Home again

Ahhh. Home again. Feels good and, strange. But mostly good.


The kids rose to the challenge and pulled the week off well. And, 5000 kms later, I've done enough driving for a long while (Not to mention eaten enough Krispy Kreme donuts for a while).


This morning we returned to Church like conquering heroes, it was very very good. We are loved.


And God? Well, he was so close the whole time, taking me deeper, answering my desires and prayers. It was all good. (Well, except for that $30 parking ticket I got in Minneapolis that I need to contest yet...)



I'll be back here real soon, but tonight I need to sleep, and tomorrow I need to vote. (It may take me all day to decide who to vote for!)


For now, here's a picture Brad Boydston took of me right after the service. It was also very cool getting to know him too.


 

Post-dated Post

Well, if everything is going according to plans, I'm sitting in Strathmore Alberta at board meetings. I will have been sitting on my backside for 7 hours by now and I shall be most uncomfortable.


Tomorrow, after another day of meetings, I will drive home, finally. Put my tired head on my own little pillow, and sleep the sleep of the exhausted.


It's about a 7-8 hour drive, so I will pop in my Andy Hunter CD and technohop my way across the prairies.


 

Post-dated Post

Ah yes, if I'm still alive today we plan to drop Lauralea off and keep driving to Calgary.


I've got Covenant Bible College meetings this weekend too. How's that for crazy busy.


Hope I stay awake.


 

test test, is this thing on...

So, I haven't seen the internet for seven days. Does the internet still work??


We are in Brandon getting gas and finding this internet terminal. All is well. Very well.


I'm droping Lauralea off at home tomorrow and then i continue on to Calgary for meetings. I should get home late Saturday night. Sooo, I should see  the internet again on Sunday or Monday.


Thanks for your blessings, and your comments.


See you soon.


 

Post-dated Post

Well, I'm writing this last Wednesday, under the assumption that my final interview went well (and the board didn't know of my SpongeBob Squarepants boxers) so tonight I am included in the ordination transfer service in Minneapolis.


If you want to follow along, you can online here. The service starts at 7pm Minneapolis time, so you do the math.


After the late parties here, we'll start home tomorrow.


 

Post-dated Post

This morning at 10am is my final interview with the Board of Ordered Ministry. Lets hope I don't totally screw it up by saying something smart about Lefse.


If I get past this bunch, then Tuesday night I shall be welcomed into the fold. Proper.


I'm suppose to dress in business attire for the interview. I think I'll wear my SpongeBob Square Pants Boxers underneath, just to be me.


 

On the road, again

Off to Minneapolis tomorrow.


I don't know that I will have any access to the internet, so I've postdated some posts for the days ahead.


As for email, I'll check my gmail account, if I can. You can email me at randallfriesen(at)gmail.com 


Have a good week all.


 

Church's Out For Summer

The Holy Observer is reporting that:



Shutdown Season: Willow Creek Community Church Will Close its Doors for the Summer 
  
 SOUTH BARRINGTON, IL ? In perhaps the most extreme example to date of churches halting ministries during the traditionally slower summer months, Willow Creek Community Church ? one of America's prototypical mega-churches ? has decided to close its doors until after Labor Day...


This could be a good idea. Everybody would be ready to go in September, eager to be together again! And the pastoral staff would get the time to recuperate and prep for fall's activities. This would see a decrease in stress related ailments for pastors!!


 

Deeper.

Final preparations are underway for the trip to Minneapolis this week.


Changing the brakes on the car, getting US dollars, finalizing the service for Sunday without me, getting my haricut so they don't reject me on account of long hair... (Bob, my barber sez i should get a fake earring, see how they handle it! I'm tempted.)  Tons of things to worry about.


The girls had a great weekend in Regina, so i guess that worrying was a waste of time. I don't know, sometimes you think you've got it beat, then the next day, worry worry worry.


Looks like there will be time on the road to think alot. That's good. I need to think and pray a bit. I need to think through this Calling God has on my life. What does it mean? What does it look like exactly?  I know I need to embrace it more, to live in it more fully, rather than play the "Yes I've got a calling but it's just a small part of my life" game. I need to live it out, fully. I just don't know what that looks like yet.


