The Rhythm of Life: Celtic Daily Prayer - David Adam

Devotional.

Refreshing, great for group worship.

Well, that was a fun hockey game!

The band played well and looked good on TV, even a close up of Micah playing the trumpet.

The Daily Herald today wrote:
BY BRAD BROWN
HERALD STAFF
To hear Brent Butt tell it, even being traded to the same team as Paul Coffey couldn’t ease the tension between himself and the NHL Hall of Famer.
“We have an age-old rivalry me and Paul Coffey,” Butt joked at the conclusion of the fourth-annual Juno Cup charity hockey game, played Friday at the Art Hauser Centre.
With Coffey already in the dressing room and unable to defend himself, Butt let loose on his surprise last-minute teammate. “We can’t stand each other. He’s jealous of my success is what it is. He’s had three failed sitcoms,”
The imaginary tension between Butt — who was traded from The Rockers to the NHL Legends for Tim Cheveldae in a swap of goaltenders just moments before the game — and Coffey epitomized the carefree attitude that made the fourth annual event so much fun.
The Legends won the game 11-9.

It was fun to watch players like Paul Coffee, Bob Probert, Wendel Clark, Russ Courtnall, Mark Napier, Dave Manson, and Tim Cheveldae playing hocky again. And musicians and actors like Jim Cuddy, Sam Roberts, Richard Underhill, Andrew Scott and Brent Butt.

Actually very funny seeing Butt wearing a goalie mask with his glasses on underneath.



He wasn't even bad in net.

"Micah Plays in the Juno Cup"

Yeah, how is that for a headline?

Tonight we are heading out to watch the Juno Cup. And Micah's School Band is playing the national anthem for the game.
The Juno's are a Canadian Music Awards party that this year is being hosted in Saskatoon. Each year as part of the festivities, they play a hockey game as well, called the Juno Cup.
Dave Manson who played his first NHL game for the Chicago BlackHawks in 1986 and is currently an Assistant Coach for the Prince Albert Raiders, joins Fred Sasakamoose, who also played for the BlackHawks and was the first Aboriginal-Canadian to play in the NHL in the 1950’s, as the latest players announced to lace up for Juno weekend’s celebrity hockey game. The 4th annual Juno Cup (sponsored by SaskPower and the University of Saskatchewan), matches NHL Greats vs. The Rockers playing in support of CARAS’ music education program, MusiCan.

Fred, who is 73 years young, joins an incredible roster that includes members of the legendary ‘Hound Line’ Wendel Clark, Russ Courtnall and Gary Leeman, along with Canadian Hockey Hall of Famer Paul Coffey and hockey greats Tim Cheveldae, Brad Dalgarno, Brian Glynn, Mark Napier, Mike Pelyk, Bob Probert and now Dave Manson. With the addition of Dave and Fred, confirmed players for the NHL Greats totals 12 to-date.

On the opposing team, The Rockers already have 16 celebrity players confirmed including Brent Butt, Jim Cuddy and George Canyon to name a few.

In addition, MTV announced the broadcast of the match, which for the first time will allow music and hockey fans from across the country to watch the action. A one-hour televised special of MTV Live at the Juno Cup will be hosted by MTV Live personalities Daryn Jones, Aliya-Jasmine Sovani and Johnny Hockin and will air Thursday, April 5 at 6 p.m. ET on MTV. The one-hour special will feature in game interviews with the musicians, hockey players and play-by-play announcer Michael Landsberg. The entire game will be broadcast on demand on the CTV Broadband Network at MTV.ca, CTV.ca and TSN.ca. Fans who miss the live event can watch at their leisure as the broadcast will be made available on demand immediately following the broadcast on The CTV Broadband Network.

Looks like TSN is doing a live webcast of the game, here. It starts at 9pm Eastern.

I believe TSN is also rebroadcasting the game tomorrow.

So, if they include the national anthem on the broadcast, watch for the trumpet player, it'll be Micah.

(Hope he doesn't slip on the ice!)

And I'll be waving from the stands.

She

Sheshould be home in about an hour.

And nobody died, or starved.

Especially me.

Actually, I think it was a good guys week.

Good preparation for May when she goes to her friends house for a week.

Jubilee Ave

Tonight I was looking at Google Earth again and boy is it developing nicely. Some of the images are getting better and clearer.

I was in a bit of a nostalgic mood, so I "Flew" over to Winnipeg and swooped over and through some of the old haunts.

For a while we lived in a three story home over on Jubilee Ave. It was a most beautiful part of the city with big trees and well developed yards. The homes were a variety of shapes and sizes and mostly well cared for. Each side of the street had side walks and people to greet as you walked by.

It was also a time of accelerated spiritual growth for me, if that makes sense. Most nights I would go out and walk and pray for hours. I would leave the house and move south towards the river, up one side of the street then down the other. I would pray for many many things, but mostly I prayed to get to know God a bit more. And God would walk with me those nights.

I got to know those houses by heart, walking and praying till 10 or 11 or 2 or 3 am.

Even better, I got to know God by heart then too. It was good.

I miss those times and beautiful places, just to walk and pray and connect.

How to eat with practically no dishes!

Well, we made it through another supper, Macaroni and Cheese to be exact, with some leftover overcooked meatloaf. Ahh, love the dry meatloaf.

