Johanna's Home

Well, I just got home with The Traveler, direct from a two week tour through the MidWest United States.



And what"s the first thing she does?



She calls Minneapolis.



Johanna and Friends




Am I ready for this?



Funerals

I'm doing a funeral Friday for someone I've never met.



I don't enjoy doing that.



But it's always sad when they need a stranger to help them bury those they love.



That's why i do it.


Jean Vanier on Community and Growth

In Community and Growth, (p. 85,86) Jean Vanier exhorts us:





"Once it (a church community) has found its own identity and discovered how the Holy Spirit is guiding it, it must be very attentive to the manifestations of the Spirit in others. It should not believe that it is the only community to have the privilege of being inspired by the Holy Spirit;...



One of the signs of life in a community is the creation of links with others. An inward-looking community will die of suffocation. Living communities are linked to others, making up a huge reservoir of love for the world....It is a sign of maturity for a community to bind itself in friendship with others; it knows its own identity, so it doesn't need to make comparisons. It loves even the differences which distinguish it, because each community has its own gift which must flourish. These communities are complementary; they need each other. They are all branches of that unique community which is the church, the mystical body of Christ. He is the vine of which the communities are branches. I am always amazed by the multiplicity of communities which exist....Some are within the churches; others are outside any institution, bringing together young people with prophetic institution who are looking for a new way of life. All these communities are part of the vast invisible church. Each is unique."



The reasons behind the reasons

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to someone who is a part of our leadership team at the church. They were describing how difficult life was at the present, some of the old problems they had felt had been dealt with were coming back to the surface, just enough to throw them off. I asked when they had started and they reported that it began around the time they had been asked to be in leadership.



Hmm... that got my spider senses tingling. I started to check with some of the other leaders, checking on their status. They reported similarly.



It"s crude, but you know you must be doing something right, when someone takes notice.



It"s part of the father of lies work to steal and kill and generally destroy whatever is good and life giving. What I"ve observed is that when things get going well, personally or corporately, the enemy of our souls will take whatever resources he has at his disposal within us, and twist them or trigger them, or use them, to accomplish his work of disruption and destruction.



Often those resources he uses are parts of our lives that we have seen healing in, or areas of our lives that have been weakest. He will attempt to take hold of those broken parts of us and twist them until we are unable to accomplish what God has created and called us to be.



This happens for us as individuals, and it happens for us as churches.



Satan will see that something good and alive is happening in a life, and he will go after the places within us that he"s wreaked havoc in before. Places of weakness within our persons.



He may also see that something good and alive is happening within a group of people, and he pulls the same strategy on the group that he does with us individually. He goes after the weakest parts of the group, the weakest members.



He takes what resources he may have within the group, and twists and manipulates them so that his own purposes are accomplished. Disruption and destruction.



If he does this too much he shows his hand. He gives himself away.



Last week, around here anyway, he gave himself away.



It"s not just “A bad month”? for a couple of our leaders, nor is it a “bad week”? for some of our weaker members.



Therefore we are taking corrective measures. Shining lights into dark corners, taking time to do the spiritual work of prayer, and pressing in to the One who has made the way safe.


Let it rain

a rainy day at Randall's

And the rain continues to fall here in Saskatchewan.


The evenings are chilly enough to need a jacket and you can go to sleep with a quilt on top of you.


And I love it.


The sky is muted, the colors are deep and rich and every surface covered with a wet shine.


I am one of those who figures this low cloud cover must have been a lot like it was before Noah"s flood happened.


When the earth was closer to perfection, than it is these days.



Let it rain.


What makes a community community?

There"s been kind of a back and forth discussion on my post on Christies bakery down in Mayfair area in Saskatoon. It"s about where some people used to live and how they remember the community in which they lived.


I"ve been thinking about that on this drizzly rainy day here in Prince Albert. Community I mean.


We enjoy life here because it"s of a size that lets you connect with other people on a regular basis, and that can encourage community to happen.


You know, going to the same stores, seeing the same neighbours shopping, saying a greeting, checking up on their kids and jobs, basically building a community.


But that"s also the thing we enjoyed about living in one area of a large city. We mostly knew our neighbours and the clerks at the local shops, and would greet them whenever we saw them.


