February 11, 2012

The power of culture

The culture in which we live is perhaps the most dominant power in our lives. Therefore we need to know the culture to be able to master it and not to be mastered by it. Actually we are more influenced by the culture than we understand or like to admit. Therefore it is difficult to overcome and not be overcome by it.Our modern western culture has dethroned God as the ultimate source of truth and morality and enthroned sinful man in his place. As our culture has become increasingly hostile to Christianity, it has become correspondingly open to wickedness.

March 15, 2006

Special prayer meetings

On Tuesday morning the leaders of Kristent Fellesskap in Bergen area come together to seek the Lord and to enjoy fellowship as we have breakfast together. Solveig rises early morning at 0500 to prepare the breakfast for the brothers and friends praying together. We have a wonderful time praying together, but the time of fellowship as we enjoy the delicious breakfast only Solveig can make, is even more precious to us. The brothers always give praise to God for Solveig, they really appreciate her - and her breakfast!

Tuesday and Wednesday mornings are times of prayer and fellowship. This week I have been able to enjoy both of them. I really enjoy coming together with brother and friends for prayer. I will try to explain why it is such a wonderful time for me when I am able to be part of these two special prayer meetings!

This combination of praying and eating together is a powerful experience for all of us. Normally we are twelve to fifteen people that meet at 0600 in the morning. We give shorts reports from our work and ouir walk with the Lord, we share some "hot" Scriptures, and then we enter the courts of heaven with praise and thanksgiving. Sometimes we are totally lost in the presence of God and we just love him. Sometimes the Spirit leads us in deep intercession. Sometimes the Spirit direct us to pray for specific situations or people. Sometimes we just give thanks for family and friends and the network of covenant communities we are part of. Sometimes we pray for the city, the political leaders and those in the market place. Sometimes we pray for the churches and sometimes we mainly pray for world mission. Irrespectively of how the Spirit directs us in prayer, it is always good to pray together.

When we share the meal together we joke and laugh and have a lot of fun. Sometimes we can have a hot discussion. Sometimes we have a deep theological dialog. Sometime we ask for advice, sometimes we give advice. Sometimes we just chat and enjoy one another's company - with the food. Always there is a lot of joy at the table! Always we eat in the presence of God. Always the meal lasts a long time! Only as the duties are calling us to work we leave.

The Wednesday morning prayer meeting is a gathering of about twelve to fifteen pastors and Christian leaders from many different congregations in the city coming together to seek the welfare of the city through praying and blessing the entire city. Some of us try to come early and leave late to be able to have some fellowship as well in addition to praying together. Since we have been praying regularly together this way for several years, many of us have developed a close friendship as well. Actually we don't meet as pastors or colleagues any more, we come together to pray as friends!

I always enjoy praying together with my friends. There is something special in entering the presence of God together with your friends. It helps me to forget about myself and the work I am doing. It helps me to appreciate that the Church of God is bigger than the congregation I meet with on a Sunday morning. It helps me to understand that what we normally call a local church, acctually is not a local church in the real Biblical sense, but only a modern time congregation that is having a meeting, - a service. Even the leaders I meet with do not represent the local church of Bergen, - only a part of it.

So I realize that our special prayer meetings actually are more than prayer meetings. That is why I value them so highly!



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November 25, 2004

New bloggers

My friend Akinola has started a new blog which is nice and different from the one he started yesterday. He calls his blog Un-veil and it is all about un-veiling the glory of Christ. I am convinced that we will find a lot of interesting stuff on his blog in days to come.
Caleb, another student has also started to blog! He calls himself a Landtaker!

View Solveig's blog and I am somebody and My new blog

September 10, 2004

Jakob has taken over

Today I had the joy of having Jakob, one of my grandsons, come to stay with me for the weekend. Solveig has gone to be with her mother and I will spend the weekend with Jakob.
As soon as he entered the car, he had the plans ready for the entire weekend. Now everything is happening according to his suggestions. He is talking all the time as he has so much to share with me. I find it very satisfying to be able to spend time with him and have him helping me with necessary work in the garden. This evening he has planted new strawberry plants. Next year he will enjoy the fruit of his work!

View Solveig's blog and I am somebody and My new blog

September 09, 2004

My first convent

Today I have been attending my first convent at Kristkirken in Bergen. The ministers of the Lutheran state-church came together with pastors from most of the denominational and non-denominational churches in the city. The ministers of the state-church and the pastors from the other churches have been together before at a similar gathering, but at that time I have been on a ministry trip outside of Bergen.
Dr. Eddie Gibbs, a seasoned scholar of church growth, had been asked to share his insight on being a missional church in a post-Christendom society. He certainly was worth listening to! I enjoyed his insight very much and found it thought provoking and enlightening listening to him. Here are some of his observations on leadership attributes of the emerging church:
Humble and self-effacing
Competent technically and relationally
Stimulates creativity
Prepared to take calculated risks
Trustworthy and trust building
Courage and calm in the face of adversity
Inspires the team – constantly recruiting
Inclusive and empowering
Patient and persevering – long term commitment
Respect for and consideration of others

At the end he remarked that a hallmark of a great leader is having bigger and different people around himself, not smaller people. Diversity and variety in the team members enlarge all the members of the team as they are complementing each other.

I recommend his book, Church Next, it contains a lot of helpful insight!

View Solveig's blog and I am somebody and My new blog

August 31, 2004

Praying and eating together

At 0600 in the morning we met for prayer again. Today we were 14 people seeking God together and praying for his blessing upon our city. It is always so encouraging to meet with my brothers for prayer. There is nothing like being in the presence of God.
Every Tuesday morning Solveig is preparing a most wonderful breakfast for us, if she is not travelling the world! All the brothers appreciate her work very much because eating together is so important for our fellowship and relationships. There is something special in sharing a meal together and having a time of fun and joking as well as serious discussions on a wide variety of subjects.
At lunch time about 15 pastors met for a very nice lunch and a good time of fellowship and planning of joint endeavours to bring our city to Christ. I have come to appreciate my brothers and fellow servants of God very much. We have many differences but what unites us is more important than our differences. We have a commission form the Lord to work together for the welfare of our entire community. We are called to bless the city and all the people of God. When we are sharing a meal together we enjoy the blessings of living in harmony and peace with one aonther.

View Solveig's blog and I am somebody and My new blog

August 13, 2004

The Olympic Games opening ceremony

The Olympic Games opening ceremony
I am watching the awesome opening ceremony of the Olympic Games at the moment. Nation after nation is passing by in colourful clothes and beautiful customs. My heart is stirred and moved with compassion as well as joy and appreciation of the manifold display of human beings, all for whom Jesus Christ died to provide salvation and eternal life. I wonder about these nations of the world passing by on the screen in front of me. Have the heard the message of the Kingdom? Who is going to reach these precious peoples with the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ?
As I am looking on all these representatives of the nations of the world I am stirred to go to new countries in days to come. My heart is filled with compassion and a growing desire to reach new people groups in the next half of my life.
Oh, Lord, enable me to reach some of these nations with the gospel of the Kingdom of God! Keep my heart, burning, zealous for you, to claim the nations for you! Let my heart always be filled with compassion for souls. Give me a great harvest of souls for you!

View Solveig's blog and I am somebody and My new blog

July 20, 2004

Reviving an old blog

I am in the prossess of reviving my old blog as well as keeping my new blog running at Typepad. There seems to happen so much at the Blogger at the moment that I am tempted to give it a new chance. However, I have a lot of writing going on and time is limited so I am not convinced that this new attempt will be very succesful, but it is indeed worth a try!
View Solveig's blog and To be somebody and My new blog

July 07, 2004

Working vacation

This week I have taken a vacation to work at home. My grandson Jacob has joined me in working. Today we have been working hard to replace the old fence with a new and nicer one. After dinner I was totally knocked out. I just wanted to sleep! However, that is not so easy with three active grandchildren in the house. After they are all put to bed, Solveig and I are sitting with our laptops writing blogs in our wonderful Stressless chairs. I think we will soon go to sleep as well!
View Solveig's blog and To be somebody and My new blog

February 04, 2004

I am moving my blog

I am moving my blog
From now on I will only occacionally update this blog as I am developing my new blog at Typepad. This software offer more and is easier to use!
My new poetic blog will be developed at Typepad as well
I have also started a Norwegian blog Ting på norsk

See you around! I am looking forward to your comments which are built into the blogs in a wonderful way!

