Another night, another party

Saturday, February 28, 2009
Lest you think all the nights here in the field end with good food and friends, let me clarify that tonight has been in the plans for a long time.

A chef is brought in from British Columbia, (Otherwise known as the father of Natasha, our youth and family pastor) and prepares a most excellent meat. And we gather to eat the meal as the youth in the church serve us. Then we give generously towards missions and other life impacting events.

A good deal all around.

So, here are a few pics from the evening.

More, are here.

Last night we went to a Hockey game

..but first we stopped to eat MEAT.

Oh yeah, we ate meat

That's Matt with his double portioned brisket sandwich. Matt's the one on the left.

Then we headed off to see the Red Deer Rebels beat the Rockets from BC.

It was a very fun night.
Thanks guys.

More Pictures of the night are here.

Noon. Time to get some lunch and go buy a car. Updated.

Friday, February 27, 2009
Yeah, i said car.
I miss the Vans.

This one is a 2001 Crown Vic, made near our old home close to St. Thomas Ontario.

It's the largest car made in its year, and has conventional rear drive. (Think: More donuts in winter and more incidents by those in our family who drive less...)

One owner, well cared for, large and kinda floats down the highway.

Anyway, we can afford it and it will take us a few good kilometers too.

But that's after lunch.


Well, not so quickly.

The PRIVATE insurance company here requires me to fill out a pile of paperwork that, since I live in the country, I need to fax in. Then they will take a look at it and give me an estimate hopefully on Monday sometime. Then I can drive back to the city and purchase insurance. Then off to the privatized registration system here to register the vehicle. Then we get to drive.

Hope the kids don't need the vehicle this weekend.

Living heavy today

Feels groggy this morning, like I imagine a hangover must feel like.

I did get a lot done this week and the sermon is ready to go for this first Sunday in Lent, but I've realized I've been fighting headaches this week and I don't normally do headaches. I am concluding its how I carry some of my work these days. I do tend to carry the weight of things in my body, that is to say that the hard stuff of life will often effect my physical body before it effects my spirit. It is what it is and many times I am too thick to think about these things before its too late.

I think I need a good indoor floor hockey game around here or something like that.

Anyway, received a couple of bad news stories from friends, and life isn't as easy as some might think it is. Especially when it comes to mental illness.

I have half a day to get my head a bit clearer though, tonight Micah and I are headed to Red Deer with some new friends, for a WHL game. Might wear my Winnipeg Jet's jersey just for old times sake.

TGIF for those of you who don't work weekends.

Angels do drive John Deere

Thursday, February 26, 2009
I was getting bundled up this morning to head out into this -28C cold snap to try to clear some of the newly fallen snow on the church lot because today we are having our MOPs program. (Mothers Of Preschoolers, and no you won't see any posts today about wailing or gnashing of gums...)

When what to my wondering eyes would appear but a huge green tractor with a blade on it. Very nice indeed.

He cleaned the parking lot and my driveway and made short work of the sidewalks. I only had to do a little bit.

So here's to the young and middle aged ladies who work so hard to provide something for the stuck at home in the snow with pre-schooler moms, and to Angels who drive John Deere.
(Is John Deere also plural? I mean you wouldn't say John Deeres would you??)

This week on Twitter 2009-02-25

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

  • Time for home, I think company has arrived from Saskatchewan. #

  • Family day today. Taking a few hours that we didn't get on the holiday Monday to hang out with the family. Off to the mall I fear. #

  • Wow, even the apple store is nearly empty. As is the whole West Ed Mall. Good call for today. #

  • Nearly home after a loooooooong day. First safeway then twenty mins home. Feels like Saturday. #

  • Well, shrove tuesday crepes eaten. Bring on ash wednesday. #


Yes Internets, I think I am going to have a bath

I had my first bath here the other night and it was, well, it was good.

Now, my masculine side needs you to know that there were no candles involved or soft music or such things. I did have NPR playing on the radio but it was an interview program, so I'm ok there.

But it was good.

I've always enjoyed having a bath as opposed to showering, but the bath I lived with in our old house was considerably less hospitable to this 6' 3", 200 and something something guy, than the present house bathtub.

There is room in this thing to stretch out a bit, and the back is properly sloped to not cut into the top of my back. Sweet. The hollow of my back just nicely suctions me in place and I don't slide about. Again I say, sweet.

So dear internets, that is where I shall be for the next few moments before I fall into bed, exhausted after the day. Please do not call.


