Another generation is done.

Well, a windy rainy day on the prairies, and we laid Grandma to rest, right beside Grandpa.



It was a long, good day. Over 600 came out to say goodbye and thank you to God for Mary Friesen.


The funeral was in the morning with a light lunch in-between. Then the family went out to the graveside for a committal service. Finally we all went back to "Henry's" in Martensville where Grandpa and Grandma bought us all supper, one last time. We hung around a long time, visiting, talking, being quiet. Then we came home.


And we are exhausted.


As for God? He is still so very good. 


 

Mary Friesen

In Loving Memory of
Mary Friesen


Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Born - April 4, 1917         Passed Away - May 22, 2004
Age - 87 Years


Funeral Service
Saturday, May 29,2004
10:00 A.M.
Cornerstone Church


 


I remember as a child I would occasionally tag along with Grandma and Grandpa to a crusade meeting in a church or arena. And we would all have our own responsibilities. Grandpa would preach, of course, and my duty was to carry grandmas purse.


This was truly the mother of all purses. It took every ounce of strength I had to get that purse into the building safely, without letting it hit the ground. Of course I knew there was candy in it or else I would have suggested we just leave it in the car.


Grandma had a duty too, she was praying.



She wrote:
"My greatest responsibility lies in the area of intercessory prayer. John relies greatly on my intercession in preparation of radio messages and the completion of master programs for the radio stations. All of my family members are in my prayers daily.


Many of the prayer requests from listeners are brought to my attention. It is a real blessing to hear how the Lord answers prayers in the life of people who are with us on a weekly basis.


I sense an awesome responsibility when church women and pastor's wives unload their marital and family problems on me. That is the time I really rely on your prayers."



Grandpa wrote:



When I was away from home I seldom telephoned Mary, for several reasons; the cost of the telephone call; we were lonely for each other, and if I did call we became so emotional that we did not communicate to well. We had the privilege to write to each other.


Early in the morning I'd spend a few minutes writing, or late at night. What joy when a letter came from home! The separation from a loving wife and growing children often was painful, but I rejoiced to hear from loved ones at home. Mary is the best letter writer!


On one of the trips to South America, we stopped at mission stations in many countries. While my letters were waiting for me at every stopover, my co-traveller received his letters at one of the farthest points. How was this possible?  Mary had my travel schedule and gave each letter sufficient time to arrive before I did. What a blessing!


Why was it important that our correspondence be kept up? {One reason was} that being co-workers we needed to be informed to pray intelligently.


The assurance of intercessory prayer and moral support serves as endowment of power from above.  



That quiet, determined woman behind John D. Friesen was Mary.


 


Obituary


Mary Friesen was born on April 4, 1917 at Chortiz, Saskatchewan.  She married John Friesen on October 20, 1940.  Together they embarked in the ministry.  Mom supported dad as a minister in his various positions.  She accompanied him to various churches, nursing homes, hospital chapels, etc.  Her presence was a constant source of strength for her husband. 


They travelled together, too.  Mom read poems on the Gospel Message radio program. She loved music.  As a young couple they sang duets.  During their courtship they also played guitar. At Bethany Manor, mom played the autoharp and omnichord in the orchestra.  This group became very active in serving at various nursing homes, etc.


Mom's life revolved around her husband.  She enjoyed singing, cooking, baking, and crocheting.  Puzzles and work puzzles were her hobby for years.  She definitely spent much time in prayer for her husband, children, grandchildren, and others.  Memorizing Bible verses and having time with God were an important part of her life.  Mom was a woman of prayer.


It seemed that her life was over after she helped the family plan dad's funeral.  Many health struggles over the years she faced bravely. On the evening of May 20, her body & spirit were exhausted.  She kept her faith till the end at age 87.  She was not perfect but she did finish the race that God had planned for her.


