Goin back to school - North Park University

Friday, January 31, 2003
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Weeeel, we made it through day one.
I made it here to North Park University in urban Chicago. And does it feel wierd.
I'm walkin around on this 100 somthing year old campus with big OLD Brick buildings with lots of kids and groups and, well it's just kinda cool is all.

First of all, it's stinkin cold here. If it wasn't for the wind, i think it would be right nice but that wind is evil.
But my room is ok, and the university just gives off that "I'm learning something just by standing in the middle of this old courtyard of this old American University" kind a feel to it. I think I'll have to get a "U of NP" sweatshirt before I leave.
I am challenged by it all. I realize (again) just how much I don't know, and how poor my education level is. I think I secretly love these class opportunities and, as this is my last class, I think I'm gonna miss these focused teaching times.
Now, the guy who sits beside me is a upper 50's pastor from Iowa or someplace. He has a cellphone that plays "The Yellow Rose of Texas" whenever it rings, and it rings often, but HE DOESN'T HEAR IT!!
The whole class hears it and is looking around for who it belongs to, but this guys does not hear a thing!! Three times today we heard that tune and the teacher (Dr. Phil) just keeps right on teaching, bless his heart, and the guy next to me keeps looking and listening intently to Phil....
Tonight the University had a reception and banquet for us where they fed us well and shared a bit about the university. It was good food and a great presentation- hey, I'd love to go here for a few years. I think the biggest hurtle is the cost. $20some thousand US for tuition only, per year. need i say more?
I'm making some new friendships and renewing old ones. Paul Lessard is taking the class too. He has resigned as executive director of the northwest CBC and is moving to Hope Covenant Church in Strathmore AB. to go on staff there. It will be great for the Canadian Conference to have him home again.
I have found a connection, in a computer lab right underneath my class. Depending on my time, i will try to keep this site updated so that you guys can follow along. If you want to email me, do so at the gatewaycovenant@hotmail.com address and I will check up on it regularly.
Keep praying, please.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 7:40 PM

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Day Two and I'm tired...
Well, I did have a good sleep, and this morning, it's colder than yesterday!
I've got to get to a food store to get some food. I've jus been skipping lunch and breakfast, but i know that can't go on all 12 days. I heard there is a Jewel food store about 15 blocks away, so i need to find a bus down there and back. I think i'll go at 4:30 when class is over.
I'm writing during the break time, so I don't have alot of time now. Sorry about the spelling, I'm typing fast here!
But this morning we talked about the early history of Sweden.
The very cool thing? Was I held a Swedish Bible that was translated from Luthers German text. The Bible was made in 1541.
The handwritten notes in the margin ranged through 1783 and various other times since. Now, for me who loves history, that was just very cool. Just about as cool as the time I touched the CFL'S Grey Cup, only older!!
Oh and here's an interesting Luther writing... He wrote, "When a man changes a babies diaper, the angels in heaven rejoice."
There you go.
That's all for now.
P.S. No Yellow Rose of Texas tunes so far today.
That is all.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 10:43 AM

"Lunch at a Chicago Institution"
Well, I just got back from lunch. I decided to have lunch today so that I could catch the bus to the food store while it is still light out over the supper hour.
There is this place across from North Park called the Hot Dog Hut or some such thing. Serious hotdogs were the thing i was after. So I ordered the Quarter pounder with the works and a small "Dr." to drink.
It was very good, but, not something that you couldn't make, Lauralea. In fact i was thinking of you as i ate. One bite of this bad boy and out the other end came a chunk of onions and relish and, of course, mustard, all over my black shirt and sweater. These are the risks you take eating in a "Chicago Institution" i guess.
Before lunch we were into Pietism. the history people and etc. I think that's where we continue after lunch.
i should go get ready, see if i can get this stain out a bit more!!

posted by: Randall Friesen | 1:11 PM

I'm Back ...
Hey, it took about two hours, but i made it back from the JEWEL grocery store.
I just checked the weather in Prince Albert, stink it's cold there!!!
We've got a pastor here from Tampa Bay and the poor guy is dying. He's got every coat he's brought on him and he just can't stop chillin.
I'm gonna go do some reading for a while. Tomorrow it's back to Pietism and the rest of the story.
P.S. hey Lauralea, gimme a call tonight. i miss you.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 8:11 PM