Feb 25th 2009 in The Field (With a twist ending!)


This week in The Field

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Well, we've had a good chunk of snow fall today and the overcast, cold dreariness outside has matched the inside the past two days I admit. It leads to all kinds of frustrations, miss-communications and squabbles like we haven't had for a while. But today brought a bit of good news which helped to lift the clouds a bit. Lauralea is now an official person in Alberta. Her medical and thus her drivers license were handed to her with high honour this afternoon, so she feels less like a non person again. That is good.

I was thinking this morning at whatever 5 am time it was and I couldn't clear my baggy, bleary eyes enough to see which orifice to stick my toothbrush in, that this middle age thing is hard to do. I don't have the energy or motivation I used to have, and so I require more sit and think time than I ever did before. It's like life is slowing down around me, body, mind, and soul, and I don't bounce back as easily as I used to.


Now, that I can put up with, it just honestly gets scary sometimes when we remember that we still have a few dreams of our own to chase down in this life yet, and it feels like the energy and strength required to chase those dreams is slowly ebbing away, and with it goes our hopes and a few plans.

In one sense we fear loosing those dreams to poor health, while in another sense some of our dreams are being answered right here in The Field.

Isn't that life?  Caught between the here and now and the yet to come. Living life fully today while holding on to a few dreams not yet seen.

Yeah, it is life, and it's good to have dreams and hopes and to learn the discipline of living in the present. Because if you live only down the road a ways, you will miss all the gifts that today has for you.

There you go. If there is a lesson required for today, that is it.

Gotta get home now. Crepes for supper, then a meeting tonight and the week is in full swing.


Monday, February 23, 2009
Debussys Clair de Lune is the only sound I hear in the kitchen this morning as it plays on the radio. It's noon now and Lauralea is still in bed, fast asleep. She had a difficult night, and she's been exhausted these days, so I'm happy she could sleep a while. 

The snow is falling in big puffy flakes in the field right now amidst a grey muted sky.

It's so quiet here today and I need this day right now. I need the quiet and solace from the normal pace of life, I need Sabbath, and this is good.

So maybe nothing physical or practical gets done today, and that's exactly how it should be. Today is a day for my soul to catch up to the rest of me. The quiet, the snowflakes and the beautiful music help to heal me, to restore my soul.

Enough of this for now. Back to my sabbath.


Blessings from The Field.


Sunday, February 22, 2009
Sitting in my living room in my fathers lazyboy doing some reading and I look up out the west window past the lit candle sitting on top of a tall candlestick and there in the evening sky is Venus, shinning like a diamond in the night.


Heading back to Prince Albert

Bye Van

Yeah, you know my weakness for letting my vehicles go, but the van we've had for a year is heading back to Saskatchewan to be sold. The process here is too costly to have it licensed so it's going back, and I miss it already.

Saying goodbye to the van

So, our friends are on their way home, after a week or four day visit from them.


It was good to see them again. They all seem to be aging so quickly, but I guess that happens.

And the house seems quiet and empty again. Till this next weekend when the kids come home from school for a week.

Life in The Field continues.

More pics here.

A Short distance from The Field - In the city.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nearly home after a loooooooon...

Friday, February 20, 2009
Nearly home after a loooooooong day. First safeway then twenty mins home. Feels like Saturday.

Wow, even the apple store is n...

Wow, even the apple store is nearly empty. As is the whole West Ed Mall. Good call for today.

Family day today. Taking a few...

Family day today. Taking a few hours that we didn't get on the holiday Monday to hang out with the family. Off to the mall I fear.

By jove that does sound like a Cyanistes teneriffae

Thursday, February 19, 2009
Which I suppose, sounds so much more refined than its english name, African Blue Tit.

I'm working away in my office here and I'm pretty sure I hear birds twittering, lots of birds. More birds than are outside my window this morning.

Actually sounds quite wonderful, all the bird song. Then I shift window screens over to another area I'm working on and I notice that the LambWatch website is open and running a live video/audio feed from a sheep farm somewhere in the UK. That's where the bird noise is coming from, somewhere in the United Kingdom.

And actually it's kind of cool, so I've let it stay open and I'm listening to birds singing on the other side of the Orb.

