randallfriesen.com 6.3

Change is GOOD  - Blogwise


Yes indeed, change IS good!


I have learned as valuable web lesson. Colour is great, but it's also quick to tire of !!!


I missed the days of wide open spaces where the words and pictures were framed by the contrast of the white.


So I said, "Let there be WHITE!"


And there was White, and it was oh so good.


To highlight, the black and white banner was a picture I took in Saskatoon. The four smaller images are the latest photo's uploaded to my Flickr account, just to keep up.


You can still send a text message to my cell, in that box beneath my mug.


Oh yes, the picture. Versions ago I used to have a drawing of my face in that corner, and when I took it down it was the biggest negative comment I received. Seems people occasionally like to see who's yammering at them. But this one's kinda, well, it might give you nightmares. And if it does, well, just let me know and I'll photoshop a smile and more hair on it.


The people I read are still there under Voices and beneath that you can check out my photo collection sets.


The rest is pretty much as you see it. If you find a problem or bad link, just let me know. I am a perfectionist, just not yet perfect.


So, lets try this a while, see how it feels, how it behaves and lives.


Take er out for a spin, see what she can do.


(I do seem to be using the "She" metaphor a lot lately when describing computer things. Wonder what that means...?)

Breakfast with The Mayor

This morning our city ministerial put on a kind of prayer breakfast with the Mayor. I went.


A number of different representatives were present to pray for different aspects of this city's life, which they did. Then the mayor spoke a bit of his upbringing and a little about his history with God. This gave me a new appreciation for him.


His election was anything but stellar. The previous mayor who was running again, had just been involved in a drinking and driving situation and had kinda lost the respect of the voters. The electorate seemed to think that the current mayor was the only choice left. Thus he was elected. Not a clarion call to the office.


But, like I said, it was good to hear him and a bit of his story today. Helps give a better impression.

Change Sucks part 2

Talk about change sucking wind, this morning I raced out the door hopped into the van and headed off. I got 50 feet and noticed that my tire was flat. Shoot.


So, I got it off and made arrangements to try to get it fixed. The guy reported that it was beyond help, so off I went to another place to get a new tire.


After picking a reasonably inexpensive one, and ordering it, I sat down to wait for it to be done. My van was still at home, up on a jack and I was not dressed to do hospital visitation. I waited, tap tap tap...


I asked how long this would take. She estimated about an hour. "An Hour?" I interrupted!! "And a half" she finished.


Sigh.


I'm reading this great book, "In praise of Slow" by Carl Honore which is a call to slow down the pace of our lives and enjoy them more and deeper. I thought about the book, and then I thought "But I want a new tire, and I want it now!"


Change just isn't easy I guess.

Change Sucks

I have a friend who works at a local Garden Market IGA which is in the
process of changing to a Sobey´s Food store. He manages the bakery part
of the store and the changes have nearly been killing him.

To change the store over, they brought in consultants and head office
managers to make it happen. This strategy seems to produce a lot of
stress, but it is effective in getting the branding changed over in a
very short period of time.

So many things don´t make a lot of sense to my friend, why they are
changing this or that, and he mentions it to his boss who continually
challenges him to change or die!

So, life is stressful for him, for this month. Then it will settle down
and the hated outside managers will go back to their big city offices
whence they came, and the local store can get on with being the local
store again.

Peace will return, but they will probably be better equipped for the
local shopping environment. Thus they will make more money, which is
the goal of life, isn´t it??

Change is also happening to a group within our church.

No outsiders coming in to produce change, just local well loved and
respected people trying to help the group change, or die. And it isn´t
going so well, at all.

The people who care and have worked very hard to help the group process
the change, are being grounded down to little stubs by the relentless
complaints and challenges. I really worry for them. They give the best
of themselves, only to be worn down like this.

Tonight I communicated that perhaps they need to let the thing die.

Sometimes you fight hard so that a body will live longer because death
is the enemy. You end up fighting all the time because This. Thing.
Must. Live.  But sometimes a body gets so old and racked with
pain, that death is a release, a blessing.

We all face change, every day of our lives. The key seems to be how we
handle it. With poise and grace? Or angrily fighting down to our last
breath.

May God give us the wisdom to know when it´s time to turn off the respirator.



