CBC Grad 2006

Well, the weekend is going good. Seeing some old friends and making new ones. It´s the first time I´ve done one of these things as a parent, and that´s a new perspective for me.

The thing that´s kinda working through me is a bit of a feeling flashback to my first year of College. I´m watching these kids and staff and faculty saying their good-byes and its taking me back to my college days. First year away from home, building community and some seriously tight relationships, then you are suppose to say good-bye?

Just a bit gut wrenching if you ask me.

Anyway, its going well. And to prove it, here are some pics.



Graduating Class.


Uh, yeah.


Johanna and her room mate, Ronna.


...and friends.


Calgary Bound...

Second time in a week.

Cause sometimes you just need a little help.



Suicide Jumper on Vimeo

Log in for a Good Night

I use MSN Messenger and I log in under randall_friesen AT hotmail DOT com. Lately it´s helped add a new dimension to my connection with my family as we have got my mom and dad using it.

They will message me with a question or a short chat. It´s great because it feels like the other person is closer than they might physically be.

I realized how good this has been, last night.

Usually when I´m done checking my email, before bed, I check if anyone still has their MSN on. Last night I clicked on my daughter, Johanna, and said nite. Then I sent a good night to my dad, and my brother and my sister. Johanna was the one who was at her computer and she responded.

It´s kinda like ?The Waltons.? Remember? ?Good night mama, good night Johnboy, good night grampa, good night Mary Ellen...?

Sometimes it´s good to disconnect, for quiet and stillness. But sometimes it´s just good to be a click away.

It can be a comfort.
 

Ahh

Thursday morning, day off, everybody is out of the house, and I´m lovin it.
I´ve made some strong coffee and toast, (Coffee strong, toast dark), and I´m sitting here listening to online radio and reading your blogs and the news and answering email and talking to my sister on MSN.
The house is quiet, and my soul is at rest.

Nice.

Dead Fish Walking

Micah is walking around here with a frozen dead fish in a plastic bag.

?Fishy? died December 30, 2005 after 3 days with us. Apparently, after he died instead of throwing it out, Micah decided to put him in the freezer to bury in summer.

Also, quite apparently, Lauralea just found the bag in the freezer while looking for a roast.

The saga continues. Burial to follow.
 

Over the hump in Crazy Month

So, the Annual Meeting went well, and as it turns out, Gateway Covenant will be hosting next years party. So I won´t have to travel, but boy we´ve got the work cut out for us in terms of lots of prep work and planning to be done.

This week is suppose to be a holiday week since we are headed back to Strathmore for Johanna´s Commencement at Covenant Bible College. ?Suppose to be? meaning I´m working today and I´ll take that extra day next week.

Monday was Lauralea´s 43rd Birthday, so now I can really call her my old lady...
And yesterday I worked on the yard and house and getting the van ready for the trip. It was going ok until I had the van up on the jack to put on a new tire, and suddenly as I was positioning the new tire, the jack gave out. I had enough time to get clear, and jam the tire under the wheel, so it didn´t hit the ground. I was unhurt, and got the van back up and the tire replaced. Didn´t seem to be any damage, but I won´t know till its on the highway. At least I wasn´t damaged.

So, we are making it through this very busy season. Week one was Easter week and it´s craziness, week two was the Annual Meeting and other assorted connections and work in Alberta. And now we are into week three, which should be the last week of craziness. Getting out to Strathmore for this Commencement Thing. We´re over the hump now and I am looking forward to it. Hopefully it will be a bit of a party too.

Meetings done, on with the banquet and concert

The business of the 102 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Evangelical Covenant church has been completed. Now I am off for a costume change and after that CBC will be giving a concert with their small group and their Gospel Choir.


I understand they are singing a song composed by Johanna too. That'll be cool.


And my informal meetings and chats with friends at CBC have been helpful and productive. May God continue to lead, and just be God for us.


I should be home by tomorrow night.


(Micah, do your homework, and Thomas, do your chores.)

At Annual meeting - Strathmore

I hate this.
I try to stay at peoples homes when I am traveling on behalf of the church, to help save some money. And so you submit yourself, with some risk, to the unknown. Where will you be billeted? And will you be able to get to the meeting location from the house. How easily?

Usually the people are good people, and they are not the problem. In fact I don´t really recall a bad billeting experience in previous years.

But location, well that´s a different problem.

And so here I sit again, out in the country, in a nice home with good people, but still out of walking range of my meetings.

Sigh.