The dregs of winter

The morning dawning here in The Field during these last gasps of winter bring with it a sense of hope, a promise that help is on the way. Help that comes in the form of warm days and summer breezes. Soon spring showers will finish off the snow and wash the dirt of winter away. Green will start to poke through the brown grass and little green buds will appear on the trees and that will result in the world moving from the blue hues of sky and snow covered fields, to a world of greens and browns which are always warmer colours anyway.

No, today has a feel about it that says winter is on borrowed time, and summer is riding rescue.

Being in The Field in summer has me curious. How does one pastor a community that works hard in the fields and basically disappears from any non-field endeavors for April and May, then pops in for a bit in June and July, and then disappears again in late August, September and often October? I'm still learning the culture out here and the rhythm of life that keeps rolling on.

This morning the air is still and not cold at all. The wispy clouds in the sky are gently moving east and the birds are filling the air with song. It's a good day to be out here.

Time for home, I think company...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Time for home, I think company has arrived from Saskatchewan.

Suddenly everyone is shy

Occasionally, like this afternoon, I'll get a phone call from someone asking if I'd be willing to chat a little bit on the radio about some topic or another, or to just be interviewed for a piece in a local paper. Today the call came from Southern Ontario, (quite near the old stomping grounds as a matter of fact, but I digress.)

He wanted to include me in a short chat on the radio and his program started at 1 pm. I started doing the time zone math in my head and realized that's about exactly when we get started here in the field. Churchwise.

So I had to decline, but I offered to call around to some other pastors who might be willing to help him out. I started in Ontario, the same time zone as the show, to make it easier on the mornings expectations on the pastor. 

Nope, nobody free or willing there.

So I moved over to Manitoba, one hour back. Still no go, no one comfortable or willing.

Ok then, back out here in Alberta. Maybe some churches are not meeting at 11 am, and I did find some who were free at that time, but just not comfortable with the idea.


Back to Saskatchewan then. I still know some pastors there.

Bingo. Some old Anglican friends who are free around 12 on Sunday and would have no problem doing that.


Now, I know my own initial response inside my head was a fearful NO, but I quickly got past that. Then I thought, why so afraid?

I know how it goes sometimes, I've been misquoted enough in print to not want to talk to reporters again. 

But still, an opportunity to engage culture, just a wee bit?

Is it worth the risk of embarrassment? Of messing up?

Or is it better to play it safe?


I'm just asking, myself as well.

Why is the first word out of our mouths a NO?

A Good Day

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
While it's certainly not yet over I want to note that this day has been, for lack of a better understanding, a grace filled day. It has felt enveloped and covered by a gracious presence, which makes me smile.

From early rising for prayer this morning, through some surprises with local ministerial meetings this afternoon, the covering has remained.

It's effect has not been lost on me, in fact there are things I need to explore in times like this.

But best of all it allows me to be a better me, with grace for others to be who they are, and clarity about what I am to do and what I need to leave alone.

The resulting effect is that in moments where I care for others, I am able to be fully present and hearing well the spirits prompting.


and that's just good.

thank you...

methane wells

Monday, February 16, 2009
Now there's an introduction to Alberta life.

We just got a call from a company that is putting in two methane gas wells just west of us (oh great), and by law they are required to call us to gps our water wells and if they fall within 600 meters of where they want to drill, they are obligated to offer us a test of our water.

There are a few really ugly looking wells around us here in the field and there are always huge oil trucks running past on the highway.

And actually I'm surprised they are still digging with oil priced where it is these days.

Anyway, two new neighbours coming in in the next few days.

Anyone in SASKATCHEWAN want to buy a minivan?

So I had an idea this morning.

I have our 1998 Plymouth Voyager van here which I purchased a year ago for a couple grand, and in order to get it licensed here in Alberta, it has to go through a certification process.

Now, I really like, love the van and it's given us no trouble all year, but to have it licensed here would cost a dollar or two. Since it's  a bit over 300,000 kms on the engine, it's getting to the place where I'm not sure I want to dump a whole lot of cash on it to get it certified.

It could use a new windshield, and it seems to have a slow leak of oil somewhere in the engine. The check engine light is on which probably means get the oil changed, but like I said, for all the driving around the two provinces we've done this year it's not given us an ounce of trouble.

I realized this morning that the insurance runs out next week, and since there are some friends coming out this weekend, if there were someone who was interested I could ship it home, (Back to Sask.) on the weekend.

I figure getting it back and in use in Saskatchewan would be better than having it sit in my driveway, uninsured. I like it too much to let it sit and die a slow death.

So, anybody want it?

$500 or best offers?

