another pentecost sunday is in the books

Well, another Pentecost Sunday is in the history books, and the gang at church were a little tired today, which always makes worship a bit, well, yawn, tired. Not quite the same effect as the original, but the heart was there, and so was God.

The weekend was busy too. Friday a youth parents year end bbq, then yesterday office work and some yard work and a run to the garbage dump. Couldn't shake the nauseous feeling all day, and the tiredness even after a solid night of sleep.

Today was supper at some new friends home followed by a classic prairie event. A fiddle (Violin) teacher put on an evening concert with her students. It was held in a town hall down the road. It was classic prairie fare, complete with some red juice, coffee, and sweets afterward.

Lauralea and I didn't stay for the refreshments, mostly because I wasn't feeling that great. Looking back over the weekend it seems like it was a medium grade stomach flu, all weekend long. It just kinda made the whole weekend more difficult to get through.  But here we are.

Tomorrow another week begins, with new challenges and things to manage.

Zion Strings Fiddle Concert

We're at a concert in the town hall at New Norway for the evening. Foodbank donations taken at the door.

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Johanna & Hillary

You know, I wouldn't want the kids to be small again, but man pictures like these sure make me smile. It shows so well who they became.

Johanna & Hillary

Lauralea beat me to it

I sat down to write a post and checked with Lauralea's blog and realized she had written the same post I was going to write, except she writes it better.

She writes;


It is slowly dawning on my beach-drugged mind, that rest does not equal sloth. That inactivity is not, of necessity, a damnable thing. That rather than holding on with both hands until this or that curve of the ride is over, and then trying to quickly catch one’s breath while the roller coaster climbs the next rise, it is better to learn restful balance.

Randall and I talked about what God would teach us, here in The Field. Make no mistake- every situation he’s called us to has not been for the church alone. Maybe they learned something too; maybe we helped them somehow; but we can see the things that God taught us, and chart our own growth and maturing process along the way.

We wondered, then, what this phase in our life would be about.

I’m beginning to think that this might be the place God has chosen to bring us to learn balance. To learn a better, more graceful way of living.

That thought actually brings a hopeful little leap of joy to my soul.


You need to go over there and read the rest of her post. She's starting to get it I think.

Turning into a nice night

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Supper with the youth families

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Morning world

I've been at my desk early this morning and my window is open and the sound of some blessed soul cutting my lawn with a mowing tractor, and the sound of the flies and birds remind me that I am in a place in the country.

The gentle sounds of life in the field are good noises, for the most part. At least you realize when the sounds don't fit with the field. Like last night, I thought I was hearing sirens from police cars and fire trucks, but I remember where I am and shake my head and get on with life.

Maybe it was just the exhaustion we were experiencing. The week has been full and by last night it all caught up with me and I was in one of those precarious places where I was too tired to eat supper and it was too early to go to bed. So I puttered around finishing up a few small projects that needed doing, and then I went and lay down on the couch, to have a nap before bed. I knew that if I just went to bed that I would be too tired to sleep, so I thought a nap might help that, and it did.

I got up at 10:30, ate six crackers, brushed my teeth, and crawled in beside herself, who had already been in bed for a while I guessed, if her sawing lumber was any indication. Shortly after eleven I was gone.

Today I am preparing for a funeral/memorial service this afternoon, for someone I never met. Those can be tricky, but this one should be alright. And then a youth families windup supper/wiener roast this evening, and then get ready for Pentecost on Sunday. Good thing I got some serious sleep last night. Looks like I'm going to need it.

This week on Twitter 2009-05-27


  • Thursday morning breakfast. http://post.ly/cAe #

  • Ok so I just answered the church office phone with "Morning, Gateway" rather than the church I am now at. Sheesh. I need a church call sign. #

  • Visitors in the back yard. http://post.ly/cIF #

  • Just heading into town to connect with people today #

  • Heading to town to connect with some people. http://post.ly/cv2 #

  • I keep underestimating the time going to town takes and I plan to do other things in the office in the afternoon and that always fails. #

  • In the office today and tomorrow looks like there are many opportunities to visit in people's homes. Maybe tonight we're off to see a movie #

  • Hey these guys eat dandelions!!! http://post.ly/dZK #

  • I'm so tired and I just. Can't. Sleep. Four hours left to keep trying. #

  • Blurry but happy http://post.ly/fCN #

  • Weather is rollin in http://post.ly/fGU #

This week on Twitter 2009-05-27


  • Thursday morning breakfast. http://post.ly/cAe #

  • Ok so I just answered the church office phone with "Morning, Gateway" rather than the church I am now at. Sheesh. I need a church call sign. #

