Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dare to be a Daniel


Standing by a purpose true, heading God's command
Honor them the faithful few all shout for Daniel's band
Dare to be a Daniel
Dare to stand alone
Dare to have a purpose true
Dare to make it known


I've been reading Daniel recently in my devotions, and I must say that I was struck at how Daniel stood up for what he believed in, even when it seemed like the whole world was working against him.  So often as we walk through life we take the easy road out.  "Just go with the flow," is a saying often repeated.   


I have also been reading in the Great Controversy, and it brought to my mind how strong some of the early reformers were.  Under great persecution, in the flames of the stake, they still would not back down, but would proclaim the strait truths of the Bible.  


We have it easy here in the western world.  We have no death sentences against those who read the Bible, but what happens when they do come?  Will we stand strong like the reformers?  Will we "dare to be a Daniel"?


"For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us; If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot deny Himself" -- 2 Tim 2:11-13

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sabastian


He heaved himself up onto the seat with a little effort, flipped the hymnal to a random page, opened his mouth and sent out a wailing heard across the church. Later during intercessory prayer, I could hear him mumbling serenely with folded hands and tightly closed eyes. Sabastian is only two years old, and it is very enjoyable to see his sincere devotion to Jesus, doing what he can to sing and pray like the "big people".

Then I began to think what it must be like for Jesus to see His little ones singing and praying before Him. Even though I can't understand Sabastian's garbled Norwegian, I can just imagine God the Father and Jesus leaning forward to catch every little word from the little boy's heart. I bet they are delighted to listen as he joins his voice with the rest of the congregation in hymns to his Maker.

Sometimes we are ashamed to pray aloud, or we don't want to sing, in case someone would criticize us. We should take our inspiration from seeing little children lifting up their voices to God. It doesn't matter what people think, or what others may say, the only thing that matters is that we offer our best for Jesus, just like little Sabastian.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

***** Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! *****

video

Hurrah for snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is supposed to snow 20 cm tomorrow here at Fredheim! What we got today was a little appetizer! Here are a few more pictures of the winter signs! I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...







Tuesday, October 07, 2008

well dressed

This morning I worked in the kitchen as a slight variation to the doctor's office.  Yulia put me to work on the salad dressing.  I dutifully poured in the soymilk, oil, and yeast, trying to figure out what ingredients to mix in to make it flavorful yet healthy. Humming a little Greig to myself, I pushed the buttons to "high".  The blender worked beautifully, and I was tallying up the benefits of garlic as I turned off the machine, my dressing almost complete.  I just had to throw in a little dill, and it would "smakte veldig godt!" 


The lid had a mind of it's own though.  I pushed.  I pulled. I pushed and pulled.  Pulled and pushed.  Finally with a zing it came off.  Next thing I knew, salad-dressing was flying everywhere all over the counter, onto the floor, all over my apron, and down my shirt.  Even if the dressing wasn't meant for external use, I must say after that episode, that I was pretty "well dressed".

 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Seventh-day Adventist's message


"So what's different in Adventism?"  She narrowed her eyes as she asked the question.  I was having breakfast with the Norwegian guests. We spoke about the upcoming election, America and various other issues that Norwegians like to discuss with Americans.  Then suddenly one lady popped up with the question.  


"I've heard about the Sabbath, but what else do you believe that is different than Lutheranism?"  I began sharing a few different things that we believe, praying all the time that I say the right things, pointing out the truth, yet not bulldozing her over with doctrine.  Presently she stated "I think that the Old Testament is a bunch of junk" (she actually used some more pointed words, that I am not going to repeat).  "The God of the Old Testament was vengeful, unforgiving, and killed everyone."  


Wow, she brought in a whole new aspect, but I jumped at the chance to explain my God to her.  

I have read through the Bible several times, and it seems that the more I read through it, the more I see that the God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New.  I shared with her Bible verse after Bible verse in the Old Testament showing that God is a loving God. I explained that God had blessed the Israelites over and over again, but they would not heed God.  They would prefer to go down their own course and disregard God's love for them.  By straying away from Him, they would often fall into the hands of their enemies, but as soon as they cried to God, and turned away from sin, He would save them.  I related the story of Hosea and Gomer, and how Hosea bought Gomer back to him, even though she had wronged him terribly.  This is exactly the way that God loves His people.  He was willing to die Himself that we could understand how much He loved us.  


