Friday, December 25, 2009

Peace on earth, good will to men

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had roll'd along th'unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bow'd my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

~ Henry W. Longfellow -- 1863

Praise the Lord that everything is in His hands, and He will come again and bring peace!
Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Life-lessons in 13.1 miles

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." -- Hebrews 12:1-3

Last week I participated in a half marathon. The run took place in Boyds/Germantown Maryland, a picturesque spot with sunny horse farms and big, shady trees overhanging the road. As I was running, I couldn't help thinking of Paul's words in Hebrews 12, where we should run the race of life with one Goal in site. As I was reflecting during the run, I thought of several life-lessons that can be deduced from a simple, endurance run.

1) As we were setting off, a torrential downpour met us, and from then on we had intermittent showers along the way, this kept us runners refreshed and cool. Whenever the sweat of the world is covering us, God sends us "showers of blessing" to refresh us on our journey.

2) Every two miles us weary runners were refreshed by water and Gatorade, and as we run our race of life we are revived along the way with the Water of Life and the bread of God's word.

3) At the time when it was most needed, trainers, bystanders, or other runners would shout out words of encouragement. This would cheer us all and we would in turn send words of encouragement to others. In rough times on this earth God sends us messeges of hope to us, to "look up, it's not far now" and "keep going, one step at a time". These make us all the more willing to press on and build others up.

4) To be honest, there were miles that I was in great pain, and other miles that I just wanted to give up, yet I kept in mind how I wanted to finish the race. In the same way when we run the race of life there are times when we are discouraged or just want to give up, but keep pressing on towards the goal of being with Jesus.

With our great Trainer by our side, no matter what difficulty may arrise, God will be able to pull us through and give us a crown of glory when we meet our goal.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Humorous God

God has a sense of humor.

Last week I felt that I really needed some solid time in prayer. Even though I believe that we should always be engaging in prayer, this time I particularly felt that I needed some uninterrupted time with my Lord.

I knelt down and began speaking earnestly with God. Just then, my dog, Tinka (who had been resting peacefully by my bed), decided to get up and start grumbling at me to pet her. Unwilling to be distracted, I continued my prayer, but this time asking God to avert the distraction.

Tinka thought about it for a while, and since she did not get the response that she wanted, promptly lay down on my legs! Now I was virtually "pinned down" to praying! God changed the distraction to a blessing, and in a way that made me laugh! He has such a sense of humor!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Only two years

A few weeks ago a lady came to Fredheim. She is about fifty years old, and has a big, friendly smile, and brilliant, twinkling eyes. When you look at her, you wouldn't realize that she has only, at most, two years to live.

I have never met a person with such love of others and bright outlook on life, even when her own is slipping away. I often sit at her table during mealtimes, and never a day goes by without the whole table bursting out with laughter because of jokes she has made.

The most impressive thing that I have seen is that she is such a strong Christian. She always speaks about how God has transformed her life, and that one day Jesus will come again to save the whole world. She always mentions that whatever happens, whether she lives or dies, God knows the end from the beginning and He will make sure that everything will "work together for good, to those who are called according to His purpose."

She really lives a life worthy of her Savior and Friend, Jesus.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Savior and the Rock

I am gulping for air, my head is sinking under the foaming waves. I begin to disappear in the murky depths. I cry for help.

I hear a voice! A strong, friendly hand reaches down and pulls me out from certain death.
He sets me on a solid Rock. He holds my dripping self close to Him, and tenderly promises never to leave me. As long as I want Him there, He will stay with me, and keep me on the solid Rock, no matter how the waves crash about it.

He has saved me. No, I will never leave.

Monday, April 06, 2009

I agree

"If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes."
-- Charles Lindbergh

I agree

Thursday, April 02, 2009

"Only a tiny sparrow"

I am only a tiny sparrow,
A bird of low degree;
My life is of little value,
But the dear Lord cares for me.

I have no barn nor storehouse,
I neither sow nor reap;
God gives me a sparrow's portion,
But never a seed to keep.

I know there are many sparrows;
All over the world they are found;
But our heavenly Father knoweth
When one of us falls to the ground.

Though small, we are never forgotten;
Though weak, we are never afraid;
For we know the dear Lord keepeth
The life of the creatures He made.

I fly through the thickest forest,
I light on many a spray;
I have no chart nor compass,
But I never lose my way.

And I fold my wing at twilight
Wherever I happen to be;
For the Father is always watching,
And no harm will come to me.

I am only a little sparrow,
A bird of low degree,
But I know the Father loves me;
Have you less faith than we?

-- "A Christian's Secret to a Happy Life" Hannah Whitall Smith

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


She was pudgy and always had acne on her face. Because of this, she was never popular at school. As she studied, other kids whispered about her "ugly" looks. She had a tender heart though, and always stuck up for other kids that were laughed at. She was a friend to all those who needed one...

She was slim and spent several hours each morning putting on makeup and doing her golden hair. She knew she was "beautiful," and wouldn't acknowledge other "less popular" people. As she walked, people would whisper about the "beauty" that just passed...

My question about these two analogies is: "what makes a person beautiful"? Is the amount of makeup, or the nice clothes make you more beautiful than others? If you are not popular, does that make you of less worth than others that are?

1 Samuel 16:7 states: "For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

The Bible states that our outward appearance will be changed when Jesus comes anyway. Our inward appearance is something that we will have for eternity.

