An Evening Prayer

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.


1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

3 The spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

4 He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear,

5 But with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.

6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.

7 The calf, the lion and the fatling together,
with a little child to lead them.

8 They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11.1,2,3b-4a,6,9

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.


That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

(Silence is kept.)

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts
and set us free to sing your praise
now and for ever.
Amen.

Just checking in

Finally I turned on the warmth in my cold office after fighting it for three days. I wasn't sure if I was shivering because I was cold or just tired but I figured it was easier to turn on the heat than it was to go have a nap.

Yesterday was a long one. I think I was here before 6 am and it went till about 11:30 pm last night. Just stuff to do, and meetings to be at. It's not usually like that but yesterday turned into one of those long days. I'm getting ready to do some stuff at a leadership training retreat we have planned this weekend. Then following that is a day of ordination interviews, which I'm kinda looking forward to. Then three days of leading a Pastors and Spouses retreat. I'll be glad when we are a week down the road here.

You might think that living and ministering in a field there wouldn't be much more than deer and flowers and happy lazy sunsets to enjoy. Well that isn't the case. Seems like we are at a epicentre of disease and mental illness and hurting and loss these days. Feels like each new phone call someone else is down and nearly out. I got word this afternoon that one of our people has been given two months more for this life. I can't even think what that would be like, but it happens to people every day. Two months... what would I do...

Anyway, there is much to be done here in the field.

But because I haven't been home much and I'll be away later this week and weekend, it's time for Lauralea and I to go out on a supper date. Micah is in youth all night and after that he can do homework.

So, we'll chat again later.

This week on Twitter 2009-09-30


  • I seem to be hungry for meat. #

  • I'd like to be a cheesemaker one day. Esp. now that my mamas & papas fan club idea is down the tubes. #

  • "Esks/ Riders ticket sales for Saturday 52,500 and climbling! Biggest regular season crowd in CFL this season." Gonna be big w/ rider win! #

  • It's Friday afternoon people. Let's look alive here and hurry hard right up till the bell rings because then it's THE WEEKEND! #

  • Nothing says you're a middle aged guy who lives in a field like grocery shopping on a Friday night. #

  • Guess where we ended up this windy afternoon. http://post.ly/6PPP #

  • We are watching Harry Potter and NFL football during comercials. I keep getting confused about who I'm cheering for. Dumbledore or the Colts #

  • I stayed up to watch Big Bang Theory. It was worth it, and sleep I loose as a result. Glad that one is back this year. #

  • The boy says he needs a $100 Graphing Calculator for math. I say there must be an app for that, and there is. 99 cents. I win. #

It's 7:51 am and all is calm

After four days of fierce winds blowing first one way then having to blow it all back the opposite way, it seems it's calm out there right now.

Of course it might be a fake calm because at 5:30 this morning it was still blowing out.

But lets have a little hope shall we?
Lord knows there's plenty of hopelessness out there anyway.

Windy Monday Blown Away



Cleaning house all day, getting ready for the small group leaders to meet here tonight, but I took a few minutes to head outside and take a look at the shingles and eves on our house.

Sorry you can't hear what I'm saying, but the wind, she was loud.

Guess where we ended up this windy afternoon.



And what a game it was too.

I got a call three hours before the game with someone who suddenly had two free tickets, bless their heart.
:)

The wind was so cold, I think I shivered through the fourth quarter, sitting beside a big young Saskatchewan farmer who was cheering for the Green and White - as were many around me.

Somehow by the end of the game, the Riders prevailed by three points. The weather was such a factor in the game, sometimes it seemed neither team wanted to win.

Oh and the other very cool thing about the game today? It was sold out. 62500 people in that park which set a new record for Commonwealth Stadium, and the highest attendance of any CFL game, ever.

Wow, and we were there for the history making day.
Oh and Saskatchewan just happened to win that highest attendance game. Cool.

Micah and I had a great time.
Now I have some prep work for tomorrow that I was going to do this afternoon.

Then, I have to find a way to warm up. My teeth are still cold.

Saturday chores

Saturday morning and Lauralea is away at quilting group. Micah is away working on a farm, I think they are putting in fence posts, and I am home, mostly ready for tomorrow so I'm doing Saturday chores.