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Yeah Johanna
"Well, Johanna says she passed the driving class. She was two points short for passing, but the teacher gave her a passing grade anyway. Apparently she liked Johanna's joke today.... she's always telling Jo to "look up", so today when she said it Johanna said, "and I'll call Rusty!". Teacher laughed and said she's always trying that out on students but they never get it. So, she doesn't have to take the class again."
Way to go Johanna, good thing we never had cable tv when you were young or you would have never been able to complete that joke with the instructor!!
May your road always be wide open, and no one to pass.
Gotta get to the New Library archives where my next class meets.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 1:32 PM

It's All Relative ...
So, we're in the Archive section of this FABULOUS NEW BRANDEL LIBRARY (sorry for yelling) and we are walking through shelves of papers and rocking chairs and portable organs when we come upon a silver cup that the college won in some contest in April of 1907. I pick it up and look at it discovering the age of the thing and I realize that my province is just about as old as that cup !!!
We in Sask. are only babies in the grand scheme of things, and, there in that archive, on a shelf, engraved on a tarnished silver cup, is the proof.
Babies i tell ya.
I found a KFC about 6 blocks away, so I ate supper there. and I just got in from watching a little Ladies Basketball against Augustana or some college team. So I think I'll go do some reading yet tonight, then turn in. It's kinda nice not having anything else to do or place to go, ya just go to bed early.
But, i miss the new doo, and the babies. Take a pic.
So, if you're in P.A. STAY INDOORS FOR PETE SAKE!! Stay warm, and go to bed early.
more tomorrow.
PS. I just heard that Michael Jordon and his team are in town tomorrow night playing the Bulls. And i know that he just moved into third place in the race for the most career points.
Hmmm, wonder where I could score a ticket. Makes a guy think.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 8:05 PM

Hey, cool

a guy named Kyle Gill (sp?) just came up and introduced himself to me. He was on the CBC Tour team last year and he recognized me here in the library. He sez "Hi Matt, hang in there."
just cool is all.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 8:12 PM

Friday, January 24, 2003

This morning we got the rundown on our exams (Monday afternoon and Thursday afternoon). Sounds a bit daunting, at least to some of us. Just pray and I'm sure things should be OK.
It's lunch right now so I just have a moment before class starts. I love that they have these computers all over the campus so I can stop in on my way past and check email (gatewaycovenant@hotmail.com) and update the blog. They all have net access so that is very cool.
I had a can of chunky soup for lunch, so that may even hole me till late tonight! It ain't even that bad cold, but it makes me appreciate that hamburger soup even more that exists in Prince Albert.
It's considered quite cold here these days but that ain't nothin compared to Sask. so I won't even bring it up.
I guess Ben Aflec and J-Lo are in town, so we're suppose to watch out for them, might get a shot of them somewhere. I guess he is filming a movie downtown. A few other big shot types around too, so I'll keep the eyes peeled and the camera ready to go.
gotta get to class.
Bye 4 now

posted by: Randall Friesen | 1:30 PM

Tired out...

Looks like I might be stuck in Chicago on a free Friday night. Grief.
We are really tired after today but I'd like to not spend it in my room!!
I need to get a few gifts but the nearest mall is two bus transfers away to get there, and 4 transfers to get back, later at night. That's a risk I don't want to take, missing the last bus home!
Or, I could walk to the train and go downtown and hunt around a bit for some souveniours(sp) there, but thats alot of work for possibly little return.
It was a long day today, facts and dates flying past us thick and fast. We are a fairly fearful bunch after we heard that the Prof. likes dates in exams.....
anyway, mebe I go to my room a bit, then venture out to find some supper later. i dunno.
that is all.
to pooped to party in chicago

posted by: Randall Friesen | 5:35 PM

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Back From The LOOP
Well, I just made it back from downtown looking for gifts for the kids.
Micah; two totally different gifts, but they rhyme!
Joh; game of hoops anyone?
Hillary: this little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home ... (You finish it in your head...)
Thomas: the luv exam.
now, you're on your own. Go guess.
Glad thats over, now i gotta find a church to attend tomorrow! I'm kind hopping to attend one that has an announcement in the bulletin that says "There will be a SuperBowl party with lots of snacks over at so-and-so's place."
I was thinking that I would phone around and ask if any had that kind of thing planned, but so far I've had the victory. I think i'll go to North Park Covenant, mainly because I can walk to it. Besides, it's a more formal (?) worship service and I want to check it out. Now I just hope they party over football.
I found a krispy-kreme donut shop here .... well, all the hype is really worth it! they are wonderful donuts!! Wish I could bring some home with me. I'm not sure how to do it yet. Any ideas, email me at gatewaycovenant@hotmail.com
Think I'll go do some studying. Stay warm and have a good time with God tomorrow.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 6:41 PM