  • Visitors in the back yard. http://post.ly/cIF #

  • Just heading into town to connect with people today #

  • Heading to town to connect with some people. http://post.ly/cv2 #

  • I keep underestimating the time going to town takes and I plan to do other things in the office in the afternoon and that always fails. #

  • In the office today and tomorrow looks like there are many opportunities to visit in people's homes. Maybe tonight we're off to see a movie #

  • Hey these guys eat dandelions!!! http://post.ly/dZK #

  • I'm so tired and I just. Can't. Sleep. Four hours left to keep trying. #

  • Blurry but happy http://post.ly/fCN #

  • Weather is rollin in http://post.ly/fGU #

Weather is rollin in

And we really need some rain. Hope it pours.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Blurry but happy

Aunt Sylvia is visiting.

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Breathtaking, if that can be used to describe a bird.

This morning as I sat in the sun-room of a home where I and the homeowners were going over the details of a funeral I will be officiating at later on this week, a most amazing thing happened. Something bright and cheerful caught my eye just landing on the shrub outside the screen.

It was an amazing bright orange bird with black topped wings and the orange was as bright and cheerful as an orange creamsicle. The bird took my breath away with its colour and brilliance. I quickly blurted out some inane words, pointing with my dumbfounded self to the bird. She saw it first and called to him to help decide what it might be. They brought out the Bird Book and we decided it must be a Baltimore Oriole.

Baltimore Oriole



My first Baltimore Oriole, and he was a beauty.

I think I'll make it the official bird of randallfriesen.com

I stopped on the way home and got my own bird book. Good thing too because some bright green hummingbird buzzed me as I arrived home.

Radio. Things that make me smile.

This could probably be classified under Too Much Information, but I still get a buzz when I get to play with a new radio or radio format.

I think it all went back to that small AM Transistor I won in a contest and how that radio opened the world to me late at night when I was suppose to be sleeping. Salt Lake City came rolling in and I got my buzz on. Then there was Seattle and Iowa and Vancouver and sometimes Chicago and St. Louis. Listening to those far away places just really made me happy, in healthy ways.

Then I found an old Shortwave radio in my great grandparents old things and I set that up beside my bed. I will never forget that first night when HCJB came booming into my bedroom, all the way from Quito Ecuador. Then came the BBC and Radio Netherlands and that led me through the next few years of occasional pleasure in an otherwise bleak teenage existence.

When I started to drive dad's old 68 Pontiac Laurentian it only had an AM Radio in it and the late 70's were the time when FM was just starting up. Granted there were only three FM stations in Saskatoon at the time, and they were mostly crap, but still, more radio, more opportunities to hear the world. I had an 8-Track player in it at the time, and one day while down at Canadian Tire I saw an FM Radio Adapter you could insert into the Eight Track slot and have FM Radio in your car. My eyes got big and the cost wasn't that great so after a few weeks I got it and took it home. I unwrapped it carefully and plugged it into the old 8-track player and within a few moments that old simple pleasure of tuning a new station brought a grin to my acne covered face.

The years went by and I never had lots of cash to spend on radio's so I enjoyed the simple pleasures of tuning in distant stations. I'd work on simple inexpensive antennas which would dramatically increase the reception, and the occasional smile.

The Internet came along, and one of my first demands of the Internet was pulling in distant radio stations who would put their feeds up online. Though it wasn't the same buzz as a small radio in my hand pulling in distant stations, it was cool to have clear quality signals coming in over the internet wire, right into my house. I bought a small FM Transmitter, hooked it up to the computer, and retransmitted the stations throughout the house and yard and about a block into the neighbourhood so that I could turn on my handheld radio and listen to the stations a world away, right from the comfort of my back yard. And I would smile.

In the 1990's Satellite radio came along and though at the beginning was too expensive to consider, by June 2006 we were enjoying the variety of distant sounds bouncing off a chunk of metal somewhere up there in space. I remember the smile on my face when we could listen to NPR or the Seventies Channel. Old Time Classic Radio still plays throughout the house here in the field, and this morning I woke up to a thought provoking interview on NPR. Simple joys for a simple mind you might say, I know you're thinking it.