On Calling and Hearing

Becky commented on the last post about calling. She wrote:
The whole issue of "calling" is one that's interesting to me. Not too long ago, someone tried to explain to me that they were "called" to a ministry where all signs pointed the OTHER way. But if we questioned, we weren't questioning the person, but essentially God, and God's call on their life.
So, what is a call? Is it something only you, the called, can see? Or is it something others can also discern. How do you really know when you've been called -- or just have persuaded yourself this is the direction you really want to go?
I have no idea.
Such a good question, I thought it deserved a post unto itself.

I believe a calling is personally felt and corporately discerned.

For me, I was headed into another field altogether, happily moving in a direction that had little to do with church work. Yes I was a believer and disciple of Christ's and sought to live an available life. One summer I gave to working with kids at camps, and all I know is that at the end of that summer God was asking me to work for Him, full time. Whatever that meant.

Sometime during the summer something shifted inside me that was different at the end of the summer. Don't know when or what happened, I just knew what I felt inside.

I didn't want to be a pastor, so I've fought that all along, but I have had a strong, personally felt calling from God to do what he wants me to do.

How I worked this out was that I immediately refocused my training towards pastoral ministry. I completed four years of college, always clear that God had called me to something, but not clear on the what.

When Lauralea and I returned to my church family, she taught at a Bible school and I got a job making pizzas for a living. We were waiting on God, asking Him for clarification and direction. Without feeling that I should push the agenda, (Read: "God has called me to be your pastor") the church began to ask me to do some pastoral things. Preach, care, lead the youth. After a few months they asked us to consider becoming laypastors in the church. It was a very large church with two official languages, so we answered the call to be layministers, working with the English people of the church.

This grew as the Sr. Pastor left for another church, and our responsibilities increased.

See, over time the church was helping us discern the calling on our lives. They spoke into our lives that we were gifted for the ministry. This confirmed what I had felt from God after that summer. After a year and a half, a small beginning church plant called us to Winnipeg, and God led it all to fall into place and the rest is history.

On days when it's all crap and failure and I wanna jump ship, I go back to that clarity I had from God after that summer. And that helps me get through.

My feeling is that God's head is not separate from his body. If the Head (Christ) says you have a calling, then his Body (The church) will affirm that calling. If somebody's walking around saying something that seems inconsistent from what the body recognizes, I'd question what
they are feeling. And whether they are even connected to the Head.

This is what troubles me about guys and girls heading off to seminary thinking that their call is a personal choice they made to go into ministry. They get all trained up and debt laden and no church will have them because they really are not called or gifted to do the thing. Or worse, a desperate church will pick them up and everybody, including the student, regrets it for years.

The Body should recognize some gifting and calling on the person, before such a huge commitment is made.

I think it was Spurgeon who said if you can do anything else other than ministry, then do it. But if you are answering a call, then answer it. That's been my story, and, I confess, it still is!

We need the body to help all of us discern and hear God. And yes, God still speaks.

All in a days work


Two visitors today, two interesting moments.

Visitor number one, shows up at the church in a car. He communicates to
me his great need, of which I have no reason to doubt. He then precedes
to tell me an extensive story of how he called the church earlier,
before I arrived, and a man told him to come down and he would receive
some cash.
Now, I was the only guy at the church during the whole morning, and I
didn't promise any cash. And secondly I don't give out cash from the
church at all. I'll give you food, diapers some meds, but not cash.
I've learned that the hard way.

If you have a need, communicate your need ok? I will do what I can to help you, but there's no need to string me a line.

He left with a bag of groceries.

My second visit was the kind of thing that happens now and then, and I
really don't always know what to do with it. So I usually listen and
try to hear God in it. This person was there because God has called her
to this "great ministry" opportunity.

She's traveling from town to town apparently without any church
contacts in the towns she's visiting, seeking support for her agenda.
It's Gods will, period.

What am I suppose to do with that?

I listen and am careful with our commitment level. I try to be
encouraging, because God may have indeed called them to do this, He
just hasn't communicated our involvement level to us yet.

Today's visitor was willing to hear me be cautious. They aren't always that gracious.

Lessons from the day? Don't lie to the hand that's trying to feed you.
Just be honest. And, If you're doing something God has told you to do,
don't assume He's told everyone else that bit of information
too.

Just for future reference.



Logan's back


from a year at Providence, and I'm glad to report  that though his
head is getting larger, he's still got the same heart. That's cool.

Him and I did lunch today, so we could catch up.

