måndag 25 september 2017

Больше, чем порыв ветра

Возвращаюсь к блогу
Это мой первый пост  в блоге за долгое время!  К сожалению,  по разным причинам, я в последнее время редко писал в своем блоге. Теперь я снова  возвращаюсь к нему,  так есть столько всего, о чем хотелось бы рассказать  и чем  поделиться. Надеюсь, как читателю, вам понравится.

Евроазиатская Конференция Веры
Я пишу в самолете, возвращаясь  из Москвы домой. С удовольствием принимал участие в Евроазиатской Конференции Веры «Слово жизни», на которой присутствовали сотни пасторов со всей России, Балтии, Кавказа, Средней Азии, Израиля и Вьетнама. Уверен, что еще  несколько стран я не назвал. 

Двумя основными спикерами  были Марк Коннор из Австралии и Карлос Луна из Гватемалы, оба - пасторы с многолетним опытом  руководства большой церковью. Марк Коннор, наш давний  друг,  делился интересными и назидательными посланиями о росте и влиянии церкви. Пастор Карлос Луна возглавляет « Каса-де-Диос» - одну из самых быстрорастущих церквей в Латинской Америке. Было замечательно почувствовать вкус  пробуждения, которое в настоящее время охватывает страны Южной и Центральной Америки. Латиноамериканская душа так во многом созвучна русской!

На мастер-классах и коротких семинарах многие пасторы движения «Слово жизни» проповедовали и делились  опытом - что было очень ценно!  Так много даров служения!!!

Больше, чем порыв ветра
Поистине обнадеживает то, как сегодня живет и развивается в бывшем Советском Союзе движение «Слово жизни».  Понимаются молодые пасторы и лидеры, растут старые  и открываются новые церкви. То, что мы видели в этих народах во время драматических 90-х, было не просто «ветром духа», а скорее чем-то сильным и  могущественным, что было насаждено тогда и продолжает распространяться и умножаться сегодня.  Сильная церковь с живым видением,  силой и огнем  изменять мир. Это залог великого будущего!

More than a wind gust

Blogging again
This is my first blog post in a long while! For different reasons I have unfortunately not been so active here. I will now take up blogging again, since there are so many things to tell and share. I hope you as a reader will enjoy reading.

EuroAsian Faith Conference
I am on a plane back home from Moscow. Happy to have participated in the Word of Life's Euro Asian Faith Conference with hundreds of pastors coming in from all over Russia, the Baltics, Caucasus, Central Asia, Israel and Vietnam. I am sure I missed some nations.

Two main speakers were Mark Connors from Australia and Cash Luna from Guatemala, both with experience of leading huge churches. Mark Connors is a friend of ours since many years and shared challenging and instructive messages about church growth and outreach. Cash Luna leads Casa de Dios which is one of the fast growing churches in Latin America. Great to get a taste of that revival which is so strong and sweeps across the nations of South and Central America. The Latino soul fits very well with the Russian!

Many pastors of the WOL movement preached and shared their experiences in panel talks and short sessions, something that was very appreciated. So many gifts!!!

More than a wind gust
It is truly encouraging to see how the Word of Life movement lives on, in the former Soviet Union. New pastors and leaders are raised up, new churches planted and established ones growing. What we saw in these nations during the dramatic 90:s was not just a “wind of the spirit”, but rather something strong and powerful that was planted that continues to spread and multiply today. A resilient church with a living vision and passion to make a difference. That bids good for the future!

onsdag 10 augusti 2016

The provoking cross

In China the authorities tear down crosses from churches and imprisons pastors who protest. In the Middle East Christians are persecuted just because they are Christians. Recently a Catholic priest was stabbed to death in France.
When now a number of Swedish Lutheran priests wish to show solidarity with persecuted Christians by openly bearing a cross in their necklace, they are criticized for being provocative,  not the least to muslims.
During World War II the Danish King, Christian X, bore a Star of David on his chest out of solidarity with his Danish Jewish subjects and co-citizens. He did so while Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany. Provoking? Most certainly for the Nazis. But today we find it a heroic action. 
After the attack on the gay club in Orlando, people put rainbows on their Facebook and Instagram accounts. Provoking for a secularist? Obviously not! But the cross provokes! Obviously! Or is it just the secularized society that just wants to get rid of what it does not accept itself?
Terrorists are not only provoked by crosses. They are provoked by anything they find immoral as promiscuity, drunkenness, Hollywood, MTV, american and russian bombs, all in a huge, crazy mix, which they connect to christian countries and the cross.
Now I don't wear a cross, but do seriously think about getting one. But it will not serve as a symbol against someone or something, except possibly the sin in my own life. That is the reason why Christians wear crosses, they show that they belong to someone who was crucified for their sake.
In Rembrandt's famous painting of the crucifixion, he himself is depicted while he is raising up the cross and the crucified Christ. He has understood what had nailed Jesus to the cross, namely Rembrandt's own sin, which now would be redeemed. The cross is therefore the message of God's everlasting love. To wear it is a show of thankfulness. Provoking?

onsdag 24 februari 2016

Getting ready for Word of Life International's Congress

I have just come back from India.  Now my focus is on Word of Life International's Congress in Georgia that starts on Tuesday. We are now fully booked! Really looking forward!

