18 entries categorized "Character"

The woman behind

Yesterday I wrote an entry about the well-known Bjørn Olav Hansen – a giant of faith and prayer. Today I like to share with you a little bit about the woman behind the man. This woman is a great woman of God and a giant in the Kingdom of God. There is a popular saying going like this: Behind every successful there is a surprised woman. I like to change this sentence to a better version: Behind every man of God there is a praying wife or woman! The praying woman behind a man of God is more important than we normally understand. The humble woman behind is often not appreciated nor honoured in the way she deserves.

image from https://erling.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451f06569e202c1b25cea6c200d-pi

May Sissel Hansen is such an important woman behind the man of God that I want to honour her. Whenever I see her, she is a big smile, but I believe that behind there are many burdens and tears shed in the secret place of prayer. Her husband has a big name among believers in Norway, he is well-known, but what about his precious wife? Is she appreciated for her selfless service, her humble assistance of her husband?

May Sissel is always serving. She has the heart of a true servant of God. She is looking for opportunities to serve and to bless people. She has the gift of showing hospitality and are blessing the many visitors they have in extraordinary ways. Solveig and I had the privilege of enjoying a wonderful meal at their home quite recently. We really enjoyed the food but even more we enjoyed the company, the blessed fellowship of being together.

Whenever I see Bjørn Olav speaking at a conference, I observe that May Sissel is in the background. He is in the front, he is visible, but she is always the important person behind. Often, she is not seen at all, but she is always there behind the scene ready to assist. She has an eye for what he needs at any time, and she is always there to help and to serve. She is really a hero! She is the woman behind the man of God.

I am sure May Sissel have had the same experience many times that Solveig and I had recently. I had been invited to preach in the Sunday morning service in a church. At the beginning of the meeting, I was warmly welcomed to the by the leader from the front when the service started. Solveig was not mentioned at all. We were sitting together, but she was totally overlooked or ignored. I felt bad but choose to keep quiet. The precious woman behind the man of God was not appreciated. What a shame. It was not the first time she was overlooked; I am afraid it happens to often to the important women behind the man.

Whenever I am asked to preach, I spend time in prayer and preparation of the message. Behind me there is a prayerful wife who is travailing more in prayer for me than I do myself. Sometimes she brings me words or visions from God that helps me in my preparations and enables me to bring the Word of the Lord to the churches.

May Sissel is having a similar function towards her husband. She is a prayerful lady. I do not know exactly the many ways May Sissel is praying for Bjørn Olav, or how her prayer and spiritual insights helps him in his ministry. But I know that she is behind him and share a vital role in his fruitful ministry. Without her he would not have been the man of God that he by the grace of God is.

I like to honour May Sissel for her humble and prayerful ministry to the Lord. She is an example of godliness and holy devotion to God for everyone, whether we are men or women.

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Text: Erling Thu

To be somebody is not a matter of right or wrong

To be somebody
is not a matter of right or wrong
it is not a matter of having the political correct opinions
or the classical orthodox doctrine

To be somebody
is a matter of being kind
- of caring for others
- of loving in words and deeds
To be somebody
is all about forgiving
- those who persecute you
and being generous
- towards those who are different

To be somebody
is not a matter of theology
it is all about living a good life
- trusting the Son of man
who set aside the privileges of deity
and became one of us to bring us to God
ministering life to us by dying our death

When you do a favour
to those who don't deserve it
then you are really somebody

The way to happiness 

Psalm 119.1


Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord (Strong 8451).

David is so excited with the word of God that he regards ist as his highest ideal of blessedness to be conformed to it. In the first verse he starts by praising those who are blameless, those who live a life of integrity. Something that can only be done when they follow the Lord's Law. Blessed are those who live whole lives in the light of God's Word. Blessed are those who live by the law of the Lord.

We do not find happiness in life by following our own heart, for it is deceitful, says the word of God. Our own thoughts and desires will very often lead us into a disaster. But how blessed are those who are led by the law of the Lordt. In a time when many are depreciating the word of God and undermining the  trust in the Bible, I will make it very clear that I trust the Bible. By the grace of God I have lived a long life and seen different moods and trends, technics and methods, come and go. I have even seen movements and churches come and go. But the word of God stands firm. There is nothing to match the blessing of living by the word of God. I want the future generation of believers all over the world to experience this blessed life.

The Law of the Lord - the Torah of Adona - is the first phrase we encounter in this psalm for the Word of God. It is very important to understand what lies in this phrase as we find it many times in the Bible. It is customary to translate the Hebrew word "torah" by law, but according to "The Complete Jewish Study Bible" this word suggests simple instruction, guidance, or the path we should go. The Lord's Torah finds its origin in the Eternal God. He declared his commands to Israel at Mount Sinai, and Israel was to follow and teach his ways to others. Yeshua, the Messiah and the living Word, embodies the will of the Father. The Spirit of God leads and guides the followers of Yeshua into all truth, enabling them to observe all God's instructions. In his teaching to his emissaries, Jeshua confirmed the importance of Torah by saying, "If you love me, you will keep my commans" (John 14:15). The Lord's law is linked to a loving relationship with the Messiah. It's about loving him and doing what he says in faith and trust.

