The day that was.

Today at Malmo Mission Covenant Church we tried something a little different. Yeah, it's the "C" word, Change. That can be a tricky thing, but boy oh boy, not today it wasn't.

We ran Bible classes for kids, and threw in a Country Fair, a family community BBQ, and a movie night, for the whole community. We mailed out announcements and brought in a bouncy castle and made a really big day of it.

I'm here to say it was a success, a roaring success in my opinion. Kids came, families came, the community came, and we had a wonderful, tiring day.

The movie, "The Apple Dumpling Gang" is just finishing, which is good because I'm done for.

But here is the photographic evidence of a good good day.

Click here to see the set of images from the day.

And thank you to all who worked so hard to make it happen. Well done.

IMG_2600

IMG_2580



IMG_2633

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Do you get your fashion ideas from visits to Walmart? Better think again.

Ok, honestly I really thought it was just me. You know, when you go to Walmart in jeans and a T-shirt and you feel overdressed for the occasion. Sometimes I leave the place wondering what were those people thinking?!?

Well apparently it wasn't just me.


Now there is a website called http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/ where you too can view and upload images of relaxed people shopping in their own, um easygoing way.

This give a whole new meaning to "relaxed fit jeans."

If you don't find the images interesting, then you might want to look, just to make sure your own picture isn't included.

(I feel strangely comforted by the realization that it wasn't just me or the Walmarts I occasionally visit.)

This week on Twitter 2009-08-26


  • Day progresses. Done at post office by 9 am. Back in field for a 10 am appointment. Now a quick bite then a 1 pm online appointment. #

  • Coyotes howling out there tonight. Wild wild west. #

  • Up at 4am to drive to the airport. The boy had better be thankful. #

  • Too many people at the airport much to early. #

  • So ...groggy today. Why? I slept. #

  • I think I'm ready for tomorrow. Talking about what faith looks like today by looking at Samuels mom. #

  • Lauralea is making noises like she needs to get out of the field tonight. Might be townies tonight... Now which town. #

  • Watching Stardust and wishing I had a Babylon candle. #

  • Beautiful day in the field, full house again at church and a great morning. Now what's for lunch? #

  • Boston pizza fail. Waited at table 20 mins, no service, only 2 other busy tables in the place. Finally just left. A&W, eating in 5 mins. #

  • I think I watch Inspector Morse partly for the great music they always make time for. #

  • Saw Inglourious Basterds. "A lighthearted romp through the fields of 1940s France" Except for some of the graphics it was an enjoyable flick #

  • Tonight at 10pm as I finally left the office it was pitch black out. Do we need that already? Next stop, falling leaves. #

This week on Twitter 2009-08-26


  • Day progresses. Done at post office by 9 am. Back in field for a 10 am appointment. Now a quick bite then a 1 pm online appointment. #

  • Coyotes howling out there tonight. Wild wild west. #

  • Up at 4am to drive to the airport. The boy had better be thankful. #

  • Too many people at the airport much to early. #

  • So ...groggy today. Why? I slept. #

  • I think I'm ready for tomorrow. Talking about what faith looks like today by looking at Samuels mom. #

  • Lauralea is making noises like she needs to get out of the field tonight. Might be townies tonight... Now which town. #

  • Watching Stardust and wishing I had a Babylon candle. #

  • Beautiful day in the field, full house again at church and a great morning. Now what's for lunch? #

  • Boston pizza fail. Waited at table 20 mins, no service, only 2 other busy tables in the place. Finally just left. A&W, eating in 5 mins. #

  • I think I watch Inspector Morse partly for the great music they always make time for. #

  • Saw Inglourious Basterds. "A lighthearted romp through the fields of 1940s France" Except for some of the graphics it was an enjoyable flick #

  • Tonight at 10pm as I finally left the office it was pitch black out. Do we need that already? Next stop, falling leaves. #

Having a friend is so underrated

And after a strange full week last week, and this week looking full to the brim with me moving from one assignment to another, I stumbled upon this sweet, sweet medicine.

Thanks Martin Smith.
I just needed a reminder that I do have a friend who knows me better than any other, and loves me anyway.

I have this huge...

headache.

Might be attached to the huge ego. I dunno.

This morning at 4:15 when my alarm went off, so did Lauralea's and she was up and into the shower before I could get there and ask her what the crap was she doing up so early?

I was up early to get Thomas to the airport for his early flight, but she? She could sleep in.
She thought I said she should come with us this morning, which I had said, but I said it jokingly because for pete's sake we were leaving at 4:30 am and I could do that myself and she could sleep. But somehow she switched it from joking mode to must do mode. So then she was up to say good bye.

