Off to CBC

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I am a member on the Board of  Directors for CBC.

Now, before you all email me asking me to get your favourite songs or shows played, CBC is actually the Covenant Bible College. I haven't yet received the phone call asking me to sit on the board of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, but I live in hope.

Tomorrow I'm off to Strathmore Alberta, just outside Calgary. I'm driving this time round, so that I can get back for the Sunday morning service. The last meetings are usually over by 6pm Saturday, then I hit the road till I get to Prince Albert, 7 or 8 hours later.

It's a good chance to enlarge my perspective. I often get so focussed on what's happening in my own back yard, that I need to get away to see the larger picture. I also get to work with some interesting and blessed people, friends really. And we spend time listening to one another, to the staff, and to God. Physically it's quite tiring, but emotionally and spiritually its refreshing.

Then, Sunday, we, (the family) is off to Saskatoon to visit my parents, and, if I can stay awake, I want to get to the Worship Freehouse at 8pm, then home again. 

If you think of me on the road, maybe mention my name to Him. My throat is starting to hurt, and I'm a bit over tired, so I really don't want to get sick.


If this space is quiet for the weekend, well, you'll know where I'm at.



Crazy Day

Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Been a totally crazy day today. Crazy-good if you know what I mean.

I needed to go to Saskatoon for a number of things, so I started off by taking my mom out for breakfast. It's her 60th birthday today. Give her a cheer.

Then I went to visit a friend in the Hospital in Saskatoon this morning. She's going through some serious stuff, but she has a strong spirit, and God is watching out for her. It was a good visit.

I ran some errands and then had lunch with Leighton. He's a good egg (what does that mean?) Good heart and a keen mind.

Then, because of road conditions and delays, I raced back to Prince Albert (you know, I'm not saying I did this but, when you drive at speeds of around 140kph, 100kph REALLY seems slow.) for an appointment I had here, with a most gracious individual, because I was late.

Sigh. A good day, lived hard, much accomplished.
Lots to think about. Even more to pray about.


Linea Lanoie

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Well, lookee here, Linea Lanoie is up and running her own blog. It's at you need to check it out.

Linea works with me on the Deacon board at Gateway Covenant Church. She's experienced more of the realities of life than most of us ever will, and now she's writing. To cool.

Oh, and she's a great dentist.

Blog on Linea


Bruce Almighty

Andrew Careaga's blog, bloggedyblog was talking the other day about the movie called Bruce Almighty. He says;

Searching the blogs, I haven't found much about the theology behind the latest Jim Carrey vehicle, Bruce Almighty, which opens this weekend. We bloggers go on and on and on about the theology behind The Matrix and its veiled references to a deity, but apparently we don't have much to say about a flick that portrays God in a much more obvious fashion.

For a better look at the theology behind the movie, go straight to the source: the director. That's what did with an insightful interview with director Tom Shadyac:.

"I think that one of the challenges of the church is to accept humanity for all it is. And I as a filmmaker am not going to deny that. I think it's important to acknowledge that we are imperfect. If you followed some standards today, you couldn't even read your Bible. I mean the Bible is chocked-full of some racy stuff, folks. There is a lot of sexual impropriety, there's a lot of violence, and all kind of things. But the point of the Bible is that it's not about a moment, its about the entire journey. Because if the Bible hadn't ended where it ended, it be a pretty downer of a book. But it ends with redemption..."

Check it out, and thanks Andrew.


Early church worship

Saturday, May 24, 2003
Hmm, I found an interesting quote here. It's by L. Michael White, the Professor of Classics and Director of the Religious Studies Program University of Texas at Austin. He wrote:

The worship of an early Christian house church probably centered around the dinner table. The term communion actually comes from this experience of the dining fellowship. We also know that all other aspects of worship that we think of as going with early Christian practice probably happened around the dinner table as well. Paul refers to one person having a song and another person bringing a prayer. Everyone is contributing to the banquet whether it's in the form of food or in the form of their piety and worship.

I think I kinda like that idea of church.

Andrew Careaga interview

Thanks for your notes of encouragement. And thanks for praying. Alot of the heaviness lifted around 11pm last night, and our hearts were restored.

Now, onto the events of the day, I've got a couple to get married.

In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves. Or, if you are alone, check this out. Jordon Cooper, in conversation with Andrew Careaga, talking about churches and the world wide web.

1. If I was a church leader right now and wanted my church to impact the world for Christ via the internet, what are the most effective ways to do that?