This is the real message of Seventh-day Adventists.  God loves us tremendously, so much in fact that His Son was willing to die for us, that we might believe in Him and be saved.  Praise the Lord for His goodness towards us, and that He shows us a true picture of Him in both Testaments, as a loving, forgiving God.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Fredheim bonding weekend"


Last weekend I went on a "Fredheim bonding weekend."  Most of the staff at Fredheim went about two hours north of here to a cabin, owned by one of the nurses here. We had a great time getting to know each other better and goofing around. These are a few pictures of our weekend.


Our cabin

Berit and Bjørnar, our hosts


Some of the men with natural forrest mustaches 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Farf



My Fathers father (or Farf, for short), has been such a blessing to me.
Over the past ninety years he has gathered much experience and wisdom.  I love to hear him as he speaks about his childhood in Denmark, the years of hardship during World War II, the emigration to America, or his mission experiences in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  There are so many miracle stories of how God led them.  His stories are always intriguing, and make me want to sit listening to him for hours!

Friday nights with Farf and Farmor have always been a joy to me.  Farf would sit at the piano and play the Danish hymns flawlessly by memory. The rest of us would sing along, wanting to sing our best for the Lord.  His music always makes me think of what it will be like in heaven.



Farf is so loving towards his wife, children and grandchildren.  I love watching my Farf gently tease my grandmother, and her blush, like they are in the young stages of romance.  He always refers to her as "my sweetheart".  You can tell that they are still very in love after 60 years of being married.  



I could write so much about Farfar, but the one thing that immediately comes to my mind that underlies everything that Farf does, is his love toward God. He always has something to say about what God did for him that week, or what he studied in the Bible.  You can tell that Farf has chosen Who he will follow, and as a result, he has become more like Jesus every day.  


Thank you Farf, for being such an awesome role model for us, and showing us how to be more like Jesus.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hilsen fra Norge!

Hilsen fra Norge! (Greetings from Norway) Recently I came to Norway to work as a student missionary at Fredheim Health Center.  I have been working mostly in the doctor's office, and helping out in the kitchen, but I must say that my favorite part is being with the guests. 
 
The guests come for a 10 day period and learn how to live a healthy life: eating right, exercising, and getting out into the fresh Norwegian air.  Most of them are in their late 60's and 70's, but we get all ages (including two 90 year olds last guest period, and a few people in their 40's and 50's). They all enjoy listening to health lectures and worships, and teaching Norwegian to me. :) 

I've been having a great time here, and I will try to keep my blog updated more often with pictures of the doings and sayings around here. 
 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

In Daddy's arms

She tugged at my shirt, "I've got to go..." she said.  I looked down at my little five-year-old charge.  

I have been taking care of three little girls at Vacation Bible School at our church this past week.  They are incredibly adorable, and love doing crafts, games, and hearing stories about Jesus.  Tonight I had my little girls gathered about me as we listened to the pastor's wife tell about how to stay heathy. 

I took hold of the little hand in mine and we went to the door.  As we got to the hall I asked her if she had to go to the bathroom.  Slowly she shook her head.  Her lip quivered and her big eyes filled with tears as she said "I have to go find my daddy".  Looking around her, she spied her desire; her father was waiting in the hallway.  With a joyful leap, she ran down to her father and was gathered up into his arms.  I quietly slipped back into the Bible room, letting father give the child the reassurance that he was there for her.

Sometimes we get caught up with the excitement of life and forget that we have a Father that is patiently waiting for us, never too far out of reach.  He is there when we get lonely, or just need reassurance.  He is always willing to take us into His arms when we are frightened.  We never have to worry whether He will accept us, for He always will.  

"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Relax!

Ahhh, sweet rest!  The summer has finally begun! Most of my summer has already been spent pouring over books, but now I can take a few weeks rest before heading out to Norway for the year.  I'm really looking forward to the rest of the summer: visits from my best friends Christen and Kelsey, reading, working on projects with mom, exercising, working with dad, and goofing around with Tinka! 
Welcome summer! Goodbye books! 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Separation

I'm tired of separation.  Growing up as a missionary I became used to separation.  Family was far away, and we were only able to see them every few years.  Often friends would leave us to go back to America or England on Permanent Return. Those were always hard separations. When I got back to America, there were still many sad separations, granted, not as often. 