“You are only truly happy when you walk in total integrity, walking in the light of God’s word.” (TPT)

Looking with new eyes

To be somebody
is not only to explore
virgin territory or unknown places
but to look with new eyes
- look from new perspectives
- look with new perception
- look with new expectancy
- look for new insight
to the old and known world
to discover the virginity
and the hope for a new beginning
in the midst of corruption and decay
and than seize the moment
to make history
in our own little world
knowing that the great achievements
is the sum of all the small deeds of faith

By faith we can see
the impossible become possible
and the invisible become visible
and the world changed to a better place

Accepting ourselves for what we are

To be somebody
Is to accept ourselves for what we are
And at the same time rejoice
In all the good qualities
We are able to see in other people

To be somebody
Is to be yourself
Without being sufficient in yourself
But to develop your strengths
That all may see what you really are
To be yourself is to try to see something
Positive in your weaknesses
As you try to make them be less visible

To treasure a friend

To be somebody

is to treasure a gift from a friend

as a proof of covenant love

and to make it last forever

in the joyful and reverent way

it is being used.

To be somebody

is to treasure a friend more

than any gifts you are given.

It is to appreciate that a friend

is more valuable than anything else.

To be somebody

is to treasure friendship

like a paradise garden,

a colony of heaven.

When you are somebody

you live a life of transformation,

being transformed from glory to glory,

turning ordinary people into great people.

To be somebody

is to be a faithful friend

who sees the greatness in the other

and treasure that greatness in your heart.

Text: Erling Thu, (c 2020)

Answering emails or messages

To be somebody
Is to answer emails or text messages
Showing that you care
And take people seriously
It is to come up with simple solutions to complicated questions
Or to admit that you don't have all the answers

To be somebody
Is to sit in front of a screen
Typing letters, words, reason and insight
As if you were sitting in front of a person
Communicating eternal truths
Sharing real life experiences
Opening up your heart
For the world to see
The beauty and simplicity
Of faith, hope and love
Poured into a human heart by the Holy Spirit

Text: Erling Thu (c)

To be somebody is to take advice

To be somebody
Is to be humble enough to take advice from others
To listen to the insights of my elders
To follow the wise counsel of the experienced servant of God
To be willing to change my mind
To make new decisions going a new direction

To be somebody
Is not to compromise my vision or calling
But to find better ways of achieving my destiny
Through taking good counsel from godly persons
Committing myself into the hands of God

Only the one who really is somebody

is big enough to take advice

Text: Erling Thu (c)

Being a moral person

To be somebody
Is to be marked by love
Knowing how to distinguish
Right and wrong – goodness or badness
Love is never glad about injustice
But rejoices every time the truth wins out
Love never gives up
Love never loses faith
Love is always hopeful
Love endures through every circumstance

To be somebody
Is to know that it is possible
To refuse to do evil things
Knowing it is possible to be a moral person
Irrespectively of what others do
Irrespectively if others follow your example
Irrespectively of the outcome of your life
Even if you don’t become a hero
Even if you don’t save anybody by your sacrifice
Even if you don’t change anything by your stand
Even if you have to die for your belief

To be somebody
Is to be a moral example
Even more - it is to be a moral person
To refuse to do evil
Solely because it is bad
Then you make a difference
- to yourself
- and to us

Text: Erling Thu (c)

A life of influence and honour

In Psalm 112 the psalmist is describing the triumph of godliness. Godly people are God lovers. They delight in the Lord and cherish his Word. They will always shout in celebration of praise to the Lord. Therefore Godly people will be blessed beyond expectation.

Their descendants will be prosperous and influential. Every generation of God lovers will experience his favour. Their integrity endures forever. Life is good for the one who is generous and charitable, conducting affairs with honesty and truth. They will never be shaken by any circunstances and their example will never be forgotten. 

Those who love the Lord will not live fear of what may come, for their hearts are firm, ever secure in their faith in God. Steady and strong, they will not be afraid, but calmly face every challenge until they overcome them all.

Godly people are never stingy, but always generous to those in need. Therefore they live a life of influence and honour that will never be forgotten. Godly people are full of good deeds that continue to speak and bear fruit, long after they have left this world.


Unfolding faith

Faith is a gift of God. It is like a seed planted in our heart. The smallest seed of faith can move mountains. The Bible says that we live by faith. We are saved by faith. We overcome obstacles in life by faith. 

When we water the seed of faith, our faith will grow stronger and increase. The apostle Peter is saying that we should devote ourselves to develop our faith or to supplement it. As a seed faith is full of potensial for dynamic growth and development. Peter speaks of an unfolding of faith (2 Pet 1:7-11)

Out of the seed of faith planted in our heart by God will emerge goodness, and out of goodness will emerge understanding of God, and out understanding and knowing God will emerge inner strength and self-control, and out of this inner strength will emerge patient endurance, and out of patient endurance will emerge godliness, and out of godliness will emerge mercy towards our brothers and sisters, and out of mercy will emerge unending love.

