Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Timeless Verse...A Timeless Truth

When I was a young child my Grandma Fisher, a godly woman, taught me this verse.

It meant a lot then even though I hadn't really experienced "times of trouble".

With the passing of time and the occasional "troubled time" thrown in here and there...I've come to appreciate the truth of this verse even more.  GOD IS GOOD and He really DOES care for those who trust in Him.

As we embark on a new year let's keep this truth close to our hearts.  

He is our refuge and strength!!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Church Fights

For several years now I've been bothered by the ongoing wars between the Reformed Calvinists and the "Un-Reformed" Arminians...the charismatics and the non-charismatics...the classic Pentecostals and the lunatic fringe charismatics (sorry if I offended anyone with that last classification)...the Roman Catholics and the non-Catholics...the cessationsists and the continuationists.  How's that for a run-on sentence?  

Seems like an overly large percentage of the Body of Christ is currently engaged in fruitless arguments and mudslinging within God's church.

You may brand me as a heretic but the older I get the more I ask, "What does Jesus really think of all this infighting?"  Why can't we got on with what we're really here for?

Cyberspace is plugged up with forums and discussion groups filled with would-be theologians debating their positions.  Recently I added my own two cents worth with a comment regarding John MacArthur's recent Strange Fire conference.  I won't reveal my bias here other than to say that I've witnessed and read about some pretty weird "strange fires" recently.

Why can't we get back to the simplicity of the gospel?  God loved me enough to send His Son to pay the penalty for my sin.  Was I elected?  Was I one of the chosen few?  Will my back and knees get healed?  I don't know.  All I know is what former slave trader John Newton realized and stated after his conversion, “Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.” 

So, what do I believe?  I believe that a lot of the "stuff" we're spending our time arguing about doesn't really matter in the final analysis.

I'm a follower of Jesus (with all my mistakes and foibles) and He loves me and gives me the strength to live each day...hopefully for His glory.

Let's call a time out!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jack McGee Kawartha Komets Launch Season # 5

McKenna Swain and Christopher Erhart
The Jack McGee Kawartha Komets, Peterborough's Special Needs Hockey Program, got off to a great start on Saturday, October 26th at our home rink, the Evinrude Centre.  

We had four practices between 9:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. with an excellent turnout for our four teams.  How exciting to watch a good number of rookies don their Komets jersey for the 1st time and realize a dream!

Jacob Zitman

The Komets will be back on the ice on Saturday, November 2nd for our second week of practices. 

Our games begin on Saturday, November 9th.  Our schedule will be posted by October 31st!

Blaze Komets, Blaze!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kawartha Komets Partner With Team 55


October 23rd, 2013

Jack McGee Kawartha Komets Partner with Team 55 Let’s Tackle Suicide Awareness

The Jack McGee Kawartha Komets Special Needs Hockey Program is pleased to announce our partnership with “Team 55 Let’s Tackle Suicide Awareness”.

The Kawartha Komets, a not-for-profit hockey program, was launched in 2009 to give girls, boys, teens and adults with physical, emotional and/or neurodevelopmental challenges an opportunity to play the game they love…hockey.

The Komets will face off against the Peterborough Petes in a fundraising game on December 8th at 3:00 p.m. at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. This will help with the considerable costs involved in sending our teams to the Special Hockey International Tournament in Fraser, Michigan from May 1st – 3rd, 2014. Admission is FREE but our players will be collecting pledges and donations in the weeks leading up to this exciting event. The public will have opportunities do make a donation at the game as well.

The first $1,000 raised as a result of the Komets’ fundraising game with the Petes will go to support the initiatives of the Team 55 Let’s Tackle Suicide Awareness program.

“Team 55 Let’s Tackle Suicide Awareness” first goal was to open the conversation about suicide to the community so that those who may have been touched by suicide or are at risk of harm themselves, are encouraged to talk and share their feelings and ultimately to get help. The second goal of Team 55 is to incorporate an educational component into the high school curriculums in Peterborough and area to help young people become suicide safe.