:)

So where is this all going you are saying to yourself. Well I was thinking the other day about all this stuff and history and wondering why a simple pleasure such as radio still has the power to make me smile. I was thinking about it because I was driving down the highway heading to town, and in my hand I held my mobile phone, a small blackberry on which I had downloaded an application to play online radio stations. I was jumping between continents and genres, between local stations and international ones. I listened to the traffic in New York City, and the Cubs getting ready to play in Chicago. Worship music from St. Louis and the weather from Germany. I was grinning ear to ear again and though nobody gets it I'm k with that.

I think what was making me smile even more was the sound coming off of that small tinny phone speaker. It sounded exactly like my first small AM Transistor radio, pulling in the local stations. In terms of radio at least, it felt like we'd come full circle.

And I smiled again.


Hey these guys eat dandelions!!!

Amazing. Organic weed control. Sweet. These six young ones have been around all week.

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The good and the bad of driving a car that many police services use.

Since we got the Crown Victoria I've noticed a couple of things.

When I'm on a highway in a lane behind someone going a little slower than I am, they will usually pull over quickly and let me pass.

However, when on a dirt road where there is no room to pull over, the speeding car will see me in the distance in their rear view mirror, and slow right down 20 kms slower than the speed limit, and I'm stuck there.

So I guess it all evens out in the end.

I must not let this power go to my head.

Visitors in the back yard.

Skinny hungry young uns.

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Success is Counted Sweetest

by Emily Dickinson

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple host
Who took the flag today
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory

As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Break agonized and clear!

Thursday morning breakfast.

Chocolate chip muffins

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An evening prayer for you

Father tonight as the sky is still a pale blue here in the field there are these people I want to remind you of. Some of them are alone and lonely and just need to know that you are in the room with them. Would you fill their rooms with your glory please?

There are others who are uncertain because the future is uncertain. The days ahead look so very difficult to travel, and emotional and parental pain seems so close to the surface, even as close as the physical pain is. Father would you strengthen them this night and grant them and their families hope that will carry them through.

Father, some this night are just broken. In their bodies or in their hearts, in their marriages or relationships with their kids or their parents. Broken. Father put your gentle hands on them, touch the brokenness they are in the midst of just like you would touch the lepers. And as you tough them, heal them. Make them come alive again. Restore them even better than they once were. Be their healer God for you alone are able. You alone.

And for those who ache and hurt this night and day, be close to them father. Whenever they turn around, would you be there right in front of them? Would you surround them in a safe bubble and protect their hearts and their faith. Would you comfort them and grant them joy that runs deep beneath the turmoil that runs near the surface, and would you be their God Lord, whatever they need to see would you provide.

And for those who slumber and sleep this night, grant them a deep sleep and a safe rest. For those who will need grace in the morning, would you dispatch ministering angels who will, at your bidding, go stand beside them and care for them and strengthen them.

Father, may your kingdom come and may your will be done, in these homes and hearts and places empty of you, even as it is in heaven.


Amen.

Five years ago today

My grandpa died.

Here, and here.

Funny, it doesn't feel like five years. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday.

The things that he gave me that I still carry?

Whenever he saw me or we separated ways he always said he loved me. That always impressed me. Because of that I try to do the same to my kids whenever we part. I want them to KNOW they are loved. No Doubts.

And he prayed for me, every day, by name. I don't think I've known that level of prayer since, by one single individual. It's also something I want to give my kids, whether they know it or not. And while I'm not as good at it yet as he was, I am on my way. I honestly attribute so much of the grace and blessing my life has experienced, to people who have prayed for me, and continue to do so.

So today I'm thinking of legacy and his grace in my life. And I'm remembering that on this night five years ago my Grandma was rushed to the hospital, and would pass away five days later.

That's kind of fitting because I don't remember them separately. My memories of them were together, each with their own roles, but they lived and ministered and then died together. Which is an amazing grace too if you think about it.


God is indeed good.

Big stink at the church

Seems like something living crawled into the furnace into a very unreachable place and has succumbed and passed on to whatever is next for it and has left a lingering odor that, when the furnace is on, smells strongly like burning flesh and hair or some such thing.

Apparently the way to deal with such a problem is to open up the windows and turn up the furnace, cremating the little blighter.

However that means I need to work at home in the front room for a while because the stink is amazing.

Because sometimes churches can make a big stink.

This week on Twitter 2009-05-20

This week on Twitter 2009-05-20

Lesson Learned

Do not, when helping with the laundry, place Lauralea's blouses or nylons or bras into the dryer.

They prefer to hang dry.

Lunch

Lauralea had some doctors appointments and tests today so we stopped in for lunch at Wok and Roll. Mmmm.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Walking in a winter wonderland

It's another day of snow here in the field and on this my stat day off let me just say what a delight it is to have snow on the Victoria Day weekend in May.