It is great to come together as the great Word of Life family! The churches across the many nations we are working in, are represented by their pastors and senior leaders that come together for four days in the beautiful Caucasus mountains. I pray 2 Cor 1:21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us. God wants to establish, strengthen us and anoint us for what we are to enter into.

It is important that the entire leadership in a movement as widespread as ours, come together,  not only regionally, but internationally. All can then be there to update one another, seek the Lord together in order to find a common way forward. Word of Life looks both similar and different as you see it in the different cultures. Important then for all of us to connect with the bigger picture. Working and standing together, gives great impact.

There are a lot of activities now as we prepare for the Congress. Logistics - pastors fly in from Europe, Asia, Africa and USA. Last minute work with lodging, transports etc etc is going on.

You will be hearing more from our Congress! I believe our best days are ahead!

tisdag 16 februari 2016

Passing through the Middle East

UOn the road again and just arrived to Dubai for a night then tomorrow off for India.

It is special to fly over the MidEast in this very volatile time. Iran is just across the water. Saudi Arabia and Jemen is very close. In Jemen there is a war being fought right now. In Syria the major players of the world and the region are getting more and more involved in a war, that first of all is a proxy war. This war has many of the ingredients that could make it escalate into something that some warn of and call the next potential world war. Radical islam of its worst kind and the real politik of the the big power players clash and they get more and more entangled in something they might not be able to get out of. The latest news is that Turkey and Saudi Arabia both plan to put boots on the ground in Syria. Tension is rising and the risk that "a shot of Sarajevo" will bring this to an even larger conflict.

In the midst of this millions of people suffer, not the least the Christians, that suffer nothing less than a genocide. They need our support, both here in the region and also as they come to our nations as refugees. Muslims too suffer of radical islam and many start to reevaluate their beliefs. To both these groups we can give hope. It is our responsibility and also a great opportunity to do good to many people in need. The Middle East is going through tremors and big changes are coming. Let us be ready for that!

Now time for a few hours of sleep and then off to India.

The Macedonian call and the Good Samaritan

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us. In this vision Paul hears words spoken by a person who represents an unreached a people and region. He is calling for help. Paul and his team immediately responds and got to see a fantastic door opening up for the gospel in Philippi. Paul this way became the right man, with the right people, at the right place in the right time. This step was a stroke of God’s genius and a new field was now reached. The question is; is there such a Macedonian call for help to us Christians today?

The ministry of Jesus was about saving and restoring man, not only spiritually, but on all levels. His parable about the Good Samaritan challenges, since the two persons that ignored the robbed and manhandled victim, were both priests. Maybe they prioritised the spiritual? The Samaritan though, took care of the victim’s needs, which were medical care, lodging and food. Was this a substitute for preaching the gospel? No, it was just another way of preaching the gospel. It was God’s mercy and love in practice.

The news is now characterized almost entirely by the war in the Middle East and the flows of refugees that as a result of it, go through Europe, to where both Muslims and Christians seek refuge. The sheer magnitude has taken Europe by surprise and as spring approaches and the war shows sign of intensifying, we can probably expect a new wave of refugees. There are enormous needs; material, social and spiritual. And you and I can be the answer to these needs. We need to continue to make efforts in the refugee camps in Iraq and Jordan, in Athens and at other points where the fleeing migrant pass through after a life threating voyage over the sea to find safety, as well as relieving and helping them as they arrive to Sweden.

Is this the Macedonian call to us Christians today? And is the mission’s field coming to us? Not counting the challenges, let us open our hearts for the affected. Then God’s light will shine for us as well as for them.

lördag 5 december 2015

Off to Shanghai

I am on my way to Shanghai. While still in bed this morning, I got an alert from the air company that my flight was cancelled. They promised that they were working to rebook me on another flight. I should just wait for info as it would come.

I don't like passive waiting, especially since I understand that the air company is not as eager as I am to have me there in time. They also try to avoid costs. I have learnt to take all the steps I can. That radically raises the chance to get you where you need to go in reasonable time.

Part of my allergy to passive waiting is probably my years of living and traveling in the Soviet Union/Russia. Delays were very common and it was impossible to get any usable information. They would announce in the loudspeakers systems that the plane is delayed and that there will be new information in two hours. When time was up a new announcement came, "New information in two hours".

No one has ever described the apathetic mood that besets the traveller stranded in a soviet airport as the Polish author Ryszard Kapuscinski in his book Imperium. A recommended read by many accounts, if you ask me.

Since we are not trapped in a failing soviet system, we could with some very good help from staff at the missions department rebook. I now instead got a ticket via Dubai, and not Copenhagen. The flight was scheduled three hours earlier than the original flight. Packing, showering and getting dressed in record time and off to the airport. Something I am really happy for is that I live 25 minutes from Sweden's biggest airport. It makes traveling a lot smoother,

Now in Dubai for some hours at early night and then on to Shanghai for some busy days.