The weblog of Darren Friesen

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Back frm the 'Center of the Universe'

Just got back from Toronto last night. Actually I spent the whole weekend in Markham, which is nothing like downtown TO. Lots of hotels and flat, square business buildings. I went for the Free Methodist National Conference. Here's the summary:


1. Bishop Ildo from Brazil - He spoke on seeing what is real, and on materialism. He is a strong theologian that communicates with heart and love. English is not his first language, but the heavy Brazilian accent only seems to endear him to us and make his message all the more urgent.

2. Meeting people - I had the chance to meet a number of people from around the country who I had only known by email/blog. Thanks to Coop for giving me the backstage pass to people he's known for a long time. Rich, Jared, and others who I met, thanks for talking and listening.

3. "Crash" - On Sunday night a bunch of us went to see this movie starring a number of stars including Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Ludacris, and many other familiar names. It is a amazing movie, dealing largely with racism, and the 'grayness' of people making good and bad choices. It will keep you guessing as to what happens next. There is a lot of language and a bit of nudity, but don't let that stop you. This is amazing art, and will keep the conversation going for hours after you see it.

4. Conversation with Nancy - It is always good to talk to her; she asks good questions and believes in who I am and what I do, and is fighting on my behalf wherever she can.


1. Back in the church life - Not being around church stuff for the last cople of months, it was tough to step back into that world. I felt (and feel) fairly 'out of it', not having a place where I could work out some of what I heard and learned. and not having a place/job to back to when the conference was over.

2. It is easy to slip into old patterns of conversation with people I've known for a long time, but the underlying current of what is between is does not disappear. There was some of that on the weekend as well, and that is a tough place to be in. I also found out that because of something I wrote just after I got let go, there are no longer any links from the Lakeview website to personal blogs. Too bad.

Also, I watched a couple of biographies on Johnny Depp. He is the coolest.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

"But if a show is a little off, and there's a hole, that's the one song we can guarantee that God will walk through the room as soon as we play it. So the idea that when we played it, people would go, `That's the such-and-such commercial,' we couldn't live with it."
--Bono on why U2 refused £12.5 million to allow "Where the Streets have No Name" for a commercial

Music I'm Listening to

Zooropa - U2
Devils and Dust - Bruce Springsteen
Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams

Books I'm Reading

The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
The Sweet Hereafter (Russell Banks)
A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)
The Story We Find Ourselves In (Brian McLaren)

Job Search

For anyone who cares, I am looking for a job. Not in the 'pastoral' field (for right now), but a "9-5" job that doesn't take much brain power. Something like a janitor. Or something with computers or research. That would be okay too. I don't need to start right away, but if anyone knows anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone who...

Monday, May 23, 2005

I'm back...

...from my long, unannounced hiatus from blogging. I just can't get into it these days. Here's the latest.
Job - nothing new. I probably won't be looking for work in a church right now. Just a normal job that pays the bills and is less mentally strenuous. I have been given a few leads from friends around here that I'll be looking into soon.

Mexico - It was great. Except that my cell phone and a ring I had just bought were stolen from a bag in the baggage holding room the day we left. It was prpbably staff that took it. The rest of the week was great, and I love the ocean. Very relaxing, and we came back dark, although you'd never know now.

Winnipeg - I went back to my old stomping grounds to see my buds Nolan (and Kath) and Steve, and also Ed, ede and Nathan. When we lived there, Nathan was just a kid; now he's 20, going into his 2nd year of Fine Arts, and has a girlfriend that somehow kept coming up in conversation. It was great to see them all. I stayed at Nolan's place and just hung out for a few days. I had planned to camp for a couple of days on the way back, but the fact that the campgrounds were closed and it was snowing the day I left changed my mind.

Since then, I've just been hanging out at home. Sherryl is still working a lot, so I play "Mr. Mom". I've also been working on the yard a lot, and it's starting to take decent shape.

