It's the weekend

and a long weekend for you Canadians out there.

So, what are you doing this weekend?

Do me a favour, DO SOMETHING FUN ALRIGHT??

In 5 months its gonna be December and cold as frozen snot out there and you'll think back to this weekend and you'll say to yourself, "Randall told me to have some fun that weekend," and either it will end with, "I'M SO FREAKIN GLAD I LISTENED TO HIM" or you'll be saying "DANG I WISH I HAD LISTENED TO HIM!!"

So either way, you'll wish you had listened to me.


...I'm just sayin.

Need a vehicle

Hey, I'm looking for a good, cheap local car rental place in the area.

Wetaskiwin, Camrose, Ponoka, etc...

If you know of a good place, can you shoot me an email please?

Thanks

randallfriesen at gmail dot com would be fine.

Trying to get some things in place for next week.

****

Nope, I couldn't just hit the "Post" button could I.

Rant warning, beware...

Lauralea and I have always worked hard, cost of living wise, so that we could have one parent home with the kids and caring for the family. That has been a priority for us. Another priority has been that we do with less income as a choice, so that we might be able to work in areas and with people who might not otherwise be able to have a local pastor. As a result, we've worked with what we've had, and God has been good to us.

Sometimes that has meant holidays closer to home or me taking the city bus to work, but it's been a priority for us and we've tried to live into that as best as we can. Probably most of our married life we've been a one car family and when it was more affordable, we became a two car family. Choices like that. These choices have been guided by a sense that God is God and he will take care of us.

Presently we have one car and are open to getting another vehicle, but we are also trying to be faithful to our past thinking. We are trying to discern need vs life in a field vs cost vs the local culture of automobiles. And that's just the car itself. The thing that has made this a rant in my head today has been talking with our auto insurance broker. The auto insurance system in this province seems taylor made to make a few people very rich. The costs of buying insurance for you, your spouse, and a few kids, in this province, is staggering to my mind anyway. And that is coming from a person who has lived a few years with publicly provided insurance. I don't know why a state or province would choose private insurance over public insurance for it's people knowing that the people would all have to pay more anyway. The prices stagger the mind, even for one vehicle, let alone two or three.

Anyway, before you think I have red underwear on, my point is that the process of discernment to get another auto or not, is also can we afford the insurance for it or not. Those costs may even be more than the cost of the vehicle in the long run. I never saw that coming. And who is getting rich off the current system too?

"Luckily" my broker told me, "Luckily Alberta brought in price controls a few years back. It used to be that the person with no insurance history would pay over $5000 a year for auto insurance." Unbelievably ridiculous. With a bit more work they could get the cost down even more.

And I am lucky, I know that. But that seems to push it to the places where some people just can't afford to drive. Either that, or there is an amazing amount of disposable cash out there in these two income, three vehicle families.

So for now, it's probably cheaper just to rent something for the week. And if you want to set me straight on the value of private over public auto insurance, go for it. I don't know it all, yet.

Lumbering along

I suppose with that kind of a title this post should be something referencing some manner of home renovation that we are doing, but it doesn't.

We did have ten farmers descend upon the church yard and parsonage on Monday and bring all manner of heavy equipment and worked hard for the better part of the day fixing up the cemetery space and the parking lot and the house. We now have some good looking, completed landscaping out front of the house. One farmer who makes his living as a carpenter, came into the house and reframed the kitchen door in the settling house, so that it would close. That was a lovely addition and helps keep spaces closed or open to get some air moving through the house on hot days.

We had some friends over for a visit for a few days and it was so good to see them again. They have headed home and are moving on to school so who knows when we might see them next.

The field is some quiet these days. Normally I would be getting homework done for classes in Chicago, but since I graduated last summer, there won't be any of that in the near future. And then the normal order of things would be to take three weeks off and try to get my head on straight again, for the fall season. But the changes of the year continue on and so we will delay holidays for a while yet. Although next week we are going to try to fit in a few days in Saskatchewan with the relatives.

