Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas 2008 Update



Dear friends:

Warm Christmas greetings! As we get closer to Christmas day I pray that you will pause to give thanks for the gift of God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Where would we be if He had never come to redeem us from our sins?

What a year of change and transition it’s been! Without the grace and strength that the Lord so graciously provides it could have been a disaster but He walked with us each step of the way and provided all we needed.

It’s hard to believe that six months have passed since we moved to our “new to us” home in early June. We still haven’t unpacked all the boxes and the pictures haven’t been hung yet but we’re finally beginning to feel at home.

The sale of the family business, FisherCast Global Corporation, was another difficult situation but, again, God gave His strength during this time of upheaval. We have many fond memories of “Fisher Gauge” as it used to be called and we know that the legacy that Uncle Bill, Uncle Frank and my dad built and left will not be destroyed, no matter what.

In October I took a position with the missions agency SIM Canada (based in Scarborough, ON) in the Donor Relations department. Carol and I needed some financial stability and when this opportunity presented itself we felt that the Lord was opening a door that we should walk through. I left my position with Christian Horizons at the beginning of November and began a new phase of ministry at SIM. The apostle Paul was not adverse to “tent making” to supplement his income so I shouldn’t be either. We continue to trust God to provide for our needs through Epistle Sports Ministries but during this “season of life” we will thank Him for this door He has opened.

We will continue to minister through Epistle Sports Ministries as we have done for the past 33 years. More than ever I’m convinced of the value and importance of “a written word of encouragement”. The handwritten “epistles” will continue to be sent to athletes in all the major sports. Our work with the Peterborough Petes through Hockey Ministries International is a major source of joy and blessing as we see the marvellous response to our MONDAY WE HAVE FISH chapels which are held every second Monday.

Our boys Matthew (13) and Nathan (12) have adjusted well to their new school, Arrowsmith School, and we praise God for the positive gains we’ve seen. We are trusting God to provide for the tuition for next September but, until then, we are grateful that we made the move to get them the help they needed at Arrowsmith. Please pray that they will continue to do well there. THANK YOU!

Maintaining several web sites or blogs as they are called has been a blessing to me and to many who have found encouragement and help through what we write. Our Pilgrim Scribblings blog recently celebrated four years in cyberspace and our readership has continued to grow each year. Please check us out regularly if you’re not in the habit of doing so at:

Last year I joined a Christian writers group called The Writer’s Crucible. We meet each month to encourage each other and to critique our submissions. We pray for each other and spur each other on to work at our writing skills. I’ve enjoyed these monthly gatherings where we can mutually encourage one another.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in our family and our ministries. As we approach the end of another year, I pray that you would consider investing (eternally) in the lives of those we minister to by sending a year-end gift to Epistle Sports Ministries. Your gift would help us eliminate the deficit we’ve been carrying and enable us to finish the year in a stronger financial position. Thank you for your prayerful consideration. It means so very much! All gifts are tax-deductible and will be receipted early in the new year.

Gifts should be sent to:

Epistle Sports Ministries – 294 Rink Street – Suite 101 – Peterborough, ON K9J 2K2

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rays Lose Out To Phillies

Another season of baseball came to a close this evening as the Philadelphia Phillies knocked off the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 to win the series 4 games to 1.

I had been pulling for the Rays because my best friend in baseball, Gabe Gross, is on the Rays' roster. Rays' third base coach, Tom Foley, is also a long-time friend. The Rays' Cinderella season ended too soon but they have a solid nucleus to build on for next season.

I'm pleased that
Pat Gillick (pictured), Phillies' GM, won the World Series in his final term with the World Champions. His expertise was instrumental in the Toronto Blue Jays' two World Series Championships in 1992 and 1993. CONGRATULATIONS, Pat!

Spring Training will roll around before we know it and the
Blue Jays will contend next season.

Mark my words!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bad News...Good News

Friday! Bad news...good news! Two friends go in two different directions.

Tuning in to The Fan 590 I learned that my friend John Gibbons, the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, had been fired. I wasn't shocked but I was certainly disappointed. John is such a good guy. Down to earth, easy to like, affable, always accommodating. He was always so good to me. I'll miss him but we'll stay in touch.

Later in the day another friend, Zach Bogosian, was picked 3rd overall in the NHL draft by the Atlanta Thrashers. Zach's dream is to play in the NHL at 18 years of age. He will. We'll miss him here in Peterborough with the Petes. Zach and his parents became good friends during his sojourn in Peterborough. Now he's on a fast track to the NHL.

Two friends, two different d
irections. That's sports. That's life. That's what my life and ministry, Epistle Sports Ministries, is all about. Consoling athletes during the tough times. Congratulating them when things are going well. And...all the time...pointing them to Jesus.