Education around suicide helps to reduce the stigma of suicide and mental illness and increases the likelihood that those troubled with thoughts of suicide will get help. As well, when peers, teachers and parents are trained to recognize those at risk of suicide they can better have those conversations to direct them towards resources to help them. These initiatives will move forward in collaboration with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (CMHA HKPR) For anyone with problems coping, at risk of suicide or are concerned about someone else, they can call CMHA’s Four County Crisis Response program, 24 hours a day, at 705-745-6484 or 1-866-995-9933 .

The Jack McGee Kawartha Komets are pleased to partner with the Peterborough Petes, CMHA HKPR and Team 55 Let’s Tackle Suicide Awareness to help further this very worthy cause.

The Komets are still taking registrations for the 2013-2014 season and, due to the ongoing expansion of our program, are looking for more coaches and volunteers. We presently have four teams with a total of 60 players.

Please contact Carol Fisher at 705-750-0655 , check our web site at or e-mail the Komets at

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Back When...

This story was posted here on Pilgrim Scribblings 14 years ago.

As I've been reminiscing a lot in my advanced years (???) I thought I'd repost it.

It was fun...back when. 

Here, then, are my fond memories of my hometown, Peterborough, Ontario and my special neighborhood in East City:

Over the years, when asked where I'm from, I've proudly stated that Peterborough, Ontario is my hometown. 

Yes, Peterborough is a special place for the Fisher family. Grandma and Grandpa Fisher immigrated from England in 1923 just after dad was born. Grandpa had come to Canada in 1907 but returned to England, married and began a family. Ashburnham, or East City, became "home" for the Fishers and continues to be so for some of us.

My mother, Jean Fisher, still resides in the same home the family built in the mid 40's and Uncle Bill and Aunt Shirley have lived in their home on St. Lukes Street for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories center around our family, my grandparents, aunts,uncles and cousins. Fisher Gauge was founded by Uncle Bill 60 years ago and "the shop" as we fondly called it was right across the road from our grandparent's home on Sophia Street. The entire family lived within a block of grandma's house. I never dreamed that my cousin Howard, who lived next door, would become such a talented and hilarious musician, Washboard Hank.

All of us, including Aunt Eileen, Uncle Bill, UncleFrank and dad attended King George School, a short walk up the hill. Dad and I even had the same kindergarten teacher. Much of our summer vacation was spent at grandpa's "lot", a piece of land on Lansdowne Street West where Holy Cross School now sits. We enjoyed rides in the trailer, pulled by grandpa's Massey Harris Pony tractor. We had picnics, harvested strawberries, went on hikes and learned to drive the tractor. We'd often spend a hot, summer afternoon at the Lion's Pool on Burnham Street but usually we'd cool off in the Trent Canal, only a few steps from our home. That same canal became a great hockey rink every winter.

Our allowance could be quickly spent on goodies at the Liftlock Candy Shop or an ice cream cone at Irwin's Drug Store (now Sullivans). Once a month we'd visit Jackson's Barber Shop until Cliff Jackson retired and Marty Martignetti set up shop. Many a summer evening was spent at East City Bowl watching the Lakefield Charltons play Georgie's Refreshments in a great softball rivalry. Our neighbourhood was the best! The kids did everything together. We had four natural boundaries, the Marble Works to the west, the Trent Canal on the east, the CPR tracks to the north and Little Lake on the south. Within those borders lived our "gang". The Groombridges, the Jackmans, the Stewarts, the Gooleys, the Joneses, the Shannons, the Wawrykows, the Hollings and, of course, the Fishers. Others would move in for awhile but the "gang" lived there forever it seemed.

Once a week mom hosted a Good News Club where kids would come after school to sing, have Bible quizzes and stories and get a homemade cookie. Many former attendees have expressed thanks to mom for the spiritual foundation laid during those formative years. One of those boys, Don Nicholson, who was one of my best friends, went on to become the minister at Edmison Heights Baptist Church. Our church, McDonnel Street Gospel Hall, was located where the police station now stands. In those days we attended church "twice on Sunday and once in the middle of the week". How I wish I could go back to that old church where I learned so many positive Christian values that would shape my life! We'd venture away from East City to attend hockey games in old (and cold) Civic Arena. As a teenager I attended Petes' games at the Memorial Centre on Thursday nights.