He brought a friend with him. A very good friend. Lets just say
that  if I wasn't already in a committed  relationship, I'd
be tempted to wander.

He brought along his IBook G4. What a sweet little thing. He even let me take her out for a spin.

Seemed to handle really nicely. I am sorely tempted.

Bretheren, pray for me.


Lauralea's Voice

 
It wasn't that i was afraid she would write better than me, I, because she does.
It wasn't that i was afraid that she would finally be able to give her side of the stories I tell about her.

really.

I was just trying to be helpful, not wanting to draw attention to her
blog before she wanted attention drawn to it. But she's out there now
baby, and she's got something to say.

Lauralea is writing at www.lauraleasworld.blogspot.com
 
Now, I do feel a bit threatened. She was always more creative than I.
She wrote, produced, and recorded her own album in college. She writes
kids stories and great songs. She writes the weekly kids program we run
at Gateway, and she's editied every paper I've written.  See what
I mean, I have reason to be afraid.

Truth is she's a great teacher, and she has some great ideas and things to say.

Lauralea's World.


On call this week

 


Tonight I was called to the hospital, an elderly lady had suffered a very bad stroke. So I went  and spent some time with her only child, a son. She's been living with him for a few years now. His dad passed away some time ago.


He was hurting, but hopeful. She had attended a good church for many years, except during the last ten or so in which she had been unable to go because of her health.


I listened and spoke with him, and her, as she lay there unconscious. I prayed for her and her son. It was a good time, an intimate holy time. Someone was in transition from this place, to the next. That's always a very profound time.  


Her son said that she had been having a really great day, all was well. They sat down to some supper and as she ate, she began to have some difficulty. She put down her fork and he asked what was wrong. She looked up as best as she could and said, "I've got to go." He asked her where she had to go, and she replied, "Home, I've got to go home."


Tonight, I'm asking God to fulfill her words. 

Well, it's her birthday again


Lauralea's crusin through her 40's like she's owning the decade, and I think that's cool.
Today is another step in that ownership thing, she marks another off of her 40's.

She handles life with alot of grace and poise (Well, apart from that lumber purchase yesterday...), and she keeps her heart young.  With all the stuff that can come with being a pastors wife, she keeps her spirit pure and young.

Looking back over the early years together, right till today, the thing that daily brings me hope for myself, is her smile. She constantly smiles, and I think that's what her heart usually is full of, smiles.

So here's to you Lauralea, here's to you and your smile, and the fact that I got to be your first husband.

Happy Birthday.









Today I Built a Pergola

 
I am exhausted.

I hurt in places I don't even have body.

Good night.

UPDATE:


Here is the start of it. Needs some paint and some Trelises (Plural Trelis!) And getting the vines growing. But we're off.

Actually, when you sit out there it feels like your sitting on a porch.

One of the kids said it looked like a bandstand. Cool, I hadn't thought
of that, but now I'm thinking of having a few concerts in the back
yard! You know, invite a little Jazz ensemble by for an outdoors
evening of Jazz...


More Fun

 
Alright, I know you had like tons of fun with that name thing in the
last post. Well, I'm about to unleash into your hands an even more
powerful toy.

Be careful where you open this link, because you will loose hours playing with it.

But enjoy it none the less.

KaleidoDraw


What's in a name?

 A whole lot of fun, that's what.

Check out this site and see how your name rates.

"Randall" peaked in the 1950's, Not sure if that's good or bad.


Pickin up speed

 Well, given how badly the day started out, I'd say  it's progresssing nicely!

Six people connection times,  lunch with my wife, studied up on Chrysostom's "On the Priesthood," finished seven devotionals I'm to have done for the Covenant Home Altar, getting ready for our small group tonight, and  I'm headed home for supper.


About missing prayer meeting...

Um, yes, sorry about not being there and all. I set the alarm last night, and tuned it to a station that would be on early. But it seems I forgot to turn it on.

I'll see you next week!


Guest Blogger: Lauralea

And now, a lighter moment, brought to you by our Guest Blogger, Lauralea.


She writes:



The Birds and The Bees... and the Marbles and the Balloons...


So. This morning, before anyone else was moving around, Micah meandered into the kitchen with his water balloon, to where I was making the breakfast waffles. He was quite proud of that balloon, as it was the first balloon he'd ever been able to tie off himself.