Do these semblances of community still happen today? And are they valuable in terms of quality of life for those who live there?


This morning on CBC I heard a piece of an interview with an expert about how we need to design our cities better so that community can happen easier. They need to encourage connection and foster relationships. The speaker noted that in some larger cities, megachurches had stepped into that gap. Creating places to eat and drink and visit and meet and shop. Those churches were seen as providing a “Missing something”? in today"s fast paced world. She was arguing that this was where city planners needed to step up in designing places for these community based activities to happen naturally.


Cities that foster community and connection, rather than economic engines and box houses to live in while those engines are kept running.


So what"s it like where you live? Are there places for you to connect with your neighbours casually? Are there still places out there where you know the hardware guy by name? Places where the artisans (read: Breadmakers!!) live and work, practicing their honed craft for the betterment of the community in which they live?


Or is it different today, and those days are long behind us?


I have a thought

I heard something today in which the author stated many studies which indicated that the average human being has between 4 and 6 thousand thoughts a day.



The over achievers, the above the crowd people had between 14 and 16 hundred thoughts a day.



Their thoughts were mostly centered on their present situation, not thinking on past things, or thinking on the future things.



I would have thought them lazy and simple if they only had that many thoughts in a day. In fact, they are the ones out there over achieving, because they limit their thoughts to the present.



Hmmm...



Two steps forward...

Last night as I lay in bed unable to sleep, chewing on Rolaids, I was reflecting on how we as followers of Christ so often do more damage to the Kingdom of God than we realize.


Many times there is an offensiveness to us that actually pushes people away from God, as they see and hear us declare our allegiance to Him. They see us going to church on a Sunday morning or they hear us talk of our church activities, but our behavior is less than winsome to them.


They may encounter us in a close up situation where we speak out of bitterness or pain. Then they decide at that point that we and our faith are simply too offensive and hurtful to be around, and they leave.


Or, they may hear us create offensive expectations of people, them included, on how their behavior should be when they are around us and our churches.


“Do this, don"t do that, when you"re here.”? Or “You can wear this but not that, when you are here with us.”? Or my personal pet peeve, “Oh, you can"t drink that coffee, or sit in that place, or move around the room in here, that"s not appropriate behavior.”?


May God forgive us, but it becomes our offensiveness that drives the spiritually homeless, searching people away from God and his Kingdom. When in fact, the only offence they should come up against, is the offence of the cross.


The demands of the cross, and all that goes with it, should be the only offense to the one searching for hope. Not our poor behavior and not our expectation of their behavior.


May God have mercy on us for pushing more people away from him, than we attract to Him.


All the girls go crazy for a sharp dressed man

This morning at 7 am, Thomas and I headed to his school, St. Mary High School for a community breakfast announcing their plans to bring High School Football back to the school. As it turns out, Thomas wants in on the team. But that"s for another post!


There were lots of “Suits”? present and community big shots with their expensive suits and ties and community service pins on their lapels. As I ate I looked at them thinking maybe I should start wearing a suit more, you know, as a pastor in the community and blah blah blah.


Then I saw one of the suits had on nice expensive socks, and an old ratty pair of canvas sandals.


This city does get into your blood, and wardrobe choices it seems.

Is anyone thirsty?

Is there a better kind of morning to wake up to than a cool rainy morning with the clouds low in the sky and the cool damp air refreshing your spirit?


I think not. Even though you may think me crazy.


This morning in my prayers I came across this from John:




On the last day, the great day of the festival, Jesus stood and cried out: 'Let anyone who is thirsty come to me! Let anyone who believes in me come and drink! As scripture says, "From his heart shall flow streams of living water."'





Today I'm thirsty, and He's pouring.



Painting the fence and talking on Skype

Today (The hottest day of the year so far,) the boys and I painted the back fence. I wanted to do it before it got too warm and I figured May long weekend would probably be ok. Still got up to +30C.


So we painted and talked about many things. Who had the longest armpit hair, what's the best deodorant, what is a mortgage and how long we will be paying for our house, life insurance, how much we get if one of them died, where they wanted to be buried if they died, (This was always in relation to where their mother was buried!), the joy of painting over bugs, what they want to do in the future. It was a day of hard work, but the talking was alot of fun.


