Saturday, December 31, 2011

Humanity's Hope

As we bid 2011 good bye and usher in a New Year, we are very much aware that Jesus truly is the only HOPE for humanity.

He came to give us life, a meaningful life with purpose.  He brought forgiveness, redemption, peace and HOPE.

Apart from JESUS life is pointless and without purpose...without HOPE.

My prayer for you is that you will entrust your life to JESUS and accept all He has to offer in 2012.

You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Believe

Morning's Greeting

This is the scene we woke up to this morning.  

I must admit, it's beautiful but the scraping and shoveling to get ready to leave for work weren't much fun...for Carol.

She did most of it...I must confess.

I guess we're not going to avoid winter after all.

While getting ready for work these words came to mind so I wrote them down.

There's a song in there somewhere...I think!

God still cares for His own,
Rivers of mercy still flow from His throne;
When you are anxious and feel all alone
God is still on His throne.

Let's remember that today!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Incarnation Mysteries

Thanks to Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience for posting these profound truths. 

We will never fully understand and comprehend the length, breadth and depth of His love:

”He was poor, that he might make us rich.
He was born of a virgin that we might be born of God.
He took our flesh, that he might give us His Spirit.
He lay in the manger, that we may lie in paradise.
He came down from heaven, that he might bring us to heaven….                                                                                             that the ancient of Days should be born.
that he who thunders in the heavens should cry in the cradle….
that he who rules the stars should suck the breast;
that a virgin should conceive;
that Christ should be made of a woman, and of that woman which himself made,
that the branch should bear the vine,
that the mother should be younger than the child she bare,
and the child in the womb bigger than the mother;
that the human nature should not be God, yet one with God

Christ taking flesh is a mystery we shall never fully understand till we come to heaven

If our hearts be not rocks, this love of Christ should affect us . 

Behold love that passeth knowledge!”

~Thomas Watson

Birthday Blessings

Merry Christmas to all our Pilgrim Scribblings readers.

May God's peace be yours today as you remember the birth of His only begotten Son, Jesus!

Every blessing in Christ,

David Fisher

Saturday, December 24, 2011

No Song

Christmas Eve view from my office
Seven years ago I penned a poem that I often re-post during the Christmas season.  I pray that there will be a song in your heart this Christmas as you recall that holy night.

THERE WAS NO SONG

There was no song
In David’s town that evening;
Where God incarnate
Graced a rustic stall.
Tired and taxed they came
For Caesar’s census;
So unaware that roy’lty
Would call.

Then angels told
The shepherds of His coming;
They came to see
Emmanuel, God’s Son.
That dark, cold night
Welcomed Christ the Savior;
And glory reigned
Before the night was done.

He came to bring
Salvation and forgiveness;
For which the world
Had waited oh so long.
The Christ of God
The Hope of all the ages;
Brought peace on earth
And birthed a brand new song.

And now by faith
In Christ the King of Glory;
We are assured one day
In heav’n a place.
‘Til then we’ll journey
On our way rejoicing;
And some day soon
We’ll see Him face to face.

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 – December 13, 2004

Friday, December 23, 2011

Walking Home

Bruce and Paul Mackay
Here's a "feel-good" story about two friends of mine, Bruce and Paul Mackay.  Enjoy!

Mom's lesson leads to son's giving


By Luke Hendry


Bruce Mackay's mother taught him a lesson he never forgot.And on Friday, he used that message to help others.

Mackay, 40, walked from his office at Mackay Insurance on Dundas Street East to his home in Corbyville, a distance of eight to nine kilometres. And though he raised more than $2,000 for local charities, that wasn't really Mackay's goal.

Twenty-five years earlier, on Dec. 23, 1986, Mackay had borrowed the keys to his mother Margaret's vehicle. The family had a long driveway, and Mackay would drive the family vehicle up and down it to practice for his driving test that January.

But on that day, Mackay's father, David, dropped him off at the mall; Margaret would pick up her son after his haircut. Except Bruce had her keys in his pocket. He called home — and didn't like what he heard.

"I think you need to learn a lesson," Margaret said. "You need to walk." He did, heading north to Blessington Road. And every Dec. 23 since, he called his mother to remind her of what she did; they always shared a laugh about it.

"Last year she said, 'Are you ever going to let that thing go?'" he said Friday, laughing. "I said, 'No.'"

Margaret died in August; Bruce did the eulogy. "And now, you've gone 'home' and I'm left, once again, to walk alone," he said in closing.

Since Friday marked the 25th anniversary of that first walk, Mackay decided to repeat it, though the distance would be greater. He told his family about it, asking for donations to the Christmas Sharing Program. It provides food to people in need.

Margaret Mackay had long been pushing her family to forego their annual Christmas lunch in favour of donations to charity. "I was hoping to raise a couple hundred bucks," he said.

