The morning after the night before

Well we went back to church this morning and offered up to God what we had left to offer. Seems He graciously accepted what we had for him. With all it's broken notes and twangy sounds, He made it worthwhile.


And I got to sit with Lauralea, which is always a treat. Melody C. led us in worship, and all we needed to do was to follow.


Tonight is my third public/corporate spiritual meeting of the weekend (look whose the Spiritual Superman!!). Linea and I are headed down to Saskatoon to get to the Worship Freehouse at 8. I am looking forward to it too.


I confess, I'm tempted to stay home and sleep and sleep, but it's gonna be good, and I will get to meet some friends. Some good connections will happen tonight, and, God will be there, I'm quite sure of it. So, I'll go.


 

Saturday night, saturday night.

Tonight we had a worship time at the church. 


Janet L, together with some of our musicians, have been working for months on an activity for tonight. Lots and lots of music, mixed with some spoken word, dance and followed up with a snack. Not to bad at all. They worked very hard to get it all ready for us. I really appreciate being cared for in such a tangible way.


I found myself being the pastor first of all, trying to judge it, measure it, evaluate it, so that we could give it a proper review afterwards.


I get too distracted doing that. "How's it going, how's the mix, the transitions, the balance." "Where is my attention being directed, is God here, where are we goin with this." It's hard to leave my pastor hat at the door.


Then, I remembered, or maybe God reminded me, that indeed, it's not about me, or us even. It's not about us at all. It's about Him.


We bring to Him this offering of worship, we gather together and offer up our corporate love and adoration. And it's all about Him, and us in His presence.


So it was great. I believe God loved it, thought it was great even. I suppose that the only thing that may have made it greater is if there had been more and more of us there to offer up our love and worship to Him who is worthy of it all.


And what's cool is that we get to go do it again tomorrow.


 


 


 

Everyone made it

Well, it looks like everyone made it into the next grade.

 

Can anyone say WooHoo?!?

 

Johanna is headed into grade 11. Who would have thought it when we brought her home from the hospital. So small and relatively easy to care for. Now she's a few pounds heavier and bored with her classes. She can't wait to head out on her own, and in 2 years, she'll be gone. (Partial sigh)

 

Hillary graduated into Senior High, so this fall she changes schools. She's headed to the same school as Johanna is in now. There was a nice awards ceremony at her and Thomas' school, and she did well. These pictures are from her big evening out.

 

 

 

 

 


Thomas has made it into grade 8. There were days when we wondered if he would ever get into the next grade, but this year he just really kicked it. He missed the Honour Roll by a half a percent, (Shoot!) He's doing well and gonna have a great summer.

 

Micah is moving on up to grade four. He still has a bit of trouble with his handwriting, but he's on his way. Grade three is a very difficult year. They have to memorize their Times Tables, learn to write with handwriting, and a few other things which are difficult to do. Micah has been given an opportunity to attend Math "Camp" for a few weeks this summer. It's supposed to be a great program to help get the kids up to speed. He's looking forward to it allot, thankfully. He's already into summer mode. That boy gets all over the city on his bike. I'm glad we live in a city that is generally safe for that kind of thing to happen.

 

All in all a good year. Next week we'll go out to a nice restaurant to celebrate.


Golden Parachute


"I am having the depressing experience of reading congregational descriptions of what churches want in a pastor. With hardly an exception they don't want pastors at all - they want managers of their religious company. They want a pastor they can follow so they won't have to bother with following Jesus anymore." (Eugene Peterson)


Sigh.


 


Linked from Mike Todd

I Cannot Comprehend

 










I Cannot Comprehend

It is impossible to comprehend
The weight of these atrocities
On my heart and mind.
I cannot, I cannot comprehend
The difference, the value lost
From being small and black.
These are my people
Does no one care?


 


Read the rest of Linea's poem, here.

Annual Meeting

The Annual meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church is going on right now in Chicago. They are running some of the services live on the net. Check out the links here.


Brad seems to be having a good time in Chicago. Good for him. Here's a pic of him leading the Ministerial meeting, (He's the guy on the left) You can find some more pic's of the ministerial here.

If you're interested in the live feeds, check out this link.


If you are interested in the live webcam, when it's working, check here.


And finally, here is the link for the video feed (REAL format). It's only on when they are webcasting.


Eat lot's of that amazing Chicago Pizza for us Brad.


Update: The realaudio link worked great. I watched the service tonight from the comfort of my basement, up in Prince Albert, Sask. To Cool.

And the winner is...

Well, thanks for your input regarding your hobbies and what I should take up. The responses were helpful.

 


Crocheting...has given me a lot of joy in these uncertain times...and hey, at least you would come by in honestly....its in the genes......

 

Thanks Robyn but, I'll leave that fun stuff to you and mom!

 


Skateboarding and Snowboarding work for me. Rapping is fun and I need to do it more. I don't think this really helps at all though. The photography thing sounds fun.

 

Kirk, I have a very nice skateboard, and I used to skate much more than I do now, but I'm tired of uneven pavement, lines in the sidewalks and rocks on the street. BUT I just heard a new skatepark is going into Saskatoon. That would interest me again...

 

I grew up reading the rags from SoCal about their skate parks and, oh how I drooled and longed and waited. Now, when I'm nearly thirty*&^% (something) they get one. grief.

 

Bowling? Well, just, no.

 

Most of the comments have been about Photography, that I should check it out more. Linea commented on it and so did a number of you who are to shy to leave a comment but who mentioned it to me. Thanks. I think I will take some time to explore this area.

 

I really want to work on faces, pictures of faces. So get ready. If you see me coming with a camera, just act like I'm not there!

 

P.S. The pic below I took yesterday near Melfort. We were there for meetings all day, and it was a perfect Prairie Summer day.
 