And yeah, did I mention that my head hurts?

maybe I'll just put it down here on my desk a little bit, and snooze...

The earth is slow, but so strong.

Sometimes out here in the field, I'll drive past a place where once there was a whole farmyard with buildings and equipment and a water pump-house and windmill and I am amazed at how completely it can all disappear and the earth take back what was originally it's own. It happens in a relatively few short years.

And I think, I wonder if that could happen to cities too?


Another day done

It began early with me in Wetaskiwin at the post office when it opened to finally get the posters in the mail for our community fair and family BBQ next Friday. Really glad that is done. Really. Really. Really.

Today was about people once again. People who wanted to talk and explore where they were in life, with God, and with others. It was a good day that way. These people are on a journey and they are not sure of the destination. That's always kind of exciting to be able to walk with people through times like that. And the conversations were like that today.

Actually the morning was a face to face time with someone, and this afternoons appointment was also face to face, only they were a few thousand kms away, so we used Skype, which behaved very nicely for the couple hours we were on. Face to face chatting like we were in the same room.

Anyway, like I said, people on a journey to where they don't know. I like that level of honesty. Frankly its hard to work with people who think they know where they are going and will try their hardest against all odds to get where they think they need to be. They usually are not ready for what God has for them at that point, and so they push against his words to them. No, today's people are reasonably honest with themselves, and want to go where they need to go, even if they don't know where that is yet. Oh I have my suspicions of who they turn out to be and where they end up in the end, but it is their journey and they need to make these discoveries for themselves. So I accompany them, and pray for them and listen to them and speak when they need to hear someone else.

So that was a most gracious day.

Then tonight some friends stopped by on their way home, so we had company for the evening.

There are different opportunities that come to me these days, and I really need to hear if they are the kinds of things I need to pick up or I should leave alone. They are broader opportunities, and as I reflect on them even now I realize that the one thing they have in common is working with pastors, especially younger ones, and ones having difficulties. That's something I am more and more passionate about, and so I need to be praying and listening for some clarity about that. These things are not about a new job but simply more about the volunteer work I do for our group of churches.

Tomorrow I need to start preparations for Sunday, oh and of course that "work" for Revenue Canada has an approaching deadline. Better get over my bitterness about that and get on it.

Tonight my thoughts are with a local young mom in the hospital in Edmonton who is struggling with mental health issues and who needs prayer. Her and her young family and husband.

I'm also carrying around the Vandersluys clan as they are in the midst of packing all they own into too small a truck and moving to Manitoba for him to go back to school. Seminary to be exact. I deeply respect the cost to them and their families. This cost of obedience and faithfulness. No one said it would be easy, and it isn't. So tonight I'm praying for them. God be with them, support them, be close to them, and give what they need to see from you this week. Please God...


And the rest of you, from the field, good night.

This week on Twitter 2009-08-19


  • I am completly and utterly gimped out. It all hurts. #

  • I think I am heading to the Edmonton, Calgary CFL game tonight. Now who to cheer for... #

  • At the cfl game and a rider fan is sitting beside me. Kinda nice. Like visiting with a relative from the old country. #

  • At the Esks & Stamps game. http://post.ly/2DVh #

  • What a game, what a close game. Won in the last six seconds. Wow. #

  • In office for nearly an hour already. I think it's going to be a long one today. Nice that it's raining out and I can have the windows open. #

  • The furnace just went on in my office. How cold is it in here?? #

  • Morning over, flop on bed resting back before lunch. A good morning today out in the field. #

  • Boy I'd love to order in a pizza right about now. Don't suppose they deliver to a field. #

  • As of today its been 24 years with @lauraleafriesen. Some days good, some days bad. Every day love. #

  • At milestones for supper with Lauralea. Not a bad place. #

  • Watchin Julie and Julia. Good movie. #

  • Finally, my toner, due last Friday from Edmonton, has arrived In Wetaskiwin. Going to get it. Thanks for the overnighter Perolator Currier. #

  • They don't make a "I'm sorry you're having your period" card, do they?? Cause that could often come in handy. #

  • It's Hot in here and my eyess are droooooooooppping...... #

This week on Twitter 2009-08-19


  • I am completly and utterly gimped out. It all hurts. #

  • I think I am heading to the Edmonton, Calgary CFL game tonight. Now who to cheer for... #

  • At the cfl game and a rider fan is sitting beside me. Kinda nice. Like visiting with a relative from the old country. #

  • At the Esks & Stamps game. http://post.ly/2DVh #

  • What a game, what a close game. Won in the last six seconds. Wow. #

  • In office for nearly an hour already. I think it's going to be a long one today. Nice that it's raining out and I can have the windows open. #