About an hour before Mackay started his walk, Sharing co-ordinator Joan Elsasser was updating The Intelligencer about the program's progress. She said all the food had been delivered, but the campaign was $2,000 short of its $18,000 goal.

An hour later, Mackay counted his donations prior to his walk. He was clearly humbled to learn he totalled more than $2,000 for Christmas Sharing and $170 for the Salvation Army.

"It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I hear that's what they needed," he said. I'm very grateful. It's humbling." "Isn't that cool?!" said Paul Mackay, Bruce's brother. "Mom's up there stirring things up."

Back at the Sharing office, Elsasser's voice went up an octave upon learning the needed funds had been raised.

"Isn't that just amazing! Wonderful!" she said. "There is a Santa Claus." Less than two weeks ago the program had been 20 per cent short of the target. But donations kept coming, Elsasser said. In total about 1,300 food baskets or grocery vouchers were distributed.

About 115 people had registered for the Community Christmas Dinner Sunday at noon at the Salvation Army Church (Bridge Street West at Palmer Road). As many as 150 are expected.

Volunteers also registered hundreds of children for the Belleville Professional Firefighters' Toy Drive. Bruce Mackay, though, didn't quite learn his mother's lesson as well as he could have.

His wife, Tanya, was planning to be present as Bruce and Paul began the walk.
The problem: someone had taken her keys accidentally.

"I had a good laugh about that," Bruce said. "I think Mom's laughing, too."
lhendry@intelligencer.ca

Christian Bookstores

 My friend, author and blogger, Tim Challies, posted an article regarding Christian bookstores recently that I took exception to.  Does that change how I feel about Tim?  Not at all!  I concur with some of his points and disagree with others.  Check out Tim's post here.
 
Fellow pilgrims who regularly read Pilgrim Scribblings will already know my perspective on Christian bookstores.

Here is my response to Tim Challies" article:

Having owned a Christian bookstore for 15 years...before Amazon, Chapters and CBD were a factor, I have strong opinions about "Christian" bookstores.

It was a challenge to satisfy customers from varying denominational perspectives.  Some of the charismatic books that customers wanted me to stock were downright BAD. 

Customers often complained that we didn't have enough stock.  They seemed to expect our small store to carry every "Christian" title on the publishers' backlists.  Not possible!  No chance!

It was always disappointing that a large segment of the local and area Christian population rarely frequented our store.  I could sit in church and count on two hands the members of our congregation who faithfully dropped in to the store.

Looking back, I thank God that friendships were forged within those walls that will last a lifetime.  One of my best friends came into the store the day after he was converted to Christ and is still thankful that we were there.

Customers were led to a saving faith in Christ in our store.  Struggling Christians were prayed for and encouraged.  That doesn't happen with Amazon and Chapters mail order purchases.

Another question begs to be answered.  "Am I a more faithful steward of God's resources if I purchase online at a discounted price rather than supporting our local Christian bookseller and paying full price?  I struggle to find an answer.  I just don't know.

So the battle rages on.  While our community has a Christian bookstore I will be a faithful customer.  I'm blessed when I pay the store a visit.  I don't buy "gospel garbage", "Jesus junk" or "holy hardware" but I try to be an encouragement to the owner and other customers who I meet in the store.

Choose what you want to do but please don't complain when your local Christian bookstore closes its doors...forever.

Note:  Our local Christian bookstore is Emmaus Family Books located in the Market Plaza across from the marina on Little Lake.  Drop in and tell Jim Rose that I sent you!

Justus Encounter

Three years ago I wrote a short story for publication in a book that our writers' group put together.  The story was entitled The Justus Encounter.  With Christmas just around the corner I wanted to share this story again.

The Justus Encounter 


Greetings, friend. My name is Justus. Each year at this time my mind drifts back to that bitterly cold night when deity took on humanity in a musty animal stall behind an inn in Bethlehem.

We were the last family to secure lodging inside the bustling hotel. When my wife Sarah, my daughter Eunice and I arrived every room was spoken for. The innkeeper graciously lent us a small cot, one blanket and a resting place in the corner of the entrance hall.

Our family had journeyed to Bethlehem to be accounted for. Caesar Augustus had ordered a census be taken throughout the Roman empire requiring citizens to travel to their ancestral hometown. We lived in Bethany, a little to the northeast of Bethlehem, and had traveled by foot to “the city of David”. I was thirty years old at the time and little Eunice was just an infant.

Exhausted from the trek, Sarah and Eunice quickly dozed off. I sat on the floor by the cot but sleep eluded me. About an hour later another road-weary couple burst into the inn. The woman was obviously “great with child” and her husband – I assumed they were married – requested a room. The tired innkeeper advised them that there were no vacancies but that they could find shelter in a stable behind the inn. He offered them a horse blanket or two to ward off the cold but they declined. As they left I felt constrained to hand them our only blanket, the one the innkeeper had lent us. They hesitated momentarily but accepted my offer. I finally nodded off to sleep, my head resting on the corner of Sarah’s cot.

