18 entries categorized "Friendship"

A giant of faith and prayer

On our way to the mountain area for a few days of vacation and picking cloud berries we visited a man of God: Bjørn Olav Hansen. He is our longstanding friend, but more important he is a praying saint, a giant of prayer. He. is one of my heroes of faith.

image from https://erling.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451f06569e202b751ae7531200c-pi

We have co-authored the book we are holding in our hand: The Big Family Prayer Book. It is a collection of prayers covering the entire life span, from birth to death.  Some of these prayers have been prayed by the people of God for hundreds or thousands of years as some are taken from the Bible and some from throughout the entire church history. Several of the prayers are written by the two authors behind the book.

Bjørn Olav Hansen was a journalist for several years before he became a Baptist Pastor. He is one of the founders and leaders of the Norwegian Prayer Council. He has been very important in the prayer movement in our nation.  Constantly he is ministering in all kind of churches helping the people of God into a fruitful prayer life in the power of the Holy Spirit. That he is still doing this, is a miracle to me. For many years he has been suffering from the Parkinson desease as well as many other serious sicknesses. He is no longer able to stand while he is preaching and teaching, often we see him in a wheelchair, but he is never quitting! By faith he overcomes many obstacles.

He is also an excellent writer and have authored many books. But through his blog,  he is reaching many more people than through his books. What he is writing on his blog he also publish on Facebook and his writings are a great encouragement to thousands of people. I admire him that he in spite of his many health challenges every day share his insight and wisdom with us through social media. He is also very transparent and makes himself vulnerable by sharing with us his struggles. This adds weight to everything he writes and publish as we understand this is real stuff not theories.

I want to encourage all my friends to keep Bjørn Olav in prayers, that God may strengthen him and enable him to continue in his important ministry!

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Text: Erling Thu

Overwhelmed by love and prayers

Since I shared the bad news from my eye doctor that my left eye has been attacked by the eye disease AMD, I have had many encouraging messages from my friends all over the world. The love and care of covenant friends are overwhelming. To know that so many people are praying for healing and restoration of my eye sight really touches me and fills me with thanksgiving. God is good all the time and his people are just like him, loving and caring! I am so grateful to the Lord to belong to the covenant community. I am not alone with my struggles and challenges. I am part of an extended family. Hallelujah!

The elders of the church anointed me with oil and the entire congregation gathered around me to join in prayer for my eyesight. I am so thankful to God for friends all over the world praying for me in these days. Each time someone tells me that they are praying for me, I am touched and my heart is warmed. God is good all the time, and his people are like him, showing me love and care.

I am trusting God to have mercy on me and allow me to see and serve him in many more years to come. I do not know what the eye doctors at the hospital can do for me at the moment, but I know I am safe in the hands of God. When my right eye was damaged by the AMD a few years ago, the medical treatment at the hospital did not help me at all. I know that with God nothing is possible and I trust him even to give the doctors wisdom to treat my left eye the best way possible. 

Overwhelmed by love and prayers

Since I shared the bad news I had concerning my only working eye, I have been overwhelmed by the love and care of my friends from all over the world. So many people are telling me that that pray for my eyesight to be preserved and not damaged by the AMD which is now also attacking my left eye. I feel very safe in the hands of God and trust him to have mercy on me and heal me from all eye diseases.

The elders in the church has anointed me with oil and prayed for full healing and restoration of my eyesight. The entire church family gathered around me in prayer and encouraging words. I appreciate the prayers of friends very much. It warms my heart when people tell me that they are praying for me. The tremendous power of God is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer. 

I trust God to enable me to serve him in many more years and joyfully I continue to commit myself into the strong and safe hands of God. 

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

To be somebody is living in the sacred garden of covenant

To be somebody

is to live a life of consistent commitment

to let friendship and love grow

to become beautiful flowers

in the sacred garden of covenant

It is to allow the early buds

of encouragement and excitement

turn into full bloom

- as a foretaste of heaven

When your friendship is too costly

to be expressed in words

then the future is yours

to explore the beauty of covenant living

To be somebody

is to be adventurous enough

to dare to explore the depths of covenant love

To be somebody is knowing that someone cares

To be somebody

Is to know that a mother is concerned for you

And thinking of you with a tender heart

It gives a great sense of worth

Knowing that someone is worried

With motherly love and care for you

As you are travelling places

And fulfilling your holy vocation

In serving the people of God

To really be somebody

Is to appreciate this loving concern

And give thanks to your mother

While she is still alive

When she is gone, and you realise

how valuable her worries were,

it is too late to acknowledge their worth.

To be somebody is knowing that someone cares

A father, a brother or a sister,

A friend, a fellow believer, a servant of God,

A neighbour, a postman, a nurse, a doctor,

A preacher, a football player, an athlete,

  • someone cares because of love,

but no one cares like God,

he cares for all of us with his everlasting love!

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)

Enjoying life


I am so thankful to God for the ability to enjoy life. The doctors predicted that I would never grow up. They had no cure nor any future for me. But God had a purpose for my life and a wonderful destiny. I am so thankful to be alive. But I am not only alive, I have been given the ability to enjoy life. My heart is full for joy and my lips are filled with words of thanksgiving.

Continue reading "Enjoying life" »

Ready to covenant?

We covenant to live every part of our lives in obedience to God.

We covenant to serve God and his purpose in whatever way he calls us.

We covenant to encourage, help, challenge, correct and serve each other so that we each can live for and serve God better.

We covenant to follow the vision and teaching of the apostolic leadership of the work.

We covenant to honesty, integrity, loyalty and love in our relationships with each other.