  • The furnace just went on in my office. How cold is it in here?? #

  • Morning over, flop on bed resting back before lunch. A good morning today out in the field. #

  • Boy I'd love to order in a pizza right about now. Don't suppose they deliver to a field. #

  • As of today its been 24 years with @lauraleafriesen. Some days good, some days bad. Every day love. #

  • At milestones for supper with Lauralea. Not a bad place. #

  • Watchin Julie and Julia. Good movie. #

  • Finally, my toner, due last Friday from Edmonton, has arrived In Wetaskiwin. Going to get it. Thanks for the overnighter Perolator Currier. #

  • They don't make a "I'm sorry you're having your period" card, do they?? Cause that could often come in handy. #

  • It's Hot in here and my eyess are droooooooooppping...... #

patoday.ca

A couple of years ago I purchased the domain patoday.ca and it was my desire to create a local news and resource site for the city of Prince Albert. You know, weather, and news and local classifieds kind of thing, with a place for you to get your Prince Albert updates. Shortly after I bought it, my life got busier and I set that idea to the background. Then recently I let the domain go, in hopes that someone else might one day pick it up.

Well yesterday I got an email that that was exactly what had happened. patoday.ca is live and active and looking good. You need to check it out if you live in the area.

http://patoday.ca

It seems to be running the exact kinds of things I had hoped such a site could carry, and it looks great.

I am pleased. It makes me happy.
Well done whoever is running it now.

:)

Lewis on Glory

We are to shine as the sun. We are to be given the morning star. I think I begin to see what it means. In one way, of course, God has given us the morning star already. You can go and enjoy the gift on many fine mornings, if you get up early enough. "What more," you may ask, "do we want?" Ah, but we want so much more. Something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, though God knows even that is bounty enough -- we want something else which can hardly be put into words -- to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul. But it can't. They tell us that beauty, born a murmuring sound, will pass into a human face. But it won't -- or not yet, at least.

C. S. Lewis, in “The Weight of Glory: “

Sometimes life just gets a bit hopeless.

As I half heartedly predicted much earlier in the day, it has indeed turned out to be a long one.  The rain falling and the frost warning for tonight seems to add to the bleakness around here today.

Yes, the gong show that is Purolator Courier screwing up a toner delivery to our nearest town so that I could pick it up and get printing again and get these mailers into the post before deadline, ...deep breath... seems rather insignificant as I pastor these people of The Field through a tough day.

Mental illness, depression, is such a deep dark unknown and unexplored region of our humanity, that we as humans don't always know how to help one caught in it's grip. When those we love struggle so heroically with the unseen illness it sometimes throws us into our own spin downward. As the one we love is being pulled away from us by unseen powers we become desperate people.

So tonight the only need is God's abiding, powerful presence. To bring peace to troubled hearts. To heal broken minds. To restore what the enemy has taken. To declare hope where once there was none. To be our hero, our saviour, and ride to our aid and somehow, through the darkness, save us.

And we know, deep down inside, that we are all in need of being saved. We all need a hero, a redeemer king who is able to reach down through great distances and save us from our enemies, and ourselves. Thank God we have One.

So tonight I am back at the office, working, writing, waiting, and praying for some of these that I care for, that tonight He would be their redeemer king in powerful saving ways too.

From the Field where for the first time I see standing pools of water, which might be ice covered by morning,

Night.

At the Esks & Stamps game.

And its all tied up. A great evening for football on the prairies.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's."

is a great line from a favourite book of mine. But dang Caesar can be a pain in the arse sometimes.

Now he wants to review my Taxes from last year. He wants to see receipts and files and cancelled cheques. He wants me to get letters written by other people proving my math and supporting my claim. He wants me to go online and print off forms and fill them out. And, because he wouldn't accept my change of address request the last time we spoke, he sent the letter to our old address, which took an extra week to get here to our new address so the thirty day limit I have to return all the information is now down to 15 days.

Dang Caesar I don't need this now.

Word comes about Hillary tonight

Apparently our "gifted child" was again involved in some accidental self harm. She called today before the camp could call, just before they took her to Emerg.

She was involved in an incident on the climbing ropes and nets that got her, somehow, wrapped in the rope netting, upside down. She was stuck there long enough to do some damage to herself. The camp medical staff was taking her into emergency last we heard.

I imagine she's back at camp already and that they would call if something serious had resulted. As it is she will have broken blood vessels over her face and throat etc.

So remember her again if you would. It's been a tough but good summer for her. Hopefully she makes it to Autumn.