We got chatting, and somehow we got onto the problem of pregnancy. I can't remember how it came about, but all of a sudden he was saying, "Well, So-and-So couldn't have a baby". To which I replied, that, well, as soon as a girl starts having her period, she could, technically have a baby.


So, he says, what's a period?


Ah.


I was, momentarily, stumped, but then I reasoned he's 10- well, really, only about three weeks shy of 11. Why shouldn't he know what a period is?


So, I told him.


I drew diagrams in the air with my hands, and told him of the wonders of the female gynecology. How the uterus is made to be like a nest for the baby to grow in. How the Father has the seeds, and the Mother has the eggs in her ovaries. How the Father's seeds gets inside the Mother, and when they meet an egg a baby can be made. How every month the uterus gets ready for making a baby and if a baby isn't conceived the uterus sheds it's protective lining, which is made up of stuff to feed the baby, and then the whole process starts again.


Yup. I told him.


So, he says, What would happen to the marble inside this water balloon if I put it in the freezer?


 



The Dentist has New Clothes

Linea's site is looking good, much better than the job the last hack did on her site!


I love the color, and I was going to take it for myself. Then I asked her what her favorite colour was. She said "Blue," and I knew I couldn't keep it.


So, go take a look at her new outfit. It's sharp.


I think all the other dentists will be envious.

News for Gateway Covenant Church

If you regularly read this space and attend Gateway Covenant Church, let me remind you of the churches website. It's www.gatewaycovenant.blogspot.com


We have the church Executive Board updating it regularly now, so the news should be fairly up to date.


Thanks to those who are keeping it up.

just a word

There is a Sensitivity to your spirit that allows you to become like your surroundings.

This will make you confused sometimes, as you adapt to the people and situations around you.

Your spirit picks up the surroundings and you adapt and become like it.

This is why you can do well in many situations.

This also means you need to stay near Christ.

To be like Christ you need more time in his presence.

This is a gift of Sensitivity to the body of Christ.

But if you do not remain in Christ the gift becomes distorted and broken.

This gift also means you will pick up the spirit of people - your spirit will begin to act as theirs.

This is for discernment for you.

Look at how you are behaving and feeling for clues on what they are about.

So, know this. that you will adapt to any place you go.

Use this gift to bless the body. and to find your way in life.

Home again, safe and ...

Well, we made it back home tonight and I can report to being Safe, and not sure of the "Sound" part.


The meetings went well and, as I reported earlier on, I had the chance to have some very good conversations with some people. The whole "Wall to wall crowds and 8am till 9pm crowds" became tiresome. I was thankful for my bed located out on a very quiet farm, far from the maddening crowds. The silence of that place still rings in my head. It's actually a very cool experience.


Coming home I think I felt a lot of things settling on me again. I was a bit jealous of the silence and focused work of the last few days. Now I'm returning to some unfinished tasks and ongoing noise. Maybe it's time for the summer holidays to start sooner rather than later.


This morning the worship service was sweet. I didn't have to preach or lead or be responsible for anything except my heart worshipping God. That was very good.


During the service, God started speaking to me about some things I hadn't seen or understood before. I furiously scribbled away trying to keep up with the things He was showing me. Turned out to be quite profound you know? Pictures and helpful insights into myself, from his perspective. And, he wasn't judgemental about my failures. Wasn't as harsh as I'd be with me, that's for sure. But gracious and loving, and solid.


I was so grateful for that moment of clear contact. Now I need to process these things, and I will.


 


In other news...


It turned out my first piece was published by the Prince Albert Daily Herald yesterday. They included this webspace in my mini bio, so we should smarten up and behave a little better while some new people drop by to check the place out.  I'll try not to mention anything about men and their bathroom habits, and definitely no s-e-x talk for a while ok?


:-)


That is all, and it is good to be home.


g'nite.

Business done. Celebration begins.

The business side of things is now completed, and it went well. It's always amazing to hear the God stories in the different areas of the Country, and work that we do together.


In about a half hour the banquet begins, and the celebration of thanksgiving that follows. The Covenant Bible College Gospel Choir is up from Strathmore, so we will have a joint jumpin good time tonight.


I've been able to connect with the people I wanted to meet with here, that's been good. And I also took the opportunity to meet with a Counselor they had available for pastors during the weekend. It was good too. As a pastor it shouldn't surprise me, (but it did again) how good it is to sit and talk for an hour, and have someone listen and tell me what he's hearing from me. Like having an extra set of ears. Anyway, that was helpful.