Tomorrow I think I will see if there are any cheap cars to be rented in this town. I need to get to a few meetings in different places, and connect with people. And to do my work, I will need a car, I guess.

It´s always a bit of a risk, but if I can find a car for cheap, It will make the weekend much more profitable.


The other thing I hate? Is the mood at the College.

I had supper with my daughter Johanna today, and it´s one more week till Commencement and the students head off in scattered directions.

It´s getting weird, lonely, empty. Abandonment seems the only way to describe it.

I remember that same feeling from my days in College. I was always on a tour group, and stayed behind while the others headed off towards home. It was always a very empty hopeless feeling. I hated that then. And that same feeling floods me as I walk the halls.

There is nothing quite as empty and lonely as a college campus after the kids leave.

Friends go, connections are cut, shared experiences and stories just sit there with no one to remember them with.

I hate that feeling. It´s so empty, so lost.

And I guess it brings up feelings about her going overseas for a year.
This year has been good in that I have had to be in Strathmore where the college is located, more times than normal (I´m on the Covenant Bible College Board). So even though she has moved 7 hours away, I´ve been able to see her often enough.

But next year, going overseas, and not seeing her for a year... well I don´t look forward to that at all. At all.

She will do well at it, and it will be amazing for her, but...

Yeah. This conversation goes nowhere helpful.

Wish I could go to bed already but it´s only 8:16 in the evening.

Exclusive

Well, time for home.

For the past couple of days I´ve been trying to prepare for our Conference Annual Meeting. Today was about financial reports and updates, which you know I love like the plague.

?Bring out your dead, bring out your dead...?

Speaking of which, I was run down today in the grocery store, by one of those big four wheel personal transportation vehicles. The individual was having trouble controlling his muscle movements and hit the power, accidently. I never saw it coming. I was paying with debit, punching in the numbers and I suddenly felt this searing pain on my left side. As I turned to look I got the brunt of it and it slammed me up against the counter, spinning its tires on me, pushing and grinding into me. Then he shot off another 8 feet before he got control of it.

Talk about your shock and awe.

I nearly fell to the ground but caught myself on the counter, holding myself up, waiting for the pain to settle and the shock to subside. The guy was very sorry, the bagboy looked stunned, and the cashier was speechless.

What´s there to say after that.

I got my bags and dragged my butt out to the car, wincing as I went.


Now, the Council meeting is done. The report for Annual Meeting is done. I think my wife is at home finishing my packing. And I am done.

And the highlight of my day?

23 years ago today Lauralea and I started dating, exclusively.

S l o w i t d o w n. . .

Are you the type who loves to watch slow motion clips of a water balloon being burst?

You are?

Then you need to visit this site.

Interesting HighSpeed Video Clips.

(don't say i don't love ya)

Easter Monday

Well, here it is, Monday after Easter, and my head is mostly on all that I need to get done before I leave for our Conference Annual meeting on Wednesday.

The list is overwhelming, but I´ll do what I can.

Today is about some difficult child rearing, fixing the tire that was flat on the van yesterday, and fixing the sink taps that Lauralea took apart, (to fix.)

Yeah, just trying to catch up around here. Taxes, car fixes, child fixes, the usual.

Well, more than ?The Usual,? because I will be away a while. Things always get a bit more stressful just before I go away.

I think things will be better after these next couple of weeks are behind us. We´ll breath deeper and begin to prepare for The Company.

We are looking for ward to that.

Easter Sunday and real Resurrection

Sunrise Service 4The day began at two am this morning when I was awakened from my sleep by a group of loud drunks partying next door, in the yard beside my bedroom. I think I got a few more hours in before the 5:30 alarm went off to get us to the sunrise service.

The morning service went ok, and quickly after that we were off to Saskatoon for a bit of a get together with my family. We don´t know how many of those times remain for us, but we need to make time for them. My dad isn´t well, but he is determined to see some of that pension come in when he hits 65. He´s paid all his hard working years into it.

Not everyone in the family is happy, and life ebbs and flows. One week you´re on top of the world, the next week hope goes unanswered again. And living with a family member who is on a limited time line, we all realize that the years are moving us forward too. Time suddenly takes on a much harder edge.

There are things that need to be said. Things that help clarify the desired will of the one going on ahead. Things that are hard to hear even as we hear the gentle weeping in the corner. But its good, we need to hear one another. We honour each other by listening to one another. And now, because of some doctor´s prognosis, there is a sense of urgency in this matter of listening. So we listen intently.

Then comes the humor. The joking and laughter we share helps the moment pass a bit easier. It is gentle, not harsh. And we need to laugh just as badly as we need to cry. Both are a release of emotions.