After a brief nap I awoke to the raucous clatter of a dozen or more shepherds. Some even had lambs in their arms as they burst into the inn. They were talking excitedly and inquired where the Saviour, the Messiah, could be found. The innkeeper, hearing the commotion, stumbled to the counter. “Where’s the Messiah?”, they queried. “A host of angels announced on a hillside outside of town that a baby has been born in a manger and He is to be our saviour.”  The bewildered innkeeper re-directed them to the stable out back. 

The sheep herders had awakened Sarah and little Eunice with their exuberance. Eunice was crying and Sarah was frustrated by the interruption. Me? I was wishing they’d hurry up and go out to the stable to find this promised Messiah. 

Imagine a band of angels announcing a newborn King to a motley crew of shepherds. Sounded kind of crazy to me. Guess I’m a sceptic at the best of times. I get irritated by people who get their directions from heavenly voices. The commotion died down as the shepherds went to investigate but then built to a crescendo as they discovered that the Messiah had, in fact, been born in a cattle manger of all places. They woke everyone in the inn, the whole town I’m sure.  We didn’t get back to sleep. What a night! 

The next morning we registered for the census after sunrise but I was grumpy for the rest of the day. You know how you get when you don’t have a good night’s rest, when you’re in someone else’s bed or on the floor.

This Messiah, Jesus, grew up in his father’s home in Nazareth. Mary and Joseph were his parents, the couple I had given the blanket to. I discovered later that they weren’t even married that night. Scandalous! I learned that she had become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Now that was hard to believe! I’d never heard anything like that before but, as I said, I was sceptical of everything.

Back in Bethany we heard a lot about this man called Jesus. He helped in His father’s carpenter shop until he was about thirty years old. Then he began preaching around the countryside. He visited our town several times. Mary, Martha and Lazarus, neighbours of ours, were friends of his. One day Lazarus died and his heartbroken sisters sent for Jesus. They were upset when Jesus didn’t arrive until four days later. According to the townsfolk He supposedly raised this man Lazarus from the dead. If you ask me, he was likely just asleep, unconscious or in a coma but not dead. Raising a man from the dead was a little far-fetched for an unbeliever like me.

That all changed one day, an event that’s indelibly etched on my mind. Our daughter Eunice was about thirty-two years old at the time. She hadn’t married, was still living with us and was working as a seamstress. She became violently ill one evening and we thought she would die.  She was bleeding profusely and was very feverish. Several times we thought we had lost her. 

Sarah ran to Martha’s house and was surprised to learn that Jesus was staying with them.  Hearing of Eunice’s condition, Jesus came quickly. Our eyes met as He came through the doorway and I knew in that moment that He was more than just a man. I was strangely moved!  He quickly made His way to the room where Eunice lay and gently placed His hand on her forehead. Immediately the fever vanished. The bleeding stopped. Eunice sat up in bed, instantly healed and I bowed before this man called Jesus, a changed man. 

Belief filled my heart where scepticism and doubt once ruled. Jesus prayed with our family, pronounced His blessing and quickly was gone. I’ll never forget the look of compassion in His eyes.

The next morning the thought crossed my mind briefly that I should tell Jesus that it was my blanket that cradled Him on that cold, frosty night in Bethlehem but I quickly realized that He already knew. He was God and He knew everything. I was changed forever by this encounter with the One I had rejected for so long.

Don’t be a doubter like me. Investigate His claims. Read the biblical account of Christ’s life.  Seek out a Christian pastor or friend if you want to know more. Jesus Christ is everything the angels said he would be and He will change your life.  Just give Him a chance!

Nearing Home

Nearing Home - A Book Review

As one who followed Billy Graham’s ministry since I was a young boy, I was anxious to read his latest book Nearing Home in which he graciously shares his reflections on growing old...and finishing well. 

Citing examples of several heroes of the faith including Noah, Enoch, David and Zechariah he points out that God continues to use His children even in their advanced years. The reader is encouraged to finish strong and not drop out of the race.

Throughout the book the author shares scriptures which provide hope and encouragement for those who are nearing home.  Graham states that if he had to summarize in one word the changes that take place as we grow older it would be the word decline.  Graham transparently shares how there are times when he’d like to “hike up the hills” or “stand in the pulpit”...”but the walker, wheelchair and cane near my bed remind me that chapter of life is past.”

He cites several perils which an older person may face.  He lists fear, depression, anger, intense loneliness and becoming absorbed in our own problems as issues we will likely battle.

Throughout the book the author makes reference to his wife Ruth who passed away several years ago.  It is obvious that they were deeply committed to one another and he misses her dearly.  He shares that the words that Ruth wanted inscribed on her tombstone were “End of Construction.  Thank you for your patience.” 