We covenant to deal with disagreements and conflicts that arise between us in a godly and honest way.

We covenant to support the work of God in the giving of our time, our effort, our gifts and our finance.

We covenant to being open to be discipled by others and willing to disciple others.

We covenant to see the common vision fulfilled whatever the cost and however long it takes.

Do you see?


We see a covenant church

that is a strong and healthy Kingdom community

of those who are being changed

as they follow Jesus in every area of their lives,

and who covenant together

and work with a common sense of vision and purpose.


We see a covenant church

where God is worshipped passionately and freely,

and where the presence and power of God are experienced

in big as well as in small gatherings.


We see a covenant church that is a community

governed in its beliefs and practices

by the Word and the Spirit of God,

and not by human customs, traditions or personalities.


We see a covenant community

where its members are fully committed to one another

and to God's purpose for his world.


We see a covenant community

that is full of life and faith,

where the people are free, happy, vibrant

and enjoying the goodness of God in their everyday life


We see a covenant community

in which there are real and close friendships, 

warm relationships, and openness

to all people from whatever background.


We see a covenant church

that is not built around meetings or a building,

but is centred on Christ

and on relationships of the Spirit,

and a shared community life

as we meet from home to home and in big gatherings.


We see a covenant church that is influencing

and impacting its surrounding community and

that doesn't retreat into a safe Christian ghetto.


We see a covenant community that is committed

to what God is doing right across the nations of the world

and is in real relationship with apostolic and other ministries to advance

God's kingdom throughout the world.


We see a covenant community

that has a credible voice to speak

into all the issues which face our society,

and that is actively demonstrating

a positive and godly example to that society.

We see a covenant community

that is growing and reproducing itself

across the whole region, nation and the world.


We see a covenant community

where everyone is learning

to play their part and to do so

gladly with faith,

commitment and integrity.

Meeting with the people of God

God has blessed us and enabled us to travel and visit many covenant communities. It is always a great joy to meet with the people of God. This week we have been to Skudesnes, Egersund, Etne and Stavanger. Each place we have had sweet fellowship with wonderful people. At every gathering we have encountered God among his people. Whenever we meet with our covenant friends we are being encouraged and strengthened. The communion of the saints is priceless. We develop holy friendship and lasting relationship through the Holy Spirit.

We thank for this privilege of having a travelling ministry. And we thank for for the joy and blessings of belonging to a local church. We thank God for our house church. We thank God for being able to share meals with one another. We praise God for blessings of laying on of hands. We are praying for one another. We are blessing one another. We are joined together by the Spirit.

God lives among his people. And he invites us to live in his house, in his presence. He invites us to be face to face with him. There is nothing better in the entire world than to be with God - face to face. The most precious thing is to be with Jesus. His presence is life.

Being remembered

To be somebody is being remembered

On a very ordinary birthday,

By wife, children and grandchildren,

By family and friends,

By people near and far away,

Through e-cards, phone calls and text messages.

Being remembered on a birthday,

Is a token of love and appreciation,

Making you feel you are somebody.

But really, it is the person who remembers another person

And care enough to express his or her love

Who is somebody!

To be somebody is to forget about oneself

To remember our neighbour

And think about our other people’s need

Praying for friends

To be somebody is to pray for your friends

when pain in your body keeps you awake

and don’t allow you to sleep

but your care, concern and love are overcoming the pain

and causing you to pray with such fervour and zeal

that you transcend the aching body.

When you are able to forget your own pain

because you care for your friends

and must lift them up to the Throne of Grace

you show yourselves to be A Great Somebody

able to deny your own needs to meet those of others!

Answering questions

To be somebody is answering questions

Taking time to think

Stopping up to let the imagination run wild

As you meditate on silly questions

Or the deep questions of existentially concern

When you answer questions

- No matter how deep or shallow they are

- No matter if they are questions of real life situations or hypothetical sophistry

- No matter which area they touch on

Then you show that you take people serious

And you care for what they are concerned about

Only because of love for that particular individual

When you answer questions

Only because of love for people

Then you really are somebody

In a world of efficiency and self interest

Seeing people through eyes of grace

To be somebody is looking for grace

And not be blinded by needs or shortcomings

It is to see God at work in people

Rejoicing in the small beginnings

Marvelling at the faith of the trembling steps into new grounds

Appreciating the budding potential

- in people longing, dreaming and believing

When you can flow with the grace of God

In whatever measure you find it in people

You will be able to help them grow

Bringing out the best in them

Stirring them to aspire for more

Provoking them to love and good works

You are somebody when you see people

Through the eyes of grace

Then you enable them to see themselves

Through the eyes of hope and faith

Ignoring the failures and dreaming of new adventures

As they rejoice in the incredible wealth of grace and kindness

Shown to them by God and their fellow man

Great people

To be somebody is the same as being great

Great people can be seen

- By their unselfish actions and their sacrificial service

Great people can be heard

- By their encouraging words and faithful confessions

Great people can be touched

- Through their practical involvement in our lives

Great people can be felt

- By the atmosphere of love, joy and hope that surrounds them

Great people have an effect on us

- They bring out the best in us

And creates in us a desire to change for the better

As great people has the capacity for enlargement

And the longing for change

That motivates them to never settle

But reach their full potential in God

Having young people for dinner

To be somebody is having young people
Eating dinner with you in your home
And enjoying their company
Sharing our life with one another
As we talk of many different aspects
Of our life with God and our families

To be somebody is enjoying
Interaction with grown up people
Belonging to a different generation
That could have been our own children
But not noticing age at all
Because we all enjoy being God’s children
Having fun together
Appreciating one another’s company