She leaves to mourn her twin sons, Reuben & Ernest (wives  Eva & Rose), daughter Johanna (husband, Dirk) and her grandchildren: Randall(Lauralea), Gaylene, Jeffrey, Robyn Friesen, Barry, Brad(Krista) Friesen and Gwen Peters(Myron), Bryant(Lynette), Ryan (Juanita) & Clinton (Dianne) van Kuik and great grandchildren: Johanna, Hilliary, Thomas, Micah Friesen, Nicolas & Abbigail Peters, Marijka, Analia, & Emma van Kuik.  She also leaves sister-in-law, Helen Klassen, nieces & nephews of the Smith family.  She was predeceased by her husband, daughter, parents, sister, brother and other family.


Mom went to be with her Saviour on May 25, 2004 (on dad's funeral date).  We are thankful that you & dad are together again.  You will always be in our hearts!


 

It's Friday, but Saturday's comin

Well, it's Friday. Seems like it's taken a year to live out this week.


It's going well, God is giving grace for all the other details of life (like preaching this Sunday) to be accomplished. We're getting alot of love on us here, the people are great. We are thankful for them.


Tomorrow we will need to be in Saskatoon by 8am. That means leaving by 6:30am, which in turn, means that we will have to be up by 4:30 -5 am to get these teenagers and us through our morning convolutions! At least so we look decent enough not to be an embarrassment to the family! That also means a number of people's eyes will be twitching all day, and some won't be able to control their emotions. Weirdness happens when people are exhausted.


The day will be very long, ending with a supper for the whole family. We will probably get back very late. I hope nobody has a stroke tomorrow.


So, as you think of us, silently whisper a prayer.


Blessings. And thanks.

Aye captain, we have a leak in the prayer shield...

I'm sorry this space has kinda turned into "DeathWatch 2004" these days.


It's all so very surreal. A very short time ago I enjoyed a good relationship with reasonably healthy grandparents, who loved me and cared about me. What's more, they prayed for me every day, and especially Sundays, I knew they were praying. Now, within a week, they are both gone.


I'm trying to keep up at work, trying to keep busy.


Yesterday I attended the funeral of a friends sister-in-law, who I had been praying for. The afternoon I spent visiting a few people. Then the evening was our small group.


Today I'm trying to get ready for Sunday, Pentecost. It just doesn't seem very celebratory, yet. Tonight is a regular congregational meeting. Hope it goes well.


It's the whole thing where you go about your life and get your mind off things, then suddenly remember they aren't there anymore. I get weepy all of a sudden, then it's gone.


And I'm so tired, both physically and emotionally. Spiritually though I feel great. God is close, I can feel his breath on my neck...


The loss seems to test what the family is made of, you know? It's not easy to disguise your feelings or hide what you really think, when this layer of covering is peeled off your emotions. Misunderstandings and miscommunications seem to happen so easily... 


The funeral is on Saturday. The day starts at 9am and looks like it will go through till the late evening. Everything will be on the same day this time. This time I'm a pallbearer (Where did that name come from??) and I'm reading the obituary. That's good. It will allow me to be more emotionally present, when I don't have to think about other things.



So there you go. Life is good and bad, and then you die. But God is very good.

Update

Grandma passed away just before midnight last night. Grandpa will be surprised.


God is good.


 

Thank you.

First of all, I want to thank each of you who covered us today. Thank you so much. Your ministry today was profound, and lovely. Thank you.


The day went very well indeed.


We started at the old country graveyard, carved out of a farmers field years and years ago. He was buried within a few miles of where he was born. He had such a public life and ministry that we decided to keep the internment for family and close friends. This was great. It allowed us time with each other, and time to say goodbye.


Out there on that prairie, with the sun high in the big blue sky, and the birds calling out, we laid his "Container" to rest. It was a wonderful, hopeful, big sky day.


Then the family gathered in Saskatoon and shared lunch together.


The memorial service at 2 pm went well too. Hundreds of people came, it was full. We sang and shared stories. We laughed and cried, and it was all good.


Then I got up to talk/preach, and God was there, again. Such freedom, such joy, such a release in preaching the Word. A few moments I nearly lost it, but God gave grace, and strength, and we made it through ok.


