250 entries categorized "Journal"
We had a most wonderful time at our house church yesterday. Our leader and his wife shared their testimonies. The rest of us gave feedback, prayers and prophetic words of encouragement to them. I was so blessed by being together with my brothers and sisters in the presence of God.
The young husband told us how his brother had been praying for him in two years before he came to Christ. He told us about the pastor that noticed him while he was about to leave the meeting and came to talk to him and challenged him to receive Jesus Christ. Later he had a powerful encounter with the love of God at home, and how an article the the magazine Folk helped him at a crucial point in his life as a new believer. When he attended Bergen Bibelskole he became established in the Word and equipped to serve God. His greatest joy is to share the Good News with others.
His wife shared with us some personal og dramatic incidents that had taken place and how God had intervened. She also told us how she met some former students from Bergen Bibelskole at a stand when she was studying to become a nurse. They helped her to a spiritual breakthrough as they baptised her in a lake in cold water.
I was very blessed by their testimonies of how God was using people, an article in our magazine and the Bible School to bring them to Christ and maturity. This couple is really a blessed couple. They are radiant with the love of God all around them.
I am so blessed to part of this house church. I can see the grace of God in each and every one of my brothers and sisters. God is so good!
As I have been reading in my new Common English Bible I have had many nice surprises as new expressions are catching my attention. This is one of the greatest joy of reading a new Bible translation. The word comes alive again and again as new phrases are jumping of the pages and touching my heart.
One of those expressions that caught my attention, as I am reading the Psalms, and caused me to think is "But me?" I am used to those places where the psalmist is saying "but I will thank the Lord" etc. I am used to the psalmist is saying "but God", but I have never before noticed this phrase: "But Me?" But me, with a question mark?
The psalmists are often describing their difficultiies, hardships and challenges they face in their life. They are having opposition and are surrounded by enemies and evil people who are wanting to kill them. Or they are fighting their own depression and the deep darkness of their own soul. They are encountering every aspect of human life and experience. They are real people struggling real problems. But me? There is a contrast with the situation and the people that surround the psalmist, but the questionmark open up for uncertainty.
But me? Yes, what about me? Do I have a choice? Can I determine myself the outcome of my situation? Am I in control? Can I make a decision? How do I react to this hostility? How do I respond to the challenges that are facing me? But me?
"But me? I will see your face in righteousness." Ps 17:15
"But me? I walk with integrity. Save me! Have mercy on me!" Ps. 26:11
"But me? I will sing of your strength! In the morning I will shout out loud about your faithful love because you have been my stronghold, my shelter when I was distraught. Ps. 59:16
"But me? My prayer reaches you, LORD, at just the right time. God, in your great and faithful love, answer me with your certain salvation!" Ps. 69:13
"But me? I will hope. Always. I will add to all your praise." Ps. 71:14
The circumstances may vary, they can be difficult or very challenging, easy or boring, but I am never need to be a victim of my circumstances. But me? I can rise to the challenge. I can respond to hostility in forgiveness and love. I can overcome any hardship. I can turn my circumstances from being stumbling blocks to be stepping stones to take me a cross the raging river. The circumstance do not matter, what matter is how I react or respond to what is going on around me.
But me? That is the BIG question!
This lady was radiant. She carried a baby in her arms. Among many others did she give her testimomy in the covenant community. I was intrigued by the way she started her testimony. Her joy and her sincerity struck me with great power. Her story blew my mind.
We are enjoying a wonderful Christmas celebration with all our family (21) at Gullbotn. The house is filled with joy and harmony. The grandchildren are happily playing together. It is a great joy to observe them having a good time together. The adults are also enjoying themselves and having a lot of fun. According to our Norwegian custom we put all the presents under and around the tree and on Christmas Eve the grandchildren were reading the to and from greeting, and distributing the presents. Then we all watch the present being opened, thanks and hugs are exchanged, and we all rejoice with one another. This Christmas Eve we started early as we were 21 people together and it took six hours to distribute all the gifts!
The big family celebration with gifts and traditional food is a great event that especially all the children look forward to. But Christmas is much more than a few days of joyful celebration. Actually we should celebrate the reality of Christmas every day all through the year. The central message of Christmas is Immanuel - God with us. The incarnation is a historic fact. God became flesh and blood. He became one of us. He became a human being. That is a miracle of Love which we don't fully comprehend. But certainly it needs to be celebrated.
Every day we wake up we need to remind our selves of the fact of Immanuel. God with us. God for us. God among us. Christ in us the hope of glory. We are not alone in this world. We are not left to ourselves. We are not abandoned. We don't have to struggle with the challenges of life on our own.
God is with us. Even in our darkest hour when we seem to be totally on our own, he is there. When everything seem to be hopeless, when we are face to face with the impossible, he is there. When we rejoice in our achievements, when we seem to succeed, he is there. He is always near. He is always with us. His name is Immanuel!
Many times I have felt alone. Often I have felt like being totally on my own, and it is a very scary feeling. But actually I was never alone. He was always there. He was always with me. Even when I could not see him or his finger in the things happeneing to me, he was still there. I found refuge in him in the storms of life. I found comfort in him in times of loss. I found strenght in him when I had no strength of my own.