Tomorrow, after the morning communion service, we will be heading home. Thankfully this year we only have a four hour trip.


So, it's all going well here.


I'll pray for you tomorrow morning, you pray for me, ok?


From the town of Norquay.


PS. I went for a walk today and I could hear a person drilling a hole in their inside wall, in their home, 2 blocks away. Seriously. Is this place quiet or what?!?

It's About Time

RELIGION COLUMN


By Randall Friesen
FOR THE HERALD


My wife, Lauralea, and I were talking the other day about who we connect with, on a regular basis. We were looking back at who we had, or rather how we had connected with others lately. She made an interesting observation: the real connecting we had done over the past month were with people who had time to connect.


They had, or at least appeared to have had time just to sit a while. We didn't have to plan the get together days in advance. They didn't seem to be thinking where else they needed to be, as they sat across from us visiting. Their only agenda  was hanging out, checking up, sharing themselves and their time with the likes of us.


We got to thinking just how much our world has changed, from a time when people were a priority, to today when busy schedules are more important.


It seems most of us would rather have a full day ahead of us, with a list of things to do and people to network with. Somehow it makes us look important, valuable, significant.


We create these busy illusions of importance for ourselves because un-busyness would be a sign of ...unimportance? laziness? friendlessness?


Or, maybe the busyness keeps us from thinking things too deeply or feeling emotions too significantly. Maybe it's like human autopilot or something. Maybe it keeps the wheels moving so we don't have to.


I don't know.


But I do know that we are busy people.


Sally Morganthaler, an American writer and speaker, has said:


   "Truly, our de-prioritization of our own offspring is one of the great tragedies of late twentieth century America. The effects are staggering, and I'm not just talking about broken homes. It goes much deeper than that. The cessation of inter-generational narrative is at the core. The exchange of story has been one of the most important roles of family life. But getting involved in that exchange means sacrificing time, listening, and value that our children are actually worth the effort."


It's one thing to not have time for our friends or neighbours, but this is starting to seep into our homes. We hardly even have time for the kids anymore. Time to listen to our children's stories. Time to tell them ours.


We are busy people, and we like it that way, even though  we say we don't.


To choose another way may cost us. It may cost us income, perceived significance, being labelled lazy, or worse yet, uneducated.


But maybe this is an area in which we need to be counter cultural. Maybe we need to be an example to our neighbours and friends and children. Perhaps we need to communicate with our choices, that busyness isn't inherently a good thing. That the luxury of time is more precious than the luxury of wealth. That spending time with someone is a huge, wonderful extravagance of love.


It's interesting that the reward promised to followers of Christ after their death isn't a boatload of gold. In fact, in God's economy, gold is used for making roads. Instead, what is promised is something called Eternal Life. A great, never-ending span  ...of time.


Time will be the reward. Not because we've been so short of it down here, but because of its incredible value. If we will just realize it.


Time.


What are you doing with yours?





Randall Friesen is a local husband and father who pastors Gateway
Covenant Church. He writes regularly at randallfriesen.com

This, is good.

Its 10:56 pm and I am in a big bed in a cold basement room in a farm house in eastern Saskatchewan. The howling Prairie wind outside is making itself heard and felt.

My only light comes from my bedside lamp. It highlights the white ceiling with its 12 inch squares. The walls are a familiar brown paneling, with a matching trim where they meet the ceiling.

The curtains are unmatched towels, and the door is a brown, hollow wood type made in the early 1970'S.

The ceiling has the familiar brown rectangle vent for the absent warm air to flow through. And the prerequisite chuckwagon lamp sits atop a blanket covered shelf.

My small radio crackles the classical CBC am station that comforts in a way you only understand when you've listened to radio on the prairies.

Though it's my first time on this farm, I've been in this room a thousand times before. At my Grandparents place, or my parents place. At a friends home, or another place like this, billeted out to hospitable prairie people.

I think it's true you know, that if you haven't been to the prairies, you haven't experienced true hospitality from real people.

And so begins my stay here. It's nice and quiet and God seems in a mood to be heard.

And I,
I'm listening.

Blessings from a place ten kilometers west of Norquay.

Speaking of Dog River...

Today we drove through Tisdale Saskatchewan, home of Mega Superstar, Brent Butt.


We think we may have spotted a relative!

Well, tomorrow I'm off...