This week on Twitter 2009-08-12


  • No happy birthday surprises last night what with the boy sleeping on the couch one foot away. #

  • Having coffee and great donuts at the Rostern Bakery. http://post.ly/1xAm #

  • After a couple of days in beautiful Saskatoon, we are on the road again. South. Broadview bound. #

  • Just passed Google street view camera car. Watch for us on hwy 1 just east of Regina. :) #

  • Going uptown to get donuts from the broadview bakery. #

  • On our way home. http://post.ly/23Gv #

  • Just leaving Saskatoon and I'm tired. 4 hours on the road already. At least the 16 is double lane. #

  • The Borden Bridge is still a great looking icon in Sask. But what do you do with an unused bridge. #

  • Nice orange 09 Mustang just passed us like we were standing still. Very very nice. #

  • Ah Battlefords. Need some gas. #

  • I just saw a man in shorts, collar shirt, dark socks, and black dress shoes. Inspirational. #

  • Back in Alberta, driving west into the sun, listening to old time radio. #

  • Another mindless update to keep me awake: Bob Newhart makes me laugh and think that the 60s were good old days. #

  • In Camrose at KFC with his wee beady eyes and fortnightly inducing chicken. #

  • Home at last to The Field. So good. My own bed and Laur beside me. Night internets. #

  • At exactly 4:13 this morning while sitting on my throne, I promised myself that The Colonels chicken bits would never again touch my lips. #

  • A beautiful morning on my way to town. http://post.ly/26ve #

This week on Twitter 2009-08-12


  • No happy birthday surprises last night what with the boy sleeping on the couch one foot away. #

  • Having coffee and great donuts at the Rostern Bakery. http://post.ly/1xAm #

  • After a couple of days in beautiful Saskatoon, we are on the road again. South. Broadview bound. #

  • Just passed Google street view camera car. Watch for us on hwy 1 just east of Regina. :) #

  • Going uptown to get donuts from the broadview bakery. #

  • On our way home. http://post.ly/23Gv #

  • Just leaving Saskatoon and I'm tired. 4 hours on the road already. At least the 16 is double lane. #

  • The Borden Bridge is still a great looking icon in Sask. But what do you do with an unused bridge. #

  • Nice orange 09 Mustang just passed us like we were standing still. Very very nice. #

  • Ah Battlefords. Need some gas. #

  • I just saw a man in shorts, collar shirt, dark socks, and black dress shoes. Inspirational. #

  • Back in Alberta, driving west into the sun, listening to old time radio. #

  • Another mindless update to keep me awake: Bob Newhart makes me laugh and think that the 60s were good old days. #

  • In Camrose at KFC with his wee beady eyes and fortnightly inducing chicken. #

  • Home at last to The Field. So good. My own bed and Laur beside me. Night internets. #

  • At exactly 4:13 this morning while sitting on my throne, I promised myself that The Colonels chicken bits would never again touch my lips. #

  • A beautiful morning on my way to town. http://post.ly/26ve #

A beautiful morning on my way to town.

For early prayer. Back to work today and there is so much to do. Autumn is filling up fast.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Holidays 2009. Day Three.

I quietly observed today that its been our story to go back to the city we last pastored in, about six to eight months after we've moved away. Thankfully this is only the fourth time it's happened, but it does happen. We seem to go back to try to find the familiar. Old friends and sights and memories, we search for them like a lady who has lost the diamond from her engagement ring looks for that precious reminder of love.

Maybe too we are looking for ourselves. We move to a new place and time and we risk loosing ourselves in the shuffle of the move. We have to be deliberate again about who we are and what we do. It's not like the old place where everybody knows your name and the fact that you love Chicago style popcorn. So maybe you go looking for who you are again, looking for clues scattered among the many memories of a certain place.

Or perhaps it's nothing more than a search for the comfort of being in a place where you are simply known.

I don't know, too many deep thoughts there for one night. But today we went back to Prince Albert for a few hours. We took Lauralea to a doctors appointment and then we met some friends for supper. It was good to see the city again and how some things had changed over the winter. It was even better to see friends with whom we share many memories.

So that's what we did on day three. It was good, and it's good to be back at moms tonight. Tomorrow we are off to Lauralea's mom and dads place.

So to those of you who are from one of our three pasts, scattered across the country, thank you for loving us and growing with us into who we have become. We couldn't have done it without you.

Night.
From a city 6 hours east of the field.

Having coffee and great donuts at the Rostern Bakery.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Holidays 2009. Day Two.

Last night I went out and walked and walked and walked. It was great.