Over the years in my walk with God I have come to a confident rest in Immanuel - God with us. It is not only God with me, it is always God with us. It helps me to see Him among my brothers and sisters in the covenant community.
What a joy to celebrate 70 years together with family and friends at Gullbotn yesterday. Solveig has been working hard the last months in preparing a big party. I am overwhelmed by her love and creativity.
The celebration was unforgettable. The food was delicious, the cakes outstanding in taste and in outlook. The grandchildren performed in an excellent way. Sons and daughters gave nice speeches and wonderful poems written for me. My friends brought many encouraging words that touched my heart. I thank God for my wonderful family and faithful friends. I am so rich. I am richly blessed by God.
I have been rereading all the birthday greetings I received on cards and on Facebook. I have been moved to tears and my heart has been overflowing with joy. I am so thankful to God for his marvelous grace and favour towards me. God is so God.
My friends in Kristent Fellesskap Nordhordland gave me a MacBook Pro. My friends in DNA Oslo gave me an iPad. Now I have to learn to use those useful tools to advance the Kingdom of God. I am excited that I have to explore new things and new ways of doing it.
At the end of November I completed 50 years in the ministry. 26 of November 1962 I had completed 5 weeks of Bible School training and started to travel to preach the gospel. I was traveling together with Samuel Gjersdal who was an experienced preacher. We spent several months on the Fosen peninsula in Trøndelag. For many years I was an independent traveling pentecostal evangelist bring the Good News to many people.
Since the beginning of the Eighties I have been in Kristent Fellesskap's churches mainly. From the beginning of the Nineties I and my wife have gone regularly to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and other countries. God has been so good to us during these years. We have seen his grace in our lives in many different ways. We can testify that the Lord is faithful. We have seen many miracles.
When I was a litle boy and was in and out of hospitals all the time the doctors told my parents that I would never grow up. They never expected me to become more than twenty years. By the grace of God I have turned 70! The doctors were wrong. God had better plans for me. He has already given me 50 miracle years in the ministry. Now I am praying for 50 more years in active ministry for the Lord.
Ten years ago I started to blog on the Blogger platform. After some years I moved to Typepad. During the ten years of blogging I have had many encouragements in form of comments left on the blog or by email or in person. I thank God that people have been bless by my simple blogging where I have been sharing from my life.
Recently I have not been so active as I used to be. New social medias are the main reason for this development. I have no intention of reducing my presence on the Internet, on the contrary I have plans of increasing my presence and become even more active than before. I am also having some new ideas for my blog and new blogs I want to start in the near future.
Ten years of blogging is nice to celebrate, but there is no time to rest. Hopefully I will be able to launch new blogs and new presence on the Internet to press on for the next ten years to be more mature and to bring more glory to God.
The words of my first entry on my blog ten years ago are still valid:
To be somebody
is to take small and big jumps
into the unknown territory
safely walking in faith
confidently trusting the Beginning and the End
to guide and carry me
through the deep waters
over the high mountains of human limitations
to soar to new horizons
to lay down and dream in a lush meadow
to create my first blog
I met Baktha in Kathmandu last october at a short term Bible School. He is a fine young man who has committed his life to Jesus Christ. He lives with his family in Mugu, remote village in the western part of Nepal in the Himalayan mountain range. He has to walk for nearly 7 days to get to the nearest road and transportation system.
A few years back we met Tahk at a gathering of covenant friends in Nepal. He always has an open face, a nice smile, and a bright outlook. He is a happy disciple of Jesus Christ. He is working hard to support his family and to bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God to new people. He lives in the Mackwanpur district of Nepal. We were so happy to see him again these days we spent in Kathmandu. Full of joy he told us that he had been able to bring the Good News to an unreached village about 20 miles from where he lives. He travels to this place partly by a cycle and partly by walking and climbing the mountains. Some parts he even had to carry his cycle on his shoulder as well. When he first visited the village he found that many of the villagers were sick. They were suffering from all kinds of sicknesses. As he was proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdome he prayed for sick people to be healed and the power of God at work. Many healings took place. One girl was partly paralyzed. She was barely able to move around with crutches. As Tahk Bahadur was preaching Jesus Christ, he told the girl that God wanted to heal her. She believed in Jesus and was completely healed. Now she is able to walk without crutches or sticks to support her. Many people have received Jesus Christ in this new village. This all happened the last month only so no one had been baptized in water yet. But the Holy Spirit is at work and soon people will be buried with Christ, he assured me. In the fellowship of covenant friends in his own village he has baptized 6 people since May.
We have had some wonderful days in the Pink City of Jaipur. We have met with many friends and have heard many fantastic testimonies. The covenant community is growing in numbers and expanding to new areas of the city. This vibrant community consists of more than 1000 people in more than 30 communities scattered around the city. Last year 8 new communities were birthed. 260 new believers were baptised in water and in the Holy Spirit.
I have had a wonderful time with Sashikant from Mumbai. He is a young man that studied at the Covenant School. He came to Christ through some older students and has been used powerfully by God since he returned to Mumbai. In few years he has seen a covenant community of about 150 committed people emerge. Ten young men are working with him and they have a 200 believer to look after. Recently they started a new work in a place where many people have come to Christ.