Of Poets and Logicians





"Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion . . . . To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. Poets only desire exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch themselves in. Poets only ask to get their heads into the heavens. It is the logicians who seek to get the heavens into their head. And it is their heads that split."
(G.K. Chesterton)



The R word

A friend who attends Gateway is new to this city and to Canada for that matter.

 

She fled with the children she could bring with her, because the violence done to her in East Africa was to much to bear. Her husband was shot and killed before her own eyes. Some of her children died also, and she has a number of wounds from the bullets she took, all because she was different.

 

She was moved to this country by our government in an attempt to help her and her family find a place to thrive and live.

 

It has not been easy for her. She's trying to learn English. Then she needs to go to another city to upgrade her nursing skills, (she was a nurse in Africa). She's caring for her children here and grieving for an 11 year old daughter she was forced to leave behind in Africa, because she wasn't able to find her before they left for Canada.

 

She is trying to learn the ways of this new place, but it's so hard when you don't know the culture and language. You and your children begin to fall through the cracks.

 

She fled because she is different, to come to a place she hoped would be different.

 

I try to make sure there is a person from our Congregation with her when she see's her social worker or a government official. It's interesting (read:sad) how much more help we can get if there is a Caucasian person along with her. I don't tell her why we do that, but I suspect she knows already.

 

The other day I got a phone call. A group of young men/boys had beaten up her son on their front lawn. She stepped in to break it up. She got beat up too. They ran away, and came back a while later and continued the beating. All because she is different.

 

I've got some bad news S,  Canada isn't always a place where differences are tolerated, either.

 

Welcome to your new home.

A day at the office

Well, I tried to do a bit more than I reasonably had time for today.

 

We've been working like crazy to meet a deadline this week in which we needed to send a great chunk of money to an airline to get 7 of our youth to the states this summer for our denominations huge youth conference called CHIC. It's a frantic thing, working with 7 families with various resources and expectations, to focus them all together to get the cash in ontime. Our Treasurer, (Bless her heart) helped me get things ship shape, so I think we are under way for the summer.

 

Had a good staff meeting this am too. It's  Steve and me drinking coffee, catching up on each other's lives, prayin for one another etc. I had to explain a Webblog to him in great detail. Techo-pheasant.

 

This afternoon I met with a couple wanting to get married. Kind of in a post-modern way or possibly a Hippie wannabe kinda way, they started living together when they got engaged. Believers, both of them.  I think they will be alright together. They are best friends, and it's always a good thing to marry your best friend, (Unless you both have the same body parts...)

 

Anyway, it's weird that most of the kids I've been marrying these days have lived together first. Those raised as Christians and those not. It makes a huge statement on our choices and families and, probably churches as well. Anyway, if they are good together, I'm glad to get them married.

 

In between it all I felt as though I was expected to have more power than I do in some situations. Small groups in the church would like this or that to happen, and would like me to accomplish it for them, thank you very much. But it's never that easy. Ever.

 

So I carry around this tension, this "Living in between" people and situations. I try to connect with people and meetings so that I can shepherd them through the difficulties of congregational life. But I know they're not pleased, and they show it.

 

Tonight I'm off to Hillary's Award Night/Grad. She's worked hard and deserves some recognition, but her personality isn't the type that will stand out in a crowd, and so she doesn't get noticed. That's how life is I guess.

 

Then I need to get to the worship practice for a bit. So It could get late tonight.

 

A day in the life.

 


 

A hobby please

Last week during and following our discussion group on the theme of personal care as a pastor, I found I was a bit overwhelmed by it all.

 

One of the reasons for feeling this way, is that my life has been whittled down to much to just two things. My family/home life, and my work/church life. I need a place or task for my emotional side to be replenished.

 

Physically I'm not to bad and spiritually I'm running about 70-80%. Study and reflection and discussion with friends and counsellors seems to point to this more and more, emotional tiredness.

 

One of the ways I want to address this is to try to create a third place in life, a place to be renewed in my ... what, my emotional wellbeing? ...

 

Anyhoo, I'm looking for a hobby.

 

Something that I enjoy giving time to. Something that's a bit creative, renews my heart kinda thing. Lauralea thinks we should look for something we would enjoy doing together, so I suggested sex, but that's not what she meant.

 

Bill Hybels flies a plane and has a sailboat/yacht thing that he uses. I noticed that the neighbour has his old outboard motorboat for sale... hmm.

 

Jeff Anderson, a good friend, has tried to take up gardening as a similar pursuit. But alas, I hate cutting the lawn and weeding and getting down on my hands and knees to see if its a weed or a new seedling. The day I can move into a condo will be a day of great freedom for me. And as for the green thumb, well, lets just say that I've had 3 plants in my office in the last three years and each has died from lack of care. (Did I mention that they were all cactus')

 

I tried rollerblading and my first time out I fell and was off them for a month. I haven't been back on since.

 

I enjoy the creative things I can do on the computer, but that doesn't really get me out of my chair or out of the house at all.

 

I mean, apart from the sex thing, I'm stumped.

 

So, help me out here, what are your hobbies? What renews your heart, your creative energy? What makes you feel alive and hopeful. Click on the "comment" below and tell me what you do for a hobby. Or, if you're so inclined, tell me what I should try as a hobby. But no "Scrapbooking" or selling Amway (Not that there's anything wrong with that!!!)

Pray with me...

Our Father in heaven,


hallowed be your name.


Your Kingdom come,


your will be done,


on earth as in heaven


Give us today our daily bread.


Forgive us our sins,


as we forgive those who sin against us.


Lead us not into temptation,


but deliver us from evil.


For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours.


Now and for ever.


Amen

Bring it on Harry P.

The effect of Harry Potter on the World and on the Christian/Evangelical World has been something to behold.

There is a hunger for things mystical and spiritual out there like we haven't seen for a very long time. People are open to spiritual matters. They have discovered a Spiritual side to their lives that they never knew they had before. This is a huge answer to the prayer of the church for the last ten or twenty years.

