Notes from Winnipeg

Friday, April 30, 2004

See Harmony drive in Winnipeg.

Watch Harmony try to turn left on a no turn left sign.

Listen as Harmony says a bad word.


I forgot how bad Winnipeg traffic is, compared to P.A.

(I changed the name to protect the Guilty!!)



In or Out?

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Well, I am here in Winnipeg, and I found that the church here has hi-speed WiFi goin on. Sweet! (Hint hint)

I just left the interview, and it was good. Very good.

The paper was "Well written" and well edited!! (Thanks Laur) So it was a good meeting. The interview went well and the details fell into place nicely. They are deciding on me now.

The trip went well yesterday. I think I needed 9 hours alone in a car. There's not a lot of alone time day to day, so it was nice. It was also overcast, with snow and rain all day, so it was a nice day to travel.

Laura, I got your 13 packages of Pioneer Farmer sausage already, so that should last for a while.

-Rob, the chair of the Board of Ministry just stuck his head in, I guess I got 4 thumbs up. There you go, I don't have to go join the Baptists.

(Not that there's anything wrong with the baptists...)

Thanks for the covering, it's going well.




I'm off

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

... so play nice.

and, if you think about it, remember Lauralea and the gang here, and me over there.





It keeps me humble

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

... whenever I park at the girls high school to pick them up, and these students come out and get into their spotless 2002 SUV's and drive off home.

At least the Velvet Fog Van helps keep the Mosquito population down around town.

I guess I can be proud of that.



Silence is good.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Wednesday I'm off to Winnipeg for meetings.

That means that I've had a number of deadlines to meet, so I've been working double time around here. Everybody's been very patient, which is good, but it will surely be great once it's all done!

So I'm trying to get ready. Wednesday will be a 10 hour drive I guess, and Thursday is my major interview, regarding my status as a Covenant pastor. I have to defend a paper I wrote and be interviewed on my views of a number of pastoral and ministry things. So I'm a bit nervous.

Having said that, the Canadian interview will be different than the American interview, in June. For that one I need to show up in "Business Attire." I need to find out if that means Prince Albert business attire or Chicago business attire. 

So, this place will be a little quiet through to next Monday, I think, unless I find a net-connection someplace.



Another year gone

Sunday, April 25, 2004


Well, it was the old lady's birthday yesterday, She turned 41, and she does it every year before I do, so at least I have that over her.

We were talking last night, and 40 seemed to be kind of a Party/milestone kinda year. So what's 41? Kind of an "I'm now formally into my middle age and it's mostly down hill from here on out" kind of feel.

41 isn't about party or celebration or milestone. It's the work of life, the regular details of life lived out, one day, one year after another.

So, we did it up big.

Micah made breakfast, I think it was toast. And someone dropped off a cake, which was nice. I made supper for us all. I made Lauralea her own Chicken Fried Rice with Lemon Chicken. (OK, I actually just heated it up) and for the rest I made Penne pasta with Alfredo and Tomato sauce. Nice.

For presents, Hillary got her some new blue earrings, she had asked for, while Johanna got her a new wind up key for her metronome (She's wanted one for years). Me and the boys all went together and got her the latest add-on for The Sims, Unleashed, I think it's called. It's the only thing she likes doing on the computer, well that and a word game I consider too difficult.

It was a relaxed time around here. The chores were done early and I was out of he office by 2ish, so it was a nice day.

And, she said she had a good day too. She said I should put up a picture and say she just turned 54. So, here's Lauralea, making 54 look awesome!!

Happy Birthday Lauralea.



Just because

Friday, April 23, 2004

Fasher? Farger? Faajer? Fazcher? Farzger?



It's the end of the world as we know it?

Joshua Davis writes in Wired:

For 1,500 years, Jews, Christians, and Muslims have fought for control of this 35-acre plateau in the heart of Jerusalem. The dispute remains one of the main obstacles to peace in the Middle East. Jewish teachings say that a temple must be built here - many say on the exact spot where the Dome now stands - in order to induce the arrival of the Messiah and the coming of peace on Earth. Fundamentalist Christians interpret this to mean the Second Coming of Christ and actively encourage Jewish building efforts. Muslims categorically oppose any encroachment on their holy site, from which they believe Mohammed ascended to heaven to receive the Koran.

