A last request

 Ok, can I just put in a request here for when I'm old and senile and I can't even eat by myself?!

If you ever see me in a care home, and it's halloween, and the workers have put a set of plastic elk horns, or martian antennae on my head, in a vain attempt to get me into a more celebrative mood, just wheel me out back an shoot me, AFTER you have taken the stupid things off my noggin.

I thank you in advance for your assistance.

Randall Friesen



P.S. guess where i was today...

Washington Times reports on people leaving the U.S. Church

"The most common reason people leave church, Mr. Rainer says, is that it's too similar to their everyday lives. They are searching for a spiritual community, radically different from their workaday environment, that demands a higher commitment."

There you go. For ten years we've been trying to appeal to the world using "Walmart" ways and means, and what happens? The number of people leaving the church actually doubles to 14%.


Sounds like a season of repentance would be in order.

She's related?!?

So, last night Lauralea and I stayed up late and did something we probably shouldn't have; we watched the late show. (Hey, we're married 17 years, we don't have to stay up late for THAT!)

We watched "Arsenic And Old Lace" a 1944 Cary Grant laugh fest if there ever was one. He really could do comedy well. Anyway, Lauralea got to thinkin who Cary Grant had been married to, and one of his wives (...seems he could do comedy well, just couldn't get the hang of marriage!) was a girl some 35 years his junior called Diane Cannon. (They divorced in 1968.)

So, Lauralea ran a search on Diane Cannon on the web, and low-and-behold, there she is.

She had a recurring role on ?Ally McBeal? as the Judge Jennifer ?Whipper? Cone in 98, 99. Seem's she's done some directing and writing too, but whats really cool is that she has this once a month "God Party" which, by all accounts is a worship/praise/prayer ministry thing. To cool.

But that isn't even the coolest part, the coo- (I'm in need of a new word to say "COOL" here, email me with your suggestions) ...lest part was her birth name. She was born ...

Samile Diane Friesen
Samile Diane Friesen




"Samile Diane Friesen?" I said to Lauralea J. Friesen, who replied to me, (Randall E. Friesen), "Yeah, Samile Diane Friesen"

Well, I'll tell ya, she doesn't look like any Friesen I know, that's for sure.

Then I got to thinking, maybe she's an Aunt. The "Aunt that went to Hollywood and was never seen from again!" Every family needs one of those Aunts.

Maybe I should look her up next time I'm in Hollywood...maybe I could crash on her couch. And the God Parties sound like a nice right good piece of fun.


Born a Friesen, marries Cary Grant, finds out Jesus likes her. Her life just seems to get better and better!

You go girl.

God helps those...

You know, one of the things that has always bugged me is when people use the saying "God helps those who helps themselves," as if the expression was found in the Bible. Turns out, the expression actually comes from Aesop's Fables and is more pagan than it is Christian. The fable reads as follows:

A Waggoner was once driving a heavy load along a very muddy way. At last he came to a part of the road where the wheels sank half-way into the mire, and the more the horses pulled, the deeper sank the wheels. So the Waggoner threw down his whip, and knelt down and prayed to ercules the Strong. "O Hercules, help me in this my hour of distress," quoth he. But Hercules appeared to him, and said:

Tut, man, don't sprawl there. Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel. The gods help them that help themselves.


There, now I feel better.

A baby in my hand

Yesterday I held a lovely little baby girl in my arms. Or should I say, my hands.

She had been given a pretty name by her loving parents, but because she was only 21 weeks old, she couldn't make it. She struggled for a while, then simply, quietly, gently slipped away in her mothers arms.

She was SO small, so fine, barely the size of my pocket Bible I had with me. The details of her face all in their proper place. But this world was to much for her. She couldn't handle the harshness of it all, so she went Home.

I prayed with the broken parents, only imagining what it might be like. I comforted them as best I knew how, and assured them of my prayers and care if they requested it.

As I left them, I thought about her, baby S.

I thought about how she seemed all there, at least the visible, physical parts of her. I knew she was there in her spirit, and that she was a soul. I wondered what part of her would make her a non-human being.

I remembered a statistic I had read in TIME Magazine that said "...studies estimating that 43% of women will have an abortion by the time they are 45." I thought about the fact that Great Britain will do abortions till 24 weeks of age...

It didn't make me angry, it just made me sad. I found comfort in the fact that there is a God who cares and loves us enough to provide a place and care and love for us when we are unwanted by others, on this side of heaven.