Walking and praying, walking and praying. The two go hand in hand for me and have for a long time, walking and praying. So last night while I walked and walked and walked, I prayed too.

An interesting observation from the late walk was that in this city with the smoking bylaws, outside of nearly every restaurant and bar was a small group of people having a smoke. They were friendly talkative people who had time to chat. That's a whole cultural shift and makes the walk much more sociable.

Anyway, I prayed for many of you. For family and for the people I care for out in The Field. For our future and about the past. Lots to be prayed for. Lots of walking accomplished.

And then as I returned to the apartment, the fireworks lit up across the river, at the Exhibition.

A beautiful late evening in a pretty city.

And a good way to start my birthday.


So have a good day. And know that you have been prayed for.

This week on Twitter 2009-08-05


  • Ok Greyhound, I got up early to be here on time. Why can't you do the same? And why do we have to find out from a passenger on the bus??? #

  • Nice Saturday. Slept in a bit, ate some good food, and now at the office in a good chair that doesn't cause my back to hurt. It's all good. #

  • I think we are off to Sask tomorrow. Most of us anyways. Not looking forward to the drive though, still with a nasty back. #

  • It's humid in The Field tonight. Makes me remember life in Southern Ontario. #

  • Nothing tests a family like a rousing game of Pit. Family Rule 27538 #

  • Taking Hillary into Edmonton to catch her ride back to camp in BC. A long day I think. #

  • Car is nearly packed http://post.ly/1qhn #

  • Listening to Dragnet on Sirius Radio. #

  • Made it to Saskatoon. http://post.ly/1rby #

  • The Shriners make it to every parade. http://post.ly/1sm1 #

  • The beauty of sleeping on an airbed with a wife who weighs less than you, is that you sleep lower than her and she rolls to wherever you are #

  • Walking these city streets on a full moon night. http://post.ly/1tq4 #

This week on Twitter 2009-08-05


  • Ok Greyhound, I got up early to be here on time. Why can't you do the same? And why do we have to find out from a passenger on the bus??? #

  • Nice Saturday. Slept in a bit, ate some good food, and now at the office in a good chair that doesn't cause my back to hurt. It's all good. #

  • I think we are off to Sask tomorrow. Most of us anyways. Not looking forward to the drive though, still with a nasty back. #

  • It's humid in The Field tonight. Makes me remember life in Southern Ontario. #

  • Nothing tests a family like a rousing game of Pit. Family Rule 27538 #

  • Taking Hillary into Edmonton to catch her ride back to camp in BC. A long day I think. #

  • Car is nearly packed http://post.ly/1qhn #

  • Listening to Dragnet on Sirius Radio. #

  • Made it to Saskatoon. http://post.ly/1rby #

  • The Shriners make it to every parade. http://post.ly/1sm1 #

  • The beauty of sleeping on an airbed with a wife who weighs less than you, is that you sleep lower than her and she rolls to wherever you are #

  • Walking these city streets on a full moon night. http://post.ly/1tq4 #

Walking these city streets on a full moon night.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

The Shriners make it to every parade.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Holidays 2009, Day One

We are at my moms 500 sq foot, one bedroom apartment so last night we all slept in the living room, which didn't turn out too bad actually.

Observation 1: City noises. I had forgotten them, but they are there. All the time. I am surprised that they are not a heavy thing to me. I thought that might be an offensive thing, but surprisingly its not.

Observation 2: Walking and seeing other people walking. Last night we walked along the river, where my mom's place is located. They are doing some really nice development work down here and there were lots of people out and about, walking together. There was even a small flamenco dance class for any who wanted to join in. It was good to be among other strangers again.

Observation 3: We are generally homebodies but I can see that our holidays will need to be about leaving the field. That's mostly because we live where we work, and when we play where we live, it's like playing where you work, and though work can occasionally be playful, your work and your play should be separate.

Anyway, the Saskatoon Exhibition parade is starting in 25 minutes through downtown, which means its going past near here, and I want to be there. Everybody loves a parade, even if I have to drag them there. Then later we'll get together with family and celebrate my birthday with a BBQ.

Looks like day one will be fun.

Made it to Saskatoon.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Car is nearly packed

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Ok then, we're off.

For a week of racing around Saskatchewan.

I've already been to Edmonton and back this morning, taking Hillary to catch her ride back to camp in BC, and now we head out to our big Rectangle Home.

We'll leave Thomas here to manage The Field, and we'll be back later in the week.

Here we go...

Micah: The Great Hunter

This photo says so much about Micah and his awesome Gopher hunting skills.

Gopher Hunting


Makes me laugh.
And no gophers were harmed in the making of this photo.