He has two big ideas, two ways to engineer the apocalypse. The first: a hovering holographic temple. Hayutman wants to set up an array of high-powered, water-cooled lasers and fire them into a transparent cube suspended beneath a blimp. The ephemeral, flickering image, he says, would fulfill an ancient, widely revered Jewish prophecy that the temple will descend from the heavens as a manifestation of light.

... second idea for jump-starting the end-times: a virtual temple within a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The goal is for thousands of people to join in its construction on the Web. Hayutman even wants to display progress reports in the floating hologram as a kind of apocalyptic scoreboard.

Whether it's a hologram or a cyberstructure, Hayutman believes that a techno temple does away with the need for a physical building. Under his scheme, Jews and Christians would get a biblically accurate temple without razing the Dome of the Rock. 


I dunno, one part of me is going, oh brother. But another part of me is going, hmmmmmmmm.

Thanks Bob.



I must use this power for good...

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Tonight I shall experience the wonder of BellExpressvu satellite TV!!

CBC is running the Calgary/Detroit game in the West of Canada, and the Toronto/Philadelphia in Eastern Canada.

At the speed of a remote click, I shall travel from one side of Canada to the other, and back again, and I will enjoy BOTH games.

(That's not gluttony, is it?)




Wednesday, April 21, 2004

15 years ago, when we were having such fun making babies, we weren't thinking that we would have to spend two solid years teaching two teenage girls how to drive.




News phreak

If you are a news junkie you will find this to be very cool. Newsmap.




Monday, April 19, 2004

It's raining out there. First time this year.



randall has left the building...

Sunday, April 18, 2004

It's 1:25am and yes, I'm still at the office. I'm glad to report that in the past 7-8 hours I have been able to complete some work I needed to get done for the Annual Meetings, first in Winnipeg, then in Minneapolis.

But it has been a very long day.

The morning worship was just weird, didn't feel myself, had to much going on I think. Then we had a church meeting to talk about change, and that's ALWAYS a stressful thing, at least inside me it is. Today it happened that they seemed to like the idea, go figure!

So it felt like my last post was continued. Kept doing stupid things, kept looking for holes to fall through, kinda day.

And it was Lauralea's and my anniversary today. 21 years ago today we started dating. Before you think I'm Mr. romantic, just wait. I took her to the same restaurant chain I proposed to her in, Burger King. She had the chicken, and I had the bacon double cheese, life is good.

So now I'm off to home and bed and rest, and a snuggle.



Of solos, silence and the Flames (Calgary, not hellfire!)

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Well, last night at our small group, we eventually got to the study, but it wasn't before some serious sharing of our stories was done. It's very cool how the freedom to talk seems to grow after months of a committed group relationship. We seek to create a safe space for people to share their lives, and care for one another.

Last night it was able to happen to a greater degree, and people were able to share some more of their deeper stories, so that we as a group could pray and support them as best we are able. I love that stuff.

But, today was my day to do the service at the hospital. About 25 people from the care home attend and we usually make it through a short service and sharing. It keeps you grounded when some guy in the back row stops the worship to tell a joke! Or someone in the front whispers "I have to go pee!"

Today, apart from that stuff, it was just plain weird.

The pianist didn't show up. His presence is important to the success of the day because he plays loud enough so that people feel free to let er rip because they can't be heard anyway. Well, today it was me and them, and they were not singing. Course, after I started that first song too high, well there was no place to go from there.

Yet I carried on and got a better note on the second song. They still were not interested in singing.

After three solos, It got even worse. I led in prayer and invited them into the Lords prayer. Now, I know the lords prayer, ever since grade one, but today... well, it was only half there. Halfway through, with them mumbling along somewhat, I forgot which version I was doing, trespasses/sins, what was next... and I forgot the rest. The pastor forgot the lords prayer.

At that exact moment my prayer became, "Please Lord, could you just open up a randall sided hole beneath me, and let me disappear from this spot?"  Sigh. Unbelievable. Then some caregivers who were there too, took up the prayer and continued on, bravely where I got lost. I let them finish, then mumbled something about different versions of the prayer, then quickly led in the next congregational solo.


