Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sailing Away

I've often been harassed, made fun of, mocked and jokingly abused due to my fondness of Southern Gospel music but I don't care.  I'm not sure where I might be...spiritually, emotionally and even physically if it were not for the strength and inner peace that has come from this style of music.

Lately two videos of my favourite group, Greater Vision, rehearsing before a concert in Gerald Wolfe's home (I believe) have surfaced on the internet.  What a blessing they have

Rodney, Gerald & Chris me.  I wish I could have been there to witness this blending of voices and personalities.  Original members Chris Allman and Mark Trammell joined Gerald in preparation for a concert at Gerald's home church, First Baptist Church in Morristown, TN.  Chris recently returned to the group...presently consisting of Gerald, Chris and songwriter extraordinaire, Rodney Griffin.

I wasn't there so this video clip will have to suffice.  Enjoy it here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vic's Call

Yesterday afternoon our granddaughter Victoria (on the left) called for the 1st time since she left for Belize on January 11th.

She is in training with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) on a catamaran off the shore of Belize in Central America.  On weekends the team is involved in outreach on the mainland.

I coiuldn't talk long on the phone because I got too emotional.  I'm missing Victoria a lot. She has lived with us for over 15 years so it was hard to say "goodbye" when she left.

Please pray that the Lord will teach her wonderful "life lessons" and use her for His glory while she's away.  Thank you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

David Talks...

My friend Dale Clifford, a staff writer with the Peterborough Examiner, wrote the following story which appeared in today's paper.

Dale writes: 

Former Blue Jays, Petes chaplain talks about his depression...
To see David Fisher and talk with him, you would think everything is right in his world; and he is going in the direction he wants.

It hasn't been that way, though.

For as long as Fisher can remember, dating back to when he was a teenager in high school, the soft-spoken 65-year-old Peterborough native has been battling depression.

Speaking from his Division Rd. home Monday, he spoke of his on and off battles for most of his life but how it had became worse over the past seven years when a significant number of losses piled up and for which he is taking treatment.

The particularly difficult period began when he left the Toronto Blue Jays after 29 years as their baseball chaplain and ended when he left the Peterborough Petes after 14 years in a similar role last OHL season.
There were other things in between including hard times which affected the family business Fisher Gauge and Fishercast, which became Dynacast; the sale of their home and moving into another and giving up his office in downtown Peterborough.

He spoke at length of these times and other issues and how they deeply affected him. He talked openly and freely.

It raised the question why bring it into the open publicly and why now?

"For years, there was a stigma attached and it was something not talked about," he said. "People struggled with that. I wanted to talk about it because I wanted to erase that stigma. I wasn't afraid to discuss it and if it could help someone else by my talking about it, it was worth it. I didn't want to hide anymore and wanted to help others."

While every loss had an impact, perhaps the biggest, he said, was leaving the Jays, which he did for his own reasons. Fisher, a devout Christian, founded Epistle Sports Ministries in 1975, which was a letter-writing ministry of encouragement to professional athletes in all the major sports.

"When I walked away from the Blue Jays, I lost my identity. It was my life, my livelihood," he said. "It was what I did and something I loved. Now, there were no calls, no speaking engagements. Leaving the Petes was a huge loss as well. I wanted to return this year but couldn't do it. I really loved being with them because they were a local team and they were good to me."

Tim Coles of Kawartha Youth For Christ has taken over the role of Petes chaplain.

"Losing the family business was hard because we were struggling and it was a question of integrity," he said. "It had been in the family since 1942. We were well established but we had to sell it. Selling our home in Cavan two years ago was a huge loss. We were there for 14 years but were struggling. When I gave up my office, I lost my safe place. I no longer had a place to work out of."

Earlier in his life, he suffered another loss when he sold his Ambassador Bible Book Store, which he had for 15 years, for personal reasons in the mid- 1980s.

Throughout his struggles, Fisher said he has never lost his faith. He has drawn inspiration from others such as Canada's Joey Votto, who won the National League most valuable player award and battles depression, and authors Scott Simmie and Julia Nunes who wrote the book The Last Taboo: A Survival Guide to Mental Health Care in Canada, writing openly about the topic and addressing it.

"There is a myth out there that Christians shouldn't be depressed because they have a relationship with God," said Fisher. "We have battles and struggles like anyone else. My faith has helped me survive the losses and the Bible is strength for me. Job (in the Bible) lost a lot but still had his faith."

Something that has helped Fisher is the co-founding with his wife Carol of the Kawartha Komets Hockey Club, a team comprising adults and children with special needs.

"It has been therapeutic and so rewarding," said David. "We have 40 players and they have their own struggles."

He is also working on his own book entitled 43, in reference to the 29 years with the Blue Jays and 14 with the Petes.

"It will be about unforgettable seasons and feature unique stories," he said.

And we all know, he isn't afraid of speaking out.

