reports from Switzerland:

"The atmosphere is starting to build for us here at the world hockey championship and guys are really excited as we head into our second game today against Hungary. We're in Zurich and it's a great place to play and all the fans are great. They are constantly waving flags and doing chants. It's like a soccer match atmosphere, which is pretty cool. The Swiss really love their hockey.

It's such an honour to play for Team Canada. While it was disappointing for us to be out of the playoffs in Ottawa, having a chance to play for the gold for your country is an amazing experience. In 2005, I played at the world championship in Austria and we won a silver, which was disappointing but still a great experience. It was the first time I played for Canada and I learned a lot. Any time you get the opportunity to represent your country, it's an honour

Playing on the big international ice changes the game, for sure. I do think it suits my style and I'm always trying to use my speed to generate chances. Many countries are used to the big ice and have some great systems that we don't see back home.

Game one for us on Friday, I thought, was a great start. We started a little slow against Belarus but got better as the game went on and guys seemed to get a little more comfortable playing with each other. As a team, we seem to be getting more comfortable with each other as the tourney goes on and I feel we have a great mix of guys and I think we should do well."

Remembering William Cowper

Of all the Christian leaders from a bygone era, the one I can most readily identify with is the troubled poet/hymnwriter, William Cowper (pronounced Cooper).

Cowper battled deep depression for much of his life and attempted suicide on more than one occasion. Don't get me wrong, I haven't gone that far but I certainly can understand his pain.

While visiting England two years ago I made a special effort to visit the town of Olney where Cowper lived for part of his life. See the picture of Cowper's "Summer House" where he penned some of his best hymns and poems. John Newton and Cowper were close friends and Newton, by his encouragement of Cowper, likely kept him from further pain and heartache.

Check out this link for a short video clip concerning Cowper

Here's a quote delivered John Newton at Cowper's funeral:

"I don’t know a person upon earth I consult upon a text of Scripture or any point of conscience so much to my satisfaction as Mr. Cowper. He could give comfort though he could not receive any himself. He was not only a comfort to me but a blessing to the affectionate poor people among whom I then lived. He used frequently to visit them and pray with them. I had the honor to be rector over a set of poor plain people chiefly lace makers. Their great confinement caused in them great depression of spirits. They used to say, “O Sir if I was right, sure I should not feel so.” But they well knew Mr. Cowper: they knew he was right, and from him they could take comfort."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can't Sleep?

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand." - John 10:27-29

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Courageous Heart of Irene Sendler

My favourite "made for television" movies are from the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Tonight their latest offering is being aired on CBS television at 9:00 p.m. EST.

Here's a press release from Hallmark concerning The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler. Hope you can see it tonight!

~ David

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (March 19, 2009) — The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, the 236th presentation of the Hallmark Hall of Fame, recounts the inspiring true story of the brave woman who helped save the lives of 2,500 Jewish babies and young children in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Academy Award winner Anna Paquin (The Piano, True Blood) plays the title role; another Academy Award winner, Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock, In From the Night), plays her mother, Janina. Goran Visnjic (ER) is Stefan, a friend from Irena’s university days who helps Irena and her underground network map out strategies and routes to smuggle the children out of the ghetto.

The film premieres on CBS Sunday, April 19, 2009, 9-11 p.m. PT/ET.

Irena Sendler was a Catholic social worker, but used fake identification to pass herself off as a nurse, which allowed her to enter and exit the walled-off ghetto with relative ease. She used that advantage to mount the daring and dangerous operation to smuggle children to safety.

Finally, in 1943, the Gestapo arrested Sendler. She spent three months in captivity, undergoing interrogation and torture. She betrayed no one. After she was sentenced to death, a guard – bribed by the Polish resistance movement – freed her.

Irena Sendler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, and died at age 98 in May 2008. While alive, she was never comfortable being singled out for special recognition. She always reminded people that smuggling and then protecting all those children represented a collective effort on the part of many brave souls, including couriers, nuns, priests and Polish families, to say nothing of the close-knit band of mostly women who were part of her underground smuggling network.

Anna Paquin researched the life and times of Irena Sendler before filming began in November 2008, in Riga, Latvia.

“She was extraordinarily strong,” Paquin says, “and extraordinarily modest. She had no sense of being in any way special or heroic. She was angry about what was happening to the Jews she knew personally, and the thousands more she didn’t know. She said the only way she could live through that terrible time was to do something. She felt she had no choice.”

Paquin continues, “When she was asked years later, ‘Weren’t you scared?’ she answered, ‘Yes – but my anger was stronger!’

“It speaks to her sense of mission and her sense of humility that for the rest of her life, looking back on those war years, she felt she hadn’t done enough.”