I thought that by now the church would be in full summer nobody comes mode. But that hasn't been the case. Most Sundays have seen us with good crowds out and visitors dropping by The Field. There are a couple of significant, huge personal life stories people are walking through out here and I'm trying to walk with them, even though I'm still kinda "New Guy" around here. Trying to quickly get up to speed with people so that I have a right to walk with them through the stuff. God is really good with that stuff though. We are seeing a HUGE answer to prayer for a certain individual right now, and I may tell you about that story one time, once it's done being written.

And somehow last Saturday I really messed up my back. The pain has been, well, unique, because I never have back pain. So I'm dragging myself around the place a good chunk of the time.

In other news Hillary gets 4 days off camp this weekend so she's coming here for the time. Her bus arrives at 6 am tomorrow morning, which means we will have to leave at 4 am, which means a 3 something wake up call. She's 20 years old and I still have to get up in the middle of the night for her.

Off now for Hospital visits in town and so on and so forth.

That's the news from the hot, quiet, dry field for now.

This week on Twitter 2009-07-29


  • The northern lights are amazing right now. #

  • The worst hospital chapel I've ever seen. http://post.ly/1TFs #

  • Stick a fork in me cause I'm done. So. Hot. Everywhere. #

  • Is there anything as yellow? http://post.ly/1VUN #

  • Still hot. http://post.ly/1Xcu #

  • Well, 9pm and its still 30C here. I'm thinking of melting except I'd have to clean up the mess I'd make. #

  • At a wedding with a window. http://post.ly/1ZM6 #

  • Not even a cold shower helps in this heat. Laying here sweating in bed, and not in a good way. #

  • I love the New York in the movie Moonstruck. #

  • The vanderclan is with us for a couple nights. Good to see old friends again. #

  • Going out to supper at Ikea with friends. http://post.ly/1f1u #

  • I am beyond tired. Up at 5, going all day, Im done. Goodnight internets. #

This week on Twitter 2009-07-29


  • The northern lights are amazing right now. #

  • The worst hospital chapel I've ever seen. http://post.ly/1TFs #

  • Stick a fork in me cause I'm done. So. Hot. Everywhere. #

  • Is there anything as yellow? http://post.ly/1VUN #

  • Still hot. http://post.ly/1Xcu #

  • Well, 9pm and its still 30C here. I'm thinking of melting except I'd have to clean up the mess I'd make. #

  • At a wedding with a window. http://post.ly/1ZM6 #

  • Not even a cold shower helps in this heat. Laying here sweating in bed, and not in a good way. #

  • I love the New York in the movie Moonstruck. #

  • The vanderclan is with us for a couple nights. Good to see old friends again. #

  • Going out to supper at Ikea with friends. http://post.ly/1f1u #

  • I am beyond tired. Up at 5, going all day, Im done. Goodnight internets. #

Going out to supper at Ikea with friends.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

BACK down

I'm moving very slowly today because it's day two of some serious lower back pain. I'm not sure what brought it on because I'm not normally a back pain guy, but it is there none the less. As I said it causes me to move slowly when I move. It's a sharp reminder of my limitations.

Probably because I know it's temporary, it's a good reminder to me of the quality of life I normally enjoy.

At a wedding with a window.

A beautiful window though this phones camera doesn't do it justice. A nice view while waiting for the wedding to begin.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

I think we should dance more.

Or in my case, at all.

Hopefully you have some good speakers attached to your computer and not some tinny ones.
Turn them up, and smile.
(or for some of you, get your kleenex ready.)

Is there anything as yellow?

As a field of canola in its prime?

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Letters from The Field

It's hot around here these days dear reader, and to add insult to injury it's humid as well. We're not used to this kind of humidity as we prefer a dry heat to this slow moist death.

This results in behavior that is less than appropriate for dignified people of The Field. The temper fuses seem all too short lately, even when one does simple things like, like breathing or eating. One doesn't seem to breathe right I suppose and the noise that comes from mastication only exacerbates the situation. The results seem to be that those within striking distance walk about in their hockey helmets.