Graham challenges the reader to leave a legacy for those who come behind us and also to attempt to resolve relational conflicts before it is too late.  Of course he takes an opportunity to simply share the gospel story again as he has done thousands of times throughout his ministry.

The book is an easy read with many personal vignettes from Billy Graham’s life but I found the chapter concerning financial planning, mastering your money and insuring that a will is in place was more difficult to get through.

The book is an easy read with many personal vignettes from Billy Graham’s life but I found the chapter concerning financial planning, mastering your money and insuring that a will is in place was more difficult to get through.

Nearing Home confirmed what I had already determined many years ago.  Billy Graham is a godly man who has lived well and is filled with hope as he is nearing home.  I highly recommend this book.

"This book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson".  www.grafmartin.com

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Book Lovers

I'm often asked when people see the bookshelves lining my office if I've read every one of them.  I hate that question because it begs an answer that is often misstated and then misunderstood.

No, I have not read every book.  I have not even read half of them.  Some of them have only been briefly scanned.  Many are theological reference books.  There's nothing more exciting than sitting down and reading the 8 volume set of Lewis Sperry Chafer's Systematic Theology.  Some books are written to be read in one sitting.  Others are written to be refered to.  That's why they're called reference books.

I was pleased to read Winston Churchill's comments regarding books.  The former British Prime Minister wrote:

"If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or as it were, fondle them - peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that you at least know where they are.  Let them be your friends; let them at any rate be your acquaintances."

Finally...someone else who feels the way I do about books.  He said it better than I ever could.  Now I'm going to "fondle" an F. F. Bruce book.  Just kidding.

But...I DO LOVE BOOKS!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Snow Scene

About half an hour ago I looked out my office window (at home) and saw this stunning scene.  

I guess snow isn't so bad after all.

God's colour scheme sure beats anything that man (or woman) could dream up.

When God gets out His divine paintbrush we sit back and marvel.

What does the atheist think or feel when he or she witnesses the beauty of nature/creation?  

Who do they thank?

"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." - Romans 1:20 (NIV) 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two Heroes

Gary Carter
In the corner of my office sit two baseball bats. Both have special stories behind them. Both belonged to heroes of mine whose lives are presently going in opposite directions.


Gary Carter, Hall of Fame catcher, gave me one of his bats during the 1976 season while playing for the Montreal Expos. As a result of the special friendship forged with Carter an outreach to professional athletes, Epistle Sports Ministries, was born.

Now, over 35 years later Gary Carter is battling for his life with stage 4 brain cancer taking its toll on this fine man. Our prayers go up on behalf of Gary, his wife Sandy and his incredible family.


The other bat belonged to Mike Matheny, one of the finest men I had the pleasure of meeting in the game of baseball. Matheny only spent one season with the Toronto Blue Jays (1999) but we became good friends. One Sunday following the chapel service Mike presented me with a beautiful black Louisville Slugger bat with a very personal inscription written with a silver Sharpie. There’s a story behind that bat but I’ll leave that for another time.


Earlier this week Mike Matheny was named manager of the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals taking over from Tony LaRussa who retired after leading the Cards to their World Series victory. As one headline stated, “Matheny is short on managing experience but long on character”. He is a fine, godly man. So is Gary Carter.

Mike Matheny
Two bats, two godly men, two divergent courses of life. One wonders why God allows such a special husband, father, grandfather, friend as Gary Carter to go through this horrendous struggle for his life. “Why Gary?”, I mumbled last night. “Why him?” Meanwhile Mike Matheny is realizing his dream. Managing the Cardinals for whom he played and coached.

God has His reasons for allowing these circumstances to intersect with the lives of His people. Somehow, through it all, God will receive glory and lives will be impacted for eternity.

The two bats are a constant reminder of the blessing that these two men have brought to my life. Please pray for both of them. They both are facing challenges that seem immense but “with God all things are possible.”  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Don't Forget

My friend Greg Asimakoupoulos has written another excellent poem.  

Check this one out:

Marking Time on Veterans' Day

The cadence of a grateful heart

A grassy field of markers and a multitude of flags
call attention to those veterans who are gone.
'Neath the sod they sleep in silence waiting for the reveille
when old Gabriel trumpets resurrection's dawn.

As I wander through a graveyard on this cold November day,
I am warmed by countless names that catch my eye.
They belong to men and women who obeyed their Uncle's call
and then served our nation proudly till they died.

Each (in uniform allegiance) pledged unflaggingly to serve
freedom's cause no matter where that need might be.
And because they did, we're vested in both rights and privileges
that define the fabric of democracy.

Without speaking I bear witness to these heroes of the past
through the cadence of my grateful beating heart.
Marking time I count my blessings for the legacy they left
as I hear their plea for me to do my part.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nice View

Visitors just dropped by our home for the 1st time and they commented on the great view we have from our front yard.