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody and My new blog

February 03, 2004

Releasing growth

Releasing growth
Last night I participated in a gathering for all the group leaders in our local church here in Bergen. I had been asked to share with them my prophetic burden to help them in their walk with the Lord and equip them for the work of service. I gladly accepted that invitation as it is good to be able to share my heart with these group leaders who are having such a vital function for the health of the covenant community.
The Lord has been speaking to me for a long time on releasing the life of God among the believers for the church to be place of growth and development. Under the rule of Christ, the Branch, there will be a release of life that will branch out. The covenant community is a place of creative initiatives and manifold expressions of grace. It is the place of personal growth and maturing of character.
Jesus Christ is a life-giver. He is making people whole and complete. He is giving people a new start and a new life. He is creating a dynamic community releasing life, gifts and great potential in the people.
It is our duty to help people out of the shadow of passivity into the creative life in the light of God. It is our task to help people to function according to their talents and calling in God by helping them to put the past behind them living by faith in the now. We are to help people to get rid of all their mental limitations by putting away all human and religious measuring standards. The covenant community is meant to be dynamic growing transcending borders and jumping our walls. Our God is the ungracefully One who can do anything, - far more than we could ever imagine or guess or request in our wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

View solves bloc and To be somebody and My new bloc

January 30, 2004

Visiting a new church in Etne

Visiting a new church in Etne
Yesterday I went to a new church in Etne to teach on Christian Foundation - eternal judgment. When I was asked to go to teach on that subject my first thought was that I would have liked a more "positive" subject on my first visit! Judgment seems to be a kind of heavy stuff!
But being a man under authority I went to do what I was asked to do! I left home around 15.00 o'clock and arrived nearly four hours later. Before the meeting I was able to have a good time of fellowship with the leaders and the people arriving early.
Only sixteen people attended the meeting, but still I was encouraged to be with them. They obviously have a burden to reach their community with the gospel and eventually they will succeed. They received my teaching very well and we had a good time of dialogue afterwards.
I am convinced that we will see new churches like this pop up in every village all over Norway!

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody and My new blog

January 28, 2004

Parents' rights and responsibilities

Parents' rights and responsibilities
Today I have been writing an article for our magazine FOLK about the rights and responsibilities of parents. In our socialistic society the state has been taken away resposibility from the parents and replace it with the responsibility of the welfare state. But the Christians have been fighting that development and are doing progress in many area at the moment.
In my article I am looking to natural law, human rights, and Biblical teaching to establish the rights and responsibility of parents towards their children. Raising children and brining people to maturity is the subject of the next issue of our magazine.

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody and My new blog

January 26, 2004

Surprise party

Surprise party
Yesterday when the elders' conference was over we went to a great surprise party! Elisabeth Osland had invited us to join her in celebrating the silver anniversary of being married to Knut Osland for 25 years. The actually date was a few weeks back, but this weekend was more suitable for celebration as so many of their friends from all over the country were gathered at the conference and could take part in the surprise party.
Elisabeth joined forces with the children and they arranged a grandchild blessing party and invited some of us to join us. That was a perfect disguise for all the necessary preparations and to get Knut to dress in a black suit. I asked Knut if they had a tradition of having great parties when a baby had been brought to church for blessing and thanksgiving. They didn't and Knut was as surprised as me that they could make so much out of thing!
After having some light cakes and fruits and a competition which Knut and Elisabeth won, there was a short break before the dinner. Knut was kept busy as more guests were secretly guided to the dining hall which was locked at the normal entry. When all the about 50 prominent guests had arrived, Knut and Elisabeth were asked to come for dinner. As they entered we all shouted: CONGRATULATION with the silver jubilee!
Knut was completely knocked out. Absolutely taken by surprise! He was just shocked. I will never forget the unbelieving expression in his face, the mouth fell open, the eyes were big, and what a miracle, he went dumb - not a word came over his lips. For some seconds he was lost!
Eventually the reality dawned on him, and he came back to life! Then we had a wonderful party with delicious food, nice speeches and good time of fellowship.

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody and My new blog

January 23, 2004

The new blog is more attractive

The new blog is more attractive
My new blog is easier to operate, nicer to look at, and causes me to update it more often than the old blog here at Blogspot.
We have had a very good but intense day at Gullbotn today in the apostolic team. This evening the national elders' conference starts and it will be a busy time all weekend.

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody and My new blog

January 21, 2004

A princess is born

With great joy and pleasure we received the good news today that a princess has been born in Norway. Crown-princess Mette Marit gave birth to a girl 09.13 this morning! Congratulation!

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody and My new blog

January 20, 2004

Testing new software

Testing new software
I have been testing some new and more sophisticated software for blogging recently and now I have launched a new blog. At the moment the content will be more or less the same. If I choose to stay with this new software I will eventually stop this old blog. At the moment my heart will not allow me to get rid of good old Blogger!

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody and My new blog

15 teenagers come to Christ

15 teenagers come to Christ
At the early prayer meeting this morning we had a wonderful report of young people finding salvation in Jesus Christ in one of the suburbs of Bergen.
Last autumn the Lutheran state-church in Arna, Bergen wanted to offer the Youth Alpha Course as an alternative teaching in the confirmation system. But they had a problem in that they didn't have the necessary number of leaders. Michael from the charismatic Christian Fellowship church heard about this need and volunteered to find some young people from his church that could help the Lutherans with this. After some talk they reached an agreement and went ahead. Michael and 6 of his friends have been assisting in this works since September 2003.
100 teenagers in Arna will be confirmed this spring in the Lutheran church. 30 of these have been attending the alternative Alpha Course for young people as the teaching and preparation for their confirmation. They started in September and will continue to May. Last weekend they had a Holy Spirit weekend and many were touched by the power of God. Today we had the encouraging report that 15 teenagers have come to Christ already! They are testifying at home and at school about their salvation through Jesus Christ.
I am excited to hear good news like this! It is one more sign of the moving of the Spirit in our nation! But is only a small beginning. We will see a powerful move of the Spirit among the young generation that will supersede everything we have seen so far.
I am so happy not to live in a post-Christian era but in a pre-Christian era. The world has yet to see the plentiful harvest being harvested!
God is good!

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 19, 2004

Words of encouragements

Words of encouragements
The other day I received two very encouraging emails from unknown people who had read my blog and my poems. It meant a lot to me to read the words of appreciation from people I have never met. I felt good when I read that they had enjoyed my blog and found my poems on being somebody wonderful!
During the 18 months I have been blogging I have received a few emails from people reading my blogs. However I have had a lot of encouragement from people I know telling me face to face that they enjoy reading my blog. Encouraging words like that is always welcome and sweet to my soul.
But this time it was different. The words of appreciation came from people I had never seen, people I never met, people from the big world out there somewhere in the virtual world and at the same time from the real world. The two emails in one day made up for all the toil and discipline in writing a blog for 18 months! I have the feeling of being connected to a new reality. I feel my life has been enlarged! I feel I have broken out of my Norwegian geographical and cultural limitations! I expect more limitations are to be broken. I will explore new grounds. Prophetic words will come true. I am flying to new horizons of joy!

The wings of encouragement

To be somebody
Is to allow words of encouragement
To become wings of faith
Making you ignore limitations
Causing you to jump over walls
Motivating you to cross borders

To be somebody
Is to believe and receive words
Appreciation from unknown people
Praise from close friends
As seeds of greatness
Producing desires to serve
In greater variety and measures

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 16, 2004

Encountering the Lord

Encountering the Lord
I have just started to read the prophet Ezekiel. As I spend time with the prophets I am sharpened in my spirit and more aware of the voice of God. As I spend time with the prophets and get to know them I am stirred in my heart to take action for God. It is having a similar experience as Ezekiel is describing when he is saying:
"The Spirit came into me as he spoke and set me on my feet." He set me on my feet, ready for a directional word and quick obedience. "The Spirit lifted me up and took me away." "The Lord's hold on me was strong." In that situation the prophet was ready for a new assignment. He was appointed as a watchman for his people.
"Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself." Before we are entitled to speak to others we must apply the word in our own life. The word must become incarnated in me first, then I can go to my people with a message from God.
Spending time with the prophets causes me to encounter the Lord! May all those who spend time with me be encountering the Living Lord of everyday life!

