seeping into the hard broken edges of my recent days of busyness and life

Thursday, December 31, 2009
And suddenly a song begins to play on my iTunes and my spirit slows and my eyes get all heavy and watery and my heart begins to shift.

It’s like it’s moving inside, changing direction, mood, orientation

Suddenly, because of music, I change.

I immerse myself in it like a hot bath when my aching body settles into the hot healing soothing bliss. Only this is for my spirit, my soul.

Oh it feels so good, seeping into the hard broken edges of my recent days of busyness and life. It hurts as it fills each nook and cavity, but its a good hurt, like hot water covering my tired body.

Music this good is so rare that when I occasionally stumble upon such pieces I hold onto them like rare secret treasures.

This is such a piece. Spiegel im Spiegel by Sergej Bezrodny & Vladimir Spivakov

Now excuse me, I need to let it seep in, deeply.

Healing, cleansing, restoring…

(Here is a video with the exact recording I have. Turn it up all the way, sit back, close your eyes, and rest.)


Small red ribbons in a monochrome world

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monochrome Winter

Today all the colours outside my window are in black and white. Everything looks monochrome. The small red ribbons on the steps to our front door are the only reminder that I'm not looking at a black and white photograph.

Occasionally life is like that. All black and white. Not much colour.

Some people think that black and white pictures are boring and old. They want the vibrancy of colour and deep saturation showing the brilliance of images, of life.

But there is amazing beauty in black and white too.

In the shades of the shadows, In the tones of the greys, whites and even the depths of the blackness. There are things to be seen and enjoyed, if you will look, deeply.

And sometimes it takes time to see the beauty, so slow down a bit. Live in the moment and look for the beauty in the black and white and greys of your life. Look for the small red ribbons that will remind you that you are living life and not just staring at an image.

They are there, you just need to see.
Take your time to look.

December 29, 2009 The Field: Full Circle

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It is an embarrassment of visual riches I live with on daily basis here in the Field. I know that already. Living within range of such beauty has it's own responsibilities and subtle guilt pressures.

But for today, four days beyond Christmas, I choose to simply enjoy what is given, with a grateful heart.

A Raclette dinner from our daughter who lived in Switzerland.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What an amazing cheese feast. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.


Anyone have a 7 seat van??

Yep, we made it through The Day well enough, and now I'm eating an orange and eggnog for boxing day breakfast.

And I'm thinking about Monday when all seven of us want to hit the city for the day but 7 won't fit in the Crown Vic.

So I figured I'd ask, anyone in the area up for swapping a crown Vic for a 7 passenger vehicle for the day on Monday?

Give me a call. 780-352-8113

And a Happy Boxing Day to you.

A Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The light of the Christmas star to you
The warmth of home and hearth to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you
The love of the Son and God's peace to you.


It's 5:30 pm

Wednesday, December 23, 2009
and I think I am mostly ready for the service tomorrow night.
Well, except for the candles. I need to prepare for that too. Christmas Eve isn't a Christmas Eve without major fire.

I am a satisfied kind of tired now and I expect tomorrow to be much the same. Then Friday I will try to relax a bit and smile a bit and rest and play a bit. It will be good.

So on this night before the night before Christmas, I wish you peace and someone's hand to hold.

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand.

Made it to the mall

Monday, December 21, 2009

A bit crazy but not Saturday before christmas crazy.


Status Update.

Sunday, December 20, 2009
Have I told you that 2 of the 4 missing kids are already home? I haven't? Well Hillary and Thomas arrived on Friday and things are plumping up here at the house nicely.

Made it through our open house on Friday, and it went well. Just under 60 attended, so that's alright. And we made it through this mornings service, Carol Sunday, and the evening kids christmas concert. Now I'm deep into planning the Christmas Eve service, and then work on next Sundays service, so that I can chill on Christmas Day.

The work is full right now, and steady, and things are mostly ok. Much better emotionally than we were last year, that's for sure. But Lauralea has been caught by a bad bronchial infection that causes her to cough and choke and sinus infection and on and on. It also means she isn't sleeping, which she needs. And for whatever reason, my pain is really present since Friday. I did some heavy lifting and walking which I'm guessing wasn't a great idea to try, but live and learn I suppose.

