Thursday, October 29, 2009

Going Without...For a Year

Recently I read about a guy who went for a year without using toilet paper. Oops, I should have used another word instead of "went". That pun was NOT intended.

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
That's just a start. Send me your lists.

What couldn't you do without for a year?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lowe-Down on the Kawartha Komets

Dale Lowe from the local radio station KRUZ FM is one of many interested/concerned/compassionate citizens who have jumped onboard the Komet and are riding with us as we launch out. Dale posted the following article on his blog The Lowe - Down and we thank him for his support and encouragement.

Dale writes:

On the surface, it may have looked like any typical Saturday morning at the Kinsmen arena - - a church league game on one ice pad...a practise on the other. But, if you looked closely at that group of youngsters practising, you got to witness a dream become a reality.

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 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 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.

The Kawartha Komets will play an exhibition game this Sunday afternoon at the Kinsmen (2pm). Hope you can drop by and give them some moral support in the stands.

God Understands

Several weeks ago the Lord gave me the melody to a song as I drove home to Peterborough from my position with SIM Canada in Scarborough, ON. I couldn't wait to get to my mother's home to play it on the piano to "lock" the tune into my mind.

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 understand
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

Afraid? Dismayed?

For the past year I have subscribed to an excellent blog, The Blazing Center. These posts are written by Mark and Stephen Altrogge and I've been blessed, comforted and challenged by their writing. This week Mark wrote a post entitled Afraid? Dismayed? It touched my heart right where I am.

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

A Difficult Confession

The following post was written over four (4) years ago but the struggles I chronicled then are even more exaggerated as I re-issue this post. I received numerous comments when this was first published and, hopefully, it will elicit some serious thought again. God bless you as you read.

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.

For example...

Positively speaking:

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 Dispenser Lady

Do a Google search for PEZ, click on "images" and you'll find pages and pages of pictures of PEZ candy dispensers that have been produced over the years. Most of us have had a PEZ dispenser at one time or another. The PEZ candies weren't that exciting or least I thought they weren't. The fun was in getting them out of the dispenser, whether it was Elvis, Mickey Mouse or Bart Simpson who was dishing them out.

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

Ruminations, Rat Poison and Rickshaws

What do you write about when you have nothing to write about or you can't break out of the dreaded writer's block? Well, there's always a multitude of things to ruminate on...thus the "ruminations" in this post's title.

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 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. 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.