God bless you John and Zach! Our friendship will continue no matter what!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gabe Gross Goes To Tampa

My good friend Gabe Gross was traded yesterday by the Milwaukee Brewers to the Tampa Bay Rays. I haven't spoken with Gabe or heard from him by e-mail so I don't know what his reaction to the trade has been.

From my perspective I'll get to see him when the Rays come to Toronto for three series this season as he will be back in the American League again. The Brewers have two other outfielders who will be activated this week and Gabe's playing time there would have been reduced. It seems that he would get more playing time in Tampa.

Regardless, Gabe and his wife Kelly have placed their trust in a sovereign God who makes no mistakes and they will continue to let Him lead them and use them for His glory.
God bless you, Gabe, as you begin a new chapter!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Habs & Sens

Some of you have asked why I've been noticeably silent regarding the Ottawa Senators recently. To be honest, I didn't know what to say. I still don't! Last night I was at the game in Ottawa. The Canadiens beat the Sens soundly 3-0. The game was bittersweet because I DO like the Habs' young goaltender Carey Price but I wasn't praying for a shutout (which he got).

Nobody seems to be able to figure out the Senators recently. Who would have thought in early November that they'd be struggling to secure a playoff berth during the last week of the season.

Anyhow, it was good to see Mike and Chris Neil (pictured) briefly after the game. As always, Mike played a strong game but the Sens just didn't get any bounces. Little Fish bounced a few Canadiens off the boards though.

Hopefully the Sens can put away the Leafs on Thursday night.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

The High Calling of God

“The reality of exorbitant salaries, high class lifestyles and worldly ideologies does not negate or reduce God’s passionate quest to reach the professional athlete for Himself. If God has irrevocably called us to minister to this people group, we must not forsake His mandate regardless of their elevated position in life. They need to experience God’s redemptive grace no less than the homeless child in a far-off land. We must tell them of the Father’s amazing love as revealed through His Son, Jesus Christ.” – David W. Fisher/Founder/Epistle Sports Ministries

Friday, February 29, 2008

Honouring Mickey Renaud

Last night the Windsor Spitfires hockey team paid tribute to their captain Mickey Renaud who died suddenly two weeks ago.

Renaud, drafted by the Calgary Flames, collapsed and died at his home. The cause of death is still being investigated.

Before last night's game each Windsor Spitfire player came onto the ice wearing a replica of Renaud's #18 jersey with the captain's "C" emblazoned on the front.

It was an emotional prelude to the Spitfire's first game since this tragic death.

This morning Ben Davey, one of the Breakfast Club co-hosts on Life 100.3, commented on last night's tribute. He suggested that Renaud's parents must have looked on with mixed emotions as Mickey's teammates came onto the ice decked out like him. In effect the Renauds had 20 plus sons out there.

Similarly, Davey commented, God must look down on His children and see many reflections of His Son Jesus Christ. How are we reflecting the One whom we claim to serve? Are we decked out like Him or would it be difficult for others to recognize our allegiance?

We mourn the loss of a talented hockey player and pray for his family as they grieve this terrible loss. Last night's tribute was one hockey team's effective method of honouring one of their own.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

David, the Letter Man

Carol picked up this book (pictured) at a thrift store recently. The title caught my attention. FAMOUS LETTERS, Messages and Thoughts That Shaped Our World.

Being involved in a letter-writing ministry I thought of the thousands of letters I have written and wondered if any of them would be considered "famous". Hopefully some of them have "shaped" the world of the athletes to whom they were written.

Our ministry, EPISTLE SPORTS MINISTRIES, has sought to "Encounter Professionals In Sports Through Letters of Encouragement" for over 30 years.

The apostle Paul's letters (epistles) to the early church certainly shaped and impacted the believers in the first century. They were so significant (breathed by the Holy Spirit) that they have been preserved until today. They continue to instruct us in the way we should live. I praise God that "holy men of God spoke as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (1 Peter 1:21)

We can have such a positive impact on others when we write letters of encouragement. How often has a struggling pilgrim been uplifted and challenged to "carry on" by a timely word written by another pilgrim!

Why not drop a letter in the mail today. Encourage a fellow believer. It may not be a "famous letter" in the eyes of the world but in God's economy and in the eyes of the recipient it might be historically life-changing.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Scattered Scribblings

As a veteran of over 30 years in sports ministry I've been strangely silent on the steroids situation (notice the 4 s's?) Friends who I've met have been implicated. Time (or maybe just eternity) will reveal the truth, the facts.