My most embarrassing recollection is the night the community honoured Wayne Connelly, one of the finest juniors ever to play here. Many businesses presented him with special gifts of lasting value. This young fan wrapped up a cheap tie from Kresge's and gave it to him. For seven long years I lived in Toronto but in 1994 we returned "home" to the Peterborough area. We live in Cavan but each morning I drive into Peterborough to grandma's house. We lived in the attic of grandma's house for six months after I was born and now, 59 years later, my office is there. Home again!

Yes, I have many fond memories of Peterborough, a very Special Place!

Note: This story was entered in a writing contest sponsored by our local paper, The Peterborough Examiner. It did not win first prize but it was published at least. - David W. Fisher

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

WANTED - Volunteers

Today I received the following e-mail from a follower of Jesus with a deep social conscience, Christian Harvey

Being involved on a daily basis with the homeless and marginalized segment of our population, I'm encouraged when I see young men like Christian Harvey taking these lifechanging initiatives. 

Please prayerfully consider how you might get involved. THANK YOU! - David

Dear Church Leaders:

Winter is coming!! Not right away, but it will hit us before we know it. For some in our city this causes a life threatening problem, they have nowhere to sleep. Our 1 men’s shelter, 2 women’s shelter and 1 youth shelter understandably cannot meet all the many and complicated needs that arise. Each year people have fallen through the gaps and a rushed, piecemeal effort is thrown together, often well after winter is started to try and keep people safe and warm.

I have been working in conjunction with the City, Health Unit, Canadian Mental Health and other community advocates, and this year we are trying to do better. We are hoping to have a warming room open every night from 5pm-8am, November-March.

In order for this to happen we need many volunteers. Our goal is to have 8 volunteers every night: four would be on for a shift from 5pm-12am and four from 12am-8am. Ideally, if someone were to volunteer they would take one shift every 2 weeks. This means they would be committing to 11 shifts over the roughly 22 weeks we would be open. In order for this to become a reality we will need roughly 110 volunteers. This is where you, our church leaders, come in. Our churches are full of potential volunteers. People who long to make a difference but don’t know where to start. This is that start.

Please help us make this happen by doing one or all of the following:

• Volunteer yourself. Having our faith leaders present would be hugely influential.
• Advertise in your church. Actively seek out those in your congregation who may be open to such an adventure.
• As a church sponsor one night every two weeks. How does this work? You are saying, for example, that every other Tuesday night is your night. You are committing that you will be responsible for finding the volunteers to run that night.

We are hoping to have volunteer training sessions happening in the month of October so that volunteers will feel equipped to deal with issues that may arise as a result of mental health or addiction.

If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions about this program please call me at 705-768-6050 or email Lets see if this year we can make sure no one is left in the cold.

Christian Harvey
Outreach Worker, St. John's Anglican Church

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pathway of Fame Induction

This afternoon we went down to Del Crary Park to check out the Pathway of Fame markers.

I'm honoured to be one of the inductees in this year's ceremony to take place on Saturday, September 14th at 10:00 a.m. at Showplace Entertainment Centre.  

Everyone is invited and I would like to encourage all my family, friends and associates to join us that morning!

To be included with all the previous inductees and the 2013 recipients of this honour is a little overwhelming so please come and share the day with us.

Hope to see you there!  FREE ADMISSION!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Peterborough Petes Take On the Kawartha Komets

The dates and times of our Jack McGee Kawartha Komets game with the OHL's Peterborough Petes have been finalized.

The HUGE fundraising event will take place on Sunday, December 8th at 3:00 p.m. at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

This event is one of many unique fundraisers planned as part of our MISSION to MICHIGAN campaign. 

Keep checking back here at our website for further details!  BLAZE, KOMETS BLAZE!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Komets Blaze at Marlin Travel

Tomorrow's Marlin Travel Fundraiser is going to be a great day for everyone involved. This is Marlin Travel's Customer Appeciation Day with all proceeds going to the Jack McGee Kawartha Komets, Peterborough's Special Needs Hockey Program.