The closed spiritual skies over peoples lives have been opened wide, God is at work, calling speaking, moving. We've been praying for a greater hunger and thirst in the world, haven't we? But when God pulls the lid off our spiritual eyes, it turns into open season on what people move toward. All things spiritual are released and men and women's hearts are just hungry enough to look for answers in ALL the places, right or wrong.

TanyaTanya attends our church, and she's also the manager of the local Coles Book Store at the mall. Her and her crew down at Coles had to get into things today, and so they did! Coles in is the business of selling books to people who will buy them. Today at 8:30 am, they were lined up to buy. They were looking for things to fill the spiritual needs of their lives.

What a huge wonderful thing that God is doing. Lets us as the church not miss a Holy, God given moment to point with our lives and our language, to the one who can fill our spiritual longings.

No, no, no...

As the Senior pastor of a 55 year old, modernist, denominational church, there are just some things which are expected of me.


That I won't wear an Orange tanktop to church.


That I won't wear anything lime.


That I don't go have a few cold ones with my buddies.


That I don't have buddies.


That I won't like Avril Levine.


That I won't have a cool haircut.


That I don't have s-e-x.


 


Your turn. Anything else I should add to the list?

Death of a Salesman

Andrew Careaga and Fred Peatross have been talking about what I'm struggling with these days. Evangelism. Our early prayer meeting this morning ended up being much the same discussion. We have friends and co-workers who are in desperate need of Jesus, and they are willing to talk about spiritual matters, but they close up tighter than a jam jar lid that's been on a jar sittin on the shelf to long when you mention Church. They don't want anything to do with what they often rightly perceive church to be about.


We look at them and, well, it hurts because they're mostly right.  We don't feel that the church is a safe enough place for us to invite them to, especially for a Worship Service. The cultures of the people have grown to far apart. The church culture and the culture our neighbours live and work in are so far removed from each other. We may be able to win them to Christ, but then the clash comes when they enter our local. This has already happened with some we've been able to lead to Jesus. They aren't here on Sunday mornings.


And what of my neighbour who wouldn't be interested at all in a Sunday morning visit to my church, to worship a God he doesn't know, in a language he doesn't understand.


I'll quote Fred here:



"I have always been amazed at the stained-glassed evolution of Christianity: "build it, advertise, offer drama and praise songs and they will come." If my memory serves me right I think Jesus said (almost two-thousand years ago) it's about "going." Going means I go to the people and meet them where they are. It means entering their world on their territory with respect for the rules they live by."


Hmm. Going. Going as in going to his door at 9 am Sunday morning to invite him to my church? Naw.  If it's Jesus it probably means gettin' my sorry butt out of bed at 2 am Sunday morning and going over there and making some new friends. Going is hard work, and I imagine your reputation would take a beating. But it is about entering their world on their territory with respect for the rules they live by.



"Father, help us to go, whatever the cost, that some may know you. Help them to take you into their hearts, not our expectations, not our customs or rules, but you. Help us to go Lord, help us to go."


 

Asleep at the wheels

As you can tell, I haven't been writing much since the weekend. Coming off the weekend I found myself to be very tired, sleep tired to be exact. Three nights of all night partying by our next door neighbours, two days of work, then I let Lauralea crash Sunday afternoon while I kept the house quiet. And crash she did. We saw her around 1:30 and not again till, Oh 5ish. I'm glad she was able to sleep, she really needs it.


But, life continues through the Blogosphere. Leighton Tebay started a simple enough exploration on the Single Life which has developed into a discussion on Calling and life with or without a mate. I do love how these theme's develop and are enhanced by the different voices. Leighton's obviously thought a lot about this. Watch for more.


Darren, over at the Living Room, has just begun what looks like a good series on how we connect to God. He writes:




"The model is pretty simple - and identifies four main ways that people tend to connect with God. We each tend to be strong in at least one area and often are weak in one also. Alan's hypothesis is that to develop in one's spirituality they should be growing in each of the four dimensions."


It looks good, check it out eh? (Look at me, I'm writing in Canadian, eh?)


 


Darryl, at Leading Dying Churches, is challenging me about how we think of the death of a church. As believers we have a good theology of our own personal death, but when it comes to the death of a church, we don't have a lot of good thinking about it. It does too often become a story about keeping a building going, or retaining a paid pastor, than about community, worship, and reaching out. Maybe, (my idea here, don't blame Darryl!) We should plant churches with expiry dates on them. "This church will cease to exist within 10 years of it's start date." It would provide us with a deadline, and, perhaps some motivation to keep focussed. After ten years, have a closing out worship party/celebration thing. Then, new churches could be started, with their own deadlines. Just a thought.

Great Quote

Here's a great quote I just read over at Andrew Careaga's E-vangelism online book



?We´re in the midst of a revolution, and in revolutions, kings lose their heads. Therefore, think like a peasant.?


I love it.

Founder's Day Fireworks

Well, today was Father's Day, and, if you follow the Christian calendar, it was also Trinity Sunday. But for those of us in Prince Albert, that's just not enough going on one day. We'd like to add a whole day of celebration and call it Founder's Day. Kind of in memory of those who started this party so many years ago.


Well, the best part to Founders Day is the Fireworks they run after 10 in the evening. It's a good thing the kids don't have school tomorrow, cause if I had let them stay up late to see that 5 minute show, we'll we'd all be a bit peeved. Funny, I don't remember it being quite so lame last year.


I did manage to get a few cool shots, so take a moment to oooh and aaah and check these out here.

Getting Better

I've been spending time this past week considering my position. Not that of Senior Pastor, but rather that of my "Emotional Bankrupt-ness"


I'll probably speak more of it later, but I have been finding myself busy and emotionally tired, to the point of, well, despair. I'm trying to take appropriate steps to get back to a healthy disposition.