Or this recent development in the blanket hogging war. One gets so hot in the night, and not in a good way I assure you, that one flings all coverings over to their mates side of the bed, and said mate is willing to take one for the team, bearing the brunt of the weight of the nocturnal coverings. Then upon waking in the morning is subject to accusatory glances and thinly veiled discourse and dramatic recreations of the nights blanket maneuvers. Sigh, war is indeed hell.

It seems this bit of humid/hot weather is scheduled to remain throughout the weekend and I'm beginning to wonder our little family may be down a member or two by then.

Oh and don't get me started on bulls that awaken you at 4 am doing their territorial shouting matches with other bulls in neighbouring fields, twenty feet from ones wide open window. Or the magpies that screech and squawk at 5 am sitting on the railing just outside your window. No, even nature takes a bad turn in this kind of inclimate weather. My first thoughts upon waking were of my need of a real gun. Well, my first thoughts were why are all the blankets on my side of the bed this morning, but indeed my second thoughts were of shooting things with guns.

And so, productivity takes a turn in times like this, which frustrates me as well. But the day is full and I need to be about the things I can control.

So until another better time dear reader, I remain sincerely yours.


From The Field.

This week on Twitter 2009-07-22


  • I'm trying a Red Bull for breakfast. Lets see the Breakfast of Champions top that. #

  • Today seems to be a day that the field is getting the best of me. I need a bistro or streetside cafe. #

  • Ordered take away pizza for supper & found a bistro. http://post.ly/1MQA #

  • Micah is outside with the pellet gun and looks like Thomas is sneaking up behind him. Sometimes I wonder if that boy thinks things through. #

  • Just got #TweetCaster by Handmark FREE for my BlackBerry in exchange for this tweet. Get yours here: http://tinyurl.com/TweetCaster #

  • I have a headache that is bigger than my own head. How is that possible and why won't it go away??? #

What I like most about this new design

really is the "This day in randallfriesen.com history" list at the right there. There are cool memories I find myself clicking on repeatedly that I had forgotten.

Today's fun click was "Virtual meets reality." I guess it was five years ago today that Marc Vandersluys and I met for lunch.

The rest, as they say, is history.

An early morning in late July

Up at dawn this morning and as I left the house for my early meeting the fresh feel to the day caught me by surprise. I took the long way to the office, which means about a minute longer than normal, but I did a walk around the place.

Sun just beneath the horizon, the red lilies in bloom, tomatoes still producing flowers. The humid air from the dew hanging low to the ground, and the sky slightly overcast. The sounds of song birds waking up the world and our small water fountain splashing water.

Already the days are getting shorter and the sun is taking longer to wake up creation, which reminds me that we are nearly done with July. Soon there will be a shortened harvest season here, shortened because of a lack of crops to take off, and I'm seeing more and more farmers just tilling under what they have. There are already a lot less cows around because there is no feed for them, so they are being sold at a loss. Could be a tough winter for some families in the area.

All that reminds me that we are here in The Field nearly a year already. What an amazing opportunity and place to live. What a stretching and pulling God is doing in us, to help make us a blessing in this place, in this time. I am deeply grateful that he knows me well enough to place me where I need to be, so that the place I am becomes a blessing to me as well.

And though the isolation and loneliness can be so striking sometimes and you can feel so lost, there are times like this morning, when God is close and the breath from his mouth warms a cold and tired heart.


May you too know the warmth of his close presence in your coming and going today too.


Work day

It's 10:15 on a Saturday night and the thermostat in my office says it's still 28C in here. It was a hot one today. I've been here since about nine am, well, except for a two hour lunch break when I watched the Riders begin to beat themselves out of a football game. Stupid game.

I've been trying to get a few things done that I've put off for a while, so I'm catching up a bit. Paperwork, administrative stuff, you know, the crappy underbelly of ministry that I dislike so I put it off until I need a day like today to grab myself by the administrative bits and, pardon my english, get "er" done. So it's late and its done. There you go paperwork.