The event will be held in the parking lot at the Heritage Plaza at 550 Lansdowne Street West from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Many of the other businesses in the plaza will be participating. Our friend Allan Hill from Domino's Pizza is offering a coupon giving a special price on large pizzas with $2.49 from each pizza sold (using the coupon) to the Kawartha Komets.

A police car, fire engine and ambulance will be on hand for the kids to see (and sit in).

The Peterborough Petes mascot, Roger, will be on hand along with head coach Jody Hull and several other Petes personnel. The Lakers' mascot will be in attendance also.

Kids are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite storybook character with a prize for the best costume.

Other prizes and hand-outs are available.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, pop, water and juice boxes will be sold with the proceeds going to the Komets.

Everyone in Peterborough and surrounding area is encouraged to come!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Puzzling Secret

The secret to the many things that puzzle us in this thing called "life" is to just "Be still and know that I am God." - Pslam 46:10

So simple and yet we make it so complicated.

Have you found the missing piece.

It's right there in front of you!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Black Dog

My friend Greg Asimakoupoulos writes knowingly about the Black Dog of Depression

That dog bites me from time to time and it hurts. As Greg implies and I state...if you've never tangled with the might just think it's a cute puppy. IT'S NOT!!!

The Black Dog of Depression - Empathizing with those who have it...

The house pet Winston Churchill had
would drive him to the brink
He called the beast he walked each day Black Dog.
It bit him fairly often
and would leave him prone to tears
while calling out in heartfelt prayer to God

Abe Lincoln also knew these bites.
They forced him to his knees
Depression robbed him of his peace of mind
The demons of discouragement
possessed him to the end
You can see their traces in his forehead lines.

Black Dog's sharp teeth have bitten me.
I know the pain they cause.
The dark clouds of depression hid the light.
I withered in the darkness
without words to voice my grief
as I stumbled in the never-ending night.

Only those who've known this torture
can relate to such despair.
Depression's victims share a common plight.
But, thank God, there is an answer
in both therapists and prayer
and the Healer who helps lead us to the light.

* Churchill referred to his depression as "the black dog." Why not do a web search for famous people who battled clinical depression? I "hit the wall" in 1991 but benefited from a helpful therapist, a praying wife, a supportive congregation and a faithful God.

Click here to find other poignant things penned by Greg!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Mighty Saviour

This is such an encouraging truth!  What consolation in knowing that we are always in God's care, always on His mind and never out of His reach.

The phrase "Mighty to Save" has always buoyed me up...especially in my darkest hours.

Rejoice in His love today.  The mighty God is your fortress and deliverer!

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." - Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Strong Tower

This is one of my favourite scripture verses and I also love the chorus that we often sing with these lyrics.  Proverbs 18:10

The name of the Lord IS a strong tower...a refuge for the weary, the discouraged, the downhearted and for every believer who calls on His name. above all names!

Click here to listen to this song...and be lifted in your spirit!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Mystery

I'm sitting here at my computer downloading an upgrade. It takes a minute or two and I can hear strange noises coming from the "guts" of the machine. I'm thinking, "I have no clue what's going on inside" and wondering how the 'thing' works. When the download is complete I get a message on the screen informing me that the procedure was successful.

Because I know absolutely nothing about the inner workings of my laptop do I question its existence? Do I throw it out because I can't "figure it out"? NO! You've probably guessed where I'm going with this. Right?

Far too often I don't understand God's dealings with me or with others. When asked to explain an unexpected death, a recently diagnosed disease or a devastating divorce I'm at a loss. Life is filled with mysteries. Things we'll never be able to understand or explain.

But...I choose to believe in and trust the divine Creator who never makes a mistake. The Bible declares, "As for God...his way is perfect" (Psalm 18:30) and I'm ready and willing to accept that...hard as it might be to do so.

I'll never understand how a computer works and why God does some of the things He does but...

I will continue to type away and post on my Pilgrim Scribblings blog or Facebook page, send and receive e-mails and rest in the embrace of a mysterious God who loves me unconditionally.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dad's Tribute

Here's a tribute for my dad...taken from the Pilgrim Scribblings archives...with minimum editing:

As many of you know, my father, Chester W. Fisher, went "home" to heaven over 21 years ago on May 21st, 1992. He was dearly loved and now he is greatly missed.