Email for more information. randallfriesen at gmail dot com

And here are a few pics I have taken of it over the year.




Another reason not to like facebook

I once read that facebook is like renting a space on the internet, as opposed to owning your own place, like a blog or webpage, which is kinda exactly like I see it. 

Facebook is always asking me to install new applications so I can kiss people or buy them beer. To figure out who my relatives are, or who my extra special friends are. I don't like those demands so I don't install the apps. Easy peasy.

But now they have changed their terms of service, so that effectively they can do whatever they want with my created content. You know, my images uploaded there, my blog posts which I have had reposting by themselves over there, just stuff I create. They have control over that stuff now, even if I delete it. Yes, even if I delete it, it may not be really gone.

And that's why I use this blog for my written content, and flickr for my image creations. I want power over what I create. I want to decide how and where and when it's used, and I don't want another body to have that decision making power, least of which to make money on it.

So I am planning to go into Facebook and turn off a few switches later on this afternoon. The kinds of switches that auto-upload my blog posts and things like that. I'm just glad I've not uploaded a lot of images there.

So, be warned if you are a content creator, where your stuff is located. It may not be up to you what happens to it in the future.


You can read more on it here.

Sunday in The Field

Sunday, February 15, 2009
Late in the afternoon today when we got home from church, and sat down for a few moments, Lauralea and I talked about going into town to catch a movie; something we have not done much of while here in the field. But, she was tired so she lay down for an hour, and after she got up and was creating some scones and tea for supper, I faded into a hard nap too. So we'll try another day for that movie.

We had some of Lauralea's friends from Prince Albert over for the weekend. It was really neat, that they came all that way to hang out with her. I mean yes Ikea was a partial motivator too, but they came to see where she lives now, and that just is a good friendship.

So it's been a good weekend, though she is some tired. Tomorrow school is closed for a Family Day holiday, so Micah won't have to get up early to be in school. That pleases Lauralea no end which I understand. Hopefully she can sleep in a bit.

It was a good morning in church today. We had a blast with the little kids playing instruments during worship, got some news on our missions team down in Ecuador right now, got an update from our youth and family pastor, and the sermon really was moving for me. It challenged me again about how well I am loved and the good shepherds agenda to pursue the one, leaving the 99 others behind. I need to care more like that too.  Really quite moving actually.

So this week I'm hopeful that I can catch up on what I lost last week with the flu.

We'll see.

Really good morning today. I l...

Really good morning today. I learned a lot from the preacher. It was good.

Blowing up your iPhone

Saturday, February 14, 2009
I started out laughing at the complete nerdiness of this video, but somewhere about halfway through my laughter stopped and shifted to some kind of amazement mixed with a touch of wonder.

You know what this means of course.
Even nerds can make beautiful music.

You go girl.

I'm in Safeway and wondering i...

I'm in Safeway and wondering if there is an increase in sales of ladies razors leading up to Valentines Day. These are my questions...

This ain't the dawning of the age of Aquarius

So this morning my wife is off into the wilds of Ikea with some of her home and school friends from Prince Albert and it being the day of LOVE I thought I'd send a nice sentimental message to her mobile phone.

I thought, good on me, expressing my love in such a web 2.0 manner.

And, her response?

"Thanks. Just leaving the antique store. That table I like is still there. I still think we should buy it."

Thanks? I bare my soul and I get a Thanks??

Happy Valentines day to me then.


And then it gets better. Next message:

"At Safeway could you get: 2L skim milk, loaf white bread, bag of salad. I think that's all."

Oh, this gets better and better. Safeway.

I go back to my work, love frustrated. Then a few moments later the phone buzzes again, maybe now she will say something sentimental...

"And some fresh mushrooms, maybe 20. thanks. :)"

Are you serious??? Fresh mushrooms???

Good grief. Love is in the air around here.

I return to work. Alone.


15 minutes later, a final message comes through. My heart is ready for it this time. What's next, mustard? Celery salt? Feminine hygiene products? nothing will surprise me now.

"And maybe a garlic. The one in the fridge is growing roots."


Of course.

It's not love in the air today baby. It's garlic.

Download YouTube videos tool

I read somewhere last week that is moving towards a model where you can click a button to download the video you are looking at. This can be helpful if you are trying to show someone a video, but you don't have internet access where they are.

This idea is already being used by a couple of websites, however now you can simply add PWN to the address of the video and that will give you options for downloading it. Is the site with some of the directions. However, all you need to do is add PWN to the address, so that it goes from this:

to this:

A year ago today...