I need to go deeper again. The busyness and worries of life tend to get me moving along the surface of grace, and I need to go deeper again. My family needs me deeper in the grip of His grace. The church I care for needs me to be deeper in the lake that is His presence. I need to explore more of him again. There are rooms and levels of God I've never even looked at before, and I need to go there again.


I need to count the cost though. To count it again and see if I am willing to go to those places he calls me to go. Again, something of myself will need to die, I know that. But I also know that in the death, something amazing and beautiful will grow. Life will happen.


So, when you think of us, pray for us eh?


 

Just Remember

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my every thought when far away.
You chart the path ahead of me
and tell me where to stop and rest.
Every moment you know where I am.
You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
You both precede and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know!
I can never escape from your spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
Psalm 139


Just me and the guys

In the midst of this ongoing rain, and trying to get ready to get to Minneapolis next week, life continues.


Thomas just got back from his grade 8 camping trip -rained most of the time! And Lauralea and the girls just headed out to Regina (5 hour drive) for Johanna's provincial vocals competition. They'll be back tomorrow night some time. I'm nervous for their trip. For the car and the rain and careless people on the road...


Just prayin.


 

A new meaning to the word Famous

Yesterday Steve and I drove down to Dundern where the Canadian Covenant is planting a church. Steve M. is workin hard there, being faithful, doin what needs to be done, week by week.


It was our Saskatchewan CovPastors get together. We usually hang out and eat together, then we share our stories and finally pray for each other. It's a very good thing.


Anyway, yesterday we met at one of those small prairie cafe's that serves tons of coffee to the locals at 10am each morning, and once and a while Bob will take his wife Rose out for supper and they'll have the roast beef supper special with some ice cream for desert, kind of place.


I ordered the "Famous Burger." And if it isn't, well it should be! It had four kinds of meat on it, two kinds of cheese, and three kinds of vegetables! Wooo Hoooo it was a feast in Dundern.


The quality of the food on the prairies is not lost, especially at those small roadside cafe's. And the people are great too.


We got back around 6pm, tired but blessed, and still full from lunch.


 

Coping Mechanisms?

I don't know if you are familiar with "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor, but I like to listen in as often as I remember it's on. I was reading some letters to Mr. Keillor when I came across this one:



Dear Garrison,
As a Methodist to a Lutheran, I have a pressing question. I work in church communications and one of the things I'm helping folks do is the incorporation of multimedia and digital storytelling into their worship services. Mass communication has changed from oral to written to digital and I'm trying to teach my folks how to do all three. Of course, traditional folks don't care to have a bunch of electronic gadgetry on their holy ground. Any suggestions on how to bridge the gap?


Billy
Dardanelle, Arkansas



Billy,
I have no idea what digital storytelling is ---- do you mean holding up fingers to indicate numbers? Or simply words on a screen? How this fits into the worship service I can't imagine and am not sure I want to find out. There is nothing like sitting and listening to someone with a message in their heart. That isn't old-fashioned, it's just common sense. If the Lord has spoken to you, if Scripture has spoken to you, then you ought to be able to tell the rest of us. Multimedia is for advertising. The church doesn't need advertising, it needs witnessing, and that's ordinary people saying what's in their hearts. Just like I did right now.


 


I kinda like that, you know.


While I'm good with using the tools of the day to communicate the truths of eternity, I am fearful that to often the tools of the day take the place of the truths of eternity.


If the person up there in front of you hasn't experienced the "...good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit,  who has tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come..." then what authority does he speak to you from?


I'm starting to wonder if the thing that "Postmoderns" reject mostly from the modern church is simply the lack of a powerful God. That the God of the Moderns has all the bells and whistles of a god, yet they deny his power.


The church has created programs and personal development series which are designed to help us to know God, at least with our heads, hopefully with our hearts. But doing the heart stuff is difficult work. It Spiritual work.


Waiting on God, anointing in his name, Fasting and seasons of prayer. These are spiritual activities that so much of the western church has been ill equipped to tackle. So, to respond to our lack of Spiritual Power, we try other things that might just do the trick.


Moving to big, splashy presentations can be just another way of coping with our lack of power. Of covering our weaknesses.


Again, I'm all for using the tools of the day to communicate eternal truths. But we're just kidding ourselves if there isn't depth beneath it all. If there aren't the connections to God and the empowering of the Holy One in our lives and churches.