Yeah, we´ll be ok. There is a deepening sense of peace over us. This will go where it goes, at whatever pace it goes, but we don´t have a deep sense of fear or grief. I suppose this is because we also know the one who holds the keys of death and hell. Because of Easter Sunday, resurrection morning, the one we follow after and who has gone on ahead has already conquered death. Since he now holds the keys to death, we know that He will use them when He knows the time is right. And He can be trusted.

So, we trust. We don´t always understand and we don´t always agree, but we trust him. Mostly because he has been faithful to us in the past. In caring and loving us, he is proved faithful, no matter what may come.

And now I am exhausted.
Nite.

I?m off tonight ...

... to discuss Theology and eat buffalo wings.

Of course they go together, like a hand and sock.

And who knew buffalo could fly?

Easter weekend. A Short History.

Easter weekend.
Weekend trips to Austin to visit the grandparents.
First weekend we could get our bikes out, if the snow was gone.
Weekend of hollow chocolate hens, family meals, and too much church for my liking.

The first weekend of spring.
Roll down the windows, pick up a friend, and get to 8th St.
Hot cars, hiding in garages, being worked on all winter, are released.
Do something, anything, outside, together with your friends.

Warmth. Spring. The official opening of summer.
Outside is now opened for activities.
No coats or sweaters. No boots or gloves.

Easter weekend.

Nouwen on being a good shepherd

"Good Shepherds are willing to lay down their lives for their sheep (see John 10:11). As spiritual leaders walking in the footsteps of Jesus, we are called to lay down our lives for our people. This laying down might in special circumstances mean dying for others. But it means first of all making our own lives - our sorrows and joys, our despair and hope, our loneliness and experience of intimacy - available to others as sources of new life.One of the greatest gifts we can give others is ourselves. We offer consolation and comfort, especially in moments of crisis, when we say: "Do not be afraid, I know what you are living and I am living it with you. You are not alone." Thus we become Christ-like shepherds."

Sometimes I don't want to be a good shepherd at all. I want to be self absorbed and careless.
When we talk of dying to self it really really isn't a once for all thing, but more the need for a daily decision, and grace.
Lord have mercy.

Baby update from Gene and Barb

Well, I received an update from Gene this morning on their new baby.
What a steep learning curve!! understatement! Every little baby girl detail leaves us looking at each other .'Dunno, shrug, dialogue and have a good chuckle at our selves, 44yrs old and back in school!The name. Johanna Grace... after her birth, we started looking at names again, Hebrew ones, or at least from the Book, one that would state something to or about our gracious God, to these 44 yr olds.

We saw Johanna, or, maybe Joanna, mentioned it casually to Mom, to see what she thought. She liked all of the ones we were pondering, and mentioned reading the day before the account of the women at the tomb looking for Jesus body-one being Joanna. Cool, then Barb left me a note after wandering through friend's blogs, saw you have a Johanna. Gift of God- grace. And there you have it!

Lauralea, she was 3 kg, 30 grams, or something like 6 lb, 8 oz after something like 12 hrs of labour, and that is not called labour for nothing. My respect for mothers, has deepened alot! ... all is well and both mom and baby healthy. I'll send photos at some point. Take care Randall, and may God's gift find you this Easter enraptured...

Gene

Wow. Way to go you guys. Sounds like you will have your own enraptured Easter this year.

All kinds of memories came flooding back as I read the email.

At one point we were told that we probably wouldn»?t be able to have children, and though I don»?t think we were ever afraid of that potential, we were still very aware of Gods grace when the test came back positive.

We too wanted a variation on Joanne, which meant God»?s gracious gift. And, like Gene and Barb we were thinking of Grace as a second name, but settled on Joy, as in ?delight.? Johanna Joy was the result.

The naming of a child is such a significant thing, we worked hard to find the right names for our kids, and the names chosen mean something.

Good job Gene and Barb (well, especially Barb!!). May God give you the strength and wisdom you need to bring little Johanna into this world.

...and Father, would you bless little Johanna Grace with a full and blessed life. And may she always be God»?s gracious gift to those around her, especially her mom and dad.

Happy Birthday Thomas

Today I had to fill out a form and one of the questions was the ages of my children.

I wrote down 18,17,16,11.

I stopped and looked at the numbers and breathed deeply.

Looking at those numbers, and considering my life,

Things aren´t going badly at all.