Yes that was sarcasm oozing out every pore of my being.

The farmers are torn. They want and the fields need some moisture, but those who are not done seeding will soon be pacing back and forth in their houses, getting in their wives ways and being grumpy and short tempered.

As for our day, we have some Doctor appointments in town, then maybe lunch with Lauralea, although the bowl of porridge she made for me this morning could keep me full till tomorrow.

Anyway, I've been experimenting lately with posting pictures online from my phone so you might see some pic's up here in the near future.

and I hope it isn't snowing where you live.

Just life

Yesterday I was in Camrose checking up on a couple of ladies from church, and I had some good connections by the way. One kind soul found out I hadn't eaten breakfast and she took pity on me and I couldn't dissuade her from making me some eggs and toast. Now that's my kind of visitation.

Anyway, between meetings I had a few moments so I hit the well loved used bookstore downtown, and I got two beauties. "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter and "The Poetical Works of John Keats." A real treat.

IMG00021

Then coming home I went past the field Thomas is currently working. He was there rolling it till late last night, and I think he was back there by 7 this morning. The guy is really taking to this farming/farm hand gig, which is kinda out of the blue.

Anyway, I captured a small image with my phone of him rolling a field in the distance.
IMG00029

The rolling helps when the fields are a bit too dry, and it compacts the dirt a bit so the seed stays there snug and safe and doesn't blow away. It also helps to push down any rocks that were missed during the rock picking days. Which he's done a few of too.

Today I am trying to connect with a few other people, so I may be off to town again soon. This time it would be Wetaskiwin.

And the best part is that Lauralea comes home tonight.

I miss her.

Letters from the Field

Today ended up being about taking some time for my sprit to catch up with my body, or so it seemed. An appointment cancelled and another surprised me early in the day, so after those surprises I took some time for some physical work that's been needed doing at the house since we moved. Lauralea is gone so it was just me in the field today doing what I needed to do, and that work gave me time and space to pray. Many people in my life who need it these days, so I spent the time in that kind of a mode.

It's becoming apparent to me that God's agenda for me for these days has to do with strengthening the ties I have with him, rather than any kind of an outside ministry beyond the field I am presently in. At least that is the conclusion I am coming to. I've been having opportunities to do some writing for different "Outlets" if you will, and invitations to be involved in different media interviews relating to faith. There have been invitations to speak in other places and family camps etc. but to date either the doors that have been opened to me have been closed or my spirit has not been at peace as I've asked God about them, and I've declined the opportunities. It's been happening enough now that I know something is up.

In my humanness it's nice to be wanted, to be called and asked. And in my humanness it's nice to go and travel and talk to people and care for them spiritually, and I'm not always sure that my motives are completely pure in all these chances. I'm a little different than Jesus was, well ok I'm a LOT different, but I'm sure that if I could feed 5000 hungry guys with a small lunch, I'd leverage that against building a nice big space I could preach in and teach in and amaze the masses in. Unlike Jesus who snuck away and went and prayed. Alone.

There are moments that I get scared that I will be forgotten here. That I will live out my days in relative obscurity without even having a positive effect on those around me. It's a different thing to lay down ones life for a calling that God calls them to, as opposed to giving up ones life for a group of people who simply like what you do. The difference is vast and the one I'm willing to do while the other, I'm not sure about.

So when opportunities arise, a part of me is quite interested. Probably the part of me that still needs to learn the art of stillness and humility. I am confident in following His leading though. I trust him with who I am and who he is calling me to be, and I know that going deeper with him will only make me of more use here in this field for those who come and go in this place. I know that that is the better option and will lead to greater fulfillment and joy for me - and I'm not just saying that. God has proven to me over and over that it's not about what I get out of life that feeds me, it's about what he gives to me that feeds me and gives me life.

And with that I'm off to bed.

Night internets. Sleep well.