My Dad, a beloved father!

After dad went to be with the Lord it was difficult, when Father's Day rolled around, to walk past the card racks in stores that displayed cards for the special occasion. I realized that I "still" had a father, he had just gone on ahead and I will join him someday. So, I began buying my dad birthday cards and Father's Day cards. The sentiments I would share with dad, were he here, are written in the cards and then I date them and put them away in a drawer. It has been a very therapeutic exercise for me.

This is the card I bought for dad this year. On the inside it says, "As my dad, you're loved! Happy Father's Day"!
"Love goes on forever..." - 1 Corinthians
 13:8 (The Living Bible)
The Father's Day Card for my Dad
I trust you've had a good day! God bless you and make you a blessing!

Here's an article that appeared in the Jefferson Community College newsletter back in the early 90's. It's a fitting tribute to a man who loved God and served Him gladly:
The Chester W. Fisher Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship, created by the employees of Fisher Gage Inc. (now known as Fishercast), in Watertown, New York, was established to recognize a great leader. Jim Fisher said his father 'was a man who cared about people, life, family and the church. To know him was to know a gentleman. His influence was deeply felt.' This award, which was started in 1992, is given to a hard working, well-adjusted Jefferson Community College student in the second year of study. It is open to all students.

Chester W. Fisher was born in Birmingham, England, on May 5, 1922. A year later his family immigrated to Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

Apprenticing as a tool and die maker, a tradition among the men of his family, he began work at Canadian General Electric in Peterborough. He worked for the company for many years and held several management positions. In 1955, Mr. Fisher and his brother, William F. Fisher, formed a partnership, establishing Fisher Gauge Limited in Peterborough, Canada.

As both a shareholder and senior executive of the company, he was engaged in establishing the Watertown, New York, branch in 1964. Subsequently, his involvement in creating Fishercast in Watertown made the company a leading manufacturer of a small precise zinc alloy die casting in the United States.

During his many trips to Watertown from Peterborough over the years, he started a special relationship with his Watertown employees. To them, he was more than an executive of Fishercast, he was a friend.

Just as his Watertown employees respected him, so did his Canadian employees. His Canadian secretary Lynda Whitney said, 'Whenever I'd introduce Ches as my boss or supervisor, in his quiet manner he'd say, I am Lynda's co-worker.' Chairman Todd Wilcox added this: 'It has been my privilege to observe this high-principled man, a model for all who aspire to further the happiness and well being of others.'

Mr. Fisher's humanitarianism extended to friends and strangers. The list of organizations he served is extensive and includes church and missions, businesses, social service agencies, and educational, environmental and arts councils.

Chester W. Fisher died May 21, 1992.

Note: The Watertown plant was closed in 2003 due to economic conditions at the time. Dad's influence continues to live on. He was highly respected as a Christian business man...a man of integrity and Christian values. -

Friday, June 07, 2013

God's Love

Absolutely true!
Hard to fathom!
Thank you, Lord!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Big Door

God, Your door is so big and I am so small!

"Knock and it shall be opened unto you." - Luke 11:9

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Two Things

I love collecting quotes and this one
from John Newton, former slave trader
who was gloriously converted and wrote
Amazing Grace, is one of my 

Friday, May 03, 2013

Helping a FRIEND

This is NOT Jerry.
Recently I met with a new client (he left as a friend) and his story echoes that of so many others who come into FRIENDS Peterborough.

Jerry (not his real name) waited until others in the FRIENDS office had left and then he began to pour out his heart.

His story included the following:

  1. He had lost his business.
  2. He had picked up some basic food items at the Salvation Army.
  3. He is close to declaring bankruptcy...again.
  4. He often sleeps in his car if a friend doesn't lend him a couch.
  5. His breakfast was a bun (from the Salvation Army) with a couple of slices of cucumber (from his car),
  6. He keeps some utensils in his car (to slice cucumbers).
  7. He is not eligible for Social Services (OW or ODSP).
  8. He didn't share his family situation but I could tell that it's a sensitive issue.
  9. His psychiatrist keeps switching his medications.
  10. He feels that there's no hope.
All of this begs the question:

Where do I start to help this man?  I could extend two things...which I try to give to all "friends".  A listening ear and a compassionate heart.