A lovely interruption came today in the form of an asian family. Two kids, mom and dad and grandpa and grandma, who came to find an aunt's grave in the cemetery. It was a pleasant surprise and honestly I never ever expected to see an Indian family roll onto the yard. They were looking for someone and went through the whole collection of previous persons in the field next door, without any luck. They came to me and by then grandma had to use the washroom badly, and she was followed by her twenty something granddaughter. We welcomed them in and watered them and got to work on finding the missing aunt. Seems she rests in peace just down the road at the Lutheran cemetery. Soon they were on their merry way, and we were left with one another and the oppressive heat.

I should go home now. Lauralea was over about 10 pm to try and communicate some things that she wanted my input on. My head was still trying to get around data, numbers, and reports so I wasn't of much use to her.

The breeze is picking up outside now. May it bring cool sleep to our home over the way.


Night.

Ordered take away pizza for supper & found a bistro.

We're at Angelo's getting a pizza for supper. Hopefully it makes the trip home well. Just sitting outside, searching for shade, drinking a cold coke, waiting for our pizza.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Thinking about forgiveness

I've had a couple of people from the area ask if they could get a copy of this talk i gave a couple of weeks ago, so I'll make it available here.

Some of my words throughout the talk get mixed up and are embarrassing, but the gist of it is real and true, and have been quite helpful for me in the past. Forgiveness is often misunderstood, but when you experience it's powerful effects in your life, wow it can really help you to be free again.

Anyway, here you go. thinking about forgiveness.

http://randallfriesen.com/sermons/refJUL5-0996.mp3

Today the Field got the better of me

I suppose it's only fair that there will be days like this, out here in the field I mean.
It can't be all pie in the sky, I know that.

But today I was working a good deal in the office, trying to catch up with some things, and it was two steps forward, one step back. It was warm today too, and a bit too quiet for me, except for the flies buzzing at the open window. The isolation can be unique and overwhelming out here sometimes. And it's often something I overlook or I disregard it's power. But it can be powerfully lonely sometimes.

Today was just a day like that.

And then late in the day somebody stopped by and we had a real conversation about real stuff, and that was just good.

So a long, lonely day topped off with a short encouraging visit, and it's not as bad as it was.

I wonder what tomorrow holds.

Learning to lean

I guess one of the unique privileges of doing what I do, is that I am, as much as is possible, with people through the darkness and through the light of their lives.

Today sharing lunch with an elderly friend from church, sharing life, the good and more difficult patches. Telling stories of our lives, places we were overwhelmed and times we were overjoyed. You know, just sharing life together for a couple of hours.

Or celebrating with someone who may have some very good news that we've been praying so very hard about for a long time, but it's not confirmed yet. Your heart skips a beat and a shot of adrenalin courses through your body and you smile. Well, that's what I do and that's a big deal.

Or getting some difficult news from friends who are going through a season of loss and grief. Suddenly how hard life can just becomes really clear again, and you go back to the place of prayer once again, looking to God for answers for these friends.

I learned a long time ago that I am not God for them, I can do nothing to change the world, their world. But walking with someone through the difficult seasons can bring some comfort. And everyone should have someone in their lives that they can call and simply say, I need prayer. Those things I can do.

When those different emotional extremes happen in a day, you know you need more resources than you have. Then you lean into the curve thrown at you, right into God's arms, and you find him carrying you through the day. He enables us to do the things he calls us to do, and the best way to know his strength is to lean completely into him and his strength. For the times you fuss and fight and try to manage it with half your own strength, and half his, it's too awkward and often you get hurt because you are trying too hard. You get in the way.

So tonight as I think of the stories of the people I am caring for, I lean back deeply into His provision, for me and for them.


Night from the field.

a near ditch experience

Yesterday morning shortly after 6 am while on my way to town I nearly had to turn around and go home to change my shorts.