There have been two separations that have been extremely difficult for me recently: first, my boyfriend has been living in Norway for the past year, and second, my sister (aka, my best friend) and brother-in-law left for a two year mission to Ethiopia in May. 

Sometimes I feel that I can never be with everyone that I love, at the same time.  I wonder why it has to be this way.  As I was pondering over this, I realized that Jesus knows what it is like to be separated. He has been through the same situation as I have. He was separated from the people he loved, almost immediately after creation.  When He came down to be with His people, He was separated from His loving Father. When He went back to heaven, He had to endure separation from His people again. He has always maintained contact with us (and His Father) by prayer, just like I email or talk to Robby and Petra often, but it isn't the same as being with someone. 

The good thing is that the story doesn't end there. Jesus promises to come back for us and to take us to heaven (John 14:1-3), that we can live all together as one happy family.  Then no one will be separated any longer. We will all be together with Jesus, the Father, and our friends. There will be no more goodbyes, no more lonely hearts, no more tears. No separation ever again!  Ever! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New blog!

Petra and Paul were able to start a new blog, so I won't be continuing the other blog. They would still love your prayers and comments! The link is: http://gimbieadventisthospital.blog.co.uk/
Enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A new blog for my sibs

I recently started a new blog with stories that Petra and Paul are sending me (there is no blogging in Gimbi right now). If you are interested in learning about how they are doing, go to WithGodinGimbi.blogspot.com (there's a link on my blog) to read their new doings and sayings. I'm sure they will love your comments and I will promptly forward it to them.

Please keep them in your prayers, and if you know of anyone who is interested (including yourself) for a trip to Ethiopia to volunteer at a hospital, they would love company! :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tajitu


The traditional setting is to eat out of a basket

It is considered a great gesture of friendship when an Ethiopian feeds his/her friend


All of the food is shared among the friends and family on one plate.
It was delicious!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Wonderful Sabbath!


Ahh, it is almost Sabbath again. After a busy stressful week, I have gotten a very bad cold. This has forced me to stay in my room and try to get over it as much as possible. All I can say is that God is so good! The weather has been perfect these past few days giving me chance to study outside and try to bake the bugs out of my system.

Not only that, it is almost Sabbath now. I think that God really knew what He was doing when He gave us the Sabbath. We can recuperate mentally, emotionally, and spiritually all while we are spending time with Him. I really don't know what I'd do without the Sabbath! Again, God is good!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lost and Found

It had been a long Friday of flower identification. We were on a biology camping trip last weekend and had a great time studying God's nature, but now we were itching to go for a hike. It was Sabbath, the perfect time to go on a relaxing hike in nature. As our professor loaded everyone into the bus, I started wondering how fast paced this hike would be. I counted 13 guys and only two other girls (including my friend Kelsey). Well, no matter, we would just try and keep up with the guys. We took off when we got to Mt. LeConte, and had a great time hiking up to the top. As we were hiking up, I noticed that it was far past my lunch time. I could tell because I start slowing down and not noticing my surroundings, I just wanted to get to the top and enjoy my tomato sandwich. Finally, after about five miles, we got to a lodge at the top where we enjoyed our well earned lunch. We had a nice look around, then after okaying it with our professor, Kelsey and I started to head down to the trail head. Since I was properly nurished, I had a much more enjoyable time heading down than up. In fact, there were a lot of things I must have missed on the way up because of my hunger. Then we got to a fork in the road. Kelsey confidently said that it was the left fork, but I wasn't so sure. Knowing that I am extremely bad with directions, especially when I wasn't paying attention on the way up, I decided to follow Kelsey's lead. About a mile down the path Kelsey wasn't so sure anymore. "Maybe we should do the other path" she suggested. Figuring that we were well behind everyone else now we hurried back to the other path and started hurriedly down that path. Hmmmm, I didn't really recognize this either. Wow, I must have been really out of it when I was coming up. After about two miles we stopped. No, this wasn't the trail either. I wasn't too jazzed about camping at a deserted trail head, especially since there was a lot of vandalism from where we came up. Two girls lost in the middle of the woods wasn't the best idea.
We stopped to have a prayer, then began the long weary path back up the hill. It was a lot harder going up than down to say the least, especially when you had already been hiking for ten miles. I started to feel a little faint, but I had to continue hiking. I didn't want to get stuck on the trail at night! We figured that by this time the guys would be searching for us, and they might be about to call the ranger's station, so we went back to the lodge (the one that we had lunch by at the top), and had them call the ranger's station to let them know we are alright. They showed us the right trail, and we made our weary decent. This time, determined not to get stuck too late out on the trail I tried to hike as fast as I could muster.
Then we realized that it was close to sundown. Even though we had been praying a lot, we wanted to have a little sundown prayer and song. We were going to go around a little bend in the path before stopping for a break, when we heard voices. Four forms were in front of us. Low and behold! It was our rescue party! My cousin Austin and my two semi-brothers (Barry and John) and another friend Matt all came around the corner with headlamps in hand to find us. So Kelsey and I didn't have to walk alone in a dark scary path after all!
We all had a thankful sun-down prayer and made it back to the bus without difficulty (although I think that Austin was hoping that one of us would be too weak to hike so he could carry us). Our professors were so happy to see us back safely (and frankly I was too).
God was so good. Even though we had a very eventful Sabbath, He was watching the whole time, and got us safely to our destination. I'm glad to be back.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Be still and know that I am God"