I don't feel lonely this Christmas, or lost, or depressed or whatever things may be heavy. I feel, alright. As though my spirit is in an ok space. These physical things do try to grab all the attention in life though, and the surprise pain tires me out. But we're ok, I think.

Some sleep and no appointments or meetings will be good, even for a day or two. This morning I nearly slept past church though. I had set my alarm for 7:30 and I forgot to turn up the volume on it, so I never heard it. When I awoke and Lauralea wasn't beside me, I rolled over and the time was 9:30. Good grief. I got up, washed, dressed and to church in 10 minutes because I needed to make sure the coffee was on for the classes. I'm not sure how long Lauralea was going to let me sleep before she woke me up...

Tomorrow we are off to the city to do all our Christmas shopping. Yes, that said what it said. Then in the evening we are having our office party, in town I think. Since it's only Natasha and myself we thought of inviting our spouses along too. :)

That's about all the news from the field these days.


...And continues to everyone.


Christmas program starts with the little twerps. :)


Wonder has always been a part of Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009
It was the night before the night before Christmas and I was a skinny lad of about 5 years of age who lived with his parents and siblings in a small 2 bedroom house in an older neighbourhood in Saskatoon.

It was already dark that cold winters night and we had just finished supper. Mom was by the kitchen sink washing dishes humming along to the sound of Harry Belafonte singing “Mary’s Boy Child” which was on one of the three Christmas albums we had. Dad was sitting in the brown chair across the small living room from me, reading the evening paper.

It had been a long season that year, waiting for Christmas to arrive, but now it was very nearly upon us. I had somehow made it through the terrible gut wrenching event that was the Sunday School Christmas Program, as a shepherd yet again. I hated the up front main spotlight, “say your lines right,” kind of pressure. I was always sure I would be sick before I went on stage, but I never was sick enough to stay home. Besides, that would have meant no peanut and candy bags from the Sunday school for participating.

And earlier that day I had gone outside with dad as he cleared the walk one more time and then we went to the pop shoppe to get our special christmas treat, a twenty four bottle case of whatever kinds of pop we wanted to pick. And we only did that at Christmas time.

But now in the living room, I was half sitting, half laying down on the floor and I was edging myself slowly under the tree just a bit, to maybe catch a glimpse through a possible tear in the wrapping paper of the gift that was named to come to me in just two more sleeps. It was a box that was small enough to hold my medium sized hopes and dreams, at least by the Eaton's Wishbook standards, yet big enough to give me reason to hope just a bit beyond my expectations.

I had wiggled my head well beneath the brightly lit tree and it was looking distinctly possible that I might be able to see some little clue, when my dad said, without lifting his eyes from the paper, that if I were to touch it, then it would go away for who knows how long and I probably wouldn’t want that to happen on the night before the night before christmas.

I was ok with that, and I was grateful that he had made things so clear for me. No problem with that then, I could so do that, no problem.

And so I stopped my squirming and just lay there. I lay there staring up into the evergreen branches at what seemed like hundreds of coloured lights shinning and reflecting off the colourful bulbs hanging on the tree. I was mesmerized.

Then Andy Williams began to croon on the record player; “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” and as I lay there I thought, Andy’s right, it IS the most wonderful time of the year.

It’s a time for brilliant colours and bright lights. A time for special music and a time of special programs on the black and white TV for kids of all ages. For Charlie Brown and the Grinch and Frosty the Snow Man.

It’s the time of year when you get the milkman a small box of chocolates for all that he does all year. But just a small affordable box.

It’s a time of possibilities and maybe dreams coming true. A time for family to gather and be together, just to be. It’s a time when you eat special things that you don’t get all year round and a time when the inside of your house smells like the forest outside.

It’s the time when you can sing silent night by the light of the tree and it does something strange inside your five year old chest.

And I remember laying there beneath all that glory and all the weight of those deep thoughts, and I realized that this is the most wonderful time of the year. I understood that with all my being, at least all the being that a five year old can muster up.

I’m sure I was glowing just as much as the tree that dark cold night in that warm loved little home, in Saskatoon.

Wonder has always been a part of Christmas.

From Elisabeth and Zechariah who were told by an angel that they would have a baby boy in their advanced years and that they should call him John.

To the the shepherds who were visited by an angelic choir.

Or the wise men who came from a great distance because the stars and prophecies told them to go.