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 15, 2004

Increasing activities in church planting

Increasing activities in church planting
The DAWN conference showed us very clearly that there is an increased activity on many levels when it comes to church planting in Norway as well as in the rest of the Scandinavia. We had some very encouraging reports from people planting churches and reaching new people with the gospel. But on the other hand we have much more work to do. We will have to increase our efforts to turn our nation to God. The born again believers are still a kind of marginalised group of people in Norway as the media, the culture and the public sectors of society is dominated by secular humanism.
Even though we have some large groups of young believers in several of our city churches, we really do not reach or even touch the new emerging generation. That is the challenge we are facing, and we need to do something radical to change that situation!
View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 14, 2004

Dawn Conference is over

Dawn Conference is over

This morning there was a summing up finishing event of the Dawn Conference. Several leaders were giving their version of the way forward and what the people of God has to do to accomplish the commission of discipling our nation and other nations.
The DAWN committee has really been used by God in our nation to focus on church planting. They have many reasons to be thankful as their work has been fruitful in many ways. Church planting is now on the agenda in a significant different way than just a few years back. In addition to the focus on church planting the DAWN committee has been instrumental in bringing reconciliation and unity among leaders from different denominational backgrounds.
The European DAWN committee has been gathered here as well these days. I find their comments on their weblogs interesting and stimulating.
Andrew Jones told us he was a descendant of our ancient king Halrald Hårfagre, and that is no surprise as he had a child in almost every second home at that time! Besides that his observations are very interesting.
Marc Van Der Woude gives a very useful summary of some of the messages that were delivered as well as some funny and provoking comments.
Reinhold Scharnowski is sharing his observation in a mature fashion and with useful insight.
I find it very useful to read their blogs from their stay in Bergen. They look at the situation in Norway from the outside and bring valuable contribution to help us understand what is going on right now.

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 13, 2004

Dawn conference

The Fourth Norwegian DAWN Conference
Today is the second day of the DAWN conference which I enjoy very much. We have had a lot of encouraging information and stirring speeches. This morning I was listening to Andrew Jones and was blessed and inspired by what he shared while some of my more orthodox friends were shaking their heads not understanding what he was talking about at all!
Andrew encouraged us to think, discuss or even write poems as we were listening to him. I wrote a poem on being somebody. Click at the link beneath and you tell me later if you did enjoy it!

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 12, 2004

Consultations on church planting

Consultations on church planting
The Scandinavian consultations on church planting went were well at the weekend at Gullbotn. We were given some very interesting figures from the Nordic countries. Some of this information was sobering and challenging as the influence of Christianity has been declining. But the tide has turned for Norway and is about to turn for the others as well. We hear of encouraging church planting initiatives in all the Scandinavian countries at this present time!
The time at Gulbotn was mark by reconciliation among leaders asking forgiveness for criticism and reservations against each other. There has been a wonderful time of praying for one another and the countries we represented.
We are all very thankful to the Norwegian DAWN committee for their endurance and valuable contributions to the change of climate that has taken place in our nation.

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 10, 2004

Consultations on city reaching

Consultations on city reaching
Scandinavian consultation on church planting and City reaching conference (smaller format) starts today at Gullbotn. I am looking forward to meet many godly servants of God and to learn from them as we look at church planting and city reaching.

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 09, 2004

Apostolic mission

Apostolic mission
The two days the apostolic team were gathered were wonderful days in the presence of God as we were being refreshed in our vision and revelation from the Word of God. Vision always leads to mission. Therefore we spent a good time looking at the apostolic mission.
The apostolic mission is to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom of God to cause people to repent from sin and bow to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The apostolic mission is to make all people groups disciples in such a way that entire nations, cultures and communities are transformed into the likeness of Christ.
The apostolic mission is to plant churches built on the foundation of apostles and prophets. The church exists for God and must be built his way for his glory.
The apostolic mission is to supervise the covenanting communities of believers and help them to grow to maturity and reach the fullness of Christ.
The apostolic mission is to bring forth a prophetic people who through their life, service and proclamation can be light and salt, - a prophetic sign, a demonstration of the age to come.
The apostolic mission is to care for the poor and underprivileged by helping them to get out of difficult and inhuman conditions. We have a social responsibility towards our neighbour.
The apostolic mission is to bring unity among all believers and foster a sense of belonging to the people of God, the holy nation, a manifold and colourful community.

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 07, 2004

Apostolic team gathering

Apostolic team gathering
Today the apostolic team has been together at Gullbotn all day. We started by seeking God in prayer and worship, and we continued to listen to God as we shared his dealings in our personal lives with one another as well as reporting from our last ministry trips. I believe this open hearted sharing with one another is very important for the bonding we are experiencing. We are real and transparent with one another as true brothers and friends.
One of the main objectives for our gathering this time has been to put into fresh words our vision and mission. It has been a wonderful experience to focus again on what the Lord has revealed to us, what he has shown us. We are all convinced that we will see the entire world filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the water covers the earth. I am so excited to be alive today and to work together with such wonderful men of faith. God is good!

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 05, 2004

The fruitfulness of a righteous life

The fruitfulness of a righteous life
Jesus Christ is the Righteous Branch. He is the Life-Giver. He is branching forth for when ever he is allowed to dwell in a community of believers as the Righteous Lord. Everyone who is born again and clothed in the righteousness of Christ has a powerful life within himself.
Christ initiated a grassroots movement that changed the entire known world in one generation. The same thing is happening today. A grassroots movement has been initiated by the Holy Spirit all around the world. Reports are coming in from China, India, Korea, the Philippines, South America, Africa
indicating that something great is about to break forth that will change the surface of the earth.
The righteous life is fruitful. It is bursting forth of fresh initiatives that the Lord will bring to full bloom. A great variety of expressions of Kingdom life is seen in the world today. I see a new generation being born. I see young men and women coming forth as ministers of the Lord. I see people being born again by the Holy Spirit. I see new communities of covenanting believers being born by the Spirit. I see people from every walk of life seeking the Lord. I see signs of new spiritual life everywhere I look!
View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 04, 2004

The grace of God is sufficient

The grace of God is sufficient
Per Arne Gjerde was ministring the word of God this morning. He was teaching on the grace of God. I was really blessed by his scriptural based ministry coupled with a fresh anointing by the Spirit.
The grace of God is sufficient! If we only could learn to live in the free grace of God, we would live a fuller life. In the year to come we are going to explore more of his grace. The world has yet to see the manifestation of the people of grace come to fullness.

View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 02, 2004

Giving marks

Giving marks
Today I have spent much of my time giving marks to the examination papers of the students at Bergen Bibelskole. Most of them were in fact very good. I was impressed with some of them. I would never have been able to write so much in such a beautiful hand writing as some of them did.
After finishing the examination papers I had to read through and give marks to their Bible studies on a chosen subject. I am impressed by the variety of interests and all the creative viewpoints from which they approach the Bible! Some were so good that I had to give top score! Others were just poor justifications of their personal opinions. It is the same every year. Some students always forget that they are to present the teaching of the Bible on a subject, not try to find support for their own understanding.
I don't like giving marks. It is like bringing judgment to myself. I would like to be kind and give good marks to everyone. But I have to try to be fair, and that is not always easy. I am happy every time I can give a good mark. Today I have been happy many times!
View Solveig's blog and To be somebody

January 01, 2004

New year - new expressions

New year - new expressions
We are living in a day of new expressions of life. We are living in a day of refreshing and new anointing. We are living in a day of outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all people. The new year makes no difference in this matter. What the Lord has already started, he will continue to do. He will accomplish the good work he has begun!
We are living under the influence of the Branch! In fact, we have his life in us, and he will be branching out through us in a rich variety of ways. We will see the Word of the Lord come true:
The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, filled with young plants springing up everywhere. (Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997 (Is 61:10). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House).
It is God's purpose to show his wisdom in all its rich variety to all the rulers and authorities. Therefore he gives gifts to each one of us from his great variety of spiritual gifts. We need to mange them well so that God's generosity can flow through us. Each new day is a day of new expressions of grace. Each day is a day of new life. Each day is different the other day. It is already spring. The covenant community is like a garden, filled with a great variety of young plants springing up everywhere.

View Solveig's blog and my poetic blog

December 31, 2003

Young people are seeking God

Young people are seeking God
Last evening I had the privilege of attending the youth conference again. About 200 young people were gathered to worship and listen to the word of God. There was no sound, light or smoke effects at all. A young man with a guitar was leading worship, backed by a few more instruments, noting impressive. But as the worship developed and went through differing phases, I was more and more blessed by the powerful presence of God in the gathering.
These young people prayed some bold prayers for their own towns and nations. They proclaimed their visionary faith in the ultimate triumph of Jesus Christ and his kingdom. They prophesied encouraging words to individuals as well as to the entire congregation. They shared fresh visions from God and prophetic insight into his purpose.
I was blessed to see how many of them actively were taking part in what was going on. Very young teenagers and some a little bit older stood side by side praying, proclaiming, prophesying! With a flock of young people like this I can see my dreams for this nation and other nations come true! God is certainly doing a wonderful work in our day!