One hand sleepily on the wheel ripping down the highway, slightly overcast sky when within a quarter of a second all the following thoughts shot through my mind:

I WISH I HAD A BLUE BIKE, WHAT THE? BROWN FUR, LARGE, DEER SHAPE, JUMPING, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, ABOVE HOOD OF CAR, WHAT THE... TURNRIGHTHARD TURNRIGHTHARD TURNRIGHHARD, ONE HAND CRANKS HARD RIGHT, NO SHOULDER, NO SHOULDER, CORRECT CORRECT CORRECT, CRANK HARD LEFT, TOO MUCH, BIG FLOATY CAR, NO TIGHT SUSPENSION, OVERCORRECT, PULLITBACK, KEEP ON ROAD, COME ON FRIESEN, OTHER HAND FINALLY REACHING THE WHEEL, RUSH OF ADRENALIN TO THE BODY, OH THAT MUST HAVE BEEN A DEER...

With the amount of that kind of wildlife in these here parts the chances are significant that I will one day, hit a deer. I'm just glad it wasn't yesterday.

And I want to give public recognition of the angels who took one for the team, so that I could be safe and get to my destination safely.

Thank you.

This week on Twitter 2009-07-15


  • Everybody in bed now. Up too late with the Vandersluyseses. #

  • Another day in the field http://post.ly/1Bom #

  • I seem to be at Canadas Gospel Music celebration http://post.ly/1DAZ #

  • Home again after a five hour concert. It was really an enjoyably night. I was one of the youngest ones there. #

  • Ken Miller, Sask coach looks like a farmer. Maybe that's why he fits nicely in Sask. Go Riders. #

  • We made it to the mountains. http://post.ly/1G7I #

  • Well, a very long and emotionally full day today. Glad to be alive, glad to hear God, and glad to make it into bed tonight. Night internets. #

This week on Twitter 2009-07-15


  • Everybody in bed now. Up too late with the Vandersluyseses. #

  • Another day in the field http://post.ly/1Bom #

  • I seem to be at Canadas Gospel Music celebration http://post.ly/1DAZ #

  • Home again after a five hour concert. It was really an enjoyably night. I was one of the youngest ones there. #

  • Ken Miller, Sask coach looks like a farmer. Maybe that's why he fits nicely in Sask. Go Riders. #

  • We made it to the mountains. http://post.ly/1G7I #

  • Well, a very long and emotionally full day today. Glad to be alive, glad to hear God, and glad to make it into bed tonight. Night internets. #

This week on Twitter 2009-07-15


  • Everybody in bed now. Up too late with the Vandersluyseses. #

  • Another day in the field http://post.ly/1Bom #

  • I seem to be at Canadas Gospel Music celebration http://post.ly/1DAZ #

  • Home again after a five hour concert. It was really an enjoyably night. I was one of the youngest ones there. #

  • Ken Miller, Sask coach looks like a farmer. Maybe that's why he fits nicely in Sask. Go Riders. #

  • We made it to the mountains. http://post.ly/1G7I #

  • Well, a very long and emotionally full day today. Glad to be alive, glad to hear God, and glad to make it into bed tonight. Night internets. #

A Day in Banff

And yes, it rained ALL DAY. From an hour south of our house it rained all the way to Banff, all day in the park, and continued to rain till an hour south of our house.

No rain in The Field all day.

But we had fun.
It was a good day and though some of our activities were drowned out, it was a good thing to do.

Here is a collection of pictures we got of the day.

One day road trip

It sounds like tomorrow we are all not working or going to school or whatever, so we have decided on a one day road trip. We're going to Banff for the day.

So, having said that I need some help. What are some attractions that are worth our time and money in Banff?

Let us know and we'll see what's up in Banff tomorrow.

and I told them on the road by 7am, so we're off to bed.


Nite.

"Hey, where's that yellow handled thing, you remember the one your mother gave us for our second anniversary..."

If you have some trouble finding things around the place, then pardon me. I've gone back to the basic Wordpress design because I want to do some things behind the scene, back in the database kinds of things, and I don't want an accidental mess out front here.

As a result I've also suspended public comments here in this space, but I'm giving you an opportunity to comment directly to me with the form at the right, your left if you're standing behind your computer...

Sorry for any frustrations you may encounter, and do feel free to comment if you like.


...as you were.

I seem to be at Canadas Gospel Music celebration

In Red Deer Alberta. The Kingsmen are singing now. I just got a txt that my uncle and aunt are here someplace too. Go figure.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

It's Friday already

and it's been a full week. Today will be no different as later on in the afternoon we are headed out with a large group from church who goes to a neighbouring city for a concert tonight.

