Free but not cheap.


Sometimes we as followers of Christ forget the great sacrifice that was offered for us. And the whole concept of someone loving us before they ever knew us, well that blows us away.

The end result seems to be a western church that has great depth of teaching, but a great shallowness in living. Perhaps it's good that we just remember a few things.

I do the preaching but St. Peter reminds us of what's important.

Living worthwhile lives.



The Best Portion Of A Good Man's Life

The Best Portion Of A Good Man's Life
The best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts,
Of kindness and of love.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850)


I come from a long line of horsemen. I can wear the boots.

I've been thinking lately about the quality of the families I've come from and their histories and how they have shaped me to be the person I have become and am becoming. Now that I live in a rural field with all that goes along with that, I am glad that in my lineage there is a strong history of farming and ranching. It means I can wear cowboy boots with some sense of credibility, although I'm not yet ready for the dramatic cowboy hat just yet.

So last week Lauralea and I went to the Ponoka Stampede and we were there for the night of the finals. I felt at home in ways that were strangely comforting. The sights and smells and sounds all took me back to places in my memory where my Grandpa Thiessen and uncles Marvin and Ervin, who were horse men, still rode the range.

Grandpa would have loved being at the rodeo.



Here are more pictures from the evening.

This race was the final chuck wagon race and too close to call without an electronic beam. The winner was a local boy, whose dad, grandfather and great grandfather had all raced wagons in this race in previous years, and won.

Oh and the prize was $50,000 and a huge brand new truck. Nice.


Not your average night in the field


It's been hot in the field lately and yes Even as I write that I cringe because I know well that we are no where near the plus forties with humidity that is punishing parts of the USA these days, not to mention Southern Manitoba where its a hothouse, but you get my intent. I hope.

So yeah, it's hot here and people are not sleeping well or eating well or communicating well.

Last night after an evenings meeting, I ate a little "supper" after eleven pm, and was off to bed by about midnight, and the temperature was a balmy 28C. Oh yes I tried to sleep, but that wasn't going to happen anytime soon, so I read till I was tired enough to sleep. As I rolled over and shut off the light at 2:30 am I could feel sleep finally taking ownership of my eyelids.

Then in the distance I heard some rumbling. Thunder Storms moving by. That's ok I thought, there was no rain in the forecast so we should be ok. Then more rumbling, and flashes and finally that was enough to banish sleep. I got up and staggered outside in my coolest night attire and black loafers, (another perk of field living), and headed to my antenna lines to disconnect them. I was only frightened once by an orange and black feral cat that's been living around the yard and scaring the whats-it out of me on a weekly basis.

Then back in and to bed where I crashed hard, for an hour.

About then I woke up because of the incredible crashing of the thunder. We were into the most violent electrical storm in the field this year yet. So I got up again, about twenty to four, to check the windows for water. Then I stood at the windows and watched the incredible light show. Wow. Some serious lightning.

Lauralea got up and Micah showed up and I scared him around a dark corner, and we watched the show for some time. Close hits again and again and with the power mostly off, the yard and house and whole field would light up.

In a brief moment of darkness Micah and I heard and saw a very bright flash and bang, pretty much well timed together, and then we saw across the yard, bright sparks up on a power line, and that grew into a fire burning up in the air. Shortly after that, the power was gone completely.

The storm moved on, Micah and Lauralea went back to bed, and the power remained off here.

I tried to get back to sleep, but the heat without the fan in the bedroom was unbearable by that time. The storm had done little to cool things off, but at least it had moved on.

I tried to sleep, then remembered that without electricity here in the field, there was no water. Nor was there any sewage removal system. Oh, right. Better warn people. Then I remembered the sump pump which would be working hard by now to get the rain water away from the basement, except that needed electricity too.

That's a lot of things to keep a guy awake even if it had been cool enough to sleep.

So by now it was five am, and so I got up to check out the damage outside. I would also have to find out who our power company was so that I could call them and tell them our power was out.

Found some house siding had come off the house and blocked the garage door. The fire had been caused by a falling tree branch, and there were bits of tree scattered all over the front yard. I saw that our power pole had a blown fuse on top of it and that was the reason for the power outage. It seemed to be the same problem as the next pole down the road, so I figured others would be powerless too.

I dragged myself back inside and flopped on the couch and passed out for an hour, till about 6:30. I was listening for a possible power truck coming by to fix the pole fuse and I didn't want my yard overlooked.

And at 6:30 sure enough a power company truck came by to reset the pole on the road, so of I went to ask if he could reset ours as well. "Sure, no problem," he said with a far too friendly tone for 6:30 in the morning.

But I was grateful and with ten minutes work he had it fixed and the power was back on immediately. Fans started, a light went on, the whir of the sump pump kicked in, clocks beeped, Lauralea got up, Micah got up and was off to work, and I, fell asleep.


Sometimes I feel very vulnerable out here in the field, when things that need to be running, don't. I'm still learning how this house behaves and what keeps it happy. How long things can be alright without power is one of those things I'm learning.

But what a night to add to the fond memories that make up life here in the field.


The Nightwatch

It's a hot night in the old bedroom tonight and before that sentence quickly gets away on me I'll add that it looks about 27C in here.

It's just not nearly as hot as it is some other places on this continent so I won't complain.

Actually it's about 12:19 am and it might be breaking a bit. There is an occasional trickle of a small breeze coming in from the wide open window beside the bed. That's hopeful.

I've been here in bed over an hour already, thinking, and waiting for sleep.

I check the temperatures in the cities and towns our kids live in and I pray for them. I wonder how they are doing.

An email comes in and a friend asks for prayer through the night, so I pray, gladly. It's good, God is listening.

Then there is a message from a young guy from a few provinces away who seems to have moved to the area temporarily and is looking to connect. It makes me smile because he says "is it possible for me to bring you beer?"


Though it's been a bit of an oppressively hot and humid day, the opportunities to care and connect still come up. Tonight that's a good thing.

In five hours I've got to be at the guys early prayer time so I better shut this down now and try to get some rest again.


So from a hot bedroom in a field,
good night.



A night Psalm on a hot night

Tonight the Hot has come to the field.
It's looking like it's here to stay for a week or so, but we are praying.

The season we are in may look like summer if the thermometer is to be believed, but the reality is that this is a shifting season. It's a time of endings and beginnings, and these seasons always require more work and attention so that nothing of value is lost along the way.

So work is plentiful.
And the heat makes the work much more demanding.

So as the sun starts it final descent and it looks like the temperature is down by a few degrees, I'll offer up this Psalm as an evening prayer.

You can make it your own, as you like.

__________________________________________
Night Psalm

Turn your ear to me, Lord, and hear me,
for I am poor and destitute.
Keep my life safe, for I am faithful;
O God, save your servant, who trusts in you.

Take pity upon me, O Lord,
for I call to you all the day long.
Make your servant´s heart glad,
for to you, O Lord, I have raised it.
For you, Lord, are gentle and mild:
you are kind to all those who call on you.

Let your ears hear my prayer, O Lord!
Turn to the voice of my pleading!
In my time of trouble I call on you,
for you, O Lord, will hear me.

No other god is like you, O Lord,
and nothing compares with your works.
All people, all nations you made
will come and worship before you;
they will give glory to your name.
For you are great, you work wonders:
you alone are God.

O Lord, teach me your paths,
and I will come to your truth.
Make my heart simple and guileless,
so that it honours your name.
I will proclaim you, Lord my God,
and give you praise with all my heart.
I will give glory to your name for ever,
for your great kindness is upon me:
you have rescued me from the deepest depths.

Amen.