My advice would be to get away from the notion that the Internet is all about creating a church website. It isn't. But that's what so many church leaders think. They seem more interested in developing a "cool" website for their churches than in getting down and dirty in the places and spaces of the Net where the people are.

There's nothing wrong with having a church website. But to reach people on the Internet, you have to go where they are. That means getting involved in the conversations occurring in online communities.

Church leaders would be better off investing their time in developing a weblog that reflects their personalities and gives voice to their beliefs, their worldviews, their philosophies, their interests, than in merely slapping the typical church website up on the Net. The Internet "space" where people meet and carry on conversations -- chat rooms, message boards, instant messaging, weblogs and the like -- seems to me to be the place where Christians ought to be.

I deeply agree. And this is one reason I do this.
The internet is more than a tool, it's a place, a meeting place and so much more.
Check out the rest of this interview, and learn a bit more about the internet today.

And let me encourage you to get telling your story in this place. We need to Be here too.

A good place to begin is with Blogger, a very cool tool to help you tell your story.


Mr. Pink eye

Friday, May 23, 2003
Well, this is one of those days that you just want to move on from, and forget it ever happened.

Three of the four kids were home sick today. Lauralea is exausted to the point of dispair. The house is totally upside down. I'm getting ready for a wedding I'm doing tomorrow. Lauralea is working on a project she's been trying to make time for, for to long. And I just brought Thomas back from the Dr. He has "Pink Eye".

We were planning to go to Saskatoon on Sunday to visit my folks, but I'm not sure now, with the pink eye and throwing up etc.

The car is making noise like it wants me to spend even more money on it, which we absolutely don't have now.

All is gross. Oh, and my throat is beginning to hurt.

Been a crazy day all around. So, the best solution? End the day.

c u tomorrow.



Goodbye Girl

It's about 12:15 am. I'm finishing up at the office and I'm on my way home.

And there's a song in my head, about unconditional love and commitment.
I confess, I like the song, I don't mind it rattling around in my cranium. Deeper confession? I like the movie too.

Goodbye Girl

David Gates

All your life you've waited for love to come and stay
And now that I have found you, you must not slip away
I know it?s hard believin' the words you've heard before
But darlin' you must trust them just once more...
'Cause baby

Goodbye doesn't mean forever
Let me tell you goodbye doesn't mean we'll never be together again
If you wake up and I'm not there, I won't be long away
'Cause the things you do my Goodbye Girl
Will bring me back to you.

I know you've been taken, afraid to hurt again
You fight the love you feel for me instead of givin' in
But I can wait forever, a-helpin' you to see
That I was meant for you and you for me...
So remember

Goodbye doesn't mean forever
Let me tell you goodbye doesn't mean we'll never be together again
Though we may be so far apart you still will have my heart
So forget your past my Goodbye Girl
'Cause now you're home at last

g'nite everybody.

randallfriesen has left the building...


Holy Ground

Wednesday, May 21, 2003


Either a huge coincidence or there is a God and he does intervene!

Today I'm holding clearly onto the second.
Yesterday I got a distressing call from a lady from church. She and a few of her children were rushed out of Somalia a few years ago and her husband and daughter didn't arrive to where she was at, in time to make the trek out with them. They have been separated ever since. Her husband and her daughter (age 11) are dirt poor, begging and living on the street.

Yesterday she called me with the news she had just received, that her daughter was beaten up and had been missing for three weeks. She was very upset, her husband didn't know where to look anymore and he had to be careful too at the paramilitary groups driving around looking for people of his background.

All I could say was let's pray. We are trying to bring them over, but yesterday it was just a feeling of helplessness, and all we could do was call to God for help.

Well, not even 24 hours later she calls me (While I was mowing the lawn) and reports that she just got a call from Somalia. Her daughter had been beaten up and put in a hospital for a week. I understand one of the nurses took her home to care for her. She found out who her mom was, and called this morning.

From the other side of the world, the connection is made, some relief is offered, and God cares.


Take off your shoes, this is Holy Ground.


Growing Old

The kids (eldest three) were away at a youth retreat on the weekend, only Micah was home.

Sure is interesting how the home dynamic changes when the house empties out. There's more room to move around, less noise, more food, more freedom etc.

But I noticed that we spent less time at the table during a meal, visiting and talking. We ate and got on with life.

I think we just spent an hour at the table eating and talking. That's usually my favourite time of the day. Especially when, like tonight, I don't have to rush away for a meeting or something. These are the times I will miss when they leave home.