View Solveig's blog and my poetic blog

December 30, 2003

Youth conference

Youth conference
Last Sunday was a wonderful day. It started good when we had a different worship service in the morning. The chairs were arrange differently. The musicians were place a different place. The whole format of the gathering was different from normal procedure. We had already told the people that we wanted to do things differently this time. They all responded very well and the gathering was creative, relaxed, but the presence of God was with us! God spoke to us in an unusual way through people contributing in a rich variety. I was very blessed. I am thankful to our young pastor Morten Askeland allowing us to experiment like this. I hope it is not the last time we do it like this.
In the evening the youth conference started. About 200 young people were gathered for the opening meeting. It had all the ingredients of a great show. Light, sound, smoke filled the hall in a way you wouldn't expect in a church building! I must say that the young people are really creative and unafraid to used new tools for expressing their faith and life in God.
Even though the young people are using new technologies and modern equipments the gathering was still more traditional than the morning service in the church! It was all directed from the platform, according to the normal pattern of a Christian meeting. But beside that it was a very encouraging moment to be there with these 200 young people praising God and listening to the word of God.
Knut Osland kept their attention for about one hour as he gave them the Word of God. He challenged the young people to live a life of obedience and faith, being wholehearted in their commitment to the Lord.

View Solveig's blog and my poetic blog

December 25, 2003

Books are precious gifts

Books are precious gifts
On Christmas Eve I had the great joy of unwrapping many presents from my wife, children, grandchildren and friends. I find unwrapping packets very exciting. I have never grown up. I am still like a curious little boy, eager to tear off the paper and explore what's inside. And I still prefer to get hard packets.
This year I had all kind of gifts to unwrap. They came in many different shapes, some hard, some soft, and some in between. But the hard gifts of books are the most precious to me! Chocolate I eat and share with others, and then it is gone. Clothes last a little longer, giving both pleasure and warmth before they are worn out. But books live forever. They may be torn and worn, but the more they are used the longer they live in fresh insight and renewed life. I love to unwrap books. I love to read. Books enlarge my life and make me a better person. They enable me to serve my fellow human beings in a better way. Books are precious gifts.

View Solveig's blog and my poetic blog

December 24, 2003

Wonderful Christmas eve

Wonderful Christmas eve
We are just home from the annual Christmas service at church. It was a very good gathering with all the necessary traditional Christmas ingredients, with carols and reading from Luke 2. I read one of my own Christmas poems and that was very well received. I am amazed at the big crowd of non-Christians that gather together with us for an evening like this.
Now I am home. I have just lit the fire in our log fire place. The Christmas tree is filled with lights and glitter, decorated by Solveig only a few days ago. The smell of the traditional Christmas dinner is filling the living room as well. Only in a short time now and we will enjoy our "pinnekj�t" - the dried lamb's rib cooked in a big pan on birch twigs. It is delicious! We only eat it for Christmas eve.
After the dinner we will open the presents. I am so happy that we have this Norwegian tradition of opening the presents on Christmas eve, and not on Christmas day which is tomorrow! It is always a great joy to look at the others when they open their presents and it is exciting to receive presents as well! On Christmas eve we are all like children.

View Solveig's blog and my poetic blog

December 23, 2003

The God-revealer has arrived

The God-revealer has arrived!
In my NT reading I have come to the Gospel of John. This morning I had the joy of reading and meditation on the prologue of the fourth gospel. These words are powerful in their simplicity. "The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one." Everything was created through him. He called Life into existence, and the Life was Light to live by.

The Life-Light was the real thing:
Every person entering Life
he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
the world was there through him,
and yet the world didn�t even notice.
He came to his own people,
but they didn�t want him.
But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
not blood-begotten,
not flesh-begotten,
not sex-begotten.
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
John pointed him out and called, �This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.�
We all live off his generous bounty,
gift after gift after gift.
We got the basics from Moses,
and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
This endless knowing and understanding�
all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
No one has ever seen God,
not so much as a glimpse.
This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
who exists at the very heart of the Father,
has made him plain as day.

From The Message : The Bible in contemporary language

View Solveig's blog and my poetic blog

December 22, 2003

To be somebody

To be somebody
I am re-launching my poetic blog on being somebody! Hopefully this will be an encouragement to kindred spirits!

View Solveig's blog and my poetic blog

I have helped Solveig to start a blog!

I have helped Solveig to start a blog!

I feel quite proud at the moment as I have helped Solveig to start her own blog! She has been writing some nice entries for awhile now, but only a few days ago she started to blog. I am sure many people will be very blessed by what she will be writing. I recommend her blog to everyone!

December 21, 2003

Let thousand flowers blossom

Let thousand flowers blossom!
Let tens of thousand different plants flourish!
Let hundreds of thousand seeds sprout, and grow to become a vast forest!
Let the followers of Christ become numerous as the sand on the seashore and stars in the winter-sky.
Let the believers excell in expressing love in practical and down to earth deeds.
Let the covenant community explode with creativity!
Let the church of Christ come to fulness!

December 19, 2003

A new generation of Christians

A new generation of Christians
God has been speaking to us of raising up a new generation of young believers who will turn our nation to Christ and disciple our entire nation. This generation will be strong in the Word and in the Spirit. They will know why they believe what they believe according to the Word of God. Likewise they will be at home in the Holy Spirit. They will have the manifestations of the Spirit among them as they serve the community. They will live in a fresh anointing, knowing the power of God and the Word of God. Therefore they will have a secure foundation for their life and they will be powerfully used by God. They will not be uniformed but display the colourful variety of the grace of God in all their dealings. Their community will not be a narrow one, but a liberating environment with a vast variety of expressions of God�s life among them. They will be a creative community with a great variety of gifts and talents. They will be like a garden in early spring, filled with young plants springing up everywhere. They will be young people of fresh initiative and daring exploits for the Lord.

More praying with young leaders

More praying with young leaders
Yesterday the young leaders organizing the New Year Festival had announced a day of prayer and fasting to prepare for the up coming gathering of young people to celebrate the new year. It was my privilege to pray with them last evening.
I am really impressed with these young leaders. They are committed to their call to serve the Lord in their generation. As they were gathering they were sharing with one another what God had been speaking to them through their time in his presence before they came together. I was very blessed as they were quoting the Scriptures and explaining the insight God had been giving them. The hand of the Lord is clearly upon them!
Again we experienced the presence of God and the Holy Spirit moved powerfully in prophetic prayers and the operation of spiritual gifts. I am convinced that the festival will be a milestone or a boundary-breaking experience to many of the young people.

December 17, 2003

People are being saved

People are being saved
The last week has been so busy that I have found no time to blog. But good news are coming in from several places of people coming to Christ for salvation. My elder son, Karl Enok, phoned me yesterday and told the good news that he had been able to lead a person to Christ in the church in Troms�. They will see many people turn to Christ in that city!
A team from the Bergen Bible-school has prayed with several young people for salvation at some evangelistic outreach they have done at some high schools. Now they are involved in the follow up work.
This busy week has been very encouraging. God is certainly at work in this nation of Norway!

December 10, 2003

The pastors in Bergen are celebrating Christmas

The Pastors in Bergen are celebrating Christmas
33 pastors and wives came together for a big Christmas meal at Gullbotn yesterday. Solveig had prepared a wonderful Christmas-table. Her artistic talents had really been released through her beautifully looking and most delicious dishes. We all enjoyed the traditional Norwegian Christmas food and one another's company.
Reidar Paulsen gave a directional speech which we all responded to in faith and with expectation for the future. Prophetic words were given and we had a good time in prayer for one another.

December 09, 2003

Young leaders are seeking God

Young leaders are seeking God
It was a great experience and privilege to join with a good number of young Christian leaders to seek GOD for guidance. These young men and women are really hungry for God and they have a burden to see the new generation to come to know the Lord.
As we were praying the Lord spoke very clearly to us to focus on two things that go together: The Word of God and the Holy Spirit. As leaders of young people we must give them the Word of God and help them to nourish themselves in the Word and become strong in the Spirit! If we succeed in raising up a new generation that loves the Word of God and are at home in the Holy Spirit, that generation will turn this nation to God!
I was impressed when the young leaders decided to meet another time before Christmas for fasting and prayer. When people in Norway normally eat and drink as never before during the year, these young leaders will abstain from food and personal pleasure to seek God. When things like this happens, there is a great future for this nation!

December 08, 2003

The nations - gifts before us

The nations - gifts before us
Look, the Lord, God Almighty, has placed the nations of the world as gifts before us! Now, is the time for unwrapping! The nations of the world are open for a new visitation from heaven. They are waiting for a new incarnation. They wonder if the miracle of Christmas could ever happen again?
There is a wonderful openness to the spiritual realities in the new generation in every nation in the world. This is the day of opportunity for all who know God to make him known to the nations that are looking for a greater reality than materialism and political idealism.
The wonder of Christmas is not a nice story tale or a romanticised distortion of an historic event. The wonder of Christmas can be seen in the covenant community serving the society in which it lives.
The wonder of Christmas can be experienced as reality when we unwrap the society in which we live of all its external glitters and lay down our lives to meet the deep needs behind the successful external surface.