Or for a young girl, a virgin, who was told she would have a baby and he would be the savior of the world.

When this realization settled in on her she sang in wonder,

"I'm bursting with God-news;
I'm dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened
I'm the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave ?on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It's exactly what he promised
beginning with Abraham and right up to now."

Wonder. Wonder has always been a part of Christmas

It’s not just for five year olds and for women having babies.

It’s for each of you because the God of Wonder is the God of Christmas.

Let the wonder in this year.
Open your heart just a crack, and the Wonder can rush in with light and glory and hope and a future.

May the Wonder of Christmas be yours this season.

The morning after the night before.

And while everyone is still snug in their beds, I'm up early to drive Micah to his work. Foggy out there this morning.


2009 Open House

Thursday, December 17, 2009
well, internet permitting we'll try to run some video from the house today.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you checked in.

Or if there are problems with the feed, you can txt my mobile at 780-360-2002 or email me.

Merry Christmas.

Having fun at a carol sing at a care home.

Fun people here. Including a hundred year old gentleman who looks to be in his sixties.


Open House 2009

One of the things we like to do each year is to throw open the doors of whatever house we are living in and welcome in the masses. Lauralea has been planing and baking and decorating and tomorrow is the day.

From 3 till 9pm on Friday December 18th you are invited to come down and hang out and drink some cider and eat some baking and visit a bit and go home with the warm glow of a carb & sugar rush making your cheeks a rosy red.

If the internet is behaving, and it hasn't been as of late, we will try to have a live video feed to the internet from our kitchen, so even if you live 3000 miles away, you can get your own cookie, pull up a chair, and it will be just like you were sitting there with us. Well, sort of.

And this year we are taking our own advice and simplifying things. Not gonna worry about things left undone. At least we'll be here welcoming you, and there are only four types of baking available to your taste buds.

See you tomorrow then.

… oh right, how to get here.

Try out this map. We live on the southeast corner of this junction.
We'll be the only house on that corner, beside a church and cemetery.

View Larger Map

Life Together House - Calgary

For two days this week I was down in Calgary where I participate in giving spiritual care to a group of people seeking to learn what it's like to live in community.

The concept behind Life Together is that we get a large house and bring in some quality leaders to live there and work in the community, then we invite people who want to experience living in community to come and move in. They may work for a living or go to school, but they all have chosen to be there to create this spiritual community dynamic.

There is a house rule of morning and evening prayer and some other things they do together in the house, the local church, and in the extended community. As such, learning to live like Jesus lived is a regular part of life there.

Calgary was our first house and this is our first year at it, but next year there is interest to open up houses in three other cities.

This is one of the most exciting things I believe we are doing right now, as a Evangelical Covenant church in Canada. I really feel it's where the future lies for so many of our new generations discovering and deepening their faith.

So here are a few photos I was able to get while they were preparing Christmas Supper.

Photos here.

There was a ham.

And turkeys…
Making Christmas Supper

And everyone made what they were good at making.

It was a great supper and I always have a good time with them.


Made it home...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tough trip home.

I've done a lot of driving over the years and in the past have thought nothing of getting in the car and driving till I got to my destination. Even when that meant driving 24 hours at a time, or when we would drive from northern Alberta to southern Ontario for Christmas and we would drive for 60 hours continuously. It didn't seem that big a deal, when I was younger.

Many miles have been covered and there have been some incredible close calls through all those miles. That alone could convinced me that someone bigger than me has been watching out for me.

Tonight again, a couple of too close for comfort close calls.

The sudden realization that external events are beyond your control, a gut uttered three word prayer for help escapes your lips, you turn the wheel hard, as best you can to clear the obstruction, and you wait as time slows to a crawl to see if your helpless action and prayer was enough.

Tonight it was enough. But I feel like I'm getting too old for this kind of stuff.
It's those kinds of things that take the wind out of your sails, or at least they do mine. I don't feel like I cheated death yet once again and I don't feel like my great driving skills saved the day once again. I know better than that.

I've been to too many accident scenes, been called to too many hospital rooms, told too many people their loved one has died, and lost too many of my own friends to auto accidents, to think it couldn't happen to me. Because it could.