Anyway, all that just to highlight a part of Fred Peatross latest Grace Awakening newsletter. He writes:



The word ?busy? is the symptom not of commitment but of betrayal. It´s not devotion but defection. To compare it to the former is no less than scandal.


 


For the better part of my journey ?doing? has been three steps ahead of ?being.? The ?busyness? of schedule and time has averted the priority of prayer. But from this time forward, I am committed to doing the original work of being in deepening conversations with the God who reveals himself to me and addresses me by name. I don´t want to dispense handouts describing God´s busyness; I want to report and witness out of my own experience. I don´t want to live as a parasite on the first-hand spiritual life of others, but to be personally involved with all my senses, tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.


 


I know it takes time to develop a life of prayer; set-aside, disciplined, deliberate time. I know I can´t be busy and pray at the same time. I can be active and pray; I can work and pray; but I cannot be busy and pray.  I cannot be inwardly rushed, distracted, or dispersed. In order to pray I have to be paying more attention to God than to what people are saying to me, more attention to God than my clamoring ego. For that to happen there must be a more deliberate withdrawal from the noise of the day and a disciplined detachment from the insatiable self.


I know it's a bit of a journey back, but if my life is going to mean anything in the end, it will be effected by the decisions I make today. Fred's onto something here.


"Hello, my name is Randall, and I'm a recovering pastor..."


 

Just one more...

Just one more, while I'm still famous.


Thinking about Father's day tomorrow and read Romans 8:12-17 from the Message.



12So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it--yourself life one red cent. 13There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. 14God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
15This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" 16God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. 17And we know we are going to get what's coming to us--an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!


Sons and Daughters.
Not slaves. Not servants. Not enemies. Not visitors. Not company from out of town. Just Sons and Daughters.


Seems a trade I can't turn away from. He wants my old life, in exchange for adopting me into his way cool family. How can I say no?


Happy Fathers Day Father.


And Happy Fathers Day dad. Thanks for showing me how to live through the easy times, but even more, thanks for showing me how to live through the bad times. Thanks for living out the truth, that:



"If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!"


I hope and pray for you so many "Good Times" that somewhere, somehow, sometime, it will all be worth it. Thank you.


 


Nite all.
Sleep well and Be Blessed.


 


 

Famous Friesen

Hey, Brad announces I'm Famous!


It's about time somebody thought so, I've been thinking that for years!!



RANDALL'S NOW FAMOUS BLOG
Randall Friesen's blog was featured in a print article about blogging in the Covenant Companion (sorry it's not online--at least not yet). Hey, Randall, you're famous!


Ok, so it's 10:41 pm. I expect I'll be done being famous around 10:57 pm. Just in time for bed.


Whew, that's good. I hope it all doesn't go to my head before church tomorrow.

Party on Wayne...NOT

It's 7:22 in the freakin morning, and I should have alot of better things to do, LIKE SLEEP!

 

But, I've been up since around 6am, because the next door neighbours decided to move their party to the front yard, and carry on there.

 

I honestly don't know how they do it. They started around 5pm yesterday in their back yard drinkin and carrying on. As long as they kept it to the back yard, fine. (Hillary slept in the living room, because her room is in the back of the house.) But by 6am this morning, the party, 25-35 people, had moved to the front of the house.

 

By 6:30 my patience was gone, by 6:38 my Christian love was leaving, and by 6:39 I was on the phone to the cops. It's now 7:30, and so far, no cops. I think this city must have like three patrol cars on duty in the night, cause we never see them in the east flat area.

 

So, everybody (age ranges oh say 15 to 60) is mingling on my front lawn, right in front of my open bedroom window, drinking, laughing, swearing, listening to some tunes. Some very big guy just hammered a skinny guy straight in the kisser with his fist, oh and look, some guy has just pulled down his pants and is, well, kinda waddling back and forth on the street. Sigh.

 

What really really bugs is that I've seen some of these people before. I've been the clergy on call at the hospital when their loved ones have been hurt and killed due to alcohol. I've been the one to try to comfort them, the one to tell them someone they love is dead. They return to the booze like a comfortable old friend.

 

Addictions really are unbelievably terrible. Along with all the lies and structures we create to hide our addictions in.

 

I'm all for a good time and a great party, but I'm also in favour of death to addictions. We need to root them out. Hunt them down and kill them dead. Blood must be spilt over these old patterns of control. And the only blood that will do, is Jesus' blood.

 

--end rant here--

Who am I?

k, I took the test. Turns out my Bloginality is INFP!!!  Which seem's to mean;



As an INFP, you are Intraverted, iNtuative, Feeling , Perceiving.
This makes your primary focus on Introverted Feeling with Extraverted Intuition.


INFPs present a calm, pleasant face to the world. They appear to be tranquil and peaceful to others, with simple desires. In fact, the INFP internally feels his or her life intensely. In the relationship arena, this causes them to have a very deep capacity for love and caring which is not frequently found with such intensity in the other types. The INFP does not devote their intense feelings towards just anyone, and are relatively reserved about expressing their inner-most feelings. They reserve their deepest love and caring for a select few who are closest to them. INFPs are generally laid-back, supportive and nurturing in their close relationships. With Introverted Feeling dominating their personality, they're very sensitive and in-tune with people's feelings, and feel genuine concern and caring for others. Slow to trust others and cautious in the beginning of a relationship, an INFP will be fiercely loyal once they are committed. With their strong inner core of values, they are intense individuals who value depth and authenticity in their relationships, and hold those who understand and accept the INFP's perspectives in especially high regard. INFPs are usually adaptable and congenial, unless one of their ruling principles has been violated, in which case they stop adapting and become staunch defenders of their values. They will be uncharacteristically harsh and rigid in such a situation.