To the bright lights, big city for our National Annual Meeting.


It's in Norquay Sask.


Think of Dog River, then shrink it by half.


Well, at least they don't have a Dirty Cracked Hoe, I think.


I should be back around these parts by the weekend, or so.


Blessings on ya.

Ah, I needed this today!!


"The next time the NY State Legislature takes forever to do something (which will be next time), consider this: The Idaho Legislature has passed a resolution commending the vision of indie sleeper film Napoleon Dynamite and what it stands for. Seriously. See the resolution here, but here are some highlights of the reasons:


    - WHEREAS, the friendship between Napoleon and Pedro has furthered multiethnic relationships
    - WHEREAS, Rico and Kip's Tupperware sales and Deb's keychains and glamour shots promote entrepreneurism and self-sufficiency in Idaho's small towns
    - WHEREAS, Kip's relationship with LaFawnduh is a tribute to e-commerce and Idaho's technology-driven industry
    - WHEREAS, Napoleon's tetherball dexterity emphasizes the importance of physical education in Idaho public schools
    - WHEREAS, any members of the House of Representatives or the Senate of the Legislature of the State of Idaho who choose to vote "Nay" on this concurrent resolution are "FREAKIN' IDIOTS!" and run the risk of having the "Worst Day of Their Lives!"


:-)


via.


Anybody else remember this??


 

Upon the birth of a Son

Somewhere around a million years ago, in the wisdom of God, he thought it wise to entrust Lauralea and myself with two girls. Having little girls was amazing. It's hard to express fully how one's heart shifts just a bit, to make room for another little soul in one's life, especially a little girl.


So, we had two of these small wonders. I admit, I was happy and content with girls, so when we got pregnant, I was not the one muttering beneath my breath, "Common baby, be a boy!!"


But out came a boy, and it was good too.


Different good, you know? 


Having a boy has been equally as amazing. But it's the kind of amazing that you don't know, until you have one.


This one was always inquisitive. Getting stuck in boxes and falling down the stairs in it. Taking things apart, and not putting them back together. Always this silly grin on his face. Always so sensitive that usually one "look" from his mom or dad was enough.


"They" say that boys are easier to raise. I understand where that statement comes from now, especially with this boy. He's very easygoing, a sensitive peacemaker.


Yesterday the girls were not around so the three of us "Men" went out and cleaned the yard. It was good. And fun, if yard work can be fun. They are able to work harder and had more strength than ever before, so their contribution is growing and growing.


They are turning into fine sons.


Having girls, well that's like eating raspberries, and having guys, well that's like eating pineapples. It's all good, it's just different.


Anyway, the boy God gave us 15 years ago today nearly didn't make it through to life. But God stepped in and made it ok. Today, as in most every day since, I'm grateful he did.


So, Happy Birthday Thomas.


This year will hold many changes for you, (not the least of which will be learning to drive!) But you will handle them with the poise and grace that you approach most everything you do.


Enjoy the year. It's gonna be good.


 


 


 

Woo Hoo, we're not fat any more!!

A study that came out last year pegged Prince Albert as the fat capital of Canada.


Good News people, a new study has come out and it's now Saskatoon!!


Pass the Cheetos!



"Saskatoon is the fattest city in Canada, according to a new report.


In Saskatoon, men are more likely than women to be obese... the Association for Canadian Studies found that 18.2 per cent of adults in Saskatoon are considered obese, compared to a national rate of 14.9 per cent.


...By far, Vancouver had the lowest rate of obesity ? 6.1 per cent. The study had comparisons for 10 cities."


Whew, that feels better.


Actually, all we did was found the ten largest people in Prince Albert and got them on a bus to Saskatoon.


The report continued:



"Obese parents increased the risk that their children would also become obese..."


Apparently that's more good news. Dad's been loosing a lot of weight so that should help decrease the risk that I will be large!


via.



Pope John Paul II

We wouldn't have agreed on all our theology, but I have no doubt that God has received him with a "Well done."


 


 


 


 


 


 

A beautiful spring day

here in Prince Albert.
























I had a good long people day today, so tonight Micah and I headed out for a walk, down to the river for some pictures.

Nice ending to a great day.

A Culture of Chance

I met this morning with a couple other pastors and we were reflecting on our society and some of the directions it's heading.