Seems a beautiful Autumn day out there, but news is that there is a big wind warning for the area. Should be blowing in very soon. I made a few smart remarks to the ladies who came to pick up Lauralea, about the relation of the wind warning and their gathering together to make quilts.

So soon the nice day may turn blustery.

Anyway, back to the chores.

Just Another Sunset

Every sunset, like each snowflake or each rose, is unique in the world.

Each dependent on the qualities of space, and weather patterns, clouds, time of day, time of year, or the ground cover that go in to it's creation.

And each sunset, when stacked against the sunset yesterday night and the night before that, and the night before that, and so on, begins to be absorbed into the daily fabric of life. Absorbed, assumed, unrecognized.
So that on any given evening, you could miss stunning beauty, exquisite hues, brilliant colours.

Like piles and piles of snowflakes that you have to shovel to get your car free.
Or fields and fields of flowers that you need to harvest yourself so you can sell them so your family can eat.

It is a good practice to occasionally stop and recognize the beauty, and if you know there is a God, then you have someone to communicate gratitude to, and your heart can soar.

And if you believe in God the even more humbling thought is that that he creates things of amazing beauty, not just for us, but because that is his nature. He creates life and beauty where there is none. Not to have anyone say "Isn't he amazing," but just because that's who he is.

And that makes me smile.

IMG_2799

Another September Birthday

A local flower seller has been located, a rose ordered.
The distance is felt and marks the heart for a moment
till we remember that she is doing well in the place she is in.

Happy Birthday Hillary.

may your day be full and gracious and may you know you are loved.


Updated.
Birthday Rose

Hot Harvest Day

Google weather informs me that today we will achieve the grand temperature of 32C, in Autumn no less.

It hasn't rained in these parts for about three weeks or so I am reminded almost daily. The harvest has been going quickly, mainly because there is so little to take off. The combines are running at 7, 8 or 9 miles an hour which is double their normal speed of 3 or 4. That's because the crops are short and thin, so they are indeed making hay while the sun shines. And I'm told that even the green wheat is dry to the touch, cracking and breaking with a gentle pressure. Many of the fields are dry and more like dust than any rich moist farmland. If we don't see some good snow this winter, then who knows what happens next year.

Anyway, as I was saying, plus 32 today. I don't remember seeing that in September.

One day I suppose I can handle. I got my water, I got my fan, and I've closed up my bedroom windows so that space should escape the heat and tonight I can sleep.

This week on Twitter 2009-09-23


  • Lots of combines on the prairies this 33C autumn day. #

  • Hanging with my family. http://post.ly/5Tm5 #

  • Saskatoon is a beautiful city. Esp the downtown. Just a great place to be. #

  • Wedding today, suit, tie, white long sleeve shirt, undershirt and its gonna be 30C outside my suit. Anybody want to hazard a guess 4 inside? #

  • Went out for coffee and found a baby. Amelia. http://post.ly/5dRT #

  • A great wedding!! http://post.ly/5eVd #

  • All the "we'll help you stay awake on the long trip home" people are already snoring and fast asleep. Gonna be a long night. #

  • Homelessness as a sport. http://post.ly/5oeF #

This week on Twitter 2009-09-23


  • Lots of combines on the prairies this 33C autumn day. #

  • Hanging with my family. http://post.ly/5Tm5 #

  • Saskatoon is a beautiful city. Esp the downtown. Just a great place to be. #

  • Wedding today, suit, tie, white long sleeve shirt, undershirt and its gonna be 30C outside my suit. Anybody want to hazard a guess 4 inside? #

  • Went out for coffee and found a baby. Amelia. http://post.ly/5dRT #

  • A great wedding!! http://post.ly/5eVd #

  • All the "we'll help you stay awake on the long trip home" people are already snoring and fast asleep. Gonna be a long night. #

  • Homelessness as a sport. http://post.ly/5oeF #

This week on Twitter 2009-09-23


  • Lots of combines on the prairies this 33C autumn day. #

  • Hanging with my family. http://post.ly/5Tm5 #

  • Saskatoon is a beautiful city. Esp the downtown. Just a great place to be. #

  • Wedding today, suit, tie, white long sleeve shirt, undershirt and its gonna be 30C outside my suit. Anybody want to hazard a guess 4 inside? #