"When they were together for the last time they asked, "Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?"
He told them, "You don't get to know the time. Timing is the Father's business. What you'll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world."
These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky.


 



Green like spring

The rain has finally come, turning the winter brown to a vivid green, finally.


And this morning at 6am, the mist and green was just really happening in the lane beside our backyard.



 

Purified

Where the angels see
You are praised as You should be.
But how can I express
My yearning for Your Holiness.
May it be that


I will open my heart
Search me in the deepest part.
And I will stand in cleansing fire,
By You, purified,
By You I'm purified.


Savior of my soul
To your strength I yield control.
Purge me of my stain
Sin will lose it's mortal reign.
Make me free and


I will open my heart
Search me in the deepest part.
And I will stand in cleansing fire,
By You, purified,
By You I'm purified.


You are Holy
Yes You are Holy
You are Holy
Holy


by Michael W. Smith


 

Alone in a crowd

You can tell that summer's nearly here by how many kids are hanging around the place!


Now, let it be clearly stated that I understand that my life's work involves working with people. Let it also be understood that I love my family, dearly. I, however, am just not one of those people who gets energized by spending time with people. I get energized often by being alone, or with a good friend, like Laura.


This is how it is, and so I have built these quiet spaces into my life to help me resort my life, weekly. After a busy Sunday, I take time to recuperate, to get quiet and still for a while. Usually by Tuesday I'm good to go again.


Well, summer is on the way and everybody is around, so I have to rethink these quiet times and places in my life again.


Yesterday I wasn't very great at it, at all. By evening Lauralea had gone out to a Shakespeare play with a friend, I had Micah tucked safely into bed, and we were done blowing our noses over the Flames loss. So, sitting around feeling the business of the household, I had a rare opportunity to take off to see a movie.


Usually there isn't any great movies in this town, but last night I caught the late show, "The Day After." It was good. The theater was mostly empty and I ended up by myself, which turned out good too.


Driving home in the cold and rain and dark, it dawned on me that alone places are harder to find than ever.  I was pleased to find some quiet space, in a theater, and He was there too.


I suspect that that's why some large churches are great too. It can be a great place to go and be alone, where God is.


 

An afternoon in the life...

I have to be in Minneapolis later this month for some meetings. I'm kinda looking forward to it because my work and calling will be affirmed there.


However,


The cost of this trip, if I took it as prescribed, would run over $3000. This is just impossible for the church these days, so I've been working on cheap ways to go.


Turns out some of the guys go on the cheap too, so I spent the afternoon on the internet, lookin for deals.


After a few hours work, I got a Hotel room for less than half price, with a kitchen, so I can eat in. And I got a car rental out of Saskatoon with unlimited miles, so I cut the travel by $500. It's been a lot of hard work, but I think it will work, and be cheaper.


This is part of what I do. Look for cheap travel! 


Oh and, I know some of you live around Minneapolis, so, If you wanna do coffee, give me an email at 


randall(at)randallfriesen.com


 

"We are all dead men on leave." Eugene Levine

The Internet, which has information on just about everything, now has the date of my death.


Looks like I'll be done on Friday, May 16, 2036.


Hmm, it looks like the same week as grandpa died.


Hope it's a beautiful spring morning.


Check out your big day, here.


 

Bit's and pieces

Well, it's suppose to go up to +28C today, it's gonna be a shock to my system that's for sure!!


It's been a busy week so far. Every night has been taken up by some meeting or another, and tonight I'm in Saskatoon for a supper meeting with another pastor.


This morning I had another dream about a friend, and her family. I have tried to call her occasionally during the months since the last time we spoke, but she's not been home. I think I'll try to call her again today.


Well, this post is getting nicely convoluted, so I better stop now!


Have a good one.


 

Movin on

The aftershocks from last week continue to roll through my life.


Like miniquakes, I suddenly remember something i won't be able to do this year because the grandparents are both gone.


But, they are diminishing, like things do over time. And I have to get busy on some things I am working on for the next few months.


I have to find cheap fare to Minneapolis in June for meetings. Then I have to find a cheap place to stay there too. Funny how the internet prices are a lot cheaper than the regular deals. Not funny haha, but funny interesting...


So, on we go. Onward and,  ... upward?