Grandma was unable to join in any of the days activities. She was in her bed, with a nurse nearby. Lauralea and I shared a few precious moments with her last night. We talked and prayed together. In a clear moment she told us she loved us, and we gave her release, and prayed for her.


Tonight, after the funeral, she was rushed to the hospital. The doctor says she's nearly done too.


May God take her home soon too.


Some really cool things happened today too.


I met some old friends I went to High School with!! Geri was a girl in the grade above me, but we were friends through school. Judy was in my youth group, and I hadn't seen her in over 20 years. Both have become really cool people. It was a joy to meet them again.


I met some people who visit this space occasionally too. It was cool to meet Gloria Reimer again. She's always fun. And I met Diabetic Girl. (I nearly had to do an intervention because she was holding a jelly pastry at the time and hey, I care.) Those were neat contacts, neat people.


And all the old friends we saw. Friends who cared enough to travel great distances to sit with us and say that they loved him too.


It was a good day indeed. And all I have to say is Thanks, thanks so much. You are a blessing.


 

Well, this is it.

In Loving Memory of
Reverend John D. Friesen 


Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Born - October 6,1921         Passed Away - May 20,2004
Age - 82 Years


Funeral Service
Tuesday May 25,2004
2:00 P.M.
Cornerstone Church




 As written by John D. Friesen, Dec. 2003


   I was born at an early age. God, who is omnipresent was there when my parents David and Katharina nee Schapansky Friesen conceived me in my mothers womb.  I was born in a little village called Chortitz seven miles west of Hague, Saskatchewan on October 6, 1921. My parents called me Johann.


    What I vividly remember is that during my childhood days I was the most bashful boy in the village.  If I could not hold on to my mothers apron and a stranger would talk to me, I would bawl.


    Soon after my brother Isbrand bled to death during a tonsil operation in the doctors office, I came under conviction of sin.  My school teacher tried to comfort me at the burial site by saying, ?John, you will see your brother in heaven.?  I felt certain that I would not be ready.  This led to my conversion experience.


    I was baptized in March of 1939. Mary and I were married on October 20, 1940 by Rev. Isaac P Friesen. The Lord gave us double blessings when our twins were born in 1942. A daughter Johanna Marie came five years later.  Magdalene Lois was born one year and four months after Johanna.  She seemed to be our healthiest child. As an angel unawares, the Lord took her home at three years and three months.


    We were ordained to the ministry in July 1944. This was the beginning of a very busy public life. Bible school, worked on High school by correspondence and the preaching services which led to a full time Evangelistic ministry.  This took me across Canada from Ontario to B.C., U.S.A, Mexico, Central and South America many times.


    Then radio broadcasting for over thirty years.  I served as Moderator and Vice moderator alternately of the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference for 21 years. 


   Some of the greatest highlights in the entire ministry have been the privileges to help individuals embrace Jesus Christ by faith and find peace and joy of salvation. Greater still is the experience to meet these converts years later being steadfast in faith and many today serving as pastors/missionaries.  We give God all honor and glory.


   We are ending another calendar year and I would like to say with 1 Samuel 7:12 ?Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.?  And as we face an unpredictable future I say with Moses in Exodus 33:15 ?Lord, if your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.?  I also claim the Lord´s promise ?My presence will go with you.? (Ex 33:14), and the words of Jesus in the great commission ?Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the age.? (Matt 28:20)


   We thank God for our family who stand by us in our retirement years. We are grateful for those who are in full time pastoral ministry.


From the Family


Many thoughts have crossed our minds these last days. We can´t begin to put it all down on paper.
He was always there to help everyone, no matter who they were. Young, old, family or destitute. One of his last wishes was to be able to talk out loud again. When diagnosed with cancer his first question was, will I be able to talk out loud again? The answer given by the doctor was, ?that´s the last thing on our mind.


During his last hours the discussion went, ?just think, soon you will be able to see with both your eyes,? he was quiet for a spell and remarked ?and be able to hear with both ears.?