I've posted pictures here on Pilgrim Scribblings looking out from one of my office windows but after hearing those comments I thought I better take more pictures.

Here's one I took this afternoon, Thanksgiving Day, and it reminded me of something that we can be thankful for...a house with a "nice" view.

We will be putting out home on the real estate market in the next week so we are enjoying our country location while we can.

Thank you, Father, for your provision.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING ???

While looking through the archives I found the following Thanksgiving poem.  I had written it to be posted on the American Thanksgiving Day back in 2007 but much of it applies to us here in Canada. Here it is!
  
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 
Tonight I put a few lines together and called it...
An Atheist's Lament on Thanksgiving Day

How sad it must be to have so much and yet not believe in the God who is the giver of every good and perfect gift. Sad to say, the words of this poem could be true of many people during this Thanksgiving season.

Today I am thankful for friends and great food,
I don't have to work so I'm in a good mood;
Our family will be here and we'll watch the game
We'll be feasting on turkey, it's always the same.
And when it's all over, I've said my "goodbyes"
I'm sick to my stomach, I've got bloodshot eyes;
The bottles are empty and my mind is blank
But saddest of all...I've got no one to thank!
 
Note: For the believing Christian, Thanksgiving should be one of the most joyous days of the year. The Father has blessed us bountifully and we have so much to praise and thank Him for.
 

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Safely Home

Paul Collet - Brother Beloved
Most people, if they are fortunate enough, have friends who come into their lives and impact them in ways that are unforgettable.

My life-long friend and mentor, Paul Collet, was one of those special people.  Tonight I learned that he is now in the presence of the Lord he loved and served for many, many years.

Paul was a friend who I looked up to when I was a young boy.  He encouraged me to love Jesus and continued to do so until the very end.

A year ago, as a result of failing health, he moved to British Columbia to be cared for by his son Dennis (a life-long friend of mine) and Nancy (his daughter-in-law).

If I was asked to mention one thing about Paul's life it would be..."he was in love with Jesus."

Now he is in the presence of the Lord forever.  What a glorious entrance it must have been!

Good bye, dear friend.  We'll meet again soon.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wild Card

In all my years of involvement with professional baseball I've never experienced the drama of a wild card race like I did last night.  
Boston and Tampa Bay tied going into their final games. Rays down 7-0 to the Yankees and pull out an 8-7 win. Boston ahead 3-2 in the 8th and Baltmore squeaks out a 4-3 win. Tampa moves on. Boston is out. 
Same in the NL. The Braves fall apart and the Cardinals advance. Wow! What a finish! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gary Carter

Gary Carter , Hall of Famer
Nothing seems to wrench one from self-absorption and pity parties like the realization that there are others whose battles are raging more fiercely than your own.  This is especially true for me when I read the journal Gary Carter's daughter, Kimmy, as she relates her dad's fight with cancer.

Gary was my 1st friend in Major League Baseball back in 1975 and he played such an important part in the early days of my ministry to pro ballplayers.

Please take the time to read Kimmy's account.  God has gifted her in marvelous ways and her account of her dad's battle is both gut-wrenching and God-honoring at the same time. - David

Kimmy writes:

I have learned how to appreciate people, time and everyday life more these past four months than ever before. It’s the simple things that make me smile like when I make a phone call to a friend or family member and I hear a simple,  "Hello" on the other side. It brings me true joy to have a conversation and catch up. I encourage all of you to say "I love you" more, give more hugs and jump on every opportunity to spend time with the ones you love. There may not be a tomorrow.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." 
Jeremiah 29:11-13

On Friday, I had another opportunity to share dad's story at PBA's chapel. This time it was for FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). I actually don't feel comfortable speaking in front of people but I had a peace knowing the words that came out of my mouth were straight from the Lord. Daily, I ask Him to use me for His glory even if it is out of my comfort zone. 


This day was a tough day for dad. He was sad and very down. To lift his spirits, mom ordered pizzas for the family to enjoy and bring us together. I think it helped but dad was still not having an upbeat day. He was exhausted and the day just dragged on. 

"Behold, GOD is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid: for the LORD 
JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation."
Isaiah 12:2

Saturday was another difficult day; however, through the sadness, dad still got out of bed and swam laps in the pool. That evening, my mom and dad (with my daughter) ate dinner with my sister, Matt and the boys. My sister had prepared a nice meal and invited them over for an enjoyable evening. Dad lasted just over a hour before he needed to go home.  While my family was enjoying a nice meal, my husband and I (with friends Ronnie and Marissa) drove to Port St. Lucie for the Mets game. In between the doubleheader, dad's good friend Jack Brenner presented a nice check to the Gary Carter Foundation. The money was raised through Jack’s encouragement and we thank him for such a nice gift. It was a special, emotional evening to honor dad.