I don't spend a great deal of time thinking about that because it doesn't help. But these events take my breath away, they get me in the gut. I am keenly aware of the thin line that exists being here and not being here and I know that we all live closer to that line than we may realize. Maybe it's not bad to occasionally remember that.

It is a comfort in a strange sort of way, to know that when I suddenly find myself in those difficult life and death moments when time slows down, that my gut response is a prayer. Not a curse, but a prayer. Whenever it is my time to go, I can't think of a better thing to be doing, than praying.


Heading home.


Decorating the tree

Monday, December 14, 2009

Notes on going and living well.

I'm on the road again tomorrow morning, early. I'm heading to Calgary to be with the intentional community we are trying to build down there and I'm really looking forward to it because they are good people to be with and it's the part of my work that I love the most.

But it's going to be cold. Very very cold. The schools have just announced closure for tomorrow and when they close, well, it's really cold outside. The hope is that Calgary is warmer and the further south I get, the warmer it should be, so I should be alright.

I'll be there for two days, then Thursday I'm doing a service at a care home in Wetaskiwin, which should be alright. Friday is our open house and by Saturday the kids should be starting to arrive home.

* * *

Momentum seems to be pushing us headlong towards Christmas, whether we are ready or not.
You know, the parties, the food, the pressure to produce your yearly christmas letter or knit all your kids an afghan each. Christmas specials to watch, perfect gifts to buy for your office secret santa party, and snow to shovel and cold to live through. You know, the pressures of the season.

Maybe this is a good time to remember what's important and to give yourself and those you love a break this Christmas. Do the things that are important, really important to you and those you love. Make some good memories, chill a bit, impress those who will be around you for a long time.

In other words, give yourself and those who love you a good christmas.
Now is the time to start. It's not too late.

Night, and stay warm out there.
The Field.


At least in Wetaskiwin.

Check it out.

Closed again tomorrow because of the cold.
Micah already got a day off today because the buses were not running.

So take note, and sleep in.


Christmas at Sea

Saturday, December 12, 2009
Lauralea and I attended a Christmas gathering tonight and as we were inside "Partying" the temperature continued it's downward trend, hovering in the -40's. We made it home alright after a fine evening, but chilled to the bone.

I poured half a glass of port and settled on the couch with a Treasury of Christmas Readings in which I discovered a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. Called Christmas at Sea, the rhythm of the words and the images they created were quite moving.

I fired up the laptop and found it online, so that I might keep a record of it, and you might enjoy it as well.

I encourage you to read it out loud as it makes all the difference in the world.

Christmas at Sea
by Robert Louis Stevenson

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'-wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the suff a-roaring before the break of day;
But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard.
So's we saw the cliff and houses and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every longshore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessèd Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessèd Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
"All hands to loose topgallant sails," I heard the captain call.
"By the Lord, she'll never stand it," our first mate, Jackson, cried.
. . . ."It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson," he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood;
As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

Dang its cold out there.

But we made it home safe and sound. Wonder if there's a temp they cancel church at.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous


Rosebud Alberta

The town of Rosebud here in Alberta is a bit of an odd prairie town on the edge of the mountains. It has become somewhat of a cultural destination because of it's drama school and it's big productions it puts on all year round. The whole town seems geared towards this creative expression.

Rosebud Alberta

You arrive in town and walk over to the old mercantile store for your meals and then off you go to the "Opera House" for an evening of good theatre. We've been hearing a good deal about it since we've been here.

Road Trip to Rosebud

So yesterday it was time to go with some friends, to see Christmas in Wales from the Dylan Thomas story.

Christmas In Wales

What an amazing job they did too. Such good quality work, out there in the boonies.
As it turned out, a friend of ours was playing one of the main parts too, Steve Waldschmidt. I've never seen him at work, but it's a truly amazing thing to see.

The weather wasn't great, but we got home safely.
Dodgy weather & roads

Now I need to go and reread Dylan Thomas story of A Child's Christmas in Wales.

are you out there Jesus?

Thursday, December 10, 2009
I spent time this morning trying to catch up on mail and office stuff. Kind of clearing through the piles of stuff on the desk before Christmas time, besides I was trying to delay working on my expense report which is long past due. (Bless my treasurers very patient and endearing heart who reads this space…)

Anyway, as I was working through the slog of mail that comes to visit us each christmas time I quickly realized that its the end of the year, and the end of opportunities for people to give in 2009. Needy Christmas appeals, one after another, went through my hands. I did honour them by opening each one and reading their needs and hopes for people to give before the year end.