We grieve, with the understanding of seeing him again. As he would say ?God bless you?


Left to morn are his dear wife, Mary, and their children Reuben (Eva), Ernest (Rose), Johanna (Dirk) van Kuik, 10 grandchildren and spouces 9 great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, a sister and sister-in-law. He was predeceased by a daughter, Magdalina Lois, parents David I. And Katherina Friesen, A step mother Katherina Neudorf Friesen, brothers Isbrand and David.



I'm ready.

Well, I think I'm mostly ready for the funeral tomorrow.


I got out of the office around 2:30 this morning, but I felt good about what I need to say.


In a moment we are off to Saskatoon for the viewing and a service for those who lived in his building.


Grandma isn't doing well at all. Her health and emotional state might even keep her from the events of the day tomorrow. I wish she could be done soon too. I doubt she will even last a month, at this rate.


Peace.


 

The River

The river continues to flow, near our house. Life seems to move on.


This morning in church, the music group from the Covenant Bible College was with us, and brought the service. They were very very good.


I didn't have to preach or lead anything huge, which was a blessing. I was having a good morning, listening, praying, watching. Then the team did a song, and one of the girls did an amazing dance to it. At that point I started to weep, and weep. This girl danced freely, and I wept.


Probably had something to do with the freedom grandpa was enjoying, I don't know, and I couldn't figure it out. But it was ok. I just tried to not let everybody see me shaking - hey, that's who I am!


Tonight I'll spend at the office, trying to write some things down. I hope some ideas come. I hope He comes.


 

Grace Like rain

I woke up this morning with the stereo in my head playin this tune, by Todd Agnew. It was a nice way to wake up.



Grace Like Rain
Todd Agnew


Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I´m found
Was blind but now I see so clearly


Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, are washed away


?Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed


Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, are washed away


When we´ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We´ve no less days to sing Your praise
Than when we first begun


Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away


Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away


Hallelujah, Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away
They´re washed away


 


Now, this ain't your momma's "Amazing Grace."   Here's a clip.


 

How to die well

Well, it's been a long long day.


The call from Saskatoon came around 4:30 this morning. I knew what it was about before I even got to the phone. Nobody calls at 4:30 am without good reason.


He passed away peacefully in his sleep, which is a huge gift of God, especially for someone with lung cancer.


I got up and made my way the hour and a half drive to Saskatoon and met with my uncles and aunts and parents for the morning, working on the details.


It felt weird, half grandson half pastor. Half "Randy" and half "Pastor Randall."


Uncertain of expectations, I did mostly Randy, with a little bit of Pastor thrown in, when it helped.


It falls to me to preach the sermon at a funeral of a preacher. He asked me to do it, so now I call out to God, the same God he called out to week by week, and I will ask for direction, inspiration, a way to do this well. And He will lead and direct the day and the words.


We were able to arrange for a church that seats 1000. They are nervous that it may be barely enough seats. That gives an idea of the scope of his ministry and life's work.


But in the end, he was just an old man dying of cancer, safe in the hands of God with his family close by. And when you face cancer and death, what more could you want. When it's done, the numbers of people you effected matters little. The amount of cash you have accumulated doesn't matter one dollar. The gifts and talents you have been given and used well, turn old and worn. But, to die, safe in the hands of Jesus, with your family helping send you off, well, that is a blessing indeed.


I got home around suppertime and ate with my family. It was good.


Then tonight I headed out to a Deacon meeting where I heard that someone I've been praying for (who has cancer,) was in the hospital. So I headed up there and spent some time with her and her daughter and prayed with them. She is already unconscious and on her last journey too. I had a good time sharing with her daughter.


So, thanks for your prayers, all of you. You are a blessing to me.


 


... ok I just got a phone call. Grandma's being rushed to the hospital. They think she's had a stroke.


Like I said, thanks for your prayers.


 

John D. Friesen October 6, 1921 - May 20, 2004



"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."   1 Corinthians 15:58


 


Ok Grandpa, we'll take it from here.