  • Went out for coffee and found a baby. Amelia. http://post.ly/5dRT #

  • A great wedding!! http://post.ly/5eVd #

  • All the "we'll help you stay awake on the long trip home" people are already snoring and fast asleep. Gonna be a long night. #

  • Homelessness as a sport. http://post.ly/5oeF #

This week on Twitter 2009-09-23


  • Lots of combines on the prairies this 33C autumn day. #

  • Hanging with my family. http://post.ly/5Tm5 #

  • Saskatoon is a beautiful city. Esp the downtown. Just a great place to be. #

  • Wedding today, suit, tie, white long sleeve shirt, undershirt and its gonna be 30C outside my suit. Anybody want to hazard a guess 4 inside? #

  • Went out for coffee and found a baby. Amelia. http://post.ly/5dRT #

  • A great wedding!! http://post.ly/5eVd #

  • All the "we'll help you stay awake on the long trip home" people are already snoring and fast asleep. Gonna be a long night. #

  • Homelessness as a sport. http://post.ly/5oeF #

new pastors

Through a series of circumstances I find myself to be the chair of the Ministerial for our Canadian Covenant churches. And while the circumstances that "Brought me into office" happened last April, I suddenly find myself surprised that I am in this role.

I am reading ordination papers and reading about peoples lives and callings. Things that make them tick and hurt. Things that have shaped them and made them who they are today. I confess how deeply humbling it is to read the stories of peoples lives. It's moving even, to trace the hand of God in peoples lives and see how they have been led by God.

More and more my heart beats for the young pastor out there who is alone and struggling to find their way. So often when I was new to the gig, I longed for a mentor who could listen to my stuff and tell me it would be alright and I could try these few things to make it ok. Now I've been doing this for twenty some years, and I'm watching the new crop take over and I want for them to do well and be faithful and find their way with God. That's one reason I was willing to do this Ministerial thing, so that I could do what I could to help them along the way.

So tonight I'm praying for a pastor friend who's not doing well at all. He's been off work for a while because of illness and news has come that he's not doing well at all. His family is loosing it too, which is to be expected. Life is really really tough, whether you are a pastor or not. But you add some of that pastoral stuff to the equation and life can spiral out of control quite quickly.

So you need to build into your life good quality characteristics. Character. The thing that you are when no one is looking. Because in this day and age, it's a basic requirement to this kind of work.

Homelessness as a sport.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

And............. we're back

and tired, so I'm going to quickly do what I have to do here at the office before tomorrow, and get home and sleep.

But before I do that,

I get the opportunity to marry people and each wedding is so different. What is the most humbling and the most teary eyeing thing of just about each and every wedding, is when the bride and groom make their vows to one another. You see I get to stand there, I am the closest to the couple as they make these huge promises that God only know how they will play out. But in that moment, in that slice of time a vow is made to another human being that is so huge that it has eternal implications. It is a promise with your life that you make and as such it is a most holy moment in time.

And I get to stand there and witness these vows. I get to look into their eyes and see their hearts, nervous, excited, hopeful, pleased, its all there.

And todays wedding was, great. The bride and groom were themselves and that came out in the ceremony and the vows which they had written themselves. Sometimes couples stand there completely oblivious to their surroundings, or sometimes they are distracted by the ring bearer making noise. Sometimes they have taken some meds to calm down or they just had a argument with a mom who wanted it done her way.

But not today. This couple was so present, they lived each moment like a rare gift. They grabbed the opportunity to make their vows like a starving man grabs the food put before him. Their eyes were full and smiling the whole time and it was a delight to be a part of their day.

Yes my children, real true love does exist. No, it's not easy and often it can be messy, and the work required for it can be great and the cost, greater. But love still happens out there. It still grows in the darnedest places, amazing and surprising people along the way. But as long as people are willing to commit and work hard at it, real love will continue to grow and flourish, all over the place.

Days like today give me hope for marriage. A little bit of commitment and some hard work and you'd be surprised what can grow.