I've been listening to a lot of U2 the last couple of months, and recently read "U2 at the End of the World" (Bill Flanagan). I am also listening to Bruce Springsteen's new album, "Devils and Dust". It is very good, and the title song is a haunting tear-jerker. My friend Steve said that Bruce has become a believer in Christ during the last few years, and you can totally hear that on the CD.

I've been thinking about church lately. I have had very little contact with Lakeview Church since I stopped working there, There hasn't been any official contact from them, and I try to keep in touch with my friends fromthere, thugh I am not really good at that. I feel alone when it comes to a group of people/family that I used to have around me. There is something about having friends watch your back. That's not to say that I don't have great friends cuz I do. I guess I've always expected the institutional church to somehow get the idea of rallying around people, putting down the pens and the financial papers, pushing themselves away from the computers and putting much more effort into helping people. I know that we always say that people are why we do what we do in churches, but I think our own agendas often block us from doing that. We are starting to catch on, but for many people, it is too little, too late.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Just finished a long post and then lost it. I HATE THAT!!

Winnipeg was good. Didn't camp on the way back, but had a good time with Nolan and Kath, Steve, and Ed, ede, and Nathan. Not too much dwelling on the past, but more on the future, which is good.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Off the the 'Peg

Tomorrow morning I'm heading to Winnipeg for a week of friends and thinking. Sort of a raod trip. I'll see my buds Nolan and Steve, Ed and ede (I'll call you when I get there), and spend a couple of days camping on my own. It'll be good to get away, although we did just get back from a trip a few weeks ago. I find these days that I need time, and it slips away all too easily. Time to think, read, listen, hope, plan, pray. This is my hope for the next week. You can still email me at the normal place; I can check it from wherever.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Jesus said, “Recognize what is in your
sight, and what is hidden will become
clear to you.”

The Gospel of Thomas

Scream stolen from Norway museum

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Scream stolen from Norway museum

I love this painting. Last word is that the copy stolen was destroyed by the theives just before they were caught. Munch apparently made several copies of his most famous work.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Just uploaded a few photos from our Cancun trip.

Report from Cancun

We've been back for over a week, and it feels like we were never there. I hate that about holidays. Reality hits way too quickly. BUt let me say this...the trip was amazing (95%), and sucked (5%). The part that sucked was that we had a couple of things ripped off from one of our bags that was in storage in a baggage room the day we left. It could only have been one of the staff that did it. We lost a cellphone and a silver ring that I had just bought two days before. We are trying to get the insurance thing going, but there were so many people robbed during the time we were there that I'm sure the mgmt. just turned off the phone, so to speak. In the last three days we were there, we heard about 6 other people who were robbed; one room had $700 US stolen. We were all pretty sure it was hotel staff. If you make a trip to Mexico, don't take anything you don't want to part with. Jewelery, electronics, etc. The good news (at least for us) was that they didn't take our video camera, other jewelery that were in the same bags. It's as if they wanted to be nice thieves, and not cause us too much problem. HELLO!! We won't be staying in that hotel again. It's called Solynar; was rated a 4 star on their site, but I'd give no more than two.
If you are going on a trip to some resort, do yourself a favour and check out Trip Advisor. There are reports there from all kinds of places where people holiday, and you'll get the reality of what a place is like. If we had done this, we probably would have chosen a different resort.

On to the good stuff. Cancun is a great place to go. The people are friendly...well, most of them. The town and the atmosphere is wonderful. We did an all-inclusive, so we ate a lot at the hotel, and the food was okay, although some didn't like it. We met a few people who ate out at some average places and said they paid a lot for crappy food. You gotta dish out the bucks for really good food.

We spent a lot of time on the beach, and if you are looking for a place to kick back, I recommend Cancun. You can do as much or as little as you want. We didn't go to the Mayan ruins, but many people said they were great. We did go on a one-day tour of Isla Mujures, did some snorkeling, and relaxed, much like the rest of the week.

The highlight for me was the ocean. Many people have talked to me about swimming in the waves, how great is it...blahblahblah. Well, I found out that it's all true. I love the ocean.

I would recommend this to anyone who can do it. It's not as expensive as youmight think if you book on the internet. We'll go back.