Sometimes growing old scares me. just a bit.


Prayer of Jael

Mark Riddle has some "Biblical scenes you will never see on a Precious Moments figurine" that are worth checking out;
- David Killing 200 philistines and cutting off their foreskins.
- Sodom and Gomorrah

Well, not to be outdone, Andrew Jones came up with...


(you remember - the tent, the tent-peg, the forehead . . . ) "Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and SMOTE the nail into his temples . . ." Judges 4:21, KJV

And what was the Prayer of Jael? Probably something like this . . .

"Oh God, may this ******* die quickly, and may he stop bleeding all over my ***** tent.!"

If people like the Prayer of Jael, then I might consider setting up a network of Bible studies to reflect on it. It might be popular with the ladies, especially those that enjoyed the movie "Chicago".

Do you think the Precious Moments company would buy the rights from me to make a Jael figurine?

I laughed, I cried, it moved me. Check out the rest of it here.


If thy arm offends thee?

Friday, May 09, 2003

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.--Hopelessly pinned by a boulder that had rolled onto his arm, Aron Ralston says he finally took a dull pocketknife to his forearm after spending three days in a remote Utah canyon--but he couldn't cut the skin.

On the fifth day, he summoned up all his technique and nerve:

''I was able to first snap the radius and then within another few minutes snap the ulna at the wrist and from there, I had the knife out and applied the tourniquet and went to task. It was a process that took about an hour,'' he said.

Ralston made frequent references to prayer and spirituality during his news conference. He said he felt a surge of energy on the fifth day, which happened to be the National Day of Prayer.

''I may never fully understand the spiritual aspects of what I experienced, but I will try,'' he said. ''The source of the power I felt was the thoughts and prayers of many people, most of whom I will never know.''

Amazing, just amazing. well, amazing and gross.


Ever see MASH?

Colonel Flagg is here, just to bring joy to my life.




New outfit

Well, I thought, what better way to celebrate a year blogging than to get a new set of clothes.

I've been looking around for a template I like for too long now, so I finally took things in-hand and bod-ged together this format. If you look underneath you will find a mad assortment of other blogger code and assorted mismatches. I just hope it works where you live.

I haven't got the Archive working like I want it to work yet, but, that will give me something to work on this year. At least I don't have the colour problems that tallskinnykiwiis having.

Leighton has invited me to check out prairiefusion for hosting. I might look into that. I wouldn't mind contributing to him a bit each month. Some of the good thinking he's doing over there is worth it.

So, enjoy the new look. Drop me a note if it doesn't work in your home, and I'll have the Nerds-On-Call come by and fix it up.


Mother's Day

Speaking as a pastor, cause that's what I am, I gotta say that the days like Mothers Day are just a real BIG pain in the Concordance. I don't know any pastors who look forward to these special days with any enthusiasm.

I'm not interested in Worshipping Mothers (Bless their hearts), so we will worship God, the Father of all mothers. My worship people understand this and agree with me. It's too easy to focus on mother's or fathers or whatever the theme of the day is.

It all worked fine back when we lived in a Modernist nirvana (2. An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy). Everyone went to church and everyone had a mom, except those whose mom's had died, and they just remained quiet so as not to be different. You wore a flower, the colour of which meant something in some secret code which I could never get. You wore your spring hat and after church you went to Grandma's house with your relatives and ate chicken and after lunch all the kids lined up outside for their yearly picture. Ahhh yes, what a pastoral setting.

Fast forward a few years. Many kids don't have their mom's and dad's in the same home. Their grandmas raised them from childhood. Some of their mom's treated them so badly, they carry the wounds from years of neglect or abuse. They were birthed and raised to be a friend and buddy to their lonely, love starved mothers. Yeah, happy mothers day.

Then there's those who are trying desperately to have a child, yet can't. Motherhood is not something they will ever experience, and it hurts deep deep inside.

Are there ways to honor our moms without worshipping them? Without hurting the broken? There must be. We at Gateway will be looking for that way this Sunday.

The Mothers Day Grinch.


Feels weird

Thursday, May 08, 2003
It's been a strange day today.
Tonight the musical was a nice distraction, took my mind off things. But the heaviness just lingers around.

It feels like having a cold or flu, but not the physical symptoms. My mind and spirit feel as they do when i am sick, physically sick. Except I'm not sick, I don't think so anyway.

I hope it clears, I have alot of work to do tomorrow.

pray, will ya.