We have managed to keep the washing dishes to a minimum this week by serving the food in the pot its cooked in, and using paper plates. We also assigned each person a cup for the week with our names written on them, and if you wanted it clean, you washed it and put it on the counter. Some liked clean, others didn't, and there you go.

For breakfast each person washed their own bowls and utensils, which worked out fine too.

So, mostly we washed the utensils and the occasionally used pot or plate used to cook on. Not bad at all.

Maybe I should write a best seller on how to minimize work at the dinner table, then take the money from the sales of the book and purchase a dishwasher.

Then we can argue over who has to fill and empty it every day.

loosing at living

There are days which find me pressing in and moving ahead, in spite of all the troubles, stresses and challenges of life.

And then there are days like today.

I just can't shake this flu/cold thing, and I need to go to bed. For a long time.

I want to, I need to feel better but there is so very much to be done.

Last night I was booked for three meetings, at the same time no less. What a dork.

So I made the best decision my snot infused head could make, and attended the 5 hour one which is in preparation for our National Conference Annual Meeting happening here in about a month. So many details, so much to plan for and carry out.

And it only dawned on me the other day that this Sunday is Palm Sunday, which means that Easter isn't far behind. So I am working to prepare for that weekend and all it's extra church and community duties.

I am on call this week, for the Hospital, and that puts me on edge just a bit. Always available and ready to go.

And my course work? Don't even talk to me about that, I am so far behind.

So, this morning when I awoke after my 5 hours sleep, and Thomas couldn't get the car started, I went out to drive him to school and saw the flat tire on the car. I think I just about had enough, and that was before 9 in the morning.


You get to these places in life where you know that the best thing for you is something that will hurt other people.

And I don't mean hurt as in offend, although that may happen too. I mean the kind of hurt that would increase their already huge workload. I mean hurt that would discourage them to the point of loosing hope, or breaking something that's already bruised in their lives.

You live with the responsibility of the choices you make in life. The choices we all make bring us down roads we maybe ought not to go down. Not because they are evil roads or choices, but because they are just not the roads we were meant to go down.

One of the hardest lessons I have to learn it seems, is to be able to make decisions that may cause others pain. I don't mean the temporary pain that will lead to growth and life for them. I mean the kind of pain which will cause them to loose heart.

I don't do that well at all. Partly because I see that as being selfish, and uncaring. Partly because I see it as a personal failure, a broken commitment.

But the end result of making questionable ever busying decisions is usually something dramatic. Some guys have their "Mid-life heart attack wake up call" thing while other guys suddenly make very bad decisions which will cause them to be caught and removed from the situation, Read: Have an affair.


For a while now I have been making better decisions about where I go and what I do. I think I'm doing much better at those kinds of choices. But then there are "Decisions" that are kind of thrust upon you. You are the only one to take them, by virtue of your job or work or even because you are a parent.


I think that is just a large part of where I'm living these days. It is what it is, and for this season of life, it's where I live.

Today I Just don't like the view from where I live.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Surprise!

To say I have been distracted these past couple of weeks would be an understatement in the same vein as calling the Ark just a boat, or Brett Favre just a quarterback.

No, Lauralea and I, for a number of very good reasons, which don't concern you, have been worried/shocked/dumbfounded/surprised that Lauralea might be pregnant.

Yeah, there it is, its out there. No joke. Really.

Ten days of a growing realization that after 13 years of no new babies, and at the age of 43, we might get to do it all over again.

Cribs and snowsuits, diapers and baby constipation. Night feedings, colic, projectile vomiting, dirty diapers. 3 am crawling under the crib looking for lost soothers, learning to walk, eating the green stuff, learning ABC's and reading, tying shoelaces, runny noses, kindergarten, PTA, parent Tea's, band concerts, braces, teenage angst, teaching them to drive, oh my oh my oh my.

The shock to my 43 year old system nearly did me in!

In a way, it was a similar feeling process to when my dad died. Everything was rethought without him there. You know, suddenly you realize he wouldn't be there for Christmas and you stop and think what that looks like and you process that change.

Similarly, I found my days, nights, and middle of the nights processing the same things. Hmm, a new baby in the house, I won't be able to sleep like this, we'll need all the baby "stuff", what will our daily lives look like doing this again, and Christmas and babysitters and going to small group and simple things like going to a movie. My head was going faster than a Japanese bullet train.

And all that playing off the emotional joy that comes when a baby comes to live with you.

Distracted? Completely.

A roller coaster? Yes. Most definitely.

Terror and excitement at the same time? Absolutely.

Having children when your children might be having their own children a few years down the road? Well, embarrassing really. Yet not unpleasing.

As Lauralea and I talked it through, again and again, looking to one another for support, it seemed she was thinking similar things. A willingness to accept this as a part of our lives together, a joy at the prospect of a baby coming to live with us. And a deep sigh of relief when it proved to be false.

Oddly, its a sense of relief and sorrow that is left behind after a couple of weeks like this.

You live into so many possibilities during those days, good ones and difficult ones, that after the possibility is gone you are kind of left standing there with a stunned look on your face, and a weird mixed feeling of fullness and emptiness in your heart.

Sigh. Deep breath.

So yeah, anything exciting happen to you this month?
Oh, and you gotta know I already had a doosie of a practical joke set up for April 1.

God is good, and it seems, does have a sense of humor.