All these virtues are inherent in the seed of faith that God is planting in our heart. They have been planted deep within us by the Spirit of God. Actually we possess them in abundant supply by the grace of God. This unfolding of faith will keep us from being inactive or fruitless in our pursuit of knowing Jesus Christ more intimately. If these virtues are absent in our lives we will be blind, constantly closing our eyes to the mystery of faith, forgetting our innocence - for our sins have been washed away.

Therefore it is very important that we are eager to confirm and validate that God has invited us to salvation and claimed us his very own. When we do these things, we will never stumble. As a result God will give us a triumphant entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is also possible to see this as a spiritual mathematical equation. Faith pluss goodness equals understanding and knowledge of God. Goodness pluss understanding equals inner strength and self-control. Understanding pluss self-control equals patience. Inner strength pluss patience equals godliness. Patience pluss godliness equals mercy. Godliness pluss mercy equals unending love. These qualities are meant to be limitless as our faith keeps unfolding.

Covenant duties

The issue of covenant was forced on me a short time ago. There are so many misunderstandings about being a covenant person. Even many Christians have very little understanding of what covenant is all about. They question the idea of covenant duties or covenant obligations. Therefore I have chosen to share something I wrote some years back on being a covenant keeper, on being a person who understands the implication of covenant living. Covenant is love put into practice!

Continue reading "Covenant duties" »

A loving and loyal servant

In his letter to the Romans the apostle Paul is introducing himself as a loving and loyal servant of the Anointed One, Jesus (Rom 1,1 TPL). When I read what Paul was writing about himself, his words struck me. What a sound self-image. What a wonderful self-esteem. What a bold statement about himself: I am a loving and loyal servant!

First of all he wants to tell that he is a servant of the Anointed One, Jesus the Messiah. He had been called and chosen by Jesus Christ to be a servant. He was set apart with a mission. As a servant he was a sent one, an apostle. His mission was to reveal the wonderful news of the Kingdom of God. He was to bring people out of darkness and ignorance into the light and understanding of the Good News of what God had done through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That was his mission to bring insight to people, to help them grasp the eternal plan and purpose of Christ. He was never disobedient to this heavenly vision. He was a servant of Jesus Christ his entire life. The heavenly vision made him a servant. 

Continue reading "A loving and loyal servant" »

Having an inbuilt dignity

To be somebody is having an inbuilt dignity

Carrying on your broad heart the heavy weight of worth

From being created in the image of God

Displaying the beauty of his holiness

Reflecting the glory of his love

As you honour and respect every person

- for what they are in God

Bestowing dignity on all human beings

Loving your neighbour as yourself

Correcting your own mistakes

To be somebody is to correct your own mistakes

- mistakes long overlooked.

It is to look at yourself - with new eyes

- with new understanding,

To correct and improve yourself,

To become a more harmonious person,

Removing the small disturbances,

Deleting the imperfections expressed in your life.


To be somebody is to be able to see your own shortcomings

- and humble yourself to ask for grace and help

To overcome any obstacle,

That the divine image may become visible in you.

Being pure of heart

To be somebody is being pure of heart

-being free from self-interest

-being free from selfish ambitions

-being free from wrong reactions of mistrust and suspicion

When you are pure of heart

-you listen with understanding

-you listen with goodwill

-you are open to new ideas

-you are receptive and creative,

looking for the beautiful dream

springing forth from the innocent eyes of your neighbour

Character formation

To be somebody is to be marked
By the very character of God by having
- love written all over you
- joy crafted in your face
- faithfulness inscribed on your heart
- peace carved deeply into your spirit
- patience chiselled into your very soul
- kindness imprinted on your entire being
- goodness penetrating your nature
- gentleness sculpturing your actions
- self-control engraved on your will

To be somebody is to be in the hands of God
Gratefully allowing the great artist of life do want he wants:
- remove sexual immorality and
- delete every impure thought
- wash away eagerness for lustful pleasure
- deliver from idolatry and participation in demonic activities
- take away hostility, quarrelling and outbursts of anger
- uproot jealousy and selfish ambitions
- plot out the feeling that everyone is wrong except your own little group
- set you free from envy and drunkenness
- rescue you from wild parties and other kinds of nasty behaviour
To install divine values into your inner being
For the real beauty of holiness to be seen
As you are radiate with the glorious grace of God

Leaving an impression

To be somebody is to leave an impression
Of depth and purity, integrity and love
On the people you spend time with
It is to make a lasting impression
On precious people created in the image of God
As you touch them with your life
Of honesty and transparency
Even though they seem indifferent to you

To be somebody is to leave a beautiful mark
Of the loving presence of God
On persons you interact with