"Harvestival" 2009

Kind of a harvest-festival-youth fundraiser-supper-square dance thingie that our church enjoyed tonight.

Beef was eaten and though the squares for the square dancing were not perfectly square, we did have some fun.

And here's the evidence.
Some pictures of the event are here. click here






















And of course the video evidence:



A great night.

Today is a day of...

Sermon prep.
Service prep.
Funeral.
Supper with Sister in law, in Edmonton.
Pick up child number two from bus depot in Edmonton for the start of Reading Week.
Coughing, aching and trying to see a doctor in an office where the doctors are out sick.

a full day then.

As we enter the day

Eternal God, heavenly Father,
you have graciously accepted us as living members
of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ,
and you have fed us
with the spiritual food of his Body and Blood.
Send us now into the world in peace,
and grant us strength and courage
to love and serve you
with gladness and singleness of heart;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.



(BoCP)

Back in the field

And back in the office today. Well, for most of the day. We have some appointments in town later in the day.

My health continues to struggle towards life and with all the paranoia out there, I'm glad I'm getting better.

Had a great couple of days in Calgary, working with some young adults who are living together in a house and creating community together. This is a cool thing that we as a Covenant church are trying to do here in Canada. Creating houses of community where you can move to and work or go to school, but the value and purpose is to live in community and grow together. This is our first attempt at it and it's exciting.

This house has a more introverted collection of individuals, but they are quality people, just learning to live life together. They are creating a Spiritual Order for the house as they go along, and they interact as those growing in their faith in God.

I get to be their spiritual director and so I'll go down and meet with them three or four times this year.

It's also good because it gets me into a city of a million people and after having to sit in unmoving traffic for an hour yesterday I'm happy to be back in The Field.

:)

From the depths of the flu

Well, I'm nearly over my disease that led to some very surreal visions and dreams, and some have declared it to be N1H1 which would be no surprise to me given the way I've been feeling. Now I'm just down to some flem coughing and a bit of bone weariness that I have to watch. I admit that for a while in the depths of the Great Disease I was a bit worried about making it out of the haze. Images of a local pastor who was about my age, who caught the flu and died suddenly filled my darkest moments. Thankfully it wasn't my time, yet.

Tomorrow I'm off to Calgary for the day to attend to some Spiritual Direction for our intentional community house we've started in that city. I've been looking forward to it for a while now, and I think that spiritually it will be great.

Physically, I need to watch myself.

So I'm off to bed.

10:13 pm and I'm in bed

The day began early in a hospital in the city, caring for a man in his final days.

Noon found me in another city and another hospital for another individual.

By the afternoon I was tired, and trying to learn my lessons about getting well on the back end of the flu. So I laid down for a rest because we had a supper appointment with a family nearby.

Phone rang once, I was able to defer. Phone rang again, another request, so I headed over to the office once again.

By six o'clock I was still ok so we headed off for supper and had a great time. Good food and a great visit finding things in common with new friends.

Much was accomplished today, and it ended off with a nice cherry on top. But it's all catching up with me quickly. I'll soon be asleep, I hope.


And I hope you are doing something fun this weekend.

Night.

And now, a bit of odd musical culture for you

I'm still hack hacking snot nosed, body aching man here in the field, but I care about your musical culture dear readers.

And so for you, something on the Accordion. Yes, you heard me. The Accordion.

A friend of mine likes to ask; "What happens if you leave your accordion in the back seat while you park your car in New York?"

"You come back an hour later and there are five more accordions in your back seat!"

Bu-dum ching.

But how about Vivaldi's Winter?
Now that's culture.

Hold on to your seats and enjoy.

Overdid it today

Feel better.

Get busy.

Start to catch up.

Suddenly very tired.

Skakey.

Go to bed.

Repeat.


That's my day today.

Yuck and gross and enough already.