December 06, 2003

Prophetic gathering

Prophetic gathering
Friday afternoon I met with two other prophets to pray and seek the Lord together. We had a wonderful time sharing with one another from the Word of God what God had been speaking to us personally about. I was really encouraged through this sharing of the fresh insight from our devotional reading of the Bible. Living in the Word of God is the best way of being fresh and sharp in our walk with God.
Personally I am reading in Isaiah at the moment. I felt God spoke to me to spend time with the prophets. I have already read through all the prophets in the Bible and have started my second round. I find reading the prophets very stimulating to spirit and I am being stirred in my heart. These are some verses from the New Living Translation that have touched my heart recently:
The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know what to say to all these weary ones. Morning by morning he awakens me and opens my understanding to his will. (Is 50:4)
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God. But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. This is the reward you will receive from me: You will soon lie down in great torment. (Is 50:10-11)

December 05, 2003

A growing church in Nordhordland

A growing church in Nordhordland
Last night Solveig and myself had the great privilege of being with the growing church in Nordhordland (north of Bergen). The church was officially launched one year ago and Magnar Askeland and Morten Gundersen were set in as elders. From that time there has been a wonderful growth and a tremendous development has taken place.
For years there has been a group of believers in that place that we had been working towards. They were part of the church Christian Fellowship in Bergen, and they saw a very slow but steady growth. When they started to talk of being a church in their own right in their locality and being planted out as a new church, things started to happen!
They are now a thriving fellowship and a growing church in their region. Once they were planted out, a new sense of responsibility and local belonging released the expanding faith among the people! I was so happy to see so many new faces that I had never seen before! I was filled with joy to see the growth that had taken place, not only numerical but also in character and stature.
God is so good! By his grace we are enabled to be a part of this growing company of God's people. They are really emerging as a church for their locality for a time like this!

December 02, 2003

To be somebody

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

November 29, 2003

Man - woman roles

Man - woman roles
The next issue of FOLK our Norwegian teaching magazine will tackle the whole issue of gender in the Christian community. We will look at the different roles of man and woman and how they complement each other. The last few days I have finished three related articles on the subject and Solveig is writing an article on mature women should teach and train younger women. I am convinced that she will share a lo of very helpful insights in her article.
In the next month I don't have much traveling to do as I have planned to spend most of the time writing. I have many things I need to finish in writing and I am getting new ideas popping up all the time of subjects I need to write on. By the grace of God I intend to write down the vision God has given me. I will entrust it to my co-workers and together we will pass it on to future generations!
God is good!

November 28, 2003

Strong but gentle leadership

Strong but gentle leadership
As I was reading Isaiah 40:10-11 this morning I was struck by the way the Sovereign Lord is describing his glorious leadership. His opening remarks hits you like a heavy hammer: He will rule with awesome strength! When it dawns on you how awesome he is, the everlasting God, the Creator of all the universe, the Holy One, you shrink back in fear and just want to hide from his holy presence!
But then He goes on describing how he uses his awesome strength and the picture changes dramatically. He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
What a wonderful way God is displaying his awesome strength! By caring for and feeding his flock. By carrying the small ones in his arms and by holding the weak ones close to his heart. It is indeed a strong but gentle leadership!
God is good!

November 24, 2003

A growing church in Troms�

A growing church in Troms�
Friday Solveig and myself landed in the artic city of Troms� as the sun went down behind the mountains for the last time in two months. For the next two months the sun will not rise above the horizon in the south but only shed its dim and red twilight into the artic days of Troms�.
In the evening Solveig was meeting with the ladies of the covenant community to share her spiritual insight from the word of God mixed with her wisdom drawn from her forty years of experience of marriage and ministry in the church. All the ladies were blessed by what she shared!
Jimmy Thomsen, Karl Enok Thu and myself met together for a time fellowshiphip and sharing as well. They are the leaders of a growing community of people loving the Lord. It is always good to spend time with them, listen to them and their aspirations and then trying to come up with some good answers to their questions.
Saturday morning all the cell-group leaders and their assistants met for a wonderful breakfast in Ingebj�rg and Karl Enoks home. It was really a good time eating and chatting together. With great attention I was listening to their reports of the groups they were leading. Some good things are going on in that emerging postmodern church of mainly young people from many different nations. God is really at work among them.
Sunday morning they met in a new school building for the first time. The facilities were very nice and will be a bonus for them in days to come. About 50 people were gathered together for worship, fellowship and for listening to God! And God spoke! Hallelujah! God is not a silent God, but a God who speaks! Spiritual gifts were in operation and the Word of God was preached. Many people were touched by movings of the Spirit of God in the gathering. I can clearly sense that this covenant community will continue to grow and be a blessing to the entire city of Troms�!
Sunday night we attended the joint prayer meeting at the old wooden cathedral of Troms�. About 100 predominantly young people were gathered for prayer for the city. It was led be a young lady. The hand of God was certainly resting upon her for this prayer ministry. This evening they were especially praying for the 20 different churches in town. Prayer requests from all the churches had been gathered and placed on posters placed on the walls. We had a prayer walk as we went from poster to poster prayer for the different needs of the churches of Troms�. I was impressed with the intensity in the prayers of some of the young people, but more than anything I was touched to see a middle age lady praying fervently in tears for the people of God in Troms�.
While they were praying I felt like Jesus Christ was embracing the city in love! It was like he was pulling the people in the city to himself by putting his kind and loving arms around them.

November 20, 2003

Apostolic team meeting

Apostolic team meeting
All Wednesday the apostolic team led by Noralv Askeland came together for a time of prayer, dialogue and planning at Gullbotn. We had a wonderful time together as we met with the Lord and one another.
After being away for a full month it was very good to see my friends again. It was so good to touch base again and listen to all the personal reports and updates we sharing with one another. I really give thanks to the Lord for all my friends and for the privilege of being part of a company like this. Their friendship enhance my life!
God is doing some wonderful things in all the emergent churches we are working with. We are facing our challenges and we will overcome every obstacle by the grace of God. I am very encouraged by the reports I heard, and I am very blessed by the fresh expectancy and faith in the Lord which I observed in my friends in the apostolic team.

November 18, 2003

Home again

Home again
Yesterday evening we reached our home safely after one month in beautiful India. We have had a very enjoyable stay in the great nation of India. We met a lot of wonderful people and we could see with our own eyes that the Spirit of the Supreme God is at work in this vast continent with so many people groups.
Last Sunday in Jaipur we were taken to be with one of the eleven congregations in covenant community. It was a moving time as we listened to the testimonies of the people who were encountering God in their every day life. One boy told us how his dumb uncle had been prayed for, and was able to speak normally after their prayer. Others told how they had experienced the Lord's protection in difficult and dangerous situations. I was tremendously blessed by a happy lady giving thanks to the Lord for a piece of soap that she was given, this marvelous soap made her smell like an orange and she was extremely excited and thankful! Bijut told a wonderful story of how the Lord had used him to pray for an ill person when he was visiting a friend at the hospital. The doctors didn't know what to do for this man, but he was instantly healed after Bijut's prayer. Several children told how the Lord had helped them at school and at exams.
But now we are back home in Norway again. It is always good to be home. When we arrived in Bergen we were welcomed by Jakob and Sara, our grandchildren, and Josef our son. Elizabeth, our daughter-law had prepared a nice dinner for us. It was a very good welcome!
The temperature is very nice, around six degrees Celsius, but the days have become very much shorter during our absence and is getting shorter and shorter day by day until Christmas. This morning we attended the prayer meeting at the church and enjoyed a good breakfast together with the brothers.
The rest of the day I have spent going through my mail and I have been very much encouraged by some feedback from people we met in India. I have lit the log fire-place and are enjoying Indian temperature in the living room at the moment!

November 14, 2003

Rajinder and Madhu�s miracle baby

Rajinder and Madhu�s miracle baby
Yesterday Rajinder and Madhu came to see us. They are a lovely couple that we met a few years ago when they were new believers. Yesterday they brought their baby boy and their firstborn son with them and told a moving story.

After the birth of their first son they lost three children, two in late pregnancy and one died at the hospital soon after birth. Doctors told her that if she had a boy this time he would most probably suffer from the same defect as the baby that died at the hospital. But this humble couple put their trust in God and asked for healing and a safe delivery of the child to be born. Madhu wanted to give birth to the baby at home because of what she had been told by the doctors at the hospital. If she gave birth to a boy he would have to undergo a lot of tests and treatments and had to be taken all the way to a hospital in New Dehli.