Now, back to my prep for tomorrow and to bed.

Night, from the Field again.

A great wedding!!

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Went out for coffee and found a baby. Amelia.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

So it seems I'm getting old. Yeeah, whatev.

Today I saw an old chiropractor we used to see occasionally when we lived here in Prince Albert, Lauralea had booked me in and I grudgingly went.

He was good. He worked me through an assortment of tests, and at the end of it he sat me down and said, "Well, looks like you have a sore back." Yeah, good sense of humour this guy has.

Then he proceeded to show me on a naked skeleton the point of trouble. L2 S5 I believe it was. Bulging disk.

He did a great job of explaining it to me, and gave me some things to try to easy the pain, and with a good turn of things, maybe the bulging will push back into where it is suppose to be, rather than pressing on the nerve that leads down my leg.

That's about the clearest explanation I've discovered yet and it makes sense. But like he said, bottom line? You've got a sore back Friesen. It may ease up, it may not.

But now I have a few things to try to help.

And for those of you contacting me for a short visit or connection, sorry I was only in Saskatoon for a few hours, and tomorrow right after this wedding I'm heading home. Big pig roast for our first day of Sunday School... Hey, if you live in the area, come join us for Church and a pig, Sunday morning at 11 am.

:)

I. Think. I'm. Done.

I feel like I have been captive in this office for a couple of days now, although yesterday I was in town to check on someone in the hospital, still feels like I've been in here forever.

I'm heading home to get a few hours sleep because tomorrow early I am off to Saskatchewan to help a young couple get married. Truly a delightful proposition, now if only the prep work were as delightful. That's why I'm still here at this hour, after being here all day.  This is kind of the way it's going to go for me till mid to end of October I fear. Just a lot of things happening in autumn.

And speaking of Autumn, it was another hot hot day here and my office, the hottest in all the church. When isAutumn going to arrive? The cool breezes, the orange leaves drifting slowly downward... I love that patch of life and i don't want it overlooked by the weather people. I want my autumn, but the forecast is for more days in the upper 20s.

Sigh.

I'm just waiting for Fawlty Towers to download. You know the one with the elderly, deaf, "Excuse me is this a piece of your brain" lady in it. I love that one.

Then I'm heading home.

I'll see you later.

Night.

This week on Twitter 2009-09-16


  • The day started early today. Lots to do. Nothing pithy or funny to say here. Just carry on. As you were. #

  • We're harvesting crops to help feed people in Africa. Cool. http://post.ly/4c3n #

  • Human trafficking for sex trade comes to Edmonton. http://bit.ly/42jB4t Sigh. #

  • Band of Brothers. Nearly done. #

  • Bright and clear out tonight. The Milky Way is visible in all it's glory. #

  • A quick lunch. http://post.ly/5FmV #

  • If you are in western Canada the Space Station should be passing overhead at about 8:29 tonight for 5 min. West to east. Big shiny thing.. #

  • Beauty. The Space Station drifted silently overhead, the brightest thing in the sky. #

  • Usually I love em but I so don't have the intestinal fortitude for a national election this Autumn. The lies, the BS, the comercials. #

This week on Twitter 2009-09-16


  • The day started early today. Lots to do. Nothing pithy or funny to say here. Just carry on. As you were. #

  • We're harvesting crops to help feed people in Africa. Cool. http://post.ly/4c3n #

  • Human trafficking for sex trade comes to Edmonton. http://bit.ly/42jB4t Sigh. #

  • Band of Brothers. Nearly done. #

  • Bright and clear out tonight. The Milky Way is visible in all it's glory. #

  • A quick lunch. http://post.ly/5FmV #

  • If you are in western Canada the Space Station should be passing overhead at about 8:29 tonight for 5 min. West to east. Big shiny thing.. #

  • Beauty. The Space Station drifted silently overhead, the brightest thing in the sky. #

  • Usually I love em but I so don't have the intestinal fortitude for a national election this Autumn. The lies, the BS, the comercials. #

A quick lunch.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Working Today

I confess it's nice to be working today. I don't know if that's a great moral failure or me living into my good mennonite work ethic, but it's, nice.

