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

Monday, November 28, 2005

20 random things about me

A while ago my friend Anne tagged me. It took me ages, but here they finally are: 20 totally random things about me.

1. I love snow! It is finally snowing in Bonn and that made my day. I really miss the snowy winters of growing up in Norway.
2. I feel half-Norwegian. I lived there from age 4-7, went to kindergarten and started school. Everytime I come back there it feels like home.
3. I am fluent in German, English and Norwegian and also speak French and Flemish (Dutch). I also had classes in Italian, Spanish and Icelandic. Any more information necessary to tell you I have a passion for lanugages J?
4. I also love to read – almost everything: theology, fiction, crime novels, children’s books, poetry…
5. My favorite German poets are Joseph von Eichendorff and Ludwig Uhland.
6. My favorite English hymn is “All is well with my soul”. There is a version from Newboys (I think it’s them) that is my favorite.
7. The last English book I bought is “ The Six Wives of Henry VIII” by Alison Weir. The last German book I bought in an antique books store. It is a book for young women from 1904 (and it is the 13th edition!!). Translated the title goes something like “The German maiden’s character/virtue and occupation”. It is fun! And quite interesting. Tells you everything from virtues over faith to running a household. And it’s quite pretty in a faded pink velvet cover. Both my beloved and I enjoy antique books.
8. I am a published writer. Edited and contributed to a German legal book about international law. Would prefer to write children’s books… Hm…
9. I used to be extremely afraid of fire. Probably because I saw a house burn when I was in kindergarten. Childern had played with matches and caused the fire. I lit the first candle myself when I was 15 (!).
10. I did ballroom dancing until my early twenties. Still love it, but haven’t done it in almost 8 years.
11. I have one sister. She just graduates in biology!
12. My best friend has two little girls. I have the honor of being the older one’s godmother. She is adorable, has the widest grin I’ve ever seen.
13. A friend was once asked if our church is more liberal or conservative. Her answer was something like “Well, regarding conservative, I have a friend who has discussed headcoverings!” – That’s I… (I don’t cover, but I have discussed it with friends.)
14. I became a Christian when I was 17. But I think the foundation was laid in Norway where I attended a Children’s group run by the Salvation Army.
15. I never wanted to ski. But since I took a class after all (in 1999/2000) I seriously enjoy it.
16. I am not married and have no kids. But an awesome boyfriend :).
17. My most exiting trip was to Colombia in 1997. That country is beautiful. I spent three weeks there, visited Bogotá, Medellin, the Andes, Cartagena and Santa Marta. Slept one night in a hammock at the ocean in a National Park (Tayrona). Was more afraid of thieves than of the guerilla. And was right, cause they ripped a necklace from my throat on a busy market. My own fault though.
18. I love food. All kinds of food. I prefer good and hearty food to fancy food, but I like that too. And I love to cook. It is one of my favorite pastimes. I own quite a collection of cookbooks too. I can even just sit down and read a good cookbook. I imagine how it tastes and plan what to cook next time. Own some American cookbooks too (Texas, Midwest, Quilter’s Christmas Cookbook etc.). If you would like to share one of your favorite recipes with me, just leave it in the comment box or email it to me! I’ll try to cook it, promise!
19. My favorite spot in the US is Door County, Wisconsin. It is beautiful.
20. I really really would love to meet my blog friends!

I will not specifically tag anyone this time. If you want to share random things about you, please do it and leave a note in the comment box (right after your recipe :)).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Let you entertain me!

Isn’t there a song by R*obbie Williams where he sings “let me entertain you”? At least it popped into my head when I thought about this post. Another post about youth ministry … ;). Last Friday I had lunch with my friend Erin who is a youth pastor (and she is a really good one) and, as so often when we have lunch or coffee together, we talked about youth ministry. Erin and some of our youth are just back from a conference in Stockholm which must have been awesome. It was truly good for our teens. So this post is not about my church’s youth ministry or big conferences, but more about everyday youth work in general and youth retreats/camps.

Personally I think that among today’s youth we very often encounter the entertainment mentality. It goes something like this: I am coming to youth group – so you have to entertain me! Young people are deeply immersed in our current entertainment culture. It’s everywhere: there’s fast movies, video clips, MTV, parties, concerts, … you name it. The attention span gets shorter and attention is often only spurred by fast/loud/very colored/… incentives. So the danger is there: if youth group is not hip, it is out. Youths might not come anymore.

But do we want our youth groups to be hip? Do we want to entertain? Do we need to have movie clips, video games, computer graphics? Do we need to have special speakers for retreats and maybe even a band? None of this in itself is bad, so don’t get me wrong. But I worry if it gets too much or if the motivation is to entertain – so that while entertaining them, we might slip in the gospel…

When I was in youth groups or a leader a camps and retreats, it was different. We prepared the bible studies ourselves and of course we tried to make them entertaining – in the sense of involving the youths, having discussions, write their own little play and act, painting, writing songs, … We sang a lot. But we didn’t have a band, we just had one or two guitars and a song folder we assembled our-selves… It was surely not hip and probably some were bored. But a lot of teens really enjoyed it, loved to discuss and be creative. Somehow I cannot imagine that the youths now (though 12-15 years younger than I) have changed that much. Are really only an entertainment-generation. I am convinced we could still have meaningful retreats and camps and youth groups even if the way we had them was more involving and more simple.