Ahh Saskatchewan in the Spring time


Environment Canada's Official Weather Warnings


Warnings

10:10 AM CST Tuesday 27 March 2007
Winter storm warning for
Kindersley - Rosetown - Biggar - Wilkie - Macklin continued

Poor winter weather conditions developing Wednesday morning.

This is a warning that dangerous winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions...Listen for updated statements.

A strong storm system is going to affect Saskatchewan over the next 48 hours. A multitude of weather conditions is possible over the province, including wind, rain and snow.

Precipitation in the form of rain mixed with snow has begun in the Cypress Hills National Park and Swift Current this morning. Farther north in the Leader region precipitation are mostly in the form of rain. Southeast winds will increase to 60 km/h with gusts to 80 over southwestern Saskatchewan this morning especially in the Assiniboia, Swift Current and eastern Shaunavon regions.

As the storm intensifies, it will move across southern Saskatchewan Wednesday bringing snow and strong northwest winds with it. Rain will change into snow early Wednesday morning. At this time, it appears the heaviest snow will occur over western portions of the province, where 10 cm is expected. Northwest wind near 60 km/h will develop in the wake of this weather system Wednesday morning.

The combination of falling snow and strong northwest winds will result in blowing snow and poor visibilities over much of western Saskatchewan Wednesday morning.

Farther north, near Meadow Lake and Battleford regions, the winds are not expected to be as strong; therefore, a snowfall warning is in effect with 10 to 15 cm of snow.

Winds in southeastern Saskatchewan, not under the warning, are also expected to be 50 gusting to 70 km/h today.

This winter storm can produce poor travelling conditions. Persons in or near these areas should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and listen for updated warnings.

While Prince Albert shouldn't take a direct hit, we are expecting 4-8 cm of snow, till tomorrow night.

Batten down the hatches everyone, especially you Kindersley folks.

Now here's something we could use this week



via.

Well, she's been gone 5 hours

And in that time...

The potatoes and carrots cooked nicely but the meatloaf didn't cook, and since I couldn't persuade the guys that raw hamburger was a delicacy I sent Thomas to McDonalds for cheesebugers for us and we ate those with the potatoes and carrots.

The cheap paper plates I got seem to disintegrate in hot wet food. I told the boys it was just more fibre, so it was in fact, good for them.

I remembered that I'm on call at the hospital and still hadn't picked up the on call phone over an hour into the shift.

Micah informed me that he had to have rubber boots by tomorrow and mom said I would pick some up for him TODAY. So I did.
And the evening is just getting started.

So, while I'm getting back on my feet

You can watch the snow melt outside our house, here in Prince Albert, Sk.

That's enough for one day

Well,

This dis-ease is getting worse.

My right eye is running as much as my left nostril.

I can't keep up between my eyes or nose, its all running all over the place.

And my head is spinning and hurting and my body aches.

So, I've taken my Tylenol and my no-name Nighttime Cold Relief tablets, and I'm off for a hot shower and bed.
And that is that.

nite.

Technology changes NASCAR

We're sitting in the living room watching NEXTEL Cup Series: the Food City 500 on TV.

Now, what makes this cool?

We have the Sirius Satellite radio tuned to the different channels which broadcast the in-car and car to pit crew audio. Now that makes it interesting.

Almost makes me wish I was born in the South.

Go Jimmie Johnson.

Guest speaker

So yeah, sick as a dog here, and I gotta go work tomorrow, as in leading the service.

And most of it should go well, but I really don't think I could talk or preach for a chunk of time. So I have an alternative plan in place.

I'm thinking of having Dr. Tony Campolo speak in my place.

I mean, that could be cool, right?

World renowned speaker and church leader, talking at Gateway?

Dr. Campolo, or Tony as I like to call him, was on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos this week, and did what thought was a great interview.

I like what he has to say about people who follow Jesus, and how their lives ought to indicate this priority in non political party ways.

Jesus isn't about political parties. He's all about the one lost lamb he's out there with.

So, if i still feel like this, Tony's preaching tomorrow.

What's the HTML for hint /hint?

Well,

I dragged my sorry butt home around 3:30 today and crawled into bed and lost two hours. And boy, do i feel lousy. Flu lousy.

Tomorrow I need to do a bit more work on Sunday, and hopefully I'll be up for it.

and yeah Lauralea is off to her mom and dad's house on Sunday, so it'll be a week of single parenting the guys. Food from a can, eating over the sink, wrinkled dirty clothes, and like that.

But she needs a break, from PA, from the church work, and from us, probably. So it'll be good for her.

And it'll be good for us, especially if we can do it without being sick.

So, I think the three of us guys are open to supper out if any of you wanna have a go at that hospitality thing!

And we'll leave our dirty clothes at home.

reason number 83295 that the King James just doesn't preach well today

Job 1:3

His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

Can you see me preaching and reading this passage and getting to the part about she asses, and actually continuing without anybody snickering or producing a smart-alec response?

I can't.

"Next version please!"

So i continue

Later on this morning I have an appointment with my Spiritual Director, a short, unassuming, somewhat ageing, catholic nun.

I'm glad we connected, her and I. I mean I need to be seeing a Spiritual Director as a part of my training, and she turned out to be the only one within miles and hours. But it could have been some guy I have nothing in common with, or some lady who just lives life on a different plane, (or is that plain?) than I do.

Which would make it so hard.