This week on Twitter 2009-10-21


  • I do take some simple pleasure from being the 1,382,651st person to jump in the Twitter pool. #

  • Heading home. http://post.ly/8kSp #

  • Down with the flu. Room spinning, hot flashes, and seeing things. Oh and really bad hair. #

  • I have arisen from my sickbed and eaten some turkey broth. This is a nasty disease. #

  • Safeway has their Acetaminophen shelf right next to the birth control display. Good merchandising strategy. #

This week on Twitter 2009-10-21


  • I do take some simple pleasure from being the 1,382,651st person to jump in the Twitter pool. #

  • Heading home. http://post.ly/8kSp #

  • Down with the flu. Room spinning, hot flashes, and seeing things. Oh and really bad hair. #

  • I have arisen from my sickbed and eaten some turkey broth. This is a nasty disease. #

  • Safeway has their Acetaminophen shelf right next to the birth control display. Good merchandising strategy. #

This week on Twitter 2009-10-21


  • I do take some simple pleasure from being the 1,382,651st person to jump in the Twitter pool. #

  • Heading home. http://post.ly/8kSp #

  • Down with the flu. Room spinning, hot flashes, and seeing things. Oh and really bad hair. #

  • I have arisen from my sickbed and eaten some turkey broth. This is a nasty disease. #

  • Safeway has their Acetaminophen shelf right next to the birth control display. Good merchandising strategy. #

This week on Twitter 2009-10-21


  • I do take some simple pleasure from being the 1,382,651st person to jump in the Twitter pool. #

  • Heading home. http://post.ly/8kSp #

  • Down with the flu. Room spinning, hot flashes, and seeing things. Oh and really bad hair. #

  • I have arisen from my sickbed and eaten some turkey broth. This is a nasty disease. #

  • Safeway has their Acetaminophen shelf right next to the birth control display. Good merchandising strategy. #

This week on Twitter 2009-10-21


  • I do take some simple pleasure from being the 1,382,651st person to jump in the Twitter pool. #

  • Heading home. http://post.ly/8kSp #

  • Down with the flu. Room spinning, hot flashes, and seeing things. Oh and really bad hair. #

  • I have arisen from my sickbed and eaten some turkey broth. This is a nasty disease. #

  • Safeway has their Acetaminophen shelf right next to the birth control display. Good merchandising strategy. #

From my sickbed

Day 4 of This Great Illness and I remember why I don't often get sick, because it's so dang nasty.

This is the flu. Some major messy mind numbing flu.

I remember doping up and getting through the service yesterday, and I thought things were getting better but I was rushing things aparently.

My good nurse took to bed in the guest room (so as not to get this thing) around 8 this morning and she's still fast asleep in there. Hope she's not next.

So you who are waiting for emails from me, wait patiently.

Coughing, hacking, hurting, and rolling back over.

Heading home.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Road Day

This morning I have a meeting in Wetaskiwin for a while, and then I need to get to the Red Deer Hospital to check up on a lady of ours who has been admitted there. I think that adds up to about three hours of travel time for today.

Just one of the beauties of life in the field. Everything takes longer simply because now you need to add travel time to every errand. Last night we took soup over to a neighbour who just had a couple of babies, and that was nearly 40 kms.

I don't mind the drive, but I do get frustrated that it takes me so much more time to get things done here. Maybe that's just more about me learning to take my time. Maybe that's not a bad thing.

Later.

Sleeping lightly

Two nights ago the United church in Wetaskiwin burned to the ground.

Last night the Evangelical Lutheran burned, but not to the ground.

That kind of stuff is really sad. Tonight I'm wondering if Wetaskiwin will be too, forgive me, too hot. So the fire starters may go looking for a little something in the country that might burn nicely.

I've only been out here a year but already I've had bad dreams about fires in this place. It's so far from anything remotely firefighting-ish that fires out here can be so damaging.

I'm not worried but I suppose I'm sleeping lighter than normal. And thinking about those whose spaces have been taken from them for this weekend.

Well, it's snowing out there

and I don't mean the occasional fluffy bit that drops lazily out of the sky to gently kiss the earth just before it melts into nothingness. I mean wind howling whiteout through which you can't see a mile down the road and piles of drifts to trudge through.