It's nice because this week is very full, including doing a wedding in Saskatchewan this weekend, and being back here for our Sunday School startup this Sunday, which is going to be a blast I think.

It's nice because Lauralea's off picking another three or four boxes of apples, (yes, this time a different variety, I know...) to process into some more apple surprises. So I'm back at work getting some more things done.

It's nice I suppose because it does distract from the distant reality that we don't have three or four little preschoolers around any longer so we won't be going to the Zoo any longer on our day off for a picnic.

It's nice because sometimes a day off just looks like Lauralea and I wondering around waiting for the next day to start so we can get back in the swing of things.

It's nice because really, what does a day off look like in the work that we do. I mean really. I don't say that begrudgingly AT ALL, but it's often the nature of the work that it's simply more of a lifestyle deal or calling than it is a nine to five or an eleven to eight. You moms have a better understanding of this than the rest of us. You don't get time off from being mom. Ever. Just how it is when you live with your work, and your work is your life, their life.

Besides, it's quiet out here on the field today. The windows are open and the surprisingly hot September air is blowing into my office. The flies are buzzing, the birds are singing and I hear the cows mooing, and autumn feels like months away.

But back to today. A wedding to plan, a Sunday School curriculum to prep, a pastors and spouse retreat to plan, sermon series to finalize, board meetings in Chicago to think through, and people to pray for. Not bad for a Monday.

Worship Gathering Time Change

No, the earth isn't standing still, rather we are changing our gathering time off of our summer meeting time of 10 am to our autumn meeting time of 11 am.

Still the same people gathering to worship, you just get a bit more rest.

:)

This Sunday we are talking a bit about how we here in the Field can connect with and care for the world we live in. Yes we've got a lot of work to do, but we aren't afraid of a little hard work. After all, are not our neighbours and we ourselves working day and night in the harvest here, working hard to bring it all in?

Yeah, you get my point.

So we'll see you this Sunday, and each Sunday through the winter, here at 11 am.


Oh and remember, next Sunday is the Sunday school startup. We'll expect to have classes for everyone, so plan to attend.

And if I recall correctly, there will be roast pig for lunch. And that's not something they ever announced in Jesus day.

So don't plan on cooking for lunch for yourselves.

Human trafficking for sex trade comes to Edmonton

Of course at some levels it's been here a long time already but these charges and rescue are a first for Edmonton Police.

Read about the arrest here.



"There are people in major cities in Canada who have ads in foreign newspapers in those cities," he said. "They answer the ads and are led to believe they are coming to a new job in a massage parlour that pays very well. They are put to work and very quickly realize it is more than massage, it is the sex trade."

It appears the three women had not been in Canada long when they answered the ads. They appear to come from traditional, honour-orientated families which made it easy to control them through fear and threats.

Although the spa closed its doors at 11 p. m., the women were expected to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"They ate, drank and slept in the rooms they worked in," Schening said. "I don't know what brought them to Canada. But I know they came to Edmonton thinking they had profitable employment."

Garry Drummond, human trafficking awareness co-ordinator for the RCMP's northwest region, called the charges and rescue of the three women a first for Edmonton police.

This week on Twitter 2009-09-09


  • I hate getting the new guy for my hair cutter. I haven't had a good cut in a looooong time. Dang. #

  • Ok I'm officially done with this heat. And the hundreds of small flies that get through the screens and buzz and bite and get into the food. #

  • Hopefully got the tax audit thing done right. Faxed it in and told em to leave me alone already. Sheesh. #

  • Anyone know where the local hospital is in Ponoka? I'm heading there now and I need directions. #

  • Ponoka is a nice small town. We should buy a little house there for weekend getaways to civilization. Like a cabin at the lake only reverse. #

  • Harvesting malt barley. Helps making beer. http://post.ly/3uuf #

  • Harvesting malt barley. Helps making beer. http://post.ly/3uwt #

  • Watching Band of Brothers, disk one, part one with the guys. My birthday gift from them. #

  • Band of Brothers. Amazing, realistic, heartwrenching, disturbing, human, triumphant, sorrowful, desperate, moving. Unlike reg tv or movies. #