Most INFPs will exhibit the following strengths with regards to relationship issues:


  • Warmly concerned and caring towards others
  • Sensitive and perceptive about what others are feeling
  • Loyal and committed - they want lifelong relationships
  • Deep capacity for love and caring
  • Driven to meet other's needs
  • Strive for "win-win" situations
  • Nurturing, supportive and encouraging
  • Likely to recognize and appreciate other's need for space
  • Able to express themselves well
  • Flexible and diverse


Most INFPs will exhibit the following weaknesses with regards to relationship issues:


  • May tend to be shy and reserved
  • Don't like to have their "space" invaded
  • Extreme dislike of conflict
  • Extreme dislike of criticism
  • Strong need to receive praise and positive affirmation
  • May react very emotionally to stressful situations
  • Have difficulty leaving a bad relationship
  • Have difficulty scolding or punishing others
  • Tend to be reserved about expressing their feelings
  • Perfectionistic tendancies may cause them to not give themselves enough credit
  • Tendency to blame themselves for problems, and hold everything on their own shoulders

As a weblogger, you have wonderful words to express your feelings because of your idealism. Because you don't like conflict, you may be likely to make one list of links and leave it for a long time without updating for fear of offending.


Here are just a few popular and often satisfying careers for people whose Personality Type is INFP.


Psychologist, Human resources professional, Physical therapist, Researcher, Translator/interpreter, Legal mediator, Employee development specialist, Religious worker, College professor: humanities, Massage therapist, Social worker, Librarian, Fashion designer, Holistic health practitioner, Editor/art director (web site)


 


Does anybody Like conflict? What are they like to live with?


Anyhow, most of it's right on, some of it's out to lunch, and I have seen some growth in the "Weaknesses" area. I'm ok with conflict. I invite criticism, I'm not real needy in the praise and positive affirmation department. And I don't think I have difficulty scolding or punishing others, just ask my kids. 


Now you probably know more than you wanted to.


 


Oh, and, the cable was the problem with the networking. Amazing what a bit of sleep will do to clear the pipes.

Devil in it...

You know how "they," say "The devil's in the details?"


Well, he isn't, he's in the Networking cards.


Thomas and I spent hours last night trying to hook up two computers with a crossover cable. The networking guy at Futureshop happened to be a networking guy, (How Future Shop ever got him I'll never know!!)


In the process, we lost the internet, and we're not sure if our network card is working, or if we toasted it somehow. Anyway, I worked on it till, well till late. But I got the Internet back!! WooHoo.


I get it all set up, right settings, but they still won't ping each other, Arrg.


Well, after a bit of sleep, I come down here and think, let's just check the cable package again. What do you know, it's a patch cable, and I'm sure I need a Cross Over cable. The guy must have grabbed the patch one by mistake.


(At least this is the slim hope I'm clinging to!)


Anyway, Blessings on your day.

Wednesday

Well, today found us a break in the inclement prevailing attitude in our children. This was a real break for Lauralea. She carries so much of this household on her shoulders that sometimes I worry for her.

 

This morning was early prayer time. We prayed in silence and then talked a bunch, it was good. I don't want us thinking that it's only a prayer when our eyes are closed and heads bowed down! Sharing our concerns and victories was a wonderful way to spend some time in His presence.

 

And I'm off to a deacon meeting, then a chat with someone after that.

 

"Father, bless the activities of our evening, and bring us safely back to our places of rest and refuge, that we might be renewed for tomorrow."

a desperate longing for renewal, in 1630

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


Holy Sonnet XVI: Batter My Heart. John Donne (1572-1631)

Who am I?

In an effort to discover better who I am, I took this easy, simplistic test.


Seems I'm a book of the Bible that starts with  E...


 


You are Ephesians


You are Ephesians.

Which book of the Bible are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Bruce Almighty....

Bruce AlmightyOk, well I was a little afraid "Bruce Almighty" would end up being a guy movie, you know? We were pleasantly surprised.


First, Morgan Freeman as God. He did a fine job playing God, I thought. A good sense of humor, care, love. Better than George Burns ever did. A lot of places where he could have been offensive, but wasn't. He was believable as the Almighty. (Which has always got to be a hard role to fill!)


Worst line in the movie? When "God" encourages Bruce to look around himself for the answers to his prayers. It got a bit squishy at that point, people as their own gods? kinda thing. But there was also a bit of truth in it. As Bruce was praying for a sign from God, he kept ignoring all the signs in front of him that God was placing there, he wanted something from on high.


Best jokes that Christians should get? Well, the internet service that Bruce used to help him answer the prayer requests that were coming into him was not "Yahoo!" but "Yahweh!" And, during the party scene, just before Bruce gives in to a kiss from "Another woman," there's a shot of him leaning up against a Golden Calf.  


Best line of the movie? Bruce yelling at God, "How do you get people to love you if you can't mess with their freewill!"  Ah, there's the rub, to so many questions.


Best bits in the movie?



That the love of his life is called Grace, and he only discovers what she means to him at the end of the movie.


What our constant prayers may seem like to God, if he wasn't omniscient and omnipresent.


That the movie, on another level, is really about Bruce being loved and pursued by God without God messing with his freewill.


That Bruce finally comes to the end of himself, and that's where he really finds God. (And a semi!!)


That his prayer request was not that Grace would love him again, but that she would find someone to love her as much as she had loved him.


 


At no time during the movie did I think, "Hmm, I wonder what the time is?" which is always a test to see if I'm into it or not.


I really enjoyed this film, so many things to think about. Ideas, words, images, thoughts, verses, plowing through my head as the movie went along... I wouldn't mind seeing it again.


Yes, there is some language, and some suggestive sex stuff, but, I think its OK for most adults. And don't go just for the laughs, there's much much more to this flick than laugh gags. Go for how it challenges our perceptions of God, and prayer.


I think that if I didn't know God, I would leave the theater wishing that there was one just like that one, and that he cared enough to listen to my prayers. I suspect that God may see a blip on the radar screen of incoming prayers, as people go home from this film.