But I look forward to what she gives me, an hour of listening to whatever I need to talk about.

And in that listening and giving back to me what she hears, I begin to hear the heart of God.

Not in her words, but in our discourse, our listening, our praying.

I am keenly aware that this is a deep luxury, a treasure to hold on to.

And so I am thankful.

And I want to be that for others.

So i continue.

You gotta go

Ok, if you live in Winnipeg, the WAG (Winnipeg Art Gallery for the uninitiated) is currently running their yearly showing of the Cannes Lions Awards. It's nearly two hours of the worlds best comercials.

The creativity of these things will leave you breathless, and you will leave convinced that what you thought were the best commercials in your town, particularly the commercials from Larry and Edna's organ emporium and discount store, are just shallow tripe.

Seriously, take a friend, a date and go out for dessert later on.

Lauralea and I encourage you to go. Mostly because we used to go every year, but now the trip to the WAG is about 9 hours. So we really can't go ourselves. But you go, you'll enjoy it.

Promise.

Money back guarantee,

(well if they give you your money back it will be.)

2006 CANNES LIONS
March 14 to April 1, 2007
6:30 and 9:00pm
$9 adults / $8 seniors and students / $7 Gallery members / $6 children
Doors open at 6:00pm, / 1:30pm for matinees
Tickets available at the WAG--in person only, no phone orders.

just a part of my life

This, is my first chance to blog all day. It’s 10:30 pm and since 8:30 am it’s been full bore with people.

I didn’t know the day would unfold the way it has, but there you go, and I am so tired.

Probably a good thing I didn’t have a chance to blog earlier, mostly because I was so angry. And frustrated. And hurt.

I had three different conversations today, trying to help fix or heal or simply listen to damage that has been caused by a couple of the same people who attend the church I serve. The same small group, causing hurt, behaving in some really questionable ways. Leaving in their wake some disillusioned and really hurting individuals.

And when they are approached about their behavior, they don’t see it, don’t acknowledge it, and carry on.

I guess one of the reasons I’m angry is simply that they should know better, they should be wiser, but they legitimize their behavior because they are hurting and seem to want others to hurt too. Then younger people get hurt, and really if that’s what Christians are about who want’s any of it anyway.

I am frustrated because we work hard and pray and give ourselves to loving people and helping them find a spiritual home in this world. Then with a few words and a bad attitude, that work is undone by a few.

I’m hurt because they talk to my face differently than they talk behind my back. These are people I love and have invested in, poured out prayer and care for them and their families.

And in the end I know that it is my lot as a pastor to live this out. And I will continue to watch for moments to communicate this truth to them, as I have time after time in the past, that people see, and use them as examples of how to live, or how not to live. Unfortunately they are being sidelined more and more because of their poor choices.

And I’ve already been praying for them today, mostly to keep my heart pure before God, because honestly it would be really easy to get bitter about it all, which would place me just about in the same boat as they are.

I should add that in spite of this, or perhaps even because of it, the church is doing better than it has been for years. Unity is growing, people are changing, a good future is being plotted out and the sailing looks good.

If only days like this didn’t take so much wind out of my sails.

I’m turning off the comments on this one mostly because I don’t want a dog pile here. Also because if you think I’m becoming a complaining old fart you can email me in private and I can repent in public.

Hey, it’s just a part of my life.

Night.

Bach to Classical music

Today we find ourselves remembering an individual who added to our enjoyment of life, musically speaking that is.

Today was the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Born the 21 of March, 1685, and:
"athough he introduced no new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, a control of harmonic and motivic organisation from the smallest to the largest scales, and the adaptation of rhythms and textures from abroad, particularly Italy and France. He is regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time."

Amen, whatever that all means.

So why not celebrate today just a bit, by getting Bach to classical music.

Pour yourself a class of your favourite beverage, pull out some of your favourite classical music and sit down a bit and just listen.

Course, if you are beauty poor and you have no classic CD's or Albums, you can simply tune into one of the CBC 2 online Radio feeds for a dose of classical. And if those long "boring" classical pieces make you weep, jump over to ClassicFM and have a listen. (They will ask you for a postal code so I use the one they put up there, WC2H 7LA works fine.) I do believe they don't play pieces longer than 5 minutes.

And enjoy.
It'll do you a world of good.

Happy Birthday Bach.

Homework

Yeah, still at the office, trying to get the day behind me and move on home.

I had to do some class work this week, so I stayed behind tonight to finish some of it.

I've mentioned before the nature of it. It's internal work where you process things in your life and heart and look at it and examine it and walk it through. It's a good class, and would be considerably better if I didn't just carve out a few moments here and there to do it.

But that's what life seems to be about these days, carving, scraping, pushing.

When you stop for a moment to peel back the surface of your heart, man there's amazing stuff in there. And you don't honour any of it by rushing around or messing about in there. You have to take your time with it and be gentle, otherwise it will tear and break.

That's enough. Time to go home.

Gotta be back here in 9 hours.

Hey just curious...

How many of you know about and use Skype?

Just wondering out loud here.

Something that is HOT



Because our weather sure isn't!!

(null)

Finally, Made It Home.

Rainy days and Mondays

I realized today that this May will be the 5th birthday of randallfriesen.com. Wow, five years. I should do something big to recognize it.

Maybe a party or some such thing. Balloons, clowns, cake, shooters, you know, a party.