This week on Twitter 2009-05-13


  • trying to sleep here with little luck. Busy day gone by. #

  • overcast today #

  • I'm tired, I'm hungry, and I'm ready for this day to be done. Happily tonight I have no meetings. Woo Hoo. #

  • The skies are full of clouds and I am field confused. Now that I live here, do I pray for rain or for no rain? Its a lot of pressure! #

  • and so after a few hours sleep we are going back to Edmonton to take Lauralea to the airport. #

  • I am SOOOOOO tired. So thats all from me. Night. #

  • Sometimes I listen to the traffic reports for the morning commute in big cities so that I don't feel so alone on my commute to my office. #

This week on Twitter 2009-05-13


  • trying to sleep here with little luck. Busy day gone by. #

  • overcast today #

  • I'm tired, I'm hungry, and I'm ready for this day to be done. Happily tonight I have no meetings. Woo Hoo. #

  • The skies are full of clouds and I am field confused. Now that I live here, do I pray for rain or for no rain? Its a lot of pressure! #

  • and so after a few hours sleep we are going back to Edmonton to take Lauralea to the airport. #

  • I am SOOOOOO tired. So thats all from me. Night. #

  • Sometimes I listen to the traffic reports for the morning commute in big cities so that I don't feel so alone on my commute to my office. #

Gone again

Tonight we took Hillary to the Greyhound bus terminal (Sounds so final) in Edmonton because she is off to work at camp all summer long. We probably won't even see her till September, and in ways that's hard. She's been back about three weeks now and it's been good to have her here, and then, she's gone. It's a bit bittersweet.

These kids grow up and just when they start to get to the place where they are easier and more enjoyable to live with, they go away. How fair is that?

Indeed.

Anyway, it was hard to leave her there at the depot waiting for her bus to leave, but we did. She'll be on the road all night and arrive at 8am, and I understand her camp work starts at 8:30 am, so if you think of her through the night, would you remind God of her out there on the bus?

And our home is down to four once again.

Micah turns Fifteen

Big day around here.

It's Mothers Day AND it's Micah's 15th Birthday which I think qualifies Lauralea for some big award or gift of some kind!

Lauralea's Masterpiece

Looks excited

Happy Birthday Micah. (Even though we may sound like a bunch of drunken sailors)

To sleep

How does it happen that three days pass by and the prayer I had posted for a certain evening greets me each time I return to this space?

And again it is Saturday night, how did that happen so quickly yet take so long? Someone once told me that if time flies then it means that you are living well. I really don't know about that, but tonight for whatever reasons, I am tired. The week has been normal, at least normal for a pastor I think. But for whatever reasons it's been exhausting as well.

I'm just getting ready for bed, and the Internet Radio in our front room is playing BBC 4, with the poetry of the shipping forecast on now. Every so often the reader reads the name of a place I know. Mull of Kintyre, Isles of Scilly, and so on. I think of those on boats and ships out on the water tonight and a part of me envies them. That would be an amazing adventure I think.

Anyway, we have our own adventure to face here. Tomorrow is Mothers Day, and it is Micah's 15th Birthday. It's also the day we take Hillary to catch her bus late in the evening as she is off to British Columbia for camp for the summer. Then early Monday morning I will take Lauralea to Edmonton to catch a flight to Saskatoon to go and help with moral support as my mom is facing an apartment move. It's the first move since my dad passed away a couple of years ago. I'm glad she can go, and she wants to go, but it leaves us guys here fending for ourselves.

Which brings me back to the place I started. Tired.

I think I will drag my exhausted wife through the maze of suitcases, some still from two weeks ago, to bed and try to get some rest.

And you, get some sleep too.

Night.

Compline: an evening prayer

Taken from the Northumbria Comunity

Pray with me this evening.

+ (silently)

Calm me, O Lord, as You stilled the storm.
Still me, O Lord, keep me from harm.
Let all the tumult within me cease.
Enfold me, Lord, in Your peace.

* Father, bless the work that is done,
and the work that is to be.

* Father, bless the servant that I am,
and the servant that I will be.

Thou Lord and God of power,
shield and sustain me this night.

I will lie down this night with God,
and God will lie down with me;
I will lie down this night with Christ,
and Christ will lie down with me;
I will lie down this night with the Spirit,
and the Spirit will lie down with me;
God and Christ and the Spirit,
be lying down with me.

* The peace of God
be over me to shelter me,

* under me to uphold me,

* about me to protect me,

* behind me to direct me,

* ever with me to save me.

The peace of all peace
be mine this night

+ in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Seeding Season

This morning I was out in the area, looking for this event that had so many farmers with a gleam in their eyes, seeding.

I spent a bit of time in a tractor with Mike who was on a shift running a field near their house.

John Deere & Flexicoil

Check out a short collection of shots from the morning, here.

I had heard about this hands free steering stuff but it really is amazing. The tractor links with a satellite, and the satellite sends directions and speed and turn directions to the tractor and seeder, and the farmer keeps an eye on things. Think Captain Kirk on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise and you'll get the idea.