  • I realize it may not look it but we are at the mall getting back 2 school clothes http://post.ly/47AT #

  • Still at it... http://post.ly/47P5 #

  • Heading north with 2 kids and their earthly posessions. 4 hours left to go. #

  • I'm sleeping in the guys dorm tonight and Lauralea packed a kitten sheet for me to use. Hope no guys pass my door. My rep couldn't take it #

  • I'm up and groggy. Going to be a long day I think. #

  • Running around Grande Prairie with Hillary... Printer ink, wall mirror, hemp store... Hemp Store?? #

  • And so we leave them to God and the future once again. http://post.ly/4Hw5 #

  • Stat holiday today, I think we are off to explore the town of Ponoka a bit. Find a used book store and coffee shop and whatever else we can. #

  • Lunch at a "English Pub" and they had no english beer. Nachos and pop for lunch then. #

  • Band of Brothers, Part Four - Replacements. Just Micah and I tonight. No Thomas. #

to boldly go where we've not gone before

One of the delights of living in a city is the almost constant opportunity for exploration. There are streets to see and cafe's to try. There are new foods to taste in the areas where immigrants settle and new people to meet that will be refreshing to your spirit. There are new quirky stores to search through and streets to walk down and sights to see.

Living where we live now, in a field in Alberta, means that the opportunity to explore is given to us times three. Our field is located in the middle of a triangle made up of three smaller Alberta cities and we've done some exploring in two of them. Today we hit the third. An underrated berg called Ponoka.

It was fun again, to go exploring. The town, the real town, is off the major highway and you have to go looking a bit for the beauty, but it's there. Tall leafy trees covering the streets. The houses, some 30, 40 or 50 years old in those streets, and they lead right into the downtown which reflected the older community too. No brand new, sparkling buildings to show the wealth of the place. No buildings made up to look quaint, they just really were, quaint. The people we met were much the same, real people without the air of lots of cash. Regular people who kept their fences painted, their lawns mowed and their leaves raked. People who loved where they lived and who wanted to belong to something gracious.

We found stores and cafes, bakery and meat shops. Bookstores with new and used books, Chinese restaurants serving lunch buffets, even an English Pub with the quirkiness of having no English lagers or bitters or beers of any sort. And we found it all within walking distance. To us, that is the prize of prizes, to be able to walk to your shops and appointments and church. For us that defines a close community whether it's in a city or country town. If you can make your way through life without having to start up an engine and drive someplace. That's just about being committed to the patch of land you are a part of, and really being a part of it.

We found a shop that sold used items and took the cash and used it to buy bibles for different parts of the world. What an idea. It made shopping there fun, and paying more than the register rang up was a new opportunity for us to give. We found a couple of good quality chairs for surprisingly affordable prices.

Those days are fun, like charting new courses, discovering new territories, finding the searched for thing or discovering gold, it's just a treat.


And now you best hold on for the ride, because this Autumn is going to get a little bumpy crazy as we ride towards December.


Night from the Field.

It's a part of the parenting gig

After a long journey into the city today to get some last minute schools supplies and pants for Micah (Which if you're British means what it says and if you're North American also means what it says) we picked up Hillary who completed camp yesterday, then flew to Saskatoon and then bused here today.

That alone is a stressful enough day, however tomorrow after church I am going to drive both Hillary and Thomas north to get to bible college which starts Monday. So the activity around here even at 11:30 at night, is considerable. The washer is going, people are running to and fro with suitcases, updating their computers and bank accounts and on and on and on.

Its good to have them all in one place, even for a bit. They all are growing up and behaving in much more adult ways which makes them fun to be around. Tomorrow we part again, probably till Christmas.

Johanna and Nate have had a most difficult day in their lives today, and it pains to be so far away. So we pray for them and hope that their difficulties will settle because really it's all we can do from so far away.

The highs and the lows of being parents of adults I suppose.

Anyway, off to bed, I am exhausted.

Night all.

Still at it...

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

I realize it may not look it but we are at the mall getting back 2 school clothes

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

A simple reminder as Summer turns into Autumn

Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40

It's September 4th today

And that can mean only one thing, that it's Johanna's Birthday today.