Sunday we went to a nice church service and came home to grab a quick bite to eat at my parents’ house. Before dad rested, we (dad, my husband and I) went to PBA for about 2.5 hours to clean out dad's office. Aside from being a little worn out, dad was sharp and doing well as we helped him organize his things. He felt there was some accomplishment, which made him feel good. On the way home, dad and I played our “song game”…be the first to name the artist who is singing the current song on the radio. We have played this since we were little. Before we arrived to my parents' house, the song "Can you feel the love tonight?" by Elton John began to play. Of course we both knew the famous artist and I began to sing the lyrics. It was awesome that dad remembered every word and sang with me in the car. Again, it is the little things I treasure each day.


On Monday, dad slept pretty much all day as the exhaustion was really taking over his body. He got out of bed a few times but for the most part, slept a good portion of the day. I was proud of him though that he was able to swim 14 laps in the pool. What a fighter! That evening we were all looking forward to a nice evening at a Mexican restaurant called La Bamba. We had received gift certificates from our precious friends the Hobgoods and we decided to make it a fun night out! Unfortunately, my sister's oldest, C.J. got very sick so they stayed in for the night. Mom, dad, Kyle and I still went to dinner and enjoyed a nice night. Unfortunately, C.J. was the first of many more family members that got sick for the next few days. Thankfully my dad and husband did not get the “plague”. We were hit hard and are glad that is all over.


On Tuesday, mom and dad went to Wellington to meet with the doctor. They were told that dad looked good and that he was able to still have his Avastin treatment in a couple days. You see, Avastin is wonderful to destroy these tumors; however, the downside is that Avastin can create blood clots. Dad will continue to give himself a shot everyday in his stomach to dissolve the blood clots. So, dad has to fight extra hard so we need extra prayers! His breathing is much better. He doesn’t need to sleep with oxygen anymore but it is still in the house just in case. Dad will have his next appointment with the doctor in two weeks. 


After the doctor’s appointment, my parents went to a movie and spent some time together. It is always good to get dad out of the house and have something fun to do. Before he went to sleep, dad enjoyed that crazy show Wipeout and he roared with laughter, something we haven’t heard in a long time. Again, it's the little things.


On Wednesday, dad met his good friends Dave Van Horne and Tommy Hutton for lunch. Dad was very aware and had a great day overall.


On Thursday, dad swam laps in the pool before Mead Chasky and Ronnie Strawberry came by the house for a few hours. When they left, dad rested before going with my husband to PBA at 5pm to watch his baseball guys test for strength and conditioning. Kyle told us that dad watched a few exercises and then made his way from the balcony down to the gym floor (it was moved inside due to the south Florida afternoon rain). Between exercises, the players all walked over to dad and each guy gave him a hug or shook his hand. They surrounded him and he said a few words to greet them and shared how he has been feeling. It was a special moment for dad being welcomed so warmly by his guys! 


Throughout the workout, he was interacting with the guys and joking with some of them (mostly inside jokes from last season). It was a blessing for Kyle to see him "in his element" around the baseball team. At the end of the workout, Coach (Kent) Bottenfield asked dad to come over and say a few words. As he spoke, it was, for a moment, as though dad was 100%! His fatigue had been lifted (although temporarily), and he was firing up the guys and sharing his expectations for the spring season. Kyle took a picture of this moment and texted it to me, mom, Christy and DJ to share the good news! I am hoping that being around his guys more often will really help dad gain more energy.

Yesterday, mom and dad had a conversation with the doctor and it was a good report. His white blood count was good as well as his vitals (bp, heart, temp, breathing, etc.) and he was able to get his Avastin treatment today. Praise the Lord!

Mom has been dad's greatest encourager. They have been married for over 36 years and are a great team. Mom has done many things to make things better for dad...driving him around, cooking him nutritious meals, going to every doctor's appointment and daily encouraging him to stay positive. I love that mom and dad are fighting together and pray together each night for comfort and strength through this battle.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 
Philippians 4:13

Prayers for the upcoming week:

Blood clots to go away in the lungs and leg
A strong week of activity, energy and motivation before he starts his
5 day chemo treatment the following week
Exhaustion...pray he gets rest but then FEELS rested. He has the time to rest but is frustrated when his body shuts down and has little energy.
Continued functioning of his body...besides exhaustion and bruising/cuts on his legs and arms, everything else is working as it should.
HEALING, HEALING, HEALING
...October 11th will be a good result for dad's next MRI in DUKE

OTHER FAMILY MATTERS
My sister's family and sweet C.J. It is not an easy road for them as they are battling autism. Their journey is difficult and they have many many bumps each day.

Looking Back









More from Greg concerning Todd Beamer and 9/11:


Courage Has a Face

Ten years ago
four planes went down.
Two towers fell
at Zero Ground.
And one young man
who cried "Let's roll!"
gave bravery a face.