I'm doing some final work on the plans for Sunday and as the day draws near I confess some hesitation. Every second call these days is a call to let us know that people won't be in church on Sunday. Early morning commitments, holidays, family celebrations, etc, etc. are leaving me with a sense that Sunday morning will be a very small gathering of us.

That's one of the things about being a pastor I suppose. You don't work any less hard for a Sunday if it's going to be 5 people or if its going to be 500. You hope for the greater so that what you have to share has a better chance of reaching a need, and if you have a hundred people, you have a better chance of connecting with someone than if you have five. That's just the odds.

But often God's economy is different and he does what he will do. On any given Sunday.

I think the only frustration that comes occasionally is if you are teaching through a series and trying to get a large group of people on the same page. What ends up happening is that you need to repeat yourself for those who may have missed weeks. Then those who have been there more often keep hearing the same things over and over. That's probably why summer is considered not prime series preaching time by many pastors.

This Sunday we are going to focus a bit on listening to one another, and our world, and to God.

If you're in the area and want to drop by, then do.

Oh and this Sunday remember there is a lunch afterward. To help celebrate a wedding.

Another day in the field

Off to meet a family.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Patchwork Portraits

If you live within range of The Field and all the kids are home for one weekend and you feel like you should grab the opportunity for a family portrait, then here is your chance.

A friend has just created a website showing her work with people and photography. It's called Patchwork Portraits and she is called Jeramielee.

If you have an occasion coming up or even if it's just that all the family is home for a change, give her a call. She's a pretty creative gal.

Things are starting to green up. Finally.

After a day of friends leaving, bad prairie weather, and simple weariness, I think I'm going to follow Lauralea to bed.

It was good to see our friends, Marc & Dixie again and we probably visited a little too late into the night, but it was nice to talk with them again.

Then today in the field, the rain started and the weather rolled in. Thunder and lightning, hail and a long tornado watch settled in. The rain that comes now will help the grass grow a bit which will help the cattle farmers, so they get some reprieve. But mostly any rain that falls now is really for next year. You work with one eye on the skies, watching for forming funnel clouds. Today out here there were a couple that could have formed, but thankfully, at least as much as I've heard around here, none did.

And so we are tired. Lauralea was talking about bed around 7pm tonight, and I think it might be a good idea. Just the light outside that will probably keep me awake for a while.

So from the field tonight, I'm going to bed thinking and praying for many of you.

Night.

This week on Twitter 2009-07-08


  • We're at a rodeo http://post.ly/13KZ #

  • You know it must have ben a big night if you can't find your pants (Trousers for you brits) in the morning. #

  • As much as I may like to think I understand Tennis, I absolutely don't get the rules or scoring system at all. it's like cricket to me. #

  • An evening of meetings tonight. Sigh. Not a real fun way to spend a Friday night. Worky work work. #

  • The meeting is going good and Micah is txting me updates on the sask, bc football game. #

  • Another cool thing about living in a field? I can crank up "Into the West" at midnight and watch the big moon in the clouds. Thanx Annie L. #

  • I'm concerned that when the kids all leave home, my household look will consist of button shirt, boxers and black socks. Lauralea is worried #

  • Supper at Old Spaghetti Factory http://post.ly/17N5 #

  • It's raining. http://post.ly/18ra #

A perfect video for a morning like this

Turn it up, especially at the beginning, and listen to the storms move across Africa.
This is cool.



I especially like the guy playing the air drums.


via. Jadon.

It's raining.



I woke up this morning to the sound of rain falling on the roof, and hitting the pane of glass that was open a few inches. That's a sound I haven't heard for a long long time, but a sweeter sound was never heard.

I got up and headed over to the church to get the coffee on, and by 6:30 ten other guys had joined me in the church basement. They were all in a good mood and we had much to give thanks for, so we did.

I sure enjoy that prayer time, and meeting with the guys. It's a good way to start my week.

May you too have what you need to see from God this day. And may he give you what He sees you need.