22 years ago she made her official entrance into our lives and we really haven't been the same since.

From her first shocking mouth gaging poop when we brought her home, to her willingness to listen when we said some things were to look at and not to touch, to her convincing her kindergarden teacher that she could play the piano and she did so for the school assembly which we wouldn't have heard about except for her teacher calling us so we went and stood at the back of the gym in amazement, to her dramatic appearances in Prince Albert productions or her singing of the national anthem at her high school for grad, or her learning to drive, through stop signs, or her ability with the french language, or her heading off to Bible College convinced and proved right that God would pay her way, or her traipsing off to Switzerland to be an au pair for a year, or her moving out to the coast to live three hours away from this boy that she liked and creating a whole life for herself out there, getting married to this great Wisconsin (I refrain from calling him a cheesehead) boy she loved with the wedding in Prince Albert, to now moving into management as a Customer Service Supervisor for a multinational company...

Deep breath.

Everybody should have a chance to have a child like her.


Happy Birthday Johanna.
Hope you have a great day, and do something fun this weekend.

Big Wind in the Field

which seems to mean that the phones are down.

If you're trying to call.

And mercy is extended to you if you thought the big wind was me.

Harvesting malt barley. Helps making beer.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Don't Stop Believin

Last night Micah and I caught a bit of the new show "Glee."
And whatever about the show itself, but they did a version of Journey's Don't Stop Believin that caught my attention.
Not bad at all.



It's available on itunes.
I bet Journey music on iTunes saw a spike in sales too.

Cause memories will do that to ya.

Boston Pizza and social media

You might recall a few weeks ago we went to a local Boston Pizza place and we had a less than positive experience. While we were leaving the place to head over to A&W I Twittered about the experience.

Well, someone over at BP's was monitoring the feeds and within a day or two was at my site leaving a concerned comment. He also subscribed to my twitter feed. I emailed him and within about five minutes he replied to me and had cc'd the Guest Services Manager for Boston Pizza. Long story short, this morning I received in the mail a gift card for $25 to use at any Boston Pizza as an invitation to try again.

I know some companies have struggled with how to handle the social media and the ongoing conversations of the internet, but here is one company who seems to be making an effort to harness the power of social media and use it for their own good. The willingness to use the internet to listen to what's being said about your product shows a real edge in the market that some other companies are afraid of or simply unwilling to do. (You may remember our Pizza Hut experience of May 2008, Here and a follow up here. to date there has been no further contact from Pizza Hut.)

Managing your good name out here in the wild west of the internet is something that small and large companies can do with relative ease simply using the technology to work for you.

So well done Boston Pizza for listening to the crowd.

Five Signs That it’s Time to Call a Therapist

“Therapy offers the gift of a safe place to wonder about yourself, in ways we don’t usually get the chance to, with someone who has put a lot of thought into the ways we struggle and try to find freedom, and who will hope on your behalf.”

- Jen Payne, Mental Health Counselor




Sometimes its hard for people to think about asking for help, and even when they screw up enough courage to ask, they might not know who to ask.

Here is a great tool to help you consider if it may be time to talk with someone. Five Signs That it’s Time to Call a Therapist.

A quick update between here and there

The times are very busy these days and I find more work than daylight. Being in the kind of work that should look like you are at peace and inner contentment, almost oozing restfulness, so that people don't feel like they are a hinderance and will approach you, I feel like I am failing that these days.

I have enjoyed working this summer because it's a different speed and it leaves you with more room to try different, or new things with people and I've enjoyed that a good deal. What I haven't enjoyed this summer is learning to live with pain. I'll talk more about this some other time, but this summer, pain in my back and legs has come to live with us. Muscle pain is no problem for me, I can live with that for a long time, but this is kind of a nerve pain that comes when it will and stays as long as it wishes. It's the piercing and surprising nature of this pain that is breathtaking in its effect. Of course being tired only makes it worse, and, thank God, it mostly goes away when I am able to lay down, but its effect on me surprises and frightens me just a bit.

Sitting with people and becoming unable to hear them because the pain grows in my body, feels a harsh blow to what I do. Suddenly wondering if I can even stand for twenty minutes while I talk on a Sunday becomes a concern. Even, and possibly the most difficult, is standing and talking with another person. It becomes such a difficulty and distraction.

