I should make clear that due to reasons beyond our and our internet providers control, (They have been working VERY hard on the problem) we have lost interconnectivity. It would seem that growing trees in the neighbours yard have made a connection impossible. So since yesterday we have been without.
I am getting this message through via my mobile phone, tape, binder-twine, some spit, a hanger, and a prayer.
But its been interesting, this back to nature approach. Lauralea can't beat any of the 20 or so people she plays scrabble with any longer or put her recipes online. I can't listen to radio from different cities like I do most days. No Netflix movies, no news from the world. No face to face chats with the granddaughter, no emails, no pictures to see.
The planning for Sunday Worship is done on a website so all the participants can help create it and add to the day. The bible software I use is Biblegateway.com or bible.oremus.org. The lectionary helps, the biblical language translations, and even many Bible Commentaries are online.
Meetings are held via Skype, classes and training for ministry are regularly held online, communication and planning happens via the internet.
It's all very, surprising really, just how much it's become a part of life and work.
I grew up and was trained pre Internet, so I can still use my books etc. for study. But so much of the communication and planning is done now via the internet.
Our Internet provider is trying to get some options for us, but we don't know how long we will be without for now.
So if you wish to communicate with anyone in our household, you may have to try the phone. Although patience may be required as that has been acting strange lately too (Different provider, less helpful).
You can call us at 780-352-8113.
Old school technology eh?
Today is all about working on the Sunday service and preparing a sermon/message/talk for Sunday. Usually I don't end up leaving it till Friday but this week was a doozy.
Speaking at camp two days, then visits, counselling, a major congregational meeting Wednesday night where we are trying to decide about a renovation or expansion or a rebuild of our building, then two services at care homes in town, one person suddenly in the hospital, and here we are. It's Friday and I don't have a thing to talk about on Sunday.
Anyway the organ tuner has arrived and is playing A Whiter Shade of Pale on the organ which sounds awesome.
I'll leave you with my best desk view this week.
Tuesday morning, early.
So it dawned on me early this week as I was driving out to Covenant Bay Bible Camp to hang out with some Senior Highs, that all three of the guys in our family would be out there working this week.
I was speaking, Thomas had driven out from Saskatoon to help as a counsellor, and Micah is working with the worship and with the day-camp little people.
That's sort of significant, I think. And cool.
There's not always opportunity to work with my kids in the work that I do. But suddenly this day and event popped up and surprised me.
And I was proud - in a good way of course.
One service done.
One child christened.
One Holy Communion Celebrated.
One Twenty Fifth Anniversary Celebrated.
Six Worship Songs Sung.
One fun message on our dependence on the Holy Spirit.
Many bits of brought worst eaten.
Two cakes eaten.
I was nervous and uncomfortable about this morning for a variety of reasons, but the best part of the day was that God was in the house, and his people met together with him.
Now to change gears to camp and the Sr. Highs.
I LOVE talking with the youth, and hopefully they don't have to just put up with me. I don't like the quip that the youth are the future of the (Fill in the blank). I really believe that the youth are the present of whatever.
There are youth gathering churches in Asia and Africa, and doing powerful work around the world. They don't need to wait to be used of God.
So tonight I'm going to meet with them and talk a bit about listening. How it takes courage to listen and inner strength to listen and to hear.
But for now I'm going to grab a bite and then get ready for tonight.
Hope your Sunday involved a meeting with The Holy.
Been already working on an article this week, and it turns out that I'm speaking twice next week at the Sr. High Youth camp. The speaker has fallen though and so we as local pastors are stepping up to fill the gap and I'm up for Sunday night and Tuesday morning. So my head is writing those things too right now.
Oh and we are bringing the service to the care homes next week too. I'll start on those as soon as I'm clear of this Sunday.
I'm working to keep my eyes open. The heat this week has really sapped the energy from me and I'm feeling it.
So it's Friday here, but for me that means pick up the pace Friesen. We're gonna be working this weekend.
Pardon me while I get back at it.
You doin something fun this weekend?