So. Very. Gross.

I wanted to crawl back into bed, in fact I tried but I just couldn't stay there, so I dragged myself out here to my office and I'm trying to work in spite of the sad sad sounds of confused Canadian geese trying to find south, and the sight of the green leaves on the trees wilting and curling up in a vain attempt to stay warm.

Sigh.

And, they're gone

The Saskatoon crowd left around 11am and have arrived home safely. Johanna & Nate left around 11:30 am and are still on the road somewhere in the mountains of BC. Hillary & Thomas were dropped of in Edmonton by us around 2 pm and have arrived back at school safe & sound.

And we got back home about 6:30 pm to a very quiet house. The solitude of if all hasn't caught up quite yet because we were exhausted and in bed before 9 pm.

It was a very good weekend round here, and we sure appreciated the effort people made to get here.

Now, to sleep. Early prayer time tomorrow.


Night, from the quiet, empty field.

Thanksgiving

Nearly every autumn about this time I think of a young mom I cared for back in the Winnipeg days.

Her name was Arlene and she was a young girl trying to create a life for herself and her baby son, in the heart of Winnipeg. She had come to church with a friend, and though she was quiet, she was fun to be with. She had been raised by people who went to church, but she had kinda never fit in to their church, so she just took to staying away.

She and her big baby boy started to attend the church we were creating there in Winnipeg, but it wasn’t easy to get there so she would often miss a gathering.

She never had much money but she worked hard looking after her son. She also felt a great responsibility for her sister who struggled with addictions. It was hard, but Arlene tried to look after her too...


Read or re-read the rest of the story here.

and have a good thanksgiving.

From a full house, in The Field.

Supper with everyone.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Waiting mode

Well the ones from the North and the ones from the East have arrived and the ones from the West are past Kamloops. They still have a long night ahead of them on the road.

And here I find myself taking on the roll my parents took and my grandparents before them. That of patiently waiting and praying for the safe journey for children. How many times I was in their shoes, even through the minus 30's of cold winters and a couple of times driving 60 hours straight to get home.

Now I am on the receiving, hosting, praying end. Wow, how quickly did that go.

So I worry a little knowing the difficulty of their task, and I pray a lot knowing that it was somebodys praying that got me through a few close calls. And I'm mostly humbled that they would be willing to spend what it costs and go through all the hard work just to come up here to see us.

Anyway Lauralea is sawing logs hard beside me here, she's been going full speed since we got home and she's so tired. But there are good beds made for 13 people, towels, pillows, soaps, and so on. Meals are planned and thought through, buns baked, fruit sauces made for waffles in the morning, etc.

And Monday they'll all be gone.

Tuesday could be tricky for us.

Sleeping and praying in the field,
Night.

The center of the family universe for the weekend

Thanksgiving weekend here on the cold Canadian prairies and it looks like we will have a few things to do around the Field.

Thomas and Hillary have caught a ride towards home tonight and I'll have to go get them from Edmonton, but its going to be good to see them again.

Then my brother, sisters, mom and sister in law called to say they were coming down today too, after work, for the weekend. they should arrive tonight, late.

Then Johanna and Nate caught wind of this and not wanting to be left out, they decided too to hit the road after work tonight. The drive from Vancouver to the Field is a bit longer than the other ones, but they should be here early in the morning tomorrow.

And there you have it. Our house will go from three people to 13 people overnight.

Lauralea is over there baking like a madwoman and finding enough corners for everyone to sleep in.

It will be good to be all in one place again. Might be a long time till that happens again so I will take pics.

and that's what I'll be doing with our holiday weekend.


How bout you?

Twitter Trash

The Micro-Blogging platform Twitter that I've been using since it's earliest days is becoming just so much trash to me lately.

This young lady is the latest to "Follow" me and my tweets:

"Self-help, holistic magazine publisher. Inspirational Author. Winner of the 30 day marketing challenge. Prosperity Poet. Follow me for insights and inspirations"


Um yeah, exactly the kind of person I want to follow and read. Not.
(Or is it passé to say "Not" after some obvious statement? Seems so 90's to me)

Anyway, I don't do facebook, really, and I microblog less and less.