Three weeks before her due time for birth she went to the hospital because of pain and unease. At the hospital she was scanned and thoroughly examined before she was sent home to rest and wait for another three weeks for the due time. The very same night she went into labour pain, was able to call for a midwife and gave birth to a beautiful boy! He got some rash and wounds in the back and lost some weight for a while. After prayers from the covenant community he was healed!

Now they were standing in front of us and telling moving their story giving thanks to their Lord. They were radiantly and a kind of beauty of gratefulness engulfed them as they showed us their miracle baby! I could see the beauty of the Lord in this poor couple. We were standing on holy ground encountering God. In His presence we had the privilege of offering prayers and thanksgiving. We felt so blessed being able to see the miracle of the Lord in this tiny baby.

God is so good!

November 13, 2003

Exciting time in Jaipur

Exciting time in Jaipur
We have had some very busy but exciting time in Jaipur. Zephry has been very kind to us taking us many interesting places. He took us to a fortress overlooking the city and we walked on the high wall on the edge of the cliff, - a very enjoyable experience! From that perspective we realised the vastness of the city of Jaipur with its 3 million inhabitants. The sunset was lovely and in the darkness of the night the lights of the city were a marvellous sight.

One day we were taken to the four hundred and fifty years old palace of Samode. It was a breathtaking experience to see that beautifully and extravagantly painted Durbar hall and the marvellous Sheesh Mahal � the Hall of Mirrors; - all in the middle of �nowhere� of a dry mountain area of small run down villages. We had a cultural show of Rajasthani dancing as well as a puppet show. At the evening we had a delicious meal together with our friends. In the company of friends everything get a better taste!

We have also had the privilege of spending time with the students at the Covenant School as well as some of the community leaders. It was a very profitable time of spiritual insight, edification and instruction. Weeds were uprooted and seeds were sown, - a wonderful harvest is on the way!

Peter and Nirmala, as well as Jaiprakash, Jorgi and Gouthar came to see us, and we had a wonderful time with them. They are giving very good reports of progress being made in their areas of operation. They told us some very encouraging good news as well as sobering stories of persecution and difficulties.

Burkabhai was giving the good news of the Kingdom to a paralysed man he met in one of the villages he visited. This person happily received the messaged and wanted to commit himself to the Lord. Burkabhai carried him on his cycle to a nearby river and baptised him. When he lifted him up from the water a miracle took place and the newly baptised believer was able to walk! The paralysed condition was gone! God is good!

November 09, 2003

Jaipur - The Pink City

Jaipur � The Pink City
Thursday night we arrived safely in Jaipur and we were met at the airport by Brenda and Zephry who gave us a warm welcome. They took us to the Atithi Guest House. We have stayed in this place before and we were given the same room that we usually occupy here. This is like our second home!
Friday was a busy day with a lot of paper-work to be done, as well as finalising the plans for our stay here. Both Solveig and myself took the opportunity to see a optician as well as visiting the Bapu Bazaar. It was a long time since we had been there and I really enjoy just walking through the Bazaar looking at people and all the goods for sale. Part of the enjoyment is also the joy of shopping things for our grandchildren, children and friends. I like to bargain; but Solveig feels sorry for the poor seller who is able to read her face and give me a less good price than if I had been on my own! And of cause I find great delight to buy some nice things for Solveig. It always feels good when I am able to buy something for my most wonderful wife!
Saturday morning we had to rise very early to go to the airport to receive Bente Danielsen who was joining us for the last week of our stay in India. The taxi we had ordered the day before arrived more than 30 minutes late but the driver drove very fast to the airport and we arrived at the scheduled time of arrival of Bente. However her flight landed 15 minutes before time so she was patiently waiting for us reading here crime-story novel. It was so good to see her!
Unfortunately no room was available at the hotel when she arrived even though a proper reservation had been made! Poor Bente had been travelling all night with no sleep and now there was no room for her in the guest house! I felt so sorry for her. The management of the guest house apologized and did their best to find a solution. After some time a room was vacated and Bente could move in. It was a small room but worse it was the most noisy room in the entire guest house because of some construction work that was going on. I made it very clear to the manager that we were not happy with the arrangement and was given the promise that she would have an ac-room by tomorrow.
Sunday morning at the breakfast table the manager joyfully announced that Bente would have her new room in the morning! We were all happy! Bente seems to be very satisfied with her new room and is settling in very well.
After breakfast we walked to the Rotary Club to meet with the covenant community as they gathered for their monthly joint worship service. The hall eventually became very full with wonderful people in colourful sarees and salwar suits. We heard many exciting testimonies from these covenant friends of miracles of healings and wonderful provisions of the Lord. These people are really alive to their God and are seeing his power at work in their lives. New people are being added to their numbers all the time. I am always moved when I hear their testimonies and watch their grateful faces as they give thanks to the Lord for his everlasting mercy and kindness.
Solveig brought a powerful vision and prophetic utterance very much in line with what the Lord had already put on my heart. As I was asked to come to share I felt so privileged to be among such wonderful people of God being able to share some spiritual insight with them. At the end we joined with the other leaders in praying for a lot of precious children and adults in need of healing, deliverance, blessing and help with their studies. Some men I prayed for were instantly healed! Solveig and Bente ministered to a lot of women and children of which some were instantly healed! What a privilege to see the power of God at work among his people!
God is good!

November 06, 2003

A warm welcome in Ahmedabad

A warm welcome in Ahmedabad
Monday night we arrived at the airport of Ahmedabad where we were warmly received by our apostle friend (name with-held for safety reasons). We were taken to his house and we have been staying with him during our stay in Gujerat. Our friend is leading a network of 930 covenant communities throughout all of India with 123000 people. Last year only they saw more than 30000 people added to their communities. To me it is a great privilege to be able to be with such a servant of the Supreme God.
We have also had the privilege of spending some time with some of the community leaders and some of his disciples. This night the Spirit of God fell on all of us. Solveig brought a prophetic word that changed our entire gathering. This is a day of a second wave of refreshing and blessing upon these wonderful people of God in the state of Gujerat. I am convinced they will see some extra ordinary miracles take place in the days ahead. They have already seen many miracles taken place, but now they will see some outstanding manifestations of the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are a good number of zealous teenagers working with my friend. One teenager was led by the Spirit to pray for a paralyzed woman. She had been lame for more than two years and was unable to move around. This teenager prayed for her and raised her up in the name of our Lord. She was instantly healed and she could freely walk and move around!
God is good!

November 03, 2003

Wi-Fi connection

Wi-fi connection
This afternoon when Knut and Zephry went to the OM Bookstore to buy some new books I discovered that my wireless connection works at the Taj Banjara hotel! I am so excited! Now I sit in my room with my laptop and I am able so send a blog from my own computer! What a blessing the new inventions are for work of the Kingdom of God!
I have been able to read my email and send some answers and be in touch with my friends around the globe!
I am so grateful to the Lord for all the new inventions that enable us to communicate and be in touch even if we are far apart geographically! I believe that in days ahead much of our mentoring or discipling will be done this way as we will be able to cross borders and save time and money while we are in touch with one another more frequently than ever before.
God is good!

A special treat at the Taj Banjara

A special treat at the Taj Banjara
Sunday night we arrived at the Taj Banjara hotel in Hyderabad after a long day of travel and ministry to covenant communities in the Warangal area. Early morning we were taken to several local covenant communities. There was a lot of singing, some good testimonies from people who had met with God the last few days we had been together at the Bala Vikasa centre. It was very encouraging to hear those testimonies. God is so good! He is working powerfully among these peoples.
Knut and Elisabeth were taken by Abraham to two different communities. They were given food and a warm welcome. One place more than 200 persons were present. This community has been form by Moses, a former student from Jaipur Covenant School. In less than two years this community has grown to about two hundred people. This time they met in a new rented building which they hope they will be able to buy with the nice plot of land attached to it.
Zephry and David Paul went to be with Prakash and the community he was leading. Solveig and I were taken by Wilson to the covenant community in Narsampet. We all had a wonderful time with the precious covenant people of God.
After a long, dusty and tiring journey we arrived at the Taj Banjara hotel around eight o�clock in the evening. I was so tired and felt so dirty. But a warm shower did a miracle to freshen me up! When we all were ready we went to the Tandoori outdoor restaurant at the lake. This restaurant has been given the price for the most romantic restaurant in India! We went to celebrate the Silver Anniversary of Knut and Elisabeth. The surrounding was perfect for the occasion! The food was delicious! But the company of our good friends is what made the meal such a wonderful time. Friendship is the music of our lives and no treats can ever compare to the sweetness or excitements of friendship!