Marcia Gay Harden says Irena Sendler and her fellow smugglers weren’t the only individuals worthy of praise during that troubled time.

“Equally amazing, I think,” Harden says, “is the courage of the mothers and fathers who kissed their babies one last time and then parted with them, so they’d have a chance to live. I think everybody who sees this film will ask themselves if they would have had the courage to do that.”

Asked to describe Anna Paquin’s performance in the lead role, Marcia Gay Harden says, “Anna is portraying more than the nobility of Irena Sendler. She’s portraying the humanity of Irena Sendler.”

The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler is written by John Kent Harrison and Lawrence John Spagnola, based on the book The Mother of the Holocaust Children by Anna Mieszkowska.

John Kent Harrison directs. This is his sixth Hallmark Hall of Fame film; previous projects include William Faulkner’s Old Man, What the Deaf Man Heard and The Water Is Wide. Jeff Rice (The Watcher), Jeff Most (The Specialist) and Brent Shields (Front of the Class) are the executive producers. It is from Jeff Most/Jeff Rice Productions and Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, Inc.


This is the 1800th post here on Pilgrim Scribblings.

A lot scribbling by a struggling, fumbling pilgrim on his journey "home".

I trust you have received some benefit from these scattered thoughts.

May the God who called you to Himself give you His peace and His hope as you walk with Him today!

Every blessing in Christ,

~ David

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Bookstore Challenge

My friend Paul Wilkinson from Thinking Out Loud wrote the following observation recently and posted it on his blog. I challenge you to take the Bookstore Challenge THIS WEEK. Next week might be too late. Your local Christian bookstore might have a CLOSED sign draped over the door or, even worse, BANKRUPTCY SALE!

Paul writes:

Last night, I spent about twenty minutes checking out a number of Christian blogs that feature book reviews. Right now, the hot title is Tullian Tchividjian’s new book Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different.

Letting my mouse hover above the links on these different blogs, each one directed readers to Amazon. Christian leaders — or perhaps the Christian community in general — have ceded sales to Amazon the same as local restaurants have stopped making coffee and ceded sales to Starbucks.

This makes me rather sad.

That’s why I’m inviting my readers to take the BS Challenge, or more fully, the Book Store Challenge. I’m challenging you over the next seven days to visit — if your community still has one — your local Christian bookstore.

The Christian bookstore model served us well for over half a century. These stores provide a storefront gateway to local churches, parachurch ministries and Christian counselors in the center of the marketplace. They provide an additional level of discernment, determining what Christian products reached homes, schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. They pass on knowledge and insight when a young person or new believer is buying their first Bible that no online service can begin to match.

I’m not saying you have to buy anything. Your mere presence registers a vote with the store staff that such places still have relevance to your community. Simply check out some books. Read the back covers. Flip through the table of contents. Visit the sale section. Check out the Christian music section. All things that, granted, you can do online.

Look at the larger retail environment and you’ll see that among retail sectors — housewares, hardware, linens, pet supplies, greeting cards, toys, sporting goods — no one is taking a hit as hard as sellers of books and music. Unfortunately, Christian stores are getting swept up in the paradigm shift brought about by technological change. But nothing online can fill the ‘ministry gap’ this is leaving in cities and towns.

If the issue is truly ‘price’ then ask the store management if they’ll match the price on a particular webpage. The store where I work will do this with quantity orders for churches. Some have the right to decline. We feel it’s better to make only ten cents per book and keep the communication alive than to lose contact completely.

But if it’s just about price, that’s sad, because the books and resources at issue are truly priceless. To make price the issue simply diminishes the integrity of the product.

Either way, take the BS Challenge in the next seven days. Target a Christian bookstore in your community and determine that your visit’s purpose is to bless the store, if not by your purchase, at least by your presence.

The loss of a Christian bookstore in your community won’t just be a loss to the owners; it would be a loss to every local church, parachurch organization and every unchurched person who at some point in the future will need a first-contact, marketplace location from which to connect to the larger Body of Christ.

Take the Bookstore Challenge this week.

Post script from David:

On a similar note, check out a previous post I wrote several months ago entitled The Late Great Christian Bookstore. Check it out here.

And...further to that...If you live in the Peterborough, Ontario area, please make sure you visit Emmaus Family Books and say "hi" to my friend Jim Rose. Emmaus Family Books is located in the Market Plaza on the main street, George Street, just south of the Holiday Inn.

The address is an easy as 1,2,3 to remember...123 George Street North.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Today I received another excellent post from Stephen Altrogge over at The Blazing Center and it bears repeating, as do many of his posts.

He writes:

I’ve been rereading The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel, and this morning he reminded me that we should be grateful for God’s providence in delivering us from sin and temptation.