A case of more noise and less being said I suppose.

Pictures

The view from my bed

Some shots here from the Pastors & Spouse Retreat in Banff this week


IMG_2858

And some shots here from our leadership training retreat at KingsFold in the mountains.

Rest

Rest

As I reflect back on this past full weekend, I feel invited to the chair in the distance. Past all the green and grey, past the bird feeders and bird baths and plants and flowers. I feel welcomed to the chair with the great view.

A good perspective helps when life gets broken down into it's smallest pieces. A view of eternity or at least a good part of it.

Helps settle the restless spirit.

I need that chair today and the vista it affords.  That's why I've put it up here, because today I need to remember the better view of eternity.

Flies

I return to my office which has been left alone for the six days I've been gone, and I begin the process of reclaiming my space.

I kill flies. Many flies. They like to play dead so I have to make sure they are squished right through to China.

They are slower now, thankfully.

Slow, lazy flies trying to take over my office.

This week on Twitter 2009-10-07


  • I've got meeting hangover this morning, but I got up anyway because the water guy is going to be here about an hour ago. i feel gross. #

  • Yes, I have just turned on the furnace in my office. And in other news a pig just flew past my window. #

  • A long hot bath to think and pray the day away, and now I'm eating Special K cereal with red bits in it. My hands are like prunes. Cool. #

  • Listening to Chicago radio. What a shocker, no Olympics. #

  • In a toilet in a church in Calgary & I haven't seen these since grade school. http://post.ly/76K5 #

  • Made it out to Kingsfold retreat center http://post.ly/77sT #

  • Oh no it isn't. The view from my window. http://post.ly/7A3n #

  • Ok. That's a bit better. http://post.ly/7CUL #

  • Snowing. Driving to Banff. Been in the mountains 3 days and still haven't seen them. #

  • I guess half a mountain is better than no mountain at all. http://post.ly/7IM7 #

  • Supper done, sauce on my papers, heading back into cold wind to hotel to finish reading. #

  • Um the candy store on the way back. Let's call it dessert. http://post.ly/7JN3 #

  • Lunch break. 45 minutes. http://post.ly/7OXL #

  • Loooooooooooong meetings over. Lauralea should be here soon. Retreat awaits. #

  • Worship http://post.ly/7Qdd #

  • Supper at a Swiss Restaurant - Raclette http://post.ly/7XlL #

  • And now, the Fondue http://post.ly/7XrL #

This week on Twitter 2009-10-07


  • I've got meeting hangover this morning, but I got up anyway because the water guy is going to be here about an hour ago. i feel gross. #

  • Yes, I have just turned on the furnace in my office. And in other news a pig just flew past my window. #

  • A long hot bath to think and pray the day away, and now I'm eating Special K cereal with red bits in it. My hands are like prunes. Cool. #

  • Listening to Chicago radio. What a shocker, no Olympics. #

  • In a toilet in a church in Calgary & I haven't seen these since grade school. http://post.ly/76K5 #

  • Made it out to Kingsfold retreat center http://post.ly/77sT #

  • Oh no it isn't. The view from my window. http://post.ly/7A3n #

  • Ok. That's a bit better. http://post.ly/7CUL #

  • Snowing. Driving to Banff. Been in the mountains 3 days and still haven't seen them. #

  • I guess half a mountain is better than no mountain at all. http://post.ly/7IM7 #

  • Supper done, sauce on my papers, heading back into cold wind to hotel to finish reading. #

  • Um the candy store on the way back. Let's call it dessert. http://post.ly/7JN3 #

  • Lunch break. 45 minutes. http://post.ly/7OXL #

  • Loooooooooooong meetings over. Lauralea should be here soon. Retreat awaits. #

  • Worship http://post.ly/7Qdd #

  • Supper at a Swiss Restaurant - Raclette http://post.ly/7XlL #

  • And now, the Fondue http://post.ly/7XrL #

And now, the Fondue

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Supper at a Swiss Restaurant - Raclette

For Johanna.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Worship

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Letters from Banff. One.