Happy Birthday to my eldest son, Thomas.
Can´t believe it was 16 years ago today.
I remember leaving the nursery, and walking to the payphone in the hospital, phoning my mom and dad in Ontario, and telling them it was a boy.
Our first boy.

Seems like yesterday.

Really.

The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended

The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

John Ellerton


And so it is. Just when I´m starting to feel myself.

This morning by 11 am, my head was having it´s own problems. I never have headaches so this was a humdinger of a surprise. (Wow, never thought I´d use that word in a sentence today! 3 points!)

I went home and stuffed some meds and tried to find a posture that didn´t hurt.

After some time of trying that, I gave up and went back to the office, kinda feeling like throwing up.

Dragged my butt home, had a few bites of supper and went to bed. Didn´t sleep really, just kind of rested, and used the lessons of our years ago pre-natal training to focus, and keep breathing, to help limit the pain. (Yeah, she would have been proud of me.)

Anyway, I´m returning to my former self, just a bit shaky is all.


It is the week leading up to Easter weekend, and I am looking forward to all the activities. The Maundy Thursday service has become my favourite service of the year. In it we walk with Christ through his last night on earth.

It gets quite moving as we progress, and share in the Lords Supper by serving one another. I rarely see the Church in all her broken glory, like I do when we serve each other the bread and juice.


To finish the song:

We thank Thee that Thy church, unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.

As o´er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun that bids us rest is waking
Our brethren ´neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth´s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.


night all.

Hillary Friesen, University of Saskatchewan

Hillary has been accepted into the U of S for the fall term of 2006!

Wow This is cool

And a reason to celebrate, even if she chooses another direction. Being accepted is big over here.

And hey, because she has good marks, they are offering her a $500 scholarship.

A head that can hold data, and hard work have paid off.

Way to go girl. You deserve it.

A road trip, phone call, and Kumbya

Today Lauralea and I went for a drive to Saskatoon to hang out with my folks a bit. It´s was a beautiful spring day on the prairies, and as Lauralea said, and I agreed, it would be really tough to ever leave the prairies.

I think the dirt blows into the cracks in your body, and the big blue sky burns itself into your retina.

Anyway, we spent some nice, unrushed time with mom and dad. Then, tonight Lauralea´s mom called and since Laura is out, I had the chance for a good long visit with her too.

I get busy, you know? And I don´t always know how to stop. (I think we all know that about me already, so there´s no use beating that dead horse any longer.)

But today I´ve been connecting with people who have been a part of my history, and so they know me well. This has caused the day to be a most blessed and healing day.

And tonight I´m going through this space, getting ready for a format change. I´m reading stories that are sometimes funny, sometimes moving, but often thought provoking. Some of them are actually moving me to tears, and a bit overwhelming. And I wonder where they came from.

Who wrote these snippets of life? And where did he go? I´d like him to show up and hang around here a bit more. (Uh oh, speaking in the third person, that can´t be good).

I assure you this is a season. A bit of a blurry, and fuzzy season, but a season none the less. The anchor is still strongly attached to the Rock. And it´s good that it is attached, for times just like this. Times when you can´t see clearly, and you are unsure of where you are in the fog. But its ok, because you are still attached. Even though you can´t see the Rock, you know you are connected, because the chain is tight, secure, holding your position. And you know that after the storm settles, you will see clearly again, and all will be well.


Then we´ll all hold hands and sing Kumbya.

Now I need a Smoking jacket

Thought I'd check the email before I hit the bed for the night.

I'm sitting here eating a beautiful black licorice pipe that Marc and Dixie picked up today on a Costco run. I don't know who put that idea in their ear, but they are a favourite. Thanks guys.

Eating them makes me feel so much more sophisticated than smoking the real things...

Random thoughts on a Saturday night...

Back and forth they go past my window, walking that tiny hairless mutt.

I wonder if there was a meteor headed to wipe out the earth tomorrow, and we only discovered it tonight, would I go to church tomorrow morning?

My tooth hurts.

I sure love these people I work with. Really.

There goes Darryl, signing in on MSN.

9:56pm. Heartburn is starting. (Not related to the previous point)

I wonder if I´ll like my new Wordpress design I´m working on.

I think I have wax buildup in my ear.

Thomas´ birthday this week. Gotta get a present.

I wonder if my sermon will help people tomorrow, especially me.

I am tired. Exhausted even. Second weekend of five in a row where I´m super busy. Next weekend Easter, then Conference Annual meeting, in Strathmore, then Johanna´s commencement, in Strathmore, again.

I´m gonna take some Tylenol, and Rolaids.

I´m gonna go have a hot shower.

