Strange Autumn


It is a beautiful day here in the field, or at least near by the field where Lauralea and I were this morning. We took a few moments to walk and clear the air, and the air was clear and smelled of decomposing leaves, a most beautiful smell reminding me of Halloween oddly.

Tomorrow our second child Hillary, is off to Oxford for the year. She will be living in community with a group of Church of England Sisters, learning the rhythms of life and helping out in the communities they serve there. I believe it's a hospice and elder care home. Anyway tomorrow she begins to achieve what she's been asking for since she was about 16. Travel, serve, care, grow, and though she may not realize it, community. We will miss her lots and Lauralea's game opponent will be far far away. It will also be a good year for her, probably life shaping I suppose, I hope. Yep, we will miss her lots.

Our eldest daughter, Johanna is with us for a few days, with The Best Granddaughter Ever, (hereby known as TBGE) Norah, with her. Her dad is on the road someplace in the hinterlands of Wisconsin where they all will be moving in too short a time.


So you can see, changes are afoot, which will require more walks to clear the air, and rediscover who herself and I are with our daughters so far away from us. To say nothing of TBGE.

Thomas is coming up for supper tonight and Micah should be home from school soon so we'll have one last meal together, at least as together as we can be with one family member missing and still on the road. Hopefully Nate reaches their new home soon.


I am excited for them all more than I am depressed that they are moving far away, but it will be interesting to see how it all goes. How they'll all go, and how we'll all go,

here in the field.




Guess who's here!!

Visiting for a few days.

Getting some baby Norah love.


Endings or Beginnings?

I've been walking lately with a friend who is going to die any day now. She knows that her time is nearly done and her health is such that the Doctors have said there is no more to be done but to get ready, so she is getting ready.

It's always kinda been my contention that as christians age we should actually be looking more and more like Jesus, God's son.  Like works of art in progress. That's because we have more time on the earth, and God has more time to work in us, to conform us to the image of his son, if we are willing.

Sadly many elderly people I know are not getting better. It's because you're working against gravity and time and this little three letter word, sin, I suppose. Life can be really tough sometimes and the things that you experience can make you angry or bitter or unbelieving. And so you go on, a little bit worse.

Then there are those like my friend who, in the best sense of the word, is a work of art. With grace and humility and an utter dependance on the lord, she faces each new day as a gift of love.

Today we were talking about her going home home, and she said she wanted me to be there leading the day, which I am glad to have a part in. So I teased her that I had saved an extra special funeral just for her, and she laughed hard, then became quite serious as she said, "Oh make sure I don't get the glory in it ok?" Make sure I don't get glorified and honoured and put up on a pedestal. Ok?

I knew what she meant, what she wanted.

Life can be a most blessed thing when we are servants and followers of an expert craftsman. When we obey and follow and listen to the One who has our lives in his hands. Life can be a most blessed thing, if we are willing.

Being willing involves laying down our lives, inviting Jesus to be our leader, our head, and following him to the ends of the earth, and the ends of our days.

And I suppose that's exactly what she's doing there in that little room of hers. Letting God shape her and form her so that she more and more looks like the one she follows after, Jesus Christ.


Living with difficult people


This is another part in our exploration of living life in community.

It's usually easy to live with people who are nice and quiet and helpful and loving and who don't eat loud or have smelly feet. Unfortunately that just describes two dimensional paper dolls.

Life and community can't be lived with just paper friends who don't ever offend or hurt you. If you are going to connect at deeper levels, you're going to have to learn what to do when sometimes they are difficult to live with.

Here we explore what it means to get the greater blessing, even when living with, pardon my french, "Stupid People" or people who are just going through a "stupid" phase.


Take a listen.

http://randallfriesen.com/sermons/Living%20with%20difficult%20people%2064.mp3


Made for Community


I think that if I were to recognize one sort of overarching theme of my life's work, I think it would have to be how passionate I am about community and especially the church as community.

It's amazingly driven into my whole being that we were not made to be alone, and until we can somehow become a part of a community that can know us, and whom we trust and respect and can be vulnerable and intimate with, I think we will just skim along the surfaces of life.

So it's talks like these that get me going.

Here is a talk I gave last Sunday, September 11, 2011 about how we were made to be a part of community.

Remember, the context here is unique and so the references and jokes may not fit where you are, but I hope it just gives you pause to think about the communities you are involved in.

Here is the link. (50 extra points to whomever gets the SNL reference.)


Made for Community


How to make your Captain Crunch Cereal last longer

So in Canada we only have one variety of Captain Crunch, and that's plain. When I get to the states I stock up on peanut butter flavor and berry flavor. Then I mix the two when it's time to eat. It's a Made in Canada solution.

Photo

Life is Movement

Life is movement.
On any given day,
with any given decision
we are moving towards God
or we are moving away from God.

With our thoughts and our time
with our choices and our money
with our energy and our resources
we are moving towards God
or we are moving away from God.

And some days we might ask
where is the choice?
where is the decision
to move in either direction?

But it’s in the subtle small affairs of the heart
its in the choice to listen, or in the choice to drown out
it’s in the choice to serve the one close to you
or the choice to serve oneself
it’s in the willingness to call out for help
or the hearts desire to suffer alone

We all move closer to Christ
or we move away from him.
Towards the cross
or away from it, rejecting its hope

And in that daily movement
we either push away the life and grace and freedom and confidence
or we receive them all, as gifts we could not create ourselves
because in the humility of being needy
we are able to receive them all

As we move towards God
or
as we move away from God



Two milestones in one day


Well today was one of those days when your kid seems to zoom ahead in a couple of different areas and you want to celebrate his successes, and you also want to celebrate your successes as parents.

Today was one of those days for us all here.

This was Micah's first day of grade 12, his last year of public school education. As we have done for many of the school years, we snapped a picture as he was ready to head out the door.

(Top picture taken today, bottom picture taken during his first day of school, Grade One, or Kindergarten. Front, left.)

It's kinda hard to believe that we are old enough for our last child to be into his last year of school. It's also just a really surprising thing to think that we are making it through life at an amazing rate of speed. I remember the long evenings sitting with the kids on the couch, reading their "Learning To Read" books. Good memories.

But as if that wasn't enough, Micah was booked to take his Drivers License road test this afternoon. He was nervous but when he returned to the driver testing centre he excitedly reported a passing grade. Good job and woo hoo and thanks be to God.

When I think of those times when I've sat in those waiting rooms, waiting and praying for the kids out on their tests, and how stressful those times were even for the parents, well I'm glad they are all accomplished drivers now.

Today was a resoundingly successful day for Micah, but Lauralea and I are wallowing in it a bit as well.

:)