 

One of my favorites


HYMN TO GOD, MY GOD, IN MY SICKNESS.


Since I am coming to that Holy room,
Where, with Thy choir of saints for evermore,
I shall be made Thy music; as I come
I tune the instrument here at the door,
And what I must do then, think here before;


Whilst my physicians by their love are grown
Cosmographers, and I their map, who lie
Flat on this bed, that by them may be shown
That this is my south-west discovery,
Per fretum febris, by these straits to die;


I joy, that in these straits I see my west;
For, though those currents yield return to none,
What shall my west hurt me?  As west and east
In all flat maps?and I am one?are one,
So death doth touch the resurrection.


Is the Pacific sea my home?  Or are
The eastern riches?  Is Jerusalem?
Anyan, and Magellan, and Gibraltar?
All straits, and none but straits, are ways to them
Whether where Japhet dwelt, or Cham, or Shem.


We think that Paradise and Calvary,
Christ's cross and Adam's tree, stood in one place;
Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;
As the first Adam's sweat surrounds my face,
May the last Adam's blood my soul embrace.


So, in His purple wrapp'd, receive me, Lord;
By these His thorns, give me His other crown;
And as to others' souls I preach'd Thy word,
Be this my text, my sermon to mine own,
?Therefore that He may raise, the Lord throws down.? 


John Donne


 



Finishing well

I think I've mentioned it here before that my 80'something grandfather is fighting with cancer.


It's lung cancer, irony of ironies, as he's never smoked in his life, and is proud of that fact.


Anyway, last Saturday we went in to Saskatoon and visited at home with him and grandma. It was a good visit. He was clear and remembered all the names he had for the kids and their recent activities. He was amazed how much Thomas has changed in just a few months, which he has.


He's been a  minister, an evangelist all his life, and many will be seated at the banquet in heaven because he introduced them to his heavenly father. But, now he is suddenly feeble and frail. His full head of hair is gone, and he is weak to the point of needing help getting out of bed.


He hugged and blessed each of us as we left on Saturday. For some, the words will probably turn out to be prophetic, for others they were words of peace, words of love. He and I were able to spend some time alone, talking over a few things that we needed to communicate to one another. Details.  But the communication seemed complete. He was saying goodbye.


Though they said he had months to go yet, and he may, Sunday morning he was taken to the hospital. Today it seems his body is shutting down, bit by bit.


He has been a constant in my life these 40 years. I will miss that. I will miss him. I will miss his daily prayers. But I know where he's headed and I don't begrudge him that blessing.


Some of his words to me were these: 



And so I solemnly urge you before God and before Christ Jesus who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths.
But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don't be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you.
 
As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return.      2 Tim. 4:1-8


So I shall.


 

Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock


As a community service, I thought I would post this old picture of some of the women who read this blog.


Sometimes I forget just how much change happens!!


So, just laugh, or leave a nasty comment. Or, if you want to be removed from the picture, take me out for lunch and I'll block you out! 


(I believe Lauralea is in the green)


 

Hmmm

After reading this page, I'm not sure I should have put Johanna's pic on this page!!


:-)


Thanks Karl.


 

Ask and you shall receive

Had a great morning at worship yesterday morning.


One of the best things about being a pastor is praying with people. I think it's one of the things I enjoy the most. Usually it's at a point in a persons life when the person cannot do any more themselves, so they call out to God. And I get to be there with them.


Yesterday we had two ladies request a James 5 from the church elders. We met with them each a few minutes before the service and took the luxury of time in prayer. As I always do, I instructed them to "act like a sponge!" and we did the praying.


We anointed them with oil and prayed over them for physical healing, and spiritual and emotional healing as well. It was good, God's presence settled upon us and the tears flowed. It's always very affirming, and a blessing for all involved. The pray-er's because they've seen God move through them, and the pray-ee because God is focusing his attention on them.


I wish more people would see this as the blessing it is, and submit and request prayer from others. It's almost a type of "prayer therapy"


I suspect that many people would be helped even by regularly being prayed over by loving friends. Course, the humility needed to ask for prayer alone, is enough to open the gates of Heaven on your behalf, as God repeatedly promised to give grace to the humble.


Let me encourage you, ask your pastor to pray over you. Ask your friends in the small group to pray for you. Learn this art of prayer for others, and get into the place of blessing.


Peace.

My quiet time - on the other side of the world.

Ok, some of you won't get this at all, and I'm ok with that. To me the possibilities are endless.


Tonight I spent my evening prayer time in church.


Not a physical church, but a virtual church, I suppose, but it looked real to me.


Church of Fools, run by those people at Ship of Fools, and the Methodist church, have opened up a church online. They are planning regular services and, if you have an internet connection, you can attend, if you get there early. There's always a line up.


I've been poking my nose in, checking it out. But tonight I thought I'd go and have my prayer time there. It was cool, very cool. Except that the only persona I could select to look like looked a lot like Ned Flanders...


(That's me kneeling, praying.)


Anyway, I spent my time there in prayer. And it was good. The guy praying beside me put his hand on my shoulder and blessed me, we exchanged greetings.


Is it as good as real people being together in a real location? No, probably not. But I do think an argument could be made that its covered under the "Where two or three are gathered together in my name" thing.


As for the "Some of you won't get this" comment, I do understand. I recall once when there was a Satellite hookup youth worship event. The worship was led in a central city with a full band, etc. It was distributed out by satellite to a number of other cities which ran it on big screens, live. The kids attended those churches with the screens, and worshiped as fully and hard as if they had been there with a live band. The technology wasn't a wall to them, it wasn't a barrier. It was an opportunity to worship.


Many of the parents were amazed. They didn't get it. For many of them they couldn't get past the wall they faced. They couldn't get past the technology. It wasn't a doorway to them, it was a barrier.


While it would be better to be live at such a church, with people from all over the world, gathered to pray etc. I'm glad to even have the opportunity to stop by such a place, even from here in my basement corner, where the computer is.


 

Brennan Manning on church


The ragamuffin church is a place of promise and possibility, of adventure and discovery, a community of compassion on the move, strangers and exiles in a foreign land en route to the heavenly Jerusalem. Ragamuffins are a pilgrim people who have checked into the hotel of earth overnight, bags unpacked and ready to go. Regrouping and retrenching, squatting and debating, are not their poses and postures.


In their community worship, they reject the insidious inclination to play it safe. The inveterate tendency to entrenchment, which betrays itself in clinging to the tried and true, is accurately discerned as a sign of distrust in the Holy Spirit. The breath of God will not be bottled, and the gallivanting Spirit will not be campused. The worshiping ragamuffin will not be mummified in middle age by living in the past and refusing to attend to the present. Creativity and flexibility will not give way to repetition and rigidity. The ragamuffin church is comfortable with periods of silence, sitting still, listening attentively, and experiencing the Devine presence. "Be still and know that I am God" is not merely a pious suggestion, but a divine injunction.


Yeah. that's where we're goin.


I think the thing I like about this, is that it is, for lack of a better word, risky. God is all safe, yet not safe at all. And when I settle in and hide out in a place that get's me just enough of God to get me into the pearly gates, I miss it all. I don't want to settle for a faith like that. I want to know his love and healing, to enjoy a life with God. 


Not an easy life, but a good life. A life of freedom in Christ.


 

Ring ring...

Last weekend, while I was away in Winnipeg, my son Thomas, came across a yard sale that had "Great old stuff" in it. He purchased a circa 1970's rotary phone, then came home and hooked it up in place of our main phone.


It's effect has been noticeable. The ring sound is a real ringing sound, not a sharp electronic buzz or beep. It's almost kinda soothing.


Besides that, I notice that it takes time to make a call. No longer do I hit a speed dial button, I have to slowly dial each number and wait for it to spin around back. Then dial the next number.


(... phone rang.)


Then, when I'm talking, the cord is mounted right to the phone, so I can't change the length of it. That means if I want to be on the phone for a while, I now have to pull up a chair and sit under the phone and concentrate on what I am doing. No sitting in the livingroom talking while watching tv, or talking while on the computer. Just talking.


It's forcing me to slow things down a bit, to think and consider others I talk with on the phone, and that's not a bad thing.


(...phone rang again)


Ok, it's taking me a long time to type this entry because the phone keeps ringing, and I have to give it all my attention.


But, it is a good thing, it is, really...


So, you can call me, just about anytime, knowing that you will have my full attention!!


Call me, 306-764-0701. We'll talk.


 

Greek Orthodoxy and Wonton Soup

Tonight Lauralea and I headed out after dark to get some night shots. We gotta get another camera because photography just doesn't work by committee!


It got cold, so we ended up at the Chinese place eating WonTon Soup till late.


It was fun.

Here is the local Greek Orthodox Church. Prince Albert. 

 


 


 

Life takes a turn

Well, it just happened. The day I've waited for for years. The day I got to eat all my supper, without interruption. The day my child, my eldest daughter, had to go to her voice lesson at 5:30, and I said those magic, wonderful words; "Take the van, drive yourself." And off she went. Her life and mine, changed forever.


She passed her drivers test today.


 

Joni Mitchell: Still going strong

Wow. Just bought this CD and is it ever sweet.


Mellow jazz stuff with her low voice,  ....like melted butter.


Sweet. I especially loved her remake of "Both sides now." Like she's done a lot of  living and now her perspective's deeper.


Joni, a glass of sweet vino, and someone you love. A recipe for a great evening.


 

Making a difference

Well, we made it back to Prince Albert, safe and sound, if not a little tired.


The weekend was a good one. Celebrating 100 years of the Evangelical Covenant church of Canada. It was our Annual Meeting, and it was the Annual meeting where I was "recognized" (Or whatever it's called) as a minister being formally accepted into the Evangelical Covenant church, later this June. My strengths and gifts were wonderfully affirmed, and I felt blessed.


The affirmation was needed as I tend to obsess over details in my work.


I am a detail guy, (sorry or; you're welcome.) This tendency makes me focus so closely on what I'm doing today that I can get blissfully unaware of the overarching picture of what God is doing in a place. Being able to go away for a while allows me to stop and step back from the details, and stand up and take a look at how things are going.


This weekend was particularly blessed, because the meetings were held in Winnipeg, a city we worked at planting a church in, for ten years. I kept meeting or bumping into people we had ministered to years previously. The blessing was in hearing their stories of how God had changed their homes and lives.


One family we had a hand in leading to faith, excitedly told me about their children who came to faith and their children's children who found God and married Godly people! Wow.


Another family's children are going to ministry school now. While another one works in ministry. Story after story about the effects God has had on the lives and the children of those God led us know.


Sunday morning we bumped into a couple who came to Winnipeg in the 1990's from India. Life was so hard for them at the first, but they worked hard. I became their "Pastor" and they were a blessing. Sunday in church, I saw them across the room at the same time they saw me and they came running over with arms full of a firstborn Son. Excitedly they told me of their life now and their new son. They still called me pastor, and asked me to pray over their grinning boy. We found a quiet corner and I prayed, and it was all good.


I needed to be reminded of the fruit of the years of hard work over in South Winnipeg. I needed  to remember how God worked to feed the hungry, to heal the sick, to love the broken. I needed to remember the changed lives, the babies fed, the sick made well again, the lost who found Jesus.


It was a great weekend of remembering the past and looking forward.


So, thank you to those of you who care for us, enough to pray, and love us. We are making a difference in this world.


 

Notes from ... Brandon

On the way home, and we are stopped in Brandon for Gas.


And I'm waiting for the washroom, and behold, an internet connection before my eyes!!


Lunch in Broadview, Stop and visit in Saskatoon, and we should be home late tonight.


All is well.


Bathroom is free, Bye.