A Star is born

Hey, our daughter Johanna did us proud tonight, as did the whole drama team from St. Mary High School here in Prince Albert.

They did a musical/comedy which was done VERY well, they deserve all the acclaim they can get. So, here are a few snaps from the event. Sorry about the quality, I couldn't use the flash.

Check em out here:


Isaiah 40

I found comfort this morning from the morning prayers:

Isaiah 40

Behold, the Lord God comes in strength, and his right arm triumphs.
Behold, his reward is with him, his prize is before him.
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock,
he gathers the lambs in his arms and lifts them to his breast;
he carries the pregnant ewes.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and arranged the heavens with his palms?
Who has measured the dust of the earth,
weighed out the mountains,
weighed the hills on the balance?
Who directed the spirit of the Lord?
Who gave him advice in his task?

With whom did he consult? Who taught him?
Who led him in the paths of justice,
gave him knowledge,
showed him the way of understanding?

Behold, the Gentiles are like a drop in a bucket,
a piece of fluff on the scales.
All the islands are a handful of dust.
What burnt-offering could be worthy of the Lord?
The forests of Lebanon could not feed that fire;
all the animals of Lebanon would not be enough for that sacrifice.
All the nations count for nothing before him:
for him, they are nothingness and emptiness.

Father, carry those who can't carry themselves this day. Gather the lambs in your arms and lift them to your breast. May your hands that measured the waters today hold the broken bits of so many lives.
Father help us, please...


Bad night

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Long, bad night tonight.
The Hospital called, I went. A boy, playing school basketball, fell to the floor and never got up.

I stood with his family as he died.


On call for code blue

Tuesday, May 06, 2003
I'm on call this week.
That means I carry around a cell phone, and during the weekends and evenings, if there's an emergency at the Hospital, they call me in. Some of the things I've seen are, well, amazing. Some are great, and some are awful.
I wrote the following after a particularly bad day on call, kind of as an outlet. Some years later I found it and submitted it to the National Post, and to my surprise, they bought it from me.

On call for code blue
'Today will be the kind of day that makes life forever different'

Randall E. Friesen
National Post
I wake this morning to the sound of my pager, beeping me out of a deep sleep.
I'm the clergy on call at the city hospital this week, and when it beeps, it means that someone is in crisis. Code blue means that somebody is fighting for their life. This morning it's a code blue.
I dress quickly and make my way to the car. As I rush out, I think about what it could be. An elderly lady losing her fight with cancer? A retired man whose heart has had all it can take? I'm not ready for what it is. A 49-year-old mother -- and her family is on their way to the hospital.
She came in two days ago, complaining of flu-like symptoms. Now she lies dying of liver failure. The nurses I speak with don't give her much chance. I go to watch for the family.
The older son arrives with a frantic look in his eyes. I lead him to a quiet waiting room where the nurse and I tell him what has happened -- and that it doesn't look hopeful. He dissolves into a sobbing, shuddering, lost little boy. The nurse holds him as he weeps.
Moments later, a man enters the waiting area with two girls who look like my daughters' ages, 12 and 11. They are quietly weeping. I tell them the news and watch as the man sinks into the couch, the girls beside him.
He stares off into the distance, trying to make sense of it all, holding on to the girls.
We wait for news in silence.
The girls alternate between weeping and blowing their noses. One moment, their child-like hope tells them it will be OK; the next moment, they are confronted with the bizarre reality they have awoken to on this grey morning.
There will be no normal routine for these people today. No going off to work. No running to school with classmates. No lunches with friends. No favourite TV programs. This is the kind of day that makes the rest of life forever different.
I can almost hear the screech as their world comes to a halt. I wish I could wake them from a very bad dream. But I can't. I sit with them. And ache for them.
I ask the girls what schools they go to, and they reply with the names of the schools my daughters attend. I ask them their grades, and they respond with the same grades my daughters are in. The younger girl sits right behind my youngest daughter, in the same class.
I ache again. Differently this time.
As more family arrives, I assure them of my availability and my prayers throughout the day, then slip out into the cold world where my routines continue.
Throughout the day, I think of them and the hurt they are enduring. I pray for them, but it's hard because I have so little faith today. I listen closely to my sons and daughters. I watch them more intently, drinking in as much of them as I can, not wanting to forget a detail of their expressions, their looks. I take snapshots of them in my mind -- playing, running, doing homework. I don't want the future to surprise me the way this family has been surprised. I call my mom and dad.
My workday draws to a close, and I go back to the hospital to see what the day has brought this broken family. As I enter the waiting room, there they all are, just as I left them.
They look tired and drained, lost and hopeless. The father is staring, seeing nothing. The three children are crying their eyes out into the tissues they hold. Nobody speaks.
I try to express to them how sorry I am for their pain and loss. Someone tells me that the children's mother passed away about 40 minutes ago. I tell them that I am available if they need me at any time throughout the next days.
They thank me.
And off I go, into my blessed existence, thanking God for Life.