What struck me at one point was how some gambling addicts are having difficulty with the Tim Horton's Roll Up The Rim To Win, contest our local coffee hole is running. For some of them who are living on the edge of their addiction, now going out for coffee isn't really safe. While it's not big time gambling, it can be enough to get your saliva running, and the adrenalin moving through your body again.


I have some friends who struggle with that particular vice. I need to be aware of how some things like this effect them.


In other gambling news, the local and only Burger King is now closed down. Seems that the owner went down to Vegas for a little holiday, and ended up loosing everything, including the store. Sigh.


We came up with a great title for a book or article, "The Culture of Chance."


Now somebody just has to write it.

Oh really, you have a car shaped hole in your heart??

In the Evangelical Covenant Church, of which I'm a part, they find that pastors are quitting after year 3 or 4ish, and then there is a chunk of them leaving around the 20 year marker. They wanted to know how to help stop this outflow, so I thought it was a helpful suggestion I made when I said every pastor should get a new red sportscar when they reach the 20 year marker...


Yeah. They didn't laugh either.


I've been thinking about that this week, the 20 year marker I mean.


I've been doing this gig for about 20 years now, and I've been asking myself some deep questions. Basic stuff. Do I want to do this all my days? Yes, I have a calling I feel I need to answer for, but is it a calling to pastor?


And I am quite paranoid you know, my own worst critic. You have no idea what goes through my head some days. Stuff about what I'm doing or not doing, should or shouldn't be doing, pastorally speaking. I can think of ten people right now, who could do this better than I could.


And, I'm not thinking about leaving here, really I'm not. Nor am I looking for sympathy, or a raise, or even a sports car, although...


I'm just trying to come to terms with myself, and my calling, and my passions, and dreams, and future, is all.


Scott, who's been a pastor a while too, is hanging it up for a bit. He expresses himself quite well I think. I know those thoughts, those voices inside his head. They've rattled through mine a time or two as well.


Check it out, then go offer up a prayer for him, and your own pastor too. Chances are good he can relate to some of it. Especially if he's been around a bit.

Important Notice

Ok people, I'm still getting emails wondering when the baby is due and how we are taking it.


It was an April Fools Joke! Which was why I thanked everybody for being so gullible.


So, for those who are seriously concerned. Thanks. It's neat being loved.


For those who think a pastor shouldn't do that, well, hey, I'm still human. I'll give in to a bit of April Foolery once and a while. (Especially when I come up with a good one!)


And, on a final note, I'll probably only pull a stunt like that once a year, probably.  


(Unless of course we really would get pregnant, then who would have the last laugh?)

In other news

I have discovered the Hot Toasted sandwiches from Subway.


It might just be spring talking, but hey, I think I'm in love.

I think I'm ready for winter now

I have a new winter coat. 10 Dollars at Old Navy.


Yeah I know but ten bucks is ten bucks!


All right, bring it on baby, I'm ready for winter!!

If this is Tuesday, it must be Prince Albert

Well, the house will begin to shrink in a few moments. Both girls will be returning home from their travels.


I'm glad they are able to travel. Yes, one's been only an hour away, but she's been staying on her own and trying out life by herself. That's always a cool taste of freedom. Life, on your own, in a bigger city...


The other one took a bigger, more expensive jump and headed right down to California for ten days. (I should add that she paid for it herself). It's a big step for her as it's usually not her thing to put herself out there on a limb. But this was a relatively safe limb, so off she went.


It has been my experience that travel changes a person.


It broadens ones perspective and experience. It allows you to see life from different angles, angles that you had never thought possible before.


Traveling to places where the language or culture is different forces you to think about who you are and what your culture is about. Then you are ready to really experience the other culture.


It forces you to develop a level of independence that perhaps you had not known before. You need to be deliberate at the things you do every day. Purchasing a chocolate bar in another language, with weird money forces you to think, and not just let life pass by.


Travel also opens you to options. You could do this or that, live here or there, the possibilities seem endless.


Yesterday Lauralea and I sat in a cafe and we talked about so many people who have never set foot beyond Prince Albert, or at least Saskatchewan. For many of them they really don't know what's out there. So, if they wish at all, they wish for the unknown. As a result, many of them won't ever leave the city heading to greener pastures. For some of them the "Greener Pastures" are to be feared and rejected. Nothing to be perused or looked forward to.