For more information, email Fisher at

Monday, January 24, 2011

Newton Notes

John Newton will forever be remembered as the former slave trader who, by God's amazing grace, was redeemed and set free from a life of sin and recklessness. Of course we know that he penned the beloved, classic hymn Amazing Grace as a testimony to the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Newton felt called by God to encourage and admonish others through the written word, a man of letters whose scribblings have been preserved for centuries to benefit us today.

Recently I was perusing some of Newton's letters and found one that was especially meaningful to me as I navigate these stormy waters of depression.

The former slave trader wrote regarding trials that his friend was battling...

"...I ought rather to rejoice rather than otherwise that to you it is given, not only to believe, but also to suffer. If you escaped these things, whereof all the Lord's children are partakers, might you not question your adoption into His family? How could the power of grace be manifest, either to you, in you, or by you, without afflictions? How could the corrupotions and devastations of the heart be checked without a cross? How could you acquire a tenderness and skill in speaking to them that are weary without a taste of such trials as they also meet with? You could only be a hearsay witness to the truth, power and sweetness of the precious promises, unless you have been in such a situation as to need them and to find their suitableness and sufficiency."

Powerful truths from a man whose words still speak loud and!

Yes, God allows us to go through deep waters not only to stretch us and cause us to trust Him implicitly but brings us out on the other side so we can encourage others and say honestly..."I know what you're going through.  I've been there myself."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pilgrim's Picture

While "googling" for a picture to use as my new heading for Pilgrim Scribblings I couldn't find anything that really portrayed what this blog is all about.

So...being a little frustrated, I took a few things from my office and created my own picture. 

A "really" old Bible, a pen, a quill & stopwatch ornament, a small scripture plaque and a typed-out Pilgrim Scribblings title...against a bookcase backdrop.  

The picture is a little bigger than I wanted but it's better than anything else I could find...and this is much more personal.  

Hope you like it.

Scribble on, scribe!

Everlasting Arms

Writer's block has struck again with all its fury.  

It's been a week since my last post...and that was a short one...a quote from Tim Keller.

Today's is a paraphrase of my favourite scripture verse...Deuteronomy 33:27.  

I'm grateful for the "safe place" that our eternal God His everlasting arms.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Radical Gospel

Just read a quote on Tim Challies' blog that caught my attention. Something to think about! I think Keller really has a point!

"One of the signs that you may not grasp the unique, radical nature of the gospel is that you are certain that you do." —Tim Keller

Friday, January 07, 2011

Mom's Birthday

My mom (left) & Heather's mom (right)
My cousin Heather posted the following story about my mother, adoption and her 86th birthday on her From the Farm blog.

Thanks, Heather and Happy Birthday, Mom!

Heather writes:

I will never forget the phone call I received from Mom about a year after Dad died. Dad was the only boy in his family, with 3 younger sisters ~ Auntie Evelyn, Aunt Shirley (she passed away 6 years before Dad), and Aunt Lorraine.  "Heather," she said, "Dad has a sister." I was thinking ~ 'well, tell me something i don't know'.  I was THINKING that, but didn't say it. I let her continue. " No, he has an older sister," she continued, "Grandma had a baby before she was married and gave her up for adoption."

Giddiness was probably what I was experiencing then. How wonderful to have this exciting news of a new aunt who had been looking for her family! What a blessing for our family - to have someone in our family a year after the loss of my dad and my sister in law!

We were so excited when we were finally going to be able to meet Auntie Jean! We were waiting in my Auntie Evelyn's tiny living room - our family, Auntie Evelyn's family. Aunt Lorraine, Uncle George and Tammy had come from BC. It was amazing how many people could fit into such a small place, but that's whats possible when the walls of a home are made of rubber and are able to expand to warmly envelop the people within. These walls were ready to embrace even more people.  Family. The bond of blood. And, in our case, the bond of love. Finally, my cousin's son, who had been looking out the window, let us know "They're here."

That was 12 years ago. In those 12 years I have come to know and love Auntie Jean and my new cousins. 6 new cousins. Cousins' wives, husbands, children, grandchildren. We have been back and forth from province to province to province. Family reunions. Hugs. Laughter. Tears.  Family stuff. 

This past November Mom and I were able to fly down East to spend a week at Auntie Jean's.  Auntie Jean is a remarkable woman. She is a devout Christian.  She is the epitome of hospitality.  And encouragement.  She writes letter, sends cards, prays. She loves freely. And is loved dearly.

Today is Auntie Jean's 86th birthday. I hope she has a wonderful day. I hope she knows how much she is loved. She is a blessing!


I’m sure, if you’re like me, you have received a visit, a phone call, an e-mail, a letter, a pat on the back, a sermon or some unexpected blessing that you felt was earmarked “JUST FOR YOU” by God.

Today I received the following article from Life Action Ministries that really ministered to me.  It was meant “just for me”…and maybe for you too.

I’ve been there!  I’ve felt like a failure.  I’ve fallen.  I’ve felt worthless.  I’ve felt like there’s no hope. But there is!