Or maybe I should celebrate quietly, with a little online quiz and prizes for the winners.

Or maybe a trip/vacation to, I don't know, Turkey or some such place.

Or maybe, along the lines of quitting while you're ahead, I should just post my last post, and close up shop. Slip quietly into the night, and be gone.

I dunno, I have some time though.

And now I'm off to a meeting in a distant city. Work related, and I won't be back till late tonight.

dxtuners.com

Spent some time this afternoon just listening to the radio, for me a most pleasant and relaxing activity.

I just like to listen to stations far away. Old AM stations from the eastern seaboard of the States that I used to listen to when I lived in Southern Ontario. Stations that are hard to pull in up here in the "northern" and I use that term loosely, part of Canada.

I like connecting with the local culture and radio does help to do that in a real way. You hear where the people shop and what they do, their weather and local activities. I enjoy that. It's the same reason I like to stay with local people when I travel.
Anyway, the cool thing about doing that this afternoon, was using expensive radios that are connected to servers, which are connected to the Internet. You can log in and tune and adjust them just like they were in your room, except they are on the other side of the world!
A collection of radios positioned all around the world, made available to internet users. How cool is that.

Check it out here.

http://www.dxtuners.com

Welcome

I realize that some of you are new to these parts, especially since the P.A. Daily Herald piece in their Saturday Extra "Navigating www.paherald.sk.ca." And you may welcome some info.

So, consider this a bit of a randalfriesen.com 101 class.

First, this isn't a Christian Blog, as if a blog could communicate with a higher power. This is just the story of me.

Now, I am a follower of the teachings of Jesus, and I am a Shepherd or pastor or Spiritual Director, here in the city, so that will obviously come through as a regular part of my story.

When considering this space I wrote:
"I wanted my corner of the web to be a place where I could tell my story, as it is. That life isn’t all easy or all trouble, it is what it is, and God is good. And that just because I am a pastor, it doesn’t follow that I always have it all together.

So I began writing, May 17, 2002 to be exact. Since then I’ve made some cool new friends. And not just online either. The online contacts have led to coffee’s and lunches, retreats and worship, studies and prayer."

Much of the stuff here is just stuff and doesn't require response, but if you are interested in responding we welcome you to do just that. Sometimes a conversation will follow in the comments section. And sometimes it won't and that's cool too.

We simply ask that if you wish to participate, you do so with a name, rather than responding anonymously. This will help us all.

If you prefer lurking (just reading rather than commenting) you belong to a healthy club and that's ok too. Many prefer simply to follow along and consider the way a life is lived. Occasionally a funny incident will make it to the page or even more occasionally some deep thought will get through my head and onto the page.

If you look over to the right on the side beneath my picture you see some navigational links. You can explore them if you like and find other parts of this blog that might give you information you are after. Failing that you can use the search box there to find the posts that contain the words you searched for. It's actually very helpful.
You can read more about who I am and why I do this over here, and you can make contact with me here on this page. And by the way I welcome your contact. It's always good to meet you.

If you feel in the browsing mood you can go over to this page and click on a category or a month in the history of this blog and just snoop around a bit.

I have been blogging for nearly five years and there are regularly old posts I return to for information I’m after. I usually have to run a search to find those old posts , but now I’m going to try using this features page. If you want to check out some of the pieces I keep at the top of the heap, here is a partial list.

Then, over on my "Other Voices" page I keep a list of the sites I visit regularly or semi-regularly. When this place starts to get stale you can click on that page and always find a better voice than mine.

So come in and snoop around a bit, make yourself at home.

Maybe you'll find something that makes you laugh or something that makes you think a bit. Whatever, remember it's just me and my carrying on.

Welcome.

March 17

As I emerged from my bedroom this morning and heard the Irish radio station playing on the computer, and saw the Irish cookbooks spread open on the table, and herself at the stove speaking with the strong Irish brogue like she just arrived off a boat yesterday, I knew what day It was.

Aye,  happy St. Paddy's day to ya.

Now if a guy could get a decent pint of Guinness out here on the prairies.

Stoopid anglish

You know I don't claim to be any sort of an expert on the English language, at least not as much as the well educated Mr. Vandersluys whom I believe has a University degree in it. And the Mrs. Randall Friesen(.com) does remind me that the English language is a very difficult thing to learn, well especially if you're native tongue is Arabic or Chinese or some such thing.

But good grief, why can't some newspapers just say what they mean?

Today while picking up some juice on the way to work I scanned the newspaper headlines. The Saskatoon StarPhoenix carried the headline;
"U of S, faculty close"

Now I know there have been contract negotiations happening there for a while, with the teaching faculty, and I know those discussions haven't always been going easily. In fact I've been a little concerned because Hillary, our daughter, has been enrolled there for the past year and is nearly ready to complete her year. How much of a kick in the head would it be if the Faculty went on strike at this point in the game, and they lost the year.

I've been keeping my eye on that news.

So when I saw the news headline report that the University was closing, well I nearly had a bit of a fuss right there.

Upon further reading, which I expect was their plan in the first place, to get me reading it that is, the headline was trying to communicate that the two sides were indeed CLOSE to an agreement, not that they had to CLOSE.

With all the experts in the world and with people who do know where to place their apostrophes, before or after an "S," why can't someone get to work on the English language so that we don't have words that have double use, like "Close?"