 

An open letter to Richmond Gospel Fellowship

Dear friends and family, at RGF;
We are reminded of the writer of Ecclesiastes who wrote "There is a time for everything under the sun, ... A time to be born and a time to die."
It is with an honest sense of joy and excitement that we anticipate a birth, but sorrow and grief accompany a time of death. We were sorry and grieved to hear of your closing.
We are honored to have been your first Pastoral Couple. We learned much from you, even as we sought to teach and grow with you, and we have many fond memories of our time with you.
Who could forget;
...Richard dressed up as a girl, in the mall hunt?
...Robyn teaching us how to line dance?
...Our Christmas in July party.
...Our indoor beach party in the Dyck's basement, in February!
..."Intergenerational Sunday school"
...Church Picnic's at Kings park.
...Sunday School Christmas programs.
...Mme. Proulx
...Playing Basketball in the school gym.
...New Years at Ron and Elaine's
...Our Harvest Carnival at Halloween.
...Bill coming ''back from the dead!"
...Cleaning houses after the "Great Flood!"
...The Sunday we did a Pouring Baptism in the morning at the school, then an immersion Baptism in Morrow Church in the afternoon.
...Just enough money coming in to pay the way for both Lauralea and I to go to London on a ministry trip.
...Thursday night prayers and watching how God would answer.
...Feeding the hungry every week with the food bank.
...Doug's enthusiasm.
...How we visioned and prayed in 1992 that by September 1998 we wanted to be in a more permanent home. Only to forget that prayer and vision till September 1998 when we moved into the old old Mr. Steak building!!
...Prayer walking in the Community.
...The Sunday morning we actually reached a hundred people in attendance!
...Worship practice nights.
...Introducing ourselves to that new guy not realizing that it was Allan who had shaved off his beard!
Lauralea and I want to thank you for your investment in us. I (Randy) was always amazed that you would take a chance on a 25 year old like you did! I confess that my goal that first year, was to not totally screw things up!!
Richmond Gospel Fellowship was where we learned to be a pastor couple. It was the place we matured personally and ministerially. A place where God had the time to create solid foundations in our lives, even going in deep to remove some old tired, dead stuff.
It was Mme. Proulx, filled with cancer, who asked us as church elders to come and pray over her believing that Scripture said she would be made well. We did come and pray for her, waiting on the Lord with her for a hopeful answer. But as she lay for months on her death bed, I began a two year search for the God of the Scriptures who had promised to empower me as a Christian and as a pastor.
Then on a cold February morning, as I was in prayer in my bedroom, how He entered the room, and I experienced things I never had before, saw things I'd never seen before, and I have not been the same since.
Or that ministry trip to the London Mennonite Church, which sealed my calling. As we left for London, I purposely left my "Pastor's Hat" at home in Winnipeg. When we arrived, many people were unaware that I was a pastor. Yet, strangely (to me at least) they began to respond to me as though I was a pastor. What they were responding to was the calling and gifting on my life. I was undone, because for years I had fought being a pastor.
London will forever hold a warm place in my life and calling. It was the first place I truly felt an anointing and calling from God, to spend my life doing this work. I am grateful that God used you to make that clear to me, through a church in another country.
As you walk through these next days, let me encourage you to remember the good and blessed things that God has done through you. God used RGF to feed the hungry, to heal the sick, to love the broken. Remember the changed lives, the babies fed, the sick made well again, the lost who found Jesus.
And remember this grateful brother and sister/son and daughter whose thoughts and prayers are with you these days. We will forever appreciate the gifts you gave us.
Thank you.
Pastor Randall and Lauralea

Calling All God Wannabees and assorted control freaks

Alright, I know (because I know you), that some of you have God complexes, or should I say god complexes. While some of you prefer the less dramatic, though equally dangerous Messiah Complex.

For those of you who do struggle with such feelings, i direct you to this site, where you can try being God, at least in one of his roles. See if YOU can keep the planets in proper orbit. Have a go, try it yourself, click the mouse on the picture and start a satellite moving, properly and safely around the earth.

Then go repent for ever thinking you could do God's job better than he could.

Your lucky worship pants slippin?

"How many times have you watched while the worship leader in your church has raised his hands skywards in praise to the Lord, only for his trousers to slide to his ankles at the same moment? Never? Me neither... but I live in hope. Watch and pray, dear brethren."

...and now, to save the self respect of worship leaders everywhere, we present to you, The Bible Belt