October 31, 2003

Bala Vikasa

Bala Vikasa
Here in Warangal we are staying in a people development centre Bala Vikasa. Their moto is: Investing in Peeople!
We are having a wonderful time interacting with about 100 local covenant community leaders. We are hearing some very good reports of what God is doing in Andra Pradesh and we are having a good time of fellowship in the presence of the Lord.
Yesterday we were taken for a special treat as a local business man invited us to his cake factory. He is producing 800000 cakes every day! It was a amzing to se his factory and some of the machines that he had developed himself according to a vision given him by the Lord! A few years back he was as good as bankerupt but today his business is flourishing! God has been blessing him and his wife in a wonderful way. Now they are having big crusades all over India gathering more than 10000 people in one meeting. In his factory he is conducted a monthly prayer meeting and about 10000 people turn up each time! It is wonderful to see God raising up people like that!
God is so good!

October 29, 2003

India update

India update
We are having a wonderful time in India as we are meeting many very good people that serve their God faithfully. We are really impressed with many of the new people we met in Darjeeling. We have been invited to visit Sikkim and we already look forward to be with the special people we met from that place.
In Orissa we saw a miraculous breakthrough at the end of our stay there. It looks like the people are ready for a new move of the Spirit!
At the moment we are in Andra Pradesh. We have had some wonderful time with Abraham. Today he has taken us to an old fortress and shown us some interesting monuments of former glory.
Tomorrow we will meet with some local community leaders. We are looking forward having a good time with them. We are staying at a people development centre and are looked after very well!

October 23, 2003


Darjeeling is a wonderful place with a lot of very nice and friendly people. Yesterday we did some shopping as well as spending a lot of time to fellowship and talk with our friends from here.
When we were having lunch at the famous Glenary's Bakery we had a pleasant surprise. Some local ladies arrived distributing gospel tracts. I didn't expect that to happen and I was blessed by the fact that in the midst of all the business taking place and people trying to make money, some people actually care for the spiritual welfare of the tourist as well as that of the local people.
The kingdom of God is progressing in the hills of Himalaya! I have never had any tracts given to me before on my visits to India. But this time I was blessed by these lady's caring for our souls!
God id good!

October 22, 2003

Arriving in India

Arriving in India
Around midnight we arrived in New Dehli and we were taken to a small hotel close by the airport to rest a few hours before we were on our way to Bagdogra and then to Darjeeling. We had a very pleasant journey from Norway to India and Solveig and I were accompanied by Elisabeth and Knut Osland. When we are in good company time runs fast!
Early this morning we met with Zephry D�Souza, who is joining us on our journey the two first weeks of our time in India. It is always a great joy to be with Zephry as he is such a dear brother and close friend for many years!
At the airport of Bagdogra Henry and Jyoiti welcomed us. They had arranged for our transportation to Darjeeling and our stay in a nice hotel with a breath-taking view! In fact the whole journey from Bagdogra to Darjeeling is breath-taking. The scenery is just absolutely outstanding as the narrow road on the steep hillside is climbing higher and higher crossing many mountaintops on our way to our destination. The road is worth a long article in itself, many places it was almost washed away by rain and landslides. Other places you had the feeling that it could just disappear under you at any time! When we started this journey we heard of four people killed in an accident and on our way up we witnessed the rescue-work after a fatal accident where at least one person was killed and another one seriously injured. But we were never afraid because we know that we are in the hands of God and he is protecting us very well! We know that we have far more to do for the Lord and he will keep us safe and enable us to fulfil the commission he has given us. The safest place in the world is being in the will of God! I am so grateful to God for taking us to so many exciting places and giving us thrilling experiences as we walk with him. And I thank God for all the wonderful people he leads in our way.

October 19, 2003

Wonderful time in the presence of God

A wonderful time in the presence of God!
This morning we had a wonderful time in the presence of God as the covenant community game together to worship the Living One! From beginning to end we were in the presence of God and it was totally enjoyable!
There is nothing like the presence of God. It is the most wonderful place to be! There is a fullness of life and joy in his presence that we can't express in words. It is too wonderful to describe!
As I should go forward to bring the Word, the Holy Spirit told me to ask for musicians to come forward and be ready to play whenever they felt the Spirit moving during my preaching of the Word. I am so glad that I obeyed the prompting of the Spirit. Some musicians came immediately, others joined them during my preaching, even some singers joined them. Moved by the Spirit they were making beautiful music as I was preaching. As they played the presence of God just broke in on us and I was able to communicate the Word of God in more power! It was a real blessing to minister the Word accompanied by Spirit inspired music.
God is so good! New life is growing. The Lord is branching out from the midst of his people!

October 18, 2003

Going to India

Going to India
Monday morning we are going to India again. Solveig and me love the people of this great nation and we enjoy spending time with them, listening to their stories, learning from their spiritual insight and sharing our heart with them as well.
This time we will be away for four weeks and I am not certain that I will be able to blog much when I am away, but I will do my best to share our experiences throughout our journey.

October 16, 2003

Love never fails

Love never fails
I am so grateful to the Lord for all my faithful friends in covenant community in which I have been placed by God. Over and over again I am overwhelmed by the kindness of my covenant friends. I am amazed of the strength of enduring love. It is really true that love never fails!
The last few days have been very busy in planning church growth initiatives and being responsible for a funeral of a dear co-worker in the Lord. I have met some old friends and people I have never seen before. There have been many people involved in making the funeral and the memorial time a very pleasant memory for the family. The grace of God has been evident in all our undertakings. I have been so blessed by the many tokens of love that I have seen these days.
Love never fails! It is not empty words but reality!

October 14, 2003

Don't run from suffering

Don't run from suffering
Jesus told his disciples what they could expect for themselves: �Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You�re not in the driver�s seat�I am. Don�t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I�ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is embarrassed with me and the way I�m leading you, know that the Son of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all his splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. (Luke 9:23- The Message)
I am impressed by the frankness of Jesus and the strength of his demand to his followers. His words are very challenging to everyone in this postmodern society where the individual experience of well-being seems to be the only absolute truth. Here are some more quotes from Jesus in the words of Peterson in the Message:
You become great by accepting, not asserting. Your spirit, not your size, makes the difference.
First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God�s kingdom!
No procrastination. No backward looks. You can�t put God�s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day
Not what you do for God but what God does for you�that�s the agenda for rejoicing
Don�t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need.

October 13, 2003

Elders' conference

Elders' conference
We have had a busy but blessed weekend at Gullbotn with more than 100 elders or leaders from all over Norway. The main focus this time has been on how to work together as a team or achievement-group as leaders in emergent and growing churches.
Apostle Noralv Askeland started Friday night by painting the big picture for us, reminding us of our commission to disciple nations and equip all believers for the work of ministry in the covenant community. Among other things he was touching on building relationship by encouragement and facing challenges in a Spirit-filled way.
Pastor Morten Askeland started Saturday morning by teaching on leadership in a very animated way that encouraged all of us. He spoke on how to work together, how important leadership is, how a leader is formed or developed, and how to be secure in one's own call and giftings.
Then I gave a simple teaching from the Bible on elders and deacons, touching on their tasks and qualifications.
In the afternoon Terje Dahle spoke very well on self-leadership, on looking after one self. He asked some challenging questions and gave a very provoking teaching on have the right priority in life.
Knut Osland gave a very good teaching on discipling others majoring on Colossians 1:24-29.
In between the teaching we had group discussions and wonderful time of fellowship as well.
At the last session Noralv Askeland highlighted the 12 challenges that the church in Corinth faced and pointed out some very timely truths for us all.
All the participants that I spoke to were excited and encouraged by the teaching and by the fellowship with each other.

October 09, 2003

An hero of faith has finished the race

An hero of faith has finished the race
This morning the sad news reached us that our beloved sister, Gerd Lillian, had expired. The good news is that she has finish the race that was set before her in a brilliant way and has enter into the glory in her Master's presence.
For about 30 years, this humble and happy woman of God, has be a faithful co-worker in the gospel. She had newly come to the Lord when she came to join the Operation Youth Team evangelism-movement which I was leading at that time. Since then we have been working together in making disciples.
Gerd Lillian was a beautiful and colourful person. She was a great woman of God. She was a prayer warrior and a true hero of faith. She was full of life and joy. She was a kind and caring person. Everyone who met her just had to love her. She was such a good person, totally committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and full of love for other people.
Even though she was only 52 years old when she died, she had lived a full life. She was married to Odd Gunnar Westre and they have four children and one grandson. She loved her husband and her children as well as the wider family very much. And she loved the covenant community of Kristent Fellesskap. In fact she loved all the people of God, and she loved to witness to non-believers about her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
May all her relatives come to know the Lord in the same way as she did!