I think my kids are fun to hang around with, and usually ok to work with. Tonight we celebrated by getting slurpees.


Tonight I've also been trying the free Skype calling. Skype is a softwear you can talk with other Skype users over the internet, and for a price you can call landlines with it too. (That's a free feature till the end of the year.)


So tonight I was calling people in North America, and in the city here. Works very very cool. Only, Lauralea doesn't seem to appreciate being called from the basement...


Live and learn.


Antwan Williams

I just received word that Antwan Williams, (the guy on the right) a student at Covenant Bible College this past year, died suddenly on Saturday as a result of a car accident.


Antwan was one guy I enjoyed getting to know, this past year when I would be there for Board meetings.


He was a gifted, passionate young man who had just agreed to come back next year to be our men's dean.


"...On Antwan's bed they found a scrap book he had just completed with pictures and captions that highlight his life from Elementary school to CBC. Also, there was a video tape of the birthday party that his class mates threw for him along with his journal, his Bible and the Karl Sorenson award for service from the Town of Strathmore."


Antwan will be missed, a lot.


It's hard to look back being at Commencement a few weeks ago, talking with him, and now he's gone on ahead.


May God comfort his Mom and sister and family, and all his classmates from CBC this year.


Peace to his memory.


Long weekends mean a whole nother thing, since I became a pastor

It looks like it"s a beautiful sun filled day out there. At least it does from my office window.

I find myself at my desk this long weekend Saturday, listening to some chirpy classical music on an NPR station somewhere south of the 49th parallel. I"m fighting with the sermon for tomorrow, and so far the sermon is winning. Or should I say, I am losing.

I thought taking a moment to post might break me out of my focused thoughts that tend to get to, tight.

Lauralea continues her struggle with the common cold, flu, bronchial infection, whatever. Except now it"s moved into her chest. This makes her coughing deep and earth shaking. It wasn"t so bad through the night, but I did wake up with the corner of a sheet that she hadn"t taken from me in the night.

And I"m thinking seriously of painting the fence on Monday. It was my goal to do that before May was over and it"s getting kinda close. Besides, Monday is suppose to be a holiday around here (Victoria Day. God Bless the Queen...) So maybe I can get some of the locals to help with the painting.

Johanna seems to have made it down to Minneapolis as of last night. I just phoned and she had arrived. They are already at the mall. Or should I say, The Mall. I hope she has a good week and that it can help her last for the coming year without seeing the close friends she made the past year.

Hillary is working lots this weekend, even Monday which means time and a half pay. This is good because she wants to move into her own place this summer, for University next year, and she can use all the money she can get.

The boys cut the lawn last night, without to much pushing. We"ll see how they respond to the idea of painting...

I suppose I can"t put off the inevitable, I should get back to the work I need to do.

Ciao.

A plug for a great Bakery

Well, this past week I"ve been in Saskatoon a couple of times and I"ve discovered, or should I say re-discovered a treasure. Christies Mayfair Bakery on 33rd St. West used to make amazing jambusters when I was a kid growing up nearby.
The other day I stopped in for old times sake, and it seems the next generation has taken over the reigns. They have redeveloped the bakery into a kind of European Bakery with fresh breads and an espresso machine and places to sit and eat this soft inside, crusty outside fresh bread.

The breads truly are amazing.

The other day I brought home a large multi-grain loaf of bread that Lauralea nearly died and went to heaven over. I came home from work yesterday not having eaten breakfast or lunch, and asked her what she had for breakfast. She drooled that she had eaten two slices of the magic bread with peanut butter for breakfast. I then asked what she had had for lunch, to which she replied, “I had two more!”?

This inspired me to taste it too, and I who dislike brown bread, love this stuff. Multi-grain must be code for “It"s really good for you and you"ll love the taste too.”?

So today I got two more loaves of it, and an amazing Focaccia bread.

If you get to live nearby this hidden treasure, check it out. Their bread is great for what ails you.

Christies Mayfair Bakery on 33rd St. West. Saskatoon.


This ain't no donut factory.

Back home

Well, it's 10pm and it's been a long long day.