Here's a short video I shot with my phone.



It was a thing of beauty to behold. Up in the bridge with little dust, stereo playing, radioing back to the farm for more seed and fertilizer, cell phone calls coming and going, air conditioner keeping cool, video link to the inside of the seed hopper to confirm the decreasing volume numbers on the screen, another screen with the numbers of seed and fertilizer being injected into the ground, and remaining amounts, and a screen with the position of the seeder in the field with the satellite directing traffic. No wonder when Mike opened the door he said "Welcome to my office!"

This week on Twitter 2009-05-06


  • And to test my love she txts me an order for feminine products. 2 boxes if on sale. #

  • We went to the city this afternoon and I'm exhausted. Headache too. I'm goung to bed. Night. #

  • My day off and I'm up at 7 am. Go figure. #

  • I am the only guy at a grad parents meeting. Wishing i had a field to be seeding like the other dads. #

  • Well it was a day off, it just didn't really feel like a day off. #

This week on Twitter 2009-05-06


  • And to test my love she txts me an order for feminine products. 2 boxes if on sale. #

  • We went to the city this afternoon and I'm exhausted. Headache too. I'm goung to bed. Night. #

  • My day off and I'm up at 7 am. Go figure. #

  • I am the only guy at a grad parents meeting. Wishing i had a field to be seeding like the other dads. #

  • Well it was a day off, it just didn't really feel like a day off. #

How fresh are your eggs??



From a German Supermarket.

Another night...

another meeting.

And so it shall go this week. Just one of those weeks I guess.

Some meetings are like, yep, yep, yep, no problem, and other meetings are like, yeah, yeah, wow, really? I didn't know that at all, that surprises me, we should do something about that...

Life in the field

This morning I woke up to the sound of Coyotes howling and yipping and yapping and carrying on for about five minutes. It sounded like it was happening right outside my window but I was in no mood to get up and see, though I probably should have. They woke me up five minutes before my alarm went off. It's early morning prayer this morning, so I got up and got to the church and started the coffee.

These days the field people are all about seeding. It was interesting to watch them through April, getting their equipment tuned and running like it should be, getting an excited twitch in their right eye, looking excited as kids on Christmas morning, then they shoot out of the gate for three or four weeks to get the crop in. It's infectious to watch their excitement and this sense of a community together in a common cause. In simple ways it reminds me of when we lived in Winnipeg during the flood of 97. The sense of community, the hard work, sandbagging by 6 am and long after dark in the night. There is a similar sense of common effort and community, and you know that if one farmer is having difficulty with his equipment or his personal life, everyone in the community steps up and comes alongside to help. I can see why they love this time of year.

And as for me, I'm concluding that I am still too much of a city pastor to do a lot of rural good. But at least I know that, and I'm challenging that in myself and pressing in to the changes that need to happen in how I do what I do. Twenty years of doing things in certain ways, needs to be shifted a bit. So I am working at change.

It's good to be here, among these people of the field, or as one of the readers of this space called them, the Field People. Last Sunday while we were down in Surrey BC, with it's beautiful weather and Krispy Kreme donuts and amazing Stanley Park, and wonderful seafood, I really enjoyed all those things, but I missed the people from here. I thought it was interesting that they had found a place in my heart already. Not so much the land or the house or the work, but indeed the people were what I was missing. That's hopeful to me, that these people of the field already have a place in my story. Maybe it is more about community than it is about where you live or what you do. But we already knew that, didn't we?

Just words

Sometimes I get an email from a friend and it is so luscious and rich that my spirit crawls up inside it and just rests there for a while. The words and images create for me a healing and safety that I don't always know in real life, so I print them off and carry them around in my back pocket for a long time until they become worn through. I once had an email like that from my dad that I carried around for half a year in my back pocket, until it faded and turned the colour of my trousers.

Words have become for me my medicine and my healing touch. They are to me a lifeline and a grace that nothing else can measure up to, so I carry them with me, or I keep them safely inside a box beside my bed.

I used to think this was a recent development of mine, mainly because of my dislike of punctuation and things like nouns and verbs and such. However I recently remembered that there is a box in the house with every card Lauralea ever sent me, and every note ever written, even from before we were dating. Perhaps I am a romantic but more likely I'm just a guy constantly in need of reassuring words written on a page so that I feel safe and loved.

Either way, words have an amazing power all their own for me, and I am grateful that they have such expressive power that they can shift my heart a little to the left or right, to where I need to be.

May I encourage you to write letters of deep expression and love to those you care about. Words can change a life.