 

Today

Monday is my day off, so I took it off.


I got up at, well, I started at 8:30 and finished around 9am.


I mowed the lawn, and mowed and mowed. Then I began to weed the flower garden and, well one thing leads to another, and I weeded a couple hours worth.


Then, I came in and washed up, and Lauralea and I ate a nice, late lunch together.


We then held a discussion about where we need to put our limited financial resourses. We've been keeping some for a propane BBQ. We couldn't decide on a common direction that way, so we decided to wait and talk more later.


Laura had a nap, and I tried to sleep too, but couldn't. So I got up and had a HOT shower. (Have I mentioned how sore I've been since the softball game on Saturday?)


I went up to the Hospital to get the phone, I'm the clergy on call this week again. I hope it's a quieter week than last time. On the way home I picked up two of the four kids.


Got home and had to deal with a angry, hurting child.


We ate supper, a lovely rice and pork ribs thing, minus one child who didn't wish to be with us.


I turned on the TV for the last game of the Stanley Cup finals. I got to the third period and lost interest. That's when I thought I would come down here and record the events of the day.


Yet to come? Well, if all goes well, Laura and I are headed out to see a cheap movie at 9:30, "Bruce Almighty"


Do I hear a "HoHum" out there?


It's ok. Tomorrow's my day to save the world.

Gateway Picnic

Well, yesterday we at Gateway Covenant Church had a softball game and BBQ.


The adults played the youth, and the first inning saw the adults in the lead, 13 -3 or something just as bizarre. The youth caught up to us by the last inning, and so the game ended in a tie!


Then we went to the church for a BBQ, and some good connecting.


Linea took these pictures, so I wanted to share them with any who are interested. Check em out.


Adults rule!!

Pentecost Sunday

"If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.  No, I will not abandon you as orphans?I will come to you."
Jesus.


Thus, history was changed. Almighty, Allholy, All awesome God came to live in willing human hearts, and nothing has been the same since.


One of my favorite sections of Scripture is Galatians 5:19-23. 


When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results:


sexual immorality,


impure thoughts,


eagerness for lustful pleasure,


idolatry,


participation in demonic activities,


hostility,


quarreling,


jealousy,


outbursts of anger,


selfish ambition,


divisions,


the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group,


envy,


drunkenness,


wild parties, and


other kinds of sin.


Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.


But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us:


love,


joy,


peace,


patience,


kindness,


goodness,


faithfulness,


gentleness, and


self-control.


Here there is no conflict with the law.





 


Go in peace today, because God desires to create in you, life. Let Him in, welcome him into your hearts, and let Him set up shop, inside your soul.


 

Ducks dump Devils...


The DucksDucks dump Devils 5 to 3


Alrighty then, we're goin to game 7 and the feathers are gonna fly as the Ducks put the fear of God into the Devils!


...hey, Jordon Cooper has been missing and was last seen headed down to L.A this weekend wasn't he? 


 ...how far is The Pond from L.A?


Go Ducks Go

Lies your youth ministry unintentially taught you.

Mark Riddle is at it again. this time it's an idea for a graduation gift book!



Did the Church Lie to me or What?
How youth ministry failed to prepare you for real life and what to do about it.


A graduation gift book


TOCIntroduction
Youth Ministry isn´t the church? A journey from Youth ministry to church.
Why I'm writing this book and what your youth ministry unintentially taught you.
Chapter 1 - Lie #1 - Church is about you.
Chapter 2 - Lie #2 - Church should always be fun.
Chapter 3 - Lie #3 - Church should meet my needs
Chapter 4 - Lie #4 - All Christians attend church. (being the church vs. going to church)
Chapter 5 - Lie #5 - Spiritual Life is Easy.
Chapter 6 - Lie #6 - Christianity makes sense. (Philosophy 101 your youth pastor's worst nightmare)
Chapter 7 - Lie #7 - It's about grace... but you have to work for it.


...


 


You can check out more of his Book Idea, here.


 

What is Work.

When my parents and grandparents were young and living on the farm, they had to do daily chores. A little bit of work each day to keep things running smoothly. Today we don't have that kind of chore to do. But are there others?


Having a computer used to be about fun and a hobby. It was exploration, dicscovery, creation. But somewhere, somehow, it also became about work.


I just spent hours during the past few days archiving my email of the past 8 years, and that wasn't fun, it was work! But was it work like my forefathers and fivemothers used to do?


I dunno. Is it work when you enjoy it? or just when you hate it?


and, for that matter, what is work?

It's about Relationships

Toby Lester, in an article he wrote for The Atlantic Monthly called "Oh Gods" (Feb. 2002) wrote:



 Stark, a professor of sociology and comparative religion at the University of Washington, is blunt, amiable, and a classically American maverick. He does scholarship with an often irreverent swagger. Knowing that he had written specifically on how and why religious movements succeed, I called him and asked him to summarize his thoughts on the subject. "The main thing you've got to recognize," he told me, "is that success is really about relationships and not about faith. What happens is that people form relationships and only then come to embrace a religion. It doesn't happen the other way around. That's really critical, and it's something that you can only learn by going out and watching people convert to new movements. We would never, ever, have figured that out in the library. You can never find that sort of thing out after the fact?because after the fact people do think it's about faith. And they're not lying, by the way. They're just projecting backwards.


If you watch a church that's really "On the grow," look at the relationships of the people. Are they informally connected? Will they do things together, without having to have a program to structure it? Are they motivated by a common love, for each other?


And, while we're asking questions here, I should ask, how many friends do we have that haven't yet met Jesus? How many relationships do we have where we don't all belong to a church? What do we need to do to enlarge that circle?


Ok, ok, mebe one more question. If it is indeed about relationships, why do (some) churches seem to do things that hinder rather than help relationships? 


To retain control? To feed the demands of a top heavy structure? To meet a budget? To punish the radicals?