I spent around four hours with my friend today, which turned out good because there was no one else able to be there. We took her into surgery and just as she was to be preped for it, an emergency case came through and they bumped her till later.

She's in good spirits and quite at home in God's plans for her, which I was encouraged to see.

I still haven't heard if they got her into surgery tonight, but I'll see in the morning.

God"s looking after the details. I and she are good with that.

What the day brings

Today looks to be another full day.

I'll be around here for the morning, doing my regular coffee with the guys and then try to begin to shape Sunday morning for Worship.

But for most of the day I expect to be in Saskatoon at the hospital. A friend is having surgery, and there is a question whether they will even make it through. I need to be there for them, and, if things go bad, for the family.

This weekend is already becoming a very emotional time for me. It was on this weekend 8 years ago that my dad received his first liver transplant. Then one year later, almost to the day he had his second liver transplant. Two years ago, my grandparents passed away within days of each other. Last year my brother got married, and last year of course, Toni and Chris' daughter Sarah passed away.

For me these things register some place in my spirit, and as we lead up to the anniversary my internal calendar changes over, and they are all there.

That's not a bad thing, in fact it makes me great for remembering anniversaries etc. And I think it's good to remember, and pray or celebrate or whatever needs to be done. Just makes for an emotional season.
So maybe I can encourage you to remember Sarah Ertle and her family and friends this weekend.

It is good that we do.

The Ecclesiology of the Emerging Church

Over at Jordon's blog he published Jared Siebert's paper on "The Ecclesiology of the Emerging Church."
"The theology of the emerging church is often misunderstood due to the acceptance of differences in belief and the stated goal of revealing multiple perspectives rather than a single monolithic perspective. These tendencies are often caricatured as a rejection of absolute truth or an entirely incoherent “anything goes”? theology. Nothing could be further from the absolute truth.

The emerging church sees theology"s purpose in refocusing the church and helping common people make sound judgments on spiritual matters or as Maddox puts it “to give expression to their aspirations, fears and concerns.”? Theology then becomes a way for people to express their story and their part in the larger narrative of scripture. Modernity craved a theology that was prescriptive; right thinking produces right living. The emerging church of the post-postmodern era craves a theology that is descriptive; describing who I am and what I am here for. This sort of folk theology, a theology by and for people, is designed to the keep the church and her descriptions of God understandable and useful to the needs of common people."

It's a good read and for some of you who have been asking for a bit more on this whole area, it's helpful.

"Hello this is Greyhound how help I can you?"

After speaking with a drug damaged 17 year old male, who didn't know where Minneapolis was and was convinced that to get there from Canada you would have to go through Nevada, I'm not convinced Johanna will even even see the twin cities.

Masa has Landed

After 7 years of bureaucratic bumbling and heart wrenching waiting, one half of our refugees from the Congo have finally arrived.

We started to try to get them out because they were in danger from the fighting factions that tore apart the Congo from within and without. We worked hard to get them out, (None harder than Eric Lanoie, pictured below)

And today while I was in Saskatoon for meetings, I got a text message that Masa would be arriving today, rather than tomorrow. So I headed over to the Airport and was there to help welcome him, to Canada.

He brought with him all he had in this world. And it all fit into a small handbag he was carrying with him.

May God bless him and his new life here in this strange, cold land.

(Umm, yeah, Masa is the Black guy.)

Nouwen on our dying

"How do we make our deaths gifts for others? Very often people's lives are destroyed, harmed, or permanently wounded by the deaths of their relatives or friends. We have to do whatever we can to avoid this. When we are near death what we say to those who are close to us, whether in spoken or in written words, is very important. When we express gratitude to them, ask forgiveness for our shortcomings and offer forgiveness for theirs, and express our sincere desire that they continue their lives without remorse but remembering the graces of our lives, then our deaths can become true gifts."

Henri Nouwen

Pink tree on a sunny afternoon



I have been away from my photoblog for a while, searching for motivation, inspiration, and time.
I don't know if I'm back yet, but I am getting out more and finding pictures that please me.
So, for now, lets continue this discipline of capturing the days.

I Googled a Prayer

Tonight I am exhausted, in more ways than just the obvious.
So, as I sit here reinstalling Windows XP, I'm thinking I need a prayer.
 