Please read this article and rejoice that in the midst or your despair…He is there:

"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Peter said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death." Jesus said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me."
(Luke 22:31-34 (ESV)

Everyone deals with failure. Most men, I have discovered, feel like a failure in most things nearly all the time. If we're humble and honest, we know that we don't measure up to all we could be. And it haunts us, particularly in times of deep trouble and stress.

Falling Isn't Failing

Years ago, during a dark, dark time in our extended family, I was deeply struggling with trusting God. It seemed like my world had collapsed—everything I had held so confidently was suddenly in question. I had doubts and questions I had never experienced before.

The worst part of it all was that I felt I was failing God. I could not seem to "work up" faith and joy in the moment.

One day I came upon this passage, and the precious Spirit began to minister to my heart. I realized that Jesus had prayed that Peter's faith would NOT fail ... and Jesus always prayed perfectly, and God's will was accomplished. Therefore, Peter's faith must not have failed, even though he denied Christ.

What is this passage saying? Here is my paraphrase of what I believe Jesus was saying:
"Peter, you are about to go through a time when all you have hoped and dreamed and given your life for is nailed to a cross. It is going to devastate you. It will be a 'sifting' by the enemy of your beliefs, so much that you will even come to deny Me for a moment. But, Peter, I understand this. I know what you're going through, and I'm going to do something for you: I AM GOING TO INTERCEDE FOR YOU that your faith would NOT fail. I know My prayer will be answered, so in advance I want to give you instructions for what to do after this grueling experience is over: When you've come through on the other side, strengthen your brothers!"

A few days later we see Peter, sifted by the toughest experience of his life, at the empty tomb. His faith was scratching and clawing and "hoping against hope," but he was there, believing. And not long after that, he stood up and preached, and 3000 people were saved.

Surviving Satan's Sifter

Sifting is hard. It may take us down to the "slough of despond" in our lives for a season. But there will come a moment of grace when the wind of God's Spirit blows gently across the meager sparks of our faith, and it ignites and blazes again.

Sifting is beneficial. It helps us understand others' doubts and fears and struggles. It develops a mature, seasoned faith. It reminds us of God's incredible, personal care of us. It ultimately endears us to Him. It prepares us to be warriors who can face and deal with anything. It toughens us spiritually.

One of my best friends came home one day to find his 14-year-old son murdered in his home. There could be no worse disaster. He was devastated, left scrambling and struggling in his faith.

But I will never forget what he said to me. "Bill, I have been all the way to the bottom, and it's rock solid!" He has stood for years after this tragic experience and proclaimed the goodness of God even in the midst of a sin-wrecked world ... and his life has strengthened thousands.

If you're in the midst of Satan's sifting, be encouraged. Your Elder Brother is at the right hand of the Father. He is praying for you—your faith will not fail. And afterward you will strengthen many!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

My King

I've heard this YouTube clip many times but felt led tonight to post it here on Pilgrim Scribblings.  

I hadn't listened to it for a year or more.  When I viewed it tonight I was reminded afresh that we serve a mighty King who longs to reign in each of our hearts.

He's my King.  I wonder...DO YOU KNOW HIM?

Great God

This YouTube video clip of Chris Timlin singing and playing his powerful and moving composition How Great Is Our God has been watched by over 3 1/2 million viewers.

Truly our God is great and worthy to be praised. 

Worship our Great God as you view this clip here!

Trim Tree

My friend Cliff McGrath put his Christmas tree on a post-Christmas diet.

It's losing weight rapidly as you can see.

Cliff, you should "branch" out and market this thing!

Maybe it'll work for humans too!

Worth Considering

Over the Christmas season we received many "family" letters where the writers chronicled the events of the past year. It appears that some of our friends enjoy a very idyllic existence with life appearing to be "like a bowl of cherries". Others shared their struggles and their year looked like "the pits".

It's always good to hear from "old" friends though and to share in their lives.

One friend shared some thoughts on celebrating the birth of Jesus and a phrase he used struck a chord with me. He wrote, "Regardless of what you believe and/or celebrate or not celebrate around this season, the fact still remains that at some point in time, God did the unexpected for the undeserving." The unexpected for the undeserving?  

God chose to reveal Himself in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, in the incarnation for us...undeserving sinners. I'm so grateful that God thought enough of me to provide for my redemption through His only Son.

Aren't you glad He thought of you too?

Simple Faith

Have you visited my George Muller web site recently?  We are getting traffic at the site from all over the world.  Each time I check the stats and location where the visits originate, I find people from many countries dropping by for a visit each day.

George Muller made a huge impact on my life as a young man and I encourage you to get to know more about this man who simply trusted God to meet his every need.

Check out the site here.

Farm Girl

My cousin Heather has started her own blog entitled From the FarmCheck it out here.  

Heather, Danny, Emily & Braden live just outside Cabri, Saskatchewan.  

CONGRATULATIONS on your new blog, cuz!  I'll be checking it out daily!