Hopefully Jerry will be back tomorrow.  

P. S.  He needs a new pair of running shoes...size 9 1/2

Check out our FRIENDS Peterborough website here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Depression Thoughts

Often, but not often enough, someone will pen some thoughts that exactly mirror your own.  

You suddenly become aware that you're not the only one with those gut-wrenching emotions.

Warwick Rendell has written about his struggles with depression.

He writes:  


"You can’t explain to someone who hasn’t been there what it’s like to wake up, and the black curtain of storm clouds have suddenly dropped around you. How do you face the people around you, silently mouthing to each other “again?”. How can you explain that the objectively irrational impulses seem subjectively rational? That you understand that you’re not OK, but there’s nothing you can do to change it, while the world goes on making demands as if you still felt “normal”.

Your partner still wants you to be able to be there for her. The kids still want to get hugs from you – and they still need to eat. The boss still wants you to output widgets. The bank still wants you to make payments on the credit cards you used to survive when things went pear-shaped last time. The landlord still wants his rent." 

For the rest of the article, please click here.  It's worth the two or three minutes it will take to finish the story.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


HELP!!! I've pleaded for help with this issue before on Facebook and I've tried every suggestion and nothing works. It's such a simple issue to resolve but I can't overcome this dilemma.

If you can help I will give you a HUGE "thank you" prize.

Here's the problem:

I have a blog for my workplace - FRIENDS Peterborough. The URL is This is a BLOGGER hosted blog. I have not been able to post on this site since last June because I can't remember the username or the password. All efforts to either retrieve these or set a new password have failed. I've changed the password several time. Still can't log on. I don't want to give up the URL because it has been advertised in many places. Blogger, as a company, cannot be contacted by phone or e-mail to get instructions. They only have their HELP tab on their site and I still can't get this to work.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE help. I need to revamp the FRIENDS Peterborough blog but can't get in. I'm FRUSTRATED!!!

Thanks for coming to my aid!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Won't Load

A new "take" on "the page cannot be found".  Which one are you?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bookstore Blues

Here I go...flogging a dead horse again! Many of my readers will know how disappointed I was when our local Christian bookstore CLOSED for good. 

Through no fault of their own, Jim and Susan Rose had to lock the door for the last time. Changing times? Different consumer buying habits? Failure of local Christians to support a business that warranted their patronage? All of the above!

Many times since then I've been in the Market Plaza and fondly remembered the good times I'd spent in Emmaus Family Books. Meeting old friends! Chatting with Jim or Sue or their daughters! Buying a CD, book or a card! Often I'd think of someone who needed an encouraging word. I'd drop by the store and pick up a nice Dayspring card...not available anywhere else. Sure, I could order it online or drive to Toronto to purchase a card. But I needed it right away. CLOSED!

Easter will be here in another week. I'd like to pick up some Dayspring cards. Even just one for my mother or my wife or that struggling person I met on the street.

I can drive to Cobourg to visit my friend Paul Wilkinson at Searchlight Books. They are still open...thank God. But driving down there for one card?

Who says Christian bookstores are no longer relevant? NOT ME!

If you still have a Christian bookstore...SUPPORT IT! PLEASE!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Keep Calm

Be Strong

Understanding God

Yes, sometimes I struggle to know what God is really doing.

But I know..."as for God, His way is perfect" I continue on, knowing that He will explain later.

Trusting Him can be difficult but He really does know what is best for me...and for YOU!

Fall back into His everlasting arms today and leave your struggle with Him.

He has already assured us that the battle is not ours but His.

He is more than capable!  He is the everlasting God.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Knuckleball Review

I've just finished reading R. A. Dickey's book, "Whenever I Wind Up - My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball."

I'd glanced through the book before the Toronto Blue Jays signed Dickey, last year's National League Cy Young award winner, but after he joined Canada's team, I thought I should get acquainted with this highly touted pitcher.

Dickey chronicles his sexual abuse as a young boy and relates how the experience often came back to haunt him in later years.  Dickey's upbringing was far from "normal" but through perseverance and determination he was able to overcome the demons in his life and become one of the top pitchers in the major leagues.