Sometimes God gives us an affliction to prevent us from sinning. He gave Paul an excruciating “thorn in the flesh” to keep him from pride.

Sometimes he sends a brother or sister to rescue us from doing something foolish, like when he sent Abigail to stop David from rashly killing her idiot husband Nabal.

Sometimes the Spirit himself speaks to us to avert us from derailing. When I was single, an attractive unbeliever invited me to go horseback riding and hang out with her at her home. But the Spirit spoke the verse, “Do not go near the door of her house” (PR 5.8) to my heart, and mercifully, I declined. God spared me from potential disaster.

Sometimes God withholds wealth or success because of the many temptations they can bring. Nothing like a rebellious child to keep us from congratulating ourselves on our parenting. Nothing like being needy to keep us from self-sufficiency.

We have no idea of the thousands of times God has spared us from falling into the devil’s snares. Let’s spend a few minutes today thanking Jesus for his providence that hems and hedges us in and keeps us from the pit of destruction.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Is Risen

This says it all!



Friday, April 10, 2009

Soul Revival

One of the blogs I subscribe to is Stephen Altrogge's The Blazing Center. He always serves up something to challenge me. His latest was no exception.

Stephen writes:

“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;” (Psalms 19:7 ESV)

Do you ever feel like you need to have your soul revived? I do. All the time. For example:

When I’m in the midst of an exhausting week. Work is stretching me thin and I’ve got meetings every night.

  • My proposed “soul-revival” solution: A couch, a bag of chips, and a greasy remote control.
  • God’s solution: The soul-reviving Word of God.

When I’m discouraged by my sin. My life seems like one, big sin carnival, except that there are no clowns and no one is laughing. I had a conflict with Jen, thought horrible, judgmental thoughts about a friend, and I’ve been doing devotions-lite for the past week. Will I ever grow?

  • My proposed solution: Usually some form of resolution like, “I’m not going to ever miss my devotions again and I’ll serve Jen twice as much this week.”
  • God’s solution: The condemnation-killing promises of the Word of God.

When my heart is cold toward God. Reading the Bible feels like reading an owners manual for a dishwasher. I can almost see my prayers dripping from my mouth onto the floor. I would rather watch television than go to small group.

  • My proposed solution: An incredible spiritual experience involving either tongues of fire or lightning from the heavens.
  • God’s solution: The living, active, sharp Word of God which has power to revive my affections.

All we need for life and godliness is found in the pages of scripture. My soul won’t be revived by couch-time, spiritual resolutions, or tongues of fire. My soul will be revived when I sit down, open my Bible, and prayerfully meditate on the Word of God.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The BIG Question

Recently we were challenged during our devotional time at SIM Canada with this question:

"Are you FURTHERING or FRUSTRATING God's purposes?" about it? What is your answer? What is mine?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Two Newspaper Articles Concerning Kawartha Komets & Matthew Fisher

The following article's featuring our son Matthew appeared in our local newspaper this week. The first one was printed in Peterborough This Week today. The 2nd appeared in the Peterborough Examiner on Wednesday, April 1st (and it wasn't an April Fool's joke).

Date: 2009-04-02

By Todd Vandonk, Sportswriter, Peterborough This Week

The sight was enough to make cry.

He had never been picked for a team before.

But that didn't matter this day. Nor did the fact he has Asperger's Syndrome.

No experience was necessary. There were no tryouts to worry about. Age and sex were irrelevant.

You didn't even have know how to skate.

And when Carol Fisher saw her 13-year-old son Matthew sporting a hockey jersey for the first time, well the sight was enough to make her cry.

It was a dream come true.

Because, if you wanted to play in the Special Hockey International (SHI) league, all you needed was the one thing Matthew had - passion.

His interest in hockey grew through playing hockey on the X-Box.

He tried sledge hockey with the Peterborough Blazers. It wasn't for him. He wanted to skate. He wanted to score goals like his cousin and Ottawa Senator forward Mike Fisher. He wanted stop pucks like his cousin Greg Fisher with Quinnipiac University.

And, three years ago, he got that opportunity when he played his first game with SHI's Don Mills Diamonds.

"I have seen him come a million miles," mother says about her son.

"People have said that kids with Asperger's Syndrome aren't team players but he has proven them wrong."

Matthew also has become more social, and confident since joining the league.

Mrs. Fisher wants other special needs kids to have the same opportunities as her son. Backed by Five Counties Children's Centre, the Peterborough Community Church Hockey League and MPP Jeff Leal, Mrs. Fisher and her husband David are launching the Kawartha Komets. The team will play in the SHI.

"A lot of parents with special needs children don't put their kids into organized sports," explains Mrs. Fisher.