Why?


 


Thanks globalgirl for the link.
 

Future Church: To boldly go where no one has gone before...



Fred Peatross sends out an occasional newsletter. Last nights was interesting. I quote:



In his book, A Primer on Postmodernism, Stanley Grenz illustrates the difference between modernism and postmodernism by comparing and contrasting the two series Star Trek and Star Trek: the Next Generation 


In the first series, the crew of Starship Enterprise worked together for the good of humanity. One of its heroes, Spock (half-human, half-Vulcan), illustrated the perfect ideal of the modern man: he solved all problems by rational thought and was not swayed by emotions or any sense of the transcendent or mystical.


 


The second series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, accented the transcendent and gave more attention to emotions and feelings. Rational contributions were transmitted through an android machine named Data, who longed to be a human with human emotions.


 


Look to me, I have the plan


Modernism is like Captain Kirk´s going out to conquer and subdue the ?final frontier, where no man has gone before.?


 


I´ll lead as we solve this together


Postmodernism is like Captain Picard guiding his politically-correct crew through space with the goal of reconciling and making the galaxy a safe place to live (unlike Captain Kirk´s space quest of conquer and triumph).


 


Like Captain Picard the emerging generation is more interested in reconciling than conquering. It´s a generation that processes truth and information relationally rather than propositionally.


 


Baby boomer church leaders have neglected, misunderstood, and in some instances dismissed this generation. The result is the emerging church?gatherings of young believers (under forty) collecting across America doing church in ways they understand. The old modern, rational, Captain-Kirk style of ministry is being modified replaced with new approaches?in outreach (creating safe-places), service, and the telling of the ?old, old Story.?


Is that why spock used to make me crazy?


 

A little whine and root beer...

 Next week I have a study/discussion group and our topic is Self Care. So tonight Lauralea and I went out for root beer and a catch up on life.



Without meaning to be depressing, it seems we're just so tired of it all.


We're not tired of Prince Albert, heck, the people are great and it's a wonderful city. But, we're tired.


Tired of people, tired of loss. Tired of greater demands on us by bigger and bigger kids. Tired of trying to hear from God, for others who, either don't have the time or desire to hear Him for themselves.




Tired of pinching and squeezing, of used and handed down. Tired of the daily brokenness we encounter, and the "Successfulness" of others.


Tired of family asking if I have to go out tonight. Of phone calls that cause my supper to cool off, or my blood run cold.


Tired of structures that were created to be a blessing, but after years of use they art the blinders that we wear today. Tired of people thinking I have more actual power than I do. Tired of others who line up with "Just one little complaint."


Tired of addictions, tired of bondage, tired of the Lie. Tired of politics, of power, of control, and the other tools of The Enemy.


Tired.


And, I'm not sure it's about many of these things at all, as much as it's about working hard, in an all consuming work. Of having only two parts to my life, my home life, and my work life.


Lauralea and I, are, well, tired.


We counted 17 years we've been doing this without a break. We've had holidays, but I've noticed it takes longer and longer into our holidays for us to get refreshed. I'm concerned that one time it won't spring back.


And, that's allot to dump out right here at randallfriesen.com, but, like you, life has it's days. I don't want this place to be like the church in Western civilization each Sunday morning!  "All happy faces, All the time!!"    Na, enough of that. This is a place where we can be a bit honest with each other. I hope.





Now, onto tomorrow...

W.W.J.D.

Yeah, it´s somewhat fashionable to wear a bracelet or have a sticker on your car with "What Would Jesus Do" emblazoned on it. I don´t know if we´re telling the world that that´s exactly how we try to behave or what. I have my doubts that it´s any more than a fancy decoration and some good branding.


Take a short quiz


1.) If your church treasurer was stealing from the gifts and donations occasionally, and you as the leader knew about it, what would you do?


WWJD? Apparently leave the man in his position.


But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples?the one who would betray him?said, [5] "That perfume was worth a small fortune. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor." [6] Not that he cared for the poor?he was a thief who was in charge of the disciples' funds, and he often took some for his own use. John 12:4-6 (NLT)


 


2.) If your "Church group" was getting so large that your income would increase and you would need to build a huge new building, what would you do?


WWJD? Say something provocative and scare away most of your followers.


 


Jesus knew within himself that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, "Does this offend you? [62] Then what will you think if you see me, the Son of Man, return to heaven again? [63] It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. [64] But some of you don't believe me." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who didn't believe, and he knew who would betray him.) [65] Then he said, "That is what I meant when I said that people can't come to me unless the Father brings them to me." [66] At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him.   John 6:61-66 (NLT)


 


3.) Your pastor gets a reputation for being a drunkard and hanging out with the worst of the worst.


WWJD? Keep hanging with them in spite of the reputation, and possibly loose any income you had.


And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, 'He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!' But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it." Matthew 11:19 (NLT)



 


Alright, your turn. Include your quiz questions in the comments box.


 


I am curious, What Would Jesus Do.


What Would You Do.


 

Su-weeeet

Hmm, good coffee, comfortable place to sit, and Wi-Fi, all at church?


That dull pain in my left knee might actually be God directing me to ministry at Fellowship Church.


 


Thanks Jordon (who thanks Dave.)


 

Stoopid car

Well well well, isn't this nice.


The electric windows died two summers ago.


The electric door locks died last summer.


The horn died 2 months ago.


And tonight, the interior lights died and the stereo died.


Grief, it's a slow, painful death. (And it's not the fuses, that I can check!)


I think we might have to start praying harder about a new van. I just put a considerable amount of repairs on the plastic, that it needed to even drive. But this is just a bit discouraging.


I need to look at my previous post again. Here I go.

Laugh again

Hey, if life is a bit difficult at the moment and you could use a laugh, you need to check out this blog called, "My Two Second Shelf Life" It's very funny.