As I read the book I found myself getting frustrated, along with the author, as he repeatedly was given chances to secure a spot in the pitching rotation of several big league clubs but was shipped back to the minors time and time again after brief appearances in the "bigs".

After struggling for years to succeed as a pitcher using the usual arsenal of  fastball, curve, slider, change-up, etc., Dickey took a shot at being a knuckleball pitcher, following in the footsteps of knucklers like Hoyt Wilhelm, Phil Niekro, Charlie Hough and Tim Wakefield.  Finally...success became a reality, not a dream and R. A. Dickey has put together several seasons as a remarkable pitcher.

If you're quick to give up on someone, you might put the book down after Dickey had been sent back to the minors countless times but if you're a cheerleader who pulls for the'll stick with R. A. 'til the end.

The book was especially meaningful to me as the author mentioned several baseball men who helped him along the way, men who impacted my life as well during my years as chaplain to the Toronto Blue Jays.  Reading the book resurrected fond memories of encounters with these men.

R. A. Dickey's vibrant faith in Jesus Christ undergirded him during his rise to the top.  Without divine encounters with a living God, Dickey's struggles personally, in his marriage and in his baseball career would certainly have brought him down.

Of the many sports biographies and autobiographies that I've read over the years, this one ranks right at the top.

As the title suggests, Dickey was seeking truth and authenticity.  After exposing his flaws and warts for the world to see, I sense that this man is now authentic and real.

Buy the book and be challenged and encouraged.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

HUGE Losses

Paul Wilkinson from Thinking Out Loud wrote the following lament and I agree 100%.  Paul has been a Christian bookstore owner for years (and I was too).

I know that many readers will argue with me but my position remains firm and unchanging.  When a Christian bookstore closes its doors's HUGE loss.

Paul writes:

With electronic devices, the proliferation of online ordering, and a general lack of reading taking place, it’s easy to know the why of what happens when a community loses a Christian bookstore.

But in the process, the community also loses its Christian music store and its Christian DVD store and its Christian greeting card store and its Christian giftware store and its Christian apparel store and its outlet for tickets for Christian events and its church supplies store and its Bible store and its place to meet up with other Christ followers in a non church setting.

Instead: The church community loses a marketplace presence.

Instead: The community at large loses the effects of the church being in that marketplace.

Maybe, even though they don’t own the businesses in question, local churches should be standing side-by-side with the remaining stores and fighting for their survival.

Blessed Brokenness

When I saw this graphic, "God restores the broken" i knew I had to post it here on Pilgrim Scribblings.

How encouraging to know that the One who made us is ready and willing to "fix" us when we've been hurt, damaged or broken either by our own choices or by the instrumentality of others!

His grace is sufficient to meet our every need.

It's not "fun" being broken.  It's not the path I would choose.  But, when we find ourselves in that condition, the God of all grace can restore and use us again.  I'm so glad!

As the psalmist said, "Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." - Psalm 147:1,3 (NIV)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Football Faithful

Another excellent poem by my friend Greg Asimakoupoulos:

The Lord's Day vs. Game Day

A new look at Sunday worship

by Greg Asimakoupoulos - January 11, 2013

Every Sunday football's faithful
robed in sacred color schemes
chant their praises to the pigskin god on high.
In cathedrals (domed and open)
these devoted fans converge
raising arms (as if in worship) to the sky.

On the field a reenactment
of some ancient sacrifice
calls to mind the gladiator's brute and gore.
With vicarious allegiance
those who look-on feel the pain
as they pray the pigskin god will fix the score.

It's religion pure and simple.
There's a liturgy observed
by the priests with whistles clad in black-and-white.
And the banners they're unfurling
call to mind transgressions made
making clear the cost of penance in plain sight.

The conversion rate is stunning.
New believers fill the seats
as they flock each week to find community.
It's a fellowship like family
where nobody feels alone.
That is why it is their faith's identity.

What was once a fun amusement
has become idolatry.
Even pastors cancel church for play-off games.
Yes, the Lord's Day has been tackled
and then sidelined (left for dead)
and the worst part is it's happened without shame.