I Google a prayer that has the words I am too tired to come up with myself.
 
And i utter them into the ether,
 
Out of the depths I cry to you,
Lord, hear my voice. . .
From my fears, failures and sins,
I cry to you.
Lord, hear my voice.
From the depths of my heart I cry to you,
from the darkness of myself.
From life's shadow I cry to you.
Lord, hear my voice.
For you are merciful, Lord,
forgiving to us all.
And so I wait, Lord,
your mercy comes as sure as the dawn.
amen.
and amen.
 
 

Let me begin with an apology...

Sorry to those of you trying to leave comments and getting marked as spam.

You really are not spam as far as I am concerned. I just need to teach WordPress a lesson or two.

So hang on while i climb this learning curve.

Stellarium 0.8.0. You need to check this out!

For those of you who find yourselves gazing up into the sky, wondering where it goes and what those bright, sparkly points of light are up there, do I have a treat for you.
 
Stellarium.
 
It's like Google Earth for the sky. Really. Awesome.
Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.
Once you set your position on the earth, you can get started. It gives you the current view from wherever you are, and you can speed up or slow down time.
 
You can zoom in on stars, planets, and multitudes of other heavenly objects.
You'll look like a genius to your children when you point out Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky.
 
Stellarium. It's free, interesting, and fun.
 
 
 

To kill a CD

Tonight Lauralea decided to check up on her game.
She inserted the CD, waited, and BOOM, blew up the CD and the burner it was installed in.

The thing is toast. Dead.
 
I've never seen a CD take a more violent exit from this life, ever.

Friday afternoon...

and I am in possession of a man sized headache.
 
Whatever that means.
 
 

Refugee Committee meeting

So we met tonight to try to plan a bit for the arrival of the two refugees we've been working to get over here for 7 years, from the Congo.

One of the big needs? Sweaters and sweatshirts.

Yes, you heard me.

Even for Canada in summertime, the boys will be very cold and need to be wearing extra clothing. All. Summer. Long.

Lauralea is gonna die when she sees them in the middle of a hot August, wearing their nice thick winter sweaters.

Happy Birthday Micah

Micah's BirthdayWell, another year gone by and Micah is another year older.

Today, 12 years ago Micah hit the world running, and he hasn't slowed much in the mean time. He is the youngest, so he does have some of those kinds of traits, but he's always lived a bit older that he really is.

Tonight we had a bit of a birthday supper and gave him his gifts, and ate cake. Then Hillary and Thomas went to youth worship, and Lauralea and I headed out to our small group meeting. Kinda left him alone on his birthday night - how lame is that. Sorry boy.

But yeah, 12 years old, grade six, and he already has his own The Cakeroom. Not bad.

Happy Birthday Micah. I hope you have many many more.

I love you.

randallfriesen.com ver. 3.0

Ahhh.

well, here we are then. All nice and clean and new and hopeful.

I started blogging on May 17, 2002, nearly four years ago, using Blogger.

Then on June 3, 2003, I moved the blog over to Prairiefusion, where Leighton runs things. While there I cut my teeth on Cold Fusion tags and creative designs.

Now, Leighton is running a linux server with WordPress coursing through it's veins.

And I wanted a piece of that.

So here is version 3.0.

Check it out.

The search box works well. The categories will take you browsing. The calendar is a nice feature too.

At the top are the important things, if you need them.

There are RSS feeds for the articles and for the comments.

And hey, you can still send a note to my phone if you like. Easypeasy.

I expect to be fixing links for a while, but check it out. If you find problems, well hey, just drop me a note or send my cell phone a note.

The theme?

Winter in Prince Albert.

Feels like so many changes happening these days. Part 2.

The other major change that is in the works is that Hillary is graduating from grade 12. Wow.

Having two kids so close together means that many of the major events of their lives have happened one year after the other. And they are so different in their persons that you want to honor and respect that. Just takes some work to keep up with them, and their differences.

It´s tough enough trying to plan out your own life, but when your kids get to that age where they need to make decisions about what´s next, well, that´s when things get interesting.

Hillary has the world open to her. She wants a job she enjoys, and to travel, and to serve and care for others, and University, and taking a year off and, and, and.