When I traveled, I discovered people who had the same spiritual roots as I had, yet their cultures were very different than mine. I learned that culture and things of the spirit were not necessarily the same. This discovery was so important for me in terms of personal growth. It clarified things for me in a way that remains to this day.


No, traveling is one thing I encourage people to try whenever they have the chance. It changes you, makes you a better person. If you need an excuse, it's a good investment in yourself.


So it will be interesting to see how these two change this year. What with all the travel that they have been doing and will be doing.


Interesting indeed.

Lark News, all the news that's misfit to print...

Lark News is reporting that The Rapture occurred March 31, 2005, at 9:43 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time.



...and took both people on the planet whose theology was exactly correct.
    Dan Wilson of Ottawa, Canada, was snatched away while sleeping.
    "He spent years refining his eschatological scheme," says his wife. "Just last week he told me he had it all right, but I still disagreed with him on a minor point. I regret that now."
    Rejna Thanawalla of New Delhi, India, also experienced the Rapture, say friends.
    "She knew exactly what the books of Revelation and Daniel meant," they say. "Sadly, none of us listened to her."
    In a surprise, Tim LaHaye says he was "slightly wrong on the subject of the Beast," and was left behind. Other prophecy experts say they, too, botched minor points in their end times charts.
    "Looks like we'll have to stay and wait this out," said one disappointed pastor.


At least one was a Canadian.


More Lark, here.

This is getting interesting, Pt.2

Um, yeah.


Due to the fact that people are starting to hear rumors about it, and it seems we have older kids who cannot keep silent, we need to confirm what the questioning emails and the quiet whispers in the corner are about.


Lauralea (and I by default) are expecting. Autumn will find us adding a fifth child to our collection, just before Christmas.


I think I'm ok with it, but Lauralea... well, it's gonna be a bit of a road to travel.


Sigh. Interesting indeed.





UPDATE:


Well, that was fun while it lasted! Thanks for being so gullible, you made my day.


It was a bit of work, coming up with a possible idea, hacking my daughters Blogger account, keeping the locals quiet. But it was a nice way to spend April Fools day.


In other hoaxes;



- The Toronto Star reports that Ashton Kutcher and Paris Hilton to star in a 2005 remake of Casablanca


- The BBC report (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/features/tv_watershed.shtml) that a think-tank has suggested that disabled people should not appear on television until after the 9pm watershed.


SpaceDaily (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/rocketscience-05o.html) reports that President Bush has cancelled the Space Shuttle Program and EADS SPACE falls for it 


- The Today programme on BBC Radio 4 reports that, as a result of an obscure 19th century rule succession of the House of Saxe-Coburg, Camilla Parker-Bowles's son, Thomas Parker-Bowles, who is older that Prince William, will become second in line to the British throne following the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla on 8 April 2005


- Nature.com  reports that bacteria from the Apollo missions is destroying the moon.


- Bush twins to join Air Force tech unit in Iraq


-  Homestarrunner.com displayed a hoax message purporting that the popular (and free) animation website would begin charging money for access. A comically mediocre "tour" of pay-site features was also presented.


- King Arthur Pendragon claimed that English Heritage had handed ownership of Stonehenge to the Druids, as part of a project to place a roof and restore the ancient temple to its former glory


- Malaysian radio station Hitz.FM Morning Crew, Rudy and JJ, announce that they have been fired for coming in late the day before, and take hostage of the station. The drama went on for their entire morning shift. Malaysian newspaper The Malay Mail was in on the joke.


- A&W restaurants announce new deal of "Two grandpas for five dollars".


- BMW printed a full page ad in a number of UK newspapers (including The Guardian, The Independent, and the Daily Mail) saying that in 2007 the EU were banning right-handed cars being driven in mainland Europe, (effectively banning every British car) and that they had invented steering wheel-less technology.


 


And, some real events happened that people thought were April Fool's jokes. Like:



Christopher Eccleston quits Doctor Who (2005) after one series


- Mitch Hedberg's death


British Home Secretary Charles Clarke is being asked to pardon Anne Boleyn for the crimes of adultery, incest and witchcraft for which she was beheaded in 1536.


- Google doubles Gmail disk space quota to 2Gb.


- The BBC asks to interview long-deceased singer Bob Marley.


- Google offers Ride Finder for real time information on taxi cabs in selected cities.


 


Sleep well tonight, I know I will.
Course, half the house is still away, (The upstairs half...) so, I suppose it's still possible that it could be made to be true...