Midterms done, bags packed, and now I am heading off on an orchestra tour during Spring break. Sometimes days seemed so packed that there is no time for everything else that is important too. This is when we really need to "Be still and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10) In the peace of morning devotions, or the sound of a bird cheerfully proclaiming God's goodness I am reminded of how loving He really is.

Happy break everyone!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Blessed Blood

This Tuesday I had the privilege to donate blood to Blood Assurance. I had never given blood before, so I couldn't help wondering whether it would hurt when they began to take it. To my surprise it hardly hurt at all. I could joke with my friends who were also giving blood, ask questions to the nurse, and watch with fascination my blood filling up in the bag. I thought of people that my blood might go to... it might possibly help save a life!

Because much of my blood was taken out, I was advised to sit for a few minutes and get my bearings before I left. About five minutes after they took the needle out, a familiar feeling came across me. I felt like I was in a small tunnel that was rapidly disappearing. People were trying to say something to me, but they looked extremely fuzzy and far away. Yes, I was about to pass out. Previously I had thought that it was only people who were afraid of needles who would faint after giving blood, but I guess not. Thankfully I had good medical attention, and after resting and having a cooling pack on my neck everything was alright again.

Even though I was about to pass out the thought crossed my mind that I would like to donate again. I might feel lightheaded for a few minutes, even a few hours, but wasn't I saving someone by donating? Then I thought about Jesus. He didn't just donate a few pints of blood for someone, He was willing to die that someone may be saved. That someone is you and me. Friend, don't take Jesus' blood for granted. He loves you so deeply that He was willing to give His all for you. That is Blessed Assurance!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

In His protective hands


On my way back from church today I saw a little bird that was repeatedly flying into the windows of the gym. Seeing the blue sky and trees in the window, he would fly full force towards it, crash against the glass, flutter to the ground, and then try again. He couldn't get himself past the thought that flying into the window panes did not get him to his desired haven of rest. Finally in a daze he fell on the sidewalk at my feet, exhausted.

Stooping down to the poor little frightened fellow I said a few comforting words him, swept him up into my hands, and carried him away from the deleterious windows to a big tree by the sidewalk. As I walked, he looked devotedly into my face, almost as if he recognized a friend. He glanced up at me one last time as if to say "thank you" then flew off into the shelter of the towering tree.

Often we are headstrong just like the little bird, flying into a fake "sky" thinking that once we are in those blue "clouds" we would be safe. All too often that "sky" is just something that makes the world swim before us and dashes us to the ground, helpless and hopeless. If we were left on our own, we would always be flying to the fake and never see the whole real world around us.

Thankfully there is Someone who is nearby who wants to help us. He longs to pick us up into His protective hands and shelter us from the fantasies of this world and set us free to the realities of His world. All we have to do is submit to Him. We need to quit resisting, and be willing to be carried in His hands to safety. I want to nestle in God's hands, do you?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The good life




Back to the books again, but I am still jubilant! My computer has finally started working again and the press of deadlines are not upon me yet. The fresh Norwegian air is lingering in my lungs after an enjoyable Yuletide jaunt to the most beautiful country in the world. Yes, life is good, but the best thing is that Jesus loves us and that He is coming soon! Now that's something to be happy about!