Sunday, February 27, 2011

Strange Place

Depression can be ugly. Believe me, I've been there. You can mask it for awhile but eventually the ugliness breaks through.

But the Man of Sorrows, Jesus, knows every detail, every nuance, every heartache, every gut-wrenching situation and stands ready to help carry us through the darkest hell.

The other night I couldn't sleep. My mind played games. Ruminating can be disastrous.  But words and phrases that came to mind were placed in sentences and random thoughts became poetry, albeit frightening stuff.

Here's what I wrote about the strange place I found myself in:

This strange place in which I stand
Is neither hell nor promised land;
But shards of both now pierce my soul,
O God, please make me well and whole!

This strange place in which I sit
Can be a throne or deep, dark pit;
But hidden from the Son's warm ray
O God, please take the pain away!

This strange place in which I lie
With dread cry out "O let me die";
Now where I lie or sit or stand,
O God, please take my trembling hand.

This strange place so fraught with pain
Beset by loss and seldom gain;
Can be the place You've brought me to
Where all I have is me...
And YOU!

Copyright © 2011 - David W. Fisher 

God has a way of bringing us out into a better place.  During those dark, depressing hours I reread the 18th Psalm where David joyfully states, "He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me." - Psalm 18:19 (NIV)  

Note:  Your comments are greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

Duke Snider

In over 35 years of involvement in ministry to professional baseball players I've met many classy individuals and a few miserable coots.

One of the finest, kindest and classiest gentlemen I've met was Duke Snider who fashioned a Hall of Fame career with the Brooklyn Dodgers and then the Los Angeles Dodgers following their relocation to the west coast.

Snider was a broadcaster with the Montreal Expos following his playing career and I had many conversations in the press box with this fine man.

Duke passed away from an undisclosed illness this weekend to a better land where there are no tears or sorrows.  Duke often spoke to me of his abiding faith in Jesus Christ and was such an encouragement to me when I served as chapel leader for the Expos.

Our loss is heaven's gain.  Rest in eternal peace, Duke!

Thanks for the memories!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Balcony Boy

I'm sorry to admit this (no I'm not) but the pilgrim scribbler needs a laugh every so often.

When I need a good chuckle I head over to the Sacred Sandwich and I'm never disappointed.

If this picture doesn't tickle your funny bone then you don't have one.

Check out the Sacred Sandwich here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Plexiglas Pulpits

While surfing the web I stumbled across a quote by John MacArthur concerning expository preaching.  The segment that caught my eye was his mention of "plexiglas lecterns"...a pet peeve of mine...I must confess. I know I'd be better off concerning myself with the dearth of expository preaching rather than bemoaning the plethora of plexiglas pulpits but...

MacArthur writes:

"Everyone who knows anything about my ministry knows I am committed to expository preaching. It is my unshakable conviction that the ministry of God's Word should always be the heart and the focus of the church's ministry (2 Tim. 4:2). And proper biblical preaching should be systematic, expositional, theological, and God-centered.

John MacArthur preaching
Such preaching is in short supply these days. There are plenty of gifted communicators in the modern evangelical movement, but today's sermons tend to be short, shallow, topical homilies that massage people's egos and focus on fairly insipid subjects like human relationships, "successful" living, emotional issues, and other practical but worldly—and not definitively biblical—themes. Like the ubiquitous Plexiglas lecterns from which these messages are delivered, such preaching is lightweight and without substance, cheap and synthetic, leaving little more than an ephemeral impression on the minds of the hearers."

Check out MacArthur's sermon in its entirety here.

Any thoughts, my fellow pilgrims?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring Training

For 29 seasons I served as the "spiritual caretaker" for the Toronto Blue Jays, working under the umbrella of a great organization, Baseball Chapel. That meant annual spring visits to training camp in Dunedin, Florida where I always welcomed that first "crack of the bat".

My friend Greg Asimakoupoulos writes about that very thing:

A Season for Starting Over

Spring training is a picture of grace

As mounds of snow begin to melt
some other mounds appear.
The spell of winter's wearing off.
Spring Training's finally here.

Though base paths still are mostly mud
and infield grass is brown,
I think that I can almost hear
those most amazing sounds...

The slap of leather, crack of bat
and feet stomps in the stands.
The vendors' cries, the ump's "yeer out!"
and cheering of the fans.

And though my team was bad last year
and finished up dead last,
with spring a new day dawns with hope.
Regrets are in the past.

And that is what the Bible says....
Grace offers brand new starts.
The old has passed. The new has come
with clean, forgiven hearts.

* "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Judas Asparagus

A child was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible.

Here's the child's report:

In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas.  The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one', but I think He must be a lot older than that. Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did. Then God made the world. He split the Adam and made Eve.  Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet. 

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden.....Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars.
Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.

Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham.  Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast.  Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston.  Moses led the Israel Lights out of  Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people.  These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.

God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti.  Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor's stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies.  Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua came David.  He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot.  He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines.  My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets.  One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. 

There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament.  Jesus is the star of The New.  He was born  in  Bethlehem  in a barn.  (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door! Were you born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I was.')

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats. Jesus also had twelve opossums.

The worst one was Judas Asparagus.  Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him. Jesus was a great man.  He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount.

But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot.  Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus.  He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again.  He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum.  His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Scary Solitude

Just looking at this picture gives me the creeps. 

I love solitude but this is going too far. 

I wonder if this guy ever made it back to safety. 

I'd fall off for sure.

"The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." - Psalm 18:2 (NIV)

True Love

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Different Look

Mike Fisher picked up an assist in his
1st game as a Nashville Predator.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Predator Fisher


Headlines we thought we'd never see. Today Mike Fisher was traded by the woefully inept Ottawa Senators to the Nashville Predators. I can only imagine how disappointed thousands of Ottawa fans will be. Maybe "angry" would be a better word. Fisher was likely the most popular Senator. Loved by all.

Now he joins his bride Carrie Underwood in Nashville which seems like an ideal situation. But...trades are always difficult. Mike has never had to deal with being uprooted but his roots run deep in his relationship with Jesus and he will weather the storm well. 

All the best, Mike! We are praying for you!