The confusion needs clarity. That´s how it is for most of us.

So last week her and I were talking about all her options, and we grouped the many into a few simple headings. University. Work for a year. Get a college education and work in a missions/service thing. Travel till her cash runs out, then cut off her legs and bum around.

Then I encouraged her to pray about it for a few days, ask for some clarity and direction.

I don´t know why, but I still get amazed when God shows up and answers a prayer. And he seems to have done this for her as well.

After the weekend she felt like it was probably about University, for next year.
Then, as if God wanted to confirm his leading, he made living arrangement materialize within a few days. From no place to live, to an affordable, good place.

It´s always so cool when God starts looking out for your kids, and answering their prayers.

So, one daughter in Switzerland, the other daughter in University of Saskatchewan. Who knows where this all ends up.

Next up, Grade 12 Graduation.
The dress is ready (wait till you see it!), the girl is ready, now we need to get the parents ready.

Strike two for Tom Cruise

First came ?War of The, He Should Have Died 42 Times, Worlds.?

Tonight Lauralea and I attended ?Mission Absolutely Impossible And There´s No Freakin Way Any Of This Is Even Slightly Believable? which felt like it was a cinematic piece of C***.

Maybe I´m maturing, finally. Maybe I´m getting more cultured and have more taste. But the best thing in that theater tonight was the stale, unsalted popcorn.

Besides all that, I seem to be growing into a person who is sensitive to loud, sharp noises. I don´t know if that is because of a general weariness, or a result of changes within me. But boy, my family is starting to know that one.

Anyway, Tom, one more piece of garbage on your CV and I´m off your movies.

Consider yourself notified.

Feels like so many changes happening these days.

Johanna´s small group was in church last night and Lauralea and I hosted the three girls in the group. It was fun, and good. Having the house full of people for a night was good, especially when it´s the whole family again.

But of course it means she´s probably not going to be coming back here to live.

Somewhere last weekend that thought began to sink in. Probably hit the most when I hugged her goodbye. After commencement and an afternoon at Chapters and late supper, Sunday night we packed up the van with her belongings, and we hugged our goodbyes.

In the brief moment in which I held her, she grew up. From the baby, toddler, girl, to the young lady, teen, woman. All the images pushed before my eyes, and I knew she was separate now. Free to live her life, pursue her dreams, walk with God. But not with us any longer.

And, that´s how it´s suppose to be, I guess.

For some, that separation comes too early, suddenly and much too completely. And it isn´t fair, and it hurts.
For us, we are blessed with a long farewell.
And though it may sometimes be bittersweet, it is mostly sweet.

And I am thinking these days of our family, and of other families, who have seen the separation come too early and suddenly.

May God be with us all.

ch ch ch changes...

If you are reading this by RSS, and the next few days finds me more quiet than usual, you may want to check the site. I'll be moving over to wordpress and all that that entails, including new rss feeds for the articles and for the comments.

Now that could be fun.

And I'm thinking white... the new brown has become old brown.

stay tuned.

Space to live in.


We started receiving the Prince Albert Daily Herald Digital edition this week, so when I have a moment I pull it up and peruse the latest edition. The thing I like the most about it is that the paper comes as a PDF file and when I load it up, I´m able to do searches through it for names or places I´m interested in.

I think it was last week Micah was in the paper for his good marks in the band festival. I would have missed it completely, except that I opened it and just caught the name ?Friesen.? Now it´s much easier to search for that name, and up it pops. Not too bad at all.

However, that´s a freebee, it isn´t the point of this post.

I realized while reading it that it´s been a long time since I have written something for the Daily Herald. December 3rd to be exact. And now it´s already past Easter and Spring.

Not only have I written less for the paper, but I´ve been writing less in general, and it feels a little gypped inside.

Life has been amazingly busy during the past 2 months, and I have put the writing on the shelf as I try to cope with life. This feels more and more like I´m moving away from the cool new things I was discovering about creativity and discipline and writing. I miss it.

Last week I tried to take a few days off, although you know how that goes. But as the week progressed I found new things springing up in my head to write about like I haven´t seen coming for a long time.

For me there seems to be a connection between having my head free of clutter, and then creativity comes creeping back in there.