"It's a great opportunity for the kids to shine."

The league features 25 teams across Canada and 60 in the U.S. Players develop skating, passing and shooting skills. But most importantly they're playing.

"Some learn by the end of their first year, while others take years," explains Mrs. Fisher.
"As long as they can stand on skates they can play."

On Saturday (April 2), Matthew's current team, the Dom Mills Diamonds, will host the Durham Dragons at the Memorial Centre in a demonstration game. Game time is 6:30 p.m. There will be a booth set up at the rink with registration information available. You can also call Mrs. Fisher, 750-0655.

Here's the 2nd article, The Sky's the Limit with Komets, written by Greg Davis, Sports Editor, which appeared in the Peterborough Examiner on Wednesday:

Tears of joy flowed down Carol Fisher's face the day her son Matthew first donned a hockey jersey and stepped onto the ice.

And now the proud Peterborough mother wants other parents of special-needs youth to share in that emotion.

Matthew, now 13, is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder that causes significant difficulties in social interaction and behaviour. His mother says he never had an interest in hockey until learning about the sport through a video game. He then had aspirations of becoming a star like his cousins, forward Mike Fisher of the NHL's Ottawa Senators and goalie Greg (Bud) Fisher with Quinnipiac University.

Choices are limited in Peterborough when it comes to hockey for special-needs youth. Carol explored the Kawartha Blazers Sledge Hockey League and the Peterborough Community Church Hockey League, both of which offered support.

However, she wanted her son to be at more level playing field.

Her search extended online where she discovered a Sunday league in Oshawa (the Durham Dragons Special Hockey) and a Saturday league in the Toronto area (the Don Mills Diamonds), both part of Special Hockey International.

Special Hockey International, featuring 25 teams across Canada and 60 in the U. S., provides hockey for male and female players who wouldn't have the opportunity to play on a regular team due to neurological and/or developmental challenges such as autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Attentiondeficit/ hyperactivity disorder.

The goal of Special Hockey International is simple: To enhance a player's gross motor skills, social skills, confidence and the ability to play the game.

"I just lost it," said Fisher recalling Matthew's first day on ice with the Diamonds. "This was a dream come true for me. It's very difficult for a parent with a child with challenges because the day your child is diagnosed, some of your dreams die."

With the support and endorsement of the PCCHL, MPP Jeff Leal and Five Counties Children's Centre, Fisher is creating a special-needs team for local youth called the Kawartha Komets which will play under Special Hockey International.

The Komets, open for all developmentally challenged youth, will begin this September with practices and games versus other teams under the Special Hockey International umbrella.

There's no age limit or experience necessary and the rules are also modified with the elimination ADHA) and Tourette Syndrome. of icing, offsides and body checking.

"This is an opportunity for parents to see their kid shine at their own level in whatever way they can," said Fisher.

"It might only be standing in front of a net trying to shoot a puck, but for some kids that's not a reality right now."

Since Matthew began hockey, beginning as a goalie but now playing out of the net to improve his skating, Fisher says his self-esteem has "sky rocketed."

"He is more confident, more social," she said. "He has become more caring, more compassionate towards others and more self-disciplined."

Fisher says her son is challenging his diagnosis.

"They say kids with Asperger's Syndrome aren't team players and Matthew has proven them wrong," she said. "He definitely is a team player. A lot of parents don't put their kids into organized sports because we've been told they're not team players. The sky is the limit with these kids."

This Saturday Fisher is inviting parents and their special-needs youth to visit the Memorial Centre for a demonstration hockey game between the Diamonds and Dragons.

The contest begins at 6:30 p. m. and Fisher will have a booth set up at the arena to provide information on the Komets.

"Most of the kids we'll get in this league have never worn a team jersey of any kind -- they have never been part of a team because no one has ever wanted them to be a part of a team," she said.

"They're always the last kid picked and the first one picked on. This is an opportunity for kids that have never shone to shine."

NOTES: For more information on the Kawartha Komets special-needs hockey team, or to offer services as a volunteer contact Carol Fisher at 750-0655 or email at Carol is the wife of David Fisher, the Hockey Ministries International Chapel Leader for the Peterborough Petes.... Carol says her husband suggested the Komets team name, although originally they were going to choose Peterborough Pythons, but that name was in use by another special-needs team.

Special-needs hockey

What: Free demonstration game of special-needs hockey between the Durham Dragons and Don Mills Diamonds
When: Saturday, 6:30 p. m.
Where: Memorial Centre
Why: Promote the sport for the new Kawartha Komets team in Peterborough
How to join the Komets: Call Carol and David Fisher at 750-0655 or email at

Check out The Kawartha Komets web site at: