Oh, that's depressing

For men and women the probability of depression slowly builds and then peaks when people are in their forties -- a similar pattern found in 72 countries ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe, the researchers said.


via.

At least now I know why.

Another cold effected affected day

Well, the cold has caused us to shut down the hospital service scheduled for this morning, and the care home service this afternoon.

It's -30 C out there now, which is a balmy change to the -43 we enjoyed yesterday morning, but it's still cold enough to get things cancelled.

Steeper than I thought

So many times I have been with people who are in the place Lauralea and I find ourselves in these days.

And, like I tell them, when they are ready to hear it, there are things they will learn in this difficult season of life, that they will never learn any other place or time in their lives.

Now we are in that place. And I find the educational learning curve extensive and steep.

I am learning things I never understood, about my fathers own response to his illness. I am learning what it takes to live in the land of unknowing. I am learning things I never had opportunity to really learn before.

These things are perhaps to be expected, but I didn't understand how much these things also effect relationships. The dynamics of years of being together suddenly come face to face against a harsh reality, the foundation is shaken, but you both grow through it. You make choices, new choices about your relationship that you haven't had to make, ever.

It's a bizarre new world out there people, even after 25 years of friendship, 23 of marriage.

But, it is new, and desperate, and deep, and true.

Next Thursday there will be surgery, and the result of that surgery will tell us if there will be more surgery and waiting, or whether we can get on with life.

But we will be forever changed by this living in the land of unknowing. We are learning and experiencing things that will shift and shape us for the rest of our lives, in most amazing and insightful ways.

It is difficult, but it is ok.

When you think of our bunch, pray for us won't you?

Thanks.

Nite.

neave.com

It's been a while since we've had some fun at this place.

Go back there and have some fun.

neave.com

Life on the Canadian prairies can be brutal

The frozen body of a baby girl has been found on a Saskatchewan First Nation and it's believed to be the one-year-old sister of a three-year-old girl found dead Tuesday.
The tiny body of the baby was found Wednesday morning on Yellow Quill First Nation.
RCMP spent the night trying to find the one-year-old, after being alerted that she and her sister were missing.
The tragic chain of events started at around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, when RCMP and ambulance attendants rescued a man on the Yellow Quill First Nation, which is about 250 kilometres east of Saskatoon.
He was suffering from frostbite and hypothermia and was rushed to hospital. He also appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, the RCMP said.
But because of his injuries, he wasn't able to speak until about eight hours later.
When he did speak to investigators at around 1:30 p.m., he asked about his daughters.
Police went back to search on the Kelvington-area reserve and found the three-year-old girl's body between the man's home and another house, about 400 metres away from where the man was found.
The girl was wearing only a T-shirt and a diaper, the RCMP said. An autopsy has been scheduled for the three-year-old girl. The man remains in hospital.

via.

Dear Johanna and Hillary

Remember the cold?

Taken this morning after dropping Thomas off at St. Mary and driving home.
The temperature was -43 C.

You can almost feel the square tires.

The Sun in the trees and ice fog in the back yard

Ice Fog at -40 C

As the stomach turns

Big wind warning in the American North East, Buffalo is flooding.
Snowing hard and schools and businesses closed in the US North West and British Columbia mainland.
Snow in California and big big snow in China.
18 inches of snow in Jerusalem.
Quarterly American GDP estimated at .6% GDP.
And a woman is leading the Democratic race for the presidency.

The story of being an earthling continues.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

I think I'll work from home a bit today



It's a bit tricky to get the van plugged in at the church and since I have studying to do and prep work for Sunday maybe I'll hunker down here a bit.

So if you need to contact me, call me at home.

764-0701

It's -41 C out there now

and everything is silent.

The exhaust from peoples houses is slowly rising up, then falling to the ground. The streets are silent as the ice fog rolls into place. Nothing is moving.

Occasionally a car drives past, pushing aside the fog like a boat leaves a wake.

Its too cold out there tonight. Hope no one is stuck out there.

Tomorrow we will have to plan our travels carefully. Thomas to school, me to work, Lauralea to the doctors... Hopefully we can get at least one vehicle running on the morning.

-40 C is too cold, even for the autos.

Busy afternoon

This morning was Lauralea at another Doctors appointment, but already today I've sent out 36 emails, planed worship for Sunday, selected the worship music, planned three different activities, and am trying to get seven kids to Snow Daze next weekend.

I think I may draw comfort from being busy.

Well, at least distraction.

The temperature keeps dropping



This is what -36 C looks like.

Be careful out there.

"A mid-winter storm roared through Saskatchewan Monday, bringing rapidly falling temperatures and blizzard-like conditions to the southern two-thirds of the province.
As the system moved to the east, western regions were bracing for windchill levels in the -40 C range.
"We're going to be looking at probably until the weekend before we're seeing normal temperatures," Environment Canada meteorologist Bob Cormier said."
via.

Yes indeedy what a day it's been.
I figure I was out in that weather about five hours, driving, meeting, then shovelling and re-working the wires on the car that we thought was plugged in, but it seems it hasn't been for a loooong time.

And -30 C wires just do not bend that well.

Tonight the temperature continues to drop



That's not including windchill.

So be careful out there children.
Dress warm, cover your faces, dig out your long underwear.

And just think through your travels out there.

Tough day.

Surgery is booked for next week.

sigh.

blowing cold

It's blowing hard out there this morning and officially at least, it's a Blizzard.

That means a certain amount of falling snow, a high level of wind, and cold, deep cold that sweeps over the land. And it's here this morning. The cold is suppose to stay with us all week.

The storm blows within us too.

After two weeks of waiting for the results of Lauralea's biopsy, we are heading out today to meet with the Surgeon. He'll tell us about the surgery and the rest of it.

But the waiting is getting tiresome.

We have other things to take care of and be involved in.

It all seems to be catching up with us.

Becoming a bit bigger than it was.

But first to shovel.

Lot's of shovelling, lots of cold.

Trust: Key to your marriage.

LAURALEA: And are you using an anagram program to help you beat me at Scrabulous? Seriously, are you thinking of those words yourself?
ME: What, you think that highly of me?
LAURALEA: ...
Me: Yes, I am.

Annual Meeting Time

It's Annual Meeting Time
It's Annual Meeting Time
It's Annual Meeting Time
It's Annual Meeting Time

It's Annual Meeting Time
It's Annual Meeting Time
It's Annual Meeting Time
It's Annual Meeting Time

(Sung to the tune "It's Howdy Doody Time")

It was my dad's birthday today.

I think he would have been 66 today.

But life is full of twists and turns and surprises.





Interesting that in most of the pictures I have of dad, mom is right beside him.

But, that's how he was.

That's how they were.

And that's how it is.

Happy Birthday dad.

just

Digging water with a shovel.

Pushing sand up hill.

or

Feeding a kid who's going through a growth spurt.

I'm just not getting anywhere today.

Tomorrow is our annual church meeting.

Sunday sermon is struggling.

I want to do some fun things with the guys tonight.

But I find it really hard to have fun and play

when my work isn't done

and I'm not ready.

So today is a frustration for me.

Just wish things would start working.

Test test

seems this blog is not being seen by some people.

test test

Sounds like the blog wasn't showing on the computer Lauralea is using, so I cranked up this old template and that seems to have made a difference.

So obviously it was a template problem.

hate when that happens

Well I blew that one

I forgot to take the frozen lasagna out to thaw this morning so I have a five pound chunk of solid cheese and pasta on the counter.

The guys have to leave in an hour for youth and it looks like it takes two hours to bake frozen.

Even I can do the math on that one.

We're off to McDs with coupons in hand.

Somebody's working overtime here



Somehow I managed to stumble across a church website that simply surprises me.

A small church called Saint Columba, in Gruline, Isle of Mull which is a Scottish Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Argyll & The Isles.

The surprise?

Well they have an up to date church events calendar, (A rare occurrence in most church sites I find), a schedule of services, again up to date, and most surprisingly, the sermons are posted - in written form and the audio presentation of them as well.

Most churches have difficulty just updating their own site, but this site, for such a small church (my perception)... not bad at all.

I Am An Uncle

For the very first time ever in history, (well apart from bing an uncle through marriage that is)

My brother, Jeff and his lovely and capable wife Heidi, have procreated and the results were revealed withing the past hour.

The Boy's name?

Jonas David Friesen

A respectable name if you ask me.

No details on weight or length yet. He came a couple of weeks early so he's off to another part of the hospital.
Things are expected to be ok.

Yeah me, I'm an uncle.

WoooHooo

Update:



5lbs 8oz

The Boy washed all the dishes from the day and made GOOD brownies for supper!

Yeah, I know, sheesh. What wonders lurk just beneath the surface.

I'm not sure if I should keep looking for whatever he broke, or just take it as a sign he's growing up enough to take responsibility for his surroundings.

I'll take the second, for now.

Can't wait to see what he makes tomorrow?

Looks like its raining in Glasgow

Live Video Feed.

She's gone

Lauralea is off to her parents place for five days, just to be with them a bit and help celebrate her dad's 70somethingth birthday.

Like she said, it's tougher this time. There are family things going on, dresses to be made, guys to get through their exams and on and on.  We're also in a bit of a holding pattern, and getting tired of flapping our wings as we wait for the biopsy results to return. Next Monday she finds out, but in the mean time it just feels like another thing kind of in the periphery of our vision, obstructing a clear view of life. It gets old, and starts to bother a bit.

Anyway, the 8 am bus had only four people get on it, so there should be room to stretch out a bit, which for her requires only five feet in any one direction.

It was also nice, because she could stand on the bottom step of the bus and we got in a decent hug and kiss while the bus driver stood there chuckling to himself.

Dang height differences.

oh yeah, that's right, I have a BLOG!!

Well yeah, been a little busy lately.

Trying to get as much work done as I can for this week. Lauralea is heading to her folks place tonight or tomorrow, so I'll be chief cook and bottle washer and pastor and worship leader and oh yeah, the annual meeting is this Saturday too.

Sheesh. Timing eh.

So, anything profound you get out of this blog this week will be sheerly miraculous, ok?

I just got 28 points in Scrabulous UPDATED:

The word? TOFFY.

The opponent? LAURALEA

She shudders in fear.

Victory is Mine

251 to 244.

Sweet and rare day indeed.

Jazz Bassment needs a new home

This sweet little Jazz club has run out of time it seems.
The Saskatoon Jazz Shrine needs to find a new home because it's old one has a new owner.

This is one cool basement club, and it will be sad to see it go. It can stand up against any of the big city Jazz clubs I've been to.
Hopefully The Saskatoon Jazz Society can find another home.

The swing kids of Third Avenue are moving out of their basement digs after a Big Apple buyer bought their hangout.

The Glengarry building, which has housed The Bassment jazz club for 25 years, has been sold to a New York architect. With his planned renovations, the underground club is on its last note.


via. The StarPhoenix

Me and the boys went to the Raiders Hockey Game tonight

P.A. Raiders Hockey Game

And we beat the Red Deer whatevers, 6 to 2.

P.A. Raiders Hockey Game

It was a good game with a few mixups.

P.A. Raiders Hockey Game

But Prince Albert did well in it.

Standing in front of the Grey Cup

But before the game, some Saskatchewan Roughriders brought the Grey Cup to town and were signing autographs and letting people take their pictures with the cup.

Cool.

Fun.

"Lauralea's Multi-Grain Bread" is getting some press

Cool.

She gets some street cred from Bob's Red Mill.

She works hard at her craft, trying new ways of making the food till she gets it just how she wants it.

Then she puts it up on her cooking blog, lauraleacooks.com.

Well done girl

So what if...

So, lets just say, what if two children, twins even, were born to a woman who gave them up for adoption.
And what if they were raised by two separate adoptive sets of parents.
And what if they grew up into young adults and met one another later on in life.
And what if they were attracted to each other, and fell in love.
And what if they had a big wedding and were in love and life was great.
And what if one of the two wanted to find her biological parents, and her search led her to know she had a brother out there.
And what if she were told that her brother had been tracked down and that he had the same name as her new husband.
And what if they both learned that they were originally brother and sister.

How many counselling sessions would it take to get them to be even near normal again?

(Yes. It happened.)

Guess what I just found in my desk

Upon second thought, that leading statement runs akin to "Guess what I have in my pocket?"

Well maybe not that bad but...

I found a recently forgotten Three Musketeers Bar.



WooHoo anybody?

Yeah.

They always remind me of when they made their appearance in Canada.
I was at the small store across the street from my house with my little allowance burning a hole in my hand. It only took me an hour to decide which it would be, and I tasted the fluffy chocolaty goodness for the first time.

Sweet.

Indeed.

My soul waits

My soul waits for the Lord
more than those
who watch for the morning,
more than those
who watch for the morning.

Tonight in prayer, these first lines captured my attention so deeply that my heart spent the whole time there.

My soul waits for the Lord

But often I don't wait. I rush ahead because sometimes the wait is so painful. Painfully slow.

...more than those
who watch for the morning


Like sitting with my father in the hospital through a long night, praying for strength and life to return to his broken body. Watching the sky through the window, praying that dawn might come quickly.

...more than those
who watch for the morning


Like driving across the flat prairies through the night and the worst part of the night is just before the dawn. It is so exhausting and your tired body screams for the sun to rise up already, to help you focus and reach your destination safely.

...more than those
who watch for the morning


Like holding the sick whimpering child in my arms, pacing back and forth staring out into the cold dark morning praying for dawn to hurry so that we might be able to phone a Doctor who might be able to help.

My soul waits
waits
waits
waits
waits for the Lord
more than those
who watch for the morning


more than those
who watch for the morning

I just ate one of Lauralea's children's Aspirin

I chewed it and let it settle in my mouth, and instantly I was 9 years old again. In my bed, sick with the flu and my mom  giving me a cup of water to wash it down.

Wow.

Comfort in a little plastic bottle.

Pastors Wanted.

I heard recently of a friend I was in college with who had been pastoring a church for 14 years and recently he resigned his church. He surfaced again two months later representing a mission agency.

Last autumn, another friend, about my age, resigned his church. He had been there for ten years, and the church he had been at before that he had also been at for a long time.

Another friend quits years of pastoring, to go teach at a bible school. Another leaves his long served church to work in administration in his denomination. The local chaplain becomes a chaplain after years of long service in a local church.

This has me bugged.

Qualified, experienced pastors leaving the local church, to do something else, somewhat related. Not leaving in disgrace or failure, just leaving.

Like I said, this bothers me. Mostly because we are living in a day and age when experience is needed. We need people like these who have proven a willingness to stick it out for the long term. People who are committed to others come what may, and who have a deep sense of calling to care.

But I think I'm starting to get it.

These pastors who are quitting, they aren't the ones who move on after a couple of years, or see it as a step on the way to a bigger and better church. No, they are the ones who stick around, long term. They see a part of their work as that of being present, for a long time. They live the discipline of stability which calls for a committed way of life with a certain group of people for the long haul.

Yet how many of these committed relationships can you commit to in your life time?

How many of these long term relationships can you have with groups of people? People you live with and learn to love, in spite of their many idiosyncrasies. You love and you care and you argue and you make up. You grow and watch and pray and hope and celebrate and hurt for them. How many times can you do that in your lifetime?

Maybe it's like a couple that's spent a lifetime together and are in love and the thought of starting over with someone else if their spouse dies, is just too overwhelming. It won't happen because it's too hard to create again the unique dynamics the two of them once had. They will never love again like that, and they realize it.

Sometimes these pastors pour everything that they have into the churches they care for, and that cost can sometimes be so great. It leaves them unable to see how they could ever do that again. They don't have that youthful zeal that would once drive them on. They become tired and the church expects certain levels of care and service from them. It's just how it goes.

For them, the thought of another long term commitment to a group of believers is simply overwhelming. So they look at their options, and move to a part of ministry that might not be as emotionally demanding for them.

Longevity is a good thing. Commitment is good too. But how do you live in this place, for a long time, again and again and again?


I don't have the answers.
In fact I think I'm just beginning to understand the questions.

RandallFriesen. Now it's own channel.

I uploaded my videos from last summer's trip to Iona.
You can check them out on YouTube.

Here is My Channel.


And here is a playlist of videos I made walking from our Bed and Breakfast to the Iona Abbey, then back through another route. We walked it a couple times each day when we went up to the Abbey for prayer.

(Sorry for the jerky quality, it was from my digital camera.)





RandallFriesen.com. Now on TV.

Austin leaves Roughriders for Ole Miss

Ouch. Shoot. Darn. Yuck.



The Saskatchewan Roughriders will be defending their Grey Cup title without coach Kent Austin.

The 44-year-old announced Wednesday he is leaving to become offensive co-ordinator at Ole Miss, his alma mater.

"I struggled with this one pretty big time," Austin said at the news conference. "Having won the Grey Cup didn't make the decision any easier.

"I have a great love and affection for my university and it's not just the university, it's the people that I'll be working with."

From 1981 to 1985, he played quarterback at Ole Miss and grew up in nearby Nashville.

Austin is Ole Miss's second all-time passer and was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame.

Austin replaces David Lee, his former quarterback coach, who left the school recently to join Bill Parcells with the National Football League's Miami Dolphins.

Austin took over as Roughriders coach on Dec. 6, 2006, succeeding Danny Barrett after being fired as the Toronto Argonauts' offensive co-ordinator.

He was hailed as a hero across Saskatchewan on Nov. 25 when the Riders defeated Winnipeg 23-19 in the 95th Grey Cup in Toronto for just their third title in the team's 97-year history.

Via.


Ah Kent, we hardly knew ya.

At the end of a long day, who sings you lullabies?

It' getting late and I'm on my way home now, after a full day.

I take a few moments to review the day, the God moments and the me moments. I become saddened that there are more me moments than God moments in my day. Then, to my mind comes two conversations I've had today with two individuals who each mention a significant shift in their direction in the past days. Hope comes back to my heart.

My mind remembers how not three days previously I couldn't get them out of my head. So I did the only think I knew to do, and that was to pray, so I did. I prayed and prayed for them and it felt good to pray with such freedom and intensity. I didn't know then what I was praying for, but I think I do now.

Ah,
God moments - 10.
Me moments - 6. (ok, 7)



Let this song from Ms. Kate be your benediction this night.
There is always someone who loves to sing you Lullabies.

Waiting

Life rumbles along, big wheels carrying you through each day and night and you don't realize you are being carried by the momentum of the big wheels turning. But you are.

Then a day like last Friday comes along and somebody throws a stick in the spokes and everything stops short, just for a bit.

I went with Lauralea for a "consultation" with a specialist on Friday. It quickly went from a consultation to a "Ooh that is a large nodule on your thyroid," then straight on to "Let's do a needle Biopsy of it. Now."

It ended with something like "We will need to do surgery and I will let you know the biopsy results right away." I'm not too sure on that because by then it was all a little fuzzy in my head.

And so, we wait.

We are pretty sure it won't come back as a problem, but living in never never land was only fun for Peter.

Death By Pedestrianism

Yeah, so it's snowing and blowing like crazy out there and visibility is about half a block.

So how many neurons and synapses need to fire to figure out that it would be unwise to walk in the middle of the driving lane????

Even with the sidewalk right there??

Or better yet, lets wander into traffic while txting our friends on how bad the weather is, and have to be yanked out of the way at the last minute by a friend, so that some shmucks slow moving, yet sliding on sheer ice towards me van won't hit me.

That whole natural selection thing is underrated.
The ones who don't think or take care, bump, off they go to their eternal reward.

I've just gotten married.

After a long time of having separate profiles on Facebook, Lauralea has invited me to marry her. Finally.

Of course this big news shoots through the underbelly of facebook like a grassfire, and I've been receiving many congratulations and notes of support, for which I am grateful.

I just think it's good that we could be married before our daughter is.

Look what's coming to visit us today.

I've just arrived at the office and it's beautiful out there right now. Dark, warm, calm. I guess its the calm before the storm.



Weather for Prince Albert;
Cloudy. Snow beginning early this morning. Risk of freezing rain this morning. Snowfall amount 2 to 4 cm. Local blowing snow in open areas this afternoon. Wind becoming northwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 this morning. High minus 6 with temperature falling to minus 16 this afternoon. Wind chill minus 27 this afternoon.
via.



The radio is already reporting no visibility on the Highways in the western side of the province.
So, hold on to your hats kids, it could get a little bumpy out there today.

The Bob Newhart Show

Comedian Bob Newhart plays Dr. Robert Hartley, a psychologist living in Chicago with his wife Emily, a schoolteacher. His neighbor, Howard Borden, is a divorced airplane navigator. One of Bob's best friends is Dr. Jerry Robinson, an orthodontist that works on the same floor as Bob. There's also Bob and Jerry's receptionist Carol Kester as well as a long list of patients of Bob's such as Elliot...



An old show but one that makes me laugh, even for some of its 1970's sensibilities.



Been watching a few episodes on a DVD set that I bought a long time ago.

The dress, and scenery and curtain material remind me of my growing up years. Kind of fun.

Today I learned a new word.

Last night just before bed I was reading a bit and developed a bad case of Blepharospasm. It was kind of distracting while I was trying to read, but I thought it was simply an indication that it was time to try to sleep.

This morning it's still there, except worse.

I wonder if there is a Blepharospasm self help group or something.

Coffee and an artists reception



Lauralea and I attended an artists reception at the Bisons Red Door Gallery this afternoon.

The exhibition was good, and for a while it was door to door people.

The quality of their work is inspiring.

Bev and Jerry Walker are accomplished artists who live here in Prince Albert. They could use a bit of good exposure because the quality of their work is stellar. I'd be proud to hang one or three in our house.

Anyway, Lauralea and I really enjoyed it.



Of course the Bison's coffee was good too. It's always good and strong and not bitter, all the things I love in good coffee.

Their exhibition at the Red Door Gallery in the Bison Cafe will continue for a few weeks yet. You should take some time out and drop in for a good coffee and while there check out the display in the back.

Bye Bill

And so

an email pops up in my inbox while I'm working away here.

A friends wife has just died, from cancer.

She was my age.

He is now alone, with their son.

Peace to her memory, and to them this cold winters night.

What Mean These Stones?

Land of my fathers,
how I long to return,
to touch thy earth,
and find again thy sacred paths,
well-walked with the Gospel of Peace,
veiled now in the shadow of mediocrity.

'What mean these stones'
which beset thy coastline,
who in twisted agony cry out
in praise and supplication of Him
and the renewal of the faith
that bled to secure them there?

Yet we would walk again
thy sacred paths,
repair thy ancient ruins,
restore thy broken altars,
raise up the foundations
of many generations.

Hear this, you lands of the South
who hold many in captivity
by your empty words
and well-worn myths,
who neglect to see justice
for the poor, the widow,
the fatherless.

Look to the North -
for lo your Redeemer comes,
clothed in the poverty of the few
who dare to speak His name,
without vanity,
in a whisper,
lest the earth should tremble
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.

Poor of Yahweh, arise,
take up the ancient mantle
which has awaited your day;
clothe yourselves within its humility,
for you have been set
as a stumbling block for many.

via. evening prayer, Northumbria Community

Oh this is too good to miss

LONDON (AFP) - Eyebrows were raised in the House of Commons on Thursday when a motion calling for the Church of England to be disestablished was listed with the number 666, symbol of the AntiChrist.

“This number is supposed to be the mark of the Devil. It looks as though God or the Devil have been moving in mysterious ways,” said Bob Russell, a Liberal Democrat MP among those proposing the motion for debate.

“What is even stranger is that this motion was tabled last night when MPs were debating blasphemy,” he added.

The motion calls for an end to the formal link between Church and State in England — embodied in the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who is both head of state and head of the Church of England.

The number 666 is referred to in the Book of Revelations in the Bible: “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred, three score and six.”

“It is is incredible that a motion like this should have, by chance, acquired this significant number,” said Russell.

Under the rules of the House of Commons the motion by backbenchers has little chance of actually being debated in parliament.

(Story copyright Yahoo News UK)




Via. Barbara

Feels like Lake Windermere



I've had this live video feed running in the corner of my desktop this morning. It's the ferry crossing lake Windermere in the Lake district in Cumbria.

More and more I seem to be able to connect with feelings of things, and today feels for me similar to the day Lauralea and I spent out on this lake with Rachel.

We were just across the lake from this point, and you can even see a bit of where we walked and explored, late that early July evening.

Lake Windermere

It was not a particularly warm day, just nicely comfortable. I remember low clouds in the sky making the light muted and all manner of blue.

On Lake Windermere

There were only a few boats on the lake, as the evening progressed and the clouds grew. most of the boats were already docked for the night.

Rachel and Lauralea

It was a most lovely, calm evening. I took many pictures I remember, because I was trying desperately to capture something. The light, the feeling, the moment. I'm not sure what it was but even now as I look back, the feeling is still there.

Calm. Peaceful. Curious.

Great meal

The three of us found a local pub that served the best food.
Fish and chips and mushy peas.
Good food.

Beautiful Cumbria

Such a beautiful part of the world.

Today I'm remembering it, and even today, seven months later, it is a blessing to me.
The calm, the peaceful, the curious. The same feelings I had there, are with me today.

Prayer for Faith

Almighty and eternal God:
our eyes cannot see you,
our hands cannot touch you.
You are beyond the understanding of our minds.

 



Yet you have breathed your Spirit
into our spirits.
You have formed our minds to seek you,
inclined our hearts to love you,
called us to be heirs of your eternal kingdom.
Give us faith to lay hold of things unseen,
to live as those who see the invisible God.

 



Bring us at the last
to those things beyond our seeing,
beyond our hearing,
beyond our imagining,
to the vision of your glory
when we shall see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 


Amen


 


(BoCO)

I miss my old van's keys

The keys to the Velvet Fog were perfectly formed so that when I had an itch deep inside my ear, in they would go and reach the spot nicely. They were also great for when it was time to clean em out. The ears I mean. Just shove a key in the ear and you're good for another month.

But these new keys just don't fit as well. I get crazy when my inner ear itches and I've got nothing to reach in there with.

It's tough being me.

The Halfway Covenant

The Halfway Covenant was a form of partial church membership created by New England Puritans in 1662. It was promoted in particular by the Reverend Solomon Stoddard, who felt that the people of the English colonies were drifting away from their original religious purpose. First-generation settlers were beginning to die out, while their children and grandchildren often expressed less religious piety, and more desire for material wealth.

Full membership in the Puritan (and tax-supported) church required an account of a conversion experience, and only persons in full membership could have their own children baptized.

In response, the Halfway Covenant provided a partial church membership for the children and grandchildren of church members. Those who accepted the Covenant, and agreed to follow the creed and rules of the church, could become church members without claiming a spiritual experience. These half-members could not vote on any issues within the church, although all members could participate in the sacrament of the Supper.

Puritan preachers hoped that this plan would maintain some of the church's influence in society, and that these 'half-way members' would see the benefits of full membership, be exposed to teachings and piety which would lead to the "born again" experience, and eventually take the full oath of allegiance. Many of the more religious members of Puritan society rejected this plan as they felt it did not fully adhere to the church's guidelines, and many of the target members opted to wait for a true conversion experience instead of taking what they viewed as a short cut.

Overall, religious piety began to decrease and secular values began to become more prevalent in colonial society.

Response to the Halfway Covenant may have sown the seeds for the First Great Awakening in the 1730s, launched by Stoddard's grandson Jonathan Edwards. Along with Calvinist George Whitefield, he preached that God is "in the now", and there must be a "urgent call for lanquid will", in response to the half will that the Halfway Covenant allows.

wikipedia





Wow.
Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.

Because sometimes a picture is just worth a thousand words

ALTERNATE TITLE: HEED, MOOVE NOW.



Talking Head

Just one of those days in which the pastor hopes the end will come quicker than it is.

Actually, spoken judiciously, I think I would trade today for one of those times in which I have to go to the door and tell people their loved one has been in an accident.

Yuck.

If a pastors work is prayer, than I'm working hard tonight.



Got Stuff?

Here's a good piece by Paul Graham on Stuff.



And unless you're extremely organized, a house full of stuff can be very depressing. A cluttered room saps one's spirits. One reason, obviously, is that there's less room for people in a room full of stuff. But there's more going on than that. I think humans constantly scan their environment to build a mental model of what's around them. And the harder a scene is to parse, the less energy you have left for conscious thoughts. A cluttered room is literally exhausting.

(This could explain why clutter doesn't seem to bother kids as much as adults. Kids are less perceptive. They build a coarser model of their surroundings, and this consumes less energy.)

I first realized the worthlessness of stuff when I lived in Italy for a year. All I took with me was one large backpack of stuff. The rest of my stuff I left in my landlady's attic back in the US. And you know what? All I missed were some of the books. By the end of the year I couldn't even remember what else I had stored in that attic.

And yet when I got back I didn't discard so much as a box of it. Throw away a perfectly good rotary telephone? I might need that one day.

The really painful thing to recall is not just that I accumulated all this useless stuff, but that I often spent money I desperately needed on stuff that I didn't.




read the rest here.

all the time...

Lauralea has been in bed for a while already and I'm not far behind.

It feels strangely like the past three or four weeks we've been protected, or covered. There has been enough emotional and physical energy for each day as we've needed it. Our needs have been met and we've been watched over well.

Then this morning came.

Probably just catching up, but boy oh boy, it feels like three weeks worth of dead weight, plunk, right here this morning.

It would be a cool thing to see behind the curtain. To see what, or who has been holding us up. How people have been praying for us. How God has ordered his servants to serve us.

Now, for reasons He is well aware of, we are in a different season.

I have wondered a couple of times these weeks, how and why we've been doing so well.

But yeah, He is faithful, through good times and difficult times.

Tomorrow we're back at work.

and I am glad for the season we've just enjoyed.

God is good...

and it hits.

Hillary made it back to school.

The boys are back at their schools.

Keeping up with daily changes and shifting expectations for this wedding.

Christmas tree is still up.

Its snowing.

And we are exhausted.

Hopefully going back to bed.

Hillary is off to college again today

which I suppose just means that Christmas is indeed over. Time marches on.

Next up ok the "specials" list is some board meetings for me, then Johanna and Nates wedding, then some more meetings, then Thomas graduation from High school, then Micah's grad from elementary school, and then, finally my graduation from the Spiritual Direction program at North Park.

At least its not all clumped together.

But its gonna be a real emotional ride this spring and summer, I think.

But now, off to work.

I'll tell you how lame we are...

I needed a couple of new shirts and so earlier this week Lauralea and I found a sale on really good shirts, so I bought a couple.

In this gig that I do called pastoring, it has occasionally come through in the yearly evaluations that people really seem to enjoy when I wear a tie.

...

So I need a few shirts that I can wear a tie with. And as I said, we got a couple, on sale.

But then we saw a beautiful tie that was on sale too. And to say its a good looking tie would be a bit of an understatement, cause it was nice.

The snag was that it cost, hold your breath now, it cost $45, on sale.

And I got caught up in the sale atmosphere and Lauralea's ooing over the tie, and telling me to get the tie, for various good reasons.

It's hard for me to type this but, I bought the tie.

The tie looks great with the shirts I got, its a real beaut. And Lauralea affirms the quality purchase, trying to talk me down from my guilty tower.

Then yesterday I think, hmm, I should look at Sears or some other place, maybe I could get a few other ties for the price of that one tie.

And she's all, "I love this tie, it's beautiful, you'll look like a million dollars..."

And I'm like, "I can't wear this with a guilty conscience!!"

So she went with me today and I bought 4 ties for the same price as the one, and I feel better about it.

Good.

Then she who needs some kind of underneath the sweater garments, finds a deal, three slips for the price of two.

And I'm all, "Get three, it's a sweet deal and good quality items!"

And she's like, "But it's $40 for three slips, thats way too much money for three slips!!"

And I'm like "Well you can dish it out but you sure can't take it!"

Which she can't.

We bought the slips too.

Sheesh, how lame are we?

So, Oil prices have hit a new high, $100.

That is, sobering.

As is the promised low of $1.30 a litre for petrol promised this year.

Right now, a trip to Saskatoon and back is $45.

That makes me take notice.

On the news the other night I saw an interview with a young lady who obviously (because there was NO snow there) lives down on the mainland, near Vancouver. She was thinking that the price increase would effect her, because she fills her mid sized car twice a week.

Good grief.

I normally don't even use a whole tank in a month.

I mean, it's a small city. My commute is five minutes. That's it.

And I again kinda felt good that I live where I live, and I don't need to burn $150 in gas a week, just to get to work and back.

But $100 a barrel for oil. That's going to mean increased air fares, produce costs, mail delivery costs, public transportation fees, home heating costs, and so on.

Which may make us start to think smarter, at least on this continent.

I hope.

I like when we're online and she says she loves me.

"I'll just go to IGA and get the groceries that were on my list.
9:44 AM I'm still thinking beef dip buns and maybe salad for supper.
I'll catch up with you later. Love you."

:)

Why do some places have medium, large, and Extra large drinks?

and they have no small?

What do they think I am, an idiot?
How can you have a medium without a small? Isn't that what a medium is??Something between a small and a large???

Makes me crazy.

Sheesh.

loooong day gone

After getting up long before the crack of dawn, and driving to the city, it kind of turned into a long day.

I had to be in town for a Supervision appointment for my Spiritual Direction course, so Hillary and Lauralea came along. Hillary looked for bridesmaids dresses for the wedding, and Lauralea had a gift certificate for a pottery store burning a hole in her little hand. Looks like all the needs were answered and everyone is happy, well except for the tiredness.

So yeah, back home, tired, maybe got just a little room left in me for another College football game tonight, The Orange Bowl.

Talk more tomorrow.

It's a bit late but anytime is a good time for Sufjan Stevens

Put The Lights On The Tree - Sufjan Stevens


Bradley Schmeling on Preaching

“When I first began preaching, I wanted each sermon to be a powerful and transformative experience. I wanted it to be exegetically and theologically sound, even while it was painting new pictures and inspiring new metaphors. I wanted people’s lives to be changed and the reign of God to come. Now, after almost 20 years of ministry, I just want to have it done by Friday.”

Bradley Schmeling in Christian Century magazine



via Ruth

There is no line up at Tim's either drive through or walk in

So go now.

I guess that's my Christmas Miracle then.

Into gear for 2008

I think I'll head back to the office tomorrow morning. Between being on call with the Hospital this week and trying to catch up on my homework for class, it feels like I'm already working. Besides, I might need the left over day off later on in the week for some errands around here, helping people get ready for a wedding or some such thing.

Anyway, another Christmas behind us, and a good one I think.

I've never been one of those people who feels a considerable letdown after Christmas is done. For me it's more of a feeling of "What's next then?" And off I go, with the season and stuff behind me.

I don't know why I am that way, but I am glad I am.

Yeah, better to get on with the work of becoming disciples, than distracted with some of that seasonal stuff.

:)

Happy New Year, gentle readers.
May she turn out even better than you can imagine.

peace, blessings, and good night.

Because sometimes a picture can make you feel a whole lot better about yourself

Bono, on vacation.



I appreciate the truthfulness of this photo.

Really.

I think I'll take off my shirt and wander around the house comfortable with myself.