Tonight the Covenant Women's group from the church are putting on a kind of Gardening show, and it's for everyone, not just ladies. Now I'm already on record as saying I would like to pave my lawn and paint it green, so tonight may be a bit of a challenge. But the guests are friends I want to support, so, the hockey playoffs will have to wait, bring on the daffodils.


Not particularly a great "Day in the Life" advertisement for being a pastor, but there you go.

At least we won one last night.



April, flurries?

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


Tonight, if you looked at the friesencam, you saw snow. And now it's dark so you can't see that the snow is covering everything.




Friesen Webcam

Monday, April 12, 2004

So, now for a while you can view the green returning to the front yard.  We present, the Friesen webcam. Facing Fourth Street in lovely Prince Albert, this pic will refresh every 5 minutes, or less, depending on what we're doing with the computer at the time. Enjoy.




Christ is Risen

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Christ is risen! The world below lies desolate.
Christ is risen! The spirits of evil are fallen.
Christ is risen! The angels of God rejoice.
Christ is risen! The tombs of the dead are empty.
Christ is risen indeed from the dead?
the first of the sleepers. And glory and power
are his forever and ever,  Amen.

Hippolytus of Rome



Holy Saturday

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Well, it's all quiet around here tonight as everyone has already gone to bed. The Sunrise service is tomorrow morning at 6 am, so I shall be quick to follow them.

It seems like a very still quiet moment in a very hectic month. I was thinking driving home tonight that I think I've had one day off during the past three weeks. And most of it's been good work, you know? I am glad that Easter is drawing to a conclusion, and that it's been a good Easter.

We set up a little three station prayer area in the church for this Holy week, and tonight it was free so I went at it, and God came. He gave me much room to pray and intercede, so I got a lot done. I prayed for a lot of you tonight, and for your tomorrow.

He reminded me of my calling, and his promises yet to be fulfilled in my life. So often I feel inadequate and unable to do anything of lasting value. But my hope is found in a little verse where the teachers of the law were talking about how these uneducated disciples could be so brilliant. Then it was noted that "they had been with Jesus." 

There is something about being with Jesus that changes things. It makes you wiser than the wisest human mind, richer than the richest Ikea owner, softer than the softest feather pillow. It's effect is that of changing all the levels, takes the worlds view of things and turns it all upside down. And, the more you can be with Jesus, well, the more this effect will have on you.

I want to be with Jesus, more.


Now, Master, let your servant go in peace.
You have fulfilled your promise.
My own eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples.
A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness;
the glory of your people Israel.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Keep us safe, Lord, while we are awake,
and guard us as we sleep,
so that we can keep watch with Christ and rest in peace.




Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I'm in the middle of it these days so it may be a bit quiet round these parts.

Pray for your pastors eh?



Les Miserables High School style

Monday, April 05, 2004

On Saturday evening we had tickets to see our two daughters in their High School production of Les Miserables.


Were they ever good. I don't enjoy musicals, but these girls are converting me. This was Hillary's first time in a
High School production, so she was involved in some "crowd action" acting. She also sang in the chorus. I have a clip of them singing here, with the innkeeper.

This was Johanna's second year in it, so she got a bit better part. She played Fantine, a single mom, on the streets who is befriended by Jean Valjean. He promises to care for her young daughter as she dies in his arms.

Here is Johanna singing about her daughter Cosette, and here is her death scene, half the audience weeping.

Then, here is a clip of the finale.

Boy they did a great job. I was so proud of them.



And now, a word on cohabitation

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Brad posted a helpful piece for those considering living together.

If you're thinkin it, then check it out here.



A fork in the road, with noodles on it.

Friday, April 02, 2004

So I was driving home tonight from the garage where the van just got $300 + work on it, and I was remembering the conversation we were having last night over supper. That for next year, the kids will need to get to high school and home, and for them to take the city transit will cost over $1500 for the year for them to ride a bus. Sigh.

I put the bill for the van on the plastic and, as I said, I was driving home wondering if the trade off of having Lauralea working outside the home would be worth all the extra hassle and work.

Then I got home and came into the house and it smelled like my grandmas house used to smell. Chicken noodle soup on the stove and fresh baked bread on the counter. Ahhh.

Maybe I could just sell some blood. 

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