Sunday, January 26, 2003

48, 21 for the BUCKS
Well well well the Bucks pulled it off, and the Raiders didn't even show up to play.
I found a place to watch the game, on a 8 foot high screen no less. I watched it with a bunch of students, in Anderson Hall, with free pop and chips and built in party, it was a good time. This is a fun crowd to hang with. The most concerning thought to me was that the coach of the Tampa Bay team is the same age as I am right now! He set the record as the youngest coach to take a team to win the SuperBowl - 39.
Kinda makes me think, hmm, what is is that I have accomplished with My life thus far...
na, no point in going there.
I did get to church this morning, North Park Covenant. Now, within the Covenant Church the churches range from Charismatic to a more mixed style of worship right to a very "Liturgical" style of worship. North Park is, well, ... everyone wore robes,the Chancel Choir, the preacher, worship leader, special music singer, scripture readers. The only instrument used in worship was a Huge Pipe Organ, and the colour of the group was, well, white.
The place was packed out though, and they were planning a lunch and then the congregation was invited to remain behind so they could have their Annual Meeting in the afternoon.
Clark (a church planter from Sacramento) wanted to get with "Real People" again so we went to McDonalds for lunch. We had a good visit, I heard and saw his heart for the lost, and ate lunch together.
The McDee's across from the University, is in a high Hispanic area, walk a block and you're in a Middle Eastern area, then a block more and you're in a Korean neighborhood. Now, that's real cool, I love it. Bring on the color baby.
I spent the afternoon in the Library studying for the first exam tomorrow, till my head nearly exploded! (to be sure, It was a close one), and that's what I'm going to do again right now. Study.
I'm sittin here trying to pull up the names and dates I worked on earlier, and they just don't want to come. Like they are on the tip of my tongue and I can't quite get em.
Oh well, do my best and leave the rest as my old college prof. used to say.
Untill tomorrow then, go Bucks go.
Blessings on you all.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 9:43 PM

Monday, January 27, 2003

back to class ...
and it don't take long to get my head hurting!! I'm trying to listen to new stuff while trying to remember the stuff i tried to memorize yesterday for the exam this afternoon, may God help us all.
gotta go, i'm on cofee break here.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 10:46 AM

Can you say deer in the Headlights?!?

Whew, I'm done the first exam. I now remember how well i don't do with exams, that's for sure.
I turned over the sheet and read the question. I remember trying to get myself focused and calmed down for the first half hour, then I wrote for 2.5 hours. This is probably why I wouldn't be great at school, the initial shock of the exam.
oh, and the question you ask?
The question I answered was:
"What does it mean to say the ECC has a pietistic heritage? Address this question by describing Petism, from it's origins through its various forms, into the Swedish context that culminated with the revivals of the nineteenth century. What were the major characteristics of this movement through time and place, and who were the leading figures? What changed, beginning with Waldenstrom, and what culminated in 1878? In turn, how did the Mission friend movement in America reflect these pietistic concerns? By describing an historical process of differentiation, can you see Pietism reflected in the discussions and practices of synods, congregations, and pastoral leadership in the American context? Do you think this communal and convertive piety has abiding significance today?"
grief, i'm tired.
I'm going to go find something to eat, i haven't eaten yet today - to nervous. i hope it all comes out ok.
Thanks to those of you who prayed, I dare not think what it might have been like without prayer.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 5:13 PM