Friday, February 13, 2009
Lauralea was being preped for urgent surgery, the outcome of which would only be known in a few days.

When I think how much has gone on since that day, my knees get weak.

But, God has been good, and here we are, still.

Odd, all the pilot lights just...

Odd, all the pilot lights just went out again. I relit them and called the gas company. Hard to believe we are gas challenged.

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
The age of Aquarius

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revalation
And the mind's true liberation

Well, apparently that 40 year old song finds it's fulfillment tonight.

(See here, or here for a broader approach.)

Tonight when the Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.

A new age of universal harmony will be open for us to explore and live into.


I'm going to reserve my opinions on this just a bit. I'll be watching for cosmic proof or evidence of this long awaited arrival.

Like if Lauralea and I can get through her PMS week without either of us trying to kill one another, THAT will be some proof.

Until then, I'll just enjoy the tune.

The boy writes

He seems to be getting in touch with his inner poet.

He's saved up his pennies and purchased his own domain name.

So there you go;

So, it's the international Day of Love tomorrow

and appropriately it falls right after Friday the 13th.

This year I am covered because with a little bit of accidental fore-purchasing, I got Lauralea a gift while in Chicago. Bloomingdales had a bit of a sale on their gold covered silver jewelry collection and I got herself some large gold covered hoop earrings which she loved.

So, I'm good.

This is more of a public service announcement for those who might have been so focused on the difficulties of today, that they missed the uh, expectations of tomorrow.

If it wasn't for the pain and ...

If it wasn't for the pain and hacking cough, being sick wouldn't be all that bad. Cough cough.

Just the right medicine

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Whew, just done vacuuming the WHOLE HOUSE. What a chore.

Lauralea's home and school gang from Prince Albert are making an appearance here within 24 hours and the place should be welcoming as in, having the floors clear of stuff.

Pretty tight home and school gang if they plan this kind of road trip. And she's been looking forward to it for a while now.

All I need to do is stay clear of their road trippin ways.

Oh Canada.

Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek writes:
Now there is even more striking evidence of Canada's virtues. Guess which country, alone in the industrialized world, has not faced a single bank failure, calls for bailouts or government intervention in the financial or mortgage sectors. Yup, it's Canada. In 2008, the World Economic Forum ranked Canada's banking system the healthiest in the world. America's ranked 40th, Britain's 44th.

Canada has done more than survive this financial crisis. The country is positively thriving in it. Canadian banks are well capitalized and poised to take advantage of opportunities that American and European banks cannot seize. The Toronto Dominion Bank, for example, was the 15th-largest bank in North America one year ago. Now it is the fifth-largest. It hasn't grown in size; the others have all shrunk.

So what accounts for the genius of the Canadians? Common sense. Over the past 15 years, as the United States and Europe loosened regulations on their financial industries, the Canadians refused to follow suit, seeing the old rules as useful shock absorbers. Canadian banks are typically leveraged at 18 to 1—compared with U.S. banks at 26 to 1 and European banks at a frightening 61 to 1. Partly this reflects Canada's more risk-averse business culture, but it is also a product of old-fashioned rules on banking.

Canada has been remarkably responsible over the past decade or so. It has had 12 years of budget surpluses, and can now spend money to fuel a recovery from a strong position. The government has restructured the national pension system, placing it on a firm fiscal footing, unlike our own insolvent Social Security. Its health-care system is cheaper than America's by far (accounting for 9.7 percent of GDP, versus 15.2 percent here), and yet does better on all major indexes. Life expectancy in Canada is 81 years, versus 78 in the United States; "healthy life expectancy" is 72 years, versus 69. American car companies have moved so many jobs to Canada to take advantage of lower health-care costs that since 2004, Ontario and not Michigan has been North America's largest car-producing region.


Well, look at that.
And being Canadian, we won't even know what to do with that kind of praise.

Read the whole piece here.

Learning a house

Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Off to bed.
No warm water as I brush my teeth.

The bedroom seems really cold as I undress.

Uh oh, the gas problem earlier in the day.

So I got dressed and went downstairs. Took apart the boiler and found the pilot light out.

Checked the water heater too and yep, light was out there too.

Got out the boiler book out and figured it out, and Micah and I got it lit. Then we lit the water heater.

So I'm waiting to see if things heat up a bit, before I try for bed again.