Well it's been an amazing time so far in terms of caring for people and doing some pastoral work.

The gathering of young church leaders this weekend at Kingsfold was really good. They came ready to do the work and invest their time and energy in the weekend. I had a chance to hear some powerful stories of God at work in people's lives, leading forward into the future. He is on the move out there.

Yesterday I drove out to Banff where I am involved in interviews all day today. It's very humbling to listen to peoples stories and see how God has led them forward into ministry opportunities. Actually recharges my spirit.

Tonight the official pastors and spouses retreat begins and while I am sort of the buck stops here guy, I am trying to let different people lead the different parts they are gifted at, so less of me in the way. And more I can hang with Lauralea too.

Which reminds me she should be here very soon.

Hope your week goes well too.

Lunch break. 45 minutes.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Um the candy store on the way back. Let's call it dessert.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Made it to Banff

And found my hotel, checked in, and walked against the cold cold wind to find food.

I'm settled in here at an Old Spaghetti Factory with wifi, I've ordered the tortellini with chicken and a coffee and I'm settling in here to read the five papers (about 50 pages) of the people we are interviewing tomorrow. It may be a long evening followed by a long day. But I'm looking forward to it.

Now, to the papers.

I guess half a mountain is better than no mountain at all.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

Made it out to Kingsfold retreat center

Somewhere out west of Calgary in the hills and mountains and rain and dark, I found the place. I'm tired and just resting on the bed a bit. Its so quiet here. Interestingly I thought the field my house was in was quiet, but it has nothing on this place. Out here its, still, calm. My ears are ringing. I will sleep deep tonight. And tomorrow up early and much more work to be done. Its good to be here, the quiet is medicine for my spirit, even if I have to work.
Night.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

In a toilet in a church in Calgary & I haven't seen these since grade school.

Posted via email from randallfriesen's posterous

about ready to go

I'm not sure if I am looking forward to this weekend or not yet, but the day had dawned beautifully.

There will be much opportunity to speak into the lives of church leaders this week, and I feel quite passionate about that theme these days. Especially after the messes I've seen and stories I've been a part of in church leaders lives lately. So I am glad for the opportunity to create some safe spaces for leaders to explore their own souls, and see what's needed in there.

And, if I'm lucky, I might get to see some beautiful sights too.


Into the mountains I go.

I found some old pics

and scanned them, for memory sake.

Lauralea and I lived in Southern Ontario for a while after college, and we mostly loved it. We lived in the small berg of Aylmer and we had our two girls at the St. Thomas Hospital.

Even then having babies was tough. Especially when they were always throwing up and colicky, and crying, and not growing.
lauralea and johanna1987

It was tough. But there were smiles too.
johanna fingers 1988

And Lauralea was hard at it too, teaching in a Bible School.

lauralea1986


There are a few more pictures in the set, here.

About Me page from 2009

IMG_0586
My Granddaughter who seems impressed with me. 
It was about one year ago now, as I write this, that Lauralea and I felt God leading us to pack it all up and leave it all behind and move to a Field in Central Alberta, to help out with a church there. The Malmo Mission Covenant Church. A hundred plus years church located in a field South East of Edmonton.

We felt like God would have to make it really clear, which he did, because after working in areas of the country and cities with millions of people, hundreds of thousands of people, thousands of people, we would move to a field with three of us. Yes there is the cemetery, but they are a quiet bunch and cause us very little hassle.

So here we are, living out an adventure to see who we become in a big wide open space.

If you like, head over and read the most recent State of the Blog address.


Feel free to txt my mobile at 780-360-2002

My home phone 780-352-8113

My office phone 780-352-2721

Send me paper mail at
RR#2
Wetaskiwin Ab
T9A 1W9
CANADA

or electronic mail
pastor AT randallfriesen DOT com

or, if you're walking;
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=&ie=UTF8&ll=52.784694,-113.172934&spn=0.004399,0.014666&z=17