(By the way, what do we call words like that which have double meanings?? For a big star.)

It shouldn't take a lot of work really, just some creativity is all. Words like live and live need to be set free to be who they really are.

We should make a list so that these English Majors have something other to do than read Shakespeare, or tell people where to stick their apostrophes all day. They could work on this idea.

Any words to add to the list?

CLOSE
LIVE

?

Real Beauty

So,

Gavin thinks that my picture on the side there makes me look like a middle-aged blogger.

He was able to find one of me a couple of months ago. I'm thinking of using it as my banner image.



It nicely captures the real me I think.

I should be in a Dove comercial.

BBC Interview with Toni and Chris

Life will sometimes creep up on you and catch you by surprise.

So does death.

Toni and Chris have become fast friends with Lauralea and myself, through this blogging medium, and in person. And it was nearly two years ago that Toni and Chris' daughter Sarah died suddenly in an auto accident. It has been amazing to watch them journey through these years, learning to live with a part of themselves having gone on ahead.

It has been a highlight of my blogging years to be able to get to know them, and their son Ben, and their friends.

Well, BBC Radio Oxford broadcasts a program called Journeys with Mike Beaumont and last Sunday's program included an interview with Toni and Chris, about how their relationship with Jesus played a part in their lives with the loss of their daughter.
It didn't sound like an easy thing to do, but they told their story well, and God was in it.

It brought a few tears to my eyes as I remembered those days, and imagined the pain. But it was a good interview. Honest, insightful, grace filled. Like I said, God was in it.

So if you want to, you can re-listen to the program by clicking here, Journeys with Mike Beaumont.

If too much time has passed and the program is gone, you can listen to Mike Beaumont interview Toni and Chris here.


True Grit(s) (you know I had to make that the title!)

You wouldn't know it by looking at me but I am a grits lover.

I'm not sure how it happened but it was kinda love at first taste. Becky introduced it to my taste buds, and they haven't been the same since.

It's the whole, "This is suppose to taste sweet but it's rich and savoury instead," thing that goes on inside my mouth.

Anyway, I live like a million miles from Grits country so it's not like I ever have them enough to get tired of them.

But tonight at small group meeting, the sweet and virtuous Meg delivered a box into my trembling hand, and I was undone. Now for you purists out there, it was a box of Instant grits, but you're talking to a guy who has never owned a box of "Real" grits.

She had gone down to her home country for the weekend, kind of a surprised forced stay because of border "confusion" shall we say, and had some time to think, of me.

Bless her heart.

So tonight I raced home and cooked up a couple of cups of Grits, just like my momma never made. I added some grated cheddar cheese, butter, and salt and pepper, and dug in.

Mmmmm, warm and rich, peppery and cheesy and good.

Thanks Meg, for thinking of me, and thanks Becky, for introducing me to this delicacy.

We must use this power for good

A little over a week ago the BBC was reporting on a survey they took from people the world over.

"The poll asked 28,000 people in 27 countries to rate a dozen countries plus the EU in terms of whether they have a positive or negative influence."

The result?

Canada placed first in the worlds public opinion.

Iran and Israel and the United States placed last and the world seems to think that those countries have a negative effect in the world.

So we have a lot of credibility in the eyes of the world. As the article points out, that may be because we haven't screwed up anything major lately.

I suppose it would be a Canadian thing to say that it's nice that we came out looking so good.

It just feels good.

Maybe now while the world thinks we're all goodie two shoes and is looking in the other direction, we should invade Holland to capture her cheese supply. The world wouldn't believe the Dutch, mainly because they didn't even get on the list, and when they would complain about Canada invading them the world would go, "Canada? naw, that's just not like them."

I suppose that after that we could head north into the UK and invade them and take all their ale. That would be nice. At least for Prince Albert it would be. Did you ever try to order a dark warm ale in PA? I didn't think so.

We could probably invade a couple of countries before the world would even catch on and believe we are behaving in such a boorish manner.

I suppose if they caught us we could probably just blame the unreasonably cold, long winter over here and promise not to do it again.

Because by then we would have all the cheese and beer and could probably just throw a reception for the world, and pretty soon the world would forget because of the great party we threw.


See, it's difficult to envision a Canadian as an evil genius of the world.

Soon.

There's a first

I just had two small girls, whom I don't know at all, poke their heads into my office and ask if they could make popcorn?

Weird.

just cubes

I left early for the office this morning, I needed to find the quiet that my life hasn't afforded me lately.

It's to reorient my inner compass, to give my spirit time to catch up with me. Even simply to afford myself the luxury of sitting and being still, that is a treat to me.

Thoughts jumbling through my head.

Thinking...

Of all that I have. Everything my life has been blessed with.

Wondering...

Where this will all lead. How to enjoy it all more, take it all in. Give it more meaning.
And, if I'm honest, worrying...

Should I continue, (with my class on Spiritual Direction), should I press in or should I cut my losses and move on.

I don't have a great sense of accomplishment in my work right now.
It feels something like it must have felt to be a stone mason who would spend his whole working career building one of those great churches, back in the fifteenth or sixteenth century. Each day a little more was accomplished, but you couldn't see the effect of your work because the stone you shaped was put in place near the top of the structure, far from your view. Still, each day you returned and hammered chisled and shaped your way through your life.

