My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My favorite season

You scored as Fall. You are FALL. You appreciate all that you have, and are willing to share with others. You are a friend in the truest sense of the word, and can easily focus your attention on those who need you, placing yourself on the back burner. You make sure your responsibilites are met before you allow yourself 'free time'.

What Season Are You?
created with

I took this for fun, but autumn and winter (close second in the quiz) are actually my favorite seasons. I love the sun and enjoy spring and summer. But I love it when the leaves turn, the air is crispy, wind blows. Snow falls, candles, books, scrapbooking and tea ... Do I need to say more :)? Maybe my love for these seasons is due to growing up in Norway?

Friday, September 23, 2005

That simple trusting faith

First of all: I’m glad you are still checking my blog althought I haven’t posted for quite a while! I tried to be very busy with my PhD and cut down internet use (added 20 pages to my thesis, yeah!).

But even through that work of writing and thinking, I kept reading non-law related books. I love reading and I always need to read something besides my work stuff. One of the books I read was "Prisoner and yet" by Corrie ten Boom. She was a devout Christian who lived in the Netherlands during its occupation by the Nazis. At that time she was already an elder lady living with her father and sister. Although it would have been a lot safer to live a quiet peaceful life, they decided to not turn a blind eye on the horrible things that happened, but to help. Therefore their home became a hiding place for Jews.
But alas, somehow they were found out and imprisoned by the occupying forces. Her dad only servived his imprisonment by 10 days. Corrie and her sister Betsy were transferred to a prison camp in the Netherlands and later to the concentration camp Ravensbrück in Germany. The book tells about her life from the moment they were found out and their time in the concentration camps. It is a very honest and moving book and I highly recommand it to all of you. What struck me most is how her faith sustained her through all the horrible times in the camps. She always kept trusting Jesus that he would help her through and protect her. And her hope in her heavenly home was continually strengthening her. Corrie and her sister became a blessing to many amidst the horrors of the concentration camps. Corrie led secret worship services, prayer meetings and bible studies. She and her sister were always there for the other prisoners, leading quite some to Christ. Even after her sister Betsy died, Corrie held fast to her faith in Jesus. She was released before the war was over and returned to Haarlem where she had lived. Although she thought she would never go back to Germany, God had a different plan and she often went back after the war to teach about forgiveness and reconcilitation.

When I read about her constant faith and trust in Jesus, always coming to him with every need she had, big or small, in prayer and trusting in his loving care in those circumstances, I know that this is what I want. A faith that always turns to the Saviour, with every care. Trusts in him completely. And a firm hope in the heavenly home to sustain.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Help for Katrina victims

My friends from Baton Rouge, LA are safe! (And now in Germany for their Master degrees.)

We just talked and agreed that it is so hard being so far away from all the desaster and that we really feel the urge to help. We do not just want to look at all these horrible pictures and then keep on with my nice life.
I just found something though that even we - in Europe - who are farther away can do besides donating money. (Please donate!) A big pink cookie collects knitted baby and toddler wear. So if you can knit, please do so. The adress to send it to can be found here. I am seriously tempted to learn how to knit baby socks! And I have a friend who is awesome at knitting, so I'll make her teach me.
You might think there are more important things to do than to knit baby socks right now. Maybe you are right. But to the mothers who will receive them, they will make a huge difference!

The mother of one the members from my congregation works as a counsellor in a shelter in San Antonio, TX. She asked for bible donations. So if you are interested in donating a bible, please email me (links in the sidebar) and I will get the adress for you.

Help for Katrina victims starts pouring from everywhere. Evacuees from New Orleans and other places now live in shelters all over the US. The Astrodome and Relient Stadium in the US have become the largest shelters in the US ever. Lots of facilities are planned for the more than 24.000 people now living there.
So many people start to help - with donations, with prayers (praying does help!) and practical help. There are barbers from Houston offering free shaves and haircuts in the shelters. This may sound funny, but it is helpful: so many of these people need to start a "new" life and need to apply for jobs. Nice haircut makes a nicer impression... Kids sell lemonade on their street and raise between 47 and 1000 $. Other people offer rides into other States to reunite families. Others provide clothing, food, bibles, toys for children ...
For some first-hand stories that are so moving check out this blog: Voices of Katrina!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Spotlight on Darfur 1 is up!

Although we are all shocked by what happened in the Gulf region in the US and suffer with the people there, it is important to remember that people suffer all over the globe.
One of these other areas is the province of Darfur in Sudan. Horrible atrocities have been committed there over a long period of time and there is not really any relief to be seen so far.

Therefore Catez at allthings2all had the great idea to hold regular spotlights on Darfur with posts from a wide variety of bloggers. And I am glad to announce that Spotlight on Darfur 1 is up! The spotlight contains reports and views on the Darfur genocide crisis from 14 diverse bloggers. We do not represent any one group or organisation and all share an intention to keep the spotlight on Darfur.

So please head over and read all the contributions, these are really good posts!

(Picture courtesy to Agent Tim)

More summer blessings...

I have some serious posts brewing in my mind and am anxiously awaiting news from friends in Baton Rouge, but this was on the forefront of my mind today.

Although my heart hurts every time I watch footage on the Katrina disaster or think about the people down there, I want to share some more daily life blessings. Even or maybe especially in view of tragedies our appreciation for all of God’s blessings in our own lives is strengthened.
Summer blessings this past week:
Going for a walk in the beautiful Ahr valley and enjoying the local wine accompanied by fresh bread from the stone oven with simple spreads (sausage, cheese, lard). Simple things can be so good!
Youth group started again: chili and a great game of capture the flag. I’m excited for things to come.
Drinking cider at an Irish pub’s beer garden (twice last week).
Sitting in the garden (studying!!), smelling the hot summer grass, watching butterflies and a squirrel.
Visiting friends and adoring their new-born baby son, having great food and fellowship.
Celebrating exams.
Coffee outside with a great friend, talking and spontaneously sharing dinner.
Sitting outside with my beloved and my parents, laughing, having good times.
Church kick-off Sunday, so many people, great weather, many interested in our small groups (yeah!).
A lady at church telling me I had a knack with kids and wishing me seven (!) of my own.
A whole Sunday afternoon spent outside, at the Rhine, in the city, enjoying being with my beloved.
I am blessed.