Here's a piece of it, and read it outloud, it helps:



I shouted at my mother today on my cellphone and feel terribly guilty.
See, I'm headed over there shortly to clean her carpets for her. She has called me a number of times to ask what time I'll be there. I have ignored 2 of those calls because I know what she's going to say:
"Ven are yu kamink? Tell me a time. About vat time?"
Every time I've spoken to her, I have told her....in the late afternoon.
My mother is hyper-punctual and she needs to know exactly when I'll be there.
Not because she's going anywhere.
Not because there are people coming over.
Because she's neurotic about time.
It's like she's got this little timer in her head that goes off at intervals that only she understands.
So, anyway.
I answered my cellphone while I was walking around Costco looking for carpet cleaning solution.
I still had a number of stops to make before I could go home and unload everything and then get ready to head over to her house.


Mom: "Ven ar yu kamink?"
Me: "Later this aftenoon, Ma"
Mom: "Vat time?"
Me: "I don't know Ma, when I'm finished everything. Why? Are you going out?"
Mom: "MMMMMMaaaayyyybbbeee....."
Me: "Well, if you go out, call me on my cell and let me know."
Mom: "Ven?"
Me: "When you're going out"
Mom: "I'm nat sure ven I'm goink...bat maybe I go."
Me: (frustrated and getting pissed off) "Well, call me if you're going out"
Mom: "Vy don yu kam now?"
Me: "BECAUSE I HAVE THINGS TO DO AND THE STORES ONLY STAY OPEN SO LONG...IF YOU GO OUT CALL ME!"
Mom: "I no go. I stay hom an vait for yu"
CLICK


 


Thanks Linea

Time

For some reason I can't yet define, I like this song.


Chantal Kreviazuk
Time


Time, where did you go?
Why did you leave me here alone?
Wait, don't go so fast
I'm missing the moments as they pass
Now I've looked in the mirror and the worlds getting clearer
So wait for me this time
I'm down I'm down on my knees I'm begging for all your sympathy
But you (I'm just an illusion) you don't seem to care (I wish that I could)
You humble people everywhere (I don't mean to hurt you)
Now I've looked in the mirror and the worlds getting clearer
I'll take what you give me. Please know that I'm learning
So wait for me this time
I should've know better
I shouldn't have wasted those days
And afternoons and mornings
I threw them all away
Now this is my time
I'm going to make this moment mine.
(I shouldn't have wasted those days)
I'll take what you give me. Please know that I'm learning
I've looked in the mirror
My world's getting clearer
So wait for me this time


 

The Best Supporting Actress Award goes to...

Ticket Johanna came home with the news that she was awarded (In a split decision, she shared with another girl) the medal for the Best Supporting Actress, in their school production. The awards were made today during the St. Mary High School Awards Ceremony.


Randall Friesen, proud father of the award winner said; "Ever since she was in Kindergarten she wanted to be in the limelight. Her teacher back then called us and commented on how wonderful it was that Johanna had volunteered to play the piano during School Assembly that week. We didn't mention that Johanna hadn't told us this news, nor did we mention that she hadn't taken a piano lesson in her whole, short life."


Johanna in the Play "That Friday her mom and I went to the School Assembly and sat in the back. Sure enough if she didn't get up, full of confidence, walk to the piano and play a very acceptable version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."


The rest, as they say, is history.


Johanna will be taking her Grade six voice exam in two weeks.


 

Mad cow, medium rare

Did I mention that while I was in Alberta on the weekend I did my part to help the economy?


For supper on Friday, I had an inch and a half thick, top sirloin steak, done medium-rare, with a mashed potato and a port gravy.


mmmmmmmmmmm...............................

Welcome to randallfriesen.com

Until this morning, randallfriesen.com would redirect you to randallfriesen.blogspot.com.


Until this morning that is. As of today, randallfriesen.com means randallfriesen.com.


Blogger was a blessing, but I've been moving over PrairieFusion, and I like the view from here even better.


So, thanks Leighton for all the help. Now let's take this baby out on the highway and see what she can do!


 


P.S. Did I forget to mention? Now you can leave smart-aleck comments to your hearts content.

Worshipfreehouse

Well, I'm back. I had a very productive trip, we got a lot accomplished.


Driving back wasn't a problem. I left around 5:30 pm on Saturday and I arrived home around 1:30 am with no sleepy-ness issues. A can of Jolt in the cup holder and spitz if needed. Of course Sunday proved to be a bit fuzzy, but God was in it. That's what I like about God, he doesn't base his love or grace on having a good or bad day. It's just that He is good. His very essence, is goodness...


Well, we got to Saskatoon last night, in time for the Worshipfreehouse.


 


Gingerale, Nachos, and Jesus


I LOVED the sense of freedom, to just participate. To eat and drink my choice of greasy junk food. I loved the stories shared, the songs sung. I loved that there was no real wood in the place and that most of the lighting came from candles. (I also thought it considerate that they mentioned  if you see someone on fire, put them out)


I really loved the tables, around which you sat with friends and new friends, and that you were encouraged to talk, anytime during the evening, and to get up and move around, meet, visit, get a drink. To talk, communicate, connect with others. The discussion around my table was easily the best part of the night. (Well, Leighton's Story was very good, very vulnerable too. Good on ya Leighton.) We talked of the Sermon on the Mount. Of how we are to be salt and light. We explored how that so many believers think the difference between us and the world is how we dress, or what we drink, or where we go. But we miss the point that Jesus said that the real difference between us and the world would be in how we deal with violence, or poverty, or wealth or love. A totally scary thought.


I met Jordon Cooper and Jeremy Olson, two regular guys who live out a part of their lives online each day. We also brought my sister, Robyn, along, and because she seem's to know just about everyone in Saskatoon, I got to meet some new people.


Thanks to you all in Saskatoon who are going on this journey together. Thanks for your hard work and the G-Force (sweet).


I'll be back.