The stories ran together, one after another. "Giving was modest this year and there was still $400,000 needed towards their $700,000 goal," or "We've to-date received $30,000 of the needed $45,000." There was even an Adopt-a-Pastor scheme where you could give monthly to keep a pastor in Asia, eating and ministering the Gospel.

Good Grief Charlie Brown.

So many opportunities for seminars and conferences, classes and learning opportunities to be invited into your church to help improve things. So many worthy Bible Schools and Retreat Centers, mission organizations and food banks to give your money to. It's amazingly overwhelming. Who deserves the money? Who is doing what God asked of them? And why is everybody asking me for money? If the organization is called into being by God and led by God, should it not be sustained by God?

I know, I know, semantics, I hear ya. But maybe it's not just semantics? Maybe we are called of God to raise up some work and God leads and grows it and when times get tough, instead of looking to see if we are still called of God for this work, and instead of relying on Him for provision, we shift our position to lean on God's people. "Just communicating the need" we say. And it's partially true. But it's also a partial shifting of our dependancy from God to people.

I'm not the guy to say I long for the good old days, but when did the ministry get so professionalized? When did we stop banging on the windows of heaven to provide for what we felt God clearly call us to, and start hiring fundraising agencies and relying on people to provide for God's work, rather than relying on God himself?

Let's face it, some "Christian" organizations should be done. Some churches should close. Some are so broken down with systemic issues and poor past decisions that they should consider closing to be a blessing to the broader community. Some God-started and God initiated works have been coasting for years on what God did at the beginning and they are no longer even aware that God may have left the building a long time ago.

Hey, I know there are internal pressures in these organizations to keep things going. To keep the salaries paid up well so the prominent staff will remain. To give participants a "quality experience" with inviting facilities and activities. I know these things, I'm on a board or two, and there are pressures, subtle and not so subtle.

If you really believe that you are called into a certain ministry, by God himself, then first off do what you can with your financial choices. Lead by example. Then lean into God like you've never leaned before and bang on the windows of heaven so that your creator and sustainer can do what he promised to do. opposed to sending me nice shiny requests for money I mean.

The Beauty of Winter

Wednesday, December 09, 2009
From Fresh Snow

Tonight we went to a party

Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Which is what the church should be about, giving the best parties.

It was our church Christmas banquet and these people know how to throw a get together. Besides the locals there were people from the community and even from Edmonton.

Thank you to those of you who worked hard to make it happen.

Here are more pictures from the evening.

At a CBC Vinyl Cafe recording in Edmonton.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Not fit for man nor beast out there tonight

Saturday, December 05, 2009
Tonight we had an appointment at a local farm and yeah, it's been snowing and blowing for a few days so we set off well dressed for the elements, in the darkness and blowing snow.

First the gravel road disappeared into the white, then we started plowing through 2 and 3 foot drifts, hitting each one so we wouldn't be stopped by them, and believe me that made for some white knuckle driving. Probably would have turned around except there was no place to stop and do that.

Somehow we made it to the farm and popped the hood only to see the engine full of snow. Great.

We had a good evening and started our trip home in the wind and snow and now drifts. We went a different way home, more highway, less dirt road. But the drifts across the road were enough to try to throw the car into the ditch if you hit them too hard. Then the Check Engine light started flashing, and the car started running rough. Great. Too much snow and cold and the computer and sensors don't like that.

It was dark and snowy and blowing hard out there, and wisely there was no one out there tonight. We limped home driving around the drifts and made it home, car in the garage.

Now tomorrow about church, people have been asking is church on or off?

We'll get up early and check and see what it's doing out there. After tonight I wouldn't be disinclined to tell people to stay home, rest, drink hot drinks, and wait till things improve.

But we'll see in them morning.

Check the church website to see if we'll be running service in the morning.

Night and stay warm.