"To listen a soul into disclosure and discovery is the greatest service one human being can do for another." -- Quaker SayingIt was a regular Wednesday morning when I went to meet with my Spiritual Director and I honestly didn’t feel there was much to talk about that morning. That’s how it is sometimes, nothing profound or amazing to share, just life. However, the gift of having someone willing to listen with me, and to me for an hour is an amazing gift to any human being. So I continued on my way.
When I arrived and my director opened our time together she just created a comfortable space for silence. Silence was what I needed that morning. The comfort of another soul present with me, yet with no expectation that I do or say anything.
Then in that quiet place, God began to gently prod me forward, showing me a heavy place in my heart. I began to explore the darkness out loud, as a conversation between myself and my Spiritual Director. It was about my relationship with one of my grown kids and how it had effected me.
As I talked there was sudden emotion there as God showed me my heart in it’s broken state. The words poured out of me as I identified the pain and even the legitimacy of the pain. I was surprised that it was there still, even after the years.
And as the hour went on, my director just created space for it to unfold. Asking occasional questions when she saw I was perhaps missing or denying something. Supporting me, identifying an emotion I was feeling but unable to name. Mostly just being a witness of my conversation with God.
I continued for the next forty five minutes, in some amazement, to review all the things God was showing me about my relationship with my child. For me in that holy place with God, there were new levels of healing.
It was later that morning while I was doing some homework for a class that I was taking that God showed his masterful way of loving me. I was handed a picture from an old calendar that I was to use as a theme to write a prayer about. A simple picture of a kitchen door slightly ajar and on the mat inside were two sets of rubber boots. One set for an adult and another set for a small child. I did a double take as I saw that the child's boots were identical to the set my child had when they were just three years old.
I was overwhelmed. I laughed quietly to myself. God really does love me the best.
Spiritual Direction is a process through which an individual becomes more aware of their relationship with God. Through conversation, prayer, and time spent with a Spiritual Director, an individual comes to a deeper awareness of the presence and activity of God in their own life.
As you meet together and share the ongoing story of your life, the Spiritual Director will help you to notice and respond to the activity of God in your life. The Director is a listening and supportive person who creates an environment where you can take time to honestly look at your relationship with God. He or she will walk alongside you as a soul friend and listen with you, for the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
We understand that God acts in every area of our lives. God is there in our doubt as well as our certainty, in our weakness as well as our wholeness. That is why there is no need to focus solely on "religious" topics as if spirituality were a separate section of our lives. The primary relationship will be between the directee and God, the director acts as an extra set of ears and eyes for the individual seeking to grow with God.
Even though it may seem similar, Spiritual Direction is not therapy or counseling. The goal of Spiritual Direction is to see and hear God's activity in a directee's life, while the goal of counseling is to regain health. While Spiritual Directors may be trained in offering direction, not all of them have been trained in therapy or counseling.
Meetings typically occur once every 3-4 weeks although that may increase during crisis times. Some directors do charge for appointments which may be a flat hourly rate or it may be on a donation basis. It may also be free to you, however this should be communicated to you during the first, exploratory meeting.
Through this ministry one finds a spiritual companion who can listen to the stories of one's life and help discern the presence and work of God's Spirit. Sometimes we just need a "soul friend" to help us to recognize God's voice and respond to his presence.
Article for The Messenger
July 4, 2013
It comes at night, this heaviness of heart.
Often when the day is over and there is nothing left to be done, it comes. I sit down to rest, and it appears.
Like a dark cloud it comes and I see before me my failures and my faults. I hear the voices of those who think I've done them wrong. I wonder about the things I could have done differently.
It's just heavy. And condemning.
Even after days like today, when I feel at least like I've been faithful to what I've been asked to talk about with the people. Even when my conscious is clear. Even when I don't have any reason to feel heavy hearted. Still it comes.
No, not every night, but often enough to tire me out, and discourage me.
When I'm not weary I can fight it. I fight it with truth and light because it comes as lies and darkness. But often I just bear it until I'm able to sleep.
The next morning usually brings light itself and the darkness has been dispelled.
Generally I've come to understand it as just a part of the Randall Friesen experience.
In a few hours the light will come again and things will be ok.
But tonight I'm tired.