I imagine some days it got downright monotonous, especially if you were good at chiselling out blocks of stone. Maybe you'd like a chance at shaping one of those Gargoyles, but those opportunities never came to you, because you were good at those square blocks. So you keep on shaping cubes, all. life. long.

Anyway, my next opportunity has arrived now, I should get back to this work.

May you find your day fulfilling, what ever you do with it.

Congratulations

Steve and Lisa!!

On the birth this afternoon, just after 5 pm of a 6lb baby girl, Kezia Ruth.

Mom and baby and dad are doing fine!!

Monday. Day off.

Type a bit, read a few blogs, drink some undrinkably strong coffee, make some toast and eat it over the sink. Maybe go out for coffee with Lauralea, probably do some homework for class.

Seems a long time since we've had a day off around here...

I just checked. Past five weeks had a total of one day off.

Yep, I'm due.

I'm off for more coffee.

It's Saturday evening

There are times in our lives when we simply run out of things to say to God.
There are times when it all seems hopeless and to shape our own words is next to impossible.

I know that some of you have run out of words for this week. I'm pretty sure God is ok with that.

But as you prepare for the ending of the day, let me offer you some words you can use, to complete this week. Shape them yourself, make them your own. That's what they are there for.

Here is the evening prayer I took from The Daily Office.

Pray with me, won't you?

Seek him who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth: The Lord is his name. Amos 5:8

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray you, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen....

Lord, hear our prayer.

And let our cry come unto you.

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

Thanks be to God.

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us.

Amen.

happy?

One of the lessons I have learned this week comes as a surprise to me, mainly because I thought I already knew it.

Some people will never be happy.

I mean, they just won't be happy.

I know this, to be sure, but these days I know it like I haven't known it before.

I like to try to make people happy, so that their lives are a bit better as we spin on this orb. So i try this or that to help them on their way.

Sometimes the "This or that" is a small thing, simple really. While other times I try some big thing that would make their whole lives easier.

And my conclusion is that some people just will not be happy. And it's not about me, or what I do or don't do, that's just who they were before they showed up and who they'll be after they leave.

Which is hugely sad to me. I mean, life can be hard and miserable enough without being unhappy all the time. That's gotta end up being a huge thing to carry around with you.

But it does free me up from taking it so personally sometimes. I tend to do that I guess.

Then there are those who are simply the opposite.

And I'm so glad I'm married to one.

It's Not Too Late

You see, I want a lot.
Maybe I want it all:
the darkness of each endless fall,
the shimmering light of each ascent.

So many are alive who don't seem to care.
Casual, easy, they move in the world
as though untouched.

But you take pleasure in the faces
of those who know they thirst.
You cherish those
who grip you for survival.

You are not dead yet, it’s not too late
to open your depths by plunging into them
and drink in the life
that reveals itself quietly there.

Source:
Book of Hours:
Love Poems to God
by Rainer Maria Rilke

I am exhausted.

One more night moving pews tonight, and I've got nothing left, but a constant little reminder in the small of my back.
I'm going to bed.

night.

Far and away.

You know, on nights like tonight when I miss Johanna, I'll fire up Google Earth and soar around the world to the town she lives in in Switzerland and I'll zoom down and hover over the building she lives in and I'll just watch.

Like somehow it makes her closer.

When carpet is more than just carpet.

Well, night number four, busy at the church with this carpet crap.

Actually, the installation has gone better than I had hoped it would. Really.

The pews did not have to be stacked. Each night there have been lots of people willing to help move stuff. And each night we've quickly accomplished our tasks.

But, the other thing I have observed is the willingness to chip in and get involved in doing this thing together, and we needed that.

You see, in our past somewhere we stopped doing things together, because sometimes we had trouble getting along. Oh we could get along when we worshipped God, because we were all looking in the same direction, towards Him. But when we would try to do things together, well it wouldn't always work. Mainly because we were not all going in the same direction.

Some time after that, people stopped trying to do things together. They haven't been really willing to risk that again, cause it just hurts.

But this year...

Coming up with the cash to replace the carpet, all while increasing their giving to missions and ministries. Together.
Then showing up to move pews and plants and shelves and on and on. Together.

The next togetherness thing is that we are going to host the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada Annual meeting. And it's going to take all we have to offer. And teamwork will be required.

So yeah, my bones ache and I haven't been in such pain in a long time.

But my heart is full, cause we are growing and maturing and maybe, just maybe we are willing to risk doing big things together again.

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So, if you're wondering what to make for supper, head on over to lauraleacooks.com and take a look in her recipe box for some very tasty and healthy ideas.

Just layin some carpet

Yeah so guess why my back is hurting.

Nope, it's not just from carrying a broken old hot water heater up from the basement. Nor is it from laying on my side beneath the toilet trying to replace a broken toilet.

It's because we've been replacing the carpet in the church building. And we've been moving pews and shelves and everything else in the place.

Every evening since Sunday we've had a great bunch of people come out and help us move things that need moving. It's coming along great.

So here are a couple of images for you. (Click to enlarge).



Everybody got involved





First we moved everything to the left.





And signed our names underneath the new carpet.



Then we moved everything to the right.



Sounds hollow today.

Observation: Boy if we had chairs and not pews, could we do alot more with this space than we already do.

Tonight at 7 pm, more moving and replacing.

Regarding anonymous comments

To those of late who have been leaving anonymous comments on this webspace.