Progress Report. From the Field.

It's July already, and it seems like life just continues along. This summer has felt different than most, probably because it's our first summer in The Field, and this summer in the field has been anything but normal for the field people, so I guess many things feel off this summer.

I'm not looking at a long time off this summer for a couple of reasons. One, we haven't been here a full year yet so it feels awkward and though the work has been busy and full, it feels like we need to do a bit more before we take the days off. I've been working hard to get our youth and families pastor on a sabbatical this summer and all things have come together for that to happen. The work has paid off and the process has been a good one too date. So while they are off for a couple of months, somebody should be around and that somebody should be me. We'll probably take a week off later in the summer, but this summer isn't the time to be taking off a whole four weeks at a time.

Thomas is back and has communicated that its good to be back home. Those were his words and they were good to hear. Micah returns tomorrow from a week in Prince Albert and he too is indicating that life back there has gone on and changed without him being there. Slowly but surely home is being shifted, at least for this time of our lives.

The church is doing well. Though there are some personal health struggles present in the community, the sense of anticipation of God at work here in this place continues to grow. The church is ready to reach out into this community to find ways to serve and love their neighbours. It's really very cool to see the excitement over planing a country fair for the community or to see the people excited about talking to their friends about what's happening at church these days. The number of young families continues to grow with new babies and new people checking out the place. There is a buzz and I hope it translates into life for those who are searching.

For me it's important that the worship times are times where God is present and active, and that in that "Incubator" God has room to meet with people. That's been happening more and more and though people don't often know how to give words to it, they are expressing it in real tangible ways. I am very pleased with the progress of this place.

And I'm pleased with the progress of my own connection with God. There are some things he's asked me to do out here in the field, and as I've done them I've begun to see a direct shift in the corporate things here as a result. In order to even hear those things my hearing has had to improve and it seems like it has been getting better. Perhaps it is the solitude of life out here that allows me to hear better, I don't know, but I do know that I've been knowing what to pray for and whom to pray it for much better since the move out here. And I love that I can do that for people. To be able to be still and quiet and to hear God's heart in moments of need, then to pray hard and then to ask the people what has been going on in their lives. It's been a great blessing to me to be able to carry people in this way.

So too then when they come for pastoral counseling or Spiritual Direction I feel like I have already been conversing about them with God, and the door to care for them is wide open. I think that The Field is some kind of retreat place for those who seek help. As well as care for these people of the field, I also get calls and emails from people who need to talk and need to be listened to, and prayed for. It's a grace to be able to live here and care for all these different people, near and far. I consider it a great gift to me, from someone who knows me better than I know myself.

And now I need to get to bed because tomorrow at 6:30 is early prayer and I shall have the coffee made well before then. If you are near or driving past around then, it's the guys early morning prayer time. Feel free to join us.

Night.

Eight millimeters

I was talking with a farmer yesterday who reported the official rain amounts for June.

The lowest amount recorded in the hundred plus years of keeping records here was eleven millimeters.
This June we saw 8 millimeters.

And that's why this years crops in this region look to be a, forgive me, washout.

I saw another farmer turning over his empty field today. It's not at all pretty around here, crop wise.

A good day today

It was one of those days where I am able to do the kinds of things that give me a sense of fulfillment, a sense of God's presence.

There are conversations that are had in which God sometimes just shows up and he fills the room and I know we are on a different ground. There are conversations had and emails written in which I know I'm communicating beyond my ability, and my spirit does a double take, and of course it's Him in the conversation too.

Today a number of those conversations took place, and light and truth advanced just a bit, in a few peoples hearts. Those are the kinds of conversations that I love, and why I do what I do. Often pastoring is just praying for and waiting for the chance to have those talks.

Today was just one of those days.
A gooder.

We're at a rodeo - Updated



Ponoka Stampede finals tonight with friends. Another cultural night out, really cool.

The second largest rodeo in Canada, right after the Calgary Stampede which is next week.

Grandpa Thiessen would be thrilled beyond belief to be here.

Updated: We had a blast for the finals. It really was amazing to see.

Here are some more pics I took.