Sunday afternoon, ahhhh.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

What a weird weekend. Quite, well just weird.

Thursday night I took the fall while exploring my "inner child". While I was in the process of falling, Lauralea had the van and was running all over the place, till the last mall, when It wouldn't start any more. I, (In my weak condition!!) got over there with Todd and he looks at it and says "Fuel pump."

Todd and I pulled the thing to the shop for the guys to find in the morning. And I go home, in great pain, with no van and I need to be in Saskatoon Friday and again Saturday for the wedding i was doing Saturday afternoon!

Friday morning, i call the shop first, no problem, they can look at it that day. I call Gordon and Marion second and see if there is any chance of using their van, and bless em, there was no problem in that. Third, i try to get into my Dr.s clinic and they direct me to the walk-in Clinic down the street for my arm.

I get to the clinic (See previous post), i get to Saskatoon for the practice and i get home again and crash very hard.

Saturday early I get a call from a lawyer that one of the churches people is in jail under very serious charges. I tried to see him but he's very drunk and the police don't want me in there yet..... hmm...

I get a call from the Car shop, "Yep, fuel pump" he sez, "Looks like bout $400 and change" he sez. And since I know that a fuel pump is important to the running of a vehicle, I say "Do it" And his big finish is "It'll be ready Monday sometime." Monday??

The a call comes in from an alarm company, I am the second on someone's call list, and the police are on the way to the house. "What do you want me to do?" I ask, and it just seems they want me to know about it. I drove by, and there was no action, so I got back to work.

The wedding was great, but just a weird, very tired, walking around lots today kind of day.

I want my life back.


"I'm kinda turning 40 this year..."

Friday, May 02, 2003
So, a morning spent in the public health system has proven that i didn't break my wrist (probably due to the extra strength in there from all this typing. How else do you explain 200+ pounds falling on that joint and not breaking...)
But, and here's the painful but, I did achieve some ligament damage, so, 3 weeks or so of healing till I get the ole skates back on.
The look of semi amazement on the Dr.s face made it almost worth it.
Dr: "Hey, Pastor Randall, (it's a small city, the Dr. I was assigned goes to the Alliance church and knows me) So, how did this happen?"
Me: "Uh, roller-blading with my daughter"
Dr: "Is this a new thing for you?"
Me: "Yep, my first time"
Dr: silence
Me: "I'm kinda turning 40 this year..."
Dr: "I'm not saying a thing"
So, I'm doing all this typing with 2 fingers on my left hand. Major tiring.
And, it seems that you really need two hands to do about anything, tie shoes, pull on socks, loop a belt, tuck a shirt in, and don't get me started on going to the washroom!
Tomorrow I'm doing a wedding and I need to polish my shoes, that should take an hour or so.
My finger is tired now, so I'm done typing.
Send up a prayer will ya?

ouch ouch ouch

Thursday, May 01, 2003

I fell on my wrist, and not even while I was moving. I was just standing there waiting for the car to pass.

Now I got a huge lump on my right wrist, and it hurts, like I said, like crap.



Get your motor runnin

There is a book on my desk that's been mocking me all week.

It's just laying there, at a rakish angle, laughing at my hard work. I bought it last week because I needed to hear what it had to say. It's called "Simpler Living."

I got it because life creeps up on you, and catches you unaware. Then, before you know it, you're held hostage to it. It rules you, pushing your hopes and dreams out the window. You hear yourself saying to your kids more and more "I can't do that now, maybe later, tonight I've gotta go and do this or that."

I want to be a good and available father. I want to be home in my head and heart, when I'm at home in my body. I want to be a good example to the church families who's parents are always on the go.

So, tonight it's happening.

Last Monday I bought a pair of Rollerblades on sale at Canadian Tire for $30 bucks. Tonight is the night. I hit the open road with Hillary. So, I may not be back here. If things go quiet for a while, you can reach me at the Victoria Hospital, here in Prince Albert.

But tonight we live life on the edge!

What's that music playin in my head? "...Get your motor runnin..."

Uh huh. Let's roll!

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