If indeed you desire communication and dialogue it is helpful for both parties to be able to communicate to people who have a name and a story. It is difficult to communicate with an individual who refuses to be known. It forces me to make unfair assumptions about your agenda and concerns. And I don"t want to be unfair.

You have made assumptions about me based upon the limited things that are written here. I am being forced to do the same regarding yourself, because I simply don"t know you.

Your comments are welcome, simply name yourself.

And, if you desire a more private conversation I am well open to an email conversation about your concerns too.


As to why Anonymous comments are moderated, that was a decision and policy made years ago.
Please see policy number 832951179-wwapr.

Cut it out!!!

Ok. that's about enough for now thank you.

Two weeks ago the Microwave stopped working. We realized how much it has become a part of our lives, so we got Thomas to pick up a cheap one at his place of employment, and with his discount, well it helped.

Then the waterheater spewed on us Friday. Call George the plumber. More cost.

Then today as I was leaving for the church Thomas gets into the van and informs me that the toilet was overflowing and let's go to church. Unbelievable. Completely unbelievable.

It turned out to be the tank that was broken and leaking and I spent the supper hour replacing the innards of the toilet tank.

So, what else can go wrong?

What else is on the way, ready to take it's best shot?

Freezer dies? Car blows up? Come on, give it your best shot.

Oh, and did I mention that this week will probably be the most stressful of the year? We need to replace the floor covering in the church and before that can be done we will have had to move 85 million tons of pews, 37 million tons of books, 12 million tons of paper, 8 million tons of chairs, and about 74 million tons of desks, bookshelves, file cabinets, paper, etc. etc. etc.

I am so glad we have some awesome volunteers.

I AM Superman!!!!

Thanks Toni.

and my counselor thanks you too.

Your results:
You are Superman






























































Superman
65%
Green Lantern
55%
Hulk
55%
Wonder Woman
47%
Robin
47%
Spider-Man
45%
Batman
40%
Iron Man
40%
Supergirl
37%
The Flash
20%
Catwoman
10%

You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...

Lauralea's Cross



O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Thy glorious rest above!

Just some hot water please.

Well, I've been waiting for this call, since the day I became a homeowner.

"The waterheater is gushing water all over the basement floor!!"

But hey, at least someone was home not too long after it happened.

Now the cost was a bigger surprise. $700 to replace it.

$700? I used to sell those things for $200, $280 tops. Course that was a million years ago.

It's starting to freak me out. That's like the third $700 expense that has popped up.

At least it didn't do much damage to the basement carpet, or the walls. They should dry off soon enough. And I didn't have to go without a shower tomorrow morning, that's nice too.

But some days you can't win for trying.

"This is causing me to hunger for beauty."

Was a quote from a classmate of mine.


Hunger for beauty - that is an insightful phrase.

It feels for me too that I have been on a long fast of things of beauty.

And when one goes without beauty in their lives they begin to starve and hunger and crave, until they put up with trite little things that satisfy for only a moment. A cheap joke or an empty song or an hour of dry television, just to help them get through the day.


Perhaps there is a famine in the land for beautiful things.

Entering Loss

From my class notes this week:
"When we sit with people who are in dark places, or even allow ourselves to feel the grief and loss of this time--we are part of the same holy work that the women offer when they bring spices to the tomb of their beloved Jesus. A widowed friend said recently that grief in suffering is inevitable but mourning is a choice to name what has happened to us. And perhaps it is the choosing to mourn what is lost, that allows the movement forward into what might be new in Christ to appear. The rhythm of redeeming grace might be slow in what feels like a tomb or a death, but the rhythm continues."
Henri Nouwen writes:

Mourn, my people mourn.»? Let your pain rise up in your heart and burst forth in you with sobs and cries.»? Mourn for the silence that exists between you and your spouse.»? Mourn for the absence of soft embrace, an intimate friendship, a life-giving sexuality.»? Mourn for the abuse of your body, your mind, your heart.»? Mourn for the bitterness of your children, the indifference of your friends, and your colleagues" hardness of heart ...Cry for freedom, for salvation, for redemption.»? Cry loudly and deeply, and trust that your tears will make your eyes see that the Kingdom is close at hand, yes, at your fingertips.

Nouwen, Henri quoted in The Holy Longing:»? The Search for a Christian Spirituality by Ronald Rolheiser,»? New York:»? Doubleday, 1999,

My Lesson for the day

You know there are always parts of a job that you just dread. And that"s just how it is, so you suck it up.

Well today is one of those days for me.

Somehow I managed to book myself into doing a service at the Hospital in the morning and a service at the care home in the afternoon. I confess to you that I really really really don"t like these things. It feels so, I don"t know, so made up, so phony, like playing church with a crowd of people wheeled into the room against their better judgement, if they were able to communicate their own choices at all.

And I just don"t know if it helps them or gives God room to work or what really.

But I"m trying to remain faithful. Or maybe obedient is a better word. I try to remain obedient and what sometimes happens is that God will show up and I will find my spirit ministered to.

That happened this morning.

And it"s funny how a guy can be up there talking and praying and leading in the singing (Which really is all about the solo anyway), and God shows up and you can sense him through your words and you find encouragement from the words coming out of your mouth, even apart from whatever"s going on out there.

That was nice today, I needed that. I needed Him, and he was there.

Right there in the middle of the stuff I hate to do. God was there.