I've never seen that happen before, all the pilot lights out at once.

But I guess it's about learning the behaviour of a new house. So I'm learning.

...I hope the new owners of our house in PA have learned to keep the evestroughs free from ice in the front. Hope they are taking good care of the place.

Anyway, best I try bed again.

Well, that's a day i don't want to live again

I think she cried three times today, and I guess I'm ok with that. I mean sometimes life can just get completely overwhelming and you can't win for trying.

We are trying to make our way here in this new land, and it seems it's two steps forward, one step back.

Today it was to get our drivers license changed, which I've taken my time with because I've had the van insured in Saskatchewan. Too costly to have it updated here.

So we need an Alberta Drivers license to get Alberta health, and to get Alberta health, it seems we need an Alberta drivers license. It's like a torture circle.  

I've changed provinces five times and each time it gets worse. I wonder how difficult it would be to have an identity card that I could take to any province and not have to do this stuff. I mean it's easier to go from one country to another in Europe, why can't Canada get caught up to this mobile world we live in.

Just grumbling a bit.

I did manage to find out how to get the gas stove pilot relit, twice. And the gas dryer seems to be working so far. So that's good.

But I'm soon off to bed as this flu is refusing to go away.

Today, I'm tired.



Anybody have gas experience...

Fill in your own joke here.

But anyone within the drive of my house know how to light the pilot on the stove (cooker)?
Or two of the four elements on top?

I've finally got the other two stove top elements staying lit, and I was able to get the gas fireplace relit, again finally.

I don't know if natural gas lines can have a surge or a slowdown but something happened in the night and our gas fired things are down.

We are heading to the Dr. at 1 so if anyone knows how and knows how to get into the house just go ahead and drop in and re-light it.

If you are sucessful, help yourself to whatever you find, drinkwise.


Midwinter 2009, Chicago

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day Two of my illness that will not lead to death

This, is nasty.
There are parts of my body that I didn't even know I had, that are hurting tonight.
Crying with Man Tears.

I did get to a meeting this afternoon, which went well. Then I had another meeting after that, but pretty much by then I was toast.

And Lauralea was in town for a lunch meeting, and then she headed off to a birthday supper for a friend. Micah was at a youth activity, so I muddled around the kitchen, making some frozen cardboard pizza for supper.


So I'm pretty much just waiting for it to be late enough to go to bed, and by late enough I figure anything after 7.

Long night, not sleepwise but ...

Long night, not sleepwise but kept getting up for washroom, drugs, kleenex, coughing, etc. Mumble mumble mumble.

Alright then

Monday, February 09, 2009
...I'm sick.

Posting from bed trying to rest a bit, with sore throat, aching muscles, coughing, sneezing, it's all gross right now.

The day started not too bad, but has gone down hill all day.

So I've been taking it easy.

Nice to be sick on my day off. At least I stand a chance of improvement by tomorrow.

If not, I might miss prayer time early tomorrow guys.


The moon is so bright tonight ...

Sunday, February 08, 2009
The moon is so bright tonight that the field looks like dusk. Goodnight Internets.

780 Billion

Is the latest value of the latest American stimulus package. (as I write this in O'Hare)
It's cash they intend to borrow, to get the economy running again.

Borrowed, as in it has to be repaid.

The engine of our economic system is consumption. When people want a new car or new shoes that are up to date, they buy those things which in turn drives the economy.

When they get laid off or they get fearful, they don't spend as easily. So today people are not spending.

The government then tries to kickstart the economic engine (consumption) which is sputtering and going out, by spending 780 Billion dollars, and hopefully that will get more people working and spending again and the engine sputters back to life again.


It still has to be repaid, and it might result in inflation down the road but to date it's the only option the nations seem to have come up with.

It just makes me nervous. Too many variables and the basic engine is faulty. Consumption.

Of course it's only the opinion of a pastor who lives in a field.
Who knows how wrong I may be.

Sunday morning back in the fie...

Sunday morning back in the field, preaching today. Lots of people away sick. And I have a bad throat and slight cough. Gross.

And today I am here. http://b...

Saturday, February 07, 2009
And today I am here.

Hmm I think bacon & eggs are t...

Hmm I think bacon & eggs are the first order of the day.

Home. Again.

Friday, February 06, 2009
I started my journey home about nine hours ago, and here we are finally.

The last two were the trickiest - lots and lots of fog on the road.