Here are some scattered scribblings concerning sports:

My interactions with Roger Clemens (pictured) over the years were always positive. I may be proven wrong but I believe him when he says he wasn't injected with HGH (human growth hormones). I'm praying for you, Roger!

The bloody incident in Buffalo involving Richard Zednik was scary. Thank You, Father, for sparing this hockey player. May his recovery be quick and complete.

The Senators' trade with the Hurricanes was a good one in my estimation - at least for this season. Cory Stillman is a native of Peterborough (like me) and will add some secondary scoring to the Sens' lineup.

My friend Mike Sweeney has signed a minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics. It sure will seem strange not seeing him when the Kansas City Royals come to Toronto. I wish you God's best, Mike!

It's good to see Jordan Staal putting the puck in the net more often. I knew he would come around.

Remember the Patriots? They finally lost a game...the Big One.

If you listen closely you'll soon be able to hear the crack of the bat in Florida and Arizona.

It's exciting watching Zach Bogosian of the Peterborough Petes as he hones his skills awaiting the NHL draft in June. This could very well be his last season here. It's bittersweet to see a fine, young man in his teens go off to the NHL.

Does anyone not think Mike Fisher is the consumate pro?

I'm one of a handful of fans who like Andrew Raycroft! Give the guy a break!

Keep your eye on David Booth of the Florida Panthers. He's a keeper! A fine Christian too!

I might be biased but Bud Fisher is one of the finest young athletes (and men) you will ever meet. Check out the Quinnipiac Bobcats link on the Pilgrim Scribblings blog.

That's all for now, folks!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Questions For Fish

Tonight we had our twice-monthly chapel service called MONDAY WE HAVE FISH with the Peterborough Petes. What a night! We didn't even get to the questions on the handout I had prepared. The guys, led by captain John Armstrong (pictured) had more serious issues that they wanted to discuss.

How can we know that the Bible is true?
Why have there been so many wars over religion?
If there is only one true religion are all the rest wrong?
What happens when you die?

Great questions that taxed me and yet thrilled me at the same time. Many of the players had other commitments tonight so we only had 13 players present but it was one of the most thought-provoking evenings we've ever had.

I praise God for the opportunity He has opened up for me over the last 12 years to pour truth into the lives of these young men 16-20 years of age.

Thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bud Blanks Yale

I took the following info off the Yale University Athletics web site after Bud Fisher did a number on Yale tonight.

Here's their news brief:

Puck Bounces In Favor of Cats

Yale Falls 3-0 to No. 16 Quinnipiac

Jan. 12, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Three different players scored goals and Bud Fisher stopped all 16 shots as the No. 16 Quinnipiac men's hockey team handed Yale a 3-0 loss before 3,486 at Ingalls Rink in ECAC action.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Another Bogosian

Zach Bogosian, sophomore defenceman with the Peterborough Petes, isn't the only Bogosian being recognized recently. Zach has been ranked 3rd overall by NHL Scouting in advance of the upcoming NHL draft in June. His older brother Aaron is a freshman at St. Lawrence University and was name ECAC Rookie of the Week last week.


Jan. 7: St. Lawrence University freshman center Aaron Bogosian has been selected as ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week for the second time this season after helping the Saints to a 6-5 upset of 7 th-ranked New Hampshire on Sunday.

Bogosian had a goal and set up the game-tying goal as the Saints came from down 5-3 in the third period to win with three goals in the last 7:06 of regulation. The Saint rookie from Massena, who played junior hockey at Cedar Rapids last season, has scored a goal in each of his last three games and has scored six of his eight points on the season in his last three starts.

Bogosian, who has played in all 19 games thus far for the Saints, was also named Rookie of the Week after a Saint split at Ohio State in early December.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bud Does It Again

My nephew, Bud Fisher, has made me proud again. The following post appeared on the Quinnipiac Bobcats website this week:

Bud Fisher Named ECAC Hockey Goaltender Of The Week
Written by:

Release: 01/02/2008

Quinnipiac junior Bud Fisher (Peterborough, Ont.) has been named the ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week, as announced by the league office on Jan. 2, 2008. The award is Fisher’s third of his career.

This past weekend, at the 2007 Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup, Fisher took home Most Valuable Player honors after Quinnipiac won the cup with back-to-back wins over Western Michigan, 2-1, and Vermont, 5-1. Fisher, who allowed just one goal to each team, had 18 saves against Western Michigan while registering 19 against Vermont in the championship on the Catamounts’ home ice.

For the year, Fisher has allowed 16 goals in 481:24 minutes over eight games for a 1.99 goals-against-average. With 180 saves on 196 shots-on-goal, Fisher also boasts a .918 save percentage. Fisher currently ranks 12th nationally in GAA and 26th in save percentage.