So if I want to do something I enjoy, like writing, I need to get my head space cleared out a bit and create room up there for creativity to grow.

Not as easy to do as it is to type it on the screen.

Only once in history. ever.

This morning at one o´clock, two minutes and three seconds (1:02.03 a.m.), the time and date read like this:

01:02:03 04/05/06.

I celebrated by sleeping.

P.A. Radio. All CHRISTIANS, All The Time. Pt. 2.

Good Grief.

I have just returned from my first Prince Albert Christian Radio For The Masses and World Outreach Center Society Meeting. PACRFTMWOCSM for short.

I went because I love good radio, and I believe this could be a wonderful opportunity for the church in Prince Albert to care for the city over the airwaves.

But I confess some discouragement after the two hour meeting was over.

15 people attended. 3 from more conservative Baptist churches, 2 from a somewhat conservative housechurch group, 5 from the Alliance church, one from the catholic church and one from the Anglican church, and me, a Covenanter. There were also three people who were not connected with any churches at all.

I think where we got hung up was that some of the more self described ?Conservative Baptists? wanted to know exactly the kind of Mission Statement we would have. Now I understand this, because how can you support something you don´t agree with.

Alas it kind of came down to a ?My way or the highway? from the one Baptist guy.

As I said, I understand what he was saying, but it was much more his superior attitude that made me uncomfortable. Oh, and his jokes about ?Us and them? (Them being the real bad sinners). Why do things church related have to be so tension filled.

There were some of what I would call reasonable people there who have a heart for this city and God. I could really work with many of them.

But hey, if we have to clarify who gets to say what at what time of the day on a radio station that doesn´t yet exist during our first meeting, that just makes me a bit concerned for the future.

Maybe the highway is ok.

Fan of Public Radio?

If you are a fan of Public radio, as I am, you need to stop what you are doing right now and head over to this site. www.publicradiofan.com.

Wow. Links to stations and webcasts, and a live schedule, just select your favourite program and go.


Check it out.

P.A. Radio. All Jesus, All The Time.

Well, tonight I´m off to a meeting to discuss whether Prince Albert should have a Christian radio station. (That is assuming a radio station could indeed be ?Saved?).

I dunno. It could be really done well,
or... not.

I vote for doing it well!

Am I part of the problem or a part of the solution?

Do you remember one of the many times when the children of Israel had disobeyed God, and God released snakes among them, and many died? Then the people got it right with God and He had Moses create this bronze snake on a pole so that when the people were bitten by the snakes, all they had to do was look at the pole and they would be healed.

Some 800 years after that we read that Hezekiah ?...also broke in pieces the bronze snake that Moses had made, which was called Nehushtan. Up to that time the people of Israel had burned incense in its honor.?

They had dragged this pole with a bronze snake on it around for over 800 years. They had named it and worshiped it. Somehow what God had created for their life, had been turned into an object for worship itself.

Today while driving back home over the prairies, I was thinking about this, this tendency towards taking what God gives us, and focusing on it, maintaining it, stroking it, keeping it alive long after its dead. And in doing so, we take our eyes off of the One we worship.

And I thought how something could still be giving life to someone, and it could be an object of Idolatry for the next person.

Liturgy.
For one person it gives the language and form to free them to worship the living God. For the next person it´s a rote process or habit that they practice which, for them, died long ago. They just don´t know it.

We as ?Evangelicals,? do the same thing.

For some of us the God given gift of gathering, of fellowship and worship, has become our 800 year old Bronze Snake on a pole. We find more comfort from the activity, than from the One we worship. We demand certain things need to be included in a Sunday morning service, or else it won´t be what it once was. And somewhere in those demands, the gift of corporate Worship becomes just another idol in need of being torn down.

Yes, some people gather and corporately worship God in ways that give life and take the venom out of them. But there are some who feel that the form and structure and location and time of that corporate worship are more important than God himself. Because if it isn´t ?Just so,? then they can´t worship God.

I´ve been pastoring for a few years and I know that this is just how it is for some people. Who does what, where and when on a Sunday morning becomes more important than worshiping God.

But, what just dawned on me tonight is the fact that for many of these people, I am a huge, integral part of their Idolatry.

And I confess, that makes me sick to my stomach.