The falling snow really is beautiful

WHEN men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;
Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:
Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing;
Hiding difference, making unevenness even,
Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing.
All night it fell, and when full inches seven
It lay in the depth of its uncompacted lightness,
The clouds blew off from a high and frosty heaven;
And all woke earlier for the unaccustomed brightness
Of the winter dawning, the strange unheavenly glare:
The eye marvelled--marvelled at the dazzling whiteness;
The ear hearkened to the stillness of the solemn air;
No sound of wheel rumbling nor of foot falling,
And the busy morning cries came thin and spare.
Then boys I heard, as they went to school, calling,
They gathered up the crystal manna to freeze
Their tongues with tasting, their hands with snowballing;
Or rioted in a drift, plunging up to the knees;
Or peering up from under the white-mossed wonder,
"O look at the trees!" they cried, "O look at the trees!"
With lessened load a few carts creak and blunder,
Following along the white deserted way,
A country company long dispersed asunder:
When now already the sun, in pale display
Standing by Paul's high dome, spread forth below
His sparkling beams, and awoke the stir of the day.
For now doors open, and war is waged with the snow;
And trains of sombre men, past tale of number,
Tread long brown paths, as toward their toil they go:
But even for them awhile no cares encumber
Their minds diverted; the daily word is unspoken,
The daily thoughts of labour and sorrow slumber
At the sight of the beauty that greets them, for the charm they have broken.

- Robert Bridges
English Poet, Poet Laureate, Doctor
(1844 - 1930)

Photo resource for church worship

So lets say you are part of a small church and you have managed to get the church beyond the realm of songs on an overhead projector. Let's take a moment to celebrate; Well Done You!!!

But now that you have a projector and a screen and songs to sing, you would also like to add a dimension of worship for the visual, creative types that was always missing with the overhead projector. Images.

Beautiful, stimulating images.

After you've used all the appropriate digital snapshots from your family vacation to Niagara Falls, you are hungry for better images.

Doug Robertson, a pastor with a love for the local church and a wonderfully gifted photographer, has created a resource for local churches. A collection of good quality images that can be used for digital projectors for worship. And they are free for churches and ministries. Yes, I said FREE.

If you pastor a church or go to a church where the video projector guy needs a fresh infusing of quality imagery, here is your jackpot.

Check out Doug's project at:

Well done Doug and thank you for breathing affordable life into our church worship services.

The yard should be clear of snow by morning.

These guys bring these huge tractors and clear the yard of amazingly deep snow in minutes.
Thanks Mike.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Off to town today

To check up on some of the ladies in the care home.

Kinda nice that they are all in one place.

Weather warning out though. Snow, wind and cold. Winter is here indeed.

Good Morning Siberia Russia

Thursday, December 03, 2009
Looks kinda cold there tomorrow morning.

Stay warm eh?

Your friends in Canada.

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pieces of life

My first meeting for the day started early today. A client came down from the city for a Spiritual Direction session before the sun got up.

Life is sometimes like having a box full of puzzle pieces and you spend time trying to find how they all fit together. There are days and weeks when they don't seem to fit at all, and then there are moments when you take out the pieces and talk about them out loud and suddenly three or four pieces just fit together perfectly.

For as much as I dislike doing puzzles it's surprising that I like doing direction with people.

Interesting days indeed.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009
I don't loose much sleep over these kinds of things, but I like to watch and keep track of what's happening out there.

Here is a piece by Porter Stansberry on Why a run on the U.S. dollar will start soon.

It's a readable piece for regular people, not investment bankers.

It's one of those numbers that's so unbelievable you have to actually think about it for a while.
Within the next 12 months, the U.S. Treasury will have to refinance $2 trillion in short-term debt. And that's not counting any additional deficit spending, which is estimated to be around $1.5 trillion.
Put the two numbers together. Then ask yourself, how in the world can the Treasury borrow $3.5 trillion in only one year? That's an amount equal to nearly 30% of our entire GDP. And we're the world's biggest economy. Where will the money come from?
… All of this is going to lead to a severe devaluation of the U.S. dollar, which I expect to happen within 18 months…. Coincidentally, America's paper of record – the New York Times – repeated our warnings (nearly word for word) last weekend. Word is getting out.

You may want to check it out.

Google Street View. Now in Canada, more.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Now you can check out the street view in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary and Saskatoon. Sweet.

I'm still waiting for Regina to come online, because we passed the Google Street View picture taking car just as we were driving through the city last summer.

No news on when they will get to street viewing The Field yet, but we are a patient people.

We'll wait.
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