Todd Beamer
(on Flight 93)
defended
faith and liberty
as he lived-out
what he'd been taught
and died without regrets.

At home
and at Jon Blanchard's school,
Todd learned
that no one is a fool
who gives away
what he can't keep
to gain what he can't lose.

At Wheaton
Beamer Center stands
reminding us
to serve God's plans
across the street
or 'round the world
or on a hijacked plane.

So on this anniversary
as we recall that dreadful day,
let's thank the Lord
for those who died
that we might freely live.


** Todd Beamer's godly mother spoke truth into the young patriot's life before it was prematurely concluded http://www.crosswalk.com/11622565/


September 11

The following reflections on September 11th, 2001 were written by my friend Greg Asimakoupoulos:

You can read more of Greg's prose and poetry at The Partial Observer.

Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001? That’s a question the vast majority of Americans can easily answer.

On that unforgettable Tuesday morning I was driving from Naperville to Carol Stream listening to WFMT. Carl Grapentine, the announcer, interrupted the music and read a news bulletin.
 
First reports indicated a small single-engine plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. Subsequent reports brought the fuzzy news story into fearful focus. We were a nation under attack.

The magnitude of the tragedy soon became unimaginable. Thousands of lives had been lost. Tens of thousands had been personally impacted. The skyline of New York City had been altered beyond recognition.

What was worse, our enemy was unknown. Subsequent attacks were possible. As a result, airports across the country closed down for the better part of a week. Churches opened their doors for spontaneous prayer services. There was a renewed sense of patriotism and dependence on God independent of party lines or religious affiliation.

Although the sudden fervor of faith faded as our nation regained its emotional balance, a haunting fear has dogged us for the past decade. National security remains on most everyone’s mind. The increase in terrorist activity overseas, as well as the senseless mass-shootings in our country, has left us feeling vulnerable.

The 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 provides us with an opportunity to remember how quick we were willing to turn to God a decade ago. This sad milestone causes us to recall the fragility of life and fleeting nature of peace. It is an invitation to reflect and listen to what our Creator is attempting to say to us in the midst of daily headlines that rob our sense of confidence.

We all reflect and listen differently. Some meditate in silence. Some brush paint on an empty canvas. Others journal their innermost thoughts. Still others go on a contemplative walk in nature.

My preference is to write poetry. As the anniversary of Sept. 11 approached, I put pen to paper as I was reminded that God holds us securely even when the slippery fingers of our faith find hanging on to hope difficult.

Since Sept. 11 is a Sunday, local clergy can use the following poem as a congregational hymn. (Suggested tunes: “Ode to Joy” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”)

God remains our source of courage when we’re traumatized by terror.
When we’re haunted by the headlines and the violence everywhere.
Hear God whisper in the silence, “Don’t despair, I’m in control.
Hurting hearts and broken cities will at last one day be whole.”

God recalls that tragic Tuesday when twin towers disappeared,
when 3,000 people perished and our hearts were numbed by fear.
Yet God whispers 10 years later, “Justice will in time be done.
I will stand with those who need me ’till my Kingdom fully comes.”

God invites us to be trusting when we find that faith is hard.
When we’re fearful for our safety and our nerves are frayed or jarred.
Still God whispers in the silence, “Even when your faith is weak,
I will keep your feet from stumbling when your way is dark and bleak.”

An ancient Hebrew poet composed a hymn for an insecure nation that offers a similar theme. You don’t know the tune, but it’s likely you know the words:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” — Psalm 46:1-2  NIV

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Ravens Fed

Here's a re-post of a poem I wrote back in 2008. God still provides!

The wicked king Ahab
Makes others' sins pale
He's forsaken My ways
 
And now worships Baal.

Get over to Kerith
And there by the creek
I'll send you your groceries
Each day, not each week.

Don't question the method
I use to send bread
These scavenger ravens
Will do what I've said.

The drought you have forecast
Will dry up the land
There'll be no more water
Except by My hand.

Just wait here and trust Me
Be patient and true
In the fullness of time
You'll know what to do.

A Zarephath widow
And her only son
Will offer you lodging
But wait, I'm not done.

In the midst of the drought
There'll be flour and oil
Enough for each day
And it never will spoil.

And there you will see
My great power and might
So trust me today
Don't give up the fight.

Now just like Elijah
The prophet of old
My people can trust me
With faith strong and bold.

I'm Jehovah-Jireh
Your needs I'll provide
I'm sovereign and faithful
I'll walk by your side.

So lay aside doubting
Your burdens I'll bear
The Lord God Almighty
Has you in His care.

© David W. Fisher
February 7th, 2008

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Third Prize

Here's the article that appeared in today's (September 3rd) Peterborough Examiner.