I gotta get the ministerial Books in order before Annual meeting.

?Father, please just be with Toni and Chris and Ben tonight. Let them sleep in peace.?

I hope that thunk in the van isn´t serious.

I need a hundred dollars to pay my Dues. (This will help get the Books in order)

I should go send Micah to bed.

This place used to be a fun place to read stuff. It doesn´t seem so fun lately.

I need more dress shirts.

Quiver starting to fill up

I´m sitting at my desk here at my office and a call just came through from Gene Hugo, a friend from Yellowknife who started reading this space a long time ago. (that´s how we met actually)

News is that Gene and his wife Barb just had a baby girl!!

It is so cool, that I actually forgot to ask size and weight etc.

Oh, and name, I forgot to ask her name.

Shoot. Lauralea´s gonna kill me...

Off to the Hosipital

...to do the service there this morning.

Honestly, I don't really want to do it, but it always ends up being a blessing.

Unless I screw up the Lord's Prayer again.


I hate when I do that.

h o l y c o w

Pardon my french, but I. am. gobsmacked.

For some 8 years we have been trying to get two young refuges out of war torn Congo. 8 years of red tape and excuses, praying and petitioning.

and this just arrived.


Sent: April 5, 2006 12:03 PM
To: Matching-Centre
Cc: Hurlbert.Cheryl;
Subject: ABDJN NAT 031/2006

ABDJN NAT 031/2006 
 
POINT OF ORIGIN : YAOUNDE,CAMEROUN
 
POINT OF ENTRY  : TORONTO,ON 
 
FINAL DESTINATION : SASKATOON, SK
 
Date of Departure:           15-May-2006                            Date of Arrival:     16-May-2006
AF 941       NSI               Yaounde                         CDG    Paris                   15-May-2006 - 2035/0630+1
AC 881      CDG             Paris                              YYZ      Toronto   ON          16-May-2006 - 1130/1400
AC 8833    YYZ               Toronto   ON                     YXE      Saskatoon   SK       17-May-2006 - 1215/1345
                  
(1) (WIZAMO) YAKAWE    MALE  FRANCAIS CONGO,RDC  MECANICIEN 
 
 CONTACT:237-737-8266 YAOUNDE,CAMEROUN OU S/C HCR

GROUPE SPONSOR : REV. RANDALL FRIESEN, GATEWAY COVENANT CHURCH 1500-15TH AVENUE EAST,BOX 2318 PRINCE ALBERT,SK S6V 6Z1 - TEL/FAX : 306-764-7155


I can't believe he's on his way.
Finally.

Now for the other one.

Bon Voyage?

So, as the process has moved ahead it seems Johanna has been offered a position as an Au Pair, in the northwest part of Switzerland.

Nanny for two little girls, in a small town in the Swiss mountains, a few minutes from France.

Of course she has had to rub off the shine of it a bit so she can really see all that it will be, with open eyes.

But still, like I said the other day, my kids sure are living large.

(The home is the top flat in this building)

Encouraging healthy churches

Well, I had a good time in Saskatoon on the weekend. I spent the night at mom and dad's and had a good visit with them. Then, late Friday and Saturday I did a bit of a tag team teaching/experience time with the Covenant church there, along with Jeff Anderson, the conference Superintendent, and old friend from our Winnipeg days.

I found it very satisfying, to be able to help a church realize some things about itself, and grow a bit through the day. It was also a peek into our future, somehow. Not doing that per say, but helping churches grow and walk through seasons of healing, kinds of things. I think that that might be a bit more of what we do down the road a ways. Don't know how or when, but God has told us some things.

Feels like the past week lasted about a month, but by the end the weekend was a treat for me.

So, thanks to those of you who thought of us, and mentioned our names a few times. It was a most profitable weekend for all concerned.

Nouwen on The Beauty of Shyness

"There is something beautiful about shyness, even though in our culture shyness is not considered a virtue. On the contrary, we are encouraged to be direct, look people straight in the eyes, tell them what is on our minds, and share our stories without a blush.But this unflinching soul-baring, confessional attitude quickly becomes boring. It is like trees without shadows. Shy people have long shadows, where they keep much of their beauty hidden from intruders' eyes. Shy people remind us of the mystery of life that cannot be simply explained or expressed. They invite us to reverent and respectful friendships and to a wordless being together in love."

Henri Nouwen

Consider yourself lucky

I'm letting you off easy this April Fools day, mostly because I'm busy today.

And because of all the work I had to do after last years joke.

Have a nice day. really.