I've never had to experience this before and for that I have been very grateful. Even before the pain came to visit, I was keenly aware that I was blessed. But through this time I have been learning a few things.

Pain makes you think through your day, your life, your routines, because they may need to shift because of your inability to accomplish them any longer. This sucks, being limited I mean. And changing your life patterns.

Pain is very tiring. I find myself sneaking away just to sit down a bit, or better yet to lay on my back and let the pain settle for a few moments. Then up and go again. I'm more tired these days than I should be.

Pain creates a new dependance on God that I never had before. This summer I've had to pray a prayer I've never had to pray before, "Lord, please give me the strength to make it through this next bit of my day." I've never had to pray that because my physical strength has always been enough. Now I find I am asking for that more and more. That's kinda cool though. It reminds me how much I need his strength.

Seasons are shifting though. For the farmers who are moving into harvest or the kids who are going back to school, the times are changing. I've learned a great deal this summer, and I hope and pray that this pain will take it's leave, and I can move into a full Autumn as well.

Grace and peace.
From the Field.

This week on Twitter 2009-09-02


  • Back from the Doctor. I'll probably live. Well, until I die, one day. #

  • Heading home. Deacon meeting completed. Tired. #

  • The smell of good coffee and new books is intoxicating. Guess where I am. #

  • Saw on truck bumper sticker "I'm not Canadian, I'm Albertan". You see what I have to work with??? :) #

  • We are about to be over run with little people for our VBS Country Fair. Hang on for the ride. http://bit.ly/1D9IuG #

  • Cool, it's a Peter Sellers obscure film day on TCM. Glad I'm pretty much ready for tomorrow. #

  • It's a hot one today, hotter still in my office where I am working on the paperwork for this Canada Revenue review on my taxes. Yeah, HOT. #

  • It's going to be a hot one today. Looks like people are gathering next door, better get a move on. #

  • Feel kinda like a truck hit me. But I'm gonna wait to go to bed till a proper time, like 8pm, so as to not spoil my sleep tonight. #

  • To town to get errands done and food bought. Guests arriving in the field today. #

  • A quick lunch then back to the field. http://post.ly/3XZ7 #

  • The day is half over already and it's going up to 29C today. What manner of September is this? #

  • I realize it's midnight and I'm in bed but I could eat a chicken Cesar right about now. That's not good. #

This week on Twitter 2009-09-02


  • Back from the Doctor. I'll probably live. Well, until I die, one day. #

  • Heading home. Deacon meeting completed. Tired. #

  • The smell of good coffee and new books is intoxicating. Guess where I am. #

  • Saw on truck bumper sticker "I'm not Canadian, I'm Albertan". You see what I have to work with??? :) #

  • We are about to be over run with little people for our VBS Country Fair. Hang on for the ride. http://bit.ly/1D9IuG #

  • Cool, it's a Peter Sellers obscure film day on TCM. Glad I'm pretty much ready for tomorrow. #

  • It's a hot one today, hotter still in my office where I am working on the paperwork for this Canada Revenue review on my taxes. Yeah, HOT. #

  • It's going to be a hot one today. Looks like people are gathering next door, better get a move on. #

  • Feel kinda like a truck hit me. But I'm gonna wait to go to bed till a proper time, like 8pm, so as to not spoil my sleep tonight. #

  • To town to get errands done and food bought. Guests arriving in the field today. #

  • A quick lunch then back to the field. http://post.ly/3XZ7 #

  • The day is half over already and it's going up to 29C today. What manner of September is this? #

  • I realize it's midnight and I'm in bed but I could eat a chicken Cesar right about now. That's not good. #

Anne Morrow Lindbergh on solitude

It is a difficult
lesson to learn today,
to leave one's friends
and family and deliberately
practise the art of solitude
for an hour or a day
or a week.
For me, the break
is most difficult ...

And yet, once it is done,
I find there is a quality
to being alone that is
incredibly precious.

Life rushes back into the void,
richer,
more vivid,
fuller than before!
Anne Morrow Lindbergh