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

The other day I found a wormhole in the cosmos, and I think it's a part of Heaven. Yes, the real heaven!!
I found it behind a door marked "Cafeteria"
Behind this door, I found all kinds of food to eat ...White Turkey Breast, mashed potatoes with gravy, varieties of veggies, tacos, cheesburgers and fries, all manner of sugar coated breakfast cereals, bagels, bread, toasted or plain, with peanut butter and jelly or honey.
I found racks of cakes and puddings and cookies and sweets. Tubs of different kinds of soups with hosts of crackers. Four different kinds of Ice Cream, with 8 kinds of soda, and 2 colours of milk.
I saw 25 feet of salads and veggies with sauces and dips to reward any longsuffering heart.
I started with a turkey dinner (with Cherry Coke) and progressed to some token peas and carrots. Then for dessert I went for the Cheesburger platter with fries.
Sweet mercy, and there were all kinds and colors of people in the room, eating and laughing together, as one. I sat down at a table of blonds (male and female!) and realized I didn't understand a thing they were saying. Turns out they were from Sweden. See, Swedes in heaven too.
To Cool.
I may go back to heaven tonight ....pray for me!!

posted by: Randall Friesen | 3:12 PM

Friday, January 31, 2003

Goin Home
Well I'm done here for now and I'm on my way home.
I made it through my two weeks of study and my two exams and I don't know when I'll be back here again.
It's been interesting to be here. I've made some new friends and deepend some older ones, and I've learned alot.
It's not been a spiritually refreshing time nor was it designed to be, but more of an educational time, a different kind of good.
It's good to get away from the close focus of my day to day life at Gateway. It let's me step back and think through some things, then allows me to re-enter pastoral life, a little more focused, a little more clear. Hopefully a better pastor.
And I miss my family. Lots.
So this site will be quiet for a bit, while I re-integrate into life and work. But I'll be back soon. Thanks to those of you who read this thing and seem to enjoy it. Thanks to those of you who have written me small or large notes of encouragement, bless you.
Now, I gotta hoist my two suitcases and a carry-on, walk a ways in the pouring rain to the Bus Stop, get a ride to the train, get a ride to the airport, fly to Minneapolis, fly to Saskatoon, overnight at Jeff's house (My bestest brother), and then drive up to Prince Albert. I should be home by lunch tomorrow.
so, cheers,
& thanks for reminding God I was here.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 2:45 PM


If you want to have some fun, you can try tracking my flights.
enter in my flight information, which is:
flight: 625
time: 1800
Chicago O'Hare to Minneapolis
flight: 974
time: 2057
Minneapolis to Saskatoon
I think the first one even shows you where I am on a map.

posted by: Randall Friesen | 2:59 PM



Wednesday, January 15, 2003

It seems that I should have made a New Years resolution to update this thing once and a while, but, you know how that goes!

I guess we've been recuperating from the Christmas Crash thing. We did crash hard this year, and I'm glad I had a week off to help with that process. Lauralea crashed hard this year too, and so we've been putting life back together as quickly as we can because other things are coming up.

Sunday I leave for North Park University in Chicago for a intensive two week course on Covenant History etc. It's part of the orientation program I'm taking.

Anyway, trying to get it all planned and how to get to the University once I get to O'Hare has been a chore. Thank God (and I do mean Thank you Jesus!) for the Internet, which makes it much easier. I will probably have the distinction of Most Bizarre Travel Arrangements of my classmates. I start in a car, spend two hours on a Greyhound Bus, take two planes, take the EL Train, and finally a Chicago City Bus. Good grief. I'll probably still have to walk for blocks and blocks with as little luggage as I can handle for two weeks worth of socks and underwear!

I'm kinda looking forward to it, because it's a new thing and I get to meet some great people from all over the States. Of course I'm going try to get to Andy's Jazz Lounge one (or maybe two!) Evenings on the weekend, and there's the Superbowl happening which means I will have to make some fast friends with some locals if I am going to see it. Sunday also means I get to go to a church of my choosing and I don't have to preach!! I think that's the coolest part. I pray about the church to attend and the Lord always leads and directs to the place.

And I don't look forward to it because it means leaving Laura and the gang behind. That's never fun. I always try to explain it to her but I never do it justice. She's my best friend, she should be there to enjoy it with me ... perhaps on day.

And I DON'T look forward to the two exams the course will hold. I'm quite nervous about that one. I don't do well at exams, so I'm motivated to pray hard. The course text (Which is about 3 inches thick!!) Is required reading BEFORE the course ... only ... it's out of print! I was lucky enough to find one this week, but there's no chance I will get to read the whole thing before the course.

I gotta go. I'm off to a Covenant pastors meeting in Melfort today, and it's a bloomin cold one out there.

Peace and Blessings on you.

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