Thanks to Mike Davies for promoting this contest:

Komets finish third in Filmpossible contest


By MIKE DAVIES / Examiner Sports Director


The Kawartha Komets special needs hockey team finished third in the Filmpossible Contest sponsored by the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

While final vote tallies were not made public, Komets co-founder Carol Fisher said she was told by organizers the Komets video, Bringing Visibility to Disability, was 50 votes shy of first place.

For their efforts the Komets win an Apple ipad 2. The grand prize was $5,000 and second prize $1,000. Winners were selected through online voting.

"Even thought we didn't win thousands upon thousands of people looked at these videos," said Fisher. "For every vote Holland Bloorview got $1 up to $10,000. They reached their $10,000 goal which is amazing.

We also got to promote Special Hockey International."

The Komets video depicted efforts made by team members to get a young girl from Pittsburgh, who requires an adapted walker to skate, her first goal. She scored against the Komets during the Special Hockey International Tournament in Boston in April.

"We want to thank everyone who faithfully voted for our entry," said Carol's husband and co-founder David Fisher. "Thanks to all of you who asked your friends and contacts to vote for us. We appreciate your support so much. Thank you to Carlo Raponi for putting the footage together so skilfully and to our coaches Dale Lowe and Sean Quinlan for their excellent commentary. Sean, if you hadn't caught the moment on your video camera we couldn't have shared this moving experience with thousands of viewers."

Full contest details and the video can be viewed at www.filmpossible.ca.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Sad Stigma

Wade Belak - R.I.P.
Culture of winning creates stigma of mental illness in pro sport 
by ANNE McILROY 
From the Globe and Mail, Published Thursday, Sep. 01, 2011 

The stigma that still surrounds mental illness may prevent professional athletes from seeking the help they need.

“This is, I think, a huge issue. There is a culture around professional sports, a culture of strength, a culture of winning. You can’t be a professional athlete without those pieces in your psyche,” said Stanley Kutcher, an expert on mental health at Dalhousie University in Halifax. “So if someone has a mental illness, it must be very, very difficult to deal with that. Because the expectations are that you are always strong.’’

Former National Hockey League player Wade Belak, 35, was found dead in his hotel room on Wednesday. He took his own life. Dr. Kutcher said he doesn’t know anything about the circumstances, but he suspects it may be hard for professional athletes to seek help if they feel depressed or suicidal.
Mr. Belak retired from playing earlier this year.

Retirement can be especially difficult for professional athletes, said Antonia Baum, a doctor at George Washington University Medical Center who, in 2005, published a research paper on athletes and suicide.

The transition can be more “abrupt and dramatic than for one who does not rely on his body for his livelihood or identify,” she wrote in the journal Clinics in Sports Medicine.

Since 1980, at least seven former National Football League players have committed suicide after retirement, she reported.

“Mike Wise, a pro lineman for the Los Angeles Raiders and the Cleveland Browns, killed himself just three weeks following his waiver by Cleveland. A few days earlier, he had told his fiancĂ©e ‘… that he equated having his name on the waiver wire with having it in an obituary.’ ”

She also cited a study that found that many retired NHL players – 67 per cent – have injuries and 20 per cent have marital or emotional problems.
 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

High Church

Our boys always want us to get to their summer camp(s) early so they can grab a top bunk.

I've never been able to understand why they want to climb up there and then try to navigate the ladder in the middle of the night when nature calls.

I always tried to get the bottom bunk closest to the door.

Maybe if we installed these pew punks there'd be a rush to get to church early.

Maybe not!

For more "Christian" laughs check out this link.

Deadline Day

Today I posted the following Status Update on my personal Facebook page...and the Kawartha Komets Facebook page:
"If I was a rich man I'd give each ONE who votes for the Kawartha Komets video TONIGHT...the deadline...$100.00 but if I was that wealthy it wouldn't matter if we won the $5,000 first prize or not. Anyhow...it's a moot point because we're not RICH in material goods but we have 35 priceless hockey players that have been given a chance to play HOCKEY."
Yes, TONIGHT, Wednesday, August 31st, is the DEADLINE.  If you haven't REGISTERED, LOGGED IN and VOTED today...PLEASE DO IT NOW.
For the sake of the kids,
David & Carol Fisher 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Did You?

Day 3 of the voting for best video in the Filmpossible Contest.
You can VIEW and VOTE at www.filmpossible.ca 
Voting ends at midnight on August 31st so please vote TODAY and EVERY DAY.
If we win 1st prize of $5,000 we will be able to help with registrations, equipment, coaching clinics, bus trips to away games, etc. 
THANKS FOR CASTING YOUR VOTE!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Komets Koverage

Check out the coverage the Kawartha Komets received this evening on CHEX TV.  Thanks to Meaghan Roy for her excellent work!


Be sure to VIEW and VOTE at www.filmpossible.ca

You only have to register once and then you can log on EVERY DAY and cast your vote.  Voting ends at midnight on August 31st!

Thanks for supporting the Kawartha Komets Special Needs Hockey Program