I would like to propose to my blog readers to spend less time trying to make your outward appearance more attractive, but try to adorn your heart in such a way that it is pleasing to God.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A prayer answered

I yawned and rolled out of bed onto my knees. As I began my morning prayers, I mentioned to God that I really wanted to have a meaningful conversation about Him to someone that day.

I worked in the morning, and that enabled me to go for a walk with the guests to the mountains. It was extremely icy, so I walked with our oldest guest in order that he would have help on the slippery parts so he wouldn't fall.

His name is Hans Olaf, and he has been a regular at Fredheim for as long as any of us can remember. He is 93 years old and goes out skiing everyday, unless it is summer, when he swims. In the summer, he lives in a small cabin about a mile from the nearest house. During the winter though, he makes his residence here at Fredheim. My boss always introduces him to the news guests as "Fredheim's mascot".

As we walked, Hans Olaf and I talked about many various things: How the weather was, where he liked to travel, his favorite foods, ect. We then decided to rest awhile on the steps of an old house, built in the 1600s. The snow was beautiful, sparkling in the bright Spring sun. Not a cloud was in the sky, and it was such a dark blue, that my photos couldn't even register the color.

I mentioned to Hans Olaf how wonderful God was, creating such a beautiful earth. He heartily agreed, then continued to speak more about Creation, and what days each thing was created. We spoke about the New Earth, and how even more glorious it would be. There we will have no more crying or pain, and everything will be created anew with even more beauty than we can imagine! We will not even need the sun, because God will be our light! Even though there is 73 years difference between Hans Olaf and I, the years seemed to dissipate as we both excitedly talked about our mutual Friend, Jesus.

I felt such a blessing through our conversation, and praise God that He does answer prayers!

"No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory." -- Is. 60:19

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

They're coming! He's coming!

I can't believe my parents are coming!!!!!!!!!!!! The day is fast approaching until they arrive, and on Friday afternoon I will be on my way to the airport to pick them up! My parents have been my mentors, educators, and best friends for as long as I can remember, and I am so happy that they are coming here to visit. I am on the edge of my seat in anticipation of their soon arrival! As each day is marked off the calendar, I think of the preparations they are making to come over, and their excitement matched with mine as they board the plane tomorrow. You can be sure that I am busily getting prepared so that they can get the "real Norwegian experience."

I couldn't help thinking how Jesus must feel as He prepares to come and take us heaven. Do we look with eager anticipation for Him? Does He look down and see us all in a flutter getting things prepared for His arrival? Or does He see us lackadaisically going about our everyday life? Are we prepared for His coming? I pray that as each day is marked off on our calendar, we will be even more eager for Jesus' return, knowing that it is one less day until He comes!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My friend Jesus

I recently had a test in Norwegian.  We had pages of naming things, verb tenses, dictation, and various other related topics. Then I got to the last page -- essay. The directions were to write about a friend.  Simple enough.  I quickly scrolled through a list of my friends in my mind, thinking about how cool they are, and how much I could write about each one.  One friend stuck out in my mind, though.  I tried to brush the thought aside, thinking of other friends that I've studied with, grew up with, and played with, but no, none of those were right for my essay.  I needed inspiration.  The former thought kept pressing on my mind.  "No," I thought, "no one here is even a Christian, my teacher would just laugh and put a bad mark on the test".  "You must," came the thought "they are just looking at your Norwegian, not the content, you can be a witness for Me too..."  Finally I gave in. "Only if You help me," I prayed.

Picking up my pencil, I started to write about my friend: Jesus.  

I wrote about how He came to this earth to live with us and show us what love is.  He healed the sick, and taught many wonderful things, yet many people still didn't like Him, and even killed Him.  However, He did not remain dead.  He arose again, and went to heaven where He is now. In John 14:1-3 it says that He will come again to take us to live with Him soon.  He loves both you and me very much; He is the best friend anyone can ever have. 

Monday, February 09, 2009

God's promises

"'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the Lord, 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool". -- Is. 1:18

"Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." -- Ps. 51:7

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Norwegian class and the Bible

I recently started a Norwegian class in downtown Kongsberg. I am really enjoying my time there. We are certainly an international class though. Iraq, India, Bulgaria, Chile, Portugal and USA are the countries we represent (I'm the only one from the States). I love being with such a multicultural group, and enjoy talking to the people about their countries.
Our class starts at 8:30 am, and I usually catch a ride with Jan Robert into town as he goes to his school. Sometimes he goes very early in the morning, so I wait in the SDA church in Kongsberg until it's time to head to class.

A few days ago, I went into Kongsberg church early. I had about an hour before class started and I settled down with my devotions. I prayed that God would show me someone that day that needed to know about Him, and that He would give me words to say to encourage him or her towards Jesus. After my prayers, I settled down to read. Somehow though, I felt an urge to leave for school. Picking up my things, I headed out down the street. There was no one at my class, so I pulled out my Bible to read again. A short time later my Hindu classmate showed up for class, also early. Sitting down next to me, she leaned over and asked what I was reading. I told her what it was, and she asked me why I was reading it, because "not that many young people read the Bible nowadays." Silently offering a prayer to God for help, I gave a testimony of what the Bible meant to me and why. She seemed quite interested, later she asked me to come over to visit her sometime.

I was so glad that God had prompted me to go to the right place at the right time, so that I could share just a little about God's great gift to us, His inspired Word.