But the flight was good. We had an all female crew, from Captain to first officer and the flight attendants. That was kinda cool. I had some good jokes thought up but they'd all probably only make me sound sexist, so insert your own jokes now.

Good to be home. Very tired.

From The Field.

@Lauraleafriesen hey I found a...

@Lauraleafriesen hey I found a film we've been looking for for a long time. :)

Meetings over, flight leaves t...

Meetings over, flight leaves tonight at 8pm. So I'm downtown at the Apple store in a workshop. A good week.

blogging from Macys

Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Been a great week so far. Great worship and speakers (can you say Phyllis Tickle??)
And connections.

Now we are getting a bite at Macys, then on to Andys Jazz Club for some sweet noise.

Hope you all are well too.

Over and out.

At Macys downtown chicago with...

At Macys downtown chicago with Marc. Very very cold outside. Jazz tonight.

Not sure if this gets through ...

Not sure if this gets through but I'm in Chicago and no net and my cell does not work here. Sheesh. But It's all good.

Landed. Driving in the plane t...

Monday, February 02, 2009
Landed. Driving in the plane to the terminal. Long drive.

I am seated beside a very larg...

I am seated beside a very large woman from the far east. This is going to be a long day.

Time to get on the plane. I se...

Time to get on the plane. I seem to be surrounded by loud talkers from the Carolinas.

Hungry too. I guess i havent e...

Hungry too. I guess i havent eaten today yet. Id be a lousy diabetic. Dont want to eat just before i fly. Plane cans are nasty.

I'm bored.

I'm bored.

CleAred security but i had to ...

CleAred security but i had to pay for my only bag. Now to sit and wait. Flt leaves in 1.5 hours.

I think I'm ready to go

Everything is packed and I think I'm ready to go.

Every year about this time, Covenant pastors from around North America gather in a hotel near O' Hare Airport in Chicago. We gather to reconnect with one another. We gather to pray together and eat together and grow together.

Yes they provide some name brand speakers, and they offer a number of great workshops, but you can get those things at numerous different conferences, not so far away either.

But the great thing about this MidWinter gathering, is the camaraderie. The checking in with one another and building relationships with others. The care extended and simply being with one another, worshiping and praying together.

I'm looking forward to that.

If I find some WiFi, I'll post here. In the meantime I'll try to get some short notes through to here from my twitter account. You can always reach my mobile by sending a message in the box on the lower right there.

Be blessed, take care, and we'll talk more later.

Today I Received the best compliment in 26 years of ministry

Sunday, February 01, 2009
An adult approached me in church this morning and told me that they had offered a nine year old girl the chance to skip the sermon and go help them with kidschurch.

After a pause she replied that she wanted to hear pastor Randall talk instead.

Wow. Easily the best compliment ever.

Done at the office

And it's only 5:13pm.

Now, to home perchance to throw myself a SuperBowl party.

Nothing as elaborate as Johanna and Nate are having.

MMmmmm, they are having a roast turkey at their party.

Wish I could go there. All I have is, with luck, a couple of cheese doodles.

The Unseen Effects of Prayer

Well here is this morning's offering of loaves and fishes.
May God do with it what he wishes.

This is the last in the series on Prayer that I've been looking at for the past month. It's also the end of my trial of posting these Sunday morning talks online.

So that's where I could use some direction.

My ongoing concern is that the words that are spoken here are done so within a certain unique context that might be quite different from where you are at. If you think they should remain within the local context because they are "Local" sermons, then fine no problem, lets do that.

However, if it's something that you found helpful or useful, why not drop me a line here at covrev AT gmail DOT com. Tell me what you think.

We might continue to run them online, even for our local people here who like to listen during the week. In that case we might host them elsewhere.

But do talk back. I'm not looking for huge affirmation here or for a review of my hermeneutic skills. I do really see them as a small, simple offering, that God may use how he wishes.

Now, to todays offering.
What if your prayers could effect kingdoms and rulers and unseen worlds, and all you had to do was learn how to pray deeper, longer prayers?

We get a rare glimpse behind the prayer curtain when Daniel has an amazing experience.

Listen here:

well it says make a joyful noise....

so that's what we did this morning in church.

I've been gathering small noisy instruments to get the children involved in worship. Today was the day.

My fingers were not used to playing guitar again, but it didn't matter as I don't think you could even hear the guitar.

It got kinda loud in there, but it was good.

Here is a clip.


Church is for everybody.

And the kids? They're not the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today.
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