Merry Christmas!

The Jewish Messiah might not have been born on December 25th, AD Zero. (It was may have been springtime; the exact year is debated.) He may have had an entirely ordinary name (Joshua).

Nevertheless, he was born, lived a life free of the usual human errors, preached a remarkable Message for a brief three-year period, was executed by a collusion of religious and governmental leaders, and miraculously returned to life. And one day, every sentient being, willingly or not, will acknowledge Jesus as Master of the Universe.

He changed the lives of those he met. Those he changed were so completely transformed that their eyewitness testimony of the Messiah, combined with experiences of Yahweh choosing to live inside them, likewise transformed the planet.

And December 25 is as good a day to remember and celebrate that birth as any.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Falling into Grace

I’ve always liked John Fischer’s writing. I remember a few instances where I caught a preacher plagiarising one of Mr Fischer’s articles for sermon material, without appropriate credit.

His latest article, Fall Into Grace, highlights how Grace isn’t something that we aspire to achieve; it’s what we get when we hit rock bottom. It’s where I had to get before God changed my heart towards my wife.

You don’t fall from grace; you fall into grace. Grace is not up; grace is down. Grace is what you finally understand when you fall. In fact, until you’re down and broken, you can’t even know what grace is. Oh you may be able to define it, and illustrate it so that it sounds like you know what you’re talking about, but you never know grace until it reaches you personally in the depths of your own brokenness. Thus a fall into grace is really a fall into your salvation.
John Fischer

Read more from John Fischers Fall Into Grace.

Resurrection Story

Three years ago, my dead marriage to Bonne was resurrected. [Skip to Transcript]

Hear our story (told in a half-hour) [low-res | from jasonfriesen.ca | from ecov.org]


This work is available under a Creative Commons license. That means you’re free to share the audio file with anyone, as long as you keep it in its original format, attribute it to Jason and Bonne Friesen, and provide a link back to this post. You can’t use it for any commercial purposes.
<http://jasonfriesen.ca/news/archives/2008/10/19/resurrection-story/>

Creative Commons License
Marriage Death and Resurrection by Jason Friesen, Bonne Friesen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://jasonfriesen.ca/news/archives/2008/10/19/resurrection-story/.

A transcript of this message follows.
Continue reading Resurrection Story

What do small churches need for websites?

I’m thinking once again about the problem of church web sites. Churches are, by and large, not large. They have mostly volunteer staff that are apt to get burnt out fairly rapidly.

They have a powerful mandate to communicate their message to the entire world. With the advent of the World Wide Web, publishing that message has never been easier. However, they are still hampered by lack of time and expertise.

Assuming that someone could create a system that would support smallish churches in publishing their information to the web, what features would churches want/need?

Basic Features:

  • Run your church website without bothering with hosting, purchasing domain names, site administration, and other tedious tasks. Just publish and go!
  • Choice of attractive, accessible, slightly customisable prebuilt themes
  • Unlimited Pages
  • Unlimited Posts
  • Upcoming Events
  • Uploading images (slideshows?)
  • Uploading sermon audio
  • Uploading video?
  • Service times

Premium Features:

  • Theme/Design customisation
  • Custom domain name
  • Domain-based email addresses
  • Forums/message boards?

What else?

The Things I Didn’t Say

(Names have been changed.)

“I’d never go back to Cuba,” Gerry went on. “Lousy place. Except for this one incident. Two hundred and fifty Russians came to the resort we were staying with. Terrible people, those Russians. Anyway. Seven of them decided to get drunk. They got loud, started fighting with one another.

“The Gestapo showed up. They escorted those seven people back to their rooms. They had ’em pack up their stuff. They escorted them to the plane. Deported. Immediately. Never allowed back in the country.

“That was fantastic. That’s what we oughta do. Best idea ever.”

Fred nodded his agreement. “Yep. Someone comes to this country, they should get exactly zero chances.”

“Right,” Gerry agreed. “Those kids in the lower mainland, street racing, somebody ends up killed, nothin’ happens to ’em. Should deport ’em right now. No questions asked.”

Fred was still nodding. “Yep! No trial. No lawyer. Just back on the boat. And not just for big stuff. I’m talking a parking ticket. Jaywalking. Anything.”

I caught my brother’s eye. He looked acutely uncomfortable, and said nothing.

I took a sip of coffee, and asked, not looking at anybody in particular, “No lawyer, eh? What if he didn’t do it? Innocent … they got the wrong guy.”

“Ha!” Fred retorted. “They should be lucky we don’t send ’em back with a bullet.” Gerry smiled in agreement.

I took another sip of coffee, trying to stay calm. “What if he was born here?”

Gerry sneered. “Ninety-five percent of them weren’t.”

I thought for a moment, and began to speak.
Continue reading The Things I Didn’t Say

Celia’s Baptism

My daughter Celia got baptised today.

I’m overwhelmed with pride at her desire to know God more deeply, and to have him more fully in control of her life. She is an incredibly powerful person, strong-willed and bullheaded and simultaneously sweet and loving. This amazing young lady, if fully committed and submitted to God, will be a force to be reckoned with in this world.

I’m uploading some video now and will link them soon.