October 08, 2003

Team work

Team work
Today the apostolic team has been gathered at Gullboth for reporting, prayer and planning. We have had a very good time together and we are very much encouraged by the workings of the Spirit among the covenant people of God.
This coming weekend we are having an elders' conference. 110 elders and other leaders will come together to seek the guidance of the Lord for advancing the Kingdom of God in our culture and to other nations. There will be a focus on working together in team locally and translocally. We have discovered that team work is the way of God, as God is a community of love and none of the persons of the Godhead operate independently from one another, but always together in harmony and unity.
I believe that we still have very much to learn in this respect. Team work is a godly way to work as we are interdependent on one another and are meant to compliment each other. In team work we enlarge each other and make each other better!
The emergent churches that are caused be the Spirit to bud and sprout in these days are community churches led by a cohesive team of varied ministries working together. As we learn to work in teams we will become more effective and be able to more fully reflect the image of God in the way we live and work together.

October 07, 2003

Church planting

Church planting
This morning we have again had a very good prayer gathering at our church building Bergen. It is so good to come together with these devoted church-planters and leaders among the people of God.
At our breakfast, which my dear wife had prepared, we were talking about some of the challenges we are facing in our work to reach the present generation with the gospel of the Kingdom. The same thing we did in the weekend when we were together with the 70 young leaders. I am so excited by this desire to reach out to others with the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Obviously we are living in a time when the covenant community is branching out. We see new sprouts, signs of new life, creative initiatives, everywhere in these exciting days in which we live. God is so good! He has not given up on the new generation and he has not given up on society! On the contrary, he is actively involved in changing the new generation and the society in which we live! I am so grateful to the Lord that I have a role to play, a work to do, a service to give, a contribution to bring, in this process of changing the world and bringing everything in submission to Jesus Christ!
Here in Bergen we have already seen some good results of the three church-planting we did last year and several new young people have dedicated themself to plant new churches in new areas of our city. These emergent churches are a real sign of new hope for Christianity in Norway!
God is good!

October 06, 2003

My wife is back

My wife is back!
Sunday evening I was able to fetch my wife at the bus station in Bergen. It was a warm welcome! Earlier the very same day I had found some nice pieces of paper in my underwear, my jumper and my shirt, with loving greetings from my dear wife. She has been visiting her mother at the Stavanger area for her 86th birthday and she brought Sara, our granddaughter, with her. They had a good time. But now Solveig is back home where she belongs with me!

We had a long talk last night at the fireplace. The living room became so hot, we felt like being in India! And we enjoyed it as the cold rain was pouring down outside.

This morning we have had a good breakfast together! I have thoroughly enjoyed my tea. No one can make tea like Solveig! With my tea she read me a wonderful Psalm and we had a good time of prayer. Again we were lifting Gerd Lillian up to the Almighty God, asking him for a big miracle of life! We went to see her last night and had a good time sharing the word of God with her, singing and praying for her. Oh, how we love her and want her to live! Humanly speaking she is dying, and if the Lord takes her home we will off cause accept it, but she is only 52 and we want her to live with us here!

At the moment my wife is ironing some of my shirts that she has washed, making them ready for the next weekend when we will be at Gullbotn again for a elders' conference. It is a different atmosphere in the house when Solveig is home. Her presence fills the house with a wonderful fragrance of love and makes our home a pleasant place to be! When she is away the house feels so empty! A vital ingredient is missing.

But today my wife is back home! That makes my day!
God has been so good to me in giving me a wife like Solveig. She is indeed the best in the world!

October 04, 2003

Contrasts of life

Contrasts of life
Gullbotn is seething with life. Seventy young leaders are gathered together for training and fellowship and building friendship. We are having a wonderful time. This morning Morten Askeland has been teaching and encouraging these devoted young people to be leaders to their peers at school and at church. He did a very good job! I enjoyed listening to him and it seemed liked most of us did!
At lunchtime I had a telephone call from the hospital. Gerd Lillian, a beautiful believer and good person in the church, was very ill. I went to see her as soon as I was able to. She is suffering from cancer in her liver and elsewhere. At the moment she is marked by death and the doctors have given her up. But we are still praying for her to be miraculous healed and restored to health. As long as she is breathing we will cry out to God for deliverance. Her family needs her and we want her with us in the church. She is a hero of faith and is fighting for her life. I urge all who read this to join me in urgent prayer for her.
After the visit to the hospital I went to Jakob, my grandson, with a "car" we had made together after I had put on some brakes. He was so excited! He was so full of joy! It was medicine to heart after being at the hospital.
This is the way life is, full of contrasts. Young leaders zealous for God are dreaming big dreams for the future, while a sister is fighting for her life at the hospital, and a young boy has no thought for the past or the future as he is enjoying the exciting moment with his grand dad.

October 03, 2003

Young leaders

Young leaders
This weekend 70 young leaders in their late teens and in the twenties are gathered together at Gullbotn. Knut Gudergod Osland is leading the whole weekend and this first night Arne G. Skagen was giving us the word of God through his speaking and ministries in the gift of the Holy Spirit.
I am very encouraged and blessed to be with such a group of dedicated young Christians on fire for God. Surely our nation has a wonderful future when there are so many young leaders on fire for Jesus Christ. Tonight many of them prophesied powerfully exhorting each other to live fully for the Lord and to follow in his footsteps.
The Lord was speaking on reaching the nations for God and not settle for small things. God is giving these young leaders great visions and they are dreaming big dreams of serving the purpose of God in their generation. Many of them will in days to come leave their hometown to go to new areas with the gospel of the Kingdom. Many of these young leaders will pioneer new works in our nation and in nations near and far off.
We spent some time praying for Denmark as one of the delegates is a Dane. It was a powerful time in the presence of God as we lifted that nation up to God. And God did speak about that nation as a nation he had put his hand on, a nation marked by the cross, a nation that once more should lift the cross and bring the message of reconciliation and peace to many people-groups. God is indeed preparing a great harvest in the nation of Denmark!

October 02, 2003

Teaching Bible students

Teaching Bible students
Today I have been with the students at Bergen Bibelskole the full day. We have been looking at how we can do a biography Bible study and we have had a very good time together.
The students are very much alive and alert. They are asking good and sometimes challenging questions. Often we have a very fruitful dialogue. I like to interact with them and I thoroughly enjoy being with them. I think it is a great privilege to be able to teach devoted Bible students!

September 30, 2003

A new day of outpouring of the Spirit

A new day of outpouring of the Spirit
The Spirit is impressing on me very strongly these days that we are entering into a new day of outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The people of God will be refreshed and recharged with power to produce evidences of the resurrection of Jesus Christ like we read in the book of Acts the early believers did. At that time the apostles were testifying to the resurrection of Christ with great conviction and power, and there was great grace upon them all. Then God did some outstanding miracles to demonstrate that Jesus of Nazareth is alive and that he is the Messiah � the Christ of God.
We will see the same thing happen again! God will release his healing power among his people and the covenant community will be a healing centre. But we will not only see healings take place in an unusual way, we will experience the protective power of the blood of Christ in a new way to be able to live in health! It is greater to live in health and strength enjoying the blessing of God than to need healing and received it! It will be a powerful testimony to the world to see the covenant community live in health when the health is declining in the society in spite of the longer lifespan which is normal to expect today in our western world. The Christian lifestyle is a healthy one. But the Spirit-filled, - the Spirit-refreshed life, is even more healthy, restoring health to our entire being! In days ahead it will become more evident to the world that there is a segment of society that is displaying health and strength of life in a way that is astonishing to the outside people, even to the politicians and researchers alike.
This new day of outpouring of the Spirit will make the covenant community seethe with life. There will be a great variety of creative initiatives to reach the present generation with the gospel of the Kingdom. Ordinary people will confidently share the good news of the resurrection of our Lord with their friends and workmates and bring healing to the sick by the laying on of hands. New cell-groups will be formed everywhere in the neighbourhood, at schools, in universities, at workplaces etc. More than everything our homes will be the place of worship and evangelism. We will invite friends for meals and we will have all kinds of celebrations in our big houses or small flats where the presence of God will be manifest. People in great numbers will come to know the Lord as their Saviour and Healer! The word of the Lord will advance from house to house and we will see a great change take place in our housing estates and downtown areas of living.
The prophetic Spirit will be released among the people of God in a new way in these days of refreshing! Young believers will prophesy with great power and old believers will overflow with prophetic insight to further the gospel in this day of outpouring! The Spirit will lead some people to move to new places to open up new churches and wherever the go led by the Spirit they will succeed! These are adventurous days! These are exciting days! These are days of expansion. These are days of bold exploration! These are days of great harvest!